My salad dressing days

Ode to Jon Snow
November 30, 2006, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My evenings ceased to be a bore
When editors at Channel Four
Decided to remove your desk.
(Some viewers thought it quite grotesque.)
Not me, for I was thrilled to see
Your legs, your socks, your shin, your knee.
And gosh, you’re tall! And silver-haired!
Those funky ties! Oh how I stared
At you the only time we’ve met.
Awestruck, I broke out in a sweat.
Later we met outside the loo.
I couldn’t think quite what to do:
‘I love you, Jon! You’re really great!’
‘Does cycling ever make you late?’
‘Just how is your cousin Peter?’
‘How big is a cubic metre?’
Instead I simply shuffled by –
My plan, by now, had gone awry.
A chance at friendship did I blow
With the fantastical Jon Snow.

[Big fan. Heeeyoooge fan. Love ya, Jon.]

This poem is the third in a series of odes to male newscasters. Look, I spent a lot of my late twenties and early thirties watching and listening to a lot of news, alrighty? If you liked this, you might also like ‘Ode to Ed Stourton’ and ‘Advice for to Mark Austin’. Or not. *shrugs shoulders*


Resisting the consumerist urge
November 27, 2006, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s hard enough just walking past a closed branch of TK Maxx without fondling my credit card.

But slumped on the sofa in the centrally heated home of a friend, glass of red wine in one hand and oven-warmed finger food in the other?

Well, I turn to mush. Putty. A highly pliable material.

But before the demonstration begins, I steel myself and an internal monologue cranks up inside my (slightly tipsy) head: ‘I do not need any new kitchen equipment! I do not need any new kitchen equipment!’.


‘Now I’m going to make some savoury mini muffins. Honestly, they’re so easy. My kids love them. I’m using the mini muffin tray on page 23. Goodness! I don’t know what I did without this! And the mini scoop…’

‘I have the mini scoop!’ chimes in a fellow audience member. ‘It’s fantastic! I use it all the time!’

Is she a plant, I wonder. No matter, for I want the mini scoop. And the mini muffin tray.

‘So you see how I’m just dropping dollops of mixture into the non-stick tray here? I mean, how long did that take me? Ninety seconds? No more than that.’

Need the mini scoop. Need the mini muffin tray. (And the onion chopper. And the rubber spatula. And the mixing jug with lid. And the snap-tight multi-functional glass ramekins.)

‘OK. So while that’s baking, I’m going to show you a really easy pizza. Again, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is especially when I’m using this stone bakeware sheet. You wouldn’t believe how crisp the base turns out! And it’s not just good for pizza, it’s fantastic for biscuits too!’

Want the stone bakeware. Flick through catalogue. Can’t decide on whether to order the rectanglar or the circular one. Will get both. To be on safe side.


The evening wears on in a haze of Merlot and slightly overdone butternut squash mini muffins.

We are all flicking through our catalogues like maniacs. I have sobered up a little and been hit by a wave of steely resolve: I am buying nothing. Sweet FA. Nada.

I smirk a little, proud of my abilities to resist the consumerist urge.

‘What are you buying?’ asks my sofa-ensconced neighbour.

‘Well, probably noth…’

‘I definitely want the mini muffin tray…and scoop…and some of those pans look fantastic!’

I swallow a little.

‘They do look excellent!’ I chip in, enthusiastically.

The demonstrator comes round, like a schoolteacher checking handwriting, snatching up order forms as she glides past the smiling sea of faces.

‘Going to be placing an order?’

As she looks away, I quickly scrawl in the code for the stone bakeware (rectangular) – you know, for biscuit making – as well as a couple of ‘last minute impulse buys’.

I know. Sucker.

I mean: who am I? Nigella already?

Chicklets submit Turner prize entry
November 27, 2006, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Posted by Picasa

Title of sculpture: The Hedgehog

Artists: Chicklet #1 and Chicklet #2

Materials used: toolbox, garden canes, blankets, mittens, hats, old towel.


“Tell me more about your methods.”

“We work as a team,” said Chicklet #1. “I take overall responsibility for the process whilst my brother sources the materials.”

“I’m told that you later added some rolled up pieces of newspaper. Can you tell me why you chose newspaper as a medium to work with?”

“Because it’s scrunchy,” replied Chicklet #2, rather earnestly.


Tracey Emin eat your heart out.

Excuses excuses…
November 12, 2006, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
  • Cardboard boxes (emptying and disposal thereof).
  • Paint* fumes (clinically established side effects of persistent inhalation include severe aversion to emptying and disposal of cardboard boxes).
  • Multiple trips to B&Q.
  • Shed erection project management responsibilities (hampered by inclement weather conditions and uncooperative workforce).
  • Somewhat unreliable and intermittent broadband access on neighbour’s unsecured wireless connection, for which thanksbeto(almostcertainlynonexistent)God.
  • Time spent gazing adoringly at American style fridge freezer (inclusive of minutes spent pondering wisdom of not opting for version with ice dispenser).

Back soon (I hope).

Pip pip.

* Dulux Georgian range ‘Stone’

For the love of diced innards
November 1, 2006, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was a close shave.

I was that close to becoming an accessory to a most heinous crime: the brutal and random murder of innocent vegetarians perusing aisles 2-5 in my local supermarket.

My mistake? A willingness to agree just a little too heartily with the views of total strangers in a bid to engender improved human relations. Oh, and popping back to the refridgerated aisle for a Macsween’s haggis:

Me: ‘Excuse me, do you have any haggis? It’s just that I could only see vegetarian haggis on the shelf.’

Shop assistant (SA): ‘Let me have a look… Ah yes, it looks like it’s just the vegetarian one.’

Me: ‘Oh, right. Never mind. [jocularly*] But seriously, vegetarian haggis – what’s that about?!’

SA: [frighteningly bileously] ‘I know! And it tastes disgusting!’

Me: ‘Oh, you’ve tried it then?’

SA: ‘Yes, I bought some by mistake – spat the first mouthful out.’

Me: ‘That bad? Well, I won’t be buying any of that then! Besides, I mean, vegetarian haggis. That’s just plain wrong, isn’t it?’

SA: [excitedly and in a conspiratorial whisper] ‘Yeah, it is. All this ‘vegetarian’ stuff is awful, if you ask me…’

(The way he said ‘vegetarian’ scared me. He practically spat each syllable out. Veg. It. Air. Ee. Yin.)

And just as I feared the conversation was about to take a sinister turn along the lines of: ‘I mean, vegetarians? I hate ’em! Why won’t they eat animal protein? What’s wrong with them? See her, her over there? Her with the packet of silken tofu and Linda McCartney country slices? She looks ill. What she needs is a nice quarter pounder and chips. Chips deep-fried in beef dripping. Yeah! C’mon. Let’s get some rump steak and frozen chicken livers and whack them in her basket. No! Let’s just take her – her and the guy with the Quorn sausages – into the cold store and chop ’em up and feed ’em to the battery hens at the farm down the road…’.

Just as I was picturing my face on the front page of the Edinburgh Evening News (‘University-educated, mother of two in supermarket killing frenzy’), I cut in with:

‘Well, now, I don’t mind a vegetarian lasagna or lentil bake, but I just can’t get my head around veggie haggis. But not to worry! I’ll pop back later in the week. Thanks for your help!’

And off I dashed, clattering my chicklet-laden trolley towards a place of greater safety: the ‘feminine hygiene’ section of the toiletries aisle.

* actually an adverb – I checked, so shurrup