Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Oops, I can feel a rant coming on.

Last night I saw Judith O'Reilly being interviewed on Richard & Judy's show.

You may or may not know that she is the former Times journalist who landed a book deal a few weeks after starting a *blog*.  The back story is here.

I don't know anything about her writing, and have read very few of the "acclaimed" blogs.  I've got better things to do with my time than read the very long winded *musings*, *ramblings* and *meanderings* of twee middle class housewives who churn out babies on a regular basis and seem overly pleased with themselves.

Still, the interview in itself was enough to wind me up.  

Unfortunately, watching it pissed me off so much that I became very angry, and had to storm off to do the washing up to the accompaniment of loud music.  Oooh, get me!

The only CD to hand was Adam & The Ants' Greatest Hits, which didn't quite hit the anger button. 

Ms O'Reilly isn't really a "representative" of British bloggers (indeed, who is?).  Thank the feck for that.

I just hope that she isn't a "representative" of women in general.

She was asked why her blog had got so many readers in such a short time.

She replied that she felt that it represented women today as they are - as wives, daughters and mothers.


Feminism has come a long way.  Women aren't women - they're wives, daughters and mothers. Apparently we're living in a pre-Jane Austen era.

Well, I must be completely fucked up then - my parents are both dead which means I'm not a daughter, and I haven't churned out any middle class babies, so I'm not a mother.  Does this mean that I'm not a woman, and should I therefore kill myself now?

Strange - I'm pretty sure that most of the women I know don't see themselves as just wives, daughters or mothers.  Perhaps I've misunderstood them, though.

Ms O'Reilly re-located to Northumberland despite her husband working in London, because it's what he wanted to do.  Fair enough.  

Ms O'Reilly wants us to know that it's been a struggle being a wife, daughter and mother who has re-located to the wilds of the north (hmm... Scottish readers must be confused.  What is this "north" that she speaks of?).  She's tried to work part time and work from home combining this with motherhood, which has been difficult.

Perhaps not quite as difficult as it is for a single mother who has to do two or three part time jobs to pay the bills, but I doubt that such a woman would have the time to write a blog ... er, anyway ...

Ms O'Reilly further increased my irritability by saying that when her husband was away from home the car's petrol had run out several times.  She thought that filling the car with petrol was "a boy's job".

Bleeding hell.

Bleeding hell.

Maybe all of the female bloggers should get together to send a petition to Richard & Judy stating that Judith O'Reilly does not represent them as women, wives, daughters or mothers!

In the meantime, let's raaaaaak - fuck, yeeeeahh!!!!!

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I do hope Adam is taking his medication.

He definitely shouldn't start a blog, he'll never be completely normal again if he does.
Petitions are good. Not as satisfying as a good slap, though.
Her publisher thinks she will "tap into the zeitgeist of the postBridget Jones generation."

Patronizing Prigg from the bits I read.
We have a Canadian equivalent who went from droning on and on about her single life in a national newspaper column to writing about dirty diapers in same column, then getting a blog and TWO book deals that followed.

One book review mentioned that the "author’s attitude comes dangerously close to that of one who has a baby as a chic accessory."
FUCK YEAH! Whooo! I'm not sure she's even representative of being a human being. This is the troubling problem with fee speech and democracy - people do come out with such tosh...

(Have you been churning out lots of upper-class babies instead? Or working-class miner babies?)
FREE speech, that should be. Can't type. Too busy trying to get a book deal out of being a limp human being.
This is currently 'book of the week' on Radio 4, and I heard a bit of it this morning. From the BBC website blurb:

"When Judith O’Reilly’s husband announces that he wants to move to rural Northumberland, she sees trouble ahead. She adores London life, her career and her friends, but wants to give her family a chance of a better life. To stave off her isolation, she starts writing a blog, about the ups and downs of life in the country, which soon wins fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Sadly, just as she gains an international readership for her online musings Judith's rural adventure is cut short by a bizarre accident involving a chiffon scarf and a piece of farm machinery."

OK so I made up that last sentence.
I bet the daft bint wears crinolines.

And I bet that her husband deliberately left the car without petrol in the hopes that Ms O'Reilly would conk out in the middle of nowhere and get eaten by badgers.
Garfer - I can remember a long, rambling and angry letter that Adam sent to Time Out after a letter writer had criticised his ex- girlfriend. He ended up being arrested for waving a gun about in a pub a couple of weeks later. Maybe he should start a blog!

Arabella - too true, and very tempting, but I suggest she has a freezing cold shower every morning after rising at 4.30. That should lead to a swift improvement in her character.

Murph - post-Bridget Jones generation? Bridget Jones was pretty fucking awful! I presume it means that the the silly moo finally met her Mr Darcy and he decided to leave her in Northumberland while he escaped to London. Sensible bloke.

MJ - it always follows the same trajectory with those female journalists. One minute they're complaining about how awful men are, but they're really enjoying the single life and can't imagine ever settling down and having kids because it's so boring and they're free spirits. The next thing you know they're knocked up and have married. Once they have the kiddie they climb up onto the moral high ground and do all that "speaking as a mother" crap. Kaboom! In come the publishing deals. Yawn.

Boz - she seems like a drippy, sub-Kate Bush type, but without the bonkers genius quality. Then again, she could have been completely misrepresented by the evil Richard & Judy. As for me, I've been churning out millions of sinister, blue eyed Aryan children in my laboratory. Everyone needs a hobby. You're right about fee speech though - going to a fee-paying school does seem to result in brain deficiency in a lot of cases.

SK - argg! The way that journalists have to describe events in the present tense! I think it's supposed to make you feel more excited and involved in what you're reading/hearing. Shame to hear about Judith's tragic, Isadora Duncan style death :( I'm sure she'll be remembered by her millions and millions of fans around the world. Not since Evita Peron died will there be such mass mourning.

IDV - yes, she wear crinolines, carries a fan around to flutter in front of her face and blushes whenever she sees a man. I'm surprised that she can actually drive a car. Isn't driving something that "boys" do?
Bloody hell, I'm really having a go at this poor bint, aren't I? She's probably really a top bird and a good laugh daaahn the pub. If this is the case and she ever has the misfortune to read this ... er ... SORRY.
This is why I avoid Richard and Judy.
Let me get this straight. As a protest against an anti-feminist stance, you stormed off into the kitchen and did the washing up? What would you do if I called you 'a little sweetie'? Iron Geoff's shirt?
Wouldn't the world be a better place if Adam Ant, rather than Richard and Judy, were telling people what to read?
Does this mean that I'm not a woman, and should I therefore kill myself now?

Oh Betty, you're more than a woman, more than a woman to me...

She's just a middle class, blogging Jade Goody. Give her her day in the sun, she'll be gone soon.
I loved the comment on that piece by Richard from Ramsgate:

"I relocated from London to Ramsgate, the new millionaires' playground, more than a year ago and started a blog. Look where that's got me! Unemployed, penniless, and the entire Isle of Thanet baying for my blood. Only the lucky few end up with a publishing deal!"

His blog sounds better than Wifeoopnarf.com.

Let's all e-mail our MPs for advice and listen to Dirk Wears White Sox (it's a slightly angrier A&TA's album).
I read her a bit when she first started, very predictable stuff - she would perceive herself to have been ill-used by northumbrians or the terrible nothumbrian weather, she would slag off northumbrians; northumbrians would extract some kind of revenge and then she'd get loads of americans & london media types cooing sympathy in the comments.

Then I realised life's too short to read blogs purely in the hope that the writer will get their just deserts.

If she's 'book of the week' I'm sure she thinks she has. She was never a blogger though.
Hey Betty - I win!
I'm not a wife, I'm not a daughter and I'm not a mother.

It's a wonder they allow me to blog at all.
(To be read in an affected Peter Kay voice)

Book? Of the week? What a book? A book? The week in a book? I have read about her before and looked at her blog and it came across as one of those mundane whinge blogs - the kind of thing I'd place in the lonely religious mother house-wife obssessive cake-maker tip-giving dog-walker blogs. I also got the sense that she was trying a bit too hard and had some link to publishing or PR in the first place - not exactly pining away in the wilds of Northumbria really. More driving into the nearest main town to meet the journalist from the local paper to start drumming up some press. Oooh get me - bitchhead Rockmother. I am a mother, was a single mother last year which meant I blogged and podcasted prolifically as a result but didn't stick my whinges up online. I am a daughter but not a wife - just a sullen cohabitee - who rawks - so to get over that rant I am now going to put on Totally Wired by The Fall REALLY BLOODY LOUD and it is only 08:10. COME ON!
Mrs Malc (in real life Ms Sally) is currently under sedation having read the 'wife, daughter, mother' bit.

I've been over to have my first (and last) look at 'Wife'. What a contrived load of bollocks. I don't believe a word of it. Who packs up a job, leaves a home and travels to the other end of England, admitting her husband was the only one keen on the move? Someone who has an inkling there's a £70,000 book deal on the way, that's who.

She should be shipped up here to the real North and see how she likes it.
Billy - well, I used to enjoy their arguments and Richard's complete stupidity, but I'm getting fed up of Judy stammering through every introduction or fluffing her lines. Good job it's their last series.

Vicus - when I'm really angry I do a bit of embroidery or bake a cake. You can be a feminist without losing your femininity, you know.

Tim - he'd probably be advising people to read the Marquis de Sade. Richard & Judy's retired viewers would be popping their clogs in droves.

Del - I presume this means that she'll have to bring out her own perfume range and make piles of money in the meantime. As long as she's not on TV every day. I don't think my blood pressure could stand it.

Istvanski - to be fair, anybody who would move to Ramsgate from anywhere else should be aware that they'll end up penniless, unemployed, depressed and a chronic alcoholic. Perhaps Judith O'Reilly should move there after all.

Beth - well said. I was finally tempted to have a look at her blog today, and couldn't stomach more than about a minute's reading. I remember her saying something about baking eclairs while drinking a glass of red wine, and the expression "I love my Aga". Sigh ... I felt as if I'd aged about five years and couldn't cope with any more. She appears to be a rampant Tory as well. The nice people never seem to end up being winners, do they?

Kaz - hey, are you some kind of freak of nature? Get back to the kitchen, do a bit of embroidery and learn to flutter your eyelashes, then you might be suitable wife material. Oh, and by the way, Ms Up North is a Tory ... another reason to hate her.

RoMo - exactly, she's a former Times journalist who just *happened* to get a huge response to her blog, according to Richard & Judy. Mind you, she only seems to get comments in the 20-30 range for her posts. There are blogs I visit which aren't consider massively popular but get more comments than that ... *narrows eyes suspiciously*. It's a pity that whenever people hear about blogging they assume all of us are desperate to get publishing contracts. It's a load of bollocks - the majority of us do it as a hobby and that's all!

Malc - yeah, it's difficult not to be cynical about the whole venture, but she suggested that it had been her husband's idea and that "marriages are about compromise". Hmm. Still, maybe I should give her the benefit of the doubt. I quite like the idea of her doing a bit of pig farming though. That would really give her plenty to complain about.
I reckon the next blogger to land a publishing deal should be Dulwich Mum (dulwichmum.blogspot.com). She writes a column for Telegraph.co.uk and she's, she's...well, best if you read it for yourself.

"I am a late thirty something Dulwich mum with two small children Max (6) and Freya (5) living in leafy Dulwich, south east London. We spend a small fortune on private education, Baby Boden, Babybels and the au pairs gym membership. We drink the odd bottle of Chablis, and are ruled by small people with no sense and loud voices. Oh the joys of family life!"

I'll have to get around to linking to her.
I love you when you're angry.

I've been switching her off Book of The Week for five days.
What a load of old shite.
Istvanski - blimey, I HOPE she's taking the piss, but judging by the links she's got ... er, who knows? Is it possible for anyone to get so worked up about underarm hair? There was a very good parody mummy blog that was mentioned in the Guardian at one point but I've forgotten what it's called.

Willie - there seems to be a lot of publicity surrounding the book. I wonder how it's going to sell in the "real" world, given the hype. Perhaps there's a huge audience of smug middle class mums who love to read about other smug middle class mums.
Betty I think the parody blog you were thinking about was Strife of the North

AAAGGHHHHHHHH - Sorry - I have just been over to Wife Of the North and nearly vomitted. Read this and try not to be sick!

"Had to have more photographs taken. This makes me feel as if I was a small girl again when my mother used to stand me in the corner of our living room for photographs. "This is me behind the sofa". "This is me in front of the sofa." "This is me on the sofa" sort of thing. This went on for years - you have to be an only child to fully appreciate how tense a camera can make me.

As an adult though, I have been allowed out from the corner of the living room. Now it is a case of: "This is me in front of Bamburgh Castle." "This is me on the beach" sort of thing. We went to Alnwick Garden. I wore a red and pink flowed silk dress, empire line, three-quarter sleeves and lipstick. I marvelled at the spurting fountains and leant closer to admire them - across from me, the photographer snapped away. When she had got what she wanted, I tripped up the stone steps to the ornamental garden at the top watched by a band of happy pensioners. I smiled in that way you do when you have been making a spectacle of yourself but had been hoping no one had noticed. The girl I was with informed me one of them had come up to her to say: "That's the Duchess of Northumberland isn't it?" She told him I was no such thing. Why did she do that? What harm would it have done? Those pensioners would have had a much better day out if they thought they had seen the Duchess of Northumberland in the flesh".

UGH. What a total fake! I can't stand her - or her commentees for that matter. One from Belgium said that her writing made them want to cry (what with pain?) or another it made her want to bake a cake??!! Idiot! Oh perlease. It is just a case of 'my friends at Penguin' thought it would be a good idea to start a blog as an antidote to Girlwithaonetrackmind and turn it into a nice book for the school holiday 'we are having it in the South of France this year' beach read. Ordure.
On principle, I am not looking at this stupid blog whatever it's called so cannot comment on it.

However, English people who think the North is the bit beyond Watford Gap; mothers who tell you all about their little darlings; incompetent women who cannot read a petrol gauge; people who think leaving London is something to blog about and, finally, don't comment on others comments (which is only polite) or visit their visitors TURN ME OFF.

I don't know if this person does the last but many other 'high profile' bloggers don't - have you ever had a reply from Petite Anglaise or Dooce? No, neither have I!

Oops now I'm ranting too - time to go

RoMo - ordure indeed. Still, I suppose it's nice that the cake baking, red and pink silk dress wearing classes have their own self-help support group through blogging. Just can't understand why people are only attracted to blogs by people who are "just like them". Isn't it interesting to find out about people who aren't like you? I don't want to go in for a complete character assassination but she does seem a little bit self absorbed ..." you have to be an only child to fully appreciate how tense a camera can make me". Blimey. I'm an only child and don't know what the fuck she's talking about! GWAOTM got a lot of criticism but at least she built up a large readership and it was a real blog, regardless of what you think of her writing.

Belleek - to be fair, Wifey In The North does seem to respond to a few comments on her blog. I suppose the problem with the "celebrity" bloggers is that they are soooo busy signing their books in Waterstones and attending press junkets that they don't have time to actually respond to their readers. It's all a matter of priorities and personal choice, but I actually enjoy the responses I get from commenters more than writing the posts. Probably why I think it's so depressing that some writers just seem to see blogging as a step to getting a publishing deal - and they're the ones who get all the attention!
At least gwaotm was a genuinely good writer and answered each and every single one of her comments. Same with Tom Reynolds - Random Acts of Reality.
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It's the first time I've heard of her even though she was offered the publishing deal a year and a half a go.
Political commentator Iain Dale possibly has a lot to answer to regarding this and he seems to be another blogger who doesn't answer his commentators.
Having said that, I googled for images of Judith O'Reilly (as you do) and found her to be quite shaggable.
I know, I know...there's no accounting for taste.
RoMo - exactly. I don't think either of them had a five year plan for world domination either!

Istvanski - are you absolutely sure? This is what I found when I Googled her name - http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/apr2007/motheroreilly.gif
Betty, Wot a Tw@t ! Cheers, Kate.
Kate - indeed, but a twat with quite a lot of money by the look of things.
That's a lie, madam - I'm completely broke!
Istvanski - well, people who eavesdrop rarely hear good about themselves, heh heh.
Well some of us are doing our best not to be a female cliche! Hey, I can even top up my own screen wash!

If it makes you feel any better her husband is bound to be having a secret second life in London (working 24/7? my arse!), hence it suiting him to relocate his family 'oop North'.

Re babies, who needs 'em anyway? Another cliche.
TPLE (... or Laura? Or Lo?) - I prefer to freebase screen wash. It makes me delirously happy for about five minutes at a time. Weird stuff, screen wash. As for her husband ... ha ha ... I could actually understand it if he had a bit on the side, if Wifey is anything like she is in her blog or as she was on the telly the other day. Ahem. God, I do go a bit far some times, don't I?
I hope he hasn't got a bit on the side. She'd get a whole other book out of it.
Or the 'bit' would.
Or the husband.

Or maybe all three.

I'm stopping now. Need to go to work.
Beth - you're right, of course. In fact, wife would probably end up getting a broadsheet column where she'd slag off men endlessly, like Kathyrn Flett or Liz Jones. Gawd help us.
Betty, you'd better put a new post up or someone off of teh broadsheets might come here and realise how unpopular whatsherface is by comparison.

I hate all pseudo-bloggerers
i really think i must be missing something with her blog - i tried reading some of her stuff and it's so fakey and phoney. is it just me?
Check out the 'Listen with Wifey' bit on my other half's blog. She sounds like a salivating, lisping 11-year old.

PS - I cheated on you, you cow.
Spinsterella - well, as someone who hasn't posted since last year, you are one to talk! A journalist from the broadsheets wouldn't visit any of our blogs. We're not posh enough, we don't have aspirational lifestyles and we don't want to be *writers*. Bollocks to the lot of 'em.

Rivergirlie - it's not just you. I gave up after about a minute. Mind you, I've got a low boredom threshold!

Hubby - ooh crumbs. You cheated on me? and wifey? This is getting very complicated. The truth will out. "A salivating, lisping 11 year old?" Didn't do Toyah Wilcox any harm, did it? Some men find that kind of thing sexy anyway, ahem.
Maybe i should push for a book deal by representing women as not stereotyped mothers and housewives.
Llewtrah - publishers only seem to want to flog books by middle class mumsy types or career girls who love buying shoes but really want a big strong man to look after them. In other words, you'd have a bit of a struggle on your hands.
I rather like Wife in the North, I think she writes very well. Which is perhaps why she had a book deal. If you don't like what she writes, the answer is simple: don't read it. Not all blogging is to everyone else's taste.
Rachel - I suppose she appeals to a certain demographic who are the kind of people who would want to read about other people who have a similar outlook/interests. It's not a blog I read but I posted about an interview I saw on TV that annoyed me.
Gadzooks you really hit a nerve!

I just want a book deal so that I could afford to stay at home and blog...and have lunch with Posh and David Attenborough once in a while. Is that so wrong?

I went 'there' from Geoff's linky-poo and I did give her props for her rapper-like moxy..
although if I ever talked sh*t like dat nobody would ever visit me again. How do they get away with that?

Who the hell reads books written by bloggers? If you can't be a little pregnant, how can you be a Blogthor? Or is it all the same bloody thing now? Wasn't there something about being interactive? Did I miss that memo?

I'll just take the cash thankyouverymuch!
and Vicus, you crack me up.
Donn - thanks for taking me up to the fifty comments mark on this post! If you wanted to have lunch with Posh and David Attenborough, you should've told me earlier, because they're actually coming round to ours this afternoon! I've got to find some shoes which are even more ridiculous than the sort Posh is wearing at the moment, so that's a problem. I'll send you some of the cake I've made if you want (face it, Posh isn't likely to eat it, is she? Or any of the other food, come to think of it).

I like the idea of a blogging/hip hop "beef" provided there isn't a drive by shooting involved. I am probably the only person on the internet who can remember the "beef" between Roxanne Shante and The Real Roxanne because I'm a really, really sad and nerdy individual.

I'm not sure if people are going to be shelling out money on books by bloggers now the credit crunch is in full swing. I bet all those "How To Be Successful In Business" manuals will be flying off the shelves though.
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