FULL-ON BUT PRETTY FREAKING GREAT WEEKEND. Click HERE to read the piece I wrote for the Times Mag about fertility, babies and the myriad complex choices that women in their 30s face on this front. So psyched to be on the cover, also pretty psyched I didn’t drop baby Amilia while wearing those ludicrous Jimmy Choos. Thank you to anyone who’s sent me messages/emails etc in reply to this. Am stupendously grateful for the support, and solidarity especially to the women who have got in touch saying it resonated. As I say in the piece, we’re a lucky generation in many ways. So lucky that we have all these choices. But it doesn’t necessarily make them easy ones…
Click HERE for a piece I wrote for You Magazine about the dastardly art of spurgling… It’s all explained in there.
Click HERE for my Evening Standard column today.
Aaaaaand will paste my Sun Tel column from yesterday below. NOW I NEED A DRINK AS I’M ALL OUT OF WORDS IF YOU WANT MORE WORDS YOU NEED TO BUY MY BOOK WHICH HAS 100,000 OF THEM AND IS OUT IN 10 DAYS.
Bit of sniggering this week at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He recommended a holiday read called The Last Days of Night, a novel about Thomas Edison’s attempt to protect his electricity monopoly and drive his rivals out of business. Ho ho ho, the internet scoffed, doesn’t this ruthless pursuit of world domination remind you of anyone, Zuck?
His recommendation was part of a list. An American journalist asked various characters to put forward their top summer books and, well, I can only say try very hard never to go on holiday with a business mogul. One CEO put forward a book called ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’, another proposed ‘The Future of Capitalism’ which apparently offers ‘an ethical and pragmatic approach to healing our economic, social and cultural rifts.’ Guys, you’re on holiday. Have a beer.
Such lists are endless at this time of year. For what feels like months, I have read certain public figures claim that they very much enjoyed the latest 637-page tome on the rise of Nazism from their sun-bed, instead of admitting they whipped through the new Jo Nesbo like the rest of us. Listen, I am a big fan of books. I read every day. I even write the things and this column is no way designed to highlight that my new novel (Nazi-free!) is out in 11 days. But let’s not pretend we’re all intellectuals with brains the size of buses when, really, summer reading falls into the following camps:
The fashionable hardback which has been widely reviewed in the book pages – You will Instagram yourself reading this by the pool because what is the point in having forked out this much money for a book if not to show off that you’ve read it? Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women and Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is In Trouble are the clear winners in this category this summer.
The Guinness Book of Records 2019 – You are an eight-year-old boy who will irritate all adults in the villa by constantly bleating facts about the man with the longest fingernails in the world.
Something about Stalingrad – You have strong feelings about the referendum and greet your Labradors every morning by kissing them on the mouth.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – You have recently gone through a break-up and will intersperse bouts of reading this book with listening to the meditations on your phone. When you get home, you’re thinking about quitting your job to become a yoga instructor or retraining as a therapist.
One or more of the Booker nominations – If you go to another dinner party where they serve something from an Ottolenghi cookbook you will scream.
A biography of Elon Musk – You’ve just started working in finance and Tesla is your new religion. He didn’t really mean to call that diver who rescued the Thai boys a ‘paedo guy.’ Do you have any idea of the kind of stress that a genius like Elon operates under?
A chick-lit romp eg What Happens Now? by Sophia Money-Coutts – Congratulations! You have perfect taste and don’t let anyone sneer at you for reading something with a pastel cover because book snobbery is quite as bad as television snobbery. Also, reading a book like this will distract from your sadness that Love Island has finished.
An old Dick Francis – You are my mother.
They’re supposedly not the best of friends at the moment but the Cambridges wished Meghan a happy birthday on Instagram last Sunday anyway. ‘Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Sussex today!’ Kate and William’s Instagram account, @kensingtonroyal, chirped underneath a photograph of them all together. The @sussexroyal account did the same when the Queen turned 93 in April, wishing her Happy Birthday (with a little red balloon emoji) underneath several pictures of Her Maj. ‘Wishing you the most wonderful day!’ they wrote, as if the Queen would tap back underneath ‘OMG YOU GUYS!’ with a string of heart emojis. I wish they’d stop this juvenile pandering to populism. I’ve always found the habit of posting Instagram pictures of someone else on their birthday purely for your own likes quite odd. How depressing that the Royals aren’t immune to this either. Why not just sent a funny card?
Getting a new cat or a dog any time soon? You need to go and work for my cousin Wyndham. He’s launched a trendy digital start-up called Upside and, as part of their contract, employees are offered ‘peternity’ leave. If you get a new pet, you can take a day off to settle them into their new home. It’s an import from America (did you need to ask?) and if the word ‘peternity’ has made you smash your head on the kitchen table, I’m sorry to say over there they also refer to it as ‘pawternity leave’. Yes! In actual offices! The policy applies to cats and dogs but I ask Wyndham how far it might extend. What if someone gets a new goldfish, for example, or he hires one of those weirdos who’s into pet tarantulas or pythons? What if someone gets a new horse? ‘I hadn’t imagined a horse but I won’t rule it out,’ says Wyndham.