Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Hidden agenda

There's been a lot of fuss* in the press this week about a shocking survey which claims that most working mothers only have nine recipes in their regular repertoire. 

Even more dreadful, they sometimes cook the same meal on the same night of the week.  How do these people live with themselves?  Their families must be rending their garments and crying in the wilderness at the pain and woe caused by having the same meal on the same night of the week.

But hang on a minute.

Let's have a think.  How do they define "meal" anyway?  One of the press pieces I saw covering this scandal listed the "Top Ten Meals." The list included things like "Curry", and "Meat and Two Veg" and "Roast Dinner".

If I was in a restaurant and the menu said "Roast Dinner" I think I'd be asking a few questions.  What exactly did you roast?  Is it chicken?  Pork?  Beef?  Snake?  Cat?  A bit more detail would be welcome there, thanks. 

The same with Meat and Two Veg.  That, to me, covers about four hundred different meals.  Especially if you include sausages. Which I do.

Curry.  Just look at a menu in any half decent Indian restaurant.  If there was just the one entry - Curry -  they wouldn't get too many people coming back for a second visit.  Unless that one dish was incredibly fantastic, I suppose.

When you look at the actual survey results and the accompanying press release, it transpires that the whole thing emanated from Uncle Ben's.

It seems to be ok to have a small repertoire of meals, as long as some of them include ready-made sauces.

I quote:  

"Nutritionist, Juliette Kellow said: ''Parents should feel reassured that kitchen shortcuts like ready-made sauces are the perfect solution to expanding your repertoire with exciting and nutritious meals all the family will love.'' "

But where, oh where can I find a selection of ready-made sauces?   Tell me, Uncle Ben! 


Other news: We have a gardener! Yes, the Servant Question became more complicated today, as we added him to the long list** of people we pay to come and do stuff for us.

He is a very nice chap, and is going to give our poor old gnarly apple tree in the back garden a good hard pruning. He looked at my horrible weedy overgrown flower beds, at the ivy-infested hedge encroaching out across the mossy lawn, at the sad excuse for a vegetable patch, then asked me, "Shall I just come in and do what needs doing when I have time?"

God, yes. Yes. Come over whenever you can, and make my garden look nice. PLEASE. 

We've been putting off doing any kind of serious work on the garden because we want to get all the hard landscaping torn up and re-laid, so spending ages on the plants seemed like a waste of time. However, the gradual decline of the garden into a dank, frog-infested, weedy, mossy wilderness has become too depressing, so the very nice gardener is going to help us fix it.

I'm quite excited actually.

We've been living in this house almost 8 years (I think) and have been gradually getting all the serious stuff done - electrics, roof fixing, central heating, replacement windows and doors, bathroom, kitchen, all that, but now the house is more or less finished, so we can turn our attention to the extensive grounds***.

Next Spring could be very lovely. And boy, it's nice having something so pleasant to look forward to after this, The Year of Unmitigated Shit.

On that note, for those of you who have been bored witless by us talking about the SSFH****, we have had an apology.  And we are being deleted from the databases.  I should fucking well think so. 

Maybe one day when I find it all less horrific, traumatic and heartbreaking I will talk about it on here.  For now, though, we are trying to move on. 

In the meantime, life goes on and we will have flowers in the Spring.   

*I've seen two articles

**The hilarious and brilliant cleaners. And I suppose Kevin the Decorator.

***Front and Back gardens. Oh, and the bit on the side. Fnar.

****Shit Storm From Hades


@eloh said...

Yes, I would love to hear about your SSFH, I'm currently still in mine. The police officer who lived next to Rancho has been in jail now for about two years. I'm still dealing with the cannibals on the other side. I didn't name this Rancho Apocalypto just off the top of my head... I have my reasons.

About the survey... those who took it, those who wrote it, those who published it...
every body's gotta be somebody...just another fine waste of money and a bunch of good for nothing busy work.

Mr London Street said...

Still, before the joys of next year comes the trauma of the blog party. Excited?

Dan. said...

Erm, stupid fellow here.


Please explain?

But I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your lovely new garden. Will you have your gardener flogged if it doesn't meet your standards? That’s the only joy I find from hired help.

@eloh said...

Don't forget to have a few candles ready in case he want to shower up before he leaves.

My yard man has been back once since the infamous shower incident...

Middle Sis said...


You must feel a little better about that. When you feel in a better place start thinking about sueing the b*****ds!

I'll bring a rake next time we visit....and some bulbs.

livesbythewoods said...

Eloh, Dan, I may give a full and frank account of events on here but in the meantime I'm afraid it's a bit vague. Let's just say my opinion of the police had been lowered dramatically.

MLS, I am looking forward to it!

Middle Sis, never mind the rake, bring the chocolates!

And yes, we will of course supervise the staff with eagle eyes to keep them in line. Floggings may be on the cards. Although we'd probably just get another visit from the law.