Monthly Archives: February 2008

Evil Beige Must Die

A confession. I have beige carpets. They were just here when I moved and I’ve not got round to replacing them.
Beige carpets are an abomination. The Carpets of the Beast. The road to Hell is paved with beige and the Devil himself wears a beige blouson. It says so in The Bible.
The problem I have is that my drugs of choice are (1) real coffee and (2) red wine. My carpets don’t take kindly to this. It threatens their insipidness.
Beige carpets are the Methodists of the carpet world. Every time I go near a mug of coffee or glass of Merlot, a sinister force causes a spectacular spillage. It’s like living in a beige Bermuda Triangle.
I spend half my life spraying stain-remover. I’m keeping the Vanish company afloat single-handedly.
The other day, not one but two friends (‘A’ and ‘A’) spilt large glasses of Cabernet on the Carpet of Despond within minutes. They did, as Shakespeare would say, the multitudenous beige incarnadine. I removed it though, with the help of more Vanish and lots of frantic Lady-Macbeth-type scrubbing.
Cue Bolly – who sidled in looking unimpressed and was spectacularly sick on the same patch. It was terracotta-coloured, verging on mustard, with leaves in it.
More scrubbing. Beigeness restored.
Then another friend – ‘H’ – popped round for a cuppa and promptly threw an entire mug of Twinings English Breakfast within inches of the epicentre.
That’s now gone, thanks to Vanish and more scrubbing.
The carpets are demonic and must go.

Peter Peacock


Peter, surrounded by my Thai cats
A big thank you to James and Nicola for Peter the Peacock. He’s very well behaved and likes to perch on top of the TV, flanked by small cat bodyguards.

North Wales


Conwy Castle
I’ve just got back from the most distant corner of north west Wales. It too six hours to get there. The train journey took me down the spooky shoreline at dusk, and through a tunnel under the 13th century Conwy Castle.
My destination was the BBC in Bangor – where 46% of the people speak Welsh and the other 54% seem to be students from England.
The BBC’s Light Entertainment Department moved to Broadcasting House Bangor during the Second World War to escape the bombs, and many episodes of ITMA were recorded there.
The Beatles also visited the town in the 60s, to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He wasn’t Welsh. He just lived there for a while.
I stayed in nearby Caernarfon, at the Celtic Royal, which was excellent and had a good swimming pool. You can see Anglesey from Caernarfon and I was surprised at how close it was. Apparently, you can just about walk to the island when the tide’s out.

Peacock Plumage Update

Hello. How are you? I’ve been preposterously busy, which is why I haven’t poked my peacock beak through your screen over the last week. And now I’m off to north Wales for the BBC. Nice hotel by the looks of it, in Caernarfon. It’s all go. But I’ll be back soon.

Who Needs St Valentine? Alternative Saints for Singles


St Raphael is the patron saint of single people. Raphael was a bit of a matchmaker – famously responsible for introducing Tobias to Sarah. Sarah didn’t have a very good track record with men though. Her first seven husbands died on their wedding night. St Raphael’s day is October 24th.


The patron saint of single men is St Benedict. As you can see, he wasn’t much of a looker. His day is 11th July.


St Agatha is the patron saint of single women. Her day is February 5th. Poor Agatha had a hard time of it. She was sent to a brothel, but refused to do any work.

I’m greatly taken with carp magazines at the moment. Every day, there seems to be a new one. WH Smith’s magazine section is starting to resemble a fishmongers.
I was in Harlow the other day – a place devoid of all nature – and there were seven different carp mags on the shelves of a newsagents there.
Carp magazines have strict rules. The cover must feature a carp-brandishing gentleman in a hat, posing as if playing air guitar with his carp, which must be fat. The man should ideally be ugly. If he’s wearing a baseball hat and glasses, this is considered to be a great boon. It’s also a good idea to include a union jack on the cover, because carps are very patriotic fish.
Total Carp is my favourite. It’s full of useful features such as ‘How can breakfast cereals make your zig rigs more productive?’ And I recently read a very evocative piece about bread – the forgotten bait. It begins, ‘Armed with loaves of bread, baguettes and finger rolls, Craig erects his brolly to seek shelter from the elements.’
It’s also good to see a carp hitting the headlines. Who can forget the Daily Mail’s Angler catches world’s biggest carp – which weighs almost as much as Kylie


Kylie the Carp
There are countless carp-related websites too – Carp Mad, Carp Culture (German), Carp Passion, Carp Crazy and Carp Universe, to name but a few.
I’d like to run my own niche carp publication one day – Feminist Carp, Postmodern Carp, Evangelical Carp or whatever. I’d find this oddly fulfilling.