You guys rock and here’s why.

When I’m blogging away, drawing weird cartoons and giggling at my own jokes I’m in my happy place. A place where I’m not under any pressure to perform as a functional adult and can spend the majority of my time in my pyjamas, eating peanut butter on toast and not bothering to brush my hair. The fact that a few of you out there have chosen to bookmark, follow and / or subscribe to my tiny little blog genuinely makes me feel like my heart will explode with joy at any moment. Every time I see the follower ticker go up by one or two I let out a little “Squee!” of delight. You can ask Mr Maybe if you don’t beleive me. He has been witness to many a “Squee!”

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I recently decided that The Mottled Macaroon was in need of a spring clean and have been setting about tweaking posts, getting rid of old widgets that I no longer need and deleting stuff that just wasn’t funny or simply didn’t work. I even checked out my stats. I don’t usually like doing this. I think peeking at your stats is probably the closest bloggers get to how celebrities feel when they Google themselves. All this expectation is built up, I convince myself that a bit of stat-peeking is a good idea – only to wind up ten seconds later huddled in a corner hugging my knees and convinced everyone hates me.

REJECTION

 

Thankfully this time I got a lovely surprise instead:

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My likes were up!

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And my visitor stats were already catching up with 2014! Allllll-right!

I realise that I’m not up there with bloggers armed with a 10,000 strong following, but I have to say (hand on heart) I appreciate every single deluded person who stumbles upon my little corner of the internet and decides to hang out with me.

When I started blogging this was how I felt when I published a post:

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To be honest, I still feel like this and I get the general feeling I’m not alone. This is only natural. I’m still learning how to run my own website and what will stop my readers from running away screaming. For example, I discovered that you all loved my Ian McShane / Rufus Sewell post and a lot of you identified with my thoughts on facial foliage. You also liked my Ode to a Pork Scratching and the one about the time I killed a wasp with a fork. Which is great, because this is what I enjoy writing. Hurrah! Teamwork!

I’ve had some set-backs though.When I was starting out as a blogger in 2012 I had a Troll write to me from a Harvard email address. At first I was SO excited! Someone from Harvard had written to ME! MEEE!! But then I read the email. Which said they had never read a blog before and after visiting my website they never wanted to read one ever again. Harvard-Troll went on to say that my writing was terrible and they hated my blog. I was like the Keith Chegwin of the internet to this person. It was pretty fucking harsh. I felt like I should hang up my blogging hat for good right there and then. If someone from Harvard took the time to write to me with the sole purpose of telling me to please stop blogging for the sake of humanity, then I should probably stop – right?

After staring at a wall and struggling under the weight of my own self-pity for half an hour

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I gave myself a reprieve long enough to shuffle dejectedly to the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. Then I decided to get a grip. What did Harvard-Troll know anyway? If George Bush was counted among the alumni then the opinion of Harvard meant didley squat to me.

Fuck you Harvard.

Yes I sometimes get things wrong and spew a bunch of verbal diarrhea – but apparently some of you appreciate that, so who cares about the haters?

Then my readership started to creep upwards slowly but surely – and I almost had a heart attack the moment I saw The Mottled Macaroon up on the list of Blogs ‘Jennsmidlifecrisis’ follows.

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And you know what I realised? Having 85 WordPress bloggers following me means I’m up there on 85 blog lists! On 85 websites! Which is amazing.

I’m never going to be queen of the internet – and while it’s a travesty that you will never see me in a crown, that’s okay. I’m truly just happy to be here with you guys in this big, dysfunctional internet family of ours.

So thanks for joining me. It means a lot.

Bubble wrap.

I ordered some bubble wrap for the office the other day…

Then this arrived.bubblewrap3

In retrospect I MAY have gotten the amount needed a little wrong.

But still – It’s the most beautiful thing I have seen in my entire life.

It’s taking ALL of my powers of self-control to stop me from unrolling the entire thing and stop, drop and rolling the shit out of it.

Or, doing this:

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But obviously I am now a professional adult brimming with substance and maturity and will not be doing this.

You know. Not again.

Well… at least not until lunchtime.

Random act of kindness Friday – Chalky the homeless guy

For my random act of kindness this Friday I decided to step up my game a bit.

There’s this homeless guy who sleeps outside a decaying heritage building in Mayfair on a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag. He mainly spends his time drawing on the pavement with chalks or being ignored by people. He doesn’t beg for money or hassle people, he alternates between sleeping and drawing.

I can respect that. This is how I spend the majority of my weekends.

You may or may not be aware of the fact that there are some really mean homeless people in Mayfair who lunge at you at crossings, tugging at your clothes – or sit by the road like this:

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But Chalky just minds his own business and does his own thing. London can be a crazy place that’s a total bitch to navigate without having at least one or two murderous thoughts – so I appreciate one less stress in my day. I’ve always meant to do something nice for Chalky but didn’t know what exactly. So on my way home on Friday I found him in his usual place and offered to get him some food. I took him into the local fancy pants sandwich shop around the corner, which was filled with snooty wealth management sorts (they were thrilled about this by the way) and immediately turned into my mother.
“You need some fruit? / How about some Soup? / Would you like another sandwich?”

He looked embarrassed but thrilled he was getting at least one good meal that day, giving me a big toothy grin, a Charles Dickens-like “Gawd bless ee” and leaving with two fancy-pants bags containing sandwiches, soup, chocolate covered cranberries, a comedy sized coffee to go – and a banana.

I felt really good about this.
Awkward… but good. I know I haven’t changed his life or given him a home, but I did help out someone in need of a decent meal. Not to sound like a total self congratulating assemble, but what better way to spend a Friday evening?

Fun thing of the week: I do the “No mirror makeup challenge”

As everyone else seems to have done one at one point or another, I decided to cave to imaginary peer pressure to do my own “No mirror makeup challenge.”

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I honestly don’t know how or why women on public transport do this.

I look like Widow Twanky.

Ten things I learned at a ‘posh’ all-girls school that probably explains why I’m such an awkward adult.

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  1. I licked it so it’s mine

This is a fundamental rule that every girl learns on their first day at a boarding school. Every time dessert was served up to our individual house tables (usually chocolate rock cakes) we would ALL automatically lick our hands and put them on the food to claim it for our own. Which is repulsive, but it was prison rules baby. Think Shawshank Redemption with skipping ropes.

I still employ the “I licked it so it’s mine” rule to this day. Sometimes there will occasionally be ONE chocolate biscuit left on a plate after sunday lunch. Instead of being an adult and offering this to Daddyo, Mothership or Nanna – I grab it, lick it from bottom to top and then innocently look at them as if to say “Oh, sorry… Did you want this?”

However, this is not a good strategy when claiming either a boyfriend or office stationary.

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  1. If you make accidental eye contact with either me OR my partially nekkid body while I’m changing this automatically makes you a lesbian

This was drilled into me repeatedly from the age of seven by the other girls at school – which made things really awkward for the first few years. I was convinced I was a lesbian, only I liked boys. So I was the worst lesbian ever.

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  1. Removing your bra while keeping your shirt on should definitely be counted as a life skill

This is a follow on from the above “rule.” If you didn’t want to show any skin while changing (and therefore be branded a lesbian) you were forced to contort yourself into all sorts of unnatural shapes and positions to gain entrance to an entirely new outfit while remaining at least partially covered by another until you are ready to emerge like a butterfly from its cocoon. It’s harder than it looks, but I have been grateful for this skill on many an occasion. Like the time I went bra shopping, didn’t know my size and whipped my current bra off and out my sleeve without betraying an inch of skin in the middle of M&S to a shocked audience of family matriarchs.

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  1. If you need the loo, you also need your entourage. As both company and human shields.

When I was a teenager, the girls moved in packs. I can’t speak for the others, but personally this was because I was always convinced there was a giant spider-monster living in the S-band of the toilet that would come out and bite me on the vagina when I wasn’t looking. So if I had a friend with me they could help me fight it off so I wouldn’t die all alone in a cubical like Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter. But it was also nice to have someone to chat to.

These days I prefer to do my peeing alone.

But I still worry about that spider.

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  1. Chocolate doesn’t count when it’s “that time of the month”

This is a universal truth known by women the world over. Chocolate is a magically hypothetical food group whose consequences vanish when you are on your period.

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  1. When someone asks “Do I look fat in this?” The automatic answer is “No, you look great” NO MATTER WHAT

Face it. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The answer is “You look great” – always.

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  1. There will always be the token backstabbing super-bitch in any given workplace or establishment

In my time I have gone to five different schools, had seven different jobs and there is ALWAYS the token bitch lurking somewhere. The one who’s trying to simultaneously get the dirt on you, pretend to be your friend and trip you up at every opportunity. This is depressing.

I’d love it if life in general was a Beyonce-like “who runs the world, girls!” Kind of place where we empower each other on a daily basis, but the fact is a lot of women seem to hate one other for no reason at all.

Which is why most of my friends are guys.

Problem solved.

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  1. When you take a picture of me, I need 10 option pictures to choose from and final photo approval.

There is something particularly cruel about someone who takes a random candid of you that looks awful and then posts it on social media without giving you a chance to veto it first. I take a picture of myself? I look normal. This bitch takes a picture of me? I look like golem. It’s like a magical power she has. One to end friendships.

 

  1. Being a weird tomboy is great – but other girls will hate you because you’re friends with all the cute guys that won’t give them the time of day

As mentioned before – women baffle and confuse me. I am not good at forging friendships with members of my own gender and I have always been like that. The problem with this is that the girls at school always hated me. While I was hanging around with the boys, playing Red Rover or Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and having a whale of a time – they were staring longingly at the same mud and snot smeared boys, flicking their hair and applying strawberry chapstick in what they hoped would be an alluring manner.

 

  1. Everything is funnier if you aren’t allowed to laugh

I love it when I get a fit of the giggles. The problem is getting yourself to stop laughing. Especially when the giggles strike for no reason and you know that you are in a situation where you shouldnt be laughing. Like a wedding, or a funeral, or sex ed class… or during a smear test. This is when the giggles veer into hiccup territory and only seem to get worse the more you try to stop them.

Which is generally when I have to picture dead kittens to sober myself up again.

Random act of Kindness Friday – Big Issue man

I bought a big issue today as my Random act of Kindness this Friday.

This may seem lame and I could be a bit more creative – but the guy I bought the magazine from is so nice I have been meaning to do this for ages.

To start with he positions himself so that he is UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS by standing somewhat impractically in the middle of the street, smiling winningly at each wave of people stomping their way to work in the hopes of making a sale. He seems really sweet and friendly and will say good morning / wish you a good weekend when ever he catches your eye.

I feel really guilty when I don’t have any change on me to give him. The ironic thing is, I’m surrounded by a swarm of bankers and executives who’s yearly earnings could dwarf mine five times over – but I’m the one that usually gets singled out for the disapproving shake of the head when I don’t pick up a copy.

This time, I saw him and felt around in my pocket for some change. By some small miracle I actually had some! Pound coins! Which everyone knows are like the Olympic gold medal of change. I gleefully went over to him and asked for a copy. He asked me for £2.50, so I gave him £4 and couldn’t help but feel good about the smile that crept across his face.

And now, as an extra silver lining, I have something to read on the tube home!

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Hurrah!

Happy Friday Everyone!