A Big One To Make Up For It

I am back. Feeling much better. My writing and reading and emailing and blogging brains are having some kind of party in my head. Only the cool people are allowed to go. They’ve all got ace shoes on.

Nik started a meme about bookshelves. I can’t take a picture of my bookcase, because there’s already one on here somewhere. Also, all the books are put in order like they are in a library. I got drunk one night and spent quite a while doing it. The non fiction ones are even in a rough approximation of Dewey. So you can’t see that, I would be embarrassed. But you can see the books that are stacked up on the chest of drawers next to my bed. I haven’t read anything for ages, but all the books there are fairly recent. There’s cactus, deep-sea tales, unreliable narrators, the fine Rob Finn (whose other books are available here for the most Essential For Life, some of your English pounds…) and books about making things. Also, D.H Lawrence, who I have never grown out of. Aah, and a nasty horror DVD. Sorry about that.

Next, Nik tagged me in a meme.

1) What were you doing ten years ago?

Well, as I am a compulsive diary keeper, I can tell you exactly. Today in 1998 I was concerned that a boy I knew hadn’t phoned me yet, even though I was supposed to be seeing him in the morning (get!). I was still in deep trouble for getting my nose pierced (God, so unfair!) and I was annoyed with someone called Rachael who had been ‘a right cow’. I was pleased with Chris who had carried my guitar to the bus-stop for me. The next day, although I did not know it at the time, I would get my first love-bite at a bus-stop (classy) and have an argument with my mother about an ‘inappropriate’ Marilyn Manson tee-shirt. More generally, I was fifteen and in the middle of my GCSEs, had just got my first boyfriend and was trying to grow radishes in a bucket in the back yard. If I die soon, please go to my house, break in and burn those things.

2) What 5 things are on your to-do list today?

Catch up on all the emails I have been ignoring
Iron work trousers
Write the scene in fishbook where Downstairs John eats coffee
Wash my hair
Take out the bins

3) What snacks do you enjoy?

Nuts, little oranges, big oranges, bombay mix, carrots, cucumbers, olives, cheese. Although I don’t like eating big meals most of the time, so these things are a big proportion of my general fare.

4) What would you do with a billion dollars?

I would get it changed into pounds. I would buy a little house with an attic and a garden. I’d assist my landlord’s acting career by getting him to star in his very own snuff film. I would send my little one to a Steiner School. I’d buy my good friend and drinking buddy a motorbike and a loft apartment in Berlin. I’d buy my Granny a bingo hall in Blackpool. I’d have laser surgery on my eyes. I’d buy my best friend the very rare Nunsploitation DVD collection. I’d probably buy quite a lot of gin. After that, I’d get bored and give the rest of it to the Samaritans because I used to be one, and save enough to take the Education Welfare Officers of Preston circa 1993 out on a piss-up.

5) List the places you have lived:

Here, Cambridge, Oxford.

6) List the jobs you have held

Librarian in a prison, in a city centre library, in a rural library and in the Bodley. Barmaid, waitress, cleaner, Samaritan, general dogsbody in a homeless shelter, counsellor, full time mumma. And the writing thing, of course.

I’m missing off the last bit, which was to tag other people. I am running out of steam.

Next up comes some self promotion. If I’m going to come out of my shell, I might as well go the whole hog.

My blog is featured in an article on the Canongate website written by my friend Chris, who’s just had a very special delivery.

The reading I did in Derby for the launch of Time, the latest book by the Time Travel Opportunists, has been written about here. There’s a picture of my head on it too, in case you’re curious.

The poet Jo Bell wrote nice things about my writing here.

And I will be reading here at the end of this month. If you’re there and we haven’t met before, come up and say hello.

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