Right at the back of The Spark I found an article by Catharine Stott. It's about the virtues and advantages of being an unrepentant childless person, and I found it remarkably forthright and interesting. It isn't going to please everyone, however, and will offend some.
Finding this article is a bit of a fag, but you go The Spark site first; then you click on the Spark editorial download link; this produces a 5.99 MB pdf file, but if you've got broadband that isn't a problem; then you go to page 31.
I take my hat off to a man who can write, you know. Every time. Here's an example which is a couple of weeks old now, but will still serve its purpose very nicely.
Few UK celebrities have had as much publicity in the past few weeks as Nigella Lawson (a TV cook of much fame and distinction). Ms Lawson is, imho, and in the ho of many other red-blooded males, a remarkable example of female pulchritude, and I have devoted much thought over the past few weeks to finding a succinct and appropriate term of description.
Ms Lawson, you see, is a pleasantly rounded person, of the shape which was once fashionable, and admired, before women got into this insane 'we-gotta-be-slim' mode. Think Jane Russell, if you're old enough. (I'm not the only person to have noticed this similarity, by the way.)
Anyway, A.A. Gill, in the Sunday Times, has cracked this succinct-description problem for me. The term he uses to describe Ms Lawson is moreish. Which is very clever, in that it conveys a due sense of lusciousness while also incorporating an appropriate reference to food.
Not only that, but Mr Gill continues in admirable form and style:
As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t anything like enough Nigella or voluptuous coquetry on television. She has developed a sort of gastronomic Method preparation, a sort of Stanislavsky cooking. Before our eyes, she becomes the thing she’s making: a slinky-fingered dish of baby squid dipped in mayonnaise, a darkly sumptuous and tempting chocolate mousse, a brazen splayed poussin. Nigella is an ingredient shape-shifter, an organic transformer. One minute, it’s merely bread and butter pudding; the next, it’s the goddess’s heaving breasts.I couldn't do better than that in a month of Sundays.
I am not the first, of course, to notice that Katie Price's big-selling novel Crystal was ghosted by Rebecca Farnworth. But in searching for some info on who RF might be, I found this lengthy article about ghosting in general in the Telegraph.
I haven't followed up every single Google reference, but I looked at a good few, and still couldn't find out anything useful about the talented Rebecca. Except that her agent is Margaret Hanbury. All other reports just say she's Katie's ghost.
As I have said before, if I were forty years younger, a ghost is what I would be. Definitely.
Quite a few UK newspapers have picked up on the fact that the Oxford dictionary -- source of all wisdom on spelling (I regret to say, since I went to the Other Place) -- is dropping hyphens. By the thousand, apparently.
Well, it was ever thus. In the 1970s, when I began writing crime novels, firearm was officially fire-arm. Except in the real world, so Oxford soon changed it to firearm; then, just as I had got used to typing living-room et cetera, it became a living room. And well within living memory, today used to be to-day.
Oh, my dears, the whole of the UK is absolutely agog with the PFD story, mentioned here last week.
The Times last Friday had a big article, coupled with a complicated chart of who is connected to whom, and now the Guardian's at it.
This is not a simple matter, I have decided. It isn't as simple as commerce versus art, for instance, with the wicked new bosses wanting to make PFD go commercial, and the saintly agents in post wanting to keep it pure. For one thing, much of the talent is highly commercial in nature. So perhaps it's more a question of autonomy. Though one might think that true autonomy went out the window a while back, with the original sale to CSS in 2001.
Anyway, whatever it's all about, this one will run and run.