Sunday, July 31, 2005

the wait

Soundtrack: New Order - Substance

So here I am. It's time. In T - 6 hours, I'll be waiting to go onstage.

It's The Gresham Flyers' first gig. It's the first time I've played live in front of a crowd. Well, there was the time I played cello with the Rochdale Youth Orchestra, but I made it all up so it doesn't count. And I don't count drunken karaoke.

I'm nervous as hell, and look a sorry sight sat here covered in hair dye with a brown towel draped over my shoulders. I've just got rid of my parents who are down for their birthday - the pinnacle of which will be seeing me play live! Hah! That's a 50th my dad will never forget.

We went to The Comedy Store last night, and my dad exclaimed 'Let's hope you go down a storm like those comedians did'
'But dad, I don't want the audience to fall about laughing'
'Well, if they do, can't be helped'.


No, he's been offering support, bless him. He came up to me earlier and hugged me. 'This has been your dream forever, hasn't it Shaz? Knock 'em dead'.

Aargh! There flips my stomach a millionth time. It'll be fine. I've never messed up in rehearsal badly. It'll be right.

If you're stuck at a loose end this evening, pop down to The Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green Road. We'll be onstage around 8pm. More details at this link.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

everyday people

Soundtrack: Sly and the Family Stone

So yesterday evening was the first time I caught the tube after the second terrorist attack last Thursday. I was late for band practice because I insisted on getting the bus to Shepherd's Bush rather than catch the tube. I spent all weekend in Windsor because I didn't want to face any of that.

It's such a horrible time to live in, when you don't even feel safe commuting to and from work. I can't wait until I move to Berkshire next month, so all I have to do is catch the nice safe train that nobody actually wants to bomb.

I found this interesting article on the BBC website:

" It's a crowded train in central London, and I'm sitting opposite an Asian man carrying what looks like a large laptop bag.

Is it a coincidence that no one else is sitting near us? Is it an accident that he's pushed out his corporate ID card so that it's clearly visible over his jacket, hanging like the open page of a passport? Public transport can be a world of unspoken signals and gestures - but am I right in thinking that he looks self-conscious, sometimes burying his face in his arms as though asleep? "

How horrible that innocent commuters are having to face this. An Asian friend was telling me the other day how he was fishing around in his bag as his Discman was playing up. He was fumbling around, trying to get the bloody thing to work, and when he looked up he found that the person opposite was looking really uneasy. He realised why, removed the Discman from his bag and was absolutely blatant about what he was fiddling with. We all had a little laugh about it, but the point remains that he, and many others, are going through that. And I find myself scrutinising other people too. Of course, it's only a good thing that passengers are more alert and aware, but what must we be making people feel like? :(

Oh sod it.

Friday, July 08, 2005

everyday is like Sunday

Soundtrack: BBC London 94.9

What a bizarre 24 hours. I've been feeling jittery all morning, but going to the gym this lunch seems to have sorted that out.

I was nervous before my travel to work this morning. I had such a strong sense of anticipation - like something else was going to happen. I felt tearful on the bus. Maybe it's that time of the month, who knows, but the bombings seem to have had quite an effect on me.

Of course, it's today when you hear about the friend who was on a train that exploded, the friend who had to escape through the tunnel, the friends who would usually be on those trains. I didn't experience anything like that, just minor disruptions getting back to Tooting last night. But hearing my dad on the phone was enough for me. I text him as soon as I heard of 'a power surge' on the underground, just to let him know my sister and I were safe. This was before everything unravelled and the mobile network went down. Still, my dad never received the text. Come midday he was frantic when he finally got through to me.

I couldn't bear to get the tube to work this morning, so I did the two-bus route. It took a long time, and the streets were so quiet. It was like a Sunday morning just preparing for business. I'm going to go back to Rochdale tonight to see my family. I was going anyway, but it seems all the more necessary now.

London's made of stronger stuff than the terrorists anticipated though. The reaction of the city was amazing. My thoughts are with all friends who have had a traumatic time.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bomb blasts in London

I'm sat in the office, after spending the morning listening to news report after news report detailing explosions on the London underground and buses.

I've had friends emailing, family calling, making sure I'm ok.

Thankfully I work just south of the river, so I'm well out of the area affected (Holborn/Russel Square/Liverpool St/Aldgate).

It sounds like there is little doubt that what is happening to London is due to a terrorist attack. Keep hearing from colleagues families based in Russel Square.

We've just had a building announcement telling us not to leave the office.

Nothing's directly happened to me, but I am shaking with absolute fear. This is horrible.

Pictures here:

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Is it ok to be literally dancing with excitement about ordering a new mobile camera phone?

Oh ok.

I was just in Brighton the other day, sitting on the beach, looking at the pier. I would've given anything to capture that moment there and then.

Ah, sod it.


Monday, July 04, 2005

How was it for you?

Soundtrack: Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

I refer to Live 8, of course.

It worked, I guess. It encouraged myself, and millions more, to sign the petition, so I guess it was successful in that sense. In terms of it being an entertaining way to raise awareness, well that's debatable.

It was a hungover day for me, so although it wasn't my intention, I caught most of the show. I don't know, it just all seemed a bit Virgin AM and not very reflective of the diverse tastes of the nation. It was certainly cringeworthy and self-congratulatory (ooh, I'll sing a bit of your song, and you can sing a bit of mine). But you still watch don't you? There's obviously some secret rule that insists if something is broadcast for more than 3hours, we have to sit down and watch for the duration.

So see most of it I did, but I certainly wasn't blown away until the oldies came on and showed everyone how it was done. Pink Floyd's reformation was obviously the big draw of the day, but I'm sure that made The Who up their game a bit as they were magnificent. Thom's excitement about Pink Floyd was enough to keep me captivated, and lying on his chest through the performance, it was wonderful feeling his excitement through his heartbeat! They missed a trick by not bringing Scissor Sisters on for Comfortably Numb. Now that I would have paid to see.

I don't think I'll look back in 20years time and remember the day like I did when Live Aid was broadcast. I was 6 the last time, it was a beautiful sunny day, and I was playing out with my sister and a girl who lived behind our house. Every house seemed to have it's door open with Live Aid blaring out; my mum avidly taping the whole bloody thing...

We'll see whether Live 8 has made a change on Wednesday.

Friday, July 01, 2005

the incredible hulk

Soundtrack: Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark

I've been going to the gym now for over a month, and the next day I always feel so revitalised and full of energy. I told myself that if I stuck at the gym, I would look into becoming a member of my work one. I looked into it, and for £12.50 a month (!!!) how can I not?

So yesterday was my induction. Mr Gym didn't show me the equipment as I can use that already, so instead he showed me toning exercises, you know, lots of leg lifting and stomach tightening, that kind of thing. The fact that this involved weights and huge bouncy balls excited me too. I didn't do much in the induction, so I thought I'd practice some of the exercises at home before I went to bed last night.

Well today I can't walk. It's not even funny. I'm waddling like a constipated penguin. Everytime I try and stand straight my legs almost buckle. I just went to the toilet (stop laughing) and thank god there's a bigger cubicle with bars to 'lower' yourself onto the throne. Such agony. And my legs are lumpy because my muscles have swollen so much.

Is this a sign that the toning exercises are working? Or should I just stick to the chuffin' exercise bike?!