I was catching up with the week’s news this morning and read something that caused me to snort with derision and inelegantly spit out my mouthful of tea. Richard Williamson, the Holocaust-denying Bishop at the centre of the recent wrangle at the heart of the
The other bunch of people who’ve incurred my wrath lately – in a lesser, but still very irritating way - are celebs who are apparently persuaded that what the world needs is more of their spiritual insights, or, perhaps, more practical advice on how we can mange our drab little lives. I’m thinking of Gwyneth and her helpful website Goop, earnestly encouraging us to ‘nourish our inner aspect’, with lots of tips about ‘incredible’ therapies. The word incredible appears a lot in the book reviews, as well - example ‘Tolstoy’s incredible mind amazes me’. Bet he can rest easy in his grave now. I’m also thinking of those otherwise inoffensive people in the domestic sphere who are apparently persuaded that we need their very particular take on bringing up children, or stuffing a Christmas goose for 20 and making your children abandon that silly present opening, (you get the impression that presents are for the lower orders), in order to help you prepare the feast while singing carols in harmonies. I was really disappointed to walk into my local bookshop before Christmas and see that even the apparently sensible Sarah Raven had succumbed. Surely she doesn’t really need the money? Is fame really that corrupting, so that when your publisher/agent/whatever earnestly tells you that the public are gagging for more detail of your perfect domestic life, you actually nod your head seriously? Just tell us how to stuff the bloody goose. Of course, my argument totally collapses here, because I do actually buy this stuff, proving that there is of course a market for it, but then I immediately feel conned, so I’m basically conducting a ‘yeah but no but yeah but’ debate with myself. I do hereby promise, though, that when I become an A-lister (not sure on what basis, exactly, but I’m sure I can think something up), I won’t tell you all how to have the perfect family Christmas without even any staff to help you. Oh, but you’ll be missing out on so much …..
Which brings me on to say – if you ever drink, and you have children, then stop. Right this minute. Otherwise you risk having a night like mine the other night; weaving my way slowly to bed, then waking at 3.00 am with a pounding head and the sinking realisation that the tooth fairy had gone out on the tiles, the hussy, and had forgotten to put a pound coin under youngest’s pillow. I staggered downstairs, freezing to death of course, only to find that while I had notes and coppers in my purse, there wasn’t a shiny gold coin anywhere. A quick rifle through my husband’s pockets and wallet didn’t bring any to light. I had the bright idea (there I go again, Bishop Richard) of raiding eldest’s money box (sadly not the first time this has happened). But instead of sensibly taking the money box downstairs, I decided to open it in his room, and naturally dropped it. It made an almighty crash, coins dropped everywhere, and the poor boy sat bolt upright in bed. I’ll have to start a savings account to pay for his therapy in years to come; he was slightly taken aback to find his mother breathing alcohol fumes over him and stealing his pocket money in the small hours.