Sunday, January 30, 2011


Last summer, when I told people about how we disciplined kids at camp through manual labour, I was sometimes met with shock and outrage. Yeah, sure. YOU spend 8 weeks with a bunch of rowdy teens and see if you'd react any different!

Apparently, us Activity Leaders weren't the only ones who'd thought to go with that kind of plan. The Scottish government have similar ideas. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mammoth Task, meet Pixy.

Somewhere in the latter months of last year, after attending a couple of Tuesday night comedy gigs in a row I was bestowed with the dubious status of "Comedy Groupie". Considering some of the things I have been called in the past, this wasn't all that bad! It also meant that I had a brand new - and ever increasing - circle of friends all networked into Scotland's comedy circuit.

It was a chance remark by one of my comedian pals that got me thinking about pairing up my new found friends with my energies as a fundraiser to get another event going. This time, it would be one that the "regular" folk could actually attend; no black ties, no £100 a plate tickets!

I approached the charity I'd worked with on all of the past eventsand outlined my plan to them. To me, it was a no brainer. If they covered my initial costs like venue hire, I could make sure they get that downpayment back.... and then some. However, they didn't think so and came up with every excuse in the book as to why they weren't able to support me and my idea. It was a stark reminder of my disaster interview from last year.

Not wanting to give up on a good idea, I went ahead and emailed a couple of other local charities. One of them got back to me and set up a meeting for this morning. We met, we chatted and in about an hour we'd worked out most of the details on how the charity could support my fundraising efforts. March 3rd is the magic date. And now I have the mammoth task of planning and executing a comedy nightcharity fundraiser in little over a month's time.


And, for the record. I really prefer Band Aid as opposed to Groupie!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


While waiting at the cross walk on the way home from the underground station, I happened to glance at the couple standing next to me. I remembered that they had been on the same subway car as me. The lights changed and we crossed, they a few steps behind me. I could hear snatches of their conversation. It IS.... I'm sure....just ask, why don't you?... Because its weird, that's why!....Do you think so?.... yes, I'm positive. 

Odd conversation, I thought, but didn't really think too much about it. As I turned off the main road onto my street, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the couple. Excuse me, but do you live in the first block of tenement houses on this street? A little bemused, I nodded; the girl hastened on. You live on the first floor don't you? Again, I nodded. Do you live in the same block as me? I asked. I didn't know we had new neighbours come in! 

The girl looked at her partner and then back at me. I could see she was blushing slightly. Actually, we live across the road at number 9. But we can see into your living room..... and we can see you dancing around most days. We've always wondered who you are.... and well... now we know! 

It was my turn to blush.  

Saturday, January 08, 2011

New Year's Revelations

Berlin was a spur of the moment decision. A question of, where can I go for a few days at minimum cost? Two days after I booked the tickets, I found out about the lay off. Panicking slightly, I wondered if I should go ahead with the trip. The wander lust won out in the end. And besides, the tickets were non refundable.

Being in a new city was always a time for discovery. This trip, the biggest discovery was all about myself. Well, not so much a discovery as much as a confirmation of a lot of facts!

For starters, I have figured out that I am socially outgoing AND socially awkward both at once. I am also too old to play the pickup game. And I'm a wee bit afraid that I may just be too old for the entire travel/backpack/hostel experience in general.

Let me expand.

When I travel its all about seeing a new place; visiting the sights and taking in the local culture and history. I truly cannot be arsed with staying up late and partying till the ass crack of dawn. Its far too expensive - and very often for a single girl traveller at least - a wee bit dangerous.

It is almost a direct throwback to my high school days. Through 10 years of primary and secondary school, I pretty much had the one constant pal. I got along with a ton of peeps, but they were all largely generic. When VBF wasn't around, I would tend to flit around the periphery of other groups; always on the very edge, never quite in. There were times when I was hugely bothered by this and I was acutely aware of my solitary status. As I've grown older the solitude has become more and more like an old pal in itself. We are very comfortable together and there no pretense of false popularity is required.

Back to the travel, I get the distinct feeling that most other travellers don't quite know what to make of me. I do wish that social conventions allowed me to just state my agenda (or rather, the lack of one) loud and clear. Dear Fella at the bar, I have zero interest in snogging or being snogged. You seem like nice enough blokes and I just want to have a few laughs. 

I am painfully aware that most times I come across as a right weirdo. Like a mirror of my high school days, I am sure that most of the time first impressions are that of eccentric kook who will probably end up like Mrs. Haversham. Fifteen years ago that might have upset me. Today, its not so bad. Heck, Mrs. H got to dance around all day and did exactly what she wanted without a care as to what the world thought. Not a bad life eh?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Paving the Road to Hell

Got back from the very awesome and totally manic New Year's eve party at about 6am yesterday morning. How's that for a banging start to 2011?

There were a lot of surreal moments during the night. For starters, the air in the room was so thick with smoke I could have carved out a centre piece sculpture. And I wasn't talking about just cigarette smoke either. Then there was the boy who decided to get his hair shaved right in the middle of the living room. Half way through the event, the clippers broke and the boy ended up with a most unusual look. And let's not forget the pair of hussies that had taken it upon themselves to play an interesting game of Pass the Chlamydia as they made a lot of fellas very happy in the early hours of the new decade.

Regardless of all those shenanigans, or perhaps because of them, it was one heck-of-an-interesting night. Even the walk home at 5am was fun as I met a bunch of fellow west enders all heading home and it was a case of each one helping the other along. Now that's called being neighbourly.

Since I got home yesterday morning, I've been installed on the couch in the living room watching whatever has happened to be on TV. That has included Two Weeks Notice, Bridge Jones: The Edge of Reason and yes, that ringleader amongst flims of heartstring tugger variety - Love Actually. Also, it is now PJ wearing hour number 36.

So much for the good intentions!
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