Photographer in the making


The munchkin took this photo on her most recent visit to the zoo with a friend's digital camera.

oh she was gorgeous - Tilda Swinton

Where do I start with my homage to Katherine Mathilda Swinton? Is it that beautiful elongated thin frame, or the flaming mane on top of that otherworldly white skin, or those penetrating green eyes? The quirky fashion statements she makes (the all-white suit in Cannes, where she couldn't help but stand out next to a bunch of ravishing men, including George Clooney, all clad in blacks and blues, that bee-like contraption at the Baftas, the black velvet sheath at the Oscars). Or maybe it is simply her arresting presence?

Tilda Swinton had me captivated as the young Orlando in Sally Potter's eponymous movie, based on the book by Virginia Woolf, composing a poem under a tree. Le sigh. What a tale, what an actress.
Then she went on to become a live piece of sleeping art, in a display case in a London gallery, as the epitome of stillness, barely breathing behind a sheet of glass.
She also made several films with Derek Jarman, whose house stands in lonely Dungeness.
And what about her incarnation of that white, evil witch Jadis, in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (coincidentally, also my favourite childhood book)? So you see, I have a very long-standing love affair with Ms. Swinton.

Among the trivia of her life are such interesting facts as her classmate, Princess Diana, or the fact that she is living with the father of her twins, while maintaining a relationship with a New Zealand artist, somewhere in remote Scotland. And now she can even take an Oscar home, even though she has already said that she will be giving it to her hard-working agent.

At any rate, to me she will always be Orlando.

Parenting 101


Our child is perfect. At least, if you would believe our paediatrician's software and the curves used to measure her. Weight, perfect. Length, perfect. Ratio of both measurements: perfect. She is perfectly proportioned. Her ears seem to be working again and the rest of her pretty much is in working order, except for her schnozz, which has been oozing green slime incessantly. Poor munchkin's nasal passages are as usual blocked. So, nothing that I didn't know yet. As a mother, of course, I'm allowed to believe that she is perfection itself. The paed did remark that her language skills were pretty well developed but impressed on us the need to work on her English a little more. 'She would probably benefit from having a sibling'.

This was after this lunchtime's PTA meeting , where we were exposed to a 4-page observation fact kit of our daughter. When the teacher pulled out the little package, I turned a little green around the gills. She is only three, after all, and already she is being assessed for such things as maths and language skills (I kid thee not), motoric skills, participation, etc.

But such meetings have their uses too. Imagine two mums sitting there open-mouthed as we were told that our child has developed leadership skills (although somewhat extreme) over the past 5 months. Coming from pushover in September, that came as a bit of a surprise.
Enjoys playing with the boys. Another surprise. She always tells us that she plays with the girls.

So we perused the list, looking at all the green boxes next to the final objectives... and then there were the orange boxes (reminiscent of the US's threat levels). These overall point to a lack of concentration skills, and the teacher also remarked on the little one's constant demand for attention. A drama queen in the making, we were told. Also likes doing the same thing over and over again.
But we were immediately reassured: this is typical of a young, playful only child.

What did we learn today? Make another baby, or simply enjoy the playfulness of our munchkin.
I think we need to ponder this one a little longer.

The L Word - Season 5 Ep 8 - Lay down the law!


Time constraints mean that this review will be somewhat shorter than usual. So let's get straight to the point. I'll even put my glasses on for it. Of course, I'll never be able to throw you a glance like this one:

I didn't feel much sympathy for many of the characters this episode and I can't quite figure out why. Maybe it's because I've read too many spoilers, or maybe because we've all had some Tina and Bette gratification and we're already over it... or maybe this wasn't such a good episode.

Tasha's storyline: the witch hunt by those excellent gents and lady of the US army drew to an unexpected end, which we all expected to a certain extent. The scenes in the gym revealed what I had guessed during last episode, namely that Kelly McGillis' character swung a little left off centre and had a healthy interest in the same sex herself. How she chooses to exercise it, is another matter. Sideways glances in the changing room and a hefty glass of whiskey are an interesting side-effect of 'Don't ask, don't tell', don't you think. But hey, whatever makes you happy, I guess.
As for the hearing itself: the Salem factor was definitely there. Martinez's remark elicited a huge guffaw from my SO (after which she held her belly and screamed oww for about a minute, due to the stitches). To serve under/underneath...
I meanwhile screamed 'Veronica Lake' at the screen, as I saw the forties wartime version of Alice walking down the hall (some interesting dress choices going for Alice lately. The quaker dress last week for her interview, the fifties preppy look on the Look). Alice's hairdo on the second day of the hearing was a dead ringer for Lake or Lauren Bacall (as usual, my b&w film fetish has kicked in in full throttle).

But Alice's little session of bluff poker led to an unexpected dénouement as Col. Davis suddenly requested a recess, telling Alice to back off in exchange for the equivalent of a plea bargain for Tasha. So what does Tasha do? She tells the army 'up yours' and chooses Alice instead. Merciful God, the real Alice Pieszecki is back. On an interesting side note that is completely unrelated, that clickety thing on my gas hob is known as a piezo-electric ignition system. Piezo pieszecki. Way to go girl.

I'm dispensing with all the Jenny drama in this episode. Suffice to say that she looked pitiful while waiting outside the theatre as the evil Adele charmed all the folk inside and worked little Nikki like a modern-day Svengali (kiss the boy).

Did anyone catch Kit eyeing Shane's behind in the photos posted on Dorothy Surrenders?

And the glances by Kroll & Kroll (senior and junior) in the Planet cast towards Shane were quite memorable too.

Speaking of the lesbian Fonz: Shane doing Shane? That's altogether too meta for my taste.

And are you also amazed by the fact that Shane can sign? Wow, Bette fluent in just a few weeks and here is Shane signing away effortlessly. I wish I was so linguistically fluent. Would make my job a whole lot easier.

Bette/Tina/Jodi: their lives seem so complicated. Organising a simple dinner party becomes major drama/rama. The Indian food remark was classic: another reason why Bette and Jodi's relationship is doomed to fail. Ok, that, the onion, and the kaftan.
And is everybody blind that they don't notice what is going down between Bette and Tina? Get your hormones in check already ladies, and just go find a room. I'm waiting for Shane/Joda (hey wait a minute, maybe Shane is yin to Jodi's yang. Get it: jodi/joda? Dumb joke, I know) to pipe up at some point, but that will probably be in next week's episode.

Some final thoughts:
* Hello Max, where are you? Snapped up by the aliens?
* Tasha looked real snappy in her uniform. See, that's why they should have gays in the military.
* I might want to take up boxing for anger management purposes. I think it would do me a world of good.
* the kiss between Tasha and Alice only needed that corny song from 'An Officer and A Gentleman' to complete the scene: Love lifts us up where we belong...

Interesting piece of dialogue:
Tina: [after a long pause] I don't wanna break up you and Jodi. That's not anything I want. I don't wanna be part of that.
Bette: What if I want to?
Tina: Do you?
Bette: I really don't like who I am becoming right now, and when I think about Angie, it's just ... it's just not behavior that I want to model for our daughter.
--- but she didn't really answer the question, now did she.

Photo of Kelly McGillis courtesy of

Parental (di)stress


In our ever continuing saga of parenting pitfalls, we will be having our parent-teacher meeting on Wednesday at noon (postponed due to illness of teacher). It was when she mentioned the scorecard that my heart froze like endless fields in a Finnish winter.
I tried to look unphased, but when she mentioned the munchkin's flagging concentration and her failure to answer questions during show and tell that I got a sense of a déjà-vu.

I was known at school myself as the 'human photocopier'. I had but to look at a page to memorise it by heart. During a session with a school counselor, designed to test our summarizing capacities, the woman practically fell off her chair when she saw my notes (or lack thereof) but realised that I had managed to render the text almost word for word. And yet, my university years were all about trials and tribulations as I tried to focus on what was being said.

My nephew spent the first few years of his life suffering in the educational system. He is now on ADHD meds, has calmed down and is now top of his class. My sister suffered dismal marks at school, although she is widely acknowledged to be more than intelligent.

Our neighbour and I were looking at our kids yesterday in the park, when she randomly said: interesting how V. never stays on one thing for a while, but always bolts on while my S. can go up and down the slide twelve times in a row.
Our munchkin listens to a song once and can memorise it and sing it in tune, word for word, regardless of the language.

Outcome: I don't know. Has the horrifying gene transferred another generation, is she just a playful, healthy toddler of 3 or is something else going on? Why has she got such a complete lack of focus? Getting her to sit down for a meal for longer than 15 minutes is like a Sisyphean task. She eats healthily, has at least one portion of fruit and veg a day and sugary stuff is off the list.

I have ordered some DHA/EPA fish oil capsules for her (probably just another crock), but at this point I'm willing to give anything a try. In the meantime, I'm clutching my hair and pearls in anticipation of Wednesday's balanced scorecard (or so I hope).

Quick fix: deeply chocolate brownies by Nigel Slater


Nigel, Nigella... what's the difference when chocolate is involved?

Following Suburban Mum's post on Nigel Slater's brownies, the domestic demi-goddess, in true form, rose to the challenge.

Deeply dark chocolate bliss on a dish.

I know what I will be eating for dessert tonight. Maybe with some double cream or some vanilla ice?

Some remarks:
- photo taken by webcam
- I used cane sugar instead of caster sugar
- our cocoa and dark chocolate might be somewhat higher in cocoa content, which explains the dark colour.
- they are very moist, because I fiddled with the recipe a bit at the beginning


Balance a Coke can on my nose for a wager (I won)
Drive into a car as a kid with my cousin's chopper and then pretended I didn't make the dent
Share a bed with different people at the same time
Try to save a bird from death once (and how I cried when it died)
Ask Telly Savalas for his autograph at Heathrow Airport (is this dating me?)
Drink a whole bottle of port in less than an hour once (lovesick)
Live somewhere else (Florence)
Lose part of my index finger
Barf at my sister's wedding
Have my purse stolen three times in a row, once by a 'friend'
Sleep with a complete stranger once
Shake Queen Paola's hand
Stalk a model once (Carmen in Florence, she was gorgeous!)
Have sex in a public space

Make it to Japan
Commit a serious crime
Have a blood brother or sister
Eat an insect or a rodent
Watch a dykey porn movie
Vote for the Christian Democrats ever
Become an astronaut
Believe I'd ever be a lesbian
Give birth without pain meds
Ever have a shiner
Tell my boss to go fuck herself
Meet Margaret Thatcher or the Queen
Eat bull's testicles
Drink real absinth

Current mood: Oh crappy daaaaaaaay!*

Cr*p, f*ck, sh*te, @!§....aughhhhhhhhhhh! Boiling point.

Some days are just not made to go well. They start off bad, when you realize that your client's mailserver seems to bounce all mails right back at ya, meaning you have to spend ONE whole HOUR trying to figure out what is the actual problem, before discovering that your provider is banned.
Then you're late for everything else: breakfast, lunch date, picking up child. So then your whole work schedule (the sad six hours left a day) is disrupted and slowly but surely it dawns on you that you will never be able to do all your work decently.
The outcome: mostly happy customers, except for one rabid, pissed off customer for whom you forgot to translate the file, and a "disappointed" customer for whom you had to draft a diary note.
So then you end up being in a pissy mood, waive dinner, spend most of the evening redrafting the bloody file, and then it disappears. Because in Windows Vista, files DISAPPEAR!
After ONE whole HOUR (I'm beginning to spot a pattern here), you realize that you inadvertently saved it in the temp file of the original zip file, which you eventually find.
It's midnight. I still have a file to translate and a craving for some hot cocoa.

Can tomorrow be a better day please?

*to the tune of that gospel song "Oh Happy Day"
Photo of the great Geysir in Haukadalur, Iceland.

Oh she was gorgeous - Diana Rigg!


Before I tell you more about the hotness that is Diana Rigg DBE, I have to confess to a childhood sin. At a tender young age, my mother (and I) watched The Avengers. Needless to say that I understood half of the banter, not much of the covert sexual tension, but I was hopelessly and head over heels in love with Emma Peel, she of the tight outfits. For many of you, the name will not ring a bell, and I will admit that it is a 1960s series and that television in Belgium was hopelessly outdated at the time. But ah, how I used to look forward to Emma's karate chops. For a short demo, please do not hesitate to click below.

I mean, wowza. Look at that. And she can knit too! As the years went on, and I grew older, the soft spot in my heart never faded and I continued to squeal contentedly every time a film listed the sexy avenger, now slowly morphing into a silver fox, among its cast. As Rigg went on to carve out a comprehensive stage career, I had to content myself with her rare appearances on the Beeb.

But there's something about her, something that I can't quite put my finger on, that I find hopelessly, addictively attractive.

And let's face it, how can you not love a woman whose middle name is Enid?

The L Word Season 5 Episode 7: Lesbians gone wild!


Bowwow-chickabowwow! What an episode!
No write-up would be complete without mentioning the lesbian turkish oil wrestling, which dominated the episode (approx. 10 mins of screentime and several mentions throughout).
Did you too get the idea that the writers were sitting around the table, clueless for inspiration and one of them suddenly said: hey, what about that clip by Junior Jack with the women bikini chicks wrestling?

Ah, stereotypes. This series seems to love 'em. The plastic women of the 'The Look' including a blonde Dawn Denbo with bulletproof hair but no botox mind you, because I actually saw a creased forehead, the plastic reporter of the behind the scenes videoshoot (a movie about a group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles - incredulous face, ooh, aah, shock and awe)... And how did you all like preppy Alice, and mychart/theirchart/ourchart? Alice has officially become page six, on the outing trail for every episode. Want the job, out the gays, girl. So media-hungry. I liked the little jibe at Fox News though, which kind of restored my faith in her for a second although I wouldn't mind having the old Alice back (Dana era).

But I feel that this episode is more about Darling Nikki. Nikki who fluffs her lines, but who is playing the role of her life with Jenny, as is obvious from the scene at the end, when she walks about aimlessly searching, before Jenny approaches her. And maybe about Adele.

Amy likes Jodie who loves Bette, who loves Tina, who likes Sam. It's a love chain!
Jodie's face at Amy's question about how is it with you two is priceless.
Bette and Tina flirting on the bed of the K-mart bedroom set, with Tina positively cartwheeling off the bed, is even better.

The military storyline: for those of you too young to remember, I just wanted to remind you that Colonel Davis was already in the military in the past. Remember this?

I know of someone, who has been in Tasha's situation in the US army. Luckily, she came off better than Tasha, who is being tried for Chapter 15 behaviour. But we discussed this and the general idea was that the military has its code of justice and you know that when you join. No matter which way it is worded, you're not supposed to gay. Don't ask, don't tell, eased up the pressure but at the end of the day, we feel that she is waging a losing battle. Although with the L Word, you never know.
But I was intrigued by Colonel Davis' expressions every time she spoke to Tasha: did I notice a glimmer of compassion there? Specifically when Tasha said Chapter 15.

Bette babysitting Molly: and taking her that den of iniquity known as the set of Lez Girls! Trailer sex, bedroom set sex, you name it sex...I love it. My SO screamed when she saw Molly: it's a Sandra Bernhard lookalike!

Adele: cut, print. And that's all I have to say about that.

Quote of the day: lesbians can be respectable, stable, accomplished people.... Ah, now have we seen any of those in the past four seasons??? You could have fooled me.
Quote two of the day: Molly to Shane: you're the Fonz for lesbians.
I so love military speak by the way: engage, breach of protocol, O-3...

What will the next episode bring, I ask myself...

Power to the sheople


I've been kinda ignoring the story of the Oxnard shooting of a gay teen in recent days, because it just hurts too much to think about the ignorance and hate of a certain population segment. He was "freaking the guys out"... Awwwwww. And just taking a gun and shooting another kid doesn't freak people out?

Response on blogs and forums has been divided too: some speak of donating towards the Matthew Shephard Foundation, bible thumpers say that God simply does not love gays (I'm glad that they have a hotline to God?), haters say it's the kid's just desserts.

I'm not a militant or an activist gay. I simply go about my life quietly without being in anyone's face. But it makes me angry to think that this is the state of the world: people can preach hate in the name of God. Hate crimes are being silently condoned. Zealots and bigots seem to be taking over politics.

I really can't say that I understand religion. Have a belief system already if you must, but don't use it to implement your erroneous convictions. But hey, all power to the sheople...

Death of a Pacifier


Picture this: coasting along merrily through sunny Antwerp, munchkin peacefully snuggled behind me, the wind blowing through our hair, red-cheeked due to the cold.
As we sail onto a five-way crossing, I hear that sound that I have come to dread of plastic meeting asphalt. I give it five seconds. "M, my binky", a wail erupts behind me.

Time for a parenthesis: yes, I boldly breastfed. Yes, we managed pretty fine until one night, after a lot of sleepless nights due to no more boob protein (nipple biting can be fun, pierced nipples are not), we caved in and plopped a pacifier into her mouth. Since then we have spent hours, nay days trying to prise it from between her lips. School meant relief, as she could no longer demand it full-time. But we are fast approaching the age of 4, and I would like to see her without a pacifier before she is 21. Anyway, I digress.

I screeched to a halt, looked back and there it was, bright and blue in the middle of the crossing. I ventured, 'we have another one at home', only to be met with an incredulous look and a histrionic wail designed to exorcise 700 year old poltergeists from their cubby holes, followed by a conniption of magnamious proportions.

What follows is a perfect example of the lengths desperate parents will go and the idiocy that takes over their brains, when they are tired and not thinking straight and confronted with a meltdown. I dismounted old Piglet (I do have a pink bike. The previous one was green and named Godzilla. My car is named Greta because she will only speak German to me), gave the munchkin the glare of death as I unbuckled her from her seat and put her down and then proceeded to threaten her with unspeakable horrors if she dared move even a millimetre from her position next to the bike. As I moved away from the bike and started running to the middle of the crosswalk, I heard a ginormous crash. A gust of wind had blown the bike over, the munchkin hadn't budged. As I was picking up the bloody pacifier that was the cause of all this madness, I looked around only to see that the blasted traffic lights had changed back to green and that traffic was moving again from 3 sides. Needless to say that I broke Carl Lewis' Olympic record as I sprinted back to the pavement.

The balance of all this drama:
one casualty: the bike's stand was wrenched
one fatwa: on pacifiers (banished to the bed, and I suspect that we will slowly start phasing that out now)
one frazzled mother: me, but my SO served me a glass of champagne to soothe my nerves, and our kind neighbour volunteered to take me munchkin home with her and even graciously treated her to dinner.

Thank God the weekend is here.

SO asketh, SO receiveth


So we're driving to my mum's with 'Mona', our car, and SO has her iPod hooked in. All of a sudden, the distinctive purr of that fierce exciting woman, the original catwoman known as Eartha Kitt filled the car to my screams of recognition. SO said: why not put her on your blog. So here she is, babe, coming at ya!

Looking at her website, I think that she looks hellaciously good. She's 80 for crying out loud. And don't you just love her shoulder extensions in this video clip? Mega Mindy's pining for them already.

afternoon webcam: after school


Shoes off, Thomas the Tank engine in hand, after which La-La in the buggy takes a ride to the park. Lula de Montes* is winking at the passers-by in the street again.

* She is still trolling the window, even after the orange cat has been taken to the pound by one of our neighbours. We have asked to be kept informed of his fate.

The L Word Season 5 Episode 6 - Lights! Camera! Action!


Sign up for your non-spoilerific blindfold here....

Another week, another episode of the L-Word. And honeys, it's ON! In fact, everybody's getting it on. Tibetters around the world were wetting their pants in anticipation and lo behold, even Jennifer Beals' breasts (and the shadow of a nipple) put in an appearance.

So for a rundown of this week's merry events:

- Bette & Tina: I positively feel like a deer in the headlights here. Who could have predicted that in the span of five episodes we'd go from this:

to this:


The top photo is the girls' expressions as they find out what's in store for them over the next season. It must be Bette's phenomenal cooking. Maybe she'll come over and be our chef for Valentine's Day? Don't get me wrong, I'm far from complaining about the eye candy factor. In fact, a little birdie tells me that these two, unlike their fictitious counterparts in Lez Girls probably have an excellent lesbian love coach. My SO was fanning herself during love scene 2 (or maybe it's the hormone replacement therapy kicking in?) All the better for us, that's all I can say, all the better... and by the way, I'm so putting in a call for Tina's lingerie right now.

But first, let's discuss some meta stuff: did the Tina character in the initial clip and her ovulation kit remind you of a toothpaste ad too? All I could think of was Colgate bi-fluoride with Pinocchio the wooden puppet as its star? And was Jenny vicious when casting the same aspiring actress for the role of Tina or what? Then a frigid kiss, which inevitably led to the discussion at Casa de Montes how much a repulsive kiss was worth, i.e., if you had to tongue smooch someone for 10,000 USD, would you do it (say... George Bush, or Laura?). As for the people at Showtime, they must be revelling in a sense of déjà vu, don't you think? No new sets or locations, it's all there already.

This was the episode where little Angelica spoke even though it was only a oneliner. She's getting so big already. But damn, those rats must have been huuuuuuge, since she referred to them as puppies. Yerch. I can see now why Kit is practicing her gunmanship. But knowing Ilene Chaiken's penchant for death (why *did* Dana have to die?) and big issues, I also have this awful premonition that this will all lead to some horrific gun drama.

On a secondary note, I keep on wondering where poor Angelica sleeps on a constant basis. What with her moms' partying and general hot and botheredness.

Alice heroically pulled the plug on another relationship this episode. She reminds me of a butterfly, flitting here and there, but never quite finding a moment's rest. Funny how the difference with the character of Tasha was emphasized so blatantly in the parting scene after the golden harmony of the last weeks.

I cringed during the scene in Phyllis' office, as Jodie resigned.... 'I have Bette'. It felt a little like a pantomime, with the audience screaming 'Oh no, you don't'. Meanwhile Bette was looking guiltier by the minute. Being held up as the poster children for lesbian couple of the year by Phyllis probably didn't help either. Enter Cybill Shepherd's real daughter, as her fictitious daughter. It's all so very meta. Shane, of course, immediately meat-tagged her. I'm beginning to see a trend in Shane's interests of late: they're all blondish, tall, big shouldered and meatier than her (Paige, Cindy, la Shepherd's daughter). But be careful Shane, dear, as Dawn Denbo is still a-smarting. Personally I smell a rat.

Do you suppose, after watching this issue, that someone has an issue with Vancouver? And did you love the locations lady and her premonitive remark about the movie going over budget? At least we know that Vancouver has good shopping, viz. that very interesting scene at Holt Renfrew with Jenny and Adele. It was like watching the technicolor fashion show vignette and hommage to Adrian in 'The Women' (1939). The wardrobe budget for the movie must have been blown in one shopping expedition. Although I can't blame them, when I saw Jenny in her red wellies. They so needed to shop. And what a nice gift the lead actress, Nikki, got: a pendant from David Yurman. Up and coming artistes have expensive tastes once they leave the Midwest and become fashion forward. The outcome: hey presto, Jenny part deux, as Shane's miracle hairdressing hands transformed evil and cunning Adele into a Jennyclone with a new wardrobe and all. And here's a thought: what is the link between Nikki and Adele?

I'm still unsure what Jenny's Daddy/toadie sees in her, but then Jenny's charm is generally lost on me. Plus, ask yourself: if you were given the opportunity of your life to direct a movie, wouldn't you be reading up feverishly in your trailer on how to scream 'Lights, camera, action' and 'cut' and 'that's a wrap' instead of shopping for your PA? I thought so.

Moments that stand out:
- Bette and Tina having tea instead of getting their freak on at Phyllis' party. Remember the 'boring' scene on the yacht, where Bette tossed her cocktail into the water?
- The fashion forward outfits: wellies, a noeud papillon and a silver sparkley bib?
- The sheen on Tina's cheeks after the goodness: picture make-up artist with spray bottle at hand.
- Joyce Wishnia: she's da man!

Alarm bells going off:
-Tina saying she hasn't quite sorted everything out yet (no, we saw what happened last season when you said that).
-Nikki and Adele: it is Adele who suggests buying the pendant for Nikki. And think about it, she 'convinced' Nikki to stay in the movie...

Photos courtesy of the fiercest pheromone and

oh she was gorgeous - Dawn French!


Time for some gorgeousness... It's been a while since I've updated the gallery. Our last incumbent, you might remember, was the Madonna with child by Fouquet and her extremely eye-catching ogleable breast. So, in that vein, I thought that Dawn French would make a suitable successor. Let's face it, she could never star in an ad for an LVMH brand (size 0 is the standard), but you have to admit that there is something arresting about her face.

This is also the woman that brought us The Vicar of Dibley, French and Saunders (including some really memorable sketches, with the giant baby, the sketch with Darcey Bussell featuring French as a prima ballerina, the Madonna send-ups, the bjork sketch, etc. A simple search on youtube will set you on your merry way!

I leave you with some memorable Dawn French quotes, that sum up her personality:

- I am not, I repeat, NOT a lesbian - even though I'd like to be one when I grow up.
- I keep my own personality in a cupboard under the stairs at home so that no one else can see it or nick it.
-I never do any television without chocolate. That's my motto and I live by it. Quite often I write the scripts and I make sure there are chocolate scenes. Actually I'm a bit of a chocolate tart and will eat anything. It's amazing I'm so slim.

Everything in life should be so effortless!


Pretty amazing when you find yourself wanting to be thàt coat rack, no?

Fred Astaire brings sexyback in Royal Wedding.

Expectations & perceptions: the parent conundrum


As parents, we all have expectations of our children, whether about their achievements in school, the career that they will have as adults, the people that they will date, the families that they may build. From a very young age, unwittingly, we inflict these expectations on our offspring. It's a natural thing.

But the past days had me reflecting on my child's expectations of me, as a result of the sequence of playdates that we have been subjected to over the past week due to spring break. Our first little friend knows us well, comes over to play all the time, as she lives just a few doors down the road. She knows V. has two mommies, has questioned her parents about it, but simply accepts it as a natural given fact. The same applies to the children in V.'s class, who are mostly aware that V. may be picked up by any of her two mommies. And this lunchtime saw my munchkin proudly telling her friend's mum that she had two mummies.

I gather from the last remark, and the fact that she points us out at school, screeching - look, there's ??? - that she is largely happy with the state of affairs. We are routinely cuddled, kissed and told that she loves us. But let's face it, she's 3. At this point, she simply accepts us without bias.

As parents, though, we look at other parents and we reserve judgments. So and so's mother feeds her 3-year old crisps and diet Coke for an afternoon snack. There's the welfare mum smoking her butt. The mother who never picks up her child, sending the nanny instead. The fashion model who styles her daughter to match her outfits. The dykey looking mum who is straight. The single mum, who is desperately in search of a new man in her life, and who flirts with every dad on the parent committee, whether single or committed. The lesbian.

I wish I could have a camera to look at myself at the schoolgate. What would I see? Most days I wear Puma sneakers or boots with 2.5-inch heels, jeans, a 3/4 length green or black double-breasted coat, scarf, large purse on arm or banana slung across my chest. Depending on the day (and the workload) my hair is up in a bun, or hanging loose over my shoulders. If I remember before I dash out to catch the tram, I'll wear some lipstick. I think I look pretty run of the mill.

But how will my daughter look at me in 3, 7, 10 years even? What will she see? Will she see her mother, just another woman, a big lesbo? Who am I? Who will I be for her?

On her birth certificate I am listed as her mother.

On application forms, I find myself referred to as one of two parents, but I have to scratch out the word father and having to replace it with mother 2. I always do this with a sigh of irritation. The city's software has been adapted to accommodate newly composed families, but not yet same-sex families.

At school and in our neighbourhood, I am one of V's two mommies.

So how will she explain us to the world as time goes by?

Will she always look at us with love in her eyes?

Will I always be her mother?

And if so, how can I protect her easily bruised feelings?

They don't organize self-defence courses for young hearts yet.



Alas, I'm ready for the chop. Over the past days, the mirrors in the hospital elevators, unlike their trimming counterparts in clothes stores, revealed bumps and blobs that I had never not ever seen before. I was not ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille!

Groan all you will at what follows, but it is a fact that I love my food and I plead guilty to eating for more than one person.


So, while my aspirations to be a domestic demi-goddess refuse to be put on the backburner, I think the realization has finally dawned on me that double cream is portionable, that butter is not a way of life, and that bread and sugar, although delicious, need to be consumed within bounds of reason.

Don't get me wrong, I do worship my body (although bigger breasts and size 39 feet would have been nice). But the clothing industry does not love me. Nor does it love my booty. Except for Monsoon maybe, which does a good job of creating interesting looks, that fit everybody.

This brings me to my next quandary: I will not succumb to the lure of Weight Watchers, gastric bypass surgery (they won't give it to me, my BMI is off by about 12 points), or light products (that are designed to make you heavier, as far as I am concerned). How will I take on the scale to ensure plummeting numbers?

I think the following weeks will have to be about moderation, sadly*. The word diet does not exist in my vocabulary.

I'll leave you to ponder this, while I go cut myself another slice of my chocolate orange cake...

* The fact that the kind doctors at our centre for reproductive medicine insist that excess weight and artificial insemination do not a baby make is also a contributing factor. But don't worry, this will not become a moderation blog.

The L Word Season 5 Episode 5 - Lookin' at you, kid



Oh my God, did this episode bring back memories for you too? I mean, pot brownies? One summer my sister decided to cook up a batch, burnt them slightly, so thought nothing of cutting away those sides that looked a little too frittered. My mum, on the hunt for something sweet, found them... and had a wonderful sleep that afternoon. We eventually fessed up to her after which she ignored us for a full week. Ah, the golden age of heedless youth!

By the way, if you need a recipe, look no further. You could probably even adapt Nigella's cake recipe from below if you are looking for a more orangy flavour.

But on to more serious things now: I dubbed this week's episode nuclear fallout.

Following from the kiss that rocked numerous Tibette shippers' world last week, making them all go a little wonky around the knees, this week's episode was obviously dealing with the ramifications of such a lip lock. The lovely ladies - the lighting was particularly favourable this episode, Bette's smokey eye make-up too, and we got a peak of some Beals cleavage - obviously need to face the music and dance, as was obvious during the Bette/Tina discussion as Bette left the party. The writers are obviously trying to keep us wondering. I'm inclined to say that Bette and Tina will not get back together at this point, but in the twisted minds of the L Word writers a lot can happen... in just one episode. Viz. Jodi taking Tina home to sleep on Bette's couch.

But so much else happened in this episode, so let's zoom on to my new favourite storyline: Alice/Tasha. Dang, Rose Rollins looks pretty vicious when she gets angry. You don't want to get on her bad side, do you? Now the issue of outing is much discussed in the LGBT community and the L Word is no different. On the one hand, I can see what Alice is trying to get at: living out a secret gay life and being a gay basher at the same time is wrong. However, given the context of her own relationship and the fact that Tasha is probably about to have her fine ass court-marshalled (or whatever it is that they do in the military) for that same reason, her decision was disrespectful. Nobody needs to be dragged out of the closet kicking and screaming. Speaking of which... Nikki and Jenny sitting in a tree, closet... K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Privacy. Such a complex issue.

Jenny/Adele/Max: is it just me or is Adele starting to remind you of something out of the House of the Spirits (go here and look around 1:08 for those of you haven't read the book by Isabel Allende) ? Turns up in the most unexpected places, with that haunting Mona Lisa smile. Eerie, isn't it? Meanwhile, Max is reinventing himself as Nancy Drew with chin fur. And what about the madness of Queen Shecter? I'm beginning to realize that Mia Kirshner must be having one helluva time hamming it up to a new level every episode, even going so far as to scratch her armpit? But be careful, Mia, you're only one step away from Glenn Close's Cruella De Vil at this point, although Jenny would never even consider real fur.

Shane: It has a conscience. Egads. She actually surprised me when she asked Cindy to call her lover Dawn. And by the way, Cindy is a whole lotta woman. If those breasts are real, then remind me to order them for my next life.

Shane vs. the tanorexics: lesbian death match? Or the WWF for lesbians? Seems to me like our girlies are cruising for a bruising by the hands of Dawn Denbo?

I suppose I have to say something about the party (since it finally started) and the characters meeting their alter egos but it's all way too meta-fiction for me, and reminds me of that movie 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' that we discussed in school or even Adaptation or that movie with Emma Thompson, Stranger than Fiction. Since I have a whopping cold, my brain refuses to function properly and I feel that I might spew such expressions as post-modern condition and meta-narrative.

Hilarious moments: the award has to go to Bette.
Filing a noise complaint with the police, while the noise is in your own swimming pool in your own backyard. And this immortal quote: "I'm flabbergasted, I'm flabbergasted that she cast such a white actress. She's white. Was Mary fucking Poppins not available?".
Jenny's remark about being fashion-forward: somehow her outfit reminded me of something that Sounder the dog would wear?

Halfway through the season and I'm waiting for the dust to settle after this episode to see what the L Word Team will be springing on us next.

PS - if you're wondering where this week's title came from, then just remember that we'll always have Paris...

But what does it mean for the rest of the L Word? The beginning of a long, drawn-out adieu?

The Domestic Demi-Goddess strikes again: chocolate orange cake


The mothership (since that's what I call myself these days) volunteered for cake duty on grandparents day next week at school, conveniently forgetting that this would also require some baking.

Did a test drive today on a chocolate orange cake by Nigella Lawson. My undying loyalty continues.

What a bunch of eggs, ground almonds, sugar, oranges, cocoa, baking powder, butter and bicarbonate won't create. It tastes good too. Gluten-free. At least I won't be poisoning anybody.

Right out of the oven:

The finished product:

I'm still considering something ganache-like to steep it in, but I think I'll leave it at this for the moment.

The Munchkin discovers Ol'Blue Eyes

Stumped. Silence. No protest emanating from the backseat for once.

Frank Sinatra, Witchcraft (Cy Coleman), 1965

Yes, I know my taste in music is questionable. But that is part of my domestic goddishness. I'd like to apologize in advance to all the feminists who read what follows: Picture me in an apron, baking a cake, this song as background music, SO coming home...So 1950s. All I need is a Doris Day dress and shoes. Yes, I know, I'm sending the modern woman back to the grave... but I just like to parody the Fifties' fem.

Update: surgery


Thank you for your good wishes.

The beloved is walking, talking and has become demanding (i.e. she requested removal of all tubes, drains, etc.) and marched herself off to the shower this morning out of protest against the nurse's rough washing techniques.

We saw the surgeon this evening again. Barring some minor complications (a numb upper leg, pain) and the outcome of the tissue tests (benign?) which we are still awaiting, everything is fine so far.

Homecoming scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, after which a long recovery flat on her back is required.

One step a day.

Belgian readers: cat seeks home

To all you cat lovers out there

For the past week a cute cat (male/female?) has been coming up to my front door, begging for food. He/she seems healthy enough, is mostly white but blended with some carrot for good measure and is quite docile. I'm allowed to pet him/her and we now have a fixed evening date where he gets a meal and a treat.

He/she has tried to make it past the front door. However, matters are somewhat complicated by our own Lula de Montes. Our unusual feline is very cat-like when it comes to most things (eats, sleeps most of the day, and begs for attention), but not when it comes to other cats. She detests them, prefers humans instead. Probably thinks she's human herself. Tonight she spat at the little friend so hard, that she fell off the window sill.

So my question is: if you know anybody who is looking for a little feline to share their life, please drop me a line. I will pay for the cost of vet treatment (i.e. neutering, cleaning up, ensuring clean bill of health). If I had a more cat-friendly pet, I would take him/her in myself. As it is, I don't know if our cat can handle it. She already peed her blanket last night out of sheer stress.

Pretty please (*bambi eyes*)? I don't want to have to take him to the pound, where they'll only put him down.

Some days...

Taken from today's issue of Belgian daily De Standaard:

* Bruges waiter bites off piece of café-goer's ear
There was quite a commotion in Bruges in the night of Friday into Saturday as fights erupted in and around the pubs of 't Zand square. Café Ravage was forced to close down after a major brawl. During one of the fights, a waiter bit off the ear of a teen customer, who had threatened him with a burning candle. The fight took place in Café De Bras (translation: the binge). The waiter was booked for questioning and then released. The minor's ear was sewn back on in hospital.

* 26 year-old Dutch train conductor cornered by four women on the international train from Amsterdam to Brussels
The four women aged 20-23 years were arrested by police. They accosted the man during a ticket check and threatened him. After the check they went after him and hit him in the face several times. They also pulled at his clothes, as a result his uniform was ripped. One of the women is an acquaintance of the conductor. Their relationship remains unclear. Police was notified and arrested the women in Dordrecht, where they were taken off the train.

* From today's Sun by way of De Standaard
Jet pilot enjoys hostie's air strip
CAPTION: Hello, this is your captain tweaking
A grinning airline pilot gropes a saucy stewardess' boob, as she performs a strip-tease in the cockpit in mid-air.The amorous airman was filmed whooping for joy as the trolley dolly unbuttoned her uniform on their UK-bound flight.Then he took his hands off his joystick to help unhook her top before carrying out a full inspection in the cockpit. The pilot and his First Officer invited the attendant up front to liven a European short-haul flight to London.
The girl, in her 20s and wearing a wedding ring, happily obliged. And, at one point, she even lifted her skirt to show her undercarriage.
Their antics were filmed by another member of the French crew and posted on the net.
Last night a probe was underway at several European airlines to find those involved.

I'll be honest with you: when I read the word French crew, I let out a sigh of relief, as my cousin is a pilot... and his reputation is that of being somewhat of a ladies' man... although I think he is too serious when it comes to flying. But then again, you never know.

Remember the days when news was a serious matter?

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