Monday, February 23, 2015

The Best of British

Isn’t it wonderful when British people do brilliant things?  We’re always so self-deprecating that it’s a wonder any of us get out there in public and actually try to be good at anything.

Take Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards for example.  A worse ski jumper you will never find, but he became an absolute bloody hero in 1988 when he entered the winter Olympics.  As it says on Wikipedia (‘cos yes, he has a page):

“Finishing last in the 70m and 90m events, he became famous as an example of a plucky
underdog  or 'heroic failure', and of perseverance and achievement without funding that 
represents the British bulldog spirit.”
Even a book!
We might not be that good a skiing, but we seem to be brilliant at acting.  Maybe because it’s easier to hide behind a character than to have to actually be yourself.  

Which brings me to the Oscars last night.  Who didn’t have their fingers, legs, eyes and toes crossed for Eddie Redmayne to win Best Actor?  And what a great speech.  Here is it, if you missed it.

Didn’t he do well, bless him.

The film was extremely good and if you haven’t seen it, you must go.

I know three people who have been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or as it’s known in the UK Motor Neuron Disease) and unfortunately, all of them lost their battle with the disease and none of them survived more than four or five years.  It is very hard to watch someone die from the outside, while inside they are still themselves, trapped in their own non-functioning body.

To live with ALS as long a Stephen Hawking has, well it's pretty much a miracle.

I met him once.  Well, okay, I didn’t actually meet him, I was in the same room as him (which in my opinion is close enough).  We were at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles about a year ago and  we walked into one of the bars and a friend told me “Stephen Hawking’s over there” and there he was, in his chair in all his glory, with his nurse and, I presume wife.  And I was completely and utterly star struck.  Living in Los Angeles, where celebrities are a penny a dozen, it seemed weird that a scientist, of all people, would have me speechless.  

But that’s what happened and quite frankly, I’ve never been allowed to live it down.  My name is Sharon and I’m a Geek! (apparently)

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