Music Wars and angst-ridden poetry – laughing at my teenage years


I’m taking a few weeks’ rest from novel writing while my son’s on school holidays, and in between trips to the park and clearing out his playhouse, my head has finally got some space in it. Yay!

As some of you will know, back in May this year, I performed 3 minutes of stand-up comedy in London as part of my research for The Dare Club – the novel I’ve been writing. If you’d like to see me in action, here’s the link – Margaret Johnson does Stand-up at Up the Creek, Greenwich.

It was an amazing experience, and one I’m keen to repeat some time. Now my head is temporarily free from my characters’ conversations, I’m hoping that ideas for more material will come to me, and I’ve been thinking about my teenage years because I think they’re ripe for poking fun at.

I wasn’t someone who rebelled very much, but I was in the habit of shutting myself away in my room to write angst-ridden poetry. I thought these were works of art, but of course, they were terrible. My brother and I tried to drown each others’ music out in our neighbouring bedrooms – he always won, since he was into Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath and I was into Elton John.

Later on, I graduated to people like Ian Drury. One of my favourite  Ian Drury tracks – Plainstow Patrica – started off with a shocking string of obscenities. Whenever I played it, my mum was guaranteed to want to get to the airing cupboard which was in my bedroom.

Sometimes I think about the future – will sing-alongs in old peoples’ homes be different then? Will we be singing songs by Ian Drury and The Sex Pistols instead of Daisy, Daisy and Down at the Old Bull and Bush?

I hope so!

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