Tough Love

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Home on the flange

After a few months of Salford-based living next to a couple of very minor celebrities with an R&B affliction it seems that the location of Tough Love Towers will have to move. It was inevitable really. After all, what is the point of a mystery third housemate when she uses her room solely to store old clothes and Buffy videos (which we stole to watch when drunk)?

So we face the prospect of rousing ourselves from our hangovers on Saturday morning to househunt. Ugh. It wouldn’t be so bad (turning our noses up at other peoples’ soft furnishings is listed in the hobby section of our CV) if we didn’t have to deal with letting agents. A vile breed. The kind of person who failed the personality test for becoming a recruitment consultant or traffic warden.

Of course one of the biggest challenging facing brittle suburban professionals like ourselves is deciding where to live in the first place. Basically we can’t decide and these are our options. Why don’t you pick for us? Pictures of prospective flats / sniffy comments on stained avocado bathroom suites will be supplied upon request.


If Hulme had a strapline it would be “Where the Homosexuals Go” – like Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are but with a heavier reliance on haircare products.

Pros: New build area and lots of nice flats.

Cons: Dicey public transport and a relatively high proportion of scary drug dealers. This would be useful were we a hideous K-guzzling club bunny. Which we are not.


Hampstead for lesbians but in the North. For some reason everyone who works at BBC Manchester lives here if they don’t live in Cheshire.

Pros: Fairyland suburbia with easily accessible mung beans. Nice bars, pubs and restaurants.

Cons: Nice bars, pubs and restaurants colonised by hideous squalling children called Hugo and Jocasta. ‘Mature’ parents, being wet BBC employees, have no concept of child supervision. Plus, Chorlton’s like that village Patrick McGoohan got trapped in in The Prisoner – no one ever leaves. Except in this case it’s not a huge balloon but rubbish night buses that trap the locals.


A bit like Chorlton, but shot through with realism and lawyers. Where we used to live before the hideous break-up beckoned us to Salford.

Pros: Lovely area, handy for town though you don’t have to go in if you don’t want to. Good local amenities, including the Tesco Express that sells booze up until 10.30pm on Sunday nights.

Cons: Horrendously expensive for what you get, possible return to the ridiculous commute of yesteryear. Night buses after an evening out on the lash (shudder!) ‘Didsbury couples’ – the last word in pretty, smug and self-satisfied people incapable of talking in anything other than the first-person plural. “Oh, we went there…” Hate hate hate.


Manchester’s twin city (right, yeah). Home of the scally and the ASBO, cheap housing and another thriving gay ghetto – though this one is more likely to shave its head than slather it in fibre moulding putty.

Pros: Cheap, handy for town, being able to say you live in Corrie-ville and spot the inspiration for Yana out walking six kids in one double buggy.

Cons: The scallies, the ASBOs, the semi-scary walk home at 4am. Having to say you live in Salford to Didsbury couple types. You should see their expressions. It’s all we can do to stop them making up a food parcel for us there and then.

So there you have it. We're stumped, though the flats in Hulme still look temptingly well-appointed. We'll start stocking up on Fructis in preparation now.

Monday, July 11, 2005


The latest instalment in our tireless quest to fit the world into ever more tiresome and semi-facetious sub-categories.

Men, what are they like? Well, if you want to look at them as pieces of meat (and if it was Chris Evans of Fantastic Four fame, who wouldn’t want a nibble), why not extend the meat-aphor?

Therefore . . .

If men were available from a butcher’s near you, what would your ‘type’ be?

Egg – An unhatched chicken (see below). Not recommended for consumption - raw or otherwise - unless you fancy explaining your conduct to the police. Brings a whole new dimension to the term “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Chicken – Young, tender man-flesh. Frankly a bit ubiquitous and bland

Pheasant – Like chicken but richer. Best enjoyed well-hung.

Duck – Like chicken but fatter

– Meaty, satisfying and most enjoyable when served in well-muscled chunks. Also rare unless you prefer…

Shin beef – As above but older, stringier and requires more work. Only if you have strong teeth and patience

Veal – Young beef. Softer, pinker, milkier. Don’t believe it if anyone tells you it’s cruel. They love it really

Venison – Like beef but richer. Make sure you get a portion when it comes into season

Lamb – Young and springy, but unlikely to age well…

Mutton – Lamb but older. Tastes a bit funny and you can quite escape the thought “If only I’d got in there sooner”.

Scrag end – For consumption only when poor and/or desperate

Pork – A touch on the plump side, but still enjoyable

Belly pork – Built to bouncy castle proportions. An acquired taste.

Gammon – Builder. Popular, if only because we believe the gays like that tell-tale meaty, salty taste.

Bacon – Like gammon but scrawnier: scally / chav / pikey (whatever your underclass poison might be). Often teamed with egg.

So there you go. We think we've got most bases covered, but any other suggestions are gratefully accepted. Please comment here, or suggestions to the usual address.