Tweets on 2011-01-31

  • @sarabedford then – no referral deals unfortch. First time you run, you need to configure it to catch PPP and PM6 files. #
  • @sarabedford my 80GB costs $100 a year for daily online backups #
  • For some reason I can't remember, I'm having a Will & Grace marathon. When does Will get to actually kiss a guy? #
  • @sarabedford fortunate are the people who start backing up without first having a catastrophic data loss episode. #
  • @LloydieJL doorbell, phonecall, death of relative, terrorist atrocity, flyer through letterbox, misdelivered takeaway, earthquake #
  • @A_C_McGregor how about like this: #
  • Yet again have bought the wrong one of pedal bin liners / swing bin liners. Gah! #
  • Why can't they be called kitchen bin liners and bathroom bin liners? #
  • Buffet. Yay (@ May Sum) #
  • King's Speech. Can't poss live up to hype (@ Cineworld Nottingham) #
  • Is cinema screen sharper than ever? Digital projection? Or just my scary new spex? #
  • Drove home from the cinema with the top down, because we can. It was -2 outside. #
  • @willhowells send in, the tweets. #
  • @bellringingweb ringing will feature on this week's Come Dine With Me, Channel 4 at 5pm each day this week. #
  • "I'm afraid we don't have time for you to answer that question" Awkward, Sarah Montague! #bbcr4 #today #
  • Cor, was -5 overnight, still -4.7 now. #
  • Rare treat to visit Council House these days. (@ Nottingham Council House) [pic]: #

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Tweets on 2011-01-30

  • Catching up with #cdwm Sweetbreads?! Brave! #
  • Now starting to get really nervous about my Channel 4 début next week. Will I get death threats too? #
  • Refilling shampoo bottles from pouches. Should stave off the eco-apocalypse another few minutes. #savingtheplanet #
  • RT @sueperkins: Oh, and I wear the trousers in relationship [w/ @GilesCoren]. END OF x <<< this was never in doubt. #
  • @warrenellis would you like us to maybe set your house on fire? You'd feel warm for the rest of your life. #
  • @dwbullock tape within marriage, hmmm? We've moved on to MPEGs now. #
  • RT @miltonline: I put my oven at 180 degrees, and now all the shelves have fallen on the floor. #
  • @Meryl_F yup, C4 phoned to say it had moved to next week – my cooking night 1st Feb. #
  • @sarabedford you talking backups or collaborations? I use mozy to backup, dropbox to share. both are great. #
  • Dropbox FTW #
  • @JChris_J @SophWheeler looks like next Saturday is a repeat of Aberdeen. #

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Tweets on 2011-01-28

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Tweets on 2011-01-27

  • @austinrathe this is correct. Apols to all those I said 14th Feb to – Channel 4 switched things round. #
  • @LloydieJL they're completely rerouting the inner city one way systems. Turning Point East. #
  • RT @dr_nick: Beans cooked on hob sooo much nicer than beans done in microwave. <<< bloody gourmets #
  • @helenduffett I'm liking "extracorporeal" and I'm guessing @Psythor is too. #
  • Collection and fitting (@ Specsavers) [pic]: #
  • These cars don't come cheap 😥 (@ Santander) #
  • I will not have cake with lunch. I will not have cake with lunch. Ooh, baklava. #
  • @sarabedford I'm hoping for offers of DIY and cleaners! #
  • @hughmcguire let's keep telling ourselves that. #
  • It's very frustrating hearing @corfmeister report disinterested 14 year olds when I'd LOVE to have a tour of Radio 4! #
  • @willhowells every day next week at 5.30pm, me cooking on Tuesday 1st Feb. #
  • Much harder to get cat in box for repeat trip to vet. Sure sign of recovery. Has a week passed already. #
  • @willhowells recorded in Nov, broadcast next week! #
  • Waiting room quiet today. (@ Arnwood Vets) #
  • @10anta love #
  • @dr_nick Fudge broke his pretty tail 😦 we don't know how it happened, just came home to find. Door slam or gate slam, poss even cat bite. #
  • @10anta you seriously want me to answer that? #
  • Cat tail latest: full sensation to tip. Full recovery distinct possibility. Another week on anti-inflamatories. #
  • @dr_nick how many tails have you fixed? I'm not going to second guess vet via twitter! #
  • Finally reached cocktail hour. #
  • I guess I must have put a little too much gin in that dirty martini. #
  • @helenduffett I wouldn't know #
  • Amazing the garbage that comes out when your eyes are not on the screen and your fingers are not on the home keys. #
  • 20 mins preparing @PodDelusion spiel, 5 mins recording. It's a cheeky plug for @librivox, hope they have time for it this week! #

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Tweets on 2011-01-26

  • @jamesgraham I'm a big fan of Opera Mini on my phone, but it's still chrome for me on the desktop. #
  • Making a quick decision (@ Caralot) #
  • I'm at IKEA #
  • I'm gonna be on Come Dine With Me next week – I cook Tuesday. #cdwm #
  • @Psythor scary contract! #
  • I'm at Top Secret Lib Dem Print Cave (Burton Avenue, Nottingham) #
  • @sarabedford how do you serve gherkins? #
  • My oven stopped cooking my lamb shank at 7.30pm and I've only just got to eat it. Still yummy! #
  • @dr_nick OK ta. Googled. Doesn't look nice! #
  • @tom_geraghty seemed to be slightly sticky but it's up. #
  • One Stop Promotions has emailed to say they now have ISO 9001. How do you respond? "Congrats" ? "Will deff buy more stuff now!" #
  • @dr_nick now corrected, ta #
  • Small children and digital cameras (my nephew takes a mean photo already) @dr_nick #

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Come Dine With Me: how do they find these people?!

Certainly watching the first episodes in the New Year, set in Margate, you have to ask the question where do they find these nutters? The Italian guy with the amazing hair and the awful attitude; the camp gay guy who can’t keep his hands to himself; the pregnant woman happy to lick spilled dessert off the floor; the builder who knows everything there is to know about food and the woman on the verge of emigrating.

Even I wondered how they find such crazy people, and I am a Come Dine With Me contestant!

Yes, I can reveal, now that the TV listings have been published with my name in, that I will be appearing on the show for its next outing in Nottingham, and it will be broadcast in the week starting with Valentine’s Day 31st January ((eek, they brought forward the date by three weeks!)). My cooking night is Tuesday.

And how did I get selected? Well, as I blogged here it all started in December 2009. I emailed the show saying I’d like to be on it. Digging back in the gmail folder, it turns out all I did was send them my name, address and contact details. No bio, no talking about myself, just contact details and links to twitter and my blog.

After that, radio silence for nearly a year, until October 2010.

Then a phone call from a producer, which I missed the first time around, and left to my voicemail. They’d like to talk to me about the show. Can I have a think about the sorts of things I’d like to talk about and phone them back.

I had a think and a very few sets of text messages sent to nearest and dearest, most of which were replied to with versions of enthusiastic “Wahey, go for it!” So I phoned back and left messages, and then they phoned back and we spoke. I outlined two menus as requested, a French inspired one and a hyper-local one, they took copious notes, and then right at the end of quite a long conversation, we talked about availability. I was available in the week they wanted to film, but it was pretty dodgy in the weeks leading up to it, and in particular in the weeks they were doing home visits, I was actually on honeymoon.

The phoned back a few days later and made an appointment that just fit around the dates I was away – having, I think, made some changes so that they could come to Nottingham before I left.

Two lovely ladies, a location director and an assistant producer, dressed in leggings and knitware, came around one Sunday afternoon, and I showed them round my house, answered questions about cooking and my personality and preferences. They got me to tell them jokes, show them the rooms I’d tidied specially and the rooms that got neglected, asked the odd difficult question (“What does this room say about you?” / “Erm, well, it says I should have tried to remake my airing cupboard four years ago when they finished putting the solar panel in, but never got around to it”).

They were equipped with a video camera and taped me as we went around, filmed all the interviews, and took digital pictures of everything hanging on my walls. And we did a bit of something I’d get awfully familiar with: they stood side by side, one with the camera, one with a list of notes and questions to ask. The one with the notes would ask the questions and I’d have to reply, making sure I totally ignored the camera, and looked at and replied to the one asking the questions. It is pretty tricky to ignore a camera pointed right at you.

At the end of the visit, which lasted less than an hour, they said thank you very much, they’d be in touch, and left. At one point they even said that if I wasn’t successful at this round I should definitely re-apply.

I subsequently learned that in the course of those visits, they were seeing about 50 people over a number of days. They didn’t mention that at the time, and to me, it felt like a fairly seemless progression phone-call, visit, another phonecall to say yes, you’ll be on the show. Presumably dozens of people were actually screened out at each stage for any number of reasons.

I got the phonecall to say I’d definitely be on shortly before going on honeymoon – I received the call on my mobile while I was in Nottingham Council’s new HQ, and given I was surrounded by Council staff, I had to be extremely restrained in my reaction. It was basically “Oh. My. God.”

The enormity dawned.