Sunday, 5 December 2010

Weekend at Bernie's

Even if you work in an insurance office eating biscuits and chatting to people called Pat about their grumbling ovary, you get 4 weeks holiday a year. So why shouldn't it be the same with motherhood? When my amazing free press trip from Gatwick to Barbados was cancelled this week (don't fucking ever ask about it or ever say anything nice about fucking snow ever again or I will poke your eye out with a biro) I decided I needed a rest from the grind of waking up too early and constantly wiping up shite. So husband and child were packed off to see my brother in London for a few days, leaving me to take a long swim in Lake Me.

Turns out Lake Me is a polluted swamp of drink, debauchery, bad food, bad TV and sitting around for long periods in a pair of manky bed socks tweeting about Homes Under the Hammer. ('The fireplace needs to be replaced and the carpet is damp!! LOLZ :)'). Without my responsibilities I have no moral compass. I'm lazy and I'm greedy and I leer at 18 year old boys on the bus. I very rarely bother to brush my hair. I am a monster.

On day 1, I emerged from my scratcher at 10am, fiddled with my new phone, wrote a few choice words about vaginas for a magazine, watched 8 solid hours of daytime TV (including back to back episodes of Coach Trip from 2001) and went to the pub.

Day 2, I got up at 11, interviewed Katie Price's fanny waxer, went for a coffee with a friend, ate an entire packet of ham, went to a friend's house, scoffed 2 pizzas the size of my head, and tipsily fell over on the ice.

Day 3, I got up at 11.30, wallowed in the bath for an hour, met a friend for lunch, went shopping, got dressed up to the nines, got absolutely hammered on vodka and lemonade, went to a club and got propositioned for a threesome by a mortally drunk Swedish man. Refused this request for some bizarre reason, and fell into bed at 4.30am, too drunk to find my pyjamas.

Day 4, I got up at midday, found myself in a hole of post-debauchery despair, had some toast, watched a Lindsay Lohan film, ordered a massive curry for one and worried that I would die alone with Come Dine With Me still playing as my corpse festered on the sofa.

Bloody hell, it was brilliant.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


This is Gourdon, the very flat headed pumpkin I hacked into existence the other day, which received zero interest from my child whatsoever. Louis couldn't give a shiny shite about pumpkins, probably because they're vegetables. Come to think of it, I would probably have had more enthusiasm from him if I'd carved a giant Laughing Cow triangle into a ghost, or whittled a bag of oven chips to create McCain's Haunted Home Fried Castle.

As I was scraping the stringy, genetically modified guts out, never had parenting felt like a more perverse and thankless task. But I'm getting quite attached to old Gourd. I like his lopsided, pointed teeth and his deep, mournful eyes. In fact, he's the only root vegetable who listens to me round here. I tell him everything - my deepest desires, random thoughts. I suppose you could say he's my sounding gourd. (sorry). The problem is he's going mouldy, and has developed a coat of rather dashing ermine fluff, so I'm going to have to put him in the compost before he starts to stink. It's a shame, really, but I'm thinking maybe I could strike up a meaningful relationship with this guy instead:

He's a bit of a hard nut, and pretty hairy, but....phworrgh.


The other day I crossed the road with Louis, in front of a bus sitting at the stop. We got on, all smiles, unmaimed.

Driver: So is that how you teach your kid to cross the road?

Me: Pardon?

Driver: What kind of a way is that to cross the road? I could have hit you!

Me: Well you've got eyes. Don't you look out of the windscreen before you set off?

Driver: Aye! But that's not the way you teach your child to cross the road IS IT?

Me: (getting angry) Don't you tell me what to teach my child.


Eh? I got off in disgust and stood there patiently waiting for Judgy McBusfuck to depart - then got Louis to give him a little wave, just to show that despite risking his life in front of a stationary vehicle, at least my child had manners. Still, you've got to admire this guy's zeal. He could have a sideline doing parenting classes from the cab of the bus, shouting 'DON'T GIE THE BABY BUCKFAST!' and 'STOP SMACKIN THAT WEAN ITS EARS ARE BLEEDIN' through the little holes in the plexiglass. Supernanny, looks like your days are numbered...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Wanker Who Came To Tea

I'm no stranger to frugality. I once lived in a bedsit and couldn't afford a new light bulb so I had to sit in the dark until my dole money came through. Ah, those were the days. I did have a 2 litre bottle of White Lightning and a torch, though, so it wasn't that bad. It was a bit of an adventure, really - like being in the Famous Five (if there was only one of them and they were an alcoholic).

Thanks to the Tory cuts, being a mother puts you in a similar situation. If your job allows you to afford the cost of childcare in the first place, you will probably lose that job - and after that, your tax credits and your housing benefit. What's even worse is that for the Sam Cams and Mrs Cleggs, the chill breeze of poverty won't even knock the froth off their cappuccinos. And their Bugaboos will be in your way while you're trying to shoplift Tampax.

It feels like we've all had a visit from The Wanker Who Came To Tea, an unwelcome beast called George who drinks all the water in the tap, and all Daddy's beer, and eats all the food in the fridge. You won't even be able to go to a cafe, because the cafe will have gone bust and you'll just have to huddle in front of a pile of burning tyres, eating your own hair.

Now yummy mummyhood has become a luxury only about 10 people in the UK can afford, the average mother is nothing more than a fragrant tramp, who saves up her coppers to buy chocolate buttons, rather than cider. (well, maybe a bit of cider.) And just because we're skint doesn't mean that motherhood is going to get any less shockingly expensive. People don't understand just how many Percy Pigs and cartons of juice these little monsters can get through. And that's not including pants, socks, haircuts, shoes and essential items for the mother herself, like Tunnocks tea cakes and fags.

To put things in perspective a little, here's a list of what mothers really spend to get through the average week:


Freddo bars- £15
Emergency coffee - £50
Food (from a carefully budgeted list) £80
Food (too busy to make a fucking boring list) add £50 extra
Soft play entrance fees - £10
Informal compensation payment to the parents of the child your kid injured with a large padded rectangle - £100
Haircut after child glues his own head to the table - £10
Unnecessary nursery trip to Bollocks Country Park - £20
Birthday present for some kid you've never heard of - £10
Emergency dash to the pub to talk to friends about useless husband - £20
Wine for Mummy - £40
Pornography for Daddy - £4.99

TOTAL: £500.99

A lot, isn't it? Now I know you could say that your child doesn't need to go on that nursery trip or have their hair cut (it's only a bit of glue, after all). But the rest is so essential that I don't think even the sharpest axe could find room to make cuts. Over to you George - but remember - if you touch my Freddo bar, I will hunt you down and destroy you.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

the devil's playground

The play park used to be a special place. A place to have wild, abandoned fun, to slide, to jump, to be young. And then when you were 13 it was the place where you could chug Asda own brand cider and smoke and snog (not that i did any of these things - I was at home on full thermonuclear alert after reading the back of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood Two Tribes 12 inch).

Now I'm a mother it feels like the closest thing to being dead that I can imagine. Standing about while your child goes on the slide 154 times, hauling them on and off climbing frames and ladders, interminably pushing the swing, drizzle gently soaking your anorak. What a pain in the arse. What's worse is that you're meant to look like you're enjoying yourself, which is impossible when you're there every SINGLE DAY and you haven't even got any vodka or chocolate buttons to cheer yourself up. (Of course, there's always the joyful laughter of your child, but you know...whatever.) When there's nobody there, the play park cruelly echoes your loneliness, with its empty swings and unloved see-saw. And when it's full, it's like a crap party with no music, filled with people you don't like. Here are just a few of them...

1. The 'fun' parents

These crazy parents are getting stuck in and they don't care who knows it. These are parents who probably only see their children twice a week - either that or they're on brilliant meds. Whoo! Watch out Ollie! Mummy's coming down the slide! Oh no! Mummy's being cut out of the slide by paramedics! Silly Mummy! Ow! Fuck!

2. Clueless Dad

Clueless Dad would rather be on his laptop playing Fifa 2011 but his annoying life partner has turfed him out because she wants some Me Time (having bubble baths and wanking, no doubt). CD thinks nothing of putting a 3 month old baby who can't support her own neck on the death slide or walking off to write a text while his toddler toddles off the roundabout and into the jaws of a passing Rottweiler. Because he's a man though, all the ladies in the playground love him, despite the fact that he's failed to spot that his kid has just been run over by an ice cream van.

3. The Paranoid Safety Officer

Calm down, dear. Your child is on a small bouncy rocking horse 2cm off the ground, not roaring around Silverstone with The Stig.

4. The possible paedo

There are only two types of men who sit alone in playgrounds. 1. Male characters in dramas who have lost their wives and children in a car crash and are sitting on a bench looking tragic and windswept. 2. Big massive kiddie fiddlers.

5. Mums Who Know Each Other

If you're on your own with your child, Mums Who Know Each Other are like the cool girls in school who smoked and shoplifted from Chelsea Girl and were allowed to wear electric blue mascara (I am old, OK?). Oh, you think, how I wish I could be like them. So self assured. So cool. Then you realise that they're a bunch of slightly overweight women on maternity leave who are wearing big milk stained sack tunic tops from Primark and are having the most boring conversation in the world about nappy rash. But you still want to be their friend. Maybe if you ask nicely they'll give you a rice cake? Will they fuck.


I'm at my parent's house at the moment doing a passable imitation of a sneering 14 year old goth. As well as eating too much, I am watching loads of telly, which is great, as I'm married to someone who works for a well known British broadcasting corporation and has to watch 75 episodes of the Weakest Link all day. This means that the last thing he wants to do is watch Masterchef with me and listen to my Gregg Wallace impression: 'If I 'ad that puddin' in a restaurant I'd FINISH THAT OFF' (usually works best with a jam doughnut wedged in your mouth).

Anyway, we were watching Whitechapel, an improbable crime drama based on the Krays. The tension was mounting. The gritty gangster subplot was being unveiled. Someone went for a slash and ended up getting slashed, blood splattering all over the grimy urinal floor.

Then my Mum piped up: 'Oh, I don't like it when you see men going to the toilet on the telly.'

Thursday, 23 September 2010

I'm With Stupid

Dressing your offspring in slogan t-shirts can be a minefield. I dress Louis in all manner of rock and roll paraphenalia, even though he doesn't give a toss about guitars. But be careful - some sartorial decisions could damage your child and make you look like a total moron...


In Mothercare/Primark etc you can't move for kid's clothes that say 'MY DAD'S IN PRISON', 'I'm A LITTLE SHIT' and 'MY FIRST COURT APPEARANCE'. Clothes with the words 'Trouble', 'Noisy', 'Naughty' and 'Terror' emblazoned across them are not cute - they just re-affirm everybody's belief that your badly behaved kid is going to end up in a young offenders institute after being caught driving a stolen Vauxhall Nova through the window of William Hill.


Parents, ask yourself this. Does your kid actually like the Ramones? Or does he like the theme tune to Spongebob? Think for a minute and act accordingly.

'Damn you, Joey, Dee-Dee and those two other ones!'


Daddy has very little to do with the whole birthing process, but he's made to feel included after the event via the medium of children's clothing. Therefore Daddy this and Daddy that is written all over every single baby gro and burp cloth in the world. Other more pertinent slogans might include: 'Daddy, would it kill you to do the dishes once in a while?' or 'Daddy's on Chatroulette talking to dirty ladies.'


When rich people aren't dressing their kids like characters from a Bret Easton Ellis novel or sending them to boarding school, they like to put them in 'casual' designer tees which cost £200. Note: making a ginger kid wear a yellow Ed Hardy t-shirt is child abuse.


Aspirational parents love to project their desires onto their children, sending them to an endless round of French/ballet/Suzuki violin lessons. So it's good to plant some subliminal career propaganda on a t-shirt as early as possible. 'Please don't let him be a binman' the parents of this kid are silently screaming, as their baby tries to eat yet another copy of Dear Zoo.

Or how about this? No pressure, like.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Remember when you used to get a goody bag at the end of a party, rather than a hangover and an STD? I still have feelings for a 2B pencil I got at Natalie Strugnell's party that was prematurely snatched away from me by my Mum because it contained lead (I mean, like DUH). I also remember with great affection this rubbery little yellow thing you squeezed in between your fingers and it popped across the room. (These were simpler times -back then people used to have a heart attack when the phone rang or there was more than one programme on the telly). Yes, no matter that the birthday boy or girl was a bitchy, ratty little stinker or that someone peed in the jelly or that somebody dislocated their shoulder during Pass the Parcel- the goody bag was always the saving grace.

Now, of course children's party goody bags have to be filled with guest passes for Disneyworld, Nintendo DSs and ipods emblazoned with pink or blue Swarovski crystals. Depending on how Sam Cam your friends are, you can come home with anything from a Slinky to a Swiss chalet style Wendy house in Val D'Isere with a built-in Smeg fridge. But no matter what the income bracket of the party-giver's parents, the goody bag staples of bubbles, sweets and a couple of balloons is still going strong. It's a tradition. Bit of harmless fun, isn't it?
Or is it?
The other day Louis went to a party and in his goody bag, he got this:

Now call me picky, but I wouldn't have thought a DEVIL SPERM BALLOON was particularly appropriate for a children's party. What next? Gary Glitter stickers? Comedy tits? A subscription to Asian Babes?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

mo' money, mo' imaginary problems

No matter how much I try to convince myself that I want to live like a true bohemian - be more political, recycle more, produce free spirited children with wild hair, drink coffee out of jam jars in my studio, occasionally have a random exhibition of my belly button fluff in Berlin - there is always a little voice in my head which says: 'Fuck it. I want to win the lottery. I want to roll about in my private jet eating gold-plated Mars Bars with Kanye West on a rug made out of OWL BABIES.'

Yesterday I caught myself doing Lottery Maths. This always happens when I'm overdrawn, which I have been ever since Louis started demanding things like food, childcare and shoes. First, I imagine a nice chunky lottery win. This is harder than it seems. Too much and I have to give £50 million to Medicin San Frontiers before I can even start thinking about Mulberry handbags and diamond teeth. Too little and obviously I run out of cash before I can even sign the invisible deeds on the imaginary villa in Tuscany.

My perfect number is about £979,000, which means I don't have to feel guilty about having millionaire status, I can afford a house, a modest holiday home, and there'll be enough left to buy shitloads of Timorous Beasties wallpaper and Swedish designer chandeliers. It terms of social status it'll probably put me up there with a Primrose Hill Yummy Mummy. Along with the tasteful designer labels, I might even be able to afford a spot of drug/self harm hell - enough to write a tedious autobiography about it anyway. (By the way, you must read it - she manages to recount her downward spiral into heroin abuse AND boast about her en-suite at the same time).

Obviously, I won't be sprinkling smack on my Whole Foods quinoa salad and waking up covered in hemp seeds and vomit in time to collect Rollo and Pilates from the Steiner School. Money won't turn my head that much. But I might book myself the odd vigorous session with a Swedish masseur, and of course, I will be buying this and filling it with the finest Chateau Lafitte money can buy.

But then the guilt sets in. I didn't give any money to starving people. My family will still be living in their old houses, plagued by noisy neighbours and leaking taps. There will be recriminations, resentments - people will laugh at my diamond teeth! How will I look tramps in the eye as I sweep past them with my designer baubles? How will I look my friends in the eye as I tell them about that chic little wine bar in Cannes? How will Louis get on at boarding school while I'm skiing? Will he be permanently damaged and start wearing loafers and his collars turned up on his shirts?

It's a good job I never actually buy a lottery ticket.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Stretching the definition of fun

If you ever see a sign advertising a 'Family Fun Day' - run. Run in the opposite direction. Run to the offy. Run to the airport. Run to the nearest place of worship and swear to God that you will never consider attending another family fun day again. For it says in the Old Testament (King James version, Deuteronomy 22.6) 'And lo, the Lord saw the children of Israel queuing for sinful entertainments, and with a great terribleness he did smite them by charging £2 for an ice cream and seven fucking quid for a Dora The Explorer balloon.'

Of course, this stupid heathen ignored all warnings and took Louis to a family fun day which was - to paraphrase Iggy and his Stooges- NO FUN. The weather started out cold and immediately became blazing hot, meaning I was wading about in furry lined boots and thick tights in 24 degree heat. Kids everywhere were acting like unmedicated schizophrenics - wailing, pooing in the bushes and gnawing on their own legs. There was a bouncy castle that was more popular than Glastonbury, a real fire engine that kids could sit in and relentlessly press the 'nee-naw' button, a selection of lame stalls and an events 'arena' featuring a bum-numbing display of falconry. All the way through this I was clinging onto sanity like Wiley Coyote hanging off the edge of a cliff with a stick of 'ACME' dynamite up his ass. When, I wondered, would the much- touted 'fun' part of this family day begin?

Luckily the tedious birds of prey event was the highlight of the day, in that a falcon called Goose saw his chance for some real fun and fucked off. Watching the handler getting increasingly desperate and dry mouthed as his prize bird flew up into a thermal 3 miles over Glasgow was actually pretty funny. Running out of things to say apart from 'Goose? GOOOOOOOSE! I'm supposed to be going out tonight!' the crowd grew bored and he was left frantically swinging his meat for half an hour on his own. This had a knock on effect on the running order, holding up the following act, the Ducks of Hazzard. I amused myself for a while imagining the performing ducks in their dressing room wearing dicky bows and bitching about falcons ('Darling, he's so unprofessional - he's not even a real goose').

Then five minutes later, my friend's child went missing, causing even more obscenely high stress levels and much bollocking when he was found. After that my friend's other child looked like she was spoiling for an asthma attack, Louis broke out in a blotchy heat rash that made him look like he was made of Spam, and I got candy floss stuck in my teeth. Oh yeah, and then I bashed my head getting into the taxi in the way home and cracked my skull so hard thought I was having a brain haemorrhage. It still hurts. It ALL still hurts.


And the ducks were shit.


One morning a week I start work in Edinburgh at 9am, thus I have to stumble bleary-eyed out of bed at 6 to be at the train station for 7. (In some countries, this has replaced cutting off people's hands as punishment for petty crimes). As I was not on the ball, I pressed the wrong button and when I was on the train, the guard informed me that I had stupidly paid over the odds for a first class ticket. Still, I thought I'd better make the best of my expensive faux pas and I wafted into the hallowed Scotrail 1st class compartment, feeling like Lauren Bacall in Murder On The Orient Express.

God, what a disappointment. No flunky appeared to carry my Louis Vuitton trunk, and the only perk I was offered was a pre-wrapped cinnamon bun that looked like a dog poo with raisins in it. Meanwhile, behind the glass sliding doors I could hear commuters laughing and having a whale of a time while I sat in air-conditioned silence with a Chinese tourist who was uncomprehendingly reading a copy of the Scotsman. Oh, how I longed to be back with the great unwashed! To feel what they feel, see what they see! To try out my happy hardcore ringtones with no regard for other commuters! To talk loudly into my phone about meetings! To read the Metro letters page while sitting next to someone with bad breath from Falkirk! Man, it's tough living in a gilded cage. That's what P. Diddy must feel like all the time.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Defrost pie, kick ass

The other day, a work colleague said to me: 'You look like a woman who's cooked a few steak pies in her time.' Of course, my earhole filter heard this as 'Whoa, ya chubby bitch- lay off the Fray Bentos!' and I immediately launched at him with a blunt object. It was only when I was fretfully dabbing at his bleeding head that I realised that he was asking for specific pie defrosting advice and he meant I look like I'm a CAPABLE COOK.

Having spent about 34 years of my life looking like (and actually being) someone who would burn toast/kill your goldfish/forget to take her knickers off before she gets in the bath, this is worrying. In terms of sexual allure, this must mean I've jumped the shark and landed on Mum Island, where everyone knows a really good recipe for hidden vegetable pasta sauce but nobody is getting any - apart from for the purposes of procreation. It means that I am no longer Top Shop, I am John Lewis (larger lady department). It means that metaphorically speaking, I have cracked heels and grey pubes and think that David Cameron is 'dishy'.

But so it goes. While I wish I could be a drunken gobshite floozy forever, in 2007 my Mum Island passport was stamped with indelible ink and now my citizenship is starting to show. And you know what, I'm proud of my new found skillz. After all, in the past 3 years I have been on a crash course of cooking, coping, cleaning, crying and carrying. And I've learned many things, such as:

1) Children are like drunk, short tempered chimps and they should be locked up
2) You must keep on top of your domestic tasks even if they make you feel like Sylvia Plath, because otherwise you and your children will die of a flesh eating bug
3) Give your child healthy meals otherwise they will turn into toothless fat prawns who wear 'Future Wag' t-shirts and break all the chairs at school with their lardy arses
4) Often you will be called on to be resourceful, so make sure you know about knots and shit
5) You will never, never get a chance to do anything you want to do ever again but you will be so tired you won't remember what those things are anyway.
6) Mums are totally hard as nails. Like cage fighters with 7 bellies.

In fact my newly acquired Mum powers came in handy on Saturday night. I'd had a trying day stuck in the house with Louis - who was acting like Mariah Carey after discovering that the flowers in her dressing room were £2 carnations from the Jet garage - and I was at the end of my tether. Luckily, I had a night out planned and went to the West End for a drink. All was well until a twentysomething student twat hijacked the taxi me and my friend were getting into and wouldn't budge. In previous years, I would have been intimidated but all I could see was an overgrown 15 stone toddler in a Superdry t-shirt. I yelled at him to get out several times, which didn't work. So I got in, got hold of his arms, and physically dragged him out of the cab, leaving him to have a wee tantrum on the pavement.

Mind you, he got off lightly. If I'd been feeling really evil I would have spat on a hanky and wiped his face as well.

Monday, 26 July 2010


When you have a child, you spend a lot of your time marvelling at their tiny little nose and their big big eyes and their rosebud mouth and their Johnson and Johnson's scented sugar-spun baby hair. (Mostly because you're too tired to do anything fun, like clog dancing or doing tequila shots strapped to the wing of a fighter jet).

Then as they get older, you participate in endless conversations with people about who he/she takes after, or whether their face is getting thinner or fatter. That beautiful face is the main feature of hours and hours of camera footage cluttering up your hard drive, and occasionally you may shell out vast amounts of money to 'professionals' to have that face immortalised in a 10" x 12" canvas style portrait - with matching coasters and mousemats and a keyring - so that you can remember this wonderful stage of their life forever.

THEN, you go to a family fun day. And you do this:

This is Louis - as Spiderman, I think.
Or Darth Maul.
Or a grilled tomato with a pair of sunglasses on.

This amazing work of art lasted approximately five minutes until a tearful incident on the bouncy castle led to what I can only describe as carnage. He spent the rest of the day looking like a shellshocked burns victim jabbering about his trauma to Sky News. Even worse, later on he wiped his red hands all over the CHAISE LONGUE. New parents be warned - face painting ruins your child and your soft furnishings. And he had pink eyebrows for a week.

Monday, 12 July 2010

my nervous breakdown will not be televised

I like watching telly. I watch lots of telly. I watch adverts for the sheer joy of watching how they're going to advertise a Toyota that looks like the last 27 Toyotas (usual answer - shot of it sleekly going through an underpass while paint bombs go off in derelict buildings) . I watch Come Dine With Me, and Timeshares In The Sun and I'm 13, Fat And Pregnant Wot You Gonna Do About It? I watch incessant repeats of Family Guy that are so old they should be examined by archeologists. I EVEN watch River City, Glasgow's impossible-to-export soap opera, which is so amateurish and baffling that it may as well be performed by a pair of giant hands moving some lolly sticks about and speaking Scottish. Yes, it's fair to say that I'm a square eyed, slack jawed, telly addled loon.

So I don't know why I'm surprised that my child is the same. Louis wants to watch telly all the time. If it was up to him, he'd have a telly attached to his forehead that played Cbeebies constantly while he was at the playground or interacting with others.

Today, I took him into town, which involved a hideously middle class trip to Princes Square, lunch, chalk drawing on the steps of the art gallery, an hour and a half in the art gallery drawing and looking at stuff, a trip to the library and 2 journeys on the train. When we got back, we went to the glasshouse in the park, looked at terrapins and geckos, went to the soft play, then to the play park for an hour. To top off this perfect mother routine, on returning home I even baked a cake, until finally giving in and putting on the box.

And still when my husband came home and asked him what he did he said: 'Watched Zingzillas'. I wouldn't mind but Zingzillas features a monkey rock band and some coconuts and it's totally SHIT. I give up. I may as well give him the remote and go to the pub.


The Scandinavians, because they are right about everything - apart from Ace of Base and eugenics - believe that it's healthy to cut loose once a month and get completely hammered. Not like three-glasses-of-wine pissed, but full on weeing-in-a-viking-helmet-and-waking-up-in- a-skip-in-the-Lidl-car-park pissed. Now I'm an adult with responsibilities, I tend more towards dinner and the odd magnum of Sauvignon Blanc, but the other night, my decorum went out of the window.

I should have known it was going to, because I was wearing a bra that was too small for me and I'd been at a children's birthday party all afternoon which featured 22 kids and a very rambunctious game of Musical Statues. Anyway, me and my friend got billy bollocksed and decided it would be a great idea to go to a birthday party that we hadn't been invited to, so we went to Tesco and bought the birthday boy the gift of a lifetime - a pineapple and a packet of Pro Plus. Then we legged it down to the venue which was MILES away and completely empty apart from 4 uncomprehending Polish people, who took one look at our pineapple and shut the doors. So I texted the birthday boy who didn't invite us. He didn't reply. Then I realised it was next week and that now we would never be invited because we had committed a grave social faux pas.

But when you're wearing a bra that's a bit too small for you and you're carrying an exotic fruit, nothing matters. Seriously, single ladies, take a pineapple out on the pull. Everyone loves you - it's a bit like being Carmen Miranda. I even got chatted up by a man who look like Raoul Moat - what more could anyone want?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

10 ways to deal with toddler tantrums

1. Gently but firmly stand your ground
2. Desperately offer piffling bribe such as raisin or organic cheesy puff
3. Shout like Ian Paisley being attacked by hornets
3. Descend into terrible melancholy
4. Plead with the devil child to spare your soul
5. Rock backwards and forwards gibbering
6. Reel around the room as you are hit between the eyes with a copy of 'Calm Down Boris'
7. Uselessly reason with them using laughable phrases like 'you're making mummy sad'
8. Wonder whether child will end up in prison
9. Wonder whether you will end up in prison
10. Go into another room, turn up the telly and smoke an enormous bong

11. write them out of your will (optional)


Although you couldn't get me to watch Sex and the City 2 if you skewered my bumhole with a Manolo and carried me aloft to the nearest Cineworld, I have been unfortunate enough to see the trailer - which looks like a particularly far-fetched Middle Eastern themed Playmobil set. The funniest bit though, is one that will bring a bitter smile to any mother who has ever had to look after their own children without the 24 hour help of a well-meaning grey-haired Polish nanny called Magda. 'Being a mother is sooooo hard' says Charlotte to Miranda as they clink cocktails and drip with designer frippery. 'I know...' says Miranda. 'That's why we sometimes need to take a break.' IN A SEVEN STAR HOTEL IN ABU DHABI. Anyway, nothing that will ever be written about Sex and The City can ever measure up to this brilliant article by Seattle journalist Lindy West. Unfortunately Ms West makes me even more depressed than Carrie and her clip-clopping tranny friends in that she is so wildly funny and insightful that I may as well give up writing forever and get a job in Poundland. Damn you, empowered modern women.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

22 things I love about the number 22

The number 22 bus from Edinburgh's Princes Street to Ocean Terminal in Leith has to be one of the great journeys of the world. From elegant Georgian architecture to delightful junkies smacking their kids, it's a smorgasbord of human triumph and human faeces. Before it gets replaced by a new-fangled tram, here's are 22 things I love about the 22 bus and its route.

1. It's pink!

2. The blind man who stops every bus yelling 'Are you the 22?' (Note to blind man: it would maybe help if you took off your ipod - are you a glutton for punishment or what?)

3. The 'clientele': ranging from Scottish government workers and urban professionals to fragrant homeless people.

4. It's gay friendly: the 22 passes Priscilla's drag bar and Number Eighteen, a gay massage parlour. I love Priscilla's. Sadly I've never been in there, but yesterday, scrawled on the window in semi-literate luminous marker pen was the legend: 'TONIGHT - Miss Kitty Litter'. Genius. And if you're a fan of that little known drag act 'E.Coli', on St Patrick's day they offer free Irish Stew. Unless 'irish stew' some kind of niche gay euphemism?

5. Unexpected pathos: In the sheltered wheelchair ramp at the side of Majestic Wine lives an old man with a white beard and dreads - dodgily but quite accurately known to the locals as 'Black Santa'. Or at least he did live there until the powers-that-be at Majestic cruelly boarded up his house. Santa, if by chance you've got a laptop and you're sitting in Starbucks using the free Wi-fi, I wish you good luck in your new home in a cardboard box on the motorway.

6. The joy of overhearing the conversations of stupid people: 'God, there's no worse feeling than missing a bus is there? It's awful. It just feels worse than anything.' I heard a girl say to her friend yesterday. (You sure about that? How about waterboarding? Losing your entire family in a fire? Having your fingernails ripped out by Triads? No. Apparently nothing. Duh.)

7. Edinburgh bus rules. In Glasgow, everyone piles on, fists flying. In Edinburgh you have to wait for people to get off before you get on. V. civilised.

8. The CCTV. Check your hair in the bus telly as you get off.

9. The amusing shop names of Leith Walk. The Yummy House, The Spicy Pot, The Cat's Miaou, Lolo's Gemstone, and Chimei, which I can't go past without internally yelling 'CHIMAAAAI' in the voice of Timmy from South Park. Not forgetting Borland's Darts and Television (because throwing darts at the television is FUN!)

10. The S&M Hotdog: on the way to Leith shore, the 22 goes past a snack bar with an enormous fibreglass hotdog standing outside it. With a deranged expression on its sausage face, it stands there gleefully slathering itself with mustard and ketchup, waiting to be devoured. Weird.

11. Watching the inevitable slide down the social scale from the bottom to the top of Leith Walk. Bottom of Leith Walk - Italian delis, theatregoers, groups of well-heeled Spanish children on school trips. Top of Leith Walk - lepers with nae teeth.

12. The silvery glistening delights of Leith Shore. The water of Leith is really quite beautiful on a clear morning, even with dead ducks and Farmfoods carrier bags floating in it.

13. God, finding 22 good things about a frigging bus is hard.

14. The bus stop is right outside the Disney store, which means I can watch Tom and Jerry cartoons through the shop window while I wait.

15. It's never late. Or early. If you miss it, there's always another one along. It's just always there. In fact, it's so reliable that you could probably phone it at 3 am and cry about getting dumped and it'd be all like 'oh, don't worry, he was a bastard anyway.'

16. You can play ned bingo.

17. I've never had to stand up on it, ever.

18. Once this total loony got on and started singing the complete works of Gilbert and Sullivan under his breath at super fast speed. It was a virtuoso performance.

19. It deposits you at Ocean Terminal, where you can eat and go shopping - providing you only want a helium balloon from Birthdays and a M&S sandwich.

20. It stops outside an aquarium shop which has a sign on the door saying 'No Dogs. We have a cat.' (WHAT ABOUT THE FISH??)

21. It goes past Gayfield Square *giggles like an idiotic 9 year old*

22. Er, that's it.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

wind and pish

If I've got a hangover and a child to entertain, (a rare occurrence I hasten to add- ahem) I feel a sense of terrible desperation - to cover up the fact that Amstel is coming out of my pores by overcompensating on the Fun Mum front. With a lightweight giggly hangover it works a treat, and it's a seamless transition from drunk and disorderly to 'hilarious woman rolling around in the soft play area with her knickers on her head'. However, when I've been out til 1 am and the bloody woman upstairs has her washing machine on ALL NIGHT directly above our bed, and Louis gets up at seven saying 'want Malties want Eatabix want Snap Crackle Pop' Fun Mum is replaced by Mentally Unstable Alkie Bipolar Mum who acts like Mr Tumble one minute and Ed Gein the next and says stupid, guilt-ridden things like 'I know, let's go on a family day out to a wind farm!'

So off we went to freeze our tits off at the Whitelee wind farm and visitor's centre. God knows what I was expecting, but fuck me, it was windy. The kind of windy that gives everyone hair like Howard Jones and grimacing faces like people from Ayrshire. The turbines started giving me the fear, with their strange swooshing and monstrous War of the Worlds dimensions - the wind chill factor was about minus 2, then Louis tripped up on a rock and cried and I had to carry him for about a mile up a hill as he whimpered at the SHEER BLOODY WINDINESS OF IT ALL. Conclusion: wind farms are too windy. Do not leave the house ever.


Even though I know children and 25 year old indie music obsessives generally don't mix, me and my husband decided to get back in touch with the people we used to be and attend Record Store Day at Monorail, Glasgow's finest vegan vinyl hipster village. Of course, we didn't buy any records because we're skint, but it somehow felt important to stand near people who had, so we took Louis along to experience this special day. Unfortunately I'd forgotten that Louis' favourite game when in Monorail is to take all the laminated A-Z cards out and re-catalogue them in the idiosyncratic style of someone who doesn't actually know what the alphabet is. In indie record store terms this is a crime akin to wearing a Lighthouse Family t-shirt and doing a dump on Daniel Johnston. Must sit him down and teach him the error of his ways - filing Times New Viking next to Tom Tom Club = Naughty Step. Tsk tsk.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Must just be the colours and the kids

Kids these days don't half get my goat. Listening to Hot Chips and drinking pints of Meow Meow in their old skool Nike hi-tops and wanking on Chat Roulette. Get a job! Bring back National Service! The worst thing is (apart from their dewy skin, boundless optimism and technological fearlessness) is that I HAVE NO IDEA what these golden mythical people get up to any more. What music do they like? What words do they use? Do they still say 'ace'? What's cool and what makes them cringe? Sometimes being on the cusp of middle age feels like I 'm banging on a soundproofed perspex window like Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate (look it up, kids) while a Skins party goes on behind it full of girls with pert breasts and boys with emo sidesheds. I don't want to be at the party, but I would like to reject my invite knowing that - if I did go - I would recognize the tunes and understand what people are actually saying.

Not knowing what the young people get up to bothers me more than I can say, and probably more than it should. The moment I had a child popular culture slipped away from me like baby poo through my fingers. Now I'm finding that not only am I too old to get back on the horse, there is no horse any more - it's a digital viral 80s unicorn which whistles MGMT songs out of its neon arsecrack.

For inspiration on how to deal with this difficult transition between youth and middle age, I'm reading Generation A by Douglas Coupland, who manages to bypass the fact he's an old Canadian fart who watches the Simpsons all the time by making lots of references to Google and genetically modified corn. So er, hey kids, how about that Google? Quite a fast search engine you've got there...wait a minute, where are you going? Kids? Come back! I've got corn flakes! Awww...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Come get your black bin bags

As I'm a neurotic, coming a cropper on public transport is something I think about a lot - one minute you're looking out of the window, thinking about chips, the next it's all carnage, black smoke and twisted metal. But the absolute worst thing would be to die amongst THE TOTAL FANNYBAWS who live between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I'm certain there must be some fine people living in Scotland's Central Belt - fabulous Falkirkians, creative Croylets, pantingly pretty Polmonters - but I'm sorry, in the stinky microcosm of the daily commuter train, you appear to be a right rum bunch.

Take Mrs Woman, a middle aged Gollum with frazzled dyed black hair, who was engaging a (mostly silent) man in the most inane pop culture conversation I've ever heard. 'I tell you what I do like,' she grandly announced.
(Hmm, dunno. Let me guess...Giotto's depiction of the Annunciation in his frescoes at Padua?)
'I like that Phoenix Nights.'
'It's so funny isn't it? Have you see Peter Kay's stand up? GARLIC BREAD? GARLIC BREAD? HA HAAAAA HAAAAA! That's what I'm like - 'is it bread?' 'No, it's GARLIC bread!'

Please, I begged the mysterious forces of the universe. Please don't let this train derail, sending my skull crashing against hers and our brains splattering against the purple Scotrail headrests. Please don't let a terrorist detonate his/her* rucksack at the very moment she starts singing 'Show Me The Way to Amarillo.' My life started flashing before me, my palms got sweaty, and when she began talking about how funny Max and Paddy were I actually thought I saw the fiery furnaces of hell itself - but it was only Grangemouth.

*Al Qaeda is an equal opportunities employer

Sunday, 28 February 2010

that chewing gum is coming back in style

When I was a kid, I was scared of everything. Not just my brother who hid behind doors and waited for me on the landing, or Mr Morrell the red cheeked, kiddie fiddlerish greengrocer up the road. No, I was constantly freaked out by very ordinary things, such as doors, wallpaper and chests of drawers with handles which looked like eyes. Now, unless I've been watching Most Haunted with Girls Aloud or I Believe In Ghosts with Joe Swash, I'm happy to say I'm not scared of furniture or wall coverings any more. (Apart from the weird Edvard Munch face in the woodgrain of the hall cupboard, but the less said about that the better).

When you're big enough to reach light switches and fight the forces of evil with with a rolled up newspaper, it's easy to forget how strange the world must look to a person the third of your size. I defy you to look at these unsettling photos Louis took on my phone and not experience a David Lynchian sense of disquiet. There's the big spooky monster with no face...

The cold, uncomprehending eyes of the Thomas phone...(and the murderer was on the EXTENSION!)

The malevolent stare of Upsy Daisy...

not to mention the mysterious fat bottomed ghost in the hall.

Jesus, no wonder he's scared of the Pinky Ponk.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Days of blunder

Before children, a day off was just that. I'd lie in bed dry mouthed, watching T4 Sunday and scratching myself. It was great. Some days I would be glued to the sofa like a monstrous clam attached to a rock, my eyes full of telly and my mouth full of cheese savoury Big Softee. Then I'd get restless legs at about 11pm and go to bed - job done.

Yesterday my hungover self was offered a rare chance to spend an afternoon alone, without junior monkey hanging off my legs and yelling 'watch Monsters Inc!'. The door closed. Silence. Blissful silence. I didn't have to do anything. At all.

So I:
Did the dishes
Cleaned the kitchen
Put a wash on
Reorganized the musty foul swamp I call my knicker drawer
Had a bath
Washed hair
Did the recycling
Watched the Grammys for two seconds and CRIED when Taylor Swift won Best Album (I put this down to the hangover not a latent love of shit Avril Lavigne-esque country sung by a baby seagull in a dress.)
Researched recipes for banana bread
Made banana bread
Swept the floor
Did the dishes again
hung up the washing
Compiled shopping list
Made spinach and mushroom lasagne
Did the dishes again.

By the time my child was returned I was exhausted and had to change his pooey nappies and give him his bath too. I am an idiot.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Lemon turd cake

Made a lemon curd cake yesterday, while I was supposed to be 'working from home' (whenever I think of the phrase working from home, I always think of Terri Coverley in the Thick of It getting a phone call from her boss while in the car and saying 'Yes, I'm working from home today. What am I doing? Er..I'm driving to my sister's in Hastings').

So anyway, I burnt it. Here it is, lurking brownishly next to a lemon. This is my attempt at 'food styling' (next stop, Nigella!). Unfortunately my phone seems to have disposed of the flash function altogether in favour of a murky, Bergman-esque half-light. It is an Ericsson though, so I suppose that's to be expected.

The fact that it was burnt and dry didn't stop me from stuffing pavement sized slabs of it in my gob, though. Mmm! Another culinary triumph from the kitchen of doom.


In the dim and distant past, roughly somewhere between decimalization and the rise of the internet, I was a TV reviewer for the Sunday Express. These days, it's a right wing old lady scare paper aimed at people who think Enoch Powell had a point, but in the late 90s it was edited by feminist Rosie Boycott who had the novel idea of employing 'women'. It also paid well which meant I spent two happy years slouching insensibly in various restaurants, slugging back wine and waving my fag in the air. Anyway, it was a brilliant job, brilliant even when the new Pauline Quirke drama dropped through the letterbox, and I long for it to this day. So I was glad to see that the Guardian managed to turn its attention away from Tim Dowling's dog for five seconds to celebrate the work of Nancy Banks-Smith, a true master of the craft. Her writing is funny, moving, graceful and more comforting than hot buttered toast. Take that Lucy Mangan, you wittering nincompoop.


I found out today that have to go for a second operation 'down there', due to a harmless lump of tissue which doesn't bother me, but might, if left unchecked, turn into a second head and start talking to me about feminine hygiene issues. I'm not as worried as I was the last time, because I actually enjoyed the general anaesthetic (first time in ages I'd had an uninterrupted sleep) and being in hospital was quite a nice rest - a bit like being in prison with 25 magazines about Cheryl Cole and a bar of Dairy Milk. Plus, my gynecologist, Mr T ('it's an inclusion cyst you crazy fool!') is a pleasingly low key gentleman who looks like he enjoys a nice glass of brandy in his study, surrounded by leather-bound copies of the Lancet. Which is good, because you don't want some berk in a loud jumper messing around with your gusset do you? You don't want Dr Timmy Mallet or Dr N. Edmonds or Dr Steve Wright In The Afternoon diddling with your diddle. No you do not.

Anyway, here's a nice photo of the cause of all my problems in the fancy hospital waiting room today. Good job he's cute, that's all I can say.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

through a glass darkly

I've never commuted further than the bog before, but now I'm a proper 9-5 person, I'm on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train two days a week with 'society' - a bunch of malodorous, Metro-reading mouth breathers who'd need spellcheck to write their own names. It's not all that bad, of course - watching the sun come up over the Pentland hills and counting how many ugly people live in Falkirk is pretty entertaining - and there's nothing like a Scotrail service to make one ponder the true nature of time. Still, I do have one big problem with it - the lighting is ghastly.

No wonder you don't see Cameron Diaz sitting on the 7.48 to Bathgate, eating a cheesy croissant and doing the Daily Record crossword. In the triple glazed windows of a British train on a cold, frosty, pitch black January morning, even she would look like a total dog. So imagine what normal people look like. I swear, it's like a very boring commuter version of the Thriller video in there - double eyebags, quadruple chins, bulging, unseeing eyes, flapping jowls - and that's just me. These last few months my self esteem has been shattered, thanks to those blacked out windows and unforgiving florescent bulbs. You would think at least Scotrail could put some warm gels on the overhead lights, reflective foils on the headrests and perhaps a row of halogens around each window like you get in theatre dressing rooms. I am pushing 40 you know. Fucking amateurs.


Hipsters can't even be trusted to wear their trousers properly, so why they're allowed to have children is anybody's guess. I once interviewed a woman from the RSPCA on the subject of dressing up dogs in human clothing, and she agreed that anything that went against the true nature of the animal could be perceived as cruel. Well, the NSPCC is missing a trick when it comes to hipsters. Surely making your offspring listen to shit left-field music and dressing them in CBGBs t-shirts contravenes their human rights?

Today I accidentally stumbled onto an alternative kid's music event, too weak to resist the lure of free entertainment. It featured a) a creepy guy in a tent with a drum b) a 'kooky' girl with cat ears and a pathetic guitar amp c) a bearded folkie whispering sinisterly into a mic and d) some balloons. The place was crammed with hipster parents desperately trying to prove they'd not totally lost the plot, while their baffled, Ramones t-shirted babies listened to unstructured beats, tedious laptop noodling and general pretentious parping of the kind that made me want to sing 20 verses of Wheels on the Bus and punch everybody in the face.

Louis took it all in his stride by lying down on the floor and sucking on a bread stick as if it were a joint, but after about half an hour of this crap even he - with no critical faculties beyond not liking broccoli - shouted: 'I want to go outside' and tried to open the emergency exit. Needless to say, I was right behind him.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

I'm sew pathetic

My modest New Year's resolutions mostly involve learning how to operate the sewing machine my parents bought me for Christmas. My fear of sewing machines began at school, when we were instructed to make 'Maurice The Monkey' - a sinister wall-hanging organizer with a leering simian face. My needlework teacher cheerily told me that using a machine was easy - 'just like driving a car.' As I was 12 at the time, I was so freaked out by the idea of driving a sewing machine at 100 miles an hour down a motorway that I haven't touched one since.

It's sitting under my feet as I type this, being all sewing machiney, forever linked with the ghost of Maurice. But I know I have to get over this. I'm 37, and I'm scared of sewing. I've written a book about sewing, such is my admiration for those who can get behind the wheel of a souped up Singer and crank out some top quality place mats. I love all that post-modern hipster crafty lady bollocks where girls in horn rimmed glasses make tea cosies with FUCK written on them and sell them to other girls in horn rimmed glasses who make coasters with CUNT written on them. It's great! So why can't I do it?

Well I'm just going to have to learn, out of necessity. You see, since squeezing a human being out of my own tea cosy, my body is roughly the shape of a fat egg timer and I can't fit into skirts anymore. The waistlines ride up to my boobs, and the hemlines dangle hopelessly around my upper thighs causing a bottleneck of pure lard in all the wrong places and a full moon whenever I bend over. It's not a good look. So it has to be done. I'm going to get a pattern and some scissors and some 'thread' or whatever it's called and get that sewing machine out of its box. I just hope I don't crash it into a wall or get caught for reckless winding of a bobbin.


Simon Cowell

That is all.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Thomas The Necrophiliac Engine

Today my child added a dark Goth twist to the sunny world of Thomas The Tank Engine. Personally, I hate Thomas - he's not only an insufferable twat with a dreary Protestant work ethic, but he's completely rubbish at his job. Never a week goes by that he doesn't drop a shitload of rocks into a river or plough into a station full of children. Little blue prick.

Even so, the terrible theme tune - sang by a bunch of stage school eunuchs at a pitch which would give a dog a headache - is a big hit with my son. This morning he began to sing:

Thomas - he's the cheeky one
James is vain but lots of fun
Percy pulls the mail on time
Gordon thunders down the line
Emily really knows her stuff
Henry toots and huff and puffs
Edward wants to help and share
Toby, well let's say he's square

Except when it came to the last line, Louis happily sang:
'Toby - well let's say he's dead.'

It was the vagueness that was disturbing. (Hmm, yes - let's SAY he's dead. Actually Toby is tied up in the engine shed being roundly shunted by Gordon while the Fat Controller films it on his iPhone and sells it to

Will have to have a word with that boy before he starts pulling the legs off Bob the Builder.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Real life all-girl tribute bands I want to be in

The Iron Maidens
Lez Zeppelin

Although admittedly the Iron Maidens sound like a Tory trouser pressing service.


Whether I want another child is an issue which tediously grinds around my brain like an old lady trying to open a tin of tuna. I already have a splendid child, who is golden of locks and charming to boot (and more importantly - can fart on command and blame it on his dad). But it seems that it's a popular idea to have kids in a neat sets of two or more, in case they, you know, might want company during their childhood or a shoulder to cry on when their parents die - or some such pish.

The other day, we went to a baby's birthday party which reminded me a) how weird babies are b) how excited I get around buffets and c) how really, truly weird babies are. They are so unrepresentative of human beings in general that it's no wonder women lose their minds when they have them. Having slowly - but obviously not completely - regained my marbles after childbirth, I now wholeheartedly enjoy watching frazzled new mothers from the sidelines while holding a glass of wine and saying 'You'll learn!' in a loud voice. If I have a baby, how will I be able to do that? And more importantly, what if I have to stop drinking wine?


Earlier I was earwigging on a conversation between two girls on the bus, who were having a high spirited studenty chat about a great party they'd been to. As they talked about a gorgeous boy and recounted the party as if recalling a fabulous dream, I was taken back to a time when a night out really meant something. Then one of them started talking about some 'stuff' that made her teeth feel fuzzy and her hair feel like straw, and I realised they were TALKING ABOUT DRUGS. They then went on to describe STEALING A POLICEMAN'S HAT at which point my head exploded. Of course, I shall be informing the Daily Mail about this forthwith.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Lose even more weight! From your brain.

Despite spending several hours this week obsessing about my health (flabby, out of shape, loud creaking trap door noise every time I bend over), I refuse to subscribe to the traditional January obsession with weight loss. When it's minus OMG outside, grilled peppers and bulghar wheat will just not do. You must smother your face with stilton and slide down the nearest hill on a sledge made of pastry! You must buy a Remoska slow cooker from Lakeland and fill it with MEAT!

And let's face it, the incentive just isn't there. Yesterday I found myself subjected to the sight of 'actress' Hannah Waterman - a Z-list bloater who is now a Z-list Twiglet. Obviously she expects the universe to give a shit, which it does, but only because it wants to see whether she'll put the weight on again and explode during an episode of Strictly Let's Dance On Celebrity Ice. The thing nobody has mentioned though, is that her fake tanned face has deflated so much that she looks like a 90 year old Italian pensioner sitting under an olive tree in a SAGA holiday brochure. Weird.

Then yesterday I passed an advert featuring another ex Eastenders alumnus - Lucy 'Who?' Benjamin, a woman of such terrifying obscurity that her own mum probably wonders who she is. In the ad a miniaturized Lucy is sitting on what looks like a packet of tampons, under the headline 'Lucy's Secret.' The 'secret' refers to some ghastly over-the-counter fat dissolving pill which probably makes you leak lard out of every orifice. But still, at least Lucy is a real life weight loss success- she's now a dwarf who lives in a little cardboard box and drinks tea out of a thimble. Result!

Strangely, neither of these people have made me want to go on a diet.