Dolly does naff.

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As I grow older, more and more do I strive to make chic my default setting. I buy a lot more black, I try to stop eating prawn layer salads on the tube. I’ve even switched my beloved peroxide blonde hair to a rather demure honey colour.

However, I also understand that when served up in quantities of mustard, there is a time and place for naff. For flying ducks, for big, crispy curls in your hair. For mac and cheese and fairy lights and long, baby pink fingernails. Pink is fine. Glitter won’t hurt you. Naff is OK.

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Dolly does exercise. (Part 1)

Everyone knows that you can lose weight two ways – eating normally and exercising or eating very little. I am ashamed to say that I find the second the easiest.

Two and a half years ago, I lost three stone in the same amount of months on an accidental heart-break diet. I had spent all my teen years curvaceous and plump and within a blink of an eye, my entire shape had changed. None of my clothes fit, and, in all honesty, it was BLOODY BRILLIANT.

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Dolly does hangovers.

I love alcohol. It’s taken me some time to admit this and realise that it will always be in my life. I used to think I’d reach forty and give up alcohol forever – like one of those Hollywood actors who used to be fun and now just talks about finding a “good balance” in their life. That won’t be me. Oh no.

It’s easy to remember the worst parts about drinking, but alcohol has been good to me. And do you know what? I really like it. I think it’s had a hard time. It’s not all crying in the back of a cab and losing a shoe. In times of uncertainty, a glass or two of wine has helped us all.

I accidentally started early. I had my first hangover aged 10. I was at an all-girls school in the North London suburbs that was a breeding ground for alcoholism. This was a school that frisked and bag-checked for chewing gum every morning. This was a school that made me scrape illicit gum off tables as a punishment for highlighting my hair. A school that enforced regulation pencil cases, bags and folders, leaving us with only tipex pens as our tools of self-expression.  You either chose alcohol or the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to distract you through these school years. Not a tough choice.

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Dolly does Provencal lamb.

So there’s this woman – she’s called Ina Garten. You probably won’t know who she is. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t either. But then I started making use of the mostly American Food Network channel, and there Ina was. Just waiting for me to find her.

Ina Garten is an American TV chef (she hosts a show called The Barefoot Contessa) – but not just any TV chef. She makes Nigella’s brand of life-style envy look pitiful. Ina sees her west London pad, millionaire partner and posh friends and raises her a Hamptons Beach House, devoted Jewish husband and a hareem of spunky gay florists. Ina arguably has the best life I’ve come across.

I have learnt basically everything I need to know about this magical place called The Hamptons from her programme. If you’re not familiar with what goes on there, here it is in bullet form:

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I’m back!

Hello everyone, sorry to sound like one of those annoying bloggers who apologises for being absent when no one really cares, but hey, them’s the breaks!

Put the blog on hold for a bit when I started my new job but am now back and ready to inundate you with more nonsense – hurrah. Keep checking for updates over the next few weeks.

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Made in Chelsea reviews

Hello, for those who weren’t aware/have no interest, I have been reviewing this series of Made in Chelsea for The Kings Road website. Series one has come to an end and if you’re in absolute pieces that you missed it, not to worry! You can watch it all on 4OD, and I’ve compiled all my reviews for you here:

Warm-up piece
Episode one
Episode two
Episode three
Episode four
Episode five
Episode six
Episode seven
Episode eight and round-up

I hope you all enjoyed them – I shall be back for series two. Take this is as you will – a promise or a threat.


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Dolly does Billingsgate

There are a few things I really hate about being middle-class. I hate that I can’t go to a house party without thanking the “host” for “having me”. I hate that I can’t help but notice when someone describes eating their tea with a serviette on the couch in the lounge. But middle-class trait I hate the most is making plans and never seeing them through.

I think I inherited it from my mother. She is incapable of going to a social event and not cornering someone to make elaborate plans. “TONY!” she’ll squawk at my dad flapping at him. “COME OVER HERE – JOAN AND HER HUSBAND HAVE INVITED US TO STAY ON THEIR HOUSEBOAT.” Numbers will be written on napkins, photos will be taken, hugs will be exchanged. If it’s not the houseboat, then they’re all going to try that new restaurant. If it’s not the restaurant, then they’re going to get in touch about a Safari trip. That new exhibition, that region in Tuscany. My mum, in the parallel universe of pretend plans, has traveled the world. Continue reading

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