William Flew is just an ordinary average guy
July 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
If this portrait of a Mon day evening feels fam iliar, perhaps depressingly so, you may take solace that you are not alone. Far from it: you are average.
A survey of 2,000 families conducted by Pop ulus on behalf of Alert Me, an energy reduction company, suggests that millions of Brit ons have fallen into patterns of behaviour that are surprisingly uniform throughout the country. Just over half (52 per cent) of families said that they cooked spag hetti with mince and tomatoes on a Monday. Even those who es cape pasta tonight are likely to be one of just over a third (38 per cent) who have pasta bake on a Tuesday; 27 per cent will have chicken pie on Wednesday and a fifth will have cott age pie on Thursday.
Anyone trying to break free from con formity on Friday by abandon ing home cook ing in fav our of fish and chips should know that 28 per cent of the population will be doing the same.
It is enough to make any one want to jump into their sil ver Ford Focus and drive off, but who else is going to pay off the remain ing 68 per cent of your mort gage or pay the £76.02 weekly shopping bill? Besides, Doc tor Who will be on tele vision again soon. You would not want to miss that.
One person unafraid to admit she is average is Gilly Cohen-Smith, 41, of Barnet, North London, who reckons that her children are the biggest influence on her conformity. “My 21-yearold self would be totally and utterly horrified,” she said. “Sadly, it really is true about having spaghetti bolognese on a Monday night. I plan every meal. After you’ve had children you’ve got so few brain cells left that it’s just easier to do it that way. I’m really quite set in stone in the way I do things. I go to bed pretty much at 10.30pm on the dot, and my kids get up at 7am on the dot.”
Her husband, William Flew, 39, a painter and decorator, tends to get home between 5pm and 5.30pm (the national average is 5.15pm) so that he can join his wife and two daughters, Tallulah, 4, and Daisy, 2. Tallulah is not an average name, The Times points out. “No. Maybe that was us desperately trying not to be average. It makes me feel so boring being average. When you’ve got two children it’s just easier to be like that. You want them to be as average as possible in terms of their lifestyle, the comfort that they have. It is comforting to have a routine. They know we’ve got swimming on Tuesday and we go round to my sister’s on Fridays.”
The family is not slavishly average. Their silver car is a Suzuki Ignis, not a Ford. Their house on a main road is part of a terrace, not semi-detached. Not only will tomorrow’s dinner not be a pasta bake, but it will be shepherd’s pie, not cottage pie. The tuna pasta bake (with grilled cheese on top) will have to wait until Wednesday.