Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Age of Austerity

Good morning, Nappy Valley Housewife.

Good morning, Next Door Neighbor. You’re looking very smart this morning.

Thank you. But, sweetie, I’m not sure about that bandana and the dirt-streaked face. It’s not the best summer look. It makes you look like a charwoman. What are you doing with that bucket and all those cleaning supplies?

Cleaning up after my builders.

They’re not finished yet?

They've barely scratched the surface.

They could have built a brand new house by now.

I’m starting to wish they had.

There’s no point in trying to clean when they’re still at it. Would you pull out your broom and sweep during a sandstorm in the desert?

No sooner than I would scrub the decks of the Titanic.

There you go. Well, I’m off to the Summer Sales. Care to join me?

I can’t. As soon as the machine coughs up the cash, it goes directly into the hammy fists of my builders.

Ouch. That hurts. Remember the days when you could fit in building work AND the Summer Sales?

Yes, vaguely . . . but fondly. Apparently, we’ve entered the Age of Austerity.

A bitter pill to swallow.

They say it will be good for our kids.

Like a daily dose of castor oil.

Or a stick in the eye.

Well, I won’t hold you up. What are you going to do with your new-found time?

Sit at my desk and stare at the blank screen on my computer.

Huh. Right. Off you go.

See you later.

So here I am, doing exactly as I promised. I love it when a plan comes together. My discipline is unequalled. Books write themselves, don’t they? Or maybe a very clever, industrious muse will take up the cause.

In between agonizing over my own fictional characters and plots that unravel, I’ve been doing a lot of reading of other writers’ books, authors who actually put the words onto the paper and then find a publisher.

What's on my bedside table?

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Her writing is so exquisite that it makes me feel I can never write another word again. She makes me see what real writing is all about.

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
William Boyd lives in Chelsea and I’ve been told by the owners of the book shop I frequent that he comes in there a lot. I’ve stalked the bookshop as much as legally possible but still no sightings. On the plus side, they’ve not clamped a restraining order on me yet.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
It promises to be very juicy. I love to read good historical fiction.


  1. What are you having done to your house I wonder? I hate having the builders in. Always end up going out and mooching around for hours.

    Know what you mean about Lorrie Moore. Some writers just do that to you don't they? Just brilliant. Haven't heard of William Boyd - will have to investigate. And still haven't got round to reading Wolf Hall.

    Reading other people's books is good though for your own writing don't you think? I've just spent a lot of money in Waterstone's if it isn't! Keep going. I will if you will!

  2. Maybe you can write a non-fiction book on getting builders to do their jobs.

  3. I found you on lifeinapinkfibro's blogroll and I'm laughing and laughing. I have to warn you, though, that Wolf Hall was possibly the most excrutiating book I've read since I read the first paragraph of War and Peace. I've followed you because (a) I like your style and (b) I'm a stalker.

  4. deer baby, our building work is so dull. Unfortunately, I will not end up with a new kitchen or a loft extension but, hopefully, sash windows that are no longer rotten and old floorboards that are no longer warped. The dust! The daily wage! Bah.

    I'm still plugging away on the novel. Hope you're doing the same. Can't wait to buy yours in Waterstones where I also spend too much on books.

    nmah, that would be a great idea if I could actually figure out how to get the builders to do their jobs!

    Maxaballa, thanks for following! Oh no, not War and Peace...that's probably one reason why it's still on my bedside table:)