I’m Not a Celebrity… but Get Me Out of Here Anyway

I’m not into this series – maybe it’s lockdown and too many other things on my watch list. Or possibly a lack of celebs that I’m interested in (bar Jordan North – he’s hilarious.)

Or most likely, because there’s no Australian jungle backdrop which brings the excitement of snakes and rats roaming around camp.

If I ever achieve blue tick status and earn a place on the show, it would take some persuading from my agent to get me to agree.

Speak to my agent

The food trials? Strong gag reflex plus highly sensitive nose, means the very idea of smelling AND seeing kangaroo testicles would literally finish me off.

Kangaroo testicles with a side of pigs uterus for Roman

That said, everyone reacts differently to food. And I love seeing the final three with their wish-list dinner requests.

Iain’s meal was a good ‘un:
Starter : Tomato soup, French crusty bread, chunk of cheddar
Main : Christmas dinner with all the trimmings
Dessert : Hot sticky toffee pudding, custard, ice cream and double cream
Drink : Milkshake

There are certain things that DEFINITELY wouldn’t be on my final meal list. Serve me an apple pie with cinnamon and bile rises.

You can just tell this one has cinnamon in it

Yup. I hate cinnamon. Am I alone? I doubt it. Everyone loves and hates different things. For instance, I hate what Twix have done this winter:

Totally unnecessary – definitely cinnamon-loaded

BBC Bite size says:

Hand someone a slab of chocolate or a slice of hot buttered toast and it’s unlikely (but not impossible), you’ll get a barely disguised look of disgust. On the other hand, offer up something more divisive, such as a piece of liquorice or something smothered in desiccated coconut and chances are you’ll get more people declining a nibble.

I think there is also a big difference in ‘don’t like’ and ‘absolutely hate’ but for some, it’s extreme. Take coriander for example. I adore the stuff – Thai soups, curries, salads – but I know so many who are completely offended by it.

There’s even an official ‘I Hate Coriander’ day

In ‘researching’ this topic (Google’d it, didn’t I?), coriander does taste a lot like soap to many people and that’s apparently down to genetics. These haters have a variation in a group of olfactory-receptor genes which means they detect the soapy-flavored aldehydes in coriander leaves.

Maybe that explains why I detest blancmange? It was a school dinner dessert staple – I hated it then and would definitely hate it now. The smell, the texture, the ‘skin’ that would form on top of it. Literally like wobbly set sick.

This was NOT my favourite dessert day…
…but this was

My kids are growing up forming their own tastes and preferences but it’s largely controlled by me. Maybe they would LOVE these things that I detest? Am I’m denying them wonderful flavours and taste sensations?!

I asked my friend about her own family’s likes and dislikes and she said her absolute pleasure much to the utter disgust of every member of her family are ‘bread and butter pickles’. Firstly, I’d never heard of such a thing. Secondly, if she didn’t live in America, I would be sat in her kitchen sharing that jar with her.

Sounds decent and Liberty ones too!

So, on the ‘no’ list for me:

  1. Cinnamon as previously mentioned. Don’t put it in apple pies or sprinkle it on hot drinks or buy me Cinnabons.
  2. Liquorice – no wheels, no strips, no sweets disguised with little blue tiny hundreds and thousands on them. There’s liquorice inside.
  3. Mac & cheese, broccoli and cheese, cauliflower cheese – I know right? I must be the only one. Not for me. No matter how amazing ‘your’ one is. I just. Don’t. Like it. Rest of fam inhale the stuff.
  4. Grated carrot – yup. Grated. If you put it in my salad I will get very cross. I don’t mind it in ribbons, just not grated. It’s a ‘texture’ thing.
  5. Sweets – I know I may lose readers at this point, but I don’t like sweets. Haribo style ones specifically – nope, not even the fizzy ones. (I do like Squashies though. And foamy bananas, eggs and mushrooms. So, foam sweets basically, yeh.)
  6. Beetroot – can barely type the word without tasting vomit. Cubed, pickled, crinkled – no, no, no. And don’t even go there with chrayne.
  7. Marzipan – specifically in a Battenberg cake. It’s revolting. Along with those marzipan creations you get at functions when the teas and coffees come out.

There are a million more dislikes – including sandwich spread, lokshen pudding and trifle. But seven seemed like a good number to stop at so I’ll save those for another blog.

On the ‘yes’ list for me is the following.

  1. Fennel. Adore it! Give me a fennel bulb and I will happily eat the whole thing in one sitting.
  2. Chestnuts – vacuum packed ones or fresh ones from the oven, damaging every one of your fingernails in the opening process.
  3. Lychee and those physalis fruits that taste like soap. This is the weirdest one for me because yes, they taste soapy. Maybe this is the coriander of the fruit world?
  4. Coconut – water, whole, pyramids, desiccated, Bounty bars. I love coconut, especially the Spanish coconut yoghurt.
  5. Evaporated milk. Keep your cream, double cream, custard…. THIS is the nuts for me. On fruit, on apple pie (no cinnamon), on its own even. I love it. (Not to be confused with condensed milk, although..equally as pleasing.)
  6. Rollmops. Happy to eat it ‘as is’ on some rye bread or have it in ‘blended form’ known as ‘chopped herring’ on a bridge roll.
  7. Fishballs – controversial I know. And terrible on the breath. But give me a fried fishball, preferably oven-warmed, and I am a happy (smelly) girl.

So, there are just some of my controversial items. Love to know your thoughts in the comments.

My family might disagree on a lot of food items, but there is one that dessert we unanimously agree on. I recently posted about it on my instagram stories and had so many people ask me for the recipe.

When I say ‘so many’, probably only five.

Ok maybe four.

And it’s an insult to the cooking profession to even call it a recipe. It’s merely ‘instructions’.

Either way, they all liked it and told THEIR friends.

So hopefully one day this will be the requested dessert for the finalists’ meal on I’m a Celebrity.

Dream big I say. 2021 is all about manifestations.

x

Nutellow Pastry Puffs’

Ingredients:

1 pack ready rolled puff pastry

1 jar of Nutella

1 pack of white mini marshmallows (these are the best brand by far)

Egg wash

Some icing sugar

Method:

Roll out pastry.

Cut into squares. Jusrol brand gives you about 6 even sized squares. (Hack: the paper that encases the pastry is greaseproof and can be used as your oven sheet liner.)

Blob of Nutella in the centre. Sprinkle some marshmallows.

Then I like to ‘wonton’ the squares. But have done ‘pillows’ and ‘turnovers’ in the past. Personal preference. Go wild.

Egg wash all over just make sure everything is ‘sealed’ or the seams bust and it’s a mess.

Oven at 180c for half an hour.

Dust with icing sugar if they haven’t already been lifted from the baking sheet and scoffed.

Enjoy… unless you hate Nutella, marshmallows and puff pastry and. In which case, excellent, more for me.

Photo credit: Sara Harris – pillow style

A Mouth Full of Popcorn

My stomach already hurts in advance of my dinner – massive bag of Minstrels and a large vat of sweet and salty popcorn.

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That should see me through the film

For it is ‘date night’ – for want of a better word. And there must be better ways of putting it.

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#couplegoals

So – I’m ‘off out’ with my other half to the cinema, against his will for three reasons:

a) it’s midweek and he hates going out on a school night

b) he’s probably missing some sporting event on some obscure channel. Latest obsession is speed climbing. (Honestly, it’s a ‘thing’.)

c) he hates the cinema

BUT! Tonight, he is less reluctant, for the viewing material is his choice…

Well, my choice actually. In scrolling through Instagram, Kate Hiscox (@wearsmymoney) alerted me to the ‘one night only’ showing of Coldplay‘s documentary. Tonight. November 14th in case you are not reading this in real-time.

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I booked it and told him only that I was ‘taking him out somewhere, that it was a surprise, but that he would love it’.

Big mistake.

Huge.

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The next few hours resulted in Jack Bauer-esque interrogation and guesses about at what I had done/booked/organised/sorted.

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Until he finally worked it out. Loves a surprise my husband…

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Hates these too

Anyway, he worked it out and seemed okay with it.

Am hoping this is a rare cinematic occasion where he’s actually watches the cinema screen instead of his Twitter feed.

For he is not a cinema fan in general – too dark, too many people, means a late night for him – whereas I will go and see pretty much anything on at the cinema.

I love the immersive experience of it. The escapism, the dark, the phones-away element.

I even enjoy the adverts at the beginning, before you get to the trailers for new releases. Yup, I’m ‘that’ person. My favourite is for the sound system, featuring all the vibrating silver beads. (Don’t judge.)

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What? It soothes me

I’ve always loved logos and imagery and when the Touchstone Pictures logo popped up on screen, you knew you were in for a treat. I’ve selected a few favourites:

 

 

Pure joy in these films IMO

My preferred seat, if available, is end of aisle. Husband too, purely for the extra legroom.

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Me, I like it for the potential loo break if a film is over 2 hours, although I try to avoid excessive liquids in these situations, because I get scared if no-one else is in the ladies.

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Photo Credit: memecenter.com

I have flashbacks to a horror film from the 80s called ‘Demons‘. (There’s always an issue with horror films and loos.) The person either doesn’t return their seat. Or if they do return, then something bad has happened to them. In the loo.

In terms of the cinema itself, I’m really not choosy.

I love my local VUE. Great for Wagamama lunch option too.

The Everyman experience is wonderfully cosy, but the snacks aren’t up to much, although the cookie dough thing is pretty spesh.

Reel are a fab local option for me, especially over half term with a load of kids in tow. Doesn’t require a second mortgage.

Also, I have certain friends for certain films.

The crap dance films where the hoodlum boy falls in love with the posh girl over a love of dance. I have a great friend for that.

Or the super sad films where I will cry – alot – and know that my cinema buddy will not judge because she will be sobbing in equal amounts too.

Or the Bridget Jones-type films, where it requires a group of you to go en masse and then dissect the film on a whatsapp chat later that night, quoting favourite lines from it.

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So if you’re heading to the cinema tonight to watch this Coldplay film, please:

Don’t be super late. I am not standing up to let you down the aisle when I’m midway through enjoying the opening titles.

Don’t sit behind me and rest your shoes on the armrest gap bit. Especially in summer, wearing open toe shoes.

Don’t eat cheesy jalapeño nachos next to me, behind me, in front of me. Anywhere near me, thanks.

Off to empty my bladder for tonight.

Dx.

 

 

A Bit of a Do

I would definitely say that I’m an introvert. Handy link if you need clarification about what an introvert is. (Youngest thought it was a description for an ‘innie belly button’. ‘Extrovert’ being an outie one of course.)

In a nutshell, I love stimuli – articles, films, conversations, people watching… but once I’m ‘full’, I need time on my own to digest all that ‘stuff’ and reflect, possibly doing something with this new information. Like maybe write this blog.

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For today, at least…

Over the past few weeks there has been plenty of time for fun stimuli. A flurry of invites for birthdays, breakfasts, dinners and bar mitzvahs filled my social diary for February and March ..and I loved it.

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Husband? Hmmm, not so much.

For those with ‘FOMO‘ – ‘Fear of Missing Out’ – he is the polar opposite, suffering from a horrific case of ‘FOBO’ – Fear of Being Out’.

I’m not saying he’s anti-social, but     He’s anti-social.

But once the invites are in, where to store them?

I’m a neat freak and the whole magnet-to-fridge thing is an eyesore for me.

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DEFINITELY not my fridge. This just makes me itchy…

Plus, I can’t deal with all the paraphernalia falling off each time the door is opened or closed. (And when husband gets home from work, there is much fridge traffic.)

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*Not me. Or my fridge. Although I do have ‘Mrs Balls Chutney‘ in mine too

Pinboards are a nice idea in theory, but again, messy. Plus there’s a chance of standing on a rogue pushpin. Anyone else fondly remember finding these embedded into the sole of your school shoe, as you tap-tap-tapped down the corridors?

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Ahh, the humble drawing pin

For me, all pertinant paperwork has to be stored in a display folder.

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Like this one

Every party invite (kid AND adult), school class list, timetable, letter about choir, or any other A4 (or smaller) piece of paper that requires attention will be stored here.

Message me and ask…

‘When do the kids break up?’

‘When is sports day?’

‘What time does so-and-so’s party start?’

‘Is so-and-so’s barmitzvah at Radlett Reform or Radlett United Synagogue?’

And the information is at my fingertips. (Bar the last bit of info, where an entrance into Radlett Reform could have been a major error…)

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MAZEL TOV!…Do I know you?

With alot of these invites, comes a necessity to ‘get pitzed up’. To put into context:

Saturday evening, dinner with friends…

“Are you going casual or getting pitzed up?”

Or more specifically thanks to Google:

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You say Farpitzs, I say Pitzed

Alot of these invites thankfully carry indications as to the level of appropriate dressing. Or at least they used to. Black tie, black tie no tie, cocktail, dress to party, glam, party, fancy fucking dress (FML), casual, ‘festival’… and so on.

Each one will carry the same conversation with my husband, an hour, possibly half an hour, before we are due to leave for said ‘do’.

Him: “What’s the dress code?”

Me: “Dress to party.”

Him: “Can I wear jeans?”

Me: “Unknown-6.jpeg

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Ideal outfit goals for husband on the end

For me, I LOVE the prep. By all means stop reading right now, as next bit is going to sound super shallow, of Kim Kardashian proportions…

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Pitzed up

Exfoliating, face mask, spray tan, manicure, pedicure, hair cut, hair colour, blow dry, comb out (it’s a thing), make up, outfit.. and that’s just the men. Trust me – I go to alot of ‘things’, and there are a great many tanned women standing next to their considerably paler partners. There needs to be more of this:

 

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Tanning guru Jules Von Hep at work. On a man

I say I enjoy it.. but then again, it’s an utterly exhausting, logistical process, involving a flurry of bank card activity as stuff is bought, returned and exchanged. (And you always forget that you need tights.)

Don’t worry. I agree… First. World. Problems.  But it’s the world we are living in. And we need to prepare our kids for the future.

Here’s some 2018 GCSE sample maths questions:

Q18: If Vicki has a party on Saturday night, in order to achieve optimum colour, should she have her spray tan on:

A) Monday

B) Thursday

C) A week before

D) Friday

Q19: If Suzie wears 5″ heels to a party which starts at 8pm, what time will she lose feeling in the balls of her feet:

A) 8:03pm

B) Midnight

C) 1am

D) 9pm

Q20: If Gemma eats two pieces of sushi at 7pm at a wedding reception and has five toffee vodka shots during the course of the evening, at what point will she throw up?

A) Never

B) Half past midnight

C) 9:30pm

D) 11:15pm

Q21: If Rachel’s dress is midnight blue, which shoes will match perfectly:

A) Rose gold

B) Gold

C) Antique gold

D) Nude

If Lloyd is going to a 40th party, what is the probability that he will sing ‘Jump Around’ whilst wearing fake sunglasses, neon bracelets and a bandana:

A) 0%

B) 2%

C) 50%

D) 100%

Q22: If Scott has a tendency to sweat alot when dancing, how many spare shirts should he take with to change into during the course of his son’s barmitzvah party?

A) One

B) Two

C) Three

D) Ten

 

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Scott, take ten…

 

A full list of questions will be available in due course.

Now to wash off my spray tan….

x

I Just Called to Say I Love You

As a true 80s kid, I recently re-lived the heady days of my youth by watching ‘Stranger Things‘ and loved it. Somehow it wasn’t on my radar last year, but thanks to binge-watching I have completed Seasons 1 & 2. If you haven’t done it, do it. Think ‘ET’, meets ‘The Lost Boys’ meets ‘Stand by Me’ meets ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. And a soundtrack of greatness including ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ by ‘The Bangles’. (Now on my gym playlist.)

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I’m not saying I’m willing to go back to the 80s – no GHD‘s, only one fragrance option in the form of ‘Electric Youth’ and horrific fake tan for starters –  but I do find myself very happily reminiscing about simpler times.

 

No mobile phones for one thing. Maybe the odd pager. At University, one roommate was way ahead of her time and had a pager thingy. Still not sure why. She didn’t have aspirations in the medical field, and yet carried it on her person at all times.

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Be at the Student bar. 9:30 sharp.

 

It was all about the landline. Husband still takes great pleasure in reciting friends’ home phone numbers to them. It’s a skill. Obviously I remember my own. I just dialled it. Purely for fun. Try it for yourself. Quite cathartic. Imagine if your teenage self answered? (Oohhh.. film idea.)

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Old faithful

These days, I’m still all about the landline. I don’t know why. I just like it. If you give me an option of a landline number, I will call it. Most of my friends know that if their landline rings, it’s me (or PPI.)

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My own landline is a random ‘0203’ number which often catches people off guard…

“Hi, is this so-and-so? I’m calling from the National Lottery and you have an unclaimed jackpot ticket for the EuroMillions…”

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Yeah, good luck. It’s me, you idiot.

 

If the landline rings in my own house, no-one answers it. Literally they all feign deafness to the Nth degree. At best, husband will take a glance at the caller ID and decide that it’s not for him and deign not to answer it. (Feign and deign in one paragraph. I even impressed myself.)

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Pick it up!!!

But going back to that 80s thing, I do miss the purpose of actually making a phone call on the landline. It meant there was something of importance to declare, to tell, to announce, to share.

Hours and hours spent on the phone to friends, talking gibberish. Even a dabble on those  0891 numbers with one particular friend. The phone bill, OMG the phone bill. No wonder those party lines got shut down.

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Remember the Chat Back jingle? “FIFTY! FIFTY! FIFTY!”

 

If all this nostalgia is making me sound old, I suppose it’s because I am. I commented to someone about loving the ‘Not3s and Mabel’ song, ‘My Lover‘ (handy link for you.)

“Yeah”, she said, “Mabel’s mum was some famous singer years ago. Let me Google it.”

I’m thinking ‘years ago’, as in way before my time, in that I too wouldn’t know who the mother was. She Googled and showed me the mother.

Neneh.

Neneh Fucking Cherry.

Mabel’s mum.

That’s not ‘some singer years ago’.

That’s my youth, learning every word to every song on ‘Raw Like Sushi’ from the cassette inlay card.

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Gigolo, huh. Sucka.

A youth free from social media, making real phone calls and writing proper letters to people, to hear that satisfying ‘plumpf’ from bundles of post falling onto the front door mat. Valentines cards even…

…and talking of Valentines Day (subtle lead in)…

This is what I’ll be making for dessert tonight.

Nigella’s Cookie Dough Pots

Easiest recipe ever. Click above 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 for gateway to dessert heaven. 

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6 ramekins + 3 spoons = 2 each

Foolproof. Okay so maybe one particular friend will fuck it up, but what can I do?

Freezable. If they ever make it that far.

Parev. If you are that way inclined and sub the butter for veg friendly option like Tomer (other brands available).

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I use these. No pressure

I also use disposable foil pots when I can’t be bothered with washing up ramekins because I have over eaten and am more Waynetta than Nigella.

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Valentines Night Goals

But tonight Matthew, I’ll be using these. For novelty fun.

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All hail Tiger Stores and their seasonal shelves

Thank me later. But don’t blame me if recipe doesn’t feed 6. It doesn’t. I can eat at least 4 of them…

Happy Valentines Day.

x

‘Tis the Season to be Poorly

Okay, so a bit of an over-reaction, but there’s ‘alot of it going round at the moment’ and no-one likes to be off sick this time of the year. It mucks up your best-laid plans, gets in the way of fun stuff and generally ruins your festive spirit.

Last week, daughter #2 started off with a cough, which manifested itself as croup. I remember first time heard the seal-like cough from her bedroom – she was about 3 years old and it was 3am.

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The other seal

Luckily Google was wide awake and gave the advice to get cold, fresh air into her, so we stood shivering by her open window with me pretending to be all calm and parental. Luckily it did the trick.

In my day (yes, I’m that old), I had a Wrights Vapouriser in my bedroom for this type of thing. It was a metal lantern with an absorbent block nestled inside the lid, onto which you’d pour this magical vapourising liquid. You’d pop a tea light underneath and the heat would warm the block, releasing this potent whiff that eased all kinds of breathing difficulties.

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Would never pass Health & Safety today

It smelled a bit like coal tar and filled your room entire house with the fumes, but boy did it help. I still wind down my window and inhale when driving past freshly laid tarmacadam. (Yes, that’s the full name for tarmac.)

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Dream job

In my family, everyone copes differently when they’re ill:

Daughter #1 – gets a bit narky if I ask her how she’s feeling. Allergic to Penicillin. Refusal to take medicine in pill form.

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Just one sodding spoonful is all I ask…

Daughter #2 – goes through a drama of epic proportions each time a medicine syringe goes anywhere near her. You know that scene in Airplane when that woman is in panic mode and everyone is trying to calm her down? That is my youngest. With a steady line of friends, parents, grandparents (and cleaner – yes, she was roped in as well) all approaching her to try and help with the medicine-administering process.

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Get a hold of yourself

Husband – no words…

Okay – words. He is hypochondria re-incarnate and can often be seen retreating to the spare room at first sign of anyones’ illness.

If you search ‘Dr’ on his mobile, it can take at least two full swipes of his contact list to scroll through the directory of consultants he has on file, in all major postcode areas and even on the continent.

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His desk at work is a sight to behold: tissues, anti-bac gels, Vicks First Defence, vitamins, pro-biotics. I actually think he is stockpiling to start up a pharmacy to rival Boots and am considering getting him a faux-Doctor sign for his desk.

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Still tickles me

Me – I just get on and deal with it, a trait inherited from my dad. That said, if I’m truly struggling I will admit defeat and start on anti-biotics. Dad just battles on through with liquid Night Nurse. He is old school. I reckon his blood is green.

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The taste never leaves you…

So, what to do with the days spent at home playing Florence Nightingale to the fam?

Clear out the bathroom cabinet of course!

The stockpiling – again, mainly husband – is insane. How many packs of Dioralyte does one actually need in their lifetime? The majority of these meds have an expiry date, so go check your cabinets and stock up on stuff for when the shops are shut over the holidays.

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Almost identical to my bathroom cabinet situation

Please sing along – you know the tune:

#…On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, some shower caps in packs of three.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, six plasters boxes, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me, seven body lotions, six packs of plasters, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, eight packs of tooth picks, seven body lotions, six packs of plasters, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, nine tubs of hair gel, eight packs of tooth picks, seven body lotions, six packs of plasters, five tooth pastes….four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

(Bear with – nearly there – hope you’re still singing)

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, ten squashy ear plugs, nine tubs of hair gel, eight packs of tooth picks, seven body lotions, six packs of plasters, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me, eleven headache tablets, ten squashy ear plugs, nine tubs of hair gel, eight packs of tooth picks, seven body lotions, six packs of plasters, five tooth pastes…four shower gels, three nail files, two cotton-buds and some shower caps in packs of three.

(Deep breath…)

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…

twelve Calpol bottles

eleven headache tablets

ten squashy ear plugs

nine tubs of hair gel

eight packs of tooth picks

seven body lotions

six packs of plasters

five tooth pastes…

four shower gels

three nail files

two cotton-buds

and some shower caps in packs of three!!!…#

Happy Clearing. x

Back to the Future

To say that I am film-obsessed is an understatement. Maybe not as much today as in my youth, but I put that down to the loss of Joan Rivers fronting Fashion Police on E! However, this year the Oscars came good for me in the form of Marty McFly. (And the envelope drama at the end, of course.)

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Part of the ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ generation, my childhood bedroom was plastered wall-to-wall with pictures of my heart-throb Michael J. Fox, plus guest appearances from Andrew McCarthy, C. Thomas Howell and Kirk Cameron.

I would sit for hours on my faux-hamburger bean bag, creating imaginary meetings and conversations.

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Hello, old friend

My Guy and Look-In were torn apart for pictures, lyrics to chart hits and snippets of information about celebrities. My filofax, (because apparently I worked and needed a filofax aged 11), was full of notes from friends, acknowledging my fully fledged addiction.

I cut my teeth on shows like Mork & Mindy, Family Ties, Growing Pains and Fresh Prince. I couldn’t get enough of American films too: The OutsidersPretty in PinkCan’t Buy Me Love, Mannequin, plus all the Back to the Futures. Okay, so the third BTTF wasn’t so great but I managed to go to the Premier and that was big news for my 15 year-old-self. Alas, the Fox wasn’t there. His aunt had died.

But if there was a million-dollar question along the lines of “in which year did BTTF3 Premier?”, I would know without hesitation the answer is 1990. I know this because I was 15 in 1990 when I went to the Premier. Great scott – I’m a genius.

That same year, Pretty Woman was released. Not only did I own the same yellow Sony walkman that Julia Roberts had in the bathtub scene, but I also had a Hunza dress, made from that crinkly swimming costume material of her street walker outfit. Admittedly mine was less short and hooker-y, with a satin puff-ball bit at the bottom and black velvet splatters all over it .

 

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I feel I’m truly torn between the old and the new. How can I resist my old favourites when they are aired? Bueno Sera Mrs Campbell, Calamity Jane, The Poseidon Adventure, Tootsie and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – the list goes on. For years, I dreamt of marrying Russ Tamblin until I realised he was Tom Thumb, but then swooned again when I discovered him as Riff in West Side Story.

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“Now I know Tony like I know me…”

I also noted down in my Purple Ronnie diary that if I had a boy (with Michael J. Fox obvs), I would name him Caleb – after one of the seven brothers: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon. (nB. This was proudly typed with no help whatsoever from Google.)

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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

 

The feeling of being transported back to something memorable is just the best. Much like a song can remind me of a film, they have also become the soundtrack to my life:

Firstborn (emergency C-section) – ‘I don’t feel like Dancing’ by Scissor Sisters was playing in the operating theatre, so I know the song was released in 2006.

Secondborn (elective C-section) – ‘I Gotta Feelin” by Black Eyed Peas, so I know this was a 2009 release. (I’m great on radio phone-ins for ‘name that year’.)

On my wedding day, I didn’t want a traditional wedding song played as I ‘step-together’d’ down the aisle. I say ‘I’ because if left to husband it would have been ‘Ossie’s Dream‘.

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For me there was only one choice – ‘Moon River‘ from Breakfast at Tiffanys. My great Uncle Harry was the key chorist at Great Portland Street Synagogue and he sang so beautifully as I walked towards the tall, nervous man under the chuppah humming Ossie’s Dream.

A bit like the ‘useless’ knowledge Dev Patel picks up in Slumdog Millionaire, I can’t say that my memory has made me a millionaire, but I’ve checked, and the next episode of Mastermind features a specialist subject of Seinfeld. If they’re running with that, it can’t be long before I get my call to participate…

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“In which year did Michael J Fox’s aunt die?