Archive for March, 2012

Blogging & Nothingness

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

So, now I’m faced with a dilemma. OK, it’s not a dilemma. That’s being excessively-dramatic. It’s just a blog, for God’s sake. And blog’s not even a proper word. Well, it wasn’t in my day (grumble grumble).  A decision, let’s say.

After my first foray into the universe (of which I’m still not entirely sure what the point is) of blogging, a very special and cherished few have asked, ‘when’s the next one going to happen? That tricky second blog?’

‘Not until I’m feeling all fired-up and inspired about something,’ is my immediate response. I can’t just write spontaneously unless I’m given a brief or unless something strikes me as being worth a word or two. And even then, the things I really think are worth a word or two I know others have covered, or will cover, with more gusto, with more research and with far greater literary aplomb.

Plus, I have the distinct tendency to form opinions that vacillate wildly, wavering from one side of the argument to the other and anywhere in between. Plasticine Head. Play Doh Mind. Morph Girl.  Resolutely irresolute, you might say. Like a warhorse that chomps hungrily on the pre-attack oats offered by his devoted master, but then spies the dark and glistening sugarbeet on the other side and trots happily across the border to the opposing cavalry. (Would that actually happen? No. Again, just for effect. Sorry, horse.)

It’s incredibly annoying, but the minute I get a strong opinion on a topic, I’ll read something written from a different point of view and I’ll agree with that too. It’s a Libran thing and it really irritates me. But then again, it doesn’t, it shows balance and harmony (see? I can’t even decide whether my astrological traits are good or bad).

But at the same time, I don’t want to lose momentum by not writing anything. Part of the point of doing this was to get my creative juices flowing again. I hate that term though, ‘creative juices’. How about ‘creative smoothies’; like a juice but with a little more fibre? No, too much pressure to provide the fibre part. Not feeling particularly fibrous today. Or ‘creative codswallop’? Less pressure, that one, I like it.

And what I don’t want to do is to start ranting every week about petrol prices and strikes, the challenges of being a step mum to a 12 year old who hates everything about you, or why on earth that burlesque dancer was allowed to show quite so much of herself on Britain’s Got Talent? It cheered up aforementioned 12 year old and his mate though, so that’s a plus point. She gets my vote. And theirs, evidently.

Either way, I’ve started this blog not knowing what it’s going to be about. A dangerous beginning.  I could lose readers right now. All five of them. Or perhaps I could write ‘KNOCKERS!’ and keep your attention while I think about things… Erm…

Or maybe (*flutters eyelashes coyly*), on just this occasion, I could be permitted one quick ramble about nothing much, a vague literary interlude, only to keep my ‘writey head’ above water in this frantic sea of bloggers, to keep my little neurons flying about my brain in a positive way, like those learner drivers speeding happily away from that New Drivers’ Motivational Positive Thinking course in Milton Keynes last week. There wasn’t one. I made that up. Sorry.

Yes, THAT’s what it shall be about. ‘Nothing’. I love it! It’s original. Open to interpretation to those who yearn for something deeper, and yet absolutely nothing whatsoever to those, who like me, have perhaps watched rubbish telly this evening, with an 18 month old fast asleep and two 12 year olds obsessed with bums and boobs and paying a little too much attention to that burlesque lady. People who, in their tiny little piece of ‘me time’ would like to read something they could loosely claim was creative narrative, but which needs absolutely no brainpower whatsoever to ingest.

By George, I think I’m onto something here…

One quick question…

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ok, let’s get a couple of things straight. Firstly, I’m not a real blogger. The only kind of thing-vaguely-similar-to-blogging I’ve ever done was in my editor’s columns for magazines and I even made a pig’s ear of those. Secondly, this isn’t anything to do with music. If it were to be about music (and even then it would be in the loosest sense of the term) I might perhaps harp on about so-called singing talent shows that focus purely on (aside from the public humiliation of halfwits) ‘the voice’, hitting perfect notes every single time, and all that. I’d rant on about how, with so much songwriting talent out there – and yes, for once I’m going to stick my neck out (ooh that’s weird, not stuck my neck out before, but it feels quite nice) I do mean me, among many other musicians I know or have heard – why do we have to keep hearing the same old shite covers? Seriously, why are we putting up with it?

There must be so many goddamn people who are the wind beneath other people’s wings, and so many people raising other people up so they can stand on mountains, that I’m amazed anyone is left standing on earth, apart from those raising the other ones up, but then how would those people get on with their day jobs? Raising people up is quite tricky, especially these days where lots of people are obese and I should imagine it could take at least two people per person needing to be raised up to mountain level.

Anyway, I’m sure that’s been ranted about before so, no, I have chosen to start my blogdom with a question put to me by a lady hanging about in East Grinstead High Street. Not sure if she was a Scientologist (lots of those here), a Jehovah’s Witness (yep, lots here) or maybe she was just curious and a teensy bit nosey (teeming with ’em), but anyway, she came up to me and said: ’Do you mind if I ask one quick question?’ To which I replied: ‘As long as it’s quick – my husband and I need to sit in the sun and pretend we’re on holiday’.

‘OK’, she replied. Then came the ‘quick’ question: ‘Would you say spirituality and religion are the same thing?’

’Lummy lawks!’ said I (actually I didn’t, but that’s my phrase of the month. It’s nice and it sounds all chummy and all full of the naive bubbles of lashings of ginger beer and the friendly crustlessness of cucumber sandwiches.) But what I did say was: ‘That’s NOT fair. You said a quick question. That is not a question to which one can give a quick & simple answer.’ Although to be fair, I had only demanded that the question be quick, and not the answer. So she wasn’t in the wrong, I s’pose.

After a few ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ (I didn’t want to leave before giving a decent answer – these people get told to sling their proverbial hooks all the time, so I at least wanted to give her a little bite, like a tiddler that whets the fisherman’s appetite and persuades him to stay another few hours) I spoke forth:

‘I’m not sure. It depends on your personal definition of both. But I don’t think so. My father converted to Islam many years ago; my mother and her sister both went to convent schools and neither is particularly fond of nuns (in fact, my auntie still gets out a pretendy gun whenever she sees one); and I’m a very fickle Nichiren Buddhist, who only practises when things get tough and then when they do, I go hell for leather with the old chanting ‘nam myoho renge kyo’ until everything goes right again (it works, funnily enough). So my views on religion are rather mixed and highly capricious, to say the least, but I do think you can be spiritual without being religious. And I’m pretty sure you can be religious and not have a spiritual bone in your body.’

(I didn’t say it quite like this. This is really just for effect. I apologise. But I do have a habit of thinking of what I want to say long after the event. It’s quite annoying. Perhaps that’s why I should blog more often, not that I’m vain enough to think anyone gives a single shite about my opinion, but to at least know that I’ve thought about stuff, formed an opinion and then aired it. I suppose songwriting is like that but I’m buggered if I want to write a song giving my answer to this woman’s question. My songs are about breast implants and witches and Doc Martens, for God’s sake, not religion. Who do you think I am?

Anyway, I nearly got my mate, who’s a talented and seasoned blogger, to write something. But then I thought – why on earth shouldn’t I dust off the old quill and get back into writing again? Not necessarily about what bands are playing at the Forum (in my day it was Sulphur and the Longpigs); not interviewing comedians and popstars (although Björk was lovely and yes I HAD to namedrop her) and certainly not about what is the latest recyclable packaging material (but I did adore my job on Packaging Magazine, however uncool it sounds). Just simply to, well, air stuff.

So, thanks to that lady for asking the question. I must add that, after aforementioned husband & I had had our cold pint in the sunshine, we walked past good old Peter Andre, bless his orangey face, having his picture taken with two similarly orangey teenage girls looking pleased as punch. And I thought to myself, perhaps celebrity adoration is a religion in itself? Or is it spirituality? Hmm, pass me the wine…