Week Forty Four: The Crown and Greyhound, Dulwich Village, SE21


The venue: The Crown and Greyhound, Dulwich Village, London

The Sunday dinner: Chicken

The price: £16.50

Hello again. I’m back. Just 48 hours later. I’m going to keep to the theme I introduced in the last post and cover fashion, beauty, relationships, travel and food. I enjoy being a jack of all trades and master of none and I think you enjoy it too. Let’s not piss about and get straight on with it. I’d like to spend the evening thinking strategic thoughts, ready for the working week ahead. Or watch The X Factor and drink wine. It’s one or the other. 

This time, we’ll begin with relationships, using the songs of Michael Jackson as headings. 
RELATIONSHIP ROUND-UP: ‘HEAL THE WORLD’

Mr Jus is an avid Guardian reader who often comments on articles. Does that surprise you? Probably not. But what might surprise you is how today he felt qualified to offer his pearls of wisdom to a middle-aged woman who’d written a letter to Mariella Frostrup’s agony aunt column. A woman whose husband was set to divorce her. She had concerns about what the future might hold. Here’s what Mr Jus had to say:  


Hello? What? I didn’t realise I’d shacked up with a tiny, bearded Claire Fucking Rayner. And then I thought about the irony of it all. And then I felt sick because he’d used the word ‘terribly’ and it sounded annoyingly middle-class. 

I’m surprised he didn’t recommend that she make a soothing camomile tea and light a £60 Diptyque candle. 

Then I felt relieved that he hadn’t written ‘super-strange’ as that would have pushed me over the edge. 

Then I experienced amusement at the third line’s bluntness, which I translate into working class northern as:  ‘SO SUCK IT THE FUCK UP, LOVE’. 

Then I felt annoyed that my boyfriend dishes out relationship advice to strangers, but can’t even be arsed to put the dishes away in this house. 

Anyway, Mr Jus says he’s happy to answer any of your relationship queries, so if you’d like to ask him anything, please post your dilemmas. Don’t expect him to be understanding. He’s a bit autistic and stuff. 

BEAUTY: ‘THE WAY YOU MAKE ME PEEL’

I’ve been using a tea tree face mask from a boutique beauty outfit, known as Savers. It costs £1. I first had a go at my mum’s when I visited at the end of last month. The same weekend I ruined her leather sofa with the foot peel. This also happened, which I think shows where my frugality, mental illness and thin hair originated from:


Anyway, rather than ramble on about the face mask’s active ingredients or how much it’ll enrich your life and social standing (it won’t – it costs a quid), I’ll say these three plus points about it:

  1. It costs £1, not £38, so what have you got to lose? The answer is £1. 
  2. It gives you the Copydex/well-behaved wallpaper peeling joy. It makes your face tingle as you gingerly pull it away and you can sometimes feel that tingle as far away as clitorally. I’m not exaggerating. Like a hairdresser’s head massage. You know what I mean.
  3. Two people have said that my skin looks nice. What have I done differently? Use this face mask. That’s what. There are about three or four applications in one sachet. It has a screw top lid. ALL FOR £1.


Here’s the face mask section from my left cheek. It’s not a ripped, used condom. His back still hurts, apparently. 

Final score: 28/33

TRAVEL: A WALK IN THE PARK (can’t be bothered to think of Michael Jackson songs anymore. Forget I said I’d do it.)

Saw Jo Brand walking a small white dog in Dulwich Park today which was my celebrity spotting moment of the week. 

Haven’t done much more travelling, to be honest, other than the commute to and from work. Oh, we went for a wander around Hackney yesterday. However, it all got a bit much for Mr Jus by 4.30pm. Here he is, chatting away merrily to me on the train: 

He’s getting to the age where I start to check for a pulse when he does this. Thankfully, he lived long enough to see my new jumper. 

FASHION: ‘I BOUGHT A STUPID JUMPER, THAT MR JUS SAID MADE ME LOOK LIKE A NOEL’S HOUSE PARTY AUDIENCE MEMBER AND THAT HE WOULDN’T GO OUT WITH ME IF I WORE. BUT AT LEAST I CAN STAY AWAKE PAST 3PM’ (B-side to Liberian Girl).

Here it is. My sister and I bought the same one after meeting up when I was in Birmingham the other week. We weren’t even drunk.

I thought I could wear it to do my Sunday dinner reviews in, sort of like an official uniform. I don’t really think Sundays aren’t Fundays. They’re quite shit. That’s what I was trying to convey. And I thought I could maybe wear it to work on Mondays, to again subliminally signal that it wasn’t fun. I don’t know. I think I was confused when I bought it. Plus my fat tits have already pulled it out of shape. I won’t wear it again. 

Don’t get one is my main message. You’ll look a twat. I did. A twat with glowing skin, that is. Which isn’t the result of the face mask. It’s the Chrome filter, which sadly hasn’t covered up the fact that I could do with a good night’s sleep, mind. 

Also, I paid £19.99 in New Look for the stupid thing and they’ve since been reduced to a tenner. Amy will be as livid as I am when she reads this. She’d already mentioned we’d give off these vibes in them:

I was hoping we’d look more like classy versions of Pat Sharpe’s Fun House twins. His surname doesn’t have an E in it, incidentally, but I’ve put one in because of how he’s been treating me. 
Final score: 8/33

FOOD: ‘YOU ARE NOT A BONE’

Today we visited The Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich Village. Ripley joined us. She met a pug called Bentley, but had little time for him, showing far more interest in a stray leaf in the hearth. 

I don’t blame her – Bentley was a scrounger and a raging bore, not worthy of her time or energy.   What was worthy of my time and energy was taking the following photo, which caused me some initial concerns about the venue, for obvious reasons. 


Ancient grain. ANCIENT GRAIN. I ask you. But I wasn’t here for an historical fishfinger sandwich. I was here for Sunday dinner. Let’s have a look at the food we chose again. 


Mr Jus has beef in the background (£18.25 – piss take) and I’ve gone for chicken (£16.50 – ditto). Let’s pull out some bullet points, using the powers of good and evil. 

  • GOOD – speed of service. About five minutes from ordering.
  • EVIL – speed of service. Too soon, mate. Let me get a glass of wine down. There’s no rush.
  • GOOD – portion size. Plenty on the plate. 
  • EVIL – the chicken skin was not crisp enough by a long shot.
  • GOOD – surprise pig in blanket situation, although he’d have loved fifteen more minutes in the oven. He was as pale as a fucking ghost. 
  • EVIL – red cabbage. Mr Jus liked it and I’ll admit it was less overpowering than most I’ve encountered, but it tarnishes the gravy with acidity. And if your gravy isn’t strong enough to fight it (it wasn’t) then you’ve lost your audience. Which is me in this instance. 
  • GOOD – pea presence. A welcome rarity, despite how common peas are in the world.
  • EVIL – the roast potatoes should have been left in the oven longer, alongside Casper The Friendly Sausage. They had potential, but that potential had been robbed.
  • GOOD – large, robust Yorkshire puddings. Strong work. 
  • EVIL – too many rosemary stalks knocking about. I kept thinking I was choking on chicken bones. Although you could probably choke on rosemary too. 
  • NEITHER GOOD OR EVIL – the gravy. It had flavour, it was plentiful, but it was too thin. 
  • EVIL – Mr Jus kept saying how shit my jumper was and I found it distracting. 
  • GOOD – Mr Jus ate my leftovers and I’d chewed one of the bits of chicken and then placed it on the plate, because I thought it had a bone in it, but it was just rosemary. So I think he ate my regurgitated stuff, like a baby owl. 
  • EVIL – the price. It was too expensive for what it was. 

So there we have it. It was alright. Mr Jus paid, which softened the blow. I wouldn’t rush back, I’m afraid. 

Final score: 23/33

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Weeks Forty One, Two and Three: Purnell’s Bistro, Birmingham, Mistral Mare Hotel, Crete and eBay


The venues: Purnell’s Bistro, BirminghamMistral Mare Hotel, Agios Nikoloas, CreteeBay 

The prices: £21.95 for three courses, £625, £3.99

I’ve really let things slip with this blog, so I’m sneaking in a quick round-up from the past three weeks, before normal service resumes.

I’ve only had one official Sunday dinner in that time, as you can’t really count a bag of crisps and a can of Mythos, so I’ll also review foot peels, and an all-inclusive hotel in Crete, which had the look, feel and food of an open prison.

And, as a special treat, as well as news on food, beauty and travel, I’ll also include sections on my other areas of expertise: fashion and relationships.

I’ve gone for a different layout this time too, and cleverly captioned each section using alliteration, then a colon, then the title of a Madonna song, to showcase both my talent as a writer and my musical knowledge. Here we go. 

FASHION FOCUS: ‘DRESS YOU UP’

This week I was asked whether I’m a handbag or shoes woman. I’m neither. Although I do use/wear both. I’m not Zola Budd. Or *INSERT NAME OF FAMOUS PERSON WHO IS RENOWNED FOR BEING BAGLESS (ADOLF HITLER?) HERE*

To be honest, I’m annoyed by women who wet themselves over an overpriced purse/phone/tampon/keys/lipstick/empty Scampi Fries packets carrier. It’s a handbag. Calm down. 

The most I’d ever pay for a handbag is £69. And it’d have to be pretty special, because it’s a purchase I’d think back on for the rest of my life. Like the time I bought two glasses of wine for a colleague and myself for £18. It wasn’t even one of our birthdays. Just a Tuesday lunchtime. I’m furious. 

Anyway, this section isn’t about shoes or handbags – it’s about how to pull off effortless style and get noticed. 

A woman recently stopped me to admire my ‘piece’. And by piece, she meant my STATEMENT NECKLACE and not a gun, as I didn’t pack my pistol that day – I just had my hunting knife on me. I thanked her, told her it was £12.99 from TKMAXX, and that the weight of the fucking thing was hurting my neck. 

“It’s not just that,” Monica added (I’ve made her name up, but she was real). “It’s the whole outfit.”

This feedback obviously made me swell with pride. Who doesn’t like to be told they look fantastic? She didn’t actually say ‘fantastic’ but was giving off those vibes.

I’d tried to pull off utilitarian androgyny, with a hint of wanton, debased sexuality, teamed with bold accessorising, and it sounded like I’d smashed it out of the park. Thanks for noticing, Mon. 

Then I remembered I was in Asda, Peckham, rather than at London Fashion Week. So it didn’t really count. My culottes were polyester and from Dorothy Perkins, FFS.

I then recalled how I was once told I looked “very chic”. Where? Asda, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 

It’s weird, because in the workplace over the years, people haven’t been as supportive of my dress sense. Here are just three of the countless, cutting comments I’ve received:

  • Why are you dressed like Moses?
  • You look like a fucking picnic blanket.
  • My grandma had a pair of curtains identical to that dress.

The point of this story is that if you want to be appreciated as a style icon, head along to your local Asda. Try it out, ladies. 

TRAVEL TIPS: ‘HOLIDAY’

Mr Jus and I recently returned from a week in Crete, booked last minute, by him, I hasten to add, at the Mistral Mare Hotel near Agios Nikolaos. He’s been out of work for five months, so needed a break, the poor lamb. 

Billed as a four star resort, we went for the all-inclusive option.

We arrived at around 1am, where I promptly handed over an extra 50 Euros for a sea view room, because I was still smashed on Diazepam and wine from the delayed flight. The receptionist offered us something to eat and escorted us to the dining area. He brought out two plates, covered in cling film. They each featured a slice of pork, two tepid chicken nuggets and stone cold pureed potato – the sort of stuff that could potentially cause a rooftop riot at Strangeways, basically. Ironically, it was the best meal we had there all week. 

We headed to our room to marvel at the sea view. Check it out:

I SAID IT WAS 1AM WHEN WE ARRIVED. Here’s how it did look when I awoke abruptly to shit out chicken nuggets in water format (I didn’t do this – I’m just including it for crudeness. I believe I had a regulation poo that day).


It’s lovely isn’t it? But you can’t eat a view, and once the stomach cramps subsided, we headed to breakfast. It was half an hour before the dining session ended and it appeared that replenishing items was not an option. Three boiled eggs sat in a stainless steel tray, next to a tray of bean juice and then empty trays, that may once have contained meat products. There was a bit of hotdog sausage on the floor, which I contemplated snaffling, but thought better of it. The eggs looked a bit dodgy, and Mr Jus only likes them scrambled, so we just had a slice of toast each and coffee. Usually, on holiday, I’ll get very friendly with butter portions, but they only offered margarine, so I ate it dry, like someone recovering from a virus or a World War II evacuee would. I wondered what they were having at Strangeways that morning and felt a pang of jealousy that I wasn’t incarcerated in Manchester. 

The staff even had the audacity to turn the coffee machine off before the official end of breakfast too. It was a pretty depressing start to the first day, and we resigned ourselves to the fact we’d be eating out a lot. I think we had one evening meal there, where thrice-cooked chips were available. But not in the trendy way – they just reheated the ones they hadn’t shifted the night before or at lunch. 

Still, the sun was shining, so we headed to the pool to enjoy our first day…It says a lot when you discover that even the local rodents are so unhappy at Mistral Mare that they’d rather top themselves than eat the scarce leftovers. Needless to say, I chose not to go for a swim, because Weil’s disease.

We took a 30 minute bus journey each day to the closest town to rent loungers on the beach there, where I’d drink cans of Mythos from 10.30am, before progressing to miniature bottles of wine for the afternoon. 

So, although our accommodation left everything to be desired, I still had a relaxing time. Here’s how I wanted my post-holiday tan to look, versus the tragic reality:

Still, I received a warm welcome back to work this week, with Skeletor telling me I looked like a mahogany sideboard within three minutes of me walking into the office. He was delighted with himself for that comment, the silly little prick.

Final score: 10/33

RELATIONSHIP RECOMMENDATIONS: ‘EROTICA’

I nearly chose ‘Like A Virgin’ for this section’s heading. Mr Jus has had back problems of late, you see. It’s the latest in his line of excuses. Surely he’ll run out of them soon and have to have sex with me? 

On holiday, I had to help him put his underpants and socks on each morning and escort him to the toilet, to lift up the lid. The only moaning and groaning coming from our hotel room was him writhing about in agony before his tablets kicked in and me complaining that they’d watered down the wine and spirits.

Although it sounds like I’m going to be my usual mean, acerbic self about him, I’m not. He’s been a good lad. In the time since the last blog post, he’s completed all the chores I set him, secured a new job, has been affectionate and loving, and is going to pay for this week’s Sunday dinner. He doesn’t know the last bit yet, but will when he reads this. He’s earning again now. And not only earning money, but also my ongoing love, respect and support. What a lucky guy.

BEAUTY BANTER: ‘GET ON YOUR FEET’ (this is actually by Gloria Estefan, but let’s skip over that)

We’ve reached the beauty review round and I’m getting bored of writing. So here are the facts.

  • I wanted smooth holiday feet so purchased some Lbiotica exfoliating boot things off eBay. The link to the product is at the top of the post. 
  • They were £3.99. Price of a cheap London pint. 
  • I wore the boots when I was at my mum’s and ruined her sofa, because some of the juice leaked out. I said I’d buy her a new one, but I won’t. 
  • You wear them for up to two hours and around five days later your skin starts dropping off. I did it the week before the holiday, so looked like the fucking Singing Detective on the beach, with bits of skin flapping about. So do it a fortnight before you go away, guys.
  • You can peel off big pieces, which is extremely satisfying. It’s a bit like when you used to coat your hands in Copydex at school or when you get a good run when removing wallpaper. It feels good. 
  • Fuck knows what kind of chemicals the boots contain. I didn’t look at the ingredients. They stain leather. I know that much.
  • I’d recommend them. Here’s a photo of one of my feet during the process. I’ve made it black and white, so that you hopefully feel a little less sick. Look at my weird toes too. There is a fifth – I think it’s just hiding.

Urgh. I guess I’m not going to be writing for Vogue any time soon. But I’m primarily a restaurant critic, remember? And now that you’ve seen my rotting sole (and soul), LET’S EAT. 

Final score: 28/33

FOOD FACTS: ‘GRAVY FOR YOU’ (close enough)

Back at the start of October, Mr Jus and I had our Sunday dinner in Birmingham. 

I took him to Glynn Purnell’s Michelin starred place a couple of years ago and it was marvellous. Even Jus was happy, even though his skin starts bubbling when he leaves London and he finds it hard to believe great food is available in England outside of the capital. 

This time, we went to his bistro, for a three course meal for just £21.95. Let’s have a look at the main course again, which was shin of beef. The meat was extremely tender, the sexy-legged cow.

Check out my gravy triple threat and how precariously my plate is placed:

To be honest with you, I can’t really remember it all that well. I know the roast potatoes were strong and the Yorkshire pudding robust. I’d have liked thicker gravy, but they gave me a lot of the stuff. So I felt happy. Time and Mythos has passed since this meal, so I’ve little more to add. My memory is shot. Plus I also need to start work, rather than write this, so let’s just cut to the chase and sum it up in a sentence. 

It’s a great little restaurant, the food’s good, the staff are attentive, and it’s very reasonably priced. 

I’ll try harder with this week’s review. I know you count on me to guide you. Both in a culinary and spiritual sense. Until then, have a good weekend. 

Final score: 27/33 

Weeks Thirty Seven, Thirty Eight, Thirty Nine and Forty. 


The venues: Crown and Anchor, SW9, Peter’s Fish Factory, Margate, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, SW3, The Living Room, SE15.

The Sunday dinners: Chicken, fish and chips, Michelin starred stuff, wine.

The prices: £10.95, £6.70, £145, £9.

Hello there. I’m back with a bumper edition of food reviews, general moaning, anxiety, acerbic anecdotes about Mr Jus and a customary vaginal report of some ilk. I’ve also got a few choice words for Pat Sharp.

Conscious that a month’s worth of updates could prove too long for your consumption, I’ll attempt to be as concise as possible. There’ll be lots of bullet points and photos. 

I’d like to take a Himalayan salt bath before Last Of The Summer Wine, you see. Not the TV show – it was thankfully decommissioned, only twelve or so years after it should have been. No, it’s just me, drinking Sauvignon Blanc like a boss. A boss that’s an aggressive, borderline alcoholic.

Week 37: Crown and Anchor, SW9

I remember I visited the hairdresser during Week 37. What a fucking chore. It doesn’t feel like I’m pampering myself. It’s not a treat. It’s boring. I don’t like sitting in front of a mirror for two hours looking at women’s magazines or myself. They’re full of utter shite and so am I. Women’s magazines tend to fall into two distinct camps. 

1. Apparently aspirational, patronising bollocks about on-trend lipsticks, gluten-free glamping picnic ideas, tips on how to style your toddler in the latest linens, and articles on how you can enrich your life by spending £400 on a fucking candle.

2. This sort of stuff:

And yes, I hate both styles of publication, but I can identify more with the latter. I could probably take 46 thick cut Richmond’s, if I put my mind to it. I might give it a whirl. 

Mr Jus once ate 24 Weetabix on his birthday as his friend filmed him undertaking the challenge. He managed it, while giving a running commentary, then promptly threw up. Still, I suppose it’s the kind of daft thing you do as student. Although Mr Jus happened to be 45 at the time. 

But let’s go back to the salon and introduce my vagina. How? Well, I always find a head massage at a hairdresser’s quite arousing, if you must know. And by arousing, I mean there are a few sharp twitches and then a dull ache, which signifies longing, I think. Not for the hairdresser. Just generally. 

What always spoils it is how I’m sure I’ve heard/read about people who’ve had strokes in the washing basin in salons. It’s the positioning of the neck that causes it, apparently. It really puts me off finishing myself off when they’re rinsing away the conditioner. But I still do, because I’m in one of those black Harry Potter wizard gowns and they can’t see what my fingers are up to.

Here was the week’s Sunday dinner collage:

So. Let’s review it. In bullet point format. 

  • I had chicken and it came with stuffing. As it should. But it’s a rare thing in London. Well played, Crown and Anchor. 
  • The gravy was rich. And plentiful. Congratulations, Crown and Anchor.
  • The chicken skin was crispy. Boom, Crown and Anchor. 
  • The roasts were crispy and vegetables well-cooked, featuring  green beans. I like green beans. Thanks, Crown and Anchor. 
  • The Yorkshire pudding was too crisp. Nobody’s perfect, Crown and Anchor. Don’t get fucking cocky. It doesn’t suit you. This is constructive feedback.

As you can see in the collage, Ripley came with us and looks fantastic, if a little wangy-eyed. You can also see that Mr Jus fell asleep when we got home, firmly clutching the remote control, for fear I might try to watch Coronation Street or something else featuring my people, while he slept. What a fucking control freak.

Final score: 27/33

Week 38: Peter’s Fish Factory, Margate

Mr Jus met more of my colleagues this week, while I took some photographs in the toilet cubicle. I’d spent all day with them.

It’s rare you get your own plunger. Not that I needed it. I just had a regulation wee. 

Mr Jus was surprised to learn, during our little meet and greet, that Justin – the one who thought Basil Brush was a squirrel – has three children.

“Oh wow,” he exclaimed. “I thought you were single, like me.”

It didn’t make me warm to him, if I’m honest. Still, I never truly have. 

But I do love Ripley. I spent a few evenings pretending to collapse on the kitchen floor in front of her to see if she comes to help me. And guess what? She does come to help me, guys. I mean, she just licks my face, which wouldn’t help in a stroke/heart attack/choking/acid attack situation, but I felt encouraged nonetheless.

I sometimes pretend to be dead when Mr Jus comes home. Maybe once a fortnight or something. He was concerned the first time, but has just got used to it. Still, I think it’s a fun surprise and it gets a minor laugh so I’ll keep at it for now. 

This week’s Sunday dinner was fish and chips in Margate. We chose the venue based on a recommendation from GILLIAN HARDY- @agnetha666 – I didn’t realise her Twitter handle was demonic until just now. Here’s the evidence. 


Guys. They weren’t too shabby. I thought I’d be disappointed as I spent my formative fish and chip years in Cleethorpes. And I worked at Steels and Ernie Beckett’s in the town, so I know what good fish and chips are.

We had to queue for a good twenty minutes. The haddock deal was £5.50. It was an extra £1.20 for peas. That pissed me off a bit, I won’t lie. 

I asked if I could have some scraps, or ‘batter bits’ as you might call them. I was told they didn’t have any. But they did have some, because I could see a pile near the battered sausages. I decided not to cause a scene, but it’s lost the lying shits five points. It me who ultimately holds all the power, you see.

Anyway, it was very tasty. I’ve thought about the meal several times since. Which is a good sign. Let’s rate it. I’ve still got two more weeks to review. 

Final score: 28/33

Week 39: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, SW3

I’ve been away for work over the past few weeks. I stared at a man watching an ice hockey match on the train to Cardiff and thought about asking in a serious voice whether it was Mighty Ducks 3. But I didn’t.  

I encountered the shittest mini bar in showbiz in Manchester’s, Premier Inn:


And then the best mini bar in Manchester, at Hotel Gotham, which I obviously didn’t buy anything from, because I’m not paying daft prices. I got a bottle of wine from Sainsbury’s on the way to check in. It’s just nice to have the option. And I used the crystal glass rather than the bathroom glass. So that was special. 

During this week, we went to the three Michelin  starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m happy to eat mushy peas straight out of the tin, but I also enjoy the theatre of fine dining. Does it make me a hypocrite? A charlatan? Possibly. I’ve got bigger things to worry about though. Like why he didn’t give me scraps in Margate, when there were clearly scraps to give. 

We had a drink at a pub close to the restaurant, where we met Peter. He was flamboyant and theatrical, with a booming voice. Like an elongated Patrick Stewart. I say this without knowing how tall Patrick Stewart is. He told us about his new home in Valletta and said “Isn’t he sweet?” about Mr Jus. And he is sweet, so I liked that he saw that element. He clearly liked my northern charm. He didn’t say as much, but I definitely had that vibe. It was all going swimmingly. But then, we he heard we were going to Gordon Ramsay’s, he told me that I’d “landed on my feet”. I didn’t bother telling him I was paying, or that I’d also treated Mr Jus to super car racing that weekend, but it pissed me off. But not as much as standing in the rain while Mr Jus dicked about on a track. Here he is. Look at his little face. 


Here was my source of entertainment for the day. 

I had enough cash to buy an instant coffee that I had to add the milk to from a four pint jug. I’d hardly call it SHOWTIME. 

But it was showtime at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where Mr Jus had to be loaned shoes.

So shiny. Here are three dishes from our tasting menu: 


You get the drift. I said this week would include mostly photos and bullet points. The food was lovely. But I’ve had better. I wouldn’t go out of my way to return like I would to Purnell’sAdam’sSinneThe Fat Duck, or Crossroads Cafe.

And we were charged £7 for a coffee. £7. Come on. We were spending A LOT. And we are appreciative of the skill and passion of your chefs and the attentive culinary experience you create. But don’t take the fucking piss. It was a flat white. 

Final score: 25/33

Week 40: Living Room

We’ve finally caught up. Phew. This week, I’ve been mostly encouraging Mr Jus to pull his finger out. I want to live in a neat, tidy, organised home. I just think a cluttered home doesn’t help my already cluttered mind. I’ve been really busy and stressed. Here’s part of the profile photo of the bloke who quoted me to deliver my sideboard to London, for example:


You couldn’t make this shit up. I had to try to encourage Jus to get organised. I’ve been here 18 months now. This was my approach. See how I start it as a fun game and how it quickly detoriates, revealing the anger that remains a constant presence, bubbling inside me. I’ll give him his dues. We’ve actually done lots of productive things this week. I drunk-ordered a Tempur mattress, possibly thinking I’d get something battered and deep fried,  and Mr Jus has completed 60% of his task list, for example. 

And yes, it’s demeaning for both of us that a task list exists, but it does. It has to. And I have to do a bossy mother routine, which doesn’t chime well with my general sexiness, so I find it tiresome. It really is like raising a child in some respects. I know that’s a stereotypical insult to men, but it’s just true. At least I don’t have to change his nappies. Yet.

As is customary, I asked him for his quote for the post. He simply said:

“I’m glad you’re blogging again.”

It keeps me from out up in his grill, I imagine.

He’s taken Ripley for a walk and is sending me updates.



So today’s meal is a Jackson Estate Sauvignon Blanc. It was reduced from £13 to £9 at Morrisons. I’m usually comfortable at £7, but I remembered I work hard and try to be a good person, so thought I deserved a treat. 


It’s a cheeky little number. Which I’ve polished off. So can write no more. It’s all blurry. 

Final score: 25/33

Oh. I forgot about Pat Sharpe. This is basically my problem:


Oh, and Julia Benbow gave me thick hair using an app and I felt very happy: 

But then I did a Snapchat that blended my face with Mr Jus’ and it made me unhappy:



And that was my September. 

Thirty Six: The Montpelier, Peckham, SE15 4AR

IMG_6130
The venue: The Montpelier, 43 Choumert Road, Peckham, SE15 4AR
The website: IS RIGHT HERE
The Sunday dinner: Beef
The price: £15.95
Hi there. It’s Sunday again. Which means it’s time for me to sit drinking and smoking in front of the computer, while telling Mr Jus it’s what all the great writers do to help the creative process. I like to believe he thinks: “Oh wow. She’s like Dickens. Or Coleridge. Or Hemingway. She’s Dorothy Parker for the WhatsApp generation” and feels all proud inside.
However, given that I am not a literary genius, we all know he’s merely saying to himself: “Why am I in a relationship with someone who thinks that being moderately off her tits on a daily basis is one of life’s goals? Why doesn’t she like cycling up mountains?”
Well, it’s mainly because I’m lazy and because I value my own vagina. I mention my front bottom, because one of Mr Jus’ friends reads my blog and says that I am always talking about it, so I like to ensure it features in each post. I guess I just don’t want to let him down.
Anyway, let’s get this done, because we’ve rearranged the living room this weekend, and I’d like to sit down to a rom-com later and just relax, trying out my new foot stool, because arthritis is looming, I value comfort and I’ve just realised I already feel light-headed.
Ok. So, imagine you arrive at the office on Monday, and a colleague, who we’ll call Skeletor, tells you that your hair is thinning and then decides to start filming you on his phone, zoning in on your skull, when you’re just trying to settle into the working week. It’s not on, is it?
That’s why I’ll now publish this photo of his head. I took it after he’d stopped filming me. Upon it, I have crudely circled areas of concern, including his ‘fringe’.
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Look at his stupid little feet.
On Tuesday morning, I saw yet another photo of a child with food on its face on Facebook and it ruined my whole day, if I’m honest. And I like children. And yes, I could eat a whole one. I just hate them with beans or peas up their faces. I don’t understand how parents can revel in it enough to bother taking photos. Just get a fucking cloth, not your camera. I don’t even like adults with food on their faces if I’m being honest, despite ‘facial cumshot’ regularly being in my top five porn searches. Odd.
My day didn’t improve, I’m sorry to report. I later read a comment on Instagram which referred to someone as being a ‘typical Capricorn’ which annoyed me more than it should have. Yes, there was a time I’d look to Toper and Grant for advice. Even Meg. But I was pre-pubescent. I didn’t know my own mind. Never trust anyone who asks what your star sign is. It’s the same as believing in angels, basically. Pure madness.
On Wednesday, Mr Jus and I had a Hello Fresh meal, and, because it’s clear that they’re not going to choose me as a brand ambassador, or give me a free holiday, here’s my honest review collage. I hope this reinstates your belief in me as an authentic alcoholic and culinary critic.
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And then the following photo appeared in my Facebook memories, which I hope demonstrates how much effort I put into my relationship and art.
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His cycling interview has gone down a storm over the past fortnight, according to my WordPress statistics. One person stumbled across it through performing this search, even though my post features all of those words, but not in that order. I have no idea if he is or isn’t:
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On Thursday morning, a member of staff was handing out little taster samples of coffee inside Marks and Spencer. I’d gone in to get a bag of Salt and Vinegar Chiplets, if you must know.
She gave everyone in the shop a little cup apart from me. I was loitering near the croissants, hoping to get a free sample, because I live for that kind of thing. But she ignored me. She moved outside. As I left the store, walking directly towards her and her tray of free treats, she turned her back on me.
I’m not ashamed to say I felt more than a little hurt. I’ve been thinking about it for four days. Why did/does she hate me? I’ll think back on that for the rest of my life, you know.
The day failed to improve once again. A pattern is emerging here. That bloke at work, who thinks Basil Brush is a squirrel, said that the literary character I’m most like is Miss Havisham. 
Skeletor then asked if she was bald in the book.
I trust these posts can be used in employment tribunals. Not ones being held against me, of course.
Later that evening, Mr Jus and I sat out in the garden, drinking wine, so that I could get bitten again, this time behind both knees. They’re weeping as I type, but not itching, which is a blessing.
“This a lifestyle moment,” he remarked, purposely trying to annoy me and thoroughly succeeding.
To be honest, I’d used the term “statement necklace” earlier in the evening – we all slip up every now and then – but he’d also referred to what he does for a living as a “HOLDER OF THE VISION” when I think it’s just a project manager role, but with jeans on, which means creative, apparently. A vision holder. I ask you. I tell you what he should hold. A can of Mr Sheen and a fucking duster.
We had a nice evening. And then, on Friday, we had another nice evening. That’s two nice evenings on the spin. I can’t be arsed to write much more about Friday. We just did laughing and booze and food. I really do want to sit down and watch a film tonight and it’s getting on.
On Saturday we rearranged the living room and Mr Jus allowed me to place all of the books on the shelves in order of colour, which has made me feel quite peaceful inside. I’d go as far as to say that it’s improved my quality of life by 3%. Not joking. I’d recommend doing it.
Sunday arrived, which is now, and I got a message from my sister at 09:15 –  a time that cannot be disputed as fact.
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I called my mum, who was just back from a week’s holiday in Menorca, to find out more.
“Oh it was horrible, Faye,” she told me. “He was chopping people’s arms off and everything. I got up to have a wee, but then when I tried to get back to sleep I was back in the dream. It was awful.”
“How many kids did he have?”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“Bit of a shit nanny, aren’t you?”
I ended the call soon after.
The previous night’s activity necessitated a trip to CEX and Argos, which I’d like you to imagine as the shopping montage from Pretty Woman but with Mr Jus playing Julia Roberts, and me as Richard of Gere. By the time we’d finished it was late, and due to rom com requirements I suggested Sunday dinner at The Montpelier because it’s close to home. A side effect of the venue’s convenience meant I broke one of my cardinal rules of the Sunday Dinner Diaries: NO LIVE JAZZ.
I do not want to have to compete with a fucking saxophone to be heard. I just want to enjoy a relaxing gravy dinner.
The live jazz inside meant we had to sit outside. Thankfully, it was reasonably warm today. Shit for summer, of course, but ok. I chose beef, despite the horshradish, which made me do a wonderful impression of Sean Connery in my head, if I do say so myself. The acoustics in there (my head, not The Montpelier – too much sax) are great.
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Let’s remind ourselves how the food looked:
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Here’s my feedback for The Montpelier:
  • You should half the HORSHRADISH and throw in an extra spud as they were crisp and pleasant.
  • Your gravy consistency is within the upper quartile. Well done.
  • You advertised kale but served me green beans, which is probably against the law. But guess what? IT’S FINE. I like green beans.
  • It was a good piece of meat. I’ll give you that. I’m just sad Mr Jus finished his fish and chips and started wimpering for some from my plate.
  • The Yorkshire pudding was too brittle in places.
  • The courgette puree was mush and cumin. Nobody wants cumin on their beef dinner. Not a euphemism. Change that slop into a slack handful of peas and I may return. You’re convenient and you’re a pleasant little pub. Plus you serve Scampi Fries, so we understand each other in some ways.
  • £15.95 is quite steep. Plus you didn’t do mushy peas with Mr Jus’ fish and chips and one of his chips was uncooked, which I know isn’t a lot, but still.

“It was acceptable fish and chips,” said Mr Jus in his review. “But no mushy peas is a bit odd. I am deducting five points for live jazz too. But it’s nice that there are good pubs within walking distance. Please can we put the living room back to how it was? I feel unsettled by change. You’ve seen Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man in the lift scene.”

Yes I have. But I have also seen him counting cards. And I’m hoping that one day Mr Jus will be able to count cards too. To be fair, I’d take seeing him in regular, gainful employment.

Final score: 23.5/33

Thirty Five: The Mayflower Pub, Rotherhithe, SE16

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The venue: The Mayflower Pub, 117 Rotherhithe Street, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4NF

The website: The Mayflower Pub

The Sunday dinner: Chicken

The price: £13.95

Hello, everyone. Hope you’re well. I just want to start by saying a great big thank you to those of you who ordered a Hello Fresh box last week using our code. So that’s none of you miserable little bastards, is it? Cheers. Nice doing business with you. I mean, how likely do you think it is that I’ll win the free Hello Fresh holiday now? In all seriousness, I think it’s a bit tight and I’m not very happy with any of you. To be honest, you’ve pissed me off. I get neck ache from poor posture when I sit and write these blogs, you know. And I have to have a drink because I believe it aids my creativity, so I end up feeling a bit sick and dizzy when I’ve finished. Yet paying £9.90 for six delicious meals and helping a friend is too much to ask, is it?

I’ll try not to hold a grudge. I don’t need real friends now that I’ve started chilling with my homies at Hello Fresh this week. ‘Chilling out with my homies’ means socialising, relaxing, and possibly smoking weed with close friends. Not that the Hello Fresh social media team is into that kind of thing. Yes, they use emojis, for sure, but that’s not indicative of casual drug abuse.

It’s just what the youngsters say these days. I know, because as a brand ambassador I can appeal, and fit in, with all social groups. Could I gain respect at an inner-city sixth form college? Yes. They’d think I was sick. Which means good and not perverted or gravely ill. I know, because I’m youthful and what’s called ‘street’. Would I be respected and well-liked in a Mecca Bingo Hall, amongst working class pensioners ? Definitely. I’ve got some good mates at the Acocks Green branch. Might I be revered by the members of a Knightsbridge Bridge Club? You bet. Have I already been drinking this afternoon? Of course.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I think I’m still trying to get a job where I can write bollocks like this for a living and then do some reading in the sun, have a nice swim and be clattered by 11am. But all of us borderline alcoholics want that, don’t we? I added swimming to make me sound slightly athletic, by the way. I’d probably go on one of those lilo things and just float around. Which is similar to swimming so I didn’t lie completely.

Anyway, that’s not happening any time soon, and as it’ll soon be time for work, let’s get on with it.

On Monday, I got a response to my blog post from not one, but two, Hello Fresh employees. Hence me not needing friends anymore, as I mentioned. So please never contact me again. One said the review actually made them ‘lol’, and the other wrote: ‘large guffaws coming from my desk as I type’. Yet neither offered me as much as a free teaspoon of fucking paprika. I wrote to them again that evening, because I had nothing better to do, Mr Jus had rustled up the latest dish, and I’d had my toys out.

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Polly wrote something pleasant back, but nothing about it said ‘PACK YOUR BAGS, YOU’RE FLYING TO BARBADOS’ so I’ve decided to give up my quest to win a free holiday. Mr Jus, God bless him, is still going strong on the old sales front, however. He tried to pitch the Hello Fresh deal to his mum on Tuesday. It took about fifteen minutes of him trying to convince her to try a box before he bothered asking if she’d had a nice holiday. To date she has not taken up the offer, so we probably won’t bother meeting up with his parents again.

On Wednesday I woke up after a dream in which I opened a lesbian detective agency called ‘Oranges’. I recall no additional details about my new business. I’ve been in some strange slumber situations this week, you know. One night, my dad’s mistress turned up at the house with her two daughters. She was old, with straggly hair and I was furious she had the audacity to turn up there. To cut a long story short, at one point she was sat on the sofa with her skirt around her shoulders and her 30 denier ecru tights around her calves, and her massive cock resting on her stomach. It was quite a shock and it bothered me throughout the following day, until I remembered that Mr Jus and I had watched the end of Tootsie a couple of nights ago. And a programme about a lesbian detective agency called Oranges last Sunday. We didn’t do the latter. Oranges is my idea. I might use it as the premise of my first novel. Think about it, Hello Fresh.

On Thursday, I bought my work colleagues a treat to show them just how much they mean to me.IMG_5875

I placed the photo on Facebook (18 likes, 3 laughing faces, one heart) and also tweeted Marks and Spencer, as I am more interested in engaging with large companies, rather than traitors who won’t buy a cheap box of meals from me, whatever fucking reaction icon they press. My cool, new friends, M&S, responded:

‘We’re sure the team are feeling very loved tonight! We hope they saved you a slice?’

I mean, it was kind of them to write back and I gave their response a like, despite the exclamation mark, but I’d have had more respect for the brand if they’d replied:

‘You tight bitch. Still, I bet they’re arseholes. Especially Skeletor. Hope you enjoy it.’

or

“Here’s a free holiday, Faye.’

But they didn’t. I comforted myself by reading this Facebook memory from two years ago. I had 100% battery when I took this screenshot. Thanks.

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I remember being so pleased he’d agreed to acting like utter dicks in a public arena. I laughed when he said we were misleading people because it wasn’t a quiche lorraine, as it contained broccoli. I was delighted when he suggested wrapping it in a tea towel, so it looked like “the baby is in swaddling clothes”. I remember loving him dearly and tenderly that day as we arsed about. I mused over how it’s only been in these later years that he has consistently failed to do things he’s asked, such as dust, which has led to the disharmony we’re currently experiencing.

Friday arrived and Mr Jus decided it was ok to post the morning’s WhatsApp conversation on Facebook.

It’s easy to spend time dicking about when you’re not in gainful employment, but I had a job to do and would have got the answer a lot quicker had I not taken two work calls, written a performance development review, and developed a CSR strategy during our conversation. I still found the time to set him a little puzzle later that day, of course.

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We met for cocktails and tapas that evening and a splendid time was had by all, I believe. I’m not sure – we were both a bit drunk. I don’t remember arguing or anything, so I assume it was fine. What I do remember is this very informative sign. But only because I took a photo of it.

IMG_5904On Saturday, I met up with a friend from Birmingham and wandered the streets of London aimlessly until our feet began to sting, which isn’t a pleasant feeling, but is nowhere near as bad as cystitis. Or insect bites, of which I have three fresh ones, including a belter on my bum, because I clearly don’t deserve any fucking peace or happiness in my life.

Mr Jus retweeted a cycling interview I’d conducted with him after he completed the TransContinental last year, which is further proof of how I can adapt my writing style to suit any brief and cover any discipline or genre. Yes, it contains gratuitous swearing, but what real life conversation doesn’t?

It proved more popular than any of these Sunday Dinner Diary posts and has been viewed around the world. I wondered if I should perhaps concentrate on sports journalism and write specifically for cyclists. I know what GRINDS THEIR GEARS (good), I know what makes THEIR GARMINS TICK (not sure if Garmins tick), I won’t SADDLE them with bullshit (good again). Then I realised that it bores the shit out of me, so I’ve decided not to pursue that career path.

The interview is here if you’d like to read it:  The Fish And The Bicycle

On Sunday, which is today, it was time for dinner, after a nice old lie in. Here’s the extent of my movement before 10.30am:

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It was to be a traditional one, for once. A return to my diary roots. According to the Mayflower Pub’s menu, it came with ‘Proper Gravy’. And, despite being annoyed at the upper casing, that bold claim definitely sparked my interest.

We decided to walk to this week’s venue and it was a most enjoyable hour, despite the route taking us through a couple of industrial estates. The sunshine and warmth was a blessing, plus Ripley did not get too tired and die at the roadside, which is a grave fear of mine these days.

Here’s a montage to set the scene.

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View of the river, hanging baskets, undead dog on a jetty, historical information – it’s looking good so far, right? Well it’s about to get a whole lot better. Here’s the starter:

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I love Scampi Fries. And I will always warm to a place where they’re in stock. If you also like Scampi Fries, we’ll probably be great friends. Unless you’ve committed terrible crimes, or your favourite colour is pink, or a whole host of other reasons.

Things appeared ok, until our meals arrived just five minutes after ordering. Don’t get me wrong, I like prompt service, but this felt too soon. Let’s have another look at my chicken. Not a euphemism. But if you do want me to send you a photo of something a bit blue (I mean x-rated when I say ‘blue’ – not that my vagina is that colour), feel free to DM me. Thanks.

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Look how close Mr Jus’ pint is to the end of the table. Then look at the little grubby plaster that’s on his finger. Then look at the chicken skin which is NOT CRISPY ENOUGH, and then look at the broccoli, which is neither here nor there and was a bit too hard. After that, look at the Yorkshire pudding, which was decent enough. Then look at Mr Jus’ plate again and say out loud: ‘WHY DON’T YOU JUST MARRY THE HORSERADISH SAUCE, CHARLES?’ Finally, look at the gravy which is not even that proper. Let alone Proper. Hmm.

I’ll tell you straight. It wasn’t great. Yet the place was buzzing with people and clearly doing a roaring trade. It just didn’t do anything for me. Or for Mr Jus:

“This was poor,” he sighed, somewhat dramatically. “The beef was horrendously over-cooked* and it didn’t seem like a proper piece of meat. The whole thing reeked of mass catering. The speed at which it arrived made me suspicious. The broccoli was cold, and possibly pre-blanched and then microwaved. It was a nice location, but an expensive meal that didn’t do anything for me*.”

*so about medium.

*I told you it didn’t do anything for him.

On the walk home, I saw this, which I am going to get Mr Jus as a Christmas present, in case he fancies a wank over Genesis. I imagine he’s bored of masturbating over the ‘No Jacket Required’ album cover by now. That was a Phil Collins/sperm production reference that didn’t quite work, but I’ll leave in.IMG_5942

We stopped off for a drink at a pub and Mr Jus took this photo for me in the toilets. Don’t be afraid to scroll on. It’s nothing blue. Not that I’m saying his cock is the colour blue. I mean the x-rated thing again.

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Seeing this sort of made up for my disappointment with today’s dinner. Actually, I have no idea why I just typed that. It really didn’t. I laughed for 1.5 seconds at most.

Final score: 16/33

 

Thirty Four: Hello Fresh



The venue: Freshness through the front door
The website: Hello Fresh
The Sunday dinner: CHOOSE FROM A RANGE OF DELICIOUS OPTIONS – DELIVERED
The price: £9.90 for three meals through the introductory referral, which you can access here.  The regular price is around £34.
This week, I’m going to review Hello Fresh. Hopefully, it’ll make them rethink their decision to not let me use Mr Jus’ referral code to get £25 off my first box, just because we live at the same house. They’ve missed a trick there. We should both be allowed accounts.  We’re likely to order more from you if we’ve both got our hand in the game. Think about it, Hello Fresh.
After this rave review, I hope they make me an honorary Hello Fresh member and send me boxes to review for free. I am also quite willing, and able, to be a brand ambassador the company, travelling the world reviewing their recipes, although I am unsure how the travelling element comes in. Doesn’t quite fit with the product’s home delivery situation, but I’m extremely keen to be permanently on holiday and I just thought I’d put it out there for their social media team to consider. Think about it, Hello Fresh.
I shall even refrain from swearing this week, so that Hello Fresh can see that I can be respectful, and show them how I could brand ambassador the fuck out of their excellent company. Perhaps they’ll just award me a week’s holiday in Spain, while it’s still warm, as the first place prize in the ‘Hello Fresh Blog Post Review Competition’, which is a contest they’re not actually running. Think about it, Hello Fresh.
Mr Jus and I have used this home delivery service, which provides all the carefully measured ingredients you need to knock up a tasty meal, for the past two weeks.
Our first box cost just under £10, for we had a discount code. And you can have one too. Perhaps you’ll use ours when you place your first order. Here it is, just in case.
And yes, I know I’m being pushy, but you have to remember that Mr Jus is out of work and times are hard. I’ll just stop this paragraph here, and start a new one, affording you a bit of time and space to consider our predicament.
Sobering, isn’t it?
‘Maybe she does need our help with getting her Hello Fresh discounts,’ you’re probably thinking to yourself, or maybe saying aloud to your partner, or to your cat, or to a doll that you talk to and pretend is alive.
I’m just sure none of you want to see us go without and would like to support us in our hour of need.
I don’t like to make a fuss, or exaggerate, but if we can’t afford to order next week’s King Prawn Risotto with Tender Asparagus Spears and Dukkah Spice, we’ll have something akin to a humanitarian crisis going in this household, and you lot will have blood/rice on your hands. Once you pop Hello Fresh, you can’t stop Hello Fresh. Not that it’s like a weird cult, or you just get delivered Pringles for your tea, but it’s so good you’ll never want to let it go.
I apologise for the capital letters in the recipe title above. It’s just Hello Fresh’s house style. They also use too many exclamation marks in their material, which is the only off-putting thing about this clever culinary concept that is taking our house – and our tastebuds – by storm. Here’s a prime example.
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Seriously, if they don’t give me at least one free meal box and a weekend in Bath (with breakfast) for this review, I’ll be livid. I truly believe I can help Hello Fresh reach a new customer demographic: decent, vibrant northerners, with working class ideals, who can sniff a rip off at a mile off. Here’s an example I saw in the piss-taking part of Peckham today:
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£12. I ask you. AND ARE THESE FLOWERS EDIBLE??!!??!!!
You can enjoy three romantic, yet healthy, Hello Fresh meals with a loved one for less than that. If you use our introductory code. Remember – you’re not under any kind of contract and you can pause your order at any time. Mr Jus finds the Hello Fresh app particularly useful for account management and has spent a lot of time exploring its contents, rather than doing any fucking dusting.
Hey, I have another creative idea. I could work with Hello Fresh on a refined Sunday dinner recipe, with brilliant gravy, that would become Hello Fresh’s signature meal selection. The Sunday Dinner Selection.
The chefs and I would probably need to spend a week in a kitchen, working up ideas, perhaps somewhere like Mauritius. The possibilities for brand fusion, if that’s even a term, are endless. Why wouldn’t a successful company want to hook up with a foul-mouthed blog writer with a social media reach of 12?
Anyway, let’s quickly review the week, so that I can get back to blowing smoke up Hello Fresh’s arse. Anal smoke which it thoroughly deserves.
At 2am on Monday morning, I was rudely awakened by three new insect bite blisters, who wanted to demonstrate how painful and itchy they were. I suppose because the others had started to heal, God, or the universe, decided I must continue to suffer, even though I have done fuck all to those little bastards and had no quarrel with them until now. I will punch those cunts out of the sky if I see them approaching. Psst. Hello Fresh – I’ll take this paragraph out if you want to publish this in your employee magazine or wherever – it’s not a problem. I’m flexible. Like your meal boxes. I’d like to go to Hawaii too.
Tuesday brought me this Facebook memory from 1 August 2015, which only served to remind me that my hair was, and has remained, an absolute mess for two long years. And an additional 40 years before that too.
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Still, at least my legs, with all their lumps and bumps and open, weeping sores, looked like two out of date Lion Bars, so things didn’t seem too bad. People enjoy Lion Bars.
On Wednesday evening Justin of ‘BASIL BRUSH IS A SQUIRREL’ fame, cooked curry for his colleagues, of which I am one. I don’t think I can claim overtime for attending, which is a shame. I’d already spent eight hours in their company that day and it’s frankly draining at the best of times. Still, it was a very kind offer and I was happy to accept. He’s asked whether I’ll be reviewing his meal in this week’s post several times, which came across as a mixture of annoyingly repetitive curiosity and neediness, which wasn’t attractive.
Here’s Justin preparing our food. On Wednesday, 2 August.
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That’s right. He tried to poison us with out of date broccoli, the sinister bastard. Here he is at work again, where he is simultaneously cooking, DJ-ing and smiling with battered glee, no doubt at something witty I’d just said.
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The curry was superb. Here it is. He sloshed a bit up the plate, so a point removed for presentation, but look at him above. He’s wrecked. Let’s give him some credit.
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Justin was a great host, who cooked a delicious meal. Despite being as rat-arsed as the rest of us, he delivered. I could barely stand, let alone use a hob. Our glasses were never empty of wine and our hearts were never vacant of love and laughter. Or perhaps just tolerance.
The Uber ride home lasted forever. I started to feel anxious that the driver was planning to murder me, throw acid in my face, or just drive around until he’d earned in excess of £1,400 for the trip.
I sat up straight in the back so that he thought I was a high-ranking police official, and wouldn’t attempt any funny business. I don’t imagine they slouch, apart from Columbo, but he’s fictional, and just a detective, whereas I saw myself more at commissioner level. I then spent time typing on my phone, so he’d think I was in constant contact with MI5, but I was actually just writing a status update on Facebook.
On Thursday afternoon, I finally got dropped off at home. I’m lying. I was safely home by midnight, where I promptly had a midnight mass (poo) which was a bit weird. I blame the broccoli.
Work was harrowing, and not helped when Mr Jus sent me a photo of him having a pint near the swimming pool at Shoreditch House, where he’d been poncing about, and not dusting.
He asked what sort of film I’d like to watch.
“Something easy going,” I replied, work-weariness etched in my voice. “Something uplifting, perhaps. Maybe a quirky romantic comedy. You know, a pleasant, feel-good sort of vibe. Relaxing. Light-hearted. You know.”
He chose Alien Covenant.
On Friday, Mr Jus and I stayed up until 3am, which is crazy, because remember when we were in Jamaica at Christmas and he phoned to complain the music was too loud at 10.30pm, even though it was Christmas and people were on holiday?
He’d been out drinking, so was all lively and jolly when he returned, with a touch of slurred arrogance. My companion for the evening had been this guy:
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Not even Ralgex. Just a dirty, Wilko muscle rub. That’s how little I care for myself. My self-loathing means my aching shoulders and neck suffer.
We chatted away for hours on all manner of topics, and even though I was wincing in pain, and he was still doing ‘slurred arrogance’ at times, it was lovely.
We ended the night, as many people do, by watching Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ video. Neither of us realised that Lionel was her teacher, so were horrified at this blatant abuse of power/gross misconduct situation, passing itself off as an entertaining pop video. It was weird. Sinister, even.
I did a bit of research on it today, which is Saturday, as Mr Jus slept, and came across this quote from Lionel:
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I laughed. And then I saw this post on Facebook, and I laughed again, because my nanna was insulin dependent, so I don’t think my slobbering gob could have lessened the impact of her diabetes.
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After I’d stopped laughing, I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing food. Let’s have two collages. In one shot, you’ll see that I’ve used the packaging as a cushion for the garden chair, upon Hello Fresh’s helpful packaging suggestion.
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And now let’s have a Hello Fresh review poem, to show how versatile I can be. I hope to prove to Hello Fresh that I deserve a high paying part-time job, or at least an overnight stay in Cleethorpes, with a meal at Steels thrown in. And breakfast. My poem is called ‘Hello’.
Hello
Hello, Hello Fresh, here’s why I think you’re so great:
Top-notch, tasty dishes, delivered straight to my plate*
Particularly the duck dish – so deliciously divine
And the steak’s pepper sauce was pretty sublime
Creamy linguine? Well, I don’t quite mind if I do
Roasted broccoli? No, not after Wednesday night’s poo**
I love you, Hello Fresh, as there’s no messing and no fucking***
And I love you too, Mr Jus, thanks for doing all the cooking.****
*front door or maybe at an agreed point – possibly with a trusted neighbour.

** I did have it and it was really good, but I wanted to make a joke about Justin’s broccoli again. And my witching-hour bowel movement.

*** We can change this bit, Hello Fresh, if it’s too coarse for our brand partnership. I wrote it in eight minutes, which I hope demonstrates that I am a fast, creative worker, who deserves a chance. To be honest, I’ll take a free bag of carrots pushed through the letterbox at this stage. Whatever.
**** To be fair, I shouldn’t be expected to get involved, because I’m at work all fucking day.
Final score: 29/33
The link to the great discount again: HERE. IT’S HERE.

Thirty Three: Coalition, Brighton

The venue: Coalition, 171-181 Kings Rd Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NB

The website: Is here.

The Sunday dinner: Burger and fries in a box

The price: £9.95 or thereabouts. 

Another week, another late offering. I’d apologise if I owed any of you anything, but I don’t. I’m still grumpy, by the way. And tired. So very, very tired. I guess it’s partly down to blood loss from my legs. 

Let’s cut to the chase. The meal I’ll go on to review is burger and chips, served in a box on Brighton seafront. The venue is billed as a nightclub on its website, so if you’re hoping for a climatic culinary crescendo, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, if you’ve visited to see some alliteration using the letter C, you’re in for a treat. I’ve already thrown one in and we’re only in paragraph one.

I was hoping to review fish and chips, so I could complain how expensive and shit they were in comparison to their Cleethorpes’ counterparts. Some more alliteration for you, right there. 
We all recognise that I write a food review blog without the requisite skill set, but I do know good gravy and I know good fish and chips.

I’ve worked at Steels and Ernie Becketts, which are both world-renowned establishments in the seaside town of my birth. I imagine that you’re scoffing at that claim, you cocky cunts (more alliteration). You shouldn’t be. It’s true. Unfortunately the venue, chosen by one of Mr Jus’ friends, served hotdogs or burgers only. Oh and nachos. So it’s not my fault that I’m bringing nothing more refined to this week’s table. I had no say. Cyclists are bossy. 

Let’s cover last week VERY quickly, because it’s already this Tuesday. 

On Monday, I got my first Trello message from Mr Jus. If you haven’t heard of the app, here’s a description. 


You did dare say it, LIFEHACKER. Dare I say you need to get a life? No. I dare not. Especially as I’m a black pot in a glass house. Still, I’ve always wanted perspective over all my projects and a sidekick, so this sounded great. However, I soon discovered there’s nothing ‘awesome’ about receiving a notification from your partner that you need to buy dog poo bags. 
I wrote back to Mr Jus to remark upon how thrilling Trello was. 

Well I did put it in the blog. Needless to say, I’ve since deleted the app and moved out. 

On Tuesday, my tights got stuck to my open sores, which was rather unpleasant, even before I started worrying I’d develop denier poisoning, if there is such a disease, on top of my rampant sepsis. That evening, I made a collage of some of my favourite leg bites to post on Facebook, because I still don’t have children (that I know of) or a hobby. Here it is. What I find most attractive is the coarse black calf stubble in image two. It’s a route my blunt Venus Breeze was not prepared to negotiate. I bet Blow Job Barrymore’s kicking himself he rejected me and my weeping pins. 

On Wednesday I washed my front bottom with Molton Brown shower gel to gain the trust and respect of the beautician who was to carry out intimate waxing on me. I wish I was lying, but I am not. She hadn’t returned my call at the weekend, you see, and I’d been worrying that she’d taken a dislike to my vaginal region during our inaugural meeting, or it had upset her in some way, and that she was avoiding me. So, when she confirmed our appointment I thought I’d make a real effort down below for her. I know that’s really weird, but I also always plan what knickers I’ll wear for my cervical smear test the night before. Not that the nurse gives a fuck, of course. I guess I’m just considerate. 

On Thursday morning, I thoroughly enjoyed the distress in Mr Jus’ voice as he told me about his dream in which I was nonchantly having sex with another man in the house. 

“HE WAS AN OSTEOPATH,” he wailed, still half asleep. “AND HE WAS TALL. AND HE HAD THESE STUPID FUCKING WIRE FRAMED SPECTACLES ON. YOU JUST SORT OF SHRUGGED WHEN I CAUGHT YOU.”

I decided not to ask what the osteopath’s cock was like, although I was, and still remain, rather curious. I could see Mr Jus was peeved by my dream behaviour, but I was happy he was bothered.

At work on Friday, I filmed Gary of ‘THERE IS ONLY ONE TYPE OF MONKEY’ fame, trying to guess what a ouija board is. He had no idea. Here’s a transcription of his best guess, which came after I’d spelled out the word ‘ouija’. 

“Oh. So it’s Japanese. Because of the spelling. Oriental. You eat it. Like a Bento box. Am I close?”

“Only to getting the sack,” I told him. “This is worse than you not knowing what a corsage was last week.” 

To be fair to him, he did come up: “A massage that you have around your body’s core” which I thought showed promise, alongside sheer idiocy. 

I’d like to make it clear that I respect and appreciate Gary. And I don’t want him to take me to an employment tribunal. He’s very good at joining me in counter attacks against the not so mighty Skeletor. Sometimes we even high five about it. 

On Saturday I told Facebook what I was up to as per usual.

They were confiscated from me upon arrival at Peckhamplex. Mr Jus felt embarrassed, but not embarrassed enough to take this grainy photo of me collecting them at the end of the film with the pink raffle ticket I’d been presented with when they were quarantined.

And no, they’re not extensions and I haven’t PhotoShopped this – it’s my real hair, and the lighting is poor, haters. 

The film made me sob with sadness, joy, pride , patriotism and hope, by the way. Mr Jus didn’t cry because it “didn’t contain animals in peril”.

A friend suggested he should watch War Horse, but he told me he couldn’t bear to.

“I’ve seen the play, it was bad enough with puppets.”

Mr Jus has been cooking like a boss during what now appears to be his retirement. It’s great. I also do SHIT ALL housework. Sounds superb, doesn’t it? It is. And I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I did whisper ‘Why me?’ when I learned this was on the cards for tea. 


Which brings us to Sunday and our trip down to Brighton to meet up with some of Mr Jus’ friends, for I don’t have any, save a woman I worked with at Birmingham City Council in 1998. 
Let’s have a reminder of the food at Coalition. 

It looks like I’m having champagne, but it’s just an ice bucket with a bottle of house wine in it. It looks like there’s a brioche lid sauce, but it’s just the shadow off my phone strap. It looks like it’s warm and sunny, but it was as windy as fuck on that sea front.

The staff at Coalition were attentive and pleasant. I’ll give them that. But it’s a nightclub that serves burgers and hotdogs during the day.  And I wanted fish and chips. Or even a Sunday dinner. It’s been a while.

At the end of the day, it was a decent enough burger and chips. It’s nearly 9pm and I haven’t got time to say much more. Let’s ask Mr Jus to do the honours. He’s going to say the burger was over-cooked. But remember he expects them rare, so don’t trust everything he says. 

“Over-cooked burger. Too dry. But I did like my chips. And the wine. I like Brighton and I enjoyed seeing my friends. But we should have some gravy soon.”

I knew he’d come round to my way of thinking. 

Final score: 21/33