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Pretty Busy By Amanda Foreman


With another book on the way, five children, and a high-octane life split between London and New York, award-winning historian Amanda Foreman reveals how she looks good in a hurry.

"When I analysed my day, I realised that if I were a chicken, I would be crossing the road every 30 minutes. Actually, I don't have 30 minutes that haven't already been allocated somewhere else. As a multitasking working mother, my life revolves around squeezing 45 minutes into half-hour slots. That does not include tasks which are of no benefit to anyone but myself. There are no time slots for that category. Inside that non-existent time category, known as Split Infinity, are two separate activities: a) maintenance, such as facials, eyebrows and manicures; and b) presentation, which means being ready before you get into the car. Both are the equivalent of those black holes in space that scientists love so much. They exist in theory. But it is impossible to enter them straight on without being crushed by divergent force.

"Fortunately, just as NASA has discovered a way to explore black holes using the Laws of Time to compute interesting facts about the Laws of Space, the Multitasking Mother can now bend the Laws of Space to do weird and interesting things to the Laws of Time. The invention is new at-home beautifying service Blossom & Jasmine... it can be booked online, and a representative will come to your home at the hour and day of your choosing.

"Multitasking as ever, I can supervise homework on a Tuesday evening while Ginny is giving me a manicure. I can have a pedicure on a Saturday morning while patiently sitting through three lots of piano scales and a screechy violin."