My salad dressing days

Open letter to the Director General of the BBC
July 31, 2006, 1:38 pm
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Dear Mr Thompson

My children are really keen on the three-minute film in the middle of the Teletubbies DVD I bought them for Christmas.

When I say ‘really keen on’, what I mean is ‘displaying a frightening obsession with’.

The film involves two four-year-olds (Becky and Alistair) making ice cream sundaes in their parents’ kitchen.

It’s quite possible that I have had to sit through this mini-movie, um, 376 times in the past week.

So I am writing to enquire whether you might consider giving Becky and Alistair their very own show on Cbeebies.

Truly, they are a comic duo on a par with the best of British (French and Saunders, Morecambe and Wise, Keith Harris and Orville etc.).

A daily slot just after the Bobinogs would go down a treat in this household and might I suggest that you extend their remit beyond culinary tips to wildlife documentaries and catwalk commentaries?

Yours hopefully,
Marnie Sweet

P.S. Their comic genius is only enhanced by Becky’s slurred speech and Alistair’s missing top left incisor, so please don’t be thinking about giving them a makeover before they make it on the big screen.


My dream last night
July 30, 2006, 9:41 pm
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I was at the dentist’s.

With Mel Gibson.

He was getting kinda flirty.

I was not overly impressed (as far as I am concerned, MG is ick ick ick – sorry, ladies…just can’t see his appeal).

But I remember thinking: man, is this bloggable!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and: whoa there! He just said ‘sux’* not ‘seeeeeeeks’.

Mel is a New Zealander masquerading as an Australian! Wah!

It’s Russell Crowe all over again…

[Then I woke up. Next to Mr Chick. Molars intact.]

* because everyone knows that the way to tell an Australian and New Zealander apart is to ask them to say the number that comes after five (Martha, dear: am I right here?) and the way to tell a Canadian and American apart is to ask them to say ‘about’ (where the Canadian says ‘aboot’ – Laura? back me up here?)

[Nope. Loins decidedly ungirded. (Mine, not his.)]

The faintest whiff of desperation – do you smell it?
July 26, 2006, 9:21 pm
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I make no secret of it: I’m a little lacking in the friends’ department just now.

My nearest and dearest chums are still in The Big Smoke (although I am working on enticing at least one, if not two of them up north).

I mentioned to one of these friends, whilst we were chatting online the other day, my concern that there was an air of desperation about my interactions with other human beings just now.

J: But you don’t do desperate!
UC: It’s sweet of you to say so, but I fancy I sounded on the psychopathic side of eager in the note I wrote to A (mutual ex-schoolmate) last week.
J: I find that hard to believe…what did you say?
UC: Um, hi and it was sooooooooooo great to see you the other day. Perhaps we can have lunch sometime soon, with the kids. Or without the kids (if you prefer!). Or maybe dinner. (I can do most weekday evenings!) Or maybe just coffee if you’re busy. And hey! Maybe you can introduce me to that friend of yours who you said lived in my street? But anyway, call me sometime or email me or feel free to drop by my house anytime or whatever!
J: Ah, I see what you mean…

Y’see, every encounter with another human being has become A Potential Lead-In To A New Friendship.

My internal monologue is usually something like this: yes, yes, you’re nice. We appear to have something in common (you’re buying Grazia magazine in my local newsagent’s too, frinstance). You seem pleasant enough. Pleasant enough, if a little socially inept. But that’s okay. Very often the pleasant but socially inept have friends who are pleasant and socially ept, so if we hang out a few more times, perhaps I will end up meeting some of your pleasant and socially ept friends who might, in time, become my friends. (And, if I’m lucky, they too will be the sort of people who buy Grazia magazine only very very occasionally, and only when no-one they know is looking, in which circumstance they would reach for a copy of the New Statesman – just like me.)

I mean, you know things have come to a pretty pass when you find yourself starting up a conversation with the guy in front of you in a queue in the local supermarket with the line: “Goodness, are those FLYING ANTS out there?! ‘Cause they’re biting me to buggery!”

So, if anyone knows anyone who knows ANYONE who might care to be my newbestfriend in the ‘Burgh, lemme know.

Cute shiny thing! Cute shiny thing!
July 25, 2006, 1:03 pm
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Unable to compete with Pashmina’s recent haul at an Orla Kiely sample sale, I bring you instead the cheapest and cheerfulest alternative from TK Maxx: a Nick and Nora toiletry bag.


(It’s awf’lly capacious too. Not to mention painfully inexpensive.)

Red hot tip for a great night out in Londontown!
July 24, 2006, 12:50 pm
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What? Star Follies
Come again? The most original and fantastic thing I have ever done of an evening in Londontown. It’s live karaoke of sorts, but to sheet music and with live accompaniment. Time Out described it as “Imaginative…hilarious…a cross between Hainault Place Bingo Hall and Carshalton Beaches Amateur Dramatic Society!”
Huh? Truly, it’s a special and magical evening, made so by the Master of Ceremonies Mr Donald Levange and Queen of the Keys Madame Bella Borgia. Audience members range in age from teenagers to pensioners.
Where? The Courtyard Theatre, 10 York Way, London N1 9AA (right opposite King’s Cross station).
When? Friday 28 July
Time? Doors open at 7.15pm (there’s a bar) – the show commences at 8pm
Price? £9 (on the door)
Do I have to sing? No, but everyone – from the truly tone deaf (there have been some!) to the professional warbler – gets the same warm reception.

Think a camper version of Cabaret, in which you get to be Liza Minnelli.


Wish I could join you…

About me
July 21, 2006, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yes, me. Me and this blog.

What’s it all about?

Well, I’m not telling you. You’ll have to work it out for yourselves.


My editorial policy
Anything goes. Except some things. And other things. And those things. God, no-one needs to know about those things. *shivers*

My comments policy
Guilt. I admire the lovely bloggers who welcome new commenters and respond to each comment in turn (except when this seems to be their overarching policy but they don’t welcome me or respond to me – I abhor these sort of bloggers). I often feel I should do the same myself. So I try. But then fail. Mostly, I get distracted. I think ‘ooh, there’s XXX blogger! wonder what (s)he’s up to – better scoot over to her/his blog’ and off I go, forgetting to say ‘hi’ or ‘excellent observation!’ or whatever.

So like I said, my comments policy is: low level, perpetual guilt.

My blogroll policy
Ooh, it’s kind of exciting making up policies! Wonder if Tony Blair feels the same… Um, well, I recently revamped my blogroll, as I decided that it ought to be a reflection of the blogs I read. So doubtless (possibly) some previously-linked bloggers feel miffed. Most likely they didn’t notice or were grateful for an excuse to be able to delink to a blog in terminal decline. Anyhoo. Of course, I reserve the right to forget to add lovely, new blogs to my blogroll (I am the Princess of Procrastination – it took me seven months to build up to updating my blogroll last time around). And sometimes I take off blogs that appear to be dormant. But basically, if you’re pondering the possibility of Conspiracy versus Cock-Up, always assume Cock-up. Every time. Conspiratorial behaviour takes a lot of planning, effort and energy and I have very little of these things. (Same goes for Tony Blair, no doubt).

Does that help?

No? Oh well…

Such a large roofbox
July 21, 2006, 12:24 pm
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for such a small man.