Yearly Archive: 2009

The Village: Total Recall

Posted on December 31, 2009

On my first visit to my local bakery, I was pleasantly surprised when the assistant stepped forward to introduce herself and warmly shook me by the hand. She politely asked for my name in return and welcomed me to the village. I left the shop.. >>> more

Battle of the dolls: Barbie vs Marie

Posted on December 31, 2009

One is a ‘plastic-fantastic’ doll brought to life on the New York catwalk, the other is a showbiz trouper who creates dolls in her own image. Both turned 50 this year. Barbie celebrated her 50th anniversary in style earlier this year with a special.. >>> more

The Village: I Don't Think I'll Make It

Posted on November 27, 2009

I recently overhead two elderly ladies chatting by the bus stop outside The Guildhall. One was waiting for the Number 5 bus, the other was a Thaxted resident who was walking past and stopped for a chat. I couldn’t quite hear where the lady waiting.. >>> more

Nobel Peace prize: why it's right to encourage hope

Posted on November 20, 2009

I was initially puzzled when US President Barack Obama was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace prize. It seemed a bit premature. He is, after all, only in the first year of his Presidency and it’s much too soon to speak of any lasting legacy. Even he.. >>> more

Heaven is a Seat in Aveda

Posted on October 20, 2009

I lean backwards into the washbasin and the assistant begins to patiently unfurl strips of foil papers, trying not to snag my hair in the process. I am half way through my regular highlighting session in the Aveda salon at Covent Garden. From my.. >>> more

Plastic Surgery or Ageing Honestly?

Posted on October 14, 2009

“I love my life right now, I really do, but I wish I had my 20 year old body. I’d have a neck lift, if I could,” announced my friend, Gill, at her 50th birthday meal. “Are you mad?” we all chorused as she proceeded to demonstrate by tugging the.. >>> more

The Village: Poppy's Cakes

Posted on September 17, 2009

I’ve been dreaming of chocolate all week. Not just any chocolate but a wonderful dark, bittersweet chocolate that is the magical ingredient of Poppy’s chocolate, plum and hazelnut cake.  Liza, the owner of Poppy's Tea Room, lovingly bakes all her.. >>> more

Supersized Wine

Posted on September 07, 2009

My niece commented recently that I drink “a lot”. She is 18, heavily into clubbing and not averse to downing a few drinks herself on a night out. So, coming from her, this seemed a bit of an indictment. Her remark worried me sufficiently to start.. >>> more

The Village: Senior Cyclists

Posted on August 24, 2009

Thaxted is a magnet for senior cyclists. They congregate in the village like a pensioners’ chapter of Hells Angels but minus the leather and greasepaint. Sitting outside Parrishes in the late afternoon sun drinking coffee, their bikes propped up.. >>> more

Balthazar, Sienna and sinister shorts

Posted on August 24, 2009

It’s Sunday morning. I’m sitting outside a local cafe basking in the summer sun and flicking through the papers. I spot a picture of Balthazar Getty and his wife (has his dalliance with Sienna Miller now run its course or not?) out hiking together.. >>> more

The Village: 'Mary Poppins' sells soda bread

Posted on August 13, 2009

Friday, I discover, is market day in Thaxted which brings a little frisson of excitement to the normally tranquil high street. The market may only boast a handful of stalls but that just makes it all the more endearing – like you’re being let in on.. >>> more

Quantitative sleazing

Posted on August 06, 2009

When talk turns to the economy I’m tempted to cover my ears with my hands and go “La, la, la, la” because it all sounds quite complicated. So, I can’t say that I have followed the twists and turns of the recent financial crisis facing the country.. >>> more

The Village: The Back of the Shop

Posted on July 22, 2009

I recently had a bit of a ‘light bulb’ moment. Realising that I no longer wanted to chase the urban dream, I followed my heart and decamped to the country. I’ve been tentatively nudging my way deeper into the Essex countryside for many years now but.. >>> more

Bad Hair Alert

Posted on July 13, 2009

Well, it looks as if I managed to survive against all the odds. In case it passed you by, I’m referring to the prolonged heatwave, accompanied by dire health warnings, that was predicted for last week. The Met Office, acting in line with the.. >>> more

Leggings

Posted on June 14, 2009

I think Lindsay Lohan is on to a winner. No, I'm  not talking about her relationship with Samantha Ronson (it is back on again, isn't it?). I'm referring to the recent launch of her own line of leggings. Clearly I should have sought her quality.. >>> more

Blonde Ambition

Posted on June 10, 2009

Forget girl power, the phrase famously coined by the Spice Girls, that’s so over! Nowadays it’s all about blonde power or at least that’s what the Go Blonde campaign in Latvia would have us think. The first weekend in June saw around 600 blonde.. >>> more

Royals "thick as a plank"

Posted on June 07, 2009

Prince Harry has confided that he has found his pilot training with the Army Air Corps harder than he had anticipated. In an interview, during what has been acknowledged as a highly successful official trip to New York, Harry said, "There's times.. >>> more

Diversity's pensioner fan base

Posted on June 02, 2009

Well done Diversity for clinching the top prize in Britain's Got Talent; it seems we really are a nation of dancers after all. Mind you, I now know that if I ever need to check the pulse of the nation, all I have to do is speak to my 80 year old.. >>> more

Let's Dance

Posted on May 28, 2009

When did we suddenly become a nation of street dancers? This is the question I ask myself as I tune into Britain’s Got Talent. From solo body poppers to perfectly synchronised hip hop groups, we are producing an abundance of top rate dancers who.. >>> more

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