Janey's Blogs - November 2007
Thursday the 1st of November 2007
I am sorry I have been missing in action yet again…I am in London and the web has been slightly dodgy. I am in an amazing apartment thanks to the people at Crown lawn who always make me feel like a princess, which is nice. I do love this part of London. I am in Kensington/Chelsea and not far from the world famous galleries like Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and exhibition centres like the one at Earl's Court.
There are wonderful wee restaurants locally and a nice wee bit called little France…and well yes…its al French! I love it.
The weather is bright and breezy and the gigs are going great. I am on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 this Friday.
This feels less of a blog and more of a ‘Letter to my Mummy’ kind of style today isn’t it? Sorry am groggy and tired and stayed up too late and travelled on too many trains and buses and stood on too many stages and I am tired!
Today I am off to Oxford to do a gig there and I do adore Oxford, so beautiful and stunning looking, I am excited.
Husband is here with me but we haven’t seen much of each other as I am always out working and he hangs out near the apartment. I come home late at night, tired and missing Ashley and him at times.
He is slightly grumpy because the TV we have here does not have extensive TV channels and it makes him insane as he is spoiled with our TV back in Glasgow which has loads of channels to choose from.
But like all things…we have to prevail.
I had some meeting this week with TV people, nothing I can confirm or write home about yet…but will let you know if it all works out.
Thursday the 6th of November 2007
I am finally Home
I am finally home….well at least for a wee while. I was in London and my laptop was so screwed up my blog suffered. I do love London though trying to do comedy with fireworks banging in the background was eternally annoying. I went up to Oxford to perform comedy and met up with Rose Gentle. Rose is from Glasgow and was at the death inquest of her son.
She is the mother of Gordon Gentle who died at age 19 years old in Iraq when a road side bomb killed him. The UK armed services failed to provide the necessary equipment to detect landmines. To make matters worse, it was the Iraq people who took Gordon to hospital not our own Armed Services; the Iraq doctors tried to keep him alive as the army took too long to get to his damaged body. He died.
Rose has taken on the might of the Army and was in fine spirits when we met up. She has battled with the government over the last four years to get justice for her boy. Rose tells me that Gordon loved being a soldier, but the army failed to give him equipment that would have saved his life and that’s the issue she deals with. They have now made ten amendments alone to the uniform after Rose drew attention to the issue and, on the day Gordon died, mobile units like his were quickly fitted with the life saving technology four hours after Gordon drew his last breath. It seems paper work got lost and that’s why his mobile unit went out into the firing line without proper armour and equipment, yet they are still trying to figure out who never sent a letter to inform the crew to collect the vital supplies in mine sweeping.
“Rose, but don’t you think people would say that your son became a soldier and maybe you can’t complain if he died in action, isn’t that what he signed up for?” I asked her.
“Janey, if your daughter was a window cleaner and they gave her a broken ladder to stand on and she fell a great height you would demand safer equipment for her, wouldn’t you?” she answered. “I loved my son being a soldier and was eternally proud of him, but even soldiers need safety equipment to do the job that is asked of them,” she added.
She is right of course.
Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, my daughter is having a big fight at her University. It seems the lecturer that is supposed to be teaching her screenplay writing and film making is hardly ever at class and Ashley as student rep has had to stand up for everyone. She is currently in battles with the University and is appalled at the standards of education that are directed at her class. She pointed out that even though she is a third year student she still hasn’t been shown how to work a camera and hates the thought that she will be leave Uni with a degree but will have no real experience.
The upshot is she has been teaching herself camera work and passing the notes on to her the second year students. My best mate John Fleming kindly gave Ashley a great bag of books on film making and at the last meeting with the dean of the Uni she pointed out that the books she was given have actually been more informative than the lectures from the absent tutor.
I am glad she can fight for her rights. Too many people get scared and step back from confrontation…not my child though and I am proud of her.
It seems our children have to fight for their rights. Some depend on authority to provide and, when they are let down, it can be devastating. At least my wee girl is alive to tell the tale of her disappointment in the government. Gordon Gentle will have to depend on the strength of his feisty mum to make his point, as he died protecting the rights of others.
Friday the 9th of November 2007
My daughter has finally found a guy she fancies, but she is tortured. Every time he joins her conversation she inadvertently says things like ‘Bum rape’ ‘Castration’ and ‘tampons’. Even if these subjects are not even relevant to the chat she will manage to say them out loud whenever he is near. It is some kind of Emotional Tourette’s Syndrome and she hates her life.
“Mum, he came over to us in the bar last week and sat down. We were all talking about cowboy films and he was eagerly talking about his favourite movie. We made eye contact and for some reason I blurted out something about the homo erotic messages in western movies and he got up and walked away. What is wrong with me?” she pleaded.
She is like me; I suffer from inappropriate chit chat when stressed. I am the woman who blurted out at a funeral of a dear old friend: “That’s a shame she died just when she paid for new false teeth.” The assembled mourners stared at me in disgust.
My poor child will have to get to grips with talking about stuff that she may not like to attract a man that she is fond of and learn to shut up about subject matter that can shock guys. Or she can try to find a man that loves her whacky off-beat sense of humour and enjoys her crazy whimsical trips of the imagination.
Meanwhile, I am in Bristol doing stand up at Jongleurs. The city is awesome and I do love a wee city with a river running through it. The funny news is... At the comedy club, I was standing at the door chatting to the staff when a blonde woman came up and said: “Can I bring my mate in for free? I am the MC for tonight, I am Janey Godley.”
The manager looked at me and I looked at my fake person and I asked her: “Really? You are Janey Godley? Wow! We have been waiting on her all night.”
The ‘Tall Me’ stood there, brazen-faced, and said: “Actually, can we just cut the crap? Is this how you treat a female comedienne?”
I laughed and finally said: “OK, cut the shit, I would never say that.”
She stared at me and still tried to push past the door man.
“I am Janey Godley,” I declared and laughed when her face fell.
She carried on with her story and shouted: “I am Janey Godley!”
I then stood tall and shouted: “I am Spartacus!”
She then ran off down the street dragging her drunken man pal with her.
I wish she had stayed; I would have put her on stage and introduced her as Janey Godley. It's cool being tall and blonde but it's something else being funny!
Saturday the 10th of November 2007
Toronto here I come
On Sunday the 11th November I am off to do comedy at the Toronto Comedy Festival. I fly into Glasgow on Sunday morning from Bristol and then go home for an hour to swap cases and then head out to Toronto at 3pm that day!
So I am quite excited and can’t wait to get there and do the shows. Do come along to the gigs that will be listed on my website on the gigs page.
Toronto is an exciting city and I can’t wait to see the place; I am hoping those lovely Canadian people enjoy my comedy.
Ashley gets to enjoy the house all to herself and I am sure she has a few parties planned. She had been sick for the past few months and the doc thought it might have been glandular fever, but luckily it turned out to be just a virus.
My poor wee baby has been ill…I will miss her.
We will see….speak soon.
Tuesday the 13th of November 2007
Well we flew to Toronto, Zoom airlines are really cool, nothing special but you really do get nice service. I managed to get three seats to myself and slept a bit en route.
Husband and I landed in Toronto and, by some shitty luck, the comedy promoter managed to misjudge our arrival time and we sat in Toronto airport for nearly two hours. You see we didn’t actually know what hotel we had been booked into and the lack of information was making me mental.
I had deliberately left my mobile back in the UK as it causes issues and too much cash trying to use it abroad. Anyway, the comedy promoter would not answer his mobile despite me calling 8 times…To cut a long story short we got a cab into downtown Toronto and checked into a hotel.
The hotel didn’t look good, but we were tired and frazzled and plotting ways to kill the bloke who didn’t manage to pick us up at the airport and sometimes when you spend ages thinking of ways to kill people it can tire you out. I opted for hanging him naked near wolverines and husband went for stabbing major organs with a blunt stick…but the slow method…as opposed to the quick stabby death.
Anyway, the hotel bedroom smelled like the place truckers kill hookers on a regular basis. I was so tired I no longer cared if there was a dead woman in the bath…I needed to sleep. Meanwhile, still no news from the man who was supposed to organise our hotel and trip!
Husband and I finally slept and got up the next day. We were sticky, confused and angry and to make matters worse I woke up with swollen glands. I didn’t know the day was about to get worse.
We finally made contact with the mysterious man who was organising our accommodation and we arranged to meet. My throat felt like dogs bollocks had been stuffed down there and husband was so stressed that one of his eyes went numb.
We noticed that there were serviced apartments in downtown Toronto and I called the company. They arranged for me to go to check out the flat, so we ran through the rain and met with the concierge. The apartment was really lovely and we were very pleased. I called the lady and she told me that I had to get in a cab and go 15 miles up the road to her office to pay for the flat as it was so last minute.
Husband went back to hotel to get luggage and wait for me, I jumped into a cab and headed to the company that owned the flat. So far so good.
The lady behind the counter explained that my American Express card had refused to work. I sighed…exhausted and about to cry. I called Amex back in the UK and, after clearing all the security issues, the man asked why I was calling.
Me- “Well, my card is being refused.”
Him- “Well, that’s because you are in Toronto. Did you tell Amex you would be going to Canada?”
Me- “No, I didn’t bother phoning my credit card company and explaining my diary to them because they are not my parents and I never knew I had to inform them of my movements.”
Him- “Well, now we know you are there, we will allow the card to work.”
Me-“Thanks for that, you utter cunt.”
Him- “Sorry, I thought you called me a bad word there, Miss Godley.”
Me…I hung up, I was too tired to fight. My throat hurt and I managed to get everything organised and headed out to catch a cab and head back to the apartment where husband would be waiting.
The cab outside was parked and the driver was standing outside the car and looking at his watch.
“Is that the cab for Godley?” I asked him.
“Yes, but my cab is broke and it takes three more minutes for the electrics to work, I promise, then you can get in and we can head off,” he simply said.
So there I was, stressed and pressed for time yet staring at a cab with a small Asian man at my side. Finally, he ‘felt’ the cab would work and we both got into it; he reversed out of the car park and crashed into a bollard. Metal crushed and wheels screeched. My neck jerked and I just silently giggled.
I sat there and stared at the ceiling of the car and secretly wondered if I had killed a gypsy in my past that had lead to all this bad luck.
“I am sorry, now we go!” he shouted and sped off towards the apartment.
The car was making strange grinding noises and I fully expected it to collapse in a heap and dump me on a busy freeway in Toronto.
But it didn’t and I managed to get back to a frantic husband who was worried sick about how long I had been gone. We did finally get into the flat and it is wonderful and clean. We finally did meet the comedy promoter who had an explanation for his absence. All is good. My throat hurts but all is well.
I am performing in Toronto this week, go check the website.
Saturday the 17th of November 2007
I love Toronto
I love Toronto…the people are quirky, funny and almost rude but in a nice way.
Husband and I have been slightly stressed due to the nature of the gigs over here, but all in all it’s been good. Some gigs are way out of town and he ends up sitting in the apartment – he does go out as well and unlike me has made loads of friends.
Normally he isn’t chatty but his ‘Talking’ gene has kicked in and I went with him to a local bar and a small group of people cheered and welcomed him in. I thought for an awful moment they had mistaken him for someone else…but no…they all knew him.
I was the stranger now. He had been in there during the week and made load of buddies, I was awestruck, as this is the man that takes two years to get to know you before he will use your first name in public! Then he will probably not speak to you again for another two years!
“Hey big man, how’s things? Is this your wife?” a big square jawed Canadian bloke hugged him like they were family.
“Hey, everyone this is Janey my wife!” my husband yelled to the gathered, smiling crowd.
I have honestly never in my life heard him say to anyone: "This is my wife". I was stunned. He normally introduces me as "Janey, Ashley’s mum".
Now I was finally his wife after 27 years of marriage.
Other people around the bar came up to shake his hand and to welcome me.
I stood there quietly as I watched him hug and shake hands…Who the fuck has stolen my quiet husband and replaced him with the bloke from the TV hit show ‘Cheers’?
Did he also have a song? Would he pick up a violin and start a concerto? I didn’t know as anything was possible now.
“The usual?” a pretty, dark haired barmaid asked him.
The fucking USUAL? What the hell was going on?…I am the POPULAR one. I am ‘Fun Janey’. He is dull, quiet, muttering man. He doesn’t make eye contact and hates strangers talking to him!
Where did this man come from?
I felt disenfranchised. How dare he become interesting without me being there to make it possible?
I sat quiet and watched him talk to the guys and I never uttered a word. We had now changed personalities but I felt, if I spoke, I would break the spell.
Later on he explained that, since my autobiography had become so popular in the UK and since my profile had been on the up, his personality had become compromised and in the UK everyone knew him through me or associated to me.
So he had no identity in the UK. Here in Canada, no-one knew him or me that much and he finally could be himself.
I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but it was fun while it lasted and no doubt when we hit home he will be silent BOB again.
I will miss the Chatty Husband.
Thursday the 22nd of November 2007
There is nothing better than getting into your own bed with your favourite pillow and cuddling into it. The familiar smell of your own bedroom is great and hearing Ashley banging doors as she gets up for Uni was even wonderful. I missed my home and am glad to be home from Canada.
When I arrive home from a trip I always do a quick check. I walk around the house to look for deformities.
There is a burnt-out blackened saucepan that as yet has to explained, there are black splash marks on my kitchen ceiling that Ashley vehemently denies are there: she tells me I am seeing things. The sofa has a strange dull stain on it and the clothes drying rack refuses to stand up as one of its legs are broken.
The bathroom has no soap and there are four tubes of toothpaste in various states of squeezed-ness (if that’s a word?) and my towels are all damp and I have 17 towels. Can they all be wet at the same time? What happened when I was gone?
I will never know because my daughter has decided I need ask no questions as no answers will be forthcoming.
Life goes on. At least she is alive and well.
I brought home DVDs of season 5 of 24 and season 7 of Gilmore Girls and I sat up last night watching too much telly. I slept till 4pm today and felt drugged and dizzy. It’s not jetlag; it’s me being too bloody stupid and staying up too late.
I have good news though. My all-time favourite BBC Radio 4 show Just A Minute has asked me to be a panel guest again. I will be on the show on the 26th November recording. I love the show and have been on it twice before. I am excited.
Then on 28th November I will on at the ScotsCare gig. Here at the details on their website www.royalscottishcorporation.org.uk - It’s a wonderful charity, so please support it if you can.
Am off to work out why there is strange dead cat smell coming from the cupboard under the sink. Ashley denies that she can smell it, but it is there.
I suppose the welcome home banner she made on the back of my mobile phone bills wasn’t a great idea but at least the thought was there.
Saturday the 24th of November 2007
Things Happen to Me
Things happen to me. I went to my local late night Asian shop to get milk and fags at 2am. This is normal for me and I love it when it’s quiet.
Anyway, when I arrived there were two police officers: one a woman and one a man. The shop was empty except for two members of staff who were chatting to the two officers. I heard the woman police officer say to the counter assistant: “Did you see the man who had the dog that bit my colleague?” The Asian man then walked with her up the back of the shop to get some privacy.
I thought to myself: “Shit, I missed a dog biting a policeman... My timing really sucks!”
Then I picked up some chocolate and headed for the counter where Mohammed 2 was standing, he walked away from the officer and started bagging my goods.
“Hey, Mohammed Two, how are you? I have been in Canada did you miss me?” I said.
“Yes, Janey, did you do some shows?” he asked with a smile. The policeman at the counter was getting agitated.
“Excuse me, but we are trying to conduct an investigation here. Could you please get on with your purchases?” he snapped, then added: “And that’s racist calling him Mohamed Two.”
“Listen up, Mr Policeman, I want to have my full late-night shopping retail experience. We always chat and, if you need to make a full investigation, then shut the shop... and, by the way, he is Mohammed Two, the other guy is Mohammed One and his dad is Mohamed Three. I am Janey One and my daughter is Janey Two and my husband is Janey Three. So suck that.”
Mohamed laughed: “She is right. I am number two. We call my cousin Mohammed Plus One.”
“I need to question him and you chatting will distract him,” the copper insisted.
“Why? Is he a goldfish? Does he have retentive memory problems?” I asked.
“Look, I could give you a warning about obstructing a police investigation,” he snapped.
“Well, now that you have warned me that you are about to warn me, it’s kind of lost it's threat don’t you think?” I laughed.
The policeman glared at me, Mohammed packed my bag and took my cash, I turned to the policeman and said: “I wish I had seen the dog biting your colleague.”
The policeman said: “Why? So you could laugh?”
“No, so I could give you a really descriptive account of what happened. I am a stand up comic and I am great at watching things and describing them, like I will about this incident between us tonight. You should read my blog; it's on my website. You are officially today’s blog, so thanks for that.” Then I left the shop giggling and Mohamed Two shouted goodbye.
Friday the 30th of November 2007
Norfolk and past times
I flew into Norwich on Monday from Glasgow. The flight was great and on arrival at Norwich airport there was a white BMW mini bus ready to take me to the hotel in Titchwell, just as the BBC ordered. I was doing the ‘Just a Minute’ radio show in Kings Lynn and staying in the lovely Titchwell Manor.
The white mini bus had a driver who looked about 12 years old and assured me the journey would be fine; as my mate John told me the roads between Norwich and Norfolk are notoriously arduous.
The road twisted and turned and I sat there bumping along, glad that I had two ovaries and two kidneys as my internal organs were slowly being mangled and mashed on the journey.
We had been on the road an hour before the child driver admitted we were lost.
“Do you have a map?” I asked him.
“No, I entered the postcode into my Sat Nav but, according to this, we are here. Now I have realised the whole area has the same postcode,” he mumbled.
“OK, let’s find a bar or garage or somewhere we can get directions.” I took charge.
We drove through small villages that, although beautiful, looked totally abandoned - farm houses with no people, streets with no cars, stone-built manor homes with nothing but ghosts to tend the gardens. I was getting really frustrated; neither of us could get a signal on his radio or our own phones. We were in 1879.
We drove up a gravely drive to an ancient-looking mansion; there was no-one there.
“We are back in time," I laughed. "I will get put into service and have to pluck chickens and you will become a chimney sweep. This is Bleak House.” He drove off and we managed to find three more villages with no people or animals or shops or ANYTHING to indicate life in Norfolk.
Finally we must have driven through some Delorean Time Shift as we saw a garage up ahead and it had real live people in it. They pointed us in the direction of Titchwell and off we set.
The poor driver was aghast at his taxi skills and I was too tired to fight.
But Titchwell Manor was worth the wait. Honestly, it is awesome. The main hotel has lovely big coal fires and is set in rugged Norfolk landscape and the rooms are wonderfully small wooden cabins. The floors are wooden, painted in cream with pale green cool walls all with a huge wooden bed filling the centre of the room. Whoever designed these rooms knew what they were doing; the peacefulness is reflected in every aspect of the décor. A big deep bath, cool shiny metal taps and light flows in from the huge patio windows that overlook the farmland outside. I was amazed at the distinct lack of noise.
It was so quiet I have discovered I may have tinnitus; there is a slow deep ringing in my ears that I have never heard before, as I have never been anywhere this quiet in my life. I could hear my kidneys working….I could hear my eyes blink!
I have noises in my head!
I saw a squirrel walk up to my window. I lay on the big white bed and watched it scrabble about. It stopped and clawed at its own bottom and not only did I see it - I HEARD it…that’s how quiet it is. You can hear squirrels scratch their own ass in silent Norfolk.
The radio show went really well. ‘Just a Minute’ is the scariest radio show in the world. You have to talk for a whole minute really fast and not deviate or repeat or hesitate…and it has millions of fans and listeners. It can be so frightening, but you have to go with flow and be funny as well. Nicholas Parsons who hosts the show is just a wonderful wit and I adore him.
Next day, I caught the train to London where I was doing a gig for ScotsCare at the Caledonian Club in Belgravia.
That show was slightly odd as most of the people who turned up were really old and very posh, BUT they were an awesome crowd and I relaxed into it…it ended up a great show.
I caught up with Monica my best mate, we chatted and ate crisps and talked shit for hours. That’s what best pals do.
Soon it was time to get on a flight home, but why the fuck do I always book an early flight? I had to get up at 7am and get taxied to Stansted Airport. I was so tired, I had a period from hell and my womb was trying to implode. It felt like three wee angry terriers were fighting over a biscuit in my uterus.
I arrived home to a clean warm bed, two painkillers and a great sleep before I had to get up and go perform in Edinburgh Jongleurs.
Sorry I was late with this blog, but life is mental