Saturday, 5 June 2010

If this is news, then I'm a banana

I have always felt it important that we support our local newspapers, because if we don't, they'll die out but frankly, after reading a particular non-story in my local newspaper I'm starting to wonder if that is entirely a bad thing.

"Banana Drama For Irma" announces the headline, playing fast and loose with the meaning of the word drama. Goodness me, thinks the reader. What drama can this be? Let us read on, our admiration for the poor sod sent to interview Irma growing by every paragraph.

Irma said she was given the oddly shaped fruit after eating dinner one night at her residential home.

"I said, 'Oh, I've got a straight banana! I thought it was a joke," she explained.

I'm saying nothing about a 90 year old woman thinking it possible that someone, somewhere has "straightened" her banana as a joke. Yesterday I wandered around the house for 20 minutes looking for my specs, and only found them when I caught (blurry) sight of myself in a mirror and saw they were perched on my head. Ahem.

Meanwhile, the gripping drama of the straight banana continues. Are there any more details the dogged reporter can winkle out of Irma? How, for example, had Irma come across the straight banana? "Instead of the usual pudding I asked for fruit," she explains. Ah yes, how often we have done this ourselves. Well, I haven't, I don't live in an old people's home, but let's not get bogged down in piffling detail.

But what's this? The banana, it transpires, has changed. Our eager reporter is desperate for more details and Irma is only too happy to provide them. "It was a beautiful yellow to start with, but after a while it started to go brown." Alas, we are not told which shade of brown, a tragic oversight in my opinion.

Naturally, the reporter wishes to end this enthralling tale on a positive note. What will be the fate of the straight banana? Will it, perhaps, be preserved in a fruit museum, possibly in a tank of formaldehyde? Or studded with diamonds and sold to a very wealthy, straight banana collector?

Irma is keen to bring us down to earth. "If I can't do anything else, I will eat it," she announces, showing the kind of Churchillian spirit that made this country what it is today, that is, a place where people will eat brown, straight bananas.

How the mother of crap is this a story?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Milk, Actually

One of the great bonuses of Twitter are the internet gems fellow tweeters unearth.

Today, the sharp eyes of @victoriapeckham spotted this bit of lunacy (or upownarseitis, a doctor writes)

For those lazy sods who can't be bothered to read it all, in essence, Livia Firth, wife of British actor Colin, has a blog, courtesy of Apparently our Livia is keen on sourcing ethical garments and even keener on the exclamation mark, thus:

"With hours to go until the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, you’ll be relieved to know that I have settled on a dress! With a whole rail of great LA green designers, who should I choose for the second red carpet?!

I'm going for US designer Casey Larkin’s label, Mr Larkin. And the big story is: it’s made from milk fibre!

See how far I’ve come?!"

Yes Livia, indeed we can and I think I speak for all of us when I say how much we are all looking forward to Mr Larkin moving even further into the milk fashion arena and developing yoghurt g-strings and cheese shirts.

But wait! What is this I see? Why, 'tis an "exclusive interview" with non other than Miss Milkmaid 2010, Livia Firth! (Sorry, over-use of exclamation marks is catching).

Our keen interviewer, "greenmystyle" editor Sarah Woodhead, is clearly overcome with admiration simply to be in such a green luminary's presence. Oh good Lord, there's more of them.

"What happens when four influential and passionate women get together to chat ethical fashion and homewares?" she inquires, tense with anticipation. "The answer is a brand new shopping idea, of course!" (Sarah is also a fan of the exclamation mark.)

This shopping idea is 12 Degrees Of Fashion, a "buzzy new pop-up shop concept devoted to ethical fashion. "With a different pop-up fashion shop arriving every month for a year, and workshops too," says a breathless Sarah, "Livia, along with eco fashion doyennes Orsola de Castro, Lucy Siegle and Jocelyn Whipple, is one busy lady."

Isn't Jocelyn Whipple just the BEST name ever?

The rest of the interview is just a load of ethical old horsesh*t (which is green if nothing else) apart from her throwaway remark when asked what she's wearing. She name drops a couple of designers and then says "and my boots, which are not from an ethical designer but I’ve had them for five years..."

Livia's ethical credentials are thus shown to have feet of clay, albeit shod in five year old boots.

As you may recall from previous blog posts, I'm no lover of Shane Watson but I reckon Livia Firth could give her a run for her money.

Here's the best bit:

"Sarah: Livia, your life must be hectic. How do you manage to fit it all in? Does Colin help?
Livia: My life is hectic yes but this is my personality and I can’t help it. Colin? who is Colin?!"

No woman should be defined by the man she is married to, but for Livia, I shall make an exception and say to her, look love, your husband is the reason anyone gives even the most infinitesimal toss about you and your banana milkshake trousers.

Anyway, I must get on. I need to ring four passionate - not too sure about the influential - women and get them round to my house, pronto. We're going to come up with a shop "idea". Any suggestions?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Holy Sh*t

In my determined quest to stop the puppy widdling in the house, I have started taking him for longer and longer walks so that he will only pee outside. The puppy has got wise to this and manages to walk for at least an hour and a half, clenching his bladder heroically in order to save his watery messages for his return to the house.

I also read somewhere (gosh, aren't I thorough in my research) that walking a dog on the pavement is the best way to keep his claws at a reasonable length, preventing them strafing my thighs when he jumps up to greet me in the mornings.

To achieve these twin aims, this morning the hound and I walked around the streets of a not particularly nice part of Harrogate, as I am bored with walking around the best streets and planning which house I shall buy when I win Euro Millions (any day now, I am certain).

What an eye-opener, not to say nose closer. The streets were a veritable cesspit of dog mess. Numerous piles of rancid coils in varying states of spludgy decay decorated every pavement - forcing me to stop listening to The Archers Omnibus at the crucial moment when Brenda learns she hasn't been offered an interview for the job of Office Manager but Susan has - and instead concentrate on performing a kind of poo slalom.

Every coat I possess has at least two poo bags in each pocket. This has certainly proved interesting when groping for shopping bags in Lidl ("you'll never fit everything into that", said a particularly arch checkout operator yesterday) but if I can do it, why can't everyone else? It's not pleasant but it's an essential part of the responsibility of being a dog owner. Admittedly, some of the bowel movements left on the asphalt gave rise to the possibility that some Harrogate residents have eschewed the dog as a domestic pet and have instead chosen to go down the elephant route, but really. It's repulsive.

When I walk through the town's beautiful Valley Gardens, which is full of dog walkers by the way, there is not a single fetid deposit to be found. When I walk around the posh to middling bits of Harrogate, ditto. I am simply presenting these facts, I am not making any comment. I am only asking: why?