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This picture always makes me laugh. It’s a beautiful piece of art, but I have 4 kids, just like Madame Caroline Murat and I think I know exactly what’s going through her head. To me, she looks like she’s trying to get away, rather than present the conventional ‘mother image’. I imagine her thinking: “are these all my children? I’m sure they were smaller than this the last time I saw them, and less noisy and…don’t touch my dress…Nanny? where are you? Nanny?” Of course all this would be in French rather than English.

This last week, as a proud mother, I attended two graduation ceremonies. One for son #3 who graduated middle school-hurrah! He seemed fairly laid back about the whole thing and it went off beautifully and relatively quickly.

Son #1 graduated from High School two days later and I was quite excited about the whole concept. I’ve never been to an American high school graduation before and I was dying to see if it lived up to all the films and T.V. images I’d stored away in my head. I felt a bit sorry for him in his black nylon gown sitting in the sweltering heat. Being as this is California, some of the guys decided to go extremely informal under their gowns, sporting a variety of trainers, shorts, hairy legs, sandals etc etc. I did wonder if any of them had gone the whole hog and were naked but luckily I didn’t find out. The girls wore white nylon which while cooler let the sun shine right through…what a choice.

Anyway it all started relatively quietly, although I did pause to wonder why the ceremonial procession music ‘pomp and circumstance’ came to be used as the standard music being as it’s a late nineteenth century jingoistic rant about how great Great Britain is, (or was in those days of Empire). the first verse goes like this:
“Land of hope and glory, mother of the free, how shall we extol thee, who are born of thee? Wider still and wider, shall thy bonds be set. God who made thee mighty, make the mightier yet, (barm barm barm) God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!”
It’s kind of considered the second British/English national anthem, so it tickled me to hear it played at both graduations.

Back to the ceremony, I noticed quite a few blow up balls being punted around in the air by the grads. Every time one came into a teacher’s radius, a teacher would leap up and confiscate the ball, causing groans. After a while, the balls got bigger and several blow up dolls apparently made their appearance. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at this point-got to love California!

And then after the ceremony of twisting the tassel (?)or something like that-it happened-they threw their hats in the air! I just loved that part!

Other news-I had a blast reading all the entries to the contest. some of the captions were great! I’ll be having another contest soon just for my newsletter readers, so sign up now!

I also heard that “Planet Mail” will be available in print in the next couple of weeks. As soon as I get some links I’ll put them up on the website. I know some of you prefer a print book to an e-book and hell, look at that cover! Wouldn’t you like to kiss that goodnight? (I wouldn’t, of course, as I have the lovely and gorgeous Mr Kate to kiss instead.)

I also have a date for the publication of my first Kensington Aphrodisia book “Simply Sexual”. It will be available in Feb 08. As soon as I get a cover, I’ll put it up for you all to see.