Wednesday, October 02, 2019


I am so excited about Isaac and family flying over on Saturday that I can't settle.

On the other hand, I've hurt my foot, possibly broken a toe, and I've been advised to rest it as much as I can. So I am trying to sit still with my leg up and concentrate on planning my new book. 

Those of you who have found the newest one too serious for their taste will be pleased to hear that the next one will be lighter. There are four main characters - all women - and one of them will be Sally Howe, of Plotting for Beginners and Plotting for Grownups fame. Before I start a book I do studies of all the main characters, with six page questionnaires to fill in on them asking questions like:

What does she think she wants?
What does she really want?
What is her biggest dream?
What is her worst nightmare?
What is her guilty secret?     etc etc

It's a long time since I thought about Sally Howe, so in order to answer the questions about her I've been reading Plotting for Grownups. This morning I came across this interchange she has with her brother Richard, which is pretty much a word for word record of a conversation I once had with Dave:

Richard called at lunchtime and I showed him a pair of jeans I’d bought in the Scouts jumble sale. They are just Richard’s size, and they look quite hip to me.

He tried them on and said precisely what I expected: “The waist is far too low.” Richard spends the entire day hitching whatever pair of trousers he is wearing up round his waist, and these wouldn't go high enough for his liking. They weren't the kind that exposes your pants, they were merely an inch lower than the M&S seconds he bought off Bakewell market five years ago. “I want something more robust,” he said.

“They are robust!”

“I'm looking for something more workaday. I need something that genuflects less to fashion and more to safety and comfort.”

“But you’re trying to look attractive to women, aren’t you?” I said.

He pulled up his sweatshirt and exposed the flesh above the waistband. “This low waistband is an outrageous ploy to dupe the consumer. Dickies don't skimp on material like this.” (Richard worships Dickies work clothes because “they are commodious, they shrug off stains, and they have wonderful pocketry.”)

“These jeans make you look ten years younger, Richard.”

“I don't think I'll be wearing them,” he said, vainly trying to hitch them up high again. “They look like a high risk trouser. Edgy.”

And talking about clothes, you know that dress I showed you last week...

...that I thought I was too old for?

Today's paper has a photo of Debbie Harry, aged 74, wearing this:

Maybe I just need to grow my hair long, bleach it, and wear dark glasses.

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