Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

The Kissing Trees

These are the beautiful Kissing Trees on the back road from Kinghorn, Fife. I chose them as my pick-of-the-day to share on The Late Show last night. They were photographed beautifully by Elaine Orourke – who grew up near them and her family tradition is to always kiss whomever you are with when passing under them.

The Kissing Trees in a Blue Sky

Elaine kindly sent me these images yesterday and gave me permission to share them with the people of Scotland, however it was not able to be featured on the show for production reasons. How beautiful they are, though, so I wanted to share them with you today anyway.

The Kissing Trees on The Road

I want to know who planted them: was it an old couple who planted them so as they could be connected forever in nature? Are there remains of them scattered – or buried – there? Was this a young couple in love? – or the partner of a lost love? Or is this just a happy accident of nature?

The Kissing Trees Purple Haze

Nonetheless, they are intriguing and beautiful. There are no trees around them. And each tree stands alone in a separate field divided by a road – but through the years their branches have become slowly entwined. Two loving trees – possibly representing human love – united forever on the land and immortalised in film through some amazing photography.


For all the lovers,
Keara XX


Funny In Love

So, what is love?Hearts Queen of
It was either Aphrodite or Oprah Winfrey – or possibly Jessica Fletcher – who said, ‘Love is giving someone permission to break your heart but trusting them not to.” 

love fire

Well, it’s fair to say that I have loved.  I have sent my heart out there into battle and trusted in another person not to break it and I have been lucky.

I have been loved.

And love is nice. And when you love someone and they love you too and you involve an episode of your favourite TV drama – let’s say, anything by Jimmy McGovern or a repeat of Murder She Wrote – and a box of Maltesers, love is very nice indeed.

I sat upon a rock on a beach in Oban after a comedy gig as my new love stood a few inches away with his back against the harbour wall.

Looking out to sea, I said, “I think… I’m… falling… in love with you.”

Then I glanced down at the rock clenched hard in my hand.

In a moment he said, “Yes, same… well, actually, I’m already there, so… yeah… “  He stumbled on, shuffling from foot to foot as his face burned red with awkwardness.  Then my hives started playing up. So we went to the pub and got absolutely hammered.

I really, really thought our love would change the world.

Well, it did change mine.

I have waltzed down the brown Danube laughing with my love drinking premium Hungarian beer from large plastic tankers on a warm summer’s night and it was very good. 

I have sung Karaoke with Air Force One in a bar in Bratislava whilst downing gut-busting cocktails as my love laughingly looked on.  And it was really, really good.  – The pilot sang Up Where We Belong to me and I took that flight of fancy with him – as my love encouraged me in some harmless flirting.

I have slumped in pyjamas for hours on a Sunday afternoon with the blinds tightly shut watching marathon runs of Come Dine With Me whilst sharing a carry-out-curry with my love and feeling in a perfect state of bliss and peace and saturated fats.

So, I know that love is good.

Keara & Paul Sillhouette

Romance is overrated. When you eventually get to the big romantic things in life oftentimes the experience does not live up to your long-held expectations. 

I have eaten ice cream at The Trevi Fountain on a warm night in July with my love wondering how much longer we should linger and thinking that I’d eaten too much at dinner and needed sleep and a cardigan.  – Of course I appreciated the spectacular fountain and the ice cream and the night sky but I did not feel the love.

I have dined spectacularly at The Four Seasons, smiling down at the beautiful cornflower blue sapphire and the nineteen pin-head diamonds on the double-white Gold band newly placed there on the third finger of my left hand, feeling like it would have been nice if my love had actually proposed.

The words, “D’ya wanna shove this on now or what?” were still resounding round my head and I ruined that experience with my destructive thoughts.

I have sipped cocktails on the coast of Croatia and watched the sun disappear behind the horizon, sitting silently with my love but feeling lonely.

It took a few Pina Colladas, several rounds of Rakija and a bowl of Strukli to ease the passage of loneliness into oblivion.

Trevi Fountain

It is the simple moments in life that I have found love to be at its most pure.

I have been enveloped in my love, as one with him, entwined in peace and I have rolled to sleep in his arms in deep pleasurable happiness and love.

-And then he has farted – which definitely tests true love.

Sex is not love.  But you can bring the love to it, if you want.

I have made love in the freezing waters of a Scottish Loch with a man I was in love with which was funny but rubbish.

I have made love in a locker at a spa resort in Central Europe, which was funny and good.  My boyfriend knocked on my cubicle door asking for talc, then forced his way in and demanded sex.

– It was thrilling!

I have made love on a warm beach on Gran Canaria under the stars with a guy called Top Banana who looked after The Dolphin Experience. – We saw the stars, but no dolphins.

I have made love on a cold mattress in a multi-storey flat somewhere in Thornliebank with a guy I really fancied because he looked like Lionel Ritchie in The Commodore years – NOT the Hello years! – which allowed me to overlook the putrid state of his flat.

– And his kit on the floor next to his signing-on book.

“Sing Nightshift to me!” I demanded, excitedly. But he just slumped into a drug-induced coma and I had to negotiate my way home from Armageddon, alone.

I have made love in a warm condo in Kowloon with a sexy German barman called Goswin who had the largest…em…‘personality’…I have ever seen. As the catamarans rolled into the harbour, we listened to Kris Kristopherson on his wee mini-disc player and the buzz of the nightlife click-clickety-clacking beneath our window and the air filled with exotic quixotic romance.

– I never saw him again.

Sunset and Dolphin

I have made love with someone whom I loved deeply and who loved me too.  I have made love with someone I didn’t even know. I have made love with a person I hated.

I have loved a dead man.

I have danced and sang with joy in love, alone.  I have swam in the open sea with the deepest sense of happiness and love that I felt like I could fly and tried but couldn’t.

I have snuggled up in bed alone feeling the presence of love within me; beside me; inside me.  And, as I closed my eyes I dreamed of him, of me, of love and of our pure happiness so much I could cry.

So I cried.

I have sobbed and sobbed long and hard into my pillow then turned it over and I have gone to sleep on the dry side so as not to get a wet-face-rash.

– Always consider your complexion when crying on pillows.

I have awoken wondering if what I dreamed was real.  I could feel his hot breath on my neck and his eyes on my face and his chest hairs tickling into my back but I turned around to find only some snotty tissues and an empty box of Milk Tray.

– That Milk Tray Ghost-Man is my constant companion.

I have awoken with a start wondering if what was real I dreamed only to feel his warm arms fold around me as I stroked the soft hairs on his skin and whispered to myself, ‘He is here! He is really here’ then jerked myself into the moment as I knew it couldn’t last.

– He had mail to deliver.

– Joking!

– It was milk.

– Still joking!

– It was a kitchen.

– Or was it?

I have cried for my love, for the loss of him, for my fear for him, for his pain,  for his breaking heart, for his smiling face, for his cheeky grin, for his trusting eyes.  – And for his vulnerability and for mine.

I have gone mad with love and blamed it on my menstrual cycle.

Yes, it is fair to say that I have loved.  I have given another person permission to break my heart and I have not been disappointed. I have wept with the remnants of my world broken across my carpet and my anger at his discarded stinking sock.

I have sobbed with snot running down my face, tears in my ears, howling foetally and silently screaming like a really bad actress in a Greek Tragedy.

– It is always good practice for an actress to stand back from herself during these moments and try to embed the feelings in the emotional memory bank for later use in a Lysistrata audition.

Demeter Greek Goddess of Mourning

I have quietly wept as I swatted a wasp over the cooker setting alight to the napkin whilst my love sat coldly eating sausages. Then asked for another egg.

– Another bloody egg?!

I snivelled some more as the bacon sparked a further fire under the grill and as I dampened the cloth to extinguish it, an alarm bell bellowed in the hall. But not in my head. – Why not in my head?

Why NOT in my head!!!

Then, as I brandished a tea-towel under the screaming siren, he walked past me, smiling, and left me to manage the burnt bacon and the smouldering fire and my bleeding heart all alone.


I have stood still on a busy street saying absolutely nothing to my friend on the other end of the phone for what seemed like hours just to feel him listen to my silence and the world as it rushed around me and the cracking of my heart as it quietly stopped.

– Amazingly, I still retain that friendship.

I have been in love alone and I have been heartbroken alone.  I have been lonely with my love and I have been happy in love alone. So what is this love?  Who is making us feel the love? And who is making us feel the pain? How can we be in love alone if it is the other person who is giving the love to us? When we decide to get up and get on, who is making us take that action? I don’t imagine it’s Jesus or Allah or, even, Oprah.

– Well, maybe Oprah.

Aren’t all of our physical and mental actions our own? Is it not us who is creating the pain and, therefore, creating the love? Is it not up to us to always, always choose to love? – To allow another’s love for us into our hearts and lives?

I believe that no-one can give you love and no-one can take your love away. I believe that you can bestow your love on the object of your affection: a chair, a cabbage or a particularly nice vintage tablecloth with butterfly motifs on – I really, really love that tablecloth.  And you can believe that the great ball of fire in your belly and the pounding in your heart and the fever in your soul has been created by him or her or Rover. And that this feeling you have inside of you is their love for you and that they will think of you obsessively and expire without you. Which makes you happy. And gives you an ego boost.

But it isn’t. And they don’t. And they probably won’t!

It’s just Old Mother Nature there working away trying to ensure the survival of the species, silly.


Snuggles are good. I mean, what is finer than a snuggle? Nothing! That’s what.

I love that feeling when their knees fit neatly into the back of yours whilst ‘spooning’ and you mold yourselves into one united being until the sweat trickles between your bodies and you have to silkily slide yourself away and involve hankies.

Or that comforting sensation you get when his hot breath gently heats the back of your neck and he sometimes kisses it there and you fall a little deeper into paradise.

And what could beat that loving feel of his arm curling warmly around your waistline, his hand resting gently on your stomach, your fingers entwined in his as you stroke the tiny hairs there, half-asleep.

– Man, I really miss that dog.

I read a book about love one time and the woman, I think it was either Pamela Stephenson or Tricia Goddard – or possibly  Jeremy Vine – who said:

When you love another person it is his love for himself and your
love for yourself flowing and mingling together between
two whole people who want to share their love.” 

– Which is an ideal way to see things if you have evolved above the level of sentient being or have done a lot of Yoga or are Trudy Styler.

But, the truest love you will ever have is indeed the love you have for yourself.   You can choose to love a stranger.  But, believe me, that love never ends well.  You will automatically love your children, hopefully, you’d think!  And you can choose to love a dear friend or, indeed, a nice tree. – That last one might even get you into Pick-Me-Up magazine!

– And, possibly, Carstairs.

But, I do not believe it is possible to truly love another person unless you truly love yourself. And if you struggle with that, there is plenty of love available on the high street for a small fee.

– And, for the more adventurous, the Private Sauna at Roseburn has some special deals on a Tuesday.

Now, my final piece of lady wisdom is this: All relationships are your mirrors and all people are your precious teachers.

– Especially if they are actually your teacher and you are paying them to teach you stuff.  If they are your teacher and they are not teaching you stuff you can report them to The High Commissioner of the Governor of Teachers Association or something. And if they suggest you run away with them to France and marry them when you turn sixteen, do it.  But only if you really, really fancy them.

Each of my great big loves taught me something about myself, and each guided me, inadvertently, onto a new path on my journey through life.

I am the person I am because of love.  – The love I have given and the love I have received.

The more destructive the relationship; the more I have learned. And I am a sucker for an education: The abusive ones taught me self-respect; the narcissistic ones taught me unconditional love; the one-night-stands taught me to always carry earplugs and a spare pair of pants.

So, what is love?

Well, who the hell knows!

But if you do find it – kiss the joy as if flies for it may pass your way only once. And live for a while in the sunrise.

And invest in a dog.

Sunset and Dog



I’m not really surprised when people still ask me why I’m still single. Still? They ask me like I’m sad. Like there’s something wrong with me. Like I must be lonely. Or like I’m not enjoying my life.

Keara Hanging by A Thread 2

Hanging by a Thread (Iceland)

I know they mean well – even mean it to be flattering! But the question always deflates me. Because, you see, I am enjoying my life! I’ve never been happier.  In fact, I’m having a ball!

Being single has some wonderful benefits like having the bathroom indulgently to yourself; never having to clean up after another human being – ever; finding all your precious things exactly where you left your precious things; reading long and late into the night with the light on without someone calling you a ‘selfish bitch’; having just a massive bag of popcorn for Sunday dinner in your pajamas whilst watching repeats of old 80s cop dramas and simultaneously leading a heated debate on facebook as to what was the best Cop Drama of the 80s (Cagney & Lacey, by the way!) without anyone calling you ‘a weirdo’; taking off on wild adventures and knowing that the only person who knows what you just did is you – and the stranger you just did it with; never waking up freezing on the hard floor having been accidentally elbowed in the eye and kicked over the edge of the bed by your attacker/beloved who is now a snoring sweaty creature lying diagonally across the bed cocooned in all the covers, smiling; never having to say, “Why did you throw out my vintage tweed skirt? It was not moth-eaten! It was vintage! Vintage! And it was mine!”; never having to ‘check in’ with another person when you’re out enjoying yourself – or working! – only to hear such classic lines as “Remember I have to get up in the morning” or “Remember you have to see your accountant at half past nine” or “Remember I’m bolting and chaining the door from the inside at 2300 hrs precisely and I’m going to pretend I did it accidentally.”

The joys!

All this, and getting to look around for a possible mate/companion/special friend/boyfriend/buddy/nutter/dog/goldfish/mercat/shag-pile-rug at your leisure without the feeling that life is all sewn up or that you’re living someone else’s life or that somehow you never get time to yourself.

“Time is running out” they say.
Tick-tock! Time.
“Time is running out!” you think.

Time does not run out.
Time is timeless.
“Time makes lovers feel
that they got somethin’ real” (Boy George).

Time is on your side.
Especially when you’re single.

Being single means that you have all the time in the world to indulge in all your passions freely. You get time to build your career without having to consider another person. You can spend hours and hours raking through the racks in that lovely vintage boutique on Cockburn Street without your Significant Other saying, “Should you be wearing that?” or “Can we afford this?” Or “Never mind, I’ll throw it in the charity bag when you’re not looking.”

So, being single is incredibly exciting, at times. And, of course, at times, it is truly, truly shit.

Keara onstage at Cabaret Club

Hosting my Comedy, Cocktail & Cabaret Club


The worst thing about being single – apart from always being asked “Why are you still single?” by men who think you’re ‘going to waste’ or couples who’d like to invite you to their dinner party without unbalancing their seating plan or your mother who wants more grandchildren (Mum, I’m fort… in my late thirties, that ship has sailed!) – is being on the dating scene (yes, it’s a bloody ‘scene’) with all its emotional ups and downs.

I wrote an article on my personal experience of ‘dating’ last year which was published in The Skinny in the run-up to my Glasgow Comedy Festival show, Flypaper For Freaks. Since I wrote that article I have dated a few more freaks, but not much else has changed. I’m just a little further down the less travelled road.

However, at this minute in my life, I have never been happier. Being single is my current lifestyle choice. I have so many wonderful friends; a large, loving, ever-expanding family; a healthy body and mind; an incredible social life; an amazing career doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing; and a beautiful home filled with astonishing crockery.

Not too shabby!

So, just in case you missed it: I’m fine, thanks.  I’m really, really fine.

Here’s the article from last year – still as relevant now, if not more so: Flypaper For Freaks, by Keara Murphy

More tales of being single and being out on the ‘dating scene’ can be heard through my characters’ voices broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.

All episodes can be heard here: The Shark’s Mouth

Tune in and raise a glass to all the single lassies. 


Glasgow Comedy Festival 2013

My new show, Keara Murphy: Mice & Men, will debut at Glasgow Comedy Festival 2013 on 14th March… Tickets Here:!/shows/425

Keara Murphy: Mice & Men
Whilst preparing her annual Burns Supper speech, a wee mousie popped its head out from under Keara’s couch to ask, politely, if he could share her rice.  After a courteous conversation involving a hammer, Keara pondered the line in Robert Burns’, To A Mouse: “A daimen icker in a thrave’s a sma’ request”.  Should Keara grant the mousie’s request or lay down fifty shades of warfarin for the wee blighter?  If we continue to treat mice ‘humanely’ will they eventually take over the telly?  – It’s already happened in Leith!

And, what of men?  Are they not just gigantic mice?  After extensive on-the-job research, Keara thinks this may be so.  Therefore, like Rabbie Burns before her, Keara muses the parallels between the species and laments. 

“She’s Eddie Izzard with less make-up and more Glasgow” List”
“Exudes Glaswegian charm.” Scotsman
“Intelligent Burns banter” Friday Fix
“Passionate, enthusiastic and deeply knowledgeable about Robert Burns” SLTA

It’s gonna be good, it’s gonna be truthful, it’s gonna be funny, it’s gonna be beautiful, it’s gonna lose me friends and alienate people, it’s gonna be fun!


If You Must Celebrate V.D. My Funny Valentines…

Ah, I have so many wonderful memories of V.D. down the years…

Picasso LoversPicasso – The Lovers

My favourite Valentine’s Day was in Hungary, where I lived with my lovely fiancé, who was a very romantic man but afraid of heights.  He took me out to this wonderful place on the Great Hungarian Plains then standing in a field of weeds, pointed to a row of couples leading up to a large wicker basket and said, “You are going up in a hot air balloon for your Valentine’s!” Yes, he did say YOU and not WE! 

As I floated up into the sky, a singleton in a cloud of couples, my darling fiancé waved at me from the ground like my Granddad.  I remember thinking, One day!  – One. Fine. Day! – this romance thing will kick-in like it does in the movies…

My first Valentine’s Card
came through the post.  It said, “Be my Valentime!” 

– Yes, ‘ValenTIME’!

The word was on the front of the card in BOLD RED PRINT! How could he have then misspelled it?!?

On the upside, the guy who worked behind The Chuck Wagon in The Grand Ole Opry (where I worked as a Barmaid) never looked me square in the eye again.

Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day never measures up to your expectations, so, instead of getting hung-up on creating ‘romance’, why not just spice things up a bit by reviving some ancient mating traditions:

1. Get him to run naked through the streets of your hometown with a thorny whip, spanking all the bare bottoms of all the local women.  He will enjoy it no end and none of these lassies will ever flirt with him again (Lupercalia).

2. If your Valentine calls up to your window brandishing a single red rose, just chuck a bucket of hot piss over him.  This ancient mating tradition of Gardy Loo was the modern forerunner to the romantic Golden Shower and is still widely practiced in parts of Scotland today. Mainly on Saturday nights in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

Men Modern versions of this tradition also include regurgitating kebab meat over the object of your affection before kissing him. Men really get off on that shit.

3. But they do get their own back on their wedding day, with a tradition known as Blackening the Bride.  This involves the male throwing all manner of debris – sour milk, moldy cabbage, rotten apple-core and hot tar – over the woman of his dreams ensuring that nothing he ever does during their long and arduous marriage will ever be as harrowing. And for that, she will be eternally grateful.

Alternatively, why not stay in with a carry out curry and a marathon run of Come Dine With Me and just slob about in your comfies. It really is very sexy. 

These are just some of my suggestions to help you to spice things up a bit. But you can try a few of your own. Feel free to share them with us. And, remember, whatever you are doing with your loved one today, don’t forget to bring…


The-Kiss-Rodin_2480287bRodin’s, The Kiss

Valentine is like Santa… He doesn’t exist!

It’s a sweet tradition and a nice bit of history and folklore that has been hijacked by commerce.

The myth of Saint Valentine is hard to trace, he was like Santa in as much as he was drawn from folklore and legend and there were loads of him. Quite how he became linked to romantic love is not reasonably clear. There were a few guys called Valentine knocking about in Ancient Rome, there are eleven Saint Valentine’s in the Christian callendar, most of them martyrs with no love in their lives apart from a range of deities and possibly the odd donkey. Yes, some of them made sacrifices, but not for love, maybe for pies. Nobody knows.Pope Gelasius I declared a Feast Day for Saint Valentine in 496 AD, without really knowing who the guy was, just that he had done “something good known only to God”. However, it seems that Gelasius was just trying to deflect from the established, rather wilder feast, Lupercalia, which was some kind of Pagan key party taking place between 13th and 15th February and involving pairing lovers by pulling names out of an urn; an infant-suckling She-Wolf; a bunch of scone-baking vestal virgins; the sacrificial blood of a slaughtered goat being anointed on the foreheads of two young lovers then wiped off with milk-soaked wool; nobles and magistrates laughing and running naked through villages and whipping women on their bare bottoms with shaggy thorns to rid the town of evil spirits and to promote fertility (who needs IVF?) and, presumably, to give themselves perverse pleasure.

Interestingly enough, Gelasius abolished Lupercalia in the same year he declared 14th February Saint Valentine’s Feast Day – coincidence?  So, instead of thorny whipping, hysterical laughter and beast blood, a more ‘Christian’ approach to courting was encouraged, sadly.

Bring back Lupercalia, I say. 
So, who was Valentine and how is he connected to the card?

A nice wee fairy-tale, embroidered and perpetuated by the world’s largest greetings card company (who shall remain nameless), runs that in early mediaeval Rome Valentine opposed a law by Claudius II who, wanting to grow his army, banned young men from marrying. This Valentine was a clergyman who married sweethearts in secret and when caught was arrested. Then, the story goes, that whilst awaiting his imminent beheading he wrote the first Valentine card to the daughter of his jailer – of whom he had earlier cured of blindness with his magical hands. He wrote, “From your Valentine”.

So, anyone who believes this romantic story to be true also believes in healing hands and, no doubt, the Tooth Fairy.

Sentimental customs grew from this folklore and romance connected to Valentine blossomed and permeated perennially down the years. But, apart from the archaic fertility rite in Ancient Rome, nothing about romantic love connecting Saint Valentine can be found until Chaucer, who wrote these lines in his poem, “For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate”. But the date was 2nd May, the feast day for Valentine of Genoa, and a more likely time for birds to be mating in England.  Nevertheless, the love birds were born.

A court was set up on February 14th 1400 in France to deal with love contracts, betrayals and violence against women.  The High Court of Love selected their judges based on poetry readings (how very French!) and thus began the tradition of the now clichéd love poems written in Valentine’s cards.

The poem, “She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew, And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew” is from Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queene, written in 1590 and adapted down the years in variant forms.  I remember writing “I like you in blue, I like you in red, but most of all I like you in bed” one year, rather innocently, on a birthday card for my Dad!!!!! with a drawing of him sitting up in bed, happily watching the golf.  A mortifying fact! Just mortifying. Still mortified even though he died a long time ago. Still cringing. Crrrringing!

In 1797, The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was published containing scores of sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Embroidered lace and gilt-edged letters were exchanged containing these wonderful poems and other messages of love. And with the Victorians came the Penny Post, making sending letters affordable for all.  It was not long before custom-made Valentine’s cards were produced and sending them became very popular, not least because they could remain anonymous leading to racy verse from the otherwise prudish Victorians, but also because it made the card producers very rich.

In 1969, Pope Paul VI abolished the saint’s day on the 14th of February because the history was all a bit tenuous, and since we all know how unlikely it is for the Catholic Church to actually change anything, it must have been well dodgy.

In the UK, around 1.3 billion pounds are now spent annually on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent and around 15 million e-valentines cards exchanged.  Not to mention the money spent on glue and glitter by the cheapskates who make and hand-deliver their own.  That is absolutely the very last time I will ever date a student.

Business is business, and I have no problem with that; if that’s what people want to throw their money on, so be it. But is everyone who is sending cards and purchasing gifts actually sending the love? Or, are they just bowing down to a commercial holiday for fear of spousal disappointment?

It’s a sweet tradition, and a nice bit of history and folklore that has been hijacked by commerce.  Yes, I have had some fun and happy Valentine’s Days down the years myself, but I have also had far better romantic times on other days of the year. Seems clichéd, but, seriously, if you love your spouse/lover/gardener, why not tell them every day?  And if you want to give them gifts, don’t wait till Valentine’s Day or, for that matter, Christmas Day.  I mean, if someone wants to send me roses, chocolates or precious gemstones wrapped up in red satin, I will happily accept them any day of the year.

Sending the love 24/7

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