The Golden Age of Travel

Golden age of travel 2
Our meal offering seemed to be lacking something …

Yesterday we started out outward bound journey to Wellington, New Zealand.  We flew for 10 hours but got to LA 4 hours later – go figure – which makes me some kind of Time Lord.  In fact, the aeroplane is just the Tardis, except in reverse, it looks massive from the outside but when you get in it, the space you’re allocated is tiny and cramped.



I am, however very lucky in that, unlike husband, I can sleep on planes.  The low hum of the jet engines resonates with the empty space in my brain and lulls me into rapid and frequent patterns of deep sleep.  I cannot begin to count the number of unfinished meals or unwatched movie, always eager at the outset only to find a few minutes my head slumping into the dinner on my lap or my forehead slapping the the video screen both of which have sadly involving a not insubstantial amount of drool – I’m a aeronautical narcoleptic.

I long to go back to the Golden Age of Travel when you got dressed up for your plane voyage and each journey was a luxurious, sumptuous event not a Hunger Games qualifying round with suitcases.  In a time gone by there was a pudding trolley rolled along the cabin after dinner with many choices of sweet treats to help you pass your time in the air and what’s not to love about multiple puddings?

seafood trolley
No flight would be complete without a seafood trolley – lobster anyone?

But what I want to know most of all is how other women manage these long-distance flights and skip off the plane at the end, looking fresh and unperturbed, I really admire despise them for that.  Their loose but comfortable clothing is wrinkle free, slim ankles not showing the least affect of cabin pressure and their skin looks fresh and cleansed.  I on the other hand lumber out of the plane with my hair standing up on end, sallow skinned, sleep creases from the chair down one side of my face and clothes looking like I’ve slept in them, which of course I have.  It’s a delightful look I have cultivated for myself and I call it ‘the psycho vagrant look’, I’m not convinced it will catch on but I might have a word with Vivienne Westwood to see if she’d like to develop it for her Spring/Summer 2019 collection.

So to all the NZ Customs officials, when I land on Thursday morning, please don’t be perturbed by my outward appearance I’m really quite nice when you get to know me and I think me and New Zealand are going to have a fantastic adventure together.  In the meantime it’s a day in LA and another 15 hours flying time, without the pudding trolley *sob*

photo credit: Ferry Octavian <a href=”″>Look at her wing!</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


This year, the most viewed Christmas advert is the one we won’t be seeing on our TV screens.

Iceland’s Christmas advert has been banned by Clearcast because it’s considered to side with a political cause.  Honestly I don’t believe it has any political leanings whatsoever, what it does do is highlight the plight of the 25 orangutans who are slaughtered daily as corporations deforest huge swathes of rain forest replacing them with palm oil plantations. The advert is a about a young girl whose room is invaded by an orphaned orangutan. The illustration interspersed with footage shot by Greenpeace (hence the political tag) creates a wincing juxtaposition which hammers home the message.

The byline is that all of Iceland’s own label products will be palm oil free by 2018.  Unsurprisingly the ban has resulted in the advert going viral with over 30 million hits last week.  Clearcast have closed down their Facebook page and are not taking any phone calls due to the overwhelming response from the public to the advert’s ban. If you haven’t yet seen it, take a look below.

Well done to Iceland and their agency adam&eve DDB for taking a stand against these giant corporations and documenting the wide range of products that palm oil is now used in. If Nestle, Pepsi Co, Unilever to name but a few could follow their lead and look to manufacture without this ubiquitous product  we may be able to slow this toxic tide and repatriate lost land back to forest.

We are behaving like the cirrhosis sufferer who craves another drink or the lung cancer patient who carries on smoking as we wilfully destroy this planet, its habitats and communities, well aware of the damage we are causing and the long-term effects.  It is mind-blowing that even armed with this knowledge we do nothing to stop the devastation taking place on the beautiful place we call earth.

For decades we have dismissed environmentalists as ‘beardy weirdys’ or ‘tree huggers’ when they informed us that the future was bleak for both wildlife and humans unless radical action was taken.  We drove over any arguments they put forward accusing them of trying to stop progress.

Now all these birds are coming home to roost, or rather they aren’t because we’ve destroyed 70% of all wildlife populations since the 1970’s according to the WWFHow long will it take us to successfully wipe out the remaining 30% reducing our beautiful planet to the tundra we so patently crave.

We are in the throes of the six extinction with causes for the previous five being cited as volcanic activity, asteroid colliding with earth, lowering sea levels and changes in oxygen levels or a combination thereof.  All of them occurred naturally, without any interference from man.

For this extinction there is no massive geological catastrophe that can be held responsible. The blame lies squarely at our feet and for this we should be truly ashamed.


At least you’re not Theresa May.

Theresa May
Is there enough wine in the world?

Bet she’s been going to work feeling a tiny bit apprehensive with an over reliance on immodium lately.

And just when she thought it can’t get any worse, her friendship circle is disappearing quicker than Spice Girl reunion tickets.  Maybe she could fill in the gap left by Posh Spice … if the Jimmy Choo fits and all that.

She will however, need to get some emergency dance lessons in, but then again maybe not.

None of is looking young as we used to. Got space for another Posh?

What we had hoped would be the end of the discussions I think is actually just the beginning and I get the feeling she won’t be coming out of this smelling of roses, if she can smell at all considering the number of head and body blows she’s been dealt in the previous two weeks.

Hope she’s made a plan of what to do in her ‘down time’, Hobby Craft should be on the lookout a panic buyer in the next few weeks!

Christine McConnell – Confectionery on Crack


christine mcconnell
My own baking skills suddenly seemed to be lacking

Picture copyright Netflix

I started watching The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell the latest Netflix original feature and three things quickly became apparent: –

  1. Fanny Craddock wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds in Christine’s kitchen
  2. It can induce Type 2 Diabetes just by viewing
  3. The Bake Off team are feeling grossly inadequate

Fanny Craddock
Fanny was fed up – not a prawn cocktail in sight

Her creations are insanely complex and massively detailed proving testament to her baking, icing, illustrative, sewing skills – the woman is a total overachiever in the domestic goddess stakes taking food porn to new levels of cholesterol laden depravity.  The show focuses on the Halloween holidays with every sugar-soaked ‘installation’ dedicated to the Day of the Dead.

I’ve got to the end of episode four and some of her confectionery masterpieces include a tea set made entirely of chocolate, a shortbread Ouija board textured to look like antique rosewood, and a Gothic mansion with turrets which stands around 3 feet high decorated from front door to chimney – she pipes roof tiles for crying out loud!

Produced by the team at Henson Alternative this show is an adult version of our favourite puppets – a quirky combination of Muppets meets Magimix.  Christine takes centre stage in a calm, elegant way which juxtaposes nicely with her supporting cast of a giant werewolf, a well-spoken mummified cat and a randy raccoon with a fork where her paw should be, plus delightful cameo by the seductive Dita Von Teese.

It’s a little bit goth, little bit dark, little bit sexy and exquisitely delicious.

One bite and you’re hooked – you have been warned.

Almost the Gothic mansion – wonder if we were seperated at birth?


Packing Up is Hard to Do, aka – I think I have attention deficit disorder …


ruben-bagues-102896-unsplashWe are on the move, husband has been seconded to New Zealand for 15 months and as his trusty sidekick I’m allowed to go with.  He is busy being all important and ‘consultanty’ visiting client sites overseas and I’m doing the packing.  I actually felt my little grey cells atrophying as I typed that.

But here’s the thing with packing, you get to open up all the cupboards, boxes, drawers and find so many attention-grabbing delights like old Birthday cards and letters, photos that haven’t seen the light of day for years, forgotten DVD’s and all those half-completed craft projects that would get finished when ‘I had more time’.  That time is now and the allure of completing my summer garden garland is not as strong as it was 28 months ago, ditto the doll’s house jewellery and the hand painted tea light holders.  What should be taking a couple of hours to pack is turning into days as my mind wonders back and forth from not just the items themselves but also the newspapers they are being wrapped in; for instance, did you know that according to a study run by the Institute of Psychologists make-up makes young women look older but has the reverse effect on older women – who would have guessed?  I’m up to date on sport, fashion and politics, in fact I’d make a fantastic dinner party guest provided we were talking about what was occurring in September – November 2017 as those are the papers that my Dad gave me for wrapping!

Don’t get me started on the bookcase, every book opened, remembered and the occasional page re-read – I’m starting to lose track of time.  Husband is away all week, I have a concern that he’ll return to find me slumped by the bookcase surrounded by piles of partially read novels, sandwich crumbs and half eaten biscuits with absolutely stuff all packed.  I refuse to look at the dictionary, avoiding eye contact like the morning after a regrettable one-night stand, in case I am lured in and lost for weeks.

But the most pressing thing on my mind at the moment is just how did we fit so much gear into such a tiny little house.  And why did I buy 100 miniature clothes pegs with hearts on – ideas on a postcard please …

Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

Pulling the Plug on Summer

hot tub
Bubbles – hot tub style


With the first storm of the season pulled through and the cooling temperatures it’s plain to see that summer is now over and I couldn’t be happier.  This summer our circle of friends evaporated quicker than a water droplet on a pavement.


Every bugger we know has purchased a hot tub.

Since the arrival of summer in May the flood of friends buying into the hot tub lifestyle has swelled tsunami like with gardens all over Dorset being converted into scenes for the next series of Love Island.

Whenever we bump into friends, conversations of getting together always conclude with “and then we can all get in the hot tub” or “come on over, we got a hot tub”, “we’re having drinks, please come – we can all fit in our hot tub”.  Husband and I are universally agreed on one thing, hot tubs aren’t for us and it will be a cold day in hell before we throw caution and clothes to the wind and sit in the bath with friends and acquaintances – no matter how outwardly clean they may look.

macque monkey
We can get six in our tub – come on over

We’ve had to change our shopping habits to avoid bumping into people and being asked ‘what you doing on Saturday night?’.  Our usual response is to look stunned and stare myopically at each other whilst I desperately search my brain for an adequate response as to why we can’t get semi-naked and sit in a giant tureen of human soup.

Previously, when dining out at friends after the meal you could expect a round of shooters or silly games, nobody said “Ok guys now let’s all get in the bath, it will be a bit of a squeeze but I’ll go in first with Tina & Jeff and then Carol and John can get in with Clive”.

But now once your knife and fork hit the plate you’re expected to abandon your clothes and leap into a pool of hot water, at precisely a time when I don’t want to get undressed, tummy distended from too much food and skin blotchy from too much wine.  Whilst a hot tub may be the perfect dinner ending on the deck of your ocean facing villa, or in the forest with only the tree canopy for company; sitting in a mate’s back garden looking out to the broken trampoline and next door’s shed just doesn’t evoke the same feelings.

So it is with a happy heart that I look out the window this morning and see the rain hammering down, dark grey skies overhead and a wind strong enough to blow you straight out the hot tub and onto the sofa.

Viva Autumn, log fires and putting our clothes back on.

Illutration by Joe Bidmead

Photo by Mondo Elettrico – from paper by Massimo J De Carlo