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.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Here to be heard: the Slits documentary

Before punkettes, there were punkesses: that’s how the Slits were described in their early press coverage, according to this new documentary about the band. As a linguist I like that word a lot more. “Punkettes” is a diminutive – mini-punks, not the real thing – but “punkesses” is just female. And potentially, like lionesses, fierce.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Women at the BBC

Annie Nightingale on The Old Grey Whistle Test
Ten years ago, I wrote this in my blog:

“A group of middle-aged men are discussing 70s pop music and how good it was and I’m wondering why there are no middle-aged women there.”

Nothing has changed since then.