Sunday, 17 March 2019

Books and booze and rock’n’roll

Viv Albertine at Walthamstow Rock'n'Roll Book Club
Photo by Andy Pidge

Last week I went to see Viv Albertine at the Walthamstow Rock’n’Roll Book Club. Everyone should have a rock’n’roll book club. It’s a brilliant idea and I wish there was one where I live. But luckily I have a friend in Walthamstow and she invited me along.

The club is (usually) in an old cinema, which feels like a suitably rock’n’roll venue. A bit vintage, a bit shabby, hanging on to some glamour. (Aren't we all?) The central ticket booth is now a cocktail bar, which I thought was pretty cool.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2018: the year I became a grownup

2018 was the year I finally started to feel like a grownup.

Early in the year, I turned 60. I grumbled a bit at the lack of state pension and I bought myself a “senior railcard”, which I loved and was strangely proud of: it felt like a rite of passage. That wasn’t what made me feel like a grown-up, though.

I didn’t realise how momentous the year was going to be. How much my life was going to change. How much I was going to change.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Things I’ve inherited from my mother

Christmas tree ornaments.
It’s a month now since my mum’s funeral, and in that time I have cleared her house. It meant staying in the house during the week after the funeral and every weekend after that. I didn’t mind: after living there during mum’s final illness it was feeling more like home than my own house. My safe space.

My sisters didn’t want to come back (in the end, one did and one didn’t). I always did. And I found that going through mum’s stuff made me feel close to her. Not the personal stuff that you’d imagine. The clutter.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Vinyl Revival and the Shops that Made it Happen: book review

 Book cover of The Vinyl Revival and the Shops that Made it HappenA few years ago I wrote a blog post about vinyl: about how it will last for ever, and about how young people didn’t get it. Well, I was right on one count.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Hurray! I am #ActuallyAutistic

Do you remember the summer you did your O Levels? Going on holiday knowing that there would be news when you got home, not knowing which way it would go or how it might change your life.

That was me in the mid-70s, in a dreary holiday camp somewhere in Norfolk. Me and my sisters, spending our lunch money on cigarettes and Walnut Whips and waiting for the evening when we could go to the disco and dance to KC and the Sunshine Band and get chatted up by unsuitable older men. And always at the back of my mind, the results waiting for me at home.

That was me again this summer, in a lovely seaside town on the south coast of England. Me and my husband, spending our lunch money on ice cream and waiting for the evening when it would stop being so hot. And at the back of my mind, the results. And I’m not talking about the World Cup.

The week before we went away, I had an assessment for autism. I knew I would get the result when I got back. And I knew I wanted it to be positive, because if it wasn’t I’d have to go back to the drawing board and find another reason for being weird.