Friday, February 29, 2008


Life just seems to be speeding up. I can't remember when I last had an hour to just do nothing whatsoever! Still better than sitting twiddling my thumbs 24/7 eh?

So I had a few days up North with my Dad, then went to Chelmsford to do a gig last night with the lovely Harvey Oliver MC'ing...he was soooooo funny! Had me in stitches! Today I'm off to Portsmouth for a couple of shows and I'm really looking forward to both the gigs and hitting the shops in Gunwharf Quays.

Next week sees me running around even more as I prepare for the big old surgery session on the 11th...I am sooo excited!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Rush Job

Time is not on my side, dear readers, so here's a quick catch up.

The gigs in Bristol this past weekend were fantastic. It was a cracking line-up including Harvey Oliver who I haven't seen in ages and who was brilliant! David Haddingham was headling and as always delivered the goods and then some, and he gave me a lift home bless his little cotton socks. I even got to see Steve Best who I haven't even seen to say hi to for about 3 years...he was as splendidly daft as ever...fabulous.

The hotel was really rubbish sadly, the staff were fantastic, but even for an Ibis it was spectacularly shit...shame. The Bristol branch of TK Maxx was a hit tho, with me getting a fantastic pair of Lee jeans and a yoga mat at extremely knock down prices, plus a very Stella McCartney pink frock for £30 as opposed to her £300 one.

Had a little trip to Harvey Nicks yesterday, to check out the new Mulberry Roxanne patent tote but sadly they only had it in black and I want the shiny red one! A first for me, I actually left my name on the waiting list. Wandering around the rest of the shop - still a novelty for me as three of the floors were out of bounds for sooooooo much of my life - I found myself distracted by a beautiful red and white, flouncy, flowery Marc Jacobs frock. Next thing I knew I was trying it on and paying for it cos it looked soooooooo gorgeous on me. This was followed by the purchase of an amazing blue and silver Pauric Sweeny handbag... I got out before I could inflict any more damage! They are both faaaaabulous tho.

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn cos I'm off to do the family thing up north for a couple of days... check ya laters folks xx


Thursday, February 21, 2008


I've just looked and seen that I haven't written anything since last Thursday! 

That's what happens when you start living a bit I guess. It's been a mad busy week, but a brilliant one. I had a cracking pair of gigs last weekend at Up The Creek, got some bargains at TK Maxx, saw a couple of amazing movies - Cloverfield - which wasn't as scary as I'd been led to believe, but was very watchable - and There Will Be Blood - which just totally blew my mind! My god! Daniel Day Lewis is the most awesome actor I have ever seen! It's a testament to his skill that I was riveted for the entire almost 3 hours of the movie, considering oil exploration is not a subject that usually fires me up.

I saw some incredible art yesterday at the Tate Modern. I had an invite to the private view of Duchamp, ManRay and Picabia and even tho it was half term I still went. How brave am I? It was soooo worth it. What a comprehensive exhibition, I never knew Man Ray did proper paintings! They were brilliant! I also took advantage of my membership by going to see the Juan Munoz retrospective. If you haven't been to see this yet, go now!!!!!!! He makes these incredible sculptures, and one of the rooms is filled with them. Its called Many Times, and its 100 slightly smaller than life-size Asian men all smiling, laughing and collected in little groups.  You can walk amongst them, and even tho they are grey and have no feet, I half expected them to come to life. Everyone in the room was smiling too, their smiles are incredibly infectious!

I saw an old mate on Tuesday in the shape of my fabulous osteopath Garry Trainer. I've had a dodgy neck for a few weeks and one trip to him and all the pain is gone. He's been treating me on and off for like 25 years and it's great to know he's there whenever you need him. The added bonus is, he's in Primrose Hill and after he clicked all the discs in my spine back into place I was fit enough to take a short walk along the canal to Camden High St, and take a little look in Rokit the vintage shop. 

Talk about reliving your youth! I bought a pair of Osh Kosh dungarees that are like new for £30. I used to always have a pair of dungarees on the go, but I've never had a pair this tiny! My MBT conversion goes from strength to strength too, I have new muscles in my legs from wearing them already! I am so into them I got a second pair this week in black and red and on sale!

I had to go to the dentist yesterday too, my gums have been bleeding for almost as long as I have been a non-smoker. I wasn't sure if or why the two were connected but turns out they are. According to the dentist, this happens a lot, cos your blood doesn't really flow that freely when you smoke, so when you stop any underlying health problems come to the fore. Turns out my gums are a touch dodgy and I need to step up the flossing, and use a medicated mouthwash for a couple of weeks. If I was still on the fags I wouldn't have known about it till my teeth dropped out!

I'm off to Bristol in a bit for a wonderful weekend at Jongleurs. I am so excited, its been ages since I've been there. The only downside is that the usual hotel - a 4 star Marriott - is all booked up and we are plonked into the Ibis...bit of a comedown! Oh well, apparently it's on the waterfront, so if the weather's good, some walking by the river in my MBT's will be on the menu.

Whatever you're up to folks, have a cracking time!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beside The Seaside

That's me in about 3 hours' time! I'd doing a gig at the Theatre Royal in Margate tonight and as I've never been there before, I'm gonna go early and check out the beach... life is good.


Brilliant Distractions

So, as a non-smoker, I find myself with an amazing amount of extra time on my hands. As mad as that may sound, I'm not the only one who's noticed this phenomena. Think of all the times you go 'I'll just have a fag then I'll crack on with the cleaning' or whatever. Add to that, the fact that I can now do all the things I used to love doing but were marred by the craving for nicotine, and you have a JoJo with a renewed appetite for life.

Tuesday found me at the Tate Britain. I had an invite to a private view of their newest exhibition Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group. Smoker JoJo wouldn't have bothered going, reasoning that it wasn't the kind of art I'm really into, and as with every other gallery trip, I'd be craving a fag about 40 minutes in. Now, because I don't wanna be hanging around the house doing bugger all, I decided to go anyway. What did I have to lose? Nowt.

The paintings were a bit 'traditional' for my liking, but you know what? They were fantastic! There was one artist who I'd never heard of called Charles Ginner, and his paintings really stood out for me, by the third room I could pick his out. The texture of the paint on the canvas was amazing, really rich, it made me wanna touch but I didn't cos I am a good girl.

I spent about an hour going round that show, then after a little coffee and a fab Tate cafe sesame cookie (I've only ever seen them at the Tate, they're yummy!) I treated myself to some time with the Bacons. Just breathtaking. If I had won the £95 million on the Euro Lottery last week I'd have bought myself at least one of Francis Bacon's works, they just astound me.

It was a gloriously sunny day so I wandered along the Thames and jumping on a random bus found myself in Covent Garden. The Birkenstock shop was calling on account of a pair of gorgeous Phillip Lim sandals he's designed for them. Also, I am a total Birkenstock freak and all mine are too big for me now, so what better reason to check em out?

Sadly the Phillip Lim's aren't in yet, but I got myself on the waiting list. Even better, they had some sale remnants and I got a brilliant pair for like a quarter of their original price. Yay!

The shoe spree continued as I made my way to John Lewis on Oxford Street and finally got a pair of the Masai Barefoot Trainers trainers. A trip to my doctor on Monday confirmed that I am indeed at the menopausal stage of life and therefore exercise is even more important than before if I don't wanna end up with osteoporosis. These shoes are meant to really work the legs, hips and spine, so I got em. Felt weird as anything at first, like standing on a rocking horse! I also got some of the resistance tubes Tommy Campbell told me about. So far I've used em to do additional exercises that would be dangerous with the hand weights, and I love em!

Wednesday saw me indulging in another of my rediscovered loves, the movies. Again, this was something that was much less pleasurable when I was fagging it. In fact I had my own rating system for movies based on how soon I wanted a ciggie ... I've used it here in some of my posts. But since seeing Juno in New York a month ago, I've gotten hooked again, cos there's nothing making me twitchy. I decided to check out Things We Lost in The Fire before it disappears from the cinemas. I am so glad I did. Halle Berry was great as usual, but it was Benicio del Toro who totally took my breath away. His portrayal of a junkie desperately trying to quit and stay clean was understated and so much more real for that. He is soooooo sexy too! 

I was thinking about that last night, and actually he's sexy cos he's Benicio del Toro the movie star, if he was Benicio del Toro the binman you'd never look at him twice! The glamour of the silver screen eh?

I decided to do some extra walking yesterday, so I put the MBT's on. Apart from the increased height they gave me - the soles are about an inch and a half thick - they definitely affect your posture. I was standing so tall! This morning as I did my squats I could feel muscles in my legs aching that I haven't felt before, so I guess they work.  Plus they make shopping into a workout - so now when I splurge (like I did in Topshop yesterday) I can feel virtuous about it cos it's good for my legs.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Whole Month!

Since I smoked my last cigarette!!!!!!!!! 

There's been no proper cravings at all for the nicotine, but there is like this weird residual memory of smoking at certain times, like when I come out of a shop for instance. I don't actually want to smoke but it's like there's this thing that I usually do at that point in time. Very odd.

Anyway it's less than four weeks till I get my first load of surgery, so I have no intentions of starting smoking again anytime soon, if ever. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In't Life Brilliant!!!!!!!!

No particular reason for it, but I feel on top of the world this morning. I love it when that happens. Could be the sun shining again for the fifth day in a row, could be just that life is pretty good really.

I had a fabulous weekend in Birmingham. I was at Jongleurs comedy club, and that meant the nice hotel on Broad Street. As I checked in I asked for a nice non-smoking room, and was informed that they'd gotten rid of their smoking rooms! Gawd, if I needed any more confirmation that stopping smoking was A Good Thing, that was it! If I'd still been on em, that woulda sent me into a major tantrum!

The line-up this weekend was the lovely Rex Boyd, my old mucker Colin Cole who was excited cos he was about to jet off to Oz for a few weeks on Sunday, and Tommy Campbell. I've met Tommy a couple of times but didn't really know him all that well, what a terrific guy he is! His stand-up was fantastic, and offstage he is just a minefield of technical information! I'm gonna book him in for an Apple Tutorial! He also tipped me off to the benefits of using resistance tubes rather than weights for my workouts. For one thing they're lighter so when I'm away my case won't be quite so heavy. 

All three nights, all four of us had cracking gigs, it was brilliant fun.

So there was a cool bunch at Jongleurs and over at the Glee the line-up was bloody strong too. On Friday after our show finished I went down there with Rex, and hung out with the gorgeous Andy Robinson who never looks any older or less gorgeous, Rob Deering who took the roof off the place, and two of my favourite comedy men Ian Moore and Michael Smiley. What a treat! It was great to see em all.

On Saturday Smiley and I hung out and had lunch, which was great as its such a rarity. We also hit TK Maxx which is fast becoming one of my favourite ever shops in the world, got some beautiful NB trainers in pink and blue for £25.

Sunday saw me settled in my lovely empty first class carriage on the train back to London, the papers spread out around me, a delicious coffee by my side...the perfect end to a perfect weekend.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sweeney Todd

Just back from the lovely Coronet Cinema at Notting Hill Gate where I saw the gorgeous Johnny Depp in the above mentioned movie, and I am still reeling from it!

Tim Burton has such a great visual style, and this movie is his most accomplished yet, it looks amazing! The songs aren't quite as catchy as say the ones from Oliver! but they work within the film, and Johnny does a fabulous David Bowie impression when he sings. Helena Bonham Carter holds her own next to the divine Mr D, and Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen are all hugely enjoyable too!

Watching it I was struck by how Kate Moss must wake up every single morning kicking herself for letting Johnny get away. I mean, we've all had loves we've lost and it's guaranteed to cause the odd twinge of regret, but imagine being Johnny Depp's girlfriend and fucking it up! No wonder she drinks and does drugs, so would I!!!!!!!

On a lighter note, I am off to Birmingham tomorrow for a weekend's worth of gigs at Jongleurs on Broad Street, the line up's pretty good, and there's some fab people on at the Glee across town, I reckon a lunch is called for!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes

Twelve months ago today I had my gastric bypass at St George's Hospital in Tooting.

Regular readers will know the whole story, for the new readers, here's a very brief summary.

A lifetime of diets, all of which were successful, sadly a shitty relationship with food meant that as brilliant as I was at losing weight, I was dreadful at keeping it off. Three years ago I'd had enough. I was watching my weight spiral back up again after my most recent diet where I'd lost 10 stones and within two years had regained 8 of them. I went to my doctor and told her I was surrendering. I couldn't do it alone. I wanted my stomach removing! That's me, ever the drama queen! Of course they don't take away the whole stomach, just about 2/3rds of it. 

Two years of waiting and jumping through various NHS hoops later I found myself on 5th February 2007 in a cab down to Tooting at 6am. I remember standing outside the hospital in the darkness smoking the last fag, going in and being shunted from pillar to post, as more blood was taken, I was weighed and some orderly went on and on about how my legs were so big that he was having trouble finding those pressure stockings in a big enough size. As if I wasn't feeling shitty enough!

More abuse followed when some witch outside the operating theatre accused me of holding up proceedings. I snapped at that point! I'd gone three hours at that stage without a fag, and I was terrified about what was going to be happening to me (I'd just been given the 'you could die on the table' talk). She was suitably embarrassed and actually apologised in front of the surgeon who I caught smiling at me.

This exact time a year ago I was probably asleep, I was mainlining morphine into my neck, which was bliss! But a couple of hours earlier my good friend Steve had been to see me and sorted out a few things with the staff for me, bless him.

The three and a half days I spent in the hospital were pretty unpleasant, tho I have to say the actual nurses were amazingly kind and efficient, it was the auxiliary staff who were the little Hitlers. I was bloody relieved to get out on the Thursday lunchtime believe me!

The difference to my appetite was immediate, as was the weight loss, and 52 weeks later, I have shed the grand total of 9 stones and 12 pounds (138lbs). It woulda been just over 10 stones but thanks to replacing nicotine with snacks last week I just missed the 10stones mark, but I have lost a whole pound in the last two days, so will his the 10 stones by the end of the week.

It's three weeks ago tonight since I gave up smoking, and while I fully appreciate that it's a wonderful thing to do for my health, that wasn't my reason for quitting. Nope it was vanity. In five weeks' time I begin to reconstruct my new body with the first lot of plastic surgery. As it includes a face-lift I was told that I couldn't be a smoker and get it cos it would stop the healing.

Jan Stanek who is doing all the surgery was adamant, to the point where they do a blood test two weeks before the op and if there's nicotine in your blood the surgery is cancelled! For once in my life I didn't wanna be on the deadline, so gave up early. Sitting in a restaurant today, having lunch with my good friends Sarah, Jason and Mickey, and not craving a fag was the most wonderful feeling! I am so glad I did it!

So there ya go folks, nearly 10 stone lighter, actually physically half the woman I was, size 6-8 compared with size 26-28 and happier, healthier and fitter than I ever thought possible. What a brilliant year its been, and things are only gonna get better in the years to come.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life Is Good!

Soooo back from a fantastic weekend in Cardiff. I was doing the Glee Club down on Mermaid Quay, and it was just bliss! 

The line-up was fantastic -Barry Castignola who I'd never worked with before and really enjoyed watching, Greg Cook whose gag rate is phenomenal, and the incomparable Ian Cognito - it was a pleasure to MC such a bill. I was doing new stuff at a rate of knots. I know I am relaxed and enjoying a gig when I allow myself to try out stuff that has been floating around my head for a while but I've not dared do onstage before. This weekend I did tons of that!

I'm now on Day 19 of the no smoking, and it was brilliant this weekend not having to beg for a smoking room at the hotel, not having to freeze my ass off smoking outdoors, not stinking of it...but I am definitely replacing some of those unsmoked cigarettes with snacks. I've gained two pounds this week, tho I fully intend to exercise this off quick-smart. In fact I began today by doing an extra 300 crunches! 

According to Allen Carr it takes 3 weeks for the nicotine cravings to stop so I should be ok by Wednesday morning, and I know that those cravings are for fags not food, but I only remember this when I am on my second pear or apple! I also know that eating fruit isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I am eating more and there is sugar in the fruit even if it ain't the poison that white sugar is.

Still in the scheme of things, life is fantastic, I love being a non-smoker!

Ooooh congratulations to my bessie mate Stephen K Amos who this weekend stormed his audition in Miami for Last Comic Standing. He's off to Vegas in March for the semi-final...yayyyyyyyyyyy!


Friday, February 01, 2008

Day 17...

... off the cigarettes!!!!!!!!!

Yay me! I have to say it really is easy with Allen Carr, even tho I am getting the odd 'pang' of nicotine withdrawal, its not like I really want to smoke! Here's hoping I can stay mindful of how easy it would be to get hooked again. There really is no such thing as 'just the one' that won't do any harm is there?

In other news, well this morning I did something I never thought I'd ever be able to do, something even more extreme than stopping smoking after being a committed 40 a dayer.

I did 40 - yes 40 - sit-ups!!!!!!!! 

I think I musta been about 12 the last time I did one sit-up and it involved a PE teacher sitting on my feet and pulling me up. Over the years I've occasionally made an attempt at doing one, only to end-up about half an inch off the ground, red-faced and sweating and feeling like my heart would burst.

Not this morning tho. This morning I tucked my feet under the sofa, and thought 'give it a go'. It worked! I did 20 in the first go, then did some leg things, then did another 10, then some reverse crunches, then another 10!!!! How fantastic. I glided up to the sitting position, it wasn't a big deal, no sweating and puffing, almost elegant! Having said that, the last four sit-ups were bloody hard going, my thigh muscles were quivering as they took some of the strain off my stomach muscles. But, I did it! And I am gonna keep doing em, till they get as easy as the crunches are now.

Check me out, I'm like one of those fit, skinny beeeyatches!