Back to the stupid puns. Sorry – it appears to be all I’ve got.

We were musing, the way you do, about what the schedule of a religious TV channel might look like. (I understand they actually have these in the US, but this would be a very UK version.) So far we’ve come up with:

Big Bretheren

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

Top of the Popes

One Man and His Dogcollar

Manicheans Behaving Badly

Wish You Were Here(tic)

Now look, I’m not going to take all the blame for this – I was partly inspired by Le Poulet Noir, so you can register your complaints over there.


That would be an ecumenical matter

I’ve come up with an absolutely water-tight reason for Roman Catholic priests to be allowed to marry. (And, no, it’s not that one.)

Now don’t anyone go getting arsey on me. I’m a good Catholic girl, convent educated, liturgist, done Lourdes (and yes, I know I made that unfortunate comment about St Bernadette and temporal lobe epilepsy a little bit louder than I meant to, but sound carries in a grotto – ok?), kids at RC schools – and how! Plus, I know lots of priests and even some bishops, so I know whereof I speak.

And the reason is:

… ear hair.

Now, that chap’s not a priest, but I bet he’s not married either. I mean, what woman in her right mind could bear to have that on the pillow at night?

I’m not being horrid. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just a fact of life that, as men get older, they get less hair on their heads and more sprouting from their ears and noses. And what with getting long sighted too, they can’t even see to handle the grooming themselves.

But the Church must think of the spiritual wellbeing of its members. It’s difficult to keep your mind on higher things when your fingers are itching for a pair of tweezers.

And women are just better at these things than men. We’ve had more practice, what with the waxing and the shaving and the plucking and the bleaching. I mean, if I weren’t so zealous in my attentions, I’d have a mono-brow, be sporting quite a dashing little moustache and look as if I were wearing fur trousers at this very moment. But I take care of these things. I am a woman and I take my role seriously.

The fact is, priests need wives. Should we start a petition? 

Cereal monogamy

By nature, I’m a fairly faithful kinda gal. I’ve devoted myself wholly to one breakfast companion at a time before moving on. And here, in a cardboard box and with added niacin, is the story of my life so far.

So first it was Ricicles, but that’s only really because I had a huge crush on Noddy, their front man at the time.

And, honestly, can you blame me? You can keep David Tenant and his tardis. Give me Noddy and his little yellow car anytime.

Then I think is was Frosties. Because, obviously, they’re greeeeeeat!

Was his nose always blue? I never noticed that before.

Then we probably had the masochistic Special K years – too dull to illustrate but it’s still going strong. Next, I went all whole food and organic.

I even used to make my own – using a recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and ingredients from Neal’s Yard, carefully lugged home on the 137 from Oxford Circus. Ah me! Hippy days. That lasted quite a while. In fact, probably until I had my first tooth crowned.

When the twins were smaller, I mostly finished up fag ends of slightly stale and bizarrely named chocolately cereals bought purely because of the free gifts.

But now that they’re older, and eat more or less the same stuff as humans, I can please myself again. And the market has moved on to accomodate people like me, who like to pretend they’re being health-conscious while indulging themselves hugely at the same time. So now it’s …

… not just cereal, it’s M&S Triple Chocolate Crunch with wholegrain crunchy clusters and curls of plain, milk and white chocolate.


It’s another health and safety nightmare

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, not exceeding 0.9 metres in height, with safety rubberised playsurface installed on both sides. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men were in attendance, and had recent CRB checks and there were four certified first aiders on site. There were no mishaps.

Where’s the fun in that? And, more importantly, where’s the narrative tension?

In a world where risk assessments are carried out before anyone dares even to step outside the door, there’s no possibility of the random happenings and deadly peril so beloved of novelists, dramaturges (I’m perfectly certain I’ve never typed that word before), cineastes (ditto), lyricists or librettists and the writers of nursery rhymes (not sure what you call them).

Mercutio would have lived to a ripe old age because the swords would have been tipped. Juliet would never have been able to get her hands on that sleeping draught because it would almost certainly be reclassified as a Class A drug. Ophelia would have had swimming lessons at school and, anyway, there would have been plenty of bouyancy aids available. Mimi’s tiny hand would not have been frozen – she’d have been vaccinated against TB at school, and the simple addition of a room thermometer would have made sure she kept her room nice and cozy. Manderley wouldn’t have burned down because Mrs Danvers would have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act long ago. 

I suspect that even pussycats wishing to go up to London to look at the queen would have a hard time getting close enough to frighten little mice under her chair.

And, yes, I do realise I keep banging on about this kind of thing but, honestly …


I’ve just been to a meeting about securing the future of state schools in my area. Did I mention that I was a meddling dogooder that can’t say no school governor?

The woman doing the talking was very well informed and articulate. Just one problem. Or rather, two. She pronounced ‘school’ as ‘schyoowel’ and ‘securing’ as ‘sikyoowering’.

An hour and a half. About sikyoowering the future of schyoowels. Can you imagine how many times she said those two words? And can you even begin to imagine, after the first few times, the exquisite torture of anticipating each one?

On the plus side, I was asleep for part of it.