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Tue, May 28th - 10:58AM

STAYING MUM UNTIL DAUGHTER FLIES THE NEST

 

"MUM, can you get my washing out of the machine and hang it up?" my daughter Ashley asked at the weekend. She is 27 years old and still lives at home as a self employed comic and writer. It's good fun.

 

 

 

My husband and I had made all sorts of plans for our 50s. We love travelling. Toronto, the Netherlands and Los Angeles are just some of the destinations we have visited in the past with my comedy act, but we were going to do so much more.

 

 

 

These plans have been scuppered, as Ashley doesn't like her dad going with me. He is her full-time father and she is not about to let that go.

 

 

 

Underneath her pretend adult facade is a wee girl who likes having her daddy around.

 

 

 

I inevitably end up going on tour alone, husband stays at home and Ashley commandeers all his attention.

 

 

 

Ashley lives a charmed existence - one that requires no real decision- making, except which shoes to wear or what kind of shellfish to have for tea.

 

 

 

I am not underestimating her abilities or work ethic.

 

 

 

If only I had had an easy life when I was 27 years old.

 

 

 

My mother died when I was 21 and I accepted her death and assumed I didn't need a mammy anymore. In my head, I was all the woman I was ever going to be. How wrong I was, and still am. I was just a child playing at being an adult.

 

 

 

I was already six years married at 27 years old. I was a mother, managed a bar and a home. I was just a kid, yet I dealt with wee drunk Glaswegians who spent ages trying to figure out if you liked King Billy or the Pope.

 

 

 

Sometimes they challenged you to a boxing match or sex - it depended on the day, really. You learned skills you never knew you had, like speaking Spanish to confuse them or being handy with a bleach spray.

 

 

 

Life in the bar was hard work, especially in Glasgow's tough East End. I am sure Ashley would have coped admirably, though I am glad she didn't have to go through such experiences.

 

 

 

We left the bar when she was eight, and by then she had seen enough scary stuff to ensure a few years in therapy when she reaches her thirties.

 

 

 

Her CV is mainly performing in comedy. She had a "one-woman" show at the age of 13 on the Edinburgh Fringe and went on to help run a comedy club in Glasgow at the age of 15.

 

 

 

We both had very different job experiences in our youth. I did work she would hate and she entered a career that I would never have dared to step into or had the confidence to carry off at that age.

 

 

 

But, despite her admirable self-assurance, she is not leaving home.

 

 

 

I encourage her to stay within my wee nest. Having a child at home, despite her full formed adulthood, means I get to be a mother for all time, no date-expiration on my parenting skills.

 

 

 

I am needed, I am wanted and my child is nurtured and loved. Empty-nest syndrome will not be added to the litany of my mid-life crisis problems.

 

 

 

I still check on her as she sleeps, I ensure she has her breakfast and I grump contentedly as I fold up her freshly laundered clothes and lay them on her bed.

 

 

 

I suppose I will have to adjust quickly when she starts bringing guys over to stay. Maybe that will be the time when her bags are packed and she learns how to pay a phone bill.

 

 

 

Then husband and I will finally get jiggy on the sofa at teatime, run naked through the house and play Jackson Browne on full blast without the Iphone plug being ripped out of the wall.

 

 

 

I am looking forward to that golden age, but who will show me how to download music without crashing the PC, cook bread that doesn't taste like a raffia mat or apply eye-shadow that won't make me look like a victim of domestic abuse?

 

 

 

I suppose I have to conclude that there are skills I still need to learn - and letting go of my child is only one of them.

 

 

 

Maybe next year? Meanwhile her Star Trek fanaticism drives me nuts. 

 

 

 

I AM sick to death of Star Trek episodes. My husband and Ashley, love everything sci-fi and I grit my teeth through every show.

 

 

 

To me, every episode has the same format.

 

 

 

Each week, the crew let some sexually alluring woman on to the ship and the visitor turns everyone into a tree and then they finally expose her as a Cardassian death lord and, by the end of the show, they all agree to never let that happen again. Of course, the next week they invite yet another scantily clad woman aboard!

 

 

 

Ashley screamed: "Mum, there has never been an episode where people get turned into a tree! I checked, so shut up!"

 

 

 

To make matters worse, Ashley wants to buy her dad the entire box set of Star Trek: Voyager.

 

 

 

I am going to go live under the sea.

 

 

 

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.

 

 


Comment (0)


Tue, May 21st - 12:57PM


I HAD cause to be in the Western Infirmary's accident and emergency unit in Glasgow recently. A huge fat teenager in his best sports wear (maybe he was in training for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, in the running-with-a-knife event?) came in behind me. He obviously wasn't getting the immediate attention he deserved, what with his swagger (maybe he had a dislocated hip?) anyway....I disliked him because he sneered at me.

 

 

 

His fist clenched he banged on the counter and demanded that someone look at him. The woman on the reception was busy writing something down and carried on with her work.

 

 

 

He let rip a foul tirade of abuse at the wee woman.  I would like to call her sassy Susan, she was wearing a tall bee hive blonde hair do and that amazing bright pink lip liner that you just know she can do with one hand and no mirror.

 

 

 

She merely bent down and pressed a button under the counter, then she smiled at him and slammed the glass window shut.

 

 

 

Three seconds later, five policemen came out and hustled him to the door.

 

 

 

"My da' is fucking  dying!" he yelled. The cops ignored him "I will you tube tis you bastards"

 

The cops laughed and said "hey YOU tube....move it".

 

 

 

 I love that in Glasgow we use the word TUBE as an insult....

 

 

 

Just then, the double doors to the exit banged open and there stood an old man with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. He had bare, mottled legs and was wearing a dirty old towelling robe and jangling enough gold bracelets to justify being Glasgow's oldest white rapper.

 

 

 

 "Son," he spoke quietly, "give yer da' a light for his fag and stop annoying the polis."

 

Might not be pretty representation of Glasgow- but these are my people and this is my Scotland.

 

 

 

There is the other side as well, head to the West End and the nice mung bean cous-cous side of town and meet the folk who like to knit yoga mats....but people despite appearances can all be pains in the ass. Yet am proud of Scotland, you know why?

 

 

 

That irritating closet racist and homophobe and UKIP leader Nigel Farage (weird name for a man who hates all things European) came to Edinburgh recently to rally some troops for his 'party' and was promptly run out of town. Yes an angry mob gave him short shift, they may have been loud, raucous and sweary....but they did it.

 

 

 

The UKIP can maintain their 'we aren't racist' stance but it doesn't wash in Scotland - we have a saying "don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining" and that Mr Farage is what we hate about liars....the fact you assume we don't know you.

 

 

 

So life goes on, am looking forward to June firstly me and Ashley (my comedy daughter) are performing at Rock Ness festival....I can't tell you how much this worries me, am scared of moths, but it will be immense fun.

 

 

 

I still hate camping though and then on June 22nd I will be recording my one woman show at The Comedy Cafe Theatre in Rivington street East London.

 

 

 

I can't wait to do this, as so many people have asked me can they buy recordings of shows and I had none. I had done a few shaky video's of my shows but nothing that could be sold.

 

 

 

Producing and selling without a BIG MAJOR distributor is the way forward for comics and this way, we can support a small indie company AND get my show on CD

 

 

 

So now the awesome people at The Comedy Cafe Theatre are going to get this done. If you want to see it live, check out the gigs list on my website and buy tickets and come along.  

 

 

 

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.

 


Comment (0)


Thu, May 2nd - 2:35PM

Abuse and Threats Online

Seems to be a theme this week of attacking comedians, what with Scottish comic Susan Calman getting bullied for her non- opinion on Independence and Reggie Hunter getting booted for being himself at a corporate gig- the papers raged on with accusations of 'fees to be returned' in Reggie's case and 'Bullying from the Nats' in Susan's case.

 

 

 

Either way it was a bad week for comedy, especially as the Scotsman and various other newspapers emblazoned their headline "death threats for comedian" never since Salman Rushdie have we seen adverse reaction to an art form. Though I still don't know who threatened death to Susan as it hasn't in itself been publicised (maybe due to a police investigation) and can only imagine the horror that it rang- having been threatened online two years ago myself for talking about Old Firm Sectarianism....it's scary stuff.

 

 

 

I took screen shots and reported the website and death threaten-ers to the police and made an official complaint. So what is this special new Scottish force  Police Scotland doing about this onslaught of abuse towards female comics?

 

 

 

In my case they took all the details and assured me to watch out for more abuse, but they basically told me not to be contentious on Twitter....I explained "I am a comedian, I am allowed to make jokes and contentious remarks without being threatened by death" But I was happy I reported it and made sure the cops were aware of the people who being abusive for future reference.

 

 

 

So many politicians came out to support Susan and quite rightly so, but it's just lip service....we want to be protected for our freedom of speech without being threatened by death....what's next a Scolds Bridle for 'cheeky women'?

 

 

 

I would like a Police Scotland and Chief Constable Stephen House to have a full investigation into the death threats given to comedians and am appalled that Susan had to turn to a newspaper to highlight this issue as clearly the cops are so far doing nothing.

 

 

 

Having been a victim of online bullying and name calling, and threats of 'getting my house burnt down' I know how this feels and the police did reassure me they would help me, but by telling me 'not to be contentious' on twitter? what the hell is that about? I will quite happily face criticism and tell me you hate my comedy, explain how much you think am a fat ugly woman...fair play...but to THREATEN ME WITH DEATH? It's not on.

 

 

 

On a side issue I speak about this situation in my recent show, how famous people get the press to highlight their online abuse and how the cops will kick doors in at 6am if some Olympiad is abused, but if you are wee Betty McDade from a housing scheme and someone is threatening you on Facebook....you are on your own. I know this to be true as some of my Facebook followers have testified to such....there shouldn't be a law for one and separate law for others. This isn't Victorian times, where the Middle classes are protected and the lower classes are left to defend themselves. All online abuse should be treated seriously, whether you are an Olympic swimmer, a comedian or someone who is living on benefits trying to use social networking sites.

 

 

 

I want the death threats to stop and the only way they will stop is if we constantly report them, screen shot the tweets and facebook threats and remember there is always a way to trace them. Everything every written on the web can be traced. Stay safe and lets all work together to stop death threats online.

 

 

 

 

 

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.

 

 

 

 


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