My salad dressing days

Hey! Step back! Don’t get too close!
October 31, 2005, 12:47 pm
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This raffia handbag is best viewed from a distance of 200 yards or more, because up close and personal: it looks cheap. And this isn’t surprising, because it was cheap – as cheap as chips. (See and marvel at how the handles G-L-I-S-T-E-N merrily proclaiming their plasticity. Ah…)

But cheapness aside, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a summer wedding. And let’s face it, nobody is going to be looking at your silly handbag when there’s a girl in a big fluffy white dress to ogle at.

Meanwhile, over at Grammar Puss’s, the debate rages on: two or three classic/last-you-a-lifetime, budget-busting handbags, or many, many bank-manager-pleasing, bin-them-when-you-tire-of-them handbags. Not for the faint-hearted and waaaay more taxing on the brain than the whole shall-we-shan’t-we-withdraw-from-Iraq debate…


The one where…
October 30, 2005, 1:56 pm
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everyone seems to think I don’t know how to pronounce ‘ubiquitous’.

When all I was saying was that I thought it would be kind of cute if it was pronounced ‘oo-bee-kwish-us’* and not ‘oo-bick-quit-us’ (or ‘yew-bick-wit-us’ or WHATEVER). Hey! I was bored and suffering from a chronic case of blogger’s block.

But, as I said, I do rather prefer ‘omnipresent’ anyway.

Leave this post alone! Please! Go bother another post! This one is making me Y-A-W-N now…

*mwah mwah*
UC xxx

*And yes, I know this would involve the insertion of another ‘i’ – I know!

No end of dancing in my living room
October 28, 2005, 11:40 am
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and singing ‘Teacher’s Pet’ is going to turn me into Doris Day, is it?

But I like to think I might yet be required to stand in for Natalie on the Dixie Chicks’ next world tour as and when she falls pregnant with her third child.

Now, that could happen…

How to be authentic*
October 27, 2005, 11:57 am
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1. Come from somewhere north of the Watford Gap. Preferably a city with a grim and grimy industrial heritage. [N.B. If coming from Scotland, Glasgow is infinitely more ‘authentic’ than Edinburgh.]

2. Profess not to know or care about what lies south of the Watford Gap.

3. Downplay your childhood. Ideally, you will have had seven or more siblings and a permanent case of headlice, you used to watch your Mum mangle clothes for entertainment and the nearest you ever got to a ‘holiday’ was two nights in 1974 in your auntie’s caravan in Filey.

4. Talk up your Father’s (Godforsaken) job. Ideally, he will have been a coalminer, chimney sweep or dustman. His ‘wages’ will have been delivered on a weekly basis by a curmudgeonly foreman in a brown envelope covered in muck and soot.

5. It helps if you come from a town or city which spawned a cool, urban band. (Where Oldham had the Inspiral Carpets and ‘Madchester’** The Happy Mondays.)

6. Ham up any inkling of a regional accent (and get lippy with any Southerners who you imagine are failing to understand you on account of their addiction to Queen’s English).

7. Be disparaging about anyfink wot might be regarded as ‘inter-leck-choo-al’. This, rather frighteningly, might include The Daily Mail.

8. Moan constantly about how much more left-wing you are than any existing political party (whilst telling the guy outside the station selling Socialist Worker to b*gger off).

9. Swear a lot.

10. You will most likely know your grandmother as ‘Nan’ or ‘Nanna’.


Failed to meet any of the above criteria? Then resign yourself to a life of inauthenticity and get back to shopping at Waitrose like the rest of us.

* where ‘authentic’ equals Working Class, a societal stratum to which most British people aspire

** Manchester according to someone with chronic rhinitis brought on by spending too much time picketing outside coalmines

Things have come to a pretty pass
October 26, 2005, 9:47 pm
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and I find myself sinking to the lowest form of uninspired blogging that is Bitching About Celebrities*.

But I couldn’t resist.

This little gem is supplied by Closer magazine (22-28 May 2004 – vintage, if you will) from the column of It Girl* Tara Palmer-Tomkinson:

‘Kate Beckinsale apparently once got so annoyed with a film director that she weed into his thermos flask. [Why do we just know TPT is going to go one better?] But I can go one better! [See. Told you so.] When I was 22, I split up with my restaurant-owner boyfriend and felt pretty angry. To get my revenge, I had 1,000 cards [She kindly includes an image of said card, with boyfriend’s face pixellated into obscurity.] printed with his phone number on, saying that he was gorgeous and liked kinky sex. I put them in every phone box in Mayfair [Unless the demographics of the area have changed beyond all recognition, I very much doubt whether anyone in Mayfair has need to use a public phone box.], then hid the keys to his helicopter [Of course.] in one of his sock drawers [He has more than one sock drawer?]. Of course, when he received hundreds of weird calls and couldn’t fly the helicopter, he was furious [Well, wouldn’t you be, ladies and gentlemen?]. But, amazingly, he now sees the funny side, and we’re still friends. [Bless his multiple pairs of cotton socks. You don’t half pick ’em, Tara!]

* although I use the term ‘celebrity’ very loosely here

More (ridiculous) news of TPT here (thanks Kellycat!).

Pros and cons of short term memory loss
October 25, 2005, 12:06 pm
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Mr Chick goes out for the evening.
UC looks forward to an Evening of Indulgence.
Corner shop visited and trashy magazine selected on basis of free chocolate bar stuck to front.
Phone rings. Long gossipy conversation ensues.
(Excellent, if unanticipated, addition to Evening of Indulgence.)
UC flicks through TV channels.
Favourite show – contrary to TV listings – not on.
UC slumps into petulant heap on sofa.
UC mooches to and from kitchen in vain hope of finding sugar-loaded gastronomic delights.
None apparent. (Chicklets’ malted milk biscuits not adequate substitute.)
UC slumps into petulant heap on armchair and considers long distance phonecall to overseas-based chum when suddenly she spies…
Bonus: there are not one but TWO chocolate bars!!
UC sighs the sigh of the Thoroughly Indulged and whacks on some vintage ‘Sex and the City’.

UC carries out Monday morning (post-waking, pre-breakfast, nude) ritual weigh-in.
Horrors untold when she discovers a stone mark has been crossed.
UC vows to Do Something About It Before Christmas.
Alcohol is to be cut out and if that fails, chocolate, and then possibly a couple of major food groups.
Fridge-residing cold beers are grimaced at and basement-dwelling bottles of wine are given a severe talking to.
Tempt. Me. Not.
UC hosts evening for small gathering of womenfolk on a cold, wet and windy October night.
Vat of mulled wine is cooked up. Delicious aroma fills house.
UC offers rain-beaten guests a glass of the warm, spicy, red stuff.
Smiles and endless coo-ing all round.
Evening ends and UC realises that her driving guests only drank one glass each, so the other half litre…
UC sighs the sigh of the Chronic Amnesiac (and vows to start all over again tomorrow).

For Justine
October 24, 2005, 4:15 pm
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Thinking of you, J.