THIS is a transcript of a phone call with a friend the other night.
I AM vexed.
IN gym-going terms late March tends to be a bit of a lull.
A GENTLEMAN, they say, is someone who can play the accordion but chooses not to.
I love to travel: it's a phrase we see all the time, a staple of CVs and personal ads, deployed to hint at a love of adventure.
This column in praise of Madonna has been written, you will notice, by a man and there's a reason for that.
AS one whose own parents, though a good 130 miles away, are still fighting fit and ready to jump at any drop-of-the-hat invitation to look after their grandchildren, I would say that my most frequent muttered-under-my-breath prayer of thanks is thank you, universe, for my mum and dad.
ARE you sitting comfortably?
We've had Mothering Sunday and Father's Day is nigh, but there's one relationship which doesn't have a day, and should: sister, that special person who embodies both family and friend.
LIKE most citizens, I love supermarkets.
Having only recently taken to travelling to work by bus rather than train, I've become acutely attuned to the curious and habitual behaviour of my fellow travellers.
As they used to say in the Old West: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
HAVING left behind the folly of youth, we take a moment to catch our breath, before declining headlong into old age, decay and ultimately – sad parp of trumpets – death.
I love a TV whodunit.
IT'S difficult to praise lookalikes.
IN little more than a fortnight, I will be pouring myself a martini and popping on a 1950s-style prom dress to celebrate the return of Mad Men, aka the greatest TV show ever made.
THE bad news is that Paul Buchanan isn't entirely sure that The Blue Nile still exists.
YES indeed, ladies and gentlemen, today we look at the word "aye".
"Life's a journey, not a destination", Aerosmith once crooned.
NEWS that Edinburgh Zoo's penguins will no longer perform their daily promenade has rocked the world of people who like to see penguins perform their daily promenade.
Some people get through books so fast they seem to inhale the words rather than read them.
Today is St David's Day, a cause for celebration in Wales and an excuse for everyone else in the UK to raise a glass.
I WOULD speak today of a place where life can get on top of you.
Thanks to the Oscar-lavished film The Artist, silence is once again golden.
MY FACE is too mobile.
After waiting impatiently for its petals to burst out of its bobbing head, we were gutted when the very first daffodil in our new garden finally emerged this week – only to end up falling flat on its face.
It's very hard to look these days at the contorted ghoul depicted in Edvard Munch's The Scream and feel anything other than numb amusement.
TURMERIC has been in the news again, as more research shows it's good for our health.
How do you eat yours?
IGNORANCE is bliss, they say.