Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In which I drink a lot and pass out like a Lady.

It's been a Bank Holiday weekend. It was a sunny and glorious weekend, with lots of sun and glory all round. And, for once, it actually felt like a weekend, it was long and nice and I saw lots of people.

On Friday I went out.

(I am just going to write about the people I saw as if you know them, because I can't be bothered to write little explanations about who they are and how I know them. Mainly it's from my prostitution and selling children for hard labour days, but not exclusively.)

I went to the South Bank, where I met my mate Luke, who had, in an impressive display of commitment to the cause, been drinking all afternoon. Some of his friends were there, many of whom were also dedicated to the Friday of the Bank Holiday Weekend Which Officially Signifies The End Of Summer rules, which means getting really drunk on wine, preferably over-priced Rosé.
I got involved.
Oh, did I get involved.
Some Things had happened during Friday daytime, which I needed to drown in alcohol (oh don't be like that, you know it's the sensible option). So, there was Luke and Luke's friends, and then Max and Dan came to join us. There was more drinking.
Then there was a now-very-hazy tube journey and then a club in Soho. With more wine. I remember two things very clearly. The first was having a look at the other drinks on the table to see whether any of the other glasses were fuller than mine and therefore more worth drinking from. The second was standing in the (mixed) toilets, trying to get the woman who was handing out paper towels and horrible perfumes to give me advice about my hair. I have a swimmy recollection of the sheer Not-Caringness of her being overwhelming.
Anyway. We danced a bit, drank some more, then Luke was sick on the floor of the club and we all went home.

Saturday morning I woke up on a sofa.
I was NOT feeling well.
It was NOT my sofa.
It was ok, though, it was Dan's sofa, and he is my friend, so it is ok that I sleep on his sofa.
There's a very specific way that you feel when you wake up, on a sofa that isn't your own, fully clothed, horribly hungover and all hot and sunned upon. The feeling of the the over-priced Rosé oozing from your pores and the mascara inching it way across your face in a desperate bid to win you Camden's Saturday Morning Person Who Looks Most Like A Panda In A Really Unattractive Way competition.
It's not a great way to feel.
Then to add insult to self-induced-but-still-very-real injury Dan came into the room fully dressed and perky and ready to go to work (yes, it was Saturday, but Dan does funny hours). He took one glance at my pain and knew EXACTLY how to make it worse.
By switching on... wait for it... the TV!
No, that's not it. It was the fact that on the TV was..
Some kind of sporting event!
The CRICKET no less!

I got revenge by asking him really annoying questions until he threw me out of his flat ("Why do they have to wear white?" "What's he saying and why?" "Do they actually ENJOY doing that? They can't. Why? What's the POINT?").

I went home to my parents' house, had a shower, got changed. Took some painkillers, drank some coffee.

Went back to Soho.

Listened to the Foo Fighters on the way there on my Ipod. Felt better. I always feel better in the company of Dave Grohl.

Saw a matinée of a play at the Soho theatre which was starring my friend Mike. It was great, the whole thing was fast-paced, energetic and funny, whilst simultaneously being sad and tragic (well, it was a version of Antigone so that makes sense). I won't write a review because I won't do it justice. But Mike was Great.

Afterwards Luke, Max, Hannah, Mike and I went to a café in Soho for a bite to eat. It will shock and fascinate you to know that I had Sweet Pepper and Chorzio wrap. Because I'm a bit fancy.
Mike had to go and do the evening performance, but the four of us sat there for a while and caught up. The was, I'll admit, a fair amount of doing of impressions of Luke vomiting in public and then reprimanding Max VERY sternly for not getting him to the toilet on time.

Gemma came to meet us then. She looked all tanned and swanky, which we talked about until she informed us that someone in the G.A.Y club in Soho had told her VERY emphatically how VERY much she looked like Paris Hilton.
She does not. It's like the time I got told I reminded someone of Abi Titmuss. If you don't know who that is, let me tell you, it's not so flattering a comparison.

Luke, Max and Hannah went to see another play, and Gems and I went for cocktails. Mmm, mojitos.

And then more wine. And a spot more wine. And maybe one last glass. By which time Max, Luke and Hannah had come to join us. Luke and Max bailed early because they were tired (no DEDICATION, people).

Gemma took her bra off because it was annoying her, and Hannah got bored of her shirt, so took it off and wrapped her pashmina around her instead. I had enough cleavage, so didn't need to take anything off.

Yes, we were quite drunk by then.

Sunday's hangover was fun.

As was Monday's.

Oh dear.

Sunday I hung out with Pippa. We hung out and I nursed my hangover, and then I suggested going home for a bit, having a bit of a chill out. Maybe watch some TV, eat some cheese, that sort of thing. A shower, a change. A bit of Charmed to dull the pain.

Then the pub.

Monday morning I felt as if someone had taken off my head and replaced it with a big football, and then buried me in the ground, with nothing showing except my head, just in front of an open goal during a football match in which one of the teams happens to be called the Iron-Shod Really Hard Kick-y Peoples' team.

So, not good. Don't question the analogies.

Mid-afternoon I made my way to my friend Andrew's house for a barbeque. Where there was beer. I know there was beer because I bought some and took it there. And possibly drank it.
Not that much, though, I promise. WHAT? I said I promise, didn't I?
Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon. Sunny and warm. Andrew cooked lovely food, and there were people there I hadn't seen for ages. We had fun, and Pippa gave me a lift home at about ten.

The train this morning was sheer JOY as Pippa and I sat opposite each other, me sucking the caffine-y goodness out of a large coffee, and Pippa staring into the void that constitutes another working week. But she works in fashion PR and gets free jewellery, which means I get free jewellery, so she has to go to work.

So here I am. It's Tuesday, and the Bank Holiday weekend is over. I think I drank it.

I have a gig on Friday, though, so I'm looking forward to that. I need to learn some specific songs they've requested, though (including 'Street Life' - because it's a hookers' party). So I'll just be off and do that.

I'll just finish this bottle of wine first, though. The weekend lives on in spirit.

Or, you know, wine.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A series of things that you couldn't relate to each other even if you tried really really hard.

I met up with Euan last night, to dicuss my up and coming website which will be called, in a startling display of ingenuity, www.leoniehiggins.com.
I know. Who'd have guessed.
It's going to have pictures and a diary and some clips of me singing.
I'm so excited, because Euan is very clever and knows about all computers and shit, so will be the best person for the job. I did a lot of wild gesturing (I gesture more the drunker I get - it's really very endearing) and explaining things about how I want it to like, FEEL, and (more gesturing, ignore man who is shouting something about a spilt pint, he should be more careful) how I want people to UNDERSTAND me (give woman next to me a black eye on the word 'understand', well, it's art so shut the fuck up and stop whingeing) and, more importantly (the gesturing stops as I say what I actually mean), give me loads of money to sing my heart out on huge stages to thousands of roaring fans for the rest of my days.

The website will be blue.

I overheard a conversation in the toilets of a pub the other day that went a bit like this:

Blonde girl 1: ... yeah, I mean, she was REALLY pissed off.
Blonde girl 2: I'm not surprised! Can you imagine? (shakes head in disbelief) That's terrible.
BG1: God, I know. I think she's going to sue. I mean, she SHOULD sue. I'd sue.
BG2: So would I! Oh God. Yeah, if I had a leg lengthening operation and they did one leg longer than the other, I'd DEFINITELY sue.
BG1: (Nods head knowingly)
Both: (continue to apply lipstick in contemplative silence)

Me: Wha...?

Didn't know they did that. I am clearly very sheltered and unadventurous with my plastic surgery.

I saw a wasp on my windowsill in my bedroom the other day. It was in the last throes of life, twitching and convulsing in a wasp-y manner. I could see it mentally going over it's will ("I hereby bequeath all my evil and scariness to my son, Waspy McMeanbastard..").
Basically, it wouldn't have been able to hurt me.
I picked up the heaviest thing I had to hand (which, interestingly, was my barely opened copy of "Ulysses Annotated") and approached the wasp. I thought that if I could kill this wasp I might be cured of my phobia.
I got about a metre away from the near-dead Incarnation of All Evil, freaked out and ran away screaming like a girl. I am a loser.

What else to write about?

Tonight I'm going to go hang out on the South Bank. And then tomorrow I'm going to see my friend Mike in this (something's up with Blogger and it means I can't do links in the text):
Then it's the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend as well.
Oh, and we have a Bank Holiday on Monday.
This is a Good Thing.

I am going to tell you about my very least favourite words in the whole of the English language.
At the number one spot: Egg
Also highly rated: Genitals
Also: Hog, Blog, Higgins.

The common factor in all these words is the letter 'G'.

Does anyone have any theories as to why I don't like the letter G?

I can't fathom it, I really can't.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's just that they STING and are evil.

I am going to therapy so I can build my own ladder to get me out of this pit. And, yes, I made up that particular piece of sentimental crap ALL BY MYSELF. I am taking some drugs as well. HURRAH!

Anyway, more questions from Dancinfairy..

1) You have a super power for a day. What is it and how do you use it, for Good or Evil?

I use all my Super Powers for good! All of them! Apart from my ability to make kittens spontaneously combust, which I have yet to use for purposes other than my own entertainment.
I would want to control all Physics. That would be my power. To be able to change ANY law of physics, and then I could do ANYTHING. Think about it. I could. I could be invisible, or slow down time, or fly, or do all sorts of other things I don't get because I am an Artsy person.
I would rule the Universe and make you all my Bitches. Mwahahahaha. Ha.
Er, but, yeah for Good. Probably.

2) You always make me laugh. Who makes you laugh?

On the Internet? Loads of people. In Real Life? Loads of my friends make me laugh. Zack Braff makes me laugh, I think because he's really silly.
My Dad is funny and makes me laugh, except when he's telling me that, no, I cannot have that extra pony because six is enough. Bollocks. I think he's just nervous because of what happened the time he bought me all those kittens.

3) What is the worst outfit you have ever worn?

When I was at uni I did a lot of musical theatre, and have had to wear some hideous outfits for that. I am thinking particularly of one show where I had to wear a blue nylon get up that would have made the Olsen twin with the eating disorder look like an elephant with a particular fondness for snacking on lard. In the same show I wore a shit-brown blouse that actually had mould on it. The reason I was forced to wear these things is because the person in charge of the wardrobe choices wanted me to look horrible so no one would fancy me (one person in particular, obviously). We're friends now though, and often have a good laugh about those outfits. She succeeded, BELIEVE ME.
But what's the worst outfit I have worn of my own volition?
I have never worn anything that wasn't UBER-cool.
Apart from, like, shell-suits, global hyper-colour T-shirts, cycling shorts, ankle high trainers and kilts. And chiffon shirts with flower patterns on them. And floppy hats. With flower patterns on them. And purple knee length denim shorts. With, er, flower patterns on them.
Mental note: Do not make wild sweeping statements about own coolness and then negate it in the following sentence.

4) What is your biggest fear?

I am wasp-o-phobic. I cry if wasps look at me.
From a wider point of view I am most afraid of failure.
No, actually, fuck that, it's wasps. Hang on, I think, wait, is there one on me? It's on me! I know it IS! Don't lie! Oh shitshitshitgetitoffmehelpmegetitawayfrommeNOWNOWNOW!
(rocks back and forth weeping)

5) Recommend a book that everyone should read

Three words. Can Of Worms. As in, asking me that is like opening one.
But, in brief? Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy (and also, question 2? DOUGLAS ADAMS). Haroun and The Sea of Stories - Salman Rushdie.
I LOVE reading. It makes me happy. I love reading all sorts of things. I've been sitting here for AGES without typing to try to think of other ones to recommend but I can't think of any specifically at this moment.
One tip - Ulysses by James Joyce? TAKES AGES. Just saying.

Ta DA! That's it.
(Bows graciously)
Thaaaank you.

In other news I just bought this jacket. I shouldn't buy things online because they invariably don't fit, and I forget to send them back and keep trying them on every couple of months only to come the conclusion that, no, time has not improved it, or me, and therefore I have still wasted £50 on something I will never, ever wear.
Oh well.

(sighs mournfully whilst simultaneously scanning around for errant wasps)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I need a head torch.

So, it's like, I'm walking along. Up and down hills. Sometimes the view is crowded with breathtaking scenery that fills me up and leaves me exhalted and full of positivity. Sometimes there is grey, bleak wasteland that drains me and makes me want to sleep.

And then, sometimes, I just fall down a hole and all I can do is lie there, limbs broken and tears running down my muddy face. My arms are bleeding and I cannot, try as I might, find ANY rays of sunlight that might have accidentally filtered down into this dark pit that has swallowed me.

So, yeah, that's where I've been. In fact, I'm still there. They lowered me down a computer with an Internet connection so I could type this.

I feel bereft, and funniness is strangely elusive to me. I am trying to think of something a LITTLE bit funny so you won't have wasted your eyes-open time reading such a boring pile of drivel.



Sorry. Amuse yourselves.

Friday, August 19, 2005

All done.

My absence for the last few days has, I am sure, thrown the Internet into disarray, and provoked scandalous rumour-mongering about what could possibly have befallen me.

Well, FEAR NOT hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of screaming fans. I have not been kidnapped by the producers of White Noise for so openly disparaging their piece of art, the depth and power of which can only be rivalled by sticking your head into a toilet whilst simlutaneously listening to the Crazy Frog on repeat for 2 1/2 hours. Nor have I been captured by the minions of Paris Hilton for implying that she is a pretentious, irritating, emaciated Knob-Face and that I am better than her because I am, well, not. Well, I'm ceratinly not emaciated.

I have mainly been sunbathing. Sunbathing and having my picture taken (although not whilst sunbathing). Also watching TV. Yesterday I watched Friends, Charmed (I have a passionate but very embarrassing LOVE for Charmed. Don't laugh at me! It has hidden depths) Will and Grace, Kill Bill vol. 2 (MASSIVE Tarantino fan) and whatever the hell else I could find.

It was lovely.

But I have some catching up to do now, as both Dawn and Monkey Typist have sent me some questions to answer. This is a cool sort of meme-y thing as the questions have to be personal.

So I will start with Monkey Typist's questions.

1.whats the one place or thing in london you recommend people see or do?

I would certainly recommend people see me. And, obviously, when I say 'see' I mean 'get drunk with'. As for doing, well, I suppose that depends how drunk you get me.
Seriously, though. That's quite difficult, really. I would recommend a walk along the South Bank. Starting with Borough Market, where the Best Brownies Ever live. It is a food market, kind of semi inside and semi outside. On a Saturday it is always teeming with people, some doing their weekly shop for fresh food. These are the smug people that cook healthy good things and seem like the sorts who might sneakily do Improving Things when the rest of us have our backs turned. Borough Market is one of those places you wander into and your senses immediately reel. The echos of voices raised in the energetic business of buying and selling, the smells of the rich, fresh food, cooking and baking, mixed with fresh coffee, the bright, startling colours, the greens, browns, reds, of the produce and of the people happily twisting, turning, reaching for tasters and exclaiming over the deliciousness of some previously untasted cheese, chocolate or olive. And, O, the brownies rock my world.
Coming out of the Market, you turn left along the river bank and walk along, past riverside pubs and offices, gazing out at the wide Thames with its boats and bridges claiming its depths. Past the Tate Modern, which looms up, roaring with square, red-bricked certainty. It has so much power, that building, with its huge tower and solid base. I love the juxtaposition of it. It looks, from the outside, like a 19th century factory from the soot-suffocated North. Exactly like something described by Dickens or Gaskell in one of their long-suffering Industrial Novels. A place of toil, of work and of suffering. The Tate Modern seems to be aware of its appearance, and it relishes its own contradictions. Just like a stern old English Gentleman whose humour is only ever drily hinted at, the Tate Modern hints its glorious and hedonistic contents with a wry irony.
Continue along the river, and pass Gabriel's Wharf and more bars and trees and offices. To get to the National Theatre and the National Film Theatre. Outside the National Theatre there is a square of grassy stuff with tables and chairs, upon which to sit and drink or eat. There is a stage there, too, and most nights (at least, in summer) there is a performance of music of some sort, world music or acoustic something or other. Under the brige is a book market, with long trestle tables crammed with books of every description. There are, of course, the omnipresent buskers. Maybe a wiry old man with a handkerchief around his neck and a straggled white beard, moving jerkily as he plays some complicated violin solo with his eyes clampled shut. Or some students with a backing track leaping out though an amp, jamming on their saxes or bongos.
To carry on past all this takes a while, but then you come out and carry on strolling. Maybe by this time it is early evening, and the lights that sweep and curve on wires between the trees that line the Thames here have flickered on. Following these lights with your eyes you can feel the curves of the river and sense the gentle antiquity of the spherical street lamps reflected in the water.
But then the modern London swoops into your vision, in the shape of the London Eye. The huge wheel always seems to me to be a heady mix between the majestic and the arrogant. Its constant, sweeping serenity in unruffeld by the excitable hoardes of tourists who clamber aboard unceasingly, ready to be awed by the panoramas it bestows.

Personally I just like sitting on one of the comfortable, slope-backed benches and gazing out at the water. Pint in hand maybe, alone or with company, reading or engaged in low conversation against the background city noise.

I will move on to the next question now, but I also love Camden for its diversity and buzz, Covent Garden for its familiarity, St James Park, or in fact, any of the parks. There are loads of plaes I love in London, and even more that I have not yet seen. I think London is wonderful.

2.With your singing, do you mainly sing covers or do you write your own songs too?

With jazz, I sing standards. Summertime, My Funny Valentine, Angel Eyes. Fever, Night and Day, Misty, Bye Bye Blackbird... there are so many. They have been done so many times that there has ceased to be an accepted manner in which to sing them. Everytime I sing these songs I feel like I'm singing them for the first and millionth time.
I do write my own songs, but I am a bit embarrassed of them. I feel that the lyrics are over poetic and pretentious, the music is too simplistic. I have never performed any of my own songs. That, to me, is a challenge yet to be faced.

3.What one piece of advice would you give someone about blogging?

Be true to yourself and pure of heart.

HA, just kidding. No, don't. Just write funny stuff. People like funny stuff.

Feel a bit drained now, so am going to have a little lie down before I continue.

I will update SOON with Dawn's questions, though.


Dawn's questions now. I'l try to keep these answers a bit shorter.

1. Have you always wanted to be a singer? Why do you want to be ajazz singer, specifically?

I have always wanted to be a singer, I think. I have vague recollections of a half-hearted desire to own a cheese-shop, but those plans were quickly thwarted when it quickly became clear that just because I owned the cheese, it didn't actually mean I would be able to eat it all.

I have always loved to sing, even though I was quite shy up until I was about 14/15. I play the 'cello as well, and whenever I had to play in front of people I would be excruciatingly nervous. I remember shaking talcum powder on my hands to rid them of the squeezing swollen sweatiness that went along with those nerves. But I haven't ever felt nervous with singing. Provided I have a vague knowledge of the words I know that I can just make it up and it will be alright.

Why jazz? I don't really know. My Mum used to sing Summertime as a lullaby. I used to sing that in the car on trips, it's such a beautiful, ebbing song to sing and I can't remember a time when I didn't know it inside out. Then I just got a taste for the flowing, silky romanticism of female singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Dinah Washington. The old songs, full of heartbreak and hope in equal measures, they touch me in ways no other music ever has. Another thing I love about jazz is the spontaneity and electricity of live jazz. Never knowing what will happen, but at the same time really FEELING like you know what might be coming next. I don't know any theory apart from the classical stuff I learnt from my 'cello, so it is ALL about feeling my way around the music, about listening and responding.
So when I say 'I don't really know' I mean I DO know and am going to write a long and oblique paragraph about it.

2. How did you get into this whole blogging gig?

I had a lot of free time on my hands, and Internet access. I was looking stuff up on Google and trying to find ways of entertaining myself when I did a virtual comedy stumble across Amalah's site. I read the whole thing and was just SO amused and delighted by it. So I read more blogs. I was going through some pretty horrible stuff at the time, and so I thought I would, as an experiment, start one up of my own. So I did. Then I wrote to Amalah's Wednesday Advice Smackdown, basically asking her how I was supposed to KNOW if my blog was good, or shit or whatever. She said something along the lines of "Dude! You're English! That's just cool in itself! (Oh but she's wise) Keep going!"
So I did. And am.

3. If you had to lose one of your senses for the rest of your life,but could pick which one it was, which would it be? Why?

Oooh. T. R. Icky.

Smell. I know it makes telling if you had left you're oven on/telling if part of you was on fire/detecting skunks considerably more difficult, but it would also mean that you would never walk past a McDonalds and think "but it SMELLS nice. It might TASTE nice, too.. this time?" Because? It DOESN'T. And don't argue, Ronald McDonald, I won't be swayed. And anyway, I think you're biased.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I know I'm copying your answer, Dawn, but I think I would live everywhere. I want a jet, and houses everywhere. I love London, but would love to be able to move and come back, and just travel my heart out.

5. Which do you prefer: cats or dogs? Why?

Dogs. Cats are cleverer than me and that is disconcerting.
Dogs are just a little bit silly and easily surprisable. They're like "Oh WOW! You came HOME! I'm so excited I don't have enough room to show you in running how excited I am but I will run anyway and WHO CARES if I run into stuff and bang my head I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN JUST KNOWING YOU'RE HERE! And, wait a cotton-pickin' minute. Is that FOOD you're giving me? This is just TOO MUCH! HURRAH! Look at me leap! Look! LEAPY LEAPY!" and so on. Cats are like"Who are you? No. Don't tell me. I can't be bothered to listen. I'll just slink places and be totally apathetic about some stuff. Meh".
I just like being popular, that's all.

So that it then. And NOW...

The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below asking to beinterviewed.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's willbe different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interviewothers in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask themfive questions.

I am duty bound to fulfill these rules, so if you want questions, ask me and I will provide. In time.

Monday, August 15, 2005

If I'm honest, I'm not sure this post has any discernable thread.

(takes a step back in awe)
You look LOVELY today! Have you lost weight? Well, it looks like it. What's your SECRET? Seriously.
(shakes head)

Er. Anyway.

I had a lovely weekend of not doing too much. Had a curry on Friday night. Went swimming on Saturday, then went out, got pissed. Went to a chip shop on the way home.

Mmm. Chips. And the great thing was that there were so many chips! So many! Chips! (Translation: Fries)
In a big paper bag.
So I doused them in salt, vinegar and ketchup and srcunched the bag at the top and shook them all up, so as to allow the condiments to be evenly distributed through the chippily goodness (although, at the time it was more like "Mmm! Chisp! sal.... ketc'p...vineg..vine..vinnie! La la la shaky shaky..") and then WHAM!

The bag broke.

Let's take a moment to mourn those pretty little chips that had so much potential but were RUINED by the fallacious actions of a drink-ravaged Léonie.


It was KIND OF alright in the end, because The Crush tried to salvage some of the chips and put them in his box of chicken (he saved the ones on top of the pile that were only touching other chips, welded together by ketchup). And seeing as they were only on a table in Amir's Chicken (shout out to them) (even though I find their chip bags DISTINCTLY lacking) and not on an actual floor, it was deemed to be acceptable to shove them in my mouth at high speed. So I got some chips and the world breathed a sigh of relief (possibly mixed with boredom).

What else?

Have you seen the film White Noise?


I think it was RUBBISH. The thing is, if it was just rubbish, that might be ok. But it was also REALLY SCARY. I can't explain the logic of that. All I know is that after you have watched it you feel a bit dead inside at the notion that you have been really freaked out by a film which is actually profoundly crap. So, yeah, not a fan of that one.

I have a couple of days off from work tomorrow and Wednesday. I am getting some photos done for my up-and-coming website. I'm going to have photos of me, and sound-clips of the jazz-stylings of, well, me. And other things too. All to do with ME. Again, I embrace the narcissism.
I shall be hanging around London, decked out it my finest floor-length shot-silk Laura Ashley evening-wear, posing horribly.
I'm doing it for my art, people.

On a different (and arguably entirely irrelevant) note right, did you know that ONE in TWENTY people have an extra rib? Seriously.
And also that there are more people in the UK working in Indian restaurants than working in the ENTIRE coal and steel industries? True story.

My GOD I'm interesting. I sometimes shock even myself.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Just an observation.

You know that little poem that goes

"There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad, she was horrid."

Do you know the one? Yeah?

Well I think that little girl was a manic depressive.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm on the road to.. Somewhere. Finally.

In the last few days I have decided that my life needs a complete overhaul. This overhaul has to be unrelenting. This has come about not because I am unhappy, but, perversely, because I am starting to feel Happy.

Since leaving University last summer I feel I have had, as I'm sure everyone does, a bit of a hard time adjusting to Life On The Outside. Up until the point of graduation there is always someone standing over you with a stick (a proverbial one) (well I suppose it depends which school you went to) and a scowl, saying in booming tones "DO YOUR HOMEWORK, CHILD" or "GET OUT OF BED AND GO TO A LECTURE YOU SLOB, AND FOR GOD'S SAKE CLEAN YOUR ROOM WHILE YOU'RE AT IT".

So, in fits and starts, you obey. You do your homework, albeit at ten o'clock on a Sunday night. You go to just about enough lectures and read as many books as you can, go to seminars and talk about exciting sounding things, like Post-Modernism, Post-Colonialism and Post-Seminargettingdrunkinthebarism. You pass your exams. You get a degree. You get drunk. You walk around for a day trying to balance a bit of black cardboard on your head and feeling a bit stressed because your parents won't stop taking bloody photos of you when you're talking to people you hardly know and you don't realise they're doing it until the person you hardly know lowers their voice and says "don't look now right but there's a man taking photos of us" and you turn around and it's your Dad and you get all flustered because you feel like a loser and all you're really trying to do is avoid standing on the hem of your gown. Ahem. I mean, like, hypothetically, obviously.

Anyway, so University ends. Some people get jobs in the city, selling their souls to the corporations in return for £40 grand a year and a fast-track road to hard-working eighteen-hour-days hell. Some bugger off to travel, delaying the 'real world' under the thin guise of 'finding themselves' or 'charity work'. Others have mysterious 'contacts' whereby they get well paid trendy jobs in trendy industries and get trendy haircuts have lots of vinyl and know lots about mysterious (but trendy) DJs that only the other trendy people with trendy haircuts know about. And SOME people actually do vocational degrees, and do things like become Doctors, or Lawyers, or Philosophers (that was a joke) (but you knew that).

Others have No Idea. They spend months, even years declaring that they Don't Know Yet, while their self-esteem shrivels down to the size of the Beckhams' collective IQ. Then they are alright, so anyone? If this is your situation? It's going to be Just Fine. Please don't end it all now.

For me? I know exactly what I want to do. I want to sing. If I didn't I think I'd want to work for a charity. But the only thing I want to do is sing and, as the Internet is my witness, I will not give up until I am singing for a living. I WILL NOT AND DON'T TRY AND MAKE OR I WILL SET MY DOG ON YOU AND SHE HAS AN AXE.

But I have been feeling really pretty shit for ages. I can see that now because I feel better. Since the end of last summer things have been horrible and complicated. I had no respect for myself and let myself be convinced that I was worthless and pathetic, that I had no drive, no means to DO anything about my dreams. Nobody told me that, but the situations I chose to put myself in drained my confidence in myself. I needed to look to others for support, and when I didn't get what I was looking for for whatever reason, I crumbled. I continued crumbling.

What happened the other week with the bombings and the robbery really shook me up. I went to rock bottom. My self-destructive streak took hold and I felt nothing but contempt for myself, manifesting itself in a way that hurts other people as well as myself.

It was, to be a little flippant, a bit rubbish.


I discovered that I had a support network stronger than I ever could have imagined. My parents have been so unerringly supportive and understanding, offering me love and compassion so much that I thought I would burst with emotion. My friends and sisters have put up with my apathy and moodiness. I pulled out of a holiday that had been planned for months, provoking confusion to say the least, and it was met with warmth and understanding. And The Crush?


I can't even describe how grateful I am to him for all that he has done for me. I am so happy with him. Yeah, he knows that, I'm not just writing it publicly to avoid actually saying it, really I'm not. He has done so much for my confidence, my self-esteem, my everything. Also he laughs at my jokes, which, while admittedly making me wonder sometimes about his sanity, is pretty cool. I laugh at his jokes more, though. I think he's really fucking cool.

Enough of that sentimental mushy crap.

My point is, I am ready now to start Doing Something About My Career. My first step will be getting a website, which Euan (of commenting fame) is going to help me with. On it will be sound clips, gig details and pictures. Other stuff, too.

Does anyone have any input? What should an aspiring singer on the London Jazz scene have on her website? Which links?

When I have done that, and got my demo CD all good and ready, I will become a PR bitch and trawl the streets of London, going into the jazz venues and telling them to hear me and love me. I will ask my jazz friends to play with me (not like THAT [you dirty bitch]). I will earn money through singing. Hear that steely 'I-don't-take-no-shit-no-more' determination.

And that is just one side of my overhaul.. The other involves composition, my Imac, GarageBand, some 'contacts' at some major record labels, and a lot more guts. I'll tell you about that later.

I am getting there.

It is YOUR job to read what I write and tell me I'm not a mentalist for doing this. When I was little and wailing about having to learn my times tables (DEFINITELY more of an artsy person), my Mum used to sit me down and make me repeat the phrase "I CAN and I WILL. I CAN and I WILL". I'm still crap at maths but that's beside the point.

I think I have always felt that I could. It had just become a case of when I would.

And now? Well, now I still feel that I can.

And I think the time has come that I will.

Here goes. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

WARNING: Drama Queen Ahead

(stamps foot)

Let me go home. NOW.

Dear World,

I am being kept hostage by the Man. I want to go now, please, but NO. I CAN'T.

Please arrange rescue by means of a nice bed.

Love Léonie xx

I am sobbing gently.

Well, I am inside anyway and EVERYONE know's it what's inside that counts.

Please send wine and chocolate and pasta with really nice sauce. And some episodes of Scrubs with extra funny on the side. Oh, just be innovative and send me some nice things. If you put on the parcel 'Léonie, London' it should make it. Thank you.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I would like some cheese on the pasta, please.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sometimes you would not BELIEVE the smoothness.

And on Tuesday London was warm and sunny.
But Léonie's brain was devoid of The Funny.

Well, yes, but not in a bad way. I'm feeling a hundred million Mcsquillion times better than I was. I am feeling very, like, determined at the moment. Very empowered and strong-man-like. A bit like maybe if someone asked me to march somewhere in a proud and confident manner I could, and with swing-y arms.

This time last week I couldn't have done. Nor could I have done in the weeks before that - stretching back quite a long time. Funny how things change (tilts head in a ponder-y manner and gazes into the distance with eyes narrowed in a pontificating manner).

I could write a post that's full of meaningless clichés ('it's like somebody's flicked a switch/opened the curtains/removed the elephant from a-top the trap door') but I won't.
Instead I shall just write anything that comes into my head and see what happens.

My knees are hot.

Hang on, I think that might be it.

Oh, no, wait.

The Crush is going exceptionally well. He is now my boyfriend. Yes. I have removed my personal ad from every newspaper in London. Except Gay Times, because that's still not catered for. But despite that, he is lovely.

We worked out the other day what the first thing he ever said to me was. It was the following momentous and earth-shattering sentence:
"Would you like a glass of water?"

Could've been worse. Could've been "My GOD you're ugly. I think my retinas just died" or maybe "I've never met you before, but somehow I instantly hate you loads. Urgh".
I first met him at a party two years ago. I knew who he was, he didn't know who I was because I am NOBODY until I give you a blow job and then you never forget me. Kidding. Hello, Googlers.

No, we hadn't met, but we had made eye contact across the crowded kitchen. A while later he was plucking up the courage to come over and talk to me, and managed it. He walked out of the kitchen as I was making my way out down the stairs. He was gearing himself up to say something impressively witty and staggeringly cool. At which point I? Fell down the stairs.

Of COURSE I did. Slipped over, and then bump-bump-bump down to the bottom.

I wasn't even THAT drunk.




I have a bad back anyway from an incident involving a 50 ft waterfall, Australia, and the fact that I'm a MASSIVE imbecile, so when I had bumped my way to the foot of the stairs I was pale and shaking with pain and nausea. And let us not disregard that old chesnut, crippling humiliation. I think I just sat there, dressed as a witch* trying ferociously to blink back tears and pretend it hadn't happened.
*It was Halloween. I think. I really hope.

The Crush or, at the time The Guy I Thought Was Really Sexy But Didn't Know Yet, came over to me and uttered those magical words. "Would you like a glass of water?".

At which point I vomited in his face.

Not really. But it wouldn't have SURPRISED you, would it? No. Ah you know me so well.

Anyway. Nearly two years later and here we are, Crushing it up. Cool.

Well. I didn't have anything to post about today, and yet it turned out, there WAS something, some nugget of storytelling huddled up in one of the darker, damper recesses of my mind.

I will round off this marvellously disjointed post by telling you that I have an earache and a sore throat.

Ay, me.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I am a formulated projection. Love me.

A comment from the last post. From an Anonymous Person.

"Leonie, I've read a few of your entries and you seem like a really nice woman. However, I kinda get the feeling honey that if you just relaxed and really put yourself across, rather than a formulated projection of the kind of person you think people would find interesting, your "column" could be sincerely engaging. "

Breathe. In through-the-nose-out-through-the-mouth. Br-r-reeeeea-the.

Think I'm relaxed now. Right then, put myself across. (Drums fingers thoughtfully)

Since you left me no name I am going to make you one up. I think you sound like someone who is well-intentioned but annoying, and who give people fashion advice when they don't want it. Or who grimaces and says "Honey, your split ends are TERRIBLE! When did you last get a good cut? LAST YEAR? Oh my GOD! Every six weeks, honey. Every six weeks." Or who reminds other people that they're supposed to be sticking to that diet they announced five minutes ago, and so maybe they shouldn't eat those three tubs of ice cream. I know people like you. Not very well, though, because I am invariably the one on the wrong end of the ice cream spoon and you people make me feel all bad. Like the girl who asked me whether I thought that a white string bikini was REALLY a good idea (it was) or the person who said, upon seeing me with my fringe for the first time, "Huh. well, I suppose you're lucky, with your face you could pull off even worse" (the words 'backhanded' and 'compliment' spring inexplicably to mind). I have decided
to name you Sybil, after Sybil Fawlty. Even though I secretly MUCH prefer her to you because she has a sense of humour, and while I'm sure you're very nice and your sense of humour impeccable, I have no evidence of it so far.

So, Sybil. You say I need to put myself across. Well, I AM doing that. I think that anyone who knows me in person can vouch for that. Just the other day, in fact, my friend Laura told me that she'd read my blog. She said she liked it because she could imagine everything that I've written coming straight out of my mouth. I assume that you, Sybil, mean that maybe I'm not being completely honest about who I am, that I am not representing every aspect of my personality here. You feel that I am picking bits of myself and moulding them to create a person or persona I would like to be seen as.

Yes, you're right. I am doing that.

But so are you, Sybil. You don't write your name at the end of your comment. This is perhaps because you want your comment to come seemingly out of the Internet ether, a piece of well-meaning advice from a benevolent stranger. Why did you call me honey? Because you don't want to be harsh, you don't really want to upset me, just gently offer me something that maybe I cannot see myself. That's why I'm not upset, because you manipulated your words to give me the impression that you are a decent, albeit a little misguided, person.

That's just what I'm doing, and what everyone does, everyday. I choose my words to represent the parts of myself that I prefer, or tell stories I want people to hear. True, I have not told the WHOLE truth about myself.

But if you like, I will tell you some things.

I am competitive.
I am proud.
I am impatient.
I am sometimes vain.
I have the capacity to be a bit of an academic snob.
I have the capacity to get very depressed, and when I do I am very self-destructive.
I am over-sensitive.
I am really really terrified of wasps.

And other stuff as well. So, if that stuff doesn't come across when you read an entry about sex-toys or stupid quizzes, I am sorry. But bear in mind, Sybil, that perhaps it might be a little bit deliberate. That I don't want to dwell on the parts of myself that I dislike because, well, why should I?

Oh, right, to engage you.

Because you feel, when reading my words, that I have created a formulated projection of an 'online personality', that maybe doesn't truly represent the REAl Léonie?

I AM sorry, because I would like to be viewed as honest and open, and I would like for you to like me. But, then, if you don't, if you think I am superficial in my writing? Fine. Whatever. I don't want to know, frankly. Write your own blog, Sybbie (can I call you Sybbie?), then give me the link, and show me how it's done.

Or, alternatively, just don't bother. Just go away and stop annoying me.

I'm glad you commented, though, because it meant that Paul posted this response:

"Oh, and Anonymous? 'Honey'? [cue obscure springer-esque finger clicking motion] Léonie rules. And your patronising post sucks. So bog off."

If you knew Paul you'd know EXACTLY why the image of him doing an obscure springer-esque finger clicking motion is so funny.

Also. Column? In inverted commas? It's not a column. I don't do a page a month in Woman's Own or Take A Break. It's a blog, a weblog. Some people like them, some people think they're narcissistic bollocks. There is one being set up, apparently, every minute. But it is what it is, and I will not apologise for it. And also? Using inverted commas to be non-specifically derisive and patronising annoys me.

So, yeah, bog off. Or should I say "blog" off?

(I'm so sorry)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A bit strange and other things

So, yeah, got to one o'clock in the afternoon today. At work. Suddenly thought to myself "Hang on. I haven't brushed my hair since about this time yesterday".


Something a bit amiss about that.


Guess what? My Power Colour is Lime Green. Apparently. This is what that means:

At Your Highest:You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary. This is true. I have many, many adventures and am capable of making hilarious observations about them. Er, and I see stuff lots.

At Your Lowest:You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in. Yes. It's true. People just don't, like, GET me. I'm very complicated and interesting.

In Love:You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated. Tough. Yes. A bit like steel. Or, I suppose, steel with a soft but heart-wrenchingly dedicated-to-stuff centre.

How You're Attractive:Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room. It's great. People invite me to parties to save on the electricity.

Your Eternal Question:"What else do I need in my life?" It plagues me. Bizarrely the answer often seems to be 'shoes'.

It doesn't mention the fact that I enjoy swinging puppies by their tails and telling small children that Santa Claus doesn't exist. Odd.

Find out what your power colour is, if you like. I mean, you don't HAVE to, I just thought maybe you might enjoy it, or something, but whatever, fine. Don't play then. Oh, actually, do. It's fun. It's like psycho-analysis but, you know, whimsical.

I'm just off to generally be visionary about some things and provide some much-needed light for a room or two.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Titles are for quitters. No, I don't know why.

I just bought a dress. The ONLY reason I bought the dress was to annoy the shop assistant.

Is that in ANY WAY normal behaviour?

The thing is, right, that I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and I wanted to buy a dress for it. Because I own four dresses. Two belong firmly in the 'glamourous slinky black' category, one in the 'hang on there, isn't that dress a bit see through?' category, and the other in the 'my word that girl has some cleavage going on right there' category.

None of which are wedding-appropriate. Unless you are the vicar.

So I found this dress. Not too short. Not see through. And, well, I am well endowed so there is SOME cleavage but not very much. Summery, I thought. Pretty. Smart-but-not-too-smart.

But Shop Assistant? Oh no. Not wedding-y, she said. BEACHY, she said.

Oh. Not even with a jacket? And some, like, shoes and stuff?

She grimaced. Weeell. Is it an outdoor wedding? (read: on a BEACH?)

Oh fuck off, I thought, and bought it.

It's a smart dress! Who wears a SMART DRESS on the beach? I favour the 'as little as possible' approach, personally. Just bikini bottoms usually. I generally do that because I am a bit racy.

The Shop Assistant had perfect hair and immaculate lipgloss and high splinky splonky shoes. I have a ripped denim skirt, messy-to-say-the-very-least hair, no make up on and a ring through my nose. And lots of necklaces that don't really match. I think our standards might be a teeeency bit different.

Anyway. Just thought I'd tell you that.

But yesterday I got the loveliest present ever. Better than, like, a pony, or a dragon of my very own (although that would be COOOOL. I could call it Fire-o or The Scaled Master of Fire or something).

The Crush went to Italy and brought me back a copy of my favourite book. In Italian. I know I sound like a geek, and maybe I am one a bit, but that is AMAZING. I've read Haroun and The Sea of Stories a trillion and one times so I know it pretty well. I know how it sounds and feels and all all of its little idiosyncrasies. So now I can read the words in a language I have never learned, and know exactly what they mean because of the context they're in. That makes me happy.

There's a song in there somewhere.

What else is there to impart? Oh, yeah, I left my keys in Paris. I know, I know. Just hand me the dunce hat now, I will wear it with, if not pride, then certainly a fair amount of resignation. It's ok though because my parents are going to visit this week so they can bring them back for me. But still. Scatty I remain.

I am, however, feeling a lot better. Cheerfuller. Fuller of cheer.

I have had a little more sleep than usual, I am excited about things. I have enough mental capacity to be able to plan things for myself and to even consider the possibility that maybe things will end well. That I will get where I want to be.

You know, I've never been QUITE sure what the phrase 'swings and roundabouts' means, but I have an odd suspicion that it might apply right about here.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back in London. Not quite back in the game.

Bonjour mes petites croissants!

In the last four days I have done the following:

Been to Paris.

Seen Impish Sophie.

Got drunk a bit.

Come back from Paris.

And some other things too. It was lovely to see my little sister, who is lovely and pretty. I, however, am not. I am mean and nasty. I think I take my unhappiness out on people who do not deserve to have to put up with me.

I am not convinced I was in any way good company. I think I was horrible. I think maybe I still am.

Nevertheless I will soon write a blow by blow account of My Little Trip To Paris. I will tell you about the the coffees, the beers, and the wines. There will no doubt be much talk of pain au chocolats. I will tell of La Paris Plage, of hiring bikes in the Bois de Boulonge, of seeing La Tour Eiffel from a distance and debating whether it was, in fact, just a large electricity pylon. Of singing jazz with strangers until 6 am. Of Nigel, the little bug-like creature residing in Sophie's bathroom.

All that, however, will have to wait until tomorrow.

I hope you all had a lovely four days without having to torture yourselves with my nonsensical ramblings. Did you do anything nice? Did you have a picnic? Or go on a date? Or hear a surprisingly funny joke from someone who usually isn't very funny?

Please inform.