Monday, 30 June 2008
Monday, 23 June 2008
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
AAAAAAAAAAnyway - got my five-yearly glam invite the other week and am very excited - JOHN LE CARRE, whom I love, at THE IVY, a place I am unlikely ever to visit or eat at in normal circumstances unless I start dating AA Gill, a thought that fills me with fear and loathing. I'm so excited I will probably do what I did when I met PJ O'Rourke, which is blush, clam up, and find myself unable to speak. Although I am practising pithy phrases like "The swallows fly north over Moscow" and "Pass the salt or I will report you to Head of Ops".
Friday, 13 June 2008
Thursday, 12 June 2008
The concept of "reading age" is a funny thing. Those with children will be familiar with it, those who work in bookshops too - at some unspecified point in the school year it appears that somebody in authority Decrees what a child's reading age is (for the uninitiated - not remotely dependent on chronological age!) and suggests that they read accordingly. Which is fine - some kids read better and faster at earlier ages than others. In practice, however, it becomes another cause of panic for the parents - is he reading "the right age" of books? A nervous parent came in and asked for teenage books for her 9 year old, as he had recently been assessed as having a 14-yr-old reading age. It was totally in vain to tell her that most teenage books these days are entirely concerned with Issues that 9 year olds may be uncomfortable with, i.e. drugs, sex, people-trafficking, ASBOs, unwanted pregnancy, knives, mugging, and all the other joyful trappings of an ordinary teenager's life. "Oh, but he's terribly intelligent." she said, entirely missing the point, waving aside our protests and buying the poor child a copy of "American Psycho"... well, obviously not "American Psycho", but why even go on? Somewhere out there in Southwest London is a bewildered 9-year-old who will henceforth be terrified of girls, drugs, psychopaths, going outside at any time of day whatever, etc etc..
Political satire, ooh controversial
I was sitting in a friend's garden yesterday with various other people, some of whom genuinely had the day off, at least two of whom were "working from home" - ie feet up on a deckchair with laptop on. At one point my friend Eamo had to call his IT department to speak to someone called Osama about his inability to get email - whether he admitted he was trying to get emails while sitting in someone else's garden is a moot point. I only mention this because there is something profoundly ironic and unintentionally funny about someone on the phone saying "Can I speak to Osama please? .. Oh, he's not there... Do you know where he is?"
Monday, 9 June 2008
This is a very quick post (mmeh, Monday) - but I will just leave you with the thought that even the apparently beautiful and privileged can screw up on a spectacular scale where kids' names are concerned - did nobody think to point out to the glowingly attractive celeb couple that is Brangelina the appalling and unfortunate spoonerism in their daughter's name - Shiloh Pitt?
PS really ...Just also remembered the case in "Freakonomics" of the woman who called her daughter "Shithead", to be pronounced "ShuhTeed" - a minute's awed and almost admiring silence for sheer parental abuse there. And MantuaMaker's just reminded me of the boy called Nicholas Bott her brother was at school with..
Friday, 6 June 2008
Man-crushes - a disturbing new metrosexual trend? Or just that warm feeling you had about the captain of the first XI all over again?
Frank Sinatra , but not Dean Martin (too wefty)
Jeremy Clarkson and James May, but not Richard Hammond (boy band-tastic)
Almost any rugby player except Sebastien Chabal (just too big)
George Best, anyone from the 1966 World Cup squad and Gazza, but very few other football players (in fact, having a man-crush on Freddie Ljungberg is pretty much proof that you're on the other bus. It's not a man-crush, it's a crush-crush.)
Tony Soprano and all Corleones except Sonny (perms are bad, mmkay?)
Terry Wogan (he's earned it, the poor man, after all those years failing to get a decent drink at the Eurovision Song Contest)
Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but not Gary Rhodes (that hair!) or Anthony Worrall Thompson (he leers like a drunk uncle).
Comedians are pretty much all OK except for Russell Brand (looks too much like that Goth girl you snogged once at a party)
Actors - now there's a wide open field. The very fact of being an actor is less manly than being, say, a brickie or a soldier, but here are a few that seem to have it all (and I'm only going for British/Irish and Alive or there are far too many!) : Peter O'Toole (last of the great drinkers), Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, Clive Owen, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Bill Nighy (king of the sneer)..
Thursday, 5 June 2008
*Clarins' "Eau Dynamisante", Penhaligon's "Bluebell", Philosophy's "Pure Grace", Annick Goutal's "Eau Du Sud"
** Ineke's "Evening Edged In Gold", Comme Des Garcons's "Rhubarb", Saira Schwarz's "Lucid Agony", Demeter's "Lavender Martini"
Yes, there really is a perfume called Lucid Agony.
Monday, 2 June 2008
Sadly, in practice, what always happens is the following: meet for lunch, have something irrelevant compared to the bottle of wine each we consume. Go to theatre (it's always the same 5 of us so we can't even pretend we thought it would turn out any differently). Go see something light but with artistic merit (last time, "Glengarry Glen Ross", this time "The Deep Blue Sea"). Drink more at the interval. Come out going "Hmmmm not sure about that second act". Get lashed in some overpriced central London watering hole between end-of-matinee and start-of-dinner. Lurch ungracefully into restaurant going "Toldja, dinn I tell ya, shoulderv gone to see that new Indiana Jones film". Get, oh GOD, so very very much drunker. Spend Sunday crying gently into a large box of tissues while watching "Ratatouille" in pyjamas, frankly unable to remember much about the play, which to be fair simply existed as a time-filling ruse to stop us getting paralytic before 4pm anyway. I think it was about estate agents. I think the next one has Greta Scacchi in it. Since I will almost certainly forget my glasses, it may well have Alice Cooper and the Krankies in it, I will never be entirely sure.