Being a journalist, and a Virgo, I am good at making lists. My research list for Ignoring Gravity was long and eclectic. From adoption to early menopause, roses to dinosaurs. I read voraciously, made notes, clipped articles out of magazines and newspapers, took photographs; I filled boxes and files with notes.As soon as I decided to write about two pairs of sisters I realised part of my story would be set in a different period of time: the 1960s. I was a child in the Sixties, but I would be writing about two young women, two sisters, living in London. I was 10 in 1970, and I grew up on a farm in Yorkshire. Patently, I couldn’t write ‘what I knew’. So I researched the Sixties.
What clothes did they wear?What music did they listen to? The Beatles [above]?
The Rolling Stones [below?] How did they earn their living?
What was happening in the world around them?
What was daily life like, at home, at work?
The political scene in the Sixties: CND, drugs.
What did they read and watch: newspapers, books, magazines, television programmes.
And then there was the non-Sixties stuff:-
The Metropolitan Police.
The streets of Wimbledon and Richmond, the offices of Docklands.
The brick industry of Islington.
The colours of the rainbow.
CND and the Aldermaston March.
The benefits of red wine and chocolate.
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
To read more about Desmond Morris and his book, The Naked Ape, click here to read an article from the BBC Archive in 1967.
To learn more about CND’s activities today, click here.
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Roses, The Beatles, The Naked Ape & 60s squats: #researching IGNORING GRAVITY http://wp.me/p5gEM4-R4 via @SandraDanby