Jaci Stephen: I can confirm there is a future Mrs Cowell. But she may be short of one finger

Way Out West

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Now, I know it for sure, and I can stop practising writing my surname as "Cowell". Despite the fact that becoming the first Mrs Cowell would have solved all my financial problems, plus those of every living relative – and a couple of dozen friends to boot, I know that it is over. The dream.

Because, I have, quite simply, seen That Ring. Yes, it's for real. Having been invited onto the set of American Idol this week, I can confirm that there really is a future Mrs Cowell waiting in the wings. I know, because I have seen the diamond evidence, and it is very firmly on the hand of the beautiful, very slim and very charming Mezhgan Hussainy. My mission to get Simon interested in short Welsh birds has ended in failure. Well, you can't say I didn't try. Fifteen years, to be precise.

Now, let's get back to That Ring. The stone alone is bigger than my en-suite bathroom. I could park my car on it and there would still be room for a small music festival. Having recently lost the diamond tennis bracelet I worked 30 years to be able to afford, I was a breath away from grabbing the nearest knife and taking Mezhgan's finger home in my bag; but I resisted. Good luck to them both, although I will be the one singing "It Should Have Been Me" at the reception.

I was at the show because my brother and his girlfriend were visiting and, as my first house guests here, I wanted to show them as good a time as possible. They were thrilled to be invited into Simon's trailer (if That Ring is the size of my bathroom, the trailer is my entire house) and the show was terrific.

I saw more of LA during my guests' visit than I have managed in the past year. Normally, I have to be excavated out of the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills, but my brother was keen to explore.

One friend drove us all to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and then up into the hills of Palos Verdes. I took them to Soho House LA, Santa Monica, Hollywood Boulevard – all on the bus. They set off for San Diego and Seaworld on their own; enjoyable and cost-efficient as I find the buses, the idea of sitting in one for six hours in a day is about as appealing to me as a day trip to Guantanamo Bay.

One highlight of their trip was getting to see the iPad in advance of its UK launch. To Pad or not to Pad – for those of us in love with all Apple products, it's the question that has been occupying us for some weeks. When I spot an iPad across a crowded dining room, I approach with stealth, like David Attenborough coming upon a new and rare species, hoping to get just the merest glimpse before the owner snatches it meanly away.

Stephen Fry has written a wonderful piece about the iPad in the current issue of Time magazine, and after bumping into him in LA, I learned more about the product than I had from the hopeless assistant in Fashion Island's store in Newport Beach ("It's like a big iPhone," he said – and that was it).

Stephen posted the opening of his iPad on You Tube, and his "Oooh" as the final layer of wrapping falls is as glorious as the squeals of a four-year-old finally winning Pass the Parcel at a birthday party after a week of bullying at school. It's a lovely "Suits you, sir!" moment, and Apple should use it in their advertising. Stephen reckons that we relate to Apple's products as we do to animals or humans, and I'm totally with him on that; it explains the Apple cemetery that I have in my attic, as I am unable to throw away even completely clapped-out computers and phones. I've now spotted three iPads in LA, and they are undoubtedly jewels that single out the men from the boys in town (I have yet to see a woman with one, so that may end up being reason enough to indulge).

I am not a big shopper normally, but Apple draws me in with an alacrity that Versace or Armani never quite manage. I don't need the iPad; I'm not sure that I think it will offer any more than my MacBook Air currently does.

Oh, but how I want one. Nothing says more about your Hollywood status at the moment than wandering into a restaurant or bar and opening up your new best friend. Forget the boob job and tummy tuck, girls; it's the iPad that has the real pulling power. I'm going to call mine Simon.



To read Jaci Stephen's blog LA Not So Confidential in full, go to LAnotsoconfidential.blogspot.com

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