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MUMSNET BOOK CLUB - This month we are going to have our noses in some classic reading material, with a selection of your favourite classics up for nomination. Vote for your favourite - or at least the one you can remember from your English O-Level. Results are announced tonight - but no rushing down to Blockbuster in the morning.

Talk Roundup
1 February 2008

Luxury Family Hotels

This week CaptainCod was rattling her cage about kids' activities that are not worth the expense citing Santa train rides as her most begrudged bill, "long queue, annoying parenting to observe, crap gift, no change from 60 and then KIDS DON'T REMEMBER IT." Cappuccino resented her trip to London Zoo, which was "full of pitiable signs saying "Oh dear the tiger has just died"; "the monkey is not well and has gone in." I didn't come here to feel sorry for you, I came to see animals dammit." Baby Milestone journals were money down the drain chez Miaou, "I half-filled in DD1's, DD2's never got opened, and the DSes never got one as I couldn't stand the guilt." Onebatmother regretted taking her 3 year old to the panto, "he was practically surfing across the backs of the seats trying to get away from scary transvestite fat lady dame." Still she has learned her lesson with her Neglected Subsequent Child, "She will be the most understimulated child in London Town, you mark my words."

Do random petty things put you completely off having a crush on someone? wondered FrannyandZooey, who had a ker-poof moment when a fanciable Dad friend opted out of floor-play with his son saying, "I don't want to get my trousers dirty." Mumsnetters were quick to cite libido-dampeners from men who suggested "making love," to those who uttered "I haven't read it, but I've seen the film." Parsleypants sensibly strikes off any prospective partners on internet dating sites who "can't distinguish between your and you're and who's and whose." "Thin fingers on a man" were a turn-off for Allgonebellyup, "men should have huge hands like shovels, otherwise it is like having another woman stroking yer bits." "You lot are picky," noted Policywonk, "My crushes are only ever killed by actual sex."

Can we have a thread about ways in which your partner initiates sexual intercourse? requested FrannyandZooey (who can't have done any housework this week) and wanted to know whether it was just her partner who devised comedy routines in order to woo her into his bed. Favoured seduction techniques include performing the "willy windmill" and making helpful medical suggestions about "special cream." Romance is not dead either in DrNortherner's house, "He pretends to rut me from behind whilst I'm taking washing out of the machine." "Mine does that too," sighed Scootergrrrl, "he calls it "Jack-Russelling.'" AlistairSim's partner "stands in the doorway, rubs his hands together in the manner of a butcher wiping the blood of recently slaughtered lambs from himself and says in a fake northern accent (because that's alluring, right?) 'Who's up for some rumpy-pumpy then?' I can't believe we have ever had sex." SpawnChorus's DH looks pointedly at his groin while waggling his eyebrows, "It's probably how Mr Bean would initiate coitus." But the ultimate lesson in seduction comes from Discoverlife's Dad and StepMum, "They have a pair of teddybears on the bed. If one is on top of the other, it's a request."

We all know that swallowing chewing gum is fatal so we enjoyed a bit of nostalgia this week remembering 'Urban Myths' from our youth. Liath was told that "Smoking banana skins makes you high," which led to "ill-advised experiments in the bushes with roll-ups and fruit." Ghostly apparitions were very common if you turned around three times, as were pus-filled spots that burst to give birth to thousands of baby spiderlings, and of course we all agreed with Threadie that the "BCG injection involved six red-hot needles." Comfytoast recalled the bride who wanted a tan for her wedding and visited "twenty different salons ... The next morning she noticed a funny smell and went to the hospital and found she had cooked herself and died." Now there's something you won't find in Mumsnet Recipes.

MORNINGPAPER XXX

MOTHERHOOD & YOUR BODY - With Mother's Day approaching we want to find out about the true cost of motherhood - namely how you feel about your body post kids and how that compares to how you felt before. So whether you're the yummiest mummy in town or more in the MNHQ mould and it's all gone pear shaped (literally) since baby number three, we'd like to hear your views. Plus there's a chance of winning £250 of vouchers for Sweaty Betty, so fill the survey in now.