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Friday 2 June 2017

Mutton's Choice Cuts

Welcome to a new monthly feature, Mutton's Choice Cuts.  This month's selection includes the age gaps between the Macrons and the Trumps, and the unofficial World Cup of Biscuits.

1. Everyday double standards (again)

I'm fed up with the way that stories referring to the French President, Emmanuel Macron, always refer to his wife Brigitte as being "64 and 24 years his senior."  That's newspapers in the UK anyway, which are predominantly run by older men. But do stories about Trump mention that the age difference between him and Melania is the same? No, they don't. I'm sure the male editors regard Trump as a role model for winning the hand of a gorgeous younger woman, whereas Brigitte is just a cougar. As our US friends would say, Enough Already!

By the way, Brigitte Dogneux is a great example of an older woman wearing whatever the hell she likes. Here she is looking fantastic in skinny white jeans. Take that, Daily Mail.

2. Research Rubbish. Don't believe a word of it

I've long been exasperated by the research stories that are carelessly shared with us, invariably concerning things we hold dear: coffee, wine, chocolate, cheese. Nobody ever bothers to give any context or comparisons; the research is usually conducted on too small a sample to be serious, and there are usually no explanations of the health of the people who took part. Were they old / smokers / unfit? Quite often, the research contradicts other work by different institutions.

To give you an example, using coffee, I spotted a story in January which told us that coffee is the key to a longer life. Whoopee! Coffee drinkers apparently live longer because caffeine blocks chemicals that can trigger heart disease.This research was announced by Stanford University.

Meanwhile, more than 4 cups of coffee are linked to early death, according to the Mayo Clinic. Men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, they did at least add that some of the men who consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness.

You can find whole websites devoted to the bad health effects of coffee, and others promoting the good benefits of coffee.

So who are we to believe?  Well, whenever a centenarian is interviewed and asked for their secrets to longevity, they usually report that it's a glass or two of whisky or wine a day or smoking. In other words, they haven't been a slave to Gwyneth Paltrow's Methods all their lives, they have enjoyed vices in moderation, and it hasn't done them any harm.

So I'm ignoring two recent reports concerning two things I hold dear:  firstly, just one fizzy drink a day containing sweeteners will make you fat, and secondly, sparkling mineral water will make you fatter than still water (seriously).

3. Cold water is just as good as hot

Now here's a research that did gladden my heart. Scientists say we don't need to use hot water to get clean. Using cool water is just as efficient at removing germs. It's good news to me because since the New Year I have been trying to improve my weak, flaky nails. I eventually realised that my habit of constantly washing my hands in hot water with cheap antibacterial soap was one of the reasons. So now I'll be using cool water (plus a more expensive liquid soap).

4. The World Cup of Biscuits

It's crunch night in the semi-finals tonight of the unofficial World Cup of Biscuits being run by a former colleague, Guy Henderson, on his radio show Riviera FM. This has brought quite a few chuckles as Guy's listeners debated on Facebook the merits of a fig roll (is it even a biscuit?!) and the significance of dunkability. Tonight's semis are: 7pm : Jammie Dodger vs Digestive; 8pm : Hobnob vs Chocolate Finger. I'm backing the Jammie Dodger - it was always the first biscuit to disappear when we used to get the Rover Selection at work - and the chocolate finger.


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  1. OO Jammie dodgers! My favourites too. I can no longer eat them due to my allergies. The only biscuit I can eat in the shops is Rich Tea! And I don't drink Coffee, so I'm hoping my twenty or so cuos of tea help? xx
    Have a great weekend Gail xx

    1. Tea is full of bioflavinoids so does us good! (That's my excuse). You too have a good weekend x

  2. An interesting read Gail, yummy biscuits once I start I can't stop!. x Jacqui

    1. Thanks Jacqui! Will be interested to see how the Jammie Dodgers got on....

  3. Interesting read Gail, my faves are always the custard creams, but not sure they made it through the first rounds?!
    bestest wishes

    1. Unfortunately eliminated in the early stages but I think they had fierce competition from a digestive!

  4. Wow this is such a fun post! I agree whole heartedly on everything! Thank you for joining Ladies Who Link Up and I hope you will join us next Friday! Peace!
    Cheryl Tucker

  5. I'm glad I found your blog (from the link up on Not Dressed as Lamb). As an American I must say to please never, ever, ever call the pig president Trump a role model. He is garbage. Simple and clear-he is garbage.
    Mme. Macron is my new idol. I love her sense of style, I love the fact she is her own person and I despise the press for constantly referring to her age and the age difference in her marriage. So what? Many people ask me if my Frenchman is my father because he's a lot older than I am--and I'm old! He's always hurt by that but laughs it off. Age is no laughing matter. Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm going to treat myself to more reading here!!!

    1. Eeek I would never imply he was a role model - I hastily checked and I'd said he was maybe a role model for certain men who might admire him for having a younger wife. Heaven forbid. Please have a look round Catherine, great to have you here!

  6. I totally agree with your take on the media's double standards. It's pathetic.

    I also find that the latest research is simply lobbyists for certain groups promoting products.

    I don't know any of those cookies however when I lived in London I was addicted to Hobnobs. Mmmmm...


    1. In that case Suzanne you will be delighted to know that the biscuit final is between the hobnob and the jammie dodger!


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