The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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August 1997

August

Friday 1st August

Ian told me today that boys don’t care how big your boobs are. He said they pretend to when they’re all together but actually it’s not that big a deal. Why did no-one tell me this before? He asked if women really care about how big your armadillo is. I said the things that worry me about doing it is not that at all, it’s a) how much it’ll hurt, b) fear of doing it wrong and being called boring in bed c) fear of getting pregnant d) fear of people finding out and calling me a slag e) being dumped straight after doing it.

It’s weird how I can’t talk to most men but I can talk to Ian just like I can talk to Jenni.

Saturday 2nd August

Ian invented a new metal hand gesture which he’s calling the evil goat udders. You tuck your thumb in and dangle your four fingers. I don’t think it’s going to catch on but I haven’t got the heart to tell him after he was so sweet yesterday.

T-Reg was wearing a vest tonight. He looks good sweaty. Shot said she’d had to put her eyeliner in the fridge. She still looks amazing. Ella said sunshine makes everyone horny. Lizzie told her to speak for herself. T-Reg agreed with Ella. I agree with Ella when I look at T-Reg in a vest. Lex was wearing a fishnet top tonight so Jenni had some eye candy too. Mopey Dick said he finds the stillness of the summer air deeply oppressive. He also said the acres of flesh on display are no more appealing to him than a butcher’s shop window. Bob said one of the best things about summer is bird watching (he means women, Dear Diary, he’s not a devotee of Bill Oddie).

Sunday 3rd August

Today is Dad day. Nanny Howard told us she wouldn’t vote for Scampi. It turns out she meant Swampy the eco-warrior. He is considering standing for election. She said you’ve got to think about a bit more than trees to get her vote. Dad bought me some ice cream flavour Chewits.

Monday 4th August

I wanted to spend all day reading in my bedroom and listening to music but the new stair carpet is being fitted today so Mum made me get up and get dressed. She said I wasn’t allowed to put any music on until the carpet fitters had gone. I have no idea why I couldn’t have just stayed in my room while the carpet was being fitted and why music and carpet fitting don’t mix. I decided not to ask.

Today is really hot. I’m wearing my Alice Cooper Constrictor T-shirt because it’s one of the only white things I’ve got. I walked to the shop in this and a black skirt with no tights and got “milk bottle legs” shouted at me by an idiot on a bike. I got a blue Mr Freeze and walked home to put some tights on.

Mum is very pleased with the new stair carpet. Mrs Butler has been in to have a look. Mum asked why I was wearing tights indoors on one of the hottest days of the year. It’s okay for her, she has brown hair and can get a sun tan.

During the adverts in Coronation Street this evening I came out of my room to find Mum stroking the fourth stair.

Tuesday 5th August

I made some cakes this morning. I decorated them with red icing which I made look like splatters of blood and I put vampire fang sweets on top of the icing. I took them round to Jenni’s. Her Mum Pam said I was very creative. I think this is why I’m rubbish at Maths. I have a creative brain, not a Maths brain.

Wednesday 6th August

Today we sat at Jenni’s kitchen table and made astrology not suck! You might wonder how we brought about this miraculous change, Dear Diary. We added the magic ingredient of heavy metal. I bet Mystic Meg didn’t see that coming.

Heavy Metal astrology is similar to regular astrology (in that it’s bollocks dreamed up for some diverting entertainment).

There are twelve signs, whichever one you are is dependent on the date of your birth (actual birth or when you began listening to metal). The signs are the Studded Wristband, the Skull, the Denim Patched Waistcoat, the Snake, the Leather Jacket, the Long Hair, the Cannons, the Horns, the Spooky Pumpkin, the Jack Daniels, the Cucumber and the Bat. Anyone wanting to change their heavy metal astrological sign can do so by giving me, Ian and Jenni a chocolate biscuit each. It’s that simple.

Date Ranges forHeavy Metal Zodiac Signs:

21 March - 19 April - the Studded Wristband

20 April - 20 May - the Snake

21 May - 20 June - the Denim Patched Waistcoat

21 June - 22 July - the Spooky Pumpkin

23 July - 22 August - the Leather Jacket

23 August - 22 September - the Long Hair

23 September - 22 October - the Cannons

23 October - 21 November - the Horns

22 November - 21 December - the Bat

22 December - 19 January - the Jack Daniels

20 January - 18 February - the Cucumber

19 February - 20 March - the Skull

Ian and I are both the sign of the Skull, Jenni is the Bat.

Predictions for this week:

Studded Wristband – You might have problems with Mars this week. Maybe keep your bars in the fridge so they don’t melt.

Snake – Avoid any Rue Morgues and strange lands this week. Lucky numbers are 666 and 22.

Denim Patched Waistcoat – Hoovering while wearing flares is an unwise move this week. Saturn says he might come round your house to return your Hawkwind LP but he doesn’t.

Spooky Pumpkin – Cryptic writings may cause a disagreement between you and a friend, practice tolerance because Mustaine riffs in mysterious ways.

Leather Jacket – You’ll be patronised by a Spice Girls fan this week who tries to tell you you’d like them if you listened to a whole album, tell them you think they are talking from Uranus.

Long Hair – Fortune favours the hairy this week and Timotei the patron saint of the shiny haired smiles upon you from a mountain stream, expect to win at least a tenner on the lottery.

Cannons – You find yourself in a situation as complex as the swirls on a Viennetta this week, don’t overthink it, just go to the pub.

Horns – You’ll win some and lose some this week, but that’s the way you like it, Baby.

Bat – Dark clouds gather which suits you fine and is all the better for initiating bewitching dark romances. A small sacrifice of dropping goat’s cheese on the floor should help matters along.

Jack Daniels - It’s going to be a Mötley Crüe fifth album kind of week so you’re safest spending most of it in bed.

Cucumber – This week Saturday will be your lucky bunday so be prepared for wearing or being a flesh tuxedo.

Skull – Cosmic forces align this week to make you irresistible to the opposite sex so wear your best pants and nip to Boots for some protection (and we don’t mean sun cream, wink wink).

Thursday 7th August

We went to the river today. Bruce lent Jenni his portable CD player and we took this and a blanket and lay in the overgrown grass at the old swimming place (it sounds a bit Scooby-Do doesn’t it, Dear Diary?). Half of it is concrete and half of it is long grass. It’s not visible from the foot path because of some massive willow trees. You have to know it’s there to find it and most people don’t know it’s there, which is just how we like it. Bruce told us about it.

Ian was in a weird mood. He made us promise we wouldn’t lose touch when we finish school (which isn’t for a whole year). We sunbathed, protected by trees.

Friday 8th August

We went to the river and had a boozy picnic with T-Reg, Dazza, Ella, Shot, and Lizzie. Malibu and cherryade is wonderful. It’s like angels having a mosh pit on your tongue. I kept hoping Ella would suggest we played spin the bottle but she didn’t. She has snogged T-Reg and Dazza already.

Saturday 9th August

Ella told me that Van Halen insist on having the brown ones taken out of the M&Ms in their dressing room. I think Dave Lee Roth is a twerp Dear Diary. One of Ella’s ambitions is to get backstage at a Van Halen or Mötley Crüe concert. She flirted with the bar man and asked him why the new Crüe album isn’t on the jukebox. He said he’d try and get it on there. I’m not sure it’s fair for women to do this. Dazza can’t flirt and get the Bathory album he wants on the jukebox.

STF said he’d been round Owen Tranter’s house and Owen had challenged him to a game of soggy biscuit. Everyone said “Eeeeww!” so I did, but I don’t actually know what soggy biscuit is. STF said Owen is still going out with Jessica Rice. Even though it’s the summer holidays there is still plenty of gossip. Lizzie said she quite fancies the guy in HMV who wears eyeliner. Ella said it was about time she got interested in men. Shot said there is something very appealing about men who look like women. She said they seem safe and familiar, rather than alien and hairy.

Mopey Dick was wearing his full length black leather jacket tonight, despite it being roasting hot in the pub. T-Reg called him Betty Swallocks.

Sunday 10th August

Mum said I can stay over at Jenni’s tonight. We had tea (I mean dinner) with her Mum and Dad and her brother Bruce. It was sun dried tomato and mozzarella tartlets with Mediterranean vegetable couscous. Jenni doesn’t know what soggy biscuit is. We sat outside until late. It was really peaceful.

Monday 11th August

Do you know what soggy biscuit is Dear Diary? It might just be an old people word for a type of biscuit, like when Nanny Howard’s neighbour says sticky willy instead of iced bun.

Tuesday 12th August

Dilemma for Ian: If he could have sex with one of the Spice Girls but he had to listen to their album (on repeat if necessary) while he did it, would he?

Clarifying question: Can he hum very loudly? Answer, yes.

Clarifying question: Can he wear earplugs? Answer, no.

He’s thinking about it.

Ian and I picked blackberries for Betty today. There are loads of them in the lane at the back of her house. She told us to pick the ones from waist height and higher because she said some people walk their dogs along the back lane so the ones from lower down might have added ingredients. While we were picking blackberries a man with an Alsatian came down the lane. The dog looked affronted to find us there so he probably was going to wee on the blackberries.

Betty gave us some Battenberg and lemonade. She told me my hair looked lovely and it was my crowning glory. Then we went to Ian’s and listened to Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album. I thought the song “You Can’t Do It Right (With The One You Love)” was weird. If you can’t do it right with the one you love, then who can you do it right with? I think David Coverdale probably has loads of women on the go at once and gets cockfuzzled* about which one he likes best. Ian decided he would have sex with Ginger Spice while humming very loudly. He’d hum Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” because he finds that very satisfying to hum.

*Useful new word Dear Diary for describing being confused about who you like best. There is a female equivalent: fannywildered. This has happened to Ella more than once.

Wednesday 13th August

Mum says she doesn’t mind me wearing with-it clothes but going out with your bra on show is added to the list of things I can’t do until I’m eighteen. I told her people don’t say “with it” any more. She said she meant things that are “all the rage”. I said people don’t say that any more either, plus I’m not wearing fashionable clothes, I’m wearing metal clothes. There is a massive and important difference (fashion clothes are shit and metal clothes rule, obviously).

All this is because I customised a White Zombie T-shirt and you can see a tiny bit of bra when I lift my arm but it’s not that bad. I said it was a clean bra and I’d keep my arms by my side. She said I could keep my arms by my side on my way upstairs to change.

Would Doro Pesch, Lita Ford or even the Spice Girls ever have become famous if their Mums had kept making them go upstairs and change? I despair of this small town mentality Dear Diary, I really do.

Thursday 14th August

The front page of the Reading Chronicle didn’t say “Crisis Averted Due To Bra Cover-up”. Madonna had her bra on show for most of the eighties. Ginger Spice wore a union jack dress that showed her big black knickers. All I was showing was a modest hint of lace, a mere glimpse.

I had dinner at Jenni’s. Bruce brought his girlfriend Minty. She was wearing a Hypercolor T-shirt that changes colour when you touch it from lilac to pinky white. She had pinky white armpits throughout the evening. They don’t have salad cream on their salad. They have vinaigrette dressing or balsamic vinegar.

I found out what soggy biscuit is. Minty told us. This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not even going to write it down properly, Dear Diary, but it’s basically a game where men race to reach a happy trouser conclusion, aim the result at an innocent and yummy biscuit and then there is a terrible forfeit for the slowest to decorate the biscuit. I’m glad I’m a girl and we don’t do this sort of thing.

Friday 15th August

How do you become the sort of woman men give flowers to? The Spice Girls are advertising Impulse now. Actually, I get hay fever so I would much prefer chocolates to flowers.

We went to this cool shop in Smelly Alley today. Jenni needed a new bulb for her lava lamp. It’s called Graffiti and it has legal highs like guarana and bongs and UV stuff and nose studs. I don’t think I’d get on very well with legal or illegal highs, I felt a bit funny just from the smell of all the incense. I think my vices are long haired men, being untidy, vodka, cider, fizzy wine and Malibu.

I got my period this evening.

Mum bought home a box of those ice lollies in the shape of feet. What a revolting idea. I don’t want to eat anything in the shape of feet, who does she think I am? Sarah Ferguson?

Saturday 16th August

Ella told me tonight that I should practice on the cute boys in my year so I’m ready when actual men pay me attention. She said that’s what she does. She said she has snogged T-Reg more than once (yes, Dear Diary, I am jealous even though I know it’s not a very positive emotion according to Mum’s magazines), and snogged Bob and Darren, plus she wanked off Owen Tranter. Owen Tranter scares me, he always looks angry, but maybe it’s impossible to be angry when someone is wanking you off. Ella said T-Reg is a very good kisser.

If I had to pick someone to practice on it would be Danzig. I’m half an inch taller than him. I bet Danzig doesn’t give women flowers, unless they’re black ones. He’s such a sex god, albeit a somewhat short and tightly packed one.

Gods list (international)

Glenn Danzig

Pete Steele

Max Cavalera

Rob Flynn

Christopher Lee

Elvira Mistress Of The Dark

Rob Zombie

Ice-T

Ingrid Pitt

Rob Newman

Sometimes my Gods list is quite Dave heavy, but this time it’s overpopulated by Robs.

Gods list (Reading)

Tyrannosaurus Reg (the very good kisser)

Barry (kissing ability unknown)

Jenni’s Gods list (international)

Marilyn Manson

Nick Cave

Twiggy Ramirez

Pete Steele

Johnny Depp

Kenny Hickey

Robert Smith

Dani Filth

Kat Bjelland

Shirley Manson

Jenni’s Gods list (Reading)

Lex

Darren

Sunday 17th August

Dad day. We went to the Sunday market and boot sale then to Nanny Howard’s. At the boot sale we saw Matty Bateman. He was looking at a computer game stall. I said hello. Dad asked me if Matty was a special friend of mine. I said no, he was generally a flatulent nuisance. Nanny Howard did a roast dinner, it was lush. She gave me some magazines for Mum, including some Cosmopolitans, which tend to have interesting bits in.

Monday 18th August

Mum moaned because I’ve eaten all the chocolate ice cream out of the tub of Neapolitan again. The smart thing to do would be to buy a tub of just chocolate flavour. Who even likes Neapolitan? I bet no one who reads Cosmopolitan likes Neapolitan.

Tuesday 19th August

Mum asked who I was listening to today. She’s doing her taking an interest thing. There’s really no need because she won’t understand. I said “Manowar”. She said “Menopause?”

Why would there be a heavy metal band called menopause?

Wednesday 20th August

Me, Ian and Jenni went to Dawson’s music shop (near the very Gothily named Abbatoirs Road, under the railway bridge, and also near RG1s nightclub which everyone at school except the metal heads wants to get into). They had no pointy guitars so Ian wasn’t impressed. I looked longingly at bass guitars and even more longingly at the long haired guy behind the counter. We also went to Shakti (a sort of hippy shop that Jenni likes. It smells of incense and is not the sort of place you expect to find in Reading). Jenni bought a purple bracelet. She said the man in the shop was cute. He had dark curly hair. She said hippy types are usually very good in bed.

Thursday 21st August

We went to HMV so Jenni could get The Cramps new album then we had strawberries on the lawn at Jenni’s with whipped cream and crushed up meringue and amaretti biscuits. Minty joined us to sunbathe. She is really lovely. She doesn’t like metal but I can forgive her that. She wears white trousers and sounds like she rides a horse. She was asking me and Jenni about boys today. I told her about the deliciousness that is Barry and the wonder of T-Reg. Jenni told her about luscious Lex and dazzling Dazza.

Minty was telling us about when she met Bruce during freshers week but she met loads of other guys too and so they didn’t start dating for a while. She is studying meteorology. University sounds terrifying if you’re shy. You’re in a place you’ve never been with people you don’t know. I said this to Minty and she said that it’s okay, because everyone is new and scared, like the first day of school, and it all works out just fine. She told me just to smile if I feel shy, then people will know I’m friendly and will talk to me. She said smart girls like me and Jenni should go to university. Jenni has already decided to go. I’d better wait and see how I feel, I can’t even imagine GCSEs being over. No one in my family has been to university.

Friday 22nd August

This is going to be an amazing weekend Dear Diary, party tonight, pub tomorrow and festival on Monday!

STF’s parents are on holiday so there’s a bring your own booze party at his house tonight. It’s just some people from school going and we are sworn to secrecy because STF doesn’t want it to get out of hand and to get bollocked by the neighbours. His parents told him he could have a few friends to stay over but not a party so officially it’s not a party (but it kind of is a party). He’s invited T-Reg, Bob, Darren, Lizzie, Ella, Shot, Me, Ian and Jenni. Ian and I got some K cider from the shop on the way, Jenni took a bottle of rosé wine from her parents wine rack. She actually asked first and it was okay! Her Mum told her she had to share it though and asked if she wanted some olives as well.

I asked Mum what time I have to be in tonight and she said 11:00 as usual. This sucks because ideally I’d be staying over at STF’s. I tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a midnight and then an 11:30 curfew. I’m just going to have to try and have a load of fun before 11:00. Even Cinderella is allowed out later than me. Everything happens at midnight: see Fastway’s “After Midnight”, Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes To Midnight” and Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight”. I bet Rob Halford’s bedroom is swarming with women after midnight but at eleven o’clock it’s just him in his leather hat writing lyrics.

We played spin the bottle, just kissing, not full on snogs. Girls didn’t mind kissing girls but boys spun again if they landed on each other. I got kissed by Darren and STF. I had to kiss Ian and Shot. Darren explained how to wank a girl off, using the two fingers one thumb method. T-Reg said he calls this his love gun and pointed his two fingers at me while wiggling his thumb! Ian walked me home. Darren walked Jenni home.

Saturday 23rd August

Last night Ian almost did it! He and Ella ended up being the only ones still awake and she said she would do it with him if he had a condom. They snogged and he felt her boobs (outside bra). He said she was drunker than he’d ever seen her and he could never take advantage of a drunk woman. Also, he didn’t have a condom, but even if he had he said he would have waited for her to sober up before doing anything below the waist. Ian is such a diamond among men. Jenni was disturbed saying goodnight to Dazza by her Mum. Pam invited him to come in. He did but went a bit shy. Pam said she prefers to know Jenni’s friends.

Tonight me, Jenni and Ian went to the Green Man with Bob, Shot, STF and T-Reg. Shot told me in the toilets tonight that Ella thinks she’s fat and worries about her weight and if boys fancy her. I couldn’t believe this, boys definitely fancy her. Ella’s not fat, she’s a bit bigger than me but she’s taller and older and she has amazing boobs, I’d say they are probably a C cup (Ian could supply more information!) Shot is probably a B. Ella is pretty but Shot is beautiful.

Sunday 24th August

Finally Dear Diary I am actually going to a gig instead of just reading about them in Metal Hammer and Kerrang! I was ready to go to the festival early. I wore denim cut offs (Mum has relented and suspended her no shorts rule due to the hot weather and due to the original rule being stupid) with a Slayer patch on one side of my bottom plus a Metallica Creeping Death patch on the other side, black shiny tights, my Nine Inch Nails vest and a red and black check shirt. I wore my 14 hole DMs, sunglasses and Misfits baseball cap. I kept looking at my ticket and reading: Reading Festival Day Ticket Sunday 24th August 1997. I still almost can’t believe Mum agreed to let me go, but Dad paid for the ticket, I don’t have to be up for school the next day, it’s local and Jenni’s brother Bruce, who is an adult, is taking us so she ran out of reasons to object.

Roy dropped us off by RG1s and we walked to the festival site. I have never seen so many Goths in one place. In fact I’ve never seen so many people in one place. When we got near the festival, all the local shops (except the fancy dress shop) had people outside selling cans of beer. We had to queue for ages to swop our tickets for wristbands to get into the arena. We wandered around for a bit and then saw the Descendents. They made me think of Shot, she’d have liked them. I liked them. During 3 Colours Red we went to get a drink and went to the loo. The loos were horrible but I’d been expecting that. Next we saw Dinosaur Jr. Bruce loves them, I think “Freak Scene” is a cool song but I don’t know anything else by them. They were good live Dear Diary. We got some chips (three pounds with an extra fifty pee for ketchup or mayonnaise!) and sat on the grass for a while.

Marilyn Manson was on next and all the Goths assembled by the stage. Marilyn Manson was awesome and I don’t think he has stolen Alice Cooper’s act. I got goosebumps when he sang “Sweet Dreams”. We went for a look at the stalls during Bush. Terrorvision were happy and bouncy. Then it was time for Metallica. They played some of their early stuff (Creeping Death, Battery, For Whom The Bell Tolls) and some covers (So What and Last Caresse). Dear Diary, until you have stood in a field on a sunny afternoon with your best friends and heard Metallica play “Nothing Else Matters” you have not felt true happiness.

Metallica chucked loads of metallic confetti all over the field at the end of their set. It was like a blizzard. I caught a bit and am going to keep it forever. I couldn’t quite believe it when it was over because I didn’t want it to be.

Jenni borrowed money from Bruce to get a Marilyn Manson Long Sleeve T-shirt. The back print says “I am the god of fuck”. Mum would go mental if I attempted to wear this. We met Jenni’s Dad on the industrial estate behind the festival and he drove us all home because it was late. We said thanks to Bruce for taking us and thanks to Roy for giving us a lift home.

Monday 25th August

I’m still wearing my festival wristband. I’m not taking it off. It reminds me that some days are amazing days. I’d have loved to be old enough to have gone to Reading Festival when it was rock and metal on all three days, not just squashed onto the Sunday. Alice Cooper and Zodiac Mindwarp and the Sisters Of Mercy have all played Reading Festival before. It was on the news today that there were some drug arrests at the festival and Mum got all worked up. There are always drug arrests at the festival. I smelt a smell which I know to be weed a few times (we have a small gaggle of stoners at school, who tend to smoke behind the Maths block with us) but no one tried to sell me drugs in an organised way, but there were a few people walking through the crowd shouting the names of the drugs they had for sale. I reassured Mum that I had nothing stronger than a cider. She doesn’t mind me drinking a little bit. She likes a Baileys or a Tia Maria or a port and lemon, or an anything really at Christmas and special occasions.

Tuesday 26th August

Ian and I went to see Betty. We had lemonade and Mr Kipling Bakewell slices. We told her about the festival. She said she’d seen it on the telly. She said when she was our age she used to love going roller skating at the Corn Exchange.

Mrs Butler called round with some magazines for Mum. She also bought us a marrow, spare from her garden. I hope Mum doesn’t cook it, we don’t really like it. When Mum came home and saw the marrow she frowned. She hates wasting stuff.

Wednesday 27th August

Jon Bon Jovi is number one. Ella and Lizzie are pleased. Me, Ian and Jenni met them and Bob and T-Reg in the park. Ella was wearing a really low cut top. I hope I become an area of outstanding natural boobies soon.

Mum made stuffed marrow for dinner. There were a lot of leftovers. I find marrow to be more of a texture than a taste.

Thursday 28th August

There’s a new Oasis album out, excuse me while I don’t rush to HMV and wet my pants in excitement.

Jenni’s Dad (sorry Roy, he always tells me to call him Roy, but it sounds weird) was talking about the Spice Girls today. He was saying they are a hollow kind of feminism. He thinks there should be one whose “personality” is based on intelligence. Perhaps Smarty Spice or Boffin Spice. I had dinner at Jenni’s. We had cheese and leek sausages, onion gravy and sweet potato mash, which is orange. It was nicer than stuffed marrow.

Friday 29th August

There is still three-quarters of a stuffed marrow in the fridge. The only good marrow is Tracy Marrow.

Ian decided he needs some condoms. We went to look in Boots but didn’t buy any.

Saturday 30th August

Ian said “He’s got unprotected armadillos in his pants, it’s really quite frightening”. Me, Ian and Jenni went to Superdrug and looked at condoms but he didn’t buy any. He’s going to buy some from the machine in the pub loos.

Everyone in the year above us got their GCSE results this week. No one I know failed. Dazza did better than he expected, Ella did worse than she expected. Ella told me it’s boring to hear me going on about T-Reg and if I like him I should just tell him and then snog him. Shot told her not to be mean and said I’d tell him in my own time and in my own way. Yeah, thanks Shot, I will, just as soon as I work out my own way. Ian had a successful mission to the gents and is now ready to rubber up, Dear Diary, at the next available opportunity.

Sunday 31st August

Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed are dead! They were killed in a car crash. It’s on the front page of every newspaper and on the news. Nanny Howard said it was a tragedy. She said she thought Diana had the happiest years of her life ahead of her now she’s not in an unhappy marriage but now those years have been cut short. She said she feels so sorry for the two young princes, growing up without their Mum to guide them. We all went a bit quiet, no-one knew what to say.

Today has been a weird day and tomorrow it’s back to school. Dad asked how school was going and asked me if I needed anything. He said I’m smart, like his side of the family. When we left Nanny Howard’s I asked if his bedsit was nice. He said it was small but he liked it and that living with Nanny Howard would drive him mad. He said he’ll take me to see where he lives if I like. He always takes me to see Nanny Howard because it makes her day he says. I don’t know if I’m sad or happy today.

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