Janey's Blogs - May 2008
Thursday the 1st of May 2008
Auckland is awesome
Well I am sorry I took so long to blog. I have been rather busy. My show opened three nights ago and it’s all great. I have had three wonderful reviews and that’s just perfect.
The weather is horrendous; it’s really muggy and damp and keeps raining buckets. I have been soaked twice. The shows are just going fine and I love meeting up with loads of lovely comics from all around the globe.
Last night in the front row of the late show at The Classic there was a girl who went to school with my daughter back in Glasgow….how crazy is that?
She shouted out that she was in the year above Ashley and I fell about laughing. It really is a small world.
I have been quite stressed trying to get everything done as I have to book shows into my diary, write my Scotsman column and keep on top of all the shows and media that I do. So sleep is good.
I miss my husband and Ashley. I love travelling but ultimately I spend more time away from them than I do with them and that eventually gets to you. I didn’t expect to be this age and spend so much time being lonely. I do get share my thoughts with crowds of people at night, but it’s not the same as curling up on the sofa with Ashley and husband.
It won’t be long till I get home and get to be with them.
Today I am doing Comedy for Kids and that will be a challenge if nothing else.
I hope it all goes well.
Sunday the 4th of May 2008
I know I am 47 years old, but I never knew how everyone else in the world would feel about that and guess what? I am officially very old. I think I am the oldest performer at this Comedy Festival in NZ.
All the young comics are so lovely but some of them do treat me as an elderly woman and this shocks me to the core.
For instance, I was chatting to one young guy and he was explaining how he has so much body hair that he has to wax it off as women find it off-putting. I then added to this chit chat: “I only occasionally shave my arm pits if they get really feral,” to which he replied, “Yes, Janey, but you are really old, it doesn’t matter with you.”
I sat there agog at this observation. What do I do now? Take off my make up and start NOT wearing a bra? Should I give up the long war against my grey roots? Will I just let my tufty hair become white and start knitting bootees for poor kids in Africa and gather cats on my lap?
I am now aware that my gentle flirting might be deemed creepy. Are young boys scared of the old lady who chats to them in late night comedy bars? Has all my sexuality drained out of my saggy body?
I am still fertile; I can bear kids if I want. I can scrub up quite well when I put in the effort.
I know I no longer get second glances from the hot boys; that stuff stopped in 1990. But surely I am not confined to the middle aged car boot sale set yet? There is life in this old dog.
How do I regain my female sexuality at 47 years old and still feel needed and wanted within?
I feel about 20 inside my head. I don’t see myself as an aged woman; when did this all happen?
All this is corrected in one giant leap, as husband still finds me incredibly attractive; but what happens when even he starts to see the old woman who creaks when she bends?
I am disconcerted and discombobulated today. I need a hug.
Tuesday the 6th of May 2008
This is my last week in Auckland and I am on the home straight, about five more days to go!
I have had such a fab time here and I do love NZ more than I can say, though a break from the torrential rain would be nice. I managed to get a really good quality webcam on my laptop and have been trying to chat to my mates on it, but they all seem aghast at my funny dancing and waving. Maybe that novelty will wear off soon?
I went shopping today in Ponsonby, which is quite nice, but never bought any clothes. I never see stuff that looks good for me. I have the dress sense of an angry teenage lesbian in her ‘sad unsure phase’. Less sexy - more practical and drab.
If only I could dress pretty? But I only dress for comfort nowadays. The thought of stropping about in high heels just to go shopping makes me want to drink bleach.
I don’t understand the logic in that anymore, though I did when I was in my 20s. I would easily slip on some heels and take Ashley a walk into town; what the fuck was I thinking? No wonder my knees hurt at this age.
My show is selling out fantastically and I am so happy the reviews are all positive.
The comics here in NZ are such a great supportive bunch of people that I will truly miss them when I go.
Though I can’t wait to see husband and Ashley next week. I need their big hugs.
Thursday the 8th of May 2008
Extra Show Added
The comedy show here in Auckland has sold out the entire season, so we have added another show. On Saturday 10th May there is an extra show added at The Classic Basement at 5.30pm. These tickets are also selling well, so am excited!
This morning I got woke up early in the hotel as the housemaid was possibly recreating her own violent life by banging the beds around in the room next to mine. The vacuum was battered off the furniture and my bed moved as she slammed the bed next door into the wall and jarred me from my sleep. I ran through there in my night clothes and asked her to keep the noise and the slamming down to a minimum as I am trying to get some shut eye!
The whole room looked like a tornado has hit it. Maybe she was having a bad day? But why did I have to suffer as a result?
The other strange thing about this amazing hotel is, in the lobby and on all of the hallway floors, Whitney Houston is blared out loudly and as I sit here and type I can hear ‘Where Do Lonely Hearts Go?” quite clearly. This is EVERY day, who does that shit?
I just called down to reception and requested some Steely Dan or Bob Seger, because if there is a DJ in house who insists we listen to piped music loudly then we as guests should get to choose the songs. Whitney Houston can kiss my ass.
I am going swimming today; the hotel has a lovely indoor and outdoor pool. I am going to check the weather to see which place I go for a dip!
Monday the 12th of May 2008
I am coming home!
Here in my hotel room in Auckland I am packing up the last of my luggage and stuff to catch the late flight to Hong Kong. Soon I will be flying across the world and home to my family. I can’t wait to see them.
Equally I can’t wait to come back to New Zealand; what a place it is!
This land of the long white cloud is my second home from home and the comics in NZ are just a delight to behold. I adore them all and will miss them terribly.
I spent the day in the sunshine up in the open air pool and spa. All the comics from last night's award show were all drunk and still awake and flailing about in the hot tub. They really are a hardy bunch!
Scott and Bridget who own the Classic Comedy Bar and who brought me over have been awesome and treated me like a princess since I arrived.
I feel a bit sad leaving my spiritual comedy home, but can’t wait to see husband and Ashley. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope I get an upgraded flight and come home in luxury and comfort?
I will blog as soon as I get home to Glasgow…until then dear friends…speak soon.
I am coming home…
Wednesday the 14th of May 2008
Home is where the heart is
I have been on more aeroplanes than an American President; well that’s what it feels like. The good news is my long haul flight home from NZ was great. On both long flights (NZ to Hong Kong and then onto London) I got three seats to myself, which is perfect for my wee body to get a lie down.
The annoying thing about the seats though, is the arm rests don’t go fully back into the seats, so you are kind of crushed lying down, but still it was better than being jammed in one seat for 27 hours.
Husband was waiting at the airport for me in Glasgow. He was lovely, all shaved and showered, suited and booted. It was so cool to see him; I ran and jumped on him!
Ashley was waiting at home and I hugged her so tight for ages, I really missed them.
My house was all clean and smelling nice, so both of them have been busy.
My suitcase is all unpacked and broken, yes – my brand new luggage got crushed on its journey and the great news is that British Midland just called and are sending me new luggage tomorrow, straight to my door! I love British Midland.
I don’t have jet lag as I slept last night for ten hours and am back on track. Am now organising my next trip which is pretty soon and I will pack up again and go off to do comedy in another town, another place.
I lay down last night and was thinking all about my NZ mates and how much I miss them already. I always leave a wee bit of me behind in the land of the long white cloud. The good news is I will be back there next year.
Friday the 16th of May 2008
Comedy is my life
Not expecting much from a job is how I have lived my life. When I owned a bar many years ago, I accepted that it would generate much needed cash and allow me to buy stuff that I wanted. Simple as that.
I was a good barmaid, many people told me so, I never drank, smoked but spent a lot of time swearing and shouting at drunken Glaswegians, that was my one perk of the job and I used it up greedily.
When I went into stand up, I expected to make less cash (and I did at first) but I got more job satisfaction. I got to travel, got to say stuff out loud and finally got my dream come true- I got paid for talking. I talk too much and getting paid for the one thing that most people hate about me was very satisfying in a deep perverse way.
Though to put it all into perspective, I understood it was just a job. An interesting job no doubt, but when it all comes down to it, comedy is a job. Like many stand ups, I made my job my life. I was determined to get better, eager to learn and the more people told me to give it up, the more I did it. One comedy promoter even went to great lengths to tell other people not to hire me, but I suppose the less said about that the better. Again, the more they told me to shut up the more I spoke. It all worked out in the end.
My family never told me to stop, both my husband and daughter always had some strange unshakable belief that it was the right career path, but then they are both slightly mad, so maybe with hindsight I shouldn’t have taken career advice from a small child and a man with Asperger’s Syndrome.
But now I am glad I did. I am now 47 years old and cannot quite fathom out why I never did all of this comedy lark earlier in life. I suppose I was too busy being a barmaid to consider it. Life finally threw me a curve ball in 1994 that gave me the chance to leave the bar and follow my own path.
I love the job, and the great thing about comedy is your NEVER stop learning, every single gig sheds a new light on your performance. Every show teaches you something you didn’t know five minutes earlier and that’s why I adore it.
It’s not like being a secretary where you are going to know everything you need to know in the first six months. Comedy is great for reflection, it’s wonderful for learning more about yourself and it gives you the most satisfying feeling in the world when you do a great gig.
The down side is, when you have a bad night, every single tiny piece of low self esteem can bubble and rise to the surface and almost smother you in the wee small hours when you can’t sleep.
But then you get back up onstage and do it all over again.
It’s addictive and mad, but my job is my life and I realised today for the first time in that life that I am never going to stop it. I am going to be one of those really old women who still get onstage and do their stuff.
Even if no one is listening, I am determined to be the oldest woman on the circuit in the future.
Monday the 19th of May 2008
Who knew I would get to this age and question everything? I no longer know who I am supposed to be. A mother, a wife a person? I don’t really know the answer anymore.
Every time I go away for a period of time I come back to a changed household. Ashley has trouble asserting her role; I know she has problems being over shadowed by me, I don’t blame her at 22 I would hate to be known as ‘Annie Currie’s daughter’ and she is still known as ‘Janey Godley’s Daughter’. She gets frustrated I assume.
At this point in her life she should be full of life and confidence, but there is an unusually reversed role play in our dynamics. I should be old and menopausal, put out to graze and she as the younger vital female should be the one blazing a trail, showing me all things I would be missing from my youth. But because I am the one still out there working, doing comedy and enjoying world travel, these roles have been emotionally delayed or reversed to say the least.
She is at home with her dad and that is supposed to be me. I am the older woman; I should be at home dealing with middle age.
Ashley is still at university and doing well. I am so very proud of her, like you cannot imagine. Still she has to watch me pack bags and go off on tour with comedy every week.
I hope I am not stunting her in anyway, though I don’t know what to do about that as I love my job.
Husband just gets on with everything and accepts his role as man about the house. I sometimes feel an intruder when I get back as he and Ashley have their own stuff that they do and I get in the way. I don’t like TV shows they watch, I dislike the food they choose and I seem to be annoying everyone!
They breathe a sigh of relief when I slope off to my room and read or sleep.
I don’t know who I am supposed to be.
Friday the 23rd of May 2008
My daughter mocks my musical tastes regularly.
“Mum, Dean Friedman’s songs are bizarre. How on earth can you listen to that tosh?” she giggled as I belted out my favourite chorus. “Did you see Lisa? Yes, I saw Lisa” from the song “Lucky Stars” from 1978.
She let me listen to her latest Snoop Dog single “Sensual Seduction”. It has a back beat of electro pop that sounded so fresh and new.
I smiled, sat her down and clicked on Herbie Hancock on You Tube; she was amazed to hear the man sing an early similar version of her favourite rap star’s latest hit.
Why do the youth of today think their musical taste is far superior to the older generations? It’s all been done before.
The German pop synthesiser group Kraftwerk, were making sounds in the late 60s that generations of pop stars would follow.
Music is one of the things my daughter and I share a passion for and she was interested to hear how back in the 70s my brother and I would tune in to Radio Luxembourg to hear a wider range of music.
They played fabulous pop tunes and lesser known acts and introduced me to an amazing collection of songs and bands that I would never have got to listen to through the standard BBC or local radio stations in Scotland.
Steely Dan, Supertramp, Nils Lofgren, Al Stewart and Todd Rundgren quickly became my heroes through that crackly old radiogram we had at home.
Now in today’s youth-driven MySpace and YouTube world, every genre of music is readily available and instantly downloadable for everyone to enjoy.
But I loved my old radio. Lying in bed slowly turning that dial till I finally found Radio Luxembourg was just the best feeling in the world.
Monday the 26th of May 2008
Tips for a happy marriage
Never ask ‘What are you thinking?” in case your man does in fact start to tell you. Most men have nothing in their head and just make stuff up like invading Daleks, stories about evil marmosets, sea monkeys and Premier League football.
Husband and I had a night out at a lovely five star hotel near Ayr when I was performing at The Burns Festival. There was nothing but trees swaying in the wind and some birds cheeping in the background. I felt it was a good time to ask him what he was thinking about.
“Well, I was wondering if marmosets are evil monkeys. I don’t like the look of them. And then I was imagining what the world would be like if Daleks did take over the world and then I wanted to see if there was football on the telly.
Sometimes I think about moths and wonder what the hell they are thinking about flocking to a bright light. You would think all moths would tell other moths to stay away from lights. The other night I was wondering if sea monkeys should still be on sale, as they are just tiny fleas and not really wee creatures that wear a crown and serve cookies to smiling sea monkey kids. It’s a con, Janey. Do you ever think about that? I bought them and was really disappointed when I just bred water fleas. Do you think flip flops are bad for your feet? I wore some years ago and they hurt.”
I stared at husband and wished I hadn’t asked him anything at all. His head is full of utter shit. I am fully convinced that he just picked random subjects to talk about and blathered it all out to shut me up.
So my point is - Don’t ask men what they are thinking. It’s a waste of time.
Wednesday the 28th of May 2008
Funny old people
My old mate Hugh has a quirky way of looking at life. He is 84 years old and makes me giggle. Last week he came to meet me for coffee.
The shops in my area are all upmarket kitchen/flooring/bathroom specialists. There is a new shop just opened and Hugh had a peep in the big windows to see what was on sale. Later, when we met up for coffee, he gave me his account of the new place.
“Janey, what is that shop selling? The place looks empty. There are a few stones on the floor. It has the hull of an old boat, a grandfather clock and a skinny boy shop assistant with funny hair staring out into the distance.”
“Ceramic tiles,” I explained in-between gulps of coffee. “It’s got really expensive tiles that they import - maybe that’s what the boat reference is”
“What?" he spluttered. "There were no tiles; there was the hull of a fucking boat. What has that got to do with tiles? There was only that boy who has long hair on one side of his face, I think he is selling ‘gay’ and looking out for cottages, I heard about that on TV.”
“Hugh, don’t be homophobic. He isn’t gay and you can’t sell gay and you have the cottage thing all mixed up, it’s all subliminal marketing that’s all it is.” I couldn’t stop laughing.
“In my day," Hugh sniggered, "a ceramic tile shop had ceramic tiles in the window so you knew what it sold. ll this strange subliminal marketing makes me feel invaded. I looked at the hull of that old boat and it reminded me of Dunkirk. He is luckily I never went into that shop and had a nervous breakdown.”
I forgot how older people have a sharp sense of humour: only old Hugh could link a tile shop to Dunkirk and make me snort with laughter. Though he does have a point. The exclusive tile shop is a tad too snotty for my liking and the boy with emotional hair who struts about in skinny jeans looking down on people who walk past and who try to figure out what the boat is all about does need taken down a peg or two.
My entire area is being taken over by fancy shops that sell nowt that I want to buy; I could do with a decent coffee shop down there. Not yet another exclusive kitchen shop or some place that sells Agas. Who the hell uses an Aga in this day and age? Who the hell has a house or kitchen big enough to cope with an Aga cooker? What happened to shops that sell stuff the masses want to buy? In this day and age of the credit crunch, I don’t see any of these snotty shops surviving.
Luxury goods do sell, there is no debate, but I fail to see why my corner of the street has to be deluged by them.
Old Hugh put it nicely: “A proper old shop selling hardware and curtain rings is what’s needed, that or a shop selling cold cuts. In my day you got your food locally and in season. When did Italian ceramic tiles suddenly come into season? Mind you, that deli up in Byres Road sells oatcakes that could double up as wooden tiles any day. Floors you can eat. Now there’s an advertising slant that would work.”