Category Archives: oddbods

What’s Inside?

Been thinking about this for a while, not that my other half has one because he doesn’t (in fact he’s verging on scrawny thanks to obsessive cycling) but it’s always bothered me. A bit….


What do men keep in their stomachs?

You know the sort:

solid, beer-stretched above small hips

a belt constantly thumb hooked up

in hope.

It doesn’t feel like fat,

the sort that cushions a child’s hand,

it doesn’t dent or undulate.

It’s a tank,

liver and spleen and intestines unravelling

loose hanging like astronauts slow twisting in space.

Or have they grown into bulldogs

snarling, beefed-up organs

jammed in,

stuck for space,


I don’t know.



Filed under oddbods

Glastonbury and a Repeat

I’ve polished off a good half of a nice bottle of plonk and I’ve got Elbow playing at Glastonbury live in my kitchen and I re-read my Latitude poem (the one that Mr Garvey read on his Radio 6 show a couple of years ago and which seems to have been my 15 minutes) and it really makes me smile…so I thought I’d re-send it into the ether….




It’s wet in here.

It’s coming in through the zip

and your knee’s in my back

and that hard bass thud won’t stop

and I can feel the start of a need for a pee

but I’m not going out in this

because I can’t get my wellies off without a pull from someone.

Don’t think about it.

She was good though wasn’t she

what’s her name again…

the one with the poems about women

about childbirth and the real purpose of breasts

(I can’t say ‘tits’ even in my head but she could)….

…remember that shelf of porn in the newsagent

labelled ‘Women’s Interest’….

and that girl with the guitar who made me dance,

the one with a voice like flying who took me away for a while

and let me swing through the trees.

God, please don’t snore.

We’re in a tent.

It’s starting,

those deep breaths that go far back into your head.

If I tip the pillow forward a bit it might stop…

Remember that man wearing his mum’s fur coat

and skinny stick legs laced into boots

do you think it’s because of Grayson Perry because it wasn’t just him

there were lots of them

neatly pre-war coiffed


and remember the sandy haired chap

who’d trimmed his yellow beard to a point

and that girl with the green sequinned nipple tassels

in the queue for the loo.

She looked cold.

I’m glad we got the extra thick self inflating mattress.



Filed under oddbods, poems, poetry, writing

Tales of the Unexpected

It’s not quite what you expect – no eerie intro, no Joan Collins bouffant hairdo, no suspended terror…just a quite serious proposal of marriage from a large shouldered, vaguely attractive Viking propping up the bar in the French House (fine Soho institution).

It’s late. I’m half cut. But boy have I had a nice birthday. An excellent night with the Hub: the French…Bocca di Lupo…Ronnie Scott’s bar (apart from the rather nice gin and the spectacular dreads of the cloakroom chap, very forgettable)..back to the French and voila….

A marriage proposal.

He was a bit squiffed but terribly earnest…and quite unsure of himself. He has a beautiful girlfriend. Lovely cheekbones. But she has a temper, apparently. I told him to find someone who will be kind to him when he’s old and who will make him laugh. I think it struck a chord. Anyhow, he did offer marriage. I had to turn him down. He’ll get over it. 

I’m married. But I’ve never been proposed to.

I got fed up of waiting and, pissed under a grand piano in 1996 in a Worcestershire farmhouse, I popped the question. We sort of agreed and passed out.

So, it came as quite a nice 45th birthday treat, to have my first proposal. And he’s only 32. Can you even start to imagine someone being even vaguely within radar who was born when you were in Lr IV?

I love stories of love and proposals…tell me how yours happened?

Leave a comment

Filed under oddbods

The Best Cake #teamnigella


I’m in my favourite day. Christmas cake day. And thanks to Nigella, it’s a pain free totally guaranteed to work day. The only thing that can go wrong is that I’ll have one too many glugs of the brandy bottle and forget to pick up the Boy from school. Will that get me onto the front page of the Sun? Or do I have to up the anti and shove some of the powdery stuff up my nostrils for that to happen? I think if I had a dead mother, a dead sister, a dead husband and a shit of a second one I’d’ve resorted to hard drugs too. Occasionally. I’ve only got one out of the four so I’ve stopped at alcohol.

If you fancy it, it’s the Easy-Action Christmas Cake, Nigella Lawson’s ‘Feast’, p92.

And it is easy and it is lovely.





Filed under oddbods

FoodInteriorsGardens (FIG)

You really need to see this because it’s fab.

A new blog by my chum Pascale.

Serious talent.



Leave a comment

Filed under gardens, oddbods, writing

STB (Stuffed to Bursting)

Christmas Cake

That’s it. Done. The cathartic moment when the turkey carcass stops leering at me from the fridge and enters its rightful place: the bin. I’m not going to bother with stock from its bones, for one thing I haven’t got a pan big enough to hold it in its entirety and I’m not spending my morning wrestling it into small pieces (have you ever tried to hack through a turkey’s back bone? No? Don’t waste your time: it will win).

So this is not a poem but a list of all the things we have picked at, eaten with relish, shoved to the back of the fridge in disgust, nibbled and spat out since Christmas Eve (not counting cups of tea and packets of Kettle Chips).

Pheasant x 2 (browned in butter, flamed with brandy and braised with apple juice and stock)

Celeriac, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes (apt)

Mashed potatoes (butter’s a main ingredient)

Chocolate Brazils

Mince pies (sweet shortcrust, home made mincemeat – thanks Delia – extra brandy)


Smoked salmon and thin thin brown bread

Champagne…for breakfast…for elevenses…for lunch…

More chocolate Brazils and a celadon green tin of Fortnum’s Explorers biscuits

Turkey, legs removed, boned, snipped of its ligaments and stuffed with….

Sausagemeat, chestnuts, lemon, sage

Butter, butter….more butter

Streaky bacon and thin sausages

Braised red cabbage (Viennese style)

Ubiquitous sprouts

Parsnips and spuds roasted in goose fat (I could just have had these alone)


The Hub’s cranberry sauce. Orangey. Sinus hurting.

Pauillac, Pinot Noir, Sauternes

Blue-flamed pudding (the one we forgot to take to Scotland last year)

Brandy sauce

No cheese..that’s tomorrow

Sloe gin, Drambuie

More crumpets

GLORIOUS LEFTOVERS (and a ham: scored, cloved, burnished and too darned big)



Fennel crackers

Thick nubbly fan shaped oat cakes

Chocolate ginger

Turmeric yellow Piccadilly Piccalilli (it must stain your insides)

And cake, cake…..Christmas Cake (the best I’ve made – thanks to Nigella and a tin of chestnut puree)

Today, 28th December. We’re having salad.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!


Filed under oddbods, writing

Frightening the Pigeons

It’s Poetry Day! 

I’ve just a few read out loud in the garden. Impromptu gig. It’s surprising how difficult it is, reading aloud to the geraniums and the few neighbours who are in and curtain twitching and wondering what the hell I’m up to….

The snails hung around for it though, but then they’re not fast movers…..

We had Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘The Fish’ and Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Mrs Quasimodo’. 

Can’t wait for next year…….


Filed under oddbods