Janey's Blogs - January 2011
Monday the 3rd of January 2011
Goodbye to my big brother
When I was five years old, I banged my head at school and my ear bled. Instead of calling an ambulance - which to be honest the school should have done, but this was the mid 1960s and nobody called ambulances for injured children - the school instead got my big brother Jim from his class and made him take me home. He was twelve and I was five. I wept with relief when I saw him and I can still remember his arms around my legs as he held me tight and ran home with me. He was crying as blood kept dripping out of my ear and he was panicking. Turns out I recovered from a bang to my bleeding brain or whatever that accident was and I can still hear in my darkest memories Jim screaming for help as his skinny wee legs juddered as he got me to the house.
Jim liked to be called Mij - that became his enduring nickname. He once brushed a big Alsatian's furry coat backwards and told me it was a lion and I believed him.
Mij ended up on drugs, got HIV and developed cancer, yet survived all that. I have to be honest he was a brutally horrid son to my mum as a young bloke: he was a bully, he hit me, he hit her and then he finally grew up slowly and became a rather sad creature with his addiction and illnesses.
As the eldest kid in our family, he was spoilt by my mum and I think she and he had a very toxic relationship which spilled over onto the rest of us.
Later on in life, he and I became very close. I forgave his anger, violence and madness and he supported my choice of career. His walls were covered in my press cuttings and posters. My daughter Ashley adored him. Mij and I had our own relationship that withstood the test of time and distance so I was horrified to click onto Facebook and find out he had just died. I had known he was very ill that day which in itself was a shock, but Ashley's facebook was on the big main screen on the living room and then the status update of a young relative told me my brother was dead. It was as simple as that.
He brought Jerry Sadowitz into my bar in the East End of Glasgow and told me to give Jerry a gig at our pub doing comedy and magic. It was amazing, we saw the moment comedy changed forever when Sadowitz did his stuff and my brother had recognised that.
Jerry said, "He was a fucking legend," when he heard Mij had died.
Mij told me tales of being pals with Bono, hanging out with Jack Nicholson and I would like to believe that on the day of his funeral they will turn up... Oh and, of course, his beloved hero Bryan Ferry will totally sing at the event!
I have had many blogs and comedy routines dedicated to Mij and he loved that I spoke about him onstage; I always cleared it with him.
On the day he died (31st December), he had collapsed and was taken into hospital with a liver failure and died around midday. He was living down in Clacton near his daughter, so I couldn't go to see him in his last moments.
I had to go onstage that night in Edinburgh for their Hogmanay show; it was hard and I kept having wee bursts of tears on my own in the loo, but I had a great show that night and I know he was somewhere laughing with me.
So that was my New Year. Rest in Peace, big brother. I will miss you more than you know.
Tuesday the 11th of January 2011
So this is what happens?
Twitter is my friend but also annoys me, as people who never ever chat to me normally suddenly jump in and have an opinion on what I write. It's a bit like people who don't like you really, but stand close to hear what you have to say so they can loudly point out what they think you have done or said wrong. Like a big nosy grassing bastard who pedantically points out all your failings in a loud shouty voice, a bit like being married and going through 'the rough patch'. Thank fuck husband is dyslexic, as he can't do that to me or he probably would - and don't worry about me writing that last sentence and it offending my husband as he is dyslexic and can't read this.
Having said that, posting stuff on Twitter does leave you open to that kind of thing, so 'hell slap it into me' as my mammy would have said.
Having even said that, I do like Twitter even when people say it's my fault Frankie Boyle is rude because I once defended him or when people say: "You should be on the telly. You are funny, why aren't you on the Michael McIntyre Roadshow?' but they don't work on telly, they work in Lidl and have good internet skills and follow me on Twitter. That's not going to help is it?
Besides that, I had a great weekend. I flew down to London with BA and it wasn't cancelled or anything and I stayed at the rooms in my favourite club in London, which is awesome. I love the giant king size bed, the fabulous cotton sheets and the DEEP bath and walk-in shower. I just loved it, then headed off to Portsmouth and had two lovely nights of comedy and then I headed back to London and done the DEEP bath hotel thing all over again.
The downside is travelling on London Underground. Some people are complete knobs. Get this - I just waited with my luggage at Piccadilly. I only have one small wheelie case and beside me is a giant bloke the size of a phone box in a Top Man suit with a bigger wheelie case. He barges me to the side and throws his case on and straddles his big acrylic clad legs apart pushing other people as he makes a space on the central part of the train. I drag myself on last, all befuddled as big Top Man pushed me aside.
"Hello, you big twat. I am the wee woman you just battered to the side four seconds ago at the door. Did you think we would never meet again? It happened just there," I said as I pointed at the sliding doors shutting. He looked down at me and people around sniggered. "So you just push women about and expect them to say nothing when they stand beside you?" I shouted at him. He tried to move away but the crowd pushed hard against him in solidarity as they got pushed about by him as well. He then fell and stumbled a bit over his wheelie case and stood embarrassed until the next stop came and he got off. I felt I had bullied him for bullying me and realised that's a bad thing, isn't it?
Life is good, but I am still sad about my brother Mij, whose funeral hasn't been organised yet and, as I said, am not going due to other circumstances. I am hoping I get my hands on some of his ashes as I want to find Bryan Ferry's London home and throw the ashes over his wall and let Mij lie in Bryan Ferry's garden as he LOVED Bryan Ferry.
Failing that, I will ask the northern comic Mick Ferry to let me throw Mij's ashes in his garden as Mij won't really know the difference will he?
So, anyway, I found a photo of Mij that was taken 15 years ago when he was going to the Gay Ball in Glasgow with me and my husband. We all had a great night. I recall it well and Mij, despite being mad as a brush and slightly mental, was never homophobic and had made heaps of mates in the gay community when he joined Body Positive, an HIV support group in Glasgow. They were so helpful. Mij looked dashing in his dinner suit and dickie bow tie!
So, anyway, Ashley air-brushed her dad out of the picture, kept his body and put Bryan Ferry's head on with Mij. We know this would make him smile and the photo should be either on my FACEBOOK site or on http://twitpic.com/3oxion if you want to go see it.
Do keep following me and http://twitter.com/ashleystorrie my daughter on twitter and do come and listen to our podcast. We love that folk enjoy it. Just go to my website janeygodley.com and you can see the links.
Thanks for all the kind words about my brother. Your support and lovely messages helped me no end.
Tuesday the 18th of January 2011
So I am 50 this week
Yes, it's true, I know what you are thinking - Janey, you can't be fifty not with that skin tone? But here it is, I am hitting the big 50. I told Ashley I didn't want a party or gifts etc and she looked worried. She thought I was doing my 'reverse psychology' which I did to her as a teen. Remember when they were 15 and you would say, "Don't study for exams, take drugs and sell them: it's a much better option in life," and kids would stare at you and then go away and get a uni degree? No, you never did that to your kids? Well I did and it worked out fine. Anyway I have now damaged Ashley and she thinks everything I say I want the opposite but I genuinely don't want a party or gifts.
What we are doing in way of small celebration is to go up to my mate Janie B, me Ashley and my pal Shirley and we are going to have a curry night as Janie B makes the best curry in the world. Ashley is baking a cake and Shirley is making some nice buns; both of them are awesome at baking. I told Ashley never to learn to cook, unless it was crystal meth and sell it; she did the opposite and became a self-taught gourmet cook. Her pulled pork is legendary and it's not even sexual; my pulled pork involves strange men, sperm and written apologies; hers involves organic meat, a crock pot and indigenous spices.
Anyway, I had such fun last week in London. The best part was I stayed over in Soho and ended up quite drunk with two young actors from Downton Abbey; that can happen in Soho. I wasn't too drunk to be honest. One glass of champagne and am pissed and suggesting pulled pork.
The other thing I did was a TV pilot called My Life in Books with the apparent Dragon of TV Anne Robinson; she is an awesome, gentle woman in real life. The show had a great premise. I get to talk about five books that meant something to me in my life and my favourite was David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day wich I suggest everyone read. He is a funny witty US satirist and clever writer.
The downside of sleeping in Soho, is it is noisy; you can't get away from it. You live with it. It's Soho and people outside fight and argue over drug deals (This could have been Ashley but she decided to get a dull career being a screenplay writer) and then some unhappy hookers scream at their pimp and punter. Who knows what upset them? Having sex in an alley against your will? That could do it am sure.
Tuesday the 25th of January 2011
Care Bear countdown
So 50 came and went and then out of the blue I got a card that said "now you are 50, you must collect your own shit, scrape it with a stick and send it to us in the post, so we can check if you have cancer of the bowel".
It's not the welcome to being 50 I wanted. Things are giving me signs. I clicked on TV and Sex and the City was on. There was Samantha getting banged in the downward dog yoga position by a young bloke: she is really old and she isn't scraping shit and posting it to NHS bowel collection unit is she? No, she is having sex that doesn't even fuck up her hair. When I have sex, my hair and body look like I was thrown from a suicide bomb site. In fact, when I wake up now, I look as if I have just been rescued from a hostage situation deep in the woods.
Then, to make matters worse, I clicked over the channel on TV and there were teens getting their vaginas totally waxed clean and having shiny diamantes studded around the vulva; it's called a Vijazzle. Personally, I feel like that men who need a sparkly fanny might not actually be into vaginas. I sat gaping at this wondering if young men today need a glitter sparkling around the vag just so they can locate it. You wouldn't have John Wayne ripping the bodice off a woman in a Western movie and having to deal with rhinestones around her pussy would you? Things have changed is all am saying.
I recall years ago shaving the top part of my pubes into a love heart for Valentine's night surprise as a sort of joke for husband (it was in a magazine). Turns out vag topiary isn't my thing: I clipped my vag pubes into what can only be described as the start of a swastika. I am blaming using the mirror and clipping at it with a blunt pair of nail scissors. Just don't ask me how it happened, but it went fucking really badly wrong. You can't really repair a swastika-shaped pube.
I couldn't have sex for weeks till it grew back, in case husband took one look at it and thought I was a dedicated neo Nazi. The worse thing was I had to get a smear test done and yes my lovely Jewish doctor was horrified and could hardly believe my explanation. We were never the same again. My life does sound like a sitcom eh?
So my dad got me a £100 worth of beauty treatments and I was so excited I called the salon, not for a Vijazzle or a Hitler obsessed pussy, but just some therapy. Apparently I have lymph nodes and they need draining. Were you aware of lymph node draining? I wasn't. Am not sure they should be drained by a woman in a fake tan and with long scarlet nails and fake eyelashes. The assistant suggested I get fake semi-permanent eyelashes as apparently mine are just invisible now I am 50. One of the buzz words in beauty therapy is semi-permanent; it seems even the job as a therapist is semi-permanent.
I may just get my hair done and spend all the vouchers on that, or go wild and get my bush trimmed into the shape of a pink huggable Care Bear resplendent with pink glitter balloons semi permanently tattooed above my bikini line and, every time my husband has sex with me, I will shout out: "It's a Care Bear count down 5-4-3-2-1".
Sunday the 30th of January 2011
Is this Normal life?
Husband said: "Let's go into Braehead shopping centre and have a wee walk about." This basically means me and Ashley end up sweaty, tired and bored, breathing-in itchy manufactured air conditioned breezes and we start picking fights with each other.
The whole place smells of processed burgers, ice cream and sticky cotton candy. Ashley isn't good at clothes shopping.
She laughs loudly and animatedly at dresses I pick up. I think the style looks fine and then she snorts and gets husband involved. "That's a busy pattern Janey," they both snigger.
"That makes me think I am on acid, put it down; dogs will bite you if you wear that," she giggles. Shop assistants hate Ashley as she picks outfits up, holds them against her and sings songs like Don't Stop Me Now and dances about like a dick!
Then husband loves a good walk through a sports clothing shop. He doesn't do sport but he likes bundles of cheap socks and likes to finger swimwear - men's, you understand, he isn't into women's costumes. He isn't a freak. Ashley squeals with delight and tries on fifteen different pairs of trainers and tries to get her dad to buy her at least six pairs. She loves trainers. Husband isn't given to panic buying so he will check the price of cheap socks then go to every other outlet on the mall to check their price of socks then go back and get the cheapest ones he found at the start. Then he stares at the cheap socks. You can see him pondering as if he is debating the meaning of life and then he decides he doesn't actually need socks.
That takes up some mall time.
Husband also loves free stuff.
There is nobody in the world like him for 'free stuff'. You know the platters in supermarkets and on counters throughout the mall?
He can happily unashamedly nibble cheese & crackers, drink tiny tots of Bailey's Irish Cream, stand and wait for the woman to replenish the cookie tray and happily try a massage chair whilst he eats stuff he kept in his pockets from the cheese & cracker counter earlier. Not in the least bit embarrassed either. He has no shame at all inside his body. Ashley runs away from him when he does this. I just giggle and accept he likes free stuff.
The thing I hate about shopping centres is the sheer amount of screaming, weeping, frustrated and badly behaved kids. They scream and slide about the floors and I have that awful feeling where I might get too angry and may grab other people's annoying children and slap their legs. I would never do that and we all know you shouldn't hit kids but at the shopping centre there are a few stupid parents I would happily do some jail time to drop kick. It's never the kids, it's the daft parents who allow their kids to be pains in the ass that need disciplined.
I avoided the children, the stupid parents and headed to the books store, my favourite thing in the whole world. I love books. I could happily sit for hours in a book store making up a wish list of things to buy.
Ashley got some trainers, husband got some jogging bottoms and I got an itchy rash so we left. Husband decided we needed to go to our local shop and get some milk - that was where things went really wrong. It was getting dark, Ashley had a horrible headache and I told her to stay in the car with me. I was in the back. I made her put her seat fully back onto my knees and I massaged her head.
This was fine, she was happy, then a man stopped and stared at us in the car park. I was leaning over her rubbing her head and she was lying there enjoying it. A man was enjoying watching it as well.
He stopped there and simply watched us as if we were some sort of mother and daughter dogging session.
Ashley sat up quickly when I mentioned it and gave the man the finger. I wound the window down and shouted: "Fuck off! I am massaging my daughter's head, creepy weirdo!"
I have decided to shout at people a lot in the street now I am fifty. It somehow feels the right thing to do. Husband came out of our local shop munching a donut. "They have free ones on at the counter," he mumbled and happily drove off dreaming about cheap socks.