Sunday, July 31, 2011

Packing Heat

I am supposed to be packing... the trouble with packing for a month is that it feels a lot like trying to take everything you own and put it into a suitcase that is not big enough for everything you own. In a month, I think it is entirely plausible that I will wear at least 9 pairs of trousers... but I have been conditioned to believe that I should pack light. Pack light! People will say, as though any refusal to pack light is merely your inability to be at one with the world. We laugh at people who bring everything... what were you worried might happen? We say to them.

Whatever happened to the old Scout motto? Be prepared! Being prepared surely means packing 9 pairs of trousers just in case. I am going to Edinburgh - packing 9 pairs of trousers just seems sensible. If I didn't truly  hope that going to this Edinburgh Fringe was going to:
a) Be lots of fun
b) Have an impact on some kind of career dream

then quite frankly I should not be going. How are you supposed to have a large effect on your future aspirations to be thought funny and brilliant in equal measures if you only have 8 pairs of trousers with you? Obviously this is ridiculous waffle. I'm actually very good at packing light. Too good in fact. Once when I went to Magaluf (not a holiday I'm proud of but it was an experience - 13 hours total sleep in 4 days is something every human being should experience) I packed so light that people started to wonder if I'd lost my luggage somewhere and was being forced to wear the same shorts every day. Other holiday makers started offering me clothes as though I was some sort of backwater moron who had never heard of Primark. "You can buy clothes so cheap nowadays!" they would tell me, "I know!!" says I... "Trust me, I have lots of clothes... but suddenly when packing it's like we're in reverso land all of a sudden it's not cool to have brought loads of stuff with you. Much better to be blase about the whole thing - whatever I haven't brought with me, I'll just buy when I get there!"

Ridiculous - I barely have the money to go there let alone buy a new kitchen sink when I arrive because I've purposely not packed the perfectly good one I have back at home.

Today has been wholly set aside to pack. It's now 2pm and my suitcase is still under my bed but I ahve made 3 pots of loose leaf tea and drunk them whilst reading Caitling Moran and glaring at the utter tedium of the Grand Prix. This is an awful start to the day and it's going to change right now... I am going to pack the living crap out of my room. It is going to be packed like nothing has ever been packed before. If you have a fear of packers you'd better get out of my way because I am a pack horse. A pack of wolves. A pack of cards... I am the Queen of Packing. I am packing up...

As We Know It

I suspect the apocalypse might have felt very different had you been in London when it happened... but for the residents of Norton Fitzwarren it was a fairly unremarkable event at first. People didn't really know what to do... we thought about looting but agreed as a village that it seemed pretty unreasonable. There's only really one shop in Norton Fitzwarren and the general consensus was that the apocalypse was probably not Nigel and Beryl's fault.

People carried on watering their lawns and walking their dogs. Nobody really knew what to do. In fact, if it hadn't been for the fact that there were no cars or electricity, you'd barely have known it was the apocalypse. It seemed more like a village on a health kick who had been instructed to play a lot more board games and look worried whenever they passed the fridge.

It wasn't until the 3rd day that people started to get noticeably shifty. Food was running a bit low and people like Mr Baxter were nervously hurrying their Yorkshire Terrier around the block looking suspiciously at anyone who was complaining of hunger. I'd never thought the residents of Norton Fitzwarren capable of eating a dog, but all of a sudden you had to really feel for pet owners.

No one at all knew what to do come Friday. A lot of people had already bought their tickets for the Line Dancing night at the Village Hall. Should we still go? Was there any point to a refund? Would there be any loose dogs...?

We all suspected in London there must have been lots of fighting and scrapping for food... it was hard to tell without any form of media. I think we were all pleased that so far no one here had felt like doing any murdering. I'm not sure 40% of the village really had the upper body strength. After the 4th day I think people started to realise that we weren't likely to get some sort of village messenger/town crier type figure coming over the horizon with instructions. We thought perhaps we ought to start thinking about getting organised.

We had a meeting and decided to form an Apocalypse Committee. These folk would be in charge of working out how we were going to feed everyone and keep us all warm during winter. We thought perhaps it might be prudent to bunch together a bit more and use some houses as storage. A few people really weren't keen; Mrs Shoe has just had new carpets, so we let her off.

A far as apocalypses go it really wasn't bad. Once you'd got over the shock of killing your first cow or tilling a field it really wasn't too bad. And we'd all seen Friends so many times that really it was just as fun to recite them round the fire without watching. Mr Baxter does a mean How You Doin'. We strongly suspected things might be about to get a lot worse just around the corner... but for now, things were going alright. And we'd formed our Apocalypse Committee an awful lot quicker than the residents of nearby Staplegrove so we were awfully pleased about that too...

Above is just a short bit of a new story/thingy/idea I'm working on about the end of the world in a small village. Just playing for the minute but any feedback is appreciated.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bag For Life

Yesterday I weighed myself in a toilet in Windsor, immediately burst into tears and jumped off the scales as though they were pumping a ferocious electric current through my jacksy.

How on earth could I weigh that much? How could I have added such a monumental amount to my body weight and not really have noticed? How were my clothes not fitting? How was I not wandering around the beautiful streets of Windsor in an Incredible Hulk style outfit with a doughnut in one hand and a Bratwurst in the other... and why was I weighing myself in a toilet in Windsor in the first place?

Well, the answer to that simply is that Windsor is an excellent place and the scales were one of those old school type ones that make you feel that you really ought to be wearing bloomers and a bonnet if you're going to hop on board.

I sank down the wall in this cubicle of doom and wondered how I could have been so blind in my stumble into obesity. Cold horror washed over me as I realised people must have been mocking me for weeks... were people appearing in the night and letting out my clothes so I didn't feel embarrassed? Were people watching me eating ice cream after ice cream and just praying for my health?

Then, I realised I had still been holding my hand bag when I got onto the scales. A small ray of hope appeared through the cholesterol heavy smog coating my brain... maybe I should just weigh myself again without my handbag? No. That would be stupid. Would it be? We ought to be accurate about how much despair we're feeling. Fine. We'll try it again sans sac-a-main.

A stone and a half lighter.


How on earth does my hand bag weigh a stone and half? Now, obviously on the one hand I was thrilled that my body weight was now back down in a more manageable stratosphere (I should probably still avoid eating entire cows when I enter a restaurant but it'll be ok to have mayo). On the other hand, how have I reached a point where I am carrying around a bag that weighs the same as a toddler?!

I looked in the bag - purse, phone, keys, make up, filofax, two paperbacks, a drink, my comedy notebook, 3 newspapers, glasses, mp3 player, hairbrush... where did all this stuff come from? Why is there no suited man at my front door who inspects the contents of my bag as though I am going to get on a plane or go to a nightclub?

No shining light of common sense reminding me that no matter how quick a reader I am, I am never going to read the entirety of How To Be a Woman and the History of MI6 in one trip to Windsor... also, he might want to point out that if I get murdered this evening the contents of my bag are going to strongly suggest I was attempting to be the next Mata Hari.

I fled those toilets thoroughly ashamed of myself for;
a) panicking
b) having such a ridiculous imagination
c) carrying around so much crap all day
d) having weighed myself in a toilet in Windsor in the first place... when will I learn...

Today I'm going to try and leave the house with just the keys to get back in to it. And my purse and oyster card so I can get to where I need to go and buy what I need when I get there. And my phone in case of an emergency... and... oh bugger it. Sometimes a girl just needs her stuff. Spinal damage be damned.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We're all going on a...

I really miss going on great family holidays... I am aching to be able to be in my living room with the rest of my family, while the mountain of crap by the front door piles higher and higher as we prepare to leave.

There's always that beautiful moment where you wonder whether Dad will ever be able to stop doing shuttle runs from the door to the car as mum continues to find things we've never used before but couldn't live without for 2 weeks in France. Mothers have an incredible capacity at times like these to both produce and secrete things that you had no idea were even on the cards for such an occasion. Be impressed with Blaine all you want, but watch my mother somehow manage to get 4 tubes of Pringles into a car that's being packed by the very people she's hiding them from, and you will be gasping in delight.

Family holidays are always brilliant with lots of siblings. There was always one sibling who inexplicably didn't want to go (for some unknown reason) and would sulk merrily away whilst declaring "I don't see why I should have to do this..." while everybody else declared either loudly or swearily "Because you're going on a free holiday you bellend".

There's that point where you think you'll never actually get in the car and then suddenly you are... all of you packed into a tiny tin box that contains half the house and more necklaces than one fourteen year old can possibly wear in two weeks. We'd get halfway to the ferry point and my brother would realise he'd forgotten something vital like his swimming trunks or his legs. Not even a debate as to whether we'll go back for it, we'll just let him figure it out when he gets there - it's dog eat dog.

The car arrives in the ferry and everybody wonders whether the car deck will smell like cheese, sick, dog poop and petrol - a quick assessment by whoever is first heaved out clarifies that it does. Everybody spends a minute sniffing it and deciding it's awful and then sniffing it again. Then you're ploughing your way to the deck... hopefully it's a night ferry and you can let Dad point out all the same features on the Portsmouth skyline that he's been doing for years and you've still not committed any of them to memory. Mental note - I'm going to need to do that before I start tagging along with the nephew's holidays.

The ferry journey is one of the best bits of any holiday - never, ever fly your children anywhere. Put them on an enormous boat filled with excited children and games and the first opportunity to use the different money that's been burning a confused hole in their pockets. The ferry is the time to decide that you know you shouldn't have a croissant because it'll be crap and you really would like your first croissant of the season to be great, but damn it you want a croissant...

The holiday will run it's course after that. I used to get burnt, get deliriously happy, have some kind of eating competition, go on a day trip that only Mum wanted to be on, swim for so much of the day that Mum wondered why she hadn't raised children with slightly higher aspirations... One of my favourite memories was a holiday where we camped in the Dordogne region in France. Did it rain much Laura? I practically grew gills. It was a little bit wet... So one day we decided to go kayaking... how on earth do you spell kayaaking? Kayakking? It now sounds like I have phlegm issues... Anywho...

It was Dad, little sister, brother in kayak number 1. It was Mum, older sister and me in kayak number 2. Theory says that the considerably older people should have been far better at keeping a kayak upright and going straight... theory can go suck something sour. The afternoon ended with three very grumpy women in a wet kayak going about 1 metre an hour down a river while a kayak with two infants and a hysterically laughing man did loop the loops around the grumpy kayak, whilst all the time singing their new kayaking song which had been penned to irritate the grumpy women.

That holiday remains the only time in my living memory that my mother has expressly asked us to swear as loudly as we could at the disappearing back of my father.

Bloody brilliant.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Winds of Change

Yesterday as I walked into town for a gig, two separate things happened to me:

1. A man on the street tried to hit on me. It was a weird and uncomfortable experience and kind of started with him just walking inexplicably close to me while I pretended that my headphones were also obscuring my sight. Eventually this got too difficult as he was having to do a walking backwards trippy uppy type walk to try and meander casually in front of me but maintain some very bloodshot eye contact. I took my headphone out of one ear and he said,

"Hi, so what... are you on your way home from school?"

Now, I don't really know where to start on things wrong with that sentence. For a start, no - I'm 24 - it's been at least 8 years since I was walking home from school. But, also... if you suspect strongly enough to ask that I am walking home from school, should you really be trying it on at all?!

The answer is inevitably going to be no because you clearly don't even own a calendar - school broke up last week dickhead! Unless you think I'm in summer school? By which you must think I am so remedial that despite having been held back for 8 years I am still needing catch up classes? This relationship is never going to work out.

I had to hastily stuff my head phone back in my ear and continue along my merry way. It was then that I walked past a group of people who had newly graduated. You could tell they were newly graduated because they were all dressed like Severus Snape and looking a little bit smug.

What this means is that it's 2 years since my own graduation which means I am supposed to be all evaluative of how my own life has gone since I stopped being a student.

My own graduation was quite a soggy affair - not because it rained all day, I graduated in Canterbury which was a city designed to be picturesque at all opportunities. No, twas soggy because my boyfriend at the time chose 1am the morning of my graduation to end our relationship. This wouldn't have been so bad had we not been living together at the time... I therefore turned up at my ceremony carrying almost everything I owned, wearing shorts and flip flops and looking like someone had inflated my face with saline solution.

My mother's reaction to this mess of a child was to ask why on earth I thought it was appropriate to wear shorts and flip flops to my graduation ceremony. I've always blamed it on the immense heart ache - it's never felt right to tell her that I'd have worn them anyway. I really enjoy flip flops and shorts. The ceremony itself is a bit of a blur. I have the good fortune to have a surname that put me next to one of my closest friends for the service and so he and I spent a merry hour making sarcastic comments and wishing we were less pessimistic.

The highlight was going up to actually collect my scroll (which I have since lost) and to receive my handshake from the man with the shaky hands. Now, if you received a certain grade for your degree, the shaky handed man would ask you what you were going to do with your degree... bearing in mind I was not thinking straight and was fairly certain my life had ended at 1am that morning, I gave the obvious answer -

"So, Laura, what are you going to do after your degree?"

"I'm going to be an elf in Lapland."

See, I was about 4 months off disappearing to the snowy wilds at that point and having the time of my life. It all seems like so much more than 2 years ago... and with new massive changes on the horizon (a third Edinburgh festival next week and a possible move back to Somerset after Christmas) it seems like an exciting time to wonder what on earth the next two years is going to hold... hell, as long as I come out of it still looking like I could be on my way home from double Science class I suppose I've got nothing to worry about. Who needs Oil of Olay? Just get yourself some adventure...!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's A Kind of Magic

Fictional magic has been bothering me for some time now, more accurately; the lack of imagination of fictional magic writers.

This has all started with Harry Potter. Some things have bothered me about Harry Potter... my issue here is not with the films (I have a full separate bag of issues with the films...) but with the way magic is constructed in the originals. Why do we have to create magic within these books but always give it these lame limitations so that things are still shit?

"Yer a wizard 'arry!"
"Brilliant, can I cure cancer?"
"Er... well, this is awkward. No. But, Dumbledore's got this cracking mirror where you can see all the dead folk you couldn't save?"
"Yeah, and you can hang it without any nails! Magically! On the wall!"
"Erm, humans have that too... It's called, No More Nails."
"Oh. Awkward."

Why are the Weasley's poor? They're magic!

"We don't have much wizard gold..." (Incidentally, I do not see why putting the word 'wizard' in front of anything makes it special. Poor is poor whether you're collecting wizard dole or standard...)
"Why don't you just magic some wizard gold then?"
"Or better yet, why do you even need gold? Just magic the shit you want?"
"Oh yeah... we didn't think of that."
"While you're at it, hair dye can be bought from muggle shops to sort out your family's bullying problem - you don't even need magic for that..."

How can you even end up poor when you're magic? What's the exchange rate like on Sterling to WG (Wizard Gold) - surely you should be able to hold down about 9 muggle jobs and be raking it in? The only excuse for being wizard poor is wizard laziness in my wizard book.

It's the same in all magical books... it's like the author freaks out at the concept of being able to make magic really good in case people flip out reading it that they want magic so badly. Maybe it's just too hard to construct a story in a human brain when all the normal boundaries of our existence have been removed? If I wrote a magic book it would be about 2 pages long and go something like this:

Wizard 1: Oh, hello. What did you wizard do today?
Wizard 2: I had a wizard wank and some wizard lunch. It was tremendous. I feel no need to wizard do anything else today because I am a wizard.
Wizard 1: Isn't being a wizard so easy?
Wizard 2: Yes, because magic is magical.
Wizard 1: You're not wizard wrong.

And that would be the end of the book. Because there are no problems if you're magic.

Also, when people write magical books where wizards co-exist with non-wizards. Where the hell did the wizards mooch off to when we were really struggling with stuff?

Were wizards just tired around Ethiopia in the 80s?
Are we suggesting that actually the wizards were fully in support of the Third Reich or that they just take an American approach to intervening?
Please don't insinuate that a wizard with an afternoon off and a 6 3/4 inch willow wand couldn't do more for heart disease than my £2 a month because I frankly won't believe you.

That's the bloody reason wizards need to keep their identity a secret - because they're selfish ass holes who prefer using their cosmic power to do menial tasks like potato peeling. They'd have a queue of normal people outside the door asking why it's still possible to lock your car keys in the car when people with the capacity to bend the laws of physics and nature are wandering around everywhere.

Let's just pop back in time and fix all these instances where magic could have been used to just make the whole story simpler and much more mighty magic...

Lord of The Rings - either use Gandalf like a steroid pump and give the mincy little Hobbits a fighting chance, or, I don't know... train the damn birds that turn up at the end to just do the outward bound journey as well?

Harry Potter - pop Harry's cherry using a wizard hooker in the first book so that even if the next 6 are still full of ridiculous uses of magic, it won't have a backdrop of anxiety and wizard moping.

Sabrina The Teenage Witch - don't mend what's not broken.

The lack of faith in the wizarding community is so bad that these are all entries in the list of the top ten wizards of all time according to

1. Albus Dumbledore - he dies. He is such a great wizard that he dies. He just dies. This, by my reckoning, instantly makes Voldemort a much better wizard. He can be number one in the "Most moral knobheads" list of all time or "Guys who went down trying to teach a valuable lesson to an orphan" but he is clearly not that great a wizard. Unless, he's cottoned on to the fact that in the world of Harry Potter you can never really die as long as someone's previously done a fairly accurate oil painting of you. Are you trying to tell me someone painted a fat lady to go on a door but no one thought to just sketch out the whiskery old fool in case he got snuffed out on some drugs binge with Dobby? Ridiculous.

4. Mickey Mouse. He is a mouse. He is also only ever really a wizard once. And in his time as a wizard he makes an enormous mess whilst trying to wash a floor. He is, therefore, such a poor wizard that his life would have been immensely more straightforward had he not even had magic. And he is at number 4. What are we learning here?

8. The Pinball Wizard... ie - from The Who song. I'm not making this up... people must have literally just started Googling the word wizard at this point in a desperate attempt to know more than Merlin, Gandalf and Mr Majeika. This could only be an impressive entry if number 9 was the band Wizzard and we discovered that this was in actual fact just a run down of words that will score you a lot on Scrabble.

Brilliant. In all our collective consciousness... we've dreamed up the concept of magic and this is all we've managed to do with it? Create a fairly implausible opportunity for a severely disabled man to shine in pub based games and applaud a mouse in a frock who can't mop a floor? You're letting yourselves down humans... makes me see the Bible in a whole new light...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Poison on the Box

So far this morning I've only left the house to go and get pop tarts and some bread. I've eaten all the bread but have yet to start on the pop tarts. I'm unreasonably proud of myself. However, I can't help but think the longer I sit on this sofa the more people are going to ask me if anyone I know has had an accident or if I'm struggling to make ends meet.

The solution seems to be getting a payday loan to buy new limbs for my clumsy ass friends from what I can work out. This doesn't seem very practical but I can't really work out what else the television has been trying to tell me. I'm looking forward to the day television ads are biased towards other things you've looked at recently; like they are on the internet. Let's play a game shall we? I will write some imaginary adverts and you will work out what I'm watching that has spawned these devil products...

1. "Have you recently burned your mouth on hot breakfast?" or "Has someone you know recently been sent down for a crime they may not have committed?"

2. "Need to put a collar on a goat in a hurry? Try this new product from JML..." or "Impress your neighbours with this brand new rhinestone hoe... only £4,99 in 18 separate payments."

3. "Run out of people to sleep with in your immediate vicinity? Why not cut your ties and jet off with our half price deals to Spain and/or South Africa?"

4. "OAP spandex available in sizes 16-32 for your heros." or "Worn out segments of your staircase? Try the new Step-Patch today!"

5. "Hate everyone around you so much that you have had to resort to watching egotistical squabbling tools vying for the attention of the sort of power/money hungry megalomaniac that people would despise if he wasn't involved in light entertainment? Then please, switch off your television and reassess the purpose of your existence."

I guess at the moment television advertisements are designed around what you're watching and who they assume you are. I must be giving off the sort of vibe that hints at an inability not to wet myself and total infatuation with my own period. Clearly no one expects men or sane women to be home at this time of day. This means one of three things:

1. I am a man.
2. I am not sane.
3. I should be doing something more productive with my life.

Upon further inspection I have no visible penis so I must be a woman, unless I'm just quite an unfortunate man. And anyway, I'm wearing a skirt today so I can't be man unless I'm a transvestite. So things aren't conclusive as to whether I'm a man or not. But let's go with not.

I think I'm sane... I've done some sane things this morning. Insane people really can't cook pop tarts at the same time as looking at decent rental places. Insane people would be thinking about licking a rental place and moving into a pop tart box. So I'm sane.

Which sadly means I should be doing something more productive with myself... something like dancing or exercising or meeting new people or choosing a hairstyle to take to this year's Fringe... I will get right on all that...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

7 Reasons Not To See Any Free Fringe Shows In Edinburgh

1. The free fringe has been organised by a team of people who have all worked together. Do you know who else works together? Communists. Do you know what Communists do? No. Neither do I. For a good reason. If you want to keep blissful ignorance re Communism and anger at people capable of working in teams alive, then for goodness sake don't go and see these shows.

2. You will not have to get tickets for these shows. No one will print you a ticket. Do you know what else you don't have to have tickets for? Funerals. Nothing good ever comes from funerals and nothing good will come from seeing a free fringe show. You will be actively supporting the concept of rainforest saving. Do you know how many lives are lost in rainforests every year? Neither do I. But the Communists do.

3. People on the Free Fringe have arranged to do these shows for little to no profit. This is bad. It's not bad because they've given up profits - hardly any performers on the paid fringe make profits either - but they've also not given any money to anyone else to make a profit either. The venue owners aren't getting cash, the performers aren't getting cash, there's no one organising the fringe that's making cash... everyone is just doing it together because they want to. Did you hear that? No one is making a tonne of cash. Do you know who else doesn't make a tonne of cash? Communists. Do you know why they don't make a tonne of cash? Neither do I. But it must be bad, because I've used a capital C for Communists. Making sense?

4. None of the people you see on the Free Fringe will be "off the telly". The television is like a sniffer dog for comedic talent. If it hasn't sniffed out a comedian yet then they are not funny and never will be so don't bother going to see them. There's no such thing as a hidden gem. There is only someone who has not made it because they are not the television.*

5. At the end of each Free Fringe show you'll get shown a bucket into which you can drop some money depending on how much you liked the show. This can only lead to people being aware that they should have some say on how much they pay for things. People's opinions are dangerous and get out of control... what if people start to think that cinema tickets are too expensive and big production houses shouldn't get so much money? What if they begin to think Hollywood stars are vastly overpaid? Seeing actors who aren't getting paid so much and are equally as good can only upset the status quo.**

6. At the end of each Free Fringe show you'll get shown a bucket into which you can drop some money depending on how much you liked the show. This is a role traditionally played by the humble hat. Buckets are like the grey squirrels in this scenario, systematically wiping out hats. Do you want to wear a bucket on your head? No. Then don't go and see a Free Fringe show. Please.

7. Supporting the Free Fringe means supporting alliteration. If you can't see an issue there then you are sick.***

Thanks for having a good look at this page and supporting a worthy cause. It's best that you don't bother going to the Fringe at all, just let television do the scouting for you. Thanks.

* You see relatively few Communists on television too.
** Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt are huge campaigners for Hollywood stars' rights.
*** Comfortable Communists will be inclined to disagree here.

Familiar Fail

What a brilliant day yesterday was! Absolutely no time for blogging because I was far too busy being busy... personally I think this is a much better day than were I to sit around doing nothing and being bored and trying to manufacture stupid things to blog about... this often results in ridiculous blogs... like this one.

Friday night was the launch pad into Saturday... I found myself gigging in Ramsgate in Kent to a crazy bunch of people who were fairly keen on inflicting pain on their compere (me). In the front row sat an angry ginger man with eyes that looked like they could freeze blood in the veins... unfortunately, this only got worse once I'd pointed out that he looked like an angry ginger man. In fact, he offered to remove a few of my limbs. I mean, come on... why sit in the front row if you're going to be angry and ginger and not find it funny? His friends found it very funny and I think this is when he started insisting on hospitalising people. Not the best start to an evening. I made it markedly worse when I suggested that if he didn't want to be angry and ginger then he stop drinking pink drinks. He suggested smashing his snakebite into my face. In hindsight, taking away his deck shoes as punishment was not the best thing I could have done next but what's done is done and I just about survived. I've made a note in my diary not to get into an aggressive bantering session with people who look like they eat tongues.

Saturday morning saw us (me and a friend, not me and the angry ginger man) jetting down to Hastings to collect some stuff for Ink. What with stuff collected and a few hours to spare we decided to enjoy the sea front delights... this included the chocolatiest ice cream in the land, fish and chips with curry sauce and a ride on the whirliest ride since whirling was invented! Thankfully the ice cream came after the whirling so sickness was no induced. The ride was whirlingly brilliant... the only trouble was that when they brought the bars down to keep me in my seat, I'd forgotten I had the car keys in my pocket. All of a sudden a small bundle of sharp metal was being scrambled into my leg, threatening to cut off the blood circulation to my stumpy little limb.

As much fun as the ride was, most of the exhilaration came from wondering whether my leg would just fall off and go and knock out a Hastingsite. As dizzy as my head got it was quite difficult to ignore the purpling of my leg as the blood tried frantically to get through this bizarre new immigration.

Last night was a gig and a boozing session at The Canal Cafe theatre... as much as I adore that place, living there would just mean I spent an eternity singing bad Duffy and wondering why no one wanted to hang out with me. Bad State of Affairs. And now we're on to today - a gig in Colchester this evening and finally addressing my inbox which needs some attention. How exciting. Anyone got a whirler I can borrow for a few hours?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Travelling Shoes

About to embark on a weekend of travelling and gigging and generally feeling like a bamboozled hobo... ah the life of the wannabe performer.

First things first though... lunch with the little sister's new beau. She will be there too - I'm not conducting some kind of weird tete a tete to suss him out without her knowing - I'm flattered to have actually been asked to meet him. Now, the thing with my little sister is that she's extremely stunning. When you try and picture her you sort of have to play a game called "What Is Laura Not" and then you build up an idea. Where I have flesh covered pegs, she has the lower half of Elle MacPherson, where I have three strands of brown "hair" that I carefully wrap round my head, she has a bushy blonde mane... where I have the sort of happy playful tummy that small children like to push and ask how it got like that, she has some sort of flat area which clothes mould to.

Her taste in men is interesting. The only common theme in the kind of guy she goes for seems to be that they have the physique of a limby surf board, complete with rudder. She loves the schnozzer. You show her a beak and she will pin a picture up on her wall and worship it. She's the kind of lass that thought the Weasley twins were attractive. I don't really understand. I'm curious to meet this new contender for her company and see if he can hold it together under intense scrutiny and a tad of nonsense. If I'm not keen then I might turn the meal into an "Audition for Will Ferrell Movies" exercise and start flinging pasta against the walls.

Straight after lunch I'm off on a train, and then into a car for a dash across the country to Ramsgate to do some gigging. You should come. Then it's back to London for some shut eye - you should not come - and then off to Hastings tomorrow to collect a projector for Ink - again, it might be weird if you turned up. Then tomorrow evening it's back to London for some gigging - more than welcome - before Sunday is a dash to Colchester for extra gigging - by all means if you're in the area - as well as some costume shopping for the aforementioned show.

This kind of an exciting weekend is great... it takes a while to get used to this travelling all over the shop and not being intimidated by it lark - I'm not sure I'm totally there yet but it's certainly getting easier. During the trip to Hastings tomorrow there will be a very excellent video chat with the Artistic Director of Spun Glass Theatre (the company that Ink is being produced by) who is in Thailand at the moment being very cool. Perhaps when the chaos of Edinburgh has calmed down and all is well with the world again, I will start sketching out plans for a similar trip of my own... or if the lunch goes spectacularly badly today I will just run for the hills before my sister kills me or finds out what I've written here...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath

When I'm bored one day in heaven (run by Pill Pullman and involving an awful lot of cookies) and I'm listing my days in the order of how brilliant they were - today will come pretty high. I have been swimming, played in a sand pit, watered flowers, bathed someone and then won two quizzes.

These might not seem like very exciting activities all in all, but when you do them with a two year old who thinks you are brilliant then your life just increases in brilliant levels. The nephew liked his Beastie Clubhouse birthday present so much that he decided to sleep in it last night - his parents are thrilled that he went to sleep, they cared not where. This evening when I tried to tuck him in I tried to tuck him in nicely and ended up tucking him so closely into the corner of the tent that every time he moved his head he banged it on the radiator. I'm pleased to say he seems to have a little in common with with me because rather than shifting himself he kept turning his head back to try and see what he was banging it on. I watched him do it three times and then thought I ought to intervene. He then lay listening to the rest of the hungry caterpillar rubbing his head and giving my the ole stink eye as though I should have known better. I probably should have.

There's so much about children that's hilarious. It didn't matter how many times I swam under the water and popped back out again this morning; it was the funniest and most surprising thing that had ever happened. It also didn't matter that he couldn't do it all... swallowing a little bit of water and then spitting it back out again seemed to equate to the same thing in his eyes and so we all clapped and cheered. So easy to please. In all honesty though, his parents are just as amusing. During our quiz today one question was, what item comes in sizes A2, A3 and A4... my brother-in-law answered "Bras". I think a small part of my sister died inside.

Sandpit games are just as fun - I was given my own rake today. Have you ever tried to convince a two year old that the reason he keeps getting sand in his eye is because he keeps looking at the spadeful of sand while it's above his head. He's a fastidious creature though and it did take me a good half hour to convince him that some dirt was allowed in the sandpit and that we could still play in it without needing to remove every tiny piece of brown... mainly because the tiny pieces of brown were sand not dirt.

Tomorrow I'm off back to the land of the real world... I've not checked my emails for two days while I sink back into familyville... I'm hoping nothing's exploded in my absence from the internet. I highly doubt it has. Of all the people that are holding integral things together, I think I'm one that can probably be missed for a while without the Pentagon getting a bit squeaky bum. In fact, I think if there's one bonus to being smei-useless it's that no one really misses you when you want a holiday. I may well emigrate...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Birthday Party

After a 5am start, a train journey which began before the dawn chorus (well, before Twitter anyway), a planning meeting, a birthday dinner, a lot of cake and a multitude of stories... I am well and truly happy and relaxed.

Just recently I've found that being unemployed and poor gives you a lot of time to think about things. Largely because you have a lot of time on your hands and not enough money for bus fare and so you end up walking to a lot of places. Yesterday, as I was walking to The Glassblower, I started thinking about my current living situation and whether or not I wanted to remain living in a house share situation.

It occurred to me that if you stay single and don't pair off with a mate (or boyfriend as more well adjusted people call them) then you necessarily have to be more successful to be able to afford solitary living. You can't move out and share the burden of everything with someone else and so you kind of need your career to work out well to avoid poverty.

At what age do you necessarily have to stop living with other people? Will I wake up one day to find I'm 45 and living with a load of students who secretly judge me? Will I even know they're students or will I just see them and assume they are my cats because I am such a loony spinster?

Is there some kind of forum for the celibate amongst us to meet up and form care homes of willing 25-50 year olds who can't really afford housing but aren't old enough to just go straight into care? Do I need to pop out a couple of sprogs so that we can have council housing or should I just hold out and hope that I either find a continual stream of people my own age who are equally averse to co-habitable relationships or that I die young?

The birthday party again today really got me thinking... at what point will life start to feel like it's how things were meant to go or will it all always feel like you're working towards something you've not quite attained yet? Don't get me wrong, this isn't whiny at all - I love my life - but I don't quite feel like I've got to the point where I can sit back and look at it and think "Yep, this is what I pictured." Reasonably, I'm not sure there'll ever be a point where David Attenborough is reading me leather bound books and I'm spraying lavender oil on his feet, but I hope I get somewhere a bit close.

Or would that be very dull? Are those the sorts of lives where people freak out because they got somewhere comfortable too early and now don't know what to do? Will a permanent attempt to get somewhere unattainable be much more interesting some day when my nephew is writing my memoirs and living off the proceeds?

I watch the rest of my family living in this little bundle of people who adore each other and see each other all the time and you can really tell that they live for each other. I drop in and out and very much love them from a distance but we all know I have to do something else or I'll go a little nuts - is that how it will always be?

Does putting career above family and above desire to have ones own family make you very sad or selfish? Would it be a bad thing to be the next George Clooney (plus boobs and IBS) and to never make a lifelong commitment because ultimately you know you can't stick to it... I have no idea.

I'm aware that this blog is a little more Carrie Bradshaw than my usual style and I've fought every instinct to write - "I couldn't help but wonder..." and then start reminiscing about my promiscuous friends, but I don't really have many and you can't see my imaginations so this is the best I could do. I do imagine tomorrow's blog will be the blueprint designs for a housing plan for people between 25 and 50 who would like to live in singleton villages - why does every other age group get to live amongst its peers in communities but for the long stretch in the middle you're just supposed to go it alone? It doesn't make any sense. Don't you worry though, I'll fix it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things I'm Willing To Do To Not Tidy My Room

Well, this is exciting... my productive day is going badly so I am live tweeting all the things it turns out I would rather do that tidy my room...

1. Write a second blog today (obvious but necessary so getting it out of the way first).

2. Research a mushroom recipe that I might actually like (just in case there's one that doesn't make me vom).

3. Learn all the words to the Sister Sister theme tune.

4. Watch Show Me The Funny on iPlayer despite being warned it's a bad format.

5. Actually answer my phone to a number I don't recognise.

6. Attempt French plaiting of my hair. If you want to see a beehive pop round to the Old Kent Road about now...

7. Contemplate a visit to the doctor to see why I can't move the toes on my right foot any more... this is unlikely to happen as I'm petrified of doctors but it has crossed my mind so it's going on the list.

8. Acknowledge the fact that when I was young I owned a multitude of desk tidies, now that I'm old enough to have a desk there are just pens everywhere with no form of organisation at all. Chaos.

9. Draft a letter to the Black Keys asking if they need a tambourine player for their next tour.

10. Draft a letter to the Harlem Globetrotters asking about their summer camp opportunities.

11. Draft a letter to the Equal Opportunities and Ethics committee explaining that the Harlem Globetrotters are bullying me.

12. Iron shit.

13. Watch Two and a Half Men on the basis that "I must have missed something".

14. Realise I hadn't missed anything.

15. Try and cut Charlie Sheen out of my retinas.

16. Read the ingredients of furniture polish and wonder if ingredients is the right word? Any help here?

17. I'm so bored.

18. Draft a letter to my mum telling her that, although she often thought she had no authority over us when we were supposed to be tidying our rooms as children, I actually get even less done nowadays when she's not here. I also don't hoover. I will explain I am sorry.

19. Congratulate myself on choosing lavender washing powder.

20. Make list of reasons as to why Bill Pullman is better than all previous lovers. Draft screenplay where David Attenborough and Bill Pullman rescue me from a Stockholm Syndrome situation where David Jason is my captor.

21. Promise myself an ice cream if I tidy my room.

22. Tell myself lists are fun and so it logically follows I should watch High Fidelity immediately.

23. Cry a little bit and tell myself to pull my finger out and get on with tidying my room... sigh.

Umpire State of Mind

A quick assessment of the British public via the medium of adverts on E4 will instantly show you that we're all running around trying to get payday loans as quickly as possible. Once we've got our money, we rush out and buy a soda stream to keep our smug children happy. If there's anything left over it goes on buying software to learn Japanese - I think the aliens coming down to see what humans are all about will be very disappointed. Are we really a race of gullible poor people who are eternally farty due to gaseous drinks? I'm not sure anyone's going to be thrilled that only the smuggest amongst us have even attempted to be bilingual. I am neither farty nor bilingual so I think what I might do is switch the televisual device off and be productive today.

I'm going to be productive today - got an awesome gig to go to later and I have a zillion things to do before packing up and disappearing down to the Shire tomorrow for the 2nd birthday of my nephew of brilliance. I had a dream last night and in my dream I was being played by Chad Michael Murray... I think this a pretty damning comment on the state of the fuss between my ears this week. The solution certainly seems to be to try and make amends by having the most worthwhile Tuesday that ever was had.

How do you be worthwhile on a Tuesday? Tuesday never seems like the sort of day when important things happen... no one wakes up to have a momentous Tuesday. Tuesday is a day for reflecting on Monday or gearing up for Wednesday - it's fine for things to happen on a Wednesday - makes it a pivotal part of the week. If you get too much done on a Tuesday then have you just ruined your chances of the rest of the week working out?

I'm not taking any chances, what this means is that, although I've promised to get a lot done today, I'm actually still in my dressing gown and I'm probably not going to go and tidy my room until after Gilmore Girls has been on. Damn you E4. If it wasn't for E4 I would have a sun tan and friends and dreams about myself where I play me instead of some vaguely pretty blonde guy with half an acting career. What does that say when even in my dreams I am not getting cast in the lead role? It's not the best start in life for a budding actress.

So! On to productivity...? Yes. Indeed. I will begin productivity with something mind blowing. I'm already defrosting chicken... that's both productive and mind blowing! Who doesn't love chicken eh? Especially defrosted chicken! This means I am the sort of woman that defrosts things well in time for a meal (rather than microwaving it slightly before I'm starving). Surely this is progress? If I had a soda stream I might put some fizzy drinks in with my chicken and then people would literally gather round my front door with presents from Kath Kidston which I am bound to love. In actual fact I hate Kath Kidston stuff and I don't want a soda stream so it's just going to have to be the chicken. This is not a good start to the world's best Tuesday.

Maybe what I'll do is spend the Tuesday preparing for Wednesday and then by the time I get to tomorrow I'll have the best Wednesday that could be had and no one has to worry about the week strata being bashed around. Yes, this seems like the best way to work Tuesday out. Sneaky little Tuesday... you are not going to beat me!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Well, didn't I just go right ahead and drink far too much yesterday? Have I spent the entire day throwing up? Yes indeed I have - I am a bog monster today.

This is a necessarily short blog because looking at the screen is fairly painful for my eyes and I need to go and try and eat something else to see whether the eject button is still stuck down in my stomach. I suspect it might be but I remain hopeful.

The weirdest thing about being sick all day is that I haven't drunk any tea at all today - nothing at all. No tea. It's the longest I've gone without tea in a very long time. I sort of want to try some now but I am scared of having hot tea coming back out of my nose.

I'm not expecting sympathy - I firmly understand this mess is entirely my own fault.

The best thing about spending an entire day lying on the sofa staring at the TV is that you realise quite how great JML products are - if I had any money to my name I would certainly be purchasing a new ironing board cover and probably some kind of immense glue. I'm not sure what I'd do with any of them in all honesty but I want to own them desperately after all these glossy adverts I've seen. I think perhaps they should open a JML theme park where we can all go and play with these ideas for hours on end and have a great time!

This may just be the inane ramblings of a dehydrated idiot. Off to vom once again...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obsessive Driveller

It's 23:33 at the start of this blog. I'm sitting in my bed with half of Brixton stuck to the bottom of my feet, eyes that are so full of grit you can hear The Daily Mail asking where I was when half an inch of snow brought Britain to a standstill last winter, and I was just about to put my head on my ever so inviting pillow when I realised I had not blogged today.

So I'm now trying to do this blog. For no other reason than that I am worried if I don't I will have let myself down... I think I am an idiot. 97% of my body is screaming at me that we prefer sleep to the concept of being successful but that bastard pigging 3% that models itself on Monica from Friends and likes to win has, well, won.

Why so tired? Well, because at 02:30 this morning I was at Picadilly Circus waiting for a night bus to take me home after trekking to Walsall last night for a heavily mediocre gig. Walsall is far away. I was then up at 7am to go to rehearsal for Ink in Brixton.

Today at rehearsal I realised it's quite hard to be an authoritative director when you:
a) are sleepwalking
b) know less of your lines than anyone else in the show.

Tomorrow is our last rehearsal before Edinburgh and an open type performance thingy where folks I admire a lot will have a peek at the show and see whether they think it's good. I feel more sorry for them; tis a heavy burden to watch a show and then have to work out how best to phrase your "constructive criticism". Criticism is never constructive unless what you are constructing is a grudge.

So why am I blogging? I have no idea. No one even reads the damn thing at weekends let alone at 23:40 when I don't even have anything to say. In fact, if you are reading this crock of nonsensical shit I almost think less of you for being in a slightly sadder state than I am this evening. It's Saturday night you loser, put some hotpants on and go and harass someone of the opposite gender. Or start making your plans for what to eat during the Apprentice tomorrow. I've never watched the Apprentice but I hear it's popular and it will mean you might be able to hold a conversation with a mindless fuckwit at work tomorrow.

So I'm going to try and sleep now. The only problems I foresee are staying asleep without pulling my, frankly biohazardous, feet into my white bed set. I fully expect my bed to look like the end of a one night stand with Stig of the Dump by the morning. Yes, I could go and wash them but I'm too tired. Which basically means this ass hole blog and my own bizarre sense of duty to idiot things that I made up myself have beaten my belief in basic hygiene and housekeeping. Well done Laura, what a winner you are. 23:44 Goodnight. xxx

Friday, July 15, 2011


At 2:39am this morning I stumbled bleary eyed out of the dark room feeling a little bit ashamed of myself and slightly dirty. I looked at the people around me wondering what we were doing there... how we'd ended up like this. My fingers were sticky, my senses were assaulted and I'd given in to the reckless pursuit of conforming to the advertising morons.

I'd been to see the midnight Harry Potter film.

Now, before I begin my unrelenting assault on the absolute atrocity that is this series of films, I would just like to say that I love the books. No, I don't love the books, I adore the books. I think they are phenomenal. I think they are some of the best excuses for paper on the planet. I think children who are struggling to understand the magic of books should be given a free copy and shown how beautiful imagination can be (both the author's and the readers). They are the books that, if I do get my head round the kids issue, I will read at bedtime and do all the voices and share with my little offspring. I could not love these books more.

The films are complete and utter shite with the odd life saving appearance from Robbie Coltrane or Maggie Smith to help you feel like you're not the only sane person who got sucked into this colossal shit storm.

I found myself sat in the cinema looking around at people with tears in their eyes, wondering if they had just found a way to switch their brains off to the tediously poor quality of this film, or if I was missing something. These are not good films. At all. Are they? They are terrible, terrible portrayals of excellent books but it doesn't mean they merit worshipping at all.

Unless, they are sort of like a Picasso. Where the actual representation looks a bit weird and squonky but it's what it means that counts? In which case, tell Picasso to just send me the address of the person he's painting and I'll go and look at the real thing. I just don't understand...

Has no one noticed that the acting is abysmal? That each of the three lead teenysomethings can only move certain parts of their faces when acting? Between them they would be a fine face actor (arms are not their strong points), watch the film and notice;

Ron - can move his mouth.
Hermione - can mover her eyebrows.
Harry - can move his jaw.

AND THAT IS IT! And no one seems to mind?

Am I barmy? Am I missing something? How did I end up there last night? Is this how the Nazis did it too? Just bamboozle you into being sure it must be you that thinks the whole thing's nonsense by showering you in pyrotechnics every time you think about getting up from your seat?

The films aren't even good enough to exist in their own right. The films make little to no sense if you haven't read the books and I find it embarrassing. It's like they think we're so stupid that we need this pictorial accompaniment to go with the films in case the words were too difficult and we're struggling a bit. Some how we have not allowed these films to progress from the flash card versions of the books - "Here's a thing - it's pretty, not got time to go into detail... here's another thing... if you don't understand there's a written version... oooh shiny!".

Perhaps I'm just overtired and over thinking the whole issue. But, it is a bad film and I went to see it at midnight for no explicable reason and I'm very ashamed of myself. If someone ever asks me to make the film version of my blogs I promise to do it absolutely faithfully with all the pyjama wearing, grumpy, scowling tea drinking reality of the written version.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Child

There's actually nothing better than coming home and finding you've got one of those red slips to tell you there's a parcel waiting for you. I actually think it's better than finding a parcel (in the same way that Christmas Eve has a brilliance completely separate to Christmas Day), because you can then spend all the time until you reach the sorting office imagining what your parcel could possibly be. On the walk to the sorting office you've the potential to be a light sabre owner, the proud recipient of a puppy or even some kind of excellent chocolate box designed to make me chubby and grinny.

I collected my parcel today and found it was the Flanimals books I have ordered to give to my Beastie nephew next week. I am particularly excited about teaching him the names of the beasties and pretending to be them with him. I like being around this child - he thinks I'm super fun and completely on his wavelength. He is more than right.

It makes me think quite a lot about whether or not I'd like my own children and, if I do have them, what they'll be like. I worry a lot that they'll be the sort of mud chomping nobheads that even reception class children know to ignore, but there's always the chance that they might be some sort of rocket scientist that will be ultra cool and very impressive.

My opinion on having my own children is quite similar to my opinion on cooking - if you try it and pull it off it's  really, incredibly brilliant. But, it's a lot of effort for something that you don't actually have to do. Instead, you can just make friends with people who like to bake/reproduce and try out their cakes/children, then you don't have to stay friends with people who've made crap ones.

I am a complete commitmentphobe and, to be quite honest, the thought of committing to someone who isn't even born yet is a bit freaky. If I knew it was all going to work out well then I'd start popping them out tomorrow, but I don't have the best track record of making good things that last for very long and I'd rather not foist that on an unwitting foetus.

My worst nightmare is that I'd turn on the telly one day and there'd be my children staring back at me from the screen while a sympathetic Scottish voice asks strangers to help kids that didn't have a very good start in life. My children would be there, well fed and alive, but clearly needing better supervision from someone who doesn't fantasise about being a Gilmore Girl.

I would like to have children; I would not like to have attention deficient versions of myself who will struggle to explain to people why their names are Attenborough and Butler regardless of gender.

For this reason I am going to stick to my nephew until I find a man with perfect enough DNA to override all of my own. With the nephew I am allowed to be an excellent character who comes and goes (mainly goes) and is a lot of fun and then never has to do the telling off. It's a lot safer to be this person I think; plus, you don't have to worry about folic acid. I'm not really sure what folic acid is. If I find out you need folic acid to be a good aunt then I am going to kick off.

What's my point? I have no idea, but to be honest if you were looking for a point still after yesterday's entry then you're reading the wrong blog. I suppose I think having children is the hardest and scariest thing you could ever have to do and I thought I'd know whether I wanted to do it or not by the time I was this age. I guess you're not really supposed to make those kinds of decisions when you have just had pop tarts for lunch and have watched the same Bill Pullman film 6 times in the last 3 days.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Concrete Reasons Why It's OK To Talk To Yourself

1. As children and adults we are continually encouraged to practise hard at things we want to be good at. It's a widely recognised fact that 90% (figure increased from 72% in light of the recent phone hacking scandals) of the world's population are utter morons. Why not help to reduce that figure by sounding ideas out to yourself before you allow them passage into the wider world? You'll find people become less angry with you as less and less of your suggestions involve dressing up animals or trying to set light to homeless people.

2. It has been scientifically proven that familiarity is comforting to most people - now, I ask you, what could be more familiar than the sound of your own voice? If you are finding life too stressful, it's a good idea to surround yourself with your own dulcet tones and immediately reduce any pressure on yourself. Following this logic, other people's voices are bound to just annoy you and increase your stress levels - best not to talk to them. If someone does try and engage you in conversation just jam your fingers in your ears and run away. This process may also mean you need to avoid some of the more supremely annoying voices found in the popular broadcast media - this will include (but is not limited to) Ruby Wax, Alan Carr and Cheryl Cole.

3. People who regularly talk to themselves are mugged far less often than those who don't. You can use this system in the same way that people who are going on holiday leave lights or a radio on a timer to deter burglars - who is going to mug someone who clearly has not one, but two people occupying the residence between your ears? In addition to this deterrant, muggers are known to be absolute paralysed by fear at the thought of acquiring rabies - when talking to yourself, you might try dribbling slightly and staggering whilst muttering to yourself that you are avoiding Atticus Finch.

4. If you are particularly adept at doing accents you will find yourself much more intersting to talk to. In some cases this might also lead to you being significantly less racist than most people because you spend so much time around foreign people. In the long run this is only going to help the world as we slowly reduce the uncertaintly around people you do not share a cultural identity with.

5. When attending a job interview or other important event where you need to make a furiously good impression, it is important to always talk to yourself. By doing so you will vastly improve your chances of them remembering you as they seek to work out what newfangled technology you are using to communicate with your unseen chatting partner. Should they ask you, you can of course tell them that you are talking to yourself and then they will be floored by your staggering importance that people, including yourself, need to consult with you so urgently.

6. The world is a cruel place and sometimes people will not fully appreciate the effort you are going to in order to make them happy. Narrating your actions as you carry them out helps to give a full impression of the sort of work horse you are. This can be uniquely effective during sexual intercourse - try saying out loud, "Do you want to put that in your mouth? No! Then why do it? Because I am a loving giver." and your partner will probably have tears in their eyes by the time you come face to face again. This will also work if they are not being the sort of intimate playtime buddy that you were expecting, you might try; "Stop being so selfish *insert your own name here*, he is trying his best and not everyone can be the stud that Gerard is in your dream about the volcano." Your partner will be blown away by your levels of understanding and selflessness.

7. 87% of overweight people in the UK are fat - this is caused by many people simply not having enough hours in the day to exercise. Obesity can cause a vast array of illnesses ranging from heart disease to body odour and should be avoivided at all costs. By taking the conscious choice to talk to yourself day in day out you will be exercising your tongue, jaw, lungs, vocal chords and arms as you bat away people trying to take you into care. This is doing your bit to reduce strain on our mighty NHS and really be a part of The Big Society.

8. The vast majority of the magic words that have so far been discovered by humans were discovered completely by accident. "Open Sesame" was stumbled upon by a baffled tramp talking to the bun on his Whopper, and the cast of Harry Potter only came across their many spells and enchantments after the devious Ms Rowling slipped a little something fancy into their milkshakes. If you spend your day talking to yourself and trying out different combinations of words, you are far more likely to discover something magical and make a bit of a name for yourself. Thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters... Of course, no one could possibly predict which spells you will discover but there is a slight chance you might work out how to fix tyranny, how to fix democracy or how to fix Coldplay.

9. Old wives with tails across the world have long perpetuated the myth that talking to yourself is a sign of madness. People may try to accuse you of this and check your palm for hairs. By proudly taking up talking to ourselves we can silence these batty old hens and force them to stop sponging off the state and get a real job. By adhering to the belief that talking to yourself is madness you are relegating yourself to a level of so little importance that not even you will register your attendance in a conversation. Is this the sort of PR you want to do for yourself?

10. Over 14% people keep diaries in this blog. If you can even begin to contemplate the number of people that must therefore keep diaries worldwide then you will, naturally, be flabberghasted by the levels of paper that we are wasting with our own angst ridden outpourings. It's time to put a stop to this wilfull ruination of the rainforests to support our efforts to become the next Pepys or Jones. What we must put in place is the sort of popular disclaimer that coems on emails in this 21st century - "Please consider the environment before printing." - If, once you have spoken your entire thought log for the day out loud, you are still convinced that it needs to be preserved for posterity, then you must be shot.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Uniform Disrespect

I've carefully considered the following opinion and now I am ready to deliver it;

I'm really not enjoying this latest tempytype assignment. Of the four I've done so far this ranks mildly above TopShop and slightly below train booking. It's below train booking. I am so bored that I've been trying to stretch the writing of these blogs out to at least an hour so that I have something to occupy myself with... if this continues we may well be getting up to 4 blogs per day by the end of the week.

This is Day 2 and so far I have been given absolutely nothing to do. When people come in I let someone else know they're there and then I do nothing. Until the next person arrives I do nothing. I didn't even get given a pen until this morning. I feel like I ought to be writing some sort of expose on the true reality of the limitations of what humans think other humans are capable of. It's mind blowing.

I suppose I wouldn't mind if there was the mildest sliver of banter to be found anywhere in the office. However rules which I have deemed to be ridiculous so far include;

1. No paper on my desk.
2. No drinking any liquids at my desk.
3. Reminding my supervisor my name every time I speak to him.

The best part of my working day is my hour long walk to work. I'm doing the trek from Old Kent Road to Holborn on foot at the moment as the weather is nice and I'm terribly scared of heart disease and cellulite. I like seeing the world up and about at that time of day and I like to judge all the different school uniforms that I pass in the Borough area... The two main uniforms I see are equally disgusting;

Uniform One is woven from frustration, anger at the criminal justice system, and deodorant frosting. It's a shapeless brown combination which serves to make even the most cheerful children look like they're re-enacting the Jarrow March. I can only theorise that the purpose of this uniform is to kill any form of resistance in the students. Something along the lines of, "What is the point of rebelling? Even if I'm the class clown, I'll still be dressed like an ill favoured King Edward. I can not win." I'm not sure what kind of aspirations this is supposed to instill on any body below the age of 16. Certainly, were it me, I would make damned sure I did bad enough in school that I'd never have to use a uniform again if I'd had to wear that monstrosity for 7 years.

Uniform Two looks like someone has tried a little harder but just got it disastrously wrong; possibly through only ever having seen fashion magazines aimed at Dental Nurses and the people who make hospital scrubs. These uniforms are navy blue suits with salmon pink shirts to accompany them... I'm not sure if you'll have seen the most excellent film Drop Dead Fred, but if you can picture the suit Elizabeth buys when she tries to be a grown up, you'll get a good idea of what we're talking about here. These children look utterly disastrous - stuck somewhere between awkward posture and a middle aged frump inducing ensemble.

It makes me quite glad to have got through at least some of the mind numbing crud the world has to offer - yes I'm spending my days even more frustrated now than I was at 16 but at least I'm not doing it dressed as a wham bar.

Bridget Christie - Housewife Surrealist

I think it's fair to say that Christie's show is still very much in it's previewing infancy. You can really see strong themes starting to pull through and some heavy characters appearing through the hilarious anecdotes. Christie really seems to enjoy talking to the audience and it's that apssion that tides you over during the looser segments that haven't been secured down yet. The themes of religion, family and personal fear are very strong and promise a very sincere show. It's completely obvious that pretty soon Christie will have something very moving and thought-provoking to put to the audience... at the moment it's a preview but I think it shows great promise for an excellent hour - especially with full characters and tech.

Paul Sinha - Looking at the Stars

Sinha's show could not have been presented any more differently to Christie's. Where she had papers and ticks, he had meticulous delivery and a strong narrative through line. This is a really interesting show; I think it's a bit of a comedian's show from what I saw last night. There's a lot of exploration of what it's like to be a semi-personality or to have the pressure of Edinburgh heaped on you.

It's funny, frank and there's nothing quite like the rhythm and effortless performance that comes with such a seasoned performer. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that the show is woven extremely slickly, unlike many previews at this stage of July, it doesn't feel like a ragtag bundle of stories pulled together for a preview. The only thing I felt lacking was a real sense of personality in the performance; this could have been down to anything from remembering a solid hour of script to lights being very bright in what is a small room, but it felt like a bit of a gap after a performer like Christie. It might seem like a strange criticism given that the shows covers such personal topics like relationships, sexuality, expectations from parents and career decisions. It's not that Sinha isn't extrememly likeable; it's more that it feels very polished. Towards the end the barriers come down a little and I felt like we got more of an insight. I think it's more than likely a personal preference to like very casual comedians... it certainly shouldn't deter you from seeing what is already a consummate achievement.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Something to Smile About

Over the weekend my old man back in the shire has been putting the wheels in motion to organise a chairty comedy night back in my old stomping ground. He's asked me to help him out putting a line up together. As I've started pulling in interested people and sorting through various ideas, I've realised I'm really enjoying myself.

The thought of being able to:
a) Put on comedy in my home town for a venue I love and people I connect to,
b) Hopefully make a lot of money for an incredibly worthy charity,

makes the effort of organising the whole thing very much worth it. I'm obviously working for free on this little project.

Without meaning to do this entire blog in a font called Twee, I'm surprised at how much of a difference it makes to do something business related but with a personal touch. I think more of the world would be a happier place if we scaled everything back a little bit and worked on things where we saw the results locally.

People seem to take a lot of pride in things they've done themselves (kids' pictures on the fridge, homegrown vegetables, masturbation) and yet the world continues to tick over with mass production. I don't think a sense of disconnection between you and your productivity achieves excellence.

Back to today, I'm guarding a new reception this week... it's markedly more terrifying and less interactive than the last one! I think I might be pining. However, on the upside the staff room does have still and mineral water on tap like a beer pump so I'm pretending that I'm guarding a very snooty restaurant this week. as such, I'm treating everyone like they're drunk. It's really working for me but there's a chance I won't last long because people will reach their capacity for being patronised by someone with a ponytail and a filofax.

I'm very, very excited about the preview shows that are on tonight; Bridget Christie and Paul Sinha. I am occasionally pinching myself to make sure I'm living in reality and actually meeting all these fine people! I have to say I have a bit of a bias this week (even though this feels like admitting which of my children I prefer) but I actually cannot wait until Wednesday when we have Tiernan Douieb and Keith Farnan both doing their shows. It's hard to explain how much mayhem this could cause... unless you were repeatedly drunk in a cow watching them trying to compere a quiz together than you will find it hard to understand the levels of competitive comedy that exist between them.

Next week I'm jetting off (I say jetting, I'm taking the 7am slow train) to Somerset to celebrate the 2nd birthday of the Granny Smith of my eye. As his present, I've decided to take a more creative approach to spoiling him... I am going to collect all of the most beastly of gifts and present him with his very own Beasty Club Membership Card and treasure chest. I think this is the quickest way to make sure he thinks I am a cool and trustowrthy person to always be nice to and never have to eat vegetables with. It's not that I'm desperate for affection or anything it's just that... well, no I definitely am - I'm a comedian what did you expect?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Foot in a Mug

Good morning!

Holy meowing octopi, I hope you are glad that I went to Bournemouth and gigged for us so that you didn't have to! If any of you ever hear me utter the words "That gig wasn't so bad, I will do it again..." please race round to wherever I am and beat the living crap out of me using a pillow case full of soap bars. (Name that film reference for a point...?)

I don't even want to talk about that gig. All I will say, is that there were points when I thought things were going to start falling off my body through sheer terror and unwillingness to shuffle onto a stage. There are moments with this comedy lark where you stop and wonder how your ongoing quest to have an awesome job has lead you to trying to accumulate the love of a room full of Big Brother contestants.

Thank the good invisible rock monster for the drive there and back which was charming and a rare sort of journey where three total strangers get along without any issues for an extended period of time. Perhaps I should just get a job as a chauffeur instead?

This afternoon I am off to the Natural History Museum to look at the blue whale and other selected creatures and facts. I bloody love the Natural History Museum - it kicks the ass of all other museums in the vicinity. The Science Museum and I fell out badly when the once asked for ID on entry. I was less than impressed. This makes my list of weird times I have been asked for ID a whopping two now. The other entry being the time I tried to buy coffee (aged 23). I didn't even know there was any age limit for coffee buying? Let alone that I could possibly look younger than it aged 23?? Especially as I was mid-Fringe at the time and therefore looking about as haggard as they come.

In fact I really should have already left the house to go and do some mini-shopping before I get busy with the dinosaurs. I'm on a pretty strict budget at the moment pre-Edinburgh, however, I have the birthday of a certain over adored nephew upcoming and he requires a whole heap of presents to ensure he continues to think of me as the cool aunt who lives somewhere else. IT's a heavy responsibility but someone has to live up to it. BOOM.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Proportional Grumping

It's 7:29am and I've just had a conversation (with myself) over breakfast about when it is appropriate to say you're having a bad day.

Do you have to wait until you've been through at least two sections of it before you promote yourself from "bad morning" to "bad day", or can you just wake up and look around and roll your eyes?

For starters, would you please look at the weather? See that perfect blue sky? That's me that is. This is the best reason in the world why the British public should be clamouring for me to make more theatre... every single time I schedule a rehearsal there is glorious weather outside and I am missing it with my poor, delirious cast. You can bet your bottom dollar that next weekend will be totally sizzling and then from the second I set foot up north for August, the South will be bathed in a glorious Indian summer while we invaders of Scotland have to swim to our free venues to perform to people whose skin has attached to their anoraks.

Why else am I grumpy?

All my own fault really... I let myself have a night off last night - a totally off night (I had wine, ice cream, sausage sandwich and I watched Elf... I am sighing at the memory). So naturally I woke up at 6:43am realising that I could not possibly fit everything that needs doing into my weekend.

Night terrors are my speciality so I'm quite used to waking up a bit frightened, confused and annoyed at something arbitrary but when they happen too close to normal waking up time, it means I just have to prise myself out of bed and go and start sorting out whatever it was that I was worried about. Hence I'm now working through my to do list at what is now 7:42am (because I got distracted by fricking Twitter) and wondering where to hang my washing out to dry that it can stay until tomorrow.

I think the grump has been brought on by having dreamt about the ex last night. Please all gasp accordingly - both of you.

It's never a good thing when you wake up as a comedian and realise that the best your imagination can come up with is someone else's joke.

I'm not really one for reading anything into dreams so I'm not unduly worried but it is a little annoying - I can only imagine it's like going on a diet and then waking up to find that sleepy you has eaten a whole cake. In my dream I was very small and when my ex and I hugged I only came up to his tummy button... am starting to think this sounds more like his dream than mine... He kept putting on shoes and telling me off for something or other.I'm sure a dream interpreter will tell me that this means my fear of tummy buttons comes from the time someone shoved a shoe full of ex boyfriends into mine and then told me I was too small to argue. I'm just going to chalk it up to an insane sugar high from the ice cream and the fact that it was a fucking dream.

I could be at Lounge On The Farm right now (excellent hippy music festival in Kent where people take their organic children to help them experience hay bales) but because of rehearsals for Ink, QimP is soldiering on without me. Be strong my brethren. If, on the minute chance you are reading this on some portable device from anywhere within the grounds (or actually just in Canterbury) you should go and see what all the QimPy fuss is about.

I bet Jack Dee never worries about waking up grumpy - people sort of expect it from him. Stupid happy persona - whichever dickhead thought that up for me deserves a good kick in the kidneys. Shit things happening to him must be a real money spinner, I'm the sort of dense comedian who decided to be delirious about everything. Arse. Let's just hope my gig tonight is a good pick me up... are you in Bournemouth? No? Well then it's probably not worth you travelling to the gig to see what I do.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The End of an Era

Well, that might be a slightly melodramatic title, but it feels like the end of an era. A small era - the sort of era an ant might have. so, maybe not the end of an era... maybe just the end of the week. Yes. We'll go with that - it's the end of a week.

I've come to the end of my stint as receptionist in the glorious building with the roof terrace and the threat of invasion lurking round every corner. Next week I am receptionist somewhere else. I feel like a sort of escort receptionist. But slightly classier.

It's also the end of an era because the sports presenter left the Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning. This might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things but changes to radio are very distressing for me.

I listen to the radio a lot more than I watch television - I listen every day, always in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings as well. If I can, I have it on all day (depending on which desk I'm guarding). So, I listen to my favourite radio presenters more than I generally speak to friends or family in most weeks.

I'm a creature of routine; I like my mornings uninterrupted by anyone other than Chris Evans and his crew. So, when someone leaves it blasts a bit of a hole in the comfort of the whole thing... it's a little bit like going through a break up, except that you're acutally upset because these are people you don't mind listening to in the morning.

It occurred to me while I was listening to all the suprises lined up for Mr Johnny Saunders, that I really also like Chris Evans and I think he has gone on my list of famous people who I would like to be friends with. Currently this list consists of;

David Attenborough
David Jason
Danny DeVito
Russell Brand
William (of Wish Wellington fame)

I'm considering adding the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge because I'm a bit worried I'm in love with Harry and I think that being best friends with them would be my quickest inroad.

The thing with Chris Evans is that you know he used to be all nutty and a pain in the arse, but actually now he seems fairly cool and like he's grown up a bit. For this reason I am keen we are friends. Also, he's totally minted and seems to like spending his money on mental stuff so I'm quite interested to see whether he'd be up for some of my more adventurous architectural projects!

On my walk in to work this morning I discovered a few things;

1. I like seeing people walking around with their mouths open. Specifically this morning was a n old lady pushing a little tartan trolley. She looked like she was trying to drink the rain. She made me want to try it too. I tried it. Not pleasant - better to watch.

2. The bigger the umbrella you have the better. Yesterday and today I used a golf umbrella for the first time - at first I felt a little silly because it was so huge, but, I discovered levels of dryness never previously experienced! Incredible! With a small umbrella, you have a dry head and then watch in dismay as everything below your shoulders slowly soaks through and you wonder why you bothered with the damn thing. But, with this this massive umbrella... well, you're just all dry! Made me wonder why I don't buy an umbrella of my very own.

3. The reason I do not own an umbrella of my own is that umbrellas are evil creatures which eat your hair. Umbrellas are vicious and if you don't give them a wide berth they will gobble up huge chunks of your barnet and then smugly glare at you asking what you expected from a wild creature. If left unchecked, two umbrellas that meet in the street will also fight like dogs on heat if you don't work hard to keep them apart. They are naturally territorial and, when they meet another umbrella, will rut like stags using their metal sprongs. It's important to get them neutered to try and reduce the amount of damage they cause. Unfortunately, neutering an umbrella inolves snapping it into tiny pieces and throwing it away so they are perfectly useless afterwards.

There's a good possibility that by tomorrow it will be the end of an era for a couple of umbrellas, not just Johnny Saunders and me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Locked Up Til Lunch Mi Amigos!

What's that? You had porridge for breakfast too and so are buzzing like a bee that found a flower on steroids and then ate all the nectar and went to the gym because of all the energy from the nectar and is now the size of a house and eaiting cows instead of nectar and so is even more enegetic?

Me too!!!

I'm going through a bit of a weird week where I've literally not been home unless it's between the hours of 11:30pm and 8:15am... as such I have not been able to purchase anything resembling food, let alone breakfast... so far this week I've lived off a diet that would make Gillian McKeith's face even sourer than it usually is. She'd probably want to remove all of the poop from my body and put her own in for the best chance of saving me. I'd refuse naturally. Actually, she'd be dead this point because if she tried to keep me from the table of glory showing the obese guide to the horn of plenty then I'd eat her on my way to the Jammie Dodgers.

But the point is that I am pretty much 84% bacon flavour real McCoys at the moment. These turned out to be a sound investment because the crinkly buggers repeat on you for hours after you actually eat them and so you feel like you're eating them all day. Re-sult.

However, this morning when I was scanning my cupboard and wondering whether I'd reached the point where it was ok to just break off some MDF and suck it until it was chewable, I saw lurking in the back some porridge oats. Yum. Now, I hate porridge and I have a vague memory of my mother giving me this porridge when I moved to London (January 2010) but I figured, what's the worst that can happen? Incidentally, the more I write in this blog the more it becomes absolutely crystal clear why my digestive system has had a worse deal than public sector pensioners...

I ate the porridge. Yep, yes I did. I wish, when I was about 5 and I was being forced to eat stuff I didn't want through guilt tripping about starving kids in Africa, someone had been around to tell me that when I was in my mid 20s I would be writing formulas for bread to mould ratio to see whether it was still acceptable to chow down on age old Hovis. It would certainly have alleviated some teenage angst about wanting to hurl when faced with brussell sprouts.

The porridge seems to be doing good things for me! I am spritely (despite a growing worry that my walk to work has given me trenchfoot), I am efficient and I have faith that when I go to Tesco tonight with my one night off this week, I will be investing in something a little more nutritious than the edible equivalent of the News of the World.

Naz Osmanoglu - 1000% Awesome

Naz literally bursts into a gig with more than a 1000% energy, and I'm not solely talking about the stage. He arrives at the gig holding a promising looking box which looks to me like it could feasibly hold the props box from Star Wars.

He does not disappoint when he finally gets under the lights... despite apologising profusely at the start for not being able to give us a full rendition of his Edinburgh show, he still put in an impressive performance. I think the overriding feature of his performance is the dedication to each joke, section and audience interaction; it's heavily meticulous in its ferocity and incredibly endearing. Jokes are held well throughout the show without becoming repetitive and the theme of ebing half English, half Turkish plays well to Osmanoglu's strengths of visual performance and caricaturing.

I'd be keen to see this show again with the full ending which was promising to be very climactic until technical complications interrupted!

Stuart Goldsmith - Another Lovely Crisis

See, this is a show that you couldn't possibly hate. The two shows from last night varied so perfectly that I almost wanted to congratulate myself (and would have done had it not been complete fluke). Stuart is a quiet performer, he has a cheeky rapport with the audience and can turn on the charm when he wants for brilliant effect.

By beginning with an endearing introduction to his relationship with his godson, you're immediately enveloped in a touching scene of domesticity and detailed amusing anecdotes. He builds on this and the show takes a beautiful turn into the achingly honest. His exploration of anxiety and personal approach to life is gently insightful but never goes too far into making the audience uncomfortable.

This show doesn't have too many raucous laughter moments, however, I would happily go and see it again. It does seem like a wonderful show to nestle into a rainy afternoon in Scotland when you want to laugh consistently and feel like you've met someone who really wants to talk to you. I'll be keen to see how the show progresses as he polishes and perfects some of the woollier sections; he'll certainly convince you as a performer that attention to detail is a key factor in his performance.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Parting Ways

I have parted my hair on the wrong side today! Ho ha! so, if you see me and don't recognise me, this will be why! I am bamboozling the world through the sneaky use of follicles and a hairbrush. Never underestimate a girl with freshly washed hair.

Now, I know you're achingly keen to find out what effect this has had on my day so far and I will tell you! I have forgotten to bring my phone to work. Now, one could interpret this as a negative thing; obviously flip reverse me is very disorganised (unorganised? Clearly flip reverse me also has no idea about the English language either). However, I have decided to see the positive.

No one can bother me with bad news today! I have a long running theory about telephones... the theory kind of just ends up with me deciding I want an iPad but I'll talk you through it anyway... Now, I love my phone. I love playing games on it, text messages, Facebook, photos... but I very rarely answer the damn thing. There are so many ways to communicate people nowadays that people very rarely call unless they are one of three things;

1. Urgently requiring an answer/response to something they have to tell you. This is usually that they are letting you down, telling you about something hideous or asking you a question which they need you to answer on the spot. None of these are good things.

2. Just calling for a chat. Very few combinations of words fill me with as much dread as someone just calling for a chat. This, basically means that they are bored and you are there chosen choice of entertainment. You have rated higher than Two and a Half Men on ways they want to fill half an hour. It's not that I don't like my friends, it's just that I think Fuck off and find Charlie Sheen. If we're not hanging out, I'm doing something else and you aren't scheduled into my day. You calling for no reason other than you've not seen enough gossip on your Facebook news feed to occupy you, is not going to please me. I will probably be chatting to you whilst trying to do 99 other things and you will not be listened to. I hate to be called for a chat. Texting is the perfect medium for a chat; you can reply when you want, you can put smily faces in instead of witticisms and you can stop replying when you realise your friend doesn't know the difference between your and you're. Perfect. BT were wrong; it's good to type.

3. The final reason you might pick up the phone and call someone? Drunkeness. Again... not a phone call you're going to want to answer. The problem with drunken phone calls is that they only usually occur at the time of day when the phone call could feasibly be an emergency. This means you have to answer. I'm not going to say that the drunken caller uses this to their advantage, but, they are the hardest to hang up on. Not because it's difficult to press the shiny red button of freedom, but because they will most likely just call you back. Drunken callers seem to have no end of faith that one or the other phone is faulty - they just will not believe you're bored of listening to them laughing/crying/asking if they can come over and "watch a film".

For all of these reasons, I very rarely answer my phone... if I've ever picked up your call, think yourself very lucky (so long as the following conversation was good). I hate the beginnings of phone calls too - I find it difficult to talk to people if I can't see their face and so the jerky beginning to a chat is always awkward as you try and work out who is going to speak first. The person calling you will also inevitably start with, "Hi, it's Gerard." at which point you're already pissy with them because your screen has told you that... if it hadn't informed me who it was, do you really think I'd have picked up?! Then you have to awkwardly exchange "How are you... I'm fine"s before you can begin the real point of the discussion.

So, today flip reverse me has really done me a favour. I cannot access social media, I can't take phone calls, I am an email only kind of being for the day... bliss. I mean, I say bliss until I get to the gig tonight and find out that everyone has cancelled and everything is chaos and my darling little speakypod is lying on my dressing table holding onto some very vital voicemails. Oh, don't get me started on voicemails... no, well, hang on, while we're here: A MISSED CALL IS SUFFICIENT FOR SHOWING ME YOU HAVE CALLED. I DO NOT NEED TO PHONE UP AND HEAR YOU SAY, HI IT'S ME CALL ME BACK. Cool. Pleased to get that off my chest.

Now, I'm going to go about my day writing left handed, drinking coffee not tea and driving on the wrong side of the road... see you lot later.

(Throughout our season of Glassblower previews I'm going to be giving my own little opinion on what each of the shows was like in case you care. The first one is below for Nathan Caton. Tix still available for tonight for Stuart Goldsmith and Naz Osmanoglu -

Nathan Caton - Get Rich Or Die Cryin'

Definitely worth going to see this show in Edinburgh methinkums young folkydolks (I'm in a superb mood this morning so there may be excess Flanderisms in my text).

Last night was my first gig with Mr Caton and I was really impressed - as a (sort of) up and coming comedian, I really enjoyed watching someone performing who seems to completely understand how to balance what they want to say with their appearance and their initial presence on the stage. He addresses the fact that people expect him to be a certain way and that he often does not live up to this stereotype. It's interesting to listen to - as a comedian you often know exactly what you want to say on stage, but you first have to understand what people are going to expect from you first so that you can cushion your opinion properly.

The shows is a comfortable show - it's a really nice hour to wander through and get to know a very personable comedian. I don't think it really pushes any severe boundaries but if you've gotten a little tired of stand-up comedians trying to change the world then this is a really great show to go and laugh at. You will laugh. It's sort of hard not to - his comedy is very honest and he seems to really enjoy what he's doing. I particularly like the discussion of various family members; he displays a very real warmth when talking about them and it's hard not to be already smiling along.