Following on from Gosling and his cereal spoon, I’m excited and proud to share this with you. They didn’t believe me, but this IS a real thing.
I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, even the squirrel in the garden’s seen it – but I’m going ahead and just putting this here for safe keeping, ok?
I was born in 1979. I’m the youngest of three siblings. My sisters are 9 and 12 years older than me respectively. They made up a whole heap of ‘playful’ nicknames for me when I was wee. Let me see. There was Dumbo, Biffo the Bear, Neil (from the Young Ones), Smelly Bum, Po Face… I mean, during the earliest period of my life, I imagine I did have a smelly bum much of the time – what with me involuntarily pooping and widdling in my pants several times a day – and if I’m honest, I suppose there were moments (you know, a few) when my face could be described as distinctly ‘po’. And I did have sticky-out ears. I still do. ‘Like a taxi with it’s doors open’, they used to say. But when they were feeling particularly mean, my sisters called me ‘Thatcher’s Baby’. They’d call me ’Thatcher’s Baby’ and I would cry.
I didn’t want Thatcher to be my mum. Her face was too pointy, her hair was too pouffy, her clothes were too blue. Her voice was too dull, her mouth was too angry and I could only imagine that her bedtime stories would be pretty fleekin’ grim. I’d never met her. And I didn’t want to. I was scared of her. I wasn’t exactly fond of The Bogey Man either, but deep down inside, I always knew that if I had to, I could probably take him. But Thatcher… I felt Thatcher had special powers. Powers greater than any I could ever muster. Powers to creep up on me from absolutely anywhere, to steal me away, to make my parents just hand me over. It took great effort and hours worth of soothing back patting from my mother to reassure me that I wasn’t actually Thatcher’s baby and that I wouldn’t have to go live in 10 Downing Street with the nasty lady.
I went to primary school in 1983. My friends and I sang this wee song in the playground nearly every single day… “Maggie Thatcher, throw her up and catch her! Maggie Thatcher squash her ’til she’s deid”. There were accompanying actions to the song but I can’t for the life of me remember what the Maggie Thatcher ‘prop’ was. What did we throw, catch and squash? I cannot recall… Anyway – it doesn’t really matter. The song was by far the best bit. Catchy. By the time I hit primary school, I knew a little bit more about who Thatcher was. I knew she was the Prime Minister. I knew she was ‘a baddie’. I knew she cared arse all of a jot for poor people and I knew she was taking the men’s jobs away. That was my understanding – and although hardly sophisticated, I think it was pretty accurate. I feel I had the basics down.
Throughout my primary school years, my mum used to make me say my prayers every night before I went to sleep. Out loud. She’d make me pray out loud. This is an whole other story really, but the crux in this context is this… We’d say a wee Hail Mary or something then we’d get into the the specifics. For a long time, I remember praying for Terry Waite, for a lady we knew who was very sick and for all the people who didn’t have (or were likely to lose) jobs. We prayed that my dad’s business would survive. We prayed we’d always have enough money to pay for the nice house we lived in. Secretly, I prayed nothing dreadful would ever happen that meant my mum couldn’t afford to buy me that big family sized bar of Milkybar she’d ‘surprise’ me with on Friday nights.
Troubled, I talked things over with my dad at the kitchen table. I expressed my concerns about my Milkybar being under threat and he tried his best to explain a few things to me. He tried to explain that, as important to me as my Friday night Milkybar was, there were much more pressing issues at hand – like businesses collapsing, factories closing, jobs being lost, homes being repossessed, institutions being dismantled, entire industries disappearing and the divide between rich people and poor people getting wider and even uglier. I’d seen evidence of this stuff on tv. I watched the news. I got on board with John Craven. I saw men shouting and chanting, I saw Margaret Thatcher waving her fist in the air, I heard booing and jeering, I saw bar charts that did not look at all colourful. Something had to be done.
I got my writing set out – the most businesslike of my collection. I asked my dad if I could borrow his fancy fountain pen. (By the way, I didn’t once see my dad write with that thing. It was, to my mind, purely decorative.).
“Dear Mrs Thatcher…”
I can’t remember the details of my letter now – but I’m sure I asked that she not close the mines, that she do something help support UK manufacturing and that she do all she could to make sure my dad’s shops didn’t have to close down. I maybe told her how much I loved visiting the factories my dad worked with and how much I wanted a corduroy jacket with a funnel neck and silver popper buttons. I probably told her how much I liked going to school and how well I played glockenspiel. Maybe I shared with her my feeling that my headmaster, Brother Jerome, thought she was A Bad Egg. If I did try to tell her about the ‘Maggie Thatcher, throw her up and catch her’ game – my dad would have made be scrub that bit out. I signed my letter, popped it in an envelope and addressed it to Mrs Thatcher, 10 Downing Street, London. I posted it. Then I waited…
I was in Primary 7 in 1990. I’d been allowed out of class to do some practical work with water and scales and weights and stuff. As much as I hated maths and counting and sums, I did enjoying measuring and weighing things. Length of jotter = 13cms. Diameter of clock face = 30cms. Height of statue of the Virgin Mary = 47cms. There I was, filling up my plastic litre jug at the sink, when Brother Jerome swooshed by – a big grin on his face, his arms wide. ”She’s out!” he beamed. “She’s out?” I clarified. “She’s out!” and he set off round the school to spread the word among the teaching staff. I’ve heard stories this week of people being sent home from school early on the day Margaret Thatcher resigned/was papped oot. I wasn’t sent home from school, but I did enjoy an extra-long playtime with my friends that afternoon.
So Margaret Thatcher’s dead. I didn’t celebrate on Monday, I didn’t celebrate yesterday and I’m not celebrating today either. Instead, I’ve spent the week mostly staring at my computer screen, aghast. My jaw dropped in disbelief as Thatcher was repeatedly hailed as our ultimate British female role model and as one of the feminist icons of our time. [Y'all know that her vagina doesn't immediately identify her as feminist, right? And as for this 'Margaret Thatcher as positive role model' stuff... Sure, the gal worked hard to make her way into politics then worked even harder to poke her way through layers of jowly old boys to become Tory Queen Bee. Great. Sincerely. I get it. Beyond that though - I struggle to list any qualities in Thatcher I'd feel inspired to emulate. And crikey... Don't even get me started on those embarrassing girls on Question Time. Jesus joney. Methinks they were confusing Hollywood Meryl Streep Thatcher with real-life Thatcher?] I bit my tongue and ground my teeth as I witnessed the fall out of Thatcher’s death from a new – and very different – ’London’ perspective. That north/south divide people talk about sometimes? It’s a real thing. And I was particularly bothered by those people who took to poo-pooing anyone under 40 for even having an opinion on Thatcher or for so much as reacting (positively or sympathetically) to her death. ’How would you know? You weren’t even born’. ‘Oh – so you’re a miner now, are you?’ Blah, blah, blah. Well, I wasn’t born in the 1940s. My knowledge of world history is ropey and my grasp of politics poor. My engagement with current affairs can be described as a bit ‘interrupted’ at best – but you know what? I’m pretty confident about where I stand on Hitler. He was a bit of a nasty, right?
… So, Maggie never did respond to my letter. And I guess it would pretty creepy if she did now. She didn’t reply to me – and from what I can tell, she didn’t do any of things I asked her to either. I haven’t been celebrating this week mainly since Maggie’s death don’t mean a thing. Not really. Y’see – you squish one wicked witch with a house, another one flies down – pointier and more putrid than the last. You melt that one – then what? There’s still those pesky winged monkeys to deal with. Then, say, they magically disappear off the scene… what happens after that? On and on it goes. And now, I’m not sure, but if my memory serves me correctly, when we catch up with our pals in Oz later in The Return To Oz, that whole dead witch stuff did not exactly herald a new era of freedom, fairness and success did it? So, ding dong, schming schmong…
You know those quick fire quizzes – the ones where you’re supposed to instinctively pick your favourite of two things, like… tea/coffee Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin, beer/cider, salt/pepper, sweet/savoury, Beatles/Stones* etc.? They’re fun aren’t they? I think they’re supposed to reveal stuff about your personality type or something. The quiz master/mistress says, “Cat/dog?” (Cat/dog is always on the list of pairs), I say, “Cat.” Every time. ”Cat.”
That said, I rarely describe myself as ‘a cat person’. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure I understand what it means when people do – or when people, generally, identify themselves according to the animals they live with or do or do not like. But what I do understand is this. I am scared of dogs and – as much as I love rabbits, I doubt I’ll ever have one. Dogs – the big ugly ones? With the teeth and the jaws and the muscley shoulders and the creepy evil smiley faces? Well, I’m mostly afraid they’ll eat me. The other, ‘normal’ ones – I just think they smell a bit funny and are unpredictable and jumpy. They make me feel uneasy. Don’t trust ‘em. The pretty ones, the ones who look silly or have human haircuts – I can get along with. But I get along with them best at a fair distance. I like rabbits, but I mostly like to look at them in books or on the television or in the pet shop. I’ve never held or even touched a rabbit and I wonder, in the back of my mind, whether, if presented with one, I might not be a bit nervous and/or frightened.
Cats on the other hand… Cats I feel comfortable with. Mostly. I have met a few cats that I absolutely did not feel comfortable with – but there are good guys and dicks in the animal kingdom just as there are in people world, right? What I’m saying, is – on the whole, if I had to share my house with a furry creature, I’d most like that creature to be a cat.
Until the age of about 15 I shared my house with a cat called Soapy. Soapy Cat. To this day, no one has been able to give me a proper reason as to why she was called that. Growing up, people would ask me all the time, “And why is your cat called Soapy?” and I used to tell a stupid story about bubble bath to get them to stop looking to me for all the fucking answers. That story was a lie. Anyway – one day, poor Soapy Cat went to the vet and never came back. The story, as my father likes to tell it, is that my mother ‘killed the cat’. Of course, she did no such thing.
In 2005, a big fat grey cat with a funny nose and a crooked tail came to live in mine and Beardy’s house. She belonged to a rock starlette who, due to rock starlette commitments, was leaving Glasgow for the glitz of LA. We were pleased to offer a home to Smokey. Smokey Cat. I was relieved that, unlike ‘Soapy’, this name was fairly self explanatory.
After a few days of testing out the comfiness of every item of furniture in every room of our house, Smokey Cat settled in and quickly became the third member of the Maclennan family and best pal to both me and Beardy. We didn’t mind that she left little tiny balls of hardened poop all over the house. We didn’t mind that she stomped on our heads in the night or that she clawed away at the wicker base of our vintage ottoman. We didn’t even mind that she commandeered all the best chairs in the house or that she had a penchant for puking on the hall carpet. She was our favourite and we loved her.
When Smokey Cat got sick and the vet told us she had a big ol’ nasty cancerous lump on her back, we were devastated and very, very sad – but we were prepared to say our goodbyes and let Smokey Cat wiggle off to the big litter box in the sky if we had to. However, we should have known that this moggy – with her rock’n'roll back story and her hard ass adventures fighting foxes and such, wouldn’t give in that easily. The cat doctors cut a big chunk of her body away, stitched her up like a furry pillow case then stuck a plastic cone on her head and sent her home. Smokey Cat healed beautifully and promptly developed a ne’er wavering addiction to Dreamies. A few months later, she was bundled into her carry case and safely made the long journey with us to London Town. I reckon she heard we were going to a place called Fish Island and decided, that no matter what, she was not missing out on that. But anyway, the stupid lump started to grow back – even bigger than before – and by Christmas, our wee cat pal was really, really ill.
What should have been the first day of our Christmas holidays turned out to be the last day we’d have with our favourite feline companion. We spent it walking her round the garden on her lead, feeding her treats and tickling her wee head. After we said our goodbyes at the cat doctor, we ran (literally, ran) to the nearest pub, drank 3 double gins in the space of about 30 minutes then came back home and danced in the living room to this…
They say that cats help relax humans. That they are a calming force in a household. I believe this to be true and can confirm that since our London Basement became a cat-free zone, it hasn’t felt quite right. It doesn’t seem quite like home – and I feel like a crazy person. A crazy cat lady with no cat is no kind of proper lady at all.
We’re not quite ready to welcome a new wee kitty into the house just yet – but we will. While we prepare for that, I’ve begun to make a cat shrine to try restore some calm to The Basement. C A T V I B E S.
My new cat shrine features work by (from top left) Nicola Rowlands, Julia Pott, Paul of Navarone and Clare Nicolson. I can’t remember the name of the artist responsible for the amazing cat lady illustration. I intend to talk some more about these things and the people/places I got them from later…
*The answers to these questions are as follows…
tea/coffee > tea
Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin > Frank Sinatra
beer/cider > cider
salt/pepper > pepper
sweet/savoury > savoury
Beatles/Stones > I hate that this is a popular pair. I will not choose.
So. You know those lists I was just talking about? The ones where I scribble down notes about stuff I’ll write about later? Well, um… I just found this one lurking in my draft posts folder. I thought you might like it. If I’m remembering properly, I typed this on a sick day. A sick day spent on the couch, infront of the tv. In the day time. Daytime tv. (And if this isn’t proof that it’s not bad for your brains, I don’t know what is).
1. Frog tape. I am impressed with this. A product I could really use.
2. Loose Women. What happened? Who are all these people? Carol Vorderman looks very weird.
3. Telling our parents we hate them. My heart still gets sore when I think of times I was horrible to my mum.
4. Fast cash for fast lives – Kerry Catona. Someone got sacked for that, right?
5. Louise Mensch – Unfashionista. Field day! Surely!
6. Pug dressed as bingo ball.
7. Crufts – humourless dog people, Twitter, dogs with no legs/tails/ears/faces
I don’t know how it does it, but the city just sucks time right off the calendar, doesn’t it? Sucks it right off o’ there… It’s like a big month munching monster on a mission.
I make lists of things I will write about. When I eventually sit down to review my scribbley lists of things I will write about with the intention of picking one and actually posting a blog entry, more often than not, I find the moment has passed. Blog-worthy milestones and special occasions are missed or topics, which in some moment were burning a hole in my brains, are no longer current – or no longer bothering me or exciting me that much. Sometimes I find I’ve just plain gone off the idea. Everything’s whizzing by much too quickly and I’m missing it.
I haven’t written about The Basement (where we’ve lived for the past year). I haven’t written about my new job (I’ve been in it 10 months). I haven’t written about the crisis that was turning 33 (and given how quickly time is flying, I’ll be 34 the next time I think of it and will have a whole new crisis to avert). I haven’t written about Smokey Cat (she died). I haven’t written about our 1-year-in-London anniversary (actually, I haven’t properly celebrated that yet either). I haven’t written about being homesick (comes and goes) or about being people sick (I’m not sure I like ‘em much, generally). I haven’t written about my new expensive shoes (and you know how much I would have enjoyed that. They’re not new any more and probably wouldn’t fetch more than a fiver on Ebay now I’ve worn them every day for 6 months)… I haven’t written about any of the nice places I’ve visited or about any of the fun we’ve had. I haven’t written about any of the dinners I’ve eaten (which I’m sure you will agree, is particularly shocking) and I haven’t written about things that have annoyed me or made me laugh (of which there are a few corkers). I haven’t written about my reunion with my Super Friend and Made in the Shade sidekick and I’ve gone and allowed pretty things, shit things, funny stuff and really piss silly stuff to just float off without a word. I mean, maybe any words I had to offer about them would have been rubbish and a bit ‘Och, whatever!’ anyway – but still… Pure pish.
Here’s a mini disco for a blue day.
The Rolling Stones, Out Of Time
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast, The Time Warp
Alexi Murdoch, All My Days
Rancid, Time Bomb
Poison, Nothin’ But A Good Time
I might rip up all my lists and start again.
Every night after dinner, while my mum washed the dishes, I’d sing to her. Sometimes I treated her to a recorder recital or to a flute rendition of a Kris Kristofferson song – on the odd occasion I pulled her into another room to hear me play a chord on the piano, but more often I just sang – unaccompanied, right there in the kitchen.
I’d regularly force my parents to come to my ‘concerts’. “I’m having a concert at 6 o’clock. You’ve to come, ok?”, I’d say. ”Mm-hm”, my parents would reply, rolling their eyes, bracing themselves. They would sit side by side on the sofa like a proper audience and I claimed the living room rug as my arena. Sure, they’d rather be somewhere else, doing something else most times, but come they would and listen they did – applauding in all the right places as I took my bows and curtseys. One time, on holiday in Spain when I was about 8, I convinced my dad that were we to haul the pull down bed out of the wall and lay the broken door of the wardrobe on top of the mattress, it would serve as a rather fine stage for me to perform on – much, much better and at least ten times more exciting than the carpet at home. After some arm tugging, my dad did as I asked. There are photographs of this particular concert hanging on the wall of my mum and dad’s living room. I can’t remember the details of my ‘set list’ now but I’m quite sure Al Jolson songs featured highly. I almost definitely performed this…
I do remember I invited my dad on stage at some point. I think we may have sang, ‘Who Wants To Be Millionaire?’ but since it turned out we only knew a few obvious lines, his guest appearance and our father/daughter duet came to an awkward and premature end. ”You can sit back down now, Dad”.
As well as performing solo live shows for my parents, my sister and I held more intimate sessions in her bedroom on weekends. Mostly we sang in her room but sometimes we’d sing in my room. My sister plays guitar you see, so technically I was in a band, yeah? Our repertoire included all the hits.
This was always my favourite… It was my job to sing the ‘Shoooo-ba-ba-ba-ba!’ bits.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of joining a choir. I’ve yet to find The Right One. Really, I just want to find the East London version of The Parsonage. Can anyone help? If I thought for one second I’d make any sort of musical director, I’d start my own blinkin’ choir and make everyone sing Gram Parsons songs mingled in with indie-pop hits from the 90s. And Fleetwood Mac. But I wouldn’t make a good musical director and really I just want to show up somewhere and sing fun songs with a bunch of nice people.
Such is my urge to sing, I’ve taken to treating my journeys to and from work as snippets of musical theatre. I put my big green earphones on my head and I sing-along-a-Spotify as I bounce along the street in time to the music. The more fun I have, the less I care about who hears me or who looks at me funny. And people do, you know. Hear me. And look at me funny. But it’s London – so no sooner has someone glanced at me sideways, than some guy rocks past in a clown suit with a kitten on his head and takes the heat off. I’m working up to turning the walk to the train station into full blown choreographed performances with chorus members and dance routines and everything… The other day, a girl sidled up to me on the pavement and tapped me on the arm mid-verse. I pulled my earphones off my head. I’d made a mess of my hairdo plus I was scared she was offended by my singing. ”Are you listening to Camera Obscura?” she asked, smiling. ”Yup”, I said, embarrassed. ”I love that song”, she said and she skipped off. I put my earphones back on. Pleased.
Following on rather neatly from my previous post…
“Man, she had an arse that would stop traffic”. You know sometimes you hear people say stuff like that? Boys, mainly. Sometimes boys say stuff like that. I do. I hear them quite often. Sometimes I overhear stories about arses stopping traffic. Sometimes they even stop shows. You know, those especially spectacular show stopping arses… Mine? My arse – my arse sets off alarm bells.
Not annoying metaphorical, ‘You should probably cut down on the Polish jaffa cakes, love’ alarm bells. Everyone’s does that now and again. Actual ones. Mine sets off actual alarm bells.
I took myself to town for a wander round the shops. I needed to recover from the previous day’s photoshoot and I suppose I felt I deserved a little prize for publishing pictures of my lumps and bumps all over the internet. Having spent more than twenty years doing my best to conceal ‘em, I thought the least I deserved for my bravery was a little congratulatory pair of silver ankle boots.
Still giddy from the purchase of the silver ankle boots, I jogged (literally jogged) to Urban Outfitters with hope in my heart that the House of Holland outfit I’d been eyeing up hadn’t been snaffled yet. The sale-o-rama pickings were slim, but a few pieces remained – aaaaaand some in my size! With crossed fingers, I made my way to the changing room. ‘Fit me, fit me, fit me, fit me…’ I chanted in time with my stomps.
“I’d like to try 4 things please”, I said to the fitting room attendant. I always try to be nice to the fitting room person. I used to be a fitting room person. When you spend your days cleaning up human shite (yep), disposing of used tampons (no word of a lie) and sucking up body oose with your dustbuster – all with the smell of other people’s feet/armpits/unkempt front bottoms stuck in your nose, it’s those little things that make life bearable. It’s nice when people say hello. It’s nice when people say hello before they roll off their stinky pop-socks and leave them curled up behind the curtain for you to find later. It’s nice when people say hello before they shit on the floor. Anyway, I get the feeling being nice to shop assistants isn’t the done thing in London. As the girl there handed me a laminated number 4, she looked at me like I was a loon.
I sloped off into my tiny cubicle. The four items I chose to try on were: A pair of HOH fuscia pink + red houndstooth wool trousers (size 12), an orange dress by Sessun (L), a cream bra thing (L) and a bright pink bra thing (L).
I tried the dress first. It didn’t fit. I almost managed to convince myself it did but then remembered my new year promise. Next I prepared to try the cream bra thing. I could tell just by looking it didn’t fit. The pink bra thing didn’t fit either. I really, really had a good feeling about the House of Holland troos. I was so excited to slip them on and I was convinced this would be the beginning of a beautiful fashion friendship. I slipped one foot in… Then the other… I slid them up my legs. I wiggled around a bit. I did a little mini leap in the air to budge my bum in. It didn’t quite do the job so I jumped again.
Eeeeeee-aw, eeeeee-aw, eeeeeee-aw! Eeeeeeee-aw, eeeeeee-aw, eeeeeeeeaw! ’What’s that noise? Is that me? Have the fashion police come to take me away? They’ve got secret cameras here now, is that the craic? Nip the problems in the bud before they hit the pavement? Is that it? Has Beardy installed some weird shopping spyware on my iPhone? Can he see me? Can people see me?’, I thought super-fast in just a couple of seconds. I tried to track the source of the horrible noise down by physically moving my head around in the cubicle. My arse. It was coming from my arse.
Worried I had ruptured one of those ink-filled security tags with my trouser leaping, I shuffled out of the trousers as quickly as I could. ’I can’t believe this. I’m going to get arrested. I’m going to get fucking arrested for trying to steal fancy trousers that DON’T EVEN FIT…Are my pants purple?’, I muttered under my breath as I hauled my own clothes back on in a hurry. There it was. Right on the back seam – a little black box with a red flashing light – making a dreadful racket.
As the ‘eeeeee-aw’ noise continued, garment by stupid tiny garment, I put all the clothes I tried back on their hangers. I made sure they were facing the right way, I buttoned, zipped and poppered everything that needed buttoning, zipping and poppering and I made sure everything looked respectable. It’s nice to be thoughtful to the fitting room person. Remember. Poop etc.. And besides, what kind of shoplifter would ignore the security alarm in order to rehang all the clothes they were caught trying to steal? Hm? I was trying to position myself as a thoughtful non-thief.
Just as I was fixing up the pink bra thing, there was a knock on the cubicle door. The person did not wait to be invited in. The door opened. ’You have set off the security alarm. Could you come with me please?’ said the girl. The same girl I was nice to on my way in. ‘Um. Yes. Yes I did set off the alarm. I’m so sorry about that. Actually, it wasn’t so much me that set it off, as my fat ass. In fact, that’s not strictly true either. I’m kind of sick of referring to my ‘fat ass’. It’s not that fat. It’s fairly large, but it’s not humongous. And when appreciated in proportion to the rest of me, it looks alright, really. So, actually, the stupid tiny trousers set the alarm off. I tried to get in them. Then the beeping started. I’m sorry. I should have known better.” I hand her the noisy trousers. They don’t look as beautiful now. ”Could you make this stop please? I shan’t be buying them. And I shan’t be buying these things either. Thanks anyway.”
Before she had the chance to call a guard or the police or dogs, I stepped out of the fitting area, head held high. I cross the shop floor taking big wide steps, not looking back. Confident as you like. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not a thief. Then, when I got to the top of the staircase, I legged it.
“You’ll grow into it”, my mum would say with a slightly forced chirpiness as she pressed the jumper she’d just finished making against my back. I could feel her eyeballing the (mis)fit of it, pulling and hauling at the shoulders and underarms while she assessed just how too big it was. “Put it on. Let me see”. On the jumper would go, over my clothes or jammies – or whatever I happened to be wearing at the time. Tugging roughly at the bunched up cuffs and baggy waistband, it seemed a fair amount of growing was necessary before I’d be wearing my new jumper. Maybe she’d started knitting with the intention of giving it to one of my sisters but then changed her mind for some reason mid-process. Maybe she just took a wrong stitch or fifty on the pattern and accidentally added several extra inches to the sleeves. I don’t know. More often than not, the clothes my mother knit for me fit perfectly but of course, like all little girls (and I suspect, quite a lot of big girls too), the ones I couldn’t get my hands on right away were the ones I wanted most.
When I was little I spent a whole heap of my time waiting impatiently to ‘grow into’ things – my big sisters’ clothes, mainly – but also (in slightly different ways, I guess) boys, certificate 15 movies, Campari soda and make-up – oh and gigs, pubs and nightclubs. Funnel neck corduroy jackets, rara skirts, seersucker peg leg trousers, crop tops, Pineapple slouch-wear, lace leggings, bras and lycra mini-dresses… All allowed in the dressing up box – but forbidden outdoors. Or in company.
It’s funny. I spent the first fifteen or sixteen years of my life growing into things – and I’ve spent the last fifteen or sixteen growing out of them. As part of my monster list of 2013 resolutions, I have made a promise to myself. A promise to stop buying/hoarding items of clothing that are too wee with the intention of miraculously shrinking into them.
I may not have begun to address many of my resolutions (I haven’t joined trampolining club, I haven’t bought a flask, I haven’t hung my wallplanner – or created my special post-it note wall, I’ve yet to attend swing dance class, I still say more negative things than positive things during the course of a day and I haven’t sewn cushion covers – or curtains) but I have started work on this. See?
Note: Seams of dress sleeves cut/ripped to accommodate excess upper arm flab/bingo wing. BIN.
You know what? I looked pretty fleekin’ hot to trot in this… twelve years ago. BIN.
That point arrives in every gal’s life when she must admit the days of the denim hipster hot pant are over, regardless of what size her ass is. I’m guessing for some, it probably arrives long before she’s 33. I’ve been squishing myself into these for 9 years. I reckon I’ve enjoyed all the good times in these I’m ever gonna. BIN.
Not only have I vowed to get rid of those items I’m never likely to button up/bend down in again, but that bundle of oversized shirts I planned to synch? Those skirts I planned to shorten? Those jumpers I planned to felt then sew into mittens with strings attached to thread through my coat sleeves? BIN. Bin, bin, bin. People keep telling my 2013 is set to be an amazing year. The year when tonnes of good stuff happens. I can’t say I’m feeling that just yet – but if noubt else, 2013 will be the year of the improved upper arm circulation.