Have I mentioned that I’m writing a book? I know, amazing! I came up with the idea all by myself. Well, I love writing, as you know. Would you believe, I can do it all by myself, too, and the years have, certainly been ‘kind’, providing me with a wealth of material upon which to draw. A little time consuming, I concede, but anything worth doing is worth doing well. So it is that I sit with my laptop and engage my brain in transcribing thoughts and memories in some kind of order. It’s not like this when I just type as it comes into my head – who would ever have thought – amassing the words in no time. It takes me longer to find the right quote. No, I jest somewhat. I am more measured than that but I have never had a difficulty with words and so have always found it relatively easy to express myself in writing. When it comes to a book, however, relevance and sequence are paramount – and the ability to leave some things out! One has to be focused and selective and, when writing a memoir, prepared to re-live it all again! It requires a huge amount of discipline and, I now realise, routine. Not so good at that! Perhaps I should just get somebody else to write it for me …
Wash my mouth out! Am I suggesting that there are some who don’t actually write their own books? That there are such things as ghost writers? Don’t be cynical. Of course, every two-bit celeb can write – and discuss his/her book, miraculously out for Christmas – without a hint that he/she didn’t write it. I am always dying for the interviewer to ask said ‘celeb’ about the process of production: did he/she write daily, have a routine? Where? How? How long did it take? Not a squeak! No suggestion that Bananarama had some help; that Sir Cliff was unable to stop admiring himself in the mirror – doing up his tie then, coolly, undoing it – long enough to churn out a bestseller! Is one to believe that Ant and Dec rattled off their memoirs, just like that, during lockdown? Perhaps it’s just me. I mean, who really cares? I suppose it’s just that the bandwagon is becoming overcrowded. Why now? Why this Christmas? Talk about rhetorical questions! ‘Prison’, books, money. Like gin and tonic … It’s not even 2 o’clock yet, don’t worry. Glass still in the fridge! Before changing the subject, though, I must tip my cap to Francis Rossi, he of Status Quo. Yes, I do have his autobiography – always loved them – but he is quick to confess that he didn’t write it himself. Good on him, though it might have been better if he had!
Life is full of lasts – and firsts – and I have just returned from a much required walk down the High Road to the sign and back. My last but … back to the firsts! Heading for home – miraculously intact – I had my keys in my hand. Still plugged in to Spotify and Daily Mix 3 with T Rex and David Soul, I smiled and said ‘Hello’ to the gentleman walking towards me only to have him stop and tell me not to wave my keys in my hand. He had great pleasure in enlightening me as to the fact that that is what the ‘ladies’ on the streets of London used to do! How he laughed – me, too, as I was likened to a prostitute. A first, I can assure you.
That will be my last walk down that road, however. The views are so amazing and, perhaps four miles there and back, it is good exercise but … I could just as well have wandered onto the track at Silverstone! The traffic! The speed! It is a country road, for goodness sake, barely wide enough for passing cars and, moreover, it is a back road to nowhere of significance. Where are all these people going? As I’ve probably mentioned before, growing up in this area, it was a road rarely used. Winding down to Kemback, through Dura Den to Pitscottie and beyond, it is sandwiched between two much more significant routes and, once, it would have been unusual to pass another vehicle excepting, perhaps, a tractor. Not anymore! There should be a sign of a mummy – in bandages – warning of the dangers of venturing forth on foot! Give me a horse any day. Why is it that everybody is in such a hurry?
Five tiers. Christmas. Rule of Six. Lockdown … SWEDEN! That’s all I’m saying. I have heard the following, on three separate occasions this week, from the mouths of Beverley Turner, Julia Hartley-Brewer and India Willoughby (like her!): the average number of COVID deaths in the country which gave us ABBA – over the past five weeks – is two! How stupid are we? Three tiers, five tiers, a pavlova, whatever! All temporary measures devoid of insight or intelligence. E.T. phone home. The little green men are out of here!
Use By dates. I only mention them because I ignore them, much to Becca’s dismay. Living in fear and trepidation, I insisted she eat soup, last night, which ought to have been consumed eight days previously. ‘It won’t kill you!’. Well, I suspected not but if one could die from a salt overdose then I would definitely be writing this from the other side! Once again, it seems as though I have morphed into my mother as I hear myself repeating her words. She gave no hoot about Sell By or Use By dates and Becca and Manny will forever remember being offered ten-year-old lemonade along with a variety of other cobweb-enhanced delicacies. Somehow, we children survived only to inflict the same logic on our own. What’s the betting they do the same.
Another thing, before I go, having successfully abstained from politics – well, excepting a little paragraph – black sheep. Why is it that there is only ever one and does he/she (suspecting it is not a ram) know he/she is black? Also, why is it that the black sheep is considered bad just because he/she is different? In my book, the word ‘unique’ is much more appropriate. Anyway, just thinking out loud as, on my last walk down the High Road, I passed the field of sheep and there she/he was (spot the difference!). Made me smile; that and my being likened to a prostitute. All-in-all, a good day!
I watched a programme on Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie last night. It included snippets of their portrayal in The Windsors (Channel 4) – the best part. Remember, ‘I’m Truuuuush, a common shop girl!’? Well, I made a note of this one for my forthcoming book (did I mention I was writing one?) but it is so good I shall just have to use it twice!
Beatrice: Eugenie, we’re going to have to get jobs.
Eugenie: Is that like when Daddy has a party for Arabs and British businessmen?
Beatrice: No, I think a job is where you have to go into a building or something.
Eugenie: Oh …
Sounds perfectly awful!
This is Truuuuush, signing off.