Saturday, 28 June 2014

Copywriting

Don't worry- if you've been losing sleep over the fact that I wrote 'into manageable chunks' in my last post instead of 'in to manageable chunks'- I've corrected it now. (Although one person has unfollowed me since my last post, I don't want to sound needy, but why? Why did you have to leave me and make me look less popular?)

Sometimes at work people ask me grammar questions- because I'm the copywriter and so should obviously know- and I have to really think about it or look online. Obviously not things like 'do we need to start this sentence with a capital letter?' but things that I never have to think about like 'Is eveningwear one word or two?'

(It sound obvious but can an advert say eveningwear as one word? Would a magazine say evening wear? Some shops say eveningwear, while others use two words...  Etc.)

Every tiny detail is important- I like that. Sometimes me and the senior copywriter (obviously if this were going in an advertorial it would be 'the senior copywriter and I' but this is my blog and it's vernacular, yeah?) are asked to produce or correct a sentence quickly and people don't understand why play around with it for ages and ages, asking important questions like 'Who will be reading it? Where will it be going? What will the other copy say?'

The other day a new account manager created two creative briefs, but didn't ask me or the senior copywriter (there's only two of us and I was going to write 'me and the other copywriter', but I won't in case she somehow finds my blog and thinks 'What a cheeky bitch, she didn't mention my superiority over her!') to get involved, as if we could just throw any old words on the design like alphabet-shaped confetti.

Look at me! Discussing my job and not having to mention drunk women threatening to 'die with me in a ditch' or scarecrow-men telling me they see the future and crying! I'm such a Young Professional!

How is it that I still don't have any money?

This month I was supposed to be going to Lovebox Festival- I really wanted to see Bonobo and Soul II Soul and Joy Orbison and Hannah Wants and Tom Trago and Norman Jay and Mount Kimbie and MIA and Nas and ASAP Rocky and Soul Clap BUT I can't, so stop going on about it.

This month I have to pay my deposit on my new house, so I'll just be skint for this month, hopefully and then at least I'll have a deposit in London for next time I move.

I love my new house. I won't give away my top secret location but I can walk to Brick Lane and it's also close to that pub I went to that turned out to be connected to the Kray Twins- it's proper East London, I've definitely found the area of London I like the most. I love coming off the tube and walking through the market and all the shops selling saris and shalwar kameez. It's like the area I grew up in...

Looks mistily into the distance as she reminisces... 

One day my friend Sabrina gave me one of her shalwar kameez, a pale blue one, and I wore it to the shops. She lived in Longsight which has a massive Muslim community- I really thought they'd have seen more white girls in a shalwar kameez, but everyone was staring at me. I kept forgetting what it was called so I made up a song that went:

Shalwar kamee-eez, shalwar kameez, I-went-to-the-shop-in-one-of-these, wearing a shalwar kameez.'

I can still remember the tune...

She shakes her head, waking from her reverie..

My foot's gone numb!

It's weird because my new housemate Mon (I met her through Sharris, who I met through TC and OJ- how weird is it that I have the life I have in London now because TC decided to comment on my blog?) has only ever lived with boys and she's friends with loads of boys and I have never really had any lad mates, unless you count Jen and Claire. In Paris it was quite rare for us to go out with a boy in the group and it would normally be someone's boyfriend or on occasion, someone's boyfriend's mate who was just there for the weekend and they would normally end up being my 'friend' than my friend...

But since I've moved in with Mon there have been loads and loads of boys coming round to the house, in an almost constant stream. One night when people came round to watch the football and Mon wasn't home in time to let them in, I had to buzz boys in and I felt like I was in some kind of game show.

What kind of boy will buzz in next?

I think it's good, I think it make me a better writer. I like writing about women but if I have to drop in a male character he is normally a 2D characterure who either thinks, acts and talks suspiciously like a woman, or he upsets all the female characters for No Reason, or he's evil, or all three.

Anyway, I guess I've filled you in on my new house and new job. It seems as though a lot of people don't know what a copywriter is, I was trying to explain it to my dad and my nana over the phone and they kept passing the phone between one another, asking me loads of questions and sounding confused until finally my nana yelled IS IT IN AN OFFICE??? and I said yes and then she calmed down and said she was pleased for me.

Do you know what a copywriter is?

This is a copywriter.
I write copy- copy is the name of the words you read or hear in an advert. I really like it. The other day TC said "I said it would all work out and you didn't believe me, do you believe me now?" and I guess it has all worked out... I really like my job, but I didn't come to London to be a copywriter, I just kind of fell into it. It's a really nice office. We're starting a company blog, which obviously I enjoy (a lot)- and we have loads of occasions where there's free booze and nibbles, which I also enjoy (a lot).

As for my drama dream... Remember when I came to London to do my auditions? And I stood outside The Globe with Lauren and wondered if I would one day get to act on its stage?

Well I've given up on that. It was hard enough trying to earn enough money to afford fucking ridiculous London rent, never mind finding time to think about acting.

But.

I have started writing with Sharris- she's an actor and we have an idea that I'm quite excited about. It's good because like Mon, she has a lot of boy mates so when it comes to writing the male characters they might sound like actual men and they won't behave like Disney villains.

The reminds me- I saw Titus Andronicus at The Globe and I nearly fainted. This post has gone on for a very long time so I'll carry on in another post later. Me and Mon are going to the market to get fruit and veg. I'll leave you with a song to liven things up.




Thursday, 26 June 2014

Back to Blogging

I've been away for such a long time, I don't know how to begin catching up.

Hmm... How to get back into a blog?

I feel bewildered by the time-consuming task that lies ahead of me: writing up every thought I've had in the last twenty days (that's almost three weeks- so unbelievably sluttish* of me).

Like most daunting tasks, it's best to break up this blogging in to small, manageable chunks, so for now I'll go back to where I left off, even though that weekend in our Swanky Kensington Hotel was so, so long ago...

By the way. Look what Google did to my photographs without me even asking:


Apparently it's called an Auto Awesome photo. (It took two of my photos from my last post and stuck them together to create one photo of the same view, if you can't work it out.)

What's not so awesome though, is that my blog isn't connected to my Google + anymore, so how the hell did it get those two photos from my last post?

Anyway. When my mum was here for the weekend we went to Portobello Road Market. I went there years ago with a friend from uni, but I've not been since I moved to London. It feels like something out of a film (well, one film in particular).

It's the side of London I used to daydream about, but weirdly haven't thought about once since I moved here. It's not like Paris where the city of your imaginings swells around you soon as you step off the Eurostar, billowing around you every day and every night; in London reality just sits there like a puddle, or a patch of grey sky... even if you're drunk and star-spangled, London seems so sober.

Portobello Road Market feels a bit more cinematic, at least. I bought an old Levis denim jacket- the brainwashing effects of all that denim research I had to do for work still haven't worn off- and now I constantly ask myself what jacket I wore in the days before I owned a denim jacket.

(It's no replacement for my kimono, but- gee wizz- is my denim badboy**versatile.)

Later on we drank a huge amount of wine with my cousin Sophie and my mum's cousin- I know, it's like a riddle... If there are four cousins who are each related to the other three people in the group, but each of them is only the cousin of one person in the group and no two people in the group are cousins with the same cousin... then what the fuck is going on?

We started out at/in/on (I don't know which... we were just there, you know what I mean) the South Bank, then we went to a little pub at the back of Waterloo and all of a sudden a funny look came over my mum and I knew she was suddenly completely and ridiculously drunk.

It was so sudden- one minute we were having a very loud, heated debate about Israel and Palestine (which mainly involved me yelling NOT TO THE DETRIMENT OF OTHERS THOUGH, MUM! after the word 'detriment' came to me in a flash of inspiration) and the next minute I had to take her home, supporting her as we walked and standing behind her on the escalator so she didn't topple backwards.

We said goodbye to my cousin and her cousin, then my mum said she needed a wee. You have to pay 30p to use the loos in Waterloo (I feel like I should attempt a loo pun, but I'm tired and anyway, I should know better) and we had 60p. Mum wasted her 30p by being incapable of getting through the barriers effectively, so I helped her through with our last 30p and waited for her outside.

I waited and waited.

And waited.

I gave a confused Texan lady 10p I found in my pocket so she could get through...

And then I waited.

Eventually I climbed over the barriers and marched into the toilets, ready to kick down some doors in case mum had passed out or choked on her own sick. She was just stood by the sinks, smiling into the distance and clutching her handbag at chest-height like a little girl pretending to be a Grown Up Lady in a play.

Somehow I manged to get us both back to the hotel and ordered room service, because I've never had it and may never have it again! The next day we had breakfast in our rooms, perched on the ends of our bed like that scene in Sex and the City where that guy leaves Carrie some money after they have sex.

Right. That's pretty much the end of my post now, I'm tired but I have a lot more to blog about and to prove it I will write down some notes for myself here, so I don't forget:

- Terry Richardson
- American Apparel owner being sacked
- Paris
- Spain
- Titus Adronicus
- Online dating
- My new house

And inevitably:

- Eyebrows
- Cats
- Myself

*as in the old fashioned use of the word, like "She knew all the latest jazz tunes and looked swell in a beaded flapper dress, but she was a sluttish housekeeper". I don't mean I've been too busy slagging about to blog.

**Can't decide if My Denim Badboy is the title of a millionaire-making raunchy novel series, or the headline of a Take A Break story.

Friday, 6 June 2014

NICE TIMES FOR YOU and NICE TIMES FOR OTHERS

Whaa it's bun a rrreeeel laaang tyme missy, whatchoo bun doin?

I bun rrreeeel buzzy sur. Tha's wha I aint done ma blog fur a short while yes sur.

Guess what accent I'm doing.

I haven't blogged for so long, but I have started a couple of times and given up. First let's have what I wrote a few days ago. Maybe I should put it in italics so you can differentiate between THEN and NOW, but reading so much in italics might peck yer head so I won't bother. Try and remember that this is NOW and now this is THEN though, k?

THEN
Lots to say but so tired. The little cat is snoozing next to me and making my eyes all itchy and swollen, but I don't want to move her. Before she was sat on my lap and when I stood up, thinking she would leap off, she just clung on with her claws while I walked around, half-holding her and half-holding my back, like some monstrous pregnant woman with her baby growing on the outside and the baby being a cat.

Ergh.

Now I'll tell you about the lovely hotel I stayed in with my mum. We got 'a good rate' because my mum's cousin works for the hotel, but I can't tell you what her job is or you might be able to Google her and use the information to do voodoo on us. I won't tell you the name of the hotel, but I will say that it looks over Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, where my good friends Will and Kate live with their Royal Baby.

I was so excited on the Friday. I'd been Googling the hotel all day, looking at photos of the rooms and reading about the restaurants. There's is a Chinese one on the top floor that Time Out named on their list of 'restaurants with the best views of London'. It looked quite expensive though and I was a bit alarmed when mum sent me a text to say we were booked in there for 8pm. I told her to cancel the booking and explained that it was really dear and she just said, 'Hopefully Cousin* will get a good discount! If not that's a lot of prawn crackers!'

Hmmm.

The hotel was VERY SWANKY in my opinion and as I have not stayed in many swanky hotels, perhaps my opinion counts for SHIT.

But the views were far from shit! They were amazing and to prove it I have a photo taken on my Crapberry to show you.






In the bottom photo you can just make out the Shard and in the top photo you can see Kensington Palace. I could look right into Kate and William's bedroom and one night I looked across to see that they were both waving at me, so I shut the curtains. The above sentence is a whopping big lie (that sounds like something out of a Jacqueline Wilson novel) but the below sentence is all truth:

The Chinese restaurant was amazing.

NOW
It was three floors above our room (we were on the 7th floor, naturally) and with a panoramic view from three sides. We ordered the Beijing duck which is like Peking duck but less crispy and dry, more fatty and sizzling. It came with pancakes, plum sauce, cucumber ect that you get with Peking duck and also with garlic paste and other things I can't remember that traditionally come with Beijing duck.

They brought it to the table to carve and for 'an appetiser' (depending on which way you look at it) they sliced off some fatty bits of skin and told us to dip them in sugar. I know this sounds disgusting but it was delicious. I know it's awful but hot fat is one of my favourite things to eat. (That's what I most miss about living on my own- sitting on my bed in my knickers and eating the burnt bits of lamb fat from the pan... Wow. Perhaps it is a GREAT THING I no longer live on my own.)

After the pancake course, they turn the rest of the duck into something else, you can choose between a noodle or rice dish. The duck on its own would be quite a lot of food but we ordered loads and loads of dishes and the chef sent some things for my mum's cousin too for us to try...

Looking back it was maybe too much food.

The cocktails were really good too, I had a lychee martini. My mum's cousin and her boyfriend (they've been together for decades) like to eat and drink, a lot. I wondered why we don't see more of them. At the end of the meal, my mum's cousin paid for everything, just whipped out her card and paif for the ridiculous amounts of food and drink.

Me and my mum protested (although my pleas were a little halfhearted, if I'm honest) and said,

"Look, I don't have any kids and I earn a lot of money."

And do you know what?

I want that. I want to spend all my money on food and drink and take everyone out for meals. I love kids but I think I'll always love hot fat dipped in sugar more and that is the revolting reality.

Kids are expensive and we are only bringing them into this world to live in a terrifying post-apocalyptic wasteland, if comic books are to believed. (They are, right?) Earth's drawing to a close now, things are wrapping up. Winding down. It's all about nice times and donating money to try and help homeless people and those in third world countries have nice times too.

Hang on hang on hang on hang on hang on HANG ON a minute:

MAYBE I SHOULD GET INTO POLITICS????

NICE TIMES FOR YOU and NICE TIMES FOR OTHERS, that will be my manifesto. (Maybe I will add something about eyebrow upkeep, racism and child-mauling dogs** at a later date, just to prove my politics have got depth.)

Anyway. Back to the hotel.

The next morning we woke up to lovely views then went down for breakfast. Obviously it took us a while to fully take advantage of the wide selection of breakfast foods on offer, so by the time we left the breakfast room was empty. The waiters seemed to be in a hurry to make everyone leave and as we walked out I saw an old man that I recognised. Before I could think who he was, I saw mum's face and she looked- and there's no other word for it- starstruck.

"Do you know who that was????? That was Omar Sharif!"

She wanted to go back and ask him for a photo but I wouldn't let her. She did, however, post on Facebook that we had breakfast with Omar Sharif.

He's like a real, old Hollywood star!

"Oh he's so handsome." my mum kept saying.

He still is, you know. Apparently he was in London to see the Hull game, because he's a big supporter. No, really.

I better go now, I'm supposed to be packing because...

I'm moving tomorrow! I'll tell you about it soon. For now here is a soppy video of scenes from Dr Zhivago (played by Omar Sharif, if you have no idea what I'm talking about) put to tinkly music.

SPOILER ALERT: Don't watch it if you know the story of Dr Zhivago


*She doesn't her cousin 'Cousin', I have protected her name for Vague Purposes... although I think it sounds quite nice and Shakespearean actually.

**I'd just like to clarify that I would be very opposed to racism and child-mauling dogs and enthusiastically pro eyebrow upkeep.