Who am I ?
I could give a lot of answers to that question, couldn’t we all?
Professionally (though one of my bosses called it a trade) I worked right across media as a journalist and broadcaster for years, largely without regret, in probably the only field that would have me – “people’s problems” – except they were only ever people to me, not some race apart.
Everybody has problems of one kind or another sooner or later and the very few that don’t (or don’t admit it) are so lucky or so dumb or such liars that they represent nobody but themselves.
The only drawback to being an agony aunt (a title I loathe for a job I love) is that you deal with such big black stuff all the time that your other interests are forgotten.
That’s how annalog began.
The only women who can rely on their opinions being heard nowadays are on their own websites, columnists in a shrinking print, specialists in their own fields or well-established highly visible culture carriers like singers, models and actresses – in another word I loathe, celebs.
It was the film star Marlon Brando who long ago remarked that you had only to say you were an actor to be asked immediately about your sexual habits and how you voted.
In annalog the former is referenced, that latter is probably implicit.
I was encouraged by a comment from the former editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson. The NYT has a very successful online presence and she was aksed what compromises had been made.
“None ” she said. “This is The New York Times.”
This is annalog.
I wrote for Linda who has been my more than good friend for 30 years, for Nikki my “reader” (everything first heard by her), for the wonderful listeners and supporters who hung on in there asking about me, for people who grab me in the street or the supermarket or sit beside me on the bus (I could do commercials for buses): for Joanna whom I met the one time I went to the Harvey Nichols’ Roof Garden Restaurant, who told me she’d read it: for Wal who still thinks I am famous (see Spanish film maker Pedro Almadovar – “Fame is like smoke: first you smell it, then you get used to it”): and for my friend Percy (Bette Davis to my Joan Crawford) who encouraged me to write.
The idea for the name came from Bill Halson the youngest octogenarian I know.
So this isn’t goshgoshgosharen’ticlever140characters and all of them vanilla.
This is closer to slow cooking, to organic farming, about the things I think about, the things I know from a lot of the people I meet a lot of people think about, the abused and often forgotten middle ground – not wildly intellectual, not street, not just for the hell of it, please heaven intelligent – you see, this really is annalog not digital.
If I don’t write about what used to be my preserve, it’s not because I don’t care but because
I haven’t yet figured out a way to do that without opening floodgates, excessive expectation and one pair of hands.
The wonder of written problem pages and then the ensuing radio programmes was that they allowed for and celebrated individuality, simultaneously reaching out to the many.
In life, one size does not fit all: who would want it to ?
Perhaps in mining me, I can share things with you. If you ask people about mining, they come up with coal, diamonds, bauxite and emeralds, to name but four.
But we also mine thought, experience, emotion, ideas ….
welcome to annalog.