Monday, December 31, 2007

The End Of The Year

So here we are again, December 31st and another year gone.

I'm off to Cardiff in a while to do The Glee Club's NYE show and I am really looking forward to it. The line-up is fantastic and it'll be great to see Lee and all the lovely staff at the club. I have a gorgeous, sparkly dress from Zara to wear. The hotel is cool, I just hope they have a smoking room for me! As it's a celebration night I've treated myself to a cheap first class ticket each way on the train, so it's all good!

Did Oxford Jongleurs on Saturday night, and I can't tell you how nervous I was. We'd all had six or seven nights off and all of us, Al Pitcher, Eddie Brimson, Jeremy O'Donnell and myself were feeling a bit rusty. The audience were fab but a tad laid back. You know how you feel about 6pm on Xmas Day, a bit stuffed and a bit sleepy? Well that was the vibe in the room on Saturday night. Still they'd livened up a lot by the time I got onstage - I was closing the show which added to the pressure - and I had a cracking gig. Best of all, I finished in plenty of time to catch the last fast train back to London. Jezza and I travelled back together and had a good old natter.

I had a perfect end to 2007 when I got on the scales this morning, I now weigh 9 and a half stones less than I did this time last year, how amazing is that??????

Whatever you're doing folks, have a great one tonight, and I hope 2008 brings you all you desire and deserve.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Festive Spirit

This is the first year I can remember for like aaaaaages, that I've felt really Christmassy. The week in Edinburgh definitely helped, cos the whole city was like a winter wonderland, but I fully expected that to be decimated when I got back to London the week before Christmas.

It wasn't tho, the week at the Comedy Cafe was fantastic and everybody seemed to be in really good spirits. There were none of those 'horror' gigs where the audience are soooo drunk performing is impossible either. All of that definitely added to my mood.

Last weekend was great fun, hanging out with pals, buying presents for people I care about cos I wanted to, not cos I had to.

Christmas Day was fabulous. I spent it with my best pal Steve and it was just the perfect, stress-free, chilled day. Good food, fantastic champagne and lots of love. This was our fourth Christmas together and cos both of our lives are so busy, its the one day of the year we really get to connect and just 'be' with each other. My mate Jason said 'we choose our own families' and its so true, I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend the day with.

As I think back to previous Christmases, they've never been that great, more of an ordeal to be gotten through. The worst ones were a few years back when I was at my lowest ebb ever, life seemed pointless, I was getting fat again, and just had no hope. Thanks to the Buddha and Mr Fiennes I feel like I have a future now, life is wonderful, and nowhere is this more obvious than at Christmas time.

Thursday and Friday were sales shopping days, starting with the West End on Thursday. I decided I would be practical and get some basics at a bargain price, so Selfridges was my first stop. I got some gorgeous towels and bed linen for a fraction of their usual price. I certainly couldn't have justified spending the original prices on them, even if they were badly needed! Needless to say the practicality didn't last long, I saw a gorgeous multi-coloured Missoni bathrobe that was half price, but still a bit more than I'd usually spend on such an item. I kept walking away and going back to it, then thought 'sod it' and picked it up. It's beautiful and I love it!

I needed a coffee and a fag after that, and after a brief respite at Starbucks, I headed up towards South Molton Street. I needed a new strap for an old watch that I want to start wearing again, and after I got that, I decided to have a wander down one of the most expensive designer streets in London. I walked past Browns, figuring that even in the sales I couldn't afford what they had on offer. I did check out their Labels for Less shop, but that had the feel of a jumble sale about it to be honest. I checked out a couple of shoe shops, but all the ones I loved were far too high for me.

On the way back up I decided to go into Browns after all. In the 29 years I've lived in London I've only been in there once before and that was to buy a pair of Norma Kamali boxer boots about 20 years ago. The reason I've never been other than that one time was cos I was usually too fat to fit into any of their clothes, and I figured I'd be as welcome as Gary Glitter at Disneyland!

That wasn't the case however, a very elegant lady offered to look after my Selfridges bags while I browsed, and complimented me on my Zagliani bag. It felt really good to not be an outsider. Sadly even if I had tons of money there wasn't anything I really liked in the main shop, but now I was emboldened, so I scooted across the road to Browns Focus. Blimey! Now here I coulda spent a bleeding fortune.

They tend to stock almost one-off pieces by designers both known and obscure. My eye was drawn immediately to a fuschia pink polo neck cashmere jumper. I took it off the rail and noticed there was only one sleeve. It's kinda like a straightjacket! There are however, little slits for your hands to come out so that you can function. It was seriously marked down and it was my size. Just as well really as it was the only one in the shop. It's a serious work of art in my eyes for the price of a regular cashmere jumper, and I feel like a million dollars in it.

The salesgirl asked if I was on their customer database, and I told her I'd never been skinny enough to buy anything from there before! Its really weird cos people don't know my past, they don't know that this time last year I was exactly double the size I am now. To them I'm just another customer, they have no idea what a massive buzz it is for me.

I was supposed to be working in Oxford on Friday night but the gig had been pulled, which meant that I got an unexpected night off. I celebrated it by heading to Knightsbridge - madness I know - the Harrods sale began at 9am and I knew the area would be mobbed both with tourists and bargain hunters, but I didn't care.

Harvey Nicks was my first port of call, and I checked out almost every floor - apart from the food departnent - looking for a bargain. As per usual it was found on the ground floor in the shape of a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana black leather handbag. I'd seen a massive orange version in Edinburgh and almost bought it, but this one was smaller and more manageable, and more fabulous. It also had £400 knocked off the price which was a bonus! I've not been a fan of D&G really, I think I associate it with Victoria Beckham and the other WAGS, but this bag doesn't 'scream' like a lot of their stuff does, its classy and very practical. I found a lovely, snuggly black cashmere scarf and a pair of grey cashmere gloves that have huge sequins all over the cuffs too. They'll go perfectly with that black Gap coat I got on Monday with the bracelet length sleeves. I used my account card and got an extra 20% off, which meant the scarf and gloves were technically free! That's how JoJo-logic works.

I also picked up a pot of the Athena 7 Minute Lift face cream I'd been reading about. It wasn't in the sale but its supposedly a miracle cream. I haven't tried it yet, but will post a full report when I do.

I wandered down the road, weaving in and out of the multitude of shoppers, until I came to Russell & Bromley. I'd seen a pair of crocodile patent knee boots in Oxford Street on Thursday that I loved but they didn't have any in my size. I popped in to see if they had them here and they did. I tried on the size 5 and they fit perfectly. These are cut much narrower than the Clarks boots I bought a few months back, and my heart was in my mouth when I zipped em up my previously fat calves. I won't lie, it was tough going but I got em done up and there's no overspill at the top, so I handed over the cash. These too were half price, yayyyy!

I decided to give Harrods a go, and it was like the fall of Saigon in there, millions of people with a determined glint in their eyes. It didn't freak me out too much so I went for a wander round the ground floor. I spotted a Miu Miu belt that I absolutely fell in love with, but it looked minute, like it was made for a child. I asked the girl if there were any more, perhaps a bit bigger, but there wasn't. Again it was seriously reduced, and putting my fear of looking like a fat fucker to one side, I tried it on. Bugger me, it fit! And that was on the jeans that sit on my hips! How wonderful!

It was starting to get dark, and I was pretty shopped out, so a double tall latte later I was on my way home to play with my new toys.

God I love being thin!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas...Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!

So the gigs are over till next Friday, the shopping is all done, I've spent some quality time with two great friends, and taken advantage of the early sales.

Tomorrow I go over to Steve's for what is becoming our traditional Christmas dinner, and I am soooooo looking forward to it!

Whatever you guys are doing, I hope it's filled with love, peace and happiness xx


Thursday, December 20, 2007

One More Thing...

I got on the scales this morning, and I am now 10 stones lighter than I was this time last year!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life is good!


Edinburgh and Beyond

First of all dear readers, apologies for not blogging for a while. I do have a good excuse, I was in Edinburgh minus the laptop for six nights last week, and only got home on Sunday afternoon.

The shows were up and down, but I still had a wonderful week. It was a cracking bill, Steve Harris, Daliso Chaponda, and my old mucker John Fothergill. As John and I are smokers we had to find alternative accomodation, cos the hotel the club uses doesn't have any smoking rooms at all. We stayed in the Ramada on Princes Street which turned out to be the perfect choice. The staff were chilled, the rooms warm and comfy and, in John's case, spacious. Mine was slightly more compact, in fact I had to move furniture to do my crunches in the mornings!

The best part of where we were staying was the view from our windows. Princes St Gardens had one of those German Xmas Markets that seem to be in every city centre these days, with the added bonus of a mini fairground, loads of Christmas lights and great views of the Castle. I felt really Christmassy!

Edinburgh has other wonderful benefits too, such as a rather well-stocked Harvey Nichols, and I sure made good use of that! I got the biggest thrill of all when I spent an hour trying on expensive designer dresses with absolutely no pressure from the sales staff. I didn't buy any of them, just the thrill of being able to fit into tiny little frocks was enough. Of course I did succumb to my handbag habit, treating myself to a shiny, black python skin Zagliani 'Puffy' bag. It had only come into the shop that morning, and 90 minutes later it was hanging off my arm! I love the idea that these handbags have been injected with silicone to keep the skins soft, it'll match my new tits when I get em next March! Tho hopefully, my boobs won't have the same texture as the handbag!

It was bloody freezing up there and luckily the sales have started early, so I hit George Street on Saturday afternoon and treated myself to a fabulous long, thick, zip-up cardie with pink reindeers on it in the FCUK sale. I've worn it every night this week under my black Gap Parka which claims to be a size "S" but woulda fit me before I had my bypass!

I also got myself a little Xmas treat in the form of some gorgeous diamond earrings. I'd been looking for a pair for ages, but I didn't want studs cos I know I'd lose one in no time, anyway it turns out jewellery shops have sales too, and I got the perfect pair in Mappin & Webb, which to be honest I'd have paid full price for, but these beauties had almost £1000 off the original price! Definitely a sign. They look gorgeous too.

I blame Damien Hirst for my current diamond addiction, ever since I saw that skull, I've become obsessed with them. It was so hypnotic, I think it's put a spell on me!

Monday saw me begin my last week of Xmas shows at the Comedy Cafe in good old London! Yay, sleeping in my own bed every night, and a chance to get all my chores done. Monday I got my hair done, and had a little Primark fix - they don't have one in Edinburgh for some reason - so I was suffering serious withdrawal symptoms. Tuesday I got my nails done and did all the boring stuff like paying bills and paying cheques into the bank, and today I had an epiphany!

I went for a consultation to see about getting my eyebrows tattooed on. At the age of 11 I grabbed my mum's tweezers and hid myself in the bathroom, plucking and plucking till they were one hair thick! As the years have passed I've grown a few more hairs in, but a lifetime's over plucking means that what hairs are there are pretty sparse, and I even have the odd white hair growing in there! The make-up artist on Comedy Blue suggested I get em tattooed on, and then I saw Ninia Benjamin get hers done on Celebrity Scissorhands. That was enough to convince me, and I did a search till I found Debra Robson-Lawrence's site. She comes recommended by my plastic surgeon, so I figured she was the one to choose.

Today she drew on the eyebrows for me to see if I wanted to get em done permanently. After the first one, she handed me the mirror, my god, what a huge difference!!!!! It was like two different faces! She matched the other one up and I was blown away by the result. It gives my whole face a lift. So I booked myself in for the full treatment, and will start the New Year with new brows.

The gigs this week have been cool, Monday and Tuesday I did sets, going on first. As Christmas shows tend to be full of people who don't normally go to comedy, I had to reign myself in a bit. I didn't wanna terrify the poor souls!

After last night's gig I dashed over to Bow Jongleurs to finally catch up with my old mate Gina Yashere. She's over for the festive period and boy, was it great to see her! She looks incredible! Really skinny, really gorgeous and glowing...LA obviously agrees with her. Paul Tonkinson and Ricky Grover were also on the bill, so it was like a night out for me, getting to see some of my favourite comedians. Ricky is on top form at the moment.

Tonight I got to the gig and was told I was MC'ing cos the line-up had changed. John Moloney was ill, so we had a replacement in the form of Ricky! I aint seen him all year then twice in one week, what a treat!

So that's the last 10 or so days, wrapped up. Two more shows to go before I get a whole six days off, I can't wait!!!!!!!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Last Week...

was spent doing Christmas shows in Southampton.

It was a bit of a mixed bag to be honest, the shows we would've expected to be hard work were a dream, and the ones we thought would be cosy and intimate were tough.

I am constantly amazed at how adaptable I am. After a couple of days in the hotel it felt like home. Of course, being a girl I take lots of things with me to make it feel that way, incense, candles, lots of books and magazines to read. I'm currently dividing my reading time between David Frost's excellent account of his legendary interviews with Richard Nixon, a book of Buddhist teachings by Pema Chodron and Grazia magazine. I'm just a mass of contradictions!

The shopping in Southampton has vastly improved over the years, tho it could be because I now have a wider variety of shops to indulge myself in. There's a massive Peacocks on the main drag that had a fantastic sale on. I got a 'velvet' jacket for £12! I also got two little smock dresses for a fiver the pair. Of course I hit Primark, but only for a pair of slipper socks for £1.50. I did splurge on a pair of Levi's, the most I've spent on a pair of jeans ever, but the sheer thrill of being able to buy a pair of 28 waist skinny Engineered women's jeans was overwhelming, I just had to hand over the cash. I was especially happy cos I know that Levi's don't do the 'vanity' cuts on their jeans, and there's no lycra in the denim to ease their passage over your hips. A Levi's size 28 is actually smaller than my size 8 Primark ones!

I ended up with an unexpected day off on Tuesday cos the show was cancelled, so I took a train over to Portsmouth Harbour and had a wander around the Gunwharf Quays outlet centre. In the Nike shop I got two fab pairs of trainers - one gold, one silver - for £50 the pair, and I picked up a gorgeous little black mini dress in FCUK for £17.

But of course I wasn't there just to shop, I was there to work and I have to say, for me, the gigs were amazing. All of them. I really enjoyed myself. We had a good line-up too, Addy Van Der Borg, Sandy Nelson, and the incomperable Sean Collins who was just a really joy to watch every single night.

I sometimes get a bit overawed when I have a big run of gigs, worrying that my health and energy will hold up, that I'll consistently do a good job, all that kinda stuff. This year I had a mild dose of that before I began the run, but I have to say that so far, it's been my best Xmas season ever!

I'm off to Edinburgh for the weekin a bit, and as my old mate John Fothergill is on the bill, it promises to be a cracking time. Looking forward to it.

Have a good week folks


Sunday, December 02, 2007

What a Weekend!!!!!

Oh man I had just the best time ever in Birmingham this weekend. I was doing the Glee Club - my favourite club ever, I was on with John Fothergill, Dave Haddingham and Jarred Christmas - three of the easiest going guys on the circuit, not to mention fantastic comedians, and I had a smoking room at the hotel! What more could a gal ask for?

I was also unveiling my Christmas outfits for onstage. I'd been buying those little sequinned mini-dresses that are everywhere in the shops over the last few months, but had yet to pluck up the courage to wear them onstage. I thought I would feel really vulnerable wearing something so glitzy and girlie onstage, but as the frocks were now all getting a bit loose on me, I was determined to give them an airing. The Glee was the perfect place, as its somewhere I feel confident.

Thursday night saw me in my little black sequinned £10 from George at Asda number, with a gorgeous long black cashmere cardigan over the top to hide the bingo wings. At the risk of sounding vain, I looked pretty hot for an old bird! Best of all, wearing such an outfit didn't hinder my performance in any way, if anything it enhanced it. I looked glamourous and showbiz and the audience responded to that. Friday saw me shedding the cashmere security blanket and wearing a long sleeved number from New Look, again it produced the desired effect. Saturday was most exciting of all as I wore my silver sequinned £15 from Peacocks mini, again with the black cardigan. I fucking love that dress. I'm a silver freak anyway - jewellery, handbags, even my coat! - but I never dreamed I could wear a silver dress without looking like a turkey about to go into the oven! It looked amazing.

The gigs themselves were all amazing in their own ways. I was looser than I'd ever been onstage and got far more laughs as a result. All three guys had cracking gigs every night too. I really enjoyed watching them.

Friday I did my mad dash around Birmingham's endless shopping centre, picking up one or two groovy little things, including a fabulous Marc Jacobs' watch. Saturday I had lunch with Mr Fothergill and Alasdair from the Glee followed by coffee in a cosy little canal-side pub with a dear old friend.

All in all it was a perfect weekend.

I'm off to Southampton tomorrow for six nights of Xmas shows, if they're half as much fun as this weekend was, I'll be well chuffed.