Friday, September 30, 2005

After This I Will Stop Mentioning The Boots. I Promise.

The boots, they are mine. Pippa came with me and we went to Carnaby Street, and I ran up to the sales person and, grabbing him by the shoulders and staring deep into his frightened eyes, demanded the boots my heart had been hankering after. After a whip-round and a couple of calls they produced some horse tranquilizers and sat me down on the leather seats-of-trying-on. Then he emerged from the basement, holding a velvet, diamond-studded cushion. Upon which were The Boots, sitting proudly, waiting to be united with their owner. There were gasps all around as I slid them onto my feet, and as I took a couple of steps the hush that had descended turned into exclamations of joy and rapturous applause.

No, what really happened was that Pippa and I went to Office on Carnaby Street, sweated and pushed our way through the Late Night Shoppers (a mean and viscious bunch), waited for about half an hour for one of the snooty sales people to make eye contact, waited another half an hour for him to slouch off to find my boots, I tried them on, we nodded reverently, I handed over some cash and we left.

But it was good and HOLY CRAP but they are lovely.


You don't care about that! They're just boots, you cry! Quite right. Instead I want to talk about chat up lines.

As a girl, is it acceptable to use chat up lines? Or even as a man?
My take on it is that, as long as you're doing it in an ironic way, it's ok. However, I must confess that I have used the odd chat up line, in a way that is possibly not so much with the ironic.
Oh God. I am so embarrassing.

Chat Up Lines I Have Used Maybe:

1. So, what's a nice boy like you doing in a place like this?
DEFINITELY ironic. This worked. I think he laughed, and after a bit asked me whether I came here often. It became something that is very useful when trying to chat someone up: A Joke.
2. Seriously, if you don't stop saying that, I'm going to have to kiss you.
Well, not so much of a chat up line, but definitely a line. I think I have used this twice. When I was younger. It worked both times. With this one it is important to only say it in appropriate situations. Not one for use at customs, for example.
3. So, where's your girlfriend tonight? What? You don't have a girlfriend? Whyever not?
(hangs head) And you wonder why I get through so many boyfriends. (What? You didn't? It was obvious?Oh.) I cannot believe I have said this. But I have. I think I ran away shortly after the words escaped my lips. So, no, this one was not successful.

I don't think I have used any more really obvious ones. One of the very best ones I have heard is when some guy came up to my friend and said:
"Hi! Nice shoes. Wanna fuck?"
As I recall she declined.

So my question is this: Have you ever used a chat up line? Did it work? Tell me your stories.

Oh please have stories. I know I am brazen, but it will be alright if you are, too.

(laughs flirtatiously and tosses hair)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Jazz-in-Boots (not the pharmacy)

Tonight I shall be strolling forth from work, at six o'clock, with the cool, relaxed demeanor of a speeding bullet from a gun. Why? I shall tell you.
I spoke to the nice lady in the Office shop on Carnaby Street. Somehow she managed to interpret my excited, high-pitched, I'm-not-sure-but-I-think-it-might-be-Christmas squeals and subsequently tell me that she has found the boots, in a size five, and she is holding them for me herself until I burst through the doors at full speed this evening, elbowing old ladies and limbless orphans out of the way, and hand over my £65. She also assured me that, yes, they WERE made by fairies, and conceded that there was also a faint possibility that they were made from fairies as well.
Then she hung up. I may or may not have done a small dance of joy.

I have a gig on Thursday. It's another jazz showcase. The other one was very cool so come to this one and listen to those high-pitched squeals in person.
Here is the link. You are all invited!

I have a gig in November, which is much more exciting, in terms of location and audience. AND I spoke to the lady I know at a certain Very Big Record Label With Three Letters For A Name, and she wants to come down and watch it. And watch me. Which is great. Really, really good news.
Why, though, am I so scared? Why is it that whenever something potentially life-changing happens, all I really want to do is sit in a corner and read a book?
I am a contradiction.

Ay, me. The only consistency I have in my life at the moment comes from a pair of boots I don't own yet. Can't help feeling that there might be something fundamentally, you know, wrong about that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yes. There have been three. But none of them have been made out of such soft suede.

My feet are not as loooong as the one in the picture. So, a shorter footed version of the above. That is my chosen New Boot for the season. And I will buy another one, very similar or even exactly the same, for the other (also shorter) foot. Thus my feet, my shins, my knees and just above my knees will be happy and matchy and the world will rejoice. Well, I will rejoice and the rest of the world will look on in wild, unbridled apathy.

Dear Boots-I-Have-Not-Yet-Bought-But-Will-Soon,
I love you. Please be in my size. (5) I love you.
Lots of love (lots of it)
Léonie (who loves you)
P.S Did I mention how much I love you? Well, it's lots.

You see, in my last post I mentioned how I have racked up three boyfriends in the last year. This is a record. Actually it's not.
Anyway, my point is that I will no longer fall in love with human people, but instead I will channel all my passion onto inanimate objects, more specifically, footwear. This may not sound like a good option for some, but you should SEE these boots. We're made for each other. I saw them the other day. It was love. And the very best thing about this sort of love is that you can BUY it for £65!

Imagine the conversations! The long getting-to-know-you nights. The frolicking! We will make each other feel special. It will be beautiful.

Or should I say...

(oh, you know exactly what's coming, don't you?)


(And there you have the reason I am not allowed near real-life people. Right there. [hangs head])

UPDATE: Read this. It's funny.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

'Tis the season of the New Pencil Case.

I wrote a post yesterday. I'm not going to claim that it was a terribly good post, but I wrote it and then Blogger decided to spit it out into the swirling ether of the 'ternet, never to be seen again. I was a bit relieved, actually, as it was a complain-y sort of a post, and you wouldn't have liked it. I didn't like it. But I do still feel like, as its creator, I should be the one to decide whether it was fit for the consumption of others or not. Stupid Blogger, ruining my life.

Anyway. The gist of it was about how a whole year has passed since I graduated (more than a year, but I counted the summer holidays last year as university time). It was about how strange that is, and how it feels like loads has happened, but also that nothing really has. It depends how you choose to measure it.

Ways To Measure The Year (a concept ruthlessly stolen from the musical 'Rent'):

Boyfriends: Three.
Jobs: Three and some exciting temping.
Addresses: Two.
Steps taken to further career: Some. Not sure how big they were, though.
Blogs: One. Little one.
Tattoos: One.
Bottles of wine consumed: One. And a half. Maybe. Give or take.
Hairstyles: Two. Sort of. In that I now push my fringe to the side.
Robbers encountered: One.
Flirations with strangers on the tube: Three hundred and sixty five multiplied by twenty?... Ooh lots.
Fun times: So many. Too many. My bank account will testify.
Shit times: Also too many. But in the words of Jill Scott "sometimes we've all got to swim upstream". (nods wisely) True, Jill, true.
Friends made: Loads. Really, actually, loads.
Friends lost: One or two.

Anyway. It's been eventful. There've been some really, really rubbish times, when I've felt like I couldn't get up, let alone go on. I know myself, I know there will always be those times, because that is part of who I am, like it or not. I am capable of deep depression and ecstatic highs. I've learnt that in the last year. I've also learnt that there are some people who cannot understand that, who will not understand that, and some of those people, whilst not understanding, can accept it. Some can't. And that can be shit. But it's the Way Things Are.

If you know what I mean. That last paragraph was a bit tangled up.

Does there come a time when you stop thinking in academic years? Autumn will always be the start of a new year to me, I think. And it's nice because, to quote Bridget Jones, it is also the season of New Boots. For which I say this: HURRAY!

So. Here's to a new year. May it bring more fun times, more new friends, and perhaps another bottle and a half of wine along the way.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What begins with 'W' and is even better than Whitton?

Friday springs upon us, like this: spu-RING!

Hello, Friday. You're my very favourite.

Apart from Saturday. Although it could be argued that Friday night is better than Saturday, because there's the weekend stretching ahead of you in a lounging, velveteen manner. Tantalising you with its very best 'Come out and play, do with me what you will, for I am Weekend, and I am your bitch' look.


I have rehearsal tomorrow and then a party on Saturday night, where I will see some people I haven't seen in a while. It's a party in a garden, where there will be a marquee and beer, probably. No, definitely. There will definitely be beer and a marquee. There is also a kind of relaxed cowboy theme. By which I mean that the theme will be relaxed, not too strict, as opposed to meaning that we'll all dress in cowboy hats and leather chaps and just lassoo (sp?) some cows and stuff, but, like, be all laid back and kind of 'meh' about the whole thing.

I do love dressing up.
Today I am wearing my 'twenty-something young lady in an office with no dress-code and who enjoys wearing ripped stuff and inappropriate red lipstick' costume. People are totally falling for it. I also am wearing the ring, instead of the stud, in my nose. So punk rock, aren't I? What? Oh, no, you're right, I'm not. I did just do a pirouette* in the middle of the office, though. That's pretty cool.

*Pirouette = sticking arms above head, adopting serious expression, then flinging self in a circular motion with wild abandon.

My God I have to stop typing, I think I might be talking shit.

Have a lovely weekend, my (sometimes I think my only) friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Clutching my golden ticket and leaping for joy.


You know that thing when you enter a competition on a blog you read a lot because it's funny and cool and witty and all about beauty things, advice you read and nod your head at but are too lazy to follow but you like reading it anyway? And you know when you WIN that competition? And you know when the prize is a goody bag of samples of things like lip gloss and stuff that you love?


Well... (can you guess what's coming?)

That happened to me. Today.


(bows again, acknowledging the rapturous and unrelenting applause)

In other news: there is no other news. That is the most exciting thing that's happened to me since Wild Whitton Wednesday. (It was actually a Sunday but that didn't begin with W so I changed it.)

I have to go and calm down somewhere, and remind myself that, although mine is an incredible achievement, some people have done things that are at least comparable. Like curing disease, reducing world poverty, or inventing Zach Braff.

Whatever, I'm still proud of myself. I literally can't stop bowing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Léonie is still rubbish at computers!

The thing is, right, that I'm not sure that I'm very much of a technological genius. Now, I know you're all protesting wildly and gesturing frantically at the computer screen, appalled by my modestly. Seriously, though. I think I might be a bit, well, crap.

That's alright, though. I have other talents. Hell, you should see me Morris Dancing.

Anyway, so here's the deal. On Sunday I woke up in Whitton. It's a place that is technically in London, but also feels like it might be not. Because it's suburban, like. I was there because Euan had a murder mystery party at his parents' house on Saturday night and I gatecrashed it. Well, I was invited, actually, but to say I gatecrashed makes me sounds a bit rebellious and cool. Or like a loser with no mates. Definitely one of the two.
My character's name was Sam Gelding, I was a man (which, in real life, I am not) and I was not the murderer (which, in real life, I am) (not really) (and even if I was, you're a whole Internet away so you wouldn't need to be scared) (I do know where you live, though). I guessed who the murderer was, though.

There was lovely food and drink and it was very nice and fun.

The next day everyone else left, because, apparently for some people Sunday is a real day in which it is possible to DO stuff and not just get over a hangover and feel slightly depressed about the imminence of Monday. So Euan and I were left. We played the bongo game for a while until I realised that I HATE doing things I'm not good at and demanded to do things I CAN do. Like walk. I can walk and have been doing for a good few years now, so I felt confident about doing that for a bit. So. I know! cried Euan. Let's go for a walk! Around Whitton!

UPDATE: I didn't actually mean to publish that post. I saved it because I got bored of writing it, so I thought, oh, I'll just save the draft and go and change loads and add later. But then, in a staggeringly appropriate display of technological idiocy I accidentally published it. I'm a knob. Hey, you knew that before you came here, so don't complain.

So Euan and I walked. We walked around. And, guess what! We took pictures!

Good LORD, but we're exciting people.

Anyway, so my point is that Euan sent me the pictures and I uploaded them but I couldn't really do it right so they're in the wrong order so they won't make sense and, oh, whatever. I'm shit. But I do know a funny café name when I see one, and you will too, shortly.

UPDATE: I'm endearingly bad at this stuff. The photos are below. And that's not even all of them. But I did it myself so I will be proud anyway. HA.

The reason these aren't in the order I would've liked is because I uploaded the images myself and I am technologically inept.

This is me modelling a necklace that I bought from a charity shop. It was one of the only shops open in Whitton on a Sunday. The other shops open were Iceland (we found everyone's Mums in there) (you'll only get that if you're English) (and it's not really funny anyway) and Superdrug. This necklace was an original gold leaf one, and cost me £20.
OR it was plastic and cost me 20p.
I cherish it like it is the former, yet there is a part of me (my brain) that knows it is the latter.
This wasn't the first thing we did. Nor was it the first photo I uploaded, but this is the order Blogger gave me. Who am I to argue?
In this photo I look like I haven't slept properly in about six years. That wouldn't be accurate. I am just sickly-looking and need a good dose of fresh air. And, apparently, pubs don't count.

He he he he he. This is a café. It was closed. We could not, unfortunately, go in and taste it's well advertised delicacy. In thia photo I am doing a 'triangle' shape with my hands, to emphasise the humour. Because why would a man named Richard be shaped like a triangle? (What? That's not the joke? Oh. I don't get it then.)

Then we went to the pub. We were just having a small interchange regarding how little there is to do in Whitton, when WHAM! We were proven wrong. How silly did we feel when this started happening? Very, that's how silly. Because! Look!

We think they were on drugs. They were partying HARD, my friends. I like the two small figures in pink on the pavement, who are like, we can SO do that. Don't think you're special! Anyone can walk and swing their arms, you're not so special. (Also the one in the pnk poncho? Is Euan.)

Then we did some drugs of our own! Look!

Coke! Anything Kate Moss can do, I can do better, see? (Well, apart from modelling, I suppose)

We also saw the pub called the White Hart! Where someone was stabbed! Euan reckoned it was a taxi driver but I think it was an Evil Lord Of Darkness who tried to steal the White Hart to make a special potion that would free all evil in the world like Pandora's Box. It could be argued at this juncture that I watch too much Charmed.

In this picture Euan is pretending to have been stabbed. It looks very real, but don't panic, it's not real, he's just a Very Good Actor and is pretending really hard. I'll do more photos later on.

Monday, September 19, 2005

WARNING: Bordering-on-feminist rant coming up. Take cover.

Something I have learnt to expect as a singer, is that there are certain times when people listen, and other times when they don't. I don't think I could be in a room with people playing live music and not listen, but that's just me so, whatever. At a corporate lunch, for example, people aren't there to listen to music, they're there to get drunk on free champagne and network. There's a tiny part of me that's like HELLO! OVER HERE! Standing singing for three hours without being glanced at once is pretty soul destroying but, yeah, I don't really mind. There's something quite fun about being able to flagrantly watch people for hours without being slapped with those infernal restraining orders.

Anyway. One of these such corporate lunches was just following the usual pattern of mundanity and back slapping. I was just, la la la, singing away. The theme of the lunch was 'purple', it seemed. There were purple bellinis, all the catering staff had purple sashes, the table decorations, glasses, bar lights, all of it. Purple, purple, purple. I was looking around, and noted that it was a very male dominated event. About a hundred people, five of whom were women. Oh, I thought, must be a very male industry, this one. Then I noticed that, as well as the five women in suits and business attire, there were four women in swinky swanky black dresses and REALLY nice shoes. They were all blonde, all very attractive, all in their late twenties, I reckoned. And they all had these purple sashes around their waists. Their dresses were all different, they all looked very richly dressed and, well, classy, I suppose would be the right word.

I watched them for a while, because I couldn't work out what their role was in the whole three hour lunch proceedings. Maybe meet and greet. But they weren't, really. Maybe waitresses. But they weren't doing that, and anyway, the waiters and waitresses all had black shirts and trousers and purple ties. I wondered and watched through Summertime, through Night and Day, through Misty. As canapés and bellinis finished, the crowd back slapped and guffawed their way over to the tables, and the purple sash brigade took seats at the head table. There was a purple sasher placed between each of the men at the table. So it went suit, blonde, suit, blonde, suit, blonde, suit, blonde, suit.

As lunch progressed I watched the flirty demeanor of the women, the hands placed on the arms, the laughing at jokes and the gracefully accepting of refills of wine. I stared in horror as I realised that these women were being paid as to provide amusement and distraction from the serious world of work. They had been hired for their looks, their ability to listen and appear interested in the stories they were told, to provide witty repartée. They had been told to dress in black dresses, and then been given colour-coded sashes to mark them out.

It made me want to smash things.

I didn't feel sorry for the women, they're probably earning good money taking advantage of a society in which it is acceptable to treat women as objects, to openly view them as ornaments and decorations. I was insulted on behalf of the men. Someone, somewhere, had clearly assumed that these men could not possibly have anything to talk about between themselves, that they would not enjoy themselves without the company of a pretty little lady to gaze at them and be delighted by their sheer maleness. Well. There were about one hundred men there. In theory ten of those men would've been gay. So they really should have provided one hunk in a tux (with a purple hanky, maybe), in the interests of fairness. And THEN there were the five or so women who were there on business. I don't know whether they noticed, or even cared. It was probably a woman who decided to draught in some models to entertain the men. This isn't a case of men oppressing women. This is a case of a society being so very flawed in this way (and I acknowledge it is one of many), and people blindly accepting it, and furthermore taking advantage of it, making money out of it. It's the way things are, people argue, why not benefit?

Because it's disgusting. Wrong. The point is that this is the twenty-first century and yet, in what is in theory one of the most advanced cities in the world, it is still acceptable to treat women like geishas. It makes me sick.


Alright, that's it, I'm finished. You can come out from behind your chair now.

Coming up: A tour of Whitton - London suburb - in pictures. Including the café - Triangle Dicks - and the pub where someone got knifed once.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

True story, I SWEAR.

This morning, on the train, I was looking out of the window, and I saw a bush that looked like a cartoon moose. And that's not even all. The wind was blowing so that it looked like the moosebush was eating! Like, contemplatively chewing some grass or something. THAT doesn't happen every day.

I nearly tapped the man next to me* on the shoulder and showed him, but a) I was too excited and I might not have been able to get the words out, and b) I thought he might've thought I was weird.

*When I say 'next to me' I mean practically sitting on my lap, sharing my Ipod and sipping at my latte.

So THAT was fun. You know you'll have a good day when it starts off with greenery doing impressions of animated animals.

Monday, September 12, 2005

In some ways I am very like Holly Golightly.

You know when you just wake up scowling? Glaring. Spitting venom.

Yeah, that was me today.

I opened my eyes and just thought "FUCK". Like that, in capitals and everything. I got out of bed, furiously. Showered with acid-like wrath pouring from my eyeballs. Got dressed bitterly cursing. And THEN started the commute.

Because, if you're in an irrationally bad mood, the BEST thing to do is stand on a train platform with a million and one people waiting to be told that your train is delayed and that you will have to sweat it out on a packed train with your face in a fat man's armpit.

Thing is, right, there is no reason for my bad mood. I have had a nice weekend. Friday night I went out and got pissed and had fun. There was dancing, there was beer, there was fun. Saturday night I went to Jenny's house and watched films and chilled with her. Sunday my sister came over. There was cake.

Actually herein lies the problem, I think.

The key words: Beer. Cake. Films (with an obligatory side of crisps).

I am now On A Diet. Meaning? I will continue as I am, more or less, but give myself a REALLY hard time about the fact that I can no longer fit properly into a pair of jeans I don't like anyway. Thing is, my sister (who came over yesterday) is teeny-tiny. A completely different body shape to me. She's small, and fragile and skinny. I am taller and not fragile looking, and am well endowed in the chesticular department. Not fat, but fatter than my Mum and sisters. I think I am too competitive, too proud, and I HATE that I feel fat when I'm around my family. It's RIDICULOUS. Of all people it should be your family around whom you feel the most relaxed and accepted, and I know that they don't care about how I look compared to them. I do, though.

I think I've recently come to the conclusion that it is my pride that causes me the most problems in my interactions with people and my attitude towards myself. Pride is destructive, I think. I hold grudges, I resent myself for 'letting' things happen to me, I HATE making mistakes and have to force myself to take criticism. In some ways I like this part of me. It reflects my determination about stuff (like constructing decent sentences, perhaps?).
What it does not do, however, is allow me to be a forgiving person. I wish that I could be. I wish that I could forgive people who have hurt me, but I can't and I don't know why. I wish that I could wake up one morning, not fit into a pair of jeans and resolve simply to do a little more exercise and not drink as much, but I can't do this unless it's accompanied by a large helping of self-loathing and introspection. And, as you can see, pointless and boring self-analysis.

Anyway. So I think my mood is diffusing a little bit.

I don't usually get bad moods. I get depressed, but rarely feel that poisonous anger that signifies a 'stay the fuck away from me because eating you whole? WOULD TOTALLY CHEER ME UP' day.

What are you like? Probably everyone is as hard on themselves as I am on myself.

I have a busy week this week. I have a rehearsal tonight, I have arranged to meet five different people for a drink, even though I only have three nights spare. Because I have another gig on Friday. Which is good, because I like being busy.

Just as soon as I shake these mean reds I will be able to get on with it. Any tips?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Let's all join in - and a whinge.

Just look at this. I LOVED it.

I'm going to make one and I think you should too.


I feel ill. I feel like I need to be collected from my current location in a big car made of pillows and gently carried back to my bed. My head aches. My throat feels like someone is squeezing it. My chest might as well have a big boot-print on it. I can't see very well and my fingers keep hitting the wrong buttons so that I'm making twice as many typos as usual. Also? My tongue hurts. I don't know why and I'll have none of those lewd thoughts here, thank you very much. My back hurts. My ears hurt. I HURT.

Ay, me.

It's either a bad cold or an as yet unidentifiable disease that manifests itself in the same ways as a bad cold but is much worse and hurtier.

Will you book me a pillow-taxi, please? You don't need an address, just address it to 'The Girl Standing In A Pool Of Her Own Snot, London'.



I'm off sick.

I HATE being off sick. I feel like I'm skiving. I feel like I don't deserve to eat anything because I haven't done anything. I feel like my parents think I'm making it up because I'm lazy. I feel like maybe I AM making it up because I'm lazy. I feel like I should be outside, enjoying "one of those absolutely GLORIOUS summer days" that my mother thinks I should be revelling in, instead of sitting slumped on the sofa, trawling through Sky to find some re-run of something to watch.

I find that the self-loathing overtakes the ill feeling. Or maybe they join forces to create some sort of uber-yuckiness.

Physically I'm feeling a little better, which is good because I can NEVER take more than one day off sick, because the guilt gets too much to bear.

Maybe it comes from when I was little and I had to get up, no matter how ill I was, to do my cello practice for the required twenty-five minutes each day. Yeah, that'll be some of my personal, own-brand pop-psychoanalysis there for you. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, sorry.

Right, I'm going to go and find some American soap to watch that will make me feel fat, ugly and badly dressed.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Another weekend flits by, then, leaving in its wake a plodding, grudging working week.

I think I might be a little whimsical in this account of my weekend and do it backwards. Not like dnekeew ym saw siht, although that would indeed be whimsical. I will just do it in anti-chronological order. Because, yes, I find that sort of thing a bit fun. I'm going to try and do it in a kind of 'like 24 but backwards and with less intrigue and not as much American and also with a considerably less attractive cast' type of way. It seems almost inevitable that I will quickly get bored of doing this and delete the whole post, but I will try.


10.30 pm: Off to bed. Feeling hot, a bit dizzy, and very tired. Open all windows in my room to try to escape the sticky-hot heat. This does not work.

9.30 pm: Arrive home in a taxi from the pub (I know, you are MASSIVELY surprised at this turn of events, but try not to die of shock). Decide to watch some episodes of Spaced. Laugh, albeit tiredly.

7.30 pm Arrive at pub. After brief discussion with Pippa a bottle of wine is purchased. The next couple of hours are spent diligently consuming the wine and being sociable.

7.oo pm: Leave Rugby Sevens (ah HA, intrigue - you see how I introduce this without giving you any background? It's because I enjoy messing with your head) feeling a bit drunk, a bit over-sunned, and a bit overwhelmed by the passion that can be induced when you put loads and loads of VERY sexy rugby players on a field and make them run around and play sport, often with no tops on.

3pm: Arrive at the annual Harpenden Rugby Sevens tournament. Try to remain cool whilst resisting the desire to lick all of the beautiful hunks of burning rugby player that are casually wandering around inciting lust in every woman within a fifty mile radius. Spend a lovely, lovely few hours strolling around in the company of friends, of which the female variety were marvelling at the sharp-intake-of-breath-inducing, frantic-application-of-lipgloss-engendering sexiness of the players and the male variety were mumbling things about maybe starting to do some sit-ups and how, oh my GOD, we weren't even looking at their FACES and one or two mentions of us being shallow bitches. Yeah, whatever, get back to me when I can grate cheese on your abs*. I also drank some beer out of squishy plastic cups. There was also some rubgy.

*I would like to point out at this juncture that I am not really that fickle. I'm NOT. Sense of humour and personality are the most important things. It's just that, when you come (no pun intended) that close to specimens that glorious, it's DIFFICULT to think about conversation of any kind.

1.30pm: Meet Pippa, Andrew and Nick in a pub. Consume beer.

10 am: Wake up. Exhausted. Try to get back to sleep. Fail despite attempts at some home-made meditation techniques and giving myself firm talkings to. Grudgingly get up, wander downstairs and watch TV for a bit, venemously berating myself for not sleeping enough. Get distracted by an episode of Charmed.

2am: Get in. Exhausted. Despite sobrerity crawl into bed, sobbing.


Midnght: Try not to cry as it becomes clear that the car I am in is going the wrong way up the M11. Towards Norfolk, NOT away. NOT towards London-and-the-South-East. Successfully resist urge to cry, and instead concentrate on finding Alex (the driver) an alternative route that makes the most of our million mile diversion.

9.30pm-or-thereabouts: Leave Norfolk for London.

8pm: Wake up. Feel enormous sense of relief as I realize I can drink Diet Coke without vomiting. Watch the second half of Ben Hur, wondering vaguely why I was watching it and also why all the chariot-races were filmed in Real Time.

5.30pm: Crawl into a spare bed in a Alex's house in Norfolk, trying not to move my head and placing a can of Diet Coke on the bedside table, praying that at some point I would be able to hold that, or just some water, or oh-God-please-some-paracetamol in my stomach for more than a minute. Close eyes tightly and wait for the glorious oblivion of sleep.

4.30pm: Get back to Alex's house from the party house. Try and watch some soothing episodes of Charmed but am unable to open my eyes without wanting to die.

3pm: Wake up in a house in Norfolk.

9am: Fall restfully into a spare bed in a huge house somewhere in Norfolk. Try to drink some water. Fall asleep before I can quite manage it.

6am-ish: Watch the sunrise over the narrow pencil line-like strip of sea on the horizon. Listen in awe to the silence of the real countryside and then the slowly increasing noise as the birds wake up and sing without being drowned out by the buzzing hum of a capital city. Contemplate sleep and opt for more gin based concoctions, viewing it as the more sensible option.

2am-ish: Get back to the party house. Spend the next lots of hours drinking various gin/tonic/ice cream combinations and being asked to sing to people who must've been on something to have wanted me to sing that much. I don't care, I like the attention. In retrospect, the gin and ice-cream thing might've been a unwise choice. I SWEAR it tasted nice at the time, though. The party was in an ideal party house, full of huge, spacious rooms, with an open-plan tile-floored downstairs in which to whimsically dance and smash glasses. A large 'deck'-like balcony and extensive gardens. These sorts of houses are people's second homes. My family does NOT have a second home, but I was still allowed to go to the party. Go me.

1.30am: The party in the big fancy converted barn finishes.


11pm: Finish singing. Spend the next 2.5 hours hitting the free bar whilst trying to find someone to talk to who is willing to talk to me for more than five seconds. I don't know why this was so difficult. They were REALLY posh. Like, all public school* people with enormous hair and and loads of money. Which, obviously, I have no objection to. I SWEAR, though, a couple of people asked me which school I went to, and when they hadn't heard of it, lost interest in talking to me. But, you know, free bar, so whatever. People kept looking at me and braying "Ohhhh.. you're the jazz singer? Yah, yah, excellent singing. Yah. Loved it. Just going to snort some more coke and therefore reduce my attention span even more. Byeee dahhhling!". They didn't really say the bit about the coke, but they might as well have.

*Public school = private school in UK. Fee-paying.

8.30pm: Start singing, with Alex on keys, Carl on sax, Patrick on bass and Chris on drums. I don't know these people very well. Well, I have sung with Alex a bit in London so I DO know him. As a gig, it went very well. It was fun, and the money was good. I'd almost go so far as to say that the money was very good. Sang lots of different songs, my favourite I think being Night and Day, and Love For Sale, both of which can be done in a really sexy bossa-style. I also LOVE singing Summertime, because I just do. So, fun.

2 pm: Get picked up from Central London by Alex, having left work early. Get driven up to Norfolk.

And, I suppose, that's about it.

I'm not sure I like that style of writing about my weekend, but, you know, experimentation is such FUN. I have an audition tomorrow, and have been asked to potentially do another gig in Leicetser Square soon. I fear that one will take a LOT of organization on my behalf, but I can do that. Will you all come and watch, if I do?

I hope you had a lovely weekend. I'm going to go and practise for my audition tomorrow, and then sleep.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Nostalgia: Making the present look crap.

Last night I went to meet my friend Jenny, who is my best friend. I met Jenny through an orchestra in which we both used to play the cello from the age of maybe 13 to 15. Maybe younger than that.
Every Monday night we used to grudgingly go along the music school, sit wearily upon the hard plastic chairs and shiver through an hour and a half of various bits of Mozart, Bach, Brahms and the rest of the crew.
To shake things up a bit we would sometimes try to subtley de-tune our cellos so that we could have to waste a bit of time tuning them, shaking our heads in badly-faked exasperation. Other times, when the going became particularly tough or we had been told off for talking for the fiftieth time in the last ten minutes, we would play the whole piece on open strings, without putting our fingers on any notes. With a ten people-string cello section it wasn't that obvious what we were doing, it just kind of subtley making things sound all wrong.
I know, I know, rebellious. Rock and ROLL.

So Jenny and I have been good friends since the old days of Monday night orchestrations, and then we went travelling together before we parted ways to go to different universities. She went off to Nottingham and I went to Warwick.

I treasure the memories of travelling with my Jen. Sometimes when we meet up we get out those memories and unwrap them, telling each other stories we both already know, recalling people we met and loved, places we stayed.

Last night we did that.

We remembered my nineteenth birthday, spent in a banana factory on the East coast of Australia in a place called Tully. We started work at 6am, and stood in 2 inches of water in a production line in the huge fluorescently lit factory, packing bananas in boxes until 4pm. With two fifteen minute breaks. In the whole day. That's a LOT of banana packing. Jenny was standing behind me, and we spent the whole day telling each other variations on the following joke:
What do you call a really cunning popstar?
Wiley Minogue.
Variations can be, for example, What do you call a popstar that floats on the surface of water? Bobby Williams. Or What do you call a popstar who has to shave their whole body every day? Mariah Hairy.
You get the picture. I didn't say they were good jokes.

We remembered the time I fell off my moped in the Cook Islands and spent an hour taking photos of a really insignificant looking crab because (as it later transpired) I was in shock.

Also the time we watched a lightning storm whilst camping in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, and stood in awe as the raggedy streaks lit up the sky like a network of luminous veins from horizon to horizon.

Climbing in Thailand, sky-diving in New Zealand, diving in Cairns.

The people we wanted to be, the people we secretly fell in love with, the people whose necks we would have cheerfully wrung.

The time I got sunburnt so badly that I had blisters all over my back and arms for two weeks, making putting my rucksack on impossible. Jenny's run in with bedbugs, resulting in five pence piece-sized bites agonizingly erupting all over her legs. Sunbathing topless for the first time. Getting our noses pierced together. Not, like, pierced together so that we were joined at the nose with one bit of metal, no, I meant at the same time. Then mine being wrong and my nose swelling up inside and the man having to wrench the piercing out with pliers in an operation that took twenty minutes of screaming and swearing (me) and being in danger of testicles being ripped off (him).

We don't always talk about travelling when we get together. We discuss our career plans, our love situations, our families, our living situations, everything that best friends talk about. But sometimes we open the box where we keep our mutual memories and re-live the experiences that bonded us so tightly. Last night was one of those times, and it was lovely.

And, before you ask, yes. There was wine. I am not ashamed.