Stand by … and action …

Sally the filmmaker in action

Today is my very dear friend Sally’s birthday.

Branching out into Chicassos of other people is proving very difficult.

I’m sure it was the same for Leonardo and Pablo.

Happy Birthday, Sally W!





Never too old, too sick or too late

Year of the Rooster: you’re never too old or to sick to try

It’s the year of the Rooster last celebrated in 1957. In that year Harold MacMillan told the nation you’ve never had it so good. Here’s hoping this year can be a good one too.

It’s certainly a good year for the so-called vintage tennis set. Venus and Serena Williams made the final of the Australian Open – older women. And Venus has a debilitating autoimmune condition. Let’s hear it for the girls! I love them both. They’re great inspirations.

Then there are the boys: Roger Federer and Raffa Nadal both are back from injury for the Melbourne Open finals.

Don’t write yourself off just because convention says you’re too old or too sick.

You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start again from scratch, once again.  Bikram Choudhury/Vishnu Ghosh

Taking the Mourinho


Can you see the baton?

José Mourinho has made me roar with laughter. Manchester United lost their match against Hull, however, he says they didn’t lose. It wasn’t a goal! He insists.

We could all take that approach and I suggest Usain Bolt follows José’s lead. After all, when is a win not a win?

Back in 1988 I got up at the crack of dawn to watch Ben Johnson – the Canadian – in the final of the men’s 100m. I overslept by 10 seconds and actually watched the replay – all 9.79 seconds. By the time I got to work  ( I overslept again!) I heard the news that the record no longer stood because Ben Johnson – now Jamaican – had taken banned steroids. (The case of his change in nationality  a story in itself). However, I took the Mourinho:   he did run the race and he did win the race.

Taking the Mourinho is the way forward.  Darren Campbell the British athlete was asked to hand back his relay medal because Dwain Chambers’ failed drugs test. He refused saying: If you want it back you can come and get it! So far no one has shown up to collect them.

There you go, Usain, take the Mourinho. Meanwhile, let’s hope Nester Carter’s case goes the same way as Asafa Powell’s.

Give it up

A not-so-happy potato

It seems that giving up your favourite foods is actually really easy – especially if you follow the news! The latest bad food group is starch. We know all about the carb-free brigade and how great they feel but this week acrylamide entered the frame.

It coincides with an interview I heard on the radio about the best way to give things up that your really like – associate them with things that you really dislike.

But if you check your labels (remember Lyndalox and the three salts?) there’s an awful lot out there that we could give up much more easily based on the shock factor alone.

I’m now looking at my potatoes differently and may stick to boiled and mashed – unless told otherwise.

Moaning Minnies

Moaning Minnie: (a) a claxon, (b) artillery  (c) a moaner

Everyone is so angry these days. I don’t know if social media has made it easier to vent or, is it, as my friend Annie pointed out: you can’t convey tone very well in email? I think that goes for 140 characters or other social media platforms, too.

I heard an MP reading out some of the mail/email/tweets that she gets and they had to bleep out most of it. Some women MPs are being intimidated out of politics.

Clearly not on the scale of our MPs, the big beef seems to be what’s in our inbox or social media feed. We can ignore annoying updates. And, if they’re really offensive the report, block and delete strategy might work.

I used to be a big moaner – Olympic standard – in fact. Somebody actually told me to shut up! It did the trick, though. Now I enter a moaning zone where, for a limited period of time, I can whinge but then I have to resolve the problem,  shut up and move on. Yoga helps.

Right now I am one of those culprits who is clogging up feeds with 365 days of gratitude. But, it’s a quest for the bright side.

Anyone for tennis?

Chiasso: Vintage tennis racket and headband – homage to John McEnroe (another favourite)

My new favourite person is Britain’s No.1 tennis player Joanna Konta. She’s played a brilliant game in recent weeks knocking  out top seeds like skittles. She’s also a great interviewee who speaks with intelligence and great respect for her rivals.

Overnight she played her heart out when she came up against my other favourite tennis player Serena Williams. Joanna didn’t win but she gave it her best shot. She went in to the game with steely determination and as Serena said after the match there’s no doubt she’ll be a future champion.

My other favourite tennis player is Venus Williams. Who doesn’t love this amazing woman? If she and her sister win their next rounds in Melbourne it could be a Grand Slam Sister Act final, again. Marvellous.

Shout out to Joanna, Serena and Venus. Inspirational women.

The Hetty Daffodil Mysteries ride again

Just call me Miss Marple!

Sometimes I exercise my right to strike. It has maximum impact in the kitchen. As it did the other day when I came home to a most delicious chicken soup.

You see, Imelda – so named because of his love of shoes – won’t divulge his secret.  I couldn’t have got better in a restaurant.

It wasn’t what was in it: chicken? yes. Carrots? yes. Potatoes? yes. Onion? yes. It was how it was made that intrigues me because when I throw together the exact same ingredients my soup tastes so differently.

You can read the original Hetty Daffodil Mystery here.