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Showing posts from November, 2008

Great Expectations

‘So,’ says the guy with guitar cutting such a lonely figure on the stage, ‘are you here to see John Martyn?’ Tempting though it is to shout, ‘No, mate, we’re waiting for Guns N’ Roses. Where are they?’ or ‘Well, we didn’t stump up the best part of fifty quid to see you!’ I manage to restrain myself. It’s tough being the support act and even tougher if you’ve been busking in an underpass just moments before being thrust on stage and told to keep the audience amused. Oh, okay, I’ve no evidence for that but it certainly how it sounds, nevertheless I manage to applaud politely when the poor man winds up his set to everyone’s relief. I’ve been looking forwards to this evening but I’m a bit apprehensive too; some of these songs are going to stir up memories of people no longer in my life, like Kay who disappeared after university never to be seen again. With thoughts of the past reverberating in my head, it’s a shock when a huge fat man in a wheelchair comes on stage and I have to rec

Beginning, End, Middle.

On Monday evening I did a quick check of my email and saw the message I’d been waiting for sitting in my inbox. I immediately went all butterfingered and almost sent it winging into space instead of opening it. Keep calm, Chris, don’t get your hopes up, it’s probably bad news… but it wasn’t. Tom was outside in the studio, putting the final touches to a frame. ‘The publishers want to see the rest of the book!’ Much hugging, jumping around, another look at the email just to make sure I hadn’t been seeing things and a glass of wine. Then the phone rang. It’s strange how hearing my cousin’s voice didn’t ring any alarm bells. But then Auntie Joanie had been doing so well and most of the recent news had been positive. I suppose I’d started to think that she would just go on despite being so terribly ill. And it was such a shock to hear that she wasn’t there any more. The end had come quite suddenly and had happened just at the moment Tom and I had been celebrating. Life gives, lif

Writing In My Head

Ever since Tom and I took the loo to bits trying to find one of my contact lenses I’ve had ‘Buy new specs’ on my ‘To Do’ list. The thing is my prescription is so chunky is it doesn’t matter how nice the frame is or how far the lenses have been slimmed down, I still look like Nick Robinson (‘though, hopefully, with more hair) once the glasses are made up. Anyway, I’ve done the sensible thing and the pair I collected yesterday have, once again, lost something in translation. I quite like them but the combination of retro frame and very beady lenses makes me feel as if I should be sporting a gentleman’s Fair Isles waistcoat and striking a pose on the front of a knitting pattern. I’m thinking about taking up pipe-smoking too, just to complete the look. Although I’m not exactly sure what you do with a pipe (from what I remember as a little girl, folks seem to spend most of their time trying to light them) I’d welcome a touch of the zen-like calm that seems to go with the whole ritual

What's Hot and What's Not at Hotel H...

Three days and counting. In the meantime here’s a quick guide to the measure of things at Hotel H this week:- Going Up: 1. Weetabix – the new prunes 2. Aleshia Dixon 3. Fluffy jumpers 4. Welsh water – the new Crème de la Mer 5. Flog it! (not to be confused with 5 below) 6. Escape to the Country – just don’t do it for real 7. Babies 8. Christmas-size packs of cashew nuts Going Down: 1. Prunes – movers and shakers now out of favour 2. Camilla – what does she think she looks like? 3. Jo Brand 4. Katherine Jenkins 5. sex/violence/language/other 6. Silence – what is the point of it when you can squeak your slippers? 7. Salad – indigestible 8. The Planet - severe run on heating oil accelarates climate change Ah, well. That’s me on page one of the naughty book then.