Bridget & Her ‘Modern Family’


I have a confession to make… one that any self-respecting 46 year old PR probably shouldn’t be making. I never really liked Bridget Jones on-screen… I found Zellweger just a touch too nauseating in films one and two – something about her mouth. I didn’t LIKE Bridget. Maybe it was timing. I had just lost my beloved mum and didn’t really like anything. But all that has changed.

I laughed at Bridget singing in a Thai jail; I empathised with her attempts to conquer life and love. And I was always more of a Daniel Cleaver kind of girl. But… I have never been a girl to ask “does my bum look big in this?”, count calories or sit and down a bottle of wine at home in my PJ’s. I never REALLY related. But I was still the only ‘unmarried’ at weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Christmas parties. AND I only wore a bunny girl outfit at the right party, a Playboy party!

From the opening scene of ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’, I just knew this film was for me. Bridget singing ‘House of Pain’ word-for-word is more my thing, minus the wine – my dogs normally dance along with me. I liked watching Bridget on screen this time around. I can’t begrudge her former ‘baby fat’ look as Renee actually fattened up on some of London’s finest Italian food at Da Mario Kensington, owned by one of my closest friends, Marco Molino.

The script, from beginning to end, was tight and relevant – I am sure helped along by Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson’s input. I think most people I know can relate to Bridget in this film – I wept and I howled with laughter. The actors are genuinely enjoying themselves and ‘McDreamy’ clearly ups the ante as far as I am concerned (particularly bare-chested, in a yurt, at a music festival). Perhaps this is the true reason that Hugh Grant refused the role.

You can just feel through the cellulose that every character is rooting for Bridget. Many of the cast have played alongside her since back in 2001. Zellweger is also clearly more comfortable in Bridget’s (tighter) skin (ironic after her own plastic surgery) and perhaps is more in touch with her own femininity, particularly when she finds out she is “up the duff”.

On that note, Emma Thompson is a delight, as always, as is Bridget’s new side-kick, the free-spirited ‘Miranda’ (who would have thought). The director and production unit have captured London at its best. The soundtrack is fantastic and relevant – I particularly loved Annie Lennox’s ‘The Hurting Time’. Every inflection in Annie’s voice reflects what is going on chez Bridget. And I am sure ‘Bridget Jones Tours’ are being launched by ‘Team Brexit’ as we speak, just as SATC Tours exist in NYC.

What is so ironic about Bridget Jones is that if it wasn’t for her middle class roots, her clipped RP accent (and what a brilliant English accent it is) and decent teeth, I am sure Jeremy Kyle would have loved to make mincemeat of her on his morning TV show. The ‘Jack’ and ‘Mark’ equivalents would have looked like they had just come off the set of ‘The Walking Dead’, once again, with rotten teeth and they would be shouting at one another with obligatory sub-titles on our screens.

I cried when Bridget saw her baby on the ultrasound monitor. It is a long time since 2004. So much has changed for me: I lost my dad; almost lost my mind; moved to Spain; got two rescue dogs; built up my business; survived cancer; fell in love with boxing; ran three half marathons for Make-A-Wish; travelled the world; experienced difficult break-ups and numerous illnesses but most relevant of all, I lost my womb to a full (and medically required) hysterectomy. So no ‘Miranda Leslau’s Baby’ movie.

I rarely consider the fact I won’t be a natural mum. But I felt a pang of loss as I watched Bridget ‘bloom’. And so many women watching this film will relate to Bridget’s journey, regardless of whether they are married, single, co-habiting or otherwise. You can just ‘feel’ Bridget more in 2016 and it will be personal to you and your situation. She has grown up with her fans and we want her to be happy because we all want to be happy in our own skin.

I was really rooting for Jack throughout. Mr Darcy never worked for me but I appreciate his relevance in the movie script and character progression. In an interview, Dempsey actually said he didn’t know why they couldn’t both have Bridget. Now that is a ‘Modern Family’ indeed. Seems reasonable to me, LOL.

You know there is movie number four in the making too. I won’t give everything away but the final scene prompts two specific storylines that you just KNOW are going to put a spanner in the works and that ‘The Diary’ will be smoking with confusion in the next few years. And I can’t wait.

Bridget Jones’s Baby is a delight. I want to see it again. I love that Bridget has grown up. I have grown up and changed no end since Bridget came to life in 2001. I love her now. I love myself now. And, the most important mission for me is that if Bridget can get married, so can I. And this I will do. Thank you, Bridget. You inspired me and focused me. I know what I want. And I am so happy that you got what you want too (well for now!!).

The Facebook Fast – Full Moon to Full Moon


A month ago, the date of Full Moon July 2015 to be exact, I pretty much came up against a big full stop. I was working too hard, feeling dreadful (physically), sleeping 16 hours a day on some days and the walls started to cave in. I resigned a client, albeit with a heavy heart and burst into tears in front of my gynaecologist when he told me my one remaining piece of femininity was being crushed.

I came off Facebook and went inside myself to try and get my body and soul together. There was a dull silence. My phone was ‘shouting’ less. My fingers weren’t focused on the handset 24/7 and I stepped back.

Having lived most of my life as Superwoman’s cape, holding my hand up is a big deal for me. I have been ‘luchando’ since I was a wee nipper and I do find it hard to ask for help or say that I am struggling. This probably stems from having asked some people for moral support in the past and being rejected so I stopped asking. So there I was, a month ago, out in the cold, gripping onto my dogs for dear life but deep down inside knowing I would be OK. It sounds dramatic but I really did come up against a wall.

My very learned gynie, who sees medicine a la Ancient Greece, ie in the Holistic sense, recommended me to an Internist/Doctor, curiously where I live, to see if he could help me. I have been feeling like I don’t have the right motor inside me or as if someone has put in the wrong engine oil, increasingly desperate for some answers as I should be feeling better, not worse. I have been convinced that some of my specialists have missed something fundamental in their commitment to fending off Cancer. And I was right. These doctors are specialists in one area rather than looking at the body overall.

So I went to see Dr Hakman who sat and listened to my tale of on-going woe. I brought him piles of papers and results, reflecting my poor old insides crying out for someone to listen to their cystic plight. He agreed that something has been missed and set to task to ‘fix the Leslau’. So far (and I get all tests back this week) I have Lymes Disease (not recent) and am still hypothyroid, post-Cancer.

Dr Hakman told me that as a Thyroid Cancer survivor I need to be hyperthyroid(over-medicated) in my dosage (rather than hypothyroid, ie under-medicated) otherwise tumours will be created from the lack of Thyroid replacement therapy. How ironic. So in the Cancer specialist’s quest to keep the Cancer at bay, my little old body has been trying to create Cancer tumours because I don’t have enough replacement Thyroid medication. How insane is that?! So I have increased my dosage as the Thyroid controls the whole body and many of my symptoms may be because of the lack of hormone in my system. All TBC with the next lot of tests and results.

Alongside this diagnosis, I have continued my quest to look into iodine and the links between iodine, cystic conditions (non-Cancerous) and all types of Cancer, not just Thyroid. If you dig deep enough you can find WHO reports that confirm that a third of the universe is iodine deficient and that many Cancers (particularly breast and other female Cancers) can be prevented and treated with iodine. I have been saying this for a long time.

If you have lumpy breasts or cystic ovaries and fibroids, this can be attributed to being hypothyroid, ie not having enough Thyroid hormone (iodide) or iodine (the Thyroid converts this into iodine) within your system. Over the years, we have looked at the Japanese diet (and soy) as a reason why Japan has the lowest incidence of breast Cancer the world over. MYTH. The Japanese diet has over 100 times more iodine than any other – it is not because of the soy. Iodine has been removed from salt and due to production processes, many products are iodine deficient unless they are organic. The first thing that is done when crews go into a crisis zone is iodize the water.

I could actually write a thesis on iodine and I am trying to campaign for Eye On Iodine awareness, particularly for children and women. We are not told the facts; the war against Cancer and other chronic and acute illnesses can be reduced. We need to look outside the alkaline diet (for Thyroid Cancer patients), broccoli is not your best friend; chilli and garlic are better suited. There is a bigger picture here. The drugs companies and fast food conglomerates will always win, sadly, if we continue as we are. But I am on a quest. And when Leslau is on a mission… (just look at my dad’s 30 year obsession with Holbein!!)…

Many of my gynie problems could be attributed to my Thyroid function (ie hypothyroid post-Cancer, as well as pre-Cancer I am sure, even though I never showed as having a Thyroid condition (but my hair was falling out, I was bloated, my eyebrows fell out, I had gynie problems and my adrenal function was failing). I have upped my Thyroid meds so let’s see if my newly increased 7cm ovarian cyst reduces by way of a result. My solitary ovary is holding on for dear life to save me from being menopausal.

The other health challenge currently is Lymes Disease. Although it can mask other conditions (and I am still waiting on other results) it would appear I have had this for some time. It could account for many symptoms and unfortunately is chronic. I am not currently being treated for it until we know more.

You see, with a calm mind and less chaos, I could focus on what I needed to focus on. I have also started going to an amazing Holistic Clinic in San Pedro (also recommended by a learned traditional medical consultant) who is also helping me. I won’t talk about this too much as many people I have shared this with have been negative and dismissed these practices. One of my consultants reminded me himself that many centuries ago, a medical doctor could only claim to be so if he was also an expert in theology, astronomy, astrology and natural remedies. So go figure.

My dear friend Nina came out to stay, to look after me. I went out for the first time in ages and was singing along to Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ on the mic with the DJ at Olivias in La Cala and Salsa’ing away in my white stilettos. I will talk about Olivias in another blog but I had the energy to go out and have a good time. That is my point.

I organised, with my co-conspirator Louise, a leaving do for my dear boxing trainer, Mick Ham. Mick has been the most valuable of friends and drivers for me. His friendship and training inspired me to ‘fight’ Cancer, as well as helping me find me again. I love boxing training. In my darkest moments and however bad I feel, I will almost always go to boxing. It is like oxygen. And we all know that in some countries, including Israel, they use Oxygen treatment to treat Cancer and other illnesses. I also made a cheesecake for Mick and anyone who knows me, will appreciate that I can’t follow recipes or instructions (so this is some testament to the man!). I actually followed the recipe, bought an electric whisk and weighed out the ingredients. It really tasted delicious too!! Just call me ‘Miri Berry’. AND it was Lactose and Gluten-Free. It would definitely sell in the shops!!

The current state of play is good and bad days. I am working, boxing, swimming, reading some fabulous books and focusing on my clients, interspersed with some ‘me’ time. I booked my NYE Holiday to Thailand – my first two-week holiday in 10 years! And bought myself MY perfect dress of all time, by Ralph Lauren, in three colours. They fit me like a silk glove and I can’t wait to see some people’s faces when they see me in them!! Skinted rather than minted but the money will come back to me. I am in the right mindset to attract it back. With low energy I was operating on the wrong frequency.

In the last month I have witnessed the utmost in selfishness, ego and narcissism and, on the flip side, the kindness of Angels. And this, my friends, is the nature of Life. Light and dark; good and bad. And all within 30 days of a Facebook fast. A month is a long time – a landmark for change after death and loss; poignant in relation to some religious festivals; instrumental in the growing, reaping and harvesting of crops as well as the female reproductive system (well, 28 days) and the lunar cycle (in which I 100% believe). Things reveal themselves over time if you look up and see the signs. The sun continues to rise and the moon waxes and wanes until the next cycle begins. My Facebook Fast was worthwhile, not because I was off Facebook per se or that my friends missed my on-going tirade of nonsense. Moreover, because I wasn’t looking out and reacting to work, life and love. I took time to look inside me and to look up from my phone. Never a bad thing and one that I can highly recommend.