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12 May 2013
Post 396: Don’t just survive, live!
For the last few weeks I’ve always been starting this with ‘I’ve survived’ so for a change I thought I’d start with a ‘this week I am actually dead’ and go from there. As this is the first ever thing in recorded history to be written by a dead person I expect plenty of media hyperbole but I have a few t-shirts that just about cover it.
My least favourite fictional character on TV will pretty much always be Tony Soprano’s mother, Livia Soprano, she’s a proper miserable bitch, and is always saying things like ‘I wish the Lord would take me now’ which is one of the main reasons I keep the ‘I wish I was dead’ chat to a minimum because it just makes people think ‘you know what, I wish you were dead too’, I'd be no bloody good at 'The Samaritans'. Still, between being one of the most unpleasant characters ever she touches on a couple of key themes. Firstly, the reason she’s so dreadful is she actively resents other people experiencing joy and seems to revel in making people miserable, at least I’m sorry when I do it! She brings up another key theme I think about a lot, that is: ‘the only person you can ever truly rely on is yourself
Livia: Why does everything have to have a purpose? It’s all a big nothing. What makes you think you’re so special?
Why does everything have to have a purpose? The world is a jungle. And if you want my advice Anthony, don’t expect happiness, you won’t get it. People let you down. And I’m not naming any names, but in the end you die in your own arms.
She really is a ghastly character! But despite that being an awful thing to say to even Tony Soprano (one of the nastiest piece’s of sh*t there has ever been on TV) there is a ring of truth to it. For starters, to think we have a purpose is bonkers, and I have learnt, expect as little as possible out of life, you won’t be disappointed, and don’t ever think you’re special. By all means think other people are special because they are and always tell them,it'll make them feel brilliant. I aim to experience joy and to help others experience joy and I try and avoid being envious which is tough because I am basically envious of everyone.
They say that life is about experiencing joy, bollocks, to me life is about surviving, which makes life pretty tedious when survival is hard. You could argue that because I am dead this week I have f*cking failed. Well, Gary and Gwen are back on Tuesday and I can’t bloody wait. I can’t really explain what it’s been like. Well, I’ll give it a go. Imagine feeling utterly defenceless in your own home and always worrying something (no idea what) is going to happen. Exactly, it’s pathetic. And I don’t want Gary and Gwen feeling guilty because that’s the kind of people they are. They deserved and needed that time away. I am in advanced plans to get out of this country for the winter now. Obviously, when I told my parents about the idea they trashed it saying ‘I could barely survive here, how on earth do you even imagine you’d survive in another country?’ – well, I could have just thrown in the towel then and there, but I just need to go and visit this place near Valencia for a week in November to assess its suitability. I need to do something other than just sit here and Gary and Gwen need time off from me, and because I’m so bloody English there’s a 1:1 correlation between my mood and sunshine! Survival, I suppose has been good enough, but it has been down to some pretty special people stopping what they’ve been doing so they can come and see me. Firstly there’s my friend Isabel who has done my morning routine on I think 3 Sundays this month. She has also gone above and beyond, by tidying the place up a bit and changed my linen without me even asking. She has somehow even found the time to launch her own business this month while training to run a triathlon for the Dom Pardey Trust next Saturday. Truly remarkable! Another new friend, Phil, who I met on my writing course has done Monday evenings, here pictured with my brother Chris at my 36th (Phil’s the one in hat!) . Speaking of Chris, between him and my trainer Jose they have covered my weekday mornings which has been some much needed continuity. An old mate (a bit of an old legend(emphasis on the ‘old’ ;)) really) from my DJ days, Marc French offered to do Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, it was nice to have a couple of glasses of wine and talk shop about the old days and my cat Cheese is his new best friend! While he was here we had the great honour of being dropped in upon by some mutual friends Shaun, wife Renae, daughter Polly and comedy Simon. Shaun, Nae and Polly are only over from Melbourne for a week. I was thrilled to have made it into their itinerary. Polly is now a proper walking, talking human. 3 years ago she was just a baby. I’ve heard that happens!
Thursday was a return to late 90s indie rock with scousers Cast at the Shepherds Bush Empire a great venue if you’re not in a wheelchair. It was proper rowdy. Still, old clubbing pals Ched and wife Terri loved it, The lead Singer of Cast is what I’d call a proper ‘calm down’ Scouser but the man’s got talent unlike the warm-up act ‘The Twang’ who (not for the first time in their life I’m sure) we christened ‘the Twats’). And Friday night an old clubbing mate Tim took me to Guildford to see Canadian comedy trio ‘the Lumberjacks’ and it was properly hilarious. Craig Campbell’s story about the ‘wrongness’ (just a bit) of a dutch sex show had people crying with laughter. Him and Glenn Wool reappearing on stage stark bollock naked a few minutes later shocked the GLive audience into hysteria Overdrive. No wonder they were so specific about ‘no photography’.
Anyway, I was pretty sure I could ‘survive’ the last month but life should be so much more than survival! The morsels of joy (and they're thin on the ground) have been somewhat watered down.