Raw Meat .. Nicola Batty's Newsletter.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nicola's December Editorial...

This month’s issue is a celebratory one for 2 reasons. Not only is it exactly 7 years since RAW MEAT began life but this issue is the 75th. So I suppose it’s a sort of anniversary involving all the 7s; which is a magic number anyway, according to the Harry Potter books. It seems more amazing to me that it should be 7 years since I wrote the very first issue back in December 1999… I can’t really remember it in detail! I can’t even remember who was helping me on the computer - it must have been Andy!! It should be interesting to read the first 50 editorials once they are collected together for Bites… which should be ready for publication in about February. I’ve just been discussing with my Dad the idea for the cover design which should be another work of art!
If this December issue is going to be a celebration, then I suppose I’m missing out the most obvious birthday… that of JC, if I believed he was a real person!! I suppose much of Christmas has become a bit meaningless now… it’s all corrupted by money and consumerism. But still, there is something to be said for this time of year being special, almost magical; one of coloured lights reflecting on the snow, and jingling sleigh bells etc (you see, I’m not a total cynic after all!)
Jack wants a video camera for Christmas this year because he’s become obsessed by films and film making. He’s got ideas of becoming either a director or a script writer or something along those lines. He certainly has plenty of ideas anyway! Recently he was talking about making an animated film about a bunch of gerbils. I don’t know if he’s got anywhere with this idea yet. Talking of films, I wrote a letter a few weeks ago to Stephen Fry who I’ve been a great admirer of ever since seeing him in Wilde, the Brian Gilbert film. I think I mentioned in the last issue that I’d seen a photo of him in the entrance hall when I stayed at Meadow House; apparently he lives quite close… so I thought I’d drop him a line and share our enthusiasm for Mr Wilde! Don’t know if I’ll get any reply…
Jessica and I watched yet another one of our Beatles videos last week; it’s number 7 (another number 7!) in a series of 8, so we’re pretty near the end of the Beatles’ story. In this video it was 1967/68 and they’ve just opened the Apple Shop on Baker Street. They gave away free apples at the grand opening and painted the shop psychedelic colours, only the bloody council objected so they had to paint it white!! SIGH… some things never change. John has just met Yoko and the rest of the band are getting really pissed off with her always being around. I wonder how much she had to do with the Beatles’ decision to split up? It was in the air anyway… you can feel that each member of the band was pulling in their own direction so that the final split was inevitable really. Anyway, this video involved The Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine, two of my favourites.

I had the weirdest feeling of déjà vu when I heard about the film of Magical Mystery Tour cause it was shown on black and white television – even though the main point of the film was its colourful psychedelic backgrounds and suchlike. I think I remember watching it on telly and feeling incredibly disappointed at what a boring film it was! Is this possible? I must have only been about four! I have another memory of The Magical Mystery Tour, which is a real one from times gone by. I once had a special book with stills from the film and the story which also included a single record with I Am The Walrus on it. I don’t know what became of this – I wish I’d kept it!
Another memory I have is of watching the moon landing at junior school. I don’t know if this is actually possible… Andy thinks I must be thinking of a different space program from the early 70s. But anyway, such details are irrelevant… for the thing that sticks in my memory is not the program itself but the actual telly the whole class watched it on, which was a brand new acquisition. Probably because I was a kid at the time, the TV assumes massive proportions in my memory. It was on huge stilts, which were then on wheels. There were doors across the screen which were made of rosewood or something with a beautiful smell… it’s very strange how smells always evoke memories more strongly than any other sense.
Going back to the subject of the psychedelic, I will share with you part of the dream I had last night!! It was especially significant for me because in my dream I was looking at some photos and the strength of the images outdid those seen by my eyes – that sense which is now lost, or pretty much so. I’m not sure that this makes much sense at all… but the thing was that the photos were of Australia, somewhere I’ve never been! My Aunt in Perth has described to me the white sandy beaches and all the amazing animals and birds there… this must have spurred on my dream. In it, the photo I was looking at came alive and the scarlet flamingos rose up out of the sea and flew away. It was a really psychedelic dream.
1890s COLOUR
I recently came across a dilemma when I was writing a bit of The Space Between… it was a bit involving Charles, the character based on Ricketts, the artist/ illustrator/ designer. It suddenly occurred to me that most of his illustrations I’ve seen have been in black and white. Does this mean that he never used colour, or are they just a black and white reproduction in my book? The thing is that Ricketts designed his own stuff and then got his designs printed, so he obviously would have had to keep an eye on the budget. Not like William Morris who could afford to get his fabrics printed in bright colours. I say this with confidence but I may be talking through my bottom… please do get in touch with me and correct me if I’m wrong. Don’t worry about doing this, I won’t be bitey! I’ve spent so long dithering about what to do; I’d welcome some advice. Apart from this, the novel is going really well. This next chapter will include the piece Arrested which you may remember from almost a year ago! Well, it’s finally found it’s place, though it will need a few additions.
As far as reading goes, Ruth and I are continuing with our crazy novel, My Dirty Little Book Of Stolen Time. Each chapter is incredibly long – about 100 pages – so we’re only on chapter 3. The main character, Charlotte, who is a nineteenth century prostitute from Copenhagen, travels forward in time to modern day London, where she meets and falls in love with some chap and takes him back to her own time. The book is quite wonderful; some of the ideas border on being slightly sentimental but are saved by their total craziness! It’s really exciting to read because virtually anything could happen…
Both Andy and I must have been feeling lucky yesterday because we both won prizes!! We went to a North west Ataxia Group (NAG) meeting in Liverpool, and I actually won the top prize on the raffle – amazing because I usually don’t win anything! My prize was a Famous Five style picnic hamper, complete with Christmas goodies like wine, Christmas pudding, cranberry sauce etc. Jack was especially made up with the luxury mince pies! Then when we arrived home, Andy discovered he’d won £10 on the lottery!! So we had a pretty good day, all in all!
However my luck wasn’t in when it came to getting some tickets to see a reunion of Genesis at Old Trafford Football Stadium. I was pretty excited when my mum told me about the concert – even though Peter Gabriel would not be with them, despite being in the original line up. Even so, I thought the concert would be well worth seeing… but then we discovered how much the tickets were going to cost: £125!!!! After I’d picked myself up off the floor, I started to rant (as did my mum)… “How can Phil Collins etc possibly justify charging such a price?? It’s not as if they need the money… who’s getting all that dosh anyway?” Needless to say, we didn’t take the matter any further, and are not going to the concert. I wonder if anyone will? One positive thing: I really admire Mr Gabriel now having nothing to do with the tour.
Thinking about plans for next year… as well as the appearance of Bites in February, I was thinking of publishing another of my novels. It won’t be The Turn of the Century Party as hoped, because this needs some more work on it which can’t be done at the moment because I’m so obsessed with The Space Between! So… perhaps Killing Time could be the next?! I haven’t discussed this yet with Andy, so I won’t say anymore about it! We’ll see what the new year brings.
We have realised that it's going to be difficult for existing readers to remember when to check this site, (writes Andy). So we have installed a mailing list form, for you to complete if you wish to recieve an e-mail each month, to let you know when we've updated the Newsletter.



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