Friday, 18 December 2009

A ponder

I was in Smiths yesterday and behind the tills they had loads of Christmas cards up, you know, like you would at home.

Who sends them? I certainly don't send cards to shops and I am Ms Christmas!


That is all.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I am well known for being blonde. Despite having a three A Levels and a 2.1 degree in Linguistics I routinely produce incredibly stupid remakes and even stupider actions.

This one seems to take the biscuit:

Last week S and I had a roast chicken. I decided to keep the bones and make a homemade chicken stock a la the domestic goddess I strive to be.

So I did, I painstakingly chopped various vegetables and then boiled them up with the chicken bones, I carefully seasoned with salt and pepper then with rosemary, parsley and thyme. I lovingly skimmed the mixture then left it to simmer, checking every 15 minutes or so, reskimming it every half hour.
Finally, after four hours, it was ready, it was clear in colour with a slight amber tint, just like Jamie Oliver said it would be.

I carefully carried the pan to the side, got out my sieve and drained the mix. Down the sink.

Dumbfounded I stared at my sieve full of bones and soggy vegetables, blinking back the tears while my delicious stock happily made its way through the drain.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

What a swell party this is!!

I want to hate this advert - I really do. I want to loathe it and make witty comments about them choking on their duck rolls and chocolate coated strawberries.

But I can't. I just can't.

It's like hating the class dunce: he's probably trying his heart out and he'd never be cruel or unkind to anyone. Simply, it's not his fault he's thick as soup. When you get Coleen Nolan and Jason Donovan - two people who haven't been famous for over 100 years - representing your brand singing "What a swell party this is" very badly, you can hardly be accused of any meanness.

Donovan sounds like he's never actually held a note in his life and Nolan has surely only been selected as the jolly, big-bosomed, yo-yoing replacement for the hapless Kerry Katona.

Iceland seems to have made a virtue out of being cheap and cheerful - or cheap and nasty if you take into account their inexpensive frozen fodder (I'm sorry, £5 for an entire platter of prawns!!) - and that's exactly what this advert is: The thick kid in the class.

All the high tech, popular kids would look down at it, the I-phone advert would sneer at it; the American Airlines advert would look down its nose at it; and Peter Jones would kick it as he skated past on his stupid shopping trolly.

But it's so hopeless I can't find it in my heart to hate it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The funky name tag

My rock star name (first pet and current car): Flipflip None

My gangsta name (favourite chocolate bar and favourite cookie): Caramel Chocolate Chip

My detective name (favourite color and favourite animal): Pink Tiger [Detective deshmective, that's a rad name all around]

My Star Wars name (first three letters of first name and first two letters of surname then the word 'of' then a medication you are on): Livke of Vitamin C [I'm not technically 'on' Vitamin C, but it's the only thing I take with any regularity]

My superhero name (2nd favourite colour and favourite drink with 'The' in front): The Green Water [yeah, the bad guys would be totally intimidated by someone named The Green Water?]

My Racing Car Driver name (first names of your grandfathers): Leslie Gordon [That is an AWESOME racing car driver name]

My stripper name [I've always needed one of those] (name of your favourite perfume/cologne and your favourite sweets): Miss Sixty Starburst

My witness-protection name (mother's and father's middle names): Ann [my dad is middlenameless, come to think of it, Ann is a pretty great witness protection name.]

Thursday, 3 December 2009

For the love of boobies*

Recently I was talking to friends about moral issues (oh yes people, it is going to be one of those posts – but it is a VERY important one so shut up and read on!), I shared one of my most thought provoking issues. It is an issue I battle with constantly, having known of it for a long time but being unable to commit to fighting it fully. I was fired up about it and my friends caught fire as well, fairly quickly.

What followed was a months-long delving into some of the saddest stories you'll ever hear.

In third-world countries, where advertising code standards are loosely or not-at-all observed, formula companies exploit the ignorance and desperation of women. Doctors and nurses are paid commissions to hand out samples of baby formula and press new mothers to use it in place of breast milk. They tell them that formula is better for their babies than their breast milk could ever be, that, if they loved their babies, they would buy the expensive formula packs. The women either buy completely into the wretched idea that formula is superior to what their bodies produce, or they use the samples just long enough that their own breast milk dries up. And then they're stuck, dependent on expensive powdered formula.

We found pictures of babies who starved to death because their mothers couldn't afford enough of the pricey formula and diluted it. Other babies became sick after being fed formula mixed with bad water, or drinking from unsterilized bottles. One woman who had twins was told her body would only produce enough breast milk for one baby, so she fed the other formula. The breastfed baby thrived; the formula-fed baby starved.

Admittedly I'm fairly easy to rile, but there are few things in my life that have sickened or angered me more than this. The ONE THING these mamas can do for their babies is being taken from them.

The scariest statistic: The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 million babies who die annually because of nutrition and health issues would NOT die if their mothers exclusively breastfed them to the age of 6 months and continued to breastfeed thereafter.

Dead babies, people. Dead babies can't be ignored.

So I have joined
the boycott of one of the leading offenders, Nestlé. As much as I love Shreddies and Toffee Crisps, I love women and babies more. It would be fabby fantastic if you joined me - it's not asking much to pass over the Buxton water (yep, Nestlé own them) and get the Evian or the Malvern instead, is it?

Although I give you all plenty of credit to understand this without me saying it, I will clarify that this isn't a hate-on-all-formula campaign we're waging. Formula has its place. It is the best substitute for breast milk that exists, and when used safely, cleanly, and as directed, it does not kill babies. Babies are killed by disease and malnutrition. Babies are killed when women who can't afford formula and/or do not have access to clean water are convinced by greedy, shameless people not to trust their own bodies.

And that is something I cannot and will not endorse.

*Also, the title is one that I suggested if we were to start a petition. But apparently that would not be appropriate so I have used it here instead, to lighten the tone a bit.