Saturday, 17 March 2012

Actual Mortification

I shall share here, on t'internet, where nobody goes, my most embarrassing moment of this week/month/year/life.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see  Carol Ann Duffy , Gillian Clarke and Liz Lochhead at the Aye Write Book Festival at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow tonight.  Turned out to be a truly excellent evening.  These are three incredibly inspirational women- the Poet Laureate, National Poet for Wales and Scots Makar- and mistresses of their craft. There was a leaning towards poems about mothers, including Carol Ann Duffy's Resurrection, a poem about her dead mother, made even more poignant as her father was in the audience.  Thankfully, my snuffles were well hidden by the enthusiastic applause.  I hadn't read too much by Ms Duffy but I will now.  There is an intelligence and dry sense of humour (veering towards bitterness) that was very appealing.  So, when the readings finished, this new-found enthusiasm for poetry saw me dash to the signing table.......

.....where I stood in a long queue caused by someone paying by credit card, where the Waterstone's bookseller couldn't take credit cards, where the menopausal ladies behind me were complaining loudly about the Waterstone's bookseller who couldn't take credit cards, where I had to pay by credit card until eventually, harassed and confused (and £40 lighter- starving poets, my arse), and with a copy of each poet's book clutched by my stubby digits, I was shoved towards the first poet, Liz Lochhead:

LL- Who would you like the dedication to?
Me- Oh, no, that's ok.
LL- Sorry dear, whose name would you like?
Me- Yours please.
LL- *eyebrows raised* and your name?
Me- Oh, no thank you.  I didn't write it.
LL- I know dear, I did.

I hastily moved on to poet #2, Gillian Clarke.

GC- Any particular name?
Me- Oh good God, not this again!
GC- Sorry?
Me- What? [cue Liz Lochhead sniggering to her left]
GC- I beg your pardon?
Me- Just your name please.  Not that I'm not a fan or anything, it's just I don't really like people writing in books.  
GC- Hmmmm?
Me- *sweating profusely*
GC- I'm so glad you chose this [At the Source, 2008] book.  It's my absolute favourite.  Did you know that when it came out, no-one reviewed it?  No-one!
Me- I'll review it if you like, I can write about any old rubbish......
GC- ????????????

I look around for help, any help and find it in the form of Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.

CAD- *laughing hysterically* You're quite right, it is rubbish. Who's this to be dedicated to?
Me- PleasecouldyousignthisformydaughterFlorasoIcangetoutofherebeforesomeonearrestsmeforbeingsuchadick? 

I can honestly say that's my most embarrassing literary fuck-up since I stood on Terry Pratchett's hat.  It's right up there with unspeakable youthful indiscretions and referring to amoeba as a single-celled orgasm in a very public lecture at university.  Truly dreadful.

Let this tale not detract from these amazing women.  I urge you to read some of their poems and to ignore the fact that I was a doofus.  In public.  Again.

Luv Egg on a Stick x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Decoupage and Zombies

A long-awaited day off- Nugget dismissed me from Granny's house with a, 'Have you not left yet?  Cheerio.' and I returned to base with one thing on my mind.


Actually, I had two things on my mind:  decoupage and catching up on the hours and hours of TV I seem to have missed recently.  Monday's a good day for zombies, vampires and motorcycle gangs. 

Since before Flora was born we have collected Ladybird books and some are really a bit past it.  Flora's getting a new room (it's actually the same room she's meant to have always had but where else am I going to dry my washing?) and a cull was necessary.  It's my fault.  I can't leave a Ladybird book in a charity shop- it's the drawings.  How can anyone resist them?  I open the wee book and I know immediately if it was one I read as a child- it's not unknown for me to start squealing like an idiot when I recognise the pictures.  I have a thang about vintage kids' books in general.  But it's just me.  Andy & Flora roll their eyes and claim they smell (the books, not Andy and Flora. Although....) and the books languish in an unloved pile.  Some of my favourites have been old Enid Blyton short story compilations.  Utterly un-PC. Brilliant!  Uncle Robert returning from sea with cigarettes for Father and lighting his pipe in the nursery, or learning about being brave and not a 'silly little coward who will never have any friends'.  Eeek!  
(Off topic- I spoke to a lady today whose three year old grand-daughter has her own iPad.  *actually properly lost for words*)

So I dug out some cube shelves I bought in Mozzers for the princely sum of £2.98 and gave them a ridiculously light sanding.  Have I ever mentioned how dreadful I am at the prep work?  Even thinking about it now is making me yawn.  Dullsville. 

Once sanded, I guillotined the books.  I felt quite guilty at this stage- books aren't meant to be destroyed, are they?  But I got over it pretty quickly.  The pages looked lovely away from the mouldering covers, all piled up on my table.

Anyway, couldn't take any pictures of the actual decoupage process because my fingers were too sticky and the camera is too important but, suffice to say, there was a lot of PVA glue involved, some sharp creases and at least two incidences of swears (#1 Jumper stuck to table #2 Me stuck to jumper).


 I was pretty chuffed with them.  And they hardly stuck to the table at all in the end.  

Lots of left over pages which will not go to waste.  I have been eagerly eyeing up all sorts of things to cover (glass? empty tins?  my bike???) and I think I might cut some leaf shapes and use them on the walls in a sort of mural/collage/thing for Flora to pick off the wall and get shouted at for.


Luv Egg on a Stick