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We haven’t had conscious coupling for some time, sighed Carrie.  Gyles

is so busy.  And I don’t want to know about teenagers’ unconscious coupling

either.  She sipped at her latte.

She was reading The Mail Online from her tablet in Costamuchamoulah must-

seen cafe where there is a WiFi connection.

I am always warning her that her bank details might be exposed in using

public sites for her iPad obsession, but she is reckless.

So this latest Paltrow phrase is a trendy euphemism for divorce? I queried.

Maybe their foreplay was all Coldplay.  I was proud of knowing the name of

Gwynnie’s ex’s band, for some reason.

It’s a load of Goop, Carrie replied.


Oh, some site where Gwynnie’s gurus post New Age Lifestyle Advice.  In

relationships, people apparently play teacher and pupil.

Sounds a bit kinky, I commented.  You’d have thought it might have spiced

up their marriage.  Maybe she should have bought a gymnslip.  Or is that

non-PC nowadays?

Carrie scrolled down.  Every irritation and row is a trigger which flags up a

need to examine one’s psyche to locate negativity that requires healing.

Who are these people? I asked.

Dr Habib Sadeghi and his spouse, Dr Shahizad Sami.  They state that humans

are not wired to be with one person for decades.

I could have told them that, I said, munching on an almond croissant.  But

better the devil you know and all that..


Virginia Fisher-Giles was reading The Mail in her brief break.  She recognised

this ‘Goop‘ argument a posteriori– to wit, that people in relationships begin to

smell less fragrant to each other after a while and the emotional protection of

the equivalent of a vinaigrette in plaguish times becomes a vital vade mecum.

What is all this about relationships between the sexes being like that

of a teacher and pupil? she pondered, while taking a tray into the study of

Augustus Snodbury (Acting Head).  She had only put a single biscuit on

his plate, as this 50% reduction was supposed to be Snod’s self-denial

for Lent.  No doubt there would be a Bourbon Restoration later in the year,

as there had been in 1814.

Please don’t put that on top of these reports, snapped Snod.

She slipped out silently.  Actually, one Bourbon down was a strategy for

weight control, she thought, and it was in line with Dr Sadeghi’s Within:

A Spiritual Awakening to Love and Weight Loss, mentioned, or promoted in

the article.  All you had to do was release your weight.  She wondered

where it all ended up.  Maybe injected into some media type’s butt.

Kim Kardashian 2011.jpg

But this newly-displayed moodiness meant that her honeymoon period of

infatuation had run its course. Something had all too short a day, she thought,

and it wasn’t summer.  She was experiencing a seven year itch and she had

not even married him, let alone been out for a date.  So much for teacher/

pupil relationships.  She could teach the old boy a thing or two.

A boomerang of a thought hit her with some force, provoking a suppressed

notion about males to emerge, blinking into the light.  She suddenly saw that

she was acting out a role that she had outgrown.  She was going to crush

any sense of personal injury.

She returned to the report.  It said that any ‘peeve‘-curiously colloquial, but

then it was reported in The Mail, was only evidence of an older emotional scar,

and she knew what that was all about, but she wasn’t about to open up old


It was just as well that she had presence of mind and skills that were so

essential for a School Secretary.  They were evidence of her spiritual

evolution, naturally.

Suddenly the image of that squashed Venezuelan poodle moth came to mind.

It was an entomological symbol of the insignificance of her boss and his

retarded development, surely?

The bell rang.  She had to get on with sorting out parental envelopes, but at

lunch break she would read the rest of the article about insects and human

emotional development, according to Goop.