Tuesday, 26 August 2014

London Nights Out

Listening to a Spotify playlist my mum recommended to me... I'm enjoying it a lot, it makes me feel like I'm in a cocktail bar in the late 90s and it's really sophisticated even though everyone's wearing backless halterneck tops and stretchy trousers.

Let's pretend we're listening to the same thing at the same time- I'm writing and you're reading and we're both shoulder-dancing to this, yeah?

You may have noticed that I have set up a forum on here for au pairs to ask me and each other questions about au pairing stuff. You may also have noticed that nobody has fucking written on it, so I might delete it. I get asked for help all the bloody time in comments and on Twitter, yet now I've put myself out there as an Au Pair Agony Aunt everyone seems to have solved their own sodding problems, or at least they've suddenly decided Left Bank Manc is not the place to seek help...

It is!


I can't MAKE you write on my forum, but if you have any queries/questions/qualms about au pair life... write on my forum svp.


I haven't done a 'writing about my weekend' for ages, it seems really self-centred and manic somehow and yet-

-that is how I started this blog I suppose, so I am going to try and get back into it. First let me go off on a strenuously-linked tangent...

My cousin Sophie's friend Becky, who I have met many times over the years, has been reading my blog for a while (in fact Sophie said she is a FAN of my blog but that's not really for me to repeat and act like a smug dick about) and once she told me that what she loves about my blog is the Random Nights Out I describe.

(Hold on, I am going somewhere with this, I'm not just relaying compliments, I promise.)

A few weeks ago I was on a Random Night Out with Glasgow Laura, which had started out as a picnic with Clare and her new Gentleman Friend and a couple of his friends, which had started out as a lovely day with Ruth from Paris- she hadn't been in Paris the week before when I was visiting, but luckily happened to be visiting London the weekend after- and basically a whole day of drinking turned into me and Laura alone, stumbling through the ridiculously dark dance floor of The Nest trying to make out if we were stood next to any boys or just stranded on our own in the middle of a midnight-black club.

I honestly haven't had the desire to 'pull' on a night out for years and years and YEARS, but that night for Some Reason we were both determined to meet a couple of Likely Lads and take them back to my house- to do what with, I have NO IDEA, but certainly not what you're thinking.

Needless to say, we didn't have any luck and soon I was in a sulk, drunk and squinting in the dark. I suddenly remembered that I hated both men and crowded clubs, so suggested to Laura we called it a night.

Laura asked me to try one thing before we went home- she asked me to go across the road with her to a bar called Birthdays and see if that was any better...

It was packed with boys, as far as the eye could see. They were all going down into the basement but they'd stopped letting people in without a stamp and the bouncers were refusing to give out the much-coveted 'basement stamps'. As we found this out, I noticed someone walking past in the crowd...


It was Becky and her friend- they were having a bit of a weird night too. We ended up combining our nights out and Becky became a part of one of my Random Nights Out she's told me she likes reading about so much. We went back into The Nest and danced for hours. Laura started 'snogging' a boy on the dance floor, old-school style, until a very irate girl bounced up and screamed at them both.

Being Lovely Girls, me and Becky asked her what was wrong and she told us she was supposed to be seeing the guy Laura was 'getting off with' (I cringe talking about these things, now I am so mature and spinster-like). We told her that Laura would never do that in front of another girl, so we told Laura and she walked away.

We are such nice girls.

The guy was really angry and kept saying he hadn't been seeing the girl for ages...

Oh it was all very silly.

That's why I don't like going to clubs anymore. We all went back to mine (me, Laura, Becky and her friend who had just moved to London that day) and got fucked, which is my new favourite thing to do. I love living in a house where we can bring people back and have mini-discos in the living room.

Becky and her pal left at 7am and Laura stayed over. The next day we woke up at the same time and both of our phones had run out of battery. As we waited for them to charge up, we discussed plans for breakfast and spending the day watching shit TV.

We didn't realise the day had already been and gone- when my phone came on, it showed the time as 7pm. I thought there must be something wrong with my phone, but then Laura's phone switched on and said 7pm too. We checked the TV downstairs and it was indeed 7pm- we'd slept for 12 hours and missed the whole of Sunday. Laura had to get the train home (she lives on the outskirts of London now) and I had to get ready for work the next day.

So, there you go. That wasn't what I set out to blog about but I feel like I've caught up a little bit from the last few weeks of my blogging hiatus.

Now I just need to tell you about the rest of Paris and this weekend- I went to SW4 and carnival with Nat, with no sleeping in between, just a mini disco in the living room, my favourite London venue.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


If my mind is a make believe magazine, then here are the top stories I would have been running this summer:


I have been meaning to share this for a while. I'm not sure if it's because this story is genuinely as funny as I think it is, or whether it's due to a lack of strenuous partner-based physical activity that has rendered me in a near-constant state of hysteria: but I cannot look at the photo without laughing uncontrollably.

I'm actually not ready to look at it yet and I want to delay your gratification, so I'm going to insert the photo at the end. First you can have a description and then finally you will see that the real thing is 100 times better than what you were imagining.

A few months ago, scientists made a teeny tiny pair of 3D glasses and stuck them onto the face of a praying mantis (with beeswax, not superglue), their reason being that praying mantises are the only known insect that can see in 3D. Don't you think their time would have been better spent making 3D glasses for insects whose ability to see the world in 3D has yet to be discovered?

You know praying mantises can see in 3D, why did you need to make him a little pair of glasses?

Claire pointed out that there is absolutely no scientific reason for the glasses to be cut into a shape resembling human glasses either- they could have just stuck one big lens on his face. The two-lens shape was just to take the piss.

I described the experiment to Claire and Jen but they couldn't imagine how ridiculous the actual photo would be, which is why I hope you don't accidentally see it until the end of this post. All I will say is that they showed the praying mantis a 3D film of flies coming at his face and he obviously LOVED it.


If you don't know what Normcore is, it's people wearing shit clothes like unflattering 'mom jeans', shit trainers and t-shirts with 'unhip' logos on. It's all about throwing any old crap on and not caring what you look like. Of course this doesn't bode well for the magazine industry, so many of them tried to say that Normcore was a minimal way of dressing- white shirts and tailored trousers rather than leggings and a faded top that has happy cartoon bananas on it, or something.

Normcore isn't really a subculture or a trend or a new way of dressing, it's just a group of cool people who don't care what they look like, or rather, they do care what they look like, but they know they'll look cool in anything and so take advantage of this fact and make a point of wearing really shit, boring clothes.

Before I heard the word Normcore, I saw a girl at a party in Paris (it was the one in the mad little house that had once been a brothel and still had velvet and mirrors everywhere), with no make-up on, wearing a t-shirt that looked kind of like a crop top- but you could tell that really, it was just too small for her- and unflattering jeans. Me and Julia agreed that she looked like she'd found the clothes on the floor and thrown them on, which is what made her look so. achingly. cool. 

You can't copy that old fashioned, arty, sloppy, 'out there' cool. You either have it or you don't. But magazines can't sell that, so they pretended that Normcore was a thing and created everything from Normcore home decor to Normcore weddings and honeymoons to Normcore sandwiches (granted- that was a piss-take, but I can't remember any other examples right now). Even The Daily Mail got on board.

I myself have jumped on the bandwagon and created Normcore Photography. Here's my first collection. It's called 'Pics'. 





I was going to ask if Vice were interested in publishing Pics, but I see Normcore has already evolved into Avant Bland.

 I know what you're thinking- isn't Normcore just how people dressed in the 90s, except back then you were allowed to wear what you wanted without having to create a media buzzword to describe it?



I don't know why more people aren't worried about this. Hoverbikes EXIST, there are sneaky robots that can assemble themselves from flat pack and they are planning to build fucking cities that float on the sea, like in the terrifying film (to me as a child anyway) Waterworld.

Also, this week I went to see the Human Harp at the Roundhouse- it's an instrument that musicians attach to a building and to themselves, then play the strange music of whatever giant structure they are attached to. Lauren got free tickets to a preview of Imogen Heaps' Reverb festival and took me for the free food and drink I mean THE CULTURE.

I've never listened to Imogen Heap but she did a couple of acoustic songs on the piano and I like her voice. I don't know if the Human Harp is really beautiful or really creepy (it doesn't help that the name reminds me of the Human Centipede)- I couldn't believe the eerie notes were coming from the structure of the building. The notes were deep and cold, like the metal structure of the building I suppose. I wonder what it sounded like when they played the Brooklyn Bridge?

The atmosphere was only ruined slightly when one of the 'moveicians' (as the artist who created the Human Harp called them) became detached from the instrument. He just carried on moving about on his own, as if he had just walked into the space and decided to randomly perform a piece of modern dance.

Anyway. Everything's gone a bit sci-fi. What's next, praying mantises in 3D glasses??

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Me, myself and Jonathan.

There's a scattering of leaves on the pavements and blackberries in my backyard and I think this is the longest time I haven't blogged for.

It's been almost a month. I've been on holiday for two weeks with my mum and my brother, a proper beach holiday, in Spain. My mum booked it ages ago, luckily before I was offered a job otherwise I wouldn't have been allowed to go (no holidays during the three months probation period, which coincidentally is up this week).

I never even finished blogging about Paris. It's too overwhelming to work backwards and write everything I've been meaning to blog about these past weeks, so I'll start by typing up something I scribbled down while on holiday. I might make notes on it too, as if I am the editor, commenting on my own thoughts as I write them down and read them back to myself at the same time, like a Mental.

Maybe I will develop split-personality disorder and my all-encompassing egotism will segment my identity into the writer, editor and reader of a make-believe magazine, a relatively new title called My Thoughts. I could even write in letters of warm praise and hatemail when moved to. Let's hope I don't.


Talking to mum about her sex life while we stood in the sea (ed/me: I really hope she never reads this), having the careful conversation a teenage daughter and her mum would have, only not exactly in the roles you would expect. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, only the mysterious smile I have perfected, which I throw at my nana when she says ARE YOU COURTING? YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO'S KIND, A KIND FELLER. I CAN'T TELL YA THE LIFE I HAD WITH HIM. EY? SO ARE YA COURTING? 

How to say I am all dried up? 25 and all dried up and finished? I have let my belly hair grow wild and free (ed: true), why not? My best option now is to work really hard and Concentrate On My Career so that one day I can afford to keep a young gentlemen. 

I won't need him all the time, but when I do he'll bloody well be there. That's what I'll expect from all the holidays, new clothes and headshots I'll be shelling out for. Of course he'll be attracted to me as well (ed: keep telling yourself that sweetheart)- but the financial incentives mean I don't have to worry about him being unreliable. We have an arrangement. At least, that's what I'll yell at him one day from the shadows of my villa in Monaco. 

Not at first. I'll try to be breezy, at first. 

I'll swill my drink around, so the ice cubes clink together like a diamond in a loose setting (ed: nice simile, pal).

"Leaving already?" I'll ask.

It will be intended to sound casual but will come out grudgingly and accusatory. He'll reply, trying to placate me in the beginning and then fuck it, he's had enough now, he's told himself he can't do this any more. He can't quite believe it as he grabs his bag and walks away from-

"The best thing that ever happened to you!" I'll yell.

"Jonathan? JONATHAN????"

But he'll be gone and I'll be alone, with just his name hanging in the air for company, before it fades forever. (ed: my heart bleeds)


At least I don't have to worry about that for a few years yet. Talking of dating or NOT dating...

Before I left London I met B in Regent's Park after work and we lay in the sunshine, working out how to set me up a Tinder account on her iPhone. Eventually B cracked it and we had hours of fun, swiping yes to the right and no to the left. We started chatting to people we'd matched with and carried on all the way home on the bus. Suddenly it was time for B to get off the bus, taking her iPhone and my Tinder account with her.

"B, you'll stop chatting to boys now as me, won't you?"

"I might have a little play." she said.

And she did!

Bloody hell, I've gone on a bit. It goes on for pages and pages... mostly talking about how I was ill before I came on holiday. I'll tell you in a couple of sentences what I have somehow managed to stretch into hundreds in my notebook.

The night before I went to Spain, I was supposed to get the train to Manchester. Thirty minutes before I finished work, I felt really dizzy and my balance went funny. My vision was blurred and I got really confused. I tried to walk out into reception and couldn't walk in a straight line, then I fell over a bit. I started to panic because I was worried about getting the tube in rush hour with my big case.

The girl on reception and the office manager saw I was ill, sat me down and called the NHS helpline. Then someone tried to make me eat chocolate (in case I was low on sugar) and I had to scramble to the toilet to be sick.

They called a car to take me to the station but traffic was so bad and we almost didn't make it. The driver was overtaking everyone and getting yelled at by taxi drivers. He shouted back at a couple of them "She needs to be at the station for 6!"

I made my train and fell asleep straight away. When I woke up I felt better for about five minutes until the itching started. I've had it since my birthday and it's a mystery. Sometimes it wakes me up in the night and I can't sleep, it's like a burning sensation all over my body there's no rash, no redness, nothing.

Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and spend an hour looking on the internet, searching for 'itch with no rash pins and needles'. So far I've convinced myself I am diabetic or anemic and in the cold light of day, I'll think I'm probably having an allergic reaction to something I've eaten.

As for the dizzy sickness...

The day before I had my episode at work I'd eaten a piece of chocolate cake that was ten days old, so it could have been that.

On the bright side I am very tanned and I had a lovely holiday!

Oh and by the way- I deleted Tinder as soon as I got back from holiday. It is definitely not for me. I don't want to chat to people I don't know through weird messages. When people ask me 'how are you doing' and 'what are you up to' I really have no idea what to say.

These are the fundamentals of conversation and I just cannot be arsed with them. Roll on the villa in Monaco.