Sainsbury Direct (67p)
I believe it was Dr Johnson who once said ‘If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life’. If he wasn’t so patently talking about London, he could well have been talking about the culinary masterpiece that is Heinz Baked Beans and Pork Sausage. As if baked beans weren’t good enough by themselves, the audacity, the nerve of pairing them up with tiny pork sausages, well it’s genius on a level I know the late Doctor would have justly approved of. I’m enjoying this particular tin lavished over a pair of unmelted, mature cheddar on toasts. The tangy hit of the cheddar beautifully offsetting the slight acidity of the bean and tomato goo. As ever, I have left all the sausages to the end, and used them to mop up the last of the sauce. Mmmm, mm. Tin based snaking doesn’t get any better.
(5/5 The caviar of the north)
Spokesperson for Mohamed Al Fayed
I think it’s fair to say that no-one emerged from the Coroner’s Inquest of Diana, The Princes of Wales, covered in glory (except perhaps the jury, who at least managed to turn in a half-sensible verdict). But while we expected Al Fayed to be crazy and Paul Burrell to be a mincing, fat liar, I’m not sure that any of them turned the stomach to the extent of Katharine Witty, Al Fayed’s latest spokesperson, as she shamelessly peddled the rantings of her unhinged, but moneyed boss to ‘the media’ (i.e. us). Not since the heady days of Comical Ali in the Iraq War has a spokesperson so diligently pushed a story that was so patently horse shit (and at least Ali had the excuse that if he didn’t tow the party he’d have been shot, or hung, or beheaded, or possibly all three. Miss Witty, sadly, has no such excuse). Prostitution takes many forms, but at least you’re average hooker doesn’t have to do it on national TV.
(0/5 taking it publicly in the ass, for cash)
200 minutes, 400 texts, 30 day rolling contract (£15 +VAT per month)
Opportunities to say nice things about utility / communication companies are, as my old man would say, rare as rocking horse shit. So I’m going to grab this one with both hands. To keep a long story short, I rang O2 to ask if the iPhone still cost 2 arms and a leg up front. They confirmed that it did and I sounded disappointed. At this point the woman on the phone did something virtually unheard. She used a working knowledge of her company’s products to pro-actively recommend me a better deal! In this case the Simplicity tariff. I got my bill last week, it’s halved. Hooray. Until that moment, I believed Good Customer Service to be some sort of mythical creature, like a unicorn, or a goblin. At best a dodo. Once abundant, but now no more. Extinct. Deceased. But I’ve seen it. It does exist. What’s more, it’s alive, well and feeding on the lush green pastures of O2’s mobile phone offering.
(4/5 The next best thing to free money)
Friday 9pm, Channel 4.
Once upon a time a TV series was one of two things. Either…
a) A collection of discrete episodes, all based around the same situation, but each with a discernable narrative of its own. Ok, some of these series, like The X Files, had a long running background story too. But it was always extra and always possible to only tune into every 4th episode, make sense of what was happening and enjoy it. Which meant they could run as long as the actors, or the viewers were willing.
b) A set number of episodes with a single story arc, including a beginning, middle and, importantly, an end that was already decided. You needed to watch them all, but you knew the parameters of what you were signing up for. Think House Of Cards, or State of Play. A rare, modern American example is 24. You know it has 24 episodes and by the 24th the story will be wrapped up. You can watch it, enjoy it, then forget about it and move on. That was all BL – Before Lost.
With Lost, a new model was born that meant the TV execs could have it all; the never-endingness of a) and unmissableness of b). The new model? A single storyline that requires you to catch every episode, but can go on and on and on and on, because, honestly, the writers have no more idea what the ending’s going to be than you do. And it is without a doubt this model that the producers of Dirty Sexy Money are hoping to employ. Don’t get me wrong; it’s got a good cast (D. Sutherland / bloke from 6 Feet Under), it’s well produced and I like a whodunnit as much as the next man. But I’m not prepared to sign up to another wild goose chase. For the record, I’m still watching Lost. I’m on series 4 episode 8. That’s 70+ hours so far and I’m no closer to knowing what’s going on than series 1, episode 1. What’s more, I’d bet my lungs that the ending, should it ever come (I think they’re talking about 6 series now) will fail to tie up 90% of the stuff that’s happened so far and will be earth-shatteringly, heart-breakingly, arse-winkingly disappointing. So sorry Dirty, Sexy Money, Count me out.
(2/5 Don’t show me the money)
Have you been wondering what Tony’s been up to since he resigned as Prime Minister? Perhaps you’re interested in his new climate change initiative, or want to see a complete transcript of his speech praising Rwanda’s progress? Then tonyblairoffice.org is the site for you. Originally brought to my attention for winning some sort of design award (???WTF) it’s its utter pointlessness that most captured my attention. Who baring his direct family, who presumably have a fair idea what he’s up to anyway, has any interest in knowing what Tony’s up to now? I can just see Putin leaning over to his intercom and barking ‘Cut off Gas to Ukraine! And also, must know now what discredited Prime Minister of UK is up to!’ Even the contacts section is useless, as it’s presumably dealt with by some sycophantic lackey. Which make sending an email along the lines of ‘Fuck off Tony, you self-obsessed, mad, egotistical, ball bag’ pointless. Shame.
Suggested by Jon Andrews. Thanks Jon.
Soft porn star marries has-been popstar who should know better, then wants a hatfull of money when he divorces her. Who cares? The big question for me is WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS HEATHER MILLS WEARING? She’s spent 4 years married to a man worth an estimated £800,000,000 (that’s 800 million pounds), presumably had unlimited access to the best clothes shops in the world and has a daughter-in-law who’s a celebrated designer and likely knows a few people in fashion. And yet Heather turns up to court in an outfit that looks like it’s been sewn together from bits of an old snooker player’s cast offs. For god’s sake Heather, do us all a favour, go and spend some of you £25 million on a suit that’s all one colour.
(1/5 Next time, keep in in your pants Paul)
Waitrose, Kings Road, Chelsea. (£1.79 for 2)
Think of Waitrose and the mind almost instantly settles on the word ‘quality’. It is without a doubt the supermarket of choice for those that love food. And so it’s with not a little excitement that I gently break the seal and prize open the box of their own brand, Cumberland Scotch Eggs. Billed as Whole free range egg encased in fresh Cumberland pork sausagemeat and coated with breadcrumbs, I’m almost drooling on my keyboard as I write the words now. However, it must be said, on releasing the snacks from their plastic nest they don’t look anything but ordinary; standard size, standard golden looking breadcrumbs. The first cut reveals nothing extra of interest and sadly this is as good as it gets. The egg section itself is top quality, very fresh, not too rubbery. But the surrounding pork is a distinct let down, with almost no taste to it what-so-ever, just a sort of crumby chalkiness. And as Confusious said all those years ago “No porky tasty scotch eggy, no really scotch eggy at ally”. Wise words.
(1/5 The taste of disappointment)