Quote of the day, Reviews, Social Commentary

My Book Is Coming Out This Summer!

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A few days ago, I submitted my final manuscript to my publisher and she sent me back a timeline of the publishing schedule. It has been a long, hard road full of sweat and lots of tears, but I have now finished a novel that I started two years ago, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land. It hasn’t been easy, but this summer, I will finally be able to hold the paperback copy of my book in my hands.

10 Things You Need to Know About My Book: 

  1. It is fiction. No, I am not the main character. And the evil, mean mum does not exist. This is purely a product of my imagination. Of course, experiences and stories overheard may have influenced my book, but it is a work of fiction. Everything else is coincidence.
  2. It is about fulfilling a dream. I’ve always wanted to write a book and for those who know that feeling, it remains a dream until you sit on that chair and write those 70,000+ words. It may not become a bestseller, but it is finished and it has a beginning, a middle and an end, and it makes sense. To me, that is a great achievement.
  3. It is a silent achievement. As a writer, no one is around when you get to the finish line. No one cheers you on or tells you how great you are. It is purely a personal achievement that I always hoped I would fulfil and I am so proud to have finished it.
  4. It is so bloody hard to write a novel. I can’t tell you the times I’ve wanted to give up, when I wanted to throw it all away and never look at it again, and the times I wanted to quit. The plot holes, the unrelatable characters, the writing, the negative criticism etc… Even my pen name, Isabella Davidson, took hours of discussion and debate in my head. With writing, it is 99% about perseverance and determination. All writers will tell you, it’s about sitting on that chair and starting to write.
  5. It is not perfect. And the moral of the story is that none of us are perfect and that we should try to be understanding and tolerant and kind to each other. Ultimately, it is about kindness, although you may not see it that way when you read the book!! This is my first novel and I have learned so much through this process. I wish I knew all of what I know now before I started.
  6. It is not Dickens, Dostoevsky, or Dumas. It is a light, summer read which is more like a gossip-session with a friend than a life-altering book. So this summer, put it on your ‘Summer Read’ list! It is not meant to be taken seriously but does deal with issues of modern motherhood.
  7. They say to write about what you know. So, I’ve written about what I know best right now: the struggles of motherhood in London. It is about loneliness, relationships, losing your identity after becoming a mother, competitive mothering, trying to be the perfect mother, and trying to find the balance between being a parent and being an individual.
  8. All West London mums are not horrible. Although, reading this book you may be led to believe so. Most London mums are absolutely lovely and wonderful (I am one and most of my friends are!), but no one wants to read a book about mothers all being lovely and nice to each other! There would be no story to tell and that would just be very boring and no one would read it. So, I’ve piled on the bitchiness and horridness on a few of my characters (And we’ve all come across one or two ‘Mean-Mums’ or super-competitive mums…) Hopefully my next book will be more positive!
  9. I have mixed emotions about it. I am full of excitement but am also full of self-doubt (Will anyone buy it? Will anyone read it? Will they hate it? Will they hate me?)
  10. Please be kind. An author’s ego is so fragile and vulnerable, so please tread gently.

 

It won’t be ready until this summer, but I will post the book blurb soon so you get a better idea of the book. I hope you read it and laugh with it! A few quotes from my readers so far:

Thanks for a cracking read!’ 

I didn’t want to stop reading!’

I really enjoyed it and it did make me laugh. Great characters and setting.’

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Quote of the day, Social Commentary

‘You Know You’re Middle-aged When…’

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A few nights ago, I was having dinner with a very good friend, an ex-Londoner, turned New Yorker who was visiting London. She had invited her closest ‘London’ friends, some of whom she hadn’t seen in four or five years, to a ‘girls’ dinner for a proper ‘cocktails and sushi’ catch up. We went to Roka Mayfair, a new stalwart for its absolutely delicious food (yellowtail sashimi in truffle oil comes to mind), and the 8-person round table, ideal for big group conversations.

Just to preface it, these girls were the champagne-swirling, table-dancing, crackbaby-downing (Boujis fans, anyone?) kind-of-girls. And here we were, 10 years later, chatting about our in-laws (‘can you believe she stayed for 6 weeks?!’), competing for ‘who-has-the-most-useless-husband,’ what-cute-things-our-daugther/son-do-cue-here’s-a-photo and who-was-having-the-least-amount-of-sex when it dawned on us that we had reached Middle-Age. My dear friend, who is turning 45 this year, lamented: ‘I’m turning 45! That’s half of 90! I have lived half my life! I am officially Middle-Aged!’

Instead of getting depressed at this prospect and telling her ‘age is just a number’, we came up with 20 ways of knowing whether you are middle-aged:

You know you’re Middle-Aged When….

1)…You think the ‘Cloud’ is something that’s in the sky formed from condensed water which will produce rain. Equally, ‘cookies’ are something you bake for your children’s afternoon snack.

2)…You have never heard of ‘Zoella’ and don’t know what ‘vloggers’ actually do

3)…You don’t understand the point of Snapchat

4)…You really start to wonder what it would be like to date on Tinder

5)…You think midnight is a really late night out. And for those nights, you need to prepare with an afternoon nap.

6)…You’re the first to arrive and the first to leave a restaurant. And you’re no longer embarrassed. Ditto Parties.

7)…You start complaining at dinner that ‘this restaurant is too loud’

8)…You get really excited when someone mentions going clubbing after dinner, only to realise that your bed is a much, much more alluring proposition

9)…You go to the Chiltern Firehouse Private Bar and realise that the oldest person there (apart from you) is 10 years younger than you

10)…You look at twentysomethings at the Westbourne/Anglesea Arms/Walmer Castle/[insert trendy, young, pub or bar] nostalgically (enviously) and think to yourself ‘that used to be me’

11)…You are seriously excited to stay home on a Saturday night to watch the new season of Games of Thrones on netflix

12)…You tell your teenage nephew that your all-time favourite band is U2 and he looks at you blankly

13)…You then tell him your all-time favourite TV show is Seinfeld, and he still continues to look at you blankly http://www.nottinghillmummy.com/2014/05/15/quote-of-the-day-i-promise-you-will-never-have-to-turn-right-on-an-airplane/

14)…You actually think gardening is something ‘fun’ to do on the weekends rather than something ‘depressing old farts do’ on the weekend http://www.nottinghillmummy.com/2014/05/22/review-the-rhs-chelsea-flower-show-2014/

15)…You say things like ’40 is the new 20.’ Cringe. Or saying (see above) ‘age is just a number’

16)…You have a party and your neighbours don’t even notice

17)…That big plate of pasta you had last night turns into a muffin over night. Of the muffin-top variety.

18)…You watch The Good Wife/Breaking Bad/Scandal more regularly than you have sex

19)…Your sex life is in synch with the full moon cycle

20)…Your sex therapist advises you to have sex every day to rejuvenate your sex life and the thought fills you with horror

xx

NHYM

** Please add any other ways to know when you’re middle aged below in the comments!**

*** For those interested in point 20, check out this free webinar: http://www.serenesocial.com/events/female-sexuality-part-1-authentic-female-power-and-pleasure/ ***

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Quote of the day, Social Commentary

‘A Day In the Life of A Notting Hill Yummy Mummy’

Quote of the Day: ‘I’m panting like a bulldog during a heatwave and sweating like a 60 year old man trying to have an orgasm on Viagra.’

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(All photos courtesy of the internet)

5:30am. ‘Waahhh!’ I hear screaming somewhere in the background through the BT monitor trying to wake me from my happy-beach-dream slumber. Please Stop. I ignore it. I am sure the noise will die down if I just pretend I don’t hear it. 10 minutes later, I am back to my beach-dream. I am exhausted from being up 4 times last night. 2x with the teething Baby A, and 2x with M, once because she had a bad dream, and the other to tell me she wants pasta for lunch.

6pm: ‘Mummmmmyyyy!!! Peeeeppeeee!’ Really? Hasn’t she been potty trained for years? I try to remember. But the potential thought that I may have to clean up her wet carpet mess if I don’t go, makes me get up to take her to the bathroom.

6:15am: More noise. This time louder. ”Wwwaaaah’ in one monitor. ‘Mummy!’ in the other. Both kids are up and screaming for attention. I guess I sympathise, since it’s been a whole 12 hours since they saw anyone but a teddy bear.

6:15am-7:30am: I’ve used all my tricks to entertain and convince them it’s still night-time and M replies ‘It’s light out, it’s not sleep time, it’s play time!’ How is it possible to be this exhausted by these two little angels (monsters)? I look at my watch every  minute. 30 more minutes until New Nanny shows up. 29 more minutes. 28 more minutes….

7:30am: Hurrah! New nanny is on time. I hand off my oompah loompah midgets and go back to my Haastens bed and Egyptian cotton thread. Ah. This is more like it. Until I realise that I promised myself to try that Zumba class, since I am surrounded by Claudia Schiffer and Elle McPherson types and I still look like K-Middy’s post-baby-St.Mary’s-Lindo-Wing-Photo.

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8am: Breakfast with the girls. I’ve had 30 minutes to turn myself into someone slightly suitable for drop offs and pick ups, so I won’t be mistaken for the nanny again.

8:30am: New Nanny is in charge of Drop Offs and Baby Naps today, so I have a Full NHYM day ahead.

8:45am Off to Zumba! I am trying to get rid of the 5kg tire that has been stuck like super glue to my pre-baby-size-8-body since the birth of Baby A. It has been impossible to get rid of it: Dukan diet, 5:2 diet, only-eating-apples/pineapples/kale/pomegrenade diet, Bootcamp Pilates or Yoga. ‘This isn’t me, I’m a skinny girl stuck in a fat-girl’s body!’ I want to tell the mums I meet when they ‘up-and-down’ me. What’s worst, is that I have a full wardrobe of beautiful, gorgeous clothes that I may never wear again. I am stuck wearing elasticated waists for the rest of my life like an 80 year old, I think to myself.

8:50am On my way there, I pass by the twiglet-blonde-ex-magazine-editor-who-never-smiles NHN (Notting-Hill-Neighbour). I guess I wouldn’t smile either if my ex husband was a philandering pig. But still, I see her almost every day and she barely acknowledges my existence. Must be something with fashionistas. They must be either hungry (which makes them grumpy), or angry that their husbands are cheating.

9am: Zumba! I don’t know anyone here and I feel quite intimidated. There are about 35 women, size 8 and under, chatting to each other, and I am quite literally the elephant in the room.

9:05am: Oh, there’s someone I recognise, one-hit-wonder Trinny in the front row (I hear she had a successful fashion show on TV a lifetime ago, which was replaced by her fat-turned-skinny-gay-friend Gwok Kwan, and whose career is now non-existent. The difficulties of fame). More importantly, can someone tell me what she is doing with Charles Saatchi?! She is certainly not with him for his dashing good looks or charming, endearing character. Was she hibernating in Antartica when he throttled Nigella, divorced 3 times, and confessed to being a narcissistic, reclusive, egotist?? I want to go up to her and hug her and tell her she’s better than this.

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9:05am: There’s Pamela Anderson! Oh wait, that’s a skinnier, younger, and prettier version of her without the inflated boobs or lips.

9:15am: These women clearly come every day. They all have the ‘special Zumba shoes’ and all seem to know the moves even before Doni, the Zumba teacher, shows us. This Zumba class is like a game of Twister and I am definitely losing.

9:30am: I’m panting like a bulldog during a heatwave and sweating like a 60 year old man trying to have an orgasm on Viagra. Not a pretty sight.

10:00am: How much longer is this class?! I wonder if I can sneak out without anyone noticing, but I think about my tire, and I can’t go anywhere, I’m too tired and it’s too heavy for me to move. Again, I look at the clock to see when this torture will end.

10:15am: It’s wind down time. Finally. This class really isn’t for me.

10:30am: As I am leaving the Zumba class, looking my best, I see David Beckham leaving Bonpoint, arms full of Bonpoint, Caramel and Marie-Chantal bags. There’s certainly one lady in his life. He goes shopping for her, drops her off every day, looks at her adoringly and he is apparently just the loveliest guy, says my local butcher… (I’ve also figured out why his parents called him ‘David:’ after Michaelangelo’s David’s body!). Can someone tell me why Victoria never smiles; she’s super-rich, super-famous, she is now a bona-fide, super-designer, she has four super-adorable kids and a husband like THAT. What’s not to smile about?!

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11am: I stop by Austique on my way home, and while trying on girly goodies, I run into B.B., an impossibly leggy, beautiful, ex-model, LSE graduate, married to some Art Superstar who tells me about her new company she has started, producing ethical coffee. You see, to be a NHYM it isn’t enough being beautiful, smart, size 8 and under, rich and married to a super successful husband, you now must own your own company and be successful at it (and save the world while you’re at it!). This is the new trend for NHYMs; to be your own boss and become a ‘mumpreneur (Post about mumpreneurs coming up soon).’ Me and my tire are feeling even more deflated.

11:30am: I’m rushing home to take a shower to get rid of all of that Zumba sweat, check in with New Nanny that all is well at home and school. Finally I spend time with Baby A who has been neglected since her birth, give her lunch and sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ for her nap before heading off to lunch at the Electric with my two Scandi friends K & C.

1pm: I am the first to arrive. Just as I am about to think that The Electric is full of bespectacled, middle-aged, writers in plaid shirts, Paloma Faith walks in and sits in the booth across from me. She is the last Mohican of Notting Hill Cool. NH is not full of NHYMs and yuppies after all.

1:10pm: K arrives 7 month pregnant, but doesn’t even look pregnant. I look more pregnant than she does. She is radiant and glowing. Which is giving me morning sickness, even though there is no way I could even be pregnant.

1:30pm We are finally happily eating our salads and soups while talking Europen real estate, schools, and healthcare and all I can do is stare at them trying to find a flaw. White perfect teeth? Check (Must get my teeth whitened one of these days). Always smiling? Check (They are actually genuinely happy people). Long, blonde, beautiful hair? Check (Must get hair dyed and done). Pool-blue eyes and flawless skin? Check (Must make an appointment with Dr. Lowe). Cool factor? Well they are Swedish after all. Ugh. This day is depressing me more by the minute. And they are just the nicest people ever. I spend the whole lunch trying to find what’s wrong with them and all I can come up with is that they are fans of 50 Shades of Grey.

2pm: We are going through our Celebrity Crushes (CC). Mine is of course, David, only for the fact that he is the ‘World’s Best Dad’ (and he happens to be even hotter in real life than in photos). I just can’t help it, seeing a (hot) dad with his adorable daughter in his arms just wins me over every time. C’s CC is Christian Bale in American Psycho, with a bit of Christian Grey thrown in, while K’s is Brangelina. Together. In Bed. At the same time. And here I was thinking that Scandis were boring.

David Beckham Takes Harper Out For A Morning Stroll

2:45pm I leave the Electric after a lovely time with K & C, and having had a decent but un-extraordinary soup and salad, but anything tastes better than waiting in line at Bill Granger. On our way out, Marina Fogle, Ben Fogle’s wife, is busy having a work meeting for her new company ‘The Bump’. More mumpreneurs in action.

3pmish: Pick up time. I rush to the school gates and dread the uncomfortable small talk and idle chatter (Where are you off to for half term? How was your half term? Are you going to the Parent’s Event/Sports Day/Christmas Play?) while they ‘up-and-down’ me to see what labels I am not wearing. I feel like an awkward teenager who has no one to sit with at lunch time.

3pmish + 5 minutes: I spot ‘Gossip Mum’ and go straight to her. She loves talking so much and only listens to herself anyway, so I will look like I have a friend, but won’t need to talk. Perfect. And she keeps me in the school gossip loop, which makes me feel less of an outsider. Today, she chats away about the latest weird thing ‘Weird Mum’ has said and done and tells me about SuperRich Mum’s inbuilt trampoline and slide in her huge back garden (Yes, in London). Alpha Mum joins us and tells us about how many laps her perfect, supersonic daughter can do at the ‘Country Club’ after having lessons from Gold Medal Swimmer Coach. I wonder whether I should admit that M still doesn’t swim without floaties.

4pm: We are home after a play in the playground/private garden/park/activity. M has been best friends, enemies, then best friends again with her BFF in the past 10 minutes. Her BFF happens to be SuperRich’s Mum’s daughter and has a private jet, two drivers, three chefs, and 6 staff and M keeps asking if she can have a slide that goes down into a trampoline in our non-existent garden, and why we don’t have our own a ‘taxi’ driver. Hmm… Perhaps they should stay enemies.

4:30pm I open the door for the alarm/kitchen/builder/dishwasher guy to fix the broken alarm/fridge/house/dishwasher. Groundhog Day.

5pm: Finally, it’s TV time and everyone is happy! Anything from Frozen, Doc Mc Stuffins, Peppa, Mickey, Epic, or anything with Pirates will do.

6pm-7:30pm: Dinner, bath-time and wind-down-time, sleepy -time: Baby A doesn’t want to eat, M doesn’t want to poop and neither wants to go to sleep. Lots of negotiations and bribes later, everyone is in bed sleeping.

8pm: Dinner-time. Finally a moment to sit down. Mr. C is at a work dinner/traveling, as usual. I really need to go back to work, I think to myself, at least just so I can blame work for being an inadequate mother. Until then, the pressure of being a NHYM lurks heavily. I blame myself for my daughter not swimming yet, I self-loathe some more about my non-size-8-body, go back to feeling like the outsider who has no one to sit with at lunch-time, feel like the Ugly Duckling next to all these gorgeous Scandis (who seem to have an unfair physical advantage over the rest of the world) and feel personally inadequate for not having my own internet company/ethical food/clothes line/yoga studio.

So, perhaps this is why Trinny is with Charles Saatchi, because the NHYM pressure we put on ourselves creates unrealistic expectations to become these superwomen and supermom NHYM, who don’t actually exist (Except if you are Scandinavian, and then perhaps you stand a chance). Perhaps we should realise that all that really matters is that our families are happy and healthy and all the other stuff just doesn’t really matter. Period.

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xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

Twitter: @NHyummymummy

 

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Photos, Quote of the day, Travel

Quote of the day: ‘We’re not used to such small boats’

… At the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc, when trying to anchor our boat in front of the hotel for lunch and the hotel’s boat couldn’t help us with where to throw the anchor.

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Cannes 2014

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xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

** All Photos were taken by NHYM. Copyright 2014 **

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Photos, Quote of the day, Social Commentary, Travel

Quote of the Day: ‘I promise you will never have to turn Right on an airplane’

(Seinfeld Airport Episode, Courtesy of the Internet)

I admit it. I am a Business-Class-Kind-of-Girl. No, not the ‘Swingers’ movie Business-Class-Kind-of-Girl, where my ass is too big to fit in an economy seat, but the Seinfeld Business-Class-Kind-of-Girl, who has tried Business Class and has trouble going back to economy. The worst is when they make you walk past Business Class to get to economy, making you look at all these people being treated like royalty, condescendingly sipping their Champagne in your face smugly and gleefully. It makes me feel like Eileen in that Seinfeld episode: ‘Oh, no, please, don’t send me back there. Please, I’ll do anything. It’s so nice up here. It’s so comfortable up here. I don’t want to go back there. Please don’t send me back there…’ I don’t know anyone who has tried Business/First/PJ and is just dying to get back to Economy.

These days, I could just take a Business Class Flight for 12 hours and come back to London for all I care. I just want 12 hours to do whatever I want, without hearing ‘mummy!’ being screamed at me every two seconds, a husband requiring ‘attention’ and having to keep up the appearance of a ‘perfect’ life (which it never is, trust me). Everyone here in Business Class is smiling. The air must be better. This is a Happyland; nice people constantly making me feel so good, asking me ‘how are you’, ‘what can I get for you,’ ‘is everything Ok’ for once and bringing me food, magazines, and champagne at the tip of a button. I get to watch movies all day long without feeling guilty and actually read a whole sentence out of a book uninterrupted. What else could a girl ask for?

The High Miles Club

The best kind of Business Class flying, which I specialise in, is on Miles/Points, guilt-free Business Class flying, where everything feels better when it’s (almost) free. (There have to be some perks for your husband’s constant work travels and making you feel like a single mother). I have analysed all the possible and impossible routes using BA Miles and have gotten it down to an art. Flying to main business hubs and cities in the US/North America is relatively easy: New York, Chicago, LA, Toronto as well as other far away Business centers like Tokyo. Forget the Maldives, it is a very popular holiday destination, which is virtually impossible to book on miles, unless you book months and months in advance in the rainy season. From London, your safest warm destination is the Carribean, which is why I have been to Barbados more times than I care to discuss, St. Lucia, Mustique and Antigua. Other possible warm and sunny destinations include Bangkok, Cape Town and Brazil.

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Men and Business Class

Men are equally as guilty of loving Business Class. Those in the know ask each other ‘Do you turn Right or Left on an airplane?’ which fuelled the famous line a Hedge Funder used to try to win his fiancé back: ‘I promise you will never have to turn Right on an airplane.’ I used to date a guy with a British Airways Gold Card, which was one of the few perks of him travelling all the time, until he ‘Seinfelded’ me (see Youtube video at top). One of our Business seats was given away (we got them on miles) and he made me sit in the ‘back of the bus’ while he was ‘in front’ in Business (using the excuse that he traveled so much that he needed his Business seat). Needless to say, this relationship did not last. A man’s attitude towards flying Business is really an entry into his mind. It’s very simple, those men who will take the Business seat instead of giving them to you will always put themselves/their jobs/their hobbies/their priorities in front of yours and you will just need to accept this for the rest of your life. Take it or leave it. Really, the first question a woman should ask on a first date should be: ‘If we had one seat in Business and one seat in Economy, which would you choose and which would you offer me?’ The same goes for men, if your date demands Business Class on your first trip together to the One & Only in the Maldives after 6 weeks of dating, good luck.

Children and Business Class

Now there is the dilemma of what to do with children and flying. Hugh Jackman recently told the Sunday Times Magazine that he flies economy with his children and First without them ‘when he’s working.’ Within the Notting Hill Mums set, it is typical for a three year old NHYM daughter to go on a domestic flight and push all the buttons before asking her mother: ‘Mummy, how do I turn this into a bed?’ Then there is the 5 year old who flies commercial for the first time (after his father loses his job during the recession) and asks his father ‘Daddy, who are all these people on our plane?’ Luckily, the father was clever enough to convince him that this kind of flying was much better; bigger airplane, more movies and games, more friends to make, and of course, flatbeds.

(Seinfeld Airport Episode, Courtesy of the Internet)

Economy and World Traveller Plus vs. Business

Who needs an overweight, slobbering, snoring guy who overtakes his half of the armrest and locks you in for the whole flight while some little shit kid is kicking the back of your seat while his mother smiles apologetically when you give her evil stares (but does absolutely nothing about it)? Then there are the wafts of the ‘Odeurs du Corps’ perfume (translated as ‘body odours,’ sounds so much better in French), a mix of BO and gastrointestinal gasses, the latter which have been proven to occur more frequently at altitude since gasses expand as pressure decreases (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/scientists-support-breaking-wind-airplane-article-1.1265744). The air in Business Club is truly better. Then there are the poor air hostesses who have to endure the humiliation that they are ten years older and ten kilos heavier than their Business Class counterparts. I have cringed when I asked an Economy air hostess what kind of Red wine she was pouring me, and she replied’We only have two kinds of wine, Red and White.’

World Traveller Plus is really where I feel the most comfortable, since I can’t justify the price of actually paying for Business seats (which makes me sick thinking of how many houses with running water I could build in Africa for the price of one ticket), but can’t help feeling torn because I hate that I love Business so much.

First Class vs. Business

My analysis of First vs. Business is quite simple. There is not enough difference between First and Business to justify the price or the Miles. Although, there are still a lot of positives to First Class, I like the pyjamas but they only have two sizes, Medium and Large, and I quite simply look like I am wearing my husband’s workout clothes after a massive weight loss and gastric banding. They are also rather potato-sack unflattering. The Virgin Upper Class bottoms are better styled and more comfortable, I could wear them every day, so when you see someone walking down Westbourne Grove in Virgin Upper Class sweatpants, you’ll know it’s me.

What I also like about First Class is that the passengers are actually more civilized than Business Class passengers. When M took her first First Class flight at 7 months, everyone was smiling, cooing and wanting to hold her. She was treated like a First Class Baby. In Business, I have witnessed ‘airplane rage’ caused by her and other small children. Once when a woman was seated next to us complained for half an hour about having a two year old next to her (M), another time I watched in amusement a French couple who had been bumped to World Traveller Plus, ranting for half an hour while a happy family of five including three girls each in their own Business seat (the youngest was still sucking on her soother), watched them almost get thrown off the flight because they wouldn’t go to their World Traveller seat.

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Private Jets vs. Business Class

Private jets are a whole other ball game. I personally don’t do very well on PJs, since I am claustrophobic and anything less than a G5 (Cessnas/Learjets) reminds me of getting in an MRI scan, with the loud buzzing noise and the feeling of a round white tunnel enclosing in on me. Makes me want to reach for a Xanax. I will never have enough money/friends with enough money to fly G5/G6/Boeing, so I will stick to commercial. The closest commercial flight that resembles flying private is the London City to NYC all-Business flight, (where I happened to be the only woman on the flight, and the only pregnant one, which took them by surprise. They handled me like a rare Chinese Ming porcelain statue). It has only around 18 seats and has its own lounge-straight-to-airplane with drinks and snacks to nibble on before the flight, which is good enough for me. But if you are like some wannabes I’ve met who dream of flying Private, there is a certain Private Jet Etiquette to be familiar with depending on the owner’s country of origin.

The Russians: The Russians specialise in ‘professional ladies’ without shame, who come on board to give them all kinds of ‘helping hands and mouths’ during the flight, offering the air hostesses 10,000 Euros for any extra help needed (this one politely declined). Then there is the 60 year old Russian who knows his limits with two 18 year olds, when he keeps it to a little massaging and caressing while Jessie J’s song ‘It’s all about the money’ blares in the background.

The Saudis: As soon as the flight becomes airborne, this International Private Jet Air Zone becomes Islam-free territory, the Hijabs have been forgotten at home, the wet bar is well stocked with Gin and Whiskey, cigarettes and cigars are smoked and alcohol fountains appear. You might as well bring on the pork crackling. Let the good times roll.

The Icelandics: Remember the days of smoking on flights? Still possible on PJs and the group of Icelandics who brought the Icelandic economy to its knees decided to stop over in Hawaii just to buy a $10 pack of cigarettes. Seems like they didn’t know how to make very good financial choices, professionally or personally.

The Americans: Promising his fiancé a mink fur coat, an American stops in Kiev in search of the fur coat, but his mission is ‘diverted’ by some ‘professionals’. He is a very generous man when he hears about the pilot’s cheating wife (the pilot found out after installing spy software in his house which took photos every 2  minutes of his cheating wife and colleague lover), he tells his friend, ‘Find a girl for the pilot and make sure she f**ks his brains out. I’ll pay.’ His fiancé never saw a fur coat

So there you have it. I am a Business Class kind-of-Girl. See you in Business, if I’m lucky.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Quote of the day, Social Commentary

Quote of the Day “Are you here for an interview?’

Welcome to BlingLand…. 

M has been invited to R’s house for a playdate. R is from a country we shall call Blingland, where the bigger the bling, the better. R is very wealthy. I hear through the ‘nanny grapevine’ that R travels in a private jet and has a room dedicated to her clothes. She arrives at nursery driven by her chauffeur, who wears a chauffeur’s hat, and her two nannies, one older, gentle Filipina and one English for etiquette and elocution lessons. When R’s mum calls me to ask if M can come over for a playdate, I ask her whether she wants me or the nanny to bring her, not knowing what the norms and customs of BlingLand are. She replies ‘Whatever is easiest for you’ and thinking that I should really do the polite thing, I decide to bring M myself. Trying to spruce up for R’s mum, who always looks glamourous with perfect hair, a big white smile, and pink lipstick ready for the finals of the Miss BlingLand beauty pageant, I choose to wear a DVF dress, my nicest jewellery and handbag, thinking I should mimic R’s mum to make her feel comfortable, and hail a cab to Belgravia.

When I arrive to the megamansion in Belgravia, the nice Filipina nanny answers the doorbell and takes M to R’s playroom and tells me to wait next door in the ‘waiting’ room while she calls ‘Madame’. I appear to be in the staff quarters because there are Filipinas running around looking slightly alarmed by the sight of me, shuffling their feet in every direction. Through the hall, I see the chef preparing a delicious smelling stew of some sort. I keep waiting. At some point, a Filipina who looks like the head Filipina, barges in, looks me up and down and asks me in a rather gruff and unfriendly voice ‘Are you here for the interview?’ Indignant, outraged and slightly humiliated I respond ‘No, I am M’s mum!’ Of course, I want to scream at her ‘Can’t you see I am wearing a f**** Diane Von Furstenberg dress, carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag and wearing thousands of pounds worth of Boodles?!’ She turns around without a word of apology and stomps away as I am left seething in the waiting room of the staff quarters of the megamansion. A few minutes later, I calm down and realise that the Filipinas probably never see anyone but people from BlingLand enter the megamansion and innocently mistook me for the help. Eventually, the Filipina nanny returns saying ‘I’m sorry, Madame is not here, she went to the supermarket.’ That’s when I decide that M is ready for her first ‘drop off’ playdate and leave in a hurry. For those of you who don’t know, the word for ‘supermarket’ in Blingish is ‘Harrods.’

 

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Quote of the day

Quote of the Day: ‘Can nanny Y have family bath time with us?’

Family bath time is one of my greatest pleasures in life when I get to cuddle my babies skin-to-skin, slimey and slithery, just as if they were newborn, which has been proven to release all sorts of good feeling endorphins. The other Saturday, I was in the bath enjoying my favourite past-time with my three year old daughter, M, my husband, Mr. C. while my other eight month old daughter, A was being looked after by our nanny, let’s call her ‘nanny Y.’ I was explaining to M the importance of family and how precious it was to have a close family and that bath-time was a great way of spending time with her family. She asked why A wasn’t in the bath with us, so I explained that A was still a little too small to enjoy family bath time with us. I promised her that A would join us later when she was big enough. Then M looked at me excitedly with her big, brown eyes as if she had a eureka moment and asked ‘Can nanny Y have family bath time with us instead of A?’

 

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