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!