"Parking is one of those 'Don't get me started' topics. Everyone has a story and everyone, but everyone, has an opinion whether it's the cost, the evil nature of traffic wardens, the lack of free spaces, the insidious spread of parking meters into residential and suburban streets, or the fact that machines will never give change..." Miranda Irving on the frustrations of parking your car in Britain.
"Bored now, Prince Shuggie tossed the paperback onto the cheap plastic table. Like he cared that cheap plastic tables were banned. He'd inherited it from his grandfather. It was his legacy." In a short story, Mike Clark presents his nightmare vision of a re-run of the "Forty-Five" Rebellion - three centuries on.
"I've convinced myself that the urge and ability to clean well is a personality thing. In a feeble attempt to soothe my creeping sense of inadequacy, I rationalise that I may not be the world's best cleaner, but I have other talents and other priorities. Deep down though, I'd like to be one of those people who can keep a tidy house, look glamorous, write a PhD, hold down a decent job and raise numerous perfect and well-behaved children." Miranda Irving wonders why she can never keep the house tidy.
"We returned to the UK in May 2005 for a spell and moved back into our own house in Sutton in June. Here's a brief review of a couple of eating and drinking places we've visited which have stood out from the rest. One of them, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons." Some of the best places to eat and drink in the London Borough of Sutton - and one of the worst.
"The very mention of school dinners to anyone who has experienced them is likely to conjure up images of characterful dinner ladies and uniquely unpleasant meal options. Who can forget spotted dick, 'frog spawn' (tapioca), soggy cabbage, lumpy custard, 'gristle' pie (dog food?) and the much-maligned instant mashed potato, randomly garnished with hair-of-chef or fingernail-of-dinner lady?" All that may be a thing of the past, as Miranda Irving finds out...