Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

Is there a link between wild nights of dancing behind the bar and my trips to the Vatican?
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The Independent Online

Some people think I ask for trouble, and that I'm really self indulgent, especially with this column. But this week I read someone else's column that ranted on about the fact that all the other mothers managed to have cappuccinos in their hands while they were completing the school run. Meanwhile, there's a discussion in the House of Commons on whether previous sex offenders should be allowed to teach in British schools. What are these fucking politicians being paid for? The answer is No, No, No, No, NO.

Everybody just seems to be getting too radically liberal. Say you're 15, mature for your age, and quite forward. It could be quite easy to start up a bond or a friendship with your teacher, who might be, say, 23. It could turn into some kind of mentor thing. But the main point is that the teacher is in a position of power.

It doesn't have to be a teacher. It could be a tutor, a college professor, or a university lecturer. So even when we're talking about completely mature adults, it would still be an abuse of power to have a sexual relationship. Or am I wrong about this? Am I really just old-fashioned? I just feel people have to be able to place their trust openly - especially young people, who may not have developed their own opinions. These days, I wake up and realise that I am less and less accommodating to easy-going ideas.

In fact, on Sunday, I woke up feeling positively Catholic. I think it's because I had a hangover from Hell. While vomiting water, I started saying that thing: "Oh God, I'm sorry. I promise I'll never do it again!" How long has God been living down the loo?

Watery revelation

Later on in the afternoon, I made my way to the swimming pool. Who was I trying to kid? Two lifeguards had to straighten out the sun lounger for me so I could lay flat. Eventually I made my way to the steam room, knowing if I could take just 10 minutes, detox would be all mine! My friend, who is a lecturer in Irish Studies at King's College, appeared through the steam. As I nearly passed out on the floor, he asked me how I was.

"Funnily enough, Ian," I said, "today I'm feeling positively Catholic. As you're a lecturer in Irish Studies, maybe you could tell me why? Personally, I put it down to guilt. Do you think it's because I went to First Holy Trinity Infant School, which has all the stuff but without the glamour?"

"You know," said Ian, in his dulcet Irish tones, "I believe it could be a subliminal influence: SANDRA. Sandra of the Golden Heart. Yes, Tracey, all those glasses of rosé, those wild nights dancing behind the bar, maybe it was a bit more complicated than you thought."

"So you mean all the times I've gone to the Vatican for Sandra, I've actually been going for myself?"

"Well," said Ian, "she got me going to midnight mass and I'm not even Catholic."

Superstition is the weirdest thing. A couple of strange things have happened to me recently. The other day I decided to spoil myself. I got up really early! With no hangover! I felt happy as I skipped around the kitchen in my dressing gown. I always know when I'm happy because I sing funny little demented songs. I was making myself a fried breakfast. The bacon was bubbling away with black pudding and mushrooms. The tomatoes were gently grilling. Tea was freshly brewed and the toast was buttered. It was all coming together so well. I opened up the egg box to see just one left. On cracking it into the pan, two yolks appeared and the pan was full of blood.

Not just like the normal dot of red blood you would get from a fertilised egg, everything in the pan was contaminated. The whole thing was swimming in blood. Two hours later, my assistant turned up to find me sitting at the table looking like a sphinx. I've spent the last seven days wondering what it means.

Cracking punishment

This week I took nine keys off my key ring and changed the key ring to a small, silver, Bambi-looking thing. Hoping that it would lighten my load and make me feel more agile. I am changing my life. The agile creature that I am hopped off to Marks & Spencer's to do the shopping. As always, too many bags! I have to ask myself who I'm shopping for.

Half way down Bishopsgate, I had to give my arms a rest. When I put the bags on the pavement there was a massive CRACK! I looked down. The olive oil was smashed everywhere. Everything I touched had become oily and slimy. I actually felt helpless and then really had a go at myself for being so stupid. I picked out my stuff and loaded it into three bags and threw the oily bag away. Drunk city guys were looking at me like I was a moron. My hands were covered in oil, but I had nothing to wipe them on. And I had to walk home carrying the bags like I had biceps the size of small houses.

And then, when I got home, my keys on my new key ring were all covered in olive oil! I'm sure you think this is no big deal, but I had to throw all my cakes away! Oh yes, God is really punishing me! Glad I don't have to do the school run.

Tracey Emin is in the process of moving studios and 10 years of shit

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