There is a song by Del Amitri called ‘Fred Partington’s Daughter’. I am Fred Partington’s daughter, but  I don’t think the song is about me. I, at this point, refuse to mention if any of the things in the song resemble any part of my former life – ha ha ha, though having said that I did spend a good deal of my early years working in bars, so I could spent the rest of my time writing songs, as did many of my musician and artist friends, but I am scarless.

del amitri

Sad to say Fred Partington’s Daughter came to a sticky ending in this song and I am still very much alive and kicking. It is a B-side, but just uncanny in many ways. I do believe  one of the things that  seriously committed Del Amitri fans did was to  look in their local phone books to find a Fred Partington. I like the song.

I thought maybe one day I could write and sing a song with Justin Currie, the singer, when his is slightly older and greyer – though he may be too much too busy sing a song with  Fred Partington’s daughter.  Actually I may be much too busy to sing with him….. ha ha ha! No seriously though…would that not be a funny way to meet?

Three months  of blogging every day and I have not yet had a nutritional rant…amazing. I am not going to bore you with all the research about the benefits of not stripping the fat from  good milk, or for that matter the benefits of eating unpasturised (ask the French)  real organic  whole milk. All I am going to bore you with now is how many London coffee chains you can NOT get organic whole milk in your cappuccino or breakfast bowl of granola. Pret a Manger used to be one of  only two cafe chains I knew of, the other being AMT you were reliant on common sense and good taste, as they did organic whole milk and skimmed  (for the wimps who believed the hype ).  Every Italian knows if you want a really good cappuccino, it has to be made with whole milk. In real terms, in a third of a pint  of cappuccino it is an extra 38 calories if you have full fat, not semi skimmed…shock… horreur!  I know that Pret realise the health benefits of whole milk or they would not have used it in their cafes for long. SO WHY THE CHANGE OF HEART? I am deeply disappointed.

Whole milk is the healthy option, if you are going to drink milk at all. We have all been brainwashed. But then who do we believe? Milk is a very contentious topic, and I did spend many years thinking it was the spawn of the devil and not touching it at all. Having read ‘the untold story of milk’ by Ron Schmid, I feel I may have had a point. Milk has changed beyond all recognition since we created industrial accomodation, and connerbations of people who did not have the space for grazing animals. Suddenly instead of feeding cattle grass and letting them bask in the sun  much of the time, many spend most of their lives inside, hooked up to machines, being fed grain, producing dirty milk that then has to be pasturised, thus killing most of the goodness. It also seems that  there is much  research that suggests that low fat milk is possibly increasing illness. Another contentious, but revealing book  well worth reading is  ‘Trick and Treat” by Barry Groves, that discusses  how ‘healthy eating’ is making us all ill. He is   calling into the question of taking the fat out of milk, and other food sources.  It is quite possible that taking out the fat can make milk more dangerous for your health. One theory in ‘trick or treat’ is that the fat in milk is there for a purpose…don’t mess about with food.  Many tests seem to suggest that women who consumed 4 or more servings of high fat dairy foods were half as likely to develop this and that, and that low fat dairy has none of the protective effects that dairy has if you leave the fat alone.

Rumour has it the Royal family still only drink  raw whole unpasturised milk…maybe why they all live to such a ripe old age.

Have Pret a Manger  lost their  nutritional backbone or just cow-towed ( ha ha ) to a majority of their public who possibly do not know any better? Why not just do half whole, half skimmed for the ninnys rather than ditch the whole milk?  I was always under the impression Pret were flying the flag for a better type of nutrition. Their sales are up, they now  sell 50,000 pots of porridge a week, are planning a further 30 store openings and creating more than 700 jobs, 500 of those in the UK. It is opening a store in France and its first store in Chigago is, as far as the Sun newspaper quotes is doing very well thank you ( and I was only reading the Sun in Pret this morning choking on my last ever bowl of granola because they can only offer me tampered with milk )

SO WHAT HAPPENED TO PRET? ‘We have been around for 25 years, we know what we are doing’ says Mr Schlee, the boss. Well here is one customer that is walking, as you have taken the thing I loved about Pret and thrown it out and you did not even ask.

SONG OF THE DAY Enough is Enough -Babs and Donna

One of those songs I love to hate but enough is blinking enough today, and it has been raining all day on my first day off for 2 weeks. I think the lyrics of this song are the silliest I have ever heard…its raining, it’s pouring…. my love life is boring me to tears, after all these years………ha ha ha, and as for what you are supposed to do on the dance floor while the little lament is going on at the beginning of the song before it goes into the four on the floor I do not know.

So not only have I been given the gift of  bringing joy into people’s lives, ( oh yes, I know I can bring many other things that are not so lovely too) I get flowers as well! It seems like Christmas all over. I just have to say that having something you can share as a gift is a  wonderful thing, and we all have one. Sometimes we know what it is straight away, and sometimes it takes a little longer to find. We are all searching and in the end I think the seach for happiness is about what we can give to the world, our community. I  think I was late 30’s before I found what I had that I was supposed to share. That’s why we are all here, to share our gifts, to bake cakes, shine people’s cars, write books for people, do their sums, teach them songs, look after their  distressed children. We all have a gift, some are small and perfectly wrapped, some come in great big boxes with loads of stuffing, some come wrapped in an old bits of newspaper but inside  there are jewels so precious.

Everyone has a gift to share. Thanks for mine. Thanks for letting me share it.


last nights sharing session we sung ‘something stupid’ made famous by Nancy and Frank, and continued by Robbie and Nicole. This version owes all to the lovely basses in the Bishopsgate Singers…you rock!

A very interesting article about empathy on the Sunday Observer today, well worth a read. the-science-of-empathy


My friend Lesley’s Cat pulling out her tongue at me!

What big feet you have!


Stepping Out  – Joe Jackson

One of the first really captivating pop videos of its time too