30 June 2007

Mad? Blimey I'll say....

True to form, I have learned more about the state of the business I am/was employed by, by both logging onto thebookseller.com and by finally joining the facebook phenomena and poking (!) some of the "friends of fopp" groups....

28 June 2007

Tinterweb Holiday

Seems my genius plan to not bother installing a land line into my flat when I moved in a two years ago (cause "I've got a mobile that is never switched off") has cruelly back fired.

Just when I'd got into the habit of posting a blog a day, my frequent and indeed free web access has been cut off.

Without going into the blah blah blah about it, it looks like I'll be available for Summer Season Panto for a bit, so if anyone knows of any gainful employment to be had - I'm cheap (free in fact it would appear), I don't bite (at least I try not to leave marks), I don't smell (at least not so much since I gave up smoking), and the OCD group therapy sessions are going really well... really well... really well...

As before, all your comments would be most appreciated - but until I can blag some free blog time from somewhere else - ttfn.


How High?!

Whilst trying to stop my lovely colleagues from laughing at me; I wikipedia'd Upton Park to show them just what Sunday's event will be.

Are you feeling my pain yet?

27 June 2007

The Books What I Read

Earlier on in the Spring I was lucky enough to get taken to Egypt for a 5 star luxury break in Sharm. With me I took 13 proofs that I had been saving up to treat myself with. Whilst I did finish them all, just 4 of them shone for me. I recommend if you are about to embark on a wee jollybob yourself, you buy copies of them at your nearest book retailer and prepare to be entertained.

The first is a debut novel by Tess Stimson, The Adultery Club which tells the tale of a lawyer, his wife and his mistress. Nicholas and his beautiful and fabulous wife Mal seem to have it all (together), but when a new (sexy, young, female) colleague joins the firm of lawyers where Nicholas works, all hell breaks loose. The story is told from each of the characters points of view, and its really well told at that. Nicholas was a little bit too foppy-haired for me; Mal was just way way WAY to perfect and Sara (!) was such a man eater I immediately wanted to be her… brilliant escapism that does ask some searching questions, but not so loudly it spoils the story!

My second choice was also chosen by Richard & Judy. Great minds and all that. Jane Fallon is famous in her own right as a TV producer of, amongst others, Teachers and This Life. She is also the partner of Ricky Gervais, and Getting Rid of Matthew proves that he isn’t the only funny one in the house. When Helens long term and secret lover (Matthew) finally leaves his wife and moves into her flat you might think she’d be pleased. Not on your nelly. It doesn’t take her long to realise she doesn’t actually want him anymore, and sets about a Plan to get rid of him, by any means necessary. It’s a cracking story, grown up chicklit, and very very funny.

To be a lover of ChickLit means it’s almost compulsory to include Adele Parks in your Top Ten – but I’ll be honest when I say I sometimes really struggle to do so. ‘Playing Away’ was genius and ‘The Other Woman’s Shoes’ was really funny, but it’s been a while since I enjoyed a Parks tale as much as I enjoyed Young Wives Tale. Whilst I may be so over the svelte lady calf branding of Ms Parks, this tale of Lucy, Rose, and Connie is really good and the twists and turns of their lives is so well written I actually felt like I knew Lucy and Connie by the end of the story. Very enjoyable if you can get over the fact that Rose is actually supposed to be our age and not 150 years old….

Which Brings Me To You isn’t chicklit. But my goodness I enjoyed it non the less. Written by a man and a women in alternate chapters, it tells the story of how Jane and John meet, almost do IT, take mental cold showers, and try and get to know one another first…by revealing all in a series of beautiful love letters to one another. By trading and sharing their sexual and emotional histories they get closer to one another, and learn more about themselves than they could ever imagine. It’s beautifully written, and very sexual without being soppy or smutty and I really really enjoyed it.

All the other books I read in Egypt pale into insignificance, so I wont even bother listing them here….

Run Fat Girl Run

Was overwhelmed this morning to see that my ex-Le Grande Fromage and The Most Powerful Man In Bookselling to boot, has kindly blogged my blog on his famous blog Me and My Big Mouth. Mr Pack has said that this site is touching and witty. And coming from a man who once called me the Achilles heel of his department, I am genuinely flattered. Thank you Big Boss Man.

His take on my dieting so far, is spot on, and has spurned me into another burst of commitment to the cause. I WILL stop eating lard. I WILL I WILL I WILL. Away devil crisps and nuts! Be gone bread! Never darken my door again quiche lorraine! (Oops, did I forget to tell you about that?!).

26 June 2007

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now

I’ve just realized how shabby I’ve been, by not letting you know just how awful my food consumption was at the weekend. Me and Boo set off (somewhat earlier than anticipated...) on Friday for a lovely seaside break; staying at the refurbished and renamed White Rock Hotel in Hastings. We started off with sausage baguettes and chips on the terrace then progressed to an unhealthy selection of frozen snacks from Iceland. My beautiful niece (and her parents of course) met us on Saturday morning whilst we were eating a massive fry up breakfast…and we quickly moved on to ice creams at Flamingo Park. Then sandwiches and an antipasto mezze mix thingy. Then crisps. Then lager. Sunday morning consisted of both poached eggs on toast AND a bacon sandwich. Greedy git. Then more sandwiches when we got home. Then pizza. Then a Vienetta (courtesy of good old Iceland again).

To offset the above, I did make blueberry smoothies – but felt too sick to drink mine. Almost.

I fear the carb’s have found me good and proper.

I can only put this awful slip down to my complete and utter misery at the moment, due to a wealth of different reasons – all of which are too long and too blah to list here.

Am I the only person who comfort eats when both ecstatically happy and suicidally miserable?

It's not me, I promise!!

My friend David sent me this link to an article on the West Ham United Football Club website. The words "phenomenal height" are making me feel even sicker than I was before....

Another week, another wedding.

So my friend K marries her very own Knight on Shiny Airplane on Friday… to explain, last year whilst on a family trip to Venezuela (beautiful place apparently), she met and fell in lust with E. On her return to good old Blighty, she promptly roped another friend into booking a couple of flights and going back to check out aforementioned stud muffin. Friend gave him the thumbs up, and a further three months later E was happily ensconced in the family home, feet under the table, slippers under the bed and all that jazz… fast forward to Christmas and there was a rock produced, a down on one knee moment, a wedding date planned and here you are. Bob's your Uncle, Fanny's your Aunt. Friday is the Big Day. In less than 12 months, a friend (some 6 years younger than me I hasten to add) has managed to meet, fall in love with, live with, get engaged to and MARRY The One.

Now, I’m not saying that K doesn’t thoroughly deserve to be a happily married woman. I’m not saying she isn’t a catch. I’m not even necessarily saying I would have wanted to have some amazing holiday romance that culminated in a marriage. I’m not really even saying that I so strongly believe in the whole till “death us to part” business that I’ve been planning my own special day since I could walk (honest, I’m not), and I don’t even think I could find Venezuela on a map. However, what I suppose I am saying is this…. taking Boo out of the equation, if I was thinner would someone else have met me, fallen in love with me, lived with me, got engaged to me and married me within a year….and is the fact that I’m a chubster a contributing factor to my single not married status?

Answers on a postcard to Ye Olde Spinster, c/o Cats Piss Hall, Rocking Chair Walk.

21 June 2007

Am I awake yet?

As the week drags on, and complete exhaustion takes over, my dreams become more and more bizarre, and seem to spill over into daylight hours. By Thursday (or Friday if I don’t do Monday’s 6.45am Step) I spend more and more of the waking day staring into space… luckily I face a window with a view of a white washed wall, and have my back to the entire rest of the office, so I don’t think anyone really notices. Bar the ever present being-caught-writing-personal-e-mail fear which occasionally makes me turn round and lock eyes with someone, I have little (and some days no) interaction with my colleagues, and listen to my headphones all day anyway….so am pretty much left to wander in and out of consciousness…

I thought perhaps, you might like to know how my mind has been wandering during the past 12 hours whilst asleep and awake….

Why did C4 not put up more of a fight on our behalf when the evil Sky devils stole Lost from us? How much money was that deal worth? Do C4 know just how disappointed I still am in them, and should I write and tell them? And if so, to whom should I address my letter?

Shall I go to every evening performance at this years Ealing Jazz Festival?

I dreamt that Bill Clinton, Gianluca Vialli and Gillian McKeith all attended a bikram yoga session with me, and got into a bit of a fisty cuff fight over who could lay their mat next to mine…I have done a course of bikram yoga, and have infact, met all three of them in real-awake life… but why on earth I dreamt of them all last night – God only knows!

Wouldn’t Haldon Belvedere be the perfect location for a wedding?

How will I ever get hold of a copy of a book that I read years ago about a supposed nuclear test with the code name “Brimstone” that was going to take place at some random American sheep farm, but that was actually a live nuclear explosion that was going to kill hundreds of thousands of people. The plot was discovered by a man who checked computer printouts for a living….I can’t remember the name of the book or the name of the author, but it was brilliant. The hero also hooked up with some lady, and I vividly remember a scene where she has just painted her nails with a made up polish, and they end up having sex in a motel – her with wet nails…

Doesn’t Nancy Wilson have a beautiful beautiful voice? And how good is this CD? Buy it immediately.

How amazing is it that I still haven’t had a cigarette? It’s even more amazing that I actually don’t think I want one….

How much I can’t wait to finish eating all of the crap food I bought on Sunday, so that it’s out of the house and I don’t have to hear it calling me from the fridge and cupboard every night when I go home. Again, yesterday day was a good food day, then it all turned to shit when I got home. Three slices of Mummy-made malt tea loaf, 6 veggie sausages and half a packet of biscuits do not a healthy fat reducing dinner make. Even I know that. And whats worse is as I’m eating it, I go “STOP EATING THIS CRAP”, at the same time as thinking “MMMMM, YUMMY”….. How much does that stomach stapling operation cost does anyone know? Or shall I have my jaw wired shut?

And my final thoughts so far today have been about which of the ballet performances on in the Autumn season at Sadler’s Wells shall I go and see?

(I first became a completely avid ballet goer in 1993 and have gone as often as I possibly can since then. My favorite performances to date have been Joffrey Ballet – Billboards – 1996, English National Ballet – Swan Lake in the Round at the RAH – 1999 & 2004, Northern Ballet – Midsummer’s Nights Dream, Madame Butterfly, Dracula, Peter Pan and Wuthering Heights, Dance Theatre of Harlem – 2004, Ballet Stars of New York – 1998, Mark Morris Group – The Hard Nut – 2004, Birmingham Royal Ballet – Edward II, Sylvie Guillem & The Ballet Boys, New Adventures – Highland Fling and Edward Scissorhands, Matthew Bourne – Swan Lake – 1996 & 2005, Ballet Boyz – Naked, Adam Cooper – Les Liaisons Dangereuses and George Piper Dances – Encore. I’m also a lover of the theatre, particularly musicals and visual fandangos and include in my favourite performances Cats, Lion King, Miss Siagon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Rent, Alegria, Chicago, Fame, Saltimbanco, Midsummer’s Night Dream at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, The Rat Pack, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, the UK B Boy Championships at Brixton Academy last year and every one of the 7 times I went to see Five Guys Names Mo. And I also like going to see music and sport stuff too – and favourites include Proms in the Park in Hyde Park 1996, 1997 and 1998; the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1996, Julian Clary in concert 1997, Last Night of the Kenwood Proms in 1999, two matches of the 1999 Rugby World Cup – England v NZ and the semi final between France v NZ, and the London Grand Prix Norwich Union athletics meet at Crystal Palace…

20 June 2007

Kenton the scardity c*nt cat

8 point randomness for today.

1. My beautiful friend Warren (look at the photo - I'm not lying - he really is that beautiful in real life too) is moving to the States later on this year, to make it as a big shot model in La La Land. Whilst I of course, wish him all the luck in the world, I trust he finishes writing his debut children’s book before he leaves about Kenton the scaredity c*nt cat. Not only does it have bestseller written all over it; just think of the merchandising possibilities… Kenton t-shirts, Kenton greeting cards, Kenton mugs and keyrings.

2. My friend Dorit is in a band. She has myspace. Listen to one of her songs Tell Me. It’s beautiful.

3. My normal Tuesday night Step instructor Dean has apparently fallen of his step (!) and twisted his poorly ankle. Tanya took last nights Step class instead – and managed to get my heart rate up to an average 153 with a max of 173. There was a mass of mambo’s, repeaters, kick and lunge, pendulums, and triple knees. Fantastic and great tunes. Cheers Tanya! Get better soon though Dean.

4. This is the office playlist this morning. Am finding myself humming along… how bizzarre.

5. Ajay (the official Spin master) slipped a new track into this mornings class. A complete work of genius, it consists of an uphill climb whilst “locking on” the abs and isolating the body (no momentum to help drive you up). It’s agonizingly painful – but managed to raise my heart rate up to an average 140 with a max of 171. Cheers Ajay, I now can’t feel my arse.

6. Food intake went ok yesterday. Till I got home. I polished off the other half of the Mummy-made Birthday cake and half a tube of Pringles for tea. Fuck it.

7. Got a letter confirming my death slide is at 2.30pm on Sunday 1st. There is a waist and chest harness, rig, helmet and gloves. I will be attached to a safety line and then the wire. Staff will bring me to a controlled stop at the bottom of the zip. Controlled? Can someone pass me a sick bag? And some Tenna lady pants please?

8. Matchmaker matchmaker find me a find, catch me a catch… Is it wrong that one of the reasons I am in the process of trying to set up one of my male friends with one of my female friends is to find out (in the fullness of time of course) just how good in bed he is? Is that wrong? Really? I think he is very attractive, and whilst I wouldn’t ever want anyone else other than Boo – I have always been curious to know whether my expectation of how good he would be is correct. Purely for research purposes of course. Ahem.

19 June 2007

More excited than words can say

Opened up the November pack of AI’s from Penguin today. Slap bang in the middle of a bunch of sporting, historical biogs and current affairs books was the very very shiny shiny jacket for the new Jane Green hardback - Second Chance coming to a bookshop near you in November. Now I no longer work with people who are important (as opposed to ever actually being important myself that is), I don’t really get many proofs of books anymore, let alone proofs of the books I love. So unless some kindly soul from Poogoo gets to hear of my plight, it looks like I might actually have to purchase a book. Sweet lord alive. Either way, freebie or hard cash money, I’ll be getting my hands on this bad boy. I love Jane Green’s books. I’ve always loved her books – even before I sort of knew what I was talking about, about chick lit, and whilst her last title “Life Swap” didn’t totally rock my socks off, “Jemina J” still goes down as one of my favourite ever chick lit titles…

I live in hope

Today has so far started promisingly. I did a good pump class, and even upped the weight a bit on squats, didn’t stop through biceps and kept going till the bitter end through shoulders. Then bought a 1.5l bottle of sugar free strawberry flavour Volvic touch of fruit. Had my nakd coco loco bar on the way to work, and have put my lunch which consists of a chicken & pasta "be good to yourself" ready meal unfortunately, low fat rhubarb yogurt, a peach and a nectarine in the fridge. Am hoping that it will stop calling me already. Am hoping I can make it to lunch time without eating anything else. We live in hope…..

Forgot really to tell you a few bits and bobs that I keep meaning to by the way.

1. I saw a good friend at this wedding I was at on Saturday, which, by the way, was fabulous. It was in dead posh hotel in Gerrards Cross, the suite was decorated in a beautiful pale moss green chiffon with ivy and white rose centre pieces, the coordinating bridesmaids dresses were beautiful (white froufrou meringues for the little ones, pale green satin Basque dresses for the grown up ladies) and the men wore green and cream waistcoats with green ties…. As I may have mentioned the bride is stunning anyway – the kind of women who looks great in a bog standard pair of combats and t – but her dress/tiara/veil combo was amazing. She looked like a complete princess. I steered well clear I can tell you. Anyho, to get back to this friend of mine. We don’t see one another very often. She is the daughter of my mums next door neighbour. That kind of gives the game away I suppose if she reads this…. Anonymity is a tricky monkey I’m finding. ANYWAY. She is a complete love. Sweet, kind, open, funny, caring. She is also incredibly beautiful, with a perfect complexion, and a great set of lips. And yet she has probably the lowest self esteem of anyone I know. And I know some people with proper body dismorphia, who fret and worry about every morsel they eat, every item of clothing they own causes them angst, and they genuinely don’t go out of the house if they look in the mirror sometimes and don’t like what they see. I include myself in some of those examples. ANYWAY. The problem with daughter-of-my-mums-next-door-neighbour as far as I can work out is that because she just happens to be one of lifes bigger ladies, she equates that with being unattractive, unlovable, unwanted and unsexy. Nothing could be further from the truth. She is incredibly sexy and very attractive, I love her dearly, and I can’t believe anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want her. Maybe my opinion counts for nothing, but I just wish she could see herself through my eyes sometimes. That could be said for a lot of my friends come to that. The rest of you know who you are. I don’t know what's worse - whether it’s the size 0 culture we live in, or the airbrushed images we are bombarded with everyday, or the random acts of unkindness and ridicule us big girls are subjected to on an ongoing basis from an early age – but I feel sometimes we are actually our own worst critics – and if we only just gave ourselves a break, we could perhaps be slightly happier some of the time with our lot…I know others don’t necessarily see me, how I see me – I think some people see me as a curvy, happy, funny blah blah person. And I wish I was that person. They don’t see the unhappy, unloved, paranoid, self loather that lives deep within. So - you may ask - why don’t I, and lots of other people who are unhappy with their weight JUST STOP FUCKING EATING? Now, if I knew that – don’t you think I would be a happy, funny blah blah person….and very very rich?

2. Those lovely people at Whittards are not only stocking the new Macmillan pin , but they are also giving away some of their lovely hot chocolate if you buy one. Hurrah.

3. Go Paul Potts Go! In my head, although obviously I know that’s not the case, the Kombat Breakers came 2nd and the Bar Wizards came 3rd. If there is any justice in the world, that would have been the case anyway. I hope they both can go on to appear in a variety of variety shows/BBC adverts/other talent programmes and the like for many years to come – cause they were super, and I look forward to a Potts Pav duo single coming out soon.

4. My friend Jenny has suggested that to prepare for my ridiculous death slide on 1st July I should do some chin ups (without assistance) at the gym. I though that either just throwing myself off a tall building with my eyes squeezed shut, or standing on the spot and letting go of my bladder would be better practice…

More random thoughts later no doubt. Comments, as ever, are greatly appreciated.

18 June 2007

Is it?

So, as you know, the diet regime was due to start hard, fast and proper last week Friday. It didn’t and it still hasn’t. I can’t really explain what happens to me and diets. But suffice to say, I have the very best intentions on a regular basis, I buy all the “good” food, I draw up charts and declare my desire to loose weight very very loudly to everyone who will listen (again), and say THIS IS IT, NO MORE LARD. And then somewhere between waking up and going back to sleep on Day One, a demon of gluttony takes over the sensible/healthy/committed side of me, and shovels food down my throat. Every time. Every single time. Bar the half a birthday cake and gallons of lager at the dogs - Friday wasn’t too bad – although it wasn’t of course the best start, but then I partook of a great deal of naughty buffet food at the wedding I was at on Saturday, and ate pretty much a weeks worth of food on Sunday with Boo. We had a plethora of goodies – popcorn, Pringles, fruit salad, meat balls, spaghetti and garlic bread, ice-cream, pitta and taramosalata, mini Cornish pasties, half a packet of biscuits, another birthday cake – it went on and on and on. Admittedly I did manage to get to a conditioning class in the morning, and we had bedroom aerobics a couple of times in between eating and sleeping – but basically I stuffed myself stupid.

I then woke up this morning and thought “Right, that’s it”. So I got Boo up at silly o’clock so he could drop me to Step at 6.30am; only worked hard enough to get my heart rate up to an average of 115 and a maximum of 135 (when it really should be an average of about 140 and a max of about 165) and then had a nakd bar for breakfast. Then some grapes, then the remainder of the fruit salad. Three wholemeal pittas and the left over salad. Then the rest (6) of the biscuits. And that was all before 1pm.

Come 1.15pm I was in the toilet, head in hands, contemplating throwing up just to get rid of some of the calories. Do all women do this?

I then decided to try and not eat anything else till tomorrow morning. And a split second later I was thinking about what was left in the fridge from the shopfest on Sunday that “needed” to be eaten tonight before it went off… Seriously, do all women do this?

Two hours later, and I’m now panicking that because I’m at the Sleeping Around event tonight (see right) I can’t go back to the gym to do Attack and work off a few calories.

Of course there is Pump and Step tomorrow, Spin and Conditioning on Wednesday, Pump and Cardio on Thursday and then Spin again Friday – but I can’t help but think that it’s all a little in vain really.

Because I know that if I can’t stop the eating, all the exercise in the world isn’t going to shift the fat. Is it?

Thursday is the new Friday

I forgot to mention that on Thursday last week (when I was still 36) I met up with a bunch of lovely people I used to work with, including an American lady called Gerry who was over here visiting us Brits. We had a super evening and it reminded me (as if I needed reminding) of just how much I miss them all and how lucky I was to work with such a great bunch of people for four years...

15 June 2007

Cake update

As instructed by my bigwig Editor friend Suzie, I feel obligated to inform you that I have so far eaten half of the delicious Smartie birthday cake that my friend Candace kindly bought into the gym for me this morning. That's about 700 calories. The other half (and remaining 700 calories) is laughing, mocking, pointing and winking at me from the corner of my desk. I might just have to eat the cocky so and so to wipe the smug grin off its face. I managed to resist the box of Thorntons continental booze chocolates that Ajay (my spin instructor...yes, my spin instructor....let that fact sink in first....I KNOW!!!) bought me this morning too...I nipped next door into Studio 2 and offered them around to the Body Attacking ladies instead. That'll teach them for being so fit and fabulous.

So, I ask you, am I going to hydrogenated fat hell? Will I ever be able to resist the lure of the lard?

As an aside my incredibly intelligent, eloquent and (it turns out) tuneful 3 year niece left the most beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday" on my voicemail this morning. I'm not a religious person, but every day I thank Little Baby Jesus for giving me such a blessing. She is the most amazing little bundle of fabulousness and I absolutely adore her.

I also have received more texts, calls, voice mails and e-mails than I could ever have imagined this morning from all my nearest and dearest. I fear there may be tears before bedtime if everyone keeps on being so nice to me....


Today is the official start of the three year plan to GET THIN. That is, I’m 37 today (yah I made it), so I’ve now got three years to loose the 6 excess stone I carry around with me. 2 stone a year. 84 pound in total. About half a pound every week for the next 156 weeks till I hit 40. Yeh, cause that’s gonna happen isn’t it. Despite my very best efforts, which quite clearly just aren’t good enough, I haven’t really lost a great deal in the dummy 11 week run that has just passed. And that’s been with the “diet honeymoon” syndrome, whereby you go from doing absolutely no exercise to madly visiting the gym 7 days a week, twice a day; and going from eating enough in one day to feed a family of four for a week, to eating a “healthy” 1500 calories a day. With no crisps to take the edge off the misery. Or bread. Or cakes, buns, sweets, pizzas, chocolate or cheese.

Oh fuck it, and pass me a very very large slice of birthday cake please.

The birthday celebrations kick off with the dogs tonight. It’s been a while since I thought it appropriate to celebrate a birthday with an evening in a dark and dingy club, rubbing up against a beautiful man, getting hammered and dancing till my tits fell off. And even the getting pie-eyed on Mojitos and having a Wimpey on the way home nights seem a bit same-old-same-old now. So for the past few years I’ve had quieter nights with just close mates. Or dinner with the family. Or a meal out with Boo. But I haven’t been to the dogs for years, so thought perhaps a night shouting “Come On Dog Number 5!”, and picking the winners based on the very scientific coolest name versus colour of livery theory was just what I needed. The chicken in a basket and lager in a plastic cup obviously swung it too.

Then tomorrow Boo and I are off to a wedding. Not ours, I haste to add/regret to inform. But the daughter of a neighbour of my mums. Will be having one or two glasses of fizzy pop no doubt, and am hoping that some traditional Wham is played and vol au vents are on offer. The bride is absolutely beautiful so I’m already panicking about standing anywhere near her. Did I mention she also has a cracking figure? I might just have to dig out the big pants and kaftan and hope for some damn fine lighting.

14 June 2007

Birth Certificate

As my short stories are going down so well with you, I thought you might care to read another. Seriously. Please. Read/comment on another.

She used to bring us treats each Sunday. Sometimes it was a year old Jackie magazine. Sometimes a single rusty earring. Sometimes milkshakes past their sell-by date. Chocolate was my favourite. I never drunk the banana flavoured ones – I used to give them to my dolls. God knows where she got them. Probably borrowed off a neighbour’s doorstep, Mum used to say. Clara and me were poorly every Sunday night that she’d bought the shakes over, but it took us years to work out the connection and stop drinking them. We’d pour them down the drain outside, but smile and nod and say “Thank You” anyway.

We used to tease her. It was cruel really, looking back. She was such a heavy sleeper, mouth open, false teeth rattling like wind chimes in a storm. And almost deaf – the perfect prey for two mischievous granddaughters. Once we waited for her to fall asleep in her rocking-chair and then moved everything out of the room except her and the chair. And I mean everything. The threadbare rug, once pale pink, that her calloused grey feet almost touched. The stewed, cold cup of tea that seemed to live permanently on the nest of tables beside her. The framed school photos of Clara and me aged 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11. I wonder what happened to 8 and 10? Did she lose them or throw them away? We moved the teak-effect labrenza unit into the hallway, and rifled through the cupboards and drawers. We laughed at the plastic cracker trinkets stowed away in the Rover biscuit tin. We flicked through the saved postcards and birthday cards addressed to people we didn’t know, from friends we’d never met or heard of. We marvelled over the neatly folded brown paper bags hidden in all four of the drawers. We took every piece of Granny-craft. The tea stained doilies embroidered by nuns and bought from bazaars at the church, the striped knitted tea-cosy that hid the tarnished silver coffee pot; the LT initialled once-white hankies stuffed down the side of the bright orange foam sofa that sagged in the middle, and at the ends. We took the two-bar heater that was never turned on, and the old gramophone that didn’t work. The headless china dog doorstop, and all 12 of the chipped enamel flower-patterned trays. I mean everything. Then we sat on the back door step playing cats’ cradle with a piece of cotton wrapped over and over and over again. We sat and we waited, and when she woke up and screamed we laughed and laughed.

She was a tall woman, probably handsome once, with a slow mind, a quick hand and a cold heart. She wasn’t what we were expecting or what we were promised. Other people’s Grannies made buns and gave cuddles, and took them for day’s out with packed lunches of French Fancies, Kia-ora orange juice and cheese and pineapple chunks. She gave us gone-off milkshakes.

But she could tell a story. She created worlds where husbands were war heroes and wifes were loving mothers and accomplished homemakers. Husbands never worked on the railways clearing dead rats or gambled the housekeeping money on the horses, and mothers didn’t give their daughters an orange and a lump of coal for Christmas.

She told of old English teatime traditions, bread and butter, cold cuts, jam decanted into cut glass pots and hot, sweet tea. Where children played outside on their bikes and parents played rummy and bridge. The bread was never mouldy and the meat was never gristle. The children never had just a single one-armed doll to play with, and the daddies never beat the mummies black and blue.

She told of a gentler way of life, where the children enjoyed long and happy childhoods without the trappings of modern life. They were never sent out to work aged 8 to fund the fathers’ drinking binges.

“Luce”, Dad used to call her. Supposedly short for Lucy, Lucifer was closer to the truth. They never got on, and he’d had to fight to free Mum from her clutches.

I don’t remember the day she died; to be honest I don’t even remember the year. She was the only grandparent I had ever known, but her death meant nothing to me. I’d spent 10 years being scared of her, 10 years laughing at her, and 10 years scared I’d end up like her.

They say mental illness runs in the genes. I used to focus on the merging and separating train tracks on the long, dull journey to her residential care home and wonder if I would also end up in the unflattering polyester uniform of the Sally Army, thrashing out Amazing Grace on my hip with the standard issue tambourine. Would I roam the halls of a warden-controlled care unit in my thermal vest, fur-edged slippers on my hands, muttering, “These aren’t my feet”? Would I cackle like Hecate and point at the bottom of a kindly Jamaican nurse called Hortense whilst she gave me a bedbath in a secure unit, and say, “I’m surprised you can sit down with that fat fanny, nigger”? Would I look bewildered at the notion I hadn’t eaten for 9 days, or that the lady sitting bolt upright in front of me on visitors’ day was my daughter and not Running Bear, my medium and invisible companion for 30 years? Or that the weeping girl with pigtails and short white ankle-socks next to her wasn’t my Uncle Robert but in fact my granddaughter? Would I buy myself 30 7” copies of “There’s no-one quite like Grandma” from Woolworth’s when I didn’t have a record player? Would I need a commode and then later on a nappy? Would I wake up screaming in the middle of the night in a locked-from-the-outside hospital ward with imagined frogs and toads sitting on the end of the bed playing “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam” on trumpets?

Would that be me? I would wonder as the train tracks merged together. Would I end up asking complete strangers if I’d had my dinner yet, with silent tears coursing down my paper-thin cheeks?

I wondered for years if I would share her fate? Would I end up alone and lonely, talking to the grass and twiddling my thumbs backwards and forwards?

And then the documents came. Mum had filled in the forms, and paid the fee and waited. And when the documents came we laughed. ‘Cause we knew it couldn’t be right, we knew we weren’t really related. I wouldn’t end up hugging my knees, rocking myself and moaning on a cold, hard lino floor. She wasn’t my Granny, and she wasn’t my Mum’s Mum. And we laughed and we cried, as I hugged myself and rocked a little in my chair.

13 June 2007


excitement and randomness in the last 12 hours in my world.

1. Jane Norman are opening a new store opposite Dolcis in Ealing Broadway. My thin and fashionable friends will be very pleased. I, none the less, couldn’t give a toss and still morn the inexplicable loss of Etam. If anyone can tell me why they all closed, and where on earth us fat girls can buy similarly well made, fashionable and cheap clothes I would be delighted to hear from you. And yes, I know that Dotty P’s sell clothes up to a size 22, and that the Inspire range from New Look is good, and Evans are quite cool and funky now, and that M & S do clothes up to a size 100 or something now. But trust me when I say, none of them are a patch on Etams.

2. My friend Gabrielle who is very very clever and knows lots of very interesting stuff, sends me e-mails with links from a website she subscribes to (Erin’s Weird and Wonderful Word of the Day). The latest word she sent me is jackeen [jak-een] an Anglo-Irish word used to describe someone evidently worthless, but who nevertheless feels he is very important. Loving that word, and thinking I will be able to use it on a regular basis.

3. I am blessed/cursed to have a selection of very fine friends, who all look amazing and are all thoroughly lovely people. Three of my very best friends are fitness instructors/personal trainers and the like. One of them is recovering from an operation to fix a dodgy knee; and to fill her somewhat empty days and purse she is helping a friend of hers who runs the cheeky monkey juice concession at the gym I go to/she teaches at…. This morning she made me a very good skinny cappuccino after the spin class I did. And it was lovely! Considering she isn’t a fully qualified barista (what qualification would that be I wonder?) working out of some massive evil false-community building coffee conglomerate, I was impressed. It was hot enough, frothy enough and strong enough to rival the ones I normally buy for 74p extra every morning from said massive evil false-community building coffee conglomerate. Those cheeky monkeys even have their very own loyalty card. 10 stamps and you get a free snack or smoothie.

4. Have finally managed to loosen the ball of cement / cramp that has been living in my left calf since Body Step on Monday morning, whilst doing Spin this morning. Heart rate got up to a heart stopping 171, with an average of 142 according to the Polar monitor that Boo kindly bought me to replace the Adidas one he bought me last time that finally gave up the ghost….Whether it was the sauna like conditions (air con still broken at the gym), or the heart rate, or the actual spinning action that shifted the cement/cramp I don’t know. And quite frankly don’t care.

5. An old pair of khaki combats that haven’t fitted around the thigh, hip or bottom region for about 2 years, now need a belt to hold them up and are almost, not quite but almost, baggy on the leg. I almost wept with joy last night when I got them out of the bag of clothes reserved for the charity shop and gave them a whirl-Shirl for old time’s sake. Am wearing them with pride today, and don’t give a damn that they are two years out of fashion. They fit God Damn It.

6. Can anyone explain to me why someone trying to stick to a diet and break bad food habits, with no willpower and a crazy obsession and love of all bread products, would even consider getting her significant other a Breadmaker for a little “thanks for loving me even though I’m a big fat heifer” present? I don’t know what I was thinking, but even the smell of the stuff when he makes it is driving me doolally. And the taste? Lord alive. HELP!!!

7. Has anyone been watching the fantastic Britain’s Got Talent on ITV this week? Oh My God! I’ve cried about a hundred times so far. Some of the acts have really shone and been amazing and sad and just bloody brilliant. With the deluge of terrible Pop Tart/Z-list Factor/Find me a West-End-Stage-Nobody crap we’ve had to put up with over the years I really feared the worst, especially with Ant and Dec and The Cowell featuring heavily, but I stand well and truly corrected. Obviously some of the acts are just shite. And not even funny shite, just pure shite, but those that are good are so very very good it almost makes having to watch judges Holden and Morgan eat buns mid way through auditions bearable. Can’t wait for the semi’s, I just hope the judges put the right contestants through…..I’m rooting for Tony Laf, Paul Potts, Rebecca and Donovan, the Freerunners, Bar Wizards, George and Crew 82.

12 June 2007

Barefoot in the Dark

The amazing Hazel Cushion, founder of Accent Press in Wales has a book in the shortlist for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance by Lynne Barrett-Lee called Barefoot in the Dark – which I pushed whilst at the helm of the Waterstones Chick Lit Forum. I believe the winner will be announced tomorrow in some fancy pants ceremony in London. I’m crossing everything for both Hazel and Lynne. xx


How can I put this without looking like a fool? Should I be honest? Should I fib? Bugga. I can’t, for the life of me, work out which of the fabulous widgets blogspot provides enables me to load up my excel spreadsheet listing all the food I’ve eaten and all the exercise I’ve taken, so that you guys can keep me on the straight and narrow by posting (please!) comments of inspiration, encouragement or despair at my lack of willpower and commitment to this whole diet business. If any eager bloggers out there can help me work out how to do it, I’d be most grateful.

P.S – my gym (obviously not actually mine, but the one that gets my £75 a month) is holding a cheese and wine evening tonight. Explain to me how encouraging people to eat fat-laden cheese and get pissed, helps them to get fit? I mean, surely a grape and water night, or a rice cake and green tea evening would be more suitable….or it just me being a spoilsport?

P.P.S – I ate a Double Decker yesterday (please don’t tell Mel). My first real proper fall down on my arse moment though since I started this whole business on April 2nd so sod it. (It was divine by the way!).

P.P.P.S – not connected at all to any of the above, but I forgot to tell you, I received my first marriage proposal in about 10 years on Saturday whilst in Superdrug on Shepherds Bush Green (get down there immediately all you single ladies). Admittedly the gentleman in question was a dirty, old, smelly, Irish (not that that’s a problem mind) tramp with a length of rope holding up his soiled trousers. I only spent about 10 minutes giving his proposal serious thought. Honest.

Merton Browne

A while ago those lovely people at Hodder passed on a proof of a book called The Illumination of Merton Browne by a fellow called Mr. Shaw that they are publishing in hardback in August. The jacket didn’t have either a photo of slender calves, nor illustrations of butterflies, flip-flops or cakes. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. As anyone who knows me will know, I have very little tolerance for reading outside of my comfort zone. With very very few exceptions. However, it was free, it was a long journey home, I’d had one of those horrible days at work, and the tramp on the bus who sat next to me kept angling for a conversation so I thought, bugger it. I turned the last page at about 4am, some six hours later. Well worth a missed nights sleep I can tell you. Now, I didn’t understand a lot of his thoughts – cause he’s far far cleverer than what I is – but I loved the book. I loved even the bits that were horrible and scary, and made me fearful of going out at night, or visiting my friends that still live in Broadwater Farm in Tottenham…. I loved watching his illumination through education, and his growing relationships with Frank, Gibbon and Miranda – and was so gunning for him at the end that I had a few tears in my eyes to tell the truth. The language is very colourful (as my mum would say); at times I felt like I should wash my mouth out with soap and water, let alone Merton’s, but everything about the story and the characters was so beautiful it kept me reading till the bitter end.

11 June 2007

Wasting Time

My friend is going for an interview tomorrow with a creative digital agency called cabinet. I don't really know what that means in real life, but he showed me this fun widgetty gadget thingamygig for creating your own personal firework displays and snow globes.... it's cute, and wastes at least 2 minutes.....and I think you can send what you create to your mates whilst donating money through Orange to Unicef (or something).

I've got a question

I’m not really a great news follower to be honest. I always watch an hour from 5-6am Monday to Friday (1/2 hour on BBC1 before turning over to the lovely Phil Gale on ITV) and I have been known to occasionally watch the News At Ten depending on how knackered I am… but as a rule I don’t really have a clue what’s going on a daily basis in the world at large. Shameful, ridiculous, embarrassing. I know. Occasionally however, I do pick up on events around the world that grab my interest; sometimes horrific or amazing, sometimes fascinating or disturbing… and I’ll get all curious and what not, so I’ll log onto bbc.co.uk and try and find out a bit more about what’s going on. And sometimes this surfing will lead me to a question. I’ve got one now.

From what I can see, slapped all over the media last week was the controversy surrounding the ridiculous (and apparently fit inducing) design of the London 2012 Olympic logo, the get-out-of-jail-quick card Paris Hilton flashed after serving just 3 days of her 45 day sentence for being stupid driving without a license or something, and the nonsense about one blah bird calling another blah bird a word that I was convinced people of her generation found as abhorrent and offensive as people of my generation, and my parents generation, did….

So, that aside, here is what I wanna know. What the bloody buggery bollocks was the point of holding a (can’t have been cheap) G8 Summit last week in Germany, if none of the pointless leaders who attended could manage to agree to pretty much anything, or at least, anything new, without seeming to rub one another up the wrong way and open up some old scary wounds. Repeating a commitment they made back in 2005 at Gleneagles to double the aid for Africa by the end of the decade is great. Really great. But, come on, surely an e-mail could have tied that deal up. A bog standard conference call could have gone something like this: “Hey, chaps, remember two years ago we agreed to sign up to this “one world” idea, and try and help our fellow human beings over in Africa by sending them some money? Yeh? Great. Let’s definitely do that shall we? Yeh? Great!” Not exactly rocket science in my book.

So actually what I really want to know is this. Did I just miss the extensive news coverage of this sham? Or at least, did I miss the same level of news coverage given over to that of a logo, a rich blonde, and two blah birds? And if it isn’t that I missed it, what I also wanna know is - why oh why hasn’t more been made in the media about this wasted opportunity. Why haven’t the Leaders of the richest countries in the world been taken to task about their inability to lead and make decisions? What’s going on? Even someone who knows nothing about politics or world economics can see something is going terribly terribly wrong here. I thought the buzz words of global warming, carbon footprint, alternative fuels and energy were supposed to be discussed and resolved by the G8 leaders. I thought this kind of thing was really really important to the future of the world. Isn’t that why we all buy energy saving lightbulbs from IKEA now and switch the TV off at the mains at night instead of hitting SLEEP on the remote? Isn’t that why we are buying fair trade organic food that costs the earth and tastes of mud? (Kidding). Isn’t that why we recycle all our old paper and fizzy pop cans, and try to buy everything from our local stores and farmers markets not the evil supermarket conglomerates? Isn’t that why we’ve stopped using deodorant aerosols, and we now recycle our carrier bags, and cycle to work, and turn off the tap, and buy ethical gifts at Christmas like a share in a rainforest or a donkey or something? Isn’t that why we all feel guilty now when we book a flight?

So maybe I’ve actually got one more question…who’s got the answers?


I suppose given the whole reason I started this blogging malarkey in the first place was to try and take my mind off the incredibly boring new lifestyle I am trying to follow of giving up smoking, cutting out the juice of the Gods (diet coke), and sticking to a more healthy diet - it would be an idea to let you into the whole world of pain I've entered. I'm going try and work out a way to stick up my daily tot-up thing onto this site which will show you (give or take) what I'm eating and what exercise I'm doing, so you can stick with me through this thing - and see how I'm getting on. So you know, the term BAD FOOD DAY won't be just cause I've eaten something that I'm too scared to tell Mel I ate, but also cause when I'm having one of my binges I really really can't remember what I've shoved down.... I'm not for one moment saying I've got a medical condition / eating disorder - although some might disagree - but I do definitely loose some clarity when the food devil takes over my soul and makes me eat sweets or bread.

You Can Take Me

I called this next thing a poem, but I'm not really sure whether is is or not.... any comments gladly received.

You can take me quick, you can take me slow
But whatever you do, please don’t go
From behind on all fours, or lay down side by side
But let me get on top, and I’ll give you a ride

I’ll cover your body in the sweetest of cream
And lick every inch, fulfill all of my dreams
I’ll drizzle the coolest of juice from a glass
Then please roll me over, and fuck me up the arse

You can slap me and pinch me, and pull on my hair
Take me to the limit, let’s just see if you dare
I want to find every nook, every cranny I can tease
Push your fist up my pussy, Oh Please Baby, Please

Scratch my back till it bleeds
Get me down on my knees
Keep me coming and coming
Ever tried Chinese Beads?

Get the gadgets and the toys, the restraints and the mask
Dominate me, be powerful, I’ll do all that you ask
Make me moan, make me groan, make me scream to dear God
When I’m sat on your face, with my hands on your knob

Fuck my hand and my mouth, then tease me till I beg
Stretch me and push me, hold me apart by my legs
I want to feel every inch of you pushed deep inside me
For services rendered there’s no charge, no such fee!

8 June 2007

Death Slide

Please sponsor my latest attempt at being a SportySpice, all for a good cause. That's all I have to say about the matter, other than, of course, FUCK.

Plug me in

I can't begin to tell you how much of my working day I spend listening to this restlesssoul blog. Honest, every mix is a work of complete and utter bloody genius, and thanks to the restlesssoul boys and girls, my day almost flies by. (I did say almost didn't I?).

The Journey

I thought you might care to read another of my short stories. It's called "The Journey" and I have no idea who She is. Honest...

“And I can’t seem to stop the bleeding” it said, “Cause it flows through my heart, and my soul, and my head. And right now I wish I rather was dead, cause I can’t seem to stop the bleeding”.

The words slipped out of her mind and rolled onto the page so fast, her notes looked like they’d been written in the spidery hand of one of the old ladies that drove her bonkers in the queue at the Post Office on a Thursday morning.

With the man’s leg shifting and pressing uncomfortably close next to her, and the already unbearably hot sun beating through the smeared glass onto her arm, she stared straight ahead, eye’s glazed, focussing on the annoying sounds and unpleasant smells all around her.

The Fat Snorer was running late. She could see him puffing and panting his way along the road, white podgy arm waving aimlessly around in front of him. His hairy calves poking out of his all-weather shorts were wobbling uncontrollably, and she almost laughed out loud at how ridiculous he looked. He reminded her of the lead dancer in that all female troupe that were always appearing on Sunday Night at The Palladium…all high kicks, sequins, Lycra and tummies like barrels. “Oh for fuck’s sake” she murmured, searching her brain for the name and causing The Leg to move away from her. “Mission accomplished,” she thought. Why on earth he always had to sit right next to her when there were at least 6 other free spaces she would never know, but each time she would wait till the last possible moment before moving her bag off of the seat and onto her lap, and closing her legs to allow him just enough room to sit with both buttocks on the seat.

As The Fat Snorer checked every pocket once, twice and then a third time, she could feel her blood pressure rising. “It’s in your bag, you dumb fuck” she wanted to shout. Why didn’t he just keep his oyster card in his right hand jacket pocket? Why zip it up in the inside compartment of his rucksack? Was he stupid or something? Every day, every single day he would hold her up by at least 15 seconds with his aggravating “Sorry, sorry – it’s in here somewhere” apology.

She glanced down to the passage she’d written and re-read it again. “Bollocks,” she grumbled, noticing a dot missing from above the ‘i’ in ‘wish’. Now he would know she’d had to correct herself, and he would know she wasn’t perfect, and he wouldn’t love her anymore.

The Leg tutted, and she whipped her head sharply to the left to glare at him, but stopped herself from speaking by curling her nails into her palms and squeezing gently. It was a trick she’d learnt early on, and the grooves and calluses etched into her lifeline would remain there way past her death.

Knees behind her was dry coughing, and she could feel the expelled breath warming the back of her neck. She shivered from her shoulders to her groin; her lips curled downward and she started to count slowly 1, 2, 3, 4.... just like she’d been taught. “I’m not contaminated, I’m not contaminated” she reminded herself, and breathed deeply and evenly to calm herself and prepare for the next stop.

The White Hart. Her own personal nemesis. She’d sent over 50 letters to London Transport about it in as many days, and still they did nothing. Why couldn’t they have a special non-stop route like the 607 express? It wasn’t an unreasonable request. After all, she was a paying customer and they weren’t. The Twearlies. The fucking Twearlies. How two people could have lived that long without ever having learned to tell the time was beyond her, and she braced herself as the bus slowed down to a juddering stop. There they were – a vision in lilac and plum, jade and apricot. One of them seemed to be sporting a tea cosy on top of her plastic rain hood today. The fucking Twearlies.

She wanted to jump up and shout “Buy a fucking watch” but didn’t. She breathed deeply through her nose and was bought up short as she realized she hadn’t stuck her Vicks Nasal Stick up there this morning before she left the house, (and locked and double locked the door behind her). Was that the left or the right? She could feel her pulse quicken as the panic set in. Left or right? Left or right? She could picture the stick just where it always lived. Second drawer down, lying on its side, rounded end towards the back of the draw. What to do, what to do? Get off at the next stop and catch the 8.27am going back towards home? Or not breathe through her nose for the rest of the day? She took out her diary from her bag, making sure not to dislodge the purse and key pouch sitting side by side, and selected the green refill from her 4-in-1 pen. Green for Reminders. She opened her diary to the Reminder section and thanked God that the bus was still stationary as she made a note – 8.57am BOOTS – Vicks Nasal Stick. She drew a small square box at the end – waiting to be completed.

“Hang on” she thought. Reminders? Wasn’t that a Thing To Do Today? Could it be both, or was it one or the other? Just to be on the safe side, she selected purple on her pen and duplicated the entry in Things To Do Today. With a sigh of relief, she glanced up to watch The Twearlies were still there, struggling with tartan trolleys and Zimmer frames, wooden walking sticks and overnight bags masquerading as handbags. “For the love of God” she thought as her leg started to shake and her foot started to tap.

Here we go again. They would struggle on, orange passes clasped tightly in gloved hands, checking with each other that they were “Ok love?” or asking in wobbly voices “Can you manage my dear?”, then stand side by side, faces pressed up against the Perspex anti-mugging shield, and whisper “Are we too early?”. The driver would either laugh and wave them on with an easy going “Come on then..”, or stare straight ahead and bark “It’s not 9 yet, wait for the next one”.

“Please let them on,” she prayed to the Bus God. At least it took them less time to sit down and settle themselves than it did to ease themselves slowly off the bus. She cocked her head and strained her ears, hoping to hear those magic words – but no, with a frustrated groan she realized the bus driver must be having a worse day than her, and the lowering button had been pressed, and another five minutes would be wasted as they made their way back off the bus, backwards.

The shaking in her leg reached fit proportions as the seconds ticked by “Hurry up, come on” she growled as Knees started to cough again. She heard the rustle of nylon at the same time as she felt herself being pushed a hundredth of a millimetre forwards. She pushed back as hard as she could, tensing her thighs and wishing that the rigid plastic frames didn’t give so easily. With tears in her eyes she pushed and gritted her teeth, pushing, pushing – furious with him, she tutted and snorted and pushed and pushed, and finally the pressure in the small of her back receded. “I won” she thought, “I won”. Her first result of the day, and a satisfied grin spread over her face as she glanced back up in triumph.

With a sigh, she turned back to face forwards and staring at the snowflakes in the hair of Dandruff in front of her, she let the feeling of joy wash over her; until she was brought up short by the realisation that Camel Dung had slipped on behind the Twearlies, and was now sitting two rows in front of her. “Damn”, she cursed, as she involuntarily lifted her nose and tested the air. She took three quick, shallow sniffs before she remembered to breath through her mouth, and the piercing squeak from her nostrils penetrated her brain like lightning rods. “Nasal stick, nasal stick” she repeated, and took her phone from her bag, hit menu, scrolled to organiser and made a Day Note; BOOTS – Nasal Stick. Setting the alarm for 8.57am she settled the phone back in her bag, and rearranged the contents back to their proper places, all lined up and neat and tidy.

Taking the pencil from behind her ear, she started to write again.

”And the tears go away
Less and less every day,
But I want you so much –
I crave for your touch,
So come back to me please
I’m down on my knees, and
I can’t seem to stop the bleeding”.

“Hang on a second” she thought. “That’s not right”. Two rows? Two rows in front of her? Camel Dung always sat at the front, on a side seat next to Tissue-The-Refugee. What was going on? Camel Dung was in Jimmy-No-Socks seat. So where was Jimmy? And who the fuck was that New Boy at the front, on the side?

Eyes darting this way and that, she counted off her fellow passengers.

The Leg? check. Knees? check. The Fat Snorer? check. Camel Dung? check. Tissue-the-Refugee? check. Dandruff? check. The Twearlies? Ha-ha, “Absent Miss” she said out loud, and New Boy looked over, startled. Setting her chin defiantly she met his gaze full on, searching for that familiar look of surprise, fear or disappointment. His eyes were blue, and watery, and lazy, and she let her smile return. “Phew”. Disaster avoided, stand down soldiers! It was The Hood – minus his hood. He must have stayed at his girlfriend’s house last night – Pancake-This-Thick. He often left his anorak there. Maybe Pancake washed it for him in the horrible smelling cheap detergent she favoured. Or maybe he’d lost it. Anyway it wouldn’t do to worry about it too much right now. Although just to make sure it didn’t slip her mind, she opened her bag, took out her policeman’s notebook, selected black on her pen, and set herself the task of working out WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOODS ANORAK. She set the deadline as BY THE END OF THE WEEK, so she had three clear days ahead to think of every possible solution.

Looking around the bus, she couldn’t help but stare at Tissue-the-Refugee’s get-up today. At his best she thought he looked like a tramp, but today he really had outdone himself. The finest that Elizabeth Duke had to offer around his neck, wrist and at his ears, and some half-price T K Maxx “Italian Collection” black and white vest with Dulchey and Cobana printed over and over again, this way and that, that made her eyes swim. She could feel herself fall into the magic eye zone, and she let her brain sink into the depths of her conciousness. With his skin tight faded denim drainpipe jeans and dirty grey baseball kit, he did look a sight, and she felt the hairs on her arms start to spike in anticipation of the sniff that was bound to come any second now.

“BLOW”, she wanted to scream at the top of her voice. Why couldn’t he just keep a hanky tucked into his sleeve, or his pocket, and blow his fucking nose once in a while. Of all the personal habits she loathed the most, the constant sniffing was at the top of her list. Along with coughing. And of course, stupid people. Or people who breathed heavily, or deeply or through their mouths instead of their noses. She hated fat people that smelt of clammy sweaty bodies, and of course skinny people who smelt of cabbage soup and really tall people with short trousers, and those funny midget sized short people with specially made shoes. She hated people who blinked in an obvious way, or winked in a twitchy way.

“Sweet baby Jesus” she laughed as the Fat Snorer snuffled, snorted and hiccupped, bedding down deeper in his seat and into dreamland.

Checking her watch, she realised it was nearly time, and glanced out of the window to double check their location. “ETA 2 minutes” she mumbled, and by the looks of the traffic ahead they would just about make it. Gathering her notepad in the crook of her right arm (she didn’t have enough time to properly pack it away now) and hoisting her bag over her left shoulder, she reached behind The Leg and pressed the bell twice. She hoped she wouldn’t have to say, “Excuse me” and willed The Leg to “Get outta the fucking way”. Oops, she thought, that one slipped out, as he turned to her, his face awash with horror and surprise.

Standing with her back to the whole sorry bunch, she braced herself for the sharp braking of the bus as it lurched and shuddered to a halt at her stop. St Bernard’s Hospital. Adjusting her staff name badge on her chest, she stepped down to the pavement as the driver lowered the cripple ramp. Insulted, she called “Cunt” over her shoulder as her phone bleeped its reminder – ‘BOOTS – Nasal Stick’.


I'm already seeing a real difficulty here. I mean, I'm not for one moment saying I don't have anything to say. Cause that would be an out and out lie. I have lots to say. And do. I just find it difficult to say it in words, here, on a regular basis. I really must pull my finger outta my arse and start getting into the habit of creating a post on a regular basis. If I really can't be bothered to write it, how on earth am I ever going to hope that anyone out there in cyber world is going to read it?!? Mutter mumble.♠