Shiny Paper II

Shiny Paper II
When I was growing up, my mother’s Thursday treat was Woman magazine. Around 11 pm, when she finally got to sit down with a cup of tea, she would look around and say ‘Where’s my book?’ One or other of us had usually swiped it to pore over the problem page, which was more Jerry Springer than Dear Abby.

Every week, among the recipes, the soap opera gossip and the budget clothing spreads, Woman featured a lurid scare story.

    Is Your Teenager Addicted to Ecstasy?
    CRACK: What You Should Know about this Deadly New Drug
    Are Your Kids Exposed to Internet Porn?
    Is Your Daughter ANOREXIC?

My sisters and I were watched closely for symptoms of each new craze.

‘I’m very worried about Caroline,’ Mum confided once. ‘She drinks a big glass of water every night before she goes to bed. Do you think she’s smoking Ecstasy?’

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