Hello. I'm Joanna Lumley.

Charlie Sheen: Idiot

Charlie Sheen once said on the topic of prostitutes: "I don't pay them for sex. I pay them to leave."

I don't understand what he's spending money on. I can get women to leave for free. Usually very rapidly, after they've met Big Dusty. If he has a persistent feminine pest problem, he only needs to give me a call.

If you need more evidence that this supposed wisdom is utter balls, consider these candidate phrases for inclusion on phone box cards:
"Hot Busty Asian"
"Young Blonde, New In Town"
"I Go Away"

And furthermore, this phone conversation:

Punter: So, er... what do you offer?
Prossie: Whatever you want, love... backdoor, all fours, sideways, rope work...
Punter (breathing heavily): Go on...
Prossie: fire escape, ground floor window, waltzing, pogo stick... what takes your interest?
Punter: Well...
Prossie: Yes?
Punter (whispering): Slip out the back, Jack... make a new plan, Stan...
Prossie: PERVERT! (slams phone down)

In summary: I should go back to bed.
Eric from Skool Daze

A moment of epiphany

First party in a while, and probably one of the last for a long time with a majority of participants over the age of five. Anyway, lots of catching up with people, talking about parenthood and how it hasn't really sunk in yet.

Until, that is, a moment just as I'm planning to leave: a friend is discovered semi-conscious and lying in a spreading pool of his own vomit. After a little deliberation I grab a roll of J-cloths and march in declaring, "I can handle this. I'm a dad."

(However, it appears that I can still dance. So not fully migrated, but getting there.)

And now sitting in a room at the Royal Free Hospital, baby on my lap in a sling. We're trying to get him fattened up and it's somewhat stressful, but all will be fine soon, I'm sure. It is summer in Belsize Park and we need to do more beer garden gastropubbing. Who wants to join us?
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Hello. I'm Joanna Lumley.

The incredible shrinking woman

It took only minutes after I hauled our new hoover into the flat for Bob to start playing with her vacuum storage bags. (Bloody nesting instinct.) "Look!" she says, waving something that looks like... well, analogies fail me. "It's our double-duvet!" Ah, okay - imagine duvet jerky. "It's amazing! Right, what else..." Off she goes, hobbling around the flat - I swear, she's going to vacuum-pack everyt
Eric from Skool Daze

An arm and a leg ( x 2 )

Jewish wedding countdown: 10 days to go.

Hello to those of you who've just tuned in! You catch me in a semi-married state, the civil wedding having been two weeks ago (see Flickr tag bobyozwedding for pics from Miki, Cory, Kim, Phil, Stef and James). The Jewish wedding, which is the big expensive thing for family and friends of family, is coming up and I am excreting building materials. In the meantime, even though Bob and I are thoroughly legally married, this purgatorial period between the two ceremonies has me considering her my semi-wife since the wave has yet to collapse into an eigenstate. We are Schrodinger's Newlyweds, stuck in a box with some radioactive material and a machine that may or may not marry us.

If you were already tuned in, you'll breathe a sigh of relief with me when I tell you that Justine did not turn up. Heartfelt thanks to all those of you who made suggestions for the saving of my sorry ass; they were gratefully received, even though they were all, frankly, crap.

The point of this post is this remarkable fact: I have spent more on suits in the past three months than in the preceding five years. (And I am not someone completely averse to suits, either.)

The first of these was for the premiere, a fetching black linen number. The next was the also-fetching white linen number (modeled here, with my sis) in which I got married. Both of those were bought at the one shop I know that I can walk into, pull whatever jacket and trousers I like from the racks, and be guaranteed of something that fits me better than almost any other off-the-peg suit: namely, Marks & Spencer. The only part of my wedding outfit that wasn't from M&S was the tie, and the whole lot cost me less than two hundred quid. (I was particularly happy with the shoes.)

Two days ago I returned to Brent Cross, this time to Fenwicks which had a sale on - like pretty much every other shop in Britain right now. Came away with a lovely Life & Limb production (fantastic suits, terrible site) as well as a dinner suit, the latter weighing a mere ton on the wallet.

Today, Bob and I hit the Harlequin mall out in Watford, and after a useless half hour in Ciro Citterio we went across to Suit Direct (also operating as Young's Hire). I knew it was exactly what we wanted as soon as I walked in and saw not the usual twenty-something opinionless ditherers, but five waistcoated gents with measuring tapes over their shoulders. Sure enough, the assistant who came to our aid gave me a quick trip around the waist, then pulled a lovely black three-piece from the rack. I put it on and Bob had a suitgasm. It fitted me perfectly - didn't even need the legs shortened like the M&S ones do. (I'm only a little Yoz.) So we took that one, an identical-but-grey one, two Cardin wing-tip shirts and a belt. The only way the experience could have been bettered is if they'd coaxed me to feel the quality of their shmutter. Consider Suit Direct seriously recommended, and Yoz suited. (Booted comes next.)

Now, I realise that to anyone who knows more than the first thing about buying a suit, the above post makes me look like a tasteless shmo. Okay, so I didn't exactly hit Savile Row, and even walking into Ciro Citterio probably disqualifies me from ever talking about menswear again. But I've done Zara, I've done Austin Reed, and came up empty both times. These suits I've got? They're nice and they have a very decent fit. Until I make the move to my first bespoke, I'm happy. (And Mr Mahon agrees about M&S.)
What we need more of IS SCIENCE

This is not going to go well, but YOU can offset the damage

Joshua, I sympathise deeply on the poor poetry front. Furthermore, I may be about to pay.

Last night saw the new wife and me at another celebration, this time a Sheva Brochos dinner for two friends of ours who had got married on the same day we did. Sheva brochos dinners fill the week after the wedding - each one is hosted by someone different and has (mostly) different guests. I'll be going to another dinner for this couple tomorrow.

At yesterday's repast the hosts decided it'd be a fantastic wheeze to hand out pen and paper to the assembled celebrants, between the main and dessert courses, forcing each to compose an ode to the happy couple. Not exactly an aid to digestion, especially when the blessed muse decides to nip out for a swift fag break. Ten minutes later I had mentally toured through G&S (all three songs that I know) for inspiration and come up with nary a couplet, my parchment still pure as the winter dawn and the spectre of stammered apologies looming, threatening to wreck my impeccable reputation as un homme des lettres.

Glancing up the table at the freshlies I suddenly remembered that the bride numbered amongst her relatives the songstress from a fondly-remembered pop-punk combo, and a moment later the biro was flying across the page as I hastily refitted the lyrics of Elastica's "Connection" into some relevance to the happy event - with a little assistance from the oracle.

Mere seconds after the last word had been scribbled I was called on to perform. I warned them in advance that the reference might escape some people, and it's probable that my rendition was not fidelitous to the original melody, but I was still astonished by the uniformly-blank sea of faces that gazed back at me after I'd finished. Not a single one of them had recognised the origins, let alone understood my ingeniously-layered reference! The ditty may be somewhat whiskered by now, but my knowledge of the pop sphere is hardly encyclopaedic. After patiently explaining the connection (no pun intended) the bride's face lit up with understanding and she thanked me, though the rest of the congregation remained clueless. After a smattering of hesitant applause the baton was quickly passed on down the line through various wretches who were clearly not at home to Dr Scansion.

The above, however, was a pleasant daydream compared to what followed as the assembly was being disassembled. The bride approached me, gushing her appreciation, and informed me not only that Justine would be at Thursday's dinner, but that I should repeat my performance for her benefit. No amount of shyness or modesty on my part would dissuade her. "Yoz, you must! It'll be great!"

As the poet wrote: No, no, you don't understand, it's all really bad. My panic-fuelled scrawl is not only a dreadfully shmaltzy turd draped on a modern punk classic, it's not even funny. It's just shit. This is a paralytically-embarrassing situation from which I can see no easy escape. How can I avoid showing the star of so many music magazines in my attic that I've completely cacked all over her work, without offending the newlyweds who I have a religious obligation to please?

I am panicking, people, and lots. Advice please. Buckets of it. And no, I don't think changing the subject to either Damon Albarn or "Three Girl Rhumba" will help.