Friday, March 02, 2012

Martin Carr

I am working again, thankfully three days a week, semi-retired. I am away from home for twelve hours each day I go to work. Those days feel very long for a tired old sod like me.

But now I'm up and at 'em, there's more time for reading. I am currently reading Patrick deWitt's brilliant The Sisters Brothers, savouring each short chapter. The book I read before this was Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Woman. To give you some idea of just how likeable Caitlin is, I've filched the following paragraph:

"Whilst motherhood is an incredible vocation, it has no more inherent worth than a childless woman simply being who she is, to the utmost of her capabilities. To think otherwise betrays a belief that being a thinking, creative, productive and fulfilled woman is, somehow, not enough. That no action will ever be the equal of giving birth."

Caitlin is a mother but is a feminist. She believes that all women have the right to determine what they want out of life and go for it. When Caitlin got married, she didn't think it was going to be the best day of her life. She wanted something low key. Her and her mates and her family could treat it like a laugh and get pissed in the pub.

So did she? No, she let herself and her gender down by getting married in a former monastery in Coventry, two days after Christmas. It is a disaster! An absolute disaster!

Caitlin just doesn't cut it as a bride. She is too weird, too indie. Her friends are just too alternative to fit in at such an occasion. The couple's first dance is 'Ask' by The Smiths! Her friend Dave offers some ecstasy to her father-in-law! One bridesmaid is a six foot two gay man! A six foot two gay man! Another bridesmaid is "rocking a tattoo of a dolphin saying 'Fuck'." Literally "rocking" the motherfucker!

So Caitlin is married and starts a family with her special husband and they have a couple of special children. Although her first labour was pretty horrific, she wouldn't have missed it for the world, it made her stronger and there is nothing in this world like that wonderful unconditional love between a mother and her child.

But being a feminist, Caitlin passionately believes what she says in the above excerpt. A "thinking, creative, productive and fulfilled woman" without a child is just as worthy as one with a child. A Caitlin Moran without a child would have been the equal of the Caitlin Moran we see before us now, a Twitter goddess with all those prodigiously creative, hilarious, intelligent, unique middle aged friends who make each other laugh, cry and give the likes of us an insight into the way life can be lived if you really have no bars to your teenage ambitions.


  1. I think being married to Piers has distorted her perspective.

  2. I don't know, these journalists who keep it in the family!

  3. Arabella8:09 PM

    I loved The Sisters Brothers. Waiting a while before reading it again.
    I read a paragraph by CM, while waiting at the hair salon. It was in a magazine, about running and fairly amusing. No desire to read it again.

  4. I suppose I wouldn't have bothered reading her book if she wasn't one of the Twitter inner circle. Her articles are behind a paywall which makes her easier to ignore.

  5. Anonymous1:02 PM

    I went to a book swap a few weeks ago and I picked up Moran's book. I know I'd enjoy it. I'm a dad, but being a father hasn't made me have the slightest interest in other people's children, or become a jot more child-centred than I was formerly.

    There was quite a bit of free wine at the book swap and I put the book down and lost it.

  6. How long is your commute?

  7. Looby - That's the trouble with free wine.

    MJ - Door ro door, an hour and a half in the morning and an hour and forty minutes in the evening. I like my lay in the next day.