Friday, April 27, 2007


My mood improved considerably by late Tuesday night. Even the boring flip-flops took on an altogether different appeal when they turned out to be celebrities in disguise.
I doubt there's much risk of being mistaken for the ex-Mrs Pitt, save from the big toe down. I shall try them in Leeds tomorrow. My feet are likely to need something comfortable after all the dancing I intend to be doing once we've deposited our bags at Malmaison, sipped our champagne cocktails in Boutique and flirted with the waiters in Bibi's this evening.
I'm taking the train. It's not that I'm ashamed of the clapped-out old Rover. I'm just not sure that I could stand the humiliation of leaving it unlocked in central Leeds all weekend and still not having it nicked.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


25 years ago today Stevie Wonder and Macca were at No. 1 with 'Ebony & Ivory'. Lee Holland bought me it but I preferred the Nolans' single which Simon Nicholson brought. It snowed. I had my first snog in our front porch during a game of Postman's Knock.

36 years ago today T Rex were at No 1 with 'Hot Love'. I think that's pretty cool.

Today I am fairly miserable even by my standards. Jack got the wrong date. Dad put the wrong month on the cheque. Kathryn sent me utilitarian plastic flip-flops when I had imagined pretty sequinned ones, my secretaries forgot altogether ( which was actually probably the best thing that happened all day) and I spent most of the day wanting to cry. I shall probably go swimming this evening and see if anyone fancies a game of Postman's Knock in the sauna. Or maybe I shall just boil my head.
You might want to go and check out what was at the top of the charts when you were 11 here. It goes to be much more fun that listening to me moan.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Luck Spreading

Darbster ran the Flora London Marathon again yesterday. He'd have done much better had he tried it today. The course wouldn't have been so crowded with other runners for a start. Or at the start. He might then not have tripped over someone else's ankle, just 2 miles into the race, causing him to fall and get trampled on.
He bravely picked himself up and continued on his way, slightly dazed, bleeding profusely from wounds on his leg, sporting a number of bold trainer footprints on the back of his tee-shirt. He got to 19 miles before a combination of the heat and blood loss caused him to collapse. He was swiftly picked up by St. John's Ambulance who stretchered him, back 500 yards, wiped him down, patched him up, and sent him on his way.
He reached the finish line, having completed 26 miles 885 yards in 5hrs 3mins, about an hour overdue. His previous time might have been significantly quicker but his achievement this year was greater given the circumstances.
Later last night, as he strolled around Trafalgar Square arm in arm with Tracy, it seemed the perfect time to ask her that question he'd been planning for some time. He fumbled in his pocket. He drew out his hand, nervously. He dropped the exquisite ring he'd carefully secreted all the way down in the train. He bent to pick it up, relieved it had not fallen in the fountain or down a drain. He banged his head on the stone rim as he straightened up. It seemed everything was conspiring against him.
Except where it mattered.
She said 'Yes'.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fields of Cold ( Meats and other Antipasti)

I popped into a local corner shop for a pint of milk and loaf of bread after dropping Jack off at his mate's house the other week. It doubles as the Village Post Office. It triples as the deli counter for the Best Restaurant in the North of England.

I waited in line behind a goat farmer who had just won Gold from some Big Cheeses for his Braffords Blue. I felt like Jamie Oliver meeting the producers. Very Penelope Keith.

I came away with milk, albeit from Jersey Cows, bread still warm out of the award-winning oven scented with rosemary and sprinkled with crunchy sea salt, a few Queen olives, marinated artichokes, rib-eye steak, an assortment of cheese and very little change from 40 quid.

It was all delicious, apart from the Norwegian Gjetost which tasted of caramel-flavoured candle wax. I doubt it's available in the States. It wouldn't get past the FDA unless it had a wick in it and 30 hours guaranteed burning time.
The olives, the largest and meatiest I have ever seen or eaten, are 50p each so I won't be treating every houseguest to them.
I've called into the deli a number of times as it is on my route home from work, if I take a particularly circuitous route, double back on myself once or twice and negotiate a few hairpin bends. I am now completely broke and shall have to resort to porridge for the rest of the month. You can be sure I'll be sucking on the olive stones though.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I usually use RAC Routeplanner if I'm travelling to a new destination. Google now offer a similar service which compares favourably.

Don't take my word for it. Try this.

1. go to

2. click on "maps"

3. click on "get directions"

4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)

5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)

6. click on "get directions"

7. scroll down to step #23

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stiff Upper Lip

I had a facial booked on Friday. I was looking forward to the chance to lie in a darkened room having my cheeks stroked with scented unguents. In the event, I offered it to Jack to take his mind off his recent rejection. He readily accepted. He's in touch with his feminine side. I'm not certain it made him feel any better but his skin glowed.

A few days later I found myself lying on a crowded beach. A bulldog was approaching, his face at my level as I rested on my elbows letting the sun soak into my back. He came closer. I didn't attempt to move out of the way. I like animals and they seem to like me. This one was no exception.

As he drew level with me, he gave me the wettest, slurpiest lick with his sand-covered tongue from the tip of my nose, across my sunglasses to my right ear. It wasn't exactly the sort of exfoliation I'd originally planned but a kiss is a kiss. I've got to get them where I can.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Eclectic Easter

I like to do lots of different things, see live performances of all kinds. I often extend this opportunity to friends and family as easy gift options from which I too can take some enjoyment. I've had a hat-trick of treats this week.

It started with a trip up the A1 in full sunshine to watch The Bratz 'Passion 4 Fashion' World Tour, a belated birthday present for my little sister. She's 11. I took 2 of her friends and we had seats at the very front, right next to the catwalk. It was sickly, plasticy pop. They loved it.

A couple of nights later and it was Dad's turn for a birthday treat - The Goodies' Still Rule OK Tour. I took him and one of his little friends. More than 2 of them and they are uncontrollable.

The following night Jack and I enjoyed a Faithless concert. That is, I enjoyed it, Jack endured it having been dumped by his girlfriend at the start of the evening. The next morning I took him up to the East Coast for a few days' recuperation.

Yesterday we were in Scarborough, as was Michael Ball. That was one experience I chose not to inflict upon myself or others.