Tuesday, May 24, 2005

busy, busy, busy

Soundtrack: Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern

Aargh, I've been so busy at work. Apologies for my lax communication.

I'll come on quickly to tell you about my weekend.


You know when you get home for work, and you just want to go completely mad? I hadn't had a drink for so long, so I downed a bottle of wine and headed out to How Does it Feel to be Loved with Thom. Lots more alcohol was consumed, and lots of fun was had. Lots of dancing, and lots of friends there too. The night went in a bit of a whirl. I do remember dancing to The Sweet's Blockbuster I think - not the usual kind of song you get at HDIF, but a fun interlude all the same. We had to run and get the last tube though, because...


Was an early rehearsal for The Gresham Flyers. It was pretty good considering we hadn't practiced for 2 weeks. We have 5 songs in the bag now, one that needs lyrics and another couple that we're working on. All is going well for a potential gig in July. I'll say more when it's absolutely definite!
And then we had a photoshoot that afternoon! We need to get the photos sorted for our website (under-development), and Sally is more than woman enough to do a bunch of misfits some justice! It was quite fun; we started in the quirky Candid Arts cafe in Angel, and then headed to Greenwich and Canary Wharf for mad lights, mad steel and mad brickwork. It was a bit of a hectic day though, and I didn't get to eat... we went on to meet our friends Jamie and Carl at the Dover Castle. I proceeded to drink 5pints of cider and throw up on the tube track on the way home. Oops.


A bit of an odd one. On my way to Windsor there was a bit of an incident. I'll copy and paste what I wrote on bowlie.

"I was sat at the front of the train, tucked into the corner, and a few rows away from the driver. They got on and were being so loud. But you get lads being boisterous when their teams have won (did they win?) so that's fine. But then it was all fucking this and cunt that. I didn't look up because I didn't want to get their attention but I'm pretty sure everyone else had moved out of the carriage. I couldn't leave the carriage because I had to go through them, and looking quite the heifer in my gym gear (and hearing the things they were shouting at people) there was no way I was going to walk through them. By this point, although they hadn't said anything direct to me, I was casing the carriage to find a 'speak to driver' handle, but I couldn't see one without getting up. One bloke thought it would be hilarious to whistle to attract some girl on the platform - it was so piercing and deafening that there's no way that the driver didn't hear it. But no one came out to check, did they?

And then we got to Hounslow. I've seriously never heard anything like the racist bollocks they were spouting. But it was the aggression too. They were so loud (and banging on the windows) that there was no doubt all the non-white people would have heard everything. At this point I texted Thom (I was too scared to speak to him on the phone without getting their attention). I couldn't write the text because I was shaking so much. I'd put my knitting away by now (I didn't want to give them ammunition) and was desperately trying to read and ignore but they were all walking up and down the train and saying stuff to me that there was no way I could read. Of course they got off at Staines, where every fucking fuck in the world seems to live. Not after throwing the glass covers from the emergency handles at me.

They didn't really do much aimed at me, but I have NEVER been as petrified as I was on that journey. I called Thom straight away and just broke down in tears. I really did fear for my safety.

I spoke to the conductor once I got to Windsor and he was extremely apologetic for not having gone through the carriages. He says you get a lot of boisterous football fans but it's usually best not to interfere as it gets them going. Anyway, he took my details, it's all on CCTV, and apparently what happened counts as assault so I don't know if it will go to the police. I have to fill a form for South West trains and "they will definitely respond". I'm just pissed off at the driver. The conductor said the driving booths are really soundproof, but there isn't a way in hell he didn't hear what was going on.

I really feel quite ill now after all that. I can't even begin to describe how terrifying it was."


Thankfully I managed to get my head together and work all the tension off at the gym. It probably did me good as I was in a bit of a stupor that night.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

gym'll fix it

Soundtrack: The Kinks - David Watts

The strangest thing happened yesterday. I went to the gym.

I wouldn't have done it without Thom actually calling the gym on my behalf to arrange the induction. He's been quite keen to get me to join up. I resented it at first. But I have issues with my body (as everyone does), and at least if I feel like I'm doing something I will probably feel better in myself. And I have issues with exercising. It's not the physical activitiy of it, it's more maintaining my interest in it. I tried to start running, but got bored. So the gym seems the best solution, I guess.

So there was me waiting for my induction. I had stomach ache I was so nervous. I was being inducted with another lady, Cara. We just sat there in silence, and then she asked me if I'd been to the gym before. 'No. And I'm absolutely terrified.' 'Oh thank god - me too!'. So that broke the ice. And our instructor was very nice, and gave us a good go on a lot of the machinery. I particularly took a fancy to the rowing machine which looks out at the swans swimming on the Thames.

I think I'll keep it up. I have to at least give it a month of going 2/3 times a week. I want to notice some difference. I've started fanatsising about joining the work gym, and going every night after work. Well that's not quite going to happen, but I hope this eagerness lasts. And dare I say I'm enjoying this slightly achey feeling I have today?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

all that jazz

Soundtrack: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

Ooh Thom and I have booked a holiday for the end of May! We're going to Kalami in Corfu, and I am beyond excited. It's been several years since I went on just a beach holiday - that was Benidorm in 2000. Don't laugh. I went with Sue and my parents, we met auntie Carole and uncle Alan out there, and it was the last holiday we went on as a family. It was my parents' 25th wedding anniversary (they split up the year after *cough*) but I do look back on that holiday fondly. It was a week of swimming, sangria with illegal alcohol content, karaoke and a dodgy vegetarian diet (chips and spring rolls was the resort's main offerings). Oh, and 'Sticky Vicky' who shot ping pong balls out of her vagina. Ooh, and my being 'hypnotised' (it didn't work) and having to fake an orgasm on stage and in front of my parents. Anyway, all that aside, it was a bloody good holiday, so I'm due another beach holiday.

Thankfully, Thom and I chose Kalami because it won't have any of the above. It will just be
quiet beaches, a couple of tavernas, lots of hills, no kids and the 'lively nightlife' being 20mins away by bus. Ok, so I'm obviously turning old before my time, but I'm desperately in need of time off from life. A week of just sun, sea, sand and knitting.

I've just got back from Marks and Spencers. I went there to buy garlic bread but invariably came back with swim wear. A 'tankini', they call it. Vest and knickers, I call it. I didn't have the guts (or perhaps an abundance of guts) to go with a bikini - even if we do find a secluded cove somewhere.

I was leaving the shop and having a conversation in my head, as you do. I had one of those moments where I was leaving through the door, and someone was entering the same door. I let her open the door, rather than smacking it open in her face, and was continuing the conversation in my head, Jackson 5 blaring in my lugholes, just not really thinking about things.

'Oh, well thank you very much. No problem. You've very welcome.'

This woman coming through the other side was pissed off that I hadn't congratulated her on her door management skills. I usually do say thank you - in fact I still did on this occassion, just after I walked through. I wasn't on the ball, talking to myself. But once walking up the street I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't say thanks on time to this woman. Not that she deserved it, being a narky cow. But still.

Ah well.

I'm obsessed with David Axelrod right now. You know when you hear a song that just hits you, and you need to hear more? Well that happened with 'Holy Are You' by Electric Prunes, which is basically David Axelrod using the band's name for himself. So since I heard this song, I've been on the look out for more David Axelrod. It must have been before Christmas when I heard 'Holy Are You', but could I find anymore Axelrod anywhere? NO! Now, he was quite a big producer and composer in his time. A kind of 60s/70s pre-prog orchestral psychedelia. Why the hell can't I find him??

Finally, I found Axelrod's album Song of Innocence in Glasgow's Mono. And I am, it's fair to say, obsessed. You would expect Oxford Street's Virgin Megastore - the biggest record shop in London - to have it though, wouldn't you? Could I find it? Could I 'eckers, like. I explained this quandary to Thom. A lightbulb flickered over his head, and he drags me down to 'soundtracks'. Nope, it's not there.

And then my stomach sinks... I know where he'll be... I really hope not... I take Thom by the hand... I walk into the section I promised myself I would never darken the doors of... I look under 'A'.

There he is.

David Axelrod is filed under JAZZ.

I don't like jazz. There's a lot of genres I didn't used to like, but I've grown to adore. That's maturity for you. But jazz - it's just not me. I can't stand it when my boss plays his iRiver full blast in the office, all the drums, and the saxes, and the trumpets trying to outdo each other simultaneously in a Mariah carey-stylee. I hate it. I hate it when Thom tries to inflict Miles Davis on me. It's all too cacophonic, and I need to shower afterwards. And there he is, David Axelrod.

My first jazz record.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

bank holiday comes 6 times a year

Soundtrack: Pulp - This is Hardcore

It was May Day bank holiday this weekend, so Thom, Sue and I ventured to Dan's in Cardiff to see university friends. It always feels strange calling Dan my sister's boyfriend when he was MY FRIEND FIRST, but I'll let her off.

It was pretty miserable when we left Windsor, but Cardiff was just bathed in sunshine. We sat outside a cute Sam Smith's pub in The Bay waiting for our food, and lucky me got extremely sunburned. It didn't occur to me to put lotion on, what with it being grey and May, but the sun decided to take me by surprise. I'm still in pain 4days later. The rest of the day was filled with park mischief and walking around town. Rather bizarrely I bumped into Londonite Gordon in Cardiff central train station, which was a pleasant surprise. I hope he comes to 'How does it feel to be loved?' on Friday.

The night started with Chinese food. I had vegetarian sweet & sour chicken. Sweet & sour chicken tended to be my dish of choice as a carnivore, but the veggie alternative is usually just vegetables in sweet & sour sauce. Blech. But 'Pearl of the Orient' was my second encounter with vegetarian-style sweet & sour chicken in 5 years (the other being in San Francisco in December), so I was in my element. And it was BEAUTIFUL. Really light and just enough. Yum yum. The rest of the night was spein a Bay bar after the 13 of us had collared a big table, and I had such a great time. That was until someone said 'let's go dancing'. Off we trooped. Firstly Thom wasn't let into the dance place because he was wearing trainers. Then Simon, in his boisterous drunken-mode, picked George up and spun her around. She didn't take too kindly to this and slapped him. She was really upset. Simon apologised, but she wouldn't apologise back. And now they've broken friends, which is just great. George is having a housewarming in Pontypridd early June, but Simon won't go because George won't apologise. And in my experience, acting like that will snowball into reasons not to go to the next meet-up, and then the next, and before we know it years will have passed. So that's it for all of our friendship, as far as I can see. The weekend in Cardiff was the last time we'll ever see each other. :(

After the atmosphere soured, Thom and I decided to drive back to Tooting, seeing as he had to work the next day. So off we set, 1am on Sunday morning.


'Thom, are you speeding? A camera went off'
'No, I'm alright'


'There's a lot of speeding tonight'

We approached the Severn Bridge, and then...


A panoramic sheet of lightening was covering the whole of the sky. No lights on the M4 - we had to drive home by lightening. It was absolutely terrifying, and it didn't let up for 2hours. Thankfully it was just lightening, no rain, and although we could see it striking, we seemed to be safe. And then hail - huge bricks of hail. It sounded like the windscreen was about to smash. And we could not see a thing. Then we drove throuugh a deep puddle and nearly veered off the motorway. We were driving at about 20mph and I've never been so scared in my life. I was on the verge of tears! Thankfully the hail stopped after 10minutes, and the lightening just continued all the way back to Windsor. There was no way we were carrying on all the way to Tooting.