Superfluous Spice

James Proclaims (4)

My other half occasionally claims to be a vegetarian. She knows that she isn’t really, she’s actually a pescetarian but people find it easier to understand vegetarian. For some reason it’s more difficult to accept someone not eating meat if the person in question is perfectly happy to eat fish. Not that my beloved explains her motivations particularly well for her choice of diet.

“It’s because I don’t really identify with fish,” is the justification she offers.

But she’s not exactly on first name terms with any cows that I’m aware of. Continue reading Superfluous Spice

The Goblet of Football

James Proclaims (4)

This post is about football, so it would be remiss not mention yesterday’s Fifa election, which Sepp Blatter, won, essentially unopposed. Again.  This despite much public outcry and allegations of corruption. This is the world governing body of a sport is it not? Because it felt a bit like he had held onto power in an oppressed totalitarian state having fought off a rebel uprising. His victory speech was more than a little incoherent, I felt. But he did remind me an awful lot of Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars films. Maybe that’s how he holds onto power. He’s actually a Sith Lord…

Anyway it’s the FA cup final today. It’s something of a marital cliché to suggest I’ll be watching it ‘if my other half lets me…’

But then she doesn’t really like football and I do, so out of courtesy I’m going to ask if she doesn’t mind ceding the television for the duration of the match and as I hardly ever ask, she’ll no doubt agree. We’re quite a functional couple in that respect. Continue reading The Goblet of Football

Parlons de la Voiture

James Proclaims (4)

I drive a 2007 silver Ford Ka. It is not the coolest car in the world.

Still I quite like it. I live in Reading after all, a town that is perennially beset with traffic problems, so even if I owned a Ferrari, I’d be stuck in the same slow-moving one-way system. Plus I couldn’t get a Ferrari onto the tiny patch of land that the estate agent tried to convince me was ‘off-road’ parking when I bought my house.

You couldn’t even give me a Ferrari, that’s how little I want one. (Obviously that’s complete nonsense; if you’re reading this and have a spare Ferrari that you’d like to give away then please do get in touch.) Continue reading Parlons de la Voiture

Of Retail and Robins

James Proclaims (4)

The walk to my local supermarket is eminently pleasant. It’s a twenty minute stroll through charming green parkland, alongside a canal, complete with lock and canal boats, and at one point a dramatic river crossing, which incorporates a stunning vista of the Thames in all its glory.

It makes me feel a little guilty that I tend to get my groceries delivered to my door. Not that guilty though – however pleasant the walk to the place, the actual experience of navigating around Tesco Extra, is never less than gruelling and the delivery service is very convenient. Continue reading Of Retail and Robins

Coffee-Counter Culture

James Proclaims (4)

I’ve always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, which perhaps defies the British stereotype. It’s not uncommon though, and truthfully I’m not anti-tea or anything; I like tea too, I just prefer coffee.

I’ve drunk coffee for as long as I can recall; certainly my habit began in primary school. If anything my parents encouraged it, but you have to remember it was the eighties back then and they were preparing me for life as a yuppie. Continue reading Coffee-Counter Culture

Eggcellent Electricals (would egglectricals be stretching the pun too far?)

No-one enjoys a bit of washboard percussion more than I.

But apparently the washboard wasn’t created as a musical instrument. It’s actually, believe it or not, a device for doing laundry, but the invention of the washing machine has rendered it all but redundant in this capacity. Continue reading Eggcellent Electricals (would egglectricals be stretching the pun too far?)

Buffet Bliss

James Proclaims (4)

If you ask me what my favourite food is, on any given day I would probably give you a different answer. It’s really down to what mood I’m in at that particular moment.

I’m not really that discerning. The French would definitely not describe me as a gourmet (dictionary definition – a person who cultivates a discriminating palate for the enjoyment of good food and drink), they would more likely classify me as a gourmand (dictionary definition – one who is fond of good eating, often to excess). Continue reading Buffet Bliss

Livid Leprechaun

James Proclaims (4)

Reading’s local rugby team is called London Irish. It’s a strange name for a team that is evidently not based in London, and has limited links to Ireland. Historically it had both of those things going for it, originally being set up as a club for Irish people who were living in London.  The name endures despite the move to Reading and the fact that although there are still Irish players playing for the team, there are many more English players and, as with all modern teams, there are a lot of other nationalities in the squad too. It has a huge local following in Reading but it does still attract Irish fans, in much the same way as I and my fellow Welsh exiles have an affection for the now Oxford-based London Welsh.

I naturally assumed that when I saw a man dressed all in green  and wearing a Leprechaun mask, walking across Reading Bridge today, that he was on his way home from a match. There could be no other explanation surely for such an outfit on a Sunday afternoon in May? Continue reading Livid Leprechaun

Glorious Gluttony

James Proclaims (4)

I went to the pub last night. I didn’t drink that much, but I ended up being a tiny bit drunk. Certainly I was drunk enough that when I went to the chip shop on the way home I bought a significantly larger amount of food than I would have had I not been imbibing alcohol. Continue reading Glorious Gluttony


James Proclaims (4)

I only have one suit. It’s a really nice suit though.

I got married in it, so I really pushed the boat out and had it tailor-made. It is literally the most expensive thing I own apart from my house.

Since getting married in it I have worn it to numerous weddings, funerals, christenings and job interviews. I’ve had it for almost five years and it still looks awesome. Continue reading Un-SUIT-able