Monthly Archives: May 2009

Angelina and me

I came back from the dry cleaner’s last week and on the approach to my house I saw a crowd of people outside, mostly midgets.

When I got to the front door I realised it was Angelina Jolie and her children.

I froze, with all the cellophane-wrapped hangers sliding off my arm. But I soon remembered myself:

‘Please, come in. I’ve just picked up some stem ginger biscuits from Sainsbury’s.’

Angelina didn’t say anything.

‘From the Taste the Difference range,’ I reassured her.

I knew it wasn’t the best introduction but, to be honest, I was worried about all the Jolie-Pitts fitting into my mouse house.

In the event, Bruno organised them into a football team so Angelina and I could get better acquainted in the kitchen.

I asked her if she flew herself over because I know she’s got her pilot’s licence. But she said her Cirrus SR22 only has 4 seats and the gang wouldn’t fit.

‘I’m hoping to use it more in my humanitarian work,’ she said and looked like she might like to continue on the subject.

So maybe, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have jumped in:

‘Or you could do your own aerial recces when you’re looking for another baby to buy.’

After that she sort of turned her head and stared in the corner for a while so I guessed she wanted to have a look at the cookbooks in the cabinet.

I told her all about Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver. She seemed interested. (Either that or she’s a good actress!)

The truth is I can’t make bechamel sauce without thinking about her because I read recently that she only likes to introduce another baby to the family once the new one has been absorbed.

So lasagnes remind me of her and Jen Aniston at the same time now, which is bizarre.

I thought about fessing up about the mock blog dialogue I did between her unborn twins in the womb but decided it wouldn’t do either of us any favours.

Instead we talked about fishing regulations in the Norwegian sea, dolls house miniatures and Winona Ryder.

All the way through, she wore the same expression as the one at the Oscars. And in The Changeling. And in photos of her with Brad.

When I considered her difficult relationship with Jon Voight, self-harming, two divorces, bisexual affair, 6 children, multiple tattoos and the vampire/incest/adultery rumours that have hounded her, it struck me how calm she was and then out of nowhere,

‘Do you believe in aliens?’ I said out loud.

‘If people want to believe in aliens, good for them.’

God, this woman is liberal and traditional and open-minded and monogamous all at the same time. Amazing.

We took a stroll around the garden and I couldn’t help staring at all the tattoos on her back. I was particularly confused by one that read, ‘Quod me nutrit me destruit’.

Now I know it means, ‘What nourishes me destroys me’ but at the time I thought it meant, ‘Kick me. I’m nutritious but destructive’.

Finally, I plucked up the courage to ask her a naughty question:

‘My friend was at a screening of ‘The Bone Collector’ and the wife of the Australian DOP shouted out, ‘Struth, she’s got lips like a vagina!’

Does that shock you?’

‘Nothing shocks me. Brad loves my mouth.’

‘Maybe it’s for the same reason,’ she added mischievously.

I went bright red and pointed to a cat in the garden.

Presently, Bruno brought the little ones downstairs and helped them into an electricity-fuelled limousine.

We had a hug and then she grabbed me with five of her bony digits.

‘One last tip. When Gwyneth gets in touch…’

‘But –’ I protested.

‘Don’t pull any of that Hugh Grant crap with me. You know she’s gonna call…

Just watch the potty mouth. She’s a PAP and she’ll think you’re vulgar.’

I appreciated the word of warning and yelled, ‘Thanks, Ange!’ after the car.

Then I added ‘elina’, because all of a sudden I had a nasty image in my head of Den Watts’ pikey wife from Eastenders.


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Snakes and Ladders


During the Easter Break a few weeks ago I did a wife swap as the mother of three children, plus one I made earlier.

In one of the comatosed sleeps that punctuated my tenure I was visited by a dark voice suggesting an outing to Syon Park Snakes and Ladders indoor adventure playground.

The Heavens opened, Beelzebub chuckled and five of us buckled up in the Citroen Picasso.

Self-described as ‘Family fun come rain or shine’, in literal terms it is a 3-tier adventure play area with climbs and slides, netted play areas, tunnels and plastic balls.

In human terms, it is a place of unparalleled venal misery that dreams of becoming hell one day- a vast overcrowded aircraft carrier space that has the Astrodome of Hurricane Katrina as its pin-up.

To the left, various brightly-coloured plastic pieces of aparatus held together by the vomit and discarded limbs of former pint-sized adventurers.

To the right, bodies rammed around picnic tables and sprawled a-kimbo over any un-littered floor space inbetween.

Prior to this visual feast are the delights of admission- a twenty minute queue which may alert the quick-witted to the possibility that others have shared their cunning plan, if indeed any such persons were trying to gain entry.

After the ceremonial mugging at the cash register (‘Let’s do the maths, kids: 1 x adult, 2 x kids over 3, 2 x kids under 3= Villa in the Maldives) one is confronted by a place prostrating itself at the alter of snobbery in order that the survival of our species may be encouraged.

For it seems impossible that any sane person therein, if gifted one glorious moment of detachment from the mob, would not confidently conclude their evolutionary superiority.

Collectively a cesspit of genes the medical profession hopes to be able to screen out within 20 years, individually certain to screech if met with a vegetable.

Gargantuan beasts steeped in cobalt blue mascara whose criminal records would identify as women, emptying their midriff overspill onto plastic tables.

Men with uninterrupted hair from head to toe, one- maybe two- illustrations ahead of the biped homosapien.

Children weighing in more than a baby elephant- no, more than a mature cheese-burger loving parent elephant with a metabolic disease.

Babies engulfed by giant cups of synthetic orange fizz, boasting six-figure body-mass indexes.

All either engaged in a tense transaction of sweat, swearing and going-home time negotiation or the sort of solitary weeping that helps to pass the time until the school holidays end.

Or at least until ‘lunch’ arrives, delicately bellowed over a tannoy system by some poor wretched youth who would have left school early if they had ever been allowed to start.

Dished up by a kitchen chiefly supplied by certain Swedish clinics, whose morticians have had insufficient time to beautify the remnants.

A swirling mircrowave-baked quagmire of every artificial ingredient known to coagulate the blood and soul. With extra ketchup and a Mars Bar.

This is food that glows in the dark, judders in the light and eyes up airline meals jealously.

The sort that makes you grateful you can stop by the sweetie Pick ‘n Mix at the exit, to supplement the nutritional content of the meal with pink oysters, fudge pieces and sour snakes.

But only after you have spent 3 hours weakly clutching drain-water tea and wiping noses.

Distributing, re-directing and collecting the fluids of E-number-fueled ankle-biters.

Stuffing decibels out of your ears by stuffing tissues into them.

And dreaming of wine in large tumblers…

The kids absolutely bloody loved it.


Filed under London Mumbo, Mumbo Life, Uncategorized

Blissfully Naff from Hammersmith

Dear Auntie Soph,

How right you were.

I’m so naff I could marry Geri Halliwell at a Sandals Resort.

Not too-naff-for-Hoxton but properly white Ugg boot naff- right to the tips of my highlighted hair.

I feel like I’ve been trapped in some kind of hellish media-world merry-go-round and you’ve come along and set me free.

Everything about me was a lie (apart from my thing for karaoke, which friends thought was ironic but wasn’t).

I’m out and proud and being slightly too friendly to cool people.

I’m telling them that I like white bread.

Not hunks of thick-crusted rosemary and walnut bloomer but thick-cut Sunblest slices with iceberg lettuce in the middle. And malt vinegar.

I’m rubbing their eye-shadow free faces in my French manicures and taking mail-order catalogue gifts to their ‘kitchen suppers’, with a bunch of garage flowers.

Before your letter I was ashamed to say three little words. Now I’m prepared to shout ‘Malibu and Pineapple!’ from the back of the Eight Bar.

I love Dale Winton, roller-blading and yellow sports cars.

I think Mr Bean is comic dynamite.

Plus I’m going to let my parents stay with me and leave the house in daylight. They’re not as naff as me but they are old and unsightly.

Gastropubs are arse.

If you want the truth, lentils make me gag.

I crave breaded mushrooms at a Harvester.

And if it’s my birthday I want them to turn the lights off and for the whole restaurant to sing to me over a Viennetta with sparklers in it.

Don’t give me a glass of dry white wine, for crying out loud.

I want it sweet and I want a bottle. Wearing a dinner jacket wine-cooler.

And at Christmas you can ***k off with your Jo Malone.

I want a perfume gift set from BHS and tickets to see Gareth Gates. In anything.

Today in Waterstones I bought a copy of ‘Girl Power’ when I was waiting at the desk to pay for Kerry Katona’s autobiography.

I’ve enclosed it for you to sign (remember to dot your ‘i’ with a little heart).

Love and hugs,

Blissfully Naff from Hammersmith xoxoxox


Dear Blissfully Naff from Hammersmith,

Please stop writing to me.

Auntie Soph


Filed under Mumbo Letters, Musical Mumbo, Uncategorized

Walking the Walk


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Deep Sweet Smooth Soul to my Funked Phone


Hey, Baby, we need to talk, me and you, Baby, me and you, yeah.

I used you fierce last week, Baby, I know it, I know it, ooh, I handled you strong.

Needed to get some stuff straight, Baby, needed to Straighten Stuff Out.

Say, this was E-X-T-R-A—C-U-R-R-I-C-U-L-A-R.

So why you sendin’ me these needy vibes?, why you keep naggin’ on me with ‘one new message‘?, beepin’ with the vibrate on, like I got somethin’ to hear?

Coz I don’t got no message, do I, Baby?, ain’t no message for me to hear.

Seems more like you got somethin’ to say, what you wanna say, Baby?

I look good, Honey, I smell good, Mmmmmmmmm.

I know you know that, pressed tight against my ear, I know you know that.

You want me, Sugar?, you diggin’ on my style?

That long exhalin’ in your mouthpiece all the long day, that makin’ you feel fine? that makin’ you Lose Power?

I can see how this is, Baby, woman like me presses those buttons real hard, keeps you close, re-charges you, uh-huh, I see.

But you can’t cut me off in my talk, Baby, no, that ain’t right. You feelin’ jealous, you got to Breathe Deeper.

Else I’m gonna have to change your tune and you don’t want no Peter Andre on there now, Baby, you don’t want no pop.

You sayin’ you broke. Well, Baby, we all been broken, we heal real fast. You chill outside my pocket, you be fixed no time.

You cryin’ I’m about droppin’ you, Sweet Lips. Hey, I never picked you up, you readin’ my signals wrong.

You hustle on down, do what you s’posed to and we gonna get through this, yeah, I see what we gonna do.

You think on re-connectin’ me, Baby, you hook me up, ooh, Baby, you hook me up and I’m gonna show you some lovin’.

Yeah, I’m gonna show you some sweet hands-free.

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My Head vs: The Real World


Event: The deliberation over whether to pay a barista a compliment in Flat White coffee bar in Soho.

In my head: Check out this guy. He’s got a sort of bald nautical Freddie Mercury thing going on, with his moustache and stripy top. I almost want to laugh. And yet it’s quite different. I quite like it. And he’s Australian too, which is an unexpected twist. Maybe this is a look I like. Maybe I should tell him I like his look. Would he like that? Maybe he’d think I was silly. Maybe he’d think I think he’s silly and I’m making fun of him. Maybe it would just be my way of being fun. Maybe this compliment is more about me than about him. Maybe I should say it anyway.

In the real world: I said ‘Thank you’ and sat down.


Event: The early morning sighting of a large animal while on a run in Ravenscourt Park.

In my head: Oh my God, oh my God, what the hell is that? Oh my God, oh my God, it’s a kangaroo! A kangaroo in the middle of the park! What’s a kangaroo doing in West London? It must have escaped from a zoo! But what zoo? Where’s the zoo? Maybe I’m the first person to see it! What will everyone say when I tell them? This is one of the craziest things that’s ever happened to me!


In the real world: It was a large wolf-hound dog doing a poo, with its back arched. And I wasn’t wearing my glasses.



Event: Considering the inappropriateness of the owner of my local Pilates studio smoking outside it.


In my head: There’s the guy who owns that clean white Pilates studio standing outside smoking again. He’s smoked 5 today already- even if he’s only smoked the ones I’ve seen. It seems like a strange strategy to stand outside your own health club and smoke all day. And yet attractive men and women are falling over themselves to pay large sums of money to wade through him smoking all day, to get into his health club. Is this the exercise equivalent of women wanting to date bastards?

In the real world: People are actually paying to use the equipment and are not being hooked up beagle-style to smoking machines once inside.


Event: The never-ending yield of chocolate eggs from my Easter-time Carluccio’s jar.


In my head: It seems almost unbelievable but this jar of eggs must be self-filling. I have made 3 presents out of it for my son’s teachers; 1 present for my managing agent, after I locked myself out of the house; endless treats to visiting children and several to myself as rewards and there are STILL eggs left. I’ve got a special jar of chocolate eggs that re-generate overnight! How lucky I am to have come into possession of such a magical jar!

In the real world: The small size of the eggs creates an optical illusion. And they are almost finished now. So the jar may not be magical.


Event: Not being offered a primary school place for Bruno.


In my head: The end of the world is nigh.

In the real world: The end of his world is nigh because I may just teach him myself and fill him with the thoughts in my head instead of facts from the real world.


Event: The birth of my nephew Theo.


In my head: He is perfect.

In the real world: He is perfect.


Filed under Mumbo Life, Uncategorized