Sunday, February 27, 2005


We here in eX-Tra land are saddened to hear of the marital crisis of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. Gwynie was seen storming out of a restaurant when the celeb couple couldn't get a table straight away - obviously a sign that their marriage is heading for the divorce courts.

It's kinda sad. Gwyneth (31) is the second most stylish lady in the world, after Sarah Jessica Parker, and as for moody rocker Chris (31) - what can you say? Is he the only buff ginger guy in the world?!!! Okay, more strawberry blond than full on ginger like horrible, buck teethed, face furniture, middle aged Chris "Kiss The Schoolgirls And Make Them Cry" Evans, but still ... of Chris Martin, me and my girly mates say "GRR!!" We like!!!

Well, even though he must be going through hell right now, Chris (29) may well see a silver lining to this particular cloud. You see, rockers are creative guys and often produce their best work when there are emotional pressures in their lives.

Think of wildman Mick Jagger who penned the beautiful ballad "Angie" after David Bowie's wife refused him the offer of a quick one while David was attempting to put up a sofa bed for him in the guest room. Or of Bob Dylan, who poured his heart out on his classic album "Blood On The Tracks" during the messy break up with his lady, Sara. Or indeed, any song by drab, hirsute indie rocker David Gedge of the Wedding Present.

But our favourite break up song has to be by Rod Stewart, still licking his wounds after splitting up with gorgeous Scandinavian Britt Eckland, with beautiful poignant lyrics such as

"You're Celtic, United/But baby I've decided/You're the best team I've ever seen"

What a towering achievement, and a song which is still remembered by us all 30 or so years later!

So, take heart, Chris, you could be reaching your artistic peak. Besides, us ladies wouldn't say no to filling Gwynie's size 8 Jimmy Choos!!! *

* ... well, she IS a tall girl, so she probably has big feet. That's a size 453 in the US, fact fans!!

Friday, February 25, 2005


Good old Heinz Weightwatchers Beef Hotpot. The readymeal has appeared in the endlessly updated Sudan 1 deathlist of foods containing a trace of the bootpolish dye which has caused cancer in laboratory tests on rats, although there is apparently "no immediate risk to health". The aforementioned meal is a staple of my diet, so a shout goes out to Everyone Who Knows Me - make a mental note to keep a window free for my funeral in 2007.

So far there hasn't been a clammering hysterical media response (well, by the usual standards). I saw the slimeball Dr Hilary "A Boy Named Sue" Jones hinting on GMTV that it might be advisable to return to traditional cooking methods rather than relying on convenience foods. Oh great, so the housewife viewers of the show, already guilty about juggling career, motherhood, housework, kids' homework, useless husband, etc., ought to add another couple of hours or so onto the daily slog. Perhaps it's only right that they should give up sleeping to accommodate everything. Dr "Believe Me, I'm All Man Down There" Hilary already has, to my knowledge, around six children and an extra-marital affair under his belt (ahem, quite literally). I can't be the only woman who thinks it beyond the pale to listen to supposedly expert advise from a bloke who is such an obvious sexual incontinent.

Still, the coverage of the dye in food scare hasn't tested my patience too far, but there are limits, Fair enough, I've not scrutinized the weekly papers, but there is the "I won't be held responsible for my actions" limit, the thin red line ...

... if some smug cow from North London sends a letter to the broadsheets suggesting that it's a great wake up call for "everyone" (i.e., common people who haven't been to university) to really think about what they put in their shopping baskets, and how it would be completely unthinkable for her (or the nanny) to let Poppy and India eat - heavens forbid - Dairylea Triangles or packets of crisps, and how she always takes the people carrier down for the three hour trip to a pretty little village in Sussex at the weekend where there's a super little organic market where all the stallholders really know there stuff, and all the produce is guaranteed fresh and free of additives, and she knows it will be tasty and wholesome, unlike mass produced supermarket fodder, and you really have to pay throught the nose for quality, and she (or the nanny) spends seven hours a day cooking at the Aga, but it's all very rewarding at the end because you know you have done right by your family and can have a guilt free conscience ...

... then, I will have to send a letter bomb to her home address.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I have been away, trawling the dark continent on the edge of the soul. I have also landed an exciting new job as a columnist with our local paper, the eX-tra. This is a job I applied for on a couple of occasions. The paper advertised for a writer who could "take an irreverent look at stories in the news from the female readers' point of view", no doubt to counteract all the shock stories about pensioners being held at gunpoint by crack addled yobs, sub post offices closing down and the Round Table raising money for a hospice. Anyway, the first time I submitted some material to the paper as an "example of my portfolio" it was sent back with a polite letter suggesting that "the eX-tra is just that - it adds that little bit more to local and national news which you don't get from other papers! Unfortunately, your writing style may alienate some readers. We listen closely to them and respect them to the utmost. We know that our readers are bright, high-achieving, dynamic, very "up" people, and they want to read journalists who reflect their exciting lifestyles and positive attitudes to life. I'm afraid to say your writing may suggest you are rather cynical (even, one might say, bitter) and not what we are looking for at all. Many of our female readers site publications such as Heat or Okay! as their favourite reading matter outside of the eX-tra - this is the type of journalistic approach we are looking for. Thank you for your application".

Well, needless to say this called for a drastic change of approach on my part. How could I connect with all those get-ahead dynamoes who read the eX-tra? There was only one thing for it: a complete personality transplant. By attempting to be the opposite of what I am, I have landed the job of weekly columnist, complete with picture of me in disgusting bright orange jacket, red lipstick and a grin full of more teeth than Merrill Osmond circa 1972. I am writing under the nom de plume of Polly Witterings, and this is a preview of the column which will be appearing in this week's eX-tra.


* First off, congratulations to round the world yachtslady Ellen MacArthur - what an incredible achievement her record beating voyage was! However - how can I put this delicately? - despite her expert handling of a trimaran, it's about time she employed a style consultant. Now she's a Dame it's time to swap those drab sporty clothes and that dykey hairstyle for a softer more elegant image, growing her hair longer and maybe losing some weight so she can get into a size 6 dress. Then she might be able to pull a hunky guy in the Brad Pitt league. Face it, with all her hard work, she deserves it!!!

* It seem that gorgeous Jude Law WON'T be playing doomy singer Ian Curtis after all. Let's breathe a sigh of relief. You probably won't have heard of them, but Ian's band - misery rockers Joy Division - make a right unlistenable racket. Droolsomely buff actor Jude (31), is, along with lovely girlfriend Sienna Miller (dress size - 6) part of Britain's coolest couple. He would do better to wait for a role in a rock biopic which is more deserving of his talents. In other words, one as a rocker who has some panache and sex appeal - such as Jon Bon Jovi or the late, yummy Michael Hutchence!!!!!

* Yay! Hang out the bunting! At long last there is a t.v. programme which those of us who yearn for "Sex In The City" can watch! Remember all of those girly fests when we used to sit around laughing our heads off, eating chocolate and "just loving" Sarah Jessica Parker's stylish outfits? Well, fear not, because "Desperate Housewives" is here - and what smart, sussed, sassy and sexy housewives they are! And, most importantly, none of them is over a size 6! One thing's for sure - me and my girly mates (average age - 38) will all be sat infront of the telly with the wine and low fat crisps watching it while our guys are down the pub on Wednesday night!!!!!!

*It seems that there are really vile rumours spreading around the media that Kylie Minogue may have had Botox injections. It's all complete rubbish of course. Obviously there are female journalists out there who are extremely jealous of Kylie's all round gorgeousness and can't bear to think that she still has to-die-for looks at the grand old age of 46. Most of these so-called lady journalists have let themselves go, to put it mildly - they wouldn't even be able to squeeze into a size 8 pair of Earl jeans if their lives depended on it! Not that Kylie will care - she has delectable Frenchman Oliver Letwin (34) on her arm. You go, girl!!!!!!

Right, I'm uptown now to buy some to-die-for Jimmy Choos. Byeee!!!!!!!!!!

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