I really have difficulty writing about things that are way outside of my comfort zone. But given that my comfort zone consists of beer, meat products, obscure progressive rock acts of the 1970s and, if it's office hours, mortgages, perhaps I need to widen my niche.
And, by the way, 'widen my niche' is not a euphemism. Behave yourselves.
So, in this niche-widening vein, I find myself thinking about ice-dancing. I know. Colour me fabulous. This evening found me watching the start of the latest season of Dancing on Ice. The first episode is one mainly spent asking, "Who the hell is that, then?" as people nominally employed as actresses in TV shows you've never heard of stumble across a frozen surface with all the grace of the Albert Hall.
Like a significant proportion of male watchers, I am an unwilling participant in the Dancing on Ice phenomenon. As with the other examples of entertainment democracy - X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother - I'm only vaguely aware of the programme because it happens to be on when I'm around. I really should ignore it, but I can't help it. It brings out the cynic in me.
This evening was a case in point. One of the contestants was told they had 'angry arms'. "You need your arms to show more emotion, but not anger," she was told. And I'm sorry. But this was too much for me. Arms? Angry? How does that happen then? I've had nearly 40 years conveying emotion using my face. Occasionally, very occasionally, I might have used a finger (or two) to communicate some of the baser instincts, but mainly I've used the face I've been given.
Apparently, however, I'm "thinking too much" about things. I don't understand the "emotion of performance". I need to be able to "connect". Either that, or I should "just shut up and continue farting about on the laptop."
Back to the comfort zone, I suppose.