Lolly JONES

Things I Learned in 2016

Lolly JonesComment

Don’t kick a table in an audition or you’ll end up in A and E.  

If you accidentally tell a Sun journalist that whilst working in Parliament you (allegedly) snuck into Jeremy Corbyn’s office and wrote ‘Sexy Jez’ on his whiteboard, you WILL get fired.

When the starless sky turns burnt orange, drink gin and do cartwheels. 

When Daniel Naddafy forces you to do a nuddy run – this time on Brighton beach, kick off your heels and do it.   It’s easier than arguing.

Don’t text an aubergine to someone that you once loved.  Emojis should remain inanimate.

Don’t send post when you are a fugitive.  You will be hunted down by a man bush and feel like you failed everyone you ever met.

Do visit a spa when you’re on the run.  You may have limited money but if your nails aren’t follicled, what’s the point in evading capture?

If an Italian waiter asks you to join him for cocktails when you are holidaying in Florence alone, go for cocktails.   

Do hitch hike.  

Don’t drink so much Prosecco on Christmas Eve that your mum has to pull into a layby on Christmas morning so that you can hurl.  She won’t be impressed. 

Don’t feel bad when you don’t win the comedy award.  The makeover lady drew your eyebrows on for the first time ever and you looked like a real person.

Don’t think you’re the balls when your Edinburgh show sells out on a Saturday and people are standing and everyone’s sweating and cheering and pulling party poppers in your face and you feel like you’ve made it.

Don’t think you failed because the next day, there are six people in attendance and they look at you like you shat on their dog.

Do turn up to a date dressed as Donald Trump clutching a blow up doll.  Don't expect to go home with both of them.

Do move back north of the river if you want to take tubes again and wear your leopard print coat on the same day as your sequin backpack.

Don’t climb Arthur’s Seat without water on the only hot Scottish day that there has ever been.  

Do play a sex robot. 

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Don’t get pigeon holed.

Do charge your male boss a quid when he expects you to make the tea.

Do pay £25 on top of Labour Party fees to vote for the Corbyn sexy underdog.

Don’t underestimate the intensity of becoming a fugitive.  Even when it’s for a TV show.  Yes, you will sleep in woodland and on boats and crave Guinness and Yorkshire Tea but you will look for exits long after you’re caught.   

Do dance like it's 1999.

Go blonder.

Eat pies.

Kiss men that chop wood.

And always buy your Beatles calendar from Poundland.

 

 

Space Oddity - the Ace Moments of 2016

Lolly JonesComment

Let’s face it, 2016 has been a tit of a year:

  • The elected Leader of the Free World has a name that translates as a ‘blow off’
  • We Brexited
  • We had to use the word Brexit

And...

  • my local Sainsbury’s discontinued Twiglets

What is the world coming to?

But alongside the Pound's all time low and the price increase to Marmite, some INCREDIBLE things have happened. 

Whether it's the quiver in David Cameron’s voice as he relayed his love for a country that he’d just Golden Showered on or my fumble with a renegade who left his shoe in my bedroom like a battle scar, this is a blog about the GREAT news events of 2016.

 

Heroes

Two words: Danny Dyer.  If you haven’t watched his episode of Who Do You Think You Are?  you must do so immediately.  He only went and took the ‘Pearly’ out of ‘Pearly King’.  Oh great Plantagenet Danny who now wants to “buy a ruff” and “bowl about in it”.   Our master. 

Ed Balls. Gangnum Style.

My mum only mentioned that I would look better as a brunette ONCE!  Only once people!  OK, the year is not yet over but breakthrough!!

Tim Peake; the most excited man ever got to climb inside of a rocket and speed his punk ass into space.

(After eating something that grows in a forest, I too travelled into space.  I was also quite excited although I cannot confirm or deny if I shat inside of my spacesuit). 

Congratulations to my fellow Hunted fugitives Nick and Ayo for outsmarting 'the man'.    Here I am NOT outsmarting 'the man' in some undergrowth in Essex.

Dig out your black ties ‘cause I discovered a Mcdonald’s that does table service.  (Kilburn High Road if anyone’s feeling flush).

Gary Lineker for speaking out on the refugee crisis and encouraging Walkers not to advertise in hate fuelled media…oh, and for presenting Match of the Day in his pants obviously.

 

Ashes to Ashes…some VILLAINS prevailed as others diminished:

MPs voted to strip morally repugnant Phillip Green of his Knighthood for making BHS pensioners pay for his big boat.   

I have now made peace with wearing only pre-owned Topshop (although nothing in there fits me anyway). I once bought a palm-tree encrusted leotard that when upon my bosom, stretched the shafts into hammy old, fir cones.  Yolo.

London elected a Labour mayor!  Sadiq triumphing over chiselled demagogue Goldsmith was a rare example of when a racist campaign was not tolerated and was quashed like a bastard. 

David Cameron resigned.  Granted it wasn’t because he inherited offshore money or for casual bestiality, it was for just being a bit crap.  But yey!  

The wasps on Planet Earth 2 were outdone by the unborn!  Ninja glass tadpoles eluded their predators in this incredible clip:  

Goldsmith failed to get re-elected as an MP.  Awks. 

Caring about global warming and opposing Heathrow expansion; great.  Denigrating your mayoral opponent with racial slurs and clichés, refusing to shake his hand when he defeats you and for generally being a first class Bell; not so great. 

The ill-fated Labour coup!  Watching people eat their words is always pleasurable, especially when those words are “what’s so wrong with Tony Blair anyway”.

 Angela Eagle launches her fragrance Eau de No Chance.  The PLP recalled the product shortly after.

Angela Eagle launches her fragrance Eau de No Chance.  The PLP recalled the product shortly after.

 

Being the year of the Underdog wasn’t solely great for American right wingers.  The prize was anyone’s and up for the taking.  

Jeremy Corbyn stormed to a second victory!  This spurred a load of new Party sign ups proving that corduroy and falafel clogged beards are the new black.

Sadiq Khan schlepped his Banana Republic blazers around City Hall like a PRO and froze TFL fares for the next four years.  What?  A Politician has done something for the good of the people?  Odd.  (Let’s glaze over his anti-Corbyn comments for a second).

Leicester won the bloody Premier League!   (And consequently, Lineker presenting in his kegs)!

Me - I finally used the 'I Love London' condom that I've been carrying around for three years.  Turns out, I didn't love London as much I expected to.

 

2016 was the glitch in the Matrix.  The year of the outsiders where both Goodies and Baddies succeeded.  Who knows what next year holds…

  • A wall between America and Mexico? 
  • Brussels refusing us access to the single market?  CHEERS BORIS!
  • My mum embracing the bleached-blonde locks that I’ve had for 20 years? 

Perhaps there will be a place for Zac Goldsmith on Strictly…perhaps if I lend my heart out like a library book, it might even be returned pristine or stamped out indefinitely.  Maybe I will start talking in 21st Century metaphors.  Who knows? 

We have learned that all bets are off and that David Bowie was in fact the glue sticking the Universe together.

Pick up your glow sticks bitches, Let’s Dance!

 

 

 

 

 

Five Clues suggesting that Kate Bush was always Tory

Lolly JonesComment

Last week, Kate Bush described Britain's (unelected) Prime Minister as 'wonderful'.  She stated that Theresa May is the best thing that's "happened to us in a long time".  Yeah.  Along with Brexit, this current cold spell and untreatable gonorrhea.

It is easy to assume that artists are inherently left leaning but this is not always the case.  Remember when Britney endorsed George Bush?  Yolo.

Here I unveil five clues that point to Kate's lifelong allegiance to the Conservative Party.  I hope you'll agree that the results are pretty conclusive.

1)  Some might say that the Tories are making Britain rubs on purpose.  This is Kate Bush rubbing herself on a purpoise:

2)  In 1985, Kate Bush released Hounds of Love in which she found “a fox caught by dogs”.  As she was “ashamed of running away” it could be said that this was in opposition to Tony Blair’s stance on fox hunting...

In 2004, the then Prime Minister had suggested an amendment to the Hunting Act allowing licensed hunting to occur under stricter conditions.  

Tony Blair was Labour.  Labour don't like Tories.  Kate Bush does like Tories.

3)  I present to you Exhibit A:

Coincidence?

4) In the song Wuthering Heights, Kate plays the character Cathy, begging Heathcliff to let her into his window.  This COULD suggest her support for the bedroom tax.  If Cathy was to be successful in her endeavour, she could live alongside Heathcliff in his council mansion and free up space for other council tenants looking to bed down in Yorkshire.

5)  And finally, look at Exhibit B:

I rest my case.  Jury adjourned.

Unfortunately for Kate who is about to release a live album, we are already running up that hill, for the hills, somewhere over the hill...anywhere to get us away from 2016; the year when everything good shrivelled up like an elderly, unused ballsack.

Things I have Learned at the Edinburgh Fringe (Weeks 1 & 2)

Lolly JonesComment

My credit card and I been having the time of our lives here at the Edinburgh Fringe.  But as the cider flows, all is not going as planned.  Here are a few lessons that I have learned in the first two weeks of the Edinburgh Fringe...

  • Supposedly, you are only ever two pay checks away from oblivion.  Turns out, you are only two Edinburgh shows away from a psychological meltdown. 
  • Sleeping in until 2:30 in the afternoon isn’t just fun, it is necessary.
  • You trudged up to Scotland with your set and a vision…YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS!  And it happened.  Except your name isn’t in lights.  It’s on some cardboard, taped to a rubbish bin in Grassmarket, slowly peeling off in the rain.
  • Arthur’s seat is not a seat.   And there is no one up there called Arthur.  This is the worst case of false advertising since the Brexit Leave campaign.
  • Eating a Pad Thai from Caravan is not one of your five a day. 
  • Flyering your show on a street corner will make you feel like a) a bar promoter or b) a prostitute.  Either way, there are no free drinks and there ain’t no happy ending.
  • Edinburgh is better than London PART ONE: a shop on Cowgate sells Wheat Crunchies for 39p.
  • The Comedy Coroner is the only reviewer who is booked in to see your show.  And they just cancelled.  *drops mic
  • The best retort I heard whilst flyering someone, goes to this lad: “I’ve just been robbed.  FUCK YOU!”
  • You will soon have a clearer knowledge of the city’s streets than black cab drivers.  Because, rather than taking your flyers, all punters will ask you for directions to Glenn Wool’s show. 
  • The second best retort when flyering someone (for my show SIX DEGREES OF KEVIN BACON):  “Who’s Kevin Bacon?  I’ve only heard of Richard Bacon.”  Brilliant. 
  • Don’t mix cider, jager bombs and Guinness or you may wake up with pink hair.
  • When hunting for chips at 3:30am, don’t believe the chippy by the Gilded Balloon (that closes at 3:30) when they say there are no more chippies open.  THEY LIE!  #winning
  • Do be concerned when the guy you are snogging in a taxi calls you Becca.  Unless you are called Becca.  in which case, have a cracking night.  I am sure he's a keeper.
  • Edinburgh is better than London PART TWO: there is an Indian Restaurant that serves Veggie Haggis curry.  Get out of town!  Except don’t.  Stay in town and eat the curry.
  • There may be more of your exes in this city than stars for Michelle Wolf’s show.   Don't heckle either one.
  • Do be concerned that the pillows in your sublet look like an acid-tripping lab-rat chewed through it like a hungry comedian in Caravan.

I will be back shortly with more revelations from the second two weeks of the Fringe.  By which time I will have renamed my show SIX DEGREES OF RICHARD BACON.  It will relay the tale of a girl called Becca who falls for a former TV presenter.  Instead of ‘cutting loose’ and forcing the town of Bomont to dance again, Becca and Richard will carve out careers in radio and snort lines from a Blue Peter badge.

SIX DEGREES OF KEVIN BACON by me, Lolly Jones plays in the Spare Room at Just the Tonic at 22:20 until the 28th August.  Tickets from £5:   https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon

Don't Look Back in Anger...the REAL LONDON

Lolly JonesComment

I had a great weekend that started out pretty terribly. 

It began in Camden Town.  And there’s your first problem.  No one born before the mid-eighties should ever visit Camden unless you’re on a gash acid trip or you need fuel for your fire poi (in which case, take a long, hard look at yourself). 

But this tale involves the chasing of a bearded American who would never penetrate my tequila soul. 

And Americans also hang out in Camden.

My wingwomen and I drunkenly mourned our twenties as we stomped through once familiar, leather clad streets. 

‘Had the Hawley Arms always been shit’? I wondered as we knocked back Voddies and Slimlines.  This used to be our hang out, just a two minute stumble from a Muswell night bus.  The last time I’d had a drink in there, Amy Winehouse had elbowed me out the way at the bar.  God rest her beautiful soul.  The staff (still fit and high) iced and sliced as an early Oasis song played on repeat.  LOUDLY.  I did not want to ‘be here now’. ‘ D’ya know what I mean’?  Give me my South London flat, Radio 6 and the Guardian Weekend.  Whap the heating up to 23 and peruse the American political race on catch up, please. 

 Wingwomen reflecting on their history

Wingwomen reflecting on their history

Who had we become?

The bearded American was nowhere in sight.  This was not my Masterplan.  Worse still, there was nowhere to hang our coats.  Don’t EVEN get me started on the lack of toilet roll or soap in the dispenser.  And complementary hand cream?  Forget it.

Nothing had changed here.  Although, we ourselves had morphed in brilliant but brutal ways. 

That big chair still hung on the side of a shop. Cyber Dog flashed an endless warning and PVC boots stumped out rollies in gutters.

 Sort your shit out, Camden.

Sort your shit out, Camden.

People pretending to be people looked through each other, on loop.

Colleen and I reminisced about the two Italian guys we snogged once at a bus stop.

‘Did we get old or are we just not drunk enough’?  questioned Fyles as we bobbed through Chalk Farm. 

Our old haunt, the ‘Marathon Bar’ glistened before us like spikes on a platform trainer.  Oh, sweet, sweet Marathon Bar.  A kebab shop once containing a back room of tinnies, fags and a Britpop dance floor was now, alas, just a kebab shop.  Its own Greek tragedy of burnt flesh and polystyrene.

As gentrification spread through London like a virus in Fresher’s week, Camden has been saved in a bong-induced pickle.  A time warp.  Were we right to keep this breathing museum of 90’s tourists and the lonely?  Or should Boris have replaced it with the shaft of a wonky skyscraper?  (Boris shouldn’t be erecting shafts anywhere, thanks).

The next night, I performed some artefacts of my own at Mortified, London.  My ramblings of a 15 year old, in love with boys and the world.  Reading aloud diary entries of lust and imagined possibilities between caverns of aligned stars. 

An old school friend in the audience was tickled by the preserved version of me.

When the lights went down, my gentrified persona emerged; a reformed hippy, sobered with the absence of a kebab shop back room and a bearded American (further out of reach than Uranus).  

After, we went south, to the deathly funk of New Cross Gate.  My 30-something, stomping ground.  The real, warts and all London.

Sometimes (as my friend later found out), what you really need is clean-shaven, British and completely in reach of Uranus. 

 

A shame about the Green Card ‘though.

The Ten Stages of Moving to London

Lolly Jones2 Comments
 London..where the streets are paved with gold (and fag ends)

London..where the streets are paved with gold (and fag ends)

1: The Move

Someone you met once at a party has a friend who has a sublet.  Besides falling victim to card clash, you feel fresh and alive. 

Have you SEEN the view from Westminster Bridge at dusk?  You even found a bar that serves cocktails in jam jars.  AND you saw Richard Madely in Waitrose!  

After years of colouring yourself in to Carnaby crowds, you are finally part of this heaving, Soho-neon, sexy-Napolean-tide of ambition.  Congrats!

 

2: The Temporary Bar Job

You take a Front of House job to pay for your newly dented overdraft.  You see some incredible theatre for free and sell an ice cream to the actor who plays Phil Mitchell.  Yes! 

You walk home by the bustling canal where log burner smoke cuts across gas towers in a mis-match of hipster vibes and Dickensian London.

 

3: Realisation - The Richard Curtis version of London is A GODDAMN LIE! 

You repeat the daily mantra:

“Pulling pints is a necessary struggle in the romantic pursuit of success”. 

You’re mugged in Notting Hill whilst searching for Richard Curtis’ London.  Nowhere do you find a (surviving) local book shop, a Hollywood actress at a dinner party, or the ‘last brownie’…just Aldi brand cake mix and a stuck together recipe.

4: The Love Affair

You end up bonking one of the new, 22 year olds they’ve taken on at work.  London is once more illuminated with lights and cranes and billboards.  They lead you through Dalston shortcuts to that rooftop bar (recently suggested by TimeOut). 

You watch the endearing creases of his face over sushi and sake as you try to keep him.  You flirt with the idea of sharing a nearly-affordable one-bed in Finsbury Park.  Even the Thames is aflame with molten, fingered JOY.

 

5: Unsinkable Debt

With your mum as rent guarantor, you now share the one-bed in Finsbury Park with a lawyer and an out of work actor (the Ex left you for a TV presenter who knows Alexa Chung). 

Your sleeping arrangements remind you of the Beastie Boys cover (that your housemates are too young to remember). 

 "Could you pass the salt, please?"

"Could you pass the salt, please?"

You chip away at your chosen career in lunch breaks and curse the midday shadows of St Pauls.  You curse every Pret a Manger between Cheapside and Piccadilly and spit on the limestone plinths of markable men who were able to make it work.  

You take a Saturday job teaching children, not because you ‘want to give back’ but because those student loan repayments aren’t going to pay themselves.

 

6: Re-Educate

Whilst old Uni mates invest in “soon to be gentrified’ Walthamstow, you laugh and snort Jager bombs through your eyeballs.  You’d rather spend your cruddy pay on a course in the ancient-art-of-something (that has nothing to do with your degree) and your Tuesday nights become a totem of survival.  Whilst everyone on your course is either gay or un-shaggable, you drink in each other’s mirth.  You finish the course knowing nothing but the fact that Walthamstow will NEVER be gentrified and that shagging strangers is the only antidote to a soulless-temp-job-existence.

 

7: Questioning Who You’ve Become

You lose your shit at an old lady who is walking slowly towards an escalator.  You suspect you are not nice anymore when you avoid the gaze of a pregnant woman at rush hour.  Baby on Board badge?  I’m going to need more proof than that, pal. 

You think it might be time to leave London when you go to a bar and they serve you a Bloody Mary in a bloody jam jar.

 

8: You Escape!

You search Gumtree for rooms in Brighton and divert to cockles and candy floss.  You Instagram your legs on the beach, gloating “Tube strikes?  What tube strikes?”  #Suckers 

A temporary bar job pays four pound less than  London but you can walk home after a shift. 

You travel back and forth to house parties in Hackney, laughing at city-slickers.

Something inside of you aches when you cross bridges.  Looking at the Shard from the base of its shaft make you feel tiny but significant and you’re overawed once more with the allure of polluted fayre.

 

9: The Ghastly Return

One way ticket to London Victoria pour vous, NOT publicised on Facebook.  You slip back in to the rhythm of city life.  Low key.  Casual. 

Whilst you can’t afford to watch the new, site specific, Punch Drunk piece or the Bowie tribute at Hot Tub cinema, knowing that it is happening in your city, is comfort enough.  

You’re in the thick of it!  The beating heart!  You accidentally ram your trolley into Judy Finnegan in Lidl and note how haggered she looks.

 

10: Acceptance

You wake up and realise that you’re 40.  You no longer pour pints!  Wahey! 

Whilst brewing coffee for the boss, you glance out to the buzzing, streets of Walthamstow, awash with preened man brows.  You Instagram the coffee pot and hashtag ‘decaffeinated Wednesday’. 

Tonight, you start a new course in Ming Vases in the Post-Modern era.  Who knows who you will meet?  Anything is possible here in the land of opportunity!  Acceptance slips through your veins like mercury in a tepid thermometer. 

These salt blasted streets are yours! 

The raggy red lanterns of China Town?  Yours!  

The pithy parks with dinosaurs?  Yours! 

You stood the test of time!  You head back to the room you’re renting from an old Uni mate near Blackhorse Road and smile to yourself.  OK, the tube is sticky in June and yes, no one knows your name but you are self-made (and breathing). 

You look up to the Shard (you can't afford to go in) and smile. 

Yes, my friend.  It is true…YOU ARE A LONDONER!

 

What I have Learned this Year

Lolly JonesComment

I have moved six times this year, running away from myself like a dog playing tiggy with its tail. 

And like a predictable ship without a lighthouse, I washed up on the Sussex shore. 

Thinking myself a maverick, I banded my CV amongst pubs in the Laines.   Every bar lady - a fellow 30-something, broken compass:

“Oh, this was me four months ago, welcome to the shit storm”. 

It was like a hall of fairground mirrors and I fell out penniless and seasick each time.

But I have finally laid down some roots back in London.  I have changed on such a fundamental level that I am now living south of the river.  What the ACTUAL fuck?  I never thought I’d see the day.  South London where there are no tubes and people get mugged.  Right?  That’s what the Evening Standard’s been telling me this whole time.

Here are the lessons that I have learned this year:

 

  • When a guy asks you back to see the view from his room, he doesn’t mean the view FROM his room.  Saying “oh yes, very nice” and scuttling out backwards at great speed could be deemed offensive.

 

  • When working at Playboy’s head office, DO expect paper cuts from arduous filing.  DON’T expect a fluffy tail and bunny ears.

 

  • If a bloke escapes from his own hotel room after a night of passion and you wake alone with all of his possessions but not him, it is perfectly OK to rob him.  (Who’s South London now, bitch)?!

 

  • When working as an elf in a grotto, don’t let Santa tempt you in to his pyramid scheme.

 

  • Be more aware of Labour policies when launching a one person attack on a table full of Tories.  After 8 years of living in London, I had never met a Tory in real life, (never mind ones disguised as working class, nice people).   To find out that my lovely, gay Brighton utopia was Tory led, shocked me.  Instead of quoting well researched statistics at my new pub mates, I drunkenly screeched:  "YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT THE POOR” before (accidentally) spilling my pint on a dog and leaving.

 

  • Don’t order mussels in white wine sauce when dumping someone.  It’s hard to leave something so tasty on the side.  It’s even harder to say “what are we doing here?  This isn’t fun.  Return my key please” whilst maintaining eye contact and slurping fish stock.

 

  • Don’t spend the entirety of your overdraft on local spirits in Indonesia so that when you finally get paid for your advert, rather than being a rich little queen, you have minus 8 pounds.

 

  • Don’t let Bambi near you when in possession of bubble wrap.
  • David Cameron put his winky in a pig's mouth.  I want to put my pig skin in Jeremy Corbyn's mouth..

 

  • Running naked at Glastonbury is more fun when a naked stranger spontaneously joins in.  Note to self - don’t give a fellow streaker your business card and expect them to stow it away.

 

  • Living somewhere where you barricade your bedroom door each night isn’t good for your chi.

 

  • Don't buy fake Ray Bans (Reg Bays).  They are gash.

 

  • Don’t flirt with other people’s boyfriends.  (I am getting better at this).

 

  • Moving somewhere where you don't know anyone is entirely possible.  You will most likely meet incredible people and learn about yourself.  Forcing yourself to be lonely is like a juice diet for the soul.

 

  • Having a tiny, baby nephew can make your heart explode.

 

  • You can only get away with stealing someone’s Nutella for so long.

 

  • Just because a mate moved to California and posts filtered surf photos of her hippy trysts, doesn’t mean that your life of failed auditions and spreadsheet migration is meaningless.

 

  • It is possible to walk away from something that hardly happens and is electric because it’s the right thing to do.  Even when it has massive, lovely arms and your eyes meet at inappropriate times and you both feel like you finally know what Rod Stewart was singing about.  

 

  • If you have a wedgie, do yourself a favour - pick that bugger OUT.

 

  • Being a Belieber isn't just OK.  It is necessary.


Have a WONDERFUL 2016 people!  Make lots of beautiful mistakes, eat well and stay off the drugs (unless you're on anti-depressants or Calpol).  Follow your heart and live beyond your means.  Also, give someone a hicky.  Be Merry! ) 

10 Reasons why Brighton is better than London

Lolly JonesComment

London has become like a crack cocaine habit – I know I shouldn’t and it tastes like shit but I can’t keep my trotters out of the cookie jar.

Since moving south on a whim this summer, I’ve been slowly creeping back.  I’ve not really tried to make friends.  Not properly.  I’ve kissed some people.  I’ve drunk with a fair few and I've worked alongside some legends; a vespa driving girl who sings comedy songs on the internet (whilst dressed as a cardboard babooshka doll) and a boss who wears his lack of enthusiasm like a beacon.  Hear dat.

But I’ve not fully let my fro down, travelling back and forth to Hackney like a light up Yo Yo.

I’ve had this slowly dawning feeling that I’m not with my tribe.  Unfortunately, I need to be around anger and a sense of impending doom to feel alive. 

Still, Brighton you have been lovely.  I’m going to wring the last few days of joy out of you like a sweaty loin cloth.  Here is what I have enjoyed and my top 10 list of why Brighton shits on the big smoke:

 

1: Bus drivers speak

You can thank them and they even say things back like “have a good day” or “see you now”.  Weird.

 

2: Outside Space is Achievable

In an age where the tampon is a ‘luxury item’, outside space must surely be the ultimate extravagance.  I once lived in a Muswell Hill flat with a small iron step for a garden.  I felt like a mighty Empress, sitting there, drinking cheap Riesling as I shouted obscenities to passers-by.  In Brighton, everyone has a real garden.  They see this as their right, like oxygen or well…Lillets.

 

3: The Sea

…in all of its turquoize sorcery.   I don’t know why looking out to something bigger and unfathomable can make you feel still and un-threatened.   Like a cup of Yorkshire tea or a good cry, the sea makes everything feel a little bit better.

 

4: Clean Toilet Bowls

If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down. 

Vegans don’t leave skids.  Fact.

 

5: Lower Calorie Intake

In the Laines, I paid £7.40 for a glass of wine.  This has resulted in me drinking slower.  A lot ruddy slower.  DO THEY THINK I’M A MILLIONAIRE?!??!?!

Hmmm…still chubby ‘though.

 

6: The Work based Coffee Morning

There are some dated rituals in Brighton - 1994 called and wants its fire poi back.  But 1972, hey – how’s it going?  Pull up a chair.

Weak, taste-like-pish coffee?  Check. 

Hard, over baked cookie?  Check. 

Chitter-chatter and casual perving on colleagues from across the break-out room?  Check.

Just don’t make me talk to anyone outside of my immediate department, OK?  I’ve gone back in time, not grown an open minded personality.

 

7: The People are Kinder

People treat each other like human beings here, they don’t twitch and huff when they’re in a queue.  Also, the homeless are part of the community – even the Police stop and talk, rather than moving them on. 

 

8: Be Woken to a Seascape 

Granted, I once woke to what sounded like a seagull being gang raped, but you too could wake inside an eerie Hitchcock film each day.  Ahem…I mean an Ayckbourn play…ah, lovely seaside SFX.

Better than nightbuses…right?

 

9: Relaxing the Kohl

Like our European cousins, the Sussex ladies aren’t big on wearing make-up.  And do you know what?  They’re all goddamn tasty.

Think you’re liberated, visiting Londoner?  Try not drawing your eyebrows for a couple of days.  

Mind.  Blown.

 

10: The Dogging Spots have Appropriate Names

Bored of mundane Aldi car park dogging sessions?  Drop down to Brighton and get your load at Hog’s Back or Duke’s Mound.

 

Still, I leave in a week.  Thanks for the good times Brighton.  We’ll always have Pride and the weekend that I drank so much, I couldn’t see.




Not being Average

Lolly Jones1 Comment

I was once in a casting workshop when a tutor determined the casting bracket of each actor. 

He took me in; fraying bleached blonde hair (surfer chick?) and charity shop clothes (chic student?) before stating:

  • Barmaid
  • Single Mum
  • Shakespeare Wench

Oh, right.  Cheers.

Before adding:

“And for Pinter’s sake, don’t lose any weight, we have enough skinny actresses”.

Why, thank you kind Sir. 

It then came the turn of the actor next to me; a lanky, fair haired bloke with dreams of playing James Bond and boffing Pussy Galore in the back of his metallic Skoda. 

His stage name was Jeremy (real name Bob) and his website was SuaveLondonActor.com Some other burk had even offered him £250 to buy the domain and he’d turned it down.  Cut your losses bro.

He perched cross legged, picturing his career laid out in front of him; an array of leading hunks with the hidden depths of Keyser Soze, The tutor looked him up and down, stating:

“You look like a floor manager at Dixons”

He took a sharp intake of breath as the circle murmured “oh yeah…”

The albino, wannabe Daniel Craig was not amused. He flicked his scarf and left the room, (presumably to sell some cut price blu-ray players and noise cancelling headphones with extra bass).

But the workshop leader was right about us.  My first eight roles after leaving drama school were maids.  No one carries a tray like this bitch! 

All hail the upside of having a Midlands accent and a weathered visage!

Ten years on from that casting workshop and the majority of my castings are now for 'Mum': 

  • Mum on train
  • Mum in car
  • Mum at Supermarket

Yesterday, I went up for the role of 'Wife'. 

You think I look too young to have children?!?!  Merci!  

It was the actor equivalent of being ID’d for Blue Wkd.  

Once in the Spotlight waiting room, I glanced around at a group of models.  These exotic creatures had lean limbs and gaps between their thighs.   

‘This is in da bag, I thought’ kicking off my sneaks and plonking my Aldi shopping down on the wipe free pouffets.

But as I glanced around the corner, I saw another casting group; the mousey haired collective.  Run down wenches, fake smiling at each other and making mindless chit-chat about elasticated tights.

There was one time when my casting bracket was closely aligned with my true self.  I have been an actual barmaid more times than I have played one and my courting of tips from the dandies in the Old Vic bar could be considered wench-like in approach.  

My maid characters involved carrying trays and serving people I detested.  In the real-life version, those trays had ice creams on them, or vol au vents or goblets of wine.  I’ve served Ronnie Corbett sushi, Mr Big coffee and Gareth Gates a frozen yoghurt.

I am still carrying those real life trays, even when those trays are spreadsheets or conference calls or being an elf in a Westfield grotto of hell. 

But the characters in my world-within-a-world have suddenly become stable and secure.  How has my fake-self become better at life than my actual self?  They have mortgages and children and husbands and un-creased clothes. 

We are all types one way or another: the daughter, the brother, the student, the lover (oi oi)!  But maybe the way we see ourselves is not always the way that others see us. 

No wonder the original SuaveLondonActor kicked off.  Do any of us actually want to be considered average?

Nah mate. 

And just like that, *flicks proverbial scarf, she was gone…

 

*Lorna is available for children’s parties, bat mitzvahs and kissograms.  She is also available for Bridget Jones 3, should Renee not eat enough pies...

Spotlight link here

The Line between Loneliness and Freedom

Lolly Jones2 Comments

The line between being lonely and being free is fine.  And no one really talks about it but I think I have more friends who are lonely than wear shit, East London clothes. 

I still don’t know if I’m a little bit lonely or free as a bird.  Perhaps both.

The signs are ominous:

  • Routinely flicking through Tinder so absentmindedly that the beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis have clawed its beginnings into my palm.  (Matching with ‘Jim, 43’ can be lonelier than watching reruns of Bullseye, in your pants, whilst eating a pasta ‘n’ sauce with a knife).

 

  • Freezing Tofu because I can’t eat it all to myself in the allotted time once it’s open.  #firstworldproblems

 

But I also have a frickin’ awesome time.  Fly to Bali with two weeks notice?  Check.  Dance onstage with Madness with only 20 quid to my name?  Check.  Get up close and personal with an engineer whose surname I'll never know, behind a campervan in Shrewsbury?  Check.  Move to Brighton on a whim even ‘though I have no home, no job or no mates there?  Er…yeah, OK.

So it could be that I’m free as a bird.

But to err on the side of caution, I moved from my solitary bedsit into an eleven person commune overlooking the sea.  This is my fourth home of the summer.  I haven’t yet learnt the names of all my house mates and we converse through messages on blackboards.  We bulk buy Yorkshire tea.  Sometimes a really cool kid comes to stay who plays our out of tune piano like a punk ass Lee from Blue.

I couldn’t do London anymore.  London could be lonelier than Christmas or the Ready Meal aisle at 6pm on a Friday.  Plus it’s really expensive and is full of huge dicks.  (Not in a good way).

I certainly felt lonely in my old city life, surrounded by friends and a boyfriend.  I’d watch in disbelief as my ex surfed Groupon deals to jump out of a plane, so desperate was he to feel something.  Or when at the bus stop each morning I saw a familiar ex friend refuse to look at me because I had become something she didn’t want to be around anymore.  Or, more probable, she had realised I was not the person she had so loved and committed to at the beginning.  Plus, she was a Tory.  It would never have worked out.  (But still, the sadness trickled through me like diesel waiting to be lit).

And now I feel an excited pulse of being completely unbound to anyone or thing.  I’ve inhabited that white feather in Forrest Gump, blowing in the wind, only trying not to land in Seagull shit (they don’t show you that in the movies).

Gumtree ‘rooms to rent in Brighton’ has become my eternal friend.  Moving in summer evenings, pulling suitcases past bunting as the polluted sun set behind the scaffold of Hove and the turd new Jetson’s tower.  Meeting new housemates over boiling kettles and popping toast, shaking hands and shuffling feet.

 

Where are you from? 

Poland.

Australia.

Kent.

 

How about you?

Retford town.  Yeah.  Pretty strong.

 

What do you do?

Waitress.

Student.

Carer.

Tree Surgeon.

 

How about you?

I’ve…er…just been in an ad with Kevin Bacon?  Yeah.  Kind of a big deal.

 

All I’ve learnt from this summer of changing postcodes is:

 

  • Drinking at the seaside is better than standing inside of the line on a Soho pavement

 

  • The penny arcades are rigged

 

and

 

  • Seagulls will ALWAYS peck open your rubbish if you don’t double bag. 

 

Pretty standard stuff really. 

Basically, you can’t solve loneliness by surrounding yourself with people.  But if you find yourself dancing around a campfire on the beach, cutting a date short because whilst you could accept that he lived in a transit van, you drew the line at his belief in a ‘past life’ (as a hermit on the island of Lesbos), you might have forgotten to feel lonely or angry or all those other London type emotions.  

And then when you get ‘home’, living with so many people begins to feel comforting and a bit tribe like.  A gang.  A dysfunctional family.

Lonely?  No. But you will to wait a long frickin’ time for the shower.

What TYPE of FACEBOOKER are YOU?

Lolly JonesComment

Many times, I have tried to leave Facebook but all those (…er) missed party invites and, well...

what about the time I needed to sub-let my flat? 

or when I got a free Pret Cappuccino (and had to inform everyone)? 

or when I wanted to compare myself to other people because I was feeling fat and poor?

THAT’S HOW THEY GET YOU!  

We’re all sucked in.  Yes!  Even you slime balls at the back, who’ve had the same profile picture since 2007 and only ‘like’ two posts a year, (both of which are political). 

We are all cogs in the machine. 

 So…my ‘friends’, what kind of FACEBOOKER are you?

 

The Humble Bragger

‘Just been offered two incredible jobs at the same time.  What to do?  I hate making decisions.  Arghhhh’.

Blow me.

 

The 90s Texter

‘Cnt w8 4 2mora wen I C me m8’. 

Go write ‘Boobless’ on a calculator.  In a dark room.  On your own. 

 

The Eater Wanker

     

 

 

I wouldn't mind but it looks shite.

The TV Spoiler

Don Draper dies?  Wait!  No.  He lives?  He makes a Coke ad?  No, wait.  Don Draper turns his back on capitalism to live a life of existentialism and meaning?  What?  The ending is ambiguous, pretentious and impossible to determine?  Cool.

Oh, sorry.  Were you not home on Monday night?

 

The Casual Racist

Keep it for chit chat around the Christmas dinner table.

 

The Cat Gif-er

Go get some interaction with a real person.

 

The Dog Gif-er

Seriously.  Go get shagged.  

 

The Pug Gif-er

OK, you can stay.

 

The Dude who uses Facebook to talk to their Child

The kid is three years old. 

Why are you telling them they are your little princess? 

They are not reading it.  I am reading it.  I am angry.

 

The Ebay-er

Flogging some manky trainers? 

Wrong website, dipshit. 

 

The Out of Towner

“After a tasty Vegan restaurant to impress the in-laws…GO…”

Google it, you bell.

 

The Cryptic Statuser

 ‘Feeling blue’. Sad face emoticon.

Or simply: ‘*Fumin’! 

I do not have time to play your sick game. 

*Seriously, though.  What are you fumin’ about?

 

The Serial Breaker-upper

Unfollow.

 

The Britain First Supporter

Unfriend.

 

The Selfie Twat

Because it DIDN’T take you fifty attempts.

 

The Copy and Paster

‘Click ‘Like’ if you hate Cancer’.

 

The Lurker

They NEVER comment but they know all of you, in distinct detail…when your period is due, when you last listened to Justin Beiber and the shape and density of your last crap.

 

The Mourner

“Hi, nan, it’s been twenty years since we lost you…”

A couple of things:

  1. That’s two years before Zuckerberg was even conceived
  2. They can’t read it because,oh, well this is awkward...

 

The Traveller

editecuador-5700.jpg

They’ve got a cocktail in an infinity pool in Chiang Mai. 

You’re doing data entry and you just found a mouse’s tooth in your pot noodle. 

 

The Real-time Updater

‘Hey!  Just having some Coco Pops’!

‘Hey!  Just heading out for a shot of wheatgrass’!

‘Hey!  Just having a wank, guys’.

Okaaayyyy.  Got it.

 

The Hash-Tagger

#feelingblessed

Er… #sod #off and #die #?

 

The Fraper

Whether they’re changing your Sex (it took me weeks to figure that one out), swapping your profile picture to a baby scan or simply writing “I think I’ve got crabs”, it never gets old.

 

The Proud Parent

 “Dwayne just chewed his first solid”

Yeah, well I just sicked up last night’s Jager bombs but you don’t hear me banging on about it.

 

 

The Activist

I don’t want to see a rabie’d dog with half an ear. 

I don't have money to give to charity and I’m trying to watch Hollyoaks.

 

The Happy Reveller

They who rarely check Facebook and are happy living a real life.

Eh?

 

 

Contributing ideas from my 'friends': Liam Butterfield, Katie Ashford, Kirsty Fretwell, Farrel Hagerty, Carl Thorpe, Joe Lewis, Andrew Dickson, Erin Egan, Aubrey Reynolds, Rhys Jennings, Daniel Williams, Sara Edwards, William Boulby, Katie Salt, Zoe Belucci, Stan Jay, Tom Ogley, Dave Prater, Siobhan Smith, Adam Ashall, Alison Baker, Sian Breckin, Louise Mardenborough, Alison Beevers, Alun Hill, Vicky Wyles, Lianne Wyles, Jean Butterfield, Suzie Collins

Story by Lolly Jones and Emmy Fyles

 

Why JESS should win LOVE ISLAND!

Lolly JonesComment

Oh the joy when 9pm comes around and those immortal words are uttered from Miss Flack’s sweet gob:

“It’s going to be a long, hot summer”

And it has been, hasn't it people? 

Love Island has been about as joyous as TV gets – a cross between Big Brother and the amateur section of Soft Porn Express…with peroxide and back stabbing and enough fake boobs to float a ship.  Or…well, a raft. 

On Wednesday the winning couple will be revealed, becoming the handsome beneficiaries of fifty grand.  But who will be worthy winners? 

Playboy bunny Hannah who believes a bikini top should cover the nipples only and Essex John who pronounced himself leader on day one and is man enough to cry over a lost erection?

Love Island Pairings

Loved up, secret-bitch Luis (can no one remember him ditching every girl he chose in the opening episode?) and former Miss GB and piercing blue-eyed Cally (they ARE Contacts, right)?

Or should it be Ken-doll Josh who thinks there is only one country in the UK?   And his partner?  Er..what’s her name again…er…she’s done nowt but look sad for six weeks…Lozza?

Or…OR…the beauty that is Max and JESS?!!  JAX, if you will.

JAX

OK, Max is blah but we have seen Jess morph from a Page 3 desperado into a gorgeous, funny and self-deprecating swan. 

Here, my beauties is why we all need to vote for the ultimate underdog Jess in the final. #JessweCan

 

Beauty is in the PIE of the Beholder

Jess began as the hot girl.  Everyone wanted a piece. 

But soon enough, Josh shat on her.  The ‘twin’ shat on her.  Max shat on her.  Naomi shat there.  All over her.   Pooey turd poo, everywhere.

Only Omar was true to her.  Oh, Omar…

Omar

 The Tantrums

NO ONE does a tantrum like Jess.  Head throwing, foot stamping, spinning 360 and earth mother screaming.  Whether she’s being called out for lying or if she just doesn’t get her own way, Jess can turn on the Terrible Twos like no one’s business.

 

The Coy Smile

Whenever it kicks off, Jessica bloody LOVES it. 

When Max threw the deckchair in the pool – coy smile. 

When she ratted out the boys for saying that the girls were ‘minging’ and everyone was shouting– coy smile. 

She’s like a riotous Cupid.

Jess Love Islan

 Low Self Esteem

 “I’m not a minger babe, I’m on Page 3” she bleated as a final mating call to Josh. 

But whilst she knows her hot currency, she is unaware of her worth.  Whether she’s jumping back into bed with Josh or self-confessing that all she’s good for is “bending over”…no, Jess!  No! 

 

Trying to be a Bitch

Jess’ most lovable quality is that she would be BITCH No.1 if she held any sway in the house.  Her lack of presence has prevented her manipulating in any meaningful way.  

It hasn’t stopped her ‘though.

Remember when Naomi was moving in on Josh?  “If you do this, I will be really upset” Jess moaned, perfecting her Princess Diana look – looking up in a sad way, beneath lashes. 

Or lying about Pie’ing the twin off. 

Or swapping her partner on the second day, at the first opportunity (bye Jordan)!

Or leading Omar on, to stay in the competition.  

 

Her Vulnerability

Jess represents the everyman.  She just wants to be loved. 

It was never about winning the ‘boy’.  

Because, let's face it - she never really did.

If nothing else, at least she wears a bikini that covers her lady bits. 

Let’s give her twenty five G’s so she can finally come out on top.  Oh no wait, she already did that...and from behind...and in doggy...

Oh well, JAX...yeah....!