12 Aug 2010
"The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy" - Bridget Jones meets Anne of Green Gables
This must be the fourth or fifth time I read the "The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy" by Fiona Neill and though I am not normally a lover of chick lit, I love this book. Simply love it. It is a comforting as a hug or a cup of warm chocolate. Basically it is the story of Lucy Sweeney, wife of neurotic/perfectionistic architect Tom and mother of Sam, Joe and Fred. She is a stay-at-home mum who battles through mountains of spaghetti bolognese to be cooked and laundry to be washed. It is a constant battle and Lucy rarely wins. Instead she gets into a number of mishaps and scrapes, one more embarrassing than the other. Like dying her eyebrows black (a perfect Anne of Green Gables moment), breaking and entering into the home of Yummy Mummy No 1, dealing with bailiffs and not-so-secretly fancying Sexy Domesticated Dad who is a stay-at-home dad with the perfect organic life.
It is a wild rollercoaster ride of funny stories and great moments and I have to say that I love Lucy. Actually the whole story of Lucy began in The Times where Fiona Neill has a column about Slummy Mummy and her many (mis)adventures among the Alpha mums and Yummy Mummies of North London - and she is still there. So every now and then when I need a boost of smiling energy, I google slummy mummy and see what happens in Lucy's life.
Here a little something from a column from 2006 - it features in the book as well:
Spot Yummy Mummy No 1 on the pavement outside school on the first day of term. She is sporting that inverted panda look favoured by Easter skiers: white eyes set amid a deep brown tan.
'Good holiday?' I ask her after the drop-off.
'Les Arcs, with friends,' she says. 'Fantastic snow. How about you?'
'Les Mendips,' I say in a French accent. 'With my parents. There was a fresh cover over Easter.'
'I haven't heard of that resort. Is it in Bulgaria?' she asks.
'It's a bit farther west,' I say vaguely.
'Off piste? Tricky runs?' she asks, using verbal shorthand to indicate the imminent closure of our incipient discussion on the merits of ski resorts. Sure enough I see a herd of yummy mummies with identical tans waving at her from the other side of the road.
I think of the tense hour spent roaming small villages in the Avon Valley after I simultaneously forgot to tell Husband on a Short Fuse to turn off the M4 and then discovered that a key page covering said villages was missing from our road map.
'Dramatic,' I say. 'We covered a lot of ground.' Including arguments about 1) why our clothes were packed in plastic bags instead of suitcases, 2) how despite the plethora of plastic bags in the boot, there were none available for episodes of car sickness, and 3) on what grounds we ever considered ourselves compatible enough for marriage.