Janice Galloway (1991) Blood
Posted by celticman on Wed, 02 Apr 2014
I’ve got Janice Galloway the wrong way round. I’m working backwards from her autobiographical and award winning memoirs to her earlier works. This is a collection of short stories, musings and the setting of a stage play (Scenes from Life No.27: Living In). ‘Fearless’ is my favourite, which is no surprise, I just ate up anything autobiographical and this is from that genre. ‘And he had these terrible specs. Thick as the bottoms of milk bottles, one lens patched with elastoplast. Sometimes his eyes looked crossed through these terrible specs but it was hard to be sure because you didn’t get to look at him long enough to see. Fearless wouldn’t let you.’ Fearless is an old alkie a living joke that menfolk laugh at and play up how dangerous he is. Policemen give him a bit of leeway because he doesn’t do any harm. But this isn’t there story. This is Janice’s, as a wee girl, and her fear for her and her mum. Because Fearless is always trying to catch people out, ‘checking every face just in case they were looking (at him)…if he thought he caught you he would stop, stiffen and shout WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE A FOOL OF and attack’. Other stories, such as ‘Need for Restraint’ are more surreal. I prefer the plain and not all of the musings seem to me work, but what do I know? I’m not exactly fearless in my writing. WHIT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE LOOKING AT?