Sunday, 10 May 2009

'BECOMING DRUSILLA'

Spent the day with Drusilla yesterday. The order went to Amazon ages ago then yesterday a box full of books arrived. It is not as if we don’t already have bookcases full of enough reading to last another lifetime but sometimes you just have to get a quick fix.

Drusilla kept being mentioned on my wandering round hyperspace and being written from a British perspective about someone close to my age It seemed fated.

Andy-Drew-Dru led a fairly chaotic life, the one fairly constant being slightly disorganised trips with a friend camping on long walks or cycling. When Dru came out her pal stuck with her and being a writer…

The book follows a trek through the Welsh hills to the coast while the writer questions Dru on her life and questions himself and his skepticism and prejudices. Someone gave him access to a small library of contemporary literature on the subject and the surreal process you have to follow in Britain, ( no support in Wales ). In many ways old fashioned in it’s pace which added to it’s appeal for me, then again this was always going to be one of those books where you are almost talking to it, shouting at it and crying along with it. Everyone has a different story but recognise waymarkers in others’ accounts similar to those in their personal hell.

Once opened the book stayed open except for food and other essentials till finished at half past midnight. Strangely this is the first book of a contemporary transition I have ever read. The classic accounts from the seventies by Jan Morris and April Ashley have been known for an eternity but before the web information was more easily obtained from the CIA or KGB than get information on gender issues at a library or book shop, little wonder that our Doctors are so ignorant and still mainly unhelpful.

At least you can now get through the system if you do not conform to the stereotype heterosexual super feminine type which you would have had to present in earlier times. Always good to read of someone’s success even if it leaves a residue of what must be jealousy and there is very little of anything else I have ever found to be jealous about.

Yesterday outside was foul, cold and heavy rain so a book was an ideal treat but now to garden will be even harder to control and I have been asked to curate an exhibition of photographs of local city life in the 80’s to accompany a new play at the local Repertory Theatre starting in a months time, tried to get out of it when they said there was no money but when I said it could not be done for less than £X paid up front they came back far too quickly. Obviously my pricing which was never high is nowhere up to date but I did ask for a pile of tickets for the people I am going to get work from but modern promises? We shall see. What happened to my quiet life?

Naturally my telephone, a design classic and therefore not cheap, croaked after fifteen years just when I need it most. I got writers cramp getting the captured 200 names and numbers out of the old machine before the battery finally died so in future when it asks me if I want to store the number I think a paper backup might be a good idea. The new phone sits across the room looking gorgeous in cherry red this time, asymmetrical curves of the handset intersecting a crisp brushed aluminium triangular base. Now I do sound mad droning on about a telephone but we need beauty in our lives.

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Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

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