Here we GLOW again!

Ready set GLOW! 

The way to GLOW.

It's all GLOW-GLOW-GLOW! 

Have you caught the GLOW bug?

Right, now I've exorcised all the predictable GLOW based puns - let's get down to it, boppers. All hail the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! 

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Now, I'm not talking about the highly successful new Netflix series GLOW which is a joy to behold in a rather tame, too pretty way.  Based on a true story (not in a Fargo sense, but in an it happened sense), GLOW is the tale of a ragmuffin bunch of ladies being thrust together in a wrestling ring to make TV gold. Set at the height of eighties ra-ra-skirtness - it suffers from it being a hackneyed time period setting, which can be done in a serious way like The Americans. This just about manages not to become pastiche but it's teetering. Let's say I know which programme wins the Bowie/Queen - Under Pressure montage contest. Boo for lazy music supervising, GLOW!

Alison Brie leads the cast as a Carmen Wade, a serious actress who tries to method her way through creating a wrestling alter ego - all technicality and initially lacking an instinctive theatricality (beyond her clowning and mask workshopping). And she is bloody hilarious. So far, so good. Until the life outside the ring plots - betrayal, abortion, general bitchiness - turns the whole thing into a predictable tick box women's issues affair. Carmen is not a very nice character and Brie plays her too well that it is hard not to like her spirit (even if she is a homewrecker). However, I am worried that as GLOW goes into it's 2/3/4 series I am going to start loathing her a la Piper in OITNB - who gets more and more irksome and less and less screen time. But Brie is just too good for this to fate befall her - even just for the best Batman impression ever.

This quirky dramatisation can't hold a candle to unhinged nuttiness of the original eighties TV programme - G.L.O.W. It may be the cheap looking sets or the handspun outfits - but the grittiness of watching the original show makes the gritty real life aspect of the drama series look far more contrived. A sort of you can call your Dad he can stop it all, yeah! There's such fun elements and great characters but as kooky as they are - they are watered down imitations of the originals. Sometimes life is more ridiculous than fiction. The world has learned this since 8 November 2016.

Just knock yourself out with the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling doc that's back up on Netflix alongside the series. All the glitz and grubbiness from the wrestling frontlines. A stellar ESG soundtrack. Far more crusty characters. And no unwarranted Kate Nash boob flash. 

Here's a few of my original G.L.O.W. faves...

Spike and Chainsaw wielded a blow torch and, you guessed it, a chainsaw. They mainly set fire and chopped things up. Useful for small DIY projects.

Matilda the Hun is the battleaxe's battleaxe. She had a wrestling career long before and long after G.L.O.W. and even wrestled a bear. Obviously as mad as a crushed box of frogs.

Or go back to the source and watch where it all began...

Listen all y’all this sabotage

I can’t stand it.

Overwhelmed. Immobilised. Procrastinating. So much to do yet doing so little. Self-sabotage. Making stuff hard for myself. Yet, why do I persist in this ardent idleness? Especially when I have a To Do list as long as my arm, written in a barely readable Calibri font size.

I’ve obviously inadvertently set off my personal immobiliser device so I can’t go anywhere. When in fact, like what happened when my car died on the way back from a heavy weekend at Butlins, the back handbrake pad had just got rusted over. I don’t even have an immobilisation system on my car. Analogy fully stretched like my crap clutch cable. I really do need a new car.

Terrible metaphors aside, what’s driving this?

It seems I’m not alone in the being frozen in good intentions and strategically ignored grand plans. I brief Google reassures me I’m not alone. So many things to do. That I actually like doing. So what’s with the perpetual slobbing, pizzaing and boxsetting? It is getting grim out there so my peppy motivation to get out of bed is dissipating with every thudding raindrop. Default lazybonedom combined with potential SAD is a potent procrastination combination. An empty handful.

But weather induced doldrums isn’t explanation enough. This is pathological. My behaviour working against myself instinctively has been going on for donkey’s years. A longstanding professional work ethic not rubbing off on the important stuff I need to do for meself. Inactivity breeding inactivity. Faffery begetting faffery. There must be better ways of living than this. It’s needlessly stressful and plain old daft.

So, how to drag myself out of this quilt-ensconced quagmire? The interminable question. If you flip it and reverse it then activity breeds activity. Efficiency begets efficiency. Or flippingwell do something. So this it. Something to get my neurons vaguely firing. A classic procrastination technique - write about procrastination. Textbook timewaster.

Hold on a sec? Surprisingly, this might be working. It is working because it is working.

Eureka! By jove, I think she’s got it. Do something beyond rewatching Jonathan Creek (and not just the Caroline Quentin ones). No matter how meaningless, starting something is progress from doing nothing.

Never have I been more proud to spout out some self-reflective old flannel.

Oh my god, it’s a mirage. I’m tellin’ you’all, it’s sabotage.

I ain’t afraid of no ghost

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Yeah, sod off Stay Puft.

Ghosting. The next innovation in rejection for the millennial generation. Its brutal simplicity cuts through the vast layers of communicable crap with one crystalline thought – let’s never communicate again. No it’s complicated. No sorry emoji. No it’s not you, it’s me. No nothing. Nada. Zip.

Snapchat there all cowardly yellow with its cute spooky ghost logo as a warning. Just in case you didn’t realise that it has ghosting in built in to its very make up. Let’s interact and all that jazz – then never speak again. Perfect foil in the era when there are a gazillion different ways you can chat/pester/mildly stalk people. So many ways to embarrass yourself. So quickly screengrabbed and kept forever. No painting in the attic for your peccadilloes (although the arid tumbleweed lands of Google+ is a pretty decent shame repository these days).

That’s why there’s something vaguely pleasing to me about the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. I like the idea that, if even only fictitiously, there are a bunch of birds busting ghosts. Kicking the ectoplasm-tinged shit out of gargantuan scary monsters. Although, to be honest the likelihood is most ghosting types you will encounter in this day and age are just the useless boy-men Stay Puft ones. Floating along in a bubble of their own inflated aimlessness, terrified of being tied down.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘owt wrong with a marshmallow man. They start off pretty yummy, eminently consumable, but after a while - even for someone with a sweet tooth like me - they get somewhat samey and tiresome. Predictable in their slithery squishiness. Textbook commitment-phobes, which don’t for a second consider that a girl could possibly have that same disease of our time too. And in this, a classic ghost off, invariably guys ghost first.

So, you’ve been ghosted. Who you gonna call? Anyone but them. Suck it up like proton packed ghouls being slurped down into the ghost trap. Shut them in that little yellow and black box trap door and start on your next adventure. No sequel or reboot. Although Dan Aykroyd is threatening to unleash a whole Marvel-esque Ghostbusters’ universe on us poor unsuspecting civilians so keep your wits about you.

Yeah, alright those ghosties just keep coming but that’s no problem. 

Bustin’ makes you feel good.

Surfing the cosmos

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Trying to get my head round the Interstellar intricacies whilst thinking about my own linear life trajectory. Loops and lines in spacetime. Love through the language of gravity. Up, up and away with the fifth dimension. Back down to Earth with a bump. 

Heading off on a way out west adventure next week as I move down to Cornwall. Ready to surf the void on new adventures in the elusive art of copywriting. Not quite sure how this multidimensional puzzle we call life is all going to fit together. But only one way to find out. Jump in!

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Note on picture above: the nearest I have got to standing on a surfboard in Morocco. This time next year I’ll be a surfing whizz just like… err… Patrick Swayze in Point Break.

The knitted home So I’m home. Seems like a million miles in space and time (well, more like 9,000) from my last rainy day post. Now tucked away in Bournemouth not Bali, still happily always only a few minutes from the sea, proper pubs and rabbit-sized squirrels.   Back squirrelled in my little slightly underground nest. A south coast bolthole blessed with double yellows outside so still surprisingly light and airy. Behold, the joy of making stuff for my own pad which is usable, practical and stupidly colourful. Seeing stuff you’ve made in your house, or a tea cosy in friend's cottage, wells up that bursting pride like when you were six years old and did a painting which was lovingly put up on the fridge door for all to see. Except that this time what you’ve made is not just crappy stuff your parents are obliged to like. It’s proper good. Somehow after jaunting around like a right old gadabout, I’ve boomeranged back to pastures old. It’s weirdly been like a life reset button. My trashed flat was like starting all over again, making the place all mine all over again and not accepting default magnolia. Nope. Never again shall I accept default magnolia.

The knitted home

So I’m home. Seems like a million miles in space and time (well, more like 9,000) from my last rainy day post. Now tucked away in Bournemouth not Bali, still happily always only a few minutes from the sea, proper pubs and rabbit-sized squirrels.  

Back squirrelled in my little slightly underground nest. A south coast bolthole blessed with double yellows outside so still surprisingly light and airy. Behold, the joy of making stuff for my own pad which is usable, practical and stupidly colourful. Seeing stuff you’ve made in your house, or a tea cosy in friend's cottage, wells up that bursting pride like when you were six years old and did a painting which was lovingly put up on the fridge door for all to see. Except that this time what you’ve made is not just crappy stuff your parents are obliged to like. It’s proper good.

Somehow after jaunting around like a right old gadabout, I’ve boomeranged back to pastures old. It’s weirdly been like a life reset button. My trashed flat was like starting all over again, making the place all mine all over again and not accepting default magnolia.

Nope. Never again shall I accept default magnolia.

The paradise paradox I’m getting that feeling when I watched Why Dont You? in 1989. The essential contradiction in the theme tune telling you to turn off the TV set and go outside and do something less boring instead, why don’t you? My single digit aged brain couldn’t get my head round it - but if I do what you say then I wouldn’t be watching your programme. Is that what you want?! But then the theme tune wouldn’t be quite as catchy with an added codicil of turn off your TV set and do someting less boring instead, but in twenty eight minutes time, why don’t you? It’s a bit like the mindscramble that is You’re So Vain. I bet you think the song is about you, don’t you, don’t you? But the song is about you. Warren Beatty. So, Carly, you’ve undermined your very point about the self-involvement of the man in question by writing a flipping song about him. He may be vain, which evidentally isn’t mutually exclusive with having angry songs written about you but, fair dos, it is at least grounded in a place of his being mister perpetuo centre of attention. Feed the ego beast, why don’t you? These things do my addled brain in. It’s like the pop culture equivalent of time travel unsolvable loops in Terminator kind of headfuckery. A potential Back to the Future mum-snogging wormhole. So like an oxymoron I’m here sat inside from the lashing rain in paradise trying to stop myself constantly checking Facebook or Guardian wanting to turn off my screen and do something less boring instead. Why don’t you, you ask. Bloody good question. I’m getting in James Cameron, Carly Simon and Gideon Coe in to tie up any temporal loose ends as we speak.

The paradise paradox

I’m getting that feeling when I watched Why Dont You? in 1989. The essential contradiction in the theme tune telling you to turn off the TV set and go outside and do something less boring instead, why don’t you? My single digit aged brain couldn’t get my head round it - but if I do what you say then I wouldn’t be watching your programme. Is that what you want?! But then the theme tune wouldn’t be quite as catchy with an added codicil of turn off your TV set and do someting less boring instead, but in twenty eight minutes time, why don’t you?

It’s a bit like the mindscramble that is You’re So Vain. I bet you think the song is about you, don’t you, don’t you? But the song is about you. Warren Beatty. So, Carly, you’ve undermined your very point about the self-involvement of the man in question by writing a flipping song about him. He may be vain, which evidentally isn’t mutually exclusive with having angry songs written about you but, fair dos, it is at least grounded in a place of his being mister perpetuo centre of attention. Feed the ego beast, why don’t you?

These things do my addled brain in. It’s like the pop culture equivalent of time travel unsolvable loops in Terminator kind of headfuckery. A potential Back to the Future mum-snogging wormhole.

So like an oxymoron I’m here sat inside from the lashing rain in paradise trying to stop myself constantly checking Facebook or Guardian wanting to turn off my screen and do something less boring instead. Why don’t you, you ask. Bloody good question. I’m getting in James Cameron, Carly Simon and Gideon Coe in to tie up any temporal loose ends as we speak.

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Flower power

Not posted in a while. Just been busy, or not busy at all, enjoying the beauty of Bali and the surrounding picture perfect islands of Gilli.

There are certain elements that don’t hit the spot at all - the boat parties on the islands that I feel far too decrepit to partake in (even if it is on the daddy of Bond villain boats which look likes it comes from a future wooden civilisation) or the ‘ecstatic dance’ classes of faux hippie Ubud that highlight my unchakrafied chubbiness and sheer lack of earnestness.

But, as with the places most full of wonder, the landscape and ecosystem wins out. The overarching natural beauty of Indonesia trumps the constant catcalls of ‘Taxi!’ or the identikit giant trewsers sold in delightfully shonky shops.

I never imagined that my everyday life would be rained on by tropical yellow flowers that were produced with the sole purpose, as far as I can work out, of being tucked behind a girl’s ear for Lilo paradise hair.

Today, possibly like the total lame tourist I am, I wore my yellow flower with pride. Acknowledging the magic and beauty of this wonderous world I currently inhabit, even if only so fleetingly.

THE MOZZER ANTIDOTE

“Oh, the rain falls hard on a humdrum town,
This town has dragged you down.
…And everybody’s got to live their lives,
And Lord knows I’ve got live mine.
Lord knows I’ve got to live mine.”

Never has a more apposite or life affirming snippet of songsmithery leapt into my ear at a more opportune time as when in the midst of another mad bus journey in the Indian hubbub I decided to stick on my double decade favourite, Hatful of Hollow.

As prescient lyrics go for jacking in a job up north and seeking other clammier climbs this pretty much takes the Bourbon biscuit.

The reassuring dour warmth gave a little bit of homely escape from my escapism. Sensory overload is a brilliant and terrifying thing about this most Technicolor of continents. But sometimes a little suburban greyness is just the my cup of tea - which disappointingly in my Indian experience seems to be battered into submission by five spoonfuls of sugar in every mouthful (although when they get the masala tea just right it would make Greg Wallace blush).

The rawness of The Smiths’ rhythm section, which ashamedly only just recently dawned on me was stripped back by design rather than due to ineptitude, married with the unmarred clarity of young Steven’s voice and words is the perfect repellent to the unalloyed India bonkersness oscillating wildly out of every sweat emitting pore.

So very very tired after days of people with Rupee signs in their eyes starting every conversation with ‘Hey Engerland! Oi Miss Engerland!’ (not quite, the nearest I got to that was a Daily Mail bonnie baby competition when I was six months old). So I really appreciated the sly nods and Carry On winks peppered through every song on that album - talking to me in the (dead) Queen’s English and happily taking me back to dear old Blighty.

The optimism emanating from Johnny’s guitar jangle and the tantalising hope of youth, interwoven into the situationist twinkling grime, is as intoxicating as it was on the cassette copy played to ropey ribboned destruction by my textbook angsty fourteen year old self.

"How dearly I’d love to get carried away, But dreams have a knack of just not coming true,
And time is against me now.”

Depending on whether your cynicism meter is turned up to 11 this could be either the most optimistic live for the now challenge or pessimistic fait accompli. I’m down with the former.

Even with Morrissey levels of self-doubt there are still moments to get carried away and dreams to be had, for heaven’s sake.

If this isn’t a call for you to arm your arsenal and grab life by the mammory glands then I don’t know what is.

Thank you, Mozzer. Thozzer.

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The loneliness of a long distance rail runner

“I’m on a NIGHT TRAIN…. I’m on a NIGHT TRA-AAAAAAIIIINNN…..”

Trains are generally my preferred form of transport and I’d been led to believe by the The Great Rail Bazaar that it’s a place of sociable adventure (my Theroux obsession continues). Not quite this time.

Alas, today I have not lucked out by only being able to get a second class sleeper. As soon as I got on I got bossed about and forcibly moved by an uppity woman who had booked every seat round me for her and 25 members of her family. No skin of my nose, I thought, and off I went to the other end of the carriage.

Unfortunately the other end was with all the middle aged Indian men who have given me such a wide berth that I quite literally have a whole berth to myself. It’s a weird experience to be on such a packed train but no one sat anywhere near me. They are not sure what to do with this random blonde bird in the corner.

The iron bars on the windows give the place a cell like quality. A berthing chamber, if you will. Except in prison you don’t get constantly asked to buy some hideous sweet type things which descends into give me money for nothing (and the chikoo for free).

I’ve quite enjoyed the hysteria when going through tunnels when everyone starts screaming. Also, lots of daredevil hanging out of open door chicken antics. Health and safety, aah. I did do a quick lean (when the train was going pretty slow - careful now).

Met these guys hanging out on the train tracks up to some mischief but were briefly distracted by crisps.

Trains are definitely great compared to terminable hell on earth that is the nightbus which involves constant bumping, bruises and abject fear of being juddered so violently over a pothole that you career out of your bunk. I don’t think my sarong safety net was going to help much.

I did see another traveller type on the platform when we first left but my aversion to wispy Francis Drake beards and men in balloon hareem pants has pulled rank over my need to make friends on this occasion. Being an occasional antisocial grump is fine by Theroux’s book.

If the biggest downside of being “ON A NIGHT TRAI-AAAAIIIINNN” is being left to your own devices to have Guns’N’Roses self-same song in my head then that’s fine with me.

Woke up next morning to a family in my bit who were playing the rather tricky mikado, like the biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate but just sticks you throw up in the air and try and pick up without a nudge like a perfectionist’s Jenga. Tricky at the best of times but on a wibbly wobbly train it’s quite an art, as exemplified by these two experts…

They also shared this weird fruit thing - imblim or something I think she said. I may have made that up completely. Tasted alright though.

India: A Happy Racket Horns parp, crows crow, packs of dogs bark, crickets chirrup, roosters inflate their red bellies, pigs squeal, cows err - well, they don’t do much (apart from occasionally terrorise me but that’s another story). Even in the quieter reflective moments the hum of teaming teeming wildlife surrounds you like TV static ever-present from the Big Bang. Those long Indian working days may well be attributable to the fact that it’s impossible to have a lie in. Between them the crow/cockerel tag team have got all the screaming at daybreak bases covered (not just the natural response to seeing Lorraine Kelly that early in the morning). However, this raucous racketeering is all preferable than the manufactured asinine beeps of a phone alarm lazarus-ing me out of a pallid solid state slumber in my native land. Alarmingly I am in the laidback, less hectic bit of India. I can only imagine what the full on city sonic experience is like. Although I won’t have to for long as I head to Chennai (Madras, for the curry context) next week. Note to self - earplugs. But you just couldn’t have all the Indian spice and colour without the accompanying cacophony. This discordant combo has pretty much been my life motif. A technicolor palate backed up by sonic booming. Me in a coconut shell. So c’mon, let’s hear it for the noise.

India: A Happy Racket

Horns parp, crows crow, packs of dogs bark, crickets chirrup, roosters inflate their red bellies, pigs squeal, cows err - well, they don’t do much (apart from occasionally terrorise me but that’s another story).

Even in the quieter reflective moments the hum of teaming teeming wildlife surrounds you like TV static ever-present from the Big Bang.

Those long Indian working days may well be attributable to the fact that it’s impossible to have a lie in. Between them the crow/cockerel tag team have got all the screaming at daybreak bases covered (not just the natural response to seeing Lorraine Kelly that early in the morning).

However, this raucous racketeering is all preferable than the manufactured asinine beeps of a phone alarm lazarus-ing me out of a pallid solid state slumber in my native land.

Alarmingly I am in the laidback, less hectic bit of India. I can only imagine what the full on city sonic experience is like. Although I won’t have to for long as I head to Chennai (Madras, for the curry context) next week. Note to self - earplugs.

But you just couldn’t have all the Indian spice and colour without the accompanying cacophony. This discordant combo has pretty much been my life motif. A technicolor palate backed up by sonic booming. Me in a coconut shell.

So c’mon, let’s hear it for the noise.

THE SHOULDA SHUDDER ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda are the last words of a fool’ a wise woman once sang (umm, Beverley Knight mind dredge). I’m totally there with living without regrets, yada yada yada. But I am now shuddering at the thought of what I 'should’ be doing. The thought being my internal dialogue like a nagging colleague on my back, pestering me to do something. But strangely something I actually want to do, nay on enjoy. I should keep an eye on jobs. I should write my blog. I should sort out my website. I should finish my knitting. It is so hard to get brain out of work mode. I guess it’s the protestant proles work ethic (which is made mockery of over here as they work sixteen hour days, seven days a week). But it is revealing how much of the pressure is oft self-generated. A cycle of tasks to be completed. Which right at this second on a beach in Goa do not matter one iota. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Blog or not to blog. Who cares? Do or don’t. It’s up to me. It seems it’s going to take more than a few weeks to deprogramme this pressure perpetuator. On my travels so far, I’ve already encountered a load of yogic gubbins and meditative missionaries proselytizing on its many merits. Generally, it’s not really my style although I can see the benefits of sitting there and thinking about sweet flip all. It seems pretty tough to keep that mind from racing and to stop hearing that overplayed vinyl again and again, clicking up, the mechanical whirr of the needle popping back down on the shoulda shudder groove. I guess it’s the hackneyed travelling phrase that ‘you take it with you’. You might be in paradise but your head is still in the world of Dolly Parton’s situation comedy masterpiece (speaking of eighties masterpieces, I carried a watermelon the other day). I know after a while it won’t be this way. Eventually the shackles will shake off. The good old time/distance equation. I should be grateful I am here in amongst the coconut palms and sunshine pondering such inadvertent aspects of the occidental condition. And I utterly am. That’s one ‘should’ that doesn’t make me shudder. Not one iota. (The picture - I know I should let sleeping dogs lie but I managed to get this quick snap. Much preferable unconscious.)

THE SHOULDA SHUDDER

‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda are the last words of a fool’ a wise woman once sang (umm, Beverley Knight mind dredge). I’m totally there with living without regrets, yada yada yada. But I am now shuddering at the thought of what I 'should’ be doing. The thought being my internal dialogue like a nagging colleague on my back, pestering me to do something. But strangely something I actually want to do, nay on enjoy.

I should keep an eye on jobs.
I should write my blog.
I should sort out my website.
I should finish my knitting.

It is so hard to get brain out of work mode. I guess it’s the protestant proles work ethic (which is made mockery of over here as they work sixteen hour days, seven days a week). But it is revealing how much of the pressure is oft self-generated. A cycle of tasks to be completed. Which right at this second on a beach in Goa do not matter one iota. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Blog or not to blog. Who cares? Do or don’t. It’s up to me.

It seems it’s going to take more than a few weeks to deprogramme this pressure perpetuator.

On my travels so far, I’ve already encountered a load of yogic gubbins and meditative missionaries proselytizing on its many merits. Generally, it’s not really my style although I can see the benefits of sitting there and thinking about sweet flip all. It seems pretty tough to keep that mind from racing and to stop hearing that overplayed vinyl again and again, clicking up, the mechanical whirr of the needle popping back down on the shoulda shudder groove.

I guess it’s the hackneyed travelling phrase that ‘you take it with you’. You might be in paradise but your head is still in the world of Dolly Parton’s situation comedy masterpiece (speaking of eighties masterpieces, I carried a watermelon the other day).

I know after a while it won’t be this way. Eventually the shackles will shake off. The good old time/distance equation.

I should be grateful I am here in amongst the coconut palms and sunshine pondering such inadvertent aspects of the occidental condition. And I utterly am. That’s one ‘should’ that doesn’t make me shudder. Not one iota.

(The picture - I know I should let sleeping dogs lie but I managed to get this quick snap. Much preferable unconscious.)

Aloha Goa Within twenty minutes of being in India there was an incident of a dog in the night time. Not so curious though as my taxi driver from the airport blatantly ran him over. But at least he could laugh about it. Fortunately being a cat person I wasn’t too traumatised and the dog appeared to walk off in one piece (she says optimistically…). As welcomes to countries go, pretty much as I expected and I was almost upset I didn’t see a man poo in the street. There’s still time… It’s funny how one traveller type place pretty much looks the same as any other wherever it is. Like the student union disco vortex. I’ve preemptively had Bob Marley stuck in my head waiting to hear the wailing but not as of yet. My nightmare - white dreadheads abound but I am keeping a safe distance. I must admit work schmirk, Blighty shitey, stressed messed up me is fading fast… hoorah. The dread is leaving me but don’t worry there are no dreads forming. Not this time anyway…

Aloha Goa

Within twenty minutes of being in India there was an incident of a dog in the night time. Not so curious though as my taxi driver from the airport blatantly ran him over. But at least he could laugh about it.

Fortunately being a cat person I wasn’t too traumatised and the dog appeared to walk off in one piece (she says optimistically…). As welcomes to countries go, pretty much as I expected and I was almost upset I didn’t see a man poo in the street. There’s still time…

It’s funny how one traveller type place pretty much looks the same as any other wherever it is. Like the student union disco vortex. I’ve preemptively had Bob Marley stuck in my head waiting to hear the wailing but not as of yet.

My nightmare - white dreadheads abound but I am keeping a safe distance. I must admit work schmirk, Blighty shitey, stressed messed up me is fading fast… hoorah. The dread is leaving me but don’t worry there are no dreads forming. Not this time anyway…

The Ever-changing Constance The thing I will most miss from being away is seeing my niece Constance grow up for a while. In the intervening six weeks since last seeing her in January, she learned to crawl and can stand up and has even taken up growling. What will I miss in six months or a year? Good job there’s Skype and the like. If you hear someone in paradise out of tune-ly winding the bobbin up, you’ll know it’s old muggins here yo gabba gabba-ing with the best of them.

The Ever-changing Constance

The thing I will most miss from being away is seeing my niece Constance grow up for a while.

In the intervening six weeks since last seeing her in January, she learned to crawl and can stand up and has even taken up growling. What will I miss in six months or a year?

Good job there’s Skype and the like. If you hear someone in paradise out of tune-ly winding the bobbin up, you’ll know it’s old muggins here yo gabba gabba-ing with the best of them.

Beauty On Our Doorstep No, this isn’t a reference to my new career as an Avon Lady as suggested by my friend Sophie’s daughter. My eyebrows are far too unkempt for that. But over the last few weeks the most wondrous display of Spring-like loveliness is abounding all over the place. A-bouncing Tigger has sprung. Like some doe-eyed tease Mother Nature has decided to envelop England in the most pleasant dappled sunshine just to remind me exactly what’ll miss. It’s like the hideous darkness and grimy umskah of Winter never happened. Who needs to go to the other side of the world when everything round me is so glorious? Even on a dull day Solent Beach, proudly pictured by me on manual above, looked magical. But maybe I’m feeling this because I’m going away. My spectacles are going through a rose-tinted stage on the way to full-on UV protection sunglasses. Whatever the reason, I’m going to enjoy the last few days of old Blighty at her best. Pip pip.

Beauty On Our Doorstep

No, this isn’t a reference to my new career as an Avon Lady as suggested by my friend Sophie’s daughter. My eyebrows are far too unkempt for that. But over the last few weeks the most wondrous display of Spring-like loveliness is abounding all over the place. A-bouncing Tigger has sprung.

Like some doe-eyed tease Mother Nature has decided to envelop England in the most pleasant dappled sunshine just to remind me exactly what’ll miss. It’s like the hideous darkness and grimy umskah of Winter never happened.

Who needs to go to the other side of the world when everything round me is so glorious? Even on a dull day Solent Beach, proudly pictured by me on manual above, looked magical.

But maybe I’m feeling this because I’m going away. My spectacles are going through a rose-tinted stage on the way to full-on UV protection sunglasses.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to enjoy the last few days of old Blighty at her best. Pip pip.

Packing It All In?

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Never known particularly for my spacial brevity (behold bra mountain) or for my ability to just say no to shiny brightly coloured things, like some sort of gallivanting rainbow magpie, the prospect of cramming my entire life for a year into one bag is a somewhat daunting prospect.

I think I may have gone overboard with technology - tablet, camera, solar charger, phone, hard drive - but in the intervening decade since I last did a mammoth trip the world has changed a smidge. Last time it was all internet cafes, dial-up and clunky emails and could be isolating and at times I felt very far away from my family and friends. So this time I’m happy to sacrafice the lionshare of my 5kgs allowance to documenting/rubbing in face/keeping connected with you lot.

In fact my track record for taking only hand luggage is pretty good but this was for trips which were a month max. So this time in my space quest I’ve decided to create my own Gok-less version of a capsule wardrobe. Namely a swimming costume, two dresses, two skirts, jumpsuit, pjs and shorts (which are apparently highly offensive in India for some reason unbeknownst to me).

Gok would spin in his grave (wait, he isn’t dead although I imagine some sort of karmic retribution is due for his woeful Desert Island Disc choices) at my decision to not take a bra. Heaven forfend I have nothing to hoist up my ‘bangers’. But in my quest to let go of the strain and stress of modern life - boob and foot prisons were first on my list.

When I become queen of that Vanuatu tribe that worship Nicholas Parsons, only wearing a few leaves for modesty (the tribe I mean, not Nicholas Parsons who I assume would at least be in a tastefully position cummerbund), wandering around enencumbered with my exposed tootsies and hanging bangers.

Oh! How I shall enjoy being free of the packing it all in satorial restrictions of this green and pleasant land.

Big Bold Change or Bye Bye Career?

Last week, I left my job at the most venerable of institutions, the Big British Castle (BBC). In some ways the hardest thing about leaving was the perception of others - I’d love to work there, why would you want to leave?

Of course, there has been some amazing highlights in my job - Edinburgh Festival, making a doc with Billy Bragg for Radio 4, err… Strictly Come Dancing, the Ann Widdicombe year.

But the weight of the reputation of the media monolith and reminiscing on past glories wasn’t enough to get me through the daily here and now - it’s just wasn’t right. So here I am now - excited, scared, nervous, happy - embarking on a new adventure.

For a long time I felt frozen in indecision and worry about making a mistake, throwing my life away, giving up a bustling media career. Then there was just a shit or get off of the pot moment. I was turning 34, everyone round was having babies, bored of the grim weather up north. Needed some action and some sunshine.

What was stopping me? Work. Work was an anchor pulling me down but it couldn’t hold me here forever. And, oh buoy, I broke free. It’s been a weird combo of numbness and surrealness so far, it doesn’t quite feel real. The one thing that really reassured me I wasn’t being utterly insane was chatting to someone who’d been at the Beeb for a long time, had a great career and a freaking interesting job. But still she wished she’d gone off on an adventure when she was young and had no strings. 

So, off I boldly go. My very own no-string theory that might answer the unifying question of life, the universe and everything. Well, a one way ticket to Asia at least and then wherever the flight of fancy (and TigerAir) will take me.

As I flirt with the hippie trail, I’m unlikely to ever actually enjoy yoga or ‘find myself’ but may find some new experiences and wonderful wonders. Some cool people and some awful people, lots of noodles and ridiculous named local beers, beaches, beds, bugs, birds and boats. And other things beginning with other letters too.

So please do follow my adventures. Quite where I’ll end up who knows but I cannot wait to find out.

Cheers

Charlotte

If you don’t like something - change it.

Prince Rogers Nelson

Manchester, 23rd Feb 2014