The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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November 1997


Saturday 1st November

Mopey Dick was smoking clove cigarettes tonight. The barman came to investigate the weird smell.

Sunday 2nd November

Natalie Imbruglia is at number one with “Torn”. Ian thinks she’s quite fit. His condoms are still unused. I listened to Suicidal Tendencies’ Lights, Camera, Revolution album. The song “Alone” makes me cry. Mrs Butler came round with some magazines for Mum. I read the problem pages. There was; my husband says I’m boring in bed, my boss keeps flirting with me, my colleague keeps taking the credit for my work and men never seem to stay around long after I’ve slept with them.

Monday 3rd November

Today is the first day of half term. Jenni is doing early Christmas shopping day with her Mum. Ian is playing Doom with Matty. If I wasn’t such a resourceful and fascinating individual I’d be bored.

I practised dropping my knickers, stepping out of one leg and flicking them up into the air and then catching them. I’m hoping to not be boring in the bedroom, Dear Diary.

Tuesday 4th November

Sometimes when I listen to music it feels like I’m having a holiday in my head and all the bad stuff that buzzes around in it at the moment gets drowned out. I listened to Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves three times today.

Ian came round while I was putting the washing away (Mum said I have to help around the house because it’s half term). He made me laugh by putting my Wonderbra on and pretending to be a lady. I pinged his bra strap and called him my little cupcake. Then I patted him on the bottom. He giggled and said he wasn’t that kind of girl and he didn’t want me to get the wrong idea, then he flung himself on my bed and said “Take me! Take me! I can resist no longer”. I tickled him until we were both out of breath.

Wednesday 5th November

I went to a bonfire party at Jenni’s house. Her Mum asked me yesterday if I wanted to invite Mum, but she was at work. Pam said it must be very hard for us. I wondered what she talking about and then I remembered that Dad was dead. I didn’t feel like going to the party but I didn’t feel like being on my own either. It was good when I got there. We had sparklers (and wrote rude words with them) and some of Jenni’s brother Bruce’s friends were there. Bruce is four years older than us but Jenni talks to his friends like they are just normal people. One of them likes prog rock and has long hair. I’ll never see him again though because he is at university. Minty came over and told me how sad she was to hear that my Dad had died. I’ve now got used to hearing this. I’ve also got used to hearing myself say “It was a terrible shock, thank you for your kind words”. Each time I hear it, it gets realer and realer and realer.

Kerrang! wasn’t worth buying today. It has Bush on the cover. I bought Terrorizer instead because it’s got Motörhead and Venom. I think I’m going to stop buying Kerrang! and get Terrorizer instead. Everything dies, including my love of Kerrang!

Thursday 6th November

Jean came round this evening. She wondered if we had seen her and Josie’s cat Virginia. She thinks the fireworks startled her last night and she might be hiding somewhere. We looked in our shed, even though it was unlikely and we called out “Ginnie, Ginnie, Ginnie” but no luck. I said I’d keep a look out on my way to school tomorrow because sometimes Ginnie follows me down the street for a bit. Mum came home while we were looking and found the torch so we could look under the big bushes in the garden but still no luck. Mum invited Jean in for coffee and Hob Nobs. If you eat half a packet, are you left with hobs or nobs? Or are the biscuits distributed evenly in the pack so it goes hob, nob, hob, nob etc.?

Friday 7th November

Jean has found Ginnie. She must have come in through the cat flap in the middle of the night. She stopped me on my way to school to tell me and she thanked me for my help. I said “I’m so glad your Ginnie is okay. I always like to stop for a bit of a stroke and a fuss on my way home from school”. Mr Moffat from 108 walked past as I was saying this and gave us a very odd look.

I met Barry after he finished work. We went to the pub again. We played table football and had some chips. When I first met him I was too nervous to eat in front of him but I’m not now. He walked me home and we said goodbye at the massive hedge up the road from my house. It took ages to say goodbye. I didn’t really want to and he didn’t either. I think I could feel his youknowwhat through his trousers. I’ve actually started being able to talk to him, mainly about music but also about what I’d like to do after school and gigs I’d like to go to and books I’ve read.

Saturday 8th November

I love being outside at night. It smells of possibilities and excitement. I saw lots of fireworks on the way to the pub. If there is a heaven my Dad will be getting a great view. If there’s not then at least he is in no discomfort or pain. The pub was great. I sat next to T-Reg! He seems so different since he’s left school. I felt a bit bad enjoying sitting by him because of Barry. But me and Barry aren’t officially boyfriend and girlfriend (yet!!!)

Ian and I walked home together as usual. We paused in the park because he needed a wee. We sat on the bench for a bit and stared at the stars. Ian asked me if Barry ever pressurises me to have sex with him. I said no, he doesn’t, but I think he wants to have sex with me (based on his erection). Ian told me to remember that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.

Sunday 9th November

How do you know if a boy is willing to be your boyfriend?

Today I’m mostly listening to Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears.

Monday 10th November

Bloody Mr Moffat from 108 (excuse my language Dear Diary, but I am fuming) stopped Mum on her way to work to ask her if she thought my chatting unchaperoned to Jean was entirely sensible. He said young minds can be swayed by the exotic. Mum told him that we find Jean and Josie to be wonderful neighbours. He said wasn’t she concerned about their proclivities? Mum asked what proclivities and he ummed and ahhed and said they were of a mind not to marry. Mum said that was none of her concern or his, so long as they didn’t have loud parties and they kept their garden tidy. Mum doesn’t put up with all of Mr Moffat’s nonsense. She isn’t homophobic. She doesn’t approve of anyone enjoying themselves by having sex.

Mum said she is going to give me more pocket money and a clothing allowance. I’ve been asking for ages for a clothing allowance, like Jenni gets, but she said she couldn’t afford it. Now she is getting a pension from the jewellery company that Dad worked for. Because they were separated and not divorced she is entitled to it. I can’t be properly happy about getting what I want because of the reason why I got it.

Tuesday 11th November

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analysing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”
— Tupac Shakur

I should note that I’m not usually going to sort out my emotional problems by reference to the works of Tupac. It’s just that this particular quote seems useful. It was given to me by Donna Harlow. She doesn’t have a Dad either. He’s not dead, she just doesn’t know who he is. At least I got to know my Dad and had him for fifteen years, some people never even get that. Ian’s Mum is still alive but he never sees her. She is not interested in her sons and he lives with that fact every single day. People say nasty things about Donna, they say that she’s easy, but I think she is a lovely person, so what if she likes sleeping with boys? If people were honest they would admit that it’s only fear of the consequences (or shyness) that stops them from doing what she’s doing.

Wednesday 12th November

Janine Sackett did a flamethrower with a bunsen burner and a can of Lynx she nicked out of Mark Dobbs bag in Chemistry today. The supply teacher, Miss Ericson muttered “Dorothy Hodgkin” under her breath and went pale. She confiscated the Lynx and said no one was to turn on a gas tap this lesson because we’re doing theory not practice. Our class has seen off a whole load of Chemistry and Physics teachers this year. Baggers is made of stronger stuff and continues chucking Biology our way every week. Some of it even sticks in my head. Janine was dared to do it by Carina Norman. If Carina told her to jump off a bridge she’d probably do it.

Thursday 13th November

I ate some avocado for the first time ever today at Jenni’s house. It was quite nice.

Friday 14th November

Yesterday wasn’t the first time I’ve had avocado Dear Diary, it turns out that guacamole is made of avocado. I met Barry and instead of going to the pub we went back to his house because his Mum was out. We snogged on the sofa and he put his hand in my bra! Before he did I told him it was a Wonderbra and then I tried to tell him I was fifteen but he was too busy kissing me to listen! Then he moved pantwards!!! He had a visible stiffy almost all evening!

When I got home I stayed up late watching Airheads because I just couldn’t sleep. I was disappointed by Michael McKean, who was David St Hubbins in Spinal Tap, being Milo, a nasty radio station manager and by Judd Nelson*, the hottie from The Breakfast Club being Jimmie Wing, an evil record company executive. Brendan Fraser is very cute but not as cute as Barry. My own hand had to move pantwards before I could get any sleep. I know from the problem pages in Cosmopolitan that this is not a sin and that most women** do this.

*You know what they say about men with big noses, Dear Diary?

They need big hankerchiefs!

**Most women who read Cosmopolitan, I’m not sure about the readers of the People’s Friend because it doesn’t have a sex survey. It does have a story about a group of birds that live in a teapot.

Saturday 15th November

I told Jenni all about what happened with Barry last night then we went to the Green Man. She said I’ve moved to practice, not theory!

Sunday 16th November

I went to see Nanny Howard. She told me she had been to see a spiritualist and that Dad is safely on the other side and he doesn’t want us to grieve for him. He is in a wonderful place and he will see us again in heaven. Dad never believed in God, so it’s lovely that God let him go to heaven. But suppose the spiritualist is just telling Nanny what she wants to hear, like the white lies I tell her (thank you for the jumper, yes Aled Jones is handsome, no, I never have more than one drink).

Monday 17th November

Rubbish day for me today but a great day for Ian. He has got a date! Well, he thinks it’s a date. He’s going to the cinema on Friday to see Titanic with Natalie West.

I can’t stop thinking about what Nanny Howard said and I didn’t understand any of Maths today and I burnt my crispy pancakes. Also, do you think you can get pregnant by being fingered? Suppose the fingerer has just had a wank and he hasn’t washed his hands and then his sperms get in you? Sorry to be crude, Dear Diary, but this is an issue I need to clarify because my period is late. Also, Dear Diary, I should forewarn you that there are likely to be a lot of adult situations coming up so steel yourself for some mega romps with some hot metal men.

I listened to Slayer’s “Spill The Blood” and Entombed’s “Blood Song” in the hope that it’ll help.

Tuesday 18th November

Yes! I got my period! I celebrated by bouncing on my bed, having a mini mosh pit with Ozzy the bear and Mr Smurf. I was just doing some awesome windmill head banging when Mum came in and asked what all the noise was about. I told her I’d found a pound coin in my knickers drawer. She said it was nice to see me happy and gave me another pound!

Wednesday 19th November

Good things about being fingered:

Practice for actual sex

Might be able to use Tampax in future

Feels nice after a while

Reassurance that you’re normal “up there” (would a man mention it if you weren’t though?)

Bad things about being fingered:

Where will it lead?

Might get found out

Suppose your period starts at the exact moment you’re being fingered?

Miss Ericson surprised us all today by still being our physics teacher. Usually we get through one a week. She overheard Carina tell Janine that Peter Andre is hotter than the sun. She asked Carina how hot the sun is and she didn’t know (Carina, not Miss Ericson, obviously she knew or she wouldn’t have made a fuss about it, you’d look like a very shit Physics teacher if you didn’t know this). Jenni asked did Miss want the temperature of the sun’s core or surface? Miss said either. Jenni was the only one who knew. She watches The Sky At Night for fun with her Dad and Bruce.

I didn’t buy Kerrang! today. It’s all about Metallica’s Re-load album. I think I’ve most definitely grown out of Kerrang! I am now a mature Terrorizer reader. It’s still my habit to look at it in WH Smiths but my desire for it is moribund.

Thursday 20th November

The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for fifty years. I wonder what their secret is? Maybe Prince Philip amuses the Queen by putting her bra on and pretending to be a lady. If I was royalty I could get one of my servants to ask Barry if he wants to be my boyfriend. I could probably get him brought to me, wearing just gold boxer shorts and we could have a freezer full of Viennetta in our bedroom.

Ian asked me and Jenni loads of questions today about what he should do tomorrow when he sees Natalie. They are meeting outside the cinema. He wanted to know if he should pay for her and at what point should he try to snog her? Jenni said Natalie suggested going to the cinema so Ian was under no obligation to pay for her, but if he could afford to then it would be a nice thing to do. I said he’ll probably know when she wants to snog him because if she’s brave enough to tell him she wants to go to the cinema with him then she’s probably brave enough to ask for a snog.

Friday 21st November

I saw Barry tonight. We went back to his house. His Mum goes to bingo every Friday now. I told him I’d got my period and we mainly snogged. He put my hand on the outside of his trousers and I rubbed him! I thought about unzipping him. I told him I was a virgin and I was just about to tell him I was fifteen but we were disturbed by the doorbell. It was some Jehovah’s Witnesses. It took ages for them to go. They were quite effective in preventing any sinning unfortunately but I’m sure this is coincidence not divine intervention. If there is a god I’m sure he’s got much bigger things to worry about than if I’ve snuck a look in Barry’s pants. We snogged for ages at the massive hedge. I would love to be old enough to have my own place to live and the freedom to do what I want. If Jenni or Ian was dating someone they would be allowed in their room. Mum gets stroppy about my friendship with Ian so there is no way she’d understand about Barry.

I wonder how Ian’s date is going?

Saturday 22nd November

Michael Hutchence of INXS has been found dead in a hotel room. I love the song “Need You Tonight” and the weird names he gave his kids. I feel so sorry for his kids right now. I don’t mind being called Cleo even though some people think it’s a weird name. It’s one thing which my Dad gave me that I will always have. Mum wanted to call me something more common and popular. Jenni told me after he died that I would always have half of his genetic material.

Ian said his date was okayish but the film was truly rubbish, but Natalie thought it was wonderful. He said it was a romantic disaster (the film, not the date). Natalie is quite dull when you actually talk to her at length he said. She isn’t very interested in music or computer games. So Natalie West is unlikely to be the girl Ian favours with his first non solo sperm loss mission but Natalie Imbruglia is in with a chance.

Ella told Ian he needs a more mature woman. You didn’t need to be Mystic Meg to see that she meant herself.

Sunday 23rd November

I started crying today because we’d run out of Golden Syrup. I used to love sitting on the sofa with Dad eating Golden Syrup on toast. In the winter I’d bring my duvet downstairs and we’d snuggle under it. Sundays are the worst missing Dad days. I’d just about got used to him not living with us and I looked forward to seeing him every other Sunday. It was starting to feel normal. Mum had even started talking to him a bit and not being quite so arsey after seeing him. During the week I can sort of forget he’s dead, but on Sundays there is a massive Dad shaped gap. It’s always going to be there.

Monday 24th November

Miss Wallace told me today that there are two wolves fighting inside you. One is evil and is full of anger and lies and unhappiness, one is good and full of joy and beauty and truth and loveliness. The one that wins the fight is the one you feed.

I don’t think I need wolves inside me, but I’d be happy if Barry was!

I’ve just had a Twix. I think the two wolves might have had half each. How do you know which one you are feeding? Why is life so complicated?

Tuesday 25th November

Last night I dreamt that Dad and I were watching telly on the sofa. It was Russ Abbot’s Madhouse.

Should I go on the pill? I know I haven’t had sex yet but it’s bound to happen isn’t it? Also, it might make my boobs grow. I could tell Mum I want it to make my periods better. I’ve been reading about it in one of Mrs Butler’s magazines.

Wednesday 26th November

It’s Jenni’s birthday on Friday so me and Ian went shopping for presents for her. He bought her a book: I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire by P. N. Elrod. I got her a sew it yourself furry bat kit in Jacksons haberdashery department that she always looks at and some purple and black striped tights from Heelas.

Kerrang! this week is just full of Steven Tyler being sleazy so I wasn’t going to buy it but it’s got next year’s year planner in so I bought it. Next year has to be better than this year. Being sixteen is going to be a huge relief. I feel like an adult trapped in the age of a child.

Thursday 27th November

I had quinoa at Jenni’s but you say it “keen-waah”, how confusing is that? It sounds like a martial art or an exotic bird that David Attenborough might creep up on. It’s a very fancy name for something which doesn’t taste of much. We listened to Jack Off Jill’s Sexless Demons and Scars album and wrote our Gods lists.

My Gods list (international)

Pete Steele

Glenn Danzig

Christopher Lee

Rob Zombie

Max Cavalera

Rob Newman

Lars Frederiksen

Dave Mustaine

Dave Lister

Elvira Mistress Of The Dark

My Gods list (Reading)


Tyrannosaurus Reg

Jenni’s Gods list (international)

Pete Steele

Robert Smith

Trent Reznor

Marilyn Manson

Jessicka (from Jack Off Jill)

Twiggy Ramirez

Johnny Depp

Kat Bjelland

Tommy Lee

Kiefer Sutherland

Jenni’s Gods list (Reading)



Friday 28th November

When my underwear started commenting on the wildlife, I realised I had accidentally bought a David Attenbra!

I wrote this joke myself, Dear Diary. If Russ Abbot was still on telly I’d send it to him as an idea for a sketch.

Today is Jenni’s sixteenth birthday so Ian and I went round for dinner. Her brother Bruce and his girlfriend Minty were also there. We had spinach and ricotta cannelloni (Jenni’s current favourite) and chocolate fudge cake for dessert. Jenni is now old enough to buy cigarettes, get married and have sex. She could go on the pill without her parents being told. Famous people who share her birthday are Martin Clunes from Men Behaving Badly, Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club and Anna Nicole Smith (always in the Daily Mail because she once married a really old man probably for money but she said she loved him).

Mum bought me a Barbie advent calendar. It’s more pink than it is Christmassy.

Saturday 29th November

We went to the Green Man to celebrate Jenni’s birthday. Usually we just go to celebrate Saturday.

Sunday 30th November

How do people know which sex noises to make when? Should I try Tampax?

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