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Pippa Middleton.jpg

Monday morning and so I sidled into Divas’ Deli and found Carrie there buying the Pippa Middleton book: Celebrate.

Thought this would be ideal for Clammie’s Chrissie prezzy, she beamed.

Was somewhat annoyed as I had been considering it for the very same recipient.  Still, if I buy one and very carefully open the pages, but don’t bend the spine, maybe I can get away with off-loading it on someone else, once I have noted down any useful tips on my Tablet. Didn’t say anything, but hinted that I wouldn’t mind finding it in my stocking, in addition to Dan Snow.

Carrie is over the moon that the awful Juniper is not going to be going to Clammie and Tristram’s Guy Fawkes party.  Her horrible little brother John is also not being invited.  Juniper’s behaviour at Tiger-Lily’s sleepover was reprehensible enough and none of us wants our children to mix with such delinquents.  I hasten to add that it is nothing to do with Juniper’s gender fluidity issues; it is just her utter self-gratification and her brother’s bullying tendencies that have upset us all.

Carrie divulged the reason for this joyous news: apparently Juniper is plastered- not in the sense that she was at the sleepover, however. No, she is in plaster with a broken arm.  She is crazy.  She jumped off the Art block roof.  Clammie’s daughter, Scheherezade, witnessed the whole event, or should I say, happening?  And she is not a girl to make up stories.

Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from a space capsule, Red Bull Stratos, lifted by a helium balloon at a height of just over 128,000 feet above the Earth's surface

Juniper has been obsessed by Felix Baumgartner’s leap from 128,000 feet.  At her School for the Academically-Gifted they believe in a cross-curricular integrated approach to learning and so everything recently has been based on leaps: leaps of faith, Kiekegaard’s Semantic Leap, leap years and the Gregorian Calendar, French urban vocabulary, such as traceur/ traceuse etc.  Yves Klein’s Jumping into the Void was studied in Art History and in PE they learned about the training skills associated with parkour, that weird sport which owes its origins to military obstacle course training. It resembles some of the moves in Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon. One has to travel from A-B in as short a distance as possible and without one’s feet touching the ground. (In my childhood this was when a parent grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and marched you off to bed.  But I digress.)

Conceptual work by Yves Klein at Rue Gentil-Be...

Anyway, Juniper had been unusually attentive in the Art History lesson and afterwards she climbed onto the roof and shouted to some girls who were engaged in some artistic activity round the back of the building to capture her launch moment on their mobiles.  She threw down a scrap of cartridge paper which bore her bowdlerised mission statements, to wit:

You have to realise the impregnation of space by your own sensibility


Neither missiles nor rockets nor sputniks will render man- nor woman- the conquistadors of space.

The girls didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, but a couple of them managed to take a digital image of her as she jumped.  Scheherezade said she was shouting:

I’m not falling; I’m rising!

And then? I asked.

And then she went splat on the roof of Clammie’s 4×4, which had been parked there as Clammie had made an appointment to see the art teacher about Scheherezade’s installation.  There was a crater the size of Birmingham on the roof.  Cosmo said it was more like a black hole in his current account to cover his insurance excess and to have the bodywork restored.

Birmingham? I asked, incredulous.

No, there really is a lunar crater called that, she stressed.  Cosmo told me once when he was showing me round his observatory.

Beats etchings, I muttered.

Anyway, she continued, ignoring my sarcasm,  Juniper is now asking everyone to sign her plaster cast and she is going to submit it for her Art History Practical. She’ll probably get an A*.  It’s so annoying. 

So, it’s cost them an arm and a leg, I said, without thinking.

Just an arm, Carrie said, laughing and paying for the book.

And Juniper’s nasty little brother, John, isn’t coming to the party either?

Derren Brown.

No.  Their mother has also been getting fed up with their behaviour and so she phoned Derren Brown and arranged a personal mini-Apocalypse for them.  It’s a set-up where they are being driven to Salisbury Plain, thinking they are going to paint-balling, and then some tanks emerge and block the road and there is a mock-up of a meteor strike.  By the end of two days they will have been introduced to the concept of altruism as they have to share a bottle of Highland Spring and a bag of Kettle Chips, or starve.

Wow! That’s amazing! I exclaimed. I wonder if any other mothers would be interested in signing up their sproglets?

Apparently Derren Brown has been inundated by requests and can’t personally hypnotise or deal with them all, so he is hiring out Parent Packs of tanks, flame throwers and DIY nstructions.

Well, that should solve the problem of bored teenagers in the school holidays, I remarked, a shade too eagerly, perhaps.

Precisely, said Carrie.  We are sending for our packs tomorrow before they run out.