Monday 11 September 2023

Well that was awful

I went on a 'Journaling Writing Masterclass' It was a birthday present to myself. Pft, it was awful. I left before it ended. 

I'd like to say, I stood up and made a Manifesto Declaration of Journaling Creativity. Then I left dramatically, slamming the door behind me.

It wasn't like that. More like the rest of the classroom (I use that word deliberately) wished I'd get the hell out, so they could carry on, in peace, looking at commas. And the tense. 

Tenses are important. Because, are you journaling using the present tense or the past tense? And don't forget to use descriptive language. This is also important, apparently.

Then not so much about Journaling. The way I understand journaling? That free-spirited, powerful, unaccountable, rush of creativity - do what moves you right there and then - this wonderful powerful surge of Here I Am, Making My Mark. This is the language for bereavement, betrayal, terror, desire, human urges that have gutteral sounds.

No! Not this type of Journaling! This course is about Literary Journaling, Grit. Don't you understand What Journaling Means? It means getting your tenses in order in preparation for publication.

Well, my journaling fails, right here and now. My tenses are all over the fecking page, splattered and splattering, splatting and splinging. 

The course, of course, was really about writing for your writing improvement. With all the implicit (and sometimes explicit) judgement that comes with that intent. Could do better. Improve it. Here are techniques the best writers use.

In the end, they make the writing dead. Publishable, probably. But dead. Slabbed out on paper like lettering on a tombstone.

I'm still working out why I went! I think the word Journaling twinkled at me. And the promo, which used the type of phrases that I believe do exist in real life, emerging from writing your own thing: life transforming, unique, original.

Well, those promises weren't delivered. The class was derivative, exclusive, unimaginative, restrictive. With a sub-current of resentment that writing exists outside of tenses (unless you are one of the chosen ones who are selected to validate the whole). It demonstrated the worst of the Lit Heritage Establishment. Ignorant of life outside.

Will they change? Probably not. I expect to see the same writing masterclass hooked onto any other literary form that the institution decides to promote. 'Biography Writing Masterclass'. 'Short Story Writing Masterclass'. 'Non-Fiction Writing Masterclass'. 

You'll get exactly the same writing exercises that I did. And if you try and say the opposite, no matter how cack-handedly, awkwardly, socially inappropriate, like me, you'll be made so unwelcome you'll think, well I may as well go home. 

Save your money, the hours, and waiting in the thunderstorm for the bus replacement service. 

Journal at home.

Ironically, after I'd left (or been booted out, depending on your point of view), I re-read the blurb, which promised an 'enthusiastic inclusive environment'. At least that made me laugh. 

And laughter - as any old reader of Grit's Day will know - is good.

Friday 5 May 2023

ha ha ha ha ha ha

Oh! The contradictions, knots, twists, torturous reasonings! 'He's a man for the public.' 'He's a private man.' 'He's a king dedicated to serve.' 'He's his own man.' Whatever you want, you can project it on to Charles Windsor.

I'll have a go as well, then. 

He's the head of a large, opaque, unaccountable, profitable corporation. 

The aim of the business, apart from to reap a large amount of cash, is to protect the unequal contract made by the super-privileged, and imposed on everybody else. 

The trick is, get me to agree to it. Create an abusive relationship where I can't leave and end up asking it for support. Throw me a kind word and I'll weep in gratitude.

Except I like to put my money where my mouth is. I already gave my silver coin to Republic.


Thursday 30 March 2023

Gates. Simple.

A pair of ordinary metal gates. If I could have gates this simple!

Perfectly suited to an industrial Victorian setting. Exactly the design style needed here.

The other day I popped in to the back of the Escape Room and asked if I could buy one. Just one of their gates. One would probably do the total gap of about 10 foot.

It would be smart to have two gates, so we could open them in the middle. 

I guess those perfect metal gates would measure 150cm each side, if they're on two metal holding columns, one on either side (but I'm holding a floppy tape measure, so all my measures needs double-checking).

We don't need the letter box. I just like the brass-black combo. I like the handle too. And the rivets. I like those a lot.

Yes, it's this simple. We lift up the central bar and open the gates. Sigh. If only gates could be this simple!

A column, one left, one right, holds them up. I'll measure those columns, when no-one's looking. I guess they're about 10cm. The gates hanging from them are lightweight. The sort of everyday, commercial style gates we see everywhere. 

I can't seem to get hold of them though.

I agree these ordinary, metal, non-see-through gates look like this, normally. (Huh, Asee, or whatever that tag reads.)

The gates I've considered lifting from the Escape Room Car Park are painted black. That's all. 

 Ahhh. It all seems so simple.

Friday 18 November 2022

Come and See me... Knicker Drawer Note Books


Knicker Drawer Note Books is at the Christmas Craft Fair, Village Hall, Cosgrove MK19 7J. This Saturday and Sunday 19th/20th November 2022, 10.00am - 4.00pm. Love xx

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Big Old Bad Bruiser Gets Haircut


Tough decision, to sever someone in their prime... but at least they're less likely to come smashing through the roof, come next storm.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Alternative Valentines

The people I've loved most, I've usually wanted to push them off a cliff.  

The ones who rouse my murderous id - they're the ones who get properly under a skin, electrically wired down to my fingerend nerve endings, pulsing into the emotional heartbeat to a life. 

They're the voice in the head and the drum beat telling me daybreak is here.

With them I laugh more than anyone else in the world; I listen to them, argue with them, tell them to shut up for a blasted minute while I'll defend their nonsense, their bizarre behaviour and their right to be bonkers, down to my last breath. 

I'll restore them, rebel against them, and turn my red blood into revenge for them.

It's contradictory, love, and on my Valentine's Day, unicorns don't appear. Neither do fairies, lovehearts, cute fluffy things with big eyes, and all the rest of the diamond sparkle spinning in the star-lit skies blah blah blah.

Love. In my world it's blood, guts, viscera. This had to be.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Liars, mocking the values we live by

Values? Just boring stuff, like decency, honesty, fair dealing. Not creeping around, lying, deceiving, saying cat when you really mean dog

But I suppose feeling in charge of the language you use makes you feel superior. Maybe we could all join them, yes? We could each be in charge of the interpretation of the words we use. We could say Yes when we mean No. We could say, I love you when we mean I don't love you, and we could say I care when we mean I don't care

If we did that, then we could laugh, too. We could laugh at our superior ability to trick, deceive, mock and belittle.

I'm not sure I want to join that tribe. To be honest, I want to find more constant values. I want to believe those values I find are shared by others. I don't want to join the smirking faces whose words you can never trust.

Johnson and each one of his tribe, I want to be honest to my response. I want to say to each of you, You're an absolute little shit

You do not represent the values I live by. Your deceit is not my shame. The shame is yours.

Friday 19 November 2021

Knicker Notes Goes Exploring


A splendid Steampunk Convivial at Gloucester, where a lovely time was had by all. 

I showed great self-restraint and didn't come home with a portrait of myself as a spirit guide in the Netherworlds. (Maybe next time.)

Friday 21 May 2021

Thursday 29 April 2021

A Baby ate a Curry and This Happened


My new kitchen wall colour. Not up for negotiation and no compromise.

Thank you Peepah, for everything.

Friday 23 October 2020

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Another freakin' makeover

Welcome to my Steampunk Workshop. Making it up, by ourselves. In progress. Mezzanine floor, supported by scaffolding (expensive) and original Victorian cast iron drain pipes (cheap, from the scrap yard).

Copper tank to be dining table. Thank you Peepah!

Column, painted up, waiting to be a shower. It's going into the inspection pit.

Beautiful little window on the upper floor, with shutter, overdesigned. Metal framed window rescued from a pile destined for the tip. Little lock works beautifully. I'm told it came from an outhouse. (Freecycle at its best, I'd say.)

Rrrraaahhh! With many thanks to Mr M and Mr R for sharing ideas, creative processes, thoughts, whimsies, and everyday laughter. I've not taken a welding course and have not yet had a go with the angle grinder, so much yet to learn. 

Still to come: more painting, table, sink, suspended bed, sofa, swing, toilet, Belfast sink (thank you Freecycle), kitchen table, shower, lighting, solar heated water store, outdoor dining area...

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Wednesday 22 July 2020

The Border Force know where I live

My left knee is bigger than my right knee.

My left knee is bigger than my right knee after I fell off a mountain bike in the French Alps, having run away in June at the first sniff of a lifted-lockdown travel restriction, (I just said it was to join the circus) but definitely in the company of Mr X whom I met (before lockdown) at a comedy club.

I know it sounds unlikely. Tiger pointed out (quite rightly) I had known Mr X for less time than she had known a bag of lentils.

My only reply was that I also carry a Best Before date so I had better get moving.

Maybe my tribe could mark my death date with reminiscences of that time Mother threw back the front door, shouting, I'm going to France. Don't ask me where, but I'll be back in about a month. Please water the lobelia.

Anyway, I have returned home. I have had a jolly good time and the Border Force know where I live.

Also, Knicker Drawers is getting back to business.

Thursday 4 June 2020

Old tank gets trashed

A day from which all other days can flow; the 6x4x2 tank in the garage, which has been an eyesore, impediment and a hated old lump of metal just asking for a recycling centre, finally gets lifted up by a crane and taken out of my house.

Good riddance you bastard and I hope you get crushed and beaten up before being made into something more useful to society.

Got that off my chest. Can get on with building an artist's studio now.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Nice Arse, Aunt Fanny and Lovely Jugs

I don't know about all you single people out there, but Grit is not doing so well in these times of LOOK DON'T TOUCH.

I sorely miss all the hugging and handing of my normal days, when connecting with friends through welcome clasps with kisses, hello and goodbye, was happily normal.

And that's before I get onto the subject of missing out on the Pensioner Sex.*

I can't wait for this horrible LOOK DON'T TOUCH phase of lockup to be over.

But the British are supposed to be so repressed about touch and intimacy, aren't we, that maybe we're accustomed to this new lockdown code, LOOK DON'T TOUCH.

Hmm. Right now I wish I could be Dutch. I read how one of their lockdown rights was a Bedroom Buddy. Imagine!

Yet of course we have a silver lining to this traditionally repressed British state. We are absolutely bloody brilliant pioneers in the language of nudge nudge wink wink.

In which spirit, I am delighted to launch my soon to be (unsuccessful) business line for this new phase of LOOK DON'T TOUCH lockdown. Where we single folks can regard a nice arse from a distance, no touching allowed.

My Nice Arse, Aunt Fanny and Lovely Jugs.


Suitably British LOOK DON'T TOUCH naughty words and thoughts with traditional lead print to stamp into your Knicker Drawer Note Book.

Or just hang it from your doorknob. It's up to you. The police aren't watching on this one.

On sale soon at the Knicker Drawer stand in Vintage Number 38, if you're local. And if you aren't, you'll have to make your own.

(Nice bum, by the way. I've been regarding it for quite a while and I just thought I'd mention it.)

*Sure to increase the blog statcounter by a few hundred readers, every one of them to be quickly disappointed.

Saturday 23 May 2020


It became very important to do this today: put some battery-operated fairy lights in a metal cage and find the best space to perch it. Two hours of amusement for which I probably need to thank lockdown.

Tuesday 19 May 2020

To the Post Office, which is not the point

Walked to the post office today.

I feel I should record it.

It's either 'Walked to the post office today', or 'I have consumed eight packets of chocolate biscuits during lockdown, which I am declaring is my contribution to the national economy in a time of crisis and you can send me a letter of thanks anytime from now, Boris'. That would do also.

But I prefer the diary update to be about the post office.

Thinking about it, it wasn't really the walk to the post office.

It is that my knowledge about social judgement has become a bit dimmed. I think this is largely because there is no social.

I set off down the street wearing the leggings I have slept in for two nights and worn for three days. They got a bit hot to wear, so rather than take them off - they are comfortable - this morning I took a pair of scissors and cut them off to the knee.

The tee-shirt I am wearing in no way complements the leggings colour, but even in bright purple it is serviceable, with its oil stain and some toothpaste dribble over one bosom.

The shoes, I changed. This year I found an old pair of flatties while clearing a cupboard. But the velcro fastenings were non-functional; the leather has stretched. The top and bottom velcro patches no longer meet. I cut the leather, shortened it, got it under the sewing machine and voila! My velcro sticks! Add shoe repair to my list of talents!

The straw summer hat is essential, because I am sure it is the sun and not my kissing distance to 60 years that has wrinkled me (albeit attractively). As I leave the house in my bed and tee-shirt attire with my upcycled flatties, Squirrel casually says, 'You have a safety pin in your hat'.

Safety pins can come in useful, I tell her. You never can find one when you want one, so I keep one in my hat just in case.

Regarding all other social niceties somehow expected of women - make up, smooth legs, fragrance of scents and perfumes, knickers, a functioning bra - I never thought about those at all until I got home.

I just set off with my set of brass rods wrapped in brown paper.

I'm not sure if I care if the look of me is in any way socially agreeable - perhaps lockdown relieved me of those responsibilities. Maybe we can all change completely the presence of ourselves on the High Street, if we ever take to it again.

I think I might re-emerge, when it is all done, wearing my favourite goth corset and super-comfy Fly London boots.* And my black top hat, on which I have wound ribbons that flutter in the breeze. I rock that look. In my opinion. It will feel, just fantastic.

* Not a sponsored post. They're just my favourite boots.

Sunday 17 May 2020

Monday 11 May 2020

Now, you only get to see the ceiling

This diary entry is for those people who stared inside our office 2010 to 2019.

Recall a dishevelled-looking bloke? He was maybe wearing his pants like men do in their sheds, with a barely buttoned shirt, pre-dribbled, topped by an old cardigan. The glass doors behind him? Faked on a green screen. In reality, one was smashed.

I loved my husband dearly, despite what you might have suspected (or been told), and certainly if you saw inside our office and came to a very definite conclusion - here was a sad man abandoned!

Nope. He was loved! Utterly. The landfill he made of the office was not loved.

Think yourself fortunate. You saw this chaos from your safe side of a plastic screen. There you could sigh and tut and do whatever before slipping back to your normality. I bet you felt sorry for him. Hmm. Misplaced sympathies. I lived with this state, powerless to do anything about it, too respectful of, 'don't touch my stuff'.

'It's my stuff!' covered the hole in the ceiling, piles of ancient papers, collections of magazines and manuscripts from 1974, a cellar full of computer equipment from the 1980s, peeling paint, 100kg of cabling, cassettes, floppy disks, piles of gadgets and a variety of indescribable items whose only redeeming feature was that they didn't have real hair.

And the smell. Let's call a spade a bloody shovel. If you have lived with a teenager who locks their bedroom door, closes the windows and draws the curtains, then you can imagine the smell coming from the office. It was very similar.

Did I mention that time my office colleague absent-mindedly threw a dead bird in the bin? That is not endearing. That is a health hazard.

Anyway, those days are gone! I no longer feel the need to put a bag over my head when I realise someone saw the office.

These days, my office / flat / rooms of elegance / hand-made kitchen is now transformed. And it is fecking amazing.

I threw open the doors and windows, scrubbed the carpet, hired the roofers, painted surfaces, dumped furniture, offered a ton of stuff to happy hands on freecycle, sent 50 metres of books to the charity shop, dismantled shelves, installed a Victorian overmantle above the fireplace previously blocked by a bookcase and seven blankets, enjoyed my repaired glass door and sold anything of value on ebay.

I'm happy to say - if you are one of many previous guests invited via video link to this office - you'll never see this wonderful space. Maybe you can look at the ceiling - the old office is transformed to my new rooms.

Enjoy your happy memories.