Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Add My Vent

I don't have an advent calendar. I can't see the point carrying on.

This is the one month of the year where you can treat yourself for sleeping well with a small chocolate treat or a pretty picture before you've even started your day... only I don't have one. Advent calendars are like a little Hansel and Gretel trail leading you straight to diabetes central.

As it's nearly 2pm and I'm still sitting in my bed socks, educating myself on the musical back catalogue of Bare Naked Ladies and lamenting my lack of forward planning, it seems unlikely that I'm going to get one today. Unless they're giving them away at the end of tonight's gig as payment. Sweet countdown orientated payment... The average Advent calendar must cost, what, about £3.50? So I could get at least 4 of those in exchange for my "cheque to follow" for this evening's work? Thank you MC rates of pay! Yay! If I wait for my cheque to come in it's going to be way too late for this year's Christmas and I'm going to have to put it towards Easter. I'll phone ahead and see what they say.

*A brief interlude of going to find my phone and slipping down the last 8 stairs because I'm wearing bed socks and my hip isn't working*

OK, so I no longer have a gig tonight. That worked out, er, well. Brilliant. Now I have the time to go to Tesco and get myself an Advent calendar and maybe to find a doctor to find out exactly what's happened to my hip overnight.

I have a crappy hip. It frequently just extricates itself from the rest of my body and just pretends it doesn't know us. It's something most of my limbs have considered doing at some point or other I'm sure, but my hip seems to be the bolshiest part of my body. I can just about walk today if I keep my hand clamped onto my hip socket to stop it grinding painfully.

The issue is that I'm quite scared of doctors and I rarely go unless I'm forced to. In 2010 when I was in Edinburgh and my hip ceased to work at all, unless I was very drunk and couldn't feel it any more, I did go and see a Doctor about the problem and this was the result:

Doctor: Oh yes, wow. No, that's not supposed to do that is it?
Laura: No, it's this bit sticking out here that's the problem.
Doctor: Yes, I'm totally sure that is not supposed to stick out.
Laura: Right.
Doctor: But, it can't be your hip that's sticking out.
Laura: Oh...
Doctor: Yes, you're hip is a very, very strong joint. There's no way it could just pop out like that.
Laura: Right... erm, is there anything else in there that could stick out?
Doctor: No, it should just be your hip.
Laura: Right, but you said...
Doctor: Yes and I stand by it. It just can't be your hip.
Laura: Oh.
Doctor: Would you like some pain killers?
Laura: Yes. And potentially a hip based abortion I guess?
Doctor: Have these and go away now. Thanksloveyoubye.

So I haven't bothered going back since because I've just accepted that whatever is wrong is not my hip but isn't anything else because there's nothing there except my hip.

So all in all it's a silly day because I can't walk, I have a phantom hip and no exciting count down related time piece to keep me sane tomorrow.

Bah Humbug.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Foot My Foot My Only Foot

I am grumpy to the point of almost being upset today. I've got a fairly good grasp on my audience so I won't command you to cease sympathy immediately as it'll be hard without you having started, there is no logical reason to my mood. I could blame it on Monday, but, as I don't have a proper job and I am not even doing my fake job today it seems a little unfair.

Even giving the kitchen floor a ferocious mopping hasn't helped to lift my Eeyore cloud. In fact, being in the kitchen caused me to have a turbulent inner rage at the jar of Basil I bought on Saturday (I bought it because I smashed the old one - so that might have been the residual rage that caused the kick off of my torrent of inner monologue abuse).

The Basil has a notice on the side that says "Suitable For Vegetarians" and before I could stop myself my head (and my mouth, but no one was home to hear it so it doesn't count) had screamed:


Short of it being manufactured in a "Pig and Basil" factory or having been made by people who are exceptionally carefree about whether or not the odd shrew got pummelled into the Basil shredder, I just can't see how Basil could not be vegetarian. It's a plant.

Even if it didn't have that "Suitable for Vegetarians" label on it, how much meat could there reasonably be in that jar? Enough to seriously upset a vegetarian? Enough that, without the label, the fear of a hidden trotter falling on their soup would stop them buying it? Unless the worry is that they're actually buying little meat flakes that have been painstakingly covered in Basil to hide the deception. Of course this is ridiculous and would mean that the MeatBasil manufacturers would be:

a) Operating a huge loss
b) Mental

I can't see the point of this stupid freaking label. If you're that paranoid about meat getting into your herbs, then grow your own. I don't like to eat fecal matter as a general rule but I'm quite happy to buy things that don't have a "There's No Poo In This" label. I'm conspiracy free enough to reasonably assume that things which aren't meant to have poo in them, ie  things that aren't toilets, nappies and the fingernails of small boys, will not have poo in them and are good for my consumption.

How can you like animals that much that it could put you off Basil unless you are expressly told that no animals were upset by the caging of the basil? Are vegetarians seriously that nice? Because I'm not. What if we discovered that there was a species of Panda that could only eat Basil? Sounds like something Pandas would be dumb enough to do. If we carry on eating Basil all the Pandas are going to strike on Wednesday and China will have to sanction them heavily and there'll be a little Panda civil war... will that make my little Basil label defunct? Pfft. Fucking vegetarians. Maybe if you had a little protein in your system you'd be cheerful enough to stop weeping over the plight of Pandas and realise that:

a) Burgers are great
b) Quorn is a waste of time

Obviously I am being wilfully and horrifically insensitive to the leaf munchers. See my use of leaf munchers there. If you've made your choice to live off plants then who am I to judge. Some of my best friends are idiots  vegetarians- for an interesting story on them read this little piece from the archive:

I simply let this rant run on and on to prove how grumpy I am and to encourage as many of you as possible to leave me the fuck alone and stop putting ridiculous labels on my Basil.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Laura Does Delia

So... today I've been working very hard on my baking skills... I've got bread proving in the airing cupboard (you're meant to do that I'm not being willfully zany) and I've got the first batch of Rolo cupcakes in the oven now baking. The second batch won't fit just yet so they are still sitting on the side in a cloud of cocoa powder and sugar.

I can assure you that absolutely in the kitchen in incredibly sticky - including my face and people who happened to walk in during the cake making process.

I had a request earlier to post the recipe for my cupcakes in my blog, so I thought I would... here goes...

Ingredients Required:

100g Plain Flour
2.5 tbsps of Cocoa Powder (I spilled a bit extra in and it doesn't seem to have mattered)
140g Caster Sugar
DVD box set of Blue Planet to watch while eating
1.5 tsps Baking Powder (I'm not sure why we can't just use SR Flour but hey ho)
A pinch of salt (It is not a necessary requirement to pinch the salt out of the tub so don't freak out if you have a pouring vessel.)
40g Butter (If you keep it in the cupboard rather than the fridge it works better.)
120 ml Milk
Unending patience.
1 egg (not the shell)
1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence (Personally I find the idea of trying to measure 1/4 tsp of vanilla utterly ridiculous so just a splash is fine in my recipe.)
Tim Minchin's music for the background.


Somewhere between 30mins and 2 hours preparation depending on attention span and whether you need to go to Tesco mid baking because you don't actually have all the ingredients.
Baking: Supposedly 25-30 mins but that entirely depends on setting the oven properly. Who knew.


1. Find the oven instructions or ask the most useful person in the house how to set the oven to 170*C (there is no degree button on my computer - Bug Juice will have to go if I get a book deal for my recipes). Set the oven to 170*C.

2. Find a bowl with high enough sides that you won't spray mixture everywhere when you put the electric mixer in it.

3. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the high sided bowl.

4. Try not to let the butter see the recipe or it might get a little nervous about what's in store:

5. Mix all that stuff together until it doesn't seem like it's going to mix much better. It's meant to look like sand so try for that and if it doesn't seem to be happening after 10 minutes then just move on and hope it sorts itself out at a later stage.

6. Remove the nearby tea towel from the electric mixer:

7. Get another bowl (less fussy on the particulars of this one) and put the milk, egg and vanilla splash into it. Give it a good whisk up. I find it lots of fun to pretend to be Victorian and use a hand whisk. This might also have been entirely necessary because my house mate confiscated the electric whisk after step 6.

8. Add half the whisky wet stuff to the sandy stuff and mix it all up until it's smooth or until you get really bored of having loud whisky stuff going on.

9. When that's all smooth you can start adding the rest of the wet stuff and mixing it inbetween adding little splashes. Get it as smooth as you can.

10. Eat a few spoonfulls because we all know the mix is much better than the cakes anyway so why wait?

11. Put the cupcake cases into the little tin thing for making cupcakes.

12. Put one spoon of mix in the bottom of each one.

13. Put a Rolo on that mixture.

14. Cover up the Rolo with more mixture until it looks like a good amount of mixture. You're meant to be able to make about 12 cakes out of this much stuff so try that but don't worry if it's not right. A good idea is to make 15 smaller ones and then you can eat 3 before anyone sees and no one will know any different.

15. Bake them until they're cooked. You can do that "poking them with something sharp and see if it comes out clean" thing but be careful not to hit the Rolo or you won't be able to tell.

16. Let them cool down.

17. Put whatever icing you want on (I'm not doing all the work for you - the easiest thing to do is to just smash a few more Rolos on the top).

And there you go! I'll be tweeting photos of the finished items later ( @lauralexx ) because they're still in the oven while I'm writing this. 

Happy Baking!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back of the Bed: Sheet Dreams

I just celebrated my victorious return to London with a mammoth 11 hours of undisturbed sleep. I realise this won't seem very impressive to most people, but I'm not very good at staying asleep generally. You'd think it would be very simple; it's just being off. However, my brain and I are such massive attention seekers that it's a genuine struggle to just take ourselves out of the loop for enough hours that we're not grouchy.

Just to clarify (in case that last paragraph wasn't stupendously boring enough to have put you into your own coma) it's not that I can't spend an awful lot of time in my bed if I want to. It's just that I am usually awake when this time is ticking you by. You know, because I'm having loads of exciting sex and stuff. Sigh. When I'm not having all the sex I'm just working on emails and appreciating how soft duvets feel against the soles of my feet.

It's hard to feel guilty for still being in bed today when the only thing I really intended to complete today was to go into town and buy some edible glitter. I'm not sure the world is really going to collapse around my ears if the cupcakes I make later are less shiny than planned. It occurs to me that this might be the beginnings of depression: not getting up because you've already decided your plans were meaningless. However, I don't think I've ever been particularly integral to the world and I really quite enjoy both baking and shiny things so I'm confident I'm just staying in bed because I really enjoy being in my bed.

At the moment I'm still in those heady days after a sheets change where it's so good you wonder why you don't change your sheets every day just so you can always feel this comfortable and fresh in the snoozy hours. Of course, the unfathomably difficult task of matching up the duvet to the duvet cover always makes this an impossible dream. Changing the duvet cover looks like it should be much simpler task, because I'm really good at putting gloves on and those arguably much more complicated because of all the fingers. The duvet cover is as simple as just tucking a potato waffle into an envelope. So why is it so difficult?

I guess it must be partly a size issue because it's so big and floppy (permission to giggle). I don't think this is the main reason it's so tricky though - I think it's all the conflicting advice on how to do it. By the time you're 25, approximately 500 million people have imparted their wisdom on their patented way to change the duvet cover. Every conversation begins in the same way:

"Oh it's so easy when you know how..." Thanks, because I'd always assumed that even when I did know I'd continue to do it wrong so that I'd stay grounded. "Just turn the duvet cover inside out and then match the corners up, pick up the corners and then shake it all down! It's so easy!"

"Oh it's so easy when you know how..." Fantastic, and does that logic also apply to non-patronising ways to dispense advice? "Just lay the duvet out on the bed and then put your arms into the duvet cover as though they're gloves and then pick up the duvet. Before you know it it's done!"

"Oh it's so easy when you know how..." Really, is it? What if you know how but you don't have any limbs? Is it still easy if you're matching up corners using an over eager mouth? "What you need to do is climb into the duvet cover and then just bring the duvet in with you until everything matches up on the inside like a jigsaw puzzle."

This leads to a horrendous sight, akin to something in a Saw movie, where all 25 years of advice come crashing forth to your mind at once when you decide to change your sheets. If it's easy when you know how, surely it must be a piece of piss when you know how 500 million people know how? It doesn't work that way and all of a sudden you've managed to cross breed all the advice into one horrible mangle of duck down and flower print. There are poppers up your nose as you climb inside the duvet cover wearing another duvet cover as gloves and trying to do a jigsaw whilst eating a waffle out of an envelope.

Naturally, all the advice you've been given was also suited to a person over 5 foot tall who inhabits a room larger than 2 foot by 4. Concussion follows and you are found by paramedics 8 hours later and filed under "Curiously Inexplicable Masturbatory Practices". Family and friends gather round the hospital bed with faces filled with pain and regret,

"Laura, we just don't understand... Why did it have to come to this?"

"Oh, it's easy when you know how..."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Does Your Dad Look Like?

Welcome to my blog about my incredibly exciting life living in London and being an almost competent stand up comedian.

It's nearly 3pm, I'm still in bed

 I'm going to have to get dressed and get up soon because Monica and Richard are about to break up and I've fallen far too deeply in love with the sight of Tom Selleck to deal with the episodes that come after this one.

Is this how you're meant to live out your twenties? Falling deeply in love with moustachioed older male actors until the lack of food and tea in your life forces you to get out of bed and get on with your day?

I was keen to achieve stuff today... new material and other such things that'll help me on my way to conquering the world and curing sudoku addictions. Sadly, we don't have any milk and so there's no good tea and so I haven't achieved anything. Not a deity darned thing.

Potentially there's a direct correlation between amount of milk I have available and the number of my dreams that will come true that day. I can only imagine that if I lived in a dairy Tom Selleck would have turned up on my doorstep by now and been gently humorous in his patient, secure way. I am way less mental than Monica so I see absolutely no reason why he wouldn't have fallen for me like a focussed coyote off a high canyon.

Tom Selleck and I would go and live on a ranch I think. He would enjoy cooking us various meat dishes and smiling wryly at my inability to darn anything properly. We'd have matching rocking chairs (carved by Bill Pullman circa his woodwork years alongside Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping) and generally we wouldn't have a lot to say to each other. But, you know, not in an awkward way... in that comfortable way that people talk about but other people don't actually believe in.

See, the thing is that Monica and Tom Selleck had to split up because of the baby rows. She was all about sprogging and he was like "Nah man, I need my freedom." But I wouldn't have that problem because I would just say to him,

"Hey man, I don't even need babies."

And then I would treat his moustache like it was my very own child so that I didn't feel like I was giving anything up for him. Like a compromise except that I'm still getting everything I want so it doesn't count. I'd bottle feed that moustache until it slept like a hisute baby. He might be all confused and say, like:

"Hey man, why are you patting my moustache?"

And I wouldn't be able to say "Hey man, I'm burping so that the tiddler doesn't cry!" So I would have to say that I was just looking for more ways to be close to him because I was so in love. He'd be really impressed and probably buy me a present made of shiny stuff and leaves.

I'd get Baby Mo a cradle and a sleep suit and I'd teach it to laugh. Perfect.

Now I do believe it's time to get up. Move on with my day. And start stockpiling milk to make this particular dream come hairily true...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Totally Raging

Right... it's happened. My rage has bubbled over to the point where I can no longer think clearly.

I hate the man in the Rosetta Stone Totale advert.

I literally hate him.

I haven't felt this away about an advert human since the woman in the fajitas advert. I wouldn't expect you to remember that bitch but I do. She had the worst voice in the world and spent the entire advert telling her poor "friend" (I refuse to believe this woman could have attracted people who would willingly hang out with her) about the meal her boyfriend (SERIOUSLY?) was cooking for her. Then at the end, in a fabulous display of setting up a staring contest with a gift horse's tonsils, she says "I'll ring you tomorrow... if I'm still alive!"


Don't be such an ingracious cow! If you have that nasal a voice you need to be as nice as possible with the words you're shaping to keep anyone around you. Let alone a beautiful man who is willing to cook for you. Granted it's only fajitas but fajitas are yummy so shut your stupid mouth.

I hated her.

But she is gone now. Now I am dealing with my loathing of Dickhead Who Is Learning Japanese.

I started out being irked with the pronunciation of Totale because it just sounded like they were saying Totally wrong for a while, but then I dealt with my small minded fury and I moved on. Then I noticed how much I hate this man.

I hate his smug face, I hate the way he's clearly checking out the Japanese woman who brings him the drink despite the fact that his missus is in the shower. I hate his hair. I hate the way his voice doesn't sink to his stupid face moving. I seriously hate him.

That Rosetta stone stuff is not cheap... what the hell is he doing making such a purchase without running it past his lady first when she clearly doesn't have a lot of money or she'd have better hair?

Why is he learning Japanese anyway? Is he leaving her? If that's the case, why isn't she either strangling him with the cord or helping him pack so she can replace his smug ass with someone who isn't a Grade A muppet?

I hate him.

I hate him so much.

I want to put him in a little shakey box with fajita woman and feed them on fajitas whilst playing them Japanese language tapes on repeat until they lose their minds and die of malnutrition because I wouldn't put anything decent in the fajitas. I would feed them plain tortillas. Plain tortillas and I would repeatedly say "Die you smug fools" in Japanese at them until they died. And I wouldn't even explain to each of them who the other one was. So they would die with dry mouths, havign no idea what they had done and why they were with this smug other advert human.

I hate them both. I hate Rosetta man even more because he has reignited my rage for fajita woman and I thought I had moved on from her. They can both go and choke on the Haribo family ...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Good Hustle

Urgh, there's something about sitting at a desk all day with Sky News blaring in the background that just erases all traces of potential funny from your brain. I've started and deleted this blog 3 times now because I just can't think of anything even remotely whimsical and I really don't have the energy to field the grumpy responses that would follow up any post about racism in football or the economic crisis.

Obviously, the angry responses to either of those posts would be very different:

Racism in football: "Hey sheltered white girl, how dare you express any opinion on something that doesn't directly affect you. I deliberately didn't read the bit where you said it was only your opinion and you were happy if people didn't agree."

Economic crisis: "Hey sheltered white girl, it wasn't caused by Charlie Sheen and it couldn't be solved by Scrooge McDuck just being less of an asshole."

So I won't write them. But I have residual grumpiness from the day and being bombarded by the stuff on the shiny box of world news all day. So you should know that... and on the off chance there's a minute joke somewhere in this blog I want you to know it trawled through a whole heap of crapola to get out of my brain. Picture one of those little turtles that gets born up in a whole at the top of the beach and then has to get all the way down through icky gritty sand to the water. My jokes are baby turtles.

In fact let's just consider that, for the purposes of this blog, turtles are dead. If you were here expecting some kind of tide of flippery shelled up minibeasts then just go away now. You are just the next in a long line of people I am disappointing at the moment. You're not special. Neither of us are special and there are no fucking turtles left. What a day.

The ridiculous thing is that I could stop writing this drivel at any point and we could all just end this ridiculous turtle based charade but I appear to be still typing and you are still here. One of us has serious issues. It's one thing to wake up in a funk and have the whole day to get out of it but when you're trying to go sleep and you're grumpy you just have to lie there and hope that sleep is stronger than the negativity. Sleep never beats negativity and you will inevitably end up dreaming about being face stroked by David Cameron's uncannily plasticy ball sack. Sleep is the paper to negativity's scissors.

I blame Thursday. Thursday is a stupid day of the week - there are still 6 days until the next Frozen Planet, I cannot lie in tomorrow morning because I'm off money earning and my room isn't tidy any more. My room isn't tidy any more because I was too grumpy to put my clothes away when I took them off so I've just left them in that little piled up heap that you see a lot on the floors of 6 year olds. Should there be an apostrophe somewhere in that last sentence?

This might be noteworthy: I briefly wondered today whether I could turn it into a quirky "Lauraism" to sleep only wearing a woolly hat. But then I was going to bed and my housemate needed some help with something and I wasn't wearing pyjamas so that was awkward. There's a big difference between a quirky "Lauraism" and a "Lauraism" that keeps you living alone well into your 50s.

Ok, well turns out that wasn't particularly noteworthy so I hereby give up. Night all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello Ham, You Look Like a Cold Puppy

So this is my 366th post... I have now fully completed a whole year of blogging. Not even my parents could have predicted I would have that much inane chatter in me. That's just me I guess, proving people wrong at every step.

Today's been an excellent day. First I filled myself up with all kinds of disgusting food. I ate what was described in the menu as "Bacon Chilli Dog with Cheese"... I could not have foreseen what kind of monstrous heap of food would be put in front of me. It was like looking into every heart attack that ever befell a human. Eating it made me want to simultaneously throw it back up and shower at the same time. I felt dirty. I'm now lying on my bed eating copious amounts of fruit to try and balance the internal rotting.

I was a little worried that the powerful burning sensation in my abdominal region would later need explaining to some kind of medic when they rushed me to hospital in a scene akin to Alien. Most of the afternoon has been spent wondering if I should be lying very still so as not to remind the "Bacon Chilli Dog with Cheese" that I had forced it into captivity against its greasy wishes. I was worried that if it noticed its incarceration we would be dealing with some kind of jail break. And not the fun Thin Lizzy kind. A sort of wet, spicy, socially unacceptable kind.

I decided to do a bit of research so that I could be fully informed of the sort of internal cold war I had initiated. I needed to know exactly where and when the concept for this monstrous food replica had been born. Then I needed to get to the source and kill. This was obviously not a simple procedure... this was like the sort of adventure that might occur if Indiana Jones found out that Darth Vader was his father and then they had to work together to raise a baby with the help of Tom Selleck. Intense.

Luckily, I wasn't alone. I had my good buddy Wiernan Shnouieb* with me. He's a trusty side kick if ever there was one. I tell you what, if you ever need a side kick, I heartily recommend this guy and I am NOT MESSING with your mind. No no no. He is compact but beefy so you can put him in a suitcase but if he needs to bust out of there he will do some serious ass whooping damage to any baggage handler trying to scan him for liquids over 150ml. Serious shit. He has a beard. This is excellent for helping him blend into a crowd, it's also great for Fuzzy Felt in the down time. We took a vow together, giddy from the milkshake, and decided it was up to us to find out where and why this tummy torpedo had been invented and pedalled to the masses.

We started with the local library. Wiernan went in first and kicked out the cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, who had gathered there to do some stuff that was less important than what we had to achieve. We decided to keep Xander alive because he is now well into his forties and we felt kind of sorry for him for having no discernible career. Wiernan said he would let him stay at his flat and teach him how to play Dominoes. That's the kind of big hearted loon he is. To be honest after that I didn't get much sense out of either of them because they spent the rest of the day exchanging cheese puns and laughing at who could poke their fingers hardest into whose tummy button.

I was just reaching for the dustiest book on the shelf, because we all know dust = knowledge (but only in books, in humans exchange dust for beard and or proximity of breasts to waist), when I saw a shadow behind me. I whipped around just in time to dodge a huge lump of melted cheese as it winged its way past my right ear. I was breathing heavily, scared out of my wits, looking into the eyes of the most foulsome monster I had ever seen. It was huge; a steaming pile of onions (not quite fried to correct softness) and bacon (with the rind cruelly left on) churned together into a roaring beast with hot dog legs and button mushroom eyes (which was weird because Bacon Chilli Dogs with Cheese don't even have mushrooms in. Let alone their buttons).

I flung myself behind the shelf and waited to hear it's next move. It cleared what I can only assume was it's throat and let out a roar:


It wasn't quite the impressive threat I had been expecting from a beast that seemed hell bent on destroying me and my way of life but I felt I ought to respond.


I waited, quietly praying that it wasn't a trick and that he wasn't at that very moment creeping around the shelves to attack me with his cholesterol ridden paws.

"Er, which way to the Adult fiction?"

Came his tentative reply.

WHAT??!! My face went purple with rage. So the dirty fiend was here to feast his bucket of demon calories  on some porn ridden pages of indecency? Not on my watch. I channelled my inner American spirit and abandoned any intention I may have had to get to the root of the problem and decided this bitch needed teaching a lesson. And fast.

I leapt over the shelves (thank god they weren't the floor to ceiling kind or I'd have had to have ambled round and looked totally lame) and pounced into his fleshy mound of broiled pig and shallot grown ups. He was taken aback, I pummelled my fists into the bubbling mass of meat and depression until I felt it begin to concentrate its power. "Here it comes," I thought to myself, "Here comes the fight back"... a wall of bread and reconstituted hot dog hit me in the face and I was flung back against the DVD rentals free standing carousel.

I was a gonner. I was done for. I was not going to survive. Or was I?

Suddenly Wiernan Shnouieb was standing between me and the filthsome beast. Mayonnaise was dripping off both of them. I don't know where Wiernan had got his mayonnaise from, but it didn't matter to me.

"What are you doing?" I yelled through my bruised ribs.

"Saving you!" Shouted Wiernan.

"But.. but..." I tried, but my lungs were filling up with blood (my blood - be a weird twist if I was suddenly a vampire having dinner eh? Also, I'd have serious problems if drinking filled up my lungs. Not even a vamp could survive that. That's a whole other story.)

"I'm a vegetarian" said Wiernan, never taking his eyes off the rearing beast, "I'm like it's achilles heel - it will be so confused by my pathetic diet that it will combust. I am the only one that can beat it. I'm going in."


But it was too late... Wiernan strode towards the beast, a mushroom in each hand (Xander had popped out to get those and is expensing them through Sarah-M G). He was enveloped in chilli... there was a deep rumbling and suddenly silence. The meaty mess contracted into a central point with an enormous rush of wind. I felt like all the hair was being sucked off my head. And then there was silence. A huge hollow silence. A silence where my friend used to be. And where Wiernan used to be too (Zing! Beyond the grave zing! Ha! But I do seriously miss him).

So, kids. Don't play with your food. Lesson learned. Night all. That's jackanory.

* Names changed to protect identity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seven Jumps

It's just taken me seven jumps to get the washing basket off the top of the kitchen cupboard. Getting the washing basket down requires me to jump up and try and bat the damn thing until it topples so that the balance is off and it falls down. It is sometimes slightly easier to try and hook a finger into the gaps whilst jumping, but if that goes badly you can cause serious hurties to your fingers as they tear across the slicey plastic. It might take longer, but it's definitely safer to bat it down.

There are lots of things about being short that make life interesting:

1. People quite often turn a simple hug into a terrifying off-ground experience for you. This might be because they are testing how strong they are, but it will implant a small seed in your brain that people often talk about how much you look like you weigh and cannot resist the urge to check so they can feed back information to the others.

2. Feet often don't reach the ground when sitting in chairs. Obviously, when you're young it's easy to select your chosen chair depending on the little coloured stoppers on the legs. Now, once you're an adult it's sort of harder to tell because chair manufacturers don't bother with it, which is stupid really because adults are not magically all the same size all of a sudden. It might be worth starting some kind of social media campaign to bring back little rubber chair leg stoppers.

3. Reaching for things will often lead to midriff showing so you will have a cold tummy more than normal height people. It's been suggested this could lead to more kidney infections than are generally to be expected.

4. In a particularly big room, audience members at the back might struggle to laugh at hilarious body language if you are not on a raised stage. Obviously, this isn't a big deal to short people who aren't comedians but I'm just letting you know that if you've ever sat at the back of a comedy room and laughed at me, I must have been extra good (from the forehead up) to make that happen.

5. People will find you more attractive than people of their own height. This partly depends on you being totally dandruff free as you will not get away with even a single flake, but is pretty much foolproof. There is a mighty good reason why 99% of female student photos are taken on nights out pouting up at the camera; the looking up angle takes away all hints of a double chin and reminds men why they might want to talk to you in the first place.

6. You will be continually bombarded with people at their worst angle - no one can hide a double chin from your miniature view point, you can see all bogeys in the natural environment and any bodily smells are well within nose reach. Arm pits will become a place you are well acquainted with if people try to hug you. Developing a dislike of spontaneous hugs might be your only way out. This will make you seem quite grumpy but just learn to live with it.

Think all this sounds very exciting? Then you're an idiot. Developing a new found level of respect for all the short people you know? Then my work here is done.

Monday, November 14, 2011

DaH ood

So I'm finally back in London after a mammoth 2 weeks away looking at various beautiful haunts across the South of England. I've been to Tesco, made a cup of tea and settled down on the sofa to put in some serious working hours when my house mate tells me to be careful because someone on our street got mugged at machete point a few days ago. WELCOME HOME! How much money did they get? Er, nothing actually, they were mugging for the person's shopping they had from Tesco.

I have never been more grateful to only be able to afford value mince and the fake Pringles that make your tongue hurt.

Considering I spent a large portion of my weekend in Cornwall looking at the sea and deciding I loved being a clown more than any other option available to me, this is kind of intense news to return home to. Obviously crimes are still committed out of the city, but they tend to be more of the crazy person being crazy kind of crime. Taking a machete out every night on the off chance someone has been stocking up on Fererro Rocher seems a little intense if you ask me.

I'm pretty glad I did my shopping before I got told this or I probably wouldn't have bought the Radox shower gel. It was on special offer but there's no way the machete man would have known that.

I think this means it might be time to arm myself. Obviously I have no idea where I might be able to get weapons from so I'm going to have to improvise. Possibly with talcum powder and a mini fan. That seems safer and a little more mysterious. I don't really know the difference between a machete and an axe so I think blowing the talcum powder into the eyes and then running away in sensible shoes seems a lot more up my street.

It does worry me that, come the apocalypse, this will be the normal run of things. Obviously, we'll all be fighting each other to go and loot the Tesco, rather than waiting for someone else to do the shop, but I still feel like I'm going to die early on. Unless I can get a small team of looters to elect me the Splinter to their Turtles, then I don't rate my chances of survival being high.

Being slightly on the wrong side of crazy myself means I plan my moves for the post Armageddon years most days. The most important things are that I have some form of map (paper - not requiring batteries) and sensible shoes good enough to walk to Somerset from wherever I am. These are the basics. If possible I need enough food to walk for a few days and hopefully a jumper so I can sleep if I need to. If I don't have a jumper then I'll need the right facial expressions to make friends with an owl so I can sleep in the nest while it's out hunting.

Obviously though that is slightly further away than my current predicament, which is how to protect my pop tarts from a machete wielding maniac. Answers on the back of a post card please...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nina Simone Style

Today's blog is brought to you from a wicker chair in the window of my second hotel room... I am looking at St Michael's Mount and a sea view that ranges from thick grey to a dusty bronze. It is sincerely beautiful. This is definitely the sort of life I would be perfectly happy to live. I have noticed though that there is a common theme of disappearing ginger biscuits in Cornish hotel rooms.

This might be a brief blog (unless I get distracted) as I am going to pop out into Penzance now and do some shopping so that my wee brother will not be disappointed when I roll into town tomorrow. I need to track down the weirdest item in the world (this small town) and find something suitably horrific to wrap it in and then I can present it to the little sucker tomorrow.

Presents between the two of us range from the genuinely useful to the vomit inducingly bizarre... it makes it a nice challenge. The first present he ever bought me when he had his own pocket money to splurge was a small rubber green cow with red printed hearts on it. When you punch the cow it flashes some mental different colours. It's particularly creepy if you step on it in the middle of the night and not only have a heart attack from the acid trip colours that kick off, but you feel the rubber mushing between your toes like a cold stretchy booger from a very sick 4 year old. The kind that they lick off their lip while they look you in the eye.

His most recent gift to me was season two of the Gilmore Girls which shows that he is willing to swallow both his pride and sense of decency in order to please the women in his life. I have never been more proud of him. I have vowed not to stop until he is securely shackled to a woman I can approve of. He may be single forever. My most recent gift to him was digging out one of the more embarrassing tales of him and telling my Falmouth audience last night. It's a wonder the little guy still talks to me.

So my challenge this afternoon is to find something to really show him how much I think he is brilliant. Like, some road kill stuffed with chocolate fingers (in bags so they are still sanitary) so we can enjoy something gross to poke with a stick and have a nice snack. Or, maybe the first parts of a build your own Amish house so we can live together like loser siblings when I spend all my money on ginger biscuits and have to give up stand up because of the diabetes and mounting hotel bills. Intense. What a gift to be able to give!


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Blogging from deepest, darkest Cornwall on an absolutely beautiful bed with a steaming mug of tea and a fairly big grin on my face. Some quick facts about my hotel room:

1. It has ginger biscuits
2. It has a huge TV
3. The man gave me the nicest room because I am the only girl
4. The biscuits have all gone
5. I can make tea whilst in my bed
6. It is only 5 minutes from the gig
7. It has a startling lack of biscuits
8. I am not tall enough to see in the mirror on the wall
9. There is a small tea stain on the bed spread
10. There are no products to remove a small tea stain from the bed spread

I finally liberated myself from the grips of Brighton and wended my way down to the Cornish coast where it smells like damp and clean and I have two (hopefully) lovely gigs ahead of me. I've never stayed in a hotel for a gig before so I guess we can chalk this up for a career moment. I paused to appreciate in that little space bar gap there but I completely understand if it is not as cool for you and therefore you haven't.

After two weeks of sleep deprivation and serious laughter in Brighton I'm quite enjoying lying in a quiet room and chilling out for a few minutes. This week I started rehearsals for a new production I'm acting in for Spun Glass Theatre Company... it's pretty intense work. My character is an alcoholic repressive with zero social skills and a desperate secret love for a man she works with. It's not exactly light work trying to bend myself into her head and squeeze out some words. It's intense work and I love it, but combined with the sleep deprivation my head is a little melted today.

The 6 hour drive down to Cornwall obviously quite helped to transport me to another world of reality... having to do such long car journeys with relative strangers the way you do with stand up comedy leads to some situations which are pretty interesting. We left London at 12, headed to the hotel, will gig together tonight, then get back in the car tomorrow to go to the next hotel and gig in Falmouth... had we got into a row in the first 10 minutes this would have been close on to hellish. Therefore, despite having covered issues ranging from sexual preferences to Deadliest Catch to how to disable a mugger... we are all feeling pretty chipper. Ready to go and rock the good people of the Cornish coast. Rock and freaking roll. But first, a nap...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Vacation With Ritual Humiliation

Over 10 days ago I packed a small suitcase and headed down to Brighton for a few days. I am still there... no don't fear, I haven't been kidnapped by pirates off the South Eastern coast - I have been kidnapped by good friends and a continually changing diary that's seen my trip continually extend to the point where I had to do an emergency pants wash today in order to avoid eternal emancipation of the cheeks.

Tomorrow I am finally leaving Brighton, but I'm sadly not heading home... not quite. Tomorrow I embark on a mini trip to Cornwall to delight the people of the West Country with my whimsical not-quite-award-winning brand of hilarity.

After Cornwall my tour moves on to Taunton where I will settle for a night in order to wish my father and brother merry birthdays. Then, and only then, will I return to London.

Today is my brother's 16th birthday. I'm really sad that I'm not there to see the actual day... I know it's not the biggest deal in the world as I will see him on Saturday when he will still be 16. But, 16 is a big day to see your brother be.

Having siblings who are much younger than you is like a little opportunity do all the things that you'd ideally like to do to your kids one day but you can't. I truly believe it's the opportunity to get most of it out of your system so that your own children won't be forced to scoop porridge out of their pillow cases while you cackle maniacally in the wardrobe. I've traditionally been very dedicated to any pranks I embark on. I have filled my sister's bed with nuts before - carefully putting them between the sheet and the mattress so that they would only be discovered once she was in the bed. The same sister also very nearly pooped in the bed when I hid under it a full 15 minutes before she went to bed, then waited a good 5 after she'd got in before commencing my shouting and banging from beneath. Excellent.

My brother has been on the receiving end of a fair bit... especially since he developed the most placid personality you could come across. A few weeks ago I almost reduced him to tears whilst he was filling the dishwasher and I was quietly removing everything and stacking it back on the work top. It was only after he'd been continually loading the dish washer for 15 minutes that he turned round with tears in his eyes and asked "Why do you have to be so difficult?".

There was also the time he took a shower and returned to his bedroom and found I'd removed all the components of his bed. I say this proves he spends twice as long in the shower as the average teenage boy.

In honour of his birthday, we ought to talk about the time I knew I would love him until I died. The day, many many moons ago, when the little critter wasn't feeling so good. He took his churning tummy to the toilet and was gone for some time... we all exchanged worried glances. Then, upon returning to the living room, he waddle over to my older sister and whispered some into her ear...

"...My bum's been sick..."

No scriptwriter in the land could capture the innocence and diarrhoea based naivety of this simple phrase. Every maternal instinct in my body, both of them, leapt into action and built up a dry stone wall of adoration for my Gollumesque nerdling of a brother, which has remained intact to this day. We've bonded over many, many poo based anecdotes (I have to say that I have been responsible for quite a few of them), crocodiles called Roy and a good few comedians that I probably shouldn't have been allowing him to watch.

What can I say, Happy Birthday Bro, look forward to being grown ups together when I catch up.