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The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

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Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Muesli: the eternal disappointment

    There's no really nice brand of mueseli is there? We try to eat it because it's healthy, and alternate brands because we keep thinking that THIS TIME we have found the right one. Alpen is too sugary and powdery, no-sugar Alpen is just powdery, Waitrose own-brand is like pet food, Jordan's has just enough nuts and oats to feel like punishment. We did think that Dorset Cereals, despite that babylike copywriting on the box (why do all brands now feel they have to talk to you like a chummy primary school teacher? It drives me mad) were the answer, but you soon get sick of there being too many big "Chilean Flame" raisins and the fake-fruit flavoured oats.  We've just gone back to Waitrose own-brand (we're a bit skint, credit crunch etc etc) weetabix.

    By the way, when did we reach the point where "raisins" had to be "Chilean Flame"? 



    Gulls of woe

    The seagulls are getting worse. I thought they were supposed to quieten down once the young had come off the nest? Are the young still in the process of leaving? How long can this TAKE, for Christ's sake? Either you can fly, in which case sod off to the seaside, or you cannot, in which case SHUT YOUR FUCKING BEAKS and get exercising your wings. Or alternatively, just go and live on Gok Wan's roof. Why are we protecting such stupid creatures? Surely we would be helping birds evolve if we killed them all? Would anyone really miss them? I bet the puffins and kittiwakes would rejoice!


    Seagulls stole our lives

    We are slightly shattered this morning as we were woken just before five am by daughter, who in turn had been woken by the new blight on our family's lives, ie seagulls. Yes, seagulls. In a city at least 50 miles from the sea. A huge flock of them seems to have nested on our roof, and most if its members (are you a "member" of a flock?) now greets every dawn with a screeching noise like a monster from Dr Who. The noise somehow travels down the chimneys, which course sends dear daughter into a terrified panic which can be settled only with repeated viewing of Peppa Pig. I was livid by 8 am, and told my wife I was going up on the roof to sort them out.

    "Don't be ridiculous," she said. "They'll just fly away, and you'll probably fall through."

    I ignored this possible reference to my weight. "We've got to do take action," I said. "I'll just go and chuck stones at them or something."

    "You can't do that either," she replied. "Seagulls are a protected species. I looked it up on the internet."

    I was speechless. Why the hell do we need to protect seagulls? There are millions of them! (Is everything endangered? Maybe it is, I always glaze over when that sort of thing comes on the television, very bad of me I know, but I do).

    So there we have it. Another Government strike against the people; rights for seagulls. We can only wait in the hope that one day they will go back to the seaside where they belong, and we can sleep past five am. I might just let them have the house, and we'll just go and live on a cliff an have done with it.


    I hate fit people

    I have started going to the gym. For the third time this year. Went on the running machine, which in certain circumstances I can almost enjoy - though not circumstances such as tonight's, which involved a very fit-looking rugbyish bloke and trim, attractive-ish woman coming and going on the machines either side of me. Gah! I was going very slowly compared to them, so made the mistake of increasing speed to a level which I could sustain for about three minutes. Then had to decrease it and look as if this was what I had intended to do all along - but who runs at 7.2 mph for 20 minutes, then 12 mph for 3 minutes, then gets off? Social death. Or did they not notice? Probably too busy thinking about sport, or what protein drink they were going to have when they had finished. Slunk off to the rowing machine then packed it in and went to get changed. (Why do men's changing rooms have that disgusting smell? Is it to do with steroids? It smells like cesspits.)

    Thank heaven for the branch of M&S Food opposite the gym building! Spent several sweaty minutes after my "session" choosing an interesting fruit juice - one of those orange ones with fruit you have never heard of in them - and aimlessly walking about trying to decide if you should eat fruit directly after exercise. (Answer: not at those prices, no).


    Voldemort & My Wife Vs Me

    Me and dear wife and daughter have just come back from a short break in a cottage in Devon (South, which I think is less posh than the North but could be wrong). We took two DVD box sets to watch in the evenings when dear daughter was in bed: a Hitchcock, and the Harry Potter one. I suggested the Hitchcock because I thought it would be a good thing to watch properly all those classic films you're supposed to know about, but in reality have only ever seen the 20 minutes of. When I mentioned it, my wife looked briefly worried and said, well, fine, but can we get something, um, light as well? Like the Harry Potter maybe? Privately wondering if I should have married someone more intellectual (only joking dear), I agreed. 

    As usual, my wife's practicality saved us from evenings of infinite boredom. We only managed Vertigo ("Don't you think this is a bit slow? I mean, honestly?" said my wife after what seemed like three hours). Two others got twenty minutes before we gave up.  I thought Alfred Hitchcock was supposed to be the master of suspense? Everything takes so long that you lose interest, and you can predict the whole plot after the third scene.
    I find Daniel Radcliffe a bit annoying, and I only REALLY like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but these are what we watched.
     My wife said someone should make DVD cabinets for people like me, so I can have the DVDs I think I ought to like showing, with the ones I actually watch hidden. Right as usual. I wonder if you could patent a middle-class DVD cabinet? Anyway, I suggested that Harry Potter DVDs were our guilty pleasure, but she said I was being pretentious, and that her real guilty pleaure was laughing at Emma Watson's rubbish acting. 


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