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Sunday, 27 April 2008


Vanessa of The Fidra Blog has tagged me to carry out a meme. I can never normally complete challenges such as this but I have undertaken a number of creative exercises of late, at the insistence of my celebrity agent. I have been instructed to stretch myself out of my comfort zone...

Vanessa's meme requires me to;

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Please do not judge me due to the indelicate nature of my current reading material. Apparently I must include lots of sex in the manuscript for my book - it has been suggested that I spice it up in the manner of blockbusters by Judith Krantz and Jilly Cooper, of roller coasters such as Scruples, Riders and Sons and lovers. OHMYGOD!!!

I am a lady and a mother and the subject of sex does not come naturally to me, I am so very modest after all. I live in Dulwich where everyone is married and no-one ever has sex - not ever. I am under instruction that in order to increase my commercial appeal I must open my mind and include lots and lots of detail! I have concluded that I shall simply describe the sexual athletics of my au pairs as I do not want anyone to get the wrong impression of the ladies of Dulwich. Our chased reputation is of paramount importance to me after all.

I recently accepted delivery of a copy of The Dirty Bits for girls, edited by India Knight. This is a compendium of "the dog eared pages of our youth" - not my youth darling India - after all I was a member of The Legion of Mary! This extract was originally from Fanny Hill by John Cleland (1749). Brace yourselves;

"Her legs were perfectly well shaped and her thighs, which she kept pretty close, shewed so white, so round, so substantial and abounding in firm flesh, that nothing could offer a stronger recommendation to the luxury of the touch, which he accordingly did not fail to indulge in himself. Then gently removing her hand, which in the first emotion of natural modesty, she had carried thither, he gave us rather a glimpse than a view of that ..." (gasp!!!)

No I am sorry, not even for Vanessa... no, I cannot bear to continue. This book contains far too much information. I am a pre-menopausal lady, and I have not yet eaten my supper. I must email my agent immediately, we simply never carry on like this in Dulwich, it simply would never do.

I would like to tag my chums Potty Mummy, Frog in the Field, Pig in the kitchen, Nunhead Mum of One, Zoe, Aims and Drunk Mummy - because I love you!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Worried Parent

My perfect six year old boy was recently given a new game for his Nintendo DS player by my mother Brenda. I was aware that darling Max had wanted an action game cartridge for the contraption, but I preferred for him to occupy himself playing with his Brain Training exercises or with his Lego or even reading or cycling his bicycle (sniff).

Since receiving this new accessory, I have observed sweet Max behave like Golum from The Lord of the Rings each time it is suggested that he turn the game off/share with his friend/do his homework or eat his supper. OHMYGOD!!! It has been the most traumatic experience for the rest of the family (sigh).

I am not happy at all with the influence that computer technology; games, Email, MSN Messenger, Texting, You Tube networking sites like Facebook and Bebo, appear to be having on the social development of our progeny.

Children are no longer expected to use their imaginations whilst playing, if they are attacked they instantly retaliate. These tiny munchkins are not being encouraged to moderate their responses to situations or people with whom they may have a disagreement. There are no consequences for their aggressive behaviour and they can immediately observe the vivid computer generated evidence of their destructive actions on others (dabs eyes). There are never any points awarded by these vile computer games for diplomacy.

The poppets are so very Innocent and easily led (sniff).

It is now possible to conduct relationships on-line without the need for physical contact, the ability or opportunity to interpret non verbal communication is lost. Where is the art conversation and debate? Where is the charm? I am so very depressed by the destructive influence of computer technology on modern life (buries face in enormous white cotton handkerchief)...

I am off to surf around the SheerLuxesearch engine to cheer myself up for an hour or two. I will eliminate my despair by making a couple of designer purchases online. I always find spending cash on these super sites strangely easy and quite therapeutic. I adore self-gifting (blows nose loudly)!

It never seems like real money that I am spending, I find it frightfully difficult to restrain myself. It is so very easy to get carried away but hey ho, where is the harm in a little retail therapy? It is not as though we are bordering on a recession...

Can I offer you a hot whiskey (gulp)?

The rain may pelt from the heavens, but it doesn't matter a jot that I am suffering from a heavy cold as I sit here shopping on-line!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Seek medical attention...

James is in Washington (again) and I am bored, bored, bored. Tonight I have resorted to reading (the au pair) Magda's old copies of Now magazine. Vogue is cover to cover florals - and I am finding it all quite depressing (have you noticed the weather?).

Is anyone else alarmed by Dr Hilary Jones and his problem page? He is starting to sound just like a member of the Roman Catholic clergy...

Dr Hilary's column has an enormous eye-catching photo of Victoria Beckham with the headline "Posh's trousers could give you thrush!" Sweet Dr Hilary, are times that difficult? The mid fifty year old celebrity GP says that "tough fabric can irritate just where you don't want it to and allow thrush to flourish in the warm, moist environment," he then goes into far too much detail for those of us who can actually read...

Really darling?

Let's move on...

I think that it may be time for you yourself to seek treatment. You don't sound too healthy to me.

But then what would I know?

Has anyone noticed where I put the cork screw?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Praise the Lord!

I awoke the other morning to find my bedroom flooded with light. Like the Ice Queen I surveyed the scene from my bedroom window, smiling to myself as the profusion of enormous fluffy snowflakes that wafted past and settled into little drifts on the terrace steps and against the perfect Farrow and Ball painted bird table below. I realised that the sweet Robin would probably be forced to endure hunger in this beautiful scene. There are indeed those who suffer great hardship because of the snow...

I was suddenly aware that I was in the presence of God!

Overcome with emotion, struck dumb in awe at the power of the Lord, tears ran down my perfect cheeks and I felt my heart leap in my bosom with joy at the realisation that I live in glorious Dulwich!

Some are certainly less fortunate than I...(have you ever been to Lambeth? OHMYGOD!!!)

Aware that my poppets would imminently demand a trip into the garden to make a snow man, I dashed downstairs, summoned the au pair and instructed her to don her thermals in order to escort my progeny outside for some fun and games (high jinks in the snow would play havoc with my hair).

I love to catch up on my beauty sleep on a Sunday morning (sigh), I really could sleep like a bear in hibernation.

Wake me up when the meek inherit the earth.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

*Publishing News*

As many of you are aware, I have been busy crafting my novel "Sex Lies & Sellotape, confessions of a Dulwichmum," which was due to be published this month by The Friday Project. So many of you have emailed me over the last three weeks enquiring about the publication date - I must admit that I am really rather embarrassed... Following the advice of a selection of super high powered, high profile agents - I was persuaded to break my contract with the publisher back at the beginning of February. The publisher has subsequently gone into liquidation (OHMYGOD!).

I feel a little uncomfortable about the whole affair, super writers who were under contract to this tiny publisher are owed royalties and many have had their hopes and dreams shattered. I cannot accept responsibility for the hardship caused by this business failing. I was wrong to have ever signed their generous contract, it was indeed scandalously generous, but sadly not to me (sigh). I should have smelled a rat when I met the portly ginger haired publisher with her Max Pax tea and office above a kebab shop. No-one refers to me as a cash cow and gets away with it!

I really must consider my position; fair royalties, a column in The Mail/contract with Penguin/serialisation with The Mail on Sunday & The Times/screen rights with Time Warner are apparently what I should expect. I have been told that a novel like mine comes along just once in every generation, this book is reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, a fusion of Bridget Jones's Diary and Sons and Lovers (but with substantially more sex).

My novel is a simple tale of sex, rags to riches, designer handbags, sex (our succession of au pairs have been insatiable), infidelity and hypocrisy, more sex (those boys from the College need a firm hand), love and hope and yet more sex (some of which is not even in a committed relationship but that part is clearly about the neighbours) in middle class south east London. It is an epic story of triumph over school gate treachery and an evil post menopausal adversary (my monster-in-law). My manuscript is a great roller coaster of a book in 110,000 words with exotic locations (Dulwich Picture Gallery, Padstow, Barbados, Disneyland Paris) and many designer costume changes.

Naturally I am now a little concerned that we will not actually find another publishing home for my work (gasp). But my celebrity agent will not compromise; Daniel Craig is to play James, and I naturally would love to play myself (prrr) although I am prepared to agree to Orla Brady. I do sooo hope that I haven't shot myself in the foot with my demands (yellow M&M's, Jo Malone scented candles, no eye contact, a tray of mojitos, white walls and carpet). It is after all, just the simple story of my domestic arrangements which is perhaps best kept secret right here on my blog...

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A matter of taste...

My poor distressed work colleague today insisted that I accompanied her to lunch in order that she could share her tale of woe. Apparently the honeymoon between she and her darling husband is over.

"Theodore is a tad quirky in the bedroom," she sobbed, "as all men no doubt are..." I didn't like to admit, I haven't actually had this experience myself. I am so incredibly naive and so very easily shocked, but in an effort to spare my colleague's blushes I endeavoured to appear as though I had heard it all before. Helena has only hinted at her husband's "tastes" in the past, but when she has, I have been left puzzled for weeks...

Apparently, Theodore's latest "quirk" has involved smearing himself in Swarfega, donning a pair of blue swimming goggles and making love to his wife on a linoleum floor!!!

OHMYGOD - I thought I would inhale my own vomit!

"Oh darling Helena, he has gone too far. How do you endure this degradation? Leave him immediately, the man is a beast," I cried.

I couldn't bear to allow man made floor coverings in my home.

Monday, 7 April 2008


I must admit that I have been so very cautious about taking my tiny poppets on a holiday abroad. There are (after all) so many strange and hostile people to be encountered in foreign lands. I am tortured by fears for my young family.

It snowed just yesterday (it is April!!!), so I decided to reconsider as it would be super to cheer us all up with a lovely sunshiny family holiday. I quickly nipped online in search of a break in the Maldives or Barbados for our next half term holiday. James immediately became rather alarmed and began to rant on about the current difficulties in the money markets. He insisted;

Don’t dare to book the Indian Ocean or the West Indies through Club Med or Mark Warner,” (I had no idea that times were so very hard). “Why don’t you try Thompson'sYou might find something reasonable in Greece.”

I pride myself on being open minded, but OHMYGOD, I shall find it difficult to articulate the horrors that I have experienced online this evening… The selection of holidays for sale through this high street holiday company simply took my breath away.

In their online brochure, Thompson offer “Premier” five star resorts that it claims are “stylish and luxurious,” but not so exclusive that they feel “unfriendly.”

"Mmm," I thought, "this sounds promising"…

They claim that one resort has “an outrageously posh marina” that is filled with sleek “my wallet is bigger than your’s yachts” – I was speechless… Other features are described as “knock your socks off.” All male guests under 14 are apparently "requested" to wear long trousers for dinner (OHMYGOD, do they compel their guests to use a knife and fork too?). In the “classy” Sani Beach Club Hotel (is it named after a chemical toilet?) there is a full programme of nightly "entertainment on offer, including a dart board, bingo and karaoke."

When describing the cuisine, they claim that one American buffet style restaurant (this is in Greece!!!) in the resort was mentioned in The Financial Times just four years ago, and “with reviews like these you know you’ve hit the jackpot”. They offer “unlimited locally produced alcoholic beverages – so fill your boots,” I almost expired. I wonder if this restaurant has a notice on the wall requesting that patrons refrain from sucking their teeth?

How frightfully coarse…

I don’t think that we can risk a holiday abroad this year, or at least until the stock market picks up or they invent some kind of common/low life filter for my computer. How can I ensure that we avoid encounters with larger louts and lottery winning toothless hags from Elsemere Port on our travels.

I really am an outragous snob you know... (sigh).

Shhh, I wonder if I could pick up a super offer with Mark Warner to The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz in Portugal. I have read that there is a nice tapas bar virtually in front of the apartments too! Anything would be better than Halkidiki with Thomas Cook, clearly…

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


We recently visited my husband's vile work colleague Annabelle at her capacious home in Chiswick. Her son Hugo adores my poppets - well of course he does, they are angels and perfect role models...

Annabelle constantly berates us for living in south east London. She savours every available opportunity to make fun of us because we live "on the front line," as she so kindly terms it.

"It is no wonder that you drive a tank. I believe that it is necessary for everyone in that part of London to tote some sort of military hardware..."

"An Audi Q7 is not in any way related to a British Army Challenger Tank darling," I protest. (Grrr, that woman is lucky I don't own a gun...)

Annabelle also enjoys sending us up for what she interprets as our hot-housing of the munchkins - insisting that we force them to study.

I have been begging my progeny to allow me to play pop music in the car of late... fearing that they will miss out on so very much with two mature parents, hoping that they would display evidence of their care free childhood and love of current chart hits when we next visit Annabelle's abode.

"No, please NO," object Freya and Max in unison, as I endeavour to sneakily introduce some Take That into their musical diet. "Let us listen to our Sing the times tables CD or our Muzzy French. Turn this frightful racket off," they chime.

By all accounts, just this week Annabelle's anaemic son Hugo has been watching music videos 0n Youtube with his Latvian au pair. Annabelle was incredibly smug. We are the angry mob by the Kaiser Chiefs is apparently his special favourite and he even sang for us (I swear that boy is tone deaf!).

"We are the hungry Bob
We read the papers everyday day
We like who like
We hate who we hate
And don't get in our way."

That child is bristling with aggression and every inch of his mother. Freya sat quietly, listening to Hugo's recital, casually occupied with her Nintendo DS Brain Training exercises (I was very embarrassed) before pointing out that Hugo was singing the wrong words (OHMYGOD!). The boy was crushed, but I smiled like a Cheshire cat for the rest of the afternoon.