Search This Blog

Friday, 16 October 2009

Five Obsessions

Lovely Helen at Commission Me - has presented me with an award which stands for not Tragic Obsession with Big Hats and Small Dogs, but integrity, commitment to excellence and stubborn optimism. I'm very touched. And a bit guilty because I've been a bit lax on the blog front recently. And as a codicil I have to give you my five obsessions. Which are in no particular order:

1. Extremely mature cheddar. You can forget that namby pamby mild crap. Give me the sort of cheese that gives your gums an electric shock. Particularly good when a lump of it is eaten with a splodge of generic pickle.

2. The Boy's Height. It's really hard to tell someone off when you have to look up at them to do it. And their response is Chill mum in a really deep voice.

3. The Girl's developing confidence. I remember a mother once telling me: Once they go to school, they're gone and now I know what she means. She has a set of friends, influences, opinions and tastes of her own. Yesterday she insisted on wearing a tunic with clashing tee, odd socks and a beret. Fashion wise I think she's channelling Vivienne Westwood. Drunk.

4. Writing something good. And I've been telling my students at the OU to allow themselves to write rubbish, to break through that awful inertia that comes when you sit down and tell yourself you have to write something good. I've been teaching them a bit about freewriting - composting - where you give yourself the freedom to write whatever you like. It's like turning your psyche over and over until a little nugget emerges that you can do something with. It's all true. But the bottom line is while it's good to allow yourself to write rubbish, nobody wants to end up submitting rubbish.

5. Aveda Hair Products. I know - I know. Especially as when I went into the 'lifestyle salon' I picked up a few products - one a 'glosser' and the other a 'finishing paste' and asked what the difference was. One glosses zee hair and the other feeeneeshes eeet, said the very glossy assistant. Insulted and patronised like that the only thing I could do was buy some overpriced shampoo. And to my intense annoyance it worked fantastically well.

And now I pass on the nominations to:

Jane Smith at How Publishing Really Works

Kit at Kit Courteney Writes

The Daily Quail

Elle at Product Placement

Nicola Morgan at Help! I Need a Publisher

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hollywood is a funny old place

Kanye West interrupts the acceptance speech of Taylor Swift (no, me neither) and gets slammed by stern moral arbiters like Donald Trump. "He couldn't care less about Beyonce - it was grandstanding to get attention," thunders Trump, a noted champion of young pretty women. (For those of you with lives, Mr West bounded on stage to point out that while he thought Taylor deserved her award, Beyonce's video was much better.) And as a result of this display of bad manners, petitions are being scribbled and we are being advised to boycott Kanye West's music. On the other hand, when a fugitive child rapist is brought to book for his crime decades later, Hollywood gets up a petition to protect him. According to Whoopi Goldberg it's not even "rape rape". I'm speechless.