Wednesday, November 30, 2005


One of my friends said that in order to write a blog, you had to be 'gallus,' and she was amazed that people had the brass neck to do it. I know what she means. As I said in earlier posts, I still suffer from blogger's self doubt. The remedy is to remind myself that people only read if they want to.
To crank up the sheer gallusness of it all, here's a photo of me being asked to 'model' the new B&S t-shirt. My only previous modelling experience was aged 14 on Islay when I worked in a clothes shop and was asked to model the outfits in a fashion show. I was mortified and walked as fast as I could down the catwalk. The song playing was 'You're so Vain' which didn't help. I had to wear candy floss coloured tights (which I was allowed to keep after the show). There was no free cocaine or Vogue cover shoot. Funny that.

Here's another photo of just how gallus I feel most days.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Threshing About

Hey strangers,

It's a quickie as I've left you for a week or more. I haven't got this frequency thing right yet - how much posting is too much or too little?

Yin and Yang, yes. So I was away visiting my sister and I only checked e mail once a day (as opposed to my usual compulsive 'click-refresh- every-three-minutes' syndrome). I really got used to less e mail. It was far more relaxing. And now I'm back, I feel e mail pressure. Admin pressure! Another paradox of life I don't understand. Either way is fine. It's just thresholds that cause hesitation and discomfort.

Like why is it that I am sometimes so reluctant to go to sleep at night; yet equally reluctant to wake up in the morning? I craved loads of e mail; now I want less e mail. When I get back to 'normal' routine, I'll get bored and want more e mail.
It was good to see my 2 year old niece Maddy. She is teething and was prone to similar threshold waverings. If you asked her, mid strop, if she wanted something - a story, a toy, some soup...she'd wail that she didn't. If you took it away, she'd wail even louder. When she calmed down, she was great though. She says 'Sanks' (for 'Thanks') with such sincerity. She was watching 'The X factor' (let's blame her, shall we? I mean, it's just so awful...) and I asked her what she would sing if she was a contestant. 'I sing Jingle Bells,' she said. Sanks Maddy.
I better try to get off to sleep soon. It's an effort to drag myself away from this laptop. See what I mean...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some of my Best Friends are...

Thankfully, my friends are all fine, but jeeze, Freddie Gage isn't kidding.

When Francis phoned me (or skyped me to be precise) I told him I was going to write about friendship on my blog and he teased me for trying to write profoundly on universal themes as if I was some kind of voice over on 'Sex in the City' or any other American morality sit com. But where would you be without a few Universal Themes to discuss?

So I met a good friend for a coffee this afternoon and I was thinking how great it is that friendship deepens with age. I'm not a wine or whisky connoisseur but I'm sure it's the same principle. The longer the friendship, the deeper the reward - the relief of familiarity, of knowing the short hand, of not having to pretend. Okay, I am beginning to sound like Bill Cosby.

When I was at school I had a best friend. Our friendship was sealed when she chased away a boy who tried to bully me. We used to get identical Lady Diana haircuts and wear the same clothes only in different colours. Burgundy was a big favourite. We thought it was sophisticated.

At University I bonded with 2 girls and we've been a friendship trio for 20 years. When I asked them if they read my blog and they both looked slightly bewildered, hesitated and said, 'Well, we don't really understand what it is...' Awww. They're Amish. Only kidding.

Well done to the rest of you who managed to find your way here. I think the comments section requires people to sign in before they make a comment. Or I'm just telling myself that, to console myself that I'm not hollering away in an empty cyberspace cavern.

If I could pick famous friends I'd want Bob Geldof, Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais....oh, it's all men (?!) From women I'd pick Germaine Greer and Madonna, although I can see myself having a hand bag fight with both of them.

I had a dream last night that I was lying asleep in the arms of a polar bear. What's that about?


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fashion Faux Paws

Excuse the lame title to this post. I spared you 'doggy style' as a title for the loose and random theme of Fashion and Dogs...(who am I? The Sun newspaper?)

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm amazed by the subtle shifts in life's priorities as one gets older. I used to love buying clothes in my teens and twenties. Now I just get confused and overwhelmed by choice. The major fashion themes this year seem to be - sequins, low cut, high cut, flouncy, floppy, bo-jangley and pom poms. Peasant Yak farmer by day, Celine Dione by night. How can I buy into this?

I purchased a white shirt and got the bus home. The kid sitting beside me was coughing enthusiastically, reminding me of a short story I read yesterday, where a character described buses as 'germs on wheels.'

I mentally bargained with my immune system to fight my corner. I told it that (one day) I might give up vain and stressful clothes shopping expeditions and go to live in the country where I'd spend Sundays talking gentle walks in the crisp autumn air to collect firewood - or something harmonious with nature, anyway.

I'd get a Jack Russell dog and teach it to jump small fences.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Very Fabric of Daily Life

Oh, the miscellaneousness of life. I had to look that one up on www. Shoudn't it be miscellany? I am by nature, a writer of lists. These lists lie around my room until I tick off most of the items - always leaving a few to be carried over to the next post-it note. So this week's hierachy reads -

Tidy desk
organic oats
get window sealing tape from B&Q
change doctor and ask for vitamin injections
read stories for class
do more writing?
novel /memoir??

Usually the things at the end of the list have one or more question marks beside them.

I read a great poem this week called 'Habit' by American poet Jane Hirschfield. It illuminates how much of the daily routine is habit. We're so used to it - we don't notice 'the way the toothbrush is shaken dry after use' and the way we continue to choose our favourite cup. It seems as if habit chooses us...

'And we, it's good horse,
opening our mouths at even the sight of the bit.'

I hope I'm not breaching copyright laws here (no favourite cup in jail). It's just a taster for those who might like Jane Hirschfield.

I just got an e mail from Stuart, asking if he's left his umbrella in my car -

"the loss is threatening the very fabric of my daily life!"

You see what I mean? The very fabric of my own life is supported by the following inventions dear to my heart -

broadband internet (no way back from dial-up)
the electric toothbrush (no way back from manual!)
hot water bottles (an enduring classic of beautiful simplicity)
the Television (much maligned)
my smoothie maker......

oh, I could go on and on. There are so many if you stop to think.
Better go and get on with that list then.