26 June 2009

Pie Part II

You will be delighted to learn no doubt, that to avoid temptation I actually went to a different tube station entirely this morning, caught a completely different tube line (the Piccalilli instead of the Central Line of Doom)and therefore was not to be found shovelling hot buttery pastry pie's down my throat...

I am currently plowing my way through a punnett of rather sharp little green grapes instead.

Really really not the same let me tell you.

Ooooh, they are sharp.

25 June 2009


Every morning this week, as I’ve skipped down the stairs at the station to the platform I’ve been overwhelmed by the need for a pie.

Those troublesome monkeys from The Crusty Cornwall Big Fat Meat Pie Company (or something like that) have started to switch on their ovens early, and as such, the whiff of slowly cooking cow, pea and potatoe at 7am is almost too much to bear.

(As an aside, I don’t actually really like savoury pie. I will, of course, make the best of a bad dinner job, and have been known to chow down on a chicken and mushroom after a night on the piss. I’ve even, heaven help me, had a mince and onion (or so they say) when the pennies where tight and they were on special at Iceland for tuppance. But as a rule, I’m more of a sweet pie person…apple, apple and blackberry, apple and raisin with a hint of spice, apple and apple…)

But the intoxicating aroma of those crusty south coast delights has had me in a spin for four mornings on a trot now.

So, ladies and gentlemen. The question of the day is – will I give in come tomorrow morning. Will temptation get the better of me, and will I find myself at 7.05am tomorrow shovelling pastry and chunks of indistinguishable meat down my throat with a glazed, almost simpleton looked on my face and a stream of gravy down my chin….???

Only time will tell people. Only time will tell....

19 June 2009

In My 40th Year

So. I've had a birthday. Which now makes me 39. Nearly 40. A hop, skip and a jump away from elasticated waists, Tena Lady pads, tutting at kids who don't queue for buses.... same old, same old really...

The Girls did me proud with a suprise garden party. There was booze, there were cakes, there were platters of gorgeous little nibbles from the deli...oooh it was fab.

My Husband and I had a long old bike ride. I fell, well actually rode, into a fence/hedge thing. I snapped a something on the bike. We nearly had a falling out... things were a bit tense.

The Boss took me for lunch. The Team took me for lunch. And I'm out with The Family for lunch tomorrow.

The Diet starts on Monday.


12 June 2009


Mills & Boon has launched a promotion with W H Smith whereby customers who buy four of its romance titles will receive a free canvas bag.

The limited edition, pink-handled bag with the slogan "Romance is Everything" is only available at WHS stores with the purchase of Mills & Boon books.

Mills & Boon sales and marketing director, Clare Somerville, said: "Mills & Boon has a history of strong iconic design and our artwork has always had huge appeal to women. Producing these bags is a fantastic way to reward our readers for their loyalty, and offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to plastic shopping bags."

A book to add to the pile me thinks....

Farahad Zama has been announced as the first man to win the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy romance—beating the five female authors on this year's shortlist, which included Kate Harrison and Jane Costello.

Zama picked up the £5,000 prize for his The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (Abacus) last night in a ceremony at the CafĂ© de Paris in London. He said: "I am absolutely delighted at winning the Melissa Nathan award. When I started writing, it was as a diversion from a stressful job and getting awards was the last thing on my mind, especially from a jury of such well-known authors, comedians and literary figures."

This year's judging panel comprised comediennes Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks, Joanna Trollope, Sophie Kinsella, Tesco’s head book buyer Gaynor Allen, and presenter Liza Tarbuck.

The Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance is the UK’s only literary award dedicated to comedy romance writing. The inaugural winner, in 2007 was Marian Keyes, with Lisa Jewell winning last year.

The other shortlisted novels were: The Secret Shopper’s Revenge by Kate Harrison (Orion); Bridesmaids by Jane Costello (Pocket Books); Recipe For Disaster by Miriam Morrison (Arrow); A Winter’s Tale by Trisha Ashley (Avon); The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer (ChocLit).

9 June 2009

I’ve said it before and I’m quite sure that after the next 48 hours I’ll say it again, but for the Love of God, who the hell is Bob Crow – and why on earth hasn’t someone in power managed to get rid of him before now?!

My astonishment at this latest strike action is two fold.

Firstly, how on earth can a body of people expect guaranteed 5% salary increases AND a guarantee that an employer will not have to make any compulsory redundancies in today’s fiscally turbulent times, when the world economy is on it’s knees and a recession deeper than that which followed the Second World War is taking place, is completely beyond me; especially given that the rest of us that are lucky enough to still have jobs, jump for joy every Friday afternoon that we’ve managed to last another week of getting paid at all …

I mean really, you really think that’s acceptable? Or fair? Or right? Or just? Like really?

And then the complete kick in the teeth to all those hundreds of thousands of people who have been made redundant over the past say 12 months who would literally lick the feet of The Man that could give them a job which gave them a salary of around £30k, free travel on the Tube, 35-40 days holiday a year, a uniform….it must make them sick to their stomach…

So, from 7pm tonight till 7pm on Thursday, London will yet again be a place of chaos, confusion, frustration, exhaustion and anger. Journey’s to and from work will be hideous, and everyone will have a tale to tell about this, the latest in a ridiculously long line of Tube Strikes….

Thankfully Boris is right on top of his game by laying on an extra 100 buses to cope with the 3.4 million people who should be using the tube. You go Boris, you genius you!

5 June 2009

If you go down to the beach today...


Penguin's beach ball for Jane Green

A city beach in London's Westfield shopping centre is just one of the summer reading initiatives dreamed up by Penguin for Jane Green's latest paperback The Beach House.

A city beach with branded deckchairs and parasols will be created in the north atrium at Westfield (12th–14th June) to tempt female shoppers. Cocktails, cakes, manicures and book samplers will be available, together with a chance to enter a competition to win a holiday to Antigua.

Commercial marketing manager Ruth Spencer said: "We are constantly thinking of how we can engage more with consumers rather than push messages at them. The beach provides the perfect opportunity to invite people to spend time with the Jane Green brand."

I'm always tempted by a cocktail, a cake and a book. It's like all my favourite things rolled into one.

3 June 2009

Let the Reading Begin

With the arrival, finally, of some sun (cross fingers, don’t speak too soon...) my Summer Reading campaign has got underway…

First up are two books from New Work, Diva’s which is coming in August and perfect for everyone off on their Jollydays this Summer and Between The Sheets which came out last month, and is set to be an all year round favourite for me…

Diva’s is a back-to-basics bonk-buster, with hot hot men, hot hot sex, scandal, shopping, stripping, money… oh, all the good stuff! Lola and Evie are connected in a way they never imagined – It-Girl Lola is the daughter of an indulgent multi-millionaire who has been pampered her all her life and Ex-Pole Dancer, never-had-it-easy Evie is the mistress, holed up in a penthouse flat with her $100,000 diamond stripper pasties.

But then, shock horror, Old Man Fitzsimmons is placed in a diabetic coma and evil stepmother bitch Carin takes control of both their lives with dramatic and scandalous results….

This is a fantastic roller coaster of a read, takes absolutely no brain power at all to get through and the final chapter had me roaring with laughter….

I have two sneaky copies available for the first two eager beavers to leave a comment...

Between the Sheets is an altogether different book. Not chicklit. Not a bonkbuster. Nothing like a lot of the old claptrap that is out there right now. It’s much more women’s fiction – classy, grown up, dealing with real issues and the twist and turns of real lives.

Romantic novelist Dana De Lacey hides some tragic and devastating secrets and when the lid is lifted on them by her gorgeous architect husband Gus, her life gets turned upside down. Unable to finish her current book, and without Gus at her side, she finds relief in the bottom of a wine glass and is forced to face up to her past in a way she never thought possible…

I’m sure I must have read some of the authors previous work – and she has been compared by many to Marian Keyes so you would have thought I would remember at least one of her other books, but I don’t remember any of them… the up-side of this, is that I’ve now managed to add another five guaranteed excellent books onto my must-read-now pile.

Again, two copies are sat beside me right now, and can wing there way to you if you leave me a suitable comment...