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I just had a rather sad conversation with my mum, she was informing me of this shocking case in Italy.
Father forgets to drop his 22 month-old daughter to nursery on his way to work. She falls asleep at the back of his car (like many toddlers do...). He drives on, immersed in his everyday thoughts and totally forgets to do it, assuming he'd already done it and drives to work. He parks the car, it's a very hot day, he locks the doors and makes his way inside the University where he teaches Veterinarian Surgery. Like every day.
Five hours later, upon returning to the car, the tragedy unfolds. Little Elena is fighting for her life, she is in a coma, induced by the overheated car and dehydration. Elena loses her battle to survive after three days and her organs are harvested and used to save more lives.
No verdict has yet been pronounced.
Somebody is calling for manslaughter.
Somebody else is calling for child abandonment.
The poor man's wife, eight months pregnant with the couple's second child, is defending her husband in front of a shocked country. Holding back the tears she said "He is a wonderful husband and father. He took a lot of responsibility to allow me to stay home and rest... Elena was his life and she adored him. This could've happened to anyone...".
I agree.
This little girl is not the victim of a neglectful parent, she is a casualty of the fast-paced, mechanical lives we live.
Actions repeated every day that overlap each other, actions repeated by default, without thinking, as the mind is busy worrying about those bills to pay, that much-needed pay-rise, that weekend seemingly so distant, that holiday we all need but can't afford, that school so expensive, those files still on the desk, that deadline that needs to be met no matter what.
I thought about my situation.
Since having Gabriel, I find myself double checking the stupidest things... Have I locked the car? Have I closed that window?
In all my worry to forget something, it turns out that more often than not I do indeed forget, and I find my car unlocked (luckily untouched...), the window open and a puddle of water on the floor, where rain has come in.
I forget to feed the cats, I go food shopping especially to buy something, and come back home with everything but what I went out to buy.
I am a stay-at-home parent, my patner travels a lot for work and my focus is all on my son, so everything else fades into grey sometimes.
Luckily, this is the extent of my absent-mindedness, and the most it will ever cause is a couple of slimmer cats and a water-stain on my wooden floor....
But what would happen if, together with a son, I had to deal with the pressures of a full-time job, daycare timetables, a partner that cannot help because of his health and the entire weight of my family's welfare on my shoulders?
I am not that optimistic.
Of course, I would be just like any other parent juggling work and parental duties and until something goes off silently in the head and tragedy strikes, I won't stop to think about what kind of life I live, dragging everything around with me, pushing, pulling, stopping, starting.
It's an atrocious turn of events, little Elena died as a casualty of the daily rat-race. My point is, this could really have happened to anyone.
Even me.
I could've buckled under pressure. I am not made of stone, although it's my duty to make my son believe that I am, that I can take it all, that I am the safety net that will always stop him from falling....
In today's society, if you can't do it all, you are a failure. But it's difficult to do it all on your own. Even more difficult is to stand back and realise that our main employers, the people that motivate us and push us to achieve and to strive, the people we really work for, it's them: our little ones.
I've never felt luckier to be a stay-at-home parent, my thoughts are with the other victim of this tragedy, that poor man, that will have to live with this for the rest of his life.

No verdict will ever be as atrocious as his situation...


QF

Being raised as a bona fide Italian, with plenty of home-cooked food and a certain generosity in the portions, I cannot help but lift my eyebrow at the sight of so many children eating pre-packaged stuff and growing up on fries and jello....

This sort of alimentary-snobbism, is rooted within any self respecting italian. We don’t just love what we eat, we are extremely picky when it comes to quality and flavour. Food and cookery are an integral part of our culture and our life.

That’s why we are the food-extremists of the civilized world.

I think my mother would crucify me to the kitchen table if she saw me feeding Gabriel a diet of MacDonald’s and ice cream, like many parents here in the UK do....

I think she would see it as a failure, as every italian mother prides herself with having taught her offspring at least how to put together some decent food... Well, mine does....

Also, the UK notion of 'cooked meal versus uncooked meal' (i.e. a meal made of something cooked from scratch versus a meal of sandwiches and potato crisps) it's something alien to my culture.

Where I come from it's totally unacceptable to sit in front of a bowl of crisps and a ham 'n cheese sandwich and call it lunch. This is something you eat when you are on-the-go, when you are at a birthday party, when you are stoned, but never at home for lunch. I guess our version of an uncooked lunch would be slicing a selection of cold meats, some crusty bread, some cheeses, grapes and pears, and a nice bottle of wine. Not exactly the same thing, is it?

I've been told that most families adopt this rule of thumb: one cooked meal a day (usually dinner...), the rest is a filler. I have also been told that this is because two cooked meals are somewhat heavy to deal with for your digestive system (!!!). But then they go on holiday to the south of Spain and eat themselves to a stupor and drink themselves out of it (they do that even back home though... Drinking I mean...). So I have found another explanation: pure and unapologetic laziness. Eating out of a packet is more convenient that an hour spent slaving over a hot stove. Full stop.

Most people in UK are only now starting to develop an 'eating culture' that is on the same level with their european counterparts.

This thing affects every aspect of their lives: from the campaign to ban crap foods from schools, to the promotion of healthy eating habits (that includes the removal of the morning 'fry-up' in favour of a more balanced continental breakfast...).

Ever since Gabriel abandoned the bottle for solid food, I have been cooking my arse off, as I never relied on potted baby-food.

I admit, I did try it, knowing only too well that when traveling, one must be able to fall back on more practical options than a bag filled with a selection of tupperware stuffed with home-made mini meals.... I carry already an insane amount of luggage when traveling backwards and forwards to Italy, as I cannot downsize for the life of me, so the extra suitcase to carry His Royal Highness’ food-on-the-go really grates on me.

The problem is that, as I insist in tasting EVERYTHING Gabriel is expected to eat, I found most of the pre-made baby foods horrible.

Some of them are too strong in flavour (like, once I had a spoonful of this ‘chicken, tomato and peppers’ risotto and ended up burping up peppers for a day....Not good...), some others are much too bland (I know that salt is a no-no, but the flavour of the ingredients ideally should still be there). Generally speaking, when it’s potted to last on a shelf without refrigeration, you know that it isn’t going to taste like anything you would cook when sober and that there’s going to be something inside you wont normally use in the kitchen.

Result: Gabriel never liked pre-made food. Hence my refrigerator being always stuffed to the brim with pre-portioned home-cooked meals (lentils, beans in sauce, vegetable broths, beef ragout, chicken stock, baby-sized meatballs....). How do I do it? Here are some examples.

One of my favourite ways to stock up on good pasta sauce, is to make a good quantity of it, wait for it to cool down, then pour it into several ice-cube trays, freeze the lot and then break it up inside a freezer-bag, ready to be used as each two cubes provide the right amount of sauce for any pasta/rice dish, and they don’t take much room in the freezer.

I do the same for chicken or beef stock, vegetable purees or even minced cooked meat to add to any dish I might want to make, just to ensure Gabriel gets his meat-proteins.

Sometimes I might make a really scrumptious roast with potatoes and mixed roasted vegetables and, as Gabriel is still refusing to chew meat (although he happily chews on everything else...), I just set aside a little bit of everything and blend it into a soft puree that goes extremely well as a dip for toasted bread or as a sauce for a pasta dish. And it tastes awesome!

He also likes polenta (see the pictures? In Italy we spread the polenta over an old wooden board and we sit around the table eating directly from it... Like a proper tribe-feast!) and meatballs, but they have to be soft, so I always blend the raw mince to make it finer and mix in a little white bread soaked in milk or a boiled potato before making the meatballs (I also mix in an egg yolk, some mortadella and some parmesan cheese.... He loves them!!).

More often than not, he sits down to a good healthy lunch whilst I do away with a bowl of cereal (only because I hate to cook for myself.....) and to see him munch down his food, it gives me such satisfaction!!

Obviously, when Gabriel is in a ‘not-eating’ phase (teething, general moody behaviour, dislike of his food), it destroys me psychologically, as I start seeing him shrinking and wasting away.... This is the italian mamma creeping out of my subconscious, the same mamma that would happily tie you to a chair and force-feed you until she is satisfied that you have eaten enough.

Hey, It's in my DNA. I'm working on it ok?

I learnt that if he does not want to eat his lunch, rather than have a nervous breakdown, I will have to wait until he is hungry, and he’ll come around gagging for a spoonful of risotto...

I also learnt that paranoia is very much part of any nurturing parent.

Ok, maybe only to a degree, but you know what I mean. Right?

And I learnt that just because I am a crusader for home-cooked meals, it does not mean that my child will grow up eating absolutely everything.... He is in fact turning out to be a fussy eater (when both me and my husband are definitely NOT!). But for me it's important to make him understand the culture behind food and the importance of sitting at the table with the family without underestimating the fun to be had cooking it with papà!

In our fast-paced society, food is becoming a sort of 'pit-stop and refuel' type of thing. It's loosing its cultural importance and ritualistic value. Preparing food for someone it's first and foremost an act of love. It's the oldest and simplest gesture that says "I care about you...". I have many happy memories of me standing on a kitchen chair, looking at my mum mixing up ingredients or chopping stuff. I remember the sheer excitement for a special meal that I might have helped to prepare... Sometimes when I cook, the smells take me back right there, in that small kitchen in Italy, filled with strawberries in may and mushrooms in october. This is a piece of home I carry with me no matter what and it's an inheritance I want to transmit to my son.

So there....

We do what we can to give our kids the absolute best of everything, but ultimately it will be up to their little personalities to determine what they are going to hang on to.

And there is always psychological blackmail to bend them into shape, so he better polish the plate tonight!!


Just kidding.....



QF x



After spamming my way through your Facebook and Twitter pages for the past month or so, here I am, at the end of the competition, triumphantly on the lead of the pack. I do feel like I have achieved something. It’s not so much winning the competition, because as you might or might not know, I am not going to run to Hollywood to sign a movie-rights deal with Steven Spielberg or something, but I feel like what I have reached is bigger, and better.

I have won your support.

Ok, before you accuse me of speaking like a beauty pageant queen (next I will be saying that my role model is Mother Theresa….), let me remind you what I am doing here… I am a gay dad that started writing this blog a bit because of my need to channel some creative energy after giving up paid work, and a bit because, maybe, I still need reassurance and approval of my choices. I know, I know…. I don’t care if it sounds pathetic, but it’s true. I am carrying inside a deeply rooted sense of insecurity, I guess I will never get rid of it. I have met some mean people in my life you know… So, when support comes from people I even don’t know, I can’t help but feel elated, happy, comforted. It’s my way of reaching out, and it’s the same for all the other gay parents blogging out there, I think. A way to say “Hey, we are here, this is what we are doing with our lives and it’s wonderful. Even better if you want to share it with us!”

As I write, I have clocked over 740 votes, I have received copious messages of encouragement and support from friends and from friends of friends.. Even from the friends of the friends of friends… So you see…. This is the biggest prize. I am being honest. I have received an email from Jake and Richard from Ontario, they made me smile with what they wrote:
"Your blog is so frothy and witty and fun that you make us feel like everything is alright and that you are looking at your future as a parent with optimism...” “… are you not scared of the difficulties that lie ahead? Your son’s first day at school? The time when his class will find out that he has two daddies?” They were not being sarcastic, simply they were asking me if perhaps I had detached myself from reality a little. But the answer is no. No way. I can’t afford the luxury of detachment.

I am well aware of all the challenges every gay parent will have to face, but I chose not to focus on the issue and dedicate a blog to it. That would have been a waste. First because narrow-minded people will always be around, even in the most accepting society and it’s way more productive to send out a positive message to all, rather than starting a battle to change the minds of the few. Second because we all know already what the obstacles in our lives as parents are and I believe that by discussing over and over again about them, I would only end up making them bigger than they actually are. In my head that is. I tend to be a little paranoid you see… We are a regular family, with regular issues and regular dynamics. We are not flying the flag of diversity because we feel we don't need to. We are just like everyone else. We don't do parades, we don't do LGBT Families Conventions. We are just another family. What makes us and breaks us are the same things that make and break any other family. We don't need to be handled with care, just with respect. The same respect we give to others. If you want to refer to us as "The gay family", then I will assume it's because you have been too lazy to find a more befitting adjective, like 'sweet', 'lovely' or 'nice'. Perhaps you don't know us well. I hope one day you will. No, I don’t think it’s denial, it’s “cautious optimism”. To look at life with optimism, to trust people and their innate goodness. To be able to enjoy that goodness. To gather it up as our strength and face difficulties knowing that we are not alone. Anyway, at least this is what I am wishing. When difficulties loom, our motto as a family is “We’ll cross that bridge when we’ll come to it…”. And I believe that we will have a lot of people around us, to help us with that crossing. The point is that we might not even ever get there. Maybe there wont be a bridge to cross for us. Perhaps we are already on the other side. Perhaps this is me still looking over to the 'other' side. The one that scarred me and made me just that little bit more insecure than the rest of you. I am very optimistic. Cautiously.

But I also know that no man is an island. We all need each other. We all need support, and I am glad to have yours. My I got heavy…..
See you all here next week, and thanks again, from the bottom of my rainbow-coloured heart.
QFx

London has been recently hit by a wave of absolutely glorious weather! Temperatures have risen well above 25 degrees on occasion and I couldn't just not take advantage of London's most beautiful park (in my opinion), Holland Park.
A sprawling parkland dotted with delightful gardens, arches laden with blooming wisteria, fountains and the callings of countless peacocks in their full regalia.
It is quite simply gorgeous!
There is also the best equipped children-playground area and sand pit in London, so I had to take my little man... Every day!
I must admit, it feels quite intimidating to enter an 'under five' play area when the sun is shining. The place is crammed with buggies and prams of all kinds, jackets and shoes lie pretty much everywhere as do water beakers and toys.
The intimidating factor is the fact that I am almost invariably the only dad with his son at the playground.
I get the most stares from the kids.
I wonder if they think I have nothing better to do than bum around in the sand pit with my son instead of going to work. Yes because looking after my 23 month-old son doesn't equal to work, right?
They would know! Being in affluent central London, 90% of them are accompanied by their nannies, all of them stuck to their mobile phones whilst the kids in their charge slaughter each other.... Their parents are at work. Properly.
I get asked often the question "So, when are you planning to go back to work?", to which I reply "I don't know yet... We'll see..." and this generates weird looks, as if it's strange that I might have chosen to give up my career to become a full time parent.
But then I look around me, and I understand.
All my friends have 'rushed back' to work after six, nine or twelve months of maternity leave. They have usually fallen back into their original positions and resumed their tasks.
It's true that whatever they earn goes into paying for childcare, that in London is extortionate at best (here in Chelsea, the going rate for one full day at nursery is between £75 to £100!!), but they decided nevertheless to go back to work for a question of 'mental health preservation'.
How I understand!
Unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to go back to work as the laws regulating paternal leave are quite different and the most one can obtain as paid leave from an employer is 2 miserable weeks! Can you imagine? Just consider that it took us 3 weeks only to take Gabriel back home from the US!!
I had to resign, but I was planning to anyway, so, no hard feelings, but being a dad in the UK is not a bed of roses, legally speaking....
I was trying to explain this thing to my mum. She is a woman from a time when being a mother and a housewife was the top aspiration of many, MANY young girls, and she finds it hard to understand how any woman could give birth and then 'run' back to work.
"Mum, you make it sound like these women escape from the delivery room with their briefcase in hand and the umbilical cord still dangling between their legs, to make it to the boardroom in time for the 8am meeting...." I taunted her,
"Oh darling! Come on... The place for a mother is with her children.... " she ranted on
"But, mum, women have a lot of other responsibilities nowadays. They are no longer waiting at home to become brides you know?"
"Why? Do you think that I was waiting at home for your dad to come and ask me to marry him? I had been working since I was 13! By the time your dad popped up I was a seasoned professional housekeeper... Mind you, I never felt like that was my ultimate goal in life, but, nevertheless, I had a job that I had to give up to marry and become a mother... I chose to live as a housewife as I felt that my place was at home, with you."
"Fine, I understand this, but a lot of women out there simply cannot afford the luxury of giving up their jobs to play happy family.... Maybe they need the money or maybe they feel that they have invested too many years of their lives to build up a career to simply let it go.."
"Mah! -she went on- I think that marriage (as an institution) is in crisis because women have forgotten what their place is.... They want the same things men want, so there is nobody left that wants to do a woman's job anymore... Apart from you". She concluded laughing.
In their crude simplicity and backwardness, these words made me think.
Nobody wants to do a woman's job anymore.
Perhaps that's totally true. Perhaps this is why a lot of people look surprised when they find out that I decided to hang up my Gucci suit to stay at home and get covered in spew, crayon, food and, occasionally, puke.
Perhaps it is not perceived as such a good deal, swapping the frenzy of a monday rat-race, the meeting, the budget forecasting, for a tranquil existence of washing machine-loads, floors to polish and cakes raising in the oven.
That's why, every time I get to the playground with Gabriel, I have a hundred pairs of asian nanny's eyes on my back.
I don't see what the big fuss is all about.... I see it as part of natural evolution. I explain.
Back in the Stone-Age, it was a physical strength issue that left women behind, in the cave, to look after the fire and the little ones.
Back then, and for several centuries afterwards, it was the strongest of the two that was in charge of hunting and providing. Not that a woman wouldn't be able to manage with bows and arrows (perhaps in fact, women would have been even more organised as it turns out they are still better team-players than their male counterparts...), but when you consider the long days, the miles to cover during a hunt and the roughness of the environment, then probably the physically stronger individual would have proven more suitable for the task.
Furthermore, women can feed the babies from their bodies, so, no use for a dad to stay in the cave if there is nothing flowing from his hairy nipples.... Nearly all the important tasks ensuring survival, were revolving around physical strength, so it was natural back then that men had to go and hunt, fight, plow, build.
And this set up stayed with us until recently, at least until the end of the 19th century and the rise of the Suffragettes.
Women don't need to stay in the cave and look after offspring and fire because they don't need a man to go out and hunt. They go to the supermarket and do food shopping with the money they've earned from their jobs.
They can pay someone to look after the fire, the little ones and even the husbands. They are now equals in a world where physical strength is no longer an absolute necessity for survival, but money and knowledge is.
So there they go, the gender-appropriate roles. We left them in the cave.
Have gender-appropriate roles become obsolete?
Are genders obsolete?
In the evolutive race towards equality among the sexes, are we all going to blend into one?
With more and more families breaking the conventional pattern of 'female/mother/carer/home' versus 'male/father/provider/work', are the future generations going to be finally free of debilitating gender-related social pressures?
My mother seemed to think that society is destined to 'fucked-up-ness' because of this inner revolution, but I for one think that this gives scope to explore oneself as a more complete being.
Let the men get in touch with that caring and nurturing side that also belongs to them, but that they had to stomp out for fear of being emasculated; let the women exercise that ambition and that drive to succeed that they had to suffocate for fear of being left out as the rebellious woman that refuses to obey her husband.
By wiping away the gender roles within a family, we create a family that truly works as a team, where everybody is an equal and contributes to the family in equal measure. A family where children will not grow up with prefabricated concepts of 'what is appropriate for what gender to do'.
Women out there, have you ever sent flowers to your husbands/boyfriends? More importantly, if you were ever to send them, would they be pleased or just die of embarrassment?
See what I mean?
In the world we live in, a man doesn't even have the luxury of receiving some flowers. I won't believe for a second that any man, in any level of education, is unable to appreciate a beautifully tied bunch of flowers. I rather believe that they had to train themselves not to swoon over such frivolities. Their balls are at stake.
Their loss.
Whilst men still scratch their heads trying to grasp the big change, women have children, cook, clean the house, make themselves pretty, tuck their kids to bed and have the new socially granted freedom to ride motorbikes, drive trucks, run the marathon, direct huge corporations, build houses and swim the Channel.
They are experiencing the world by wearing skirt and trousers.
That's exactly what I want men to do, without fear of social pressure. If this is a men's world,
then the laws you laid down now work against you! You are missing out on evolution!
So here I am, donning the metaphorical skirt more often than not.
I am sorry if my legs are still too pale under it, but I needed to start from somewhere.
Once you get to experience it, it turns out that a woman's job is in fact the job of whoever loves something and wants it to grow.
"But you know.... Our society sometimes dictates that a man should...... ".
HALT! Stop the bullshit!
The society is us.


QFx










I promised myself I wouldn't waste blog space to write about Bin Laden's demise, but it looks as if I am surrounded by a lot of people recriminating against whoever is showing relief at the news.
All over the papers there is this sense of uneasiness, as if killing such monster was not such a good thing after all.
They are worrying if the burial followed islamic protocol, if he was or was not armed when he got gunned down. They are worrying about the legality of the action. A lot of questions are being asked with regards to the 'how', the 'when' and the 'how many'.
I, for one, just want to ask the only question that REALLY matters. Can we have proof that he is dead?
I am not going to join the moralists (wether they like the definition or not) or the folks that like to stir polemic just for the sake of it. They are as fake as Judas and I don't believe for a second they are mourning the loss of such a mass murderer.
War is a dirty business where right and wrong are blurred. Blood is spilled, regardless if it is innocent blood or less, it is nevertheless blood, life, human life. In war there is only action and retribution, cause and consequence, whatever the reasons behind the conflict, at war we are all guilty.
Taking Bin Laden down required a firm stance from the US, with the knowledge of exposing a whole country to a landslide of criticism.
I am happy Bin Laden is dead. I am happy that he doesn't get to breathe the same air my son breathes. I am happy that, although nothing has changed and Al Qaeda is still an ugly machine of evil in motion, one of its leaders has been taken down.
I seem to recall that this man was at war with the western world. He buried over 3000 people at the WTC during 9/11. Many of these people have been refused the luxury of a burial in accordance with their faiths. Because their bodies could not be put together again. Their families have lost them under a mountain of concrete, glass and iron.
Bin Laden had the luxury of becoming a martyr by dying of the same violence he spread across the world and the privilege of being buried all in one piece exactly where he belongs, as close as possible to Hell.
It's all well and good to pontificate about right and wrong, about the nature of the actions taken to eliminate this enemy of humanity. Countless people out there are still hurting for the everlasting damage this tyrant has done to their families, their countries, themselves.
Let's ask them to determine wether Osama Bin Laden has in fact met the just retribution to his crimes or if he is another victim of 'american brutality'.
Theirs, is the only opinion I have respect for. Whatever that opinion might be.


QF x

P.S.
See what you get for bitching about the dead? My Facebook account has been inundated with spammy links related to an alleged video of Bin Laden's death... It's everywhere!!!
In the words of Bette Davies allegedly speaking about the death of Joan Crawford "Momma said that one should only speak good of the dead... She's dead.... Good!".
Better now?



Dear Kate,

I hope you have found the time to vote for my blog in the Best LGBT Parent Blog competition by Circle of Moms.
I expect the above link to go viral in Buckingham Palace within the next hours....
First of all, let me apologise for not having been able to attend the festivities in occasion of your wedding, but unfortunately, my rather boisterous (albeit adorable) son, makes us somewhat unsuitable dinner guests to sit at any table, even Camilla's.
Said that, I need to tell you: you surely showed them girl!
You looked amazing and I defy anyone out there to say that you didn't look like royalty. Honestly, all your detractors, all of those people sniggering over you having to wait for the big proposal, having to fritter away in meaningless jobs whilst waiting for that tiara, having to put your life on hold in the hope of becoming Britain's Next Queen, nicknaming you 'Waity Katie'....... I bet they're chewing at their elbows now.
The wait has paid off. For everybody!
The dress was pure magic, your demeanour was nothing but regal and yet endearingly 'princess-next-door'. You did me proud!
Looking back at what Diana looked like during those first official interviews, one cannot help but draw comparisons and admit that she was like a deer in the headlights. Shy, awkward, naive. A girl obviously 'pushed' in an arranged match, in a situation she had no control over and the subsequent years sadly proved this to be a dramatic truth.
But oh! The sheer luxury of marrying for love!
That makes all the difference.
I am sure you have been sufficiently warned against the venomousness of the british press, one day they'll think you are fat, the next that you are anorexic. One day your make up will be too heavy, the next you'll wear next to no make up and they'll say that the strain of royal life already shows on your face.
They'll praise you and make an example of your social extraction: the first working-class royal;
the next day they'll say that you are nothing more than the daughter of an over ambitious air-stewardess who got lucky.
I couldn't believe when I read that they refer to your mum as "Doors To Manual"....
My advice to you? Remember why you married and remember also who your detractors are: all those fickle people gasping at the news of you wearing Diana's engagement ring, looking at you as if you were a grave-robber, totally ignoring the fact that the biggest gift you received from Diana is in fact William.
A compassionate, human, kind young man that decided to marry the girl he loves, not the one that etiquette and protocol considered as the most suitable.
That's why when I heard the reporter lamenting Diana's absence from the nuptials, I couldn't help but smile realising that she was, in fact, all over this event.
Why do you think that the princes decided to arrive early at the church to personally greet friends and relatives before the ceremony took place?
Why do they even think you are standing at the altar looking every inch the fairy-tale princess every girl dreams of being?
Why do they think William was in the streets the night before the celebrations, to meet all the bystanders sleeping rough in the street to secure a good position for the parade of the day after?
This is the influence of a great mother, of a great woman that challenged royal protocol and injected love, humanity and life in an old establishment more and more detached from reality.
Diana has paved the way for a little girl, a commoner's daughter to marry her prince charming.
You are the face of change.
Just remember this when the press wants to eat your soul.
I should know, as a gay parent that challenges the status quo of the traditional family, I slam against people's opinion every day...
Before I go, I wish to extend my congratulations to William as well (perhaps he would look more handsome with a zero-crop, now that he has as much hair as me....), and want to ask you something: that your first born is a girl, so that my son can marry her. Mind you, I am not making any assumptions over my son's future sexuality, but I thought that the days of two kings ruling one country together is still millennia away....
I dream of the easier option.
After Obama became the first black president, I feel that it's only fair that the next step in history would be having a member of the royal family that comes from same sex parents.
You have heard it here first!

Lots of love to you Kate.... Oooops, I meant, Princess Catherine Duchess Of Cambridge
(what about 'PC-DOC' for friends?), looking forward to seeing you working it and I know you goddam will!!!

QF x


P.S.
As I write I get knowledge of Osama Bin Laden's death. I can only say that, after a royal wedding and the death of an evil character, this weekend couldn't get any more Disney if we tried....