Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Urban Heroine

I hate busybodies. Don't you? Mind your own fricking business!!! Twats!

So, I'm on the Piccadilly line tonight. Coming home from Silver Hammer, run by the lovely Daphna Baram. I don't mind saying - I'd had 2.5 pints of Murphy's booze, but I was ok, I can handle my stout! It was about half past eleven or something...

and there is this man and this woman on the train together. Sat directly opposite me.

I had a Tesco cheese and tomato pasta salad, so by all accounts, I shouldn't have even noticed them. Notice them I did though... what I noticed most was the body language between them. He was very much in her space and throwing her compliments and she was very much ... well embarrassed, yet  cornered. They were both drunk and the conversation led me to believe they worked at the same company, but tonight was the first time they had met... Yes, I feel I really got to know them... Anyway ... yum, yum, can I make these last few tomatoey pasta twists last to Earls Court? Will it be bad manners to lick the pot? Oooh, a few more bits of grated cheese.... mmmmmm.

I can't exactly remember when I ran out of pasta distraction, but the situation opposite me only went from bad to worse. I think the point at which she told him, she was only 24 and he said - "Oh, Fuck, Fuck, No, Fuck, I didn't realise you were that young", kind of piqued my interest. Who, was I to judge, I love a silver fox... And yeah, he was if I'm being generous (very generous) early forties, if I'm being unkind... He was wondering how 50 had crept up on him so fast and how it had become such a distant memory. I wonder if he had kids of his own that are her age, or nieces or nephews... Probably! He wrestled with his conscience for literally seconds, before continuing to tell her, 'it was because she was sensible and mature (or some other shit) that he'd thought she was older than 24' and so continued his charm offensive. Yeah, that kind of got my goat...

The journey and their story bimbled on - He was making sure she got home ok, but didn't expect anything from her. She was telling him, if he wanted to get off at Holborn, She was fine she could find Holloway Road and her home, safely by herself. He didn't take the hint... So, what -  Oh the times I've enjoyed the delights of being coerced into intimate situations because I'm too drunk and lack the self esteem to say... "Yeah, probably not gonna happen mate...Jog on!" Many a happy relationship, has started under those circumstances exactly. Oh no, sorry ... my relationships (few and far between as they have been) usually end up in me realising 3 months down the line, that the flattery and the booze, don't make up for the lack of genuine connection.

So it carried on...She appreciated him seeing her home, but may be too tired to invite him in. He really needed just one more beer if she had one for him... (things they were actually saying to each other) If ever a situation needed screaming at from a stranger, this was it.

Now I'm peeling off the wrapper of the pasta salad pot and looking the other way to try and disguise my genuine disgust at this guy's tactics, he is holding her hand and in her space, intermittently telling her she is lovely and you know... there was nothing you could pin him down for being exactly out of line, except a sense of her discomfort at it all. She really looked like she wanted him to back off a bit.

Then this happens, I try and get his attention. I think I've got a fairly expressive face and while partially hiding my face behind my pasta salad pot... because watching them had become too much, I do my best peak around, I make eye contact and I give him my best. 'Don't do this, you're being a real shit' kind of look... at which point he stage whispers to her ... "She is on drugs. She just looked at me with one eye"

I was fucking gobsmacked.

He what?

I what? I'm sat right here you pathetic shit. Even if I am on drugs (I'm not). I'm not fucking deaf.

Fuck you buster. The gloves are off now!

Except they weren't. Not to begin with. I was totally disarmed.

I think. Does he think I'm on drugs because of my wonky eye? Or because I'm mad enough to try and tell him with my bestest bitchiest glare to reign it in. I didn't know.... But I did still have until Holloway Road to sort this out!

Now, not only have I got to let it be known what a slimey overbearing shit he has been... I've got to do it while making sure it doesn't sound as if I'm on drugs!

Then they had the same 'walking her home safely / he didn't expect anything / could he come in for a beer? / wasn't she lovely' on a loop conversation another few times and then they get to Caledonian Road (the one before Holloway - her stop). This is it. I'm doing this. I'm speaking!


Shall I?

Yes, I will.

"Excuse me, I wouldn't usually speak to strangers, but I just wanted to say that I'm not on drugs and I don't like that you spoke about me, when I'm right here." He interjects - "We weren't talking about you, we were talking about us" - Me carrying on "Well, I'm sorry, that is what I heard, I'm sorry if I misunderstood and I'm sorry for eavesdropping, I was only looking at you like that, because I didn't like  the way you were completely in her space and making her feel uncomfortable. I'm sorry for staring."

There it was ... and what did she do?

She mouthed 'Thank you' at me and looked very very relieved. I looked back at her to make sure that is what I'd seen and it still looked like a grateful face... He was pissed off.

As they got up to leave the carriage, I said "Have a nice evening." She said with a smile "Yes, and you" It was the most assertive thing, she had said in about fifteen tube stops... He said. "Yes, thank you for your comments." I don't think he meant it.

I hope she got home ok.

I hope he has a bit of a think about his seduction techniques.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Chemical Imbalance Days

This afternoon (just an ordinary day in March 2012), I sat and wept ... alone at the bar of my local pub. I didn't want to come home and weep in front my lodger and his seven year old daughter (who stays a lot more often than he said she would). So, I just sat there and cried. Nothing bad had happened. I was just having a shitty low day. I mean yes I'm still jobless, childless and single, but I take all that in my stride.

No I'd generally agree with the view that you can choose happiness. I do my best to, with a healthy dose of cynicism, but every now and again, my brain chemicals (you'll never get me to admit - my hormones...) choose for me: Today, they chose uncontrollable public sobbing. The bar staff were as understanding as can be expected and one in particular was very sweet actually. She even stroked my arm and gave me till roll and a pen to write swear words on. Sometimes shit just gets real hey?

PS. I included some of this on my OKCupid profile... Good advertisement??

I felt I'd exhausted the bar staff's good will and patience, so came home eventually - got in at about 9 pm and thankfully, both lodger and lodger's daughter had gone to bed. Small mercies...

Do you like my sad dogs on till roll?

Friday, 10 February 2012

Somewhere to plop out ideas...

Yes, I've been gone for ages without any explanation, but I'm back now. For a bit at least. What did you do since last April? I did my first Edinburgh run last August (mostly a nightmare), then I got back and hit more brick walls than I care to mention. Emotional brick walls, Creative brick walls, Career brick walls... as I say, all kinds of walls. Well they say you build your own walls, but I'm slowly trying to knock through a few of mine. 

So, In December, I finally quit my job, after years of complaining about life at the council... in the end things got really horrible, so I chose my happiness and sanity over financial security and I have to say it felt great to leave all that horror behind me.

I'm off work for the moment, so I have some time on my hands and looking for somewhere to dump ideas and try and do a bit more writing. I'm guessing this is as publicly private as anything else - no one I know that was blogging when I began really still bothers and I doubt anyone will read this unless I choose to draw attention to it.

I still do stand up comedy. I'm still only gigging once or twice per week, but still going says something doesn't it? Dumb persistence... Still on the open mic circuit. Still doing mostly five minute spots, but most of all, still enjoying myself. (Most of the time.) It does form 90% of my social life and takes care of a similarly large chunk of my self esteem, so I've no choice but to continue for the time being

I was bold enough to complain this week about my lack of success in relationships and was told - "You have two cats and a nice checked shirt. What more do you want?" In fairness, I was probably talking to the wrong person, but if that isn't an incentive to turn things around, I don't know what is! 

Anyway, imagine this is me dipping my toe back into the world of blogging. Imagine there are people reading... Imagine you need something to know it is worth visiting here again... Well

  • Imagine I'll write more in the future about what is fun and what is not about being at home all day and explain my views and experience of job hunting. 
  • Imagine I'll wow you with intimate gossip from the world of open mic comedy and insightful gig reports.
  • Imagine I've invited you in ... as I rebuild my life ... from single jobless aimless sofa dweller into successful creative type with a fulfilling day job and happy relationships, 
  • or just watch as the shit really hits the fan and my life falls to pieces... or maybe a bit of both. 

For now, here are a few pictures from the last ten months of Og-land. 

1) Attempting to write an Edinburgh set - Spring 11. 
2) Post 'Race for Life' with Mummy Ogs - July 11. 
3 and 4) Cakes I made - Summer 11. 
5) Drunk in a borrowed hat in Edinburgh - August 11. 
6) An aptly named street in Islington, where I used to hide in breaks from hateful work - September - November 11. 
7 and 8) The cats - All the time.
9) The only Veg harvested from the garden - September 11.
10) Another cake - December 11

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Getting Published.

I mentioned I've been baking, didn't I?

Well my boss caught onto this... what with all the cake I kept giving her. Then she saw something on the interent about Shelter encouraging people to hold bake sales to raise money for the work they do with the homeless types. She said we should have a bake sale and before I knew it, I was the poor sucker organising it.

Actually it went really well and we raised quite a bit of money. It has worked wonders for my profile as I've also been asked to write a piece for our departmental bulletin - "The Core Brief". Yes people, I've hit the big time. I think you'll agree I've really captured the correct 'hint of cheese' in the tone of first piece of local journalism... ok, in-house communications.

Strategy and Commissioning Get Baking for Shelter.

Strategy and Commissioning got their aprons on and mixing bowls out this April to bake cakes in aid of Shelter. The team took part in Shelter's "Cake Time" event, selling their tasty delights to all their HASS and PCT colleagues at Goswell Road.

The sale took place on Thursday 8th April with a delicious spread of baked goodies including carrot cake, chocolate brownies, cream scones and cookies to name but a few. It was great to see so many people willing to get involved. There were even a few first time bakers who say they'll be baking more now they've given it a go. Thanks to everyone who took part by creating such a great range of sweet treats and all those who enjoyed the cakes on sale and generously donated to a good cause.
The sale was a huge success and generated a terrific £242. All the money raised will go to supporting Shelter help homeless and badly housed families across Britain find and keep a decent, permanent home.

That's my carrot cake, which sold out the fastest. Not that I'm bragging. OK, I'm bragging a bit, but I can now I'm a successful fundraiser and soon to be published journalist. Sort of...

Thursday, 31 March 2011


This is more so I can say that there were two posts in March and I've doubled monthly productivity... Go me. Oh yeah and to say that we are going to Edinburgh - we've even seen our programme proof! That is all amazing/scary/pick your own words - we're all entitled to an opinion. I'll keep you up to date on boring details like show names and times. Anyway, I'm off to meet a friend now. Maybe I'll post three times in April - maybe not... Thanks x

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Not Always Better Late Than Never

Meh, usual apologies for only posting once a month. Oh well, let's crack on...

To begin, a word to the wise ...

According to their website, The Laughing Horse Free Fringe in Edinburgh takes applications for performers wanting to put on a show, up to early April, but what the novice performer (well relatively novice) with no experience of applying to the free fringe may not know is that it is wise to get in early. They say they don't operate on a first come first served basis, which you might think means that you don't have to rush, but you would do well to. I think they say that more to excuse themselves from having to accept completely inappropriate applications or those from total nut jobs, just because they are the first to arrive in their inbox. They do fill up spaces as they get applications they are willing to accept and there are never going to be enough to go around all the budding performers wanting their chance at Edinburgh fun.

I'm not bitching about Laughing Horse, I wouldn't want to be in charge of something like that and they give people great opportunities to fulfill their dreams.

Thing is, having found someone who wants to share a show this year, imagine my shock and horror when I found out from a helpful chap at a gig, that pretty much all spaces had been allocated and our application submitted at the beginning of March probably wasn't going to get us to the Watford Gap, let alone Edinburgh. Ouchy ouch ouch.

I sent my Ed buddy a text right away to see if he could find out what the situation was, or if he wanted me to follow it up. It turns out there are a few spaces left, but the choice is very limited and no guarantees we'll be lucky enough to get one. I've had everything crossed for days now, waiting to see what happens.

I am quaking in my plimsoles at the prospect of performing for nearly thirty minutes every day, but I know I need a rocket up my bum if I'm going to get anywhere with comedy and I had hoped Edinburgh would be that rocket... Now, more than anything, I'm terrified I won't get to live my Edinburgh dreams until next year, because I really want the experience and the progression this year, so please please Laughing Horse give us a chance.

I'm all geared up to work my little comedy tushy off for this, so will you cross your fingers too and I'll keep you posted as to what happens next... ?

I've been sitting around in a pair of delightful boxer short pants today, coupled with some very fetching knee length socks, but Becki could come home anytime now, so I better go put some jogging bottoms on.

Oh no, just having a final read through and she came in and found me. (I heard the gate go, but it is a long sprint down the corridor to my room.) The image of me screaming "shiiiiiit" and my under carriage wobbling down the corridor will surely be seared into her mind for years to come.

Take it easy peeps x

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine’s Day Special

Hey, whassup?

Norm asked me recently if I’d given up blogging. No Norm, I’m just a lazy blogger. As a result - sometimes a week goes by and I haven’t blogged. Sometimes a month goes by and I haven’t blogged. Sometimes I lose track of how long it’s been and people feel the need to check if I’ve quit completely. This blog is not dead yet, I like to think that when I do sink this nonsensical barnacle covered porthole into my mind, I’ll make some grander gesture than just not writing for a month or so. There’ll be cannons and somebody walking the plank and other nautical themed scenes of finality.

So, I said I’d keep writing, then I let you down again, by not keep writing. Hey, I've been baking and will post some pictures of my first few rounds of cake, but all that can come later. First off - a special day like today needs a special note.

It is quarter to five in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day and I am so proud of myself. Yes, I am full of joy and pride.

Have I found my special Valentine?

Well no.

Have I received countless gifts, cards and flowers from anonymous admirers?

Well no.

No, I’ll tell you why I feel such pride – it is because I’ve managed to keep my misery and cynicism to myself all day. In fact, I’ve not even experienced any real misery to be honest. I did glare at a couple smiling and whispering at each other on the tube this morning, but that sort of behaviour is inappropriate at 8.45 am, whatever day of the week.

I’d genuinely like to wish friends in happy couples all the best for the day, even if it has been over commercialised. You enjoy yourselves. Eat chocolate until you’re slightly nauseus and snog more than usual – as long as you do both behind closed doors. Some of us are doing Weight Watchers as well as being single don’t you know.

While I’m at it, I’d like to tell all my single friends who are maybe feeling a bit low today… Don’t feel low. There is always next year. Chances are - you’ll still be single next year as well, but by then, you might have developed much more robust coping strategies.

Coping strategies like me – pissed since breakfast x