Fanny gets straight to it, telling the interviewer that the thing that makes her 'hoping mad' is women who have no purpose in life. They mostly annoy Fanny because when they are invited round for tea or supper they have nothing to talk about, and she loves talking. The interviewer notes that Fanny 'talks incessantly', that she 'rattles on', that her speech is 'rapid' and 'with hardly a break for breath' which must've been quite exhausting. Fanny urges these poor women who 'have nothing in their lives' to 'do something, even if it's charity work' and apply some self discipline to their lives. I wonder if my Mum was inspired?
Fanny herself is keen to point out that she had four careers, and not 'just the cookery' that she was most well known for. Add television personality, writer and strangely interior decorator to the list. I assume that's just at her own home, I really can't imagine Fanny being called upon to design other people's houses, but maybe she was the Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen of her day? She puts her unrivalled success down to her self discipline, her 'work hard' mentality. She learnt her skills, despite privileged upbringing, with stints as a washer-upper in a Roman Catholic canteen and selling vacuum cleaners door to door. You see, she really is just an ordinary person. Can you imagine answering a knock at the door to hear Fanny rattling on and on... I'm sure you'd buy a cleaner from her just to get her to stop talking!
Fanny was quite the entrepreneur really, and media savvy. She takes the opportunity of the magazine feature to completely whitewash over her life and true personality. And why not? She claims that her 'family always comes first' and tried to paint a picture of an idyllic life where her husband, home and children are her linch pins. She tells tales of daily 'staff' lunches on the lawns to say thanks to all the hard working gardeners, secretaries and cookery students she works so hard to support. They laugh and joke together... It's quite a different picture to the glimpses of interaction we see on TV. Fanny says 'I always work from home, it stops me from becoming a tough, hard career woman type, something I'd be really terrified to become.' The fact that she wasn't even legally married to Johnnie, her children despised her and the assistants terrified of her, seem unimportant to the story.
It wasn't just in career that Fanny was hailed as an inspiration though, the article claims she 'looked terrific' in her super trouser suit, mod cork platform shoes and little jaunty cap sitting on top of her light brown hair. Fashion icon Fanny? The rest of the fashion in the magazine take a different style, but then they were more than likely behind Fanny. Who could keep up? Fanny recalls the days when she was 'fat' and had to employ her self discipline to regain the weight and size of her eighteen year old self. She worries about lonely women when their children flee the nest - and they fly towards the biscuit barrel as a substitute. Fannys advice? 'Diet - get thin and get a romance!' Oh, and do charity work. She ends by reflecting that 'being a woman is divine, you really can have your cake and eat it can't you?' which leads nicely into a selection of Fannys favourite recipes. Presumably she no longer eats them herself. Far too self disciplined, but for those less fortunate...