I like critisizing things. It's one of my small pleasures in
life. But let it never be said that I am unfair. Praise where praise is
due, and all that. My daughters like critisizing things too. Me mainly.
Goat's Cheese(no points because it's disgusting)
Am I alone in thinking that goat's cheese is the work of Satan? I think not. It tastes like goats, and by that, I mean it tastes like you've gone up to one and licked it's face. Vile.
Antony Gormley's Plinth
Call me biased, but I have to say that I think Antony Gormley's One&Other installation in Trafalgar Square this summer is a superb use of public funding that might otherwise have been spent on boring things like cleaner hospitals.
My First Dictionary
Ever in pursuit of self-improvement and the education of others, I do recommend you take a look at My First Dictionary. It's an excellent source of simple word explanations for younger audiences and has been a boon in my house while teaching small children to read.
(zero stars) Shop Assistants Who Don't Fold Your Purchases Properly
You know the score. You stand there and grit your teeth while some gum-chewing, half-wit shop assistant crumples up the trousers you just bought and stuffs them in a carrier. I have taken to tipping the bag out on the counter in front of them and refolding my purchases myself while huffing and tutting my displeasure.
Next time you're near any self-respecting cocktail bar, (and the ones in the major stores like Hellfridges are usually pretty good), do pull up a stool and order yourself a vodka martini straight up with a twist. Guaranteed to hit you like an oncoming Siberian express. One star deducted because of the increased risk of personal disaster, but hey, live dangerously eh?
First Class Sky Beds
My God, have I had my eyes opened. Thanks to my fabulous friend who owns a handbag empire, I found myself being ushered onto a 747 into the first class cabin on the top bubble bit where there are only about 8 seats. These seats turn into marvelously comfortable beds, complete with crisp cotton linen and a cabin slave who has to bring you anything you want. Fast-forward a 9 hour champagne-induced coma later, and you are woken up with a warm croissant, a mere hour or two away from Bangkok. Bloody fantastic. Sadly, at five grillion pounds per seat, I won't be adding this particular luxury to my regular travel plans.
Long haul flying in coach
Due to some mix-up with my ticket, I found myself relegated to cattle class on the way back from Thailand. It was bloody awful. Thirteen hours stuck in a tin can with some of the ugliest people I have ever seen. Which reminds me, why should I have to pay excess baggage when the person in front of me in the queue is clearly fifteen stones overweight? Was he stopped and forced to pay for his excess fat?
Hessian Carrier Bags
I know this may sound strange, but I have become weirdly attached to my odd collection of hessian grocery bags (of the sort you can pick up in most supermarkets now). I've come over all Greenpeace, and suggest you ditch your plastic carriers and save your soul. Two stars deducted because they make you look at bit of an anorak.
Anglian Water (minus five million points) Well, thanks to that groaning excuse of a public service company, Anglian Water, I could well be dead by the end of tomorrow. If you live in the Anglian Water region, then I suppose you shall have no choice other than to accept their poisonous, effluent-contaminated water supply. I am thinking of switching to Evian, including bathing in it, and sending them the bill.
Dyson Ball Carpet-sucker
The husband went out and bought a new hoover a couple of weeks ago and it's rubbish. Having finally lost my temper and kicked it in, I went off to see those nice retards at Comet and splashed out on a new Dyson Ball. At the risk of sounding like a Stepford wife (which, frankly, is coming closer by the day), it's bloody brilliant. I went for the mini-sized one because it will be easier to pick up and hurl at the husband's head.
ServiceAir's Executive Lounge
Well, I'm sorry, but that's not what I call a luxury airport experience. If you've never been in one of these so-called exclusive airport lounges, you need not trouble yourself that you've missed anything. Sure, you can help yourself to the free self-service bar, but the quality of the coffee is awful (hence my having to improve it with a huge slug of Cointreau at 8am) and the snacks inedible. Still, I filled my handbag with little bags of nuts and individually-wrapped cake slices just in case the in-flight service was even worse.
If you've been feeling a little stressed, or have been overcome with the uncontrollable desire to slip your husband an overdose, do think about taking a holiday in India. As well as the usual Taj Mahal type attractions, the big pull is that you can buy anything you want (pharmaceutical wise) over the counter. And I mean anything. The thing is to try not to break out in a sweat as you bring the list out of your handbag and to try to sound really casual as you start reading out your shopping list of banned substances. My bathroom cabinet is now fully tooled-up will all the stuff you wouldn't like to ask your doctor for.
My sister and I found ourselves sitting in the bar of The Ritz the other night. Don't ask me why. There was a couple in there, possibly American judging by their clothes, sitting next to each other at the table directly opposite the door. They didn't exchange a word. Just sat there with a vacant expression looking like they were about to interview anyone who walked in. Most strange. Anyway - moving swiftly on - let's hear it for the Ritz Mojito. It's the usual evil blend of lighter fluid and fresh mint leaves over crushed ice, only this time topped up with champagne. So we had a couple of those and went to Tower Records to hang around singing along to the piped music until we were thrown out. Well, you have to take your entertainment wherever you can get it these days, don't you?
Easyjet (no stars, because they are completely shite)
Now, I am fully aware that anyone who flies with Easyjet gets everything they deserve, but in this case I had no choice. My flight back from Barcelona was not only delayed for 3 hours, but no-one actually bothered to tell the passengers until we were at the departure gate, unable to get back to the lounge areas. Of course, there were no staff, no refreshments, and no information. Then the flight was delayed some more. When we finally got on board, somebody dared to say to Richard the cabin boy that the service just wasn't good enough. The little cabin crew upstart sneered at the paying passenger and told him that he was lucky to be going home that day at all.
Now, this really is a boon. As well as lying around all day watching TV, I can now catch up on all those programmes I missed during the evening while pretending to do the ironing. If you're sneaky about it, you could even get away with it at work provided you pop in a pair of little earwig thingies and leave a worky-looking window open on your desktop. Go on, give it a bash. It's about time all this technology was channeled into something useful. I have deducted one star because some of the programmes are appallingly bad - but hey, that's democracy for you.
Bloody marvellous. We're talking the full enchilada POM variety, rather than those namby-pamby herbal things you get over the counter. Had it not been for my secret stash during that ghastly canal boat fiasco, I'm not sure that I would have survived. The so-called 'double berth' turned out to be a three inch campsite table that doubled as a bed. I was mysteriously unconscious for my full 8-hour quota while everyone else tried to sleep crumpled into a cupboard.
My Christmas Presents This Year
What a complete load of old crap. Why am I surprised? Beats me. One point awarded because at least I had something to open, unlike The Mother Of My Godawful Sons, who didn't get a single present from her husband or any of her three sons. I would have killed the lot of them with my bare hands.
Rubbish. Burn the lot of them. One star generously awarded because at least they keep a handful of carbon-neutral anoraks out of the way.
The AA(the car people, rather than the heavy drinkers' club)
I've had to call the AA out not once but twice in the last 5 days. On Friday I was driving around wondering what that strange flapping noise was. Got home and noticed that I had a flat. Been cruising around all day with it. AA man was very nice, but a bit old and ugly. Jumped in the car this morning to do the school run. The CD player had been left on all night so all I got when I tried to start the engine was groan of complaint. Cue AA man number two, who was equally mature around the hairline. He gave me a jump start with his special prongs. I love the AA because it means I don't have to ask my husband for any help, although next time I will demand that they send someone a bit younger.
I'm having a Biscuit Frenzy Phase. It's been going on for a few weeks now. Straight in at number one in the current biscuit charts is Chocolate & Hazelnut Boasters. My only criticism is that you only get about 6 in a packet. This unacceptable level of snack meanness has cost them a star. Firm, but fair.
Builders Who Don't Clean Up After Themselves(nil points)
My house looks like Hurricane Katrina just passed through. Bloody, bloody bastards, is all I can say.
Not bad, if you like that sort of thing. Popped in today to grab some BOGOFs and feel thrifty and heard that great unwashed hair anthem, Since You've Been Gone by Rainbow, followed by a bit of Spirit In The Sky which was rudely interrupted by a bing-bong announcement that Asda Extra Value white rats-won't-eat-it bread is on offer and can be found near the door.
Have you any idea how bad your photo is going to look when you renew your passport? Well, trust me. They don't stick the picture in any more. It's a really bad quality scan of the awful one that you sent them in the first place.
Widely available in a shop near you, wine used to be the reserve of posh folk when I was a nipper. Just goes to show the kind of household I was dragged up in.
Traffic Wardens(nil points, not that they can count)
Blind. All of them.
Just as you feel your brain activity levels returning to normal, the children suddenly refuse to get out of bed and go to school, claiming that it's the holidays again. Is it really necessary for them to have so much time off? I think not. This is just one of those enormous scams perpetrated by lazy teachers who can't be bothered to work for more than a few days at a time. The only tiny compensation is that I don't have to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning to referee rivers-of-blood arguments over the hair straighteners and do the school run.
Trains(minus five grillion points)
Yes, yes, I fully realise that living out in the countryside is my own stupid fault. I've had to drag myself to London twice this week, and both times I've not been able to get back thanks to those incompetent arseholes in charge of the nations trains. On Wednesday, a peanut M&M was discovered on the tracks and all trains were cancelled. It took me over 3 hours to get home. I could have walked it quicker. Still seething from this outrage, I had the same experience this morning. Several hundred orange-jacketed workmen had gathered around the M&M and decided they needed a specialist from MI5 to come and check it wasn't one of those newfangled micro atom bombs. To add insult to injury, I was then forced to get on a coach with some old people.
I have a marvellous one in my bedroom. It's an absolute boon. Turn the heating off in the rest of the house to save money towards a facelift and let the family freeze while you lounge around on the bed in something wafty reading a trashy novel. (PS: I have since been advised that fan heaters extract all the moisture from your room/skin/eyes and, with constant use, will leave you looking like a lizard in less than a year. So that's what did it...)
Traffic Police(who should all be shot)
If I am not very much mistaken, I have just been done for speeding by a camouflaged police vehicle hiding around the first bend within the 30 limit in the next village. Have these pathetic plodders nothing better to do? Should they not be out catching violent criminals and burglars? Oh, silly me, of course not. They are unable to slap an immediate tax on them, are they?
Did you see the lunar eclipse on Saturday night? How's that for a bit of spectacle? I was having a dinner party with a nice group of local drunks and dragged everyone outside when the action started. If you missed it, the moon turned into a great big orange christmas pudding with snow on the top. (As you can see, I'm after Patrick Moore's job when he goes off to the great observatory in the sky.)
I am surrounded by workmen today, as yesterday. The noise is unbelievable. The mess worse. They don't like speaking to a woman and eye me suspiciously if I dare to mention that there's water coursing down the walls of the sitting room while they hammer another nail into another pipe. Someone yells 'turn the effing water off, Dave,' then they go and turn it back on because the kettle's empty. I hear that Poland has turned out the world's next generation of plumbers. I like the Poles (although, in thruth, I have only known 3 well). I wonder if they have a module in plumbing school where you learn to stand around smoking fags and moaning about not getting enough tea? You'll notice I've awarded one star because I'm feeling generous.
Waitrose's new range
Waitrose have a new range of ridiculously expensive ready meals. Things like 'open salmon ravioli' and stuff like that. I decided to stock up and take a week off cooking. Big mistake. The whole lot went in the bin. I feel cheated and may have to seek revenge.
I was forced to take one of the teenagers to see the new Huge Grant film yesterday. It was so cringe-worthy that it made my hairs stand on end. If you enjoy watching hideously embarrassing performances, do rush to your local cinema. You will not be disappointed. (Note: at the time of writing, the film was that fully-basted turkey, Music & Lyrics.)
New Years Resolutions
What a complete and utter waste of time. Why should I subject myself to additional self-inflicted persecution just because there's a new number at the end of the date? Besides, my kids love it that I smoke, drink and indulge in various risky hobbies. As far as they're concerned, the quicker I die the better.
I have to say that I am very impressed indeed with this fabulous DVD rental service. Things got a bit touch and go when they 'improved' their website recently, but hey, let's face it, it was probably a man's idea.
Marks & Spencer(nil points)
This is not a food advertisement. It is a very annoying M&S food advertisement.
Yes, my top of the list of fantastic things at the moment (October) is conkers. They're out now. They're free. And they do a lot more to make you feel younger than a pot of expensive face cream. Tip for today, find a conker tree (big thing, small land mines dangling from branches), get yourself a nice big lump of branch and sling it up there. Pull a conker out of its husk and have yourself an all time great experience. Hurry while stocks last.
I'm A Nonentity Get Me Out Of Here
Is anybody actually watching this drivel? Who are these people? I tried to get an explanation out of one of the teenagers who assured me that there a literally dozens of fans who tune in each day.
Talk Talk/Carphone Warehouse(minus five million points)
No need for me to say much here except how much I loathe everything to do with them. My tip: stay well away.
WARNING: Cinnamon Grahams are lethal. I accidentally ate a whole box of them yesterday while watching Judge Judy.
NEWSFLASH: £25 MILLION UP FOR GRABS. I have to share with you that I've cracked the problem of global warming and am about to ring Sir Richard Branston and claim the prize. All we have to do is kill all men (saving Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Torro and George Clooney for reproduction purposes). They're the ones that start wars, drive aeroplanes and buy big cars. I will spend the £25 million prize money on shoes and nail varnish.