Guess Who’s Back?

Nope. Not the Real Slim Shady, Marty Mcfly or Gloria Gaynor.

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ME.

Since my adventures in New York came to an end over a month ago, you probably thought this Blog would be nothing more. Just a blip on the timeline of web history.

Well, apologies, but I like writing, and I’ve always got a story to tell, so I’m back. But what am I going to write about if I’m not living it up in the Big City? 

Now I’m home, the REAL feat begins. Chapter Two of ‘The Adventures of An Essex Boy’, will follow me as I start to make those first wee steps to becoming an actor person, and trying to make it in the big wide world.

Stories about New York City life will be replaced with tales of London living.

Cringey anecdotes about disastrous dates, will be exchanged for accounts of dodgy auditions.

And blogs where I essentially just moan about things, will…well, I’ll still do those.

So, if you’d like to follow me on my journey as I take everything I learnt at drama school and turn it into a full time career, then stick with me. We all know it’s not going to be plain sailing, but we also know, it’ll be a right old giggle at the same time.

I’ve bagged myself an agent, and starting filming my own TV show (www.facebook.com/MakeWayForTalent), but that’s just the appetiser.

The main course is on it’s way…GRAVY ANYONE?

J x

 

 

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The End?

I always look forward to writing my Blogs, whenever the inspiration hits me, but this is one blog that I’ve been dreading writing…

Tomorrow I fly home to Essex land, and leave behind the shining Big Apple that’s been my home for the past 9 months.

I always knew this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime, but I had no idea how incredible my time at AADA would be. Back in September, I didn’t know how much I was going to learn, and how many valuable pieces of advice I would be taking away with me. I didn’t know any of these people who I now consider to be my best friends. And I certainly didn’t know how much I was going to fall in love with this city.

Arriving on the 12th of September, I was excited/nervous/scared/happy/tired/hot/apprehensive, but ready to take anything that was thrown at me. I managed to survive heat waves, torrential downpours, horrendous dates, disgusting fatty food, over friendly strangers, relationship breakup’s, speeding taxi rides, dodgy kissers, nodding off on the subway, being sick in my own hand, falling down stairs, falling up stairs, and generally wreaking havoc on the States.

My two semesters at school, and then six weeks of exam plays, have not only taught me tons about Acting, but also a lot about myself. Yes, that sounds wanky and pretentious, but it’s true. I feel as if I’m coming away from this experience as a completely different person. For the better. I hope.

One thing that drama school has taught me to do extremely well is CRY. I hardly ever shed a tear before I started my training, and now I switch on the waterworks at literally ANYTHING. As much as this is fun occasionally, I am now known as the drunk at the party who by 2am is crying, inconsolably, in the corner, usually over nothing. (Memo- to everyone who has a photo of me crying at one of the several parties over the school year, if they ever resurface, I’ve got some dirt on you too).

I’ve done some AMAZING things whilst I’ve been out here, from enjoying my first Thanksgiving in Cape Cod, to watching some incredible Broadway shows. Throw into that mix visiting Coney Island, eating at beautiful restaurants, and going to fancy bars that Gossip Girl could only DREAM of, and I think you’ll find I’ve had an action packed 9 months. I can’t count the amount of times I had to pause, look around me, and realise where I was, and what I was doing, and every single time it would take my breath away. I still genuinely can’t believe I made it here and that I actually managed to achieve one of my dreams.

The best thing about this whole experience though, has been the friends I’ve made for life. This time last year I didn’t even know these strangers, and now I don’t know what I’d do without them. They’ve let me cry on their shoulder, shout, scream, and supported me through what has literally been *cliche klaxon* a roller-coaster journey. I’m so terribly sad to be leaving them, but so excited to see what the future has in store for us. And I’m mega chuffed that I finally have some boys that I can call best friends. I love all you girls, but sometimes I need big manly advice, and my lovely Danny, Micah and Nick are the one’s who’ve sorted me out big style this year, and I love them for it. And I can’t even begin to count the number of times that Clare, Katie, Kari and Hanna have jumped to the rescue and slapped me about a bit/cheered me up. I can’t even think of a way to thank them enough.

I also need to thank my gorgeous Mum, for working all hours of the night and countless jobs, to help support me as best as she can. Without her, and her belief in my dream, it would have remained just that, and not a reality. And thank you to my wonderful Grandad, Dad and Stepmum for all their love and support too. I would have crumbled after about a week if I didn’t have them. Not forgetting all my beautiful besties back at home, who spent their time and money to come over and visit me, or send me endless supplies of tea and chocolate. I adore you all.

And I can’t forget to thank every single person who helped me raise the money to get over here. Every person that bought a ticket to my show in August, came to my quiz, got spooked at my clairvoyant night, boogied at my Zumba evening, and stuffed their faces at my curry night- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Without your willingness to help me, I would never have been able to experience this. I was overwhelmed last year with the support I got during my fundraising efforts, and it still shocks me now. I truly have some of the best friends in the world. Literally. Thanks to school, I now have friends from all corners of the globe, and the best thing about that? Holiday’s sorted for life mate!

Well, I’m about to enjoy my last day in Central Park, in the glorious sunshine, and remember how incredibly lucky I am right now.

This may be the end of one adventure for this Essex boy, but the next one is just around the corner.

Watch this space…

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J xxx

I ♥ Obama.

Last Wednesday a shining new hero appeared in my life.

His name, Barack Obama.

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Happy times with the ‘Bams.

Finally, after a ridiculously long time, a huge key political figure is pledging his support for gay marriage.

*Pops party popper, smears face in wedding cake & dances to The Nolan’s*

It’s about bloody time someone said something.

Mr Obama has made history, by becoming the first US President to publicly support gay marriage. In a statement to the television channel ABC, he said;

“I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. At a certain point I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

And so they bloody should be allowed. Everyone loves a good wedding. So why try and stop more from occurring? We should celebrate love in every single one of it’s forms. Be it gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, (oops, I channeled Gaga there for a second), everyone on this planet deserves the chance to be considered equal. Yes, even Nicole Shitsinger.

What is terribly sad to hear however, is that because of Obama’s decision to back gay marriage, 26% of voters admitted they are now less likely to vote for him. That’s a big percentage of people. And that’s a big risk that Mr O took.

Yes, he’s standing up for what’s right, but still, even in 2012, a lot of people don’t consider homosexuality to be “normal”. But, having said that, this is certainly a step in the right direction, and I applaud my new hero wholeheartedly for starting the long road to acceptance.

Some people are saying his decision to speak out about this matter might be purely politically motivated. But I refuse to believe it. Michelle is far too fabulous.

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Oh snap!

 Keep up the good work Obama. As an honorary American, you certainly have my vote.

J x

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30 Days, 11 Hours and 22 Minutes.

That is the exact amount of time, from this Blog being published, that I have left in New York City.

When did that happen?

I only arrived last week. And I’m pretty sure I was just dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween at the weekend. No?

Are you really telling me that eight months have already flown by, and I’ve only got one left?

I’m not really sure how to feel about all of this. On the one hand, I’m so excited to head back to blighty for the first time this year, and see all my family and friends. But on the other hand, I’m gonna have to say goodbye to all my new family and friends that I’ll be leaving here.

That wasn’t supposed to be in the plans. I wasn’t meant to fall in love with the Big Apple as much as I thought I would. And there’s still so much I have to do.

I’ve got no choice but to spend the next four weeks cramming in as much as I can, and I’ve had a little idea….

You lot, that’s the people taking the time to read my ramblings, can help me enjoy my last month here in style, by suggesting the BEST things I need to do before I head home. Or something that you would love to do if you had the opportunity to be here. Or maybe you’ve thought of an idea that’s completely weird or mental, that you’d enjoy seeing me suffer through.

Either way, I’ll pick the top 5, (or the top 3, or even just the only entry, depending on how non-successful this has the potential to be), and through photographic/video evidence I’ll complete your little task/mission/touristy thing.

So, if you feel inspired, on this rainy Tuesday morning, then leave a comment on this post, and I’ll get to it.

I intend on making the month of May, the best one yet.

Do your worst.

J x

AKA Challenge Anneka James

 

Disclosure: If any of your suggestions cost more than a few dollars/I can’t pay for in elastic bands or teabags, then I’ll happily provide you with my bank account details for some “assistance”.

I’m not joking.

The Ten People On Grindr That You Never Want To Meet.

Grindr.

Grindr, Grindr, Grindr. Where do I begin to describe you?

For people that are naive, innocent or cave dwelling , Grindr is a “dating” app for your smart phone, where you can make a profile about yourself, and then using GPS you can locate other gay men in your area. You can see how far away they are, what they look like, how old they are, and what they’re looking for. A casual coffee, or more often than not, a bit of naughty business.

Since I’ve lived in New York, I’ve been conducting a little experiment to find the weirdest possible profiles for your viewing pleasure. And to bring to your attention the ten types of people that you NEVER want to actually meet up with. (If you value your own life).  Enjoy.

1) The Comedian

Normally uses a “hilarious” picture to hide the fact that they are hideously unattractive, and probably ten years older than their profile suggests.

2) The Liar

Tells elaborate stories and normally uses a nice buff picture from Google Images. “I’m a model” – Then what are you doing on Grindr? If you really look like that, then I’m David Gandy.

3) The No-Hoper

Basically, there is not a chance in HELL that anyone is going there. Ever. (Ps. “I’m not a redhead, it’s just the lighting”, yeah mate, alright).

4) The Cringe

Full of the worst chat-up lines you’ve ever witnessed. Probably sitting at home with a group of mates and having a competition to see who can come up with the worst one. At least, I hope to God that’s his excuse…


5) The Emotionally Unstable Forty Something

Confused by the majority of boys on Grindr being in their early to mid 20′s, the EUFS tries very hard to talk to ANYONE that will respond, but his age and looks mean he’s often blocked. With no other option, the EUFS resorts to sympathy tactics, and failing that makes a fake profile and says he’s only 21. (See number 4- The Liar).

6) The Narnia

This guy wants some discreet fun, but his sexuality is still firmly locked in The Wardrobe with The Lion and The Witch. He can’t show his real face, for fear that one of his co-workers will spot him, so instead, he has to play safe. This often has the opposite of The Narnia’s desired effect, and has most potential suitors running for the hills.

7) The Drop Out

Probably has less GCSE’s than the cast of Geordie Shore put together. Would probably attack if provoked. But apparently, knows how to dance. Man2Man. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to find someone that really knows how to, “swear in bed”.

8) The Prince Charmer

The complete opposite of The Cringe. Knows exactly what to say, and the right words to use. But would probably be better served on Plenty Of Fish, or perhaps even Blind Date, if Cilla would get off her lazy arse and remake it.

9) The Idiot

This isn’t what the app is for. Stop being offensive and taking up one of my precious 200 spaces. (I’m not paying for Grindr Xtra).

10) The Absolute 100% Bonafide Fruit And Nutcase.

Somebody actually thought taking my profile picture, and superimposing CATS onto me, would make me want to befriend them. And not just a plain old cat, a cat with LASER EYES. ‘Nuff said.

So there you have it. The app might be a huge success around the world, but the Grindr community of New York City, certainly know how to put out the love fires down south.

I hope reading this has brightened up your dull Monday morning. And if it hasn’t, then take pleasure in knowing that your life can’t possibly be as sexually unfulfilling as theirs is.

J x

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I Want To Hold Your Hand.

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Well, I went on another date the other day. And for the first time, it didn’t end in disaster! (I know, I’m getting better), but it did make me think very hard about something- PDA.

If you aren’t down wiv the kidz like me, then PDA stands for Public Display of Affection. I hate PDA. I always have done. I’m that person that shouts, “get a room”, at the couple kissing passionately at the train station, or the person that rolls their eyes when I see a boy and girl play fighting in the park. You might be very happy, but I just don’t need it rubbed in my face, ta very much.

However, the other day I begun to question whether I disliked PDA because it’s just annoying, or because it’s what I want to do, but I’m still afraid to do it.

No, not because I’m a prude. But because I’m gay. And even though we’re in 2012, there’s still a huge issue going on. If you’re straight and you’re reading this, then imagine holding your boyfriend/girlfriends hand in public, and getting starred at by everyone. If this is what happens when you just touch fingers, imagine what the reaction is like when you kiss! I’m not ashamed of who I am, but I still find it very difficult to completely be myself in public, for fear of what might happen.

Living in New York is certainly different. I see lots of same sex couples holding hands around the city all the time, but can you imagine that in London? I wouldn’t even dream of standing in the centre of Oxford Circus and playing a few rounds of tonsil tennis. I’m pretty sure that by the time we got to “40 Love” that we’d be subjected to lots of looks, a few comments and who knows what else. But seeing a straight couple have a cheeky kiss as they say goodbye is perfectly acceptable.

Even in Soho in London, the gayest place in the Capital, you still can’t be yourself. Remember the news last year, when a gay couple were kicked out of the John Snow Pub for sharing a kiss over dinner? What right did anybody have to tell them to leave? If I’m in a restaurant and your child is making too much noise, do I have the right to ask you to leave because I don’t like it? Or if you take the last bread roll at the Harvester Salad Cart, can I tell you to piss off because it’s not acceptable? No, I can’t. (Although, I’d be hard pushed not to have a word with you in the Harvester situation).

ImageBack off bitch.

If I’m head over heels for somebody, then why shouldn’t I show that in public? I’m not knocking on everybody’s doors and having sex on their face. I merely want to be able to walk around feeling proud that I’m with someone, and that we’re together.

Going back to the date that I mentioned at the start, (there was a point to that, I’m not just bragging), towards the end of the night as we were saying goodbye outside the train station, there was a little hesitation, and I knew that a kiss was imminent, but all I could think about was all the people scurrying around us. What would they think if they saw us? What would they say? What would they do? And then I just sort of thought, fuck this, if I want to finish off a lovely date with a kiss, then I will. So I did. But, my little self conscious wouldn’t let me indulge that for too long, just incase somebody had seen…

It’s ridiculous. And I know I shouldn’t care, but I do. And I cannot wait for the day when I can do whatever I like with a boy in public, (within reason obvs), and it’s perfectly acceptable. And more importantly, that I won’t be afraid anymore.

That might be when I reach my 80′s, but I’ll look forward to that day.

Now, go hug a gay.

J x

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The B.F.F.

Seven months ago I landed in New York City. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know anything. I had my little life packed up in three massive suitcases, and I was on my own.

I arrived in my new apartment, and even though it was lovely, I instantly wanted to go home. I missed everyone and everything back in the UK. My phone wouldn’t work. My bedroom wasn’t painted so I couldn’t unpack. And more horrifically we didn’t have wireless internet, (where was I? The 90′s?).

I was about to give up all hope when my little guardian angel arrived, in the shape of my new housemate, Clare.

From the second I heard her unexpectedly deep voice, and ridiculously dirty laugh, I knew, just KNEW, we were going to get along famously. Essentially, we are the opposite sex versions of each other. And both Aries. Perfect.

The first two weeks of living here were the hardest two weeks of my entire life, and I’m pretty certain that if it hadn’t of been for Clare, I might have hopped straight back on the first plane home. She made sure I knew where everything was in the City, she helped me sort out my phone, my keys, showed me how to get to school everyday, introduced me to Chipotle (best bit), and even let me fulfil one of my lifelong goals of going to Ikea to buy furniture for my OWN apartment.

The poor girl even had to sort me out after my relationship breakup, and she’d only known me 14 days. Yet she let me cry on her shoulder solidly for a week, whilst intermittently feeding me Ben & Jerry’s and wine. What a HERO.

Clare has given me amazing advice at 3am in the morning, on the sofa with tea, (although, I’ll never let her make me another cup after her first attempt ended in the most anaemic looking tea I’ve ever seen). She’s let me moan, nag and talk incessantly about my day/life/how I’m dangerously low on Cadbury’s. She’s put up with me breaking her mugs/glasses/pouring tea in her wellies/constantly raping the use of her hairdryer, and never got tired of me once. (Which is no mean feat.)

Best of all, this girl that I didn’t know 8 months ago, has now become one of my best friends, and somebody that I couldn’t imagine life without. I’m writing this blog, which is beginning to sound creepily like an obituary, because on Tuesday she’s heading back to the UK for four months to film the next series of her TV show. (NAME DROPPING). And for one thing, I’m going to bloody miss her.

Clare has been a massive part of this entire experience for me, and whenever I look back on my time in New York, I’m going to remember how much fun my first attempt at living away from home was. I’m going to remember every party, every morning clean up, every takeaway, every laugh, every spillage, every TV night and more importantly everything that Clare did to make sure that I was settled and safe, even though I’m a thousand miles away from home. I’m not sure I’d still be sane if it wasn’t for her. And I can’t really thank her enough. Except write a blog about her, and hope she doesn’t get an overinflated ego/frightened that I’m now her biggest fan.

 

To the person that gets Clare as their next housemate- you lucky bastard.

 

You might just get yourself a best friend for life too.

 

J x

 

Naked.

I’ve been going to school for 6 months now, and in that time I’ve pretty much seen EVERYTHING. Tears, boobs, tantrums, sex scenes and mental breakdowns. I’ve also witnessed most of my classmates having to get naked for a particular scene, but so far, I’ve managed to avoid it.

UNTIL NOW.

In my Greek scene this week, I had to go sans clothes. And it was the most distressing and awkward twenty minutes of my life.

Right, I’m getting a bit intellectual here, go with me; I’m doing a scene from The Bacchae by Euripides, and like most Greek tragedies it’s absolutely mental. The story ends with my Mother, (in the play) ripping my head off after she mistakes me for a bear, (as you do).

In the actual excerpt I’m doing, my character, Pentheus, has to be “seduced” by Dionysus into putting on a dress. (There’s more to it than that, but if you really feel inspired by this, then Google it or something.)

Anyway…halfway through the scene, Dionysus has to remove Pentheus’ toga, and put him in a Greek dress. In our case, my scene partner was taking off my bed sheet toga, and putting me in a slightly different bed sheet toga.

A bed sheet that doubles up as a toga. Handy.

To my horror, I realised pretty early on that in between the removal of my bed sheet toga and the putting on of the other bed sheet toga, I’d be naked. In front of the ENTIRE CLASS.

Panic. Nobody is ready to see what’s under my colourful t-shirts.

And then I find out that Greeks didn’t wear underwear like we have. FURTHER PANIC.

I can’t be showing my Martha to my peers. School doesn’t provide therapy sessions to deal with the aftermath.

So I pulled together all my creative skills and fashioned a loin cloth, (yes, a bloody loin cloth) out of a scarf. GENIUS. At least some of my dignity could be saved now.

My scene partner and I rehearsed at home, practicing the removal of said togas, and I began to get more comfortable with being in the nuddie. Maybe it wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

The day finally came. The day my class was going to see me in an entirely different light. Hold me in pants couldn’t save me now.

The scene began, and I could feel my heart going crazy in my chest. It didn’t help that I’d made a big thing about getting naked to ALL my class, so they were probably all metaphorically bricking it for me as well. The moment came, and my scene partner untied my toga, and it fell to the ground. And there I stood. In my River Island grey scarf/makeshift loincloth. It was short. Like, you could almost see a ball if you were a dwarf, short.

I got dressed up in the new toga, and besides it being so tight that I couldn’t move my arm, it hadn’t been so bad. The ordeal was over. Well, so I thought…

            How I think I look in a toga.                                     How I really look in a toga.

Next thing I know, I’m having my tit fondled by my scene partner, under the instruction of my teacher, (I had to feel uncomfortable in the scene, and this was method stuff you see. It’s drama school, accept it). I’m all for fondling usually, but something about the idea of my entire class watching my being forcefully touched up, suddenly got to me. I had this little image flash in my head, that I was in some weird voyeuristic porno. And I started to cry. What a baby.

The tit rubbing had the desired affect though. We did the scene again, and the emotion was much more where it should be, and it almost had an electric feel to it. Yay for pretend rape!

The moral of this long winded story is, drama school is crazy. But at the same time, it’s absolutely thrilling how much you can achieve in a twenty minute session, and how a scene can take on a completely different route to anything you expected. It also made me realise how lucky I am to be amongst a group of people who don’t judge, and let me feel comfortable (enough) to show them all my flabby bits. There isn’t many people that I could do that in front of, in fact, I can think of hardly any. Every day they let me try out new stuff, and make a complete prawn of myself, without telling me not to bother again. And thanks to them, I can learn what works and what doesn’t.

Apparently, boob grabbing works.

Remember that.

J.

Gossip Gay.

Everyone who knows me personally, can tell you that I’ve had my fair share of dodgy, horrendous and downright cringey dates, (three words- flaky skin boy), but since I’ve been in New York, my stories are stacking up nicely, and can now provide the inspiration for this blog.

As I keep mentioning, my English accent attracts LOTS of attention. Sadly, most of this is unwanted attention, and usually involves some sort of Mary Poppin’s sexual fantasy situation. (Not gonna happen. I can’t fly).

Date Number One, way back in October, was slightly different however. Although my accent was a bonus, he seemed genuinely interested in my life, and even took me out for a slap up Italian meal. I came home and gushed about him to my housemate, and arranged Date Number Two for the following week. This time, after another dinner, (which he paid for again- DREAM), we went back to his apartment, and he told me to make myself comfortable whilst he took his dog for a quick walk, (random yes, but go with it). In the 10 minutes that he was gone, me, being the super sleuth that I am, managed to deduce that he was engaged to another man. (I say super sleuth- there was a “Happy Birthday Fiancé” card on the table.) So I got my bag, and legged it. I couldn’t bring myself to do a Rebecca Loos and be ‘the other woman’.

Date Number Three, was with a very nice American boy, but he kissed with teeth. Everyone that’s had a dodgy kisser knows what I’m talking about here. At one point, my gum actually started to bleed. BLEED. And we all know that a naff kisser, means everything else is going to be just as disappointing. So I knocked that one on the head too.

Date Number Four involved a very nice meal, and two bottles of wine. It also involved me getting completely plastered/offending him by texting throughout the night (well, he was boring), and finished with me running to the subway, falling asleep somewhere along the Williamsburg Bridge, and ending up in Queens.

Me on Date Number Four. If I were black. 

You should have realised by now, that I’m the male equivalent of Bridget Jones. (Little Known Fact #345, I once ate blue soup).

I’m not sure why everything to do with love and dating has to be so tragic for me. I mean, I try my hardest, and I think I’m good company. Plus, I remember all my dating rules- no messy/unattractive food. (That means spag-bol, fajitas and anything with spinach is a no-no). And no talking about myself too much, or doing any impressions of Harry Potter, no matter how many times they ask me.

I did have one amazing date, with *SHAMELESS NAME DROPPING ALERT* an Abercrombie & Fitch model, but I quite like the illusion of everyone thinking I’m totally hopeless in any courting situation, so I’m going to play up to that more by keep that nice story for myself.

What I do like about just dating, and not actually having a boyfriend, is that I get to go to all these exciting restaurants and bars, for free, and then if I don’t like them, I just don’t text back.

No commitment, and I get a free meal.

I’ve become a dinner slut.

I wonder if it’s too late to change my career decision?

The way to this Dinner Slut’s heart.

Till next time,

Gossip J xoxo

C.

I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of news stories going on regarding sunbeds and skin cancer at the moment. My Twitter newsfeed was full this morning, with stories from BBC Breakfast discussing it, and asking for people’s opinions and views on the sensitive topic. And then when I was catching up on the new series of “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings” today, one of the little girls, who could only have been around 10 or 12 years old said one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever heard…

“I have sunbeds all the time. At the end of the day if I get cancer, I get cancer, that’s it.”

I literally couldn’t believe my ears. How ignorant are some people, that they believe having a slightly tanned skin is worth potentially premature death?

Around seven years ago, my life was turned upside down by a revelation from my beautiful Mum. When we returned from a holiday in Australia, Mum went to the hospital to have a mole on her back checked out. Whilst we’d been on the beach one day, Mum had pulled her vest top down after it got caught on the mole, and she knew the sharp pain that she felt when this happened, was an indication that something was wrong.

A few weeks later, she discovered she had skin cancer. And not only that, but it was Melanoma.

When Mum told me, I didn’t have a clue what Melanoma was, and although the word “Cancer” automatically terrified me, Mum assured me that it was treatable, and she was going to be ok.

I did the worst thing you can possibly do in a medical situation, and that night I Googled Melanoma, and to my horror discovered that it was the deadliest and most severe case of skin cancer that you can get.

I read how it spreads quickly to other parts of the bodies, and it’s almost impossible to be cured unless you catch it early.

I spent the entire night crying. I’d only just lost my Nan to breast cancer a year before, and the thought of losing my Mum too was too much to think about.

I always remember as a child, coming home from school, and Mum telling me that we were popping to the shops to buy dinner, and on the way home, we’d stop in the tanning shop for Mum to have a short blast on the sunbeds. This usually happened at least three times a week. I’m sure if she knew all the information about the danger of sunbeds now, that my childhood memories would be very different.

Thankfully, Mum did catch it early enough. But that didn’t stop her having to go through a painful operation where she had the mole, and the lymph nodes in her arms removed. She once told me that it felt as though somebody was running razor blades constantly up and down her arms, for weeks and weeks on end.

To go through all of this when she’d only just lost her own Mother must have been terrifying, and I regret that I didn’t help her out as much as I should have done, and given her even more support through such a difficult time.

What I am proud of though, is how bloody brave my Mum is, and it’s from her that I think I get a lot of my independence and strength from, because believe you me, us Moore’s can take anything you throw at us and come bouncing back.

To those of you reading this, that have sunbeds, I’m not trying to forecast death to try and scare you, I just want to help people become more aware that this attitude of, “it’ll never happen to me” can only keep you safe and lucky for so long, and eventually it could happen to you.

Do something about it now, before you have to go through an ordeal like my brave Mum had to.

All I can say is, thank god for that vest in Australia. And well done Mumma Moore, for being such an inspiration.

J x

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