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Thursday, 30 August 2007

Maternity ring

This morning my two darling munchkins started big school! Hurrah!!!

These holidays run on for far too long if you ask me. The poppets needed a break, but my word, did it have to go on for months on end? Half of Dulwich is back on Prozac.

By 8.30 A.M. the locality was at a complete standstill, there are nine independent schools within a one and a half mile radius of the cross roads, and so once again we had grid lock, what a relief! The schools threw open their doors and calm can return to SE21.

Both of my darlings were wearing a uniform for the first time. Max has now officially finished nursery and Freya has moved to a new all girls school around the corner. Max looked like a little version of his papa in his super tie and grey shorts. I was so proud, and really rather tearful.

Freya looked like a darling doll - her blonde curls cascading over her shoulders, her crisp tiny shirt and tie, one knee sock dangling at her ankle...

Everyone was kitted out in appropriate attire including new uncomfortable shoes, (mine really cut into me and I may just take them back to Emma Hope for a refund...) I had my diamonds specially cleaned at Tiffany in Sloane Square on Saturday and bought another new handbag for the occasion.

The school bullies were out in force, I shrieked with delight to see them - well one must really make the effort. I graciously declined coffee dans le village, immediately turned and fled out of the gates heading to the train station for fear I would hyperventilate with an anxiety attack.

I almost knocked sweet pregnant Imogen over as she was tearing out of Max's school from the other direction, and she immediately stopped and remarked on the blinding sparkles from my jewelery. "Oh they look really amazing today," she said, "I must insist that my husband buys me an eternity ring when our family is complete in a few months time. That is the form is it not? When our last child is born I am entitled to more diamonds - it is the law."

"Why indeed no," I replied in hushed tones, James was still close by positioning Freya with his long lens and camera next to a bicycle rack. "I acquired my eternity ring when I was pregnant with my first child, I told James it was a maternity ring, a reward for being pregnant."

She initially looked shocked, and then laughed and insisted that I am a very funny and quick witted person.

Oh how we laughed and laughed... before we both ran away from the schools as fast as our legs could carry us.

Actually I was being completely serious. I told James that men bought their wives maternity rings when they were pregnant with their first child...

Poor abandoned James texted me fifteen minutes later to say that Freya went into school with no objections at all! The school gates really are the most terrifying place...

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Panic Room

My mother visited unannounced yesterday afternoon. The school summer holidays are drawing to a close and the munchkins are a trifle bored. Max was pounding on the piano while Freya terrorised the au pair, careering about our open plan toy strewn home on her go cart. I was feeling a tad worn out and not quite my normal composed, meticulously groomed and perky self (I was shrieking like a fish wife).

Brenda was horrified by the scene, to her - image is everything. "When I was your age I was a widow with four young children, no dishwasher and no au-pair, how dare you look so disheveled, you have it all!" she scolded. "You should be praising God himself for your wealthy Protestant of a husband, and on your knees to Our Blessed Virgin Mary for your profusion of household appliances."

"Oh Mother darling" I replied. "Don't you remember, didn't you have a parlour to hide in? A panic room of your very own? Why I didn't even know there was an additional reception room in our house until I was a teenager, no children were ever allowed in! You had your own clean and private child free adult space to hide in. Open plan living is the devils own creation," I explained.

"That is indeed true" said Brenda. "And your Aunty Lou lived just up the road, we were great support to each other. In my day, all the mothers smoked to keep their stress levels down, and we took buckets of Tamazepam and would hide in the parlour for hours on end to calm our nerves... I could beat my children to my hearts content with a slipper or even a sweeping brush. Indeed, those were the days, you poor love."

I felt really close to her then, and I thought she might even embrace me. Instead, Brenda handed me a cork screw, pointed to the wine chiller, said "Damn the Scandinavians" and scurried out of the house...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Sense of humour failure?

My perfect boy Max climbed into bed beside me this morning, gave me the most super long hug and announced; "When I am a big man, I shall leave for work every morning just like daddy, but I will say goodbye to my wife Saskia (they are so very much in love) and pop next door to your house, climb into bed beside you and give you a big bear hug all day long..."

He is simply the most darling poppet!

When I arrived in work, Hywel our twenty four year old graduate trainee was standing by the photocopier in one of his outrageous acrylic suits. I could not help but share my tale of maternal pride with him. His reply was rather alarming...

Hywel listened to the story (as indeed he should as I am so very senior indeed) and then said with a completely dead pan expressionless voice "my last girlfriend never understood my relationship with my mother..."


Was he joking? I just could not tell...

Friday, 24 August 2007


I was tottering around the kitchen this morning in a super pair of Miu Miu Wedges, when James had the absolute cheek to accuse me of spending too much money on clothes!

“OHMYGOD… Whatever are you saying?” I asked, tears springing from my eyes…

“When did you buy those? Is that a new bag too?” He accused…

“I cannot believe you are being so cruel,” I sobbed. “You genuinely never notice a single thing about me. I have had these shoes for almost three years, and the bag?… That bag was a gift from my mother at Christmas over two years ago,” I sniffed. “When was the last time you really noticed me, when did you actually really take a look? And I try so very hard to look good for you, seeking just a morsel of attention from your table. All you care about is stocks and shares.”

Naturally James was shamed and filled with remorse, he gets so very stressed each time he writes the annual cheques for the school fees.

I sit here in my capacious office, sipping a Grande Latte from my enormous brushed steel thermos cup (my PA Lydia really is a doll, and looks after me far too well), smiling at the enormous arrangement of roses and herbs which have just been delivered from Paula Pryke. It is completely tragic that an apology is the only reason my husband sends flowers.

I so love shopping on the Internet, and I am so very grateful that the recycling truck turned up and removed my super Net a Porter packaging at ten to eight this very morning.

A girl must be so careful to dispose of the evidence, and I so often find that attack is the best form of defence…

Monday, 20 August 2007

Special Present

This morning as I was preparing to wave my munchkins off to their daily summer camp with the au pair, darling Max asked me if he could have a "special present for being such a good boy," when he returns home this evening...

"Why of course you can diddums," I chirped. "Now tell me what you would like, a Spider man comic, a frozen yogurt, a great big kiss on your perfect nose?" I suggested.

"I would like some Immodium Melts,"said my poppet...

"I very beg your pardon darling boy," I demanded. What would possess my perfect five year old man to ask for anti-diarrhoea medication?

"Well," he replied, "it says on the TV that they melt in your mouth and help you enjoy your holidays"!


Perhaps a sharp letter to the ombudsman is in order. Don't you think? No sooner have they removed advertising for junk food from morning television, when the powers that be encourage my darling boy turn to drugs!

NOTE TO SELF: Ana our au pair has become far too lazy of late - ten minutes of children's programmes each morning is clearly excessive...

Friday, 17 August 2007


Who am I to criticize the perfect teachers and their super policies at the darling nursery school my munchkins attended? I am the first to admit that what I know about education could be written on the back of a postage stamp.

I simply wish that I had the courage to ask the teachers to explain the rationale for some of the decisions they have made on occasion, but of course I (along with every other parent at the school gates) am simply terrified of causing offence...

At the recent sports day for example, not a single child was congratulated for winning any of the competitions! Instead, every single poppet who took part received a celebratory sticker. I am not entirely convinced that this complete avoidance of competition is preparing the darlings for real life. Surely we should celebrate any and every aptitude, a child who does not win a sack race will hardly be scarred with a label of failure. Every child is good at something, if it is not reading or writing, it could just be the egg and spoon race!

Consider the consequences of the recent sports day at the nursery school on our holiday to Cornwall for example. One evening after the children's supper the staff of the divine hotel held a party game session in the lounge for the children. Max and Freya sat happily at the coffee table, with their little bingo cards and pens, eagerly ticking off the numbers as they were called. Sweet Freya was incredibly lucky, and won the first line,... and then the first full house... and was bestowed with two successive prizes!

This was simply incredibly good luck. Several of the other children clearly appeared crushed by this, (sigh).

When a new game began and once again darling Freya won the first line, my burly boy Max was devastated by the complete injustice of the situation, tossed his bingo card on the floor his eyes filled with tears and retreated under the coffee table.

"It is not fair mummy," he howled, "everyone should have a turn at winning, this is tewwibly unfair".

The darling boy had a good point, but life is just not fair, and he has been encouraged to feel aggrieved in this situation because occasions such as the sports day have not been utilised to demonstrate the concepts of winning and loosing. The boy is simply not being prepared for life.

In the end, (in order to spare the tiny boy any blushes when he looks back on this occasion as a young man) I was forced to promise to have an enormous play frame built in the back garden upon our return from holiday, just to coax him out!

These super schools - well intentioned as they clearly must be, are simply not preparing these munchkins for real life...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

News Flash

This evening I received an alarming phone call from my lovely pregnant friend Imogen who lives on nearby Croxted Road. Her darling girl Saskia is simply the love of my five year old son's life.

Imogen told me how very distressed she is that my baby Freya will no longer be in Saskia's class this September as she is off to School 1. Freya is a big girl now, and too old for nursery school. Darling Imogen is almost five months pregnant, and has been missing her perfect children all summer as they have been at camp until 5.30pm every day, escorted there by their full-time nanny. It seems to me that Imogen has had rather too much time on her hands to ponder of late...

"I have been watching you coast by my house on the top floor of the number 3 bus every morning - off to your super job, dressed up to the nines, you never, ever even wave to me," she lamented.

"But I have been on holiday and working from home for most of the break," I replied.

"But surely this evening, that was you on the upstairs of the number 3 bus," she shrieked, "please tell me it was you," she insisted...

"Why no dear heart," I answered in a puzzled tone. "I came home from London Bridge on the train this evening, as I had a meeting there at the end of the day..."

"OHMYGOD," shrieked Imogen, "I have been so very bored of late, and convinced myself you were ignoring me. I opened my bath robe and flashed at you from my bedroom as the bus was coasting by this evening," she confessed.

"I wish it had been me, sweetie, how very embarrassing. I wonder what the passengers thought," I laughed.

"Actually," replied Imogen, "several people looked rather alarmed I must admit. Perhaps we should move house, we shall need another bedroom soon anyway."

"Perhaps you should move," I agreed.

Poor Imogen will lower the tone of SE21 if she is not careful. When I saw her there in her bathrobe this evening I really could not decide upon a remedy, I was actually considering calling her GP, her husband or the police... Now it seems the situation shall sort itself out! I really hate a scandal. Dulwich does not belong in the Daily Mail...

Thursday, 9 August 2007


I just had to share this with you, they really have used a Dulwich school in this advertisement!

In my opinion they have a cheek...

Everyone knows dulwichmums drive enormous gas guzzling four by four German cars.

Foot in Mouth

This evening I arrived home from work to find that Parcel Force had delivered an enormous package containing darling Freya’s new school uniform from Peter Jones. How terribly exciting! My poppet tried on every last item and danced about the house filled with excitement at starting her new prestigious pre-prep school in September. Here I sit this evening, name tapes and sewing basket on my knee, stitching her name into everything the baby will need in September; tiny swimming costume, shorts, jogging bottoms, coat, shirts and pinafores. It is all so delightfully miniature (the smallest size they stock), but still so enormous on my darling baby girl.

As soon as perfect Freya realised how relieved and delighted James and I were that she was at last happy to go to this new school leaving her favourite nursery behind, her demeanour changed dramatically. She peeled off the uniform, screeched: “I am not going to Jallaps”, and marched off to play with her worm farm. Hey ho, (sigh).

I so love uniforms. At the beginning of the summer, we took the munchkins to the super East Dulwich Fair on Goose Green. Naturally I wore some super Gina sandals to show off my perfect pedicure. My heels sank into the turf as we plodded around the stalls and attractions, but it was worth the pains I took just to see my munchkins smile.

Perfect Max simply adores fire engines, and some super attractive fire men or fire operatives or whatever they call themselves were there to kiss babies and build relationships with the local community.

Would you like some more ice in that spritzer?

Each of the tinys stood in line and took a turn sitting in the driver's seat, wearing a helmet and generally pressing buttons on the dashboard. I thought my babies would explode with excitement. I engaged one of the taller, fuller figured Ray Winstone-esque fire fighters in conversation, oh what a complete delight, he had hands like as big as basket balls! I felt like a girl again. I looked simply amazing with my spray tan in the white jeans with the little slits at the ankle…

James sulked and queued up with the munchkins to hold the fire hose and spray some water. My poppets are such cheeky scamps. When they took their turn, sweet Freya pulled the big red lever right back (she has a will of steel despite her tiny frame) and soaked the waiting queue with water.

She really is divine.

Oh how we laughed. I made a flippant comment about “The great unwashed” and we almost had crowd control issue on our hands. I really am the silly Billy – always putting my foot in it!

It was starting to rain anyway, so I am sure no-one minded – not really...


Everyone makes mistakes. Look, I wore my sandals to an event on turf on a wet day!

Oh how I love a uniform!

Don’t you just love Gordon Brown? It really is most reassuring that we have a big serious man in a uniform in charge. He looks so very starched and uncomfortable in his suit. Don’t you think Gordon makes David Cameron look like Billy Elliott?

Monday, 6 August 2007

Environmentally friendly

I really am trying to save the planet you know. I cannot do this single handedly so I do hope that you are playing your part too. Freya so adored Happy Feet, she has become pre-occupied with turning out lights and popping my magazines and newspapers in the recycling, I just can't seem to find my credit card statement anywhere!

I have discovered the most perfect shopping bag! It is tasteful and neutral (will not spill dye all over your white jeans in the rain), I don't know why I didn't think of The National Trust before, these bags can even be purchased online! Don't tell anyone else though, or they will become far too common place.

I bought some of those dreadful Dryer Balls a couple of weeks ago, and what a din they make in the tumble dryer! It sounded as though the drum was full of pound coins. Yes they reduce the drying time, and cut out the need for the chemicals used in fabric conditioner, but the house sounded like a breakers yard, and that was with the utility room door closed.

We must all play our part for the environment, we need broad shoulders to bear the hardships ahead and be serious about saving the planet. I have arranged to move the dryer and washing machine out to the garage in order to reduce the disruption and noise. The games room overhead will not require quiet, and neither will Ana. She is probably accustomed to all kinds of agricultural machinery noises from her Ukranian home on the farm, cow bells and the like...

Friday, 3 August 2007

Listeners ...

My mother has always said "listeners never hear good of themselves." In fact, if you ever managed to catch her talking about you she would spring into action with her special phrase, and you would inevitably be labelled as being in the wrong for spying!

I try to stay in touch with all of the trivia of importance to young people. As a mature parent, I purposefully endeavour to keep up with the trendy bands, books, mobile phones and the like so that the munchkins feel that I can relate to them as they get older.

This evening I was talking to my super PA Lydia on the telephone from home. I slipped back to the house early from work as I had a meeting at 3pm in London Bridge. It made perfect sense to me as it would have taken an age to get back to the office...

Having just returned from holiday together, Lydia and I are getting on particularly well. She was telling me about this "amazing group" and their "current vibe" or whatever. I told her; "Nothing is new, I have heard that sound before."

"Oh Lydia" I laughed "The Killers are The Cure."

At this point I heard banging and crashing outside my bedroom window - which is rather alarming as I sleep on the second floor... An ashen faced Ana (au pair) appeared in the window looking terrified.

"You are intending to do away with me," she screeched.

"Only if you don't get on and finish cleaning the gutters," I replied. Honestly, listeners never hear good of themselves. She needs to get those gutters spic and span, as soon she will be too big to get up the ladder!