Friday, 30 March 2012

On... B*tches In Bookshops

I like everything about this.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

On... Gold On The Ceiling

Your instructions:
1. Pop your collar.
2. Put on your darkest sunglasses.
3. Leave the house.
4. Put this song on your iPod.
5. Swagger.

The world is your bitch, my friend, and you are its daddy.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On... New Girl

New Girl might be the best sitcom ever.


Because Jess is a Real Girl.

Unlike every other female twentysomethingish ensemble sitcom character that I can think of, she’s not simply the Hippie, the Ditz, the Princess, the Nerd, the Tomboy, the Slut, the Bitch, or the Neurotic.

She’s just a Real Girl. She’s sometimes a bit of all those things, and she has a soupcon of hipster kook, but she’s also silly and quick and warm and vulnerable and confident. In other words, she is complex and she surprises you. She's a Real Girl.

And best of all, she’s funny. Very very funny.

Now, of course, all sitcoms rely on archetypes for laughter and conflict, and I get that. So does chicklit, after all. But it just feels so good to have a heroine like this. Someone I can actually identify with and genuinely like. A female character who gets to be funny, intentionally and not intentionally. For once, the joke isn’t always on her.

The archtypical female sitcom favourite, and up till now, the character most likely to not have the joke always on her, is the Cool Girl With Balls.

The Cool Girl With Balls is the character that Rachel from Friends turned into after being a Princess for the first few seasons, the kind that the girls in How I Met Your Mother compete to be, the kind that the dumb blonde on The Big Bang Theory is turning into, in fact, the kind that all alpha female sitcom characters evolve into eventually. A sort of watered down Suck-My-Dick-Sexy-GI-Jane type with a penchant for put-downs as punchlines.

But here’s the thing: Cool Girl With Balls is competitive, cold, insecure and no fun at all. You wouldn’t want to be her friend. Hell, she doesn’t make friends. Every woman I've ever known who pretends to be a Cool Girl With Balls is actually miserable and constantly wondering why she feels so sad and lonely. (Here’s a hint, sweetie: you’re acting like a bitch.)

New Girl knows all this, of course. In a brilliant middle finger to those sitcoms, the ultimate Cool Girl With Balls character turns up in New Girl, as the cold-as-ice-and-way-too-skinny-lawyer chick that Nick is dating. She refuses dessert, ‘doesn’t have a lot of female friends’, refuses to be warm or bond with Jess, ridicules her girliness as though it was an act, in summary: acts like a Cool Girl With Balls. It’s so brilliant I kept breaking into cheers.

Here’s Jess’s speech from the end of that episode, defending herself to the Cool Girl With Balls. It’s perfection.

I break for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pant suit and I wish it had ribbons on it to make it slightly cute. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.

Join me in a fist pump, my friends. God, I love that speech.

Because I am a girl, too. I like lipstick and manicures and romantic comedies. I have a sewing kit with lace and pearl buttons in it. I can spend half an hour talking to my sister about eyebrows. Flowers make me happy. Sometimes I skip. I don’t like kittens and I don’t like polka dots and I hated The Notebook, but that’s because I’m not a cliche of a girly girl. I’m just me. I am what I am and I like what I like.

I know a lot of girls like me, and you know what? We’re fucking awesome.

I would like to buy Liz Meriwether – the showrunner and head writer for New Girl – a drink.

Monday, 19 March 2012

On... a few things about my books

Ten things you never really wanted to know about The Dating Detox

1. I lived in an apartment share in Pimlico when I was writing the first draft of The Dating Detox.

The place I lived was a bit like this, but not quite as nice. Our apartment was the top three floors, and my room was the attic, and it was a bit shabby and bare, but it had great wardrobe space and a tiny ensuite with a view over the adorable mews behind. I loved it. In case you don't know what a mews is, by the way, here's a picture.

Mews buildings would have been used as stables for the horses and carriages of rich people living in nearby squares in ye olden days, so mews houses tend to be quite boxy, with low ceilings, and they are very pretty and insanely expensive. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. The Dating Detox.

Friday, 9 March 2012

On... Sleigh Bells, Comeback Kid

Sleigh Bells, Comeback Kid.

Totally my favourite song right now.

I really want to star in a music video. Can someone please make it happen? I am REALLY good at lip-syncing. And posing and prancing. And spelling, not that it's relevant, I know, but I just wanted to tell you that anyway.

Friday, 2 March 2012

On... missing clothes

Why is it that the clothes that you miss the most are the ones that can’t be replaced?

Exhibit A: I had a secondhand tweed jacket that cost £20 from Pop! Boutique in Covent Garden. The label was a Savile Row tailor, now extinct. It had a nipped-in waist, and strong angular shoulders, and oval suede patches on the elbows, and the lining was worn bare with age and ripped around the armpits. Sometimes I wore it with J Brand Lovestory flares and a yellow tshirt and high-heeled platform sandals and felt like a groovy 1970s heiress. Othertimes I wore it with white skinny Topshop jeans, Converses, a lacy white high-neck Victorian top and pearls, in a sort of Jane-Eyre-Meets-Jilly-Cooper thing. God, I loved that jacket. I wore it nonstop from 2001 to 2010, when it disappeared during a house move, and if I think about it too long, I get tearful. I will never, ever find its equal. Come back, little tweed jacket. I swear I’ll fix your lining.

Exhibit B: I had an electric blue silk parka from Topshop. Yes, ridiculous. It wasn’t warm, it wasn’t waterproof, it was always wrinkled, it had huge billowy pockets that constantly turned inside out and an oversize hood that stayed on one’s head for approximately half a second before sliding off. Foxy thought it looked like something that they hand out at rugby matches when it rains, and he was probably right. But I wore it nonstop one rainy London summer, with big galumphing motorcycle boots and tiny floaty dresses, or little grey Converses and skinny jeans and white singlet tops, and felt like a punk rock fairy. Then one day it just vamoosed into thin air.

Exhibit C: I had a pair of high-waisted, super-short navy shorts that I only wore ONCE. They made me taller and thinner and, I’m pretty sure, smarter and funnier and less likely to make a dick of myself after too many whiskeys. A drycleaner in New York lost them, and I swear to God, if I ever see that old Korean lady rocking them through the streets of Soho, I will tackle her to the ground and rip them off her right there and then.


On... newborn gift list

I meant to post this ages ago!

My latest blog for the divine SheerLuxe on what to buy for newly-sprogged friends.

On.... awards season


Tatler has nominated me for two P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards for The Boytician and The Nail Files.

Am delighted, flattered, surprised, and a little hungry.

A friend in the know tells me that these are the Oscars of the beauty world. In which case, someone please get Tom Ford to make me a cape dress, NOW.