SAVE money on expensive peppermint teabags by simply brushing your teeth before your morning cuppa.

That’s a funny message posted on the internet site Twitter, but we must be serious for a moment: it’s not based on truth; peppermint teabags aren’t expensive.

Recently, I ran out of milk. And we know that’s an unsolvable problem – I’m not, like, a cow or something. So I had simply no choice – no choice at all – but to forgo my usual cheap and nasty breakfast blend, and in its place to mainline peppermint tea, which doesn’t need to be taken – nay, which strictly must not be taken – with a splash of anything to mask the unpleasantness. Sure, I like peppermint tea – that’s why I have it around – it’s especially excellent for settling one’s innards after some suspicious prawns or dubiously warm yoghurt – but maybe it’s not nice all the time, so you should feel my woe.

Well, now the supply of peppermint teabags is dwindling, and soon I’ll be left with just the bunch whose attached pieces of string with paper labels (pictured) are all mutually and irreversibly entwined (not pictured).

Strings attached

Strings attached

Now, in the land of proper teabags – which it is customary to rescue from the drink after a while – I would greatly appreciate such a miniature rope to excuse me from scalding my fingers, and from the attached anxiety about melted fingerprints leading to my being accused of murder. But only a ruddy savage would ever need to lift out a peppermint teabag, because in their case the stewing process only in fact enhances the ravishing flavour.

Which makes it all the more frustrating that the quite rare (in my experience) little string-and-paper tails are these days only ever found at the ends of particular teabag varieties where they can only ever be damn nuisances. It’s the worst thing about modern Britain.


All of which waffle is just a barefaced conduit to showing this video:

From The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo (BBC Two). (Here is a direct link, because computers are foolish so that dingus might not work.) The Moroccan chappie is quite terrific, and I don’t know if you noticed that Khoo is rather handsome.

Maybe try the recipe at home (but without so much sugar).

I read it cos I liked the cover typography; I read it electronically, which rather ruined that, but I still liked it. Here’s a review from back then; now I might re-read it.

“It’s not hard,” he remarks, “to come by a good pair of tweezers; I use the ones my wife left behind when she moved out.”

Reminds me: I should buy some tweezers.

To declare that something is “where it all began” – well, it’s dangerous, because if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. But here, in a way, is where it all began (a series of three tweets from August):

Thursday, hello. Today I get to find out about my unicorn from a printed table of uppercase letters. (Hope for vowels and consonants!)

Been asked to wait outside until I’m a pretty blonde with nice breasts.

So I have secured me a unicorn, and it’s a nice unicorn, really nicer than I deserve. So that’s nice.

And that was that. Of course, a similar charade happened every year (some of the best that I remember are curiously absent, as though deleted, or only ever imagined in the first place)…

I still don’t understand how sitting an exam can be used to calculate someone’s blood group.

…but this was it. I could dig up “Where’s a good place to wee in Durham?”, but – well, I have done now (and I’m not sure it was worth it). The end.


So! How are you? I am a student – yes, that’s how I am.

The main purpose of the higher education system is to teach the more pompous boys and girls, who wish to postpone behaving like a proper person for a few more years, and so who go to university, not to put bread in the microwave oven. But I actually discovered that secret a few years ago, which raises the question of what the hock I’m doing here.

Well, clearly I’m still desperate to postpone sensible behaviour for a while longer, no matter what I already know about the interaction of wheat and radiation. But besides that, it doesn’t really feel outrageously expensive – of course, I just screw up my eyes and ignore the debt, but as well as that, means testing is just rather kind to me: like, I can afford to have two keep two different kinds of extra virgin olive oil! Nobody expected that.

The unicorn is made from out of concrete, and goose poo, and automatic doors that are just slightly unsettlingly late to start opening when an approaching pedestrian is detected. But more importantly, some people live in it, and they are largely nice, which is a relief.

People to whom, in many cases, means testing is less kind. It turns out that an endless source of fun is looking up people’s former schools on Wikipedia to find how many dead Home Secretaries are “notable alumni”. It also turns out that braying received pronunciation is right annoying in the dead of night. I do wonder which category people guess I must fall into – but there’s no way, no way at all, that I’ll ever find out, clearly.

People, as well, who are overwhelmingly distressingly handsome (an adjective whose use I am championing for use with nouns of all genders, by the way) – but I’m already strangely inured to that.


What I really want to do is direct, and after I promised myself to give up doing soul-destroying PHP (especially WordPress) stuff, of course I then went and helped redesign a ruddy student newspaper website. The most recent part of that has been to make very minimal updates to a five-year old fantasy football game, which I mention only as an excuse to include this tangentially related video:


What else is there to mention? I’m sure there was more. I bought and ate a Pot Noodle (which should surely be some noodles?), believing it to be some kind of rite of passage, and I felt degraded afterwards. On only one night so far have I imbibed too much liqour and wound up in fugue state, in a field of cold mud without my shoes. There’s nothing else – that’s the end.

From the Daily Mail (so be careful, that’s a link to the Daily Mail website):

The Tories were today forced to deny that a video clip purporting to show a long-haired party-goer at a 1988 outdoor rave was the party leader David Cameron.

Read that again. Now, that David Cameron is a video clip is a serious allegation.

And other six-word–long stories.

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