Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I have a slight fantasy about this blog, which is that really it is all about the abstract. I am writing for you about politics, the war in Afghanistan, the very core of cooking, the fast evolving nature of Twitter, the complexity of being female in a post-feminist world. See how plausible and important it all sounds. It is one of those things about which people say: good on paper. Which is an irony in itself, because of course none of this comes anywhere near paper. It is merely words on a screen, flying out onto other screens, whose locations I cannot know.
The curious thing about having a blog which is not anonymous is that, in order to maintain some sense of privacy, I choose my subjects very carefully. I don't want to give everything away. I never wanted to do a diary kind of deal, partly because I did not think my life interesting enough - I am not a high class call girl or a politician or a climate change scientist - and partly because I wanted to hold something back. Also, almost my biggest terror in life is boring people. I sometimes think, in my more amoral moments, that I can forgive almost anything except wanton dullness, and one of the core beliefs of bores is that everyone wants to know about them. Besides, the whole point of this blog was that it was to be an extension of Backwards in High Heels, which was expressly not about Sarah and me, but about the complex, fascinating, almost impossible to trace female experience in the early days of the 21st century.
And it's all very well, but of course I have given you endless pictures of the dogs, talked of my cousin, my godchildren, my lovely old mum; I have given you childhood memories and lists of favourite foods, all of which you have put up with with the most astonishing good humour. Still, I have not quite done the one day at a time diary kind of thing. I am starting to think there might be some more of that, for many reasons. One is that I think a good blog gives something almost every day, and I cannot come up with a strongly expressed opinion each day of the week, however much I might shout at the Today Programme. The other is partly due to you, my dear readers. I know I do not always get it together to reply to all your incredibly kind and funny and supportive comments, but do not think for a moment that does not mean I do not appreciate every single one. And I do get the sense that this is a form of conversation, which is what I always wanted it to be.
So my new idea is that I am going to try and give you a little dash of prose each day, and it might be short, and it might not be highflown or even that polished, and it will certainly not be up to my own stupidly perfectionist standards, but maybe that is the point. One of the most vivid reasons that Sarah and I wrote Backwards was that we thought there was a terrible crushing perfectionist imperative out there in the media, in the zeitgeist, in the very air, that said to The Women - if you are not doing it immaculately, you are failing. We wanted to say, to shout: you can be your own flaky, quirky, absolutely less than perfect selves, and that is ALL RIGHT. Much as we sometimes love reading magazines, we wanted to say: you do not have to be like the women in the magazines.
Maybe it's something too about Christmas. Christmas is the women's festival. We are the ones who are supposed to get the perfect presents, cook the perfect turkey, decorate the perfect house, dress the perfect tree. We are the ones who make the parents-in-law happy, and pull out the best linen, and make the bloody lists. We are expected to be mythically organised. At this time of year, whether we have children or not, we are expected to conform to every stereotypical mamma; we must deck the halls and not take too many nips at the sherry. You know that I love the men, and categorically do not blame them individually for ten thousand years of patriarchy, but I must say that there is no equivalent masculine trope, at this time of year, of the harried lady, in her apron, making sure that every single thing is done.
So, in a celebratory sod the perfection spirit, I am going to see if I can give you a less than perfect but more frequent blog from now on. We shall see what happens. You are lovely honest people and if you hate it, you shall tell me soon enough. If you, like me, are feeling slightly less than Christmassy, a little grumpy, faintly baffled by the daily news, then you know where you can come. I warn you now: I have entirely lost my inner Pollyanna. But perhaps that is not the worst thing in the world. We are living in a mad, mad world, my masters, and it may just be time for me to throw off my traditional idealistic cloak and brace myself for the cold water of reality. Or not.