Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mainly All About The Following:

Also I was given an incredible book called 'The Naked Jape' by Jimmy Carr, which is all about jokes. It has a joke or a one-liner on each page. Christmas day was largely comprised of reading every single one, much to the annoyance of my family who were forced to put up with my frequent bursts of excessively loud laughter.

Other presents included money for a stage outfit, Topshop vouchers, boots, a bag, make-up, the new Faithless album, lip gloss, and, very excitingly, a real, honest-to-goodness magical pony. From my Impish Little Sister Sophie.

I will post a picture of it soon.

I got a pony for Christmas. A magical one. That calls for another celebratory drink, I suspect.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Goodwill and Binge-Drinking

Casting aside the misery-tinged themes of my last couple of posts, I am now gleefully awaiting Christmas. Gleeful because both my lovely sisters are going to be coming home in a few days in order that the clothes/make-up/jewellery bickering can commence and the proper order of things can therefore be restored.

I finished off my shopping today in a health food store next to Bond Street tube station, feeling that I needed something to boost me after a tough few hours of elbowing fellow shoppers in the face and jumping queues, all with the appropriate amounts of Christmas spirit. I had come straight from a lovely and very relaxed morning at my friend Chris's new flat in Brixton where I had stayed the night before. After some coffee, a pain au chocolat and some soothing morning chat I felt that I was ready to hit the streets of Central London in search of those last, all-important gifts for my loved ones. What I somehow failed to acknowledge, though, was the fact that Central London is Hell. It doesn't matter how many reassuring cups of coffee you prepare yourself with, the fact will remain that stepping off a bus on Oxford Street on the Friday afternoon before Christmas will make you want to die at once. Nevertheless, step off the bus I did, and marched furiously around for a couple of hours buying things and swearing heartily at anyone who got the slightest bit in my way (which was everyone) until I collapsed onto the train to come home.

Things that didn't help included:
  • The fact that it was fucking freezing cold
  • The fact that I had a knawing hangover causing my feet to feel all funny and sometimes refuse to walk in a straight line
  • The fact that I was convinced that all the presents I was buying were a) crap, and b) well out of my budget
  • The fact that my shoes were high and uncomfortable, selected for swanning places and drinking gin and tonic like I had been doing the night before, not for pounding the ice-like pavements of Stupid Central London

So now I am back in the luxury of home, waiting for Santa to come to town and slip sables under the tree for me. I am talking on Instant Messenger to my friend the burleseque superstar Ms Lily Dumont to get some advice about getting a performance costume made. I want it green and I want a corset built in. Fancy. And maybe even a bit dirty, but of course in a classy way. Sleek. Sharp. Showy. With fabulous shoes.

This weekend I plan to wrap my Christmas presents in a sloppy manner, decide on outfits for all the social occasions I have planned for the next few weeks and prepare myself for Christmas. I will Help Around The House (I already put my immense culinary skills to the test and rolled some pastry) and mess around on my computer (which has just come back from being fixed). I might even go out on a date with someone, but to be honest I don't know if I can be bothered. It seems a lot of hassle and would no doubt ruin my whole outfit schedule.

On Christmas Eve I will go out to the same pub my friends and I have been to every Christmas Eve for the last nine years. We will get elegantly drunk. Drunk enough to have lots of fun, but not so drunk that we wake up on Christmas morning face down in a delicious pile of our own vomit. A situation in which my little sister definitely did not find herself a couple of years ago. Certainly not.

All in all I am trying to cheer myself up with the season of goodwill and the fact that my Dad just bought a massive bottle of Bailey's from Waitrose.

Let's all be jolly, shall we? Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Post About The Post Before

Almost as soon as I had clicked the 'publish' button on the last post I felt somehow cheered. It felt as if I had owned up to something I had been obsessively worrying about. Writing the words and then seeing them blinking back at me diminished the anxiety because I recognised the problems for what they are: temporary. Seeing them contained like that on a page rather than free floating around the vast open spaces that comprise the inside of my head makes them much less daunting. I can cope with that, I think when I read it back to myself. This, if I think about it, is nothing I haven't felt before. Tenfold.

When I read the comments, I tried to work out whether the post was a cry for help, and if it was then to whom I was crying. If I was asking for help then it was more for understanding than actual 'shitgetmetoaninstitution' real life help. To be honest, if I had been seriously worried rather than just felt depressed in a way I am used to I think would be able to talk about it out loud.

I chose to talk about it here instead of going to someone and asking them to seriously help me because I can recognise that, whilst I am going through a bit of a hard time, I'm not on the verge of a breakdown. What I needed was to be told that it was all going to be alright and that it is ok to be a bit fucking terrified, and I have the outlet to ask for that kind of help here. My friends are great, but instead of entering into a big conversation about anything I just wanted to say what I needed to say and bugger off into the Internet ether. What I like about blogging is that you can choose your words, then backspace and re-choose until you have pinned down the essence of whatever it is you have decided to wax lyrical about that day. In conversation you always have to clarify, to bend and stretch and reiterate. Here you just pick your words, say your bit, go home.

My last post was the equivalent of standing on top of a very tall building, then shouting "FUCKFUCKFUCK!" at the top of my lungs for a couple of minutes before patting down my hair, re-applying my mascara and adjusting my bra, then calmly making my way down the fire escape.

Which isn't to diminish what I actually said, because it was how I felt and it still is. What I am trying to say is that the post was a release and a cry for help at the same time. The fact is that it achieved both of those ends, and I somehow feel much less isolated than I did. I feel I can admit that there are elements to this new life which maybe aren't as good as I felt they were in the old one. I miss being around people all day. I miss routine. I miss meeting friends after work. I miss having a boyfriend. I miss earning any fucking money.

All, though, are just adjustments I am in the process of making (with the possible exception of the last one). I might go and have a bit more therapy, even though I will probably end up addicted to therapy and initiate a whole host of new problems.

Anyway. Now that I have satiated my apparent need to clarify every negative post I write here I can move on to the many more interesting things I have to talk about.

Like the fact that I have bought nearly all of my Christmas presents and it isn't even Christmas morning yet.

Or that I am going to Belgium for New Year's Eve (Bruges, to be precise). It is the same group with whom I went to Biarritz in the summer, so there should be potential for copious amounts of the good times, which usually involve gin and dirty talk. Brilliant.

I have also received my first Christmas present (just this year, not ever). A piece of Mount Everest! From my friend Chris who has just returned from Foreign Climes (or should I say Foreign Climbs). It is, admittedly, a bit of rock, but it is Sparkly and therefore Fancy. It is currently making my handbag heavy because he gave it to me last Monday and I keep forgetting to take it out. I am hoping that my next present will be a large-print hardback copy of War and Peace or a three-hundred pound man called Keith.

What I wanted to say without sounding too Oscars, is thanks. For the emails and comments and texts and phonecalls, and just the being nice and not minding that I am ruining everybody's Christmas period with my moaning. I appreciate it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


It's been so long since I have written anything really honest. Not that I have been dishonest as such, just that I have felt so restricted in terms of what I should and shouldn't write in my posts.

In view of the fact that this blog is actually the only thing that has really remained a constant in the last year-and-a-bit, I suddenly feel the need to return to the reason I started writing it in the first place.

I used to read Dooce and find myself awed by her honesty, her unashamed ability to confront her demons and write about them so candidly. I'm not sure why I admire the sharing so much, but I really did then and I still do.

It was because of that blog that I began writing under my own name. I wrote about things I found funny. About my friends and family, and what I did of a weekend. I wrote numerous posts about the desire to sing and the frustrations of being in a situation that was not conducive to singing. I wrote about boys, dates and being chatted up on the Tube.

I think, though, that it was always the posts about my depression and self-harming that helped me the most. To find words to describe the anxiety and hollowness that would wake me in the night and haunt me in the day, that seemed like a challenge and then an acheivement. I felt that I could write what I wanted, because in this little world of narcissism and self-importance anybody could read it, nobody is forced to. I didn't have to sit with someone in the pub, anxiously watching for their eyes to glaze over with boredom as I wittered on about feeling lost and isolated. No need to apologise for wasting somebody's time with my idiotic neuroses and poor-little-middle-class-girl problems, because they could choose to read or not.

Recently, though, I have felt less able to be so honest here. Because I declared myself fixed after therapy. Because I am seemingly living the life I had yearned for everyday. Because more and more people who I know personally will read it. Because I have forgotten how to put aside feeling ashamed and guilty for feeling things I don't understand.

I decided today that I am going to try to be honest again.

I wrote that last sentence and then spent about a minute and a half staring at the screen trying to work out how to even start going about doing that, and I still have no idea.

My self-analysis (overactive at the best of times) tells me that when I left my job and my flat I lost my sense of self. That the shift from dreaming about something and actually doing it is bound to be a shock because in our dreams we conveniently leave out the mundane parts. That maybe I expected myself to adjust too quickly to a life that is pretty much the polar opposite of what it had been.

I can tell myself these things to try to bring some sense of comfort or of perspective, but it isn't really working.

All I know is that I feel hollow, dejected and lonely. The effort it takes not to be constantly in tears is too draining. I wake up and feel like a train has just hit me, and the pep talks I am forced to give myself just to get out of bed are beginning to sound somewhat scripted. Despite knowing that I work hard in the studio I still feel guilty on the days when I am at home and I want to sit on the sofa and watch Charmed for a while. I feel lazy and worthless all the time, and even though I know this is irrational I cannot seem to find a way to make it better for myself. I feel sick most of the time, and tired all of the time.

An improvement, I suppose, is that I have absolutely no desire to self-harm again. I would if I wanted to, but I just don't. At least when I did that I didn't have to actually try and give an unprompted voice to my misery.
Now I don't know what to say when my friends ask me how I am. I want to say 'fine' because I don't want to waste their time, but I also want to tell them the truth. I am not fine, I want to say (but I don't). I actually not feeling that great. I feel like I am floating in a void and I don't even know who I am anymore. Please, I want to say (but I won't), help me.

So I used to be more honest. I have just been honest again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

For The Late Edition:


Cannot pay rent, but is willing to walk around in her underwear.

Can tell quite good jokes.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Terribly, Terribly Sick.

In between doing vocals I have taken to lying, curled up, on the floor of the studio, complete with scarf and gloves and a hood. My ears hurt, my throat feels like sandpaper and I feel all dizzy. I couldn't even really concentrate on today's episode of "Murder, She Wrote". Although it was quite a complex one, so that might not be the sickness, just the brilliance of JB Fletcher.

I think it might be The Black Death. Or scurvy. It has been put to me that it is a 'bad cold', but I am sure it is something much, much more serious. Gangrene, perhaps.

We did an open mic night in Brighton last night, which was fun although I felt like the inside of a used air sickness bag.

I have to go and curl up again now until I am called upon to sing through the pain once more.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Try To Make Me Go To Rehab

I am physically exhausted. I ache all over, from my teeth to my toes. Luckily for me I don't have anything to do today apart from whinge and move slowly around the house being dramatic, despite the fact that I have no witnesses and therefore nobody can feel sorry for me/tell me it's all my own fault.

On Saturday afternoon I made my way back from Eastbourne. Unfortunately the trains in this country are run by Satan, who does not care so much for making travelling anywhere easy, pleasant or cheap. Saturday was even worse, though, because instead of my usually relatively-simple journey I was forced to sit on various trains for over three hours, alternately trying not to listen to people eating stickily, trying not to smack people in the face for talking inanely at at about a thousand decibels about the relative mertis of suitcases vs. rucksacks and trying to ignore the chewed bit of chewing gum which had been placed on the table in front of me. To distract myself I sang some songs at a level I decided was just about quiet enough not to be audible under the hum of the train, but then I noticed the lady opposite me looking at me strangely and realised that even though she might not have been able to hear me she would certainly have been able to see me moving my lips. So I gave that up and spend the rest of the journey gazing folornly at the countryside trickling past outside the window.

As I arrived home I watched a bit of rugby on the TV with my Dad, gazing (again, but this time with considerably more interest) at the festival of thighs until it was time to get ready to go out again.

Onto the train I hopped once again, and it swished and glided into the Big Smoke at the usual pace of slightly-slower-than-a-half-squashed-snail, and made my way to The Cock on Great Portland Street to meet some bloggers. There we sat, blinking and nervous at being away from our computers, unsure of how to form a sentence without the saving grace of a backspace button and ctrlaltdelete to back us up.

The drinks were cheap, though, and we began to relax. Then, once the pub was closing and we were all as relaxed as newts, Will tantalised us all with the possibility of going to a club owned (or at least frequented) by Trisha Goddard, which is retrospect is one of the least exciting celebrity spots ever, like hanging out with the fat man off the National Insurance Helpline adverts, but at the time it seemed like an appealing prospect. As it turned out though, many other people had also been lured by Trisha's celebrity pull and the club was full up.

Not to be downhearted, off we went into a different club about the size of a undersized chess board which had defeaning dance music reverberating off the walls and into our ears, and we stood around drinking beer. I'm not sure whether it was the shots (was it sambucca or tequila?) suggested, of course, by the Welshman, or what it was, but I think we all started having a pretty good time. I recall dancing, and I suspect I wasn't the only one.

Of course, I missed my last train, stayed on Huw's sofa and had to get up while it was still dark so I could get home, get changed and go to the wedding. In retrospect it was hugely inevitable that I would end up missing the train, but it was totally worth it because the night was so fun, and lovely. it was great to meet those people. Other people I met were Astrid, Monica and Sud (is that right?). I was sad not to meet Kelly, who couldn't make it. Next time she will have to come for sure otherwise I will be having serious words.

I arrived home at eight on Sunday morning, and fell into bed to grab an hour of sleep before getting up, showering and putting on my wedding outfit. Which is comprised of a black satin dress I have worn twelve billion times before and my favourite shoes, shiny make-up and brushed hair. Sitting on the train armed with a monster cup of coffee I reflected that I didn't, to my great surprise, feel that bad. Tired, yes. Spaced out, of course, but not too hungover and not too terrible for three hours of sleep.

Arriving at the Orangery in Holland Park the mood was jubilant. Paul looked fabulous in his grey suit accessorised with the biggest smile I have seen. The room was beautiful with lots of windows and high ceilings, and that combined with the sun on the autumnal trees in the park made for a bright and happy atmosphere.

The ceremony itself was lovely. Lidija looked radiant in a cream vintage dress and a circle of red roses around her dark hair. As they said their vows they looked so happy, genuinely and sincerely, and I found myself welling up. The registrar was witty and pleasant, the bride and groom looked relaxed and gorgeous and nobody accidentally coughed when asked whether they could think of any lawful impediment to the marriage. In short, it was perfect.

Afterwards the Champagne flowed, the canapés canapéd and people chatted. The speeches were really very funny and my friend Mike played the piano. Pissed, of course, but very well nevertheless. Paul had asked me to sing, which I of course I have no qualms about doing. In fact, to my pleasure, the newlyweds danced their first dance as husband and wife to me singing One For My Baby.

At about four thirty we had got through all the Champagne, and Paul and Lidija climbed into a white taxi and were driven away to embark on their honeymoon. So of course, out of respect for their union we did the only thing we could possibly do to mark such a wonderful occassion. We went to the pub.

At about midnight I arrived home. Exhausted, of course, and drunk.

It was a great day, and a great weekend. I still feel like I have just climbed Everest (only without the sense of achievement or the ice-pick) and my body is on the verge of going on strike, but nevertheless I think it was all worth it.

I now am going to drink camomile tea and book myself into the Priory.