May 2006

It's just great to see the sun out! Yes, as I write this copy it is 8am and the sun is beaming through my window! But according to weather specialists, we are to expect a rather wet month this May. Well, no complaints from me, we desperately need rain, and the more the better as the face of Britain is getting wrinkled and scorched. And yes, so I'm British! And yes, so we do talk about the weather!

I see our crime writer JACQUIELINE DAVIS is doing a new TV show with CHANNEL FIVE! Please read her column to see what it's all about, and if you have any nightmare situations and want revenge, then it's a must read.

On the subject of crime, I am somewhat amazed and annoyed that British model KATE MOSS is still a media attraction after being caught sniffing cocaine! I blame it on the fashion industry for keeping her in the limelight. I have two young nieces who are dedicated followers of fashion, and Moss is an idol to them and many other young people. But what is understandable is that parents don't want their teenage kids following somebody like Moss. I am surprised at CHANEL, RIMMEL, LONGCHAMPS, VOGUE and others for promoting her – still! Surely there must be a new face out there who can sell their products with more style and savvy. Moss won't be appearing on the cover of HOT GOSSIP anytime soon, that's for sure.

Talking of which! This month's cover girl is the glamorous ELIZABETH HURLEY who has just won another years contract with cosmetic giant ESTEE LAUDER, which means this is a 12th year alliance with the popular model. Said Elizabeth Hurley, "Estee Lauder is part of my life; Leonard and Evelyn Lauder are like my American parents and I love working for them." News is that Elizabeth will be appearing in a global advertising campaign for the Re-Nutriv luxury skin care line, and travel with Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of the late Estee) to continue raising awareness for breast cancer. Estee Lauder was an amazing woman, and looked fabulous at aged 95, which was her age when she died in 2004. Her secret – or one of them, was to keep on working - staying interested in life and her business. Her beauty products speak volumes too!

ELIZABETH HURLEY photographer Mario Testino for Estee Lauder

On the subject of staying healthy, I would recommend some super teas! Well, isn't it time to get yourself healthy! I have cut back on dairy products (milk especially) and have started drinking DRAGONFLY teas, particularly the WU XIN range. These teas are really nice, no bitter taste, which is what most other teas offer. They are produced by a British company that has its roots in St Petersburg, Russia in 1832. The company source rare and exquisite teas from around the world. You must try them: check out their interesting website which will tell you everything you need to know about tea. It's like a storybook.

Nobody should die in the Spring and, preferably, not in the care of the National Health Service! Sadly I lost my dear father last month – the result of two terrible falls and both whilst in the 'care' of the ROYAL BERKSHIRE HOSPITAL. The second fall was so bad that he suffered internal bleeding, resulting in brain damage. He was 81 years and, although not terribly well, he could have had more happy years with his family instead of suffering as he did. Like many of his generation, my father sacrificed opportunity and youth in the service of his country, as a member of the armed forces during the Second War, and for some time afterwards. He deserved dignity and respect in his final days but, in fact, was treated as no better than a 'bed blocker' by the National Health Service. As a family we are understandably shocked by the lack of care at this hospital and the way he was treated during his last few weeks. If you have an elderly parent in hospital please make sure you have a presence. It is the only way you can be sure that your loved one is being properly fed and cared for. We had to constantly badger the hospital staff for assistance, which was always slow in coming. We have a dossier of distressing and frustrating situations which we encountered in our dealings with this Hospital and its staff. We are all well aware of the low morale of NHS staff and of the difficult circumstances in which they work. However, the sympathy and support that one normally extends towards the NHS quickly dissipates when you are grieving for a relative whose life was cut short by their incompetence. And, let's be frank - the NHS and its staff are skillful at communicating to us all their trials and tribulations. In his final hours a young female doctor stood at the foot of my father's bed and complained to a grieving and distressed family about her personal predicament and how she was upset with the government's new rules regarding her salary and overtime. Realising how inappropriate her tirade had been, she later apologized, but it was an episode that we could have done without. Several weeks earlier the Queen visited the hospital to open a bright and shiny new ward, oblivious to the frustration and despair affecting both patients and nursing staff. And from the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, we learn that the NHS is enjoying "its best year ever" and that the fault is with the patients themselves - for 'missed health targets'. . How disgusting is it when somebody in her role has to blame patients for her own wrongdoing! What an utter disgrace!

Georgina Bruni
Editor Hot Gossip

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