2014 REVIEW

35 famous celebrity deaths, 23 movies watched, 13 meals out, 13 purchases, 8 achievements,
11 dramas, 4 special days, 2 people died and 1 new born

 

JANUARY 2 famous people died, 2 meals out, 2 dramas, 1 purchase, 3 achievements
3 phileverly Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers died, 74
I grew up listening to the Everly Brothers a lot, largely influenced by my girlfriend's Dad at the time, John. I bought the Reunion Concert album in the 80's and loved them since.
4 sugar Stopped taking sugar in my tea
After much discussion with my dentist and looking up the health benefits and how sugar is a poison to the body, I finally decided to switch to a sweetener.
8 anthony Anthony passed his driving test
Very proud moment when my nephew, Anthony passed his theory test and an even bigger moment when he finally passed his practical driving test.
9 microwave Bought new Kenwood combination microwave oven
Because of the drama of the kitchen flooding over Christmas Day and losing all power and heating for 2 days, we noticed the microwave stopped heating/cooking. We claimed the cost from the housing association.
10 bthomehub5 Installed the new BT HomeHub 5
We were hoping that this would resolve a lot of internet and wifi issues that we were having... it didn't!
15 rogerlloydpack Roger Lloyd-Pack died, aged 69
Most loved and a British comedy actor legend, Roger Lloyd-Pack was best known for his role as 'Trigger' in the BBCTV comedy series "Only Fools And Horses," written by John Sullivan. But I will love him and remember him for his role as Jim Taylor in the 2006 comedy drama "What We Did On Our Holiday" starring along side Pauline Collins and Shane Ritchie.
  newfill Newfill with Odile Brennan
It doesn't seem to matter how many times I go, I never get used to the pain. But Odile is so brilliant at keeping you calm and I love my catch up chats with her too.
17 mobilephonetheft Anthony was mugged for his mobile phone in Sutton
Has this become one of those "we all know someone who has..." - Probably!
26 chrisbeattie Met Chris for the first time
Kelly's boyfriend, Chris came round to meet Jezz and I. Kelly was already here!
29 beefeater Meal: Beefeater, Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs with Jezz
Some of the nicest meals out are the spontaneous ones. We decided while we were out to stop off at the The Tattenham Beefeater for lunch. It was really cheap and it saved us having to do anything when we got home.
FEBRUARY 1 famous person died, 1 movie watched, 1 meal out
9 ouridiotbrother Movie: Our Idiot Brother
Watched this comedy movie on the sofa at home with Jezz.
11 shirleytemple Shirley Temple died, aged 85
We grew up watching Shirley Temple on a black and white telly in our Grandmother's lounge.
17 sakura Meal: Sakura Indian Restaurant, Carshalton Beeches with Jezz and Kelly
Local to home, the Sakura is my favourite Indian restaurant. We've been there many times now and on this occasion I went with Jezz and Kelly.
MARCH 2 movies watched, 4 famous people died, 2 achievements
7 behindthecandelbra Movie: Behind The Candelabra
Epic movie because I have always loved Liberace but with Michael Douglas playing Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover, this was one of the best films I've seen this year.
9 chest Helped Gary collect his new chest
Gary and I drove over to an address in Barnes, South West London. He won the auction on eBay and we took a car each in case it didn't all fit in his.
11 bobcrow Bob Crow died, aged 52
Bob Crow was the British trade union leader for the rail and transport workers. Despite his thuggish style voice and manner, I had a huge respect for how much he did for London Transport and the railways and of how passionate he was with his work.
14 tonybenn Tony Benn died, aged 88
British Labour politician since 1950, Tony Benn was in parliament all of my life and he was a household name when I was growing up.
15 grownups2 Movie: Grown Ups 2
Another funny movie from Adam Sandler. Watched this movie from Lovefilm at home on the sofa with Jezz.
17 clarissadicksonwright Clarissa Dickson Wright died, aged 66
This amazing lady was a writer, former barrister and television personality. She was one half of the celebrity chefs 'Two Fat Ladies' and was totally adorable.
20 minicountryman Ordered the new Mini Countryman
Having received a superb service from the wonderful Emma Pearse three years earlier, I returned to the Cooper showroom at Tadworth and ordered the new Mini Countryman. Matt Fowler was excellent and talked me through my options. I ordered the ALL4 2.0 Cooper S with heated seats, electric roof, media pack, comfort access, chrome line interior, black headlights, tinted windows and a flat load boot floor.
30 kateomara Kate O'Mara died, aged 74
Another household name and Kate O'Mara was excellent in Bad Girls but I also remember her from my childhood when she starred in Triangle and The Brothers and then later in Dynasty.
APRIL 4 purchases, 1 new born, 1 person died, 3 famous people died, 3 movies watched
1 scanner Bought a new flatbed scanner
Finally, I realised that the old scanner wasn't compatible with the Mac mini, so after a few enquiries, I went and bought the later model, the CanoScan LiDE 210. It works well.
3 neighbour Mrs. Ali died
The dreadful and stressful time of my poor neighbour as I sat with him and waited for the paramedics to decide what they were going to do next. She had collapsed in the kitchen and Dilwar (her husband) was arranging to take her to the hospital. She died later the next day in hospital.
6 mickeyrooney Mickey Rooney died, aged 93
An American actor for more than 80 years and star of film, television, Broadway, radio and vaudeville.
7 peachesgeldolf Peaches Geldolf died, aged 25
The shocking news that daughter of Boomtown Rats lead singer and Live AID campaigner Bob Geldolf had died.
8 percyjacksonseaofmonsters Movie: Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters in 3D
I think I only watched this movie from Lovefilm because Jezz said it would be good in 3D. I couldn't have been that impressed as I don't have any recall of it now!
22 shredder Bought new shredder
When our shredder finally packed up and we realised it was time to buy a new one, we went on a mission to buy this Rexel shredder, mainly because it is capable of loading 60 sheets, flat in to the top of the machine, closing the lid and leaving it to shred and then auto off.
23 tommycooperdrama Movie: Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This
I watched this biographical movie on my own, in my room. It was excellent.
26 flight Movie: Flight
Another epic movie starring Denzel Washington. Watched this through Lovefilm on the sofa with Jezz.
28 lennie Lennie was born
My niece, Zoe gives birth to another gorgeous baby boy... her third!
29 flosser Jezz bought me a new electric air flosser
While we were walking around John Lewis, I noticed this new gadget on display and worked. I had a go in the store and fell in love with it so Jezz treated me to one.
30 bobhoskins Bob Hoskins died, aged 71
I didn't follow Bob Hoskins career much but I remember him most fondly in the 1988 comedy film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
  bose Bought new sound system for TV
It only seemed logical that after updating the TV in the lounge, we quickly saved for the Bose CineMate GS Series II sound system that compliments the TV really well.
MAY 2 movies watched, 1 meal out
2 despicableme2 Movie: Despicable Me 2 in 3D
The first of these movies was fabulous and this was no disappointment either.
9 pickhurst Meal: The Pickhurst Carvery, Bromley
CB and I head to the Pickhurst pub in Bromley for a carvery lunch. It was excellent and very cheap.
30 afterearth Movie: After Earth
Great movie for watching on the sofa with popcorn. Loved Will Smith acting with his son, Jaden.
JUNE 1 meal out, 2 achievements, 3 famous people died, 2 movies watched, 3 purchases
4 harvester Meal: The Mill House Harvester, Mitcham
Another impulsive moment and Jezz and I go for a Harvester. We always say it's mainly for the salad cart but I enjoy the food too... which is amazing because it's not that great really.
6 countryman Collected new car
I went with Jezz to take delivery of my new car, the Mini Countryman Cooper S. It's always a lovely special moment and you feel so important when it's presented with a big bow around it.
9 rikmayall Rik Mayall died, aged 56
An actor I had been used to seeing on TV in many shows but most notably, "The Young Ones."
13 2guns Movie: 2 Guns
Excellent movie starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.
15 caseykasem Casey Kasem died, aged 82
I've known and loved Casey Kasem's voice for decades. He was a very well established radio disc jockey, music historian, voice actor and actor. He also provided the voice of 'Shaggy' in the cartoon series of Scooby Doo. I relate to him like I do Paul Gambaccini.
19 laptop Bought Kelly a laptop
Kelly was taken on a new health and safety qualification and needed a laptop to help her with the course. We both went to John Lewis and bought a very reasonably priced one.
20 headphones Bought new headphones
My Sony Bluetooth headphones finally packed up and only one ear was working. I went and bought a new pair of Sony headphones, no where near as expensive but more durable.
21 oblivion Movie: Oblivion
Brilliant movie starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman.
27 bobbywomack Bobby Womack died, aged 70
Absolute soul-funk legend Bobby Womack died and I was so sad. Almost as significant as when Luther Vandross died.
JULY 4 meals out, 3 dramas, 5 famous people died, 1 purchase, 1 special day
2 silverspoon Meal: The Silver Spoon Cafe, Tattenham Corner
A third time impulsive meal out. Lunch time and Jezz and I go for a hearty all-day breakfast at my favourite and cleanest cafe/diner.
4 rolfharris Rolf Harris is jailed for 5 years
The shocking news of Rolf Harris being prosecuted for various accounts of child molestation comes to an end with a 5 year prison sentence.
5 bcss Jezz and I had some car stuff fitted
Jezz and I went to BCSS in Coulsdon - Jezz had a car stereo fitted and I dug out my old novelty sound siren installed. It screams a Tarzan sound or wolf whistle etc.
8 maggie Meal: Maggie's in Lewisham with Gary
The famous Maggie's cafe has been mentioned a few times to me and I finally got to go there and meet the lady herself as well. I went with Gary and we both had a massive all-day breakfast. His was bigger than mine though.
9 harvester Meal: Mill House Harvester, Mitcham
And again, 4th time spontaneous lunch and once again Jezz and I went to our favourite Harvester restaurant.
10 langleyparkroad Langley Park Road, Sutton - the viewing
Jezz and I met with a lovely lady from Orbit Housing Association and she showed us around the flat in Sutton. It was horrible, felt like a Detroit ghetto, stank like an ashtray and boy, did I get it wrong thinking I'd like to live there. Biggest joke is that the council thought there was nothing wrong with it. Well I say to them: you live there then!
11 yahao Meal: Chinese take away
Jezz and I decide it's the first take away of the year and we've made it as far as July so it's deserved. We use a local take away Chinese shop that has a viewing counter so you can see the kitchen at all times. It's reassuring but the food is always perfect anyway.
17 elainestritch Elaine Stritch died, aged 89
The amazing Elaine Stritch. Loved her since I were a lad. I remember her most in the comedy series "Two's Company" from the 1980's, starring along side Sir Donald Sinden, who also died this year (11 September).
  rossburden Ross Burden died, aged 45
I was so shocked to hear of Ross Burden's death. It was so unexpected. Ross Burden was a TV celebrity chef and appeared on many shows including Ready Steady Cook.
18 london2014 Special Day Out: London with Jezz and Kelly
A very special day out with Kelly and Jezz. We went for a float at Float Works and then for a stroll and lunch in Borough Market. The food was excellent and the day was really nice.
20 webcam Bought new webcam
Since moving over to Mac, there have been a few programs and some hardware replacements needed as Mac doesn't support some and then, as was the case with the scanner, Canon stopped supporting products on later Apple operating systems. Another product was my webcam and I had to replace with a Mac compatible one. It's the Logitech C270 HD webcam.
  jamesgarner James Garner died, aged 86
I grew up watching James Garner in almost every episode of The Rockford Files, playing the role of Jim Rockford. It's great to see it being repeated on the TV today.
23 dorabryan Dora Bryan died, aged 91
A brilliant British comedy actress - I remember her in roles 'Happily Ever After,' 'Carry On Sergeant,' 'The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery' and my favourite; Jean's Mother in Victoria Wood's 'Dinnerladies.'
29 wallrepaired Flat repair - lounge walls
We had been complaining of the terrible damp and cold conditions of the flat and someone finally turned up to carry out some minor works to the lounge walls.
31 kennyireland Kenny Ireland died, aged 68
Kenny Ireland, although an accomplished British actor is best known for his most recent role of Donald Stewart in the extensively funny comedy series: 'Benidorm.'
AUGUST 1 person died, 4 famous people died, 5 movies watched, 2 special days
1 mikesmith Mike Smith died, aged 59
I first got to use to hearing Mike Smith on the radio as a Radio 1 DJ. He later went on to become a television personality and host.
2 vicki Night in with Jezz and Vicki
Vicki came round for the evening and it was quality time as we don't meet up nearly as often as we should.
8 dilemma Movie: The Dilemma
Brilliant comedy film, watched at home on the sofa with Jezz.
  superheromovie Movie: Superhero Movie
Any movie with Leslie Neilson in is going to be funny and this was no exception. Jezz and I watched two movies in one evening. It's not unheard of but it is unusual.
11 illgiveitayear Movie: I'll Give It A Year
By far, my most favourite movie of this year. I think it's because it's made and set in the UK.
  robinwilliams Robin Williams died, aged 63
For me, one of the greatest actors of all time. It's never-ending... the movies: Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, The Birdcage, Awakenings, Dead Poets Society, Bicentennial Man, Insomnia, One Hour Photo are just the ones I loved. He was a compelling stand up comedian too. Absolute legend and so shocked that he took his life but understood and respected.
12 laurenbacall Lauren Bacall died, aged 89
Another seasoned and talented actress sadly with us no more.
15 gwen Aunty Gwen died, aged 93
My truly wonderful Aunty Gwen passed away at the great age of 93. Aunty Gwen spent several years towards the end of her life in a lot of pain yet never complained or showed any signs in any telephone call.
19 rustington Special Day Out: Rustington with Jezz and Nikki
One of two special day outs during 2014, with London being the first in July and then again to Rustington with Jezz and Nikki. Quality time and great fun. We trawled the village and Nik and I had many memories of our family holidays stays in Rustington in 70's.
20 nowyouseeme Movie: Now You See Me
Clever film, excellent effects and great story line movie.
22 horriblebosses Movie: Horrible Bosses
Brilliant comedy movie. A must see. Probably my second favourite movie I've seen this year.
24 richardattenborough Lord Richard Attenborough died, aged 90
One of Britain's most talented actors and film directors and producers.
31 danumhouse Stayed at Danum Guest House, Norfolk with Michele, Nikki and Anthony
Michele, Nikki, Anthony (and this time Jezz) and I return to Danum Guest House in Cromer. Sadly, this time it's for Aunty Gwen's funeral which took place the next morning, 1st September.
SEPTEMBER 5 famous people died, 2 movies watched, 1 meal out, 2 dramas, 1 special day, 1 purchase
1 gwensflowers Aunty Gwen's funeral
We were in Cromer for Aunty Gwen's funeral. I did a small reading at the service.
4 joanrivers Joan Rivers died, aged 81
Much loved and adored, Joan Rivers dies. I've always thought she was a very funny comedian and found her outrageous and shocking humour very funny. However, we went to see her at Fairfield Halls in Croydon and it wasn't good at all.
6 hangover2 Movie: Hangover 2
Easily as funny as Hangover, Jezz and I watched this at home on the sofa through Lovefilm.
9 chinesetakeawy Meal: Chinese take away at Kelly's
For a change, I went to Kelly's for the evening and picked up a Chinese take away on route. The boys were in bed... well sort of.
10 richardkiel Richard Kiel died, aged 74
The actor who was an established actor before he became so famous starring in two Bond movies as the character 'Jaws.'
11 donaldsinden Sir Donald Sinden died, aged 90
A great British actor who I remember from the films 'Doctor In The House' and 'Doctor At Large' but more so for his role as Elaine Stritch's butler in 'Two's Company' from the 70's.
12 johnbardon John Bardon died, aged 75
This British actor was best known for his role on BBCTV's Eastenders as Jim Branning.
  ianpaisley Dr Ian Paisley died, aged 88
I grew up always knowing the name Ian Paisley but not for his political career but more so for the caricature of him on ITV's comedy 'Spitting Image.'
16 billygraveside Took some flowers to Billy's grave side
I'd been thinking about Billy this month more than usual and felt I should visit his grave side more frequently than I do so decided to put some flowers down.
19 hoteltransilvania Movie: Hotel Transylvania
Another clever and amazing film Pixar. Watched through Lovefilm, at home with Jezz.
23 dashcam Bought second in-car dash cam
Alongside my LED sign, I realised that as well as the insurance evidence purpose, the installation of a second dash cam, only on the rear window would be a bonus to capture the fun reactions of other motorists because of the sign.
26 questionmark Gary came over for the evening
As Jezz went to see a friend, Gary came over for the evening and I cooked dinner, had refreshments and watched movies. It was nice to provide the hospitality.
OCTOBER 3 famous people died, 3 movies watched, 2 meals out, 2 dramas, 2 purchases
2 lynseydepaul Lynsey De Paul died, aged 64
I grew up watching Lynsey De Paul on my Grandmother's TV. I remember her on Top of The Pops singing 'No Honestly' and 'Rock Bottom.'
3 lookoflove Movie: The Look of Love
This movie was excellent. It starred Steve Coogan playing Paul Raymond, the club owner and real estate developer. Best known for his wealth owning a lot of properties around Soho in London's West End and I worked for him at Madame Jo Jo's for a short time in the 80's. The film documented his life and family.
6 beijinggarden Meal: Beijing Garden, Cheam Village
Jezz and I picked up Michele and Dean and we went for a pleasant evening out and meal at the Beijing Garden restaurant in Cheam Village.
  flujab Had flu jab
For about the last 5 years now, I have gone to my local GP's and had the annual flu jab. I think it must help because I can't remember the last time I had the flu and I think it helps to keep coughs and colds away too.
8 newfill More Newfill treatment
Another stint of treatment of Newfill and with Odile again. It's the second time this year and I have to take a day out as it's at St. Thomas's Hospital in Waterloo, London.
13 beefeater Meal: Beefeater at Tattenham Corner
Our fifth impulsive lunch time meal out, Jezz and I head back to one of the better Beefeater restaurants locally.
19 lyndabellingham Lynda Bellingham died, aged 66
I have fond memories of Lynda Bellingham from my childhood watching her as the doting Mum in the Oxo adverts from the 70's and 80's.
23 alvinstardust Alvin Stardust died, aged 72
Again, from my youth, I was fixated by how different Alvin Stardust was on telly shows like Top Of The Pops. I bought his single 'Jealous Mind' with my pocket money.
25 thewatch Movie: The Watch
Another great movie I've seen this year... The Watch was clever, funny and superbly acted. I like Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn was superb.
29 ipadair2 Bought Apple iPad Air 2
I'd been saving what money I had and decided that I could, with a bit of financial juggling, afford to upgrade my iPad so I bought the 128Gb iPad Air 2, in gold.
30 peugeot207cc Jezz had his alloy wheels repaired
Jezz has always wanted to refresh the look of his alloy wheels and was finally able to afford to. We used someone who was recommended to us.
NOVEMBER 3 famous people died, 2 movies watched, 1 drama, 2 purchases, 1 achievement
2 ackerbilk Acker Bilk died, aged 85
Another name we grew up with was Acker Bilk. Remembered most fondly for his no.1 single 'Stranger On The Shore.'
7 non-stop Movie: Non-Stop
This is just so typical of Liam Neeson... and again excellent. It's gripping story line has you wondering who is the bad guy for ages. Well it did me!
12 sherwoodparkroad Sherwood Park Road, Sutton - the viewing
I don't know where to start with this. We had such high hopes for this place but on reflection that was all brought about by the housing association selling it! It was way too noisy, even with the windows shut, the second bedroom was far too small and the bedroom was under a kitchen of a neighbour who told me he was an insomniac. Hopeless.
14 glenalarson Glen A. Larson died, aged 77
This amazing TV producer and writer was responsible for epic American TV series including Quincy, Battlestar Galactica, The Fall Guy, Alias Smith and Jones, The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider and Cover Up to name but a few.
15 cubanfury Movie: Cuban Fury
Loved this film. It was light-hearted throughout and funny in parts.
17 jimmyruffin Jimmy Ruffin died, aged 78
Sad to hear the news of another legend for me. A singer who's name I grew up with and bought his single 'Hold On To My Love' in 1980.
22 toothbrush Bought new electric toothbrush
With our old Oral B toothbrushes dying slowly but constantly needing charging... we decided to buy a new toothbrush and take advantage of the half price offer. We upgraded to more powerful toothbrushes but they need charging more frequently than the last ones. But no regrets and totally recommend Oral B toothbrushes.
24 dadsignaturetattoo Tattoo No. 4
As the year was running out and in keeping with my intention of a new tattoo each year... I sat and suddenly thought another tribute of Dad would be nice. So I used his signature and out of total random spontaneity, I drove to my nearest parlour and had it done. It cost £40.
25 printer Bought new printer and scanner
We upgraded the operating system with Apple and suddenly the scanner and both printers stopped working properly. So it was important that I had a re-think and we ended up with the HP Envy 4500 all in one printer. It's very good and works across the wifi and I can print directly to it from the iPhone too.
DECEMBER 2 famous people died, 1 movie watched, 1 drama, 1 meal out
4 civicoffices Meeting with council about being re-housed
This could be the worst day of 2014. With high expectation of a sympathetic and compassionate approach, we headed off to the local council offices to meet with the housing team and our Housing Officer's boss. It wasn't altogether a success as the representative at Sutton was cold, stone-faced and completely inappropriate. Let's see... nothing from it yet!
15 pickhurst Meal: Pickhurst carvery
My second meal out to The Pickhurst and again with Gary. But it'll also be our last because while we were there, we were informed that the restaurant and pub is closing for 2 months and having a refit and coming back as some poncy posh place. It won't work... you see if I'm not right.
21 pitchperfect Movie: Pitch Perfect
Superb, funny and talent-filled movie. Loved it! Watched it at home on the sofa with Jezz.
22 joecocker Joe Cocker died, aged 70
The amazing British singer Joe Cocker dies. I've loved his music throughout my years of growing up and his version of You Are So Beautiful features on a video tribute of my beautiful daughter, Kelly.
  jeremylloyd Jeremy Lloyd died, aged 84
Comic genius behind epic comedy shows including Are You Being Served?, Allo Allo and Grace And Favour, Jeremy Lloyd has died.