Richard and Judy's Blog

Check Ups, Dancing on Ice and a little Something for the Weekend

Friday 25 February 2011


Just waiting for Judy to be ready to go out for lunch, and thought I’d write a quick blog...

So, a great way to start the beginning of the weekend – blood tests down the surgery (just routine; checking cholesterol, general organ function etc – have one every 3-4 years). Don’t mind needles that much, but am always tempted to make an excuse not to go, especially as you have to fast for at least 12 hours beforehand. But that slight nerviness before injections or the dentist is only the primitive flight-or-fight reflex kicking in. Stress pumps up the adrenalin and we get jumpy. Once I understood that, I learned to say to myself: ‘No, it’s ok – I actually choose to be here. So I don’t want to run off or, er, put up a struggle.’

Works well for people who get twitchy before take-off, too. Nine times out of ten they’ve actively chosen to be on the plane – holiday, job opportunity, etc – and if the conscious reassures the subconscious that ‘it’s ok, no need for adrenalin today’ it’s amazing how the panic can subside. I have friends who swear by the technique, and some say they treat the rising panic as a spectator sport – ‘Oh, here it comes – the caveman reflex!’ and that helps neutralise it. Just thought I’d pass it on...

Just waved Chloe off to another day of savage training for Dancing on Ice this Sunday. She’s still in it, more than halfway through the contest, and it hardly needs saying how proud of her all her friends and family are. The seven (from 16) survivors should all be proud of themselves too – it was difficult enough to start with when they were selected last year and tottered on to the ice, in most cases for the first time in their lives. Now the weaker skaters have been eliminated, and the routines are made more challenging week by week, the pressure’s on every one of those left.

There’s a bar at Shepperton studios and most Sundays the skaters and their professional partners go in there for a drink after the results/skate-off show. Everyone gets a huge cheer from the rest of us – mostly family and friends, and the gang of coaches who help with the routines during the week – and it’s a great atmosphere. They (the contestants) are so happy and just bloody relieved to have survived another week.

You all seem happy with this season’s Book Club choices. You’re Next is the new ‘On Review’ novel – you can read Judy’s and my reviews of it here. It’s an absolute cracker – a homicidal chase yarn told in real time over just a few days in the worst week of the central character’s life. We can’t recommend it highly enough: as they say, it’s a classic of the genre.

Thanks for all the comments re my appearance on BBC2’s Something for the Weekend last Sunday – that’s a tidy little show, isn’t it? Really nice, warm vibe. It was a treat to see Louise Redknapp, who’s one of the presenters, having to interview her husband Jamie. Very funny and real. That’s a great marriage, or I’m a pineapple.

Anyway, me own misuss is ready now so lunch, here we come. Bye for now, and if you think she deserves it after her routine this Sunday – vote Chloe!!!

Best, everyone – Richard.

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  • Just wanted to be the first to comment.... erm... but in my haste I haven't actually read the post yet... erm *sidles away a bit embarrassed*...

    Clare Kirwan

  • I so enjoy watching Chloe, she looks like shes skated all her life. Your banners just show the love you and Judy have for your daughter. Good luck Chloe and good luck to you both too with your excellent Book Club : ) x


  • How did u know I get twitchy before flights too Richard?! Love the blog, love the books, love ur tweets :-D And looking forward to Chloe on Sunday!

    Lucy aka @littlemunchkin

    Lucy aka littlemunchkin

  • Really enjoyed reading your review of the week. It had me on the edge of my seat most of the time! My husband found it quite funny that a book could make me so scared. Keep up the good work with the book club.

    Lesley Roberts

  • I daren't read your book review in case you tell too much of the story, like my friend who says "I wont tell u too much about it cos I don't wanna spoil it for you...but it has such a twist at the end u wont believe it!!"

    So I'll just read it for myself. By the way I just absolutely loved Room, never read a book like it and almost ready for a second read : )

    juss me

  • I just wanted you to know that I love you on Radio 2 when you stand in for Chris. Particularly like your news bit with Fiona ... hope you do it again soon. Chloe is doing really well on DOI .. my best to you and Judy...


  • Sunday 6th March, delighted Chloe has got through, love the way she grows each week but I just love to see the absolute pride and support you both give her each week. I so indentify with that, my son means so much to me and your absolute support, pride and joy which is so obvious each week is as much a joy to watch as Chloe on ice.


  • Hi Richard I vote for your Chloe every week and think she is a fantastic skater and I am willing her to win ,really hope she is in the final. It is lovely to see that she has such supportive proud parents

    Regards Irene Hatton

    Irene hatton

  • Dear Richard/Judy, I love the book club - but wonder why you don't include Picture Books within it. I am a Mum of four children aged 1,5,6 and 8, and also a recently published children's author ('What Small Rabbit Heard' - OUP, 'Wee William' - OUP, 'Tinysaurus' - Anderson Press, 'Noodle's Knitting' - Little Tiger Press) I was formerly a Primary School Teacher with a passion for getting children to I think that the Book Club is a great way forward in encouraging children (and adults) to pick up a book, but I do believe that the younger you start the better chance you have of developing a love of books. Would you consider including Picture Books in your future recommendations? Pleeeeeeease! (P.S And I won't be offended if my books are not in your recommendations - hee hee!) Best wishes, Sheryl Webster


  • Remember Chloe when she was just a baby. The same age as my daughter. She is beautiful and doing so well. Go Chloe.

    emma philp

  • Hi Richard and Judy Have just watched Chloe on DOI all I can say is fantastic she was definitely the best and has such natural talent.Fingers crossed she is in the final and the winner you both must be so proud. Cannot wait for next weeks show. Regards Irene H

    Irene hatton

  • Hello again Richard and Judy, Just wanted to say really bad luck to Chloe - but thought she was fantastic! And would really love your thoughts on my earlier email about extending your book club for younger children (pre-schoolers) We need to get pre-schoolers interested in reading more.....and from an earlier age! You can help! Recommendations from the book club will help inform parents as to what books will help get their pre-schoolers interested in reading (and away from computer games etc etc) This is something really close to my heart - so please help. I'm more than happy to assist in this in any way I can. p.s - One of my books has been nominated for an award and Im really chuffed - if I can help promote reading amongst little ones in any way then I will. Please help! Many thanks! Sheryl Webster