Saturday, 31 March 2012

Red Dress

Right this is a blog that I started writing last week and didn't have time to finish it so, just to give Laura something else to read, here it is:

I'm really in the mood to blog but don't really have anything to tell you about. All I do is work and look at myself in the mirror these days. Remember when I used to jump on tour buses and go to Eastern European countries for weddings with gypsy trumpeters?

Ok... so I only did both of those things once. But the point is, I did them... the most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was... well. I bought this red dress on Saturday afternoon, that was a Vague Thrill* I suppose: 




I also bought a blue top but I won't show you that because it's horrible. I did that thing where you don't even consciously decide to go shopping, but your wardrobe situation gets so dire that you suddenly fall into a dangerous Consumerist Trance- one minute you're heading for home, thinking about how many cups of tea you can squeeze in before it's time for work again, and the next minute you suddenly find yourself handing over your debit card in H&M, feeling stunned and slightly sick and wondering what the hell is in the bulging shopping bag that's being passed over to you...

Don't worry, I didn't go mad. The dress was only fifteen euros and the top was a bit less. It's just that I haven't bought any clothes for ages and ages (honestly) and my room is such a disgusting, chaotic mess that I've got all my clean clothes mixed up with my dirty clothes AND everything's all creased up anyway because I don't have an iron AND loads of my clothes are unwearable because they're either so old that they have holes in or they have tea stains on them... (A few weeks ago I put all my dirty washing in a plastic bag and then proceeded to throw used tea bags in it because I thought it was my bin... by the time I realised what I'd done there were Tea Stains Aplenty.)


The H&M on the Champs-Élysées  is so shit at the moment, but I don't have time to go shopping anywhere else really. I love the red dress though.

Oh I wish I had something more exciting to tel you about! I've been drinking a lot recently, but not really having any 'big nights' out. The weekend before last, me Olivia and Julia went to the mojito bar in the Marais and one of the mojitos tasted like the hot towels you get at the end of your meal in a Chinese restaurant.

*Vague Thrill sounds like the name of a pretentious 'musical collaboration group'... 'Vague Thrill provide an exhilarating mix of post-Brit pop irony, Parisian minimal techno and Estonian hip hop, delivered with an innovative synthesiser technique and occassionally garnished with electronic glockenspiel, all topped off with a pair of those glasses for people that don't actually wear glasses.' Vice UK, March, 2012

The Lonely Spinster Profession

Yey! My first day off in over four weeks!

I just made that up, I have no idea when my last day off was really, but it must have been a few weeks ago. The only problem is I didn't know it was going to be a day off until last night, when the text I was waiting for from my au pair family- to say what time they needed me today- never came, so I've not planned anything Spectacular or even Half-Decent.

I could have had my hair cut if I would have known. The sight of my hair actually makes me feel queasy- it's so long, I feel like it is taking over my whole head. My fringe is almost down to the tip of my nose. Soon it will take over completely and I'll just be Cousin It in ballet pumps.

My plan today is to stay in and tidy my room, but I'm not holding out much hope. That was my plan last night, and I just ended up sat on my bed, watching Ruthie Henshall singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' on Youtube and crying hysterically into the pan I was holding. I don't know whether I can bring myself to tell you why I was sat in bed holding a pan... Ok. I was scraping the burnt lamb fat out of it with a knife and then, erm, eating it.

Hmmm. So I might be having an 'off week'.

The good news is, the eight year old (or nine year old, I always forget how old she is) told me how to get a boyfriend last night.

She was in the bath and we were watching music videos on the baby's iPad. (Yeah, I know- it's ridiculous. He won't eat his dinner without it in front of him now, and he knows how to find videos on Youtube and how to make the screen bigger and everything. Welcome to the future, kids.) She wanted to show me her favourite singer Shy'm and we watched a video where Shy'm was dancing around with a male model, holding hands with him and looking into his eyes lovingly... The eight year old turned to me and gestured at the iPad:

"You see! You don't want this? You have a boyfriend you can do this! But you don't have. Why you don't have a boyfriend you?"

I laughed.

We'd had a similar conversation a couple of months ago. Back then I told her I was 'too busy' for a boyfriend... Well these days I'm feeling a lot less fucking serene about the whole Boy Situation, so last night I laughed for about two seconds and then the laugh turned into one of those frowns, where you suddenly realise something troubling...

"Nobody likes me." I said.

The eight year old rolled her eyes.

"So? You make your face all jolie... and you do your hair all bouclé (here she mimed having curly hair) and you put your talons (here she lifted her leg out of the bath so she could mime wearing high heels) and you go to the party and a boy come to you and he say."


I was with her up to this point, following her every word as if she was a mermaid I'd stumbled across sitting on a rock in the middle of a magic love lagoon, who was known throughout the kingdom as the Magic Boyfriend Oracle... but now she'd lost me.


"He say what?" I asked, gripping the side of the bath and leaning in.


She shrugged.


"He say."

"Ahhhhh." I said.

An understanding had passed between us.


So, that's my plan for tonight. Slap on the make-up (I assume that's what she meant when she told me to make my face 'all pretty') curl my hair and put a pair of heels on and then maybe a boy will come up to me and he'll say.

But. 

Hold on a second...

Isn't that what I've been doing every weekend (minus the hair curling), since the age of sixteen? 

Oh well, maybe it will work now I've had the Blessing of the Magic Boyfriend Oracle...


Fucking hell. I really need to tidy my room up now. The only problem is and I'm not making this up... I've got a bad back and it hurts whenever I move. I don't know what the hell I've done to it but it started on Tuesday after work and since then it's gotten worse. On the metro I've been lowering myself into my seat like a pregnant lady. 

Sorry, I feel like all I do is moan but... whyyyyyy have I suddenly got a bad back? It just makes everything a bit more shit. Pfffft.


Also, last weekend I was in one of those moods where you can't stop thinking about all the horrible things that could happen to you at any given moment and I was getting all worked up thinking about how I waste so much of my time napping, when one day I could be run over by a car and be put in a wheelchair and I'll spend the rest of my life wondering 'WHY DID I NAP SOOOO MUCH!!!???? WHY DID I WASTE MY YOUTH??? Why didn't I get up early every day and walk to work in the morning sunshine, listening to the birds singing and watching the sky turn from violet to pink to lilac as the sun rises over the narrow streets of Paris? Why didn't I spend every afternoon strolling through parks, looking at the budding trees and feeling the warm Spring breeze blow my hair about my face?' Etc.


Anyway, now I'm terrified I've jinxed myself, and my bad back will just get worse and worse until I can't work* and it will be punishment for napping so much.


Right. I'm going to tidy my room now. I haven't blogged for soooo long but there isn't really anything to tell you. I've been drinking, a lot. Olivia is such a good host and she has such a well-stocked alchol shelf back at hers that, even when I swear I'll just go out for one drink and be home by 2am, I end up propping up her breakfast bar drinking margaritas, or rose and lychee martinis, or gin and tonic, until I pass out at about 5am. Then the next day it's struggle through the restaurant job, squeeze an hour nap in, rush to my au pair job, then agree to go for one drink and start the whole thing all over again... 

My life is becoming a little chaotic and also, being hungover all the time is making me really paranoid. Working at the restaurant is so weird, because some days I really enjoy it and then other days I'm convinced everyone hates me again and I go home and just sit on my bed, thinking over everything everyone said to me and it could have been implied in a nasty way, doing shifty eyes left and right, left and right. 


Ha, no I don't do the shifty eyes but it's only a matter of time...


Anyway, this was for Laura really, who can't afford to come to Paris again before she moves down to the South of France for the summer. Boo! Can't believe I won't see her again for ages. Last weekend her sister came to stay and they went to see two guys from Hot Chip playing at Fleche D'or. Me and Olivia went to meet them afterwards and they were waaaasted and were arguing with each other in Glaswegian. On the phone Laura had slurred that they'd been chatting to the guys from Hot Chip and also some Fit French Guys who they were persuading to come out with them. Unfortunately it must have been so dark in the club that they either weren't as fit as they thought, or else they'd just grabbed the wrong two guys, because when me and Olivia met them, Laura and her sister were accompanied by two guys who were a bit creepy and not at all fit and in the end we had to jib off in a very rude and arsey manner.


Maybe my problem is that I should be aiming to pull the creepy guys? Maybe I am setting my sights too high and so am destined to be alone forever. 


Oh I don't mind, not really. I love cats I suppose, and I guess if I always live alone I will always be able to sit in bed, scraping fat out of pans and eating it.


Right.


On that note.


I'm going to slowly ease myself out of this sitting position and then hobble around my room, cursing as I try and tidy up my chambre de bonne. It will be good practice for when I give up inevitably give up all my dreams and go into the Lonely Spinster profession full-time.

*Freudian slip! I meant to say 'walk'. Maybe I wrote 'work' because I was thinking about my dad whose bad back is the reason he's been unemployed for years and years and years? I have THREE JOBS so don't give me that bullshit about unemployed people breeding more unemployed people. Not that I'm touchy about it or anything...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Cloak Girl

As promised, here are the drawings of me in my cloak, although for some reason, much to my own annoyance, I've labelled them here as 'cape' instead of 'cloak'. As regular readers will know, it's been my Lifelong Dream to own a CLOAK, not a cape. You can buy 'capes' in Topshop and while they're perfectly nice and functional, what I'm talking about is a full-on, sweeping Scottish Widow* style CLOAK, the type of garment you could wear all afternoon whilst wandering the moors looking for Heathcliff and then come evening, you only have to swap the bodice and petticoats underneath for a bodycon dress and you're good to party.

Oh but that's not all they're good for- cloaks are so versatile! A lot of my friends have questioned how wearable a black, hooded cloak is in this day and age, but the possibilities are literally endless which is partly why I did the doodles in the first place. For anyone questioning the practicality of cloaks- I think my diagrams illustrate the futility of your boring questions.

(By the way, I know these drawings are a bit crap [especially the hands, how difficult is it to draw hands?] but I did them in a hurry, with the intention of never showing them to anybody. If I actually spent time and effort drawing something, it might turn out Really Good. You don't know. So shut up.)

The first and foremost function of my cloak will be, of course, to fight crime, possibly accessorised with some sort of longer length foot wear as I've illustrated here:



As well as being a protector, hero and all-round Good Guy, my cloak could easily be used to inspire fear and uncomfortableness, if I felt like it:


 But I will not just wear my cloak for Fantastical and/or Magical Reasons (fighting crime, lurking in the shadows, riding dragons etc); there are many, many, many everyday social situations that call for the casual majesty of a cloak. I can't be bothered to list all of them right now, but one such example of when I could wear my cloak in Paris is going to the opera: (In my drawing, I've depicted somebody walking to the opera along the river, on cobbles, but I'm sure the cloak would look equally good if you were traveling to the opera by bus or bicycle.)


Finally, how about trading in the cliched 'showing up at his door wearing nothing but a raincoat' idea for 'showing up at his door wearing your underwear, and  a full-length, hooded black cloak'? Personally, I think it's a winner:




So. There you have it. Nobody can ever say cloaks aren't wearable again. The really exciting news is that when I went back to England, Amy told me she had bought  a sewing pattern for my cloak and she is going to make it and send it to me as soon as she can!!!!

My Cloak Dream is nearly upon us!

It's going to change my life!!

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHBHASBCUOFBE728EUPOEFFVN NJbhAVDO37E88!!!!

VERY excited.

When everyone starts wearing them, remember who got one first.

Left Bank Manc, aka Cloak Girl.

When my cloak finally gets here I might take some photos of myself swishing about the streets of Paris in it. (With clothes underneath, I promise.)

*For any non-English readers, Scottish Widow is an insurance company and their ads used to feature a lady striding around the heather in a full-length, hooded cloak.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Slightly Hysterical

Yesterday I had that 'root canal' that I was dreading so much.

To anyone who is about to have one- don't worry! You can't feel a thing and it's absolutely fine. Now off you pop, carefree and confident about your upcoming procedure. Bye bye! Have a nice evening petal, you've got nothing to be scared of!

Are they gone?

Right, for everyone else, here's my rather hysterical* account of what actually happened yesterday:

I went into the dentists feeling relatively calm and composed, after speaking to three people who have had root canals recently. They all said it was absolutely painless. The dentist that Kayt found for me is based in a beautiful apartment converted into a surgery, with pretty paintings on the wall and- somewhat mysteriously-Chinese writing tools places artfully on antique wooden dressers. The waiting area is a small, tastefully decorated living room and sitting in it, I could almost pretend that me and Kayt had been asked by the maid of some grand estate to 'please wait in the parlour room while ma'am prepares herself to receive you.'

As we waited, I started to feel a bit nervous. It's been so long (almost five years) since I've been to a dentist that until last week, I'd forgotten how FUCKING TERRIFIED I am of people in white coats shining a bright light in my face and putting pointy, sharp things in my mouth.

We flicked through the magazines lying on the table. We read an article about an English man who has the smallest caravan in the world- it is literally just a bed with wheels and a roof over it. In the article it said that English people like 'to queue, to drink tea... and to own caravans' (I posted a picture of the article on Twitter if you want proof of my extravagant claims) which I thought was quite funny, but my laugh was superficial- I might have smiled and made the normal tittering sounds, but behind my eyes there was only Cold Dread.

I was called through into the treatment room. As we left the pretty waiting room, with terracotta walls and dark wooden furniture, I tried to tell myself that I had nothing to worry about. Calm down, don't panic. Don't work yourself up, don't work yourself up.

I lay back on the chair and the dentist placed some blue paper towels around my neck. Oh shit, this is quite  a big procedure, isn't it? Don't panic. It's normal, lot's of people have to have 'root canals'. Don't panic.

She anesthetized the area around my tooth with an injection. I was actually quite worried about the injection because I remember going to the dentist's when I was about fourteen to have a filling and the injection to numb the area was the most painful part of the whole experience. But this time the injection didn't hurt at all. See, that wasn't as bad as you thought! It's going to be all right- you're older now, you have a higher pain threshold. You're a grown up, it's fine. It's FINE.

She waited a few minutes for the anesthetic to work it's magic. While she waited she busied herself preparing her horrendous-looking instruments of torture, lining them all up in front of me so that I had to stare at the ceiling in order to avoid seeing how terrible they truly were. Don't look at them, what you don't know can't hurt you. I wonder how long this will take?

After about five minutes the dentist started acting as if she was ready to start pulling my brain out through my nose, or whatever it was she was planning to do. She disappeared for a second and I took the opportunity to stick a finger in my mouth and have a prod around. I could still feel the gum on one side as if it hadn't been anesthetized at all. My bottom lip was completely numb but I could still feel the tooth and most of the gum around it. I started to panic a little bit. I thought the whole thing would be numb, but like this I would be able to feel something. I didn't like it one bit. This is going to hurt, this is going to hurt...

She got straight in there with a long pointy needle thing and it fucking HURT. She was scraping out the hard white stuff she put in last week. I couldn't talk because my mouth was kind of clamped open with these weird things that looked like giant cigarette filters and she also had me holding this long, glowing stick in my mouth that was hissing air everywhere. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. IT HURTS.

"Arghnerghahh!" I yelled through the cotton wool filters and the neon, glowing tube thing.

She stopped and asked me if it was hurting 'already'.

"Nergh." I nodded.

She seemed surprised, but then she just carried on with what she was doing! Shit, am I supposed to feel a bit of pain? I thought. I can't go through with it if I had to feel it! I had been lead to believe I'd feel nothing...

I always secretly thought that one day I'd discover I had a really high pain threshold and was secretly a really strong character, beneath all the crying and sulking I do. I used to fantasise that some day, somehow, I'd die a brave, noble martyr of some kind (I don't know what my cause would be, maybe cheaper bus fares in the Greater Manchester area?) and my death would be announced on the evening news, accompanied by footage of hundreds of Third World children throwing themselves on my coffin, wailing for their beloved champion who was so brave and always inspiring (and always had such beautiful hair) despite being shot five times by guerrilla fighters... or perhaps she was a guerrilla fighter herself, resisting a cruel dictatorship whilst running around the jungle looking cool with a gun (and managing to maintain a fabulous tan at all times)...

Well that little daydream was shot to shit on Monday morning because I now know I can not stand ANY pain in any shape or form. I went all stiff and my hands were shaking and Kayt came and held my hand.

I had a horrible thought that maybe everyone else is made of harder stuff than me and the truth is that root canals do hurt, but normal people just grin and bear it.

Well you can fuck off, I thought. I made a rash plan to headbutt the dentist, leap over Kayt and run away into the streets of Paris, where I would find someone who would knock me out and take all my teeth (I'd offer them fifty euros), so I could replace them with a set of ceramic falsies and never have to worry about another dentist again... Fortunately, as this plan was forming, the dentist finally decided I wasn't being a lying Drama Queen and gave me another injection of anesthetic.

This time, it worked. Once the anesthetic kicked in, I couldn't feel anything at all and it was fine. But. It's The Idea that I hate more than anything (well, ok, I hate The Actual Pain more but The Idea comes a close second). I felt physically sick at the thought of what she was doing. I tried to make myself feel better by thinking of all the millions of worse things that could be happening to me... Having my leg sawed off without anesthetic, having my eyes pecked out of my head by crows, female circumcision. Funnily enough, this didn't make me feel any better.

Towards the end it started to hurt again and I let out a yelp when she stuck the long sucky tube in there to suck out all the... I think I'm going to be sick.

I kept thinking 'How long will this take?' and praying that she would be soon be over and then at least I would never have to go through the experience again. I vowed to never eat sugar again as long as I lived.

Eventually, I figured out that she was putting that weird white stuff back in, sealing up the hole... It must be finally over.  She was in a little routine of turning round to a tray I couldn't see, picking something up, turning back round to me and sticking something inside my tooth. Whilst she did this, she was humming. (She hummed the entire time, by the way. It was a bit sinister.) Suddenly, she turned back to me and stopped for a millisecond. She turned back round to her tray, slightly slower. I was sure I hadn't imagined. it. Something had gone wrong.

She said something to Kayt in French that I didn't understand and Kayt didn't translate it for me.

"Did you get that?" she asked me.

I shook my head and she opened her mouth to tell me, but I heard was the quick intake of breath that indicates a hesitation.

The dentist repeated herself and I thought I head the words 'blood' and 'dry'.

Kayt looked at me: "She says there's too much blood so... she can't finish it. You'll have to come back."

My eyes widened. I bet I looked like an extra in some sick horror film, my mouth frozen open, filled with blood and disgusting metal things, only my eyes showing their terror.

The dentist took everything out of my mouth quickly and I closed my mouth. I didn't say anything because I didn't have anything to say.

So... I have to go back to the dentist again. I decided this was as good a reason as any to break my 'no sugar for life' vow and bought myself a very delicious mille feuilles for lunch. I guess I will never learn my lesson.

*For those of you not familiar with the English language, I mean hysterical as in 'oh my god oh my god' not as in very, very funny. I might laugh at my own jokes sometimes like a twat but I would never go so far as announce my own writing as 'hysterical'. I just thought I'd clear that up as got a bit paranoid for a moment.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mass Boy Hysteria

Uh-oh. Napped for five hours this afternoon. When will I learrrn? Had so many things to do as well, what a waste of a beautiful afternoon and I now feel like shit. The less time I'm awake though, the less time I have to worry about my root canal on Monday. It probably wasn't wise to spend all of Monday night Googling 'root canals'. They are going to suck things out of me. They are going to pull out the nerve. I am going to be sick.

What do they do with the nerve after they pull it out? Seems to me like someone could do some serious witchcraft with that kind of thing, maybe the dentist will make a little voodoo doll and put my nerve inside. Then what would she do with it? I don't know, I can't think properly. My mind's all fuzzy from too much napping. I think I have a serious problem. If my life was a film, there would now be a montage of me napping excessively, accompanied by a gritty dubstep track and ending with my friends bursting in, shaking me awake and screaming 'Stop napping! It's ruining your life! Stop this excessive napping!' and I'd just close my eyes and say 'But I just love sleeping...' before slumping back into tangled sheets.

I needed a nap today. Last night was Georgie's birthday and she had a little soiree in the 'Lizard Lounge' in the Marais. I went straight from work and the little girl noticed I had quite a lot of make-up on.

'You have a party tonight?' she asked me.
'Yes.' I told her.
'You have high shoes?' she asked.
'Er... no...' I said, suddenly wondering why I hadn't thought to bring some heels with me.
'You go to party with your hair all horrible?' she asked, pulling a face at my 'scruffy bun'.
'I...er...'

She had a point, my hair looked disgusting. It's my fringe, ruining my life again. I wash my hair and then I have to put it up and pin my fringe back otherwise I look like one of those dogs with floppy curtains hanging over their eyes. In the end the eight year old sorted my hair out for me- she brushed it and made my fringe into a side-fringe and then pinned two sections back around the side of my head. It didn't look great. But I kept it like that because it actually looked better than what I'd done with it. My hair is just so crap at the moment. Every day is a Bad Hair Day. I need to hack it all off. Uh-oh. The scissors are sat on my desk, calling me to cut my fringe...

Stop tempting me, scissors! You know what the hairdresser said! If I keep cutting my fringe myself I'll end up with a bowl-shaped hair cut that goes all the way around my head!

Must resist. Must stay strong.

Anyway, last night was really fun, Georgie enjoyed her birthday and my American Fan came. Ha, I need to stop calling her that... (She's called Kristen so I might call her that.)

Everyone was getting the last metro home, so I stuck to Corona all night (they don't have sugar in do they? I'm not allowed to eat any sugar until they've done whatever disgusting torture it is they want to perform inside my mouth next Monday) which felt really Sensible and Wholesome. But then somehow, as we were leaving, me and Olivia decided that instead of going home, we would stay out and 'get really, really drunk' even though we both had to be in work quite early. We dragged Kristen along with us and found a bar near Bastille where we had just enough time for a bottle of wine before they threw us out. Me and Olivia went back to hers and sat at her 'bar' drinking expresso martinis (but she made them without the coffee so we would be able to sleep) for about an hour. We were just in one of those moods where you want to chat all night.

This morning I felt bloody awful and the little girl was being horrendously rude and bratty. She didn't want to go to her dance class so we played teacher all day. By four o'clock I was pretending that the teacher had fallen over and died. I just lay on the rug with my eyes closed while the little girl ran around asking her invisible classmates if she could borrow their phone to call an ambulance. We had a quite a nice day in the end though, as soon as we go home from tennis she started being nice because she wanted me to play with her and I took her out on her roller skates for a bit.

It felt like a loooong day though.

I just wish I hadn't napped for so long because now I'll never be able to sleep.

Although.

When you read what I have to say next, you might think it's best that I spend as much time as possible napping, for my own safety and for the safety of men everywhere...

Unfortunately there is a flip side to the weather being all warm and gorgeous- I've got Mass Boy Hysteria and it's only March. Have I told you about M.B.Hysteria before? I have been studying it with gruesome fascination since I discovered it about five years ago. Typically it affects single girls, during periods of warm and sunny weather. Symptoms include: involuntary verbal expressions of frustration or agitation; a slight reddening of the cheeks and lips; unconsciously touching one's own hair or skin whilst gazing at the opposite sex; and it has also been recorded that sufferers can on occasion black out very briefly, recovering their vision seconds later to find they have unknowingly backed an unsuspecting boy into a tight corner or pinned him against a wall.

You can see why I'm worried.

I just fancy everyone. I keep sighing and blowing my hair out of my face, staring at boys and wondering if they'll have sex with me and if they did, what it would be like.

Sorry, I know this is more information that I normally divulge about my terrifically exciting 'single life' but I know there are more sufferers out there and I want to spread awareness. People need to be careful! If not treated early, M.B.Hysteria can lead to frisking, fondling and on very rare occasions, streaking at large organised sporting events.

It's the warm weather. Makes me all... I know I'm not the only one!

My problem is, I'm still in my man-hating phase. So I'm trying to ignore my M.B.Hysteria and it can only end in tears, TEARS I tell you.

It all started last week when a boy from another branch of my restaurant chain came in for training. He looked exactly like Nate from Gossip Girl except more French, with darker hair. I didn't realise until he'd gone that I'd been staring at him whenever he wasn't looking. I should have known then. Normally if I come across someone remotely attractive I tend to just give them a dirty look so they know I don't fancy them and pretty much ignore them. But I just kept gazing at him, trying to think who he reminded me of. (It was only after he'd gone that I realised it was Nate from Gossip Girl.)

The next day my boss was in and I couldn't think of a good enough excuse to bring French Nate into the conversation, so I just, erm, started talking about him.

"That guy yesterday looked like Nate from Gossip Girl. He's beautiful."

"Ooh!" she gushed, "I'll ask around for you and try and set you up!"

As soon as she said that, a whole world of possibilities opened up to me. I realised that a lot of the people at work are in relationships and therefore naturally inclined to play matchmaker... The next day my boss said:
"Have you met our new guy? He moonlights as an actor AND he lived in Manchester for three years, it's perfect!"

I had actually already seen the new guy- he introduced himself on his day off, when he came in to watch the rugby match with his girlfriend... I'm trying to persuade my boss to only hire single men in future. I know I sound like a Mental Bunny Boiler, but I don't care. I just don't care. The fever has me gripped. I've been trying to stay away from menfolk for so long and looking back, that was a mistake, because I knew I would get M.B.Hysteria- I get it every summer- and so I should have prepared myself by allowing small monthly rations of menfolk, rather than abstaining completely* because now I've gone a bit mad... I want to talk to every attractive boy I see.

Pfffft.

I'm actually sighing and blowing hair out of my face as I type. It's worse than I thought.

Anyway, on Saturday I was having quite a good day at work in the restaurant when a dashing young gentleman strode over to the bar and asked for three pints. He was relieved to discover I spoke English and we had  a very brief chat. My boss noticed me being all fluttery and flushed.

"Who do you fancy?" she asked.

"Them." I said, indicating all three of them sat at the table. It wasn't me speaking, it was the Mass Boy Hysteria, making me fancy entire tables rather than individuals.

Once I'd admitted it, I thought fuck it, why don't I try being a little bit 'flirty'. Ok, so I can't really flirt with people, but why don't I try being smiley and nice for a change, instead of skulking round giving them dirty looks and tutting at them?

When I finished work, I stayed to have a drink with this Canadian girl who's just started. My boss came over and said "I'm sat at the table next to those guys, you can come and sit me if you like."

After a few moments of panicking, I decided to Just Do It.

As soon as I sat down, one of them said:
"Have you finished now...?" and he called me by my name, having obviously asked my boss what I was called.

Two were visiting from London and one of them lived here and worked as a lawyer. One of them was a stockbroker and the other one did something on the internet that I can't really remember. They'd obviously gone to boarding school and were very 'ruggers' and 'rah rah'. I heard myself speaking in my posh phone voice, entirely involuntary.

After we'd been chatting for a while, they asked me where I was going out that night, so I told them and invited them along. They took my number and said they'd call me after they'd had 'supper'. (Ha ha.) I skipped off, feeling all Confident and Normal. So I could chat to strangers! I could meet boys in Paris! And not crazy boys who play the accordian at me and live up a mezzanine in a tiny cabin!

The plan was to go back to mine, get the ingredients for spaghetti bolognaise, cook tea with Kayt and Olivia and then head to Pigalle to try some new bars around there... Like all my plans, it went to shit as soon as I realised I'd locked my keys inside my room. The one thing I've been worrying about since I moved in and the mum told me there was no spare key, had finally happened. The gardienne was nowhere to be found so I went to Kayt's, furious at myself for doing the one thing I'm always careful not to do.

I told Kayt and Olivia I'd found three English boys in my restaurant who might be meeting us out later so we drank gin and got ready to go out and... there was no phone call, obviously.

I really CAN NOT be arsed with boys anymore.

I don't know where the stereotype comes from that girls are hard to read and act in a confusing way, because it's boys who are like that and I can't be arsed with it. I literally do not have the energy. If I suggested meeting someone for drinks, it would be because I actually wanted to meet them out for drinks. If I wasn't enjoying chatting with someone, then I wouldn't pretend to enjoy chatting with them.

With boys however, you never know. You just never fucking know.

All night I had a face on me, because I felt so... fed up. Kayt and Olivia kept telling me to get over it and stop being ridiculous, but it was one of those nights where everything feels shit. Olivia had invited a Gentleman Friend out and at about 1am, he and his friends wanted to go to an Irish bar that was fifteen euros to get in, so me and Kayt said goodbye (with a lot of salacious winking at Olivia) and went to our favourite late-night restaurant for burger and chips. It is really delicious and seems to be open all night. We weren't that drunk, but whilst we were eating Someone Like You by Adele came on and we slowly started singing along to the entire song, very loudly. No one batted an eyelid, but I'm pretty sure that the staff at an all-night restaurant in the sex district of Paris must be used to a lot worse than two drunk girls having a sing along.  As we were leaving I'm pretty sure a pimp came in with two of 'his girls'.

After the burger and chips, we met up with Georgie and ended up in...

The Blue Note.

Never say never. It was actually good, a completely different crowd. Stranger things have happened, I suppose. We stayed for about half an hour and then I made Kayt take me home. I don't know what's happened to be recently, I feel like someone has sucked out my Party Spirit while I was sleeping.

The next day I was in work at 10am and on top of feeling a bit rough, I had everyone asking me about what happened the night before: "Hey! I heard three guys chatted you up and then you all went out for drinks!"

"Er... no. They... they didn't call me."

Awk. Ward.

My boss was really surprised that they hadn't called me, which made me feel better because she was a witness to our conversation. They did actually seem keen to come out with me and my friends, I haven't gone completely mental just yet.

The weird thing is, there was a boy working on Sunday who apparently has been there for a month but we've never seen each other. One of the other waitresses called him Spiderman because she thinks he looks like Toby Maguire.

The Shift Manager that day was a French man who always asks me inappropriate questions like 'How many boys did you snog last night?' because he used to live in London and has somehow got the impression that all English girls are crazy slags. He wanted to know what happened with the three English guys and when I told him, fed up of the same question by now, that they didn't call, he said:

"So, you need to find you a boyfriend. What about Spiderman? He is a nice man. He looks good. Look at him, have a look at him..."

Then he turned me round to face Spiderman, who was stood about three inches away from me. It was really embarrassing and for the rest of the day the Shift Manager kept referring to him as 'my boyfriend'. Just because I am single doesn't mean you can talk to me like a seven year old who fancies everyone in the playground. Although... that is actually a good description of my current state.

I'm pretty sure Spiderman thought I was in love with him, because all day the Shift Manager kept nudging me and winking whenever Spiderman came within two feet of me.

The thing is...

Georgie was giving everyone Life Advice last night, because she realised she was the oldest person at her party and she felt like she was some sort of spiritual leader who had gathered a flock of us under her wide wings. She was saying that there's no need to be shy and embarrassed about things because if it doesn't work out then who gives a fuck? Her advice was to ask Spiderman out for a drink.

I just don't think I can. I've never asked anyone out before. I might do it though.

I don't know.

What do you think?

*O.k so not completely...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Don't Say It.

Soz*. It's been almost a week since my last post but I have an excuse- my life is falling apart at the seams.

Ok, so that was a tad dramatic, but I'm having one of those half-empty weeks. (It doesn't help that the glass in question happens to be half-emptied of gin and tonic, my preferred drink now that anything too sugary makes my Crumbled Tooth ache like someone has just driven a hammer into my jaw; alcohol is all fun and games when you're bouncing around doing silly accents and chasing waiters with spoonfuls of chocolate mousse, but by Jupiter it can make you grey and gloomy in the hungover days that follow.)

I can only focus on the Shit Things which actually, aren't even that shit. But I've taken myself to one side and said to myself in a stern voice: 'Come on now! You don't have any real problems, you whingey bitch!' and all it did was make me feel worse... On top of having fucked up teeth, not being able to speak French, having no Life Plans and no money, I now have to constantly chastise myself for being a whingey bitch with no real problems. It's Guilt Depression- feeling depressed because you're so guilty that you're depressed....

(By the way, when I say 'depressed' I don't mean in the medical way. A better description would be: 'mildly blue'.)

Still. It could be worse, I could be feeling 'mildly blue' because I live in a slum and have a life expectancy of thirty five...

And suddenly I'm not bothered about my shitty little 'problems' anymore!

Fucking hell. Close your eyes, give thanks. Be grateful to the universe, to God, or the gods, to fairies or just be grateful if you don't believe in anything. (Although, if you really don't believe in anything, I would urge you to read my scientifically sound arguement for the existence of mermaids.)

So, what have I been up to, I hear you crying out impatiently, literally jumping up and down in your seat, on tenterhooks to find out what Left Bank Manc has been busying herself with in her absence. Well, on Wednesday I got home from work and napped for four hours, then woke up feeling regretful and lethargic. That is the most exciting thing that has happened to me since my last post.

I've been working too much!

Ooh I went on a language exchange on Tuesday afternoon, does that count as making a bit of effort with the language? One of the other Drama Teachers put me in contact with a lovely boy called Willie. (I know, I know. It made me smirk a little bit too.) As a French person might say, or more accurately, an English person who has lived in France for too long might say- we passed a good afternoon together and I think we're going to meet up every Tuesday afternoon.

We spoke mostly in French. At one point I asked Willie if there is a short word in French for 'sunset', because in French you say 'coucher du soleil' but I was hoping there'd be a prettier, more colloquial way of putting it. He couldn't think of the word so he stopped random people in the street and asked them. I like people who stop randomers in the street to ask them if they know another word for sunset.

Now, I know what you might be wondering, because I was wondering it at first as well. 'What will he look like?' I kept asking myself. Well, I don't care so much about what he looks like, because I'm pretty sure he's only interested in boys, so no chance of you know what-

Six hours later.

I had to dash off before because Kayt took me to the dentist. (But hold that thought about you know what, I have much more to say on that subject later.)

So.

My Crumbled Tooth has finally starting to hurt, after months of me saying 'I'll deal with it when it starts hurting.' I really should have got it seen to in England but I just couldn't be arsed. My mum said 'Get it sorted before you need a root canal!' and I said 'I will, I will. It doesn't hurt yet.' The very next day it started KILLING ME but by then it was the weekend and I was flying back to Paris on Monday afternoon. Ho hum, we live and learn. I say that phrase A LOT which just proves that we don't live and learn, otherwise I would have only said it the once and then never Fucked Up again. And I have Fucked Up with this tooth business. Quite spectacularly.

Sooooo many people kept warning me to get it seen to before I needed a root canal and lo and behold, I went to the dentist this afternoon and it transpires that I need... you guessed it... a root canal.

First of all the dentist said they might be able to give me a filling. She did an X-ray and said it was very close to the nerve, maybe too close. She made the hole bigger (don't ask me why, that is the mystery of Medical Folk and that is why I don't trust them) and told me to tell her if it hurt. So when it hurt, I made little hurty noises and now I'm worried I should have kept my mouth shut, because she said the fact it was hurting me means the nerve is swollen and it's too late for a filling. Root canal for me then.

I might have started crying just the tiniest bit. Oh God, I'm so scared. I'm really, really scared. She's going to pull my nerve out. It will be take ages and there'll be loads of pointy sharp things in my mouth and I have to pay 130 euros for the privilege. I could apply for a social security number, because my restaurant job is declared and all Above Board, and then I might be able to claim some of the expenses back, but I don't know... I'd have to find out what forms to fill in, get the forms somehow, fill them in, send them off, wait for a couple of months... Even if it did work (such things never go to plan, ever), getting a French social security number would be so Productive and Dynamic of me; the next thing you know I'll be tidying my room and applying for jobs for next year. Might as well rip off a piece of my soul and give it to a Rottweiler to chew on.

Oh fuck. Why do I do these things? Don't say I told you so, just don't.

I'm in quite an emotional state. Just cried a little bit at Summer Heights High, where Jonah gets expelled from school and he goes and sits back in the Gumtree Centre with his favourite teacher and then he gets dragged out kicking and screaming...

Get a grip. Get a grip.

On the bright side, it's a beautiful sunny day outside. I think I'll draw my blinds and have a quick nap.



*I'm only saying 'soz' because I'm not really sorry! Sorry.**
**I am actually sorry for not being sorry. Sorry.***
***I just said it a third time for emphasis. Sorry!****
****The word has now lost all meaning.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cloaks and Fans and Gastro

I've got gastro, how very French of me. I haven't eaten properly in two days, it reminds me of how I felt in Ibiza and we all know what that ended with: VOMITING on the DANCE FLOOR, if you've forgotten. I wish I could forget.

Anyway, I don't know what the hell is up with me but it's really annoying, last night we went to Chez Gladines for Kayt's birthday and I barely touched my duck in Roquefort sauce, even though it was very delicious. We had the same waiter that we had last time, a surly man called Nico who hates us just because a couple of months ago we all laughed in his face when he asked us: 'Do you want any sweetie sweets?' meaning did we want any deserts. I think he's quite sensitive about his English, because he always tells us that he used to live in English and speaks fluent English, but then we all try and speak to him in French and it pisses him off, even though we moved to France in order to speak French (well, that dream has kind of withered and died for me, but Olivia, Kayt and Georgie still soldier on and Make an Effort); so if he wants to speak English, then he should move to back to England.

We bought Kayt an Indian cook book for her birthday and as a Special Treat I said she could have some drawings I'd done of myself in a cloak. Ok I might have to quickly explain that...

So the other day me, Olivia and Kayt were on Skype with Amy and Amy was explaining about my cloak (she's making me one!! But I'll tell you more about that later) and I told her I'd done some drawings of myself wearing the cloak, just so I'll have a better idea of what I'll look like in it. Kayt, Olivia and Amy thought this was hilarious for Some Reason, but they weren't supposed to be funny drawings- they were just standard cloak drawings (me in cloak fighting crime, me in cloak going to the opera etc).

It just so happened that I'd taken photos of the drawings on my phone, because I was thinking of putting them on my blog for Useful Informative Purposes, but I've scrapped that idea after showing them to Kayt and Olivia- they howled with laughter for quite a long time, longer than is decent if you ask me. Anyway, I will not have my cloak made into a Laughing Stock, so the pictures will not be appearing on my blog. I've given them to Kayt as a birthday present, seeing as they brought her so much pleasure.

Despite being a bit of a Poorly Mardarse and not being able to eat anything, I had a lovely time. It wasn't even spoilt by Nico being Weird and Mean. I don't know why he hates us so much, we weren't even being rowdy last night, although at one point Georgie did chase him around the restaurant with a spoonful of chocolate mousse. I can't remember why.

OH! And guess what else happened!!

Ha.

Ha ha.

You will never guess.

Just as we settled down at our table in the corner, I noticed a girl walking towards us, very obviously making a beeline for me.

"Hi," she said in a very confident, American way, "I know this is really weird, but do you write a blog called Left Bank Manc?"

HAHAHA!!!

I've never told anyone this before, but I often have little fantasies of people ear wigging my conversations and putting two and two together and then saying 'Are you the famous and extremely talented blogger Left Bank Manc?'

Obviously that is a very egotistical and ridiculous little daydream that would never EVER happen in Real Life. Except... it did.

"That's my blog!" I almost screamed in her face, "How... how did you...?"

I suddenly realised that I hadn't mentioned going out for Kayt's birthday on my blog and obviously, I'm ANONYMOUS and I've never put any photos of myself up on here, so... how the hell did she know I'm Left Bank Manc?

"Oh, my friend also reads your blog and she got onto your Facebook, so I recognise you from your photos. Maybe she knows you?"

I don't know why I didn't ask her who 'her friend' was, but now I'm thinking it could possibly be 'An American Au Pair in Paris' who I met up with a couple of times last year... Anyway, the important thing is somebody recognised me and she even said 'Big fan of your work.'

(To be honest she said it in quite an ironic way that suggested she actually was a very small fan of my work, but hey ho, this is my blog and I can spin it however I choose. So there.)

She said she's just moved to Paris and asked if I'd like to meet up some time. Georgie piped up and said she was welcome to come for birthday cocktails next week- she's having a bit of a shin dig and has invited looooads of people, so that should be fun and hopefully My American Fan, as I've decided to call her, will come because she seemed really nice and not at all weird despite the fact she knows what I looked like, even though I have never put a link to my Facebook up on here...

When I get my cloak, I might take some photos of myself in it just to show you, but I'll have to wear a mask. To be honest I am thinking of becoming a Superhero.

Right. I need to go to bed now. Terribly tired, you see. This weekend I was supposed to stay in and Be Good, as I was working in the resto Saturday and Sunday and after that time a few weeks ago when I went into work after the Versailles party, I vowed never to do anything like that again. On Friday night me and Kayt just ate chilli at her's and watched Geordie Shore...

But the problem with Geordie Shore is that although it makes excellent viewing, their drunken antics 'out on the toon' also make you want to go out and partake in some drunken antics yourself. By eleven o'clock we were Googling what was on that night in Paris and at six am I came home after a very messy night, wondering how I was ever going to get up in the morning. As predicted, the next day at work was terrible, but I did have a Good Night. We went to see The Hacker, Simon Baxter and Arnaud Rebotini at La Machine- a good venue, not full of dickheads.

Anyway, that's all for now. Next time I'll tell you about my trip to England. In the meantime, if you think you see me in a restaurant, just holler at me y'all. My friend might even invite you out for birthday cocktails...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Babies and Work

Paris is warming up, twirling into Spring like a dandelion seed* and I'm worried, because Paris is a seductive city in the springtime. I can't remember the exact moment I decided to stay in Paris for another year, but it was definitely some time in May, when we spent every weekend sunbathing in the Bois de Boulogne and our evenings drinking two euro bottles of wine along the river. It was such a lovely, happy time but as my Role Model  and Spiritual Guide Pocahontas says: 'The water's always changing, always flowing.'

This spring will be different, not just because our group has changed (although Amy and Laura have been back so many times it feels as though they still live here), but because I won't have any time for sunbathing or picnicking; I'm working every Saturday and Sunday at the resto for the next few weeks, which means I don't have one day off, ever and I'm not sure if this is a temporary thing or not. 

The thing is, I need the money for moving to London in September, but it seems a shame to sacrifice this year. What's the point in living in Paris if I never get to go to museums or parks? And I am DEFINITELY not going out raving while I've got so many long days of work to get through; I learnt my lesson a few weeks ago...

The night after Showcase Julia took me, Georgie, Kayt and Laura to a house party in Versailles. At first we felt a little bit awkward, but after a while we livened up and started chatting to everyone, eventually we even joined in the dancing to ridiculously cheesy french pop music...

The weird thing is, Kayt had her phone stolen at the party!! Not a good weekend for mobile phones.

Another highlight of the evening was when one of my friends (I can't tell you who because they'll kill me) disappeared for an hour with a delightful young man I nicknamed Druggie Steve* and we couldn't work out where she'd gone without her coat, because it was snowing outside.

(It's weird to think that there was snow on the ground that weekend, whereas now you could venture out without a scarf if you wanted to... although this is Paris we're talking about, so you'd have to be prepared to get tutted at on the metro for daring to expose your collatage to anything less than 30 degree heat.)

My earnest intention was to get the last RER back to Paris, as I was working at 11am the next day, but somehow one gin and tonic turned into eleven and we ended up getting back to Julia's at half seven in the morning. Needless to say, the next day was HORRIFIC. I'd had one hour's sleep and was still wearing my clothes from the night before. When I first arrived at work I was still a little bit drunk- I kept yelling random things out and I started sobbing when someone told me Whitney Huston had died. As the long day wore on I became more and more hungover and confused- I kept smashing things and mixing orders up and my vision was blurred, like someone had smeared Vaseline in my eyes.

I am NEVER doing that again. Which is a shame, because this weekend is Kayt's birthday and Julia has invited us all to another house party, with Real French People. Then on Sunday there's an event that looks a bit like Fuse- a Sunday afternoon rave- but as it starts it finishes at 10pm there's probably no point going after I finish work. Click here if you'd like to take a look.

Damn. Wish I wasn't working so much. But at the same time, I have A LOT of things I need to save up for: I owe a couple of people money AGAIN; I need to book flights to Ibiza and save up spending money; I need to pay my overdraft off and my credit card; I need to save up a deposit and at least a month's rent for when I move to London; also there is the small matter of my Crumbly Tooth which I didn't manage to sort out in England and which probably means I need a root canal.

When I saw my mum I'd already been in England for six days and she said: "I can't believe you still haven't sorted it out!"

I replied: "But it doesn't hurt at all, mum."

AND THE VERY NEXT DAY I woke up to the worst tooth pain I've ever had and it's been hurting on and off since then.

Sorry, this blog post isn't very amusing is it? I've just got that panicky feeling where I feel as though I have loads and loads to catch up on and so I'm just typing out my every thought and whim. Ooh! In other news, my friend Anna has had a baby!!! How exciting! I saw her last week with her bump for the first time and it was so strange, if only I'd been visiting England this week I would have got to meet the baby. She's called it Amelia. Altogether now: Awwwwwwwwww.

I can't imagine having a baby now. This week the girls aren't home (the eleven year old is at her mate's house all week and the eight year hurt her knee and couldn't ski for a week, so she's catching up by staying on another week with her grandma) which means I've just had the eighteen month year old baby to look after.

Actually, I've just realised he's probably a lot older than eighteen months now, as I've been calling him that for a while. Oh, it's just easier to pretend isn't it? Let's keep calling him 'eighteen month year old baby'.

What was I saying? Oh, nothing. Well then, let me say this: it's harder than I realised, looking after Little People, you can't leave them alone for a second. Also, I put his nappy on back to front and the next time I changed him he had poo smeared all over his back. Oops.

I took him to the park yesterday and I had to follow him around for an hour, not daring to tear my eyes away for a second to even check the time in case a large bird or dog carried him off while I wasn't looking. I do like babies, but it's probably the only job where you can feel bored out of your mind and sick with worry at the same time. At one point a massive wasp landed on the top of his balaclava and stayed there for about ten minutes. I didn't want to scare the baby so I didn't say anything, but another nanny kept pointing it out to me, so in the end I had to flick it off and then grab the baby and run away before the angry wasp attacked us. Oh the life of a nanny- how thrilling! How action-packed!

Another highlight was when he was trying to climb the ladder up to the slide, but there was a Less Able Baby (a polite way of saying that this baby was as sharp as a teething ring) hogging the ladder. This Less Able baby was taking up the whole ladder, but wasn't old/clever enough to actually climb it, so it just jiggled around, grunting and not getting anywhere. Babies have no spacial awareness or social skills. 'My' eighteen month year old tried to climb over the Less Able Baby and then three or four other babies joined in, so there was just a wiggling mess of frustrated babies at the bottom of the ladder, all trying to climb up to the slide without realising this grandiose dream of theirs was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

I started to get really agitated, watching the babies flail around, moving as though they were underwater.

"YOU CAN'T ALL CLIMB THE LADDER!" I wanted to scream, "You need to all LEAVE the ladder, trouble shoot some ideas and then return, WITH A SOLID PLAN!"

But I held my tongue, because babies just don't care for talk like that.

Me and all the other nannies were looking around wildly for the nounou/parent of the Less Able Baby, who was the cause of the Hideous Baby Pyramid. They were like zombies in a video game, I felt that if I swept them all away, ten more flailing babies would replace them, trying to climb the ladder and never reaching the top because their brains aren't developed enough to overcome large obstacles.

I was seconds away from drop-kicking the Less Able Baby away from the ladder when his nounou suddenly came running over, her half-smoked fag still dangling from her hand. Ha! I'm not the worst childminder in the world!

Anyway, the eighteen month year old baby is cute and I can't believe how well it's worked out this week- I thought I was going to have to call in sick to the restaurant, but because the nanny looks after the baby during the day, I've been able to do the lunchtime shift like I normally do. Tomorrow, however, will be different, because the girls are back.  Uh-oh.

Look how cute my friend's baby is!!!!





*If it makes you cringe when I use imagery, just be thankful that I don't inflict my 'poems' on to you anymore.
**If you saw him you'd agree that the name 'Druggie Steve' was perfect for him.

Do Not Go To Showcase. It Is Shit and I Hate It.

I'm going back a few weeks now, but I want to tell you The Story of How I Lost My Phone, and what almost became The Story of How I Was Tragically Crushed to Death. I promised if I ever made it out alive I would spread the word about Showcase and stop people going there, because it's the WORST CLUB IN THE LAND and I HATE IT.

The first time I went to Showcase was a few months ago, when I went with my 'stripper friend'. We went with her boss and a few of the other girls from her work, who had a table in the VIP section. If we hadn't have been with my friend's boss, we never would have got in. The queue to get in was massive and they were turning most people away. The really annoying thing was that, after finally mastering (or convincing myself that I had, anyway) the Parisien art of dressing up but not looking dressed up, everyone in the queue for Showcase seemed to be dressed for a night out in Leeds. There were girls in backless catsuits, towering platforms and, gasp, bare legs.

So, I don't know if it was because I felt under-dressed, or because I was sat at a table surrounded by girls who made their living as 'exotic dancer's, but I felt fat and unattractive and generally shit all night. Also, the supposed VIP section was ridiculously crowded and nobody was dancing. I got too drunk on free alcohol and spent most of the night on my own, either wandering around looking for the toilets so I could plaster more make-up on, or allowing strangers in the smoking area to talk broken English at me. At the end of the night, I realised somebody had stolen my black Zara jacket, which was the only going-out jacket I had.

So, my first impressions of Showcase were not great.

Then a couple of weeks ago, Laura said she really wanted to come to Paris for the weekend to see Fake Blood and Brodinski, and they were playing at Showcase. I wasn't sure that I really liked Fake Blood, but I was excited at the prospect of a Proper Night Out, plus Olivia and her friend Katie wanted to come, so we all bought tickets. And that was that.

We decided to walk from my place because it's only round the corner (yes, stalkers, I'm sure I've given you enough clues by now to work out where I live. Come and get me, I'll be waiting for you with a heavy-based frying pan) but we had forgotten how Fucking Freezing it was outside. By the time we got to Showcase, none of us could feel our fingers and we were all desperate to get inside.

But, oh no. You don't go inside Showcase.

First, you have to queue up on the bridge Alexandre III, just for the privilege of walking down some stone steps to the river. Except it wasn't a queue- it was a terrifying scrum of unruly nobheads, all trying to push and shove their way to their front. At one point it got quite scary, we were so squished that it was difficult to breathe and the people at the back kept pushing and pushing. The bouncers were completely useless, until we got to the front and they used all their manpower to stop us from advancing. Yep, forget about the huge men trying to trample everyone to death, just concentrate on the four scared girls at the front of the queue who can't breathe, they need restraining more than anyone...

When we finally got past the bouncers and out of the scrum, we realised Katie had been left behind in the heaving crush of bodies. We waited for her, obviously, but the bouncer yelled at us to move down the stairs. His eyes actually widened with shocked anger. Now, I know I have a tendency to hate bouncers, but I have one question: Why was he so bothered with three girls waiting for their friend, who could have passed out for all anyone knew, yet seemingly unconcerned about the hundred or so people jostling each other into a dangerous funnel formation, with rows and rows of people trying to pour themselves onto a staircase barely wide enough for five people? 

Once Katie had squeezed through, we clip-clopped down the stairs to see...

More 'queuing', only this time there were cattle grids to at least keep up the illusion of a queue. It didn't matter if you had a ticket or not, everyone was siphoned off by the aggressive bouncers into four separate lanes, only the lanes soon became over-crowded and we once again found ourselves in the middle of a heavy, pressing throng of bodies. And once again, as soon as got near the front, the bouncer decided that it was ME who was doing all the pushing and shoving. I was waiting at the front of the 'line' when there was a particularly strong surge from the back of the throng, thrusting me against the wall of bouncers.

"N'avancez pas!" he screamed in my face.

By the time we got let through into the club, my patience with the bouncers was wearing thin. WHY were they picking on people like me, instead of trying to control the dangerously chaotic crowds? Once we got through the doors, we looked left and right, trying to see which way the cloakroom was. A bouncer watching us yelled at us to keep moving.

"FUCK OFF!" I screamed, releasing all the anger and panic of the last half an hour.

Luckily, Laura pulled me away, or he probably could have thrown me out. I hate places like that, where you're treated like shit, when all you want to do is spend your money and have a nice time.

The cloakroom was full, obviously, so we went straight to the dance floor which was miraculously empty. We had a good dance to Brodinski and I felt like it was going to be a good night after all. But then we got thirsty. We went to buy drinks (eight euros for a bottle of beer) and by the time we'd walked back on to the dance floor, it was heaving. You couldn't dance for more than a second without someone elbowing you in the side or pushing you out of the way. Olivia kept breathing and saying 'Zen, zen...' and for a while we all managed to stay calm, but it got RIDICULOUS.

I know I'm sounding like one of those dickheads who shouldn't really go to clubs because they hate other people and they especially hate other people dancing within a five mile radius of them, but it was like nothing I've ever experience before. Every time I tired to look at the DJ, someone facing the other way thought I was trying to dance with them. Every time we all faced inwards and tried to dance a little circle, we found ourselves either surrounded by a slightly larger circle of Weird Men, or the people around us pressed closer and closer until we were just four girls stood still, faces and chests squished together.

Oh God I'm getting angry just thinking about it. We eventually gave up and went to the bar, which was slightly quieter. We decided to just get really drunk. But even that was a Saga at Showcase- the club that doesn't like clubbers. There were three bars and each bar told us to go to the other bar to get served for the drink we wanted...

I nearly forgot to tell you the worse bit!!! At one point, we were looking for the toilets, but there seemed to be a queue of people in the tunnel that lead to the entrance of the club. We asked everyone and they said that the tunnel led to the toilets, as well as being the first thing you walk in to when you enter the club. So we got in the queue, but more and more people were coming in from outside. I got a bit panicky, but by then more people had joined the queue for the toilets behind us.

In seconds, the tunnel had become completely rammed with people, pushing in both directions, so nobody could move in either direction. The Love Parade came into my mind like a sudden taste of vomit. Do you remember what happened at the Love Parade in Germany, last year? It was awful- people were crushed to death in a tunnel, because crowds went streaming in from both ends and it all went tragically wrong. The tunnel at Showcase wasn't exactly the same thing, but it reminded me of it all the same.

Then, some people coming into the tunnel started yelling and laughing and they gave an almighty PUSH. I was against the wall and there were so many people loaded against me that for a moment I couldn't breathe, my chest was too constricted. Behind me, Olivia was battling with a man who was trying to use her head as a way of leveling himself, kind of like a panicky, drowning person trying to hold on to you and in the process, dragging you under the water.

That was enough for me, I burst out crying. It was horrible, horrible and I thought I was going to die. In a weird way, I thought that if I started crying it would stop everything, I thought somehow by acknowledging how scared I was someone nearby would stop pushing and everything would calm down a little bit. But, of course, nobody gave a shit and the pushing continued to get worse and worse.

Somehow, our side of the tunnel moved slowly, slowly towards the light. Laura dragged me with her and we stumbled into the toilets, which were uncrowded in comparison. Thank God I was with Laura and Olivia. If I was with three other people exactly like myself, we all would have crawled on the floor and waited to die, but Laura and Olivia are quite good at yelling and pushing people and er, not crying in public.

Fucking hell. I've just made myself feel panicky all over again about that stupid tunnel thing. A jihad on Showcase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the Toilet Fiasco, we stayed around the bar because it was the least crowded section of the whole club.  We actually had a good time, in the end. In fact, when I looked at my phone and it was 5am, we were really surprised how late it was. We decided to have a little sit. We walked from the bar to a sofa and sat down. I put my hand in my bag... and my phone was gone.

We looked on the floor, we asked at the bar, we checked in the toilets, we looked all over the seating area... But it was no use. We rang it once and it rang out, but then the second time we rang it, it was switched off. Someone had swiped it on my way from the bar to the seating area.

The annoying thing is I'm always so, so careful. I know I loose things a lot, but I've never had my bag pickpocketed before. 

I was inconsolable. I couldn't stop crying. Everything I own of any value had now officially been lost or broken: My pandora bracelet, my camera, my laptop, my GHD's... "AND N-N-NOOOOOW M-M-MY PHONE!!!"

It was time to call it a night. Me and Laura walked home because... well I can't remember why, but when we got back to mine Laura called up Orange and tried to block my SIM for me.

"BLOCQUEZ! BLOCQUEZ" she was yelling at the operator.

We had no idea if she'd managed to block my SIM or not, but it was 6.30am and it was time to go to bed. In the morning I woke up and felt happy for a moment, until I realised I'd had my phone stolen. It wasn't just the phone, it was the convenience, the contacts, the ability to Whats App people in England for free...

I'm going to sleep now, but I'm glad I finally wrote a post about Showcase. NOBODY GO THERE. EVER.