Gwyneth Paltrow

Fifty Shades of Grandma

I am (basically) the same age as Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue. We were contemporaries back in the eighties, trying to kick-start our acting careers. Um. Hold the bus, I want my money back cos I caught the wrong ride and ended up in feckin downtown Oldsville.

What happened? It’s not the genes. My mother looks more like Nicole Kidman than I do. It could be that I’ve lived a life of slothful excess, had five children and never much bothered with moisturiser or any kind of exercise other than belly-laughing and poking fun of women prettier, skinnier, richer and happier than me because they are soooooo fake.

I spent half an hour trying to pluck an invisible but spikey chin-hair off my jawline this morning before doing a weird thing where I scraped a bank-card along my jowls toward my ears because I read about it in a dodgy blog somewhere.

Kylie and Nic became superstars. I became a tragic, bloated, perennially  disappointed creature who lives on the sofa eating salt and vinegar chips, flicking at that damn annoying whisker. I coulda been a contender. Where did I go wrong? I’m not going to answer that because I’ve written two memoirs which kind of explain that in gory detail. The fact is, chips, cheap champagne, long afternoon naps, watching re-runs of Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year in bed at night while I eat a two day old curry of the damned and splatter yellow rice stains all over the sheets, is not going to win me the goddamn Academy Award I promised myself as a little hopeful, starry-eyed girl.

I’m about to have my fourth book released, the fifth will be out for Christmas. I’m writing like a crazy dervish now trying to catch up. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans said John Lennon. High-five John. I have written a library full of lists of things I’m going to do. At the top of the list is the Academy Award. At the bottom, pluck that goddamned bit of wire out of my chin.

I’m going to channel Cher now and turn back time like a desperate rat on an anti-clockwise spinning wheel. I still feel twenty, or maybe thirty, inside my brain. My body just gave a wobble-laugh as I wrote that. Okay, thirty-five. So that means I need to shave off about fifteen years. I’m determined to be the hottest, most energetic, power granny on the planet. As soon as my hip stops clicking I’m going to crank out the old Jane Fonda VCR…..see OLD! NO! I am going to bop like a Barbie in front of Tracey Anderson because…Madonna and Gwyneth. I will drink green kale sludge. Whatever it takes. Because I feel like I’m in a canoe that is rushing toward the edge of Niagara Falls and I’m realising ‘almost’ too late that I have to start working hard now or it’s all going to get messy.

I woke up today and looked in the mirror and thought today….today you should get out of your p.j’s and slap on some lippy and get out of the house because frankly this gig as a full-time writer means I’m fast becoming a cross between Hemingway and J.D Salinger when I really want to be a cross between Madonna and Meryl Streep and J.K Rowling.

Writing books was my cunning back-door plan to get back into the film industry. Write the book. Sell the film rights. Star in it. Oscar. Four/five books later and I’ve ended up with my spreading butt cemented to the sofa while I tap out millions of words and eat Tim Tams. Not a Hollywood deal in sight!

This was not the plan. My plan was not unlike Nic and Kylie’s. You know….world domination in their chosen field. In the eighties Nicole and I acted in a movie each, both ‘discovered’ by the same director. She went on to be noticed by Hollywood while I cosied up to the cutting-room floor. Kylie bounced from Neighbours to ‘Locomotion’ to infinity and beyond…..and I sucked on a helium balloon and then sang that song at her twenty-somethingth birthday party. True story. Sounds kinda stupid now. Sounded kinda stupid back then too.

But stand back girls cos I can feel a second wind beneath me…(excuse me)….and my time is coming. I’m a late bloomer but just you watch out because I’m coming for you. It ain’t over til the fat lady sings and as I can’t carry a tune well I’ve got all the time in the world. That Fifty Shades book…that sold a gazillion so I reckon I’ll write a new memoir about my overdue rise to stardom and I’ll call it ‘Fifty Shades of Grandma’ and the movie mob will come knocking and I’ll play myself in the fabulous biopic of my life and voila ‘I’d like to thank the Academy….’.

So stay tuned for transformation. I’ll start tomorrow. I’m devoting the rest of the day to my chin stubble. I wonder if Nicole and Kylie get whiskers?




Family Detox

My kids hate me. I’m sure they don’t deep down but this week they are saying it a lot because I have just gone all Gwynyth Paltrow on their arses! Yup. I am having a spring clean. Usually it’s just me that gets all detoxy after a big Easter chocolate binge and holiday laze-about but this time I’m getting the whole family on board. Did I mention that the kids hate me? Well my husband hates me as well and when I spout Paltrowisms at him he reminds me that Chris Martin ended up consciously uncoupling from G etc.

It’s not a big deal. It’s just some dietary/lifestyle housekeeping. You know, like no sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, complimented with daily workouts and meditation and family bonding sessions and gardening (because apparently it’s good for the soul and also my garden is overrun with weeds and I can’t afford a gardener).  At first they climbed aboard begrudgingly, after I gave an impassioned speech about how this is a family project that will bond us all closer because our current arrangement has the grown ups working around the clock while the teens get home from school and plug into devices and stay there until they are asleep with drool running all over the headphones. I don’t want much – just the perfect family. Now that it’s sinking in and they can tell that I’m seriously serious, they all look a bit shocked and clammy and terrified.

My hip nags at me and I have something seriously wrong with my joints…it might be arthritis or perhaps carpal tunnel syndrome. I’m loathe to go to a medical practitioner as I’m pretty alternative and have always been able to heal things with dietary adjustments and my go-to for everything TURMERIC AND MANUKA HONEY. My teen daughter is a chocolate addict who will eat nothing but chocolate, white bread, pasta  and cheese. My son eats anything. He is more confident that he can pull off this detox fortnight. My daughter says she will die. My husband alternates between those two. His mouth says he’s up for it but the look on his face says he will also die.

I just made up this week’s shopping list and it looks like something the Goop-Meister would be proud of – I have sheep’s milk yoghurt, buckwheat pasta, every vegetable under the sun including Jerusalem artichokes. I have kimchi and blueberries and almonds ready to be activated (I’m not even being silly…I’m going to try that). I have quinoa up the wazoo and things like vegannaise and kombochu. I have so much produce there that I think I’d better stagger the shopping over the fortnight or I’ll end up with stinky, rotting veggies in the crisper, floating in their own soupy, moldy slime!

School lunches will be fun and I don’t doubt that my little darlings will beg or steal their mates’ lunch-time treats and lie to me… my actual face. Each one has been given an exercise pad to record their daily feelings about the process and every day there will be a creative drawing exercise…today we must all draw a tree. Drawing is also apparently good for the soul. Husband draws a stick figure tree and I think that’s a vulture sitting on the branch…that may or may not be symbolic of something.

I’ll keep you posted. Either this will be the making of us and I will change my daughter’s name to Apple and lose my round tyre of fat impersonating a belly (maybe Fat Bastard’s) and my opera-singing husband will release an album of emotional songs that all sound the same but sell millions and I will win that Academy Award and we’ll all look like those folks in knitted sweaters on Christmas cards or it will all go to hell and we’ll kill each other or there will be a mutiny and they will all gang up and kill me.

I’m really positive. I think it will be fun. Also my new book is rollicking along…okay it’s not really…I’ve written one paragraph and I’ve now decided that it won’t work to tell the story from the viewpoint of a Blue-Jay…so this detox can clear me of stupid ideas and fill me with some new good ones.

Don’t tell me to break a leg….you know….wishing me luck…because I think the demon of osteo might take it literally…..

Cheers. Clink glasses of goopy green juice with lots of KALE and ginger and other weird shit!

Nik x