April Towers.

OK – let’s take a deep breath, get out the dry bread and water, take down all the Christmas decorations that I didn’t get round to putting up in the UK and face reality. Well – there are still several cheeses in the fridge and I spotted an overlooked bottle of champagne as I was looking for my hair shirt and gruel recipe book. Obviously I will be laying off the alcohol at least until the 5pm daily review moment. It’s time to face the scales and the facts. Perhaps I could pretend to be a smoker so that I could pretend to have given it up. I am a novelist after all. I make things up. 

The noose of toil has tightened and I am back in the UK. Far behind me now lie the memories of foie gras and fig stuffing, Pineau and hot baguette. We decided to give Christmas pudding and custard cultural food parcels to friends and neighbours. Watch out for news features about canine obesity. I’ll never forget the day I tried my neighbours on some lovely English fruit jelly. I don’t think they will ever forget it either.

We arrived back in time for New Year’s eve and ended up dining with friends and their friends. Oooh I did feel a bit out of my depth. There was this guy who has written a book about Shakespeare but it’s out of print methinks. However, I didst a copy find, by time defiled, on e bay. Like an ego-sodden clod I confessed to my own literary output, which as my readers will know, has a similar stamp to that of the bard. Several wine fuelled hours followed during which I kinda recall, the subject was ME. I do have to forgive myself because this was the second Brit who had ever spoken to me about being a writer. In France I count as quite normal but in the UK, folk kinda shuffle away in case I get out an embarrassing poem FOR THEM TO LIKE, read them a love scene or just throw  a passionate pink frilled frenzy.

Tomorrow the bus depot shuffle begins. I have missed the kids and all the jangle of other lives. I have seen the New Year speeches of Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel. As we left France I wondered if things would ever be the same again. Most of my life I have lived in a tepid bath of  euro certainty. Now no one knows whether to pull the plug, let in more hot water or just jump out. My guess is that they will do all three together. Probably won’t work.

Emma thinx: April. Yes – April. 

Mein Hair



In the world of high finance around which my life revolves, I am constantly hearing the term “Haircut”. Seemingly this means to write off a portion of a debt owed to you. Unfortunate banks are likely to have to accept major haircuts on loans made to Greece. Luckily, the banks will be “re-capitalised” by governments if it looks like they will fail as a result. So boys and girls – who do you think will end up with the bald eagle hair-do in the end? Um – that’s a tough one. All these affairs of state got me thinking about the hair styles of European leaders and I do believe I have spotted a pattern. Exhaustive research has shown that a tidy haircut leads to financial ruin. Just compare the coiffure quotient bias (known as the cqb amongst insiders) between Angela Merkel of Germany (Solvent) and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy (Indebted and struggling). When you see evidence this profound you will realise that the market rule is “If you don’t want to take a haircut, avoid leaders who obviously know a few hairdressers”. The most startling proof comes when you look at George Papandreou of Greece. Now that’s what I call a haircut. The poor guy has given his all. Dear old Great Britain who kinda stumbles around trying to find the key to the last of the kids money boxes remains afloat while the markets accept the bluff. A quick glance at the Cameron Coiff should steady the exchanges for now while we look for that damn key. By the way girls – can you see how the term “haircut” is dripping with macho don’t give a billion kind of swagger. I’m gonna tell my own creditors that they have won a free re-style.

I’m getting a bit peeved with product pricing. A pack of prawns last week at ASDA was the same price that it had been in March. Hoorah and jolly hockey sticks! The only difference was that the weight had reduced by 100 grammes. This is an enormous increase. I had earlier noted that chicken breast fillets had been similarly reduced in pack weight. So, what is going on? Do they think we don’t notice. Having been out of the UK for a while the jump is obvious. I guess if you just plop the same stuff in your trolley week in week out you may not spot the difference. So come on guys -d’ya fink we’re like stoopid or summink?

Emma thinx: Tosstesterone – the ultimate field event steroid.