It’s a month since Brexit and my how things have changed. We now have a new Prime Minister that has, so far, managed to make Margaret Thatcher seem positively cuddly. Theresa May elbowed her way into power and she is now strutting around as if she owns everyone and everything. I can’t say I have been overly aware of her in the past but the woman is pure evil. Her playground attacks on Jeremy Corbyn mark her out as the arrogant schoolyard bully she is. Getting into power b default she is arrogant and self assured.
I myself have been counting the cost since the brexit vote. To avoid being confused as Boris Johnsons love child I had to have an emergency haircut. When Michael Gove and Owen Smith came out of the woodwork I had to buy new glasses. The emergence of that moanng Minnie Angela Eagle made me ashamed to be gay and threatened to push me to Narnia and now Theresa May is Prime Minister I’m now considering a sex change.
Michael Gove disappeared and so did Angela Eagle, I’m told because Eddie Izzard wanted his dresses back! Now we are left with Jeremy Corbyn and a Welshman no ones ever heard of so I guess I face a move from Wales to Scotland (that’s a thought that Nicola Sturgeon is one of my not so secret crushes)
On a lighter note Monday sees me venturing to the teeming metropolis that is Manchester for the Beat The Frog Open Mic Comedy Competition. A Comedy Club with a real pedigree stars such as John Bishop, Johnny Vegas and Sarah Millican have all appeared here. I am trying desperately to memorise my set leaving enough space for any last minute topical stuff that might just turn up.
I have spent the last month or so in a state of frustration and near constant state of anxiety so my comedy spot is likely to be an explosive ranty type performance about life post Brexit. Speaking to my CPN the other day I realised that Standup and Performance Poetry is my only way of releasing my anger safely. So watch out Manchester you have been warned!!!!
So I will watch the developments with interest in this messed up world of ours, examine and have a rant, after all if you don’t laugh you cry, it’s a funny old world.
Love and light
As a brass player of nearly 30years Rememberance Sunday has never been an ordinary day for me. Back in 1987 when I first joined a brass band as a 17year old Armistice Day was always meant a freezing cold March and playing dust old hymns in the towns garden of Rememberance. In the shallow days of my youth I remember the irritation of having to get up early on a Sunday morning and marching with a load of old men in blazers and grey flannels wearing their berets and their medals. To my shame I once thought to myself this can’t go on forever, soon they will die and nobody will be left to March.
The garden of Rememberance was on the seafront nd when the wind got up you landed u with sand in your bell and the March cards would be ruined. The Solo Cornet played the last post and Revallie then the strange piper woman played her bagpipes. Some old bloke in a dress said Godly words then we marched them back to the RAFA Club where we had food…….the best bit. It never got to me……it was just another band job with irritating old soldiers and something we did before the carolling started.
As the years went on I started working for SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity and started to talk to Second World War Veterans and their widows. To them the War was real, it was their youth. Next Rememberance day our principal cornet was 18 and I realised that it wasn’t about old men marching but young men going to war. I have two brothers and suddenly I realised that in another time I could have lost them both. I had never let it in it was never real. But from that day onwards it was real to me.
2009 Harry Patch the last fighting Tommy died and a link to the First World War Was forever lost. It was that year I visited The Battlefields of France and the Thiepval Memorial and found the name of my Great Uncle Tommy who perished but his body was never found. I put a poppy in Rememberance…..now it was personal.
Since 2011 it has been my honour and privelige to play the Last Post at Bodelwyddan a small church in North Wales that has Commenwealth Graves of Canadian Soldiers. It s a job I take seriously.
This year we commemorate The Battle of The Somme. My Great Uncle Tommy died on the 10th July 1916. Tomorrow is the centenary of his death. I will place a poppy wreath on the Grave stone of my Great Grandparents where he too is commemorated. It is not an unusual story, it is the history of many families. I shall play the last post for Uncle Tommy and remember him for we mus never forget.
I’m scared. Really scared. For the first time since I was an anxiety ridden teenager growing up in the dark days of the Cold War in the 1980’s I am genuinely terrified. Back then I was an impressionable young woman terrified by the threat of nuclear war from Russia. I watched the Protect and Survive public information films with total terror. I lived with anxiety that my young life could be snuffed out at any time by nuclear war. I was so scared that I joined CND my life was blighted by the threat of annihilation.
Twenty years later I watched in horror as the planes crashed into the Twin Towers and I feared that life would never be the same again. The anxiety of my youth which had finally faded somewhere between growing up and moving on had returned. On September 11th 2001 I was due to attend a counselling session. This was part of an ongoing plan to assist with my depression. I remember thinking that life would never be the same again and spent the whole of my session talking about the event. The world didn’t end but was forever changed.
Over the last few months I have watched in horror as people are set against each other to divert attention from those who are really corrupt namely the establishment and the government and I have been concerned if not outraged at the evil rhetoric spouted by the government and the press about immigrants and benefit claimants.
America seem on a collision course to elect Trump as President and it is truly terrifying. Then came the shootings in Orlando in a Gay club. Things were hotting up becoming ever closer to home. Then last week Jo Cox was murdered and I am truly afraid again. I am afraid for all of us, fighting amongst ourselves destroying our own. Life will never be the same again.
I would like to think we will learn from this ,I fear we will not. I pray for the strength to live in peace and tolerate our enemies so that it becomes the politics of love not hate. I am a Christian and I seek the strength of my beliefs to share love not hate so that I am not frightened anymore.
i will pray because I believe in prayer and I don’t know what else to do…………..I wish us all peace and love, we need it now.
This past week has been a myriad of activity for me and Sarah, my partner in crime. Being students of all things comedy we had a couple of opportunities to indulge in our new found passion.
On Friday last week we travelled to the beautiful town of Llangollen and our monthly fix of comedy at the Llangollen Comedy Club. This monthly fixture is usually compered by Leeds based comic Silky.
This month I was particularly excited to be in Llangollen as it was the first tour date for Canadian Comic Tanyalee Davies. I had previously seen this diminutive mirth meister on Live At The Apollo and had laughed till I cried so to be a ble to see her live was a joy.
Also on the bill that evening was Johnny Pellham and he entertained us with tales about his third (or was it his fourth?) nipple and the strange affliction of walking on tiptoes all the time.
The star of the show was Tanyalee Davies. She came on to the stage full of life and proceeded to deliver 20minutes of observational comedy that made me chuckle and she also challenged people’s preconceived ideas about ‘little people’ the list of no no’s included don’t pat us on the head and don’t pick us up!!! My favourite line was her announcing she was mixed race…….a white woman with a black woman’s booty…complete with actions!!!!!
Tanyalee Davies challenges you and dares you. She challenges you to look again at your prejudice and she dares you not to laugh.
i had the good fortune to meet up with Tanyalee after the show and found her to be a positive and thoughtful person who was quite willing to chat with a fledgling standup like myself. If you get a chance go see her………..she’s a Big Deal and the real deal.
Last night it was my privelige to go to a fundraiser for refugee support arranged by a friend in the lovely rural community of Cwm Penmachno in North Wales. There was good food and good company. Nestled in the hills and dramatic landscape of a former quarrying village musicians poets and stand up comedians gathered together to have a good time and raise money to help others.
We decided to attend this event on a whim. Our plans to attend a comedy night in nearby Ruthin had changed and we were interested to go exploring in a place we hadn’t really been before.
We set off in Bridget our little car with a full tank of petrol and pointed her in the general direction of the hills. We drove across wild country in dramatic weather heading higher and higher up on to the desolate Denbigh moors with only sheep and Radio2 for company. The road was deserted, the landscape desolate as we pushed forward towards our evenings entertainment. We dropped down from the dramatic landscape of the Denbigh moors and joined the A5 at Penterfoels. This was announced by a brown heritage sign to be a historic route. I couldn’t help but imagine the myriad stage coaches of old that travelled this road in the past.
We pushed on along the road towards Betws Y Coed. We turned off the A5 and ventured again up into the hills. The road was narrow and we suddenly came across a small village seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The road became peppered with buildings in dark imposing stone. A village that had obviously been very busy in the past now almost asleep. This was Penmachno. We had not, however, reached our destination as our goal lay three miles to the west in Cwm Penmachno.
As I was driving I was reminded of a former visit to this area in another time. I remembered the geography, half remembered my former visit. After what seemed like an age we found our goal. A converted chapel which had now become a community centre.
Parking was at a premium and we nestled our little car next to a hedge. We walked over to the community centre and sat outside surveying the scene in front of us. Facing the chapel was a great big hill dotted with sheep and lambs. The wind spoke to us as it poured over the mountains and we watched as the lambs held wacky races on the hillside. It was beautiful. Desolate beautiful and like stepping back in time. This was what the North Wales heartlands looked and sounded like.
We then went in. We were met with the smells of barbecue and hot dogs with onions as above us we could hear the faint sounds of the night entertainment. There was a brass band, a ukulele choir a story teller and a dulcimer player. The audience was kind and generous. Children played in the centre and adults enjoyed the food and the alcoholic beverages the had brought with them to enhance the night.
It felt like being at an exclusive house party with small gaggles of people chatting and enjoying the evening. Right here in this small rural ex quarrying community they came together to raise money for the Syrian Refugees a small community reaching out to another community a world away. It was an honour to be there and reminded me so much of village life when I was growing up when the community would come together in the Village Hall to entertain each other. Heck we even had our own sound engineer when I was growing up a farmer whe as a sideline provided pa equipment and microphones for all the village events.
i am proud to say over £700 was raised in Cwm Penmachno last night from this event. Real people doing their bit for other people. It was a perfect antidote to the insular nature of current society blaming refugees for our problems. The people of North Wales did their bit and I was so proud to be a part of it. In the words of Wolfie Smith POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!! because it’s the people who know best…….those in charge are so corrupt the can never be trusted