She Who Must Be Watched Like A Hawk In Case She Bites Someone and I honeymooned on Grand Canaria, just a hop, skip and bloody long swim away from the coast of Morocco. About a day and a half into our two week trip I managed to come down with an ear infection of mastadonic proportions. Expensive foreign antibiotics and no alcohol for a week. And a considerable amount of discomfort between the ears. Then, at last, came the day of wonder and joy: a swift trip past the timeshare touts, “Hoy, mate, d’you speak English?”, and into the doctor’s surgery – ears syringed while you wait. Sudden freedom! Sound! An absence of pain! And a kidney dish full of nasty brown earwax. (bear with me, this is going somewhere)
That evening we went out on the town. Dinner and drinkies, ending up in a Karaoke bar with a lovely view of the sun, sinking over concrete speckled building sites. More drinkies, bit of the old singing and then on to somewhere else, all the time marvelling at the twin joys of alcohol and hearing. The last place we stopped at was having a Karaoke competition. Up gets Stuart and sings an song, other people do likewise, through to the ‘semi-final’ we go. Some woman in a leotard gets up and does the theme tune to Flash Dance, complete with “whoo!”s and leg kicks and “I wanna dedicate this to everyone in the audience: I love you all!” You get the picture. The long and short of this tale of embarrassment is that the aforementioned Whoo-er was awarded a free banana-based cocktail and everyone went home happy. Except for She Who Is Filled With Righteous Indignation. How dare they give the free banana-based cocktail to that charlatan! Could they not see that her husband was infinitely superior in the singing department? Fiona is very, very loyal. Especially with a drink in her ;}#
Imagine then her reaction upon reading Matthew Lewin’s hatchet job in the Guardian.
Now, I’ve always been a little bit bemused when people in the public eye, who’ve courted publicity and the attention of the media in order to get where they are, then turn around and complain when that same media bites them on the ass.
I’m going to have to stick my hand up here and admit that I really didn’t consider this kind of thing happening to me when I went out to get the book published. Naïve, yes, stupid, probably. Trouble is: that shit HURTS! Nothing like some complete stranger rubbishing your work in front of millions of readers to put the shine on a weekend. And yes, I know I shouldn’t give a toss about what reviewers think (unless they like the book of course), but I still do. Maybe I’ll be able to just shrug this kind of thing off after I’ve got a couple of books out, concentrate on all the good reviews and ignore the bad, but I get the feeling it’s always going to sting. But then that’s what you get for playing the game, right?
And now that you’ve had the whine, here’s some cheese: