By the way, Plan B is no more. 'Tis a shame indeed.

Here's Everett True on the matter.

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...just for a bit. I think you know why.


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They put a balloon thing in to dilate the cervix. Then they broke the waters. Then they put me on this oxytocin drip thing to induce contractions and kept turning it up and up.

Contractions were absolute agony, gas and air did fuck all, epidural didn't do much either - it took away the contraction pain and allowed me to re-enter the human world, and get some rest, but it didn't take away the pressure of ENORMOUS BABY TRAVELLING DOWN **** . I always thought the scary bit of that would be the stretching / tearing feeling but it was more the sense of my bones just not being big enough for it to come out - the sense that my pelvis would snap - that was the most awful.

They kept saying 'Come on! Your baby is nearly here!' but by that point I didn't give a shit. All I wanted was for there to be some way for it to just stop happening, so I could get a rest. I kicked my boyfriend and sister out of the delivery room, btw. I didn't want people who I had to have a social relationship with seeing me in that groaning, growling animal state.

Anyway! Then the baby finally came out, hurrah, and they put him on my chest. And it was a good, quick delivery (if you can call 10 hours of the most excruciating agony a human can feel and still live 'quick') - the induction started at 10am and he was out by 8pm. No external tears (small one inside, 2 stitches), no instruments required for delivery, no episiostomy. Yay.

But then the stupid placenta wouldn't come out because my body just totally couldn't be assed to push that out too. So then I had to have general anasthetic and surgery to remove it, and then after the surgery I had this massive post-partum haemmorhage where I lost 2700 ml of blood - normal amount is 500-1000ml.

So I was lying in the recovery dept thinking 'This sucks' and then they kept coming up and giving me blood tests, and then, most grotacious thing EVER, there was this pulling sensation of something coming out of me, and they were yanking this long, red cloth from between my legs. A blood-soaked cloth. And I was like 'What the fuck is THAT?' and they said 'It's a tampon' but it wasn't like any tampon I had ever seen or ever want to see again. (They had packed the womb to stem the bleeding. Lovely.) And the next day I had to have a blood transfusion as well. And then I stayed in hospital for about four days. And now I am, like, 'anemic', and have to lie around in bed like a consumptive lady and eat iron pills and make my boyfriend do everything for me for a bit. Hurrah.

Anyway. So that is how Jimmy Payne (full name: Jeremiah James Kadri Payne) entered the world. Here are some pictures of him:



Cute huh?

eta: more pix on flickr if you want -


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WAVE, originally uploaded by ampster.

Jimmy just got home from the hospital. Five days old today! He says hi. More pix and TRAUMATIC BIRTH STORY (be warned: includes the words 'postpartum haemorrhage') soon!

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Going to be induced today. Check twitter for updates. Wish me luck!

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Please find here my wonderful, long-lost Wikipedia entry (created by some guy who thinks I am the worst music journalist in Britian, and sadly deleted by humourless boring Wikipedia robots some months afterwards).

Miss Amp
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miss Amp is the pen name of British journalist, dubstep MC, pirate radio owner, singer, and stable girl Ann-Margaret Parabahn (born 1978, Winchester). Her areas of interest are femininity in rock, modern hip-hop, equine matters and lower division football. She is a vocal and prominent fan of Oswestry Town, and in 2007 ran for the position of club chairman.


* 1 Work
* 2 Involvement With The Insane Clown Posse
* 3 Controversy
o 3.1 Horse Death
o 3.2 Wrestling Injury
o 3.3 Tim Pope
o 3.4 Fictional Cannibal
o 3.5 Criticisms of Criss Angel
* 4 Personal Life
* 5 Trivia
* 6 Noteable Articles


As well as writing for Plan B and Marmalade about bands as varied and wide as Ten Pole Tudor and Obie Trice, Parabahn runs her own zine website SuSu. She has sung in now defunct London-based alt-pop group Bunnybrains. She has also written in a freelance capacity for The Guardian, The Times, Power Slam, Drowned in Sound, The Wire, Hip Hop Connection, Horse and Hound and When Saturday Comes. One of the articles on Susu, about "great British icons", was later adapted into the adverts for meat that feature Ian Botham and Allan Lamb. Parabahn was not paid for these adverts, but did supply the voice of Dickie Bird on the most recent commercials. Her time as an intern at Melody Maker in the mid 90s coincided with an interview with Trip Shakespeare. The lead singer of TS later used Amp as the inspiration for a single by his new band, Semisonic, entitled Closing Time.

Involvement With The Insane Clown Posse

Amp claims her mid-teens as "one long lost weekend". Many speculate this was because of her involvement with American rap group Insane Clown Posse. She was crowned the UK's no 1 Juggalo in 1998 and was briefly president of their UK fanclub around the same time. ICP rapper Shaggy 2 Dope described her as "a real cool kid", and also encouraged her to "stay in school" and not to "mess with drugs".


Horse Death

Parabahn also works as a stable girl for Henrietta Knight's yard, and is believed to have attempted suicide after the death of Best Mate. It is believed that she was roused from her drug induced coma by Craig T Nelson.

Wrestling Injury

Parabahn is the niece of Kenta Kobashi and spent six months in a wheelchair in 2001 after goading him into performing the Burning Hammer on her by talking in a comically exaggerated Japanese accent for the entirety of that year. Parabahn attributes her survival to Kobashi's use of a less dangerous wrist-clutch variant of the move.

Tim Pope

In April 2006, a hoax spread alleging that Tim Pope was fashioned entirely from paper; it later emerged that Parabahn had started the hoax with an April fools piece in the Village Voice. The joke backfired when it emerged that a disillusioned Cure fan had committed suicide as a result.

Fictional Cannibal

It has been alleged that the character of Annabel Way in Hanif Kureshi's Word And The Bomb is based on Parabahn. The character, a journalist and zinester who uses the alias Ultragrrl, is fairly similar to Parabhan but eats human flesh. For this reason Parabhan laughs off the comparisons. In a recent article she stated: "I'm not a cannibal. Nor am I fictional. For those reasons alone it would seems a mistake to label me a fictional cannibal!"

Criticisms of Criss Angel

In a February 2007 article in The Guardian, Parabahn called for the rape and torture of US stage magician Criss Angel, based on Angel's opposition to her plans for Oswestry Town, which included an expansion of their home ground and an audacious bid for Aston Villa reserve team striker Zoltan Stieber. The piece was met with widespread condemnation, not least from Angel, who is anti-rape.

Personal Life

She is currently dating Darren Mitchellstork, chairman of Plan B's soccerball team. She was at one point engaged to Kenny Lynch. She has recently stated she wants to adopt a Chinese baby and that people should do this rather than get pets.


Parabahn has a tattoo of Jomo Kenyatta on her left buttock.

Parabahn's similarity to Kanye West has earned her the nickname "Kanye East".

During her teens, Parabahn was a leading advocate for the inclusion of dominoes as an Olympic sport.

Parabahn's favourite single of all time, according to a post on her blog, is "Movin' Out" by Billy Joel

Noteable Articles

Her Articles Include:

From Caliban to the Taliban: Literature in the War Zone, The Times May 2004

Loving The Alien: My Life As A Zak McKracken Devotee, RetroGamer, April 2004

Horses for Courses! The Myth of Equine Intelligence, Horse and Hound July 2004

Lights, Camera, Zach-tion! How Braff Took On Hollywood and Made Indie Rock Cool, TV Times December 2005

No Name, No Gimmicks: Introducing Obie Trice, Plan B August 2005

God of the Hammers: My Uncle and How Pro Wrestling Noah Saved Wrestling, Powerslam December 2005

J Dilla! J Dilla! J Dilla! RIP We Hardly Knew Ye, obituary Sunday Times February 2006

Paper-l Infallibility: Is Tim Pope Made Out of What He Claims to be Made Out of? Village Voice 2006

The Blood On Our Hands: The Correlation Between 'Scrubs' And The Excesses of Late Capitalism, New Statesman, January 2007

Hit with the Magic Stick: Why Criss Angel Is Ruining Welsh Football, The Guardian, February 2007


Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Amp"

Category: Fictional cannibals

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I went to all that trouble to teach myself to pee standing up (yes, there is nothing I will stop at in the name of investigative journalism, folks) but now there are all kinds of devices so you don't need to do that! And this latest one, the Whizbiz, has the added bonus of scaring ugly men you accidentally slept with out of your house mere seconds after you wake up. What's not to love?

[via dollymix]

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Sophie: oh i got you a baby
AMP: thank fuck!
AMP: this one's clearly not working out properly
Sophie: maybe just a little sleepy?
AMP: just lazy and hates deadlines
can't think who he takes after in that
Sophie: no me neither
although why your baby would take after ME i have no idea
AMP: hee hee
Sophie: maybe i am The Real Father
AMP: he's born to freelance
Sophie: that could be a new bruce springsteen song
Born To Freelance
Sophie: so this baby
shall i get a big poking stick?
maybe tickle you with a feather duster
AMP: dunno, i've tried everything
sex, jumping on trampoline, eating pineapples, eating spicy food
nipple twiddling
raspberry leaf tea
Sophie: hahah
happpppy thoughts
little baby come out of your bum
come out, come out
AMP: yay
today i hope
Sophie: maybe i could induce him
via IM
AMP: do it
Sophie: would that be a first?
AMP: shove a virtual pessary
Sophie: hmm
AMP: up my virtual front bum
i'm ready
Sophie: yeah baby
AMP: i'm braced
AMP: gneeee
i think it's working
AMP: sophus, you're a geniass
Sophie: is it there yet? oof i heard a splat
AMP: eep
Sophie: little swedish baby
AMP: i think the baby is....
Sophie: OH WOW
its like a benetton advert
AMP: no wait
Sophie: a brown, ginger, scandinavian baby
it's a double-whammy. a double-jimmy
AMP: good old jimmy

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lol: giant vulva bicycle taxi

[via salon broadsheet]

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violet bearegardeI've got to at least *try*.

I want so much to be upbeat and hurrahtastic about life, in my writing at least. Writing is magic: it turns mundanity to gold. Even the dullest party can seem a little bit glittery when you write it down, even if all you did was watch strangers dance while your best friend gets off with a boy in a toilet and you get rejected by a gay man when you weren't even after anything from him, not even a line.

But the reason this blog's been so dead is because, well, the last few weeks of pregnancy really ARE as shitty as everyone says they are, and who wants to write / read about that?

Well, me. I do. Inspired by Baby on Bored, a whingetastic blog if ever there was one, I have decided to just fucking go for it. Whinge for Britain. I've also been greatly enjoying whinging on Mumsnet with other people in the same boat as I am, e.g., several days past the day when the baby was magically supposed to hear a big ding-dong DEALINE EMERGENCY BEEP BEEP WHUP WHUP bell going off and start heaving itself out of my vagina - oops sorry, i mean 'birth canal'. (Love that image, as anyone who is familiar with Regent's Canal will understand. Though perhaps it is not as distant as I might hope, as several of my friends have drunkenly tumbled into Regent's Canal, and several of my friends have also drunkenly tumbled into my 'birth canal', though the rates of survival do seem to be higher from the latter, cases of infection far more rare, and an ambulance was only required for extraction that one time).

Anyway. I digress. Though I sit here at eight in the morning after another sleepless night, with my swollen feet plunged in a bowl of ice-cold water, and a frozen flannel beside my laptop ready to apply to my carpal-tunnel-plagued wrists and fingers every half-sentence or so, and though my belly is so big with child that I look like Violet Beauregarde just before she had to be rolled out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, I must write.

If I do not write, I will explode. I no longer care about public image, maintaining a persona, or turning shit into gold through the alchemy of textual intercourse. Sometimes, shit is just shit. And the last few weeks of pregnancy, with a baby inside you that refuses to budge? It's shit. And it's time I started to admit that.

Watch this space.

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CAMGIRLS, originally uploaded by ampster.

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BLOW-UP, originally uploaded by ampster.

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Not that world is on bated breath for updates of this blog but still. I am alive. I have not given birth. The baby is still inside. It writhes around under the skin like an alien. Its head is slightly engaged, dipping into the pelvis, preparing for escape. I'm not writing because the baby has given me its first body-ruining gift - carpal tunnel syndrome. My fingers are stiff, their tips are numb and frozen. There are a thousand things I want to say but they're all trapped inside and stuck.

Yes, wifey, you can have my uke. You were always better at it than me anyway.

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Managed to rouse self from pregnancy-induced writing slumber to scribe two pieces for the latest issue of Plan B magazine. One's a column about, like, MUSIC and PREGNANCY. And one's an interview with my future husband Eugene Robinson about, like, CHOKING and FIGHTING and ROUGH SEX and no music. Hurrah!

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Yeah that's right bitches, it's time for your CUTE ALERT baby outfit update, and nothing you do or say - no twitch of your eyelids, no jaded eyeroll, no cocked brow, nada - can dissuade me from it. Maybe you didn't sign up for a parenting blog when you clicked the RSS feed for AMPnet but tough tits, sweetpea. It's mama time now.

With no further ado, the two places every discerning newborn should be shopping are:



How cute are the Threadless hoodsies? And the mini wifebeater vests with the karate pants from AA (I know their ads are evil and sexist but whatever, so are blue-for-boys / pink-for-girls baby outfits, and at least they don't do that.)

Anyways. I know. Threadless and AA. I'm such a cliche. But what are you gonna do? It's that (plus Retrokinder on Etsy, not that I can afford it) or Mothercare. And fuck Mothercare, you know? Fuck Baby Gap. The end.

This post has been brought to you by the MY BRAIN HAS GONE TO SHIT, FUCK WRITING, ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS THE BABY THAT IS DUE TO COME OUT OF MY FANJITA IN BETWEEN 2-6 WEEKS TIME, SORRY DUDES association of Great Britain / Sweden. Check back soon for more of the inane same!

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It’s finally happened. No, no the baby coming out, dumbass. A WORSE thing. I have… I have… SWOLLEN UP like a fat pregnant fuck. No. Stop that right now. I know MOST women swell up when they’re pregnant. But I am not MOST WOMEN, I am me, miss AMP, and I do not do things MOST WOMEN do unless I am doing them in some kind of retro-kitsch ironic self-observing kind of way (like, “Wow, look, I’m getting dumped while having a miscarriage and the boy would rather DJ than pick me up from hospital and now I appear to be crying as though I have like a broken heart or some shit! This is amazing!”, etc.*)


Yes, I have had a totally non-MOST WOMEN pregnancy. Getting up the duff was acheived with ridiculous speed / ease, desite my advanced years (e.g. over 30 omg WITHERED OVARY ALERT WARNING CAREER WOMAN AHEAD SELFISH SELFISH), helped along no doubt by the fact that the baby’s father (a nubile 23 at time of conception) and I had not long been acquainted with each other, were ridiculously attracted to each other and were more than happy to spend our days and nights at it like bonobos luxuriating in a sea of high-sperm-count emissions. (Gross? No, hot.) Then, ok, the first trimester was totally not a blast (knackered and alientated in cold dark country) but hey! no puking or anything much really, and most of all, NO WEIGHT GAIN. Yes, I am different to every other female person, HEAR ME ROAR.


Of course, this lack of weight gain was mainly due to me not being a skinny little bastard to begin with. O you can imagine the joy, nay, the smugness, that swept across my curvaceous form as I observed previously skinny women in roughly the same stage of pregnancy as me blossom in hip, thigh, calf, ankle, wrist, elbow, rib, cheek, chin, neck and face while I did not. I bumped into one girl from my Swedish class - we had not seen each other since our first trimesters - and could barely recognise her, she was so puffed of face. How my insides rejoiced! As for me, the scales resolutely refused to budge through first, second and into the third trimesters, while I actually GOT THINNER (apart from the babylump, obvs). Gosh, I would say, observing my newly-emerging cheekbones and collarbones in the bathroom at work, hearing the concerned coos of my co-workers, I am the first person to lose weight during pregnancy in the entire history of the world! This is so excellent! I rule so hard! And I would side my hand over my ‘bump’ and congratulate it for being on mama’s side and helping her pregnancy be awesome.


Yeah well. FUCK THAT IN THE MANGINA. Ever since I hit week 35 last week I’ve woken up with painful joints in my fingers, and a tingling swollen numbness in my hands (a rather unfortunate condition for a professional (hah!) writer, I’m sure you’ll agree.) Googling reveals this to be ‘edema’ (normal preggo swelling) and ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ (normally an RSI thing, but the edema fucks your wrists up which fucks up your hands and fingers till they hurt so much you can barely hold a toothbrush, let alone type). And a quick peep in the mirror reveals it to be true elsewhere as well - I have POPPED! I have SWOLLEN! I am on verge of EXPLOSION! Fuck it, I am fat. I am repulsive.


Don’t take the last two sentences too serious - I’m down with being less-than-slender normally. Why wouldn’t you be? You have tits, which are basically the best things in the universe. If your stomach bothers you that much you can get into dressing like a 1950s diva in vintage shapewear that smooths out all the lumps and makes you look like Betty Page or some shit (in yr head anyway, and it’s what’s in your head and in your boyfriend’s head that counts, right?) You can take Egyptian Dance classes and learn how to shake yr thang (to experience a delightful inversion of the normal status quo, just take a few classes and observe how much more awesome at the dance are those who can quiver their flesh like a jelly, and just how dejected that makes the taut of belly and tight of butt).

And, of course, your boyfriends are not going to be the kind of Maxim-man that considers Kate Winslet to be a heifer, are they. No, they will be the kind who’ll revel in your flesh and delight in lifting your tits in their hands as though their hands are a human bra, admiring your breasts’ weight and heft, dimpling your stomach with adoring fingermarks, slapping your ass every time you pass, deriding your skinnier predecessors, till you are left in no doubt that, contrary to what every magazine you’ve ever read has said, yours is truly the most ideal and delicious body ever to grace womankind. Futhermore, as someone who is already curvy and therefore not considered acceptable by normal societal beauty standards, you will, if you’re sensible, have learned to locate your self-worth elsewhere (“I may not be a size 10, but fuck it, I can write, hand-code HTML, wire a plug, do the Times crossword in 8 minutes, spot a Bertoia wireframe chair in a junkheap, and tie a cherry stalk in a knot with my tongue...’ No flies on you, fatgrrrl! Just an awesome new stomach that wiggles when the baby moves around inside, and is all hard and peculiar and interesting, and makes you laugh when he kicks you by suprise. What’s not to like?


Yeah right. Nice attitude. And a hell of a lot easier to maintain when you haven’t gained any weight whatsoever during your pregnancy. Now, however, the tissues around my face are engorged; the aforementioned cheekbones are nowhere to be found; suddenly my rump extends in similar fashion to the belly, and the bulges upon thighs and hips prevent the wearing of that bump-clasping frock I was so delighted to sport last week. I AM A BIG FAT BLOATER. So much for being different to every other female pregnant person ever.


We all want to be the ‘loophole woman’**, don’t we? The exceptional one, not subject to normal prescribed rules or stereotypes of the female condition, up there with the best of the boys, moshing at gigs or heading up meetings while eight months pregnant; no different; no challenge; no threat. But it’s bullshit. Being pregnant is about surrender, I guess, and just sitting back and letting the thing inside you do as it wants, and use you as it wants, and ransack your body, as it wants. You’re not in the driving seat any more. As my midwife said to me about contractions last week - it’s going to happen to you anyway, so you might as well learn to relax about it. So yeah. Soap all the mirrors. Lock all the doors. I’m a big fat swollen butterball and I’m fine with it, HONEST. And hey - at least I don’t have stretchmarks!


Readers! Don’t miss next week’s column, entitled: “O MY GOD I TOTALLY HAVE STRETCHMARKS”.


*actual thing that happened in 2005

**Ariel Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs: women and the rise of raunch culture, Simon & Schuster 2007

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I decided to knit something more complex than a scarf. Thought I'd make Jimmy a little Fair Isle tank top, in Opal yarn, a la Seth Cohen, that he could wear over t-shirts and stuff. *Big mistake*. Long thin metal needles. Grey wool. It was like knitting a smoker's lung. I went off knitting after that. Shame. But this? (Not for the baby. For adult males. Or sexy boyish females.) A knitted tie! Wow. I'm still a sucker for boys in ties. And a knitted tie will be even easier and quicker than a scarf! Hurrah, again, for knitting.

[Knitted tie,
from Dropped Stitches.]

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fmm, originally uploaded by brainlove.

Here is a picture of my wife, kind of, from John Brainlove's Flickr. I am not sure why it is there (some nefarious purpose, no doubt) but I think it is cool.

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Lookety-look I have discovered a new magazine! It is about lesbians! It's created in Amsterdam and published in New York. It completely chiefs the Butt format (perhaps there's some crossover, what with the 'Dam connection?) of long talk-y interviews with interesting homos, with the interviewer and interviewee often familiar with each other, plus rude pictures of the interviewees if they are willing. It is truly a winning format.

The most recent issue had a very vague 'hair' theme, a cool centrefold and interviews with an SM lesbo porn maker (the interview was by her girlfriend) and that chick whose name escapes me who was a copywriter and fucked it off and drove a cab in NY instead, and, oh, you know, loads more, just the general BUTT-y kind of thing of conversations between interesting people you've never heard of but are glad you just did.

And the best thing of all? I now know what a lipster is! It's a lesbian hipster! (I wonder if the ladies behind thelipster.com know of this fact, for I must say that lesbo content is somewhat thin on the ground on that site.) Anyway, you can see the Girls Like Us website here or subscribe here and get a free Girls Like Us bandana. Hurrah!

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It was last week! I saw it! I dashed past, late for my Swedish class as usual. :(


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Shimura CurvesStronger

Aw, 2006! How quickly the present becomes the past.


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I AM SO PREGGO, originally uploaded by ampster.

look at that. fucking massive. apparently i have reached the stage where people are unable to see me as anything but "pregnant woman". i'm still in here though you know! quite normal!

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Aw. Poor little egg. I also like the repetitious quality of the thing. Just like real life, apart from the welcome break provided by pregnancy. (My sister asked me if it was wierd not having periods and I was like 'hells no!'). I wonder whether, if you watched it for 50 years in a row, the uterus would eventually have a menopause? That'd be kind of cool.

[watch animation here] [via dollymix]

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I know getting old is going to be a bag of shit. Perhaps literally, who knows? My grandma's in the hospital right now and we don't know if she's going to be coming out. How depressing that must be, to sit there, in a ward of old ladies, and just not be able to dream that things might improve. BUT. Surely before everything goes terrible there's a few years when you can just chillax and kick back and take some cocaine and play some video games, or something? That's what I'm hoping for anyway. And I'm taking lessons from some of these HARDCORE KICKASS GERIATRIC LADIES what I done wrote about for the Lipster. Check it out!

[revolution grranstyle now!]


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stockholm continues its attempt to do an impression of a REAL CITY where a person might want to actually live without killing themselves by re-opening its market called 'street', where up'n'coming designers can sell stuff and where secondhand goods are also vended, apparently. i cannot tell you how much i have missed any kind of market here. a city without a market is like a body without a heart. even nose-in-air, dog-poo-on-shoe PARIS has its fleamarkets. amsterdam has the beautiful noordermarkt and the whole city becomes a massive jumble sale on april 30 every year. london is diamond-strung with spitalfields and greenwich and portobello and even grody old camden. but stockholm? why no dear, no market for you dear, go home now dear, gaze at ebay and dream dream dream of a city that throbs with mysteries and the challenge of rummaging gold from piles of shit for you will not find it here, dear...


except... that was a lie! stockholm just SHUTS DOWN for winter, and street is no exception. today street was overtaken by a book fair and various readings and stuff, which was useless for the girl who is still on beginner book 1 of how to speak swedo, so i cannot comment upon the quality of the place yet... but no matter. my heart is stirred by the mere existence of street, a place where, as the guy who set it up puts it:

"Street in Stockholm is a meeting place and stage for all people with creative, unusual, special, or just plain crazy creations or ideas. It doesn’t matter whether you have something to sell, say or show - Street is a place for hundreds of artists to sell their wares, and creators of events and happenings both large and small to meet their public."

amen to that. furthermore, street is a 3km walk from skanstull station, along the loveliest little stretch of river / woodland. past an open air swimming pool, past a park that leads onto a tiny beach where people swim in the water during summer. and the weather, today, was flawless - cloudless sky, bright sun and a brisk wind.


so. after we had perused the unintelligible swedish texts we bought coffee and cake and sat on a deck in the sun, by the water. i knitted the first few rows of jimmy's new jumper (64 stitches of moss stitch on 4mm needles - this project will either blind me or drive me mad!), gazed at the swedish hipsters and their babies in strollers, and thought that maybe, this summer, after jimmy comes out, it will be not be so terrible to be here after all. in fact, it might actually be quite fine.

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i had an easter saturday tea-party and it was absolutely ten shades of fun! being a preg, a traditional party would not be appropriate. and proper dinner parties, with their massively timed OMG WE GOTTA TAKE IT OUT THE OVEN LIKE NOW NOW NOW are a bit... much, really. plus they are the most fun only if you can drink a vat of wine during dinner and maybe smoke a joint or whatever afterwards, and i am not allowed to do that either. but a tea-party! yeah!

ace tea-party ingredients

1) frocks

first of all, you must absolutely have an awesome frock. my sister was rocking a 1950s vibe in a black and white polka dotted dress from vivien of holloway worn with a red pursebelt and her hair all done up in rolls and curls and stuff. and i wore a 1940s tea-dress (isn't 'time as colour' great? i love senselessly ransacking the past!) which made jimmy (that's the name of my unborn child inside my tummy, casual readers!) look massive. of course it wasn't an actual 1940s teadress but a copy from topshop maternity, truly the greatest shop for preggoes on earth. they take their normal fashion outfits and then just add lots more fabric for yr bump. simple!

2) food and drink

anyway. looking lipsmacking and delectable isn't enough i'm afraid. you also need lipsmacking and delectable FOOD, and also, some kind of alcoholic beverage, because even if you can't drink, sadly you are not the centre of the universe, for all you might think that you are, and your guests might want to drink lots.

drink a: gin fizz

we made an enormous punch bowl full of this. it contains:

sparkling white wine
cranberry juice

mix it all up in whatever proportions seem appropriate. don't overdo the gin, obvs. and DO NOT USE SUGAR-FREE OR 'LIGHT' CRANBERRY JUICE. ew ew ew. it has no flavour.

drink b: tea

i think you know about tea, but let me reiterate: a blend of assam and earl grey is essential, and don't forget to warm the pot! and use a pot. if you don't use a pot, you probably shouldn't even be reading this. go 'way now, non-teapot-users.

btw, 'stuff' is important. make sure to serve it on nice stuff, e.g. some amazing glass tea-cups and saucers you got from a charity shop ten thousand years ago (drinking gin from a tea-cup is so ace! and wrong!) and some alfred meakin leaping stag crockery that you have been collecting off ebay for like ever.


all sandwich recipes were purloined from 'olive' magazine, which is quite gay and has a pretty bad features-to-recipes ratio, unlike our fave, bbc good food magazine. howevs, these recipes were awesome:

egg mayo and chive mini rolls (pretty obvious)
beef, watercress and mustard (mix watercress with creme fraiche, shred the beef, and use wholegrain mustard - yowsa!)
smoked trout, horseradish and cucumber (trout mixed with horseradish and creme fraiche, organic cucumber so you can leave the skin on, mmmm)

use soft white rolls for the egg mayo and chive, brown bread for the trout and white for the beef. and cut off the crusts of the bread and then slice them into finger sandwiches so they are all dinky and refined. and put some little flags in them! because it is cute.

also we had:

cheese straws and dips (dips served in pastel ramekins that used to be grandma's)


i made madelines. i had never made them before. you have to use a special tin. they looked like bears' paws. these were rosewater madelines from nigella lawson's domestic goddess book. i did not get to taste any, but apparently they were 'lighter than air', 'like eating a kiss', 'absolutely incredible' and 'better than any madeline from a shop, ever'. i will hanker for those untasted madelines as long as i live. i made another batch the next day and i thought they were decidedly perfunctory. :(

cakes 1: cupcakes

cupcakes decorated with pink and white icing and alphabet letters and silver balls. DAMN but decorating cupcakes takes forever. i had not realised. still, they looked cute.

cakes 2: coffee and walnut

i totally burnt the stupid victoria sponge so we had to get a cake from a shop

cakes 3: fruitcake

my darling friend andrea bought a delicious fruit cake she made!

3) ambience

anyway, so that was about it, and it was awesome! it was one of the nicest parties i have had in ages. lots of people rubbed my bump which i totally don't mind at all, because i am a vile and hideous attention-seeker who loves physical contact, not one of those grouchy ladies who is all THEY ARE INVADING MY PERSONAL SPACE, OMGGGZZZZ GET THEM OFF ME. (but maybe i will become that in the final stages of pregnancy, who knows? i am already much changed: spent most of easter sunday locked in the bathroom sobbing on the floor after a fight with my mother, and all of my toughness has deserted me, and i am frail and vulnerable feeling like a woman is allegedly supposed to be according to historical annals of femininity, instead of all tough and nails and whooshy-haired and bike-riding like normal.)

4) people

and the best people came (not to disparage some of the awesome people who totally couldn't make it), including some new people, like jesse, who had a great swagger to her and a way of abruptly asking the most personal of questions that reminded me of my own knack for doing exactly the same, and sarah, who had a bewitching curl dangling beside her big green eyes which had the most enormous black pupils as though she was on ecstacy even though i am sure she was not, and my wife's new boyfriend, who had a wonderfully benevolent air, and and and! some old people (not old in age like moi but old like i have known them for a bit), like miranda with her auburn hair torrenting down her back, and janine who i have not seen for a hundred years who had her fringe in a curl and wore these thick false eyelashes that were speckled with GOLD, folks, actual GOLD, and alex who delivered me two shiny discs of 'ho-rap' for my stockholm listening pleasure, and - oh! everyone. it was fantastic.

5) ideas

one of the best things about parties is also talking to lots of people in short bursts. it's like the twitter of socialising. so janine interviewed me about zines and shit and i waxed lyrical about how rubbish it is to do a fanzine and be all nostalgic for the 90s in that way now that the internet has rendered everyone into a zinester. and now, in typical about-turn fashion, i have, after a morning spent perusing pagan kennedy's 'zine - how i spent six years in the underground and finally found myself - i think', decided that doing a 90s-style personal zine all photocopied black and white on paper would be THE MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER, so watch this space for ordering details (because i don't want to go on about, like, 'my birth story' on the internet where anyone could see it, but what larks it would be to go on about it - with DIAGRAMS! - on some bits of paper that only the amazingest / undergroundest of people could get to see?).

and then jesse was talking about the birthgasm blog post i did recently, and saying that apparently after orgasm women release some kind of morphine thing that means that post-orgasm their pain threshhold goes up by like 100%, and why is this, this is clearly for childbirth since that is what chicks have to do that dudes don't. so i have already corralled the babyfather into promising to make out with me during the labour since that is supposed to make it better, but clearly we will need to take things up a notch so i wonder if anyone will mind if a rampant rabbit accompanies me into the birthing room, i mean they're going to see my vag anyway so whatever right?)

and then with my wife and jesse and my wife's boyfriend we revisited the age-old 'should underground magazines have corporate sponsorship' and frances was like 'no' and i was like 'yeah, if it's cool', because i am a massive HO who loves MONEY and believes corporate shit SHOULD support underground shit, and if they steal / dilute your ideas then just have more, because we are cool and underground and creative and have a ton of ideas while they are dried-up old lechy dinosours who must suck idea lifeblood out of others for they have none of their own. but frances is HARDCORE like a magazine ed is supposed to be and thinks all sponsorship is evil so that is good also.

oh and the best idea of all was janine's, that we should all bascially up sticks and move to whitstable, for we are all growing tired of london, we are old and sick of nursemaiding the creativitity of others through being PRs and music journalists, and we should move to the country and work on our own projects instead. i have never been a one for this 'let's get out of london' bullstuffs, but suddenly, with a TINY CHILDE inside my stomach, i find myself wanting to, for if he grows up here on a poplar estate he will surely grow up into a gun-toting thug or at the very least a cocaine tooting shoreditch hipster by the age of approx 7 years old, and i cannot countenance my son being a cocaine tooting shoreditch hipster, at least not until he is like 17 or something.*

6) future plans

anyway, no social event is truly successful unless it spawns an immediate desire for more of the same. i'm back for the may bank holiday so plans are already afoot for the next tea-party. also i have no friends in bloody boring old stockholm so have to ruthlessly exploit the ones i have here. RSVP for guestlist!

btw: anti-flickr

this entry is in lieu of a flickr update of photographs, for i have grown weary of toting my camera at everyone, and it seems a little intrusive. i hope nobody mentioned here minds. i do not see why they would.


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Whoohoo! Kinda. But also totally not. A size sixteen maiden has reached the finals of Miss England for the first time.

Here she is on the delightfully patriotic Miss England website - she's Miss Surrey.

On the one hand it's like, hurrah, y'see, YOU SEE, fat chicks are not vile hose-beasts, they are sexy and hot and lovely, as I have maintained forevs.

And on the other, it's like, dude, it's a BEAUTY CONTEST, a vile and shallow and archaic ritual celebrating that most fleeting of attributes, what do you care if a fat chick gets in?

I guess we can applaud the judges of Miss Surrey for their unconventionality and kick in the face to narrow traditional beauty standards, while also bemoaning the vileness of beauty contests in general and praying for their immediate demise.

She won't win, anyway, but I wonder if they'll place her in the top three as a token 'we don't hate fat chicks, honest' statement? I guess we'll have to wait till the 17th June to find out. Watch this space!

PS - Mr England 2007 - o my godz! Who is judging this shit? I would love to interview the judges of Mr England 2008. And attend the contest. What larks! Please could some magazine commission me to do this. Thanks!

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