Saturday, 25 August 2007


I've been thinking a lot lately about lovely female friends of mine who have been on the receiving end of appalling behaviour by their male partners and the pain and anguish it causes. A few of them have made the big leap and left, absorbing the consequences such action can have on kids, living arrangements, finances etc. Hats off to you ladies....You know you've made the right decision.

But it also reminded me of my Dad who had his own unique remedy to this kind of behaviour. I preface this story with 2 points:

1. Not all Serbs are genocidal mass-murderers
2. Never cross a Serb

About 25 years ago I was engaged to a loathsome man, though of course, I didn't think so at the time. Five months before our supposed wedding, I found him in bed with a friend - I use that word advisedly. I kicked him out of my house and life, but discovered that the sense of betrayal was not so easily eradicated and after about 2 weeks I thought I was literally going to die of a broken heart. My Dad called and said, 'Come home for a while. We'll go shopping.' He was a man way ahead of his time. So we're standing at the make-up counter at Finnegans in Wilmslow (now WAG-land central) and I'm holding several bags of emotional retail therapy in my arms, when suddenly Dad looks at me and says (in a heavy Eastern European accent),

'We could finish him for good.'
'What?' I say
'I could fix it.'
'That bastard. Nobody does this to my daughter. We could make it difficult for him to walk again. I know people.'

My bottom jaw has dropped slightly and I'm eyeing the permatanned Barbie doll across the counter to check out how much of this she's heard. My Dad has offered to off my fiance, temporarily or permanently, depending on how I feel. For a nanosecond I'm tempted, but then the reality of what he's suggesting and where we are having this conversation hits me and that's when I start to laugh and gasp until the tears are sliding down my cheeks.

'Bloody hell, Dad, this isn't the Godfather. He's not worth it.'

Dad just looks at me and smiles.

Of course, I couldn't resist telling all our mutual friends and eventually the story got round to the loathsome one who I was told spent several years looking over his shoulder when he walked down London streets at night, all alone. The betrayal was awful, oooh but the revenge was sweet and lasted so much longer.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Thanks to Carenza

Who nominated me for a Creative Blogger Award. And who also has the perfect romantic heroine's name: Carenza Hayhoe. If Georgette Heyer was still alive....

Displacement Activities

Well there are hundreds of them, aren't there? And I have participated in several over the last week.....Club Penguin, which I still love, though am getting a teensy bit bored with. I'm especially heartened by the fact the site has been bought for gazillions of dollars by Disney, who think they are buying into something used by the world's 6 year olds, when in fact it's bored/blocked/unemployed/would-be writers aged 40+ who play in there all day. Suckers....

I've also sneaked in a birthday, but I'm beginning to realise that with each passing year, this is less a source of joy and more a day of bone-shaking terror at how quickly the last year went by and why I'm getting fewer presents each time. Come on family, shape up; a woman's never too old for presents, OK?

Have I written anything this week? No. I have a plot for a romantic novel, but as I don't read them, nor do I particularly want to write them, I'm stuck. But maybe this is a way to get me back into daily writing....

The other thing I've been thinking about in the last week is walking round the coast of GB for charity....I have this urge to do something out of character and believe me, walking for pleasure is one such thing.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Trying Again

The Balkan view of life clearly offended the Blog powers that be and I've been unable to post on Bad Things Happen and being unable to communicate with anyone at Blog HQ (is it peopled by humans d'you think?) I'm trying again. So welcome to Day Job, written by Moi as opposed to my alter ego Olana Beck. She'll be back.....

I'm jumping for joy for my friend Meg Rosoff (shamelessly name-dropping) who had a fantastic review for her new book What I Was in yesterday's Sunday Times Culture mag. It ended with the immortal words, 'It's already a classic.' So way to go Meg and let's hope some of your good fortune rubs off on me, though that will be a miracle as I'm still plotting Book the First, as opposed to writing Book the Fourth.

Other good news is that Teen 2 arrived back from Bolivia yesterday with nothing worse than explosive dysentery and bad hair braids. Result!