Now what? - Lauren Booth tries behaving like Cruella De Vil

You see men in the clear light of day when the pregnancy hormones cut in

The body's natural narcotics are the best free drugs available to womankind, trust me. During childbirth, when the pain got too bad, I was sent on a "trip" via a heady mix of endorphins. The next day, giggling and still feeling superhuman, I went shopping at Mothercare.

But, like all narcotics, the effects of natural hormones are unpredictable and not always entirely desirable. Take being pregnant. Nature has this cruel knack of making pregnant women feel as sensual and exciting as a leather basque from Victoria's Secret. Unfortunately, this happens at the same time as we take on the dimensions of Victoria Wood. Not a combination that inspires romance.

Suspiciously, with time on my hands on Saturday, I shunned a swim, a massage or a weepy film, and instead spent four hours cleaning our home from top to bottom. I got down on my hands and knees, furious at the dust on the skirting. I clambered on unstable chairs to dust shelves that no one will ever touch. I cleared the entire wash basket and vacuumed behind the freezer. Him indoors has recognised the dangerous symptoms I am displaying and has wisely been keeping a low profile, only popping his head above the parapet to make cups of tea or nip to the shops to buy kebabs or family-size bars of Fruit & Nut.

Still, at least pregnancy makes men behave strangely, too - out goes politeness and in comes blundering confusion bordering on fear.

At a friend's 40th birthday party, a young man sidled up to me. He failed to notice the gleam in my eye. "Ah!" He swayed with the rocking of a boat. "You're getting a bit porky, aren't you, eh, eh?" He was being "witty". "Nah, nah, seriously, though. Have you got two in there?" He poked my tender bump. "That's not normal, is it? Were you fat before this?" His face was fixed in an expression that said: "Honest-I'm-really-interested-in-this-woman-stuff."

I ruffled his hair, resisting the urge to give it a vicious yank, and looked for a seat. The only one free was next to a stunning woman with a hard-yet-beautiful face. She was a dead ringer for Joanna Lumley in Ab Fab and sat on her own, drinking wine and chain-smoking. We started to chat.

"Have you any children?" I asked.

"No time. Married them instead." Puff, blow, sip.

"Are you with anyone at the moment?"

"He thinks he's with me. But his stinking socks stay at his place. Got it?" She threw her head back and chuckled darkly. "So, you've already got a daughter? When are you going to tell her to forget dreaming about men . . . tell her the truth?"

Men, who had been sidling towards us, sidled back to the dance floor. Now there was a good six feet between us and the party crowd. We were being given a wide berth. It was great fun.

"Well," I declared, "I won't tell her a thing." (Pause.) "I'll tell him!" Hahahahahahaha. I could feel the cauldron bubbling between us.

A young guy nervously pulled up a chair. We turned to him with twin Cruella De Vil faces; loathing mixed with pity.

"Come, come," said my "Patsy" mentor. "Do entertain us with your wit or, if not, your testosterone, perhaps."

The next day I saw a mum struggling up endless flights of steps in Finsbury Park Tube station, dragging a heavy pram behind her. I heaved it with feminine/maternal fury to the top. When she was gone, I doubled over in pain. Two Caribbean women clucked and fussed around me. "Now dat was stupid," said one, patting my shoulder with concern. "Why you do dat when you so big?" berated the other. "Dat's what men is for."

Now I've got that out of my system, normal, non-sexist service should resume next week.

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