Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Fancy Reviews Hot Cross Mum

**This is NOT a sponsored post. Nope. No one gives Fancy free crap. No one. She buys it herself and retains the airline miles to upgrade the Nanny. I’m that kind of boss. Yes, it’s true. I’ve never put a Nanny behind the curtain on the plane. Thus far anyway.**

So a couple of weeks ago, I’m taking my morning blog stroll, Elmo singing in the background, toddlers making do with a breakfast of brioche rolls with butter, and I stumble upon something delightful: Hot Cross Mum turned into a book! Technically she turned into a “blook,” which is what one would call a blog turned book but even with the ridiculous name, how awesome is that?

Well, being Fancy like I am, I didn’t waste one second. Nope, popped onto Amazon, hit “buy with one click” and moments later there I was, deep inside Hazel’s life. Much to my delight, her blook is as fun to read as her blog and I couldn’t let go. Later that day you may have spotted a woman on the tube with diet Coke pouring out her nose as she snorted with laughter. (Yes, sometimes I take the tube. I’m environmentally aware you know. Okay. I lie. No taxis. Anyway.) I know it wasn’t very Fancy of me, but it’s the truth. Sometimes I lose control and snort soda out my nose. It might be the bubbles, although, oddly enough, I don’t seem to have this problem with champagne.

What could make Fancy breech like a whale in public? To summarize, Hot Cross Mum the blook is Hazel’s tale of a working mother who suddenly found herself a SAHM. Juice boxes replaced water coolers. Playing Horsey became a poor substitute for her boss riding her ass. At first I thought it was a Stephen King-esqu horror novel. I mean, all this and no Nanny? Crikey. But it’s actually a humour book. And a good one at that.

As much as I loved it though, I do have a few thoughts, corrections and clarifications. Please indulge me.
  • With regards to the rather amusing chart indicating a mother’s tolerance levels over the course of the day, I am in complete agreement that waking up, leaving the house and “post-bedtime messing” are absolute low points. However, where is the “Nanny called off sick” point on that chart? Because that is lower than low. Really, really down there.

  • At one point Hazel speaks of her desperate desire to find a Mummy friend. I can feel for her, and I laughed out loud her internal pleading, “’Please don’t go. I’m just a mother. Standing in front of a mother. Asking her to love me.’” But do you know what’s worse than having no Mummy friends in the neighbourhood? It’s being Fancy and living somewhere that’s not. I go to the grocery and people recognize the kids. “Oh, you’re TC and the Princess’s Mum?” and then they proceed to recite bizarrely personal facts about my life gleaned from my Nanny at playgroup. It’s both weird and lonely.

  • On the subject of husbands, it’s good to know that it’s not just Aspiring Rich Assholes that can’t pick up after themselves. Any man who consistently confuses emails to his wife and his assistant can’t possibly understand the concept of picking up his socks. I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone. Thanks for that.

  • As to the statement on Fancy Folk that goes, “your nannies, cleaners and au pairs are purchased with the ease of a loaf of bread,” I agree, in the sense that I have enough change in my purse for a loaf of Warburtons. But seriously, finding a good Nanny is like going to Gail’s Bakery. Olive loaf? Spelt? Foccacia? And then what if you get it home and find out you don’t like it? Buying bread can be really hard. Sometimes you actually have to hire someone to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Literally.

  • But, Hazel’s advice to the Mums of the class of 2010 should be mandatory reading for all new mothers. Yes, the Minis may eat Fancy Fillet for dinner, but even they like a squirt of ketchup on the side. Ketchup is the universal truth when it comes to toddlers. Oh, but as to the La Mer, it gave me a rash. Overrated. Buying enough tonic for my gin, however, well that’s sound guidance.

In the end, it’s sections like “Sometimes I forget” that brought it all home for me. In the midst of all her hilarious ranting about motherhood in all its UnFancy glory, she still finds moments of levity to remind us why we do what we do. So, thank you, Hazel, for making me remember. Sometimes I forget that when the Nanny calls off, it’s actually a blessing. I get to set my work email to “out of office,” leave the dishes in the sink, take my kids to the park with my teeth unbrushed, and pick up some curry on the way home for dinner. Because they’re only little once and I am their Mummy. Even if that day I’m decidedly not Yummy.

Anyhoo, I would like to hand Hazel 5 out of 5 Fancy Stars for her amazing accomplishment. And I encourage all of you to forgo 3 lattes this week, which will then afford you your very own electronic slice of Hot Cross Mum. However, may I advise that you limit your soda intake whilst reading.  


  1. Brilliant - totally agree with the low points, but need to replace 'Nanny calling off sick' with Nursery sending child home.

    Off to buy book....

  2. Thank you, thank you for such a lovely review - and I didn't even have to bribe you with champers or anything. Sorry about the fizzy drink snorting thing but I suspect your nasal passages are now cleaner than they have ever been. Sort of colonic irrigation for the nose n'est pas?!

  3. Excellent advice and written in your inimitable and hilarious style..... btw lattes are a distant memory, maybe I'll give up using the tractor for a week...... xx

  4. Nice review. I agree - bread isn't always easy to buy. Plus, it still costs money.


  5. Excellent. Reading 'The Slap' at the moment which is winding me up beyond belief. This sounds right up my street.

  6. What an AMAZING and thorough review - am off to seek out the book - and bloody well done Hot Cross Mum! x