Friday, 23 October 2009

Is it Aliens, part of the recession or just my imagination?

But I have a theory that time is speeding up.

A week used to be a solid, reliable space of time in which you could fit in a trip to the supermarket, at least one conversation with your spouse, five bedtime stories to daughter #3 AND ten thousand words on the w-i-p. Now, five thousand words and half a page of Harry Potter and it's time to iron the uniforms for Monday morning again. There must be some scientific explanation for this because how else can it be half term ALREADY?

Anyway, we're going back to the Middle of Nowhere for a few days, where I shall single-handedly attempt to slow it all down again. Whatever you're doing this week, enjoy every minute!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Because You're Worth It and all that

Here in the UK Tuesday evenings have become girls-on-the-sofa night, thanks to a new series of How to Look Good Naked. For the benefit of those of you elsewhere in the world, let me explain: it’s a programme where women with serious body-image issues are put through several entirely non-scientific forms of therapy to emerge at the end of an hour (TV time) with their heads held high and a smile on their faces as they parade down a catwalk without a stitch on in front of hundreds of people.

Admittedly I have to watch some of it from between my fingers—particularly the parts where they have the dismal contents of their wardrobes strung out in public, with all the sale bargain mistakes and remnants from former ages of fashion history prominently displayed for all to see. And I can’t begin to understand how someone who can’t face looking at themselves starkers in a mirror in the privacy of their own bedroom can agree to go on national television on a programme that is mostly about getting your kit off. But I’m glad they do, because it makes for the kind of viewing that gives you a good feeling about life and cellulite, and how often can you say that?

Key to its success of course, is its presenter. Gok Wan makes the whole thing about female empowerment in a way that superior, bullying alpha-girl gang Trinny and Susannah never did. I love Gok because Gok loves women (although not in a biblical sense, obviously) and he shouts out the message that Mills & Boon has been quietly imparting to readers for years: namely, who cares if you have a big bottom/no bottom at all, a rounded tummy/flat chest, magnificent, child-bearing hips/all the voluptuosness of an ironing board? You’re beautiful. In a house with 3 daughters this makes How to Look Good Naked qualify as Educational Viewing.

In the same vein of boosting self-esteem and all round sharing the love and positivity, I have a lovely review for Spanish Aristocrat Forced Bride from Julie at Cataromance, in which she says

If it’s a gripping romance rich in drama and passion that you’re after, then look no further than India Grey’s latest: Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride! Her writing is poised and assured and sparkling with deep emotional resonance which will move you to tears. Her love scenes are pure poetry – sensuous, well-written and affecting – and her ability to pen an unforgettable tale that readers will remember long after the last page is turned simply stunning.

Pure poetry. I LOVED that bit. Thanks Julie-- take a glass of champagne and go and join Gok Wan in my VIP Lounge for People Who Make Life Feel Better.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Christmas has already lost its charm(s)

My mother comes round, with the particular air of purpose that a lifetime of experience has taught me to fear, and announces she is going to make the Christmas Pudding this Sunday. For a moment I am so diverted by wistful thoughts of growing up into the kind of person who a) makes a Christmas pudding and b) does so in October that I fail to anticipate what is coming next. She asks me if I know where the Christmas Pudding Charms are as they’re not in the special Christmas Pudding Charms Place in her house.

I instantly have a feeling that I do know. It is not a good feeling.

Attempt to sound simultaneously vague yet reassuring and wait until she has departed before scrabbling amongst the debris of hardened paintbrushes, cat worming tablets and unidentifiable models made from clay and egg boxes on the kitchen windowsill. Heart sinks as I discover an eggcup containing a thick brownish gloop. Further investigation reveals this to consist of a rich mixture of Christmas Pudding dissolved in ancient washing up water, in which the silver Christmas Pudding Charms have been marinading since last Boxing Day.

Horror. Christmas Pudding Charms, once excavated, no longer remotely silver-looking. More a sort of blackened pewter. Help! Can I clean them? How?? Will putting them in some kind of silver-cleaning solution poison us all??? Or should I just keep it simple, leave the country and convert to Bhuddism?

Monday, 5 October 2009

I thought they were called Snickers now anyway?

My brother—my older brother-- ran the Loch Ness marathon yesterday. In 3 hours 48 minutes, after many months of rigorous and disciplined training.

From this I think we can deduce that chronic laziness is not genetic.

(Either that or I was swapped at birth.)