Thursday, 31 January 2013


Hello! It's been a while - life has been (and continues to be) rather distracting lately. I wouldn't like you to think I'd forgotten you, though.

As you know I'm a pen geek and a notebook geek. In my untiring (and unselfish) search for the perfect notebook, I reluctantly concluded that there is no such thing. Humph. I was forced to change my quest to the perfect notebook for the job in hand and lo! my life became simultaneously more complicated and much, much more fun. I now legitimately seek out new notebooks. (No matter how distracting life is, I will seek out new notebooks.) In my trawl, I recently came across this. I cannot speak to the notebook as I do not possess one (er, watch this space) but aaaaah!

The act of writing is a tempting one for me. Writing as a physical activity, I mean. Making marks on a page with a pen. Looking at a blank page and then changing it with my hand. I remember the first novel I read which gave me a shock of nostalgic recognition and it was about writing. The novel wasn't, the particular bit was. It was You Must Be Sisters by Deborah Moggach.

It was published in 1978 and I can't remember when I read it, but it must have been on publication or shortly afterwards. There was I, thinking I was all grown up and that novel flew straight into my younger heart. The part I particularly remember was about the joys of writing with your first Osmiroid italic pen and I squeaked aloud. That was me! And the joy of realising that a complete stranger  thought the same things I did and put them in a book was sharp and glorious.

Let us briefly consider the subject of book cover art. I was searching for an image of this book and I carelessly did not stipulate "1978" in the search terms. Imagine my horror when this came up

Compare and contrast. 1978 was before the invention of chick-lit, that hideous term used to demean the writing of women which now it surrounds us and seems to dictate a certain kind of cover image - look at me! I'm colourful and frothy! AND NOT REAL! The term "chick" when used to describe women is repulsive - a fluffy, immature creature incapable of supporting itself. I am tremendously fond of the The Marx Brothers and I remember being horribly disappointed when I discovered that Chico wasn't "Cheek-o" but "Chick-o", nicknamed for this habit of chasing the ladies.  Incidentally, if you want a jolly good read, seek out Harpo Marx's autobiography, called Harpo Speaks! I don't know if it would strike me as a good read these days, but it did when I first read it. If my memory serves, he outlines his three dream jobs - an umbrella mender, like his grandfather; Eddie Nelson's (think about it) top C singer and the King of Spain's anthem man, the King being unable to recognise pieces of music and needing a nudge when the anthem was playing so he could stand up.

Ooh -  here's a musical offering - the late lamented Phoebe Snow singing Harpo's Blues, as one of my favourite songs of all time. Enjoy!

Thanks for popping in. The salon is open - do drop in and leave a comment, an aside, or something completely irrelevant.