Les Fleurs du Mall

I don’t believe Baudelaire wrote much about shopping. More’s the pity. But I bet his ennui and degout would have been in full flow if he’d spent this Saturday in Birmingham at the Bullring shopping mall (is that an adequate word to describe this temple to enlightenment through shopping? I fear not), queueing to get into a queue to get onto a escalator to join another queue to get into Selfridges to join a queue to part with his hard earned cash. 

Think I might go a write a slim volume of exquisite yet degenerate verse.


Things I never thought I would end up doing (part 1)

The other night, one of my cats brought in a mouse. It escaped for a moment and seemed to be salvageable so I thought I’d salvage it. Unfortunately, my cat (Smudge) also had the same idea and grabbed the mouse before I could get to him.

This is not my cat, by the way. Mine is a hundred times more handsome. And very determined.

So there I was with this wretched cat clamped between my knees and my left hand cupped under his mouth ready to catch the mouse when he eventually let go or loosened his grip, at least.

And I waited. And I waited.

And all the time Smudge is doing this furious growling thing.

And I waited. And I tried to lever his jaws open, to no avail.

So, in desperation, I held his nose.

That’s right – I held a cat’s nose.

And eventually, he dropped the mouse and I released it outside.

There – you heard it here first. I have held a cat’s nose.


You know, the worst of it is, this actually enhances my CV. God! I’m so proud of myself!

Does anyone … and I mean anyone at all …

… like glace cherries?

I mean, honest to God, who could take a lovely, lovely gorgeous scrummy thing like a cherry (they are my desert island fruit, after all) and make a slimy, chewy, sickly, fakey abomination of it and then expect people not to notice?

I’ve not yet met a single solitary person who actually likes them. Not everyone, admittedly, runs screaming from the room whenever they’re mentioned, the way I do. But most people at least prise them from whatever they’re eating and leave them pointedly on the side of the plate.

So how, pray, has the glace cherry industry survived all these years? I can only conclude that glace cherries are a by-product of some other process – you know, like flouride was with uranium mining, or whatever – and some clever dick has managed to persuade the masses that they actually had a use. Maybe it’s those cherry stone heated pillows that you can buy at Christmas markets up and down the country.

It’s the only explanation.