My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend


Nevermind the . . . ?

Monkey Gone to Devon

Sweet for Sour Apple

PJ Hardly

You Remind Me of the Babe

Like a Lead Balloon

La Belle Epoch

Random Chaotic Ramblings

The Last Tuesday

Your New Favourite Band

The Revisionist

Ones to watch: Jackson Griffith

The Perfect Mix Tape

The Comeback Kid?

An Ending


This blog Is Closed (for now).

Never Complain, Never Explain? Nice Idea But Not for Me


Author Note

Nevermind the . . . ?

OK, I may not have been born yet when Kurt Cobain died (hey, does that mean I could be his reincarnaton? I’ve got the right hair for
if nothing else) but have you LISTENED to
lately? That’s Nirvana’s breakthrough second album, in case you
are unlucky enough not to be familiar with it already. It was released in 1991, but I swear if it came out tomorrow it would still sound new.

Let’s not forget that Nirvana were the most groundbreaking band for a whole generation
. I can only imagine what
it must have been like when
really was brand new, released into an unsuspecting world of 80s pop, a time when the edgiest rock scene still consisted of Guns N’ Roses and
similarly big-haired buffoons.

I’m not saying there’s nothing good around these days – that would be stupid (and, hello? Have you heard of Grimes, or the Internet, or Nando’s, or
any of the other excellent stuff that wasn’t even around in 1991?) I’m just saying I’m really, really happy to live in a time when I have the luxuries of modern life AND Kurt
Cobain’s back catalogue at my fingertips, to ransack to my retro little heart’s content.


As usual, Chew – you are the voice of someone else’s generation. And that’s why you’re pretty unique.


Chew, tell Seymour to stop being such an enabler – you both need to get out more. If he tells you otherwise, don’t listen. Maybe you should
try an open relationship. Seymour, FYI, there’s no such thing as ‘pretty unique’. A thing, or person, is either unique or it isn’t. End of.


Aw, you guys. Et cetera. By which I mean STFU, both of you. Open relationship? Nish, I’m so telling Anna you said that. Anyway, I’m off

is starting and you know how I hate to miss it. I’m not even joking. I’ve got a date with E4 and a pack of Hobnobs. Living the dream.


‘No, but seriously – don’t you think that I might be pre-empting a big comeback? When all the hipsters are wearing them in six months’ time,
who’ll be laughing then?’

‘I will,’ Nishi says. ‘In six months’ time, Chew – I will still be laughing. At you. Because you’re wearing those dungarees.’

‘But –’ I open my mouth to protest, even though I kind of suspect she’s right.

These dungarees aren’t really doing anything for me. Probably because they’re shiny leopard print, frayed at the edges and have a crotch that’s veering perilously close to
looking like I’ve done a poo in it. Possibly, at some point in this garment’s weird life, somebody has.

I give it one last go. ‘You don’t think it has just a teensy Debbie Harry at CBGB’s sort of a vibe to—’

‘No, Chew,’ Anna interrupts, accepting no arguments. ‘Nishi’s right. Just . . . no.’

‘Now take them off,’ Nishi adds. ‘We’ll meet you next to household tat, OK?’

I close the curtain of the makeshift changing room and take one last look in the mirror. I’m not too bothered about the fact that my arse looks approximately the size of a small country.
Well, I kind of am, if I’m honest, but I try my very best not to think about it. I bring other skills to the table, so there’s not much point wasting my life wishing I looked like some
dreamy Alexa Chung type. It’s never going to happen – sad but true – so I’m pretty sure that coming to terms with the truth this early on in life makes me about 37% more
productive. Whenever I catch myself obsessing – about my wayward weight, my lack of cheekbones or my weird knuckles – I remind myself that it’s wasted time I could be spending on
my blog, or learning Arabic, or eating a delicious pizza. It doesn’t always work, but I’m nothing if not a trier.

Anyway, chub aside, I am most definitely bothered about the fact that I don’t look cool. In any way, shape or form. I look like a demented toddler. I am forced to admit that my friends are

So I begin the laborious task of peeling myself out of the second-hand dungarees – worryingly their synthetic fabric is already making me a bit sweaty – and back into the pale blue
second-hand nightie I’m currently wearing as a dress, along with white tights, ballet slippers and a ratty old-man cardigan. I’m going for Courtney Love circa 1990 – back when she
had her old-old nose.

This is to go with my current hair – the bleached-blonde disaster. I make a point of dyeing my hair a new colour once a fortnight at the very least. I try to go for a strong enough
statement each time that I have to formulate a completely new look around it. Sometimes I even try out a slightly different personality. I don’t have the pain threshold for piercings, and my
attention span is way too short for a tattoo. The idea of something that lasts forever scares me. Hair dye – bright, brash, but not a long-term commitment – is the ideal mini-rebellion
for the essentially cowardly girl. Everyone notices it and comments, but if you really don’t like it, all you have to do is stay in and wash your hair ten times in a row. Better yet, dye it
another colour over the top.

‘Hang on a minute – did you say household tat?’ I shout from behind the curtain. ‘You two aren’t
already, are you? You’ve only been going out
for about five minutes.’

Fully dressed again, I push the curtain aside, to find that there’s nobody around to hear me. Anna and Nishi have already disappeared out of sight. The charity shop is almost silent, and
the only person I can see is the old lady behind the till, who is giving me evils like I’m about to stab her for her pension cheque. I smile at her as sweetly as I possibly can as I hang the
hideous dungarees up where I found them. I make sure that they are in exactly the right place and very, very neat – showing that the younger generation can in fact be courteous and

I find Anna and Nishi tucked away in a corner, examining a vintage tea set.

‘It’s been four months actually,’ Anna says – unlike me, waiting until I’m standing next to them, and using her indoor voice.

‘And you’re already buying shared crockery.’ I sigh. ‘That must be true love.’

‘Hey, what does a lesbian take on the second date? A removal van.’ Nishi cackles at her own joke.

‘Am I allowed to laugh at that?’ I ask seriously.

‘No,’ Anna tells me, giving Nish a cautionary look. ‘Because it’s not funny. Anyway, how long have
been going out with Seymour?’

I suppose I ought to know this. I have to think hard, and I’m still not sure.

‘Well, I must have known him properly for nearly a year, I suppose. Because when we met him at that party it was definitely summer – I remember because I had on that yellow playsuit
I got in Beyond Retro. You know, the one with the palm-tree pattern that looks a bit like something Lucille Ball might have worn in an
I Love Lucy
Hawaiian holiday special. I have no idea
when we actually started going out. Ask him – he’s way more likely to remember the specifics.’

‘Oh, he’ll definitely remember the exact date. He’ll probably remember what he was wearing and every single witty remark he made.’ Once again Nishi cracks herself up.
‘Come on, don’t look at me like that – you know what Seymour’s like. He’s quite . . . self-involved, isn’t he?’

‘I’m obviously drawn to self-involved characters,’ I say sanctimoniously. ‘I seem to be surrounded by them.’

Nishi, clever as she is, doesn’t turn a hair at this. ‘Hey, I’m just looking out for you. That’s what best friends are for. Keeping things real.’

Anna and I look at each other and roll our eyes fondly.

‘Chew’s right, Nish – let’s go and get some food,’ Anna cuts in, diplomatic as usual. ‘I’m starving.’

Unbelievably we leave the charity shop empty-handed. This is almost unheard of, but it’s been a slow day for chazzing. At least my mum will be pleased – she doesn’t understand
our ‘morbid fixation on dead people’s crap’. She’s always trying to throw my stuff out when she thinks I won’t notice, or she decides she’s going to ‘draw
the line’ at taxidermy, or that scary Victorian doll I once brought home.

We troop across the road to our favourite cafe, Macari’s. It’s like a cross between a school canteen and a 1950s diner. We grab our favourite booth and take it in turns to go up to
the counter and order. The others get baked potatoes, but I feel like I want to have at least some indulgence in my life on a Saturday afternoon, given the failure of our shopping trip and the fact
that I still have a hard-earned tenner burning a hole in my pocket. So I order cheesy chips, an ice-cream sundae, a chocolate milkshake and also a Coke because I am thirsty.

‘Impressive,’ Nishi notes with a sarcastically raised eyebrow.

She’s right, even if she does have a slightly smug attitude and a worrying obsession with kale. By the time I’m done, I feel sick. I make sure to leave one overcooked brown chip and
exactly half of one ice-cream wafer, so that it’s like none of it actually happened; I didn’t finish all that food, so it doesn’t count.

‘What are we doing next?’ I ask, slurping air from the bottom of my milkshake.

‘Falling into a diabetic coma?’ Nishi suggests.

I’ve known Nishi since we were five. We’ve been best friends since junior school. We’re more like sisters by this point – I’m an only child and Nish has all
brothers. By this, I mean that we argue like siblings and don’t feel any need for good manners or common courtesy around each other. I feel totally myself with Nish, in a way I don’t
always in the outside world. Nobody else quite gets the two of us.

However, I am properly delighted that she and Anna have got together. They met online, on a Riot Grrrl message board; then it turned out that Anna lives really near us, even though she’s a
year younger and goes to the fancy all-girls school on the other side of town. Sometimes if we have a free afternoon Nishi and I try and convince her to bunk off and hang out with us, but
she’s far too strait-laced and we’re not exactly major rebels, so we usually make do with going to Macari’s or the noodle bar together at lunchtimes or after school. Anyway,
Anna’s always embarrassed about us seeing her in her navy-blue school uniform when we can go to college in our jeans. Or revolting second-hand nylon nightdresses in my case.

Even though – as I have just been reminded – we have only known Anna for the past four months, she fits right in. It’s great having her in our tiny little gang. They
don’t make me feel like a third wheel, and it’s like we’re kind of a family, as I’ve been there with them since the beginning. I feel a bit like their child or something. A
slightly overgrown child who will probably be living with them when she’s thirty, eating all their food and not giving them a moment’s peace. Actually that sounds like a pretty good
plan for my future adult life – I must suggest it to them; maybe they can get a house with a spare room for me one day.

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