The A to Z of Hilda Lolly

Here’s your chance to get to know Hilda a little better with our delightful alphabetical journey.  Will you make it all the way to z? Probably not, but do have a jolly good try.
A is for ant
is for ant.
“Professional help is unfortunately scant, for any poor dear afraid of the ant" says Hilda. She isn’t fond of insects in general, but this creature has the ability to send unimaginable shivers up her legs and goodness knows where else. 'I'm constantly eyeing up people's skirting boards,' she tells us.
B is for bosoms
is for bosoms.
“I’ve never been blessed with a noticeable chest” says Hilda.  But what she lacks in one department, she certainly makes up for in others. Her brain, for example, is incredible feat of human evolution. And she does have very charming toes. In between that, as she admits herself, it's all rather ramshackle.
c
is for charity shops.
“I love a good peep at anything cheap” says Hilda. It’s true that Hilda once came to blows with another lady over a 1000 piece jigsaw, but that’s just her way. Put her in sniffing distance of a bargain and you may get a handbag in the ribs if you get in the way. So our advice: steer clear.
d
is for dyspepsia.
“My health’s not in question, it’s merely indigestion” says Hilda. Poor Hilda’s insides can’t handle anything spicy but that doesn’t stop her tucking in to the richest repast; to hell with the consequences. A wide berth is advisable post-curry. A good half mile should suffice. 
E
is for emery (board not Dick).
"A tube ride for me always entails plucking my whiskers and filing my nails" says Hilda. Yes, she'll whip out the tweezers and emery board as soon as she's settled in the priority seat. 'Grooming-on-the-go is essential for a gadabout like me,' she tells us. You may want to look the other way.
f
is for fondant fancies.
"I'm prone to the shakes if I can't buy these cakes" says Hilda. If you ever want to get into Hilda's good books, pop along to Islington with a generous tray of these tasty morsels and we guarantee you'll be invited in for tea. A word to the wise: Mr. Kipling's French Fancies WILL NOT DO.
g
is for Granty Win. 
 "She's big, she's bold, she's ever-so old" says Hilda. Her beloved card-playing, Dubonnet-quaffing nonagenarian great aunt is a constant source of inspiration to Hilda. A Yorkshirewoman to her core, Granty Win is usually described as 'formidable' by those who know her and 'fearsome' by those who don't.
h
is for Harrogate.
I'm always going back and forth from right down south to up t'north" says Hilda. Harrogate Spa is the birthplace of Hilda and she is a regular visitor to this day (Granty Win resides in Bilton). It will come as no surprise that you can frequently spot both the Lolly ladies in Betty's famous Tea Rooms.
i
is for Islington. 
"If you're in need of a dollop of fun, get yourself down to London N1" says Hilda. You will often find Hilda wandering bemusedly around Parasol Unit or knocking back a sweet sherry at Barrio North. In fact, you can spot her at most Islington venues (keep an eye out for her shopping trolley... a tell-tale sign).
j
is for jumble sales. 
"I rather enjoy a disorderly scrummage amongst pensioners keen for a jolly good rummage" says Hilda. The ability to sort through jumble at lightning speed is not to be sniffed at; Hilda has been able to furnish most of her maisonette with an assortment of dirt-cheap bric-a-brac over the years.
k
is for knick-knacks.
 "...and to avoid us getting into an unsavoury spat, please don't refer to my knick-knacks as tat" insists Hilda. The aforementioned jumble sales may be a constant supply of objet naff, but woe betide anyone foolish enough to snigger or point at her outmoded chattels.
l
is for Lionel Blair. 
"After Cher and Helen Shapiro, Lionel Blair's my absolute hero" says Hilda. Yes, Master of Charades, Mr Blair, is Hilda's perfect man. 'I adore him,' she mews and apparently longs for the moment she hears these words: 'And on my team today I have... Hilda Lolly.' (ITV executives please take note).
m
is for Minnie. 
 "She's slightly aloof... and long in the tooth" says Hilda. Deliciously named after Minnie Castevet (not Minnie Mouse), Hilda's cat is something of a renown sourpuss. Often found sauntering the streets of Islington and turning her nose up at anyone who dares to look in her general direction. Charming.
n
is for nettle soup.
"I'm always rather cock-a-hoop when turning nettles into soup" says Hilda. The heady whiff of this emerald broth can oft be found drifting out of Hilda's kitchen window. She also makes nettle cordial, nettle jam and occasionally nettle ice-cream. We bet that's got your mouth watering.
o
is for OFM.
"You're wise to be wary of my dear old friend Mary" says Hilda. OFM is Hilda's oldest chum and one of those rare beasts - the tall old lady. She enjoys scaring children with her thin legs and large shoes; imagine the lovechild of June Brown and Darth Vader and you'd be in the right ball-park.
p
is for poetry. 
"Is it a crime... to like things to rhyme?" asks Hilda. Poetry, of course, is very dear to Hilda's heart. When she's exhausted her extensive library, she'll take to WH Smith's for an afternoons browsing of the greetings cards. "Andrew Brownsword can be a great comfort in desperate times," she tells us.
q
is for Queen, H.M. The. 
"There's nothing absurd about this game old bird" says Hilda. We've a sneeking suspicion she's angling for a Damehood, and why not?  According to Hilda, she's met the Queen on several occasions, and by 'met' she means 'seen from a distance' and by 'several occasions' she means once. 
r
is for retching. 
"It can be rather a drag when one's prone to gag" says Hilda. A visit to the dentist is always a noisy outing for poor Hilda, who will heave at the sight of a mirror-on-a-stick. If anyone has any tips or tricks that might help, please feel free to email her. No smut though.
s
is for sweetcorn. 
"My allegiance I pledge to this dear little veg" says Hilda. Sweetcorn - on the cob, not tinned - is a newly discovered joy for Hilda. So moved was she by this golden beauty, the verse poured from her like a leaking tap. Check her poetry section if you haven't done so already.
t
is for tea. 
"More often than not, I'm warming my pot" says Hilda. Like most genteel folk of a certain age, Hilda enjoys a steaming pot of tea, on the hour, every hour. She'll slum it with a bag if needs be, but much prefers the loose variety. Buy her a strainer or cosy and you'll have a friend for life.
u
is for umbrella. 
“Only the folly are minus a brollie” says Hilda. Apparently there is nothing so satisfying as emerging from Angel tube station in the ghastliest weather and erecting a brollie that says to all passers-by: "I tolerate the elements in style." Um, yes - we'll take your word for it Hilda.
v
is for varicose veins.
 "As one's dotage begins, blue goes the pins" says Hilda. No longer on show to the general public, Hilda admits herself that her once revered shanks have seen better days. Having said that, we've witnessed her doing the cancan on many occasions, and while her legs might not look much, they go like the clappers.
w
 is for wincyette.
 "Try to imagine an ageing Aphrodite, parading around in a sturdy cotton nightie" says Hilda. Bedroom attire is certainly on the sensible side for Hilda and we are told that she owns the largest selection of wincyette nightgowns in North London. "I live near a school and don't have net-curtains," she explains.
x
is for xmas. 
"You'll always find me brimming with glee, when I'm frosting my yule log and baubling my tree" says Hilda. During the festive season, Hilda's kitchen is a whirlwind of dried fruit and cognac  as she churns out her legendary Christmas fare. "My mince pies are heaven sent," she modestly informs us.
y
is for Yorkshire Terrier.
"There's nothing scarier than a Yorkshire Terrier" says Hilda. She's naturally more of a cat person (see 'M' above) and this particular breed of hound has been known to give Hilda an attack of the collywobbles. Please note: the anxiety is further increased if said dog is wearing clothes, as is so often the case.
z
Zadok the Priest.
"On a dreary sort of afternoon, nothing beats this lovely tune" says Hilda. She enjoys a bit of stirring music and a sizeable chunk of Handel will always lift her spirits. "I want this played at my funeral, accompanied by grief-stricken cries from the pews," she adds. We've made a note, Hilda.