Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Long Time Blogging

It has been a really long time, hasn't it?

Sometimes I wonder if I have stopped blogging forever. I met up with B a few weeks ago (we both still live in London, as do a lot of people I know from Paris) and she asked why I wasn't blogging. 


I don't want to sound dramatic, but for the past few months I have felt like it is the end of the world. We all have mental shutters pulled down to the news, or we wouldn't be able to walk around as if everything is normal when millions of people are running for their lives halfway across Europe, and world leaders like David Cameron say that their first priority is to "make sure that British holidaymakers are able to go on their holidays".


Every time I try to think about blogging, I think who cares when it is the end of the world. 

"Paris is under siege shall I blog about wanting to get a hair cut??"


The answer is always no. My shutter-thing has come unhinged enough that I can't bring myself to write about anything trivial, but not enough that I am moved to get on a ferry to Calais and help out.


The last post I wrote was about Paris, and then the terrorist attacks happened a few weeks after. Abby came to visit me and Lauren recently and she said the streets are empty and people are scared to look at each other on the metro. (Everyone I know in Paris is safe, thankfully.)


I read a book recently that took me by surprise, it was a David Mitchell fantasy novel that spans decades and at the end of the book the world was ending and turning savage, radiation blowing on the wind from a nuclear power plant disaster. One character mentioned the name of the plant 'Hinkley Point' - I didn't realise that was the real name of the plant they're going to build in Somerset. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I read the name in a news bulletin email.


What is the point of all this? To keep blogging I guess. I'm really hoping I can get back into Left Bank Manc as I used to love it so much, and now I never write at all.




Thursday, 22 October 2015

Paris Paris Paris

I miss Paris so much. It feels like I never lived there at all!


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

WHP my hurr back and forth

I went to Warehouse Project (WHP) a couple of weeks ago with Kayt and Laura. The last place I raved with either of them was Paris - in March with Kayt for her birthday, and I can't even remember the last time I was on a ravey night out with Laura. Maybe the time we went to Showcase with Olivia and got crushed on the way to the loos. (What a horrible horrible club.)

Anyway.

Everyone always assumes I've been to WHP because I'm from Manchester - it's a bit embarrassing that I've never been. Kind of like if someone lived in Paris for three years and never went to the Louvre... Ahem.

(Well, not exactly like that. I imagine you don't get Manchester students with their bum cheeks out doing poppers in front of the Mona Lisa.)

For the second time - ANYWAY.

I think WHP would have been a very different event in its heyday. Although, as it's always been put on from September to New Year's Eve, perhaps it's always been full of students? Not that there is anything wrong with students. But even when I was at uni I didn't like going to nights targeted at uni students.

The weird thing is that WHP insist everyone gets in the entry queue by 10.30pm latest, so you can't show up after all the idiots have had enough and taken themselves home.

It was absolutely packed when we got inside. People were constantly moving through the crowd in long snakes of hand-holding friends, and they were not polite when they needed to get past. Girls (in a uniform of denim hotpants and bumbags) were elbowing, kicking and shoulder-barging us to get past. At one point I thought a man was trying to climb on my back and I started bending towards the floor. Turns out a very tall man was just wading through the crowd and I was just a fat blade of grass he thought he could squash under his massive feet.

We kept walking between the two rooms, trying to find a spot to dance in, but it seemed as though everywhere was just getting busier and busier. Then, whilst queueing up for the portaloos, we witnessed a nasty fight between a boyfriend and girlfriend. They were arguing heatedly and then they just went for each other. Bouncers pulled them apart and chased after the girl, who ran away into the crowd.

It was not a very relaxing atmosphere.

It was so bad that Kayt decided to go home after about an hour, because she wasn't feeling it. Me and Laura decided the only option was to stay and lose our minds.

Later on the crowd thinned out and it was hard to believe we were in the same venue. We had so much room to dance. The music was brilliant - Hannah Wants was headlining but I hadn't heard of ANY of the other DJs - I am so out of touch. In Paris I used to discover new music all the time, and now I mostly listen to Tina Turner and that song that goes EVERY FREAKIN DAY, EVERY FREAKIN NIIIIIGHT.

Anyway. (Can I say that a third time?)

I loved the music. By the end of the night, there was only a small number of people left and we were all dancing like people who should have gone home two hours ago. One man loved the music so much he marched over to us and said to Laura "I'm trying to enjoy the music and all I can hear is YOUR VOICE", because we were chatting as we were dancing.

He was clearly lying, as I could barely hear Laura above the music. Either that or he had just tuned in to her Glasgow accent and was MADLY JEALOUS.

When it ended at about 6am, we didn't want to go home so we asked the promotors where would still be open. They told us to go to a club called VOID on Canal Street. It took us a while to find it, and when we got there they turned some people away, saying it was 'regulars only'.

After walking down a long stairway, down into the VOID, we saw why they didn't want to let too many non-regulars in. There was a man running round in nothing but a willy pouch. Everyone needs a place where they can run around in a willy pouch without fear of judgement from non-regulars.

He even came into the outside smoking area for a bit. Laura asked him if we could buy a cigarette and he said "Where would I keep it darling?"

Where indeed?

We said we wouldn't smoke, but at 7am in the morning we decided we needed to and tried to buy cigarettes of people (note: we wanted to buy not steal). Someone made us a rollie and because I am such a super cool badass smoker I accidentally INHALED the filter and had to thump my chest to make it shoot out again into my hand.

We made friends with a big group of lesbians and hung around with them for a bit, until they ditched us when we went to get a drink. We thought they'd left the club, but then we saw them standing in a different part of the dance floor. They were not our friends at all. Our only other friend was a strange man who kept pinching my bum and trying to drink our pints, so we decided it was time to call it a night.

And that was that!

The light is so dim in this room, my eyes are killing me. I might go and make some lentils for my tea. It is literally lentils for breakfast lunch and tea until I get paid next week.

Happy lentils everybody!!






Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The PM Puts His Sausage in a Dead Pig and Other Stories

I think little and often should be my new blogging motto - words tumbling round driving me mad in my head,

sometimes falling into focus on my tube journey home,

falling fast into sentences as I walk through Canary Wharf in the rain,

then I walk through the door and the idea of sitting at my laptop,

after spending the day sitting at a laptop,

knowing that tomorrow brings another day of sitting at a laptop,

doesn't appeal.

I need to blog so for a quick fix I will bash out some thoughts on recent events. Like a big bumper special of the news, broadcast to all the teeny tiny people nestling in my head. Not headlice, just the little audience I imagine when I write. I used to imagine actual regular readers but alas I fear the heady heights of (BLANK)* page views a day are far behind me...

Alors.

DAVID CAMERON PROBABLY PUT HIS PENIS INTO A DEAD PIG'S MOUTH AND NOBODY IS SURPRISED


If you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about - good. I thought everyone in the world knew about the PM's alleged pork-bothering past and I am delighted to have found someone who will listen to my story in amazement.

Basically someone who knows David Cameron has written a biography of the chap, and in it he says that the Prime Minister placed his willy into the mouth of a dead pig as part of an initiation ceremony for a posh drinking society at Oxford.

The real story is that nobody is really surprised, because David Cameron has the face of a man who sneaks his snake into dead pigs' heads. We always knew what he looked like, but nobody could put it into words until Lord Ashcroft gave them to the world.


Image from independant.co.uk

When asked 'Are you surprised to hear that David Cameron put his flacid grey wormy willy** in a dead pig's mouth for a laugh?' most people respond 'Not really no'.

It's really not that weird. What did you think the Prime Minister was doing aged 21? Dishing out soup for the homeless? Reading to underprivileged children in a run-down community centre?

Don't be ridiculous, he was slipping his mottled purple penis** into animal corpses and then getting WANKERED with the LADS LADS LADS.

But we all know posh people are disgusting - see this film on The Aristocrats joke.

Actually, maybe it's more of a university thing than a posh thing - when I talked to my friend about this, who isn't particularly 'posh', she told me at uni her brother had to stick a lubed carrot up his bum when he joined the rugby club.


A SOCIALIST BECAME THE LEADER OF A SOCIALIST PARTY AND NOBODY CAN BELIEVE IT


Every yang needs a yin. Mr Corbyn has basically said that he doesn't like nuclear weapons and that he wants to tax big corporations instead of individuals.... Big businesses and nuclear holocaust enthusiasts have not responded well...

Need to tidy my room now, peace and love.



*I was going to write the actual number for LOLZ but then I realised some people might not realise it is a small readership for a blog, and you might think I was trying to number-drop to impress you and that is not LOLZ at all.
**I have no idea what his willy looks like I am just using my HORRIFYING imagination.

Friday, 28 August 2015

London So Far

Everything has changed again.

I've moved in with Lauren,  who I've known since sixth form college, her boyfriend Ben and Jen, who I met at uni. (They let me move in even though my name doens't end in 'en'.)

I have Claire's old room, which is small room and has a single bed. The slats slip out all the time, so sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night as I turn in my sleep and part of the mattress plummets to the floor.

The room does however have a huge mirrored wardrobe and I found some mini disco balls when I moved out of my last house, which I've hung from the lighting fixtures - sometimes spots of light sparkle on the ceiling.

I've moved so many times since I've lived in London. Besides all the friends who let me stay with them when I first arrived (I even stayed in this house for two weeks)...

There was sharing a flat in Finchley with Nat - a cute little flat in the leafy suburbs with a garden and a lovely cat - but mouldy walls and damp...

Then there was lodging in Manor House, close to the park and Turkish bakeries, and apparently violent gang wars between Kurdish and Turkish kids, although as the lady I lived with pointed out, it was purely between gangs... It didn't feel like a rough area to live in at all, I loved it. And if I ever find myself with a shipload of heroin to get rid of, I'll know where to offload it...

Next I moved to Bethnal Green. I met Mon at a party and afterwards my friend Sharris told me she was looking for a housemate. She'd lived with a guy called Phil for years and he was moving out to live with his brother, and save money. It was a huge house for two people - the kind of house everyone goes back to for after-parties. Fun on Sunday morning at 5am, god-awful on Sunday evening at 5pm when you wake up to a house littered with empty bear cans and fag ash...

I loved walking home through the market stalls on Whitechapel Road, fruit and veg sellers calling out in Bengali - and one white ginger man too, who Mon told me had learnt the language just from working on the market for years. I also liked Bethnal Green market down the road, and Pellici's café for coffee and breakfast, run by the same Italian family since 1900, which is amazing.


I used to go in the Blind Beggar pub  a lot too round the corner - it's well-known because the Kray Twins shot someone in there in 1966 - and Needoo Grill for spicy lamb chops. (Two weeks ago I went with Nat and ate so much lamb and drank so much white wine that I was sick in my mouth and had to get a taxi home. Disgusting.)

And now everything's different again. 

In the mornings I walk over the water at Canary Wharf and battle against the stream of dark suits coming up from the tube station, to get into the station instead of out like everyone else. When I exit at the other end, I have a nice little walk that takes in Westminster, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. It's weird seeing those sights every day. Not too keen on the Houses of Parliament, to be honest.

Every morning in the house now feels like we've had a massive sleepover, with Lauren Ben Jen and me (even though I'm a copywriter, I will never write 'and I' because DATS NOT 'OW I TALK) making tea and chatting to each other, sometimes plus a friend of Jen's or my boyfriend Phil.
I wish I'd blogged more over the last year, as the story of how I met Phil could have had a neat little ending - he was Mon's ex-housemate and I moved into his room. 

Anyway, something pretty monumental has changed too recently...

My cousin Chloe (who I've just remembered lived with me for a month in Finchley after Nat moved out, before deciding London wasn't for here and moving back to the Lakes) has had a baby girl! She's named her Aurora. 

Imagine if she'd stayed in London, imagine if she hadn't moved back and met her boyfriend and had a baby and found a place to live near Beatrix Potter's cottage...

I've got the day off today and it's pay day and I'm going out to buy Aurora a TEENY TINY OUTFIT!

On another note - I wish I was in London 15 years ago, so I could have gone to the garage clubs. 
They might not have let 11 year olds in though I guess...

Friday, 7 August 2015

Vogue Offends

I love Vogue, a lot, but I have two things to say on the September issue.

First of all, as soon as I ripped the white covering off (my boyfriend bought me a year's subscription for my birthday) - I frowned at the copy:

EMMA WATSON 
Voice of a generation

Is she?

Is a young millionaire who could have probably jumped on the property ladder aged 12 really the voice of a generation crippled with debt and doubting whether they'll ever be able to buy a house?

Secondly, inside I found a photoshoot to celebrate the season's opulent mood - luxe fabric and intricate detailing, layered to look like the collection of a Victorian adventurer. You can imagine the clothes spilling out of a heavy trunk, in a townhouse filled with exotic artefacts collected from far-flung travels...

The AW15/16 collections were heavily influenced by the Victorian era - high necklines, long skirts, Gothic black, Chinoiserie, print inspired William Morris designs etc.

I like it, but I think Vogue have allowed themselves to become too swept up in the theme. The editorial - entitled The Shining - reminds me of creepy photographs from the 1800s, showing indigenous people in tribal dress, staring glumly at the camera. (Although I've just Googled the photographer Paolo Roversi and that's his style- I've seen his sepia-toned photos of Natalia Vodianova before. She looks like a wild mermaid, dragged from the sea and put on display in a Victorian freakshow).

Next to the shot of a model sporting a tall, wrap-around headscarf, huge earrings and layered necklaces, the copy reads:

Regal meets tribal: it's all in the mix at Marni - elevated by Paula Galeeka's porcelain skin.

Thats strikes me as quite thoughtless. Thoughtless as in nobody thought that sliding the word 'elevated' between 'tribal' and 'porcelain skin' could be construed as culturally insensitive. It's basically like Vogue are suggesting tribal dress becomes fashion once it is taken from the Africans and put on a white face.

I don't think they're really saying this, but why didn't someone say 'that sounds a bit colonial, let's tweak it to be on the safe side'? Don't they worry about seeming old-fashioned and offensive?

I don't get what it means anyway. It's not much of a styling tip for the new season is it? Have porcelain skin. What's that got to do with fashion? It's not the 1800s and it's not the 80's either. Vogue is my favourite magazine, but if they're going to talk about skin colour, or the voice of a generation for that matter, they need to have something relevant to say.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Not-so-private Dancer

I'm writing this sitting on the edge of my bed, wedged between a huge suitcase and a shoe box overflowing with tatty bits of paper. I'm moving again. Only up the road, to live with Jen, Lauren and her boyfriend Ben. I'm taking Claire's room, because she's moving in with her boyfriend.

We are the two worse people at packing. Claire texted me yesterday to say she was about to start packing and was not looking forward to it. An hour later she messaged me again to say that she'd decided to burn down her room and everything in it.

Moving day isn't until Saturday, but I feel I should do something... So far I have put some clothes in a bag for the charity shop. I already know what I want to take out - my purple Esmerelda skirt, which is too small for me. But I now have a white Esmerelda top to go with it! I must keep the skirt now and flounce around in the mirror wearing it with my new white, flouncy-shouldered top. I would only ever wear it in the privacy of my own home - obviously I would never (again) practice such vulgar cultural appropriation in public.

I got the top for my birthday from you-know-who*.

Yes, my birthday was this month - the 7th day of the 7th month, of course.

Ah, gone are the days when I would blog for days and days about My Birthday and My Birthday Monster. Although maybe for old times sake...

This year I went to Manchester and the Lake District for my birthday, the Lakes are so beautiful. My cousin and her boyfriend are living in the same village as Beatrix Potter's house and they pay the same rent for the entire three bedroom cottage as I pay for my room in London.

Also, they told me there is an old man in the village who remembers Beatrix Potter and he tells everyone she was a Bad Dick.

It was drizzly and grey the whole time we were there - just how I like the Lakes. We walked up to Orrest Head. The walk to the top, which takes you through heavily-scented woods (I think it's fairy country, but it's fine if you step quietly), only takes 20 minutes from the main road, but when you get to the top the view makes you feel like you're on top of a mountain:




I woke up in the Lakes on my birthday, then we went to Manchester and it poured with rain, the type of rain where every window looks like a waterfall and there's nobody on the streets. That night I had a meal in West Didsbury with my mum and family friends,  my mum's boyfriend and my boyfriend, Kayt and her boyfriend, Amy and her boyfriend...

It's funny how now everywhere I go you can't move for boyfriends.

Then that weekend, back in London, Lauren asked if I wanted to go for a drink. We went to the pub on Saturday afternoon, but it was such a sunny day that I suggested going to Victoria Park after having just one drink. We got some beers on the way to the park and drank them by the river (it's more of a stream I guess, but you can boat on it),

After about an hour, the sun had gone in, so we went to find a sunnier patch and as we walked across the grass, people started singing Happy Birthday and for a second I thought it must be for someone's birthday and I wished it was mine and then I realised it was for MY BIRTHDAY.

My Gentleman Friend had organised a surprise birthday party for me. I've always wanted a surprise birthday. My little Birthday Monster literally exploded with self-importance and I've not seen him since. Perhaps he thought 'my work here is done' and went to live in Birthday Monster Land where every day is a disco and every word is a birthday wish.

And they all wear fabulous fringed cloaks.

Anyway.

The reason I wanted to blog is that I had my work summer party on Friday... and I woke up the next day and was reminded of the morning me, Claire and Jen woke up after our friend Chesh's wedding and Claire said 'I'm in a bed of shame', because Chesh had told her off the night before for performing a spectacular chair dance that upset the groom's religious parents.

I felt a bit like that, only instead of chair dancing, it was something worse. It took me all day to realise why my neck was hurting so much. Then I absent-mindedly starting singing a Tina Turner song and I laughed and told you-know-who that I was dancing to Tina Turner a lot the night before, and in fact singing quite a lot and actually wasn't I trying to dance and sing a lot like Tina Turner and then I threw my head back to demonstrate and it was SO PAINFUL.

That's when I knew I had done myself an injury from shaking my head about and growling along to Tina Turner. The thing is I remember doing it again and again, walking up and down the dance floor doing it and entertaining myself.

Sigh.

I must move on from the flashbacks of me stood with my knees apart, with my hair all over my face, going WHENYA-DA...DA-DA-DA...NANANANA-YOU-WAAANT because I don't actually know any of the words to Simply the Best.

I won't let the past hurt me.

Oh god it's hurting me quite a lot - as in I am wincing a little bit in actual pain.

Moving on.

I'm excited to move out! I'm sad to leave my current housemate and the nice big house we share, and I love living five minutes away from Brick Lane, and being able to have everyone back to mine at 4am for Tina Turner impressions and cloak-wearing...

But I'm moving in with Jen and Lauren - and Ben! - and their house is nice too.

Also it's a lot cheaper. I worked out that at the moment my rent and bills take up 61% of my monthly income - the old rule is that 30% of your wages should go on housing and even though rent has gone up a lot since they made that up, wages should have gone up too in relation surely?

When I move, rent and bills will take around 40% of my wages, so that's an improvement. Also it's next door to a Lidl, so I will be able to eat for £5 a week and spend all my money on kimonos and prosecco! I mean pay my credit card bill off.

In less positive news, I have now developed a strange kind of tick. At least four times a day, a husky choking sound comes out of my throat and if you listen closely, it sounds like the words: 'I'm your prrrrivate dancer, dancing for mon-eh...'



*My boyfriend, not Lord Voldemort.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ballet

Guess what.

On Sunday I went to my first ballet class in over ten years and now BALLET IS MY LIFE.

I love it. The teacher was a really camp Australian guy who kept yelling 'beautiful, beautiful work guys!' and after each exercise he'd pick someone to tell off in front of the class. But everyone still loved him.

I was pretty hungover and got quite mixed up when we were doing the tendu exercise.

"YOU young lady!" he yelled, sweeping across the studio towards me (he was smiling though; yelling in an extrovert way rather than in anger... I hope), "Where does my foot go back to?"

"Erm..."

"Where does my foot go back to?"

"Er... first?"

"Where does my foot go back to?"

"Erm, the other foot?"

"Where... does my foot... go back to?"

"Um."

This went on for some time. (The answer was: in front of the other foot. Oh how I wish he had revealed the answer after my first 'erm' and saved the entire class a five minutes of awkward boredom.)

There was another new person in the class and she looked bewildered throughout. When half of us were told to move away from the barre and stand at the side of the studio (so that the remaining students would have room to fling their legs around), she tried to run away in panic. He brought  over a regular student to stand in front of her and show her the movement.

"My first time!" she protested.

"I know babes, it's going to be fine. I've even got someone to help you - YOU'RE WELCOME."

We all laughed but unfortunately the little Chinese lady didn't speak fluent English. She looked offended. I don't think she'll be coming back...

But I will!

I went with a girl from work. I found the class ages ago, but haven't managed to make it (ie. every time we  planned to go I accidentally spent all my money on gin and crumpets the weekend before) - so she's been a couple of times on her own, and told me how good it was.

If you've been daydreaming for years about taking up ballet - do it. You really can spend the whole class pretending to be a ballerina. Most of the women (and two guys) in the class were wearing leotards and tights. One woman was wearing a see-through tulle skirt. 

I wore leggings and a vest top, with socks instead of ballet shoes... but it's only a matter of time before I am prancing around in a tutu, I just know it.

The only sickle in the soubresaut (it took me a few minutes of scrolling through an online ballet glossary to come up with that... not sure it works, but it's sounds terrific doesn't it?) is that, with all the mirrors, it's hard to pretend you're a prima ballerina on stage in Moscow or Paris...

You're holding your arms high above your head, perfectly and beautifully curved, and extending one leg behind you, high in the air with toes pointed, and you feel like a lovely swan...

Then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and your arms are forming a hut-shape just above your scalp and your leg is one inch off the floor.

Still.

It is only matter of time before I start improving and then I will probably be able to audition for the New York Ballet.

So it will all be worth it.

The music is lovely - gentle piano pieces that sounded really familiar. I soon realised I was listening to, not classical music, but Colours of the Wind, I Will Always Love You and Tomorrow from Annie.

Where can I get the album?

On that note, let's all go and practice our demi-pliés to this:




P.S  I feel I should mention this, as I used to blog about Sudocream A LOT and it has now been barged out of the way by a new wonder product...

Coconut oil.

You can cook with it, moisturise your body with it, swish it round your mouth and remove plaque with it, take your eye make-up off with it, condition your split ends with it, and even rub it on scabby coldsores and it HEALS them.

Sorry Sudocrem - but these days you won't catch me going anywhere without a bit of coconut oil either on me or inside me...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Roller Disco Squat

So.

My 'boyfriend' as I call him (and luckily, as he calls himself) is essentially living in his office. This is the sort of thing I would blog about if I was living back in Paris, I suppose, although now there is a boyfriend involved it kind of makes me feel as if I am just talking about him for the sake of it.

But listen.

I think you will appreciate this. People always respond well when I describe a Ridiculous Situation I have found myself in...

First of all, if I am going to mention him let's give him a different name. He is referred to as Big Phil because his best friend is called Little Phil, so I think we will call him Big P from here on in, because it makes me feel like a 1970s roller disco Manhattanite. With an afro. (Although I look terrible with an afro - I know because in Year 8 I entered the school talent competition with four other girls and we lip-synched to Stop Right Now and I was Scary Spice, in leopard print and a wig. Did you know that Scary Spice doesn't have any solo lines in that song? I'll never forget it... or forgive it. I just stood dancing at the back like a lemon in a wig.)

Anyway.

A few weeks ago, Big P was looking for a flat to live in. The caretaker of his office - a really interesting space, an old brewery in the centre of London - said that the landlord of the building was converting one of the offices into a flat, so that him and his family would have somewhere to stay when they come over occasionally from Australia.

Rent-free, across the courtyard from his office, rent-free...

Good for you, I said, imagining a show-flat type thing. All the perks of a normal place to live, but entirely empty and completely free, I thought.

The first time I saw it, they had just finished ripping out the office fixtures and everything was covered in a thick layer of white dust. There were piles of broken desks everywhere, with transparent plastic thrown over them.

At the end of the office - for that is what it is - was (still is) a set of wooden screen doors, leading to a more respectable room with a double bed in it, but still quite a lot of office furniture...

Big P opened the door to the bathroom to show me where the loo was, and there was a very surprised woman in there with a pair of eyelash curlers clamped to her eyelid.

Turns out it is the bathroom for the small business across the corridor...

That first night we got so drunk in Soho that I demanded we return to the new pad, because I could't be arsed getting the tube back east to my house. It was quite fun really, kind of like that really old Simpsons episode.

Do you remember the episode when Marge and Homer check into a themed hotel? And their 'themed room' turns out to be an old basement with two single beds shoved in? And Homer says to Marge, "Imagine I'm the janitor and you're the janitor's wife, who has to live with me in the utility room"? And in reality it was just a leaky utility room, and they'd been fobbed off because the hotel had double-booked their room?

Well it was a bit like that.

In the morning we crossed the courtyard and cooked breakfast in Big P's office, which luckily has a really good kitchen bit, towards the back of the huge open-plan space. We ate bacon and poached eggs, looking out at rows and rows of empty desks. Then I had a shower in the office shower cubicle, mostly used by a handful of 'grab life by the crotch'-types who cycle into work every morning.

I felt like we were two sneaky squatters, who had hidden in the storage cupboard all day and come out to run riot in the office over the weekend.

Since then I've stayed over a couple of times. I stayed over on a weeknight for the first time last week, and as I didn't want to walk through Big P's office to shower, or use the shower in the bathroom he shares with the office of strangers across the hall, during work hours when people would be about (and asking questions), I decided to have a shower at my work.

The showers at work are underground, and I'd heard rumours that they were heavenly. I made sure my pass would work the night before, then of course in the morning when it came to it, I couldn't get in. The door is hidden in the wall outside, literally like a secret door to shower paradise, and you wave your card over a camouflaged card reader to get in. Swish.

I had to persuade the two receptionists and security guard that I'd been given permission from our office manager to use the showers, and when I at last got down there, I had an awkward experience similar to the time I went to the swimming pool in Paris and ended up wading through the pool fully-dressed, carrying a baguette and crying.

First I could't push the door open, so I thought it must be one cubicle and I had to wait. A blonde woman in lycra was just behind me, and she raised her eyebrows at me as she pushed hard on the door and went through.

Once inside, I could only see empty cubbyholes which looked like there might normally be clean towels in (I'd heard in the office that soft, white towels were provided). I panicked and almost ran out again, before remembering that the swimming pool incident was almost four years ago... I'm a much more sensible person now. I simply asked the blonde woman if there were normally towels in the cubbyholes and she pointed to a shelf of clean, folded towels right next to her, and well within my field of vision. Ah.

Then. I went into the shower cubicle in my coat and shoes, carrying my big leather work bag and a tote bag with clothes in. I managed not to get anything wet, as it was a large cubicle, but my shoes made the wet floor really muddy and it was a bit of a nightmare cleaning it with the towel (thankfully I had just enough common sense to do this after I'd used the towel).

When I'd finished, I walked out of the cubicle to see a new woman, going into the shower in nothing but a towel. Turns out you are not supposed to go into the shower full-dressed and with all your bags.

Still, could have been a lot worse. Hopefully it will be ok tomorrow, as I'm staying at Big P's office/bedroom again tonight.

I feel mean now, taking the piss... I'm actually in the squat flat right now, as Big P (haha I don't think I can keep calling him that, unless I learn how to roller skate and travel back in time to the good ol' days of Studio 54).

He has to work late in the office tonight, but there's no internet in my house at the moment, so I thought I'd come over anyway, and use the opportunity to do some blogging.

He brought me some snacks but I've eaten them all.

And half a packet of Sainbury's salt and vinegar crunchy sticks I found... hope he wasn't saving them.

I really need the loo, but scared someone from the office opposite will be in there. Also I don't want to lock myself out, and have to wander across to Big P's office and have everyone wondering why I've showed up at his work like a stalker.

Also they might figure out that I'm the girl who showers and cooks spaghetti bolognese in the office when they all go home.

Here's a song for my inner roller disco queen anyway, and for yours:




Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Roses are red, violets are blue. Sorry blog, for neglecting you

I feel awful about not blogging for so long - I've just replied to a post in my Au Pair Forum from four weeks ago. She was having issues with her au pair family and I feel really bad for leaving her unanswered for so long.

It takes me back to my first job in Paris... I can't believe I started almost five years ago!!


I really want to start blogging again regularly. I will, I will.


Let me tell you about the time I went to Paris for Kayt's birthday in March. Kayt and her boyfriend Adam booked an airbnb and invited a few people to also go to Paris that same weekend. Only I ended up going, so it kind of looked like I had tagged along to their romantic weekend in Paris....


THEY INVITED ME.


Ok?

All you need to know is that we took a stroll down Memory Lane AKA Boulevard de Ménilmontant - and we saw two ladies crouching down in the street swapping eggs and by that I mean EXACTLY WHAT I JUST SAID.


They were picking up each other's eggs, checking them over and either putting them back down or in their own bag. In my head one woman had all brown chicken eggs and the other had all white duck eggs, as that would add some kind of meaning to the scene, but to be honest I think they were all the same eggs. They just wanted to frantically swap them, crouched down, in the middle of the street.


We were also remarking on the beauty of Paris one evening (again just the three of us which makes me sound like a massive creep but we did spend most of the weekend seeing people like Ruth, Julia, Abby and Geordie Shore) and we turned the corner to see...


a hugely obese homeless man, rolling around outside a shop, with his trousers down by his ankles. He had gone to the trouble of fashioning a nappy out of a cardboard box, but one side was flat on the floor under his bum, which meant the other three sides were pretty rigid in the air. A huge empty cardboard box does not make a very good modesty-cover... As we walked past, Adam remarked that it was interesting how the man had tucked his willy in to enjoy what we could reasonably assume is his Nightly Naked-Pavement Rolling Ritual.


Sigh.


You just don't get sights like that in London. Maybe that's why I don't blog so much?


I also went to Budapest with Posh Clare, because she had booked it with her boyfriend and they broke up just before the holiday. We didn't have any arguments during the whole five days! (The holiday came before she voted Tory in the General Election.)


A taxi driver who looked strikingly like Jabba the Hut tried to steal money from us and when we pointed out he had swapped our 20,000 forint note for a 2,000 note, he drove us to a petrol station to get change and tried to charge us loads more so I made Clare walk away from him. I have a vivid memory of him driving round the petrol station and then turning back towards us and driving alongside us yelling FUCK YOU with one hand on the wheel, and one hand giving us the finger. He had a very large and heavy belly like Uncle Monty from Withnail and I... Oh Monty, you terrible cunt. Please don't try and steal from us.


Yey I'm blogging again! Here's a song for now. I think I'll go and read some of my old blog posts for inspiration. I had a horrible moment where I thought Blogger had logged me out of my account and I had lost my blog... then I realised (luckily before I posted a very outraged and unimaginatively filled with swear words tweet) that 
I'd made a gmail account ages ago. It made me realised how gutted I would be if I lost this blog!

Here's a song to celebrate:






Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Train Ticket

Hmm.

I think that - whenever I plan on writing a blog post about the drama of STILL trying to complete my tax return seven months after my first attempt... or going to a party and wrestling a man called Crazy Ray and then accepting to go on a date with him even though everybody was hissing 'You can't go on a date with Crazy Ray, he's crazy!'... or giving two girls at work the Heimlich maneuver, forcing dry pork to fly out of their throats, all the while still chewing on a tough piece of park that came from the same meze plate at an office party... (yes that really happened and I have wanted to mention it on here for ages because I can't believe the Heimlich maneuver actually works!) - I think 'What is the fucking point in writing about that', so I write a blog post in my head instead and leave it at that.

I have literally just this second seen the news about the shooting in Tunisia. Don't you feel like things are accelerating now, all of a sudden, spiraling towards the dark last chapter? All of us are like those authors who claim they had the last chapter written all along. I never know whether to believe them or not.

So I was going to write a blog post about my recent trip back to Paris and something else I feel the need to blog about, but I feel weird now.

There are astronauts in training to go and live on Mars.

Can you feel everything accelerating, towards the dark future, towards Total Recall and Blade Runner? (I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but there is a website called Bot Poetry that asks you to guess if poetry has been written by a robot or a human.)



You really have to be bright and - get ready to be sick a little bit in your mouth - you have to have a heart full of 'love'. I think things are very black and white.You either have a heart full of hate - whether it's hate for Western tourists, immigrants, Muslims, non-Muslims, people on benefits, anyone - or you have a heart full of the L-word, or at least an open heart.

So open your heart, peace and love etc. etc.

One thing that cheers me up is imagining how, once the world as we know it turned to shit and faded (fast), then there will still be wind in the trees, sunshine on a stone wall, maybe a cat stretching out on top of it, or at least weeds and flowers growing up it if all the animals have gone too. I don't think the animals will go though, do you?

Time is moving so fast. Recently my friend ran a race on the one year anniversary of her brother's death, to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. Did you know that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK? How fast one year goes.

My friend Jess has had a baby, at Christmas my cousin Chloe announced she is pregnant...and my cousin Sophie and her boyfriend left London forever and moved back to the Lakes. Kayt turned 30 last week which is why I went to Paris - she went with her boyfriend Adam but I DID NOT crash their romantic weekend... My friend Beth is getting married soon, my other friend Jen who moved to Australia for two years when I was still living in Paris now lives in the UK and is engaged. Amy is back from her year in Australia in four days. My friend Lauren was sent to New York for work and she flew Business Class. I remember going to see her in her new office when she had just started and it was just the sort of job she's always wanted.

I also remember sitting outside her office with her just before my RADA audition. I'd come back from Paris for the weekend and my mum was ill in hospital with a mysterious infection...

My mum has just had an offer put in on the house, so hopefully she can finally move on now from her strange and nasty, cheating, sociopath ex-husband. She is still getting on well with her new boyfriend..

I've gone from being an intern and working in a pub to being a full-time copywriter. Also. It seems I might have to reconsider my views on the Boyfriend Train as I might now appear to possibly be somehow on it.

I'm trying to think of an explanation that doesn't make me look wrong, but so far all I can think is that maybe I wrong about not being able to buy a ticket - you can.

That makes it sound as though I have purchased a boyfriend with cash.

I would like to stress that is not the case.

I don't know even know if anyone is still reading, but I will back soon to blog about Paris and maybe to make some amends to my Boyfriend Train theory.

If only for Amy to read.

Who will be back in the UK very soon!!



Monday, 2 February 2015

Apocalypse

Scientists have learnt how to unboil an egg, to return a cooked, solid egg to its original runny form. 

Sometimes I get lost in a Google wormhole, reading strange things and thinking 'This is the future' and freaking out.

If they can turn an egg back to its uncooked state by manipulating the proteins or something, then can they also do it with a mussel? Could they turn a boiled - and dead - mussel back into an unboiled - and alive - mussel? Could they 'unscramble' congealed blood in a corpse and turn it into flowing blood again?

Ergh.

Last week I had a very vivid dream about the end of the world and I feel a little bit like I have witnessed the apocalypse. At the beginning of the dream I went on a holiday that my friend couldn't go on for Some Reason - on the pictures it looked like a room in Morocco, with turquoise furnishings and white drapes around the bed and a bare stone floor.

When I got there I found that I was sharing the accommodation with a girl from work - she had booked the wrong holiday or something, and it was so weird that we both ended up on the same holiday by accident. We talked about how weird fate is.

The Moroccan room was inside a black cave, just above sea level. The cave was hidden in a sheer rock face, standing far out to sea. Suddenly people were sharing stories on social media about how a meteor was falling to Earth and it was in the newspaper and from somewhere we heard a news broadcaster announcing that this was no hoax.

The news broadcaster suggested that the safest place to be was in the ocean, because anywhere else and you would get drowned or crushed - in the water you might have a chance of rising to the surface and riding out the repercussions.

The girl from work and I floated in the sea (I knew she was there but I couldn't see her) - there was no sign of land, just blue ocean and the black rock to our right, with the cave hidden inside. If we stayed in there the rock would definitely crush us.

It felt so unreal and then all of a sudden - I understood. I got my head around the fact that the world was going to end. There was a feeling of dread and then the sky got darker. The meteor was falling, somewhere on earth. I had a vision of a vast rounded sphere - just a tiny section of it - but I knew the meteor would be huge.

I thought that at least everyone on earth would die together and it would probably be over quickly.

I didn't see it fall, but all of a sudden I was under the water and the surface of the water tipped unnaturally, like the ocean was a giant glass of water and I was looking through the side of the glass at the liquid slanting. 

But I couldn't see the surface of the water, just the weird rolling slant underneath. I thought again how quickly it would all be over but the next I knew, I was stood on a cliff.

This cliff was grassy - connected to the land. There was a Sainsbury's nearby so the girl from work and I (at this point she might have turned into Lauren, or maybe she switched between the two people constantly in a way that doesn't translate from Dream Logic) went in to grab food, drinks and supplies for the apocalypse. 

We ran round the empty supermarket filling a trolley with mountains of stuff, happy that the world hadn't ended for everyone after all.

But in the car park, we bumped into three very tall boys and they hit us with tiny hammers and stole all our supplies. After they ran off laughing, we realised there were more groups of men swarming around the car park.

We had to sneak between the huge wheels of lorries to get back into the supermarket unnoticed and this time we only managed to snatch a few items.

Stupid boys, ruining my apocalypse!

I think the meaning of this dream is that the patriarchy will always be the presiding tyrannical force over our planet, even if a fucking great meteor comes and wipes 99% of them out.

If you want to be freaked out, read this Dazed & Confused interview with Jeff Mills - he talks about searching for other inhabitable planets and existing in solitary sensory worlds.




Saturday, 31 January 2015

Falling Cats and One Night Stands

Brigitte Bardot having a blast on her C.S Motorbike
Image from babylonvintage.files.wordpress.com


Well well well.

I seemed pretty fucking miserable in my last few posts. This week I feel like I have peeled away from that self, leaving my sulky shadow behind. It's like snapping off two great hulking dark wings and looking back round at them, thinking 'What the fuck are these?'.

On a completely unrelated topic, I'm now back on the C.S Motorbike and it is full functioning. I am really enjoying zooming around London in it, careering down pleasant cul-de-sacs, revving to the end and back. What I need is a nice, long straight country road I think. I'm very much loving the C.S.Motorbike, but I think the constant maneuvering and wrong turns could get a bit exhausting.

(If you're trying to understand the metaphor, don't bother - I lost myself at 'cul-de-sacs'.)

I have a question for you all - what do you think about sleeping with people on the first date?

I am quite shocked that some girls *coughPoshClarecough* think it is a big fat no-no. Why is it a no-no? If you haven't had sex for a LONG TIME and you meet someone you quite fancy and you are having a nice time together and they suggest going back to their place 'to watch a film' and when you get there neither of you fancies watching a film, why would you not do whatever you want to do?

I think the assumption is that men won't want to see you again if you sleep with them, but who wants to end up a guy who thinks like that anyway?

Imagine if I went on loads and loads of dates with someone and pretending to be something I wasn't, and then what day, over a romantic meal, he made a casual comment about 'slags who shag about' or something equally distasteful and we would get into a heated debate and both end up cursing the day we ever met.

You see, it would never work. Why would you want to spend time with someone with such wrong and stupid opinions?

It takes two to have sex, so if a guy sleeps with a girl and then decides he doesn't want to see her again, he should also avoid looking into reflective surfaces because she didn't have sex with HERSELF.

It's so weird. If you really like someone, can sleeping with them make you then unlike them? Maybe if one of you does something weird or terrifying ('Is your daddy hair like me', anyone?) but if you have a nice time and it doesn't work out, I think that's because it's just not meant to be, not because you committed a heinous crime against your souls and pure bodies.

I feel so zen and calm at the moment. HMRC are even charging me £100 because they are FUCKING STUPID CUNTS and I am just accepting my fate in a very calm way. I am letting the fine wash over me like warm water. I don't care at all, these things happen. HMRC is obviously run by raving LUNATICS with no idea what they are doing, but can I help that?

No. So I have accepted it. Ommmm. Fuck you HMRC. Ommmm.

Over Christmas I wasn't doing yoga or playing netball and I think that really affected my mood. Also my C.S.Motorbike has helped.

We need touch to survive, it's why tiny babies die in orphanages without human contact and affection. It's not like guys and gals who have one night stands or 'friends with benefits' relationships are leaping into bed with each other thinking 'this person will marry me FOR SURE because I am having sex with them' and then waking up regretful and bitterly disappointed. It's just nice to spend time with someone one on one, skin on skin etc.

As I have started out discussing a subject that could be seen by some as being 'crude', I may as well go on to a topic that I know many people will think of as being crude. It makes me laugh, a lot.

My friend Claire (not Posh Clare, obviously) has a theory that she and some of her friends are very camp gay men in women's bodies, because - as she put it - 'we love the cock, we're very funny, we look fabulous in make-up and heels and we've all talked about finding a guy who would let us use a strap on'. Claire and Jen have even trawled the internet to find their 'alter ego willies'. 

I might look for mine now.

Was that too crude?

Don't worry, I have lots of other things to blog about and they are not crude at all.

Last Friday on my way to work, I saw a cat die. It was horrific. I'd just walked out of my street when I noticed a car lying next to the road, underneath a block of flats. I felt really sad and thought it must have been run over, and I wondered if I should check its collar and ring the owner. As I was debating this, I saw that the cat was still breathing.

My mind went blank and I couldn't think who to call for help - I kept thinking there must be an ambulance for cats and wondering how to find the number. I looked for the RSPCA on my Crackedberry but it was being so slow. Then a man came out of his house on the opposite side of the road, so I called to him and asked him if he knew who's cat this was. 

He didn't know, but he helped me look for numbers on his smart(er)phone. 

Then a woman came running out of the block of flats, she was shouting down the phone in Chinese and seemed very upset. 

"My cat! My cat!" she said when she noticed her cat, and me and the neighbour stood next to it.

I told her the cat was still breathing and she seemed amazing. The neighbour realised instantly that the cat must have fallen from a balcony, it hadn't been run over. The cat had blood coming out of its nose and ears, but it meowed a little bit and moved its legs slightly.

I explained to the woman that we were trying to call the RSPCA or a local vet and she gave me her phone to use. Every vets or RSPCA number the neighbour and I called told us to call somewhere else, and gave us more numbers to try. It was ridiculous. The cat was dying.

The woman's husband turned up - I think he'd been on his way to work and she must have called him to come back - and we told him what we were doing.

"Doctor? Doctor for pet?" he asked.

"Yes, pet doctor!"

"You come with us? I don't speak English." the woman said.

"Yes, yes of course, I'll come." I said.

The neighbour eventually found a vets who told him to bring the cat ASAP. They said it could cost up to £200, so I explained to the Chinese couple (I was worried they thought I was asking them for money!) and they said they had the money and that it was ok.

The woman ran upstairs to get the cat basket - they must have lived on the top floor because she took a long time. While she was upstairs, the cat jolted and its eyes opened wide. It was dead.

It was so horrible, telling the woman her cat had died. The vets told us to bring the cat anyway, as the could make sure nothing else could be done and cremate it.

I asked the couple if they were ok to go alone to the vets - the vets would expect them and know exactly what had happened as I'd told them over the phone, I didn't see how I would help really.

The neighbour and I said goodbye and the couple thanked us. It was so weird. We walked to the tube together and I realised he was French. (He didn't want to speak French with me, I tried.) We got the tube together and when he got off he asked for my number.

I was so surprised - seeing a cat die together does normally result in a number-exchange, or does it? I think he might be gay anyway, maybe he just wants to make friends in London. If we become friends at least we'll have an interesting 'how we became friends' story.

How sad though. Such a horrible start to a Friday.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mr. Bombastic Doom

***WARNING:: If you are feeling a bit miserable this post might tip you over the edge, so stop reading here.***

Somebody has put some photos up on Facebook from New Year's Eve and they are so bad that I have just been crying. I look so, so awful. We went to Devon for four days and by the fourth day I literally felt like a toxic cloud of soot, floating next to myself and following myself closely round the cottage.

There are a lot of photographs of me dancing with an inflatable sword, wearing a turban made from zebra-print leggings. I remember we all had one on our heads and we called them Lurbans. We called Katie, who did them all for us, Mother Lurban. We ran round the cottage looking for more leggings to wear on our heads.

I remember all this but I do not remember look so hideously disgusting.

I thought 'Maybe that's what I look like all the time' and then I started crying hysterically, so let's pretend that I don't look like that. Maybe that is only what I look like after four days of heavy Lurban-wearing, toxin-injesting and eating nothing but crisps and sausages.

We originally had a HUGE order of food and drink from Asda, that cost £500. But on the day we were supposed to go to the cottage, I woke up and OJ and TC's house and has just found out that the whole shop had been cancelled, because OJ's credit card company thought it might be a 'fraudulent transaction' and Asda hadn't said anything!

I used to LOVE Asda and now I LOATHE it.

Asda's fuck-up meant TC and I had to trail round the nearest Tesco when we got to Devon, filling THREE TROLLIES with booze, crisps and sausages. The lights in there were so weird that I got really dizzy and could barely read the shopping list on my cracked Crapberry.

Sigh.

I really want to blog but I have nothing to say, really. Living in London, you realise that nobody actually wants to listen to anything you have to say. I think I've started editing what I say so much that now there is nothing left.

When people at work ask me what I did over the weekend I tend to say 'oh just a few things really what about you?'. It might seem as though I am trying to be enigmatic, but I know that is only the response not to make me panic and stop halfway through, thinking 'Am I saying too much?'

Last night I went to an exhibition with Lauren at the V&A - Disobedient Objects. It's about objects that have been created and/or used for protesting.

Shields against the police made to look like giant books, so that riot police fighting back students protesting cuts to their university appeared to be attacking literature and learning - battering books with batons.

An amazing bank note from Burma, with a secret watermark of  Aung San Suu Kyi - woman who won the election but was placed under house arrest by the military. The designer was told to put Aung San Suu Kyi's father on the note instead - General Aung San. But the watermark portrait had softer features and even though the face was wearing the General's hat, it was clearly supposed to be Aung San Suu Kyi. It was two months before the government noticed. Amazing.

There was also a video of protesters in California in the seventies, with their arms locked into those tube things and the police were grabbing their faces and rubbing pepper spray into their eyes. It really scared me.

There were a lot of objects in the exhibition from recent political protest movements - against the Spanish mortgage crisis, the trouble in Syria, pans turned into drums from Buenos Aires.

Lauren said the whole thing depressed her and it was really depressing. All these protests, increasing over the years and things get worse and worse.

We had to go into the gift shop to calm down - only consumerism can cheer me up, now that is depressing.

Fucking hell, sorry. I bet tomorrow I will be in a TIP TOP mood, bouncing off the walls and smiling. But for now I am just sitting on my bed, on a Saturday night, in a foul mood. My housemate has got people round and I know I'm being rude and, in a way, cutting my nose off to spite my face because she asked me if I wanted to go out with them and I said no even though I would probably cheer up if I just got dressed up and went out, but I don't want to speak to anyone.

Good grief.

What will cheer me up??

Lauren told me there is a nice series on iPlayer about old ladies who bitch about each other, I think. I might try and look for that. 

Normally when I am feeling sad I listen to Mr Bombastic, but if I put it on now Mon and all her friends will hear it I think I am spending Saturday night in my bedroom, dancing to Shaggy in my bedroom.