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Talk Round-up
22 May 2009

Ask Your Father

Our resident politico policywonk was mingling with the great and the not-so-good again this week, offering Mumsnetters a chance to pose questions to MPs about their expenses. A baffled rubyslippers wanted to know "how you FORGET you have actually paid your mortgage off?" and IwoulddoDrWho helpfully suggested "could they use the AIBU test when considering new purchases?" Policywonk reported back that panel-member uber-PR Julia Hobsbawm seemed baffled that Mumsnetters were interested in politics, asking: "MNetters are interested in Heather Brooke? Is she a mother?" Although policywonk added: "She did apologise a lot. And I like her dad." "Who is her dad?" asked justaboutspringtime. "Is he a parent?"

Am I bring unreasonable to want to kill a defenceless woodland animal? asked a sleep-deprived YanknCock who was being driven slowly crazy by a loud territorial squirrel: "DH is ill and quite exhausted. So much so, he mumbled sleepily 'Do squirrels lay eggs? We could steal its eggs'. The man has two science degrees, he is clearly not well." Frazzledgirl proffered advice after chasing away a tribe of foxes: "We didn't hear a thing from the foxes last night, after DH marked our garden with his own, ahem, water mixture, and threw the rest over the fence (it is an empty house). Don't know if this works on squirrels but maybe worth a try?" Makeda's Granny used to have problems with squirrels raiding her bird table: "So she covered the pole with Vaseline and then used to sit with a cup of tea watching the squirrels run up the pole and then slide back down!" Meanwhile a frenzied YanknCock was surfing the internet for ideas and concluding that her very own pregnant-lady urine might do the trick: "But do I really want to be spraying my own urine from a water gun, 30 feet into the air? Is that too much like pissing into the wind?"

Much bitchin' could be heard this week after Annabel Karmel turned her hand to breastfeeding advice on her website, flushing out MN breastfeeding guru hunkermunker to splutter her rage over plugs for Karmel's 'infused water'. ThingOne wanted to try her hand at being a breastfeeding guru: "Have baby. Take off clothes. Put baby on chest. Stay in bed for a fortnight with a slave to provide food and drink. A husband can do this job well." Wastingmyeducation was confused by the section on 'breastfeeding recipes', which turned out to be high-protein meals such as lasagne and not useful things like 'breast milk custard'. "I am gutted. HOW have I managed to breastfeed for three years straight without doing a single breastfeeding recipe?" wailed theyoungvisiter. "Will my breasts fall off due to dangerously low levels of beef lasagne?"

Guardianista Robespierre noted that Weekend columnist Tim Dowling had been self-googling and had come across the Mumsnet claim: "Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat." After a brief debate damning Dowling with faint praise - "he amuses me well enough on a weekly basis" (AitchTwoOh), "I quite like him" (northernrefugee39) and "he isn't too bad" (ConfusedKay) - troutpout warned: "You know his wife will be on in a minute, defending her man." Sure enough, therealmrsdowling shortly appeared, although lacking the righteous indignation of previous columnists' wives: "I don't really mind that everyone thinks he's a twat." Her arrival on the thread was swiftly followed by her husband MrTimDowling, unimpressed with his wife's online chatter: "Busy day?" Merrylegs had enough of their domestic squabbling: "Oh FGS you two. Get a room!" "I prefer it like this," declared therealmrsdowling. Don't we all.

MORNINGPAPER XXX

THE PRESTIGIOUS ALTHORP LITERARY FESTIVAL, hosted by Earl Spencer, has teamed up with the Roald Dahl Museum again this year to produce a series of children's events including former children's laureate Anne Fine and the uproariously funny Louise Rennison. Enjoy a fantastic family day out in the stunning grounds of Althorp and choose from an array of talks, readings and debates involving writers and celebrities such as Fern Britton, Sandi Toksvig and Alastair Campbell. 12-14 June 2009. For a full programme click here.

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