Food and things


Actually, we’re having Ethiopian Hen this year

There’s nothing like a Meleagris Gallopavo with all the trimmings for Christmas (or Thanksgiving). That’s a turkey to you and me. Or a twrci if you’re Welsh and like spelling things oddly for the sake of it. I’m sure you…

Self-Indulgent Health Update

As part of an occasional series, which prevents me from boring you in real life, here’s an exciting health round-up.
I had my annual Harefield check-up the other day and the consultant said my heart is sounding ‘beautiful’. I do like medical terms. A couple of years ago, I was told it was ‘tickety boo’.

I also had blood tests and an MOT at my doctor’s and everything’s functioning fine.

The only odd thing is that my new daily aspirin dose seems to be making me feel cold all the time.

As for my knees – well, they’re on their knees at the moment. Knees obviously don’t have knees. It’s a metaphor.

I’m not sure what’s happened, but they hurt so much I can hardly walk up the stairs sometimes. I’ll be seeing my GP about them soon.

If you know my parents, DON’T TELL THEM.

Thank you.

Tarte au Chat

‘That looks like a nice tart,’ beamed the nice French lady in Maison Bertaux looking at my iPhone wallpaper pic. ‘Did you bake it yourself?’
‘No,’ I replied. ‘It’s my cat.’
On closer inspection, she realised that it was indeed my chat Bollinger. Boll and I have been chuckling about it all evening.

Breaking News – Kermit Ousted

Thanks for your concern about the Kermit kitchen kerfuffle. You’ll be pleased to know it’s now restored to tasteful olive green.

My Kitchen Looks Like Kermit

As you know, I have an olive-coloured kitchen. And I decided I’d give it an extra coat today. So I bought some matt Olive paint, which had an olive-coloured tin with an olive-coloured sample on it.
But was it olive-coloured? No. Hideous lime green. The colour of a deranged tree frog. I thought it would turn olivesque, but it didn’t. So I’ve now stopped half way and am having an aesthetic panic attack.

The Great Air Freshener of Huddersfield

Thank you to my friend Loz for alerting me to the fact that I’m not the only person with a frightening air freshener.
Apparently, he was on Huddersfield railway station recently and noticed what appeared to be smoke billowing from an orifice.
But, on taking a closer look, he noticed a sign declaring –
There is not a fire. This is an air-freshening system.

New Pet

The new pet arrived last week and lives on a shelf in the kitchen.
It is ….. an Air Wick Freshmatic – an automatic air freshener, which sprays once every 18 minutes and also when you walk through the door.
At first, I jumped every time it did it. And Boll thought it was a hissing cat. But we’ve got used to it now. And I quite like being welcomed with a friendly squirt whenever I come home.

Where’s The Sonic Food Mixer?

food machine in early Dr Who episode
I was watching Dr Who with Mum the other day. And, totally out of the blue, she asked whether the TARDIS had a kitchen.
Weirdly, just a few seconds later, Matt Smith told Amy and Rory where the kitchen was.
Sadly, we didn’t get a glimpse. Being Dr Who, it could look like anything of course – an Elizabethan one with shaggy hounds by the inglenook, an Edwardian country version, a seventies kitchen-diner.
Or maybe the Doctor got Magnet to personalise it for him, with Dalek-proof splashbacks, a handy alien life-form disposal unit and interest-free credit for infinity.

Spag Blog

Major bust-up in the literary world this week. I almost came to blows with my novelist pal Henrietta Bond about a reference to Spaghetti Bolognese in her new book Control Freak, out soon.
As far as I’m concerned, the correct abbreviated form is Spag Bol (SPAGhetti BOLognese). But she’s adamant that it’s Spag Bog (as in – um – SPAGhetti BOGognese – hello?)
One must make allowances. She is from East Anglia. But it’ll upset me greatly if Spag Bog gets past the editors. And it may sadly sway my judgement when I chair the Booker Prize next year.
As for the facts – well – if you go on Google, Spag BOL gets 65,500 hits. But, shockingly, Spag BOG manages 91,400. And BOG has even reached the dizzy heights of a Sun headline.
But hits mean nothing, as you know. It’s searches – the number of real people searching for the term – that count. And, when I went onto Google Trends I discovered that no-one in their right mind searches for BOG. It’s BOL that real people look for.
Boll (she’s a bit biased) and I feel vindicated. BOG must go. If they’ve left it in, the book must be pulped.

blue line = Spag BOL
red line (non-existent) = Spag BOG
ie. Spag BOG doesn’t trend at all – no-one’s searching for it
It’s clearly WRONG

Worst Cold Ever

I’ve just had the worst cold ever. Literally. It was literally the very worst cold anyone has ever had. It was, indeed, the worst cold ever, ever, ever. Never has there been a cold worse than it. It was the worst cold ever. And by ‘ever’, I mean ‘ever’.


I was out for dinner the other day and my friend K observed that a nearby couple had gelled as soon as they’d sat down.
‘Yes – they do seem very close,’ I said.
‘No,’ said K. ‘I meant they squirted antibacterial gel when they arrived.’
Then, just as we were about to tuck in to our meze, K offered me a squirt of gel.
Offering gel is a new social ritual. And I’ve noticed it’s nearly always offered by women to men.
It’s also interesting that people normally offer you the little bottle for you to gel yourself.
Is there any significance, I wonder, in the other person doing the squirt for you, directly? Are you then supposed to offer your palm? Or the back of your hand? Is it acceptable to refuse gel? Or to do two or more squirts? Does this vary from country to country? Region to region?
Oh dear. Life in the noughties is so complicated.