My BLOG
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 it...you 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....
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"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....
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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?
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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.
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BOWIE

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!
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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!
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"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!
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The Art of Communication.

When I was a lad and things were bad....well, actually, when I was a girl...we posted letters, written in ink on paper, visited the library in search of information, clocked on at work and looked forward to those precious weekends out on the town, where dancing round the handbag, fuelled by two halves of lager and black, led to a smooch with a guy who had watched us from the sidelines of the dancefloor all evening.

That was the order of the day and we understood it. Life was simple then. I find myself reminiscing because today is my birthday and I am lamenting the loss of such basic forms of communication. From the moment the egg replaced the worm as the lowest form of currency, we were bound to find ourselves tongue tied and helpless in the face of the new language of mass media. Where texts replace the word and Facebook calls the shots. Neither of which I subscribe to by the way. So there you have it. And I am proud to retain the title of old fashioned gal. Don't knock it. You know it makes sense!.
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Game, Set and Flash!
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Oh joy, oh joy!

Tennis season is firmly upon us. Well, it's upon me at any rate!

And as an avid fan, I'm thoroughly enjoying this year's outing from Roland Garros.

It's a hoot, serving up bronzed bodies, the likes of which mere mortals can only dream of possessing.

Stirred up with with toned torsos, highly strung rackets and a selection of sporting attire that can best be described as mildly erotic.

If ever there was a sporting event designed to raise the blood pressure of either sex, then voila!.

I'm game, set and match. Love it!

Tight shorts, flimsy mini skirts and the regular flash of midriff all combine, in my view, to provide a feast for the focused and a lift to the libido.

My money, and eyes are on Nadal. He can serve me an ace any time he likes!
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SINK MEH!


For those of you unfamiliar with the Scarlet Pimpernel starring Anthony Andrews, I heartily recommend this movie as a source of merriment.

It's an absolute classic! Ian McKellen at his most villainous, Jane Seymour in delightful form and of course Andrews doing what he does best. The irrepressible, handsome aristocrat.

A splendid way way to spend a Sunday afternoon, watching this marvellous rendition of swashbuckling romance and humour. Good, solid, clean fun is its essence, not withstanding the executions of course.

Sink meh! I can barely tear my eyes away from Anthony Andrews in all his glory. What a feast for his viewers.

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Lunching With Austen.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an independent escort in possession of a good lunch and her favourite hardback, MUST be in want of a client!

Or so it seems. To paraphrase Jane Austen, (very badly indeed I might add), on what is the two hundred year anniversary of her death, certain truths ring as clearly as a crystal bell.

You know where I'm coming from right? You're on the golf course about to improve your handicap when the business associate you had long since given up on, rings to offer you the contract you thought was out of reach. And suddenly you're off balance.

Oh, the power of interruption is, alas, still firmly upon us. Do I take the call or say the hell with it? To flee or not to flee, that is the question!

It's a tough one and I daresay that at some point, we've all abandoned the pursuit of one perfectly good thing in favour of something we considered infinitely more desirable.

Well I've got news for you. Today, I held onto my lunch and my copy of Northanger Abbey. Why? Because it's Friday and I'm worth it. I think Miss Austen would be proud of me.
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The "History Girls."

I don't know how it eluded me! But it did. A failure to take the time to read it. A capital offence on my part and I'm heartily ashamed of myself!

I'd heard it spoken of on numerous occasions and it is contained in my library in its original form, as a play. Alan Bennett's , "History Boys." And yesterday, at a loose end, I managed to catch it on TV.

It was a revelation to me. And a reminder. That all we think IS possible, is indeed possible but cloaked in uncertainty.

For those of you unfamiliar with Alan Bennett's play and adverse to any kind of literary study, I recommend you check out the movie.

The plot centres on eight working class boys in a north of England Grammar school, preparing for the Oxbridge exam. That is, attempting to secure a place at Oxford or Cambridge.

It brought back memories of a former life when I was interviewed at Oriel College, Oxford, to read Law.

They told me there was no "Oxford type," but surrounded by lords, ladies and gentlemen, prospective candidates on the day, attired with cravats and boater hats to boot, I beg to differ. I felt like a fish out of water. Needless to say they rejected me.

Thankfully, I was accepted to read Law at another prestigious, English university and I graduated with honours. I'm a history girl though. The past won't preclude me, the present sees me through and the future is a delightful mystery.
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Tempus Fugit.

They put on an awesome display of skill and daring. Delighting us all. And for my part, I feel proud to be British when I observe the Red Arrows in action.

But this weekend, they got me to thinking. About how time flies. The plumes of red, white and blue smoke emitted from the engines of these deardevil pilots prompted me to consider the passage of time in all its glory and what it means to me.

I recently acquired a grandmother clock which I've installed in my kitchen of all places. It seems to tick slowly but I know from experience that time passes quickly after a certain age.

As such, I have much on my agenda. Downsizing my home, retirement in part to New York and the pursuit of happiness. It's all possible but as with everything else, only time will tell.
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That's My Boy

He's the best thing since sliced bread.!

Actually the best thing to come onto the music scene in the last ten years.

In my view at any rate.

And after seeing him on the Jonathan Ross show last night, he really affirmed that for me.

Imaginative, down to earth and truly gorgeous. What a star!

At the top of his game and the best in the world. I love Ed Sheeran for what he is.

A no nonsense, real talent. Long may he reign. He's my kind of guy. He sets my pulse racing.

Sexy, talented and without a doubt, utterly irresistible. If I could have one person over for dinner tonight, it would be him.
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A Room With A View.

I have a view.

A view of the sea from my home. And in all of the years I've had this place, I've never grown tired of it.

It has been the one constant thing I admire on a daily basis. Each morning when I awake, I know it will be there, glistening, staring back at me.

My view is especially beautiful this time of year as the sun sets on the horizon over Poole Harbour. It really is a blessing, this place. Peaceful and serene.

I feel very fortunate to have it. It won't be mine forever though. I will sell my home and view one day in order to seek out another.

That is an exciting prospect. Moving on. Having a different kind of view. Fields of green, perhaps.

I can't quite see it yet, in my mind's eye, but it will come to me. In the meantime, I'm watching the lights twinkling over the Harbour and it is beautiful tonight. ..
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"I know the secret..and the secret is.................

Not to talk about it."

I quote Adrian Edmondson on the secret to his long and happy marriage to Jennifer Saunders.

And how did I discover this pearl of wisdom? Simple, I googled his daughter, Beatrice whose role in the sitcom "Josh" has been keeping me suitably entertained this last week.

It's amazing isn't it? You take a chance on watching something you've never seen before and it leads you in all kinds of directions.

I can't offer any insight into Ade's observations on matrimonial bliss, but I can talk and I will say this.

The offspring of one of the greatest double acts ever, yes, EVER, graces our screens and boy is she like her dad. Looks just like him.

And the greatest double act? Rik and Ade. Obviously. "Bottom" was and continues to be my favourite comedy series.

When Rik Mayall died, I cried for a fortnight. No kidding.

I'm glad to see Beatrice Edmondson following in the footsteps of her famous parents. She has a lot to live up to but she's a real star in the making.

If you haven't already seen "Josh," you can catch up on BBC iPlayer. Trust me, it's a blast.

I've no doubt that Rik is looking down from comedy heaven on this talented young lady. He would have known her well. And what is he thinking? I will hazard a guess.

"That's a smashing blouse you're wearing!"
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Al and Grace

It was a great evening. I'd planned it well in advance. A trip to New York. One of many over the years. But this one was special.

Two years ago. Christmas. Snow and ice on Broadway. A beautiful scene. A great theatre. A David Mamet play, "China Doll'." The star, Al Pacino.

The performance, a blast. The man himself? Legendary.

As far as I know, Al Pacino has been voted the greatest movie star of all time. I was fortunate enough to meet him on this occasion.

How would I describe him?

Gracious. That's what he was. Some may say he can afford to be. Not so.

In the time I've spent in New York over the years, I've met Broadway actors who, in spite of their wealth and fame are less than gracious. .

Al Pacino was and continues to be one of the good guys. Sober, patient and gracious outside of the theatre the night I saw him.

A legend on stage, a gentleman in person and an inspiration to anyone looking to increase the joy in their heart.
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