Monday, 25 June 2012

Dear Gwynnie

Every week or so Gwynnie's GOOP drops into my mailbox and I open it with glee. Always interesting to see how the other half live and all. Often it makes me chuckle - you know, how Gwynnie tells us our capsule wardrobe should just be a mere $12,000 for a mac here and some espadrilles there... Or when she talks about doing the 'Clean' diet and bowel elimination and stuff - where you eat some powder and leaves for a few weeks and strangely you do lose weight! Or when she assumes that we all have thousands of dollars to drop to stay in swanky hotels and eat at all the luxurious restaurants where the chefs know her by name.  Sometimes I ohh and ahh over her Oscar dress and make up tips, and her totally glam lifestyle.

On the whole I am sure she has our best interests at heart. Husband met her when she came in the bar he once ran, for a Johnny Depp private party - and said she swore and drank and was hilarious - he thinks we would get on... Thing is, I don't want to slag off other women - we have enough men to to this for us. At the end of the say she is just striving for a better life, like us all - but, and there is a but - for the love of god Gwynnie, will you just give it a rest that you are 'the same as us.'  I almost want to pen her a small letter:

Dear Gwyneth,

Sorry to drop you a line as I am sure you are busy with your transatlantic flights, Met balls, Oscar parties, trying on outfits for a publicity tour (which if I recall correctly, broke you out in a sweat!) but I just wanted to ask a small favour. Most of us don't own million dollar homes in LA and London; we can hardly afford to feed ourselves and our families in this recession, never mind take in some dinner at Zuma in London (let alone Hong Kong) and we barely have time to shave our pits, (nor our fannies)  or begin to style our hair in some up do, so please don't pretend that you know how we feel.

In your latest email you show a picture of yourself described as a 'bedraggled working mother' - who just so happens to be sitting in first class, with her $300 headphones and all kinds of lotions and potions to ward off any bugs from other mere mortals on your flight. That is not how the majority of us live. If you wanna see working mothers who are bedraggled, check out someone who has done a night shift pulling chicken giblets out of chickens' asses all night, and still makes breakfast for her kids and gets them to school.  Or any mother who hasn't got a nanny, housekeeper, cleaner and support network of staff - and still has to check heads for nits at every bath time.

If we travel, it is usually with said kids - and a tonne of calpol, squished into a battery hen style seat in economy, wishing to god we could stick in some headphones, but finding that A. we never get a chance because we have to mind our kids, or B said kids have chewed the feckers apart. Who needs music anyway? We don't get to choose what shite we eat on a plane - we are in fact lucky if the kids sit still long enough to shove a cold slice of salmonella ravaged ham down our gullets - and as for the blazer suggestion you make to keep us 'looking sharp' we feel blessed if upon arrival we have managed to keep any inch of clothing clean from vomit/juice/bogies/saliva/felt tipped pens. We don't wear leather hotpants or Alexander Wang tanks, we usually opt for a any clean T shirt in black we have managed to find through the piles of laundry we have yet to iron, I mean fold - in order to hide the aforementioned stainage.

I am glad you have gotten pretty good at flying. I have too - and by that I mean I have gotten good at not crying and having a breakdown mid flight at the stress of trying to silence a wailing screeching toddler who refuses to sleep. Unlike you I do drink when flying - it is a form of self medication and nerve preservation.

Sadly I don't have time to stop for Miso soup in terminal 5 - countering radiation isn't high on my priority list - just getting on the damn plane on time usually is.

I know you are great at cooking, acting, singing, mothering, home decor, flower styling and having a super dooper body - all of which I am decidedly average at (mind you I can pick a good cushion!) but if you wouldn't shove this all down our necks so often - we would like you that ickle bit more. We know you have a fabbo glam life. It looks ace. But it aint the same as ours - not one jot. Maybe Goop is meant for all those Sunday Times Readers who can afford the holidays on the back pages - and so maybe I am not your aimed readership. But as a mother who tries her best, one can't help but feel a complete failure at all the activities above in comparison. If you just acknowledged your rarified life - and didn't try and be 'down with us all' we'd all be much happier.

Happy flying!


Monday, 4 June 2012

God Save... ME

God these bank holidays just go on and on - don't they? Which is fone and dandy whne the sun splits the skies and everyone is jolly and waving bbq'd sausages around and sipping Pimms in the sunshine.

But two kids literally bouncing off the walls/cupboards/sofas, plus a rainy skies and two frazzled parents just equals STRESS. Plus to be honest - all this Royal worshiping - well I could cope just about when there was a wedding; at least then there was a frock to gawp at - but when it is just the old dear trying to raise a smile looking like someone just broke wind under her wrinkled nose - well I am sorry, it all feels like a ho-ha over nothing. Also - I grew up in Norn Ireland - where red white and blue symbolised the unionists' stand against a 'united' Ireland. Bunting and painted kerbs was designed to mark out territory - a warning to those who might step over the threshhold - it wasn't quite the rah rah of the English villages with their cupcakes and tea. Frankly I find the Royals overpaid and obsolete. Who cares what drippy Kate is wearing? She wears those awful shiny tights and heels that are for 60 year olds... And as for those ugly stepsisters - I mean Fergie's spawn - exactly what are they bringing to this country? Oh sure, a whole flock of tourists have jetted in to celebrate their Hobbs Lady style and horrendous hats. God they make me bitchy....Off with their heads! I couldn't give a monkeys about the Diamond jubilee - and with this country and the grip of a depression - I wish the money wasted on such 'spectaculars' was put into local creches, education, the NHS etc etc - rather than a concert filled with mediocre pop stars serenading a woman who has never heard of them.

Ok, I shall climb down now from my soapbox. You Yanks watching should count yourselves lucky. If I had had any money in the pot I would have hightailed it over to your neck of the woods for this long long LONG weekend. If Bill Murray and a furry groundhog appeared I swear I wouldn't be shocked. Is it Sunday today? Has felt like Sunday for about five days. I am actually excited about returning to work on Wednesday. Yes I am. I have a tea party on Tuesday which should be good, as folk going like a tipple instead of tea (although I have given up alcohol at the moment so I shall just wolf down the cakes instead). Best bit of the weekend was taking Sproglet to an open air production of Roald Dahl's The Twits - which was hilarious. We all sat on rugs and munched picnics and sipped fizz - even through the inevitable rain (makes a proper picnic I always feel - when you stoicly pull up your hood and grin even though water is trickling off your nose 'we are HAVING SUCH a good time') and tried to persuade the birds not to land on the glued tree branches. Sproglet was enraptured - he particularly liked when Mr Twit walked amongst the audience and spat out chips. Husband, having never read The Twits had absolutely no idea what was going on - but smiled in all the right places. I think sinking a bottle of red helped with that smiling. The production was held within the castle ruins in our village - which had the sun shone, would have been the most beautiful setting. It still was beautiful, if somewhat soggy.

Today there is some form of party in our high street - and the heavens have just opened - hurrah! Let's all wave our flags and be jolly. Feck me, roll on Wednesday. Not even cupcakes and a pint of tea will raise any party spirit in me. See you on the other side.