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Monday, February 16, 2009

I had to rush over to Eastbourne General Hospital this afternoon to pick up a box of emergency paediatric morphine injections for some children in agony. My mobile rang as I walked out of the pharmacy door, so I answered it in case it was a small person in pain. It wasn't. It was Meridian TV phoning for the third time. I spoke to them twice on Friday, and told two different producers that I didn't want to be on TV, but apparently they thought that having had the weekend to think about it, I was bound to have changed my mind.

I said I hadn't. He seemed surprised, and refused to take no for an answer, adding that they wouldn't keep me long, and that filming would "only" (his word, not mine) take an hour and a half. I told him that's exactly the same amount of time I have to get from Brighton to Eastbourne and back to save the life of a child. Well ok, I didn't. But I wish I had. It doesn't seem to occur to them that I might have something better to do with my time than rush straight home to the bathroom and pose for the cameras. If I end up with my head in my hands, it won't be a shower head.

I suppose the interest is understandable though. This was the front page of the Mail On Sunday website yesterday...

Amazing is the word.
Chloe's officially one of "the most amazing stories from around the globe". Whatever next? Amelie becoming Queen??

Fetch me a golliwog from the Sandringham gift shop.True, she's got the look of regal disdain required to be royal, but I'm not sure she's racist enough.

Anyhoo, celebrities aside, yesterday's lunch date with the cream of Brighton society went very well. I'd cooked a meal for our friends S & A back in January, so having had a month for their stomachs to settle, they kindly invited us back to their place for Sunday lunch. And may I say I wasn't disappointed. It's not every day you get non-alcoholic cocktails personally mixed for you by a Canadian with a shaker and a swizzle stick. We even had pre-lunch entertainment in the form of giant metal puzzles. I don't know about you, but by the time I've spent half an hour being driven clinically insane by my failed attempts to separate two bits of steel, I'm just about ready for dinner.

Fortunately we were treated to a lovely roast lunch of chicken and potatoes, seasoned with the breasts of a beautiful woman. No, really. Frankly you haven't lived until you've plucked a nipple from a pink ceramic lady, and shaken her breasts all over your food. I've never seen salt & pepper pots like them.

Little MonkeyBut the best thing about S & A is that they always give us gifts. And when you work in sexual health, you get some interesting freebies. So while Lisa and Amelie relaxed on the leopardskin sofa with Monkey from the PG Tips advert, I sat at the table rifling through an NHS goodie-bag usually given to teenagers who agree to take a chlamydia test. I'm now the proud owner of a sperm keyring, some STI lip gloss, and a stress ball featuring the number of the chlamydia helpline.

I could have had some underwear emblazoned with the words "What's In Your Pants?", but I've never been a fan of rhetorical questions. And besides, when it comes to spreading the word about chlamydia, the new NHS website What's In Your will probably reach more people than my buttocks.

So having eaten plum pudding and seen A's photos of himself with Anita Roddick and Katie Price (two women who are rarely mentioned in the same sentence), we eventually left at 4:30pm, Amelie clutching a battery-operated magic wand which had proved so magical in stopping her crying, that they agreed to let us have it. It's a powerful tool, but if we really wanted to keep our daughter happy, we'd have taken S home with us too. Amelie only needs to look at him and she starts smiling. If we had a spare room, I'd be insisting he move in immediately.