Sunday, 6 April 2008

April 6, 2008

Light the passion, share the

Policecars, paddy wagons, uniformed officers with truncheons and boots, knots of demonstrators with banners saying Free Tibet (though equally, they could have said Beijing Rules for all the Notting Hill crowds were aware) are lining Ladbroke Grove.
At the Tube station, the convoy containing the flame and the BBC presenter, former Blue Peter girl, cutie Konnie Huq, seems to have stalled.
Suddenly a posse of booted policeman run northwards towards the waving banners, radios crackling, and receiving urgent messages fromtheir walkie-talkies.
A protester has tried to steal the Olympic Flame from Konnie! But much more shocking - Konnie has been touched by a civilian!
Bankers titter. Haggard, edgy looking mothers corral bored toddlers in candy-coloured duffle coats and pink suede Uggs. Notting Hill Tory MPs scope the scene from their family cars, their children jumbled up in the back with the children of other Notting Hill, Tory MPs, all called names like Nancy and Nora.
Ladbroke Grove feels like a windtunnel. What’s the hold up? Nobody would declare themselves prior to this moment to have any interest at all in seeing the flame, but now its non-appearance (we were told 11.10am,it is now 11.20am) is causing comment and comparisons with the Terminal 5 fiasco.
And then a slender teenager in a white tracksuit with the Beijing 2008 logo exits a bus. He is holding a torch, but no flame appears from it.
“Did you know that the whole idea of transporting the flame was dreamt up by Hitler?” the protester, the one who has earlier told us he hopes his banner says “Free Tibet” but worries it says “Down with the Dalai Lama,” idly remarks.
Later, I ask Mr Wikipedia who produces this charming quote:
“Sporting chivalrous contest helps knit the bonds of peace between nations. Therefore may the Olympic flame never expire.” (A Hitler).
But we are in Ladbroke Grove and its chaos and worst of all, we can see the torch, but it’s not lit. “Matches?” someone shouts, and tosses a pack of Bryant and May towards the athlete who is holding the cornetto.
The tally to date then on this day of Olympic ideals: several hundred policemen and spectators, scores of motorbikes, policevans and Tibet protesters, about a dozen athletes and their entourages, one scared telly presenter.
“Free Konnie Huq!” someone in the crowd, child on shoulders, with millions in the bank, a 5 million pound house in Elgin crescent, and a vanity job in celebrity documentaries yells. And then we all go home to our nice warm houses for coffee and croissants to read the Sunday newspapers.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Monday 17

So, of course, the next thing I know is my daughter, as I am massaging a tiny bottle of Hedrin into her blonde head (oz per oz, more pricy than Cristal) says, Mum, you won't tell anyone I've got nits, will you? So I am feeling awful and the good news is, I think I can announce with honesty that she doesn't after all, I couldn't see a single one, so I hereby withdraw all previous allegations.
Meanwhile am fending off the weirdest emails following my last col in the Sunday Times, in which I dilated on the Emperors' Club and what it is on earth these girls DO that has men shelling out (in advance on their next order) $2000 an hour, or two troy ounces of gold in today's money. Here's a taster.
Rachel,your Sunday Times article.Either you are very naive OR you are hoping some of us chaps will respond with some revealing thoughts.I would love to tell you my experiences(a bit more fun to share them) I'm not a public figure so holds no worries for me.You seem an open minded person and i'm sure the voyuer (sic) in you(aside from the professional interest)will find what i could tell you interesting.Like to know more?? send me a non comittal e-mail to i will respond directly to you.I hope you make contact,will be fun :-)
And another:
Hi Rachel, if you'd like someone to try and explain the difference between an hour with a $2000 escort and anything else, please call me and I'll try. J.
Yeeeeuch! All this makes me even more worried and anxious that there are, evidently, things that girls do that men are prepared to sell the farm to have done to them.
So much pressure!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Saturday 15th March

Feeling terrifically excited for some reason (sold book actually but don't want to toot horn) and this always sharpens my retail appetite so today I have made the following purchases.
- £480 on a second hand carpet on eBay. I know this sounds skanky and sad but it is, in fact, a beautiful jewel-hued Roger Oates runner that comes with darling pewter rods and will, trust me, look utterly super on our stairs. In my excitement about winning that bid I waltzed out to the Portobello Road where I bought the following
- £27 on nit solution, cotton wool pads, wipes, eye makeup remover, and hair scrunchies;
- £40 on a silky flirty tea dress in green with blue cornflowers from a stall
- £50 on some brown leather biker boots
- £10 on a funk CD
Then I trailed home, and put on the dress, and boots, and CD, and started grooving on down to Sly and so on and looked up to see my 13 year old (the one with the nits) standing in the doorway with a look of pitying horror on her face.
Then my husband announced that he only "quite liked" the dress and that we had six people to supper so I went out again in the car, in the rain, and spent
£40 on fresh peas, Italian sausage, parma ham, parmesan, bread, and fresh chicken stock (yes, risotto, how did you guess?)
on top of his own outlay on patisserie from Paul, wine, and salad.
In case you were wondering, I am still wearing the dress and boots, and intend to for some time, whatever my family say.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wednesday 12

First Eliot Spitzer,now Michael Todd, then that Bishop who's ditching his wife, and whatabout old Bill Deedes, who was revealed this week in a new biography to have cherished an unrequited (well we hope against hope that it was requited, but she denies it) passion for a blonde hack called Victoria fifty years his junior. Proof that top men have needs. Even Bill "Needs" Deedes. Even when they're ancient. Even when they're married. Make that especially when they're married. For what unites all the above men is not the fact that they are sinners (OK, even if Bill Deedes only lusted, like Jimmy Carter, in his heart). It's not even the fact that they were looked up to as leaders of men, as moral crusaders, as icons in their professions. It's that they were married. The message of the week, like the thought for the day, is a grim one for the missus. And it's this. If you're married to a super chap, the sort of chap who everyone else finds marvellous, I'm afraid that the chances are that he has needs (see yesterday's post), and they are of the quality (dark, driven, shameful, bad) that wives don't supply.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

March 11

I can't think why everyone's so shocked by Eliot Spitzer's secret vice habit. The sex industry is, as Paul Raymond reminds us, there for a reason. It also seems to me that as soon as a man gets loads of attention, and acclaim, even if it's for smashing prostitution rings, the credibility gap between his own estimation of himself (look, everyone feels like a dork on the inside) and the way the public has decided he's the messiah is just too wide for one balding, middle-aged father of three to bear.
The only way men like these can return to earth is to get busted. It's the old cry for help. He's saying, I'm not Mr Clean! I can't take being Mr Clean! It's boring and no fun being the good guy. Underneath my preppy attorney exterior, I'm a driven, alpha male and driven alpha males have needs. Needs you can only guess at. And they're bad. I need an outlet for my... dark side!
I predict a rapid rehabilitation for the hypocritical cheating old sleazebag. People are never happier than when an idol falls by the wayside. Bush is a born-again alcoholic. JFK was a sex-addict. What's a few prostitutes between Democrats?
He'll make President yet.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Monday 10th March

It seems a bit flaky starting my own blog when 1. I have a book to write and 2. I am supposed to be contributing flip posts to the Spectator and the timesonline websites (love the Alphamummy blog, yet another of my secret guilty procrastinating pleasures) and 3. Have deadline to write a column about man-flu.

I am overlooking the above in the hope that one day soon, I will master the zen of blogging like Ariel Leve (you don't? you must!) and probably loads of others but here's my thought: why is it that as soon as a blog goes mainstream - and I am of course thinking of the attention that Civil Serf received in my own paper, the Sunday Times, yesterday - the blog is taken down and an error message rears up instead?
I can only hope it is because the blogger is talking Miramax to her agent.
Not her lawyer.