“I PROSTITUTED MYSELF: TO FUND MY LOUBOUTIN ADDICTION” STU FFE WITH D STO RIES !
Free n’t mix
do Friendship and fashion
“I tried to kill my best friend for her vintage Chanel”
TROUBLE DATING? ‘Try’-Sexual Karley Sciortino’s <Cyber Dating>
I TURNED MY A SHIH-TZU INTO ! DIAMOND RING
8 year old Travi
“Too Fat For Fashion” ‘’I want to get it on - My LFW Nightmare” with Alexa Chung”
L-ove Hate Revenge Kiss S-ex Poo When Wear Who N-ow H-ere Read M-wah
Five year old fashion model twins 1 GAY 1 STRAIGHT
ger g o l B n o i h s Fa e r i a n i d o a r t x E Amazing shoot inside
8 YEAR OLD TRAVI
5 YEAR OLD SELF_PROFESSED GAY FASHION MODEL Five year old twins Joe and Duke Brooks have several fashion campaigns under their belt including Stella McCartney's Gap Kids range and a Nick Knight shoot for i-D. The model twins come with an added showbiz charm - one of them is gay, the other is straight! Joe, the gay one, wears make up, experiments with his hair, is fond of string vests and loves to read fashion magazines. Duke has short back and sides, wears a leather jacket and plays with action man. You couldn't make this stuff up! (and we haven't...)
SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE
Lily Cole IS Clever
NEWS IN BRIEFS
Ever fancied making a date with the gorgeous, smart, clever Lily Cole? Well, now you can spend time with our gorgeous Lily every day of the year with the official 2010 calender. Get your copy online for £7.99 at Lily Cole.com or call (01992) 702900. Quote
In a statement released this week, supermodel Lily Cole once again publicly declares that she is clever. The Cambridge bombshell noted, 'I just want to say that I am clever. I know I say this quite a lot but I thought it was time for re-iteration; I am clever. I am clever, I am clever, I am clever.'
Fashion People PRETEND to Eat Cakes
Faking it... With their believable cake faces These fashion people pretend to eat cakes at artist Will Cotton’s fundraiser, covered by Style.com. Will creates cupcake headbands and is here pictured with some other fashion people pretending to eat them. They do a great fake cake face.
JZ802. Phone lines are open 8am-5.30pm Monday to Friday. All calender orders are delivered within 36 hours. UK P&P £1.50 per calender.
OG 8 YEAR OLD BL I V A R T E IR A IN D EXTRAO This spritly little eight year old has been keeping the fashion world informed on a daily basis as to what’s bang on trend. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org...
News Sassy Sarahâ€™s
GOT ANY GOSS? Call me and the Mwah team on 02077824031 or 02077824101
Sam Simmonds, Fiona Cook,
Karley Sciortino, Lydia Pang, Catherine McColl, Rose Poole, Arabella Langley.
LIPPY LOCKS THE NEW POB Catwalk King of the bouffant, stylist Charlie Le Mindu has created the fiercest hair-do since the pob. Mwah! are all over it, with half our editorial team sporting the look already.
Lady Gaga commits suicide on stage as part of new tour Known for her exhibitionist character and theatrical performances, pop sensation Lady Gaga commits suicide for the finale of her Monster Ball tour. Mid- Just Dance, one of her male dance pack (rumoured to be dating the now dead star) offered her a tea cup containing the lethal poison. She swigged it back and allowed the venom to invade her body as she writhed around the stage until she finally lay unmoved and a thousand lilies descended onto her body, creating a postmodern masterpiece of musical theatre. We canâ€™t wait to see what she does next!
LOURDES CONFESSES MONO-BROW
Madonna's beautiful loin fruit Lourdes has finally come out of the mono-brow closet. The teen speaks out about the emotional damage she suffered at the hands of her mother, who has waxed Lourdes' monobrow since birth. Her revelation has catalysed the coming out of other stars including closet hair monster Cheryl Cole.
Words by Catherine McColl and Sarah Raphael
I want to get it on with
ALEXA CHUNG! ALEXA
THE CRIME It started with a bit of admiration, a few posters here and there, admiring her clothes. It ended with trying to be her, trying to own her changing both their lives forever. . .
‘Only Alexa could rock a coldsore’
How one girls love for Alexa Chung took hold of her sanity... THE STORY
Alexa is my Bardot; my Hepburn; my Monroe. Ever since she crashed a hole through my Saturday morning haze co-hosting T4, her Bambi legs and super shiny hair had me at 'hello'. Alexa is my style crush and, if only she would acknowledge me, my ultimate BFF. This diary excerpt reveals my deluded attempts to get her off the TV and into my life. My therapist thinks confronting my former mania will be cathartic and aid my recovery, but after trawling through my 'Annals of Alexa', I feel drawn once more to the shady world of Barbour jackets and brogues. I should preface by saying that I’ve actually met Alexa on a few occasions. I’d been monitoring her since her early hosting days, laughing at her quirky witticisms, trying to emulate her irrefutably scene style and generally feeling her presence. I loved her cheeky smile when she asked the questions that others wouldn’t. I think it’s fair to say that I admired her in a healthy teenage manner. Yes, those were the good times. It was with this attitude that I first met my girl crush. My friend dragged me along to the filming of Gok’s Fashion Fix to be part of the live studio audience. Frankly, I thought it was a bit naff. Most people were there for Gok, gushing over him and saying things like, ‘Oh my Gok,
it’s Gok! You made me feel good naked, ME!’ The studio was quiet, we had to be silent while they were filming backstage but through the din of background noise I heard Alexa’s distinct smokey voice. It was the first episode and nobody knew Alexa was the co-host. ‘Oh my Gok, that’s Alexa Chung’ I was saying, shh’ing the fools around me who hadn’t recognised her signature croaky tones.
A dark July day
The day went on and we didn’t see her. Then, all of a sudden, she was standing right next to me, waiting to walk on to the stage and do her piece with Gok. I was trembling. This was too much. She was so beautiful in real life, with legs reaching my shoulders. Then, she turned to me and said, ‘I like your trousers’. I froze. My friend gasped and stared at me in disbelief - I could only hope Alexa didn’t see her; I was trying to keep my cool. ‘Thanks’ I replied, shockingly cavalier. ‘Where are they from?’ she pressed, ‘Topshop’ I said, giving her a cold stare that was meant to say, ‘I’m cool with celebrity friends, I won’t cramp your style’. She was reaching out, and instead of screaming ‘I LOVE YOU’ like I wanted, I shrugged her off.
Fashion Week again. I spot Alexa at the Christopher Kane show. I sneak through the photographer’s entrance and manoeuvre my way to just behind where she is sitting. I am wearing the trousers she commented on, hoping for a second chance. She doesn’t even turn around but I content myself by surreptitiously sniffing her hair. When she leaves I take her half-used Burt's Bees lip balm.
From that moment on, I was plagued by regret. I had a window, an open invite at conversation with my heroine, our lives had intertwined through some fateful twist, and I had let her down. She didn’t know the real me. I started getting obsessed with seeing her, I re-lived the conversation in my head over and over, fantasising about how differently I could have played it. The events that followed are set out in diary format. I am not proud of my actions. All I can say is that I honestly started out like your average girl.
I was sitting in a meeting at work, and my supervisor stopped the conversation when she glanced at my notebook. Apparently my upside down scrawls and “Alexa 4EVA” scribblings in the margin reminded her of Kevin Spacey’s character in Se7en. A Monday in September
Tuesday that week Still wearing the trousers in pathetic hope. No sightings Wednesday No sign of her but in a plea at personal progression, I go to the hairdressers clutching a photo of her bouncy bob and come out a new, more Alexa-fied me. Thursday Still nothing. My flatmate leaves a copy of Single White Female in my room.
A Wednesday in February 2009 – London Fashion Week This was the day she got a cold sore on her mouth and kept getting papped, shyly, endearingly trying to cover it with her hand. I just wanted to be there and say, ‘hey, only you could rock a cold sore.’
Alexa at London Fashion Wee
Woman’s Shrine of Alexa Thursday Still nothing. My flatmate leaves a copy of Single White Female in my room. Friday No sightings all week. Where has she been? One of my friends knows a guy who knows a guy who's heard that she’s going to an after party near where I live. I get my Alexa outfit on and head over. Never have I taken such care putting on high waisted shorts and a Breton top. I get there at 11pm, and she doesn’t turn up until 3am. I have to while away my time drinking G&T's so when she does arrive, I’ve got my Breton top tied around my head and am screaming out Sting's I'll be watching you. Have no further recollection of the night.
entrance into the derelict building beside Alexa’s Old Street penthouse flat. I make a mental note to come back with more appropriate climbing gear on later in the day. I've seen Touching The Void, how hard can managing some ropes be? Sunday Success! I sneak into Alexa’s flat through an open skylight. I hide in her hallway cupboard until everything is quiet, then poke my head out and watch her sleep. She's the Rose to my Jack. I get home and recreate the drawing as a mural on my bedroom wall. Friday (the day I was sectioned) I follow her coming out of her apartment. She smiles at me casually.
I melt with the satisfaction only a crazed stalker could know. It is the opportune moment to make my move. Paps are lurking on the horizon- it’s now or never. I lunge at her and hold her close whispering, ‘you remember me…’ She screams and runs away, leaving me broken hearted clutching the button of her blazer that has broken free. I sleep in the ward with it every night. It is all over the London Lite the following day. I save the article and frame the picture. Even though she looks horrified and was running away, at least I have a photo with her. I had hoped our names would be put together in print but I was just labelled, ‘unknown psycho’.
The obsession began with a desire to be just like her. It escalated to being near her as much as possible and even resulted in hiding in her appartment. But did Alexa have a lucky escape? How far would she have gone to get that bit closer to her idol? Where would it have all ended and would Alexa have escaped with her life?
of her blazer ‘I clutch a button I sleep in every night when my ward’
Saturday Yes! Yes! Yes! She talks to me! She says ‘excuse me’ after I block her path in the tinned food aisle of her local Waitrose, my favourite hangout. Saturday After extensive research, I find an
Alexa covering her cold sore
‘The stalker’ applying Alexa’s stolen vaseline in the clinic
oing d e r a s id K ‘Gap s’ g in h t g in z a some am
YEAR OLD FASHION BLOGGER EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Blog Extraodinaire ‘Travi’ Photography Sarah Raphael
Blog Extraodinaire ‘Travi’ Photography Sarah Raphael
ger g a J ia g r o e ‘G rus’ y C y e il M o she’s n
Blog Extraodinaire ‘Travi’ Photography Sarah Raphael
Anna call me back sweetie
arty, p y a d h t ir b cco’s o R m o r f in ..’ . is h t e it ‘Just got r w had to t u b d e ir t o soo
#8 year old Travi Photographed by Sarah Raphael
g a b n a m t c e f r e ’ h ‘the p t i w 3 r a e y t r to sta
REAL L IFE STORY
Working together for a stylish London Sebastian
New collective dubbed ‘The Fashion Police’ are a group of young East enders who believe that crimes against fashion must be stopped, regardless of the consequences. Members Franny, Sebastian and Dot tell their stories…
A few months ago I spotted two girls wearing matching satin boob tubes that they had deliberately folded up to reveal their pink jewelled belly bars. Worse still were the butterfly clips holding hair gelled to Croydon potentials, and one isolated curl gelled to the cheek. One girl had a tweety bird tattoo on her stomach and the other had ‘Nan’, followed by an unknown symbol thought to translate to “RIP” across her back. I felt sick to the core. I suffer from Fashion Tourettes, which means whenever I see a rancid outfit I feel compelled to shout it out. I started yelling out slanders about their clothes. One of them slapped me and it all kicked off. A stranger came to my rescue and we beat them off with her Louise Goldin spiked heel. She introduced herself as Naomi and told me about The Fashion Police. I joined and have never looked back. Now we fight
crimes against fashion together, it’s good to know there are other people out there willing to stand up for what they believe in.
Sebastian’s Story I grew up in Birmingham, where some of the worst fashion offenders have migrated. Subjected to fashion crime from a young age, I was surrounded by regular wearers of last season’s Shoe Express, Jane Norman and Morgan. I started to think everyone in the world was devoid of style, that I was the only sane one but as soon as I was old enough, I moved to Hackney and realised I was not alone. I joined The Fashion Police about a year ago and I’ve never been happier. I fitted in like cut offs with Dr Martens. Last month, fellow member Dominic and I decided to do a demonstration. We broke into Jane Norman and swapped every distressed denim skirt and ruched
“I do n’t d I am o fashion fashio , n”
silk top with silver buckles for plain white t-shirts, inscribed with The Fashion Police slogan, ‘I don’t do fashion, I am fashion’ (Coco Chanel). It all got a bit out of hand when Dom accidentally set a PVC jacket on fire and we spent the night in jail. We were released on bail and have a court summons later this year. They threatened to tag us with those hideous tracking things around the ankle, I said, ‘Only if it’s Balenciaga’. Last year Jane Norman saw a 40% rise in profits; the country have lost the plot and we’re the ones who have to suffer. The Fashion Police are just trying to help. We’ve started running a youth group for ex fashion offenders, many of whom are just children. We help them talk through their issues and offer a fast track six week course in style, from fashion history to street style.
Dot’s Story For a long time I was in denial. I grew up in Liverpool where River Island is couture. I used to dress in Clobber glittery jeans and white patent knee high boots with a
STORY HOTLINE 0845 889 000 Stop crimes against fasion NOW
black kitten heel. I was on a visit to London to see Hairspray when a boy came up to me and asked if I’d thought about what I was wearing and how it affected others. For the first time I looked in the mirror he provided and saw myself as I truly was. I’d been hiding in these clothes, trying to fit in with the Liverpool crowd and I’d never really thought about how my actions were affecting those around me. The boy’s name was Sebastian and he told me about a course he was running for fashion offenders. I decided to go along and a few weeks on, I was a changed woman. I binned my high street disasters and swapped them for vintage dresses and Miu Miu biker boots. Occasionally I dip into old habits and every now and then binge at the weekend in an old velour tracksuit when I’m visiting my parents in Liverpool. It’s still a struggle and every day I question whether I’m over the hump, but it’s worth it. If you are experiencing fashion problems, or are worried about others, please call 0845 889 000. Stop crimes against fashion, now.
RY REAL LIFE STO
‘Too Fat For Fashion’
As Karl Lagerfeld professed from his privileged position of white mullet, perma-tan and glaucoma glasses, ‘no one wants to look at fat women on a runway’. Everyone knows that fashion has no time for the fuller figure. I made the mistake a few years ago of eating the complementary all butter croissants at McQueen, and faced the consequential gasps. I later caught one of the Olsen twins stuffing them down her gaping bra in the ladies. Last month was Fashion Week, or should I say Famine Week? Laid out here is my fashion week nightmare, you won’t believe it until you hear it, I’m still recovering myself. Yes, as the seasons go by, muffin tops and cake bulges have become something of a rarity. Sitting at my desk in a billowing pair of Viv Westwood pirate pants I can get away with the odd biscuit binge, but as September approached, the idea of being exposed in the unforgiving rays of Somerset House courtyard shivered me timbers. Of course I’d tried dieting, a baby food week here, a Granny Smith week there, but nothing stuck. My pre fashion week shake diet was evidently not working and I was starting to get a double chin on my knees. I decided it was time for drastic action. Now I’d read that models had a secret weapon that kept them nice and gaunt for fashion season. Someone once said that the quickest way out is through, and I had heard from various sources that laxatives were a sure fire way to shed those unwanted pounds. Fashion Week was well under way and my laxative diet was proving successful. I’d finally cracked it! It was day 5 and the one we had all been waiting for, Burberry’s grand return to the catwalk. As I was about to take my seat an old friend spotted me. She ran over and shrieked, ‘Oh My God you look AMAZING! You’re so thin!’ My smile was impossible to hide. The lights dimmed and I
sat down. I could relax now. I’d done it. I felt the immeasurable flow of contentment pass through me… The next few moments were a blur. One minute I was on top of the world, the next I was sitting in a puddle of my own poo. That’s right, I shat myself front row at fashion week. I nastied. I did a twosy. I had to get out of there, I thought I could save myself but as the stench hit the rest of the row, it was pandemonium. Victoria Beckham puked in her Birkin, Anna Wintour puked on her assistant who puked back into the chinchilla. Susie Bubble puked on Diane Pernet’s veil, Gwenyth Paltrow puked organic carrots on Emma Watson, Mary-Kate Olsen just looked pleased to be able to puke in public and Alexa Chung turned and puked on some weird girl sitting behind her, who looked inexplicably like it was the happiest day of her life. In my haste to escape I found myself backstage. The shame was reddening on my cheeks and I made for the nearest loo in sight. I was met with tens of beautiful six-foot models who gave me a knowing smile. Most of them had already beat me to it, the loos were covered in model poop. Hiding backstage I saw model after model descend from the catwalk and sprint to the toilet pumping something rotten. Behind those two walls either side of the catwalk it was diarrhoea central. I suddenly understood why they all look so strained on the runway. If you’re worried about your weight, I urge you to try other forms of dieting. I hear boiled eggs and ice cream is a good one. But please, please, keep your dignity in tact and learn from my folly. I’m not sure I can face February Fashion Week. I mean, how do you recover from shitting yourself?
‘Pre Puke Face’
s by Anonymou
E L Y ST R E T N U M
She’ll track you down...
by Arabella La
Back in the 60’s Mary Quant pioneered the iconic mini skirt, all the while admitting that it actually came from the street first. Scott Schuman and Garance Doré have elevated street style into commonplace fashion editorial and as beautiful as designer garments are, they all trickle down to the high street anyway. Unfortunately, as Arabella Langley investigates, some trickle down so far that they end up in the gutter… Playing The Sartorialist today is East London girl Arabella Langley. Deciding her home turf is already over-flowing with street style, Arabella is scouting for new talent. She visits Bromley, a small town on the southeastern line and interviews shoppers. Arabella is concerned – the electricity seemed to work on the train down but surely the lights have gone out in Bromley – they all seemed to have got dressed in the dark…
are soo Space Jackets
10 years ago
I will refer to this man as ‘Spaceglider’. Spaceglider’s jacket was £1 from Primark.. absolute bargain I say, but don’t all rush at once - I think it sold out in 1995 when rave was something to be proud of. Spaceglider said he was running late and the roller skates helped him fly through the shops.
These spotty teenagers were hoping to catch some ladies. Luckily for me I?ve got eyes. Shorts and woolly hats? It’s October duuuuudes.
Arabella: ‘So do they let you in shops with roller skates on?’ Spaceglider: ‘No’ Arabella: ‘What’s in the bag?’ Spaceglider: ‘Candles, I’m going to write I love you to my girlfriend’ Arabella: ‘I’m sorry did you say girlfriend?’
Arabella: ‘So you look pretty fly. Where are your hats from?’ Spotty teenagers: ‘C&A I think’. Arabella: ‘Vintage!’
p o t n i f f u m y l e v o l a ’s t a ‘Th ’ e r e h t t o g e you’v
finately JD Sports is de
l the new Chane
OF STAR AY D THE
STRIKE A POSE... Good God, I said pose not doze.
Young girl suffering from having swallowed a teddy bear whole.
I didn’t need to dig very deep. Jono was more than happy to fill me in on his style expertise... Wow.
Arabella: ‘You look so cute!’ Bear girl: [inaudible bear noises]
Arabella: ‘That is an interesting top. Where did you get it?’ Jono: ‘Lillywhites’ Arabella: ‘Do you have a fashion Icon?’ Jono: What’s a fashion icon? I dunno but I?m really into fashion.’ Arabella: “Thanks…that will be all.”
E L Y ST R E T N U M vtastic Chavtastic. Cha
!!!? PURPLE LADY IN THE DODGY ALLEY
MAISY AND JADE
Arabella: ‘Purple is a great colour for you’ Purple: ‘Thank you it’s my favourite’ Arabella: ‘So were you totally bummed when Grace Coddington bitched about you in The September Issue?’ Purple Lady: ‘What?’ Arabella: ‘How do you feel knowing that Bee wants to be a lawyer and not follow in your fashion footsteps? Purple: ‘I don’t understand.’
Arabella: ‘That’s a lovely muffin top you’ve got there Jade’ Jade: ‘Thanks…wait a what?’ Arabella: ‘Who’s your style icon’? Maisy: ‘Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham’. Nuff said?
a g n i r a e w e r ’ ‘So, you ’ s e h t o l c f o t lo Star of the day! WTF?!
ve Less is more lo
OF STAR AY D THE
This was Emma. She is dressed for all weathers, countries and eras.
I like this chick. Her style icon was Agyness Deyn and her favourite brand was Balmain. WELL DONE SUE! :D she knows how to use a train ticket.
Arabella: ‘So, you’re wearing a lot of clothes’. Emma: ‘Haha, yeah I love them!’ Arabella: ‘Who’s your style icon?’ Emma: ‘Gwen Stefani.’
o n i t r o i c S y e l r a K Try-sexual ’s k e e w s i h t t u tests o : o o b a t g n i t a d desperado > S P I H S N O I T A L E <CYBER R
Karley’s Love Lessons I
’ve always thought of online dating as being really depressing- sort of like a false Mecca for the socially illiterate (i.e. ugly people). And call me old fashioned, but the idea of forming a human bond through an LCD screen was just far too abstract for me. However, recent pangs of loneliness and my own curiousity as to what actually goes on in this mysterious digital love orgy inspired me to try it out for myself. And what do you know? I’ve been enlightened. Online dating isn’t desperate; it’s progressive. I’d even go as far to say it’s postmodern.
contemporary romance. Here are my tips on how to succeed in the romantic abyss that is online dating.
I know you probably think cyber love should be reserved for fat middle-aged women and sexual predators. But the fact is, there are some serious 2-D hotties out there just waiting to be your soul mate. I totally got multiple girl boners while scanning interweb dating sites for potential hubbies. Sure, there were a few Unabomber look-alikes, but hey, Teddy’s not so bad looking for a neo-terrorist. Plus, where else but the virtual world can you search for a mate with the exact qualities you desire- height, weight, occupation, religion and preferred addiction.
There is more than one way one can go about this. You could go for the funny, self-deprecating approach, but then you run the risk of coming across apathetic. You could be flirty- maybe throw some sexual innuendos in there- but again, you’re looking for a soul mate, not a new pimp. My advice is to go with something short and sweet. Keep them wanting more. Mystery is always en vogue.
So skip the judge-fest and try it for yourself. Think of it as an experiment in
1. Make A Good First Impression: Having to sum up your entire being in a tiny little box entitled About Me in an informative yet witty fashion is completely soul-crushing. However, this can’t be taken lightly. First impressions are everything. Mess it up and you’ll be a spinster for life, sitting home alone at fifty, doused with opiates, praying for death.
2. Speak their language: When conversing with a potential mate, remember to always use phrases like ‘LOL’ and ‘TTYL.’ Speaking their mother tongue will help you to identify with this foreign species, and make
you more appealing at the same time. Don’t feel guilty about your involvement in the slow and painful death of the English language either. It’s not like you’re BFFs or anything.
3. Photos: Warning: Taking a picture of your reflection in the bathroom mirror with your camera-phone doesn’t make you less ugly. 4. Lie: There’s nothing wrong with pretending you spent six months traveling around Africa feeding starving orphans, or that you don’t have VD, just to get someone to like you. There’s plenty of time for honesty after you’re married. 5. Trust Everyone: If you don’t trust people, then how can you expect them to like you? And if you don’t like to trust yourself, then how can you expect likeable people to trust that they trust you? It’s complicated. Basically, if your new online lover asks to meet you in person, trust that it’s probably a good idea. The chances that someone you met on the internet is a rapist are only, like, 1 in 5, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Like Aerosmith said- we're livin' on the edge.
I am 27, and a bit of fitness fanatic, I go to the gym most nights after wor k.
week t x e n p u g 'Comin Raping' e t a D d e e p S
RY REAL LIFE STO
O T N I U Z T H I H S Y M D E N R U T I ! G N I R D N O M A A DI If you are reading this, you are going through one of life's toughest times. I know because I've been there. I've even questioned whether the love was worth this pain… but it was. Francois added more to my life than words could ever say. For information on creating a ring, or necklace from your pet’s ashes, call Forget-Me-Not on 0207 333 3353.
Kitty Jenkins knows what it is to love and to lose. This is her heart-rending tale of how she transformed her grief into something sparkly.
I've never felt such a surge of emotion as when Francois gazed at me with his big brown eyes. We had an instant connection and I knew he was The One: this was the Shih-tzu for me. The next ten years were a furry blur of breakfasts in bed and balmy evenings in the garden, cocktails for me and some brandy cream for Francois. But our happiness wasn't to last. One day I noticed his fur wasn't as lustrous any more, the bow I would tie his top knot in was coming loose. He wasn't eating his Cesar Delux meals for one and his eyes had a quiet sadness to them. I took him to the vet, and it was dog cancer. There was nothing we could do. I felt like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when she runs frantically around batting her eyelids in search of her beloved ‘Cat’ in a haze of rain. Mine was a haze of sorrow. I was with him until the end. He died in my arms at 4.17 am on a cold Sunday morning. A part of me died that day too. The funeral was a sophisticated occasion. We had dog shaped
TDF biscuits made especially, but every shortbread bite caused me pain. I had decided to have Francois cremated, I thought one day I would follow in his paw steps and a family member could scatter us together, united at last. It was a dark time in my life; I would wander the streets scattering doggy treats; every pup I saw was my Francois, his little wet nose, his smell, the fluff of his tail. I ran after several dogs thinking they were my pupsy come back to me, but alas, I was met with an owner’s unforgiving glare. Following his death, I had his ashes sitting on a shelf underneath the marble bust I had made for his fifth birthday - I had planned to leave them there until I too had passed. I altered my will and outlined the course of action to be taken once I myself had joined him in the afterlife. I would have heated arguments with friends who said that dogs didn’t go to heaven, telling them that if Francois wasn’t there, then I’d happily be the only human in dog heaven, so long as we were together.
I joined a pet bereavement group and one of the ladies I befriended said that she’d had the carbon from her rabbit Petulia’s ashes extracted and turned into a diamond necklace. I knew immediately what I needed to do. One of the many similarities Francois and I shared was our love for the finer things in life; we used to sit around in our pj’s drinking champagne and watching an old Audrey flick. Francois is now a third of a carat sitting on my engagement finger. Though my ring is no substitute for him, it helps knowing that I carry a part of him with me always. We have an everlast ing connection that has transcended mortality. I also made a small grave for him in the garden - his favourite place, so I can see him out of the window while I’m washing up.
The epitaph reads: My boy Francois, Because I’ll always remember… How you preferred a pig’s ear to an expensive toy How you ate everything I couldn’t finish How you helped “break in” the furniture How you were always there for a hug How you gave me a reason to come home How I loved you with all my heart, but you always loved me more.
Words by Catherine McColl
’ e pl
o e P g
e V ‘
r I ry
n i t ir ta