Raw Meat .. Nicola Batty's Newsletter.

Monday, November 06, 2006

History Matters RM#74

ONE DAY IN HISTORY – 17TH OCTOBER copyright Nicola Batty © 2006

This is hardly an insignificant date for me – 17th of October being the day after the birthday of my greatest hero and mentor, Oscar Wilde. So first of all I’ll say “Happy Birthday” to him, for he is always sitting along side me while I’m at the computer… as I am everyday, because I’m a writer! I’ve written several novels about history which is one of my pet subjects, resurrecting the past and also characters from the past. I think this is one of the most important aims in my writing, using history as a starting point, and then layering upon it with fiction. In this way anyone can bring the past to life, as I – and everyone else taking part in this project – are trying to do. I wish that people from long ago had left accounts of every day life such as this… especially people in Ziggy. I must explain that Ziggy is my wheelchair so he is also always along side me as well as Mr Wilde. So you can see that there are quite a few of us trying to get through your door at the same time – not an easy task!

I have to mention Ziggy here, though I don’t generally like to talk about him as I don’t think my wheelchair is very relevant to my writing – but I think people in the future will be fascinated to hear about attitudes towards me and Ziggy today. Can you imagine how a Victorian Ziggy person’s account of the day would have read? It probably would have been incredibly boring and yet fascinating at the same time (if that’s possible).

So then, I began my day with the usual getting up routine, helped by my constant companion, the long-suffering Andy. When we had had enough of each other he left me with Ruth, my lovely helper, who was telling me about how she had been forced to walk here from Chorlton (about 2 miles) because she had lost her bike!! Afterwards we went upstairs as usual, on the computer writing my novel – or perhaps novels, because this one may turn out to be something of an epic! If you want to see more about my writing please look up my website But to continue with the day, I wrote another chapter of the Victorian novel. I was interrupted just before I reached the end of the chapter by the unexpected arrival of my twin sister Suzanne with her Alsatian, Storm in tow. Of course I was very happy to see her – though Andy had forgotten to tell me that she was coming! Not to worry… we took Storm and Jack (my 13 year old son, who had come home from school) to the local park, which was pretty good – if somewhat brief! It was really nice to be with Jack and Suzanne – they are very close since Suzanne was present at Jack’s birth which I think must give them a special bond! Suzanne was telling me about her poetry book which is going to be called The Barking Thing when it’s published by Bloodaxe soon. Jack was chattering non-stop to Suzanne all the while…which was alright, because they never see each other – but I couldn’t get much of a look in! When we returned home, Jack disappeared upstairs to his Playstation while we sat around and discussed tea pots! Andy had found an Eastenders (the TV soap opera) teapot in the attic which was actually quite tasteful considering it was shaped like the Queen Vic pub! It was quite interesting for me to run my fingers over it and get some impression. By the way, I should explain that I’ve pretty much lost my sight over the past five years.

Suzanne gave Ruth a lift home later and Andy set to work making the dinner which was quiche and salad. I amused myself as usual in the evening by listening to some music on cd while Jack watched telly and Andy was on the computer sorting out his blog which he’s fairly obsessed with at the moment. Jack was being very helpful to me for once – he kept coming in and asking me if I needed anything! He must have been after something…

The day wrapped itself up in the usual manner with me waiting for Andy’s attention –he was obsessed with the internet, as I said! So, another day disappears down the plug hole of history.


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