SO, Pippa Middleton’s £400,000 advance is in the bank and her first book Celebrate now graces bookshops around the globe. (Band wagon. Jumping on, blah blah.) Here are my personal highlights:
- The picnic people wearing pink chinos on pages 370-371.
- Particularly the chap on page 371.
- The ‘unfussy’ Sunday lunch on page 46 that involves making place cards from autumn leaves, hessian, feathers, PVA glue, gold pen and staples.
- The instruction to ‘bundle up’ on page 107.
- The phrase ‘inexpensive caviar and truffles’ on page 105.
- Pumpkin bowling – page 39.
- ‘How to make ice’ tip on page 103 – (in case you’re wondering: ‘fill trays with water’).
- ‘How to dispose of rubbish’ tip on page 78 (‘have a few bin-liners for rubbish’).
- Chapter introductions and historical fact boxes loosely based on Wikipedia entries – throughout.
I haven’t been this impressed by Domestic Goddessery skillz since dear Nigella famously sipped scalding hot pea soup from a flask while apparently ‘commuting’ on a bus.
Recently, the High Priestess of Home Making, Martha Stewart (speaking on BBC Radio), admitted that although her ‘TO DO’ list in Martha Stewart Living magazine includes a regular reminder to ‘turn mattresses’, she has staff who help her to achieve such domestic perfection. “It is not necessarily I who is turning the mattresses,” she drawled, (before saying a few rather disturbing things about prison being ‘like a vacation’ and all she learnt from her time inside was that she ‘missed lemons’. But that’s by the by).
In the same way, it is worth remembering that it is not necessarily Pippa who is brandishing a gold pen and hand-making autumn themed place markers. Indeed, it is not necessarily Nigella who is commuting to work sipping pea soup from a flippin’ flask. Domestic Goddesses provide a fantasy parallel universe – a world of unattainable perfection, where every inch of a home is organised and beautiful, where every child wants to play conkers instead of World of Warcaft, where mattresses are turned, pea soup is sipped, your rustic larder is packed to the rafters with ‘inexpensive caviar and truffles’, your guests have leaf place name markers (instead of randomly – and, let’s face it, drunkenly – allocated seats) and everybody ‘bundles up’ in pink chinos for a jolly nice picnic.
We love to hate them, but the temptation to lose yourself in their guilt-inducing universe is too beguiling for the stressed-out, time-poor, cash-strapped multi-tasking women of The Real World. Fantasising about perfection is one thing. Trying to be a real-life Domestic Goddess and setting impossibly high standards for yourself is quite another.
To be honest, you’d be better off pumpkin bowling. It’s much more fun.