It was Sports Day on Thursday and the whole school where I work went down to the Sports Park all day.
I got sun burnt. I forgot to put sun cream on my back. So now I have a nice pale face and arms, and a back with a cross on it, and a burnt neck.
After a day in the sun, I went home and slept, before being woken up by my ex-estate agent (the one I sacked), who wanted to know whether I was still interested in selling my old house. If I’d been more alert, I would have recognised their number and ignored them.
I decided at that point, the best thing would be to visit the cocktail bar next door and try their evening’s special. It was an Aqua Velvet, and very nice it was too. If I could live off eggs, dhal and cocktails, I would be perfectly happy. Perhaps it would be possible, with a few vegetables thrown in.
Today I am feeling more awake, so thought I would try the first of my new style book reviews. Since I have got rid of my car, I’ve had an awful lot of time to read, and lots to talk about. I had the idea of limiting my words, just in order to get the gist of the book over, so that my posts became more of a record book of thoughts. At first, I thought I might go all 99-word Flash Fiction, but it wasn’t quite possible with my first review, so for the moment, the limit’s 300 words.
So here we go:
Tracey Emin – My Life in a Column
Tracey Emin is a British artist, best known for her unmade bed installation, as exhibited by Charles Saatchi in his controversial Sensation exhibition.
She’s also known for getting drunk a lot, but I don’t see why that’s a big deal – Malcolm Lowry died in a cottage in the village where I used to live, and no-one complains about his drinking, I suspect because he was male and posh.
In this collection of weekly columns that she wrote for the Independent shows, Tracey writes a lot about her struggle not to get drunk 🙂 But also about her need to work, born of the fear of never being good enough.
She’s hilarious! Coming home after a delayed plane journey, she describes herself as looking like “a small potato, that’s been kicked about a bit,” and there are lots of wry observations of the artistic world and lifestyle.
Also poignant. There’s a moment where one of her older friends looks back on her single parenthood and asks, “What have I done so wrong? Why am I so alone?”
Which gets Tracey thinking about the anguish that her abortions caused her, after which she concludes, “This is for my friend: don’t feel sad, you were brave to have your children alone, much braver than I could ever be, and the legacy that you give to the world is a wonderful independence. I love you, and that means you’re never alone. And don’t forget – you have a great sense of humour.”
4/5 stars Another one of those books where you don’t skip anything, but enjoy the whole ride.