Monday 3 August 2009

The View From the Shoe: Clare Grant

Clare Grant's Three Beautiful Things blog is based one of the simplest ideas imaginable, but like the very best simple ideas, it sends your mind in unlimited directions. It should eb a compulsory way to start everyone's day.

Clare is also a wonderful writer in search of editorial work, so if you like her style and think you could help, contact her through

So, over to Clare.

My name is Clare Grant. I write some blogs. One is called Three Beautiful Things in which I write briefly about the things that gave me pleasure each day; and one is called Once Around the Park in which I write 30 words on most days about the same short walk. I’m also very proud of my stories inspired by paintings, 12 Old Masters.

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
I had to Google Louboutin, so Converse – I don’t own a pair, but I would rather like one.

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
The feedback on 3BT is: “This ought to be teeth hurtingly saccharine, but it’s not.” I’m doing something right, but I don’t know what, and I’m scared that it’ll stop working at any moment. It’s a lot like riding a bike down a hill that turned out to be steeper than it looked. I’m holding on tight, whooping with joy and hoping there’ll be something soft to land on.

What do you really, really love about it?
I just enjoy putting one word in front of the other. And people reading it and then saying that they like it.

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
Time I have plenty of, as I lost my (paid) job in June. I still have a job because I’m a writer, but a regular income makes me feel like a proper person. I’m not saying other people should feel that way -- but this is how I am wired up.

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
Breakfast, taken in our spacious steampunk-style kitchen, would be a glass of Mole End apple juice, a glass of hot water and lemon, a mug of organic Fair-trade coffee and a bowl of muesli. I would then go swimming, or have a one-to-one yoga lesson.

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
My Jimmy Choo is our weekly veggie box from Able and Cole; and cobblers would be the meat from our local supermarket.

Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
Well it could be having the Three Beautiful Things book published by Long Barn Books – which is Susan Hill’s publishing company. She’s a writer I really admire and I thoroughly enjoy her work. The book is due out in the spring.
And I’m touched by the stories from people who are feeling down but have been cheered up by 3BT, or by writing their own beautiful things.
Or whenever anyone mentions that they’ve read my stuff. The other evening I took a bunch of home-grown spring onions round to a friend. She took them from me and said: ‘Oh they _are_ just like pearls’ – which is what I’d put when I wrote about them a few days before.

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
If I had to have a contract to earn some money, right now, I would take it with both hands.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
I think my fiancé Nick – we’re still at the stage where we want to be standing as close as possible to each other all the time.

Frocks or socks?
Putting on a frock is such a pick-me-up – I’m not capable of feeling desolate when I’m wearing a frock. But socks have their place, too. I get a lot of story ideas when I’m sorting socks on washday – Nick wanted to know last week: “What is it with all the philosophical questions when we’re folding laundry?”