25 February 2009


I feel shortchanged. I went all the way to Wimbledon and not a Womble to be seen. Why else would one venture to zone 3 if not lured by the possibility of sighting Wombles wombling free?

What I did see however was:

Actual streets - proper roads with terraced houses and everything.

A perfectly pruned, chocolate-box pretty tree, bearing tiny white flowers, overhanging a little wooden gate leading to one of the terraced houses that is no doubt home to a young family of 2.4 children who call their parents Mummy and Daddy and are already grade 8 standard in both piano and violin.

A great deal of pancake batter*. Not necessarily all in the frying pan.

Perry experiencing a sugar high. Chocolate flowed liberally through his pancakes, chocolate flows liberally through the man's veins.

A living room. Lounge. Sitting room. Whatever you want to call it. The fact is, the flat actually had one. Aah, sofas...

An Oxford educated Classicist attempting to rap about the Emperor Augustus. Braap!

Too many re-fills of red wine.

But no Wombles. Or, indeed, yummy mummies. More disappointed about the Wombles.

*Incidentally, I don't think I will be giving up anything for Lent. I'm not one to emulate Christ. I mean, look what happened to him... I'll take the pancakes though.
Oh dear, the devil and I would have probably ended up being BFFs in that desert.

13 February 2009


I think the title of my auto-biography (naturally written on my deathbed at the grand old age of 99, my feeble arthritic fingers tapping away at a typewriter even when in the throes of dying delirium. And, yes, I will be using a typewriter despite all the whizzy new-age technology that will no doubt have been invented by 2087. It must be a typewriter for documentation of a literary life) will be 'Anna Kirk: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous'. Catchy, no?

It rather sums me up. Especially after the week I have just endured, enjoyed and, pretty much, survived.

Behold, dear reader...

Living with hippy Americans for a weekend.

Travels by megabus, tube, bus, tram and, the transportation system that started it all, my own two legs. Snow, smog and slime all traversed.

Fruit punch (two thirds vodka, one third peach schnapps, plus an orange segment and a twist of lime-rind), party rings, cheesy puffs and cheesy muzak steeped in nostalgia.

Cocktail bar complete with battered leather sofa and talk of naked skiing, religious persuasions, the institution of marriage, boiled eggs in shot glasses, and everything in between.

Raving to drum'n'bass until 3am, punctured by the dramatic muddying of a birthday girl's legs, restraining and comforting a beloved wronged woman, and chucking 99p earrings into grassy unknowns.

Eating Hedgehog chocolate cake at 5am, scooping spikes (thick icing studded with chocolate fingers and flakes) by the fingerful, and going on an early morning sugar trip to buzzy heights.

Settling like a slug in a sleeping bag on less than half a sofa, shared with a long-haired stoner, curled in foetal position and breathing in second-hand dope fumes from 6am until the moment I really needed to Brush. My. Teeth.

Academically analysing French medieval animals: foxes that have sex with chickens, Winnie-the-Pooh-like japes that include liberal use of the word 'whore', cats that claw off a priest's testicles, snails leading processions of a Parliamentary menagerie. Oh, the French, those jokers...

Being one of three hardcore groupies that dedicatedly follow a flame-haired 80's revivalist (through the wind-tunnels of Euston and snow and everything), positioned at the front of a grungy dancefloor, twirling in spinny, sequinned skirts, stripy socks, stick-on stars, and pink heels.

Chatting with Mullan about vaginal douches, Narnia, marveling at one's own cleverness, menstruation, the implausibility of a porn shop street, and whores with hearts. All a morning's work.

Visiting a publishing 'office' (penthouse apartment more like): all wooden floors and windows that stretch to the ceiling, letting the sun stream through. Balcony, view of St Paul's across the river, Penguin Classics mugs filled with milky tea, literary chit-chat, hungover smoking of rollies (them, not me), stroking of beautiful, recently-printed and personal books, free edition of perfectly produced quarterly - my kind of work place. Hard slog? Hard graft? Who cares!

After such a sublime and ridiculous week one must ask 'What the devil is next?'.
Well. Celebrating Valentines night with a bottle of Lambrini, something involving chocolate, soppy film and snuggling in bed with my man. My man,Wilkie Collins. Alas, he is more between the pages than between the sheets.

And I doubt all this would even fill a page of a chapter in the auto-biography. I'd better get out there pronto and acquire more best-selling material.

6 February 2009

Anna is blogging

When you start thinking of your life in the form of a series of Facebook status updates, it may be time to admit that you have a problem. And it encourages people to talk about themselves in the third person. Which is unforgivable.

Alas, I have hit this rock bottom. I find my brain, at certain moments of profound introspection, wandering off into the realms of cyberspace as it muses 'Anna is...'

Anna is... wide awake at 5.30am a-frickin'-gain!

Anna is... in need of caffeine on a drip.

Anna is... busting some moves to Mamma Mia/Josie and the Pussycats/Kate Bush, and may even be jumping on her bed in glee.

Anna is... cursing, swearing, blaspheming and raging at her keys for the billionth time today.

Anna is... tracking the effects of the recession through the fluctuating prices of Lambrini and tins of basics rice pudding, each shifting a matter of pence week to week.

Anna is... perpetually, eternally, continuously crossing Euston Road.

Anna is... determined to not say 'Standard' at all today, or at least not more than five times.

Anna is... crashing, banging, causing a cacophony when rooting round in the goodie cupboard, a little worse for wear, several times in the middle of the night.

Anna is... slowly cooking in the cosy library, baking like a literary loaf.

Anna is... once again flashing her pyjamas to the meanies in the corner shop whilst on a wine mish, wooly-hatted and ugg-booted. Standard.

Anna is... proper aggro on the streets of London.

Anna is... daydreaming about being a blue-wigged, Afro-Caribbean, uber-cool DJ in Notting Hill and re-thinking her life plan.

Anna is... going to prod Gary.

Anna is... never, ever going finish the novel she is reading. The novel that has no end.

Anna is... procrastinating. By going on Facebook. And thinking of status updates.

Anna is... going to get a life. Instead of living it through status updates, as if she is somebody else, an observed character. Therefore...

I am stopping this lunacy right now.