Monday, March 31, 2008

I Am...

the same size as a Gap 13 year old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How mad is that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I know its dead shallow and a bit anorexicky to obsess about body size, but f**k me! I was the size of a house this time last year, so I reckon I'm allowed to enjoy this without anyone getting overly concerned!

I've been joking that my titties are like a 13 year old's now that Mr Stanek has worked his magic, but there was no-one more gobsmacked than me as I slipped into a pair of Age 13 combats from the Gap and got em done up with no problems whatsoever! Added bonus, they were £7.99 in the sale and no VAT!

That was my cue to stock up on a whole heap of really fabulous, great quality and very cheap t-shirts too!

I'm off to see about getting the rest of the loose skin removed on the NHS, by the end of the year it could all be done and dusted!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Think I Wannabe...

... a rich man's plaything.

Not so much for the having a man part, as for the having access to unlimited amounts of dosh to spend as and when and how I choose.

I don't necessarily want to clear the shelves at Chanel or Dior, but to always have cash in my purse to spend on whatever would be kinda cool I reckon.

I've had three weekends off work and that's what's done for me. To be really honest I am soooo looking forward to going back onstage next weekend I can't tell you, but I have really enjoyed having all this time to myself.

I had a fantastic birthday dinner on Friday night at the fabulous Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick -where I got a chance to dress up in a sexy lil black frock and full make-up for the first time since the op - in the company of someone who's been a great friend for 20-odd years now. The food, the ambience, the company and the espresso martini were all excellent.

Yesterday I decided to have a wander round Portobello Market. It's been a while since I was able to go there on a Saturday, and I had a brilliant time. I wandered along Westbourne Grove with all it's designer shops, and caught local boy Damon Albarn checking me out (oh yeah baby! I got it going on!) Then I hit the market proper. It was rammed with tourists and locals, but that was cool, I wasn't in a rush. There's a new cakeshop/cafe called Gails opened on the site of what used to be an art gallery, and I had a delicious latte and a peanut butter cookie sandwich from there...yummy! I meandered all the way up to the Westway, even checking out the shops in Portobello Green, where I got a fantastic little t-shirt in the sale in one of the shops. There were all kinds of new stalls out too, including one selling really nasty over the top belt buckles. I got me a shiny silver one with two decks on it for a tenner! He threw the belt in for nowt!

I also got a gorgeous orange Dalai Lama t-shirt from a stall called Positive Tees. They have a website - - and apparently all the t-shirts are Fairtrade cotton, and 20% of the price goes to a charity helping children with AIDS, so I feel kinda good about that purchase. I picked up a second-hand lumberjack shirt in mint condition for £15 which I just love.

The sun even stayed out the whole time I was out which was a blessing, and I had a fabulous few hours.

The evening was spent watching brilliant rubbish telly from I'd Do Anything to Pimp My Ride....bliss!

Yes I could definitely be a lady of leisure.


Friday, March 28, 2008


Wooohooooo! It's my birthday today! I am 47!

Not sure why I put an exclamation mark after that last one, but you know what? Sod it. I've been on the planet for almost 50 years and actually that's a good thing. I know in our youth obsessed society age and experience are not things to be celebrated, and if I actually looked 47 I might be a bit less inclined to shout it from the rooftops, but after my face-lift I could easily pass for mid-30's so why the hell not celebrate being nearly 50?

It's not just the plastic surgery that's making me feel so positive, as I was meditating this morning I thought back to birthdays in the past. The ratio of good to bad ones is pretty equal about 50:50, but in recent years there's been more bad than good.

Broken hearts, death and illness, major depression have all been factors in previous birthdays, but over the last 3, things have gotten better and better. Two years ago I landed in Bangkok on my 45th, and that still stands out as a massive landmark birthday, last year it was Paris and my first post-gastric bypass birthday. I remember I was about 16 stones which is damn near double what I am today, but I felt sooooo good about myself because I was 16 st going down rather than 16 st going up.

I remember wearing a jacket I'd bought the last time I lost weight and while it was tight, it went on and that was a brilliant thing. That jacket is long gone now, it got too big for me about eight months ago, but I can still recall the exhilaration I felt as I got it on. Yesterday as I slipped into a size 8 dress that I plan to wear to dinner tonight, the feeling was just as strong. It's not about pleasing anyone else, its about feeling a sense of achievement, conquering an issue that has tormented me my whole life.

So here I am, older, wiser, smaller, happier and more calm than I've ever been. My body issues are almost at an end. It's two and a half weeks since the upper body surgery was done and thank goodness its all healing really well, and on Monday I have an appointment to see a surgeon about removing the 15 or so pounds of excess skin that remains on the bottom half. It's not even really a vanity thing you know, tho the desire to look good in a swimsuit is part of it, its about removing the outward signs of my years of self-harm.

In the next few months I've got a tour supporting my great friend Gina Yashere coming up, not to mention just being back on the circuit from next week - I can't believe how much I have missed gigging - I am sooooo looking forward to life!

That past is past, and the present is fantastic!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Borough Market

A bit London-centric with this post, but I just have to write about how fabulous this market is!

I went there for the first time today with my newest BFF Lesley, and it was her first time too. The place is dead easy to get to, Jubilee Line to London Bridge tube station, come out of the Borough High St exit, and the market is right there.

Whenever I go to Spain I always seek out the local food markets, like the gorgeous one in Barcelona just off the Ramblas, or the terrific one in Valencia, yet all this time, there's been the most amazing food market right under my nose in South London!!!!!

It was very busy, I suspect due to a crappy early Easter weekend with snow and rain and gawd knows what, and the bonus of it being under cover. There were lots of tourists videoing the cheeses... I'm partial to a nice bit of Stilton myself but never felt the need to film it!

There was a very cute man with an even more cute pug puppy who became a side show in itself! He'd drawn quite a crowd, even the cheese porn movie makers momentarily directed their lenses towards the most adorable puppy I've ever seen. Sadly the man had a girlfriend, so I only got to stroke the pug.

There was another very handsome man on one of the juice stalls, who gave me a free cup of hot honey, lemon, ginger and various other scrummy ingredients...I've never flirted with a beverage maker before, it obviously pays off!

Anyway, it was all wonderful and I got lots of delicious berries for my breakfast porridge, and some strawberry honey made by Italian Monks, and had the most wonderful time.

Next time you're in town check it out!


How Brave Am I???????

To post these photos...

I had the stitches out on Wednesday and according to the nurse, I'm healing well. One of my pals wanted to see what I looked like now so I took a snap on here with the Mac Photo Booth thing. 

I have no make-up on in either photo, I hate it when you see the before ones where the person obviously looks ultra rough and then, in the after, they've had their hair and make-up done along with a touch of air brushing. None of that here. The before was taken the morning of the op, and believe me I didn't have to try to look rough, that's how I looked!

This was me on the morning of the op

This was me on Wednesday afternoon after having the stitches out


Gavin and Stacey

How amazing is this show?????? 

I only caught a couple of the first series and while I thought it was pretty good, it's not like I went ga ga over it.  Anyway Series 2 started last Sunday and due to my enforced downtime I decided to watch the introductory double episode. My god, I was blown away!

Ruth Jones' character Nessa is just sooooooo compelling to watch, kinda dark but kinda sad too. I love that she has this checkered past and you're not sure if it's true or complete fantasy - from being chucked out of All Saints for not getting on with Shaznay to having an affair with Richard Madeley when she was their nanny... hilarious.

It was written by Ruth and James Corden, whose character is a lot more fleshed out -pardon the pun - this series too, as he comes to terms with the realisation that he's the father of Nessa's baby... I can't wait to see how it unfolds!

All of the cast are fantastic, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, all of em... take a bow folks you're fabulous!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Post Op

Well I survived!

Last Tuesday morning saw me hurtling through Chiswick with my new BFF Lesley, towards the West London Clinic. Unfortunately the wind had made getting around West London a bit difficult, so we were a bit late, but they were cool about it.

I checked in, handed over some emergency cash, and was shown to my room. It wasn't exactly the Ritz, but it was pretty damn comfy compared to an NHS place. The usual pre-op stuff was done, blood pressure taken, the sexy surgical stockings fitted, id-tag fitted on my wrist, etc etc.

Then they brought me the menu for dinner and breakfast. I was salivating as I ticked off the slow braised lamb with lemon and cous cous, with chocolate pudding to follow. I was praying that I'd be awake enough to eat it all!

I unpacked my bag, got into my gown, laid on the bed and promptly fell fast asleep! So much for being nervous before the op! 

Mr Stanek woke me up, he'd come to do that thing you always see them do when you watch the makeover shows on telly, he started drawing all over my upper body with a purple marker. It was all very exciting!

When he'd finished he told me they'd come for me in about an hour's time and said to just relax. I didn't need telling twice! I got back into the comfy bed and went back to sleep till the anaesthetist came in and woke me up to tell me how he was gonna knock me out!

At 2pm I was collected by his assistant and clutching one of the new outsize post-op bras, we walked down to the operating theatre. This seems to be the new trend both NHS and private - walking you to the theatre instead of taking you there on a wheely bed. 

I climbed onto a bed in the prep room, and they did that thing about how you feel a little scratch and then a bit sleepy. It worked exactly like that, then the next thing I was aware of was some voice saying "wakey, wakey Jo-Anne, you're in the Recovery Room".

The next few hours passed in a kinda blur, I opened my eyes and saw that I was back in my room, I opened em again to see the nurse injecting something into the shunt in my hand, again when my blood pressure was taken. Each time I was desperately trying to stay awake long enough to ask where my dinner was! 

I so rarely feel hungry, and I didn't feel hungry then but that lamb and cous cous was preying on my mind! I didn't get it tho.

I did get a lovely pot of tea and some digestive biscuits at about 7am god they were the most delicious tea and biscuits I've ever eaten! I had all kinds of bandages and tubes and drains attached to various parts of my upper body, but thankfully they didn't let me see too much of that. 

When the ones on my head were removed I was handed a mirror, and my goodness! What a shock! I was expecting to look like I'd been 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, but there was no bruising on my face at all! I was very swollen, but other than a few visible stitches round my ears and a bit of dried blood, there was very little sign that I'd had a face lift. 

Mr Stanek came to see me and told me that I'd been on the operating table for six hours, and that he was very happy with the way everything had gone. He also said that as I had someone to take care of me, there was no need to stay another night in the hospital and I could go later this morning. How fab!

One of the excellent nurses came along and talked me through the pain medication and the anti-biotics, then she helped me get dressed. I got a chance to check out my new titties as we put the Primark £4 sports bra! They are amazing! I've never had boobs this good! When they were this pert in the past they weren't this big and when they were this big they weren't this pert! I found out that the implants that he used are the smallest ones available, but they are the perfect size for my new body. The biggest thrill is that my nipples are now pointing at my chin rather than at my toes!!!

I got my check-out papers and my emergency cash stash back, Lesley arrived to collect me and by 11am we were on our way back to her fabulous home. 

No surgery is ever pleasant, but I have to say that the 24 hours I spent at the West London Clinic under the care of the amazing nurses and the wonderful Jan Stanek, were fantastic!

Thanks everyone.


Sunday, March 09, 2008


Sooooo what a cracking couple of gigs I had this weekend!

I was at Watford Jongleurs with one of the strongest line-ups I've worked with in a while - Andrew Murrell, Marcus Birdman and Mickey Flannagan. 

Both nights just built beautifully, Andrew always delivers, set the tone, and Marcus took the gig and ran with it. It's been about 18 months since I saw him last, and my god, he's really on top form now! Closing the show - brilliant as always - Mickey who just gets more and more comfortable onstage. Any single one of these guys on a bill is a treat, all three is spoiling us all! I, of course, was my usual incredible self! I really enjoyed my time onstage this weekend.

Today I went for a little dose of culcha at The Barbican. They've got a new show, called the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, and its works of contemporary art curated as if to show aliens what human beings are like. It was a fun idea and a great show with works by a ton of artists I'd not heard of before in amongst the Hirst's and the Warhol's. 

It's definitely been my week for celeb spotting too, as I arrived I vaguely recognised this couple who were just leaving and they both looked at me as if they knew me (probably wondered why Aggyness Deyn wasn't in Paris modelling *grin*). The woman in particular, flashed a huge smile at me. It was only as I got past them that I realised it was Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi! Both of them were incredibly thin, Nigella about half the size she was on her most recent tv series, and soooooo amazingly beautiful.

Anyway, go see the show, its fab!


Page 3

My mate Ray 'Roughler' Jones has teamed up with his old bandmate Ian 'Class War' Bone to recreate their Page 3 classic 'John Bindon' in honour of the new movie The Bank Job. Click here to see it 


Friday, March 07, 2008

Getting Organised...

... for my big surgery thang next week!

What a week I've had, running around all over the shop, getting my nails done, stocking up on heavy items like washing powder and stuff that I won't be able to carry for a few weeks, getting my eyebrow tattoos leveled up, clearing out my wardrobe and donating two huge bags of nearly new but too-big-for-me clothes to TK Maxx's Cancer campaign, sorting out my 'junk' cupboard, catching up with friends...phew!

Yesterday I walked the two miles from my house to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington to have a Bone Density Scan - now that I am officially middle aged things like that need to be done. I decided that I couldn't rely on the bus cos there's so many roadworks going on round by me, so figured I'd walk halfway then get a bus, but before I knew it I was walking the whole way! Now to those of you who are healthy, this is a trifling distance, but it's like me doing a marathon! I can't recall ever walking that far! It took me about 20 mins which is quicker than the bus too! The scan was easy and painless and I'll know in two weeks' time if I am likely to develop osteoporosis.

After that it was off to Camden again for my second visit to Garry Trainer the world's greatest osteopath. My neck was still giving me gyp and I wanted that sorting out too. As I sat and waited for Garry, chatting to his missus and petting his mad dog, who emerged from the treatment room but the gorgeous Jude Law! He was very dressed down in a pair of really cool blue Adidas trackie bottoms and a t-shirt plus a glowing tan, and tho I have no idea why he was seeing Garry, he sure looked good! 

What struck me the most, was how tall and hunky he looked. The reason it seemed odd was that I saw him in Soho about 6 years ago - when I was at my largest ever, a whopping 22 stones! - and he looked tiny to me then! I guess its all perspective eh? Either that or he's grown and bulked out!

Sooooooo, that's my mad week so far, I'm off to Watford Jongleurs tonight via NikeTown at Oxford Circus cos I got an email saying the Nike i-D's I designed about 3 weeks ago have arrived, and I am really looking forward to going to work... after the running around all week, it'll be peaceful!


Kimmel and Silverman and Affleck and Damon

I'm sure a lot of you will have seen these videos on You Tube, but if you haven't check it here!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Very Good Cause

Soooooo there I was, gigging at Jongleurs in Portsmouth over the weekend. The gigs were challenging and ultimately successful, I managed to get upgraded at the hotel (Oh the joys of being a non-smoker! Seven weeks and counting) and bonus of bonuses, I made the last train back to London on Saturday night, so woke up in my own bed on Sunday. Faaaaaaabulous.

There was also the added treat of all the outlet shops at Gunwharf Quays. I got a brilliant pair of Engineered Levis for a tenner and a fantastic Barbour jacket for half the recommended price - apparently I am now a sample size!

I've begun my countdown to the big surgery day next Tuesday, and yesterday saw me getting my finger and toenails de-coloured so that they will be able to check on me while I am out. I was told that there was no need to remove the acrylic off the fingernails, but I remember getting a right old bollocking at St George's last year, after being told the same thing. Not taking any chances this time! It feels very odd to have my natural nails again, and god bless them, they're very short and a bit battle worn. Oh well the rest will do em good. The pedicure felt lovely too.

I went along to the Comedy Store last night as my pal Stephen K Amos was MC'ing a benefit for Shelter. The line up was really good, with people like Phil Nichol - who was hilarious, The Raymond and Mr Timkins Revue - as daft as ever, and Reginald D Hunter who I haven't seen perform for a loooooong time! He was amazing! Steve did an excellent job as MC, and lots of money was raised for an excellent cause.