There was a young man called Tom…

Poetry-books-1024x612I read that Oscar-winner Sir Tom Stoppard, who is 77, married banking heiress Sabrina Guiness, who is 59, recently and up until that point, she had never married.

Apparently, at dinner the night before their wedding, a guest (although clearly not much of a friend), made a rather rude dig during a speech about Sabrina’s long-life as a spinster. Pfft.

Mr Stoppard punched back with this rather fabulous line.

He said, “I  wished I’d found Sabrina earlier, but I was looking on the wrong shelf — under biography rather than poetry.”

Well played that the groom!

I bet Sabrina’s glad she waited so long.

Spinny out.

PS: Mr Stoppard wrote Shakespeare In Love so his eloquence is Bard-ass.



I haven’t posted to this blog in a while because I’ve been busy writing film scripts, and a lot of my work has taken me to London. London Spinny!

But I saw this image of Miley Cyrus online today and thought it deserved some attention.

“Here is my vagina,” says Miley.


But what do you see?

An empowered woman?  A misguided twenty-something? A good Brazilian?

Tell me because this image makes me feel a little bit sick.

Not least because I think Miley is talented enough to bring in a crowd without looking as if she’s prepped to see her gynae.

I don’t want to labia her, sorry…label her just another pop whore out to sell records but I cannot look at this image and think that women are in a good place right now.

What do you think?

Spinny out.

Madonna and guile.

Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrating the Punk: Chaos To Couture exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, America - 06 May 2013Pic: David Fisher/ Rex Features

Say what you like, she’s still one of the most interesting celebrity females out there. #madonna

The Essential Spinny Kit

A PR friend of mine recently told me the contents of her handbag – iPhone, iPad, camera, chargers, etc etc – which got me thinking: what are the modern-day Spinny’s must haves?Tweezers

So here’s a list of the things you’ll find in my purse. And when I say purse, I mean a giant handbag you could house a family of meerkats in.

1. A copy of “The Rules”, with “Fuck you” scrawled on the cover with a Sharpie.

2. Tweezers.

3. A miniature bottle of whiskey stolen from a hotel room.

4. A copy of “Eat, Pray, Love”, with the title crossed out and replaced with the words “Cry, Eat, Get Fat Bitch”.

5. Enough concealer to hide the debt of an African nation.

6. Fake ID. “Of course I was born in 1982…I’ve spent a lot of time in the sun.”

7. A secret chocolate bar.

8. A copy of “Pride & Prejudice” with the words, “This is not based on a real story” written across it.

9. A page torn from O Mag on ’10 Steps to a More Successful/Happier/Healthier You.”

10. An accessory bought on a whim that would only look good on a teenager in a pop band.

11. Some kind of mysterious drug bought from a man in a car park.

12. At least five lip glosses that claim to plump and pout.

13. Heel arch insoles.

14. Thumb-drive with script/novel/play on it ready to hand out to interested parties.

15. iPhone. Naturally.

16. Nipple spray. I don’t know what this is but if it existed I’m sure I’d buy it.

What have I missed?

Spinny out.

A word about Gwyneth Paltrow

Dear Gwyneth,gwyneth iron man

I’ve tried really hard to not find you totally and utterly irritating but to be fair, you make it absolutely impossible.

At best, I can block you out of my brain by focussing on naming all the American States or the capitals of every European city but then you appear on the red carpet, or worse, you open your mouth, and I immediately want to throw my breakfast in your face.

I’m not an angry or violent person but you have this uncanny knack of pressing every possible negative button that lives within every woman on the planet. Or at least, mine.

You are beautiful. That’s not the issue.

You are rich. Not an issue either.

You are married to a rich man and have two creatively-named kids. Again, good for you. Not a problem.

So I can only fathom that it’s the saintly, gooey, bucket of bollocks myth you have woven around your charmed life that makes me want to heave poached eggs in your general direction.

The gluten-free kids, the holier-than-thou health regimen, the cookery books inspired by your dad, the lifestyle website that makes Martha Stewart look like Lindsay Lohan.

It’s such a giant pile of sanctimonious guff, the very thought of it gives me permanent frown lines.

I’m just not interested but you keep foisting it upon us. There are probably four other women on this planet who have similarly charmed lives who might be curious, but for the rest of us you’re the equivalent of aspartame; sugary but not quite the real thing.

And then you wear THIS dress with the sheer side panels to the Iron Man 3 premiere, and love, if I were you I’d duck right now because my first meal of the day is about to be launched in the general direction of your dewy visage.

Gwynnie darlin, you might be the epitome of good living but I’ve worked out that you’re actually bad for my health.

Gloop off.

Spinny out.

The Woman Eats Chocolate Test

Last night, I ate my mum’s chocolate.

She left it in my fridge.

I told her that doing so would be a big mistake.

My wide eyes added extra emphasis to the word “big.”

She said, “I’m sure you’ll be able to control yourself.”

And then she left.

Two hours later her chocolate was gone.

You can’t say I didn’t warn her.

And what woman in her right mind lets another gate-keep her chocolate?

I slept very well.

And you know what, I’d do the same thing again.

She’s just knocked at my door. This should be interesting…

Spinny out.

Margaret Thatcher: The Elnett Machiavelli

ThatchThe most famous British PM since Churchill was buried today.

Margaret Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter, a fact people always like to mention often because it makes her “one of us”.

She was the British Prime Minister for 11 years and oh yes, a woman. Maybe a little like one of us then, but only a little.

She was also the woman who broke through a crusty glass ceiling and then like her accent, covered it up again so quickly that no-one else could get past it.

Margaret Thatcher was my mum’s wet dream. As a teenager, I thought she was the devil incarnate.

Thatcher first rose to prominence when I was at junior school, as the ‘milk snatcher’ who stole my break-time mini bottle of milk. She wasn’t PM then, she was just beginning to sharpen her claws.

By the time my child brain was developing any kind of political radar she’d already devastated many mining communities, crushed the balls of most of her Cabinet, and thrashed the Falklands with her legendary grit and determination.

She was hailed a hero (not a heroine, that would be sexist).

But as I write this today, there are more people out of work in the UK than in the past 20 years, our economy is seemingly beyond repair, and oh yes, latest figures show that there are, for the first time, more people living by themselves. Our communities have been shattered by her singular brand of greed and capitalism.

What I see is a woman who yes, achieved something admirable in reaching the top of her profession but by doing that – and not putting in place anything to help other women do the same – she failed every woman in the country. If you were a child of Thatcher’s era and you are female, you should be very angry indeed.

She was our British Dream, like the American one but with picket lines instead of picket fences.

You have to see her in light of where women were in history at the time she was voted PM to understand how “Thatcher’s children” have suffered because of her demonic determination to privatise our world.

Thatcher was elected in 1979 when I was 11, and by then the feminist movement meant that women had freedoms beyond just wearing short skirts.

My mother, born in 1939, was married in 1960. She hated it. She married because she had to. Because society expected it of her. There was no other choice at the end of the Fifties.

She was taught to rely upon the man as the main bread-winner even though she was more than capable of working. She wanted to work. She wasn’t allowed. She didn’t really want children. She had them.

My parents lived through the Swinging Sixties acquiring maybe one or two puffs on a neighbour’s joint, the tragic loss of a baby son, and a handful of affairs culminating with a detached house in a seaside town, a new Bentley and a drawer full of cash from the sale of their London home.

For my mother, this was hell. By the time Thatcher came along, she like many women of her generation, were ready to embrace a new poster girl.

But for me and other young women in the Eighties, Thatcher was already an old lady and not to be trusted. For a war baby like my mum, she was the answer to all her problems. And if she couldn’t be that, mum tried to convince me that she was the answer to all MY problems.

From an early age I was told never to rely on man, never to trust a man, to make my own money, to make my own way, my own living, my own choices and my own destiny.

These are not necessarily bad things to be taught. By they are if they are only options being presented to an impressionable mind. On their own, they are frankly, devastating.

I was not the only Eighties teenager who thought that I could do it all by myself. The imagery of the Eighties was very much in step with The Iron Lady. Women had their Dynasty should pads, high hair and presented themselves as warriors. We were expected to be everyday Ripleys, crushing the boys at their own game. We wore sombre grey suits from Next to work one day, and slutty Madonna lace to seduce our Fred Perry wearing wide boys, the next.

We didn’t care who we hurt because we were Thatcher’s children and this is what we were supposed to do. Best of all, we did it by ourselves.

But here’s the rub. Margaret Thatcher didn’t do it all by herself. Thatcher was married to a very rich man. She had two children and an enormous support network.

My generation who were taught to be like her, were in effect, nothing like her, carrying a toolbox that looked very different. We were Working Girls through and through. We gave sex away and never allowed ourselves to be looked after. Our safety nets shrank like the size our our mobile phones.

Like millions of other girls I was taught to concentrate on my career, buy property and leave having babies til as late as possible. “You can be Prime Minister,” my mother’s generation cried in unison.

But no. No. We couldn’t. Life so didn’t want to play that little game.

“It’s so much better to have your own money,” said mum, who it has to be said bettered herself under Maggie. Yes it is. But when the recession hits and you’re all alone and the money stops flowing. Who’s going to be around to help you out?

Because we’re not all the Prime Minister you know. We’re women who are soft in parts and need to be loved. We need our communities around us. We need the very thing that Thatcher took away from us.

Ironically my mum, now in her mid-seventies and still reading the worst newspaper on the planet (you know the one I mean), says, “The best thing I ever did was have my children.”

It was a different story 30 years ago. “Don’t have children, they’ll drag you down. You need to be free to make your own way in the world. Do what you want to do.”

Well I did, and so did many other women. And we are here. Alone. Struggling. And wondering how a life that promised so much has morphed into such a difficult journey.

Today, as a decent human being, I will give a nod to the 87-year-old Baroness who ended her days tending roses alone under police protection but I will also look around at this harsh world she crafted like an Elnett Machiavelli, and spend a moment remembering how she ripped away our hopes and dreams.

One of them being the dream of a life where you can love and be loved because for many women today, her legacy means they will be watching her funeral on the news, at home alone, wondering how the bills are going to get paid, if their jobs are safe and who is going to look after them when they get old.

Sadly for us, the grocer’s daughter opened up the doors to her shop, but didn’t let anyone else in.

Spinny out.


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