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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Creme de bullshite

It must be big news because The Husband mentioned it last night. 'Apparently there's this face cream by Boots that actually works' he said, stuffing chicken into his own face. It's called Protect and Perfect and not Le Creme de Beaute or Perfectione de Bollocks because as we all know, anti-ageing creams with french names work better, especially when modelled by fifteen year olds. But an english name is just the first surprise. The second is, the stuff seems to work. Dermatologists have given this stuff a grudging thumbs up because in a clinical study of 60 people (whoop-dee-do) 43% said it made their skin look better. As a result there has been a veritable bison like stampede to Boots. Zoe Williams makes the point that it's a bit pathetic really. We've been fed this line for years and years and the fact that out of 60 people, less than half thought it made their skin look a bit better is seen as some sort of dermatological breakthrough is pretty daft. After all, the dermatologists as opposed to the skin care companies have been saying, WEAR SUNBLOCK for years. That's what works. But here's the reason why such a fuss is being made of a fairly simple cream. Because most of the time, the information about very expensive anti-ageing creams is as I'm sure you know, a smoke and mirrors combination of PR, and utter shite. Take Creme de Mer, the most expensive face cream in the world, at £135 a 2oz pot. You may well spit out your coffee in horrified shock. Yes £135. And what do you get for your money? Why, the genius behind it, one Max Huber, who said he developed it from Pacific seaweed, as a NASA scientist to treat burns.

Ok. Except that as several dermatologists pointed out, if Creme de Mer treated burns so effectively, why wasn't it being used in hospitals? The manufacturers had no answer for this. Furthermore, when Time magazine conducted an investigation into Max Huber they found there was no record of him ever being employed by NASA. Time also conducted a scientific analysis of the ingredients in Creme de Mer. And found that the levels of the active ingredient of seaweed derivative or whatever was negligible, barely detectable. The concluded that 'creme de mer is a nice moisturiser' but that was it. A nice moisturiser? Selling at £135 a pot?

No wonder a cream tested on 60 people which makes you look marginally better is being hyped as a miracle. Personally, I'm just going to keep slapping on the sunblock.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

My Productive Morning

Today is Tuesday. It started well with me going for a run round the park as Husband was dropping The Girl off at school. So he had the joy of listening to her surreal monologues about umbrellas and what are clouds made of daddy and can I have a muffin and do we have raspberry jam because I don't like strawberry jam but my best friend Shaniyah likes it and it's amazing she never draws breath but she doesn't . . .

Ran round the park. Came back to quiet house. Cleared up sticky, jammy kitchen feeling slightly huffy. Took shower. Ate breakfast. At some point, got dressed and watched a few minutes of The Wright Stuff where they were arguing about whether or not same sex relationships should be taught in school. Taught? The Daily Mail are full of righteous fury about this of course. One of the panellists, Jodi Picoult said that every single US teenage shooter had been called 'gay' at school, so perhaps teaching tolerance might be a good thing? Found myself nodding like an old car accessory.

Still good. Went to computer, logged on, faffed about answering emails. Posted something about swine flu. Draft five of script hovering over me like a badly written fart. Looked at notes given to me by kind producer. Sighed. Checked my online account instead. A cheque has not been paid in. The curse of the freelancer - forever chasing money and trying not to feel annoyed by it. Chased cheque. Why is it that BILLS never seem to suffer from postal problems? Spent tedious twenty minutes checking that BACS details are correct. They are. It turns out that cheque payer who swore blind that he paid into my account on a certain date made a mistake. Now he has definitely paid it today. So I can expect it in my account sometime in 2021. Sat and huffed about this.


Opened script. Read it. Thought of joke. Added it in. Realised this takes script over the designated 26 minutes. Took joke out. Re-read script thinking about how to incorporate a helicopter. Unbelievably, it's cheaper to film a helicopter on telly than film someone travelling by underground. Script now about as funny as a heart bypass. Phone rings. Thank God! Crackle crackle. Sounds far away. Aha. A person from South East Asia wishes to speak to me. 'Hello . . Ms Par . . cel. How are you today?' I actually say 'fine thank you' because the alternative ie putting the phone down and getting on with the script is too painful.

Look at the cats washing each other. Lola is seductively licking Charlie behind the ears. He wriggles and purrs like a male cat with both bollocks, instead of the ginger spay he is. Then he pats Lola's paw. She takes exception to this and wallops him round the head hissing. It's like watching Den and Angie on Eastenders.

It's now 12.28 and I haven't rewritten the script. Guilt and self-disgust are swirling in my stomach. Oh and hunger. Must go and put on a potato to bake.

Peppa Pig Flu!

No it's not funny at all. (Peppa Pig is great though - for anyone with small children. Daddy Pig is actually quite sexy. Yes I should get out more.) And here's a very good link from the esteemed Guardian with absolutely no rubbish puns about being 'pig sick' or 'oinkment' or a 'hamdemic' Right - I'm going to stop now. Husband and I sat and listened to some grave voiced Radio 4 presenter telling us what we could do to protect ourselves. 'It's like Protect and Survive' said Husband. You remember Protect and Survive, narrated by Patrick (Danish Bacon and now Big Brother - Allen?) If you think you haven't - if you've ever heard 'Two Tribes' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, you'll have heard Patrick Allen's sonorous tones telling us what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. It was absolutely terrifying:

It was also a complete waste of time. Particular scorn was pouted on the part about the fallout being announced by 'three gongs, or three whistles'. Rung or blown by whom? And who did we ring to complain if nobody was around to bang the gongs? There was also a bit about if you were caught outside just before a nuclear attack. You were advised to 'lie down and put your coat over your head'. If only they'd thought of that in Hiroshima.

But with the mounting fears of swine flu, echoes of Protect and Survive ran round my head. We need to feel there is something we can do to protect ourselves, and our children. But apart from washing our hands, wearing masks, glaring at anyone who sneezes on the tube, and handling knobs carefully (see I didn't rise to the bait), there is nothing more we can do. 'We'd better keep an eye on The Girl' said Husband. Again - yeees I see what he means - sort of. But what do we actually do? Keep her clean? Feed her properly? Make sure she washes her hands? Yes - all that. And get on with our lives. In my case, getting back to the book. Wrote a page yesterday. Crossed it all out today. One step forward three steps back.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Starting a book

Oh it's such a beautiful day. So why am I sitting on the bed, laptop in front of me, fingers poised and frozen above the keyboard? Not literally of course - I'm typing this, which is much more fun than Starting A Book. How do real writers do this? I've had this idea fermenting for months now, made notes, wrote a few scripts in between, shouted at the children, examined my split ends and now I can't put it off any more. I have to get started. The words have to come out of my head *she says pretentiously* It's like editorial laxatives.

*Long Pause while I stare at the screen and it mocks me back*

Husband has just walked in and starts ironing his shirt. "Do you know this ironing board is older than either of our children?" I consider this. "Yes and it's a bloody sight more useful too." Knowing our luck, The Boy will still be sitting in his room among an ever growing pile of crusty pants and sticky crockery when he's 50.

Ok. I've got the title.

Coffee Break!

Don't like the title.

Anyone got any tips?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

There's a Frog in the Kitchen

What am I gonna do
There's a frog in the kitchen what am I gonna do?
I'm gonna teach that frog . .

Actually what I did was scream like a girl and hide. For God sake. The poor frog crouched froggily in the hall, eyes flickering from side to side, while through the glass of the kitchen door, two furry faces pressed up against the glass. 'Pick him up mummy' said The Girl, helpfully, from her vantage point of half way up the stairs. I did the next best thing. I ran up the stairs and woke The Boy who was extremely grumpy. 'There's a FROG in the hall!' I whimpered. 'Yeah I know' he mumbled, crawling stinkily out of his pit. 'It was in the kitchen last night so I put it in the food bin.' In the food bin?! Meanwhile the cats were scratching at the kitchen door like the floating vampire children in Salem's Lot.

Eventually after a lot of bad language, I persuaded Frog to jump into a large bag and took him outside to the front garden. I think I convinced him that the alternative was being tortured by two nasty cats with bad breath. 'Frogs are meant to go near water and grass!' shouted The Boy. 'You put him in the food bin' said The Girl smugly. So I put Frog out the front and gave him a bowl of water. I can only hope he doesn't get toad away.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Ways of making mothers look ridiculous Part 255

A friend passed this hideousity on to me today. Apparently available in NY - it's a mum, or should I say, mom and baby snugglie. Ker-ist! It's like Alien remade by Disney. All I can say is Thank God all that baby crap is behind me now - all the saintly condescension about not breastfeeding enough or too much, or not buying baby warmer wipes (I kid you not) or working, or having a life and being a mother. Or pain in the arse people telling me not to eat this or feed the kid that because they read in the Daily Mail that this survey said . . actually I can't be bothered to finish that sentence. Thank God I don't have to say to someone in a shop: 'No thanks I don't want to buy that mum and baby snugglie because I'm afraid it will make me look like an utter twat. And despite being a mother I care (occasionally) about looking like a human being and not a sci-fi twat.' Somehow, only having teenage pregnancy, drugs and insane rudeness to contend with is a walk in the park in comparison . . . .

Friday, 3 April 2009


Gird your loins parents. It's that awful sinking moment when you realise the Easter Holidays are now upon us and you're stuck with your little darlings for two whole weeks! Oh and The Girl woke up today with chicken pox. Either that or virulent acne. It's probably punishment for me being snide about that P.E. teacher who demanded The Boy wore socks.

Am trying to work while The Girl lies on the sofa saying things like: 'The spots are up my bottom. Can you rub it better?' and 'The inside of my foot hurts.' Soon The Boy will arrive home full of grumbles and upsets. Yes - it's Easter Bunny time!

I want to run away to a tropical island full of interesting men who want me to talk about myself all day and pour me ludicrous drinks.