Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 08.30.12 Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 08.31.58 Facebook black small Mail black small instagram logo

By Anoushka Beazley, Mar 25 2017 02:20PM

Jordan Peele’s film 'Get Out’ is nothing short of brilliant, and it feels like a cinematic indictment on the new Trump administration. The movie is billed as a horror but I fear this may ostracise cinema-goers from what is really a searing racial and political commentary. It is essential viewing; a polygraph for racism - are you ready to take the test? Peele skilfully layers the suspense, reminiscent of the claustrophobic paralysis of Rosemary’s Baby. The psychological terror is real but history only shows us how far the chattel slavery and white supremacist attitudes go back. Peele reminds us that the world today offers us no answer to when such lunacy and fear will end, despite the liberal racism that is as insidiously dangerous as the idiots in the white sheets. The acting is impeccable: Allison Williams is intelligently sublime, not least in a pivotal scene where she looks for her keys. I would love to write more, this movie could birth a PHD but there will be no spoilers here as I urge everyone to see it and don't want to spoil it for you (PS do not watch the trailer - as usual they show too much). We’re not even in April and I wonder if we’ve already peaked for 2017 cinema. FYI, Jordan Peele, I’m currently writing the screenplay for my novel The Good Enough Mother...

By Anoushka Beazley, Dec 29 2016 08:07PM

And the holidays are nearly over. Boo, I hear you say. Or at least some of you; for others Christmas day isn’t always as festive as the craic it’s cracked up to be. The holidays can be a melancholy time, with nothing but memories under the tree and the poison ivy of family drama hanging where mistletoe should. For those who celebrate Christmas it is the one day of the year where the expectation of family obligation weighs heavy, a similar pain to Jesus’ hand nails. In the movie Four Christmases there is a reason why Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn lied to their families that they were going abroad for charity work. And yes in the end there was joy to be found, but not everyone’s life is touched by New Line Cinema (probably a good thing for those living on Elm Street). In reality one man’s holiday can be another man’s nightmare.

Anoushka’s Yuletide Tips:

Breathe. There is not enough said about the power of deep breathing. It shifts the body out of the sympathetic nervous system - responsible for the fight or flight response and into parasympathetic mode: a healthier state.

Drink. There is also not enough said about the benefits of alcohol. Grab that brandy for the pudding, chuck back that whisky-laced egg nog and try a straw with that mulled wine. Not too much you end up telling your brother you slept with his wife but enough to tolerate your brother, who is an arrogant twat, even when wearing a cute Santa hat.

Be Brave. Do what is right for you, and do it kindly. People may be disappointed you decide not to be with them, they may be hurt and they may be angry - this is their right. This is unfortunate for you and does make it a harder decision but doing what’s best for you can sometimes be the better option. Happiness is easier spread when the spreader is happy. If you rock up tense and not wanting to be there, odds are you’ll dish up some of that resentment gravy even if the turkey wasn’t dry (FYI duck is sooo much more tasty).

Accept. You might like the holidays one day but even if you never do, that’s okay. Accept it and don’t worry about what everybody else does. They’re not you, they’re not living your life. There is huge pressure to conform to societal traditions at this time of year and the pressure can be overwhelming even if your father didn’t suddenly drop dead four years ago (Freudian slip).

I’ll leave you with this quote, from Drea Peiris in my debut novel The Good Enough Mother, and see you in 2017:

‘You're different. You don't try and be anything else but you. I don't think you could if you wanted to and it's ...well it's really fucking refreshing.'

By Anoushka Beazley, Dec 11 2016 11:13PM

From the day we met he looked at me funny. Like I wasn’t supposed to be there, you know, and I felt it, like I guess he wanted me to feel it.

He never looked at her the way he looked at me. At her he’d gaze lovingly, unquestioning of all her flaws, her many flaws, as we all have, but me, I was wrong whenever I opened my mouth.

She hated us fighting. It made her insides tender and there’d be doctors and all sorts and she blamed me. I was the one with the mouth and he was...complicated.

I wanted to like him, I really did. Hell, I wanted to love him, not like she loved him, a different love. I loved her so why wouldn’t I love him but it doesn’t work like that does it? Accumulative love. So I stopped. Stopped talking and he liked it. He felt the power she’d handed him.

I stopped seeing her as much because they were always together, and this suited him fine. I got to realise then that I needed a relationship with him more than he needed one with me. I had to rearrange my life. Re-organise. Sometimes all the things you want just don’t fit. You’re in the supermarket of existence and you’re down the emotions aisle where you’re loading up on multi-packs like its armageddon and when you get to the family aisle there’s just no more room in the trolley. I’m still me. Just because he doesn’t want me, like me, see me - wants her all to himself, I’m still me. I get a mother's day card once a year. She signs it from them both - 'love the twins.' Whatever.

By Anoushka Beazley, Nov 28 2016 09:40AM

I hated her from the beginning.

It was never going to be easy. First of all there was nowhere to go; no room. It was so claustrophobic, she was practically on top of me. Then when I was sleeping she was just getting up.

"Alice, the doctor will see you now."

Different schedules, different lives, different people. She loved my mothers voice, which sounded like a battery operated drill to me. I hated the way she always did the right thing, sat quietly, waited. I kicked out when I was angry. She always had this suffering, martyred look on her face whereas I just did what made me happy - wasn't that the best way to spread happiness?

"Getting closer, you must be excited?"

Sometimes, when she had her eyes closed, softly trembling like a starfish in the water, I thought about putting my hands over her face until she stopped breathing but I couldn't do it. For one thing, it definitely wasn't the perfect crime what with there only being one suspect, and though I hated her I loved her too - that was what it was to be sisters.

"Lie down Alice. Lets have a look. This is your twenty week scan. The gel will feel a bit cold. Well, Alice, looks like you're having twins. Two girls, how sweet."

My night, always her day. My will, never her way. Another twenty weeks and then we're out. Thanks for nothing mother. See you on the other side sis. Maybe outside I'll feel different. Maybe we just need some space.

By Anoushka Beazley, Nov 20 2016 09:06PM

When my friend arrived at my house for our lunch date she was not her usual bright and bubbly self. When the cacophony, my three girls besides themselves with excitement that someone had rung the doorbell (I didn’t state the obvious, that this is the correct and only way to use a doorbell so what’s the big deal), she confided in a quiet voice that she had experienced an incident in the playground.

She had approached a trio of mothers who were known to her, one of whom she’d consider a friend, who were talking about ‘stars’ being given by the teacher to the kids. My friend announced to the group, ‘Oh yes, my son’s been given a star.’ Cue sniggering. Not giggling, not howling but hands over the mouths, eyes darting quickly between each other, old school sniggering.

‘What’s so funny?’ my friend asks. No response. She asks again. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ says leader-mother dismissively.

We know something about you which you don’t know that makes us laugh.

‘Don’t worry about it?’ My friend asks, confused. Cue eye roll from minion-mother, awkward head down from friend-mother.

‘No, really, please, tell me?’ As my friend re-tells the story tears spring to her eyes. She says that at this point she is feeling small, like a child herself who has asked to play with the other girls only to be laughed at.

‘The stars aren’t rewards. They’re for children who are having difficulties at school.’ Wow! So I have two immediate thoughts. First, that’s just mean. Why would you laugh at a kid or anyone who is finding something difficult? And second, just when you think maybe it’s a level playing field because you’ve all pushed a tiny human out of an even tinier hole…and you’re now all trying really hard to do a job you’re wondering if you are actually qualified for (similar thoughts had by Donald Trump I imagine), it appears that one little playground conversation can have my dear friend in floods of tears. Now I am crying by osmosis and my friend and I are explaining to my three bewildered girls that, although we may be wired that way, we need to fight the urge to be mean to the other girls. Fight the urge ladies. Or rather, recognise it first, then fight it.


Notes from a Writers Handbook

Anoushka-beazley bookcovers