Monday, 28 April 2008

Beware of the flowers (cos I'm sure they're gonna get you)

I love the notion of guerilla gardening. It’s quite subversive, and totally benign. Unless you suffer from hay fever. I’d do it myself if my spare time wasn’t already taken up with damage limitation on my own plot.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Remember the Mallen Streak?

Most women who ‘look good for their age’ dye their hair. Discuss. I always said I wouldn’t dye my hair again because when I went grey I wanted to be there to see it happen. I was quite excited when it did. I thought I’d made it to maturity when I got my first grey hair. I’ve got a few more now and I’m fine with this. In theory. I don’t mind having grey hair: I do mind having boring hair. I have (or had) dark brown hair; it’s been admired from time to time. For some time now I have yearned to have a white streak in it. Now I have discovered that (if I comb it a certain way) I do have one. It made my day. I might never make it as Cruella de Vil. But I might at least manage a Mallen Streak.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Language in the 21st century

I was brought up to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. No-one says it any more. It’s not because they aren’t polite. It’s because they are too polite. No-one says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ either. The new lexicon of 21st century etiquette goes something like this: You’re a star = thank you (said to someone you know) Lovely = thank you (said to someone you don’t know) Absolutely = yes. Saying ‘no’? ... not answering an email, generally.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Language and the generation gap

My sister’s children have forbidden her to say ‘whatev’. On the grounds that she’s over 25. (Quite a lot over 25, actually.) How things have changed. My mother never wanted to take over our slang. She just laughed at us when we called everything ‘far out’. At the time, she was still describing everything as ‘with it’. ...

‘You were cool once, mum,’ says my niece kindly. ‘In the 70s.’