How sad that Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have split after 11 years of marriage.
I’ll be honest, I’m not into celebrities.
I occasionally glance at copies of Hello or Take A Break that Mrs Canavan has left around the house.
These are magazines that have front page headlines like “Sophie - mosquitoes made me pregnant” and “Jordan reveals she lost two stone by drinking sewage water for a month”.
They aren’t very interesting but do pass the time on a Saturday between the end of Match of the Day and the start of The Football League Show.
I am, however, aware of Chris and Gwyneth because they have provided us with such wonderfully comical moments over the years, not least calling their first child Apple (I had a tenner on their next born being Melon, Gooseberry or Papaya, but alas they got fed up of fruit and called it plain old Moses instead).
If you aren’t aware of them, Chris is lead singer of the band Coldplay, while Gwyneth is an actress/self-proclaimed life guru.
They are, and I think this is widely agreed, the most pretentious showbiz couple of all.
Chris writes things like ‘peace’ and ‘fairtrade’ on his knuckles, looks permanently earnest, and talks a lot about vegetables.
He’s bad. But he’s nothing compared to Gwyneth.
In various interviews over the years she has come out with some terrific pearls of wisdom.
On taking a retreat to Arizona, for example: “I’ll never forget it.
“I was starting to hike up the red rocks, and honestly, it was as if I heard the rock say: ‘You have the answers.
“You are your teacher.’ I thought I was having an auditory hallucination.”
On another occasion the poor old multi-millionaire said: “Some days I feel like everyone in my world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I’m so tired.”
She also seems rather obsessed with food, uttering, in no particular order of naffness, the following:
“I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup.
“One cold wintry day in London, I was dreaming about salad nicoise—one of my favourites.
“During the strict macrobiotic chapter of my life, I ate miso soup every day for breakfast and sometimes with dinner as well.
“One evening when I had my wood-burning stove going I realised I hadn’t thought of dessert.”
You get the idea.
It was no surprise therefore that Gwyneth and Chris announced their separation in fittingly pretentious style, in a statement on her website accompanied by the headline “Conscious Uncoupling” (just call it splitting up for god’s sake).
The statement was followed by ‘separation tips’ from Dr Habib Sadeghi and Dr Sherry Sami (whoever they are), who provided insightful advice like ‘divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved’.
Well, knock me down with feather.
All divorces are sad, obviously, especially for the kids.
But at least young Apple and Moses will only have to suffer one unbearably pretentious parent at a time now, rather than being stuck with both of them together.
A show of paternal pride for my four-legged ‘remarkably ugly’ pal
A rather embarrassing incident occurred the other day involving Percy, my cat.
Normally things are quite straightforward. Like many other cat owners, I let him out before I go to work, he immediately trots off to relieve himself in next door’s flower bed, and I let him back in when I return home in the evening (then switch off all the lights and pretend I’m not home when the woman from next door angrily bangs on the door to ask why her flowers keep dying).
The other day the cat didn’t come in when I got home from work, so I changed and, being a caring guy, headed to the local shops about half a mile away to get something for Mrs C’s tea.
As I reached the shop (Sainsbury’s in St Annes for stalkers who wish to pinpoint my exact movements), I glanced over my shoulder and discovered, with some horror, a black and white cat wearing a red collar staring back at me. I thought ‘that can’t be mine?’, then saw its slightly offset nose and remarkably ugly face and realised it was.
It had followed me half a mile, crossing two main roads. I felt strangely proud.
I had two choices: walk home empty-handed then return, or scoop him up and nip inside to do my shopping.
I opted for the latter and carried him round the shop in a basket, feeling like Kate Moss. I got several odd looks and am no doubt now known to staff as ‘the mad cat man’.
I’ll have to keep a closer eye on the little beggar from now on.