Thursday, 18 December 2014

The OTHER You


There’s nothing quite like an audition to show where you are supposed to be AT in life. 

Two years ago, I sat firmly in the ‘loveable, best friend’ casting bracket.  Not hot enough to win the guy but wise enough to be chief council and smiley enough to be a funny sub-subplot.  My inbox glistened with castings:

‘Warm, bubbly with an interesting face.  Quirky.  No model types’.

‘Quirky’ was the Lollster’s 2013 buzzword, along with ‘average + build,’ ‘no household names’ and ‘willing to work for free’.

When I didn’t get the job, I could relax, content in the knowledge that I just wasn’t bubbly (chubby) or interesting of face (dog-like) enough for the role.  It was NEVER down to being shite. 

But at least I was in the younger category.  The female with something to say, the female living her life.  The female with an above healthy Bueno addiction and all round dis-interest in cats.

Now, I go up for mums:

‘Warm, bubbly with an interesting, (if slightly haggered), face.  She has probably done a lot of drugs.  Quirky.  Bingo wings.  Mother of a young teen’.

There was a time when I would have been grateful to have been handed a temporary husband when heading into a casting but now I’m handed 2.4 children too.

“Just treat them like they’re your own” the casting director proffers.

Er…”but I just came from the pub and kids usually think I’m a c**t.  Oh, I can’t say that in front of the youngest?  Oh, wank.  Sorry”.

“Just pretend to make cup cakes and have a conversation about fairies…and keep the swearing to a minimum”.

I look to my two fake children who are already working the room: 

The older one is a stage school type who reeks of piano lessons and elocution.  His CV is already five times larger than mine and he has more contacts than I’ve had hand jobs. 

My ‘youngest’ is dressed head to toe in pink and unfortunately, it appears that she has gone to the Keira Knightly school of acting. 

“Hold this spatula Maisie, now can you remember when we saw that fairy in the garden”?

“We don’t have a garden”.  Pout.

I laugh quaintly, pretending to stir some hot caramel into the invisible sponge.  I momentarily forgot that we are in London and not the northern, countryside childhood of my yester year.  ‘Maisie’ has obvs grown up in an all concrete, Peckham penthouse.

“Ha ha.  What is your favourite fairy then, sweetheart”?

She looks at me, square in the eye, her ‘older brother’ squeezing her shoulder now, willing her creative genius to flourish, forthwith.  The two of us are spending the advert money in our heads.  Like mother, like son.

“Pink”.  Pout.

What?  Pink?  That’s not even a thing.

“Your favourite fairy is pink”? 

What a dumbass.
 

 
She stands there, hands by her sides, oblivious to the non-existent sprinkles I just put in her eye line.

Then my husband enters like a plumber in an eighties porno.  He’s suitably hairy.  I recognise him as the murder victim in a recent Poirot re-run.  He’s quasi famous!  ITV2-1 am-in-the-morning famous!  This is in THE BAG!

“Hi honey”.  He skids across the work surface and offers me a limited edition, non-stick cake baster. 

“For the woman who has everything”. 

He holds me. I smile.  Our son smiles.  Our daughter looks into the mid distance.  I kick her ankle.  Show me some teeth honey….a three grand buyout teethy smile…she pouts.  Man, I love my family.

My husband clings on to me for dear life.  He can smell the 50% for an optional second-year-repeat-fee. I look lovingly into his eyes, his dark, seen-better-days eyes and scan down to his Harold Bishop jowel.  It occurs to me that we could never pass for a couple, just as I couldn’t have birthed two children and look THIS FRESH. 

Or…OR did I just get old and not notice?  Did something just pass me by there?  The 144 bus and MY LIFE?  People my age DO have two children and baking skills.  Some of them have rank husbands.  Some of them are OK with it.  Shit.  This was like looking in a pound shop mirror.  The life that could have been. 

I drop the pink youth off with her real mum as my ‘son’ skateboards back to Dalston.  (Kids grow up so fast these days). 

The mum is toned and at least two years younger than me.  She has even brushed her hair. 

“Well, that was torture”.  I note to my bubbly, (chubby) husband.  “Pub”?

He waves his wedding ring at me in a camp yet sorrowful fashion.  What a joker.  Like I was after a bit of ass.

I sit in the pub, alone, drinking Tia Maria cocktails. Other 30 something women are littered around supping up calories.  This is like one of those anti-suffragette posters.  A warning.  What not to be.  A grave yard for the crows footed wenches who had once, dared to dream.

 
My phone rings.  My agent.  Yes!  That was quick.

“Hi Lolly, something’s just come in.  The latest James Bond…”

Yes!   They’re filming in London and they finally came a knocking…

“Miss Moneypenny…”

Yes.  Of course.

“They’re casting her mother”.

Pause

“I’ll do it”.

“It’s for the understudy”.

What?  How does that work?

“James Bond; the musical comedy.  A tour around old folk’s homes in the north-west”.

Balls.

Pause

“I’m in”.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Pursuit...


This would be a terrible time of year to break up with a partner; it’s nearly Christmas and my blender has packed in.
We’re NOT breaking up.  Nor is this a ‘conscious uncoupling’.  He’s just moving out for a bit.
Personally, I blame the Tories.  The government’s inability to cap London rent has resulted in us sharing a room no bigger than a cupboard for the last six months.  There are shelves in Smeg fridges with more breathing space than our room.
 
We waited until we’d nailed Sopranos Series 5 and then we had ‘the conversation’.  For the sake of Tony and Series 6, we were going to make this work. 
A bit of space.  It’s what everyone in this polluted city craves, innit?  Space to swing a cat.  Space to do a smelly trump without offending.  Space to fry an omelette without waking your lover’s slumber, two inches from the hob. 
“OK, I agree.  Space is what we need.  Move out for a bit...
 but leave your Kenwood Gourmet FP505 blender and juicer, babe.  Yeah?”
Priorities.
And now, it’s a bit weird.  A mixture of loneliness and freedom.  The best of both worlds?  Or the worst?  I’m not sure. 
He left during a three day game of Trivial Pursuit.  The board lies unfolded in the tiny, designated eating area by the window.  My swelling pie, a daily reminder that I can never quite keep a man.  But I CAN rest in the knowledge that I am thoroughly schooled in Geography, Entertainment and Sports and Leisure.  (Every cloud).
Initially, I relished the partying ‘til dawn, once more.  Barging in (loudly now) as the shop below laid out its Christmas trees for the morning trade.  But then I awoke to the boyf’s weekly coffee delivery that I had ordered for his birthday.  The inscription on the label taunting my whisky-fuelled brain:
“Enjoy these beans Broseph.  Love from Lolly: light of your life”.
I’m weighing what this all means in my head.  Here are the good points of living alone again:
  • The return of Tom Yum Sum Noodles (from a packet) and Double Wank Sundays.
  • Leaving the washing up.
  • Watching shit model documentaries and generally being a base human being: lying unwashed, amongst crumbs of Discos (Salt and Vinegar) and Wheat Crunchies (Crispy Bacon). 
  • Coming home to an empty house.
  • Determining what needs washing by the sniff test (instead of the delicate, holding up to the light technique).
  • Not having to watch rugby.
  • Munching on two advent calendars instead of one.
 
But here are the bad points, in all their shitty glory:
  • Not seeing chest hair on a daily basis.
  • Not nestling my face in chest hair.
  • Not running my fingers through chest hair.
  • Not seeing him.
  • Not eating with him.
  • Not hearing about his day, as he tears through the fridge in search of cured meats.  (As he slowly remembers that he’s not Tony Soprano).
  • Coming home to an empty house.
  • Not being able to relay my tragi-audition stories through the medium of interpretative dance.   And feeling loved.
  • Washing half a load of clothes and consequently SCREWING THE ENVIRONMENT.
  • Waking up amongst a crumby pile of Walkers (Prawn Cocktail) and Wheat Crunchies (Crispy Bacon).
 
So, the next time I see him, it’s going to be as his Date on DATE NIGHT.
I’m out of touch.  Do I shave my legs?  My Foof?  Do I talk about my achievements and twirl my hair seductively?  Do I laugh in the right places and let him buy the first drink?  Do I tempt him back to my gaff with the promise of a blowie and some (newly blended) carrot and cumin soup?  Do I make him breakfast?  And hang on…who's washing the dishes?
I’m nervous.  But then it wouldn’t be a proper date without nerves, would it?
The only given here, is that I WILL be caning his ass in our unfinished game of Trivial Pursuit.  Let’s hope that we both have the stomach for a rematch. 
Universal love and (more importantly) The Sopranos-Series 6 are counting on us.

 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Lolly Does Christmas!

 
Sit back and let Lolly do the leg work this Christmas! 
 
Here are my top tips on buying gifts and those crucial No Nos:
 
 
 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Name's Scrooge. Lolly Scrooge.


Black Friday.  Pink Monday.  What next?  Wank Wednesday?

I HATE CHRISTMAS.

Everything about it.   I wear sequins all year and suddenly it looks like I’m conforming. 

I regularly pop cheap bubbles mid week.  Now, suddenly I’m expected to share it with my fellow man? 

The girls in the office squealed in excitement as the Poundland tinsel was scattered amongst their PCs and overworked telephones.  I was forced to make a paper chain of snowmen.  Granted, my eyes were grateful for five minutes away from the spreadsheets of doom but A FLIPPING PAPERCHAIN? 

Who invents this shite?  Baby Jesus?  If I was him, I’d be turning in my tomb. 

I wore the adopted name ‘Scrooge’ like a Greggs hairnet; a badge of honour.  A totem of elitism.  Peering from my ivory tower upon the office town that santa and his reindeer had sicked up on, in shades of gold and silver.

And then, it came.  The piece de resistance…SECRET SANTA!!!

Balls.

I pick out the first name.  I know I’m antisocial but I don’t have a scooby who Mary is.

“Er…can I exchange”?

I drop it back in and pick another.   Chantelle.  Oh yeah, my old mate Chantelle.  WHO?!

“One more go”?  I beg.

In my defence, I am a temp.  The only time I talked to the vast majority of people in the department is back when I was promoting my one woman show. 

“Howdy stranger!  £10 tickets for a sell out Edinburgh show?  Playing in London for one month only!  Roll up!!  Roll up!!”

My flyers taped to the kitchen cupboards like fold out snowflakes.

In the end, no one from the office came to my show.  But someone did helpfully un-blu tac it from the fridge the day that the run ended…which was both helpful and considerate.


I’m not sure what it is about Christmas that I hate so.  Here are some ideas:


  • Meat.  Little meat wrapped in big meat.  Stuffed meat.  Meat in the middle of the dinner table.  Carcuses in the kitchen.
  •  The irony of a non religious public, celebrating with oversized TVs and £20 off of a food processor.
  • The pressure of weighing your wounds against last years’.  Am I bigger?  Am I better?  Am I richer?  Am I loved? 
  • Feeling guilty for not returning Crimbo cards.
  • The pressure of yourself.  Beneath the Global Hyper Colour scrunchies and turd beanie hats, even Trendies have to remember who they are at Christmas.



In the end, I rested some tinsel on the mouse wire but only because it wasn’t my desk.  (I also helped myself to half a packet of Hobnobs.  Comme ci comme ca).

So I’ll keep my head down and I’ll pretend. 

Flash my sequins like a fistbump to the season.

Buy a Secret Santa gift like a good little Santa’s helper.  Besides, I find that the only thing missing from any CEO’s life is an anonymously sent, extra large, inflatable, neon-flashing penis.

"Hey, it wasn't me guys.  I'm just the temp...

Hobnob"?

Friday, 17 October 2014

I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook!


Critics bummed it, audiences bummed it and now, YOU can bum the bum out of it too! 

My show 'I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook' has been running since July.  But, like Old Labour before us, all good things must come to an end. 

Playing at the King's Head Theatre, Islington only FIVE times more.  The run MUST END on October 25th.  I have pumpkin soup to make, yeah?

Watch the trailer:



Read the blurb.  Book the tickets.  Get excited.

See you in the bar after.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Lolly Does Berlin

This week, Lolly took a short break to Berlin.  
Watch the Vlog below, for her Top 5 Tips!


Monday, 2 June 2014

Use Your Best China

Last week, my incredible niece turned 21.  Here are the Guidelines to Life that I wrote for her:



Don’t go on dates because you feel that you should.  Holding off on buying the nacho share plate because you’re poor and not sure if you work with his jowels, or his accent, or his chunky knit cardy, plus he’s mardy and hardly a man you’d want to bring home.

Don’t trust in those in which you share darkness.  To each other you are currents in late night shanties.  It’s too close to godless, a noxious surge. 

As your aunty, I insist that you always have taxi money tucked inside your tight leather hot pants.

Don’t be a nob.

Deal with piles at the first set of symptoms.

Be the other woman once only so that you know worthlessness to be a badge of dishonour, accepted nowhere, that will not so much as get you a seat on the tube.  Don’t get comfy with that feeling of being special only in the afternoons, not wearing perfume or glitter, in case you infect his clothes, his life, litter.  Watching him leave through the gap in the blinds.  Try not to be bitter.  Clutching gin that collides with the part of him that rusts inside, your downfall/demise.

Don’t buy the triple X Sony amplifier headphones; the first headphones on the internet.  They are shit.

Do dance in the rain, at bus stops, on your way to pay council tax.  It’s as close to the end of the rainbow as you’ll ever feel.  Not as depressing as it sounds.

Be you.  In all your complexity.

Use your best china.  I have an Andrew and Fergie mug up for grabs.  

Flee to mountaintops, tread water by barrel reefs and dive.  Clock kaleidoscopic spheres as they thrive, before they drain white.

Fight for our air.  Make your carbon footprint as slight as you can.

You will find things, If not God: symbols, totems.  Let them not be lighthouses or numerology, Guinness or BBC 3 comedy.

Don’t buy a Stevie Nicks phone cover from I Phones 4U dot com.  Like much in life, it will never arrive.

Instagram at all times.  But not food.  No one cares what you’re eating babe.

Always do April Fools.   People who cannot laugh at themselves need to learn softness.  Give it to them in cling filmed toilet seats.

Don’t tweet when unhappy or floating in gin.

Don’t like anything cat related on Facebook.

Empty the bin as much as you can.

Don’t kick out house mates if they are messy, light fingered or loud.  Just leave in a shroud, in the night (you’re allowed) slip free like a bored infection.  Your own private whirlpool.

Don’t be a nob.

Do wear a helmet.

Live in Berlin before it is colonised.  Swim in Badeschiff, a pool on a river.  Break into Spree Park and run through deserted, broken dinosaurs.

Force yourself to see blackness.  Close your eyes by the creaking, squeaking turbulent skies.

Look up Manuel Schmutte and say ‘Lolly says hi’.

Finish cheese boards before your compadre.

Have midnight picnics with people you can only love periodically and who it’s best you never see again.

It’s OK to carry a hip flask as a secret sling beneath weathered skin.

Live somewhere safe with good central heating and a view of trees.  Make sure it has good night buses, at least two door keys and is north of the river.  No one wants chicken bones between their toes in summer.

Don’t microwave mackerel or your popcorn will taste fishy.

It’s OK to carry a hip flask as a secret sling.

Always know the way home.  You never know when you may find yourself without power, hope or a good pair of ruby shoes.

Know that you can call me day or night.  Know that there is always a solution.  When faced with stagnated Sahara sand, blown inner land, disband bad thoughts… hailstones will appear and wash away hardness, an inability to love, GDR bricks blocking kindness.  The smog clears with snowflakes.  In a white, reflective snow globe, we are paused and we are perfect.

Cry when it hurts.

Tinder is not an option.

Never expect a boomerang to return.

Never expect a ginger man to return.

Always expect piles to return.

Do not lie about your intelligence or social cigarettes.  They are not social.  They are £8.80 a packet.  They are both damaging and glorious.

Lie about your age, your bra size and about how much you actually enjoyed India.

It is OK to carry a hip flask.

Always help your mother/my sister with Christmas dinner.

Always make sure your aunty’s glass is topped up with fizz.

You are brilliant.

You are beautiful.

Use your best China.  It’s OK to be a broken tea cup.  A pasted together saucer.  

I wanted to buy you a compass for your 18th but Topshop Accessories were all out so I bought you a Cheryl Cole album. 

I took an oath before a God I no longer believe in to protect you. 

Throw me as hard as you want.  I will always return.

Quieten as much as you need.  I will hear your black box, twenty miles below the sea.

And if you want the Andrew and fergie mug, just fucking ask me.


I have gin with which to fill you up.  And a flimsy map home.