Why Brad Pitt needs lather, not leather
A few years ago a pair of men's leather trousers was sold on eBay for £58 (Dh331) after their owner wrote a hilarious little essay about them. It began: "You are bidding on a mistake. We all make mistakes. We date the wrong people for too long. We chew gum with our mouths open. We say inappropriate things in front of grandma. And we buy leather pants."
Unless he's a Hell's Angel, a pizza delivery man on a scooter or a rock star, leather trousers should never be part of a self-respecting man's wardrobe.
Perhaps they don't have mirrors in 42-year-old Brad Pitt's Paris hotel room, but he donned a pair of crumpled leather trousers for a film premiere outing with Angelina this week and it just proves that even one of the world's sexiest men looks like an idiot in the offending items.
The Jolie-Pitts are undeniably a handsome couple, although true fashion style has never been a strong point with them. Full-on glamour maybe, but real stylishness doesn't seem to be on their agenda. And Brad's whiskers are so ageing, even if they are less straggly than they were.
The couple, whose relationship has been the subject of acres of speculation, seem to have weathered whatever marital storm they were reportedly sailing through earlier this year, but all that cosying up in public makes me suspicious. It always looks as if they are trying too hard to convince people. Not normally publicity-seeking, they have been conspicuous in the French capital at the premiere of Pitt's new movie Megamind, out shopping and taking a ride on a tethered hot-air balloon as a birthday treat for their seven-year-old son Pax.
I wonder how much Pitt's leather trousers would go for if he decided to auction them on eBay. I'd hazard a guess that they'd make a bit more than £58.
Magic in the air
The British health food retailer Holland & Barrett has launched a fizzy drink that might make us thinner. Its new cranberry-flavoured Aspire is said to burn off 209 calories within three hours of drinking it.
Bring me a bucketful please, waiter! I'm a sucker for magic potions that make me lose fat. The alternative is so painful. With just four months to go till my daughter's wedding I'm in full-on mother-of-the-bride mode and have been going to the gym at 7am.
Every day, when I hear the alarm go off, all I want to do is roll over and my mind turns over half a dozen excuses. Right now, a drink that will make me thin without effort is up there in pole position.
Apparently, scientists have discovered that when caffeine and green tea are combined with amino acid and ginger there is what they describe as a "thermogenic" effect whereby the body generates more heat and temporarily stimulates the metabolism.
It sounds wonderful, but I remain sceptical because I know there's no such thing as a magic drink. In the end, the only real way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more, and it's jolly hard work.
Good luck charms are all very well, but pity poor Ian Poulter, whose own lucky ball marker cost him a penalty shot in the play-off for the Dubai World Championship.
He marked his ball's position on the green with the "lucky" coin inscribed with the names of his children, then when he went to replace his ball he accidentally dropped it on to the marker, making it flip over.
Golf can be frustrating at the best of times but even the top players know that rules are rules and must be obeyed. Unfortunately, even an accidental movement of the ball marker results in a one-stroke penalty.
As it happens, Poulter missed the 12m putt he needed to sink to go into a third play-off hole so he wouldn't have won anyway, but he says he's sticking with his lucky marker. He still finished the day in second place with a $833,000 (Dh3m) cheque to take home with him.
Needless to say, he faced considerable ragging from his mates, with Rory McIlroy leading the charge on Twitter. The Northern Irishman tweeted: "Poults may not have won the Dubai World Championship, but he could be in with a shout for tiddlywinks world championship."
A woman's best friend is, well, her best friend…
Men may come and go, but a woman's best girlfriend is for life, or so they say. Intriguingly, the two ex-Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox are reportedly thinking of buying a holiday home together in Mexico.
They've been best friends for years and it was to Cox that Aniston turned for comfort when her marriage to Brad Pitt fell apart. They've been holidaying together for years and Aniston is regularly photographed in the tiniest bikinis on Mexican beaches.
Now that Cox is single again, having split from her husband David Arquette, she is relying on Aniston for moral support.
If they were in their twenties, buying a home together might be considered a risk. At that age there's often too much competition between girls and many a friendship has been severely tested by rivalry for a boy's attention.
Some friendships fall by the wayside for logistical reasons or during the child-rearing years, but by the time a woman reaches the age of 40 she usually has two or three pals whom she has known for decades. There's something very comfortable about knowing a girlfriend so well that there's no room for pretence. Mistakes are forgiven, the shoulder is always there to cry on or to laugh with and the trust that has been established over such a long period of time is like gold dust.
Cox and Aniston have reached that stage. Both are in their forties, having emerged from failed marriages, so what better way to move on? They will have a ball house-hunting and decorating and it will be a bolthole for the two women and many of their friends for years to come.
If one of them finds love again with a new man, he will have to take on board that there are already two people in the relationship and he is the third. If he's sensible he'll accept that and if he doesn't, then the Mexican retreat will be ready and waiting with tissues, tea and comforting words from the best friend.
Planning for the British royal wedding
The news that Prince William has asked his uncle, Earl Spencer, to make a speech about Princess Diana at his wedding is vaguely disturbing. Spencer's grief-stricken eulogy at his sister's funeral was controversial to say the least, and there was more than one gasp of horror when he pledged "that we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative and loving way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men, so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition but can sing openly as you planned".
It was very obviously aimed at the British royal family and although the speech was greeted by applause from the crowds gathered outside Westminster Abbey, it did not go down well in court circles.
The prince will need to insist on seeing the draft of his uncle's speech before its delivery. What is also fascinating to royal-watchers is that he seems not to be considering the effect of his actions on his stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall. She can't have been altogether thrilled by seeing William put the focus firmly back on Princess Diana, first by giving his fiancée, Kate Middleton, his mother's fabulous sapphire and diamond engagement ring and then by asking Spencer to speak at the wedding.
All I can think of is the poignant image of an eight-year-old William pushing tissues under the door of the bathroom where his mother was sobbing her heart out, saying: "Don't cry, Mummy."
More than anyone he lived through his mother's misery as her marriage disintegrated and it would be unsurprising if he were simply hardening his heart now at the discomfort his father and Camilla might suffer over his wedding-day plans.
William always was his mother's son and he seems absolutely determined that Diana will be honoured on his big day.