Week 100: Wine party!

June 2, 2010



AM. Crap weekend. Nephew’s eight birthday was a bit of a damp squib. It turned out to be in a feckin’ play centre so there were no opportunities for sitting in a corner getting plastered and eyeing up the hot dads of other party goers. One of the party supervisors was easy enough on the eye, but there wasn’t even a game of Musical Statues which would’ve allowed me to freeze in various bending over type seductive poses. What’s all this play centre shite anyway? When I was a kid you were doing well to get a measly bowl of jelly and ice cream before having a quick bop to Pinkie and Perky and then being pushed out the door with a crumbling piece of store bought chocolate Swiss Roll wrapped in a napkin. Of course, if you were very posh you had your party in McDonald’s and got sent home with a Ronald McDonald pencil case, but these A-list dalliances were few and far between.

PM. Eimear informing me that play centres are the bottom of the rung. Last week she went to a kids’ party that featured three different styles of bouncy castle (which were all in keeping with the party’s colour scheme of pink and cool lavender), a three course meal involving monogrammed serviettes and magic tricks courtesy of Keith Barry. Not only that but those who were triumphant at the party games won a free spray tan. Christ, I thought it was exotic when Tara Doyle’s dad welcomed us to her ninth birthday party wearing a Fozzy Bear mask.


AM. Feeling inadequate. Even eight year olds lead a more high class and refined social life than I do, need to inject some sophisticated type hob-nobbing into my existence, stat!

PM. Just been moaning to Owen. He has suggested that we host a wine party in the house. In short, we play host, invite ten friends, get them to cough up some cash each, then two wine experts arrive loaded with drink and we all get to sit around and have a ‘tasting’.  So we get to be sophisticated and inebriated without a winding taxi queue in sight? Sold!


AM. Very excited about my wine night! Just think, I will soon be able to actively engage in the whole wine tasting bollocks when I go to a fancy restaurant, at last I will have the respect of stuffy up-their-arse waiters who hitherto have looked down on me for asking for ‘something that’s around 14%’.

PM. Just back from Starbucks. Sent back my latte; there just wasn’t enough froth on it: “No, no, no, this will never do! Make me another one my good man, chop chop!”


AM. Deliberating with colleagues over what food to serve at my sophisticated wine party, it must be elegant but simple.

PM. Got it! Vindaloo!


AM. Just been talking to the wine expert who has suggested that the likes of crackers, cheese and fruit may make for a more fitting compliment to the flavours in the wine, but of course… what was I thinking!?  

PM. Right, off to get some cocktail sticks and will then make a start on the pineapple hedgehog.


Week 99: House Party!

May 20, 2010



AM. Did nothing all weekend, except clean the congealed spots of god-knows-what from the bathroom floor and then I went over to Bessie Mate Fiona’s and did hers too. Have to say, Aldi are certainly the front runners when it comes to being your one stop shop for all affordable cleaning and hygiene related products.

PM. To do: buy more of those handy anitbac wipes, great for getting those encrusted kitchen counters gleaming again… and they’re flushable!


AM. Bloody hell, just read the above; what’s happening to me!? I need a night of raucous debauchery, stat! I used to tear people’s houses apart, not give them a good spit and polish.

PM. Office wide discussion on house parties and how they were a weekly feature during the college years. Typically, you brazenly show up at a party at the flat of someone you never even heard of. You’d arrive with two cans, end up drinking eight, snog some long haired greasy tit from Engineering, then puke on the landing and finally wake up on a couch with drool on your chin, a mouth like sandpaper and a head like a pneumatic drill. Happy days!


AM. Spent the morning trying to convince random colleagues to have a house party but they’re all too concerned with their feckin hard wood floors. Bollocks. A rip roaring knees up is just the thing I need to liberate me from my dull mid-30s slump.

PM. Aha! Just remembered it’s my nephew’s 8th birthday party this week… it’ll have to do. Will wangle an invite.


AM. On to the brother last night and it seems that I am still in the party bad books after making a disgrace of myself last year. As far as I’m concerned, I won Pass the Parcel fair and square, and I didn’t cheat by holding on to the parcel for longer than I had to like most of the kids there. But oh no, apparently adults have to forfeit prizes just so kids can feel good about themselves. Told my brother I may have to think about whether or not I’ll go as I have a very full schedule.

PM. Just thinking, my brother has a bloody cheek! At least I bother to interact with the kids rather that doing what all the other adults do, i.e., sit in a corner quaffing wine, cackling and gorging on Rice Krispie buns.


AM. Still feeling sore about being told the correct way to ‘behave’ at a party. Agony Aunt Kay has been helping me as I struggle with re-surfacing traumatic memories from my childhood; specifically how, when I was seven years old, I got ejected from David Reid’s 7th birthday party for perpetuating the urban myth that if you eat a bag of Space Dust while drinking a can of Coke your insides will explode.

PM. After reaching a breakthrough with Agony Aunt Kay and consulting with Owen, I have decided to be gracious and go to the party. Rang my brother again to promise him I’d behave like an ‘adult’, and even managed to stop short of calling him an arse face git.

Week 98: Happy Paddy’s (belated)…

April 27, 2010



AM. Spent the whole weekend avoiding Owen’s sexalicious friend William for fear of instantly falling into bed with him. I am not that person anymore, I am happily engaged. So instead, spent a considerable amount of time continuing with my research in anticipation of National Retro Dessert Week (NRDW). My initial findings were thus: there is a lot of ground to cover, in which case it might be more prudent to initiate a National Retro Dessert Month… or at least a fortnight.

PM. Harked back to the good old days at lunchtime with a bowl of Strawberry Angel Delight; it’s like re-discovering an old friend! It will definitely feature as part of NRDW, but Arctic Roll isn’t even getting a look in, that shit can feck right off. It’s one of those treats from your childhood that’s best left as a memory, a bit like Wham Bars or Bird’s Trifle Mix.


AM. So many more desserts to explore but still find myself re-visiting the jam donut, it really is a revelation. Although it has to be said, donuts are definitely smaller than I remember when I was a kid, and I don’t buy the whole Creme Egg USA debacle where they peddled the crappy excuse of ‘it didn’t get smaller, you’ve just grown up’. Me hole! The bastards have shrunk them.

PM. Bored at work and found myself looking at William’s Facebook photo again. I feel dirty. How can I even sleep with this guilty conscience?


AM. Couldn’t sleep last night, however nothing to do with guilt over a yet-to-be-committed forbidden sexual encounter and everything to do with pondering the issue of what kind of retro dessert one might partake of on Paddy’s Day (i.e. today).

PM. Got it! Answer: I’m advocating Bread and Butter Pudding, because it’s dense and therefore provides soakage for the vast amount of alcohol that will be consumed. It just goes to show how desserts can be functional as well as delicious. Will now put my theory to the test with the ceremonial joining of Bread and Butter Pudding and Guinness.


AM. Ugh! The above… not my finest idea… more sleep now. 

PM. Tummy sick but must push ahead for the sake of NRDW. A slice of Pineapple Swiss Roll will make me feel better.


AM. Still sick at home, but thankfully Owen coming around later with some mags and a bag of jam donuts.

PM. Typical! After days of avoiding William, Owen brings him around while I am stuck on the sofa looking like Death’s aging auntie in crappy PJs. Things got a bit heated when Owen left the room and William asked for a taste of my jam donut. Unable to resist, I offered him some, only to have him take a bite right from the jammy part. Like, who in the entire history of the universe has ever thought it was okay to bite the middle part of someone’s jam donut!? Any normal polite person would automatically take their bite from the side. Thankfully, it means I don’t find William remotely attractive now owing to his blatant social ineptness in the realm of jam donuts, phew. Crisis averted.

Week 97: In the beginning was the jam-filled…

April 22, 2010



AM. Went to a fancy pants restaurant with Owen on Saturday. Yummy meal, but not impressed with the dessert choice; we had pears poached in wine. Don’t have a problem with this dish per se, but let’s be honest, it’s not really a dessert is it? I mean, it’s more something light you might have mid-week while watching Corrie. I really don’t understand why these posh eateries have to complicate things. Like, when was the last time you went to a Michelin Star establishment and had a Banana Split or a slice of Coffee and Walnut Cake!? Why does society judge these desserts to be inferior to something that is covered in a ‘coconut and lime emulsion’? Emulsion is something I put on my bathroom walls for feck sake!

PM. Have decided that the country would benefit from a National Retro Dessert Week. In the interest of research I will start with a dry run myself. First question: what ever happened to the simple jam donut? It used to be the pinnacle of cake perfection but then lost its grip around the early 90s. First Dunkin Donuts came in with their feckin’ custard filled triple chocolate jobbies, then Krisy Kreme got in on the act. Not that I’m complaining, but we have to look back to where it all began; the mother of them all; the jam filled! Will make a concerted effort to get reacquainted.


AM. Owen delighted because his travelling best friend William is back in town and he is dying to introduce us. This is normally the point in my relationships, when things are going swimmingly well, then I meet the best friend, we fall hopelessly in love (or at least lust), and I have to break Owen’s heart, well it’s not going to happen this time.

PM. OMG! Just seen William’s Facebook photo and it might actually happen – he is a total lasher!


AM. Just had a full on premonition of me and William shagging. Noooo! I am happy with Owen and besides I’ve already spent a fortune on wedding mags, so will avoid meeting this person at all costs.

PM. Heather suggesting that my premonition may in fact just have been a boredom induced mid-morning sex fantasy. Entirely possible but I think it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid underestimating the vast potential of my latent psychic powers.


AM. Owen wants us to go out for drinks but he can feck off, must do whatever necessary to avoid clitoral thumping encounter with William.

PM. Crisis averted. Pretending to work late, but am actually sitting here enjoying a bag of jam donuts, which begs the question; how many donuts is too many?


AM. In the interest of National Retro Dessert Week, will consult with female colleagues regarding the above question.

PM. The results are in: One donut is appropriate for a morning snack. Two donuts are fine after lunch but only if you have a spinning class later on. Three donuts are acceptable as a gluttonous weekend treat, and eating four in one go is widely agreed to be an impossibility – we tried.

Week 96: Wrinklyfacebook

April 6, 2010



AM. Woo hoo! Owen is finally back from his business trip so am enjoying lots of presents, back rubs and wine. Have earmarked this evening for a night of scrummy dinner followed by filthius maximus sex. Luvverly.

PM. Feck. Totally forgot it’s my dad’s birthday tonight and parents have invited me and Owen around for dinner. Just spent the last 20 minutes trying to wangle my way out of it. Mother did her usual guilt trip; ‘that’s fine, we’ll be okay here on our own, your dad probably doesn’t have many birthdays left so I’m sure he’ll enjoy all the extra cake that’ll be left over.’ Told her we’d be around at 7pm… neglected to mention we’ll be scarpering early for raucous sex.


AM. Bloody hell. Mother got all squiffy last night and wanted to know what this ‘My Facebook lark’ was about. After gently explaining to her the difference between My Space and Facebook, Owen was then ever so polite in giving her a guided tutorial. So the parents were attempting to appear cool in front of my fiancé and my fiancé was attempting to appear easy-going and accepting in front of them, which meant we ended up staying until after midnight. Sex was put on the back burner, and not in the way I would’ve liked.

PM. Mother been on to tell me what a lovely night she had and now has the confidence to try using the laptop she bought in Aldi two years ago. Whoopee.


AM. Aggh! Logged on this morning to find a Facebook friend request from Mother. Nightmare!

PM. Queen Julian empathising. His mother joined Facebook and is always making annoying comments about his online activities. When he joined the Rainbow Alliance Group she made a comment about how she felt he was ‘a bit too big for Zippy and George’. Feckin’ Facebook parents, need to know that us kids didn’t think you were cool when we were 16 and you were pretending to like grunge and we still don’t think that you’re cool now that we’re 34, so shag off.


AM. Mother just been on the phone to ask me if I noticed yet that she was on Facebook. Tried to explain to her that the fact that I (reluctantly) accepted her friend request suggests that yes, I did notice that she was on Facebook, but don’t think it registered.

PM. Double aggh! Just logged on to find that Mother has sent several Facebook friend suggestions including my Great Auntie Betty and some Dutch bloke with a leather cap called Rolfie.


AM. Phone call from Mother to ask me did I want her to send me some fertiliser through Farmville. Updated my Facebook status to, “what part of ‘piss off I’m working’ do you not understand!?”.

PM. Just noticed that my mother now has 57 friends more than I do, several of which are my ex boyfriends. Thinking about starting up a new enterprise, a social networking website for people over 55. Working title: Wrinklyfacebook.

Week 95: The Wedding Crasher…

February 26, 2010



AM. Owen still away on business and Bessie Mate Fiona busy having a shagathon with some new bloke that she met last weekend. So have been dreaming up ways to amuse myself. Spent the whole weekend at wedding fairs doing research. Cost feckin twenty quid entry fee and a fiver for parking, like hello! Why am I paying for the privilege of listening to a load of people plugging their services? It’s like forking out for the Golden Pages. Wanted to scream at them; ‘this is supposed to be for my convenience, not yours!’ Anyway, made sure to get plenty of wedding cake samples and also collected a demo CD from every church singer and crappy band going, so at least I got some return on my investment.

PM. Spent the morning perusing my extensive collection of potential wedding singers. Ooh, the power! I feel just like Simon Cowell: ‘Yes, your Ave Maria was okay, but a bit cruise ship… then you completely blew it with your Panis Angelicus…’.


AM. Have been ringing around all the singers – made sure to annoy them with stupid questions for at least 15 minutes each. Have been invited to a wedding this evening to check out a Proclaimers tribute band.

PM. Just back. Must admit, felt a bit rude being an uninvited guest at someone else’s wedding… tried to be inconspicuous by hiding in a corner but could definitely see people looking at me strangely. Thankfully I felt a lot more relaxed after a cheeky glass of champagne.


AM. Yet another band has invited me to see them in action! It’d be good to hear them for research purposes, but I actually think even I am too morto to gatecrash another wedding.

PM. Phew, Heather has kindly agreed to go with me tonight. She reckons if we dress weddingy enough then we’ll be less conspicuous. To do: de-dust fancy hat.


AM. Great wedding last night. After a shaky start most people assumed that we were part of the wedding party, Heather even got an extra comfy chair brought out to her for being pregnant. Had three glasses of champers and danced with Old Uncle Ron to ‘Come on Eileen’. Woo hoo! Leaving work early for a manicure before we head to another do tonight.


AM. Bloody wrecked. Arrived early at the wedding and heard on the grapevine that the bride’s lesbian cousin and her partner had missed their flight, so we nabbed their seats. Stingy-arse Happy Couple had tea and coffee instead of a champagne reception and the bloody Prawn Cocktail was a nightmare. Also, it seems Heather made the right choice with the Banoffee while I was stuck with an icky pavlova. Note to all pastry chefs: pavlova should be soft and marshmallowy in the middle, not hard and crisp, but top marks for the strawberry coulis.

PM. Just had a call from Owen to say he’ll be home tomorrow and can I pick him up from the airport. Told him to get a taxi as have a Z list celeb wedding on at the Ritz. Apparently they have an Abba tribute band and their ‘Benny’ actually has a real beard – I’m there!

Week 94: Parental guidance…

February 19, 2010



AM. Owen away all this week so it looks like I will temporarily have to revisit my old life and remind myself what it’s like to be a single person who has nothing to do and nobody to do it with… still, there’s always Heather.

PM. Have arranged to go and see a movie tomorrow with Heather. I was thinking along the lines of tasty Viggo in The Road, but she reckons the bleak nature of the movie may upset the baby’s ‘resonance’, so instead she’s chosen to see It’s Complicated… riiight, because the baby’s resonance definitely won’t be disturbed by the in utero sounds of geriatrics having sex.


AM. Just thinking, going out with a pregnant woman does have its advantages; nobody will dare skip us in the queue for the pic n mix or talk loudly in our vicinity for fear of unleashing her wrath.

PM. Disadvantages of going to a movie with a pregnant woman: you have to drop her at the door while you find a parking spot somewhere in the next county, then you have to stand in the lobby like a tit doing your best to hold an extra large popcorn, a bottle of Gavison, and a cushion, while she goes to the loo for the gazillionth time.


AM. Ugh! Still recovering from the sight of a post-coital Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin naked in bed together… I mean really, I’ve spent the majority of my life thus far trying to shut out the fact that my parents do it, so why on earth should I pay €9.90 plus 80 cent booking fee for two hours of having it shoved in my face in stereo!? Brings back horrific memories of Friday nights years ago when my parents plonked us in front of Buck Rogers then disappeared upstairs.

PM. Office wide discussion on It’s Complicated and the icky issue of parents having sex. It seems everyone has a horror story. Hector just finished telling us how once he went looking through his dad’s drawer for socks and found a tape which he thought was home video footage of him and his little sister as kids. It wasn’t.


AM. If there’s one thing worse than hearing your parents having sex, it’s listening to other people’s stories about their parents having sex. As far as I’m concerned, I was born without sin… either that or I grew out of some kind of alien pod, like in the movie Cocoon.

PM. Heather reckons that we are all being silly about the pensioner sex thing and that old people doing it is ‘cute’. Eww.


AM. It just dawned on me, how feckin’ insulting must it be for parents!? I mean, in their pre-arthritic days they used to have hot steamy sex, and now they’ve reached the stage that when they do manage to creak a leg over people either recoil in horror or patronisingly congratulate them.

PM. Mother just been on the phone to see how I’m managing without Owen. She suggested I go and stay there tonight. On a Friday? I think I’ll pass.

Week 93: Goddess of Valentine’s…

February 12, 2010



AM. Ah, Valentine’ week, and for the first time in my earthly existence I don’t have to worry about it being the most cringe-inducing, awkward, and soul destroying time that it normally is. The reason? Why, I have a boyfriend, nay a fiancé… even better, I have a hopelessly romantic fiancé. My enjoyment of this week is so in the bag that I almost feel embarrassed to make eye contact with my less fortunate female colleagues. They have my sympathies.

PM. As suspected, female co-workers have been accidentally-on-purpose brushing off me in the hope that some of my romantic fairy dust will bring them good luck. Expecting incense burning and gifting of ceremonial muffins anytime soon.


AM. Ooh, dear. In the secret, unspoken competition amongst women regarding who received the most romantic gesture for Valentines – I have already won. In fact I should graciously remove myself from the running, it’s what Usain Bolt would do at a primary school egg and spoon race.

PM. Bloody cheek. Eimear from Accounts had the audacity to suggest that Owen’s propensity for extreme romance thus far in our relationship may actually work against me. She says that he has peaked too early in the season and it would be nigh on impossible for him to regain his past form. Infidel!


AM. Eimear’s cult of dissention quickly gathering followers! She says that I will be bitterly disappointed no matter what he does because romance is all relative really. This is what men complain about; the more romantic they are, the more romantic they are expected to be – it’s like being a premiership footballer; you’re only as good as your last goal or in this case, your last romantic meal with pink champagne. 

PM. Have invited Owen around tonight, just to make sure that he knows that I am (along with the office females) expecting something spectacular on the 14th.


AM. Feckin typical, it’s like Eimear has put the bloody mockers on me with her gypsy like curse; turns out Owen doesn’t really like the 14th because he feels under pressure to perform. He thinks every day should be Valentines because he loves me so much. Tried to calmly explain that EVERY DAY IS NOT VALENTINES ONLY VALENTINES IS VALENTINES. Told him he should’ve been more prudent and kept some romantic fuel in reserve, not sure if I may have hurt his feelings. Oh well.

 PM. Eimear circulating; she knows something is afoot. She’s like the kind of person who watches you while you’re making tea and then tells you that the way you’re squeezing your tea bag will make the bag burst and then it does, even though that’s the way you’ve been squeezing the bag since the start of your tea drinking career. If this were medieval times she would be burned at the stake.


AM. Brainwave – think I know how the issue will be sorted.

PM. There, just spent the morning informing colleagues how my Owen and I shall be enjoying a romantic last minute trip to a luxury five star hotel in Paris. Ha! you should see the look on Eimear’s face – worth every penny of the €1,562 excl VAT!

Week 92: Gluuugh…

February 4, 2010



AM. Lucia just asked me to write an article on HRT. The cheek! I used to get asked to write about the joys of giant willies, since when have I been demoted to Blue Rinse Affairs correspondent?

PM. Time to get my finger out and start focusing on my scriptwriting career again before I find myself being transferred to Crochet Weekly. To do: come up with a concept for an exciting new show and become a global millionaire in the style of Simon Cowell with several fingers in many yummy pies. But first, I have a sudden and inexplicable craving for cherry tart.


AM. Okay, after spending yesterday gathering the appropriate stationery for my project, I need to decide on genre. I’m thinking comedy with a bit of music, perhaps set against the back drop of an alien invasion. Two female characters; one a rookie cop and the other an old has-been on the verge of retirement who moonlights as an Aretha Franklin impersonator, kinda like Lethal Weapon meets Mama Mia. ‘Lethal Mama’, I like it!

PM. Spent the entire lunchbreak listening to Queen Julian blathering on about some new TV show called Glee. He reckons it’s scriptwriting genius. Chaaa! Like, just because he’s gay he thinks he knows everything about anything that looks remotely… gay.


AM. Happened to be watching TV last night when Glee came on. What’s all the fuss? It’s only mildly witty and entertaining. There was nothing better on so I struggled through three more episodes over various different channels.

PM. Now Eimear and Heather are blathering on about Glee. Christ, it’s not that good; in fact I could have written it in my feckin’ sleep. Wait until they see the televisual genius that is ‘Lethal Mama’ on their screens.


AM. The more I think about Glee, the more I think that if I hadn’t have been so busy these last few years then I might actually have written it myself. In fact I’m thinking that I may approach the creators and sue them for plagiarism, because really it’s the idea that I would have had if I had have been more proactive… a bit like Gavin and Stacey, or the Harry Potter books.

PM. Consulted Robert in Admin who is studying for a law degree and he reckons that I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on with the whole suing the producers of Glee idea. Yeah, well what about the kids from Fame? I bet they’re not too happy about the whole thing; we could join forces. You can’t just put music and high school together and then say; ‘ooh, aren’t we clever and original,’ when you’re not actually.


AM. Spent the afternoon trying to make contact with Debbie Allen who played Lydia in Fame, her no-nonsense get up and go approach is just what my case needs.

PM. No joy with getting in touch with Debbie, but have decided will plough ahead with research in the style of Erin Brockovich. So, just bought season one on DVD. Have cancelled all plans to spend the entire weekend watching it so I can prepare my files. It’s a dirty job…

Week 91: Life is like a box of chocolates (not a feckin’ tin)

January 29, 2010



AM. Finally, the last Monday in January! Life gets marginally more bearable from here on in as people come to realise that their ridiculous New Year’s resolutions were all a load of bollocks and they are now free to accept their own crapulence. I didn’t even bother making any as I knew I would never see them through. Some people would call that defeatist, I just call it forward thinking.

 PM. Excited call from Bessie Mate Fiona – her new fella is coming to her flat tonight for dinner. She met him in the pub over Christmas and is keen to hang on to him for at least a couple more weeks yet so she isn’t single on Valentine’s; after that she’s okay with it all going tits up.


AM. Call from Fiona to say date was a disaster. It seems yer man showed up with a bottle of wine and wait for it… a tin of Quality Street – what a prick!

PM. Hector baffled as to why Fiona’s fella is a lost cause simply because he brought around a tin of Quality Street. Explained to him that while usually women are in favour of chocolate in any form, even the most Neanderthal of men surely knows that you never gift a woman with a TIN of choccies unless she’s a granny, ageing aunt, or some other pinny-wearing female. 


AM. Male contingent is up in arms! They are demanding to know what the deal with the forbidden tin of choccies is.

PM. Spent the morning gently explaining to male colleagues that boxes of chocolates are infinitely preferable to tins. Also, as Fiona pointed out, giving a tin of chocolates in January is even worse than at any other time of the year because it’s plainly obvious they are just Christmas leftovers.


AM. Thinking of penning a new book and pitching it to major publisher. Working title: ‘Buying chocolate for women so that you increase your chances of going to bed with them: A guide for men.’

PM. Have conferred with female colleagues and collated preliminary research for book. Here’s a quickie low down on the chocolate pecking order:  3) A luxury truffle in a presentation box, a walnut whip or a creme egg – these are simple middle-of-the-week loving gestures. 2) A giant bag of sweets, a box of Maltesers, Revels, or a small box of choccies – these are weekend type gifts to accompany a movie or The X-Factor. 1) A large box of luxury chocolates with at least two layers, ideal for birthdays or special occasions – a woman should not be expected to share these unless she wants to.


AM. Forgot to add two important notes: 1) Tins of chocolates are out unless they are heart-shaped tins in which case they are fine. 2) Gifting your woman with a bag of pic n mix should only be attempted at highly advanced, nay, enlightened levels (another book opp here methinks).

PM. Have been congratulated by several men this morning who reported that the simple gesture of a walnut whip or creme egg was greeted with squeals of excitement and cost them less than a quid. Time to ring the publisher. Ch-chiiing!