Tag Archives: newspapers

Would (Not) Like To Meet…

would like to meetTo cheer myself up at the weekends, I read the dating columns in the newspapers, especially the upmarket ones.

I also chortle over the birth announcements in The Times: Oscar-Theodore Chummingly-Wallop, a brother for Broccoli-Cressida and Seraphina-Arabella has a different ring to it than Kev, a brother for Chelsee and Kaycee.

My least favourite dating advert is the one that starts, ‘my secretary said, don’t mention the distant travel, restaurants and fine hotels, just say you are kind and successful and seeking a younger lady up to the age of 40.’

What decade is this guy living in? I bet he also loves Mad Men, where women knew their place and how to mix a mean Martini with a twist, whilst whipping up a three-course dinner when hubby’s boss unexpectedly invites himself to dinner.

I love the show-offs – the ‘Cambridge University educated gentleman, 70’s’ (get over yourself dear, you graduated half a century ago), ‘London or Paris, loves jazz’ (bless him, he went on a Eurostar day trip years ago) and ‘ohac, 80’ (honestly, I would hope he’d have his own home and car at that age).

Then there are the downright odd. ‘Attractive, professional businessman, lives near cliffs’. I’d be worried. ‘Divorced, 63, own teeth and hair, with no beard or tattoos or earrings but a gsoh’. There are no words.

There’re also the ‘humorous’ ones – ‘Detached and desirable and much sought after luxury property. All mod cons, in full working order, circa 1950’s. Early viewing essential!’ Gosh, I bet he’s a right barrel of laughs.

I have learned that most of the men go to the theatre and enjoy good food. Does anyone enjoy bad food? The majority of them are looking for someone slim and younger than they are. They like golf and classic cars and seem to be solvent, apart from the man who boldly states that ‘I believe the best things in life are free’. Ladies, steer clear.

To be fair, I have also ‘written’ my own advert – ‘Single, divorced parent to a sulky Teenager and bonkers cat, late 30’s. Tall, has MS’. I bet I’d be inundated…

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About as Useless as a…

One of the best things about the weekend newspapers are those ‘innovation’ catalogues that fall out of them. You know, the ones with all those amazing items you can’t believe you’ve lived a whole lifetime without.

I must be getting older (can’t blame everything on the MS) as my ritual now is to make a nice cup of tea, choose a biscuit, settle on the sofa and jot down all the things that will make my life so much easier and more fulfilling. Here’s my latest list:

  1. Hands-free vegetable and fruit peeler – which, they say,will be the envy of my dinner party guests. That’ll make for an exciting party then, eh?
  2. A traditional barometer in classic brass and mahogany. Measures atmospheric pressure in millibars and hect-pascals. A grateful customer is quoted, ‘invaluable as it lets me know whether I need a cardigan or coat whilst gardening’. Lovely.
  3. A mop that spins itself dry! Comes with foot pump and centrifugal spinning system. They promise that once I use it, I will never want another mop!
  4. A foot stool with floral padded cushion that even stores my telly remotes. With four lockable castors, it’s not available in the shops!

If I order now, I can choose a free LED torch and if I spend over £30, I can claim a set of 2 ceramic potato bakers for just £2.99. Will I place my order? Um, no. I can peel my vegetables just fine, I check my weather app every day, the remote lives on the sofa arm and I don’t have space for a huge mop bucket. Even if it is centrifugal.

But I will still write up a new list, next weekend, just for the fun of it.


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I kid you not

MS has made me more adventurous and given me a desire to ‘try new things’. I’m not sure why, perhaps a case of, what have I got to lose? I have an ongoing list of new things to try, more often added to than attempted. Yesterday, I set out to change this. Every weekend I buy a small child’s height of newspapers and every weekend I read the recipe pages, scanning through the ingredients, the cooking methods, the time taken, think, ‘hmm, that sounds nice’ and quickly turn the page, berating myself for not exposing The Teenager to more exotic food. But yesterday, I promised myself that I would try out the first recipe I came across. Perhaps I should have read The Mail on Saturday first (Jamie’s 15 minute meals – desserts this week, darn it), but I picked up The Guardian as I always turn to the ‘Blind Date’ article – living vicariously.

The divine Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is leaning casually against his Aga, pots hanging from a driftwood rack behind him. He asks, ‘why don’t we eat more goat?’ Oh. Um, because the local Co-op doesn’t stock it? But in the spirit of adventure, I read on. Perhaps Waitrose have it. Or that obscure butcher I always mean to visit (another tick on ‘try new things’ list!). First ingredient is hay. This is not going well. Helpfully though, Hugh suggests that if I don’t know a farmer, I can always buy small packs of it from a pet shop. Ok, quick visit to Pets At Home too, then.

So, assuming I have my goat and my hay, the next thing I have to do is to soak the hay in a bucket, then drain. I don’t have a bucket, long story. Quick trip to the hardware store too then, Hugh? Nope. Take the goat, the hay and the bucket off my shopping list, scribble down chops, potatoes and veg. Maybe try again next week, but for now, reading the recipe was adventurous enough for me.

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