Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Wednesday 1st October 2003

Lad Dad

Last week I got a letter from Maclaren, the manufacturers of the Britain's most fashionable prams. "When it comes to transport for Sasha, have you made your decision yet?" it asked. "If you would be interested in a Maclaren now or in the future, then please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to arrange a discount. You might be interested to know that Caudia Schiffer pushes a Maclaren Vogue!"

How dare they? I thought. Do I look like Tara Palmer-Tomkinson? Don't they realise that a journalist of my calibre would never dream of plugging a product in return for 10% off? If they want to me to mention one of their wretched prams in this column they're going to have to give me a 100% discount, at the very least.

Maclaren should take a leaf out of Bugaboo's book. Bugaboo is a Dutch pram company that offered me a completely free pushchair a full two months before Caroline gave birth. Not only that, but they sent over a beautiful Dutch girl called Bibi to demonstrate it for us. While putting it through its paces, Bibi let slip that among the company's loyal customers is none other than Claudia Schiffer. Clearly, the Teutonic supermodel has as many prams as she does shoes. She's the Imelda Marcos of motherhood.

I was so impressed by the Bugaboo--it looks like one of those Martian Rovers--I immediately called a pregnant friend of mine in New York and urged her to get one. Now this friend is the Fashion Director of a glossy magazine and had never heard of a Bugaboo before. In fact, she had her heart set on a Maclaren Vogue.

However, she did a quick bit of research on the Internet and came across the following entry on an "expecting parents" message board: "I have never been a jealous or envious person. And we've bought 2 wonderful strollers--a Zippy and a Martinelli--which I am sure will meet our needs wonderfully when the baby comes. AND YET all this talk about Bugaboos is really making me want one! I am sure people will post and say what a shallow, awful person I am, but I was just wondering if anyone else feels the same as I do?"

The answer, needless to say, is yes. Two weeks before Sasha was due, the New York Times Styles section devoted a front-page article to this season's must-have fashion accessory: "From Central Park West to Santa Monica's trendy Montana Avenue, the Bugaboo is the chariot of choice. Miranda has a Bugaboo on Sex and the City. Julianne Moore showed hers off to Barbara Walters. And Noah Wyle rarely leaves home without his. 'The Bugaboo's design surpasses anything that's out there,' said Mr. Wyle, the star of E.R. who has a 9-month-old named Owen. 'I mean, have you seen the shocks on this thing?'"

After the baby was born I couldn't wait to take her out for a stroll in my brand new Sports Utility Pram. Admittedly, it was unlikely to cause much of a stir in Shepherd's Bush, but if I could just wheel her as far as Westbourne Grove I'd be certain to attract some envious glances. After Caroline gave me the green light, I dug my Allen key out of my toolbox, dropped to my knees and started to assemble my new toy.

Two-and-a-half hours later I still hadn't left the room. By this time, I'd already rung the Bugaboo helpline twice and watched the instructional DVD three times. It was harder to figure out than a Rubik's Cube. Admittedly, assembling a piece of IKEA flat pack furniture is an afternoon's work for me, but the Bugaboo was completely beyond my powers. Perhaps if I had a doctorate in structural engineering I might have fared a little better. As it was, I would be unable to follow the example set by Julianne Moore, Noah Wyle and Claudia Schiffer.

In the end, we were reduced to begging Caroline's parents to let us have the rusty old baby carriage that has been lying in a corner of their garage in Suffolk for the last twenty-five years. It does the job--just--but I don't anticipate it being the subject of a front-page article in the New York Times Styles section any time soon.

[ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share

Twitter In this week’s ⁦@calling_podcast⁩ ⁦@JamesDelingpole⁩ and I discuss the looming Coronavirus pandemic, whether there’… link  (5 hours ago)


Why the left keeps losing by John Gray -
The closing of the conservative mind: Politics and the art of war by John Gray -
Cambridge and the exclusion of Jordan Peterson by Nigel Biggar -
The shocking truth about Jordan Peterson by Wesley Yang -
The intellectual dark web by Bari Weiss -
How identity politics is harming the sciences by Heather Mac Donald -
The fall of the German Empire by Ross Douthat -
How Tom Wolfe became Tom Wolfe by Michael Lewis - Vanity Fair
The neuro-diversity case for free speech by Geoffrey Miller -
The Age of Outrage by Jonathan Haidt -
The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski -
Is classical liberalism conservative? by Yarom Hazony -
The Implosion of Western Liberalism by Patrick Lee Miller -
The Eton of the East End - Daily Mail
The reactionary temptation by Andrew Sullivan -
The book that scandalised New York intellectuals by Louis Menand -
To understand Britain today, look to the 17th Century by Adrian Wooldridge -
The crisis in France by Christopher Caldwell -
A Visit to Michaela School by Patrick Alexander -
Why parenting may not matter by Brian Boutwell -
Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance Explained by Michael Wolff -
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum by Dominic Cummings -
Putin's Real Long Game by Molly K McKew -
The Flight 93 Election by Publius Decius Mus -
How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman -
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer -
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan -
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs -
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan -
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker -
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood -
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray -
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter -
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win -
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons -
Inside Westminster's free school -
Robert Conquest obit -
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that -


Andrew Lilico
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone


AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from

  • Buy the DVD from

  • IMdb Page on the film