the democracy of self-expression.


we have an Early Start today so while the sun rose we picked up email and GB sent the most Splendid clip of Patti Smith which Most enlivened and encouraged and warmed and engendered deep happiness – it’s here because we thought you’d love it too.

especially the bit where she talks about the democracy of self-expression and being able to get your work out Into the World and bypass the large corporations’ control to connect and speak and share and listen to others……………..and just concentrate on building and keeping a good Name – yes.


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and now we must write a thousand words before breakfast (well, we already snuck in a large cup of coffee and a plain Italian cracker, just to keep us going) of The House on Church Row because Charlotte is wearing a Burberry Macintosh, armed with an umbrella (it’s a very English novel, you see) and is having a conversation with the ghost of Annabelle’s dead sister in the churchyard – no, we had No Idea that would happen either – but it’s jolly good fun.

and then we will return to Wrestle with a PayPal button so we can launch our little shop (of our photographs as poster prints) before our Show in NYC and enjoy the fruits of the democracy of self-expression, as it were.

here’s where we Left our scene – we shall return….(sorry about the use of cigarettes et al but they just started lighting up, we had no control over them and certainly cannot dream of censoring the characters now they’re talking up a Storm)

The cigarettes burned down and Charlotte carefully scrunched it out on the bottom of the fence and handed it ceremonially to Marion who disposed of it. Charlotte was about to walk away and then she decided she could not resist. “How’s your ghost problem?” she said, wickedly. Marion just laughed. So the Agency tracking machines were even more sophisticated than she remembered. And then a chill ran through her veins. Why was the Agency bothering to update their tracking machines to denote the supernatural? What were they getting into?

Charlotte went back into the house and could hear voices outside. She opened the front door and saw her son and daughter-in-law huddled on the doorstep. “Did you get locked out?” she said, imperiously.

“Shut the door mother,” said Simon, firmly.

His mother was so shocked that she just closed the front door. Annabelle looked up at Simon lovingly. “I’m still going to get a job, even if you become deliciously masterful around your mother.” Simon sighed and hoped that it would pass. Annabelle had never had a job. She had no idea how boring it was to go to an office and endure the politics and the sucking up and the machinations of hideous power plays.

“What kind of job?” he said, suddenly wondering what on earth she was going to do for a living.

Annabelle looked into the middle distance. It was not the right time to tell him that she’d accepted Marion’s offer to become Art Director on Dorian’s creative team. They’d have breakfast first. The bandage around her throat suddenly didn’t feel so restrictive. Her scar was healing nicely, like the rest of Annabelle Jones.

Upstairs Charlotte was packing a small bag with her Agency tools and deciding which shoes to wear to meet a ghost. She decided on a pair of dark moss green clunky shoes from Hobbs. They went well with her dark Macintosh. She tied a headscarf under her chin but then removed it – slight overkill on the Miss. Marple look.

Annabelle and Simon were eating breakfast in the kitchen so she slipped past, left a note on the credenza that she’d be back for supper, and grabbed an umbrella by the door. It did look like it was going to rain, after all. But she also thought she might need a weapon.

Elyse was lying on an unmarked gravestone at the far end of the Churchyard. She did not want to die. She knew she was already dead. But not dead like these poor bastards. Not six feet under some stone monstrosity that one’s family picked out. In the morning sunlight she was completely translucent. Her visibility was fading fast as the moon waxed. She had a day left. Better make it count. Her eyes were closed so she did not see Charlotte approach brandishing an umbrella.

“You must be Elyse,” said Charlotte, a little unsure as to the correct opening gambit with a ghost.

Elyse sighed. What fresh hell was this, as her heroine Dorothy Parker, used to say? Actually that thought made her feel better. If she was really truly dead, she might get to meet Dorothy Parker. She turned over on her stomach and looked up at this Home Counties vision in sensible shoes and an even more sensible Macintosh. “Are you threatening me with that umbrella?” she laughed.

It broke the ice. Charlotte smoothed down her Macintosh and sat down on the grave and eyeballed Elyse. “Why are you here?” she said.

“Who wants to know?” said Elyse, warily.

9 thoughts on “the democracy of self-expression.

  1. Ooh, I must admit that I am happy to be back in the land of internet primarily because I am addicted to the goings on at Church Row!

    I did not yet listen to Patti Smith intone but thought that you might appreciate this litte tidbit: I saw her perform here in Arles at the “Theatre Antique” or Roman Amphitheatre under the stars. She performed in the “orchestra” with no discernible line between herself and the audience, which, while seated, slowly inched closer and closer. Finally, a poor schmuck with a big camera was a bit too close for comfort and PS told him first to “f*ck OFF!” and then when that didn’t work, took a big swing of a kick towards his lens. That did the trick…

  2. Loved a lot that particular part that goes saying “democracy of self-expression and being able to get your work out Into the World and bypass the large corporations’ control to connect and speak and share and listen to others……………..and just concentrate on building and keeping a good Name ” ….

    really tells the truth ….

do say something - do :-)

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