Diary: Cheesy quip is hardly mature

Cheesemaker and erstwhile bassist Alex James, formerly of this parish, and now of Kingham in the county of Oxfordshire, wrote in his September column for Esquire magazine (published at the beginning of August, because that's how magazines work) that readers fed up with French cheeses ought to "try a block of good cheddar layered with some of Heinz's finest [ketchup]". Strange advice, you might say, though it began to make more sense last week, when James announced that he was launching a range of flavoured "family" cheeses for Asda, including curry, sweet chilli and – whaddyaknow? – tomato ketchup flavour. "The cheese equivalent of spam, flecked with fat," opined one Independent taster. Quite a comedown for the reluctant Chipping Norton Settee, who once sold cheese to Alan Rusbridger at the Daylesford Organic farm shop.

* As this column has often noted, total and utter banker Sir Fred Goodwin was forced to vacate his Edinburgh home, a villa in the Grange, after it was targeted by egg-throwers and daubers of leftist graffiti in 2009. He moved, with his wife, to a £3.5m mansion in the glamour suburb of Colinton, a 2.3-acre property complete with floodlit tennis court. The home was later augmented by The Shred's half-million-pound refurbishment, which included an estimated £100,000 of extra security: spiked electronic gates, motion-activated CCTV and so on. None of this, sadly, was enough to ward off trouble, for The Shred's neighbours soon complained about his hedges, demanding that he trim the 25ft leylandii. Now, reports Scotland on Sunday, friends are saying the Goodwins' marriage is all but over, after news of The Shred's affair with a former RBS colleague became public knowledge. Hence Sir Fred has reportedly been forced to slink back to the Grange with his tail between his legs, leaving his wife Joyce to contemplate her future in the Colinton mansion's calming Japanese garden. One hopes the egg-throwers will leave Sir Fred to his thoughts at this difficult time.



* On the subject of allegedly troubled marriages, nowhere are the travails of the House of Bercow more eagerly chronicled than in the pages of the Daily Mail and its sister title. The Mail on Sunday claimed divorce had "been discussed" after Sally Bercow announced she had taken her husband on a "dirty weekend" to persuade him of the merits of her participation in Celebrity Big Brother: The Richard Desmond Years. The claims of a rift have since been vigorously denied. And yet, not 12 hours had passed before the paper's website was suggesting that Señor Bercow, the Cuban-heeled Commons Speaker, would be further "embarrassed" by his wife's televised claims that he occasionally performs household chores. None of the above, I'm sure, has anything to do with the fact that Señor Bercow recently described the Mail as a "sexist, racist, bigoted comic cartoon strip".



* An email from Oxford historian Richard O Smith, author of Oxford Student Pranks – A History of Mischief & Mayhem, arrives following yesterday's coverage, in this column, of historical Bullingdon Club high jinks. During the 1890s, 400 panes of glass were smashed by posh yobs in the quad of Christ Church College; 17 Buller men were sent down. "The Christ Church incident," Smith explains, "was prompted by a bet of one guinea to see who could break the most windows. Upon being sent down, one prominent Buller simply informed the Dean his father was a nobleman in parliament and would ensure they were all back in college by Monday morning. He did inform his father, and none of them were ever allowed back. Ha!" Of course, no such punishment was ever meted out to the anonymous young chap with the "shock of white-blonde hair" who lobbed a flowerpot through a restaurant window in Boris and Dave's day.



Good news for Dave, despite having to cut short yet another of his five holidays: an editorial in Beijing newspaper Global Times praises the PM for taking "bold measures" by discussing an authoritarian clampdown on social networks after the recent civil unrest. Given that Global Times belongs to the People's Daily, said to be a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, this surely bodes well for future relations between Britain and the Asian superpower.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?