Men dancing the cha-cha-cha with open shirts ... TV bliss

READING last week’s story about the fire drama involving Ellie Spillett’s two small children brought back memories of a similar incident in my house a few years ago.

My Millennium Bug baby (ask his godmother, she has one too) was in a toddler strop and had turned on the cooker knob without anyone seeing.

In a massive case of bad timing, I had – a few minutes before he did this – left a crisp box on top of the cooker which, yes you guessed it, ignited.

We at the time were happily scoffing fish and chips on the river bank near the Mill Hotel and only became aware of the catastrophe when we walked home and saw a fire engine parked outside our house.

Thanks to our neighbour’s daughter who heard the smoke alarm, and two neighbours who smashed the kitchen window and tackled the fire before the fire crew got there, things weren’t as bad as they could have been ... and my signed photo of Sean Bean was unharmed.

The same, however, couldn’t be said for the cooker, fridge freezer, kitchen ceiling or wall. Happy memories ...

Once again, I have managed to almost totally avoid the celebrity jungle fest on ITV.

I don’t even know why they call them celebrities – from what I have seen, we are not exactly talking A-listers, are we?

I can’t see the point of watching people eating live bugs, opening fridges to find pigs’ heads (described in graphic detail by one of my children who was hooked) or doing all manner of disgusting things just to be the winner.

And don’t get me started on Ant and Dec.

I am, however, totally in love with Strictly Come Dancing.

And I would just like to point out it has absolutely nothing to do with this year’s excellent trend of letting the boys have their shirts open for the Latin numbers.

I LOVE Christmas, I can’t help it. I have just made paper snowflakes for the lounge window which dance about when the radiator underneath them is on.

The lads in the house (all three of them) have cracked open the Quality Street and already have an eye on the Cadbury’s Heroes tin, while the dogs know something’s up because an exciting box of shiny baubles has appeared from the garage for them to snaffle about in.

All this stems from the wonderful Christmases I had when I was growing up.

It breaks my heart to think there are children who don’t experience the magic of Christmas for whatever reason, as I was so lucky.

Apart from the one Christmas Day when my little brother was squished by a car on his brand new mountain bike (resulting in him being carted to hospital but allowed home a bit later the same day), every single one of my Christmases has been wonderful.

Obviously losing close relatives and friends means each one has been different, maybe a tiny bit sad with someone missing, but I always think about the ones I enjoyed as a child and smile.

However you celebrate, have a wonderful time.