Friday, April 29, 2011

Weak at The Knees - A Royal Wedding To Remember

So, what did you all think? Were upi tucked up in your bunting watching it in front of a roaring fire or were you partying at Westmister hoping to catch a glimpse of the happy couple?

For those of you that missed it, here is a quick recap of what happened... I was lucky enough to spend the day in Westmister Abbey as I happen to have friends in the know and so I've brought you this report live from the front line...

The bride's dressed was the first item of the day to cause a stir as she had shunned all the favourites in the running for designer and had gone with something much more contemporary. All the fashion world debate had focused on sleeves vs no sleeves, hair up vs hair down but I don't think anyone could have (or would have) predicted she'd wear a dress enitrely made from bleached denim with diamante pattern. She did opt for no sleeves, but you'd have to look closely to see that, as she'd taken the liberty of having the faces of her futue in-laws tattooed up and down the length of her arms. A bold choice for our future Princess.

The hair was carefully beehived and, were it not for the fact she had borrowed her enormous tiara from Miss Katie Price, you would have struggled to see it in amongst all the bouffant. You had to hand it to her, she'd done well.

As she made her way up the aisle it was interesting to see Prince Phillip repeatedly shaking the Queen and mouthing "Pull yourself together, she's not that common." I believe many punters believed it would have been the other way around. The happy couple sat and smiled their way through the service, Kate even let out a little gasp at one point - causing the entire conregation to check and see where Harry's hand was residing. It was a beautiful ceremony - the pair set light to 4 dozen doves and set them loose outside Westminster Abbey in an incredible display of affection and disdain for animal welfare.

The speeches were a mixed bag - Harry took the opportunity to tell Charles that he thought Camilla was a sour faced crumpet of a woman and that he was glad Charles wasn't his real father as it meant he didn't have to suffer the good night hugs with Camilla any longer. The Queen presented Kate with a cushion filled with Diana's hair that she'd been keeping for the birth of their first child but just thought it marked the occasion. Phillip was forcibly removed from the room before he could say a word.

It was a remarkable day. Out in the streets the moronic British public had tears in their eyes as they spoke about happy they were that two perfectly chiselled, perfect strangers had gotten married. They said they weren't entirely sure what it meant for the future of the country but they had heard a rumour it meant Diana could come back now and that we might be getting a new fountain.

Even now, as the sun sets and Harry stamps his foot in the background declaring he's tired of chasing grotty blonde trash and that he wants "a proper woman with proper sized teeth", one feels a great sense of pride in our Royal Family. I think, if anything, this wedding shows that they know exactly what the pubic wants and needs. When the economy is failing - let's all take the day off, when budgets are being slashed - let's show the public what they can't even have a tenth of, and when normal Londoners can barely even travel one tube stop of a weekend - let's just shut down the entire city for the sake of two people. God bless the ruling classes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This is Puffed

So... why is the blog so late today you ask You might not ask, but, because I'm in charge of the words, you've had to for the sake of the narrative. The blog is late for 3 reasons -

1. I've been very sick all day.
2. I received yet more lousy correspondence to complete my week.
3. I went to see Tim Minchin

So... an interesting day in all. All backdropped by massive nausea and a desire to bury myself up to the neck in alka seltzer and not move forever and a day. The email was the second piece of surprise mail I'v had this week which has been like a massive punch in the face. On Tuesday there was random ex-appearance in my inbox which is always a reason for my heart beat to to go a little John Cage, and then today I got an angry email telling me I was the devil. Karma is a bitch. This must be my comeuppance for that week I spent smacking babies in the eye with spoons.

And then Tim. Tim was the gorgeously tight trousered ginger comedy genius who has made it worth carrying on with this farce of a week. He certainly didn't disappoint. That was the 5th time I've seen the guy live and every time I get goose bumps, shivers and a desire to run screaming onto the stage and tell him I agree with 99% of his words and 100% of his notes.

Tomorrow I'm off out of London to avoid the bunting parade - I'm heading for the West Country to bake things, eat things and party hard with a load of 20 yr olds... whoop indeed...whoop.

Sadly I do have to go and sleep now instead of having another nervous breakdown a la yesterday, but I have important fluids to replace in my body (from the being sick not from the weeping over Tim's genius or anything rude). I promise to be better tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stand Up Sit Down

I've never blogged standing up before. This is the very first time. Perhaps tonight I will try gigging sitting down just to see if I can totally reverse the two forms of expression. Why am I stood up? Well, because my laptop needs charging and so I can no longer sit at the garden table and work - I've plugged it in on the counter while I make lunch and I'm blogging whilst debating whether or not to go to Tesco and get more milk.

Exciting life huh? Not really.

I think I'm having a life crisis truth be told. I think I'm on the brink of either an epiphany or suicide, I'm hoping it's the former as I'm really quite chirpy and I worry that I would mess up a lot of statistics about what to look out for in depressed people. There would be scores of happy people up and down the country getting sectioned when they thought too much based on me being an anomaly on a carefully plotted graph. I wouldn't like that to happen.

I also haven't yet seen a picture that I'd be OK with having on the front page of the Daily Mail when I've gone either. I have an awful feeling they'd opt for one of me from school with a giant forehead (before I discovered fringes were friends) and a brace on my teeth. The headline would be stupidly disappointing too "Extremely chirpy person does something for some reason". Also, if I'm narcissistic enough to be imagining what the papers would say about me should I decide to shuffle off, it probably means I'm too self involved to think the world can cope without me. Why waste what's perfect? Have you seen my boobs? These puppies need passing on to the next generation. Not like, I'm going to let young people play with them - but I might try and have a girl or something so she can see how it feels to be this greatly shaped. Sigh.

So, it's going to have to be an epiphany! Wonderful! I'm sure I'm going to enjoy my first epiphany when it happens. What I'm hoping, is that it will be about what to do with the rest of my life. It's sort of dawning on me that, short of squeezing out a sprog and teaching her about buoyancy aids, there's very little with any meaning left to do in the world that will fill 40 years and keep a roof over your head.

I think what I'm going to do is hold a tea party (heaven knows I have enough tea pots) and I'm going to have to invite the world's most influential people to it. All of them. World leaders, celebrities, Kate Humble etc... then, I'm going to have to put on an elaborate puppet show (possibly with the help of Julie Andrews) to show them quite how wrong we've got the world. Then they'll all sit there feeling a bit silly and we'll agree that we sort of need to shut down large portions of 'modern civilisation'. Sarah Palin will row home and persuade Americans to give up engines (she might fail at this, anger people and get shot but that's fine too - if she fails we'll just have the Republicans on a rolling loop until they've all gone - then the Democrats will be in charge and they've kind of been more on my side all along.) Eddie Izzard and Stephen Fry will teach Twitter all about accepting people who are different to you and how to be educated but still cool. The leaders of the Middle East will go home and make lots of signs saying "Ooops, there was less oil left than we thought - think of something else." Danny DeVito and Robin Williams will be on tag team to show Korea and China how to lighten up, and Israel and Palestine will be subjected to nonstop Chuckle Brothers DVDs until they see how silly arguing over the concept of a piece of land is.

I think I'm confused. I don't understand why the world is still carrying on like everything's fine - surely someone else has noticed that it's all silly? Why are we still going to work? My next task will be to conduct a poll of people who think their job is genuinely worthwhile in the grand scheme of things. If the bar I suspect will be higher, is higher then we all have to agree to quit and dredge up a new system of living that allows us more time to be proper people. Maybe this will be a graph induced epiphany...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Song

Somehow I’m ready,
Hands and gaze steady,
Nervously checking the glass.
Imperfect reflection,
My final inspection,
For a test you won’t ask me to pass.

I practise my pose,
Curling unruly toes,
Shivering soft in my dress.
I’m silently waiting
Sat still, contemplating,
The peace that you pulled from the mess.

I’m never as much as I am when I’m yours,
Part of me hopes that you know,
That you see the looks I don’t always give,
Catch the lines that I don’t always throw.

I’m happiest waking,
Since you calmed the shaking,
Since you put your arms round the tears.
Since you held me down,
And wiped off the clown,
I’ve shaken the lingering fears.

We fall into rhyme,
The steps are in time,
You let me first through the door.
Once you’ve ordered the red,
And the night fills my head,
There’s the panic that you’ll find the flaw.

It’s more than it was now we are what we weren’t,
Do you wish I was more in your light?
My promises for you get stuck in my throat,
Even though the intention was bright.

I’m happiest waking,
Since you calmed the shaking,
Since you put your arms round the tears.
Since you held me down,
And wiped off the clown,
I’ve shaken the lingering fears.

A Song

Well, I’m somewhere else and I didn’t feel me leaving,
I don’t remember making that choice
I hate the goodbyes, and the silence between
And the pictures I try not to paint.
Is there somebody else, that you haven’t met
That’s holding your hand when I’m gone?
‘Cos I swear I’m alone, and your smell’s in my skin
I’m counting the hours ‘til I’m home,
Home with you.

I’ll hold the shadows, when I can’t hold you
And I’ll not keep warm, but I’ll see the night through.
Sheets without joy, without wrinkles and fights
Tears before bed when I turn off the lights,
I miss you and dreaming’s the closest I’ve found
To soothing the pain and drowning the sound
Of your lips on hers and your hands in her hair
The pictures I paint when I can’t be there.

He’s charming and tall and he told me a joke,
And I laughed like I should when he stopped.
So I’m whiling the hours away, nicely dressed,
Stoking the fire, playing with the rest.
His hand on my arm,
I flinch, but stand still – it’s wrong,
but I’m human and cold.
It hurts to be under this stranger’s blue eyes
I’m frightened I’m too weak to leave,
Should I play along a good night kiss
And take relief in some new arms?
Or be the woman I’m desperate to be,
For you.

I’ll hold the shadows, when I can’t hold you
And I’ll not keep warm, but I’ll see the night through.
Sheets without joy, without wrinkles and fights
Tears before bed when I turn off the lights,
I miss you and dreaming’s the closest I’ve found
To soothing the pain and drowning the sound
Of your lips on hers and your hands in her hair
The pictures I paint when I can’t be there.

Misery Sandwich

What is the point in these 3 days? For everyone who woke up this morning and when "Ah well there goes happiness", I am really with you. The sun has gone, I'm back at a laptop and I'm in an arse-about-face grump. Where's the sun gone?? Who is sitting up in the sky controlling the world thinking, "You know what'll take the sting out of going back to work? Clouds. Clouds will help."

Clouds will not help. Clouds are not helping today to sweep by.

Why would anyone in a managerial position imagine that anyone would put any effort into working during these three days? Surely this is a sign that these persons in charge have absolutely no people skills whatsoever. They must live on cloud cuckoo land if they think that the sugar levels in our blood stream are low enough for us to pretend to find HTML exciting.

I don't know about the rest of the workforce but I'm struggling to even sleep while I wait for the result on what tiara Kate will be wearing. What the hell are you supposed to get done in 3 days? Day 1 is for cursing the fact you're working, Day 2 is for reading the emails you got on Day 1 and Day 3 is for coming up with a cursory 2 word reply to those emails and then shoving them off to worry about next week.

If I could, I would be enacting a Viking funeral on my laptop right now. All flames and naked dancing (I don't actually know if the Vikings danced naked at funerals but it's my dream so I'm letting that one through) around a lake with a steaming Dell "Inspirin' Very Little" bouncing across the waves like a petrolled pebble.

I would have found it difficult to do anything very productive anyway having handed in my notice. I'd heard beautiful rumours about a thing called "gardening leave" that other lucky buggers get put on when they quit. I work in Canary Wharf so gardening leave couldn't have been anything muckier than going outside and smacking paving slabs with a hoe. Brilliant. Sadly there appears to still be work to do for me - the poor garden.

If I have a good enough nap this afternoon it'll practically be Wednesday and then we're just rolling into Thursday and a Tim Minchin shaped end to the working week. Huzzah for the beautiful ginger light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Two Cents

I've steered off the subject of the Royal Wedding so far but this evening it feels like time to weigh in with an opinion.

I couldn't care less whether they get married or not. I don't care what she wears. I don't care what he wears. I slightly care what Harry wears. I'll care if an evil witch turns up and kidnaps Kate and then William has to go on a quest for her, although in this day and age it's likely to be a bomb of some kind which is less fun. Unless it just blows up part of her limb and then William has to go and find her toe and bring it back or something. However that is gory and in poor taste so I don't care if that happens.

I find it slightly patronising that we're all supposed to care so much about people we don't know getting married. I feel like I should be behaving like some kind of Tudor peasant who is thrilled at the prospect of a day off and a chance to see a procession of someone wearing something other than hessian. Well, I get two days a week off and while I'm grateful for the Bank Holiday is does feel like a sneaky sleight of hand trick to try and distract us.

"What recession? LOOK A BARBECUE."

It's not that I'm anti-Royal family - I couldn't care less. They're a bit lovely to have as a comfort blanket, they probably do a lot for international relations (sit down Philip) and they bring in a fair old number of tourists. I don't  want them to disband particularly - not that you probably can disband a family... I think of them like a lot of other old traditions from times when we were stupider. Like saying 'bless you' when someone sneezed  it used to mean something and now we just do it because we've got used to it. That's the Royal Family... we know they're not divine and as long as they don't piss us off too much we'll continue laughing at their funny ears and insistence on marrying women who look like pets.

I do think, however, that if the monarchy want the perks of continuing to be a monarchy then they need to stop with all this "We're just like you" business. Harry - stop your clubbing and start having massive balls at the palace that we fair maidens are invited to. If you're going to be a Royal Family, do it like the story books or fuck off. Fergie's got the right idea - she fucks something up every now and again in true attention grabbing style. That's what we want - none of this talking to flowers crap.

My brother raised the argument this weekend that he didn't think we should have a Royal Family because it wasn't fair that they had all that stuff simply because of the family they were born into. I said that was an interesting point but asked if he would like to give up all his comforts and way of life simply because it wasn't an orphan in a Brazilian slum's fault that they hadn't been born into our family. He went very quiet and has (hopefully or I'll kick him) been contemplating the genetic lottery that is life ever since.

So there we go - no fireworks, no bunting, no fois gras... that is my opinion. I can only give a toss about people I know getting married. But thanks for the day off anyway.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easier Terday

What a perfect day.

The brother and I have just eaten our Easter picnic of grilled trout (which I dropped an awful lot of parsley on so we now have speckly green teeth), tomato and mozarella (don't tell him but I didn't eat more than the two pieces of tomato he saw me eat because I only really wanted the mozarella) and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

I've eaten so much chocolate that I fear if I go outside now I will just melt and chocolate will start oozing out of my toes. This could me misread and look a bit like I've pooped myself and so I feel it's safest right now to just stay on the opposite sofa to the brother and continue watching Green Wing. He is steadily chomping his way through his egg collection and showing no signs of nausea.

All this summer weather is having a really weird effect on me. Sunny weather makes me crave having a boyfriend. It would be a lot easier if the heat made me want ice cream or salad or BBQd food, but it doesn't... it makes me want to be adored. Which doesn't even make any sense if you think about it because having a man around only makes things hotter (in all sense of the word - there was a bit of smut! Coooo-eeee!).

I'm beginning to think perhaps I go into season around this time of year like an underplayed with spaniel. It's pretty well timed though because there's plenty of chocolate around to pad out my sorrows with. Maybe I'll melt all my chocolate into one disgusting juicy lump and make myself a fake boyfriend just to keep around for the summer. This will suit me perfectly because he'll have to stay in the house/fridge so I won't have to introduce him to anyone or worry about inviting him to social occasions where I want to be alone. Theoretically (content wise) he'll be fatter than me too so if people do meet him they'll think I'm a better person because I'm not fixated on looks.

I will call him Chocolat-Claude and he'll possible have Smarties for eyes (if I don't finish them while I'm making my blog). When it comes to Winter time he'll get eaten (by me) to keep me fattened for the colder months. This will make him the most useful boyfriend in the world.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

That T Shirt

Some things have been whirring round in my ticker for the last couple of days and I think I need to get them down on virtual paper.

1. I think students do need to pay higher tuition fees. I dislike the argument that it will put poorer students off because the whole point of going to Uni is to educate yourself so that you will earn more - ergo, you will no longer be poorer if you've been through the system. If you don't believe that with your degree you'll be capable of getting into a high enough pay bracket to pay back 9k over 5-6 years then potentially you should rethink University.

If you don't believe students should have to pay your own University fees then what you're saying is that everyone else should pay them for you. People that didn't go to University should have their taxes put towards someone else's education, is essentially what you're saying. The Government won't pay for the education if students don't, because the Government just allocate your money.

If we don't raise the tuition fees then Universities will continue to be under funded and will continue to churn out far too many moderately educated people. University is not supposed to be for everyone - we need to break the social opinion that other forms of education are less worthy. An apprenticeship is just as good as a degree, some careers require learning on the job.

As for the life experience, why don't we just work out other ways to get people of the same age to socialise nicely without them all having to go and play drunkards on a campus? If the stereotype of people who don't go to Uni are less worthy was dropped then we could all just play nicely. You don't have to go to campus to learn what moving out is like, you don't need a 3 year degree to learn independent study and you don't need a tutor to hold your hand until you're 22. Why don't we just make it easier for people to move out at 18 and move into shared houses without having to be studying?

2. I saw a T-Shirt today that said "I don't need to have sex - this Government fucks me everyday." Which I thought was ungrateful. Then I thought, if you can think of two previous Governments that you have lived through and thought things weren't right, maybe it's not the Government you hate - maybe it's democracy. However, if you can think of two previous Governments that you thought weren't right and have lived through, chances are you don't living in a dictatorship. So chances are you ought to stop blaming other people and take responsibility for why your life isn't how you'd like it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pissy Jimmy's Patties

It has been a day of sincere laziness. I'm not even sure I can be bothered to move my fingers enough to scrawl a blog... but I shall suck it up and produce my usual daily miracle to please you. Because you need me. And I need to please. How hard it is to be this brilliant. I really don't know how I manage.

My little brother is here this weekend. We've just had a celebratory BBQ to welcome him to the Old Kent Road and now I'm getting nicely drunk and watching Team America. Pretty much a perfect Bank Holiday in my humble one. I've made burgers from scratch (they were very small and contained mustard which has potentially made one BBQ guest fairly ill tomorrow) and we had marinated chicken and lots of cider and now we're fairly sunned out and ready for bed.

I'm pretty shattered having been to Brighton yesterday (after a trip to Manchester which began at 7:30am) and arriving home at 1am. It was a weird gig last night I won't lie. We tried to entertain the brigades of Brightonians (it was Hove actually) but it was difficult to work out whether they wanted comedians or just people with microphones that they could mess with. Luckily what they wanted (as opposed to slick jokes and confident comedians) was just someone silly that would play with them for a while. I was pleased to be able to be that person.

And, AND... I got paid in rock! Rock! Actual sugary rock!!! What better payment could you have than rock??? Well, I suppose money might have been nice but if you can't have money then rock is just as good. If not better. I firmly believe that the rock made my performance 100% better. Everyone loves a midget on a sugar high.

Tomorrow we trek to Camden to see if the small brother copes better with it than the small sister. Watch this space...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Golden Years

When you make a huge change in your life, like leaving a partner, a job or a house, it leaves you with an opportunity to actually think properly about what you would consider to be a better alternative.

At the beginning of the week I handed my notice in to a job I've had for about 18 months. Although it's my choice to leave and I'm essentially leaving because I've been pretty unhappy working there, I still cried when I had to tell my boss I wanted out. Truth be told I felt like a bit of a failure for not being able to satisfy myself with the job. It's the first full time job I've had since graduating and it's the only job I've known since I moved to London - it's been an enormous phase of my life. But I can't do it any more.

During the consultation where I explained my reasons for resigning, my boss asked me what I would be looking to do now. I couldn't honestly tell him, but I said it would have to be something I was proud of. The issue I have with my current job is that there's never an opportunity to look down on your work and be pleased with what you've acheived. I need that.

I'm currently organising a string of Edinburgh previews for July - I am booking, promoting, MCing, ticketing and running all 12 nights. This is an incredible amount of work - liaising with the venue, the festival, the agents and the comedians whilst trying to ensure there are bums on seats. But the pride I'm taking in it outweighs the fact that there might be parts of the work that are way beyond what I thought I could achieve. I've managed to snag the likes of Bridget Christie, Stephen Carlin, Phil Nichol and loads of other awesome names and the satisfaction that comes with that is far, far better than a salary.

I suppose it's a smugly nice feeling to know that I'm not particularly money orientated - but it does make it difficult when the Guardian Jobs emails land in my inbox and I remember that I have to find something to pay the rent for a little longer. When they list the job description, you have to read it and think - do I want to do that? Could I do that without weeping in to a paper tray?

The difficulty with not wanting a career in business is that it's very difficult to make yourself apply for any of these bottom rung jobs - because you have no intention of climbing the ladder and ever being the biggest fish. You spend 4 years wiping someone's arse as the smallest office mite, then you go full time comedian/actress/writer/singer etc etc and suddenly you're at the bottom of a different career path wiping other arses. It's terribly silly.

Today I'm going to Brighton, except that I'm going via Manchester, so it's going to be a very long day. Your sympathy vibes are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You're Perfect For Me

I think I first fell in love with you on the 4th July - or was it the 3rd July? I can't really remember, I'm a bit hazy on the details... there was a lot going on then. I just remember flashing lights and and loud noises and stupid people dancing despite the warnings. Then I saw your face - I think you were on the phone. Your floppy hair, your crooked smile and your eyes. I think I knew I loved you in that moment. But you were with someone else then. I didn't understand how you stayed together - I couldn't see the chemistry personally. She was so corporate, while you were just casual and down to earth. I knew you'd be happier with me.

Thankfully she died not long after I saw you and you cried. You cried. You cried wonderfully, I was so impressed. Even while running the country you somehow managed to shed a tear for your dearly beloved wife. You are incredible.

The next time I saw you, you were a little younger - weird, I know... I don't know why I got it in this order but it didn't make too much difference. You were struggling as a single father, setting up house in a new area and trying to keep your work life out of your daughter's new world. I was a little angry with you. You'd been away for so long and now, here you were behaving selfishly and not being the hero I'd always thought you were.

It was weird, I won't lie. And what was with the ghosts? Surely you should have upped sticks and gotten out of there the second it became apparent you were working in what appeared to be a B Movie? I understand potentially why you stayed - your daughter was cool, I'd like to work with her myself. But you? I don't think you needed to stoop to that kind of a level...

But when did I truly know we were meant to be together forever? Well, let me tell you... it was only a little while later. You were single then... but not for long. You met Lucy. You knew you shouldn't have been attracted to her, but you were... but she was with your brother and you knew you shouldn't love her. But you couldn't help it.

Watching you fight your instincts - and fail - and watching her fall for you at the same time... it was perfect. Thankfully the brother turned out to be a jack ass and Lucy fell for you, it's incredible how this always seems to happen in your life. I think it's your aura - you're practically magical.

I just wanted to write you this note to tell you I love you. I have always loved you and I think I always will. Bill Pullman - you complete me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Versatile Left Hand

I did it.

Moving on.

I've just eaten so much that even moving a little bit makes me feel very inweildy and like I might fall over at any moment. I feel a bit queasy... but that's largely due to the mixture of apple, taramasalata and tea. All of these are wet and squishy and as a consequence I feel wet and squishy. I'm sheltering in the relative cool of my living room and wondering whether I will turn in to a wet squishy mess if I go ahead and make another cup of tea. I probably will.

I'm supposed to be working on some new material for Monday's show. My theme this month will be cricket - interestingly one of my jokes on cricket is the only one I'veever written that has got me a bad noise from the audience. My material is usually terribly inoffensive and so to have written something edgy is quite interesting really. No one would have guessed it would have come from cricket either, I'll bet.

The trouble is I don't feel particularly productive given the heat outside - I wish I was a lizard so I had an excuse for just wanting to bask all day. We went so catastrophically wrong somewhere in our development as a race - how is it possible that we're the most advanced things on the planet and yet we have advanced to the point where we enjoy practically none of the natural bounties on offer? Ridiculous.

Tonight I'm off to a comedy competition - comedy competitions make me very angry. Sadly it's fairly necessary to enter them if you want to raise your status ont he comedy scene but they are so stupid. You can have a blinding gig and then go on to not win and rather than feeling buoyed by a solid performance, you feel rubbish because you weren't the best. And what is the best in comedy? It's too subjective to be graded.

Last night I went down to Old Rope at The Phoenix off Regent Street and I saw an utterly awesome line up of comedy (Carey Marx, Tiernan Douieb, Rich Hall, Shappi Khorsandi, Lloyd Langford and Rufus Hound...!!!!) For a Monday night club to be showing what's essentially a festival line up for a freaking fiver is incredible I think. I have to say that as much as I loved all the other acts it was actually Rufus Hound who took my breath away. I've not seen anything that incredible at a gig for a while and it wasn't really what I was expecting from a TV guy (as he well addresses). Happy sigh. I wouldn't mind if Rufus Hound beat me in a competition. That would be OK by me. But I doubt he'll be there tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Death Row

So, I've written my notice - it's a bit polite and a bit angry but in a lovely font so I'm pleased with it - and I've been waiting to hand it in since 8:30am when I asked my boss for a meeting.

He has since been avoiding me like the plague.

I am starting to feel that if I just continue to ask him for ominous sounding chats in the mornings then he'll never check whether I'm working or not and I'll effectively have quit but still get paid. I think I'm on to a winner...

In other news I just ate a bucket load of sushi and am spending my day ridiculously excited about this time next week when we have the next installment of Quiz In My Pants. I have tried not to gush too much about it in my blog because I don't want it to seem like I'm just promoting it. But, over the weekend we had an awesome meeting and developed a whole heap of new rounds that are coming into force on Monday.

My favourite of these rounds involves a lego man being baked into a courgette muffin... I literally have to wear Tena lady if I'm considering this concept for more than a few minutes in a day. Ma ha ha ha ha... how excellent.

Overall it was quite a productive weekend - yesterday we had the first read through of the edited version of Ink (the theatre show I'm taking to Edinburgh) and it was excellent. Simply couldn't be any more excited about all these things that are bubbling away in the future. Now, if only I could quit my job it would be fine. My boss was last seen shoving cotton wool into his ears and humming the theme from Cheers in the stationery cupboard.

The difficulty is that the longer we go with me not doing it, the more things I can think of to add to the list of reasons for departure. Somehow I feel that citing the company golf day and subsequent hangover are not going to fly well with the board of directors. It's best not to leave someone with an active imagination hanging for too long because it leads to mischief.

I've eaten a bucket load of sushi due to nerves - I feel a bit like a sea lion now. Perhaps this is exactly how sea lions feel just before the 2pm show, knowing that if they can't catch the ball cleanly enough they'll be sent back to the ocean. I'm 90% sure that's how zoos work with constructive dismissal.

Sigh. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let the Hat out of the Bag

I've had a really interesting 24 hours... it's culminated in a massive attack of the blues descending on me this evening but I think I'm going to solve that this evening by eating a lot of chocolate hobnobs and watching The Watchmen with one of my housemates.

I've had a string of thoughts in the last 24 hours that range from really quite profound, to potentially quite profound to downright stupid and only likely to seem profound to severely deprived zoo animals. What I'll do is just list the thoughts I've had and you can choose the labels yourself.

1. A life has to be bigger than the society within which it dwells. If you truly believe in yourself as a person, and in a life that reflects yourself, you need to think of your existence outside the realms of the constraints put upon it by hierarchy, expected norms and patterns of developments. Without the elements of the human mind that make up forward thinking and memory, you have to consider that the only moment of your life that exists is the present. Therefore, the activities that you regularly take part in are the vast majority of your life. I'm beginning to believe that you have to start to see your life as a series of experiences - I think I've lost my grip on the idea that your life is a journey somewhere or a time frame for which you hang your achievements on at the correct age. It's got to be more than that - it's got to be about gathering as many experiences and feelings that pleased you. I'm not sure I can reconcile the concept of being continuously unhappy or dissatisfied whilst maintaining that the discomfort is all in preparation for a day when I will be happy in the future. Happiness has to be a constant or it's only a perceived goal - it's too intangible.

2. Immigrants are inherently racist towards the West Country and this is not something I'm willing to stand for much longer. Growing up I knew practically no one from any country other than England. The best most kids could claim was to have a distant Uncle from Ireland. There was one black kid at my primary school and I still remember his name to this day because it was so unusual. When I got to secondary school there were a few black families but I don't really remember more than about one or two Asian families. It wasn't until I moved over to Kent for University that I was properly introduced into non-white communities.

So, what the fuck is wrong with the West Country? How selfish do you have to be to deprive kids like me of a chance to discover if they're racist or not? Had it turned out that I was racist, then I was robbed of a god 18 years of discriminating before I was allowed to put my behaviour into action. Obviously, it transpired I was as accommodating as Luther King on a good day - but I can't help but wonder how much extra un-racist I would be if I didn't have this chip on my shoulder about them snubbing my homeland. It's like being treated like a second class citizen. So what if we're not a huge city? We have culture, and fields... and lots of pubs and small churches with dull hymns and old people. Give country folk a chance. That's all I'm saying.

3. Oven cooked sausages are far superior to grilled or fried just as poached eggs are the king of the chicken potential styles.

4. Your own wealth, weight and popularity are all concepts that are virtually impossible to gauge cleanly. No one looking in on your life will ever view these ideas in the same way you do. This leads me to wonder whether there is some form of universal truth concerning any of them that it is possible to take as the 'truth'. Am I wealthy? Is there an answer to that which isn't relative? Am I popular - what is popularity? Am I overweight - obesity is easy to diagnose but if you equally ask an anorexic if they're overweight they will say yes... how do you discern what is the normal range?

If there are no central points to measure from for these concepts, how can they have become the focal points that the vast majority of western society revolve round?

And why is there no opt-out? Why is there no where you can live on this planet without having to subscribe to some kind of doctrine of organisation? What if I don't believe in democracy (because I don't think it works incidentally) and I want to go and live somewhere lawless? What if I think gypsy and American tribe life were about as close to perfect as it got and I think we should go back? There doesn't seem to be a box to tick for that, just someone pulling a sad face and saying "Sorry it's too late."

Has it just got too late?

So there you go - make of those what you will. It's a bit noisy in my brain tonight and if I don't find an answer soon I'm scared I'm just going to have to blame the immigrants for all of it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Few Things Better

Yesterday I noticed that there are few things that give me greater pleasure than a fully grown adult wearing a paper crown. Especially if the adult is drunk and/or smiling like a lunatic. There is nothing better than the perceived superiority of a crown combined with the ridiculousness of it being made of paper. If the wearer is throwing up massive amounts of Burger King whilst using one hand to hold themselves up and the other to keep the crown on their head then so much the better.

Today I noticed that police people on horses are utterly ridiculous. I just don't understand how having a police man on a horse is useful in central London? If anything, surely the horse is a hindrance to catching a burglar or really doing anything quickly in a crowd? Unless the primary objective is to be the most noticeable person on the street I can't see any reason why you'd find it helpful to have the added distraction of keeping a horse under control whilst doing your job.

So, those are basically two things. One brilliant. One rubbish. Enjoy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Scandal in a Corset

I let my hair down last night - and it felt finger licking good. I did something that I wouldn't normally do and it blew all the cobwebs away - it kind of blew them away with the sort of force that appears on Sky News 24.

I went to a Burlesque show. Now, I've tried this once before and I was mildly uncomfortable all evening and went home feeling a little insecure and very confident that I'd probably choke on a nipple if I tried to get tassles moving like those girls did. But last night I had a really good time - I went to the Hurly Burly Show at The Garrick Theatre near Leicester Square and it had all the atmosphere and coy sexuality that you need to enjoy Burlesque without feeling a little bit creepy. Having said that, if the woman next to me had laughed through her nose and sighed any more I would have had to ask her to immediately don an anorak and wear a badge which labelled her "More Than A Little Bit Excited".

I went with a lady friend who is in desperate need of cheering and so we decided to push the boat out on the glamour stakes for our evening. Killer heels and plunging cleavage were the order for the day... we did not fail. I have a certain outift that arranges my front bum into the sort of position that would save my life were I to be hit front on by a truck. It's quite convenient. That dress is a success if for nothing else than you always know where my boobs are when I'm wearing it - THEY'RE THERE. Perfect for a kinky show and a self-esteem boost. I don't usually feel very comfortable dressing up or being particularly revealing - it's not how I think of myself and I find it difficult than anyone I meet when dressed like that will have a certain label and make very strict assumptions about me. If you could wear a lot of make up, show a lot of thigh but carry round a certificate of your degree it might be easier. Just for one night, though, I thought I'd make an exception and feel glamorous.

The show was brilliant - really well done, beautiful girls and excellent music. I'd recommend it to anyone. It got me thinking a lot about how heterosexuals appreciate the sexuality of their own gender. The audience split was about 50/50 for the show and I couldn't help but think that were it a Chippendale show, you probably wouldn't get a straight man in the house. Why do straight women find it nice to watch other women stripping? Are we all secret lesbians as Zoo magazine would have us believe? Is it morbid curiosity to go and see the sort of figure the vast majority of us can't be bothered to achieve? I don't know.

For me, I found it pleasant to watch attractive women in this situation - it was a turn on, but not because I wanted to physically be with any of the women - it's because I wanted to feel what they were portraying I think. I was sort of watching these very attractive woman dancing and, not jealously wishing I had her body (much), but wanting to feel the sort of desire and sexual enlightenment she is experiencing. When you see perfect breasts on a stage, it's not that you want to be involved with them - it's that you want other people to appreciate yours in the same way. I think. Through watching a physical form that's like yours, you can almost believe you're acting out the fantasies that are occurring? I think. I'm not sure.

I'm not sure it is the same for men? I'm obviously not a man - as my dress last night proved - I think perhaps there is too much a competition element for men? As far as I understand it, sex for most men is much more a solely physical experience - I think women have more complicated layers to get them excited and for them to enjoy sex. I'm aware we're delving deep into potential Stephen Fry situations here - I'm not meaning all women need to have their hair stroked and be told they're adored before they'll drop their pants - but I think there are extra complications other than - Do I want to have sex, simple yes or no.

After the show I was reminded why I never wear revealing clothes. I WAS PROPOSITIONED. It was the sort of proposition that was very, very easy to turn down.

Having tried clubbing in Leicester Square, my friend and I decided it smelt like egg and that having your leg humped by a 12 year old in a chequed shirt wasn't for us. We left the club and were immediately greeted by a promo guy insisting the night picked up around midnight. By night picking up we assume he meant there would be 15 year old boys who might have progressed to tight tshirts and smelling of egg mayonnaise.

Our promo guy then declared I had beautiful eyes. This would have been a lovely compliment if he hadn't followed it up with "I want you to, like, have my babies." Er, right... is he looking for a sitter or suggesting I go and lift my petticoats round the back of Shaftesbury Avenue. He told us his name was Dijon - like the mustard, I asked, he ignored me (perhaps deciding the mother of his children was a gobby cow).

I was laughing by this point and I think the slight tremor in the chest reason must have caugh his eye like a mgapie going after a Mr Kipling cake case. He made the error of looking directly at the breasts. Now, I don't mind - I purposely got them out, didn't go out under the impression that no one could see my cleavage but me, if I didn't want them to catch the attention of the opposite sex I wouldn't show them off. But the poor guy didn't really know what to do after that. I was frightened he'd never stop looking and we'd have to get married or he could sue me for lack of earnings.

After about 15 seconds of rabbit in the mammaries style shock, he pulled himself together.
"Oh my god I am so sorry. I am just, like, staring at your tits."
Me - "Yes... yes you are."
"You have beautiful tits. Damn, I want to, like, take you to Nandos. Can I take you to Nandos?"

At this point I was crying with laughter. Our mustardy friend was floundering and had pulled out his trump card. Chicken. My friend and I could barely breathe and the poor guy was still backtracking desperately to try and keep his chances of spicy rice with Sharky & George (my front humps) alive. He tried the 'be nice to the friend card' and turned to my companion with his best grin,
"You've got a lovely scarf."

This man was a Grade A genius. Total and utter smooth charm. Women may have a lot of difficulties to overcome in finding a balance between the sexes, but at least we are blessed with the capacity to be able to consider the concept of sex and still run a functioning body.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Painting Cindy

I've never been in an underground station at 12:30 before. Feels weird. I don't get why there's loads of people in suits - shouldn't they be at work or something? Must be a lot of empty desks if they're all here with me on the Northern line. I think it's half term too - that explains the foreign kids. Italian? Dunno. They've got dark hair and they seem excited about everything. They're taking it turns to stand with their thumbs up next to the London Bridge underground sign. 'Spose I'd be the same if I was in Rome.

I look a bit out of place in my overalls. There's paint on my cuffs. In fairness there's paint in a lot of places - that's what you get for being a decorator. That's why I've never been in an underground at this time of day before - only lived in London for a few months, haven't I? Moved here a few months ago and been working solidly since - that's a good thing though. Not the easiest decision to move when you're self-employed. A lot rests on the trust being there - you know? You live by your reputation when you're self employed.

I liked to picture the world being a bit desolate in London during the day. Just empty streets and coffee shops gearing up for the big lunch time rush. I suppose I sort of thought there would only be old people about - like a whole city of grannies who have to rush out and get all their figs and milk and stuff while everyone else is at work. Old people are dead nervous. It never occurred to me that other people would come out and fill up the gaps. Does make you wonder how we're all going to fit in when all the people who are usually at work, like me, get out of work and get on the underground. No wonder so many people become persons under the train. Took me by surprise that did, the way the announcer says it so matter of fact when people have killed themselves. We all have to get annoyed on the train - have to sort of sigh, and say - Selfish.

I'm heading home right now. Got to help Cindy with the furniture. She's moving out. She's got herself a lovely flat - she wants me to do the woodwork for her. She's crap with a paint brush. I've only let her do it once and she moaned more about the paint in her hair than I did about the drips going down the wall. I tried explaining that the paint doesn't have to go in your hair if you tie it up but she said she didn't believe in hair bands.

We're quite different me and Cindy. I guess that's why she's moving out. It's breaking my heart if I'm honest. Especially if I have to go and do the woodwork for her. I'd find that pretty difficult. I guess this new bloke isn't as handy. Seems a shame. She's so useless - she needs someone to look after her. She's not useless, no - that wasn't right. She's just not handy round the house. She's not useless - she could do anything. She's just not that interested in it really.

When I first met Cindy I couldn't believe she'd never had a job. Never had a job? I've always had a job - I've never had a glamorous job or nothing - but since I was about 15 I've done stuff for people that needed it. What do you do in a day if you don't go to work? Well, I guess you hang around on the Northern line at midday. It would be Cindy that finally gets me to break the habit of a lifetime I suppose.

Too good to be true - that's what it was with Cindy. Why would a girl that looked like that be interested in a bloke like me? I'm always grubby and busy and tired. I'm 34 and I've got bags under my eyes like you wouldn't believe. She's so clean, she always smells good. Always looks neat. I guess we weren't much of a pair. I guess this new fella must be a bit of a looker - not like me. He must be. Apparently she's introduced him to a few folks and they've all been impressed. Stings a bit.

She's already asked if I'll still come to Natalie's party. Natalie's Cindy's daughter. She's not mine. But I made her bed - so proud of that bed. It's a lovely bit of wood. Cindy's asked what I'll be giving Natalie as a present - I haven't got a clue. I've always just given Cindy the money to buy whatever she thought she wanted. I guess that makes me a pretty bad step-Dad. I'll miss Natalie I suppose. Doubt I'll get to see her that much what with working all the time - once she's moved out I'll be busy all the time.

Be quite tough. Don't really know anyone in London - only moved here for Cindy. Maybe I'll have to take a bit more time off - meet someone who doesn't mind a bit of paint. Well, better go and help her with the furniture. I'll be gutted if Natalie's bed gets broken because I didn't help.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Really Special Feelings

*PLEASE NOTE: This blog may contain instances of some fucking atrocious language.

So... I've rarely ever been this angry in my entire life. I think capilliaries may start bursting due to abject rage. In fact, my body has already reacted to my current stress level by encouraging my tongue to seize up.


MY FUCKING TONGUE HAS SEIZED UP. That's been my body's response to the goings on of the last few days... brilliant huh? Not really.

So, Laura - I hear you cry - what has happened to make your tongue seize up leaving you lisping and stuttering like a badly animated Warner Brothers critter? What could possibly have happened in your mediocre little world that hovers 5 foot off the ground?

Nothing, I suppose. Technically, in the grand scheme of things I'm being a whiny bitch. No one is killing me or breaking people I adore - it's just that I'm being totally screwed over. Totally and utterly bent over a barrel and enjoyed in a back door related style.

I have one of these newfangled job things where, instead of doing something worthwhile like growing food or helping people (which pays nothing and is shat upon by everyone in the country), I do something totally meaningless and it keeps our aimless economy afloat based on an industry that isn't tangible at all. I get zero job satisfaction from my attendance in this venue. I don't enjoy it or the people or the hours or the success rate. But I do get paid. I earn a commission based on my effectiveness in the role. I don't get a lot of commission, but what I do get supplements the meagre salary so that I can afford to, oh you know, eat, see family, pay rent... buy brownie ingredients.

But yesterday I was told my commision's been withdrawn. Despite the fact that I've achieved above and beyond what was expected of me, it's been removed due to circumstances beyond my control. End of story. "Sorry small person - we know records indicate you've actually earned all this money but you're not going to actually be receiving it because some people have decided that the company doesn't quite line it's pockets enough through your activity. Back to your desk."

I don't think I've ever been so angry, frustrated and basically humiliated in my working life. There is no reason why the situation can't be amended so that it properly reflects the figures. But it just isn't going to be. Because I am too small and there's nothing they want to do that will benefit them.

If I had the teensy weensiest bit of job satisfaction - I wouldn't mind. I'm not very money orientated... clearly, I mean I've gigged for free for the last 2 years purely for the joy of it. But I loathe my job - it's a miserable little means to an end and I put a lot of energy into it to make sure it's financially worhtwhile.

If I liked my job, I don't think I'd be in the position I'm in today where I can't swallow without wincing because my tongue is stiffer than the dickheads who run the country (I don't mean politicians - I mean CEOs and global directors) and it won't move. This is yet another example of my body not reacting in any way useful when things go wrong. I have a stomach that can't digest fruit or natural products, hips that don't stay in their sockets during exercise, and a tongue that seizes up when I'm run down and upset. Perfect. If I ever went on a detox they'd probably have to hospitalise me.

Fuck you world. We're not friends for a while.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mr Wigglemunch

Rargh - something brilliant is going to have to happen today to shift my unending bad mood. I feel like Eeyore, sitting in my cheap blue swivel chair with a rain cloud over my head. Not that you could fit a donkey on a swivel chair, and if you could you definitely wouldn't be in a bad mood any more - but you see my point.

I might just have to make brownies tonight to alleviate my tendency towards doom and gloom this week. This might not be my best move - I'm almost 99% certain my case of the grumbles is a massive come down from a sugar high. I ate an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting on Sunday night and could barely see through the tears when I woke up on Monday morning. If ever Michael Moore needed to make a documentary...

But brownies... there's something very different about eating a delight that you've baked yourself  - it's not just the chomping. When you bake yourself, you get the satisfaction of the cooking process, followed by the delightful aroma, followed by the admiration of your housemates as they gather round to eat the snack you've made from scratch. And then you get to eat something super. Perfect. It's a win win situation for those of us with a sweet tooth and a craving for other people's approval.

It would probably help if I tidied my room too so I felt like less of a Stig of the Dump whenever I went home... at the moment, every item of clothing I own is lying on my bedroom floor. It looks a little like I might be trying to seduce Rumplestiltskin... I am not. It's just that I couldn't find anything to wear on Saturday night and I threw everything everywhere and now I've sort of decided I like having the world's squishiest floor covering. I can't afford plush rugs or an inflatable flooring so this seems like a pretty good option. Unfortunately, my clothes are also getting very, very rumpled so during the day I resemble a clean orphan. But ironing is tiresome and I hate it. I do like the smell of ironing though so I don't mind if someone wants to come round and iron for me.

All in all I think what we're discovering is that I am being a tiresome moody muggins for no good reason and I should probably just stop. But I shan't so there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Only Myself to Blame

I feel rubbish this morning. It's like all the brilliant, sunny happiness of the weekend has been punched out of the planet like a belly bounce from a fat chav in a skin tight velour track suit. It's all my own fault. The new phone arrived and was excitedly plugged in and things began synching and whirring. Technology was happening right beneath my fingers.

Unfortunately, technology happened that went well beyond my meagre grasp and suddenly my message inbox was inundated with forgotten messages that have been living in my sim card for the past 3 years. Messages I'd forgotten about, ones I'd thought deleted a long time ago - skulking like sewer animals just below my radar.

Messages from a boy.

Genuinely lovely messages from a boy I genuinely used to love - and, as is abundantly clear from the messages - he used to love me too.

This is the sort of thing that sends me into a tailspin - I wasn't expecting to see them. I thought they'd been deleted a long time ago. I didn't really need to see them again - I didn't want to see them again. But there they were - sitting, looking at me like a dog who's just farted and is waiting to see if you'll usher him out the door.

I don't like surprises - anyone who knows me particularly well understands that I like organisation and planning. Things being sprung on me are more likely to have me stuttering like Forest Gump on a bad day than excitedly chattering about spontaneity. I like careful time planning... I like being ready for things... I do not like things that sneak into my sphere of being without having their papers carefully scrutinised at security. This dislike of surprises permeates everything - suprise parties, surprise items in a dish ordered from a menu, pregnancies... I'm just not a fan.

What is it about a broken heart (excuse the almost Chemical Romance Nature of this upcoming phrase) that refuses to be permanently sorted out? Is it me? Am I just utterly rubbish at sorting myself out over this one? Every time I think I'm sorted and fine, I get a smack in the face like this and I'm a dumbass Bridget Jones wannabe staring oddly at the wall and wondering what I did wrong. I'm pretty sure my heart's got it's fingers crossed every time it says we're fine and then chooses opportunities like this to wiggle it's tongue at me and say "nur nur ne nur nur - just kidding. You're still a fuck up."


I deleted the messages. Again. Turns out it's just as hard the second time - especially now you're not entirely sure whether they're deleted or just waiting for the next time you opt for the free upgrade - now with extra teenage angst. Truth be told though, it's not feeling great down here in my little world. Feels a lot like I'm not as strong as I thought I was - which is one of my least favourite feelings. I've worked pretty damn hard to move on - the boy has even become one of my favourite stand up sets just to try and prove to myself I have zero affection left.

Stupid messages. I think I'm going to move back to the Dark Ages - how dare some stupid long forgotten messages be able to pop up like this and put me in a foul mood. From now on, any love notes I'm likely to want to cherish will have to come carved into a tablet of stone so that I can smash them up good and proper when I'm done and then I'll know that short of an afternoon with some super glue - there's no going back.

I don't want to go back - not to him. We're done. But my stupid, stupid brain has now wandered off down a little cul de sac of memories where I was connected to someone - and my stupid, stupid brain is pointing out the blindingly obvious like a tourist in London.

"Hey look - it's the London Eye!" - Really you giant sack of shit? What gave it away for you - the fact that it's fucking massive, the fact that it's in London or the fact that everyone else with a bumbag and sun glasses has said exactly the same thing? Go home.

"Hey Laura, it was really nice when you had a boyfriend." Brilliant, thanks brain - any other titbits you've got in there for me today? Like how about, "You wouldn't be that great on Mastermind?" or "Breathe out comes after breathe in?" These are all things I'm fully fucking aware of and don't need you to say to me on a regular basis. We're aware of them. Now shut up and continue ticking and whirring so that everyone else in the office thinks we're busy.

Perhaps I could hire a boyfriend just to send me text messages that I can be furious about later? That way, I don't actually need to make time to see him or have feelings for him, but I can occasionally look through some nice words that make me feel brilliant? Or maybe I should just suck it up and stop being a dick. I feel the second option might be slightly more feasible...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trials of a Universe

Still no phone. According to Vodafone the phone will now be delivered on Monday and they will waive the extra money I apid for a Saturday delivery as a goodwill gesture. Dear Vodafone, that's not a goodwill gesture - that's refunding the money I paid for a product you didn't deliver. Someone doesn't give you £5 for a cake, you refuse to give them the cake and then say "Oh go on then you can have the £5 back because I'm lovely." It's basically that you have to do that... otherwise you're not only inept, you're also a thief. No one likes a thief. No one likes Vodafoen either.

So the phone is coming tomorrow despite my arguments with them that I won't be here tomorrow because I'll be at work. never mind, says Vodafone, we'll try and deliver it but fail and then you can phone us and arrange another delivery. Well, I'm on the phone now - says I - can I arrange a different delivery please? No, says Vodafone, we've got to fail first. You have failed Vodafone. You are a massive failure. You should draw less attention to yourself.

Some alcohol happened last night which led to me not actually finding my bed until 3.15am - not through massive antics, mainly through falling asleep in front of Goodfellas (the film not the pizza) and only realising that I had a bed at around 3am. Still, no harm done - Sundays were made for recooperating I think. I'm 99% sure the bible says something about on the 7th day God took an alka seltza and a berrocca together and invented speed.

My hair smells like breakfast this morning - I have to confess I've only recently learned how to make poached eggs and this has led to me cooking them as often as I possibly can. So this morning I made poached eggs and bacon bagels and now my hair smells like cremated bacon. I'm happy to convince myself that this is an attractive feature in a woman and it shows not just a complete lack of vanity (personal hygiene) but also a willingness to make breakfast. What more could you ask for?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why Must We Do This To Each Other Vodafone?

What a horrendously unproductive day this has been... seriously, seriously unproductive... I am entirely blaming Vodafone for this because I was instructed to be at my house between the hours of 8am and 1pm to await the arrival of my new phone. In fact, I paid £5 for the privilege to sit here all morning mourning my loss of freedom. It's now nearly 3pm and after two calls to India and a look at the Royal Mail website it turns out my phone could arrive any time between now and Monday and there's nothing anyone in the whole world can do about it. No one. I am livid.

My anger has resulted in me doing literally nothing this morning. The most active thing I've done is decide that the world would be a much funnier place if eggs were called chicken potentials instead. I've thought long and hard about this and I think I would like to say "I ate two potential chickens this morning.", you would have to be careful that you didn't end up just sounding a little coy by syaing "I ate two chickens this morning... potentially." because that just makes it sound like you're a pig but nervous about admitting it.

It would also cause general brilliance amongst the upper classes who like to occasionally refer to each other as eggs. You could walk down any high street in Kensington and hear the phrase, "Oh he's a jolly good chicken potential if you ask me." and no one can deny that's funny,.

But other than that I've pretty much wasted this beautiful day thanks to that foul assed corporation that is literally incapable of carrying out the most basic of its duties as a service provider. Thanks to them, I'm actually watching Two and a Half Men. Scraping the barrel doesn't even come close.

All this cooped up nonsense is really making me feel like a zoo animal. Not an animal in my future zoo, but an animal who lives in a less brilliant zoo. I am so bored. I've trekked between the garden and the living room... I've looked at my room and considered tidying it... I've drunk more tea than is healthy (if you tap my tummy right now it makes a noise like a shaken snow globe) and now I'm blogging about my loathing of the big red apostrophe.

Tonight I am going out to celebrate a friend's birthday and have the opportunity to wear my new beautiful shoes... silver lining and all that.

Friday, April 8, 2011

You Remind Me of The Babe

I'm getting a new phone delivered tomorrow and now I'm having guilt pangs about the Congo. I'm fairly sure mobile phones have ruined the Congo. It's definitely either mobile phones or rubber band balls. It it's the latter than I'm safe because I never could make those and so my conscience is clean. It it's the former then it's a disaster and I may have to stop texting immediately.

I'm excited about having a new phone - my current one is a puddle of pants and it's annoying. I'm not too fussed about the jazziness of phones (at least I wasn't until I discovered Angry Birds and Bloons Tower Defense - argh the 's' hurts my soul) so when I chose the mobile phone I have at the moment I opted for a safe Nokia that was a little bit backwards but that would work effectively at carrying my voice to other people.

I'm not great with technology. I used to be baffled by fax machines and literally had no idea how the paper could fit down the wire and get to the other fax machine without being ruined. Stupid girl. So, I thought my Nokia would be simple and useful and we'd get along great.

We don't.

The issue is that he doesn't really enjoying making calls, which is something I consider to be his main job. It's a little bit like someone booking me for a gig and I turn up and offer to flash some lights for 15 minutes but not actually tell any jokes. He does other things, he's an expert at letting the clock speed up so I'm late, he's a polished act when it comes to freezing up mid text message and he has an undercover battery that constantly masquerades as full so that you have no idea when the next off-air day is going to be. Brilliant!

What more could you ask for in a phone? It's almost worth phoning the Congo and telling them to get their act together. Unless of course they do deal with the rubber balls. However, it might also be worth having a quick word in that case and asking them to spend less time warring and more time making the bands easier to get together. Honestly, some people can be so self involved.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Four For You Glenn Coco

Ach, cabin fever has set in early today folks. Adding windows to an office is the ultimate in human torture once it's gone past March - I don't want to see how beautiful the weather is unless I'm in the weather thank you very much. It is not in my best interests to shwo me what I'm not enjoying. The only semi-decent thing the excellent weather has done to improve office life is that we're living in a very special window of tube travel. This is the time of year where a few eager beavers have begun wearing sun lotion (when I say eager beavers, I mean gingers and hypochondriacs) but it's not quite hot enough for the monsters in suits to be fully smelling of B.O. You can therefore catch the Jubilee Line safe in the knowledge that it will slightly more coconutty than bum cracky.

The weather is supposed to hold until the weekend though which is excellent news as I'm considering tkaing myself back to the zoo. Is it sad to go to a zoo by yourself? The thing is, I'm sure I could find someone to go with, but then the day would be about hanging out with them... Really, all I want to do is go and look at the animals and pretend we have some sort of special affinity. We don't. To them, I'm just one more pesky human who's staring at them and declaring they're either brilliant or stinky.

If I could have one wish this summer I think it would be to go to Longleat... I know that's not a very ambitious wish but I'm very passionate about Longleat and I genuinely find it more fun than a theme park. I like the big cats and I especially like the wolves. Head of Pets Corner Darren Beasley has also vastly improved my opinion on otters. I used to think otters were a bit like hairy eels, but now I think they are fun and the size of their hands in relation to their paws amuses me greatly.

My office is a bit like Longleat... in that you don't want to stop for too long in any section and there's a good danger that any food you leave lying around will disappear. You also can't open the windows but that's less humorous and more a suicide prevention scheme... perhaps the one purpose of the windows in my building is that I look out at Canary Wharf tower and think to myself, "Ah well, at least I don't work there..."

One day I'll have my own safari park. I will make sure I have all the animals that I love, this will include -
Squirrel Monkeys
And, of course, llamas

I'll also keep lots of wild foxes around. They get a bad rep and I don't think it's fair. It's not even like he ate the whole baby...

There will be absolutely no, no, NO snakes, butterflies or mushrooms ( I realise these aren't animals but I don't like them and they won't be grown). And absolutely no dolphins allowed. Not even as guests. They are not permitted through the gates (or pipes). They are over rated and must learn it sooner rather than later or it'll only make things more difficult in the long run.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Train Boy

His dark blue trousers stop a full two inches short of his skinny ankles. Dirty, Reebok trainers stick out the bottom, laces trailing in the grey pool of water by his left foot. He scuffs his heel carelessly against the platform and shifts his weight nervously to the other foot. A sliver of pale skin stands out between his scrunched socks and the loosened hem of the trousers. These are not legs that often see the sun. These are legs that serve a purpose, they march daily from the 3rd house from the end, the yellow one, to the train station and back. These are legs that wait carefully in the cold, in too short trousers. They split the workload generously, holding up the boy, holding up the notepad and twitching excitedly with the rest of his body.

This is a boy who lives in a shadow. He pushes himself up onto tip toes for the briefest second and shivers, pulling his navy anorak closer around him. He sniffs. A school girl nearby nods subtly in his direction and her companion turns to look. They both laugh quietly beneath their identical fringes. He pulls himself sharply down off his tip toes. His mouth twitches, but he doesn't sniff again. He lets the wet trickle fall from his nose and slide gently down towards his mouth. His eyes dart towards the girls, they've turned away. He blinks furiously and a hand reaches up to catch the slime that threatens to encircle his thin lips. He's embarassed, he shakes himself slightly and concentrates hard on the notepad in his hand. His fingers trace the metal spiral at the top of the page. His eyes can't help but find the two girls. His legs tremble - angry at themselves for giving away his position.

This is a boy who lives in a self-made shadow. He's desperate to be back up on his tip toes. If it was later, he could do it - if it was 10pm and he'd already shared his silent cup of tea with the guard, he could do it. But it's 4pm and there are people. People who don't understand him. People who wrinkle their noses at the smell of damp that wafts off his clothes. Some of them try to catch a glimpse of his notepad. Some of them know he will be there and shake their heads sadly.

This is a boy who lives in a self-made shadow of passion. He furiously stares at the numbers on the notepad and feels the encroaching energy coming off the people around him. Concentrate. He blinks - once, twice, and waits. He waits for the crushing tide of air that he expects in 68 seconds. He waits for the roaring, screaming, chaos of noise that will engulf them all on the platform. He waits for the presence of the almighty metal box that will call all the intruders off his platform and suck them up into the dark of the carriage. Then, he will be alone again - he will wait for the next wave.

He stares at the numbers - the method behind the strength. He licks his lips, enjoying the tidy lines of figures that control the monster. He risks a glance at the tracks - how do these carefully pathetic lines keep his dragon at bay? He longs to touch them... just to reach out his free hand and hold the note pad in one hand and have the metal beneath the fingers of the other. Then he would be the master. Then he would hold all the tools with his meagre body and all the drones on the platform would be under his control. He shakes his head, trying to clear the image before his feet take him towards the tracks again. He's already had the warnings. When he goes back to the 3rd house from the end, the yellow one, he listens to his father's warning about going too near the track. They are the same warnings he used to hear with his cup of tea. His cup of tea is silent now as the guard watches him and hopes he is warmed. His father's warning carry on. His voice is thin with worry and love. Love for this strange boy who came from his body and yet lives so far away.

His father watches him at night. Eyes wandering sadly from the Sale Sharks posters on the walls, to the pale face asleep on the pillow. This is a boy who lives in a shadow, punctuated by a desperation to understand and be loved. A hundred times a year his father wants to take the posters down, he wants to tell the boy it's okay... wants to come to the station and enjoy the trains instead. Just to show him. But he doesn't, and they continue to orbit each other quietly in the 3rd house from the end, the yellow one.

The flock of people edge closer to the train tracks. They sense the approaching train like animals and prepare themselves for the fight to get a seat. He ignores them and holds his ground. Waiting for the vicious air to push at his face and make him feel alive. So much harnessed fight in the regimented comings and goings of the transporter. He smiles a little and then wipes his face clean before anybody sees. The front of the train scores a harsh line between the platform, carving up the station like a drill through wet clay.

He is running... he is running with the driver... his heart might burst with the effort to run alongside. They are together. He runs with all the steam in his legs of a sprinter off the blocks of an Olympic stadium. He runs, and runs and runs... commuters step back in surprise - swearing under their breath - odd ball - and he runs... His feet move so fast and disorganised beneath his feet that he is barely upright. His green back pack rattles and thrashes about trying to lever itself off his shoulders. His empty lunch box clatters loudly but no one hears it above the crunching, gravelly, bass-filled roar of the train. The school girls laugh openly and shout after his fleeing back - Freak - and he runs. He runs until the platform finishes and there is no more concrete to support his dirty Reeboks. This is a boy who lives in a shadow that cannot be outrun.

He stops. Breathing heavily, wet lines flying from his gaping mouth as he pauses. He looks at the driver. He looks down at the notepad. He looks at the front of the train and begins to mark down carefully in the correct column with this HB pencil. He takes a deep breath and enjoys the smooth lines of the drivers cabin. Then, head down, navy anorak flapping in the damp breeze, he begins the long walk down to the other end of the platform, like the pinball spring preparing for the next game.

"You wanna watch that lace." calls the guard, and the sun comes out briefly from behind a cloud.

He stops and turns to look at the guard. He looks at the face beneath the hat, and the smart uniform, and the boots with their own neatly tied bows. He swallows nervously and his lips part just a fraction. His free hand tugs nervously at his ear and he tries to push a little noise through his dry throat. His heart is pounding from the run, his eyes feel shinier than they ever have before. He eyes the guard and thinks hard about the silent cup of tea.

"That's what my Dad says." He tries nervously, and the son comes out briefly from behind his cloud.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whining Brides and Hopeless Desires

I've just finished watching Don't Tell The Bride and I've decided the purpose of this programme is to send you through the full cycle of possible human emotions in just one show. I have actually managed to go from curiosity to disdain, from absolute fury to tears and from mounting jealousy to utter content.

I don't really want to get married - not for a good 10 years or so - but I would quite like a wedding and a day where everybody got very dressed up but still decided I was the prettiest. That seems to be what a wedding is all about. In this programme, the bride disappears for a month and the poor groom is given just a few weeks to try and plan her dream wedding. The flaw in this show is that even a bride who knew exactly what she wanted would struggle to get the job done in that short a space of time. How on earth is a man supposed to have time to second guess what she'd want and then manage to get it all sorted out?

The episode I've just watched featured a whining Scottish woman who cried and threw tantrums about everything he tried to do. She moped, she shouted, she declared that nothing was going her way and then decided that if she couldn't get ready in her own house then there was no point getting married at all. At this point I decided she didn't deserve to get married.

Then she got to the wedding and loved everything he had done because it was him that had done it. My poor little over emotional heart melted a bit. She cried some more, declared she loved him some more and then got happily married.

This was when I decided I'd quite like to have a wedding. But not a purple one. I would not like a purple wedding... or one where I'm still married after it. But I think the purple is more important than that.

I can't imagine being with someone and not wanting to do the whole she-bang wedding thing once I'd decided they were the one I wanted to sponge off for the rest of my natural life. I intend to invite everyone I've ever met to my wedding so they can see that I'm capable of commitment occasionally and that I can also walk in a straight line in heels.

Luckily I have copious sisters and so none of the actual organisation needs to be done by good self. I'm hoping this means I will have potential Bridesmaidzillas but I will be a small pool of calm and everyone will coo about how relaxed I am. I reckon in actualy fact there will be World War 3 between my two sisters and my many close female friends as they try and decide whether I would prefer the priest to be Doctor Who or David Jason, whether I'd rather walk up the aisle to steel drums or Tim Minchin and whether I'd rather have salmon or salmon for dinner.

All in all... whatever happens... I won't be inviting a television crew to be there recording all the reasons people are awfully horrible to the folks they love the most. But it'll be a cracking blog.

Robots In Charge

I had a gig in Bath last night - all was going swimmingly until we came to drive home. We decided to use a sat nav. This sat nav was being a bitch.

I'm not entirely sure if she'd forgotten that the M5 existed and thought she was being genuinely useful, or if she'd just made the exceutive decision that the scenic route was more fun. At 1am. Either way - she was less than helpful and had she had a face I'd have happily bitten it. She didn't have a face and I thought my sister would have been mad if I'd started mauling her car accessories so I left her be.

At one stage when trying to leave Bath, she insisted that we only turn left for a good half hour. We honestly saw the same curry house 3 times as we circled the city. At this point I wondered if the sat nav had a burning desire to be Beyonce and we would be going 'to the left, to the left' all night until we shot her.

She then had a major panic attack as we tried to decide whether to use the A38 or the M5. All the humans in the car wanted to use the M5 as it was -
a) quicker
b) straight
c) easier to overtake bastard drivers who break at every opportunity. For a while we followed a small silver car who insisted on breaking at corners, other cars going the other way (on a two lane road...??), the top of hills, particularly big trees and green lights.

The sat nav sort of wanted to use the M5... in that she allowed us to get on to the M5 for about 20 yards and then she insisted we dive off on a sharp left down a slip road and back into Junction City. She'd clearly had a change of heart, perhaps there was a sense of foreboding about the M5, but we were now instead going to use the A38. So we headed off towards the A38... until we hit a tiny roundabout. Had we gone straight ahead, we would have continued down the A38 and gone home. But the fickle bitch had decided we were going to take the 4th exit and go back the way we'd come... back to the M5, back to our sharp left and then back to our tiny rounadabout.

At this point despair set in as we realised we were going to have to use sign posts. It turns out they're actually quite useful. Except that they only put them on every other junction and you sort of have to guess the rest. Infinitely more useful than that godforesaken sat nav of treacherous doom though. Argh.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Don't Dream It's Over

Shire based blogging today from me. I arrived back last night to an evening of toast, tea and Despicable Me with the male sibling. Twas truly epic.

Today has been full of celebrations for the matriarch. I have to be honest I'm still getting used to the fact that my sister also has a child now and is therefore eligible for Mother's Day spoilings. Congrats to her though for creating a child who is both brilliant and easy to handle. We went shoe shopping this morning and he happily toddled all round the 19 shops we went to pointing out every single shoe and naming it. I mean, he named them all 'shoe' but still...

I'm too chilled to really have a lot to blog about in all honesty. There's blue sky, more tea on the way, the prospect of a day trip shopping in Bath tomorrow... there isn't a negative aspect to life as we know it. Except for the fact that I ate enough Indian food to feed a dozen wrestlers this afternoon and therefore feel a little nervous and slightly pregnant. Perhaps this was the point - enjoy Mothering Sunday with a brief glimpse into exactly how uncomfortable you will be when you choose to have a kid of your own one day. By all accounts, being pregnant does not sound fun.

I'm just going to make sure the father of my child is pint sized so the poor kid can't possibly be bigger than me before I've got shot of it. My sister and I decided I had an hour glass figure today, but not the sort of hour glass you see in Aladdin. More like an egg timer that comes with a board game - a bit squashed but it's the nearest shape that fits the bill.

And with a mild apology for wasting your time, I shall bid you farewell - fingers crossed something of note happens to me tomorrow! I think I'm getting dull in my old age...

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I really hurt this morning. Every inch of my body is complaining that golf is not the sport for us. Combine this problem with the fact that I used my body as a retirement home for grapes over the last 12 hours and you'll see how I don't feel superb.

The golf... well, sadly we've not discovered that I have a secret talent. Par Laura = 10 and a bunker. By the time we got halfway round the course I had more sand in my bra than there was in the bunker. You could easily tell where I had been with my ball because there was a small heap of turf there. The course looked a little like a mole had been travelling in tandem with my team mates. Brilliant.

Then it came to the fines... it was important to drink a finger of your drink for each bunker, air swing and shot that went less than 15 feet. Needless to say I drank the vast majority of my bottle of wine in one go. Brilliant.

This morning I woke up with a bottle of red wine leaking quietly into my handbag, a body and brain that are no longer on speaking terms, and a trip home awaiting at the end of the day. Thank heavens for the sanctuary of the West Country.

It was a massive relief to get back to the house and find out that all of my housemates are in a similar position. There is rock salt all over the kitchen from where one housemate exploded her cupboard after consuming the lion's share of the world's alcohol, there's a trail of pop corn from the kitchen to the top floor from where two other housemates ended their night out and trip to a strip club, with everyone's favourite movie snack.

We're now all eating varies forms of bacon and carbohydrates in front of Wrestlemania... you know when people tell you everything's very different after University? They're lying.