July 8, 2009


The first query out of my bulging postbag this week comes from the Magnificent Mme Moonspinner at DUSTJACKET ATTICwho has admitted in the past to a slight touch of shyness. And so here’s my advice!

1. Dear Mme Moonspinner,
If you haven’t booked that summer vacation yet, I have just the ticket. Literally! A pirate cruise! Now, I don’t mean one of those dreadfully drunken-walking-the-gang-plank type affairs (above)! But a REAL pirate cruise! Wealthy Russian holidaymakers, you see, are paying up to £3,500 (US $5,000) a day for so-called "pirate cruises" in luxury liners off the Somali coast! They are given weapons and, though ‘protected’ by crack troops, are encouraged to open fire should pirates attack!

Now, my dear Mme Moonspinner, imagine yourself on this pirate cruise. And Somali pirates boarding the ship about to attack you! If you don’t make an INSTANT decision and OPEN FIRE, you may well find yourself kidnapped and either sold on as another hostage for the Taliban in Helmand Province or, a far, far worse fate for a self-confessed blogaddict like yourself (remember your BAA Ten Step Plan?), sold on as part of the white slave trade to deepest Africa (above). Far from any internet connection!! Far from your blogpals. Incommunicado! For ever!

Any remaining shyness or reserve you may still have been harbouring, Mme Moonspinner, cured at a stroke! Guaranteed!

Well, my dear readers, that’s my advice to Mme Moonspinner. Do you agree/disagree? Any other suggestions for her?
And now a query from Hugo Gold-Ingot-ffrench, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London:


2. Dear Lola,
My ambition is to become a British MP. But with all the reforms to the expenses system Gordon Brown is planning, how will I be able to make ends meet on a basic annual salary of £65,000 (US $100,000) plus inflation-linked pension pot plus expenses plus lucrative outside jobs plus unlimited perks?

Dear Hugo,
I’m frankly puzzled why you should want to become an MP. After all, when justifying their income, current MPs continually moan just how arduous the job is and how hard they work. Yet strangely there never seems to be a shortage of applicants for this terrifying job whenever a vacancy arises! But you seem set on your plan, Hugo, so here’s my advice.

Lola’s advice:
Now that the House of Commons gravy train is running into a siding (where profiting tax free from the sale of a property partly funded by the taxpayer or designating it as a second home immediately before renovating it - not just once, but several times - isn’t "breaking the rules"), why not hop aboard the EU gravy train and become an MEP in Brussels (above)? After all, one of the UK’s average, not particularly career-minded MEPs recently channelled through a family firm more than £400,000 (US $600,000) of his "expenses"! Just think, Hugo, what an ambitious man like YOU might be able to achieve!

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

And last but not least, a query from George from LA, California:


Oops! My PA, Nora’s screwed up again! Now back to OUR George:

3. Dear Lola,
My dream is to go on The Apprentice TV Show but I’m shy, suffer from low self-esteem and have little self confidence. Donald Trump (below) or Sir Alan Sugar would make mincemeat out of me! My wife doesn’t help either as she’s always bossing me about. In fact, I’m just a doormat she simply tramples on! Should I just forget my dream? What do you advise?

Dear George,
No, don’t forget your dream, just forget your wife! First, divorce her. Next watch one TV series (one will be enough) of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (below). He’s a master at what he does and, in no time at all, you too will have a black belt in the art of foul-mouthed aggression. Congratulations!

Dear readers, that’s my advice to George. Do you agree/disagree? Any other suggestions for him?

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 it may seem, I’ll have an answer to that Desperate Dilemma of yours! So why hesitate any longer? Go on! Write to me, Agony Aunt to the Stars, in the comments box NOW!

And remember, YOUR LOLA LIFELINE! - your lifeline to a saner, more harmonious, beauteous world. Just like mine in fact!



Heavenly Housewife said...

I agree, Moonspinner needs a vacation, but the pirates should look like johnny depp :)

gypsywoman said...

and/or george clooney! or, better, yet, some of both!

French Fancy said...

I read your posts but always have to keep sneaking a look at your gorgeous photo, Lola - you look such a beautifully cut bichon. Your groomer is so much better than ours. Our mum French Fancy is very envious of your long coat - we are kept quite short

kisses from your friends in Brittany

Poppy and Misty bichon

Shopaholic said...

ha ha ha! Lola is very worldly wise!

Anonymous said...

Lola is just too cute

Mz. Spider said...

To hell with Dear Abby! Who needs her when Lola, obviously, is more sensitive to her readers and what they need to hear. (teeheeheehee) This was great.

The Vintage Kitten said...

The pirate cruise sounds like an episode from Fantasy Island...The plane boss, the plane!!!! I think Moonspinner should take Gordon Ramsay with her on the cruise and throw him overboard and then she can pop on a plane to the UK and have tea and toast at Chez Kitten Hee Hee X

P.S Lola you are adorable, you certainly know your stuff! LOL! X

dustjacket attic said...

Holy cow ... if I get to have Johnny on board I'm in!!! HH will be close on my heels I bet! Yes I don't think I'd have any reserves left actually after the grim possible ending....yikes.... and no internet connecion!

Lola you are always right in my book so I agree with your advice to your two other clients.xxxxx

dustjacket attic said...

Oh I just saw your comment Kitten, I'm SO with you on that one!!! See you soon.xxx

Heavenly Housewife said...

I am intrigued by your comment on moonspinner's page. Do I detect a naughty glint in your eye? What are you up to Lola? :D
Check out my page tomorrow when there is going to be a Moonspinner style post. ;)

dustjacket attic said...

Your intrigued HH, I am too ..... especially since I'm the one walking the plank!

I think there is a big glint in a certain writer's eye!

Marie Antionette said...

Well if it is Johnny Depp who did the kidnapping, what can I say.I'd go willing with him any day.Of course thats my reading of to many historical romance novels talking....But!!! in real life,I would fire upon them with all thats in my power.I would not go down without a fight...I can state this as fact,Cause I was tested. on this before(retired redneck bartender)...LOL.XXOO Marie Antionette

Maggi said...

lol Well, as long as it's Johnny, I don't know that MS would want to be rescued!

Nora Johnson said...

HH & Gypsywoman - Totally agree! ALL pirates should look like Johnny or George or Brad or basically anyone in Moonspinner's picture gallery yesterday...

FF - Kisses too for Poppy & Misty -the most Beautiful Bichons in Brittany!

Shopaholic & Ginge - You are both sooo kind! I'm blushing...(under all that fabulous fur!)

Mz.Spider - You're sooo right! Shhh! Don't whisper it but where do you think Abby secretly gets HER advice from?!

VK - Your scenario is too funny for words! I'm speechless (extremely rare for me!)

Moonspinner - As you can see, we blogpals are doing all we can to get you rescued from Johnny and that gangplank! (That is, if you really want to be...?!)

Marie Antoinette - You sound as if you already have a black belt in, well, belting!! You're just the person to have in a crisis like this - the rest of us will be shoulder to shoulder right BEHIND you! *wink*

Maggi - Totally agree with you if it's Johnny or George or Brad or...Donald. Donald??!! How did such a lovely dream suddenly turn into a nightmare?!!

ChloƩ said...

thanks for leaving such a lovely comment !!I'm glad you liked the haircut and painting!
By the way - I agree,too, Moonspinner definitely needs vacation!!!


Duchess of Tea said...

Hello Nora darling, nice of you to drop by my cottage and for the lovely comment. As a matter of fact, I spend several hours last night reading over your posts, had a great time. I just linked your sote to mine and will watch all your future posts. I find your site fascinating. Stop by often, I love to see you.

Duchess of Tea said...

I just signed up as a follower, just had too!!

JamaGenie said...

What girl in her right mind would possibly shoot anything but her most beguiling "Take me...pleeeease" smile at that delicious Johnny Depp? (I just watched Chocolat...) ;D

Nora Johnson said...

Chloe - Think everyone's agreed Moonspinner needs the vacation but not the kidnapping (unless by Johnny!!) Thanks for dropping by and see you again soon!

Duchess of Tea - Why thank you! So thrilled to hear you spent last evening reading through my old posts - now you'll know all my little secrets...!! Thank you too for the follower link - much appreciated!

Jama - Think we're all agreed none of us could possibly put up any resistance to a kidnapper like Johnny, George, Brad or ...ohh, the list is endless!!

Dustjacket attic said...

Just had to check in and see the fate my pals are deciding for me.

I agree with those who mentioned my captor's so darn hot, why would I want to leave..... Jama don't even mention Choclolat, that's the last of my reserves GONE!xxxx

Brunch at Saks said...

Great post! Lola gives the best advice :) XOXO

Marie Reed said...

Does she get to walk the plank and dive into shark infested water too! That would be fun in the sun:) You're so fun and adorable! Fun blog!

JamaGenie said...

Well, since I can't mention....that movie dustjacket adores... I'll just say I wouldn't mind being kidnapped by Gordon Ramsay for a day or two, as long as he does the cooking! ;D

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

well what a fun blog! love your fun advice!

Terry said...

Happy PFF to you
What a fun blog to visit.
I think I could spend a lot of time here kind of like a fly on the wall :)
There are so many things to read from your mailbag.
How do you make time for everyone ?
Anyhoo have a fantastic weekend.
Happy Trails

ModernMom said...

Dear Lola..you are so wise.
What did we ever do without you!


I'm a LOLA fan from now...
George is so le sighhhh!
Fab weekend!

Nora Johnson said...

Brunch at Saks - Thanks for the kind words! You're most welcome!

Marie Reed - What a terrific scenario! Now why didn't I include that?!!

Jama - I'm sure GR would welcome the great company! *wink*

Mme FF - You're most welcome!

Terry - HPFF! I make time for EVERYONE with dilemmas. Do you have any for me?!! Incidentally, I had a MAJOR dilemma trying to leave a comment in your Comment Box! Wouldn't accept it!! I tried TWICE but each time got "Error on page" message! Sorry!

MM- I've no idea myself! PS Hope you ahd a great vacation!

Leonorenevermore - Why thank you! And, yes, totally agree George is... (words fail me too...!!!)

JamaGenie said...

Nora, I hope the Lovely Lola won't mind that I mentioned her (and you) in this week's Flea Market Saturday at Saturday's Child. And hope I got everything right!

NicNacManiac said...

This place is fascinating!! I will be back when I have a bit more time!!
Thanks for the trip!!
Hugs, Nerina :)

Dustjacket attic said...

Hi there, if you can get onto Marie A's site, could you leave a msg saying I cannot for love nor money get on her site, have been trying since she joined. All these site blocks are driving me nut's ~ just might have to walk the plank!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Wow, got a mention on Jama's blog, fancy that. You deserve it darling.
Duchess xx

Jessica Cangiano said...

Greetings Lola and Nora dears, another smashingly enjoyable advice column! I'm quite certain that you put "Dear Abby" out to pasture with your modern approach to dishing out the low-down on how to survive in this crazy world! :)

Thank you precious gals, so much for your lovely birthday wishes! Oodles of hugs for you both!!!

♥ Jessica

Henrietta Bird said...

Good morning Lola - I like your hair.

Do you know I was going to comment on poor George and his low self esteem but I have been waylaid by the fact my word verification here is 'nockin'.

How brilliant a word is that?

Anyway, I just want to say if Low Self Esteem George looks anything like Accidental George that your PA Nora included, LWEG is very welcome to several Increase Your Self Esteem Classes at Bird HQ. For free. Any time. No really - I'm happy to help.

By for now

Henrietta Bird said...

May I just add that should have read LSEG not LWEG.

Please don't mock - illiteracy is rife here in Surrey.

Nora Johnson said...

Jama - Sooo thrilled at the mention & link in yr post! Thank you sooo much! Yes, everything's totally correct there except for one detail. Nora's not hopeless. She's HOPELESSLY hopeless!xx

Nerina - Thanks for the lovely comment -look forward to seeing you again!xx

Moonspinner - Will do! Left message at yr place - hope this helps & see you again soon!!xx

Duchess of Tea - What a lovely comment - thank you sooo much! Yes, I was very FLATTERED by Jama's link!! See you again soon!xx

Jessica - You're sooo kind, thank you sooo much! Yes, "dishing out the dirt on how to survive..." has a lovely ring to it! Might get my hopeless PA to use it in upcoming press releases...!!! *wink*
Sooo pleased you had a great birthday too!xx

Dustjacket attic said...

Oh cheers thanks for that, laughed at the sweaty paw!!

re problem: You might want to check that its not your version of Internet Explorer that is causing the issue. I was using Internet Explorer Version 7, and was having no end of problem, updated computer to Internet Explorer Version 8, I could access a whole bunch of sites that the previous version would crash on. xxx

Nora Johnson said...

HB - Sooo pleased you like my hair - it's the very latest in canine punk-meets-pudding basin! And as for word verifications, could write a whole post on them! (Some really quite amazing like yours!!) And you won't be surprised to hear my mail bag is overflowing with offers to help Accidental George with his LSE problem. Some offers are, well, really quite naughty involving a desert island, getting Gordon Ramsay to cook their meals there, Donald Trump to fire everyone else from it and... well, now I'm BLUSHING!

Rest assured, however, dear HB, I will, of course, pass on your kind offer to Gorgeous George. On condition, that is, you let me know if he PASSES that course of yours!!xx

PS Your comment arrived at the same time as I was replying to another so that's why everything's a tad out of sync!

Dear Moonspinner - Many thanks for stopping by with your wise words! Immediately got my useless PA to check the Internet Explorer thingie & she's just reported back it IS Version 8 she's got on her laptop thingie to type up my profound thoughts & access (or not, as the case may be) my wonderful blogpals! So, it's back to the drawing board here at Lola HQ... But I've got Nora on the case - investigating further but I don't hold out much hope 'cos she's sooo useless!!
Hope you've had a lovely weekend - see you again soon!xxx

Dustjacket attic said...

Oh am currently making friends with Henrietta (I don't think she's aware yet that I'm on her trail). Anyhoo, sorry my fab tips are of no use whatsoever!!

Henrietta Bird said...

It will be a pleasure and indeed a commitment to report back on Accidental George's Self Esteem Progress. However, I do feel it will take some weeks, or indeed months, for him to really come out of his shell. If you could find it in your heart to just send frequent food parcels (chocolate, wine, smoked salmon should do it) that would be lovely. Thank you.

I am excited to be making friends with Mmme Dustjacket altho concerned I will have to improve my profile picture (A Moomin) to keep up with the elegance levels set by Mmme D and of course your lovely pudding punk bowl self Lola.

NB:Verification word update: squisq.

Surely a new kind of Ribena?


Henrietta Bird said...

I did too many 'ms' in Mme.

Nora Johnson said...

Dear HB - It will be a pleasure to provide you on your desert island with all the requisite victuals mentioned (initially 6 months' worth but can always be extended) since it looks like a VERY long haul indeed and an equally demanding commitment on your part but, then, someone's got to do it! It's going to be a huge drain on all your reserves of patience & fortitude but being PERSONALLY responsible for success in your AGSEP project should be reward itself, don't you agree?!!

As for appearance, I had to improve my image (in particular the hairdo) in line with my increasingly public profile! But, you know, my dear, it's sooo demanding being a star 'cos paparazzi are everywhere dogging your every step ready to take the most unflattering shot! But, as for poor Nora, well, there's absolutely NO hope for her. Just like her namesake, Boris, wild-haired and shambling... the EPITOME of inelegance!! Sooo unlike the elegance levels set by the lovely Mme Moonspinner and, I modestly hope, moi!

I'm eagerly looking forward to your first report!


PS Would you like crisps too?

Melissa said...

My oh my, I should come to you for advice.

Yes, Moonspinner could do with a nice holiday, albeit, if the pirates looked like Johnny Depp. Or better yet, if the one and only pirate was Johnny Depp.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. The doggie on my blog was my sweet baby Hoshi. She recently passed on. I'm glad that Lola thought she was cute. She was a sweetheart.

Love Melissa


Nora Johnson said...

Melissa - Thanks for stopping by with your lovely comment about Johnny! Strange, everyone seems SO happy to be kidnapped by him!!

Have a great week ahead - see you again soon,

xxLola & Nora:)

Karyn - (French Charming) said...

Oh how I miss you Lola! BTW, George can kidnap me anytime...wink*wink!


Nora Johnson said...

Dear Miss Frenchy! - Lovely to hear from you! You've no idea how much trouble I'm having accessing your site (and some others!) but I've instructed Nora to buy me a new computer (I've chosen a Dell) which should do the trick (that is, once she's transferred over all the files and data and stuff!) otherwise I'm up the creek without the proverbial paddle...!!!

btw I think George will have his hands full dealing with ALL the girls here who've signed up as his prisoner *wink* *wink*!!!

Hope you're having a wonderful Monday and look forward to seeing you again soon!


Beth Niquette said...

How VERY wonderful!

I’m sorry I am coming by so late for Postcard Friendship Friday. My parents were involved in a roll-over accident on the freeway last Monday. Miraculously both of my dear parents survived and are recovering, leaving little time for blogging. I had a few minutes just now, though, so here I am.

Happy PFF!

JamaGenie said...

Oh, Beth. So glad to your parents survived, but the recovery part is no fun. Hope they're back to 100% soon, but sounds like you could use a kidnap by JD!

Nora Johnson said...

Beth - Left a little messgae at your place. Do hope yr parents are making a speedy recovery!xxx

Jama - Think we could ALL use a kidnap by JD. How about investigating a group discount?

JamaGenie said...

I'll get right on that! xxx