Thursday, September 28, 2006

Couldn't Remember The Greatest Title In The World.

This is my second blog entry today. Cryptic, aren't I?

I have begun a torrid affair with MySpace. Even though I dislike it and think it's all a bit clunky and hard to navigate I have been toying with it. I wrote an entry on the blog bit, and was whisked back to that uncertain time of starting a blog. So many questions. What do I write? Who will care? How many exclamataion marks is too many exclamation marks? Should I do smilies? (Answers: Whatever you want. Everybody and nobody. Two. No, not ever, never please, for me.)

I actually managed to find my first ever entry on another blog which I started before I moved across to Blogger. It went like this:

"Here it is then. My First Internet Diary Entry. I am a bit scared for a couple of reasons. Firstly that I am not going to be cool or funny enough for anyone to read. Secondly that people will read what I have to say, and refuse to be my friends.
In other news, I have just been dumped. What I would really like is for everyone to tell me that I am cool and funny and pretty and nice and deserve cool and funny and pretty and nice things.
Now I really want to publish this so I can look at it and imagine what I would think of me if I wasn't me. That totally makes sense."

I wrote that on the sixteenth of March 2005, at 10.49am. Which is ages ago, really. It is peculiar to think how much has changed since then. So much. In love, in singing, in the ratio of depressed to happy I live in. I have realised I am not American and therefore cannot really get away with writing the word 'totally'. I am over being dumped for the first time ever, and have been dumped a second time since, which I was over within about a day and a half. I now have two blogs and a website, despite possessing the technological aptitude of half a squirrel. I had a fringe back then. Imagine! How times change.

I am about to leave my job, move back home, and go for it all out with this singing lark. Friday October the twenty-seventh will be my last day in my current job, and while I will certainly miss various people, I would never, ever want an office job full time ever again. I don't hate it, and I can see the appeal of it, but I know for a fact that office work is not for me and never will be. For other things I know for a fact will never be for me please see: breakdancing.

When I wrote that entry above I was completely (nay, totally) miserable. I felt depressed, had little to no self-esteem, and had absolutely no idea how to follow this dream of Singing As A Job. I am not about to claim that now I do Singing As A Job, but I know which road I'm on and I'm bloody well not turning off it, even if there is an two-for-one on pancakes offer on at the Little Chef. Thanks to lots of pricey therapy I now have more self-esteem and am not depressed, and I no longer take razors to myself when I hit the skids (frank talking, anyone?). Hurray for relative sanity!

This wasn't meant to be a "I'm cured!" post. It was meant to be slightly braggy about the fact that I have another blog, which, as we all know, is not nerdy and loserish at all. I also wanted to have a bit of laugh at my writing style of yesteryear. Using words such as 'braggy' and 'loserish' have sort of made that second objective impossible, though, and I managed to get the bragging over with in about four lines so I thought I'd pad it out with a small epiphany. I've come so far! I once was lost but now I'm found! I will do anything for love but I won't do that! The usual stuff.

So now I have the two blogs I will have to spend all my time thinking up pithy ways to end posts, because it takes me longer to write the final line and the title than it does to write the entire rest of the post, make a cup of tea and nick a chocolate digestive from the people in Accounts. You might not think so, but it does.

For the forseeable future all titles of posts here will be tributes to Tenacious D songs. Do you get it? Tribute? No, I know, it's a bit complex, really.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Mucky Muck

The weather in London today is foreboding, dark, and intermittently rainy with lots of looming dark clouds, creating the feeling of being surrounded by ominous-looking mafia bosses with slightly runny noses.

I have period pain, which is making want to cry and kill people alternately. I have opted for the sit very still and do neither option, which seems to be working so far.

I only have four more Monday-Morning-At-Works to bear before I stop for a while. This is keeping my chin up and my upper lip stiff.

On Saturday I went to watch Tom playing rugby. I have never really been able to understand people volunteering to play team-sports. I have never felt so overwhelmed by the potential for humiliation as I have whilst on a sports field, that sense of nervousness and terror is unmatched by any other prospect. I'm not unfit, I enjoy exercising when I get around to it, but the idea of someone throwing me a ball and expecting me to do something with it makes me want to run for the nearest table and crouch beneath it, and possibly begin rocking back and forth reciting some kind of calming mantra. Other people actually wanting to do it is a totally alien and utterly baffling concept for me, and getting up on a Saturday morning for it when you could be hanging around in bed is about as appealing as licking the testicles of an unwashed donkey.

As we got off the train and began walking towards the Hackney Marshes I began to feel slightly terrified, as if someone was going to mistake me for a sporting-type, shove some plimsolls on my feet and frogmarch me over to a rounders game. (I was in the rounders team in primary school for half a day before being forcibly ousted in the middle of an inter-school tournament, and I do not care to repeat the experience.)
I explained to Tom that I was having issues understanding the desire to go and be subjected to such levels of torture of a weekend. After thinking for a bit he likened it to the fact that I have been known to spend quite a large portion of my spare time hanging around with musical theatre types stepping enthusiastically to the side and back again and singing like I really really meant it, and that, perhaps, to other people that would be tantamount to having their toenails pulled out and fed to them, and I started to understand.

Sometimes people say that they are scared of going to the theatre or to stand up comedy in case they are suddenly and at random selected to be pulled up on stage and made to perform, and this is how I feel whilst being near sporty people. So, nervously I sat at the side of the pitch and watched the boys do sport. Shockingly, I soon grew not to mind this activity so much. They warmed up, Tom practised some kicking, they did some funny walking and jogging and stuff. They swore a lot and rolled in the mud seeming to be attempting to shake the metrosexual cloaks they are forced to wear during the week and reveal themselves as Real Men, Who Never Use Cleanser And Are All Hairy.

When the game began I found myself really getting into it, watching as they threw themselves places and shouted a lot. I didn't have the courage to stand up, as I was the only one on the sidelines, but I did start to think that it looked like quite a lot of fun. If only, I speculated, there weren't rules to follow. If all I had to do was run around and get muddy and throw myself places I'm sure I could do very well at this game. Shame.

As luck would have it, Tom was the one who had to kick the ball over the white posts (converting a... try?) which made it easier to identify when he did something I should clap prettily at. Another stroke of luck is that he is quite good at doing this, so I had more opportunity to clap prettily than I did to smile commiseratingly but supportively.

Then some other people came along, at which point I, the queen of any social situation involving the opportunity to ponce other people's beer, ponced some beer from them and they explained some of the rules. "My boyfriend's the kicker!" I announced, proudly, sipping my Ponced Beer. I think at that point he was being trodden on, but I didn't let that get me down. The game had really started to look up for me.

Anyway, they won, and I got some beer, and was standing up cheering by the end of the match with perfect strangers. Strangers who give beer, though, which are the very best kind of strangers.

At one point the ball touched my leg, which made me fearful that they were going to say, well, you've touched it now, you must throw it. We will all look at you during this throwing, and then we will laugh derisively. They didn't, though, I just froze until someone came to pick it up. This seemed to be alright.

It is Monday afternoon, my fifth last one at work. At this work, anyway. I am going to a birthday meal tonight, even though it is not anywhere near my birthday. I am determined not to drink, although I do know myself, and my own self-inflicted peer pressure is so much worse than any that my actual peers might throw at me. I will report tomorrow from the murky depths of a hangover, no doubt.

I am going to go and pep talk myself into refusing wine.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Of Hangovers, Nudity and Peas For Girls

A snippet of an email from my lovely friend Gemma:

"I'm extremely impressed and super-excited that you're actually doing the big proper "giving up your dayjob" and jumping into the music industry. How completely exciting is that?! I'm seriously thrilled and I want to come and be your bustling PA when you're extremely famous. I can just picture myself screaming "Léonie ONLY has GREEN smarties, fucknut!" - can't you?"

In truth I cannot just give her the job without putting all applicants through some rigorous testing first. Involving super-quick fetching of Brannigan's Roast Beef and Mustard crisps and convincing me I don't have fat arms/bad hair/three days to live.

Although the email ends thus:

"Miss you, beautiful naked dancing lady"

so Gemma might have to get the job due to her perhaps knowing some things I wouldn't necessarily want to share with the world.


I had a great night last night. Euan and I were due to meet at Tottenham Court Road at six-thirty. When I arrived at precisely six-forty-three Euan was standing outside the closed down music shop opposite We Will Rock You waiting for me. He told me that he had just seen Paul and Adam on their way to exactly the same pub we were going to. Feeling that turning and running fast in the other direction would be too much effort, we made our way to the pub to join them.

The pub was packed, and people were bursting out of the doors, sitting and standing all around on the street outside. We joined them, finding a step to sit on whilst we clutched our beers-in-plastic-pint-glasses (dangerous because you frequently squeeze them a bit too hard and the lager streams down your arm, causing you to have to do the elbow-out-neck-craned-forward sip to catch the frothing liquid before it runs down to your jeans and possibly into your bag). We sat, drank and caught up, and as the empty plastic pint glasses stacked up we began talking to strangers, in the way that you wouldn't on the tube but seems a great idea when you're a bit pissed and it's warm enough to be outside at ten o'lock at night. After a while Tom came to join us having been to a dinner where he had eaten pizza and talked mainly about sex.

The combination of no-dinner and too many pints meant that when Tom and I got back to my flat in Clapham I decided that the best thing in the world ever to do would be to make a tantalising meal for myself. Five minutes later I walked into my bedroom, swaying slightly and holding a bowl of chickpeas and cheese sprinkled liberally with lemon juice, and Tom said something probably implying that I was a bit resonated. Ignoring him I sat myself down on the floor and had a good four more mouthfuls of chickpeas before cling-filming it and putting in the fridge, saving it for later. I stand by my assertion that it was a viable thing to eat. I tried it this morning whilst I stood in the kitchen, soaking wet and wrapped in a towel, hungover to shit and making a three-spoons-of-Nescafé cup of coffee to pep the hangover away. It was very tasty, and if I hadn't felt so rubbish and if it hadn't been really too early for chickpeas, I might have eaten the whole lot.

I don't know if you can tell from the babbled style of writing I have opted for today, but I am quite hungover. It is one of those ebbing and flowing ones. Extreme fatigue, desire to crawl under the desk for a nap, excessive thirst and talking shit - these are all symptoms. I am not sure there is a cure. I may die from this low-grade hangover. It would be very sad. Hopefully in Heaven everybody is allowed to sleep under their desks if they want to.

I must stop typing now, otherwise I run a serious risk of starting to go off on tangents and telling you things like the fact that when anyone mentions Heaven I don't think of the afterlife and angels and things, I think of the gay nightclub under the arches near Charing Cross. I like it there, although the drinks in the VIP section are exceedingly pricey.

I shall round off with another email snippet, this time from Paul detailing the conversation he had with his girlfriend when he got home from the pub last night.

"'Did you have a good evening?'
'Yes. We drank beer and met a girl whose Italian BDSM fiancé dumped her over MSN Messenger and met Léonie's boyfriend and drank beer and had a lovely time and now I am drunk'
'Oh Fuckface,' she replied. I think she meant it affectionately."


Three things.
1. Something or someone has started emitting a very high pitched beeping sound in the vicinity of my desk. I never knew I had this capacity for hatred.
2. Erica (see links) has posted a picture of Tom on her website, as we have a Small Group of Girls Who Blog Whose Boyfriends All Lived Together At One Time Or Still Do Now. I am going to get T-shirts made.
3. My friend just emailed me and said 'Let's go get lunched'. I like it. I am just off to get absolutely lunched out of my fucking mind.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sulking Is Ace

Get a blog
You really should
Get a blog
They're really good.

Just don't fucking write a really long post, accidentally delete it, start fucking writing another one and then accidentally fucking delete that too.

They were rubbish posts, anyway, basically talking boringly and annoyingly about how boring and annoying I am, but I am still cross.

I am the following things at the moment:
- boring
- anxious to the point of not being able to breathe

Hurray. Invite me to all the parties, quick.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The First Time Ever I Saw My Space....

Just the most bare of bare bones, but it has a song I wrote on it.

I need pictures and more music, and that will all be put on there very soon. Of course I did none of the technology-based stuff myself, as I am not so good at computers. I am better at looking at pretty pictures and playing with adorable little kittens.

(Please listen to the track and then tell other people to, because if the potential investors see that it has had a lot of plays they might think I'm, like, all popular.)

(That last bit is what is known as 'shameless blog-whoring'.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Striking The Bull By The Horns While The Iron Is Hot

I have just quit my job.

Six weeks, and counting...

Friday, September 15, 2006

This post is why people hate blogs.

The area around my nose piercing is slightly painful. It hurts when I scrunch my nose up. Why don't I, you may or may not ask depending on how much time you have on your hands, just stop scrunching my nose? Well, I might, if I felt like it, reply, I have taken to doing it every thirty or so seconds to test out whether it still hurts or not. I have not yet gone as far as to record my findings in a small spiral-bound notebook. It has not stopped hurting. I fear amputation might be the only cure.

I went for pizza last night at the restaurant-down-the-road with Tom and housemate David. The restaurant-down-the-road is run by a man who is very, very French and has an alarming habit of sneaking up behind people and saying things loudly in an unintelligble French accent. We were sure, though, from the tone, that he was saying nice things so we smiled and nodded. At one point Tom said "Yes!" in a manner at once enthusiastic and hopeful, which seemed to be the right answer as the Frenchman laughed wildly for a bit before adjusting his beret with a satisfied sigh.

This weekend I am once again going to Eastbourne to record my mis-matched socks off. This means a train journey and too much coffee. Then another train journey.

Watching Eastenders when you haven't really ever seen it before is a baffling experience. Particularly if you're watching it with someone else who hasn't watched it before. Everytime someone says something darkly that hints at something dramatic having taken place, or someone says "wos gahn on?" and the other people on screen look guilty, you will turn to each other and ask what is, in fact, going on. Despite knowing that the other person has as little idea as you do, you will keep this up for the full half hour.

(I just scrunched my nose. It still hurts. Why?)

(Don't say "because you have a piece of METAL in your face, idiot".)

(Unless you're my Dad in which case I would be disappointed if you didn't.)

Do you know what I would really like? No you don't, I'll tell you.

I would like to be told a good joke.

Someone must have one. I have heard the one about the two fish in the tank. I have also heard the one about the birds on the perch.

Get cracking, now, please.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Floating and Waiting

I am just waiting for something now.

I am just hanging on, waiting for something. I am waiting to get my song, and then I will be pushing it as far as I can.

I am so focussed on this one thing that everything else seems irrelevant.

I am setting myself challenges. Writing a good biography for my website. Writing an article. Sorting out my finances. Thinking about how I am going to market my stuff. Thinking about what changes I am going to make and how I can make them in a practical way that means I won't be broke, but I will be fulfilled, even just in the short term.

I feel very mixed up, which is perhaps why I am not posting so much. I am confused and frustrated. Whenever I have felt this before it has always gone hand in hand with feeling depressed, having low-confidence and berating myself. At the moment, though, all those feelings are conspicuously absent. I feel like I am floating around. I feel distant from my everyday life. I can't post anything decent because I don't even know what I'm feeling. I'm not miserable, but I am not exactly content. I am ready, but ready for what I have no idea.

I think there are things to do and decisions to be made and I must make them. I have to find out what it is I am feeling so ready for. I'm not scared of it, not at all. I just want to do it. I want to do it all right now.

I am unbelievably frustrated with doing things I don't care about. I won't do it anymore. Soon I won't do it anymore.

In the meantime, I will float.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

List of News:

1. I am moving back to my parents' house for a while. I cannot commit to signing a new lease that will leave me financially committed for six-twelve months, as I have no idea what is going to happen or where I'll be. When this tour goes ahead I will be earning money from it, but probably not enough to pay rent in one city and be travelling around others.

2. I will miss the curtains in my room. I will miss living in zone two. I will miss the train tracks that run five metres from my bedroom window. I will miss living with Bec and David. I will miss the flat.

3. I will not miss the mouse.

4. My record is being taken around record labels this week.

5. Shitsticks.

6. Next week I will put up the song on the Internet somewhere and trying to make as many people as I possibly can listen to it.

7. I will also be copying the CD and giving those copies to people who might be Influential In Kick Starting My Career, and also to people Who I Meet On The Street When Drunk.

8. The tour is definite. I have yet to find out details, but I have been told it is definitely going ahead.

9. I still don't believe it.

10. Even despite eating three custard cream biscuits in an attempt to drum the reality in via the medium of sugar.

11. This might actually be the start of something, mightn't it?

12. Holy shitsticks.

13. (scrabbling of biscuit packet following by pensive munching)

Monday, September 11, 2006


On Saturday I went to Eastbourne again. It costs about twenty quid to get to Eastbourne, twenty quid that I do not readily have. It worries me that I pay this money, because I will run out soon. Before payday, of course. As is the norm. I do not, however, have a choice. I must record, and to record I must travel, and to travel I must pay.

It is a nice train journey down to the coast, though. Rolling green English countryside with its still-green trees and scattered livestock chewing. The train gildes through places with overly-quaint sounding names like Plumpton.

I felt relaxed by the time I reached Eastbourne. Staggering off the train with my cello I was greeted by Isaac and whisked back to the studio.

Coffee and chat over with, we started working on the backing vocals for the track I put down last week. I had already recorded the bass lines and main vocals on my iMac using the GarageBand software, and from that Isaac had filled out the track in his extensive studio filled with identical-looking switches and blinking lights. As we listened to the progress it had made througout the week we were joined by a man called Dave. Dave runs a company called Circular Sounds - - and has been quite taken with my songwriting. He sat in on the session as I created some backing vocals, offering his encouragement and suggestions. The microphone for recording vocals is, as it often is in studios, in a separate room. Sometimes you are placed in a little booth made of glass, and sometimes you stand in a room on your own, headphones (or 'cans') dwarfing your head, staring at a wall whilst singing into the upright mic. This can be isolating, but leaves less to be distracted by.

Each backing vocal had to be sung four times, as close to identically as possible. If the one take was replicated four times it would sound too artificial, but still each take mustn't deviate too far from the others. I sung three sets of backing vocals for three different points in the song, doing each of them four times. It took a few hours to do all of it. Dave told me that he was 'very impressed' with my studio technique, which is basically trying to get it right with as few takes as possible. That, he said, might have taken two or three days with another artist. As he looked at me interestedly, considering the amount of studio time, and therefore money, this might save, I tried not to let the pleasure at being called an 'artist' flush across my face.

We did a bit more work on the track, and then went for lunch at the local pub.

Over my Ploughman's (with Stilton) I listened to Dave and Isaac talk about people they know, we discussed music, London and work. We drank a glass of lovely red wine each. I have no idea what is going on here, I thought to myself. What does it mean that I'm here? These people seem to have faith in something that I can do, but I don't know what implications that has for my life. 'Just go with it' seems to be the advice of the people I've spoken to. 'It's win-win, for you, because you're recording your own stuff and people are hearing it'. Yes, hearing it and, it seems, liking it.

"Isaac told me you were good," said Dave, "and if you had been half as good as you are I would have been impressed."

I nodded, smiling. "Thanks."

I am going with it all. I will continue to travel to Eastbourne as many weekends as I can, despite not being able to afford it. I have to continue to do it all, but I can't help wondering when my life is going to change. When will I be able to spend my life doing what I really love, not just squeezing it in at weekends? Last night I went to bed with a sinking feeling of real dread as I contemplated going back to my weekday persona, five days of silently speaking to myself in clichés, phrases like 'means to an end' and 'got to pay the rent' floating around my brain incessantly. I dream of escape and of finally having something to show for all these hours of torture-by-mundanity.

Of course, my life is brilliant. I love London, I have fantastic friends and a wonderful boyfriend. My family are supportive and nearby. Nobody is attempting to make me into a merchant banker or a marketing executive. I have decent clothes and alright hair. I am not a social misfit and my skin is quite good. Things are good for me. My tenacity with my singing seems to be finally paying off.

Now, though, in what is I hope a transitional phase in my life, I feel more frustrated than ever. Someone is standing over me with a large metaphorical fishing rod, dangling everything I have dreamed off just outside my grasp and I am not at all sure what I am supposed to be trying to do to persuade them to move a little closer. Who must I speak to? What should I do? Is there anything I am not doing that I should be?

People are incredulous when I tell them that I am feeling a bit down. Things are going so well, they exclaim, clearly wondering whether I am just a huge drama queen. I don't think I am. Things are going well. It would seem. I have no evidence of this yet, though. I haven't seen any return. Of course there is also the fact that I have upped the stakes on the amount of pressure I put on myself. As things seem to get better and I feel like I am climbing up higher and higher I can only see the next summit, not the one I have just come to the top of.

In the last five years things have changed so much. The world is a different place now and yet still exactly the same. Change is such a peculiar creature, seeping in and baffling us with its simultaneous capacity for subtlety and blundering force.

I wonder what the next five years will hold, or the next five weeks, days or hours. One thing we can be sure of is that they will bring change, although how that change will manifest itself is gloriously and terrifyingly unknowable. I want change, I long for it, and yet at the same time the prospect of it horrifies me.

Horrifyingly thrilling. Terrifyingly wonderful.

Most of all, though, just flatly inevitable.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I am in a good mood because:

1. Someone has just put The Fugees 'The Score' on the stereo and I haven't heard it in such a very long time.

2. I have just arranged that I am to be in the studio again all day Saturday. I am so excited to continue recording all the stuff we started last week, and see if there has been any further development tour-talks-wise.

3. I am considering having another cup of coffee, as I am going out to meet some friends (the Biarritz Massive) in a pub around Baker Street and, considering that I went out last night, I am slightly tired.

4. I have written nearly a whole new song in the last three hours.

5. I have done this whilst not neglecting the other things I am supposed to do.

6. Killing Me Softly has just come on. Such memories.

7. I do like a nice Thursday.

I hope you are in a good mood as well. I am going to sit nearer the stereo so I can sing along to the twiddly bits until I am told to be quiet.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just a few NAQs

I don't know what to write about nowadays. Therefore, instead of attempting to write anything 'relevant', 'meaningful' or 'interesting', I have turned to some irrelevant, meaningless and not-so-much-with-the-interesting questions to answer. They came to me in an email. I have deleted some of them. Either because I couldn't be bothered to answer them or because they were about sex. Also I deleted the one asking me if I kept an online journal, because who would do that? Some narcissistic fucker.

Anyway. Don't feel compelled to trawl through it all. The first question pretty much sets the 'interesting' precedent for the whole thing.

How many keys are on your keychain?

Three for the front door, one to my parents' house.

What curse word do you use the most?

Probably none override any of the others. I say the word 'shitsticks' a lot, actually. Sometimes it morphs into 'shittlesticks'.

Do you own an iPod?

Yes, I do. A mini one, in green. It has the words 'Léonie's iPod' etched on the back. By the Apple Store, not by me and an unfolded paper clip.

What time is your alarm clock set for?

7.10, 7.25, 7.35, then I get out of bed and am invariably late for work.

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?

In it. With powers of deletion.

What was the last movie you watched?

On the plane coming back from NZ I watched numerous films, some good, some nostril-searingly bad. The last one I watched before touching down in Heathrow was 'Lucky Number Slevin'. In fact, I had to hide the headphones under my hair so that the stewardesses wouldn't take them from me, forcing me to miss the last, and as it turned out crucial, moments of the film. I really enjoyed it, actually. Not the hiding-the-headphones (for some reason on flights I always find myself wanting the steward/esses to like me the best out of all the passengers, and suspect that delaying collection of electronic devices isn't the way to make this happen), the film itself.

Do any of your friends have children?

Some friends from work. A couple from University.

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would buy?

A recording studio, part of a record label, and some ace shoes.

Has anyone ever called you lazy?

Yep. The idea that I might be lazy is a horrible fear for me. I don't think I am, really, but it is one of the phrases that I use on myself when I am being at my most cruel.

Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?


What CD is currently in your CD player?

The recordings I did at the weekend.

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?

The idea of drinking milk makes me feel inexplicably sick. Chocolate milk I could cope with better, but still I don't think I could manage a whole glass.

Has anyone told you a secret this week?

Well, a couple of people have told me things and then said "oh, don't say anything to anyone, will you?" as an afterthought. Which was a shame because by that time I had already commissioned the sky-writer.

When was the last time someone hit on you?

Sunday afternoon. Unless you count Tom climbing up the front of my house last night to kiss me and scare Bec to death, which I actually do.

What did you have for dinner?

Last night I ate oatcakes and cheese. A few for energy before I went running, and then some afterwards because I wasn't hungry enough to be bothered to cook anything proper.

Do you wear hoodies often?

I wouldn't say often. Sometimes. When around the house, or polishing my asbo.

Can you whistle?

Yes, in the lips pursed, off-key, faux-nonchalant way. Not at all in the wolf-whistling, cool way.

Have you ever participated in a protest?

I went on the peace march a few weeks ago, and sat around in Westminster eating ham sandwiches and drinking Fosters, whilst listening to speeches with Chris and Dan. Some others, as well, but this is a really long meme-type thing and I can't be arsed to go through it.

Who was the last person to call you?

Tom. Shortly before he climbed up the side of my house.

What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?

The doughnut stand.

Do you think people talk about you behind your back?

Yeah, definitely. What else would they talk about? Their own lives? Don't be stupid.

What area code are you in right now?


Did you watch cartoons as a child?

Yes. I have fond memories of thundering down the stairs with my sisters at six am on a Saturday morning to sit two inches away from the screen, staring at the cartoons whilst eating Frosties.

How big is your local mall?

I'm not sure what my 'local mall' would be. I hate shopping centres. Hate hate hate.

How many siblings do you have?

Two lovely sisters. Alexandra, 26, and Sophie, 21.

Are you shy around the opposite sex?

Sometimes. I am shy around people I feel intimidated by, whichever sex they might be.

What is your biggest regret?

Not leaving Paris when I should have done, about a month before I actually did. I was there when I was eighteen, and I think that the loneliness and isolation I felt when I was there is the root of many of the problems I've had subsequently.

When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?

I actually can't remember.

What movie do you know every line to?

True Romance.

Do you own any band t–shirts?

Some, but not because I have gone out of my way to buy them, just because I have acquired them by some means or another.

When was your last plane ride?

Last week. New Zealand.

How many chairs are at your dining room table?


Do you read for fun?

For some reason I read that question as 'Are you ready for fun?', to which my response was 'um... yeah, sure. What do you have in mind?'. I wonder what this says about me?

Anyway, yes, I do read for pleasure. I would also like to point out that I am ready for fun. So, whatever, a book, some tequila, whatever you fancy. I'm up for it.

Can you speak any languages other than English?

French, except that my vocab has slipped considerably. I also did A-level Spanish from scratch in my final year of University. I did hardly any work throughout the year then crammed like hell in the last three weeks, and got my best mark in it, out of everything. This made no sense at the time, and is a shining example of my utterly contrary and nonsensical ways. I have now, of course, forgotten all of it.

Do you do your own dishes?

Yes. Except when my lovely housemate David does them.

What color is your bedroom painted?


Have you ever cried in public?

Oh, yeah. Loads. Other people being present doesn't stop me expressing myself, be it through tears, laughter or random acts of extreme violence.

Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

A desktop. A shiny Mac.

Which do you make, wishes or plans?

Plans. Lots of them. Rarely wishes.

Are you always trying to learn new things?

Not really, I don't think. I am not on a constant quest for knowledge regardless of cost or boredom, but I enjoy knowing new things and learning new things.

Do you shower on a daily basis?

Yes, because I am not a hobo who drinks Special Brew and smells of stagnant wee.

Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?

No. For quite a while I was hankering for a star tattoo on my wrist, but I have meandered off the idea. I have one tattoo and one piercing (not including ears) and that is enough for now.

Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date?

Perhaps the first drink on the first date. Then it the girl should get the second drink, and them go from there. I think there should be a little gentle arguing about who pays for dinner. It wouldn't bother me to be paid for, to pay or to split it.

Can you skip rocks?

There is nothing about this question that I understand.

Have you ever been to Jamaica?


What to snack on at the movie theaters?

Pick n mix and a bottle of water. The best cinema for pick n mix is the one on the Fulham Road. Fact.

Who was your favorite teacher?

Possibly my A-level English teacher, Mrs Asher.

Have you ever dated someone out of your race?


What is the weather like?

Blue skies, sunny, but not too hot. Perfect.

Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?


What was your favorite class in high school?

English, theatre studies, art or geography.

Do you enjoy traveling via airplanes?

Aeroplanes make me despise people.

What personality trait is a must–have in your preferred gender?

Sense of humour.

Have you ever been attracted to someone physically unattractive?

No, I don't think so.

When was the last time you slept on the floor?

Saturday night. Isaac, my producer, has no furniture in his spare room.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

I like wine, but also beer. Also I have been having cravings for Bloody Marys recently.

Does your closest Starbucks have a drive–thru?


Do you like your living arrangement?

Yes I do, although it is about to be changed as Bec is moving nearer to the school she teaches at, and David and I are going to move to North Of The River.

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

At least seven, to really function properly.

Do you eat breakfast daily?

Oh, yes. It is very important.

What was the last thing to scare you?

See last post.

Are your days full and fast–paced?

No. In my head they are, but realistically not so much. I am striving to make them so.

Did you ever get in trouble for talking in class?

Of course, every so often, but I mainly used to get told off for daydreaming.

What is your favorite fruit?

The apple.

Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?

Every so often, but not at all obsessively.

How old will you be turning on your next birthday?


Are you picky about spelling and grammar?

Yes. Very. Now everyone will be looking very closely at my spelling and grammar throughout the rest of the post for signs of spellological error. Or any gratuitous making up of words.

Do you believe in life on other planets?

Yes. From what I hear the Universe is pretty huge, it makes no sense that we would be the only ones. Also I believe everything Douglas Adams has ever written.

Have you ever been to Six Flags?


Who was the last person to piss you off?

In the last hour two people have made me cross enough to put lipbalm on angrily.

What was the last thing you ate?

Bran Flakes for breakfast. I am going to go and meet Lucy and Kirsten for lunch in about half an hour, so I am hungrily looking forward to that.

Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?

Depends on the individual.

What did you dress up as for your first Halloween?

I absolutely cannot remember at all.

How did your parents pick your name?

My Mum was reading a historical novel called 'These Old Shades' just before I was born, in which the heroine was a French girl called Léonie. She was a feisty redhead. I am a sometimes-feisty brunette-slash-auburn-in-some-lights. We are very similar.

Do you like mustard?

Oh, yes.

What do you tell yourself when times get hard?

I don't know, really. That they will get better, and that only I can make them better, I think.

Would you ever sky dive?

I sky-dived (dove?) when I was nineteen, the first time I visted New Zealand. It was awesome.

Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?

I sleep on my front. In the recovery position, or near enough. It's best to be safe.

What do you think of Angelina Jolie?

I don't really think anything. She's a very pretty lady, and always seems to have very skinny arms, but apart from that I can't comment.

Do you enjoy giving hugs?

Tricky question. In actual fact I am not a very tactile person. I don't like my personal space to be invaded, and so can appear quite unresponsive to physical displays of affection. I do, however, enjoy giving hugs, because I wouldn't hug someone if I didn't feel the desire to in the first place. Sometimes I just don't feel like being touched. I am a cold, callous bitch who is impervious to human kindness, as it turns out.

Would you consider yourself to be fashionable?

I recently acquired a pair of skinny jeans in light grey. I own big sunglasses and wear long necklaces. I have been known to wear knee-high boots over trousers.
I would not wear stuff only because it was fashionable, flab bedamned, but I would say I am aware of what is going on, like, on the streets and stuff. I would not use the phrase 'down with the kids', however, no matter how much I might be tempted.

Do you own a digital camera?

Yep, it is a Sony Cyber-shot, 6 mega pixels, in a whizzy shiny silver colour.

If someone you had no interest in dating expressed interest in dating you, how would you feel?

Flattered. Then I would set the hounds on them.

What celebrities have you been compared to?

Someone once said I looked like Julianne Moore. This was many years ago, but I have chosen to remember it. (For things I have not chosen to remember, please see: All Maths.)

Does it annoy you when someone says they'll call but never do?

Yes, but I do it. All the time.

What are you allergic to?

Nothing. Perhaps shouty people.

Are you a jealous person?

I am, quite. I would prefer not to be.

What's your opinion on sex without emotional commitment?

Possible. I'd say doable, but I hate that word and I don't want anyone to think (read: know) I'm slutty.

Do you ever feel guilty after eating meat?


If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?


Well, wasn't that enlightening? I will leave you to ponder the nature of the questions I deleted. (I would have answered the sex ones.)

I can't be bothered to read this through now, so any grammatical or spellological errors are to be breezily overlooked. I thank you.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Possible to Probable

I am, it would seem, quite the jet setter. Only having returned back from New Zealand on Wednesday morning, I spent a mere two days in London and then was off again! Off to Eastbourne, sure, but still off. For those of you not in the know, Eastbourne is less far away from London than New Zealand. In fact, some might say that going seventy-five miles to the rain-whipped English coast doesn't really count as jetsetting so much, but I would firmly ignore those people just as I firmly ignore my alarm clock for half an hour each morning.

I was woken on Saturday morning by said alarm clock buzzing like an impatient wasp. I lay there for the obligatory half an hour, watching through half-open eyes as the sunlight edged cautiously over the mounds of mess that comprised my bedroom floor. Having been bedded by jetlag before I could even contemplate attempting to sort out the post-holiday débris, my room was layered thickly with clothes, shoes, books, bags, suitcases, towels, toiletries, bits of paper, plastic bags, shoes, books, more shoes and a couple more books. Eventually I clambered out of bed and started to get ready for the weekend ahead.

Dressed and packed, I left the house, handbag over one shoulder, overnight bag over the other, and cello alternating between one hand and the other. I have a travel case for my cello, which makes it extra safe, but also extra heavy. I can walk up to one hundred steps whilst carrying it in one hand, and then I have to change hands and count the steps out again. It takes about three-hundred and fifty steps to get from my house to the tube station, at which point I got on a train, changed at Bank then (after another three hundred steps) got on a central line train to South Woodford, where I was met by my friend in her car. We loaded the cello into the car and set off for Battle, where we were to meet our other friend Beth and her fiancé. Beth is American, and yesterday she went back to the US for good, so we had a small goodbye lunch in Battle.

A lovely lunch later, I was on the train to Eastbourne to Isaac's house (the producer) where I was to stay for the weekend ("you're going to get molested!" sang Beth when she heard this).

As I arrived and walked into the living room, laden down with my cello and my nerves, I was introduced to three other people, Chris, Victoria and Dave. Chris and Victoria are brother and sister, and had done some recording with Isaac before. Dave was a potential investor. I accepted a cup of coffee and chatted with them for a while. About music, about living in London, about the frustrations of spending seventy percent of your time working in a job you dislike, in order to pay rent and to be able to afford to follow a dream that seems to wax and wane and come and go, that seems at once so near and yet so untouchable. I told them about my music, and they told me about theirs. We all agreed that to live in London is to have a huge advantage, music-wise.

Eventually I was forced to get my cello out, something I do with considerably less alacrity than when I am asked to sing. I am nervous about playing my cello, because I am, quite simply, not as comfortable with performing an impromptu rendiditon of Elgar's Cello Concerto with my cello as I am with, say, one of Summertime with my voice. There is more that can go wrong with the cello. I have to think about fingers and arms and all sorts of complicated machinery like that, which is scary in a small room full of expectant people. Scary, though, is good, I reckon, and the fact that something is scary shouldn't be a reason not to do it. (Unless, obviously, it is scary like poking-a-tiger-in-the-eye scary, but if you can't work that out on your own I would suggest you seriously re-evaluate your capacity for rational thought. Or get someone else to do it, perhaps.)

Anyway, I played, and improvised along to Chris on his guitar. We played one of his songs, and then Leonard Cohen 'Hallelujah', which was lovely. My fingers grew more accustomed to seeking out the right notes, anticipating the harmonies and feeling where the song was going. At the end of the song I looked up and was relieved to see expressions of serenity on the faces of the listeners, which is a normal and positive reaction to hearing a good version of that song, as opposed to anguish, which is not.

Throughout the rest of Saturday and Sunday Isaac and I recorded one of my own songs and one that wasn't written by me. The feeling of singing my song in the the studio, of hearing the different takes and watching as it melds together into a proper track, was wonderful. It is that song that people are impressed with, that song is what might push investors to fund a tour. That and some of the others that I have sent them. This one, though, caught their interest. It's 'different' apparently. The talk was of a tour. Of thirty-two dates across the country. We sat and talked about all of this, about where this might be about to go, about what might actually happen. About the possibility that it might be soon, and that it might be real. Somewhere around this point I started to feel very sick. I started to shake and had to close my eyes to stop everything spinning. "I have to..." I managed, before rushing to the bathroom to throw up. When I returned I hadn't stopped shaking, and my reflection in the mirror had confirmed that my face was white and my eyes wide. As I sipped water I began to feel slightly better, slightly more in control of my faculties.

"Jet lag" said Isaac. "It can do this. I used to get it like that. Think of what you've put your body through recently." I nodded, recalling the stress and anxiety of the last few days. The nerves about coming to record my own music on top of going back to work straight away had compounded the jet lag, certainly. I really thought, though, that the real reason for my sudden nausea was being completely overwhelmed. I was completely blown away by the fact that, for the first time, the 'impossible or possible?' question was replaced by the 'possible or probable?' one, meaning that, instead of being faced with the notion that something might actually be possible, I was faced with one that suggested that it is probable.

The idea of 'probable' made me sick.

What if it happens? What if I do the thirty-two date tour? What if I actually do this thing I have been hankering after for what seems like countless lifetimes?

What if I get back and everyone has forgotten about me? What if people move on and I am no longer allowed to be part of a group of 'normal' people?

One of the things I have secretly enjoyed about having an office job is the 'knocking off at six' feeling. The Friday feeling. The fact that my friends keep the same hours as I do and that I can be part of a wider group of people who do the same thing. Being part of the collective sigh of relief as everybody embraces the weekend and comfortably debates the relative merits of a Thursday afternoon and a Friday morning. The tea, the illicit biscuits, the banter.
I wasn't, however, sick with the idea of never working in an office again.

I was sick with the worry that people would forget about me. My friends, my boyfriend, my life would cease to be mine if I went anywhere and did anything different. What if I can't meet up in the Jon Snow in Soho for a post-work drink, if I can't rush out on a Thursday night to go to the cinema or see my boyfriend whenever we want?

It's not that imminent, like next week or two weeks. No, it won't sneak up, but I had a sudden flash of how much I will lose in terms of comfort when it all happens. How much, though? Will I lose? I hope not too much. I hope not the people who are the most important to me. I hope that, when I am away and feeling lost, I will always be able to make a phonecall and feel that little bit more found.

It isn't that it is imminent, it's just that the line has been crossed from possible to probable, and my eyes feel somewhat opened.