Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

grief encounter

‘Well,’ said my husband as we emerged blinking from the dark cinema into the late afternoon sunshine. ‘It was lovely to get away from work for a couple of hours’. It had been a lovely surprise when my husband had unexpectedly announced an illicit weekday afternoon trip to the pictures, although sadly his secretary Fabio joining us did have the effect that we couldn’t entirely leave my beloved’s trade at the cinema door. It had been a nice way to spend a couple of hours, an old movie, some popcorn, my husband and his secretary sitting just a few rows in front of me. ‘Interesting choice of film’, My husband said to Fabio, ‘The CGI steam trains were terribly unrealistic but I liked the bit where they sneak off to the pictures to watch an overblown romantic flick when they’re in one themselves that we’ve all sneaked off to see’. Fabio smiled. ‘The director’s cut is better’, he told my husband, ‘Trevor Howard leaves the station tea rooms at the end and gets on a space ship instead of the train back to his wife’. ‘Oh, Men!’ I sighed.

Sometimes I've felt as if I were just a made up character as well, living my life in black and white. Although of course, that being the case, the ending must have already been written when in reality most of the time it seemed more as if someone was merely making all this up as they went along. I just hoped I was a character in some great literary work and not in some stupid blog that only seems to get updated once a week lately. ‘I think those were real steam trains darling’, I said, as the famous dramatic climax of Celia Johnson’s hair falling slightly over her eyes resonated in my imagination. ‘It was made in 1945 you know’, I explained. ‘Oh crikey’, said my husband, ‘and it’s still not out on DVD yet dear?’ he laughed. ‘Probably’ I said ‘Not quite the same though.’ I sighed. My husband shrugged. ‘Of course it’s allegorical you know', I said, ‘all this stuff about them not being free to be together because of the social conventions of the time.’ My husband looked puzzled. ‘ Noël Coward being gay and everything’, I elaborated. ‘Noël Coward was gay?’ he queried. ‘Are you quite sure dear?’ It was almost as if he was teasing me but I knew he would never do that. ‘I’m a woman dear’ I began. ‘We girls can tell gay man a mile off you know’, I said. My husband and Fabio exchanged glances so I could see they were keen to get back to work now.

As we walked across the multiplex car park a gust of wind blew up the dust from the ground. ‘Oh, darling!’ I cried. My husband turned round. ‘I think I have some grit in my eye!’ I said, winking vociferously. ‘Oh dear.’ he began, then hesitated ‘Oh, I get it’, he smiled knowingly, ‘Ok, you win dear, I’ll drive’, and he continued on towards the car with Fabio. After a moment I shrugged my shoulders and as I watched to two men walk away across the tarmac, I thought I really should have been writing SITN that afternoon but my agent had been very quiet lately and nobody reads blogs in august anyway. Anyway, I'd detected that some people had found me too critical of the North on occasion, which was unfair because it is grim up north, and what I really needed was for my friend to come up from London and then she could moan about northerners and I could report what she said and I wouldn’t get the blame. Suddenly, my phone rang. It couldn’t be! ‘Air, hellair!’ said the voice, ‘Rilly, is that you darling? Its your old chum from London who really hates it up north speaking’, the voice continued. ‘Coming up to visit you dear, put the kettle on and see you in a few days, what!’. My husband turned around and look back towards me. ‘We’re going to the pub!’ he shouted, so I took off my shoes and sped after after them. As I got into the car I sighed. My friend was on the motorway on her way, my husband was here with me in the car, and yet strangely I couldn't escape the feeling, and I couldn't escape the song in my head, that I was all by myself...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Frantic and Friedman

I looked sceptically at my husband. ‘Surely you don’t mean the Dean Friedman is playing here in the village tonight?’ I said. My husband nodded smiling. ‘What are you crazy? How in the hell can you say what you just said?’ I asked. My husband showed me the poster. It was true, it was there in black and white, but why hadn’t he told me before? He knew I was a big fan. ‘You could have told me a little earlier!’ I snapped, looking at the time. ‘Is that why you’re angry?’ he asked. ‘No I’m not angry.’ ‘Maybe a little?’ ‘Not even maybe, but how am I supposed to feel with all the things you don’t reveal?’ My husband sighed apologetically. ‘What about the baby?’ I said. ‘We’ll take the children with us’, he shrugged. I glanced over to the baby engrossed in one of those things that au pairs give babies to play with. I sighed. ‘Baby stop playing!’ I told him. The baby looked at me briefly then carried on. ‘Baby now stop it’, I said, and turned to my husband. ‘You should know better’, I said. He shrugged and said ‘I know this is hard to do, but there’s no one to look after him but me and you’. I gave in and picked the baby up and we went down to the village Green.

The concert was absolutely packed so I gave Tilly some money and sent her to the bar whilst my husband and I turfed some locals off their seats. The baby started crying. ‘Baby I’m sorry’, I whispered. ‘I was wrong, I have no alibis, I was acting like a fool and I apologise’. I looked down into his sweet little face. 'Do you still love me?' I said, softly and the little baby look he returned to me said 'yes I still love you'. I should never have come, I thought, but when the man himself came on stage and all those bitter-sweet satirical songs about life and love and politics and relationships came flooding back into my memory the baby’s crying seemed to fade away. ‘You know’, began Dean, ‘sometimes it’s tough being an American in the UK lately’, he continued, ‘and I blame all you goddamn bleeding heart lilly livered limey liberals! George W Bush should come over here and kick your goddamn limey democrat ass!’ Crikey, I thought, Dean Friedman’s a neo-con? Now I really needed that drink. I turned towards the bar only to see Tilly subsumed in a crowd of rough young men in black t-shirts. I knew I had to get in there. I would have to rescue my daughter or I’d never get a bloody drink. My husband seemed to have disappeared but Dean Friedman had a free lap, sitting at his keyboard just nearby. I handed him the baby. ‘I’ll be back in a minute’, I assured him. ‘Just carry on dear’. The great man looked slightly concerned. ‘I can’t hold your baby Ma'am!’ he said. ‘What if he’s sick on my new shirt? I bought it especially for this gig you know, I wanted to look really smart’. I studied the loud American floral number in question. I was not exactly looking my best either so I was in no position to say anything. ‘Well’, I reassured him, ‘you can thank your lucky stars that we're not as smart as we'd like to think we are’ and I dived into the throng to save my G&T from being crushed by the crowd.

If the real Dean Friedman is reading this, we loved your set at RL last night, thanks for coming up our way, hope to see you again, and please please don't sue...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

the flattering prizes

I hadn’t planned on anything spontaneous happening in this family until at least the weekend however I was very surprised to receive a schmoozing award from Lady Macleod and I therefore interupt this interuption in service with an unscheduled entry. I think that Penny from And who cares also mentioned me in connection with this honour but like Tony Blair's congressional medal I neglected to collect it. Lady Macleod, for those not as adept at recognising the deeply hidden origins of surnames as I am (it's a gift, you know), is from that strange and mysterious land at the end of the M6 and by curious coincidence it was this week that my husband announced that he had booked a romantic weekend north of the Cumberland Gap for a few weeks time. ‘Glasgow is the city of love’, he assured me, ‘after all, where else has a kiss named after it?’ I have already been shopping for suitable outfits as I always like to blend in seamlessly, just like I do here in The North, and I think that going to Scotland to listen to an Ulsterman sing about the summertime in England will ensure we'll pass with flying colours any citizenship test that Gordon 'the brit' Brown may throw at us in future. Actually, I have a little bit of scottish in me, specifically my liver which will feel like it's going home in a few weeks. So, anyway, I think it’s the done thing to award some of these things myself so here goes. I should add, and I mean this most sincerly folks, that I appreciate everyone who reads and comments on this blog but for the purposes of this particular accolade, could the following please step forward and be terribly embarassed, thankyou;

JJ at life is all cobblers, keen member of the Northampton Town FC fan club branch of the lefty party and generally awfully decent sort of chap. This award is about people who have a community minded view of blogs and this is why she is in my list here, as well as having a nice blog too of course.

Beatrice, who does something on her blog which should really be extremely dull and which would, in many people's hands, be just that but she actually produces something really rather lovely and she pays attention to her commenters and she is also someone who says what she thinks, so she obviously has some Yorkshire in her, and I'd therefore better not fall out with her. I know she's already got one of these but that house she describes sounds enormous so I'm sure she can spread them around a bit

Linda at Got your hands full because she encourages the kind of thing that you're reading now by conducting and publishing in depth interviews with struggling young talented but unrecognised bloggers, and yet also people like me as well. I'm sure she's got about ten of these already but she's a journalist so I'll just tell her there's a free bar at the presentation ceremony.

James Higham, or whatever he's calling himself currently, because he seems to spend more time plugging other people's blogs than his own and he plugged this one recently as well. He's got one of these things too but I'm sure the black market where he is can turn this award into illicit vodka faster than you can say I wouldn't eat the sushi if I were you

Just about everyone else I can think off almost certainly has this already so I'm orf up the wooden hill to bedfordshire. I need my beauty sleep you know, oh god how I need it, sigh