vendredi 27 septembre 2013


I am currently pretty fixated on (still) doing up our ramshackle little house.  I have so many ideas, only hampered by time and money!

Anyway, I'm also - not unrelatedly - currently in love with this website, Junkaholique.  It's by a jewellery designer who is fabulously named Artemis Russell - her writing, pictures, ideas and ethos are wonderful.

lundi 23 septembre 2013

You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face

A very good song to come on the iPod shuffle on a grey Monday morning, whilst walking to the station...

jeudi 19 septembre 2013

Some Pointless Facts

·      I love skiing and ice skating but am crap at all other sports.
·      But I go running every day because I find it’s good for my brain.
·      Swimming outside is my favourite thing in the world, but I am a really slow swimmer.
·      I read about three books a week.
·      I get very grumpy if I am not well fed.
·      I have to wear glasses for watching TV and driving.
·      I did not learn to drive until I was 28 years old, and even then only in an automatic.
·      I can fit my whole fist in my mouth.
·      I am quite short: 5’4”.  (Well, technically 5’4½” but I always think people who bang on about an extra half inch must be very insecure.)
·      Thus, my nickname among some friends is ‘Pony’, which is funny because my shaman tells me that my power animal is a grey horse.
·      I invariably cry with joy at a certain point in ‘The Frog Song’ by Paul McCartney.
·      I am a Gemini.
·      I like to sing while I am cooking even though I am a very bad singer.  (My mum gets cross with me because I literally cannot do a harmony.  Incidentally I also cannot do impersonations in any way whatsoever.)
·      I enjoy good grammar and have an excellent memory.
·      My current favourite place in the world is Istanbul; I would currently most like to go to Cadaques.
·      I am not a vegetarian, even though everyone seems to think I look like one.  I fear this may be an insult.
·      I really overthink things and write too many pointless lists.

lundi 16 septembre 2013

Lover, You Should've

I'd forgotten how much I loved this song.  Obviously, I have always admired Jeff Buckley's great and rare talent, but he was never one of those ones who spoke to me above all others.  He's not on my Big List.

However, this song is.  It was a case of the right song coming to me at the right time.  Years ago, in the midst of a break-up - actually, a fairly un-traumatic one in the scheme of things - I found myself listening to this one song on a loop.  The man in question had, fittingly, introduced me to Jeff Buckley and kind of reminded me of him.  On his recommendation, I bought Grace, having previously only heard the Hallelujah cover (because Leonard Cohen is, obviously, on the Big List).

Most of the album I could take or leave, to be honest, but this one song is right up there for me.  It came on my iPod shuffle this morning and I was instantly transported - not only to a very specific time and place, but also to the compulsion to listen to this gorgeous, confusing and complicated song again and again and again.

His singing on this one track just shatters my heart into tiny pieces, even more so now that I am older.  When he laments that he's "too young to hold on - but too old to just break free and run", he would only have been 26.

"It's never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon the shoulder.
 It's never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her.
 It's never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter.
 It's never over, she's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever..."

Now, please excuse me while I go and die.

jeudi 12 septembre 2013

Pop is a subjective term.

Writing recently about how everyone seems to say that Gemini Rising is 'weird' or 'different', when I thought that I had written a pretty normal book, I was reminded of one of my all-time favourite albums.

Now, I wouldn't dare to compare myself to PJ Harvey - god, that woman is so incredible I'm not convinced she is even human - but I was reminded of something she once said (sadly, not in person on a rooftop in Brooklyn at one in the morning...).  When she made her album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, she set out to make a 'shiny, shimmery, pretty' pop album.  She wanted to make it as pop, as un-difficult, as she possibly could.

The result was, in my opinion, one of the top-five most beautiful albums of all time.  It's debatably her 'easiest' album, but it's still hardly easy listening.  'Pop' is a subjective term - it's certainly not pop music as a lot of people know it.  But, to her, it's her pop album.  To me, by book is very, very normal.

lundi 9 septembre 2013


It’s funny.  I’m working on a new thing and something jumped out at me just now.  In every story I’ve ever written, the main character is based on (or at least comes from some element of) myself.  You know, it’s like psychoanalysis – everyone in the dream is you.

Here’s the funny bit: they are all really different.  They are all like me, but they are all different from each other.

Probably no coincidence that I wrote a book called Gemini Rising.

jeudi 5 septembre 2013


I would just like to say: I did not set out to write a weird book.  I hope nobody does.  It sounds contrived, like when I used to wear a bindi and silver lipstick when I was 15.  I had the excuse of being 15 then, at least.

Nearly everyone who has read my book (Gemini Rising, in case you missed it) has commented on the fact that it’s ‘weird’, ‘different’, ‘like nothing else I have ever read’.  Opinion has been split – some five-star reviews saying this is a great thing and it’s like I read their (weird?) mind; quite a few three-star reviews saying it’s ‘weird’/annoying/infuriating/too slow/they don’t get it.  Then there was that one who said it was ‘shocking’ and ‘a terrible influence on teenagers’.  Also, the critical ones tend to say that the main character is unlikeable – which kind of indicates that we don’t have a lot in common, since she is pretty much based on me (or elements of me).

I don’t expect everyone to like me or everything I write.  I’m not everyone’s cup of tea; a lot of people in real life don’t like me one bit.  I suppose, when it comes down to it, I’d rather inspire a strong reaction than everyone just saying it’s ‘OK’.

I’m getting used to my work being out in the world and not caring what people think.  I’m trying and, in many ways, I’m much more relaxed about it than I ever thought I’d be.  But I never expected to be ‘weird’ – that’s been a surprise.  I thought I’d written a pretty normal book.  I honestly did.

I’m working on a new one right now, and I’m trying not to let it influence me.  If anything, I’m just working on the assumption that I probably need to embrace the weirdness rather than try to be something I’m not.  I’ll never be like you, no matter how hard I try.

Anyway, it’s none of my business what anyone thinks of me.  I put the book out there; it’s yours to decide what to do with it.

lundi 2 septembre 2013

All The Great Women

I was just thinking - for no good reason but my own amusement, as I do - how I might sum up the most inspiring women in my life in one sentence or less, based upon their best quality.  It's fun; I recommend it.  I found it hard to do on myself - I hope that's due to perspective rather than just a general lack.

Here they are.  Maybe you'll recognise yourself or someone you know.

Stronger than she will ever know or even suspect.

Trojan horse.

The actual sweetest girl that ever lived.

Wise beyond her years, but childlike in the best ways.

She once said that she would sacrifice her own happiness for mine if she could, and I believe her.

She could, literally, talk to anyone.

Just thinking about her cheers me up.

You could bet the farm on her.

She has never pitied herself for even a second, even when she would have been entitled to do so.