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Random Thoughts & Warblings


I’ve always wondered how my friend Jamie can do this as he is very skinny and you just wouldn’t think he had that much spare flesh.

Things I have done this week that I have never done before: ear candling – I let someone put flaming candles in my ears in a bid to clear blocked ears without having to ingest antibiotics. Strangely enough I fell asleep when she did the second one. It seems to have worked.

fallen asleep mid-comment on a blog – woke up five hours later with the laptop still open at Billy’s comment box but precariously hanging off the side of the bed – serves me right for coming home a little tipsy and trying to blog from bed

attempted to teach myself an editing programme – getting there! (can you sense the frustration?)

Books I have read in the last 10 days: Baggage by Janet Street-Portah! As Lyn Barber writes in her potted review “she’s infuriating” actually Lyn not half as irritating as you love! I really enjoyed it. Baggage is the first book old Janet from another planet (Perivale via Fulham) wrote about her childhood. She recounts growing up in 50’s London in a very vivid, engaging and witty way. Her childhood and more so her parents have undertones of an Ealing comedy in parts. I can thoroughly recommend it.

I loved that so much I felt compelled to get the next one – which quite bitterly at times documents her 20’s – 30’s I suppose. It’s called: Fall Out: A Memoir of Friends Made and Unmade.

Again very vibrant and un-putdownable. She is not afraid to admit that she might be a bit of a harsh perfectionist at times and found it virtually impossible to be faithful to either of her slightly long-suffering husbands. But underneath Janet’s teflon-clad rambler exterior there is a very bright, clever and interesting person lurking there. Her descriptions of endless party’s dripping with then emerging artistic talent such as Allen Jones, Patrick Heron and fabulous clothes mainly a la Zandra Rhodes are not only fun because of the time but also because they are set against the backdrop of her determination to make it first in architecture and then the male-dominated world of Fleet Street. There’s a real vital energy there which I think she does very well. She doesn’t know this or know me for that matter but I went to her house in Clerkenwell once. I even went for a spin in her zero gravity chair which left me most discombobulated (thank you Will Self for that word which none of us know what it really means but it sounds good in this context).

I have just started Joan Didion‘s new book ‘A Year Of Magical Thinking‘ – it’s basically an extended essay on death and grief which was written as a reaction to the sudden death of her poet/writer husband John Gregory Dunne. I am a huge fan of Didion ever since I picked up ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem‘ as a teenager. It had been on the family bookshelves since it had first come out – 1972 in paperback I think. I had seen it on my parent’s friends bookshelves too so one day the penny must have dropped – I picked it up. It’s a wonderful, clear account of the Californian hippie movement at the end of the 60’s. Not only was it a great read but her picture on the frontispiece was an inspiration – a beautiful, gamine woman in some sort of an understated garment smoking a fag – and she looked so cool! I really wanted to grow up and be her. I did grow up and I didn’t really become her at all but I have made sure that each time she has published I have sought the new book out without much delay. In saying that – it is her non-fiction that I enjoy and remember. The fiction I could take or leave. Anyway, for the first time I have not been able to whizz through her writing at all. Instead of devouring and chomping my way through it I am having to approach it in little morsels bit by bit. I think a lot of this is to do with the subject matter and the terrible red-rawness of her contained emotion which staggeringly brave and exquisite at times. I think it would serve as a very useful manual for those training as grief counsellors – just to really get into the nitty gritty of grief and understanding how it re-shapes everything around you.

I was going to work on this a bit more and post up tomorrow – in it’s place I had blogged something from youtube but…..yet again…it has still not made it to blogger within 48 hours – crap. So that will come after this no doubt which will be very confusing. Sorry.

Finally, mainly as fall-out from the great Stiff Records night on BBC4 the other week I have been mostly playing Larry Wallis ‘Policecar’ on constant rotation – expect to hear it on the next podcast which is in my head but not yet uttered and squished down into switchpod yet – coming to a blogworld near you shortly – I’m just not sure when.

Finally finally, some of you might have read The Whales rather terse rant last Monday which then ended up with him deleting himself. It’s a shame – hopefully he will be back soon.

Nighty night.

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