Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Catcher.....

What do you think of old J D Salinger then? How many of us have read that book? That was where I first learnt to speak American. And learnt the word Godamm. In 1975, there was a whole load of schoolgirls going round saying "Godamm it!".

The damndest thing being, I picked up Catcher in the Rye again at 40 something, having read it at 16, and do you know I couldn't get into the bloody - sorry, godamm thing again! Couldn't get past the first page. Wierd isn't it.

And wasn't he a lovely bit of stuff in 1951? That was the date of the photo in the obituary anyway. I would have gone Godamming with him then,, I tell you - if I'd been born then, that is. Anyway his most recent photo, he looked like that dad out of Steptoe and Son. But then he was 90 something and drinking his own piss so you've got to make allowances.

I was impressed that he started his writing career with selling short stories to magazines. I myself have sold a story to one of these. Some time ago. But his stories went in the New Yorker, whereas mine went in Woman's Weekly. Husband says the New Yorker is shallow, a bit like Hello magazine, where Woman's Weekly is very highbrow and distinguished. AND the NY doesn't have a problem page! And where's its recipe's, thats what I want to know.

Also recently, my little cat's photo was published in a journal, on her third birthday. I had emailed this gem months before. So when I was regaling this to my mate on the phone, he said even Holden Caulfield - or whatever his stupid name is - didn't have that glory. His pet, as far as we knew, had never been published in a magazine. My mate reckoned thats why he became a recluse and odd and that.

He must have been so in awe of me.

Made a croissant chocolate pudding. Ate a bowlful, feel sick

Monday, 25 January 2010

Whisked away....

Lovies, Treasures, forgive my not posting on here.

The only way I can explain is to liken it to a serieal I've been reading in My Weekly. There is a little girl somewhere in Texas who gets hauled away on a horse by some Comanche Indians. She grows up, marries the big chief, has kids, and then gets hauled back again by her brother to Texas . Well, thats what the outside world does to me sometimes. I get pulled from one culture to another.

Anyway, the equivalent of one of those red Indians was my new career, Invigillating at Daughter's school. Well, what a complete load of shit. It was a disaster! It was not the walkover I thought it was going to be, I tell you.

I mean, my old maths teacher used to read his paper, have a fag under the desk and walk around humming during our exams. Not now, mate, oh no. Had to take the labels off all drinking bottles, had to give triple science to some candidates and double to others. Then you had to make sure their keys and things were on the floor. I mean, for Gods sake!

I think I made one girl fail. One girl put her hand up for a tissue (you would have been told to lump it in "my day") and I got her one. But then I couldn't find her again. They all looked the same. I mean they really did. With their heads bowed, identical hairstyles and blue sweatshirts. Anyway a girl started sniffing so I barged in there and gave her the tissue! Wrong girl! Completely interupted her chemistry paper! Oh Lord!

Oh and then, collecting up the papers - well, that was fun too! Reverse order they told me just after I had scooped them up in my arms. And even the canditates little name and number cards had to be done in a certain order too. Think I'll go back to babysitting.

Been on Facebook lately. Got in touch with an old schoolmate, who the last time I had spoken to her was during a screaming row at a holiday camp in 1977. So there was a lot of ground to cover. Anyway, this boy - well, 51 year old bloke now - but one who was in our school year, has been in touch with her and they have met up several times. "He just wants to get into my pants," she writes to me (on a private message), "I don't want to know". Then why do you keep meeting up with him then? I wanted to say. But didn't want to start another screaming row.

And I know the answer really. She wants to feel young and wanted again, like we all do. But surely not with some little snit who used to shout at us from the back of the maths class! Think I'll deactivate my membership.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Spare a thought.......

Tossed and turned last night! Turmoil seeped into my fitful sleep. Was so worried about my ashtray. It was getting pretty battered now - being forced to live outside and everything - but, and to semi-quote the Clash - should it stay or should it go.

This indecision's bugging me (thats enough Clash now). But you see, its a nice ashtray. Husband and the kids bought it for me at the Transport museum in Convent Garden. Its only a tin thing but it has the London Transport sign on it - No Smoking. The irony is not lost on me. Not that you can remotely SEE such an irony as it has long been covered over with 5 year old ash and burn stains.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I do wash the thing but time has not been kind to it. But to replace it with what? I remember my mum and gran would wash all the ashtrays in the house every morning - or at least run a cloth over them. The same cloth that you would wipe the table with too. Never done me any harm tho'.

My Gran had a beautiful ashtray and a cigarette box. It had a picture of Piccadilly Circus on the front and when you opened it, it would play a tune - don't ask me what it was, I can't remember - but I coveted it like you wouldn't believe. It was so unbelievably glamorous. At the age of 7 or 8, Piccadilly Circus seemed as accessible as the South Pole! Even if I did live in Greater London.

I didn't ever see it after she died. I didn't expect to really. Not with three aunties and an uncle (whose wife was apparently a scrounging cow, according to my mum). But the ashtray - I thought the ashtray could be mine. But that also became as dust.

It was a lovely heavy red glass round thing, with a polar bear sitting on top. Much too nice to use but my relatives used it anyway. This could well be in some aunties' cupboard.

As way of compensation, my mother in law let me have a similar one of her mum's , when she passed away. It had that same lovely red glass and shone proudly at me. I was thrilled and touched but I secretly dreamt of that polar bear thats now lurking somewhere round Clacton way. If you see it, let me know.

In fact, I bet everyone remembers a lovely glamorous ashtray at one point in their life. Whether they're a tin thing with an advert for beer on or whether they're some rare china creation. And the thing is, where the hell do you buy one now?