I’m back, kids! What a nice long blogging break it’s been since RHONY wrapped up, even as I did disregard the reunion episodes altogether. I have watched nearly nothing of RHOC and am not entirely sure how I feel about returning to BH; dumping Yo may just not be enough wholesale change for me to make time in my overcrowded existence.
While I’ve been offline I actually spent a good stretch across the pond with Mr. Little Mama on a nice anniversary/birthday/why not tour of London, Paris, the Mosel Valley area of Germany, and Alsace. We left Big, Medium, and Small in the capable hands of The Manny and away we went for twelve fabulous days seeing sights, dining and drinking, and connecting with old and older friends currently living overseas, and I am more smitten with Cool Brittania than ever. So I am rested and ready and super excited to resume spending time with you and beautiful, fashionable, clever and witty Ladies of London!
In the LoL offseason, that crabby old bitch who broke her pelvis and clearly did not want to deal with this shiitake took her pool toys and stormed off, and good riddance because she was grumpy and a drag at all times. And not a mention is made. Instead, we pick up with vegan yogi Julie Montagu at Mapperton, which is looking far less shabby than the average English estate, let alone than the last time we saw it. It seems that Julie’s in-laws, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, handed over full responsibility for the estate just one month ago, and the Montagus are in full swing bringing Mapp up to speed. It also seems that Mr. Julie is actually Colin, God of Sex, from Love Actually:
It’s going to be some time before all the lil’ Montagus relocate from London itself, specifically at least two years to get the kids farmed out to the appropriate boarding schools, but for now they are getting this show on the road and maximizing Julie’s LoL/health-guru profile to increase Mapp’s visibility and, presumably, tourism which would pay for the necessary improvements and restorations to make this crumbling pile nearly as profitable as the castle from Downton.
Meanwhile, back in the Chelsea district of London itself, fellow American Marissa Hermer is getting ready to leave her bed for the first time in nine months and go to hospital to deliver Baby Girl Hermer. It seems Marissa got pregnant right after the previous season, and was quickly diagnosed with some unspecified, life-threatening condition (apparently: placenta accreta, where the placenta is too deeply embedded in the uterine wall) which could cause massive hemorraghing. As a result, Marissa is going in for a C-section to deliver the baby two months early and also undergo a hysterectomy, which is really unfortunate and more than a little scary. Marissa asks Mr. Marissa to fetch the “big pants” from her knicker drawer as he packs her hospital bag. You know the ones.
While Marissa faces a scary medical situation, Caroline Stanbury and erstwhile sister-in-law Sophie are facing medical miseries of their own making as they get tandem banana bags to compensate for the extreme hangovers they gave themselves at the previous evening’s 40th birthday extravaganza thrown by Mr. Caroline S. for his lovely wife.
Groovy gold jumpsuit!
The Stanbury ladies are both going through life transitions at the moment. Caroline is adjusting to life as a mere housewife now that her business enterprise, Gift Library, is no longer a thing; Sophie is in the process of divorcing Caroline’s brother after seven years of marriage. In-laws or not, they were friends first and intend to remain friends after. Also friends are Sophie and Julie Montagu, which does not make Queen Caroline a’tall happy. Queen Caroline sniffs that Julie Montagu is the “village foghorn” and complains about her efforts to drive a wedge between herself and Juliet last season. I don’t really get why Caroline S. bothers with Juliet in the first place and I suspect Sophie agrees with me, privately sharing with us that Julie does better work in the friendship department than Caroline does in the first place.
The Other Caroline, Fleming, the Danish one, is over at her Chelsea townhouse packing for a trip and allowing her five-year-old son Nico to consume a crunchy granola bar on her bed, which is a terrible idea whether or not you have OCD and/or an abiding preferences for clean, debris-free sheets. Caroline F. is off again to Denmark to see her dad, who has cancer, which has increased the frequency of her visits from monthly to weekly. Exhausting; I hope he appreciates it. Caroline F. and her dad’s relationship has at times been strained due to her career and “occasional love choice”, but presently they are on good terms. I have a feeling we will be visiting Denmark a lot this season.
At hospital, Marissa is whisked into a delivery room without Mr. Marissa who has to wait elsewhere and dither with his sister, and the cameras. Marissa and/or the baby might die but no sign of either of their parents? Ultimately they sneak into the surgery wing and find a nurse who assures them that everything went just fine, not a thing to worry a bit about. Phew!
Banana bag emptied and hotel checkout complete, Queen Caroline has returned to her temporary residence in Surrey to unpack, having moved house. It seems that Mr. Caroline S., Cem, has accepted a tony job offer in Dubai, and as a lease on their fully-furnished-and-fabulous family home was immediately snapped up and one does not go to Dubai in the summer months, the Stanbury/Cems have had to find an extremely regular rental home of their own in which to wait out the heat. When we were visiting our ex-pat friends in London we stayed at their home in Surrey and I kept one eye peeled for Queen C.; from the looks of things, she may have been closer than I had hoped. Anyway, Queen C. summons her makeup artist and her dear friend Adela to help her “unpack”. It would appear this entire situation is intended to introduce Adela as a FOL, and not much info is shared about her except that she is a party girl whose primary attention getting device is her boobs.
Sophie, meanwhile, has gone for a walk with The Village Foghorn to tell her about the upcoming Divorce Lunch she’s hosting and also make sure she’s well-informed about the shit Queen Caroline has been saying about her, which predictably causes The Foghorn to blast. Julie Montagu is aghast that Queen Caroline would describe her as “dangerously loose lipped”, as the word “dangerous” attached to her, the future Countess Sandwich, not only attacks her character, but also threatens her brand, her yoga empire, everything! Her husband would tell you Julie is really quite secretive. This must be about the fact that Julie has a title coming to her and Queen Caroline does not.
After the stroll, Sophie returns to Chutney – excuse me, Putney – to have a picnic with her two little boys in some very high grass before their dad comes to collect for his weekend visit. The Sophie Stanburys have ended their marriage over Dad’s unrelenting party boy ways, and Sophie appears understandably anxious about sending the two little boys and one big one off unsupervised. Clearly Sophie did not get the memo from Yo Hadid Foster Hadid about ticks in tall grass which is another risk she should have considered. Tsk tsk!
Time for the Divorce Lunch at a pub with a patio. Julie Montagu arrives attired for a ladies’ garden party in a floral frock; everyone else is in Breton stripes and shorts, except Queen Caroline who inexplicably selects a denim coverall shorts look from the Britney n’ Justin 2003 “Canadian Tuxedo” collection. This woman used to be a stylist?
So apparently, to set something in motion, Sophie has told Queen Caroline that Julie Montagu is all worked up because Queen C. associated her with the word “dangerous”. However, things go sideways when Julie arrives having realized that Queen Caroline doesn’t have anything nice to say about anyone, so who cares what she says? So now no one knows what to do, and when Juliet, resident of Queen Caroline’s armpit, shows up expecting to jump in on the beat-down, it’s on, sort of half-assedly, but on, and goes around for a while without ever really amounting to much, let alone the tears Queen Caroline was hoping to elicit from Julie, before Julie picks up her handbag and goes home.
Still to come: that beautiful baby! Julie tackles Mapperton, Caroline Fleming wrings her hands over media attention, and Caroline S. and Julie keep butting heads.