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The Day My Mum Told Me I’m Ugly

I was doing a writing exercise the other day and the premise was that you had to write about a time someone was mean to you. I wrote about a time my mum said something which had quite an affect on me, although she wasn’t actually being mean. It was the most mean-like thing I could think of. Lucky me!

When I was around six or seven I went to ‘The Common School‘ – not because it was full of common people (although aren’t we all common people?) but because it was situated in the middle of a common. It was a lovely old Victorian school and there were only three classes; a select few of the mainstream school were chosen to go there.

My mum used to walk me to school and during our walks we would chat about all sorts of things and put the world to rights. One time my mum told me that I shouldn’t worry about looks because what was important was your personality. I’m sure she meant for me to take away from this that, when I chose a mate, I shouldn’t take account of how good looking he is. I hope she meant this. Perhaps she’d had a row with my dad the night before and was reflecting on how her life would have been if she’d married a nine to five two point four children likes DIY and only drinks at Christmas kind of a man.

At the time, I didn’t consider this possibility. What I thought was that she was telling me that, due to my shortcomings in the ‘looks’ department,  I could definitely not rely on them to get me a boyfriend so I should perhaps concentrate on the inner me.  Maybe this is why I was always trying to be ‘the funny one’ at school.

Anyway, as I continued with my free writing I began to consider why I was taken out of the mainstream primary school my sisters attended and sent to the Common School. I realised I’ve always thought that it was a school for the more gifted children; the special ones. But it occurred to me at that precise moment of writing that I may have been sent there because I ‘had problems’. What if that was the truth? I expect I was told I was going to a ‘special’ school because I was ‘special’ – they always say that to children who aren’t towing the line. No one would have said to me “Sandi, we’re sending you to the Common School because you’re a total fuck up and we need to keep you away from the normal kids”.

The worst part about it is I can’t ask my mum because, due to her Alzheimer’s, she can’t tell me. I doubt my dad has a clue what schools I went to or why so this will remain a mystery for ever. If anyone knows why children were sent there in the early 1970’s drop me a line.

And talk to your mums while they still know who you are.

(I kind of like the idea that I was a fuck up, though!).

Beards

I’ve never been a fan of beards. I don’t want to offend any readers who are beard carriers, they’re just not my thing. Until these last couple of years this was fine; beards were the fashion choice of men over 45 and those who needed a beard to disguise a weak chin or other perceived imperfection or to show that they just bloody could because God gave them man hormones. The fact that they carry around in them the last meal of the bearer and smell none too pretty if you get near was of no consequence to me because I had decided, due to my personal preference surrounding facial hair, that bearded men were not for me in the area of romance and life-long relationships.

However, in the last couple of years the hipster beard has attacked the faces of too many men for me to let it pass without comment. (I should point out at this point that I do have a tolerance level for facial hair – I can see the appeal of a tidy goatee (pronounced ‘goh-teeee’ of course). Even the famous prankster Noel Edmonds seems well-groomed and in control of his furry face warmer). The profusion of follicle fecundity which, until now, was the choice of facial wear only for the kind of man who likes to chop down trees sporting a checked shirt and braces (and let’s face it it’s probably cold in Canada where all the trees live so you need something to keep you warm), this profusion of follicle fecundity is stealing the youth of young men around the world.

My singular problem with the bushy beard favoured by hipsters and now infecting otherwise sensible men is that it makes them look 20 year older than they are. Why would you want to look 40 if you’re 22?!  I’ve only met one man who suits this type of beard; in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s imperative that this man should always sport such magnificent evidence of testosterone (albeit on his chin) and it should be illegal for him ever to remove it. I’ve placed a picture at the end of this piece should you be in any doubt.

Now I have to point out that I very passionately believe that people should wear what they want, look how they want and rejoice in their appearance whatever it is. If you’ve seen what I wear on a day-to-day basis you’ve seen the evidence of said passion. This is annoying because I can’t tell you, the men (or women) reading, not to grow your face as that goes against my principles. So carry on cultivating but please do stop being surprised that it’s ginger when it gets over 1cm long.

To sum up my reasonably balanced argument against the bushy-ageing-of-man beard I will just say that I look forward to the day this goes out of fashion and my good friend MJ (pictured below) can return to being a unique-one-of-a-kind-hipster-before-they-were-hip-very-cool-dude.

 

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Definitely Not a Hipster

 

In Sickness and In Health

 

I rarely take a day off of work due to sickness, I can’t bear the thought of all the emails mounting up ready for my return like some kind of corporate punishment for being physically fallible. Similarly, I have never pulled out of a gig due to sickness. (Actually I’ve never pulled out of a gig at all, I’m far too needy and desperate for attention and stage time).

I’ve found, so far, that the adrenaline seems to keep me going for long enough to perform my set and sometimes a good gig can make you feel better when you’re the worse for wear.

However, my day job is quite a responsible one where I’m expected to think and that and look after million pound decisions so, if I’m not 100%, mistakes can be made.

Which leads to my problem. If I’m sick today and I have a gig tonight, you can bet your arse I’ll be dragging myself down to the basement of a backstreet pub to entertain an audience of single figure numbers. You can also bet your arse that someone will tag me on Facebook at said gig. It doesn’t matter how good my privacy is on Facebook; I live in Devon, meaning that eventually and inevitably someone at my place of work will see it [insert joke about inbreeding, they love that in Devon].

So, no matter how sick I feel, I have to also drag my arse into work and perform without the aid of adrenaline or alcohol (which is, unreasonably in my opinion, frowned upon in the office).

Good job I keep myself in tip-top shape with all the exercising and healthy eating and stuff…

Creative Block

I’ve had a creative block for about a year. If ‘creative block’ means ‘too lazy and too busy procrastinating’.

This hasn’t been a problem to date as I’ve been performing to different audiences trying to improve my set and work on my performance. However, next Friday I’m M.C. for a gig in my home town and I can’t get away with it any more.  I’m terrified.

I’ve written down ideas, I know I need to work on them to get them in some kind of structure, so why am I dicking around on Twitter and Facebook?

I can rely to a certain extent on the fact that the audience know me and want me to do well. I can also rely on my local knowledge and the fact that I know 80% of the audience personally. But that’s not enough, is it?

I’ve always been the sort of person who works better under pressure so I’m hoping this will be the case here. Won’t it? The hardest part is that it’s my fault. I should be working instead of watching Cake Boss or sitting in the pub getting updates on the state of the landlord’s ass (which has now confined him to the hospital).

My saving grace is that my daughter is now home from University. She’s not a comedian but she is an artist so understands how difficult and personal the creative process is. She’s also one of the few people in my every day life who can make me laugh. We’ll drink wine until 2 am and say motivating things at each other until we feel like we’re ready to take over the world. The next day we’ll drink coffee and talk about how crap we are at getting things done and how it would all be better if we just won the lottery. Then we’ll watch Say Yes To The Dress and wait for the commissioning editor from BBC3 to pop round.

I’ll be ready next Friday. I have to be.

Sleep is for losers.

 

 

No one Gives A Fuck

Sometimes people don’t write anything in their blog for a while, maybe a year. Then when they come back to their blog, they feel they have to do a post where they say “sorry, I haven’t been writing in my blog for maybe a year. I’m really going to try to be better at telling you about my meaningful life from now on. Really. I’m sticking with it this time”

No one cares.

No one missed you.

No one is going to chance across your sudden online reappearance and text their friends “Hey, Tarquin! Have you seen?!!! Jane Blah Blah Blah has started writing her blog again! I know, it’s awesome isn’t it?!! What? Yes, of course come round. I’m making Houmous right now – bring prosecco. And tell Jonty to bring his anti chafe cream!”

I’m blogging again.

No one gives a fuck.