Tuesday, November 29, 2011

oooooo, it's the 44th!

Well, what a manic two days I've just had. As usual doing things for other people and my kids and completely neglecting my dusty book. Ahhhhhhh. One day I'll  just tell everyone to piss off!! I'll have no friends and be known as a bitch, but at least I may have a chance at a writing career.

Sometimes I really hate being 'nice' and I hate the word 'nice'. It's one of the main reasons I would never make it in the musical world and why I gave up on the singing. You have to be ruthless to exist in that kind of environment and I proved at uni that I couldn't be. Even at my performance exams when I was told to ditch a couple of musicians as they were out of tune and spoiling the overall sound. I couldn't do it. They were friends. And that was more important to me. I didn't want to upset them.

And anyone that's ever worked with me, or worked for me will know that instead of telling them when they're being inefficient or just darn right annoying, I won't say anything. I'll just pick up the slack myself and do the work for anywhere up to three or four people. Which is why I've turned into a complete scatterbrain. I've got so much stuff going round in my head, that I'm actually losing my mind.

Anyway. Lets' face it, I've been nice for the best part of 28 years, It's gonna take me a while to change it. Ha ha. Watch this space.........

Oh dear lord, I'd forgotten how much I HATE SHOPPING.......in the flesh. Had to go to Oxford Street two days in a row. ARGH!!!!!!!! People don't walk fast enough, they get in your way, they push in front of you and don't adhere to the queuing system (come on guys, you're in Britain. We Love to queue). And of course me being 'nice', I say, "It's alright. Don't worry." When inside I'm screaming "Slut, Bitch, Wanker!"

So the second time I had to go, I actually had a plan of the exact shops I was going to and which tube they were closest to. And I literally just hopped on and off the tube, to avoid as many people as possible. Urgh, people. Or more accurately Urgh tourist shoppers! URGH!

So, most of my Christmas shopping is being done form the comfort of my living room and my wonderful couch. I LOVE INTERNET SHOPPING. You can take your time, browse around, save things till later, make wish lists, get great offers and have everything delivered to you. IT'S GENIUS!!!!!!!

On a lighter note, I'm lovin' the amount of Kate Bush covers being used in American TV shows, most notably The Vampire Diaries.(Ha ha. Most notably for me! Ha!) Although in last week's episode they did a cover of This Woman's Work, which is an amazing song and one which I sang in my final masters degree performance. But, it was sang by a man.

Anyone else think that's completely backwards???? A man, singing this woman' work. It was all kinds of wrong. But I was chuffed that at least people are still saluting the magical genius of Kate, as I do all the time!

Well, I've had to change a load of shifts around and am giving up part of my holiday on Friday, and postponing my First Aid course until January, (Because I'm 'nice' of course) for one of my kids. He's been upset saying he doesn't want to come in and when that happens I take it so personally. He's my key child and I love him to bits. So, I am giving up everything to be there for him and give him a bit of extra attention. I just hope it works.

So, I need to skoot now, as I'm now in a 9 instead of 10. Ahhhhhhh, the joys.

Happy Wednesday everyone. Enjoy you're last day of November. And happy name day A! And everyone else whose name day it is today!!!!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Terror! The Horror!

I had to wait a day before blogging, not only because that would've been two blogs in two days, but because I was just too gutted! It's been a bit of a trauma over at Flat 19. Well, for me at least.

I arrived home from my lovely weekend up North, in the knowledge that our fridge/freezer was on it's last legs and we were going to have to get a new one, and they no longer did them in black, so we'd have to have a white one and I was just about coming to terms with that. Although saying goodbye would be tough. I get awfully attached to things.

But then, about twenty seconds after walking through the door, I get told that the toaster's gone as well. Now this isn't just any toaster, this is a pirate toaster, that puts skull and cross bones on your bread. I mean, how cool is that? Gutted!!!!! A wasn't bothered at all. He's always hated my toaster. I think there was definitely an element of sabotage going on there.............

And now he wants to buy some boring ass toaster, that actually works properly and doesn't put skull and cross bones on your toast. I mean, where is the fun in that?????

Now, as if two things weren't bad enough for the woman that hates change with a firey passion and just wants everything to stay the same and work forever and just not abandon me. Then he pipes up with. "Oh you know how I took your Ipod to get fixed (the microphone was busted for face time chats) well yeah, there was nothing they could do, so they just replaced it."

Jaw hit floor. Anger. Annoyance. Betrayal. How could they?

"So this isn't my Ipod."
"No. It's a new one."

And my answer to that was........."But I didn't get to say goodbye."

I looked at it with disgust. Even though it looked the same. I knew it wasn't my Ipod. And then he drops the final bombshell, that all my music got wiped off it. So I'd have to go through and put all my music back on. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Three is most certainly not the magic number. It's a cruel and horrible number. Why do things come in three's? Just to piss you off? To drive you over the edge?

So, this week I will say goodbye to two  lovely Flat 19 appliances that have been with us since the beginning. But I will never get chance to say goodbye to my Ipod. I wonder what they do with 'em? I just have this vision of all the slightly broken, discarded technology dumped in a dark room, all sad and lonely and missing their owners. A bit like Andy's toys in Toy Story. There wasn't even that much wrong with it. Humph!

Well, as usual I deal with the change even though I DO NOT WANT IT! And so I thought I should try and bond with the new Ipod. And the easiest way I could think of was by naming it. And so I did.


I managed to restore most of my music on there and added a few additional songs and I think me and Frank are on good terms. But it seems my head phones have gone a bit dodgy. Now things don't come in fours, so that implies another cycle of three. But I just don't think I could cope with that. I really don't!

I did have fun with Frank today though. I put my music on songs and played them alphabetically, so you got such gems as Baker Baker (Tori Amos) followed by Beheaded (The Offspring). Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Genius!

Oooooo and I actually saw the Kentish Town vampire this evening on my way home from work. He was all in black but tight fitting and a nice waistcoat and died black hair and black glasses and he just oozed vampire. Awesome. I told you they existed and how cool that one resides in Kentish Town. And speaking of vampires, only two days to go ladies until Twilight Night. Whoop. C, L, T and S and D will be treated to what is probably a terrible film, followed by burgers and drinkies. What an amazing way to spend a Thursday evening. Can't wait my lovelies.

And on a final note. Goodbye, amazing, one of a kind tiny fridge/freezer, in black. I will miss you, although the door kept sticking which was really beginning to piss me off. All our magnets will have to find a new home. I'll think of you from time to time and try to imagine you're somewhere fun, with other fridges and freezers. I'll miss you.

And goodbye pirate toaster, who "kept me spirits up, me hearties" and didn't cost much of me buried treasure and always made me go, "Arrrrrr!" whenever I used it. You have served us fairly well, though more often than not you burnt stuff, or only did one side particularly well. But I loved you all the same. We don't expect people to be perfect, so why expect the same from appliances. It's their little quirky nuances that keep you on your toes.

And finally. The goodbye I can never make face to face, but that needs saying anyway. Goodbye Ipod touch. Deep down I know you knew I never really wanted you. I always felt I didn't need you as I already had my scruffy old, 2nd gen Ipod nano and I had no intention of getting rid of it. But you soon took over, with your features such as internet and facebook capabilities and your face time function that allowed me to talk to A wherever he happened to have flounced off to that week. You kept me company on plenty of long train journies and your battery life was impressive. I'm sorry I never named you. It was wrong, but it also would've hurt more. I did need you. You were useful and I did love you, just not in quite the same magnitude as my nano. Thank you for your dutiful 11 months service. Peace out!

Now, I think I better scarper before the men in the white coats turn up to cart me off.
Happy Tuesday guys.

Until the next blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dance like no one's watching....or hope no one's watching when you fall over........He he.

What a night! I have literally not been that sweaty since my Maximes day. Ahhhhh, Maximes (A sigh of nostalgia). I was a little slow to get on the dance floor but once that four or fifth vodka hit the spot, I was boogying on down with the best of them. And by the best of them, I mean the crazy kid that is Han, one of the twin Birthday girls. She was never off that dance floor and she was the life and soul of the party! I honestly don't know where she got the energy from.......oh wait, yes I do........It must have been the monstrous amounts of alcohol. He he.

T made a very good connection. He said, Han was like the energizer bunny. Or maybe the energizer bunny on speed or something. Madness. Anyhoo, she had a wonderful time and so did I and so did her twin Aimes, although she wasn't quite as prominent on the dance floor.

When they started the speeches and photo slide show, that's when it really started to hit me. They were 21 and I'd actually known them their entire life as I was already 7 and in Brigade (whoop!) when they were born. I had already met the wonderful Char and I already had my very funky and extremely hip Pink Panther swimming bag. Dear Lord. Way to make me feel old. Although apparently it has been thought that me and O are twins and that would make me about 17, so that's alright. If I can pass for 11 years younger than I am. Even if my body is aching and groaning, at least my face is still screaming: young and not too wrinkly! Ha ha.

I do have a slight health and safety warning about that building though. The venue must be experiencing some sort of subsidence or something, as there were a record number of falls during the night. I mean, really, I  blame dodgy floors, not alcohol and six inch heels. Nope! It's definitely the floor!!!! I wonder how many bruises have surfaced this morning.............

I really really had a blast! And it was so great to see everyone, especially as it was only a month ago that I saw them at the 85th Anniversary dinner. But it does make me realise how much I miss everything. I was a part of something huge for 18 years. And these people hold such a super chunk of my heart. It's ridiculous. And even now, it hurts to think of the band and everything we achieved, because my hands dream of sometime playing a glock again, or playing with three sticks, some amazing classical medley. Or even writing and arranging more songs for the ladies to play. And it's fine when I'm in London 'cause I can distance myself and cushion the longing beneath lots of other things. But when I am with my friends who have known me the longest and have been with me through thick and thin and the ups and downs, I just wonder...............

When will Mr Branson make a hyper speed train that will get me to Wigan in 30mins, so I can still go to band practise?????????

Ha ha. It's the future people. Watch this space........Though not too closely, 'cause you'll get bored.

Well, that was a nice quick blog, but I did promise the birthday girls that they would feature prominently. And so they have. Here's to the next 21 years ladies! You are wonderful wonderful people and I was honoured to be able to share your special night. And also good luck to the respective boyfriends, who have presumably been holding back their hair all morning, or cleaning up sick from the bathroom. Well done. Well done!

Love and hugs

Happy Sunday's everyone!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wandering scaffolding and latex sausages.

Mad hectic couple of weeks has begun a full-to-bursting November schedule. What with Munich last weekend, being out on two school nights this week and a trip to Southampton yesterday. Eeee, I'm knackered. The Grandma in me is ready for a rest. Ha ha.

And November has finally brought some chilly Autumn weather. I think I may be one of the only people in the world that actually enjoys the colder weather. I just love being wrapped up warm with a hat, a scarf and gloves. I would rather be cold and have layers to wrap up in, than be too hot in my own skin. I hate that about summer. 'Cause let's face it, I can't walk around London naked and I can't actually peel off layers of my skin. At least now I know I can wear a jumper and a coat and all my warm accessories and I might just have to take a couple of them off on the tube, but that's fine as it's always at least 10 degrees warmer on the tube.

Speaking of Autumn. Munich was incredible. The colours were mesmerising. So yellow and red; so vivid. And we were lucky it had been such a mild start to the Autumn as most of the leaves were still on the trees. Our walk around the Schloss Nymphenburg was phenomenal. We must have taken about 100 pictures of trees that day and leaves and branches and just general Autumn wonderment. Amazing! We also tried some arty shots, through the branches and messing around with manual settings, but let's face it, I'm more of a point, press and hope girl, especially as Leonard has such an amazing intelligent auto function. Ha ha. And yes, Leonard is the name of my camera. I do like to name my technology. It makes it slightly less scary and more Helen friendly, if it has a name. That way I can talk to it and feel slightly less insane. Ha ha. Yes, I talk to my technology. Anyhoo.........

Beer and sausages! Hmmmmm. We liked Munich! Although the weird white sausages that looked the consistency of latex gloves, (coincidentally, that I use to wipe children's bottoms when I change their nappies) I left those to A to sample. Eek. I did not like the look of those. And if you think normal sausages look like willies, then these really really did. Urgh! He he. A'll try anything though, especially if it's a regions delicacy.

Now, I may have mentioned before about how scaffolding follows me around the world, to various countries and famous landmarks. And Munich was no different. Around Marienplatz two churches were in scaffolding, one completely covered and the other just one tower covered. Now that I could just about cope with as the Rathaus and other exciting buildings were fine. But when we hired a car on the second day and drove to Neuschwanstein and Hohanschwangau castles, I was slightly peed off to see the fairy tale, beauty and the beast castle, half covered in scaffolding. I'm not kidding. The scaffolding follows me around the world. To Athens, to Milan, Madrid, Japan, everywhere!!!!!!!! It's the curse of the scaffolding and for some reason it's attached to me.  Ah well. At least I have pictures in the guide book and postcards to see what stuff should actually look like.

Am currently watching Richard Attenborough's Frozen Planet, whilst writing this. Oh my God. It's amazing!!!! What the hell were those unicorns of the North things? Those Narwals. It sounds like something from Lord of the Rings. Beware of the Narwals. I literally couldn't believe my eyes. And the caterpillar that lives for 14 years but freezes to death every autumn and then becomes an ugly moth for like a day.....Incredible. It just doesn't seem real.

Had a lovely day yesterday in a misty Southampton. Though luckily the mist lifted once we arrived at the Zoo with Ali and L. It was cool to go to the zoo with a little person, to see the excitement through their eyes.

ARGH! I don't want the Orca whales to eat any of the penguins! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry, I was panicking. (Back to David Attenborough)  I love penguins.

What was I saying????? Ah yes. At the zoo yesterday it was fantastic. L became a penguin whisperer. She had a leaf and the penguins were following it around the tank through the window. She kept saying, "Look penguins. Look at my leaf." He he.

Looking forward to a nice meal at C's today for her birthday. Should be fun. Also looking forward to completion of my early Christmas present, 'A Discovery of Witches' by Deborah Harkness. Check it out!

Well, I'll scadoodle now, and hope for more things to rant about this week.
Happy Sunday.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And Tori does it again!

Genius and Goddess are two words that come to mind when I think of the wonder that is, Tori Amos. I just got back from an absolutely electric night at The Royal Albert Hall. Wow!

But don't worry, this isn't just a gushing rant of amazement at the pure talent of one of the most amazing female performers in history, there's still plenty of pissed off bitterness and general annoyance to go around.

Ah, the support act.......Hmmmmmmm. Well, the opening song was interesting and I thought, finally a decent support act. His voice was great and had some cute little nuances, but then the second song hit......

I pretty much wanted to slit my wrists. The songs were completely depressing and disgustingly soppy. I mean, I do have a natural aversion to soppy ballads anyway, but this was cringe worthy in parts. And some of the lyrics. Dear Lord. 'You were wonderful. I was awful.' Yeah, you really were. Ha ha. The piano parts were static and to be fair I coulda played 'em, so that goes to show how insanely repetitive and uninteresting they must've been.

Most of the songs would have been more at home on an episode of Dawson's Creek, or worse: they would've made it onto the Dawson's Creek soundtrack. Eek. But maybe I do him a disservice. He did have some redeeming qualities, mainly his thick, rich voice and his amazing sense of humour. He was proper making every one laugh.....well, between songs. Ha ha. But he did greatly over share. We got the life story, everything. The break-up, six months ago; the reasons why; where it happened and where they last did it. Oh, and also the fact that he wasn't wearing any underpants. I mean, really, was that necessary to know......?

Although, I do understand how the verbal diarrhea can take over when you're shitting one and you have to perform, or talk in a large group, or both. Eeeessshhhhkkk! But I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes.

And after a twenty minute break, the string quartet entered and then the legend herself. And boy did she look great. Her dress was just amazing! Long and flowing, with a sort of half cape thing. Awesome! There were some tracks off the new album, which were beautifully realised with piano, vocals and string quartet. And I have to say, this was the best I'd seen her in a couple of years. The night was electric and the goose bumps were back in abundance, especially on tracks Suede; Bells for Her and Cruel.

Suede was just phenomenal.

Then there were of course, the golden oldies:
Cloud on my tongue
Precious Things
Silent all these years
Beauty Queen/Horses

And what was fabulous was that she also included a lot of her little shorter songs, which gave the string quartet time to re-enter the stage and stuff. And they were ones she doesn't always use.

Way Down
Mr Zebra
Velvet Revolution.

And then of course, being Tori, there was the obligatory covers, only a couple but very very good.

Scarborough Fair
Smells like Teen Spirit.

And after two encores, it was all over for another couple of years. Thank you Tori. You continue to write incredible songs and influence me both musically and from a writing perspective. And yes, I am extremely jealous and bitter as I know I'll never ever make it as a singer and that is what I'd wanted to do since I was about 7. Ah well. I guess I just wasn't programmed correctly for that. I think I'm more suited to writing. You can hide behind your words. It's kinda comforting. Or at least it will be when I'm eventually published.

Oh and finally there were some interesting characters at the gig tonight. There was the guy sat in front of me, that sang along to every song really loud and was pissing everyone off around him. If I'd been told I'd be listening to him all night, I wouldn't have bothered paying the 50 quid for my ticket, I'd've gone to a pissin' karaoke night or something. Middle aged tosser. Anyhoo, some angry woman told him off and he at least reduced the volume.

Then there was the woman sat across the row from us who actually got chucked out for making too much noise and pissin' off everyone around her. Awesome!

Oh. I forgot to brag about how amazing my seat was. I was 7 rows from the front on the arena floor and was slap bang in Tori's eye line the entire time. WICKED!

Good night. And check out Tori Amos' amazing back catalogue if you aren't already a huge fan. She will pleasantly surprise you!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where to look?

White rabbits, white rabbits and all that jazz. Jesus Christ it's November again. When the feck did that happen? I can't believe how warm it is though. I'm literally going to work in a t-shirt and cardy and then getting to the tube and needing to strip. It's crazy but kinda nice I guess as I don't have a winter coat so if it was really cold I would simply be really cold. And probably complaining about that. Ha!

All the ghosts and ghouls were out last night, from quite early on, at least I'm presuming that's why the tube was rammed at 6.40. Now it's going dark at like 4.30 they don't have to wait as long. Man, they must love winter.

Anyhoo, there was a lot of elbow boob bumpage last night on the tube, but I just couldn't get any further away from the guys elbow. It's a strange feeling when you're inadvertently and unintentionally violated. Ha ha. I could see it was making him uncomfortable too, but what can you do when you're closed in on all sides by giants and trolls?

Then it was made completely worse when two very large breasted ladies came on and stood right in front of me. I had my back against that pane of glass that separates the chairs from the door area and I just didn't know where to look. If I looked straight ahead I was literally in eye line of their massive boobs. If I looked down they thought I was looking in their open bags, as if I was gonna try and nick something. And when I decided to look and stare at the passenger emergency button sign, they kept following my eye line to see what I was looking at. What the hell do you want me to do???? So then I started staring at people's hands as they held onto the bars and hand rails, but I could feel their eyes boring into the side of my face and I had to keep changing focus. And all this whilst dressed as a witch! Ha. Luckily I'd left the hat and wig at work, but still I got a few interesting looks.

I was just cursing myself for finishing my book, because I normally don't have to think about somewhere to focus my gaze, as it is frantically devouring words, lost in a literary world so far from the reality of the sweaty metal tube I'm in, that I almost forget where I am. And most of the time I also forget the existence of others too, but Ive literally never felt so uncomfortable in my life. I kept chewing on my lip and I was sure I was blushing but that could've just been the 35 degrees in the carriage. That trickle of sweat down my back was the final straw really. I was sincerely glad to be off at Kentish Town. Sincerely!

Thankfully, I have a new book to start today and so I will once again be shut off to the reality of tube and people and will be lost in Tulsa with some vampires and other crazy shit. Excellent.

You'll be pleased to know I'm somewhat less angry this week and I think my Halloween party on Friday with the kids certainly helped that. We had a blast and everyone dressed up and we were allowed to just have fun and not have to stress out about all the nitty gritty shitty things, that usually piss us right off. So that was good. And I am choosing to stay as calm as possible this week otherwise it'll be back to Disturbed songs and thinking about bringing the violence and droppin' plates. Ha ha.

I had a blast at the weekend too, with J and T. We went to Voodoo in Angel (a rock and metal night) and I actually felt middle aged. It was ridiculous. It ain't Maximes. It ain't Jilly's. And it ain't the Electric Ballroom. But, it was okay, except for the toilets. Oh my god. I felt like I'd wandered into Victorian London. Cobble stone floors.....In the toilet.....Yes. And they were easily 2 inches deep in, well, what I would like to say was water. Then one of the toilets actually had vomit on the floor and this was only about an hour after the club had opened. Come on people, can't we just control ourselves a little longer. Eek. I braved the vom toilet, but J went in the other one. Not that it was much better, it was just devoid of vom. Nice!

I literally felt older than everyone in there, even though I clearly wasn't. I tell you what though, I could've done with a map. The place was on like four floors, but it was in an old warehouse or factory or something, so there were all these staircases and rooms and tunnels and most of the time I didn't have a clue where I was.

They had a few redeeming features though, in the form of two rooms with live bands, which was pretty awesome! And also, the decorations were fantastic. They'd really made an effort. It was just a shame that the room with the best music in, was completely rammed and way too hot to stay in for longer than 3 or 4 songs.

Yeah, I hear you. I'm getting old and whingy and whiny. I know. But, give me Maximes any day, with P and K and E and R and J. We had some awesome nights there.

Then a huge thank you to L and D for their fabulous house party on Saturday. We all had a blast and I'd just like to state for the record, that I was robbed in Musical statues. Ha ha.

It was a crazy weekend. Icould've been the fact that I've been in character for the last four days. Eek. Well, I guess we'll see later. If I come home with murderous intentions then maybe I need to be a bat or a witch for good. Ha.

Enjoy the 1st November.