Sunshine in a flower

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lee's hired!!!

Wey hey! Lee won!

Last nights 'The Apprentice' was a thrilling rollercoaster of a ride with the usual twists and turns and stomach clenching moments! The final show followed the usual format of involving all the contestants so it was nice to see a few old faces, some I wouldn't have minded one bit never seeing again (Jenny, Jennifer and Kevin in particular).

Kevin was as cringeworthy as ever. For some reason he wound me up. Everything about drove me mad with fury, his face, his attitude, the things he says, even his voice. I don't think he's cruel or inhumane or anything like that, I just dislike him as he is so, so, SO annoying.

involvement in the final task caused a worrying moment when for a (thankfully) brief moment, I honestly began to wonder if this final was going to be the final of all finals and Sir Alan would caused a shock akin to JR being shot and hire KEVIN!

My heart pounded and I could barely type as I shared my increasingly growing fear that Sir Alan would hire Kevin in one of a flurry of texts my brother and I share during 'The Apprentice'.

To my relief, this moment of madness passed and all too soon the time was upon us when Sir Alan put a nation out of its misery (and I dare say the contestants were pretty glad the whole ordeal was at its conclusion) and FINALLY make up his mind. Bear with me while I slightly wander off the point here, but, I can't help but wonder how exactly Sir Alan amassed a fortune of £800m in business value when he is so indecisive!!

Hurridly heading back to the pint (hurrah I hear you cry), Alex and Helene were unceremoniously fired. Helene handled it well, Alex veered between his extremely angry and aggressive pose(or as aggressive as the Lost boy Alex can manage) and crying (like the Lost Boy he is!).

The diamond hard attitude of Claire that had proved so astonishing in its resiliance, proved finally to be merely a veneer as the realisation that it only one person was going to hear the two magical words 'You're hired' and it wasn't going to be her.

So it was Lee who overcame not only the ordeal of the tasks but the humilation of an application form written in gobbly gook (perhaps Alex could have translated - he was the resident linguist after all), but to have embellished his educational achievements; to be blunt Lee lied.

Sir Alan hasn't amassed such a fortune without realising that people come in all forms and it's my belief that he saw what Lee did as saying more about the way Lee feels about his formal educational achievements and self belief, than as something that detracted from Lee and his proven abilities as a whole. The programme is after all called 'The Apprentice' and Sir Alan wanted someone who had proven strengths and potential but wasn't the finished article. That person is Lee and I am really pleased. Lee comes across as someone who is passionate, determined and driven but has retained his decency and humanity and it is the latter qualities that separated Lee from the other contestants and I like to think, is what led Sir Alan to hire him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who will be HIRED?

Wow! The day has finally arrived. The day millions of us have waited for.it's the final of 'The Apprentice'.

For those of you either living on Mars or outside the UK; 'The Apprentice' is a cult TV show (UK) in the shape of a job interview lasting several weeks, involving many tasks and with a contestant a week facing the damning words 'YOU'RE FIRED'! The prize is a year long apprentice within the Sir Alan Sugar empire with a salary of £100,000.

Sir Alan Sugar is a multi millionaire businessman who conducts the process of splitting the contestants/interviewees into groups (with a leader per group) and then setting the groups various business and often sales related tasks which take place over a set time frame (usually from morning to evening). The following day the groups are summoned to 'The Boardroom' to face an absolute grilling by Sir Alan and heavy criticism from his two 'assistants', each of whom shadows a group garnering the information required for Sir Alan to wield his axe. The leader of the group who fails the task has to return to the boardroom (following a non entirely soothing cup of tea at a local greasy spoon cafe)with two members of the team who may or may not have had a part to play in the failing of the said task.

The contestants soon form a 'dog eat dog' mentality, mercilessly pulling one another to threads both within the boardroom as a method consistently employed to save their own necks and also back at the shared house (presumably in order to break the person by creating a no escape situation!).

It's Schadenfreude at it's most awful, but as so often the case enormously compelling verging on being addictive!! The joy for the viewer is to see the repulsive, self obsessed contestants who are so insatiably driven that they have arguably lost their minds, ultimately getting their comeuppance. The excuses and reasons given in response to Sir Alan's request that they explain why they should not be fired are quite simply hilarious. It's crucial to remember that these 'contestants' are apparently extremely successful businessmen and women. Many already earn a salary close to the £100,000 offered, several earn in excess of this amount. These people tend to be in their 20's and those in their early 30's are considered (by the other contestants) as being old! These people claim to be at the top of their game yet make the most ridiculous decisions, claims and comments. This to me is what makes this show different to all the other 'reality shows. This is NOT a show about 'ordinary' people, far from it; these people consider themselves EXTRAORDINARY yet to the viewer, the only extraordinary thing about these people is how very stupid they seem to be!

So..it's the final. Claire, Helena, Alex and Lee have each survived the gruelling and often humiliating process so far. Viewers will be tuned in at 9.00Pm on BBC 1 in their droves, each with a favourite, many (me included) shouting at the television certain that my shouting will affect the already long ago filmed final!!!

Who will it be who will hear the immortal words 'You're hired'?

We'll all have to wait but my favourite remains Lee. OK, so he lies, is illiterate and does TERRIBLE impressions, but I like him. This means alot to him and as the contestants themselves would say, 'Lee will deliver'.

How many hours is it now until the show is on? The clock is ticking!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Surprise flowers

Vase number one

Yesterday evening someone knocked at the front door. A lady was standing on my doorstep with a HUGE bouquet of flowers. I immediately assumed that they must be for a neighbour who wasn't in; basically that they weren't for me!

To my amazement the lady said MY name! I just stared and saw the card on the flowers which also said my name! I was so shocked and surprised, the poor lady had to say my name several times before I managed to get a grip on myself and take the flowers, MY flowers from her!

Alas it was a really gloomy evening and not enough light for photos. Suffice to say that the bouquet was simply stunning, pretty patterned pink cellophane tied with raffia and the flowers themselves wrapped in silver tissue paper and themselves tied in raffia.

It took me ages transferring them all to vases but I really enjoyed myself. I love flowers and do like to buy a few bunches off my local market but although they're beautiful, it's just flowers whereas this bouquet came complete with the most incredible foliage.

Vase number 2

My wonderful brother who had arranged the flowers to be sent on behalf of him, my mum and one of my sisters had requested the card to explain that the flowers were sent in recognition of the sorrow and sadness I have been feeling at the loss of the beautiful Sophie.

My Mum had also reminded my brother that I am unable to have certain flowers such as Lillies as they are so lethal for the animals so I was extremely relieved not to be faced with the problem of what to do with lillies as they are in general a very popular flower bouquet wise.

What a lovely surprise. I have been feeling really low recently about Sophie, she is so missed and life has changed completely. It has amazed me that everything should change, routines etc, but it has. Night time is awful as we always had cuddles, strokes and kisses before bed and Sophe would watch me as I went up the stairs. Quite often Tom cat is downstairs at night and when I say goodnight to him I always cry as I feel the loss of Sophie at that time especially hard.
The lovely flowers have cheered me up enormously though, and I would like very much to thank my wonderful and ever supportive brother and of course my littlest sister and Mum who also were part of this most welcome surprise. Thank you and I love you all very much.

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie