So off to another Burnley home game. I had honestly (sic) been thinking I
would stay home, wash the car, trim the edges of the lawn, help pick new
fabrics for the worn sofa, maybe bake a cake and read all the reviews of
Fiona’s book and their focus on my inability (sic) to load a dishwasher. 

I was pleased to see that Mumsnet recognised the reality of our lives when
they introduced a session with Fiona on ‘The Secret World of the Working
Mother’ by saying she was ‘lucky enough’ to live with me. That’s what I call
perspective. When I pointed it out to her, she said ‘irony, dear.’ Oh yeah?

So there I was last night, purring gently after reading Paul Waugh of the
Evening Standard
saying my recent post on In The Loop was ‘possibly the most
post-modern blogpost I’ve ever read’, and just wondering whether to rustle up a
souffle for dinner, when my fellow spin doctor Darren Bentley calls.

Dazza, as we call him, is the legendary comms chief for Burnley FC. He
is my friend. I know this because he calls me pal in every sentence he says to

‘You coming tomorrow pal?’

‘Well, I was thinking I might take the dog to the groomers, Dazza.’

‘Oh bugger.’

‘Why? What’s the problem?’

‘Thing is pal, it’s
Ladies Day at the match tomorrow.’

‘It’s what?’

‘Ladies day pal. We’ve got 130 women coming, they get all dressed up like a
day at the races, champagne reception, three course meal, then a session with a

‘A what?’

‘A hypnotist … Oh don’t ask me. Thing is pal we
asked them who they wanted to meet from the club, and you’ve come out

‘Oh bloody hell Dazza,’ I said. ‘I’m supposed to be going to the farmers’
market tomorrow to buy some organic mangetout for the lunch I’ll be making for

‘This is a nightmare pal. I mean sorry and everything but I’ve told
them you’re coming and we’ve sold out now.’

‘What about the non-playing players? I mean, Ade Akimbiyi’s got the best
formed sixpack in Europe. Don’t they want that?’

‘No pal, it’s you they want. You can’t
let me down. I’ll have a riot of my hands if I turn up with a couple of lads
from the youth team.’

He sounded desperate. I know that feeling. I have been there, when ministers
have gone AWOL before radio interviews, when speechwriters failed to  deliver the draft on time, when numbers
in policy papers contradicted something I had said in the overnight briefing.
So I felt pity on a fellow man.

‘Oh ok Dazza. I’m on my way.’

‘Pal. You’re a legend.’

Fiona was out at the manicurist, or it might have been the acupunturist,
or making another plea for help to my psychiatrist.

So I left her a note. ‘Got to go to Burnley. 130 women want me.’

She always says I’d have been happier with a Northern woman. Our son will be
there to keep an eye on me. What do you mean it’s meant to be the other way
round? What do you lot know about The Secret World of the Post-Modern Man?