I’d never have made it past security at The Portland

Five Star Babies
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I’ve recently been watching the BBC 2 series Five Star Babies, set in London’s Portland Hospital, maternity playground of the super-rich.

I had my own babies in St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, where the cash-starved NHS was too poor to give me the expensive anti-sickness drug until it became clear (five hours later and still aboard the vomit comet) that perhaps I really did need it.

At The Portland, for between £15,000 and £250,000, one may choose everything from one’s birthing room to one’s consultant.

If you are feeling too posh (scared stiff) to push, then your offspring can emerge from your womb via a c-section that has been carried out using a scalpel sprinkled with the stardust of virgin pixies, by a consultant whose little finger is probably insured for the sum of your house.

My own c-sections were born of medical necessity, but I don’t much care how babies arrive into the world, as long as they do so safely.

The experience – including terrifying reactions to spinal blocks and the special time that my wound burst open with infection – was a far cry from The Portland.

There, once you’ve given birth with your mascara on and find yourself in need of some recovery time, your baby can be whisked away by bluebirds to the nursery.

Mary Poppins will swaddle them, until you’ve had a snooze and enough time for your milk to dry up.

The sleep-deprived Verity thinks that this sounds like heaven.

But even my inner night-crawler is quite sure that I wouldn’t like it.

I’d waited months to hold my babies and when I was too poorly to do so, my husband did.

It came as little surprise that some of the mums at The Portland seemed to have trouble bonding afterwards.

Not that this matters because I’d never have made it past security.

The true Portland mother only appears to require a couple of Rennies after a sprig of kale too many.

Whereas I’d have arrived with a smear of Big Mac special sauce on one cheek and a hormonal spot on the other.


It’s a sad day when you realise that your husband’s legs look better than yours do when clad in tights.

My husband recently dressed up as Henry VIII (for the purpose of education I’m pleased to say, not delusion), and asked to borrow a pair of my tights for his homemade costume.

Being a generous soul I acquiesced, but it took some persuasion. White Stuff hosiery does not come cheap.

Having seen, and laughed, at the subsequent photographic evidence (think ‘bearded lady does the coronation’), I’d suggest hiring said outfit if you’re contemplating dressing up as a member of Tudor royalty.

There’s nothing pretty when your husband looks like a hirsute sparrow in bad drag.


he recent spate of celebrity deaths has caused much consternation on social media of late – and has also highlighted the necessity to read and think carefully before one posts anything in public (said she who’s writing a public column, proof-reading desperately).

One poor soul, known as ‘Joyce’, made an unfortunate comment on Twitter upon reading that Prince, he of diminutive stature and colossal talent, had died.

Joyce, whilst attempting to display her concern, said that she hoped the aforementioned musical genius would ‘be okay’.

Unless Joyce is possessed of death-defying medical prowess, then one suspects that she was the student in GCSE English who was repeatedly told to re-read the question.