Can you have too much of a good thing?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 29th March 2013

IMG_1858A few years back it would have been impossible to believe that The X Factor might one day lose its shine. I was completely hooked on the show and spent every Saturday night gripped by Simon Cowell’s acid comments to the wannabe stars. By the rival judges at each other’s throats, the contestants’ dazzling white teeth (apparently Cowell’s team always insists the young hopefuls get their gnashers whitened) and the crazy choreography.

But times change and our reality TV obsession seems to be waning. Viewing figures for the last series of The X Factor were down and this week only one contender turned up to sing in the first hour of auditions. Quite a contrast to last year, when more than 100 people showed up to sing at the same audition in Colchester, Essex.

But maybe it isn’t so surprising. Why? Because unlike the old saying, I reckon you most certainly can have too much of a good thing.

As a child I used to buy an Enid Blyton book every single week (they cost two shillings and sixpence each – my entire pocket money) and I thought I’d never tire of them. But one day I woke up and realised I wanted to read something else. The same goes for my past obsessions with Starbucks coffee frapuccinos, Converse trainers (if Phoebe Philo swears by New Balance sneakers that’s what I‘m getting), Mary Wesley novels and even my subscription to Vogue.

I’m clearly not the only one. For picnics I always used to pack wholemeal rolls, baked in the oven with cheese, tomato and a dash of mustard and wrapped in tin foil to keep them piping hot. It was an idea of my mother’s and just the thing for bracing seaside picnics. In fact they were so delicious that my husband even took them when he competed in the Tour de Trigs, a gruelling 24-hour orienteering hiking competition through the wilds of the Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire countryside. The rolls kept him going through the wind and the rain – but the only trouble was that when I next made them he took one look and groaned: “I could never face eating one of those ever again.”

Like I said, even the best things have a shelf life…

PS. My new obsessions are the Draw Something app, Broadchurch, The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream  and Bill’s (above) in Oxford. Part of a rapidly expanding chain, the Oxford branch opened a week ago and I’ve already been three times – twice for coffee and once for lunch.

12 comments so far

  • Ooooo – Bill’s in Oxford! Great fan of the first one in Lewes and I remember when Bill’s was just a greengrocer (now there’s a word you don’t hear often)!

  • It’s fab, Jackie. I’ve been to the one in Covent Garden and loved it – and always wanted to go to the Lewes one. The Oxford branch is in St Michael’s Street, just off Cornmarket.

  • Everything has a time!! Remember when Casualty was good?? – before it became just another soap?? I just hope I don’t get tired of Strictly.

    Must try Bill’s. Personal recommendations are always the best.

  • You’re right about Casualty, John. I loved it years ago but never watch it now. And this is a terrible admission, but I’ve never watched Strictly!

  • Some things go on too long – others not long enough! For example, the Body Shop’s ‘Oceanus’ fragrance and associated products – who on earth could have thought that the smell of the sea wasn’t what people wanted to buy any more? Just one whiff always transported me back to my summer holidays even if I was in my bathroom in a cold and grey UK! Broadchurch offered much with its plethora of stars and gritty plot line – but aren’t you finding it desperately slow?

  • I’m loving Broadchurch, Lucy. The only drawback is having to wait for a week till the next episode. I wish it was one of those series transmitted on consecutive nights!

  • I absolutely love reading your blogs Emma. I agree, I have ‘runs’ on things and then like a change. Think I’ll be trying those wholemeal rolls!

  • Took DW and DD1 to Oxford today – so fit Bill’s for lunch. EXCELLENT!! (and reasonably priced). Thanks for the recommendation – which we all heartily endorse!

  • Hurrah, John. I’m so glad you agree and that you all had a lovely lunch. And re Strictly, I’m definitely going to give it a go next series. It’s ridiculous I’ve never seen it!

  • Interesting post. I for one cannot believe how little the X Factor interests me. The Final has fallen on holiday arrival, house move and 40th birthday and everything was altered to view it but I find myself getting bored now. We need some new stimulation and perhaps the telly is currently the wrong place to look.

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