Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fact or Fiction?


A friend of a friend happened to mention that she doesn't read books. Not fiction ones anyway. She said that she'd "rather be living life than reading about made-up ones," and anyway "it makes you dissatisfied with everything, especially all that romance stuff." Which rather begged the question, "How do you know if you don't read books?"

I kept schtum because I don't know her that well and didn't want to upset my friend by suggesting her friend is clearly a bit poorly in the coconut.

Okay that's a bit harsh, but I was miffed by the implication that because I've read a love story or forty(thousand) in the past, I'm as bitter as an olive that men in real life tend not to be brooding, chiselled, tousle-haired heros in tight-fitting trousers, waiting to sweep me off my feet and ravish me. Well, not the ones I've met anyway. (All right, so I'm a tiny bit bitter.)

Neither am I limp with disappointment that I don't have a wardrobe full of vintage clothes and can't ride a horse - or run my own PR company, or whatever else friend of friend imagines lies between the pages of the books I read. And they're mostly not romance anyway. (Not that there's anything wrong with romance novels, obviously.)

I think she's missing out. Reading isn't a substitute for real life, it enhances it. Yes it's an indulgence and it's escapism, but so's getting pissed and she does that A LOT (apparently) and it's much worse for your liver.

Fiction increases your knowledge too - I've learnt loads over the years about culture, history, disability, science and, of course, human nature. It's given me a lot of comfort at times - and definitely stopped me from getting under my mum's feet when I was a child. (We didn't have a telly and I never did like Monopoly.)

Oh, and it's taught me how to commit the perfect murder without getting caught. Not that I ever would, you understand.

Unless our kitchen isn't finished by Christmas ...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Keeping up Appearances




In the interests of motivation, I treated myself to a fancy new notebook this week, to jot down notes for my latest - ahem - masterpiece. (Look, if I don't believe in it no one else will.)

Now that I've taken to hunching over tea in our local Costa's every week, slurping from a giant cup and staring into the middle distance, tapping my pen against my chin, I decided I needed something more swanky than the 99p recycled reporter's notebook I was using before. Plus the reporter wanted it back. Ho ho!

Trouble is the new one is far too posh to write in, and I don't want to spill tea on it, so I have to slip an old, tatty one inside for the actual writing.

It's all about appearances dahling. But the words are flowing, which is the main thing. Whether or not they make sense is a different matter.

In case you're wondering, the story of our kitchen still hasn't got its happy ending. In fact it's becoming a misery memoir.

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