Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Piccadilly is my home

London is one of my favourite places to be, I have had some of my best experiences in the capital and it never fails to surprise me. As soon as the plane lands and I get onto the Piccadilly line, I feel I am somehow at home. The angry, odd, frightened worried and sad people on the tube always make my imagination run wild.

I like to make stories for the people I observe. That old woman with the sad face who is rubbing her calf with gnarled fingers? I bet she was a sexy cigarette girl in her youth, she was as hot and curvy as the women painted on the pistons of American Bombers, she probably dated the Prince of Monaco before Grace Kelly got a look in and she no doubt dated Sinatra when he came to London. She now lives alone in high rise flat next to a crack dealer with a dangerous dog and a youth based hip hop dance troupe, who keep her awake with music that can only be described as really fast screaming.

See that woman with the exhausted face, bunched up skirt and thick dull hair staring at the young black guy? She is dreamingly wishing she didn’t have to face her fat annoying sweaty husband and instead she was off having a secret meeting with the tall black guy in the sharp suit, they don’t make eye contact here in front of people, but they are off to some sexy hotel room overlooking Hyde Park, she has a negligee in her big bag and her demanding kids and useless husband will melt into nothingness as soon as he strips her naked and presses into her warm body against the cold tiles in the master bathroom. Afterwards he will feed her strawberries and champagne, then as the dusk settles over the city like a washed out ruined duvet thrown over the sky will she contemplate the awfulness of her situation and she will creep home to Dagenham and asses the mess that is her broken life. But at least she had that moment with the young man and London will keep her secrets safe, it never spills them out. It tucks them all away into the tall white stucco turrets that scatter across the night sky.

I can get quite lyrical on a train can’t I?

After I make up lives and stories for people on the tube I love getting into Piccadilly and just standing there letting the whole hub of the city whirl around me like a stuttering noisy spin cycle, the lights, the traffic and even the screaming nutters make me feel like I have truly come home.

Lots of things happened on this trip for one; I got to eat at Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant ‘Dinner’ at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I am so very lucky that I know Heston and got to sit with him as I ate his stunning array of food. The wondrous head chef Ashley Palmer Watts served me the meat fruit which was a chicken liver parfait inside a tangy mandarin puree, then I had the steak and chips followed up by the tipsy cake, I am not doing any of this amazing award winning food any justice but I was just astounded at the tastes and shoved it all in to my mouth with unbelievable glee. Heston by the way is a cracking lovely man, that’s all I can say and am blessed he is a friend. By the way whilst am talking food if you live near Nottingham you simply must check out Sat Bains’ place up there, the man is a genius.

My favourite club is in Soho and they have bedrooms upstairs which is just as well because after one morning of meetings, auditions and a live radio show the amazing people at the Groucho club let me go upstairs and nap before I went onto do my late night comedy gig! I wasn’t staying there as a guest but they are the best folk in the world. Now you know you are very old when you hang out at a private members club and need a nap to get you through the day. Bless them! I woke up refreshed and raring to go, a power nap on Egyptian cotton sheets with a high thread count does make all the difference. Oh and big pot of tea waiting for you when you wake up also helps, all that was missing was the young black guy and the slinky negligee.

Just to prove to you that I am not some star struck snob who is full of high falluting ideas, I stood on the streets of Soho and munched down a steak bake and the gravy ran down my neck and burned my left boob. Yes am a classy eh?

All sorts of things happened when I left Glasgow, the computer broke and took with it the podcast episode Ashley and I had recorded together. She simply re recorded the episode on her own and am very proud of that! Husband had to buy a new computer and it seems he lost lots of vital information, but he spends his entire life telling me to back stuff up and never really did it himself. I was full to the brim with ‘I told you so’ but kept my gob shut! There is nothing worse than when someone makes a situation worse by being smug and that’s not me.

So Ashley and I are off to Adelaide next Sunday do check my show out at Adelaide Town Hall you can get all the links on my website http://janeygodley.com

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