Today in My History
Sleepless in Seattle
Cast (updated 7/16)
October 20, 2020
I love the internet. I'm a big Google-r and whenever something intrigues me, I head right to Google which then takes me to all sorts of other places and I learn so much more than I knew I wanted to learn.
I have watched The Great British Baking Show every night for a couple of years now. It's the last thing that I watch before I go to sleep. There are 7 complete seasons and 10 shows for each season and the contestant cooks and the foods they make are so different that I can watch them over and over again and not remember the last time I saw them. There are one or two winners that I kind of remember, but that doesn't mean I remember their cooking through the 10 episodes of their winning season.
Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding are the hosts, who chat with the cooks while they are working. They replaced comediennes Mel Gledroyc and Sue Perkins, who hosted the first four seasons, but left the show when it changed to the BBC. Toksvig and Fielding, both of whom are also comedians, took over (and now Toksvig has left the show and has been replaced by actor/comedian Matt Lucas.)
Apparently all of these hosts are quite well known, if you live in the UK, just like the recipes and ingredients are better known if you live in the UK. I don't know anybody who routinely bakes with rhubarb or papaya and I don't know that I have ever heard of "rich dough," which is just "dough" to me. I never heard of any of the hosts, or the judges until I started watching the show.
Anyway, when I learned that Sandi Toksvig was leaving the show, presumably because she had other things to do, I did a Google search on her to find out what other things she is doing and learned she is a comedienne, an actor, a TV host and an author. Naturally I checked out amazon.com to see what she has written and found several books listed. One of them, "Between the Stops: The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus," was free for my Kindle, so I downloaded it.
What a fascinating book! It's an autobiography that's not an autobiography. Kind of like Alex Trebek's, but less "autobiographical." I watched an interview with her on YouTube last night and she said she didn't want to write an autobiography because she felt they were so boring, but what she did was to describe the trip from the TV studio where she works to her home, on the #12 bus, and the interesting things that she sees along the way. Many of the streets she describes or shops she remembers remind her or things in her life, so she tells that story and then moves on to the next street. She is also wonderful at describing the people who ride the bus with her and the whole British culture.
What is amazing is the depth of her information. She can look at a street and tell you who it is named for and things that happened there centuries before. This being England, 90% of the people and events are new to me, but it's interesting reading about them.
One street she talks about reminds her of the boarding school she attended. She started school in Copenhagen (her father was a newsman and they lived all over the world) but then went to five different schools in America. She was thrown out of two of them, so they sent her to a boarding school in England, which she describes as the four worst years of her life. From her description, it was straight out of Dickens.
She talks about the theater where she first started working tech. Reminded me a bit of our kids' experiences. She said that to get to the follow spot, you had to climb up a ladder that was in the men's room and apparently nobody ever thought that a woman would be working a follow spot and she had to climb the ladder, which was positioned between two urinals.
She talks about being gay and how when she decided to come out she received death threats and she and her three children had to move to a secluded location. Like my friends Ellen and Shelly, Sandi and her wife, a psychotherapist named Debbie were married the day that marriage became legal in England.
She is a political activist and co-founded the Women's Equality Party in 2015 when she and her co-founder concluded that there was a need for a party to campaign for gender equality to the benefit of all. (In a marvelous TED talk on women's equality that I also saw on YouTube last night, she mentions that nowhere in the world do women have equal representation in positions of power. In the top 100 companies in the London Stock Exchange, for example, 7 are run by women -- and she laughs that 17 are run by men named John).
Anyway, I've been having such a marvelous time learning about Sandi Toksvig and reading her book -- and I've bought another of her books, this one fiction.
Best thing about all
this research is that none of it had anything to do with Donald Trump or the
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