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30 Dec 2012

Post 373: Back to the ole drawing room!


Phew, all I have to say is JESUS,............................................................... was not born around this time some 2000 years ago – although another year of this mortal coil appears to have ticked away. It is now just over 7 years since my life was effectively ended. Since that fateful day I haven’t always been the most dignified person in the world but I try not to be much of a nuisance. I try to be more constructive than destructive – I have to feel positive about something to be positive about it which is possibly why I’m not the most positive person on the planet. I will not be disingenuous about this.
I suppose I should be grateful that I have a family Christmas to go to. Perhaps I should be magnanimous and silent about it, but I’m bloody useless at that, if there’s something I’ll be a nuisance about, it’s that I’ll dine out on the repeatable stories of the Pardey family Christmas! Christ, if I was Miranda Hart

I’d write a sitcom about it. Such fun.
To business, Christmas as a concept to me is a load of old shit! Getting to see the whole family is of course nice but Christmas is about my mum putting on an incredible display of hospitality and the grandchildren going apeshit, it really is getting those clich├ęs lined up to tick off



– yours truly is reduced to the role of bitpart or grumpy old stick in the mud feeling like I’ve run back to back ultramarathons. Traditionally, I say something uncharitable about my sisters kids but this year I concede, I am wrong. They are growing up into nice people, perhaps a bit fonder of party games

than I am but from the moment those little monsters hugged me hello till the moment they hugged me goodbye, I can see why people have kids! I’ll brush aside the fact that they make ridiculous amounts of ridiculous (ridiculous squared!) noise and the odd tantrum from the younger two is possibly the worst thing ever, I swear if you listen carefully I’m pretty sure you can hear the thundering of the four horsemen of the apocalypse or what Satan with an American accent might sound like during them! And what seems to be the reciprocity to this onslaught? Why, sugar based appeasement in the form of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, fine – if these things were impregnated with Valium or Ritalin (I doubt the legality) this sort of response might seem ok, but as it is, it is as relaxing as throwing a bucket of petrol on a bushfire. Still, it’s a great avenue of business development for Krispy Kreme. They’d sell like hot cakes to both young families and 20somethings, deliciousness and prescription drugs needs further investigation/experimentation/intoxication.
Not that anyone cares, but these were my facebook missives when I got home to Oxshott on the 27th
And there was a sizeable response which I think reflects the general level of boredom:

Who would have thought that getting home to a working computer, a warm house, my own bed and a familiar process for using the bog could be such a relief? Christmas chez rentals is a round of 'good efforts' but home is where the bog is! Good to see the Palmers too!

And

3 Things I've learnt from Xmas:
1. My Sisters Kids aren't all bad, except Charlie's tantrum this morning

2. It is disturbing how well my mum can rattle off a 3 course meal for 10 (it's witchcraft)

3. I really enjoyed that dancing program where Darcey Bussell re-created 'Singin in the rain'.
See, I do learn!

I later commented:
Darcey Bussell is the most charming flat-chested lady ever. I was actually staring at her chest while she was talking, thinking 'where are your breasts love'? Stampy - believe me - 'grumpy Dom is alive and well -if anything he's likely to disappoint even more in 2013







I really am a desperate ‘attention-whore’, but this is necessary in my world to remind me I’m alive. From a normal 8-12 gigs a month January is a desolate wasteland simply because promoters quite rightly surmise that people just want to batten down the hatches in January, I’ve got 2 things in the entire month. The lack of stuff is pretty stark because there’s sod all and her sister f*ck all on. I used to get excited about this time of year being about skiing and plans for new years eve but now it’s back to my comfy bog and working computer.
The world not ending in 2012 is probably the best thing I can objectively say off the top of my head happened, even if I think it will (probably quite literally) level the playing field – subjectively, it has been the arrival of Gwen and Gary

who have allowed me to live that has been the obvious highlight. When I got back from my rentals, Gary said he sees me as a 3rd son – I can imagine he must see me as the sh*t one alongside the other two strapping lads,Mark and his wife Monya
, Brian and his wife Ami and their son Grayson ( you gotta love this picture)



both happily married to lovely ladies and living nearby, their only handicap being that they’re South African! Which in the grand scheme of things could be a lot worse and in south west London and in the suburbs of Surrey they seem to feel at home! Indeed in some postal codes around here, if you stop a stranger, it’s like Earls Court in the 90s!
Changing the subject slightly (well totally), I have been using this ‘downtime’ to try and catch up on some of my gaps in the Sopranos.

It is compelling stuff, and very well written and acted–disturbingly ‘real’. I know it is fiction but even on closer inspection there is not a single character trait of a single character that I would like to emulate. Even the love and loyalty characters have for their ‘non-mafia’ families all seems to be about augmenting themselves. Perhaps I should be watching something more life-affirming? I am open to idea’s as long as they’re serious! My big idea’s for the first part of 2013 are to go on a crash diet in January – Yawn. Who doesn’t? Then to learn to use my right handed keyboard, which I haven’t had the guts to learn to use yet because the thought of deliberately making it harder to communicate scares the bejesus out of me. It’s hard enough typing with one finger on a keyboard that’s properly laid out with big keys. My third thing I must do is make time to listen to some classic literature. It’s a big investment in time and energy I don’t have but I’ve gotta do something! I started Don Quixote months ago and still haven’t finished. War and peace is going to be brutal, a lot of war and a lot of Peace no doubt.
I will also be making an effort not to moan so much but be quite clear about my intention to find a better half even though the best part of 5 years of trying have drawn a blank. Given my track record to this point I am not overly positive about the outcome! It will require someone who is unusually giving and doesn’t mind being showered with love, praise and devotion in return. If she exists she will be a superwoman, and I’ll be more Christopher Reeve than superman.

23 Dec 2012

Post 372: It’s not the end of the world...



I think that the internet age has ushered in an era of the nutter (dork on the Venn Diagram, people who out of choice spend all their time on the internet. I’m aware that out of choice I too spend all my time on the internet but my alternatives are limited, and there’s no effing way I’m sitting in bed! I bore too easily and apparently muscles waste rather quicker than I believed plus the idea of wasting my training is hideous given how hard I find it, but the absolute last thing I’d want to do is find a way of using my damn computer in bed! Before you know it, I could be playing warcraft and writing a blog about my failed suicide attempts and obsessions which I won’t do largely because I am not one of these nutters/weirdos. Say what you like, I am resolutely normal! I don’t intend to try suicide because I’d be letting people down, which I don’t plan on doing, and knowing my luck, the attempt would succeed or I’d make life even harder for myself. F*ck that frankly!
I’ve already expressed concern about how Geeks seem to be inheriting the earth
Now, I’ve got to be a bit careful here because a few of my friends might possibly identify themselves as such.
There’s nothing wrong with being smart, having a thirst for knowledge and making the most of your opportunities, the problem seems to arise when people try to be something they’re not, and the anonymity that the internet seems to afford people means that geeks who are nutters and socially awkward weirdos have been given a voice far out of proportion to what they should have. Here comes my amateur sociology. People who say making friends has nothing to do with people’s physical manifestations are talking bollocks, the unwritten, unspoken original model of human sociology relies on three things, looks, personality and sadly in the modern world, wealth, but more particularly, generosity with this wealth because I don’t know about you, but really tight people piss me off! I will call this the old-school model of social interaction. The interesting bit for me is how people behave if they’re deficient to try and maintain where they are in the structure of their social group. Some people just give up and decide that ‘woe is me’ and don’t bother changing anything or some people try and compensate in other ways. This is the path I have tried to follow, trying to enhance my personality whilst spending everything I have after subsistence (food, bills etc) on other people, it’s a much better use of resources, and I don’t think twice about it. By far the hardest thing to do is changing the ‘physical appearance column ( I think in barcharts given my former career, which I don’t think is that bad a thing). Anyway, this hairbrained theory popped back into my head last night and as much as it sounds like a bit of a boring sociology and anthropology essay it explained quite a bit of why I behave like I do now, and in the past and why we all behave like we do. It also explained a little bit why I am finding it tough going now. Basically I am trying desperately hard to be part of a social group that I no longer belong in. My friends for the most part still put up with me which is nice but meeting new people who I’m used to talking to is hard because my physical manifestation puts people off. People make up a lot of their mind in the blink of an eye according to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink

that I listened to in early 2010 which covers a lot to do with the psychology of first impressions. I tend to think that making a judgement based on a first impression is often as far as a lot of people go. If this is the case I’m a bit f*cked!
So on the subject of first impressions, this is the one that my hero Bill Bailey made at the Apollo on Tuesday A genius evening, and what makes Senor Bailey so good is he doesn’t have that nasty edge to him that you feel some comedians have – it’s possibly because he hardly swears in which case that’s me f*cked. Here’s what I wrote on facebook the next day:
Bill Bailey really was The Don last night. I exhausted myself laughing and have a few aches today. The way he makes up words/phrases is genius. eg 'to incretinate' is the act of picking up fatuous information on our daily web travails linked to 'passive idiot' or 'secondary stupid'
‘e.g learning that chantelle thought the sun and the moon were the same thing, and on her finding out how stupid a thing to say that was she said 'turns out it's not' which is an absurd way to acknowledge such stupidity. Learning/hearing about her thinking this means you have been duly incredinated, you passive idiots’
I’m also a big believer that people should meet their hero’s

which I did about five years ago. I’ve got solid mate Ched to thank for taking me and for instituting the regular Red Wine, Cheese and Homeland evenings at my house – we had our second one of those on Wednesday. On Monday Brian,

remember (Heath Robinson to the power n) took me to the Apollo to see Michael McIntyres Christmas Charity Gala, where Jack Dee playing the guitar was the highlight.

Given the general consensus that we dislike people being grumpy, it seems preposterous that we love Jack. It must be the bone-dry deadpan Sarcasm that does it. Onto Friday, my 3rd visit to the Apollo of the week. I thought for a nice change, I’d try on for size comedian Robin Ince and D:REAM Mancunian Astropopthrob Brian Cox’s

‘End of the World Show’.

This turned out to be a 3.5hour variety show(so the show could go past the official end of the World time so they could comedically announce that the world hadn’t ended, both funny and gutsy! Thanks to Olly Tress

(the chap who supplied most of the prizes for the raffle at the drinks for taking me! Finally, thanks to the guys who have taken time to pop in for a cup of tea in the last two weeks, Richard Rous and his daughter,

James Renshaw

and Paul Reeves,

it gives me a reason for staying Alive! For what it’s worth happy Christmas and thanks to the people who got me through another year even if the world ending might be the most equitable solution to man’s problems.

16 Dec 2012

Post 371: That time of year again

Here are the complete trust drinks photos (I hope)
I’m in the middle of doing that stupid thing I always seem to do.
Well, where to start?
I guess forgetting the constraints this stroke imposes. I used to be the kind of person that would look forward to any event or social occasion, a giver, not taker – I know there are probably a few innuendo enthusiasts

but I try not to think of it in that sense but FYI, I’d still be a giver. Not one scrap of my being would even give a solitary sh*t though how tiring sociable occasions or going out were. It was something different to do, meeting new people was exciting. I found boring repetitive things I had to do (ie anything compulsory) tiring – eg some (I stress some) aspects of having to work, going to the gym ( again sometimes, particularly those times where ‘you didn’t really feel like it but probably ought to) and tidying and admin – all sociable activities were NEVER things I thought of as tiring, I know we all have to do things that are tiring but feeling like this all the time is ridiculous (I’m sorry I go on about it!)! The example I often use is that I loved going to weddings, I loved it. Some people hate it. I still love weddings even now, the logistics and how tired they make me and how pathetic they make me look scare me but it will always be an honour to be invited to a wedding.
To a certain extent this attitude to sociable activities has knocked onto my post stroke lifestyle and means if a gig comes on sale of a band/comedian at one of the major venues I go to I’ve got to think of something pretty seriously problematic not to go for it. I feel that if I’m pulling back I’m not being myself really. I’m not trying to be different, only idiots/hipsters can be arsed with that? Instead, I’ve gone and had one of those weeks that just happens. The most important event was of course the annual Trust Christmas drinks on Tuesday

which I just loved. It was a noticeably cosier gathering this year,

it is of course heartening that anyone turns up to these things at all given my propensity to be a bit of a miserable f*cker about the festive season and well, lets face it, about life in general! Still, it will always be a pleasant non-threatening evening, not that I ever did any serious hell-raising, those days are in the past and now this is my idea of a big night with a few nice glasses of red wine. Trouble is, I can’t take my drink at all anymore, I never much could in the past but these days this,

leads to this.

Ie – I can’t remember this even being taken, although what has made me chuckle is the way that Paul’s ‘Movember’ growth has developed into a ‘Decembeard’!
No-one was conspicuous by their absence and I got some genuinely contrite emails but I was delighted to see some old friends.

It’s the curse of the busy person, that you only know other busy people! Speaking of which I was chuffed to see my university housemate, now government minister Matt pop in, in penguin suit

en route to Buckingham Palace for some state Christmas function, you literally couldn’t make it up! Also my carer Gary seemed to be enjoying himself –

him and his wife Gwen have been legends since moving in! Without them, I couldn’t survive – they are like family these days. I also get a proper photographer to do this nowadays because I guess my vanity knows no bounds. I will put up a link to them all on facebook when time allows. It alleviates so much stress and the quality of the photos is off the scale. Nick Wild, you’re worth your weight in Gold!
Now since my stroke f*cked me in the arse, my ‘giver’ status has been a problem. I still do my best to be one by being generous to a fault but I take whatever help people are willing to offer and sorting out these drinks on my own isn’t something I could do – I can send out invites via facebook, and even that’s hard, I have to have help and as usual I look no further than Tony,

my best mate who runs the trust putting in time worth thousands of pounds would it were billed by his employer. Thinking about it, the same is probably true of anyone who helps me – it does not take much deductive logic to draw the inescapable conclusion that friendship is priceless.
What really took my breath away was the effort that my friend Gina and her husband Oli put into the raffle.

Understandably John Lewis have done their time being the ‘go to’ people for the raffle prizes. I still have a bond with them but my physical ties with them have diminished as a lot of my colleagues from 2004-2005 have moved on to pastures newer, obviously not greener!
A friend of mine had enquired of Gina ‘what her husband did?’ and she had With customary modesty just answered ‘oh, he runs a shop’ –true, but it doesn’t quite explain that it is a nationwide chain called Oliver Bonas

and thanks to him they had supplied the lions share of prizes. Also thanks go to my mates Simon Dawes

and Isabel Gomes,

who respectively supplied some Cath Kidston gear and some childrenswear. Simon is Director of Merchandising at Cath Kidston and Isabel runs her own Childrenswear company. Their donations are so generous.
The raffle ended up raising £450 for the trust which we badly need, Thinking about is over £10 each a head. This sort of generosity almost persuades me that maybe Christmas time isn’t so bad.
Now, I should have foreseen that that sort of event is plenty for someone in my situation but no I had of course gone mad.
On Monday, Chase and Status were on at the Dome

and I’m a sucker for anything there. Anyway, lesson learned, it was The Spirit of London awards, an awards ceremony celebrating London’s youth. Me and my friend Ched felt a bit old and Pale as we watched video after video of how the Youf of London had been ‘inspired’ to audition for a.n.other TV talent show or ‘inspired’ to launch their own line of ‘Urban Clothing’. It made me think – how can youfs be inspired to listen and not be disruptive at school when every youth role-model in sport, music or business seems to focus on the end-game of being rich, living in a McMansion, driving a fast car and wearing clothes with labels. I hate having this opinion but it’s clear as day in the popular media today. RANT OVER. Chase and Status were good for the two songs they got to play. They remind me of the prodigy without the aggression and swearing, and they have a couple of blinding tracks, like blind faith. My video of it isn’t really any bloody good. So, that was Monday and Tuesday, on Wednesday I was back at the Dome

with my mate Oli to see an American band who make rock sound like it should. Loud and driven by a lead guitar and a drummer who was smacking the crap out of the drums. Their song ‘lonely boy’ is to my mind, one of the best, if not the best genuinely rocky, bluesy tune of the last twenty years. I know this is a big call. Judge for yourself

I was a fairly broken man after that but any prospect of taking Thursday off was thwarted by me agreeing to spend Thursday evening seeing one of my surrogate sisters Vicki (Bianca being the other) read at the John Lewis Carol Service

in the bizarre architecture of Westminster Cathedral.

The plan was for us and our respective ‘rentals to then go and have dinner

but just after the end of the service who should come and say hello, Charlie Mayfield, the chairman of John Lewis. He had read the 9th lesson so I couldn’t resist slipping in the crap gag ‘for nine lessons, I really didn’t learn much’ I can be my own worst enemy sometimes! Luckily, he laughed. Charlie is a very different type of Chairman of a big british company.

In that he’s down to earth and approachable and seems to give a sh*t. I will never forget him visiting me in hospital in Summer 2006. He is what a modern role-model needs to look like.
So onto Friday, the day after going to their gig at the Albert Hall in October 2011
I had booked to see the Mighty Orbital at Brixton Academy on Friday 14th December 2012.I’ve been an Electronic Music fan for over 20 years and Orbital have been blasting out their massive Techno beats since the early 80s and were the pioneers of the illegal ‘rave in a field’. The name Orbital is a reference to the M25, off which these fields were located. I don’t know what it is about seeing them live. It is so much better than just seeing a DJ play the exact same tunes. The Hartnoll brothers look like they’re shifting furniture behind that hi-tech mixing desk! The lightshow was also spectacular, I’ve already established that I’m a sucker for that. Apologies about the sound being a bit crackly –it was bloody loud. I have top ladies Bianca (R) and Chey (L)

for taking me. I am devastated that Bianca’s visa runs out in March and she has to go back to Melbourne. I hope I haven’t left her with the impression that all British people do is moan. Also thanks to friend of a friend Rachel who introduced herself.


And finally, I was taken out for dinner yesterday evening by my friend Isabel and her mates to an unbelievable Brazilian Meat restaurant.

I’ve now had my protein for January and the delights of the ‘Meat Sweats’ and boy did I sleep well. As much as it was delicious. I’m still a little traumatized after the first thing I was offered was a crispy chicken heart. How offal!

Sorry about that. My pre christmas push has been to wear my new 'wheelchair Jeans'
It may not sound like much of an effort but it is, big thanks to my mum for getting me a couple of pairs as an early christmas present. Thanks also to Oli for driving all the way down here to take me to a comedy show and figuring I could 'probably use the rest' and deciding to stay here and chat and reheat my dinner. If I'm to throw in the towel on a gig, that's how I wanr to do it.


9 Dec 2012

Post 370: Will it ever get any easier?


Computer says no.

By standards It has been an even more traumatic week and if I’m exhausted by it, you’ve probably even considered ‘that Jeremy Kyle man, he’s got a point’,

or you’ve self-harmed, although watching Kyle or reading this probably constitutes some form of Self-harm.
If there is a regret from last week’s delights it is that I’ve caught my brother in the middle of this mess, which is something I should have predicted. Without him in the last umpteen years our family would be a pale imitation of what it is. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to live here, I’d be in a care home going slowly more insane so I owe him loads, certainly my unflinching loyalty and I was pretty sure I’d support him through thick and thin unconditionally, although if last week proved anything, there are some conditions. I should not be meddling in his life, that is the end of the story, so in future I will keep my opinions on such matters to myself. It is a bit of a ‘mare knowing what not to write about on here, so my tendency seems to be to ‘say too much’ – hence the blog title. This is why Editors and copywriters exist and this blog is never going to have one as this outfit is hardly Random f*cking House!
I know what might get said about this by certain individuals but these are my sincere feelings. It has been a grotty week. Merry f*cking Christmas, and as if to really just add a little ‘f*ck you’, it snowed the other night.
I am grateful to the people that have supported me and yes, I thought I had repeatedly acknowledged how lucky I am to have my financial security but let me remind everyone that this is hugely outweighed by the fact I will never live a ‘normal’ life or feel well ever again. I think on a set of scales that weighs down rather heavier. With my financial security I am trying to find a way of making this bearable. It is not even close to bearable at the moment despite the efforts I make.
That message last week made me think ‘what’s the point?’ – she is trying to say that people will only be satisfied with me if I suffer more and I suffer in silence or die – well f*ck that frankly! I have friends to see, friends to make and a life to live – sure, I may have down days and bitch and moan, I want to keep making people have perspective in their lives – whatever problems you have, they’re not as bad as they could be, ‘honestly, seriously’ as comedian Alan Davies might say, and that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the main thing people say to me about this blog ‘you put my problems in perspective and help me not to moan’, which to me is good reason enough to keep writing it and ignore those messages from people who want to bring me down. At least my friends are real and most of them have met me, talking to them during the week via the computer is all I can do but next week’s Christmas drinks will put faces to some names and make my year. It will be such a big event for me and prove that the struggle is worth it.
I think I categorically proved that taking people out is the right thing to do when I said to my friend Mel over dinner

when we went to see Florence and the Machine at the Dome on Wednesday – ‘you know what, doing this is a reason to be alive!’ We went to Gaucho first for a spiritually good steak

and red wine then onto the Arena to see Florencewho I have now seen 4 times, nothing will beat her Hammersmith show in 2010
, where I fell in love with the flame-haired Amazonian temptress because of her style, music and beauty(oh yes, and legs). That all changed because I am obviously a fickle b*stard – at her Ally Pally gig in March earlier this year Her Music and beauty were probably the same but her style of ‘gothic, Celtic witch’ was awful – it’s nice to see her hair back to it’s former fiery glory. I’ve always placed quite a lot of emphasis on the hair and style. I’ve always preferred the ‘hair down’ look for what it’s worth. Anyway, an enjoyable concert but the high point was getting to spend the evening with Mel who’s a big Florence fan. She knew that she had to stay alert for the drive back so she wandered off to get a coffee (Rock and Roll).

She duly did and reported after the first few sips that it tasted like Gravy!
The Dome have got most things right but coffee isn’t one of them!
The day before had been about going to see Genial QI funnyman Alan Davies do the stand up show he is touring off the back of the publicity he must get from being such a stalwart feature of QI.

Obviously QI has cemented Stephen Fry’s ‘national treasure’

status but I think Davies can’t be far off ‘national treasure’ status either. I like QI because it’s a quizcom which allows comedians to be funny and super intelligent without the need to slag people off like Mock the Week and Buzzcocks. I haven’t suddenly developed this ‘lets all just be nice’ persona (NO SH*T) but like most things, I might have a point;). I might have forgotten it now, but yes, Alan Davies isn’t bad. A nice relaxed friendly style and excellent timing. An observational comedian who told us a lot about how bad the 80s really were. I think everyone is inclined to agree, what with the technology that exists today it seems to be a virtual miracle that the Human species was able to even survive through those dark ages over thirty years ago when most families had one telephone, and that was in the hall on a phone table which had space for a telephone directory, the yellow pages and some sort of alphabetised book of friends numbers. Who knows how we survived, there was no internet, no email, no social networking, nothing allied to that we could get trapped in the middle of a ‘limited theatre’ nuclear conflict between the US and USSR. Somehow though I feel I ought to feel more comforted to be alive than I actually am. Big thanks to Brian for taking me. It is nice to know some people seem to want to help me out, if he could invent some sort of device that stops me forgetting my camera, even better!
Finally, something I’d booked Eons ago. I’ve pretty much always been a Green Day fan so when I saw that the broadway musical they had written was coming to the Hammersmith Apollo, I thought ‘why not?’ when I bought the tickets about a year ago. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect – when we got there last night, on seeing the set

I immediately thought of team America’s

pisstake of Rent – ‘Lease’

and their song ‘Everyone has Aids’ but despite the obvious similarity in the ‘Look and feel’,

there’s no taking away from the brilliance of some of Green Day’s songs, the production included ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ (everyones favourite),’21 Guns’, ‘wake me up when September Ends’ and probably several others and knowing Green Day’s repertoire and my pisspoor observation it seems to be the story of a couple of disaffected kids growing up and trying to fit in and be individual in modern America. Surprise surprise it turns into a twisted love story while being a stroppy teenager story of experimenting with Alcohol, drugs and sex to the background angst of Green Day’s music. I feel sorry for the parents of teenagers, speaking of which, I was taken by my mate Isabel

who is treading that perilous path right now with her own 14 year old son. He’s a good lad and Isa does bloody well, but it’s all about falling in with the right crowd.
Anyway, the trauma of the last week is over, I’m not persuaded I should do anything radically different
I’m think I’m behaving to increase general happiness. Which I’m pretty sure is the right thing to do. Please do come to the Christmas drinks if you can! This email from my friend Gina who’s helping organise it cheered me right up

‘So many people coming on Tuesday! Great to see so many coming along!

All under control I think and Tony and I have sorted the raffle…

Anything else I need to do except find my party heels??’


It’s often little messages like that that make the world seem like a more worthwhile place to be in.

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