10 Mar 2012

Post 336: Florence - almost two years on

What to talk about today? Well, I watched a comedy DVD by a bloke called Jim Jeffries. I think it is safe to assume from it's name – Alcoholocaust, that it wasn't family

entertainment. Jim won't be booked for the royal variety show or anything on TV before the watershed. He's up there with Tim Minchin or Frankie Boyle as the comedian I'd least like to see with my parents. He does say some really quite thought provoking stuff amongst the provocative filth. For example he says that 'he has gone further in his life than a man of his looks and intellect should'. Well before my stroke my attitude was fairly similar, I had pretty much worked my ass off to get to where I was in life and at times would feel happy with my lot. I admit that being from a middle-class background and being of above average looks and intellect (apparently) was a help but the Scottish ancestry prevalent in the family meant you took nothing for granted and you worked for every friend and achievement in life. The trouble with this is you develop an expectation that a certain level of hard work will produce a payoff. Eg If you run the marathon

and raise ooddles of dosh for charity you're doing a great thing both for your own physical and mental health but also for others so you'll feel great about it in the medium to long run and people will respect you for doing something great even if you want the ground to swallow you while you're doing it

or while you're training for it. That payback is why most people run marathons, people who do it because they enjoy running are mental!
However having expectations of a payback when you've had a stroke is just stupid. Seriously. In the introduction I talk about how independence, love and freedom are what had helped me almost be happy before my stroke. I am trying to do more of the same now and I can't afford the luxury of having expectations. Well, even though I feel I've said it before, Recalibrating what you expect from life just doesn't seem possible. Imagine if you will the before and after of winning the lottery. Having a stroke is like that except in reverse – I hate going on about it but it is just like that. I was never lottery rich and I'm not 'starving African' poor now but that is how marked the contrast is.
A wise man once told me that life is about the 'little victories',at the time I probably politely nodded my head and moved on but thinking about it the only way I can get through the day is with 'little victories' and these can take so many forms, it can be as simple as hearing from someone or a gutural laugh at something, now I know there are people who read this who hate swearing but I'll always maintain if it's done sparingly and right it can be hilarious. So on watching the NME music awards from Brixton Academy the other night host Jack Whitehall said 'and the next award is T4's best international artist award.' 'now T4 will be replaying this at 930 in the morning obviously minus any swearing, so to present this award it's only f*cking Katy B and Nick c*nting Grimshaw, which is doubly funny because I believe that that's an accurate way to describe Nick Grimshaw.

I've heard he speaks highly of me too.
My other small victory this week was going to see Florence and the Machine at Ally Pally on Thursday

with trainer, good friend and utter sadist Jose´.

The last time I'd been to see Florence (in May 2010 incidentally with Jose ) she had made quite an impression, I think the word 'amazing' was foremost in my mind, I described the show on Thursday night in an email thus:

'Florence used to be this cute little ginger pixie with an amazing voice. Granted, she's still got the voice and the red hair but she's now this full on gothic celtic witch, which I'm not into. Pity. Ally Pally is a bit special.'

Ally Pally is cavernous (the capacity is over 10,000)

and has the most spectacular views across London.

Pity it was dark when we were there.
That sounds like the most critical review in the world – well it's not as harsh as it sounds – I will never forget that first Florence gig though, if her voice was staggering her legs were mesmerizing, I like her music and she certainly sings her heart out, she still does.

A couple of people have said she's 'too shouty' which is a fair criticism but the people who really need to go are her stylist and hairdresser. Are we really all Goths? When did having Virginia Woolf/George Elliot

hair ever be attractive? Now, I don't pretend to be 'down wiv da kids, innit? But Florence used to be gorgeous,

her hair, her style and poise

used to be some of the special things about her but when she got interviewed by the sensational Alexa Chung (anything to crowbar a picture of her in)

at last weeks NME awards Florence looked a bit haggared. Perhaps I should just ignore this, and maybe I'm being a bit of a bloke about it. Anyway, enough about Florence, despite everything, I'm still a fan – the way she thanked her Mum for being there on Thursday

made my heart melt, I love that sort of humility, lets see how her Albert Hall gig makes me feel at the start of April, as long as I survive my medical procedures at the end of March. I'm so nervous.
Big thanks to Gaelle

and Chey

for coming to see me yesterday and my old mate from college James,

who popped in for Tea – I've said it before, but people who make time to come and see me make life worth living. It's especially good to see how Gary and Gwen (my housekeepers) have made a proper home for themselves here. The big room upstairs is now their lounge and somewhere for guests to stay in relative comfort.

What a difference! Plus they look after the rest of the house, the cats (Gwen loves them,this is Ham)

and me properly. Next week I am seeing two of my favourite comedians (Daniel Kitson

and Steve Hughes

on Wednesday and Thursday in Aldershot) and the Big Yin

in Brighton the day after. Strangely, I am a pogonophobe . Relatively happy days. What a difference the arrival of spring makes.

As a human the way I feel is still barely tolerable 6 years and 2 months down the line, it's certainly not acceptable. I need to work out how to go on holiday.


Elisecas said...


trimonious said...

what night are you going to see Kitson?

Dom P said...

I think it's Wednesday night

nurul iman said...

Thank you very Steady info ... hopefully more successful.
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