20. March 2014

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Sponsored video – Goal!

It’s been odd, after what seems like a lifetime bringing up girls, to observe the male of the species growing up. My stepson is now 7, and a very sweet boy he is. No doubt he would make a most disgruntled face at that description, but there we are. He’s lovely. There’s no denying that […]

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17. March 2014

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Prince charming?

Prince charming?

Have you seen the documentary, Good Swan, Bad Swan? It’s narrated by former prima ballerina Tamara Rojo, the artistic director of the English National Ballet, and is really fascinating. If you have the least interest in ballet, music, art, or even love, you’ll be gripped. I confess, I was one of the zillions of little […]

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10. March 2014

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It’s review time

It’s review time

I love getting surprises in the post. These days it’s more likely to be things I’ve forgotten I’ve ordered than actual genuine presents out of the blue, but it’s exciting all the same. So I was very thrilled to get a huge box from coffee folk Carte Noire. We’ve had an Nespresso machine for years. […]

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3. March 2014

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By the book?

By the book?

Interesting piece in the Observer yesterday about authors scrabbling to make ends meet. Admittedly, he didn’t produce many examples of writers gnawing crusts in garrets, and the lady in the photos lived in a hugely charming, shabby-but-chic house in Oxford. If that’s grinding poverty, most of us would say bring it on. I think he […]

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24. February 2014

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Fembook?

Fembook?

There was a whole bunch of stuff in the papers at the weekend about students or, more specifically, the kind of abuse that female students are apparently routinely exposed to when they go off to uni. This is on my mind a lot, as Child One is now poised on the edge of the nest, […]

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12. February 2014

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Watery end?

Watery end?

While the rest of the country battles with its own (infinitely more serious) water woes, I have my own little fountain of troubles here at Blended Towers. The £4,600 water bill, taken out of my account by Thames Water without so much as a whisper of warning, was the first intimation that something was Not […]

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31. January 2014

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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Strange news from France, where married women will now be addressed in official correspondence by their maiden names.  The idea is to correct gender inequality. I’m sorry, but referring to a woman by her father’s surname instead of by her husband’s is not going to shake the foundations of the patriarchy, is it? Their intentions […]

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28. January 2014

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Culture vultures

Culture vultures

To take my mind off the money whooshing out of my account, and the water eddying round the foundations of our house, we had a bit of a cultural weekend. First up was my Christmas treat – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Now I knew this was special because the dainty, floaty swans are all played […]

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23. January 2014

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Water, water everywhere ….

Water, water everywhere ….

Bit of a shock with my first bank statement after Christmas. Not one of those, ‘oh dear, I overdid it buying Uncle Monty cashmere socks’ moments. More an ‘OMG, WTF and many other acronyms, where has my money gone???” Well, it had all gone to Thames Water, who had removed more than £4,600 from my […]

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16. January 2014

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A strange affair

A strange affair

Jolly though it is to see a politician in a tangle – and jollier still if it’s a French politician – I think our interest in Francois Hollande’s comings and goings is more than curtain-tweaking prurience.  In fact, I think it’s actually justified. The view when one of our own politicians is caught out being […]

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