Friday, 29 April 2011

Fancy Barbeques

I bet there are a few of you who wonder about the Fancy Home. What's it look like? Maid's staircase? Is there a garden? Terrace? Does it have its own helipad?

Well, no to the maid's entrance. I let my help use the front door and my main stairs. I'm that nice. And yes to garden and terrace. Times 4. No to the helipad, however, although we don't use the roof terrace that much so I suppose...

Anyway, what I'd like to show you today is my barbeque. April is Tara's Gallery theme this week and for once, I want to be on the front half of this wave. April at the Fancy Home? It's the month when we can finally grill and eat on the terrace, as opposed to sending H out there in a raincoat and wellies, thrusting a meat thermometer through the blinding snow in his direction. April means the days are longer, the weather is a little warmer and our dinner parties can, if the London skies cooperate, move outside. Where pigeons can clean up after us and not the housekeeper.

Of course, now you're wondering what kind of grill we have. Yes, that's a photo of the Fire Magic Echelon series grill. We had it shipped from the States. It has a rotisserie spit, 3 burners, a smoker tray and a side burner to keep my sauces warm. There is a meat thermometer built in and it's tall enough to stand a turkey upright. It also gives foot massages and makes surprisingly good attempts at foreplay. Okay, just kidding on the last bit. Although a properly cooked steak is a decent warm up to a bit of lovin, don't you think?

I'll let you Google the price. It's embarrassing. But properly cooked meat is a true priority around here.

Anyhoo, there you have it. April at the Fancies.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fancy's One Man Band

Fancy is finding herself a bit lonely this week, now that Introducing has gone back to its rightful owner, that Mother's Always Right. I was honoured to have a chance to host in her absence. Truly tickled. I never got invited to homecoming, you see. The sting of being rejected by the cool kids is still with me, all these many few years later.

Anyhoo, you know that Fancy likes a challenge. How could I continue to ride Mother's coattails, link up to a couple of memes and come out the other side with all my nails intact? It took me a few moments, but I do believe I've done it. Without even a chip in my perfectly polished manicure. I bring you: the Introducing Gallery Random Kindness post.

Meet The Displaced Londoner. I found her a few weeks ago while stalking reading some new blogs. You can find these people, you know. You just have to go look for them. The poor girl is not only facing a move from London to parts I've never seen (which could be as close as Brixton, but probably further) but she gave up liquor for Lent. As if all of that isn't bad enough, she's out there faithfully blogging away and to an audience of one. Me. I am--as I write this--her only follower. And it's making me uncomfortable.

I'm not saying this to embarrass the poor dear. Maybe she's not looking for a big fan club. Maybe no one told her how to get out there and drum up some friends. Crikey, maybe she just thinks she's too good for us. For all I know, she's just a real snob and I'm a big dork trying to sit next to her at lunch. I have no idea.

But what I do know is this: when you are the only follower, it feels weird. I don't like it. I feel like all the eyes are on me. Or at least two are.

So. Where does that leave us? My Random Act of Kindness over at Claire's place is this. I want The Displaced Londoner to have 5 followers by tomorrow. If she doesn't like us, she can move her blog somewhere else and hide. But until I'm told otherwise, I'm getting in her grill and making a new friend. Who's with me?

And, in case it isn't clear yet, her page is Green. As in the colour. And there you go. Now if only she'd starred in a horror movie about wedding days gone wrong...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fancy Wedding Adjustments

*Note! It’s a Double Fancy Day! Run yourself over to In The Powder Room and take a look. It’s ME! In LIGHTS! Holy Moly!*

Ah Kate has done it again, hasn’t she? In honour of the Royal Wedding, this week’s Listography is simply about 5 things I would change about my Fancy Wedding if I could go back and do it again. Do I really have to come up with 5? My wedding was damn near perfect and one of the greatest weeks of my life. (Yes, t’was a 4 day party. Fancy style.) But if I really, really have to…
  • Don’t wake up hungover. I had this fantasy that on the day of my wedding I would sleep until noon and wake feeling fresh and well rested. I would then spend 2 hours in the gym and enjoy some room service before the champagne began to flow. Reality? Woke up with the feeling that a squirrel had shat in my mouth during the night. There was a half-drunk glass of champagne skillfully balanced in my pillow-propped hand. And my bleary-eyed college gal pal was lying next to me, looking equally bewildered. Fast forward to room service.

  • Hire a dancer with a better sense of undergarments. As part of our “pre-wedding” festivities, we hired some local dancers to entertain our guests. They were fabulous. Except for the lead dancer’s VPL (that’s visible panty lines to those not in the know). It was so bloody distracting and pretty much all I could focus on. She should have known better.

  • Insist on a chicken dance. I was overruled.

  • Eat more at the reception. How could I know that I was facing a month of Tahiti Tummy? That my honeymoon would largely consist of racing each other to the toilet after meals? No, Frau Fancy was too busy chatting up her guests to actually eat that fillet steak or really, really have a go at the dessert trolleys. Shame.

  • And speaking of a honeymoon, find an island without Blackberry reception. Seriously, there must be at least one, deep in the South Pacific. C’mon.

Alrighty, I’ve managed 5. So pop on over to Kate and see what everyone else has to say. Right after you’ve visited my debut article on In The Powder Room. Oh, you’ve got some hopping to do. Now scram! 

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Fancy Bank Holiday

Does anyone else appreciate the irony of a “Bank Holiday?” You know the one group of people to whom this extra day of lollygagging and lunchtime beer doesn’t apply, right? Yes. The Bankers. Well, actually, anyone in finance or senior business management. Doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers, firemen and Starbucks barristas too. But the irony for the bankers, that kills me. H isn’t a banker per se, but close enough. And he’d made it very clear that he’d be working from 8 to 8. So yesterday was meant to be just like any other at the Fancy home. Oh, minus a Nanny. Because, yes, Nannies get bank holidays too. Sigh.

But what a delightful surprise we had instead. I had the Minis all packed up and ready for a 10-mile walk around London (since I wouldn’t be getting to the gym. No Nanny, remember?), when my phone rang.

“Didn’t you check your emails? I’m staying home until 11 so you can go work out.”

Okay, never mind the obvious facts here: 1) H was still asleep when I left the house (no holiday?) and 2) he expects to communicate with me via email which I should urgently check immediately upon awakening (which requires reaching across his snoring self to get my phone.) Ignoring all that, wow! So back home we marched, small people deposited in front of the telly while their father “supervised” from behind a computer screen, and Frau Fancy went for a quick workout.

Now, hold your hats. This amazing day was about to get even more shocking. Mini Fancies down for naps, H declared he was off to the office. “Got calls ‘til 9 tonight. See you late.” And off to the showers he trotted, clearly needing a hot steam after his morning of great effort.

When the girls woke, I reloaded the Fancy Pram and headed off to the park for a bit of “pedestrian mingling” with the locals. (I think it’s good for the girls to play with kids of all types, even those who reek of cigarettes and urine. Seriously. That’s why we get a bath at bedtime. Nothing out there I can’t wash off.) I assumed that H would just head to the office but then my phone rang again.

“Where are you guys? I’m bringing the camera.”


I know, you can barely control your excitement. Yesterday, The Fancy Family had a day just like everyone else. A proper bank holiday.

I was beside myself. Never mind that he spent most of the afternoon lying on the grass alternating between taking photos and conference calls while I raced around the park, steering the Minis away from cigarette butts and dog poo. It was almost like a regular family. Maybe you even spotted us? Yes, that was TC and the Princess, stripped down to their diapers and splashing in that dirty water. (“Planter warts and E. coli be damned!” I yelled, ripping off my own designer sandals and wading in after them.) Yes, that was Frau Fancy, picking rocks and sticks off her child’s naked butt while trying to dry her offspring with her Fancy Sweater (why God made dry cleaners!). And oh yeah, that was us, lying in the sun nibbling on organic fruit snacks, right next to that lady smacking her Chihuahua for barking. (Like anyone could even hear him!).

For one glorious day, we were just a family of four. No Nannies. No Housekeepers. No one but us. And half of east London. But still. It was lovely.

Happy Easter, everyone. 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Fancy Judges: Nanny v. Grandma

We’re almost to the other side of the mountain. After nearly a month without a full time Weekday Nanny (hereafter known as Nanny #1v.2.0), I’m on the home stretch. It hasn’t been all that bad. I’ve actually enjoyed my time with the girls. Thank God for Nanny #2 on the weekends though, who’s allowed me to get just enough work done to make up for my seriously stunted productivity Monday through Friday. And we’ve had some great visits with all the grandparents, which has been helpful. To a point. One thing has become glaringly obvious to my over the last few weeks: if there was ever a contest called “Professional Nanny v The Grandma,” Nannies would win, hands down. Grandmas just don’t make very good Nannies, it turns out. Not only do they not do as they are told and have the audacity to talk back, but the rest of my life seems to fall inexplicably apart, all while my blood pressure creeps steadily higher.

Elaborate? Why sure.

Nannies get special degrees at Nanny School on separating whites from darks.

When a Grandma shrinks your favorite wool sweater, you smile and say, “Oh yes, I did just buy that for one of the girls. Oh, of course a plunging neckline is totally appropriate for a toddler.

When your Nanny can’t understand your rubbish/recycling system and puts food waste in with your diet Coke cans, you are allowed to call her—half jokingly—a moron.

When a Grandma tries to throw out dirty nappies with the cardboard, she’s a foreigner and you must say so with understanding and compassion. And quietly pull all the poopy Pampers out of the recycling bin.

When a Nanny takes them out for ice cream, “it was organic and they loved it!”

Grandma? “What the hell? Are your kids too good for that mall soft-serve crap I fed you people? They turned their noses right up at it. You’re raising some snotty little kids, aren’t you?“ (Well actually, Mom, we are The Fancies.)

I tell a Nanny that dummies and blankies are for bedtime only, and I find them in the cot every evening, neatly laid out and waiting for the Minis.

When Grandma is in charge, the children stroll brazenly around the house, blankie covered in marmalade, dummy hanging stupidly out of the corner of their mouths, grandparent standing silently by, willing them on, daring me to intervene.

The kids go to the sandbox with a Nanny, the pram gets a good vacuuming at the end of the day.

A trip to the park with Grandma? Yes, that would be Mrs. Fancy, lying on all fours, hoovering out the bottom of her Fancy Pram and quietly muttering unfortunate four-letter words. 

And the worst of it all?


When the Nanny is in charge, I say, “Okay, see you at 6. Got a lot on my plate today.” And usually I do. But if I don’t, well, I go get a pedicure. Or join them at the park. My choice. 

But Grandma? Here’s me: “Could I please go to the gym for maybe a half hour? I could even take one of the kids with me if it makes it easier for you. Actually, why don’t I just take them for a jog? You have a rest.”

A good Nanny cares deeply for your children but it is, after all, a job. A Grandma will give anything and do anything to spend a minute with her grandbabies. Even as she pops arthritis pills and stops every few minutes to catch her breath. God forbid I drive a Nanny to an early grave. But if I did, well she wasn’t really up to the job, was she? But to kill a Grandma? That would kind of ruin Christmas, now wouldn’t it?

So I've decided that while visits with Grandma are special and wonderful times, it's not a substitute for decent childcare. Some things are just better left to the professionals. Who would I call, for example, if my toilet exploded? H? Or my plumber?


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Fancy Introductions Week 2!

It’s Week 2 of Fancy Introductions before Introducing heads back over to Mother’s Always Right. Although, I have to say, I’ve enjoyed this nail-breaking work so much, I might consider doing it now and again from here on out. I mean, I’ve found some really lovely blogs and had quite a few chuckles in the last couple weeks.

That said, part of me has been beside myself, racked with guilt. I would love to Introduce everyone who came by to say, “hi!” but I can’t. The rule is 3. Molly said so. You know how she likes to be—no I won’t say it. And then there were the angry cries of disbelief: “What!! You didn’t pick me?” cried Mrs. Tuna. Mrs. Tuna, are you serious? You were one of the first to come see me. I have looked up to you. I consider you a proper, grown-up blog. Bloglet Fancy here introducing you? Well that would be like asking one of my toddlers how to go poo poo in the potty. It just doesn’t seem right. Even if your first post included a recipe for Fancy Schmancy Salmon. (That’s a little prescient, don’t you think?)

Anyhoo, back to this week’s fresh faces.  Tales from Windmill Fields is my first pick, mostly because we have so much in common. She’s married to a man whose native tongue isn’t English? Fancy is too! Her family is bilingual? The Fancies also swear in two languages! She’s an expat? Um, hi, Fancy The Expat, right here. Even down to the fact that the poor girl is recovering from a nasty pneumonia. Fancy was just sucking down antibiotics not that long ago. But I did find one big difference. On my Listography, I said I wanted to get jiggy with Elmo’s Dad, Louie. Windmill chose an evangelical gay man. That’s a little weird. But I’m looking at the big picture here. So she’s in.

Number two? Flowers Fairies and Fairy Cakes. Okay, there are a lot of “F’s” going on here, which Frau Fancy can relate to. She’s living the nightmare  dream as a former Londonite working at the BBC who is now raising two children, a husband and some chickens in the rural countryside. I am generally continent, but I did pee myself just a bit reading about her near brush with death while trying to collect eggs from her mad, mad hens. Thank God she had the good sense to send her 4 year-old alone into that coop and save herself for another blogging day.

And then there is our final member of this week’s chosen three. You know, there is a danger when you are Fancy that you lose your integrity. Yep, Fancy has none. Not a drop. It is absolutely, 100% true that Fancy can be bought. Or bribed. Actually, just be nice to me and I’ll do almost anything for you. It’s my inherent need to please. So you can imagine that awarding me a Kreative Blogger award in a direct attempt to butter this Fancy bread worked a charm. Meet Claire at Grumpinator- The Wean Machine. She’s a primary school teacher and a wedding singer.  When she’s not covered in chalk or doing the Hokey Pokey, she goes all crazy “good” on us bloggers and starts a new meme called, “Random Acts of Kindness.” If you visit her on a Thursday, you can link up with nice things that either happened to you or you did for someone else. Like letting your Nanny go home an hour early or something.

With that, I send you all scurrying back to Mother’s Always Right. I’ve still got a few really great new blogs sitting in the wings though that I think I’ll toss in here and there, so stay tuned. I could make it my Random Act of Kindness, couldn’t I?

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.  

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Fancy Introductions Week 2!

Yep, you read that right. That Molly is still on vacation. Mother's Always Right apparently knows how to live. Personally, I travel with 2 iPhones, at least one laptop and a dongle (in case I'm ever without a hotspot), so I would never let a little thing like vacation tear me away from you, but then that's me. Plugged in. 24-7. Never a break when you're Fancy. Did you know they have Internet in Tahiti? Yes, they do. Anyhoo.

This morning I've sent the children to the library with the Nanny (because that sounds like an educational activity, don't you think?) and I'm sitting down to send out another call for some new faces. I still have quite a list from the last go-round, but nothing would make me happier than to present Miss Molly with a thousand leftover names to deal with. It would be like cooking for 12 on a Saturday night and leaving all the dishes for the Housekeeper, no?

So, to the point, if you've not been paying attention. Introducing is a chance to present 3 new-to-me blogs that I think are funny or interesting. They can be moving or educational. Or they can just feature hot young men in their undies. Give me a shout here or email me at and I'll sort through the list. On Thursday, I'll bring you this week's introductions.

And I'm sorry, it's really only 3 that I'm allowed to present with a Fancy Introduction. But maybe, just maybe, I'll think about listing all the rest of you who responded as well? Because I'm finding some great sites out there and it's probably selfish to keep it all to myself, isn't it? It's not a bottle of wine, after all.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Fancy Funeral

That Kate. She's always pushing me to think outside the box. Yes, of course I've imagined my own funeral. Who hasn't? I expect there to be equal parts hysterical sobbing and laughter. I would want to see anguished faces turn to looks of delight when they see the champagne flute fountain. Tissues for nose blowing will be freely available, as will red-soled flat shoes in a variety of sizes (lest someone not wish to dance all night in 4 inch heels). But what will they actually be saying? Hmm. I think it goes a little something like this:

"Isn’t it lovely, how her 2nd husband gets along so well with her boyfriends? They are all so mature for such young men. And so handsome! My my."

"Did all her kids make it? I know several of them had to fly in from God knows where. Thank goodness they made today a Fancy bank holiday so those girls have a little extra time to sort through the jewelry."

"What do you think of the new signs? Oh, I agree, 'Fancy' is such a better name for a park than 'Hyde.' And the fountains are gorgeous. All that gold plating. I was so worried it would be like that Prince Albert monstrosity but it’s so refined. You know she worked the plans herself? Yes, she did."

"What time’s the flyover? A military send off always brings a tear to my eyes."

"Oh, I know, the snacks are divine. It really was her greatest accomplishment, wasn’t it? I mean next to raising those fabulous kids and solving all those Middle East issues. Just a little pressure on the government and suddenly—poof! No more vegetarian restaurants. It's true, they were such a waste of time and money, weren’t they? I’m sorry, but Fancy was right. Eggplant can never replace a real lobster. It's a perfectly nice vegetable but c'mon, who were trying to kid? Oh, yes, I’ll have another salmon blini with caviar. Thank you."

Now having heard all that, I guess I've got some work to do. I can probably deal with the vegetarians this morning and start my monument plans right after my gym session. Need to keep those abs tight, apparently...

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Fancy Introduction

Well, well. I’ve seen some shameless brown-nosing in my day (and that would have been me, in school, wrenching my nose from every teacher’s arse) but seriously. In fact, some of you even admit it. And I quote:

I'm new, I'm new!! Love your blog by the way ( shameless sucking up :-P )

Here I thought I was just accomplishing 2 goals: 1) to help Molly enjoy her holiday and 2) to see what it felt like to actually do the work and not just watch someone else mop the floors and scour the tub. But I didn’t count on number 3: THE LOVE! Fancy feels it and it makes her happy. Even if it was all in the name of your own self-promotion.

Anyhoo, must whittle down those intros for this week, musn’t I. If you don’t know, Mother’s Always Right has started a wonderful weekly post called Introducing where 3 new-ish blogs can get a shout out. Since she’s on vacation, Frau Fancy here decided to help out. So, without further ado…

Fat Mummy. There’s two things that can happen to a woman after she gives birth: she either expands or contracts from the sheer stress of it all. This is just another reason why outsourcing the birth of your children is a good idea. Unfortunately for Fat Mummy, her journey to motherhood didn’t end in a celery and carrot addiction. 2 children and 4 stone later, she’s had enough. She’s going public this time because that weight is coming off. Even if she has to learn that “all you can eat” on any diet is a lie and that two crème eggs and 3 ciders a day, will in fact cause you to lose weight if that is all you eat. I feel her pain, being a Fancy Wife, and she makes me laugh. So I’m pulling out my pompoms and am going to stand right there on the sidelines, cheering her on. Soon she’s going to be Phat Mummy! Yeah!

Then there is Moomser. I’m sort of floored by this woman. She comes to my blog and makes loyal comments and seems to find real humour in my Fancy Ridiculousness. And so I go for a visit and find out that when she’s not blowing sunshine up my Fancy Ass, shes’ making lunches and dinners to take to the hospital for her husband who is fighting leukemia. Oh come on. Moomser. You make me feel this big (I’m holding my hand really low. Picture it.) You are funny. You write well. You hold your head high and do what needs to be done during a dark time. And you still find time to laugh. I am humbled by your presence.

Now unfortunately I must close my list off this week at 3. Don’t yell! Those are Molly’s rules. So who gets to join a group that includes battling cancer or dropping major poundage? Yeah, that would be Mummy Mummy Mum! Because, that’s right, it was her that so shamelessly licked my feet. But not just that. The girl made me snort diet Coke through my nose. And that’s worth something. Okay, put down your soda and read what she posted: Riding along with her 4 year-old, she answers the question “what are those birds doing, Mummy?” with a standard Mum answer: “Watching the trains? No? Um, having a rest?”

Her young darling’s reply: “NO MUMMY, they are watching TV. YOU are always wrong. You don't know anything do you? I am always right, I know everything.”

Frankly, I like that kid’s style.

So please please go drop these gals a visit and tell them where you found them. I can’t thank those of you who got me started enough so I am honoured to be able to share a little of the blogging world love with some fellow newishbees. Those of you who didn't make the cut, don't fret. You're still on the ever-growing list so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Fancy Fill In

You know I like to outsource. Didn't birth my own children, don't scrub my own toilets. But that doesn't mean that Fancy isn't willing to roll up her sleeves and do a little work herself from time to time.

My friend, Molly, over at Mother's Always Right is on vacation, if you can believe the nerve of that girl. She starts a great thing like a blog introduction forum and then takes off for who knows where.

Well, I wasn't about to stand by and let a week slip away without meeting some new friends. So I'm taking over Introducing this week and next. And I need your help.

If you are relatively new to the blogging community, or know someone who is, can you send them my way? I'll take comments to the post or you can email me directly at

On Thursday, I'll pick a few of my favorites and share them with the world. Or anyone who cares to listen. And for those of you who already have a gazillion followers, I would kindly ask that you take a few minutes to visit our new friends and say hello.

Alright? Everyone ready? Let's go.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Fancy's Laminated List

My participation in Kate’s Listography is spotty at best. That’s not because I don’t think she’s incredibly clever but because I’m lazy. It’s just easier to talk about ME than it is to try and be creative. But this week’s “Laminated List” challenge spoke to me: 5 men for whom I receive a free pass from H should the opportunity for a bit of intimacy arise.

It’s a timely conversation given what H and I were talking about just last night. I have a new personal trainer, you see, and I’m intent on increasing my Fancy Wife Appeal. I had to inform H that, given our current situation and his ever-declining fitness coupled with a heart-attack inducing level of job-related stress, there is a strong chance that I’ll be looking for my 2nd husband before the decade is over. And when that happens, I plan on being one really fucking hot Cougar. Because #2 is going to be young, fit, and gorgeous. With degrees in both space engineering and massage therapy. 

Anyway, back to my list.

I’ve seen a lot of Johnny Depps and Brad Pitts out there this week. But I wanted to really put some thought into it. I mean, we’re talking about risking a nasty case of Chlamydia with all that “intimacy.” It needs to really mean something. So here, for your enjoyment, is Frau Fancy’s Laminated List:

Tom Selleck: I mean, here is the one guy on Planet Earth who can rock a moustache without looking like white trash, a pedophile or a circus ringmaster. (Apologies to those living with hairy upper lips, but they just aren’t my thing. Clearly.) He can also wear a Hawaiian shirt without looking like a stupid tourist. I think that screams, “Man.”

Donny:  The voice. The teeth. The purple socks. I publicly declared my love for Mr. Osmond nearly 35 years ago. Why would I turn down a chance to realize a dream I’ve had for so very long?

George Clooney: Dude’s hot. Not “for his age” but “at any age.” And he seems to actually have a bit of a brain. Plus I really enjoy vacationing in the lakes of Italy so his house at Lake Como would come in really handy.

Timbaland: He’s kind of like a black version of H except with musical talent. His eyes make me melt. There’s clearly both smarts and a sense of humour in there. Plus he’d get me a step closer to Justin Timberlake, who’s number 6 on the list, if we were going there. 

Elmo’s Dad: This is a recent find for me and knocked Buzz Lightyear (talk about a manly man!) right off the list. We’ve been watching a lot of Elmo’s Potty Time here at the Fancies’ and I’ve never seen a man more patient and tolerant than Louie. And that Southern twang! Like Matthew McConaughey but smarter and less smelly. He plays the sax and fought in Iraq. Despite his obviously busy schedule, he still makes time to arrange a family picnic with his recently widowed sister. His involvement in his son’s life is commendable, as is his genuine compassion and gentle way. He’s the complete package: kind, considerate, a good father, famous and (I’m assuming, given all his films) wealthy.  

See, I'm not all that shallow. Not that I would physically kick Johnny Depp out of my bedroom...

Friday, 8 April 2011

Fancy Dinner Conversations

I realized that you guys have probably been wringing your hands with worry, haven’t you? “We haven’t seen any restaurant stories from the Fancies! Could it be that Frau Fancy, with all her Nanny troubles, can’t get out?”

Relax! Not go out? Hogwash. I’m sorry if I had you concerned, but nothing terribly exciting to report of late. Although I did manage to score a table at the 2 Michelin starred Pied a Terre recently. As you know, we aren’t “fussy” food eaters but it was on my bucket list, so off we went.

I thought, “Snotty French place! Michelins to boot! This should be rife with blogable tales.” Oh how wrong I was. It was, to put it mildly, perfectly lovely. But that doesn’t mean I’ve nothing to tell. What happens when you go out to a Fancy Restaurant and the whole experience is so fantastic that there is nothing to moan about? What is there to write about?  

The conversation.

“Yeah, I’m not really into strip clubs. I go like once every 7 years,” H said, wiping his mouth and taking a fat swig of vino. The other males at our table nodded in agreement. Like their wives and I are stupid.

“That’s a lie,” I retorted.

“No, seriously. Like once a decade. And only with friends like at a really crazy stag party or something.”

“Dude, you were just in one last year. Don’t you remember that condo we were renting at the beach. Across from the flickering lights screaming ‘Ho Ho Ho’ from the top of a cheap bar? I woke up at 3 am and you weren’t there. You guys had gone to ‘check it out.’”

“Oh yeah. Where we were accosted by Svetlana. She was getting a ‘business degree,’” he laughed. “But I think she was really Polish, not Russian. Cuz she was dancing on a pole, do you get it? Huh?”


“And while we’re at it, you do know that I recently had confirmation that when you didn’t come back to the hotel until 7 am the day of our wedding, you were in a South American strip joint. What was that one like? Donkeys involved?” I continued.

“Ha. So you found out about that. Wasn’t my idea though,” he chortled.

“And that is just off the top of my head. So, to summarize darling, you actually visit strip clubs, on average, once every 1 to 2 years. Let’s be precise.”

“Well, fine. But I don’t really go looking for the opportunity,” he concluded. And at this all his mates began nodding in furious agreement, hoping to avoid any similar conversations on the ride home.

And there you have it. Pied a Terre. Worth every little bit of Michelin love and then some. The food was heavenly. The service, both attentive and humble, even jovial I might say. The ambiance, delightful. The conversation, well, that might have been slightly out of place. But that is what happens when you bore the Fancies with your utter perfection. We have to start talking about sex and farm animals and making bad jokes about immigrants. It’s kind of sad really. I might have to make that trip to Beefeaters after all. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fancy's New "Perfume"

I wouldn’t say that the Fancies are really animal lovers other than in the most basic, carnivorous sense. In that way, we are rather equal opportunity. But when it comes to household pets, no thanks. Not really into saving the tree frogs, spotted owls or the endangered animal du jour either. You get the gist.

Anyhoo, one of my least favorite critters on the planet has to be the pigeon. Which is a serious problem for someone who calls New York and London “homes.” (Okay actually we really live in London. But like all good Manhattanites, I still call it “home” and probably always will.”) Back to the pigeons.

The pigeons in London are both fascinating and horrifying. In New York, well you’re used to seeing hundreds of relatively scrawny looking birds, duking it out in Union Square for a few scraps of Chipotle. The missing toes, the oddly poking out feather, it all seems normal after a while. New York pigeons are true tough city birds.

The birds over here, on the other hand, crikey. It’s like London pigeons didn’t get the message that they are actually flying rats. They parade around all full of themselves, stuffing their fat faces until they can barely fly. I’m not lying when I tell you that my entire terrace shakes when a pigeon touches down at Chez Fancy. They are like huge fucking chickens, these things.

So that brings me to my point. First thing this morning I poured my coffee, threw some Cheerios on the floor to keep the Minis entertained and started scrolling through my blog list. And what do you know. Super Amazing Mum was confessing her deep fear of birds and preparing us for tomorrow’s tale of the most uncivilized of avian attacks. And she inspired me to share mine. (Should we make this like a Gallery? When birds attack?!)

New York City. Mr. Fancy and I were a relatively new item and I had gone out shopping for something fabulous to wear that evening. Exiting Zara on 34th (yes, it was the PreFancy days. Although I admit that I still do stop in there for “disposable” items like tshirts.), I felt a warm splat on my head. Not sure why I needed to reach up and confirm it, but yes. As you imagine.

I muttered the appropriately chosen words, grabbed some tissues from my purse and did my best to mop up the mess before pulling on my hat and heading down the hill towards home. Shopping was clearly over. Except then I passed a Staples. Remembering that I needed some paper for my printer, I decided to make one last quick stop before that necessary shower. It would only take a second and was on my way. Efficiency matters you know.

So what’s worse than having a pigeon shit on your head? I’ll tell you. It’s having a pigeon shit on your head and then see the person in front of you in line at Staples start sniffing around.

“Does anyone smell a bird? It smells like birds in here. Seriously, do you smell it?” he asked me.

"Uh. Nope. Can't smell a thing," I quickly replied, throwing my cash on the counter and racing for the door.

A very, very UnFancy Moment in the Life of Frau Fancy. You’re welcome.

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Fancy Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all from Frau Fancy (my Twitter ID, in case I ever figure it out)! I hope everyone had a lovely day. I imagine many of you were allowed to sleep in, waking to breakfast in bed, complete with flowers. Then I can see you enjoying a lovely day with your family, maybe lunch in a little neighbourhood Italian, a walk in the park, just an all around great day. It’s good I have your lives to live vicariously through. Mother’s Day at the Fancy House is yet another reminder of why I need Nannies. They fill in the gaps in more ways than you’d think.

On Sunday I got up at the crack of all that is holy dawn and started cooking. I didn’t need to get up that early to get lunch ready but when two toddlers decide it’s morning, tis better to beat cake batter than it is to beat them, don’t you think?

When Nanny #2 arrived, I left for a brief gym session. Returned to find half my cakes missing. But he said they tasted really nice. Not too sweet. Very enjoyable. Good for him.

Filled in missing cakes with candy stash, finished preparing lunch and got myself Fancied up. Then I checked my phone. I had a text. From Nanny #2. She had the girls at the park while I was getting ready.

“Forgot to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day! You deserve a great day. TC and the Princess love you! And I reminded their father as well.”

I didn’t want to tell her that I’d already tried that. It went like this:

Friday I introduced the idea. “Sunday is Mother’s Day, you know,” I announced to H.

“I thought we were celebrating my birthday this weekend.”

“Well, yes, we’ve got the X’s coming over for lunch.”

“Okay, then. You know I only have room in my schedule for one thing at a time. Don’t try and confuse me. It’s my birthday lunch. It can’t be Mother’s Day too,” he laughed. Setting the stage, leveling my expectations. So good of him.

It’s not that I was remotely surprised or that I went unappreciated. I got 5 texts over the course of the day from all the Nannies and Babysitters. And Nanny #2’s efforts didn’t go to waste. He does, it turns out, actually have a conscience.

“Did you see the girls this morning? (somewhere between your 10 am awakening and eating all my cakes you nitwit, I’m thinking. Not saying. Thinking. That’s what therapy does for you.)

“Yes. They are so cute. Oh and Happy Mother’s Day, sweetie. I love you. What time’s lunch?”

It’s something, isn’t it? It’s a start. I’m going to get the rest of the help to start working on him before my birthday.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Fancy Drinkies

So last night was the BMB Twitter Party/Wine-tasting. I really wanted to go. I mean stay home. I mean sit at my computer and Twitter. I got as far as two posts. I don’t even know if anyone saw them. But I just wanted to give both an explanation and my excuse for such a pathetic performance.

Problem 1: I can’t Twitter. I seem to be seriously handicapped when it comes to Tweeting. I don’t really understand the whole process. Who sees me? Why does anyone give a shit? Am I supposed to post links, random thoughts, real-time updates? Every time I wipe my kid’s nose or eat a piece of candy, well, is that Twitterable?  And who has time to work, mother, manage the help, blog, read everyone else’s blog and watch the Twitter Tweets like it’s a stock exchange ticker tape? It seems exhausting.

And as for these little conversations within Tweets. @ so and so. Am I supposed to see that? Or is that like listening to two women talking in a dressing room about sex while trying on swimsuits and I’m in the next cubicle wishing they made Spankx bikinis?

Last night was even more confusing than all that. There was a BMB wine tasting group. But was I supposed to sign up for it? Was there like a dial-in that I didn’t know about?

Okay, so my technical inabilities aside, there was also Problem 2: H.

“What the hell’s a ‘Twitter party?’” he asked.

“It’s part of my work, honey, it’s for work.” (I call blogging “work” so that he’ll leave me alone. You have to learn to speak their language, you know.) I was in the kitchen tossing back some Sancerre and roasting salmon. “So because it’s work, I need to get my computer back for a minute once dinner is almost ready.” (And I do remind you here that we currently have 4 other computers in the house and an iPad, but my computer is the one he must run to after he gets home.)

“That doesn’t sound like work. It sounds stupid.”

“Okay, but can I have my computer?”

Big sigh. “Here.”

Two seconds into my pathetic attempt at Twittering: “I’m hungry.”

“One minute.”

“I’m tired.”

“Hang on.”

“Feeeed me.”

And he broke me. Trying to attend a Twitter Party with H sitting next to me is about as feasible as taking a nap on the floor with my children in the room while covered in M&M’s and flashing lights. He's just a giant, overgrown toddler incapable of entertaining himself for 14 seconds.

So anyway, there you go. If someone could be so kind as to explain the Twitter issue to me and then plan the next party to coincide with one of H’s business trips, that would be grand. But as for me, enjoyed that Sancerre. Crisp and mineralic. Paired well with the salmon. So good I even let H have a glass. It was my bottle you know. I don’t have to share everything.