Tuesday, July 26, 2005

All abroad...

In front of me is one of those plastic things in which you can keep pens, pencils, rulers and other things like that, so that they don't clutter up your otherwise immaculate desk, I suspect it is called a 'Desk Tidy'. Unfortunately for the maker of the plastic pen holder, there are some people who can single handedly make the name 'Desk Tidy' into one that is riddled with irony. In my 'Desk Tidy' I have safely stored the following:

  • One small plastic knife
  • Two spoons
  • 7 pence
  • One green torch
  • One plastic troll with pink hair

I DO have pens and pencils, scissors and rulers and that sort of thing. I choose, however, to keep them in the Desk Untidy. In other words, scattered all over the surface of the desk and the floor.

My point is not to highlight the Scatty McScatty Cat that I am. Yes, I am scatty. I am sensible and level-headed most of the time, and am capable of hanging onto Important Things. When I went travelling for 6 months I didn't lose anything important. But I am capable in a scatty way. To the extent where for a whole year in primary school my teacher saw fit to re-name me Miss Scatty or Miss Scatterbrain. Although in retrospect she might have had a rather different motive there.

My point is not, however, that. I would like us to take a closer look at the little troll (camera pans in to where the little troll is lying down, eyes tight shut, seemingly engaged in some kind of heady trace. Or maybe just in a very deep sleep).

There is a look of satisfaction on the troll's face. Maybe he was tired, he'd had a long day of running around and doing troll things, perhaps playing naked troll tag or combing his long pink stand-y up-y hair. It was a good day, but a tiring one and he is EXHAUSTED so he is deeply, deeply asleep, dreaming of hair-dye.

This is my point now:

I am SO JEALOUS of the troll.

He's a toy, he isn't really real. He was a present to me from The Crush to say good luck for my gig the other night. I have yet to see him move and he's been in eye-shot for a good while now, so I have to conclude he is inanimate. And yet, oh and YET I am physically jealous of him. How I yearn for some sleep. Sleep that is not clouded with anxiety and pain-riddled dreams. A night in which I do not wake up FIVE TIMES for no good reason. Sleep that, on parting, does not leave me exhausted and on the verge of tears all day.

I know that I keep yammering on about this but it is driving me insane. It has been since the robbery/mugging/hostage situation of TWO WEEKS AGO. I haven't felt this bad since splitting up with That Twunt Who Treated Me Like Shit. I have a lovely boyfriend now (that was said tentatively, by the way.. [giggles like the girly girl that I clearly am]) and had a great gig the other night, and all sorts of things are FINE. But I am.. just not.

So I have had enough. I am going to Paris on Thursday morning to visit the Impish One. I will turn up at Waterloo station and book myself a ticket on the Eurostar, then I will hop on, and in two short hours I will be sipping café au lait avec ma petite soeur. It will be a chance to see Paris again, as I lived there for a while about four years back. I haven't really spoken French since I graduated in English and French Literature a year ago. I imagine that I will be rusty.

Living in London has become quite a stressful experience recently anyway, and I live pretty central at the moment. Add to that my own personal experience recently and, yeah, I need a break. I was going to go surfing with a load of guys this weekend, but I am not sure I can cope even with that, so I am going to stay with Sophie, who is wonderful and will look after me. We will shop, hang in cafés, sing, read books, walk down the Seine. It will be a break. It will be lovely.

The troll continues to nap, and I continue to feel stressed. My body temperature is playing crazy games with me, my eyes feel like I have been punched repeatedly in the face. My nails are bitten to the quick, and I don't usually bite my nails. I am nervous and nervy and this fatigue feels like it is killing me. I know it isn't, I know it'll be ok in the end, but I also know that I am having to fight back tears so much of the time, that I feel guilty for no reason. I am scared to go home.

I hope Paris saves me.

No, not Paris HILTON!

Although I could do with some cash.

Also, just to be all British about things, I think I need a nice cup of tea.

Au-revoir mes cheries. A lundi...

Monday, July 25, 2005

My Very First Open Letter In Which The Bitterness Prevails

An Open Letter to All Those Who Cannot Be Fucking BOTHERED to Pronounce My Name Correctly,

I understand that my name is not necessarily normal, along the lines of the Kates and the Kellys, the Lucys and the Lauras. No, it does not come as naturally to you as that of Sarah or Sally, Bridget or Belinda. I know that. I apologise. If we have just met and I tell you my name, I fully expect you to have to say "er.. wha.. could you.. what was that there now?". I will happily repeat it, if you ask me to, as many times as you like.

Seriously. Even if we have been engaged in conversation for two hours, and we know all about each other, including our club feet, penchants for dwarves dressed as Michael Ball and our leagues of illegitimate children, I still won't mind if you lean towards me, embarrassed and a little flustered from your recent revelations and mumble that my name has escaped you for the fifth time this evening. I will repeat it again and again, until you get it right.


With the emphasis firmly heaped upon the first syllable.


Obvious? No, I admit it. Easy? YES. A tongue-twister it is not.

Because, as you know, it is spelt Léonie. Even taking into account the acute accent on the first e it still would be Lay-o-nie. But it isn't.


Listen. Don't fucking argue with me. I know it doesn't make sense. It isn't spelt that way, you whine incessantly. I know this, and I distinctly remember telling you very clearly when you asked for the spelling that it WOULDN'T HELP. Oh, you said, nodding your head, I'll get it if you spell it for me. Despairing and on the verge of defeat, I told you.

OH! You cry, relieved at the clarification.


As if, hang on, Lee-O-nie is so THICKY THICK THICK that she has spent TWENTY-THREE YEARS pronouncing her OWN FUCKING NAME WRONG!


It is, I say, resisting the somewhat overwhelming urge to rip your head off and serve your brain up with a nice chianti, not actually pronounced like that, though. I swallow. This is one of those moments in which it becomes sorely obvious to me that I am not Wolverine from X-Men, because if I was I would have steel claws protruding from my knuckles ready for some serious avenge-based action.

I am just little old Léonie, Lay-un-ie, Lay-on-me (and I will if you think it might help).
No claws of steel here.

I had teachers at school who called me the wrong name every day for seven long years. Throughout university tutors and fellow students alike called me Lee-O-nie, day in, day out. I have played in orchestras, been in plays, sung in choirs, worked in bars, offices, factories, shops, events teams. And mostly, you know, mostly people work it out after a couple of days. But there are inevitably a few that just cannot be bothered. You can hear the words that come out of your mouth, can't you? Good. Now, can you hear you're saying something that sounds a bit bloody different to the word other people are saying? Can you? Come on. Of course you can.

But you don't care. You, who swoop down on me at a social gathering, gushing with joy to see me, and trill delightedly (whilst looking over my shoulder to see if any other miserable fucker you could pounce upon has wandered into the room) "Hiiiiii!!!!!!! Leee-OOOOOO-nie!!!!! How are you? (pause for air-kiss on both cheeks) How ARE you? Soooo nice to see you..." and sweep off leaving me mumbling furiously to myself. I've TOLD you. Other people have told you.

If you don't bother to learn my name I have to assume you are an idiot. Because it's not rocket science. It's three syllables. Fuck it, you can call me Lé if you're really struggling. I don't MIND if you don't get it straight away, and as I have mentioned I will repeat it until you can get it. But if you don't CARE?

It's insulting.

And I shall have to refer to you as Knob-Knocker everytime I see you from now on.

So there.

Lots of love

(come on now, say it with me now...)

Léonie xx

A little something while I think of something to post about.

There were two fish in a tank. One turns to the other and says "How the HELL do you drive this thing?".

True story. Swear to God.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


A few months ago I was telling a couple of my girlfriends a particularly embarrassing story of mine. It's not chart topping, but it does come close (you will understand the pun hiding naughtily in that sentence in good time).

The story was loosely based around the following facts:

a) I own a vibrator. No, I am NOT ashamed of admitting that in the public sphere. I am a Woman who has Needs and Things Like That. I embrace my sexuality with open arms. I say "Hello, sexuality! We do not discriminate against you in these parts, oh no we DO NOT." So, yeah. I own a vibrator, and I write about it on the Internet. So Fucking Liberated.
b) I am quite an untidy person. And you know, when I say 'quite untidy' I mean so hellishly messy that my cleaner in halls of residence at uni wouldn't come and clean my room because she declared it "too filthy to clean". To which I replied "Screw you Maria you lazy bitch I was just trying to make things more interesting for you"*. So it is perfectly feasible that I would not put my vibrator away in it's box at the back of my wardrobe diligently, and there is a large chance that I would just leave it carelessly snuggled up in my bed. In my parents' house.
c) My Mum was toying with the idea of employing a new cleaner recently, so she had asked one to come round and, well, clean for a bit I guess. Including my room.

*I didn't really. I think I probably cried a little bit and then continued playing with the mini-civilizations that were inventing the wheel in a coffee cup on my desk.

I think you can guess what happened. Got back to my room, was blinded by the spotlessness of it. The pure, white, sparkly glory. I began spinning round with glee and touching surfaces, in a kind of grotesque hybrid of Julie Andrews in her two finest roles: Maria from The Sound Of Music and Mary Poppins.

"Hang on" I thought to myself, mid-spin.

"Where the hell's my...?"

Cue scrabbling around on immaculately made bed. Under pillows? Nope. Under duvet? Nope. Anywhere? NOPE.

I found it, eventually, wrapped in a silk nightie and tucked away neatly in my ostensibly-knicker-but-really-anything-I-can't-be-bothered-to-put-away-properly drawer. Which was a place that I DEFINITELY DID NOT leave it.

Oh God.


I was recounting this little tale to some of my girlfriends a few months ago, and we moved on to the subject of Vibrators, subheading: Possesion Thereof. And I was the only one who had active use of one. I mean, COME ON. We are Liberated. Unleash the Sex Toys! I continued in that vein for a while, until they tied me down and shoved a massive black dildo in my mouth to shut me up, and said OK! ALRIGHT! We'll have an Ann Summers Party!

So we did. And we played with stuff, dressed up in stuff and drank oh so much wine. There were rubs and gels and stuff that works really well if you stand on your head and make pincer movements with your legs. There were uniforms and basques and bras that showed nipples and knickers that showed, well, what knickers traditionally cover but Oh NoNot Anymore Because We Are Liberated Now (I declined to try those on). There were purple and pink and sliver and, oh, every colour of the rainbow was accounted for when it came to the vibrators. We held them to our noses and gripped them with our hands and generally had a LOT OF FUN.

And then, when we were suitably riled up (read: drunk), the nice Ann Summers lady murmured something along the lines of "So, ladies. Anyone want to place any orders..?" at which point we all threw our money at her with wild abandon.

Including me.


But LOOK! And also LOOK! (Giggles uncontrollably)

And they arrived yesterday and were left for me in The Crush's bedroom. And the people at Ann Summers had thrown in a load of other stuff as well. Some of it, well, I don't even know what some of it is. Last night I got it all out and The Crush and I did a lot of exclaiming and laughing about it, and then we went to sleep because we were SHATTERED because he had a gig last night and I have a gig tonight. So I, in my normal scatty way, just left the stuff around.

So the reason I have told you all this was so that I could share with you an AWESOME text message I received from The Crush this morning after I got to work (I don't think he'll mind if I do).

"I'm loving the sex toys just littered across my room. You rock my world. Hope you have a good day."

And then some other stuff that is irrelevant to the post. But it made me laugh a LOT. Hurray for Ann Summers! Hurray for the Sexual Liberation Of Women!

And, most importantly:

Hurray for Men Who Are Not Intimidated By Massive Purple Vibrators!

Hurray. (More giggling...)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sleeping with my eyes open.

This post is being constructed by means of me having plugged my subconscious into my keyboard and letting it run free. Conscious Léonie is asleep. She is not snoring, because, come on, she is FAR too ladylike. She is laid out elegantly on a velvet-covered lounger, wearing a flowing satin nightgown, and she has a delicate smile playing around her lips. She is Happy. Sleep makes her Happy. Léonie + Sleep = World Peace (probably).

Either that OR I am conscious (and I use that in the LOOSEST possible sense of the word) and the above paragraph is a fantasy constructed through my tiredness and feeling of stress that is strange and unfounded. So I will tell you in a short way about things that have been happening around these parts recently. This won't necessarily be a list of Good, Bad or even particularly Interesting things. Sorry to disappoint, if that's what you were expecting. I'm just so tired.

1. I'm not sure I'm quite recovered from last Monday's Robber-In-Flat debacle. Last week I was so exhausted the WHOLE time. I remember that feeling from the times I've had depression, that overwhelming weariness. I'm not a fan.

2. I'm still exhausted, and everything seems like a MASSIVE effort.

3. On a positive note? My Crush? He is SO COOL. And he reads this sometimes, so if he's reading now then Hi there, Crush! You? Are SO COOL. (Blows kiss)

4. I still have no Switch card. And the brighter sparks among you may have deduced that no card = no money. I have £30 to last me till I get my card back. That is not enough, because:

5. I have nothing to wear for my gig on Thursday. Naked singing is, of course, a possibility, but frowned upon, apparently. Some people are such prudes.

6. I keep on having dreams that are disturbing due to their bizarre similarity to real life. By which I mean that things, situations and people present in my 'real' life keep featuring in my subconscious one. But the stress levels in my dreams are hitched up by about twenty notches. So I wake up stressed and in a panic, but then cannot differentiate between stress from the dream and stress from real life. This is Not Fun, and makes me tired.

7. I have realised that going back to the flat I am staying in panics me, because of what happened there. This is an unpleasant feeling, and it means that I spend quite a lot of the time feeling quite stressed. I hate feeling stressed.

8. I think I might be getting fat.

9. Another positive? My little sister Sophie posted a comment the other day. Hurray! She's a good one.

10. I feel like I can't deal with any of this stuff because I'm too tired and my brain won't work.

I don't like writing negative posts, so I'm sorry that I have nothing to say apart from this unbearable shit.

This is funny though, so look at this if you're bored.

I think I need a VERY relaxing holiday. Away from robbers, away from flats with robbers in them, or that might feel like they might have robbers in. Away from the necessity but lack of money. Away from paranoia about friends. Away from boredom. Away from a sneaky, trick-playing subconscious. A sleep-filled holiday, please. A bed-based holiday.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

(Grins cheekily) I'm back...

I am standing atop a large mountain, surveying my domain with displeasure. I cast my penetrating stare over the writhing cesspool of discontent and heave a sigh. I shake my head and fling my arms open wide. "Enough!" I cry into the raging, moaning winds. "No more!". The words ring out over the plains, and over the swirling, angry sorrow-filled plains a stillness creeps. That's it. "Come on!" I holler. "CHEER THE FUCK UP ALREADY!"


I'm not going to tell you that I am totally fine about what happened on Monday. I'm not, I am exhausted and feeling a bit (a lot) low as a result. As for last Thursday, well, I am so saddened for those people and their families who have been directly affected by the horrible atrocities. I am hurting for their pain. Last Thursday had an effect on me, it shocked and moved me. But the way I feel now is actually best summed up in this entry from another Londoner, Anna, so read that, because she articulates it much better than I could (but come back afterwards please!).

The point I am trying to make is that I feel like I need to make an effort to cheer myself up. And this, my esteemed friends and compatriots, is where the blog comes in. What better way to cheer myself than to force myself to focus on The Funny? Or, more specifically, The Funny To Me? (Getting drunk, you say? Nods slowly. Interesting, interesting.)

So I plan on resuming normal service very soon. I will once again regale you with stories taken directly from Léonie: The Musical, and we will all smile shyly at each other and proceed to live happily ever after in a virtual commune.

I just need to pick myself up a little bit first. Any suggestions?

(PS. If you are in London next Thursday then come to my gig! Look! If you're not in London then fly over because I want you to, and bring a big banner with my name on it, please. Thanks.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger.

I know that, living in London as I am doing for a bit, I should EXPECT things like what I am about to tell you. I know, I know, London - Crime and Corruption Capital. And I AM a careful girl. I don't walk where I shouldn't at dangerous times, I don't run up to criminals and flick them on the head so as to provoke a crime spree, and I certainly don't hang out in crack dens waiting for somebody to sell my internal organs for one last hit. No, those are things I would rarely consider doing.

Something I WOULD do, however, is go back home (or the place I am staying for a few months) after work on a Monday afternoon at 6.30. Yes, I would certainly consider that to be activity in which I would feel comfortable participating.


Monday was sunny and cheery. People were still reeling from Thursday but there was much talk of resilience and not succumbing to the terrorists and how sometimes Britannia rules waves or something and that we're not slaves and don't plan on being, ever - things like that.

I stepped off the number 242 bus, whilst talking on the phone to The Crush (more about that in later episodes) and planning a fun-filled excursion to The Place With The Interesting Beer to while away the hot evening drinking Delirium Tremens, and sat on the wall outside the flat for a bit, to finish the conversation and get my keys out of my bag.

Stepping into the hall I was looking down at my bag to put my phone away and sort out my keys. I looked up, about to put my key in the lock, saw a man I had never seen before standing about 12 inches from me, inside the flat. My brain tripped up as it scrabbled for recognition, and then, failing that, an explanation. Maybe it was a friend of the people I'm staying with. Maybe an electrician or a plumber. I looked down and saw a Mini-Disc player in his hand, the wires spewing everywhere. I looked back up at his face and registered for the first time that his eyes were very wide, he was shaking, and he was sweating profusely. I then started to shake violently and I stepped back, was forced backwards by the strength of the realisation that this was a Bad Man. Somebody who could, and might well, hurt me.

He growled at me Get inside. Then louder Get inside NOW.

I looked back at him, shaking uncontrollably. In my head I thought that as long as I stayed on the side of the door I was on, he couldn't hurt me. I couldn't tell whether or not he had a weapon. As I backed away from him he came towards me.

Get inside NOW. NOW.

I said No, no please. Please don't make me come inside, I repeated, Please don't make me I don't want to. No. Please.

But he was losing control and he was getting angrier and I needed to placate him, so as he came towards me again I said Ok, alright, I will come in, and walked in, noticing then that the door had been ripped from its frame.

I just couldn't stop shaking.

Please. Please. Please don't hurt me, I said. Here, proferring my phone. Take this. Take anything. Just please, please don't hurt me.

I don't want to hurt you, he said in a thick voice. Don't be scared. Don't be. STOP BEING SCARED.

Ok, Ok, I said. I'm not scared. Tell me what you want.

Money. Give me your money. Give me money, now. NOW.

I opened my bag and pulled out my little purse. I knew I had no money on me. I showed him.

I have no money to give you. I have no money.

You'd better have money. Give me your gold.

I don't have money, I don't have gold. But, here, take my Switch card. You can get money with that. I extended my pathetic bit of plastic towards him, trying to control my hands and remain composed as I thought that maybe, maybe if I was calm and relaxed that might rub off on him in some way. I was scared he might flip and start being violent in his desperation, so I tried to speak reassuringly and gently through my terror.

Here, I continued. I will give you my PIN number. That's what I'm doing now. I'm going to write down my PIN so you can take as much money as you want, is that alright?

I backed into the kitchen and grabbed a pen, wrote a random four-digit number down on a little music publication and gave it to him. He looked at it it, then looked back at me with huge, cold eyes, as I stood trembling and dizzy with fear, still muttering Please, please don't hurt me.

Empty your bag, he said, gesturing towards the black holdall bag I had dropped when I walked into the room.

I knelt down and obliged by tipping its contents onto the carpet, watching numbly as my clothes, shoes, make up, cleansers and perfume tumbled out. He put his hand into the pile of my things that are so very familiar that they had become alien to me in this, such an unfamiliar situation. He pulled out my phone charger and, snatching my bag from my hands, put it inside. In it he also shoved the mini-disc player, a laptop, my little phone and my switchcard. A disposable camera lay amid my belongings. As he picked it up and made to put it in the bag I plucked it out of his hands. You don't want that, I told him firmly, it's disposable. Oh, he glanced at me, slightly taken aback. Ok.

Then he regained the control. Stay there, kneeling, he uttered, the growl returning. I will, I said. He made to leave then turned to where I remained, kneeling amongst my belongings, shaking more violently than I ever want to again. Oh, and do me a favour? Wait two minutes before calling anyone, give me a chance to get away. I nodded, looking back up at him, willing him to leave. Of course I will. He reached past me, and with one strong pull ripped the phone out of the wall. Just in case, he said.

Then he left.

I pulled my old phone out of my bag, that by some miracle was still able to make calls, and dialled 999. I burst into near hysterical sobs as I gave them my address and reassured them that, no, I was not hurt, begged them to hurry hurry, please hurry. Then I called The Crush, who assured me he was getting in his car and driving round immediately. I called my flatmate, I called my Dad.

The police came round and took statements, and fingerprints. My flatmate came back and stood in shock as he surveryed the small living room taken up with burly police officers and words images that seemed so incongruous in the cosy little flat. The Crush came round and hugged me, telling me how relieved he was that I was alright, and then got me ice lollies, chocolate and beer, and made sure I was ok for the rest of the evening, hardly leaving my side. My Dad came round and hugged me, made sure I was alright, then left, telling me to come home if I wanted, just to call.

I don't really feel more scared about living in London, this sort of thing can happen anywhere and it could have been so much worse. I am grateful that I am not hurt. Just quite badly shaken, still, after two days.

I'll keep you updated. I'm just off now to buy myself a rather large bodyguard and a Kung-Fu For Beginners manual.

I hope things don't get any stranger around here, I'm not sure I could quite cope.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

More words.

This is going to be quick. I just wanted to mention how deeply moved I felt to read your comments today, and to try to find some way of saying how much they mean to me.

It seems to be some natural order of things that good can pour into the void that evil creates, to fill it and make things, if not whole again, restored in some part.

Thursday's events shook everyone to the core. Personally I felt my faith in humanity had been shattered in a way that broke my heart. How to believe in the good of humankind after such continuous atrocities? As 9/11 was thrust back into the forefront of our consciousnesses, how could we continue to feel our existence in this world had any meaning?

As with 9/11, however, the universe sought quickly to reassure us, to gently remind us that there is always good, and that good will always conquer evil. Fairy tales teach us to believe that we will live happily ever after, that good will overcome in the face of the worst evil thrown at us. Every story ever told is based on that premise, and this story is no different.

Reading through messages from people I have never met, whom I shall probably never meet, and feeling the warmth and humanity through the words on the screen, that for me mended the part of me that was broken - my faith in humanity.

The impulse in the face of tragedy is to turn to the person standing next to you and love them, touch them and share humanity with them, and that is how good overcomes evil.

I am sorry if my language is too flowery, if my sentiment is one that has been repeated over and over, if language does not do justice to the genuine gratitude I feel, but it is genuine.

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I suppose, when there can be no words, words will have to do.

Today London is a very strange and scary place to be.

My office is five minutes from Liverpool Street, two minutes from Old Street. Nowhere in Central London is very far away from anywhere else, or at least that's what it feels like today. The sensation of hearing the sirens on the television, and then walking a few steps and listening to the same sirens wailing through the windows is terrifying and pervasive.

This morning I walked into London Bridge tube station only to be confronted with an ocean of black suited people, all trying in vain to board the tube and be whisked off to work, none of us understanding the disruption in our routines. When there are delays in public transport, you can clearly pick out the patient 'it's out of my hands' people, and differentiate them quickly from the angry, impatient people who push, shove and battle their way through the immense crowds as if the ocean should part immediately for them. I'm not sure whether this is something I have since imagined, but I think the atmosphere had been altered this morning. There were less of the latter people, there was less impatience and frustrated anger, but simultaneously there was less understanding of the cause of the delay. Confusion reigned supreme.

Confusion still reigns, I suppose.

I got on a bus outside London Bridge, heading up to Liverpool Street. As we rode along we passed endless streams of people, all dressed in what in retrospect seems like funereal black, when in fact, of course, it was just the dark uniform of the city worker. Trooping across the bridge, the staunch resolution to get to work seemed to transform each individual to just one tiny part of a pulsating mass, focused and unerring.
By the time we were nearing Liverpool Street, the atmosphere had thickened, there were more people on the pavements. The roads were blocked, and knowing that Liverpool Street was less than five minutes walk away, I and most of the other passenges got off the bus. Snippets of conversation on the pavement. Fleeting words caught but left unexplained. Explosion. Terrorists. Bomb.

Walking two hundred metres up the road I could see the fluorescence of the many police officers' jackets flashing through the Thursday morning drizzle and contrasting starkly against the looming grey towers of Central London. The areas cordoned off seemed almost randomly selected, and as streams of people drifted in and out policemen would walk up and with a light touch on the arm guide them out, deflecting questions as they moved on to the next misguided individual.

There have been three/four/nobody knows exactly how many bombs. Nobody knew where I was. It was a small explosion, or a power surge. There was nobody saying all of of this. I walked to work. People were walking in the roads, huddled with strangers frantically questioning and giving each other answers based on conjecture or rumour. There were policemen with sniffer dogs and sombre expressions patrolling the streets. Small groups collected worriedly outside offices, sharing cigarettes and wiping the rain from their pale faces.

It was, just to throw you with a wild understatement, strange.

Part of the strangeness is maybe derived from the fact that it feels like nobody knows quite what it is we're all so close to. There is this understated panic that nobody can really name, but that makes us all call our families and friends, and stare at strangers in the street, grateful they're alive.

I can still hear the helicopters overhead and the sirens echoing. Other than that, and the omnipresent television presenters' voices, the whole of London seems oddly quiet. In shock? In anticipation? Maybe we're all just holding our collective breath.

What a strange day to be in London.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I suspect I might be something of an Evil Genius

I have recently discovered, courtesy of this excelllently funny website, that Paris Hilton REALLY REALLY wants to get married in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. But they won't let her, because she's way too fat and doesn't wear enough tiaras. Or something.

I, however, AM allowed to get married in St. Paul's, because my Dad is a Commander of the British Empire as of about a month ago. Yes, it is true, I am The Commander's Daughter.

So. I've got a really good Plan, right? I will be needing your help on this so listen carefully. Alright, READ carefully, then, you pedant. Just pay attention, ok? (shakes head wearily) God.

What we're going to do is spread a Rumour. It may not sound like a massively powerful Plan at first, but I have Faith. I am also quite hungry, but we'll bypass that for now.
The Rumour will go something like this.

Tell Paris Hilton that I want to marry her, and I am willing to do so in St Paul's.

I KNOW! It's genius isn't it? And easy, too, because I know some people who live in America, and it's quite a small country so I'm sure they'll be able to pass on The Rumour (except they would call it a Rumor, right? They don't like the letter U over there. Except in USA. Hmm... note to self: work on the 'Americans don't like the letter U' theory) without too much difficulty. A suggestion would be to make a big sign and stick it over that Hollywood one, or write it underneath the McDonald's employees' names on the badges (above the stars), so everyone in the country will see it.

Paris will approach me. I give it one, maybe two weeks at a push to get to this stage.

She will want to marry me, believing (because of the Rumour, of course, KEEP UP WILL YOU?) that I am happy to marry her because I love her and am willing to do anything to win access to her sparkly hair accessories and vats of fake tan.


(This is where the plan gets a bit on the clever side)

For a million squillion dollars.


(I'm so clever)

She will reluctantly but resignedly hand over the cash (I will insist on cash, of course). At which point I will run really REALLY fast to the getaway helicopter and escape to Mexico.

Which is where you come in again.

If you have a helicopter, you are going to be ESSENTIAL for this heist, so please contact me urgently in the comments section of this blog. I promise I will give you some of the profits, or at least buy you some fuel and a little flag to put on the front of your helicopter.

If you do not have a helicopter I'm afraid you are of absolutely no use to me whatsoever, but you are welcome to come and visit me in Mexico where I will be happy to buy you a small burrito and a shot of tequila.

You see? Genius.

Monday, July 04, 2005

La la la, tra la la la..

That's my song and I shall sing it all day.

Did you have a good weekend? I hope you did. I hope you had fun and frolics. I sincerely hope that somebody you had a huge crush on told you that they have a huge crush on you too and I REALLY hope that you spent your weekend with that person and it was the best weekend, like, EVER.

Because those sorts of weekends are some SHIT HOT ones, I can tell you.

Yes, I can tell you that, because I know what those sorts of weekends are like.

La la la. Tra la.

I will give you a very brief outline of some of the things I did this weekend.


Danced lots.

Spent four hours(ish) with a yellow balloon tied to my wrist.

Whacked people, including myself, on the head with afore-mentioned yellow balloon. Lots.

Redeemed myself in the navigational stakes by knowing which bus to get on, and more impressively/surprisingly, which side of the road to get the bus from.

Laughed a lot.

Had immense amounts of fun.


Discovered that feta cheese makes my mouth go all sting-y (it seems important to point out that I don't mean 'stingy', as in, tight with money, because that would be strange if feta cheese made my mouth all stingy and unwilling to get rounds in. No, just to clarify, I mean that it stings) but that I will eat it anyway and just complain.

Drunk Interesting Beer. Strawberry beer is nice. Not so much the cherry beer, although it's still beer and that makes it Fine By Me. Delirium Tremens beer was some good shit, particularly when only purchased because the sign on the wall advertising it had little elephants picked out in LEDS that were doing a kicky dance.

Eaten a cake with Maltesers on it. I didn't eat the whole cake, although I may have had more than my fair share of the Maltesers.

Gone to Euan's birthday party. Accidentally turned up five hours late. Sorry, Euan.

Slept in a (normal sized) bed with three other people, when one of those other people was wearing a bowler hat. Nobody was naked (as far as I know).

Smiled a lot and felt all happy.

Had immense amounts of fun.


Woke up. Noted three other people on bed with me. Felt a little bit like I wasn't sure what to do with this fact, so decided to ignore it and pretend it was normal.

Had Full English Breakfast in a greasy spoon-esque café.

Had a pretty intense experience with a Ribena ice-lolly. I didn't really know when I bought it, but it was EXACTLY what I needed after a night of The Lash and then a very grease-orientated breakfast. Who knew that something so simple could be so perfect? Not me, but I do now, and feel I can pass on my wisdom. Knowledge is power, people.

Seen the third best view in the UK.

Crush crush crush. Reciprocation. Smile smile-y smile.

La la tra la.

Watched 'Saw'. Got TOTALLY and utterly freaked out and cried a little bit out of sheer terror. Yes, I know, this isn't the coolest move in the world. But this film for some reason really made me into a cry baby who cries and is just a big crier, and not even chocolate raisins help much in that situation (although, obviously, they do help).

Decided I couldn't POSSIBLY make the trek across Big Scary London after I had witnessed the scary scariness of the horrors the human race is capable of (even though, yes I KNOW it's not real, yada yada, but it FELT real to me).

Didn't go home.

Had immense amounts of fun.

And that was that. And, do you know what? There is just one word that I feel sums it up.


(tra la, tra la la la la la....)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Because it most definitely runs in the family.

You'd think that after yesterday's hellish hangover-ridden entry I would have taken myself home to bed promptly, had a good solid lump of sleep (do you know what? Lump is one of my least favourite words. It actually makes me feel a bit sick.) and woken up all refreshed prepared to start the day with a spring in my step and a song in my heart.

However, if you were thinking that you clearly don't know me at all.

I had no choice. My little sister Sophie was back in London from Paris for a bit, having come back to go the Glastonbury Festival, and I had to go and have some Sophie-time. Because, you know, Sophie-time? Is just another way of saying Crazy-time.

I went and met her in a pub in Soho, where we sat and had pints (yes, yes I know) and caught up. She talked about Paris, about her French and Italian friends, about music and parties and how she still gets stuck when she has to ask for something really basic in a shop but is absolutely fine when in a high-brow conversation about existentialism or the like, because she is my sister and just perverse like that (it's in the genes). I, in turn, told her about my singing, how I've got a gig coming up, how I have moved into a flat in Shoreditch, the gigs I've been going to and the people I've been meeting. I also told her about my not-so-recent-anymore break up, my crush, and, of course, the fact that I write about my life on this Internet and that people (sometimes) read it.

This confused her, I think.

Anyway. Sophie's a singer as well, and we sing together when we get the opportunity. When we're washing up, when we're watching TV, in fact pretty much whenever we can. Even when we're arguing. It's like Jerry Springer: The Opera (which, by the way, is one of the funniest musicals I've ever seen. You want to see the Ku Klux Klan tap dancing? Go and see it.).

So we left the pub last night and had the following conversation:

Sophie: Oh wonderfully marvellous Big Sister?
Léonie: Don't call me big.
Sophie: Oh. Alright then. Oh wonderfully marvellous (and beautifully slim) Sister?
Léonie: Better. Yes?
Sophie: I miss us singing together!
Léonie: Oh I miss that TOO!
(nb. Sophie and I don't usually talk with exclamation marks all the time but it we felt last night was an occasion that warranted it)
Sophie: (impishly) Let's sing now!
Léonie: Stop being impish! You know it disconcerts me. What? Sing? But, Smaller-Sister-who-has-the-propensity-to-be-rather-impish-at-times, we are in the middle of the street! In Soho!
Sophie: Yeah? So? We do it ALL THE TIME in Paris. It's quite the done thing. (She didn't really say 'it's quite the done thing'. She doesn't live in an Oscar Wilde play.)
Léonie: (refusing to be outdone by Sophie's French-y cool je ne sais quoi) Then we are doing it now.

And sing we did. We sang (in harmony, with a fair bit of showing off because we are both dreadful show-offs) Summertime, Lady is a Tramp, Ain't No Sunshine (sorry, Paul), Amazing Grace, You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman) and various others. We sang in Soho, where we had a small crowd of two Irishmen and another man (nationality unknown), who gave us money and clapped loudly. We sang on Poland Street, where we got a huge round of applause from two girls leaning out of a window and various other people walking past. We sang on Oxford Street, where nobody batted an eyelid because we looked like a couple of tramps. We then sang a little bit on the tube, until Sophie got off at Holborn ( I had to stay on till Liverpool Street). I have a very clear image of Sophie standing on the platform as the train pulled away, arms flung open wide with total abandon, singing at the top of her voice (and that's some loud singing, right there) "I Love You Léonie! I Love You!".

I tell you what. That is an image that makes me happy.

I miss my naughty impish little sister.

So, no, I didn't rest or take myself home like a good girl. But after last night's Crazy-Sophie-time, I most definitely have a spring in my step and a song in my heart.

Have a lovely weekend.