Things of the Week


This week I mostly... sat around waiting for the Great British Bake Off to begin, only to spend the entire hour complaining about the lack of a single John Whaites/James Morton-style regulation apron-toting hotty. This is the closest we've got this year, and there's a massive bloody BEARD in the way. Book I finally finished of the week Good news, Emma Healey - I’m done with you and your words at last. Joy of joys! (The book in question, lamentedly inattentive Things of Week followers, is Elizabeth is Missing. At a mammoth 274 pages, I’m chalking my glacial reading pace over the last two months up to ‘heat’ and ‘the internet’).

Food you shouldn’t eat for lunch if you plan on doing any work afterwards of the week Burritos, specifically large ones stuffed with chicken, spicy rice, salsa, cheese and guacamole. I would strongly suggest that burritos are the very reason siestas were invented in other, less uselessly British areas of the world.

Unusual social dilemma of the week When sat in a meeting with 30 of your colleagues and a small but persistent fruit fly won’t stop landing on your lower leg, what is the appropriate response? a) A shrill, steady shriek of irritation? b) A violent, singular, knee-based convulsion? c) Industrial-grade insecticide? I opted for d) Repeatedly make to readjust shorts in order to furtively worry own leg hair with spine of notepad, hoping to land fatal blow on accursed insect; which proved to be, sadly, ineffective.

Serious breach of Bake Off etiquette of the week This is Claire.

She likes putting chocolate oranges into swiss rolls, and lives somewhere up north with her husband and dog. She most probably describes herself as 'bubbly'.

Spoiler alert - Claire was booted off the show this week. Oh no so sad hugs from Mel and Sue etc etc.

Some might say it was her oozing chocolate sponge blood blisters that sealed her fate. I would argue her bags were packed from THE MOMENT SHE SPOKE BACK TO MARY BERRY:

Never in all my days. Even Brandon wouldn't have dared.

Highlight of the Commonwealth Games of the week Kylie. Obviously.

Personal milestone of the week Despite work drinks and an invitation to attend karaoke last night, I was able to both limit myself to just three mojitos, one pint of San Miguel and a shot of sambuca, and resist the enduring urge to track down the nearest microphone, leap on stage, and perform stumbling, monotonous renditions of Steps' Deeper Shade of Blue and/or Girls Aloud's Call the Shots. At no point did I forget it was Thursday and was safely in bed well before midnight. Well done me. I think.

Thing of the week


When it comes to intoxicants, I am well versed in the heady benefits of wine, cheap lagers, margaritas and gin. Coffee, on the other hand, is still relatively new to me. For years I stubbornly ordered 'lattes' when dragged into Starbucks, regarding all other options with the sort of suspicion I now reserve for craft ales - as a child of the 90s, I knew no better than overfrothed milk. It's only recently, now that I've grown immune to the caffeinating effects of tea and learned how to operate my boyfriend's Nespresso machine, have I appreciated just how wonderful coffee can be.

Earlier this week, still buzzing from my last flat white, I remembered about the mug with a built-in coffee filter thing I bought on impulse for no real reason months ago. Two mounded tablespoons of coffee grit later and I was back at my desk, ready to begin a regular day of e-mails and exasperation.

"Colleague," I said, some time later, grin approaching the sides of my eyebrows. "I think I might be happy! So happy! WHAT A WEDNESDAY THIS IS."

My desk neighbour looked at me, alarmed. "No," she said, delicately. "It's just the coffee, Ross."

"OH," I beamed. "WHY MY EYES BE ITCH."

This week's Things of the Week comes courtesy of last night's sambuca shot, my first in several years. It was really delicious and I can't think why I ever gave up drinking it in the first place. On second thought I probably don't want to know.