Lucy Mangan

"It's been six months, what have I missed?"

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Well, hello again! Thank you all so much for your lovely messages while I was away – they really helped see me through some pretty miserable post-partum days. In answer to your queries, I had a boy and he’s absolutely lovely, but between you and me I wouldn’t advise having one of either sex yourself until science allows them to be grown in petri dishes and delivered by Parcelforce instead of by fanjo. It doesn’t half smart. But an awful lot has happened over the last six months in the wider world too. Let’s see what I missed.

In May, the then head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested after claims that he had sexually assaulted his hotel maid. His supporters successfully deployed the “Zut alors!” defence, which holds that if someone is a man, French and heterosexual, these petit misunderstandings are bound to arise from time to time, especially with women who – quelles stupides! – don’t understand the nuances of seduction and persist in believing they are being pinned unwillingly to a bed instead of swept off their feet. Beaucoup de congratulations, monsieurs.

Speaking of the nuances of seduction: in the US, Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was forced to resign after sending pictures of his weiner to young women via tweets and texts. Clearly, you do not have to be French to be a master of the erotic arts.

Back home, things were happier. With Kate now in line for the real throne, Pippa Middleton ascended to the tabloid version. Duties as England’s Top Brunette include promoting the the British A-line skirt and mid-price leather boot industry, having a nice bottom and occasionally overdoing it on the eyeliner so the public can periodically unite in a collective tut. It’s every young girl’s dream.

There was no news in July apart from the announcement that DALLAS IS COMING BACK! YES, DALLAS! With a Stetsonful of the original stars – including LARRY HAGMAN! And LINDA GRAY! – we shall follow the feuds, fortunes and fibrillating madness of the inimitable Ewing family once more. Happiness is here again!

I wouldn’t recommend having a baby until science allows them to be delivered by Parcelforce. It doesn’t half smart

Oh, and the diseased mind of the MP for mid-Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries, hatched a plan to offer all women wanting an abortion ‘independent’ counselling by various suggested groups – several of which, it emerged, had pro-life Christian connections. But as her parliamentary proposals failed – and it brings me perilously near to a stroke to consider the toxic mix of personal belief, ignorance and arrogance that animates those ready to dismantle some of the hardest-won and most vitally important women’s rights – let us move swiftly on.

August. Alas, the youth of Britain did not realise that this is traditionally the silly season and persisted in rioting, forcing MPs and newspaper editors back from their summer retreats to decide whether the unrest was caused by years of cumulative disaffection in a country shamefully and increasingly divided into the haves and have-nots, or by single mothers failing to chain their children to the bedposts at night. Single mothers won by a large margin. Or lost, depending on how you look at it.

The rumour ’n’ tabloid mill sprang to feverish life in September, grinding out reports that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher had split up after he had been discovered cavorting with young ladies in a hot tub in a state of undress. You could practically hear the sighs of red-top relief. At last, the apparently happy marriage between a young handsome man and older woman had come the traditional cropper. The world’s hottest cougar she may be, but it’s still Not Right. Now order has been restored to the universe, we can all sleep soundly.

And last month was about the Euro crisis. Basically, there’s no money. There never was any money, there’s never going to be any money. It was leprechaun gold, leveraged pixie futures, cubic zirconia derivatives, smoke, mirrors and a little man pushing buttons behind a green curtain. Put your money and a bottle of hard liquor under your mattress, hunker down and pray for daylight.

So, that’s us up to date with the global news. Now, how’ve you been?

Main picture credit: Rex Features

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