Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Over!!!!!!

So today is the day that everyone starts packing up and heading back from the Edinburgh Festival. I recall all to well how depressing that is, trying to clean the rented flat enough to get your deposit back, trying to fit all the jumpers you've had to buy while you were up there into a case filled with unworn summer clothes, doing your final show tonight (assuming you sell enough tickets to actually do a show tonight, the place is deserted!) and doing all of those things with a raging hangover and/or comedy flu.

All the awards have been dished out - massive congrats to Sarah Millican who won Best Newcomer, well deserved sista! - the bills are piling up and the depression's begun to kick in. The more affluent comics with be jetting off to somewhere hot and peaceful, and the poorer ones will be attempting to adjust to doing a mere 20 minutes again after a month of doing an hour every night.

I went up about 10 days ago for my 48 hour blitz, saw my great friend Stephen K Amos's show - Find The Funny - which  was excellent. It was a perfect hour of Steve doing what he does best, being funny! No messages, no great confessions, just gags. How brave of him!

Other than Steve's show I didn't see any comedy. We went and saw a dreadfully dated play and some dance thing that didn't live up to it's publicity, and frankly after those two experiences - especially the play which went on for 90 minutes, I felt like a bloody hostage! - I wasn't inclined to commit to anyone else's performances! Well none that I could blag into that is. Even with Steve "The Last King of Scotland" we couldn't blag freebies for Joan Rivers, and comedy chums like John Gordillo, Rhod Gilbert and Tim Vine were all sold out with no standing room even for an ace ligger like me.

I did do a fair bit of socialising tho, having drinks with Roy Walker, Jim Jeffries and various other characters, showing off my new face and figure to old pals who haven't seen me in a while - one of the nicest compliments was Michael MacIntyre saying 'I used to know your mum', bless him - and generally just hanging out and chatting with a ton of people in the biz. I had a blast but 48 hours was plenty!

Every year I say I'm gonna do a show "next year" and every year I come to my senses in the nick of time. This time however I've actually got something I'd like to do, so who knows, maybe you'll see me wandering around the streets in the rain handing out flyers next August!


I Luurrrrrvvvvvve Comedy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm sitting here listening to the hard house blaring outta the speakers on the street opposite my house, my local pub is having it's annual Carnival party as it did yesterday. I totally lost it with em yesterday, but today they lulled me into a false sense of security a/ by starting later and b/ by playing some truly excellent tunes early on! The Specials' Ghost Town sounds amazing at that kinda volume!

The earlier part of the weekend was spent in sunny-ish Sheffield. I was doing three nights at The Last Laugh and I have to say they were some of the best gigs and the most fun gigs I've had in a long time! My new material is getting bedded in nicely - getting rounds of applause on Saturday night - tho on Friday I didn't get to do any of it as I spent my time just talking bollocks to the crowd. Gawd bless the menopause! 

As usual the Sheffield branch of TK Maxx didn't let me down either - this was the one where I got a £300 Alexander McQueen denim jumpsuit for £30 - this time I got a rare pair of extremely distressed, selvedged, Evisu's for £15 instead of £150! I love that shop!

Other than that, life has been quite still and calm. Did an early morning yoga class today with yet another teacher, who was at least 20 years older than me but had the body of a 20 year old! What a cracking advert for yoga she is! Every class I progress a bit further and push myself a bit harder and achieve more than I ever thought possible. I think I love yoga more than TK Maxx but its close!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bank Holiday Weekend

Mine is being half spent in Sheffield, where I'm heading later to do the fabulous Toby Foster's Last Laugh gigs. He's MC'ing and there's a cracking bill including Roger Monkhouse. There's also an incredible TK Maxx up there, so I am pretty excited!

Back on Sunday and then it's decision time. Do I face the crowds at the Carnival or do I hide away? There's a special yoga class on Monday morning so that's definitely in the book!

Whatever you're up to folks, I hope the sun shines and you have fun.


Sooooo last Monday I completed my Foundation Course at the Iyengar Yoga Institute, and I have to say that the last five weeks have given me more pleasure than almost anything else ever in my life! How mad is that?

I was having lunch with someone new in my life a few months ago and talked about 'having a go' at Tai Chi, 'having a go' at meditation classes, and how I felt (as I always did) that I was being judged negatively by the others in the class. As I was telling him this I had a bit of an epiphany and said 'This obviously says way more about me, than it does them. I guess I'm not a group person'. This wasn't a new thing, it's how I've felt most of my life, like I don't 'fit in'.

Those thoughts came back to me as I signed up for the five week course and I wondered if I'd actually stick this one out. Well I did, and I totally love being part of a group.

After the first class I walked home with a beaming smile on my face because I wasn't the worst one in the class, in fact I was in the top five I'd say. I rambled on to anyone who would listen about how yoga is the answer to all of life's problems, yada yada yada.  

I realised that for the first time ever I was fit and healthy, three years of exercising every morning has given me a good core strength, and muscles and a good heart rate. For the first time in my adult life I wasn't the red-faced, fat, sweating one, reeking of stale cigarettes, at the back of the room trying to hide. I was at the front of the class and I was doing it!

I'd been told all my life that I have lousy co-ordination and a terrible sense of balance, well guess what? Yoga is about co-ordination and balance and I have both! It's amazing how we just accept the lines we are fed as a child by over-protective or over critical parents. When that criticism stops coming from the original source we carry on doing it to ourselves.  It wasn't that I wasn't 'a group person' or that I was being judged by anyone else. The reality was I was judging myself, and doing a far harsher job of it than a stranger ever could. Because I like myself a whole lot more these days, suddenly I find I 'fit in'.

Last night I went to my first Beginners' class. This was way more hardcore than anything I'd done on the foundation course, and I was the new girl in the group again, but as I found myself standing on my shoulders with my feet over and flat on the floor behind my head, I felt a sense of pride I've never felt before. Who woulda thought that a nearly-50, former 20 stone, menopausal woman who's never been good at any sport in her life would be achieving this?

Life is good.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Seaside Time Again...

Soooo this weekend it was my annual Brighton Komedia weekend, and what a corker it was!

The gigs were fantastic, it’s amazing how having some new jokes can revitalise a person’s attitude to stand-up. I’ve always enjoyed what I do, but these days I can’t wait to get onstage!
The line-up was pretty damn good too, the fabulous Jarred Christmas MC’ing, the erudite-as-everSimon Evans, and dirty-boy extraordinaire Jason Rouse. I got to go on first cos believe it or not, I was actually the least saucy act on the bill. That makes a lovely change believe me!

The hotel was cool - hey it ain’t the Ritz, but it’s clean, the staff are cool and the rooms at least have some character. It’s also in a lovely part of town - well technically its in Hove but there’s nowt in it really.

Saturday saw me doing my usual rounds of the shops but the inclement weather put a fairly early end to that. I got a couple of sale bargains, but its hard to be inspired when you’re having to wear a cagoule over a chiffon dress! Also, the seagulls had woken me at the ungodly hour of 6.30, so a disco nap was in order before the two shows. In between I was treated to coffee and a delicious ice cream by Jarred and his lovely missus Amelia.
Sunday I slept later cos I’d had the sense to close the windows, and after doing my exercise I hit the seafront. It was sunny so I was determined to make the most of it. Wandering towards town I heard the familiar strains of The Streets ‘You’re Fit But You Know It’ and figured someone had a ghetto blaster on waaaaaay too loud, but as I got further up it was actually them performing! 

Vodaphone were doing one of those TBA gigs and I got to see the last couple of numbers. I have to say that Mike Skinner is a whole lot cuter in the flesh, and a lot braver too as he crowd surfed with barely a thought for his safety. Tho I noticed he did take his trainers off, perhaps he was worried that someone was gonna nick em.

I had a lovely afternoon, drinking coffee, reading the Sunday papers in the sunshine and chilling. The weekend was topped off by one last cracking gig - roll on next year!

I’m embracing all the new technologies these days. I’m actually writing this on the train up to Edinburgh on my sexy lil MacBook Air and posting it via the free wi-fi on the train. How cool is that???????

I’ll be staying with my pal Mr Amos, who as usual is having a magnificent Festival, and I’m looking forward to catching a few shows and catching up with people I only ever seem to see north of the Border, once a year.

Full report to follow!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Darkest Knight...

I saw the new Batman movie yesterday - sadly not at an IMAX, just my local multiplex - and was really blown away by it. I'm not usually one to buy into hype, but this movie lives up to it.

The fact that Heath Ledger is no longer with us really does add to the immense power of his portrayal as The Joker, tho it's not something I'd recommend for any aspiring actors out there! You can really see the despair and bleakness in him - or is that just me succumbing to the benefits of 20/20 hindsight?

Whatever it is, he's terrific as are the rest of the cast - including one of my comedy chums Tommy Campbell who's not exactly got a starring role but he's there and fabulous! I did wonder what was up with Maggie Gyllenhall's eyes tho, some of the shots she looks stunning, others she looks like her face is melting! Very odd.

Anyway enough with the Barry Norman impressions, this weekend I am off to one of my favourite places in the whole wide world, Brighton. Its my annual weekend at the Komedia and I am extra excited cos I have a load of new jokes to do!!!!!! How wonderful is that?????

Fingers crossed the sun makes a couple of appearances, but even if it doesn't, I still love the place, the shops, the sea, the people...all wonderful.

Come and say hi!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Catching Up

Blimey! It's been a while hasn't it?

I guess the irony of blogging is that when you have the most to blog about, you're too busy doing it to write about it!

I spent last week being poisoned by extreme anti-biotics courtesy of A&E in Preston. Having gone up north to take care of my Dad for a few days, he ended up looking after me! I had a couple of cracking gigs in Manchester on Saturday night tho, inspite of the amount of time I'd spent on the loo.

Monday night saw me being taken out to the theatre. I was treated to a performance of The Harder They Come at the Playhouse Theatre on the Embankment. If you haven't had a chance to catch it yet, do yourself a favour and go! It was fabulous! The cast are all individually wonderful and collectively they make it a wonderful night out. I was pleasantly surprised to see two of my old comedy chums - Marcus Powell and Chris Tummings - in the show. They're terrific actors and great singers too.

Yesterday saw me in Cambridge for their Comedy Festival. It was pouring with rain - welcome to summer - so a gig in a tent in a park didn't seem very promising. I was very pleasantly surprised to see a packed house all braving the elements, and well up for a laugh! Cheers folks.

Today I saw a quirky little documentary called Man on Wire. Its about a french guy called Phillippe Petit who 35 years ago, walked on a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. Its a BBC production so expect to see it on BBC2 or BBC4 sometime soon, but it was worth shelling out for a cinema ticket to see it. It was very uplifting to see someone pursue their dream with such vigour and passion!