Jade Goody

I wasn’t going to mention Jade Goody; but now I am.

A year ago her name meant nothing to me.

I’ve never watched Big Brother. Somebody told me she became a millionaire by being thick. There’s hope for us all, I thought.

Then she’d made racist comments about an Indian actress. That’s all I knew about her. I had never read, watched or listened to anything about her.

Now she’s dying a horrible death in a blaze of almost unavoidable publicity. It seems that every journalist has an opinion about how she is, or should be, preparing for the end. I’ve even read messages of hate directed at her.

I’m not a journalist, but I’d like to express my opinion anyway.

She is displaying great courage and trying to secure a decent future for her children while she still has time. It’s her party and she’ll die how she wants to. It’s a cert that she wouldn’t have elected to do so at such a young age,  nor in such a painful way.

How can anybody feel they have the right to criticise her choice of exit?

There, now I’ve written about Jade Goody.

What is the point of Jeremy Clarkson?

There was a time I found Jeremy Clarkson funny. But that was long ago. Wather like Wossie he seems to have lost the plot, carried away with his own sense of supreme importance. Perhaps it’s something in the BBC coffee that afflicts them, causing terminal enlargement of the ego.

The wide-eyed boyish wonder is beginning to seem rather overdone; after all, he’s almost 50. I detect an air of “trying too hard”, like those ladies who still wear mini-skirts and glitter when they really shouldn’t.

Was Clarkson always so negative, and did I just not notice? No doubt many millions of people would agree that Gordon Brown is an idiot. That is his own choice. Losing an eye wasn’t, and it was pretty unsporting of Clarkson to refer to it, IMVHO; but personally offensive remarks seem to have become his trademark.

His opinion on vegans? “Eating a plate of food that contains no animal product of any kind marks you down as a squirrel.” More recently, on one of his (again, IMVO) rather-too-frequent television appearances, Jeremy likened vegetarians to losers.  Now, although I’m a vegetarian (who very occasionally eats fish), I am not of the extremist variety, and have no interest in the eating habits of any other person, nor judge any group of people based on their diet.

Possibly his controversial comments are tongue-in-cheek (I’m giving him the benefit of doubt here), and just a tactic to draw  attention to himself, but wouldn’t it be far more fun if he did so in a positive way?

For example, could he out-run, or out-long-jump vegan Carl Lewis, holder of 9 Olympic gold medals? Lewis is a year younger, so let’s give Jeremy a head start. Carl of course is retired now, but how about Jeremy contacts him and challenges him to a public contest?

Or perhaps Martina Navratilova, 18 Grand Slams, could be persuaded to play a few sets? A few years older than Jeremy, but let’s ignore that and tie one of her hands behind her back to give Jeremy a sporting chance.

Could he ever be as funny and greatly loved as Spike Milligan?

Would he rate his intellect on the same level as Leonardo da Vinci or Isaac Newton?

Could he write a better novel than Franz Kafka?

Could he sell as many records as Paul McCartney?

Could he survive day in the life of Fiona Oakes, and then run a marathon in less than 2 hours 38 minutes (with no kneecaps)? Oh, perhaps they could race each other in fire trucks and see who wins? (Has to include rescuing people from burning buildings too.)

Actually, what can this meat-eating, frizzy-headed character do better than anybody else?

Can Clarkson compete with Paxman in the eyebrow raising stakes? And while we’re thinking about Jeremys, let’s consider which one most women would throw their knickers at – Clarkson or Paxman (I know the latter isn’t a vegetarian or vegan, but as I said, I don’t distinguish people by their eating habits).

Come on, Jeremy  let’s see what you’re really made of. You’re listed as a patron of Help for Heroes, so how about raising some funds for them by putting yourself on the line and doing something positive? Now that would make interesting television.

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Wrong reaction

We have a bunch of friends coming for dinner tonight. I usually like to have a whole clear day to prepare for events as my cooking can be a bit hit and miss, and if I start in good time and everything goes wrong, there’s time to rectify it. Yesterday, my diary was clear for today.

Then late yesterday afternoon we had a phone call, the outcome of which was spending the entire morning today doing something unavoidable, and by the time we had finished doing it most of the shops were closed. I managed to get all the ingredients, nevertheless, except for the parsley. Back home it was almost 2.00 pm before we had unpacked the shopping, and while I made a start TOH was despatched to find the parsley, which involved a round trip of nearly 20 miles.

Just as he returned triumphant, and I could really get going, unexpected visitors turned up, French friends we have not seen for over a year.

Now five hours behind myself, my instant reaction to this surprise was extreme exasperation. Then they told us that they were very distressed and depressed, because their dog, around whom their life has absolutely revolved for the last 14 years, is dying of cancer. For months they haven’t been out or wanted to see anybody, but this afternoon they had decided, on the spur of the moment, to visit us.

Suddenly, I felt very humbled, and privileged.

The Laughing Cow

You might think that a nation of food snobs 😉  would turn up their noses at mass-produced processed cheese, but not a bit of it. The shiny little foil-wrapped wedges of La Vache Qui Rit cheese are as massively popular in their homeland as they are in such seemingly unlikely places as Vietnam, China and the Middle East.

Photo courtesy of http://jerle.free.fr/blog/index.php/

But why The Laughing Cow – La Vache Qui Rit? I learned the answer from a French friend yesterday: It’s a play on the name of the French meat wagons during WWI  – “Wachkyrie”, which itself was a play on the German “Valkyrie”.

And well may she laugh. According to the manufacturer’s website, 7,500 wedges of the cheese are eaten every minute.


What is it about the sight and sound of a flock of cranes or geese that ALWAYS makes me cry?

Last night, at dusk, plaintive honking made me look up as I came home from walking the dogs. At first I couldn’t see anything, but after a few moments between 100 and 150 geese appeared almost overhead, flying in their distinctive V-shape that kept changing, and heading north-east.

I tried really hard, but just could not stop the tears flowing and the lump bobbing around in my throat. Silly, isn’t it?