LESLEY KEATING: Think I’ll stick to the green goo you can buy in Boots

Children adore being spoilt by their grandparents, but is it too much?

VERITY LUSH: Don’t blame gran for kids munching on e-numbers

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Having heard all about the benefits of using natural Aloe Vera straight from the leaf, I was really excited to find masses of it growing wild around the hotel complex during our recent Caribbean holiday.

I was particularly excited as I’d managed to scorch myself the previous day and thought I’d try it as a sunburn remedy.

Funny how things don’t always go according to plan...

The first challenge was to try to actually manage to yank up a leaf, away from the scrutiny of the omnipresent security guards.

It certainly wasn’t just like picking a daisy. But I did it!

Then, back in the room, quite proud of my endeavours, I tentatively sliced the end off with a dinner knife. It looked okay to me. A bit fleshy and nondescript really.

I left it on the table while I went to get something. On my return, however, something rather alarming had happened.

My previously innocent-looking Aloe Vera leaf had unexpectedly morphed into something that would not be out of place in a sci-fi horror movie – curling up alarmingly and spewing evil-looking bright yellow sticky liquid everywhere…. with a matching indescribably evil smell as a surprise added bonus!

‘You’re not putting that on your back are you?’ said Mike nervously.

Undeterred, I soldiered on, following instructions on Google and YouTube and deftly scooping out the clear, greenish flesh with a teaspoon.

The smell was showing no signs of abating – imagine cheese and onion crisps mixed with fish gut – and the yellow liquid was now also making impressive psychedelic, possibly indelible, patterns all over the white marble table top.

My fingertips now looked like I’d been a heavy smoker of roll-ups since I was a teenager.

The hotel – with its white bedspread and fluffy white towels - would love me.

I gave up. We bundled ‘Vera’ into a carrier bag and, under the cover of dusk, made a furtive trip to the dustbin two floors down and vowed never again.

I’ll stick to the green goo you buy in Boots from now on.

JUST A SIMPLE ANNOUNCEMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT

Last week Buckingham Palace declared it was making ‘an announcement’.

The entire royal household’s staff were assembled, the world’s media waited with baited breath. Britain debated what could possibly make such a newsworthy impression.

Clearly no-one of eminence had popped their clogs as there was no TV blackout and solemn music.

Was the Queen abdicating? What could warrant such a major staff meeting?

Mystery solved. Prince Phillip is ‘retiring’ at the age of 96.

I really like Prince Philip and his stoic refusal to bow to political correctness.

But surely just a simple announcement without any preamble would have been sufficient.

SERVICE WITH A SMILE? IT WAS MORE LIKE SERVICE WITH A SNARL

Yesterday in the supermarket I was served by a rather surly young lady who clearly would have preferred not to be there.

She barely managed a word and did everything without eye contact. I’d obviously interrupted her ‘deep and meaningful’ with a neighbouring cashier.

How very rude of me! Service with a smile? More like service with a snarl.

A similar experience happened the other week with a cashier with a somewhat ironic badge proclaiming her name was ‘Joy.’

Now they may have had things going on in their lives to make them less than cheerful. But surely leaving a positive – or at least, a neutral – impression is part of what they’re being paid for. A little pleasantness wouldn’t go amiss.