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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

New York!

Where do I begin?

I have just returned from a surprise shopping trip to New York, arranged by my darling husband to mark my (sniff) fortieth birthday (whimper...).

Actually, I had an absolute ball.

I just love New York. From now on, I shall consider Maddison Avenue to be my spiritual home. Barneys is simply the best store in the entire Universe. I once loved Brown Thomas in Dublin in a very similar way – it was opulent, cutting edge fashionably lovely, and yet intimate. Now it has become simply too large and far too “bling.”

I could blog about New York for weeks, and I probably will…

When we arrived at Heathrow, I instantly saved £300 on a handbag in duty free – and that was before I even left the country!!! James looked moved to emotion when he saw me hand over his credit card. Michael (at Barneys in Maddison Avenue) similarly caused James to display emotion, when he completely updated my make-up bag, tossing all of my current products into a nearby bin.

Apparently 'smokey eyes' are incredibly last year, and if I am to be saved from being captured in a make-up time warp (similar to Barbara Cartland), I must ensure that I keep my look constantly updated. I purchased new make-up brushes and skin care and everything!

I was instructed that a clean line of liquid black eyeliner and neutral lid colours are the way to go. A top quality mascara is a must, false lashes or extensions are just too fiddly for me, and so this super new Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara from Elizabeth Arden was purchased – it looks just amazing nestling in my make-up bag (sigh). In fact, download this voucher and get one for yourself, it really is the Winter must have. I am super thoughtful and brought back gifts for everyone (although I admit - mostly for myself).

I eventually bought about ten different types of Spanx and Crocs with warm sheep skin insides for my munchkins to wear in winter. I am always thinking of my poppets afterall.

Many of the women in New York appeared to have identical facial features, and could have passed for close family - instead of wind swept London hair, they had wind tunnel facial expressions – it should stand as a lesson to us all. Perfect (new best friend and make-up artist) Michael encouraged me to carefully observe the women of New York, and try to imagine what Princess Diana would look like today if she had not died so tragically. She would have been lifted and injected into oblivion by now he insisted!!! What a terrible thought… I have just been looking at the recent photos of Gillian Taylforth in Hello (OHMYGOD!).

Americans are so very friendly indeed, Michael even offered me his “cell number” for emergencies – I immediately hopped down from my high stool at the make-up counter and headed for the door. Open prisons and day release schemes are all very well and good, but this man had his hands on my face!!! I can see the merit in allowing prisoners to weed parks and break up stones, but I understood that they kept them tethered in chain gangs.

Large numbers of wealthy, powerful looking men were to be observed in Manhattan, walking behind their women in a very subservient way (prrr). They were pushing black Bugaboo prams with hot big pink hoods, tiny doglets stored in the parcel tray beneath the infant, both passengers (baby and dog) dressed to the nines for mummy's shopping trip.

I have decided that I am going to have a baby. I shall buy a super new pram, and I may even purchase a small dog! These accessories shall send the message to the world that my man is taken. Now all I have to do is work out a way to get James to push the pram for me around Dulwich!

Note to self: Inform Ana that I am adopting her baby. She may then return to her community in Lithuania free from the shame of single parenthood. I get to keep James’ Ana's baby, and therefore his fortune shall remain untapped by feral au pair girls!!! Hurrah.

Thursday, 25 October 2007


Tonight my mother Brenda breezed in unannounced for a quick visit following her Roman Catholic book group. She enjoys the opportunities the group affords her to snoop around other people's houses and I am sure she secretly considers it a slightly cosier version of Through the keyhole...

While I was supervising the munchkins' bath time, she donned some marigolds and began to clean out my fridge;

"I can't abide a grubby fridge," she said - she really is so very supportive (grrr). While I was still upstairs I heard her shriek with laughter, and when I eventually came down she was belittling some of my fresh chilled products.

"What in the name of God and all of his Saints and Angels is this?" she laughed. "It is just rice pudding with jam tarted up! What are you like?" she scorned.

"Oh mother, I don't care what it is as long as it keeps everyone happy," I said popping the carton of vanilla risotto with raspberry coulis back into the chiller cabinet.

I would never dream of telling her what I read the other day in The Daily Telegraph, it would break her heart. Brenda always wears a special medal containing one of Padre Pio's dried up blood flakes...nice!

Ana has been enjoying her puddings rather a lot lately, indeed her little fingers have swelled up like tiny cocktail sausages.

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Dear friends,

I must apologise for my blogging hiatus of late. I have been simply run off my feet!

Along with meeting various work deadlines, and ensuring my munchkins are appropriately occupied for their two week half term school break, I have been wading through great complimentary chests of premium skin care and perfume, offers of sponsorship from prestigious cosmetic companies, organising plans for a regular column on a super prestigious web-site involving the inevitable compulsory regular review of illustrious spa's, and then to top all of that, James decides that he requires my company at some imminent rugby match today in Paris.

I am sitting here typing at my dressing table in the George V, before I scoot off around the shops of gay Paris. I really didn't need to leave London today, but my underwear drawer could do with a little re-stocking, and so I may be back to meet James in time for the match - but it is Saturday, so I have instructed him not to wait about for me. Rugby is just not my thing after all.

I really cannot see what all of the fuss is about, I shall be back in time for the after match dinner (Johnny Wilkinson has fingers the size of Tesco's finest sausages you know). I just hope that England win, otherwise these affairs can be dreadfully somber.

I shall be back on form imminently. Oh how I miss my munchkins, our paths have crossed so little of late. It is terribly difficult being a working mother you know... I think I can feel a headache coming on...

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Le Crunch

Earlier this afternoon, myself and the poppets travelled by car to Chelsea Harbour with James in order to liaise with a small group of his clients. The select few consisted of the great and good from the City of London, high powered movers and shakers, esteemed magnates and moguls every last one, all assembled for a corporate rugby jolly to Paris. My casually dressed man (chinos and polo shirt) disappeared up to the suites and emerged ten minutes later from the lift with a selection of louts all clad in white rugby shirts, white wigs, and white grease painted faces with red crosses. They looked like a shameful group of vulgarians.


I naturally greeted them all warmly with a kiss on each cheek while my darling babies cowered behind a nearby sofa.

My husband (a Wales supporter) naturally did not wear the English strip (thank God). He looked so very conservative and dignified in comparison. The men took a cab to Battersea heliport, and myself and the poppets waved them off from a local riverside pub, no longer interested in a trip to the heliport. The munchkins were horrified, and darling Max in particular was more than a little distressed by the tableau he had witnissed.

"I am so very glad papa did not dress like those frightful men," he said.

"I much prefer the way daddy dresses for a rugby match," he continued.

"Indeed," I replied dryly.

When attending a Wales match, James usually wears a red curly wig, red grease paint on his face, a fifties style white dress (full circle skirt) with a busy Welsh dragon pattern, red tights and high heels (sigh).

The children careered about on their scooters for half an hour while I sank a very large Pinot Grigio from the bar... My poor boy will grow up so very soon and be just like his daddy.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


I will never understand why Tesco were granted permission to open a shopping emporium so close to my home. Surely a Waitrose "to go" would have been a far superior option (if such an establishment even existed), even a Sainsbury's "Local" - but well, hey ho, onwards and upwards - these are just more of the daily hardships I endure...

I am rather fond of their Tesco's Finest Chablis though, so I tripped in there for some light refreshments after work this evening when I got off the bus. I really needed a drink.

Hywel (our graduate trainee) has really shocked me this afternoon. We had all been drinking espresso after lunch, and so I naturally took the small metal box of mints from my handbag and offered them around. Hywel looked at me aghast.

"You are offering E's out just like they are sweets," he announced.

Myself and Lydia looked at him in disgust.

"No darling man, these are simply sweets to freshen your breath, what kind of company do you keep?" I asked.

I am not sure at all about that frightful boy. It really has been rather a perplexing day...

Monday, 8 October 2007


Look what the well built chap in black leathers with the motorcycle just delivered to my prestigious corner office! What an amazing way to start the week. I always find it such an anticlimax when they take off their helmets though, don't you?

I have asked Lydia to post an image of my book cover on the blog, and toss the A5 mock up behind a cupboard, I can't have anyone finding out who I am now, can I? The book will be published next April (2008), by The Friday Project!

This is just so exciting! I think I shall go home and lie down... I can feel one of my heads coming on. How will she ever get those tyre marks off the carpet?

Saturday, 6 October 2007


Granzilla will not be visiting us at all over the half term (quelle surprise!). James has informed me on many occasions of her complete aversion to children – her inability to ever offer any practical help or support with childcare. School holidays can be so very difficult for hard working parents.

During her most recent visit however, Granzilla had shocked us all with the news that she has recently won second prize at a local Women's Institute cake baking competition! This was her first ever attempt at baking. James immediately described bitterly how as a boy at boarding school, he had informed his mother of the many boys in his house who would return to school after holidays with tins of delicious home bakes. To my darling husband's dismay, Granzilla had never even tried, and on one occasion turned up for a special school occasion with a home baked cake in a tin informing him;

“Yes indeed this is home baked as requested, although not baked by me… clearly, I bought it at the Parish cake sale this morning.” You just know this is true, don't you.

Granzilla has become a great admirer of Nigella Lawson of late, and has become curious of the “goings on in the kitchen” as she put it.

Grandpa Charles telephoned us this evening to say that Granzilla has absconded to Sandy Lanes for an extended break to include the forthcoming half term, as she needs to recuperate following her dismay at a recent piece of news. Apparently she enquired of the WI – the name of the person who actually won the first prize in the cake baking competition, only to discover that there had been no other entries! OHMYGOD!!!

The judges had been unimpressed by my Monster-in-Law's offering, but not wanting to cause offence (to the only titled Lady in their ranks) they had allocated her second prize!!!

My darling Monster-in-Law has developed a head ache and requires a couple of weeks in the sun to recover.

Monday, 1 October 2007


Parenting is so frightfully stressful...

Just when I have safely negotiated the munchkins into the right schools, ensured that they have completed the correct programme of vaccination, stimulation, diet and exercise, are consuming the appropriate Omega 3 supplements and diligently adhere to an appropriate bath/bed-time regime, it appears that I have been slack ... nay, complacent in one crucial area!

From an article in a recent free magazine (the kind that appears with regularity in the children's school bags) it has come to my attention that I am now to be held responsible with regard to whether my children will grow up good looking! I thought that we could take their good looks for granted as my poppets can draw from a wonderful gene pool (I have a shapely ankle and high cheek bones, and their father a commanding jaw and broad shoulders).

"People with attractive faces consistently achieve more in life, not only because of the way they are perceived by others, but also because of the way that they perceive themselves," says the article.

Fair enough really... but apparently we can not take things for granted... Horror of horrors - the publication in Freya's school bag has brought to my attention that pretty young children can develop "flat cheeks, large noses and receding chins - causing them to look less attractive and damaging their self esteem." If their jaws grow forwards they can look attractive - but God forbid they grown downwards - resulting in them looking plain!!!

Surely whether this happens is in the lap of the Gods?

Why no!

The article insists that parents should be vigilant for signs of weak jaw muscles, thumb sucking or children allowing their mouths to hang open - "be gentle but firm" - with the children it insists... Lots of warning photos of unattractive tots are used to back up the argument (who in their right mind volunteered photos of their poppets for this article?) Apparently jaw surgery and tooth extraction may be required to rectify any damage resulting from maternal complacency!

Clearly, I have been far too slap dash in my approach to parenting, pulling fingers from their noses, discouraging them from picking their teeth, sucking their hair or slouching... Apparently "flat unattractive cheeks" can be caused if a child sucks their teeth - they can even end up with "droopy eye lids"...

"Stop sucking your teeth" I should shriek - "or you will grow up ugly..."

Seek advice and support soon, or your children are doomed! OHMYGOD!!! There are not enough hours in the day... I must hand in my notice at work this very day.