Tag Archives: recession

Viva Jamie

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We like playing Pre-recession, Post-recession in this household. It’s all subjective, of course, but it’s fun once you get into it.

For example, Pre-recession destinations include Ibiza and Iceland.  Post-recession places include Norfolk and Paris (so un-trendy for so long, but now oddly desirable again).

Jordan is Pre-recession.  Fiona Bruce is Post.

TV shows in the Pre-recession category include everything associated with Gordon Ramsay, Grand Designs and Top Gear.

Jules Holland is Post-recession.  As is Glee.

You get the idea.

And I think, on balance, Jamie Oliver comes out as Post-recession too. And this is from a girl who rails against the cult of the celebrity chef.    Yep.  Hands up. I’ve done a U-turn about Jamie.  And I don’t think I’m the only one.

When he first came out and did that whole moped malarkey and became Sainsbury’s whipping boy, everyone got sick to the back teeth of him.  He was called a ‘fat-tongued ****’ if you remember.  A lot.

I never really believed he had all those ‘mates’ in his trendy loft apartment.  I always thought they called him the fat-tongued thing behind his back.

Nobody liked him.  In fact, I can recall a drunken night back in the last century when we burnt Mr O’s first cookery book in the garden.  Sacrilege for writers to burn books, I know and very mature, however our vitriol knew no bounds.

But credit where credit is due.  Jamie does so many thinks right.  Not least of all, his latest cookery show, where he’s been doing a whistle-stop tour around Europe and bringing us the best recipes.  And contrived though it all must be, many of the situations he gets into seem very real.

Most admirable of all, however, to my mind, is that he actually eats what he’s made on the show.  He’s not waiting for the lowly public to taste his creations, he actually shoves the just-cooked food in his own gob.  Inspirational.

We live around the corner from Jamie’s Recipease shop.  It’s pink.  Being a Dad of girls, I suspect one of his kids chose the colour.  But as a shrine to all things Jamie, it works. The staff there are uber-friendly, the food is delicious.  It’s also very handy for birthday and Christmas pressies.

They used to have pizza stations where you could take the kids to make a pizza and they’d wrap it up for you and you could cook it at home, but mercifully, the kids have been banished, such is the demand for cookery lessons.  Jamie, it seems, is not only good at putting his ideas into practice, he’s happy to adapt them too.

Perhaps Jamie should do courses in how to be successful, as well as how to cook the perfect risotto. Dave and Nick could pop along after work with the new cabinet. After all, Jamie survived the last government and came out on top with shed loads of wonga.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the new government could say the same thing too?

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Gordon Brown Nuissance Caller

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Is it just me, or has the level of road rage gone up?  And rage in general?  I entirely blame the Government, but more on that in a moment.

The other weekend we were in London with our pals. We’d snuck out for Saturday lunchtime lemonades at The PV (the Princess Victoria, my fave West London pub) with all the kids – six in all between us.  About an hour later, after all the crayons had been scattered liberally over the floor, the WOO had closed (that’s Window Of Opportunity in Rees speak), but we’d all had a lovely time.  In a jovial mood we headed back out of the cosy pub to cross the Uxbridge Road.

The traffic was heavy.  Bumper to bumper.  Lots of empty buses.  The usual London glue.  We waited at the lights and duly crossed at the green man.  But it started flashing as we were only half-way across the road, at the same time as the amber light started flashing for the drivers.

A man in a red car, keen to get going, started hooting us, then wound down his window.  “Get out of the way you F*******   C***!” he screamed at me.

I put up my hand and asked him to wait.  The Little One had fallen off her scooter on the  way across road.  The man honked his horn more persistently and screamed more abuse, revving the car, threatening to run us down. By the time we’d hurried all the kids across to the far pavement, most of them were crying.

Of course being in heavy traffic, the driver had only managed to get twenty yards down the road.  My noble husband morphed into a gorilla and gave chase and pounded on driver’s car window, demanding to know why he thought he had the right to swear at me and the kids.  The man denied it, terrified now that he was hemmed in by buses and a very angry Mr Rees.  The woman sitting next to him implored Emlyn not to wake up their baby in the back!  The cheek of it.

I was shaken and cross, but gratified that Emlyn had called the bloke on his unreasonable behaviour.  He won’t be doing that again in a hurry, I hope.

But let’s face it, I’m no saint myself.  I’m aware that the problem of too many cars makes us all see red.   More often than not I’m raging against the system as soon as I can’t park.

And now, to add to my frustration, I’m now being pestered by a nuisance caller.  Guess who?  Yep, none other than Gordon Brown.

I’m receiving recorded announcement messages up to ten times a day.  A man, who sounds like he’s selling carpets informs me that I might qualify for a ‘Debt Relief Order’, a government initiative set up to help people ‘affected by the recent recession’ to eliminate 100 per cent of their debts within six months.  I might qualify, he tells me.

Except that I won’t.  Because I pay my mortgage and my credit cards off and spend within my means.  I never take the kids shopping and let them have what they want, and although I’ve had several dreamy crushes on new sofas, have never got actually bought one on credit.

So I’m outraged at these calls.  What makes me swear obscenities at this recording, is not the sheer numbers of these irritating calls, or my inability to track down the perpetrator, or my lack of knowledge as to whether it’s phoney or not, but the fact that the Government seems to be saying that it’s fine not to take responsibility for our financial actions, whether you’re a big bank, or a normal punter.

And whose paying for this scheme and all these calls?  Why, moi, of course.  Grrrrr.

The middle one picked up the phone earlier and as soon as she heard the ‘This is an important announcement.  Do not hang up,’ message, she said, “Shut up and go away, Gordon Brown, otherwise my Mummy will call you a tw*t again.”

Quite right.

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