Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hello London

Soo happy to be back in London for a few days. Love the eccentric vibe and the crooked cool of this city it took me 18 years to get to. The view from NYC is pretty different to the view from Hull though.

Arrived last night and my sister treated me to the first episode of Scousewives. Beyond hooked!! They are fabulous and are as real as the jersey shore cast. I love that no one is pretending to be rich or posh, everyone is just down there with their hair extensions. I detest pretentiousness of any kind. New York is full of pretending- to -be posh Brits, who get rumbled by me. So that's why I love 'Scousewives' because nobody on that show is the slightest bit concerned about The concept of poSh. Excuse my iPad ttyping

Friday, November 25, 2011


Happened to walk past the TV the other day while 'The Office' was on - American version. The bloke with the glasses who plays the Mackenzie Crook character - (soz about my bad research!) suddenly launched into a chorus of this song, 'Cat's in the Cradle', by Harry Chapin. It was a pure comedy moment for me because this song has always encapsulated a certain kind of middle-American oddness. The tune & lyrics combo is a bit 'out there' and trippy in a strange, folky-beardy but not trendy way.  C's in the C then just came on the radio while I was out looking for shops to panic buy stuff out of, seeing as it's Black Friday. I didn't buy anything but oh, the riches, wealth and imaginative opportunities listening to Harry Chapin afforded me. I was transported even deeper into this continent, pine forests looming on either side of the road. Not a soul in sight. Dusk was falling, a truck passed by with a dead stag in the back, all wrapped in plastic but for his head sticking out.  New England is gorgeous but sometimes my kids say it's spooky. This afternoon, I got the distinct feeling of there being Something in the trees. Brrrr.........

Anyway, yesterday spent my first Thanksgiving properly here. Made a vat of soup and took it over to some pals, who didn't mind at all that I had forgotten the roast potatoes. We had so much food anyway nobody noticed. I could hardly move last night. Got to do it all again in 4 weeks...the Goddess willing. I have to go all the way, literally, around the world and back before then. Fingers xxxed xxxx

...I've creeped myself out now!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is a favourite pic of model Veruschka from the late 60s.  I love wintery glamour, everyone looks gorgeous in crispy weather and Thanksgiving Day in the USA is officially the start of winter. Even though I don't resemble Veruschka in any way and have no garments that faintly resemble the thing she is wrapped in, this is the image I will be mentally channeling this winter.  I might pop to the mini-mart in my late-night tracky and Uggs, but in my head I'll be looking like the above pic. Here's to an ultra-glam winter....x

PS: Looking forward to foraging in the local vintage stores for some Veruschka-inspiration this weekend. Our village in Connecticut has an amazing store, Grape In The Shade, where costume folk from Sex and the City and Mad Men seek inspiration and where you can buy original Halston for nowhere near city prices. There are gorgeous stores dotted all over the district with the most amazing I'm starting my xmas shopping now. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The Republican candidates on last night's CNN debate.

The more hair you got, the more outrageous you can be, capiche?

What struck me most about this debate last night was the proliferation of man-hair. While Michelle Bachmann had slicked hers down, the men were in full pompadour mode.  From the 1950s crooner-quiff of Jon Huntsman, to Mitt Romney's untrustworthy-ladies-man-mess, via Rick Perry's too-much-like-a-schoolboy's wig, there was just too much hair. They all need a haircut. Get rid of it all, it's just horrible. Ditto the old guys, even Ron Paul (seems SO grumpy but not as odd and grumpy as his ultra-weird son, Rand) and Newt had too much hair. Great big helmet-pelts of white, it just looks vain and out of touch with the human race. Something slightly inter-galactic about all that white hair on old men, a touch of the Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek. At least Herman Cain has a grip on his hair. Maybe after last night though, he will wonder if that is where he is going wrong. Perhaps we will see him with a giant Afro at the next debate. I hope so, because he is cool enough to carry it off. He's just funny and makes bluddy great TV.

The Republican race is just about the most entertaining TV I've ever come across in the USA. From the audience goons who get up to ask questions, to the genuinely talented moderator-news-anchors, via the stage set, it is better than X Factor. Which I hate by the way, so it wouldn't take much for me to think that...however, it's solid TV entertainment because a) it's live and b) you never know what they will come out with next! Last night there was some harum-scarum talk from Romney and Perry about Arab terrorists in Mexico! Sheesh-a-sombrero, what? That's pushing even my conspiracy theory-warped mind into the 7th dimension of disbelief.

Leaving the city this afty for Thanksgiving. We'll be going to Connecticut, I'm taking the truck so I will be the embarrassed-looking woman in the massive white F150 on the West Side Highway later, gimme a wave.  This week, we've heard a fair bit of bad news from friends on both sides of the Atlantic. So this weekend, me and my little tribe will be giving thanks and feeling very, very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all xxx

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gaga and bully shock

This is Gaga at the launch of her Gaga Workshop at Barneys last night. The superstar lady has collaborated with Barneys to produce a range of Christmas tut that anyone would be proud to own. From yo-yos to snowglobes and  fake fingernails. It's all available online and will make Christmas perfect for fans and fashiony birds everywhere.

On a different level, I just love Gaga for her efforts to hi-light teenage troubles and for trying to bring some of that angst that lonely and confused young people suffer, into the spotlight. A friend of my youngest son, a beautiful, talented, 15 year old killed herself this week. She was being bullied via social networking, by a group led by boys. In fact, while girls get such bad publicity for bitchiness, often boys' activities go unnoticed. Their savagery can be equally, if not more destructive.

There need to be some changes to the law with serious consequences for parents who do not, if their child is proven to be a bully, take action. Also, the rules on what constitutes bullying should be squared up into black and white. Everyone in a community knows when it is happening and to whom. Along with inappropriate touching by adults, what constitutes bullying needs to be brought out, written large and hung out to freaking dry. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011



Had to get this picture for you yesterday whilst on school safety patrol. All the school moms take it in turns, via a rota, to walk around the blocks near the school for an hour after it finishes, just to make sure there are no kids in trouble/having an accident/taking drugs. Actually, probably not the last bit that's just my natural British cynicism oozing out... I took the above pic after coming across this little menagerie outside Bloomingdales. (Our safety walk takes us past Bloomies and Barneys which is unfortunate because we have to wear fluorescent green, motorway-repairman jackets).

My friend Angela, walking with me, pointed out that the puppy beneath the guinea pigs was a toy. A bit disappointing really because it certainly looked like a sweet little sleeping puppy. The man in charge was trying to encourage the cats to perform some kind of dance which of course, they refused to do. The puppy just pulled on it's leash in quite a sad way. Although there was a hat to drop money into, not many people bothered because a) it wasn't really enough of a spectacle on it's own and b) none of the creatures were actually doing anything entertaining. Unlike another school mom friend of mine who has run away to LA to become a lingerie model and entertainer. She's the same age as me, so watch this space for some exciting new self-portaits soon in my bid to relaunch my own career as a bikini-fitness instructor and Face of Fashion..

By the way, watched the movie 'Bridesmaids' last night.  Absolutely no relation to the trailer at all, an entirely different movie in the end, about a sad un-believeable, un-real, slightly-elderly woman. Better than 'The Help' though, as in 'Give me The Help I need to get out of this cinema.'

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I know, as in my last post, I am prone to sweeping generalisations. Left unchecked, they run riot around my brain, sometimes bursting out as can be seen on this blog.

It's jolly good then, that I am an Expert on all Subjects, according to my best friend Jane WK who is one too. My husband also agrees and this reminds me of a joke, wish I could remember where I heard it. Somewhere on excellent BBC Radio 4 I believe - in fact it was....someone was reading out a spoof advert that went like this:

One full set of Encyclopedia Britannica. One careful male owner, no longer needed due to MARRIAGE.


What in the Goddess's name has come over the American media? The collective hatred aimed at Paz de L'Huerta after her appearance at the dull, tedious, probably-fixed Emmys was so vitriolic, reading it all burned my eyeballs.

Paz does not conform to the Prom Queen ideal pedalled by the American media in it's entirety, therefore, like a collection of mean girls in the gym, all the female writers here have decided to Hate Her. Paz is nothing like Jennifer Anniston or the red-headed girl in the worst film of the year 'the Help' as in 'give me the help I need to get out of this cinema'.  Paz stalks around the place in her high heels, sneering at the Prom committee members while their boyfriends openly drool. Playing a broken character in Boardwalk Empire gives Paz the kudos many Prom Queens and Jocks dream of before it's secretly drummed out of them in college and beyond.

What's happened to America? People are lamenting the demise of the economy, employment and all the key social issues but I say, get your cultural house in order. This is the country that gave us Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne, Shirley Mclaine,  Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Lux Interior, the B52s, KD Lang, Lady GaGa, Kathy Bates and tons of other quirky-but-beautiful in their own way people of creative interest. Popular culture here is closing back down into a 1950s mentality, where cheesy blondes with big teeth are the winners and everyone else has to sit on the bleechers, or whatever those things where all the High School losers are forced to sit are called...

Friday, September 16, 2011


Ordering in a take out breakfast has got to be one of the very best things about living in NYC.  It seems like the height of decadence to many Brits who live here but it's a local tradition I've been happy to embrace. My husband doesn't know this. We have neighbours on the 7th floor who he calls 'The people who order in breakfast'. She's in showbiz......ANYWAY, he has no idea that I too, love an order-in brekky.  Especially after staying up too late the night before carousing with Upper West Side Jewish Lesbians. (Their title for themselves, not mine).

Incidentally, I went out with a group of local pals who took me to the most fabulous NY resto I have ever been in, five blocks from our apt. It's called Ouest and Mad Men episodes have been filmed there...glorious wood, red leather booths and 50s lights. The place has the kind of old-world NY ambience it is so hard to find, just fabulous.  Can't believe I've never husband takes out of towners there, now I know why he drags all those Italians and Aussies uptown. The only flaw - patrons can't smoke. In my opinion,  a smoky atmosphere would seal the deal. Unlike in Moscow, where smoking is compulsory everywhere. We went there in the summer...I didn't want to smoke that much in fact but all that smokey ambience everywhere was very cool. Actually I hated Moscow but more of that another time.

Meanwhile, the dog is going to the grooming salon for the first time today. She will hate it but she has rolled in the shite of a woodland creature in the park this morning so she must suffer.  She is such a dirty bitch!! The stink is overwhelming and we made the elevator uninhabitable for a half hour when we returned to the apartment, according to the doorman. Here's a pic of her, I won't let her leave her bed until we go out, STINKY COW!

Today it's glam, order-in brekkies one minute, stinking pooh dogs the next, sort of like life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Did anyone else watch the ABC Jackie show last night?

The tapes of Former First Lady Jackie sounded, dare I say it, a little spooky. Speaking in a soft, slightly shuzzy voice (similar to Maz Monroe, Judy Garland and Liza Minelli) from beyond the grave, lots of her comments were surprisingly bitchy. No-one wants to completely bury the past but I might have edited out the bit where she called Mrs Gandhi a 'prune'. Ditto the bits about MLK (Martin Luther King)....

Such stuff makes riveting TV and it was interesting to hear how human, funny and candid JKO could be. The Legend of Jackie is guarded over so fiercely by the Kennedys though that by revealing not just her strengths but many of her weaknesses, I'm wondering about the overall effect of these tapes on Jackie's sometimes pristine reputation.

Not wondering too much though as there's plenty for me to be worrying about in modern, real time...and maybe nobody really cares that much about Jackie and co anymore except immediate family. (sympathy & respect to them BTW).

Perhaps that's the real Curse of the Kennedys.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

24 Minute Party People

Instead of posting a picture of my son's leg it's best for all of us if we move swiftly on. After spending yesterday finding him at school, going to the doctor's, the blood lab, the pharmacy, back to the pharmacy, back to school...I was exhausted. He's fine and the Thing is healing nicely now thanx to tons of antibiotics which I know my best friend Jane WK would not approve of but let's all move into the 21st Century shall WE?

SO, I'm staying in again tonight with the TV - not so different from going out in NYC.  'Why?' You ask and I'll tell you. A typical night out for me happened a few days ago and it went like this:

4.30 pm: Shower and shave (my legs you numpties )
4.40 pm: Facial massage (DIY, gets rid of bags and lumps) Blow-dry and make-up using only the finest ingredients
6.00pm: Dress and accessorize then remove half Argue with children over take-out food (they must eat the spagbol I have also, by the way, prepared) and do homework. They don't want to. Get in taxi
6.45pm: Arrive at party, smoke fag on pavement. Enter party, shake hands and kiss relevant folk, have picture taken with celebrity and other guests, see a lovely friend and her daughter, talk to them, meet some VIP PRs, scream that I am English and MUST HAVE A DRINK (it's a fashion party so there is barely a drop of drink or a scrap of food, no-one seems bothered anyway). Drink the drink. Leave in taxi Arrive back home, argue over homework with children, assume horizontal position on sofa with take-out sushi

And that, my friends is a pretty typical New York night out. The point is to see and be seen, touch face with the relevant/right people, try and get some kind of photographic evidence you did this, then move on. In my case it was home to chivvy teens but it could have been dinner somewhere exotic (only very occasionally thanx to TightWad husband and dirth of good, fun-primed-pals) or possibly another party.

Hi diddle di-dhum!

Monday, September 12, 2011


So this morning I'm thinking: 'Just get to school, off you go, yes bye bye' etc while planning a back-to-life day for myself.

At the last minute, as he's about to leave my eldest says "Mum, I've got something on my leg".  Bearing in mind he has had all weekend and in fact, the rest of his previous life to show me the Thing on his Leg, I bite this info back and try to be patient and calm as I take a look. When I see the Thing though, I scream that he is now like Henry VIII and a fat lot of good his leg boil did him. My boys are so well-versed in Tudor history that they know all about KH8's superating leg ulcer. Indeed, it was Katharine Parr's ability to soothe and remove the pain of it that got her down the aisle, apparently. Anyway, my boy has something big, blacky-red and poisonous on his shin. He wanted to go to school as much as I wanted him to go, so after dowsing the Thing in iodine and covering with a big band aid, I sent him off.

Ever since (5 hours ago) the Thing has haunted me. I told a dogwalking pal about it, a highly sensible career women whose life is a monument to Good Decisions, she said "Get him to the doctor, things like bites or nastiness can be worse here, especially if it's a bite from the country". So, ever since I've been phoning the school  nurse, the school, him and our doc. The day has turned out to be all about the Thing and it's not over yet. I still haven't spoken to my son, but I'm about to go off to the East Side and find him. We will then go to the dox, I will then go off to the chemist for the big prescription thing. He will have to come with me, in order to get some drugs down him......

So no novel writing today. Watch this space for a photo of the Thing, coming up tomoz xxx

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Never mind the show, who's in the audience?

NY Fashion week is upon us once more. Just down the road from our apt at the Lincoln Center. This means I need dark glasses to get to and from Whole Foods. Don't want to get all glammed up just to shop, on the other hand, don't want to bump into between-the-show fashionettes. Got caught out last time while moving a load of stuff from my apt into storage downtown. On the way, our truck stopped at the traffic lights, I was sitting up front with Melvyn and Hupelo-the-movers, when a crowd of London girls stepped out in front of us. Wrong moment for me to wave or be noticed at all so I sat very still. One of the girlies looked back and straight into the cab at me. Did she recognise me? Hopefully not, or if she did I'm hoping she just thought 'That scruffy old removal woman looks exactly like Sarah Kennedy'. 

Anyway, far more interesting than the NY Spring collections is who's in the audiences at the shows. So far, a parade of disappointing Z listers. Ashley Tisdale(?) and Lea Michele? I'm sorry but I like my fashion shows super-elite, brimming with superstars or total trendsters and devoid of reality TV/Disney characters. FNO here on Thursday night was a riot of Z NQOTDs... from the afore mentioned Tisdale to  Kim-nothing-fashionable-about-her-Kardashian. 

A couple of years ago NY's fall fashion week felt like the centre of the fashion planet but all that has changed. Desperation is in the air. Publicity for publicity's sake is centre stage and the cultural bloggers and commentators high fashion depends on are sidelined in favour of the kind of reality TV stars who never used to be allowed anywhere near the dear old tents.  The clothes seem somehow less exciting too. What's happened?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Trip to Jersey Shore

SIX FLAGS on the glorious New Jersey Coast...

Six Flags is a chain of amusement parks here. My youngest son and his friends love a trip out to the New Jersey park. I don't. Yet, like a lemming I just head over the cliff every summer and off we go. This week I've agreed to take my son and his mates on Friday. They've just about broken up now from school, how mad is that?  I think he (youngest) mesmerises me into agreeing. I go into a trance, I can't fight it. 'Yes' I say before I know where I am. Last time we went the journey took 3 hours because I accidentally set the satnav to 'none freeway' roads. This time, we'll be going straight there and straight back. Trouble is, we have to take the I87 road through NJ. Despite the 65 mph speed limit, NO-ONE adheres to it. That road is like the Monaco Grand Prix. If you try to stick to the limit, trucks come up behind you and parp loudly until you speed up and drive like everyone else. It's normally very hot when we go to 6 Flags with scant shade or healthy food. This year I'll be taking a picnic blanket, my laptop and a box of real food. Summer, doncha just love it?

Meanwhile, I have just heard a horrible hissing noise in the kitchen. I can't see anything but I deffo heard it. At this time of the year, that sound can only mean one thing....I can't even bring myself to write the word........but if I see anything (while incidentally, hubby is once again a million miles away) don't worry, you'll hear the screams....

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


No, it's not Christmas. These are the gifts purchased and wrapped by one of the Moms in my older son's class. Although, it's highly likely that the items - lovely things by the way - were probably wrapped professionally or by staff of some kind. Not to mention the delivery.... which reminds me to tell you this wee anecdote.....a friend of mine's daughter was at school with one of the Real Housewives's daughters. They shared a birthday so my friend arrived at the school on the birthday, with a tupperware full of gorgeous, wonky, home-made cupcakes for all the kids. Of course, she was beaten to it completely by the staff of the Real Housewife and their magnificent selection of Magnolia Bakery fare....

Gone are the days of sending in a scented candle and a thank you note for a job well done! If it was well done. Admittedly, there was a bit of teacher gift hysteria in North London - when my children attended one well-known public school there I was charged with gift-buying one year.  A total nightmare. I had to keep a ledger book of all the money I received and of course, there were those who didn't donate. Oh enough, I'm having a panic attack!!!!!

Back to NY Moms. Can you imagine having to get that little lot of pressies together without staff? I noticed on The Real Housewives of NY last night (I'm still in shock after watching a whole episode by the way) that they all have 'staff', whether they work or not. They have interns, i.e telly wannabes happy to hang around in the hope of getting screen-time, not to mention nannies etc. Now, I am terrified that the Moms at my school are going to ask me to be a class rep next year. Where are all my staff when I need them?!!  I've thanked all this year's reps but had to go into a news/communication blackout until the end of term in case they decide to ask me. Although I think the moms in both my son's years have it all sewn up anyway and the same ladies take on the job every year. Oh I hope sooooo!!!!

and another thing.....
Everything is so OTT here. Sitting in my hairdresser's this morning, a glam lady was seated behind me having her make-up done. When she left I asked my gorgeous hairdresser if she - Make Up Lady, was an actress because she looked familiar. He said "No darling, she is a South American heiress. She used to go out with Prince Charles but she got kicked out of all those castles for snorting too much cocaine - I've seen the pictures, gorgeous!!!!"

Yours Glamourously in an old-fashioned Jet Set kind of way....New York is so Butterfield 8. It's so 1960s/70s on the Riviera that sometimes I hear that old Robin Sarstedt hit going round in my head, 'Where do you go to my lovely?'  A song supposedly written about Sophia Loren, by the way.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Meet Sonja, one of the real, Real Housewives


So tonight, on a rainy bank holiday evening when all the house was sleeping and not making a sound, not even a mouse or however the saying goes...I watched it!! Oh why did I do it to myself? All in the interests of erm, research. After all I named this blog after those evil old bints didn't I? Surely I owe it to us all to actually watch it. OK, so I've seen the odd few minutes here and there but I have never sat through an entire episode.

After a couple of episodes, I feel sick. These women are so horrible to each other. Truly, awfully horrible. They put the female sex to shame. Men would never allow themselves to be portrayed in this way. There are so many things wrong with it which I know, you already know. It's reality TV ferchrissakes! Also, I want to say that I love Betheny Frankel who clearly had the chutzpah to get hersefl out of this nasty mess and onto her own show.

After running round the apartment screaming (again - suck it up neighbours, I can't live in this space and be quiet all the time, I wasn't born here, OK?) I needed oxygen - no, honestly, I was so shocked. How can they be so mean? The Jersey housewives are kind of quaint and funny in their horribleness, ditto the LA ones. The New Yorkers though are bizarre. Is this the core of Upper East Side 'society'? The woman in the above pic, Sonja, pronounced SOnYAAgh!!! has had me in tears twice and she was only being mean on screen. She was married to a Morgan of Morgan Stanley.....bankers.....doncha love 'em? Imagine, a banker married her, he must have been a nice bloke.    (I'm speaking with forked tongue)

SOnYAAgh! is so, so nasty to everyone. She also shows her bottom a lot and it's just horrible. No wonder the programme is so popular,  it must tick all the boxes reality requires. It's the worst.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eeee pet, who's Le-Ann Rimes? Cheryl doesn't do L.A

I reckon the real reason Cheryl Cole was sacked from X Factor was: she won't know any of the songs.

 In will come a contestant to one of those auditions, he/she will start warbling something chronic-sounding and Chez will ask 'Did ye write that yeself, luv?' of a song that was 3 months number one on the Billboard R&B or Country charts.  My bet is, Cheryl has never even heard of One Republic, never mind any of their hits, or Rob Thomas (love him, Mr Centre of the Highway). Not to mention Rhianna and Jennifer Hudson's album tracks or Carrie Underwood's Cowboys at the Bar classics. Unless she's been doing lots of homework, my guess is Cheryl just hadn't got the foggiest about the American music scene.

There have been lots of emails to-ing and fro-ing today on the topic.......the other thing I think is, Cheryl just lacks the talent of someone like Nicole Sherzinger. Nicole can fling herself around a stage, sing very loudly and hold a tune without a backing tape and is clearly a personality-packed Fiesterella. Cheryl plays the part of the classic, working class Princess. Pretending to be sweet and naive on the surface while slugging it out with toilet attendants and slagging off lovely girls such as Lilly Allen on the sly. Cheryl, come out, introduce us properly to your inner b---hing personality, unplug the backing tape and show us if you can sing and the Americans might give you another chance.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

American Women.....part 2

The Principle Girls of the USA: Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson (B52s)
Dixie Chicks

Rachel Roy 

Chloe Sevigny

Tina Fey

Condoleezza Rice

Hillary Clinton

Michelle Obama

Frances McDormand

Mary J Blige

JUST TO BE CLEAR......I love so many American women and even though this is a list  of favourites from the Fame-o-sphere, I'm often taking my hat off to the fabulous unfamous and infamous American lady friends I've made, too. I felt like celebrating them ALL today.

It's a warm, sunny day in New York City. Of course,  a wardrobe crisis is in progress. Flat sandals will be best until I've really mastered summer I think.  It's possible to go a bit OTT on the resort-style wedges, flares, long fringey bags etc, etc in the privacy of one's own apartment, only to get outside and discover that everyone else just looks, well, normal. That's the problem with working - and I use that word loosely - from home. Great care and attention must be taken to dress down but not out, to prevent oneself going out looking like an entry from Project Runway. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A little bit country...

Heaven in Connecticut...

This is our weekend place. The snow has gone and I can't wait for the long weekend coming up. It's lovely to escape Gotham for a couple of days and then drive back to the city, over the Harlem Bridge and down the West Side Highway past the GW Bridge.

In the Country, I listen to Country Hits and talk with a twang. When we're up there I pretend we're in the backwoods and call my husband 'Earl'. My kids are Big Junior and Little Junior and we just constantly set fire to everything to try and keep warm.  Earl has now bought us a giant pick-up truck, his dream vehicle. It has 'Metal Mulisha' written across the back of the cab and when I drive it....well I can't drive it, I am too embarrassed.  I will get over myself eventually and by July, you'll find me rattling along them country lanes singin' my heart out to Tim McGraw and the Dixies... ....

Madonna, de-plasticised in face if not spirit....

Madonna at the Oscars in March (top) and the Met Ball (early May)

From the looks of these pictures, Madonna seems to have dumped her cushiony face. Quite where she left it is anyone's guess but at least she has lost that scary, pillowy look. Actually I wonder how she regained her angles? Has she been to see Dr Angle the facial bone-restorer? Gimme his number!!!!!

While it was heartening to hear Madonna 'felt fat' at the Met - 'she's human!!!!' cried the papers, what was less cheery for me was to hear her on Oprah last week. She confessed to Departing Oprah (DO) that she, DO, is the only living woman Madonna admires. Not much of a one for the sisterhood, Madge, she is a typical American woman. I probably shouldn't be saying this but I feel like getting it off my (much bigger than Madonna's) chest. Fact is, as Kelly Valen pointed out in her book, The Twisted Sisterhood, there is a very nasty undertow that drags down the hearts and souls of many American women. On the surface they are smiley cheeseballs but beneath they are as hard as the Black Hills of North Dakota (I just thought of that!) and they bluddy well hate each other.

If you, the Hapless Brit don't have all your cards in a row for a new social meeting with the average American woman you will be stuffed by the competition. Trouble is, I didn't realise it was a competition. I had no idea, until I arrived, that American women are engaged in a Giant Reality TV Show from birth. I don't know what they are competing for but they compete relentlessly throughout their lives. Some fall by the wayside, gaining weight or cats but most maintain the effort. You can see it in the back of their eyes, a sort of edgy, darting fear. They never, ever let their guard down. That is why real humour is so scarce here. Women cannot laugh at themselves in case their school Prom Queen catches them, takes the joke, makes it real and posts it on Facebook. So instead they remain deadly serious all the time, listening out for slights or insults and desperately sniffing out each other's flaws. It's exhausting and painful to watch. Madonna has obviously been hurt so badly by women in the past that she does not afford any living woman, besides DO, one ounce of admiration or respect. There are exceptions to the Competing/Madonna blueprint of course and I have been lucky to meet some of them, thank the Goddess. Also, superficially at least, many women in New York really live the feminist dream.

The DO and Madonna exchange caused me to ponder.. If I asked any of my British friends which living women they most admire, they would reel off a list that might include Viv Westwood, their best friend or indeed, Madonna. There is a generosity of spirit in British women. A willingness to give without getting, to respect and love other women for their sheer womanliness and a shared desire to further the feminine cause, whatever that may be. This joined-up spirit, mutual understanding, patience and respect is what binds British women together, where-ever they are in the world. I was sorry this week not to have been able to extend even a touch of that to another British Housewife of New York, who very awfully committed suicide at the weekend. My heart goes out to her and her family and I wish, if she needed help, I had known her and been able to offer it.

The point is, watching Madonna and Oprah reminded me that the thing I miss most in New York is the convivial, intelligent, raw spirit of the women of Britain. Rule Britannia, dears.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's OK I've almost recovered......

Last week I went with my chic friend to meet her dressmaker. I've been contemplating having my very favourite dress copied by someone skillful enough to reproduce it in a few different colours so I thought I might give this guy a whirl. Off we went to Monsieur Le Dressmaker (MLD)'s apartment. We walked in, my friend tanking ahead to greet him and I realised, she was pulling 'be nice' faces to him.  MLD, his little helper and my friend, by the way, are all small people.

 "My!"  cried the dressmaker as I walked in "Isn't she TALL!!!"  "Yes, very TALL" said his little helper. "Oh yes, she's so TALL!!!" said my friend. Now call me paranoid but be assured that in this situation 'TALL!' was a euphemism for 'HUGE' 'ENORMOUS' or 'GARGANTUAN'.

"Oh but very pretty" MLD added, hastily. "Yes" said his helper  "er, pretty..." she said this in such a doubtful tone of voice that silence would have been her safest option. Luckily my friend piped up again "Oh yes,she's sooooooo pretty!!!" It was a bit like that scene from Anne of Green Gables when Anne meets Melissa Cuthbert's friend..except that unlike Anne, I kept silent instead of throwing a huge wobbler.  Frankly,  I was speechless. I don't know what I was expecting. Control I suppose but this is NYC and unless you are super-prepared in every eventuality, someone else is ALWAYS there to boss you around. This, by the way, is freaking me out about living here. In my life I have always been the biggest bossy boots in town, NYC is giving me a severe drubbing but don't worry, I'm working on my come-back. SO back to the dressmaker's, where it gets worse. Next thing I knew, tiny woman was measuring me. She tied a piece of string around where she thought my waist was, below my natural line. "I've got a very long body" I said, "Sorry." I am SO English. Anyway, she measured me while my friend and the dressmaker stood and watched with worried looks on their faces.

Then, for the next hour or so, MLD tried to be nice to me...telling how Mrs ------lestein had spent $500,000 with him already THIS SEASON and how he had dressed one distinguished lady I know of, who is according to him 'an Arkansas shop girl'. Presumably, that's a bad thing. Instead of doing the right thing, leaping to my feet and saying politely and firmly to all   'Sorry everyone, I am in a wrong place/wrong time situation' I stayed in my seat nodding like a nodding poodle on the back window sill of 1966 Morris Minor. Eventually,  realising I was late for a lunch, I stood up abruptly and shouted over the top of MLD's "She's no better than she should be but she spent $250,000" monologue  "SORRY! Must dash!" Phone numbers were swapped and I promised to call. Why did I do that? Now they all think I am actually going to call him and go back. I'm not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Bowie Bible

Don't you love this pic of Dave 'n' Mick enjoying a delicious, British Rail lunch, circa 1973?

My favourite book of the moment is David Bowie: Any Day Now (The London Years 1947 - 1974). It is a chronological list of anecdotes, dates and quotes about the life of David Bowie, up until he left the UK for good in 1974. I found it in Barney's groovy book department a few weeks ago and finally returned to buy it last Thursday.  Ever since, I am finding it to be almost almanac-like in it's wisdom! Any random page I turn to has a message for me, answering my problem of the day. It is working in a similar way to my I-poddess, in this respect. What should I wear today? There's David in a kaftan top and flares. How shall I tell someone who's annoyed me that I hate them? There's David dressed as a mime artist, lips pursed shut and glued into silence, inspiring me to keep my big-mouthed thoughts to myself.

At the weekend, after half an hour berating my  son for hanging out in his room all weekend, I picked up the book. My eyes went straight to an explanation of how David, at the same age, spent long hours listening to music alone in his bedroom too. He clashed so much with his Mum that he ended up being sent to stay with an Aunt in Ealing. We don't have that luxury. However, I am going to turn to my David-in-his-teens chapters whenever my own infants are vexing me to the point of tears. I might even start leaving a few pairs of spandex leggings around and the odd bit of spare eye-liner. It can't do any harm.

By the way, I once saw Mick Ronson. Not in concert in fact, but through the serving hatch of a kitchen in a council house on the outskirts of Hull (where he was from). He was enjoying a cup of tea and wearing a pair of carpet slippers. That, my friends, is why I love Rock 'n' Rollers. Legendary Gods of the Universe one minute, cheery tea-drinkers the next.

Monday, April 11, 2011


In my eagerness to report on NYC's very latest pedestrian crossing graphics I am delaying all other aspects of my life. I just have to rant and ramble in true Blogger Style.

Because now, peeps, the pedestrian crossing on Broadway, near my very own home is doing a new thing. Even more annoying than the 'walk, walk, WALK!' voice and machine gun noise, it now counts down how many seconds are left to get across the road before the red-man-of-doom returns. How distracting is that? By the time I've stood there watching the seconds tick down from 10, wondering if I have enough time to get across, I could have crossed. As it is I am now in  mathematical space and time torment every time I want to cross the road. How many miles an hour must I dash at to make it in 4 or 3 seconds? I don't know. What will happen if the lights get to 0 before I do? It is extremely anxiety-inducing, like almost everything else in this city.  New York, it's a wonderful town but every aspect of living here is designed to panic the living daylights out of you.

By the way, we watched Bonfire of the Vanities last night, a silly movie version of a great book. Once a fantasy tale set in a faraway land for me, noddanymore folks, noddanymore!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Yum yum! Just admiring my haul from Myers of Keswick

Bisto, Paxo, Heinz Salad Cream, Ploughmans Pickle, 3 Chocolate Oranges, 2lbs of sausages, 4 bags of Walkers, a packet of Bourbon creams and some Penguin biscuits.

It's not as if there isn't plenty of processed food available here in Manhattan, because of course there is. It's just that we, in our little family, like our peripheries to be processed and not the main deal. We prefer to smother something genuinely grown in a field with factory made salad cream, rather than something also made in a factory. It's called a balanced diet, foodie freaks!

Myers of Keswick is a shop in the Meatpacking district owned by a British bloke. My kids absolutely love it if I go there but I am dreading the day they discover the truth. The truth being, it's a short hop from the subway stop at 14th St. Since we moved here I visit only rarely and tell the teenz it's because the shop is far, far away, difficult to get to and in a very dangerous area. Myers of Keswick in their imagination exists as a lonely island in an urban hell-fest of shooters, muggers and video game type zombies. One day they will see it's dotted along from the Catharine Malandrino shop, close to the gourmet-heaven of the Chelsea Market. On the other hand, the particular bit of 9th Ave where it lies is pretty bleak and I noticed today that the Nicole Farhi shop/cafe in Chelsea Market has closed.

The secret truth is: Chelsea is still rickety-rackety as hell. Walking west on 14th Street it's hard to believe you're heading into one of the city's priciest areas. Also, talking to fellow New Yorkers including a real estate agent househunting for Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz - I KNOW!! It seems like property there is secretly very CHEAP. It's just that no-one in the property biz wants anyone (the rest of us)  to know.

Well, I've digressed again. Looking forward to cooking roast, organic pork this weekend with all the Myers trimmings - the pork, incidentally, has cost almost as much as an apartment in Chelsea.


T to B:  Margaux Hemingway, Roseanne Vela, Rene Russo (B/W) Patti Hansen

After having a conversation about teenage makeup with a mate today, I cast my mind back to the look I used to hanker after in my teens - American Model. It's so funny because natch, I didn't achieve it. My secret crush on the above models was mine alone. No one at my school had ever heard of Patti Hansen or Rosie Vela  but these girls were my pin-ups. To me these girls were fresh, fabulous and from another world. High Fashion was completely seperate from street fashion in those days, ditto the clothes, models and designers involved. A copy of Vogue was a fantasy trip to somewhere else and bore no relation to anything ever worn by ordinary people in England.  In 1976 most girls my age had shaggy-dog-style short haircuts, plucked-off and drawn-in eyebrows and tons of glitter make-up.

Anyway, must dash!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I know a woman as stylish as Audrey....

Anyway, my friend, the divine Ms C is a high falluter in the fashion biz. She always looks amazing. Having a drink with her last night, I admired her dress - a short, navy jersey number, sleeveless with a sort of tie/bow on the shoulder, simple but gorgeous. 'How do you find time to shop for the right clothes, O stylish one?' I asked. 'And how do you match it all together,  moving seamlessly from one season to the next, dallying with all the designers without offending any of them? How, how, HOW?'

'Simple' she said, 'I don't shop. I have a little man - an ex-design house technician - who makes all my clothes. He makes me three styles of dress in four colours, jackets, skirts, shirts everything. Then, do you know Uniglo?'
'Well,' says my friend 'He gets me all my cashmere from there, such great value. He's not cheap, he makes my clothes very well, from great fabrics, but it's not like shopping designer retail.'

OMG. That's the way forward for me. Not that I need a working wardrobe like Ms C but I do spend too much time and money looking for the right, knee-length, covered up dress. Thank you design label Tucker by the way for recently producing the Dress That Saved My Life.  Oops, anyway, back to my friend. She splashes out on the latest bags & 'statement' jewelry pieces, but she leaves the foraging through Barneys to the sad & desperate like yours truly.

Well noddanymore designer rip off clothing stores, noddanymore!!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Try singing today's post to the tune of 'We didn't start the fire' by Sir William of Joel (can't you tell I once worked somewhere where they made Smash Hits)

Barbara Castle, Helen Mirren, Alison Stedman, Kate Bush, Kate Adie, Jennie Murray, Stella McCartney, Cilla Black, Caroline Charles, Mary Quant, Lulu, Betty Jackson, Jean Muir, Marianne Faithful, Camille Bagwhandala, Ena Sharples, Anita Roddick, Joanna Lumley, Shirley Manson, Sylvia Plath, Bronte Girls, Boudicca, Vivienne Westwood, Afra Benn, Erin Pizzey, Sarah Parrish, Hermione Norris, Margaret Rutherford, Joyce Grenfel, Florence Welch, Marge Proops, Eve Pollard, Dierdre McSharry, Joan Bakewell, Cheryl Cole, Wendy Richards and all hard working British girls with the guts to make something of their lives.

It's a random list, don't ask why...just who popped into my head. Also I have to go out. Who have I left off?

Monday, March 14, 2011


A clip from Mean Girls

Can't resist another comment about Fashion World! Just reading about the furore over Daphne Guinness calling Victoria Beckham nasty names. Just want to tell people this:  That quote is solid gold. When Camilla Long filed her copy to her editors at the Sunday Times, the place will have lit up like Blackpool Illuminations. Lawyers, editors, MDs etc will have run around verifying the quote and then hitting the bottle to celebrate. How many extra hits/purchases must the Sunday Times have received yesterday? It's mind-boggling. Murdoch owes Camilla Long way more than he must have paid her for that article.

I hate the way non-journos like Daphne claim journalists make things up. These days you just cannot make stuff up. Editors, lawyers, Legal Directors, Publishers breathe fire down your neck every step of the way. You can't invent quotes like Daphne Guinness's. If only!!!!!! But you really, really can't.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I am not the first to suggest he's running BBC R4....

Been feeling a bit out of touch with British culture this week so I tuned into some Radio 4 comedy. Oh good grief! Using the term 'comedy' very loosely here because I had already given up on it some months ago. Back then RBH and I decided that certain un-comedic writers must have something on the commissioners of comedy at the BBC. The same names pop up on the credits year in, year out, what do they know?

Anyway, I tried listening to more 'comedy' shows this week including The Ladies, about a public toilet and a John Godber thing about a cafe, plus the Now Show. My verdict: Barely concealed, ultra-posh accented voices stumbling over lame, cliche scripts and outdated concepts. Where is the Modern World? Not at bbc Radio 4. ALL the actors' efforts at regional accents were woeful. The underlying plumminess wouldn't matter if the stuff was clever and funny. I was worried when I heard about plans to change Radio 4 but I am absolutely behind that idea now. Keep the news and quizzes, but boot out ALL involved in comedy there. In fact, the thing to do would be to actually fire everyone at the bbc whose parents/immediate family ever worked there. Plus all the producers who constantly re-hire Quantick and co because they obviously feel they have to keep him/them in employment. Perhaps they all went to university together? Anyway, this would reduce the workforce by at least 3/4s but then they could at least install some Genuine Talent.

Not very NewYorky, I know!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



NEW SIGN: - nothing to see, just a horrible noise

New pedestrian crossing signalling systems are popping up here in NYC.  I use the complicated terminology because, well, they are complicated. What's wrong with the red man/white man flashing combo? Apart from the obvious of course - I think the white man should be green, for the record.

Now, add in some loud, annoying noises and you've got something more guaranteed to give you a headache than get you across the road safely. The new thing sits at about waist height on a lamp-post by the crossing and barks 'Wait!' 'Wait! 'Wait!' at you until you want to cry. Some people, including me of course, already given to dispensing names and human attributes to all manner of non-animal things, end up shouting back. 'I AM WAITING!!" 'SHUDDUP ALREADY!'  It's just embarrassing for me.

It is even worse when the time arrives to actually cross the road. Then, instead of barking 'WALK!' the thing doesn't speak. Instead it lets out this bizarre ricochet of machine gun fire. Well, we are in America after all. Honestly, the noise is exactly like some kind of automatic weapon fire. I imagine. Thankfully I've never been in the vicinity of that but I've seen the movies, dammit.

What are the traffic organisers of NYC thinking? Why that sound? It's worth a special trip out here just to try it, isn't it? If you do, the particular noise box I am currently alluding to is located opposite the Lincoln Centre. Maybe it was set up specially to scare all the fashionistas off the streets and into the shows during NYFW. Whatever, I can't see the benefit so far. Well of course, it's much better for blind road-crossers.  But even they, I am certain. would prefer less manic, bossy noise as they go about their daily business. What about a blast of some soothing lounge music for the waiting bit ? (Why not pipe a bit of that Sade music out of the shops and onto the streets via loudspeakers? Lord knows they play enough of it EVERYWHERE)  Then, when it's time to cross, they could play some Jay Z.

Random thoughts, random thoughts.....

Sunday, March 6, 2011


He's no oil painting but he is the Mighty Rob Thomas!

George Michael has just joined Twitter as tweeters will know. He's friends with Rob Thomas. Rob, solo and with his band, Matchbox Twenty, is brilliant. He makes the kind of big production, singalong rocksongs so lacking among the young Mumfords of today. We can't be experimental all the time ferchrissakes!  Real American Housewives nationwide LOVE him but that's not a reason not to, sisters. Rob is talented and friendly with Hall & Oates! What more evidence of musical brilliance do you need? Just listen to 'Her Diamonds' or 'Someday' for an easy breazy moment in the musical sun.

We just came back from a run round rainy Central Park, it was grim and wet. I see Rob is tweeting the same thing at this very moment. I feel like I know him!

Twitter, fodder for delusional stalkers everywhere. How long can it last?

Friday, March 4, 2011




Melissa has just announced her divorce to shocked American newswatchers, although I've never heard of her husband. She's a C-lister here but famous for her plastic surgery. I was so shocked after seeing current pictures of her that I had to archive back through the past to remind myself of her original face. Unrecognisable, like Axl Rose, Jennifer Grey and soon, Madonna.

Will that be me, after a few years in the USA I wonder? Will I cave in and go under the knife so that people have to google image pics of Old Sazarella to see what I looked like once?  Tricky because there are no google pics of me. Anyway, I hope not because such cosmetically altered faces look strange, painful and odd. However, maybe there is an evil, plastic surgeon Svengali like Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman, putting something in the water here. Absent-mindedly, I keep finding myself browsing through cosmetic surgery websites and wondering dreamily about results........Noooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011



What is Lloyd Grossman going on about? Just long-distance-listenin' to him on R4, middle classing on about hospital food in the UK. He's talking about the guy who spent ten weeks in hospitals, posting pics of what he ate and talking about how bad it all was. Well I beg to differ.

Hospital food is 'bad' to a gourmet chef. To the ordinary British person if's fine. Not great but something we love to moan about, like the weather.  It is what it is, broaden the scope and all the old people and children will be too bewildered to eat it. They don't want pesto on the paediatric ward, Lloyd, it's got pine-nuts in it, half the kids will be allergic. The oldies won't eat sea bass on a lentil mish-mash Lloyd, it reminds them of days their parents used to talk about, when they were too poor for meat and potatoes.

Once, I contrived to spend a week in XXX General. I'm not proud of this and I won't be naming dates etc. At the time, work, toddlers, husband and various other issues were wearing me out. Going in with a very minor gynae whinge was bliss. I got there, snuggled up in bed with a telly on a trolley and that was it. Even though they quickly discovered nothing was wrong with me and tried to persuade me to leave, no way was I going any where.  I managed to stay for a week, enjoying three lovely meals a day, cheery gossip, comings and goings and the general camaraderie. Each time the doctor came I would invent odd symptoms (my work as a women's mag journo came in handy for that) or say I still felt bad. The small, camera-through-the navel invasive procedure I had was worth it for that week off my life. I had puddings every day, cups of tea regularly and a nice pile of magazines and books. They threw me out in the end but honestly, the food was the best part! I must have gone home a stone heavier but it was hard to drag myself away from that rhubarb crumble.

I've no idea why I like this cosy grub so much, but right-on mother would not let me have the 'unhealthy' school dinners when I was a kid. While the others were shoving the braised lamb around their plates or swooping in on the fried fish, I was messing around with wholemeal sandwiches and fruit, sitting alone on the 'sandwich table'.

Right on parents and Lloyd Grossman, there's a message there.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


To be fair, I am writing a book about this stuff.....

As you can tell, I love a bit of nostalgia and was thrilled to be directed to an 80s website by Blogging Queen TWRJ friend today. Our conversation began with me asking her if she could remember a shop in London called Demob. She directed me to a website on 80s style and before I knew it, I was scrolling through pics of gawdknowswho. While browsing I came across this pic and I had to stop and reminisce!!!  Why, it's Steve Strange and Jack Nicholson of course, on a night when Jack was in town and popped up to the Camden Palace, where I worked in the top cocktail (VIP) bar. Steve and his girlfriend, heiress Francesca Thyssen, were dressed in similar, Nazi-ish uniform ensembles. Not a good look. Anyway, hers was by Dior, funnily enough, as she informed me when she took me upstairs to see the just-being-fitted out ultra cool, new VIP bar. This fact is relevant by the way because I sat next to one of her ex-in-law Hapsburg relations at a New York lunch recently. I can't repeat anything else. What I will say is: my fellow bar-babe Kate and I used to call Steve 'The Hapsburg' on account of his large, George III-style nose. Funny then, that after dating him, 'Chessy' went on to marry the real thing.....

Oh but so ANYWAY, Jack came to my cocktail bar and I spent the night mixing him Tequila Sunrises. He was ultra cool and this pic of that night took me right back. The Camden Palace had a sort of jungle theme going on inside and we, the unlucky staff members had to wear full safari gear. Not a good look. I wore mine with fishnets, flat boots and legwarmers - it was the 80s, after all. During that time I met all the big stars of the 80s, including Madonna, Grace Jones, Annie Lennox and Divine. It was a knackering time - I worked three nights until 3 a.m then went out until 6 or 7. All while 'attending' college. However, I was paid cash in hand, and made tips every  night. The money came in a little brown envelope, something like 100 quid a night in all. I have never, in my life, ever been as cash-rich as I was then. I bought clothes at Demob and PX and ate the finest kebabs. I shared a pokey flat in cool Camden Town with a kitchen backing on to the communal toilet, in a house of four flats. A gas geyser with a steaming tap was our only source of hot water and we bathed three times a week in a bath with a 10p meter in a stone-flagged, unheated basement. Call me Montessa Python!  We lived like they lived in the film  'Up the Junction'. Bob Elms has written lots about London at that time and it's all true. The West End was dead in the evenings and at weekends, dodgy characters roamed the streets and it was a Different World.

Hair, hair, hair

LOVE these happy hairy herbals!

New York City living demands constant attention to your hair. My old, every-other-day hairwashing routine gets stepped up to every day most weeks. Well, the increased focus on my head began to give me the hair-thinning-wibbles. Last September I seemed to be losing masses of the stuff in the shower every day and I went into a tailspin panic.

What to do? I tried the conventional, massively expensive, famous trichologist route. They sold me tons of pricey, time-consuming, greasy, stinky products BUT gave me one golden piece of info. My hair was not, (touch wood, please GODDESS!) falling out, but the individual hairs were just getting a bit thinner with the passing of time. Also, like all animals, we shed more of our fur according to the seasons, summer is warm, right?

Back home, 24 hours with the hair products was enough to discover I was never going to use them. The trichys give you lots to faff around with to psyche you into thinking it works, I reckon. My hair was floppy and greasy and everyone kept asking what the smell was.  So I turned to the internet and found these herby capsules. The active ingredient I think is biotin but unlike biotin in it's pure form (which upsets my stomach) this is mixed in with other stuff.  The suggested dose is 3 capsules a day which felt a bit excessive so I take 2. Now 5 months later, I can't say for sure that my hair is thicker but I've been steadily losing less. I'm hanging on to what I've got and it definitely looks thicker around the roots and hair line. My nearest and dearest swore they couldn't see my scalp through my parting before but I couldn't go with a centre parting, which I can now.

I think you're supposed to take them for six months or so to see full benefits but I've noticed my nails are stronger too.

Just thought I'd share that with y'all and SORRY for not posting last week. My lovely mate EBW and her fab kids were visiting, SO lovely to see her!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Magnificent Millie Jackson

Today I was reminded of Millie Jackson, who I love. Drama is the fuel on my bonfire of life and few musical offerings contain as much of the stuff as on Millie's two magnificent albums of the 1970s, 'Caught Up' and 'Still Caught Up'. If I had the cash and connections I would turn these albums into a musical stage show to rival Dream Girls and trample all over 'Chess' etc.

The 'Caught Up' duo tells the story of the Mistress, the Wife and the Husband. Millie sings both female parts and  so do I, alone with my ancient cd player and sometimes out loud around the apartment. The sheer tenderness, fury, bitterness and power emanating from these albums is almost visible.  It is time to resurrect these songs, bring them forth and at least make the musical movie. It's not up to me though.

Does anyone know Beyonce or Mary J?

Saturday, February 19, 2011


More on this Fergie business - maybe Wills just doesn't want her there. If so, fair enough.

If it's about that 'selling access to the Royals' scam though, well honestly, they are all at it. Assorted in-laws & out-laws on both sides have, to my certain  knowledge, been busily approaching media outlets promising 'access' to the world's hottest couple.

Just saying.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011


A DIVORCE CAKE - the latest way to celebrate a legal unshackling

Well, I say celebrate. None of the three women I went out for a drink with this week, whose husbands have divorced them, were celebrating. Divorce, among the parents at my kids school is a way of life. In fact, I meet lots of women here, aged 40-plus with husbands either threatening it or instigating the big 'D'. For the three girls I went for a drink with this week, two of them cited the same reason for their divorce 'he wanted to date again'. Pardon????!!!!!!

Bubbling under New York's 'high society' is the constant fear of being divorced. It's one reason why women work so hard to maintain their looks. The race to own a wealthy bloke in NYC is blatant and cut-throat among a lot of women, professional/working/whatever. The scene is more like you might find at a football club or on a sinker estate than in the 'upper echelons' of society. I am not making myself very clear but let me try harder: all those bankers want perfect trophy wives. The wives pander to this. There doesn't seem to be much depth to many of the marriages I come across. This is a huge, sweeping generalisation of course and I do know lots of happy couples too. However, on an everyday level, I've met quite a few women now, who have just been dumped. The divorce laws are OK, but ultimately, it's about more than material wealth. Of course I feel sorry for these women who end up broke and homeless by the time they are 50 (palimony for the kids dries up when they grow up) but they should have found some way to support themselves!

I am really, unpleasantly surprised by this little aspect of NYC life.  The New York Rumour that there are more single men than women is constantly peddled and permeates everyone, it's hateful. I've even been out to dinner with couples who, when I've complimented her on a great body or fabulous hair, the wife will whisper to me, 'I have to do it, I don't eat/have extensions - whatever, so he won't leave me'.  It's sad and depressing but seems to be the 'norm'.  Very disturbing and makes me feel like New York needs a Female Revolution. Similar to what's happening in Egypt. The women need to take to the streets and refuse to date the men. All women, from all walks of life must say NO or the situation will only worsen. Already, a lot of NY men are arrogant. Our banking special advisor emails me and says 'I need you to ring me and schedule and appointment' because he wants to sell me something. What? His attitude is purely sexist. I haven't met him and don't intend to. What I am driving at overall today is, despite all the feisty ladies in NYC I have discovered a sexist, unequal undertow, pulling at the psyche of the women of this city. I don't like it one bit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No one knows what it's like....

When I was a student/younger person I used to get sore throats and tonsilitis the whole time. I had my tonsils out aged 19 but I still suffered for years especially just before a cold. Sometimes my throat hurt so much I just had to go to bed and mope until the pain, un-changed by whatever tablets I took, went away. On one such occasion I was lying in bed weeping and had written, on a piece of paper, for some reason 'No one knows what it's like'. I don't know why I wrote this,  I was just being dramatic as usual but my friend Jane came round to see me and found the note. 'What's all this?' she demanded and we ended up falling about. After about an hour of mutual, hysterical laughter, she probably made me a cup of tea, propped up my pillows then went home. That note has stayed with us, in our heads and now, whenever anyone has a sore throat, or an ailment of any kind, in our circle of trust, one of us (usually her) will say 'No one knows what it's like'.  It's not that funny to outsiders but it is to me. She just tweeted it because her throat is sore today and it's 1989 all over again......

TARGET YAY! (and Kanye West)

Maxine and I are going on Friday!

I get more excited about a trip to Target than anywhere else I ever go in NY. That's because I hardly ever go. I went once about this time last year to the Bronx branch by Yankee Stadium. Our car was new at the time. The men in the garage where we keep it started it for me, and following the sat-nav I made it through the mean streets to  Target. When I came out again I couldn't start it. I had to phone the fella who was at that time in Mexico, for instructions. It was dark and lonely in the Target multi-storey carpark and unable to start my brand new vehicle and it's fair to say I panicked. It put me off going for a while, despite the treasures to be found inside the big 'T'. I went to a CT branch with TheWomensRoom and F in the summer but I have not been since.

However, I am planning a trip this Friday morning. After putting out an APB I've found one accomplice and we'll be pushing our trolleys round on the big F to the R to the I to the D to the A to the Y!  Can't wait to get my hands on some $14.99 table lamps,  $1 tea-towels and teen-man-clothing. If you want Aeropostale/Polo-Rugby/Hilfiger buy it yourselves lads, Mummy's off to Target!  Will try and snap a little pic to post of us on our trip and will report back on all the fantabulous bargains we find. Yay, Target!


No-one causes more arguments in our house than Kanye West.

I.e I will overhear some rude words on musical equipment and ask my sons 'What's that vulgar nonsense?' One or the other will always answer 'Kanye'. Or, weekends, late night we'll be awoken by the slamming of the front door, then the pumping thud of you-know-who once more.

After the Taylor Swift thing I banged on about him quite a lot. Still do refer to this outrageous incident when I'm discussing SEXISM because that's what it was. KW felt that just being a big, noisy MAN gave him the right to scare Taylor into shutting up and handing over her award. I love Beyonce but for all her Single Ladies talk I believe she's a Man's Woman in a worrying way.  Oh anyway look, this is all just my opinion. BUT in the interests of interest I gave KW's Dark Fantasy a listen. Now I'm badly, sadly hooked. It's not for me, it's just not but it IS brilliant. Which leads to more tension at home, i.e: 'Don't even discuss it with me, Mum. I don't care what you think and don't want to talk about him with you EVER AGAIN etc, etc'.

 OK. Will now back out of teen's music life for good as it gets me nowhere. I know you're supposed to hate their stuff. The image of my Dad, while TOTP was on, asking if the legendary and badly under-valued Brian Connolly of Sweet was a boy or a girl cemented Brian in my estimation for ever. While there is no doubt about KW's sexuality, I'm officially backing off. Except to simply say that although his new album with Jay Z (named something like 'Our Throne') will be super-duper, it will also be Heavy Weather. I mean, modesty's not their thing is it? No reason why it should be, they are super rich squillionaires and charitable too, I'm just saying, ok?