Bullet Journals and Erotica

Returning to work

I returned to work this morning – or rather, I sat in the junk room and unfolded my work laptop on the desk, instead of my own. Returning after time away is always a bit strange – chatting with co-workers about the holidays, clearing e-mails, filing timesheets, and so on.

Mid-way through the morning a friendly Amazon delivery driver knocked on the door – leaving a number of small packages on the doorstep – the new bullet journal, and some gel pens ordered last night. I have no idea where the half-decent pens go in this house. I had a lightbulb moment, and retrieved a posh coffee tin from the recycling in the kitchen to put the pens in.

We tend to keep nice jars and tins, and find uses for them. There is a food shop in town that re-fills empty containers with seeds, pulses, dried fruit, and so on. Throughout lockdown we have arrived with bags of empty jars, and now have all manner of basic ingredients lined up on the kitchen worktop. It’s like an ecologically conscious mad scientist’s laboratory. I have never found a good use for the coffee tins other than as pen tidies.

The bullet journal

The bullet journal was interesting. I had ordered it a couple of days before, and didn’t really look properly – I searched Amazon, saw the brand name, and hit the “buy now” button. The book that arrived looks very much like a bullet journal, but isn’t a “real” one – if that makes any sense. I managed to order a “dotted A5 notebook”. The same company makes the much fetishized “Bullet Journal” notebooks. They are the same shape, the same colour, but have the words embossed into the cover, and have some special pre-printed pages inside. I shrugged, and got on with filling out the various bits and pieces I needed by hand. No problem.

I’m not quite sure what caused me to do it, but at lunchtime I headed to Amazon and thought it might be worth posting a review of the notebook – to warn others of the mistake I had made. And then I saw the comments. Oh. My. Word. I wasn’t the only person that made the mistake. It turns out just about every Karen that writes a bullet journal had also made the same mistake, and they were having a collective melt-down in the comments – complaining that the book they had bought (that isn’t a Bullet Journal) isn’t a Bullet Journal. I kept reading for quite some time, and then started to feel guilty about being amused by other people’s despair, so stopped.

After wandering to the corner shop – kitted out in my trusty Star Wars facemask (you read that right) – I bought some bread, made some really quite rubbish cheese sandwiches, and then started taking down the Christmas decorations. While the kids gleefully started disasembling the tree, I headed outside with the ladder to take the lights off the house. I was only out there for about ten minutes, but took an hour to warm back up. I swear – it was about -20C up the damn ladder. You know when it’s so cold your knuckles start to hurt when you bend your fingers ?

The Sex book

While lifting decoration boxes back into the attic, and re-arranging things up there, I discovered something rather remarkable. The Madonna “Sex” book.

Back in the 1990s Madonna released an album called “Erotica”, and in the lead-up to it’s release, published a book about sex. The book was immediately notorious – one of the tabloid newspapers received a leaked set of the photos, and published massively censored versions of them – suspecting that they had been stolen from Madonna. Of course when the book arrived, it landed like an atom bomb, and pushed the new album straight to No.1 all over the world.

The book has sat in our attic for the last 20 years – and before that survived two house moves. Back when I was single, and had my own apartment, I probably had the book on the bookshelf – I really don’t remember.

I wonder if the book is worth anything?

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