Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I was in Driffield on Saturday, a pretty little northern country town near Hull, where cars have to slow down to let ducks cross the road, and there's still a Saddlers on the high street (disappointingly not selling saddles any more... but at least it kept the name). I was there for my nephew's baby naming ceremony, which was a lovely familial feast with babies crawling and squawking everywhere, getting chocolate down their white outfits, and a barrage of camera flashes capturing every moment for posterity.

My 2-year-old niece Lily has developed a particular fascination for fridge magnets, and had managed to break her granny's Prague fridge market into several pieces. My brother was demonstrating his Dad skills by sticking it back together with superglue. He also managed to stick his fingers together, which is, i think, obligatory for anyone using superglue, but luckily they came apart fairly quickly with little apparent pain.

I had a sudden flashback to the week before, when I was sitting in a Soho coffee shop chatting to burlesque star Roxy Velvet... and she pulled a little tupperware pot out of her holdall, full of false nails. While she chatted, she started applying superglue to them and sticking them on to her real nails one by one, in preparation for her red carpet appearance that evening at the International Burlesque Festival. She got distracted at a crucial moment, and stuck her fingers together by mistake... but luckily she managed to prize them apart in the nick of time, before the glue set...

I told my brother and my sister-in-law's sister's husband (what's that, a brother-in-law-in-law?) about the last use of superglue I'd witnessed, and my brother-in-law-in-law commented that it sounded like a glimpse of an exotic and glamorous world that was a long way away from his (which currently alternates between building sites and a beautiful 6-month-old baby daughter).

I think there's something reassuringly everyday about the fact that even in Roxy's world of fabulous glamour there's still room for something as practical and ubiquitous as superglue, even if it is being put to a rather different use.

The Prague fridge magnet was back on the fridge by the time I left the party - right at the top, safely out of two-year-old reach, and looking only slightly the worse for wear.

And my brother-in-law-in-law's daughter fell asleep in my arms, which made me very proud that despite all my messing about with false eyelashes and elbow-length gloves, I could still keep it real enough for a baby to nod off on me.



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