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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Tim Dowling webchat: Thursday 5 June, 1-2pm

(89 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-May-14 12:17:11

Guardian columnist and author Tim Dowling is joining us for a webchat next Thursday (5 June) between 1 and 2pm. It's his second visit to MNHQ; he last joined us back in 2008 for a Mumsnet bookclub webchat about his novel The Giles Wareing Haters' Club. This time he's going to be chatting about his latest book, How to be a Husband.

How To Be A Husband is a very funny - and genuinely touching - anatomy of Tim's 20 year relationship with his wife. Regular readers of Tim's column, in which she figures as an exasperated witness to his attempts to master family life, will be pleased to hear that she has agreed to answer a couple of questions too. So if you have something to ask her, do post it here - Tim will be reading out her answers (which he won't previously have seen) in a video we'll post after the webchat.

Come and chat to Tim next Thursday (5 June) at 1pm or post a question for him in advance on this thread.

Hassled Thu 29-May-14 18:39:34

I have 3 questions so please just pick the one you want to answer.

Firstly - I worry about your apparently free-range tortoise. How does it work? Do you now fall over it all the time? What about the poo? Have you ever dropped anything on it?

Secondly - that girl you dumped in a NY bar while your wife-to-be waited in another bar - is she OK? Do you still speak? Did she come to your wedding? It was clearly the right thing to do but I did feel for her.

Thirdly - have you got over the MN "Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat" thing yet? Do you still google yourself?

And at the risk of fawning, your column is the newspaper highlight of my week. Please don't stop.

CommunistLegoBloc Thu 29-May-14 19:32:59

Given that you got two weeks' worth of columns out of the demise of your snake, do you not think the resultant wages could have been used to give him a humane death rather than deciding to decapitate him in your garden ( which, by the way, is not a cruelty-free dispatch method)?

I used to be a big fan until I read that you'd rather let an animal suffer and ultimately die a protracted death rather than pay £200 and alleviate its pain. And I bloody hate snakes.

StampyIsMyBoyfriend Thu 29-May-14 21:42:54


threestepsforward Thu 29-May-14 23:14:29

Tim my friend has a tortoise and I thought he was lovely until one day he clambered to the highest point of the garden, and flashed like a tortoise tarzan. I've never felt the same about him since. Is yours as much of an exhibitionist?

BOFster Thu 29-May-14 23:31:51

Oh, I'm looking forward to this. I very much like his wife- what a star she was when she came on here.

BOFster Thu 29-May-14 23:35:59

Btw Tim, my DP did that 3D action figure thing too. He wore jeans and a khaki jacket, but ended up with a disturbing double-denim effect. Fortunately he is an artist, and just repainted it. I think he has overdone the virtual Grecian 2000, but I digress. How happy were you with yours?

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 30-May-14 01:10:42

Tim Hi,

Do you remember googling yourself in 2009 and findinga thread on mumsnet with your name in the title ?

Do you still Google your name?

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 30-May-14 01:13:42

I have just been back and read some of it - that was hilarious. grin

maras2 Fri 30-May-14 02:39:49

Please may I buy a T towel to surprise my sister.Can't seem to access them on line.PS. sorry < not > that you didn't get chance to decapitate Mr. Rogers.

Cereal0ffender Fri 30-May-14 07:35:05

Do your friends avoid you in case they end up as column fodder? Do you have friends?

JuniDD Fri 30-May-14 10:59:00

Why do you hate the little dog and how old is the old dog? I worry about the old dog.

Never change., I love your column.

ShineSmile Fri 30-May-14 11:02:10

I like your column too.

Do you ever make stuff up?

Do you have another job as well as writing a weekly column?

For his wife:

Do you wish he didn't work from home?

DustBunnyFarmer Fri 30-May-14 20:22:41

Dear Tim. I have 2 primary school aged boys. Your column has caused me to anticipate their teenage years with more than a little disquiet. Do you exaggerate your sons' behaviours for effect in your column? Either way, how about outlining some of their positive qualities and your upbeat teen parenting experiences to give me hope for the future.

slartybartfast Sat 31-May-14 07:51:19

i love your column.
how are your boys? their stories really ring true here!

hackmum Sat 31-May-14 13:18:18

I love Tim's column too. Apart from the fact that it's very funny, I admire his ability to write about family life without compromising people's privacy - he actually gives away very little. That's quite hard to do.

I do sometimes wonder how an American has ended up what seems like a characteristically British self-deprecating sense of humour.

Like everyone else who reads your column, I am intrigued about Tim's wife. In the book excerpt in the Guardian, she writes something like "If Tim had been married to a nicer person, he wouldn't have had such a successful career." True or false? And is Mrs Dowling really as spiky as she appears to be in the columns?

BettyBotter Sat 31-May-14 23:50:05

Dh and I both love your column. Trouble is, dh looks to you as a role model hmm Like you, we have teenaged chimps who do the stuff that teenage chimps do. Ours are excrutiatingly embarrassed by our very existence and would not tolerate us admitting any relationship with them in a national newspaper, though I agree that you are very good at striking a good balance between family comedy and respecting privacy. Does your family have the right to veto any embarrassing subjects you would love to write about in your columns? Do you run things by them first or do they find out on a Saturday morning what you've said about them?

And for Mrs D - you are a mumsnetter arent you? Do you mind not having your own voice when you're quoted so liberally and one-sidedly?

BettyBotter Sat 31-May-14 23:54:28

Dh would like to pass on that he very much enjoyed your advice on not waking a tired spouse for sex. Can't think why

Mignonette Sun 01-Jun-14 17:29:08

Have you been taking instruction in animal welfare from Liz Jones?

Your treatment of your snake sounds most unedifying. Not impressed.

Poofus Mon 02-Jun-14 18:31:51

Tim Dowling, you were nearly responsible for the ending of my marriage. I read the story of how you saved your wife's life after her dive off the side of a boat went wrong over lunch with my husband. I was very impressed, particularly because you hadn't seemed in your previous columns much like of a heroic man of action, so I asked my husband if he'd do the same for me. Sadly he said he'd have to think about it (??), and it might depend on a few things (!). Lunch was abandoned rather violently and we didn't speak for the best part of a week. The words "even Tim Dowling would do this" still get bandied about in our house quite a lot when one of us is feeling ill-treated, sometimes with "for fuck's sake" on the end for good measure.

Poofus Mon 02-Jun-14 18:35:09

Perhaps I should clarify that I read the story over lunch with my husband, not that your wife was diving off a boat while having lunch with my husband. At least I hope she wasn't, as that would probably only add fuel to our marital fire.

ladyblablah Tue 03-Jun-14 00:08:56

Oh my, the "Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat" threads were some of my favourites.

And Tim's response was rather epic:

"I have decided I no longer need to begin my day by finding out that in the intervening 24 hours someone somewhere felt the need to type the words, "Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat." I'm not upset that people think I'm a twat. I'm aware that this is a commonly held opinion, if not a distinct school of thought. It's the casual insertion of "for example" that really hurts. I'm not just a twat to that person. I'm the twat you name when you need an example."

So the question is, do you have "Tim Dowling, for example, is a twat" in an embroidery or some other suitable Mumsnet tribute?

slartybartfast Tue 03-Jun-14 08:52:53

who thought Tim Dowling was a twat shock

i know i know there was a long thread about it, but i swear Tim Dowling is not a twat.
and I am not his wife.

Merguez Tue 03-Jun-14 19:56:25

My husband and I learned our favourite argument-winning line from your column many years ago.

It's all about you, isn't it?

spudpudding Wed 04-Jun-14 10:28:38

Can I please have the recipes for spicey ricey and Mexican thing, they sound interesting!!

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