Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New shoes, swinging, erotic striptease and the Scissor Sisters

So that's your Christmas done then ? Hope your festives went according to plan, there were no big family arguments and you didn't seriously overdo it on the sup and snap front. Ours was alright as far as it went in it's abbreviated fashion.
The Christmas Eve showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" was a top bit of seasonal business. The advert had promised "mulled wine & nibbles", so we expected a few canapes and the like. In the end it was a full scale buffet of epic proportions. We'd already eaten so we didn't do it justice and left with that feeling of regret you have when you've not made the most of free food. The film was lovely as ever and it was great to see it on a big screen for once. It was a sell-out and a few late arrivals had trouble getting seats in their family groups. This caused much middle-class awkwardness and as a couple nabbed the seats of a pair who had just nipped off to the bar it could have got quite nasty. The slightly butcher member of gay couple sitting behind us pointed out the error to the lady of the couple who took umbrage and said something nasty in return. Rachel at this point piped up with a very audible "rude bloody cow" and the camper gay part of the couple said "ooh the silly bitch." I sank back in my chair and pretended I'd seen and heard nothing. After the seatless couple had huffed off chuffing something like "well that's not playing ball is it ?!" (no it was a film love, not a ball game of any kind) the camp gay guy leaned across our seats and said ;
"Well so much for the Christmas spirit....I feel quite traumatised"
To be honest, he wasn't the only one. A middle-aged guy who had a much younger oriental looking wife took the spare seat next to me. He slept through three quarters of the film and at a key moment it looked as if his head was about to land lovingly on my shoulder. To be honest, he wasn't really my type and he had terrible dress sense so I coughed heartily which brought him round with a jolt.
Christmas Day was spent with the family. It all went OK, there were no crossed words of any kind, I managed to stay relatively sober despite being over exposed to some evil sweet rhubarb wine which had been made by an enthusiastic uncle. Rach and I cleared off for a walk around the village just as it was getting dark and ended up at the childrens play area. Let me tell you that swings are the absolute business when you're big, I seemed to be able to propel myself much higher than I did as a kid. My stomach felt a bit delicate by the time we'd finished. We took some pictures of our nightime swinging activities (let's just see what that does to the blog traffic ) which I may well post later.
Santa was very kind and remembered my Dunlop Green Flash trainers and the Girls Aloud Greatest Hits album I asked for. I wasn't the only one who received music. My mum (whose 72) got the Scissor Sisters album she'd set her heart on. This was played repeatedly through the course of the day and we all had to dance in the front room to keep her happy. By about the fifth time of hearing "I don't feel like I dancing " I agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment.
After all that excitement it was back to work yesterday. I was genuinely excited about getting to work on my book and I'm feeling really positive about it. Quite unlike me really. Dad bought me a book written by a Polish friend they know from the local Catholic church. It's about his experiences escaping the Communist regime and reaching Britain. It's a POD book and I was really impressed by the quality of the production and the way it looks. Now I'm thinking I might do something like that with the novel I'm currently writing. I'm sure I'd be able to shift a few copies and judging by the costs I wouldn't need to sell that many to recoup my money. We'll see how it goes. Speaking of Mother Church, Rach and I were talking about what our kitchen needs just to finish it off. I reckon it's crying out for a 64 inch statue of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help
(only $13,000 - a snip I'm sure you'll agree) but I think Rach has set her heart on a Slow Cooker from Argos. Never mind, the back bedroom is due for a sort out in 2007.
Last night I watched that Challenge Anneka thing about building a maternity centre in a Sri Lankan village recovering from the effects of the 2004 Tsunami. Anneka didn't seem to do much, but the volunteers who had gone over to get involved were all really impressive. Watching it I began to feel a bit crap and useless. Positive people doing practical stuff, giving up time and comfort to make a real credible difference. Both Rach's brothers have been involved in various projects in Central America over the years and I have nothing but admiration for people who go and get their hands dirty like that. Could I do it ? I'm not sure.
Following that we watched Faking It which was a burlesque special. Burlesque if you don't already know is the high-camp erotic striptease exemplified by the likes of Marilyn Manson's wife, Dita Von Teese. It grew out of the 19th century music hall tradition and became very popular in the 1920s through to the 1940s. It's currently undergoing a bit of a revival which in my book is a GOOD THING (one of many). In the programme a 34 year old cleaner from Wales with a terrible shaggy perm had to be able to convince a panel of judges that she was a real performer. This poor woman was very likeable but had lived such a sheltered life in her rural Welsh vilage and had been cleaning toilets since she left school at 16. She was a bright woman, but had little faith in herself and as a consequence wanted to hide herself away from the world. The highlight of her week was bingo in the village hall. Yes, it really was that desperate.
After a few weeks with the curvaceous and utterly lovely Immodesty Blaize she was a woman transformed. She'd had her hair done, she was much more confident with her body and the whole 1940s burlesque look really suited her. Anyway, she managed to convince the panel that she was the real deal and left Immodesty about three feet taller. It was a lovely, heartwarming thing to see. Not only that, she was so good that she's now intending to become a real burlesque performer in her own right leaving behind the bleach and rubber gloves for feathers and satin gauntlets. Surely another GOOD THING. Rach was quite inspired by this and fancies having a go at the whole burlesque thing herself, I can't say I dissaprove. We thought she should go by the name of Legs L'Amour, and I could be her spivish impressario, Chuck Clemencau III. This fantasy has now superceded our previous one where I was the lead singer of a group called Lipgloss Gigolo. My name was Tristram Lefarge and Rach was my polka-dot wearing muse, Penny Farthing. We cycled around Sussex villages on 1940s Raleigh boneshakers having picnics whilst looking wistful. Both fantasies allow me to wear my trilby. At the very least we're going to take ourselves along to a burlesque night in the New Year.
So that's me done. Back to the novel writing and I'll leave you the video below which if you're still off work I command you to dance to energetically. Otherwise my mum will be round and she can be quite insistent.

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