Reassessing Jim Davidson
Why give him the oxygen of publicity?
Tweeting about Japan
Writing ‘sad face’ emoticon is not the same as a Red Cross donation
Any know the correct eggs-for-family/ eggs-for-self ratio?
‘Thanks in advance’ sign-offs
Most grating aspect of the round-robin work email
Emails starting ‘Hey [Your name]’
Even worse than ‘Thanks in advance’
ASDA launches singles site
Talk about a cheap date
Our ‘Third World Roads’
Potholes.co.uk says UK roads 39 percent worse than 2009. Who knew there was a potholes.co.uk?
Now charging £5 fines every time you go overdrawn, even with a pre-arranged overdraft. So what’s the point?
Poetry chosen to inspire the London 2012 athletes
You don’t get that at The Super Bowl
Presenting something called Fashion Police, apparently. The nerve of the girl
The Ideal Home Show is responsible for launching the microwave (1947 since you ask), and (in the 1950s) the first fitted kitchen. That was back in the days when the Queen used to come. This year the Home of the Future contained inhalable vitamins (with the dubious name of Le Whif), taps that dispense fizzy water, scales that tweet your weight, and a bath with built in tv and fridge.
Otherwise the show remains a reassuringly familiar (I mean, innovative products are great, but we wouldn’t want our homes to be too radical would we?). The star attraction, the Show Homes, are Victorian (the Coronation Street House), Georgian vernacular (The Prince’s Foundation house) and Scandinavian log kit (the Open Plan Living house). Nothing by Zaha Hadid then.
There’s plenty of middle class porn to be had – Little Greene paints, locally made chorizo from Bath Pig, brightly coloured garden cushions, garra rufa fish pedicures at £10 a nibble… and a certain amount of horror – gaudy new grandfather clocks (surely any self-respecting middle classer will have either inherited their grandfather clock or picked it up form that nice antique dealer in the Suffolk village where they have their holiday house), ornate ceramic candlesticks (all handmade! the stallholder chirps, as if this somehow gives them artisanal status); outdoor hot tubs larger than the average London living room; and chunky marble and chrome furniture quite similar to some sold in the shop at the top of the Walworth Road.
Sadly, the homewares demos for which Ideal Home was once famed (back when women took housework seriously) are now relegated to the darkest recesses of Earls Court. In a corner of the Ideal Home Show that time and TV makeover shows forgot, regional door-to-door sales men (and the occasionally woman) cling to the hope that someone might buy one of their high performance mops, plastic sushi makers, miracle cleaning agents, or labour-saving salad choppers. If someone had been demonstrating a SodaStream, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
It’s easy to loose a whole day wandering the aisles, and not just because it takes so long to find the escalator to the upper level and then back down. But there’s only so many times in a day that you can hear the phrase ‘a carpet really dresses a house’ or ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’ without wanting to drown Linda Barker in a vat of muted-hue lead-free paint or smother her with own scatter cushions. I probably exited just in time.
Last night as I busily absorbed last week’s Dream School, so I could watch it tonight ‘real time’ and participate in the office chat tomorrow it struck me that bar the benefit of zero adverts, I wasn’t quite enjoying it as much as I would have had I known it was ‘live’. In fact I wasn’t enjoying it at all. Basically I was watching it to feel like I had caught up, and to feel ready to talk about it the next morning at work, and that made it feel like a chore.
I enjoyed the little bits that showed “what a decent guy that Rankin is” (half interesting to others six days ago, now redundant as a conversation piece), but generally felt that I just wanted to get through it so I could go to bed, safe in the knowledge that I was ready for Jamie today.
I wouldn’t mind but a few weekends ago I spent the entire weekend sucking up six episodes of Episodes so I could join everyone for the finale, in the vain hope that I could make a contribution to the next day’s chit-chat. I’m actually beginning to feel like my entire life has become like a modern version of Mike Reid’s dreadful Runaround programme, jumping around in a big pack hoping you’ve caught the right show. Except that I’m 42 years old.
So that’s it – I’m coming off the hamster wheel, and all attempts to be ‘relevant’. People can now catch up with me should they wish. Oh yes, I’m going to be living life live from now on. But just before I do, I’ve just been told last nights Lilly Allen’s Riches to Rags was “un-missable”.