Lette the beach be the best of times

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - COOL CLI­MATE -

Once a sur­fie girl from Cronulla, it’s hard to imag­ine Kathy Lette, co-au­thor of Pu­berty Blues liv­ing across the fence from a dame, Edna no less, writes Chanel Par­ratt

“I ENDED up liv­ing here by mis­take,” she says as she de­scribes how she fell in love with hu­man rights lawyer Ge­of­frey Robert­son in Lon­don.

Lette was 17 when she cowrote Pu­berty Blues with Gabrielle Carey.

A best-sell­ing book, then a film and now a sec­ond TV se­ries pro­duced by Chan­nel 10.

Is it as thrilling to see it come to life now as it was when you were 17?

I’m cur­rently en­dur­ing my fourth pu­berty. First there was my ac­tual pu­berty, then the book, then the Bruce Beres­ford film, and then the TV se­ries. As I’m now menopausal, it’s ter­ri­bly hor­mon­ally con­fus­ing! But I’m very proud of that lit­tle book. And the new TV se­ries has cap­tured the era per­fectly. It’s like a home movie. I’m torn be­tween hi­lar­ity and nau­sea (laughs). The se­ries bril­liantly por­trays the sex­ism of the time. The boys I grew up with dis­proved the the­ory of evo­lu­tion – they were evolv­ing into apes. The book is like straight Vegemite, no but­ter. It’s also a lit­er­ary con­tra­cep­tive.

Where do you live in lon­don?

I live in West Hamp­stead, which is so full of shrinks. I call it “couch canyon”. Barry Humphries is my neigh­bour. His house backs on to mine. When­ever he gets back from a trip he emails me and says “Kathy dear, I’m poised at your rear en­trance”.

What des­ti­na­tions are on your wish list?

The Gala­pa­gos Is­lands. I want to go to a place where for once, I’m not the weird­est crea­ture.

Favourite place to travel?

Have globe, will trot. Book tours have taken me all across the world, from Bos­nia to Bar­ba­dos to Brazil.

But, apart from the ob­vi­ous ad­dic­tions like Paris and New York, I would say the Mal­dives, a neck­lace of 1190 co­ral is­lands, strung across the turquoise In­dian Ocean, is my favourite des­ti­na­tion.

And prefer­ably stay­ing in a re­sort so ex­clu­sive that not even the tide can get in (laughs).

If your 17-year-old self f could go on a girls’ hol­i­day any­where in the world where would she go?

Brazil. Girls worry so much about body im­age. There’s so much pres­sure to be thin. But not on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. The big­ger the bot­tom the bet­ter.

Ev­ery­one from teenage girls to grannies pa­rades along the sand in Gstring biki­nis, with but­tocks so big they could have their own post­code. It’s to­tally lib­er­at­ing.

Where’s your next hol­i­day?

I’ll set off to Paris for a spring break. Al­though I’m al­ways wor­ried I’m go­ing to be ar­rested at Gare du Nord sta­tion, by the Chic Po­lice for not be­ing quite suave enough. “I’m sorry madam, but you Cronulla C ll scrub­bers are just not chic enough to rub shoul­der pads with French so­phis­ti­cates.” Pu­berty Blues, Wed­nes­day 8.30pm on Chan­nel 10. Pu­berty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, pub­lished by Vin­tage is avail­able in store and on­line.

RE­VEAL­ING: Au­thor Kathy Lette (be­low) finds it lib­er­at­ing to be on a beach in Brazil where there’s no pres­sure to be thin to fit into a G-string.

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