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13 November 2014

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Mum's the Word!

You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > People > Mum's the Word! > Mum's The Word: Pirates and Pancakes

Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet

Mum's The Word: Pirates and Pancakes

The often dubious, politically incorrect, humorous musings of a Bedfordshire housewife extraordinaire!

If you are like me you’ll know you’re getting officially old when you start rejoicing that pop groups you listened to as a teenager announce they’re getting back together.

This is because you no longer “understand” modern music and believe that Duffy is a small cuddly toy, Neo is a lava lamp and Florence and the Machines is a children’s TV programme.

So naturally I’m ecstatic about the news that Spandau Ballet have reformed. To my my mind this is better than The Police getting back together as they never had any fashion sense and just wore those dull combat trousers; a habit they kept repeating. (Rather like their lyrics.) But now that Spandau are back on the scene I can fish out those old scarves, padded jackets and frilly blouses without any guilt. I always liked those jackets with the monstrous wings anyway; it was the only time I didn’t look like a bulbous pendulum. Yes, it will be great to get them on again; it’s a shame my parrot’s dead though but hey, you can’t everything.

I’m slightly relieved though that as yet the Bay City Rollers haven’t made a comeback. Those three quarter length trousers with tartan turn ups were just not my style but since this is the year of the Scottish Homecoming I suggest Gordon Brown pops some on and flies the flag for Scottish pop. With any luck by next year we’ll all be singing Bye, Bye Baby with extra enthusiasm!

80's fashion

Who could forget the fashion of the 80's?!!

Fashion is a dangerous thing – well it is when you look back at your old photos and see yourself dressed in something that now you’ve succumbed to parenthood seems completely ludicrous. Yes, the worrying blurring of your vision as you peruse pictures from your youth is not that your glasses need cleaning but the onset of a panic attack as you realise that your son has probably posted them on Facebook.

Social networking and dating sites are marvellous though. You can instantly transform yourself from a dowdy middle aged housewife into a size zero sex magnet. In addition, you can envisage your pals as anything you want them to be. Your old boyfriend can be transformed from a spotty geek into George Clooney, your balding neighbour into Hugh Jackman and your secret admirer into Daniel Craig. Wow, who needs uppers when you can just go on the net! 

Unfortunately, if you should ever met your hot date things might not be quite so perfect. He might still be dressing in the style of Adam and the Ants and your big night out might be a trip to the panto for an evening of boisterous thigh slapping. Worse, you could be deeply disappointed when you realise his interest in your 50 denier tights and frilly blouse is not particularly healthy. Hmm… things just never quite work out as planned do they?

Facebook and My Space aside, I’ve yet to work out the other social phenomenon of Twitter. As far as I understand, unless you’re a comedy genius it’s a way of boring your friends and relatives senseless with minor details of your life such as when you last wrung out the dishcloth and stacked the dishes. Riveting! However, I admit I’d quite like to hear Gordon Ramsay’s Twitter talk; I imagine it would be hugely entertaining. (Although possibly with very little text between the asterisks.)

As Lent is almost upon us I was thinking how interesting it would be to have a TV show where celebrities gave up some personal luxury or foible and did something completely alien to them. Gordon Ramsey would obviously have to give up swearing and live in a monastery. A hard task but I’m sure once those monks made him take a vow of silence and chastity it could become quite fascinating. There mere thought of Gordon dressed in sackcloth and his lips sealed with carpet tape would have me glued to the television for a year let alone a month. But why stop there? Dale Winton could give up sun beds and work in a frozen food distribution centre, Jeremy Clarkson could give up cars and work as a traffic warden and Simon Cowell could give up the X factor and train as relationship counsellor. The possibilities are endless!

I’m not sure what I’m going to give up for Lent. Strictly, it should be some sort of food but personally I’m all in favour of quitting housework which naturally I enjoy enormously. Therefore, depriving myself of the daily chores would be tantamount to self flagellation. I’m not so sure hubby would believe me though… he might be just a little sceptical. Maybe I should just quit eating chocolate? Hmm…I’m not convinced about that either as the economy is so bad at the moment my abstinence might cause Cadburys shares to plummet, instigating a world chocolate crisis. That would be disastrous; it’s bad enough not being able to peruse the sweet counter at Woolies anymore without the thought of my beloved Cadburys going into receivership!

Of course, Lent is preceded by the pleasure of Shrove Tuesday. I love whipping those batter mixes and making pancakes the kids might like if I can successfully cook them without burning them beyond all recognition. I enjoy tossing pancakes too. It’s such a thrill to toss something I’ve cooked into the air rather than into the bin.

You see, I have a bit of a problem with cooking. I’m just not good at it. In fact, I’m really rather bad at it. That’s why celebrity chefs drive me up the wall. How do they manage to look so enthusiastic about sun dried tomatoes, kidneys and parmesan cheese? Personally, when I see or smell any of those ingredients I come over all queasy. To actually handle the stuff would be like a journey to hell and back!

Jane Turley

Jane's pancake!

Funnily enough, the other day as I was sorting through some old photos I found a picture of myself back in the eighties celebrating my birthday which had fallen on Shrove Tuesday. I was with some friends at college making pancakes. (I’d like to think we went out on the town afterwards but as my memory is going now I can’t actually remember.) However, I know you’re all curious to see what I look like so just for all you folks out there here I am looking youthful… well sort of…

Now some people would say my looks haven’t improved much since that photograph was taken. All I can say is – Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing my New Romantic gear!

And as for that pancake… well you can see I started young on the “Burn ’em and hope for the best method.” Yes, even after another 20 years have passed things just haven’t got any better in the kitchen. Oh dear.

Well I’m an optimistic person so I’m going to have another bash today and with any luck I’ll toss a beauty.

Otherwise, I may just have to learn a trick or two from Mr Ramsey!

Happy Pancake Day everyone!

last updated: 16/04/2009 at 12:46
created: 24/02/2009

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