The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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July 1997


Tuesday 1st July

We used the Van der Graaf generator in Physics today. I was chosen to stand on the washing up bowl and have my hair stuck up. Mr Venables said he needed someone with long hair that didn’t have loads of hairspray in it. I felt a right plum stood in front of the whole class with everyone staring at me.

Mum bought home some dented cans of blackcurrant One Cal. I asked her again about Reading Festival. She said I could go on the condition that I behave myself between now and then! I rang Dad to ask him to buy me a ticket.

Wednesday 2nd July

I’m so happy today. I get to go to my first gig in less than two months. Maybe next year I’ll get to go to a gig in London.

I bought Kerrang! without hesitation because Alice Cooper is in it. Jenni won’t like this issue though because Alice is claiming that Marilyn Manson stole his act. We’ll see for ourselves in August!

Me and Ian listened to Gav’s The Specials album. I like “Too Much Too Young”. I’m going to heed it’s warning and not get married too young (or maybe at all, it looks rubbish based on Mum and Dad).

Thursday 3rd July

My bum hurts today, me and Ian went on the see-saw yesterday on our way home and he’s bigger than I am, so I landed from higher up than he did. Also, me and Jenni got kicked out of Ann Summers. You have to be eighteen to look at the really rude stuff at the back of the shop. Today has not been a huge success. I took my injured bottom and injured pride to bed early and listened to Suicidal Tendencies “You can’t Bring Me Down”.

Friday 4th July

Bum still hurts. Ian offered to rub it better, I declined with thanks. Carina dared Janine to stick a sanitary towel onto Mrs Savage’s back in textiles today. Janine managed it and there was loads of giggling. Carina is so childish. Mrs Savage is easily embarrassed. As a fellow massive blusher I didn’t want to see her have to answer the questions “What’s that on your back miss? What’s it for?” Charmaine Payne called Mrs Savage into the big cupboard where all the materials are kept and removed it stealthily. There are a few girls in my year whose Mums can hardly afford STs and who always have to go to the school nurse to get some.

I’m listening to Rage Against The Machine. It’s got a parental advisory sticker on it.

Saturday 5th July

In the Green Man tonight T-Reg asked Lizzie if she swallowed! She slapped him and didn’t answer. Lizzie has a very direct approach when it comes to dealing with unwanted attention. I wonder what spunk tastes like? It’s bound to be grim isn’t it? Jenni said she isn’t going to swallow ever but she wouldn’t mind jizz on her tits if necessary. Lizzie told me that sometimes when she hangs around with Ella she gets into situations she’d rather not be in with boys. Basically Ella is boy mad and sometimes arranges double dates which Lizzie goes on with her. Lizzie said that because Ella is quite friendly they expect her to be too. Sometimes she pretends to have a boyfriend called Paul.

Ian walked me home and asked if I wanted a go on the see-saw. I said no.

Sunday 6th July

Bum no longer hurts. Dad gave me my ticket! I’m going to see Metallica and Marilyn Manson! Dad and I went to see Nanny Howard. I told her I was going to the Reading Festival on the Sunday and she said she’d look out for me on the telly (it’s always shown on the local news, with local people moaning about the inconvenience). There is a new family called the Battersbys in Coronation Street. We had lemon curd sandwiches and raspberry ripple ice cream with Ice Magic.

Monday 7th July

Carina Norman said today that people with wide taste in music are smarter than people with narrow taste in music. She thinks she has broad taste in music because she likes all chart music! By the same argument I have wide taste in music, I like thrash metal, heavy metal, a bit of death metal and some classic rock.

Tuesday 8th July

And I like The Prodigy and Pop Will Eat Itself, Dear Diary, so Carina Norman can eat my shorts.

Ian got in a huff this morning because I called Cryptic Writings “Craptic Writings”. My fave Megadeth album is So Far, So Good, So What. Craptic Writings is neither punky nor thrashy enough for me. Ian is such a lover of Dave Mustaine that he can’t see the evidence of his own ears.

Wednesday 9th July

I meant Ian can’t hear the evidence of his own ears, Dear Diary. He is no longer in a huff because today I bought him a packet of Snaps and told him I thought Cryptic Writings was probably a grower (but I’m sure it isn’t, but his childish sulks are annoying, why is everyone arguing over music at the moment?).

Thursday 10th July

Jenni and I have decided to change the way we do our Gods list. We’re doing an international version and a Reading version. We struggled to get to ten on the Reading version. Actually we could each only manage two. We know way more than ten boys each but most of them we go to school with and when compared to their international counterparts they are not that appealing.

Gods list (International)

Glenn Danzig

Mille Petrozza

Pete Steele

Christopher Lee

Zodiac Mindwarp

Dave Lister

David St Hubbins

Joey DeMaio

Tank Girl

Rob Zombie

Sadly Dave Mustaine has fallen into around eleventh place due to Cryptic Writings.

Gods list (Reading)


Tyrannosaurus Reg

Jenni’s Gods list (international)

Pete Steele

Marilyn Manson

Andrew Eldritch

Trent Reznor

Johnny Depp

Robert Smith

Twiggy Ramirez

Nick Cave

Morticia Addams (1960s TV version)

Kiefer Sutherland

Jenni’s Gods list (Reading)



Mrs Butler brought some magazines round for Mum. I read the problem pages. If I had a boyfriend I don’t think I’d mind if he wanted to try my knickers on. Also, how do you use sex as a weapon? And why shouldn’t you do this?

Friday 11th July

Carina Norman called me Duracell today. For the love of Lemmy, I know I’m ginger, it’s really, really old news. Mark Dobbs asked if I go all night. I just ignored him. Ian tried to cheer me up by calling me his little pink bunny.

Saturday 12th July

Ella pointed out to me tonight that T-Reg dresses on the left! She said that men who dress on the left tend to be good in bed! Ella has dyed her hair even blonder than usual. She said her inspiration is Pamela Anderson.

Sunday 13th July

Tony Blair is all over the papers. He invited a load of pop stars to a cocktail party at 10 Downing Street. Noel Gallagher went, and Vivienne Westwood who made clothes for the Sex Pistols, and Anita Roddick. I wonder if she took a Body Shop gift basket for Cherie? Tony is so desperate to not be seen as a boring old stuffy politician. He reminds me of Mr Freeman, who is always trying to prove how young and trendy he is.

Mum said at least you knew where you were with John Major. She never liked him because she always votes Labour. She did think he was sensible to start the lottery. She said it’s the only way the likes of us will end up having the same sort of money as the likes of him. She said Blair looks like a loose cannon to her.

Monday 14th July

I was given a thorny dilemma from Ian today: Would I rather die a virgin or have sex with Jon Bon Jovi?

My clarifying questions:

Am I allowed to put a bag on his head?

Would anyone find out?

Can I get a mark out of ten from three different sources for how good JBJ is in bed before I commit myself?

Is it long hair eighties JBJ or short hair nineties JBJ?

I still haven’t decided.

Tuesday 15th July

I’ve decided. I would rather go to my grave pure and untouched than sleep with JBJ.

Wednesday 16th July

Ian and I listened to Gav’s Jethro Tull Catfish Rising album. It was weird. Ian’s Dad Terry had a day off today. He made us gammon, egg and crinkle cut chips for tea. He is good at cooking but I suppose you have to learn if your wife leaves you. He’s a better cook than my Dad. My stupid period started and I didn’t have anything in my bag so I put toilet paper in my knickers and went home, claiming Mum had told me I had to be in at seven-thirty. I’m convinced my period has been brought on by the stress of thinking about boffing JBJ, it’s like my body is trying to protect me from the horror.

Kerrang! Had a 100 best gigs feature this week. My Mum has so far only let me go to one. At the risk of sounding like Kevin the teenager from Harry Enfield And Friends, Dear Diary, it’s so unfair.

Thursday 17th July

Matty Bateman did a really long and loud fart that sounded like someone dribbling a basketball today. He is truly revolting. He wasn’t even embarrassed. Carina Norman said I fancy Wolf from Gladiators, because he’s got long hair. I don’t, but Ian does fancy Jet. Then she said Jenni fancies Pat Sharp. Jenni said it was bit sad that someone of Carina’s age still watches “Fun House”.

Mum bought some Virgin Cola home today, cheers Mum, I know I’m not getting lucky, what’s next, Virgin bread? Virgin tea bags?

Friday 18th July

Today is a brilliant day! It’s the last day of school and I’ve finally saved up enough for a Wonderbra! Jenni and I went to town and I got a black lace one! It has padding and extra padding. You can take the extra padding out if you want, but I’m going to keep it in, what’s the point in buying a Wonderbra if you’re not going to fully utilise it? I’m going to bring out the big guns, Dear Diary.

We hung out in Prospect Park for a bit after we’d been to the shops. We saw Bob and Darren. Then Darren walked home with Jenni.

Saturday 19th July

I don’t know if Jenni got any dazzling Darren action because she is now on holiday for a week with her parents and Bruce and Minty. It will help with her GCSE French apparently. She said she would sort of rather stay here but she also likes hanging out with Bruce and Minty.

I haven’t been on holiday since Dad left. Ian hasn’t been on holiday since his Mum left. We used to go to Butlin’s. I’d probably find it boring now but when I was a little kid it was truly paradise. I could have as many goes on the Ladybirds, the Alice In Wonderland Train, the Galloping Horses and the other fair rides as I wanted. We went swimming in the indoor pool and in the outdoor pool. The indoor pool was made of glass so that people in the ballroom could see the swimmers. We fed the ducks in the duck pond which was lit up at night with red, blue, green and yellow light. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen, like having fairy lights in summer. We had fish and chips. We went to a toy shop and the Bognor Regis book exchange. We had a knickerbocker glory in Wimpy. It was almost as good as Christmas, a shining diamond of a week that I never wanted to end.

I tried my Wonderbra on. I can’t go out like this. People will stare. I’m stacked, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. I wore my usual bra to the pub.

Sunday 20th July

I went to see Nanny Howard with Dad. Before I went Mum gave me a pile of magazines to give to Nanny with her best wishes. This is a ginormous step forward in Mum/Nan relations. When I gave them to Nanny she said “How kind, do thank her for me”.

Nanny Howard is small chested and Nanny Brooks is medium to large. I wonder which I’ve inherited. It’s not too late for me to grow a wazzo pair of jugs (yes, Dear Diary, I’ve been watching Bottom). I found the Pogs and Tazos I’d collected years ago. I’ve totally grown out of these but I told Nanny to keep them. She put them with my Smartie top collection. I like having this stuff here. It reminds me of simpler times. I noticed she still has an owl, made of shells that we brought her back from Bognor Regis.

When I left she gave me a Frys Orange Cream and some magazines to give to Mum. Some of the magazines are probably too fogey even for Mum to read (The People’s Friend and The Lady).

Monday 21st July

Mum bought home a big bag of Opal Fruits which were cheap because the packet had got opened by mistake. I made Opal Fruits cocktails by putting two in my mouth at once. Strawberry and lemon is my favourite. I made Mum try it. I wish I was somewhere exotic drinking real cocktails.

Tuesday 22nd July

Ian and I went round to see Betty today. Even though she’s old she doesn’t think people should wear boring clothes or worry about what the neighbours think. She thought Terry looked handsome when he had long hair as a teenager (it was fashionable for men to have long hair when Ian’s Dad was growing up, Dear Diary, this seems unbelievable to me now) and she thinks Ian looks handsome with long hair. If anyone says anything to her about it she says “It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s how you behave that’s important”. When Terry started growing his hair, his Dad moaned but Betty stuck up for him. Ian’s hair is longer than Terry’s was and isn’t fashionable.

Betty sent us to the shop for cream doughnuts and fizzy pop and we sat in the garden and had a picnic. She found me a big straw hat to wear so I wouldn’t get burnt. She said my complexion is beautiful, like a Pears Soap baby’s face (I don’t know what that is but I said thank you). Usually I’d feel daft in a big hat but since it was only Ian and Betty it didn’t matter.

Wednesday 23rd July

We listened to some of Gav’s records. Pete Steele claims to be influenced by The Beatles so we gave them a go. It turns out that they didn’t just do soppy rubbish like “I Wanna Hold Your hand”. They also did “Eleanor Rigby” which is dark and gloomy.

Thursday 24th July

Ian is playing Doom with Matty today. Mum told me to tidy my room and put any washing in the laundry basket. I started doing this but got distracted when I found my Game Boy and ended up playing Tetris for a couple of hours.

Friday 25th July

I nearly saw T-Reg’s youknowwhat today! We* were all mucking about in the park, listening to music on Ella’s portable CD player and he put my CD down his pants and invited me to get it back! It was dark down there and I didn’t put my hand in but I saw something fleshy. It made me think of the courgettes Mrs Butler brings round occasionally.

*Me, Ian, Ella, Lizzie, T-Reg and STF, Dear diary.

Saturday 26th July

Jenni got back from holiday this morning. She went topless on a beach! So did Minty! And her Mum! Her Mum, Dear Diary! I told her about nearly seeing Reg’s youknowwhat but since she’d been on a nudist beach it wasn’t a great story any more.

I wore my Wonderbra out of the house for the first time. It’s making stuff happen already, someone at the bar spilt a drink on me and some of it went on my top instead of straight onto my feet. We’re calling it a gincident! I think T-Reg was staring at my chest. I hope it was in a good way and not in a Sherlock Holmes kind of mystified way: The case of the sudden stackedness.

Also, I saw Barry! I wasn’t sure if he’d remember me, but he did and he said Hi. I asked him where he was working at the moment. He said he’s doing a house extension in Pangbourne and there are no cheerful redheads to walk past and make his morning! He hasn’t seen me for a couple of months (it seems like an eternity) so he may think my chest is the genuine article. He was with two girls and two guys again and I still can’t tell if he’s got a girlfriend. He is absolutely gorgeous, even with the eyebrow. He was wearing black jeans and a Slayer T-shirt and looked cleaner than he does at work.

Sunday 27th July

Mum’s lottery obsession has finally paid off! She got four numbers! She said I can have the fourteen hole cherry red DMs I’ve been on about for ages, on the strict condition that I only wear them at weekends, and she is getting a new stair carpet.

Monday 28th July

Mum collected her winnings today. When the ice cream van came she bought us both an ice cream oyster with a flake! I’ve never had one of these before. They are as good as Viennetta. I know I moaned about the lottery Dear Diary, and I have been guilty of calling it a tax on the poor and gullible, but it’s like Mum is a different woman since she’s won and she only got four numbers, imagine if she’d got more. Anything which makes people happy without making other people unhappy can’t be bad.

Tuesday 29th July

I went into town and got my cherry red DMs this morning. Then me and Ian watched Basket Case. Suppose only one of my boobs grows and the other remains small, like an ill-formed mutant? We had Pot Noodle for dinner. I hope the chemicals help my chest along. I presented our Pot Noodles beautifully by cutting the bread we like to dip into them into four delicate triangles.

Wednesday 30th July

Me and Jenni got kicked out of Ann Summers again today. It was going well and we were making our way steadily towards the back of the shop where they keep the weird stuff. Jenni picked up a bra and said to me, in an even posher than usual voice “Yes, I think my husband would approve of this”. The security guard came over and asked us our age and we said we were nineteen. He stroked his chin in that “I think that’s total bollocks” sort of way and told us we’d have to leave and to bring ID if we want to shop there.

Thursday 31st July

We sat on Jenni’s lawn and made daisy chains today. I took my new DMs off because they had given me a blister. We covered Ian in daisy necklaces and headbands. Pam came out with some cordial* for us and said we’d have loved the sixties**.

Mum has got a load of carpet samples. She asked me which I thought was the best quality one and which looks best with the colour of the hallway. I said I wasn’t Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen. She said she didn’t want to get an unsuitable carpet that doesn’t go. I’m sure that would be headline news in the Reading Chronicle: “Local Woman Gets Slightly Mismatched Carpet Shocker, Neighbours in Uproar”.

*sounds fancy but is just squash.

**everyone goes on about the sixties but surely the seventies were better because that’s when heavy metal got started?

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