Janey's Blogs - March 2008
Saturday the 1st of March 2008
It’s me again
I am in London working, yet again. The weather is howling; the wind last night nearly made me piss myself with fear. I am here alone and have been having a spate of nightmares, so windy weather battering at my window just isn’t helping.
My dreams are insane… Small weird people I don’t know who invite me into a strange looking chapel house, trap doors that open and celebrities that I have no intention of meeting are asking me for hot chocolate.
That’s just a slice of the dreams that slip through the blank canvas of my mind when I shut my eyes. What part of my life wants Tim Robbins and Sean Penn to make me their favourite waitress whose milk shake does bring all the boys to the yard? I really don’t know!
On Thursday night I managed to live in India and was hoarding small monkeys inside a flying kite that could take me up above the sky, which was just in time for me to see India transform into the high rise flats of Glasgow.
Just before husband woke me up, I was singing ‘The Boys of Summer’ with Don Henley and my dead mother was insisting that I cook her a wee omelette, except I was stirring a frying pan with my leather sandal and was worried that no one else was bothered. By the way, Don Henley is lovely to meet in a subconscious world.
I can’t begin to tell you what happened to a small baby but, at that point, the news on the radio had infiltrated my dreams and they were reporting a baby being thrown into a fire in Kenya. I must remember to turn off the radio when I sleep.
So I can’t sleep and I am not sure I ever want to again.
The UK news is filled with Prince Harry coming home from 10 weeks work in Afghanistan after someone leaked the news that he was on the ‘front line’ in Helmund Province.
To think of all the mammies and daddies who are watching that news and wishing their kids could come home safely makes me feel so angered. I really don’t care HOW much the PR people in the Army say our wee Ginger Prince was on the frontline and in danger, as much as the next soldier. There is NO way that boy would be harmed, he has his own security personnel with him. I do feel for him, he is desperate to be working as a proper soldier, but the very fact he is home in case he is in dire danger, proves my point!
The military people say that Harry being exposed as working on a tour over there makes his whole unit in danger… well aren’t they already in danger?
Isn’t that what an alleged enemy is supposed to do? Is there an elite killer team on stand-by ready to kill only the special soldiers? It is all bollocks and I actually agree with Harry; let him fucking go and do his stuff. Though I bet you he isn’t out in active duty with substandard protective wear the same way Rose Gentle’s son Gordon was when he was killed. The military budget needs to spend more to protect our soldiers as there is strong evidence that many parents are privately buying armour wear for their own sons and daughters as the stuff provided to protect them is crap.
Meanwhile, in Jersey, the child abuse care home story is deepening and it seems there is so much more of this to come. Tales of dark dungeons being excavated where kids were chained and sexually abused are coming to light. It seems there has been a cover up about this issue for years; I hope the care authorities who hushed this get jailed.
I didn’t mean this blog to be a short news report, but it seems that’s just what I have done!
I am missing my family and my home… but am back in Glasgow on Monday and can’t wait to get ready for my ONE WOMAN SHOW at the GARAGE on Thursday March 6th.
I promise I will be funny.
Monday the 3rd of March 2008
Last Night on the Tube
People watching in the London underground is a huge passion of mine and last night was no exception. I stared at people.
There were many drunken revellers on the Central Line after I finished my show and the tube was crammed. Across from me were two slightly drunk but very well-dressed Asian boys; they hung sleepily on each other. They were wearing suits and looked exhausted but happy.
Next to them was a young blonde skinny girl who wore a curious outfit. Her red puffball skirt was topped with a short grey military style jacket; her legs were bare but she had on grey rumpled ankle socks and sharp high red stiletto shoes.
She was passionately kissing a young man who was dressed in yellow corduroy trousers and a waxy-type fishing jacket, underneath which he wore a pink cotton shirt. He looked like an over-grown seven year old boy. He had such a young face but he must have been around six feet tall.
They both looked liked small kids who had raided a dressing-up box and took some magic potion that transformed them into adults for one night only.
The woman beside me stared at them intently. I could see this as I was sat at an angle in the corner seat up against the wall of the train. This woman was blonde and maybe in her mid thirties, her eyes were droopy and she looked a bit drunk, though she was very middle class. I could tell this by her casual Boden outfit, all chic grey expensive fleece weekend wear and smart running shoes. She was reading a photocopied article about ‘Over bite problems and ongoing treatments’ so I sussed she was either a dentist or someone who was training in that field.
Every now and then she would glance at a big enlarged photo of some unfortunate person’s giant over-hanging top set of teeth and then stare at the young kissing couple.
I wasn’t sure if she was checking their dental arrangement or if she was sad that she was reading up on her job and other people got to kiss and she was left with her work to keep her company on a late night Saturday train.
She looked longingly at them and I felt she was lonely. I may have been wrong, but you never saw the way her eyes clouded and blurred as she watched the couple stroke each others faces. I imagined she was some hard-working woman forging a career and never had time to love someone. Or maybe she had recently broken up with a lover.
Or maybe she was planning how to fix the mouth of someone and was taking her work very seriously: even after a late night drinking session she still felt the need to revise her work?
At Tottenham Court Road, the young Asian guys stood up and one almost fell on me as he got to his feet. He apologised profusely and I smiled and assured him I was fine.
Their seats were taken by a fat older man dressed in a big bulky coat who smelled of booze and his middle aged woman friend who wore a bright pink dress and thin blue jacket, staggered up the aisle of the train.
She was very drunk and slumped into the seat, accidently head-butting the fat man side on!
I tried not to laugh. He shouted at her and scared the life out of everyone seated in our carriage.
“You fucking dozy cow!” he yelled.
“Fuck you, fat bastard!” she screeched as the noise of the train squealing on the tracks joined in. The noise was horrible. The last thing a drunken screaming woman needs is a screeching train noise to back her up. My ears hurt.
The fat man slapped her hard on the face.
Everyone looked away. I gripped my hands together. I didn’t want to get slapped next but I couldn’t bear to ignore the situation.
Other people looked at the ground.
“Oi! You cant slap a woman!” I shouted at him. People started moving away.
The fat man looked at me through hooded eyes; his big red face was like one of those grotesque Halloween cakes you see in bakers' windows in late October.
“You shut the fuck up,” he sneered and pointed into my face. The woman held her face between her hands and cried.
“No, you shut the fuck up, you big fat cunt. What are you going to do? Hit me?” I yelled back.
He never spoke. He stared at me and I could see he was judging whether to take me on as well. Before he got to work it all out, a big young black guy in a smart suit who was standing near the door stepped over everyone and grabbed the fat man by the collar and shouted into his face: “Stop abusing women! Hit me, you big fucking bully!”
The fat man quickly grabbed the woman he hit by the hand and stood up. They both struggled through the throng of people, they side stepped the black man and ran off the train as it came into the next station.
“You OK Miss?” the big, well-dressed young man asked me.
“Yes, thanks, I am fine.”
“Please excuse my language, but that was really out of order the way he was being threatening,” the guy smiled.
“That’s OK, I called him a cunt,” I said.
“I know and in that accent it was just pure poetry,” the guy laughed and sat opposite me.
“Thanks for helping me, I can’t bear to watch a man hit a woman,” I said.
He smiled and nodded.
The dentist lady finally stopped studying her over-bite problem and stared at the big black man and she smiled at him. The black guy smiled at her and they started chatting. I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying due to the train noise, but they looked like they were getting on fine.
The young kissing couple let go of each others tight hug. They had been locked in each others arms since the trouble had kicked off. Like scared children who were forced to endure an adult world of hate, even if was just for a moment.
I got off the tube train at Gloucester Road, the black man waved and the dentist lady leaned in further to him as the train eased out of the station.
I hope she gets a closer look at those beautiful white teeth he displayed.
Another night in London.
Tuesday the 4th of March 2008
Cold and Frosty in Glasgow
Yes, Glasgow is cold and frosty, yet the sun shines! I am so glad to be home.
Ashley had cleaned the house for my arrival as her and her dad live like students when I am gone and use every single dish, pot and plate in the kitchen over a three day period.
I haven’t unpacked my suitcase as I am too fucking tired and lazy.
On arrival in Glasgow last night, I went straight to bed for a lie down as I haven’t been sleeping due to this recent spate of nightmares. Finally I dozed off in my own bed; it was bliss but I was awoken by my own voice on BBC Radio 4. I forgot that last night I was on the‘Just a Minute’ radio show and we always leave the radio on in the bedroom.
It was strange hearing myself as I lay there in the dark and I always cringe because I worry I am about to say something terribly unfunny or awkward.
But it seemed to go OK and, afterwards, I got loads of emails from people who had listened to the show. They must have googled me and decided to either leave a message on my guest book or write me a nice note. That was cool!
I am home for a wee bit. My one woman show at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival is this week and I am excited.
So this is a short blog, but at least a happy one!
Friday the 7th of March 2008
The opening night of the Glasgow Comedy Festival was awesome. My one woman show was heaving with people and it was heartening to see so many comedy fans turned up for the show. John Smeaton (the Glasgow Airport hero) introduced me onstage and it was a lovely reception.
I also got to meet the amazingly funny Dwight Slade who was backstage; not only is he just a wonderful guy but I am so in awe of his comedy that I am going to his show tonight at Oran Mor.
I got some lovely messages from audience members who came along last night:; they sent lovely comments to my blogs and website.
I love doing comedy to a home crowd and it’s not very often I get the chance and this was the best gig for me of the entire year. Thanks Glasgow.
Sunday the 9th of March 2008
Hectic and Fun
Life is mad at the moment. Was in Newcastle last night doing my one woman show; the crowd were so nice and really made me feel welcome. Husband and I drove down to Newcastle late afternoon and decided not to stay over as I have work today. I am doing a private gig in the afternoon and am headlining the Terrence Higgins Trust gig at Oran Mor tonight (Sunday).
Am quite tired and spotty. It’s been a busy weekend. I even wrote a guest column for the Sunday Herald about domestic abuse to highlight the issue of violence against women for International Woman’s Day today in UK.
It reads well and I am pleased with it. I love writing serious pieces for print.
I have quite an accident prone week let me tell you…
Well it was a bad mistake but I managed to Hoover over my husbands’ bare foot and ripped off his toenail, and his toes are all red and bruised. It was an accident yet he is really upset with me. I am not that used to Hoovering the carpet, it’s a new vacuum cleaner and it's quiet bulky. I need to learn how to manoeuvre it without killing people I suppose.
He hopped around with blood dripping from his toenail. I tried to apologise but when people are in pain I suppose it's best to laugh…or giggle. He is really annoyed with me.
I am quite accidental prone.
I once fell down the pub cellar steps.
I knocked Christmas tree on top of my baby when she was a year old.
I jammed the cat’s paws in the door.
I stuck a strong sucker from the bottom of a toy onto my baby’s forehead and it refused to come off, I managed to prise it off her tender head and it left a big blood sucker circle under her skin. I had to hide it with a hat.
I once rode my bicycle into a marathon and knocked about eight runners on the ground.
I ran onto a tube train in London and found I couldn’t stop and clattered onto a man who was in crutches.
I sprayed perfume in a beauty store by mistake and the assistant got it right in the eye.
I threw a dart in my pub and it flew off course and ended up embedded in a mans leg.
I tried to pot a ball in my pub at the pool table, it flew off, cracked a pint glass that a man was holding and cut his face.
Clumsiness runs in the family, as Ashley is just as bad. She once fell off a few steps in a store and almost head-butted a baby in a pram.
So that’s been my week and my madness.
Wednesday the 12th of March 2008
Ladies Who Lunch
“Ladies, are you all having fun?” the curvy blonde hostess squealed with excitement over the microphone. I looked around and watched a whole room of predominately blonde women throw their skinny brown arms in the air and whoop.
I was at a charity luncheon organised by influential women in Glasgow. It was illuminating and entertaining, if not ever so slightly patronising, when the hostess suggested that their ‘poor husbands’ were left dealing with the babies for the afternoon.
If I thought my husband was incapable of looking after a baby, I wouldn’t have given him the task. In fact, my husband was better at dealing with our baby than me; he could open doors and carry her at the same time, it took me till she was toddling before that happened.
I was there in my role of comedian; I certainly wasn’t there to display my tightly toned thighs, expensively coiffed hair or exclusive handbag. This was Glasgow’s glitterati at its best.
There can be nothing more infuriating than standing in front of a room full of people who are there to celebrate strong hard working women and have a female MC apologise for you before you even speak. How empowering is that?
“This woman coming up is a dynamo, she is incredibly rude and uses strong language so if anyone here has a nervous disposition please leave the room now” were the words I came onstage to.
You would think a naked Dorothy Parker on crack was about to be unleashed on a nuns' tea party and, to top it all, the venue was actually a church! I am perfectly capable of performing comedy without using bad language. Comedy isn’t always about cursing. It can be funny and clean.
There can nothing more disconcerting for a comedian, when Jesus is staring at you in His full glory through a fifty foot high stained glass window and ex- Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell is sitting in the front row and you have a brilliantly funny joke about Gordon Brown that involves religion.
I have to say it was a great gig, Jack laughed, Jesus didn’t strike me down and Kelly Cooper-Barr even forgave my black outfit with brown boots ensemble. Kelly is the doyenne of Scottish fashion and she looked effortlessly fabulous. She is one of those women who could wear a sheet of crumpled polystyrene bubble wrap and make it hip.
The event included a charity auction and someone paid £2,000 for a handbag. I was impressed. In my entire life span I don’t think I will spend more than £100 in total on handbags - not when charity shops have a great selection and Primark stay in business.
The highlight of the event was a George Michael tribute act. This bloke was amazing. He really did look like my favourite musical hero George Michael; he sang like him and danced like him; but I think his really name was Barry. He really was awesome, I was on my feet dancing to his music.
Women screamed and ran to have their photos taken with the lovely talented lookey-likey.
I don’t really get the whole lookey-likey thing. If my husband died but had an identical twin that looked like him, sounded like him and had his wee idiosyncrasies, I wouldn’t fall in love with him and use him as a doppelganger. It’s not really him.
It was an awesome event and I loved doing the show. Jack McConnell even came over to congratulate me on my comedy performance.
The day was wonderful and the event had raised over £60,000 for National Children’s Homes.
Saturday the 15th of March 2008
How Happy I am
I attended a special charity dinner for Epilepsy Scotland. They have an interesting event where five speakers get up and do ten minutes of funny chatting to compete for ‘WAG of The Year’ Wag meaning ‘chatty story teller’.
Now I never bothered to read any of the emails to check what the hell the event was about. Luckily, husband made me pack a full length dress and high heel shoes. I argued that this wasn’t needed and he was harassing me; he insisted.
So I packed the fancy gear, bearing in mind I was flying out the next morning from Glasgow to East Midlands.
We were staying overnight in the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh where the event was being staged and he planned to get me up at 6am to drive me through to Glasgow to fly out.
Anyway, on arrival I noticed that the hotel was all geared up for a very special event - it was black tie and evening dress event. Yes…you guessed it... that was the party I was going to.
So I got all dressed up and was still unaware what the night entailed. I thought I was going to do ten minutes of comedy and then slip off for the rest of the night.
No, that’s not what was going to happen. The other speakers included Tommy Sheridan, a lovely Scottish actress called Joyce Falconer, an after dinner speaker and entrepreneur called Kenny Harris and the Scottish football legend Gordon Smith.
This charity dinner is famous (though I was in the dark) and the speakers have to compete against each other to win the WAG of the Year award.
The speakers were awesome and I was nervous, I hadn’t prepared anything at all and just decided to wing my ten minutes and see where it took me. Husband nagged I should read my emails more and pay due attention, so I really did my best.
The night went on to raise over £60,000 for Epilepsy Scotland. And guess what?
I am WAG OF THE YEAR 2008.
The trophy is beautiful and I was so excited when I ran up to the hotel room and showed it off to husband. He is very proud and he took the trophy up to my dad today for me as I am now in Nottingham.
Sunday the 16th of March 2008
My Own Fault
Nottingham has been tiring but fine. I never slept much as four big baldy headed stag party men decided to have a homo-erotic type fight at 4am this morning in the room next to mine in the hotel. Maybe they discovered they were all gay and wanted to give the room a vigorous make over? Maybe one of the guys didn’t want to get married and decided he liked sailors and it all just kicked off… I don’t know.
The noise and screaming was enough to drive me insane and tearful, lying in the dark at 5am, wishing I was with my husband tucked up in bed in Glasgow.
So there I was sitting in a taxi, tired and grumpy. I had just came off my mobile as I contribute to the Tommy Sheridan radio show every Sunday and had to sound chirpy and nice, when I was actually exhausted.
I should never have got into a conversation with the Asian Taxi driver… but I did.
The lovely interesting man told me that he was going home to arrange a party for a religious festival celebrating some major Muslim speaker and he was happy.
“It is the birthday month of Mohammed,” he explained.
I congratulated him on his religious festival thingy and sat quiet.
He decided to tell me that, in his opinion, the reason people misunderstand Islam is because people don’t get told the facts.
Now I know I should have put my IPod in my ears as planned, but I gave it a shot and said: “Well, give me a fact about Islam, please. I am interested.”
His opening gambit was this: “Most women are raped because they are not married and they tempt men into disrepute.”
Now, dear reader, of all the people this man could spit this nonsense to, he picked me - and I was a bit grumpy.
“Is that right?” I asked him wid-eyed and crackling with seething, quiet rage.
“Yes, you see, if women are married and wear decent clothes, then they would be safe because their husbands would always protect them and teach them how to dress appropriately which keeps them safe.” He nodded and smiled smugly through his mirror at me.
“OK... What happens if a married women who dresses very nice is in her home and her husband is a taxi driver and he isn’t there to stare at her and make sure her skirt is long enough and potential rapists are out of reach. Let's say he is on the road driving someone and that poor respected married woman gets raped in her home by an intruder. How would that work then?”
The cab driver managed to lurch the car. It was his one clear reaction to my statement.
“Well, this doesn’t happen,” he merely added.
“Yes it does. Women get raped in their homes quite a lot. Not all rapes are drunken women wearing short skirts staggering around the city centre and, incidentally, that doesn’t give anyone any excuse to the rape them. Women should be safe despite what they wear and where they are,” I smarted.
“What do you think men do when they see these women in tiny clothes showing off their bodies like that?" he started to shout. It makes men feel sexy and they have problems controlling themselves.”
“OK, so you are saying to me that you cannot bear to take your kids swimming at a local pool, because bikini-clad women make you want to rape? Or are you saying that men cannot be blamed for getting sexually erect in a city street when they see women in a short skirt and such is this uncontrollable urge they have to pull the short-skirted woman up and alley and rape her? Is that what you are saying?” I shouted now.
“Women make men rape them by such behaviour!” he screamed back.
“Mohammed would hate you and your stupid words and I am not even a Muslim. I know that, if he is such an almighty gracious man, he would know you are talking crap and he is possibly ashamed people like you represent his words!” I shouted at him, grabbed my bag and got out of his cab.
“You have to pay me now!” he argued.
“No, I had to listen to your pro-rapist shit for ten minutes so you can go rape yourself for the cash. Call the police. Do what you want, but you are not getting a penny of my money.”
I walked away and he drove off at a screech.
I caught the bus to the airport. It was nice and I listened to my music all the way.
Thursday the 20th of March 2008
I used to have a cat called Whisky. He was huge and fat and ginger and liked to sit on me the minute I sat down. The house was quite big but if I opened a newspaper and got engrossed Whisky would ignore the empty spaces and choose to sit right there on the bit of paper I was reading, and then challenge me with his slitty green eyes.
His favourite thing was to stand at the window and then walk up and down with his big fat body knocking everything off the ledge as he made a turn to walk back along the opposite way. He would stare at the fallen objects with disdain and simply leap off the window ledge and strut out of the room. His work was done.
He was so loving and attentive, but I really didn’t need a big fat cat draped across my throat like an expensive fur wrap as I slept. He liked doing that. He would shove his big belly onto my neck, with his head and front paws snuggled into my right shoulder and his big hairy tail and ass tucked into my left. I could feel his cat heart beat on my flesh.
He loved to sleep with Ashley as well. She was around seven when we got him. He was already an adult cat from a cat sanctuary. He didn’t take much time to make friends; on his arrival he sniffed me, looked at Ashley and went for a sleep. The next day he curled on Ashley’s lap and demanded she stroke him by head-butting her hand every five minutes till he got her attention. She was addicted to him.
He immediately became one of us. He joined in with chase games up and down the hall, jumping on Ashley as she tried to escape me. He would crouch like a tiger and leap out her, claws withdrawn but paws big and strong enough to box her. She would squeal with delight and he would run behind her like a dog.
He learned how to open a cupboard, knock over his cat food box till the contents spilled out and eat at his leisure. Other times he simply sat inside the cupboard and cooled off in the heat of our Scottish summer. Occasionally dipping his fat paw into the box and pulling out some cat biscuits. I like to imagine he was lying there like enjoying the peace and having a sneaky feed. He was clever.
His favourite time was summer when big dragonflies would stupidly come in the through the windows and fly around in a dizzy manner. Whisky would smile a special cat grin and leap into the air and snatch them and then he chewed them indiscriminately, sometimes keeping a few insects under his paws as he nibbled slowly through his prey. He liked them. He would watch for them as the sun set over the tenements of Glasgow’s East End, his slanty eyes fixated on the open window…just waiting…and grinning with anticipation.
He caught wasps, flies, bluebottles, mice and once he dragged an absent-minded pigeon right off the window ledge and onto my kitchen table. The poor bird was screeching and flapping all over the floor, Ashley was hysterical and I had to prise open Whisky’s jaws and rescue the bird. It was fine, a bit stunned and managed to flap off cawing for its friends. Whisky hated me for a whole day. He skulked about my ankles, tripping me up, getting in my way and generally spitting at me for taking his prey.
He sat with Ashley as she was colouring in and drawing on her room floor.
I thought he was going to pick up a crayon and draw a picture of his missing pigeon and sketch me with an arrow through my head.
He was amazing and had such an open personality. He adored Ashley; whenever I came into her room to check on her, he would be curled around her legs, and he would sit u and, wink at me as if to say: “She will be safe on my watch.”
I trusted him and he knew it. He would nod his big ginger head, look at my sleeping daughter, look at me, then snuggle back down into a fat ginger coil, one eye opened, watching for me to leave and let him stay on guard of my precious baby.
The day the police came to our house to search for weapons (at that point we were living in my dead father-in-law’s home and he had been a known criminal), Whisky immediately leapt to attention. He hissed at the policemen who entered Ashley’s room and stood in front of her, his ginger fur standing on end and his tail twitching.
The police asked me to move him, but Whisky jumped in front of them and tried to ward them off. He was so protective. There was a female police officer and she told me she was scared of cats, so Whisky immediately leapt on her shoulder from the top of the stairs! She screamed her head off and the cat would not let go.
I miss Whisky. We had to give him away to another family when we moved from the ‘gun house’. Life got complicated but he needed stability and an elderly woman took him in. I cried, but had to find a home for my family and that took priority over everything else.
I haven’t forgotten him though.
Friday the 21st of March 2008
Flights and Fights
Glasgow Airport is where I spend most of my time these days. I am either off on a flight or coming home. Last night I arrived from London and the police had decided that people who were driving in to pick up people in their newly-appointed wasteland of a pick-up point were to not stop longer than 5 seconds apiece!
Now I know it's all about security and I understand why we have to walk through the driving rain over rough terrain, almost get killed by walking through a busy car park and have to share the few rain shelters they have deigned to give us… but what is with the “Move your car!” screaming from Glasgow’s finest?
When husband turned up to pick me up, we barely had time for me to get into the fucking car. What was the policeman expecting me to do? Jump on the back bumper and get dragged out of the airport?
I was so tired from my epic journey from London which took six hours if you consider the cab journey (two hours) to City Airport (which was like a holding room for exhausted hostages) then the flight was delayed, there were NO seats as the room was full and I wanted to punch a screaming toddler who was conveniently parked beside my head as I sat on the floor.
I had been through an exhausting day as I was filming a TV pilot for a show idea in London. Suffice to say it took a lot to get through. It was great though and I am so excited about it all.
I had been at the Groucho Club the night before and had had a late night - not a drunken night, as I am not a big drinker at all, just a late chatty night.
So here I am in Glasgow and I am the warm-up act for Jerry Sadowitz tonight at the Theatre Royal and I am very excited to get going.
Saturday the 22nd of March 2008
It was an awesome night. A complete sell-out show, around 1,450 people crammed into the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. I was the opening support act and I loved every minute of it. Jerry Sadowitz is my comedy hero; we have known each other for over 25 years now.
Jerry did his first comedy gig in my bar in the Calton back in 1983. This bedraggled grumpy bloke came in with my crazy brother Mij. He was all hair and pale skin but Mij adored his wicked sense of humour: “He can do magic and comedy. Put him on,” Mij demanded.
“Well we have never had comedy…so…erm…yes, OK, let's do that then,” husband replied. Jerry skulked around, did some amazing magic tricks and left the building.
The Weavers Inn had truly never had a comedian on. We only ever had shit singers with cheap guitars and that first night of comedy was explosive.
I remember clearly standing onstage with a cheap microphone and announcing to the small startled audience: “Ladies and Gentlemen – please welcome Jerry Sadowitz!”
Jerry burst onto the stage carrying a fake ‘bomb’. it was a black ball with the words ‘BOMB’ written on it, with a fuse string out of the top which was fizzing with flames. People had never seen anything like this before. But they waited to see what would happen.
The following 30 minutes are ingrained in comedy history. People from that day still say to me: “Remember the night Sadowitz did his first gig?” and we smile. We saw something that was the very beginning of ‘alternative comedy’.
We saw the birth of a whole new comedy genre sprout life right there in that wee East End bar.
He was shocking, offensive, frightening, genius and hysterically funny all in one moment.
I stood there transfixed at this man, this shambolic creature, haunted yet clever, scary yet funny and his magic tricks were so insanely wonderful that they made you question your very existence. How did he get that smashed-up watch into the apple?
Years went past and we all would chat about how we recalled the man; he was on TV, he was on theatres and became a cult comic, but we saw him first. He was ours.
I became a stand up comic in 1995 and met Jerry on the comedy circuit and was still awestruck at his wild outrageous act. But he is clever and intense and his material was ground-breaking, way before anyone else on the UK comedy circuit even thought about being politically incorrect. Jerry broke the rules and there have been many imitators to his crown. But no direct heir can truly claim his throne.
So last night, after 25 years, we finally shared a stage again. I had a great time, the audience laughed; I lapped up every second of the atmosphere and then left the stage.
Jerry had a great show and the Glasgow audience left happy, some offended, some converted fans, some thinking about what had just happened! That’s what he does to your senses.
It was nice to come full circle with Jerry Sadowitz.
Monday the 24th of March 2008
Trying to write
It can be hard being creative and trying to get some writing done.
In the middle of me getting fantastic ideas shit happens like my niece will call and say: “Please come and take my three kids before I fake my own death. They are making me insane and I am considering tying them to a chair. The baby has managed to squeeze the rabbit into a sock; it may die,” or my best mate will call and shout: “Why did that guy not call me back? Am I hideous and unworthy?” or my daughter will stomp through and scream: “Who ate all the fucking cheese?”
Husband usually breaks in with a “Can you organise all the bills to be paid and tell me why the DVD’s are all scattered over the table? Can’t you put them away and why the hell does the wire come out of your bra and get stuck in the washing machine drum? Cant they stop that from happening?”
At that point my dad chooses to call and explain he has finally mastered Photoshop and verbally explains every picture he has ever taken and describes the framing he has done on a picture of a squirrel that ate his washing line. He managed to get a really good shot of it, isn’t that amazing?’
As if that’s not bad enough, my nutty brother Mij calls to tell me he has decided to become a musician and do I think U2 are interested? “No, I don’t think they are,” I say back. He then says: “But if I play guitar good they might.” I simply hang up and pull out my hair, then worry about what the hell I am going to write in this blog.
Life is mental in my home,
Wednesday the 26th of March 2008
Don’t even ask
“Can you tell me why you love me?” I asked husband.
We were lying together on the sofa. He put his big hand on my forehead and pushed me away to look at me: “Why?” he asked.
“I read an article about men who wrote some stuff about what makes their wives loving,” I said.
“Why? Did they get caught fucking other women and had to write some shit in a magazine to prove they were sorry?” he asked through big alarmed eyes. My husband freaks out at this kind of talk; he has mild Asperger's and this sort of stuff makes him say things that take years to forget. Like once he told me he loved me because he likes freaky people. I never forgot that.
“So if you were asked to explain why you thought I was a good wife what would you say?” I pushed on.
“You are not a good wife: you can’t cook and you keep mixing up the socks and you bleach the towels and make them scratchy and you broke the washing machine, the microwave and the vacuum-cleaner!”
“I don’t mean their housewife skills, I mean the husbands wrote what they loved about their wives,” I explained and got annoyed because he always is so practical in his prose.
“Then they are fucking stupid. I hate that I have to suffer this shit because you are reading some crap magazine,” he sneered.
“So what do you love about me?” I asked.
He rubbed his eyes, thought for a second and said: “Your determination.”
“Just my determination?” I smarted. “Not my ability to be a good mother or my wonderful dedication as a wife?”
“No, you were always going to be a good mother and you are not a dedicated wife, that’s so not you and you know that, why would you be?” he argued. “Who wants to be a dedicated wife?” he snorted.
“Look, just say something fucking nice about me or I will bite you!” I shouted now. “Something that I don’t need to coach you to say!” I was now annoyed.
He thought long and hard and finally said: “I love that you are never scared to be truly you and your neck smells nice, I wake up to smell it and you are a bit freaky and I like freaky people.”
I stared at him. He stared back. “What have I said now?”
“The freaky thing. You said that again!” I grabbed his shirt. “I am not freaky!”
“Did I say that before and it annoyed you?” he smiled.
“Yes, you know you did.”
“Well I love that you remember everything I have ever said. It’s like I have a stenographer for a wife. Can you recall what I said yesterday when I asked you to pay the bills? No…you only recall what annoys you and that’s quite freaky.”
I gave up.
He smiled, patted my head back down on his chest and said quietly: “Be still, my little freaky wife.”
I may bite him.
Sunday the 30th of March 2008
Boycott the Olympics
Everyone knows that China’s human rights record is disgusting. We in the West are well aware of their iron grip on the information that is fed to its own people. The Dalai Lama is demonised and vilified by the Chinese government and just watching the horrific attacks on TV on the Buddhist Monks makes me cry out loud.
Yet western leaders and heads of Government will still attend the charade of the Olympic Games in August. Who would have thought the Berlin games with Hitler’s attendance could possibly be recreated? It will when China pretends to smile to the world in unison and makes its people square dance and fly flags in their thousands – something they are well used to and possibly wont need much rehearsal for.
There has been so much written about the facts of the Chinese and their politics. Facts and figures that make most human rights organisations go numb to the core, but the basic truth is the Chinese government are liars and violent liars to boot. They have manipulated and terrified their own people, yet we in the west still trade with this economic giant. We still sit at their feet and play Geisha.
I will be disgusted if any governmental figures from the UK attend the Olympics this summer.
I am appalled that we are still sending athletes. The press statements in support of the athletic organisation state that “We should not let the athletes suffer; they deserve their chance at glory”.
What utter bollocks. What the fuck has a gold medal for running with a spear got over standing up for your fellow woman/man?
A few elitist swimmers will be able to show off how fast they can cut through water as Buddhist Monks are being beaten to death by the same people who will be hosting your sporty party.
How sick is that?
Stop the athletes from going; explain to them that it’s all to do with honour and respect.
Think of the Scottish people who gave up their lives voluntarily to fight Fascism in Catalonia. The people who had no access to live press or radio reports back in 1938 took up the cause, caught trains, buses and boats to catch underground passage to Paris then on to the South of France. There they crossed the Pyrenees on foot to fight for the freedom of other people. That’s worth a gold medal, don’t you think?
Meanwhile, we are training up men and women to run fast and show off their skills in a country that prefers to jail journalists that don’t agree with them and kill ordinary people who peacefully protest. I am sickened.
It’s a fucking pity the Chinese aren’t more poverty-stricken, Muslim or have a secret cache of oil - or the US would be bombing their borders as we speak. After all, the American government loves to remove dictators and free people who are held under siege by their own government …don’t they?
I hate the Chinese government. Stop the athletes going to the Olympics NOW!
Monday the 31st of March 2008
Where am I?
I flew home from Southampton yesterday. I spent the weekend there working at Jongleurs Comedy club and am knackered. On Saturday morning I got up early and got the train to Central London to take part in the Danny Wallace radio show, where I was chatting about my forthcoming one woman comedy show at Soho Theatre this week.
As if getting up early and getting through busy London wasn’t enough, I managed to have my period – I wasn’t sure I was expecting it but, after all these years, you would think I could guess the signs? Me? No…I will always find out in a pub toilet why I feel sticky! Yes…I know horrid…but what is wrong with me? I mean it’s EVERY month! What’s to know?
Anyway, I ran into one of those wee tiny booth type shops in Leicester Square. You know the kind of shops; it’s basically a news-stand that looks like Aladdin’s Cave. The whole shop is the size of a phone box and the wee man is stuck behind a cash register.
Well of course the sanitary towels were so high up near the ceiling and neither of us could reach them. The wee man had to climb out of his space, grab his stool and teeter up high, knock the towels down. That was when he fell off the stool and loads of shit came down with him.
The stock came flying off shelves, newspapers clattered around us, I got hit with a jar of coffee and a pair of tights (how much stuff did that place have? It was like an emergency war bunker).
He glared at me for needing the out-of-reach towels. I didn’t care; I didn’t want to bleed all over Danny Wallace’s studio…
The show went well. I had fun and Danny Wallace is awesome and lovely. I left there at midday and caught the tube back to Waterloo and went straight back onto a train headed for Southampton. I was gigging again on Saturday night.
On arrival at the Southampton hotel, I loaded up on painkillers, pads and went straight back to bed and slept till 6pm – enough time to shower and head off to the gig and do it all over again. I think I sleep too much when I live in hotels. I do nothing but sleep when I am not onstage.
Sunday - I was up and onto another train to the airport (where I did my regular Sunday slot on Tommy Sheridan’s radio show by phone) and then back onto another plane and back in Glasgow. I am constantly on planes.
Ashley had cleaned the house for me coming home which is nice. I think her and her dad have Mexican stand-offs over the dishwashing and cleaning. Both of them silently ignoring the mess until one of them breaks, admits defeat and gets the place cleaned up for the arrival of the ‘Witch Mother’ (that’s me).
Facing my wrath is a forbidding experience that should never be under-estimated. My silence is truly deafening.
Ashley will be glad this coming week. Husband and I are off to London for about two weeks. I am doing my show at Soho Theatre then some gigs around London and one night in Munich as well… another plane journey. Let's hope Terminal 5 is back on its feet for that gig!
I am out of sorts again; I feel tired and have been having crashing nightmares, which always happens when I am away from home (which is every fucking week).
I do so hope they stop soon. Am a bit worried about being in New Zealand on my own for four weeks. It will be worse there, I just know it now. I wish Ashley could come with me again. She wakes me up when I scream in the night and I can’t get out of the dream. She knows the signs.
The nightmares scare me; they are happening at home more as well now.
I cry when I wake up and go in the toilet to weep so I don’t upset my family. Things happen in those dreams that I could never write about or explain. So I keep them inside and try not to think about them.
Never mind, I am strong and such a survivor. Everyone says that, so it must be true. The bad man in my dreams can try but he will never get me, not when I am awake anyway. I am going to stay awake forever!