Not-Heartwarming Saturday

MikeachimThe Everyday1 Comment

To think: 600,000 words in the English language, and I need a new one.

The word that almost defines what I need it to mean, but falls unacceptably short, is “heartwarming“. That’s a word that belongs with other artistic damnations such as “family viewing” and “A Michael Bay film”. If something is “heartwarming”, it’s so heavily sugared that your teeth will explode in your mouth. It’ll be like every episode of House On The Prairie put in a pan and left to simmer until it’s as thick as Vegemite, then spooned down your cake-chute until you’re gagging in horror. It’ll make you more likely to embrace violence in your everyday life. It’s how serial killers are made.

That’s why I’d like to describe Gilmore Girls as “heartwarming”, but can’t, because it’s actually really good. It’s nice, yes (another word that needs workmen and scaffolding around it), but in a cheeky, witty, honest sort of way. There’s lots of sarcasm, which to me is a sign that a drama is nailing real life. It’s good-natured without being cloying, and it’s sweet without being, well, sweet. In short, it’s top-notch telly.

If you’re from the UK and you’ve never heard of it – yup. I saw the title, I thought “Ah, like Golden Girls, then”. I bet I’m not the only one.


I’ve had a very [word that literally means heartwarming but without the shitty cultural baggage] day. And for that, I’d like to thank:

  • The Age Concern charity shop on Walmgate, which gave me Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II…for a barmy £1.50.  I’ve wanted this book for years, ever since reading Horden and Purcell’s The Corrupting Sea (vol. I) as part of an environmental archaeology unit of my degree. Like that epic tome, Braudel’s is elegantly written, stimulates the imagination and makes your arms longer when you pick it up. Since I’ll reread The Corrupting Sea after reading The Mediterranean…, I’ve may have bitten off more than I can read. (Which is always fun).
  • The owners of Piglets, for letting me read Journey Into Cyprus in peace and quiet, stoked with coffee.
  • Skeltons, for an absolute blinder of a pork & apple slice.


  • My circumstances, which are allowing me to plan going camping in Orkney in 2 weeks, and during that planning process, start to unhinge my mind from “reality” and half-seriously plan some absolute crazy travel plans.
  • And it’s interesting that the crazy plans made the most sense.