Strictly Come Dancing starts on Saturday and I can’t wait.
All the new celebrities will get paired up with their partners and I love all that. I love Strictly from the day it starts to the day it finishes.
This year will be a bit strange, the judges sitting apart, social distancing and the couples in bubbles but it’s still something to look forward to on a Saturday night.
It will certainly be different from the time I went to the studio when our Robert was in it.
I only went on one occasion because I was looking after my late husband Colin who had dementia. He was really bad those last 12 months.
At first I said ‘I don’t want to go’- I did want to go but I didn’t want to leave him.
In the end I was told I needed a break so he went into a care home for a few day. We took him to the home, then came out, went for a coffee and I sobbed.
Then when I was down in London with Rob’s wife Sara I told her I was feeling terrible because I hadn’t thought about Colin, and she said that’s good because you’ve had seven years of being at home so it’s a nice release.
When we got to the studio I just loved it though. We queued with the other guests, and there was a fella who had been on Strictly the year before – one of the celebrities – standing behind us.
He said who he was and the first thing which came out of my mouth was ‘Oh, I knew I knew your face but you’ve put a bit of weight on haven’t you?’ I just said it automatically.
Rob’s Sara looked at me as if to say ‘I can’t believe you said that!’
But he had put weight on. When he was dancing the year before he kept himself trim, you see.
Inside the studio the only thing I didn’t like was you are told when to clap and when not to clap. The floor manager said if Bruce Forsyth made a joke we had to clap, if Craig said something we were supposed to boo. I just can’t be doing with all that.
For me Dave Arch and his band were the stars. They were brilliant. And the singers were so good.
When Robbie danced his Cha Cha Cha with Ola, I couldn’t look half the time. He looked wild.
He had all that blonde hair like Worzel Gummidge floating about – and he only had a two from Craig, bless him.
But the the following week he did a Foxtrot and was brilliant. His hair was tidy and he was in a Fred Astaire suit and I thought ‘I do love you babes’ – he looked good. And he danced good too!
Happy birthday, Sir Cliff!
Sir Cliff Richard was 80 this week. My first record was the Expresso Bongo EP by Cliff back in 1960.
That makes me feel old. But to be honest I was never really a fan of his. I think it was my Taid – my granddad who bought Expresso Bongo for me. Mum and Dad didn’t have much money but my Taid spoiled me.
I always remember for my tenth birthday I came home to an orange Dansette record player and 10 records. They were 78s from Woolworths. I was so excited. I loved that record player – and I played it and played it and played it.
And Dame Angela …
Another birthday was Angela Lansbury turning 95 on Friday. I used to be addicted to Murder She Wrote. I loved that programme. But I’ve seen all the repeats so I’ve gone off watching it. it’s like with Midsomer Murders, it comes on now and I think ‘oh I recognise you – you’re the murderer’.
The postman dropped a parcel off yesterday, and I thought ‘what’s this?’
I opened it and inside a note said: “Dear Val, glad to know someone else needs a clothes protector like me. Keep writing in the Mirror.”
It’s a massive green tartan bib. It’ll cover all of me down to my waist. I’m always dribbling, always getting food down me. It’s absolutely wonderful because it’s something I can use now. But I don’t know who it’s from. They haven’t signed it and it just said Yorkshire on the jiffy bag. There’s no name.
Whoever it is from, it’s very, very kind. I cried because of such kindness.
If there had been a name I would have asked someone to get me a Thank You card because it’s just polite. I can’t wait now to have beans on toast so I can wear it.
Well done, Marcus
Marcus Rashford really deserves his MBE. I don’t believe in footballers having honours because football is a team game – leave that to the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.
But he’s been doing things away from football, making sure hungry kids are fed during the school holidays. Marcus Rashford is a wonderful young fella. I could eat him on a butty.
Exercising at home
I’m sitting here like a couch potato because the weather hasn’t been good so I have got a new form of exercise.
What I do now, instead of lifting my tins of beans in the air, is I sit in the kitchen, stretch my arms out to the side of me and sing ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and clap, arms out again, and then sing ’Radio Goo Goo’ and clap.
And I picture Freddie Mercury at Live Aid in that vest. I’m happy in my own little world. It great because my arms were aching with the tin of beans up in the air.
If you want to write to Val, email firstname.lastname@example.org