Welcome! You have found the home of 'Being Me', Fran Hill's blog. Please browse my posts and if you like what you read, you'll enjoy my book 'Being Miss' which you can order from my website or on Amazon. My next book 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' will be published by SPCK Publishing in 2020. My website is at www.franhill.co.uk. Come and visit for more Fran info!
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Reasons why Fran is anti-Santa at the moment
I posted a 'letter to Santa' on a writers' blog today and the readers there seem to have enjoyed it. So I thought I'd inflict it on you, too. Followers who've been around for a while will know of my long history of communications with Santa. This is yet another addition to the saga.
I'll get straight to the point. No good going through all that peace and goodwill to all men stuff when what I really want to do is make a complaint.
Do you remember last year I asked you for a publishing contract? No, don’t pretend. You can’t possibly have forgotten, because I wrote a long, long plea, with all the reasons why I deserve one, in green highlighter pen and letters an inch high. The man at the Post Office wasn’t happy that I’d tried to shoehorn forty-seven pages into a ‘large letter’ envelope and in the end we had to parcel them all up in a Jiffy bag the size of a North American prairie. I hope your elves managed to carry it in and didn’t get back trouble like they did the year I sent you that list of George–Clooney-and-Johnny-Depp-related Christmas gifts I wanted. The Clooney tea towel you eventually delivered wasn't even on the list, by the way. A poor show.
A helpful juxtaposition of lion to Jiffy bag to demonstrate just how big the parcel was
And what did I get last year in response to my letter asking for a publishing contract? A box of strawberry creams - I don't even like soft centres - and a new ironing board cover.
I'd also enclosed with the publishing-contract request letter a cheque for £100 which wasn’t a bribe, as you insinuated in your pointed reply. Do you realise that the world’s children would grieve to know you could be so sarcastic? No, it was a charitable donation so that you could provide some deprived children with better toys. Little Tommy next door to me, for example, is one of seven and his family has little to spare. One year, you sent him a second-hand scooter and a jigsaw with three pieces missing. It’s for children like Tommy I sent you the donation and it hurt to have you misinterpret my motivations. I weep for children like him.
If you’re looking for ideas, though, I’d suggest for Tommy something to keep him quiet. He yells through the wall and I can’t concentrate on my Sudoku. Perhaps a gag? Or a few pounds of Thornton’s toffee, the kind you have to break up with a hammer.
So, back to the publishing contract. I’m 53 now, Santa, and I can’t think of one year when you’ve sent me exactly what I asked for. You tried to point out that in 1981 I got the Build-Your-Own-Greek-God-of-a-Husband kit I requested but, to be fair, as soon as I’d built it, I realised that a cardboard cut-out of a Greek god doesn’t show off the six-pack the way a proper statue does. Fortunately in 1982 I married my husband and although he’s a bit short on Greek god features, at least he’s in 3D. And can load a dishwasher.
As I was saying: the publishing contract. Santa, I just can’t see why you’re finding this so hard. All it needs is a phone call from Penguin saying, ‘I’ve just read your blog post. You are the next Victoria Wood. Have you written a novel? Yes? Let me give you a twenty thousand pound advance.’
I’m beginning to think my infant children were right when I made them sit on your lap in the grotto at John Lewis and they screamed like banshees at the sight of you. I’m feeling some of that same disillusionment myself.
Yours very unhappily unpublished,
Fran I’ll-be-writing-again-if-I’m-not-satisfied Hill
I picked up my new glasses this morning. Here's a Before and After comparison for you, whether you wanted it or not.
You have no idea how long that's taken me, to post those Before and After pictures. Every time I posted the After one, it hopped up the page and decided to appear before the Before. 'No,' I told it. 'I need you after the Before. If you go before the Before, people will think the Before is the After and the After is the Before.'
'And who will care?' the After photo said to me. 'Why do you think anyone's bothered about your new glasses anyway?'
I ignored its cheek and dragged it back down again. This time, it stayed.
It's true. Maybe no one is bothered. But it seems a dramatic change to me, and I felt very self-conscious, stepping out of the opticians into Leamington's main high street. What if I saw someone I knew? Would they do that is-it-isn't-it thing and decide not to speak to me? What if they hate the new loo…
Well, Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for following me during 2018 - your forbearance and long-suffering are much appreciated, as are all your comments. This year I'm meant to be writing and delivering to the publishers my diary-memoir 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' Watch out for news.
I thought I'd write about fish pie as it's the start of the new year and there are many, many reasons I am not the right person to write a blog about new year resolutions ...
I made a fish pie last night for dinner because there was a packet of supermarket pastry in the fridge that never got converted into mince pies over Christmas.
Why didn't I make the mince pies? Mainly because I knew that no one would eat them over Christmas because they'd all be stuffed to perdition with other goodies. So, if I'd made 48, I would eat 47 of them and then my husband, who's not a major fan (of mince PIES, you at the back!!) would wander into the kitchen in mid-January …
This is a scene from a novel I hoped to get published. But I've moved on now and am writing another book which will be published in 2020. Watch this space!
I really like the scene, though. So I thought I'd let you read it, rather than having it fester on my laptop.
Enjoy! It's very much based on my personal experience, and it's a scene that's played out in real life in many, many classrooms across the country. And perhaps the world.
Setting: a secondary school classroom, England. Friday afternoon. Characters: an English teacher and her class
The pupils, as they did every
week at this time, drifted from all corners of the school, in spits and spots
like a gradual, hesitant build-up of rain. They
seemed weary, as did their end-of-the-week uniforms, which drooped and slouched
on their bodies as if drained of life.Indeed, some of their blazers had died and slidden off their bodies like
thin corpses, hanging now from the ends of their fingers. Several pupils had