Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Fry-up, and goodbye.

On average, approximately how many times per day do you yawn?

Lots of times. Particularly on the tube. Even if I am feeling more awake than a pony on speed, I get onto the tube and nearly pass out from fatigue. It's an affliction.

What was your most memorable school field trip?

A trip to Tenby in Wales, when I was eleven. It was in the last year of primary school, and was the most exciting thing ever in the world to be going on that trip that, at Roundwood JMI, had become a symbol of growing up and moving on from the childish to the adult. Also there was a day at a castle (I forget which one) for which we had to dress in medieval clothes, and I loved dressing up. I still love dressing up.
Also Darren Smith gave me a ring, which was really exciting, but then it turned out he meant to give it to Emily Henry, and so he asked for it back from me so he could give it to her. In front of everyone, which was big fun. Oh, also Aaron Southgate said he wouldn't go out with me because my legs were too skinny.
Pin-legs notwithstanding, it was a great trip.

Fill in the blank: I was extremely __________________ this week.

I was extremely excited about my impending holiday (oh, had I mentioned that?) this week.

Main Course
Which color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?


What is something that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?

A Pret Super Club sandwich. Not much more.


A blogging hiatus will now ensue for the next week, while I am off having my freckles enhanced. I have nearly packed, by which I mean that I have written a brazillion lists and worried about it loads without actually having put a single thing in a suitcase.

I am just at the 'hoping desperately' stage with the concert tomorrow, now. I can't think of anything else I can do to make sure it goes well, so I must just leave it up to the fates. I hope the fates are on my side.

I hope everyone has a fun week, even without my inane chatterspeak.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some talk of breasts, also of pies.

Yesterday evening I went to Bravissimo in Covent Garden. Which is the place where all the bras and the bikinis for the likes of me live. I bought another bikini, so that now I have two. The new one is exactly the same shape and style as the other one, but with thick and bright yellow, orange, pink and white stripes instead of being turquoise.

It is also constructed of two triangles and some string.

I tried it on last night (a little drunk, but I do find that's the preferred state to be in whilst viewing oneself in an outfit the surface area of which would leave a handkerchief-maker casting around for extra scraps) and silently dedicated my first born child to the woman whose idea Bravissimo was. For women like me, small of back but big of hooter, it's a lifesaver. I remember being fifteen, and my Mum taking me to Rigby and Peller (a very posh corsetiere next to Harrods) where we bought a couple of dinner plate-esque granny bras with straps the size of my arms, and a horrible bikini for £85. Which is a lot of money. Particularly considering that it had little sail boats on it and was too big around my back so it always rode up. Also the bottoms were massive, had elastic around the waist and made me feel about fifty. Expensive, horrible, and very depressing. Those days, however, are thankfully gone, and I no longer have to traipse around forlornly attired in something so nasty that it felt tantamount to having a big sign above my head saying "Fat And Ugly: Please Throw Stones".

I am very excited about my impending holiday, but I feel totally uninspired on the what-to-write-in-my-blog front. Also a couple of people have been a little rude to me today, which has upset me a bit. I hate having to accept blame for things that aren't my fault, and even though I know that it is just easy to take frustration out on me, I feel demeaned and humiliated by it. That's all a bit vague, but I don't really want to be dooced, particularly just before I go on holiday.

My little sister is coming back from Paris today for the weekend, and she's coming over to my flat. We will have fun! Cheap fun! Have fun like paupers! I think that means poking rats with sticks, which I feel I could totally get into.

It's sunny in London today. I am trying to be in a sunny mood but I feel that I am struggling with it slightly. I feel like I want to eat lots of pies, shout at someone and then be hugged lots and told I'm pretty. Which sounds suspiciously like hormones, to me. Which makes it ok, and therefore I am off to shout at the pie shop man, eat all his pies and then plaintively ask him for a hug.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Busily Busy Business.

This week I will mainly be too busy to post anything.

I am trying not to seriously mess up any of the following things:

1. The concert on Saturday.
It is mainly all sorted, I think it'll be alright. There are a couple of things that are really important that haven't been sorted yet, but I am keeping them at the forefront of my brain, the bit where thoughts of Hugh Jackman and Pret Super Club sandwiches live, until I get them done.

2. My holiday to Biarritz.
I have no idea about what this holiday will entail. I have a bikini, and I need another one, because I can't wear the same one all week. People would think I'm a poor street urchin who can only afford one bikini, and I am not willing to lay myself bare to their cruel judgement. Laying myself bare is, of course, another option, but a) I think I would be arrested and b) Tom would not approve, as he has implied to me that if any other man looks at me for more than a tenth of a second I am to bash the poor chap's knees in with a ladle, and I just cannot cope with the bloodshed.
Also I have no reading material. I will have to hit the charity shops at some point for some cheap book action, because I have nothing I haven't already read seventy brazillion times. Except my copy of "Why Making Up Numbers Is Naughty And Wrong", which is still in immaculate condition.

3. Other stuff, involving some at work.
Off limits, blog-wise, and boring as shit so you can all breathe a heady sigh of relief for being spared the details.

I had a great weekend. On Saturday I went on a Marketing Yourself As A Singer course, which was fascinating. I enjoyed it, and learnt a lot from the various speakers. I have lots of ideas that I am going to put into action when I am back from holiday. There are changes to be made, and I feel like I have discovered new means of making them.

Sunday I spent with Kirsten, and it started with a hangover-induced mist surrounding the pair of us as we sat on her sofa, blankly staring at Friends episodes, wishing we were more like them with their shiny hair and suspiciously good shoes, and that we had less alcohol rushing through our brains and out of our pores.
We just about managed to pull ourselves together, went for lunch which was Naughtiness Itself in the form of pizza. It was a strange restaurant, where there were about ten waiters and waitresses who were just hanging around the back of the room, gazing at us with big, frightened eyes, like someone in a town-centre pub who, during an England game, had just uttered those fated words: "But it's only a game..."

Then we went to see United 93, for which I have no words. Except to say that I thought it was very sensitively made. I actually don't know what to say about it.

The we needed to recuperate, so we went to a pub and ate the Malteasers that we had been singularly unable to consume during the film, and then we went home to our respective beds in our respective flats.

Oh, hang on, I forgot that I am actually too busy to write anything, so I must go.

I will finish off by saying that Sophie (la petite imp) is coming to stay with me on Thursday, and I anticipate fun and frolics. She also informed me this morning that she is attempting to make me a magical pony, which I am hoping for so very much.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Organised Sport: Dangerous.

You know that World Cup mania has spiralled out of all control when you hear a busker in the Underground playing 'Vindaloo' on a piccolo.

That's all.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lucky Lady

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how there was this shirt dress that I'd seen and oh, it was the most prettiest of all the shirt dresses and woe was me because I couldn't afford to buy it, and was forced to slink shamefully away from the shop attired in my clothing made from bin bags and old cabbage leaves. Or whatever.

Yesterday I was in Topshop, Oxford Circus. Which is basically the fourth circle of hell. Fourth or fifth, I can't remember, but it feels a touch too close to the core of fire and brimstone for my liking. It's just too big, and there's too much stuff in there. For those who have never been, it is spread across four floors, each floor warehouse-sized. The clothes are nice, there is always huge variety, a massive vintage section, endless shoes, café, etc. It makes me feel nervous and tired, though. Also on more than one occasion Sophie (impish sister) and I have had Proper Arguments in there, and I suspect it had rather a lot to do with the evil powers of the Massive Shop of Death and the swarms of Stick-Thin Teenage Girls.

Anyway. I was returning something yesterday, and had some vouchers remaining. I am not, I resolved to myself firmly, leaving here until I find something to wear for the concert on July 1st. I walked around concentrating as hard as I could, properly looking at things rather than dismissing them for reasons such as "too far away from my hand" and "probably designed for someone with better hair".

I looked, and found some things. Went to try them on, always getting them in the size I hope I am and the size I suspect I might be really, and stood staring at myself disconsolately, wondering whether the cabbage leaves were so bad after all. I tried on some shorts, knee length and short, a skirt and two dresses: one of which made me look like a surgically enhanced seven year old and the other like an unenthusiastic bride of dracula. Thoroughly discouraged I piled the rejects on top of the sullen, emaciated, teenage shop assistant's head and made my way to the exit.

There, hanging serenely on the rail, it was. A siren of a dress, pulling me towards it and, like a doomed sailor, I had no power to resist.

Bounding back into the queue, clutching the obligatory two sizes, I waited for the glazed appraisal of my items by the assistant, or, to be more specific, her jutting hip bones, and quick as a flash I was facing the mirror, buttoning it up. Falling deeply in love.

"Hello" I murmured, softly so as not to startle it. I tied the belt around my waist in a bow. "You're very nice, aren't you? Would you like to come home with me?"

A shirt dress. Button down the front, mid-thigh length. Lapels at the front, so that it opens quite low, but not too low. Short sleeves. A tie bit just above the waist. Oh, and also I got it in the size I hoped I was, as opposed to the bigger one. Which officially means that this dress thinks I'm thin.

It's my new best friend. I bought it with my vouchers, and I'm wearing it now. It is such a lovely feeling to have new clothes.

This morning Tom gave me a Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand and told me to look through and think about what I might want to do. I immediately began my research, poring over the pictures enthusiastically all the way to work. I haven't bought my tickets yet, but as soon as my card comes through I'll get online and snap them up, quicksharp. I am so very, very excited. I am such a lucky girl.

Also Biarritz. My bikini came through yesterday and it fits like a turquoise, lyrca charm with string bits. I have no real idea what else I need to take for a beach holiday. Suncream; flip flops; sunglasses; books. Bucket and spade; towel; big windbreaker thing; hanky for head. Anything else? Can someone tell me, please? It's ages and ages since I went on holiday, and even longer since I went to the beach, and I cannot at all remember the basics. Passport, oversized hat, toned, perfect body. Check, check, um, yeah, go on then, check. Why not, you can't see. I'm just words to you.

I have a busy time before Biarritz, though. A course all day Saturday, about how to market yourself as a musician, and then a cello rehearsal all day Sunday. Then the concert next Saturday, for which I still have to write the speech bits (did I mention that there were speech bits?) and practice my songs. I'm quite confident that it'll go well, though. I have actually put quite a bit of work into it, and the other guys in the show have as well. I am looking forward to it, and then if it all goes horribly I'm leaving the country the next day so nobody'll be able to catch me. Until I come back, that is, but by then I'll have a tan and nobody can be mean to you if you've got a tan. There's a rule.

So here I am, in my new dress. Looking forward to stuff. Feeling like things are under control, but not in an OCD sort of a way, just normal. My room is even tidy.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Good news, in the form of an email from my therapist to my Dad:

"Léonie reports that she believes the therapy is working for her and that she has started to feel much better within herself. Léonie's mood appears to have improved and as a result she reports that she no longer feels the need to use previously maladaptive coping methods. Léonie has engaged well with therapy. She has been able to make a number of changes to her approach to day-to-day life and we continue to explore a number of important issues."

I love the word 'maladaptive'. It makes me feel all tingly.

This peculiarity aside, I think we can all agree that this is good. She's right, as well. I have engaged well with therapy. It has enabled me to make changes to my everyday life.

One of the hardest things about feeling depression, and I must emphasise that this is only based on my own experience, is the guilt that accompanies it. This guilt is omnipresent. It is there in the blackest moments, taking the form of agonising about an untouchable normality, a life outside the belljar that everyone else seems to be able to access. Being completely convinced that somehow if I was a better person, if I deserved it, if I wasn't so weak I could get there, too. In the brighter moments, though, it remained. If I'd mentioned to anyone that I was feeling 'depressed' (without really knowing quite what that means), I felt an absurd pressure to demonstrate it, to mope all the time, because otherwise they wouldn't believe me. Which sounds ridiculous, but it was a very prominent thing.

That guilt, in both forms, has ebbed away. I deserve to be happy, I have realised. As much as anyone else does. Which again might seem obvious, and I didn't even really acknowledge this double standard until it was pointed out to me. Now I can see it and am affronted, seeing the injustice of it, an injustice that was entirely self-perpetuated.

CBT is about altering learned responses and re-learning those responses so that they no longer interfere with daily life. Changing the beliefs that are so negative that they cause someone to feel they need to hurt themselves, and other people in the process. It isn't a miracle cure and has taken work, even so far, but I can feel it working in my brain already. My therapist described it as a field of corn. You are so used to taking a certain path, the path that is familiar to you. This path, this neurological response, is well-trodden, it is flattened and easy to walk, and as result feels natural. This path is the one you use to tell yourself it's your fault, that you're weak, that you're not special enough, that you don't deserve to be happy. It is, however, detrimental to you to continue using this path, because it makes you unhappy, anxious and depressed. Forging another path is tough, because you cannot quite see it, you are walking through the corn and it scratches your legs and it isn't easy. It feels unnatural to tell yourself that it is alright to be imperfect, that perfection is a myth. That you deserve happiness and you're a good person and you're not selfish by wanting things for yourself. It is only, however, by persisting, by intervening in the former path and forcing yourself to take the latter, that you can begin to make it feel more natural. The more you walk it, the more flattened it becomes, the better it feels. The more you walk it, the more overgrown the other path will become.

I'm not sure whether that will make sense outside the context of the rest of the CBT, but it makes sense to me. I am stopping myself, and frogmarching my brain down other, kinder pathway. It's strange, and oddly simplistic, but it comes with loads more analysis and all sorts of other stuff that, as a whole, is beginning to take root.

I wanted to write all of this down because I feel so much better, but I don't want to forget what it feels like to be teetering on the edge of what feels like a totally new way of existing, and yet still being able to look back at the old way. I want the old way to be gone, but I want to keep it for reference. It's important to come through, to change, but not to eliminate the memory of it. Partially because I want to be able to understand it if someone I love, or even someone I just know, needs understanding and support. Mostly that, actually. But also a bit for myself. A bit so that, in the future, I can look back on it and see how far I've come. Be proud of myself that I changed and came through, that I took a risk with something that worked. I hope it continues to work, I don't see why it wouldn't.

What I feel now isn't perpetual happiness, and I don't think I will ever be described as someone who is persisently sunny. I just am more comfortable, I can feel my self-esteem being to blossom a bit. It's nothing to do with anyone else, just me, and the work I have put in.

It's going to take more time, more work. My therapist and I agreed that it'll take more sessions, that there's more to deal with. It isn't over, but it's getting somewhere.

It feels wonderful.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Two Posts in One Day! Imagine!

I wouldn't normally write two posts in a day, because I'm really busy and important, and also I like getting comments and I know that by writing a second post nobody'll comment on the first one. A comment whore, I am. To be honest, if my money situation gets much worse I'm seriously going to consider being a non-comment whore, because I've been having my monthly ohfuckstickswhatthefuckingfuckcanIsell? crisis and have come to the conclusion that I have three options: my cello; my iMac; or my body, and to be honest I'm quite fond of the first two.

I'm writing a second post because Tom wants me to write something nice about him on here. (Tom being my, like, you know, like boyfriend, or whatever.) So I thought a good start would be to talk about how I'm planning on whoring myself out. Oh, I'm so alluring.

I've written a poem.

Tom's so nice
He's quite a looker,
Do you think he'll mind
If I become a hooker?

There. Isn't that nice? The complicated rhyme scheme, the subtle semantic intricacies, the breathtaking subtext? Honestly, sometimes I astonish myself.

Monday Yawning

This morning was good in the following ways:

- I didn't wake up dead
- All my limbs were still attached
- My head hadn't fallen off

I counted my blessings, like you're supposed to, and I could come up with those three.

However, in the other camp:

- I hadn't slept enough
- I got up too late to wash my hair
- I couldn't find my cocoa body butter so I had to use crap body lotion
- My bedroom is a tip and I kept treading on things
- I have no nice or clean clothes
- It was raining
- I went to the cash machine and it laughed in my face, lit a neon sign saying 'LOSER' and painted a big 'B' on my forehead.
'B' for Broke.
'B' for Beggared.
'B' for Bloody hell I've run out of money four days before pay day AGAIN.

Actually, perversely this last one cheered me up. Four days isn't bad. I have travel covered in the shape of my Oyster card, I have food at home and at work and I don't have any expensive plans this week. I earn pittance and I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Of course I'm going to run out of money before pay day. It's not a disaster, just inconvenient. I'll have to lay off the Champagne for breakfast for a bit, and the throwing diamonds at pigeons habit will have to stop, but I think I can cope. It kind of makes me laugh at myself, really.

I took my cello in to be fixed on Saturday morning. It was a heavy journey. My arm still aches from the weight of it. They're going to fix it and put a new strap on the case so I can break my shoulders instead of my arms whenever I have to go anywhere. I'm meeting Janie on Sunday for a rehearsal, and to be honest I'm really nervous. I have always approached my cello playing with much more trepidation than my singing, and I am petrified that I won't be good enough. I suppose the worst that can happen is that it'll turn out I'm not good enough and I don't do it, which would be a trifle upsetting but not a disaster. Not like if my head fell off in the middle of the night, or I suddenly became so fat I couldn't sit in chairs with arms.

I watched the end of a football match last night. Call me crazy, but I can't help having a sneaking suspicion that there is some kind of, oh, I don't know, some kind of event, perhaps, going on? To do with football? Like some kind of league? Maybe not. Anyway there was a match last night, and being the gracious girlfriend that I am we sat down and watched it. Well, the last ten minutes. It was very exciting. Apparently. Then we spoke French with some Frenchmen, who complimented us both on our mastery of the language and then bought us a glass of wine, which sat very nicely with the two bottles we had already consumed.

I all of a sudden can't think of anything else to write. Maybe you could suggest something for me to write about? I would like that. Ask me something. Or give me a word. Or pay me a compliment. Or give me a foot massage. Or some money. Or a packet of Brannigan's Roast Beef and Mustard crisps. Or a pony (magical or regular). Or something.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Flapjacks

The Friday's Feasts questions are getting steadily more strange. Today I want you to know that I looked at most of these questions and said "what?" out loud in incredulous tones, before attempting to answer them.

What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?

I am a pretentious, stuck-up sort of a person, so most of the time I evaluate the commonness of the person/people I am talking to and adopt a manner that is slightly posher than them, so that they can relate to me but essentially feel inferior. It's tough, but I usually get there. My favourite word of the moment is: defenestrate. Meaning to throw something/someone out of the window. I have yet to slip it in to everyday conversation.

What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?

I don't have a calendar. If I did it would either be a magical pony themed one, or a Charmed one.

Name 3 people you speak with by telephone a regular basis.

My parents, my little sister.

Main Course
If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know - who would it be and what would you purchase for them?

Scraping the bottom of the barrel with the questions, here. I honestly don't know. I can't think of anyone who really needs a good makeover because their dress sense is horrible. If they had horrible dress sense I wouldn't hang out with them anyway, obviously.

Maybe I would buy an outfit for one of my sisters, because they are both lovely but never can really afford to buy new clothes. Yes, we are a family of paupers. No investment bankers or footballers' wives here, I'm afraid.


What is the last beverage you drank?

I am drinking water at the moment. Before that coffee. Before that a cup of tea, when I was drying my hair. Before that more water. Before that red wine. Before that beer. This morning has been a veritable feast of different beverages! Or perhaps some of it was last night.

(I have decided to add one of my own questions because I was so confused by all the others)

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

I am looking forward to seeing Sophie my Impish Sister (Little), as she's coming back this weekend from Paris. I am also looking forward to getting my cello fixed tomorrow morning.

So, Sophie is coming back to London this weekend. She's on the coach coming back at this very moment. I spoke to her and we had the following exchange:

Sophie: Tomas ate horse last night!
Me: Wow! Was he really hungry?

Then a bit later on:

Me: So, you're on the coach? Where are you?
Sophie: Um, about eight rows back on the left.

We amuse ourselves. Other people look on with disdain but we can just claim that the affliction is clearly genetic and we therefore should not be blamed.

I ended up watching the football yesterday, after all. In a lovely pub, all small and rickety. They passed around triangular sandwiches at half time, which was very nice of them. Tracy Emin was there and shared a chair with my friend.

This weekend will be very rehearsal-based. Which is annoying because it's going to be all sunny and balmy. Not barmy, even though when I say those two words they sound exactly the same. Once when Dan and I went up to Leamington Spa to visit we got drunk on the train and sat on the platform for about half an hour drinking more beer and saying "balmy" and then "barmy" over and over, and finding it absolutely rip-roaringly hilarious.

I have nothing much more to say, and in fact it could be argued that I had nothing to say in the first place and yet that didn't stop me rambling on aimlessly like a blind hillwalking enthusiast. I will stop now, though, and let you enjoy your Friday with no more of my ill-structured nonsense.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I still wouldn't mind a puppy, though.

Without even the intervention of any puppies my day yesterday really picked up.

I went to meet Janie ( in the Café Boheme in Soho, to discuss my potentially playing cello with her. She's a singer, and a cellist, and for years worked with just an acoustic guitarist, so that they had three instruments on stage if you include vocals, which I do. She had a record deal on the table, but it fell through at the last minute. She took a break for a bit after that, as I'd imagine she'd've needed to. Now she has decided to get up and running again, but she wants to explore the idea of having more cellos on stage. Of which I will be one! Well, I will play one. Not be dressed as one. Now I have an image of myself dressed in a big foam cello, arms sticking out of the sides, head halfway up the fingerboad, face painted black with strings on it and sporting a somewhat forlorn expression. With a sign around my neck saying 'Play Me'. Or perhaps 'Played'. Arty.

She was lovely, energetic and enthusiastic. Our opinions on music are similar, and I was much relieved when she confessed to me that she never sat herself down to play scales and do boring but ostensibly 'good for you' exercises. She just plays the things she likes, and experiments with everything and just likes to see what happens. Which is kind of what I always did, and do now with my singing. My scales and sight-reading were always my weak points, and the performance and musicality my strengths. I actually failed my grade eight sight-reading, but got full marks for the pieces and so came out with a lovely pretty merit. Anyway, this doesn't sound like the sort of project which will engender lots of "shitsticks is that a key change oh bollocks I think it just went into tenor clef ok so that's a C and if I count up from that then this note must be an A but now I've just spend ten seconds thinking about it can I get away with pretending it was a dramatic pause?" moments. She gave me some CDs which I will listen to and see what I can do with them on my cello, then we will rehearse on Sunday 25th June with a view to doing a gig on the 29th. Which is soon.

It isn't singing, but it's music and it's interesting. I am prepared to deviate for this, because I would love to sing and play my cello, and I think this will be excellent experience. The fact is that singing and playing simultaneously is really hard. I have tried and it takes every ounce of concentration in my meagre brain until I collapse in a twitching heap after about eleven seconds. I told Janie this last night and she laughed, saying that she was exactly the same at first, but after about six months it happens. I want to get to that point, accompany myself on my cello. I need practice, though, and I need inspiration. I think I'll get both of those things by getting involved with this project.

Also: New Zealand. I am going. In August. For two and a bit weeks. I haven't booked my flights yet but I will soon.

You may, as my mother did, be asking: "And how is Miss Perpetually Broke affording all this?"

The answer is: Pretend Money! Hurray for credit cards!

Actually NOT hurray for credit cards. They are the Devil's plastic. However, I am planning on buying the ticket and then THAT IS IT NO MORE. I am so terrified of losing control of money and ending up in a debtor's prison in the late ninteenth century that I will not take any risks.

I am going with my boyfriend. Who is an ex-boyfriend. No, not the one who had no affection for me. Another one. Who is lovely. We sat in a lovely old pub last night and drank beer and made each other laugh, and I thought to myself 'yeah, this is pretty much really nice'. Then I said it out loud, but I sounded way, way cooler.
I don't want to go too much into it, because he reads this sometimes and I don't know what to say, what with having to play hard to get, and be all aloof and smooth and stuff. (Please, less laughter at the back there.)

I am happy. I can't type that without wanting to type 'FOR NOW' in large, ominous letters, because that is the sort of knobbishness I indulge myself in.

Well, whatever. I'm going to New Zealand with him in August, because I want to go to New Zealand again, because I love it, and he needs someone to sit next to him and tell him bad jokes and talk about how much she misses blogging. Rock and roll, my friends.

Thank you for the suggestions yesterday, I took every bit of advice and followed all instructions to the letter. It was an interesting few hours, I can tell you. I'll upload the photos when I get a chance, and also when I stop having the technological aptitude of a mouldy carrot (I have put up a profile photo, though! Which is really pretentious, I don't do that in real life, ever, that thing with my hand under my chin. I was drunk. Forgive me?)

Well, have a fun Thursday, please. If you are watching the football have fun with that, I'll be somewhere else.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tired and overcast

In news that will shock and astound people the world over, I am tired today.

The nights have been hot, and our flat feels stagnant and oppressive. There is no flow of air, because it's on the first floor and the front door opens onto a hallway that never gets any blasts of fresh air itself. There are windows that open, inviting a breeze in, but the air that drifts idly through does nothing to force out the thick heat. After drying my hair this morning I stood at my window, still completely undressed, and leaned out to find some cool air to soothe my skin. Given that the trains pass about six metres from that window, this was a somewhat desperate measure. No trains went past. It would have been like an adult version of The Railway Children.

The tube is heavy with a leaden heat, so that when you enter the tunnels you can feel the burden of summer in the city enveloping you. I take layers off and stand, staring at the space between someone's head and another person's newspaper, will the journey to pass so I can breathe again.

The heat makes me tired. Also I recorded some vocals on a track in a studio yesterday evening, and got in late. This evening I am going to meet Janie Price (aka Bird) to talk about playing my cello with her. Which I am excited about, and a little nervous.

I feel a bit frustrated today, with everything, but it is only the tiredness. I can't go into details about what is the most frustrating to me right now, although I might set up another blog for it because I am getting annoyed thinking about it. It is only something that isn't that important, in the grand scheme of things, though. Nothing major.

I really enjoyed last night, being in the studio and recording some vocals. Working with other people rather than just on my own. It was refreshing to be asked to do something, rather than having the responsibilty. It was fulfilling for that moment, and fun. I told them that if they ever need any more female vocals I'd be happy to help out, because I enjoy it. Sometimes I forget that I am in this because I enjoy it. It's strange that spending some time doing what I love throws the rest of my day to day life into such sharp relief, the dreary, mundane things that I am forced to do.

Best not to dwell on it, perhaps.

I am going to Biarritz, France, on the first of July! I ordered a bikini yesterday, from, which is my favourite shop in the world. It is a string bikini in aqua. If it's nice I will perhaps order the black one, too. Because I am flash and more than a bit fancy. I mentioned Biarritz because I thought it would cheer me up, and it does. I went out on Saturday night with the friends I will be going with, and they are a great group of people. We're going to be staying in a villa, ten of us, and I'll be sharing a bed with my friend Pippa. It'll be one of those holidays where there will be a full fridge of beer at all times, good music playing, and everyone will just chill out. There will be surfing, which I will do once or twice, but I have only surfed before for four hours once in very gentle surf (in Australia) and to my understanding Biarritz can be quite hardcore. Being whacked on the head repeatedly with a big piece of board is not so much my idea of a relaxing way to get away from it all. I plan to not have a plan, and see what happens. I haven't been on holiday for over two years, and I can't really imagine what it'll be like.

Does anyone have any tips for lifting the spirits on overcast, muggy days? Apart from not being in the city, which is sadly not an option. Maybe someone could send me a puppy to play with? Or some wine to drink? Or I could feed the wine to the puppy?

Ideas, please.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Merriment.

The freckles have arrived. They are scattered over my face and shoulders, and the one in the middle of my nose, the one that is a perfect triangle, is darker and more visible.

I think the triangular freckle means I have magical powers. My theory is that one day I will come into these powers, bequeathed to me by a great witch. I'm not sure what I'll have to do with these powers. Saving the world seems like an awfully big job and wouldn't leave me much time for my singing. Perhaps I could just be like I am now, but just magical. Perhaps I am already magical.

As you can probably tell, I am feeling better. The strange thing about Thursday's episode of self-infliction is that, for the first time ever, I regretted it immediately. I woke up the next day and, looking down at my arm I closed my eyes and thought Oh, fuck. I wished so much that I hadn't done it. Not just because it upsets other people, although that is a massive factor, reason enough in itself, but because it upsets me. It makes me feel silly, to be honest. I spend so much of my time attempting to make something of myself, and it makes no sense to be damaging the very product I am working so hard to sell. That became clear to me in a way that it just hasn't before.

I used to be proud of it. It may sound shocking and selfish, and it probably was. I used to brandish my pain and secretly want people to notice and help me. It wasn't that I wanted them to hurt, at all, it was more that I wanted them to save me. I have always been rubbish at asking for help from people, and I suppose that's what I was doing. It was my way of telling people that I was hurting too much and I couldn't stop it, and asking them if, perhaps, they might rescue me.

I think Thursday night was more out of habit than anything else. Yes, I was hurting and feeling down. I knew, however, that the feelings of unhappiness were because of hormones and unusually high stress levels due to taking on too much. I knew it was going to be short term and that I would be feeling better soon. Which I am.

I have asked for help properly now. I asked my parents for help and they have helped me by paying for therapy, which is making sense and helping me. I don't need to be rescued anymore, I know I can save myself. I remember never being able to imagine a time when that would be the case. Now I am strong.

It was hard, just then, to write about why I never bothered to hide my scars. People ask me that question, and I always say that I don't know, that I just don't care if people see. If I'm honest with myself, though, I know that people seeing was part of the process, that what I was doing wasn't only about myself, it was about my relationships with the people I perceived as potential saviours.

I don't want to be saved anymore. The CBT is slowly working on my self-esteem. We are abandoning my inherent belief that, unless I am somehow perfect, I am not worth anything. Perfection is a myth, and sometimes error and failure are alright. This is something I apply to other people, but never to myself. I demand perfection from myself whilst simultaneously knowing it isn't really possible. Which is exhausting and completely illogical.

This has been an overly introspective post. I am willing these new scars on my left arm to disappear so that I can start afresh. I have never really wanted to before, if I am honest. I get no pleasure from looking at these cuts, and I don't want people to see them because I don't want them to feel sorry for me. I also really, really don't want to hurt anyone as much as they have hurt people this weekend. By cutting my arms I wound other people more than I do myself.

If you are a real-non-virtual-life friend reading this, please don't think I am in need of help. Please, everyone, don't worry about me. I feel like I needed to see whether it still made me feel better. To prod at that reaction and test the efficacy of it. It no longer, I have realised, works for me. It's the same feeling as realising you're over a particularly painful break-up. One day you re-visit the feelings and realise you've healed without knowing it. Without seemingly even having to try.

To sum up, then, it's all good.

I had a lovely weekend. Friday night was lovely, Saturday I hung out on Clapham Common with my friend Pippa. I bikini-ed it up, but the factor thirty suncream prevented any burning. Or changing colour of any kind. I have been brought up to slap on the suncream at all times, which I sometimes regret because I am never as tanned as the other girls. However, I would prefer to be safe. Once a girl at school called Laura, whose skin was as fair as mine if not fairer, sat out for an entire lunchtime with tin foil under her legs. You could see the angry red burning through the black tights she was forced to wear for the next week to prevent further damage. Idiot.

Yesterday I met up with my friend Kirsten and we went for lunch in South Kensington before getting some wine and sitting by the river. It was an amazingly fun day, and we both ended up drunk and in very high spirits. Today I am slightly shaky and very hot. London is a hot place to be at the moment. The tube is not fun.

Enough rambling from me. I thought I'd let you know that my world is sunny again, and that I have come out of the other side like I knew I would. I am lucky.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Fairy Cakes

I just wrote a really long post and then accidentally deleted it when I was reading it through.

I am unspeakably cross. I am going to count to ten, take a deep breath, and then calmly throw my computer out of the window.

Or perhaps just start again. Shitsticks.

(Recently I tried to explain the word 'shitsticks' to Bec's French boyfriend [now ex] and found it rather tricky. "C'est comme... merde, avec, ou peut-etre sur, des batons. Tu comprends? Merdebatons? Oui?" Non, it turned out. I don't think that was the reason for the split.)

About how much money did you spend on gas this week?

Not a scrap. I use my trusty Oyster card for the (not-so-trusty) tube.

What is your favortite brand of toilet paper?

I don't know. I am not comfortable with this question. I am a lady, and we ladies do not discuss this sort of bodily function (my little sister is with me on this one, neither of us can talk about it.)

When was the last time you discovered something that you thought was pure genius?

I love scented candles. I only bought one for the first time a few weeks ago, but I am fairly sure that all my future bedrooms will smell of strawberry and papaya for ever and ever until the end of time/they stop making them (whichever comes first.)

Main Course
What is the least amount of sleep you can get by on per night?

My head goes all wrong if I don't get enough sleep. Around about eight hours is perfect. It has a serious impact on my mental state, to an extent that scares me. Last week I got about five hours every night for about six nights, and I have only just recovered from it. I think perhaps that's partly the reason my hormones have dropped so heavily upon my fragile little brain.

It wasn't always like this. In my university holidays I worked for a corporate events company, which ran events for companies and their staff. It was brilliant, that job, because I spent most of my time there instructing on quad bikes, honda pilots, hovercrafts, argocats (like mini-tanks) and all sorts of fantastic equipment. Water-based activity days, casino nights, race days. Perfect for a summer job. What made it even better was that, because we would often have to be on the field very early in the mornings, we would stay overnight in hotels or travel lodges the night before. Everyone who worked there was fun, friendly, energetic and very sociable. Up, basically, for some big nights out. So these early mornings were inevitably preceded by an hour or two of sleep and lots of drinking. There were week-long events where we would sleep a two hours, work for about thirteen, drink for five and then repeat, five days in a row. I loved it. I could cope with it, then, perhaps because I was stimulated there, because everyone was in the same boat and it turned into a bit of a joke. Instructing people how to drive a hovercraft on two hours of sleep! Hurray! Please don't die!

(I loved that job. I loved standing in front of groups of cocky thirty-something year old men who were showing off to their mates and telling them that, yes, you may have driven a quad bike before, sir, but unless you pay attention to me and the instructions and safety procedures I am about to tell you, you will not be driving one today. No, sir, I said pay attention to ME, not my breasts. All delivered with the sweetest of smiles, of course. I actually said the bit about the breasts more than once. I loved it.)

June is a popular month for weddings. Do you know anyone who is getting married this month?

No. I don't think so.


Today I am a bit less completely fucking insane. I am tired, because I went out last night and there was wine and some of it may have accidentally fallen into my mouth, but I am actually feeling brighter. I was crippled with the pain in the diodes in my left hand side this morning but I overdosed on Nurofen and am feeling better now.

The only slightly bad thing is that, because of slight drunkenness, my resolve not to do the self-harm thing weakened and I have more cuts on my arms. I know it's strange to type it so freely, but I feel that if I am honest about it and make myself own up when I do it, perhaps I won't do it next time. I know it hurts people, and that's why it's a bad thing. I am sorry, people I am hurting.

I plan on having a relaxing weekend, with sunshine, friends and beer. I need, as people said in the comments, to chill the fuck out. Next week is going to be quite hectic, as I'm meeting Janie-the-cello-lady on Wednesday, and recording some vocals for a track on Tuesday, and of course I have to work to earn my pitiful pennies and finalise everthing for rehearsals next weekend.

This weekend, however, I'm going to try to put everything out of my mind and pretend I'm a normal person. Relaxation sounds very appealing, I think I might give it a shot.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Better becomes worse

The only thing I can think to write about is how I have nothing to write about.

Which is hugely innovative and exciting of me.

I feel marginally better, but still not anywhere near normal. I just don't understand it. I know that it is something going on inside my body, rather than reaction to something external, but it just makes it more frustrating as there's not really anything I can do to make it go away.

This morning I have written lists, worked out what it is I'm worrying about and worked out solutions. I managed to do this without putting my head down on my keyboard and fighting back tears more than twice. Which is an improvement. These lists have helped, have reassured me that I can cope with the things I need to do, but they don't actually make me feel any better inside.

I feel nothing. I am at a loss.

It is this feeling, a feeling of helplessness and apathy, that makes me want to self-harm. I am not going to do that now, because I know it upsets people. I just have this overwhelming desire to feel something. I am blank.

I just thought to myself that it's only the fact that I know it's temporary that gets me through, but that isn't actually the case. I get through because I just do. I don't stop because I start feeling like everything around me is frictionless. I have lived through these feelings, I always just live through them. That knowledge, that this culminates not in an abrupt, climactic stop, but in a slow ebbing, that just makes it more depressing.

I want bright colours and sharp excitement. I want vivid, azure, limitless passion. I want exhiliration and adrenalin and raw beauty. I want adventure. Today. Now.

I am bored of my steady tenacity, with being sensible and trying to make the right decisions and do the right thing and being careful with my money and not getting sunburnt and not having a credit card and sitting so that no one can see up my skirt and cutting off my split ends and not drinking too much and keeping to a schedule and all these things that give my life a structure and keep me on the rails.

I know that I'll just get through this, and that nothing will end it. I won't suddenly get that excitement and watch the feelings of apathy dissipate. Colour won't flood in as I find adventure. I will just adjust once more to the fact that I am on these rails because I am going somewhere, and if I am not on the rails I cannot move forward. I am inherently a sensible girl. I won't derail myself and hang around, knowing that I can hop back on and slide forward again at any point. I know myself.

I have finished now. I have run out of words.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

To sum up: Poor Me.

I am in a horrible mood today. In an oh-my-god-everthing-is-horrible-I-hate-myself-I-want-to-die sort of a way. I think because it's that sort of time, you know, monthwise. It's hit me really hard.

I've been taking Evening Primose Oil for ages in hopes that these feelings would stay back. I want to scream and cry and tear my skin off, and then fall asleep. The thing is that my life is actually really good at the moment, and I have nothing to complain about. Actually nothing. I can feel tears rising in my throat and I cannot think of a reason to cry. It's the strangest feeling.

I am worrying about going away next month and feeling fat in my bikini. The truth of it is, though, that I am not fat, and guarantee that once I'm there I won't care what I look like, I'll be with my friends. I'm certainly not trying to impress anyone. It's just that I would like to be all toned and tanned.

(If I REALLY wanted to be all toned and tanned I suspect I would do things like go to gyms and lie on sunbeds, but we all know that the real ideal is to be toned and tanned WITHOUT HAVING TO BOTHER. It's the dream.)

I am worrying about money. Or, to be more specific, the lack thereof. Being this poor is starting to really, really irritate the motherfucking fuck out of me. I didn't need to swear then, really, but I had to. Partly for emphasis, and partly because deep down I do think it makes me cool.

I wonder if I could sell some of my body fat? Perhaps to a recovering anorexic. I could certainly auction off a sizeable proportion of my breasts and nobody would notice the difference. I could sell half of each, maybe. To some flat-chested broad who needs to snag a footballer husband, and for whom the multi-tone highlights, San Tropez glow and seventeen-inch heels just aren't enough.

It's an option. In this eBay-propelled world I think it's a very real possibility. I shall Google it at once.

I feel better having written this drivel. It's funny how much it really does help. Also blogging must be quite good for calorie-burning, right? Because of all the intellectual content and inappropriate jokes about anorexia.

I'm going to go and do some sit-ups and type "I want to sell my breasts' into Google.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Messages: UPDATED MORE

I'm just listening to an mp3 someone emailed me, with a view to doing some collaboration. The stuff I have been receiving has primarily been funk/fusion/drum 'n' bass, which isn't really what I had been looking to do, but which could be interesting nevertheless.

The track is funky and interesting, but more trance-y than I would usually go for. Actually this sort of music ('electronica' as iTunes likes to call it) isn't my cup of tea, but it would be interesting to explore and see what I can do with it. It would be, I suppose, interesting to combine my jazz leanings with this sort of fast, beat-based stuff.

I'm meeting Janie (cello lady) on Wednesday, so I'm excited and a bit nervous about that. The bridge on my cello is still broken, so I hope she doesn't expect me to bring it along and do an impromtu improvisation on the A-string. It couldn't be worse than another 'audition' I went to once, where they tried to make me do an impromptu improvisation on a G-string. If you know what I mean. (True story. I'm not going into it. Except to tell you that, no, I did not oblige.)

It's not an audition on Wednesday, just a few drinks. I like meeting new people so on that basis alone I am excited. Tonight I have my therapy, which was so good last week I wanted to hug her and promise her my first born child. I didn't do either of these things, as I think both would have disconcerted her.
It's not until seven forty-five and it's about twenty minutes from my office, where I finish at six. I am just going to hang around and cause trouble somewhere for a bit. Perhaps graffiti some stuff. Not in artistic way, just destructive and annoying, perhaps just in black marker pen, things like "MICHELLE IS A SLAG" and "DEREK SUX COK". Just for fun, you understand. In truth, Michelle and Derek are two of my best friends, and their work for charity is unsurpassed.

The rehearsals went very well over the weekend, they were exhausting but we got loads done. I'm looking forward to the actual concert now, and have a inkling that it might actually be quite good. When I say that I am touching wood, of course, although not in the way Derek does, I'm just being superstitious.

I am still very tired, but this week I am concentrating on catching up on sleep and resting. When I say 'this week' I mean tonight and tomorrow night, because I have plans for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Not so much with the restful, then. Oh, shitsticks.

Well, despite having absolutely nothing of interest to impart, I have managed to write some words.

We could do one of those things where you, the readers, the screaming fans, ask me questions in the comments and I answer them in updates? If you want. You don't have to, I don't mind. Which is my way of protecting myself so that if nobody asks me any questions I can pretend I didn't care in the first place. It really works. Everybody is definitely fooled.


Ant asked me a question! He's a special boy.

Q: How's the mouse situation? Any more screaming, lopsided-bonnet events?

A: The mouse situation has quietened down somewhat. I think that after the episode-of-which-we-do-not-speak-without-one-hand-on-the-smelling-salts the mouse had decided to retreat slightly. Which isn't to say he has given up. A tactical retreat whilst he regroups, that's what this is.

I can imagine him sitting patiently in his little underskirtingboard lair behind the kitchen cupboards, staring at the CCTV footage of the aforementioned episode and drumming the little claws of its left paw (front) on a small but nevertheless impressive mahogany-effect desk. Swivelling around in the tiny leather chair he presses a little button, at which point two thick metal doors swing open on one side of the lair, revealing a map of the flat and some large, black and white photographs of me going about my daily life: cooking; washing; watching Charmed; bent in unwavering concentration over a crayon drawing of a magical pony. He pauses in his drumming for a second, and a look of pain shoots across his face as, whiskers twitching in consternation, he tries to eradicate the screams that still echo in his ears. The nightmares haunt him still, every night he is forced re-live the panic of running in terror as I screamed and screamed. He considers for just a second that the nightmares might have something to do with eating so much cheese before bed, but dismisses the thought. This, he thinks as he resumes drumming, goes beyond that.

As he stares at my form captured on camera he ponders his revenge. The drawing pins were good, but he knows the scars are fading and I am no longer afraid to walk in my bedroom. He has to up the stakes. It is, and of this we are both certain, only a matter of time.

In other words, yeah, it's alright, thanks.

Now from Kelly:

Q: Your house is on fire (um...sorry) and all family / flatmates / mice have made it out safely (phew) you have enough time to grab just one thing. What do you take?

A: That mouse. Probably started it, the little fucker.

Maybe my cello, although it would impede my progress down the stairs. Or my computer, as it has all my songs on it. My copy of Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I don't know, really.

Would you judge me if I chucked the mouse back in?

From Curly:

Q: Where are my bloody house-keys?

A: Oh my God. The mice have got to you, too. Be afraid.

From Adrian:

I changed the light fittings in my flat, which has resulted in a big white square painted on my ceiling that is clearly not the same white as the rest of my ceiling and is clearly ugly.

The question is

Part A: How long is it acceptable to live with this condition before repainting the ceiling a uniform white.

If I am repainting the ceiling, I'm going to repaint the entire flat. So the question remains

Part B: What colour should I paint my walls.

Part A. Well, if I were you I would claim it's post-postmodern. Nobody knows what that means so they'll just nod knowingly and go with it. Perhaps the white square on the ceiling represents the changes and sacrifices we all have to make in the interests of modern living. The fact is that every time something is adapted to make things 'easier' or 'more convenient' (or, in your case, so that you can 'see stuff') our lives are altered in a subtle, but noticable, way, moving away from an organic state of being towards a modern (post-post) reliance on the application of technology. The new white square is symbolic of the fact that, although things may seem to be the same, they are irrevocably different and everything else must be adapted to incorporate this new technology.

So, basically, I don't know. Leave it and call it art.

Part B. Do a mural. A scene. Of a party, perhaps, or a zoo. Or a party at a zoo. Or, something. I am not massively helpful, am I?

Miss D - My question is - whenever shall you come visit us in the states? All the way to Seattle? We could also visit the recently relocated Lady Missmarquise in Vancouver, BC. Two birds, my dear, two birds!

A. I would LOVE to. I have no money, though. I would really, really actually love to. Seattle always looks lovely. Actually, my knowledge of Seattle is rather limited. I have seen the film (more than) a few times and I therefore know that it rains and people have telephones with really long cords so they can sit on their decks and discuss their heartbreak.

I'm going to start swimming now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Falafel

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how funny do you think you are?

Given the title of this blog, it is difficult to know how to answer this question. Initially it was supposed to be followed by "and most of the time I don't even have that", but got lost in the ether somewhere during the change from diaryland to blogspot.

I get told I'm funny. Sometimes it's followed swiftly by the phrase "...for a girl", which makes me want to elbow people in the ribs and respond with "Thanks! You talk awfully well for a monkey."

I also, however, get told off for my sense of humour. The title 'Comedy Uncle Léonie' has been bandied about more than would normally be expected (for a girl). 'Dad Humour' is my favoured brand, it would seem.

I love jokes, I love making people laugh and I love finding things funny.

I'm not sure, on a scale of one to ten, how funny I am. Ten. No, one. Alright, an even five.

Name a local restaurant would you recommend to a visitor to your town or city.

This is actually a really difficult question to answer. For a start, London is huge and I don't go to the same restaurants over and over. Also I rarely go out to eat. The money thing, of course. Last night I went to a pizzeria in Angel (not you, Miss D), but I hadn't been there before. It was nice: good atmosphere; good service; good food at good prices. I wouldn't necessarily make an effort to go there again, though, because there are loads of places like that.

Hmmm. There is a place I like in Covent Garden called Café Mode. I went there for lunch the other week with my friend Gemma, and they were lovely. The food is really great and very affordable even for someone as broke as I am. The maitre d was so pleasant and friendly to us, and when we said we had to leave after just a main course he was shocked, offering us coffee on the house, or a glass of wine. We really had to go, but before we did he gave us a little card saying that, next time we're in there, we can have a complementary bottle of wine. I've been there on quite a few occasions, a date; drinks with a friend; a big engagement dinner. It probably isn't the most classy place in London, but I don't like places with pretensions, and this is just a warm and friendly place to be.

What's a lesson you were lucky enough to learn the easy way?

Probably being careful with money. I have fucked up more times than I care to remember, but even in the direst of times my parents have helped me and made sure I didn't get in trouble. Now I am more responsible, and on constant guard about how I'm spending my meagre income.

Main Course
Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

I don't know. Geographically I can't imagine that I'll have tired of London by then, I love it here so much. It's home.

Other than that? Who knows. I want to be singing for a living, but in what capacity I have no idea.

If you could see the front page of a newspaper from June 2, 2106, what would you imagine the headline might be?

'World Peace: Exclusive Report On Why It's Working Really Well'.


Other things that are working really well: My Diet. Except that when I say 'well' I mean 'rubbish'. I may have slipped in the fact that I went to a pizzeria last night. Guess what happened? It was terrible, right, because I accidentally fell over into a pizza and had to eat my way out of it! Would you believe that? No? Oh, well, it's my story and I'll stick to it until I forget what it was and then I'll make up something equally implausible.

I'm feeling marginally less stressed about the concert. Which, by the way, you are welcome to come to. It is, however, in Harpenden, which is in Hertfordshire. Email me through my other website if you are interested.

I really have not much else to talk about. I feel a bit dejected today but I don't know why. Tiredness, perhaps. I need to get organised for the weekend, which is looking to be a bit hectic what with all the rehearsing and telling people where to be at what time, and working out all the songs and all sorts of stuff. My brain doesn't work properly when I'm tired, it thinks all sorts of horrible thoughts and starts beating me with the big self-criticism stick. You're fat. You're ugly. You're stupid and useless and doomed to enduring failure. It isn't very nice to me, but I am at a loss as to quite how to shut it up. Any suggestions?

I'm not funny today, so perhaps the answer to the first question should reflect that. Sometimes I am funny, but then sometimes nothing is funny and my sense of humour drips out of my ears along with my brain.

Please help me feel less rubbish, Internet. I don't know how.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Caffeine is my friend. Also: smack.

One of those mornings where I am exhausted. I made myself a massive mug of strong coffee and was wondering why the caffeine hadn't taken effect and then realised I hadn't yet actually taken a sip. My mind has clearly stepped out for a small breather and maybe a spot of lunch.

I am shattered.

I am trying to organise this concert in July for the Children's Society, and yesterday suddenly everything was turned upside down and I have to reschedule all the rehearsals. There is no time left to do this. I am not panicking, I am just stressed, and I hate being stressed. Organising other people is not something I enjoy, and the level of organisation has just been flicked up a few notches as I attempt to create time where there is none.

I had therapy last night, which was really great. I was having serious guilt issues about even being there, because my Dad is paying for it and I felt like I was just being a drama queen. My issues aren't serious enough for therapy. However, we talked about this, and the result of me airing my doubts was a session that was really incisive and positive. She reassured me that, ethically, she wouldn't let me be there if she didn't think I had cause to be in therapy. If she didn't think that there were things that have a constant negative effect on my life, and with which she could help me. I think that I needed to hear that.

Stress is making me exhausted. When I was asked to organise this event I initially declined because things like this are bad for people who have anxiety issues (see how I wear my issues with pride?) and I could forsee months of stress. I wasn't far off. I can be perceptive like that.

I'm glad I'm doing it, though, because despite all the administrative hellishness, I can't wait to get up on stage and sing musical theatre songs with my arms out and face contorted in an Andrew Lloyd Webber-induced frenzy. The people who are doing it with me are my friends, and we're singing songs we love. My sisters and their boyfriends will be there, my cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, family friends. It'll be worth it. I just feel a bit drained by the process of making it all happen.

On Wednesday I'm meeting a lady called Janie ( who is a singer/cellist, and who advertised for cellists to play for her for some gigs. At first I felt all competitive, as is my wont, but then it started to appeal to me. Musically, it would be very cool. I would get to play my cello again. Although I wouldn't actually be singing I would meet people and do gigs and perhaps make friends. I emailed her and showed her my website and in her reply she seemed really nice. The whole thing sounds fun, and different. My cello playing might perhaps be slightly rusty, but I am certain that I can pick it back up. I'm looking forward to it.

Also I've found a pub in Fulham that runs an industry-orientated open mic each week. I'll go along solo, with some self-recorded backing tracks, probably primarily vocal, and perform my songs. It will be nice to only have to worry about myself, albeit somewhat narcissistic. Being a blogger, however, I am comfortable with narcissism. Anyway, I got in touch with them yesterday and they seemed very keen.

I still want to do the Edinburgh Festival, but I'm not sure how to go about it in terms of musicians. I've placed ads for musicians and have some replies which I'm following up.

I think I'm slowly learning to channel my energy so that, everytime I feel down or overwhelmed I can change it into something positive. Make something happen with it. Which all sounds a bit (I can't think of any other word than this one) wanky, but it seems to be working for me.

My writing isn't so much with the coherent today, because I'm (oh, did I mention?) exhausted. Exhausted but focussed.

Also because I still can't stop thinking about pizza.