Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Sunday, 18 January 2009

"Laughter Is The Best Medicine" and Other Excuses.

As I haven't posted anything here since before Christmas, I hope you all had enjoyable days, and avoided murdering family members. The "traditional red and green" shouldn't be blood on the Xmas-tree, really, but yuletide often descends into chaos for so many people who are only flung together for that season.

I did some shopping at Gunwharf Quay, a relatively recently redeveloped area of Portsmouth that is the site of the Spinnaker Tower. They'd decorated it very nicely:

Spinnaker Tower:


Gunwharf:


I did receive a not-so-pleasant present amid all the lovely ones this year though. My father - for reasons known only to himself - thought it would be very funny to wrap up a Bisto jar full of sausages, and label it as "property of Southampton General Hospital." The significance of this being that it was surgeons at that hospital who removed my colon, for which a string of cocktail sausages has been substituted in order to breathe new life into the joke that it's in a jar of formaldehyde someplace, being used for medical research as they requested in 2000. Admittedly this did make me giggle on Christmas day, and was even funnier when Dad told me that my sister has actually believed that it was real! It is convincingly disgusting though. I was also glad that we open our presents in the morning, allowing a reasonable amount of time to elapse before we attempted to face Christmas Lunch. I had an email around Christmas time from the my editor at the IA Journal, John, saying they might be reprinting my article as they still get letters where it exists on their website. I should probably post it here but you've all read it so I don't see the need. If they do leaflets with it again I'd like to update it really. I was too young when I wrote it, and it could be improved upon in language if not content. I might leave out comparisons between the large intestine and a string of sausages though. Despite the origins of that analogy coming from a radiographer during my pre-surgery ultrasound, I don't think it's really standard medical terminology.

One day my daddy will buy me a car:


I write this as we are in the middle of some rather stormy weather, so if this blog post is prematurely truncated then please picture the opening scenes from The Wizard Of Oz, and inform the appropriate authorities that I'm not in Kansas anymore. ...Ok, so I never was in Kansas. That would have been a much pithier opening sentence if I did happen to live in Kansas, but I've just Googled it and don't think I'd like it very much. I wouldn't mind a Scottish Terrier dog though (who would, obviously, have to be called Toto.)

I've probably told you before that the dog who played Toto got paid more than the Dwarfs, but I'm telling you again because this is a somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness affair - and my brain is currently streaming thoughts that inquire things like; "In what way do dogs have greater expenses than miniature people" and imagining a scruffy little dog riding in that golf-buggy-scooter thing that Verne 'Mini-Me' Troyer has on the current Celebrity Big Brother. I suppose updated equality laws would prevent him from receiving a lower wage than, say, Wellard the German Shepherd off've Eastenders - but I think I might actually watch CBB if they had Wellard on there. (Wouldn't be the first time a dog had won a reality show, Michelle McManus came first on Pop Idol after all.)

My dog is currently going mental because of the gales outside, whilst I'm just annoyed that it doesn't seem too cold tonight. I've been complaining about being freezing for weeks, but got a letter yesterday from the council saying they will pay me £25 "Cold Weather Allowance" whenever the Met Office tells them it has been freezing or below for several consecutive days. Consequently, I now watch weather reports with the same enthusiasm other people save for the National Lottery. It makes the cold surprisingly tolerable. It seems that for twenty five quid I'm more than willing to wear a jumper. (For fifty, I could probably be persuaded to take it off.)

Speaking of clothes, I have become rather preoccupied with choosing an outfit for the 27th of this month, when some friends and I see Russell Brand at Pompey Guildhall.
I'm excited because I've not seen Russ live before, and it should be a good night. I'm also hoping that - despite wishing for cold every other day of the month to increase my chances of cashing in on the freezing-to-death bonus - it will be warmer on the night of the gig. Mainly because, after auditioning several outfits with an uncompromising intensity that Simon Cowell would be proud of, I have decided upon a rather nice blue-green dress. I will tell you afterwards whether or not pneumonia is a worthwhile price for vanity, but I am thinking I will probably regret it. The plus point is that we will now - hopefully - not have to queue for the gig, as I've arranged for priority seating on the grounds of being all weak and pathetic when it comes to arduous tasks like standing about.

Ten days after the Russell Brand gig, I'm hoping to see Dylan Moran at the same venue. Yes, that's probably a bit soon energy-wise, considering the estimated recovery from seeing Russ. No, the city might not quite have had time to regroup after dealing with the universe-shattering force that is the real-world twinning of Anna and myself for a few days, but it's had fair warning. Maybe I shouldn't be spending so much on gigs this year, but if I keep wishing on the pot of gold at the end of the weather forecast then I won't be too out of pocket. Plus, I hardly ventured out into the world at all for best part of 2007, and some months of 2008, because my weight was still very low and the world doesn't take very kindly to women who look like emaciated greyhounds. (Actually it was worse than that; I looked like an emaciated two legged greyhound. In lipstick and stilettos.)

Youtube clip (of Dylan Moran, not a greyhound in silly shoes.)


I'm looking forward to seeing him, as although his sets are notoriously short - and he always acts as if he doesn't want to be there - the "Oscar Wilde of comedy" has never failed to make me laugh in either DVD, interview or YouTube clip format, so will, I am sure, be very funny as a live act. His rambling irascibility and biting observations stem from one of comedies' darkest hearts, but are always highly amusing. I adored Bernard and Manny in 'Black Books,' the series he filmed with Bill Bailey, and am pleased to have got cheap tickets to see him at the Guildhall.

I've decided on a "sod it" approach to the M.E for the time being. The last few years I've kept "putting things off until I have more energy," but as I accept that 'having more energy' is a long term goal, it is leaving me free to concentrate on smaller - more achievable - niceties instead.

...Which is also my excuse for booking tickets to see Morrissey in the spring. I know, I know, that sounds like a lot, but Russell's gig I booked months and months ago, the Moran one was a last-minute opportunity and they were cheap because he only does a short set, and the Morrissey tickets were a matter of life or death. Really. (Not my life, but someone's would have been endangered.) If I had spent the next few months watching documentaries about his life and career in the run-up to his 50th birthday knowing that I was missing out on the tour, then I might have killed someone so I could go in their place. At the very least I'd have had to befriend and then anonymously maim them, so they gave me the tickets they were too savaged to use, and attend the gig before the police caught up with me. (Note, never let me watch American Psycho again.)

It should be a marvellous gig though, as Anna and I are seeing him in his hometown of Manchester (at the Apollo Theatre) on his birthday!

You are probably all sick of hearing me say that, but I am looking forward to it immensely. It also means I'll be staying with my favourite auntie for a week or two in Wales (though near enough to Chester that I can spend a lot of time shopping - and complaining that if I'd got that part I was up for in Hollyoaks then I'd be able to buy things in the designer shops as well as the outlet stores.)

All of these gigs have a lot of work to do if they wish to live up to the tremendous energy and all-round comedic genius of Tim Minchin's show at the Wedgewood Rooms last year. I'd never seen him before, and in a relatively small venue he proved to be a magnificent presence. I've liked him since I saw him on little snippets of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (whish I'd love to go to one year) and international comedy spots on Paramount comedy channel, but seeing him live was still even better than I expected. I have my friend Tim to thank for the ticket, as I'd not even known Minchin was performing, and was really glad to see the show and meet him after.

"Canvas Bag" and signed Gig Ticket:



The wind appears to be dying down outside now. I'm almost disappointed. I was quite looking forward to seeing my mother's feet sticking out from under a house...