Horror movies that aren’t.

H and I just watched half of The Amytville Horror.

I’d read the book as an easily spooked 12 year old so when we found the remake on Netflix I got all excited.
‘Oh go on, let’s watch it, it’s dead scary this is, it’s brilliant, go on, you’ll kack yourself watching this,’ I said, huddling under the duvet and taking an excited gulp of Booze Bargains, Vin de Cheapo.

We watched as blood dribbled out of light switches, fridge magnets arranged themselves into misspelled messages and the door to the boat house slammed all by itself. Continue reading


Breakfast with Proust.

I was looking out of the kitchen window, at wet rooftops and a slate sky, the view only slightly brightened by a splash of vomit on the window, the result of a brief but exciting¬† liaison H had with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. (Sorry Mum, really sorry, I’ll clean it up, honest.)

Then from a bag of crusty rolls, a yeasty smell escaped and barged its way up my nose to my brain, flipping open a bright cine-screen from a very long time ago.

I was 19, had just pitched up in Algiers with my feckless fool of a fella. I’d tell you his name but as a compulsive fantasist, he had a whole string of names and I never found out which was the real one. Continue reading


Our Mix ‘n’ Match Man.

We sat in a pub, my scholarly friend and I. We sloshed our way through a bowl of pea and mint soup each. We agreed it was delicious. Then, with the man at the next table pretending he wasn’t listening, we embarked on a wistful and completely imaginary construction of our ideal lover.

We both have a penchant for the rock star look so we gave our composite lover Roger Daltrey’s face on the grounds that it was handsome yet pretty.

My scholarly friend suggested we give him Roger Daltrey’s hair to match his face but I pointed out he now has short hair (to look the part strolling round his trout farm in his muddy wellies) so we narrowed it down to Slash or Robert Plant.

I read somewhere … OK, I’ll come clean, it was on Groupiedirt.com … that Robert Plant really loves having his hair stroked. Now I would happily cleave my way through a prairie full of snakes to stroke long hair so she relented and agreed that our composite lover should be graced with Robert Plant’s golden tresses.

The man at the next table was stroking his bald patch disconsolately.. Continue reading


Too late, mate.

After two weeks of decision making, H said he was positive he wanted to abandon his A-levels and leave school.

For days we trawled through all the opportunities available for a bright 18 year old: jobs that would allow him to cuddle dogs all day; cannon fodder for the Army; being part of a dynamic, motivated team for 30p an hour in Tesco; jobs that would utilise his unwavering zombie shooting accuracy¬† (back to the Army idea then) ….

And I asked him several times a day, ‘Are you sure, absolutely certain, this is what you want?’ ‘Absolutely,’ he said vehemently, ‘I’m sure.’

He was so absolutely certain about jacking in school that when we gave his room a clear out, he threw all his school work into the recycling sack.

‘Oh God,’ I said, ‘are you really sure? Throwing away your school work is a huge step.’

‘Yes Mum, I’m sure. Really, really sure. Throw it all away, I don’t need it.’

I put the recycling sack outside last night for collection.

This morning, he strolled in to my room after what was obviously a sleepless night and, raising his voice over the roar and crunching of the recycling lorry outside, said: ‘Mum, if I want to change my mind, where’s all my school work?’