In harms way

There are moments in life that stay with you forever. The first embrace under dripping beech trees in Wales 32 years ago when the old-git looked like Paul Newman and I looked like Natalie Wood. Th moment the child looked up and said ‘Mummy I don’t need you to give me money I’ve got a … Read more

Dimanche 17th Aou

Samedi’s sandals had done the trick, but Dimanche demanded firmer footwear.
Team leader Linda, and I had decided on our itinerary, we knew where we were going and we knew how to get there, we were ready to go by 10.00.
A quick sleush with the uber shower, on with the dalmation dungarees, which by the way are white with black spots, not black with white gaps, and then the elevator down four floors.
I slipped off the step, opened the metal door and we were greeted by a warm summer Sunday.
Sunday is still Sunday in Paris. The supermarkets close their doors, the background noise of the city is muted and most of the shops are shut. The ambiance is different, lazy, lazy like a Dimanche morning….
Left over the roadworks and right onto Blvd. Edgar Quinet, where instead of fruit and veg there were artists. Real, live French artists who smoked, individualised their paint splattered jeans, and hung their canvases under white linen tents.
It was Marche Parisien de la Creation. Tous les dimanches, give or take a couple of acute accents. Every Sunday 120 art and crafty types set up shop, open their big sudoku puzzle books and settle down to sell their wares. As we sauntered between hand-touched photographs of India and naked torsos fashioned out of wire, my stomach started to rumble. Linda thought I was getting excited over the whole art-work thing, I hadn’t the heart to tell her it was because I had a hole in my belly where my breakfast should have been.

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Friday 15th of Aou…

I travelled to Paris with a bag that measured 16″ by 10″.
It contained three pairs of black knickers, one tooth brush, a bottle of Chanel No. 5, a Mac red lipstick, a bergundy passport, a return ticket, an Oyster card, just enough money, 2 door keys, 5 pens a red notebook and a plastic raincoat that rolls up into a ball.
I left LBC at 4.00, threw all the above in the bag, leaving the rest of my life in the middle of my bed and ran out of the flat at 4.45.
I continued running for the 170 bus to Victoria.
Ran down the stairs at Victoria Tube Station.
Smiled on the tube,as I hung on for dear life, all the way to St. Pancras.
The beautiful building was full of Friday night excursionists.
Bought one bottle of water and a double Mars bar.
Clutched my free Independent and the Evening Standard magazine for my hostess, who just loves it…
Waited for the train steward to call us then walked the platform. The train comes in so precisely that the platform is painted with the coach numbers. I kept looking down until I passed coach 15. Then I climbed up the steep step and took my pre-booked window seat, in Coach 16 on the 19.00 hours Eurostar to Paris, I had specifically pre-booked the window seat in Coach 16 on the advice of my hostess who said it would cut down on patform walking when I arrived the other end.
I settled down when…

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The Gums of Navalgazing

Bugger Uranus – or maybe it’s Saturn!
Having had the proper holiday its noses to the grindstone until Paris this weekend. And before you waggle your finger and accuse me of living the life of Reilly, I’ve been invited to stay with a friend who has promised to give me a guided tour of the romantic city so that when the time’s right I’ll take the old git on a guided tour of the city that I would have had this weekend..

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Dog Day Afternoon

For thirteen years and seven months we had a big, soft, sloppy Labrador.
He was walked just about every single day.
When we were on holiday he was walked by friends and family.
When it rained we put on galoshes, anoraks and a happy face and braved the tempest.
We had short walks, round the houses, which took in chickens, the farm, the outdoor pursuit centre and most of the neighbours.
We had long walks that took in ponds, wood clumps, bluebell woods and scenery.
We had Camber Sands, Brighton beach, Ashdown Forest, and even the riverside walk in Battersea.

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The Duke of Hazzard

One minute I’m talking about Prince Phillip and his prostate gland, the next Buckingham Palace have taken out a complaint against the Evening Standard.
I must say though, that it did feel just a little bit personal talking about the Princes privates.
It’s 18.30, I’ve tried to watch the news but the sun was shining in through the window and I couldnt see the screen. The flat feels like a Chinese Laundry, hot and steamy.
Last night was a reall tosser – at 3.00 I left the marital bedroom and slid onto the cool settee, unpeeling my body and hour later, I left the top layer of my epidermis on the brown leather to get back into bed with the hot husband. And by that I mean his temperature – we’ve been togther for 32 years for Gods sake.

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Brooms and stuff.

Dear all,
I love that many of you want me back on UKTV food, but here’s the thing:
When GFL came off, last April, I mourned and moaned, wept and wished. However, the powers that be decided that having a hugely successful, highly rated, fun, brilliant, informative show, was not as good as having Market Kitchen.
Your guess is as good as mine as to why they felt I had to go. Age? I doubt it. New brooms sweeping the corridors of power? Probably. But more importantly they didn’t take into account the millions of you who watched it for all the wonderful chefs, their stories, and the cultural importance of understanding the politics of food.
When food becomes the province of the middle and upper classes you know we’re in trouble.
And we are. My industry is panicking, its arms flailing.
LBC has not only been a life line for me, but in 8 months I am constantly surprised by the power of real public broadcasting. I feel I have a usefullness matched only by GFL.
The fact that I am an unashamed exhibitionist makes being unseen a new experience but I love my job and heres why:

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