Bonkerton – Regency Romance on steroids

Like 63 million other people I have been bewitched by Bridgerton during January.  It’s the perfect antidote to the most miserable month of the year, fabulous costumes, diversity of characters, beautiful styling and some of the nicest wallpaper I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

Charming Regency Pastiche or Boring Bonkfest?

This frothy concoction of frivolity and make-believe is perfectly accompanied by a jumbo Toblerone and half price bottle of Baileys (thank you Mr Morrison).  Admittedly, some of the acting is rather hammy; Miss Sienna is about as wooden as the stage door of the theatre she performs at and the two older Featherington sisters would be the perfect foil for Cinderella, no doubt they’ll be in panto this Christmas.  But it matters not, as this light hearted costume drama has got us talking about something else, apart from that bloody virus.

A friend told me ‘It’s Jane Austen meets Jilly Cooper’ and I reckon she’s spot on.  She also told me it would be inadvisable to watch it with husband.  I’m not sure if she believed all the bodice ripping action would turn him into a sex fiend or had considered he may take it upon himself to dub the dialogue with extremely rude voice-overs; regrettably, the latter was true. 

For the record it’s very hard to concentrate on a programme when the occupant of the seat next to you is shouting ‘give it to me your Grace, I’m allergic to my bodice’ along with some very unsavoury references to boerewors. 

A love match like no other

Hmmphf!  Marriage – expect little, forgive plenty and the Duchess of Hastings would be as well to remember that.

Apparently, it’s had some academics up in arms, with them complaining it’s not a true reflection of Regency England – surely not?  Bridgerton is about as likely a representation of real life 1813 as the Trump administration was to democracy and decent values – I digress.

Anyways it’s not the costumes, the jewellery or even the gardens that’s got us ladies hooked, make no mistake it’s all about the Duke of Hastings. I for one, am very glad to see so many gratuitous naked scenes that feature him déshabillé, what a delightful sight it is.

The Duke gets his kit off again!

However, you can can have too much of a good thing and it did start to get a bit ‘samey’ with the story line slower than the frantic sex scenes and the plot hanging solely on the Duke’s enormous hard-on who was Lady Whistledown and not much else.

As the Duke reached for his flies in the final episode, I am disappointed to say it had me yawning and not panting for more.

Although I do believe dear reader, more is, in fact, exactly what we’re going to get as Series 2 has already been commissioned – well that’s what Lady Whistledown told me.

I GIVE IT A MONTH

Husband and I have a wager going as to how long the Trump marriage will last post 21st January.  He believes the 3rd Mrs Trump will hang around for approximately 6 months, whereas I give her 28 days  before she reveals herself to be the  gold-digger I reckon she is and files for divorce.  As we’ve got an all-expenses dinner at the restaurant of your choice on this (once we’re allowed out the house), I’m really hoping she don’t go all Tammy Wynette on me.

Don’t even think about it Melania – I got a dinner at Harbour Heights Hotel riding on this

She’s supposedly an intelligent woman, she’s got an Einstein Visa after all, and so it begs the question … what was going through her mind back in 2005?  If she was looking for a powerful man who commanded headlines she chose well, but then again so did Eva Braun.  Neither of them displaying the best of taste in men.  No matter how much you love a bad boy anyone with double digit brain cells has to draw the line at genocide or insurrection as a display of waywardness.  We’ve never seen Mickey Rourke try to kill democracy (affronted public decency during the fridge scene in 9 ½ weeks, but not democracy) and Colin Farrell hasn’t, to my knowledge, encouraged bigoted Nazis to override the decision of a country, and certainly not during Saving Mr Banks.

We’ve seen her repeatedly slap his hand away and sit, stony faced during official dinners, when, she should have drawn on her inner strength thought about her pre-nup and given the merest hint of smile.  She married him when just a few thousand people thought he was a complete prick, now the whole world does.  You reap what you sow …. 

Not that love in our household looks much better at the moment.  As October arrives, so do the flannelette pajamas – these gigantic ‘passion blockers’ become a wardrobe essential.  Like a brown bear I hibernate, not so much in the physical sense but more …. in the libido dept ie, don’t come back until Spring!  And in the same way a brown bear prepares for the colder months, I also make sure I’m ready to take on the winter, increasing my body fat by an additional 30% to withstand the lower temperatures.

Wearing her built-in pajamas

In short, husband either has to take me away to the southern hemisphere or put the central heating thermostat up to 24 degrees in order to exercise his conjugal rights – either way he has to put his hand in his pocket.  Give him his due, in desperation he booked a holiday to South Africa in February 2017, usually one of the hottest months of the year.  I believe, I am, the only woman in history to have visited Sub-Saharan Africa in February and returned paler than when I left!  It rained incessantly every day and at no point was it warm enough to put on a sun dress let alone a pair of skimpy pj’s.  The mood, that holiday was not one conducive to uninhibited love making as I snarled at the grey skies and gloomy rain.  Mind you if I was fed up, you can only but imagine how husband felt – he consoled himself with biltong and Pinotage – a highly recommended refuge in which to sublimate your desires.

So, while I am delighted to say that husband has absolutely nothing in common with Donald Trump, one thing is for sure …. neither of them will be getting any for some time to come!

PS: When writing this I see that the Trump’s wedding anniversary is January 22nd, precisely one day after he goes from being the most powerful man in the world to a common criminal, wonder how they will be celebrating?  Answers on a postcard please.

If Time has stood still, why I am looking older?

Chatting with a girlfriend this week who is turning 56!  How can this be I asked, it seemed like only a few years ago we were pushing her home in a shopping trolley because of that common Birthday affliction known as ‘jelly legs’.  On getting her indoors she impressed us with some very pretty Unicorn vomit, courtesy of coloured Sambuca.

Oh, so that’s how you get a rainbow …

So, while it may feel like it was 10 years ago we were running through a shopping centre car park with a drunken friend who was, quite literally trollyed, it was, in fact 29!  Hang on a minute … is that possible?  Surely, I was still in primary school 29 years ago? 

Possibly the most ridiculous drink on earth

I should have realised it was longer than 10 years when she told me that, this year to celebrate, she was visiting the Wensleydale Cheese Shop, which I’m pretty sure, will not actively encourage middle aged women to neck multi-coloured, foul smelling, 80% proof liqueurs.  Guess she’ll be OK driving home, oh how times have changed. 

A Sambuca free zone

We’ve got older, but we don’t feel older and while the mirror does many things, it sure don’t lie.

Which brings me onto ageing in 2020. I’m sure you’d agree that this year has, pretty much been put on hold.  Ever since that third week in March life has been placed on pause and so it would only seem fair that physical ageing should do the same.  So why is it that I’m looking so bloody old?  Got up the other morning and was horrified to see my Nana staring back at me!  I’d bypassed my Mother altogether and made a beeline for the next generation.

You’d think that Mother Nature would be kinder considering all we’ve gone through in 2020, but instead she has been a little spiteful making the bags a bit puffier, the wrinkles a bit deeper and where the hell did this turkey neck come from?  At least it’s seasonal I suppose, if nothing else.

Not looking too excited about the upcoming festivities

The saying is ‘Time Marches On’. I want to know why has it insisted on marching on all over my face?

The Crown, Mrs Thatcher’s wig and Favourite Children

Watching Series 4 of the The Crown and the royal family are not showing themselves in a favourable light are they?

However, it’s Mrs Thatcher’s wig that has dominated the screen more than the petty and spiteful behaviour of the UK’s first family.

Unless I’m very much mistaken it appears that Maggie’s bouffant is proofing life a loaf of bread.  In episode one It started off at quite a believable size

Looks realistic Mrs T

But has been growing at a worryingly rapid rate ever since

Hair and Make-up have been on the midday sherries again

If it carries on, I’m thinking it could become …

The Conservative Party Conference took a comic turn

And as this series is all about the 80’s will Mrs T morph into Vivienne Westwood at the end?

Mrs Thatcher’s stylist got her own back

But less about the Grande Dame of fashion and back to Mrs Thatcher’s syrup.  Do you think the size of the wig is in direct correlation to how stretched the vowels aaaaaaaaaaaaaaare.

Gillian Anderson, whilst extremely talented, is sounding less like the premier and more like a drag queen with emphysema.  If Mrs Thatcher elongated her vowels to that extent she’d still be delivering ‘the laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaady’s nooooooooooooooooooot foooooooooooooooor tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrning speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech’.

Also featured in Episode 4 is the chat about favourite children, with Mrs Thatcher telling the Queen, her son Mark was her favourite child and Prince Philip admitting Anne was his #awks.  For anyone with siblings watching these conversations, it must have gotten them thinking ‘who IS their parents’ favourite child?’ If you’re asking yourself the question, chances are you’re the favourite – the others will be able to clarify in great detail the reasons why and what advantageous treatment you’ve benefited from.

Which makes me grateful I am an only child and haven’t had to compete with a sibling for parental pole position. That’s not to say my parents’ haven’t looked wistfully at other people’s children and wished there’d been a mix-up in the maternity ward.

Just because you’re the only one, doesn’t mean you’re the be all and end all – you can always be replaced, officially or unofficially.  And if the royal family could just remember that, they’d be much nicer people, at least in Series 4!

I’m sorry, I thought you said stimulation

Yesterday I read an article about a well-respected political journalist who had been fired from his role at the New Yorker after 27 years.

His offense? Seen masturbating on video in October where he and his colleagues were discussing how they would report US election results.  Election s(t)imulation – that was the nett result.

Let me say this again, he was a journalist for THE NEW YORKER. Not the Lighthouse Digest, or Potato World (no disrespect to these esteemed publications) but the bloody New Yorker.  I would give husband’s left arm (If I surrendered mine how could I type two handed?) to be published in the New Yorker; the prestige, the kudos, to follow in the shadow of the incomparable Dorothy Parker.

27 years of hard work, crafting your trade and mixing with America’s political royalty, all to be tossed away.

Can you imagine Laura Kuenssberg getting this aroused after Brexit? Did CNN’s Abby Philip have to sneak off after the US election results were called – NO.  Of course they didn’t and you know why?  Because they are women, and sensible and respect the roles they have worked so hard for. 

Once again another dumb bloke has to fall on his proverbial, albeit small sword, having risked and lost his career for sex. 

Not only has Donald Trump divided a nation with his contentious presidency and recent election, he is also responsible for a sexagenarian knocking one off on Zoom.

Donald, have you no shame?

Covid sucked my funny

Without wishing to sound conceited I’ve always thought of myself a funny person.  I’d like to think that I could raise a laugh with my snappy humour/smartarse comebacks;  – po-tay-to po-tah-to.

If anyone was feeling down I could be the person relied on to cheer them up.

I think I might have childishly included it on an application form under personal interests  ‘I like to laugh.’

Audrey my BFF

And I defiantly make no excuses for it.  It’s such a good feeling as that delicious bubble of laughter gurgles up from your stomach, puffing out your cheeks and then explodes out your mouth?  Science backs me up on this one too; people who laugh frequently have lower stress levels and are likely to live longer.  Plus, a good belly laugh burns calories and releases those cheeky little endorphins which charge around your brain causing happy havoc – just like gym but without the sweat or the ugly crotch-splitting leggings.

Once upon a time I was your go-to funny girl. 

But not anymore …

pause for melancholic gaze into distance.

I am a deflated whoopee cushion in the joke shop of life.  Could be a lot of fun but will take some effort to make it fulfill its destiny.

This is currently me

And you know who I blame?  I blame Covid.

Ever since it came frogmarching across the globe about as welcome as herpes on Love Island it sucked the funny right out of me – gone, disappeared, vanished.  I’ve been looking for it everywhere, it wasn’t in Bridget Jones, Four Weddings, Hancock’s Half Hour, Pink Panther or even Fools & Horses.

I’m hoping that when the courier brings back our gear from New Zealand my funny will be in one of the packing boxes, bursting for me to take it out and wear it like a hilarious cloak so that normal service can be resumed.

Until then, to paraphrase Del Boy, ‘You’re giving my arse a headache Covid’

Oh to be in England ….

Now that Covid’s here

Whoever wakes in England

Should be filled with terror and fear

OK, admittedly not quite as Browning had penned it, however my memories of pastoral England in all its Darling Buds of May loveliness have been cruelly smashed since landing at Heathrow.

First off, Heathrow empty – ordinarily would have loved to sail through immigration and customs but everyone in masks and ostentatiously keeping very far away made it a bit creepy.  Plus, not one shop open AT ALL, very eerie atmosphere. Because nothing says you’ve reached the end of your holiday like being forced through a half rate duty free store where they are intent on flogging you over priced chocolate and designer perfume.

But never mind that, get home to find the pubs are shut.  What?  This bastion of English life, the heart and soul of the community is closed and we’re relying solely on supermarkets for our alcohol intake.

So let me get this right; no pubs, people going feral on the beach and we’re queuing to get into PC World. Put it like that, having to quarantine for 14 days was a blessed relief.

Then, with great fanfare courtesy of the red-tops, there was the announcement that pubs were finally allowed to open their doors again, giving you the opportunity to socialise with people you realised you hadn’t missed.  A friend suggested we meet down our local boozer and I was keen until she told me that I wasn’t allowed to go up to the bar but would have to phone in our drinks order and wait for them to brought out. I had to decline as my mobile package only gives me 600 free minutes a month and I wasn’t convinced that would be enough to get me through a boozy midday session.  Anyways I’m getting very used to the £5 gut rot from Lidl that masquerades as Sauvignon Blanc.

And talking of socialising, a club near Bournemouth is promising punters the opportunity to mingle with local celebrities and premier league (not any longer) football players if they fork out for a seat in the VIP lounge – hold me back.  Along with this dubious privilege, you can book one of their drinks’ packages, giving you access to overpriced label brands and all you can drink soda stream colas.

I have to admit I was quite curious as to the prices and so read the ad a bit more; drinks packages start at £250 going up to £1000!  A THOUSAND QUID FOR A NIGHT OUT!  I was so shocked I nearly dropped my £5 wine. 

Out for the weekly shop

And so, for the foreseeable future, it’s me and my cheap plonk at home whilst I let this craziness pass. 

Photo by Jeff Burrows on Unsplash

Isolation Diaryfication

Day 51 – I want to break free

As we move into level 2 of our lockdown and smell the first whiff of freedom, marriage guidance organisations are warning us to hold off contacting a solicitor, putting the house on the market and arguing over custody of the cat.  They strongly recommend that before we call it a day and become singletons once more, we should seek out counselling to resolve the issues that have arisen during our enforced incarceration.

Now, I’m no expert on therapy or marriage (just ask my first husband) but having spent 7 long weeks stridently describing one another’s every fault in great detail why would you choose to do it all over again in front of a stranger?  

When I mentioned the aforementioned advice to husband (with no hidden agenda whatsoever) his face took on the look of a panicked baboon, eyes flicking around nervously as he searched for exit routes from his desk and then shot past me mumbling something about an emergency client meeting he had to attend.  As he spun out the driveway hunched over the steering wheel I could see the whites of his knuckles gripping tight and sweat starting to break on his forehead. 

The mere thought of having to relieve the past 7 weeks apparently triggered a PTSD reaction thus making him not only a terrible liar but someone who seriously underestimated my intelligence.  Because whilst I know Kiwi office dress code is casual, I’ve never seen him attend a meeting in running shorts, flip flops and a T-shirt that says ‘Education is important, but big muscles are importanter’.

Not to worry, we can have a nice long ‘chat’ about it when he comes home …

Isolation Diaryfication

Day 47 – Dressed to Impress

This girl has a enviable wardrobe

Husband: What’s on your Tshirt

Me: Toothpaste splatter

Husband: It’s everywhere

Me: Uh huh

Husband: You not changing it then?

Me: Nuh – I’m not seeing anyone

Husband: But you seeing me

Me: What’s that supposed to mean?

Husband: Nothing, it’s just that you look a little bit … feral

Me: What?

Husband: Feral?

Me: FERAL!

Voice raises an octave – FERAL!

FERAL! I’LL BLOODY WELL YOU SHOW YOU FERAL!

I think it’s safe to say Lockdown has finally got to me.

Roll on Thursday 14th May and Level 2 Freedom.

Isolation Diaryfication

Day 42 – It’s over and we need to divorce

Dear Social Media

We need to talk. Let me get it out in the open – I’m breaking up with you.  It’s not you it’s me.  For some time now I feel like you’re trying to turn me into something I’m not. Every day you put more and more pressure on me to be like the other girls and I can’t take it anymore.  I don’t blame you, really I don’t, when we met you fell for my individuality because I was different from the others, it’s what made us a great pair.  But now … well, I recognise how that’s all changed.

I can see how disappointed you are in me when I’m unable to showcase my skills in learning a musical instrument or upload a song and dance routine, rivalling Paula Abdul in her heyday.  You have to accept that when I sing, children cry and horses bolt. 

You think I’m lacking in homemaking skills when I can’t compete with the edible works of art that are coming out of other girls’ kitchens;  giant edifices of cake and confectionery, immaculate in design and no doubt delicious.  Don’t think I didn’t see the sideways look you gave me when even the ducks wouldn’t eat the burnt biscuits I baked yesterday.

Not mine but I can relate

I feel your disdain when I’m unable to create a new wardrobe out of 2 old pillowcases and sacking from the shed.  You have to admit I tried my best, OK so it looked like a strait jacket for a cocker spaniel rather than the ‘California Casual’ advertised on the You Tube tutorial.   It didn’t help that my head got stuck in tiny neckhole and husband had to cut me free with the secateurs – don’t worry it didn’t bleed that much and the ear will heal eventually.

We’re at very different places in our lives right now

And probably the most hurtful thing you’ve done is endorse and promote the achievements by those fitness crazy bitches during the lockdown.  I can see you blatantly admire the number of calories burnt,  miles run and pert bottomed flexibility that allows them to eat an organic apple whilst in the Handstand Scorpion pose.  Admittedly my downward dog did seem to force out an extraordinary amount of air lurking in my intestines but that was no reason to write me off.  Some girls are just better suited to sitting on the sofa on eating donuts – we’re all different.  Don’t you keep saying ‘be kind’ and ‘don’t judge.’

But I can see that we’re at very different places in our life right now and we both want different things, believe me when I tell you it’s for the best to make a clean break. 

Maybe, down the road, in a few months we could try again but you have to understand that I can’t conform to these wonder women you’re pitching me against; you have to accept that I have spent this entire time, lying on the sofa, reading books and watching Only Fools & Horses reruns – no novel written, no new skills learnt, no educational qualification achieved. I’m a chocolate guzzling, comedy loving, lazy arse. Deal with it, we’re over!