HELP IS NOT ON THE WAY (+camden ninja gig, + potential edinburgh ninja gig).

(public post)

hello my loves.

well, i didn’t wake up until 1pm today, and i was expecting to get fully caught up on work and email today, but life had other plans. 

last night went like this: after treating my edinburgh house-hosts (mary and her husband, chris-the-now-famous-edinburgh-dentist) a lovely late dinner in town, we got home around midnight, with full hearts and bellies. i was headed for bed, jet lagged and exhausted. i heard a sound from downstairs just as i was heading to brush my teeth. it sounded like people having loud violent sex! i was like: is that coming from the house? it sounds so close. it must be something weird happening outside. but it’s really late and this is relatively quiet neighborhood. i listened again. it was definitely someone having sex. or someone hurt. wait, was it someone hurt? i ran downstairs. i saw chris? is everything ok? no, he said, mary fell down the stairs, come quickly. i came quickly. she was on the floor, at the bottom of the steps of the laundry room, in bad pain. 

ambulance? i said to chris. he looked at me. i looked at mary, who was gulping for air. mary, ambulance? i said. yes, i think so.

so chris ran to call an ambulance. i held mary’s hand. we breathed. after two minutes and deciding that she wasn’t going to die, i ran upstairs and got sam, their son, who was asleep. come downstairs. your mom’s badly hurt. he ran down. we got a bag together for her to take to the hospital. sam held her hand. i ran into the front room. is the ambulance on way? i asked chris.

he looked at me in despair. i called 999, and nobody is answering.


he threw up his hands. i don’t know. 

i went back to mary. they are coming, i assured her. 

it was 12:15am. it took chris about 10 minutes to get them on the phone. they said they were on the way. 

i heard a siren. run outside, amanda, chris said, and flag them down…the house might not be obvious.

so i ran outside. the siren came and went. they missed the house, i thought.

i walked to the end of the street. it had been 15 minutes now, and all i could see in my head was mary’s pained pale face, the fear.

i stood there at the corner. every second that passed felt like a minute. i texted neil. he loves these people. i texted andrew, my london stand-up friend who’s lived in this house and is coming to sea next week. mary fell and maybe broke her leg, i said, and there’s no ambulance. 

and then things got weird.

five minutes passed. 

ten minutes passed.

no ambulance came.

i went from a state of panic to a state of pure disbelief. 

how was this possible?

i texted andrew, who was on a train.

i said: this is so fucked up. there is no ambulance.

he said: tory cuts.

tory cunts?

no, tory CUTS.

meanwhile, there was nothing to do but wait.

andrew texted me about the couple on the train who were durnk and basically having sex in front of him.

i texted him a video of the empty streets.

it went on like this for a while, my disbelief growing by the minute.

when they come, andrew said, don’t worry, they’ll be amazing.

but they aren’t coming, i said.

after a while, chris came out and said, come into the house, they’ll find us.

another half hour went by. we propped mary up with pillows. gave her a paracetamol. iced her leg. she toweled in pain every time she moved a millimeter. 

an hour went by.

two hours went by.

chris kept calling 999.

we’re on our way, they said.

is this a thing, i said to chris and sam. 

i lit candles. 

sam and i kept mary attached to reality by singing songs.

a pain, party, we called it.

at 4am, four hours after she fell, there was still no ambulance.

she was just lying on the cold, hard floor, trying to keep it together.

i couldn’t believe it.

i tweeted my despair. 

people sent me article after article about the underfunded NHS and the ambulance problems.

i examined my own disbelief.

there was a discussion about whether it was worth it to try to move her, given the fact that she couldn’t move an inch, but she was so so uncomfortable on the floor. mary decided to give it a try. sam and chris carried her to the couch. it was hard to watch. i moved chairs and furniture out of the way. she was clearly in excoriating pain. it’s always so hard, to see a human in pain like that. hearing her breathing. hear her trying to withstand something so painful.


it was so funny, remembering the old days, back when i’d been out on the street, expecting an ambulance to come screaming down the street, sirens blaring. any minute, it will come. any second. 

help is on the way. they’ll be here any second, i lied to mary. 

any second.


at 4:30 am, i went to bed. i was sent to bed, by chris and mary. chris stayed up.


at 6:30am, the ambulance finally came.

acceding to chris, they were amazing. andrew was right.

but it took them six and a half hours to come.

her ligaments were badly torn. she’s got crutches. no break, thank christ.

they made it home, mary is safe, she’s in bed now.


one of my favorite yoga teachers used to say something.

if you’ve seen my tour, you know the “if you can, you must” story? same teacher.

we would be lying there, in a heap on the floor, and he would say:

“help is not on the way.”


this is how i feel about my entire country right now.

my world.

help is not on the way.

which is to say:

don’t rely on things to work from the top down.

get ready to do it yourself.

get ready to brace, to hold, to fight, to connect, to fix, to battle, to regulate your breathing, to settle in for the storm.

because not on the way.

not immediately, at least.


i love the hell out of all of you.



to cheer you, in the HELP IS ON THE WAY department, here are some photos from the london ninja gig......this was a ninja gig for the books. to those who missed it: it was pretty phenomenal. about 300 people packed into a beautiful pub and got very fun and sweaty and arty. thanks to all the special people who hopped up on stage to play music and read poetry - nothing i love more than an old fashioned spontaneous hootenanny.

i was only in london for 24 hours and wanted to throw a ninja gig, so i posted in search of a good spot to have it:

and just like that, the internet delivered....

so , once again....THANK YOU to aaron and meg and the staff at the golden lion for hosting us.


some photos below from meg (dziatkiewicz is her last name, it's polish!).....

i played about 4-5 songs...but mostly we just got silly. people did things!

ALMOST everybody fit into the pub. but there was room outside,,,,and it was stifling in there...

here's new-friend alice fraser playing silly banjo songs for us...

she's got a run of shows called "MYTHOS" coming up at edinburgh fringe...

photos below from dr. émilie oléron evans....


here's tristram saunders,  who came to interview me for the telegraph (via a tweet asking for journalist coverage for the new UK tour), reading a sonnet......

here's eli karali on uke.....who hopped up spontaneously and played us a tune about her hot water not working. (it reminded me of this delightful offering from karen mantler, "con edison").

this wonderful person who's name is escaping me (help?) came up and played a song she'd written for the "power failure" songwriting contest (don't forget the deadline is SUNDAY)

UPDATE! her name is najia khaled, she posted below here on the patreon. YESSSS.

does anyone have a better photo? the only photo we can find is of her in the background....

*EDIT* - thanks to dora hludek for sharing this photo from her performance:

i played some melodica during this song. 


this is my art helper, ana chababon, who volunteered to pitch in and paint my UK tour dates on my chest after i realized that holding up a piece of paper with the tour dates was just a pain in the ass:

the result! this is me and @panyd from IG:

....and i truly wish patreon was better, because you could all post your photos up here.

but there's twitter, IG tags (#amandapalmer), and FB, so hit me with them over there....i'll keep posting.

by the time we took these, i had drunk at least of those AFP (aperol/finlandia/prosecco) drinks.

i am grateful it is blurry?


ok loves. thank you to everyone who came.

that was really special.


poor alex.

:) seriousness, alex came and slaughtered it with a spontaneous box of merch!!!

people got hankies.

thanks, merch queen



now, why am i in edinburgh?

TED. there's a fancy TED-speakers/TEDx organizers/TED-translators summit/conference here this week and i am plundering it for my podcast.

i was fortunate enough to be invited to attend. 

ALSO SHIRLEY MANSON IS IN TOWN and i am haranguing her to get her on the podcast too.

updates soon.


ninja gig forecast: possible. if you have edinurgh ninja gig spot suggestions, HIT ME HERE. if we did it...probably wednesday night, on the late side.

it's freezing here. 

it's fucking scotland. reading comments.

somewhere indoors please.


i love yous




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