Prisoners of Joy

By July 31, 2011 Blog

Life is a cup half-full.  At least, from the perspective of this grumblebum. Reverse optimism people – if you’re convinced that Very Bad Things will happen, then the actual outcome is usually a big improvement. This theory has been comprehensively proved by scientists at Battersea.  Okay, not quite scientists – dogs. Now dogs seem like quite a jolly lot. Unlike cats, who are permanently angry. Plus Battersea Dogs’ Home makes the Ritz look cheap.  Lovely staff, classic FM piped through …Read More

The Problem with Porn

By July 29, 2011 Blog

I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s  new book, ‘How To Be A Woman’. It’s a funny, wise and perceptive account of what it means to be a female today, narrated through her life story.    I love her writing. But there are some areas where we part company. Pornography for example. Moran brilliantly parodies 21st century porn as a one script, hackneyed kind of MTV, full of crotches, Brazilians and acrylic nails. Moran’s issue with porn however, is not its existence, but …Read More

Life lines

By July 28, 2011 Blog

I’ve been asked to give a talk with some autobiographical content.  So far, authoring it has been like pulling teeth.  In fact, I’m considering drafting up business cards that read, ‘Emma Scrivener.  Full-time Not-Writer’. On  the plus side, the CDs have been alphabeticised, the oven cleaned and all the tinned goods have their labels facing out.  But now I’ve run out of  options.  I’m back at the computer, waiting for the Inspiration Fairy to work her magic. Writing anything is …Read More

Redeeming the Routine

By July 27, 2011 Blog

Just back from an exhibition entitled ‘Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive’. Mountains of sugar-cubes, shaped like a castle.  A city of towering till-rolls (pictured). Walls covered with the same salmon-skin tiles.  Hours and hours of painstaking, boring and repetitive work. Viewed up close, it looks haphazard, senseless.  Yet from a distance, it begins to make sense. One scrap of paper on its own is litter.  But hundreds of pieces, hung together just so – and you’re looking at something else – something …Read More

Broken Mirrors

By July 26, 2011 Blog

One of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning, is to look in the mirror.  It’s not a pretty sight.  And often, I’ll base my day on what I see – if I’ve slept well and my hair’s reasonably flat, it’s a good day and I feel good.  If I’ve forgotten to take off my makeup and  look like a fraggle, I feel rubbish. But there are more mirrors around us than the ones on …Read More

Two kinds of anger

By July 25, 2011 Blog

Still trying to take in the news from the last few days.  Two people.  Both of whom have left their mark on history– but for very different reasons. A twenty-seven year old girl. Beautiful, talented, insecure. A well-documented battle with drink, drugs, self-harm. Dead – possibly at her own hands. A thirty-two year old man.  Good-looking, passionate, bright. An ‘ordinary guy’. A murderer who has blown up and shot nearly 100 people. What do we know of these people? With …Read More


By July 21, 2011 Blog

See what I’ve done there?  With the title?  Not horo. Horror.  I’m a GENIUS. But it’s not all bad. Reading the stars, I mean. After all, the universe  tells us huge truths about what really matters .  But maybe the real questions  are these: who is it referring  to and how do we listen? Don’t get me wrong – I’m all too interested in me.  Despite this, I’m  not persuaded  that the cosmos centres  around my love-life or choice of …Read More

Just Turn Up

By July 20, 2011 Blog

Ever had one of those days when you feel a bit useless?  You potter around, starting and failing to complete a million and one tasks.  You’re in the wrong place at just the wrong time.  You try to encourage others and end up putting your foot in it.  You’re invisible but you take up too much space. You drop the eggs and scrape up your ego along with the shells. At times like this, it’s hard not to listen to …Read More

Vegas? I’d Prefer A Cuppa

By July 19, 2011 Blog

I’ve often wondered how it must feel to be spontaneous.  I’ve read about such creatures – even seen a few in action.  But I can’t pretend to understand them.  If you’re not sure what I mean, then either; a.) You’re one of them.  In which case, congratulations and er – excuse me while I slowly back away.   Or, b.) allow me to introduce you… So.  Spontaneous People. If they’re not tweeting you from a mountain, they’re advertising tampax instead. …Read More

Building God a Granny Flat

By July 17, 2011 Blog

At the moment I’m trying to read the book of Chronicles.  (Note ‘trying’ – those lists are something else.  There’s a few sticky bits on the page where I’ve successfully slept-drooled over some especially long genealogies).  But this morning was a beaut. It was about God speaking to King David. I like David. He makes a lot of big mistakes, but he loves the Lord and he’s a trier.  I also suspect he’s one of those guys who ends up …Read More