Friday, 31 December 2010

Bye bye 2010.

This is me, sat at my desk at work, on the last day of 2010. (Before you feel too sorry for me, my lovely boss has told me I can leave at lunchtime!) Sooooo, 2010. What happened? Lots of stuff.

1, My sister finally got married. Day of great joy, (and fustration down to clutch bag that wouldn't stay shut!)

2, Spent a week in New York, (Concrete jungle where dreams are maaaade of, there's nothing you can't do...) Ahem! Stood on the top of the Rockfeller Centre with my friend, TJ, saw the Tim Burton exhibition at MOMA and discovered the yumminess of BBQ ribs. Watch out Manhattan, I'm coming back!

3, Got Eli Roth and Charlaine Harris's autographs. (Not at the same time!)

4, Went and saw not one, but two great performances of Hair. One of them was with my Mum and I have now danced onstage in the West End:) I'm getting her the soundtrack for her birthday.

5, Discovered and worked with No Logo Productions who I did Mistaken for Strangers with. The character we created, Louise, had really good feedback and I enjoyed playing her. I'm hopefully doing the Buxton Fringe Festival with them next year.

6, With the help of my therapist, I found out a bit more about what makes me tick and how I deal with it.

7, Got upgraded to one of the suites at the St David's hotel in Cardiff. Wow! Wish I could have spent more time there.

Well, those were the highlights. Am not going to think about the lowlights. By the way, I don't do resolutions. I never keep them. I like to take the future as it comes. Hope that we all have the courage to grab great opportunities when they are close to us and to say no when we have to.

Happy New Year from me and my orangutang, Aphrodite who is sat on my desk today.

Love from a hopeful Bunyip. xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Tidings

The snow did hit London after all leading to many travel delays with planes, Eurostar and some train services. Fingers crossed the 8.15 from Paddington to Bristol Parkway is running tomorrow. I don't really fancy spending Christmas on my own!

The panto in Brighton didn't go as well as planned. The snow prevented the majority of our audience from travelling to Brighton. We had a couple of actors who didn't know when to stop ad-libbing and get on with the plot. Ho hum. I've also discovered that I didn't get cast in the play I auditioned for a couple of weeks ago:( Oh well, means that I can audition for Road by Jim Cartwright in January.

Anyway, the pressies are wrapped, the cards are sent, I've nearly eaten all the chocolate in my Advent calender and I went to a great carol service at St Martins in the Fields. I really went for it singing O Come All ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing and strained my voice slightly! (I love those carols.) I have about two hours left at work and then, as far as I'm concerned, it is officially Christmas!

This time tomorrow, (trains permitting), I'll be decorating the family Christmas tree. I'm looking forward to turkey, brandy sauce and Dr Who on the telly:)

Hope that anyone reading this has a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011!

A Festive Bunyip.

Friday, 10 December 2010


Wow, its been cold, hasn't it? London seems to have escaped the worst of the snow. I saw what it was like in Newcastle when I went up for a much missed relative's funeral. We were driving along the Whitely Bay coast to the crematorum with snow flurrying around us and all we could see was white and grey everywhere.

The past six weeks have been insanely busy with a major work event and Sinders is a Gay rehearsal and press night. I've done about 75% of my Christmas shopping. Still need to get pressies for my Dad and my brother in law. Meanwhile, this all important question has been occupying my mind....

What do I want for Christmas? Erm.... (Discounting the obvious wishes that my family and friends remain healthy next year, world peace ect....)

1, Stephen Kings latest book.
2, Tickets to see as many of the Shakespeare plays at the Camden Roundhouse as possible.
3, A patchwork quilt to snuggle up in.
4, A part in Torchwood, Dr Who, True Blood, (yes, I know we're now in the realms of fantasy here. So what!)
5, A day at a spa.
6, A trip to San Francisco or New Orleans. (Fantasy again, I know. Can't really afford these.)
7, Chocolate!
8, Money to go mad in Monsoon with!
9, A way of getting out of the Civil Service straight into an acting or digital media career with minimum loss of income. (Just seen a flying pig zoom past!)
10, Some good sex would be nice. (Just seen a squadron of flying pigs fly past the window in formation!)

Anyway, something tells me I won't get all of these. So, I'll just settle for a happy, stress-free Christmas:)

Take care,

A wistful Bunyip x

Friday, 5 November 2010

Things that go bump in the night.

I had my sister staying over last weekend and we had a great Haloween.

We hit Camden Market on Sunday morning and totally failed to exercise any will power in the clothes shops. Liz bought a bleeding eyeballs print dress, (I kid you not) and a top hat. I bought a knitted hat and some snazzy playing card socks.

During the afternoon we had a bit of a horror film fest with Hellraiser II, Planet Terror and a couple of episodes of True Blood season two. Then we dressed up as a witch and a devil and set out to haunt the London streets.

The highlight of the weekend was going to see Ghost Stories at the Duke of Yorks Theatre. I won't say too much about it, but a lecture on the paranormal from a sceptical expert becomes terrifying. Thoroughly recommend it especially if you like anything by The League of Gentlemen. Reese Shearsmith will be in the lead role next week. Liz and I screamed a lot. Watch out for 3.45am and "Daddy's got meow meow"! Whoooooo!

Take care,

A hiding behind the sofa Bunyip.

Friday, 15 October 2010


I've just had a great 10 minutes on Twitter finding fascinating people to follow. Its interesting the way you can find people on other people's follow lists. Ten tweeter I've recently I've found and decided to follow are:

Lady Gaga
Beddie from Madness, (who has only just started on Twitter.)
Charlie Higson
Mark Gatiss
Reece Shearsmith (Yes, I'm a League of Gentlemen fan.)
Eli Roth
Daniel Stamm (who directed The Last Excorcism and who is promoting Saw 3d)
John Barrowman (and his alter ego, Captain Jack Harkness)
Miranda Hart

This is cool. I'm still at work and two of my senior managers are yelling at me to go home. To quote Simon...

"Bunyip, you should be out of here. You should not be in this building...."

Oh alright then.

Have a good weekend whoever is reading this, from...

An easily persuaded Bunyip

Friday, 1 October 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

Work has been bonkers for the last couple of weeks with no sign of letting up. So has my social life. Just as I attend one play that one of my friends is in, I seem to get two more invitations via email or Facebook. Once upon a time, I would have made a supreme effort to go and see all these plays even if they were outside central London in places like Leytonstone or Hampton Wick. I would spread myself too thin and feel knackered.

Nowadays, I've realised that I can't be a total social butterfly and that occasionaly I need a night in. So I'll go and see friends in a play maybe once a year rather then two or three times if they get cast in more then one play. I also understand if they can't make it to see me in whatever plays I'm in.

Had a panto rehearsal down in Worthing on Sunday. The ugly sisters and the prince didn't turn up which was slightly worrying. However, the cast I did meet were great:)

Ta ta for now. I'd better resume work. TGIF!

A tired Bunyip

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Did that week really happen?

Blimey. I've just had a week that's been in turn exciting, moving, very stressful and joyful. Not your usual 9-5. In fact I only made it to work on Friday.

After 13 years of engagement, 18 months of preparation and six trips to get dress fittings, my sister Liz and her fiance, Richard finally got married last Saturday. Am very happy for them:) They both looked gorgeous. Despite missing luggage, problems with cravats and buttons on the dresses, wasps at the reception and a handbag that wouldn't stay closed, a good day was had. It was wierd to see so many family members and friends from all over the country and world in the same room at the same time. We had Peter and Sue from Whitely Bay, Sara and Helen from Basildon, Dad who lives in the middle of Wales, Iona and Andrei from Bucharest and my friend TJ from New York!! It was great to see them all.

TJ and I returned to London on Sunday and we went to the London Movie Museum on the South Bank. (See previous blog entry.) Needless to say, we had a light sabre dual on the Star Wars set and there is a great picture of me using the force to levitate him:) Its now on disk, so I'll try to work out how to post it up on here. We met up with a friend of TJ's and visited an amazing graffitied tunnel near Waterloo. The walls are covered with art. At some point, idiots have scrawled over some of it, but there is still some imaginative work to be seen. Banksey has been there at one point.

Tuesday and Wednesday happened and I had a stomach bug. Blurgh. Not nice. Crikey, Immodium doesn't half knock me out. Dunno what caused it. TJ returned to New York on Wednesday afternoon. Was sorry to see him go despite his habit of falling asleep at odd moments.

Laid off coffee and dairy for a couple days and returned to work on Friday only to be reminded that I had last minute stuff to do for an event on Monday. Eeek! What a week. Some of it doesn't feel real.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Zombie love and banana bread recipe

I had a horror-tastic August Bank Holiday weekend by going to a couple of screenings at Film Four's Fright Fest in Leicester Square.

First, I took part in Andy Nyman's Quiz from Hell. There were questions that I was proud to know the answer to eg who was Michael Myer's first victim? I also kicked myself for not remembering that "Don't Stop me now" by Queen was in the Shaun on the Dead soundtrack. (Doh!) I think that I answered roughly half of the questions correctly. Twas fun.

The quiz was immediately followed by a wide selection of short horror films. There was great variety to behold from killer vacuum cleaners, a dad administering bloody revenge on the kids who stole his son's lunch box and, my personal favourite, zombie romance. Ahhh!

So, 9,20pm on Monday and I was sat surrounded by fellow fans eagerly awaiting the arrival of Eli Roth and his fellow cast and crew to introduce "The Last Exorcism." I was slightly apprehensive because Eli's films have a reputation of including very graphic violence. However, this time, he produced and chose to work with Daniel Stamm, a director who focusses more on the characters and the decisions that they make. He also creates some very creepy moments that had me watching with my hand over my mouth to prevent screaming. (That is my default horror film watching position. If my hand is over my mouth, I am very scared!)

The film is about Cotton Marcus, (played by a charismatic Patrick Fabian.) He is a Louisiana preacher who fakes exorcisms for money. He has become disillusioned with this, so he agrees to let a documentary crew to film his last "exorcism" and all the tricks behind it. Job done, he takes the money and returns to his motel only to find the possessed girl, still possessed and waiting for him in his room.

Great acting all round especially from Ashley Bell who makes you want to hug her one minute, then run away from her in terror the next. The "counting to ten" scene is chilling.

The ending is unpredictable and has sparked some controversy. I'm not going to spoil anything. Go and see the film and make your own mind up.

Finally, there was a Q+A session with Eli Roth and his colleagues followed by a signing session. I now have all their signatures. (Happy Bunyip:) I hope that Eli and Daniel collaborate on more horror projects. And before I forget, the banana bread scene is hilarious. Thanks guys:)

Monday, 23 August 2010

May the Force be with you

I had an amazing afternoon yesterday. I went to the London Film Museum at County Hall on the South Bank. The reason I went was to see the Ray Harryhausen exhibition. As you may or may not know, he was a special effects master, a pioneer of stop motion animation. I'll come back to his exhibition in a moment.

Basically, as a huge film fan, I spent the afternoon in seventh heaven. Amongst other things, I saw....

1, Armour from Excalibur
2, A monkey head from 28 Days Later
3, Christian Bale's Batman suit
4, Two Daleks from the 1960's films
5, Shields from Zulu
6, A full size Alien, (shudder! I kept expecting it to move!)
7, Little Nellie from You only Live Twice
8, Mars money from Total Recall
9, Nick Frost's T Shirt from Shaun of the Dead
10, The sculpture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

WOW!!! There was also a set of the corridor on Princess Leia's ship from the opening moments of Star Wars where you could get a photo of yourself and friends posing with light sabres. I did the classic "inserting disc in R2D2 " pose. (He was there with C3PO.) I also took up a fencing stance with a light sabre. Oh yes. I used the Force:) For 5 seconds, I was a Jedi warrior. Needless to say, that's the picture I kept.

There was also a fascinating Charlie Chaplin exhibition with a map of the places he lived as a child. Most of them were within 2 miles of the South Bank.

Finally, the highlight of my visit. The Harryhausen exhibition was awesome. He was making films in the 1960's, painstakinly moving tiny plasticine models of skeletons to create a thrilling fight sequence in Jason and the Argonauts. I saw the bronze giant, Talos, in his resting position and a life size model of the Medusa from Clash of the Titans. (Eeek. Technically, I should be stone. She was looking right at me!) Then there was Kali, and the Minaton, and the Roc, and the Cyclops..... amazing.

I am so going back to this museum. I'm going to take my american friend, TJ, when he visits London in a few weeks time and we're going to fight a light sabre duel.....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Oh yes I can!

Well, I had an audition to play Buttons in a profit share adult version of Cinderella in Worthing this morning. I GOT THE PART!!! YAY!

Am happy about this, though I'm going to have to travel back and forth to and from Worthing for rehearsals for the next few months. Never mind. Apparently, Buttons is going to be a semi-baddie in this with anger management issues and a total fixation on Cinders. "If I can't have her, NO-ONE CAN"!!! Raar! Its going to be great to be acting again:)

Its my sister's second hen night tonight. I won't be there, but I hope a good time is had by all. I hope that Bristol city center survives.

Take care, all.

A happy Bunyip

Friday, 6 August 2010

The age of Aquarius

I love Hair. I saw a couple of friends in an amateur production a couple of months ago, then as already mentioned in this blog, I saw it with Mum last month. Great, energetic, groovy, full of peace and love show. So I jumped at the chance, when a friend posted on Facebook yesterday that she was going to see it again and would anyone like to join her. Gets to 5pm and I get an apologetic message. She was "feeling a bit nauseous" and couldn't make it after all. Make of that what you will.

So I was not a happy Bunyip yesterday evening. I gave in to an overwhelming urge to spend some money and hit the Piccadilly branch of HMV. Bought Bladerunner, Lady Gaga's album and the Saw box set. (Rubs hands together gleefully.)

Its interesting. When ever I get let down at the last minute, I end up watching horror films. Am a major horror fan. Very cathartic. "I may have been left standing outside the tube station waiting for X who didn't turn up or bother phoning, but hey, at least I'm not being torn to pieces by a werewolf!" I remember when something similar happened on my birthday a few years ago. I went and saw American Psycho at the Ritzy in Brixton.

For some girls its shoes, others manicures, for me, give me a fictional maniac with a chainsaw and I feel better:)

Have a good weekend, whoever is reading this.

Bunyip x

Monday, 2 August 2010

Revisiting Clapham

Navy Street in Clapham was the first place I lived when I moved to London in December 1996. I shared a flat with two lovely girls, Caroline and Amy. I loved being near the wide green space of the common and going to see films at the Clapham Picture House. I even managed to catch the Pet Shop Boys performing at Pride when it took place on the common. Fantastic.

Saturday was my friend, Victoria's birthday celebrations at the Alexander pub. I left my home in West Hampstead one and a half hours before this momentous occasion, thinking that I'd have time to grab a bite to eat at one of Clapham's many restarants. That proved a bit optimistic for the Northern Line was out of service between Kennington and Mordon due to ... you guessed it... engineering works. After being unable to embark upon two buses outside Kennington tube station, I nearly gave up and return to north of the river. Glad I didn't. Had a great evening catching up with Victoria and looking out as dusk fell over the common. I should visit again sometime soon, as long as the Northern Line isn't out of action.

PS: Farewell Cafe Wanda. You were a really nice Polish cafe with lots of naughty cream cakes that seems to have been replaced by a BBQ restaurant. You will be missed.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Are you lonesome tonight?

I went to the Buxton Fringe Festival on Saturday to see my friend's Alison and Andy perform their play called Are you Lonesome Tonight. Its about a couple "celebrating" their wedding anniversary. As a present to his wife, Dwight has booked tickets for all of Elvis's tour around the US. Little do they know that Elvis is about to leave the building for good!

I like Buxton. Its like a cross between Edinburgh with lots of hills and Bath with its spa connections. It has a lovely park in the middle where Alison and I spent a peaceful hour yesterday morning watching the ducks get fed and trying to recover from the night before. They've invited me to be part of their cast for next year's production. I agreed at once.

Am tired. Don't know whether its a side effect from the pills I'm taking or because I had a busy weekend.

Watched Sherlock last night and loved it. Great casting especially Benedict Cumberpatch, a plot that wasn't predicatable and plenty for Holmes fans. Nice one, Messrs Moffat and Gatiss:)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

No alcohol for six weeks

I took my first anti-depressent this morning.

I've been experiencing symptoms of depression since 2004. These include lack of energy/appetite/sleep, crying for no reason, feeling slow and lethargic, feeling guilty, worthless and very irritable especially with background noise, difficulty concentrating, bursts of anger and other stuff. Not good. Am seeing a therapist. Its hard talking to people about depression unless they've experienced as well. (Not my therapist, she's fine. I'm mean whoever may be reading this who is lucky enough not to have depression.)

Have been feeling sad and overwhelmed by life recently and I'm fed up of this and all the other symptoms, so after being scared and saying to no them for the past six years, I've finally started taking anti-depressents.

Why am I scared of them? Side effects. You should see the list of side effects on the little leaflet that comes with my pills. They range from common ones that happen to one in ten people who take this particular medication such as nausea, headaches and dry mouth to rare and exciting ones like convulsions, bleeding, euphoria, loss of contact with your own personal reality and anaphylactic reactions. Oh yes, and there's the side effect that this leaflet doesn't know the frequency of, thoughts of harming or killing themselves. Dear God. And the leaflet also says it is inadvisable to consume alcohol whilst on this medication.

I wobbled down the phone to my sister after reading this last night. Being the great nurse she is, she was very reassuring and reminded me that the scary side effects are very very very rare. So this morning, I popped my first happy pill. All I've felt today is slight nausea. So, I will press on, despite not being able to drink for six weeks and see what happens. I've just remembered, I have a friend's hen do at Vinopolis in August. That's going to be interesting!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Every time we say Goodbye....

After two family packed weekends, I reverted to my usual weekend activities. These are:

1, Lie in.
2, Watch Saturday Kitchen, (or I would have done if the golf hadn't been on! GRRRR!)
3, Lounge and watch DVDs.
4, Surf internet in West Hampstead library.
5, Browse in some local charity shops and add to my Dvd collection.

It was whilst I was performing activity number 5, that I came across De-Lovely, a Cole Porter biopic starring Kevin Kilne, Helen Hunt, Robbie Williams, Alanis Morisette and Captain Jack Harkness, (I mean John Barrowman. Ahem!)

It was delightful, delicious and de-lovely. Loads of 1920's glamour, beautiful songs and the idea of all the performers in Cole Porter's life giving him a big sing off just before he dies. I de-loved it:)

Going to the Doctor's this evening. Am going to request something that I've been scared of asking for, but I think I'd better try.... Anti-depressents. Why? I won't go into too much detail now. I'll just tell you that I'm a depressive, its an illness, (not something "trendy" as certain journalists have decided,) and I occasionally find life difficult to cope with. Ho hum. Glad to get that out of the way.

Take care,


Friday, 16 July 2010

Cow, Mantra Ray and big pink Monstor!

Newquay was an experience. Tourest-tastic and lovely beach during the day. At night time, the clubbers, hen and stag parties take over until about 5am. Oh the sights I have seen! They include a shark swimming over my head in the acquarium, a group of "geek" stags and my sister's new heart tattoo on the bottom of her spine. Happy to say, she had a great time.

Liz, my sister has fed my cuddly toy habit. I have returned from Bristol with a cow called Bovril, a mantra ray from the acquarium called Marina and a big pink Monstor puppet that threw itself, (with Liz's help) at me called Wilbur. Ho hum. The rest of my week's holiday was spent lounging at Liz's house watching DVD's like Lost Boys and Inglourious Basterds. I love Tarantino films.

We did wedding stuff yesterday before I got on the train back to London. I need another fitting for my bridesmaid's dress in August. (Sigh.) We went to Tortworth Court where the reception is being held and discussed exciting stuff like the colour of the napkins and dietary requirements. (Yawn!) Hurry up September.

Am back in the office today, feeling snowed under. Changes are afoot with my job again and I'm not sure I like them. Need to finish and send out the newsletter. (This is one part of my job I do enjoy:)

Looking forward to a quiet weekend. ZZZZZzzzzz!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Sun, Sea and cocktails

The weekend with Mum went better then expected. I slept through some of the snoring. Hair was fantastic. I have sung and danced on the stage of the Gielgud Theatre. We shared the love:) We also found ourselves on Oxford St at the same time as the Gay Pride parade. Twas great.

Am off to Newquay this weekend for my sister's Hen holiday. I keep threatening to bring my furry handcuffs. Am spending a couple of days with her, going to see the reception venue and making the final payment on my bridesmaids dress. Am trying to decide what books to take with me. Found myself in Waterstones Charing Cross yesterday buying a Torchwood book. Thats coming along. Maybe one of the Stephen Kings.

Hello to my first follower:) *Waves* Dr Who related. Nice. I've been a fan since Tom Baker became a cactus in Meglos. First Dr Who memories are that and the Marshmen emerging from the mist in Full Circle.

Will try and blog during my holiday at my sister's. Take care all.


Friday, 2 July 2010

Bridesmaid preparations with Mum this weekend

My sister is getting married in September and Mum has come to London for the weekend to take me shopping for bridesmaid stuff. She reckons that the only place we can get it is John Lewis on Oxford St. I quite dislike Oxford St especially when its crowded. Am dreading this. I'm a strange girl who would rather spend her money on books or dvds rather then shoes or handbags.

I don't mind, but I only have the one rented room and Mum snores. She sounds like the Tardis. Normally, being a Dr Who fan, I like the sound of the Tardis, but not materialising continuously at 4am! I've bought wax earplugs. I snore as well, or so my friends tell me when they've shared rooms with me. Many a time, I've been prodded awake or heard their voices calling to me from the depths of my dreams telling me that I'm snoring.

Bunyip is a cuddly toy rabbit with big feet that is co-owned by me and my sister, Elizabeth. She is sat on the side of my bed with loads more cuddly toys that I've collected. I don't know why we called a rabbit Bunyip. It seems to suit her. I know its also the name of an aquatic creature of Australian mythology. My twitter feed is named Bunyip as well. Why Planet Bunyip? I have an overactive imagination and use it to sometimes escape the real world when it gets me down. I was originally going to call this blog, Planet Jen, but Planet Bunyip is more original.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

What am I doing?

Oh my God! This is totally spur of the moment! I didn't wake up this morning planning to start a blog.

I work for UK Trade and Investment, a Government organisation. We help UK companies find business overseas. I post occasionally on the UKTI blog. I've just finished a post on mobile phones, about 30 minutes ago and something inside me decided to start a personal blog as well. So here it is!

I can promise you, that is the last you will hear about my job, (unless I happen to travel to an event somewhere, then I'll mention it again.) There is much more to me then what I do for a living.

So, erm.... Well, here's what I'm doing this evening. I'm about to go and see As you like it at the Old Vic. I'm a member of an amateur theatre group in Waterloo and we go to the Pit Bar in the Old Vic for post rehearsal drinkies. (Yes, we have seen Kevin Spacey down there, as well as other famous people:) I love Shakespeare. I don't understand why people think its boring. There is so much passion, fear, humour and heart breaking tragedy in his plays. So, I'm going to sign off for now, go to the Starbucks in Waterloo station for a bite to eat and head off to pick up my ticket.

I don't know how often I'm going to blog. My work blogs are usually once a month to six weeks. I'll try and be more frequent with this:) Next time I'll explain why the blog is called Planet Bunyip. Hey this is fun:)