Janey's Blogs - March 2009
Sunday the 1st of March 2009
London Was Great.....
First up, my Scotsman column ended last week due to the recession and a shake up at the paper; they lost a few staff in the past three weeks and have a new editor and a staff writer is taking over my column for the foreseeable future. I wish he/she all the best of luck, it was a lovely job while it lasted!
I will miss the column and I will miss the emails from my regular readers, so do come join us in blog land, it's where I have been for nearly five years now. Thanks for all the support and your lively emails over the past two years.
I have been away all weekend working in London.
Three nights in London always cheers me up. The underground train is my all-time favourite place to be and watching the strange folks on the tube is quite entertaining.
Everyone tells me I should always get cabs, but I disagree.
Plus there is something anonymous and cold about cabs, though you can avoid rape, attacks and stabbing by being in a cab. They are supposed to be safer mode of late night travel, but apparently even taxis can be unsafe.
"Can you be sure the mini cab driver is not a rapist?" screamed a warning in a posh loo in Soho.
To be honest, I don't know if my driver is a rapist, short of asking him.
"Excuse me, do you force women into sex and, by the way, how much is it to Chelsea?" isn't really a conversation opener in my books?
Though, one night a few years ago I did get a mini cab driver who told me he was Ethiopian. He was just so interesting, we spoke about our love for our homelands, he was very educated and I hated to think he had to drive a cab when obviously he was so qualified to do a more professional job. He told me he was a dentist but couldn't get the proper license in the UK. This saddened me and for some reason I can't recall we ended up discussing the 'rapist cab driver' advertising campaign that was all over London at the time.
He then explained that, in his opinion, there was no such thing as rape as often women were being sexually overt: they wanted sex then often complained when they realised they were bad for having sex with a stranger.
Big screamy alarm bells went off my sleepy head. I did what I always do when I hear someone speak like that and I argued back. I spat anger about the young women who were forced into sex. I shouted about how women feel traumatised explaining their rape and all he could do was cite one case where one woman had recently been in the news and admitted that she lied about rape.
Having been raped as a child, it made me incensed with anger; maybe I did dress like a Lolita and had entrapped my poor Uncle Rapey into a crime. But then I knew that was crap and we were so poor in the 60s there was no way I was dressed like a mini beauty queen who sang sexy songs and did cute dimpled smiles that beguiled older men - as if that would have tipped some predatory paedophile over the edge into sexual assault? My point, obviously, is this - it doesn't matter how you are dressed, or how you appear. Rape is rape.
So, back to the cab driver who didn't believe in rape. I ended up screaming at him and getting out of the cab somewhere on the Brompton Road and walking back to the flat with big stamping angry steps.
Despite that rant, I do love London and I love the underground tube trains (that was the point I was getting to). On the way to Heathrow, a woman got on. She was maybe in her fifties, well dressed, if maybe a little heavy on the make up and an overly jaunty hat, but the amazing thing was she had a full three course lunch with cutlery in her bag.
First of all she brought out an avocado, peeled it, pulled out a small plastic knife from a box and sliced it onto crackers and ate away happily. From the box she produced a fork and proceeded to eat her way through a whole chicken salad, finished off with a trifle. Then she packed all her stuff away into the box, pulled out her lipstick and covered her mouth with the bright red waxy gloss, adjusted her jaunty beret and read a book. I love that woman and hope to be able to do a three course lunch and make-over on a train when I am fifty-plus.
Tuesday the 10th of March 2009
Pasta and death
I have been in London all weekend and I loved it. I was MC at Oxford Jongleurs and I can’t believe how many people love to ride their bike in the dark with no lights, it was almost like a middle class cull with my mate John at the wheel. “Hit him, he has no chin!” I shouted lots.
Though Oxford is spectacularly beautiful. Those buildings are amazing. I am a tit for lovely buildings and can look at them for ages; maybe I was a stone mason in a past life or maybe just a wife-beating mason? I am not sure.
Sometimes when I go through Oxford I wish that, when I had been young, I had gotten the chance to go to university, but that’s just crazy talk. In my family, you left school and you either got pregnant or married or you got stabbed for being different. So I got married. I hate being stabbed.
Years down the line, even through my wistful thinking I know I could never have gone to university. For one, I had the attention span of crack head at 18 years old and I didn’t know anyone who had been to university. I wasn’t one of those bright inner city kids that some lovely philanthropic teacher takes time out to help; in fact, in my school, the teachers must have breathed a sigh of relief when I walked out on my 16th birthday. I was and still am very annoying, I know this as my husband tells me that a lot and he should know - as we have been married since we were 18 years old. But then he has a strange unexplained bruise on his arm and I know how he got that (in his sleep when I bit him) because we have been married since we were 18 years old.
So I flew home on Sunday. The flight was delayed and that always cheers me up as I love nothing better than waiting for ages in airports watching people moan and bitch. I actually lay down on the floor near the window, which annoyed people. I am a middle aged woman and I have no right to appear so sloppy and young, throwing my belongings about me and sprawling my wee fat body on the clean carpet. I made a pillow out of my jacket and snoozed until I heard the flight being called.
Husband picked me up at the airport and reminded me how annoying I was because we have been married since we were 18 years old and I might have forgotten my annoying personality had he not been there to remind me.
Ashley was asleep but had made a big meat ball pasta oven baked dish; it was so tasty. Husband didn’t like it much but I was happy to eat hot food. Later on Ashley got up, peered into her oven-baked pasta dish and said, “How did he heat that up? Did he stir it? All the pasta is mashed up and broken.”
She looked really angry. Ashley doesn’t like her pasta strands broken and yet the evidence was there: her dad had clearly vigorously stirred her precious pasta dish.
“Did he fucking stir my pasta?” she shouted.
I was scared; her hair was all bushy and she looked like a strung-out Amy Winehouse. “I don’t know - it tasted great Ashley,” I offered.
“Was the pasta all broken like this when you ate it? Did he microwave it?” she shouted and now looked like Amy Winehouse straight after her crack had run out and there was no crack left in the world to have.
I calmed down my daughter, reassured her that her pasta was fine. She wasn’t happy. She went into my bedroom, woke up her dad and shouted: “Did you stir this pasta?”
Husband sat up all bleary-eyed and said, “Yes, I microwaved and stirred it and it wasn’t that good actually”
I stood in the hall and shut my eyes hard and held my ears as Ashley shouted: “Don’t ever fucking stir the pasta or microwave it again, do you hear me?” She slammed the bedroom door.
“You shut up!” shouted husband.
“No, you shut up!” shouted Ashley.
That went on for about ten minutes.
Ashley doesn’t have a boyfriend; she went to uni and she didn’t have to get married at 18 years old as we relaxed the rule of stabbing children who don’t get wed young. But she is rather intense about her baked pasta goods. I hope she finds a nice man when she wants one and I hope he is the kind of man who doesn’t mind the rule about stirring pasta.
Life goes on.
Wednesday the 11th of March 2009
Screaming is good
My husband knows when I am busy: he sees me procrastinating (or smoking heavily), picking my nails or chewing the ends of my hair (self abuse never leaves you, don’t listen to the therapists). So, my husband sees me do all of these things at once and that’s when he decides to ask me: “Did you write the letter to TOP UP TV and ask for the £9.99 back that they illegally claimed after we cancelled their service?”
In my head, I was constructing a big 1,000 word article about domestic abuse for a newspaper, which was really tough to plan out and even tougher to phrase correctly. In fact, whilst I was thinking about women who get beaten by their husbands, I was actually thinking about hitting my husband on the side of the head with a half brick.
Husband doesn’t know when to shut up and, after 30 years of being together, you would think he would know when to shut his big annoying interruptive mouth. But, alas, NO… he insisted: “Have you done that letter yet?”
“I really hate you. I hate everything about you and I think about you dying so I can laugh loudly,” I said quietly to him, then I went back into my head and thought about how some men can abuse women verbally, they can destroy their confidence just by uttering mean words. Then I thought about what I had just said and I shouted: “I am sorry! I didn’t mean that!”
He knows when I am angry. I speak quietly and say cruel things that involve him dying and me standing by his side guffawing and shrieking with laughter. I hope to God he doesn’t die before me. I will probably laugh out of nerves and it will look like a self-fulfilling prophecy and that can’t be a good thing.
So I spent the day being nice to him as I think it was shameful the way I behaved. Ashley had sat and watched us argue; she was trying to take notes on a film for her university course. She got fed up and shouted: “Shut up!” so we did. She is much better at being an adult than we are.
Monday the 16th of March 2009
My daughter Ashley loves to play this game and it can go on for hours... She asks you questions like this:
"Would you rather be burnt from the waist down or the waist up to your head?"
If you shut her up by saying 'waist down' she then argues that "you wont have any vagina" then this goes on for ages till you shout "Shut up!" and she then phones her mates and they can actually have a 3 hour phone conversation about that shite.
So I am ignoring her as she is now on to "Would you rather have your arms stuck to your side or your legs stuck like a mermaid?"
This girl got a fucking great education, why are these questions relevant?
I had a lovely day at the Woman of Influence lunch; there were hordes of very well-dressed women there and I looked like a bag of shite coz I don’t do 'well dressed' very well.
Basically, as a rule, I refuse to pay more than £20 for a handbag and won’t pay more than £30 for a pair of shoes. Now Sex and the City has told us women of a certain age that you will not get cock unless you dress in fancy frippery or Jimmy Choo shoes... I disbelieve that theory. Women will get laid if they just really want to.
I don’t get paying £300 for a handbag... I truly don’t get it. What happens when you carry an expensive handbag? Do other women gasp at you and say, "Is that a Lulu Guinness bag? Is that worth £400?" and then do you say, "Yes, it is actually," and does that woman walk away saying, "That woman is very fashionable for buying a Lulu Guinness handbag. I love her" ?
I don’t think that’s what happens. I see a new picture of Victoria Beckham leaving an airport EVERY WEEK... (She always walks out of airports, it's her new job) and Victoria B is always carrying a big fancy dan handbag and I look at it and think: "That’s a shame that woman cant eat a yum-yum. She is scared of food and spends her days picking handbags," Then I feel deeply deeply sorry for her and wonder what airport she will be walking out of next week.
Primark do great cheap handbags and they carry stuff in them like lipstick, passport, wallets and money. If a woman came up to me and said, "Your handbag doesn’t match your outfit; you need some fashion passion in your life," I would probably follow her and throw a hot chip pan at her head so she would get over her handbag worry.
Anyway, the fancy lunch I was at had a Mulberry Handbag on auction and it made women squeal when the saw it in real life.... I thought Jade had just died when I heard screams, but it was just a handbag on show that did it for them.... I stared at the bag and couldn’t figure out why it costs £400. It was a fucking BAG... It wasn’t made of rare truffles or had a special compartment that, when opened, a sofa popped out - or had a pouch that turned into a caravanette when turned inside out which, to be honest, would make it worth the cash. It was just a bag. Yes, a bag. Nothing else. A bag that costs £400.
Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City women endorse these bags and they tell you life is empty if you don’t get one. Well, I have a busy full life and get laid and get nice food and have a funny daughter who asks strange questions and I have never been worried that I have never owned a £400 handbag.
So, there we go.
Saturday the 21st of March 2009
Passport and Sunshine
I woke up early this morning, not voluntarily, but due to my daughter banging about at 8am, turning on every light in the flat, opening and shutting every door and blasting the hairdryer as she sang full pelt along with her IPod. Hall and Oates are not that attractive at 8am. I do love them - but not at 8am and not coming out of her big loud mouth at 8am.
Finally she left the flat; I know this because she lets the door bang hard behind her, usually making the photos fall off the wall in the hallway. She had pulled every single bottle, spray, make up, nick-nack and item out of the cosmetic tray and left them all over the place.
The kitchen looked like three junkies, four rabid dogs and a smattering of psychotic squirrels had decided to have a crack party and then fuck off when cleaning up time arrived.
So, I cleaned the place and headed off to the passport office to renew it. I am off to NZ soon and have been putting off getting my passport renewed as I have been flying up and down to London and needed my passport to take a UK flight, which is annoying. So - now I am in Scotland for a few weeks and am able to get this done.
The passport office in Glasgow has an airport metal detection arch and a search security team.
I think this is just to get you used to being 'padded down, searched and a mini rape' like they do at most airports.
There was a big woman who searched my bag going in and she asked: " Do you have any sharp objects in your bag?"
"Yes, I have a pen, tweezers and a small pair of scissors; there is also moisturiser and a packet of skins. I am not boarding a plane and I didn't realise that I would be getting searched applying for a passport," I snapped.
They ignored me and let me through. Surprisingly, my passport was processed quickly as I had packed a full chicken sandwich picnic, a fully loaded IPod and a book. Yet it went through in minutes. I was disappointed. I wanted a wee fight.
Glasgow was beautiful today; the sunshine flooded the city and made people smile.
I am feeling good today, as the Glasgow Comedy Festival people have finally put on their website the info about my third show - basically, my extra show at the Tron Theatre on March 28th at 10pm is now available for folk to buy tickets.
Husband had cleaned up the flat for me and headed off to the shops to get food. I didn't know he was out and I bought some nice dinner from Marks and Spencer’s. As I headed home I realised I had no house keys. I rarely carry house keys, as there is always someone at home or I am with husband and Ashley who also carry keys at all times. Anyway... as I reached home and pressed the buzzer - no one was in.
Luckily, there is a big fancy shop near me and they build, display and sell fully-fitted kitchens. The bloke in there knows me, so I went in and put my lovely expensive steaks in his big display fridge (it works!) and walked about the lovely showroom, pretending to be one of those women who own a kitchen like that.
The smooth marble tops, the bespoke oak cupboards and the amazing futuristic appliances were awesome. I can’t imagine living in a house with a kitchen like that. I was glad when husband arrived. I grabbed my goods out of the fridge and stopped pretending to be Elton John’s wife in the fancy kitchen and headed up to my nice wee normal flat.
The sun is streaming through the curtains and highlighting all the dusty, dull surfaces of my flat, but I LOVE IT!
Sunday the 22nd of March 2009
Day one smoke free…
It has been 24 hours since I smoked a ciggie and the high was waking up without the sound of baby kittens meowing in my chest and the down was dreaming of being raped by a Rottweiler. I have crazy dreams when I stop smoking. I know it’s just a symptom of it all but really… a Rottweiler? In a caravan?
Yesterday started with a bang. I decided to stop smoking when I opened my eyes. As that thought garnered space in my brain, I thought it also might be a good time to scream at Ashley about the state of her room. The two were not connected; anger is often the first thing on my mind when waking up.
“This place needs gutted and I HAVE STOPPED SMOKING! I shouted at Ashley. I had to shout as she was asleep and looked happy in her thoughts, so screaming was the only way to get my point across.
She jumped out of her cuddle position and sat bolt upright, banging her head against the metal headboard. “Why are you shouting?” she pleaded.
I didn’t bother to explain why I was shouting; it would take too long and, anyway, I had doors to bang. The great thing about not smoking is your brain becomes clear and you start to spot everyone’s faults with magnificent clarity. Husband throws his clothes on the floor and there is dust on the radiator in the hallway; that needs to be addressed in full shouty mode…. doesn’t it? So I screamed. My smoke-free lungs are working well.
Before midday, I had Ashley cleaning out cupboards but husband still slept soundly. This annoyed me and so I whispered evil words into his ear about death and failure. He woke up later all traumatised with bad dreams and couldn’t figure out why. He congratulated me on stopping smoking and told me how proud he was, in between sobs of fear and failure that had been flooding his head since lunchtime.
I imagined in my head how clean and healthy my lungs were and decided that I wanted my kitchen to match that hygienic look, so demanded that husband and Ashley took part in a spring clean movement that I am initiating this week. Cupboards, floors, units and all surfaces will be scrubbed clean.
“I love when you stop smoking,” Ashley said. I knew she was sincere as she was biting a towel to stop the tears of emotion flooding down, knowing that crying would just interrupt our busy cleaning schedule.
She is such a grown-up woman. I heard her on the phone saying to her pal, “I need to move out of this place.” I applaud her independence and tried to hear more, but she kept moving around the room as I lay commando style on the floor, cleaning the skirting boards in the hallway, of course. She swears a fair bit on the phone; I need to take this up with her.
To top it all, Ashley is being bullied by someone called Psycho Bob. She was so upset telling her mate on the phone and Psycho Bob has been making my daughter's life hell and won’t let her be. When I get my fucking hands on Psycho Bob, he will get his balls kicked, though I am not sure Psycho Bob is actually a man as Ashley referred to Psycho Bob as a “she” in her blog. I wonder what evil bitch is annoying my precious baby.
So, anyway, day one of stopping smoking has gone without incident really. I am looking forward to day two.
Monday the 23rd of March 2009
Day two of stopping smoking and other lung stories
Sunday was Mothers Day but, as both the women who were my mothers are dead (birth mum and lately lovely step mum), I don’t really like this day much. Ashley hugged me but I saw she had a screwdriver in her hand behind her back. She must be getting ready to do some DIY.
I woke up with a tabby cat growling in my chest; it seems the less I smoke the bigger this phlegmy cat is getting! I still haven’t had a ciggie and am determined not to, though everyone seems tense around me.
I have a smoking voice in my head; it tells me to smoke and fuck everyone else’s opinion about it. The voice is loud; I am resisting listening to it. It vaguely sounds like The Fonz - Yes, that’s exactly who is in my head - The Fonz - “Heyyy! Janey, get a smoke baby!” He is cool and keeps trying to get me to smoke. Damn you, evil Fonz. I went back to bed with husband.
I slipped in closer to husband and said: “If I asked you, would you go back in time and the kill the Fonz?” He stared at me. I snuggled tight to him.
Husband leapt out of bed. This is unusual as this is the man who would accept snuggles even during a brain haemorrhage. (True story, circa1987.)
“Janey, you need to leave Ashley alone. If she wants to arrange her room any way she wants to, that’s her business,” he muttered and left the room.
I got a smoking pang and really needed a ciggie in that moment. Instead of getting a fag out, I ate an anti-acid tablet. I don’t have heart burn, but I needed to put something in my mouth. Husband so missed an opportunity right there! I lay on the bed and pondered. The Fonz stared at me and winked, pointing to the drawer that keeps the ciggies. I shook my head and sucked on the chalky mint tablet.
Husband was annoyed at me for shouting at Ashley.
I didn’t know he was aware that Ashley’s messy room had been annoying me since I had stopped smoking. She must have been telling him tales or I have been shouting at her? I wonder which?
So I slipped out of bed, I sneaked down the hallway, I prepared to open her door... then both she and my husband came out of her room. They were smiling and she says, “Dad is taking me to IKEA to get cupboards - Do you want to come, mum?”
She was still clutching the screwdriver. I started to think she was using this tale of cupboard-building as a ruse to hide the fact she wants to stab me with a screwdriver, but she was holding an IKEA brochure. The Fonz grabbed me from behind and whispered, “When they go to IKEA, you can have a sneaky fag!”
“I will come with you, if that’s OK?” I smiled at my bewildered family. They didn’t know The Fonz was fag-baiting me.
So Ashley got shed loads of cupboards and drawers and new bed linen and I even managed to help carry it all up five flights of stairs without fainting. I love my recovering lungs.
I heard Ashley tell her mate on the phone that “Psycho Bob is looking crazy" and she is worried for Psycho Bob’s mental health. Apparently Psycho Bob is now talking to an empty space. The good news is Psycho Bob is going away on a trip soon, which makes me feel good, as I am off to London for two weeks in April and wouldn’t want my daughter left at the mercy of some psychotic bastard.
Day two of stopping smoking is not too bad, to be honest.
Tuesday the 24th of March 2009
Day three of stopping smoking
Ashley built two huge cupboards with her own fair hands from IKEA and her room looks great. Finally she has somewhere to store her knickers, tops and stuff… she is a happy girl.
I, on the other hand, am dying slowly from lung collapsing disease or something like that. Thank fuck I stopped smoking as it’s not just my lungs cleaning out. I ran to the doc's this morning for an emergency appointment and I have an infection in the two lungy brown bags in my chest. Last night, as I tried to sleep, the noise of at least five angry cats and one harmonica came blaring out of my mouth. There were notes that hadn’t been invented yet. The cacophony of sounds would have been mesmerising - had they been controllable.
I lay there in the dark with the squealy, blarey noises screeching in the darkness and I realised that, if had I gone to Oxford or once had a pony trekking lesson, then I would have recorded that noise and made an Edinburgh Fringe show around it. I would, of course, have constantly quoted Hieronymus Bosch and Voltaire in between the melodies and that would have set me on the road to comedy intelligentsia. A BBC Radio 4 show would have surely followed.
But, instead of using my illness to elevate me in society, I just lay there sweating and breathing like a deranged tabby cat on crack; husband actually threatened to kill me with a pillow if I didn’t stop the racket.
I cried tears of frustration and then I coughed the BIGGEST cough of my life; such was the force of this lung expulsion that I actually peed a bit, one eye went bloodshot, I farted loudly, my ears popped and my nose bled all at the same time.
I felt like one of those cylindrical cartons of croissant dough that you twist to pop open. Stuff just spilled out of me from all corners of my body as an explosion took place within; the cough must have been like a small atom bomb going off inside my skin. My eyes watered and I saw flashes of light behind my eyes with the force of the coughing fit. I thought I was having a stroke.
The doc prescribed me an inhaler and pills to kill the infection.
The local chemist was almost empty for a change. It held just one drug addict who insisted on chatting incessantly about his cold sore – which, to be honest, was the very least of his problems; but he carried on nattering to the uninterested pharmacist woman. He started picking up bottles of various remedies and had her explain what they were for - and then he insisted she look up the price of bath slippers that he was never going to buy but “just might get them for his dad later”.
The pharmacist tried to make eye contact with me, in the hope chatty heroin boy would give up his repetitive monologue about what the doctor said about his cold sore and “Should I maybe get a blood test to see if that’s infected, doll?” This made me stifle a giggle and breath like a ragged bellow.
Finally he headed for the door, it clanged the bell and we both sighed. Just then, the drug-filled young man decided he actually had more to add to his cold sore conversation but, when he turned round to deliver it, his methadone dosage kicked in and he stood there motionless, with scabbed mouth agape – like a frozen statue – then he slumped backwards and headed back out of the door, like a stumbling zombie.
The world of bath slippers, teething powders, cold sores and blood tests were gone now; the day would just melt into a fuzzed haze until his blood diluted the drug enough, then it would be time to get dosed up all over again.
The frazzled-looking woman behind the counter let out a big sigh of relief and said:
“I really can't stand junkies. The shit they talk makes me insane. They get all excited and gibberish when they come in because they are about to get their methadone, then they stand there and rabbit on for ages about the most mundane shite you can ever imagine, they are the bane of every pharmacist’s life. Honestly, they really believe you are interested in their business, then they go round the shop asking questions about corn pads, talcum, ear wax remover. They don’t want to buy it, they just want to be euphoric with someone and it’s always got to be me, I can’t just tell them to shut up.”
I felt sorry for her, I felt sorry for him and I felt sorry for me, I now had an inhaler.
Thank GOD I am no longer smoking; this would have been hell with fags on top of the chest pain!
I have gigs all week and am onstage twice on Saturday with two full one woman shows at The Tron Theatre 8pm and 10pm. I hope am feeling better soon: I have a gig tomorrow as well!
At least Psycho Bob has calmed down and is giving my daughter a break. According to Ashley - Psycho Bob is on their last legs, so that’s good news!
Thursday the 26th of March 2009
Non smoking day four
I am exhausted with the pain of lungs. The antibiotics are evil and I refuse to use the inhaler, lest I look like a caravan-dwelling asthma-chav.
I am actually over smoking, it no longer occupies my brain. I am so worried about my chest infection, and I couldn’t give a flying fuck about fags.
Husband is annoying me on a regular basis; his Asperger's Syndrome and my nicotine withdrawal moods are basically having a silent war.
This man would make happy nuns punch babies right in the face.
I have tolerated his weird Aspergers behaviour for years but, with my patience being tested lately, I may actually fucking kill him.
Ashley is happy in her refurbished room and has a constant stream of mates coming up; they all sit in there and smoke like fuck. That is starting to bother me as I worry how much carbon monoxide is actually present in that space. But I can’t go in there and tell them off about fags as I will look like someone who has found GOD and wants to witness the good news with them; some reformed smokers are a bit like that, but whatever gets you through the day!
This Saturday night I have two full one woman shows back-to-back, one at 8pm and one at 10pm at the Tron Theatre Glasgow. Am hoping my illness will be gone by then!
A weird thing has happened lately – I have received over 200 emails from folk in Germany and Poland requesting a signed photo, but I soon realised after I googled their home and email addresses that they email hundreds of people for ‘signed photo’s’ with the same ‘ I am such a good fan of yours’ shit talk.
It may be some weird scam that I can’t figure out, but I am not sending cards to liars. I thought about setting my ‘biggest fans’ a task; for example if they send me a photo of them holding my autobiography (they would surely have bought it if they were my biggest fans) then I would send them a signed photo! Seems fair to me? But I didn’t do it, as I thought it was churlish.
People who say they are fans can be odd, though I was approached by a lovely lady who set up a Facebook fan page for me. It is very cool and I am so chuffed and people are joining it! I am checking it daily to count how many fans are joining… that’s how low my self esteem really is!
Monday the 30th of March 2009
Weird fashion and make up
Have you ever met a woman, stared at her and thought: “Surely you know that the make up you have slapped on your face is crazy looking?”
I had one of those moments last month. I went up to the check-in desk at Heathrow airport and, as I held my passport over, the girl smiled at me and I stopped all movement and stared at her. She blinked and carried on doing her thing. I stared more.
Her eyelids held me captivated, she was a pale white girl but, on her eyelids, she had painted the whole lid in an aquamarine metallic glittery paint. Now that in itself isn’t mental BUT right above her eyelid and right beneath her eyebrow she had drawn a small perfect circle in black and coloured it in metallic shiny aquamarine paint.
It was as if she had gotten a big butterfly face painting done and only wiped off bits of it to come into work at the airport!
I was mesmerised. I have never seen any woman with circles in her eyelids painted shiny green! If you thought that was odd, her mouth was even more scary. She had drawn a big set of lips in pink pencil around her mouth where she wanted her lips to actually be… That’s it... She never filled it in with lipstick… She just left a pink drawing of the mouth she really wanted around her own mouth! I worried that she was crazy, but she was talking normal; she even reminded me to get my passport renewed.
I imagined that she fell asleep in the staff room and other airline staff who hated her had just drawn some bright stuff on her face and she was unaware of what she looked like… so I decided to tell her. Yes, I know… I can hear you scream NO JANEY, but I fucking did tell her.
I leaned over the desk as she tagged my baggage and I said: “Did you know you have wee bright green circles on your eyelids and a pink pretend mouth around your lips?”
She stared at me and gasped; she looked panicked and I felt justified now. She pulled a lipstick pouch out of her pocket, flicked it open and stared at the wee mirror.
Her face softened, she glared at me and said: “I look fine. That’s my make up!”
“Sorry,” I murmured.
“That’s OK, it’s a new style. The lady up in the make-up section did this for me; she is a make-up artist, actually. It’s very NOW,” she explained with a sympathetic look on her face at me. I must be stupid that I didn’t know the latest make-up look. I need to learn to draw circles in my eye sockets.
I walked away thinking that either the woman in the make up section hates beautiful blonde pale girls or she was having a mental health day OR she was a make-up artists for CLOWNS and was working part time in the airport.
I admit I am not fashionable - I never was - and I am not good at make up or clothes. I watch models on the catwalk and I am one of those fuckwits who shouts: ‘Why is she dressed like a table cloth has just raped her from behind and who would wear a face mask made of cat fur? Who wears a full length dress made of metal, fish flaps and tree twigs to a party?”
Those designers need a right good kicking. Even I know a tree coming out of your head isn’t fashion and I have a deep-seated feeling of rage when I spot people clapping a woman dressed as a tree with fish flaps hanging off her skirt, walking down a catwalk to pumping music.
The best fashion show I ever saw was years ago in Parkhead shopping market (real East End Glasgow, the kind of place where people take photos of a poached salmon at a buffet, to prove they actually saw a full fish- I should know as this where I came from!).
This fashion show was just a stage made of upside-down crates with a bit of lino over it. I was walking through the market and heard a microphone boom out and I was drawn in to Pikey heaven.
There were wee Glasgow women of all ages and sizes sitting around eating cakes and drinking tea on plastic seats around the ‘stage’ and a big fat bloke covered in gold came out and shouted: “OK, ladies! Get ready for your fashion picks of the week! We have astounding bargains and top models to show it off!” The women all clapped and cheered.
This made me sit down and stare. I was in for the week with this one.
A really surly skinny blonde girl came strutting out; she was wearing an acrylic dress in yellow that clung to her legs and thighs as she tried to walk down the lino. She was trying to pull it off her legs but the static made it cling even more she struggled with it.
“Ten quid for your batwing dress in banana!" shouted the fat bloke on the mic. "We also have it in fire engine red and baby blue. It’s comfortable and goes with any kind of shoes or slippers!”
I stifled a giggle at the slippers comment; this was comedy gold I was not moving till it was over.
The women round me chatted and gave their opinion on the yellow clingy dress but, being Glaswegian women, they decided to loudly discuss the model. They even chatted to her and this annoyed fatty on the microphone.
“Is that comfy, Donna-Marie?” one wee wife shouted.
The fat man interrupted: “Donna is working and looks very comfy in her yellow dress that’s only ten pounds each!”
The blonde model stopped sulking and brightly smiled and shouted back to the crowd: “Aye, it’s fucking great, Betty! But it’s a bit clingy. Ye might need to spray some starch on it to stop it clinging.”
Betty - “How is your Chantalle?”
The model smiled again, pulled down the clingy dress and shouted: “She is great! That’s her started school and that cunt still hasn’t paid a day's maintenance for her!”
This made me nearly piss myself. The man on the mic got extremely annoyed and indicated to Donna-Marie to get off stage. The next model was an even skinnier blonde girl wearing a big fluffy housecoat and pink slippers.
“This is Serenity and she is wearing a mixed fibre housecoat and fluffy slippers. The set comes in at fifteen quid!” fat man bellowed out.
I laughed as Serenity just pulled the thing off quickly. She stood there in her knickers and bra and shouted: Tthat’s really itchy! I can't wear that, Tam!” The women all laughed. It was awesome. No-one was selling over-expensive shite that wasn’t even real clothes. It was cheap shit that people liked. That the kind of fashion show I love… and I hope it is still going strong up in the Parkhead Market.
Tuesday the 31st of March 2009
Every part of my life results in me weighing up how much everything I do affects other people. For example, if I sleep late that means my husband will have to wait for me to get up before things can get done. Then again, if I wake up early and Hoover the house, I risk bothering everyone who is asleep. If I wake up early, Hoover, and sit and read my emails without calling my dad first, I may upset him; he likes me to call him when I wake up. If I wake up and leave the house without telling anyone I risk upsetting my family.
Sometimes I lie in bed and wonder how much I am upsetting people by not getting up or if me getting up will annoy people.
Sometimes I sneak out of the house, I don’t clean or Hoover, I just leave quietly and wander the city streets listening to my IPod. I look at stuff in shops and consider buying it but, if I spend cash on stuff I like, I might be depriving my family of cash they might need at a later date. Then I call them and let them know I am out and I am fine, they accept this explanation and wonder why I didn’t tell them I was going out. I tell them I am sorry. I say sorry a lot.
Then I will go to the shops and buy dinner. I have to make sure I take everyone’s taste into account. I would like caramel shortbread and toffee ice cream for dinner but my family will probably want mince and potatoes, so I buy a tray of minced steak and stare longingly at caramel cake. I get home and brush my teeth, I realise that the toothpaste is running low, so I only use a tiny bit as I can’t deprive my child or husband of toothpaste; then I hate myself for not knowing it was running short.
I remember when I thought about nothing but me. I was 17 years old; I could sleep late, eat what I wanted and didn’t have to tell anyone where I was. It felt lonely at times, but I knew that was just what life was like.
Life just happened but I knew changes were coming and I recall hoping that I would find a boy who loved me. I found him, he married me the next year and since then every single thought I have has to include how it would affect him; I believe it's called love.