Friday, 5 September 2008

Anxiety Bloat, Whitesnake and Tea and Cake in the Biker's Tent.

The novel manuscript is with the agent, the poetry collection is with the publisher and so I wait. I feel like a pregnant woman waiting to be told the results of the scan. Come to think of it my stomach seems to be expanding, this may be a kind of anxiety bloat or due to the fact that I am eating my way through the freezer in a fit of economy and ‘waste not want not’ admonitions in my head from endless generations of thrifty northern women from which I descend. I have discovered unlabelled, undated plastic bags lurking at the back; chocolate sauce or that rich gravy. Food, once frozen takes on a strange sculptural form, especially sloppier food items which mould themselves to fit the space available and tend to take on a darker hue. One bag, seemed to take on the shape of Henry Kissenger’s head. It contained what I thought was raspberry gloop made in a fit of Nigella envy last summer, it turned out to be carrot soup, once it thawed.

Talking of feeling pregnant yesterday was the BOO’s (Beloved Only Offspring) birthday. I phoned her on the mobile. Where are you? I enquire as I can hear a lot of noise in the background. “At a Bikers Rock festival”, she replies. ”It’s tipping it down, my tent is now a waterlogged paddling pool and I have had to buy a pair of surplus army boots as my shoes are leaking.” We are of course talking motor-bikes here not push bikes. A large muddy field full of bikers arriving to enjoy the likes of a WhiteSnake tribute band called Snakebite and other heavy metal delights sounds like a good way to celebrate your birthday. The Boo tells me that they have found a fantastic tent being run by the Christian Bikers Association where tea and cake are really cheap. She seems to think that potential double pneumonia and tea and biscuits from the Biker God Squad with someone belting the hell out of a drum kit in the background is a good way to spend a birthday and it probably is if you’re in your twentiesand don't feel the need for hygenic toilet facilities,a comfy chair and the promise of a decaff skinny cappacino now and then.I am proud that I refrained from asking if she was wearing a vest but I couldn't stop myself asking if she had a decent sleeping bag. "I should have but it hasn't arrived yet." she replied cryptically which sounded rather ominous.

I have just watched the Whitesnake link through. I had completely forgotten all that era of ‘crotch rock’; boys in tight leather and flowing locks playing ‘air guitar’ with a real guitar photo-shopped in and lots of women in the videos tossing their hair about too, whilst always scantily clad. Totally unpolitically correct, feminism wise almost mysoginistic.That brand of Heavy Metal was always more about shiny platinum discs than heavy metal music of course. Am I being strangely nostalgic for those unreconstructed early male metal bands like, AC/DC, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, Hawkwind, Led Zepplin, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep. But then Ossie went onto reality TV shows and Alice Cooper advertises Staples and appeared with the Muppets; so slip all icons into the arms of necessity to pay the bills. On the day I gave birth to my daughter Tainted Love was at Number One, swiftly followed by Prince Charming with Adam Ant looking rather like a youthful de-toxed version of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.Come to think of it the Rolling Stone, raddled icon, Keith Richards, turned up in that as Johnny Depp’s dad. How have the mighty fallen and the hell raisers of yesteryear grown mellow like old cheese. If Amy Winehouse was a man would we just nod and accept that the icons of the media industry was ever thus and that in twenty years time she will be advertising hairspray on TV? Female stars seem to have less slack cut as boozing drug-riddled hell raisers; less hope of them slipping into becoming acceptable shuffling, monosyllabic elder statesmen of what rock and roll is all about.

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