Tuesday, May 30, 2006

So NOW the bloody sun decides to come out..

...now that I'm back home, after four days of standing around in the driving rain and gale force winds, then freezing half to death in my tent while my arthritic crippled joints seize up in the sub-zero temperatures of "summer".

Bastarding bloody weather.

Things you learn at Hay.

1. Never go anywhere without a kagool.
2. The middle classes* are frightfully rude.
3. Seamus Heaney is just like my Da.
4. There's more to sundails than you might think.
5. Christopher Hitchens is marginally less of a cunt when his even more odious brother Peter isn't around.
6. Old people are all bonkers.
7. There really are twenty and thirty-something women who call their mothers "Mummy" in public.
8. You become (temporarily) convinced that you really ought to write a book.
9. There's going to be a lot of piano on PJ Harvey's next album. And some shrieking.
10. The children of the rich have more confidence at eight years old than I will ever have in my life.

I managed to see Al Gore, Seamus Heaney, PJ Harvey, the Welsh National Opera, Margaret Atwood (three times), the Astronomer Royal, Will Self, AA Gill, Simon Schama, Howard Hodgkin (humpy auld fucker), Jeremy Harding, some mad bloke talking about sundials, Jason Byrne, Jake Arnott, Sheila Hancock and, god, many, many others that I can't quite remember.

But you don't give a fuck about all that, do you? This the Diary of a Professional Spinster, and I know that you're only here to hear about all the men who don't fancy me.


I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that my filthy feelings for Will Self are not reciprocated. Despite my close proximity and conspicuousness, he completely failed to notice me and say; "You, slightly unwashed-looking girl covered in muck over there, let me take you back to my hotel room and do unspeakable things to you till dawn." Bastard.

The astonishingly confident and sexy Paul Blezard does loads of interviews at the festival and doesn't fancy me either. I'd always thought that he just had a preternatural ability to speak off the cuff on anything and everything. Then yesterday, my illusions were shattered. I spotted him just before an event, facing into a corner, reciting his introduction over and over in a decidedly panicky fashion. (I still would though.)

My lovely Flatmate has been trying to tell me for years that bookishness, ferocious intellect, charisma, and an extremely hot body are unlikely to all co-exist in the same man. She's wrong - he was in the tent next to me. With his lovely girlfriend.

But it just goes to show, um, something. Slightly delerious with too much clever stuff and not enough sleep.

* Not the LMCs mind, we're dead nice


  • Is this a roundabout way of saying that you cut your losses and jumped Christopher Hitchens?

    By Blogger Tim Footman, at 10:26 AM  

  • dude, al gore, seamus heaney, and margaret atwood all in one place? where is this mystical, magical world you inhabit? and can i get there without the aid of a locomotive, wardrobe, or fairy godmother?

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 11:08 AM  

  • You too with Will Self? Christ I thought it was only me...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

  • Er, is this the appropriate time and place to admit to fancying Simon Schama?

    Thought not.

    By Blogger patroclus, at 11:28 AM  

  • Piano and shrieking? My 2 favourite things? Say it isn't so... that's very exciting.

    Whenever I read Will Self's newspaper column I always hear it in my head in his voice and sometimes, on a good day, I find my face contorting into a 3rd rate imitation of a Self-sneer.

    By Blogger Billy, at 12:19 PM  

  • Two questions off the top of my head:

    Who's Paul Blezard?

    Is a sundail different to a sundial?

    By Blogger Wyndham, at 3:36 PM  

  • The Hitch? Well, he's an arrogant, stubbley drunk, which is pretty much what I like in a man. But I reckon he's a bit too much of a complete cunt, even for machochistic old me.

    CB - aren't you a literature student? How come you are unawares of the legendary Hay-on-Wye lit-fest? It doesn't finish till next Sunday and it's only up the road from Bristol - get up there!

    I can sort of see the appeal with Schama P - he's tall and lean and clever. Too nice though.

    And Wyndham, typos etc are because I'm VERY TIRED.

    Anyhow I googled 'Paul interviewer Hay Festival' to find out his full name. He presents a book show on the radio or something. Give me a week or two to get into some proper cyber-stalking and I'll tell you more....

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 4:41 PM  

  • Spinny,

    I cannot for ONE MINUTE believe that the sight of you unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed failed to register at least a mild stirring in the Selfish one's loin. I think he's just your basic shy retiring literary type hiding behind a veil of sputum spewing vitriol and sarcasm. I bet if you'd actually gone up to him and said, "Oi Will, fancy a quickie behind the Diary of an Edwardian Lady stand?", he'd have spurted like a shower attachment in an Organics shampoo ad....

    Mind you, old Will does have quite a dashing profile in a 'Ted Hughes bashed with a pram and holding a grudge about it' sort of way, doesn't he?

    Glad you had a good time, anyroad. And you should write a novel (if you haven't already...)

    Love on ya,


    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 4:52 PM  

  • next question: what's a kagool?

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 5:38 PM  

  • next question: what's a kagool?

    It basically means that Spinny is showing her age. Next thing she'll be saying is that "Wagon Wheels" were bigger in her younger days.

    BTW, a kagool is a handy easily packable waterproof coat you can fit in your pocket. Darn.... Now I'm showing my age.

    By Anonymous Frank Butcher, at 8:28 PM  

  • i had to ask.com 'kagool'.
    now i feel smarter.
    smarter, AND warmer.

    sorry about the rain. sorry about your next-tent neibors, too. bleaaaaaagh!

    By Blogger First Nations, at 9:04 PM  

  • 'Kagool' is actually a perfect example of why all my old school friends hate me.

    I'd never heard the word either till I moved over here. In Ireland, we call them raincoats or macs.

    But now, I say 'kagool'.

    (I mean, does she think she's English or something? With all her English words and English accent, saying 'little' instead of 'wee' and 'oh hello' instead of 'och-sure-like-well-now', and still going to festivals and discos at her age, no wonder she can't find a husband...)

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 9:21 PM  

  • If you ask me (nobody ever does, and who can blame them) Will Self is a pretentious wanker who is so in love with his 'orotund pustules of inebriated discombobulation' that he's forgotten how to write a note for the milkman let alone a novel.

    And he should shave those ridiculous sideburns off. Tosser.

    By Blogger garfer, at 10:25 PM  

  • Yes I agree with Garfer - Self's looking a bit like a member of The Wurzel's at the moment. Saw him in the (discombobulatedly throbbing) Members Room at the Tate not so long ago and had to do a double-take. The sideburns are a bit too much and reminded me of a poorly be-wigged display dummy in some local historical exhibition of Dickens' life.

    By Blogger rockmother, at 11:24 PM  

  • Excellent. Only Spinny can turn a festival which when you get right down to it, is basically a load of old farts talking about a book what I wrote, into a Glasto like affair. Excellent. Also, Seamus Heaney is my idea of hell. And who the hell is Margret... Oh her. Meh.

    By Anonymous no shit sherlock, at 11:44 PM  

  • It's funny Rockmother should mention seeing Will Self in the Tate, because Trevor MacDonald was stood next to me at a Tate Britain exhibition once and I had to do a double take as well.

    Sorry to disappoint any older ladies reading, but he isn't too hot in the flesh, being shorter than you'd expect and having a bit of a stoop.

    By Blogger Betty, at 9:37 AM  

  • i heard kagool was french (but spelt cagoule), in NZ we always called them 'packa macs', possibly a brand name - but does what it says on the tin.

    By Blogger Kirses, at 9:58 AM  

  • Trevor McDonald once brushed past me in the sandwich shop (I used to work just down the road from ITN) and I can confirm that his fleshly appearance is unlikely to set any female loins aflame.

    By Blogger patroclus, at 10:28 AM  

  • Seamus Heaney fixed my boiler for me once. I said to him, 'here, Shay - how much do I owe you for fixing my boiler - and while your at it, where did a Nobel prize winning author of world renown learn such handy home maintenance skills?' He just looked at me - all enigmatic like - winked and said "the premenstrual giblets run the ginnels 'twixt hope and despair.." and just walked off. Then he turned into Bob Holness and tried to sell me a union jack fridge freezer the size of a packet of 10 John Player Specials. I've never met Trevor McDonald though....or any other black news anchormen for that matter...

    Love on ya,


    p.s. I should add, the Heaney stuff all happened in a dream of course. I've never actually met any Irish poets of international renown in my waking hours - certainly none who have a detailed knowledge of the workings of an economy 7 heating system. Does being thrown out of a Yeats's Winelodge count?

    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 12:22 PM  

  • Will Self seems to have gone awfully middle aged recently

    By Blogger shoppersaurus rex, at 3:07 PM  

  • Well Betty, that's weird you should mention that you once saw Trevor McDonut (as Lenny Henry used to refer to him in Tiswas days) because he for a short while was my nextdoor neighbour. Spooky darling! He had a rather gorgeous looking wife from what I can remember through my marijuana haze of being a teenager. Cue The Swipe!

    By Blogger rockmother, at 8:56 PM  

  • ...Oh it was the Mary Jane was it? I thought you were just a little backward, RM. That's why no one ever asked you out in those days you see - the fear of becoming a life-long carer to a ravishing, Swedish blonde, female Joey Deacon runs deep in the adolescent male. That's why everyone was always asking Lucy Hollis out - she may not have had your looks but at least she could eat without the aid of a straw and could get on the bus by herself and not roar out at allcomers like a Glaswegian drunk on a Thunderbird wine drip. It also explains the appetite. We thought it was just that you didn't get fed at home, like the rest of us, but I can see now that there were more sinister causes. Just goes to show - "you can't judge a book by looking at its cover...." (She's changed now, btw so don't be put off lads - if it wasn't for the callipers, you wouldn't even know......)

    btw - I know someone who's met Lenny Henry if that's any use????

    Love on ya,


    p.s. he's a right cunt, apparently. Lenny Henry, that is. A right cunt with a roly poly wife, so they say.

    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 4:42 PM  

  • will self = gorgeous

    margaret atwood = genius

    lenny henry = cunt

    my work here is done. welcome back, spinny. can i come with you next year?

    By Blogger surly girl, at 8:32 PM  

  • Course you can Surly, you'll love it.

    My friend goes to the same gym as Lenny Henry. She's only seen him twice in 2 years even though she goes all the time. This is why she is dead skinny and he's fat. Why is is no longer funny shall remain a mystery.

    Anyhow, Statcounter has already sent TWO* people looking for Pual Blezard here. Blimey. I have competition.

    And what's wrong with sidies? Sideburns are Very Important. I would NEVER** date a man who didn't have them.

    *Two people is about a weeks worth of keyword searches for me.

    **Please don't point out how long it's actually been. I know I can't afford to be fussy.

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 8:52 PM  

  • this whole statcounter business makes me nervous. you can see how often I'm compelled to read this page. that's just wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 PM  

  • anonymous - why should it matter? Blimey are you that self conscious that you even have to comment anonymously?

    By Blogger rockmother, at 11:35 PM  

  • Anon - I wouldn't worry, I don't understand Statcounter.

    The only bit I can comprehend is the 'length of visit' because it's a pie-chart (we did them in school).

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 7:22 AM  

  • After the media coverage of all the shite talked at Hay by people like Al Gore et al, none of which had anything to do with books if the Guardian reprtage is to be believed (except for book-PLUGGING, a lowlife activity) I have been able to write the bloody thing off any future itinerary. Your list includes a very large number of cunts, actually. Perhaps it's a requirement for an invite. And what's the fascination with Margaret Atwood all about? I managed half of one novel and can't even remember the title. Probably th one they made a very bad film from.
    I'm in a bad mood now.

    By Blogger DavetheF, at 8:36 PM  

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