Aged 11, I passed my exams for a very good Grammar school and my folks were absolutely chuffed to bits. They always believed in the importance of education, home ownership, a strong work ethic and personal development. So for their eldest child to make it to Baines GS was a proud moment, not least because for the previous few years I’d shown no great aptitude for learning and was placed in the bottom quartile in every exam. So in the final year at primary school they paid for me to be privately tutored – it must have been a stretch for them – and it was enough to get me through the 11 plus. ¬†Hurrah!

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girls like chocolate

I thought I’d do a very non-sporting posting tonight as it’s been heavily slanted towards all things footie of late. So has anybody seen the latest ad from Lynx deodorant? I know these are usually heavily sexist in a post-ironic sort of way: guy sprays on LD and women simply can’t resist him because he smells like David Beckham kinda stuff, but we all know it’s tongue in cheek. Well their latest is an absolute belter. This time a guy sprays on LD and he turns into chocolate man. He becomes more than attractive; women don’t just want him, they want to eat him, and they do. It’s almost the ultimate male fantasy but because he’s got this stupid I’m-a-chocolate-man-and-can’t believe-my-luck look on his face, it remains grounded especially when his waving arm gets ripped off. Men as snacks – nothing more.

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cooking for men who don’t do cooking: helen’s mashed potatoes

Well the first posting on the 3 things I know about cooking. This first one is a simple one but it’s one of those things that’s easy to get wrong and so good when it’s done well -mashed potatoes. My mum taught me this – she’s lovely and I love her to pieces but she’s crap at cooking and apart from rice pudding which nobody eats any longer, this is the only thing she can cook well. Sorry mum. But this is Helen’s signature dish.

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