Janey's Blogs - May 2009
Friday the 1st of May 2009
People and places
I had great fun doing a TV interview for Sunrise TV3 New Zealand. They basically put me in the BEST spa in Auckland and sent a camera crew and presenter to conduct the interview during the treatments. All at 7am!
The East Day Spa is by far the best spa I have ever seen in my life! The girls there started doing these awesome massages just as the bloke started asking questions.
“So, Janey, what makes you funny?”
I was melting slowly into the soft sofa all tucked up with warm blankets and having chocolate and rose oil painted into my face ...it looked slightly racist but with a good smell. I could hardly speak! All I could do was moan, then we got foot and hand and head massages... I wanted to punch the presenter and lie there to enjoy the relaxing feelings. I have had the worst period of my life and needed the good vibes and therapy, not some TV bloke interrupting me constantly. He was lovely though and I am looking forward to seeing the show on DVD.
Last night we did the 5 star show at Sky City theatre, it was just fab. I did some nice pro- Susan Boyle material and the Kiwi’s loved it, Susan is such a star over here as well and it’s good to have a positive role model for Scotland, even if she is slightly hairy and a wee bit mad! I love her!
Tonight is the BIG GALA show which scared the knickers off me. The lovely Jason Cook gave me a good mobile phone that only needs a sim card, so that will be my mission today to take my mind off the scary Gala.
Chatted to Ashley online and I really, really miss her.
My dad has learnt to Skype and is super excited about it and just keeps pressing the button and waking me up to chat! Although he has learnt Skype he has yet to learn the time difference and I don’t want to tell him off: after all I probably woke him up the whole of 1961 when I was born, so it’s payback time!
This is a rather tame and informative blog; don’t worry the spiteful bile and anger will return.
Monday the 4th of May 2009
Yet Another Day
Woke up in Auckland, the sun streaming through the heavy curtains and yet another morning on the other end of the world. I love Skype. My wee daddy has been shown how to use it, but what he hasn’t really grasped is the time difference. His conversations are amazing, I do love hearing his voice, it’s just the mad stuff he talks about that drives me nuts and I struggle to chat back at 3am!
“Janey that cat from next door peeped its head round the door and I chased it with a laser pen. That red dot drives it nuts!” he shouted loudly down the microphone.
So, yesterday morning, with no daddy voice to cheer me up, I boarded a flight to Wellington. How I love this city of Wellington, though I could do without that biting wind. Every single shop, theatre and street sign reminds me of the time Ashley and I came here in 2006.
So, am in Wellington, it's awesome and just a wonderful city. The hotel is just perfect and it is had the biggest bath I have ever seen! Can’t wait to go for a swim in that baby!
Last night we all did the First Laughs in the Wellington Opera House. The building is 93 years old and is a proper old theatre, such beauty. The show went well. I over-ran my set which is a bad thing. Everyone assured me it was OK, but it felt greedy doing that. I just couldn’t see the cue light amongst the 500 other lights on the ceiling.
So we all hoofed it to the after show party at the Good Luck bar which is just a cracking wee bar to hang out in; the downside is I drank gin and wore high heels and danced. Yes, all bad.
This morning in the complete darkness, my hotel door got knocked on, then it was opened but the chain stopped it. I leapt out of bed and opened the door up and shouted at this obviously crazy woman: “Excuse me, why are you banging on all the doors?”
“I am housekeeping and if you don’t want your room cleaned put the Do Not Disturb sign on please?” she yapped back.
“At this time of the morning?” I screamed at her. I stepped into the hall and to get a better shout at her.
“It’s almost 10am,” she spoke back and stared at me. I stood there and threw up my arms and said, “Really?”...that’s when I heard my door click shut.
I was standing in the hall in my tee shirt and knickers.
“Can you open my door please?” I humbly begged.
“Alcohol is a demon,” she whispered as she opened my door.
Great, I party one night a year, I drink 3 gins and dance and suddenly I am Courtney Love.
Wellington be gentle with me I am groggy and tired.
Tuesday the 5th of May 2009
First Night Fun
My opening night at Wellington was just bloody great! A huge turnout and a wonderful audience – Ziggy and the guys at San Francisco Bath House are just the best ever!
They really know how to run a comedy gig and we comics appreciate that.
I am glad my first night went good, it really tired me out. As soon as my show was over I went straight to the hotel and was asleep for 9.30pm!
I got some lovely emails this morning from people who were at the show and they mentioned how poignant the ending was, it really is an emotional show at times, but funny none the less. Am glad the Wellingtonians took to it.
The downside is I still DONT have a phone that works, I have been given two mobiles but BOTH need either unlocked or thrown into the ocean for not working well. Does anyone have a cheap pay as you go phone that needs just phone vouchers and can lend it to me until 25th May? Please?
The comedy fest crew down here in Wellington are awesome; they said “Call us and we will get you anything you need”.
I said, “Can you get me a phone so I can call you for stuff?”
How they laughed.
So tonight in NZ the comedy gala is aired and I am hoping I am on it and someone in NZ can record it on DVD for me.
OK, it's early am on the Skype to husband and Ashley and I am off... speak soon.
Saturday the 9th of May 2009
Wellington and Rain
I have loved being here in Wellington though it rained nonstop for days on end which meant I stayed in my room until show time. I really hate that I never got to go around Wellington and do stuff, I never ate down at the waterfront, I never went up the cable car, all the things I have done before. It just rained and made me quite depressed lying in the dark in my hotel room.
The shows have been going great guns and the festival people look after you so well. Dan Crozier finally got me a phone I could use (it wasn’t his job to get me a phone but he is awesome) but the phone is all smashed-in on the screen and it looks like it was lifted from a rape crime scene. There might be blood splatters on it, BUT it works and that’s the main thing.
I have hardly seen hide nor hair of Blanket Man, the famous Wellington street hobo. Even he got out of the rain. I miss him in a strange way.
The San Francisco Bath House (which isn’t a gay sauna) is a wonderful venue and Ziggy and his crew make everyone so welcome and the shows have been selling out good.
Today I did the Kids Comedy Shows and that was a great experience. On Sunday I do one kids show then fly to Auckland and go straight into the Diva’s Comedy show... so busy life.
My bit in NZ telly at the comedy Gala was awesome, I am so glad they didn’t edit the Susan Boyle skit that I did and I will get it uploaded to YouTube as soon as possible. Meanwhile you can see it on Facebook if you are added as my friend!
My Twitter count is going up as well, I gained 100 people in the last week... I am touched.
Missing husband and Ashley and my daddy of course; will tell you all about Auckland when I get there.
Sunday the 10th of May 2009
Mothers Day in New Zealand - A Poem
She had dark thick hair and quick hazel eyes; she could smile and shout at the same time.
With a chubby finger I would trace the lines around her eyes and make up stories about the moles on her chin.
She would sit with me and stare into my face. “What do you see Janey?” she asked me once.
“I see you, mammy, you have brown dots on your eye,” I whispered back.
“They are the stains of the past,” she told me as she cupped my face close.
The stains of her past could have been cleansed, I could have washed them with her in our old age - but she went away and died too young, I was too young, I miss telling stories about her face.
I am a mum, I trace the shape of my daughter’s face with my wrinkled fingers and I get to tell her wondrous stories about the moles on her chin; she has brown dots on her eyes, they aren’t blemishes though.
They are stars passed down by a woman who mistook them for stains.
Wednesday the 13th of May 2009
Here I am again
Yesterday was hectic. I had finished my run at Wellington on the Saturday night and we had a small party type end of season get together. Jason John Whitehead got a wee bit drunk and we ended up having a pinching fight on the sofa during Jason Cook’s Asylum gig, I won but JJ did manage to throw beer into my crotch which stunk nicely. The crew down in Wellington are awesome, they just treated us like royalty and I repaid that by throwing beer around and getting giddy. I finally got into hotel at 5am, which in reality was madness as I had a kids show at 1pm. I am too old for thigh nipping, beer throwing high jinkery.
I got up Sunday morning, packed my entire belongings, checked out of hotel and headed to the kids show. I was Soooooooooo tired and the kids were awesome. Except for one fat dad who decided to heckle AT A KIDS SHOW!
Boy did he get a very contained, clean and scathing mouthful from me. The other parents sat there gobsmacked at how a man could sit and heckle at a kids show. It made the room tense, but then I explained to the kids that the reason the man kept shouting was because he never paid attention to teachers when he was small and sometimes adults who don’t get enough attention and drink too much late night lemonade shouldn’t keep pets never mind be in charge of a small human or monkey for that matter and should be respectful.
The kids laughed loudly, the other parents tutted at him and I got the kids to shout “Shut up, grumpy adult!” really loudly. I suspect wife-beating racist was in the room but, with kids in ear shot and his own son being equally mouthy, I restrained myself and gave him a Good Godley stare. He continued to shout out and heckle the amazing improvised story that Derek Flores was performing. We were aghast but felt sorry for his kid.
Then off we ran to the airport to catch a flight to Auckland as me and Maeve Higgins were on the Diva show at Sky City Theatre on landing basically. We were all so tired. When we landed in Auckland I noticed that Steve Coogan had shared the busy flight; we chatted and he asked me how the shows were going, he is on a world tour and off to Vancouver. He was lovely and I love his stuff, so that cheered me up. So then I squeezed into a 1971 Ford Capri with luggage that Chris from the festival turned up in to get me to the hotel. It was like going back in time and he drove barefoot! The car made noises much the same as my own cranky chassis.
I got into the hotel at 6.50pm and bear in mind I was MC at 7.30pm at the big theatre which luckily was in the same hotel as we were staying.
I looked like a shit and needed to get my act together. The concierge came up to the room. He whipped out the iron, iron board, adjusted the iron heat, unpacked my makeup, made me tea and basically got everything ready for me! What a GUY! I was out the door with lovely clothes, full make-up and tufty hair tied up and on stage for 7.30 on the dot!
Divas show was just great, I love working with women. We all giggled and laughed backstage and the show went like a dream. There was a meet and greet afterwards with some competition winners for me and Michelle A’ Court, normally that might feel like a horrific forced party but the women were awesome and we all chatted like old mates.
So on Monday I got ready for my show opening at Classic Comedy Club and it was awesome. But am glad that Sky City Hotel is looking after me, they are just BRILLIANT! Thank you guys.
Thursday the 14th of May 2009
Let the good time roll
I am loving the Classic comedy venue in Auckland. Last night was my second night and the audience were just great. Explaining King William of Orange to complete strangers is the funniest fucking thing alive. It makes me realise how ridiculous The Orange Walk and crazy Glasgow Protestants really is.
Luckily people are loving the show as are the critics. I do love New Zealand so much. Today I woke up and the sun shone for the first time since I got here but no doubt the rain will batter down before lunch time. I got up early to do the Kim and Corbett shows on More FM here in Auckland and those guys are just hilarious!
Last night at The Classic I got to hang out after the show and saw wee Jimmy, the ‘small person’ actor. He is about 3 feet tall, he came in with the tallest woman in the world, she is about 7 feet tall and I giggled. Yes, but Jimmy is a mate and he saw the madness in it as well. He and the tall lady are mates, who knew?
Today Scott and Bridget who own the Classic are awaiting the arrival of their baby; Bridget is being induced or ‘introduced’ to the baby today hopefully. So Scott is all stoical but totally jittery as a bag of blind cats! Bless them and hopefully today will see all their dreams come true.
Comedy clubs and festivals must be the last thing on their mind, yet they still run a tight ship. It puts everything into perspective when you worry about shows and here are two loving parents preparing for a baby!
My daughter Ashley left University last week. I can’t believe I missed her last day. In this job you miss so much, like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and last day of school and first day of term.
I am so very proud of Ashley; she has just done her Honours in Screenplay writing (I think that is what the course is, I always say it wrong or she changes it yearly). She has screeds of O’levels, A’levels and now a degree and Honours thingy (am not educated enough to understand) and she is the first in countless generations of my family and I suppose husband's direct family to attend University; am so very the proud mum today.
I lay in bed yesterday and thought back to that very first day of school when she was super excited and all dressed up in her wee green blazer and hat, carrying a leather satchel and off to school. Her big eager smile and long thick blonde hair in a plaits, was it really so long ago? She insisted on kissing every single teddy bear before she left to assure them she would be back and all the boys that lived in out tenement block all came out to watch her go. We all had a wee tear in our eyes. Husband vomited buckets; he was distraught at her leaving but, although it was a private school, it wasn’t boarding!
So now my big girl is all done. I am so very chuffed for her; she can be everything and do everything we never got the chance to do. Go, Ashley!
Sunday the 17th of May 2009
I got married in a drunken way
Been missing in action lately am afraid, been busy and wild in NZ. Here is the thing... I am not a big drinker, two gins and am pissed, sick and crying for my dead mammy. People know this. Yet the past week, I have actually drunk more than possibly in my entire lifetime. Not that I did drink copious amounts, just enough to make me giddy, which isn’t good as I had kids' 11am shows at the weekend! Yay.. .kids' shows with me tired and slightly dizzy.
The shows at Classic have been going great guns, lovely busy shows with nice Kiwi folks and a smattering of Scots swinging by to hear me talk, all good. But the weather has been shit so I was in lockdown mode at Sky City Hotel which although is nice, I don’t like living in a casino. The hotel staff are wonderful and the lady PR is awesome and so well connected, more about that later.
Then more good news. Scott and Bridget who own Classic and brought me over for festival delivered a bonny baby boy last week. He is ridiculously beautiful and just such a delight to us all.
So, back to my high jinkery. Dan Nightingale is here and I adore him. We never met much in UK but he is just such a funny wee fucker to hang about with and his infectious humour cheered me up, so I drank shots. Yes, shots. I got rather drunk spoke shit and ambled back to the hotel at 5am basically every night over the past weekend. Time catches up with you, trust me,
So Saturday was party night at the Classic and after THREE shows I ended up back at the bar. Mickey D, Jason Cook, JJ Whitehead and all the guys were doing their late night show in the basement, which was just a bunch of folks high on life and ...booze. It was intense is all I am saying!
Yet it is funny to watch performers at varying degrees of fun-ness do their stuff, made me chortle a bit. So we all ended back up at Classic, I had at least two drinks, but that mixed with tiredness tipped me over the edge. You know it’s bad when young people come up and say, “Janey are you going to drink tonight?” Apparently I am hilarious on booze, fucking should go onstage more drunk then? No, that’s just sarcasm and tiredness talking.
The blokes from Puppetry of The Penis turn up. I, for some bizarre reason, ended up dressed in a bride’s veil, pole danced and had a mock wedding to a penis bender and got dry humped from behind. Strange that everyone was pissed drunk one minute yet managed to have HUGE cameras flashing when I slid down a pole dressed in a bride’s veil. (Where did that veil come from? Who was dressed as a bride?) The barman shouted: “I have a photo and we are off to Facebook Ashley!” That sobered me up quickly!
The night ended in all decent behaviour. My new fake husband was a gentleman and treated me lovely (after dancing like a horny dog at my bum for a wee while - can’t wait to see the pics!) To be honest he got very drunk and wandered off with another woman (men can be cruel) and I got into bed in enough time to get five hours sleep, which was enough to get back up and do another kids' show. I love screaming kids; I never knew my ovaries and kidneys could actually twitch. But they do when kids scream that loud. Yummy, my favourite thing!
Today, I moved to The Sky City Grand Hotel Suite (thanks wonderful ladies in my life), which is awesome and just amazing. I have two plasma screens (one in each room) and a full working kitchen. Thanks Sky City, you make me smile in places people can’t see.
I bought fresh lamb, salmon and salad... no more living on cheese Grain Waves for me, real food is on the cards people.
It’s the last week in Auckland and then I get to go home. My drinking and marrying strange men days are over. Jason Cook, JJ Whitehead, Mickey D, Carey Marx, Dan Nightingale and everyone else I have missed out have been a great support network of buddies and I have had such a fun festival this time around. Jason Cook is going to swim with sharks and then jump off the Sky Tower; I am thinking of buying socks. People like different things.
I wish the weather had been better as I holed myself up over the past few weeks watching the rain batter down. All I needed was two dangerous dogs a dead junkie and I was back in Glasgow.
Ashley had a busy week and I missed it all. I am missing my family like hell – but here is a tip, booze does NOT numb the pain, it only makes you mock-marry men who can make the Cutty Sark with their cock. Just a warning people, just wanted to put that out there!
Thursday the 21st of May 2009
Where has the time gone?
Cannot believe how slack I am with the blog, am such a lazy bugger. The past few nights have been great, show selling so well and audiences to die for. I love NZ. Just loving my self-contained suite at The Sky City Grand hotel... I mean, that bed.... whoa... it’s SO comfortable, I don’t want to get up in the morning. The room has a living and kitchen area and a separate bedroom which is super sweet. The Grand Sky City is just the best hotel I have been in for ages.
I tried to watch an in-house movie, it was a romcom called Zak and Miri Make a Porno – but the sound was out of synch slightly so I had to go downstairs and explain to the reception.
The girl was tiny Asian and we were both having a slight accent problem, so I had to shout (coz I am a dick): “My film I paid for - Zak and Miri Make a Porno - didn’t work properly!” and all everyone in the reception heard in my big Scottish voice was “My PORNO film didn’t work in my room!”
The wee tiny Asian woman stared at me with startled eyes. “Did you not get to hear the voices OK? But was the picture OK?”
I had to re-explain that the film wasn’t a porno but a US romcom and seriously, if I was watching a porno, I really didn’t need the voices to match their mouths. It was a long conversation and ended in me just nodding and walking away looking like a fuckwit.
Gok Wan the TV host was staying at the hotel and we ran into each other a few times and had a beer at the bar and a good old natter; he is lovely really.
Other than that I am happy as a fat pigeon. I go home Monday night and get back to Glasgow sometime later (not sure, really I go back in time two days, come back into the international dateline, age three days forward, go back two days and look like a skanky rabbit with hepatitis B by the time I get back home).
Good news, I got to go over to Scott and Bridget’s house and hug their new-born baby Nicholas. He is SO adorable and my big warm boob was the perfect place for him to snuggle into and fall asleep. There are photos which I can’t wait to see.
So now I am awake and the sun is streaming through one of my many hotel room windows! I watched guys jump off the Sky Tower in a bungee-type thing and decided I will never do that. Having once had a gun at my head in my past, I reckon I have had enough adrenaline rushes in my life. See you all soon.
Monday the 25th of May 2009
It’s all over now
I am not really great at parties but last night was lovely – it was the end of the New Zealand Comedy Festival and I was exhausted.
One comic got so bladdered he had to be physically carried to his hotel room; I twisted my ankle dancing and that’s how hard core I am! I was fine; I didn’t need escorted home with a cold compress. I did however manage to catch up with Fiona O’Loughlin who is a wonderful Oz comic and mate of mine from Edinburgh Festival. I had stared at her twice during the day thinking: “She looks familiar”. Bloody Fiona thought I wasn’t speaking to her. I am getting old, that’s all.
My flight out is at 11pm NZ time and the amazing PR lady Mel who has looked after me like a guardian angel extended my stay so I wouldn’t be homeless half the day in Auckland. Mel has been a Godsend to me; she just has the magic touch to make things happen and good karma will follow her everywhere.
So NZ was awesome, Scott and Bridget had a beautiful baby, my show sold out, I mock-married a Puppetry of The Penis man, I pole danced in a bride's veil, I invented a new filthy lesbian hand signal with Hannah Gadsby and I got make friends with Jason Cook’s mum who is just AWESOME!
I never did anything exciting, like jumping off towers or bungee jumping off a bridge. I did do 6 kids' shows and, in the last one, a wee boy shouted out: “My dad’s arsehole!” when I asked them to suggest rotten ingredients for manky soup. That made me giggle but I did say, “What happens in the kids' show stays in the kids' show.” The parents were fine. I giggled more.
I am quite tired and this is starting to resemble a posh girl's fake diary, so am off to pack up but when I get home I will write a full account of the madness I witnessed.
Thursday the 28th of May 2009
If world travel opens the soul then jet lag is a punch in the vagina (repeatedly). My brain will not get itself into gear. The flight from Auckland to Hong Kong wasn’t too bad, I had a front seat with leg room and I did sleep a bit. The flight from Hong Kong to London was cool as I got upgraded to business class; though the seat wasn’t that great, the food was good.
I would have sold my soul to stretch out and lie down. I started getting grumpy. I occasionally get so grumpy I need to sleep properly and I get mental. Husband and Ashley and maybe best mate Monica have seen me in full swing ‘GRUMPY and MENTAL’. I go very quiet and become secretly determined to annihilate everyone in a five feet radius. I usually start on the small people and work my way up. Luckily just as I was plotting everyone’s murder, I fell asleep!
I finally arrived in London, got off the plane and immediately lay on a flat floor to stretch out my back. People stared at me but I didn’t care.
I almost pushed the flight to Glasgow with all my will. I never knew my mind could control an aeroplane, but I really believed that driving my thoughts forward that plane would go faster; I was sleep deprived and tired beyond belief.
Glasgow was sunny and happy to see me; the M8 looked beautiful, much in the same way the Serengeti looks good to a lion that is re-released into the wild.
Husband smiled and helped me with my luggage. I was excited to see him.
“I was so cramped and pained in that seat I feel deathly,” I leaned into him.
“It could be worse, you could be taller and that would be worse,” he said.
“Welcome back, Janey,” I thought to myself, welcome back to the man who will always point out how things can be worse if you ever complain about something; I forgot he did that and it annoyed me.
We sat quiet all the way as he drove me home. I wanted some sympathy not a sermon about how worse things can be.
“My neck has been sore for weeks,” husband said as he stroked his neck and drove with one hand.
“Could be worse, you could have neck cancer and it might be ready to kill you,” I said. He stared at me, recognised that I was batting his comment back at him and we both knew... welcome home Janey! Let the games begin.
Well, anyway, I got home and was so happy to see my own bed. I immediately threw myself flat on my back and it felt great. Ashley was out at the University end of term showcase awards.
Husband had made a big pot of mince and potatoes and it was great to eat the hot food.
Finally, after all the travelling and eating, I headed into my own bed. The covers were all freshly washed and my pillow was just divine. I woke up the next morning to hear the news that Ashley had won the Script Writing Award and I am so proud of her!
Husband and I managed to get some paperwork done, we visited my dad and we got flights and trains booked. Things just work out when you're busy.
So, since last night, I have been sleeping on and off for hours, husband has been rubbing my sore legs and back, I have been elbowing his sore neck when he snoozes. That’s marriage!
Saturday the 30th of May 2009
Being home is odd
I went over to see my niece Ann Margaret and her kids. I had just missed Shawn and Abi, as they were at school, but got to spend time with wee Julia. We took her out to the local cafe and we sat outside in the early morning sunshine.
Julia tottered about; she is so cute and is two and half years old. She spotted a wee fat woodlouse on the concrete tiles. “Look, a wee bug!” she pointed.
“Go say hello to it Julia,” I said.
She bent down, her wee bum in the air; she put her face near the louse and said loudly, “Are you out here for a wee smoke?”
All the adults who were puffing on a ciggie and quaffing coffee stared at each other and stubbed out their fags. I laughed loudly; I could just imagine a wood louse having a wee fag. Julia decided to ‘touch’ it to see how it felt and I think the wood louse became a squashed dot on the tiles, but we ignored that bit.
I headed home and tried not to think about sleeping as my jet lag is a killer.
So now today I got up at 6am.
After spending a whole month in freezing cold New Zealand, I am now bathed in glorious hot Glasgow sunshine and I still complain. I have realised that the weather and I are never going to be best friends. Though I must admit Glasgow looks great in the bright hot sun; we do wear a yellow day well.
My jet lag still persists in dragging me down. I am falling asleep at 8pm and waking at 5am. This will continue for another week then will probably be my sleep pattern for life when I hit 50 years old (which is soon), so am just practising for getting old and going to bed early.
But yesterday I got up and did some paperwork, house cleaning and got some early shouting at family done. It’s always good to get the shouting done before midday, I feel. Husband and Ashley are avid bathroom cleaning avoiders; they both don’t see the need to scrub toilets or tiles. Which means it’s MY job to get that done.
After moaning at people, I packed a bag and went out to the park. The Glasgow Botanic Gardens were mobbed out! There were people sprawled out on almost every single patch of grass as far as the eye could see! The ice cream van was doing a roaring trade and old people leaned against fences and mopped their faces with cotton hankies. I found a wee shady spot, camped out and read a book in the warm sun for about ten minutes and then got bored. I don’t do outdoor sitting very well. I get uncomfortable; I get jittery and then start wandering about. I may have developed some mental illness that prevents me from sitting still for ages, or maybe I was always this way? I don’t know.
A wedding party were being photographed, some poor bride picked today to get wed and her photos will be full of semi-naked fat Glaswegians in her backgrounds. I watched a drunken man throw an empty beer can at the bride and then watched as the garden ‘police’ threw him out. This is the West End of Glasgow, people don’t throw cans at brides!
I continued watching Glaswegians in the hot sun and it was fun. The park was dominated by students as the park is close to Glasgow University. Big overgrown yet tenderly young gangly boys with under-developed white concave chests crouched beside studious looking girls whose startlingly white legs look strangely lumpy in childlike shorts. Just heaps of very young kids who looked like they had grown up too quickly were wearing badly fitting clothes and trying hard to pass off as cool sun-drenched adults.
Books were strewn around them and all I could hear were boy/man voices trying hard to impress the scantily clad girls. I watched the group and then saw all the boys watch one girl approach them; I followed their gaze and spotted a tall lithe girl who wore a bikini top and a short tie dye skirt. She had the kind of body that got Norma Jean to change her name. Her curves and easy sway of her hips had now mesmerised the clutch of boy/men who gathered round the awkward girls. The pale girls watched the tall girl swing her bag over her shoulder, one boob almost came out but just jiggled a bit and stayed encapsulated in her pink bra top.
The girl dropped to her knees and joined the group. The boys stared, the girls looked away and the bra top girl threw herself onto her back, threw her legs up in the air and shouted: “I fucking love the sun!”
The girls all started to cover up their lumpen white bodies and the boys all managed to move their skinny chests in the sexy girl’s direction. It was fun to watch their gauche teenage ritual dance.
The park soon got boring, the sun got hotter and I gave up and headed home. Ashley and her mates had been out in town annoying the geeky men who work in an obscure comic book shop. She must drive those blokes insane with her mad carefully rehearsed questions about comics she has researched on the web, but has no intention of buying.
So another hot day passed me by, I scrubbed bathroom tiles, I watched people in the park and I got some sunburn on my foot.
(Three hours later)
So this morning, after I wrote this blog, I believed I had finished it but NO...
I went up to see my dad as it was 8am and I was awake and he is alone and I miss him. He ate toast with crystallised ginger (Yuk) I ate normal toast with butter.
Dad is recently widowed and I miss my wee step-mum and so I go up and keep him company sometimes when I can. I never realised what a cantankerous old grump he can be; he does the death stare and completely ignores me when I suggest stuff to him and that makes me giggle.
I spotted a coffee stain on the kitchen floor and I took a hot cloth to wipe it. The old man deftly ripped it out of my hands, threw the cloth on the floor, stamped his foot on it and used his feet to rub the cloth and then flicked the cloth with his toe upwards and caught it. I was fucking amazed at this: my dad can do keepy-up with a hot cloth. “I can wash the floor and I can manage without bending,” he muttered. I laughed loudly at his independence and his footwork!
Anyway we both headed out to the bus stop as he was meeting some pals and I was heading back home. Glasgow is really hot today and even though it is early, you can feel the sun really burning already. Glasgow has a history of violence when it gets too hot, this is a fact! To confirm my theory, I spotted two women and a fat man punching each other’s heads outside the old butcher shop at 10am on Maryhill Road.
Not only were they fighting, swearing and sweating, they had dressed for the weather. Big fat sausage arms, wobbly pot bellies and chunky blue-veined legs in strappy vests and too-tight shorts were on show... nice! I stood and watched as the fat woman punched the big tattooed fat man's round red bulgy face.
Then something struck me (no, not a fist) but I just realised that all big fat drunk women in Glasgow have the identical same haircut – The short shaved grey hair at the sides with curly short waves on top, it looks like a man’s hair style from the 1950s. They ALL have that style, believe me; none of them had long wavy clipped-up hair with maybe a red flower at their ear or blonde wavy tresses pinned up in a bun... no, they all had Brenda The Spot- Welder's hair, I was momentarily distracted from the early morning fight by this hair phenomenon. Then I got back to watching them punch each other and swear loudly. I so miss the East End of Glasgow and am somehow pleased that Maryhill has retained the tradition of street fighting in summer mornings for me to reminisce.
I left the fight and walked down twenty yards onto the Great Western Road where posh Aga shops and Clive Christian kitchen designs all sit cheek by jowl; we have loads of Asian jewellers, Asian dressmakers' shops and fancy upmarket cafés, great bars and designer clothes shops - no street fighting there.
It always amazes me how the two roads (Great Western Road and Maryhill Road) are parallel and just yards apart but are so very different.
One has upmarket shops that sell fridges that Elton John would buy and the other has a second hand shop where drunken people lie on the sofa in the street.
I once got my hair trimmed in a hairdressers on Maryhill Road and the woman who owned it told me she hated the Great Western Road as it just catered for ‘Pakis’
I left with my hair wet and walked home in disgust. No wonder people punch people on Maryhill Road.