When I realised that my mum and I were spending Christmas together, I was envisioning loads of quality time in London, sipping tea by the fireside and shopping. Little did I know that she wanted to knock back whisky shots, not knit tea cosies!
It reminded me of when I'd read that Fergie liked to go "on the pull' with her daughter, Beatrice. I once thought this sounded a bit sad, but I'm a believer now. Mum is lovely, friendly and a fantastic conversation starter who builds me up at every opportunity - in short, the perfect wingwoman.
In preparation for her visit, I had hidden away my gold-tipped dildos, and G-spot vibrators that I bought myself for Christmas, and put my porn DVDs in a bin at the back of my wardrobe.
On our first night in town, we went out for dinner. Noticing a couple at the table behind us, mum suggested that I talk to them. "We can't," I whispered, "we don't know if they are together!" Mum marched up to their table and started chatting and within 10 minutes, we were sipping Irish coffees together. I would have looked predatory approaching the table, but mum seemed non-threatening. David, the guy, took my phone number!
My friend Michael wasn't surprised that my parent ended up morphing into a pick-up artist. "Some men are intimidated by a group of girlfriends, and if you are with a man there's no way of knowing if you are a couple. But when men see a girl with her mum, they automatically think she's a good daughter. It's very endearing."
Of course, sometimes I can't tell whether the men want to talk to me or my mum. After all, she's jaw-droppingly beautiful, and very charming.
Because she wants to see the sights, she insists on walking everywhere and we've had loads of encounters with attractive men in the park. Yesterday she asked a cute French jogger in Hyde Park for directions to Kensington High Street, and had a 10-minute conversation with him.
"Mum, don't you know where we are?" I said. "We just came from there."
"Of course I know where we are," she said, "but asking directions is the perfect icebreaker opener. Men get to feel useful, which they love."
She has made a few tactical errors: when we had afternoon tea at the Ritz, she started a conversation with a stranger at the bar who looked like a cross between a beaver and Andy from Little Britain. And she was trying to sell me to him!
And I almost had a heart attack after she cleaned my flat. "Mum," I said, "what happened to the stuff wedged in the back of the wardrobe?"
"I threw out all that old junk," she said cheerfully. "You don't mind do you? It was in a bin bag!"
I didn't have the heart to tell her that she'd just binned about £1,000 worth of gear. I'm going to stock up on all new toys but I'll wait until mum leaves. That's one errand I'll have to do solo.