It’s a mug’s game

I have just rinsed out my new mug. I say new mug, but it is really my old mug, reclaimed from the dead by lemon zest. I have vowed never to go back to the dark days of stained crockery bearing a remarkable similarity to a smoker’s lungs. To this end I have washed out my mug with a scrubby thing and it is now sparkling quietly on my desk (we are NOT ALLOWED to leave ANYTHING out on our sink’s draining board). If you have been following the saga of my dirty mug, then you may be interested to know that it is a Sure Start mug. Sure Start is a Government childcare initiative for so-called ‘deprived communities’ and I write about it almost every day. In fact, that was what my conference was about yesterday. I live, breathe and drink out of my job.

Sandwich disappointment

It is with regret that I report I have been let down by my last two egg sandwiches from Pret. The last one I ate didn’t taste brilliant but I thought it was probably an aberration. However, I got one today and it too lacked that special flavour that I have come to expect from Pret eggwiches. I fear they have employed a substandard eggwich chef. Doubtless Helen will berate me for not accepting the homemade eggwich she offered me this morning.

In other news…the date of the Strawmarket Christmas party has been announced. Woo!

AND I have purchased a new pair of tweezers for Helen after I destroyed her last pair by using them to extract some stubborn screws from my new chest of drawers DIY project. It wasn’t my fault they ended up all twisted and useless. I blame the manufacturers. Nevertheless I have replaced them out of the goodness of my own heart and Helen can remain hair-free (retaining any necessary hair, like head hair, obviously).

Lemon fresh

I have conclusive proof that lemons are filled with power. My tea mug had not been cleaned since I joined Strawmarket four months ago and thus an unpleasant brown residue, made up of tanin and grease, had steadily built up, making my tea taste horrible. Daniel’s mug was the same, but with even more brown (his mug had probably not been cleaned since January). Having heard much about the cleaning power of lemons, I invested in two, and squeezed their powerful juice into the mugs and left them in a cupboard for a day and a half. I have just successfully cleaned both mugs to a brilliant shine and seen the bottom of my mug clearly for the first time. This is a famous victory and a testament to lemons’ citrussy goodness. Buy lemons.

dull, dull, dull

I went to a conference yesterday and it was dull, dull, dull. I can tell because I am looking at my notes and they say “boring boring boring boring boring”, written in different styles and patterns. The biscuits were nice, though.

Richard will be excited to learn that Otley was the answer to one of the clues in the Metro crossword this morning.

farmers market

there is a farmers market in my place of work today. this is very exciting. I have been and have bought some beetroot chutney, some blackerry and apple jam, some lamb chops, some parmesan cheese, and some scones and cheese straws for the office.

for lunch I am having a ham and cheese sandwich. wish that I hadn’t brought any lunch then I could have had a farmers market cornish pasty or other tasty snack.

Civic Centre murder update – for those of you who are interested. Latest word on the street is that it might not have been a murder, might just have been someone who inconveniently died.


I have had some soup for a late lunch. This is on top of the crisps and chocolate that I had in the car when I couldn’t find anything I liked at the services. they made me feel sick and I regret eating them.

Jo better have eaten some of the food from our fridge while I’ve been away – like the sweetcorn for example – that would have been a lovely snack but I bet it’s still in our fridge.

Our controller just asked why I wasn’t at the important meeting that I missed. No one had passed on my messages that I wasn’t going to make it. this is very annoying.

Weekend update

This weekend, while Helen was enjoying herself elsewhere, my mother and I removed Helen’s window and set about repairing it.

Michael Buerk: “Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet what started out as an ordinary DIY task quickly turned into a NIGHTMARE. What Jo and her mother Norma did not realise is that the sash window had been tampered with. They were about to get the shock of their lives…(cue dramatic music)

Jo: “Well, it was all going to plan until we discovered that the last person to do any work on the window had put in a pane of glass several sizes too small but disguised this with lots of putty. I just froze. Who could do something like that?”

Michael: “Yessss. And what’s more the cowboys had replaced old, light glass with new, heavy glass throwing the whole system out of balance. It was not looking good for Jo and Norma.”

Am I making my weekend sound interesting and dramatic? I also massacred a bush in the back garden and bought an antique chest of drawers, which I am lovingly restoring to its former glory. I have turned into my mother, but I DON’T CARE.

Long Drive

I have had an annoying day. I had a long drive down from Liverpool in an attempt to get here for a meeting at 2pm. But the traffic was slow and I didn’t make it. This is annoying as if it hadn’t been for the meeting then I could have just stayed up north for longer and come back at a leisurely pace, rather than getting up early and driving so quickly that I have given myself a headache and have had no lunch.

But I did get a treat of going on the bus with the most annoying child/ teenage mother combination in the world. The child was called Angel, the mother was some sort of weirdo punk. The mother was much more annoying that the annoying child and kept shouting at it loudly to behave – shouting ‘Angel stop doing that’ somehow sounds wrong. This journey confirmed 2 things to me – 1. I hate travelling on buses, and 2. stereotypes about people from the north being a bit rough are all wrong as I can confirm that people in the south can be pretty loud and awful and dreadful all on thier own. And I haven’t even mentioned that Harrow smells of wee yet.

More on the murder

Phew! I have finished all my stories.

I have tried to find out more about the murder but the lead story on the Harrow Times website is about an exciting new leisure card. The newspaper photographers I chatted to at ‘the scene’ said it was a stabbing. Is this a case of life imitating art? In my hit musical …The Press! a talented female journalist tracks down a serial killer. Could it be up to me to solve this murder? I could see the corner of the victim’s anorak under the tarpaulin but no bloodstains, incriminating footpints, or cigar ash from a Bolivian Black Cheroot smoked by a one-legged man with a ginger moustache. The investigation continues…

Happy Now?

I have been inundated with one complaint about a lack of posts this morning. It is press day today and I have lots to do as I went on a course on Friday and also because I was late due to the fact someone had inconsiderately been murdered on my doorstep. My usual route to the station is through Harrow Civic Centre. Imagine my annoyance when I got there this morning to find police everywhere, the whole area cordoned off and a dead body lying under a piece of tarpaulin. I missed my train as I had to take a circuitous route. Hmph.