Tuesday, 4 December 2007

All the Rage - December 2007

She's done it again - Leila's come up with another fab edition of All The Rage and I'm in it too!


Sunday, 25 November 2007

My Day Out at the Yoga Show

Yes, I've been allowed out!

On Friday I treated myself to a visit to the Yoga Show at Olympia. Not to be confused with Erotica 07, for which the ticket touts were out in force.


I was all prepared, having perused the list of exhibitors in advance as I had to be back for the school run later in the afternoon. I visited every stand, and bought the following:

support vest top from Yamarama - had my eye on one for ages! Of course, I had to promise my daughters that I would only wear it under at least 3 tops as I am far too old and fat to show it off.
mat bag for £5
yoga pose picture cards for children
a pair of elephants with trunks raised for a friend in Italy as she collects them
a yoga against osteoporosis book for a friend

The demos were interesting - the first was a yoga teacher/comedian demonstrating Yoga for Geezers - how builders can incorporate yoga poses into their everyday lives. He was very good and an absolute hoot. Then there was the legendary Duncan Wong who gave a master class on the cat pose. Not the Duncan Wong who took my daughter's tonsils out.

I also visited the yoga for children stands where I opened up to earnest women keen to bendify my children. I gave my yoga teacher's number away to a woman who claimed to have taught him. I became increasingly upset and demoralised at being in a big room with hundreds of bendy people who all looked fantastic while I could earn good money as a Waynetta Slob impersonator. Everyone I spoke to was really friendly, and there was a great atmosphere, but I felt myself on the verge of a panic attack so was glad to leave.

Luckily I was distracted by the scantily clad ladies queuing up for the cash machine outside the Erotica show, but I really needed that cold brisk walk through the park to calm me down a bit!

A bit of Christmas Fair setting up after school brought me back to earth - nothing like trying to find the end of a roll of sellotape to sort you out!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Well, she cheers me up, anyway........

I've had one of those days.

In fact, it'll soon be the last time I have one of those days.

Some of you will know what I mean - the sick child at home.

Feral Child is still a bit too young to be left alone at home, and Rosa Klebb had a teacher training day, so my usual Monday morning activities had to be cancelled. Well, I suppose I need the occasional break from speed walking around the Common and then going on to crash computers and drink lots of tea instead of doing Good Works.

And then I was really trapped because the communal drain was blocked again and I had to deal with it as it's our garage that gets flooded first.......

So thank goodness for Margarita Pracatan! She used to cheer me up every Sunday evening when appeared on the Clive James show, singing the standards in her own unstandard way! I would also do the best impersonation of her in the office the following morning. In fact, my Mrs Doyle impersonation is quite good too. But that's for another time!

Here's Margarita in action, along with a fab intro from Clive James:


Happy days.......

Update on tripe from Waitrose

I've just received this email:

Thank you for your response to Sam Holden’s Biting Talk piece. As you can imagine we had quite a response to this feature but I can assure we read every letter with great interest. I can only apologise if you did not enjoy the issue, as I’m sure you can appreciate the piece was meant to provoke debate rather than offend. In any case I certainly hope we do better by you next month!
Your letter will be considered for publication in next month’s issue.

Thank you for your interest in Waitrose Food Illustrated and I do hope you continue to enjoy the magazine.

Yours sincerely
William Sitwell

I could be in line for something fancy if Outraged from Parsons Green doesn't beat me to it!

And here's Sam Holden's partner's response in the Daily Mail:


Saturday, 10 November 2007

Tripe from Waitrose

I enjoy shopping in Waitrose.

I can be seen at least once a week in the Balham branch meandering about with my shopping trolley (£7.99 from Lidl), following the siren call of the price gun as it announces where the discounts are. I've had some fab bargains, including a half price fruit loaf from Poilane, the fancy French bakers. The full price is £3.60 for something the size of a malt loaf. My children said they preferred the much larger fruit loaf from Lidl at only 40p as it only had sultanas in it and not all this other rubbish fruit. That's me told, then.

The customers are the sort who do not leave their staffies tied up outside, if you get my drift. Many of the ladies - for it's mostly ladies - are of the yummy mummy variety.

I like reading the Waitrose magazine. There are usually a few good recipes. Anything with less than five ingredients is OK by me. Occasionally the family even eat the stuff.

Unfortunately my love affair with Waitrose is in a bit of a turmoil at the moment. In its latest edition, there is an article by a house husband called Sam Holden who claims the following:

"Although I was a stranger to the kitchen, I soon found that preparing exciting, top-quality dishes was neither particularly time-consuming nor difficult, and within a few months I found my abilities easily surpassed those of every woman I know, even the ones who thought they were good cooks." "As well as being incapable of experimenting, women are useless at following written instructions. Blinded by numbers and symbols, they add the wrong amount of sugar or salt - or substitute one for the other." He also says that women don't actually like food and consider it to be just fuel, and that men are more greedy. He even has the gall to end the article with the usual "name three women who have a Michelin star".

Is it not biting the hand that pays for the stuff in your shop that it feeds itself with to criticise these lovely yummy mummies (and us yucky mummies) in such a crass manner?

Here is my email to the editor:

Dear William Sitwell

I had been enjoying reading the November 2007 edition of Waitrose Food Illustrated until I reached Sam Holden's article.

I can quite appreciate that some women can cook and some men can cook. Can't we leave it at that?

Cooking for a family and cooking in a restaurant are two completely different things. I should know - my father owned the Como Lario restaurant for many years. He never cooked at home, which was a Good Thing as he left the place in such a mess. Mother was in charge at home and made her feelings quite clear about his 'helpful suggestions'. Now he has got used to working in a domestic environment, of course we get fabulous meals. The hang over from running a restaurant is that he still can't get the hang of just cooking for two. My brother and I get some interesting food parcels!

I read your magazine to get ideas as I find cooking to be complete drudgery. Whenever I have a meal cooked for me now, I don't care what it is as long as I haven't had to cook it.

These battle of the sexes type articles are just lazy and tedious. Get some more writers if this is the best you can come up with. I'm only grateful that I didn't have to pay for the magazine, thanks to my JL card.

Looking forward to a better read next time.

I did have a reply, thanking me for my contribution. No mention was made of a hamper for my hurt feelings.

If you want to see the full article, I suggest you go to Waitrose now. They have plenty of them lying around. It's the one with the toffee apples on the front.

Monday, 5 November 2007

All the rage - November 2007

So here it is, the November 2007 edition of the fabulous All The Rage.

This month's theme is Mysteries and Puzzles.

I'm in there somewhere, along with lots of other people, so have a good read:


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Dream Dream Dream

I suppose my dreams are about the same as everyone else's, full of the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life.

Two recent dreams have slightly puzzled me.

Number One

My pedometer sometimes falls off its clip - I think it's trying to run off to someone thinner and more athletic.

I dreamed that I had looked down to see that I had lost the pedometer. I thought to myself that it was only a matter of time and I'd just have to get another one.

That was it, really.

Number Two

I dreamed I was going to some sort of exhibition with my mother in law. There was nothing about what the exhibition was about, but it seemed to interest lots of other old ladies who were sitting in the lounge area at the entrance. MIL starts to berate a lady about putting her handbag on a table and I'm so embarassed I sit behind her with a tablecloth on my head, much to the sympathy and amusement of the ladies who can see me.

Oh, there was a third where I had to go to someone's wedding in an Italian sort of place near Rome that I didn't know and the people there thought my clothes weren't nice enough so took me around to find nicer ones. I think a hat was involved too.

It's the ones closest to real life that puzzle me the most.

Monday, 22 October 2007

GW convention revisited

Oh, oooo toooobe is a marvellous thing. It also saves you lots of dosh. Instead of having to use up my xmas and birthday gift allocation, I can just view the extra bits on the Definitive GW box set that some kindly soul has posted up for us.

So for those of you who thought the convention was some sort of mass hysteria type thing, here goes:


I'm not actually in it, but my contribution to the furlong of bras can be seen at 3mins 10 secs into the segment. That's fame enough for me.

It was a happy happy day. I found a free parking space nearby, and the day just continued to get better and better. Oh, and I was on the quiz winning team.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Sunday in the Park

I've just come back from a long walk around Tooting Bec Common, my local stomping ground.

Dressed in my power walking gear - sensible zip pocket trakkie bottoms from Debenhams, my top from the day before, and my freebie MBTs (which replaced the previous pair I completely trashed by walking in them) - I ran away from my house for over an hour, and came back carrying a couple of red onions as I stopped at the greengrocers on the way home.

The peodmeter says 8231. Add on my trip to the supermarket this morning, this means I have done my 10,000 steps.
If I'm not careful, I'll get my pedometer addiciton again. Last year I would keep a note of my daily steps, and would spend evenings stomping around the house so that I would make the 10,000 before going to bed. No wonder the MBTs wore out.


Have a look at these shoes for yourself. I think they're fabulous. Ok, they look ridiculous, but I like them.

Anyway, back to the Common. It's such a lovely day today and I just had to get out there. The park was busy with families, dogs, and all sorts. I stomped around, listening to my husband's little radio. It's really a great way to spend the afternoon, listening to the radio, watching all the people, and hugging my favourite oak tree - obviously whilst no-one was looking!

Now I'll get the house to myself as they all go off to see Granny. Bliss. Pity I'll spend the time doing my admin work, and get the dinner ready. Perhaps I'll just do some yoga instead........

Thursday, 11 October 2007

A Glimmer of Hope?

I was going to call this post 'Who am I kidding' but decided that it was time, after all this time, to be more positive.
For the past four weeks I have been taking part in a walking body blitz. This has involved pounding the paths of South London commons and getting intimate with a resistance band in the privacy of my own bedroom - the children nearly made themselves sick laughing at me, so I had to hide myself away.
Alas, the feeding frenzies have continued, so I am not the shadow of my former self that I'd hoped for. As usual, it's all my fault and I have no-one else to blame.
Have there been any benefits? Well, I have been out walking at least three times a week with a gang of determined ladies in their MBTs. Well, I'd better clarify that, I scuttle after a bunch of fit toned women who are all at least 4 dress sizes smaller than me. That would be a far more realistic description.
Anyway, it's been a good laugh, and even getting lost in Richmond Park, surrounded by vicious looking deer, wasn't such a bad experience.

I could now go on and write about my weight loss hell, but it's all too dull, and even I'm bored witless. Want to get thin? Stop stuffing your face and move about more. There, end of story, now get on with something more interesting.

My angel card for today is Power. Hmm. Very interesting. Certainly could do with some!
Try it for yourselves: http://www.innerlinks.com/index.php

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

All the Rage - October - Fantasy and Adventure

She's done it again - Leila's put together another fantastic edition of All The Rage.

And I'm in it - again! She's very kind, including my stuff.

So give it a read:


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Wholemeal Mothers' Day Out

Had a fantastic day out last Saturday. The Streatham Wholemeal Mothers annual outing took place as usual in September. I did the driving, so it took us forever to get us there. Where did we go? well, Charleston, where the Bloomsbury Group hung out on the South Downs near Lewes.

More info here:


I don't seem to be able to post any photos, so you'll have to look it all up yourselves.

We didn't think there would be very much to see, but we were just overwhelmed with it all, it was so interesting.
I went home and told my husband that we were covering the house in paintings and filling it with bohemians. He took me seriously for all of a minute......
Seriously, I came away inspired. It was rented by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant in 1916, used as a holiday home between the wars, and permanently occupied until 1980 when it was decided to turn the house into a museum. The idea of all these people wafting in and out, painting the walls, and talking all the time sounds wonderful.
We had a tour of the house, which took over an hour as our guide was so enthusiastic about the house and its occupants.
The grounds are lovely, well worth a wander, and of course we had a good lunch in the cafe!

If you have the chance, go.

Friday, 7 September 2007


I have found a new hobby - finding out how to use up the five litre container of vinegar that I bought recently from the Wing Yip Chinese supermarket along the Purley Way.
I'm being egged on by a little book, which tells me how to use vinegar for everything from delousing children to making cheese.

I'm actually about to head off to Waitrose to buy some goat's milk. To make cheese. Wouldn't it just be easier to buy the goat's cheese?

So this is how I'm celebrating my freedom now all the buggers are back at their maximum security facilities. Actually, not secure enough, if you ask me - they seem to reappear every afternoon demanding food and an internet connection.

Better go and stock up on food - Am off out tomorrow. All day. And none of them are coming with me. I'm so excited!!!!

Friday, 10 August 2007

All The Rage - August 2007

I'm back, I'm back!
After nearly three weeks on the Planet Naboo I'm back in Shangri - La, South London.
It was mostly good fun, the weather was mostly great, and I behaved myself - most of the time....

Here's the latest edition of All The Rage - a great read as ever.


Sunday, 22 July 2007

And she's off!

It's finally come round at last - the day before the holidays.

Despite my efforts, I have a to do list the length of my arm and then some more. Little things mysteriously appear at the last moment.

I have just checked in online and printed our boarding passes. Choosing the seats is interesting - I made a slight adjustment, only to be advised that someone else had just snaffled that seat! Many of the seats had aleady been taken - and the checking facility had only just been opened.

I have a day ahead of me of frantic tail chasing, most of which could have been avoided. I will swear that I'm going to bed early - we're leaving the house at 4.30 am - but I know I'll be still up at 1am doing stuff, or looking for things that are suddenly are essential items.

I'll try to blog while I'm away, but it won't be easy having to rely on local internet cafes.

The image on the left shows where we're going.
The image on the right shows one of the views we get.

Must go and do stuff now!

Friday, 13 July 2007

I've been ill all week

Another week wasted. Another week when I didn't makes inroads into The Novel.

I've been ill since last Saturday.

Some coldie fluy thing that has laid me low.

But I still had to provide the meals - no let up there.

Still, it mean that I've already done the reading for the September meeting of our bookclub - quite a feat, really, and am now reading a Susan Jeffers book Dare to Connect. It's all about hugging strangers, or something like that.

One more week, and we're off on The Hols to the Planet Naboo (aka Lake Como) so that should be a change of scenery.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Worried Parents

The Girl from Ipanema has gone camping in Wales this week with a gang of friends I've never heard of before.

Well, what else was she going to do, apart from stay in bed all week. At least she'll get some use out of the all the gear I bought for her in Millets when she did her DOE last year.

I wish I'd had the opportunity to get trenchfoot in a tent when I was her age!

Even before she left, I started to feel unwell - a sort of viral coldie thing. I have been in bed ever since she left. I'm very sick - I only get out of bed to cook meals and collect Feral Child from schools. She texts once a day to tell me that she's still alive. Today the text actually contained some information - they had all got sunburnt. I had to laugh, that was the one thing I didn't warn her to take precautions about!

This has happened before. When she went on the school cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean I developed crippling backache which only got better after her return. I don't think I slept for a week. Well, wouldn't you if your child went to Beirut on a day trip?

So I'm going to bed now. She's back on Saturday. I'll see if I get any better then. I'll have to be better to deal with the mountain of washing she'll bring back with her.

My husband has an easy way out. He just blames me for everything.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Free Nekkid Ladies!!!

I have just received an email from Beyond Chocolate , a non dieting weight loss outfit run by two sisters with a passion for chocolate.

Dawn Porter (of Super Slim Me) is holding a nekkid lady flashmob somewhere in London on Monday 9 July.

If you fancy joining in, here's the link for more info:


*** CALLING ALL WOMEN *** I am a journalist with one thing in mind. I am growing a little tired of being fed images of women who most of us could never look like, at least without some serious cosmetic surgery. I want to see REAL women, in abundance. So, I am trying to get as many women as possible, to meet me on Monday the 9th of July in a secret location and whip oiff their clothes. The ULTIMATE Flashmob! Keep your eye on this page for details of when and where, and subscribe to the blog so that you are kept fully aware of what's going on. This is REALLY going to happen. It is for my new BBC Documentry, get involved. It will be AMAZING!!! Come and show off your beautiful bodies in celebration of the TRUE female form, and remind the world what it is to be a real, live, 100% organic woman - freed from hang-ups as well as clothes. Full nudity is not compulsory, wear as little as you like… Fig leaves may be provided… To find out where and when CALL 07921 609 588 or EMAIL NAKED@bbc.co.uk Let's do it!!! x x x Full nudity is NOT compulsory, wear as little as you like.
Who I'd like to meet:Women who wanna get naked....and just wanna show the world what they got. Let's just get it out, and get on with it! Sorry lads, girls only x

I would like to assure all my readers that I will NOT be participating in this - Milena would be there like a shot, but I, alas, would only attract the attention of those thinking yet another whale had taken a wrong turning.......

Sunday, 1 July 2007

All The Rage - July 2007 edition

Here it is, the July 2007 edition of All The Rage!

I have two articles in it this time - pp 8 and 20 - but don't let that spoli your enjoyment of this wonderful magazine. And you don't even have to recycle it when you've finished reading it!


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

A fun night out

Well, last night was different from my usual Monday night. Instead of going to yoga and frantically tidying up the house before the cleaner's arrival the following morning, I went to see Tom Jones at Hampton Court Palace with my old pal V and her friend J.

What a fantastic place to be on a beautiful summer evening! Everything went like clockwork, although I didn't have time to change before leaving, but a good walk in the breeze got rid of the chip oil fumes.

The old boy was on good form. Our seats were great. Pants were thrown. Celebrities included Jimmy Tarbuck, some bloke from celebrity come dancing, and Vanessa Feltz with her fiance. She looked fab and made me feel a right frump.

We danced along to all the obvious hits, but stayed seated for the quiet stuff - I think we're too old for all that standing.

walking back to the car, felt I could have hidden in the grounds and looked at the fabulous view all night, but no, had to get home for some washing up and laundry sorting.

My husband barely turned his head from wacky police chases series 27 when I came in.

I washed up and went to bed.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Round and round the common....

I've not been long back from my latest exercise venture. Once a week, I am taken for a brisk walk round Clapham Common by a very nice lady who is most encouraging. Round and round we go, past au pairs, yummy mummys, small children, elderly people, cyclists, dubious characters lurking in bushes, a Chinese circus, and a snack van, billowing bacon fumes.

On each circuit, I relive my youth, as I grew up in the area. There's the pond we would chuck all the hockey balls so we could go home early, there's the side road I shot out of one dark night in my mum's Fiat 127 and was chased by the irate white van driver who I cut up, there's the pub where we used to congregate.

We do resistence exercises, stretching, and other stuff.

Today was session 6.

And then I go home, in the car. Maybe one day I'll actually walk there!

Along with walking to yoga twice a week and an exercise session on Wandsworth Common, I drag my carcass around roads and parks. Maybe one day I'll see a difference.

Monday, 11 June 2007

A Great Night Out

Well, don't get out often, especially if you exclude yoga and any GW related activities. So, Friday night at the Bloomsbury Theatre was a real treat - Sandi Toksvig and Bonnie Langford in their two-woman one-woman show, Short and Curly.
I went with Carol from Dagenham, who got the tickets. She was on fine form, and we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Carol and I are huge Sandi fans and frankly our emails - I am Sylvia from Streatham - were the highlight of her show on LBC. When the show came to an end, frankly, I was slightly relieved. I was so addicted to the show that I simply couldn't leave the house whenever it was on. The lunches I missed out on just to listen to Sandi and her guests womble on about stuff.
Sandi and Bonnie were fantastic - Bonnie sang a few numbers, and they both told a few stories. Doesn't sound like much, but you just had to be there to see it, sorry.

Carol and I hung around the bar for a while after the show, but not for long enough, alas, to renew our aquaintance with the stars.
Apparently their next project is a musical version of Three Sisters to be performed at Chichester next year. The third sister is going to be Dillie Keane from Flaming Aida, who happened to be in the audience.

I am writing this as I listen to Alexander O'Neal's Greatest Hits. Yes, I'm that old. When I listen to those songs, I think of Guy Secretan. I think this would be his sort of music.

Don't let people interfere, just come on and love me your way.....the lovers win every time.....

In the time I have been writing this, I have cleared half the 27 carrier bags that litter the dining room (yes, we're entertaining this weekend, hence the panic tidy up) by redistributing them around the house, had encounters of the baffling kind with my three daughters, and changed CDs. I'm now listening to Claudio Baglioni's greatest hits from the 1970s. Now that really IS reliving my youth.

Non stavo gia piu qua ... e la verita, tu non lo sai.... tu hai capito male se credi che sto zitto...

Now I'm really rambling.

As you were.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

All The Rage - again!

I'm just so thrilled that my expose' on apprearing on Trinny and Susannah has been published in the latest edition of All The Rage


I'm on page 8.

Goes to lie down now....

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Should I have said hello, part 3

Another Saturday night, and I'm searching for some new posts. As most people have a full and active social life, I have to provide my own post here.
On planned impulse, I trekked up to the South Bank this afternoon to catch up with the Queens of Insania. They were at the matinee of Landscape With Weapon and I thought I'd pop along to say hello.
I arrived at just the right time - I could hear applauding from the auditorium and minutes later the gang were all there. We all congregated around the stage door, waiting for the man himself - my plan was to hide behind a pillar as usual, but you know what? by virtue of taking a few photos for people, I just said hello. There. Wasn't so painful after all.
He was very pleasant. I didn't dribble, although I don't quite know how he took my comment about having to keep the punters happy.
I think it's about time I got over myself, don't you think?
And breathe.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The Taxi Service

Following on from my outing to Landscape with Weapon at the National, about 24 hours later I found myself kangarooing over Waterloo Bridge in the Dustbin on Wheels off to Euston Station to collect a gaggle of teenagers.

At about 4pm the ladies had decided to go to Hatch End. To visit a boy, of course. Whose parents were away, of course. Armed with their travel cards, off they went from the badlands of South London. Parental warnings of do you realise where Hatch End is? It's Sunday, the transport stops early fell on very deaf ears.

At 10pm, the calls began. "Are you thinking of making your way home now?"
An hour later : "We missed the train. The next one is at 11.30 and we'll come home on the Night Bus"
"No you bloody won't - we'll collect you from Euston."
"Don't fuss, we'll be ok".
An hour after that :"Mum, this train is taking forever, can you pick us up from Euston? We'll wait by the Taxis".

By this time, it was well after midnight, I was in my best tea stained pair of jamas, but had to get dressed as Daddy had consumed a bottle of wine "Would I be OK to drive? "
"No, you bloody wouldn't!"

So off I go, Bat out of Hell CD blasting out into the night. It was quite exciting, really, having the car to myself, driving through Central London. It was almost like being young again.

As they finally piled into the car, I realised I would not be going straight home - I would be doing the tour of South London to drop this lot off.

There was silence as Meatloaf did his stuff. Under normal circumstances, the CD would have been chucked out of the window by now. I gently lectured them on would it not have been better to set off late morning and arrived home at a decent hour without getting the parents upset. The journey home was interrupted by phone calls from hysterical parents wondering where their lovelies were.

"What's this we're listening to?"
"Meatloaf - Bat out of hell. I've got the Grease CD if you fancy a change."

At each drop off, it was easy to find the house - it was the only one in the street with its lights still on. As each girl approached the doorstep, the front door swung open and a hand reached out to grab her.....

Finally at home, I found that Daddy had gone off to bed. Swine. Whatever happened to solidarity amongst parents?

Finally in bed at 2am, I was woken up the following morning by a call from a grateful mother.
We've decided to exchange mobile numbers. We wouldn't want our daughters to know what we were up to.....

Monday, 14 May 2007

My yoga class

Help - I've just realised that I'm addicted to yoga. I've been going regularly for about a year now, and have even just started going twice a week. For various reasons - not my heady social life, I hasten to add - I haven't been for over a week and Oh was I looking forward to the class tonight.
I'm no good at it at all - how the bloke teaching me manages to keep a straight face I'll never know. Yet I enjoy it and my downward dog is coming along in leaps and bounds. I've had an idea about writing about a yoga class and all its goings on - do you think there's any mileage in it at all?

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Should I have said hello, part 2

The stalwarts of the Queens of Insania and other GW fans had their mini reunion last Saturday evening at the National where two of the GW cast were doing their stuff in Landscape With Weapon.

It was a special treat for me for the following reasons:

- great opportunity to catch with with everyone from the Convention and meet up with new people who post on the JRT website. Not a bunny boiler amongst them, honest!

- a night out

- my first visit to the Cottesloe in about 30 years of going to the National

- a chance to see a play I would probably never have considered going to see in the normal way

Alas, due to timing I missed the pre play get together at the Pizza Express, so just had time for brief chats before during and after!

Oh, after. Yes, well. JRT and PH appeared at the stage door as arranged by one of the more organised members of the party. I stood a few yards away, with a few other people. We had decided, for one reason or another that we just didn't want to meet them. No-one could quite explain why, it just wasn't our thing.

The stars were charming, delightful, witty, etc etc., and everyone who met them, many not for the first time, were just thrilled, and I'm pleased for them, I really am. After all, we are the people who watch the programmes, go to the shows, buy the DVDs, post on the fan sites, etc,.

Yet, I had decided that before going that I wouldn't approach them, and amazingly enough I stuck to my decision. And I don't seem to be regretting it either.

So why the post? I don't know. Should I have said hello? Am I being standoffish? Silly? Sensible? A prat? I really don't know.
Anyway, as the Italians say - passato il santo, finito la festa - once the moment has passed, it's passed.
Answers on a postcard please!

Friday, 4 May 2007

I'm so tired of being ill all the time

I am sitting here with a nasty rash and a general feeling of being ill. I can't remember what it's like to be well, full of energy, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I'm what is known as a TATT - tired all the time. I've had endless blood tests, spent a fortune on various supplements , therapists, self help books, exercise, yoga, etc. I am feeling better than I was, and certainly look better than I did, but today, this evening, I just feel like crap.
Feeling crap narrows your horizons. For years now I've just managed to get through the day, dealing with the house and children, etc. No energy or time for extras, especially taking a day off and lying in bed all day, which is what sensible people would do. Not feeling well? spend the day in bed! So why don't I? is it because I don't have a proper grown up job so I'm not entitled to take any time off? Am I being a martyr to the cause? Is it punishment for something or other? Or do I just need a few early nights and a more positive attitude - believe me I'm trying, very trying. I have to keep reminding myself that I have made lots of progress, and that I will get better. Everyone tells me I'm looking better, I can see I look better. But today I just don't feel better.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Here we go again - another article!

I'm so excited - I've been published again in the latest edition of All The Rage


I think I'm on page 8. I've written something about bras - I've been wearing one since 1971 so I think I know a thing or two about them. Oh, the rest is worth a read too.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

China Syndrome

Wasn't the China Syndrome a film about a nuclear thingy with Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas many moons ago? No, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about something else - our 20th wedding anniversary. Now I know the hip young things will have already moved on to some other blog like Shagtastic or Hoola Loola or whatever fancy names these other hip and happening blogs have, but surely there's some room somewhere for me?

Yes - I've been married for 20 years. As I've said to many people, you get less for murder.

So what did we get up to? Well, if you're still reading, we went to the Dulwich Picture Gallery, had lunch, wandered through Dulwich Village and the park, and then went on to do the school run. There. That was it. Oh, in the evening, after Brownies, we had some champagne. Bollinger, which he got from a client last Christmas.

It was actually rather nice. I may even take him to the Summer Exhibition preview - you can wander around with a drink having a good laugh at the exhibits. I went last summer when England were playing their first World Cup game. It was quite an eventful visit. As I approached Piccadilly Circus, I thought it rather strange that no traffic was hurtling towards me. I presumed it was the fact that everyone was at home watching football. But no. As I got to the other side of the road I narrowly missed being run over by some bloke on a bike. With no clothes on. He was followed by lots of other naked men on bikes. It was the nudie cycle protest!
After the first contingent of naked men went past my attention turned to the people on the pavement. Well, you see one dangler you've seen then all..... Everyone had their cameras, phones, camcorders, you name it out recording the event. People were absolutely astonished to see what was going on. One young man nearly fainted at the sight of a very mature woman with no clothes on. Her boobs were neatly perched on the handlebars of her bike. Young man of course could never imagine such a thing could happen and had to hang on to a lamp post for support, much to the amusement of his friends.
The protesters were accompanied by police people on bikes. Never will I forget the young WPC on her bike, fully clothed, bringing up the rear. She looked so mortified, poor soul. Suffice to say the Exhibition was no follow up for this unexpected slice of London life, although I enjoyed watching everyone have a good laugh at the Hare's egg and the light that went on and off

But I digress. What is it like to be married for 20 years? Should I stop being married? What would that be like? How would I ever find someone else? Because that's the secret of a happy marriage - lack of confidence, inertia, and being very short sighted.

Still, doesn't seem to stop other people taking off. Or even doing it again? Triumph of hope over experience, isn't that what they call it?

I could never get married again. It would be like learning how to drive again - just when you know where you're going, some bloody man grabs the wheel.

Monday, 2 April 2007

So it starts......my first published article

Well, I was very excited to see that my first piece of writing has been published.

It's all fab, but check out page 11!


Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Should I have said hello?

Wednesday is my day for walking down to the now upmarket Balham badlands to check out the bargains in Waitrose. After loading my booty into my trolley, I was waiting to cross the road and who should come and stand next to me, wearing a hat almost as daft as mine, but Arthur Smith! I have been a big Arthur Smith fan for years now and really enjoy listening to him on the radio. I tried to catch his eye but failed miserably. I just got the feeling he was a bit distracted and had to get somewhere. So he dashed across the road, leaving me behind, and went into one of the more fashionable watering holes.

What would Milena have done? Well, Milena wouldn't have been on Balham High Road with a shopping trolley full of cut price meat from Waitrose for a start. But that's not very helpful. OK, Imagine that Milena WAS there. What would she have done? I think she would have left him alone too. She would have been wearing a hat and sunglasses too - probably more stylish - but she would have respected his privacy and let him get on with his day.

Yes - that's it. Respecting people's privacy. Not much of that goes on these days, so it seems to me. I was lucky enough to go along to the fantastic Green Wing convention in January this year and there was quite a debate on how celebrities seem to be treated as public property. The ladies organising the event were so concerned about anyone from the show being subjected to inappropriate behaviour certain measures were taken to make sure that all went well. In the event, we all behaved ourselves - even the GW people! Living in the age of fecklessness as we do, our convention was an oasis of calm , comfort and chocolate cock eating. Not quite sure what would have happened if JRT or Tamsin Grieg had joined us, but I'm sure that certain people would have hidden in the loo and squealed in there in order to preserve their dignity and avoid being slung out by the organising committee!

No doubt I'll see Arthur again, and get the chance to tell him that I think he's looking very well now he's given up the drinking , and that I enjoy his work very much. So he's got that to look forward to, lucky lucky him!

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Where to meet men

I have been thinking about the issue of where to meet men for some time now. I don't need to meet any, actually, as I already have one, much to Milena's surprise, but I do have a number of female friends who like me have arrived at mid forties without being encumbered by A Man. Oh, they manage well enough, etc etc, indeed very well, frankly I think they don't know how lucky they are, but that's for another day. And yet and yet and yet......how does that saying go? something about fish and bicycles. I suppose anyone under the age of 35 will never have heard about that one. I remember buying a postcard with that saying on it - had it on the wall of my room when I was a student many moons ago now.
But I digress. Where can a woman in her mid forties meet a man with whom she might want to have a relationship ?
My meditation teacher is an inspiration - she and her husband split up a year or so ago and she has embraced the single life with a gusto that would put a teenager to shame.
"Where do you find them?" I asked her during a break at the manifestation day she was running recently. "Oh, you know, the usual places - parties and clubs."
I looked at her blankly. "You mean at your children's parties and Brownies?"
"No no no, you know, grown up parties, and out clubbing."
Again I looked at her blankly. "No, sorry. The last grown up party I went to I spent it hoovering up the buffet, and I didn't know anyone over the age of 25 went clubbing. There's no hope for me then, is there?"
"No, not really" she replied and she moved off to put the tofu back into the fridge.

So that really wasn't very helpful then.

I have done some research, though, and have come up with the following:

Quincaillerie dept (that's ironmongery dept to you and me) of the BHV dept store in central Paris. It's full of men with DIY skills fingering the twenty different types of chicken wire. I showed it to a single friend of mine during a visit to Paris last Spring. She was very impressed.

Any small supermarket near a station after 6.30pm - full of single men buying beer and crisps.
Forget the larger ones with car parks - the family men will be there with a long list.

And that's it really. Can't think of anything else. I know loads of places where you can meet women, and they are as follows:

College of Psychic Studies - take your pick, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Check out their website for all their courses and workshops.

Yoga classes - the added bonus is that they're all bendy! Except for the old one in the remedial class - oh that's me then. Sorry, Milena.....

Supermarkets - any time of the day, but as with the men, anyone doing a family shop is not a good bet. Hang around the confectionery section - the more chocolate she's buying, the luckier you'll be.

Any coffee establishment. All on her own, with a book or writing in a fancy notebook with a fluffy pen.
Um, can't think of any more at the moment. Anywhere, basically. Nice women are everywhere.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Let's start at the very beginning

Hello. Milena Delle Fortezze is a character I created over 30 years ago as a young girl. I had forgotten all about her until she was resurrected as Mac's ideal woman in the very first episode of Green Wing. I was stunned. How did they know about her? Those people - they really found my letters and read each one out loud. She is the Latino chick of his dreams. She is also as far from me as it is possible to be, but I do have a very rich fantasy life - the result of a career in administration, I suppose.

Why have I called my blog after her? Well, I now realise she IS a part of me, although you wouldn't think it to look at me! In real life I'm more vague than vogue, more gammon than gamine, and I did think of another one but it escapes me now..... Seriously folks, you can't insult me any more than I insult myself!

I normally spend my days talking to myself, so seeing how easy it was to set up this blog, I decided to share my mutterings with you, you lucky people.....