Claire Black: A feedback form for a holiday cottage recently revealed my lily-livered tendencies
I PROBABLY shouldn’t say this, but I quite like it when things don’t go to plan. Not for me, obviously, but for other people. You know, that moment when everyone thinks one thing is going to happen and then the opposite does instead.
Like when an over-hyped, overpaid young woman who plans parties for a “living” and who happens to have a sister who is a princess (those last two facts are not, I would suggest, unrelated) is told by a small child: “I hate princesses. I want to be a vampire.”
Or when a school invites a former and now successful pupil to address the current student body expecting that she will wax lyrical about how those were the best days of her life and how homework is amazing fun and instead is told she credits the school with turning a “promising pupil” into a “vile teenager”.
I’m not sure what Pippa Middleton managed to summon up as a rejoinder to that wonderful little girl, but I do know that TV presenter Fiona Phillips remains totally unrepentant for her outburst at Millbrook School in Southampton. In fact, she claims she’s had letters of congratulations.
I confess I’ve not had time to write to her yet (as if) but I do quite admire her chutzpah. I’m not sure I could blame my school for my vileness as a teenager, but Phillips’ gripe that when she said she wanted to be a doctor she was asked “have you thought about hairdressing?” seems reasonable enough. And if you invite someone to speak, surely you really should be prepared for them to say whatever it is they want to say.
Maybe I like these fractious moments because I don’t behave like that often enough myself. Did you enjoy your meal? Yes, it was delicious, I say having just complained (sotto voce, of course) that it was gag-worthy. I spent years telling hairdressers that I liked what they’d done to my barnet when I knew I’d be seeking a puddle in which to dunk it on stepping from the salon.
A feedback form for a holiday cottage recently revealed my lily-livered tendencies. I’d carped about the wood burning stove (not enough through-draft), the dearth of chopping boards and tea towels (miserly), the electric shower that ran at roughly Arctic temperature (outrageous). So once the car was packed on the final morning, R pushed the form towards me. “They want honest feedback so go for it.”
“Just put down that we’ve had a lovely time. I mean, it has been great…”
SUPERMAN has quit the Daily Planet. I know it doesn’t perhaps seem like very significant news when a fictional character jacks in his fictional job at a fictional paper, but trust me, as a journalist the news that Clark Kent is to become a blogger has struck me like a dagger to the heart.
Superman is a character who can spin the earth on its axis thereby reversing time and yet the unbelievable aspect of his life is that he has a job at a newspaper. Ouch.
OH FUJITSU, how can I thank you? How can I express my gratitude for the fact you’ve made a laptop which is distinctly reminiscent of a sanitary towel? Little flowers, smatterings of pink, a diamond-shaped stone on the caps lock key. Really, a pair of sticky wings to attach it to the coffee shop table and it would’ve been perfect. Apparently it took a team of “female engineers” to come up with the Floral Kiss (I swear that’s what it’s called). Frankly, I wish they’d stayed at home painting their toenails.
• Last week Claire... fought valiantly against the inexorable truth that, fine Bond though he is, Daniel Craig is charmless
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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