Archive for January, 2009

Snow joke

I’ve been busy. Busy at work, where my loveable yet whip-cracking new producer has been glowering at me across the desk if the phone stays on its receiver for  more than 30 seconds. Busy at home with my pseudo-middle aged housewife routine of evening activities: choir, dance class, the damnable but addictable Brit Mil Fit, which makes Wednesday my only free and therefore bloggable evening. And busy at the weekends, er, doing, y’know…stuff.. wine and stuff. Lying on the sofa. Making pizza. Busy important stuff.

But what is more boring than a blogger apologising for not blogging? So let me tease you with the stories to come in a week’s time, when we return from our Great! Holiday! to Poland, on which we’re about to embark. There will be a wedding, and a hot spa, and a city minibreak. I hope there will be rollmops and other vinegary fish, maybe dumplings and definitely vodka. And there will be me being the biggest boofus I have ever been in my LIFE, because there will be snowboarding. I’ve never done it before and I predict I will cry more than once as I attempt to leap onto ski lifts, edge down the nursery slope shaking with fear, and clatter arse over snowboot repeatedly. Luckily I have snazzy ski clothes (borrowed from a friend more snazzy than I) so at least when I’m tied in a knot on the floor with a faceful of snow, I’ll be clad in well-cut black salopettes and a natty collared jacket.

See you in a week!

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And now for something completely inane

I can’t possibly add anything worth saying about the history that was made yesterday, over and above the impact of the moment itself. I’m sure many will agree, it’s actually quite hard to get your head and heart around it. Plus, not being an American, there’s a sense we’re kind of boofusly crashing in on someone else’s party if we get too OTT. So I’m going to say something completely flippant instead:

If I was a man, and I was getting married soon, I would totally start my groom’s speech: “First of all,  how good-looking is my wife?”

Schmedit Shmunch

The news is… there’s more bad news. As a member of Her Majesty’s press I can confirm that the phrases “as the credit crunch starts to bite” and “in these dark times” are even more infernal when you have to write/say them for a job, and should be banned forthwith.

So, in the spirit of thumbing my nose at the unremitting gloom, here’s a list of five things I am loving at the moment:

My new role at work: same department, different programme. Proper current affairs like- woo scary. But I like a challenge, and at least for today I’m basking in the glory of making stuff happen… tomorrow will no doubt find me tearing my hair out.

Benefit box-o-powders. I bloody love these and am hankering after having a neat little stack of them in all the different colours. They make me look healthy! At the moment I’m sporting Throbb and Dallas- so according to the logic of the Benefit bumph, I ought to be looking like a constantly aroused cowgirl. Yee-ha!

I-pod randomness. There I go, striding purposefully down the corridor with my serious big girl’s coat on. What would they say if they could hear my soundtrack: No Lettin’ Go by Wayne Wonder? And here I am again standing at the bus stop, as blades of ice fall from the sky and shatter on to my head. But why am I smiling? Because in my world it’s Summertime, courtesy of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

New Year Sanctimony. I am so on the wagon: I’ve been trilling about how energising and invigorating exercise is, eschewing mid-week alcohol (er, have only done two days of this so far but still), and eating nothing but leaves for lunch. Find me in February, when I’ll be face first in a black forest gateau with my pants on my head and an empty bottle of gin in one hand, singstar mic in the other.

Our new repertoire. Perhaps you don’t know, but I’m a member of a singing chorus. This week’s rehearsal was thrilling: not only did we start learning “Sign Your Name” by Terence Trent D’Arby (which is clearly a fabulous thing- though will have to suppress childish sniggers when we sing “slowly we make loove”) , but we also got to stand in “musical crowd scene” formation and bellow “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Mis, whilst pretending we were actually in a musical, performing to our “audience” (a picture on the wall) and gazing dramatically at each other.

So tell me: what’s brightening your world?

Don’t Rush To Buy A Hat

G went to  a stag do this weekend, and one of his fellow stags (who has never met me, but clearly considers my honour one of his priorities) was apparently insistent that G must propose to me immediately, without further ado. It seems he- and much of the rest of the world- think that at our age and length of relationship tenure (nine years- gulp!), it’s quite simply the done thing. I’m sure many of my older relatives are gnashing their teeth at my lack of fourth-finger sparkler. I believe I’ve even been described as a “lost cause”.

G relayed this conversation to me as I prepared dinner last night. Was this bloke right? Did I feel wounded that he hasn’t yet got down on bended knee? Do I yearn for a wedding?

I stopped still with kettle frozen above rice pan, brain struggling to compute.  Oh G, I told him, if there’s one thing you should know about me after all this time is that I have never been one of those girls.  

At the ripe old age of 28, in many cultures I’d be considered a shelf-dweller, an old maid. Twenty years ago my unmarried state would have been a shocker (a friend’s mother gave birth to a child in the 70s, at the age of 25, and was classed as an “older mother” by the hospital).  But really, truly, I am just not that concerned with getting married.

It’s a miracle, really, given the level of social conditioning involved. From pop culture to organised religion to the people who chime “so, it’ll be you next!” as you celebrate a friend’s marriage (which, by the way, when did we all get so grown up?!) , the message is deafening: marriage is the thing to do.

A girl can’t watch Sex And The City, flick through the latest Grazia magazine (which tells me definitely NOT to move in with my man, if I ever want a proposal) or flip a middle finger to The Rules (which say ditch a relationship after 18 months if a proposal is not forthcoming), without encountering the idea that 20+ women are obsessed with getting a ring on their finger. Whilst I identify with Bridget Jones in a myriad ways, sometimes uncomfortably so, the wedding-lust she’s famed for- but is so much more than!- has passed me by entirely. 

I don’t know why I missed the Wedding Gene. I’m terrified at the thought of being the centre of attention for a whole day; it wouldn’t be the same without my sister there; the costs involve ghast my flabber. These are all factors.. but not deciding ones. I just don’t long to get hitched. And I certainly don’t see marriage as a prerequisite to having children (and neither, any longer, does the law).

That’s not to say that I don’t want all the things that are tied up with marriage: commitment, security, a house, a family. I’ve got them all already- save the last one- and we’ve done the better/worse thing to the nth degree.

It’s not to say that I don’t revel in the marriages of others: my best friend is getting married to her long-term partner this September and I’ll be on the front row, bawling with happiness and fully supportive of this wonderful thing they are doing. I had the speech written in my head before she’d even popped the question. 

It’s also, confusingly, not to say that I never want to get married. I believe that we will, one day. I don’t know when- in uncharacteristically traditional style I’ll leave that up to He Who’ll Do The Proposing. When we do get hitched, there will be cake and dancing and crying (of the good kind, I sincerely trust). It could happen next month- though I’d still be a bit fat from Christmas, so perhaps not- it could happen in five years time. Who knows?

I’m absolutely not opposed to marriage, and quite fancy it, some day. I’m even secretly quite keen, retchingly un-feminist moral messages aside, to see the latest rom-com offering, Bride Wars.

But I suppose my message to the world at large, who would have had me bundled into an ivory corseted number and charging down the aisle a good three years ago, is this: you can exhale, guys, if you’re holding your breath for my nuptials.

Kerpow

As reported below, I veritably breezed through Christmas with minimum snotty-faced Grief Explosions. I should have known that I was due one, and lo, on the bus this morning, listening to my new i-pod (love!) on shuffle, I was taken unawares by Here Comes The Sun, Helen’s funeral song . That, together with the mind-boggling tales of human awfulness on the front page of the Metro (“you’ve killed our children so we’re going to kill yours”; and so it continues) and general “missing Helen dreadfully” pangs,  left me with rivers of mascara and a particularly ugly crying-face. 

So that was embarassing.     

Lesson #534: I still don’t know how to do this, even after all these years.

2009: Year of the Tiger (Face)

I suppose I should blog, shouldn’t I?

So, happy new year, and there goes another one, and here comes another one. Seems rather odd to celebrate what is, after all, merely the passing of time. But celebrate we did, with a small but highly debauched party during which THE MOST HIDEOUS photos of me ever were taken. In fact, THE WORST PHOTO of me ever was taken just as two of my friends were discussing how photogenic they think I am. Heh. No I’m not posting any of them.

But, speaking of photos, it’s through the medium of photography that I wish to convey my new year resolution. The below snap was taken at a party on 29th Dec. When my beloved friend B (pictured left) and I looked at it after it was taken, we cracked up laughing because I have literally never pulled this facial expression in my life before.

tiger-face1

(Also pictured, friend S who is always banging on at me to blog about him. But then never reads my blog). B and I spent many minutes over the next two days talking about the Tiger Face, and looking at it again, and laughing. Basically, imagine a personality which is the opposite of that face, and that is my personality.That’s why it was so funny.

Then on New Year’s Eve, B took another picture of me, looked at it, and burst out laughing. “You know how you said you never pull the Tiger Face? Well maybe you should think again.” There it was again! Unfortunately, B has selfishly taken his camera back to The London with Tiger Face 2 on it- but as soon as that baby is on Facebook I’ll be transferring it across here.

So I’ve decided, the Tiger Face is trying to tell me something. I want to be a bit more like that: more feisty, more fierce. More rarrr. Though I do already have a core of steel and can be fairly tigerish at times,  I want to cultivate some fire and tone down the delicate flower a little.  So that’s my resolution for 2009: to channel the Tiger Face.

And the rest? In truth, I do have other resolutions, but I daren’t speak them in case they don’t come true. I do feel and hope that this year will be one of change. However, after a year in which I lost my wonderful Grandpa and went through other, unblogged things which were Not Nice , mostly what I would like for 2009 is for no sad things to happen. K? Thx. Bye.