Monday, 25 May 2015

Head Space

Hi World. I don’t know if you have ever had those times when you are constantly questioning… Who the bleep am I? What am I doing with my life? Why have I matched black knick-knacks with a grey training bra circa 1997?

No? Just me? Well to that I say bollocks. We all have moments in our life when it feels a bit like we are being washed away in a tide of uncertainty and that the only constant in our life is that Escape to the Country will be on at 7pm with a seemingly contented couple who just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO with their half a million pound budget that *GULP* they could increase if necessary if it had JUST that couple more acres of land for the horses. *SIGH*

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about money or property or marriage or horses; it is about the fact that constantly in our society we are being asked to compare ourselves to other people. Whether it be through social media and the dreaded selfie, job promotions, or, as my last post highlighted some poor girl in a yellow bikini in search of a bucket and spade. Which, let’s all be honest for a second, is not a healthy thing to be doing and we are all guilty of it. BIG TIME. 

The self-comparison, not the bucket and spade search. We all need a bucket and spade once in a while.

Our bodies and minds are fragile, wonderful things that we need to take care of. I am only just learning this lesson aged 28, but better late than never.  As the daughter of a father who has manic depression and a mother who suffered badly from anxiety attacks, I come with a dollop of all of the above and awareness of more. 

If we sprain our foot (whilst doing a Baywatch impression and running into a lake) or burn our hand (by leaving the paper on the minced beef whilst frying it) then we don’t think twice about going to the doctors or ladling two inches worth of Sudacrem on top of the offending wound. But if we have a wobble in our mind or an unexplainable sensation of feeling low or out of kilter, it does not seem as easy to ask for help. And yet it should be. 

As a society we are slowly but surely getting better at tackling mental health issues and eradicating the fear and taboo that surrounds talking about them but boy have we got a long, long way to go. 

One incredible thing to come out of my current wobble is the discovery of the app Head Space. It’s a meditation app that gently trains you to have ten minutes of meditation a day, just a little breather from all the thoughts that are currently enjoying a hearty barn dance in your brain. If you think about it, after a long day of work you put your feet up to give them a rest, why not do the same for your brain?

Have a gander, I dare you:

A wise man once told me in hushed tones, “Nobody is sorted, not all of the time.” And this is what I’m telling myself whilst watching Bob and June browse their six bedroom property. “Nobody is sorted, not all of the time.” 

And that is ok. In fact, it’s human.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Beach Body Ready... Or not

The big question on everyone's lips at the moment is this: is this woman beach body ready? Well, first and foremost, let’s leave the body part until later and tackle the real issue here: is she beach ready? And the answer is plain and simple: absolutely not. 

I see no sign of the all-important bucket and spade, no streaky sun cream and seriously does she think that flimsy yellow bikini will hold out against a wave off the coast of Weston Super Mare? Oh no my friend. We’ve all been there and, in the words of Alan Partridge, she will need to put ‘the boys back in the barracks’.  Or rather ‘the girls’, as the case may be.

What kind of self-respecting company would put such a highly unprepared vulnerable woman at the fore-front of its advertising campaign? This poor girl doesn’t know what she’s letting herself in for. She hasn’t got a beach bag to carry the essentials in, (Factor 50 if, like me, you are so white that moths are attracted to you), no sign of any flip flops (I mean for crying out loud, how on EARTH, is she meant to go rock pooling without footwear?!), and no HAT. I mean, come on. A burnt scalp isn’t good at the best of times but next to that garish yellow dental floss of a swimsuit? HELLO, CLASHAGE!

No towel either! How could I forget the towel?! She's going to have to do what any self-respecting woman does when the loos at work run out of paper. Shake dry.

Now, onto the body... Protein World, I would have you know that she most certainly is NOT beach body ready. For one, she needs some embarrassing stray hairs on either her legs/pits/vadge. Two, she needs at least 5 dimples of cellulite. And three, she needs one, if not more, strategically placed bogies hanging out of her nose (from the waves not a cold, although who am I to dictate her state of health and without that towel the risk of her catching a chill is HIGHLY increased).

People of the world, we need to find this woman and warn her NOT to go to the beach. She simply is NOT ready yet. Let’s type her up a beach inventory, get her a sandy sandwich but most important of all, give her a hug because we need to turn that frown upside down.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Old Papa Laura

Well, they do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder… How does a year suit you?! Pretty darn fond I’d say!

My last blog entry stated that I had recently turned the ripe old age of 27. I can safely say that I have since then added one whole year to that total. 28. Safely out of the clutches of the ‘27 Club’… Sorry Hendrix, we’ll have to save our high five for later. Much later hopefully, cue touching of wood, rubbing of rabbit’s foot and any other life assuring gestures sure to keep me on this planet until I am old enough to sit in a rocking chair and hit a child with a walking stick*.

Dream big Darrall, dream big.

What I have noticed about this y’ere aging process is that the older I get, the less I give a sh*t. Not about the important stuff like family, friends and SClub7, that I still very much give a big steaming turd about. But the little stuff, the things I used to endure night sweats over in my teendom, that is water off a duck’s back with a few years behind you.

A queef for instance, or in layman’s terms: a fanny fart, when one of those cheeky buggers slipped out in my younger years I would freeze, squeeze my eyes shut and pray for temporary deafness in my gentleman caller.

Whereas, today I positively GUFFAW in the face of a queef, which shall henceforth be new minted as the Victory Honk.  

There is something incredibly empowering about aging.  So many people shy away from it, fear it or are in darn right denial about but I say NAY: AGE, WISDOM AND BOOB SAGGAGE, I AM READY FOR YOU.

Ok, so the boob saggage I am not quite ready for, that was merely my getting swept up in hyperbole, though due to the nature of having 34Ds (thank you Mother) it is somewhat inevitable. But like that high five with Hendrix, I’d like to stave it off for a few years yet. 

Failing that, portable scaffolding will have to do. 
Just without the builders please.

So readers, I charge you, when someone asks you your age this week, because they will, the nosey buggers, say it loud and say it proud. If someone I.D’s you, because like me you have the face of a grubby toddler, flash your provisional and nod with dignity. And finally, if the youth at work start calling you Old Papa Laura, take it, make it your own and then hit them with your walking stick**.

*Note to readers, no children were hurt in the making of this day dream.
**Second note to readers, this is a true story and you may all now address me as Old Papa Laura.

Until next time Folks!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


So FerryEgg… it’s been a while. In the age old terminology: 
It’s not you, it’s definitely me. 

Since we last spoke, I have turned the ripe old age of 27; I am now officially in my LATE twenties. I can no longer cling to the youthful ‘mid’ but am now forced to reside in the upper echelons of that limbo decade between your teens and your thirties where society is hinting SUBTLY that it’s time to grow up but your innards are positively screaming for a 2 litre bottle of white lightening, a park and a spotty boy to snog.

I celebrated my birthday, or as one of my cards called it ‘the anniversary of when [I] popped out of a vagina or something’ (my friends know me SO well)...

... albeit not in a raucous fashion as I am wont to do, but laid up in bed, plagued by a chest infection, spouting more green mucous than an episode of ‘Get Your Own Back’ (WHERE THE HELL IS DAVE BENSON-PHILIPS NOW?!?) and with Bridget Jones haranguing me in the background via the dubious medium of channel 5. If only it were just a cliché.

At the end of the day, the grass is always greener and every cloud has a silver lining. These are a few of the clichés I would have preferred to have embodied rather than a snotty 27 year old sobbing away to Bridget Jones. (I wasn’t ACTUALLY sobbing; sobbing is just for girls… Oh wait.)

But hey, in the words of D: Ream (another promoter of the much beloved cliché); things can only get better. Right? RIGHT?!

(This is not my t-shirt...)

Right. I have resided in the Lake District now for nearly seven months, performed a different play every night, climbed many a mountain (HILL) with the assistance of a blue inhaler and an apple at the top, pretended to learn the ukulele, hosted a hen do, swam in the lake, sprained my foot and come up smiling.

I may sound like a stilton based voice over for a bad Richard Curtis movie (About Time was pretty terrible, you have to admit it); however, with two weeks left in this idyllic part of the country I feel that a mild bit of cheddar is allowed.

As long as it is accompanied by a grape. Or two. In my case the grapes are usually embodied as horrifically bad genital jokes but to save your eyes and ears from my nether based wit, my grape, for now, will be embodied as the Future. 
Epic, huh.

And my Future currently is in Pantomime. Yes, I, Laura Darrall will be directing a Pantomime. Cinderella to be more specific. I will be going from the peace and tranquillity of rep theatre in the Lake District to the back end of a horse in a primary school. And I cannot WAIT.

Theatre by the Lake in the words of my grape is, regretfully, almost BEHIIIIIND ME; but I know that, like Arnie albeit slightly less violently, I’ll be back. 

And equally, I cannot WAIT.

Monday, 19 August 2013


Good morning campers! So an unusual start to the day was had today, this very merry morn began with a cup of tea with a police woman. And no, before you ask, I have not joined the Sapphic quarter of  What I have joined is the OAPs. That’s right. It’s Grandma time.

I have been having a little bit of trouble with a certain noisy neighbour of mine. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a party and a boogie but to be woken up at 4 in the morning on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and SUNDAY nights on three consecutive weekends is NOT ok. I repeat- NOT OKAY.

It would be fine if it was to the dulcet tones of SClub7 or the sweet sweet harmonies of Blue (I was a teen of the Naughties, what can I say!?) but the nonsensical crap that emanates from Gary’s walls, (YES OF COURSE HIS NAME’S GARY), is absolutely unforgivable/unfathomable/and every other UN word in the Oxford English Dictionary. WHICH HE HAS PROBABLY NEVER READ BY THE WAY.
So to quote beloved Grandma’s of ages gone by, I have been forced (“forced” who am I kidding, I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life) to use the timeless phrase: ‘TURN THAT RACKET OFF NOW!!      YOU W***ER!’  That’s what my Grandma says anyway… but then she is from Wolverhampton after all…

The worst part is, that when I do go round to bang on his door (lovingly attired in my Primark pyjamas and with my face covered in the remnants of Sudacrem- good for visages as well as vages- who’d have thought?!) to tell him to shut the BLEEP up, the douche bag has the gall to try and flirt with me. ‘You’re shoooound you are… you are sound…’ he slurs, trying to look at my face but the booze and gravity inevitably drag his eyes and jowls slowly but surely towards the floor/my boobs.

Yes Gary, yes I may be what you call “sound” but I’m afraid your SOUND is currently corroding my right ear drum, destroying my various internal canals and stampeding out the other end, having destroyed my inner child, plundered my soul and pillaged me out of all hope for the future. In short, your music has turned my innards into George Osborne. George Gideon Oliver Osborne. THANK YOU VERY MUCH GARY.

It doesn’t help that every time he returns home from work the corridor between our two flats is choked with the pungent stink of Lynx Africa (OF COURSE HE USES LYNX). So that not only are my eardrums being assaulted but my nostrils are simultaneously being forced into some unwanted nostalgic time warp where they suddenly believe they are back in a school hall, snogging a boy with curtains who uses too much tongue, whilst sporting a pair of Adidas poppers.  THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN GARY.

Luckily, Gary’s contract is up in approximately six weeks, turns out the rest of the building and the landlady aren’t too happy with him either. So not long and he will be OUTTA THERE! 

However, until that day… it is war. Grandma war. I propose to use all the Grandma tactics known to man. I will acquire a stick, charge at him on a mobility scooter and finally, send him a hamper full of tins and bottles of squash way past their sell by date. GARY, YOU ARE WELCOME.

So watch out. Grandma’s coming for you.

P.S It's TOTES my birthday on Thursday EEEEEEEK!

Friday, 2 August 2013


I am a naturally clumsy girl (WOMAN- I have to remind myself) at the best of times. My family’s accurate yet affectionate nickname for me is ‘Spiller’ and no before you jump to any nostalgic conclusions they are not referring to the hit chart toppers of August 2000...

... Although for the record I had a wonderful holiday romance played out to that song in a French Eurocamp, aged 14, so the reference would not be entirely out of place- no what they are referring to is the physical impossibility of my supporting any vessel of liquid without depositing it on either myself or the surrounding areas.

So far on this job I have sprained my foot, locked myself out of my house (this happened when a friend came to visit and an over-zealous Dazza ran out of the house to hug said friend and the door- naturally- slammed behind her), burnt my entire hand on my curling tongs (I may have grabbed the tongs by the hot end… IDIOT) and finally, last night, tripped onto stage.

‘She Stoops to Conquer’ has finally entered the building and with it has come yards and yards of superfluous silks. Our dresses are at least three foot wide, with a little train, the technical term for which is a ‘sack back’… You have no idea how hard it was in the fittings not to shout out ‘AND CRACK… SACK, BACK AND CRACK… GEDDIT?!’ For a natural potty mouth like myself, it was a living nightmare.

Because of the width of the dresses, we ladies have had to develop a form of movement known to us as ‘The Crab’. The narrowness of the wings at the side of the stage means that in order to pass through, we have to turn sideways and scuttle along, much akin to a crab. The miming of pincers is optional, but it is an option I always take up.

So yes, last night I tripped. It was bound to happen; the inevitability of it sickens me. It was during a scene in which I am wearing my nemesis: The Cloak. Said cloak, is literally as wide as the equator and as long as a Pinocchio’s nose after he has been caught cheating on Jiminy Cricket. It engulfs me.

It happened as my character was about to say a GRACEFUL and tearful good bye to her lover, you know, one of those moments where time slows down and cherubs being playing tiny violins… Well in this case time froze and instead of tiny violins the cherubs were on percussion and played… BAH BOOM BOOM CHHH!

The cloak had wrapped its way around my ankles and like the scene in Harry Potter where the mermaids are dragging him down into the depths of the lake (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for pedants), the cloak and gravity aided my downfall. LUCKILY, I righted myself before face hit deck so I was spared the humiliation of having to haul myself up again. But still, the blush on my cheeks said it all.

The classic ‘Send me a postcard’ jokes and ‘Did you enjoy your trip?’ remarks were made, noted and fully accepted. I would expect nothing less.

So for any future employers, boyfriends, lovers, pets or friends: If you expect a hazard-free, smooth-flowing, elegant experience… please go to the ballet. For you will not find it here.

However, if you change your minds you will find me with Bridget Jones sat on an excessively comfy sofa surrounded by our pet Alsatians who are currently tucking into their evening meal of silky, silky cloak.

Until next time!