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The unexpected Joys of being unemployed.

Now. I know what you’re thinking. “HOW could being unemployed be a good thing?!”

To be honest, it’s not. But between boughts of financial hyperventilation I’m trying to remain philosophical about this.

You see, I started a bit of temping in November at a famously sociopathic investment bank as an executive assistant. I had never temped before, so this was a whole new experience for me.

I was assigned to a small team with a pre-existing EA who had just been made perm. Not thinking much of this, I just got on with my job – only to be called in by my agency two and a half months later as my contract had been unexpectedly terminated. The other EA had requested more work to do, asked to be given my additional tasks and as they were tightening the old belt with regards to the number of temps they had at the bank – it was a case of last one in, first one out.

So. I was out of a job.
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Well. If that wasn’t a kick to the old short and curlies I don’t know what is.

At first I went through the usual stuff you go through when you’ve been given some bad news. Anger, sadness, denial – all of that.

This was intensified by 1,000 when I received the following gloating text from the EA who had (in essence) taken my job.

“Hi Blair. Sorry to hear about how everything has worked out. Hope you manage to find something else soon…”

Wow.

Which is the exact moment I went from sad to pissed off.

As far as I could see, I had two choices. One, have a full-on meltdown and retreat to my bedroom like Greta Garbo mumbling “I vant to be alone” – OR I could make the best of a shitty situation.

By the time I left my agency I had already sent out an availability notification to the other agencies I was also registered with and by the end of the following afternoon I had four interviews lined up and five other opportunities to consider. I was the poster child for proactivity.

And in the meantime I had some time to kill. What to do? Well, I’ll tell you. I got into my pyjamas, put Iggy Pop’s ‘The Passenger’ on the stereo and started to write.

The indulgence of the thing thrilled me. I was wearing my PJ’s in the middle of the day, I had peanut butter smeared around my face, my hair was a hot mess, the flat was a tip – and I couldn’t have been happier.

Sure, the mess was killing me on the inside but there comes a point you have to put your foot down and say “fuck it.” And right at that moment the need for peanut butter and blogging far overshadowed my need to snap on the marigolds and whip the flat into shape Mary Poppins style.

Perhaps this was a tiny personal breakthrough I was experiencing? Maybe this was the wakeup call I needed? Because (concern and angst for my present situation aside), spending an afternoon writing was just so… nice.

It harkened back to a time when life was far less complicated. Simplified even. I had some spare time and I was doing things I wanted to do with it.

I watched a couple of documentaries. I finally finished the mood board I had been meaning to get done for my book for the past year. I managed to even bang out a couple of chapters I was damned proud of.

Yes I’m panic-nautious about being unemployed, but ironically the new jobs that are being presented to me are a million times more interesting and better paid than anything I have gone for in the past. Two are for brilliant salaries and three may be fixed term contracts but they also have 15% completion bonuses.

So I guess getting shit-canned could potentially be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
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My Happiness Project

So. A New Year has come knocking at our door once more it seems!

As you may or may not have noticed I have been absent for a little while. This is because I got unexpectedly swept up in an avalanche of unexpected events. Firstly Mr Maybe and I were in Paris during the November attacks and after we returned home (safe and sound) I started a new job the next day at a fancy new firm as a fancy executive PA. Then there was Christmas, which was a blur of mince pies and disturbing tree-toppers (don’t ask). It has basically been really, ridiculously busy.

Since the Paris attacks I have been in a contemplative mood. On the brink of turning 30, I was already pondering things you generally tend to ponder at this point in life. Like the very real need to purchase both a pot of anti-wrinkle cream and a last will and testament. But after Paris I found myself sitting down with a notepad over the Christmas break to mull over what I really wanted out of life.

The answer was simple.

I wanted to be happy.

Now, I’m a cheerful person and I genuinely love my life. But there was no denying I had seriously let the adulthood monster gobble up a lot of things that made me happy.

As you grow older you become bridled with an ugly amount of boring obligations that chip away at you until one day you realise you’ve become an older, fatter, grumpier and altogether far more boring version of yourself.

But who can blame us for this butterfly-into-caterpillar metamorphosis?

As an adult you’re slowly and quite insidiously moulded into a responsiblity zombie. You have to get a job, pay tax, pay rent, pay national insurance, pay bills and weekends are depressingly spent on all the tasks you couldn’t squeeze into your work week. Like cleaning, taking the bins out, changing the duvet cover in a bizarre end-of-week ritual – and (most depressingly of all)… dusting.

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I used to revel in the luxury of scrap booking, writing, drawing, exploring, blogging, playing the clarinet, spending hours on the phone with an old friend and hanging out with people I actually LIKED. I would get into bed with a good book and a pot of tea and stay there until I had finished. I would go out on my bike and have fun! Remember having fun? Making a fort out of sofa cushions for the sheer fun of it? If you’re like me it’s probably been a while.

I started to feel grumpy and resentful. Was this what being an adult was really all about? And – now I had turned 30 had I just hit the skid-patch on my way to incontinence pants, bingo halls and water aerobics?

Oh please, not water aerobics.

I wanted to get up without sighing and pretending my alarm was just a bad dream. I wanted to feel enthusiasm for something other than coming home to Mr Maybe at the end of a long day. I needed to banish the apathy and take the bull by the horns.

With this determination to reclaim my former fun and carefree self in mind I recently downloaded the “Happiness Project” audio book by Gretchen Ruben via my Audible app – and after reading it from cover to cover decided I would definitely give my own happiness project a go.

So, what did happiness mean to me – really?

When you cut down to brass tax, for me it came down to just a handful of things:

·         Being close to my family and loved ones

·         Doing what I love

·         Security

·         Being healthy

·         Travelling and exploring

·         Feeling free

·         Appreciating the here and now

And so, this is what my aim will be. To get back to basics and make myself genuinely happy.

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Game on.

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Loo Review – The Grain Store

I was at The Grain Store the other day for a light bite and a catch up with the girls. For those of you who haven’t yet gone to The Grain Store it’s a new and very cute (almost Shoreditchy) brunch location very near to Kings Cross and St Pancs stations. It’s serviced by alarmingly perky hostesses and hipsters behind the bar. A bar that is refreshingly well stocked. In almost apocalyptic proportions one could say, but as one partial to a well made cocktail – no complaints here.

A pot of tea and two french martinis later, it was time to visit the little bloggers room.

I have to say I was pretty impressed.dsc_3603.jpg Firstly, there was the sign on the loo for the ladies…
dsc_3602.jpgCreepy. Yes. But to the point.

Then there was the brilliant neon pink sign on the wall. Spot on, give or take a letter…dsc_3600.jpgThe sink area was pretty amazing too.

dsc_3601.jpgThe cubical was very cozy. Part cabin, part loo. White washed wooden partitions and tiled walls – with an abundance of loo roll, a weird night light and a particularly dapper loo chain. dsc_3599.jpgI was quite taken with the handle on the loo seat itself too.dsc_3596.jpgAnd to add to the coziness – the loo roll was folded into very neat little V’s

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All in all – a very positive experience! The hand dryer could blow the backside off a rhino and the entire bathroom smelt very clean and well kept. Which is probably thanks to the fancy squirty hand soap and the on-the-ball staff member.

This is definitely a ladies toilet that the Grain Store can be proud of.

Thumbs up I say!

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Emotional colonic

I’ve decided to cut loose some serious dead weight.

And no, I don’t mean I’m penciling in some lunchtime liposuction.

The other week I was luxuriating in the bath (and enjoying the last French martini I could before they became an illegal new year substance) using this time to send around “Happy New Year” texts and get into the “back-to-school vibe” the world currently had going on – when I was inundated with a wave of half hearted and depressingly generic responses from people I haven’t heard from for months.

Then it hit me– there are a chunk of people in my life that I considered friends who are never the first to make contact, never the first to suggest that we meet up and who never ever simply ask me how I’m doing.

I have an infestation of Faux Friends.

Some are people I have known for years and others are hangers-on who can vaguely be remembered two jobs, three relationships and four personalities ago. People who should quite frankly be filed away somewhere in the fire pits of my consciousness under the friendship subsection of “DNR.” They lurk on social media, quietly keeping tabs on me but confusingly recoil from any form of non-virtual friendship.

So, I had a manic detox and expunged these pretenders from my life.

Yes, that’s right don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

You are the weakest link – goodbye!

Admittedly, hell hath no fury and by the time I was done there weren’t many people left.
But that was fine by me. The only survivors were people I wished well, wanted to remain in contact with and who had proven that they gave a turtleshit about me.

I just can’t be doing with the dead weight. I have run out of “nice.” My well has run dry and these days I tend to assess a person or situation by taking a step back, having a sip of wine, taking a deep breath and deciding whether or not to say “fuck that.”

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If only deleting people in real life was as satisfying, painless and efficient as on social media. Hitting a “delete” button and never having to interact with someone I don’t like ever again would be a dream come true. Orgasmic even. But for now, lets stick to social media. This overdue culling session was much like an emotional colonic – and I highly recommend it.

It also fits nicely under the “feeling free” section of my happiness project. Because I am now free of the drama and toxic gaze of people who are no good for me. Happily, this also leaves me more open to making new and actually valuable friendships rather than maintaining pointless old ones I have outgrown.

And simply knowing that really does make me feel happier.

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Flu, hot toddies and the joys of spending an entire weekend in your pyjamas

I’m currently riddled with the flu, high on lemsip tablets and dribbling from the corner of my mouth.
Admittedly this is not as bad as discovering you have herpes or that house on fire or finding your boyfriend dressed in your clothes (only, he looks better than you) – but this still sucks big hairy balls. Especially considering I’m starting a new job very soon. And by ‘soon’ I mean Tuesday.

However, as inconvenient as being ill is, it IS a good excuse to spend the entire weekend in your pyjamas while drinking a potent cocktail of milk, honey and whiskey.

This is the medicine suggested by Daddyo. He used to give me a glass of hot toddy when I was little and had my yearly case of the flu at Christmas. His logic was that I would be anethetising myself from the inside out, but in reality it was desgusting at the age of seven. A sweet and sour flaming glass of “hell no” but I have to tell you, on the cusp of 30? I’ve had four mugs of this stuff and I feel FIIIIIINE.

In my family if it can’t be fixed with savlon, duct tape or chicken soup then it’s time to get out a bottle if whiskey.

And I’m okay with that.

And very releived I have never broken anything.

As fortune should have it I felt the full wrath of my flu bug while I was visiting my parents. Visiting people while loopy on over-the-counter medication is not something I generally encourage. In fact I loath houseguests who intentionally visit with the sniffles. Especially the ones who freely cough or sneeze everywhere without so much as putting their hand over their mouth so everyone else gets sick too.

It’s gross, inconsiderate and makes me afraid of my own home – which has now become an assault course of germs and micro organisms I am forced to commando roll through for the duration of their stay.

However, my parents insisted I visit (germs and all). They love swaddling me up and pouring both alcohol and soup down my throat in alternate intervals. And it’s nice to revert to a simpler time in my life. A time where I could grab a wagon wheel and sit in front of the TV to watch shows like ‘saved by the bell,’ ‘Buffy’ and ‘MASH’ with a freshly scrubbed face and some pyjamas all toasty warm from the airing cupboard without being panic-nautious about something in the back of my mind.

Don’t grow up kids – it’s a trap.

Right now, with your tinfoil helmet on and possibly a lego up your nose – life is as good as it’s ever going to get.

You know what I did this morning? Nothing. I woke up with my throat drier than a cactus’s scrotum and a swollen neck – so I poured a mug of freshly percolated coffee got back into bed and alternated between playing the ukulele and singing the ‘A Team’ theme tune to myself in a weird high-pitched voice.

It was bliss.

In fact, goddamn it, I should get the flu more often.

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Beware of Crimson Peak… (No, seriously) *spoilers ahead

Mr Maybe surprised me with tickets for the opening night of Crimson Peak for our recent date-night. I had been irritating him for weeks by obsessively pouring over the trailers, so this was a very welcome surprise. Considering I had grown up on a steady diet of books such as The Woman in White, Gormenghast, Jane Eyre, Dracula and Rebecca (which I consumed like tic-tacs) I could tell that the upcoming Guillermo del Toro masterpiece Crimson Peak was going to be my sort of film.

I gave him a huge kiss and the “How did you know??!” face.

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On the 16th, we arrived at the electric cinema in honour of this prestigious event. If you aren’t familiar with he Electric, it’s a really fancy Cinema in Shoreditch favoured by hipsters and has individual armchairs, cashmere blankets and cocktails themed on the films currently showing (you should go!) I was buzzing with excitement. To add to the thrill of the moment, the blogasphere was rampant with the promise of a raunchy sex scene with Tom Hiddleston’s actual bottom on full and glorious HD display.

Pass the popcorn please.

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The film started. It was a swirl of breathtaking sets and costumes.

But the plotline?

I have to take a moment to pause here.

Because… I am genuinely miffed. What the hell happened? I was promised a beautiful visual souffle – but it simply failed to rise to the occasion. The ingredients were there, but the souffle itself didn’t quite make it. Parts of the plot felt rushed, parts dragged and others are best never mentioned ever again. It felt like Guillermo del Toro was following the standard Gothic Horror rulebook to the letter. As if they were ticking boxes rather than making Crimson Peak a standalone motion picture and not even Tom Hiddleston’s bottom could save it.

Maybe it’s because I have read and seen so much Gothic Horror in my time, but I felt there was a horrible sence of deja vu throughout. crimson1

Crimson Peak had an “it’s behind you!” plot that left the audience desperately waiting for the main protagonist to catch up to what they had known since the beginning of the film. The storyline was reminiscent of four or five other pieces of Gothic Horror such as ‘The Woman in White,’ ‘Flowers in the attic’ and ‘Jane Eyre’ and this left me a bit irritated at the lack of originality. Basically what you think is going to happen is inevitably going to happen. For me, the worst part was that the backbone for the Sharps sordid motivations are only briefly touched on during the end of the film and dealt with in a very blasé fashion.

Here are my top WTF Crimson Peak??! moments:

  1. Firstly, the British are the bad guys and the Americans the hero’s – Cliche much? I would really love to see a film like this where the brits aren’t villains twirling their moustaches
  2. The ghosts. Personally I believe the film would have worked so much better without them. This is probably an unpopular opinion, but there it is
  3. You know what? If your dead Mum comes to you from beyond the grave with a message to “beware of crimson peak” – I think most people would do a little research into what the hell Crimson peak could possibly be. Especially if they have the money to pay an army of private detectives
  4. Where was the raunchy sex scene I was promised? All I saw was a brief flash of Tom Hiddleston’s bum (always appreciated) but this is hardly something to cause such a media frenzy. I was expecting Game Of Thrones style gymnastic sex and I got a few seconds of bare bottom
  5. Speaking of Game Of Thrones, can we please dial it down on the incest please? Jeez Hollywood. Can anyone say “unresolved childhood issues?”
  6. If you were Edith wouldn’t you cotton on that something is wrong considering – A) your new husband won’t dare to touch you unless he is away from his oppressive sister, B) you conveniently seem to be passing out every night after being given a cup of tea, C) you travelled during your honey moon in separate sleeping compartments to your husband – and (most importantly) D) your sister-in-law loses her shit and throws boiled potatoes around when you hint that you might have had (shock horror) SEX with your husband during a snow storm
  7. Why would Lucille keep the axe she murdered her mother with? Rookie serial killer mistake!
  8. Why would the Sharp siblings also keep vocal recordings of a previous victim documenting the fact that she had been murdered and how and by whom?
  9. Why wouldn’t the Sharps burn all their victims belongings to hide evidence of… oh I don’t know… LURING AND MURDERING HEIRESSES IN A CREEPY HOUSE
  10. Why the fuckedy fuck would Lucille then go around the house with a whacking great big keychain around her waist with the key to these incriminating recordings on it? Wouldn’t you at least hide the key?
  11. If the Sharp siblings murdered a bunch of heiresses surely they would have had enough money by now to: fix the house, mend and finance the machine and start a new life somewhere else if they wanted to. What happened to all the previous money they tricked their victims out of?
  12. What was that about Lucille having her brothers baby? I was so brief and blase a mention towards the end of the film I almost missed it
  13. Shouldn’t they have mentioned a baby / hinted at one being in the house before the end of the film to build up some tension and mystery?
  14. Why the hell was Enola looking after Lucille’s incestuous baby? Wouldn’t she have wondered where it came from and who’s it was? Did they tell her the baby was their ward? How did they get away with a random (apparently deformed) baby rattling around the house exactly?
  15. Lucille snapped: “she said she could make it better” when she was talking about Enola. Why would an heiress know how to make a baby better? Was she a skilled physician? Was this Enola’s way of trying to buy time? Had she cottoned on by then that they planned to kill her and the vague hope of saving Lucille’s baby was the only way to keep the Sharp siblings from murdering her?
  16. Who killed the baby? Or did it die of its own accord?
  17. Why does it take Edith so long to put two and two together and realise that – “Hmm, I seem to suddenly be coughing up blood and feeling ill… But the only thing that has changed in my diet is a large volume of nasty bitter tea poured down my throat by my equally nasty sister-in-law. Could that be what’s slowly killing me?”
  18. How had the dog survived in the “wilds” of Cumberland between victims if nobody was feeding or sheltering it? And how did it maintain it’s perfectly groomed appearance?

There are so many questions and moments perfectly epitomised by this meme:

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I can’t even tell you.

After the credits had rolled I was disappointed and Mr Maybe admitted that he wanted to leave halfway through. I was shocked when a lady sat beside me cried at the end because she was so “touched” by the conclusion of the film.

TOUCHED?!

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Ugh.

Okay, I cried at the bit where Edith was talking about her Dad turning fourty next week when he was laid out on a table in the morgue. BUT THAT’S THE ONLY TOUCHING BIT.

I think this film would be good training wheels for the Gothic Horror / Romance virgin, but for old hats in this genre I would say it’s he wrong kind of scary.

Beware of Crimson Peak?

Too right mate.

Too bloody right.

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FFAQ – questions nobody actually asked me about things you probably don’t give a shit about

I decided to post an FAQ. Because, why not?

To make it more interesting I decided to make it a fake FAQ of things that nobody actually asked me and you probably don’t give a shit about either.

So, let’s get this party started.

Q1. Okay, so – why did you start blogging?

Ans: Well, how sweet of you for asking! I started blogging because I had just suffered a bad breakup from Mr Wrong and needed to keep myself distracted from the gaping hole of misery and loneliness opening up in front of me. And it worked! I have since managed to negotiate myself into a somewhat functional relationship with Mr Maybe, front-runner for the title of “Mr Right” (an imaginary competition he is completely unaware he has been entered into so shhh okay you guys?)

Q2. Why did you call your blog ‘The Mottled Macaroon’?

Ans: The name I wanted was ‘The Mottled Oyster’ – but someone else had already snapped that up, so I went for the next best thing.

Q3. So – you work as a PA in London. Is that a glamorous job?

Ans: My working life is a never-ending pile of ‘to do’ lists, chores, typing and silent discos in the ladies toilet when things get a bit too much for me. It’s a lot of work. I was hoping my job would be something similar to Moneypenny from the Bond films. Consisting mainly of rolling my eyes at people while filing my nails and taking notes while looking effortlessly glamorous. Instead I’m pretty sure my fingers have gotten shorter from the amount of typing I do. I will be covering the highs and pitfalls of life as a PA / office monkey in an upcoming post. So keep on the lookout if you want an insight into the wonderful world of personal assistance. My advice? Don’t do it unless you hate yourself.

Q4. Sping, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Ans: Autumn. I do not do well in the heat. I melt like the witch from ‘Wizard of Oz’ at the slightest whiff of it. Autumn is also an excellent excuse to cuddle up on the sofa with Mr Maybe with a bottle of wine and a blanket. Plus, there are HUGE piles of leaves to run through. Besides, my birthday is in November and Autumn means I’m one step closer to a day of being worshiped by my minions – and (most importantly) presents.

Q5. Best Macaroon?

Ans: Laduree- hands down. Specifically the rose Laduree macaroons. They are my version of crack. When someone offers me a macaroon and instead of the one I’m expecting I get the sort that resemble a chocolatey coconut cowpat I become very disappointed.

And when I say disappointed I of course mean violent.

Q6. Worst date?

Ans: There have been so many. Thankfully none of them with Mr Maybe. There was the time I was on a blind date, had arranged to meet the guy in the local Costa’s – but we both showed up at different locations in the same town centre. We both thought we had been stood up, only to eventually realise the mistake and have a good laugh about it later. At the emergency room. Because my date had recently had surgery on both of his knees and the incision had been infected. The first time I lay eyes on him he was sitting in a wheelchair wearing a superman t-shirt with swollen kneecaps.

I ended up dating him for three years.

Sadly, this is a true story.

*hangs head*

Q7. Worst interview?

Ans: The time I was so panicked about getting a job I really wanted that I gave myself a migraine during the interview. I started slurring my words and ended up talking about Vogons in an addled attempt to try and appear normal. Which is when the migraine really kicked in, I missed my mouth with my glass of water and slopped it down my face and clothes.

In case you were wondering. I didn’t get the job.

Q8. What do you like to do to relax?

Ans: I have bubble baths, yell enthusiastically at the tv – and do a bit of target practice with my rifle.

But not all at the same time.

Q9. What was the last thing you purchased?

Ans: Twenty litres of multi-purpose descaler – and a MAC lipstick called ‘Hot Gossip.’ Make of that what you will.

Q10. Do you have any pets?

Ans: Yes, Mr Maybe.

Q11. If you had $10 million, would you still be working/going to school?

Ans: Are you insane? No! I would be drinking French Martini’s and burping happily through the rest of my life on a desert island.

Q12. What was your worst vacation experience?

Ans: Probably the time my family went to Portugal when I was eight. I got sand up my butthole when I was knocked over by a wave after Daddyo convinced me that the sea wasn’t in fact evil and I should venture forth into it without fear of being eaten alive by sharks. I emerged from the waves with the crotch of my swimming costume hanging down to my knees because it was filled with sand. It was swinging around like a saggy old testicle while I cried hysterically and clambered back to my parents. Mothership made me sunbathe face down and naked from the waist down, and to preserve my modesty she put a towel over my back / head. Then she fell asleep reading a book and later broke the news of my bottom-centralised sunburn to me the best way she knew how. With ice cream.

There was also an incident with some smuggled paella shells / gigantic ants that may or may not have been my fault.

Q13. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

Ans: Once. When Mr Maybe gave me a really thoughtful birthday present the first year we were together. It was one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life and to this day Mr Maybe still loves telling people that story.

Q14. Do you speak any other languages?

Ans: I’m fluent in sarcasm

Q15. Do you sing in the shower?

Ans: No, I spend my shower time wisely by winning pretend arguments

Q16. Do you drink coffee or tea?

Ans: I’m English. Obviously, tea. Great big pots of it.

Q17. Do you play video games?

Ans: I sometimes play Grand Theft Auto with Mr Maybe. I like driving motorbikes and Mini Coopers – Mr Maybe saves those bits for me but mostly that’s his thing. He gets plugged into the Matrix with his headset and a mountain of snacks and I leave him to it.

Q18. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Ans: “Fuck ’em.”

“You can’t polish a turd”

I use a mixture of the two principles in my daily life.

Q19. What is your favorite food?

Ans: Sushi, and my parents cooking.

Q20. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ans: Probably Raspberry Ripple. It used to be Gino Ginelli’s tutti frutti when I was little.

Q21. Are there any foods that you dislike or will not eat?

Ans: Yes. Halal, which is bullshit.

Q22. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Ans: Other than London – Vancouver, hands down. They have great food, beautiful scenery and Micheal Buble. What more could you possibly want?!

Q23. What type of kid were you (e.g. spoiled, rebellious, well-behaved, quiet, obnoxious…)?

Ans: I was probably the weird kid. I insisted on wearing a pink rhinestone tiara and waving at people from the back seat of our family car, had an invisible friend who was a hit and run victim and my favorite thing to play with was a cardboard box. But I had to fight our  cats for them.

Q24. What did you want to grow up to be when you were younger?

Ans: Paleontologist / writer. I used to run around wearing Daddyo’s fedora with a skipping rope curled at my hip while digging things up in the garden. I once found a cows skull in our paddock, washed it off and displayed it proudly on the kitchen table. Mothership was not best pleased

Q25. Why don’t you look like the cartoon you draw of yourself?

Ans: Because I had a bad haircut when I started cartooning myself and now I don’t.

Q26. What is your favorite Podcast?

Ans: The Chris Brake Show is a big favorite. Then there’s How stuff works , Stuff You Should Know, Freakanomics and TED Talks.

I also have a big soft spot for ‘Wait Wait, don’t tell me!’ and The Hollywood Rockin’ Wrap Up.

Q27. What are your favorite websites / blogs?

Ans: The Oatmeal, Jenna Marbles and Hyperbole and a Half.

Because, well… obviously.

Q28. Pet Peeves?

Ans: The sound people make when they eat bananas, people who say “Lol!” and anyone I don’t know or don’t even like touching me without a written invitation.

Q29. What’s the worst thing you ever did when you were pissed (drunk)

Ans: I pooped on my parents front lawn. Right in the centre. And vomited on the door step.

But my drink was spiked and I was delirious for most of that experience. However, it was a bit hard to explain the next morning.

 

So, there you have it! The Mottled Macaroon fake FAQ.

I’m bet you glad you asked me.

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Food Envy – one woman’s fight against lunchbox mediocrity

There is a serious amount of food envy that’s going on in our Mayfair office right now – and it’s all directed at me. This is because quite a lot of the Mayfair elite live on a steady diet of cocaine, cigarettes and Earl Grey. The last time they ate a proper meal they probably threw it up ten minutes later.

I can’t help that I’m the queen of the packed lunch. I’m a creature of comfort, and that includes food.

Obviously, I’m used to this level of insane food-jealousy having regularly posted my food on instagram like the secret asshole I am.

Chicken soup, caesar salad, spanish omelette, grilled vegetable cous cous, spicy salmon soup with spiralised carrot noodles – my lunch is made with a side helping of love. Which is why I inwardly growl at anyone who ventures too close to my desk during feeding time.

It’s the smell that draws the twiglets in. And by twiglets I mean the lollypop girls with designer handbags in size zero suits from Chanel the populate the office.

My food smells good. Which is why they gather around me, trying to look disinterested while idly asking me what I’m eating. Even if it’s obvious. Like – soup. Or cheese. Or an apple.

They are living vicariously through my lunchbox and this disturbs me greatly. It gives them crazy eyes.

I’m waiting for the day they throw both caution and juice diet to the wind I am subsequently mauled by a dozen half-starved twiglets. Forcing me to sprint like a rugby player across the office with my food tucked safely under one arm lest I be set upon by my emaciated coworkers.

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I could try and make my food less interesting to deflect said impending attack.

But I have standards.

blood ink

The exquisite and sadistic pain of writing a book

blood inkT.S Eliot once said that “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink” – this guy knew he was talking about. There is something truly masochistic about being a writer at times. You could sit down, all pumped up about having enough free time to bang out a few chapters but then your brain switches off and all you hear is white noise inside your head.

NO power on earth could give you an idea right now.

You’re more likely to have a Capuchin monkey jump out of your nose and slap you round the face.

I have learnt that inspiration does not take kindly to command performances, so instead I try to pretend I don’t need it. I try to trick my brain into thinking that things are going really well and I don’t at all regret adding that transvestite private detective in chapter four…

This unfortunately never works. This is because inspiration can also smell fear.

Getting a book down on paper is like catching Mexican jumping beans with your bully button. It’s harder than it looks. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I blame Daddyo for this. He used to tell me bedtime stories but always forgot where he left off the night before. Out of pure frustration I started to write them all down in a big notebook as a prompt. Which is when Daddyo suggested I start writing some of my own stories. I have been scribbling and typing away ever since.

What I love about writing is that you create a whole world that nobody else knows about. Characters, worlds and scenarios start to take form using the power of your imagination. You can commit murder, find true love, fight an epic battle – and showers are almost exclusively reserved for reenacting scenes and testing dialog. To the point that I’m pretty sure my boyfriend thinks I’m schizophrenic.

Unfortunately, with the onset of adulthood HAVING the time to write is a miracle in itself. With a full-time job as a PA and all my spare time gobbled up doing the other 355,000 inane little tasks I am required to do on a daily basis – it gets really hard to find a few moments out of my day to tell everyone to go fuck themselves because I’m doing something for me. So I write wherever I can. On toilet paper, napkins, my phone, notepads, on my palm and I bunch it all together and offer it up to the literary gods. My desk is a veritable shrine as I burn incense, light candles and all but smear on war paint and dance naked under a full moon.

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It’s exhausting.

But when all the planets are in the right alignment I can lose a whole day glued to my keyboard.

Two chapters become three chapters become four chapters.

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This feels a lot like finally dislodging a bit of apple from between your teeth using nothing but the power of your own tongue. Glorious. Inside my head, I’m making orgasm noises. Believe me – it’s a welcome change from beating my head against my desk.

The initial beginning of my book is entirely different from the beginning I now have. Which is a relief, because in retrospect the original was total crap. The upshot is that’s what first drafts are for. My problem was reviewing what I had written over and over until I never really moved past that page to the next section of the story. I was so hung up on being perfect that I didn’t let it all hang out and flow on the page. It’s SUPPOSED to be crap. Not totally crap, but there’s supposed to be about 77% of cringe in your first full draft. The point is writing the damned thing from beginning to end. Don’t stop, don’t look back, don’t review – just plow on until you reach that goddamn end then go back and review. That’s the best advice that I have ever been given and something I am currently sticking to as we speak.

Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I want to throw my computer through the nearest window… but I’m being strict with myself and it’s actually working. All I know is I need to finish my manuscript. Even if it kills me, I am finishing this goddamn thing. I’ve reactivated my Watpadd account and I’m trying to get a decent chapter published on it by the end of next week. Something meaty that potential readers can get their teeth into until I manage a few more. You can find me under AnnieRoxlin if you ever decide you want to buckle up and join me on this particular emotional rollercoaster ride.

In case you were wondering, I decided on a ghost name because I’m deeply mysterious like that.

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wattpadd devlin succession

Excuse the initial shitness. Like I said, I just reactivated, started writing and I’m ploughing through to the end before I allow myself to glance in my literary rear view mirror. What you see now is what I believe is called “raw material.” Which sounds like a big, gaping, pussy sore – and I guess that describes it perfectly actually.

I have a handful of followers already. Only eight – but one of them seems to be a bit of an old hand at this, with 15 published works under her belt and 1.4k followers to boot. Amazingly she messaged me to say that she liked my work and was looking forward to reading more. This is both encouraging and terrifying at the same time.

I mean, no pressure or anything.

An actual author wants to read more of my stuff. How the hell did that happen?

It’s a good sign, right?…

RIGHT??!

Well, I guess we’re about to find out.

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GCSE results day – Advice I would give my former teenage self

There is panic on the streets of England today.

Panic for a certain kind of people.

Teenage people.

This is because today they are getting their GCSE results.

Kids all over the country will find out if they did well enough to get into the college / uni of their dreams and pursue the career that they want, or alternatively will have to get a job at the local MacDonald’s and have lots of babies named after novelty alcoholic beverages.

As we speak, throngs of unwashed students are huddling like zombies around their former schools. There will also no doubt be teachers smugly wandering through the wasteland of their former students wearing expressions that clearly say “not my problem bitches!”

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while Fanfare for the Common Man blares in the background.

Students will then form distinct tribes. The most irritating of which is obviously the “I’M GOOD AT EVERYTHING” clique who  grab their sealed exam results like weapons in the Hunger Games cornucopia before sprinting to the toilets, where they spend the next two hours sobbing their eyes out, convinced that they have gotten bad grades and wont be able to live their dream of going to Oxford University to develop a coke habit. Only, they then open their results, find they have gotten all A’s and smugly spend the rest of the time demanding to see lesser students grades.

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This day is all the more relevant to me because Mini Maybe (my 16-year-old potential step-daughter) is getting her results. She’s really worried about what they might be, because her friends seem to be like something from Children of the Corn with straight A averages and coordinating 5 year plans. So, being the considerate potential step mother that I am – I tried to think of the right thing to say to make this day go a little better for her. With this in mind, I jotted down some advice I would give my former 16-year-old self if I had the opportunity.

Dear Young and Impressionable Blair,

Welcome to hell.

I say this with love.

Seriously, you think everything you’ve just gone through is the end of your struggles – and that now you are an adult life will be more fair and enjoyable? Think again. Say hello to taxes, heartbreak, betrayal, disappointment, weight gain, occasional boughts of alcoholism, megalomaniac employers, mean-girls that have turned into mean-women – and eventual death.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good bits.

But they either cost a lot or make you fat.

Love,

Your future self.

 

– Well, at least I tried.

moving day!

Guess what?! We’ve moved house. Again *eye twitch*

Some of you have been wondering where I have been for the past month or so. I’m sorry I seem to have dropped off the face of the planet – but unfortunately I had some adult / real life responsibility shit to do.

Mr Maybe and I have moved house… Again.

moving day!

This is my ninth move since I first relocated to London. NINTH. In the last eight years!! And I’m done. This is it. I have drawn a metaphorical line in the sand. This is where I am and I shall go no further.

… For at least a few years anyway.

I hate moving. I hate it with a passion. It’s a whole other circle of hell inhabited almost exclusively by arguments, cardboard boxes and estate agents. You lose sleep, you lose belongings and you also drastically lose your standards of hygiene. I get so stressed out during moving time that my yearly quota of migraines happen during this period. Coincidence?… I THINK NOT!

My advice? If you can avoid moving – DO IT. That annoying thing your neighbour does? Not as annoying as anything you are about to get through. I promise you. Get over it and stay put. You will thank me some day.

The reason we are relocating (again) is Mr Maybe’s moving 16-year-old Mini Maybe in with us at the end of August – and we need the extra room somewhat urgently for all the fangirl posters we are about to inherit. Luckily we found somewhere not too far away from our original flat that was perfect for us. Didn’t even have to sleep on it. The unending quest for the perfect home was enough to make us briefly glance round and bellow “WE’LL TAKE IT!” before someone else took it. However, to complicate things further in our quest, we couldn’t just move in to the flat we finally found. Oh no, what would be the fun in that?! We would have to move out, wait two weeks and then move into our new place.

In the meantime Mr Maybe and I had to figure out what to do during our period as temporary hobos. Luckily for us, we had some relatives to stay with until we got our shit together again. To make this arrangement even better – they had two dogs. One called Billy with no concept of personal space:

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And a 10 week old dachshund called Paddy who was clearly under the impression that he was a Doberman with gigantic testicles.

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Move number one (the move from our studio to storage) was stressful… but a lot less stressful than it could have been. I think moving out is always the shit part. The part were you have to pack your life up, fill a truck with it, drop off keys, attempt to negotiate your deposit back from a tight-fisted landlord and try not to spurt blood from your ears in the process. I have no idea why this move was better than the others that I have endured, but then we did have a bottle of Jack Daniels on hand, so this could explain it.

I’m not going to lie. I felt a little smug about being bang on schedule. We were doing so well for time! We were being responsible, functional adults! We were taking that next terrifying step together by merging our household with my boyfriends offspring! We had managed to fit our lives in a van and transport it to a temporary holding pen until we repeated the process all over again! We even returned the keys on time!

Only… it was at this point Mr Maybe found his juggling sticks and got a bit distracted…

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Oh dear…

Fast forward two weeks, and it was time to move (again). This time from storage to the new place. Could we pull it off?

As it turns out – yes. In exactly eight hours of non-stop back-breaking work.

Here is a montage of the day:

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Mr Maybe – thrilled to be the Captain of his very own starship…


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Filling the van with anything that would fit inside…

Chucking it anywhere in the new flat…wpid-dsc_2635.jpg
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Getting lots of exciting new bruises in weird and occasionally disturbing places…

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And collapsing at the end of the day with just enough life left in us to crawl to the pub…

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Mr Maybe even took a break in amidst of all the moving chaos to help a little old lady across the road.

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 Which is just one of the reasons I love that man.

Our move was fulled by alcohol and determination – but at least it was a success.

And I’m definately not dead yet…

So hakuna your tattas people.

tofa

Allow me to introduce you to my spirit animal.

A few of the girls in the office were talking about “spiritual things” over their non-fat, non-carb chai tea the other day. They were trying to “out-spiritual” each other in their LK Bennet twin sets and blinding diamond engagement rings, chatting about their spirit animals, gap years in yogi temples; being rebirthed using whale song, burlap sacks and wooden spoons – and star signs.

My star sign is Scorpio.

You’d never guess it, because I’m so reserved and shy. But apparently I’m the one with the sting in its tail.

I have to say I’m not one for spirit animals though.

Each to their own, but I can’t picture myself as a spirit animal. Some of Mr Maybe’s favourite books are the Amber Spyglass series – where all the humans have a daemon (like a familiar). I tried to picture what mine would be. But I couldn’t.

Until I saw this cat.

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I’m pretty sure I’m onto a winner.

My abusive relationship with Pretty Little Liars

I have a seriously unhealthy relationship with ‘Pretty Little Liars.’
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Being an almost 30 year old English woman I’m not exactly the target demographic for American teen drama shows. But it turns out watching ‘The Origionals’ one afternoon while idly doing the laundry was the gateway drug – and now Pandoras box is open. First I was glued to ‘The Origionals’ then ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and now ‘Pretty Little Liars.’

As I watch these shows via Netflix, I have unlimited access to seasons worth of episodes at a time. This is not a good thing. On weekends I have been discovered still in my pyjamas at 7:30 at night by Mr Maybe, face smeared with mascara because some tragedy has befallen my favourite character or speed cleaning the kitchen, furious at some fictional injustice.

My relationship with this particular show is incredibly abusive. Because no matter how many times it hurts or dissapoints me, I come back for more.

It’s been six seasons for the love of all that’s good and pure, but I have more questions than answers at this point! Every time I think I know who the shadowy and psychotic ‘A’ is – suddenly the whole thing was a red herring. My whole carefully built house of cards comes tumbling down.
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Which is when I feel sad and need to go sit down for a while with a biscuit and a cup of tea.

Trying to explain the show to someone who is not a PLL afficionado is like trying to explain string theory to Kim Kardashian. It ain’t gonna happen without the aid of charts, visual aids, sock puppets and big arm gestures. And even then the person who innocently asked “so… what’s the show about?” will blankly look at you, shrug and say “okay.”

NO NANNA ITS NOT OKAY, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND – AT ALL.

And it’s not just me. Theres a whole Internet community dedicated to pouring over clues and dissecting characters in the show (a la CSI) in a futile attempt to reveal who the culprit really is.

Now that’s a bit fucked up.

Especially when you consider the pure dedication and time taken to concoct a detailed theory using occums razor, copious amounts of caffine and a cork board full of clues and red string that Scotland Yard would be proud of in the endless quest to answer WHY their favourite suspect could possibly be the deranged screwball running around a sleepy American suburb, terrorising a couple of young girls.

To be honest, I feel a bit sorry for American teenagers. Because if my recent viewing is anything to go by, they are the demographic most likely to:
– Turn into a vampire, werewolf, witch or other supernatural being
– Get hunted by a deranged killer bent on using their skin as a pair of pyjamas
– Have really stupid parents who are totally unaware of either of the above

The thing is, I have put so much time and effort into watching this show and getting sucked into the emotional upheaval of characters faking their own deaths and then coming back to life, getting kidnapped, being psychologically tortured, completing twisted ‘Simon Says’ esque tasks (plus the constant flirtation with the possibility of incest) – I cant quit now. For the sake of my mental wellbeing I NEED TO KNOW WHO A IS GODDAMN IT!

I’ve gotten to the point that I get irrationality angry at some people’s theories.

Especially when they are stupid. Some of them require teleportation or time travel – and I haven’t got time for that. There’s a KILLER on the loose people. Let’s take this shit seriously okay?!

I’m just hoping that the writers have an end game that will be worth the six current seasons of debate and dedication. Because six seasons in, we’re treading some dangerous ‘Lost’ territory here. If they chose to do the “it was all a dream!” / finale reveal that makes no sence at all (considering who has previously been effected by the evil machinations of said psychopath) – the fans may take to the streets and cause a riot while shouting unanswered questions at the sky.
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And I will be leading the charge.

Here are a few of the reasons why:

1. The body found at the beginning of the show was identified as the missing girl Alison DeLaurentis. Then we find out it was Bethany Young (an escaped mental patient) instead. A pretty big mistake for the police to make. Didnt they test the DNA? And if so, why didnt the results come back as someone other than Alison?

2. On the night Bethany Young was bludgeoned to death, Melissa Hastings mistook Bethany for Alison while she was busy burying the body to protect her little sister (Spencer) – who she mistook for the murderer (innocent enough mistake to make considering Spencer was wandering around, arguing with Alison while dragging a shovel behind her). If Melissa thought that Spencer killed Alison why would she bury someone else’s body? Unless Bethany looks identical to Alison because she is Alisons twin?

3. If she wasn’t Alisons twin or at least her sister – why the hell would Bethany Young look so similar to Alison to cause mistaken identity? And for that matter, why would she be wearing an identical outfit to Alison on the night Alison went missing?

4. Why did Alisons mother bury her when she found her daughter coshed on the head and apparently dead? You know, instead of calling an ambulance / the police like a normal person? Did she think Alison was Bethany? Or was she protecting Bethany who she assumed was the killer? Either way, that’s messed up.

5. Why doesn’t someone interrogate Mona for answers since she has been in on a whole clusterfuck of schemes, was the original ‘A’ – and is a genius. Even if she doesn’t genuinely know who ‘A’ is, with the IQ of a small continent she could make an educated guess as someone previously on the inside.

6. Doesn’t anyone find the fact Sarah went missing the day after Alison, was trapped in the dollhouse with the girls but never seen by them – and wasn’t even microchipped like the others a bit convenient? Sarah also seems to have had an entire personality transplant upon her dissappearance. Considering when she went missing she was as manipulative and nasty as Alisons former Queen Bee self.

7. Who the hell is Sarah Harvey? How is she connected to all this?

8. Who the hell is Lesli Stone – really? The spotlight of suspicion fell on her for a while, we discovered she was a patient at Radley AND has medical training (so she could be A, or Redcoat at least) but then we got distracted with the discovery of the microchips and she seems to have been forgotten. Why the hell is she wearing fake glasses? It’s a bit ‘Hipster’ of her isn’t it? If she calls herself Monas friend why is she so bossy and a total bitch to her:
“Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I asked you to do one thing, Mona. One freaking thing! And you screwed it up. You screwed it up for me. You always screw everything up!”
— Lesli to Mona in She’s No Angel

9. What’s with the creepy clowns and dolls?

10. Who is Mrs Potter and why did ‘A’ leave flowers on her grave in ‘the new normal’?

11. During the snippets we see of ‘A’ he / she is doing things like watching the ‘wheel of fortune’, drinking and buying whiskey / vodka, is listening to jazz music, has a lot of money considering the motel rooms /large sums of cash/ elaborate underground lair /technical equipment etc – so wouldn’t it be safe to assume ‘A’ is older than the girls? Perhaps even a guardian?

12. Why are the police / adults so incompetent in Rosewood? ‘A’ was able to plant photographs of the girls that he took during their captivity on a gallery wall right underneath the nose of the lead investigator, the gallery organisers and one the PLL’s parents

What is going on?… And why do I care so much??!

It makes no sense. But what can I say? I’m addicted. All I know is that my favourite past time is yelling at the TV, working on my suspect list and staring at the Pretty Little Liars episode list until a new one appears.
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I have officially become the crazy shut in I always knew I was destined to be.

Thanks so much Marlene King.
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My mother’s worst fears have been confirmed.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate everybody. And I’m okay with that.

As I have matured over the years like a well-ripened cheese I have come to the conclusion that I hate everybody.

Well maybe not absolutely everybody. But mostly everybody.

And maybe hate is a strong word. How about resent?

Okay – I strongly resent 99.9% of the population.

As someone who spent her formative years working in retail / admin /corporate hospitality – and is now an executive PA you’d think (after my many years of exposure to various aspects of mankind) I would have a great appreciation for the human experience. That I would be anthropological in my outlook on life. But in truth I spend 100% of my day inwardly rolling my eyes during interactions with other people.

Thinking about it, I guess I’m what you might call an “equal opportunity hater.” I don’t care about race, age, religion or sexual preference – I will dislike you regardless of all that.

Nobody believes me when I say I’m not a “people” person. Especially Mr Maybe, who always says I’m the “kindest” person he knows.

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This depresses me, because quite frankly I’d rather be the sexiest person he knows. I mean, I doubt there has been a man alive who’s whispered provocatively in his girlfriends ear: “Oooh baby, you’re so KIND it makes me horny…”

Meh. I guess I’ll take it.

I can’t help thinking he’ll be in for a shock when I experience my impending psychotic break and eventually explode in a shower of tourettes-like swearing followed by running naked through the town centre. But there we go, that’s relationships for you. If you can’t have at least ONE psychotic break without being judged then you need to make good your exit my friend.

I understand this misconception though. After years of servitude I have developed this hospitality / client-facing façade as a coping mechanism. Only, I can’t shut it off. It’s like PTSD. The upside to this is I can cope with any situation without betraying how I actually feel at that moment in time. However, I think this façade has now become engrained in my personality in general. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’m English and middle class? Being repressed is probably in my DNA or something.

No matter how cheerfully I start my day with scented bubble baths or buddhist chanting the torture of public transport is enough to leave me seething as I reach either end of my commute. Most people seem to have NO spatial awareness. They will press against you, cut across you, push in front of you, blindly amble into you, stop right in front of you… They would probably even take a dump on you if they could get away with it.

I have OCD (actual OCD, not a mild dislike for things being out-of-order) – meaning I don’t like being  repeatedly tapped / touched in general unless I have given an engraved invitation. With this in mind you can imagine how much I hate it when someone gets on the tube and their suitcase, handbag or shopping is tapping against me for the whole journey. Even if I scrunch up foetuslike to stop this from happening, the moron with the tappy bag happily expands to fill the microscopic bit of space between us and I still get their crap bumping and jabbing me over and over all the way to work.

When I’m stressed and my OCD gets really bad, I need to tap the floor or the nearest surface to hand the same number of times someone touches me. If I don’t do this compulsive counter-tap I get the gut feeling that something very bad will happen and it will be all my fault. Like an apocalypse. Or Kim Kardashian being crowned queen of the universe. And I will hate myself forever.

Next on the list of my biggest pet-commuter-hates (other than those graceless sub-humans who sneeze and cough without covering their mouths) would be jerks who passive-aggressively bustle against me and attempt to shove-in the queue for the escalator. Man, woman of child – I don’t care who you are. You know how to queue. So get to the back of the line before I cut you.

Another cause for resentment are the thoughtless bastards sat down on the tube, avoiding eye contact regardless of an elderly person, pregnant woman or physically impaired individual in need of a seat. I really hope the favour is returned one day when they too have been ravaged by age or the strains of childbearing and have hemorrhoids the size of golf balls dangling out of their bottom.

You see? Under this sweet, well spoken exterior I’m a very grumpy person.

An old friend once told me that if I actually said what I was really thinking nobody would fuck with me. Which is probably true. But I would also be an unemployed social pariah.

Observe…

What I say v’s what I’m actually thinking

Me: Aww your kid is really cute

What I’m actually thinking: It looks like “sloth” from the goonies. But in a nappy. Get it away from me.

 

Guest at my flat: Do you have a toilet?

Me: Yes, just down the hall

What I’m actually thinking: No – we shit in the stairwell

 

Me: Excuse me

What I’m actually thinking: Get the fuck out of my way

 

Me: No, you don’t look fat at all

What I’m actually thinking: …You’re just blocking out the sun

 

*I come into the office and I’m drenched through*

Them: Is it raining?

*long pause*

Me: Yes

What I’m actually thinking: Dear Moron – Never have children, sincerely, the world

 

*someone sneezes*

Me: Bless you

*Three sneezes later*

Me: Bless you?

What I’m actually thinking: GET YOUR SHIT UNDER CONTROL

 

*I’m given more work to do*

Me: “I’ll get right on it!”

What I’m actually thinking: Jesus, what did your last slave die of?!

 

*in an interview*

Them: Why do you want this job?

Me: Because it would be an amazing opportunity and I’m sure I can become an invaluable member of the team

What I’m actually thinking: I have expensive tastes and no sugar daddy. Next question.

 

Me: Just kidding!

What I’m actually thinking: I have never been more serious in my life

 

*I’ve managed to fix someone’s computer*

Them: Wow, how did you do that?

Me: Oh, it was simple, don’t worry about it

What I’m actually thinking: I don’t have the time, crayons or sock-puppets available to explain it to you

 

Them: Could you make a note of that?

Me: Sure

What I’m actually thinking: Let me add that to the brimming list of other things I don’t give a shit about

 

*My boss asks me to do something*

What I’m actually thinking: *I repeat the request in my head in a high-pitched childish voice and inwardly stick my tongue out*

 

Here is another instance that leaves me gurgling with rage. I’m at work, we have a guest come into the office, I sit them down in a meeting room and ask them if they would like any of the following refreshment options:

  1. Tea
  2. Coffee
  3. Water

Which is when they turn to me and ask for a latte, a frappocino, tepid water (not hot… not cold, but inbetween), all of the above, some organic gluten-free biscuits – or some random herbal tea that I have never heard of.

Dear Guest,

I don’t know what people don’t understand about this arrangement. You have THREE choices. Does this look like a chain of Costa’s to you? Do I look like a frickin’ barista? NOW I have to google what the fuck you wanted me to make and try to replicate it using our decrepit little coffee machine that spits out two choices: espresso or Americano.

 

THANKS SO MUCH

P.S I HATE YOU.

Sincerely,

PA with better things to do

Maybe I’m just a grumpy old fart before my time.

I’d love to be in a position in my life where I can throw caution to the wind and say – “Honesty? What the hell, let’s see what happens!” But right now I haven’t got enough money squirreled away for that. Money might not buy you happiness, but it will buy you enough martini’s to do a good impersonation.

I want to be retiree-rich. But not poor retiree obviously. The kind of old-person-wealthy where you can live in a villa with a well-hung houseboy during your golden years and torture your relatives by making them wonder who you have left your stash to … Only to fuck them all over by leaving the lot to a cat sanctuary.

I want to be one of those glamorous old ladies with a tiny herd of poodles pulling her along like a chariot while I swan from brunch to lunch to happy hour in a haze of Guerlain parfam and inebriated cheerfulness.

Now that’s the life.

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Socially awkward? Moi?

I went to a fancy schmancy event the other day. Only I didn’t think I was going to a fancy schmancy event. This whole shindig was being thrown by my boss and I had been asked (read: told) to attend. The invite said it was an art event in aid of charity and that the dress code was ‘Smart Casual.’ So you can imagine my confusion when I rolled up in my taxi and saw a red carpet, photographer and people swanning around in ball gowns and tuxedos. I thought I was in the wrong place at first. This is clearly what the snitty woman with the clipboard on the door thought too. Because she barred my path and said on an exhale “Invitation please!” She said it in a self-congratulatory way that translated to “My whole life has been building up to this moment and I’m going to savour every second.” So by way of reply, I flipped my invitation up in front of her eyes between my middle and index finger. Except my middle finger was the only one showing.

Whoopsie.

I later discovered that the mixed dress code was due to there being two separate events in one evening:

  1.  An art exhibition for the “smart-casuals” – and
  2. A more illustrious black-tie dinner /auction for the people who actually mattered.

Regardless of the dress code, as soon as I entered the building it was clear that I did not belong at this event. I eat carbs for one thing, and for the other I didn’t own an island reserved for hunting poor people. Waiters armed with champagne glasses stalked the red carpeted halls in crisp outfits. There were exhibitions from the most elite art, furniture, interior design and jewelry boutiques in London. It was a blur of bleached teeth and Birkins, couture and cougars, diamonds and divas. A string quartet serenaded those assembled while a real-life ballerina twirled delicately next to them. There was even mention of a famous magician making the rounds to do some magic for the crowd – but I didn’t see how any of the Mayfair WAG’s assembled would be able to “pick a card” without the assistance of a male escort to do the picking for them. You know, considering the use of their arms was specifically reserved for credit card swiping only.

The invitation said that there would be champagne and canapes… which is the main reason I showed up to be honest. I had had a really shitty day, so if I couldn’t do jello shots in soho… then this would have to suffice.

drinking

champagne

But an hour and a half and three flutes later – not a vol aux vont was to be seen. I was hungry. My stomach was spasming as if to say “Hey, asshole! When are we going to get some food down here?!” so I asked a passing waiter when we might see a bit of a nibble coming our way. He gave me a pained look, apologised and said that staff were struggling to circulate with the platters. Apparently a flock of guests had assembled around the exits of the kitchens in order to block the path of any fleeing servers attempting to smuggle sustenance to those in need.

Ugh.

I was absolutely thrilled when about fifteen miserable minutes later, while hunched over the bar the same waiter reemerged from nowhere with a mini prawn burger impaled on a toothpick – just for me. You see? That’s service – and you my friend are my new favourite.

Apparently the whole purpose of this event was to save dolphins, feed starving donkeys – I don’t know… something was getting saved. But really (apart from the back patting and smiling for the camera) people show up in droves to these sorts of events because it’s an opportunity to mingle, make contacts and exchange business cards.

So I came armed with a fresh box of 100 ‘Executive assistant’ cards in my purse.

Mamma didn’t raise no foo.

I tried to circulate. I really did. I had practiced the flippy “here’s my card…” James Bond-esque motion in the mirror for hours the night before. But as I had come straight from the office I was wearing my best summery Primark dress (that was 100% suitable for the office) with black ankle boots. You might inwardly recoil when I say this, but it seriously looked hot. Very “corporate proffesh.” Unfortunately it was not suitable camouflage for this particular event and I noticed a whirl of lepperdom that followed me wherever I went. After a while I trundled off, looking at all the lovely (if hideously expensive) things on show for a silent auction later that evening –

queenie

art

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…but hovering near a painting meant that the privately hired Art popo (who were armed to the teeth like Somali pirates) did the same while flexing muscles under their monkey suits. This was not going well.

To my relief a young lady with a giant woven basket suddenly teetered over to me and asked if I wanted to participate in a raffle.

Young Lady: “You have a one in three chance of winning!”

Well, I reasoned, maybe this wouldn’t be a total loss after all. I might win something fabulous. Like a speedboat! Or my very own butler!

Young Lady: “Tickets are just £100!”

Hmm, I think I just solved the mystery of the whole “One-in-three” thing. I would literally be the third person to enter.

Me: “I’d love to… but I left my larger bank notes in my other purse. So sorry…” *pause* “But while you’re here… My card?”

Urgh. That will teach me to make eye contact with people. I sat in the losers seat, which was at the bar all alone (champagne flute in hand) and kept busy by scanning the crowd. I’m hopeless with celebrities, so this was like playing “guess who?” with my brain. Just when the boredom was setting in I spotted something on the bar.

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On closer inspection it was a prawn burger, much like the one I had inhaled earlier. Only one of the social X-rays had sucked out the protein and discarded the carbs on the bar, like a Prada wearing succubus. It was at that moment, snorting champagne out my nose as I choked down some laughter, I decided it was time to go home.

At least I survived the night relatively unscathed. Sure I was treated like an outbreak of botulism – but whats new?

You can’t say being a PA isn’t glamorous…

Oh wait, I think I just did.

Snap

 

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Penis hat

I was trundling past a weird little street kiosk that sold birthday cards and random tourist items when I did a double take.

wpid-dsc_2059.jpg No… It couldn’t be… Could it?!

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There was a kids hat in what I assumed was supposed to be the form of a pig. But instead of giving the pig a short snout, they seemed to have given it a penis instead.

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I conferred with my friends on Facebook and thankfully they agreed that, yes. This “snout” did indeed look like a penis.

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Which was comforting.