Sunday, 26 June 2016

How to be more 'rock & roll' (in six easy steps)

I'm not at Glastonbury this weekend.  Haven't been to the Reading Festival for years - although I have been to a gig in the last three at which I came home stinking of spilt beer and sweat.  I don't smoke anymore, haven't touched drugs in nearly twenty years and most of the time drink de-caff coffee.  And I beat myself up when I drink (not actually hitting myself, just the usual guilt-tripping that a lot of us give ourselves because we've woken up on a Sunday with a hangover from drinking wine in front of the telly).  Sheesh.  No wonder I don't feel very rock & roll anymore.

So if I can't do all those things that made me feel a little bit wild, what can I do?  I can redefine rock & roll, that's what.  If you'd like to join me, try some of these:

1. Turn down the free stuff

Take that Waitrose!  I don't want your "free" coffee (although I will take a complimentary copy of The Times in the vain hope that my children will leave me alone for long enough to read) I refuse to stand in a queue of people with trolleys for a sippy cup full of liquid that I will then spill on my legs in the car. You can keep it.

And while we're at it...up yours!  I just insured my car with you and I DON'T WANT BRIAN!

2. Volunteer 

Hey you, yeah you West Berks council.  You know how you've cut the buses, and the library funding, and money for the arts?  Well guess what.  I'm going to give my neighbour a lift into town so they can get some books out.  And do you know what I'm going to do after that?  I'm going to book a local band to play at my village hall so people can get an injection of art and pretend that they're 15 again and drink too much and and maybe vomit when they get home.  And we'll raise money for charity while we're doing it.  And the next morning we're going to clean up after ourselves and put the empties in the recycling - alright!

3. Be a Womble

Oi!  Teenager at the park smoking weed - of course I bloody know what it is you're smoking!  You carry on dropping your tins of Monster and making a mess, because do you know what I'm going to do?  I'm going to pick that shit right up and put it in the bin so you don't win at making the park some kind of hovel.  You are not bucking the system, you are simply making a big smelly mess.

4. Talk to a Stranger

Ok - pick your stranger carefully but might I recommend the elderly woman that you see every day and say "hello" to in passing?  She'll probably tell you a joke that's a bit rude and put a few things in perspective for you.  I spoke to Daphne.  She was awesome and made me thankful that there are people out there that look out for my nan.

5. Get fit

To all the people who seem to be making it their business to f*ck up the NHS - I will make it my business to stay well away and save space for the people that really need it.  I am going to put on lycra and not give a damn if it gives me camel toe because I am (hopefully) avoiding a heart attack.  

And finally....

6. Get out and perform

Are you *still* pissed off with your drama teacher because she didn't give you a part in Godspell thirty years ago? (carrying a grudge - moi?) well do something about it!  There are groups and gigs and venues and spaces that would welcome you with open arms whether you want to sing a solo, dance the fandango or tell your favourite joke.  Just type "open mic" into your favourite search engine and see what comes up.  Then get out there and do it.  LET'S ROCK!


  1. Great ideas Toni - have just had a conversation with my offspring about going to Glastonbury next year.. all for it - until I told them they'd have to pay for their tickets!
    So yes - have looked at your proposals. Great idea but instead of picking up young people's litter...when they are within speaking distance I'm asking them to pick it up. Ok only tried this with my kids - but it seems to make the point !

  2. Ah Debbie - yes it would be truly rock & roll to get them to pick up their own litter. I think my children would be mortified if I told off teenagers while they were with me. If I ever manage it I'll let you know :) What was heartening was my daughter said that she won't litter when she's a teenager....we'll see how that one goes!