Welcome! You have found the home of 'Being Me', Fran Hill's blog. Please browse my posts and if you like what you read, you'll enjoy my book 'Being Miss' which you can order from my website or on Amazon. My next book 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' will be published by SPCK Publishing in 2020. My website is at www.franhill.co.uk. Come and visit for more Fran info!
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Reasons why Fran is in a pickle
I bought some jars of pickles at our local Leamington Spa Food Festival last week. I felt obliged after I'd tasted all thirty-seven samples. Eventually, I had to stop sampling. There are only so many 'I-may-buy-this-one' faces one can make and, anyway, the queue behind me stretched back to the M40 and held up traffic.
A jam caused by pickle
The full-size jars cost as much as it would to go and pick my own mangoes in Malaysia, so I opted for a set of four mini-jars costing a fiver.
I bought these flavours:
Beer and Honey Mustard
Spicy Tomato Chutney
All I can tell you is that the lime pickle is very tasty and goes well with cold meat. I almost didn't get to find that out, because the lid took ten minutes to prise off and when it did finally come free, it was with such force that I nearly lime-pickled the dining room walls. We've been talking about redecorating, but were thinking more Ivory Cream or Pale Gold than Accidental Chutney.
As for the other three jars, the lids won't shift. My husband tried - he can't get them off either.
I wrote to the lady who makes the pickles - her email address was on the card that came with the mini-jars - and asked her whether she ought to adjust her lid machine, but she tells me she screws the lids on by hand.
I replied to her email, 'What? Are you bionic?'
Her reply was quite distant, as though she'd thought our relationship of pickle-seller and pickle-customer not chummy enough for jokes. Fair enough, I thought, if you were selling haute couture ballgowns or six-figure-priced diamond watches, but I think there's room in the pickle industry for a touch of informality.
The pickle lady has suggested a) banging on the lids to loosen them and b) running the jars under warm water. I will try these tonight.
My third option, failing all else, is c) Take up body-building.
Four years later, Fran was in shape, but the pickles had gone mouldy
I picked up my new glasses this morning. Here's a Before and After comparison for you, whether you wanted it or not.
You have no idea how long that's taken me, to post those Before and After pictures. Every time I posted the After one, it hopped up the page and decided to appear before the Before. 'No,' I told it. 'I need you after the Before. If you go before the Before, people will think the Before is the After and the After is the Before.'
'And who will care?' the After photo said to me. 'Why do you think anyone's bothered about your new glasses anyway?'
I ignored its cheek and dragged it back down again. This time, it stayed.
It's true. Maybe no one is bothered. But it seems a dramatic change to me, and I felt very self-conscious, stepping out of the opticians into Leamington's main high street. What if I saw someone I knew? Would they do that is-it-isn't-it thing and decide not to speak to me? What if they hate the new loo…
Well, Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for following me during 2018 - your forbearance and long-suffering are much appreciated, as are all your comments. This year I'm meant to be writing and delivering to the publishers my diary-memoir 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' Watch out for news.
I thought I'd write about fish pie as it's the start of the new year and there are many, many reasons I am not the right person to write a blog about new year resolutions ...
I made a fish pie last night for dinner because there was a packet of supermarket pastry in the fridge that never got converted into mince pies over Christmas.
Why didn't I make the mince pies? Mainly because I knew that no one would eat them over Christmas because they'd all be stuffed to perdition with other goodies. So, if I'd made 48, I would eat 47 of them and then my husband, who's not a major fan (of mince PIES, you at the back!!) would wander into the kitchen in mid-January …
This is a scene from a novel I hoped to get published. But I've moved on now and am writing another book which will be published in 2020. Watch this space!
I really like the scene, though. So I thought I'd let you read it, rather than having it fester on my laptop.
Enjoy! It's very much based on my personal experience, and it's a scene that's played out in real life in many, many classrooms across the country. And perhaps the world.
Setting: a secondary school classroom, England. Friday afternoon. Characters: an English teacher and her class
The pupils, as they did every
week at this time, drifted from all corners of the school, in spits and spots
like a gradual, hesitant build-up of rain. They
seemed weary, as did their end-of-the-week uniforms, which drooped and slouched
on their bodies as if drained of life.Indeed, some of their blazers had died and slidden off their bodies like
thin corpses, hanging now from the ends of their fingers. Several pupils had