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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

34. Birthday Blog

No! Not the blog’s birthday – mine. And not today. Sunday - 21st April - if you want to put it in your diary for future reference. But no presents. Seriously put your wallet away. My compost heap is full so no vegetation. I do like chocolate but am very picky - 81% cocoa and not mixed in with other flavours, JUST CHOCOLATE (ok, maybe a bit of chilli) but there is enough stashed in my  cupboard to see me through a nuclear holocaust (take note Kim Jong un).

So what to do for a birthday? The obvious thing would be a birthday party. I think that every year. Maybe next year. I think that every year too.

What about a new direction /life make-over / career change / re-invention?

I considered becoming a film critic but the only thing I could think of for this week was ‘do not go and see Jack the Giant Killer’ or Slayer or whatever the blue blazes it’s called. And that isn’t much of a critique is it? But really. If whoever-the-flip-made-the-film is going to pillage the rich heritage of fairytales that have naturally evolved over centuries, get a script, overlay a decent adaptation and either find actors who fit the parts or do what Disney has done over the decades and bastardise the story properly under the heavy duvet of animation. The giants were good.

Secondly I thought I could be a chef. I recall mentioning in a previous blog that I was once on Ready Steady Cook (about 17 yrs ago - the Halloween edition). Sadly, the only reliable recipe I found to wave under your nose is one for Carrot Cake. It’s not even my recipe. My mate Judith gave it to me and I don’t think it was hers. Anyway – here it is.

You need CARROTS (obviously) about 8 oz grated. 6 oz of whatever flour you like to use, about the same of soft brown sugar and sunflower oil. 3 eggs - beaten. A teaspoon of vanilla (if you like it), a teaspoon of mixed spices (if you like). 1.5 teaspoons of bicarb and one of cream of tartar. Mix everything together for as long as you can be bothered and put in a greased 7 or 8 inch round tin. Bake at gas mark 4 for approximately an hour and 10 mins. Once it’s cooled you can put a cream cheese frosting on or just - EAT IT. Tadaah!

Ok – that’s my career as a chef sorted.

Lawyer. Done that. The hell of working with people with grey personalities and no souls was ultimately handy for background research (see my second novel The Companion Contract).

House Renovator. Did that. Frankly once the houses were done structurally, my interest pretty much waned. I’m just not that fascinated by wallpaper fashion, or curtain fabric and as far as I am concerned lights are so you can see what you are doing! My only recent home improvement has been replacing the ridiculous scrabble-in-the-gloom kitchen spot lights with triple-daylight-clarity strip lights, much to the bemusement of the young lecy. If you want to chop veg. in my kitchen you will need sunglasses.

Until yesterday I had not considered Escapology but maybe I should. After spending a pleasant and constructive morning with Cramlington Writers – my third visit I think – they locked me in the building having failed to notice, they later claimed, that I’d slipped to the loo. I didn’t think the session was that bad. The only option was to escape via a side window which they had foolishly left unlocked. I exited rather elegantly and without ripping my trousers or breaking any bits of me or the building.

Formal Politics. Did that. See front page of Newcastle Chronicle May local elections 1988. But frankly even before the glorious leader started his illegal testosterone fest in Iraq my time with the ‘party’ was over. I am capital ‘P’ political which you will know if you are a regular BGOTR bleader. I just do it in my own strange way now with mild GP affiliation.

Gardening is another option but frankly until I can get round to the idea of digging out the compost heap without needing to sit down and have ANOTHER cup of tea I don’t think so. Also I’ve had two nasty accidents in the garden, both requiring medical attention; branch-in-eye and tree-saw-through-thumb. If that isn’t Nature’s way of telling me to leave it to someone else, I don’t know what is.

Teacher – I haven’t got that much energy

Literary Critic - read Anna Karenina before you die. Done.

Health and Safety Advisor – keep out of the garden. Done.

I feel like I did when I was eight and considered becoming an inventor but concluded that everything had already been invented. Obviously there was still plenty of useful stuff to come (the interweb) and frankly useless stuff (plug-in air fresheners) as I’m sure you worked out but clearly that was not the path I was meant to take. So that brings me back to being a writer.

It took a long time to get round to acknowledging I needed to write, dedicate my energies to being a scribe and then admit it in public. When I was very young – somewhere between 6 and 8 I knew and told people that I would be a writer when I grew up. So all the other stuff was perhaps, as my friend Eve once said, ‘just collecting material’.

This coming birthday is dedicated to my wise child self. If you want to see what that looked like, go to the profile over on the right and have a look at yesterday's photo post.
In anticipation of Sunday,

Happy Birthday Me.

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