Sunday, 29 August 2010
To ladder or no ladder?
Well done on completion, Janet. That desirable oasis seems a long way off for me at the moment. You know how when you’re writing and it doesn’t feel right? Our characters are hard at it, steeped in poverty, hunger, degradation and unemployment. Yet something’s wrong. The foundation of our business is conflict; dig a deep deep hole and climb out of it somehow. But how easy it is, to skim up a ladder! My mum, 91, an East Ender,still lives contentedly in poverty in her mind, though she is more comfortable now, with none of the money worries she had when she and Dad left the Isle of Dogs for greener pastures. The other day we visited NEXT, as opposed to ASDA. It was like I was taking us into Hades. But Mum was seduced by a shiny black belt strapped to the waist of a slender window mannequin. A closer inspection of the price tag, said £9.99p. I turned heaven and earth to persuade her to buy it, or allow me to buy it, but I might as well have suggested robbing the cash machine outside. Old habits die hard and she explained to the very sweet and mystified assistant that on reflection, it would cost her nothing to cover her old, tired belt with petticoat material and elastic from her thermal knickers. Yet again this honesty inspired me to ditch that convenient ladder and use my fingernails instead.