Archives: Soho

Book Addict Review: I am Ella. Buy me.

I am Ella. Buy Me by Joan Ellis
17 Friday Oct 2014
Posted by bookaddictuk in Book Reviews, General Fiction

Fast-paced, dialogue-driven and immediate, for me, I am Ella. Buy Me is reading firmly outside my comfort zone, a million miles from my usual fair of half-forgotten, almost-classics and literary mysteries.

Slightly anxious about participating in my first blog tour, I was even more dubious when the book arrived. Its design, shiny cover, unusual format, and open-type face all screamed “this is not for you”, very loudly. So I didn’t embark on reading I am Ella. Buy Me with any expectation of pleasure or reward but rather somewhat fearful that I would hate it. And for the first few pages, I did. There is hardly a pleasant character in the novel, and the lovely Adam and the wise, warm and gentlemanly Wally don’t shine through until later on: I found it hard to warm to characters who measure their self-worth by the length of their car or who thought it acceptable to wash their smalls in the office.

For all these initial misgivings, I am Ella. Buy Me won out as an enjoyable read.

VFringe – flushing loos and flashing lights

First night of the VFringe was a blast. Loved every minute. Big thanks to the friends who turned out and some strangers too, including the unsuspecting people I hijacked at the Ventnor Carnival and invited to my show: I am Ella. Buy me. One lady even came on crutches – quite a feat given the venue was up a hill in the Scout Hut at The Woodland Bar. It’s an idyllic setting. A place where magic happens.

I conjured up the ad industry in the 80s. I could smell the smoke in the bars in Soho and taste the one too many wines that got drunk in those heady, hazy days. I was an advertising copywriter and back then advertising was a showy, sexist but spectacular industry. It gave me the opportunity to work with advertising greats like Tony Kaye and Trevor Beattie as well as amazing talent like Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield. 

Why I loved working in Soho in the ‘80’s

So sordid. So sexy. So sassy. Soho was never so-so.

Working in one of London’s top advertising agencies just off Soho Square allowed me to get up close and personal with one of the most exciting places on earth.

Boy dressed as girls and women competing in a man’s world – everywhere I looked girls were ‘doing it for themselves’ to quote the lexicon of ‘80’s cool, Annie Lennox.