Thursday, October 05, 2006



I've spent the last couple of days scrubbing carpets. No, I'm not house proud (and what a strangely old fashioned expression that is). No, our landlord's agent is coming to Inspect tomorrow. This is an extremely stressful experience - a stranger enters your home with the express purpose of looking to see if you're an irresponsible slob. In our case the answer is probably yes, so I spend a frantic week trying to disguise the fact every time (about twice a year).

But this evening Patrick came to alert me about a TV programme he'd inadvertently found himself watching while tidying the playroom. A frightful dyed blonde woman was prowling around some strangers' houses crying 'Yuck!' at frequent intervals. It was one of those fashionable exercises in public humiliation that those desperate for fame, any fame, and unable to distinguish between good and bad attention, sign up for. 15 minutes of prime time and sod the fact that some tarty bitch is going to reduce you to tears on camera. One of these desperate individuals was so lost to common sense and propriety as to allow her cats to sleep on her bed. Bitter tears of mortification oozed from her eyes as the harridan informed her that this habit was vilely unhygienic; her bed would be covered with cat hair, eeeewwwwww! and she was, in effect, putting her cats before her husband. Apparently struck with the justice of this accusation the victim squirmed and sobbed.

It made me come over all bolshy about the forthcoming Inspection. When I mentioned this to my Herring he said, 'Bolshevik? I always had you down as a Menshevik.' So OK: it made me come over all menshy.

There is something profoundly wrong, though, about this compulsion let dragons into our houses to criticise every aspect of our lives for public consumption: not least the fact that there's clearly an audience for it, it has a horrid fascination. The only thing I actively watch on TV is the footy, but this stuff - occasionally and accidentally glimpsed - draws me in. It's depressing stuff.

Big Zü has got to the point of allowing Abou, purring ecstatically, to sleep with his head resting on Zü's broad orange back. We all crowd round excitedly to watch and croon. Aaaah.