Monday, April 20, 2009


Hooray! I just had a completely new experience, which doesn't often happen at my time of life. Yes folks, I just received my first EVER rejection letter for a writing submission! A landmark development. After all, I was tentatively published for the first time in 1986 in 'Horse and Pony' (young men, don't smirk. Every teenage girl has a dream horse inside of them). But an outright rejection rather than nil response? New thrill!

Actually to be fair, it was pretty decent of them to write back and give me some very constructive criticism about how to improve the submission, which I have duly noted and taken on board. I then trolled off to the library to pick up a short story submission form to allow the pain and humiliation to continue, within whose warm confines I had an encounter with the Swamp Donkey**. Perhaps my story should be entitled 'Weasel plays Swamp Donkey High Notes'. Or perhaps not.

I seem to recall I spent one day this weekend rather drunk and lairy in Whitley's premier biker bar on the rather dubious terrain of South Parade (had to restrain P. from verbally abusing the chavs that live in the B&Bs down there, no expense spared at the working populace's cost, and who spend their days hanging out of windows spitting on passersby. Mind he calmed down when I gave him some bike porn and Southern Comfort in the pub. The words 'Kawasaki Ninja' have an amazingly soothing effect on him).

Anyway, I'm idling away time here when I should be working on my magnum opus. Which isn't an ice lolly with chocolaty bits, like I'd hoped.

GD is: Listening to Blondie and Altered Images; crippled with neck trauma and about to become £32 poorer at the osteopath's; snotty; eating too much lemon cake from Costa.

** Swamp Donkey = failed actress = my ex next door neighbour from hell. I've seen her die on Holby City AND League of Gentlemen! Whoooo Hoooo! The Weasel is her 'lover' Eric 'The Groovemeister'. Avoid at all cost, particularly if you hate the sound of drums at 3am.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

When letting go just isn't happening

The title doesn't refer to anything specific. Well, it does if you apply it to one thing, without examining all the minutiae that make up that overarching concept of a decade. What is a decade? A ten year span, as humans define time. Barely a ripple across the fabric of the cosmos in terms of impact (unless we wish to talk CO2, which we don't. Not today, anyway).

The decade that I can't seem to let go of is the 1980's. Start to finish, I'm still caught there with people, places and my evolution carrying on it's own merry dance behind my eyeballs and it just doesn't appear to want to let me go.

This isn't helped by the constant reminder of the decade that are splurged out across shops - namely the '80's trends that are cluttering up our clothes shops (Topshop, I blame you!). It's like stepping into a weird machine that reconfigures time and takes you back to the decade that gave us Pretty in Pink, the Cookie Monster, Back to the Future and...erm...Def Leppard. You can buy all of these things (plus Slayer, for gawd's sake) emblazoned on Topshop / River Island t-shirts. I did note the time machine failed to return me to my much missed size 6 (US2) figure but we can't have everything!

But then I came across style nirvana. Admittedly it was adorning my much skinnier, trendier sixteen year old niece, but it came in the stylee of the student cardigan. Namely, that staple of university students world over at the end of the eighties, the Marks and Spencers Grandad cardigan (in dark grey, russet or dark green) available from their men's department and worn by student women with their doctor martins and rolled up jeans the world over (well, probably just the UK, but you get my gist).

I succumbed. And wore it naturally enough with my shiny new doctor martins (I am proud to say I will never, ever roll my jeans up a la Tiffany ever again). HE laughed and accused me of becoming retro queen. He's probably right. What with soaking up books based in either the 1980's, academia or both (The Secret History, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Black Swan Green) I'm becoming a little obsessed with the past. Not helped by sodding Facebook, which is like a labyrinth of all those faces you'd hoped had been squished into oblivion (there's something strangely comforting in seeing that the evil bitch that hit you with her white stilettos on the back of the 631 has developed into an ugly grog monster with 6 kids and no teeth).

I've been so hung up on myself recently, just falling down this avenue of self loathing and disillusionment at the fact I am so CRAP at everything. I realise this is a perfectly normal human state of mind but I really want to stop the turntable and get off this trajectory. I've been unable to write for weeks, it would be too self regarding to call it writer's block, but I've come to a very slow and dim realisation that what I actually need to do is write what I know. And then let it go.

And that's the decade that style forgot. The nineteen eighties. And I have her here in my head and I'm using this post to tell myself its OK to let her out, so that I can ultimately let her go.


GD is: listening to Kate Bush's Hounds of Love on vinyl, trawling charity shops for vinyl because it feels better even though its big, clumsy, easily broken and just not cool, reading Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi which is superb (thank you Husband!). And being obsessive but weirdly non productive. (note: by the end of this I'd finished with Kate and how now moved on to Nik Kershaw's The Riddle. The video linked here is a complete homage to the '80s and the lips poking through the wall are just a bit freaky...Which I will not apologise for loving!)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Everything is Italicised!

When did that happen?! The blog went wonky!

I'm too cold to blog, so I'm off to snuggle up under a duvet and watch Bond. Mmmmmmm!