The Archive 2003
The World Wide Web has the potential to become a growing
cancer amongst us if strict regulations aren't soon put into place.
Anne's View (18th Dec.)
is the time of year that prompts a frequent (and loud) Oh please!
from me whenever I come upon yet another newspaper article or television
programme recommending what we females should look like during the
this talk of illegalising cigarettes is a waste of time - we all remember
how well prohibition worked for the consumption of alcohol in the
30's, don't we.
A very Happy Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!
to Grill McDonald's Over Obesity Levels! UK is preparing for a parliamentary
inquiry into Britons' bulging waistlines!
should state right up front that I do not attend church. Moreover
I've never felt that my non-attendance was a great loss to any faith.
that anyone who has just suffered a month of thunderous and booming
explosives in their neighbourhood due to the Guy Faulk's celebrations
needs to be told this, but society is getting carried away with the
quote from a press release is just the sort of thing that men all
over the world print off, cut out and send to their female relatives
who have a fondness for shopping:
the Tories have a new broom to sweep up after their old mess! How
many does that make in the last few years?
corresponding online with a Stateside friend about some local babble,
I received a reply from them that was clearly not meant for me.
Christmas is an
odd time of year. Originally a celebration of Christian mythology,
it now has more of a theme park appearance.
As a young child
I disliked my elementary school enough to pitch a fit
each day I was dropped off. I dreaded the nuns who taught me and feared
the priests who visited our classroom once a week to ascertain whether
we had been good or not. It puzzled me even then what they were looking
for, crayon chewing? I mean, what sin could a 6 year old commit that
required such vigilance?
Along with cards,
wrapping paper and traditional Christmas ornaments and trimmings,
ladies festive fashions are all out in force. And I ve noticed
a worrying swell in the varieties of low-cut, boldly see-through garments
for the 2003- 2004 holiday season.
We have two blokes
kissing on one sappy soap opera, two gals about to get it on
in Eastenders and Madonna and half the divas (actually, due to their
tender age they re more divettes than divas) in the charts necking
on national Television &
And lastly, I d
like to inform readers that miracles do happen. I am capable of being
nice, inoffensive, innocuous and downright pleasant when I put my
mind to it!
A few months back
I heard a journalist/television personality claim that in the not-too-distant
future we d be seeing reality television going to such extreme
lengths to achieve larger viewing figures that soon the object of
a contest would be to see someone die!
What exactly is
a sale? I ask this because I seem to have a completely different understanding
as to what I would consider a bargain and what the retailers consider
When you read stories about thugs idiotically throwing beer bottles, immoral girls flashing their breasts, some lunatic trying to sever the water and support cords, crowds yelling vile abuse and all because David Blaine is starving himself in his harebrained plastic cubicle high above the ground, doesn t it make you wonder just who s the freak show and who s the audience?
I read an article
that hailed a popular American hamburger restaurant for its experimental
healthy alternative to the usual calorific burgers, fries and milkshakes.
What is it about
a disgruntled employee s abrupt departure from their post that
makes for fascinating reading? The public seems to be on tenterhooks
waiting to see what emerges from the desk of recently exited spin
doctor, Alastair Campbell. He s sparked rumours that he might
write his memoirs of his Downing Street days.
I know it s
ungrateful of me not to appreciate the free gift of a cute little
recipe book (not to mention, the four glossy recipe cards and a promise
of another 35) that came with my weekly magazine. But I m not.
you have thought that a subject as important as the changing of our
telephone information number would have been treated with a little
more weightiness than the inane TV adverts we ve had to endure?
I was surprised
to learn that in the past applicants applying for British citizenship
didn t have to have a basic knowledge of their adoptive country!
I presumed, obviously impulsively, that such a programme was already
It has been a
scorcher of a summer, a record breaking few weeks. And I could have
put money on when the boffins would start blaming global warming for
the rare heat wave.
Here s a
tale that clearly defines the day I realised I was old...
It took awhile
before I was able to write this week s column. Not because I
couldn t think of anything worth writing about (that could never
happen) but because first I had to stop gut laughing in order to see
We are living
in the middle of theme hell! From grocery stores to
petrol station to cinemas we re being bombarded with promotions
of nearly new, larger than life character festooning food labels,
billboards and non stop television advertisements.
me or does anyone else think that celebrities of today
particularly females are looking rather unattractive?
my daughter through a local shop the other day I happened upon the
most extraordinary gadget. I wasn't looking for a digital pasta spoon;
in fact I hadn't the slightest idea one even existed. But there is
sat, amidst old fashioned ladles, outdated wooden spoons and redundant
manual whisks. Let me state for the record that I was in search of
kitchen items for my daughter, rest assured my reputation for being
the worlds most un-domestic of goddesses is still in tact!
So, it's no longer
enough that modern children with discipline problems are labelled
as victims of Attention Deficit Disorder (commonly known as ADD) instead
of owning up to the fact that most of them are just unruly imps that
their parents need to come to grips with. Now we have PTED (Post-Traumatic
Embitterment Disorder) - an all-inclusive, sure-fire excuse for when
full grown spoiled brats throw their rattles out of the pram too.
The debate concerning
whether or not to smack children has reared its ugly head again. And
I don't suppose we'll get a final judgment this time any sooner than
when this subject was bandied about the headlines in the past.
have been out of the dating arena for a long time now. But when
did grocery stores become the rendezvous destination that discos of
the 70's or coffee houses of the 60's used to be? And why the grocery
store? I am constantly inconvenienced these days by innumerable couples
flirting with each other in the middle of the aisles while I try in
vain to manoeuvre around them, dodge trolleys and beat other shoppers
to the items I want. This is most definitely a new development.
We English speaking
folk are a strange lot. For the most part we refuse to adopt another
language. Yet any product with a foreign label impresses us. Woman's
cosmetics are a good case in point. Most of us gals can't even read
the pertinent advice and information printed on the label yet we use
the stuff faithfully, with the highest of expectations too!
I have just one
comment - well, actually it's a question - for the newly proposed
suggestion that fat people, smokers or fat smokers should have to
fill out and sign a contract for healthier living in order to receive
further treatment from their GPs....
Either I am the
unluckiest restaurant goer in all of England or there's a craze sweeping
the country bigger than Reality TV - and just as daft.
I would like to
thank Mr. N C Cunningham of Littleport for his most heart warming
letter. I enjoyed the sentimental account of how he met and fell in
love with his wife Freda so much that I would like to invite anyone
else to send me a letter (care of the Ely Standard) recounting their
I wondered what
catchphrase would depict the millennium. You know, just as we had
the term user friendly to describe a device any fool could use without
complications in the eighties and the irritating substitution of the
word concept for idea in the nineties?
What is it about
parking spaces that baffle the developers? From Ely High Street to
the Ely Train Station drivers are already expected to squeeze, cram
and stuff their cars into inadequate gaps. But yet, expansions continue
- minus the ever elusive car space, that is.
It's not that
I'm hell bent on singling out the fine young gals of today (or the
lads, for that matter) for criticism. And anyone reading this space
regularly would be forgiven for thinking I was an angry old coot,
bitter at not being twenty-something anymore!
I had a little
chuckle to myself when I read the open letter in last week's Standard
asking for readers to nominate their neighbours for Kleeneze Britain's
Best Neighbour contest.
futilely with a particular issue for a while. However, now that the
warmer weather is upon us, I'm quickly losing the battle and it's
all I can do not to approach each and every offending individual and
harangue them for their transgression.
my entire adult life from America to here. Actually, I've always believed
I was a closet shopkeeper!
We are, at long
last, at war. Well, for those of us sitting in our comfy chairs, unrelated
to anyone actually involved in the combat, watching the awfulness
unfold on our television screens, in reality, our troops are at war,
we're just the audience to the spectacle.
I am no dog
lover. Actually, my aversion extends to all animals, I can't think
of a creature I would be willing to own and care for. Let alone take
with me while I'm trying to relax or escape the rigours of life.
As I am preparing
this week's article it is being announced on the news that Mac
Daddy Master DJ Rapper T-Blair is to appear on MTV. It would seem
he is attempting to convince future generations of voters that war
really is necessary.
I feel sorry
for the grandfather involved in the recent FBI mix-up. His time
spent needlessly in a South African jail must have been horrific.
I can't imagine enduring such an ordeal myself. Something tells me
I would have been released a lot sooner than Mr. Bond was though,
just to relieve the guards of the strain I would put on them!
recent stay in America I was relieved to see that my kith and kin
are just as vehement about not wanting to go to war as so many protesters
proved to be here in Great Britain.
lottery jackpot has fallen to an all-time low. Despite the much-changed
television format and razzle-dazzle style of advertisements, it seems
that fewer and fewer people believe it could be you and are refraining
from gambling in droves.
I'd like to
close this week's article by writing a heartfelt goodbye to my biggest
I see Ely High
Street is being throttled to death by road works (again) causing
yet more chaos and loss of earnings for the shop owners. Honestly,
how much more are these folks going to have to tolerate before they
throw in the towel and do a bunk?
I was inundated
with more re-phrased words or titles by readers who agree with my
boycott on all things politically correct.
This may come
as a surprise to some - it most definitely came as one to me -President
Blair is well thought of and actually quite popular in the US of A.
The Americans think he's refined, well-spoken and tough! Tough, really?
I was one of
many, many voices to predict that the banning of all hand guns wasn't
going to rid the country of gun related crimes - that it was nothing
more than a knee-jerk reaction by the government to a growing and
sinister trend, hot on the heels of America and its gun crime madness.
It's a well
known fact that I have little faith in most charities
- note I say most, not all. I wouldn't want to imply that they're
all suspicious. And the festive season seems to bring out a plethora
of both good and bad.
It's not the
first time I've planned to make light of a situation - take a
little breather, so to speak after the festivities - by writing about
the frivolous goings, maybe muse over a humorous incident - when a
worthy issue catches my attention and causes me to forgo my plans
and vent my spleen in a completely different direction.
And on a much
lighter note, as was my original aim, I would like to say now that
I am making it my personal mission for 2003 to abstain from political
correctness of any kind.
I was asked a
brilliant question the other day - although my other half has a different
opinion about the "brilliance" of the query. We were on
our way to the car and he has rules about what subjects we discuss
while confined in such close quarters. This quickly became another
banned topic - right before the mother-in-law and just after the kids!
1. I would like
all newsagents to position a bin at the newsstand so that I may empty
my newspapers, magazines and periodicals of the annoying bumph stuffed
in between their pages before I take them home. Furthermore the unread
bumph could be recycled. Although it would probably just end up being
reproduced into more unread bumph....
First, let me
begin my New Year's article by thanking Charlie of Co. Durham for
the lovely 2003 calendar he sent to me and the interesting newspaper
clippings that accompanied it. And I would also like to take this
opportunity to relay to Charlie that the grand total of full cups
of coffee noted on last year's calendar was an impressive 113. I actually
circled the dates I was served a full-up cuppa as Charlie suggested.
Unfortunately I omitted to make note of the less than full cups so
that I had a truer study. Rest assured I will be doing both throughout
It's that time
of year again. The time of year where I defrost an assortment
of Saint Sarah Lee's deserts and pop the store-bought mince pies out
of their cosy little containers and into the oven for a hasty warming.
Incidentally, you'd be surprised at how many people ask if I've made
them myself due to the appetising aroma wafting about the house when
I do this. It always produces a hysterical laughing fit from any member
of the household who happens to be within earshot of the question