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We don't have time or money!

PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 05 July 2010

MICK Jagger's daughter was so outraged when her mother, Jerry Hall, went out wearing a mini-skirt at 50, she confiscated her entire stock of above the knee skirts.

MICK Jagger's daughter was so outraged when her mother, Jerry Hall, went out wearing a mini-skirt at 50, she confiscated her entire stock of above the knee skirts.

Soon Madonna's daughter Lourdes is likely to take similar action with her mother's frisky stage acts and outfits. The poor girl and her younger brother must cringe with embarrassment when their mother writhes on stage in her knickers. But I suppose it pays the bills.

Sexually suggestive one minute, protectively maternal the next, collecting adopted children to create her perfect family - her husband apparently gave his blessing on her 50th birthday to a further adoption of a girl from Malawi - Madonna not only wants us to think she has it all, but she is it all.

As Lourdes hits teenage years, her mother's outfits off-stage too will have her hiding in cupboards refusing to come out until she had changed into something more reserved.

Being embarrassed by your mother is a child's rite of passage. Bending to your child's wishes to spare their embarrassment is a mother's obligation. But bending to anyone's wishes seems to be alien for Madonna.

I can't be the only woman who's been with Madonna every step of her career who's sick to the back teeth of all the guff about how fabulous, stylish and youthful she looks at 50.

As if it's a surprise she's not wizened and grey with old pegs as teeth.

She should look fabulous. Because she can. And, even with her zillions, she frankly doesn't look the picture of health and beauty she should, with her macrobiotic diet and all. Scrawny and a bit frazzled, really.

Most women the morning after her 50th birthday party might want to take it easy, spend it with her children, chilling out. Not Madonna. She was off to the gym after her party, to make those sinewy muscley arms even more so.

Being Madonna is a full-time job, of exercising, toning, tightening and preserving. And boy is she welcome to it.

Whether she wants to do this or feels she has to to prove a point, who knows? She can afford to do whatever she likes. She's the most successful female solo artist, selling 120 million albums and 40 million singles, more than any other woman. She's reinvented herself to stay on top and in the public eye and is, without doubt, a clever single-minded woman.

But all this rubbish about being a role model for every working mother just makes every mother cringe.

Madonna employs an army of people with a vested interest in keeping her face and body from sagging. Who's got an interest in ours?

She can disappear on tour with another army looking after her home(s), children and life.

She doesn't rush in after a day's work and cook tea with her coat on before setting about all the household chores until the next day, like Groundhog Day, she does it all again.

Men might look at their wives over the breakfast table with a photo of Fab at 50 Madonna staring out of their newspaper and wonder where it all went wrong.

But not one other woman would ever think “if Madonna can, I can.” Because we can't - and probably don't want to. Our husbands don't buy us £250,000 Bulgari necklaces and earrings for our birthday either.

She may be 50, but she's like no other 50-year-old.

Woman like Madonna, and Jerry Hall for that matter, look great at their half century because they've invested the time and money. Time and money the rest of us don't have. All we can do is cross our fingers that we've been blessed with the youthful gene and that everything that life has thrown at us hasn't shown in our faces too much.

And from what I've seen of most women turning 50, they are more concerned with who they are than what they look like and whether they still look 35. They're too busy getting on with life, changing it and re-evaluating it by career, divorce, returning to education or upping sticks to start again.

Madonna is 50 and still has cheekbones and defined muscles. Well bully for her. But does she have what really matters in life and is she happy?

And only she knows that.

IF only we could bottle the pure joy and incredulity of Great Britain's gold medal winners.

No arrogance, no puffed up pomposity, no expectation of glory. Every gold medal won by our cyclists, rowers, swimmers et al has been met with total surprise that they've actually done it.

In interviews, they've bubbled over with excitement. Rebecca Adlington, who's got up at 5am every day to swim, then run, then swim again, existing on a measly £250 a week, has been so infectious with her excitement and amazement at winning two golds - 2012 was going to be her big one, she said.

Compare these reactions and their self-deprecation to our whingeing whining pampered and swimming-in-wealth footballers. There is no comparison.

These winners deserve their parade.

Some spoilsports have dismissed Olympic competitors as merely selfishly pursuing their hobbies. They have to love it to put the effort into doing it. Most scrape to get by and have done more for their country than any of our other sportsman and women have managed - they've put the zing into a wet and miserable summer and put the pride back into Britain.

At a time when young people are categorised by street violence and gangs, sixth formers are accused of notching up easy A grades, these young people are testimony to hard work and chasing a dream with an incredible commitment and sharing achieving that dream with us all.

And I for one thank them for bringing excitement to my wretched wet August.

MY favourite story of the Olympics was 19-year-old gymnast Louis Smith, bronze winner in the pommel horse.

He credited his skill to punishment meted out by his coach when he was small.

He was, he said, the naughtiest boy in his gym class who, as a “hyper child”, persistently mucked about. To punish him for fidgeting, playing around and not listening, his coach sent him to do turns on the pommel horse.

Channelling that “hyper child's” energy into something constructive intended as punishment produced an Olympic medal. Teachers take note.

WHAT goes first out of your weekly shopping trolley when funds get tight?

Best cuts of meat, chocolate, cakes?

Nope. Quilted loo roll, fake tan, multi-vitamins and fabric conditioner all drop off our lists along with teeth-whitening toothpaste, fresh coffee and magazines.

Times must be tough if we're cutting back on loo roll quality.

I always thought the Germans didn't “get' us but Mercedes' decision to make Wayne Rooney the face of their brand is simply baffling.

Rooney's pudgy visog - to steal Julian Fellowes' description of his own face, a veritable plum duff of a boat race - is more likely to make you turn away in disdain than pant in aspiration to spend tens of thousands on something he has.

Choosing Rooney as its ambassador tells us exactly what Mercedes sees us as - a nation of uncouth chavs with more money than sense.

A DANGEROUSLY fat child is a neglected child.

Neglected both physically and mentally. Mentally because, as distasteful as teasing and bullying might be, it's a fact of life that chronically obese children are teased, isolated and made to feel worthless. The blame lies at their parents' door.

A dangerously over-fed child is in need of care as a dangerously under-fed child.

It's obscene but social services must to take these children into their care as an urgent necessity, to protect them from the harm inflicted on them by their parents, always in denial about how fat they really are.

This week, a 40-stone woman talked about giving birth to triplets. The high-risk birth had placed a gigantic financial burden on the health service with numerous consultants and other specialists needed to be present.

She said she was a “big girl” because of her under-active thyroid. Come on. Under-active thyroid causes weight gain - but 40 stone?

She saw nothing wrong in the money spent on her - she was the pioneer and now other “big girls” would have a tried and tested system when they gave birth, she said, again at huge expense.

Well, that's all right then.

LET'S hear it for the children of Newark.

They're not vegging out in front of a computer, watching TV or blowing each other's brains out on games consoles.

They're out in the street playing football - but people are so annoyed they're out enjoying themselves, the council is threatening the kids with prosecution and fines.

They've obviously forgotten what it was like to hear children playing outside.

But I was less surprised at the fines but more that children still played outside and survived all the risks which parents everywhere else use to keep their children inside.

So bravo for avoiding getting run down by a speeding motorist, mowed down by a lorry driver on his mobile, snatched by a paedophile, stabbed and mugged by a hoodie, terrified by marauding drunks, sold drugs by another child on a bike or hit in a drive-by shooting.

Newark must be a great place to live.

NEW powers to drive drunks off the streets of Lowestoft and Oulton Broad sound unnecessarily complicated and depend on a heavy police presence to make them work.

After almost 500 cases of alcohol-related violence were reported in the town last year, new rules out to consultation will give police powers to confiscate alcohol and taking culprits who do not comply with the request to court facing a £500 fine.

It would be an offence for anyone asked to stop drinking by a police officer to continue to drink.

All a bit convoluted and labour-intensive isn't it? Far better for the residents and police to slap a blanket ban on public drinking in Kirkley and Harbour wards and part of Oulton Broad and Whitton wards, including Bridge Road and Nicholas Everitt Park and be done with it.


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