Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….


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Daily Prompt: I Pledge Allegiance all My Life to the Magic Colours, Red, White and Blue

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Am I patriotic?

I never think I am, until someone insults, generalises about or parodies my fellow countrymen/women, or slates our films, art, music or cuisine, then surprise, surprise I seem to get rather cross, so I suppose I must be.

So.

What is it to be British?

I think the poet, Benjamin Zephaniah sums it up rather nicely:

The British

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.

Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all. 

– Benjamin Zephaniah

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Whilst we have had some troubles of late, our hotchpotch of colours and cultures, especially in London, is one of the things that makes British special.

 

Hang on a minute, I hear you say, that’s all very lovely and PC but what about all the quirky, idiosyncratic stuff that comes with being born under such soggy skies?

Here are some quotes from famous Brits:

 

“Only in Britain could it be thought a defect to be ‘too clever by half’.”

  • John Major

Yes, the grey one is right about this.  The majority of us are brought up not to blow our own trumpet, or big ourselves up too much, which is always a bit of an awkward moment when Americans guest on our chat shows, and their expectation of ‘whoo’s’ at the announcement of their new movie/book/offspring are met with an embarrassed silence…

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For the record, we’re not being rude, Special Friends or trying to make Tom Cruise uncomfortable (thank God he doesn’t jump on couches over here we would die in a fit of cringiness, I tell you, DIE…), we just aren’t allowed to do that.

It’s illegal!

Isn’t it?!

Anyway we know that it’s a load of hypocritical wank to pretend not to rate yourself, especially if you do, but it’s an awfully hard habit to break….

 

“Britain: the land of embarrassment and breakfast”

  • Julian Barnes

Whilst our elders and the more ‘proper’ members of society are prone to self consciousness and not wanting to draw attention to themselves, I think this is getting bred out of us with the help of multi culturalism, globalisation and the advent of down right exhibitionists, but our breakfasts do make up for it. 🙂

You can’t knock our breakfasts!

No-one can knock our breakfasts!!

I get very cross when people knock our food (yes, I’m talking about you Chirac, you bell end), you’re just not eating at the right places, OK?

OK! 🙂

 

“The British nation is unique in this respect: they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.”

  • Winston Churchill

We Brits do tend to expect the worse, but when the worse doesn’t happen, it’s, well, quite good isn’t it?

And if that happens, we may even take a bit of a risk and actually hope for the best!  Well, only every now and then anyway….

 

“It’s celebrated in British culture to be eccentric.”

  • Paloma Faith

Now we are in the 21st Century this is undoubtedly true, such luminaries as Paloma, Grayson Perry, Eddie Izzard, Lord Bath, Russell Brand and Louis Spence are loved and accepted by most of British society.

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Try telling that to Quentin Crisp though, who got more kickings than Bruce Lee back in the 20’s and the punks didn’t exactly get a welcoming committee reception back in the 70’s either, although Vivienne Westwood did OK out of it in the end.

Speaking of the Resident Alien….

 

“The British do not expect happiness…they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.”

  • Quentin Crisp

See?  All those beatings do something to a man brought up in the ‘if anyone’s different squash ’em’ years 😦

We can however, be a bunch of moany know-it-alls though, it has to be said, hence the origins of the Aussie term ‘Whinging Pom’

 

Finally, to end on a high note, here are a few of my favourite British & Irish people/places/things:

 

A pub lunch after a long walk on a cold winter’s day

York Minster

Hot buttered crumpets by a log fire

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Brunch at the Wollesley

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall

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Rambling and hiking

Hot water bottles

French sole ballet flats

Liberty scarves and fabric

Borough Road Market

Innovative, ground breaking, trend setting British fashion

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Edinburgh Comedy Festival

Tea cosies

Good fish and chips (there are too many crap fish supper purveyors, check out online reviews tourists!)

A traditional, home made Sunday roast with the family

Vintage shops and market stalls

Paddling in the freezing cold sea (guaranteed all year round cold water)

Afternoon tea at Betties of Harrogate

A hike up Brecon Beacons on a misty day

British Comedy/Humour

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British TV and film

Notting Hill Carnival

Prince Harry (most entertaining Royal, EVER)

A pint of Guinness in Dublin (has to be done)

Marmite toast

A Brick Lane curry

Scottish salmon

A long weekend in the Lake District

British Music

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Battersea Dogs Home (most true Brits are big, soppy animal lovers)

Selfridges Food Hall

Haggis and neeps

A full English breakfast and a pot of tea with extra toast and marmalade

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God, I’m much more patriotic than I thought I was!  Who’d have thunk it?

Time for the National Anthem, I think, everyone stand! 😉

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/daily-prompt-country/

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Daily Prompt: SNEAKY SENTINELS

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They sneakily go where most fear to tread

Those thoughts that creep inside my head

Saying ‘What IS the point?

Crowing ‘Who really cares?

This life is only for ‘she who dares’’

 

They freakily seep into my psyche

And tell me my end should now be in sight

Suck love from my heart, then shit in my mind

Then tell me I have no ties that bind

 

‘Only friends that sneer

And the gossip they spew

And dicks that piss on your BBQ

And those pricks that exist to burst your bubble

All aspire and conspire to double your trouble

 

At each start of the day, at the end of the night

You secretly know there is no hope in sight

‘Oh what is the purpose of me being me?’

You cry to a God you can’t hear or see

 

You’re all alone in this world, it’s true

And no one with think any less of you

If you ceased to try

If you went away

And we don’t mean an hour or even a day

But to an endless sleep you could always steal

Now isn’t that better than having to feel?’

 

Then another voice dreamily seems to say

You know that I’m there every inch of the way

And though you may think I can’t hear or won’t see

All you behold, is all part of me’

 

Then airily, fairily drifts away

It never ever seems to stay

And my demons tighten up their grip

As I cling on with bleeding fingertips

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/daily-prompt-sneaky-2/

 

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IT’S MY NATURE

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I kind of let myself down yesterday; I lost my temper with someone I care about 😦

I was warned by my counsellor that my changing would probably have some kind of effect on my friends and family, the extent however, was not something that I had anticipated.

Nothing and no one seems safe or stable.  I have lost one long standing friend, another went and came back and a friend that I never thought I’d never lose seems to have officially axed me from her life just to make a point that to her mind, I need her more than she needs me and that I should feel lucky to get any of her time.

And just when I thought I had one friend who would stay strong and consistent, she lashed out at me over dinner yesterday, shocking me somewhat and ruining both the meal and the evening.

It’s probably safe to say that I have had a reputation of being a pretty formidable woman, and it kind of seems that on seeing me soften, some of my loved ones think it will be a good opportunity to push the boundaries, or ‘test’ me, so to speak, which immediately makes me rear back, think DANGER and revert to ‘fight or flight’.

Usually fight 😦

What happened in this instance was that I defended myself as quietly, coldly and efficiently as I could, seeing as we were in a crowded restaurant, but when she didn’t let it go when we were heading to the local pub, I struck back viciously, and told her exactly what I thought of her, the issues in question and what she had done to the evening and our friendship, shocking her into silence and nearly to tears.

Was I sorry or regretful?

‘Fraid not.

When I blow, it’s somewhat volcanic inasmuch as it takes quite some time for me to simmer down.  If I am merely annoyed, I have my say, make my point and then let it go, but if I lose my rag to this extent, it’s a completely different ballpark.

My ex fiancé used to follow me from room to room trying to engage with me after one of our epically inflammatory exchanges, no matter how much I pleaded with me to leave me be for a couple of hours, which resulted in my lashing out and saying things to him that one can never take back, hence we’re no longer together.

I didn’t want that to happen to me and G, but the simmering aftershocks of rage and the self destructive desire to punish joined forces and swept me away, and it took all of my control not to slap her down when she kept trying to clumsily make amends.

She wouldn’t quit though.  She kept on and on, breaching where most fear to tread, asking me why I wouldn’t stop ‘sulking’ and get over it, getting more and more frustrated with me, to the point of resorting to insults, and I could feel those things that can never be retracted filled my mouth, howling to be let free.

But somehow I pulled it back.

I very quietly and carefully told her that not everyone was like her, that some people took time to calm down and that if she could be quiet and let it DROP, just for a little while, I might be able to recover and not be angry anymore.  Not that I actually believed what I was saying at the time; I just wanted to avoid mortally wounding the silly cow.

‘But that’s stupid!’, she cried, ‘why’d you wanna be like that? It’s childish!  Why can’t we just put it behind us and end the night on a good note?’

Ah, my friend G.

All the emotional intelligence of a bog brush.

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Suddenly I saw sanctuary in the form of a little art gallery, grabbed her arm, and steered her swiftly in it’s general direction.

‘Because,’ I hissed, ‘it’s my nature. I didn’t choose it, I don’t want it, but there you go, it is what it is.  Why don’t we go in here, look at the lovely pictures and maybe just maybe we can go for a nice drink afterwards.  If you can manage to shut the fuck up for 20 minutes that is?’

And we did it.

Not without a residual bit of muttering and moaning from G, but she finally realised that I was trying, and entered into the spirit of aiming to achieve a comfortable silence instead of filling it with irritating babble.

And after 15-20 minutes, I managed to make myself make polite innocuous conversation with her, which eventually relaxed into amiable banter after a couple of G&Ts in the pub.

A first.

G will never know how hard that was for me, and she is the one friend who has the capacity to drive me crazy, but she has a big heart, and I’m grateful that I didn’t kick her into touch with cruel words and chilling silence.

And this morning, when I was at last capable of doing so, I gave her a call and apologised for my part in the disagreement.

She, bless her heart, said she’d forgotten it already, then rather ungallantly started banging on about why did reacted how she did, and what I’d done wrong, but for once, instead of losing patience, and defending myself yet again, I did a curious thing.

I swallowed it.

I listened.

And I kept listening for a good 20 minutes until she was done.

OK, I was getting prickly and was half watching/listening to some tripe on TV, but I let her have her say.

Uninterrupted.

Unjudged.

It wasn’t easy.  But I did it.

Jesus, am I going to have to do this with all my friends?!

Is this how normal people behave?

One day at a time Sista, remember, one day at a time…

Namaste x


2 Comments

The Phoenix from the Flames

Spot on as always Kozo 🙂
I really need to get the hang of this as I’m finding that the people I love are getting very unpredictable as I change and I’m trying not to take it personally (says she after losing her temper big time yesterday)….
And what happened to you Kozo? You grew up to be a highly empathic, sensitive man, a great father and an inspiring, entertaining blogger who influences many by sharing his lessons along the way, so you can tell your step father that from me with a complimentary nice hard kick in the balls (optional)   😉

 

keep-calm-and-kick-him-in-the-balls-3

Big love my friend x

everyday gurus

How neuroscience offers hope to survivors of abuse and peacemakers of the future

“What happened to you, then?” my step-father’s booming voice echoed out into the early evening crowd at Outback Steakhouse.

The question was not asked with compassion or caring. It was a jab, an attack, a verbal confirmation that I was a failure in his eyes.

I had been explaining to my extended family how my son was a highly sensitive boy (HSB), when my mom chimed in that I, too, was highly sensitive as a child. She used the term “glass feelings.”

I explained to my sister-in-law how HSBs, if nurtured, could become compassionate artists or peacemakers like Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, and Carl Jung.

That is when my step-father interrupted me with “What happened to you, then?”

What amazed me most was my reaction. In the past, an aggressive comment like this would have sent me to…

View original post 340 more words

EAR WORM No. 14 RON SEXSMITH – Get In Line

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http://everydaygurus.com/2013/08/21/stop-breathing-on-my-neck-im-trying-to-be-compassionate/

For anyone who hasn’t read this excellent blog post, I been trying to rise to Kozo’s challenge and test how long I can be around ‘people’ (the JP Sartre variety) and not let them offend me.

Turns out, not very long so far. Everyone is still getting on my tits. I’m just more conscious of it, but i guess that will help in the end.

Hopefully 😉

Not only that, but more interestingly, I seem to be very good at pissing off a hell of a lot of people myself without even trying, so maybe I’m that hellish individual whom everyone else is trying to tolerate for an hour without strangling.

And what’s more? I kind of enjoy it, especially when it comes to arrogant arseholes who think they are better than everyone else, and after my little jaunt yesterday (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/hi-diddle-dee-dee/) this little beauty lodged itself inside my bonce, which was fine by me as it is a lovely song with very clever lyrics.

So to those of you, strangers and ‘friends’ who I irritate because I have the audacity to expect to be treated as an equal and fancy your chances in confronting me about it, I strongly suggest you ‘take a number and wait in line’.

But remember, ‘it’s a long line, it’s a long line’. And guess what? It’s down there, just behind the bins. And there ain’t no chairs, OK?

Alternatively, I’ll give you the option you didn’t give to me, and you can jog on kitty.

Oh, and don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya 😉


11 Comments

HI DIDDLE DEE DEE….

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Today, I took a deep breath, my meds plus a back up beta blocker and ferried myself off to an unknown destination in search of fame and fortune on stage and screen.

Well, to be honest (and realistic), I decided to try being an extra for a day.  After all, I’d made a pretty good stab at pretending to be someone else for decades, so really, how hard can it be for a couple of hours?

Besides I like dressing up and having my make up done for me, plus a friend earns a fairly good living from it, so I was looking forward to a really jolly day.

Well.

Where do I start?

The start was actually quite good really.  I got there on time, found a parking space OK, met the crew who seemed nice, as were the other extras, and went to get my make up done.  I had to sit on the floor because there weren’t enough chairs for everyone, but it wasn’t that big a deal.

Little did I know that this would set the tone for the day.

After a quick primp and preen (I’d already done a basic au naturale job so only needed ‘topping up’) I went off the find the others who were sat outside the shop were the filming was taking place, enjoying the sun.  Except big black clouds were forming above and there didn’t seem to be anywhere to shelter.  Oh well, we should be called inside soon, I reckoned.

One of the crew came over to dole out bottles of water, and there were some crisps and cheap biscuits on the tables.  Hmm.  The hospitality wasn’t as nice as I was led to believe, but I guess it would do until lunch arrived and in the meantime, I’d be working and chatting to the others.

As you probably know, I’m not great at small talk, but everyone was lovely, most had lots of acting anecdotes to tell and it all seemed like one big, happy family.

An hour passed, and three of our group got called in to shoot.  We carried on chatting, I carried on slucing out my kidneys with bottled water and tried to avoid eating the crap junk food.

Another hour passed.  We all circulated, getting to know one another and killing time as best we could.  My face was aching from smiling so much and the sun beat down on our unprotected heads and skin.  I had to keep repositioning myself to avoid going beetroot before I had to go and be filmed, and ended up draping someone’s fleece across my tingling neck which only made me hotter.

Another hour passed.  The chosen three returned and excitedly chattered about what they had to do, who was there, and how it went.

I was really trying hard to be patient, but when I saw that even the experienced extras were also looking a bit peeved, I started to get twitchy.  Everyone else was quite a big younger than me, were they actually planning to use me at all?

One of the crew appeared with a big ‘please don’t be shitty with me’ grin on his face and came over to ask how we were doing.  Everyone, including the ones who were previously complained about the wait, cooed and smiled, saying they were fine, and everything was lovely.

Interesting.

Me being me, I couldn’t follow suit though.

‘Jeremy,’ I began politely, ‘do you think the rest of us are going to be used today?’

Jeremy dropped his eyes to the table and everyone around seemed to mirror him.

‘Well,’ he replied, they’re just about to finish this bit, we’ll then have some lunch and I reckon we’ll get you all on set later this afternoon. Sorry about all the waiting!’

The beaming smile had returned.

‘Oh no problem,’ I responded, ‘I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to hanging around all day if you don’t need me.’

Dropped eyes again.

I seem to be making everyone awfully uncomfortable.

Including myself.  I don’t like being in environments where you have to watch your ‘p’s and q’s’ and are not able to speak your mind.

Deja vu anyone?

After Jeremy left to go back on set, one of the first three piped up rather excitedly that she overheard that we’d be having some delicious food from the local Italian deli she’d passed on the way  to here from the station.

Wonderful, I thought.  I’ll feel so much better with some good food in me.  I’d resisted the cheap junk food so far and I was starving.

After about fifteen minutes, one of the runners came over with a few cheese and tomato pizzas for us all to share, along with more water.

No salads, no fruit, not even any napkins to wipe our greasy fingers on.

It was then that I saw all the crew sloping off indoors with some large boxes and carrier bags branded ‘Albertinos’.

The cheap bastards.  They were getting our services for the day totally gratis, but not only do they give us the cheapest pizza they can buy but used the money they’d saved to fill their own bellies with delicacies from the best deli in the area.  I don’t like being in environments where I’m treated like a second class citizen.

There’s that deja vu again….

I ate only sufficient pizza  to stop my tummy from rumbling, and just as I’m finishing the second slice, I’m called onto the set.

At last!  No matter that my make up had slid off my face from being in the blazing sun for five hours, and that I had pizza crumbs around my mouth, I was actually getting to do something.

Not that it mattered.

I was told to browse the shop rails as if looking for something to buy and had my back to the camera the whole time.  I could have drawn lipstick all over my face and it wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference.

The highlight of the day was when one of the producers set off some kind of alarm on the till and couldn’t turn it off.  I watched him for a good five minutes trying to figure it out, getting more and more flustered under ‘the talent’s’ gaze, until I could take it no more and strode over to the check out and pointed to a key in a lock.

‘Hi, have you turned this?’

He didn’t even look at me, the wanker.

‘I TRIED that!’

I reached over the table, turned the key and the alarm stopped.

‘Thanks,’ he muttered crossly, then, sotto voce, ‘for making me look a knob.’

I raised an eyebrow rather archly.  You made yourself look a knob love, and you’d have looked like an even bigger one if that thing had carried on bleeping for the rest of the afternoon.

No one looked at me, thanked me or said anything to me.

It was almost as if I didn’t exist.

Deja fucking vu again?

It was all over in ten minutes, then I was back outside in the blazing sun again.

Jeremy was sitting at the table.

‘I was just saying Sista, how you lot are the nicest bunch of extras we’ve had in ages!’ he beamed happily, ‘ you’re really patient, you didn’t moan about the food and you’re really good in front of the camera!’

I smiled back, trying hard not to let a cynical  little sneer creep into my expression. I knew that he said this to every single group of extras he worked with, just to ensure that they didn’t get impatient or complain, and oddly enough it seemed to work, as our group all assured him that we were having a whale of a time, loved cheap pizza and would never complain at such a great opportunity to work with whatsisname and that woman from that one-hit-wonder band from the eighties.

I sat and swigged more water as I listened, bemused at their enthusiasm and obvious reluctance to piss him off by voicing their true feelings.  Anyone with a single iota of common sense would know that whilst tolerance and acquiescence were valued traits in anyone in this industry, they would not, on their own, guarantee further bookings, let alone, the holy grail, paid acting work.

You could kiss ass all you want, but if you don’t look the part and/or don’t do well in front of the camera, you are toast.

Period.

Pretty soon, the first three extras are back on set again, and I chat to the others about what else they do with their time.  Some had jobs, some were students, but most were broke and did this stuff for the money, which is pitiful to say the least.

Oh the irony.  They want to do this for the money, I want to do it because I don’t want to go back to the kind of ‘good job’ that I used to have.

Am I missing something?

And just for one creepy, chilling, ‘goose walking over my grave’ second, i questioned my decision to stay out of the corporate world and do my own thing.

Was it a mistake?  Is it a mistake?

NO!

No.  Maybe this ‘extra’ malarky isn’t for me, but neither is acting on a daily basis, from 9am to 7pm, no matter how well it paid.

I’ll find another way.

I WILL.

An hour past.

Another past.

I knew deep down that they weren’t going to use me any more that day, and that they probably wouldn’t use the footage that I featured in earlier.

And I honestly didn’t give a shit.  i just wanted them to admit it and let me go home.

Another hour.

The sun went in and all of a sudden it got rather cold.

Not expect to be there that long, I had not brought anything warm to put on.

The runner came out again.

‘Can you lot move out of shot and stand down there?’

He pointed at an alley full of bins, junk and rubbish.

Animals would have been treated with more kindness and respect.

Everyone huddled together muttering bitterly.

‘Why can’t we wait in the shop?’ I asked with irritation, ‘We’d be out of shot and if we’re quiet we won’t disturb them!  Let’s ask!’

The muttering was swiftly replaced with a wave of undignifed back peddling.

‘Oh no, I’m not asking, it’s best not to upset them, they might not like it, they….’

‘Oh I’ll fucking do it.’  Losing patience, i went over to the make up artist and made my suggestion.

She frowned.

‘I”m not sure, they might not like it.  If you stand behind the bins,’ she points vaguelly in the direction of some hideous, overfilled skip, ‘you’ll be out of the wind?’

WTF?

Seriously, WHAT IS EVERYONE AFRAID OF?!

They can fuck the hell off.  I’ve spent the best part of eight hours of my life waiting around here, frying my ancient skin in the sun, eating food that was probably manufactured in 2003, sitting on some manky bench that makes my back ache, but if they think for one moment that I’m cringing behind a fucking bin for another ninety minutes they seriously have another thing coming.

I strode over the one of the crew.

‘Can we wait inside out of shot?  It’s freezing out here and that alley is filthy!’

He immediately looked alarmed and bit his rather pallid, chapped lips.

‘Oh I don’t know.  Can’t you just….’ he tailed off, looking at me beseechingly.

For fuck’s sake love, why don’t you grow a pair?

‘Erm, no,’ I say, feigning a look of sympathy edged with steely determination, ‘I’m not a fucking animal!’

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Actually I didn’t say the last bit.  But I think he got the message, as he gazed at me reproachfully and shuffled off the the shop.

They all seem to be absolutely terrified of one of the producers.  Maybe it’s pudgy ‘Till Master’, he’s the only one who seems to have kicked off so far.

Twitchy returns and tells me that they are actually done with me now and I can go.

My request for warmth, shelter and a comfy chair was clearly a major faux pas and something of a liberty on my part.

How very dare I?

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But I can go!  Hurray!

As I prepare to leave, I bump into Jazzy Jezz.

‘Oh erm, thanks for everything!’ he grins, ‘we got some great footage of you and you were right in shot!’  the grin widens as if to depict just how much in shot I am.  ‘So, erm, look out for the ad!’

I grin back.

But my grin says Bollocks!  We both know I’m not.  But I don’t actually give a flying fuck.

‘Thanks Jeremy!  It was a very interesting experience!’

I have never been so pleased to see my comfy, warm little car. Even the traffic en route doesn’t bother me.

And by the time I arrive home and settle on the sofa with a glass of wine, I have come to the conclusion that the world of Extras is not for me, as I would be surrounded by people all wanting to be famous and putting up with all kinds of shit to ‘make it’ whereas I was only really there because I quite fancied dressing up and having a laugh.

Oh well.

‘Hi diddle dee dee, no actors life for me.

Hi diddle dee dum, they can stick it up their bum.’

🙂


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NOT ON THE MOOD

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Long hot weekends are usually a challenge for me, as all the families and couples heading off for beaches, parks and sunnier climes tend to highlight my loneliness and I don’t tend to be the most sought out person when it comes to those particular holidays.

This one is particularly painful as someone who is rapidly moving towards being an ex best friend is still playing mind games with me and jerking me around.  

I contacted B recently because I heard she’d had a bereavement, and we arranged to touch base/potentially meet on Thursday, but there was complete radio silence that day, making me worry that something else had happened, but no.  

Madam, who is ever so popular, was just too busy with her social whirl to keep the date.

The reason for this?  Because I didn’t jump when she called after a  four month absence (where she didn’t even reply to texts) given that she only summoning me then after she’d seen, spoken to and updated everyone else.  And she only called then because I’d called her.

But I guess when your old faithful bitch gradually turns into a slightly narked kitty and doesn’t come running when you eventually get round to taking her for a walk, you’re going to notice the difference. 

It wasn’t done maliciously either; On being summoned to her abode, I, vaguely prickled by her arrogance and presumption, merely suggested that we go out somewhere fun for the day instead.  But this clearly was deemed sufficiently outrageous for her to refuse to leave her patch or to agree to go anywhere with me (even though we are both out of work right now), so we are now locked in some kind of Cold War that I cannot and will not challenge (like I might have done a year ago), and she certainly will neither admit to, nor address under any circumstances.

The biggest irony is that earlier in the year, I created a mood board for myself. 

It features everything and everyone at that time that I wanted in my life including family, friends, things I want to do, possible career paths, places I’d like to go to, properties I’d like to live in etc. and B features quite heavily in it.

Until now.

But the scariest part is that (as some of you already know) it’s not just her. 

One friend is officially out of my life after negotiations fell through, one ceased to keep contact once she’d realised I didn’t want to be her unpaid shrink/surrogate mum anymore, one went away and came back because I had offered an olive branch, and there is one old colleague I don’t see much of anymore.

And now, someone who is/was probably my closest friend in the world, who knows all my flaws and vulnerabilities, is now wielding what she sees as her power with all the subtlety of a supercharged cattle prod.

And it hurts.

But when you look at the situation logically, I am the common denominator, as I’m sure they would all assure one another were they to meet up to discuss their relationship (or lack of therein) with me.

Does that mean I’m at fault?

Or is it all solely down to the fact that I’m changing?

I guess there are practical reasons too, such as living a different lifestyle, going down alternative ways of living and not being in the workplace, hence not being in town much anymore, but some friends have hung in there regardless, so it can’t just be me.

At this rate, my poor mood board will be empty by December 2013 😦

And the hardest thing of all to take in?

That someone who knows my condition, my loneliness and trust issues would take out her spikiest Jimmy C’s and slam the heel right into them.

Not because I have avoided her. 

Not because I have been horrible to her. 

Not because I have refused to see her.

But because I wouldn’t play her subordinate anymore and follow her around like a little lap dog when she wants me around, then fuck off out of the way for 4 months without a single note of protest when she has better things to do, more entertaining/influential people to meet.

The bottom line is that she expects me to accept where I come in her list of priorities whilst keeping her top of mine.

And it hurts.

It makes me feel like a piece of shit.

Would a real friend want me to feel this way?

Did or do I have any real friends?   That’s my biggest worry.  When will the next one bail out because I’m not the ‘old Sista’ anymore?

Aunty C (my counsellor) is adamant that I do not play her game, and insists that while I shouldn’t cut off my nose to spite my face, I should keep busy and that when she gets over it, she’ll be in touch.

But somehow I doubt it.

Aunty C purses her lips.  ‘Sometimes you grow out of people, you know?’, she said with rather too much emphasis, ‘Tell me, what is it that you see in, sorry, get from her?’

C knows much about B, and her pretensions, excesses and self serving ways (something she freely admits), but I do care about her, and besides, she has a good heart and really makes me laugh.

As there’s nothing I can really do about this situation except maintain a dignified silence, I took myself off for a manicure to cheer myself up this afternoon.

But as I sat in the little salon, the Chinese girls chatting amongst themselves in their own language and occasionally glanced at me and giggled, and I felt more alone and pathetic than ever.

‘Even these young ‘uns can see how pitiful I am, ‘ I thought to myself morosely, ‘I bet they don’t do that to the other customers.’

Just then, the door swung open and a rather Sloany, impeccably groomed young blonde runs in.

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‘Excuse me,’ she brays rather excitedly, ‘I need to get my nails done, because I’m going on holiday and I just found out that MY BOYFRIEND IS GOING TO ASK ME TO MARRY HIM, so I want my hands to look perfect!’

‘Oh fuck off, you smug cow’ I think bitterly but managed to painfully turn my head in her direction, smile at her excitement and nod my congratulations.

But the shop girls?

Not a flicker.

No smiles, no gushing, no congratulations.

Three sets of eyes just stared back at her without expression.

‘So, you want false nails or gels?’ asks the oldest one.

Sloany’s face was a picture, and I was torn between pity and hysterical giggles.

Then it dawned on me.

Some people are just bitches.

And sometimes when you love someone, it takes a while to figure that out.

When my manicurist is finished, I pay her then rummage in my bag for her tip.

‘£3 more.’ she says firmly.

‘What?’

Turns out she’s charging me for superglueing a crack in one of my thumbnails.

Okey dokey, love.  That would have been your tip anyway.

And her face when she realises that her tip is now going into the till is also a picture.

‘Fuck you very much’, I think, smiling sweetly, ‘bye now!’

She’s not the only person who can play that game.

This bitch, you’ll be pleased to hear, is back. 🙂