Man About the House

I’m still ill. From now on, and unless I say otherwise, I’m always still ill. I’m also still in Surrey. Again, unless I say otherwise, I’m always still in Surrey. I can’t get out of Surrey. I might never be able to get out of Surrey. The rest of my life could be spent in Surrey. Surrey has got hold of me and won’t let go. I can’t get out because I’m both snowed in and I’m ill. I’m slowly, brilliantly, getting cabin fever. I haven’t spoken to another human being for four days. I speak to the television, or myself in the mirror and if things carry on I might start imagining that I’ve got a dog and speak to that. It’s a lot like The Shining down here in Surrey, except scarier and nowhere near as good.

So what to do? Well, the obvious answer is to drink and play with myself but my heart isn’t really in either – and besides, I’ve comically exhausted both options over the last few days. Instead, I’ve started to think about pitching again, to get the phenomenon that is Pitching the World back on its original course. Problem is – and, as regular readers will know, there’s always a problem – my Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is stuck in my office in Mayfair and I’m stuck, with just a make-believe dog for company, here in Surrey.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. As regular readers will know, there’s always a solution. The solution, in this instance, lies with three magazines that have been left in the flat that I’m borderline squatting in in Surrey. And I’m going to pitch all three of the fuckers. Today. Later today, of course, after I’ve finished doing this and taken the dog for a walk.

The three magazines are Woman and Home, Waitrose Kitchen, and Olive. Now, if I was stuck in a flat in Surrey – and I am, I really am stuck in a flat in Surrey – then I couldn’t think of three magazines that I would least like to be stuck with. Or at least I would have thought that, until a second ago when I started looking at the October 2010 edition of Woman and Home. Have you seen the October 2010 edition of Woman and Home? It’s incredible, it’s like it was made for me. Woman and Home is my ideal magazine, I adore it. I’m going to subscribe.

Everything you need to get you through life you can learn from Woman and Home. “MAKE THIS THE WINTER YOU DON’T GET ILL – De-stress your life” sings one coverline and I think, yes, I wish this was the winter that I didn’t get ill. I wish I had read this back in the Autumn, I think, so that I didn’t get ill. Although if I hadn’t have gotten ill this winter, then I wouldn’t be stuck in Surrey and if I wasn’t stuck in Surrey (and I am, I definitely am) then I wouldn’t have been introduced to Woman and Home, so in fact I’m glad that this wasn’t the winter that I didn’t get ill. And there’s more, plenty more. “HAVE MORE MONEY” promises the cover, “New ways to bring in the cash – and stop it going out”. Wow, I think, this is definitely what I want. I want new ways to bring in the cash and I want to stop it going out. What else do I want? “BRIGHTER, SOFTER, YOUNGER – Secrets of fabulous skin & great hair every day”. Yeah, I want that too, especially every day. I want everything that Woman and Home can offer. I even want a 21 page Baking Special.

Yes, I’ll be pitching Woman and Home later, as soon as I come up with a suitable idea. As for Waitrose Kitchen and Olive, I don’t know where to start. I try to read them, but my mind is on other things, my mind is on Woman and Home. Still, I persevere. Waitrose Kitchen is a magazine about how to cook you and your lovely families lovely food and is full of good looking mums and dads with happy children. And all the food is lovely and beautifully shot and the editor’s letter is lovely (and yet completely fucking annoying. Example: “And here’s a good party conversation gambit: to share or not to share food? Small plates for all, or hands off my tucker?”), and all the adverts are lovely and the interviews are all innocuous and lovely and there is a feature on salt which is probably the loveliest feature on salt you’ll ever read.

Yet this loveliness doesn’t sit well with me. Although I may be living in Surrey and working in Mayfair, my life is a million miles from the lives depicted in Waitrose Kitchen. I can’t relate to it (yet, strangely, I can relate to the lives of the women in Woman and Home). I fear I will never have a lovely wife and lovely kids to serve lovely food to. I’ll be forever here, in Surrey, serving cups of tea and roll ups to my make-believe dog. If the editor of Waitrose Kitchen wants to send someone round to take some beautifully shot photographs of that, then he’s very welcome.

In the meantime, the pub beckons.



11 responses to “Man About the House

  1. Pitchy

    I know the Art Director at Woman & Home so I’ve put in a good word for you. If you can call emailing him a link to this post ‘a good word’. Get well soon.

  2. Sorry you are not well. I’m stuck in Surrey too, but it’s sort of my fault as I chose it. In my defence, it was 16 years ago and it seemed a good idea at the time. Tomorrow I may not be stuck in Surrey if Gatwick gets its act together: I’ll be off to Madeira. Had a piece in W&H eons ago, but if you are still stuck when I get back (which I doubt) I’ll send you the contact deets.

  3. Good news, Pitchy!

    You can have 5 free searches in the online Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook here:

    And just think… if all of your loyal blog readers got organized, banded together, and posted their favorite 5 listings, you could avoid pretty much ever going back to Mayfair to pick up your book.

    And since my flight out of Heathrow tomorrow is looking fairly unlikely, I’ll have loads of time for organizing, banding, and posting. Also some time for crying, swearing, and thumb twiddling while my family goes skiing Rockies without me. Ugh. Hoping that won’t be the case.

    Good luck with Gatwick, Olivia.


  4. Hi Pitchy,

    Great blog. You always seem to land on your feet. I’m mad, ill an stuck in Surrey too. Don’t forget to feed the dog.

    Chris Sanders

  5. Ah, Woman & Home. I had so much damned Woman & Home in my life when working in PR in London. I advise not getting involved- I’ve since become a housewife.

  6. Bingo Bartholomew Barlow


  7. Woof indeed. And thanks very much everyone. Who would have thought that Woman and Home could establish such common ground between all of us? Not me.

  8. You’ve given me your illness you massive plum. Last night, instead of sleeping I was lying in bed getting really hot, but still freezing my norks off. Started hallucinating that I was in charge of a team of downs– syndrome kids trying to dig a massive trench and spent 4 hours sweating and shaking, saying “You have to dig at an angle so the sides don’t collapse!” Funnily enough “Woman & Home” were the last parts of an itinerary I’d sorted out for us. It went: Meet up with Pitchy –> Get Pitchy to take me to the pub and buy me pints –> Get Pitchy to buy me a steak dinner –> Get Pitchy to take me to Rhino’s or Brown’s –> Get rejected because Pitchy’s wearing a football kit –> Get Pitchy to drop a ton on beak –> Go down Mecca Bingo –> Woman–> & home.

  9. Merry f-ing xmas y’all!

  10. Woman without Home

    I feel you, Pitchy. I feel sad about my un-Waitrosey kitchen and paltry food supply in the cupboards. The shelves are dusty and lined
    with unpalatable, uncooked pasta shells and cereal crumbs months old. I’ll never be a Waitrose wife living in a Waitrose kitchen serving perfect plates of food to my Waitrose kids. I think I’ll just move to Surrey and lick my wounds. Surrey sounds like a fine place.

  11. Un oeuf is never un oeuf

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