Seaside rock

Sergio Pizzorno
Sergio Pizzorno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of days ago, I went to see Kasabian at the Bridlington Spa. If you don’t know who Kasabian are (shame on you), they’re a British Rock band from Leicester. The best way to enjoy their music is to crank it up to full volume, whilst dancing like a maniac and singing at the top of your lungs. Just ask my neighbours, I’m sure they’ll agree.

If you don’t know what the Bridlington Spa is, it’s a venue that is used for a variety of different shows, concerts and gigs. And, it’s in Bridlington or Brid as it is known locally. Being an East Yorkshire girl born and bred, it never ceases to amaze me that big named bands and performers want to come to Brid. Firstly, it’s a bit off the beaten track. Secondly, it’s not exactly a hip, cool place to hang-out. It’s main claims to fame are fishing, the seaside tourist trade and the John Bull Rock factory. Oh, wait a minute. I get it now. I see where the confusion came from. Someone told Kasabian it was a rock town.

Kasabian were totally amazing. They had the whole place bouncing, moshing and throwing beer at one another. All the band’s music and lyrics are written by Sergio Pizzorno. Sergio looks like a guy who lives the rock and roll lifestyle. He looks like a guy who brushes his teeth with bourbon in a morning. Actually, he looks like a guy who brushes his teeth with bourbon in an afternoon because there is no way he’ll get up before noon. Scrap that, he looks like a guy who doesn’t go to bed before noon. He looks like a guy who…well l he looks a bit like Russell Brand.

I once heard Russell Brand describe himself as looking amazingly cool and amazingly twittish at the same time. And he’s right, there is a fine line between looking hip and looking like a fool. You just look at some  people and think, “That shouldn’t work” but it does. “If I wore that,” I often ponder. “I’d look like a complete moron.” To be honest, I’m sure I frequently do look like a complete moron. I have a bit of a schizophrenic dress-sense. Somewhere in my brain, the seed has taken hold that mixing vintage pieces with my rock-chic roots is a good look. I think it is. I’m sure most disagree with me

But there again, I’m sure that there are many that would think the senior punk-rocker I saw last week looked ridiculous. She must have been, at the very least, seventy-five. She had a red suit, black and white basque top, loads of jewellery and, the piece-de-resistance, her lip pierced. I’m sure many people saw her in Tesco’s that day and thought, “What the hell?!” I, on the other hand, thought, “Oh my god, you look amazing!” Growing old disgracefully, yes please!


Where are you?

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by...
Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Noel Paton: fairies in Shakespeare (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where are you?

I stand, with my nose pressed against the glass, searching in vain for you. You should be here by now.

Where are you?

You are late. I’m waiting patiently, longingly for you to come and you’re still not here. Is it a spectacular entrance you’re after? Are you trying to be fashionably late? I hope so.

Where are you?

Last year, you teased and taunted me. You arrived very early and made me bask in your glory. And then you left, as quickly as you  came. You never came back.

Where are you?

Sometimes, I think you are here. I see you for a brief few moments and my heart soars in anticipation of what you will bring. But this is a ruse, a game, a cruel trick you play on me.

Where are you?

I watch the TV, I listen to the radio, I read the papers and surf the net trying to find signs of your return. But there aren’t any.

Please come. I miss you.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream? A Midsummer Night’s nightmare, more like. The longest day of the year has just been and gone, and where’s the sun? It was bad enough last year. Last year was appalling. Last year was the wettest summer on record. This in a country known for its wet summers. Surely, it had to be better this year, didn’t it?

I’m sick of undrawing my curtains and seeing a grey, over-cast sky. I’m fed-up with having to carry an umbrella everywhere with me ‘just in case.’ I’m cheesed-off with still having to wear jumpers and jackets. It’s supposed to be Flaming June, so please flame.

I bought some single application suncream for the girls. The idea is that you apply it once and it lasts up to eight hours. It’s very cleverly called “Once.” So far, I’ve used it once. I can’t be sure, but I don’t think this is what they meant by it.

On a more positive note, the garden is looking really wonderful. The grass is lush and green. The flowers are just beginning to bloom. It truly is beautiful. However, beautiful as it is, it’s not much use when we can’t get out there and enjoy it. Also, the grass is starting to grow out of control and the weeds are springing up gleefully and it’s too wet and miserable to do anything about it.

As the revellers welcomed the dawn at Stonehenge, I thought perhaps, maybe, if we’re lucky the sun might just come out and grace us with its presence. I was wrong. It has done nothing but piss it down with rain ever since. Actually, I’m not being fair. It’s not raining today. It is, however, grey and cold and miserable and there is definitely no need for any once only application suncream.

Where are you?!


The beautiful ones

English: This picture is of the stage performa...
English: This picture is of the stage performance played by National School of Drama at the GGSIPU, Delhi during Anugoonj, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I met two female actors this week, at my writing group. They had come along to talk about what they did when they were given scripts. Naively, I thought they just learnt the lines and imagined themselves as the character. But I was wrong. Instead, they analysed each line to look for the sub-text and scribbled all over it lest they forget. Actually, it is not unlike what I did with my ‘A’ Level English Literature course books.

Then,  one of them dropped a bomb-shell. She said that she had been to Drama School in London and, on graduating, had been told the only parts she would play would be “a nurse, an inexperienced primary school teacher, an inexperienced lawyer or a victim.” “I must have a victim face!” she laughed. Now, this may not come as a shock to you but it did to us. “How can that be in this day and age?” asked one of my fellow writers. The actor just shrugged and said, “It’s just the way it is. There are so many actors in London that casters can be that picky. That’s why I joined a Theatre Group,” she added. “I knew it was the only way I’d get to play a wide range of parts.”

I may be naive but I’m not naive enough to think that a person’s looks don’t come into it when actors or dancers or singers are being considered in the entertainment industry. But to spend three or four years at Drama School perfecting your craft to be then given a very narrow and finite number of roles that you would get to play must be very depressing. You must think, why the hell did I bother? Either that or you develop a thick skin very quickly.

And then I remembered an article I had read recently about the problems women were experiencing when going for job interviews. It said that because of the economic crisis and the number of people chasing one job, employers were now unofficially judging candidates on their looks. The more attractive you were to the interviewer, the more likely you were to get the job. Which is all well and good if you are one of the beautiful ones but what about the rest of us mere mortals?

I had also watched a TV documentary a couple of weeks ago about the rise of cosmetic surgery in Brazil. The cost of surgery there is relatively cheap and the country’s booming economy has seen a huge rise in woman spending their hard-earned cash on new noses, boobs and bums. Women of all ages are literally whacking the cost onto their credit-cards. When asked why, as well as saying to boost their self-esteem, many women said it was to improve their job prospects. “I’ll be able to get a better job if I have a tummy tuck,” one woman said. In Brazil it seems how you look really does dictate the kind of jobs you get.

For a minute or two, I forgot we live in the twenty-first century. I thought about how things had changed over the preceding one and the social changes that had taken place. How people had protested, fought and even died for changes in attitudes and in the law to gender, class, race, ethnicity and sexuality. I am not a fool. I know there is a long way to go before we reach anything like a meritocracy. But it seems that there is a lot further to go then I realised.

Life imitating art?

English: 0
English: 0 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote in my last post about how people see us depends on how and what context they have met us in. This was triggered by a friend of mine calling me…oh God I don’t think I can write it. Wait a minute, take a deep breath…’sensible.’ I was shocked, indignant, mortified and a little bit miffed that such a word could be used to describe myself. Then I realised that this was because she had only known me since I had my children. She has only known me as a… oh no this is hard to write as well…a middle-aged woman. She had never known me in my hell-raising youth. Actually, I never was a hell-raiser but we all like to dream a little, don’t we.

On Friday, I went out to a restaurant with some old friends who did know me in my slightly reckless youth. I did think about asking them how they saw me, but thought better of it. I had visions of them saying, “Well, you were fun once but now you’re a bit boring and sensible. Actually, to be fair, you were never that much fun when you were young.” Instead, what I did was drink copious amounts of wine with them.

Now this was fun. This was great. I no longer felt middle-aged and sensible. I slackened the reins a little bit. I didn’t let go of them completely. I didn’t dance on the tables or  end-up laid on the pavement outside or throw-up all down myself and have to walk home in my bare-feet as my shoes were full of sick. I didn’t do any of these things nor have I ever. Honest.

What I did do instead was go home roaring drunk, fall over in the hallway for no apparent reason (I still have the bruises to prove it), throw-up and spend the night asleep on the bathroom floor. This is where I awoke on Saturday morning when one of my daughters came to use the toilet. She didn’t even ask me what I was doing there which, now I come to think of it, is slightly odd. I staggered up, peeled the contact lenses off my eyes and tried to walk. This was a major problem. It seemed that sometime in the past twelve hours I had lost all of my co-ordination. And my dignity.

It is now Wednesday and I still don’t feel right. If someone where to put a glass of wine in front of me right here and now, I would be sick. Why on earth did I get myself into such a state? I knew what the consequences would be. Perhaps, it was the comment about being ‘sensible.’ Maybe, it was because one of my friends just kept ordering more wine and it would have been rude not to drink it. I don’t know. What I do know is that being seen as ‘sensible’ now doesn’t seem as bad as before.


Who am I?

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
This is a “thought bubble”. It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to see The Great Gatsby this week with a friend. The cinematography was beautiful, the soundtrack was wonderful and the plot…well, it was based on ‘The Great American Novel’ after all. Afterwards, my friend said, “I would love to go to one of those parties.” “Me too,” I replied. “I’ve been to plenty of parties but never to ones so debauched.” “I’ve never been that drunk,” my friend said. “Never to the point of passing-out or not been able to remember anything.” “Really?” I answered in astonishment. “Never?” I then told her some of the tales from my pre-mummy days of when I had made a complete and utter arse of myself by drinking far too much.

“I would never have thought that of you,” she said. “I always thought you were sensible.” Sensible! Hell-fire, call me anything you like but not sensible! It was then I was reminded of another conversation I had recently had with one of the mums at my English group. She was discussing a friend of hers when she said, “And she has tattoos.” I began to chuckle and told her that I too have tattoos. “Really? I would never have thought if of you. I’m glad you told me. I would have got a big shock if I’d seen you in a vest top in the summer showing them off.”

I suddenly realised that the reason these two women saw me as a sensible mothering-type is because they have only got to know me after I had my children. The days of me drinking to excess, dancing all-night, throwing-up and spending all day Sunday in bed recovering from the hangover-from-hell are long gone. I know that me is still in there but I now know how to keep a tight leash on her. This is not because I see myself as being ‘far too sensible for this sort of thing now’ but because I can’t cope with the aftermath and look after two small children.

I also realised that how people perceive you depends on when in your life and in what capacity they have met you. I wondered how my old clubbing buddies, friends for twenty plus years, saw me. I was due to go out for a meal and drinks with them a couple of days later and thought I would ask them. I then decided better of it. I really couldn’t have coped if they used the word ‘sensible.’  In fact, if they had used the word ‘sensible’ I would have to have taken the leash off and that wouldn’t have been pretty.

I thought about how my former work colleagues saw me. I imagined they would use words like “competent”’, “efficient”, and “organised.” I thought back to when I first starting working in a bank at eighteen. I imagined my boss would have used words such as “constantly late”, “”constantly tired” and “why the hell did we employ her in the first place and how can we get rid of her?” I thought about how my old school friends would describe me. I imagined they would say I was “quiet” and “studious” but also that I was “politically minded” and “not afraid to voice her opinions on any cause she believed in.” I thought about how the women at my writing group would describe me. I hoped very much they would use only three words – “she’s a writer.”

I was also reminded of a job interview I went to in 2005. In it, I was asked to describe how my work colleagues and friends saw me. I began giving job-interview speech about being “competent”, “efficient”, and “organised”. “No,” said my soon-to-be boss. “How would they describe you out of work?” I thought for a moment and said, “I hope they would say I was good fun.”