Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Reunions

Quick question, would you describe yourself as:
a) bored of my recent miserable, moany blog posts
or
b) a BIG FAN of my recent miserable, moany blog posts and in fact wish that all the blogs you read were as moany and depressing as mine?

Oh, I'm so glad you say b)...

Last night 'that guy I was seeing for a bit' came into the pub to collect his jumper- I suggested posting it or getting it to him through a friend of a friend of a mutual friend- but he said "Wouldn't it be easier just to meet?"

Hmm, for him maybe. I can forget people easily, as long as I don't see them or hear from them. But when they keep messaging... it's like having a tin of biscuits on the table with no lid on and saying "I won't eat any."

Put the lid on it and wait for your tea.

In the end I told him to pop into the pub. I thought it would be busy and there wouldn't be time to talk, but when he walked in there was nobody at the bar. I had the jumper waiting in a plastic bag behind the bar and I passed it to him as quickly as possible.

"How you been?"
"Yeah fine."
"How's your cat?"
"Yeah he's good..."

(Awkward look.)

"Pint of Guinness please."

I had to pour him a pint, take the money from him and give him his change. I had to try really hard not to smile but a bit of a grin crept out and he saw. He started smiling too and for a second it was like 'the conversation' had  never happened. I went downstairs to get some more ice, telling myself to stop it. When I came up he was still there, stood at the end of the bar, blending in with all the over men in black coats and scarves, having after work drinks.

He tried to make a couple of jokes, start a conversation, luckily we got busy and we didn't get another chance to talk. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw him put down his pint and make to leave, so I looked at him and said bye. He gave me a weird look. I couldn't tell if he was sad or VERY ANGRY (remember he only has four emotions to choose from) or something in between... He said bye too and it felt final... It's annoying because I thought we'd already said goodbye for the last time. Saying goodbye again last night took me by surprise.

After he left I started crying! I was so surprised at myself. I think I just hate saying good bye to people, when I was little I used to stand at the door crying when it was time for my friends to go home. I hate saying goodbye to people now, if I had my way social events would just mysteriously finish and nobody would remember getting home.

That sounds like I want to date-rape all my friends.

Forget the date-rape for a minute, can we go back to my important issue? My issue is that I have no issues. I think I was so upset because I knew how ridiculous the whole situation was. Other people get upset because their boyfriend moves to Kazakhstan (if you're thinking 'who the hell has that ever happened to?' then my friend who shall remain nameless can vouch for me that this is a very upsetting and realistic situation) or because their girlfriend wants to put on animal masks and go dogging (again I have some friends who can vouch for this... because they watched it happen in a documentary): I got upset because I went on a few 'breezy' dates with someone and then decided I didn't want to be 'breezy' anymore.

I got home from work about half twelve and the cat wanted to go out. Rushdie's owner Chloe had been round in the day to wait in for our new oven (which wasn't installed last week for Some Reason, after all the trouble I went to of organising Take Your Cat To Work Day) and she decided to try letting him outside. He loved it and Chloe said he didn't venture too far. When I got home he was meowing to go out, so I opened the back door and watched him slink into the night garden.

For a while he stayed near the door, cautious, then he sped off into the darkness. Just before I went to bed I tried to call him in, but he didn't come. I went to bed worried. How long can cats stay out for? At home our cats have always gone out at night, but not all night. I set two alarms for 4am and 5am, in case he turned up in the early hours expecting to be let in.

At 4am there was nothing. At 5am it was light outside and I stood in my pyjamas, calling his name quietly. It was raining softly. No meow. I woke up at 8am and Rushdie still wasn't in the garden. I worried that he'd gone too far and had run away, or gotten in a fight with one of the local #CATS (like #LADS but they have spiky willies*), or found his way onto the road at the front.

Why did I fucking let him out?? I could have had him curled up on the end of my bed and instead, he was lost. I texted Chloe and she told me not to worry, she didn't think he'd venture far. In the end I put my coat on and went exploring. I called his name and suddenly thought I heard a little meow under the noise of the rain pitter-pattering on the plastic chairs and table. It's funny, but I've never looked round our garden properly. There's a little shed I hadn't noticed before and Rushdie was in there, hiding behind a plank of wood.



I carried him inside and thought we might have an emotional reunion, but he scrabbled to get out of my arms as soon as we got inside and trotted off to see what was going on in the hall cupboard. I wonder what goes on in that cupboard. If it's shut he scratches and whines to get in, then he doesn't come out for half an hour. When he comes out, his pupils are massive and black like he's been bombing catnip. Maybe there is a cat rave warehouse in there. There's a little door at the bottom that leads to a secret place and even though Natalie pointed out that it just leads to underneath the bath; I think maybe it leads to the strobe room in the Cave Rave! It makes sense!

*They do! Cats have spikes on their willies and when they have sex the spikes stick out and lock in. I'm 99% sure this is a True Fact and not something I made up by accident.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Take Your Cat To Work Day or Eyebrow Idol

I thought that getting a cat would make me less obsessed with my eyebrows. I thought that perhaps, in the absence of a feline friend, my eyebrows had become like two little hairy pets to me, which is why I stroked them so often and worried about them constantly and brought them up in conversation whenever I could...

But no, because now I have a cat and I have still spent this evening trawling the net for my new Eyebrow Idol. First of all, I am aware it's Saturday and it's pretty ridiculous of me to be spending the night in alone, looking at pictures of other people's eyebrows and talking to my cat, but it's a huge improvement on last Saturday which I spent lying on the sofa crying and pouring red wine on my face.

(It wasn't that bad, I actually enjoy crying on my own, which is why I do it so often: I was just a little emotional after the night out I had thought would be my First Rave of 2014 fell through; plus my eyes were all swollen and sore because I'd been rubbing the cat all over my face and I'm allergic to cats quite badly; and THEN I pulled my clothes out of the wardrobe and they had white furry mould growing on them. But Jumanji was on the TV and I'd forgotten what a good film it is! So it was fine in the end.)

Second of all, it's not really my cat it's Chloe's cat, but as I think I might have mentioned, me and Natalie are fostering him for a while because Chloe has become a live-in nanny while she finishes her Masters and the family didn't want her cat.

So.

For now he is our cat and we love him.

I love him so much that on Thursday I took him to work with me. Really, I know you are doubtful but it's true. The thing is that while we LOVE Rushdie (yes, Chloe named him after Salman and yes, he's very literary, see photo at the bottom of this post) we are technically not allowed to have pets either, but I really wanted to look after him and figured that as the landlord never comes round, he would never find out. If the landlord had to come over for some reason, I could just hide Rushdie's food and litter tray and let him outside to do secret wild cat things for a few hours.

But.

Rushdie isn't allowed outside yet, because he's still getting used to the place and he might not be able to find his way home again if we let him out too soon. He is desperate to get out though. The first night he was here he woke me up every hour or so by pawing my head to let him outside. Each time I got up with him, because I thought there might be a problem with his litter or his food or something; and each time he either sat looking out of the window or made me watch him climb into a cardboard box.

The other day I went into the bathroom and heard a strange rustling coming from behind the blinds... I peeked behind and saw Rushdie spreadeagled against the top of the window, trying to escape even though it was only open a tiny crack.

Anyway.

On Wednesday night the landlord told us that in the morning his wife would be coming round to wait in for our new oven. I got the text from Natalie while I was in work and went into a blind panic. Could I hide Rushdie in my room? Ask one of the neighbours to take him? Put him in his cage and hide him in Natalie's car? In the end the Deputy Manager (DIY Colonic) suggested that I bring him to work.

It seemed like the only solution, so the next day I left the flat three hours earlier than I needed to- just to make sure I wasn't still there when the manager's wife arrived- and got on the tube with Rushdie in his little cat carrier. I was nearly crying when Natalie put him in there (I couldn't do it). I was rushing around brushing my teeth and hiding tins of cat food in my wardrobe and he was just meowing and meowing, sat in his little cage, on top of the living room table.

It's funny carrying a cat round with you. To be honest I wish I could always carry a cat round with me, but you just can't.

When I got to work, I put him behind the bar, then in the cellar, then in the manager's flat upstairs. In the end Natalie texted me at 2pm to say the Oven Men had been and gone, so I took Rushdie home on my break.

It was nice of the manager to let me bring my cat to work and put it in his flat, but he still annoys me. On Thursday night he was nowhere to be seen, he was messing about in his flat for hours then he came down and told us that his legs were hurting so he was going to finish early. THEN his friends showed up so he came downstairs and had a drink with them!!!

I can't decide if he is really stupid or really sly.

By the way, for anyone wanting to hear more of DIY Colonic's practical advice (that seems like a mean name and she is really really lovely so I'll stop calling her that), her sister back in Poland has recently invested in a special plastic container, which is a lot easier to use than an old Pepsi bottle.

It was so nice of her to let me bring my cat to work. I actually enjoyed being out of the flat earlier than I needed to be, rather than faffing about at home and then running in late with sore eyes from watching too much television or staring at my laptop. In fact, this week I have been quite busy and I feel so much better for it. It's much nicer than when I waste my time being lazy and procrastinating. This week I had a meeting with one of Glasgow Laura's friends who is a copywriter and now she manages other copywriters. Hopefully she will be able to employ me for a project soon...

Also, this week I met up with the girl behind music and fashion web site House and Heels and we had a really good chat about writing and business. She's given me an idea which will finally enable me to get my Top Secret Project started! I don't want to discuss it on here in case someone steals my idea...

No, it isn't Dial-A-Tramp.

Talking of meetings, a few weeks ago I met up with a Twitter friend who I bonded with over the fact that we both have the same kimono. She has a Parisien boyfriend and goes to Paris every other weekend, I'm jealous. She's been reading my blog for a while and told me that she gets The Fear really badly too. We both confided in each other that recently we have been getting The Fear for No Reason.

A few weeks ago I was just sitting on the couch, drinking tea and minding my own business, when The Fear came over me so suddenly I felt like somebody was shaking me by the shoulders. It's horrible, suddenly feeling like you've done something really massively, insanely awful and wrong and racking your brain, going over every conversation and every social encounter, wondering why The Fear is falling through you like rushes of water, freezing cold then suddenly hot and bubbling and boiling.

Gaaaah.

I love my new cat. I'm going to call him 'my cat' but if Chloe is reading this then: I haven't stolen him, I just like calling him 'my cat'.

He sleeps on my bed and when I lie on my back he falls asleep on my pelvis which sounds a bit weird but unfortunately at the moment it is the only bit of me flat enough for a cat to sit on. I can't sleep on my back though, so I always remove him gently and curl up on my side, then Rushdie finds the mound in the duvet made by my two feet and rests his head on it. Aaah.

I can see how easy it would be to slip into Full Blown Mad Cat Lady. At night I lie there thinking that while it's lovely to have a little cat sleeping on my bed, it would be even nicer to have eight or nine cats sleeping on my bed, and one or two on my pillow and maybe one on my head like a furry, purring hat.

ALSO before I forget, today I went to a French bakery with Lauren and Beth and it was just like being back in Paris!! It's called Belle Époque and they do breads and cakes, all the cakes lined up in glass cabinets like in a real French pâtisserie. They had macarons and tarte au citron, a black forest gateau cake and their signature Belle Époque creation which has orange confit and chocolate mousse inside. Look, this photo reminds me of the ones I used to take when I first arrived in Paris and couldn't believe all the amazing cakes:



As soon as we sat down, a thunder storm seemed to appear outside before our very eyes, starting smack bang in the middle with just a few rain drops as a quick introduction and then straight into thunder and lightning and rain that made the window look like a wobbling sheet of water,

We sat in the cosy cafe and started with quiche and hot chocolate (it wasn't great, but I think I got over-excited and was imagining Angelina's hot chocolate) then we took a long time deliberating over the cakes. I went for a lemon meringue and I was very happy with my choice. Oh it did make me homesick for Paris, they even sold French cheese and condiments, tinned lentils and the biscuits I used to take for the kids (eat myself) at goûter time and French mustard.

Before I go, do you want to know who my new Eyebrow Idol is?

Priyanka Chopra.

Those are some GREAT BROWS.







Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Occult


Dark days in London this week, the lights of Christmas all packed away and gone. On Sunday I went to St. James Park with Claire. One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to walk around more, to visit places all over the city so that I really feel like I live in London. 

We walked through the park and out again, then past Downing Street, Big Ben* and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey was closed to sightseers, unless you wanted to join in the service. There were two bouncers on the gates, deciding if people really wanted to sit through a service or not. I wonder how they decided who was a church-goer and who was a mere sightseer? 

"Do you love God?"
"Erm, yeah."
"Do you really love God?"
"I... No. No, you got me. I just wanted to see the stained glass windows."

There was a little church next to the abbey that was open, St Margaret's and we wandered in for a look. Claire asked me what kind of church it was.

"It's so Church of England." I said, looking at the jolly little cushions hanging on the back of the benches that prevented the worshippers from having to kneel on the cold stone floor. So comfortable and jovial those C of E services!

Afterwards we realised that obviously it's C of E, because it was in Westminster and was probably used by members of parliament and the Queen at one time and the Queen is the C of E's biggest fan. 

We then decided to cross the river and walk along the South Bank... Can you say 'the south bank' or is South Bank an area? Oh who knows. I feel like a really bad tourist in London, one who hasn't done any research and doesn't know how to queue properly.

It was such a grey day, the river was dark and the sky was dark, a bleak cityscape in the distance choking up with rolling, black clouds, the tops of buildings invisible in the white mist. It was bitterly cold too, a proper January afternoon, but both of us like walking so we kept going.

We walked all the way to Tower Bridge, talking as we walked about London and leaving London. Claire doesn't know if she'll stay another year. It's funny when you haven't settled into a career yet, so you don't know where you'll be in a year's time, or what you'll be doing. 

At the moment I'm still hoping to get a copywriting or social media job. Although I set today aside to work on my CV and instead I'm on here, writing crap. I'm still doing the freelance work but it isn't enough to survive on and I really want to quit my pub job. 

Last night was a strange night in the pub, it's what I wanted to blog about really but I don't know if I should share it, it's not very uplifting. As one of my three favourite sickly sisters wrote in Wuthering Heights:

 "I'm going to tell it, but take care not to smile at any part of it." 

So last night didn't get off to a good start. I was serving two Argentinian teens at the bar and asked them for ID. It annoys me that I have to ask people for ID who look 21 and under, even if I think they're over 18. Each day we sign a piece of paper that says we will adhere to 'Challenge 21' and they regularly send people in to test us.

There was one other guy at the bar and when I asked the second teen for ID (they were actually both 24 but looked as though they could have been 18) the guy, who was short and baldy, exploded:

"Christ's sake do they look under 18?"

I can't remember if he actually swore or not, but that was the gist of his outburst. I was so angry that for a minute I couldn't think of anything to say, I just stared at him, feeling anger spread through me. Eventually I opened my mouth and started shouting at him. I could have been used as the How Not To React example in a customer service training video.

I told him that I HAD to ask people for ID who looked under the age of 21 and he said that was a stupid rule and said the legal age for drinking was 18, so I told him I KNEW what the legal drinking age was and if he didn't like it he could leave.

But he didn't leave!! He stayed!! And I served him!! Like an idiot.

I don't know why I served him, I guess I wasn't entirely sure if I had the authority to throw him out. I was so angry I was shaking. When customers kick off in the pub I normally explode and I don't deal with it very well. But I don't understand why you would start yelling and getting aggressive, just because there is someone getting served before you.

I can't believe I served him. I think my brain mede me do it automatically. He suddenly tried to be really polite when I was serving him but I couldn't look at him or say anything, my hands were shaking as I put his Fosters down on the bar. (It's always the Fosters drinkers who kick off, always.)

A few hours later, I was over it. The pub had been full of Arsenal supporters but once the match was over, everyone cleared out until there were just a few people left. One of them was a regular customer, David. The first time I saw him he was wearing a huge, wide-brimmed hat and he looked like a scarecrow. 

The Spanish guy who is the 'team leader' told me that David has terminal cancer, liver cancer. I can't believe he still drinks as much as he does. David used to live round the corner, but he got thrown out of his accommodation for a reason he won't tell us and was homeless for a week. He's 70 years old! I can't believe he was homeless, but the Spanish guy swears that David came in every day for a week, shaking and sleeping by the fire, until he was rehoused in another area.

As everyone cleared out, David came and sat at the bar. He kept telling me to cheer up, to smile, to be positive. I was trying my best to smile at him but he said I wasn't smiling enough. To demonstrate he would give me a massive grin and widen his eyes, which made him look like a smiling skeleton. He kept getting off his stool to do a little dance, then he'd sit back down and tell me about the area.

He said he misses the area, he doesn't like where he's been moved to. He told me that he was born and raised in the area where the pub is. Even though it's really central and touristy, it used to be really rough, which explains why some of the elderly regulars seem really skint. I guess they bought their houses decades ago when property was cheap and now they live in one of the most expensive areas in London on their little pensions.

David kept telling me to be positive. He wanted me to give him my hand so I did, because I didn't know what else to do. He squeezed it really hard and said, "I'm giving my positivity. Blahagaah osmosis you rahgrag positive rahgahblah osmosis."

It's really hard to understand him, because his voice is really croaky and he slurs his words a lot.

After he'd transferred his 'positivity' to me, I felt happier. I was bouncing around and smiling and David said to the Spanish guy, "See! It'sh workin grababa blah rah!"

Then he started look glum. He told me that he's abused himself for years, how he led 'a bad life, a wicked life' and how he can't believe he has reached the age of 70 and this is his life. I felt like I had really sucked all the happiness out of him by letting him squeeze my hand.

Then he started laughing, throwing his head back, his mouth wide open, tears streaming down his cheeks.

"Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable... I knew them, I knew them. I made wigs, I did wigs."

(I feel really mean but I didn't believe him, I don't know why, it just seemed as if he was having a bit of a mental episode, rather than telling me about his life. Maybe it is true, I wish I could find out.)

Then I realised he wasn't laughing, he was crying. He was wailing and moaning and I didn't know what to do. The few people still left in the bar looked over and looked away again. Nobody knew what to do. I was crying a little bit because it's awful seeing somebody cry, especially an old man who probably has a good reason to be so upset. How can you comfort somebody who's just told you they've ruined their life and that they are going to die soon?

We kept trying to get him in a taxi but he wouldn't leave. He started crying again and through the wailing and snuffling, I struggled to understand what he was saying, but this is what I heard:

"...see things before they happen gaaaaah brahgah a boy on his bike I grah bah snatched him up then a lorry grah rraaaah waaaah he would have been killed how do you explain that? (More crying.) It happens so often, so often... And it's horrifying. (Here he looked at me wide, scared eyes.) It's horrifying! How do you explain that? My mother had it too. Maybe it's a family malady."

Eventually we got him into a taxi but fuck me, I'll never forget his skeleton face staring at me as he cried and told me he can see the future before it happens.

Since we're talking about the occult, the lovely deputy manager at work also tells me mad stories about angels and ghosts. She once told me that someone she knows back in Poland tried to kill himself 'for a joke' because 'he likes adventure and everyone said that he can't kill hisself, so he try to do it to show them' (I really think something was lost in the translation). He was really drunk apparently and was doing something dangerous anyway, whether or not he really tried to kill himself for 'a joke' I really don't know, but he almost succeeded. He saw a hooded figure with a scythe, decided it wasn't for him and came back to the light.

She also told me that she performs colonic irrigation on herself. At first I wouldn't believe it and I kept laughing and telling her that she must be thinking of something else, then she started describing the process to me, which involves a Pepsi bottle with a hole in the lid, thin tubing 'like jelly' and a bit of water. 

Good lord.



*It was strange to see Big Ben in his formal attire, at work. I'm used to seeing him in Holiday Mode at Gare du Lyon, joking around and being a big cockney #LAD. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should read my blog more.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Boyfriend Train: Part 2

Sometimes when you ask a question, you don't get the answer you were looking for.

After four months friends starting asking me if I was on The Boyfriend Train and I definitely was not, but I did start to wonder if I should just check what was going on as the general consensus seemed to be that four months is quite a long time to see someone and never once mention whether things are moving in a particular direction or even if they are going anywhere at all.

I KNOW it's not good to do things just because your friends are urging you to, but it wasn't like that at all. I need help with emotional things because I don't think I have the same emotions as everyone else. I feel as if my emotional range does't extend further than VERY HAPPY, sad, VERY ANGRY, bored.

Actually, I think most people are the same. We create more complicated emotions by mixing and matching the ones we really feel. For example:

sad + bored = sorry

Being sad is really the same as being sorry, isn't it? And when you've made a mistake and you've said sorry and you're still expected to feel sad... it's boring.

Some other combinations are:

VERY ANGRY + sad = jealous
VERY ANGRY + bored = frustrated
bored + sad = lonely
VERY HAPPY = excited
VERY HAPPY + VERY ANGRY = nervous
VERY HAPPY = love + bored + VERY ANGRY = sad
VERY HAPPY + sad + VERY ANGRY + bored = drunk

Anyway. The point is that after talking to my friends I decided that I wanted to have a little chat. At first I wasn't sure if I even needed to have a chat, after all what would I say? What did I want? Then on New Year's Day, while The Person cooked lunch in the kitchen, I sat on his couch watching The Sound of Music. The song 'Climb Every Mountain' made me cry, because I was just thinking you CAN'T climb every mountain and you CAN'T ford every stream or follow every rainbow. Sometimes you just stay where you are, sitting on the sofa or stood in the shadows or, as I like to visualise my move back to England when I'm feeling particularly melancholy, settling down into a dark, damp cardboard box and folding the flaps closed over your head.

To be honest I was quite hungover and I was dreading going to work later on, but I think there might have been another reason why I was sad. And so I finally realised that yes, I might be wondering and there might be a question forming on my lips.

I organised a time and place. As the date grew closer, I felt as if the end was drawing near. Did I really need to have the chat? I didn't know if I was just bringing up the conversation to start some drama. But then I did have a serious question, was it ok if I started seeing other people as well? Would it make him sad or VERY ANGRY? Or would he not be arsed in the slightest?

Suddenly I felt as if I might actually be standing in the Boyfriend Train Station, not exactly holding a ticket for the Boyfriend Train but in the queue for the ticket office, where I could at least make an inquiry.

So I made the inquiry.

And the walls of the train station fell down around me like the painted backdrops in an old film studio.

Turns out I wasn't stood at the Boyfriend Train Station, I was in fact stood in Casual Car Park. Apparently it is very 'breezy' and 'fun' but it's the end of the line.

Now.

I can do casual. I am all for hopping on the back of somebody's Casual Sex Motorbike and roaring through sweet little villages, having a great time, knowing that you can squeeze his waist anytime to let him you want to stop and get off (good god I am going to town with this analogy!) or, if you're the one who's driving, you can pull over, pat him on the bum and ride off alone into the sunset, possibly taking the #LAD Highway or Route Sexy Sex. JUST MAKE SURE THEY ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET.

But I didn't know we were on the Casual Sex Motorbike! Normally you don't stop the bike to go for drinks and dinner and to the cinema and for lunch. He doesn't drive the motorbike to social events, park it up and introduce you to friends, work colleagues and cousins.

That is why I was confused.

I realised that I wasn't at the station, I was never getting on the Boyfriend Train. We'd been riding around Casual Car Park, on a rickety Tandem of Intimacy. It was quite cosy on that old bicycle for two and I did wonder if I'd done the right thing getting off, but once we'd had 'the chat' I felt really sad and that's not good, is it?

He seemed to feel quite pleased with the whole thing. Not only was I not stood at the train station, but I was stood alone. Then, I heard his voice calling me from up high.

I looked up to see him circling the Casual Car Park in a massive BULLSHIT HELICOPTER and he was shouting down to me above the noise of the propellers:

"I'll text you next week, we'll go for drinks, or we'll go for dinner."

I said, "I don't think you should."

That was two days ago and since then I have felt mostly sad + bored and sometimes VERY ANGRY. But now it's all ebbing away to nothing and I am trying not to think about it too much. I am definitely not getting on the fucking Tandem of Intimacy again though, I don't even really know what it is and I certainly did not agree to get on it. As for the Casual Car Park... I might rip through it on my Motorbike, but I won't be dilly-dallying around in it.

Guess what else.

As of Friday I will be taking my place in the Cat Caravan! My friend Chloe (who used to au pair for the family I worked for) has to move and can't take her cat with her, so I have agreed to foster him for as long as I can.

YES!! I will have a little cat to stroke and scratch! I am slightly worried as our garden is where all the neighbourhood cats meet to fight, I have actually gone out there and broken up a few scraps. They won't take kindly to a cat moving in on their neutral territory but if anyone has a problem with it, they can see me.

I've got half an hour left before work. This will fill the time nicely:



P.S. Just thought of another genuine feeling! Embarrassment. There's no other feeling like being embarrassed.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Pushy Bitch

Last night Posh Clare and Glasgow Laura came round for tea and I made them sausages, baked potato and baked beans for tea because Clare DEMANDED that I make it for her. As soon as she arrived she said,
"Darling I can't believe you're making sausages and baked beans for supper."

Then she started giving me 'life advice'. I don't know how she does it, but even though she is just trying to be helpful she ends up making me feel suicidal. I was sat on the opposite end of the sofa to her and she was on my laptop, searching for catering agencies for me to sign up with.

"You need to do this, this, this, this...."

I curled up tighter and tighter until I was literally a little ball of unwillingness, ready to fall off The Edge.

Clare just reminds me of all the things I haven't done and should be doing. Luckily when Laura showed up, Clare started talking about a weekend away in the country- her mum has decided to celebrate Burns Night this year and they are having Secret Haggis instead of Secret Santa and 'neeps and tatties' and by the sounds of it Laura is going to be the Real Scottish Person Star Attraction of the evening. I imagine her being surrounded by lots of people, all like Clare, urging her to 'speak Scottish' and read out poems by Robert Burns.

Anyway. Clare was just trying to kick me into action. I can't go on living this life I've been lumped with in London, because I don't like it. My flatmate told me a couple of days ago that she'll moving out in the next few months, because she wants to move back home and save money. I don't know whether to stay in the flat and get someone else in, or find a new flat, or go back to Paris, or go somewhere else. I keep dreaming in broken French, about rainy streets and Parisien skylines.

But if I leave London and go back to Paris, or go somewhere else (I was thinking I could be a holiday rep for the season) before sorting out a proper job, it will be like this whole London venture was a complete waste of time.

While Clare and Laura were here, we called Amy and passed the phone around as she gave out advice like an oracle. I like Amy's advice better than Clare's because Amy sugarcoats it for me and doesn't try and scare me into action by being aggressively proactive and terrifying. Amy pointed out that I've only been back in England for five months and at least I have somewhere to live and a job.

Guess what.

NYE turned out to be a good night in the end. Before work I decided that I'd try and go out after work, so I put on loads of make-up and packed a pair of heels in my bag. Then, once I got to work, I nipped out to Tesco before it closed and bought a bottle of rum and sixteen sausage rolls from the reduced aisle- I was practically a walking party.

It was a quiet night. We had some Irish Traveller lads in and in my eagerness to show them that I wasn't at all prejudice and am, in fact, a big fan of travellers all over the world (but especially the Eastern European travellers who live on the streets of Paris who nobody seems to realise are HUMAN BEINGS), I might have let them get away with fake IDs. They're not like normal sixteen year old lads though, they just sat around and chatted, taking it in turns to buy rounds, pulling wads of cash out of their pockets. Also, they spoke in the Irish Traveller cant which I've never heard before. They left after a few hours because they said the pub was 'boring'...

It really, really was.

At about half ten, Sophie and her boyfriend Dan came into the pub and surprised me! Dan said that he remembered how shit it was when he worked NYE there two years ago, until a group of us came to surprise him... Karma in work again. I don't know what I would have done if, at midnight, I'd have had to see in the New Year on my own, stood behind the bar and popping a sad party popper all alone.

There weren't many people in the pub- just a family of Swedish tourists, a couple of locals and a Greek/Russian guy on his own. Sophie and Dan got everyone in the pub to join in a circle and sing 'Auld Lang Syne'. Then everyone started clearing out and the deputy manager said I could go.

Sophie and Dan weren't sure what they were doing, but I'd already arranged to meet someone in Greenwich. He was in a pub which played really shit chart music, but then we found a tiny room that was like a living room and there was a DJ playing house music and a guy playing bongo drums for him. I didn't expect to find any good music but I loved it.

This year I have to get a proper job so I can start going out again. I barely ever listen to music, I do things in silence or I put the TV on and watch crap until my eyes hurt.

Not anymore, I'm not making any New Year's Resolutions because I never keep them, but I hope I can make London work. The first thing I need to do is get a new job- I found out this week that the new manager has been sitting in his flat and watching TV when I thought he was in the office doing important manager things!!! What a lazy bastard. When he first started he bought me wine and chocolates after work to say 'thanks for working hard'. I am such a fucking pushover. Throw me a bit of chocolate and I'll happily work away behind the bar on my own, all day, while he gets paid for doing nothing!!

At least I won't feel bad about dropping him in the shit now when I leave.

Maybe my New Year's Resolution should be to start being a pushy bitch and start asking for things.