Happy St. David’s David’s Day!

It seems some of us have much in common with the ‘Mad as a March Hare’. I find people regularly exclaiming, usually in an affectionate way, that I  am mad, and thought today would be a good day to have a little explore of that particular topic. I was thinking about Colin Firth’s comical and understated acceptance speech and the fact that all applauded his  way of telling us that  he was dancing inside – well not actually dancing, just forming the moves….but was all going on inside.

He was pleased he did not embarrass himself  or the audience with an ‘inappropriate’  outpouring of emotion. He was affectionately funny, yet sane, not appearing to have lost it in any way like sofa leaping Tom Cruise or weeping  Gwynnie. Emotionally Continent. Socially acceptable…now hopefully when he got home he danced on the ceiling and howled at the moon…It’s only right…I mean it has got to be the most exciting day of his life and he had to ‘keep it together’. I think if I won an Oscar I would be like Gwynnie but worse….I would wave my arms to heaven, bellow, laugh,  cry and thank the whole world for blessing me with such a moment, and not care if people thought I was mad…..or would I?

I remember an episode of ER where a man kept bursting into tears – he apologised for being ’emotionally incontinent’ which I though was really funny, as I have periods of my life when my emotions are get very close to leaving my body at what the ‘social norm’ would consider to be inopportune moments -I had never heard that phrase before! Another film I love with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy is called Bowfinger where Kit -Eddie Murphy had to ‘Keep It Together’ as he keeps seeing aliens.

So when do people say I am mad? When I start singing in the street, dancing on my own, being over enthusiastic, embracing life in a way that many would consider to be well, a bit  free, rebellious and unrestrained, and as madness is considered to be stepping out of the ‘social norm’ then many of us are…in fact mad. THANK GOD.

And there is such a fine line, and it so depends on which group you happen to be with on ‘how mad’ you can be. It seems socially acceptable to be mad when one is drunk – dancing on the tables, singing bad karaoke is completely excusable when you’ve had one too many, but if you do the same thing sober…well many would see it as an excuse to point the finger . You are mad! ha ha ha.

Taking your clothes off in the middle of Oxford Street would get you arrested and possibly sectioned, but in the safety of a naturist beach you would be considered the norm. So we can only be as mad as what is allowed in the social group we are mixing in at the time .

The thing I am aware is that there is a condition called ‘Locked-in Syndrome’ and imagine if you have this terrible condition, you would dream about running down to the sea waving your hands to heaven and screaming at the top of your lungs to the crashing waves.

The social norm means most people don’t do it either, so have to watch other people do all those wild and crazy things in movies, plays, pop-videos to experience…’acting out for us’ it has been said that ‘poets’ are only feeling what the rest of us cannot or are not allowed to. So Colin Firth can be wildly passionate in a movie, but not when accepting his Oscar. So for March I feel we should all make the effort to be slightly less locked-in and try ‘dancing on the outside’ just a little bit more. So…lets dance!


Tyler James -Why Do I do

Very talented chap.He had a couple of  hits around 2003-4.’Your Woman ‘ was cool too.I think he went to college with Amy Winehouse, is an ex-boyfriend if you are to believe anything the media tell you…This is a different video from the one that came out in the Uk. The record company obviously spent a lot of money on him…but I get the feeling he was not given much of a long time commitment from them. So quickly record companies dump artists if they don’t sell straight away. It is a nasty cut throat business and wish him well and hope he is being really creative somewhere.


They are about to close the local laundrette!  Well, so they keep saying. The area I live in used to be a bit of a hole. I’ve lived in ‘social housing’ around here for 30 years, but as London gets fuller and fuller it has got more and more, what is that word? oh yes, desirable. My grubby street of badly built Victorian Terraces is a real mixture of  social housing, hostels, very nice whole houses, astronomically rented flats, and flats people have bought, some 25 years ago for £15,000, and some last week -the same size for £350,000. The houses at the back, in the side streets go for £1000,000. Some long-time owners  live anywhere but London – and live off the ridiculous amount of rent they can charge for a shoe boxes with a shower, cos it’s Norf London near the tube innit! Many people come and go, a few stay and get involved locally -many do not.

So across the road is a laundrette. Used to be a very nice launderette, bit of a social epicentre for the classes to mingle. If your flat was too small to have a washing machine, or you wanted to get your King-sized Siberian goose duvet washed, or your dry cleaning taken in, this was the place to go. For just a couple of quid more than it cost you to wash your own stuff, a lovely lady would do it and fold it all up!

But the row of shops with the laundrette has gone a bit up market-ish. We are now inundated with gorgeous yummy mummy’s and they’re even better looking nannys, the ‘shouty in-crowd’ (who talk very loud in the cafe, so they know they exist, who are too posh to give you eye contact, especially if you are not living in  the correct dress-size and age range), pop stars who dress in hoodies so we think they have always lived here, and  ‘hactors-dun good’ who can’t look anyone in the face, in case we recognise them from ‘Lark Rise’ or equivalent fodder,

What was an old grocer that only seemed to sell tinned tomatoes turned into a nice little deli about 4 years ago and now the empty shops have turned into a cafe – not a caff, a very nace ( yes I spelled it correctly) fancy kids clothes shop,  a hairdresser. There use to be another local  family run corner  shop that  was the size of a small garage, but has now expanded and sells organic alphalpha sprouts, goats cheese and 7 different types of granola (other things too!)

The local pub  has even turned  all ‘gastro’, much  to the relief of the residents society. When I first moved here 17 years ago from the even muckier side of the borough, the pub was like something out of the old wild west, a definate advert for not drinking, with a line of pasty old drinkers propping up the bar …waiting to die – now most of them are. It has had many metamorphisations ( not a real word) and did become a ravers paradise for a couple of years…some of the residents on my street had to get much therapy, as undesirables were creating sewage and  having sex in their front gardens at 4am in the morning and behaving very very badly!

So what to do? The lauderette is being run into the ground, and the man says a couple of months, and it will be gone, as the organic/corner shop is going to get even bigger. I hear washing machines are  very expensive to get repaired these days and 75% of launderettes have closed in the last 25 years. I only have room in my kitchen for either a dishwasher or a washing machine.  When my last washing machine filled up with the upstairs neighbour’s sewage because of a blocked pipe, and yes it is completely legal, so they tell me, to have a sewage down pipe attached to my pipes – I got my first ever  John Lewis dishwasher. It has been a blissful 4 years  – I hate washing up -did it for a living for too long when I was a struggling musician, except it has now broken …again -and is out of warranty so will cost me to get mended. So do I mend it and hope the laundrette will continue to lurch on with about  3 working washers and 2 big dryers that the whole neighbourhood are fighting over ( yes I had a fight with a woman when she brought in 4 bin liners of washing from home  and pushed in. Not in a fisty cuff-fight, just lots of blustery feathers)

I loved the laundrette…we used to wait about 10 days  and take over the biggest bag, wash and dry all in one go, nothing hanging round the flat. There are going to be loads of people who will miss it……obviously a bigger food shop is a  better money spinner than a laundrette in an area where many people are better off, and often  have more money than sense ( the corner shop is not cheap) and have their  nanny’s to do their laundry. But surely a launderette is an important part of a community? There are  still a lot of older people, single men, students living in the big halls of residence nearby ( maybe they have their own) people who live in very small places,  young people with not so much cash (and soon there will be more) the local football teams, who  still need it. Of course if it is all broken they won’t. I am seriously gutted, and feel the necessity to do a bit of banner throwing and foot stamping…but it would not get me anywhere, as it is all about profit, not community. Am going to have to find a stream nearby.  Ah well!


We had a song with a Chic sample yesterday so feel we need to pay homage to the to the world of Chic, as there is still time to dance around the kitchen table! Another R.I.P to Bernard Edwards the kicking bass player and homage to Nile Rogers the alive and kicking  guitar man.

A gripe about Apple coming from someone who lives for her Mac –which would probably be the thing I would clutch as I ran from a burning building (apart from Mr P of course). But I have a PET HATE which is on my mind…again. Any time I am in a public space and I can hear someone else’s music blaring through the airways, I could bet you, almost, and I am clearly saying almost, every time, the owner of the ‘name that tune’ ‘ if I turn my music up loud enough I can pretend that all the people in this carriage are not here’- ‘but we are here and boy do we know that you are there!’ is wearing cheap, or should I SAY FREE nasty, Apple headphones-which are in fact SPEAKERS charading as headphones. I  am about ready to get up in a crowded carriage on the tube and start doing a middle aged  pole dance in my chorderoys – which today I cannot spell correctly- and sensible shoes to the beat of the  next person listening to their death metal or dub step through SMALL APPLE SPEAKERS.  THEY BLEED. AND THEY BLEED BAD. I can usually hear them over my good  Shure headphones that don’t bleed at all as they were designed to be headphones, not speakers.

They should have  a warning on the pack when you get them free with your shiny new iphone or ipod  ‘YOU GOT THESE HEADPHONES FREE BUT THEY BLEED  BAD AND IF YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC IN PUBLIC PLACES AT A HIGH VOLUME YOU ARE GOING TO P***S EVERY ONE OFF IN A 25 FOOT VICINITY. And you can get a lot of people in a  25 foot vicinity in a train, bus or tube. I have done a lot of tapping feet and drummer impersonations,’parradiddle parradiddle’ staring straight at the offending ‘music-lover’ -possibly they don’t even realise I am kicking to the beat of their music, but funnily people who are listening to music at a decibel that will mean they will be deaf in 10 years anyway seem to have very little going on between their ears…ha ha ha ha! I find it amazing that they don’t realise. Every one is looking at them with the death stare.  I could go on and on but my life is ticking away in front of my very eyes- so lets dance!

So a good dance track to cheer us up on a very grey Wednesday. mmmm.

SONG OF THE DAY Booty Luv did a nice little cover of this song…but tributes to Luther Vandross , may he rest in peace…what a voice and feel.  The song  uses the main riff from Chic ‘My Forbidden Lover’ SHINE -nice sentiment too on such a grey day. It is your time to shine!