Pink Envelopes of Joy

I think this is a great idea, but everyone else thinks I’m going to get arrested.

That’s right; it’s what it says on the tin.

Pink Envelopes of Joy are little messages of friendly encouragement or wisdom, posted to your doormat. Not particularly original or radical, but nice nonetheless. I hope.

Pink Envelopes of Joy

Go forth! My little messengers of YAY!

As part of generally becoming more awesome, I felt I should spread more happiness and this seemed like a good idea. There are only nine in circulation at the moment, but I have disassembled the tenth envelope that came in the pack to use as the template to clone more. The sacrificial lamb, or sheep, as such.

I say nine, two are still burning a hole in my coat pocket – I’ve been keeping them on me in case I come across opportune letterboxes, but it’s surprisingly difficult.

So where have I been dropping these cheery notes?

  • Houses, not flats
    I didn’t want to abandon them on the shared doormats of shared accommodation, in case everyone glances at it and no one picks it up.
  • Open spaces
    I’ve placed a couple in public spaces, in spots where I think someone might actually go so far as to open something not addressed to them.
  • On the person
    I did even consider slipping them into the open bags or pockets on the commute to work. I haven’t carried this out though, as it might be rather awkward if I’m caught pink-handed as it were. And the finder might feel somewhat violated if they discover a message on their person, evidencing a stranger’s hands inside their property.

The messages inside the cards range from snippets of poetry to quotes of sageliness.

  • I have been warned about careful wording for an unknown audience
    e.g., “DO IT. Today!” opened by a suicidal depressive.
  • I have been warned about breaking up marriages
    e.g., “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.” opened by a jealous husband.
  • I have also been warned about raising false hopes
    e.g., “I think you are BEE-YOO-TI-FUL.” opened by a lonely heart.

I have carefully considered these warnings. I still think the Pink Envelopes of Joy are a worthy project. Originally, I was going to leave a link to this blog on the back, but was advised that this was too self-promotional. As such, I sincerely hope they are bringing joy out there, and not chaos or death, but have no means of knowing. Ever.

What do you think? Good idea? Or weird creepiness? Look I discovered I can make a poll – vote below to check it works!

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Drum roll please: Lisa gets Wuthering awesome!

IT’S HERE!!!!

 

The final results of the Kate Bush Wuthering Heights homage filming day are here for your personal enjoyment.

 

Yes I agree I pull some unflattering faces – I need to work on that.

And yes, my lip syncing is a bit haphazard – I need to work on that too.

And yes alright, I clearly get a bit dizzy when twirling madly and lack some coordination – BUT I LOOK FLIPPIN’ AWESOME DAMMIT!!!!!!

 

Thanks so much to Joe and Jerome for their film-making awesomeness – I frankly can’t believe you gave up your time and talent to humour the witless whims of a batty Chinese lady and I love you deeply for it!

http://joebarrow.co.uk
http://www.funkytivi.com

 

 

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights homage – Flailings on Film

I may have mentioned in a previous post or 2 about my respect for Kate Bush, and my desire to reproduce her Wuthering Heights video.

Today, thanks to 3 lovely people – Joe, Jerome, and of course Ben – we made the first step of this happen.

I got up at 7:30 am to start applying green eyeshadow to my bleary puffy eyes.

At 8:45 am, I strided forth into London dressed head to toe as KB – of course, no one in London blinks an eye at such dreary attire.

10 am at Hampstead Heath, we found the most secluded spot we could (tricky, dog walkers were abundant) (and it transpired later that we were next to a blackberry hedge… every sweet-faced mother and her rose-bud-lipped offspring seemed to be out picking the berries today), and pitched up.

I had feared that I would feel foolish dancing on the Heath in a floaty red dress (I even made my own voluminous sleeves!! Hand-sewn! [very poorly] [one sleeve was attached inside out but I couldn’t face unpicking the stitches]) but instead I felt like a glorious film star.

Reflectors were used people! (big round foil-covered things that shine light onto the performer’s (ME!!!) face. I luxuriated in its glow). A tripod was present.

It was pure glam I tell you. I just needed a fluttery makeup artist to keep powdering my forehead – sadly none was present so my rapid perspiration probably dominated the screen.

We filmed for roughly 3 hours.

I don’t know how well you know the WH dance, but my god my legs were jelly by the end. There is a surprising number of squatting movements. The dreaded Back Bend damn near killed me (I collapsed backwards onto my arse on most attempts).

But ’tis done!!!

Before we’d finished packing the reflectors away, storm clouds rushed in and started raining on us (I quickly melted from a glamorous video star to a drowned psychotic witch).

If filming an iconic music video isn’t enough to make your Sunday, we then trouped off in the rain (“it’s a wrap!”) to stuff our faces with succulent grilled chicken at Chicken Shop in Kentish Town –  – thanks Kasia for the recommendation.

The footage has been whisked away for post-production, but here are some ‘The Making Of’ photos to give you an idea of what’s to come.

Why can’t Mondays be more like Sundays?

Racking my brains for great stuff to do. Ideas please.

I suspect I’ve been going about this the wrong way round.

I’ve been thinking, and it struck me that people who are awesome, like Roald D, Beyonce, Richy B, and KB, didn’t set out to become awesome. They set out to do something awesome, and when they did it, that by default made them awesome.

“To be, one must do.”

I’m not quoting anyone, I just made that up myself.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was said by a prophet/poet and appeared on one of the London Underground “Thought of the day” boards.

I’m definitely transitioning from the Research phase of my project to the Brainstorming phase.

As such, I feel a list coming on. (toes tingle with excitement!)

List of Awesome Things To Do (ATTD)

  1. Bring joy to the world.
  2. Set up free showers for the homeless.

Ok that’s all I got. For now.

The first one, I just slung in there in a panic, because I wanted to have more than one thing on my list, and the second, I came up with this weekend when a homeless man asked for money on the Tube and I felt bad for him.

In all seriousness, I wonder whether ATTD#2 is perhaps a great idea. After all, a homeless person would probably quite like to be clean.

BUT, I fear that I am blinkered by ignorant naivety and blockheadedness, and that actually homeless people would much rather have food, or a bed, or a sustainable source of help that allowed them to regain their independence with dignity, and that the offer of a shower would actually be quite offensive.

I don’t know. I need more ideas. Any suggestions?

On the tube home tonight, another homeless man asked the passengers for spare change or spare food.

I gave him a Love Hearts sherbert dip.

He considered it, and then accepted.

Inspired by a general air of mad genius: Kate Bush

Image

Who me? These lips say nuh-uh.

I’ve been thinking about Kate Bush a lot.

I’ve spent some time thinking about her before, but now I’m back on the topic.

Babooshka was on a homemade mixed CD in a friend’s car on the way back from a wedding, and – well what is there to say? It’s a brilliant song. Mental, but brilliant. (I’d like that to appear on my epitaph)

This then led to some prolonged ear-soaking in Bush – I think I’ve probably listened to Wuthering Heights around 60 times in the last week.

I just love her. She’s like some crazy genius psychotic fairy, prancing weightlessly through time, fiercely floating, barking mad. Inspiring.

Wikipedia tells me KB was a prodigy who wrote WH in her teens, insisted on WH being her debut despite EMI’s disapproval, and spent an early advance from the label on interpretative dance lessons (a sound investment).

Interestingly, I also happened to go an unexpectedly odd dance class (my first) last Friday – not intentionally, I was duped by a friend who proclaimed it to be commercial jazz/hip hop, who then wet herself laughing as I tried to do peculiar arm flaps in double time.

In retrospect, it was meant to be.

I plan to recreate Kate’s iconic Wuthering Heights music video, as a tribute to her awesomeness.

And it looks like I’m not alone!! By a mere 2 months, I have missed this:

The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience!!! Amazing. I could have been there, with all ma’ Kate Bush hommies, swishing my arms on the Brighton moors. Gutted.

As it is, I will have to make do with Clapham Common.

  • I have a cameraman – a friend has agreed to shoot the action and even suggested a smoke machine (wow!)
  • I have a dress – but it lacks sleeves, important for billowing. Maybe I could contact one of the 300 assassins…
  • I have the dance training (well, my 1 baffling lesson) – but learning Kate’s moves might be tough

This comes after some talk of busking, and some intense work on learning Kate’s piercing battle cry (ideal street entertainment no?).

Apparently Lambeth and Greenwich do not require a license for buskers…

Some progress: Roald Dahl and a Good Deed

There’s been some progress. But not loads.

I researched Roald Dahl

…by going on this authoritative website http://www.roalddahl.com/

This was brilliant! Loads of interesting information, and even recorded interviews with the man himself!

A couple of takeaway thoughts –

  1. RD says he wouldn’t have been able to write stories for children if he hadn’t had any. I have yet to reproduce. Should I wait to write?? Or should I impregnate myself in the name of literature? Or, should I, like RD, write darkly humorous tales for adults until the happy day comes for my own little (appropriately timed) pitter patters to inspire me?
  2. RD takes advice from Hemingway about writing – stop when it’s going good, so you don’t have to face going back to a numb page.
  3. RD wrote from 10-12 pm – hurrah! I can be a night owl and still achieve! I’ve been worried for a while about being notoriously dysfunctional before midday… now it all seems my concerns were unfounded.
  4. RD does say he keeps his bum on the chair for the full 2 hours every night, whether he’s getting anything done or not. I need to start committing this level of discipline.
  5. RD’s face doesn’t look like how I imagined… he still looks pretty cool, but I must say a tad weird/scary. I suppose that makes sense.

I done a Good Deed.

On Tuesday, I was hurrying along (late) to meet a friend for a Jazz Dance class. Behind my office there is a little shortcut to the bus stop and I was scuttling up the cobbles at top speed.

A woman was lying on the steps of a small, closed building a woman. I glanced at her; her eyes were closed and there was a bottle of wine in a plastic carrier bag a couple of metres from her. Categorising her as “drunk tramp lady” I kept walking. A man behind me also glanced at her, and kept walking.

For some unknown reason, I turned back – just in case y’know.

I lightly patted her arm, upon which she blearily opened her eyes.

  • ME: “Erm are you ok?”
  • LADY: “gjhkg rghr mmmm no”
  • ME: “Sorry, what did you say?”
  • LADY: “no sdfds jhgf nf”
  • ME: “Have you hurt yourself”
  • LADY: “kajhhdf yes jh”
  • ME: “Pardon? Have you got a sore arm? Do you need to go to hospital?”
  • LADY: “bfghgfh yes jhj go private”
  • ME: “Ah ok. I’ll go see if I can find some help. Are you from Scotland?”

As it was, the lady explained she was from Glasgow – which many will confirm is a beautiful friendly city, abundant with drunken crazy ladies.

It seemed clear to me the lady had had a few drinks (ref. wine bottle) and had slipped and fallen on her arm, which she was holding out stiffly at a weird angle. She was also talking strangely, which I put down to the effects of alcohol.

I’m telling this calmly, but at the time I was very flustered and stressed, being unsure of what The Right Thing To Do was, and whether I was going to be bottled by a drunken Glaswegian lady.

I frantically ran around the corner and yelled to a nearby taxi, explaining there was a lady who was unwell. The taxi man only took cash, so I ran ran to get money whilst pointing out the taxi to Lady.

I haven’t the foggiest idea how to get round London, despite living there for 5 years, so we were at the mercy of the taxi driver to take us to the nearest hospital. Meanwhile, I awkwardly made (one-sided) conversation with Lady, who was very friendly and kept thanking me profusely and apologising and asking to go private (unfortunately, I wasn’t sure how to oblige this request, never having ‘gone private’ myself). When we finally arrived at the hospital, she flat refused for me to pay and flung her handbag towards me. I rooted around in it, feeling very uncomfortable and pulled out a loose £10 note for the driver. She got out the taxi with some difficulty, her arm still very stiff, and her bag fell so that loose change went flying. The sweet taxi driver picked up every coin, to the last penny.

We made our way into the hospital reception, where poor Lady collapsed into a waiting chair, because she was feeling very dizzy and sick by this point. I went up to the desk to explain to the receptionist that I had a poorly lady who had hurt her arm and felt sick. The receptionist said we had to go to A&E which was out the door and in another building or they couldn’t help. I went back to Lady but by this point she was refusing to budge because she was so dizzy. In the end, the receptionist helped me support Lady into a wheelchair – which bizarrely couldn’t be pushed, only dragged behind me, so I was forced to walk backwards. I set off, dragging Lady, and found the entrance to A&E, Unfortunately, the automatic doors didn’t work so I had to try and hold both doors open with one hand, and pull the chair through with the other. This was impossible. Luckily a passerby came and held the door open. Even with two hands, there was a tiny ridge in the floor of the doorway, which was enough to tip the chair when I tried to get it through. In the end, both the Passerby and I had to lift the chair over said Tiny Ridge to get in. Finally at the desk, the Receptionist No.2 put her face to the desk to squeeze under the glass window and ask whether the Lady had been to this hospital before. When I explained Lady was a poorly stranger who was dizzy and had a sore arm, she was immediately full of sympathy and efficiency. She came round, said thank you and that they’d look after Lady now, and that I could go. Lady cried “Aye! Go Hooome!” and so I departed my lady, feeling still torn and worrisome, now that we’d come so far.

After telling this story to friends, it transpires that the poor Lady had probably had a stroke, hence the strange talking and stiff arm (yes I know, I felt awful). Which seems so sad, and frightening, that you can have a stroke in the centre of London and fall unconscious, only to be ignored by passersby and labelled a drunken tramp. I felt guilty and ashamed, and immensely glad that I had gone back.

I am not usually a Doer of Good, preferring to stay apathetic and in my own bubble. This is probably my first Good Deed ever. However, the high of Helping is addictive.

Later that evening, I heard the clink of a glass bottle and a woman’s yelp.

“Are you alright??!” I immediately cried out.

She’d stubbed her toe on a beer bottle.

Maybe I could become the next Superwoman.