Friday, July 15, 2005


So I suddenly found myself swamped with a swoosh of euphoria. Just walking with the sunshine in my eyes and the faintest whispering hint of a salty seaside breeze in my hair… the water was peppered with people swimming or simply splashing. Its not often that everywhere you look there are smiles, and when there are they’re infectious. So there I was walking and smiling behind my sunglasses and I had to loop my fingers through my belt to stop myself reaching out in some kind of crazy salute to the sun because at that moment it made me feel charged with the best kind of brilliance. And I hope that soon it will swamp me all over again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A note in passing

I do think of you, every once in a while – even though you pushed me away and made me want somebody else to love me… I think of the way you used to measure how much you loved me by stretching your arms out wide… as wide as you could possibly reach, fingertips pointing like starfish. Sometimes I’d catch you watching me and you’d smile and keep on looking until we both started to laugh. It’s surprising that something so vital slips away so easily but as I passed your street a tiny fraction of that feeling came back, just from thinking about you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

One of the down sides to my job is that I have to spend a lot of time trawling the country, picking my way around some of the least glamorous places in the UK including a lot of dodgy trading estates. I like the fact that I get to escape from the office, I like the fact that I get to stay in some pretty snazzy hotels, I like the fact that our expenses allocation is fairly large but what I don’t like are some of the men. During the week these hotels are home to a small selection of the most desperate kind of bloke. They’re mid life crisis material with an accompanying middle aged spread. They hang out in hotel bars waiting to pounce on unsuspecting lone women like me. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t at all sinister… just a bit sad, but I’m always wowed by their ability to be oblivious to the fact that their company is not relished, required or desired in the least. I always arm myself with a book or a paper as flimsy protection but they’ll still shuffle over, asking if it’s okay to sit down as they do exactly that. They’ll start a full synopsis of their life before I have a chance to object and always throw in the odd clumsy flirtatious remark which will lurk awkwardly in the air, along with their cigar smoke. I’ve made numerous excuses and been firm to the point of rude, but short of walking off they just don’t take the hint. As a result of this I’ve taken to steering away from the hotel hang outs and instead select a cheeky local eatery. That way I avoid the businessmen and get the opportunity to look at the cute waiters from behind my book. I bet they say that the worst thing about their jobs is the flirty businesswomen.

Monday, July 11, 2005


I’ve just read a horrible book. Not horrible because it was full of gruesome murders or scary fetishes or even because it was badly written. It didn’t make me want to abandon it and take solace in a Lisa Jewell but rather pushed me to keep turning the pages with the kind of morbid fascination usually reserved for those rubbernecks at the scene of a car crash. The book – Notes on a Scandal… the theme - the terrifying risk that you take by trusting someone and the shocking extent to which a person can be infected, infiltrated and overtaken by nastiness… it’s the kind of book that you can’t put down because of the fact it’s luxuriously mean, but it also slightly sets your teeth on edge because you can’t imagine that anyone could possibly be that much of a Bitch. I have a sneaking suspicion that my last post was heavily influenced by the book in question and it makes me nervous that the bitchiness oozed out through the pages and made me horrible. Henceforth I shall be turning over a new leaf and only speaking sweetness and light, I’ll be kind and caring and forgiving, and will help old ladies over the road at every opportunity (as long as they don’t smell of wee). I will be positive and stop moaning, I’ll be friendly and never smug… Alright, alright… I’m making myself feel sick with all this cheesiness... Maybe I’ll try taking it one step at a time and just try to stop being a Bitch.

Friday, July 08, 2005


If you’re slim, glamorous, fully waxed, beautiful and superbly feminine you can get away with having a name like Yeti. My ex-housemate (note the way I don’t say ‘friend’) was none of these… In fact she was broad shouldered, lumpy, overweight, loping and had a slight hormonal imbalance, which resulted in excessive body hair. Admittedly she was only four foot five and a half, but in all other aspects resembled the Bigfoot of Arctic folklore perfectly. She was a member of the women’s rugby team (of course)… apparently her role as ‘hooker was well suited, and was all in all the least desirable housemate anyone could wish for. She was an incredible contradiction… Posh, well spoken, she’d just done the ‘Season’ and came from a family of socialites, but for one with such a grand upbringing she had the worst manners imaginable and the worst dress sense. It may seem that I am being unfair and harsh… a bit of a bitch in fact, but she irritated me constantly for nearly a year, and that’s a pretty big issue. For a rich girl, she was incredibly tight. The meter always ran out when it was her turn and she was never around when the time came to top it up. She handwashed all her underwear (which consequently was a distinctly unsexy shade of chewing gum grey) and hung it from the bathroom ceiling. The cups of her bra were as big as my head and there’s nothing worse than getting up for a wee in the night, discovering the electricity had run out (Yeti’s turn again) and then being slapped in the face with a ginormous damp bra as you stumble around in the darkness. She had a penchant for unpleasant smelling food too… kippers (which everyone knows are banned from student accommodation), boiled eggs, dishes that involved cabbage and she displayed all the worst clean-ophibic tendencies (a particular issue with a Bree like me). Her love life (yes, amazingly she had one) was one long trauma after another… it mainly involved ‘mature’ students (for ‘mature’ read ‘past it’) who were pompous and pot bellied and two (or three) timed her mercilessly. On one occasion we had to manhandle a puppy dog eyed pre-pubescent Pakistani from her room after he ‘refused to take no for an answer’ (though to this day I have my suspicions that she kidnapped him and dragged him back to her cave by the hair). Her voice was always set at one volume… ‘booming’, not great in an apartment made of paper and when she made snide, bitchy little comments about me and my friends (which I always heard) I couldn’t help but laugh. In those days I never bothered to bitch back, I guess there was always a bit of me that felt sorry for her, but when I saw her hilarious entry and airbrushed photo on the Friends Re-united website recently I cackled heartily, and hoped that she’s now changed for the better and that nightmarish abominable snow-person no longer exists.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Catching up

So I spent the weekend in London on a girly, gossipy mini-break. Me and my ex-housemate/ partner in crime from Manchester Uni (the highly desirable ex-poly, not the one which required brainpower) braved the hoards of Live 8 ticket holders, the gay pride attendees (I was travelling from Brighton after all) and the sale shoppers, to hit the capital for a couple of days of drinking, dining and general catching up. We checked into our super-glamorous city hotel (there are some benefits to being in the travel industry) and investigated the mini-bar, tried out the CD player and the plasma, fiddled with the air con, sniffed the lotions and potions in the bathroom (since when did 3 ear-buds and a cotton wool pad warrant the title ‘vanity pack’?) and bounced on the bed and then we spruced up and hit the town. Whenever we meet up, it’s like we’ve never been apart. For starters we’re generally wearing extremely similar outfits, in this case, sparkly skirts (you can never have too many sequins) beaded tops, lots of bangles (yes, we have both embraced the gypsy-hippy chic trend wholeheartedly) and matching manicures (always French and on fingers AND toes)…. The first day we met as Freshers in our Manchester student flat we knew there was a special connection and we were discussing crucial issues like hair dye, the scary nature of our other flatmates and our sex lives within seconds…. this weekend was no different. A bit of window-shopping down High Street Ken, a couple of large G&Ts and a plateful of Meze later we were turned away from the Roof Gardens (supposedly a private function but it might have been our killer garlic breath). We regained our cool in a bar round the corner and then I lost mine again by tripping over on my way back from the loo (flipping flip-flops). We found a cosy little trattoria with an extremely over friendly waiter and the best risotto I’ve ever tasted and before we knew it the place had cleared (closing time, not our rowdy behaviour) and it was time to head back. A few drinks in the chic hotel lounge to finish off and then bed beckoned. Obviously we told everyone on our return that we went clubbing ‘till dawn, just like the old times but in reality we got a good six hours beauty sleep (which we need a lot more these days) and we didn’t have sore heads in the morning… Some things do change after all…

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