Sunday, 30 January 2011


The dental profession's preferred way of making your gums bleed.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Coffee for Survival, Coffee for Pleasure

At this time in the morning, the first coffee of the day is about survival, not pleasure. Something to get me through the dark, early hours of Too Early, Too Early.

Later, when my mind is more active, when the sleep is rubbed from my eyes. When the joints are less creaky, the muscles warmer, the blood runs a little hotter - then coffee is about pleasure. A dark, rich brew, glorious.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

An Email from Fiona Robyn

Today, an email newsletter from Fiona Robyn, always a joy. I love the way Fiona writes: with warmth, confidence and a kind of reassuring authority.

To see more of Fiona's writing, read her Writing Our Way Home blog.

Clothes with draw-string hoods

I would like to propose that all clothes with pull-cords and draw-strings - things like hooded tops, for instance - come with a warning label. This label would contain a prominent, cleverly-worded message reminding first-time parents of the dangers of wearing such a garment around a grabby infant.

I realise that such a message might deter first-time parents from buying the clothes, which ain't really brilliant for the clothing manufacturer. But it would be a boon for parents everywhere.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Celebrity Come Dine With Me

A British TV show where dysfunctional minor-celebrity no-hopers with dreary new-build estate homes and over-inflated opinions of their culinary and social skills compete to win a feeble sum of money for charity by hosting dinner parties for the other contestants.

In case you missed the italics, the aspect that makes this a celebrity show - in keeping with most other celebrity versions of television programs - is not the celebrity (or otherwise) of the contestants, but the fact that the prize money is for charity.

Come Dine With Me

A British TV show where dysfunctional no-hopers with over-inflated opinions of their culinary and social skills compete to win a feeble sum of money by hosting dinner parties for the other contestants.

Usually, the least offensive (meaning least interesting) person from the group wins.

The fact that these people are on television should be warning enough that they're not the kind of people that would be fun to have dinner with.

What impresses and depresses me the most about this program is the sheer number of people convinced of their own abilities despite all evidence to the contrary. Every episode, one contestant will proclaim their lack of experience ("I've never done a dinner party before" or "I don't cook desserts").

Monday, 24 January 2011

Wafer Thin Ham - Why Bother?

What's the attraction of wafer-thin ham? It seems miserly. I want thick slabs that I can taste.

I like ham; not that slimy wet stuff that comes from reformed scrapings, recovered from carcasses, mashed and pulped and shaped to look like ham.

The thing is, some people's only experience of ham is those sliced slabs, round-cornered oblongs that fit the packaging (and sandwiches) perfectly. Pigs aren't regular sizes, certainly not oblongs. They have bones and other bits that help them live (and make their ham tastier when cooked). It's all part of the sanitising of meat, moving away from the distasteful fact of having to kill something.

There's something not quite right about that.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Monkey Peeler

...That's a peeler-for-vegetables shaped like a monkey. Not a peeler-for-monkeys.

I'm pretty sure.