Call the Fashion Police

Today I received a text from a friend asking if we’d like to come over for a bite to eat, so as, Let the Rhythm Get You, the Megatone Records classic by, Touch and Go plays, I reply in the affirmative. The remainder of the day passes without incident and it’s soon time to get ready to go out. Now you have to bear in mind that we are still living on what is essentially a building site, so it’s a strip wash at the outside tap, a shave in the washing up bowl with hot water provided by the kettle and hair washing bent over the ancient washing tub out the front. Oh the joys of house restoration. (I have now learned the times the school bus passes, a semi-naked Englishman at the outside sink, is not what a bus full of kids want to see.)

So with most of my clothes and shoes boxed up and stacked in the darkened space that is due to become the bathroom, I have a small amount of clothing that is worn, washed, worn, washed etc. So small is my wardrobe, that I’ve not really paid attention to what is on the dust free (ha! that’s a laugh) pile of washed clothes. There’s only twenty-minutes in which to dress and leave if I’m to be punctual for our dinner date and the options do not look good.

There’s a pair of what I call my, One Direction trousers, two pairs of balled-up socks: yellow or purple and a red or a blue shirt. I hunt around for shoes and cannot find any, only the pink canvas pumps that I’ve been wearing of late. I’m shouted at to get a move on and with a less than friendly reminder, it’s pointed out that we no longer have time to pop into Eurospin to buy a bottle of prosecco to take with us.

So I hurriedly dress, slipping on the socks, wriggling into my green, One Direction trousers and then receive a look that Medusa would have been proud of. “Are you going out like that?” I’m asked, I look down and shrug before saying, “This is all I have that’s ironed. This and my Orange Ted Baker pyjama bottoms and a yellow vest.”

As we climb into the car, the Oh says, “It’s a good job we’re not going out in public.”


There’s a siren in the distance, could it be the fashion police, or has Gok Wan just collapsed with apoplexy.


Tuesday 15 January 2013 – Regular readers of my blog know that when I’m working, I have music playing in the background. It doesn’t often distract me and serves to stop me feeling the seclusion, writer’s must feel. Yes, being a writer is a solitary profession, but that jangle of noise behind me somehow helps to keep me focussed. The other day I was sat at my laptop punching the keys, creating new experiences for my imaginary character when a song shuffled forward and took over my concentration.

Oddly enough it’s a song that doesn’t play on my iPod often, but it grabbed my attention enough to have me leave my seat and stand listening, head bobbing as it played. The song in question was, Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las.

Ask anyone to name a song by this famous girl group and you can guarantee it’ll be the teenage, tragedy, Leader of the Pack. The group was actually made up of four girls, but they always appeared on stage and on television as a trio. The Shangri-Las consisted of two sets of sisters, Mary Weiss, who was the lead vocalist, Betty Weiss and twins, Marge and Mary Ganser. r-2563769-1290638113

Originally, Leader of the Pack had been written for another girl group, The Goodies. But the producer George Morton needed a follow up single for the Shangri-Las who had recently charted with the song Remember (Walking on the Sand). When the song was first released, it was banned on the BBC; executives thought that the storyline would encourage delinquency and rival gang fights between Mods and Rockers. Despite this, it charted and reached number eleven in the British charts. It charted twice again reaching, number three in 1972 and number seven in 1976. By this time the ban had been lifted and song received radio airplay,

There have been a plethora of cover versions of the song, people from Bette Midler to rockers Twisted Sister, even camp comic Julian Clary has had a bash at the song. What greater compliment can a song-writer/singer have, than other artists wanting to perform and record your work, I wonder how many One Direction or Cheryl Cole songs will receive such accolades?

But back to me. As the sound of the motorbikes wheels shriek on the rain-slickened road, I press repeat and sit down and savour this classic once again before returning to my writing.