Sunday, 25 November 2007

My Day Out at the Yoga Show

Yes, I've been allowed out!

On Friday I treated myself to a visit to the Yoga Show at Olympia. Not to be confused with Erotica 07, for which the ticket touts were out in force.

I was all prepared, having perused the list of exhibitors in advance as I had to be back for the school run later in the afternoon. I visited every stand, and bought the following:

support vest top from Yamarama - had my eye on one for ages! Of course, I had to promise my daughters that I would only wear it under at least 3 tops as I am far too old and fat to show it off.
mat bag for £5
yoga pose picture cards for children
a pair of elephants with trunks raised for a friend in Italy as she collects them
a yoga against osteoporosis book for a friend

The demos were interesting - the first was a yoga teacher/comedian demonstrating Yoga for Geezers - how builders can incorporate yoga poses into their everyday lives. He was very good and an absolute hoot. Then there was the legendary Duncan Wong who gave a master class on the cat pose. Not the Duncan Wong who took my daughter's tonsils out.

I also visited the yoga for children stands where I opened up to earnest women keen to bendify my children. I gave my yoga teacher's number away to a woman who claimed to have taught him. I became increasingly upset and demoralised at being in a big room with hundreds of bendy people who all looked fantastic while I could earn good money as a Waynetta Slob impersonator. Everyone I spoke to was really friendly, and there was a great atmosphere, but I felt myself on the verge of a panic attack so was glad to leave.

Luckily I was distracted by the scantily clad ladies queuing up for the cash machine outside the Erotica show, but I really needed that cold brisk walk through the park to calm me down a bit!

A bit of Christmas Fair setting up after school brought me back to earth - nothing like trying to find the end of a roll of sellotape to sort you out!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Well, she cheers me up, anyway........

I've had one of those days.

In fact, it'll soon be the last time I have one of those days.

Some of you will know what I mean - the sick child at home.

Feral Child is still a bit too young to be left alone at home, and Rosa Klebb had a teacher training day, so my usual Monday morning activities had to be cancelled. Well, I suppose I need the occasional break from speed walking around the Common and then going on to crash computers and drink lots of tea instead of doing Good Works.

And then I was really trapped because the communal drain was blocked again and I had to deal with it as it's our garage that gets flooded first.......

So thank goodness for Margarita Pracatan! She used to cheer me up every Sunday evening when appeared on the Clive James show, singing the standards in her own unstandard way! I would also do the best impersonation of her in the office the following morning. In fact, my Mrs Doyle impersonation is quite good too. But that's for another time!

Here's Margarita in action, along with a fab intro from Clive James:

Happy days.......

Update on tripe from Waitrose

I've just received this email:

Thank you for your response to Sam Holden’s Biting Talk piece. As you can imagine we had quite a response to this feature but I can assure we read every letter with great interest. I can only apologise if you did not enjoy the issue, as I’m sure you can appreciate the piece was meant to provoke debate rather than offend. In any case I certainly hope we do better by you next month!
Your letter will be considered for publication in next month’s issue.

Thank you for your interest in Waitrose Food Illustrated and I do hope you continue to enjoy the magazine.

Yours sincerely
William Sitwell

I could be in line for something fancy if Outraged from Parsons Green doesn't beat me to it!

And here's Sam Holden's partner's response in the Daily Mail:

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Tripe from Waitrose

I enjoy shopping in Waitrose.

I can be seen at least once a week in the Balham branch meandering about with my shopping trolley (£7.99 from Lidl), following the siren call of the price gun as it announces where the discounts are. I've had some fab bargains, including a half price fruit loaf from Poilane, the fancy French bakers. The full price is £3.60 for something the size of a malt loaf. My children said they preferred the much larger fruit loaf from Lidl at only 40p as it only had sultanas in it and not all this other rubbish fruit. That's me told, then.

The customers are the sort who do not leave their staffies tied up outside, if you get my drift. Many of the ladies - for it's mostly ladies - are of the yummy mummy variety.

I like reading the Waitrose magazine. There are usually a few good recipes. Anything with less than five ingredients is OK by me. Occasionally the family even eat the stuff.

Unfortunately my love affair with Waitrose is in a bit of a turmoil at the moment. In its latest edition, there is an article by a house husband called Sam Holden who claims the following:

"Although I was a stranger to the kitchen, I soon found that preparing exciting, top-quality dishes was neither particularly time-consuming nor difficult, and within a few months I found my abilities easily surpassed those of every woman I know, even the ones who thought they were good cooks." "As well as being incapable of experimenting, women are useless at following written instructions. Blinded by numbers and symbols, they add the wrong amount of sugar or salt - or substitute one for the other." He also says that women don't actually like food and consider it to be just fuel, and that men are more greedy. He even has the gall to end the article with the usual "name three women who have a Michelin star".

Is it not biting the hand that pays for the stuff in your shop that it feeds itself with to criticise these lovely yummy mummies (and us yucky mummies) in such a crass manner?

Here is my email to the editor:

Dear William Sitwell

I had been enjoying reading the November 2007 edition of Waitrose Food Illustrated until I reached Sam Holden's article.

I can quite appreciate that some women can cook and some men can cook. Can't we leave it at that?

Cooking for a family and cooking in a restaurant are two completely different things. I should know - my father owned the Como Lario restaurant for many years. He never cooked at home, which was a Good Thing as he left the place in such a mess. Mother was in charge at home and made her feelings quite clear about his 'helpful suggestions'. Now he has got used to working in a domestic environment, of course we get fabulous meals. The hang over from running a restaurant is that he still can't get the hang of just cooking for two. My brother and I get some interesting food parcels!

I read your magazine to get ideas as I find cooking to be complete drudgery. Whenever I have a meal cooked for me now, I don't care what it is as long as I haven't had to cook it.

These battle of the sexes type articles are just lazy and tedious. Get some more writers if this is the best you can come up with. I'm only grateful that I didn't have to pay for the magazine, thanks to my JL card.

Looking forward to a better read next time.

I did have a reply, thanking me for my contribution. No mention was made of a hamper for my hurt feelings.

If you want to see the full article, I suggest you go to Waitrose now. They have plenty of them lying around. It's the one with the toffee apples on the front.

Monday, 5 November 2007

All the rage - November 2007

So here it is, the November 2007 edition of the fabulous All The Rage.

This month's theme is Mysteries and Puzzles.

I'm in there somewhere, along with lots of other people, so have a good read: