I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read a ton of Chick Lit novels this year, but I’m starting to become tired of all the cliches. I’m reading a book at the moment that is chock a block with sentences like “My stomach is swirling like a washing machine on spin cycle.” Every single page has something like that and I can’t help but roll my eyes. I know books need descriptions like that, but I have never ever felt like my stomach is on a spin cycle. I can deal with some cliched sentences, but one per page is just a bit much and I wish writers didn’t try and go on like that. Recently it’s been driving me mad. I read Miracle on Regent Street a few weeks back and on the second we hear of roofs that look as though they’ve had “vanilla ice cream melted over the peppermint, orange, raspberry and lemon-sorbet coloured houses”. Like I said in my review, I’m all for poetic writing, but roofs are roofs. They sit atop buildings, no need to prevaricate about them. I think I’m becoming cynical. Either that, or I just like books that say it like it is without sounding as if they’re from a fairy tale or the cliche factory.
So after getting a bit annoyed with my book, I went and watched a movie instead. Life As We Know It starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel came on Anytime last week and I wanted to see it, so I watched it. I really liked it. It was cute, it was funny in places, and it was romantic(ish). I rarely dislike rom-coms/Chick Flicks if we’re being honest. I can’t remember the last movie I didn’t like, because generally I don’t watch that many movies and when I do, I make sure it’s one I’m likely to like. Life As We Know It was a good movie and I love Katherine Heigl. Not a lot of people are fans of her, but I loved her in this, I loved her in 27 Dresses and I loved her in Killers. Everyone’s worried how she’ll fare as Stephanie Plum but I think she’ll do fine and I’m looking forward to her version of Steph. So, yeah, watch Life As We Know It, it was fun and I liked it.
And, finally, to Gary Speed, who was found dead on Sunday. A massive, massive shock and the world of football is in mourning. I was sat watching Goals on Sunday with Vinnie Jones (as in, Vinnie was ON Goals on Sunday, I wasn’t watching it with him) and right at the end Kammy and Ben tell us Gary is dead. Way to stun me, Kammy and Ben. I was stunned. I still am. I didn’t see Gary play much, but I remember him becoming Sheffield United’s manager then I remember him going to manage Wales, and then I saw the Wales game against Norway earlier this month (was it really only a few weeks ago?) and it was just so unexpected to hear he had died. The outpouring of tributes tell you all you need to know about Gary Speed. Everyone in football has had something to say about him. His professionalism, his work rate, his supreme fitness, but most of all, the thing everybody comments on is what a good man he is. In a time where footballers are looking greedier than ever, and role models are seemingly a thing of the past, Gary was a man to look up to, to admire, to aspire to be like.
It’s such a tragic loss, and one that will be felt keenly over the days and weeks to come. Seeing Bryn Law on Sky Sports News this morning reporting live from Elland Road, and talking about his friend brought a lump to my throat. The tears shed by Shay Given during the minute’s applause/silence/chants of “There’s only one Gary Speed” made me tear up and it’s just been such a sad few days. I rarely get affected when someone like a footballer or an actress or actor etc dies, but Gary Speed’s death was stunning and baffling and just tragic. May he RIP and my thoughts are with his family. There is indeed only one Gary Speed and he will be greatly missed.