DCSIMG

Claire Black: My mum used the law of the hoover to enter whenever she wanted

Claire Black. Picture: Jane Barlow

Claire Black. Picture: Jane Barlow

  • by Claire Black
 

A POSTCARD of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall looking mean and moody in Key Largo, several badminton racquets, a tiny porcelain Kewpie doll.

These were the most treasured possessions of my teenage bedroom. There was also a TV, a stereo, a games console and a desk for doing my homework. No-one seemed to spot the contradiction in that last list of items.

I’d almost forgotten what my teenage bedroom was like. I haven’t slammed that particular door for more than 20 years so it’s not that surprising. But happening upon the Do Not Enter Diaries – a series of video diaries made by American teenagers about their bedrooms – I was reminded. It’s the place where you sulk, pretend you’re a grown-up, practise putting on eyeliner, hide your contraband (choose your poison, mine was 10 Silk Cut). Some of the videos are short, some of them are excruciating and some are sweet. Most of them just reminded me that teenagers, despite the bad press, are really rather adorable in their own slightly gawky, embarrassing way.

There’s a girl called Angel who explains that she used to be obsessed with Milly-Molly-Mandy as she takes us through her bookcase, which also contains Fifty Shades Of Grey. And a bottle of vodka. Another, while showing us some of her postcard collection (a teenage classic) tells us that her dad once told her that she had eyebrows like Frida Kahlo. (Nice one, dad.) While another explains her room is her haven.

Mine was a bit of a haven, I suppose. It’s where I went to think up more things to be outraged over having run out of things to argue about with my dad. But it was never an entirely parent-free zone because my mum used the unassailable law of the hoover to enter pretty much whenever she wanted.

I had pals, though, always boys, whose rooms were like biochemical hazards. Their floors covered in clothes, their walls covered in badly done graffiti, every surface littered with dirty dishes. One was so disgusting even his dog refused to enter.

I probably wouldn’t want to live in one now, I definitely wouldn’t want to clean one, but it was nice to remember what my teenage room was like. And I can’t help thinking that there is no space which doesn’t benefit from Bogie and Bacall.

If you happen to know a man named Joe Berti, then now is the time to hang out with him. Berti competed in the Boston marathon at the start of last week. He crossed the finish line moments before the first explosion. Fortunately, he, and his wife who was watching him, were both uninjured. Reasonably enough they decided to head straight home to Texas after the race. A day after arriving back, Berti was driving along Interstate 35 when he saw a plume of smoke and then felt his second explosion of the week. He’s fine. And so is his wife. Surely that’s it for his close shaves?

I’m not a regular reader of Tatler. (I don’t watch Made In Chelsea either.) However, when a range of successful talented women are slapped on a double-page spread and given handles including “Gothic Tits” (Helena Bonham Carter), “Tweeting Tits” (Louise Mensch) and “Ginger Tits” (Lily Cole), I find my attention attracted. What were those fine fillies at Tatler thinking, I wonder? Was it intended as praise? A celebration of womanhood? I can’t fathom it. If I had a subscription, I’d cancel it.

Twitter: @Scottiesays

 

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