The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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April 1997


Tuesday 1st April

I spent all day at Ian’s house. It is always relaxed and quiet compared to my house. At home sometimes Mum is fine and at other times she gets angry about nothing and starts shouting about how I don’t appreciate all the things she does for me and how I’m just like my Dad. Terry had the day off work today. He is always nice to me and never makes me feel like I’m a nuisance. He has loads of nicknames for me: Ginger Tom, Goldilocks and Taylor (after Liz Taylor who was Cleopatra in an old film). Today Ian and I did a bit of our CDT coursework. We have to hand it in after Easter. It’s a technical drawing of the house we want to live in, on A3 paper. Terry tried to help. Ian’s house has a computer room and a room for playing guitar in. My house has a massive wardrobe and a cocktail bar. We have to do the garden too. Mine is having Cleopatra rose bushes. Terry made us cheese omelette and baked beans for lunch. In the afternoon we listened to some of Gav’s records. He has loads of stuff I’ve seen on the Green Man jukebox but not heard. Today we tried out Marillion’s Misplaced Childhood. It was too slow, apart from “Lavender” which is quite a good pop song. The trouble with liking thrash metal is you get impatient with other music because it takes so long to warm up.

Wednesday 2nd April

I went to the library today. I got Enid Blyton’s In The Fifth At Mallory Towers and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (I like the Ozzy song “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide”). I also got two books about gardens and one about houses to help with my CDT coursework.

I had Christmas pudding that Mum bought home from work, going cheap. It’s nicer when you have it at this time of year, at Christmas it’s just another similar to mince pies and Christmas cake thing.

I’m listening to Pop Will Eat Itself’s Box Frenzy album. I don’t even care that it’s not metal, it’s brilliant.

Thursday 3rd April

I went to Jenni’s today. Her Dad is letting her use the computer for her coursework. I asked Mum if we can get a computer. She asked what for? I said school work. She said there is a computer in the library for school work and pen and paper has worked fine for years, why change it now? She doesn’t like computers because she thinks they put people out of work. There are some new computer tills in the shop where she works stacking shelves and packing bags.

Ian doesn’t have a computer so he goes round Matty’s to play on his. He and Gav really want one. Jenni’s Dad only has one because of his job. I expect everyone will get bored of them soon anyway so there’s not much point learning how to use one.

Friday 4th April

Ian is knackered today because he was up late playing Doom. I am knackered today because I was up late reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I think it shows that you shouldn’t muck about in Chemistry.

Mum bought Fiendish Faces yogurts home from work. I had a raspberry one with a Bourbon biscuit dipped in it, it was lush. If I was in charge of yogurt pot design at the Fiendish Faces factory I’d do a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde two faced special edition yogurt pot.

Saturday 5th April

The Green Man was brilliant. Lex and Mopey Dick were out so Jenni was well chuffed. Mopey said to me “So I assume you’re virgo intacta?” and I said “No I’m Pisces, but I think all that horoscopes stuff is bollocks” and everyone laughed. Then later Jenni explained that he was asking if I’ve done it yet. For once I’m glad I didn’t understand, because I’d have gone red. I sat next to T-Reg and he told me he had quite a good view down my top! I was pleased he was looking. He smells so lovely it makes me lightheaded.

Sunday 6th April

I had to quickly finish an essay about Macbeth and his fatal flaws, ready to hand in tomorrow. If I’ve got a fatal flaw it’s shyness and small tits. Did Shakespeare ever cover this in his plays? No? Well then he’s not still relevant today is he? Miss Wallace says he is but I can’t see it myself.

Monday 7th April

Back to school, still a 32A. On my way home today I walked past the sports centre. Barry saw me and asked if I’d learnt anything good today? I said it was the same as usual, nothing as useful as bricklaying. I have learnt that I missed his lush face, Dear Diary.

I’m reading In The Fifth At Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton. I can’t believe that these girls are about my age.

“’Oh it’s good to be back again isn’t it?’ said Darrell to Sally. ‘I never laugh anywhere like I do at school, never!’”

They want to try going to the pub or watching Red Dwarf. They mainly get excited about swimming, horses and midnight feasts. Their school nurse is called Matron, which makes me think of Carry On films.

Tuesday 8th April

Donna Harlow is wearing a scarf because she has a massive love bite.

Something really embarrassing happened today. Ugh! I don’t know if I can even tell you, Dear Diary. I was walking to the shop in the rain and I walked past this man. As I was walking past a raindrop got in my eye and so I shut my eye, but it looked like I was winking at him! He smiled at me, a really big smile, and I walked to the shop as fast as I could then I stayed in there for ages pretending to look at things. How come my body is so stupid it can’t talk to people I like but will wink at total strangers who don’t even have long hair?

Wednesday 9th April

All the girls were doing a “Which Spice Girl Are You?” quiz today in Maths. I was tempted to join in just to avoid doing any work. I’d got stuck again. In Maths I’m not only mentally stuck, I’m also physically stuck between Mark Dobbs and Janine Sackett because Mr Kennedy decided to randomise the seating arrangement and not do the usual alphabetical order. Mark had a copy of Fiesta in his bag. I caught a glimpse of something hairy. I don’t want to be in Fiesta (Mum would go batshit crazy) but I’d like to look like I could be in Fiesta if I wanted.

The percentage of actual Maths done today was low. Mr Kennedy always begins the lesson by giving us a worksheet which he fleetingly explains. Then he sits at his desk and leaves us to get on with it. Sometimes he leaves the room for a while and everyone gets up and wanders around, chatting to their mates.

I went to Ian’s after school. We listened to Gav’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Into The Great Wide Open album. I think “Learning To Fly” is a great song.

I read some more of In The fifth At Mallory Towers. They are proud of things like their golden hair and their needlework but not once has one of them commented on what great tits she or another girl has. Also, none of them ever get their period.

Thursday 10th April

Maths was terrible today. We did an exercise where we had a hypothetical donkey tied to a pole in the middle of a field and we had to work out how much grass he can get to with a certain length of rope. Why make Maths harder with hypothetical donkeys? I hope Mr Kennedy gets reported to the hypothetical RSPCA.

Why do I need stupid GCSEs anyway? I bet Blackie Lawless hasn’t got GCSEs. Also, I bet when Chris Holmes joined WASP no one asked him about his GCSEs, they just asked could he drink vodka and could he play guitar, in which case I’m already fifty percent qualified.

Also, I caved in and did the Spice Girls quiz. Apparently I’m Baby Spice, the blandest spice of all.

Friday 11th April

I finished a project in Textiles today. I made an owl out of two pom-poms, some pipe cleaners, a diamond shaped red bit of felt and two gold buttons from Nanny Howard’s button tin. Textiles works better if you can afford to bring stuff in from home, otherwise all you’ve got to work with is what the school can afford to provide.

Ian asked me how important length was to women today. I said I wouldn’t snog anyone with short hair.

Saturday 12th April

Ian didn’t want to go out tonight until Xena Warrior Princess was over. She looks like Manowar’s sexy lady cousin. I asked if he’d set his armadillo on her. He said she would definitely get a mauling as long as she put her sword down first. She could probably chuck him over her shoulder and carry him off, he’s tall but skinny.

Lots of Meatloaf was played in the Green Man tonight (not by us, we have good taste). Mopey Dick said his palate was too refined to drink the cheap red wine most pubs serve. Lex said he is happy with snakebite and black. Ella asked Lex if Goths use black condoms. He said he always discusses contraception with the woman he is sleeping with and he’s never used a black condom. Lex kissed Jenni’s hand tonight when he was leaving.

On the way home Ian said when he asked about length yesterday he wasn’t talking about hair. I said he should ask Ella or someone who knows. I told him that sometimes in Mrs Butler’s magazines there is a problem about a man worrying he’s too small and also sometimes from a woman who says her boyfriend is too big, but the advice is always be reassuring if he thinks it’s small and relax and do it slowly if it’s big. He told me I am full of wisdom and hugged me for ages at the big hedge.

Sunday 13th April

I should probably have a favourite wine by now, in case I get asked out to dinner.

Me and Dad went to see Nanny Howard. It was sunny so we sat outside in her back garden. I had a can of Dr Pepper with a straw made of paper. Some of the stuff in Nan’s cupboard looks like it’s been there for decades. She asked me what I’d been doing and I said school and homework. I asked what she’d been doing. She said Derek Wilton had died. He’s from Coronation Street, Dear Diary, not a real person. She said it was very sudden and it makes you think. It didn’t make me think, but I don’t watch Coronation Street.

When I left Nanny gave me a pile of magazines to give to Mum and told me to give Mum her best wishes. Usually we don’t mention Mum. When I gave Mum the magazines and the best wishes Mum said “Well, she’s changed her tune”. I made Mum a cup of tea then I went upstairs.

Monday 14th April

Poem for Barry:

An Adonis with hair like Curly Wurlys,

I would do anything to be your girly.

I go out of my way to walk past your lair

And when you are not there, I despair.

Your tall figure of black T-shirted mystery

Makes me late for getting to Chemistry

Your denim jacket wraps you like I wish my arms could

If only my chatting up technique was any good

I’d fill your thermos with love, not tea,

If you would go out with me

Will you build for me a mighty erection?

I’d try not to be shy when having an inspection.

You’re delicious, please grant me my wishes

Maybe when I’m bustier, you will be lustier.

It needs work but it’s a great start. I’m not happy with the “walk past your lair” bit but it’s better than writing “the sports centre”. Also it’s quite a frisky ending and the rhyme scheme changes which makes it more interesting for the reader (not that I’m going to show it to anyone but you, Dear Diary). Barry rhymes with marry but that’s a too obvious rhyme and anyway, steady on.

Tuesday 15th April

I’ve decided my favourite wine is sparkling. Ideally cherry flavour but peach will do. Matty Bateman farted with a noise like a creaking door today. He said his arse is haunted. Sally Walker admired my Danzig T-shirt today. She sometimes wears a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt but I don’t know if she actually likes metal.

Ian and I listened to Journey’s Greatest Hits. We found it a bit wussy. Ian said he’d put it on if he had Ella or Lizzie in his room but I can have Slayer because I appreciate good music.

Wednesday 16th April

Mark Dobbs was wearing a T-shirt featuring a pair of fornicating pigs and the words “Makin’ Bacon” today. Mrs Savage told him to wear something different tomorrow. We don’t have a uniform but we are meant to wear appropriate clothing*. The thing is, Dear Diary, this is a very appropriate T-shirt for Mark Dobbs. Last year when we were all mucking about in Physics because our supply teacher hadn’t turned up he was judged the student most likely to end up doing porn films. We went round the room deciding who was most likely to do what. Ian was most likely to end up in a band. Jenni was most likely to be a brain surgeon. Donna Harlow was most likely to get pregnant. Sally Walker was most likely to work in Boots (she always wears so much make up it looks like her face is shouting). I was most likely to write a book and fail Maths. People ask me for help with English, but never with Maths.

It was English last lesson today. Miss Wallace said Mark Dobbs’ T-shirt showed one of the more difficult uses of an apostrophe.

I bought Kerrang! on the way home. It has Machine Head, Korn and a tiny bit of Type O Negative and Napalm Death.

*The clothing I wear is appropriate to someone who loves metal. I never wear anything with a swear word on because that’s asking for trouble. I like to remain under the radar of teachers where possible.

Thursday 17th April

I went to the shop and got a Bounty for breakfast. I shared it with Ian. I wonder if we’re ever eating a Bounty at the same time that Alice Cooper is eating a Bounty? It’s unlikely because when we’re eating a Bounty at eight thirty in the morning in England, it’s two in the morning in Arizona, where he lives.

Friday 18th April

If I was Alice Cooper I’d probably be up at two in the morning, eating a Bounty. He doesn’t have French first thing on a Friday to worry about.

Today was a brilliant day at school. Barry the builder told me to have a good weekend.

Any idea why old people always say “Thank Crunchie it’s Friday”, Dear Diary? Also, is TGI Friday busier on Fridays? If so do the staff say ONI Friday (Oh No It’s Friday)?

In the evening my period started. Mum bought me a Maverick bar. It’s new but it’s just like a Fuse really. We watched “Have I Got News For You”. The eco-warrior Swampy was on it. Mum said it’s possible to save the environment and have clean hair. Her priorities are seriously skewed. Even if we were the last two people alive on the planet after nuclear meltdown, like in Z For Zachariah, she would still make me brush my hair before leaving the cave to hunt for berries.

Saturday 19th April

I got ready to go to the pub (jean shorts, red leopard print tights, Slayer T-shirt) and Mum said I wasn’t allowed to wear leopard print or jean shorts or any shorts until I’m eighteen. She says they make me look like a streetwalker. I asked what a streetwalker was and how come she knows so much about them.

She told me not to be so cheeky or I wouldn’t be going out anywhere until I’m eighteen. I changed into black jeans then went out and met Jenni and Ian. There are women in the Green Man wearing much more exciting stuff than I want to wear, I’ve seen women in corsets, PVC dresses, really low cut tops and really short skirts.

Ella told us she’d seen a penis this week that reminded her of a Mars Bar. It sort of had the same veins as a Mars Bar has chocolate ripples. Lizzie said she won’t want to eat Mars Bars now. T-Reg asked me if I’d like a nibble of his Mars Bar! Everyone giggled.

If I’m not allowed to wear any shorts how will I do P.E.? This thought has cheered me up. Let’s see what Mum says when I ask her to write my excuse note. I bet I’d be allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms like the Muslim girls so I’d still have to do it. Arse.

Sunday 20th April

I walked to the shop to get the Sunday People for Mum and a couple of boys started playing air guitar at me and saying “My sister’s a greaser”. That Clearasil advert hasn’t been on for years you outdated and unoriginal prats. I watched my Newman and Baddiel at Wembley video to cheer myself up.

Monday 21st April

Platform trainers have been banned from school due to a spate of twisted ankles. I blame the Spice Girls. One of the few good things about my school is that we don’t have a uniform so we can wear normal clothes but people need to not push it too far.

Today is the Queen’s birthday. I hope she got to do some cool stuff instead of just walking about shaking hands with people and showing an interest. If I was the Queen I’d get all my favourite bands to play for me on my birthday and then have a massive trifle and not eat the fruit at the bottom because I’m the Queen and can do as I like. I’d also get a gold leopard print dress made specially and a giant Viennetta.

Tuesday 22nd April

We made rocky road today in Home Ec. It was really easy, even the kids who shouldn’t be allowed near cookers managed it. I’m going to make it again because it’s lush. This, Dear Diary, is how you do it:

Rocky Road Recipe
100g unsalted butter or margarine
225g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
2tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp cocoa powder
2tbsp caster sugar

50g glace cherries
100g mixed milk and white chocolate chips
100g mini marshmallows
225g ginger biscuits or digestive biscuits, broken into pieces
optional 50g walnuts
Icing sugar to dust

1. Line a 20cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. In a small pan, heat the butter/marg, plain chocolate, golden syrup, caster sugar, cocoa powder and stir together with a wooden spoon. When melted together leave to cool for 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, place the glace cherries, milk and white chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, biscuits and nuts if used and bind together with the melted chocolate sauce.
4. Pour into the lined tin and leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hrs.
5. Remove from tin and cut into pieces.
6. Dust the rocky road with icing sugar to serve.

I wonder if Barry likes rocky road?

Wednesday 23rd April

Mark Dobbs is wearing a T-shirt which says “Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen” today. Mr Murray saw it and asked him to keep his jumper on.

Kerrang! Have put the Foo Fighters on the cover but I had to buy it because it also has Type O Negative. Black Sabbath has reformed! This is brilliant news. I expect we’ll soon be hearing no more of the Foo Fighters, now that the originators of heavy metal are back in business. That sounded quite good, didn’t it Dear Diary? Do you think I could be a metal journalist one day? Imagine the people you’d meet.

Thursday 24th April

Just realised that to be a metal journalist I’d have to speak to people. Today Barry said hello to me and I said hello back and then I ran out of stuff to say.

Gods list:

Glenn Danzig

Pete Steele


Max Cavalera

Tank Girl

Rob Newman

Zodiac Mindwarp

Dave Mustaine

David St Hubbins

Dave Lister

Friday 25th April

We had a supply teacher in Biology and they made us set fire to a peanut. We pointed out we’d already done this but they made us do it again. We did it quickly so we had time to muck about at the end of the lesson. I went to Ian’s after school. We had toast and pineapple jam. We listened to all of Gav’s Black Sabbath records, including one I hadn’t heard before called Heaven and Hell. It has Ronnie James Dio, from Dio singing. It’s got angels smoking on the front.

Mrs Butler called in with some magazines for Mum. Apparently fake tan is the next big thing. There’s nothing much in the problem pages. Lots of the advice seems to be to talk about it. If your problem is that you go all silent around people you like then the problem and the solution are all mixed up in one.

Saturday 26th April

We put the Black Sabbath song “Heaven And Hell” on the jukebox in the Green Man. I was glad to get out of the house because Mum is in a foul mood. She always gets grumpy before and after I see Dad and then she calms down again. Depending on what mood Mum is in, Dear Diary, I’ve been punished by being grounded for a week for relatively minor stuff like being caught smelling of cigarettes and then bought pizza for the big stuff like being hours late home. Now I decide what’s wrong and what’s right without checking with Mum because surely right and wrong don’t depend on the mood you’re in? I got grounded a lot last year, Dear Diary. I think Mum was lonely when Dad left. I spent a lot of time on my own in my room and I think that’s why I’m so shy now. While everyone else was out learning how to talk to boys and people they don’t know, I was sat in my room, reading. Last summer I missed out on a lot of drinking vodka in the park on a Friday night. After a while I realised Mum couldn’t actually do anything to stop me from going out so I stopped paying any attention to the groundings and just told Mum where I was going (approximately) and when I’d be in. I’m scared it’s left me a bit weird. I can spend ages on my own without really minding and l sometimes feel lost when I’m surrounded by people in the pub.

Sunday 27th April

Me and Dad went to see Nanny Howard. We watched the Grand Prix. You don’t pronounce it how it’s written, Dear Diary, the x is silent. This is why French is so much harder than German. German doesn’t bugger about. They have words like handschuhe (glove) and schlafsack (sleeping bag), very sensible words, whereas French is sprinkled with extra letters that you don’t say.

It was Grandad who liked the Grand Prix, but Nan still watches it, she says she likes the noise, it’s very restful.

Monday 28th April

Today has been a totally rubbish day. I found out that the building work on the sports centre is almost finished. This means no more Barry.

Barry facts:

He is nineteen

He smokes Embassy No. 1

He thinks being a builder is okay

He drinks tea (he has a thermos flask that his Mum fills for him to bring to work)

He likes Exodus, Motörhead, Metallica, White Zombie (I’m basing this on his T-shirts)

He has seen Slayer live

He is hairier than the average man (I’m basing this on his overgrown eyebrow, it honestly looks like Bert from Sesame Street’s eyebrow. It’s a good job I’m not the kind of shallow woman that this sort of thing bothers, Dear Diary, and I can see past his massive eyebrow, but if it gets much longer I fear he won’t be able to).

Would it be easier to get close to him if I was David Attenborough and the BBC was paying me to observe builders in their natural habitat?

Tuesday 29th April

I’ve realised I could never be David Attenborough because I’m almost allergic to those beigey trousers he wears. Mum made me try some on once and I swear I felt hot and uncomfortable and like I was getting a rash.

After school Ian and I watched Hammer Horror’s Countess Dracula. Both of us would currently be at risk of being slaughtered by henchmen to fill Countess Bathory’s bathtub. Ian asked if we were in her castle and the only way to escape getting our throats slit was to shag each other, would I? I said yes obviously having sex with him is preferable to death, but it would be weird. He said we could run into a fancy bedroom with a four poster bed that had curtains and lock the door.

After Ian left Mrs Butler called round with some magazines for Mum. Problem pages included: my daughter is marrying an unsuitable man, my husband might be having an affair, I have a moustache and my boss is always mean to me. I spent a couple of minutes checking I don’t have a moustache. I don’t. But, if I get one, I know what to do.

I think I’d like to do it in a four poster bed, Dear Diary.

Wednesday 30th April

I was just saying hello to Barry this morning and he got called away by a grumpy builder who said “Stop talking to the jailbait and get some work done, we’ve got to be finished in less than a week”. In some ways I’m very insulted to be called jailbait, because it was just assumed that I’m under sixteen, without grumpy builder checking, and actually I’ll be sixteen in only ten months and I think I look sixteen now and so do all the newsagents in the vicinity because they all serve me with cigarettes. But, at least he thought I was shagworthy enough to be jailbait, so it’s not all bad. If Barry and I are meant to be together all the grumpy builders in the world won’t be able to keep us apart.

Me and Ian listened to Gav’s Quiet Riot’s Metal Health album. This is one of the best things in Gav’s collection so far. Terry came upstairs and gave us a Mars Bar each. We looked at the chocolate ripples and giggled. I like to bite the caramel off first and then eat the nougat bit. Ian and I both think that sometimes Ella likes to say things which she thinks will shock people.

Mum bought home some new low fat Walkers Lites crisps today. She is always on a diet, I blame the magazines she reads, no-one in Kerrang! goes on a diet because diets are very boring. If she eats chocolate she says she’s being naughty, I can think of a whole load of ways I would like to be naughty and chocolate is not one of them.

Did you know, Dear Diary, that the Mars Bar was first made in Slough, which is near Reading, and that the police made up lies about what the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithfull were doing with Mars Bars in the nineteen sixties?

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