In this week’s edition of the PLBW we’ve got a coupe of amazing discoveries, a fashion statement, and a rant about the universe’s clearly stubborn decision to not let me have homegrown cherry tomatoes.
“You don’t want to look like you’re in a jacket from 30 years ago, so updated fits come into play,” I read in the snippet for a story from The Wall Street Journal. I instantly loved this message. I mean, who in their right mind would want to look like anything other than totally and completely fashionable? Me, that’s who.
Although the question of whether I am or am not in my right mind remains open to debate, one of the few firm beliefs I hold regards clothes and fashion. If I like myself in it, I’ll wear it, that’s my belief. I don’t care if it’s fashionable or a relic from ancient times, which appears to be the new attitude to some of my favourite sorts of clothes. In fact, if you tell me something is fashionable, I’m likely to think twice before acquiring a sample of it. If I was a trader, I’d be the richest among the contrarians, I’m sure.
I remember when I was ten and so fashion-conscious I begged my parents to buy me a pair of black Lycra leggings because they were all the rage among four-graders and older girls. The problem was that this sort of imperialistic Western import was only sold at specially designated shops and they cost U.S. dollars, which were expensive to buy and not everyone had the privilege to be allowed to buy them.
Anyway, long story short, my parents bought me the dream leggings and you know what? I only had to throw them out a few years ago because they were really beyond wearing. I had them for about 30 years, long after they went out of fashion. They will probably now return, along with the baggy jeans and the curse of my aesthetic sense – the mighty shoulder pads.
Look, I was there the first time baggy jeans became fashionable. I wore them because I was young and silly, and there weren’t many choices anyway. I was there when flare jeans rose to power but I was old enough to know instantly that I hated them and would never wear them no matter how fashionable they were. Besides, I’m 5′ 2”. Flare jeans were not made for short people.
Now the baggy jeans are back, complete with scratchings and holes, and I’m not having any of that, not only because I look ridiculous in baggy jeans as does virtually everyone else. Baggy jeans and shoulder pads should be banned forever. Also skinny jeans for men but that’s a completely different topic.
Fashion is peak consumerism from where I stand. I dislike peak consumerism. I also wear my clothes until they’re no longer fit to wear. And I lament the fact my new glasses happen to have fashionable frames. I missed that somehow.
This week has been the first in quite a while when I’ve written every single day, and I’ve done it with an abundance of pleasure unlike previous full writing weeks. It could be because of the story I’m telling myself – it really is fascinating. It could be because of the earlier writing drought. I don’t know and I don’t really care but this week has also been a week of two amazing discoveries, which I made on Saturday.
Normally, I write early in the morning while everyone else – except the cat – is asleep. I have all the quiet – except the cat – that I need and I have all the peace – except the cat – that also helps my concentration. This means that I normally write for about an hour a day. But not yesterday.
Yesterday, I got up about eight-thirty (superlate for me but it was Saturday), started writing and when the rest of the family began joining the world of the awake one by one, I found I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. The story was tight, the tension was running high, and the suspense was killing me. I was going to write another chapter, whatever happened.
What actually happened was that Little C. decided to do her handicraft in the living room where I write, singing and making noises to entertain herself while she did whatever she did, and she also kept a steady stream of questions directed at her father, who sat on my other side, working. Now, this is perhaps the worst-case scenario for writing. It’s a nightmare come alive. But even this nightmare didn’t stop me. Hence the discoveries, which have now robbed me of some excuses I used to love for the weekends.
First, it is possible to write for more than an hour and a half at a time, especially if you stay away from social networks and your email inbox. Something work-related might lurk there and you don’t want to see that when writing.
Second, unbelievable as it may be, writing through other people’s noise is also possible. I expect I might even train myself to do it in order to expand my writing time when I need it expanded. Isn’t life fascinating?
A short tomato rant
No, life isn’t fascinating when it comes to cherry tomatoes. I’ve tried to grow some for years and while I would admit to mistakes such as putting the seeds in the wrong soil—the mineral-poor, clay-rich soil we’ve got in our garden, without fertilizer—this year I should’ve succeeded.
I put the seeds in special, turf-rich soil, also featuring fertilizer, and placed them out in the sun. Which a day later disappeared, to be replaced by clouds, near-zero temperatures and rain.
You know that feeling when you’re trying so hard to accomplish something but everything is against you or, if not everything, then something essential for your success? That’s been my feeling for the past three weeks. The seeds haven’t shown any signs of germination yet. Next time I’m putting them on wet cotton just to make sure they were vital to begin with, which would only prove the universe is against me in the tomato department but it’s always better to know.
Book-peddling corner: if you’re in the mood for some dragons and vampires, or mysterious vanishing planes, try The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog) or Sky High (which you can read for free on this blog or on Kobo).