Thursday, 29 March 2012

Fanny goes Cottaging

Temperatures have been unseasonably warm around England.  Here in rural Wiltshire, I have been making the most of the sub-tropical weather (the thermometer hit 23c yesterday) by putting on a banana bikini and lying out on the lawn, sipping Pimms and lemonade, and then not bothering to change before going shopping in Marlborough high street.

Given the weather, I have decided to go on a trip to Dorset, one of my favourite counties after Wiltshire.  And I have decided also to go Cottaging whilst there.  I don't know if you know anything any Cottaging.

It is a wonderful past-time of the English.  They do it all the time, although cottages are understandably becoming more rare.  I believe the renowned George Michael has engaged in cottaging, as have Sir John Gielgud and Ron Davies.  It is encouraged in certain circles.

Here are some pictures which better illustrate what Cottaging is all about and the type of Cottaging I shall be undertaking whilst in Dorset.    I shall be Cottaging as much as I can when there and I shall let you know what transpires.
 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

My choice of dress for the Spring Fête

The clock struck twelve noon, the orchestra has started and I am about to make my grand entrance.  I can hear downstairs, and outside the window in the grounds, that there are a large number of people at Fanny Towers.  They are all waiting for me, and the papparazzi are there too, eager to see what I am wearing.

I had been flooded with suggestions from designers all over the world on what to wear for the Spring Fête.  This time, I didn't want something confrontational - so no leather, whips or 12" stilettos in front of the Bishop and the church congregation. 

It was a hard decision.  I needed something traditional and evocative of the countryside.

Therefore, I opted for this wonderful outfit from a Dutch designer, Moon Nackelmacker (yes that is her real name).



Photographs of fashion icon Fanny Love wearing this gorgeous dress, complete with rabbit head, will be hitting newsdesks all over the world!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Improvisation - Fanny's Spring Fête for the Church

The £4,500 box of Chinese fireworks - a display of Catherine Wheels and Cracker Bombs - has been placed at strategic points around the estate, all the coloured balloons have been inflated, the orchestra is set to begin at 12 noon, and the marquee tent is at last up.  Tomorrow, I am honoured to be staging a Spring Fête, in the grounds of Fanny Towers, to raise money for the local church, who wish to replace their north transept window.  Many people, including local dignatories, and church figures, will be attending.

However, I have been popping Valium like there is no tomorrow due to the sheer incompetence and insubordination of several of my staff.

Fanny likes to plan these events with military precision, months in advance, and to brief the staff by 32-page Memorandum, so there can be no room for doubt in any of their tiny brains as to what is required.

Imagine my surprise therefore that this ridiculous structure had been delivered, in place of the marquee tent:


Yes, that's right, it's known by many as a Wendy House.  Quite how this arrived at Fanny Towers and was expected to host three hundred people, I do not know.   This was clearly either a grave mistake or a banal joke.  After many threats to bulldoze their offices with my on-site JCB digger, the hire company finally came and replaced it with this:


The hire company manager quipped that two opposing Product Order Codes on their website are one digit apart, and due to human error, an infant's 1 metre by 1 metre Wendy House was delivered instead of a 300-person marquee tent the size of a tennis court.

I will have, however, an eternal grievance against the hire company, for their mistake and the cavalier curtness of their manager, whose photograph - taken directly from their corporate website - I am happy to publish here in an attempt at shaming him for his disservice to me.


Cook has been baking a dazzling selection of cakes for the occasion, with instructions by none other than moi to create pastries and delicacies that give a strong nod to the local church and general religious themes.

Here is one particular such cake.  Isn't it lovely?  I do hope the vicar will like it and recognise the religious symbolism.


I have always believed the saying "the devil is in the detail" and I would normally serve this type of cake on a doily, such as this:


However, the 'unskilled labour' calling itself my staff, completely failed to order these Collectors' Items, pink cake doilies with lace trim at all, leaving me embroiled in a standoff battle against a hornets' nest of scullery maids and personal secretaries who, in my opinion, should be sacked with no pay and thrown into the streets to beg for scraps.

Driven into a murderous rage by this, I drove myself in the general direction of Swindon, hell-bent on finding a good alternative at Asda or somewhere else.

En route, overcome by a splitting headache and nausea at the impending doom of not having doilies and having to "make do" with rubbish Asda equivalents, I called in at my favourite exclusive restaurant for a gin and tonic and a steak tartare.   Just as I was using the conveniences, I noticed these:


These delightful devices, made entirely from plastic, and coming in three different colours, are known as Urinal Splash Mats.  I couldn't believe when I saw them there.  I whipped them out, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and put them into a plastic carrier bag and drove straight back to Fanny Towers.

I intend to use these Urinal Splash Mats as the perfect alternative to the doilies!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Is it objet d'art or firewood?

It has been a busy day at Fanny Towers.  Just as I was sitting down to a wonderful gastonomic experience of beetroot soup, hand-dived scallops, followed by Deep Fried Mars Bar Surprise with foie gras (apparently a Scottish delicacy), the gatehouse telephoned me to advise a Special Delivery had arrived.  It is unusual to receive such deliveries at this hour, so I was all the more startled.

There were several large boxes and the accompanying letter bore the name East Lincolnshire Art & Antiques Store, claiming to be sending me a dealer of objet d'art.

When it was all unwrapped, it turned out not to be objet d'art at all, but some furniture, sent from a meddlesome collector who is clearly trying to woo me.  




The above looks like a dragon chair or something from a children's fairytale.  Apparently made in the 1950s and something of an antique, in certain circles.  Not sure what the long teeth-like things are, possibly something to do with Lady Gaga; looks cheap.  I will probably donate this to my local dentist surgery, since it is the type of piece that surely comforts the worried, dentist-phobic patient.



And this seems to be a chair made from meat from a German designer.  Looks like a dime-a-dozen set, knocked out in their hundreds, sold for pennies.  I think I'm sending this one to the South Wiltshire Vegetarian Society.  I noticed they were appealing for bits of office furniture, as they've newly set up offices in Tisbury, and are on a limited budget.  I am sure they'll love it.




The above black-and-white affair is supposed to be an Erotic Animal Print Chair with Marilyn Manson's legs.  Sorry, I mean Marilyn Munroe's legs.  Slight difference.  Not sure where this should go in my house.   Maybe at the bottom of the lake in the grounds.






And as for this, a walnut-wood tart's derrière, polished to a high shine, apparently by a Brazilian designer, it's a little bit reserved for my taste.  I think I'll donate it to the church.  It looks the type of rudimentary stand-alone that would look wonderful in the church vestibule.  They could use it to stack hymn books on and I'm sure that it would be a conversation piece every Sunday morning worship.

A gracious thank you to East Lincolnshire Art & Antiques Store.    Like going to a cheap hairdresser, cheap and nasty furniture will only leave you looking ridiculous. 

Introducing the wonderful Mitzi

I'd like to tell all my wonderful readers to have a look at Mitzi's blog, Clutter from the Gutter.  Here is a link 

http://mitziclutterfromthegutter.blogspot.com/2012/03/hoof-shoes.html

It is a wonderful read.  I do so love the Hoof Shoes that Mitzi has discovered.  These shoes, zip-up carbon fibre hooves with 5000 individual horse hairs sewn in for authenticity, would make ideal footwear for when I attend the Badminton Horse Trials later this year.

Thank you, Mitzi, for sharing your discovery of these wonderful shoes.

I am heading out this afternoon, to meet a dear friend in Marlborough for afternoon tea.   This is what I shall be wearing:

and on my head, just a very discreet, ordinary hat, identical to this one:-


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A new hat



My designer has created a new look for me: an experimental hat, consisting of a large, shiney globe of bubble-gum pink plastic, with the front cut away. 

I've decided to release this photograph of me wearing it.  I visited Bristol today to see my lawyer and had a walk around the city centre, whilst wearing the hat.  It attracted much attention, but due to a tight schedule, my bodyguard would not allow me to meet the public.  I imagine these wonderful pink globes will be all the fashion this coming Summer now that I have been seen wearing one.  They are comfortable, unique, sexy, uber-chic, and only cost a couple of thousand pounds.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

After the Performance

What an intensely horrid experience: being boo-ed and shouted off stage, spat at, caterwauled at, jeered and molested, after giving what I considered to be my best operatic performance.  I was then threatened both verbally and physically; hit by a rotten tomato; an egg; and a tin of Chappie dog food; then boisterously harangued by Welsh-speaking lesbians; sexually deviant, pious farmers; and what felt like the entire population of West Wales, unmedicated and trying to assault me with riding crops and bibles.   

The organiser, Mr Dai Evans, a bald, seedy, 4ft" nothing man with a face like a shrivelled beetroot,  appealed to the church for calm, yet he was as much use as a chocolate tea-cup when it came to protecting me from projectiles.  It was as if a riot had broken out in the pews. 

Not knowing what I had done wrong, I fled the church by the rear entrance, amid a background of hissing, and grabbed the key to the "luxury, private accommodation" I had been promised in the invitation.  My work, controversial at best, has often driven me underground, but I had never expected such outrage as a result of a performance.  Now was the time to retreat to my suite, run a bath, have a jacuzzi, maybe order room service or have a massage, or just empty the mini-bar in its entirety and do something wildly impulsive.

I was stricken with a deathly pallor when I arrived at the "luxury accommodation", promised by the organisers:-





I cannot write the words of what occurred next, it is simply too traumatic, too intense.  It was later reported on the local TV network as a huge gas explosion, unexplained, with the authorities investigating its cause.





Given the highly abusive response to my wonderful operatic performance, and the atrocious accommodation (akin to being forced to visit a Third World Country like Belgium), I instructed Juan to chauffeur me the 4 hour journey back to Wiltshire.  I am never setting foot in the country of Wales ever again in my life, I feel like I have been raped!

Fanny Love performs My Heart Will Go On (Alternative version)

It had always been a wonderful compliment to be personally invited to West Wales, by gold-embossed invitation, to give a classical choral operetta.  It was nice to know that my fame as a classical singer, owning a 12 octave voice, had spread to all corners of the globe, even to the remote, insignificant outpost of Wales.

Arriving at the church in West Wales, I was astonished to see the place packed with parishioners - there were over 300 people packed into the pews.  This lot seemed very conservative: sheep farmers, deeply religious ministers, elderly spinsters, the blue-rinse brigade, inscrutable bible-bashing families and a choir of hefty lesbians who performed an ear-splitting Lesbian Sung Eucharist in burly tones, and then jostled me for autographs and photos. 

Things seemed to be progressing relatively well until I overheard one of them make a comment about my dress - "Looks like a Yank judging by the cheap dress". 

There was nothing I could do with three hundred eyes on me but bite my tongue, so as I surveyed the congregation, with blood boiling, I decided to change the programme.  And change it drastically.  I was going to sing something a little less religious, something a little more novel and personal.  No more wistful songs about lambs, sunshine, righteousness, or other biblical connotations.  I couldn't get that accidentally overheard comment out of my head "Looks like a Yank judging by the cheap dress".  

How dare a backwoods congegration consisting of 20% lesbians, 20% braindead, 20% sheep-shaggers and 20% psychotic in a Third World County such as Wales suggest I was a cheap American whore in a cheap dress.  

It was time to show these small-towners what I was made of, to give them a performance they wouldn't forget in a hurry.  Something that would be talked about for many years.  Here's a live video of my actual performance in West Wales, filmed on the day, interspliced with earlier video format, entitled Fanny Love singing "My Heart Will Go On" (Alternative Version), as performed in person:


  video

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Barafundle



After the horrors of Port Talbot, I was much relieved to arrive some 2 hours later at a tiny Welsh village called Bosherston, in Pembrokeshire.  We had about another 90 minutes to drive to St David's, but thought it would be nice to stop here.

In stark contrast to this morning's escapades, I couldn't find anywhere lovelier than Bosherston.  I walked across several small footbridges that went straight across large lily-ponds to a very remote beach: Barafundle.

Barafundle is only reachable by foot, involving a 1 hour walk.  You come down some steps through the woods.  The beach is soft, pale-yellow sand, with a sparkling ocean, and backed by marram grass, dunes, and woods.  There's not a single house or person anywhere nearby. 

It is a place of rare beauty.

Perhaps this is what the Land of my Fathers were talking about.  It is just such a shame that one must drive through such horrors as Port Talbot to get here.

Scenic Beauties of Southern Wales


Being driven west on the M4 Motorway towards Wales, I am literally titillated by the prospect of entering this curious, unknown country with its own tongue-twister language, unique customs and extortionate entry fee of £6 for crossing the 3-mile Severn Bridge.  

Shouldn't someone of my importance be let in for free?  Is it just English people that have to pay for the privilege of entering Wales?  Will I get a stamp in my passport? 

I do think the Welsh Tourist Board should have paid me to enter the country.. think of the wonderful publicity... millions of tourists decided to visit Wales after hearing I had set foot there.  My agent didn't think of that!

The National Anthem of Wales is a ditty called "The Land of My Fathers" and here is an excerpt:

Old land of the mountains, paradise of the poets,
Every valley, every cliff a beauty guards;
Through love of my country, enchanting voices will be
Her streams and rivers to me.


Certainly the approaches to Wales are very scenic - over the Severn Bridge Crossing - with endless blue skies, and panoramic views of the River Severn.


I recline in the back seat of my chauffeur-driven Bentley, sip some pink gin and wonder what the weekend holds.


Juan, the chauffer, pulls over to look at this sign, which someone has placed beside the road.  I haven't the slightest what the bottom line is supposed to mean. 

Regrettably, my personal secretary did not organise a Welsh-English translator to accompany me on the trip.  I didn't think I would need one.  I thought everyone would speak English.  You will understand my consternation one hour later when we were confronted by this sign, with no English language equivalent offered:


Not knowing what we were being warned of by this sign, Juan decided it best to turn off the motorway so I could take a spot of lunch, ask directions, and to take in some of the gentle, scenic beauties promised personally by the Land of my Fathers in their wonderful, whimsical poem. 

So, we descended from the motorway at Junction 38, into a town I had never heard of before, Port Talbot.    Here are some pictures:






As you can imagine, this landscape, looking like the surface of the Moon, had me reaching for the Prozac. 

After a 10-minute session of pill-popping, I nervously looked out of the window only to find the scenery had not changed, but only worsened: endless, unswept streets of the greyest grey I had ever seen in my life; sooty Methodist churches framed with barbed wire and CCTV; miry canals; an apocalyptic steelworks with chimneys belching out brimstone; thunderous power stations; a plethora of concrete motorway flyovers; and bare mountains, as brown as tobacco spit, rising behind.

The Land of My Fathers are surely a bunch of smooth-tongued hypocrites and liars to have lured me to such a place - "Every valley, every cliff a beauty guards" they sang - never heard such claptrap in my life! It felt like I had been transported, as if by magic, to some Siberian hell-hole, with visual atrocities lying in every direction.
 
I instructed the chauffeur to keep driving until we found somewhere less dire.  Two hours later, we were still in Port Talbot, helplessly lost in a riddle of backstreets.  Some say that Paris's streets are covered in dog-shit; well, you should see Port Talbot, it's everywhere.

Just as I was giving up hope, I spotted a sign outside an establishment: the Beverley Hills Caff.  Sounded wonderful, reminding me of my native lands, so I went straight in.  Surely this would be a classy joint with such a name.  Beverley Hills: glamour.. romance.. style.   

What a deadly mistake.


I have never entered such an establishment before in my life, cleraly a place of moral turpitude.  It stank to high heaven of flatulence, pie and stale beer, and I was greeted by a terrifying apparition: a spindly waitress of indeterminate age, fag permanently in mouth, with one of the worst bleached perms I have ever seen, her whole head looking like a ball of white, spun candy-floss.  

"Do you speak English?" I asked in greeting, somewhat nervously.  The chatter of customers abruptly stopped and everyone was glaring at me.  No-one moved, no-one said a word. 

"A menu in English, please!" I said loudly so as not to be misunderstood in any way, and sidled down to a table.

You could cut the tension with a knife.  The coffee-stained menu was flung at me by a pudgy fist and without a word.  It consisted of "chips with everything", Fray Bentos pies, Pukka Pies, Gut Buster All-Day breakfasts, milkshakes, burgers, etc.  Obviously, I have never heard of any of these gastronomic extravaganzas, so I opted for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.  When it came, it was khaki-drab, strong enough to stand a spoon in, tasted like Bisto, and the only way of keeping it down was to add half the bottle of sugar.

There was a wonderful sounding selection of pies.  Notice how the name sounds like 'Puke':





Gingerly look around, I surveyed the other customers: if anyone has seen the 1980s Video Nasty, Zombie Flesh Eaters (one of my favourite movies of all time!), it is clear that they recruited a lot of extras for the film here in Port Talbot. 

The other customers consisted of heavily-tattooed men, some the size of a small house, wearing flannel shirts and mesh-back baseball caps, casting their bleary eyes over The Sun, which apparently is a comic for the Under 5s, or talking in monosyllabic phrases, or worse still, using filthy foul language. 

filmed in Port Talbot?

As the waitress waddled into view again, I decided to order a Fray Bentos pie, not knowing what it was but liking its exotic sound.  As I did, the waitress dropped a set of knives and forks onto the table from a great height and walked away.  Twenty very tense minutes later, the culinary delight arrived.






It was a distressingly brown, rubbery, indestructible piece of pie: you could end up breaking several teeth trying to eat it.

This was all getting too much.  A lady such as myself has never experienced such things like this.  I stood as gracefully as I could in my designer stilettos, and headed for the restroom to powder my nose and take stock of my situation.




Things did not improve: the toilet was disgustingly dirty, it hadn't been cleaned since the 1950s.  With bile rising in my gullet, I fled, forcing a window open,  and climbing out, jumping onto the roof of a shed and escaping to the safety of my chauffeur parked nearby. 


It was not an easy thing to do, climbing out of that window, whilst wearing these heels.




Instructing my chauffeur to drive at 120 miles per hour, Port Talbot, town of the all-day breakfast, soon disappeared on the horizon, although the bile in my mouth took longer to go away.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Laverbread Lesbians

Perhaps it is an error of judgement, but I am off to St David's, West Wales tomorrow to give my best operatic performance.  I am distinctly on edge about the lesbian contingent, so I shall take my mace and pepper spray, but I am looking forward to the luxury accommodation promised. There is nothing like the red carpet treatment, which I seem to get everywhere I go.  I so love to be showered with gifts.

Meanwhile, I have been doing some desk research on this part of Wales and understand that this is considered a local delicacy:



That, apparently, is laverbread, or gelatinous, Welsh puréed seaweed.   It has been described as 'Welshman's caviar'.

How sophisticated the Welsh are to enjoy eating such black gunge.  No doubt it is collected by laverbread lesbians!