Let’s Dance

An inevitable move is approaching. A vampire can’t keep their head down forever. Except on a sunny day. But this is Britain, after all, so… no…

Taking a break from keeping the heads down, the hubster and I decided that, given that there’s not a blue moon due any time soon, we would throw caution to the wind and socialise. The operative word here is caution. On so many levels. We went bowling.

Yes.

Bowling.

Essentially throwing a  heavy lump of plastic at a bunch of other bits of plastic (or wood – not sure which), hoping that they’ll connect and fall over. So then, the opposite of what we all try to do in our daily lives – which is not knock things over. I mean, since we’re first able to walk around by ourselves, our parents and well-meaning adults move everything possible out of our way so we don’t knock everything over. For years, it’s

“Be careful!”

“Look where you’re going!”

“Watch out for that [object]!”

“Mind you don’t knock [item] over!”

And then you find yourself in a bowling alley in rented shoes, and suddenly you’re let loose with a load of deadly balls and told to go nuts.

What?!

As we all know, knocking a few things over is usually annoying. Case in point: there’s a whole bunch of YouTube videos about cats knocking things over and I don’t hear anybody congratulating the little furballs…

And what is it about bowling that suddenly makes it alright to do strange little dances?  Who does that in everyday  life?!

“I just put the milk back in the fridge… oh yeah ah-ha.” [does an elaborate wiggle/fist-pumping combo]

“I’ve just done the washing up and I’m doing the robot.”

Well, if you get excited over doing the washing up then it’s because of one of two things :

one you’re extremely easy to please or…

two  dinner around your house must be an adventure because if washing-up is such a big thing then… yikes?

(You know I’m joking!)

And those shoes… Yes… they say you don’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Well, a good thousand or so people had probably worn those shoes before me, and I still don’t have a clue about any of them.

Okay, so I didn’t walk a mile in them. It just felt like it. Okay, I didn’t walk at all. I may have tottered, strolled, skipped (slightly), skidded and occasionally ended up on my backside in them, but that’s besides the point.

I also saw a sign in the same place for a silent disco. So how does that work? I mean, yes,  I know how it works, but it got me wondering… what happens if you go to a silent disco with someone you like and they want to make a move?

What happens when they want to listen to something really smoochy and you just want to listen to Uptown Funk?!

I reckon there’s going to be a whole load of mixed messages going on right there…

And the potential for a whole load more YouTube videos.

Don’t look now…

I’m being very good today.

I got up.

Hey, don’t I get brownie points for that?!

Things have been getting a bit weird around here. Oh, okay then … weirdER.

I recently realised that I’ve been living in this country a quarter of a century. Nearly ten years in my current location. And that’s way longer than I ever tend to spend anywhere. Normally, after about 5 or 6 years, people start noticing things, and life starts getting awkward.

Then I move on. In fact, it’s normally a lot less than that. But, I guess that’s a big city for you. Noise, smells and a whole big bundle of Couldn’t-Give-A-Toss. This is a place where people would prefer to barge into you and say ‘sorry‘ than say ‘excuse me‘ and go through all that lengthy hassle of waiting a whole two seconds for you to move out of their way.

Sorry, I put ‘move‘ in bold because when I looked up at the screen, I realised I’d typed ‘love‘ instead.

Freudian slip?

I’d like to think so.

Sounds better than ‘Omigosh, my typing sucks‘.

But I think I’ve seen you. You’re the person that always says ‘thank you’ when I stop to let you go past. You always seem concerned whenever you see someone who may be in distress, and you’re always the first to help when you find that they are, rather than pointedly staring at your phone instead.

Talking of which, I saw someone the other day, walking along a tempestuous pavement, glued to their phone screen. Oblivious to everything else. They say flying is simply throwing yourself at the ground and not hitting it… Well, this guy practically flew, in that case.

Foot + pavement-bump + diverted attention = Faceplant

Or so you’d think…

It was a spectacular save.

He fell.

He got about three quarters of the way down.

He righted himself.

He carried on walking, still glued to the phone.

Now that’s style.

I salute you, young sir.

At least folks like him aren’t the cause of my current predicament.

Ah yes, that.

They’ve found me again.

Well, I think they have. And no, I’m not entirely sure who ‘they’ are, exactly. But ‘they’ have an unerring knack in discovering creatures like myself and, er, encouraging us to be geographically adventurous. I’m sure there’s some kind of -ism or -phobic that covers this, but let’s face it, you’re  never going to get anybody out with placards protesting.

Well, you may do, but it’s going to have to be at night, so probably not much to be achieved there.

Dysons and glowsticks at dawn it is, then!


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You know you want to.

A hot topic

Wow, I was on a full-on whinge last time, wasn’t I? Sorry about that. Blame the weather. Go on, blame it. I intend to.

It’s hot here. As in, Tarmac-melting hot. 38 degrees. Certainly way hotter than my body temperature. Now, at this time of year, it’s usually safe for me to come out of my hidey-hole and embrace the autumnal lusciousness.

Only there’s very little autumn about, and even less lusciousness.

As I’ve said before, clothing is an issue for an everyday vampire. There are two choices: Cover up/overheat or wear less/burn. There is a third option: Hide. Guess which one I opt for.

Of course, there are occasions when I do have to leave the house, so wearing pale colours is my only option. And when I say pale colours, of course I mean white. I. am. not. going. to. wear. pink. Ever.

I’ve had people inform me that goths shouldn’t wear white. You know the types… So I just smile and let them carry on with their rant. Because that’s what you humans do, isn’t it (present company excepted)? They see this metaphorical snapshot of you and launch into a judgment based on that fleeting glimpse.

It’s like, the other day, someone slapped my wrist for making a joke about something that has, in the past beleaguered me and caused me a lot of personal anguish. ‘You can’t make jokes about that.’ he said, ‘You don’t know their story. You don’t know what they’ve been through.’ And you don’t know what I’ve been through, so shut up.

So, because I’m ‘so obviously a goth’, I’m not allowed to wear white. Okay, mate, whatever you say. But it’s not like I can tell them the truth, is it? I bet you’d like to be a fly on the wall if I did that?

So I’ll wear what I want. It’s quite sweet, because when small children see me, they’re convinced they’ve just seen an angel.

But conveying your personality to the world via the medium of fabric (and ink) is such a human thing, isn’t it?

How often have you seen some poor teen out there, swelteringly encased coffin-like in black leather despite hot weather warnings, with so much melted black eyeliner on that they’ve stopped looking gorgeously waifish and now just look like an anxious Alice Cooper?

To all the gothlings  out there:

You are allowed to forego the black leather, you know.

Gothling: No, I must wear head-to-toe tight black leather. How else will ordinary people know what I am?
Ordinary people: You’re an idiot. We just guessed.

See you in A&E. Heatstroke.

Oh, and going off at a tangent (so what’s new?) There is that one staple that the snapshot-judgement-jumpers always pounce on me for.

Tattoos.

I don’t have any. Nope, not one. Oh, I mean, I love getting the odd henna tattoo when I go on holiday. Like memories, they fade…

Well, I made an interesting discovery the other day. I can’t actually have them. They won’t take.

Yep.

You read that right.

They won’t take.

I know, crazy, eh? Now, before I get started, Tattoo 101, as they say. In much the same way that some believe that chips (=fries) come from plastic bags in the freezer, many people believe that the only way to get a tattoo is to visit a tattoo parlour. Which means if you were a sailor living 400 years ago, you were screwed. Let’s get the principle straight. sharp object+ink, piercing skin= tattoo. I know. My mates used to do it in class. Usually Maths (compasses!).

One guy I know was trying to do “Unforgettable Annie” (his current girlfriend’s name; seriously, he should have just had a ‘fill-in-the-blank’). Unfortunately, the poor lad’s pain threshold wasn’t that high, so he got as far as ‘Unforget‘ and passed out. She dumped him. But he never did forget her, so…

Anyway, this is why I (and probably anyone born a vampire) can’t have tattoos. Again, please let me know if you happen to be the exception to the rule. I was drawing with one of those lovely free-running ink pens (sharp object+ink: still with me?) and, distracted by someone talking to me, I rammed the pen into the lid with a little more force than usual. Of course, it wasn’t the lid, it was my thumb.

It bled like a pig. And then stopped. And a couple of hours later, it was healed. As usual. But I had a black spot there. Oh great, I thought. An accidental tattoo. And it looks like a blackhead. Wonderful.

Until the next day. To cut a long story short (too late), my thumb spontaneously opened up, spat the ink out, and closed up again. I wish I’d filmed it now.

And that’s why vampires (well, born ones, anyway) don’t have tattoos.

Do you want a moral-of-the-story? Ych. It’s the same as ever. Don’t judge people when you look at them. Or, actually, just don’t judge. Full stop.

“I have that within which passeth show. These but the trappings and the suits of woe.”

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2, Page 4


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Go on…

Where’ere thou art…

“Where’ere thou art, act well thy part.”

I have acted. Many people are surprised by this – that I can be on stage, watched by hundreds of people, being any one of a thousand possible characters, when offstage I find it difficult to make eye contact… It’s not so incredible, actually. I wear people like some folks hide behind make-up or loud clothes. You can go on holiday to escape home, work, family, friends, routine, but nowhere on earth will you ever escape yourself. 

That’s why I took to acting with such enthusiasm- the only way to escape yourself is to become (temporarily) someone else. 

I believe an actor has 100% to give. It is their choice how much of it they use on stage. The more you use off stage, the less you have to offer when the lights go down. I prefer to reserve my hundred percent for when I’m on stage. Although I do borrow from it from time to time to help me deal with the more awkward moments in life, like… Well, life really.

I was out the other day and heard such a wailing and caterwauling that I wasn’t sure if some disaster had happened. It turns out it was merely a local act-or out for a few moments of quiet reflection, as he hugged and ‘mwah-mwah-dahling’ed everyone within arm’s reach. And not all of them particularly wanted to be mwah-mwah’ed either.

Loudness of every kind appals me. It’s not snobbery. It hurts. Literally hurts. And when I say ‘literally’, I genuinely do mean literally. It causes me actual physical pain.

I’m sat on a train, escaping to the sea for the day to recharge the emotional batteries, when in swagger a gang of students. They swarm and mewl and raise the rafters to contain their wonderfulness. And I look at them, shutting off my ears and see their self-presumed omnipotence as nothing but a matrix of statistics: height, weight, age, IQ, EQ, life expectancy…

And each generation leapfrogs each other in outrage. One minute you’re one of the caterwaulers… The next, you’re disgruntled at the wailing and the next, you’re considering whether you should just report them to the police at 3am and finally get back to sleep. And of course, when I say ‘minute’, what I actually mean is ‘couple of decades’. That’s what time feels like to me. In a twinkling of an eye you go from the Angry Young Thing who’ll save the world with your Mixed Arts degree to being Outraged of Redhill.

Choose who you want to be. Change your choice every day if you have to. After all, you can always take holidays from yourself if need be.

And me? I’ll just keep away from Redhill for now…


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Fang you very much.

Tis the season to be reason(able)

Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.  Unless you have a pulse, then you take your chances.

Seriously, I hope you are all well, and if I could hug every one of you, I would. Really. And not because Christmas makes me mushy.  Well, the non-commercial, buy-everything-in-sight-whether-you-need-it-or-not side of it.

I’m talking about the shelf-elf free humanity huggingness of this time of year.  It’s good that we can attempt to set aside a portion of the year at least to try to be nicer to others.  Especially in the face of everything that surrounds us at the moment.

If only we didn’t need an excuse to try.

I stand back and see what you humans do to each other and it puzzles me.  Are you lot trying to be oil and water, or what?  Does somebody really have to be a carbon copy of you before you’re prepared to love them – or even accept them? Or, even… just acknowledge them.

What would it take to make you all realise that you’re all in this life thing together and none of us are getting out of it alive?

It would also be good if we didn’t set Christmas aside as a distinct window for compassion.  If that care and concern for others could just leak out into the rest of the year.  You know, the way the commercial side of it has… Or perhaps tinsel in the shops in September in the Universe’s way of reminding us that love for your fellow human isn’t restricted to December.  I think the person who started the whole Christmas thing off would approve.  Baby steps.

Rant over.

Here’s some cute animals.

 


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…because you’re worth it.

As good a day as any….

31st October

Well, today is Halloween. Seems like an appropriate day to start a blog, I suppose…

It all started last week, in a shop selling chintzy (do I mean ‘kitschy’?) Halloween items. A little boy was complaining to his mother (do little boys do anything else in shops?) about being a vampire “again”. He was whining about how he didn’t want to have to wear those teeth again. Why did he always have to be a vampire? Why did he have to wear ‘those‘ teeth? I was surreptitiously listening to all this of course, and wanted to go up to the little boy and say “Excuse me, but what is wrong with being a vampire? Don’t you think that’s a little bit insulting to vampires?”

But I didn’t, for a number of reasons:

a) the mum would probably flatten me for talking to her little precious (stranger danger!);

b) it was really not my business;

c) I didn’t want to give myself away;

d) actually, I don’t have anything else for this one.

This politically correct nonsense has got to stop somewhere!

So, I kept quiet. I find it easier that way.

I suppose I better introduce myself. It’ll take a while.  There’s much to tell. I won’t tell you my name, so I guess I’m not really entirely introducing myself, but never mind. Identity theft, that sort of thing. I don’t know. Modern living, eh? So please bear with me.

I am a vampire.

Yes, it’s easy to say that these days. Nobody gives a fig. “I am a vampire.” Nobody really cares about that sort of thing any more. It’s just more everyday tabloid fluff. The kind of statement you find in magazines in railway station newsagents when your train is 20 minutes late…  It’s up there with “aliens stole my baby”; “I travelled through time and became my own father”; “Woman of 120 looks 30 on a diet of couscous and pears!”… I guess in these days of freedom of speech, everyone is allowed a little crazy from time to time. Admit to being a creature of the night, nobody bats an eyelid; use the wrong spelling of ‘your’ on the internet and we might as well have a wake for you right now.

Let’s just say I’m glad people don’t have pitchforks and flaming torches anymore. Although I can’t imagine being chased out of the village by people waving glow sticks and Dysons.

And no, I am not 120. I am… Well, let’s just say I will never see 50 again. However, nobody believes this. They’re all horrified that I could be anything older than mid 30s.

I am an everyday kind of vampire.

 


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Just coz…

Awaiting instructions…

Oh, I love it when people try to tell me how to live my life.  I’m sure that’s a number one favourite with all of you..

In these days when choice is all around us, there seems to be a general shepherding towards certain sets of choices. Or perhaps I’m being paranoid.  That actually wouldn’t surprise me, but it’s kept me alive and safe this long, so I’m not about to bad-mouth paranoia any time soon!

Little known fact: vampires cannot metabolise alcohol. Anyone that tells you they can is either a poser, faking, or just hopeful. Hence that saucy line in Dracula “I never drink… wine.” Bram Stoker was spot on with that little chestnut. To give you an example… there was one place I worked where everyone knew I didn’t drink alcohol. They certainly didn’t know the real reasons why, or I doubt I would ever have gotten the job!

Anyway, we had a particularly good day, and the boss decided we needed to celebrate. She brought in bottles of wine for everybody and a bottle of ‘alcohol free’ wine for me. The bottle said it was alcohol free, so why should she think any differently?  I was extremely wary, but felt that I should least have a sip of the stuff. Tip: don’t bother with alcohol free wine – it smells disgusting; it tastes worse.

So, I had the obligatory sip. In fact, it was hardly even a sip. It barely touched my lips before my head felt like it was about to explode. You know all the stuff in films about making vampires explode? That’s where it comes from! After a matter of seconds I was on the verge of asking someone to put me out of my misery because I was in that much pain. I then checked the bottle… ‘alcohol content less than 0.01%’.

Alcohol free my backside!

Fast forward to today. A friend posts a news article about an alcohol-free bar opening in London. She sounds excited. I voice a wish that we had one where I live. A ‘friend’ of hers is quite vociferous in her disgust at this coming to pass, and tells me that I should ‘just go to an ordinary pub and order a fruit juice’.

Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?! That’s the answer to every non-drinker’s prayers!  Oh thank you, Wise One, for sprinkling your fulsome knowledge upon us.

Oh wait a minute…

Now I remember…

I don’t go to pubs because they smell.

I don’t go to pubs because non-alcoholic drinks are horrendously over-priced.

I don’t go to pubs because I do not appreciate being treated like a recovering alcoholic or an eight-year old, just because I’m not having ‘what everyone else is having’.

And I don’t go to pubs because sadly in today’s culture, where I live, most people do not go to pubs for a quiet drink – they go to get as drunk as they can, as fast as they can. And hilarity ensues. Which, of course, it doesn’t.   People are loud, obnoxious, quick to cry or fight, and I cannot protect myself from all the slurry whizzing around in their addled brains.  Their thoughts are painful…

But mostly, it’s the smell.

So, why in a world where apparently I can choose to do or be anything I want, I am not allowed to choose where I want to go to enjoy myself?  Or is it perhaps that my choices will only be approved if they conform to certain societal trends?  Can a person ever choose to abstain from certain behaviours without being vilified? Apparently not, it seems.

So, tell me again how I should live my life.  Pfft. Better still, why not recommend a few favourite watering holes?  I may feel like popping out for a bite to drink one evening..!

 


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Lochaim!