Monday, April 14, 2003



I am addicted to BBC3's The Bachelor - a show that is so wrong and bad, it's oddly addictive. The Bachelor is one of those "perfect" men everyone hates - he's in his late 30s, yet he has a six-pack and used to model underwear for Next. He also has his own business, likes wind-surfing and comes across as genuinely nice and not at all arrogant. From a pool of 25 women, each week he gradually whittles them down, during a humiliating and face-threatening "rose ceremony" where only about half the contestants get picked and the rest are ceremonially dumped. There is inevitable bitchiness and tears. And it all happens in a posh villa in Barbados. I wonder what Jane Austen would make of it all?

You get the feeling that for some of the women, their victorious yelps on being asked to "accept this rose" are more about getting to stay on the tv show and being perceived as attractive, and NOT really about actually fancying the bachelor. Those who know they ain't gonna get picked make sure they let everyone know how much they hate him long in advance of the ceremony. Sassy "high maintenance" Monique threatened not to attend, then spent the morning in bed until she got some much-sought-after personal time with The Bachelor. A smitten Bridget-Jones-a-like with a pierced tongue confessed on a video message that she "fancied him" and was then ecstatic when she got picked. However, my money's on the over-confident New Zealander or the quiet Geordie psychologist with the probing questions - an Elizabeth Bennett for the 21st century.

On another note - I am off to Greece next month, and have been wanting to do something about my pale skin in advance of the holiday. Recent warnings about sun beds have scared me off ever using them, so I was intrigued by a "revolutionary" new tanning system which has been advertised in a number of magazines I've seen lately. It involves going into a booth and being sprayed all over for 6 seconds. So for the sake of scientific discovery, I decided to give it a go (so that you don't have to).

It was a strange experience. I entered a room, undressed, put on a shower cap and went into a booth. I was told to press a button, close my eyes and breath out for 6 seconds. "It won't do you any harm if you breath it in, but it's best to breath out..." said the woman who ran the place. There was a sudden whoosh and I was bombarded with air. Afterwards, I stepped out - to my horror I had turned an incredibly deep brown colour - much browner than I had imagined or wanted. I look like an Iraqi porn star. It lasts about a week, so I suppose I will have to go into hiding until the dead skin cells fall off.

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