Deborah Ross: Tales from my father's footstool

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, although the multi-talented Ms Gwyneth Paltrow does indeed invite parody – "Come in! Make yourself at home!" – I am entirely in awe, and can see that her new cookbook, My Father's Daughter, is probably going to far outsell my cookbook, My Father's Footstool, in which my father's footstool gives tantalising glimpses into its glamorous lifestyle, talks fondly about my father – "A very decent man; always a pleasure to help him take the weight off his feet" – and all interspersed with recipes, as if we might care.

Although My Father's Footstool does not come endorsed by Madonna or Jay-Z, even though they'd both really love it, it does share the assumption that just because it can make a decent Sunday brunch, as it so can (my father's footstool is famed for its blueberry pancakes), the rest of the world must be interested.

"Isn't it?" my father's footstool might ask loftily, with no self-awareness whatsoever. "The world will still turn without my recipes, you say? Even though I am so obviously superior to all the other footstools out there? Even though I am so obviously a perfect specimen, if a little icy? Even though your father took me to Paris when I was 10, because he wanted to be the first man to show it to me? Even though it isn't easy for a man to wander the streets of Paris with a footstool under his arm? I find this all very hard to believe, and would ask you to take your scepticism elsewhere. As it is, I have a very busy afternoon during which I intend to further lose my grip on reality. Honestly, I'm seriously glad I'm your father's footstool, and not yours."

Still, my father's footstool does, at least, accept that it has some way to go before becoming the full-on, Paltrow-style brand with rock-star spouse – "Alas, I am shacked up with your mother's pouffe, who is most ordinary" – and a website which dispatches a monthly newsletter. In the latest newsletter, Ms Paltrow offers the following: "At home, we've recently made the change to organic hand sanitiser, which we always have in the car for the trip back from school and from play dates."

Yes, Ms Paltrow does invite parody, and do accept the invitation if you must, but remember this: have a good wash first, particularly if you suspect you might be a bit common. And this: although my father's footstool does not insist you sanitise your hands, it would ask you to wipe your feet. Yes, indeed.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

**Primary Teachers Needed Urgently in Southport**

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Nursery Assistant/Nurse all cheshire areas

£7 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are a large and successful recrui...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nigel Farage has urged supporters to buy Mike Read's Ukip Calypso song and push it up to the No 1 spot  

Mike Read’s Ukip calypso is mesmerisingly atrocious — but it's not racist

Matthew Norman
Shirley Shackleton, wife of late journalist Gregory Shackleton, sits next to the grave of the 'Balibo Five' in Jakarta, in 2010  

Letter from Asia: The battle for the truth behind five journalists’ deaths in Indonesia

Andrew Buncombe
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London