I continue to wage my fiery yet futile war against the spatula nail. Katie Price/Jordan has long been an offender, but I tend to try and ignore her wherever possible. However, this image from the Daily Mail online suggests that a) she is, like, so totally into her new man Leandro and one hundred percent over all other men she has known before, and b) she is perhaps edging closer to accepting that where manicures are concerned bright = short, and pale = long.

Things are looking brighter, and shorter.

I don’t understand why more women, especially ones with gel nails, don’t understand that if their nails are long and bright, the overall effect just ends up being Edward Spatula-hands. It is repulsive. It is impractical. And it’s really, really weird.

A selection of Katie Price's previous manicure inspirations

I will continue to monitor the situation, so you don’t have to.


Oh dear. Oh dear me. I didn’t mean to do it, but the otherwise lovely author Sophie Hannah suggested I did. I should have known better. People eat bloody GRAVEL in her books. But I went and watched Orphan. On a Sunday night.

As if the film wasn’t terrifying enough, it has now turned me off nail polish. Possibly for life. Because just as I leaned into the TV to turn it off, I was confronted with the most horrific closing credits sequence of all time.


How could something that brings me so much pleasure now fill me with such morbid fear? Please help me. Help me to love nail polish again. Why do you love it? Please tell me you do. Or I might burn down your house…

Cheryl’s red nails still really bother me. This pic, from the Daily Mail website, will send me to bed with a terrible sense of Sunday night dread.

oh god no

I can deal with the hair, I can deal with the ruffles, I can even deal with the foot stealing trousers. But NO MORE RED SPATULA NAILS. Please Cole, please. We need something else from American Cheryl.


On Thursday I posted about the new Top Shop nails kit, and said I was going to try it out. I got as far as painting one hand pink and one hand pink and gold, and was planning to see my friend Sali later in the afternoon to discuss. But then she phoned me and said she couldn’t breathe, so I went to go and find her.

It turned out that she was suffering from massive anaphylactic shock, so it was good that I found her. Sadly, I really smudged my nail polish.

Good nails, given the severity of the situation

So all I can report is that if you leave the house in a massive rush wearing no make up and your writing clothes, and then end up in the hospital for 8 hours in a tiny room with someone looking like Violet Beauregard, the pink shade will look good next to the rather charmingly retro first aid leaflets. I ain’t got more than that and I think it will be a while before I try out those shades again.

Top Shop Nails


Oh hallo there. So I finished the book that nearly drove me mad, and then I did another one. Each of them contain contains lavish descriptions of finger nails, but neither are written under my name so you’ll just have to read everything until you find them.

Anyway … I was on my way back from the gym earlier and I saw through the window of Top Shop on Western Road that they were unpacking new make up. I scuttled in wearing my sweaty gym kit and asked the lady (Mel, she was lovely) if there were new nail products. And there were! We both squealed in a moderate ladies-who-don’t-know-each-other-but-have-something-in-common manner. I would have hugged her if I hadn’t smelled so much.

They have new mini kits, each with twin colours. This is fabulous for two reasons. One is that the tiny bottles are so much more practical than regular nail polish bottles. Has anyone, ever finished an entire bottle of polish? Or have they just gone gummy on you? I thought so.

New Top Shop nail collection. It's not on the website yet.

The second fabulosity point is that you’re supposed to wear the two colours together. Mel and I had a long discussion about how. One on top of the other just to create sparkle, as with the Rococo one? Or one on top of the other to create crackle like with the Black Shatter? Or pink nails with gold tips, like Kiera Knightly on the cover of January Vogue?

Kiera Knightly's finger

My pal Clare tried The Knightly a couple of weeks ago. She did a magnificent job – herself! – but did warn that it takes a lot off the ends of your nail  beds and makes you look like ‘a wanker who cut her nails too short’.

Clare's Knightly

Consider yourselves warned. I’m going to try both styles and will report back.

I am trying to finish a book at the moment. The deadline was moved, which in turn increased my daily word count significantly. It is sending me slightly mad. Although, it could be the significant increase in the number of chocolate-coated coffee beans I am eating which is sending me mad.


Anyway. Yesterday I was in the library, writing while listening to Haydn’s Piano Sonata in C. My notebook caught my eye. The frisky piano combined with the sight of the old-fashioned typewriter…

Mark Twain was the first author known to have submitted a typed manuscript, but even he struggled at first, noting in 1874: "I am trying to get the hang of this new-fangled writing machine, but am not making a shining success of it."

…which combined with the satisfying clickety-clack of my immaculately Chanel Paradoxal-ed fingers on my keyboard…

A pleasing nail polish will make a long day at a keyboard a joy (I always hope)

…which combined with my already slightly-mad state. All of a sudden, I temporarily believed that I had actually become Jessica Fletcher. It was only for a moment, but … well … it still happened.

What jolted me from my temporary reincarnation was the arrival of a comment on the blog post below. The news was huge. Here it is, at 6:50…

I was overjoyed, partly for the simple reason that  it was about Dolly Parton, aka The Only Woman On Earth Who Can Truly Work a Spatula Nail, but also because it suggested that that she too has little imaginative flights of fancy to do with her nails when she’s working hard. Clackety clack, clickety click, TING! The image of a glamorous secretary’s hands on a keyboard is up there that of a music goddess’ hands around a mic.  And the feeling of satisfaction derived from clicking lacquered nails while thinking is second to none.

In Dolly all three are are combined majestically.

I don’t feel so mad now. Thank you, Dolly.