Search This Blog

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Flesh eating bikini bugs!

Never mind the crumbling economy, the Iranian elections, the fear of unemployment or the ever encroaching rampage of swine flu, it's summer and ladies - that means Are You Bikini Ready? That sentence is everywhere on Laydee News. You'd think that over the summer, British women forgo wearing clothes altogether and just mince about in string bikinis. Why here I am right now sitting in front of my computer wearing only a string bikini, feeling vaguely foolish and just hating the way my stomach sticks out. And even if you do cut out entire food groups or exist on cardboard cereal to lose weight, the Mail warns you could contract the dreaded flesh eating bikini bug!

Of course you could buy that new slimming pill that costs about £50 a month and causes your lower intestines to run out of your arse? Oooh sexy. Or you could pay a beauty therapist to rub micro anti-cellular gel with added liposomes onto your legs while you lie there wincing and tearing up fivers. I happened to switch on Lorraine Kelly this morning who was talking to a nice lady about whether the £400 cellulite treatment she had road tested had actually worked. And here's the before and after said Lorraine showing the pictures of the lady's before and after thighs. It's more important how you feel added Lorraine after the two seconds it took to realise that there was absolutely no difference whatsoever. I do feel more toned though said the lady obediently. Her eyes told a different story though. They said I am standing in a pink swimsuit on national television talking bollocks. . Here's my solution.

1. Go to Elizabeth Hurley Beachware. Look at the prices she charges. Pay particular attention to the strapless towelling beach 'dress' ie a towel with buttons which costs £105. Laugh very loudly. Feel better instantly.

2. Go and buy a cheap cotton kaftan.

3. Put it on over your swimming cozzie.

4. Have an ice cream.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Bang! There Go Your Eggs

I've had two babies, one in my late twenties and the other in my late thirties. The second time I sat in a grubby antenatal clinic in a London hospital and stared at the chromosome chart on the opposite wall. After the age of 38 the line indicating the possibility of a chromosome disorder shoots up vertically, as though poked with an electrical stick. Whoooooo - up it goes - a salutary warning to anyone selfish enough to get pregnant after the allotted window of time (in between finding a father, your job, enough money) which seems to be between 20 and 25 ish. I was 39.

Later I spoke to a Man in a Suit. 'She's looking very well isn't she?' he said to the midwife. I was in the same room. And even later when he ascertained my advanced age and the fact I'd just had two miscarriages he added, 'I know it's not what you want to hear but the optimum time to have a baby is late teens or early twenties.' Transfixed by that chart I'd decided to have amniocentesis where a needle is injected into the womb to find out if your baby has Downs. 'But in my early twenties I was dating cold, critical arseholes' I bleated, deciding not to add, ' . . . just like you.'

They're at it again - the fertility timebomb. There is an epidemic of middle age pregnancy shrieks The Royal College of Obstetricians making it sound like a Pregnancy Plague. Yes I know you can't mess with biology. And yes some women (and men) are too cavalier about pregnancy and forget that it does get harder to get pregnant as you get older. BUT I also know how bad I was at parenting when I was in my twenties.

I had an easy pregnancy followed by a traumatic and terrible birth, two major operations and a period of post natal depression. In all the books I read, nobody told me that it really helps to have a secure sense of who you are before you start messing with another small, helpless life. My marriage crumbled under the stress of depression, and lack of money. Yes you can have a baby young but to be any kind of a parent you need stability, security, confidence.

I had my second baby after a couple of miscarriages. This time I was determined. I took my temperature, I knew when I would ovulate. Poor Husband was treated like a Porn Fluffer. 'Right - I'm ovulating! Get it up!' was the only foreplay he had. But I knew that I was running out of time. I also asked for and got Clomid a fertility drug that basically kicks your eggs up the arse. (Please don't ever order it on the Internet by the way and they won't give it to anyone with a history of ovarian cancer - it can overstimulate cells.)

Got pregnant ten years after the last one. Yes I was ten years older. But I was in a completely different place (uggh sorry about the LA jargon but it's true). I felt good, I was writing - we had more money - I had stopped smoking - did loads more exercise and most of all I felt CONFIDENT. And confidence is what makes for good parenting. I just ignored the advice and endless blah and got on with it.

To anyone who is over forty and wants to get pregnant, no it's not easy and my suggestion is - get your fertility checked out if you're thinking seriously about having a baby. You might have to get on with it on your own, but hey - if you want a baby that much, it's not the end of the world. There is help out there. And the women I know who want a baby a bit later - well they really really want one. It goes beyond a feeling that a baby is a right - it becomes a serious need. They really want to be a mother. And that can't be bad for a baby.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

More Daft Band Names

The Boy came waltzing home last night while Husband and I were eating dinner on our laps like the old farts we are. 'Oh man - I had such a great time. I was thrown about in the pit and had my head kicked in at least twice!' I tried not to wince. 'Did they play some nice tunes?' I asked sounding about 125.

The Boy floated up to his bedroom. 'Is he on drugs?' I hissed, now sounding 125 and a possible reader of the Daily Mail. Husband, having had a bit of a past drugs wise pointed out that The Boy didn't have dilated pupils, didn't smell of drink, and wasn't acting like he was off his head. 'He's just high on life'. Remember what that felt like?

Anyway today I'm sitting by my computer having sent off my script to nice producer, and thinking about weird band names. I though Enter Shikari and We Are the Ocean were bad enough but a friend of mine pointed out there was a band called Also the Trees. So we came up with a list of the top ten stupid band names. All are real:

1. One Day as a Lion
2. Half Man Half Biscuit
3. Butthole Surfers
4. Anal Sushi
5. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
6. And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
7. Broken Social Scene
8. My Dad is Dead
9. This Bike is a Pipe Bomb
10.The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

I used to like Half Man Half Biscuit but at least they had a sense of humour! It reminded me of that silly boy who married Peaches Geldof for money. Who? you may ask. He's the long haired twit who thought that marrying another long haired twit would garner his band some much needed publicity. If you're at all interested his adolescent shenanigans can be read about here. The thing is, now he's known not for his music or whatever but as That Dickhead who paid Peaches Geldof to Marry Him. Maybe that's what he should rename his band . . . . .

Monday, 15 June 2009

Boy Bands

The Boy is off to see a band tonight called Enter Shikari. They sound like some kind of Thai starter to me. 'Oooh I feel like a nice portion of Enter Shikari. With a side of crispy noodles.' Enter Shikari? Did bands always have such wankily pretentious names? The other one was We Are The Ocean. And what - you are a puddle presumably?

'So what songs do they write?' I asked over eagerly. The Boy looked at me in disgust and left the room. Two minutes later he was back. 'Can I borrow your hair straighteners?'

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


No - not my granny's term for underwear but the sheer amount of brain clogging stuff I seem to wade through on the domestic front before during and after any proper work can be achieved. Last week I sat through the numbing spectacle of a classful of five year olds muttering something inaudible about Farmer Duck. Despite my utterly brilliant Girl saving the show by muttering inadibly with her usual star quality, I sat, mind racing with all the crap that had to be done that day. Inconsequential crap. That nobody would notice. Unless it wasn't done.

1. Buy a green t-shirt for The Girl's Sports Day.
2. Run very fast past the School Office in case the long clawed arm of the PTA suddenly shot out. Remember those bits in the Hammer films when Christopher Lee shouts: Don't look into the eyes! PTA is just like that. You stop for a five minute chat and two seconds later you've been seconded into baking 200 cakes, directing the school panto for the next five years and supervising the school trip to Beijing. Any feeble protests about a full time job don't get you off the hook either.
3. Pick up half eaten worms off the kitchen floor. The cats have given up on offering live frogs and now feel my tastes extend to decomposing worms instead.
5. Pick up Husband's dry cleaning. I go to the dry cleaner's so often he actually smiles at me. Maybe he likes me! Husband perks up. Maybe he'll give you a discount.
6. Water the tomatoes. Wonder why they're not growing faster. Go back upstairs to office and wonder what that terrible smell is emanating from The Boy's bedroom.
7. Discover that the pillowcase I deliberately stuffed with The Boy's half-eaten apples and sandwiches that he left by the side of the bed (deciding to Show Him The Consequences of His Actions) - he has been peacefully sleeping on for the past week and the contents of said pillow are now green and pulpy. He hasn't even noticed! Resist squealing like a girl.
8. Look out of window and see next door's cat trying to have a poo on my tomatoes. Shout in rage and shake fist ineffectively. Cat looks at me then strolls off tail in the air in that fuck you manner that cats have down pat.
9. Sit down at computer. Get writer's block.
10. Get biscuit to help with writer's block. Decide to water the plants again with hose. See next door's cat on the shed roof. Deliberately turn the hose on the little shitter. Feel better.
11. Writer's block gone. Hurrah! Do some work.
12. Hear loud knock at door. Peep out of window and recognise old bag from No 42 and owner of probably very wet cat. Think about confronting her with her cat's tomato crapping habit and my just revenge.
13. Hide under the desk instead till she goes away.
14. Lunchtime!

It's all my fault. And it will be better tomorrow. But it feels so foolish when Producer rings and asks when the draft of script will be ready. Life keeps getting in the way. It sounds so feeble. It is. But it does.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

It's Kit Courteney!

And not Kit Courtney. But the link did work. Sorry. And she has two dogs. Not one. I usually pride myself on good spelling and a modicum of accuracy so am now deeply pissed off at myself.
*starts writing Kit Courteney out a hundred times*

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ten Random Things

Lovely Wife of Bold has given me an award so I'm going to go all Gwyneth Paltrow for a minute. So much love . . . sniff . . .blub . .goop . . . thank you . . .

What a delicious way to start the week now that The Boy and The Girl have finally gone back to school after a week of driving me mad I'm missing spending quality time with my lovely children. The deal is that a) I link to seven other blogs and b) talk about myself endlessly. No problem. After some thought here are my blog choices.

Kit Courtney (My first follower so y'know - a bit special. And she writes with fluidity and ease. And her dog is lovely!)

How Publishing Really Works (Just essential for every writer. Reminds you of where you are aiming as well as how to aim)

Product Placement (Lovely, friendly and loads of useful information about makeup and girl stuff. Could grow to be the UK version of Makeupalley.

Atheist Revolution (Not everyone's cuppa but a thoughtful passionate and necessary counterpoint to the frightening kind of Christian extremism that grips much of the US by the throat)

The Daily Quail (wonderful slap in the face to the Daily Mail)

Caution - Woman at Work! (Only just discovered this one but it's energetic, funny and honest)

Help! I Need a Publisher (I particularly like this site because Nicola Morgan deals mainly with children's books. She is passionate about writing and it really really shows. Her advice is invaluable)

Ten Random Things About Me

1. I once did a parachute jump from 12,000 feet. I've never felt fear like it, but once done it gave me a touchstone by which to measure other fears. As in Come on you lazy bint. You've jumped out of a plane - now get that script finished you hopeless twat and other exercises in self-love.

2. I think that people accept you the way you present yourself. So walk in with your head held high and nobody will guess you're a quivering insecure wreck.

3. I bitterly regret sleeping with two particular people. Not at the same time I hasten to add, but both times I slept with them for *cringe* validation. I was very young at the time but it's something I want to drum into my daughter. Never do this and never assume that if someone wants to go to bed with you, you are somehow obliged to reciprocate.

4. I don't understand why so many young women are embarrassed to be thought of as feminists. They do believe they should have equal pay, equal rights, support from the fathers of their children, not be subject to gropes and catcalls at work, and reproductive rights though. All things hard won by feminists! Be grateful you selfish minxes!

5. A week before 9/11 I took The Boy up to the top of the World Trade Centre. I remember thinking how cheerful and chatty the lift guy was, considering he took people up and down it all day long. 'I love my job ma'am' he said.

6. I can eat my own weight in cheese.

7. I've recently taken up running. This may be linked to point 6.

8. When I was a teenager my parents trusted me to attend a Catholic Sunday School. I snuck out and went to see The Clash at Brixton Academy instead. Because I looked so guilty when I returned home (default Catholic behaviour) my parents never questioned me.

9. I don't get Bo Selecta. I think he's spectacularly unfunny.

10. When I was small my uncle had this fabulous black labrador dog called Jake who was so well trained, he could be trusted to babysit me. No really. Jake knew he was not to let me out of the house. Then Jake was accused of sheep chasing and my uncle had to shoot him. A week later they found it was another dog. It broke my heart.