“Hell is other people” (On the tube)

Jean-Paul Sartre once said “hell is other people” - truer words were never said my friend. Especially when it comes to the underground.

I don’t know about you, but I hate commuting.  Unfortunately I still have to do it twice a day and this involves getting on the tube. Now that its summertime and we have been experiencing some suspiciously summer-ish weather, getting crammed into a sweltering tin can with a bunch of other people is not my idea of a good time.

In a hot tube carriage there is really ONLY one place to stand. As close to the drop-down window as humanly possible.

tube seat 3

In fact, it can get so hot on the underground that you might be tempted to poke your head over the side of the window until the G-force of the train threatens to suck the hair right off your scalp.

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But you don’t because that would be depriving the whole carriage of a well deserved breeze, so instead you edge as close to the window as possible without coming off as an asshole.

Sadly, the majestic pleasure of an unexpected whisper of air is ROBBED from me on a daily basis. Invariably by a huge hulk of a person not adhering to the above social niceties and blocking the air from reaching anyone else with their freakishly large head / neck muscles. These bulky mole-people never seem to get off the tube during the summer – because no matter what time of day they are always stood there, smiling smugly and enjoying the discomfort of everyone else around them currently turning into large puddles of skin.

No breeze

 

 

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Another situation that enrages me to the point of mass genocide is the fact that as soon as I get on the underground I suddenly become invisible. People walk into or push in front of me constantly.

Let me paint you a picture.

It’s been a long day. I get off the tube at my stop. There’s a queue of people lining up for the escalator. I obediently line up too.

escalator2

I’m about to get on the escalator I have waited patiently in line for – and then someone comes out of nowhere and pushes right in front of me.

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Not so much as an “excuse me” is uttered. I just get a mouth full of knicker sandwich as the person shoves their butt in my face and reverses wildly. Happily, some of my makeup is usually now smeared on the back of their clothes from body-slamming me like I’m a human bouncy castle.

Question: Where’s the fire Kimosabe?

Are you such a frantic hurry in order to:

  1. Get to a hospital in order to see your wife give birth to a beautiful baby?
  2. Dismantle a nuclear bomb in the manner of Bruce Willis?

NO!

The answer is:

3. GO NOWHERE. JUST STAND ON THE STEP IN FRONT OF ME FOR THE MOST AWKWARD AND ENRAGING FIVE MINUTE JOURNEY OF MY LIFE.

Basically, the underground is where good manners go to die.

As far as I’m concerned, teleportation can’t get here soon enough

Mr Maybe is a chilli saucerer

We have all had moments of abject poverty in our lives but nothing is more depressing than moving house when every single penny is being sucked out the door by deposits / admin costs / hiring a van / packing boxes etc.

Mr Maybe and I couldn’t be bothered to go shopping last night because we were so exhausted from the mental game of chess that is moving house. So (because we are survivors and the only alternative would be breaking open the jar of PMT emergency Nutella and taking it in turns to lick the spoon) we raided the cupboard / freezer / fridge and dumped what we had left on the kitchen counter.

  • Baked beans
  • White rice
  • Chillis
  • Salmon fillets
  • Silverskin onions
  • Cornichon gherkins

Not exactly “normal” ingredients for an average Monday night dinner. But then again, Mr Maybe is a total wizard when it comes to throwing something together in the kitchen.

Which is when this happened:

salmon

 Baked bean chilli-salmon-curry with silverskin onions and cornichons.

Just like my blue potatoes and ham sandwich – I have to say it was a thing of beauty.

I might not be any fun to sit next to in the office today, but it was totally worth it.

House viewings – why it’s all bullshit

I’m moving house in exactly six days.

SIX DAYS.

There’s paperwork to do, boxes to pack, contacts to sign, cleaning, organising, phone calls, emails, faxes,  more packing, faxes, faxes, faxes, keys to swap, credit checks to complete, moving men, driving, unloading of vans, more panic – and hopefully some very strong sleeping pills and a large glass of wine once the whole nightmare is over.

wineland

Basically this whole situation is a shit sandwich with extra f-u served up to us by our landlord – who apparently needs to gut and rebuild our dilapidated  flat from scratch in order to bring it up to code again and eventually sell it under false pretenses to the next poor suckers that come along.

Thats fine by me because Mr Maybe has been electrocuted more than once on the cooking hob alone. However I still really didn’t appreciate our landlord telling us to clear out. It’s a bit like being dumped by someone you didn’t even want to be with anymore.

It’s the PRINCIPLE OF THE THING goddamn it.

So. As we’ve been almost entirely at the mercy of greasy estate agents seemingly no older than my favorite bra – Mr Maybe and I have been frantically running around for the past month, viewing a succession of downright nasty flats.

All we wanted was something that met our (clearly) lofty criteria:

  • The new flat must be in a non-rapey area of London
  • The new flat must also be within walking distance of the tube

Unfortunately for us, this was a very bad time of year to be looking for a new place. Mostly because students were flocking to London in droves and snapping up any and every single cheap flat available. It was a real estate bloodbath. A bit like the last scene in saving private Ryan with all the limbs flying everywhere. Only more dramatic, obviously.

In our desperation to find somewhere to live by the end of July we finally turned to a fancy schmancy estate agency that had most of the “nicer” flats that were listed on the internet. They asked us to come in and meet the suspiciously cheerful sounding estate agent I had been emailing about a couple of flats we wanted to view. Now, I’m going to give her a different name to both protect her identity and best reflect her personality. So… Lets call her ‘Crystal.’

In all seriousness she looked as if she was about to head out to a nightclub in Mayfair. Crystal was wearing a skin-tight, strapless bodycon dress… with no bra. She also had one of those chelsea-bred public school voices that made me  99.9% certain she had a gay best friend called Mongo and that her Daddy owned a time-share in Tampa.

Emily

If Crystal was aware that we were staring at her in a way that clearly said “You’ve got to be shitting me” – she didn’t show it. She just swished her hair over her shoulder coquettishly and teetered towards the door in her five-inch heels.

emily2

The places we were about to view were only a short walk from the estate agents office – but Crystal decided to spare her feet the pain and drive us there instead. Which was slightly alarming because I wasnt entirely sure she was old enough to have a license.

When we got to the first flat the bathroom was bigger than the bedroom, the bedroom had a double bed rammed in the corner that took up all the floor space, the kitchen was squished to the side of the bed, the oven was being used by the current tenant to store her shoes – And this was at the top of our budget.

The next flat was bigger, but you could only locate the front door by walking down a scary alleyway and gaining access through a weird little reverse-backgarden, which is probably occupied by the meth addicts and local drug lords after 6:30. The flat was dark, it was leaky, it smelt like feet and there were damp stains up the walls – and at first Crystal couldn’t even get the door to open because the lock was rusted slightly. Probably by the previous occupants blood.

But she still cheerfully bounded ahead of us reeking of enthusiasm and gesturing at tiny showers and mould patches as large as small toddlers with an expression that said: “I know… right?! And at no extra cost!”

em3

It was clear that Crystal was not the estate agent for us.

When we broke the news that we didn’t want to live in an overpriced and leaky basement flat Crystal pouted and asked why. Then (when we stood our ground) she got defensive, told us we wouldn’t find anything as good as what she was currently offering us – and drove us back to the office in near silence.

For a moment there I was starting to worry that Crystal was right, maybe we would never find a flat in time and would have to move into nasty houseshare that smelt like cats and damp laundry with ten students. BUT (THANKFULLY) Mr Maybe is a genius and recently managed to find a flat. One that is both in an unrapey part of London AND is close to the tube (extra brownie points to you sir!)

Now we just have to go through the credit checks and signing of contracts etc. Which is extra nerve-wracking. I hate the thought of people rifling through my receipts and getting background checks on me. I mean, will buying that novelty-sized vibrator that one time ruin my chances of real-estate happiness? Who can tell?!

I’m caught somewhere between willing it all to go smoothly with the powers of positive brainwaves and at the same time being riddled with a sense that something uncontrollably horrible is about to happen and it will be all my fault.

I hate being a harbinger of doom, but you know, sometimes I just can’t help it.

Migrane – like putting your brain in a blender, only less fun

I had a migraine today. I hate having migraines. It’s like sticking your brain in a blender and cranking the settings to ‘liquidize’.

I used to get them a lot when I was at school. Mostly because I was a very “intense” child – but that was because I was bullied for three years straight by a teacher who had no soul and hobbies that included psychological torture. So I wrote poetry, read ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Gallexy’ and drank pots of tea with my pinkie sticking out. I also wore a top hat when I was at home like Jo from Little Women. But that’s another story.

I have never had a “normal” sort of migraine (if you can ever call a migraine ‘normal’). I have always had the super-freaky tripping-out kind of migraine. The kind that leave me blinded, unable to speak, with a numb tounge, a numb hand and the general appearance of having had a stoke.

Allow me to demonstrate:
Before migrane

Migrane2

If I get stressed and resist it, it only gets worse. The thing is, I feel like I’m pretty stressed 99.9% of the time. I’m just super-good at suppressing my feelings like most other British people.

Unfortunately, I don’t know I’m having a migraine until it’s too late. One moment I’m trying to complete every day tasks and the next I’m completely incapable of coherently telling you what my name is. I look and sound like I’m completely pissed, but I’m not. I’m just dribbling slightly from the corner of my mouth and wondering what I did in a past life to deserve this kind of shit happening to me.

It’s scary when you’re in a professional situation only to suddenly realise you can’t string a sentence together. It’s especially unfortunate if you’ve picked up your bosses line only to make a bunch of “yummy” sounds instead of speaking coherently.

Yes, this actually happened.

I don’t know who was more uncomfortable, the person on the other end of the phone or me. The upshot is?… they called back. Only, I picked the phone up again in some form of Pavlov’s dog response rather than doing what other normal people would do and hiding in a toilet cubicle until the brain goblins left me alone again. the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: *tounge swollen* “H-EE-LL-O?”

Them: “Errr. Hello?”

Me: *trying to form words correctly in the manner of Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’* “HEL-O”

Them: “Ah.”

*click*

So, I stumbled into the kitchen and made some tea.

Well, I tried to. As I was partially blinded by a gigantic omnipresent blob blocking my vision I had to duck and weave my head around like a pro basketball player in order to make use of the small gap of untarnished eyesight in the corner of my eye before it was blurred over again. This went on for easily half an hour. And then I needed to negotiate the cupboards / childproof tins and kettle full of boiling water required to complete this task. It was going to be a very long Tuesday.

And then I had a sneezing fit. Unfortunately my boughts of hayfever have been getting more successively violent for the past three years. I only mention this because Hayfever + migraine = Dear god please make the pain stop. During the summer I’m usually prone to having a sneezing attack every other hour – and having one of these during a migraine made me seriously consider knocking myself out with a heavy object. It felt like invisible samurai’s were stabbing me through my ocular cavities with their swords. Which were evidently also covered in salt and lemon juice.

You can probably picture how pathetic I looked, huddled at my desk, dribbling slightly, making vague vowel sounds to myself like chewbacca and cradling my mug of brown water with the teabag left in it.

fedupviewing1

fedupwithviewing2

This is the moment Mr Maybe called me. I was so overwhelmed with love, relief at hearing his voice and the frustrating incapability of communicating what was wrong that I now know exactly how Lassie must have felt when little Timmie fell down the well. After a few moments of hearing me slurr, mumble and clap he told me in his wisest and kindest “boyfriend voice” (probably exclusively reserved for when I might at some point decide to hold up a bank) “Babe… maybe you should go home…”

Yes. Maybe I should go home. But that involved walking for five streets beside a main road while negotiating an obstical course of pedestrians, tourists and old people – and then (assuming I even got that far) getting on the tube without falling onto the tracks in my blind enthusiasm and getting cut cleanly in half by a speeding train.

Sadly, it was far safer to stay exactly where I was and hope nobody asked me to do anything too difficult.

Like saying my own name.

Or answering the phone.

Or… blinking both eyelids at the same time…

*sigh*

And they said life would get easier as you got older.

 

**UPDATE**

Mr Maybe seemed slightly distressed at how floppy and lifeless I have become and asked me if I felt any better today. I told him that I feel more like myself but I still have a lingering headache two days after my migraine.

You know what he said after pausing thoughtfully for a moment?

“Maybe its a brain tumor and you’re going to die?…”

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Aaaand maybe you might wake up to find your eyebrows shaved off!

Sweet dreams…

 

The Rosy Moth Can….

The reason the Rosy Maple Moth is my favourite insect?
Well really thats very simple.

Who can paint a rainbow?….
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Wrap it in a sigh…

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Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie…

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The Rosy Maple Moth can…

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The Rosy Maple Moth can…
The Rosy Maple Moth can
‘Cause she mixes it with love
And makes the world taste goooood!

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Cold Callers

Since becoming the office manager / PA of a small office in Mayfair I have unfortunately inherited a ‘war-and-peace’ long list of cold callers and hard sellers all hell-bent on either making a “deal” with me or selling me an “exclusive” 2% off stationary contract.

Now – take note obnoxious cold callers of the world, because I know you’re out there.

If you want me (or anyone actually) to become a customer and buy whatever it is you might be selling, blocking the phone line with daily calls to try and wear me down is DEFINITELY not the way to do it. At that point I would rather chew broken glass than order so much as a toilet roll from you, let alone a years supply of staples.

It also doesn’t help if you repeatedly and creepily say my name over and over in the conversation like a demented parrot. This just makes me feel uncomfortable and hyper-aware that you are working me over by reading from some cheezy script.

blahcartoon

As a mindless act of rebellion I will occasionally scribble the caller’s name down and drop it into the conversation as often as possible in an overly cheerful and hyper-sarcastic manner so they get a taste of their own medicine.

“Hi Brian. Yes Brian. Unfortunately Brian, we have no use for a six months supply of fair trade tampons and stationary products  - okay Brian? Sorry Brian, wish I could help Brian. Bye Brian!”

Childish? Yes? Satisfying? – You betcha.

The callers I loathe the most are the callers that are 100% HARD SELL SELL SELL – because the moment they sense that you aren’t interested in their product or services they immediately change tack and try to make you feel like a complete idiot for not complying.

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “Hi! My name is Brian! How are YOU today?”

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Me:  “Fine…”

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “Can I ask who I’m talking to?”

IMG_3461

*through gritted teeth because A) this person is definitely a cold caller and B) I know whats coming next*

Me:  “Blair…”

cheezy1

Idiot Sales Person: “GREAT! BLAIR! NICE TO MEET YOU! So… I’m calling from ____ office supplies and I want to talk to you… yes YOU! about getting a great deal on your office supplies”

IMG_3461

Me: “I’m actually really happy with our current supplier”

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “Well Blair, you might think that you are happy – but how will you KNOW unless you shop around?! HAHAHA. Listen Blair… Why don’t I make an appointment to come to your offices and crunch a few numbers with you?”

*So, now he is inviting himself to my office to annoy me in person*

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Me: “No thanks, I’m not interested, but thank you for calling”

cheezy1

Idiot salesperson: “So, you’re telling me that you aren’t interested in saving your company a considerable amount of money?”

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Me: “Yes, this is what I am telling you.”

cheezy1

Idiot salesperson: “So, you’re telling me that you want to stay with your current supplier who is making you pay through the nose for something we can offer at a cut price?”

IMG_3461

Me: “Yes – this is what I’m telling you”

* click*

Now, this reoccurring conversation pisses me off for a number of reasons.

  1. The cold-caller is making the assumption that my current supplier is essentially ripping me off – with no facts, figures or numbers to back this up.
  2. My current supplier is not in fact ripping me off. They’re giving me a great corporate discount, deliver on time and are always prompt with invoices – so the cold caller is basically implying that I don’t do my homework and need some greasy salesman to tell me how to do my job.
  3. By stressing you’re telling me the salesperson is channeling his inner “wolf of wall street” by using a psychological sales tactic to make me feel stupid so I will simply go along with what he is trying to bully me into doing.

wolf-of-wall-street

If I am telling a salesperson I’m not interested in their product I don’t need them to repeat what I have just said back to me in a snarky tone.

I have never gone into – say, Selfridges and had a salesperson snap condescendingly “So – you’re telling me that I cant convince you to buy the perfume I just blinded you with as you walked past me??” That’s called alienating the clientele and it’d the last bastion of a desperate salesperson.

Don’t misunderstand me though – these guys like to ring the changes a bit on occasion.

Sometimes a cold caller will start their assault by barking:

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “HI MY NAME IS BOB AND I WANT YOUR BUSINESS – TELL ME HOW I GET IT?!”

Sometimes a cold caller will say:

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “HI! I’M HERE TO SAVE YOU MONEY! LETS DO BUSINESS!”

Or they might say something like this instead:

cheezy1

Idiot Sales person: “Hi! My name is BARRY from PENCIL WORLD and I can get you a great deal on (YOU GUESSED IT) … PENCILS! I’ll put you down for 24 dozen –  Now, what address can I invoice them to?!”

Basically, cold callers are the reason hearing my phone ring makes my eye twitch like Captain Darling in Blackadder and I would sincerely love to put them all in a rocket ship and fire them directly into the sun.

The end.

100 twitter followers! You guys rock!

My love of twitter is as infinite as it is sporadic. I will spend countless hours on the Twittersphere at random intervals, retweeting and favouriting as I go – but unfortunately I hadn’t recently had the time. Since I started my fancy schmancy job as an office whipping girl a PA I have been running around like a blue arsed fly on a near constant / hourly basis – and so my Twitter time has been strictly limited to the four hours between getting home and blacking out on the sofa from exhaustion.

So imagine my shock when I saw this:

100 followers

I had 100 followers! Holy shitballs! 100 FOLLOWERS?! Now, that might not be a lot to some people. People like Katie Perry, who have 53.8 MILLION followers – but given that she’s an international pop icon and I’m a twenty-eight year old London blogger who writes a loo review -100 might as well have been a billion.

The point is – you guys rock.

You rock in many wonderful and fuzzy-feeling-generating ways. So thank you for making my Tuesday afternoon all the more fabulous.

*Update

I just checked again and look!
103

 102! I’m practically famous!

Not to push my luck and cause a mass exit - but don’t forget, you can always tweet me if you have any questions, cute kitten pictures or blogging requests.

Just keep it clean people. There is only so much genitalia I can take before 10:00am.

The Webcam knows too much.

You know when you’re unconsciously doing something that’s a little bit embarrassing – but you look around you and (phew) nobody saw you?

Well, I just realised that I have had this thing staring at me all day while I’m at work.

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It’s a camera that I can use to Skype with people in other offices.

You know, because I am a grown-up and I do that kind of stuff now.

My point is – it’s been a witness to everything. The faraway stares, the yawns, the v’s I flick when my computer stops working – everything.

It knows too much. Besides, what if I’m being watched or something? This thought is even more terrifying when I consider the kind of sad bastard that would willingly be on the receiving end of this incredibly fascinating broadcast. Some sort of sweater-vest, mouth-breather type person who sits alone in their flat with a flask of Ovaltine, rubbing their knees and breathing heavily.

The kind of person who hacks into random webcams to watch people eating their lunch or being distinctly uninteresting. Until they go nuts and decide to sever their victims head and wear it as a beret.

 

 So, I have developed a full proof and highly technical device to stop this from happening.

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Fuck you possible Webcam stalker. In the words of Gandalf the Fabulous:

“YOU SHALL NOT PAAAAAAAASS!”

 

 

Hiding Mr Maybe’s Cigarettes – Yet another Fail.

Despite my efforts to deter him – Mr Maybe has gone back to merrily puffing away at cigarettes again.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Mr Maybe whether he smokes or not - but while I’m not the kind of person to guilt trip or nag about it, I’m not saying I will make it easy for him either…

So, I have continued on my quest to hide my boyfriends cigarettes in a plethora of cunning hiding places. The problem is, our flat is the size of a tea-cup. And I suck at hiding things.

I figured that hiding something in plain sight can sometimes be the best method, so following this train of logic – this is where I hid the latest box of death-sticks.

 

MrMaybescigarettes

Yes, that’s right. I sellotaped it to the ceiling.

It was, needless to say, a total fail.

Friday Challenge: Spot the unicorn

Well if you hadn’t gathered by now – I woke up this morning brimming over with whimsy.

This is the result.

It’s like ‘Where’s Walley’, only with unicorns instead of a socially awkward man in a striped jumper and beanie hat.

GO FORTH AND FIND THE UNICORN!

unicorn

£5 Challenge – a tale of chicken feet and concerning behaviour

So, we were sitting around the flat with Mini Maybe the other day and a little bit bored – so I came up with something for us to do. The £5 challenge. It was lovely Saturday morning and Borough market is only a hop, skip and a couple of streets away from our flat - so I suggested we go there and try to find the weirdest thing that we can find for £5.

It probably wont surprise you that the challenge was accepted and we happily pottered down to the market to see what we could find.

Here is the result.

Mr Maybe got Mini Maybe this:

chicken feet

coaster

a bag of chicken feet and a fish coaster.

(As you do)

Mini Maybe got me this:

cookie

donut

A ginormous chocolate chip cookie and a honeycomb donut

…and I got Mr Maybe this:

hambones

A bag of ham bones to make soup with. Because even in the face of a challenge like this – I was thinking of soup recipes.

Would I recommend this game? You bet your sweet bippy I would. It’s far more fun and inexpensive than psychological profiling for starters. Think your friend / potential lover / step child / mailman might be a borderline sociopath? Take them to Borough Market with a crisp £5 note – and if they bring you something like swan testicles - you have your answer.

I think all things considered Mr Maybe might win this round.

Because any way you look at it – there aint no way to beat a bag of severed chicken feet.

I salute you sir.

I CAST YOU OUT!

I’m in the process of clearing out my wardrobe. I’m talking major exorcism-style stuff here.

There are still clothes lurking in there from my college days that I haven’t had the heart to part with. Like the baby-blue ballgown that I’ve only worn once for example – because (despite what Disney led me to believe) adulthood for me has unfortunately meant a distinct lack of opportunities to attend a ball … Unless I want to buy extortionate tickets for a bizarre charity event in honor of an endangered species of pigmy raddish that is.

Not to mention the “ball” I attended was actually just an 18th birthday disco.

…In a village hall.

The birthday girl put “ballgown” down as a dress code, so I cashed in my savings for a gorgeous gown – only to discover that (to her) “ballgown” actually meant an A-line mid-calf prom dress with sequins and spaghetti straps. There was me in full bustle and corset, looking like Gracie-Lou Big Bonnet from ‘Gone with the wind’ while all the other girls were slithering about like Kate Moss wannabe’s in slinky little dresses from Miss Selfridge.

Oh well, I might have been over-dressed – but I looked FABULOUS.

I have a ridiculously large assortment of unworn scarves and pashminas too. Some were flamboyant 50% off impulse purchases, some were bequeathed to me by the all-powerful matriarchs of the family… and the rest just sort of appeared in my wardrobe like fabric hobgoblins and I never knew where the hell they came from.

I also have:

  • Seven pairs of jeans that all look suspiciously alike (one was even purchased in a tremendously optimistic size eight for me to one day “slim into”)
  • A mountain of strappy tops and blouses (some of which still have the price-tags on)
  • A dusty pile of shoes I never actually wear but like the IDEA of wearing  …
  • This:

scaryplaysuit

???

  • …And a hidden treasure trove of handbags under my bed. Some are beautiful and others are quite frankly utterly hideous and have bits falling off them, but I’ve still dutifully hauled them to all seven of my different London addresses as I pinged from flatshare to flatshare.

Mr Maybe is being very encouraging of the overhaul. Mostly because he has a very “fung shui”-style capsual wardrobe and doesn’t understand why anyone would have a collection of over forty-five scarves that they never even wear. But then again he lived with a gay fashion designer who was his in-house shopping adviser for a couple of years so he has a somewhat unfair advantage regarding style.

My new mantra? Out with the old, in with the new.

Say it with me: “OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!

I got so fed up battling through a forest of mirage-style clothing (“Does it fit me??!! Yes, this could fit me!” *two hours later, after repeatedly attempting to negotiate my thighs through a particularly tight pair of skinny jeans – I eventually give up* “Fuck”) I HAD HAD ENOUGH. I put AC/DC on my iPod, shoved my headphones in my ears and within half an hour the bedroom floor was littered with items that were destined for the charity shop and I was in the center bellowing in my best and most scary Odin voice:

“I CAST YOU OUT!

Wardrobe1

I even went through my knicker drawer and threw almost all of it towards the “burn it” / “What was I thinking?!” pile.

Pants

When it comes to knickers, you can’t get sentimental – rip that band-aid off and do it quick I say. I’m building up to a big bra shopping expedition though. Mostly because I’m still a little fragile after the intense wardrobe detox I just went through – and I think an old, bearded woman with cold hands cupping my boobs would probably tip me over the edge.

By the time I had finished, I was surrounded by four bin bags worth of charity shop fodder and one bag brimming with things that needed to be hidden from the world (much like the Jumanji board game) for fear of inflicting more tragedy on another poor unsuspecting soul in the same manner.

It was refreshing. I felt like I had had a clothing enema and came out the other side clean as a whistle.

This is what my wardrobe looks like now.

Wardrobe 3

Much better.

My wardrobe now consists of magical words like: ‘crisp white shirts’, ‘jean-shirts’, ‘smart blazers’, ‘summer blouses’, ‘cigarette cut trousers’ and ‘day dresses’.

It’s still a work in progress, but goddamn it, at least progress is being made.

Under Construction

Dear Readers,

The Mottled Macaroon is currently under construction.

For starters – unbeknownst to me but unbeknownst to someone else, it went missing  from the Internet for a whole week even though I had recently renewed my URL / domain subscription. It was like the internet ate my blog. I didn’t even realise I was MIA until a couple of followers contacted me via my twitter feed to complain that my blog disappeared entirely.

Never fear – it hasn’t actually disappeared, promise. It just went a little squiggly for a period of time. But now I’m back and have decided that this little absence is the ideal opportunity to review my posts, update my layout and hopefully at the end of it present THE MOTTLED MACAROON MARK 2 which would be entirely more fabulous than ever before.

Just to prove this point, here is a picture of a dinosaur.

Dino cartoon

Love

Blair

xx

 

 

Me = 1 / Life = 0

I woke up at the weekend to the majestic wonder that is SATURDAY morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping – and I was about to stuff my face with a mug of tea and some of my Mum’s homemade jam on toast.

Well, that was the plan. I blearily staggered into the kitchen and managed to locate the bread and the butter but… Where was the jam?

Mr Maybe: “What are you doing?”

*head shoulders and waist in cupboard*

Me: “looking for the jam… I had one pot left! “

Mr Maybe: “Maybe you don’t”

Me: “But I dooooo!”

*face falls as I admit defeat*

Mr Maybe: “Sorry babe. No jam”

 

So I looked in the cupboard for the next best thing. And then this happened.

 

 

Mr Maybe: “Is that barbecue sauce?”

Me: “Yup.”

Mr Maybe: “You’re having barbecue sauce on toast for breakfast?”

Me: “Yup.”

Mr Maybe: “You wanna talk about it?”

Me: “Nope”

Fitness update: Those three little words

I had a magical moment this morning. Someone looked me right in the eye and said the three words that every woman wants to hear:

“You’ve lost weight.”

This made an otherwise shitty morning feel like the best morning in the world.

Women are notoriously bad at complimenting each other, so to hear this sentence come from a woman who is genetically unrelated to me, not my best friend and also unprompted felt all the more magical.

a compliment

To be honest, my clothes were feeling suspiciously loose recently – but I didn’t want to assume this meant anything.

It turns out I’ve managed to lose 3lbs so far(!!) I feel very proud of myself after getting back on the fitness horse after suffering the leg strain that forced me to walk rather than run the British Heart Foundation 5K in March earlier this year – and have been keeping this miniature triumph close to my chest in case it was snatched away from me by mid-month fluid retention. There have been many hours in spandex, lifting heavy objects that have gone into this so I’m glad it’s finally paying off slowly but surely.

To celebrate, I even put a couple of stones in my ‘weight loss jar’ today.

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Just 18 more to go…

However, I’m still hiding photographic evidence of my current transformation in a locked folder in my phone that requires a bajillion passwords in order to access it. This I feel is wise. Nobody wants to reveal ‘before vs after’ pictures of themselves in their underwear until they make a significant improvement on the orignal photograph. That way they can be all “how’d ya like me now punk?!” while body popping their nipples in a former tormentors direction.

As it is, I’ve always been camera-shy and can inevitably be found in the background of a photo, pulling weird faces. This is mostly because I’m not photogenic in the slightest and would rather look ugly on my own terms.

For me, this is about getting all toned and healthy more than anything. It’s a lifestyle change. I’m sick of getting sick, that stubborn inch (of mostly pie) that is hard to shift and wheezing up the stairs. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and the sacrifice of uneaten roast potatoes. But I’m going to do it.

So thank you random compliment lady.

You made my day – and might I add, you’re looking rather sexual yourself…

 

The weird spray paint people.

Lets make this clear. I hate commuting.

I don’t like the getting up part

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The getting washed and dressed part

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The part where I have to leave Mr Maybe looking all delicious and rumpled while I trudge out into somewhat questionable weather

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Or the bit where I have to walk to the bus stop and wrestle through the sea of people in order to get on the rust-bucket that will be transporting me to work at the pace of a snail.

I hate it all.

Nothing is more capable of taking me from a fabulous mood where I’m all smiles and flowers to that of a crazed axe murderer than the prospect of commuting for the best part of an hour – twice a day.

I’d say the commute home might in fact be worse than the commute out the door. This is because at the end of the working day, every step is a step closer to my cozy flat and a hot shower. Every inch conquered brings me so close to home it’s tantalising – and also makes me deeply resentful because I have so many more to go until I can kick off my shoes and splay myself across my bed, face down.

Luckily though, I have found a cheering little milestone that reassure me that the end is nigh. Only in the commuting and non-biblical sense.

And it goes a little like this:

 

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I have no idea who put them there, but these little spray-paint people are the finishing line I look forward to on a daily basis. This is because it triggers the following joyful sentence in my head.

Only one more street.

Only one more street.

Only one more street.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

To my delight more seem to be cropping up.

It could be that we are on the brink of a Dr Who-style spray-paint people invasion – or it could be that Banksy got pissed one night and ran down the lane, who can tell.

All I know it it’s MUCH less disturbing than this (which is also in the neighbourhood), so really, I’m not complaining

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How to tame a plant.

Mr Maybe likes to pepper life with unexpected moments of romance. Receiving a hyacinth plant after a shitty day at the office was one such moment.

The thing is – while I loved my hyacinth plant, as soon as the flowers opened the stalks drooped down in as many different directions as possible like a multitude of saggy grandpa testicles.

Observe.

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Unlike my mother who is incredibly green fingered and will happily spend an afternoon in her woodland garden up to her eyeballs in bulbs and mulch- I am not so good with knowing what to do with anything other than vegetables and herbs. Hense my panic at possibly killing my beautiful new plant.

There was only one thing to do.

I got a silk scarf from my wardrobe and with a little bit of “persuasion” (and a lot of swearing) – I managed to wrestle the hyacinths into a vaguely plant-like shape.

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Which is how it will remain until it learns to sit up straight like I had to when I was at school.

Moral of the story?

It turns out I’m a much better gardener than I thought.

Hurrah!

Loo Review – The Ape and Bird

You may have noticed that I went to the Ape and Bird in my most recent and entirely hungover post.

We stumbled across it entirely by accident. Not literally, I wasn’t that far gone – I promise.

We were just pottering along the street when I realised how spectacularly I needed to go to the loo. Ensue panic. Where can I go to the loo? That’s when I realised that a new bar had opened across the road since we had last been in Shaftesbury Avenue. It looked fabulous. It was all twinkly lights and candles.

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Then again a porter-loo would have looked just as appealing at this point. So I scurried in search of the ladies with the resolution to come back and have a drink with Mr Maybe once I was done. Well, of all the toilets I was expecting, this wasnt it.

As soon as I walked in I heard it. A mans voice, I was just about to walk straight back out in an embarrassed silence when the canned laughter kicked in. I knew that voice. Who was it?… Rowan Atkinson? It turns out that in a stroke of pure genius the owners of the bar had decided to play Blackadder over the speakers in the loo, so you could listen to it as you  freshened up. I bet Rowan Atkinson and Stephen Fry never thought that years after the show first aired they would be entertaining ladies in a Shaftesbury Avenue pub from the comfort of their own cubicles. But if they ever found out I’m sure they would be pretty impressed.

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So far, so fabulous.

Now lets take a look at the mirror space.

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The mirrors and lighting were perfect. The lighting was enough to allow me to apply lipstick without use of an industrial torch and yet soft enough to smooth over any undesirable ickyness.  Plus, the sinks were HUGE. It was like a horse trough and had spindly little taps made of shiny brass that were really fun to use.

Or maybe that was just the previous couple of mai tai’s consumed elsewhere talking.

Now – on to the loos themselves.

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The loo might be low on loo roll – but lets take in the overall ambience here for a moment.

Fabulous vintage tiling? (Check)

Clean toilet without anything untoward or once-alive floating in it? (Check)

N0 bodily fluids on the floor? (Check)

Then I’m good to go. Also, take a look at this.

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I don’t know about you but I have occasionally visited a ladies loo and there has been no loo roll at all.

Or no loo roll on the holder, but plenty in an unknown location in your cubicle.

It’s like a little game the management like to play with us. Sometimes the spare loo roll is on a shelf above you, sometimes its in a cupboard behind you – and sometimes it doesn’t exist because it’s been gobbled up by the greedy toilet roll goblins that consume it in massive pom poms.

A point in the right direction is both welcome and cool. In fact, this loo was SO cool that I would say (for me) this was the James Dean of ladies loo’s so far.

 

Score:

Loo roll = 2/10

Mirror Space = 7.5 / 10

Fabulousness = 9/10

Overall score = 9/10

Well done ‘Ape and Bird’!

Ear worms that make me unpopular in the office

You know when you get a song that goes round and round and round your head and there’s nothing you can do about it?

Well I’m having one of those days today… Only the song going round my head isn’t an ordinarily irritating ear worm like ‘The song that never ends’ as sung by Lambchop the puppet, ‘Mr Boombastic’ by Shaggy or even ‘Manamana’ by Animal from sesame street.

Oh no. My current ear-worm goes a little like this:

Which is unfortunate. Mostly because every now and again I will burst into a chorus of

 “WOOOOAH BODY FO-OOOORM! … BODY FORM FOR YOOOOOOOU!” for no reason at all. And then feel embarrassed and have to leave the room to make a cup of tea.

Maybe I have jingle Tourette’s. Only I don’t watch enough TV to know any – so ‘Body form’ is the best I can do right now. Which is marvellous, obviously.

The Hangover – or “…I did what last night?”

I woke up on Sunday morning splayed across the futon in the living room at 4:30 am in my pyjamas.

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This was a horrible shock. Mostly because what felt like five seconds beforehand Mr Maybe (who was unconscious on the sofa) and I had been on a date night and enjoying a few cocktails together. I didn’t understand why I was now in bed. Where was the bar? Why was I in my pyjamas? Did I teleport here? … and why did my knee hurt so goddamn much?! I remember freaking out inwardly for a second before it felt like my brain would internally melt from the effort of coherent thought.

How did I get here? What the hell was going on? I needed answers, so I got to my feet and padded over to Mr Maybe who sleepily grunted that I had gotten changed and passed out.

Right.

Me: “But – I don’t remember doing any of that. We were in the bar a minute ago! I felt fine!”

Mr Maybe: “Yes, but the moment you got off your bar stool and stood up - the booze hit you.”

Me: “Oh god…” *feeble voice* “Was I awful?”

Mr Maybe: “Well, I have recorded a few video’s of you prancing down the street. And then you walked into the doorway of the Kebab house and wouldn’t stop laughing.”

Me: “Oh god… But that isn’t me! I don’t do things like that!”

Mr Maybe: “I know you don’t usually – but last night… you did.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Mr Maybe: “It’s okay babe, just go to sleep.”

I suddenly realised I couldn’t see my handbag anywhere.

Me: “Okay… Um, where’s my handbag?”

Mr Maybe: “I don’t know – but you had it the last time I noticed.”

I pottered downstairs to see my clothes splayed across the laundry airer. Including a boot. Which was resting, unzipped and at a jaunty angle on the top.

boot

I did not remember any of this. This is very scary. I wouldn’t call myself a “control freak” but that hasn’t stopped me from being described as one plenty of times by the people who know me – so you can imagine how not being able to remember huge chunks of my actions the previous evening was successfully scaring me shitless.

I don’t “do” things like get drunk and blackout. I’m not a party girl. I’m more of a “cuddle up around a warm log fire with a good book / movie” kind of girl. I mean, this is what I looked like when I was in upper school:

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 This is not the face of a person who was drinking cider around the back of the bike sheds. It’s the face of someone who spent a lot of her Friday nights watching ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ re-runs in her pyjamas.

Alcohol has always been something that I can either take or leave and to be honest, I prefer fruit juice and the occasional mid-week glass of wine. The only time that I have ever blacked out and forgotten chunks of the night before was when I went to a summer barbecue and someone thought it would be funny to spike my drink – and I ended up doing a poo on my parents front lawn.

That was not a proud moment.

However, this was summing up as a close second. I was both glad and horrified that at least Mr Maybe had been there, because who knows what could have happened otherwise? The only problem with that was Mr Maybe had been there… with his camera phone… witnessing his girlfriend acting like a total lunatic.

Oh the humanity.

Splurges and pockets of time were coming back to me in unpleasant little waves so I went back upstairs to the futon, had a glass of water and tried to go back to sleep.

The day had started off perfectly to begin with. It was a day that Enid Blyton would have been proud of. Mr Maybe and I had woken up together, had breakfast, went for a ride on a couple of Boris bikes (my first bike ride in a decade), I had managed not to die by getting sucked under a bus and crushed to death (yay me)  - and then we had lunch at the Herman Ze German in Embankment.

After that it was on to the Roadhouse in Covent Garden for happy hour and then finally to the Bird and Ape – a gorgeous little bistro pub in the heart of london that had only recently opened in October. It’s tres chic. Honestly. You should go there, and a loo review will shortly follow.

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We decided to partake of a little drink called “Apple Brandy Fizz”

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We left two drinks later, which is when things got a little fuzzy to be honest. I can’t remember leaving the bar at all although Mr Maybe tells me I flagged a taxi down.  This seems to be where things started to go wrong. I think this is mainly because one hotdog consumed earlier that day does not a full stomach make.

At some point during the ride Mr Maybe must have said he wanted to go for a Kebab because I could see mine was still untouched in its wrapper on the dining room table.

Me: “Did we get a Kebab?”

Mr Maybe: “Yea. You said you were really hungry and fell through the doorway of the kebab place.”

Me: “Is that why my knee hurts?”

Mr Maybe: “Probably”

Mr Maybe: “You also ran up to the security guard in the tesco metro when I was buying milk and gave him a huge hug. But it was okay, he thought it was funny.”

Me: *cringing even more* “Oh god!

I decided to leave it there. I didn’t want to know any more. It was like some body-snatching alien had taken control of my body last night and taken it for a joy ride. A theory that intensified when I heard Mr Maybe playing back the video’s he had recorded the next morning.

It was my voice – but I couldn’t remember saying that I wanted a Kebab. Or the giggling. Or the ministry of silly walks that I did down the road. It was like an evil twin was out there somewhere. Only, instead of being an “evil” twin my twin was like some kind of free love hippy that was all about hugging security guards and scurrying around naughtily like a toddler high on sugar while my long-suffering boyfriend tried unsuccessfully to chivvy me back to our flat.

But that was yesterday and this was now – and my head felt like I had a neumatic drill going of in my head. All I can say is I was VERY WISE to have stocked up on aspirin the week before.

We spent the rest of Sunday pottering around the flat, gorging on beef stew that Mr Maybe had whipped up in the slow cooker, banishing the sunshine by keeping the curtains shut and watching ‘Archer’ on a loop.

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Mr Maybe even made a pineapple upside down cake . It was pretty impressive. Like hangover first aid.

You see, this is why I love that man.

Unfortunately I have a feeling I wont be living this down any time soon.

Especially if Facebook is anything to go by:

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Seriously. It’s been two days and I STILL ache all over.

All I can say is, never again… In the name of all that is good and pure in the world. Please… Never ever again.

 

 

Stairwell man

Every morning at 7:15am a man from the fifth floor runs and jumps his way down the stairwell of our apartment building as fast as he can and then and slams the front door. This echoes all the way up the stairwell which is right next to our flat and wakes us up.

I smushed my face up against the glass of our bedroom window one morning as I lay in wait for the unknown perpetrator and saw him leaving the building. He had a backpack and running shoes on. He was way too enthusiastic that it was the morning and irritatingly had stopped all athletic movement the second he had almost ripped the front door off its hinges a moment before. I could understand if he used the momentum of the stairwell as a kick-start to a morning jog, but he seemed to just like rocketing down the stairwell as loudly as humanly possible and waking people up.

He must be stopped.

Trying to think of humane ways to do this, so suggestions would be welcome.

The top of this list so far is figuring out his flat number and shlipping an ominous note under it.

Failing that, trip wire is looking very appealing at this point.

What I would love to do in a pair of 5-inch heels.

I’m not a good dancer. When I’m dancing I look like I’m either:

  • Constipated /  have pooped in my pants
  • Feeling nauseous

But one thing is bottom clenchingly clear. I am not enjoying myself.

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Instructional dance – that’s a different story. I will happily take a tango / salsa class because then I will be told exactly where and when to put my feet in the right place by trained professionals. They have a vested interest in making sure that I don’t look like a tit after all. Besides I enjoy this SO much more because I know whats expected of me. One two-three, two two three – then step! Simple! None of this sweaty wriggling around like I’m humping an invisible man in the middle of the dance floor. And at the end of the lesson I know the basics of a dance that (ironically) gives the illusion that I have rhythm! It’s all part of the master plan.

Which is why I felt so depressed when I watched this video.

This guy manages to shimmy, wriggle and sashay his way through an amazing Beyonce routine in what look like five-inch heels.

Ugh.

I give up.

Happy Friday People

:-p

Licking the lid of life

I will put my hands up right now and admit that I am a bit of a lid licker when it comes to yoghurt.

Actually, scratch that. I’m a total lid-licker.

I will take a yogurt pot in my cupped hands and peel the lid back reverently as if I’m staring directly into the eyes of god. Once the lid has been removed the first thing I will do is lick it.

There are two ways I tend to lick yoghurt pot lids.

1. Lapping at it like a kitten

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2.Licking that mofo as if I’m french kissing the shit out of Johnny Depp

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I’m sorry, but it just isn’t the same if I scrape at it with a spoon.

Sometimes I shake my yogurt pot simply to ensure a healthy blob of yoghurt will be on the lid when I pull it back.

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So, you can understand why yoghurt consumption has become a little awkward considering I’m sitting in an office with other people and eat one on a daily basis. I feel self conscious because I’m fully aware that I appear to be getting aroused by a potted dairy product and they feel awkward because yes, actually I do.

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I could solve the problem by taking refuge in the crevice under my desk or in the hallway, but then I’d be the “weird yoghurt lid licker”. Besides, I’m an adult goddamn it. I pay taxes. I work eight hours a day glued to a computer screen so I should at LEAST be granted the simple pleasures in life like lid-licking without being judged.

I had just decided that I was going to do what I had to do ‘society-be-damned’ – when I looked up see the elderly and slightly pervy maintenance man (who had taken an unfortunate shine to yours truly) watching me through the glass panel of our office door. He had a far away expression on his face that was 20% more disturbing when you consider that I could only see him from the shoulders upwards.

I stopped licking – and (just between you and me) I think my lid-licking days may be over for good.

:-(

This is a sad, sad day.

How I feel about Thursdays.

I cant help but feel ever-so-slightly in love with Thursdays.

Thursdays are a sexy tease when it comes to days of the week. It’s not quite Friday and yet a day well over that hideous hump in the middle of the week also known as Wednesday.

 

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On Thursdays you can practically taste the Friday in the air.

Thursdays are the day I feel the most optimistic. The weekend is at hand. Tomorrow represents a mere few hours of pencil pushing until the party can finally begin – because tomorrow is Friday.

If Thursday were a man he would probably be Joseph Gordon Levitt.

He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s totally underrated – and the kind of guy who personifies the male friend that you find cute and attractive and yet is perpetually stuck in the “friend-zone” because he’s always overshadowed by an alpha crush like Robert Downy Jr (aka - Friday)

Well you know what?

I still love you Thursday.

I’m sorry that Friday has stolen your limelight with its promise of two days free from obligation or work.

You’re hot.

You’re sexy.

You rock my world on a weekly basis.

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Fuck friday

It’s all about you.

xxxx

 

Hurrah! We survived! – 5k Finished!

Well, I’m happy to report that I managed to limp through the British Heart Foundation 5K relatively unscathed.

We managed to raise an amazing £360 - £110 more the £250 goal we set ourselves! Everyone on the team is incredibly chuffed about this considering we only decided to do this three weeks ago.

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There’s been a lot of blood, sweat, training, sprained butt cheeks (don’t ask) and tears but we managed to run, jog, walk and puff our way round the 5k course of Regents Park without any fatalities. That we know of. But we’re pretty confident everyone has been accounted for. However, it was comforting to see paramedics stationed at certain points in the course with the defibrillators at the ready just in case.

We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us for the event. Because we weren’t overly confident anyone would.

Evidently you guys rock and we never should have doubted you.

The day started off on a weird note. The team arranged to assemble outside the Great Portland Street tube station and head off into the park from there. Somehow I ended up talking to a man I later discovered was a hobo on the table next to ours who was chain-smoking, drinking coffee and repeatedly telling me very loudly about his recent release from rehab. He also had sick down his right hand trouser leg. This was slightly uncomfortable.

Call me crazy, but I always try to make a point of being chatty to people who strike up a conversation / offer directions to people who need them. This is because people usually tend to avoid eye contact in a big city and the fact it’s all a bit faceless and unfriendly depresses me. However, this is also how I usually end up getting accosted by lunatics. A bit like the time I made eye contact with a harmless looking bearded old man on the street, smiled at him and he ended up chasing me down the road screeching:

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As you can imagine, this was not the highlight of my week.

Anyway, we crossed to the park and were faced with a bit of a predicament. There was a queue in the middle of a field – but we weren’t exactly sure where it led to or what it was for. We knew we had to register somewhere and collect a t-shirt and figured that this must be the queue.

Why the hell else would there be a huge queue in the middle of a goddamn field at a charity event?

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So – we got in line. Until a friendly rugby player type man pointed out that he had no idea why so many people were all lined up but we shouldn’t join in, because this was a queue that had spontaneously occurred and lead to nowhere. It wasnt for t-shirts because ladies were wandering around handing them out and it wasnt even for registering either.People has just decided to huddle together and the rest followed like lemmings.

It’s like a sickness. The British see a queue and just HAVE to join it.

Once we had gotten our t-shirts and were pinning our numbers to our chests – it was time to get limbered up and head off.

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I would be walking the 5k. This was a given since it felt like boa constrictors were wrapping themselves around my legs and squeezing themselves tightly. This was somewhat depressing given all the hours I had put in fighting zombie’s playing zombie run on my IPhone, but I had to face facts. There was no way I would be running.None whatsoever.

While my team mates were frolicking in the fields and meadows I would be steadfastly trudging along as fast as I could with my boa constrictor snake-legs. This was bullshit. But if I was being forced to WALK then goddamnit I was going to walk the SHIT out of this thing. I had my war face on.

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This translated as “Yes, I’m walking. So what? Dont fuck with me.”

Luckily one of the girls agreed to be my walking buddy.

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She jogged and I walked and we went the whole 5k round Regents Park like that.

This was a relief because walking a 5k when you’re used to running it is incredibly boring.

What I found most disturbing about this whole “charity run” scenario is that it’s pretty cut throat. I used to compete, but that was an understandable level of competition. You were there to represent your county / school / college / family / village / tribe – whatever. But this was supposed to be a 5k fun run. We were raising money for charity – but people had this whole false “Oh, it’s only a bit of fun!” thing going on while secretly edging further to the front of the crowd and eyeing up the competition from the corner of their eye.

As it is, most of the team professed a somewhat negligible understanding of running as a sport but once that air horn sounded and it was time to go the elbows came out and I’m surprised nobody lost an eye.

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Some serious Hunger-Games-level shit that went down that day.

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As it is you wouldn’t believe the amount of crap I got for walking (even though I was speed walking), but I honestly wouldn’t have been able to bare the pain of it. Imagine your muscles are the fret of a guitar and all the strings have been tightened to breaking point. Only the strings were made if fire. Thats how my legs felt.

I felt a bit bad for my walking buddy considering I was limping along like Quasimodo. But I appreciated the company all the same. I looked a little bit less like Billy No Mates with her by my side. That is, until it came to the finishing line and she decided to do a big sprint-finish. Which is when I could have done with her the most, if only as a human shield. Because up in front of me were two people holding placards.

  • One was to direct the insane people who wanted to do a 10k by telling them they had to go around the course again in order to finish their run
  • And the other was a man whose job was to gee-up the runners coming towards the finishing line. And he was armed with a microphone.

Fuck.

Thats the only word that came into my head as soon as I saw him looming up ahead of me. Because I knew what was coming. And sure enough, as soon as he clocked me walking towards him he boomed over the mic:

Wanker: “WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE EVERYONE?! THIS GIRL IS WALKING! – THIS ISNT A CHARITY WALK IT’S A CHARITY RUN!

*Actually it says on all the British Heart Foundation literature and even the website that people are very welcome to walk and are even encouraged to bring their dogs along should they feel the need to get Fido out and about. But I guess nobody told Jazzy Jeff here.*

I waddled a little closer to the finishing line and mentally flicked V’s at him.

WANKER: “COME OOOOONNNNNN – YOU CAN DO IT! BIG SPRINT FINISH!

I got a little closer to the finishing line and scowled at him some more.

WANKER: “EVERYONE LOOK HERE! WE’VE GOT SOMEONE WHO’S WALKING! LOOK AT HER!

As I came level to the malingering git-face he put his put around my shoulders and said:

WANKER: “Come on, why aren’t you running?”

Me: “Because I’ve had an injury but I still wanted to take part.

Which is when he turned bright red, apologised and scuttled off. Leaving me to cross the finishing line entirely humiliated and yet relieved that at least it was all over.

I had managed to walk the British Heart Foundation 5k in 47 minutes.

Happily, just after I crossed the finishing line the inflatable marker collapsed on the megaphone man.

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Talk about a bit of 5K Karma…

Boss Lady Number 2 is high on sugar. And then this happened.

My boss had some sugar and is now whirling around the office like a hyperactive OCD Tasmanian devil.

She was cleaning out the Christmas decorations – and then this happened.

tinsel

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She put tinsel around me like I was a human Christmas tree.

But really, the jokes on her – because I toats look just like the little girl from “the never ending story”

Please – for the love of all that is good and pure – BAN HER from the vending machine and remove ALL the chocolate from the premises until further notice.

Loo review – Gauchos

I had dinner at Gauchos the other evening. This is because I’m fabulous (and I also have friends with much better paid jobs than mine who don’t mind corrupting me with wine, mashed potatoes smothered in butter and an inch thick steak every now and again.)

Anyway, I eventually needed to use the loo – so I happily pottered off, only to discover this:

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The ladies loo was almost totally pitch black.

I’ve heard of “mood-lighting” but this was ridiculous.

The sink-area was really well-lit and had gorgeous hand towels and scented candles.

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This was appreciated. Mostly because the corridor of toilet stalls and the loos themselves were so badly lit it made it difficult to find the lock.

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It was only this illuminated because I opened the door and the meagre light from the corridor was dribbling through. When I closed the door it was pitch black! I could clearly hear grumbles from other ladies in the stalls further along from me – and honestly, I’m amazed none of us fell in and had to be winched to safety by one of the bartenders.

Then again, would anyone have found us? We might have been down there for years until someone yanked open a stall and discovered my mummified remains perched delicately on the toilet seat.

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The whole experience made me wonder if Shia La Beouff was in the cubicle at the end of the corridor with a bag over his head as some kind of “edgy” new art installation.

64th Berlin International Film Festival - 'Nymphomanic' Premiere

Looking back, I really should have taken the candle in with me. But the last thing I needed was to set myself on fire.

It was weird though. Gaucho is frequented by bankers and city dwellers alike. The hostesses are expertly quaffed and styled – so, surely they should have enough money in the kitty to buy stronger lightbulbs?

Apparently not.

This is slightly heartbreaking.

Score?

Decore (that I could see) = 7/10

Cleanliness (that I could see) = 8/10

lighting = 1/10

Toilet paper supply = (that I could see) 8/10

Word of the day

I was just practicing a bit of french this morning, pointing at things in the office and reading the translation out loud from my little pocket-sized French phrase book (as you do) when I said a word that didn’t sound rude until I heard it out loud.

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It might be toats immature – but I swear it made my Friday.

Who knew learning another language could be so fun?

Mr Maybe finds my “sexy” face disturbing

Mr Maybe hates my “sexy” face

:’-(

I’m coming to terms with the fact that Mr Maybe simply doesn’t find my “sexy” face alluring. I didn’t even realise I HAD a “sexy face” until I was perched on the edge of the sofa, checking Mr Maybe out while he was searing a sirloin steak in the kitchen and heard him say in his most sarcastic tone.

Mr Maybe: “I am not a piece of meat.”

Me: *innocently* “What?”

Mr Maybe: “Don’t give me that. I saw you checking me out. You’ve got that creepy look on your face!”

Me: “What creepy look?”

Mr Maybe: “It’s your ‘sex’ face. You look like a pedo.”

Me: “I don’t have a ‘sex’ face!”

Mr Maybe: “Yes you do.”

Me: “Well… I don’t look like a pedo”

Mr Maybe: “Okay fine. But you do look really creepy.”

Me: “No I don’t.”

Mr Maybe: “How would you know? I’m the one that sees it.”

So, I went downstairs and looked in the mirror.

This was what was looking back at me:

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Unfortunately this is like having a sexual “tell” – which is why he regularly tells me to stop perving on him (sometimes when he’s not even looking at me) and I slink away like a kid with their hand caught in the sweetie jar.

Disregarding the overwhelming evidence to the contrary – I still maintain I have no idea what you are talking about.

YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID SIR.

The all-seeing vagina.

 

I was at the train station this morning, minding my own business – when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. The station had been recently given a makeover and now had a fancy schmancy tea shop and information desk.

It also had a skylight.

This was a welcome addition.

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But when I saw it from this particular angle … it kind of reminded me of something…

I’m sure I had seen it somewhere before…

Man… what was it?

Oh yes.

A gigantic Vagina.

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It amused me to no end that there was an all-seeing vagina watching over us.

It also made me wonder if there were any other secret architectural genitalia out there that people were getting a good giggle out of.

So I googled.

Here is the result:

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This was clearly the original plan for the gherkin.

 

 

Breaking up is hard to do…

It’s not you… it’s me…

Actually no.

It’s 100% YOU.

No. We can’t talk about this.

Please don’t embarrass yourself. It’s over. Just accept it.

You’re good for nothing and are taking up my time and money.

Yes, pointless membership. I’m talking to you.

The thing is, “goodbye” is never a word that membership-style companies like to hear. So they will attempt to suck you back in like a toxic ex-partner with promises that they are going to change, that things will be better this time (they swear) – and they’ll even chip in with the bills!

And then you are atypically subjected to a little something I like to call the “Seven Stages Of Membership-breakup Greif” as experienced by the customer services representative on the other end of the phone.

1.Shock and Denial

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Them: “You want to leave us??!! Oh… I see…Um… I mean… That’s okay I guess”

2.Pain and Guilt

cheezy1Them: “Don’t leave! Was it something we did? We’re so sorry if we haven’t made you feel like a valued customer!”

3.Anger and Bargaining

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Them: “So… what? You found another company that fully ‘satisfies’ you – is that it?”

Them: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to raise my voice… It’s just… DON’T LEAVE MEEEE!

Them: “How about you stay with us and we’ll give you 2% off your annual bill and a free novelty clock!”

Them: “Maybe you should think about this for a couple of days before you make any decisions you might regret.”

4. Depression, reflection, loneliness

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Them: “So, you definitely want to cancel your membership.”

Them: “I guess this means that you wont be needing our services in the future?”

Them: “Even if there was a service-related Armageddon and we were the ONLY provider in the world?”

Them: “Still no, hu?”

Them: “Oh…Okay…”

5.The Upward Turn

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Them: “I guess I’ll just get started on these forms then.”

6.Reconstruction and working through

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Them: “… I suppose if you’ve made up your mind there’s nothing I can do to make you stay?…”

7.Acceptance and hope

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Them: “Well… I guess that’s everything…”

Them: “Unless you’re interested in any of the other services we provide?… Should I pop a brochure in the post for you?”

Ugh

NO MEANS NO!!!

THE DANGERS OF JOGGING.

Due to the looming deadline for my British Heart foundation charity run on March the 15th, I decided I was going to start running again for the first time in years. Not only that but walk to work and run home again every single day.

The first evening I cautiously put my plan into action I strapped on my new trainers, yanked on my spandex, turned on my GPS / Zombie run game, I was good to GO. I was fluresent and I was magnificent.

I had three choices for my route home, so I picked the path of least resistance. I mean, I’m not an idiot and it’s not like it mattered – what did my phone care which route I took?

Turns out, quite a lot actually. The first fifteen minutes of my run I went round in a large circle as my GPS determinedly got me on the path it preferred rather than the path I ACTUALLY wanted to be on. As soon as I was at least heading in some form of recognisable direction towards home and started to relax into my run the following happened.

I was at a crossing, a lady of shall we say “Ruben”-esque dimensions crossed over to the little island I was standing on while I waited for the light to change.

She looked me up and down out of the corner of her eye. I knew what she was thinking:

“Skinny bitch.”

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Which is ironic, because people don’t generally think that when they look at me. It was slightly gratifying in a way and definitely made me warm to her slightly, but unfortunately this also meant only one thing. She definitely didn’t want me to get ahead of her when we started running again. The thing is, I’m both ruthless and competitive – so I couldn’t care less.

Considering we were both stood there for a few moment, sizing each other up it didn’t surprise me that she bolted across the road as if she had been tasered the moment the light barely turned green. I ran along behind Ruben-lady for a little while to make her feel that she was doing a good job but I had to eventually overtake because running behind someone simply to make them feel better about themselves wasn’t going to do me any favours.

Unfortunately my GPS was still taking me on a merry ride over hill and dale 

This is what my run home should have looked like:

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This is what it actually happened:

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– so imagine my shock when I get to Blackfriars Bridge instead of London Bridge and that Ruben-lady is ahead of me.

What the f-?!

When I ran past her again, she was sprinting flat out trying and remain neck and neck.

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This wasn’t cool. I felt like taking her to one side and telling her that she needed to chill the fuck out – but I just settled for a raised eyebrow and a knowing look.

That’s right, bitch, you know I mean business when I raise my damn eyebrow.

By now, I was ready to stop running. My feet hurt, I was sweaty, tired, my GPS was CLEARLY punishing me for being healthy – and the insanity had lasted for an extra half an hour and about three extra miles.

When I saw London Bridge up ahead I almost started crying with relief and tried to console myself with the fact that while I might feel like my kneecaps were bleeding from the inside out at least:

  • I had to have made amazing time
  • I would now know what my running speed was
  • I’d have collected shit-loads of supplies for my fictitious civilisation of survivors on Zombie run.

Only, when I got home and excitedly looked at my phone to see how well I had done – this is what I saw:

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I forgot to sink my phone up to measure my pace per mile.

So, the whole run had been a gigantic waste of time.

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The next day I decided to walk to work. After my previous disaster I figured not much could go wrong if I did things in a calm, leisurely manner. So I planned it all out on Google Maps/GPS again, got dressed in my running gear, left my flat early and set off at a “brisk walk” with my two litre bottle of water tucked under my arm.

Unfortunately for me, yet again, my phone decided it wanted to fuck with me.

I had 100% battery when I left my flat but by the time I got to the end of the street I was barely hanging on by a measly 17%!

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Then my phone died. It died dramatically and with feeling.

Which meant that I had to rely on my keen sense of direction in order to get to work on time.

(Right.)

Fridaymorning

I got to St Pauls and then it all went horribly wrong.

Horribly, horribly… HORRIBLY wrong.

Mostly because I saw something that looked familiar and followed the landmarks. Only they were the wrong landmarks. I could have been halfway back to my flat if I hadn’t spotted my usual bus to work going in the opposite direction, admitted defeat and gotten on.

This was a very depressing point in my day, made worse only by the journey back home again.

I was jogging along, minding my own business when I saw a man walking towards me on the path.

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I ran closer to the wall so I was both well out of his way, then at the LAST MINUTE, just before I was about to pass by him – he did this:

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This was my reaction:

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As I instinctively twisted out of the way in order to stop myself from running into some creepy, possible assaulter/mugger man I managed to yank both my knee and my ankle.

But I’m not stupid, so I kept running. I ran like a startled gazelle in shocking pink spandex and I ran for a surprisingly long time. Luckily creepy man seemed to have kept walking so I didn’t end up having to do a 50 yard sprint while chased by a man waddling after me with his trousers around his ankles…

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- but it was still shit scary and I had to hobble the rest of the way home.

I admit, was rattled.

Believe it or not I don’t usually have guys throwing themselves at me.

Which is probably why I ended up getting lost again:

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Which was obviously, just marvellous.

Tea with honey V’s Tea without any honey

Honey is a majestic substance that gets collected from flowers by bees.

Bees store the nectar in their stomachs and carry it back to their hive.

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They then puke it up and pass it to the worker bees in the hive.

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The worker bees then transform the bee vomit into honey by swallowing and puking the nectar repeatedly to get rid of excess water.

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The finished product contains several types of sugar and the flavour varies depending on the flowers that the nectar was harvested from.

Honey has been used throughout history to heal people. Honey-soaked bandages were common before antibiotics came along and milk with honey was also usually the first thing that was fed to newborn babies in ancient Egypt. It’s so sexy, it’s even been interwoven with many ancient parts of wedding ceremonies and the fertility rituals for the wedding night – hence “honey-moon.”

So, basically honey is magical bee vomit that heals, has aphrodisiac properties and was consumed by Pharos.

This is how I feel about tea with honey – VS tea without honey.

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Honey in tea – it’s the closest I’ve gotten to feeling like a unicorn in the mornings.

It makes coffee it’s bitch and tweaks the nipples of energy drinks everywhere.

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I’m running a 5k in three weeks!! – No, seriously.

I was recently charged with the task of creating a page for my team on the internal version of facebook for our company – and to be honest, it was looking a little dull. Other teams were doing lots of stuff together, but we just had a big blank page because our only group activity seemed to be going down to the pub. So, I came up with the genius suggestion of doing something fun – like a 5k run for the British Heart Foundation. We could do something fun for charity, come together for a day, take some pictures and I could document the whole thing on our page! Job done! I even set up a sponsorship page and added a button on here. Check it out:

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I never realised what hellish physical and emotional rollercoaster I had let myself in for.

This is because five seconds after making my suggestion I suddenly realised Boss Lady number two is very competitive.

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When I say “very” I mean to the point she would probably play rugby by renting a steamroller and running over the opposing team. And then reversing over them again. You know, just to make sure that the job was done properly.

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This wouldn’t have been a problem if my colleague BigMamma hadn’t “helpfully” pointed out the fact that I used to run competitively when I was at college.

I suspect that this might be a diversion tactic on BigMamma’s part, considering she cycles 6 miles to work and back. If we’re talking dark horses – my money would be on her. However the problem is I am now somehow seen as the Paula Radcliffe in the office and it has been jointly agreed that I am to be annihilated.

Even though I’ve since had double key-hole surgery on both my knees due to doing so much running at the hands of my megalomaniac PE teachers during my youth, haven’t done any regular running for years and am only just in the process of getting back into shape.

I mean, really. Who has the bigger chance at winning? …Out of shape person?… Oooor Crazy-daily-cycle-lady?

BigMamma does ONE HUNDRED SIT UPS before bed, walks her dog every day AND does squats at her desk in the morning when hardly anyone is in the office. She’s probably part-robot too. But I haven’t had a chance to check.

The thing is… because the bar has been set so high I feel obligated to rise to the occasion. This is fucking ridiculous – because the 5k is happening in just over three weeks.

You usually need eight in order to train properly for a 5k. That is if you don’t want to end up sprinting like a rabid bear is chasing you for the first few yards and then falling face first into a crumpled heap of collapsed lung and failure.

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So with this in mind I have been sticking rigidly to my no-sugar / low carb / no-saturated fat/ high-protein diet and doing my TaeBo 2 “Get Ripped” 60 minute DVD to get myself into “cardio mode.”

It might not be as bad as Mr Maybes current workout programme but it’s still pretty hard-core. It has loads of deep squats, lunges, leg lifts, round-house kicks and star jumps. I used to do this when I was younger, fit and far more care-free and didn’t have a problem with it at all. Sure it was hard. Sure I at times feared I was sweating blood. But it was at least enjoyable and I could see results really quickly.

However – when I did it on Monday I thought I was going to die. It was so bad that when Mr Maybe got a good look at me as I bounced around the living room, following the rest of the class and seemingly battling a hoard of angry invisible ninjas his first words were: “Oh my god!

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He had a look that was a mix of: disgust, pride, amusement and fear. Well, mostly fear. Unfortunately for me he didn’t go make himself something to eat or have a shower so I could finish my workout with some semblance of dignity. Instead he sat himself on the sofa, head cocked to one side and said things like: “Are you sure you’re doing that properly?”

To be honest, I was not in the mood to chat. I was hot, sweaty, encased in spandex and feeling vaguely homicidal – but Mr Maybe still continued to mercilessly take the piss out of me until I had finished. Considering I looked like this:

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I totally understand…

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Unfortunately, now I was vaguely limber again I had run out of excuses – it was time to start running again.

I was initially quite worried about this because while I might have the running tops / jackets / arm band that you put your iPod into / jogging bottoms I had thrown out my trusty trainers a few months ago because they were falling apart – and I’m not the kind of person who will blow £60 on a replacement pair for shits and giggles. I’d rather blow £60 on groceries. Or wine. Or a mountain of Haribo coke bottles big enough to roll in.

But that’s my inner fatgirl for you.

The thing is – apparently I’m Paula Fucking Radcliffe. And Paula Radcliffe would buy trainers.

So, instead I bought these:

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Boom.

A brand new pair of Nike ladies running shoes that are RIDICULOUSLY comfortable and a “runners back pack” in fluorescent pink with light-reflective silver patches to stop your average London cabbie from running me over.

I’m also in possession of some thermal running gloves and an ultra-sexy thermal jacket.

Oh yea. I’m packing heat bitches.

During an optimistic tea break I decided that my first run is going to be tonight. I have it all planned out on Google Maps.

Googlemap

It’s going to be a three and a half mile jog home (so, easily within 5k)– but you’ve got to start somewhere and hey, it might as well be today. I’ve even upgraded my Zombie run app. It’s all ready to go.

I’m officially a one-woman zombie-fighting army!

RUNLIKEAZOMBIE

The only problem is, I have absolutely NO sense of direction. You know the phrase “could get lost in a paper bag” – yea… that would be me. Then again, maybe not. It’s practically a straight line! – How hard can it be?

Dear Aloe Vera Vaseline tin

Dear Aloe Vera Vaseline tin

I think I love you.

You smell like Gin and Tonics,taste like lime and could probably save my life if I ever get mixed up in a bank robbery and happen to have you in my chest pocket.

Speeding bullets would stop in their tracks the moment they encounter your sweet, buttery, lip softening goodness.

Also, you’re sexy to put on – unlike other lip moistening products out there:

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Enter Vaseline:

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If you were a man, you’d be a gin and tonic flavoured Ricky Martin.

That is all.

Love

Bair

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