Pointless Nostalgia: Horror Bags

The children of my generation were the luckiest ones when it came to crisps in the U.K.  We were the guinea pigs for experimental manufacturers’ imaginations, those palate manipulators who wanted to test the very limits of our tastebuds’ endurance, from sweet to sour, mild to spicy, subtle to spanking.  The biggest innovations came when […]

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Americans… Have Talent?

America’s Got Talent, apparently – but it takes Michael Knight and two vastly unqualified British goons to separate the weird from the chavs.  And what have they uncovered so far?  4-year-old Kaitlyn Maher, an impossibly cute little girl whose suitably adorable version of ‘Somewhere Out There’ (tragically, not the Nina Hynes one) melted the hearts of the audience and the supposedly ruthless panel.  What […]

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Wonderful Words: Continental

Some words don’t require explanation, they simply generate emotions and stir senses all on their own.  One such word is continental.  It makes me hungry in the morning, it makes me long for holidays while I’m working, it comforts me in the evening.  The first time I remember hearing it was when a family friend bought their son […]

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Conspicuous Consumers: Robert Smith

During my 57-year career slaving working in record shops, I met, and served, a fair number of famous people. Each and every time I did so, I proved how unsuited I am to journalism; I was constantly tripping over my words, employing undeserved platitudes and making all of my well-known punters feel entirely ill at ease while they […]

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A Fruity One..?

Originally published in U Magazine, April 2008 There’s nothing wrong with a man drinking a fruity cocktail, is there?  Actually, don’t answer that yet. I don’t know why I feel like I’m in confession here, because I haven’t exactly sinned.  But then, if you’re transgressing unwritten North-European boozing laws, which were malletted into stone before […]

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The End Of An Error…

People unfortunate enough to find themselves in a queue with me in Tesco may find the experience a little less irritating in future. For years now, I have been seething, and not altogether silently, about the checkout signs that read, “Ten items or less”; even before I’d ever heard of Lynne Truss, I’ve been sorely tempted, […]

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