Janey's Blogs - November 2010
Monday the 1st of November 2010
Notes from a broad
Things have been worrying me deeply. I have been looking up the internet and trying to figure out if I have either eye, bowel, lung or brain cancer... turns out am old and have nothing like that.
I have stopped smoking and so has my wonderful daughter Ashley; the feeling of her supporting me has been awesome. I really feel it's time to get fit, lose weight and get off the fags.
I am not going to be one of those women who starve themselves; this about me trying to feel better about myself.
But I have been having strange pains and boils again.
I just get random pains then go search them on websites. Years ago, when you had random illnessess, an old granny or a woman in your street who kept cats and made gooseberry jam would diagnose your illness in the absence of a doctor.
I recall we had a woman just like that in our street, called Maggie, who made flowers out of twigs that she shaved at the end into chrysanthemum heads; it was amazing how she did it. Anyway, we called her Maggie Make-Believe as she told fantastical tales about ships, pirates and past lives. She also made poultices and gave out herbal type medical advice to anyone who would listen. She also drank home made nettle tea way before the bored housewives of Chelsea discovered its healing properties.
There was an old woman called Auntie Jean who lived in Maggie's bedroom. Auntie Jean was completely ancient, she looked like a skeleton in a crocheted matinee jacket, her white hair haloed in wisps around her angular white face. She whispered and waved when I came to visit her and smelt of talcum powder and death.
I never wanted to see this woman who really wasn't my Auntie Jean: even at eleven years old I knew this was a wee woman waiting to die as Maggie Make-Believe made chrysanthemum flowers in the living room and dipped them in blue food dye to sell. But my job was to go shopping for Maggie. She loved me and would bring me in, let me make a disfigured flower then usher me into the talcum room of death to sit by Auntie Jean who looked and sounded like a ghost.
The worst thing was when Auntie Jean asked me to sing a wee song for her. I couldn't sing and was constantly aware that my shitty voice might have been the last thing she heard on earth. So then wee fat Maggie would come into the room and sing so loudly I was worried we would miss Auntie Jean's last breath. It just didn't feel right to be belting out a Tom Jones song to a frail dying woman.
Maggie was a gypsy-ish woman, I suspect. She was as fat as she was tall and wore big flowery dresses and spoke funny. She really loved Auntie Jean and took great care of her.
Maggie's house was immaculately clean and I am sure she looked after Jean better than any medical staff at that time in the 1970s. I have to say I was relieved when Auntie Jean finally died, as I was worried that she would die during my frequent visits and I didn't want that to happen.
Maggie was serenely accepting of Jean's death, something I hadn't witnessed in my family or my life at that time. She didn't believe in God; she believed in fairies, woodland earth or something to do with nature reclaiming its own and sang a big song when Jean died with the windows open flung wide (to let her spirit go free). She put the radio on full blast and we both danced to a Marc Bolan song as Jean's dead body lay in the next room. I was freaked out at first but Maggie assured me Jean loved music and happiness. I was either helping a wee hippy celebrate death or I was enabling a mental person… either way it was OK and felt quite good at the time.
I was thinking about Maggie the other day and decided to write this blog about her; for back-up info I called my brother and asked him: "Do you remember Maggie Make-Believe who lived in our street?"
Well he didn't and I am starting to think I imagined her! If anyone out there recalls a lovely cuddly wee woman called Maggie who lived in Kenmore Street in the mid 1970s and who made wooden flowers and could cure verrucas and made her own cough medicine and pain poultices, do let me know.
Saturday the 6th of November 2010
This life of mine
My train journeys are becoming legendary; on Thursday I caught the train to Manchester as I was off to stay overnight courtesy of the BBC so I could get up early Friday and do a slot on Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.
The train down to Preston was chugging about a bit; I didn't feel good and soon felt sick. I have never had travel sickness in my life. There is nothing worse than going into a train loo, lifting the lid with a patina of sweat on your torso, a heaving vomit in your throat and staring at a shit-stained loo. I gagged up as much as I could and staggered back to my seat. What the fuck was wrong with me? Sick? Was I pregnant? I think I am pregnant at least six times a year, don't ask me why, I have never had an unplanned pregnancy but in a past life I must have had seventeen abortions and at least ten babies and that's blighted my soul forever.
OK, back to real life… I think the engine was dodgy as I felt like I was on a dodgy boat.
Then the train stopped, the engine broke… of course it did, I was on the train wasn't I?
I had to get off that train, me covered in sweat and vomit heaving luggage, and onto another train heading to Manchester. That train was overbooked and packed like trains you see in India with people hanging off the side and sitting on the roof. OK, am joking - not that busy, but there were no seats to be had.
So I had to stand, in a crowded train, feeling sick and with a slow realisation that I wasn't pregnant because that twisted pain in my womb indicated I was about to have a period. Then the full-on womb cramps kicked in. I jerked forward, almost head butting a toddler in a buggy, as I clutched my lower body. Then I felt sick again.
I realised something on that busy train: nobody likes a vomitter and nobody cares about your luggage. They couldn't give a flying fuck if you are harbouring a bomb, just don't vomit on them. That train crowd basically stood on, kicked and pushed my wee suitcase about as I staggered to and from the loo through the overcrowded carriages.
I felt like dying, but am sure people go through worse than period pains, vomiting and standing for two hours on a crowded train. Things did get worse as four big giant-faced Scottish posh students got drunk on three cans of shandy and started swearing loudly and discussing Slipknot.
The swearing I could barely handle but the Slipknot talk had to stop. I tolerated it as best I could.
There were some elderly people near them and small kids behind them, yet big-faced Stewart, Alistair or the Alis-star-man as this dick called himself continued swearing in their over-privileged accents. There is something horrific in hearing a middle class pony-trekking wanker shout
"Fraser, stop trying to commandeer the conversation, you awful cunt!" OK… say that last sentence aloud but in a very posh accent, imagine you have a big giant head with bushy hair and look like inbred minor Royalty as you say it and you can see why I attacked them.
"OK, you need to all keep your voices down, there are other people that don't want to hear your irritating middle class voice trying to sound 'street' and if you mention Slipknot one more time, I am going to beat your horsey face to death with my shoe. I am sick, I have a period, I am trying to stop smoking and am really tired. I will actually kill you with the handle off my case, are we clear?" I shouted at them.
They all stared at me. One of them piped up: "Who are you, the voice police?"
I leaned over and whispered: "Listen up, you wee cuntfaced knob, there are kids and elderly people who deserve respect; the fact you think shouting out swear words in that fucked up incestuous accent makes me think you believe you can do what you want and you can't. So shut it"
At that point a big burly older bloke pulled me out of the way and said: "Shut up using that language like this woman says - Get up and give women these seats or I will throw you off the train as it moves."
Everyone went quiet - Then the boys stood up sheepishly and we got four elderly ladies into the table of four seats. The Slipknot crew stood at the train doors all contrite and the crushed passengers breathed a sigh of relief.
Finally we got into Manchester in time to get slashed with sideways rain as we all ran through the dark streets, scattering looking for taxis, buses and various lifts away from the train station.
I got into the hotel the BBC had booked; it smelled funny is all I am saying. The shower had two settings - burning napalm hot or burning acid hot - so I stood near the scalding water and had my first 'steaming' in my life. Not a shower but a 'steam' that came of the pounding water, my feet got scorched but I needed to feel clean.
I just ate some sandwiches and got into bed. I needed to be up early to go to the studio and do the Woman's Hour interview, which was about the Radio 3 Free Thinking festival about 'comedy versus tragedy' which is happening on Sunday in Newcastle. I, of course, was defending 'comedy' against tragedy and after that journey I was qualified for it.
I couldn't sleep, I tried… but at 3am till 6am people stood beneath my hotel room in the city centre of Manchester and just SCREAMED for no good reason. I looked out to see if a rape was happening, but no… no rape, just students and drunk people who had gotten on buses into the city centre to SCREAM beneath my window… Wasn't that nice of them? The screaming went on and off all night, I expected to get up, put on the news and hear that there was a crazy on-the-loose knife slasher in Manchester chasing people and making them scream… but no… the only news was the BBC journalists were on strike and I was going to have to cross a picket line to talk inanely about comedy versus tragedy.
After a night of reliving a 50s B movie of screaming, I walked down to BBC Manchester and chatted to the picket official. I explained I was just a contributor to a radio show and that I really supported them. I gave out leaflets for them and wore the badge, then crossed the line and went to talk live on the radio. I felt like the dirty scab that I truly was.
You can listen to the radio clip here: http://janeygodleyclips.podomatic.com
I am now home and feel better. Isn't the world better when you get clean pants and into your own bed? Comedy versus Tragedy? I suffered both!
Sunday the 14th of November 2010
Late night biscuits
OK, shall I bore you with how good I am for not smoking up my own lungs? I don't think you want to hear that do you? You want to hear about my plans for the future don't you?
I am planning on going to live on the island of Mustique which is a small private island in the West Indies. I recall back in the 70s and 80s all the naughty Royals (the ones that fucked men and women and took heroin) used to hang out there with rock stars. I recall seeing these debauched women in leopard print bikinis with big floppy white hats hanging over skinny young boys with an air of 'smack' about them; it was so Jackie Collins!
That's how I want to get old: fucking young guys on an island in the sun. Not sure how husband will take to this situation, but I probably won't do anything like that. I just fancy the image of me on Mustique full of crack and champagne!
I will probably get old by ending up on the island of Rothesay with a woollen cardigan, playing bingo in a furry hat, getting drunk on Crabbies green ginger ale and shouting at young men to get out of my way as I piss my own tights.
Talking about young men - I had a twitter fight with 50 Cent, the US rapper, last week! I goaded him about his dirty sexy talk and he replied:
"Janey Godley yo take yo big ass to sleep if you don't like what am saying"
Yes, 50 Cent is obsessed with my big ass indeed!
Had fun with dad this week: he is getting old and lovely with it, but he now has a tendency to tell Ashley loads of stories I can't censor, like him getting put in jail during his national service for fighting in the barracks or him getting drunk as a young man and smashing up a local bar… You see, I didn't know these stories - turns out my dad was a fucking crazy violent drunk!
Now, Ashley can cope with these tales of madness and debauchery - she isn't her father's daughter for nowt! She witnessed us getting dragged out of her other granddad's house by the police when they found guns that belonged to him years ago. But she just didn't know her sweet wee granddad on my side of the family was a nutter on beer years ago and is slightly shocked at his tales of mental madness. My dad has been sober for nearly thirty years now and I am so proud of him.
Anyways my dad called and said: "Put the bloody news on, Fu Manchu has been released from Tenko!" which loosely translated means "Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest in Rangoon". My dad gets things mixed up.
Meanwhile, back in my world, I had a weird day last week I thought you might want to know about. On my way into town, I fell on the road and nearly got hit by a car at the motorway entrance at Charing Cross! I just fell with open palms slapping the concrete full on like a twat and a car didn't see me and almost got on top of me. I jumped up like a ninja and frightened the poor driver, you should know that the entrance to the M8 is all crossroads and busy as hell at that part of the city.
My heart was pounding and a car nearly ran into the car that nearly hit me as he braked suddenly; anyway a man ran on the road and grabbed me by the hand and got me onto the pavement.
All the traffic moved off like nothing had happened. The bloke made gentle reassuring noises as I checked my handbag, my palms and my knees for injuries. I was just frightened to be honest and he was very patient with me, bless him.
I stood there a bit shocked to say the least and the bloke rubbed my hands for me; he was lovely and being really kind. I stopped fussing and gibbering and finally looked at him to thank him and then realised it was a guy I hated from my bar years ago: he was much older but it definitely was the mad wife beater from Bridgeton!
How do you thank a violent man who kicked his wife's baby to death inside her for saving YOU from a busy road fall? It was awkward; I just stared at him, pretended I didn't recognise him and walked off slightly shocked by the whole thing. Wasn't that odd? I am sure he recognised me and I am sure he knew I knew him, but I was just all over the place!
Strange story… but there you go. Doesn't really have an end to it, just an odd story for you!
So life is getting better for me. The non smoking is going well, the diet and exercise are coming along nicely and soon I will fit into a leopard print bikini. That's if I stop eating late night biscuits.
Tuesday the 23rd of November 2010
So, there I was sitting in the doctor's with my dad and waiting for his appointment. He is suffering from some leg pain. It always freaks me out when I see how frail he has become; it makes me think I am going to be his age next week. I wanted him to pick me up on his shoulders and run down the street with me, then grab my leg and arm and give me a 'leg and a wing swing' with his dark curly hair falling over his Tony Curtis look-a-like face. I need him to pick me up with his strong arms and tell me everything will be OK. But he just sat there in his beige jacket and slip-on shoes gripping my hand, looking vulnerable and very old. I looked away from him, trying not to show my pain at seeing him sad.
The doctor's has a big panel board with loads of leaflets. I sat and stared at them.
"Are you 50 or over? Do you suffer from a dry vagina?"
"Are you 50+ and are you scared of the stairs in case you fall down?"
"Does being over 50 give you bladder and bowel problems?"
"Are you worried about dying?"
So, I am going to be 50 in January and am fully expecting to fall down the stairs and die slowly of a dry vagina as my bowels fall out of my ass.
It seems to me that, at 50 years of age, everything starts to fall apart; well, if that's not my assumption, then clearly the NHS assume this. There were no leaflets saying
"Are you 50 or over. Do you fancy a sexy party or some vigorous tennis with a younger man?"
Last week I was having late night drinks with McFly - they didn't warn against that on the NHS worry board!
But now am concerned; I am getting paranoid and worried that I may die soon or quite soon.
Ashley, on the other hand, is having a good time. We are both off the cigarettes and she has been on her Wii fit and is managing to get super flexible by using the computer fitness regime.
I am loving that we can both now smell how rotten the house is since we stopped smoking and I am happy as hell that I can now taste mozzarella cheese! I never knew it had a taste, I thought it was just a texture.
So I am sorry this blog is late and do hope you will listen in to our podcast every Wednesday - just follow the link on my website.
Sunday the 28th of November 2010
The racist moment and the dog poo
Last week in our car park a few things happened.
Firstly, just to explain, we have a communal car park with a gate that never gets locked and it's in an area full of parking meters in Glasgow's West End. Every flat owner has a numbered parking space. I know - I am starting to bore myself with this wittering…. anyway, my point is people who don't live here park here and usually in my space the minute we go to the shops in the car. I usually lock the gate in the hope that the parking liar will get locked in, but the place is so busy someone is always going out and in and leaves the gate open. Hubby finds an odd angle to park at that isn't someone's space till we can get our space back, I don't bother too much.
But last week someone didn't just park in our space they straddled their car over TWO parking spaces! It was like Dukes of Hazzard had arrived, parked precariously and leapt out of the window. I was so annoyed at that; hubby merely shrugged and found the odd angle we normally go to when people steal our space.
A few hours later, I am in my pyjamas and happened to look out of the back window when I saw a wee man swagger towards his badly parked car which was half in half out of our space.
I opened the window and shouted down: "Excuse me, I have left a note on your window, please don't park in my space again."
He looked up waved his hand and screamed: "There are no spaces. Everyone parks where they want, now shut up lady!"
I was stunned. Had I been wearing a bra and not jammies and slippers I would have ran down all the stairs and had a big finger pointing argument. As it was, my boobs are too big to go in public without a bra so I stayed at the window and shouted back: "I have been here 15 years and everyone has a parking number - See the numbers on the ground?" (I pointed) and hung further out of the window and shouted: "Plus you are in two parking spaces not one"
He waved his hand again and shouted: "I don't speak to women and they don't shout at me with that tone of voice, now be quiet stupid woman and get in your window!" It was at that point I shouted: "Don't make me fucking come down there you insignificant, ignorant racist fuck nut, get out of my car parking space now you knob!"
At that point husband pulled me in the window and laughed saying: "Stop arguing with that wee Asian man. Maybe he means women don't talk to him in general." He had heard everything.
Husband leaned out of the window and said: "Mate, move your car. That isn't your space and you are in our parking space. Just move the car."
The wee man shouted: "Make your wife a better person and stop her speaking in public to men; she swore at me, that's your fault."
At this point, I am pulling on a bra outside in and its all tangled round my back, my boobs are hanging out of it in my hurry to get dressed to go down shove my finger into that wee man's eyeball.
Husband shouted down: "She swears because it's her culture; it's not a bad thing; it's a cultural thing; it's what Scottish people do. Now can we move off the swearing and you can move off the parking space?"
Husband was being so reasonable as I was becoming more racist by the second. I actually was. It was vile and horrible, like you suddenly realise you like horse porn without knowing it before.
The man was pretending he lived in the block of flats and wasn't allocated a parking space; turns out he was lying and jumped in his car and drove off.
I went down to the car park bay and locked the gate. As I was walking back muttering angrily to myself like a nutter, two well-dressed women walked into the car park (the gate just stops cars not people) and they had a big black Labrador dog with them. They chatted and laughed, then stood watching as the big dog did a big giant shit on the small patch of grass that constitutes our private back garden. They walked off rubbing the dog's back congratulating it on a job well done and left a big dog shit on the car park/garden grass area.
Well, I grabbed a plastic bag from the bins and picked up the big warm shit and briskly walked behind the two women and the dog. They didn't live in our housing complex and, even if they did, surely letting your dog shit on the only bit of grass in the car park is stupid? Anyway turns out they stayed in the Maryhill Road and as they were opening the tenement door I walked up and said: "Excuse me, here is your big dog shit you left in our wee private garden. I am sure you must be wondering what happened to the stuff that came out of your dog's arse, but I have here in a plastic bag." I threw it at them - yes I did - and walked off. The woman screamed as the dog shit fell out of the bag and landed at her feet.
As I walked back all angry and justified, I realised I had turned into one of those people who fight in car parks and shout at dog owners, so I give up. People can bring their dogs to shit in our car park, folk can park their cars in the spaces, there are hundreds of people live here and pay for the upkeep like me, I am not fighting everyone myself.
Though I may buy a pellet gun and sneakily shoot dog owners and lying parking people as I get old and infirm and like peeking behind curtains.