Monday, 15 August 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

I haven't written on here for a while so it seems poignant that the last thing I posted was my concern about Amy Winehouse, in light of the recent news of her tragic death.
I think it's important to state that the cause of her death has not yet been established and her family certainly seem to believe that she was happy and healthy at the time of her passing away.
In spite of the helpless sense of inevitability, it was still a shock to hear the news because like many people I always hoped that Amy would find her way again and get better. I sincerely hope that in the coming weeks it transpires that this was the case and that whilst it's not the happy ending I was thinking of, it was at least a dignified one.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Back to Crack (or Booze, or Something)*

* Allegedly.

Oh dear. I was really saddened today to read about Amy Winehouse's shambolic performance in Belgrade on the first night of her European Tour.

I am a massive fan of hers and a few years ago went to see her at The Eden Project in Cornwall. Her performance on that night also caused a media stir and seemed to mark the start of her very public route to self destruction.

At the time I remember being slightly perplexed when she forgot the words to her own songs and the names of her backing singers, but it wasn't until the end of the show when she was desperately banging the microphone against her forehead, slurring her words and running off stage in tears mid-song that we realised this might be more than just a bad case of nerves.

Leaving the gig, I felt guilty for having witnessed it in the name of entertainment and was also disappointed at having paid for a ticket to watch someone who should never have been allowed on stage.

Shortly afterwards we all watched with horror as Wino and HerBlakeIncarcerated were splashed all over the papers appearing, against all odds, to defy death (and rehab) on a daily basis. Images such as her storming the streets of London covered in blood after a fight; wild eyed, putting the bins out in her bra at 3 in the morning; or covered in cuts on her arms from apparent self-harm.  Perhaps equally shocking was the fact that someone so rich seemed to spend every day walking around in the same pair of filthy ballet pumps - or maybe I was the only one bothered by that.

And just when we all thought it couldn't get any worse for her... She started hanging around with Pete Doherty.

However, for the past 12 months or so things went all quiet on the Wino front and I hoped that she might be getting her life back on track. Occasional reports of upcoming gigs and new album material seemed to confirm that this might be the case....

I guess we should have seen the cracks appearing when it was reported that she was going back to rehab ahead of this new tour, and was pictured stopping in an offy en route to down a miniature bottle of vodka.

So I don't suppose any of us are really surprised that Amy has fallen off the wagon again, but I wasn't expecting to be as shocked as I was watching the below footage (FYI it does not make for pleasant viewing).

In fact I found it so upsetting that I started to cry. Seeing this fragile, tiny girl stumbling around on stage like a lost child just made me wonder who on earth is looking after her. Why anyone would allow someone in such a state to make a public appearance is beyond me, and it looked as though her poor band (yes the very same ones who have been putting up with it since The Eden Sessions) were having the same thoughts at one point. Whether she realises she has a problem or not, I'm astounded that there appears to have been no intervention from the people around her.
Whatever her demons, and regardless of who is to blame, it is heartbreaking to see another human being
in such a mess and I truly hope that this story surprises everyone and has a happy ending.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

This Shhhhh is Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S


Just reporting back from a potential near-death experience in a value supermarket chain that rhymes with "Piddle".

When I say "potential" what I actually mean is, on a sliding scale of probability the chances of me actually dying could have ranked anywhere from "totally impossible" to "a dead cert", if you'll pardon the pun. But far be it for me to exaggerate. Here's what happened:

On my way home from work I stopped in to pick up a few essential ingredients for the pasties I'm about to make and got distracted by the fruit (see earlier post about Big Fat Baby G for rationale).

Shortly after having a good old burrow around inside a box of bananas, I overheard a rather frantic conversation taking place between a customer and the security guard* involving the following words "those bananas", "spiders web" and "deadly exotic spider". As I discreetly edged closer to the unfolding scene, I watched the security guard call over the manager and then rather flamboyantly wrap the exact box I had just been rummaging around in with a load of plastic before very tentatively removing it from the store.

Now it's not like me to over-react to these situations. I mean, worst case scenario, some lesser-spotted yellow-backed widow might very well have been hibernating snugly inside a bunch of bananas and been disturbed by my rummaging, but that does not necessarily mean that it crawled onto my cardigan without me noticing, scurried away into my bag where it will hide for a while before biting me on the hand next time I'm digging around for my wallet, sending me into anaphylactic shock and resulting in my death. No. I'm sure it's fine...Which is why I am sat writing this in my underwear with my entire outfit including shoes in the washing machine and the contents of my bag scattered all around me. Come to think about it, I am starting to feel a bit itchy...

* Incidentally, why does Lidl have security guards? If I was ever tempted to shoplift, I would at least do it in Marks and Spencers or Waitrose where a) there are no visible security guards and b) I'd be able to make off with something a bit more exciting than a 24 pack of recycled toilet rolls and a carton of Orangensaft.