My salad dressing days


Deep thoughts inspired by body lotion
June 30, 2005, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


I couldn’t help noticing that my newly purchased bottle of Nivea Body Lotion is inviting me to ‘Feel the rich care’. Thing is, I feel that most of the rich – with a few worthy exceptions – plain don’t give a damn. Otherwise, would we have such a pressing need for Bob Geldof and Bono?



Urgent advice sought on fashion issues
June 29, 2005, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m very far from being a Dedicated Follower of Fashion. More of a ‘timeless classics’ sort of a gal, me. But I need some fashion advice, nay, clarification from those in the proverbial know…

Hipster jeans
When will these be ‘out’? It strikes me they have been ‘in’ for waaaay too long. They seem ill-suited to anyone who is not borderline anorexic on account of the rather unsightly Flesh Overhang Syndrome (FOS). FOS – and I count myself amongst the millions of worldwide sufferers – manifests in a nasty protrusion of flesh over the top of the jeans. It would appear that sufferers have two choices: buy jeans in larger size, although this results in them hanging so low as to create the effect of a Builder’s Bum. Or wear deeply unfashionable jeans whose waist sits just under the bust. Hmmm.

The Gypsy look
But a few months’ old and enough already! Some of those prints are fit only for your grandmother’s summer curtain collection…

Boob tubes
Are these SERIOUSLY back ‘in’? I mean, seriously?? Now I’m all for the retro thing but it IS possible to take it too far, y’know. And as for those boob tubes with the diaphanous flowing material underneath and the thin halterneck straps: ONLY IF YOU ARE HEAVILY PREGNANT (in which case: enjoy being ‘in’ when you look and feel like a whale).

And finally…
I will never EVER understand the desire to wear a G-string. They remind me of cheese wire. And how on earth retailers can charge several quid for a few grams of material and retain a clear conscience, I shall never know. And then there’s when they combine with the low-hanging hipster jeans. Hear it from me: this is NOT, I repeat NOT, an attractive look.

Gosh, I feel old…



How to get cheekbones?
June 29, 2005, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have soft, flabby cheeks and it would appear to be a family trait (mother and sisters also suffer). So I’ve been on a quest for some well-defined cheekbones for some decades now. I’m not looking for Michelle Pfeiffer style angularity, just a little more Definition. I’m thinking more Heather Armstrong. I’ve tried sucking my cheeks in, which sort of works, although it makes talking and eating difficult. Perhaps I should wear blusher…

Thoughts anyone?

P.S. I love Dooce (capitalisation tendencies and all).



I can’t wait to take my kids to the beach again
June 27, 2005, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as the world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

e e cummings



We interrupt today’s other posts to bring you
June 26, 2005, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

my favourite Chagall picture: Les Deux Tetes (The Two Heads).

Hoorah for Google Images!



Parental paranoia
June 26, 2005, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

[This piece is dedicated to Barbara, who shares my overly vivid imagination.]

Finally, Mr Chick and I have a night out together: a veritable rarity these babied days. Arrangements have been long in the planning for dinner with some dear friends at a groovy little club in Soho…

We shuffle the tiddlers off to bed, trying not to give off those We Are Going Out And Leaving You With A Babysitter signs, leap into a bubble bath (one at a time – we’re no longer in our twenties, y’know) and rifle through drawers/cupboards/wardrobes for those elusive smart [read: unenhanced by baby sick/snot/vomit] togs.

A quick last minute blitz of the toy-scattered living room and ding dong! The front door bell trings, bearing The Babysitter (TB).

Now a little background information: TB is well known to us and the tiddlers. The tiddlers smile and giggle excitedly whenever she appears etc. We are in possession of TB’s home address, her home and mobile numbers. We know her college tutor. We know she does not have a criminal record and so on and so forth. She is, to all intents and purposes, A Lovely Caring Individual.

But, suddenly, faced with the prospect of leaving our precious children in her sole care for four whole hours, she has become a Potential Child Abuser/Kidnapper/Murderer.

Mr Chick pulls me out the front door and fleeps the car doors open. I am feeling a little nauseous. I make up some ridiculous excuse for ‘just popping back in for a second’ (well, if she has plans to do something awful, she will surely have already leapt out of her seat and started constructing some instrument of torture, no?).

‘Just popping back in to [insert ridiculous excuse]!’ I exclaim to TB, who is still sitting on the sofa (apparently watching TV), and then close the door for a second time.

As we drive off, I decide to note down her car registration number, details of model, colour and exact site of scratches on the front bonnet Just As A Precaution, you realise. Mr Chick asks me what I am doing: oh, just making note of an appointment I have next week, I proclaim cheerily. He appears convinced.

Soon we are speeding through the streets of south London and I am suddenly becoming semi-intoxicated by wafts of the Chanel No.5 I sprayed rather too liberally on my person before leaving the house. So I open the window and find myself instead inhaling deeply exhaust fumes from a clapped out Citroen ahead of us.

‘They’ll be OK, won’t they?’ I ask Mr Chick.

‘Who?’ he asks.

‘The tiddlers!’ I protest. ‘Jeeeez!’

I check my watch. OK, so if she is planning to kidnap them, she’s probably thinking of taking them through the Eurotunnel to France. Assuming she has just loaded them up in the car, it’ll be about an hour before they get to Folkestone. So if we call the police within the next 45 minutes, they can probably alert the port authorities in time to catch them as they board the Shuttle. Briefly, I consider (and worry about) whether she knows how to fit the car seats correctly…

Soon we are parking the car and leaping into a cab to take us up to Soho.

Our friends greet us, all smiles to see us again in the unbabied world of night-time Soho. We slurp back a drink or two and then settle down to dinner.

Just as the starters arrive, I check my watch. Eight thirty. Probably lining up to board the Shuttle right now. I turn to Mr Chick.

‘Hey, will you give TB a ring, y’know, make sure everything is OK?’

‘What?!’ he exclaims. ‘I’m sure she’ll call us if there is a problem.’

‘Pleeeeeeeeeease!’ I plead.

‘I’m sure they’re fine! Don’t worry!’ he retorts.

This exchange is repeated four or five times, with me adding for good measure phrases such as ‘If you do this, I’ll do ANYTHING you want!’. He looks rather incredulous or maybe he is pondering what the ‘anything’ could be…a new computer, widescreen TV or a trip on the first flight to the moon, all of which I have previously banned.

‘She’s feeling a little nervous about leaving the tiddlers with TB,’ he confides to our friends.

‘Ah…’, they reply with the what’s-all-that-about look of the Unbabied.

Eventually, after much nagging, Mr Chick relents and slips outside to call TB. He returns and I beg him for Information.

‘They’re fine.’

‘That’s it? They’re fine. What else?’

‘That’s it! She’s in our house and the tiddlers are fine.’

Our friend chips in, smirking: ‘Of course, they always make sure they are home the first time the parents ring!’

This is no time for joking. Perhaps TB is more technologically adept than I have previously given her credit for and she knows how to divert our landline to her mobile and perhaps she really IS sitting in her car with my (heavily sedated) tiddlers waiting to cross the Channel.

The evening drags on. Pudding arrives (too late now to alert the port authorities), then coffee and we quickly jump into the first cab we see. When we arrive home, TB is still on the sofa (no instruments of torture, nor evidence of their construction evident). I quickly thrust some bank notes into her hand and once she has shut the front door behind her but before she has a chance to start up her car, I dash upstairs to find…sleeping tiddlers, arms wrapped around favourite toys, chomping dreamily on dummies.

Phew. Still, she could be working on her kidnap strategy for next time…better dust down that covert home video camera system.



Blog seizure warrant number ZB107684F
June 25, 2005, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is Google Blog Management here. We have frozen this blog on a temporary basis under Article 5a of Subsection 17c (‘Google Reputation Maintenance: Blog Output Quality Control’) of the Google Blog Terms and Conditions.

Following an anonymous tip-off, it has come to our attention that blogger ‘Urban Chick’ has fallen foul of our blogger quality control systems. It would appear that recent posts have been somewhat cobbled together on a last minute basis, with minimal thought and creative input. In particular, we have noted a few posts in the past week which have been little more than a picture pulled down from Google Images accompanied by an inane comment or two.

We have approached ‘Urban Chick’ with these allegations and she has refuted them outright, claiming in her defence the mitigating circumstances of “hot weather, parenting pressures and the allure of mango sorbet”.

Until such time as she instructs counsel, we have been forced to withdraw her blogging rights.

In short: she has been a Very Naughty Girl.

We are seeking witnesses for the prosecution, and any willing candidates should email their details to: queenofshoes@handbag.com

Blog Output Quality Control Department
Google Blog Management