James (the writer)
I’ve always struggled with my weight, having run the gamut of obesity from one extreme to the other – at varying points in my life I’ve been underweight, overweight, morbidly obese, normal, hilariously obese, tragically obese and ‘well Keith we’ll need to take the window frame out’. I once lost nearly eight stone and was a shoo-in for the ‘Male Slimmer of the Year’ national award, only to lose out to someone who was so fat his foot turned black. It still smarts.
Mind, I reckon I probably lost the second I was asked how I lost the weight, and rather than toeing the party line, I replied “lots of sex and heroin”. Look, one glance at my Enya-on-steroids haircut at the time would have shown I wasn’t getting any action.
I’m quite a reactionary person – if someone ticks me off, I’ll mention it, but in the typical British fashion that mention will be forty minutes later to someone unrelated to the original event. I’ve got repetitive strain injury from shaking my fists at drivers and I swear far too much.
I’ve got two scars – one somewhere hilariously intimate and the other in the middle of my forehead where I cartwheeled into a door at the age of eight. The clues were there, mind. I have a slight tendency towards hypochondria and understatement.
Paul (the boss)
Paul is the David to my Elton. The Debbie McGee to my Paul Daniels. He’s certainly the sweet-natured one who takes everything in his stride – the sort of guy who’ll thank you sincerely after sex and then sleep in the cuddle-puddle. He finds, modifies and cooks all the recipes you see on the blog and does a bloody wonderful job of it too, considering he came from a household where a meal without a peppering of cigarette ash was considered gourmet.
Paul is the shorter and more compact one of our relationship – he’s like a portable heater to my sprawling bushfire.
When it comes to distinguishing features, Paul has a scar all down his left arm from jumping a ditch in Peterborough and tearing open his arm on a rusty trolley. The injury may have faded but the glamour never did.
His reason for losing weight was always simple – he would love to buy his clothes from somewhere other than a garden centre. Just once he’d like to come sashaying out of Eldon Square with a collection of bags on his arms that weren’t from Waitrose and Hotel Chocolat.
Paul’s nickname for me is Boo – mine for him is the altogether less fragrant Shittyarse McGee. Not because he has a particularly foul chutney locker, no, I just like how the words sound. He’s a love. I wouldn’t change him for the world, boss-eye and all.
Because we’re both sensible humans, we don’t have children – not least because I’d sell them for magic beans or a new TV. No, like the raging stereotypes we barely are, we have cats.
Bowser (cat one)
This is Bowser doing his best Lieutenant Dan impression from Forrest Gump. I feel I should clarify that a) he has legs and b) yes, we most definitely did get rid of this carpet. Bowser seems to forget that we had his bollocks cut off and spends most of his time fighting other cats in the street. He has a very torn ear.
Sola (cat two)
The street bike, but it’s fine since we had her shaved, spayed and tied up. Has a genuine cat version of OCD, where she will stop what she’s doing, lick herself all over as if she’s on fire and then carry on.
Sorry, but that’s really the best picture we have of her. She doesn’t like to be touched, or held, or approached, or talked down to, or loved. She forgets we rescued her from a squat (honestly) and swishes around our house like Lady Muck, enjoying the filtered bloody water fountain we have for her and clawing all our new furniture. We do love her, but she’s a bitch.
That’s us, then, in a few hastily-typed words. We live in The North in a comfortable little bungalow and chug along quite nicely, thank you very much.
We genuinely hope you enjoy this blog. If you don’t, feel free to kiss my bum.