Thursday, June 21, 2007

Because I'm worth it!...

Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me-eeeeeeeeeee!
Happy birthday to me!

What a lovely day I'm having. Thank you soooo much for all the good wishes, cards and virtual cards which have been crowding my inbox and hall table since yesterday. I'm really grateful! I even had a virtual cake (thanks, Gillian!), virtual singing (thanks, Jackie!) and a virtual scary dancing frog - I think (thanks, Sue!). I have had chocolate for breakfast and chocolate cake for a very late lunch. So I am - for once - at home in my skin. As the French would say if they were ... um ... English.

And I have had - hurrah!! - the birthday strop. In a subtle, yet elegantly vicious kind of way, double hurrah. I mean: what birthday is truly complete without the Birthday Tantrum?? It just wouldn't be the same ... The cause being the receipt of a birthday card from the two university acquaintances (yes, they've definitely been downgraded from "friends" now) who wouldn't speak to me because they couldn't deal with people with depression. Well, sod that for a game of soldiers, say I. So I tore the thing into shreds, along with its envelope, and recycled it. And wrote a birthday poem:

Vanishing Acts

So your card arrives –
a sop to twenty years of friendship
and several months of silence –
and I tear it up,
both card and envelope
splintering paper blood and anger
across your names.

When I drop the pieces
in the recycling bin –
always mindful of the environment
even in the face of
your shallow-hearted, elegant
brutality –

I think about spitting
on you both;
I’ve always appreciated
a spot of good high drama,
you see.

But in the end, you’re just not worth it
to me.

I was soooo tempted with the spitting bit (for those moments, m'dears, when simply nothing else will do ...), but I didn't want to upset the very sweet recycling men. See how socially aware I am even in my incandescent rage!...

I also got a very lovely rejection - bizarrely - from Penny Thomas, the Fiction Editor at Seren for Maloney's Law, which - as it's so lovely and as I've decided now to not go the mainstream publishing route with it, I thought I'd include here:

"Many thanks for sending Maloney's Law to Seren. I'm so sorry it has taken us such a long time to get back to you (actually, it was only six months, so I thought it was unseasonably short - I sometimes don't hear anything for a year/18 months) - we are a small company and have been inundated with manuscripts in the last few months. Another reason for the delay is that I have been quite tempted by this novel. It is seductively written, with a strong clear plot and that all-important page-turning factor. In addition, your characters and their relationships are at once credible and intruiging. Unfortunately Seren has not yet really stepped into the thriller genre and, with my lists currently full well into 2009, I don't think I am able to find a space for a change of direction at present."

Thanks, Penny - it's one of the nicest rejection letters (actually, I've never had a novel acceptance letter as such - Flame emailed me for A Dangerous Man) I've ever had. And the terrible, soul-shaking sting you get from the "near miss" is for once pleasantly absent, I imagine from having made the decision not to pursue mainstream publication for Maloney's Law further.

This morning, I've had my usual counselling session. Kunu was impressed with my new feeling of power, from having ditched my real family and found myself a virtual little sister (how are you, Caroline ( Hope you're having a good day too!). And we've decided that church structures are just too disempowering for words - way too much of the awful "we love you because that's our duty as Christians and not for your own sake" - I mean: what is that attitude???!! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. It's somehow very dehumanising, which is I'm sure not at all what Christ actually meant. I think I've said this before, but the older I get the more I'm convinced that Christ didn't come to earth to make us Christians at all, but simply in order to encourage us to be more human. More of who we can be. Anything that dehumanises us (and the church, in my experience, often does just that) or makes us less than we can be is surely against the overarching will of God? Anyway, I've decided that I'm going to create a new religion which will meet with fellow believers in each other's homes between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday evenings. It will consist of half an hour of angry ranting at God and the general populace, involving real good solid adult tantrum stuff, and then half an hour of quiet meditation. It'll revolutionise the middle of your week, get you in touch with your inner selves and - bliss! - leave the ruddy weekends free. What more could you want? Actually, even Kunu looked quite interested. Maybe I'm on to something here?...

After counselling, I had an hour and a half of Clarins facial - bliss! Then I went shopping. Hell, it's my birthday and I'm worth it! So I bought six pairs of glittery stud earrings in different colours from "All That Glitters" in Guildford (what a marvellous shop!) - from a lovely woman who wished me a happy birthday and hoped I'd enjoy the rest of my day. Thanks, I have. I then hit Marks & Spencer, and bought 5 tee-shirts and 2 shirts, all at very reasonable prices and in a wonderful range of light summer colours, and all from the men's section. My, but the boys do get the best colours, you know ... They don't know how lucky they are!

On my way home, I popped in to see Gladys, who's had a bit of a fall this week, but was in spritely mood, in spite of the pain. She'll be soooo glad to see the back of Blair. Which at nearly 92 isn't bad going. And I've bought a short story collection from Salt Publishing ( - thanks, Jen (!

Presents received from the noble Lord H:

One box of Lindor milk chocolates (bliss!)
The DVD of "Casino Royale" (oh, Daniel, how will I ever watch anything else now?...)
The DVD of "The Queen", with Helen Mirren
Mark Haddon's "A Spot of Bother"
Anne Tyler's "Digging to America"
Murakami's "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" (short stories)
Julia Glass' "The Whole World Over"

Plus money from Mother (which I've already spent! See above ... Thanks, Mum!), who also bought me a very peculiar floral toilet bag, which I suspect might be for her own virtual daughter - you know, the fluffy, female one she always wished she'd had ... Bloody hell, perhaps my mother and I are more alike than I'd suspected, and we both have virtual families?? Now, there's the start of a (rather scary) novel ...

Tonight, I'm in the pizza, garlic bread, ice cream, and more chocolate zone, plus as much champagne as you could sink the Titanic with - and, hey, it's nearly time for Lord H to come home! Hurrah! Have a great evening, all!

Today's nice things:

1. Birthday tantrums
2. Birthday presents
3. Birthday dinner (Hmm, is there a connection here, do you think?...)

Anne Brooke


Cathy said...

What a wonderful birthday!

But I misread your post at first. I thought you said that you had bought two skirts in M&S mens dept and that set me wondering what sort of men you have down your way...

Enjoy the rest of the day.


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Cathy - yes it is! And we do have some very peculiar men down here in the shires, you know!!...



Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Sorry Anne, I've just realised I posted my 'happy belated birthday' on your Wednesday blog. I'm so up in the air with all the work stuff at the moment I've gone totally dumb in other areas - normal levels of intelligence will be resumed soon I hope!

Anne Brooke said...

No problem, Sue! It's a birthday week after all!

Hope work issues improve soon though - hugs ...


Anonymous said...

Hi, Anne,

Well done on dumpling those uni friends.

Glad you had a fab day!

Anne Brooke said...

Hi, Sarah! Yes, it was great, thanks!



Peter said...

Happy Birthday Anne!!

I like the idea of a new relegion... trouble is I have band practice on a Wednesday...

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Peter! Ah well - maybe after band practice then ...



Anonymous said...

Belatedly, I'm sorry, Anne, but happy birthday!

I've been otherwise engaged, but hope you a grand old time!


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Rhian! Yes it was great!