Making It Up As I Go Along

BOOK: Making It Up As I Go Along
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Marian Keyes
MAKING
IT UP AS I GO ALONG
Contents

Introduction

Cast of Characters

Lexicon

(BAD) HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Where It All Began

Eyelash Extensions

Fake Tan

Skincare

Nails

My Chanel Nail Varnish Museum

Hairy Legs

Lasering

Perfume

Chemists

Teeth

Sweets

Learning to Cook

How to Break Up with Your Hairdresser

How to Deal with Hostile Hairdressers

Personal Shoppers

Kettlebells

Shite for Goms

Bono Boots

WHAT WOULD SCROOGE DO?

Driving Home for Christmas

Christmas at Marian’s

What Would Scrooge Do?

What’s Right with Christmas

ON MY TRAVELS

Maison des Rêves

Norway

Walking in France

Ulster Says NO!!!

Cyprus

Brazil

The Auvergne

Slovakia

Donegal

Finland/Lapland

New York

Portugal

Chile

Bulgaria and Amsterdam

Laos

Antarctica Diary

MARIAN MEETS …

Tom Dunne

Robert Plant

Aung San Suu Kyi

Pasha

Writers I Love

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Various Family Things

France en Famille

Sickest Family in the Whole of Ireland

Catríona and Seán’s Wedding

Various Family Events

Himself’s Health Improves

Nephews

Redzer-Sitting

Novena-Max

Madeira

THINGS I LOVE

Autumn

My Perfect Life

Beachhouse Banjo

Guilty Pleasures

Walking

ON. THE. TWITTERS!!!!!

Sleep

Yoga

First Aid

SOUL-SEARCHING

Therapies

Sorry

Saying Goodbye

Tipping

Negative Thinking

No Regrets

Turning Fifty

A YEAR IN THE LIFE

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Follow Penguin

For Jonathan

Introduction

Hello, and welcome to
Making It Up As I Go
Along
(tales from an eejit who was off buying shoes the day Life’s Rulebook was
given out).

It’s a collection of autobiographical
articles that I have written over the last nine years. Some have already been published in
magazines or newspapers, such as
Irish Tatler
and
Marie Claire
. I’d like
to offer special thanks to the
Sunday Times Style
magazine, who’ve given me a
regular column called ‘Mind Your Head’. Other pieces have been cherry-picked from
the monthly newsletters I used to write for my website, and some have – gasp! –
never been seen before!

I have grouped the pieces into sections like
‘Friends and Family’, ‘On My Travels’, ‘A Year in the Life’
and that sort of thing. They’re not always in chronological order; I’ve arranged
them so that you can dip in and out and read them any way you like. You could even start reading
from the back, if that’s the kind of daredivil you are. Feel free to break the rules.
Either way, I very much hope you enjoy the articles.

My publisher Louise Moore and my editors Maxine
Hitchcock and Celine Kelly worked very hard with me, sifting through TONS of raw material to
come up with this collection, and I’m very grateful to them.

I’d also like to thank Himself, who is
always my first reader, the voice of reason, a stalwart support and the best colleague in the
whole world.

And now, off we go!

Cast of Characters

I thought it would be a good idea to compile a
cast list, because I mention many, many people in this book and you won’t have a
rasher’s who half of them are. Many people I’ve described in terms of their
relationship to someone else (for example, ‘X: Y’s husband’.) This is not to
imply that X is not a viable person in their own right. I am only trying to keep things simple
and easy to refer to. But of course, I am afeerd of offending people, because that is the way of
life, is it not? Despite our best intentions, someone is always bound to be offended.

Anyway! Here’s the list, which I hope will
be helpful. I should mention that I come from a family of five children (shamefully small by
Irish standards) and I’m the eldest and as a result I feel responsible for
everyone’s happiness and that’s a scourge of a burden and I’d have much
preferred to be the youngest, but what can you do?

Anne Marie Scanlon:
very
old friend. Also mother of Jack Scanlon.

Bruce:
husband of Laura,
who is a long-time, beloved friend. (So when you come to Laura, you can refer back to Bruce and
then you’ll know who she is. Do you see? This is how it works.)

Bubs:
Tadhg and
Susan’s youngest dog. (They have two.)

Caitríona:
my
sister. (I’ve two.) She’s four and a half years younger than me and is the funniest
person alive. She lives in Brooklyn and is married to Seán, who is a tremenjuss musician
and a tremenjuss cook.

Caron:
my sister-in-law and a hugely talented writer (Caron Freeborn is
her full name). Partner of Himself’s brother Chris and mother of Jude and Gabe.

Cathy Kelly:
my soul
sister. A wonderful writer (yes, she’s
that
Cathy Kelly), a warm, wise friend and
a great souce of comfort.

Chris:
Himself’s
brother, partner of Caron and father of Jude and Gabe.

Claudia Winkleman:
ah,
lookit, you must know who she is.

Dad:
my father. He used
to be a ‘Traditional Irish Father’, by which I mean he was a right cranky-arse who
would come home from work and say, ‘Right! Which one of you am I to shout at first?’
But in recent years, he has mellowed. Is it okay to say he has dementia? But mercifully he has a
nice version where he is very loved up and often asks Mam to marry him.

Davina McCall:
I refer
you to
Claudia Winkleman
.

Dermot O’Leary:
I
refer you to
Davina McCall
.

Dylan:
eldest son of
Rita-Anne and Jimmy. Also known as Redzer the Elder. As I write, he’s seven, but you might
be reading it ‘further down the line’, so my apologies for any confusion.

Eileen:
aka Eilers. Old
friend.

Elizabeth:
aka Beth,
friend to the entire Keyes family – cleans our house and minds it when Himself and I are
away, drives Mam and Dad to Mass every Sunday, and is always obliging and cheerful and a
stalwart support.

Ema:
daughter of Niall
and Ljiljana. My beloved niece. Currently aged fifteen. I love her with all my heart. I have
plans to pitch a TV show called
My Niece Is the Best
, which she would DEFINITELY
win.

Fergal:
great friend, and
husband of Judy.

Gabe:
youngest son of
Chris and Caron.

Gwen:
very good friend,
partner of Ken and mother of Edward.

Hilly:
very good friend, and part of our walking club.

Himself:
the fabliss man
I’m lucky enough to be married to. He is the best, kindest, funniest, most clever person
ever.

Jack Scanlon:
son of my
pal Anne Marie Scanlon.

Jenny:
Australian friend
who lives in London and is the ‘most good’ person I’ve ever met.

Jimmy:
husband of my
sister Rita-Anne.

John:
Himself’s
dad, aka my father-in-law.

Jonathan Lloyd:
my
literary agent. He’s been my agent for more than twenty years, he’s great fun,
wholly supportive, and I owe my career to him and Louise Moore, my publisher.

Jude:
eldest son of Chris
and Caron.

Judy:
very special
friend. The woman I want to be when I grow up. She is married to an equally wonderful man called
Fergal.

Katie:
Tadhg and
Susie’s eldest dog. She’s a boxer and named in honour of Katie Taylor (the
boxer).

Laura:
long-time, beloved
friend. Married to Bruce.

Ljiljana:
wife of my
brother Niall. From Serbia. (Note: Ljiljana is pronounced ‘Lilly-anna’.)

Louise Moore:
my
publisher. She is WILDLY fabliss, has published me for twenty years, and I owe my career to her.
See also
Jonathan Lloyd
.

Luka:
son of Niall and
Ljiljana. Currently aged fourteen. Very handsome, although he goes mad when I say it, so maybe I
shouldn’t …

Mam:
aka Mammy Keyes.
Mother of all the Keyesez. A living legend.

Mark:
good friend, and
part of the walking club.

Milenko:
Ljiljana’s
dad, who very sadly died three years ago.

Niall:
my brother.
(I’ve two.) He’s two and a half years younger than me, is married to Ljiljana, and
is the father of Ema and
Luka. Currently living in Dublin, but they used to
live in Prague and are still known as the Praguers.

Oscar:
youngest son of
Rita-Anne and Jimmy. Also known as Redzer the Younger. As I write, he is five.

Posh Kate:
aka Kate
Beaufoy. Wife of Posh Malcolm. Beloved friend of mine and Himself’s.

Posh Malcolm:
aka Malcolm
Douglas. Husband of Posh Kate. Beloved friend of mine and Himself’s.

Praguers:
see
Niall
.

Rita-Anne:
my youngest
sister. (I’ve two.) She’s eight and a half years younger than me, and she and Tadhg
are twins. She’s married to Jimmy and is Mother of the Redzers (Dylan and Oscar).

Seán:
husband of my
sister Caitríona.

Shirley:
Himself’s
mammy, aka my mother-in-law, and I couldn’t have wished for a better one. I love her
dearly.

Siobhán:
aka
Shivers. Old friend.

Susan:
wife of my brother
Tadhg. Also referred to as ‘Susie’.

Suzanne:
my sister from
another mister. Her mam and my mam worked together in Limerick 4,000 years ago. She was in
Caitríona’s class at school, and she and I were flatmates for years and years in
London. Bonded for life.

Tadhg:
my youngest
brother. (I’ve two.) He’s eight and a half years younger than me, and he and
Rita-Anne are twins. He’s married to Susan and they have a little boy, baby Teddy, and two
dogs – Katie and Bubs. (Note: Tadhg is pronounced ‘Thigh-ge’.)

Tania:
sister of
Seán, who is married to Caitríona.

Teddy:
son of Tadhg and
Susan. As I write, the ‘newest’ Keyes.

Tom Dunne:
lead singer in
Something Happens, radio presenter, and owner of a beautiful voice and a charming personality.
We share a bin night.

Vilma:
naturopath from Lithuania and a beautiful human being.

Zaga:
mother of Ljiljana,
she lives in Belgrade and if feeding people was an Olympic sport, she would take home the
gold.

Zoë Ball:
I refer
you to
Dermot O’Leary
.

BOOK: Making It Up As I Go Along
5.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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