Reasons to be Cheerful – Happy New Year!

f5bf470759bdc5994e0bec7578072313To paraphrase her Majesty, 2015 has been, for me, something of an annus mirabilis.  Or in other words, the first year that hasn’t been completely shit in about a decade.   I feel guilty saying this, of course.  People like me are allergic to smugness.  There is nothing more nauseating than someone eulogising about how wonderful their life is.  It’s insensitive to the suffering of others and ignores the unwritten rule that as soon as the words are uttered, a large cartoon hammer appears and smashes everything.  Did I mention before I have a tendency to catastrophize?

Looking around there’s not been a lot to smile about in the world.  I didn’t get through reading the Guardian’s Year in Review today.  Between the religious despots, widespread global terror and Donald Trump’s head weave, the annual round up made me want to run howling into Storm Frank.  I feel I grew up in a more optimistic time.  We had student grants and illegal raves and crystal healing.  We had the Stone Roses for god’s sake.  And there were proper belly laughs too, and strange happenings.  Like Tribal Gathering or the night we discovered Val Kilmer on the landing wearing a small, fluffy towel and thought we’d done too many recreational herbs.

But maybe that’s it. Maybe we all view our formative years through a fine gauze that makes everyone look like movie stars.  The point is we weren’t worrying. At least not about debt, disaster and Armageddon. However, looking back over the headlines of twenty years ago, shit still happened:  Fred and Rosemary West, the Kobe earthquake, the Brixton Race Riots, boots on the ground in Sarajevo…There’s no denying that events can feel like a Sword of Damocles dangling above our heads, but didn’t our parents and grandparents feel this way about the Cold War?

As long time readers of High Heels will know, I love New Year.  I love it like a kid in a sweet shop. There are many things to be grateful for, so here’s my top five list for the year that’s passing and the one that’s knocking hopefully at our door:

  1. Carrie Fisher is in the world and she kicks arse.  NEWS KLAXON.  Few people under the age of 40 ever did or said anything that revelatory.  You earn the right to be interesting over time.  At which point some idiot(s) with an opinion and an internet connection will bitch about your jowls and the width of your hips.  Obviously this would never happen to Harrison Ford.  Thank the lord then for the dark wit of Ms Fisher.  Anyone who writes lines like ‘my father was best friends with a man named Michael Todd.   Mike Todd was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Mike Todd died in a plane crash, and my father consoled Elizabeth Taylor with his penis’ is my kind of woman.
  2. Chris Hemsworth is in the world and he’ll have to beef up for his next movie.  Look he’s under 40, OK?
  3. They might have guns but we have flowers.  The Youtube clip of the French father explaining the Paris attacks to his child restored my faith in humanity.  And in millennial parenting.  But don’t get me started on that. 
  4. People keep on giving.  It’s not been the best year for the reputation of fundraising, but there’s been many, many bright spots from individuals.  Katie Cutler and disabled pensioner Alan Barnes.  The Canadian school children welcoming Syrian refugees with a song in Arabic. These were my top *there’s something in my eye* moments.
  5. Charlie Brooker’s 2015 Wipe is on TONIGHT on BBC2 at 9 pm.  Genius awaits us.

Writing this on a blustery afternoon, I’ve realised that High Heels is a whole six and a half years old.  A mere child. Thank you for reading and being the audience for this intermittent, slightly cynical, but fundamentally hopeful blogger.  Whatever you’re doing or however you’re feeling about the future, may you swing triumphantly from the chandeliers in 2016.

Happy New Year!  xx



Sunday in the Park with Carrie

Mood du Jour - Yelena Yemchuk in Vogue Italia

Mood du Jour - Yelena Yemchuk in Vogue Italia

I have just spent the afternoon laughing like a loon with Carrie Fisher.  Small children, bikini clad women and harassed weekend Dads have been staring at me like I should be certified.   I thought it was going to be a solitary Sunday with the supplements, but instead Amazon sent company.  Just what a girl needs when she’s been to an underwhelming party the night before and put her stiletto through a vintage frock.

Carrie  Fisher is a goddess amongst writers.  No, she really is.  Forget the iconic Chelsea bun ear muffs; this is Dorothy Parker on Demerol.   Her autobiography Wishful Drinking is just how I like my comedy.  Pitch black with teeth. 

How I revelled in the exposé on her father, the lascivious crooner Eddie Fisher whose ghost written memoir Been There Done That was so tasteless she’d ‘wanted to get her DNA fumigated’ after reading it!  How I sympathise with that concept in terms of my own dear Papa! 

Courtesy of George Lucas Inc, Carrie Fisher has been, amongst other things, a doll, a watch, a stamp, a shampoo bottle and a PEZ dispenser.  (Remember those?  I had one when I was a kid that looked like Goofy – you lifted its head up and it decanted oblong hyperactive lozenges through its neck.  You know you’ve arrived when you’ve been turned into a PEZ dispenser).   Paul Simon – her first and only heterosexual husband – has written songs about her, thereby cancelling out all embarrassment in the merchandising department.

But yet here’s a strange coincidence – Eddie Fisher, short, Jewish singer; Paul Simon, short, Jewish singer.  So it got me to thinking  (cue: small, sultry New York apartment with small, sultry woman huddled over a lap top…oh sorry, wrong Carrie)  if your parents are the blueprint for your adult relationships, are we destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again?  Do we have the same relationships just with different men and do we ever really get to retune our attraction radar?

Yeah, like I can be bothered to analyse that.   Let’s laugh at Eddie Fisher instead.  Eddie Fisher (lovingly referred to as Puff Daddy by his daughter owing to his four-joints-a-day cannabis habit), one half of America’s Sweethearts and conqueror of some pretty high class totty, buys two really expensive, tiny-weenie hearing aids. Before he goes to sleep he puts them by his bed in a pill box for safe keeping and in the night, he eats them.  Both of them.  After this, whenever anyone wants to talk to him, they shout at his arse. 

Serves him right because in his autobiography, he very ungallantly and untruthfully ‘outs’ Debbie Reynolds, mother of his two children, as a lesbian.  Well here’s a newsflash.  Debbie Reynolds is most definitely not a lesbian.  She is just a very, very bad heterosexual. 

Join the club, Debs.  There are lots of us out there.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher is available on Amazon for £4.19