Deborah Ross: Our Woman In Crouch End

'For sale: wraparound skirt that unwraps whenever it fancies, vice-like pants and fake tan'
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The Independent Online

Ms Deborah Ross's most personal possessions will go on view today before an auction that is expected to raise at least 40p and maybe a Toffo. Ms Ross's partner and her son have been criticised for the sale but they say it is necessary as "she has accumulated a great deal of stupid crap over the years and it would be nice to get shot of as much of it as possible. This includes the Babyliss foot spa with the remote control which she claimed would be handy when she was in one room and her feet were in the other. We don't know of anyone else who manages to combine being able to waste so much money with such stupidity."

They say they have Deborah's blessing, or would do if only she weren't either chasing her own feet or out doing something or other that "will probably result in her coming home with yet more crap, like the heated eyelash curlers that scorched all her lashes off or the 'posh shorts' for the office that actually made her look like Don Estelle, only more masculine and with less shapely legs."

LOT 1: BREADMAKER (PANASONIC)

This was purchased by Deborah in the belief that she could suddenly become a magnificent earth mother, always going about with flour up to her elbows and saying: "Don't mind me, with flour up to my elbows. I am just baking some bread. No more Mighty White for this family. This bread? It's home-made. Would you like a taste? Oh, yes. I always make my own bread." But as her son now says: "Earth mother, my arse! The one time she tried to stitch my school badge on to my blazer she sewed up the pocket. She also hems my cricket trousers with Sellotape and bashes shop-bought cakes about a bit with a rolling pin, so they look home-made at school cake sales."

Breadmaker as new as she never got beyond the instruction booklet which made it all look fiendishly difficult. Also included in lot: one ice-cream maker, one juicer, a coffee grinder and an electric steamer with mould in it. Rusty wok not included as everyone needs a rusty wok even if they never use it.

LOT 2: SPANX POWER PANTS

The A-list girdle as worn by Gwyneth Paltrow but only ever worn once by Deborah, who likened the sensation to "putting your fanny in a vice". Her "phew" on removal could, apparently, be heard in the Home Counties as well as Aberdeen. The pants would have given her a nice line if they didn't somehow manage to give her a double muffin, one on top and one below. You'd be hard-pressed to say which way up she was standing. Will never, ever, be worn again like many other items in Deborah's closet. These include the "posh shorts", the wraparound skirt that unwraps whenever it so fancies and the strapless bra that steadily works its way down to her waist.

Her son says: "When mum wears the wraparound skit that unwraps whenever it so fancies and strapless bra that steadily works itself down to her waist, I like to walk on the opposite side of the street. So does dad, who sometimes says: 'That woman? Never seen her before in my life. Shall I call the police?' "

LOT 3: 'MAO: THE UNKNOWN STORY' (BY JUNG CHANG AND JON HALLIDAY)

Based on a decade of research, and on interviews with many of Mao's close circle in China who have never talked before, this is the most authoritative life of Mao ever written. It is also very big, with very few photographs and not a single recipe, which Deborah took quite badly. She thought there would be one for sweet and sour pork at least. Deborah actually wanted Trinny and Susannah's latest, whatever that is - What Not To Wear, You Sad Little Common Person And Frump? - but the look on the face of the man in the bookshop told her not to go there. Still, once she purchased Mao she genuinely believed she would read it until the moment she got home and realised she wouldn't as it didn't even tell her what clothes are best for her body shape or how to layer. Still, a fascinating read, by all accounts.

LOT 4: 72 BOTTLES OF SUNCREAM WITH A LITTLE BIT USED FROM EACH

Every single SPF accounted for. Many past their sell-by date. Scattered throughout house along with the sunglasses Deborah always claims to have lost so she can justify buying new ones. Buyer must gather up as it is a day's work at least. Also, several bottles of fake tan with a little bit used from each. Deborah says they are rubbish but this is only because she never exfoliates first, as advised. This is why she always goes bright orange and frightens children.

LOT 5: STRANGE ORANGE WOMAN WITH NO EYELASHES

Not as new, as has been round the houses a bit. Buyer must collect as, left to her own devices, she will read the A-Z upside down and end up miles from anywhere. Own teeth except at night, when she takes them out. Very attractive in the right light, which may be no light at all. Very attractive in the dark. No reserve price as anyone can have her for nothing. Lot includes Babyliss spa with remote control, which she is still trying to justify.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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