Blue Monday indeed

May 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Posted in books, Boredom, Literature, Reading, sleep, Uncategorized, Waterstone's, work | Leave a comment
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I want to be doing this:

but I also yearn to feel inspired (that sentence makes me sound as if I need to read Women Who Think Too Much, or an equally cringeworthy read, but hey).

The fact is, my friends, that after work, which I love very much and don’t want to do less of (bad Amy – you ended a clause in a preposition!), Dooby feeding, bathing, dressing and entertaining, and sleep (mmmm, sleep, come to me), there really isn’t much time for anything else.  Yes, I know that their not being enough hours in the days is not exactly a new idea, but that’s not quite what I mean.  What I want is to feel interested again.  It’s been too long since I finished a book; I managed about six in Florida this March, where the hell is the next novel which makes me let my coffee sink to arctic temperatures?

I’m not depressed; I don’t think so, anyway.  It’s true that boredom is often just a mask for the black dog, but I don’t think that’s my problem.  I just want something to stun me.  Is that too much to ask?

P.S.  Yes, I know I sell books and should be able to find one which takes my fancy quite easily, but I can’t.  So there.

I’m a Greek, I eat feta……………….what the hell am I doing here?

May 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s been a while, darlings.  I’m afraid the inclination to write has waned slightly of late.  But I’m on holiday as of next Tuesday evening (bring it auf!), so expect some writage then.  Wenn ich Lust habe…………….

Do I look like a girly girl to you?

May 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Posted in books, debate, men, Uncategorized, women | 6 Comments
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I didn't have an umbrella, alright?

I’ll start with a couple of disclaimers:  I never wear jeans, am incredibly vain and am obviously pregnant in the photo above.  So, we can conclude that not only am I a woman (sorry for being ridiculously obvious, but you know), I could also never be described as a tomboy.

Then again, I am convinced I am the man in my relationship (in no way do I mean this in a physical sense).  Asher bows down at the throne of Richard Curtis (he also loves war films and Bond, to give him credit), I crack up every single time Jenna and I watch ‘our’ film , ‘Misery’.  (Anyone who doesn’t laugh when Annie Wilkes says she’s going to put on her Liberace records needs a personality bypass.)  Asher bought me this card for Valentine’s Day:

whilst I bought him this:

You get my point?

So it really rather pissed me off when some foul man asked me recently whether or not I liked Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, and, after I said yes, implied that he wouldn’t like them, because I’m a ‘girly’ (yes, he really said that).  Oh, I’m sorry: I didn’t realise that literature had become gender specific now.  Heaven forbid that both the female of the species and the greater sex enjoy the same book.  Christ, is that the time?  I better get back to my manicure and Mills and Boon bonkbuster.  (Exit in my pink Nissan Micra complete with pink furry dice, pink  headrest covers and pink steering wheel cover. )

Or vote for change. Vote Swedish horse.

May 6, 2010 at 6:38 am | Posted in election, politics | 2 Comments
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You know it makes sense

Despite being besieged by the Conservatives in the form of personalised letters from Cameron himself (it’s as if he actually knows me – how creepy is that?), and besieged by Labour in the form of Gwyn Prosser’s tying a red balloon to Jude’s pushchair last week, I am still undecided.  I know that I have to vote by 10pm, but I’m still not sure which L will sway me – Labour or Lib Dem?

Cameron’s policies make me sick.  He’s the anti-Robin Hood; the richest will get more tax breaks and one fifth of Sure Start centres will go with him as Prime Minister.  I would never vote Tory anyway, but his policies wouldn’t exactly be an incentive for me to do so, were I ever completely to change my beliefs (see you at the ice rink in hell).

So I say, vote Swedish horse.  It will stand there and look pretty while we storm the Houses of Parliament and remove whomever happens to get in (does it really matter – will they really solve youth unemployment and increase the state pension and Jobseeker’s Allowance?).  Who needs a Prime Minister who speaks, when you can have a pretty wooden equine?  Let’s just hope it’s not a Trojan.

Stockholm, mon amour

May 5, 2010 at 8:41 am | Posted in dreams, travel | Leave a comment
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Last night, my dreams were devoid of coin-covered Frenchmen, and filled with Stockholm.  I dreamed I stood outside a chocolate and oyster shop which featured in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (if you’re asking what that is, why haven’t you read them already?).  Sadly, I missed the Millennium tour when I was in Stockholm last summer, as it runs only on a Saturday.  However, hopefully it will become more frequent, as the interest in Stieg refuses to die down (probably not the best cliche to use, as Larsson is in fact dead now.

Speaking of cliches, those they use about Sweden are true: there are lots of healthy young things storming around the city on bikes, it is very clean and it is mouth-droppingly expensive (so much so that we ate most of our dinners at McEvil.  The shame.  Pie is paj in Swedish, btw).

But nothing was cliched about our hostel,  Den Röda Båten Mälaren.  Greeting us on our arrival was the scene below:

which I changed later to:

Plopp, indeed

Do not trust Swedish chocolate.   Not only the name, but also the taste of that bar was decidedly suspicious.

I came, I saw, I decorated

May 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Posted in cake, family, motherhood, party, women | Leave a comment
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Last Wednesday, I started my niece’s 16th birthday cake.  I spent all of Thursday doing it, baked one of the cakes Friday morning and finished the icing Saturday morning before work.  This was the result:

I am not the world’s best icer; you are not going to walk in on me creating homemade tulips out of sugarpaste I’ve coloured myself anytime soon.  So what I would say to any of you women out there, mothers or not, who don’t exactly have time on your hands, is this: listen to the god of ready-to-roll.  Because making a cake doesn’t have to be a competitive sport.  It just has to look presentable when it comes to eating it.

Every night in my dreams, I see you, I feel you….

May 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in dreams, men, money | 1 Comment
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Apologies for the Celine Dion, but I feel that its foulness is in direct proportion to my offensive dream last night.

I went to Paris and I got stalked by a man with coins all over his body.  What does that mean?  Do I want a magnetic Frenchman, or merely a rich one?  Or is this one of those things which doesn’t have to  mean something?

The author is dead. And so are her characters, it would seem.

May 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Posted in books, debate | Leave a comment
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You’d have to be a philistine, agoraphobic or illiterate not to have noticed the rise in vampire fiction these past few years.  Those of you who do read (and I’m not counting Heat magazine, though I know you love it, Greg and Janie) or have the pleasure to work in a bookshop will know that the lady who started the trend goes by the name of Stephanie Meyer.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’m an English graduate, and am therefore used to sucking the life out of literature until it ceases to mean anything ( I can’t believe people actually get paid to teach people to do this).  Yes, I enjoy this, and I also believes that sometimes dissecting a text brings you more pleasure from it.  But I also think that there is nothing better than reading a book purely to enjoy it.

That’s why those journalists and any other people (usually those who have to read a newspaper to find an opinion) who write that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight tetralogy is merely a vessel for her Mormon beliefs are missing the point.  Alright, perhaps I am, too: if journalists only ever wrote about how much they’d enjoyed a book, there wouldn’t be much point in reading their work.  What I’m saying is, think like Barthes.  Think the author is dead.  Suspend your belief when reading about Bella and Edward, and submerge yourself in the mythology that there really are vampires in smalltown America (vegetarian ones at that).  Stop seeing the fact that the young lovers take so long to sleep together as a metaphor for the preservation of virginity, or the large Cullen clan as representative of the typical Mormon family.  Does it really matter who wrote it?  Like it or don’t like it: don’t ruin what is supposed to be a leisure activity with analysis.  Because I hate to break it to all you other English graduates, but not everything has to mean something.

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