June 24, 2009


My mail bag and in-box are simply full to bursting this week with queries and dilemmas from all my dear readers in response to my invitation to let me help with your problems! So I’ve had to be very selective and pick out the most urgent and pressing.

1.Top of the list is one from a charming reader PINKLEA who’s frighteningly much bigger than me but reassuringly pink-hued and friendly! (Above left.) Pinklea informs me she’s imminently leaving for Greece (lucky Pinklea!!) with her daughter, the Divine DD, for an 18 day holiday with a small suitcase. What clothes should she take?

Yes, ma chère Pinklea, I know Greece well but the problème for moi is always the same: my fabulous fur and how to keep it cool! As for what I get my PA, the useless Nora, to pack, that’s quite simple. Loose, pure cotton (but beautiful, mind) wraparound dresses (Issa-style, below) a
nd SOMBRERO! (modelled below right).

The issue, as you know, is one of shade (or lack thereof) and herein lie TWO problems:

Firstly, the problem of THE RUINS. Ruins are, well just that …ruins! ie No roofs. No walls. No terraces. Nada to shade you from the scorching sun! Sooo inconsiderate of those ancient Greeks to leave the place in such a state of disrepair - cowboy builders, you see, even then!

Secondly, the problem of THE TREES (olive trees specifically, see below) - a double whammy since they provide zero shade AND drop ugly black olives (like goat caca) which lodge in all that fabulous fur of mine. Ugh! Sooo U-G-L-Y!

Lola’s advice:
Now I always get my PA (Nora) to walk beside me with a large parasol (which can be purchased on arrival since you’ll only have a small case) and a hand-held fan (which Nora holds at the ready to cool down all that fabulous fur of mine).

So there you have it! Pure cotton outer wear, comfortable footwear for clambering over all those ruins (ruinous on the nail polish), large hat, fan, parasol (and someone to carry it! How about the Divine DD?)

Incidentally, my canine spies in Greece tell me that the Greeks love babies and flags! If the former isn’t maybe feasible at such short notice, how about a Canuck flag (below)?

BTW Have the Greek authorities been forewarned of the imminent arrival of a frighteningly tall pink furry person with a huge parasol in one hand and waving a Canuck flag in the other? (Something like my American chum, Bart, pictured below, perhaps?)

Well, my dear readers, that’s my advice to Pinklea. Do you agree/disagree? Any other suggestions for her?

2. My second query was sent in anonymously by a lovely reader from Blogs*hh*ire, England who simply calls herself *Harassed Housewife*.

I recently got married and the tradition in my husband’s family is for the daughters-in-law (there are 4 of us!) to take it in turns to lay on a HUGE spread for the extended family (ten adults and innumerable kids - I’ve lost count!) Whilst I can cook, I’m not used to such large numbers and also the fact that my mother-in-law is a PERFECTIONIST! Help! Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life at the stove? What should I do?

You have 3 options:

1. Book yourself onto the next series of Kitchen Nightmares.
Advantage: Gordon Bleu cuisine.
Disadvantage: Gordon Ramsay.

2.Since you can't whisk them out to dinner, order in catered food from your favourite local restaurant (or, alternatively, from M & S who, I understand from my undercover spies, still do acceptable ‘party’ food - assuming, of course, Harrods Food Hall is too far away). Garnish with a few sprigs of parsley etc and, voilà!, casually pass the whole thing off as all your own work (assuming MIL voices her approval of ‘your’ cuisine, of course!!)
Advantage: Minimal effort.
Disadvantage: Doesn’t get you off the hook since you’ll still have to cook once a month for 10 adults plus assorted offspring for the rest of your married life!

3. Order in catered food as per #2 above. Add a judicious amount (a few tablespoons, oops!! teaspoons!) of chili powder to MIL’s curry and mix in well. Ensure all OTHER curries are chili-free and serve. When MIL is spluttering and gulping back bottles of water, look sooo surprised and calmly enquire what’s wrong since everyone else is sooo enjoying the meal.
Advantage: MIL will be either, at best, hugely embarrassed or, at worst, scared you’re trying to poison her! Either way, she’ll ensure ALL future meals on your watch are taken elsewhere! Probably at her house where she can keep a beady eye on the ingredients…

Disadvantage: None (except for very guilty conscience!)

Whichever option you choose, *HH*, you can at least take comfort from the fact you CAN cook! Nora’s efforts, on the other hand, leave sooo much to be desired! But more on that another time…

And so, dear readers, that’s my advice to *HH*. Do you agree/disagree? Any other suggestions for her?

And, last but not least, a query from Sir Fred Goodwhine (below):

No! Just checking you’re still paying attention at the back there, especially the latecomers giggling in the corner (in particular, Mme M, Mme. *HH*, Mlle. KFC (!!) and too many others to count)!

And so back to Sir Fred (above)
who used to work in an anonymous but well-known British high street bank (below, one of the anonymous but well-known high-street banks):

I’m desperate to make pots of money with the minimum of effort. Can you advise? (Sir Fred Goodwhine, Scotland).

Simple! Become a Chief Executive of a major bank or Hedge Fund (above), create absolute mayhem (for customers, pictured below) in the shortest possible time and before anyone takes the ‘If in doubt, cut it out!’ route and sacks you, offer to resign PROVIDED you receive as compensation a disproportionately huge, feather-bedded, inflation-proof pension pot.

Dear readers, that's my advice for Sir Fred. Agree/disagree? Any other suggestions?

Well, mes chers lecteurs, sadly that’s all we have time for today! But remember, if you have any problems or queries you’d like me to respond to (dealt with anonymously if preferred), don’t hesitate to let me know (or my PA, Nora) in the COMMENTS BOX BELOW!

However weird, outlandish, insoluble (or outlandishly,weirdly insoluble) it may seem, I’ll have an answer to that Desperate Dilemma of yours!

So why hesitate any longer? Go on and write to me, Agony Aunt to the Blogosphere, in the comments box NOW!And remember, YOUR LOLA LIFELINE! - your lifeline to a saner, more harmonious, beauteous world. Just like mine in fact!



French Fancy said...

I always seem to run into difficulties when I visit your blog these days. It takes ages to load and then just as it does the connection to it goes - how weird is that!

You must spend ages doing your blog posts - there is just so much in them

(shame about the pink dog - I hate people doing that to dogs and don't get me started about doggy clothes :)

Jessica Cangiano said...

Lola, wherever did you garner such wisdom from? Surely you must be amongst the wisest pups in Europe! :D

Terrific post, Nora, I was positively laughing out loud before I'd gotten half way through - and the eye candy via Georgie boy towards the end very much appreciated :)))

Oodles of hugs to you and Lola,
♥ Jessica

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

I agree with French Fancy, never like that being done to chicks, dogs or any other aninmals.
Seeing the poodle on the right handside reminds me of my childhood. My Belgian Aunt and Grandmother had poodles (caniches)Funny little chaps they were.
Isabelle x

The Vintage Kitten said...

Your post was hilarious, I loved it! Not sure about the pink poodle, I love dogs and I love pink but together... Hmmm. I wonder what my Jack Russell would think, hes only small so it would only take 5 minutes and a spray can! LOL! X

Karyn - (French Charming) said...

Wonderful advice you offer Lola! I'm trying to decide which one of my many dilemmas I should forward to your Lola Lifeline. Perhaps you should help me on my indecisiveness.

Sounds like you have your PA in line too!

Moonspinner said...

Lola I agree with all your excellent advice, (not game not too)!

I was perfectly behaved during lecture, I cannot speak for HH or KFC, (I try, but they are sooo unruly)love and kisses darling LOLA.

Anonymous said...

Lola, dahling, you are an absolute font of wisdom! I never even thought about the lack of shade or the olive caca. I shall pack accordingly and step carefully. Merci mille fois, mon amie!

PS - And just for the record, I did not colour the poodle pink. I just found it that way.

Heavenly Housewife said...

There is something so familiar to me about Harassed Housewife, I just can't put my finger on it! Hmmm, gotta give this a think.

Mz. Spider said...

Thank you so much for your comment. It made my day, truly.

You are an amazing writer. Jeez! I'm going to enjoy your future posts, I'm sure.

Nice to meet you!


Nora Johnson said...

Hi everyone!
Sooo glad you enjoyed the fun! Am also totally against anthropomorphising (through clothes, colour etc) any animal in real life but to illustrate our little fiction (Pinklea's pink poodle is, after all, just an avatar!) I think we can allow ourselves a little licence!

Do keep the queries rolling in for Lola's next column and have a terrific weekend!
xNora & Lola:)

Nora Johnson said...

Hi Tiff!
Why thank you & welcome to my blog! So pleased you enjoyed the post!
Look forward to seeing you again soon!
xLOL Nora & LOLA:)
PS V many thanks for the follower link - much appreciated! I am also adding yr blog to my blogroll + also becoming a follower!

Brunch at Saks said...

Hi Nora! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog- I am so happy that you did because yours is just lovely! Looking forward to reading more :) XO

Nora Johnson said...

Hi Brunch at Saks!
Thank you so much for stopping by & leaving such a lovely comment!
Look forward to yr next post - have already added yr site to my blogroll + follower links! Take care!
xNora & Lola:)

gypsywoman said...

LOVE your site and could not resist "following" along - please feel free to drop by mine - i've a few just begun and am still such a novice - but totally love blogging now that i've discovered it! again, neat blog! jenean

Melissa said...

Dear Nora,

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I am so glad that you did, because it gave me a chance to find you and your blog.

I am already enthralled with what I am reading. I can't wait to read more.

It's so nice to meet you.

Sunbonnet Cottage

Karyn - (French Charming) said...

Hello Nora and Lola,

Just popping over to say hello...hope you two are having a lovely day!


Nora Johnson said...

Hi KFC! Many thanks for the visit -so nice to see you again! Do hope you've had as lovely a weekend as Nora & I!

Melissa said...


I hope you have had a marvelous weekend.

I am so enjoying your blog. It's so much fun to read and very thought provoking. And Lord only knows, I need to keep my brain working. A brain is such a terrible thing to waste.


Nora Johnson said...

Hi Melissa!
Thank you so much for yr lovely message - so pleased you find our posts interesting! Now, brain food!! That's something that Lola might be interested in writing about in a future post... (She's busy working on her next one as we speak!)
Hoping you had as wonderful a weekend as we did,
xNora & Lola:)

Melissa said...

I anxiously await Lola's post on brain food.

Will it be titled "Food for Thought"?


Nora Johnson said...

Hi Melissa!
Now there's a thought!
xNora & Lola:)

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Thank you for your visit. I came by to visit with you and Lola. What a beautiful girl she is & so talented! Loved your blog! ☺ Diane

Nora Johnson said...

Hi Diane!
Thanks for stopping by - so pleased you enjoyed your visit! Am looking forward to returning to your page again soon!
Nora & Lola:)

Nora Johnson said...

Hi Jessica!
Nora inadvertently pressed the wrong button and deleted the wonderful comment you just left! (She's sooo careless!!)
See you again soon!

Duchess of Tea said...

I am so glad that you regularly drop by my cottage, you are always welcome and many thanks for all the lovely comments you post. I find you blog fascinating. Keep up the good work

trishiekoh said...

You are so funny! and your blog super cute. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such lovely comments!

MissMatilda said...

OMG I love the pink poodle, myself and my 2 guys say hello toy yourself and LOla xx much love

JamaGenie said...

Had a poodle once whose fondest wish was to be pink. Said it was soooo obvious he was supposed to be pink. (Only to him.) Was ecstatic the day the groomer gave him pink bows instead of blue. Only hung around with other male poodles, so we always wondered....

Great post!!

Jessica Cangiano said...

Hi Lola darrrrrrrrling! I just had to pop over and say hello to you, sweet dear. I really appreciate all the fantastic comments your mommy and you leave on my site and want you to know that I think you're both awesome friends! :)

Oodles of hugs,
♥ Jessica

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling I just came by to check on you and Damette and to thank you for visiting me daily. I just noticed "Alfie", so handsome. Now, have the handsome hunks been following you around Spain? I suppose they have since long time no new post!! Do tell Luv?

Duchess xx