Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Despite the risks involved (see last post), today is your day Jayelles, when I say your name out loud (though not 3 times, I've seen Candyman and Beetlejuice) and respond to your obsessional stalking.

I'll give you a minute, no doubt you will want to get your breath back after all that writhing on the floor.  Better now?  Hope that will give you a little insight into the twinkle you see in other women's eyes, that twinkle you have never had, and probably never will.  

Where do I begin.  First of all, please do not concern yourself a moment longer about my sanity.  I have reached an age where I don't give a fuck what other people think of me (its quite liberating), happily most people find my eccentricity charming, so I can live with that.  

I can see how my, shall we say brutal honesty, could be seen as a mental health issue, and indeed the number of times I have been asked not to return to places of work would support this.  Unfortunately the knock on effect is that I now seek out lies and stupidity in the wider world.  Lets just say, I have a heightened sense of injustice that goes right back to early childhood.  I cannot bear cruelty towards the vulnerable, it gets my heckles up.  A three year old little girl doesn't just vanish.  

But lets get back to you.  I have a theory that some women, when they reach a certain age, buy an inordinate amount of cats or they find someone to stalk on the internet.  I am guessing you are sitting at your computer with a variety of moggies on your head and a couple creeping out from under your armpits. Am I right?

You keep your own identity carefully hidden whilst ripping into and naming and shaming others.  Do you not see the hypocricy in that?  You claim to be defending a noble cause, yet you do not have enough faith in it to reveal your own name?  

You have been unmasked as a dental receptionist from somewhere, I don't know if you are, and I don't really care, the picture certainly matched your character, as to the passion for collecting and filing information on other people. All those irritating little A-Z cards day in and day out, it takes some kind of devotion to filing to pursue it in your spare time - err, kudos.  I look forward to the Filing Awards (is it like the Baftas?) and your final recognition.

Your passion for the McCanns (personally) Jayelles is (Oops, thats twice) is way over and above that of, shall we say normality for want of a better, or lets call it a baseline, and you fly off the scale.  You would be in the group known as 'superfans', and my advice to Kate and Gerry is 'Be Afraid'.  You were also obsessed with the Jonbenet Ramsey case, though I not sure who the object of your obsession was there, and frankly, I can't be arsed to look it up.

You are not my first stalker Jayllbait (gotcha!) - I once worked with a woman who became more me than me.  It was like Single White Female in the workplace.  Sadly she was a much better me than I was, and she nicked my job!  Ce la vie.  Your reasons for stalking, wow, that would go into several pages, and I have would have to charge you ;)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


I don't think there was swinging, I do however think there was a lot of jealousy. Some people in this world become fixated on what others have, that they do not.  It eats them alive and creates a personal hell within their minds, that can sometimes go out of control.  This is particularly true of narcissists.  I am not necessarily talking about material possessions, it also includes great personalities, a sharper wit, good relationships, good children, helpful relatives, more friends etc, etc, if a person is inclined towards jealousy, they will find something and some way in which to include the words 'not fair' in their thought processes.  

Bearing in mind that the McCanns' personalities have not changed since, or because of, Madeleine's disappearance.  The people we see now are the same people they were prior to 3rd May 2007.  

Rightly or wrongly, many of us reacted to them with intense dislike, probably because we could see straight through them, and the same must be true in their personal and social lives.  On the surface, they would appear to be valuable friends to have, attractive, financially comfortable with good connections, the epitome of the middle and professional classes and probably regulars on the guest lists of all their medical friends.  However, the way people appear in public can be entirely different to how they actually are within their own homes, or in the relaxed atmosphere of a holiday.  The holidays, Christmas especially, always show a marked increase in murder, abuse, break ups and break downs, they are intense times when we are with our loved ones 24/7 - real personalities show through.  

Returning to the swinging, it is unlikely.  When Kate made her anguished appeal that she couldn't make love to Gerry, a lot of women felt sympathy, no-one could.  I think Gerry might well have fancied studying the assets of the giggly quiz mistress further into the night, but a lot of that could have been macho bravado in front of his mates, or possibly an excuse to stay away longer from the whiney nagging of his uptight wife.  Even Hulk Hogan would have flinched at going home to an angry Kate.

I think the group holiday was for fun and relaxation, though I don't think the relaxation part was fairly distributed between the McCanns.  Fiona even brought her mother along, not something you would do if you if you were expecting a stream of a visitors through the night in various stages of undress or possibly bondage gear.  I don't entirely know what swinging involves, but I am guessing a lot of bed hopping or the hiring of a hall if there are a lot of participants.  I am trying to form a picture in mind, but all I can imagine is a Brian Rix Farce from the 1960's.  

I suppose there are occasions where a group of people might loll around, sharing spliffs and cuddling each other, they may even throw their kaftans and otherwise cautious natures to the wind by sharing the love, but it doesn't sound like the doctors.  Besides, they all had early starts because they had very young children with them.  I just don't think its physically possible to get up close and personal with all your holiday chums through the night when you have to get up at 6.00am to make the baby's bottle.  Nor do I think it physically possible to play tennis all day if you have been 'at it' all night, which, going off on another track, might explain a few things. 

This lot were not getting their jollies through sex, they were getting them through sport.  It seems exercise produces natural endorphins that can take you to highs, we couch potatoes can only dream of.  Who knew.

Ps.  To Blacksmith. I did giggle at your reference to my stalker Jaillbate, I have thus far avoided soiling my blog with her name, I fear if I say it out loud she may suffer the same fate as the poor woman who was admitted to hospital with multiple orgasms.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


I am huge fan of Russell Brand, I love his humour (maybe not some of the naughty bits, but thats my age) and his passion and willingness to stand up and be counted.  I will be marching behind him come November, corns permitting. [not that close, I am not a stalker :)]

However, it saddens me to see him advocating that we shouldn't vote.  All his arguments for not voting are valid, politicians have indeed become indistinguishable from each other, grey men and women, many of them with sinister agendas.  They no longer 'work' before going into politics, they are groomed from the cradle to be leaders.  Old Labour consisted of men who worked in the pits, men who had come up through the Unions, men who knew all too well, the taste of poverty.  When Tony Blair suggested marching hoodies to the nearest cash point for an on the spot £100 fine, it was obvious he didn't have a clue, we were doomed.

Unfortunately, New Labour is all we've got right now to put a stop to the Tories ongoing cull of the weakest in our society.  If people don't vote it will continue. The Labour Party should be fighting the next election on the grounds of humanity, a promise to put an end to ATOS and the Bedroom Tax and give a guarantee to the people, that the NHS will never be sold off.  

What is happening NOW should be the priority, and a non vote will guarantee another Right wing government who will continue hammering the poor.  That is the reality.

Whilst on my soap box and suggesting policy, New Labour could be the first government to actually acknowledge the internet and the sociological changes it has made to our society.  Traditional working class jobs no longer exist, and no-one should be pandering to the hang and flog 'em brigade who would rather see the poor break stones, than doss on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle.

Taking all forms of extremism out of the equation, how about accepting that new jobs must be created that take account of our huge increase in leisure time.  There, I said it, pass around the smelling salts.  We no longer get up at 6.00am to scrub our doorstep and get the washing out in order to feel good, and sneering at people with their curtains closed past dawn, is just childish. Ever heard of night work Gideon?

Eventually, a Government, one of them at least, will accept that we have an ageing population, and generations arriving at the age where their parents, grandparents etc went out to work, but for them, there are no jobs.  

When their job train gets there, it has hit the end of the line, and there are more trains coming in behind them, each filled with young and talented people who are about to face the scrapyard.

The nature of work has to change.  The Care Industry must get larger, there is no option, people are living longer. No only do these people have to be cared for, they have to be financed. From an economic perspective, if not from a humanitarian one, why not invest in the children who will be the taxpayers of tomorrow?

Create an industry.  Give ALL children free meals. Invest in science, technology and education.  Clear those dole queues by offering hope and inspiration. People are no longer factory fodder, and besides the factories have long since moved out East. Short of someone starting a war, the only way in which to create new jobs (no, not more call centres) is to change thinking and look at what the 21st century offers.  Heck, I wish someone would be brave enough to try a New New Deal.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

THE ALTERNATE ADVICE COLUMN - or what your Mother and Majory Proops never told you.

Dear Cristobell,

Q.   I think my husband is having an affair, what should I do?

A.   Contrary to popular belief, an extramarital affair on the part of the husband, can be one of the most fulfilling times in a woman's life, a time in which to set future parameters and get the kitchen she always wanted.  She can have wild passionate sex with a partner who is currently basking in the belief that he is God's gift to women, should she choose, or she can send him to the sofa and have the bed all to herself.  I think a mixture of the two carries an extra sting.

It is a time in which to catch up with all her mates, especially the best friend who will drop everything to share an evening of dissing men, getting drunk, and singing I will Survive.  It is also a good time to have a few girls nights out, while the Perp stays home minding the kids.  The guilt that is tearing him apart will spur him into handing over cash, and saying (through gritted teeth) have a great time.  

The amount of punishment is really a question of individual taste. Some may consider it churlish to say I would have preferred Belgian chocolates when handed an elaborate bouquet, but remember we are setting future parameters. An offer to return to the garage should be gratefully accepted as it allows time to grab the remote and the best spot.  I am sure many grown men have cried watching Gone With The Wind as their mates watched the World Cup, but probably not because Rhett left Scarlet.

It is unlikely your husband will leave permanently, but sadly, it has little to do with love.  Like any male of the species, they have marked their territory. Roaring lions settle once they have found their slippers, their cardi, and their food providing lioness.  What the lioness does with her straying mate is up to her.  While the old beast might have enjoyed a spot of temporary preening, he will forever wonder why his other half never stops grinning.  

Should you require alternate advice I am happy to assist, just address your queries, Dear Cristobell. :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014


Dear Lord, I'm concerned about this 'No Suspect' Sunday.  Some poor sap may be locked up in a Portuguese prison cell on trumped up charges of child abduction and burglary.  I am guessing it will be someone with a substance abuse problem and a very poor memory, because he can't remember doing it.  Nor can he remember if he told his mates (if he had any).  Nonetheless, he will be charged with The Crime of the Century and burglary and never eat a meal that hasn't been spat on again.  

The McCanns will not only be exonerated, Rome will once more prepare itself, this time for their canonisation and we doubters will be confined to purpose built prison ships while the McCann Fund seizes our assets.  They meanwhile, will probably be knighted for services to Charity Fund Directors, and Kate's next book will be entitled 'The Perfect Parent - How To Be Like Me'.  Gerry will be appointed Witchfinder General Head of UK Press Control, and all future news will come from the McCann Broadcasting Channel.  Only stories that urge donations to The Fund and tales of fluffy wuffy bunny wabbits will be considered.  Madeleine's image (toddler) must serve as a constant reminder to donate.  The best form of justice for the child is to ensure her parents live well. 

Of course, the only place all of this can occur (we hope) is in McCann Cuckoo Land.  Its inhabited by loopy people walking around with candles and the self righteous.  On the plus side, it has a dedicated section for the criminally insane and a hands on Vicar with a special liking for spirits.  All are welcome, the deranged especially, if you can't donate cash, donate hours, use your free time to spit venom and abuse at random strangers on the internet.  You will get your rewards in heaven.  

Don't be put off by the air of lunacy that pervades the atmosphere, in time you too will carry a banner of hope and a suitcase full of Madeleine posters wherever you go.  Happy holiday resorts and private hoteliers particularly welcome pictures of a tragic toddler stolen from her bed while the family were enjoying a carefree sojourn.  We do not however recommend these for UK holiday destinations as we do not wish to damage their tourist industry.  Besides, the idea that Madeleine may be in the UK is as preposterous as it is ludicrous.  She is much more likely to have been taken to a location inhabited by swarthy types where she would stand out like a sore thumb, especially with her unique eye.  Lets keep it real.

The truly deluded are frantically praying (that their identities are never discovered) and may even claim they shared in Gerry's epiphany.  They too, were sent on a mission to raise as much money as they could search for Madeleine, and raise awareness of the vital need to continue searching for attractive missing kids worldwide and the constant need for funds. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

AND I'M STILL BAKING, the ups and downs of an amateur baker

The baking continues and it has given me a new lease of life!

Its very reassuring and quite liberating to have kilo of strong flour, and several sachets of instant yeast in the cupboard, I know that in the event of nuclear war (one of my manic depressive worries), fire, flood or free falling asteroid, I have the ingredients to knock up a sandwich for the kids.  

Not all of my efforts thus far have been successful.  My crusty bread rolls looked like Farleys rusks and had the kind of texture that would be of interest to the concrete industry.  My round loaves thus far, have come out looking like flying saucers, though they are far to heavy to fly.  I don't know if it is my kneading technique (or lack of), but my dough never seems to look like Paul Hollywood's dough - it rises outwards rather than upwards.  Where am I going wrong?

I have had more success using a loaf tin, though getting the tin size and shape right is a skill all by itself.  It really is trial and error.  It took a long time to master placing an oiled piece of clingfilm over rising dough, not as easy as it sounds, especially if you are using one of those rolls where a little bit tears off and you end up with a mile of plastic string and a fat wad of clingfilm that is unusable. Remedy. Remind yourself, ten mile of clingfilm for 50p is not a bargain if you cannot use it.

The most reliable loaf I have found so far, is this simple wholemeal recipe. It only needs to be proved once, for an hour, and it is ready to bake and the kneading time is 5 mins rather than 10, so handy if you are feeling less energetic!

I had intended to put up a picture of yesterday's loaf.  My best friend (and guinea pig, lol) thought it was a 'real' loaf from the shops!  A compliment indeed.  I substitute the olive oil, for walnut oil, when I use wholemeal flour, but I use olive oil, when I make the white version.  I will see if I can get a picture of the remains if it survives the day!

My resolution to give up processed food is not confined to bread.  On Thursday evening following a trip to the market, my kitchen was filled with copious amounts of fruit that was hovering dangerously close to its use by date.  I had a good go at the grapes, but I am only one person.  Plan A was to make a strawberry roulade, but due to the hour, I abandoned the idea in favour of strawberries dipped in chocolate ganache. However, once dipped, the strawberries didn't make it to the display plate, as I got rather carried away with the tasting.  Heck, who am I kidding, I abandoned the strawberries and dived into the saucepan of ganache head first accompanied by some crushed nuts.  Now thats the picture I should have gone with.  Perhaps with a health warning such as: 'This is what happens when a woman is deprived of chocolate'.

Strangely, I continue to lose weight, my crazy diet is working!  As I mentioned before, nothing is forbidden, as long as I make it from scratch.  It is indeed also possible to make your own sweets.  If one leaves the ganache in the fridge for at least 10 hours, it can be rolled into delightful little truffles and placed in cutesy gift boxes.  Suffice to say, I have yet to achieve the waiting time required.  

I put some of the plums on top of shop bought puff pastry (yes I know, but in the case of puff pastry, shop bought is allowed), together with some crushed almonds and a little sugar.  I kid you not, a wonderful (and imo healthy) pudding in minutes.     

In retrospect buying all that fruit was not one of my better ideas, as I hadn't put much thought into how I was going use/preserve it, and its quite depressing watching your beautiful grapes turn into raisins.  I daren't look at the remains of the strawberries that are probably now stuck to the back wall of the fridge. Oh well, its been a good week, I have had over and above my '5 a day' and some of the strawberries did end up in sugar free jelly for which I will give myself a 1000 weightwatcher points.  

Thursday, 6 February 2014


I think the public are now groaning when they see a McCann story.  Seven years of spin - quite literally, the same old stories are going around and around, and all are intended to take suspicion away from the McCanns.  From the responses in the comments of the National papers, it seems as though the public have had enough.  The McCanns have received the kind of help other devastated families can only dream of, a massive Fund to support the family and an entire department of Scotland Yard detectives investigating their daughter's disappearance as if the 'abduction' had occurred in the UK.

Its not going well for the McCanns.  In my opinion the publicity machine has gone into meltdown.  The stories are becoming ever more ridiculous and those of us who have watched this case in amazement this past 7 years have heard them many times before. They are repeating the same tactics they used in 2007, media saturation.  In 2007 it worked, as Clarence bragged at that spin doctor conference, they successfully turned public opinion  on the McCanns from hostility to sympathy and support.  Further they were able to stir up anger against anyone who doubted the McCanns, by accusing them (us) of being internet voyeurs of tragedy who attack victims of crime.  We had the strange phenomenon where normally rational people would become incensed at any criticism of the parents, and the subject became as taboo at the dinner table as politics and religion.

However, the abduction story has not stood the test of time.  It becomes more and more outlandish as the years go by.  In the grief of the moment we are prepared to believe exactly what we are told, seven years on, it is a big ask.  Those who took an interest in the case of missing Madeleine McCann have, since she disappeared, seen too many tragic abducted child cases where the parents have been responsible - right before their eyes the facts have confirmed the statistics.

Public opinion matters.  If you are popular you can get away with murder - look at Hitler.  There is no point our moaning about it, it just is - though on the plus side our leaders are becoming more attractive as beauty wins the battle over brains.  But I digress, to this day, I believe the initial hours after Madeleine disappeared are crucial to the way in which this case was handled, and I believe there was a huge Oops moment in the corridors of Westminster when it became obvious all was not quite as it seemed.

Herein lies the shame of the politicians, it was more advantageous to them to defend this hard working, clean living, British family, than it was to look too closely at their very odd behaviour.  It became almost jingoistic  as mainstream journalists joined in the attacks on the Portuguese investigation, spurred on by the lack of results that could not be obtained because the main protagonists refused to co-operate.  The blame was placed firmly in the lap of Goncalo Amaral and the McCanns's popularity soared.  That people who should have known better were blinded by their innate class prejudice and xenophobia will be a further stain on the reputation of the British abroad, alongside the myth that we all leave our kids alone in hotel rooms.

But lets stay logical.  Just as we who follow this case watch the comments columns of national newspapers to gauge public opinion, so too do Government departments.  In 2007 Kate may well have been right, there could have been riots in the streets, the McCann media machine had literally stirred the public up into a frenzy.  What with Gerry's epiphany and Kate's suffering, we were observing 21st century internet martyrs.  Wracking up the Catholic support was a stroke of genius.

I don't think the McCanns can make a successful comeback now, people are no longer coming together to raise funds for them or pray en masse.  There certainly won't be any more audiences with the Pope.  David Cameron granted the McCanns the Review they wanted but he didn't meet them and he wasn't photographed shaking their hands.  Everyone knows that when this story breaks (which it will), it will be even more sensational than it was the first time around.  The Press keep the McCanns in the headlines because they shift newspapers, probably no more no less, and they have the convenience of readily prepared press releases to fill those column inches.

I believe we will see justice for Madeleine this year because DCI Redwood is focused on the child, not the parents, and if that determined look on his face is fake, then he deserves a table at the Oscars.