An ode to aube


Oh, my dear aubergine,
It must be something in your genes,
That makes your flesh,
Your pulpy mass,
That’s often filled with so much sass,
Be sometimes such a soggy mess,
That no spice or salt can try address.
Your sexy skin always promises much,
Yet often within your insides are such,
That your only use however lonely,
Is to denote a large penis in emoji.

What a crock of s…ugar – why quitting the white stuff cold turkey could do more harm than good


A little bit of my childhood just died with the news that the really quite legitimately named Sugar Puffs are to be rebranded as Honey Monster Puffs. Aside from the fact the new moniker is really clumsy to both read and lay out, this name change is a symptom of the recent anti-sugar brigade’s relentless pursuit of curing us of society’s most addictive white powder.

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From Lardo to FOMO: the paralysis of choice

Lardo - small plates, Italian tapas, whatever, it all tastes great

The stickers in the window say it all. Harden’s. Good Food Guide. Time Out. Square Meal. Michelin recommended. Toptable Diner’s Choice. A food hygiene rating of 5. Even a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence (read into that what you will). Lardo in Hackney has the lot.

This may sound like one of the most sarcastic introductions to an article ever but is in fact a simultaneous ode to and lament of small plates, tapas or cicchetti.
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My problem with carbs: thoughts, fitness, food and my figure

The perfectly hellish combination of terrible frozen pizza and poor quality burger

I had a burger the other night. It was from kinda upmarket fast-food mini-chain Five Guys in Islington. And it was OK. Not good but definitely not bad. The meat was fine enough, the condiments unremarkable but it was the bun that really bugged me. It was the most average sesame seed bun ever to be wrapped around a (pseudo-) snazzy burger. You know, like those ones that come by the dozen in huge plastic bags. And because it wasn’t fantastic I had immediate burger shame, a feeling that has stayed with me for most of the weekend.

Why? As I alluded to in my rant about the gym and the creatures therein, I have been generally off beige carbs of all kinds since June last year. I bloat significantly on anything pale and bulky and have a self-diagnosed wheat intolerance (yeah, I’m that guy) so I embarked on banishing all things beige from my life, as well as making the novel move of actually attending the gym I was paying for every month.

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Hasta la vista Spain as we know it?


Via the venerable Loyd “One L” Grossman’s Twitter account I learned of the latest measure proposed by those in the know to give the Spanish economy a shot in the arm. The New York Times reports that economists and politicians are considering whether it’s time to ‘reset the clock’ in Spain to bring their cultural timetable in line with the rest of Europe. The idea is that by both bringing the country into the same timezone as the UK and adopting a more 9-to-5 style working schedule, productivity will be up and those with families and other commitments will have far more flexible lives.
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Why is a haircut such a hair-raising experience?


It’s a well-worn truism, particularly during a recession, but a truism nonetheless that training to being a hairdresser is always a sensible move as everyone will always need their hair cut, Luke Friend seemingly excluded. (You know, Swampy’s tweenybopper spawn off of X Factor.)

But it’s a peculiar thing is having your barnet attended to. It seems to me people are honestly more concerned about who cuts their hair than they are about who they get to give them botox or a tattoo, despite the fact that no matter what someone does to your hair, it’ll always grow out eventually, whereas that My Little Pony tramp stamp you got done in Magaluf by a man with dubious personal hygiene and a poor grasp of English is a hell of a lot more permanent.

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My name is Ian, and I have gym rage.


It wasn’t that long ago I was pretty fat. Not Bernard Manning fat, but fat nonetheless. And I got bored of it, so I embarked on what I laughably called a “fitness regime” which basically involves not eating beige carbs and using the gym, once I figured out where it was. And it was horrible at first. Flab jiggle and general ineffectuality on any machine you care to mention cursed my shuffling from exercise bike to “pec deck”.

But then something weird happened: I suddenly started to see some results. Love handles turned from those massive ones they have on doors on submarines to those of a dolls house chest of drawers. Shoulders got lumpy (in the good way) and that vein that runs from wrist to bicep that’s a bit gross but a bit cool started showing.

A few months on and I feel as good and more in tune with my body as I ever have. But this obviously means I now judge everyone in the gym. And boy are there some annoying people out there. Unfortunately for you, this is unlikely to be the last your hear from me on this, but I wanted to get a few general gym gripes off my chest. So here are, in no particular order, the things that give me gym rage.

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