Saturday, 25 December 2010


On what is probably the most stressful morning of the year for most women, I am still tucked up beneath the duvet enjoying a delicious breakfast with a day of tranquillity stretched out ahead of me. Deep pleasurable sigh...

After an intensely busy and draining couple of months, I have finally managed – this Christmas Day - to achieve the promised Peace on Earth at least on the little Piece of Earth where I reside.

With two daughters, two sons-in-law and five grandchildren taking it in turns to be ill all winter, it’s been an angst-y time all round, I've been dashing across town with vats of healing chicken soup while being afraid to answer the phone or open texts in case they heralded another drama or disaster. Add the task of emptying out two homes in different countries which have been in the family for five generations, and you’ll have an idea why I’ve been off the radar for a while.

The physically and emotionally draining job of clearing out the flat in which I grew up is something I’ll be glad to put behind me. Having recently sorted out and redecorated my own living-room, I now find it re-cluttered with stuff I don’t want but simply cannot get rid of. A lesson to us all: keep your possessions to a minimum so those whose job it will be to tidy up after you don’t lose control of their lives doing so!

Yet how do you throw away love letters between your parents dated 1942? Birthday cards and telegrams sent to me when I was a tiny tot? My father’s call-up papers into the Argentine army and discharge papers with commendation ribbons when he left the Merchant Navy? My Russian great grandparents naturalization papers dated 1910 signed with a X as they clearly couldn’t write ... and the photos – oh the photos...who were all those forbidding-looking ancestors with frozen faces? Didn’t anyone smile for the camera in those days?

Add the filthy weather into the mix and instead of welcoming snow in future, we shall dread it forevermore! My poor sister who lives in Spain tried to get home several times last week and ended up making a dawn dash from London to Gatwick back to Victoria then to Euston and eventually to Manchester where she finally caught a flight to Malaga after her London departure had been cancelled for the 3rd time. What a trooper!

As for me, not a word of writing has passed my fingers these past 2 months but as from today, I’m determined to remedy this. My New Year Resolution comes a little early but I WILL finish my book edit during January and I WILL resume blogging.

I’m off to Switzerland tomorrow for a well-earned rest. I may not have the energy to ski but I can always ‘après’. Either way, I’ll recharge my batteries and come back fighting fight, I hope.

SEASON’S GREETINGS to you all and a stupendous 2011, folks. Be good to yourselves or better still, find someone else to do it for you!

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Not sure if I ever told you, but just after I was born, my family emigrated to America, the land of opportunity where the streets were ‘paved with gold’. Although I’ve been back many times since, earlier this month my sister and I decided to retrace our childhood steps and set off for Brooklyn, Noo Yawk to see if we could find the ancestral tenement.

The year was 1946. Dad had gone on ahead - Mum to follow with Marilyn aged 4 and I, aged 5 months. Decked out in her newly-purchased post-war undergarments: brassiere, liberty bodice, panty girdle, seamed stockings and suspenders, hand-made wool dress with matching coat, high-heeled shoes, hat and gloves all specially designed for her grand arrival into the New World, she didn’t reckon on the flight taking almost four days...

We set off from our home in Tottenham where all the neighbours had turned out to wave us goodbye and wish us luck. We reached the Croydon Aerodrome for the first leg of the journey to Shannon only to be told that the aircraft would not be air-worthy until the following day. Trooped back home again. Our grandmother, with whom we’d lived, had already let the rooms.

Off again the following morning with slightly less pomp and ceremony, we eventually reached Shannon only to be told (in great confidence) that the aeroplane on which we were due to fly the Atlantic was deemed ‘unsafe’. Women and children were advised not to board. Everyone else was!

They put us up that night in a boarding house on the west coast of Ireland in a single room with another mother and her two babies, one of whom had whooping cough. Mum sat up all night shielding our delicate rosebud mouths and button noses with pieces of muslin to distract the ambient germs.

By morning, she’d run out of nappies and was obliged, according to family legend, to use scrunched up toilet paper (of the rough Izal kind) plus sheets of cardboard for my delicate little tush. Her elegant costume, as well as her mood, was by now somewhat frayed around the edges. Our Dad meanwhile, in the absence of adequate lines of communication, cast a worried eye across the empty skies.

We finally took off in a tin box held together with spit and sealing wax and rattled across the Atlantic for 21 hours finally coming down with a flop of relief in Newfoundland. They put me in a drawer for landing. The pilot thought it would be safer than wobbling about on my mother’s knee when she already had a fractious 4-year old to contend with.

Onwards to Manhattan, and from there to Los Angeles. Mummy didn’t take to the sun-drenched, sprawling, unstructured city with no public transport whose only redeeming feature was a pubescent film industry in a suburb called Hollywood. We settled nearby and stayed for 8 months. There I spoke my first words and took my first steps.

Back to New York where my mother reckoned she was halfway home. We moved in with Aunt Miriam (who weighed 24 stone) and her Polish immigrant husband, Uncle Mike, who hardly spoke a word of English. Our address was 3085 Brighton 13th Street , Brooklyn, an address imprinted on my mind ever since from the airmail letters with a $5 bill inside that Aunt Miriam used to send us for our birthdays after we’d returned to the UK in 1950.

And so, in October 2010, my sister and I arrived in NYC after an effortless 7 hour flight and set off to find 3085 Brighton 13th Street. It was a Sunday. We took the subway from Times Square but were turfed off halfway due to ‘works on the line’. Shame shit. Different continent. We boarded a shuttle bus (slightly less traumatic than our mother’s journey 60 years before) and watched the street names rumble by until one said Brighton 10th Street where we leapt off.

As we walked towards 13th Street, my sister, who generally has little memory for distant detail, suddenly began to have flashbacks. “OMG! That’s where Daddy used to go to phone home!” she said excitedly, pointing to a small news and candy store. At the back of the shop had been 2 telephone booths where you’d book a call through an operator and go back 6 hours later to see if it had come through!

We walked on wondering whether our building would still be standing. The other side of the road was seafront – the famous Boardwalk (...under the Boardwalk, out of the sun, under the Boardwalk, we’ll be having some fun...) that leads all the way to Coney Island.

3085 was indeed still standing - a 5-storey, brick-built Victorian block much grander than I expected for our then humble circumstances. It’s now mostly occupied by middle-class Russians. We followed a couple inside, found the janitor and told him our story. He listened fascinated then showed us around. My sister again began to remember stuff: the rubbish chutes hidden in a small cupboard on each floor, the laundry room in the basement that housed the washing-machines into which our Dad would place his dime – the dime he’d drilled a hole in and tied a piece of string around so he could retrieve it to use again!

The building’s manageress had joined us by this time and asked if we remembered which number we’d lived at. We didn’t but by description she said it must be 2C and when she knocked on the door and asked the lady if we could look around, my sister freaked out.

It was exactly the same – the layout, the view from the bedroom window down to the yard where she used to play (remind me one day to tell you the story of my beloved panda...) the bathroom - in this apartment still unmodernised – where Marilyn reminded me I was sitting on the loo one day aged two and the ceiling fell down on my head! This may explain certain things...

The lady now occupying the flat had a china plate of Noah’s Ark on her wall. Later we walked along the Boardwalk and stopped for lunch at a Russian restaurant called Tatiana – 2 of my grandchildren are called Noah and Tatiana! Later I went to the loo in a branch of Wendy’s!

All in all, it was a wonderful re-affirming experience I was so glad to have been able to do with my sister. Ah ...Memory Lane ... take trip down there sometime.

(BTW HE arrived and we've met but out of respect, I'm not going to talk about it!!!!)

Thursday, 19 August 2010


I decided to take August off - off what I'm not certain - my life, perhaps?

I went to Spain as usual and then to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which never fails to deliver an entertainment overload of mega proportions. Love it!!

Back to a very brutal reality concerning my dearest Aunty Betty, my last remaining aunt, who has been like a Mum to me. She's seriously ill now and my sister and I are trying to get her into a care home. This is NOT easy... Don't go there. Find some other route into that good night. It's not pretty, it's not sexy and it's not fun.

Apart from that, if you read my last blog, HE is still on the fringes of my social scene, but I HAVEN'T MET HIM YET! Had he told me at the outset that he was going to be 'away on business for an indefinitely period' I may not have bothered to get involved. Of course he could be emailing me from the back of a van on the Watford by-pass and forwarding his messages to 20 other women, whaddo I know??

When I got back from Spain, however, in a surge of generous attentiveness, the postman rang thrice: a bouquet of roses because I don't want you to come home to an empty flat , a gift box of luxury bath products something to work up a splash with and some naughty little scanties which, frankly, made me quite cross.

I thought it was presumptuous and rather tacky of him. He said it was meant in good humour but what offended me most was that the gear in question was from Ann Summers rather than Agent Provocateur, Myla or La Perla!

I did forgive him though putting it down to a cultural ignorance of our better lingerie emporia bearing in mind the gentleman in question is not from these shores.

I actually had to venture into the store later to change the basque for a larger size (the XS he sent me has me busting out all over) and so I had the dubious pleasure of queueing at the counter with a coterie of ladies buying work clothes for their chosen profession. This prompted me to ponder whether there was a sliding scale of charges based on the punters choice of Nadia the Naughty Nurse, Fifi the French Maid or Dagmar the Darstardly Dom.

And on the question of 'sliding', he'd better make an appearance soon or the chocolate body paint and Heat! massage oil he sent me is going to go off, or get used with someone else...

Sunday, 25 July 2010


A confusing question and one about which I’ll try not to brood... be amused or bemused might be more appropriate.

Let me explain. I’ve got a new 'thing' going on: one of those cautious (on my part) slow-builds that started as an absent-minded little hum and has fast developed into a full-blown heart ballad complete with gospel choir, a thousand strings and a brass and timpani section which is threatening to deafen me with the power of its persuasion.

I am being Right Royally Seduced.

I’ve played this game before, allowed myself to become 'involved' with a stranger - and yet...and yet...I can't help it if the songbirds are tweeting:

Maybe this time, I'll be lucky
Maybe this time, he'll stay
Maybe this time
For the first time
Love won't hurry away

He will hold me fast
I'll be home at last
Not a loser anymore
Like the last time
And the time before...

He’s foreign which accounts for him being so much more romantic. The best man in my life was foreign ... he didn’t think with his bowler hat or rolled umbrella but with the more earthy and visceral parts of himself.

He thought with his hands and his heart, his fingers, his toes and his tongue - not in the more obvious carnal way but in a subliminally intrusive yet much more subtle way – the way a bee approaches a flower and drinks its nectar without the flower even realising that it’s relinquished the most precious part of itself and given it willingly.

And so it is with us. Him: so full on and so eager, me: attempting to decline yet longing to submit.

Stendhal always comes to mind at times like these:

Love has nothing to do with the beloved person and everything to do with the lover’s imagination. The passion that transports us is our own.

We have not yet met but how dangerous is this divulging of thoughts and feelings across the waves of cyberspace? Every man I've had to do with has taken a little part of me as he's travelled through, but I've usually managed to grow it back with nobs on. A plant is pruned in order for it to flower again the following spring bigger and better than before.

Anyway, you know me – I always keep a little in reserve and never fully lose my head. My legs may be flung high up in the air but my feet are always planted firmly on the ground. And we're both aware that the pedestal we've placed each other on will crumble if the chemistry fails to connect.

So for now, I’ll dream, and if the dream becomes reality, then I shall be all the richer. And if it doesn’t, no harm done. He’s made me smile and made me write so thank you, S, at least for that.

The rest remains to be seen, felt and tasted. . .but with all this travelling to do, the question is: WHEN??

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Hurrah! It's over! Now all those tossers with two-inch penises can take their silly flags off their cars, vans and bikes and get on with doing a decent day's work.

Goodbye permanently green TV screen. Goodbye irritating vuvuzelas. Goodbye boring commentators with their pre-and post-mortems. Goodbye In-ger-land. You're coming home - but not in a good way.

I know this will alienate 7/8th of the population but frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn. Not everybody loves football.

I know the fans will continue watching till the bitter end and I agree that our final score should have been 4-2, but really, that's academic now, isn't it?

I've had far too many dates postponed in the past few weeks because: "There's a really important game on... do you mind if we re-arrange?"

Well, yes, actually - I do, so go away little boy and come back when you've grown a pair.

The unappealing Mr. L who's been on the prowl these past few weeks has something in his favour: he doesn't follow 'the beautiful game' which gives him more time to spend with me.

Trouble is: I'd actually rather watch a football match than see him and that tells you everything you need to know!

Meanwhile, my long silence has been due to a gruelling work and social schedule which has left me little time for blogging. Apologies. I'll be back as soon as I've finished this second book edit.

Hope you're all well. Till soon...

Saturday, 22 May 2010


In case you thought I’d dropped through a deep, dark hole in the planet, I have in fact been travelling around Spain on a promotional tour for my first novel ‘LA INGLESA Y EL TORERO’.

To say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it would be an understatement. I've lapped it up and swallowed it whole and embraced it with every fibre of my being!

That may sound incredibly self-obsessed but when an author of two volumes of nefarious memoirs find herself being hailed as a serious writer, one has to take the praise and run with it.

The premise of the novel is based on my experiences in the Spain of the 1960s with the world’s most famous bullfighter, Manuel Benitez 'El Cordobes'. I met him when I was working as the interpreter for two journalists writing his life story. I allowed him my virginity but to go on live TV and radio in Spain and speak about it in a foreign language to a goggle-eared public was daunting to say the least!

The ear of the title of this blog was thrown to me 45 years ago after an historic fight one brazen afternoon in 1965. For those who don’t know the finer points (and many of you will be too squeamish to care) when a matador has honoured his adversary with a noble death, they give him a trophy of the ears, tail or hooves of his bull. These he dispenses to the crowd.

As I stood there clapping till my palms burned, my Manolo winked at me broadly and swung the ear in my direction.

Here is an excerpt from my book - the character is Cassi Samuels, the matador is Rafael Romero 'El Macho' - both loosely based on himself and I.

“As if in slow motion, the severed appendage came flying through the air. People nearby jostled to reach it, but Cassi reacted quickly and caught it smartly in both hands like a clap. An explosion of fresh blood splattered across the front of her organdie top causing her to gasp as if she’d been stabbed.

Cassi looked down at first with horror, then with a creeping sense of pride. The irony was not lost on her: he’d spilt her maiden blood, but he’d replaced it with that of his nemesis. There was poetic justice in this, and in some indefinable way, it touched her as deeply as a blood brothers pact.

Her pretty blouse, like its occupant, had been branded as one of his possessions now, and she knew in that instant she would never wash it but would wear it with honour and if anyone wanted to know what the stains were, she’d bloody well tell them.

Cassi turned the amputated trophy over in her hand and stroked it affectionately. The black hair on the outside was long and coarse but on the inside the ear it was soft, fleshy and disturbingly, still warm. She said a silent thank-you to the brave beast who’d died so valiantly in her name and who’d sacrificed his life with such dignity and grace. . .”
I know that bullfighting is seriously frowned upon in the UK, despite their love of fox-hunting... I happen to be a serious aficionada and I make no excuse for that. You either understand and approve of this element of the Iberian culture or you don’t.

And so the dried-out ear accompanied me on my book tour and has now appeared on a variety of TV chat shows all over Spain. Some people turned their noses up but others were fascinated.

I’m sure the ear enjoyed the attention. It has, after all, but stuck away in a box for some four decades waiting for its (second) moment in the sun.

And by the way, how many other women do you know who - as they say in Spain - 'opened their flower' to a bullfighter??

Sunday, 25 April 2010


A happy busy time just now as my 12-year old granddaughter Tatiana prepares her rite of passage from girlhood to womanhood. The ceremony followed by the inevitable Big Bash has been the sole topic of conversation for the past six months.

In the Jewish religion, a barmitzvah is when a boy turns 13, comes of age and becomes a man. The girls have jumped the gun, got on the bandwagon and are having theirs a year early at the age of 12.

Crumbling under the weight of filial pressure, my daughter and son-in-law have been mugged into having the most expensive party they can afford. I disapprove totally but cannot voice it. It's tradition, they say, like Christmas. It's commercial, I reply. Like Christmas.

Having already been invited to many other such parties, Tatiana returns home each time with fresh and ever more costly ideas:

"They had a tattoo artist! A belly dancing teacher! Goodie bags containing Gucci keyrings! A herd of performing elephants for each child to take home!"

And so the buzz words are: caterers, marquee, red carpet, dance floor, balloons, canapés, food stations, sushi chefs, mirror balls, microphones, cocktails, bouncers, dresses, shoes, hats, tights, hair and make-up.

And thousands and thousands of pounds being blown away on people who won't appreciate it nor even remember it the following day.

She's 12 for God's sake! When I was 12 I probably had 3 schoolfriends over for a peanut butter sandwich and a bowl of jelly. And then maybe we played a game of Ludo.

Do I sound like a grumpy old woman? Possibly, but my poor daughter would rather have spent the money on a fabulous holiday that at least she too could have enjoyed.

Now don't get me wrong. I am looking forward to it. And I've bought myself a whole wardrobe full of new outfits. And I'm sure we'll all have a fantastic time. But all that makes me want to weep.

I just hope Tatiana appreciates it. She has 2 younger sisters so we have to go through this whole thing again. Twice.

And then if we're lucky, there'll be 3 weddings hopefully before my funeral!

I refuse to be 'one of the grandmas' next weekend. I'm determined to get up to mischief of some sort. What do you reckon? One of the neighbour's sons? They're 26 and 28. And both cute. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 5 April 2010


I love make-up and I love sex but what I love most is make-up sex.

I don’t mean rouging my nipples and painting my partner’s genitalia with lipstick and mascara, I mean getting it together again when you’ve been apart for a while.

Let me explain: having so upset my latest flame to the extent that he nearly went out, I feel it only fair to give him credit where it’s due.

The gentleman in question, whose knee so jerked when he became the subject of my blog “Is ‘Good’ Good Enough?” has crept back into my affections and redeemed himself in a rather pleasing way.

Now I don’t want to swell his pretty little raven-haired head any more than it is already (I am conscious as I write this that he is going to read it) but we had a rather fine reunion which definitely deserved an A-. OK. An A then. Alright, alright. An A+.

The very thing I commented on, or rather complained about last time, was the fact that we felt so comfortable with each other. This caused him to deduce that I was dissatisfied because there were ‘no fireworks’. He immediately concluded that there were none on his side either which was, of course, missing the point.

Fireworks are all very well but they burn out far too quickly. Harmony on several levels doesn’t.

We do seem reasonably compatible. Whether we had genuinely missed each other is for me to know and him to find out. And as for the comfort factor, how many people would you feel sufficiently at ease with to break off a hot humping session to talk about fried fish?!

I hasten to add that the segue between passion and battered seafood was not a reflection on the ambient odours surrounding us at the time.

It was, rather typically, a close encounter of the Jewish kind in which food must be mentioned, if not eaten, at all times.

We’re now apart for a week or so while I work on a writing project in Spain.

We’re texting.

It’s getting a bit saucy.

I like this a lot.

Out of sight is not necessarily out of mind. And absence can, in some cases, make the heart grow fonder.

Having said that, I fully expect this pleasant interlude not to last.

In my world, le plus ça change, le plus c’est la même chose...

Monday, 22 March 2010


Sometimes I wake up alone and sometimes I don’t. Last Sunday morning, for instance, I awoke in a single bed in an unfamiliar room surrounded by stuff that wasn’t mine.

Where am I? I wondered as I crawled up through the depths.

I went to the window and peeked out: a spectacular landscape thrilled my eyes - definitely not my usual view. Instead of the quiet communal gardens of my leafy London neighbourhood, a towering range of snow-capped mountains soared above me, the imposing majesty of Mont Blanc dominating the peaks like a great rock god.

In case you hadn't guessed yet, I was away on a ski trip staying in a beautiful chalet owned by some friends of a friend of mine. For someone who lives alone, waking up to happy clan of noisy people, lots of kids and a large, wet Labrador is a very different experience to that wot I am used to, but one to which I quickly warmed.

It felt like Christmas every morning as a mixed bag of bodies in various stages of undress wandered into the vast, beating heart of the house to help themselves to the copious choice of breakfast: freshly-made apple, carrot, beetroot and ginger juice (thanks Shaun!) hand-frothed cappuccinos, yogurts, cereals, breads, cheeses, jams, chutneys, last night's leftovers. And then we went off skiing. Or didn’t, depending on the weather and our mood.

The toyboy content during this break was rather thin on the ground. There's always the ski instructors, of course, but we all remember The Great Val d’Esire Massacre a couple of years ago, so poignantly documented in TBD2 'The Daily Male'. I decided not to go there again. I chose Megève instead.

Holidays are for kicking back and going with the flow – or in this case, the snow. I didn’t even work ... WELL I COULDN'T, COULD I, BECAUSE I’D LEFT MY LAPTOP ON THE PLANE! Can you believe that - me, whose laptop is an extension of my right hand, forgetting to put it back in my holdall when we landed in Geneva?!

And so it cowered, frightened and alone, under seat 9D, whimpering quietly to itself, wondering whether it had done something terribly wrong until an honest cleaner picked it up and handed it in at the airport's Lost Property where we were reunited on my return.

Although no fresh toyboys were added to my arsenal (the use of this word will no doubt jar with Mr. Is-Good-Good-Enough as he's a Spurs supporter) I did stick a few new irons in the fire. Some of them had marshmallows on the end as I’m rather partial to soft pink squidgy things especially when dipped in rich, dark, melted chocolate.

And apart from cuckoo clocks, fondue, yodelling and charming mountain villages nestling in the crisp white snow, the Swiss do excel in rich, dark, melted chocolate...

Friday, 12 March 2010


He read my last blog, reckoned I was about to dump him and beat me to it! We had a couple of days respite when I kinda missed him - or maybe I just missed 'it' - then we started texting again.

He hasn't asked to see me and I haven't asked to see him. I've been away and really busy but I've no idea what's going on in his head and I'm not sure I really care. I suppose the fact that we're still in touch must indicate something but I'm not sure what. A slower letting go rather than sudden death, perhaps?

I think we got too easy too soon. But is this a fault? I was quite enjoying 'having someone' while certain in the knowledge he wasn't The One. There've been so many Ones over the past years, how will I recognize the next One anyway?!

What I did recognize was the fact that the romance ebbed away fairly quickly. I searched for it behind the sofa and under the bed but I couldn’t find it anywhere... and when he had the nerve to comment that I was ‘as comfortable as a pair of slippers’... Well! Really! What was a girl to do?

Romance is like fresh has a very short shelf life and goes off once you expose it to the light.

If you ask couples who've been together forever whether they’re still 'romantically' in tune, they may look at you rather quizzically as if they haven’t quite understood the question. It’s probably not something they care to ponder over, for if they did and the answers came back negative, it would open up enough cans of worms to stock a fishing tackle superstore.

Although being in a relationship does have its comfort zones, I never want to reach the point where my emotional life contains no rollercoaster rides, no passion, no drama, no excitement, no thrills and therefore no soaring highs and no crashing lows. All the things to which I am addicted...

It's such a shame that no matter how hard we try to preserve it, that delicious stomach-churning exhilaration that accompanies each new encounter seems to last no longer than a butterfly landing on our shoulder. Perhaps that's why one of my other addictions is 'firsts', because when the conversation dwindles down to a rather plebeian intercourse about the weather, work and what you've had for lunch, it's definitely time to pack up and go home.

So here I am swimming upstream again not sure if I'm headed towards a muddy maelstrom or about to float peacefully on a placid lake. Whichever it is, I shall enjoy the breast stroke as well as the crawl!

Old Romantic or New Romantic doesn't really matter as long as romance is present somewhere.

Off skiing next week so pray I don't break anything unless it's someone's heart.

Sunday, 28 February 2010


I'm still seeing him. I daren't count, but it must be what... seven weeks now? That’s a lifetime in my social world.

Living, as I do, by the 'No Expectations, No Disappointments' diktat, I always expect the next date, or even the next text, to be the last. But this...this... er...relation... – no, let's call it friendship - seems to be going on and on.

You see, we manage to connect on a variety of different levels: intellectually, comedically, nutritionally, religiously, and politically.

You might, however, have noticed that I've left out one very crucial connection in my description of our association: the element about which I am prone to crow, gush and blah on about loudly and explicitly most of the time.

So am I not commenting on it because it's so mind-blowingly-off-the-scale- fantabulastic that I don't want to share it with anyone but him and my "Whoops! they’re-on-the-floor-again" pillows, or am I resisting discussing the subject because frankly, although it's good, it's not quite good enough.

And if you connect on the former levels, how important is the latter? (Carrie Bradshaw moment...)

I walked out of my first marriage because everything was fine except the sex. I rushed into my second marriage because the sex was awesome and therefore unsustainable.

So what is really important in a relationship? A comfortable conglomerate, methinks.

If all you want to do is gnaw each other's flesh off but when you're sated you have nothing much to talk about, that ain't gonna work long-term, is it?

But if you drift towards the boudoir while still deep in conversation, does that mean you don't really fancy each other?

Current Squeeze and I have actually stopped mid-sexual stream to chat about something completely unrelated to the task at hand. Does this means our brains are not fully engaged in whatever our bodies are doing? Or does it mean that we are so homogenized that we can morph between thought and sensation in one seamless move?

For now, I shan’t question it any more. I’ll just enjoy it and go with the flow.

On a totally unrelated matter, I often wonder if I’m having more fun that my daughters. I certainly think I’m having more sex. They’re both married with 2.5 children so they’re hardly likely to be feeling flirty, flighty and fabulous wearing old track suit bottoms with a baby on each hip and a husband who’s turning the house upside down ‘cos he’s lost his keys again.

I, on the other hand, am swanning serenely about my apartment wearing nothing but some pink and black dental floss and a shpritz of Chanel no. 5 behind each ear, sipping champagne from a crystal flute while waiting for my paramour to call.

It wasn’t always like this. I, too, was once a harassed housewife but I paid my dues, survived the tricky years and earned my freedom.

And best of all, I still feel good.

So yes, for now 'good' is definitely good enough.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


A girlfriend once told me - so it must be true - that you should Never Ever sleep with anyone before you’ve dated them at least six times. They’ll think you’re a slut and you’ll never hear from them again.

“Six dates?!” I gulped gargling into my Chardonnay. SIX DATES? That could be Six Weeks? Or Six Months? And if you’re gagging for it, you’ll want to jump him in Six Minutes. And if you’re not, Six Years would still be too soon.

So what is the theory behind this so-called Six Date Rule which, according to Google, doesn’t even exist?

It’s a lure, innit. Treat ‘em mean and all that tosh. Keep ‘em on a promise. Insinuate everything and give away nothing. But can this kind of behaviour not backfire? Blokes do have a rather low attention span and unless they’re extremely keen on buying you endless dinners and getting precious little but a peck and a thank you in return, they may get bored and go looking elsewhere.

From my vast and varied experience, chemistry, unlike photography, does not develop. It’s either there or it isn’t in the first nanosecond of setting eyes on someone. And if chemistry is present, it is human nature and animal instinct to want to explore it further, which usually involves ripping each other’s clothes off a lot sooner than after six dates.

There is, however, the deliciously tantalizing aspect of anticipation. For once you’ve crossed the line, you’ll never enjoy that heady innocent maybe again.

I’m currently engaged in observing the Six Date Rule, more by circumstance than design. Being unable to invite him home due to building works has become a form of self-preservation.

Date 1: Meet for lunch. Check each other out in broad daylight. Tick.

Date 2: Dinner in expensive restaurant. Good conversation. Snog in car. Tick.

Date 3: Cinema and snack after. Longer snog in car. Big Tick.

Date 4: Supper and Scrabble in nearby wine bar. Works nearly finished. Bit of wriggle on the freshly-Hoovered sofa.

Date 5: Theatre and dinner. School night so can’t be late.

Date 6: I’m cooking for him on Valentine’s Night. This might be it...

Friday, 29 January 2010


So because the builder originally mis-measured for the floor tiles, I had to wait an extra two weeks for the additional four boxes to arrive from Italy.

If the floor isn't tiled, the machines can't go in, the units can't be finished if the plinths are not installed, the sink can't be plumbed if the units aren't in place, the electrics can't be done...etc etc.

Yesterday the two week wait was up - Hurrah! - but instead of four boxes arriving as ordered, only three turned up.

My left eye began to twitch.

Remaining calm and controlled, I cancelled and rescheduled the tiler, the grouter, the plumber, the electrician, the carpenters, the cleaner and the carpet man.

The missing box was promised to arrive DHL by noon today. The tiler came in at 7.50 a.m. to get started but when he opened the first of the three boxes which had turned up, he saw that these tiles were 5 mm smaller than the original ones, thereby screwing up the entire layout of the kitchen floor, mismatching the joins etc etc.

My left eye developed a flicker.

Remaining slightly less calm and controlled than before, I phone Nick at the tile shop and he said what I was thinking:

"Fucking cunts the whole lotta them! Can't they get anything right? Whaddya wanna do?"

"I want to stuff my hand down your oesophagus and rip your bollocks up through your throat" I say sweetly.

The tiler then suggested that if he smashed out some of the correctly-sized tiles he'd laid two weeks ago, he could compensate by laying the new ones this way instead of that way and the 5mm differential wouldn't be noticed. But...this would mean he would need another box because of wastage.

I phoned Nick and told him to order me another box to arrive by DHL on Monday at his expense. He laughed.

My left eye was now twitching uncontrollably like Herbert Lom in 'The Pink Panther' every time Clouseau hove into view.

The tiler lays the three boxes and finishes by 11.40 a.m.

"The extra box will be in by noon" I tell him, but of course, even if it is he can't finish today as we're still one box short.

Meanwhile, the decorator has papered the hall with my lovely new green and cream striped wallpaper. He packs up and leaves for the weekend. Admiring the one thing that's gone right, I notice that the stripes go green/cream/green/cream/green/green.

My right eye begins to flinch.

Noon becomes 3.30 as we wait for the missing 1 of 4 to arrive.

The tiler sits on a pile of rubble in the middle of what will one day be my new kitchen listening to loud Ukrainian music on his laptop which he's brought with and plugged into my socket along with his mobile phone, thereby sucking greedily at my personal supply of electricity.

At last, Nick calls to say "They've arrived!"

Just before I leave, the tiler says laconically: "I still don tink ve vill hev enuf."

I reach for the chain saw and slice his head off then realise this is counter-productive, so I glue it back on again. Luckily all these building materials are to hand.

I hare over to Camden to pick the box of tiles up. Nick places them carefully into the boot of my car.

"By the way" he says, "that other box you need...they're out of stock. They've got seconds, though. May or may not match. D'ya want them?"

I stop a passing motorist who looks vaguely foreign and ask if he has any weapons of mass destruction about his person. He hands me a Luger, an Uzi and a box of grenades marked Made in Grenada. I gun Nick down along with a couple of pedestrians then lob a few grenades into the tile shop.

I feel a little better but not much.

As I drive home, I thump into a pothole then over a bump and I hear an almighty crack from my boot.

I drive past my house and on towards the Serpentine. I speed up as I approach the bridge then turn the wheel sharply to the left and crash through the stone balusters plunging the car head first into the murky depths below.

It seemed the better option. Now I don't need a kitchen any more so they can all go fuck themselves.

Friday, 22 January 2010


I’ve got the builders in. New kitchen. Never mind Ramsay’s kitchen nightmares...what about mine??

It feels like the heart of my home’s being ripped out and thrown into the Magimix. There’s kitchen stuff all over the house. Except in the kitchen. And dust embedded all over the stuff that shouldn’t be where it is because it should be in the kitchen. Except I haven't got one.

In a desperate attempt to bring some sanity and sanitation into my horribly disordered life, I had my cleaner in. What a waste of time that was. All she managed to do was shift the dust around from one place to another.

And the bathroom! Don’t even mention the bathroom. What is it with men? Wee-wee. Bowl. What part of that do they not understand? Thank God for the ensuite.

Last Monday, my toyboy story was featured on 'Inside Out' on BBC1. All the builders watched it. It was nudge nudge wink wink all day Tuesday, never mind getting on with the bloody work.

Then on Wednesday, I had a double page spread in The Sun (not Page 3, you'll be relieved to hear - I'm a little old for that!)

And who reads The Sun? The builders. Even less work got done...

I caught one of them glancing at the back cover of Toyboy Diaries 2.

It says: "In this saucy sequel... Wendy embarks on another eyebrow-raising adventure with a man young enough to be her plumber."

Who was reading this?

The plumber.

Friday, 15 January 2010


There is something irresistibly seductive about a 19-year old youth - a firm, fit, fabulous teen teetering on the brink of adulthood. Half boy, half man, he’s like a summer wine: young, fresh, sweet on the palate and very, very heady.

And now that artist and film director, Sam Taylor-Wood and the MP Iris ‘Mrs’ Robinson, have gone public with their affairs, 19 seems to be the optimum age for the toyboy du jour – an accessory at the very zeitgeist of dating fashion.

Before I tell my story, I must ask: what about the boy? Is he the innocent victim of a ‘cougar’ (hate that word!) or is he the manipulator: a savvy kid, confident of his irresistibility, who grabs the opportunity to propel himself from a manky, single mattress onto a luxuriously large, satin-sheeted bed? And all he has to do to maintain that position is perform an act which obsesses him 24/7 anyway, which the older woman will teach him how to perfect.

My seduction by a 19-year old happened on the ski slopes of Switzerland one New Year’s Eve. Suffering from post-divorce stress, I’d taken my 16-year old daughter away on a Christmas break.

As I stepped out onto the balcony of our apartment to admire the view, I heard English voices coming from next door. I leaned over and spotted a young man standing there. ‘Just arrived?’ he asked. ‘I’m Ricky, by the way’ and he stuck out his hand.

Ricky was tall, dark and handsome, staying with his cousins in the adjoining flat. I asked about local restaurants and he suggested we join them for dinner. We had a great evening and all skied together the following day.

I thought Ricky to be about 27, certainly too old for Lily and of no interest to me. The last thing I was needed was another man. A younger one wasn’t even on my radar!

Ricky seemed confident and mature, though and I enjoyed talking to him. One night we all went out to a busy bar. I spotted a pinball machine and decided to play. Ricky sauntered over and asked if I knew how. ‘Not really’ I laughed, ‘but I’ll have a go!’

He came and stood hard up behind me. He put his arms around my waist and covered my hands with his. He began flipping the flippers, jerking me this way and that as the little ball pinged frantically to and fro. I could feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. It made me tingle all over.

I couldn’t work out if he was trying to get off with me, or just vaunting his pinball skills with me as the conduit. He was wearing a thick polo neck, black jeans and an aviator jacket. We were both getting very hot. . .

To be continued . . .