Adorable red pandas who want to be your friend

I got some less than good news yesterday so I spent the evening looking at the Google image search results for the term ‘red panda’ because it is the easiest way to make yourself feel better if you’re feeling a bit grotty.

My finds inspired this post – Adorable red pandas who want to be your friend

1. Look at this little guy! They’re so pleased to see you!

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2. This fella, who thinks the story you just finished telling was really great!index

3. This little buddy thought you weren’t going to make it to the party and is SO EXCITED you came!

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4. The little legend absolutely loved the birthday cake you made!

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5. This little dude saw you coming from a distance and couldn’t contain their excitement!

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6. This friend has heard you were in trouble and is rushing to your aide because you are their best friend

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7. This guy is wistfully reminiscing of all the good times you shared

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8. This fella is pondering the meaning of life in a godless universe

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9. In all seriousness, can someone please domesticate red pandas

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That is all

 

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Texts I send my friends & family every Christmas

(To mum) Help, I have no idea what to get granddad for Christmas (for about the 5th year in a row)

(To my sister) Coming home on the 23rd. I expect the ‘Muppet’s Christmas Carol’ DVD to be in the player when I walk through the door

(To my aunts & uncles) Hey, so I’ve not got a lot of money at the minute so I was wondering if you’d be ok with not getting anything from me exclusively? I’ll chip in to whatever mum gets you but I don’t have the money to buy for so many people. It’s so hard being young at the moment!

(To my friends) Hey, so I’ve purchased way too many Christmas cards, which one of you nerds wants some personalised love from the Dodge?!

(To my mum) DW, I got granddad a book about tanks in the second world war. He likes that kind of thing, right?

(To my sister) Has mum made any of those puff pastry mince pies?

(To my friends) Still got 12 of those Christmas cards going? Who’s in? Need to send them off soon if they’re going to get to you before Christmas?

(To my mum) I just realised that I don’t have anything for you and I have no idea what to get you. Sorry.

(To my sister) CODE RED: WHAT DO I GET MUM FOR CHRISTMAS? P.S. I got you ‘A book for her’, let me know if a) you already have it or b) you don’t want it.

(To my friends) No-one wants a card? Fuck you all.

(To my dad) I assume a bottle of wine will do?

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Joz Norris: 5 things no Edinburgh Fringe performer should be without

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joz norris edinburgh fringe Joz Norris -a likable lad

The Edinburgh Fringe can be a funny old time for performers. It represents the culmination of a year’s hard work writing and rehearsing a show. Artists will have invested a huge amount both financially and emotionally and the gruelling slog of bringing the show to the public, while exhilerating and hugely rewarding, can be a big challenge too.

It’s easy to get to the end of August and feel like the experience has taken its toll on your mental health just a little bit. So here, culled from a few years of doing the Fringe, are my Top 5 tips on things no Fringe performer should be without. You’re going to find yourself in a few emotional scrapes, and the following is a list of equipment that you’re absolutely, 100%, going to need in order to get through it all without a hefty emotional scar…

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Isle of Wight Festival

As I sit and write this I have just returned from a lovely 5 days on the Isle of Wight – the UK’s smallest ceremonial county (for the 50% of the year when the tides are up). I went out there with Elf Lyons, Faye Treacy, Joe Hart and Tamar Broadbent to bring some comedy to the festival and, while it wasn’t all plain sailing and smooth, I think we succeeded.

I must confess to not being the biggest fan of music festivals – the concept of them is fundamentally sound (I love pop music and fields) but the problems for me come in the implementation. I’m not a practical man and I have grown used to a certain level of comfort in my life. Therefore, if you ask me to camp, you’re putting me through a very private version of hell. Also, I get very frustrated by people a lot of the time and find being in close proximity to 70,000 of them at once to be very hard work.

That being said, as I intimated above, I had a beautiful time there. I made some fabulous new friends, Faye in particular is such a lovely soul and I got to sit in an artist’s only bar and feel really cool.

Of course, people go to the festival things for the music, so below are my reviews of the bands I saw over the 5 days I was there

Billy Idol – In great shape for a man of his age. Like, in really great shape. At one point, he curled his guns and it blew my mind, I’m not particularly au fait with his music but I think there are even amoeba’s that know Rebel Yell and White Wedding. However, he didn’t finish with White Wedding, which I think would have topped the gig off really well. However, overall good.

The Prodigy – I went with Tamar to see them. It was pissing down with rain. I got coated in mud. It was the stereotypical festival experience. They are very loud.

James – Play the hits, Tim Booth, lead singer from James. I know, you’ve just released a new album after a long hiatus. But no-one here has listened to that. They don’t know who you are. I actually quite like your band and even I haven’t listened to it. Play Sit Down. People know that song.

Pharrell Williams – At one point he said ‘Everyone point to the sky for Jimi’, referencing Jimi Hendrix’s legendary performance at the inaugural 1970 Isle of Wight festival and I couldn’t help but imagine that Jimi was looking down on this island but didn’t understand the context of the situation and was therefore just thinking ‘Why is everyone pointing at me?’

Blur – See James. Play the hits, Albarn. The stuff you’ve made from Think Tank onwards, while it has been very good, does not have the festival vibe. Everyone knows the words to Country House. Play Country House.

Fleetwood Mac – This sadly clashed with our gig so we missed them do ‘The Chain’. Stevie Nicks’ voice seemed a bit strained but I can now actually say that I have seen the Mac live.

So that was fun! I have a gig on Wednesday night at the Waterpoet, just off Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street. I am then looking for other gigs. I have updated the acts on the ‘Comedians that I like’ page.

Peace and love.

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More of a prosecco girl, myself

Charlotte Church, knocking it out of the park

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On Saturday I was one of 250 citizens who met at the Queens Street statue of Aneurin Bevan, to protest the Tories’ austerity measures, with the Cardiff People’s Assembly. Thankfully, it’s my democratic right to do so.

Whilst I was aware that my presence at the rally could attract the media, I’m sure that you’ll be shocked to hear that I didn’t do it for some self-aggrandising purpose. As I’ve stated in my previous piece, I have no wish to be trolled and abused. It would be much easier for me not to engage. I’m not promoting a record or a tv show. My only motivation for attending was to try to make a difference; to further political discourse in my community; to draw attention to a cause that is more than valid, it is vital.

Many people I know (myself included) received the news that the Tories had won…

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Things to which I have taken a shine this week

I was going to write a long post about freedom of speech and the responsibilities that are implied in the granting of that right with reference to the odious Katie Hopkins but other people have already done much better than me (particularly this piece about the demonisation of migrants by Zoe Williams in the Guardian and this piece about the complicity of the Sun’s editorial team by Simon Usborne in the Independent) on that and, plus, it’s late on a Sunday evening. Cut me some slack, kids.

Instead, I’ve had an interesting week of new things and I thought I’d share some of the new stuff that I found out I liked this week. First up, very much added to the increasingly lengthy and cumbersome list of ‘museums that are pretty great’ is the British Museum. Museum of Stolen Things as it may be, at least we can be certain that Victorian Brits had the very best taste in what they thieved. Granted, I only spent 40 minutes there on Wednesday afternoon and I only looked at the clocks that are on the 4th floor with the fragrant Elf Lyons but WHAT A COLLECTIONS OF CLOCKS, GUYS. There were some truly beautiful pieces there and the evolution of the clock was beautifully presented. My love of clocks is probably a post in itself but suffice it to say I really do love clocks.

Second new thing that I now like: the band Paramore. Guys, I really like Paramore. ‘Misery Business’ has occasionally popped up on Spotify before when I’ve been playing a mix of mid-noughties emo (my period of emo) but I never really got into them as a band. Until this week, when I bit the bullet and bought their 2007 album Riot!. It’s so superb. Introspective, teenage, full of the pain of crushing heartbreak. It may not be the most subtle representation of emotion ever (I never wanted to say this, you never wanted to stay, I put my faith in you, so much faith in you, And then you just threw it away) but it’s not trying to be. It’s raw and visceral – it’s so easy to tell that this album was written when Hayley Williams was a teenager because it’s articulate in its inarticulacy, unashamed in its potentially embarrassing frankness. A cracking album.

Finally, I went to the Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Fundraiser last night with some lovely friends. On the bill were some long-term faves (Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Bridget Christie) and among them was the poet Lemn Sissay, who was utterly brilliant. His poem ‘I Belong’ was a beautiful meditation on an immigrant’s upbringing in Manchester and the connection he feels with the city, delivered with a smile. After everything I’ve seen this week, it was a real fillip to hear a poem like that.

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I have joined the internet

I saw my friend Elf Lyons yesterday for lunch. In between writing parliamentary erotica and looking at clocks in the British Museum (guys, they have some really brilliant clocks in the British Museum), she said to me that I needed a website.

‘I try to big you up to people,’ the tall, red headed beauty informed me, ‘but there’s nowhere online for people to find out about you.’

So here we are – which is also the title of a superb song on Bloc Party’s debut album Silent Alarm, which I was perturbed to learn was released a full ten years ago. Time, eh? It just passes and before you know it, your knees have gone and you’ve got chronic scrofula.

Anyway, this is my website. It has sections about me, telling you when you can next catch me performing (I will try to keep this up to date), a list of comedians who I like (again, will try to update), this blog (the most self serving and narcissistic of all pages on a site. I will try to update this at least once a week), a page with recording of gigs I’ve done and a contact page, which you can use to either hurl abuse at me or hurl yourself prostrate at my feet and praise my very existence. Your choice.

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