Thursday, August 31, 2006

For Kay (Mellor or Richardson)

I was coming home from town, using public transport. I was just sitting there reflecting (in a pretty patronising way) how anyone who wants to write should travel on public transport 'keeping it real'- y' know. I was thinking that writers (once they have become successful) probably never do this, except if they live in London because everyone rides the tube in London.
So, i was thinking, 'Step aside Kay Mellor etc., it's time to let someone else (er, that'd be me then) have their say!'

I was sitting close to the back, upstairs -Mistake Number One.
Five young men in baseball caps and casual sports wear got on. After shouting out of the window and calling their friends (who had not managed to catch the bus) cunts, they sat down behind me and regaled the top deck with the story of how they had just bumped into the girl that one of them lost his virginity to. It descended into a dialogue about shaved pussy. One of them had one of those balloons that zips around making a loud noise: note the weird juxtaposition of childish activity and sexually explicit conversation- freaky.
The balloon thing kept whizzing round the back of my head, and the nearest one to me said to balloon boy, 'Hey, i'd laugh if that woman came over and smacked you one for doing that.'
Mistake Number Two: I laughed.
But it was funny! The very idea of me going over and cracking some kid round the head on a bus! Fucking hilarious!
Anyway, he saw me laughing and then leaned over and said, 'D'you want me to hit him for you love?'
It was at this point that i realised that this wasn't a threat, he was flirting with me!!*** He followed this by asking me where i lived!!!***???
This was both frightening and hilarious at the same time. Hilarious because i am old enough to be this guys mother; and frightening because i realised we were propelling ever forward towards my home. I sat there thinking maybe i should get off at the stop after my own. Then i got all street and thought, 'No, i'm not doing that. I'm a big woman, they're sixteen year old boys.'
As i stood up to get off they all started jumping around and shouting, 'Fucking hell, she gets off at our stop. Where d'you live love? Where d'you live?' and then listing all the names of the streets nearby. I have not often felt that particular combination of wetting myself with laughter and crapping myself with fear.
I was saved by the fact that they weren't going straight home, and i watched the bus pull away with five kids in baseball caps banging and shouting towards me from the upstairs window of the 49 bus.
Suburbia here i come.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Okay, who wants to hear about what i did over the holiday weekend?
Phone lines are open; you can vote for the story of your choice by leaving me a message in the comments!
Do you want to hear how
  1. I got chatted up by some sixteen year old chavs on the bus?
  2. I got soaked at carnival?
  3. I got my new storytelling project underway?
Up to you people. Is there anybody out there?

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My first memory of this guy is thinking, 'I must have him. Girlfriend or no girlfriend.'
In the beginning i used to joke about it, but i stopped when i realised i meant it. Right from the start, i've always had this overwhelming desire to have some kind of physical contact with him-when he has held my hand, it feels like i'm holding my own hand.
I also really like it when he's in the building. I like to hear his voice if i'm upstairs and he's down.
When he told me how he felt about me, he pretty much described word for word what i had been thinking and not saying for nine months.
I have often wondered if i'm addicted to unrequited love-too much Thomas Hardy at an impressionable age.
I don't know what to do with it, this stuff, it doesn't go in a box.
He said he didn't want to end up on my blog. I can only apologise, in advance, but this is where i get to say what i need to say.

When i was a little girl, my grandad used to tease me by asking me if i was courting. This is the guy that my grandad would have wanted me to be with.

This part of the blog is getting ridiculously soppy, and for that, i can only apologise again.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Photos of me

A friend of mine recently sent me a really nice photo of me.
I don't have many photo's of me, as I'm usually on the other side of the camera. I (half jokingly) asked him to send me every photo he had ever taken of me.
It was really weird. The other half of me (that wasn't joking) was absolutely loving the fact that i could have access to the, previously unattainable, 'how other people see you'.
It's the Big Brother effect. It's the lure of that other perspective- that is not unlocked in everyday life. This is why i admit that i think Big Brother is genius. If i had come up with that idea; i would consider myself the keeper of the zeitgeist.
Anyone who looks down on that aspect of reality television is suffering from reverse snobbery. I don't see what's wrong with admitting that you want to be loved. That's what you hear time and time over in BB, "i just want to be accepted for who i am."
We all do that: at work; when blogging; in our social lives. I'm not above that.
Perhaps it's a particularly British thing - not showing emotion in public, not admitting that you have desire (whether that be for money,love or sex). They're just doing it more openly. You could look at it as sharing.
I've been getting a guilty sort of pleasure from looking at those photo's. It allows me to love myself a little bit more. I don't think there's anything wrong about that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I wasn't going to write about blogging because i thought it would be like one of those pictures that i really liked when i was a kid- you know the ones: it's a picture of a room, and on the wall there's a picture of a room with a picture of a room on the wall, and in that room ....and on and on forever.
Well i changed my mind.
Blogging is the thing that's been missing from my life since i was thirteen! It's a place to put all that miscellaneous STUFF that there isn't really anywhere to put. I've always kept diaries but 'What's the point in that??!!' They're under your bed in a box and no one ever reads them (except the person that you absolutely don't want to read them) and then it causes loads of trouble and it's all really dramatic.
This way you get to say whatever you want-and you're not hiding it, in fact, the opposite- you are inviting people to read it, "Come on, have a look inside my soul!"
All of this would be true if i weren't doing this anonymously. It would be true if i were inviting my colleagues and friends and family to read this, but i'm not. I'm not writing for people i know, i'm writing for people i don't know.
What's that all about then?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Petite Anglaise a blogger who got sacked when her employer discovered her site, and is now getting a book deal.
I was reading her entry of 14.07.06 which describes her 'feeling good about being alone' after splitting with her partner. The comments that follow are congratulatory, especially that she has reached this point so quickly.
Why does everyone else's life read like fiction to me?
There's lots of romantic symbolism about her new apartment and the freedom to choose her own paint colours. I'm about to embark on my third house move alone and i can tell you that aesthetic decisions like that are not a measure of your inner freedom. I mean, i'm the first one to admit that your environment affects your psyche (and therefore concievably your external life) but fucking hell. I think it would be more realistic to say that enjoying your new found 'freedom' as a single parent is just that- it's new found, it's novelty/romantic value is a phase of breaking up with someone- it's not something you earned yourself, it's a side effect!
It's obviously helping her get through it (and i shouldn't be such a bitch). The word 'bitter' comes to mind. I'm not bitter, i have admitted for at least the past two years that i don't want to be single any more. This is a separate issue from enjoying your singularity as i see it. I have lots of really good friends, i love my social life and after many years of repair work on this, i have a close family also.
She says that there isn't enough of her to go round: because she's a single parent!!??
This is why i am the antithesis of Bridget Jones: there's too fucking much of me for any one person. Now i sound like one of those wierd polygamists. What i mean is, that when i meet someone i sincerely hope to retain all the qualities of singularity listed above. I want to share everything with somebody, my soul mate, but i have no intention of giving up all the other things that ten years of being single has provided me with- and want to meet my equal in that respect.
Have i got ridiculously high expectations?
Perhaps that's why I'm still on my own.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I was listening to Jose Gonzales 'Veneer' and thinking something that i've thought a million times. I was thinking that i really like those bits in recordings of guitar music when you hear the fingers sliding, squeaking, up and down the guitar strings in between the finger positions. I love the fact that you can hear that, and i love the fact that as technology advances those in between bits are posssibly going to get more and more audible. It's a democracy of sound- that those bits are as valid as the actual music itself.
It also reminds me of another bit i love. i love the bit where Paul McCartney laughs in 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'. I's not my favourite song (although it is my favoutite Beatles album)-not by any means- but i love the bit where you can hear him unable to supress an outburst in the line, "Writing fi-hi-(laughs)fty times, 'I must not be so-o-o-o'."
I wonder if he he was laughing at the ridiculousness of the song; the fact that he has to sing it like it's a music hall farce. Obviously George Martin was way ahead of his time (and now sadly techonlogy is disturbing him as it catches up with his art) and i love the fact that they left that in for people to discover.
It's those in between bits that i live for. The bits in between what's supposed to be happening. I love those.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Across the Tracks

There were two extreme ends of the festival for me. One was Roy Ayers and the other was Jamie Lidell.
We had to go and see Roy because he's part of our musical history. Even if it was just for 'Everybody loves the sunshine', you have to give him credit. Any song that has that kind of endurance (30 years in this case) has to be saying something important to lots of people.
His band were incredible. I nearly cried in one of the sax solos (which sounds really crass now). At one point the drummer, who had done this electrifying solo spot where you couldn't even see his hands, then balanced one stick on his head and carried on playing; came out to the front of the stage and drummed with the sticks on the floor- right the way back to his kit and carried on playing. The bass player played the thing like a guitar, and at one point everyone on stage got down on the floor -laying further down to a deeper and deeper chord. And Roy was so clearly loving what he was doing that of course we all loved him back. I have some great footage of this if you want to see it. We were standing at the very edge of the press area.
I only went to see Jamie Lidell on the recommendation of a guy called M who tells me stuff to listen to when I see him in the place where i go to get my lunch. The set was in one of the waterside arches which has been made into a club. It's all hot and fucked up and there's a really strong smell of rotten fruit. Jamie's in the middle of something when we walk in. He's beatboxing unintelligible sounds and playing keyboard at the same time. He also has a VJ with him on stage. It's packed in there and we can't get anywhere near the front. People are also queuing outside. He gets a mad response. In the middle of the next track he comes out to the front of the stage and sings with this deep soul voice that doesn't look like it could be coming from a white boy wearing a silk smoking jacket. Then he goes back and carries on with this really dark electronic stuff.
M is going to do me a CD.