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Hugh needs to practise the basic skills of parenting

Pops potted lots of new plants on my balcony this weekend. My attitude to my new project, which will take some small level of commitment from me, is similar to how actor Hugh Grant sees his responsibility towards his new daughter.

"I like her very much," says Grant about little Tabitha. Of course, none of us want celebs to go down the 'Tom Cruise on Opray Winfrey's sofa' avenue when they want to register happiness, but saying you 'like' your child is up there with describing someone as 'harmless'.

His less-than-gushing description about what most people consider a life-changing event remained low key as he went on to say: "Has she changed my life? I'm not sure. Not yet. Not massively, no. But I'm absolutely thrilled to have had her, I really am. And I feel a better person."

The incubator gets an even less heartfelt accolade as the Notting Hill actor describes his relationship with Tabitha's mother Tinglan Hong as a "fleeting affair".


Anyway, lucky Tabitha has one thing going for her -- her Pops does not believe in parents giving their children money, so no trust fund for the mini Grant, as they are apparently the source of all evil.

"I see nothing but f***-ups among my trust-fund friends," he says. "It's like 99 per cent f***-ups. So I would not want to do that to my children, no."

Jesus, "children" he says. As in Hugh would 'like' to have more bambinos!

I think the actor should hold that thought and start off smaller. Even a mini-garden like mine might be overwhelming. I recommend a Tamagotchi. The keychain-sized virtual pet goes through several stages of growth, and will develop differently depending on the care the player provides, with better care resulting in an adult creature that is smarter, happier, and requires less attention -- oh, and no trust fund.

Ideally, Grant should have invested in one pre-Tabitha, given his apparent reluctance to practise on her. No matter how much he 'likes' her, this might help Hugh develop his parenting skills should there be any further happy endings to 'fleeting affairs'.

>Dee O'Keeffe