Tubby or not tubby....?

...FAT is the question! And as the Christmas season and those yummy treats that accompany it are now a faint glimmer in my selective imagination, I find myself searching for the answer to that most prickly of questions...does size matter?

Now, I'm not a "skinny bird," as some of you know. Indeed, I consider myself plump in areas your average supermodel would pummel with a celery stick in order to slip effortlessly into those skinny jeans. Hey, don't get me wrong, I enjoy gliding through a room, confident that my bum doesn't look too big in my "lady pants" as much as the next girl.And if given the choice between a regular coffee and a skinny latte, well, I'll go with the "regular." Every. Single. Time.

So why is it when that prominent symbol of the Xmas break rears its colourful head and displays itself prominently on the shelves of the local supermarket, a good many of us make an on the spot mental note to signs ourselves up to a year's subscription of "Weight Watchers," or the like? Of what am I alluding to? I am talking, of course, about the mince pie. Small in size, easy enough to slip into the vacant pocket of a lady's handbag or the inside lining of a gentleman's sports jacket, but crammed full of excessive, empty calories. As Smashey and Nicey would say, "It's simply snacktastic!"

A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips! To be sure, the warnings make one shudder and instill the fear of God into those of us intent on keeping one eye on our waistband and the other, firmly fixed on that new, mouthwatering bar of scrumdiddlyumptious whatever, which is cunningly placed at the checkout and winking at us with all the fury of a desperado on the pull!

"Go on, have know you want to!" But saner heads prevail and nine times out of ten I will resist temptation and glide by said invitation, casting a distainful backward glance. But it's not easy is it? In fact, sometimes it can be downright difficult. Car wouldn't start - piece of chocolate..mmm that would be nice...Southampton have just lost to Sunderland - three double whisky's...mmm, that would be nice...this is how we are. Well, some of us at any rate.

And the excuse? Well, we live im a world where pressure to consume and the maintenance of physical beauty combine to produce vaxation in even the most ardent sceptic. Look, but don't touch...Touch, but don't taste...Taste, but don't swallow! What's a girl to do? Or a bloke, for that matter. But I think the real pressure is on the ladies.

I can just hear it now...the shriek that cuts through the lady's changing room at "Topshop" when her teenage daughter points and observes at the top of her voice, "Mum, you've got a muffin top!" Which is rich, considering offending teen, by all accounts, has probably never come into close contact with a muffin in her life and is so slim, if she turned sideways, she would be reported missing!

Still, you've got to laugh...And let's face it, when it comes to size, a lot of very successful actors comedians and celebrities have, over the years, used plus - sized proportions as an ally. Oliver Hardy. There's one. The late actor, John Candy. There's another. Most recently, James Corden had weight issues that did not, nevertheless, disguise his talent or prevent him from winning numerous awards. Likewise, his "Gavin and Stacey" collaborator, Ruth Jones. To name but a few.

But what of the rest of us mere mortals? Those of us that go through each day, bombarded by tempting culinary images on the one hand whilst attempting, (often in vain) to keep the other out of the fridge. Well, for my part, I do try to steer clear of the "naughty but nice" aisles at my local supermarket. I work on the principle that if I can't see it, I won't be tempted to buy it. I mean, do I really need to excite my tastebuds at every available opportunity? And just how tasty is that new scrumdiddlyumbtious bar anyway? Perhaps it is the wrapper itself which is so inviting. Yummy...or not yummy.....? That is the question. Answers on a poscard please....

"Things That Go Bump...."

Infamy, infamy...
They've all got it infamy!

It's a strange thing is paranoia. As is fear. Add self - obsession to the mix and what do you have? A lethal cocktail of self - abuse and a waste of time and energy. In my book anyway. Because worrying doesn't change things!A shift in attitude might do the trick, but hey, what's wrong with a little vulnerability? I mean, it's attractive, right? And how the deuce is a girl to be rescued from the jaws of terror, (by a knight in shining armour or his modern day equivalent)if, every time the threat appears, she gives it the finger and defiantly says, "bring it on!"

Let's slide it on back, folks, and concentrate on fear. It creeps up on you in all forms. Dogs, heights, death,the dark, cracks in the pavement...etc, etc. We all strive to avoid certain objects and sensations that send a shiver down the spine so fast, they could leave star athlete, Usain, enveloped in a cloud of dust and firmly bolted to the starting line.

Eeek a mouse! Small and furry. Soft and cuddly...if you like that kind of thing. Not so, if you're terrified of them. As elephants are...apparently. Go figure! Now, myself, I'm not too keen on spiders. "But it won't hurt you...if you don't annoy it..." How many times have I heard that attempt to reconcile me with the happy manners of an amiable arachnid? Several. And the result? No. Very much no.Nil points (Pronounced with a French accent - Think Eurovision!)I would rather take tea with a certain MP than come into close contact with a multi - limbed, evil - eyed, creepy crawly.Although there are certain similarities, obviously!

Give me a break will you! If I could "grow some," I would. But I can't. Perhaps I am secretly partial to the maiden in distress scenario. Alas,knights in shining armour are particularly thin on the ground at present, and if a spider does take up residence in my house, I am resolved to cover it with a glass and have a neighbour remove it to the garden. I won't kill it. Because the last thing I want is the SPL (Spiders Protection League) on my doorstep, armed with the Wilkinsons, freshly stropped! Such is the world today.

So,I've laid myself bare and shown you, once again, the chink in my lady - armour. How's that for courage?Spiders are my weakness. What's yours? And don't say a pint....

I Love To Laugh

I was recently asked what I like to do in my spare time. Well, I love to laugh. Comedy floats my boat. Laurel and Hardy, Blackadder, Bottom, Men Behaving Badly, to name but a few of the all time best comedy shows which raise my spirits.

I am a happy soul at heart and I feel it most when my sense of humour is touched.

Rik Mayall's untimely passing last year saddened me so much. He was one of my favourite comedy actors. And the most endearing phrase of Rik's? "That's a smashing blouse you're wearing!" Classic! It's important to be able to see the funny side of life don't you think?

An Old Fashioned Gal....

Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong business. It stands to reason. At sixteen I didn't waltz into the careers office and announce my intention to become an escort.

Hell no. Like many ladies in this line of work, I arrived by default. A university graduate with no real desire to enter into my designated career, I followed a course that led me into the oldest profession.

I've no regrets though because I have traditional tastes. From music to fashion, Glen Miller to Tiffany, I am an old fashioned girl at heart. It's why I prefer the company of mature gentlemen I think. They remind me of the past. With one exception - Mark Ronson. Smart and super hot. When I hear him speak in his New York accent - a nightingale does indeed sing in Berkeley Square.


He was part of its appeal. New York City I mean. Because every time I went there and sauntered around Soho in downtown Manhattan, I thought, he's here somewhere. I knew Bowie was a resident in that particular neighbourhood and over the years when I've been in that part of town, I thought, one day, I will walk by him. Chances are, I did. But if I did, I would never have known it. Heavily disguised as he always was, he was a master at blending in with ordinary folk. He worked hard at being anonymous. I don't blame him. And he was good at it. New York, as I've discovered over the years, is a great place to retain ones anonymity - if you want to, that is. Because anonymity is a choice. For every celebrity complaining of press intrusion, there is the odd one who knows that if you really want it, privacy is easily attainable..
I was in New York at Xmas last year and fortunate to see the great Al Pacino in David Mamet's new play, "China Doll'" on Broadway. Like many other fans, I was able to meet him and obtain an autograph. He was so gracious. A day or two later I was walking along Fifth Avenue, at the junction with Broadway, close to Macy's. I saw Al Pacino strolling along with a companion and it struck me that he seemed so secure in the knowledge that he wouldn't be stopped and bothered. Which is why I resisted the temptation to go on over.
I've blogged a lot on New York City in the past and at times I feel the need to draw myself in. But not today. Because Bowie is gone. He was a stunningly, beautiful man. Culturally and philosophically aware. A great songwriter, singer, artist and poet. The city won't feel the same without him and doesn't already. Al Pacino, a native of NYC is still active in its ramparts. Don't miss the opportunity of going to see his play if he is your favourite actor. I missed the chance to see Bowie. He was on my list and I've seen the rest. Result? Gutted. Who is on your list? Go do it!

The End Of Longing.

We all long for something. This morning, for example, I longed to locate a reasonably priced carpenter, capable of fixing new hinges to my garage doors which sadly, blew off in the midst of last night's storm.

Alas, my search for a reputable tradesman on a Bank Holiday is not at an end as those with favourable reviews are themselves longing to be engaged in tasks that don't command call out fees at time and a half.

And who can blame them? I, myself, tidied away my best frock and and underwear at the weekend and headed for the bright lights of London together with my friend. We had mapped out our assault on the city well in advance of our descent. And our preparations paid dividends.

Sight seeing and dinner in China Town ensued, followed by the main attraction and our primary motive for this excursion - a visit to the Playhouse Theatre to see Matthew Perry in his new play, "The End Of Longing."

In this, his playwriting debut, Perry stars in and excells as alcoholic, Jack, who meets and befriends four other lost souls in a downtown Los Angeles bar. As their lives become entwined, their individual struggles are revealed. The results are hilarious, poignant and thought provoking.

Had I been longing to to see aspects of Chandler Bing's character in Perry's latest outing, I would have been sorely disappointed. Except perhaps for a split second in one scene where I thought the actor had gratified his audience with a brief, almost seductive glimmer.

"The End Of Longing" is a wonderful play and Matthew Perry a superb stage actor. As my friend and I waited at the stage door, post performance, I reflected on the ability of its star performer, who has overcome a well documented battle with addiction himself, to go on and produce what is seemingly, in itself, an autobiographical masterpiece with this theme. That the broken among us need not remain broken. It was and is, an inspirational message.

Such depth of feeling aside, as Perry autographed my programme at the stage door and my heart burst with pride at having witnessed such a magical work of art, I deeply longed to say three words to him. "Oh, My, God." Fans of "Friends" will know exactly where I'm coming from at this point.

And those of you that don't? Get the box set. Better still, get yourself along to the Playhouse Theatre WC2N 5DE and watch "The End Of Longing" which runs until 14th May 2016. Trust me. It's the business!

"Hiddleswift" leaves me....shaken....not stirred."

I'm a great fan of Bond. James Bond that is. So I was a tad disappointed to learn that Daniel Craig's potential replacement, the lovely Tom Hiddleston has been dallying with the talented, American beauty, Taylor Swift. And I will tell you why in a minute.

Now don't get me wrong, I have no axe to grind with the young lady in question. If I were in her shoes, ie. rich, famous, talented and beautiful, I daresay I would take the opportunity, as a single lass, to date handsome young bachelors like the gorgeous Mr Hiddleston.

Judging by recent public displays of affection between "Hiddleswift,"as they are now known, the talented, Eton and Cambridge educated thespian has been well and truly "taysered." So soon after her recent split from Scottish DJ Calvin Harris and quicker than you or I can say och hey the noo, this sexy songstress has proved once again that she is indeed, Swift by name and swift by nature.

Young love aside, what bothers me is that the bookies' favourite to take over the role of 007 may well have damaged his chance to do so. Reason being? I think the actor in question needs to retain a lower profile in order to be believable as Bond. A blank canvas so to speak. I think it will be difficult for Tom Hiddleston to convince future audiences that he indeed is Bond, James Bond, if his personal character and private life come under too much scrutiny in the public domain.

Actor Ben Whishaw who plays the part of Q in the current Bond movies has commented on his own desire to keep his private life precisely that, private, in order to be more believable in the roles he plays. And he is not a bad judge! Personally I think he nails the part of the modern day "Q" because I know nothing about Ben Whishaw which can distract me from believing in his on screen persona.

Alas, I fear this is not the case with the lovely Mr Hiddleston, bless him! He has relinquished that air of mystery which is vital to the actor playing James Bond. In my view at any rate. And the result? Before he has been cast, I now know he has an illusion shattering penchant for dancing at the Met and snogging cute popstrells.

As such, quintessentially English and remarkably talented he may be, I doubt I can visualise him as Bond now. His failure to stay under cover and leave something to my imagination has left me feeling .......well......shaken.....but not stirred!

And what of the young Ms Swift? Methinks she will fair a good deal better from this romance, drawing inspiration to produce yet another chart topping song. I wonder what she'll call it? The mind boggles but let me hazard a guess. "The Man With The Golden Bum." Better still, "The Spy Who Dumped Me." Bring it on....I'm all ears!