Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surviving The Blues: Growing Up In the Thatcher Decade edited by Joan Scanlon (Virago Press 1990)

At the end of the three years, all of the few friends I had made in York moved to London. I traipsed after them, clueless as to what my next step should be. They were going into publishing, and taking secretarial or journalist courses, or going on to drama school. I did the rounds, dossing on everybody's floor (they all seemed to have a house in London) for months. There was a particularly curious stage during the Falklands War, when I camped at No. 11 Downing Street for a week. Geoffrey Howe's son was a friend of mine at York University. At this point I was a punk, with spiky, viciously backcombed blonde hair and a tendency to sport a particular pair of very attractive blue trousers, which unfortunately I had singed at the crotch with an iron: a large triangular singe in the exact formation of pubic hair. The security police, who stood constantly on guard, never failed to inspect my person whenever I returned to No. 11. The Falklands War was hotting up, and Mr Haig, the US Secretary of State for Defence was in negotiations with Margaret Thatcher. I sauntered down Downing Street in my short-sighted haphazard way, only to be met by a pack of reporters, awaiting news about war developments from No. 10. There was a most embarrassing scene when I had to knock at No. 10 and wait for an age to be allowed in, so that I could gain access to No. 11. The cameras stopped rolling after they spotted the trousers.
(Louise Donald from the chapter, 'A Deafening Silence'.)


Clare said...

Haven't read this for a long time! I used to work with Louise and she was quite a raconteur as you can tell from this piece! I also had a piece in this book - lovely to see it on your blog!

Clare said...

Great excerpt from Louise's piece. We used to work together and she was a great colleague. I also had a piece in this book!