My solution to becoming ‘Vesuvial’? ....Just tax the stupid people!

Did you ever see the episode of Absolutely Fabulous with Patsy and Edina who were hauled up in court for some reason or another – probably driving under the influence and parking right outside the main door to Harvey Nichols? When asked to plead her case, the fabulously self centered Edina launches into a rant in which she yells “Just tax the stupid people!” I love that episode. She argues “What’s with these little railings that are outside of shops so you can’t even get in them? I know they are there to stop stupid people running out into the street and getting killed but we’re not all stupid, we don’t all need nurse-maiding! There should be a ‘stupidity tax’ – just tax the stupid people!” If you missed it, here it is – still just as funny more than a decade on!

Well today something happened to me like this. It was my son’s first morning at pre-school nursery and my 6 year old isn’t back at school until tomorrow, so after we dropped him off, my daughter and I went to the local pool for a swim. She is becoming a great swimmer – she loves the water and proudly displays all her badges on her swim towel, so I was surprised when after I set off for a length of the pool, leaving my daughter happily doing handstands in the shallow end, I was told by the lifeguard that “I can’t leave her” as she is under 8. When I replied that I’m just off to do a length and I’m her mother and I’m very confident in my daughters abilities and that I wouldn’t swim off if she wasn’t safe”, she said that “these were the rules” so I said “OK” and went to re-join my daughter.

Not long after, a second lifeguard saw us swimming in the middle of the pool and came to warn us to “Stay out of the far corner of the deep end..... because it’s dark!” (the lights weren’t working apparently) well that was it – I blew my top!

I said to the boy who couldn’t have been more than 18 and was obviously taking his life saving duties *very* seriously, “I’ve been swimming for more than 30 years, what exactly do you think will happen to me in the deep end? Is the Loch Ness Monster going to appear from the 2.0 metre depths and swallow me whole, or will I just be taken by the strong undercurrent of the council run pool to never be seen again?” I mean – how ridiculous. Why build a swimming pool if people aren’t allowed to come and swim in them! Should we all sit at home in a chair and do nothing for the fear that we might ‘do ourselves a mischief’. Come on! This pool could do with a stupidity tax – it’s ‘Health & Safety’ gone mad! I was only there trying to have a pleasant swim with my daughter – not to have to have ‘rules and regulations’ dictated the minute I set foot in the door!

I think under normal circumstances I would have just been bemused at the silly rules and had a laugh at them rather than getting wound up by them, but if I outline the rest of the week that occurred before it, my outburst may be more understandable.

Last week I took my daughter and 2 year old son to see my friend for a play-date. This friend lives a 50 minute drive away and we have to travel on 3 different motorways to get there. So we had a great play-date, then went to do a little shopping in the nearby retail park, and at 3pm I was ready to take them home. We’d get back at around 4pm –just in time to start making dinner. But after driving for just 10 minutes we hit some traffic. It got heavier and heavier until we ended up at a standstill, where we were sat for 3 solid hours. Not much fun with two tired and bored children – especially as I’m potty training one of them! He had to use his pull-up which I wasn’t happy about but my poor daughter had to pee in a cup which I then tipped out of the window! It was hot and sticky that day, and there were some frayed tempers amongst some of the other drivers too. There was some ‘lane hopping’ (even though we weren’t going anywhere) and a quick glance at their faces showed they were as fed up as me. I switched on the local ‘traffic & travel’ news to get some idea what was going on, and do you want to know what the problem was? Some stupid lorry driver had been taking a corner too fast, overturned his lorry and shed his load of eggs all over the carriageway! The radio news presenters thought it was hilarious, making jokes like “police scrambled to the scene” but I wasn’t amused!

When we got home at 6pm, I’d missed the film I was planning to see at the cinema that night (having won a free ticket!) then as I was tired, I accidentally knocked my Diet Coke all over my cream carpet then I banged my head and after that I had to unblock the downstairs toilet! It was the last straw and I just went Vesuvial! “Arrgghhh!”

‘Vesuvial’ is a great term to describe my emotions that day – and I got it from Kathy Lette. You may remember my last post where I mentioned her new book, “All Steamed Up”. Well I was watching her interview by Radox as she’s working with them on their ‘Be Selfish’ campaign, and she uses the term throughout her book. The video below shows her explaining what makes her Vesuvial:

It seems as women, our ‘Vesuvial’ moments come when we have just ‘put up’ with several minor incidents before, then as they all stack up, we explode! I think Radox are trying to diffuse our tempers and give us a sense of calm with their selfishness campaign – as they are actively encouraging women to claw back some time for themselves and they provide the products to do it!

The words ‘Be-Selfish’ are quite controversial as us women have been brought up to put others first and think of others feelings. This goes into overdrive when we have kids, and even though we give of ourselves gladly and do what we do out of love for our children, I think it’s important to recognise that WE need some pampering too and we need taking care of just as much as we take care of our children. Here Kathy gives her thoughts on why she was attracted to working with Radox:

So to stop myself going so ‘Vesuvial’ I just need some more ‘me time’! Absolutely agree – bring it on!

But Radox, if you are reading, I went to ASDA earlier this week to buy some of the lavender shower gel that you do which has a gorgeous smell. It’s my favourite but they didn’t have any so I wouldn’t object if you wanted to help my ‘me time’ by sending me a couple of bottles!

Here is an exclusive first listen of Kathy Lette’s new book “All Steamed Up” which is out this month:

Plus, you can also bag yourself a FREE copy of the book as Radox are giving away 10,000 copies! Mine is already on its way AND the book is splash-proof too so you can read it in the bath! Perfect!

Get it here...

For further information about Kathy’s book or tips on being selfish and getting some ‘me time’, visit and keep following this blog, and let’s hope we have less ‘volcano’ and more ‘Utopia’!


  1. Professor of DenimologySeptember 11, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    Hehehehehehehe! I hope you at least have a relaxing weekend, vesuvial one. To assist you with your lavender shower gel problem, last week I bought lavender 'flavour' shower gels by both Simple and Original Source, both of which were on offer (under a pound I think) in Superdrug ... I'm stocking up after the midwife at our ante-natal class told us that lavender is good for relaxing during labour! x

  2. Thanks for the shopping tips Professor. I will check those out (but I was also sort of hoping that Radox would send me a freebie! - you never know!)
    Not long now till labour becomes a reality - I'm sending you positive thoughts for the big event! Enjoy the rest of your maternity leave!

  3. Hmmm, this could explain why we are all in mortal danger from the seemingly innocuous biscuits:
    PS That is one of my all time Ab Fab episodes. I particularly like Eddie driving around shouting at policemen and pedestrians


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