Things I learned yesterday:

  • Sleeping on rollers (even sponge ones) is not a comfortable experience. 
  • You cannot fit a hat over aforementioned rollers, should you need to go out in public with them in – and lack the 1940’s housewife style scarf that would otherwise cover them. 
  • Hair, once out of the rollers, still doesn’t fit under the hat. 
  • Piccadilly Circus at 8.30am on a Sunday is very, very quiet.
  • Starbucks on Piccadilly doesn’t open till 9am. [Though the Regent St franchise – just 2 minutes away – opens at 8am.]
  • My hair, under the influence of a hair styling pro/genius, can do a passable impression of Marilyn Monroe.
  • My lips appear to repel lipstick. 
  • Men have it easy. Time taken for 10 men to get ready: 30 minutes. Time taken for 10 girls to get ready: 3 hours.
  • Men have no idea about how self-conscious women feel about their clothing/hair and the context that particular outfits and styles are appropriate for. 
How did I come to learn these valuable life-lessons? 
I actually don’t have the time (or photography) with which to best explain right now, so I’m going to leave you hanging – call it a teaser, if you will. 
Suffice to say it was one random, but exceedingly fun day and secured me another 2010 First. Joyous. 

What I meant to write…

Yesterday, I managed to write an entire post without mentioning the subject I’d intended to blog about. Actually, I vaguely touched upon it – it involved singing & church – but I mostly got distracted by my own narcissism. Again.

I have a love-hate relationship with worship music, you know, the songs (as opposed to hymns) that get sung in churches of a more evangelical bent. Mostly I love them, but at the same time, they’re not brilliant in a technical musical way and can be oh so slightly repetitive. Then there’s the fact that most worship leaders subscribe to the philosophy that Christian soft-rock rules…

And most worship leaders are male. This isn’t some feminist musical rant – honest – but the fact that most of the people who write and lead these songs do so in keys that are completely incompatible with female vocal ranges. (It’s how I end up singing harmony lines most of the time.) Take my current favourite Matt Redman song – at church singing the chorus’ tune involves a bit of soprano style screeching, thanks to the worship team’s transposition of it to a key that best suits them.

Plus (and this may be a massive generalisation) but guys in worship bands appear to have aspirations beyond the sanctuary. At my church at least, you can guarantee that at any one time there will be at least:
– one band member referred to only by their surname
– one, if not two questionable hats
– one, if not two questionable hairstyles/examples of facial hair
Not to mention the developing of worship styles that sound uncannily like major bands of the moment.

Take last Sunday for example. There was the Coldplay style worship song (You’re Beautiful) in which the lead guitar goes to town with the whammy bar and the backing vocalists sing very credible “oooohs”. My least favourite song of the moment – Jesus Saves – was turned into a veritable rock anthem (again only singable at male pitch), there may even have been head-banging. Finally, we segued from one track to another via Kings of Leon style “woahs” (specifically Use Somebody style). Don’t get me wrong, I loved it – I was up on stage with them after all – and I have massive respect for the bands’ musicality, but it amused me.

Before you think I’m being totally sexist, I’ve never noticed this kind of behaviour from female worship leaders. True, one of my friends might turn almost every song into a jazz standard, but I kind of like that. Otherwise they just seem to go with the mood and remain faintly inconspicuous (whilst also singing at a sane pitch).

Now, the moment the band decides to do a Take That (more likely than Boyzone, I figured) style worship set, I will be all over them like a rash…

A lesson I may need to learn…

…gay, or European?
No, not some trashy MTV reality show, the main thrust of a track from Legally Blonde: The Musical. Despite being the self-confessed lover of musicals that I am, even I raised eyebrows when Legally Blonde was turned into one a couple of years back. It’s a fabulous film – I want to do Harvard law every time I watch it and I will confess to having a few political Elle moments when in DC last month – but a musical? Really?
We’re now just two months away from its West End opening and my vow of avoiding it like the plague is slowly crumbling. There’s still the massive problem that it stars my least favourite actress (Sheridan Smith – I dislike her for a whole host of reasons), but to balance that out there’s a great male lead (Duncan James) and now I’ve discovered the comedy of the soundtrack.
Today, C sent me a link to a song he thought I might find both amusing and educational, it’s from the moment Elle turns the trial round towards the end of the film and is entitled “There, Right There” but really should be: “Gay or European?”.
Good friends will know that this is doubly comic due to recent events. Being able to distinguish between men who are gay and others who are simply European (in the Euro-sceptic British sense of Europe only beginning once you cross the English channel) would be a distinct advantage to my life. Some excerpts that might come in handy:

You see they bring their boys up different in those charming foreign ports.
They play peculiar sports.
In shiny shirts and tiny shorts.
Gay or foreign fella?
The answer could take weeks.
They will say things like “ciao bella”
while they kiss you on both cheeks.

There! Right There!
Look at that condescending smirk.
Seen it on every guy at work.
That is a metro hetero jerk.
That guy’s not gay, I say no way.

That is the elephant in the room.
Well is it relevant to presume
that a hottie in that costume
Is automatically-radically
Ironically chronically
Certainly pertin’tly
Genetically medically

And with those words of advice ringing in my ears, I’m off to spend the evening listening to the entire soundtrack in hope of more gems. God bless Spotify!

What makes girls at a tea party giggle?

Porn for women, of course!

This was one of the contributions to Sunday’s swap party. The little book, simply entitled Porn for Women, was passed round the circle of ladies drinking tea and was a source of some amusement. (It was a welcome interlude in a conversation that had spent too long on the subject of bikini waxes – particularly, what one does when the best waxer in London was off sick…)
Produced by the Cambridge Womens Pornography Cooperative, it’s a response to some research on what actually turns women on and is also an attempt to reclaim pornography from the seedy side.
It’s not porn, but it is what women want:

I was given the book because it was felt I would ‘appreciate it most’ (have no idea what was being insinuated there!). So I took it from the party, on to church, where it received more giggles amongst the girls there. I think there could be a market for a Christian version…
Apparently, there’s also a calendar. Excellent.

Overheard prior to the evening performance of Chicago…

[Sat in row H for Friday’s performance of Chicago, I overheard this conversation from row I:]

First Woman: Do you get to go out much?

Second Woman: I’ve been breastfeeding for 10 and a half months! I’ve been nowhere!
I paid £100 for a changing bag – don’t ask me why – but it’s got these feeding pods & drinking pods, they’re amazing…
First observation, if you’ve not been anywhere for over 10 months, why would you need a £100 changing bag? Second observation, what on earth are ‘feeding pods’?
Incidentally, on the subject of Chicago, whilst it’s not in my all-time favourite musicals list, I do highly recommend getting the best seats possible in the stalls. It certainly helps you gain a different perspective on what’s happening on stage.
You know – see all the detail on the somewhat skimpy costumes; appreciate the subtleties of the choreography; observe the nuanced facial expressions…
Ok, who am I trying to kid. It gave me a fantastic view of the male dancers, well, one particular male dancer. I’m not usually one to objectify men, but Oh. My. Goodness. He was possibly the most perfect example of God’s creation. As far as I could see, all the women sat near us were transfixed.
I could also tell the tale of the amusing night I had following the performance, with one of the show’s leads, in a private members club in Soho, but I think it might cast me in not so great a light and I’ve already sounded shallow enough in this post…