Catherine Briars is an unremarkable looking thirty one year old case study in why not to dye your own hair. She lives in the North West of England with her daughter Betty, baby son Ted, husband Dave and the unobtainable carcass of next door’s dead cat that is firmly wedged in their kitchen ceiling.
Beyond the straw-like tufts and smell of singed follicles atop her bonce, she’s an average driver, failed stand-up comedian, terrible water skier and surprisingly nifty dishwasher emptier (invigorating a chore so many blindly pigeonhole as dry and mundane with a startling flourish of heartfelt Broadway pizazz).
The part time primary school teacher settles her direct debits by marking books and moaning about playground duty – with both parents in teaching, there is a depressingly obvious and cyclical inevitability about the whole sorry tale. Fortunately, going on strike every five minutes has proved a God send, allowing Catherine to spend much of the last three years shaking herself free from the shackles of her genealogical predisposition.
Flying in the face of assumption.
Poo pooing responsibility. Reality. Direct debits.
In order to piddle about.
On the Internet, of all places.
Where she rambles incessantly, boundlessly and without foundation – about the toiling tribulations of motherhood (whilst systematically and unapologetically grazing her way through an inordinate quantity of Malted Milks).
A month prior to her daughter’s birth in 2011, Catherine began to write My Funny Mummy, a daily parenting blog which catalogued the suspicious smelling, twitch inducing, juddering mess she made of her daughter’s first year. In fact, so incredibly well written and rogue-ishly loveable was that blog, it was, in June 2012, made a finalist in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards ‘Laugh!’ category – resulting in local newspapers and regional TV expectantly running features on its unprecedented success and pending superstardom.
Then no. It didn’t. Runner bloody up. Typical.
Whilst crying into her tiny plastic beaker of free wine at said stupid awards, Catherine went to a talk about ‘Getting A Writing Agent’. Not only did this seminar have an incredibly snazzy title, it also encouraged Catherine to stop recounting the votes long enough to contact one woman whirlwind Ali Gunn.
Thank you for taking the time to read this far. As a reward I shall suggest that you have beautiful eyes and stop writing in the 3rd person.
Under Ali’s supervision, with the impermissibly talented Joanna Rees on board as editor, I have rewritten my ramblings as not a blog, but as a story; with a narrative and characters and pages numbers and everything. ‘The Obliterated Nipples Of Kate Bee’ is the product of three years of parenting, writing, promoting, feeding, re-drafting, press stud fastening and scraping poo from behind my nails. Usually Betty’s.
It is currently sitting on my hard drive, gathering dust, awaiting the nod of Renee Zellweger, Hilary Swank, Rosamund Pike…
or Sue Pollard.
I’m really not fussy.