My salad dressing days

By popular demand
August 31, 2005, 9:29 pm
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How could I not pander to Mireille’s request of ‘more shoes, more shoes, more shoes’? Today, from the wardrobe of UC (second wardrobe, bottom shelf), I bring you a pair of burgundy suede Kurt Geiger wedges.

OK. So I said I didn’t *do* heels. I lied. I don’t do pointy stiletto heels but I *do* do the occasional wedge. Got that? These team up beautiully with boot-cut trousers, be they denim or be they polyester-acrylic mix.

As with many other pairs (read: anything other than flip-flops and Nikes) in my collection, they are gathering dust right now. But I feel an outing coming on…a friend’s book launch looms on the Septemberly horizon. I know, it’s terribly urbane-sounding and may even involve A Trip Into Town. I shall most probably pee my pants with excitement.

[Btw, this is my 100th post. Before I come over all Gwyneth Paltrow, can I just throw in a quick thanks to Motherhen and the Old Rooster, without whom and all that…*mwah mwah*]


How to get on in society
August 30, 2005, 9:14 pm
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Phone for the fish-knives, Norman,
As Cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It’s ever so close in the lounge, dear,
But the vestibule’s comfy for tea,
And Howard is out riding on horseback,
So do come and take some with me.

Now here is a fork for your pastries,
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know what I wanted to ask you —
Is trifle suffient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes, dear?
I’m afraid the preserve’s full of stones;
Beg pardon I’m soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.

by John Betjeman [1906 – 1984]

JB loved to mock the aspirant, some might say ‘nouveau riche’, middle classes*. If you liked this one, you might also enjoy ‘Hunter Trials’.

* note that being middle class is practically a term of abuse in the UK

It’s Just Not Cricket
August 29, 2005, 8:28 pm
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Apparently, England have done rather well at cricket. Apparently, they might win The Ashes. Apparently, this is something to be excited about.

This has meant that habitually-disinterested-in-cricket types have been glued to the TV and, of course, I could not help but glance at the screen occasionally.

It strikes me that cricket has come over all footbally. There is a lot more hugging after [stops to consider what the equivalent of a goal is] lots of, um, runs. The names of the some of the players have penetrated my sport-resistant consciousness (Marcus Trescothick, for instance). And sometimes, I’m reliably informed, the players don’t wear white.

But this is Just Not Cricket, surely? I thought cricket was all about the village green, with onlookers sipping warm beer and nuns riding past on their bicycles? Clearly, I have been duped.

In fact, I’m wondering whether – whilst I wasn’t paying attention – cricket has become the new football. It reminds me a bit of the summer I went on holiday only to find on my return that Kylie had metamorphosed from squeaky ex-soap star into pop icon. Would welcome confirmation of this from anyone In The Know.

[Just for the record, for a brief period in my late teens, I ‘displayed potential as a batswoman’ according to a history teacher whose posioned chalice was to muster a girls’ cricket team at my school. My parents keeled over in shock on hearing this news, given that my previous sporting prowess had only ever manifested itself in a vicious competitiveness when playing tiddlywinks with my younger sisters.]

Update (30/8/05): listening to the Today programme, I hear that The Independent is today running a story entitled ‘Is cricket the new football?’. Now had this appeared yesterday, I would have worried about being accused of plagiarism. What can I say? UC likes to think she has her finger on a pulse at least 2% of the time. Ha!

A message for the sisterhood
August 26, 2005, 8:08 am
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Feeling the need to hear some live music, I took myself off to a Prom the other night. As is usual when I visit the theatre, by the time I sat down I was already plotting my trip to the ladies’ loos at the interval.

I’ve tried my best not to, but I am becoming increasingly conspiratorial about the lack of adequate amenities for women in our nation’s theatres…

I wonder how often the following scenario is played out at theatres all over this fine land:

Man #1: Right, we’ve got half an hour until curtain up. Shall I put in an order at the bar for our interval drinks?
Man #2: Marvellous plan, Herbert! Make mine a Glenfiddich on the rocks. And you, darling? And Myrtle?
Woman #1: Oh, nothing for us, sweetheart! Myrtle and I will be peeing! Perhaps you could let me suck on your lemon slice as we return to our seats for the second half, now there’s a dear!

And, in the highly unlikely event that the women *do* make it to the theatre bar before the bell rings for the second half:

Man #1: As I was saying, we need to Keep Them Out Of The Boardroom and perhaps we can consider a reversal of the universal suffr…Myrtle! Penelope! Golly gosh, that was quick!
Myrtle: Yes! Well, we decided to share a cubicle – don’t know why we didn’t think of it before!
Penelope: So, what were you talking about in our absence?
Man #2: Oh, just the usual. I was telling Herbert about that awful round I had at Gleneagles last week. Dreadful. Buggered up my handicap.

So I got to thinking: what are the options for today’s urinating and defecating woman visiting the theatre?

(1) Consider leaving your seat before the first half of the performance is up to ‘beat the rush’:

Friend: How about that clarinet solo? Wasn’t it stupendous?
Woman: What clarinet solo?
Friend: The one in the second movement?
Woman: Ah now I missed the second movement as I was in the ladies’ HAVING a movement. Not to worry, I’m planning on buying the CD on Amazon when I get home.

Yep, that’s right. There’s always Amazon. There’s always the CD.

(2) Consider cross-dressing for the evening:

Friend: Mildred, you remember George and Evelyn?
George: Erm, George and Evan, actually.
Friend: Evan? What? Where’s your dear wife this evening, George?
George: [coughs pointedly]

I think this option might be kinda fun. I’m sure I could use a urinal…

(3) Consider having a catheter fitted.

It’s a painless procedure in my experience. Well, if you have been anaethetised from the waist down, anyhoo.

So, quit complainin’, sisters! Don’t act like you don’t have CHOICES!!

A favourite singer
August 25, 2005, 9:00 am
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Stacey Kent, a student from New York, came to London to study French, German and Italian for a Masters in comparative literaure, met saxophonist Jim Tomlinson (who she later married) and instead wound up a well-known jazz singer.

The songwriter, Jay Livingston, wrote of her: “Stacey Kent is a revelation. There is nobody singing today who can compare with her. She has the style of the greats, like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. And she sings the words like Nat Cole – clean, clear and almost conversational with perfect phrasing. And that’s as good as it gets.”

I love her voice and saw her at Ronnie Scott’s this time two years ago.

Ah, the good old days…
August 24, 2005, 11:42 am
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(Yep, a post that makes virtually no sense without the image, which I removed in a fit of fear about being sued over a breach of copyright. Soz.)

Are we to believe that female smokers were more likely to be harbouring a venereal disease? Or were women with venereal disease more likely to take up smoking? Either way, it is advisable to avoid women with eyebrows plucked out of existence.

Oh, and women wearing berets who look like extras from ‘Allo Allo’.

Ah, the good old days…when sex was cheap and advertising was sexist. Thank heaven we’ve moved on since then.

I’m flouncing (did anyone notice?)
August 23, 2005, 7:10 am
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My God, blog depression is real. It’s REAL, OK?

How come my traffic is down on last week? How come no-one’s commenting? How come I can’t think of what to blog about?

So I come over all petulant and tell a rather surprised-looking Mr Chick that

Doesn’t he remember how [Mr Chick recites this bit himself – so familiar is he with the mantra] “switching from a full-time career to becoming a SAHM is a Major Assault On One’s Identity”? Yes, he remembers. Good.

And now the keyboard keys feel hot. Why is that? It’s A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G. Make it stop doing that NOW.

[Flounces out of cyberspace to make a Nice Cup Of Tea.]

Do I need to tell you that blog depression mixed with PMS is one lethal combination? Nope. Didn’t think so.

Oh, and by the way, I TOTALLY stole this post from a comment I left on Trapped Civil Servant’s blog. Didn’t you hear me? I have blogger’s block. Give me a BREAK.