My salad dressing days

Un-Olympian antics
January 26, 2008, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s an enormous January cliche, but I’ve taken up running.

They said: if you want your New Year’s Resolutions to stick, get social support. I got me some social support. They said set some attainable goals. I Googled me some heavily prescriptive beginner’s advice from a healthcare website. (And I mean, heavily prescriptive: warm up for 3-5 minutes, run for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes, drink 50ml of distilled water, run for 1 minute, bend down to tie up shoelaces et cetera.) They said: get the hell out there and DO IT. I got the hell out there and did it.

‘Wow – I’m so impressed you’re doing it on your own!’ coo-ed my neighbour, who is nursing a similar NYR. ‘I know I couldn’t do it unless I was doing it with someone else.’

‘Well, people lie,’ I sighed. ‘I could only do it with someone who is as desperately unfit as me. Otherwise, it would just be embarrassing.’

You say: ‘Seriously, I am really really unfit!’

They say: ‘So am I! I couldn’t run to the edge of the park without being out of breath!’

You say: ‘Run? I couldn’t amble to the edge of the park without being out of breath!’

They say: ‘No, really. I could barely cross that road without my heart rate doubling!’

You say: ‘Well, honest to God, I could not bend down and pick up that empty crisp packet without having a myocardial infarction!’

Trust no-one. It’s a boarding school thing. Not your roommate with the flicky hair and Leslie Ash pout (she wants your boyfriend) or the class swot (she’s lying about the lack of revision and will end up with straight As and an unconditional place at Cambridge). Least of all trust your parents, who have dumped you in this godforsaken institution. [Mum, Dad: I’m kidding.]

But anyway, back to the lying running mate.

Despite her protestations to the contrary, she will let slip on your first run (in her case: run, in your case: toddle) that she pulled a calf muscle on her last half marathon and set back her recovery by months after she did the New Year’s Day triathlon.

So I run alone.

Alone and heavily disguised.

And there is nothing intuitive about my running style (contrary to what you might have been led to believe after watching ‘What women want’). Some days my left side seems to come up trumps but I’m woefully let down by my right side. And vice versa. And I’m always let down by my forearms, which are perpetually clenched under my chin.

It ain’t pretty. But I’m doing it.

And now I just have to get over my fear of jinxing it all by buying some new trainers. Because everyone knows the deal: take up new hobby, buy new gear, interest in new hobby melts as fast as the polar ice caps.


Every day is like Sunday
January 13, 2008, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Is anyone else missing Dolly Mixed-Up and Ally McBile’s delightful deconstructions of Observer Woman (aka A Thinly Veiled Excuse For Plumping Up The Observer’s Flagging Advertising Revenue Figures)?

It’s been MONTHS, gals! Where ARE you?

I only retrieve the damn thing from the recycling box so I can fully appreciate your loving dissection of La Vernon and La Flett’s latest interview/column.

Hey ho….Prosecco and chips anyone? (This, according to OW, is what we should be consuming on the Lord’s day. Uh-huh. You heard it here second.)


A little nugget (mechanically recovered chicken, natch) from Gordon Ramsay’s autobiography ‘Playing with fire’:

“A picture began to emerge, and he already knew that Edinburgh was not for us [as a location for a new restaurant]. Edinburgh makes money and keeps it. They spend it carefully and primly on school fees at Fettes or antique fireguards. There is no joy here, nothing that drives people out to get rat-arsed on a Friday in Armani suit with a midnight call to the wife to hand supper to the dog.”

Yep. We’re as dull as shit here, Gordon, and weirdly under-concerned about ostentatious designer tat and unreconstructed notions of manhood.


Place your bets, folks. How long before The Son and The Daughter ask one of their nursery school teachers what “a pimp and his crack whore” are?

Before you call social services, please understand that I don’t always remember to sing loudly over inappropriate song lyrics when I’m driving. And Lily Allen is their favourite artiste (Bob The Builder coming a close second).

Save Jug Ears!
January 8, 2008, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

He who gesticulates wildly 

BBC continuity announcer on Saturday night:

“And tomorrow morning the Prime Minister will be talking about the terrorist threat on the Andrew Marr Show.”

Al Qaeda are threatening one of my favourite BBC journalists?

This is a cause for which I would be willing to take to the streets.