I don’t dislike babies in fact the older I get the more I am drawn to them – the safety factor no doubt – that & the hand-back-fast facility. But in the last weeks I have found the birth of a royal one increasingly irritating. I do not wish it or them ill – well no more so than I wish most of the Establishment ill. But it dominated the news to an absurd degree, took over air time and on Facebook women compared the weight of their own infants with the weight of this new royal in a competitive manner. In fact it unleashed birth stories that had been quietly waiting for an airing for years, all important to the bearer no doubt, probably of zero interest to anybody else.
Recently my granddaughter phoned me to ask if I would like to attend the graduation of her brother. Sounds normal enough – but until a few days before I had no idea that I had grandchildren and when I was informed that I have great grandchildren too, I was nearly stupefied.
I have become cagey about my age these last few years owing to the fact that when you are over seventy there are all kinds of ghastly expectations laid on you: no more sex or drugs and rock and roll, a nice peaceful life of beige seems to be the order of the day. I do not subscribe to this at all and expect to be hopping about with a joint in my hand and lust in my loins until the day I die.
Please believe me when I tell you that there was absolutely no puritanical intent in this move and it may not be forever. This radical change came about because while in Cuba I guzzled a bottle of rum and Coca Cola at the Tropicana club. The fact that rum is not my usual tipple and that I avoid Coca Cola on political grounds – the precise genesis of which is now forgotten; but I hadn’t drunk it since the time in youth when we put fag ash in it & swore we got high. I drank it because it was there and because it was free. Not a creditable reason, just greed. The tickets for this expensive outing were bought for us by Richard Ulvengren who I worked for briefly at Traktor and via Ernesto Montana who was one of the many excellent Cubans I met. I got hideously drunk and I am truly grateful that we were not in a British nightclub – in fact we were helped out with the utmost grace and by kind doormen who giggled along with me. We were decanted on our doorstep by taxi.
Channel Four Monday night indiscriminate TV watching
On Monday night I came home from London at ten having watched a superb sunset on my way down to Southampton. I was in great form and I decided to forego East Enders to watch a programme with Daisy Donovan who I remembered liking – though I couldn’t remember why. It was well worth watching for the appalled and horrified factor – but lets be honest also for the bottoms. Recently in Cuba I was enchanted by the phenomenal derrieres that appeared to almost have a life of their own as if they were only tangentially attached to the female in charge. The programme was in The Greatest Show on Earth strand and we were in Brazil for the bom bom competition which involved a line of women showing off their backsides to the cameras. Fortunately we were also treated to a view of the slightly mortified faces of female journalists and Daisy looked suitably dubious of the process. According to a bright faced chap ‘Brazilian women like being objectified – especially the lower classes’ Daisy was not surprised and neither was I. In fact it was all very jolly with loads of ribaldry and the winner won and looked very happy. Then the really gross stuff began with ritual humiliation involving rubber bands and distorting of faces, ‘Yes’ said one of the women ‘it is humiliating but being on TV makes up for that.’ The final part of the programme was a truly horrible series of graphic pictures of violent crime in action shown every day at lunch time. I can’t help feeling that this must cause a very nasty callousness. But what do I know ?
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"Just finished reading 'A Blues for Shindig'. Well worth waiting for. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole ambience is so convincing, and the characters - well, I was right there with them. Wonderful. Why hasn't this book had more publicity?
I'm curious - is it semi (or wholly) autobiographical? If not, you have a hell of an imagination, girl!
Thanks for many hours of laughs and tears."
Chriss, Nov 2011