Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My First Newspaper Column!

So in between all the dashing through the night in cars/planes and taxi’s I am finally in London. Brechin was awesome, Manchester was amazing….I am so pleased that the gigs went well. I even managed to meet up with people who check the blog and have read my book! That’s an amazing feeling…trust me.
I am currently practising singing for my live TV appearance on BBC for Children in Need… I am not a Madonna, well she isn’t really a good singer either but I wish I was better.
On Sunday past my very first own column went in the Sunday Herald Newspaper Magazine! I was so chuffed to see it and you have no idea how proud my father is, he loves that I write for a newspaper, you see comedy is great but JOURNALISM is worthy. I wrote about Sacha Baron Cohen, his latest film and the validity of offensive comedy. You can see it on my website.
The flat here in London is wonderful, we have a huge two bedroom flat with a balcony, and it is so central.
I love the people at Crown Lawn, and they are my fairy Godmothers!

I must tell you about Brechin, it is a Cathedral town. It’s a very cute wee place just beyond Dundee.
I went to see the ancient Cathedral, it was built in 9AD originally and like all Catholic chapels, it became a Church Of Scotland after the reformation, not that you need to read that on any tourist documentation, the crucifix above the tower door had Jesus’ head hacked off and that always gives a good indication on the religious persuasion of any building. Protestants are not big with religious imagery…That makes me giggle.

The people were lovely and very welcoming and the area surrounding is just beautiful at this time of year. Those trees that are turning golden brown, burnt sienna, russet, copper red and dark burgundy would give New England in the US a run for its money!
The sun shining through the crisp leaves is breath taking. I was speechless, we often forget how lovely and scenic Scotland is and take that surrounding beauty for granted. Come to Scotland at this time of year and be wowed!
Castles, monuments, Roman Ruins, eye popping mountains….the list goes on.

So I am getting ready to do my gigs here in Old London Town, I do love it here and have brought along my video camera and hope to do a video blog here.
I will keep you all posted on my singing progress, don’t expect too much though!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Someone has put up Christmas lights

I am looking out of my window here in Glasgow and across the road there is CHRISTMAS lights twinkling in someone’s flat, they are strung across the window frame…..it is only October for goodness sake!
We haven’t even had Halloween and yet FIREWORK’S are banging making Glasgow’s West End sound like Iraq, I can’t sleep for the constant banging outside.
Why is this happening?
Why don’t we make everything months in advance and let’s have a New Year Party on Monday?
Talking about Monday, I am so bloody nervous. It’s the huge party and announcement of Scotswoman of the Year of which I am a finalist. I still haven’t figured out an outfit, I still haven’t bothered to get a hair appointment ….I am so scared.
I am really honoured to be there but it is scary for me, I know everyone knows me as this chatty outspoken stand up comic but I am crap at parties and meeting complete strangers and often end up gibbering shit about three legged dogs and squirrels! Unless Ashley is with me, or my mate Monica, I sit quiet and people think I am being stand offish …..I know that sounds odd.

When Ashley and I went to NZ to the comedy festival, I was pretty quiet the first weeks there as I didn’t really know anyone in Wellington and backstage when all the comics got together I sat and played with the theatre’s cat.
When Ashley and I got back to the hotel she said “Mum, you need to be less unapproachable, you ignored everyone there and sat with that scary cat, some guys there asked me if you didn’t like them”

I was appalled that I had given that impression, but I do get very insular in small rooms with lots of people, especially being a comic…everyone expects you to do tumbles and pull a big magical joke out of your arse every five minutes. I did like the cat, he was a big fat ginger Tom who ran after me and then I fed him raw salmon which made him love me.
I did eventually get to know the other guys and they are awesome, but I am either extremely quiet or extremely chatty….never anywhere in between!

I have become a strange sleep recluse the last week also, which doesn’t help. Sometimes I get like this where I just spend all day asleep with a cover over my eyes to deny me any daylight to remind me what time of day has arrived. I sleep and sleep and slop about the house all tired and un-washed….maybe I am turning into Howard Hughes, fuck does that mean I am going to have to design a flying boat? Shit- that will take weeks to put together! Can I just shove Kleenex boxes on my feet and pee my shorts?

Even husband is getting distressed with my appearance.
“You are going to wash your hair for Monday night’s party aren’t you?” he asked tentatively.
“Yes, I am and don’t worry I know what to wear” I added as I tried to shove my toes into the end of an empty toilet roll tube (I have no Kleenex boxes).

Husband is not coming with me to the party as he HATES anything that involves publicity and virtually disappears when that stuff happens. I have four Film Premiers to go to in London, one meeting Ben Affleck and Bob Hoskins, husband has refused to go to any of them.

We go to London next week, that’s after I have survived Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Christmas, New Year, spring and summer here in Glasgow in the next three days!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Junkie, drunks and Swans…

On Tuesday I went out with a film crew to do the short film that will be presented to the assembled guests at the finals of ‘Scottish Woman of the Year’ dinner.
It really is just a small clip of me walking around with a voice over, giving the people there a taste for who I am.
The other five women had theirs done and the crew were lovely and knew that I was a comedian and had decided to make it a wee bit funnier.
So we took a walk down to the Glasgow Green and beside the River Clyde, I saw a big bunch of swans strutting around so I decided it would be funny if I pretended they were a comedy crowd and I addressed them as if I was doing comedy and the birds all honked and flapped at me.
“Come on swans, give me smile, tip your waitress, I will be here all week” I giggled.

Then a wee Glaswegian drunk wandered over in to camera shot. He was wearing a dirty tee shirt, had no teeth and stank.

“Why do you think that big swan isn’t joining all of those birds?” He said.

He was right the big bird stood a distance away from the other swans.

I looked at the big haughty swan and said to camera “This wee Glasgow man who is locally known as Doctor Doolittle has posed a very sombre question”

The wee drunk closed his eyes in a professional manner threw up one arm and shouted loudly and proudly “That’s because they are geese and that is a swan, if you are going to talk to them at least get there breed correct, Geese hate being called swans that’s why they honk at you” The wee drunk man smiled smugly to the camera.

He was right they were bloody geese! I hadn’t even noticed…how much of a city kid am I?

I went back to look at the swan with the wee drunk stumbling man behind me, still with the camera running, and as I approached the snooty tall white beast- two big fat long rats came scrambling under the swans legs and scurried towards me.

“Arrrggghhh fucking big smelly rats!” I squealed as the wee drunk laughed aloud.

“It’s ok they are water rats, they don’t bite!” He said running behind the rats that were running after me……the camera still shooting the whole thing.

We couldn’t have arranged this if we tried.

The wee drunk man refused to leave me alone to get the shot done “give me money” he demanded.
“I don’t have money wee man” I said (and I didn’t)
“Well I want money for being in your film” He stood his ground.

“I think you will find we never had you in the film, we never asked for you to be in this wee film and we are actually trying to position the camera to get you out of our wee film” I snapped back.

“Well I told you about the geese” he replied smugly.

“And you want payment for pointing out a swan isn’t a goose?” I asked him sarcastically.

“Aye I do” He shot back at me.

“Well, no is the answer to that, I recognised the rats and I am not getting paid for pointing them out am I?” I laughed and then he laughed and finally wandered off, but still managed to shout at me in the background.

After escaping the rats and drunks, we walked towards the suspension bridge that sits over the River Clyde for a shot of me walking across.
Just as I started walking, I saw a man drag himself out of the water at the bank side, he clambered up through the muddy clearing, ran in front of the camera and came up to me.
He was filthy, dripping and I thought I may be dreaming, how surreal can my day get?
“Listen if you want to film me you can, I will tell you my story for cash, I was chased into the river by gangsters, now film me” he shouted, wet arms outstretched and bawling like a mad man.

“We don’t want to film you actually” I replied. The camera woman kept the film going; my wistful walk amongst the red rustic autumnal leaves was going in an entirely different direction.
We then cut the shot and tried to ignore him. He ran around everyone and came back at me as I lit up a quick fag and gripped my take away coffee carton for smoke break and possibly a looney break,
“Give me a fag you bitch” he hissed at me.
I looked at him and smiled “No”.
“You fucking middle class bastards come here with your camera’s filming shite and here is me with a real gangster story, I just came out of the Clyde…now give me a fag” he aggressively spat at me.

I watched as the three women production crew fiddled with equipment and made a concerted effort to ignore him, I stepped forward and shoved my face right into his and said through gritted teeth.

“Listen you fuckwit, I am from here, I lived here in the Calton for years, I am not fucking interested in your fucked up junkie tale of woe, don’t stand there thinking I am some mumsy middle class arse that you can scare or intimidate, you ever speak to me like that again, I will fucking throw you back into the river, if you want anything from me, I will be glad to help but you have to respect me first or you can fuck right off and go drink your methadone elsewhere”

He looked at me, raised one eyebrow and said “Well if you are from here you know how shite it is, I have problems” he put his head down and stuffed his wet swollen fingers into damp pockets.

I answered him “Yeah…fucking big problems and if you treat people like that and try to intimidate women like that then no fucking one will help you, I don’t let anyone speak to me like that”

“Can I have a cigarette please?” he asked politely.

“Yes” I said and handed him one and gave him the coffee.

“Do you know Shorty from the Calton? I asked him as he lit the fag.

“Aye, I know Shorty well, you know him?” He replied blinking through the smoke.

“I told you, I lived here, I used to own the Weavers Inn up on London road” I answered.
“Fucksake you should’ve said that” He smiled gripped the cigarette with his teeth and thrust out one hand to shake mine.
“You must be a Storrie” his broad smile spilt his face.

“Yes I am a Storrie….well by marriage but I have changed my name since, what’s yours?” I asked him.

“I am not telling you, I will get battered for fucking you about” he laughed loudly and he walked off with my cigarette and my hot coffee “Cheers Storrie” he shouted from a distance as he held up the paper cup and made off between the big trees that lined the river.

We did manage to finish off that short two minute film of me walking about and talking about my charity work. I don’t think the lovely film crew even imagined they would be staring through a camera at a nominee of Scotswoman of the Year as she argued with geese, had an animal lecture from a wee drunk and threatened to throw a drug addict into a freezing river, but then again stuff happens to me.

Oh and by the way, must of the charity work I do is with people who have drink and drug problems….ironic?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Native American Indians and baby Abi strikes again…

I have to thank Marie Leaf, for sending me her hand made dream Native American Indian handmade Dreamcatcher. She posted it to me from all the way across the world.

It is beautiful and the feathers that dangle from it are just spectacular. I lie in bed and watch them flutter and dance in the late Scottish Summer sun. My dreams have got better except they are now BIZZARE and detailed beyond belief. I dreamt I was working in a huge bar I am not familiar with and had a stroppy fight with Kofi Anan and the BeachBoys, whilst and old gangster I knew became a make up artist that painted mustard on babies faces! Go figure that shit out!

I managed to get our boiler finally repaired this week; we have been living without hot running water for months now. Boiling kettles to wash dishes, the showers worked, but the taps didn’t so I managed to at least get myself cleaned! I even washed pots in the shower last week.
Plumbers are so good to have in the family and they are a dying breed of workmen, no one wants to be a plumber anymore. Loads of young people all want to go into media and film, hardly any want to get a real trade like brickwork and electricians etc….the Government here in UK is trying to recruit more youngsters into these trades as there is a dire shortage.
I don’t have any skills like that.
My dad could do plumbing and home repair jobs; my mammy was an expert wall paperer and painter. In the old days people were too poor to hire folk to come do stuff to their homes, but I never managed to gather those skills. My whole flat needs repainting and it will wait until I can afford one!
Till then I will live with yellowing walls and dull white doors!

I am hoping one of those TV shows will offer my home a make-over….but I suppose that will never ever happen!

My niece Ann-Margaret was telling how she is coping with her daughters the new baby Julia and the crazy toddler Abi.
Those who read the blog often will be familiar with the antics of Abi; she is now three and can TALK for Britain in the Toddler Chatting Arena. I love her so much; she is extremely funny and very sharp for a wee cute baby.

The other day Ann –Margaret finally finished breast feeding newly born Julia, coping with sore nipples and a cranky back she finally put Julia down for a sleep and gave herself a well earned rest.

Two minutes later she heard the baby’s “Waaa Waaa” screams from Julia’s lacy crib in the bedroom. “Oh ….crap, please don’t be awake wee preciousness” the weepy hormonal Ann-Margaret whispered as she struggled to get on her feet, being careful not to jerk her sore pelvis.

Just as she stood up Abi came running in and said “I just checked and that wee baby can’t talk yet, I spoke loudly and clearly and all she did was scream, when will she talk mummy?”

Abi’s big brown eyes pleading annoyance to her mum with her bubbly jiggly curls bouncing about as she struggled to understand why a tiny child won’t talk back, Ann-Margaret had to bite her bottom lip and restrain her shouts at the cute toddler who had woken up the baby again stood there waiting for an answer.
“Aunty Janey, please take Abi till she is at least 21 years old and bring her back for visits” my poor niece Ann-Margaret pleaded in desperation.

I am sure it will all work out in the end, but it must be madness having a toddler and a new born still on the breast….thank GOD I am too old for that stuff, though I wouldn’t mind having Abi till she was 21 years old, she is such fun!

I made a new video blog on my website, it is a satirical spoof of the famous UK Labour MP Sion Simon weblog where he spoofed the Conservative leader David Cameron….you can see it on my main webpage if you are interested.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I am in the FINAL SIX of Scotswoman of the Year!

I cannot thank all of you enough and a big Thanks to everyone who voted for me. I am also very touched the way the Glasgow Evening Times put me forward for this amazing award.
The other wonderful nominee’s for this prestigious award are amazing women who have overcome hardships, and went on to be inspirational to many. I am honoured to be up there with them!

The article in tonight’s newspaper is here
Comedienne Janey Godley proves laughter really can be the best medicine.
As a child, she was sexually abused by her uncle, which she recounted in her book, Handstands in the Dark.
She then married into Glasgow's gangland and watched as many of her friends and family were sucked into a life of crime and drugs.
Yet she was determined to take a different path in life. After 30 years she found the confidence to prosecute her uncle.
Today, the 45-year-old has become the inspiration for victims of abuse from all over the world.
"I am a great believer in trying to make the best of a bad job," she says.
Her award-winning play, The Point of Yes, tells the story of the 80s heroin epidemic.
She runs comedy workshops for 15-18-year-olds and drama workshops for former addicts, using their own experiences as inspiration.
Janey has worked unofficially with abused women at court, telling them what to expect, and this year, on International Women's Day, she contributed to a Fighting Violence with Comedy event in London.
This month she hosts the Emma Humphreys Memorial Awards, which recognises women who work against male violence.

If you haven’t voted yet and WISH to VOTE click on this link


I am so chuffed and grateful, you have no idea how this has cheered me up!
Thanks everyone for your kind words and testaments.
Much Love Janey

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Brother JIM…

My eldest brother Jim is a funny eccentric and extremely nutty person whom I adore. He has lived with drug and some vague mental problems for many years and now lives alone near Edinburgh. I often feel guilty that I don’t see him enough but he can be hard work. His daily accounts of fighting with doctors, police and social workers (many of these stories are greatly exaggerated) can wear you down and defeatist attitude can make your ears bleed.
Jim has lived a strange life, having been an addict for many years and now apparently doesn’t do heroin (Fuck knows he doesn’t need it to go into a trippy world) but he still uses pills and downers etc.

His only daughter who is 30 years old has TWO sets of twins (Two girls at a year old and a boy and girl at nine) and a teenage daughter, now lives near London so he is on his own. He adored her kids and helped raise them and misses then dreadfully and does nothing but talk about them….bless. Jim has been single since 1980.

I abhor going to visit because his home is usually a junk yard mess and I have NO idea how that toilet pan can get so brown…what is he doing?
Brewing tea down there? Flush for fucksake….
Those who know me know that I have huge emotional issues with dirty houses, due to my childhood dirty home imprinting that horrid feeling on me that haunts my soul forever.

He collects junk and dirt like no one I know…he used to have three televisions stacked on top of one another, one with volume, one with the picture and one for good luck. There is always a broken guitar and a three legged cat hanging about, he has a huge collection and fascination with knives and swords for fighting the gangs he has to encounter daily (or in his imagination actually).

He has an array of fake guns and I suspect more fake weapons of warfare than any normal man should posses. If ever a fake war breaks out HE IS THE MAN to win that conflict.

He is obsessed with undercover spies, UFO’s (which is lucky because where he lives is the UFO capital sightings of Europe which is I suspect is probably my brother making all those calls to National Aviation) he is into conspiracy theories, he believes his TV/dial up internet has been flagged by FBI and hates sailors, hedgehogs and kites (don’t ask me why…?)

And I love him.

So there I was at his flat today. He has a new dog called Cooper. It is a big gangly –tail waggy-slobbering-ankle licking-leg humping odd animal.
The dog makes so much fuss and constantly breaks his train of thought with its antics and it’s difficult when my brother’s train of thought is already so fragmented; it makes any conversation so bloody difficult to endure. I was exhausted within minutes of arrival!

The dog jumped, sniffed and mounted me three times within seconds; I felt raped and licked….it was gruesome and funny.
Its big powerful tail cleared the coffee table with one bushy swipe like the expert hands of some flash casino croupier who can clear a deck of cards with one glamorous movement. It then managed to head butt an ashtray and within minutes the floor was just a dump. It then clumsily stood on my brothers Playstation, knocked over a cup of tea and banged its big bushy arse into the TV. I leaned over to eat a cookie and as I momentarily held it in mid air to chat, it gently opened its big jaws and just simply took it from my fingers and ate it whilst staring at me with big brown eyes. Tail still wagging, beating the dirty floor like a Tom Tom drum.

The dog disappeared and arrived back in the living room with a grenade in its mouth. YES a fucking green old grenade….”Jim what the fuck is that?” I sighed.
Normal people would be shocked and run for cover, but remember this is MY brother we are talking about.

“It’s a fake grenade, but it’s actually a cigarette lighter” he said nonchalantly taking it from the dog’s wet mouth.
The dog then ran off and came back with a sock.
It then ran off and came back with silver chrome bowl. It turned the bowl upside down and then proceeded to chase the upturned chrome bowl all over the living room trying to turn it over; it went crazy at this game. Teeth and legs flashing all over the place, barking, yelping and jumping in frustration, as it failed to get the bowl into an upright position, so I turned it over and the dog just stood on the rim and flipped it back upside down and chased it again…..

As if that wasn’t mental enough, a woman called Bertie arrived, Jim introduced her “Bertie does nails, she used to do heroin she used to be a hooker, but now she is a manicurist” Jim announced with a flourish of his hand to indicate how artistic this new job was that Bertie had.
“Good” I smiled not really knowing what to say.

“Guess whose nails she did last week?” My brother asked with a smile in his question.
Bertie glowed and blushed as Jim spread his arms wide as a gesture of her grandiose talent.
I caught a flash of my brother’s fingers and could see it certainly wasn’t his grubby dirty nails she attended to.
Then my eyes lowered, though my brain was telling me not to be so ridiculous –yet my eyes kept going lower and… YES the DOG had pink shiny dog toe nails. I was amazed and my brain froze with shock at seeing this golden mongrel with gaudy claws. I hadn’t noticed it before, but they had a pale shell pink glittery sheen.

“Yes, she did Coopers toe nails” My brother smiled, raising his eyebrows as if to encourage me to join in with this amazing revelation and celebrate the work she had done on his big waggy tailed dog.
Bertie smiled and added “He liked it didn’t he?”
“Yes, he loved it” added my brother.

I thought I was going to laugh out loud, but I couldn’t because my brother and the manicurist would have been offended as they thought it was normal and nice to paint the dog’s nails.

When I finally left and sat on the train home, I laughed quietly and giggled to myself constantly. My brother is a nutter, a harmless knife collecting nutter….but a happy one none the less that can always make me smile.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back to the East End…

I went back to my home town of Shettleston today to pick up a parcel from my brothers son David. It was really strange being there again, seeing that bar where I first met my husband at 16 years of age, standing on the exact spot where at age nine I was hit by car as I crossed the road in my Brownie’s uniform.
Back then I was so engrossed in trying to recall all the details for my ‘Road Safety Badge’ that I got smashed by a car as I crossed! Oh the irony.

It took almost a whole year to learn to walk again.

Shettleston looks so bloody grim, the old tenements have been cleaned, yet still have an air of desperation about them….I can’t explain why. New houses and blocks of modern flats are everywhere, yet feel drab.

The shops are so dirty looking, filthy windows with badly painted shop fronts that smack of cheap fags and stale bread.
You can almost the smell the mice that scurry amongst the chocolate bars as you walk in through their front doors, so I turned around and decided to buy a juice carton when we made it back to town.
I hated the feeling that seeped through me as I stood in my old main street.
I can never quite shake the memory of watching my mum walk away from me on that road in 1982, her brightly coloured woollen coat, merging with other East Enders as she huddled against the cold spring afternoon and even as I waited and watched - she never looked back. It was the last time I ever saw her alive.

Husband and I drove down to the main shopping Mall called ‘The Forge’ as we needed to bank some cheques.

It is on the grounds of the old Parkhead Forge iron and steel works, many generations of men from Shettleston had worked there, including mine. My daddy worked there and so did his grandfather and his uncles and brothers.

The brightly lit shopping mall with a smattering of high street stores, cheap POUND stores and crap 1980’s musak was busy, mostly with mums and kids after school.
Children wearing a uniform from my old school were walking, moaning, crying, screaming, laughing and shouting alongside world-weary women, much younger than me ….but yet all looking tired and mostly very fat.

I hate that generalisation, but I cannot write this without mentioning their appearance.

Women with short boyish haircuts, dull almost colourless clothes and big fat legs pushing empty prams with staggering slightly drunk-looking small toddlers ambling alongside them, passed me time and time again.
Even the small toddlers looked bored and exhausted.

There were some women who had that burnished bronze skin that is favoured by people who live under tanning beds.
Racism is rife in Glasgow’s East End, Glasgow is Scotland’s sunbed capital, and we have more tanning salons than any other city North of Carlisle.

Loads of white people in Glasgow’s East End despise Blacks and Asians yet spend the majority of their cash on trying to look brown! Funny? Yes.

In the main part of the mall there were stalls that sold various goods.

One sold cheap costume jewellery, one sold tee shirts with a distorted child’s face on it- “Your Kids face Here” it announced and another stall was hawking Native American Indian’s faces on clocks! Who buys this shit? I thought.

I decided to stop near the food store and wait on husband coming back from the bank.
Beside me there was a gaudily lit stall with gold lame fabric over the table and it had a huge white awning that shone out strong lights.

“Britt Ekland’s Bronzing Powder!!” the gold letters screamed and the stall had two very fat ladies; short cropped blonde hair, on the very small stools that sat at the front.
A curvy bleached blonde, very brown looking older woman was stroking her ‘Bronze like the Stars’ powder over the pudgy face of one woman, as a screaming toddler sat on the knee of the other.
The two women had a glut of plastic bags bursting with recent purchases, slung over the various handles and hooks off the two pushchairs that sat beside them.

The saleswoman continued her sales patter, her hands flourishing over the woman’s face, animated chatter as she bestowed the virtues of Britt Ekland’s magic make up.

I wondered if the Famous Britt was lying on some fancy sun deck in the South of France, sipping on a Champagne Martini and listening to the tinkling of some classic pianist. Was she living the dream?

Meanwhile her ‘magic’ was being worked on a few hard faced East End Glaswegians and a woman the colour of oak was speaking profusely of her products, what would Britt make of that scene?

The heavier of the two ladies turned her face upwards to the brown-oak coloured sales assistant and offered up her pasty white Scottish skin to the be ‘bronzed’…just like Britt but without the Azure coastline and fresh Martini.
The stool creaked, her abundant bum-flesh leaked over the sides of the tiny frail metal chair, I watched with freakish excitement….watching but worried the stool might just give way.
A sticky faced toddler clambered out of the pushchair and climbed onto the fat woman’s knee, surely this added weight is not going to help this situation?

The chair held fast, the women with their rusty brown faces and white necks were satisfied and purchases were made. More dreams sold to women who really need that boost.
Both women stood up, fixed their clothes and arranged small children back into prams, complimenting each other, smiling and gathering up their shopping.

I stood quietly watching the scene when a beautiful Japanese woman interrupted my thoughts. Her tiny stick thin frame and dark eyes covered my vision.

“Would you like to try the “Human Hair extension” she smiled?

I turned to see I was standing beside a cart that advertised “Real Human Hair for You, Look like a Star as worn by Jennifer Lopez”
“No thanks, I have more than enough hair already” I answered, but she had already clipped a huge blonde fountain of ‘human hair’ into my scalp.
I stood there shocked and tried to quickly unclip it out, it wouldn’t move!
She thrust a mirror into my face and the sight was horrible, I looked mental.

“You look lovely Madame” she said in her faltering English.

“I have really dark hair and that is blonde, I look like a freak, please take it out!” I demanded.
Just at that I saw the shocked look on my husbands face as he came down the escalator, he had big shocked -bush baby eyes and a horrified squint in his face at the hideous blonde slash that fell down my back.

The Japanese lady took the hair section out of my scalp, smiled, bowed and I ran off towards my poor shocked husband “Jesus Janey, you weren’t really thinking of going blonde were you?” he said as I grabbed his hand and headed for the car park.

“No, I never even asked for that hair extension, and it may have nits or lice in it, how many people had that in their hair before me? Quick I need to get home and shower” I hissed as I dragged my fingers through my tuggy hair.

I don’t want to be brown skinned or blonde, I am me. Janey from Shettleston, with thick bushy- dark hair and pasty white skin and that’s the way I will always stay.

Britt Ekland and Jennifer Lopez can sell their crazy elsewhere.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Meeting Alan Bennett…

Firstly I want to thank everyone who voted for me online for ‘Scotswoman of the Year’ my nomination has left me flabbergasted. The sheer amount of votes that have been flooding in are overwhelming and I am so grateful. Some of you lovely people have been saying amazing things in your testimonials and I am so very touched. Thank you.
I have yet to find out if I make the final seven.
If I do make the final then on 23rd October I will be attending the city Chambers in Glasgow to find out if I have won! Hooray!

Ashley and I both went to the Scottish premier of ‘The History Boys’ in Glasgow.
The film was very interesting and the script was really sharp but I am afraid I had reservations about the whole plot; though I am sure the stage version was awesome.
After the film I had the opportunity to meet Mr Alan Bennett himself!
I was so excited as his ‘Talking Heads’ inspired me to become a playwright, the man never let me down. He was genuinely interesting and charming to meet, both my daughter and I chatted with him about plays and writing. He really is inspiring and I was so blessed to meet him.

Still the nightmares continue but I am bored talking about them now.

I had a great gig at Kilmarnock Theatre, the most amazing thing was a 90 year-old woman came to the show and it was lovely making someone of that generation laugh out loud, even I didn’t know I had Second World War gags!
I think that many comedians balk when they step on stage and see either very old or very young members of the audience and it takes a good decent comic to bridge that age gap, it really did go amazingly well, the old lady laughed her support tights off and the young 17 year-old guy at the front pissed himself at the same funny story.
The old lady even joined in, and added to the show with some funny anecdotes!
What a night!

So today I had a lazy day, a nice rainy Scottish Sunday, I bought some newspapers and went up to Oran Mor (local theatre/bar/restaurant where I have performed) and sat outside for a cigarette and a read of today’s Sunday Papers. I hate having to sit in the rain and smoke BUT it is Scotland and these are the laws. No smoking inside any public building, so sitting reading in the rain is normal for us smoky Scots!

On a new note, I was offered some Folgers Coffee sent to me by the American company for me to try and taste. So I made my coffee and sat and watched a documentary about murders. The opening scene was about the Charles Manson murders and I hear that one of the victims lying on the lawn who had been shot - was an heiress of ‘The Folger Coffee Dynasty’ well I was stunned and what a strange coincidence!
Well I am so sorry for the Folger people, but the coffee was awesome, really good stuff and I wish I had more of it.
If anyone wants to send me a Jaguar XJS then please do as I will keep it and let you all know how it rides.

Good luck and good night.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What an exciting day!

Today I was nominated as ‘Scotswoman of the Year’ I am so very touched to be thought of in this way, how amazing!
I am also off tonight to a film premiere of ‘The History Boys’, which includes a Q&A with Alan Bennett the writer of the movie.
I have copied out the whole article in today’s newspaper, if you feel like you would want to vote and you know me well enough to endorse such a thing, then there is a voting form by link at the bottom.

In the voting form it asks for an address of the nominee, you can leave that bit blank THAT’S IF YOU WANT TO VOTE!

Neither pressure nor coercion I am NOT a politician- it’s entirely your decision!

Here is the article in today’s Evening Times, Glasgow Scotland UK -
By Shelia Hamilton

JANEY GODLEY had kept a secret for most of her lifetime. But when she saw an interview in the Evening Times with a child sexual abuse victim, it gave her the courage to "come out" with her own story in this newspaper.
And when she was told even after 30 years, she could still prosecute the uncle who abused her, she found the confidence to go ahead and see him jailed.
Today, Janey herself is the inspiration for victims of abuse from all over the world.
She has taken her own life by the scruff of the neck and lives it the way she wants it.
By helping herself, she is now helping others who tell her "if you can do it, so can I".
One message posted recently on her website from a 15-year-old said: "I would like to tell you how much your book has helped me with abuse.
"Your book made me realise I can get through it and I will!"
Janey Godley. What a life - and she's still only 45.
It's all in her mesmerising book, Handstands in the Dark, out in paperback this summer.
The girl who grew up in poverty in Shettleston, who did handstands to take her mind off the fact her uncle was sexually abusing her, then married into Glasgow's gangland has become a star.
Janey might have gone the way of so many of her friends and family in Glasgow's East End who got sucked into crime and drugs.
But her own drug of choice is laughter. She says if you don't laugh, you'll cry.
She's feisty, intelligent and sharper than any tack you've ever stood on.
If ever there was an inspiration to those in similar circumstances, it's Janey.
"I'm a great believer in trying to make the best of a bad job," she says wryly.
She dreamed of a different life, she worked for it and she got it.
Behind the bar at the Weavers Pub in the Calton that she ran with her husband, Sean, she watched as friends and family succumbed to drugs.
Her award winning play, The Point of Yes, written to warn her 20-year-old daughter Ashley off heroin, tells the story of the 80s heroin epidemic.
It enjoyed rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and is now used throughout Scotland to highlight the dangers of drugs.
She has performed The Point of Yes to housing associations in "problem" areas, to drug forums and to prisoners.
She also runs comedy workshops for 15 - 18-year-olds and drama workshops for ex -addicts, using their own experiences as inspiration.
She is proud of the results she's had with her work with children from difficult backgrounds teaching them comedy to improve their confidence.
She says: "It's the most important thing I've done.
"It was awesome to see these wee kids getting up and telling jokes and getting a big cheer.
"Some have horrible lives You can tell by looking at them. It's great to see them gaining in confidence and skills they would never imagine they had."
She has also influenced social workers and carers which in turn may change how people are treated by the system.
You couldn't blame Janey had she shut out the world.
But having taken her uncle to court, she has worked unofficially with abused women at court, telling them what to expect and how to explain what had happened to them.
On International Women's Day 2006, she contributed to a Fighting Violence With Comedy event at the Cafe Royal in London.
In October, she hosts the annual Emma Humphrey's Memorial Awards ceremony in London which recognises women who work against male violence.
She is irrepressible, but the loud exterior hides a sensitive and caring woman.
Never just accept the world as it is, she tells her daughter. "You don't have to accept your surroundings.
"You can change things if you want to."
Janey's the proof of that.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dreams can come true, but hopefully not for me…

So the bad dreams continue and despite a deluge of help from people they refuse to be binned.
I am coping with it all, but it does mean my energy levels are down I am afraid. So my blog is suffering.

I am currently organising a trip to London, where I will be working and having some meetings with TV people and stuff. It’s good to stay focussed and on top of stuff.

The good news is, I got to see the new baby niece Julia, and she is a lovely wee thing. Her big sister my other favourite child- Abi couldn’t wait for me to see her ‘Wee Sister’….Abi was delighted and slightly jealous, so she went into ‘Full attention seeking mode’ the minute the new baby was presented to our household. My poor husband had Abi literally wrapped around his head as he tried to look at the new wee infant and Abi had prepared a whole new singing and dancing routine for us to watch just in case any of us forgot she was alive.
Then she told us an imaginary story that came out of her wee cute lispy mouth and entailed her meeting a zebra, warthog and baby kangaroo in a forest and the story lasted a full 38 minutes, with enough time to breathe and carry on with hand movements to explain her fantasy….it was so funny and that wee three year old toddler has a great imagination. I love her.

Am going to a BAFTA premier of ‘The History Boys’ on Thursday with my daughter Ashley, and the great writer Alan Bennett will be in attendance for a Q & A afterwards. Ashley is super excited and can’t wait to meet her favourite writer and director.

Husband is quietly trying to find a cure for my nightmares; I think he may never find one, what if the only cure that will work is if we separate? That would be awful, I have explained that I get the nightmares whether he is there or not, but he seems to assume that he makes them worse.
That’s because if I get wakened at any moment and fall back asleep they get worse and he does sometimes wake me up by accident. I have reassured him it’s not his fault, but he continues to blame himself.

Glasgow is in the news just now as a young Polish Student who was working as a volunteer in the local St. Patrick’s Chapel has been found beaten to death and her remains were secreted in the chapel, it was the parish where my husband was raised in and there has been an outcry from the locals.

The handyman in the church had gone missing after the young girl’s disappearance though he has now been found in London.
It seems he used a false name and is a previous sex offender and is being questioned by the police concerning the death. People are outraged that this man worked in their parish.
I don’t blame the priest, as he wasn’t to know that the handyman had a false identity and had convictions. I don’t know the legality surrounding checking backgrounds on clergy workers, but the guy did have a false name, either way it is a terrible tragedy and makes me shudder to think of that poor young woman being buried inside the chapel as the police were looking for her. How awful for her poor family to have to fly from Poland to come to her death scene, the place where she had felt safe.

I am grateful that my daughter is safe tonight and at least my bad dreams aren’t true, unlike the nightmare that Polish family are suffering as we speak.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nightmares as always…

Am sorry I haven’t been doing my blog, I have been dragged into the deepest nightmares again, and I simply cannot get rid of them.

I really am trying all different kinds of ideas to solve this, but until then I will keep being knackered daily as I relive the horror I sleep in.
Last night I tried hard to have really good thoughts to clear up my head before I slept, but to no avail.

I was sitting in a dark room; noises were coming from behind the door. I sat on a floor I didn’t really recognise, the water was dripping from a tap into a filthy sink.
The noise resonated loudly in my ears, much louder than a normal tap dripping. It was a bang –bang, like a spoon hitting on an oil drum.
I sat there with my body tensed into a cramped uncomfortable shape.
I stared at the unusual wallpaper, it was purple swirls and somewhere in my head it was familiar, but from where I just couldn’t work out in my fugged brain.
Somewhere in the back of my memory it was all very recognisable, I was trying to make sense of the situation, but my heart beat was now as loud as the tap dripping.

The cold floor made me shiver horribly and I was aware I wasn’t wearing underwear as I could feel my bare bum wet and icy. I started to stare at my knees and the scab on them was very familiar, I remember that scab, it was when I came off my bike at the bottom of the hill across from my home as a child.
I recalled how a bus came trundling towards me as I managed to cycle off the hill and onto the main road, I skidded onto the pavement and came off my bike just inches before the wee single decker bus crashed into me full on.
Bits of the scab were bleeding where I had picked at it. Why am I here? I tried to ask myself with a degree of rationality but the fear in my heart and the tap dripping in my ears was unbearable.
I was terrified but I wasn’t sure what I was scared of, in the background I started to hear music. It was from another room, it was Dusty Springfield singing, the words were becoming clearer, I knew it was my living room that the noise was coming from but not my living room here where I live but the living room I had as a child in the 1960s.
That old living room, with the radiogram and pink flamingos over the mantle piece, with the old fire burning coal and the black and white television sitting in a big wooden box in the corner, I want to run away from here but my legs wont move.
Why am I here again?

I hear scratching at the door; I smile at this - as it is my DOG! I know it’s my dog, Major. He is trying to get into me and cuddle up with me, my legs wont move. I try really, really hard to move them and suddenly I am up on my feet.
I slowly walk to the bathroom door and open it, the dog shuffles in and snuffles up to me. His wiry coat and musty smell are so good, I cry, I can feel tears on my face.

I feel so happy to see him, I missed him so much but still the fear is mixed in my soul, I can’t escape the noise of the tap and the music coming from the living room.
Suddenly my body drops to the floor I can’t see anything but a pair of shoes, I don’t like these shoes, I know these shoes and they scare me. I feel a hand on my hair; it is pulling me up sharply- the pain in my scalp is searing through my brain, I get up to stop the hair pulling, if I stand up quick I can catch up with my scalp.

The dog barks, it snarls and starts howling behind me, the tap drips loudly, the music gets louder and suddenly I feel like my head is going to burst, I am now absolutely frozen with fear as I see the shoes meet the trousers, and those trousers become a blue shirt, and the shirt leads up to a mans face that I now fully recognise.

He smiles and lifts up his other arm, the hand is holding a long pointed sharp knife and he quickly brings it down into my face. I feel the pain rip through my cheek, my tongue has been slashed inside and I cannot scream, the dog is barking and skidding all over the floor behind me, I can hear his claws on the wax floor covering.

I try to wake up, I beg to wake up but I cannot somehow pull myself from the horror and get away.
Then I can hear my name being called “Janey, Janey” it drowns out the music, the dog barking, the tap dripping and the horrible searing pulsating pain in my face.

Husband is shaking me “Janey are you ok? Wake up, you are screaming, are you ok? Janey wake up!”

So that has been my life for the past three days, continuous nightmares and blood dripping fear….at least I got to see my dog again. I loved him.