Eclipse Day

It’s not just the future’s brightness that requires us to don the shades. At 11.10am on Wed 11 Aug, Scotland will have a glimpse of the first total

eclipse of the sun to be seen on British shores since 1927. If you want to get totally hep to this particularly crazy beat, start bandying around phrases such

as ’line of totality’, ’solar sliding’ and ’scorched retinae’. If you want the full blinding experience, ,yOu’ll have to get yourself down to Cornwall amid government health warnings of permanent eye damage should you look

straight into the sun. Then again, it'

everyone’s time. Eclipse Day occurs on Wed 7 7 Aug.

|| probably be cloudy and a waste of

Fantasy Girlfriend

Perhaps it’s not the most obvious connection, but these flyers which are being

distributed around the country's bars of late are actually about insurance

policies. Declaring your homosexuality to insurance companies may often result in increased premiums by an average of 250% and inclusion on the ’lmpaired Life Register'. Ivan Massow of Massow Independent Financial Services regards the campaign as a ’tongue-in-cheek way of reminding predominantly gay men that there are still a great deal of problems about being gay with regards to

insurance.’ Look out for its sequel ’Hetero Tips’ in a bar near you soon.

Massow Independent Financial Services can be contacted on 0 737 226 2007.

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115 THE lIST 5—12 Aug 1999

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Memorise these answers to

questions you might be asked about your

. 3. r *9 Tam“, giflhiend

0: What's her name? A: Sharon.

0: Where did you meet? A. In a pub on a karaoke night.

03 Does she hav 9 any broth - A: 2 sisters. 19 and 24. em and amen?

0: Does sh ' ' A e play a musical Instrument?

: Not n("W but she] earnt mm at school. the t pet

Q: Where do her parents live? A: Manchester.

or Any marriage plans? A‘ Ne!“ April.

0: lt's serious then?

A: Sure. I've never felt like this about anybody before.

As part of the financial patchwork that is the lot of the freelancer, I found myself guesting on a morning discussion programme this week. Morning. Discussion. Like ’peaceful’ and ’protest', the one disavows the existence of the other when placed in tandem. But once upon a time, some bright spark in TV land decided that what people wanted of a morning was a good chew on the rancid fat of human frailties, washed down with a hearty slug of syrupy sentiment. Hopefully they are now consigned to developing a new vehicle for the speCial ’talent’ of Jeremy Beadle. However, their legacy lives on and provides a means of paying the tax bill for hundreds of washed up no-marks like myself masquerading as a 'guest expert’. I digress.

As the alarm insinuated itself into my dream, I asked Jude Law to answer it and continued to count my love letters. But the ringing persisted, so I lunged for the phone and

switches on to morning TV


a-half minute chunks. At some point around the mid-805, a shadowy figure decided we had the attention span of a goldfish on speed and therefore all information had to come in a shiny wrapper with an 'EAT ME' label in suitably slick graphics.

Now news can only be digested with the crunch- Crumb coating of celebrity endorsement. The MSP's don’t rate B and B’s? Send John Cleese, via a tenuous Faw/ty Towers route, to review them. The Queen Mum's 99? Get Beryl Reid on, she’s old. Too much salt in baby foods? Wheel Anne Diamond out, she's had one and she knows the pain of loss. An age is dawning where TV chat programmes will consist solely of 30-second stills of celebrity ciphers that combine to form an overall emotional resume of the news and its relevance to our lives. Obviously interspersed with badly lit demonstrations of how to knit your own orgasm/eat your own face. l’m digressing again.

After a morning of aiding and abetting in the name of my Visa statement, I felt well and truly Claire Raynered. As I drove home while reading a magazme, talking on the phone and listening to Mc/biza Experience, my butterfly mind alighted on

At some point around the mid-80$, a shadowy figure decided we had the attention span of a goldfish on speed.

knocked the clock onto the floor. Perhaps someone could invent an alarm that connects neatly to any available extremity and delivers a small charge at the appointed hour. A mild shock would catapult me directly into the bathroom and thereby avoid the overwhelming sense of disappomtment at waking up in a tenement flat in Glasgow and not, as you had thought, in the scented embrace of a young lovely. Again, I digress. Once I stagger into the TV studios, I watch the anodyne presenter shimmy her way thr0ugh incest (it had been on another soap), c0ping with grief (the tragic demise of Jill Dando still raises a lot of important emotional issues) and rag-rolling your kettle. It strikes me that we have been groomed to express our innermost needs in three-and-

the daunting toadstool of truth I had become a product of Soundbite TV. Then it flitted off again when it heard the Eastenders titles and a ray of hope shone in its place. As long as we have soap omnibuses, our minds Will be able to concentrate for periods longer than the average starlet's relationship With Darren Day. However, precautionary steps should be taken. Classes in concentration should be given at primary school level. Prizes awarded for particularly long bouts. Enforced Viewing of the entire Oscar awards ceremony . . . But I digress. Gill Mills co-presents Radio 1 ’5 Evening Session opt-out, Session In Scotland, every Thu, 8-10pm; co-hosts The Loafers on BBC Choice, Tue-Fri, 10pm; and presents Hot Pursuits on BBC Knowledge, Radio Scotland.