Women don’t like brown sauce

Women don’t like brown sauce. A controversial statement but one backed by huge amounts of research data. Well, a bit of research. OK, not much at all but nobody has argued so far. I’m not sure why. It has, when all is said and done, got fruit in it. It has to be good for you.

As stated, my data is limited but no more so than some of the tosh that passes for academic research these days. There was a “news” report last week that having a nap in the afternoon can lead to an increased risk of strokes. (Stop sniggering at the back – not that kind of stroke.) Could it be that not being very fit, high blood pressure and a pile of chips at one o’clock makes you feel a bit sleepy and up for a kip? No. The next generation of scientists insist that having 40 winks will increase your chances of having a stroke.

It is the same kind of woolly thinking that leads to the weekly story that *wine / butter / chocolate is a killer / the secret to eternal youth / one of your five a day.  (*Delete as necessary.) There has always been this kind of rubbish out there, the difference today is that the 24 hour news and blogging society needs more and more of this stuff to keep the wheels turning. Blogs should concentrate on the important stuff.

The sauce thing came about this week when Mrs B, aware that there would be a system for deciding (there always is) whether to go for tomato or brown sauce, tried and failed to work it out for herself. My theory is that most men will have a similar system and women just go for tomato. The system is as follows.

Burgers or communal pub chips – always tomato.

A proper roast dinner – no sauce at all. This comes from my mum banning it close on 50 years ago and I see no reason to change now. Mint sauce is allowed with lamb, obviously.

Chops, fish in breadcrumbs, chicken Kievs and the like, served with green vegetables – brown sauce. In this instance, carrots are green vegetables (otherwise it gets too complicated). Now the exciting bit.

Full English breakfast or omelettes – could be either depending on the mood. How mad is that? It was a bit much for Mrs B but I suspect by this stage she was glad we decided not to have kids. I have a secret fear of being interviewed by Danny Baker and having to play the sausage sandwich game – I would be useless at it. This last reference will only mean anything to men of a certain age who listen to Radio 5.

Brown sauce?

In terms of quality, it has to be Heinz ketchup and HP brown sauce. Imitations are not acceptable though I still mourn the passing of Hammonds Chop Sauce – a prince among brown sauces. Strangely, we bought an apartment some years ago on the site of the Hammonds sauce factory. Before its demise, I fondly remember walking home from the pub with the sweet aroma of another batch being brewed, wafting across the night sky. The trouble was I was always starving by the time I got home.

What about other sauces? Salad cream is a guilty pleasure but Mrs B won’t have it in the house. She also frowns on having Pizza Express salad dressing, mayonnaise, Branston pickle and brown sauce on the same plate but I AM EATING SALAD! Horseradish is just wrong. I have recently affected Worcester sauce with soup (very posh).

The one sauce related rule we both agree on – tomato and brown sauce on the same plate shows lack of decision making capability and needs to be stamped out. Get yourself a system and stick to it. Any dissenters out there?

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How much are we defined by our job title?

How much are we defined by our job title? Can we change things just by describing ourselves differently?

We have all been in the situation, meeting somebody for the first time, the obvious question is “what do you do?” Even more marked, a common ice-breaker on courses etc. is – “Tell me about yourself”. The usual answer starts “I am a road sweeper/ project manager / brain surgeon ” etc. It is rarely on the lines of “I believe that ear-wigs are evil” (don’t ask) or “I used to put salad cream on fish and chips”.

The point of all this and, unusually for me, there is a point, is that we rarely get the chance to make a first impression face to face anymore. Thanks to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, any potential employer, client or even spouse can make their mind up about you in an instant by looking at your online profile. Is that picture of you on the beach with the ‘Kiss Me Quick” hat and candy floss the impression you want to make? Does your next boss really want to see you glassy eyed and belting out “I Will Survive” outside the Kebab shop?

Job titles and profiles. It is important to get the right photo
Maybe not the right tone for a professional network?

Give your profile some thought and set the right tone for each platform. A suitable photograph is essential. Needless to say, one of me doesn’t exist yet!

Job titles and online profiles. Professional work portrait
Professional work portrait

We tend to be a bit obsessed about how people perceive us from our job title. Over the years I have had many job titles but, recently, I tended to rely on IT Manager. Any mention of working for a certain bank was omitted to avoid obvious embarrassment or awkward silence. Since taking the decision to leave the aforementioned bank I have taken to describing myself as self unemployed. This causes problems when filling in forms as there is never a box for it (and this is somehow my fault).

On Twitter I describe myself as an ex IT manager, currently getting away with reviewing my options. Blogger, photographer, rugby league and music fan, fine wine taster and part time super model. This has had some unexpected consequences. One social media fixated company has automatically added me as a preferred model and photographer. I am still awaiting the call of the catwalk but you never know. I have, of course, got form in this area having, many years ago, featured in Madonna’s video for Vogue. It was a small part but beautifully done if I say so myself. But that is another story.

So, maybe by changing your title, you can change your station in life? As my thoughts on what to do with the rest of my life start to clear (sitting on a beach with a glass of Viognier is not an option apparently) it is time to revisit my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. With various websites under construction and an online magazine gestating maybe publishing mogul would be a good title. Then again, there may be a coaching / counselling element thrown into the mix as well. Publishing mogul, coach and mild mannered despot has a certain ring to it. Maybe not.

I may have stumbled into the life of a super model by accident but there is nothing wrong with setting a target and working towards it. Be realistic but imagine a future contact reading an online profile and reacting to it. Would their reaction be what you wish for?

RB – Media mogul and mild mannered despot.

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