Wednesday, April 30, 2008

16 Weeks...

... since I quit the fags!!!!!!

I am now into unchartered territory. This is officially the longest I have been a non-smoker apart from the first 21 years of my life before I succumbed to the evil weed. Guess that's my next target eh?

It really does affect every aspect of my life in such a positive way. I can enjoy all the activities where smoking is not allowed, cos I'm not craving them, and when I smell smoke on people my god, it's sooooo nasty and stale and horrible! I can't believe I wandered around reeking like that for over 25 years!

I went to see Peter Doig's show at Tate Britain yesterday and was totally blown away by it. The show closes on 11 May, so do yourself a favour and get along before then. The work is childlike and hypnotic and just transported me into another world. I loved it!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Alexander McFrickinQueen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Soooo I spent the weekend doing gigs at the wonderful Toby Foster's Last Laugh comedy clubs in Sheffield. Thursday night at the Little Last Laugh at the Lescar Pub which was just a dream to play, then Friday and Saturday at the big Last Laugh at the Memorial Hall which was great fun too, especially on Saturday night.

The line-up was cracking - Dan Evans who's just got some blinding gags at the moment and Mat Blaize who's gone from strength to strength since I last worked with him about two years ago - with the divine Mr Foster MC'ing. It was great fun from start to finish.

I also got to indulge in my main hobby of shopping, which is always a huge bonus. Since I was last up here, they've opened a mahoooosive Primark on the corner of the same street that the hotel's on, and it was there that I got a very Luella floral frock complete with net underskirt for £12 (it was actually featured in the Sunday Times Style section today too!). What's unusual about this Primark compared to any other I've been to in the UK is that the entrance seems to be part social club, part social security office! I've never seen such a 'challenging' collection of human beings in a place where money wasn't being dispensed by the government! I guess they have to hang out somewhere to finish off their Greggs' steak slices! Btw, there appears to be even more branches of said bakery since I was last here!

It's very odd, cos while Greggs is expanding here, Starbucks has only made one inroad. There's a branch near the University, but not a single Starbucks on the main shopping drag! This is sooooo weird, cos every other city in the UK has at least three or four of the fuckers on their High Street!

Anyway, after the success in Primark I made my pilgrimage across town to TK Maxx. I almost didn't bother going cos the only things I ever seem to buy in there are jeans, hoodies and trainers and I sure as hell don't need any more of any of those things! Anyway the lure was too strong, so I gave in, and boy am I glad I did!!!!!

The 'full' priced items held no appeal to me, but I found myself in the clearance section. Normally even I don't have the patience to rummage through those rails, but a white cotton embroidered tunic/mini-dress caught my eye. It was only £7 so I picked it up and was sufficiently inspired by that find to keep going. Then I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes, I looked at the price before I even looked at the item properly - Original price £190, Clearance price £47. I saw the manufacturer's label - Alexander McQueen. I saw the size - 8. Then, as I pulled it out, I saw that it was the one thing I've been dying to buy since I lost weight - a denim jumpsuit! I'd been holding out for the Gap one for months, and when it finally arrived in the Oxford St branch last week I was one of the first to try it on, only for my hopes to be dashed when it looked like shit on me! That one was £40 full price, a fraction of the one in my hands now. I looked at it for ages - would an 8 fit me?

Only one way to find out, I braved the changing room to try it on. Part of me wanted to buy it without trying it, cos I just soooooo wanted it! But, I decided to be sensible, and I am soooooooo glad I did! Heart in my mouth I stripped off and slid into it...not only did it fit, it looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was soooo excited I wore it to travel home today, and even being sent by bus to Doncaster to catch the Leeds train cos the East Midland Mainline trains were all f**ked, couldn't dampen my mood. I felt sooooo cool, so on trend in my fabulous McQueen!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Off...

to Sheffield!

I'm doing three nights at the lovely (and very, very funny) Toby Foster's club The Last Laugh. It's been a couple of years since I was there, and I am sooooooo excited to be doing it.

The last time I was there I worked out that Sheffield city centre had more branches of Greggs the bakers than any other city in the UK...I wonder if they're still all there or if the credit crunch has seen a drop in the high fat/low nutrition baked goods market?

I'll know in a couple of hours won't I?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just A Quickie...

I wanna get out and enjoy this gorgeous weather! I reckon I can leave the scarf and gloves at home today.

Sooooo I had the best weekend evah at Leeds Jongleurs! Everything about it was perfect, the staff, the audiences, the other comics - Sean Meo, Geoff Norcott, who's just getting better and better every time I see him, the wonderful Harvey Oliver and on Thursday we had a slightly subdued Mark Walker who as always tore the roof off the place - all of it made for the most wonder five gigs.

The hotel was fabulous too, and of course the shops of Leeds city centre didn't disappoint, tho I was sad to see that the George at Asda stand alone shop had shut down. I used to get bargains from there! I got all kindsa bits and pieces over the four days, including Nine West's gorgeous "snakeskin' multicoloured patchwork clutch, a close relative of the D&G bag but a fraction of the cost at £60. I also treated myself to a pair of amazing black patent, 4" high f**k-me pumps, which I actually wore onstage!!! Check me! I didn't even fall off em, tho I was walking like a very very bad tranny in 'em. I'm gonna persevere tho cos they sure as hell look divine and made me feel really sexy!

I treated myself to a "Three Week Manicure" with this Bio-Sculpture gel at Nails Inc, it looks brilliant, but who knows if it really will last three whole weeks? We shall see.

So that was my fantastic weekend, loved every second of it, and can't wait to get back up to Leeds again asap!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gawd I Love Comedy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So last night I was doing The Funny Side of Covent Garden, a tiny, fabulous club in the basement of what used to be Rumours cocktail bar back in the day (Aaaah the 80's).

I was the closing act, which is sometimes also known as the headline act, not last night tho! The first comic on was the brilliant Harry Hill! He's about to do some gigs with Paul Zenon and Lee Mack for a charity and wanted to warm up for it.

I haven't seen Harry in the flesh for ages, years in fact. He was the headline act the night I died on my hole at Up The Creek and was kind to me then, 15 years later he's still sweet. I was chuffed to see him for loads of reasons, I got to see him perform which is always a massive treat, and I got to thank him for the genius that is TV Burp! How brilliant is that show??????? It's one of maybe three shows in the history of TV ever that makes me laugh out loud every single week.

The best thing about seeing Harry again was that as he was a doctor in a previous life I could discuss all my surgeries with him in great depth and he understood what I was on about! How middle-aged is that?

So, Harry was cracking, lots of great gags, then the inimitable Ronnie Golden was on, and although I've known him forever, it was the first time I'd seen him live too. He was fantastic! Then it was me. I was sooooo nervous! No reason to be tho, as always, it was a cracking gig. I love that club!

Today I go to Leeds to do my favourite Jongleurs, and it's a mammoth run, five shows, four nights, great line-up, I'm MC'ing, gorgeous hotel and brilliant shops!!!!!! I am soooooooooooooo excited!!!!!!!!

Whatever you guys are up to this weekend, enjoy it x


Monday, April 14, 2008

Marathon Weekend!

No I didn't run around London, but it feels like I did a marathon. It seems like years since I was in my flat!

Went to Brum on Thursday and did Jongleurs there that night. It was my first time MC'ing for a month and I really, really, really enjoyed it! The acts were all cracking and it was all fabulous.

Friday morning I was chucked out of the hotel at 11.0am and my train to Cardiff wasn't till 1.30pm, so what's a gal to do? Shop of course! Especially in Birmingham!

I was like a Tasmanian Devil running around. Got two of the Marimekko tops from H&M, fabulous colours, perfect for summer if it ever comes, and less than a tenner each, perfect! Did some sensible vitamin shopping too, but then got my big old treat...a whole hour to kill in TK Maxx!!!!!!!

The Birmingham branch is fabulous, its huge and has tons of great stuff in it usually. I got a fantastic pair of Reebok trainers for £20, all neon pink, green and black with like a mesh upper so that you can wear em without socks and they won't stink. They're a bit big but sod it, they look fab.

The Cross Country service to Cardiff is offically a really shit service, it took close to three hours and two different trains to get there, when it shoulda been one train and two hours - no wonder Virgin have taken their name off the sides of the trains on this service!

For reasons unknown, the hotel was switched at the last minute and instead of the gorgeous Marriott, right in the centre of town, near the shops, station and gig, we were shoved in the Future Inn down on the Bay - a £7 cab ride to and from the gig, and town and the station. Made for an expensive weekend!

I was on second both nights and to be really honest I can't say I enjoyed the gigs all that much. I never play the 'I'm a girl card' but the combination of some of the other comics and the abundance of stag parties, and lack of security made it a really blokey night both nights. I felt like I had no right to be on that stage as a was like I'd been transported back to the 50's!

It was only the fact that I am a f**king good comedian that stopped me from dying either night, and the casual observer would've said I had two good gigs, I guess I just want it to be more than 'good'. I'm not happy settling for second best, but there truly is only so much I can do, the audience and the venue have a part to play too.

I did have a great day out on Saturday tho with the lovely Smug Roberts and his gorgeous missus who I haven't seen for about two years. We went to St Fagans which has a castle (of sorts) and a museum of Welsh Life. I'd been before with Jeff Innocent years ago, but it was a sunny day and a lovely change from ransacking Primark! It was also fantastic to be able to catch up with Smug, who is soon to be seen in a new movie by Ken Loach! How fabulous!

Right off to get the dressings removed for the last time from my wounds -its all healing brilliantly - and if there's time, ransack Primark!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last Night

I was lucky enough to be invited to go to the Teenage Cancer Trust comedy night at the Royal Albert Hall.

Hosted by Noel Fielding, and featuring as he put it his 'friends, who are basically a bunch of freaks'. It sure wasn't the kinda comedy night I'm used to performing at! I was really glad I wasn't on the bill boy!

The audience were 90% Mighty Boosh fans and 10% people who wanted a laugh and to contribute to a brilliant cause. The Booshies only laughed at comedians who'd been on the TV show, which meant an agonising 10 minutes that felt like an hour for at least one poor f**ker.

Razorlight did an unplugged version of America (which I like) and another song (which I don't), Noel did tons of stand-up in an assortment of fabulous outfits, and was just generally as charming and lovely as he always has been.

I remember him and Julian from when they first started out, before they got together, and they've just always been top blokes. It was funny seeing the double takes they both did when they saw me last night... I guess I do look a bit different!

So this morning I am all excited cos I get to do a bit more travelling this weekend. Tonight it's Birmingham Jongleurs and tomorrow and Saturday Cardiff. There's two fabulous hotels laid on, which is a bonus after the dirty Ibis in Leicester last weekend, I'm looking forward to having a nice soak in the bath, and hanging out with some cool people.

Whatever you're up to, make the most of it xx


Monday, April 07, 2008

Back With A Vengeance!

Soooooo after almost a whole month off work I was more than a little apprehensive about going back onstage last Thursday. I wasn't sure what material would work, could I still get away with moaning about being old when I don't really look old anymore?

I was doing a weekend at Leicester Jongleurs, doing a set each night, and actually headlining the shows on Friday and Saturday. Talk about pressure!

A few minutes before I went onstage on Thursday night, I got a call asking me to do my set there and then jump in a cab to Nottingham and close the show there cos one of the acts had been taken ill. I said yes, and then freaked at the deep end or what?!?!?!?!?

Had a lovely time on second in Leicester, and had fun closing Nottingham too! So much for my worries! In a way it was the best thing that could've happened cos it got the 'closing the show' nerves out of the way early, and that meant that I could relax on Friday and Saturday.

It's been a while since I stayed in Leicester, and I had a good old wander round the shops on Friday and hung out with our excellent MC Martin Bigpig. The shows were all the better for having him at the helm.

Friday night was fun, but Saturday night was phenomenal! I was onstage for 30 minutes and in that time I did about 10 minutes of material! The rest was ad-libbed and I just enjoyed myself soooooooo much!

I hadn't realised how much I'd missed being a comedian!

It's good to be back.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

More Than Three Months...

since I stopped smoking!

How quickly has that time passed? I really can't believe how simple it's been to just not smoke, I was soooo scared that I'd go nutso without my crutch, that I'd be binge eating and gawd knows what else, but apart from a little bit of that in the first month where I gained five pounds which I lost again, there's been nothing negative at all.

Best of all, I haven't become one of those pompous non-smokers who do the fake coughs and wafting whenever a smoker approaches... thank God! The brainwashing part of the Allen Carr method sticks in the brain and makes you just wonder why anyone would do that to themselves. When I see someone with a fag on, I'm just so grateful that I don't need that anymore. What a relief!

I can't say that I am any better off financially, but then I haven't worked for almost a month and I am not destitute so I guess that's the bonus. My 40 a day habit cost me around £85 a week, so that's nearly £400 that I haven't wasted during my time off.

Today is the biggie...I'm back to work!!!!! I am excited, scared, thrilled and nervous all at once! I'm doing Leicester Jongleurs and on with a cracking bill - if the website is correct - so really, really looking forward to my weekend.

Whatever you're up to dear readers, enjoy and make the most of every moment.