We’re by the sea. The sun is muted, thwarted by the murky clouds. It’s cold, but she insists on having the large glass doors wide open. The house is shabby, in that old money sort of way. Wellington boots should be by the door, but this dusty creation would never wear them. She is stuck in the glamour and extraordinary unreality of the 30s. Pre World War Two, extravagance, excess and thin English lips. A cigarette permanently propped at the end of a black stick. She looks at me, through my dreams and sprinkles ash on them. Her kaftan type, green creation softly billows in the sea’s breeze, and as I look at her, I am filled with awe, respect and despair. I quietly wonder where she gets her tobacco from, when she never leaves the house. But of course, she isn’t real.
“Oh darling! Why would you undertake such a task? Why not get yourself a real job sweetie? Wouldn’t that be better that all this, this LACK of everything and hard work? I know that Sherry and Simon think that you are some sort of, what do you call them? Blogger! Yes that’s it. That you just blog all day, with no repercussions. Oh darling, I know that you do more than this, but I mean, you could have a house by now if you’d chosen differently. Do you think anything could possibly come of this? Is it too late to be something a little more – substantial?”
This is quite an outburst for her. Normally she just observes, with only the occasional raised eyebrow, or extra thinning of the lips. Once or twice she has shown the glimpse of a smile. But mostly, she watches. Imprisoned and inherently glamourous, I think she wants to be free, but until then, she ages slowly. Waiting for me to do something better. Hearing her say the word ‘blog’ had made me recoil. Without intention, I am old in my opinions too, and a blog doesn’t seem to do justice to what I hope to do. On the back of my flinch, came a fresh indignant attitude however. I want to write a book, but first I want to start a magazine.
Of course, she would be confused as to this flippery and frittery. What am I contributing to society? But she would approve of its printed format. Of the leaps and bounds female reading has made since the serialisation of Jane Austen novels. In terms of contributions to readers, I would jump to the same empty conclusions as she. Most magazines these days, have utterly failed to really get me by anything other than my own insecurities, ineptitude to tick off a female created to do list and played to my desire to own more and look much better. Commentary and opinion is good, but what about investigations, really thought provoking pieces? – Not real life ‘stories’ or token pieces on a country’s hardship – unless done thoroughly/less sensationalist – and new fashion designers, clothes you can wear, beautiful photography of where we live and holidays that don’t require your whole salary. She, you and I may shudder at this next statement but: I want to inspire, illustrate and embrace life for women and what they HAVE, as well as understanding what we don’t. The lives of you, me, them and less on THEM.
“We are beautiful” I tell her.
“I want us all to know this. To have a printed, real life magazine that will be read from cover to cover. When we trundle off to the bathroom and look in the mirror after reading it – we, they, you and I – will not criticise or vow to change, but be filled with the visions and words of this magazine, shining through their bright eyes. I don’t want a house, I want to have all of us to feel alive for now. For life.”
She lights another cigarette, inhales deeply and turns to face me. She looks me in the eye and suddenly I’m in a turquoise chariot, riding back to my desk. Another meeting fades into the distance.
**This is all true. I am very serious about starting a magazine. Hopefully with Emily Burt: aka Handmade By Emily. I would love to know what you think about this idea. Do you think it is a good one, or completely mad? Have you got anything you would like to see in a magazine? Comments below, I would love to hear yours. Thank you.**