Thursday, 29 May 2008

Allow me to introduce myself

I am the second daughter of a father who couldn’t see the point in children, he said, but we became best friends, maybe so that he wouldn’t have to become the father he didn’t want to be. Later we stopped being friends, briefly ceased being much at all, but now we talk happily over the phone again, and over cheap Indian food, and over beers. I was born in Salford in a hospital called Hope. 17 years later I met my best friend, 12,000 miles away in an arid desert city, born 17 months earlier than me and just down the hall. I grew up in a brick house in an Australian town named after a highland sanctuary with a kidney-shaped swimming pool, a trampoline, a little sister in a bunk bed below me and an older sister across the hall, whose three-storey dollhouse can still make me shake with covetousness. I live these days, again, under grey summertime skies and drop a postcard each week into a red post box for my mum. I love to dance but don’t do it often enough. I love to drink red wine or gin and but I do that too often. I love books, bookshops, new pens. Today I love Fleetwood Mac, plum and raspberry teacakes, and the incredible Doris Lessing. I am a Libran, a lapsed Catholic, an amateur trapeze-r (a trapezoid?), a copywriter, a shameless optimist, a haphazard collection of synapses and sensations, in love with the details. I’d like to stow away, to drive a campervan to the sea at weekends, to teach the world to sing, to take better photographs, to know who you are, right this second. Yeah – right now.

Hullo. It’s really my pleasure to meet you.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Music makes us different: happier, rawer and bloodier, revved up for revolution, sleep-ready… Nina Simone makes me want to drink whisky, wear lipstick, and smoke cigarettes. Ani di Franco makes me want to get in a car, and drive, fast, down empty country roads. Bjork makes me want to put on a big feathery headdress and walk through the woods at night making friends with owls. The Roots make me want to dance my trainer soles paperthin at a street party on Brick Lane.

Bon Iver makes me different. In the split second it took for him to suck air into his magnificent bellows, the entire audience held still in their bodies whatever air they had, the cars outside slowed to a quiet swish on the wet tarmac and the drivers switched their radios off, the bricks of the building paused their slow crumbling, static filled the air and our ears. And then he opened his mouth and wailed. And crooned. And yelped and cursed and railed, and the damp drums pounded and the sweet faced boy with the baritone guitar sang like a choir boy.

Listen now and be made different in a good way. Or your money back.

Monday, 19 May 2008

remember being small and unselfconscious? remember being in your body and not harbouring a thousand tiny fears and loathings about it? remember really dancing? watch this lovely film of a girl dancing alongside a video of her 4-year-old self and remember some of how that felt...


so, another blog; my third, in fact. if blogs were pets, there would be bumper stickers that read 'a blog is for life, not just for THREE FREAKING WEEKS, CLARE'.

but i'm trying again. because i'm a hopeless optimist, because this time i want it to house all the tiny jagged pieces of things i always mean to do but don't because on their own they just seem too daunting, because i want a space that implores me to write regularly, because i would like to connect with people i don't know and might never meet, because i want to make something i would like to read.

so this is this.

here i go.