Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cool under the collar

So, anyway, I bought FSoG. (What? Holy Crap!)

Before I scoff about how dreadful it is, look, I bought the damn thing. And that's the single thing ELJames wanted me to do. So hats off, she and her clever marketing team have turned me into one of their gazillion Submissives. And I have no right to look down on them.

The book has taught me a fair bit about BDSM. Which is probably no bad thing. You know, intellectually speaking.

But it is dreadful. Ana is a whimpering airhead. Christian is a depository for various 'hot' ingredients (copper hair, faded Levis, skills at a piano, ability to cope with periods (!), a private jet, a tortured childhood, a riding crop.) But he is not drawn sufficiently well for them to cohere into any actual personality. And nonetheless you wonder why on earth he fancies her......

Characters above the age of 40 all have eyes that crinkle into a warm smile every 5 seconds. Everyone of every age is super hot. Life consists of nothing but the most mundane stuff (having an alcoholic drink - hold on to your hats!; engaging in let's-all-gouge-our-eyes-out-with-spoons dull conversations, etc.)

The sex is interesting ('ooooh, I hadn't thought of doing that') but the present tense, first person, flimsy narrative reads like a staccato recital of a shopping list. So not exactly erotic.

James has very odd ideas about what the subconscious is: the one she's created is conspicuously conscious and never shuts up. Hyphenated phrases (just like the one at the end of my fifth paragraph) abound, relied upon because, presumably, Ana lacks the vocabulary to be more concise. I could go on......

.....but I won't. I need to finish the last chapter.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Let's say things have been a bit rubbish since last I posted.

A month ago, I miscarried at 11 weeks pregnant. It was an uncomfortable and traumatic experience: painful, messy, out of control. And with only loss to show for it at the end.

Getting to the point of conception had been a struggle in itself (more of that story here if you are interested).

The lasting impression is one of colossal waste. Wasted flesh, wasted love, wasted hopes, wasted future, wasted opportunity. And also a feeling of being totally lost in my own life: what does the future hold and why does it matter? Well, I really don't know.

It's very interesting how people respond theologically. I haven't felt angry with God, or tempted to doubt him any more than normal, or that this is unjust. I feel confused about how prayer affects reality, but I have always felt that. I never believed the pregnancy was an answer to prayer - and I don't believe the miscarriage was imposed on us by God.

My big question, really, is why human beings get given life in the first place. Because I do believe this comes from God. But I wonder whether it's something I can be grateful for.

That said, there are blessings here. A new-found ability to take each day as it comes. The sense of responsibility about planning ahead has lifted. Maybe not permanently, but for this moment. The future might be good or bad and I can't control that. But I'm sure we will get through it, either way.

Secondly, other people. Be that the catholic priest who led our retreat on a holiday booked, by chance, for the week after the miscarriage. Or the local friends who have suddenly crowded round to cry for us, offer company and practical help.

What matters, ultimately, in the hard times is that the people who are by your side do not leave. They do not leave.