Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Star Brother.

"Janey, stop crying it's fine" you said as you carried me in your skinny 12 year old arms. Luckily I was small and not too heavy.
 I had banged my head and blood was seeping out of my forehead onto your grey school jumper. I had managed to crack my head on the school playground slabs. 

Instead of running to the school nurse as all six year old's are supposed to do, I belted it over the 'big' playground to find you, my big brother Jim. You would help.

You immediately hoisted me up, you knew how to carry me, you were the eldest and I was the youngest. You had hauled me on your hip for years.

 I could see the shock in your face as the blood dribbled over my eyebrows and into my eyes. You took your sleeve (who carries hankies?) and wiped my face with such tenderness. 

In seconds my legs were crab like round your waist and my arms locked around your neck. I could feel your heart banging in your chest as you sped up the hilly street towards my house and sat beside me as my mammy washed and looked at the cut on my head.

I still have the scar.

You had scars as well.

The ones on your torso when you got so overweight at twenty and one night slashed your own stomach. Nobody spoke about it. You had scars on your arms when you took to the needle to escape your own life when heroin magically melted away the crap in your existence. 

Then you got thin again and the scars of the years of being an addict took its toll like a map of fear on your skin. You became a problem, you were complicated, angry, confused and sometimes a right pain to be with, but I still loved you.

You got new scars, when the tests for HIV revealed you had more shit running in your veins than you thought was possible and then you got more scars when you developed cancer and a Hickman line protruded out of your collar bone. 

That bone I knew so well, the bone I would rest my head on as a kid when you picked me up.

Your life was full of scars and pain, yet you carried on. 
I remember coming to see you and discovering that all the posters and flyers from my Fringe shows were on your walls beside Oasis and Bryan Ferry. 

You told me I was 'Your Star Child' and sometimes you rubbed the thin line on my forehead and called me 'Your Scar Child'. We laughed and hugged.

I never got to say goodbye to you, you died a few years ago on New Year's Eve down in Colchester near your daughter.

You went suddenly and one of your extended family just put your death up as a Facebook Status and that's how I found out you had left us. 
But in my heart you always were the one that carried me Jim and now I carry you, inside my soul.

My Star Brother.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Bay City Rollers and Me

Picture the scene, it's 1975 and the girls are in the old school outdoor Victorian toilets standing beside the big radiators rubbing their hands for a smidgeon of heat and I walk in.I budge people up for some warmth on the thick painted cast iron that gives out a dull heat.
Someone shouted "The Bay City Rollers are coming to Glasgow".
I was stunned, I loved them! I wanted to go and see them. They were HUGE, everyone I know LOVED them. 
 "My dad got me two tickets and then we are going to The Albany Hotel to meet them" said this girl I knew called Donna.  
Everyone was excited at her news.
I piped up "I love them, I might go".
Donna flicked back her long hair, stared at me and laughed as she pushed me off the radiator and yelled "You can't even afford the school dinners, you eat out of bins Currie" and all her pals giggled and shoved me on the way out of the toilets. I blinked back tears. 
I hated her, she had everything I wanted like ...boobs, shiny long straight blonde hair and really fashionable clothes. I fucking hated her.
I was small, flat chested and had hair so curly and densely thick that no matter what style you got it cut, it went back to its original thicket of black matted wool. Who I am kidding? It was never professionally styled and cut, my mammy trimmed it regularly with the giant wallpaper scissors. 
How could a Bay City Roller ever fall in love with a child-like boyish girl with mismanaged hair and cardboard to block up the holes in her shoes?
I gripped the radiator hard and listened as the others all talked about getting tickets and making plans. I left the toilet with that horrible acceptance that I would never get the money to go. 
Life could be shit in 1975 for us poor ones.
Today I was introduced to Les McKeown from Bay City Rollers at a charity event "This is Janey Godley, she is great stand up comic" the very generous woman said as she nodded to Les. He shook my hand and said "Yea, I have seen your stuff, you are right funny, hiya"
That wee girl standing beside the radiator in 1975 with wet socks wishing she had boobs, untangled hair and the money for a Bay City Rollers ticket finally smiled. 
Fuck you Donna, where ever you are.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Being a woman comic, these are things that happen.

1. Watching the hotel receptionist ignore you and speak to your husband, explaining stuff and giving keys out, even though you are paying the bill and the room is in your name (which is entirely different from his).

2. Turning up at a new theatre gig and watch the front of house staff explain to my husband (who drove me there and is only walking me in and is not a comic) where the green room is and shaking his hand, assuming he must be the headline act and not me.

3. Computer staff asking my husband what his job is to get a laptop to suit his needs when in fact it was me who asked them for assistance and he was only standing beside me.

4. People assuming I would wet my knickers to run to the 'Prosecco and Cupcake' table at a charity event.

5. Organisers ignoring every male comic in the room to tell specifically me that 'this event would prefer if swearing was kept to a minimum'.

6. Having a woman apologise in advance for my language at a comedy/political event after four men had sworn onstage before me. She gave them great introductions with no 'bad language' comments.

7. Men asking me what my husband thinks of my job.

8. Women asking me what my husband thinks of my job and did I feel like a bad mother leaving my daughter in her father's care as I pursued my career.

9. Audience member's telling me they don't normally like female comics, but I was good.

10.  People asking me if my comedy is about my vagina and hating men.

11. When explaining my husband doesn't work, having to listen to men assume he must be secretly resentful I make money. You are not allowed to reverse that question on them, apparently that's me being defensive.

12. People asking me if being a 'woman 
comic' is actually a real job.

Come see 2 funny women at Glasgow International Comedy Festival MARCH 2015