All posts by Sheila

Lit Agents, Elephants, Return of The Budge

‘An agent’s like a third wheel’ patiently explained a manager in my department.

‘An agent’s like a real estate agent’ whispered a publisher after a lengthy meeting with one.

‘Selling a book is like pushing a baby elephant up a hill’ said an agent.

So…this is an elephant on wheels.

I think you’ll all agree this is an excellent post to end my guest blogging career on Budge’s website.
Thank you all for reading. We shall now be returning to tech-chat par excellence.

Welcome back Budge.

A day and a titleline just for Daddy

Happy Father’s day to all fathers reading this!

(I suspect it might just be you daddy, so Happy Father’s Day. Some sterling fathering you’ve done so far, results can’t be argued with, so keep up the good work.)

God bless daddy, god bless his beard. Today I listened to Handbags and Gladrags, The Wichita Linesman, RaRaRasputin and The Circle of Life in tribute to daddy and his musical taste. After all, it did shape mine.

Barbeques and Artichokes

Thursday evening had been just too hectic, I realised walking into work on Friday, feet sinking into the pavement and eyes slits against the light. Now, having found large dark glasses which take up somewhere between 1/2 – 3/4 of my face, I’m feeling much much better.

Thursday’s first party was jolly. Wine, noisy publishers, ruddy cheeked agents dashing about with bottles and writers ‘schmoozing’ away. I only have one small quibble. Canapes should be bite-sized. They should be dainty and delectable. Fist sized artichoke hearts should not play a key role. There should be few tartes and more tartines and tartelets.

The four of us in our mid-twenties located each other very quickly, taking up sentry post by the front door, and sitting happily with a bottle of wine in between us. An editorial assistant at a well-known London house had just completed her first project, an erotic reminiscence of sorts. I.T. had been blocking lots of her emails thinking they were spam because the language content was so explicit!

Then south, to Clapham, where I had perfect timing, arriving at the barbeque as the first burgers were ready. 9pm, and still so mild. Gorgeous start to summer. Back to the question first raised at Imo’s bbq last month, “How many bankers/chartered surveyors does it take to work a barbequeue?” Very school disco with all the girls sitting demurely at the table and all boys semi-circled around the bbq.

It’s the weekend : nuff said.

Terrible experience at the National Theatre

After work today I skipped down to the South Bank. The English were all out in their summer gear. Not a jacket or a brolly in sight. I scowled at the lot of them, and headed into the giant cement legomonster that is the National Theatre. I collected the tickets and found a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc at the bar. My mood got even better when the pinstriped one arrived, swinging his red man-brolly, complete with glossy wooden handle.

The play, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, is listed on the National’s site as ‘…the clash between two cultures leaves thousands of unarmed Inca troops slaughteres and sparks and intense battles of wills between the sun-god and his captor…’ You can see this in full at It was like a badly animated cartoon. The ten pounds I’d paid for my (extremely good) seat seemed an exorbitant amount to have to sit through it. Simplistic, unsophisticated, completely cringeworthy dramatisation. The Inca god spoke in a similar style to Ken Brannagh’s Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing, diguising himself from Beatrice at the masque.

The pin-striped one and I made our exit at the interval and wandered up the bank, delighted that we’d escaped safely.

Next time I decide I want culture, am so picking up Jilly Cooper’s ‘Wicked.’ You can find it on by searching for Jilly Cooper, legend.

She’s back.

She’s finally back. About ten years ago we started our very own Communist Society, complete with badges. Tonight we sat in oh so trendy Soho. After quite a lot of discussion we went with a dry white that had echoes of both nettles and mangoes. We expressed our doubts with the usual amount of sophisticated cynicism. Pizza and jazz followed.

My darling boyfie keeps reminding me that Marx was buried in Highgate cemetary, with only 11 or 12 people in attendance. Details, details. One of my first crushes was on Trotsky. If that’s wrong, then ice-pick lobotomies have become unfashionable very suddenly indeed.


I wonder if any of my loyal readers have been confused by the repeated mention of The Beavers. Well, here’s a quick explanation. We are a clan of fierce, intelligent, clannish Beavers, extremely anti-otter and anti-duck. Otters and Ducks have Agendas. Beavers have Dreams. Just so you know.

For more detail do click on this link:

Drawn to MK and the CeeBee’s

On Saturday I packed a small bag and headed to visit the CeeBee household.  When in London they live on the other side of town, and have a sustained belief that it is the only sensible place to live. (‘I mean why would anyone live anywhere else? Everyone should live here.  I mean not EVERYONE obviously.’ NB The CeeBee’s didn’t say this, I overheard it and thought it was funny.)

On Friday, Miss CeeCeeBee, the younger twin by 14 minutes, had emailed an invitation for the weekend – along with the weekend’s menu. So with the perfect weather and the lure of barbeques in the sun, poached salmon and a roast lunch on Sunday, I happily boarded Chiltern Railservice’s arctic carriage and left London behind, heading to MK’s outskirts. A weekend with the CeeBees -  woohoo!

CeeCeeBee and I missed England’s goal – getting back from the station a little bit after half one, we decided to put lunch before football and so only heard Mr CeeBee’s roar of delight from the next room.  Once we started watching he quickly adopted armchair pessimism, taking great delight in taunting us with how awfully England were playing.

Post football, we moved outside.  I lost at all games we played, despite strategic ganging up against smug repeat winner AyCeeBee at croquet, AND losing at a card game I’d just taught CeeCeeBee.  

Chocolate sustained us until supper. Mrs CeeBee = kitchen goddess.  The twins and Gemma call her The Feeder.

To bed, had twelve hours of sleep, yum.

Lunch, and then back to London in the Beavermobile with Buttkiss(AyCeeBee), Boris(GeeCeeBee) and the Alpha(CeeCeeBee). 

Back to life as usual.

Context is Important

Tarka is Mills’ puppy. I am very fond of him.

A few weeks ago I stepped on his tail. He started crying and hid under Mills’ chair. Guilt and an an overwhelming desire to improve puppy -godmother relations led me to bribery, and I fed him small treats for the rest of the afternoon.


If I was any judge, I know to who all medals would be awarded: they would go to Tarka (“Tarkie”), the most darling of puppies. 5 months old, wet nosed and noisily curious, like all the worst tourists. Maybe I am biased, but he’s my first godson. But with his beauty and sweet temper, he is pretty perfect. God bless Tarka. I would put a piccy up but i think it might fly in the face of privacy laws. Also, Budge has taken the camera with him and my camera phone and I don’t entirely understand each other.

Have been reading the Ali Smith book that’s up for Oh So Many Awards. Initially quite a dizzy-making experience, now loving it as have come to grips with the multiple stream of consciousness that was brutally assaulted with. Smith is quite morbid and that certainly runs across all the characters.

And it’s the start to the end of the working week! Hope my newly loyal readership is well.

Brideshead Vs Gatsby

Hello, Sheila here. This is my first blog post. At 14 I created a rather tragic website with the aid of my technologically advanced brother which featured pages titled ‘My friends’ and ‘My holidays’. I’m hoping to move away from the delightfully egocentric world-vision of youth, into the wonderfully self-centred observations of my early-twenties.

Firstly I hope everyone’s having a happy start to the summer time.

Was at a Brideshead themed party the night before last. Actually Brideshead Vs The Great Gatsby, so you could pick your nation. It was such a gorgeous day, and as the sun didn’t seem to set till about 8, we stood on the lawn drinking pimms for hours, surrounded by velvet smoking-jacketed men, young boys carrying old bears, beplumed girls wearing pleated dresses. The only hint of reality operating was given by heels slipping into soft ground.

Yesterday, got back to London. Budge and I headed up to the park and fell asleep in the sun. Actually I fell asleep, he read 100 pages of his small shiny-covered fat fantasy book. I took Ali Smith’s The Accidental with me. It’s taking me ages to read it. Stuck in someone else’s stream of consciousness is something which seems to take me a little while to get used to.

Another hot day today, hope everyone’s having a lovely day, maybe drinking bloody marys with ben harper singing in the background and culture in their laps.