The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard 12th August 1997



Tuesday 12th August

Dilemma for Ian: If he could have sex with one of the Spice Girls but he had to listen to their album (on repeat if necessary) while he did it, would he?

Clarifying question: Can he hum very loudly? Answer, yes.

Clarifying question: Can he wear earplugs? Answer, no.

He’s thinking about it.

Ian and I picked blackberries for Betty today. There are loads of them in the lane at the back of her house. She told us to pick the ones from waist height and higher because she said some people walk their dogs along the back lane so the ones from lower down might have added ingredients. While we were picking blackberries a man with an Alsatian came down the lane. The dog looked affronted to find us there so he probably was going to wee on the blackberries.

Betty gave us some Battenberg and lemonade. She told me my hair looked lovely and it was my crowning glory. Then we went to Ian’s and listened to Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album. I thought the song “You Can’t Do It Right (With The One You Love)” was weird. If you can’t do it right with the one you love, then who can you do it right with? I think David Coverdale probably has loads of women on the go at once and gets cockfuzzled* about which one he likes best. Ian decided he would have sex with Ginger Spice while humming very loudly. He’d hum Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” because he finds that very satisfying to hum.


*Useful new word Dear Diary for describing being confused about who you like best. There is a female equivalent: fannywildered. This has happened to Ella more than once.

The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard 6th August 1997

VMD97Wednesday 6th August

Today we sat at Jenni’s kitchen table and made astrology not suck! You might wonder how we brought about this miraculous change, Dear Diary. We added the magic ingredient of heavy metal. I bet Mystic Meg didn’t see that coming.

Heavy Metal astrology is similar to regular astrology (in that it’s bollocks dreamed up for some diverting entertainment).

There are twelve signs, whichever one you are is dependent on the date of your birth (actual birth or when you began listening to metal). The signs are the Studded Wristband, the Skull, the Denim Patched Waistcoat, the Snake, the Leather Jacket, the Long Hair, the Cannons, the Horns, the Spooky Pumpkin, the Jack Daniels, the Cucumber and the Bat. Anyone wanting to change their heavy metal astrological sign can do so by giving me, Ian and Jenni a chocolate biscuit each. It’s that simple.

Date Ranges for Heavy Metal Zodiac Signs:

21 March – 19 April – the Studded Wristband

20 April – 20 May – the Snake

21 May – 20 June – the Denim Patched Waistcoat

21 June – 22 July – the Spooky Pumpkin

23 July – 22 August – the Leather Jacket

23 August – 22 September – the Long Hair

23 September – 22 October – the Cannons

23 October – 21 November – the Horns

22 November – 21 December – the Bat

22 December – 19 January – the Jack Daniels

20 January – 18 February – the Cucumber

19 February – 20 March – the Skull


Ian and I are both the sign of the Skull, Jenni is the Bat.


Predictions for this week:

Studded Wristband – You might have problems with Mars this week. Maybe keep your bars in the fridge so they don’t melt.

Snake – Avoid any Rue Morgues and strange lands this week. Lucky numbers are 666 and 22.

Denim Patched Waistcoat – Hoovering while wearing flares is an unwise move this week. Saturn says he might come round your house to return your Hawkwind LP but he doesn’t.

Spooky Pumpkin – Cryptic writings may cause a disagreement between you and a friend, practice tolerance because Mustaine riffs in mysterious ways.

Leather Jacket – You’ll be patronised by a Spice Girls fan this week who tries to tell you you’d like them if you listened to a whole album, tell them you think they are talking from Uranus.

Long Hair – Fortune favours the hairy this week and Timotei the patron saint of the shiny haired smiles upon you from a mountain stream, expect to win at least a tenner on the lottery.

Cannons – You find yourself in a situation as complex as the swirls on a Viennetta this week, don’t overthink it, just go to the pub.

Horns – You’ll win some and lose some this week, but that’s the way you like it, Baby.

Bat – Dark clouds gather which suits you fine and is all the better for initiating bewitching dark romances. A small sacrifice of dropping goat’s cheese on the floor should help matters along.

Jack Daniels – It’s going to be a Mötley Crüe fifth album kind of week so you’re safest spending most of it in bed.

Cucumber – This week Saturday will be your lucky bunday so be prepared for wearing or being a flesh tuxedo.

Skull – Cosmic forces align this week to make you irresistible to the opposite sex so wear your best pants and nip to Boots for some protection (and we don’t mean sun cream, wink wink).

The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard 30th July 1997


VMD97Wednesday 30th July

Me and Jenni got kicked out of Ann Summers again today. It was going well and we were making our way steadily towards the back of the shop where they keep the weird stuff. Jenni picked up a bra and said to me, in an even posher than usual voice “Yes, I think my husband would approve of this”. The security guard came over and asked us our age and we said we were nineteen. He stroked his chin in that “I think that’s total bollocks” sort of way and told us we’d have to leave and to bring ID if we want to shop there.


The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard July 23rd to 27th 1997


Wednesday 23rd July

We listened to some of Gav’s records. Pete Steele claims to be influenced by The Beatles so we gave them a go. It turns out that they didn’t just do soppy rubbish like “I Wanna Hold Your hand”. They also did “Eleanor Rigby” which is dark and gloomy.

 Thursday 24th July

Ian is playing Doom with Matty today. Mum told me to tidy my room and put any washing in the laundry basket. I started doing this but got distracted when I found my Game Boy and ended up playing Tetris for a couple of hours.

 Friday 25th July

I nearly saw T-Reg’s youknowwhat today! We* were all mucking about in the park, listening to music on Ella’s portable CD player and he put my CD down his pants and invited me to get it back! It was dark down there and I didn’t put my hand in but I saw something fleshy. It made me think of the courgettes Mrs Butler brings round occasionally.

*Me, Ian, Ella, Lizzie, T-Reg and STF, Dear diary.

 Saturday 26th July

Jenni got back from holiday this morning. She went topless on a beach! So did Minty! And her Mum! Her Mum, Dear Diary! I told her about nearly seeing Reg’s youknowwhat but since she’d been on a nudist beach it wasn’t a great story any more.

I wore my Wonderbra out of the house for the first time. It’s making stuff happen already, someone at the bar spilt a drink on me and some of it went on my top instead of straight onto my feet. We’re calling it a gincident! I think T-Reg was staring at my chest. I hope it was in a good way and not in a Sherlock Holmes kind of mystified way: The case of the sudden stackedness.

Also, I saw Barry! I wasn’t sure if he’d remember me, but he did and he said Hi. I asked him where he was working at the moment. He said he’s doing a house extension in Pangbourne and there are no cheerful redheads to walk past and make his morning! He hasn’t seen me for a couple of months (it seems like an eternity) so he may think my chest is the genuine article. He was with two girls and two guys again and I still can’t tell if he’s got a girlfriend. He is absolutely gorgeous, even with the eyebrow. He was wearing black jeans and a Slayer T-shirt and looked cleaner than he does at work.

Sunday 27th July

Mum’s lottery obsession has finally paid off! She got four numbers! She said I can have the fourteen hole cherry red DMs I’ve been on about for ages, on the strict condition that I only wear them at weekends, and she is getting a new stair carpet.

Cleo Howard’s Diary Entry 12th June 1997

This is what Cleo wrote in her diary on this day in 1997:

Thursday 12th June

Biology was good today. Baggers (sorry, Dear Diary, I mean Mr Bagnell) brought in some cow lungs still attached to the trachea and blew them up with a bellows. It was so much better than the dull stuff with plants we did last term. Jenni stood right at the front today and Baggers let her have a go with the bellows. Baggers asked how a smoker’s lungs would be different and all the smokers in the class stuffed their fag packets further down in their pockets and shuffled their feet and looked at the floor. Since I’m no longer a smoker I didn’t feel uncomfortable.

When Baggers was handing the lungs to the lab assistant to be taken away Carina Norman said “You’d better hide them well in the rubbish, Jenni will be looking for them to suck the blood out”.

Ian and I gave her loads of cut eye but as usual Jenni didn’t need any help and said “I’ve heard you’ve sucked much worse” and everyone started laughing at Carina (except Janine).

I watched my Alice Cooper videos: Welcome To My Nightmare and The Nightmare Returns. My nightmare is that I’m not allowed to go and see Alice Cooper.