Aasma looks back on a years’ worth of columns...
“Every action has a reaction.”
Or something along those lines some science boffin chap once said.
Well, I have a new one for you, Mr Newton or whatever your name was: “Every column has a comeback.”
It’s now been more than a year since I was asked write a weekly column for the LEP to amuse, entertain or annoy our readers with my witterings.
One thing I certainly couldn’t have predicted was the reaction becoming a columnist would get from you, our faithful readers.
I’ve received fan mail, been offered a television role, been “recognised” on the streets and even been slated by a critic.
Well, not quite, but it certainly sounds a lot better put it like that.
In the style of those episodes of Friends where the producers couldn’t be bothered to make a proper episode so did a “flashback” episode looking at highlights from the series, I will look back at some of my columns and reveal the reaction they provoked.
My chance for television stardom came after confessing my hoarding habit and how I accumulated so much junk that I would certainly live in a pigsty if I didn’t have a husband, who is freakishly tidy and cleared up after me.
I almost fell off my chair when I was contacted by a television production company making a new series of Channel 4 Show Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners asking if I’d like to take part.
No, they hadn’t got the wrong end of the stick. They knew I was a hoarder, not a cleaning freak, but in a Wife Swap-type scenario, they wanted me to trade places with someone with a compulsion to clean who would help me deep clean and de-clutter my home and hopefully we’d learn from each other.
As my home is not a cluttered mess, but actually very tidy (see reference to freakish husband above), I decided to decline their kind offer.
Then when I wrote admitting I didn’t know how to ride a bike and was coming under increasing pressure from Hubby and the kids to learn so I could join them on cycle rides, I certainly wasn’t expecting an offer of free adult cycle training.
Hubby is adamant I should take it up and colleagues at work are also up for the idea – no doubt rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of snaps and video footage of me falling off a bike.
When I disclosed my hatred of oysters and how I thought they were revolting, slimy things which I didn’t see the point of if you’re supposed to swallow without chewing, I wasn’t expecting to receive letters and e-mail telling me I was eating them all wrong and that they are apparently delicious when consumed correctly.
To the gentleman who kindly sent me an oyster recipe – thank you. I’ll certainly give it a go next time I decide to try the squelchy sea creatures.
Ooh – and I got myself a mention on the Evening Post Letters Page after I vented my spleen about those who live near schools and hospitals who are totally over the top about policing those who park outside their homes – such as those who sit there with binoculars trained to the window just in case someone parks a couple of inches over their drive.
Well I certainly managed to rile one reader, who lives near Royal Preston Hospital, who wrote a letter saying that if I went to the streets near the hospital, I would see bin wagons and emergency vehicles struggling to get through and elderly people being knocked to the ground after confronting inconsiderate parkers.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I welcome a good debate, but I was somewhat peeved at his accusation that I had obviously fired off the column “to provoke reaction” while I “waited for the kettle to boil in the office for my morning cuppa.”
For one thing, we don’t even have a kettle in the office (not allowed one, say health and safety). And dontcha know we’re far too busy for brew breaks?
While the fan mail hasn’t been arriving by the sack-load, I have had some lovely letters, e-mails and tweets from those who tell me they enjoy reading my random waffle.
My favourite was a card from a 91-year old who told me she thought I had a great sense of humour and “loved my no-make-up selfie” (Me with a paper bag over my head, above).
And I have been “spotted” a few times too. I was once stopped in Tesco by someone who said: “Are you Aasma Day from the Lancashire Evening Post?”. When I sheepishly admitted I was, he told me he recognised me from my picture. After seeing some of the photos my favourite colleague has used of me in the paper, I wasn’t sure if I should feel insulted.
Hubby is a bit miffed that after I wrote a column telling the tale of when his sandals were stolen from under his sun lounger while on holiday, no one got in touch offering to replace them.
So it’s not quite fame and fortune and I’ve never been asked for my autograph or to sign photos or random body parts.
But as long as you all keep reading my drivel, I’ll keep on writing it...