Friday, 26 October 2012


I'm off to England tomorrow, for eight days!

After I'd bought my flights for my cousin's wedding, the mum of the au pair family told me the girls were going away for the first week of the October holidays, so I could stay in England for longer if I wanted... Changing the flights got me seventy six euros but you can't put a price on Good Times.

Word on the streets is that there are fucking strikes at the airport. I'm going to get to the airport for 5.30am, just to be on the safe side. PLEASE LET ME GET ON THE FLIGHT! My mum is picking me up from the airport and we are driving to the wedding, which is in Oxford.

I'm so excited!!!!

My nose is no longer scabby, I've been tending to it meticulously all week and by tomorrow it should be completely healed- just a bit red and raw, nothing a bit of concealer can't sort out.

ALSO I've just been doing my eyebrows and I am TRIUMPHANT, because a few weeks ago I noticed they were a little bit uneven and I freaked out, but I didn't let my eyebrows know I had noticed, I just carried on like normal, plucking the odd hair and letting them grow until...
BOOM-  I just grabbed the tweezers before they knew what was happening and swiftly went to work on the left eyebrow. I think my eyebrow obsession might be growing out of control- this week I had a bad dream where somebody found an old photo of me where I had really thin, high eyebrows and I was shouting "I never had eyebrows like that though!!"

Anyway, I'm so excited for the wedding. I'm going to wear that dress I bought when I was drunk on my birthday. After all the faffing about I went through getting them to take the waist in... it's now a bit tight. Serves me right I suppose. Too much duck in roquefort sauce.

Ok I have to go now! Kayt has finished babysitting so I am heading over to hers- we're getting the same flight in the morning.

Wish me luck. Pleeeeeeeease!!!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My Only Poem About Paris

Today I got off the metro at Concorde just as the sun was setting and as I looked across the fountain, to the golden dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, I realised I was looking at the banner from my blog. The sky was exactly the same- thick with dull clouds, edged with pearly sunset colours. When the Eiffel Tower came into my view, the pink sky behind it was hazy and even the Tower itself looked muted, as if I was looking at a faded photo.

I took that photo (the one I've used for my banner at the top of my blog) two years ago. Did I know then that I would still be here now?

Paris often feels like a collection of old photographs, with its pale buildings and pale skies, your viewpoint a vignette- dark around the edges where trees cast shadows. Sometimes I get the sensation that I'm not living in the moment, but rather remembering it, that every step I take is a step that I once took and every view I see is already a snapshot in my mind and I've remembered it so clearly because it was significant somehow.

Now. I know I said I would never, ever inflict my poetry on you again. But...

I had these thoughts while I wandered home this evening and I knew that they weren't entirely new, that I had written something similar before in the guise of 'a poem'. Will you humour me, just this once? Remember I still have a Scabby Coldsore Nose so you have to be nice to me and do as I say. Also, I do want to be a writer one day and a lot of writers come to Paris to write. All I have written, since moving to Paris, is about getting drunk and aside from my blog I have also written snippets here and there of what, at the time, I fancied would be novels, or plays, or short stories, none of them set in Paris.

I should at least have one poem about the city to show for my time living in Paris, so here it is:

My Only (I promise) Poem About Paris.

The sky gathers around the tops of pale buildings,
yellow and luminescent on the cityscape,
running into white nothing as the sky
stretches away from the city and
narrow streets make narrow points of view.

In the dark underneath,
tiled walls breathe old skulls
onto tired men who sleep close to them,
and who touch you like the death of a stranger,
or a forgotten friend.

Then from the dank, sprawling warren,
slowly ascend to the clean streets
and the white lines of the city
and tie-dyed, tea-stained winter sky
that makes you feel nostalgic
for things you've never known
and sometimes even for Paris,
even though you're there
right now.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


It might interest (or disgust) you to know that I awoke yesterday morning to find that the end of my nose had transformed into a bubbling, blistering coldsore. If that description makes you feel sick, imagine how I must feel, walking around with it actually on MY FACE.

Life is split into two types of people- Coldsore Sufferers and Non-Coldsore Sufferers. The latter will never understand the misery of waking up to find your lips (or in my case, the end of my nose: all my life I have to put up with people telling me that 'you can't get coldsores on the your nose'- you fucking can and I've got one, alright?) covered with weeping scabs for No Reason... Non-Coldsore Sufferers will stare at your blister with a look of horror on their face, and ask: "What did you do?" as if you woke up with a coldsore on purpose.

People who do have the coldsore virus know that coldsores rear their ugly head when your body is run down, when you haven't been sleeping enough or getting enough vitamins. (Sometimes for me, even a bash to the mouth can trigger an attack, as if the virus has been rudely awoken.) You can stop them from appearing if you slap on some aciclovir cream as soon as you feel the tell-tale tingle, a unique sensation that Coldsore Sufferers grow to recognise as an early warning.

Sometimes, however, the bastard virus breaks out sneakily, while you are asleep. On Friday night I went to bed with a smooth, normal nose and when I looked in the mirror the next morning, I saw that blisters had formed. From now on things can only get worse as I wait for them to burst and scab over and heal.

If I'm making you feel nauseous- good. People always roll their eyes and tut when I complain about coldsores, but when I have a break-out, I literally can't think of anything else until it has gone. Kids point and stare (I'm dreading work this week) and you sit on the bus/metro with your head hung low, hoping nobody can see it.

When I was younger I would get them every few weeks and the doctor told me there was nothing to be done. Now I get them about twice a year (TOUCH WOOD) but they always crop up when I have a Big Event coming up. I bet if I ever get married I'll wake up on my wedding day with a coldsore. I think I would have to cancel the whole thing.

The reason I got a coldsore this weekend is obviously because next Saturday is my cousin's wedding and the virus couldn't stand to think of me actually having a nice time. If my nose hasn't cleared up by then I won't be able to get in any of the photos. I'll be miserable all day, conscious of everybody staring, of having conversations with people and  their eye inadvertently jumping to my scabby clown's nose.

Also, I have nothing to wear.

On that note, good night. I hope your nose is having a better time than mine is.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Shadowy Men and Hangovers: Part 2

Where were we? Ah yes, I was staring at my phone and the world was closing in around me.


This wasn't happening. I had to check about five times before I would believe it. I had fucked up, Big Time. No, my phone had fucked up, again.

"OLIVIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" I screamed, throwing my phone at her, "Write a text in French that says my alarm didn't go off and I am going to take a taxi and will be there as soon as possible."

I ran into the living room to look for my clothes, swearing and crying. Once I'd located my clothes, I carried them back into the bedroom and hopped about from foot to foot.

"This can't be happening, this can't be happening..."

I ran back into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water. I drank it slowly. My brain wouldn't work properly.

'I can't go to work dehydrated', I thought, 'Where's my toothbrush? My breath will stink of alcohol.'

I brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink (Cece won't let us brush our teeth in the bathroom because the tooth paste stains his black sink) and then ran back into the bedroom.

"Oh god." I cried, turning about in circles, clutching at clothes but not putting anything on, "Why did this have to happen today? I promised her I'd be there at 10.15..."

Olivia sat bolt upright in the bed.

"What are you still doing here?? GO!"

Right, yes... work. I managed to struggle into my clothes and located my boots near the front door. As I left I noticed that Bearded Stranger was asleep on the couch.

I looked around in a panic for a taxi, but there was none in sight and I realised that it would probably be quicker to take the metro anyway. Once on the metro (after an agonising three minute wait) I received a text from the mum, telling me that she had taken the baby with her in the car. I stupidly texted her back:

Ok so can I get the metro then instead of a taxi?

She didn't text back. Maybe she guessed I was still a little bit drunk, or maybe she just thought I was blinded by the panic and couldn't see that I wasn't making any sense. In reality, it was a bit of both, but I actually was trying to think logically- I knew the little girl had a piano lesson from 10am to 11am, so I thought, with the baby gone, she'd be alright on her own for ten minutes or so. By my reckoning I would get to the house at 11.15am.

What I didn't realise was that the alcohol still chugging through my veins was pushing me across the boundaries of Space and Time, because when I arrived at the family's house it was 11.45.

The little girl laughed and shook her head when I leapt through the door. She asked me loads of questions about why I was late and why I looked like I'd been crying, and then the mum came in.

"C'est bon, elle est la." the little girl called over my shoulder.

Obviously the mum had been ringing the house every five minutes to ask if I was there yet.

I rushed to the door and blurted out an apology before she had a chance to say anything. She must have been able to tell from my face and from the tone of my voice that I was sincere. She had a moan about how she had to bundle the baby into the car at the last moment and was almost late, but she seemed to be angry at the situation, rather than me. I didn't want to jinx myself but... it seemed as though I'd gotten away with it.

The thing is, when your alarm doesn't go off for No Reason, it's not really your fault. It's not like one of those shit excuses that aren't really an excuse at all, but rather an unfortunate obstacle that you could have overcome in order to arrive on time for work if you'd really wanted to. For example:

'Oh there was no hot water so I had to nip to the shop and top the gas up'
You could have had a cold shower, or just this once lowered yourself to a wet wipe.

'It's not my fault, I couldn't find my bus pass'
Really you should be saying 'It's my fault, I misplaced my bus pass and looking for it made me late.'

I'm not saying I don't do these things- anyone who has read my blog before will know I fail to overcome these 'unfortunate obstacles' on a regular basis- but I don't try and dodge the blame. I just run in and say "I'm really sorry I'm late" and then I don't add anything, because there is no excuse- I'm just a disorganised, forgetful person with a very poor sense of direction. I'm sorry for being late but I'm not going to change my whole personality for ten euros an hour, Geez Louise.

(Yesterday Lauren messaged me to say that she knows how I feel, because her alarm didn't go either! You see, it happens all the time, so watch out. In my opinion, phones are gaining consciousness and trying to destroy our livelihoods, in revenge for dropping them when drunk and for smearing their screens with foundation and blusher.)

The mum and the little girl went shopping, so it was just me and the baby for a couple of hours. We played with his dinosaurs, I gave him some lunch, then I changed his nappy and got him ready for his afternoon nap and the mum came home. I didn't apologise again on the way out because the grandma was there and sometimes she can be a bit of a bitch, but the next day when I sent the mum my shopping list I said again how sorry I was for fucking up her Saturday (I didn't swear obviously) and I reassured her that I was now using my old mobile phone as an alarm, so it wouldn't happen again.

(Erm, incidentally, I fell asleep on Tuesday afternoon without even thinking to set an alarm, because I didn't plan on sleeping. I was just closing my eyes... I woke up with fifteen minutes to spare before I had to pick the little girl up from school, which takes me forty minutes to get to. Again I managed to cross the boundaries of Space and Time, because in the end I was fifteen minutes late and all the little girl's mates were still waiting for their parents.)

When I left work, I went straight home and slept like a chocolate log (even less alive than a regular log) for four hours. Then Olivia sent me a text asking me if I was still alive so I went back to Cece's and that is when I discovered the truth about Bearded Stranger...

Basically, he was Jesus.

Cece said that after he left Silencio with his friend from London, she just dropped to the floor and blacked out. He tried ringing and texting us but there's no signal in Silencio. At first he thought she was just drunk (they'd been drinking all day), but then he started to panic that maybe she had alcohol poisoning, that maybe he should call an ambulance. He was thinking this all through, whilst struggling to hold her up, when a huge American woman came bounding up to him from nowhere.

"Get yo' hand off of her!" she screamed, trying to push Cece away from his friend, "He's trynna steal this gurl! Get the fuck away from her!"

Cece tried to explain that he was the girl's friend, he told her his name and his friend's name, but the woman wouldn't believe him. In a way I think it's nice that she was so concerned about the girl, but from what Cece said she was a very violent crazy person, so it kind of cancels out her good intentions.

A small, blonde woman then appeared, also American, who seemed really timid and downtrodden. She believed Cece and was trying to convince her friend:

"I believe him, I think he's her friend."

"I am!" said Cece, "I'm not trying to steal her, I'm actually gay."

Then the first woman called Cece a 'fucking faggot'. Then Cece got mad. He started swearing at the woman and telling her to get away from him and his friend.

THEN a huge guy with a shaved head climbed out of a car and started screaming at the two women to get in with him.

"I OWN you!" he was yelling, "Get in the fucking car!"

The small blonde girl was dithering about, looking as though she really didn't want to get in the car.

"Don't go with those two," Cece told her, "They're evil."

The huge scary woman was trying to coax the blonde girl into the car with her and the guy. She heard what Cece said and apparently had a change of heart:

"I apologise for what I called you. That was not right."

Cece ignored her and tried to carry his friend away so they could get a taxi, but he couldn't lift her on his own. Then, out of nowhere, a heavily-tattooed, Bearded Stranger appeared and asked Cece if he needed some help. At first Cece told him he was fine, but the Bearded Stranger stuck around and Cece admitted that he needed help.

Bearded Stranger helped pick up the drunken friend and asked her name, so he could talk to her and coax her out of oblivion. A few taxis went by but nobody would take them, so Bearded Guy said he would help them get on the night bus.

As they walked off, supporting the drunken girl in the middle of them, Cece said he glanced at the two American prostitutes (come on, that's obviously what they were) and they were still arguing with the guy, who was demanding that they get in the car. Cece said he couldn't be 100% sure because it was across the street, in the shadows, but he thinks he saw the guy pick the blonde girl up by the neck and throw her against a shuttered-shop window. Then they all got in the car and drove off.

Bearded Stranger stayed with Cece and his friend all the way home. Then he asked if he could stay, because he lived really far away. Cece said that even though he left all the bedroom doors open, so he could keep an eye on everyone in case anything untoward happened, he wasn't really worried because he trusted Bearded Stranger. He could tell he was a Good Guy. Something innate was telling Cece that this Bearded Stranger was not to be feared. He was not out to hurt anyone because...

He was Jesus Christ... probably.

The next morning Cece woke up and yelled, still with his eyes closed, "Olivia? Is that weird guy still here?"

Then the 'weird guy' came to Cece's door and said "I'm so sorry, I'll go now."

Jesus Christ, always persecuted wherever he goes! Even when he saves drunk girls and their friends on the streets from vicious American prostitutes!

I cannot believe what happened to Cece and his friend. Why would there be American prostitutes in Paris? I can understand high-class American Call Girls maybe, but trashy hookers?

Anyway, the weekend got weirder. When I got back to Cece's apartment on Saturday night, he told me the whole Bearded Stranger story, and then Olivia told me that the strange Shadow Man (they have nicknamed him Vincent) had been watching them all day and I mean literally all day. I risked a glance out of the window and he was there across the courtyard, looking straight into Cece's apartment.

We went for a curry near Chatelet (it was rubbish) and then we bought some Toblerone, Haribo and a box of Ferrero Rocher (why not) and took it home to watch a film with. Vincent the Shadow Man soon appeared in the window. Sometimes we would look and think he wasn't there, but then we'd see a small movement and realise that he was stood just to the side of the window, as if he was trying to hide from us.

We had an early night as Olivia's Eurostar was at Stupid O'clock the next day. Then, at 5.30am, Olivia woke me up my yelling in horror.

"What is it?" I asked, counting my lucky stars that it was now me in the bed instead of me faffing around in a blind panic like the previous morning.

"Vincent's at the window and it's half five in the morning!"

What the hell is wrong with this person? Why is he awake at all hours? And why does he spend the hours he is awake, standing at the window, or just to the side of it, looking into Cece's apartment?

Rather unnervingly, we still don't have an answer. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens... I hope he doesn't murder Cece and then read my blog and come after me because he knows that I know he did it. Eek.

On a lighter note, I had a lovely Sunday. Me and Cece went for brunch at Cafe Divan with his friend Chloe, then me and Cece went for a massage at Les Bains du Marais. I've never been for a massage before, ever. The woman told me to take all my clothes off and then she came back in to find me still stood there, fully-clothed with my bag on and everything. I thought I understood her but I was terrified that I would get naked at an inappropriate moment. (Well, not completely naked, you have to keep your knickers on.)

It was very expensive. If you're wondering how I've been affording all these jolly jaunts to hammams and members clubs, then all I can say is: you all told me to not to sell crack- look who's laughing now.

Oh! I've just remembered, I completely forgot to mention what happened with Biblical Bartender. Well, as you may have predicted, absolutely NOTHING happened. He sent me a text on Friday saying:

Unfortunately I work tonight and tomorrow

In my heart of my hearts I knew it was a blow-off, but I really fancied him. I didn't want to let it go. On Saturday I texted him saying:

Shame, do you work every evening?

But I kind of knew I wouldn't get a reply. If you give your number to a bartender, you've pretty much got to seal the deal as soon as possible. Strike while the iron is hot, you know.

It's not like I thought a one night stand with Biblical Bartender was going to lead to marriage and babies, but it would be nice to have some vague excitement of the sexual variety, some flirty texts here and there, buying new underwear 'just in case'...


I guess what I really want is validation that I'm not going to end up a celibate, cardigan-wearing old crow. NOT that I think there is anything wrong with being single, you know I am all for it, but right now I would like some reassurance that if I one day decide I don't want to be single forever, I will at least have a chance of attracting the opposite sex. At the moment I fear I will be a celibate, cardigan-wearing crow until my Dying Day.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Shadowy Men and Hangovers

The morning after the glitzy media party, I had to drag myself out of bed at 8am and go to work in the bilingual nursery. On Fridays I'm in with the really teeny tiny kids and I thought that somehow they'd be easier to cope with on a hangover than the older ones: my first mistake of the morning.

The other teacher told me to take half the class and do an activity with them. She asked me what I was going to do and this was when I made my second mistake- I said I would do 'dance and music'...

As soon as I got the musical instruments out, the toddlers swarmed around me, picking up the loudest instruments before I had the chance to tell them what we were going to do. I had planned on introducing each instrument in English, then passing it round the group so everyone could have a turn. In reality, I found myself surrounded by children either banging drums or blowing whistles right down my ear.

I don't know how I made it out alive, but three hours later I found myself staggering out into the sunlight, my ears still ringing...

After the nursery I got the metro home and sank my head against the window. I needed a nap before my au pair job, especially as we were supposed to be going to Silencio that night- Cece's friend and casting director for his show was going to 'get us in'. We've wanted to go for AGES. (Georgie, Amy, Olivia and I almost went the night we met that band The Teenagers in Chez Moune and they took us there, but the bouncer said they'd stopped letting people in that time.)

If you don't know, Silencio is a members club 'conceived and designed by David Lynch' (nobody mentions the name Silencio without adding this little detail) and although they do let non-members in, it is notoriously difficult to get through the door- you have to 'work in the media' to be even get a look-in.

Obviously, as Silencio is quite swanky place, I didn't want to turn up looking like a withered clam. I definitely needed a nap. On the metro home I thought about Olivia, who would still be in my room, probably still asleep. She would want to go for lunch somewhere and get a coffee.  I resolved to burst into the room, inform her I was going to have a nap and politely ignore her when she tried to persuade me to go for lunch.

"I'm not going for lunch," I said as soon as I walked in, "I need to nap, otherwise I can't come to Silencio."

Olivia protested that she hadn't even suggested going for lunch. Also, she had noticed I had a goodie bag from last night's party... In my drunken wisdom I had 'hidden' it in my wardrobe and left my wardrobe door wide open.

We split the goodie bag- I got the Lush stuff and some hair serum and some M&Ms, and Olivia took the Philosophy face cream. (There wasn't as much stuff as we were expecting but Olivia said there were supposed to be two goodie bags for each person, and that the other bag was full of make-up and face products... I think the girl bartender must have stolen my other goodie bag.)

When Olivia had finished getting ready, I sighed and stood up.

"Let's just go for a quick lunch then, ok?"

We went for sushi on my road (I never go anywhere in my area, because it's so touristy and expensive, but it was actually ok) then we went for a coffee. By the time I got home I was so jumped up on caffeine that I think I managed a five minute snooze before it was time to go to work.

That night Olivia cooked dinner at Cece's apartment (pork in cider with mashed sweet potato) but just for me and her, because Cece had gone out straight from work and we were going to meet him later. Normally I love being in Cece's apartment, but on Friday the creepiest thing happened...

As soon as I arrived, Olivia told me that somebody had been watching her while she cooked. I looked out of the window and sure enough, across the courtyard was the shadow of a tall man stood in his window, staring directly into Cece's apartment. He barely moved all evening. And over the weekend things got stranger but more on that later...

I had wanted us to go out early because I was working the next day, at my au pair job. The mum said I had to be there at 10.15 because she was driving the oldest girl across Paris for a party and she didn't want to leave the nine year old alone with the baby. I had that vaguely panicky feeling, you know when you have to be up early the next day and so all night you're trying to push the thought out of your head?

In the end I consoled myself by thinking about, not how little sleep I was going to get, but instead of how much napping I would be able to do. I thought I could trick my brain if I got home and said loudly:
"Hmm, do I have time for a quick nap before work? Oh my God, amazing! I can nap for four hours!! That's the longest nap ever!"

I worked out that if we got home at 4am, I could nap for four and half hours and still have plenty time for a shower and some breakfast. Worst case scenario would be that we got home at 5am, in which I could still nap for four hours. Absolutely fine.

We didn't make it out of Cece's apartment until midnight, which kind of made me a little anxious about what time we would make it home, but by this point I was still completely sober and couldn't see the night turning into a Heavy One, especially as I knew the drinks would be ridiculously expensive in Silencio.

The casting director and the assistant director for Cece's show live together in a gorgeous flat, also in the marais, and they were having a party before Silencio. Everyone was smashed when we arrived, so me and Olivia tried to catch up quickly. Soon the party wound down to that point in the night where people get out guitars and start singing. Me, Cece and Olivia were a bit worried that nobody would end up going to Silencio. In the end, after a particularly emotional rendition of 'Wonderwall', Cece literally wrenched the guitar away from the Ass. Director and demanded to be taken to Silencio.

The taxi of English people (me, Olivia, Cece and his friend who was visiting from London) pulled up before anyone else's. There was already a heated arguement taking place outside the club, with an angry man yelling at the bouncer because he wouldn't let him in and he was an 'important person'. Cece's casting director friend had told Cece that he was on the list, and I had a horrible feeling that they were only going to let him in and nobody else.

Well, he wouldn't even let Cece in. The bouncer barely looked at us and told us to step to the side. Cece's friend from London was really pissed off, because she's used to getting 'her clients' in everywhere, but me and Olivia were a bit less surprised- we do get unceremoniously thrown out of a lot of places in Paris, for no apparent reason. You can't take it personally- bouncers in Paris are horrible arseholes. I see into their dreams and they dream of empty clubs where nobody is allowed in, ever.

 Luckily our French Connections arrived and the bouncer took the rope away so we could get inside, but we did have to wait while a 'famous' French actor hugged the bouncer and was allowed before us. (I have no idea who he was, I'll try and ask someone so I can Google stalk him.)

I was half-expecting to hate Silencio and for it to be full of pretentious dickheads, but guess what?

I really loved Silencio, the song that was playing as soon as we walked in was 'Murder She Wrote', one of my all-time favourite tunes from Back in the Day (if you've seen Save the Last Dance, you'll know what I'm talking about). Everyone in there seemed really relaxed and happy, most people weren't even very dressed up. (I'm so glad we were too hungover to get really dressed up, as we would have looked out of place.)

It's a beautiful club, with tunnels that look like they are made of gold bricks and a transparent fumoir with seats inside that look like sculptures. Also, they serve Hendrick's gin with Fever-Tree tonic which Olivia has told me about before but I've never tasted it. Now I don't know how I will ever drink any other brands of gin and tonic. It doesn't even taste like a G&T, well it does, but it's so much nicer. It tastes like a Gin and Tonic that has been made by fairies for their Queen, at the bottom of an English country garden.

For 18 euros though, I wouldn't have expected anything less...

The French people we were with dropped off like flies because they were either drunk or had planned to meet friends elsewhere, then Cece told us he had to take his friend from London home because she was so drunk. Me and Olivia said we would stay for one more drink and then meet him at home.

Except... somehow... we didn't.

I don't know how we were so drunk, because at 18 euros a pop we obviously didn't buy hundreds of drinks, but by the time we left we were one of the only people left in the club. We got a taxi who drove us a really long-winded way home and kept stopping for No Reason, although when we got out Olivia said he had been trying to feel her up! Absolutely disgusting. And we're not idiots, it was a Real Taxi.

What makes me laugh is that some people will read this and think 'Well you shouldn't get that drunk then.' I'm SICK of people making idiotic comments like this. I take real offense to people who say things like "If girls didn't get so fucked, there would be less rape and sexual assualt."

Hmm. Maybe... (No, definitely not, I was being sarcastic.)

But do you know what solution would lower the rates of rape to nothing? Statistics have shown that if men DIDN'T RAPE PEOPLE then nobody would get raped, ever. Amazing isn't it? Mind-blowing.

Moving on...

We got back to Cece's to find his English friend on the floor in the living room, and a strange bearded man in the spare bedroom- our bedroom. We crept into Cece's room to ask him who the man was. We stood over Cece, tapping him gently on the shoulder to wake him up. He woke up with a start and yelled:

"Get off me! Where the fuck where you? I NEEDED you! You fucking ignored all my texts and calls! He saved us! He fucking saved us because you weren't there!"

Me and Olivia had jumped back in unison like scolded kittens and we stayed in this position for some seconds, momentarily frozen with shock.

"He'll be fine in the morning!" Olivia said eventually.

But where to sleep? I assumed that Bearded Stranger would be gay (I thought Cece had pulled him or something) and was all for climbing into bed with him, but Olivia was whispering at me to wake him up. In the end, he woke up anyway and went into the living room. As we climbed into bed, I got my phone out to set the alarm and saw that it was 7am.

Fucking hell.

I set my alarm for 9am, telling myself I'd have fifteen minutes to have a quick shower and throw my clothes on.

When my alarm went off, it sounded a bit weird but my head was still all muddled with dreams and alcohol, so I couldn't work out what was going on. I stomped over to my phone and saw that the au pair mum was ringing me. Her call ended as I stared in horror. The time. The time was 10.30am.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Biblical Bartender

Hey Zeus, the days are flying by. I can't believe tomorrow is Thursday- I need to blog about last weekend now because the next weekend will soon be upon us...

Thursday was Olivia's fancy media shindig. There was an open bar and mini quiches. Pure snazz. It was actually a party for bloggers- the media company negotiates advertising for fashion and beauty blogs. I hadn't really given this much thought until I arrived and Olivia said:

"It's a party for bloggers, why don't you network and smooze?"

So, did I stride into the party, my head held high and full of interesting facts about myself with which to beguile and enchant potential new connections in the blogging community?

Obviously not- I went into a massive sulk, shrinking into the shadows with a mini quiche and a free glass of champagne.

If there's one thing that makes me freeze up, it's people trying to encourage me. Don't encourage me World, just leave me alone to fester in the dark recesses of failure. And pass me another glass of free alcohol.

I did get talking to two very drunken party-goers, one of whom had a handlebar moustache and claimed his name was 'Dragon'. Olivia told me that 'Dragon' and his friend weren't even bloggers, they were just barmen on their night off who had come into work because they'd heard there was going to be an open bar.

At first we (as in me, Cece and Olivia; not me, Dragon, his moustache and his friend) hung around the bar, talking to people from Olivia's work and taking advantage of the free drinks. Then we moved into the back room to chat to Olivia's boss who is really lovely (she said I should go round to her house and she'll cook me dinner) and a fab English woman called Claire, who said it has taken her eleven years to become fluent in French, which is kind of devastating but not surprising if you think I've been here for over two years and I still don't know the French alphabet properly...

A highlight of the night was catching Cece sat at the bar, on his own, stuffing mini quiches into his mouth, after claiming he was going for a fag. He genuinely looked mortified when I told him I had witnessed his secret quiche binge.

Actually, I also spent quite a lot of time at the bar, on my own and not just because I was ordering champagne and mojitos for everyone...

The bartender was Fit and for once, it wasn't my beer goggles distorting my vision; I thought he was good-looking as soon as I walked in, before all the alcohol clouded my judgement. Every time he poured me a drink we made eye contact and smiled at each other and yes, sadly that is my idea of flirting. If you've ever wondered why I'm perpetually single, now you know- my idea of 'flirting outrageously' is to make eye contact and give a slight smile, and then maybe if they return the smile I will ask in a slightly annoyed voice: "Do you want to have sex me, or not?"

Works every time...


But I am going to get a lot of cats and although I don't have any hobbies at the moment, I'm pretty sure I could get really into doll houses.

At the end of the night there was only me, Olivia, Claire and the boss left in the backroom (there were a few bloggers on the dance floor and Olivia's boss couldn't leave until all the bloggers had).  We'd had a lot of shots and I started to voice my opinions about the bartender. Olivia came with me to the bar and asked his name for me because I'm 'timide'. (I know, you don't have to tell me how embarrassing this is.) Guess what his name is? Actually, don't even bother, you'll never guess: his name was Samson.

I was going to use a fake name just because it makes me feel like a Top Secret Important Blogger, but it's too good a name to disguise. Also, I can't tell you why (because then you will guess my name) but it is loosely related to my name... It was Fate.

Olivia and Claire kept sending me to the bar for more shots in the hope that a witty and sexually-charged conversation would strike up between me and Samson the Biblical Bartender. Erm, it didn't, but I did start chatting to the girl bartender. She told me I have a strong accent when I speak French. Humph.

Soon the last of the bloggers had staggered home and it was time to leave. Olivia and Claire said that I HAD to give Biblical Bartender my number. I've never done that, ever. But they made me, they made me do it. In the end, I figured I'd never see him again anyway and the thrill of doing something Bold and Forward might even boost my confidence.

I leant against the bar and asked him if he had a pen and paper. As he got it for me, the female bartender came back and started chatting to me in English. Samson kind of joined in and so he didn't notice what I was writing until I passed him the folded up piece of paper. As I chatted to the other bartender, I could see him out of the corner of my eye, opening up the paper. A look of surprise flashed across his face.


We left quickly, me and Olivia scrabbling into a taxi outside the bar. I didn't tell Olivia, but I'd managed to get the last goodie bag and I hid it under my coat for the entire journey home, because I wanted to keep it all for myself...

I'm despicable.

My phone beeped when we were a couple of streets away from mine. It was a text:

Yo it's Samson the bartender where are you now?
I want you

Now, I know 'I want you' seems a bit cringe in the sober light of day (also, Cece pointed out that as it didn't have a full stop, maybe he had pressed 'send' before finishing the text, maybe it was meant to say 'I want you... to never come in my bar again') but, bloody hell, after eight glasses of champagne, two mojitos and who knows how many shots, I thought it was the greatest text I'd ever received... I gave my number to somebody I fancy and he 'wants' me- victory.

"LOOK OLIVIAAA! Look wharr he sent me the fit bartender!"

We drunkenly composed a reply, in a confused jumble of French and English, something along the lines of:

I'm at home now, but tomorrow the friend I was with tonight is having a party, in the Marais, you should come.

It was all lies of course, but we were spectacularly plastered and decided that we would have a party in Cece's apartment, and he wouldn't mind because it would all be in aid of me Getting With Biblical Bartender.

Now I must be off to bed, but I will finish this story tomorrow and tell you what happened with Biblical Bartender.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Chic Living at Its Utmost

Amy had to cut her trip short by five days, due to an Unavoidable Tooth Drama. I promised her I'd do a blog post about her trip so she had something to cheer her up once she was back in Liverpool, lying in a bed of tooth-related agony...

So Amy and Lynn arrived two Sundays ago, I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I think on the Sunday night we just had a cup of tea to celebrate their arrival and then me and Amy went back to mine, because I had work at 9am the next morning. When I got back from the bilingual school, me and Amy went to meet Lynn and we walked up to Opera to get Chinese for lunch, I think... all the days are blending into one. All I remember is that we spent a lot of money eating out and buying pastries in every bakery we passed.

On Monday night we went back to the Turkish restaurant that me and Georgie went to with Hip Hop M.C and his auntie, who lives in Paris, ages and ages ago... I've been meaning to go back ever since because the food was so nice and it's not too expensive either. It's called Seç and it 's in the 17th arrondissement (18 rue Jouffroy d'Abbans, metro station: Rome) and don't be put off if it looks completely empty- both times I've gone my party has been one of only two tables. I have no idea why because the food is delicious. For starters we got a vegetarian mezze to share and a couple of those spicy Turkish pizzas that I loved last time- lahmacun- and we all got some kind of meat-based dish for our main. I'm pretty sure I got the same thing I had last time- essentially a lamb kebab with mint and aubergine but that description doesn't do it justice. Mmm. 

None of us wanted dessert but they brought us a platter of fruit with sparklers in it anyway- the staff are really nice, unless it was just because we were their only customers.

I know that in my financial situation I shouldn't be sashaying out for meals every couple of hours, but I really have faith in my Money Karma Theory- the idea that our bodies are covered in 'money pores' which we have to keep open in order for 'money karma' to seep into our 'money aura'. So yes- a lot of money will flow away from us and into the pockets of bartenders and Sephora assistants, but this will result in us gaining more money in the long run... do you see?

For the cynics among you, you might wipe that unimpressed look off your face when you learn that, on Tuesday morning, I awoke to a phone call from another French mother asking me to teach her kids English for thirty euros an hour. BOOM. Money Karma Theory in action.

On Tuesday we just made dinner at Kayt's. Amy did this dish that she learnt when she lived in Paris, it's kind of like a risotto made with pasta- instead of boiling dry pasta you cook it slowly in white wine with onions and thyme. After tea we went to Le Sans Souci where I decided I fancy the half French, half Welsh barman.

Talking of fancying people... 

I realised the other day that what this blog needs more than anything else (yes, more than hundreds of followers and a competent web designer) is...


Yes, my blog needs romance. Unfortunately, the most romantic thing that happened to me recently was when I was walking to meet the girls at Seç and a toothless homeless man told me I was pretty. I wouldn't mind, but I got the feeling he was just saying it to break the tension. 

Anyway, I've decided that my blog can have more romance if we just talk about the love lives of others, namely Amy. Last time she came to Paris she met a Mexican boy on the Roissy Bus and it turned out he was going to be staying in Liverpool for a few months, using it as cheap base while he explored Europe with EasyJet flights to and from Liverpool Airport.

They enjoyed a brief love affair until he finally had to go back to Mexico... Sadly he left Liverpool a couple of days before Amy's most recent trip to Paris, but not before writing Amy a Love Song. I wanted to copy the whole thing onto my blog because I liked it immensely, but I forgot to do it while Amy was here. However, some of the lines were so good that I committed them to memory:

To Amy, a special girl
You are my British pearl
I love your beauty legs
If I could I would have sex with you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week
I love you more than the Dalai Lama loves Buddhism. 

It's fucking beautiful. I wish a Mexican would write a song in praise of my beauty legs...

As for Kayt, she found an Official Boyfriend over the summer. She stayed in a little cottage in Wales with a group of friends and they ended up sharing a room. One night they were both lying in bed, in the dark, when she suddenly said, "Come and get in here." So he got into her bed and now they're talking about moving in together when Kayt finishes her job in Paris next summer.

So, there you go, some romance for you. Now nobody can say Left Bank Manc isn't romantic.

Actually... I did have a romantic moment of my own. One day I was telling Kayt and Amy how I've been listening to that stupid fucking Bon Iver song- Skinny Love, and how I don't know why I mooch about listening to it in the rain because it just makes me depressed. I was saying how the song makes me upset and how it always makes me think of my ex-boyfriend, until I remember that I don't have an ex-boyfriend and the I feel even worse. But the song somehow makes me think that I do have an ex, so I kind of imagine one...

"What's your imaginary ex-boyfriend called?" Kayt asked.
"Rod." I said, without thinking, "He was a Canadian, skinny with longish dark hair, not my usual type, but he was really charismatic. We met at the Pop-In, he was doing open mic night."

Before I knew it, I was telling Amy and Kayt all about Rod. 

"Remember his funny mate, Little John, who came over from Canada with him?"

They did.

We reminisced over Little John's funny stories.

"Remember the one about the car, when he was at school? They were funny because they weren't even that funny and he knew it, but that somehow made them funnier."

Oh, we laughed. Little John and Rod. We were one big, happy gang. It was shame it didn't work out.

"He just didn't love me." I eventually said, trying to smile through my tears, "So how could it ever work?"

I didn't tell the girls, but once he said to me, 'How can I love someone who doesn't know if they believe in love?'

I often wonder if I'd just... maybe if I'd... Oh, Rod. You hurt me so much, but I'd take you back in a heartbeat. I would. 

"He's moving back to Canada though, so that's that."

As I dried my tears, Amy and Kayt nodded sympathetically. Time to move on.

Also time to stop improvising imaginary ex-boyfriends, perhaps.

Enough nonsense, what day was next? Ah, Wednesday, you old rogue.

Wednesday was Amy's birthday and sadly Lynn was going home that day, so me, Kayt and Amy just had spag bol at mine. I know it sounds like we're terrible friends but Amy said that she really didn't want a fuss. Anyway, I texted Amy and told her to buy a bottle of champagne for herself and said that I would give her the money, so nobody can say I didn't make an effort. (I told her to keep it under twenty euros as well. What a horrible pute I am.) In the end we decided that it was a waste to drink champagne with spag bol, so we had red instead and saved the fizzy stuff for another, hopefully more glamorous, night.

Thursday was Curry Night at Kayt's, Laura (as in Louvre Laura, not Glasgow Laura) came as well and Amy bought extravagant cakes from the bakery. I know what you're thinking and yes, I have put on about sixty stone in the last couple of weeks.

On Friday we met up with Liz, an English friend of Georgie's who is really nice but we never see her, and it turns out she is getting married in a couple of weeks! (I swear everyone I know has decided that is the year to get engaged or married. If only Rod hadn't been such a Commitment-Phobe.) Then me and Kayt took Amy to our favourite Drunk Burger Restaurant at Pigalle, where they serve the burgers raw and the service is surly. A weird, pervy man kept waving at us through the window and then he came in the restaurant and walked over to our table. Out of nowhere, a deep-baritone boomed NON MONSIEUR and we looked up to see a very large bouncer balanced on a stool, looming above us. We decided to call him Big Dave and chatted to him for a bit about which was the most beautiful city, Paris or Rome. There's a lot more to Big Dave than people think.

After our Drunken Burger, we decided (perhaps strongly influenced by me) to go to le Sans Souci. We haven't been out in South Pigalle for months, not since we killed it last year by going to Le Mansart nearly every night of the week, but I feel as though I'm ready for it again. The Barman I've decided to develop a pointless, girlish crush on asked me if I was being served in French.

"Yeah, I'm alright thanks, I'm being served." 

I thought that perhaps this brilliant opener could be spark off a flirty conversation, leading to sticky eyes across the bar and finally a night of drunken passion, followed by a few free drinks over the coming weeks until our brief fling would end one quiet Tuesday night, when I would say "Why would do we never go to your place?" and he would be forced to admit that he lived with his girlfriend. I'd get no more free drinks and I'd never be able to go into Le Sans Souci ever again. 

It's probably for the best then, that the flirty conversation I anticipated went more like this:


When the other bartender put my drinks on the bar, he understood and went on to serve somebody else. I looked at Kayt.

"Has he ever told us he's half-Welsh?"
"No" she said, "You told me."

So. I may or may not have made up the fact that he is half-Welsh. But why would I do that? Have I finally cracked? As well as making up imaginary ex-boyfriends and back stories for 19th Century maids who might have inhabited my Cinderella Room before me (anyone remember Bertha?), it would appear that I now make up dual-nationalities for barmen I take a shine to.

On that note, we went home. 

The next day was Nuit Blanche and we planned to go to an art exposition in Republique (the artist was a friend of Louvre Laura). In the end we fannyed around for so long in my room drinking champagne and taking dickheady photos of ourselves (our excuse was that we have been friends for over two years now and we have about six photos of us together- nobody takes photos in Paris) that we missed the exposition. But guess what! We sent Amy to my corner shop to buy champagne with the twenty euros we had between us and the only champagne they had was 26 euros, so Amy said she'd just leave it... Then the shop keeper said she could have it for twenty euros! Things like that never happen in Paris. Six euros off a bottle of champagne, not a bad start to the evening.

I had found plastic champagne flutes in my cupboard but unfortunately the stems and bases were missing. This is the ingenious solution I came up with:

Left Bank Manc's Guide to Being Chic TOP TIP:
If you can't find the base to your plastic champagne flutes, simply wedge them in a bog roll! Cheers.

Also, I think Saturday night is the night that I had a shower while Amy was using the hob. Chic living at its utmost. It's not as weird as it sounds, because the shower doors are frosted in the middle, or all your rude bits are hidden. It's still a little bit weird though, talking to your mate while she makes tarragon chicken fricassee two inches away from you. (It was delicious, by the way.)

We finally made it out about midnight and met up with Ruth in Belleville for drinks. Above the bar next to us there seemed to be some sort of rave occurring, so we went to investigate and it was proper old school dubstep. Then they dropped a really shit, commercial song, I can't remember what it was, but we suddenly felt a bit embarrassed so we left. We said goodbye to Ruth, then got the metro back to Kayt's. Then we walked for about an hour in search of the only kebab place we knew would be open- the all night bakery near Pigalle.

Look, I'm running out of time now. I can't keep describing everything in such detail or I'll never finish before my lesson at 5pm and I still need to plan the lesson. For Amy's sake I'm just going to sum everything up:

On Sunday we went for a stroll by the canal which ended with wine at Chez Prune.

On Monday my FUCKING ALARM didn't go off and I was late for my job at the school. I have no idea why it didn't go off which made me panic it would happen again... In the afternoon Amy and I went shopping and that evening we watched Marie Antoinette at Kayt's. 

We got amazing Greek sandwiches for lunch on Tuesday and in the evening me and Amy went to the cinema while Kayt was babysitting. It was such horrible weather that the cinema was the only thing we fancied doing. They were showing the English version on a tiny screen and there was only six of us in the whole cinema. You HAVE to go and see Lawless and not just because Tom Hardy is in it playing a rugged, moody outlaw.

Then on the Wednesday Olivia arrived! She was back for a few days for a function hosted by the media company she worked for over the summer. As Olivia helped to organise it, they offered to pay for her to come back for the party. The party wasn't until Thursday night, so on the Wednesday night we all went to... where else, but good old Chez Gladines.

Amy decided not to get the duck in roquefort sauce. I'm still reeling.

We went to Sputnik afterwards, the bar down the road, and it happened to be Ladies Night, so a glass of champagne was really cheap. Amy was a bit miserable because she said her tooth had started hurting, so her and Kayt went home. Me and Olivia stayed out for a bit and then had a sleepover at Cece's, just like the Good Old Days. BUT! Shock Horror! While we were out, I received a message from Amy to say that she had changed her flight back to England, because her tooth was hurting her so much, meaning she was cutting her trip short by FIVE DAYS.

It was sad.

But, when she got back to England, the dentist told her that she had a baby tooth hidden in her gum which was infected and was slowly poisoning her whole mouth, so I guess she needed to go home early. I saw her one last time on Thursday afternoon before she had to get her plane. It's a shame she had to go home early but she promised to try and come back before Christmas.

Also, if Clare is reading this, I know she'll be fuming because I haven't mentioned her once and she was supposed to come to Paris with Amy. But in the end her new job had to come first, so don't be upset Clare, come back when Amy comes and we can go to the Christmas market and drink vin chaud, ok?

Ok. Now I really have to go and plan this lesson. When I get home from work this evening, I have another big blog post to do so I hope y'all are ready.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Just To Let You Know...

It feels like I've been consistently drunk since Wednesday. I am so tired that I can barely type but I promise I have the best blog post coming tomorrow, which will include, amongst other things- a Biblical Bartender, open bars and free quiche, a trip to Silencio and a sinister man stalker in a dark courtyard, watching us day and night... Amy and Olivia were back, I paid somebody to massage my back and there were brunches and champagne and there was A LOT of rain.

Also, we think we met Jesus Christ. He saved Cece and his agent from two American prostitutes. 

Now I'm going to bed to worry about what kind of a person I really am.

I also, finally, have J.K.Rowling's new book!!!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Stop it stop it.


Annabelle, the woman who runs the drama classes, asked me if I could cover her lesson on Thursday evening, which is 5pm to 6pm, and I said no because I had a private English lesson, a job that she got me essentially, by putting in a good word for me with her friend. Annabelle messaged me back saying 'I thought you had your au pair job at that time? The problem with me giving you all these private lessons is that you can never cover for me! We need to discuss it.'

I was going to send her a polite message back, detailing these points:

-the main reason I decided to stay in Paris for another year was to teach drama classes

-I got back to Paris in September to be told I wouldn't be teaching any classes of my own

-I didn't kick up a fuss or even mention the fact that I had been... let's say... 'mislead'

-I know she wants me to substitute her lessons, but I cannot afford to teach one lesson every month, I need to be teaching as much as possible, which is why I'm very appreciative of the private lessons she has sent my way

However, I didn't send her this message because I didn't have time. I literally haven't had a second to think for about eight days and I'm sick and tired and I have a very short fuse at the moment. Also, she said we needed to discuss it, so I thought we should sit down properly and I could explain to her how I feel about the situation

Then about an hour ago Annabelle sent me a message to say that rang up the mother of the children I teach on a Thursday (who happens to be her friend, that's how I got the job) and told her that I couldn't teach the lesson this week, because I had to cover for her.

"Is this ok?" she added at the end of the message.

I absolutely cannot believe she has done this. I feel really scared and paranoid, like people are trying to control me and take over my life.

I CANNOT STAND IT when people tell me what to do.

I sent her a message back to say that the lesson I teach on a Thursday is 5pm until 5.45pm, giving me plenty of time to get to my au pair job. The drama lesson finishes at 6pm and then I will have to wait for the parents to arrive and stay behind to tidy up the classroom. There is no way I can do it. Besides, I've already messed about my Thursday class, because one week the au pair family needed me to come in early and I had to cancel.

This is so, so out of order.

I don't know what to do, because Annabelle is really nice. Why has she done this?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Wind the Bobbin Up

I am very Wound Up and Irritated.

Somebody is making RIDICULOUS noises next door, scraping and scratching and filing, steadily working away at at something... my patience.

Another qualm I have with life at the moment is the fact that I STILL haven't booked my flights back to England for my cousin's wedding. I'm waiting for a cheque to clear and the flight I was going to book is now full. There is no other flight I can get (I can't have the Friday off, which means I need to fly back very early on Saturday morning), so it looks like I will have to get either the train or the coach, but I don't know where the wedding is and it might cost a million pounds and take three months to get there from London. I think it might be in Oxford. Does anybody know where Oxford is? No. There you go then, I'm fucked.

My terrible mood might have stemmed from this morning, when my alarm went off TWO HOURS LATE for No Reason. As soon as I heard my alarm I leapt out of bed to put it on snooze, only to discover it was 9am- the time I was supposed to be start work. The little alarm was still insisting it was 7am and even had the cheek to inform me, when I hit snooze, that it would be going off again at 7.05am. Stop lying to me, you little shit.

I rang up the bilingual school and told them in a croaky voice I was going to be late. Nobody seemed too annoyed at me when I arrived, but I really don't know how much longer I will last in the bilingual school; when I try and talk English to the kids they just frown at me and walk away, confused and sad.

Later I have another private English lesson, a new one, the mum called me last Monday. Yep, now I have three private classes a week, thirty euros an hour. I know I should be really pleased but I just feel nervous and slightly panicky, I'm worried the parents will think that I'm crap and also I have a horrible feeling in my stomach every afternoon, in case the au pair mum asks me to come to work early and I have to cancel the lesson.

Every time my phone rings my heart jumps into my mouth, then out of my mouth and on to the window ledge, where it starts doing the Charleston energetically, laughing wildly at the thought that it could fall off the edge at any moment, a wrongly-placed foot here or an over-exuberant leg kick there... As I answer the phone my brain races through lists of parents and kids and schools and nurseries and teachers- am I supposed to be somewhere? Have I fucked up again? Normally it's Kayt, asking me what I want for tea. My heart slides of the window ledge. Calm down. Be calm now.

Now I'm panicking again because I don't have enough time to blog about everything I need to blog about. It's been over a week since I wrote that (semi-drunken) post about 'My Paris'...

Me and Kayt had gone to a parade for AIDs* that began at Bastille and made its way to Hotel de Ville. It started out really well- we found a hip hop float and followed that for a while, then we ducked into an alimentation to buy some beer. We were dancing and drinking... life was good. Then, all of a sudden, life was Horrible. The float stopped because the acts were changing over and the street started filling with people- an insanely dangerous amount of people. Me and Kayt were stood in the middle of the crowd until we realised that when the float started moving again, there would be mayhem, because everyone was facing towards this one float where apparently a really popular French act was about to play.

We moved to the kerb just before the float started moving. It was C2C- apparently a 'really famous' French DJ group. (Am I an idiot for never having heard of them?) When C2C started playing, crowds came rushing in from all the backstreets. As the float moved (I don't know how it managed to get through) the crowd moved with it, but everyone at the side of the road wanted to stay still and watch the float go past...

I knew it was going to get messy.

Suddenly the crowd was squished together and people were being pulled and pushed in all different directions. I thought I heard screams coming from the crowd, but I couldn't tell if they were screams of terror or whoops and cheers. Suddenly, I was convinced that people were yelling and screaming in horror so I, erm, started crying.

Crowds really scare me these days. No, not crowds- crushes scare me and last Sunday, we were definitely in a Huge Crush.

Kayt was trying to calm me down but then she got lifted off her feet by the crowd. Behind us was a shoe shop, but they were locking the doors and telling everyone to go away. We pushed our way to the door just as they were about to shut it. The security guard took one look at me and let us in, as well as three other girls who were clearly panicking and upset.

We sat in the empty shop and waited for the crowd to calm down.

I'm just not cut out for big crushes and lack of crowd control. My mind screams HILLSBOROUGH HILLSBOROUGH and I start panicking.

Well, sorry. This hasn't been a very uplifting post, has it?

Sunday did get better though...

After the parade had moved past, me and Kayt went for a burger to sober up, then that evening Amy and Lynn arrived from Liverpool and they came bearing gifts! They had bought me an amazing book called 'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making'- a novel about a little girl called September who goes to Fairyland on the back of a leopard and meets a dragon and an evil Marquess- and they bought Kayt a book about English grammar. She absolutely loves it, seriously.

Well, I'm all out of time. More to come later. I feel a bit calmer now. Phew.