Monthly Archives: March 2008

Time Warp

I’m feeling deeply ruffled. It’s 9am, but it feels like 8. Bollinger’s confused as well, as she had her breakfast an hour early. This whole nonsense about moving clocks backwards and forwards must stop.
Apparently it’s to prevent road accidents in the darker parts of the UK. Can’t the Scots just be made to wear lamps on their hats? Or have their own time zone? Why should we suffer down here?
My parents say it was even weirder in World War Two when we had Double British Summer Time and it was light till midnight. Who wants that? We’re not in Norway. This is Britain for goodness sake.

A Flat is a Flat is a Flat

Several of my friends live in flats. I like flats. I have nothing against them whatsoever.

But it upsets me greatly that flats aren’t called flats anymore. Thanks to the M&S effect, everything now has to be poshed up. So my friends live in apartments, loft apartments, units, duplexes, condominiums and mansion flats.

It’s the same with terraced houses, which have suddenly metamorphosed into mews houses, link houses or cottages.

But it’s a simple fact (is it not?) that a flat is a flat is a flat. Is a flat.

This is, of course, a reference to Gertrude Stein’s ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’ – meaning ‘things are what they are’ and they don’t necessarily have to signify something else (as in Freud’s possibly apocryphal ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.’)

Stein once said, ‘Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying ‘is a … is a … is a …’ Yes, I’m no fool. But I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.’

Charlotte Green


Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green corpsed (got the giggles) yesterday morning while reading an obituary on the flagship 8am news bulletin.
The problem was that the obit followed an archive recording, which a colleague said sounded like a bee trapped in a jar.
Here’s the clip. Just click to listen.
Download file
I’m sure Charlotte wouldn’t mind me sharing this recording I made with her for one of my features. It’s her distinctive rendition of a famous Boney M lyric. She read it very well, as you’d expect (without corpsing) but I suspect she’d never heard the original track.
Download file

130 Cats in Moscow Flat


This is a premonition of me in a few years’ time. The kindly madwoman in this clip rescues strays and has 130 Moscow moggies in her small flat. They look pretty happy and healthy to me, despite the slight overcrowding issue. I’ve not been able to verify whether it’s real or not, but I have seen this VT played on what appears to be a genuine Russian news programme.

Boll’s Mad March

Bolly’s had quite a dramatic month so far.
While I was away in Wales, Jess the black cat ran into the house and tried to pinch Boll’s pink mouse.
Boll also had an attack of hiccups a few weeks ago, for about an hour, thanks to wolfing her breakfast too quickly.
And she lost a tooth. No-one knows how. But the vet thinks she might have bumped into something. So she now just has three front fangs. Don’t worry though. She’s perfectly fine and has no problem eating (surprise, surprise).
Then – as if that wasn’t enough – the pet shop ran out of Van Ness Giant cat litter liners. These are Boll’s favourites.
The Bollinger is currently asleep under the bed, recovering from her various traumas.

New Pin-Up – Hello Dolly!


Introducing the lovely Dolly from Ware. Dolly lives with her friend Iain and likes to gaze affectionately at him through her picture window. Her flatmates include a penguin fish, a very fetching molly and a small, slightly nervous neon tetra. Dolly’s beautifully appointed and deceptively spacious waterside apartment is in a sought-after location in the lounge and has many state-of-the-art features, including pink flowers and a statue of Hollywood heart-throb Nemo.

Cute Chick


This sweet chicken appears on the front of my Easter card from Mum and Dad. Mum’s very talented at embroidery and makes wonderful cards which she sells for charity.

Happy Easter


I’m dreaming of a white Easter – just like the ones we used to know.

The Weekend Starts Here

Thursday is the new Friday here in Hertford.
For a few months, I’ve noticed that the queues outside The Stonehouse are just as long (and noisy) on Thursday nights, and the town centre has a Fridayish feel.
Then today (Thursday), a Tescos assistant wished me a nice weekend.
I was so shocked, I started to think I’d forgotten what day it was. So I rushed into Hertford Pets to check. They convinced me it was still Thursday and calmed me down.
What next? Will Wednesday become the new Thursday? And what if Sunday becomes the new Monday? Aren’t we getting into dangerous territory?
This must stop.