14 Mar 2014

A Tribute to Tony Benn by Brian Trevelyan. RIP.  


Photograph ©David Levene
My husband (and editor) Brian Trevelyan wrote a beautiful tribute to Tony Benn this morning. Here it is.

Once, whilst waiting for a train in Leeds, I sat on a bench, reading New Scientist to kill the time. Away down the platform, a knot of people in suits were talking self-importantly and loudly. In my peripheral vision, I was aware of a figure detaching himself from this group and walking over, where he sat down wearily, on the bench next to me. 

I glanced up. It was Tony Benn. The party he'd walked away from was the campaign group for his son, Hilary, who was standing as MP for Leeds North-West. 

I looked down at my magazine, mind racing. Here was a man who was a political hero of mine, a politician of principle and conscience, whose socialist conviction had remained strong throughput his career. I had to speak to him. 

But he was obviously tired, relishing the few moments of peace away from the gaggle of Labour drones, and what would I say? "Wow! You're Tony Benn!!" a fact of which he was probably already aware. Or "You are a personal hero of mine, may I shake your hand?" Which might have been acceptable, had he not been deep in contemplative reverie, and what if he asked me "Why?"

So, I sat and read my magazine, whilst my hero daydreamed and sucked on his empty pipe, until the train pulled in and we both stood to board. As we did, I glanced at him, and he at me, and our eyes caught. He smiled, a kind little smile, and his eyes crinkled warmly, as if he knew all along what I'd been thinking. 

That little glance said all that needed to be said. 

RIP Tony Benn. We will not see your like again, and Britain is the worse for your passing.

© Jude Calvert-Toulmin 2010


Brian's Beanburger Recipe aka Spicy Bryburgers  


Spicy Bryburgers

My husband Brian wrote this recipe through trial and error, and has come up with the most delicious beanburgers I've ever had. The inclusion of bulgar wheat soaks up the excess liquid so that the burgers are firm yet moist and not flabby, too wet or too dry. Plus they have a slight crunch to them.

You can get gram flour from Asian or Indian stores; it adds a nuttiness to the flavour, if, however you don't have access to Indian or Asian food stores then you can substitute rye flour or stone-ground flour. Just don't use bread flour as the high gluten content will make the texture too dense.

You can serve these with some melted Cheezly on top (or cheese if you're not a vegan) in a bread cake with a hot piquant sauce. Absolutely divine.

Trivia: Brian is the one I said had ravished me over the kitchen worksurface that morning on Come Dine With Me Sheffield (Series 27 Episode 28) in which I appeared (and won!)

3 cups beans (soak overnight)
Boil until just floury
Add 1 cup red lentils
Cook till lentils are soft, drain totally.
Puree on pulse two-thirds to three-quarters of mix, save rest.
Mix together

Mix in the following:

1 large onion, finely chopped
Tons of garlic (about 6 fat cloves)
2 cups chopped nuts
Good slug soy sauce
2 cups gram flour
2 tablespoons salt
10 deseeded, chopped green bird's eye chillis
Good twist black pepper
1 tsp dry roasted and ground cumin
1 tsp dry roasted and ground coriander
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoons English mustard
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 cup bulgar wheat

Shape into patties
Put around 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and heat
Add a couple of burgers and cook for 7-8 minutes (ish) on each side on medium until golden brown or until they look done.

© Jude Calvert-Toulmin 2010

8 Jan 2013

New Year 2013 News  


Hi everyone, Honey Higginbotham here, Jude's PA / PR guru / flatterer / tea-maker /toe-nail polish applier updating you on recent news. As Jude has been laid low with viral meningitis for a couple of months I've had the run of the office and it's been fucking brilliant without her, parties every afternoon. But (unfortunately) she's back with us and working flat out again which means I've been nagged into writing this. Sigh. I'm on Facebook btw...



Every time Channel 4 or More 4 broadcast The Come Dine With Me which Jude won, Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law shoots straight back up into the Amazon erotica bestseller lists. This means that at all the dinner parties Jude gets invited to, she can now brag about being a best-selling author before farting and falling face-first into the cheesecake.

The title has now been signed up by leading erotica specialists, House Of Erotica and is now listed on Amazon as Cougar Erotica. Ooooh my word. You can buy it in paperback and as an e-book at many leading online retailers. LMGTFY. (Top right in HOE's current releases.)

Meanwhile, the editing on Drowning, the sequel to My Adventures in Cyberspace, continues. Rome wasn't built in a day and nor were Jude's semi-autobiographical novels. Drowning will be published by Fleur De Lys Publishing in Spring 2014 and there will be a book launch in Sheffield and possibly in London too. Watch this space...

House of Erotica (a subsidiary to the major publishers Andrews) have requested a sequel to Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law, and Jude is 10K into the writing of A Passion of Classic Cars featuring the same main characters from Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law. But who is shagging whom this time, hmmm? Again, watch this space. Jude hopes to complete the novel this summer ready for immediate publication.

Labrats is currently being edited and will be published sometime in 2014. So by the end of 2014 Jude will have five novels out. Not bad for someone to whom all and sundry were sneering "You'll never be a writer" only five short years ago...

"If you can't beat 'em, fuck 'em. Then beat 'em." ~ Jude Calvert-Toulmin

© Jude Calvert-Toulmin 2010

3 Oct 2012

Jimmy Savile. Child rapist and psychopath  


Even as a child, I refused to watch his programmes. To me, he was always a cold, sinister charlatan who was creepy around children. Long before I understood what paedophilia was, I knew that I wouldn't want to be left alone in a room with this man.

And that was just his body language. Then there's his appearance. Look at the picture above. If that doesn't scream "paedophile" at any normal woman I'd be very surprised (all, without exception, of the women I have spoken to about Savile have said "He gave me the creeps.")

And the cigar. Whenever he could, he was pictured with a full cigar sticking out of his mouth. What do you think that cigar represents? Um? A torpedo? A cucumber? A rolling pin? No, it represents an erect penis. It is Savile's way of mocking a world he has hoodwinked. He is saying "This is what I do. I'm a rapist. It's right in your faces and you're all too stupid to see it." By using that cigar as a continual metaphor he was laughing at us all. The shell suits were also a metaphor. They were his clown costume to make him seem like harmless, colourful, friendly Uncle Jimmy. One of his rape victims commented here that the elasticated waist of his shell suit made it easy for him to pull his pants down to rape her.

A few years ago, a close friend who himself had a degree of power on the club circuit in Leeds in the 60s told me that it was an open secret that Savile was a paedophile and therefore by definition, a rapist. And let's be clear about this. "Dirty old man" "Abuser" "Molester" all mean one thing. Rape.

Lots of people at his place of employment, the BBC, knew about Savile too. And they chose to keep quiet. Paul Gambaccini recently said in this article in The Independent:

"You just didn't mess with Jim. He was the governor, because after all he had been the first great club DJ, he had been the originator of Top of the Pops presentation, and you just let him have his turf."

You what? You just let him have his turf? What, you just let him carry on raping children because of your careers? What was Savile's "turf", Paul? Savile's "turf" was childrens' bodies. And you, and many others like you, let him rape with impunity because you were too scared to speak out. Having the courage to speak out now that big bad Jimmy can't get back at you is too fucking late.

And Esther Rantzen, quoted here in The Telegraph, now says:

 “We all blocked our ears to the gossip. In some way we colluded with him as a child abuser.”

You betcha Esther. As the founder of Childline why weren't you actively pursuing stopping Savile from his systematic raping of children over the decades? You of all people should not have been turning a blind eye. Anyone who turns a blind eye to child rape is in collusion with it.

Thank goodness that former detective Mark Williams-Thomas had the determination to make the documentary, The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, to be aired on ITV tonight as part of its Exposure series (11.10pm to 12.05pm.) Finally, five decades after the first allegations were being made about Savile, he's being exposed for what he was, a systematic and repeat-offending child rapist most of whose victims were too cowed by his power to speak out against him, and those that did were silenced, not believed, or packed off under a shroud of secrecy to have abortions.

Make no mistake, this man had power. He spent more than a decade having Christmas dinners with then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Dennis. You don't get much more access to power than that. And of course he was the BBC's golden goose with Top of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It and, as has been quoted, those working there were too scared to confront the open secret of his paedophilia.

Above: Savile at Haute de la Garenne

He has also now been accused of rape by a former resident of the notorious Haute de la Garenne children's home in Jersey, many of whose carers have been found guilty of child abuse for which they have received custodial sentences. He denied ever visiting Haute de la Garenne.

The onion skin layers of Savile's lifetime career of placing himself in jobs where he had control and power over children and then raping them are only just beginning to be peeled away. There could very well be hundreds of victims. By rights, he should have spent his life behind bars, not having royalty, politicians and the supposedly impartial BBC obsequiously toadying to him. 

How did he get away with it for all those years? He had worked his way into such a position of power through being a psychopath, that's how.  These are the boxes on Hare's psychopathy checklist which he ticks:

glib and superficial charm
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
need for stimulation
pathological lying
cunning and manipulativeness
lack of remorse or guilt
shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
callousness and lack of empathy
parasitic lifestyle
poor behavioral controls
sexual promiscuity
failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Psychopaths use charm and empty, grandiose gesture as a smokescreen to disguise their cunning and manipulative quest for power over others. So skilled are they at doing this that most people in their lives have no idea they are gullible victims in the psychopath's widespread web of power. And those that suspect the psychopath of abuse of power, as can be seen from the examples of Esther and Paul above (who nonetheless should be applauded for having the humility to admit their errors and finally speak out when so many others are still remaining silent) are often too cowed and intimidated to speak out about it for fear of the retributions from the psychopath or those under his or her control.

Savile has also been accused of necrophilia. A habitual child rapist who spent days with his mother's corpse and volunteered to work as a hospital porter thus bringing him in the proximity of corpses, he also stated on Louis Theroux's 2000 documentary "When Louis met Jimmy" that he hated children and had no feelings for anyone. Witnesses to knowledge of his necrophilia will start crawling out of the woodwork in the future, mark my words. 

This is his headstone, at Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough. I would not be sorry if it were defaced and smashed to smithereens although a broken stone will never equal him defacing and breaking countless lives. Defacing a gravestone is a criminal offence of course, but nothing compared to the offences Savile got away with in his lifetime. I also think he should be stripped of his knighthood. I've started the hashtag #stripsavileofknighthood on twitter this morning.


© Jude Calvert-Toulmin 2010

5 Sep 2012

A Large Publisher, Capital Radio and A Passion for Classic Cars  


I was approached by a large publisher recently asking to sign up my erotic best-seller Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law. I signed the contracts yesterday so in the not too distant future you'll be able to buy Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law not just from one e-retailer, Amazon, but from up to 200 e-retailers including Barnes and Noble, Tesco, Waterstones etc. This publisher will also be handling the paperback sales too so the paperback will be more widely available. The Kindle version is here in the UK or here outside the UK. 

In light of Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law's success, I've started writing a sequel with the working title of A Passion for Classic Cars which I'm aiming to finish by the end of October. The same cast of characters will feature, the voluptuous writer of crime-fiction, cougar Julia, her spoilt, obnoxious daughter Kate, Kate's ex-husband and Julia's lover, the gorgeous curly-haired young web designer Alex, Kate's new boyfriend, top model and down-to-earth Yorkshire lad Matt, and advertising exec Colin who is an absolute wanker (and great fun to write.) New major characters will appear in  A Passion for Classic Cars such as gorgeous blonde Sandi "with legs up to her tits" as Colin describes her, and the sultry dark-haired lesbian Christina. One chapter in, I'm already enjoying writing this as much as I enjoyed writing Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law.

In other news, I read from Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law live in front of several million listeners on Capital Breakfast, the biggest breakfast radio show in London, last week, hosted by the multi-talented Lisa Snowdon and her hilarious co-presenter Dave Berry.  You can hear my excerpt here:

It was great fun and I'd love to do more radio in the future :)

If you want to keep up to date with how A Passion for Classic Cars is going, you can do so by clicking like on the Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law Facebook fan page.

© Jude Calvert-Toulmin 2010