Girls, travel, rockets, transport, hotels, films, Martinis, wine, music, food and ranting!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A happy Christmas... all our readers. We very much appreciate those who follow this blog and comment on our ramblings!

We've had a very busy year and haven't been able to post as much as we would like but hope to do more in 2014.

Earthrise: 45th anniversary

On 24th December 1968 the crew of Apollo 8 were turning their spaceship over the moon when they unexpectedly saw the sight of Earth rising over the lunar surface.  This shot, by William Anders, became one of the most iconic of the second half of the twentieth century.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Strictly Siren: There goes Ola!

So, Polish popsicle Ola Jordan has left Strictly Come Dancing after her celebrity partner,Ashley Taylor Dawson, got the boot (perhaps unfairly) last night.  Newsreader, Susanna Reid, gave a worse performance but somehow she is managing to appeal to mums while also giving off goes-like-a-bomb vibes to all the men.  

Interestingly, Ola's grumpy husband James was nowhere is sighe in last night's show and also Ola wasn't wearing her wedding ring.  Is all well in the house of Jordan?

There are rumours that this will be their last series of Strictly and, in fact, it was said that it was doubtful if they would return this year as James is not popular with some of the judges.

Then there was all the hissy fits caused by the relatively new professional Karen telling Ola that she wasn't a very good dancer which was why she was always at the back.   Miaow!

We didn't get a catsuit from Ola this year either, disappointingly.  New dancer Iveta Lukosiute did gives us a spectacular gold catsuit but the point of Ola in one (or maybe two points) is that it showed off the curves that Iveta doesn't have.  

Iveta; lacking in curves

Ola's body shape is quite different from all the stick-like dancers the BBC is recruiting now and all the better for it.  Anyway, given that the BBC has been dumping the older professional women over the last few years could her days be numbered?

If so we will miss her cheerfully mangled Estuary Polglish, her fantastic arse and her bouncy upper works.  

She has just had the most revealing of her calendars published but it is marred, somewhat, by over enthusiastic PhotoShop which means that in some shots her face looks stuck on.

Ola, cute though she is, doesn't have the best skin on her face (all that theatrical makeup doesn't help, no doubt) but in some of these shots she looks more like a Madame Tussauds waxwork.

Ola's is not the only calendar to be like this.  We will examine Kelly Brook's shortly, as hers suffers from the same problem.  It begs the question that if people are buying you calendar because of the way you look isn't it sort of important that you actually look like yourself in it?

Anyway, Strictly without Ola would not be the same so we hope they keep her on for next year, although this does seem less and less likely as he and her husband are working on a touring show it seems.

The end?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Plastic wine bottles?

Agent Triple P was en route from Houston to Bogota last month with his particular friend, the lovely S,  in tow and we thought it might be a good plan to grab a bottle of red wine for a nightcap, given that we weren't arriving at our hotel until around 11.00pm. The selection of red wine at George Bush International was, frankly, pathetic but there was a likely looking generic Australian shiraz which would act as a suitable relaxant. Anyway Triple P  grabbed the bottle and, shockingly, it deformed under our fingers. It was a plastic bottle! Or rather, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), to be exact. 

Now Triple P well remembers plastic wine bottles from his childhood, which you could get in hypermarkets like Mammouth in the south of France in the late sixties and early seventies (the chain disappeared in 2009). One litre for 50 centimes in a strangely industrial looking square bottle, with a flip off cap, which looked like it should contain bleach instead of wine. Indeed, the taste of this wine was fairly indistinguishable from household cleaner and Triple P's father only used it for cooking. Even at the age of ten our palate was sufficiently developed that we realised that this stuff was to be avoided. We didn't have any again until a holiday Triple P had in the Loire valley with our best friend, our girlfriend and our immediate ex-girlfriend. (only slightly difficult). Triple P can't remember which of them bought the litre plastic bottle of red but after a twelve year gap, it was just as bad as we remembered it. 

 Well, S and Triple P were in a hurry and there wasn't much choice so we paid the (no doubt exorbitant) $12 and picked it up at the gate in that strange way that Houston airport handles duty free. Incidentally, why is it that wine drinkers are penalised by duty free shops? There are big savings on spirits but wine always seems to be more expensive than it would be in the shops. In the end it was worth it financially, as the 18.75 cl bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon in the minibar worked out at about £10, or £40 a bottle. More importantly 18.75 centilitres wouldn't have gone very far between the two of us. 

So what was it like, our plastic-clad wine? Actually rather good. Not that it lasted very long. Fortunately S had bought one too. The key issue for producers and shippers is that a PET bottle only weighs 54g as against up to 500g for a glass bottle (although some producers are now using lighter glass bottles of around 300g). Cutting down weight means less fuel expended in moving it around. All good news for the environment and the bottles are recyclable (although not as recyclable as glass). There have, inevitably, been questions about plasticides leaking into the wine but this is not the sort of wine you are going to lay down in your cellar. 

 The Russians have a rafting race with their blow-up women!

What with plastic bottles of wine Triple P wondered to S how soon it would be before we got plastic women too and not just those who are partially plastic like a lot of the women guests at the wedding reception which was taking place at our hotel in Houston.  S pointed out that you can already buy very realistic plastic women, not just those inflatable ones beloved of bad comedy films. They don't complain, nag and you don't have to buy them expensive lingerie (actually some of the "collectors" do, I gather) but then Triple P has always preferred an active rather than a passive woman so that would be one plastic product too far. 

Deluxe plastic woman

It will be interesting to see if they catch on in supermarkets over here.  Wolf Blass have already put a couple of their Green Label wines in these plastic bottles and I believe that some Sainsbury supermarkets have a couple as well.  The squeezy bottle is coming!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jaimie Alexander in Azzaro at the Thor premier in Los Angeles

Agent Triple P had never heard of actress Jaimie Alexander until she appeared at the Thor premier this week in this extraordinary Azzaro dress.  Publicity objective triumphantly achieved, as only such a striking frock can do.  Lots of snide comments from female fashion commentators of course but that is because none of them could carry it off.

We thought the similarly revealing Gwyneth Paltrow one earlier in the year was a bit manky but that's because we think Gwyneth Paltrow is a bit manky.  Miss Alexander carries hers off brilliantly, however, and it is very revealing indeed.  Paltrow looked desperate but Alexander looks elegantly erotic.

In fact it is a perfect exemplar of original Star Trek costume designer William Ware Thiess' titillation theory that "the degree to which a costume is considered sexy is directly proportional to how accident-prone it appears to be".  

Andorran-owned French fashion house Azzaro was founded by Franco-Sicilian designer Loris Azzaro (1933-2003) in 1962.  This dress heads up their Spring/Summer 2014 collection.  Azzaro was quoted as saying when talking about his approach to dress designing that “the right dress must make the man want to tear it off”.  He would have approved of this, we suspect.

Unusually, we think Miss Alexander actually looks better than the model in Azzaro's publicity shot for the dress.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Strictly Siren: Rachel Riley booted out

Luscious Countdown cutie Rachel Riley was unfairly voted into the dance off on Strictly Come Dancing last night despite receiving her highest score.  She had no chance of being saved by the judges when up against the peerless Abbey Clancy (who also should not have been in the bottom two either but probably was included due to a magnificent display of her taut abdomen which would have had all the fat women in prawn coloured velour tracksuits at home hissing into their high fat microwave curries).

To be honest we only had vague knowledge of Miss Riley as the somewhat controversial successor to the slightly creepy Carol Vorderman as the hostess of the words and numbers game show.

The same prawn coloured velour tracksuit wearing women thought Miss Riley had just been hired on her looks (on television, surely not?) and didn't approve of her very small dresses when she took over the role in 2009.

Anyway, Agent Triple P was impressed by Ms Riley's fine form and no doubt the dance training helped to tone her already impressive rear and thighs.

In fact, her behind was the best of any of the women celebrities in this year's competition and was better than some of the professional dancer's as well.

Still only 27 (she shares a birthday with Agent Triple P) Ms Riley is from Essex but got a maths degree from Oriel College Oxford so isn't just a pretty bottom.  She got the job in 2008 at the age of 22, beating off 1000 other candidates, almost immediately after graduating from Oxford. 

When Triple P was at Oxford, Oriel was a male only college full of hefty rowers and, the legend goes, that when they were forced to go mixed the college recruited a lot of really tiny girls who would make excellent rowing coxes.

We are disappointed that she didn't go further in the competition but coming from a non performance or modelling background she was always going to struggle with projecting her personality on the dance floor.

Sadly, these fine projections weren't enough to garner her enough votes to stay in.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How ghastly is Miley Cyrus?

Until a week or so ago Agent Triple P  had no idea who Miley Cyrus was.  Now, however, you can't open a newspaper or look at the inappropriately named Yahoo "news" without seeing this woman pulling faces. We have no problem with the poor woman exploring her sexuality as she struggles to distance herself from her previous juvenile acting persona.  What we can't stand is seeing her constant gurning for the camera; tongue out and winking.

Her latest photographs are by sleazy New York photographer Terry Richardson, who is one of the main forces behind the horrible current fashion of arty "erotic" photographs being taken without any attempt at art or craft, using basic flash lighting and being deliberately amateurish.  She is a pretty, although not beautiful, girl with a very ordinary looking body but most of the images show her pulling strange faces again.

She is starting to remind us of another complete winker, the TV presenter Gok Wan who equally thought that screwing up his face with an exaggerated wink made him distinctive.  No, it just makes you really annoying.

Take your clothes off all you like (we are surprised Hugh Hefner hasn't been in touch) but stop making the stupid faces!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Return of Strictly Come Dancing

Left to right:  Abbey Clancy, Fiona Fullerton and Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Agent Triple P, of course, has nothing to do with the slightly bizarre activity of dancing if he can at all avoid it.  It is curious, then, that one of his very guiltiest pleasures (and Triple P does not have a very well developed sense of guilt) is the sparkly dance extravaganza Strictly Come Dancing (known as Dancing with Stars in the US) on the BBC.

Then again, a show which features extraordinarily fit and toned women gyrating about wearing tiny little costumes was bound to engage his interest; unlikely though it may appear initially.  When he was a teenager he became very interested in women's gymnastics for similar reasons.

This years crop of terpsichorean totty is very fine, although there is no-one who creates a resonance for Triple P like Victoria Pendleton did last year. There are also have some new professional dancers flexing their taut muscles on the show.  We'll look at some of these ladies over the next weeks but will begin our coverage with this rather fine study of three of the contestants from the show. 

We very much appreciate the nineteen fifties burlesque fan dance vibe in this photograph by Ian Derry for the Daily Mail.

Fabulous, dahling!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Victoria Pendleton does Goldilocks

Here is the rather bizarre sight of the luscious Victoria Pendleton in a blonde wig being Goldilocks for Kellogg's new Special K porridge.  She seems to have got the bear erect, anyway...

Now who wants to sleep in my bed?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Philadelphia Eagles' new cheerleaders uniforms by Vera Wang

Fashion designer Vera Wang has had a good couple of weeks. Not only was her dress for Colombian beauty Sofia Vergara the sensation of the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles but her new uniform for the cheerleaders of the Philadelphia Eagles debuted to great approval.

Wang knows about the importance of functionality in exercise clothing having been a top level ice skater herself.  In fact it was her just missing out on selection for the Grenoble Winter Olympics in 1968 that made her go full time as a designer instead.  

She stayed close to the sport, designing dresses for some of the top US figure skaters and, ironically, getting herself inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame on the back of her designs, rather than her skating.

Wang first designed uniforms for the Eagles' cheerleaders ten years ago and was then the first fashion designer to design outfits for an American professional sports team's cheerleaders.

The new uniforms first saw service two weeks ago with women spectators apparently lusting after the cheerleaders sparkly new shoes.  Male spectators just lusted after the usual things, we suppose.

The range include a number of options to take account of the variable weather the cheerleaders will encounter over the season, including some somewhat bizarre sweaters which appear to keep the ladies arms warm but ensure that their other assets are still on display.

Agent Triple P enjoyed a visit to the fine city of Philadelphia a couple of years ago and managed to take in a game when he was there.  He also saw the Eagles, under the peerless Randall Cunningham, play the Cleveland Browns at Wembley Stadium in a pre-season game in August 1989.

Some tops require more engineering than others we suspect

So we have always had a soft spot for the Eagles and they now have the most stylish cheerleaders in the NFL as well!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sofia Vergara at last night's Emmy Awards.

Here is Miss Sofia Vergara in a quite splendid Vera Wang fishtail dress at last night's Emmy Awards in Los Angeles


She looks pretty good for someone who is forty one years old!

Sofia is Colombian and hails from the Caribbean coast city of Barranquilla where Agent Triple P spent some time in July.

No other comments are really necessary!