Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Au Revoir '08!




So it's virtually all over...

In just under 9 hours the champagne corks will pop, kisses will be exchanged, DJs across the land will play the first song of 2009. Personally, I'm hoping for 'Gang Bang' by Black Lace. That would get my year off to a rip roaring start, make no mistake.

I was planning on staying in tonight, to reflect upon the year that was, eat some more leftover turkey (it's still going strong... that's what an 18lb turkey does for you), drink some more gin and tonic and watch some more terrible tv. But then I decided to stop being a miserable old cow, get a grip and celebrate in style. Because if there's one thing I know how to do, it's celebrate. I need no excuse. I'd pop a bottle of cava open to celebrate the arrival of the postman if I had my way.

So I'm off out into the wilds of Manchester, to drink, dance, laugh and toast the arrival of what will hopefully be a wonderful year. I hereby dub 2009 'The Year of Helen'. 2009 is the year my dreams come true. And that's that.


I sincerely hope, dear internet, that 2009 is the year that all your dreams come true, too.


Here's to 2009. A bigger, brighter, more fabulous year for all.


"one more thing.... gender is just an excuse, relationships shouldn't just be an excuse, love is often an excuse, although sometimes these excuses are all we have to hold onto, death is the reason and living is the celebration..."

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Big Fat Massive Review of the Year


So, I've had a bit of time on my hands today and, more for my own benefit than anyone else's, I've reviewed my year, month by month. A pictorial journey through my year, if you will...

January

The year began with a bang. I was in Liverpool and very very drunk. The merriment continued into New Years Day night and I saw 2ManyDJs at the Warehouse Project with my two favourite Chris's. Marvellous. The rest of the month involved nursing a poorly man back to health, falling ridiculously in love and eating a lot of cheese and biscuits.


I started the year looking like this. Angel faced, aren't i?

February


This month included seeing Basement Jaxx, Simian Mobile Disco, The Whip, Mr Scruff and the Editors. I had exams to do which sucked the very life out of me. 5 in 5 days! Vile. I had the most perfect Valentines Day ever in the Lake District. There was a walk up a very big hill, a lovely picnic and pints of disconcertingly coloured cider in a cozy pub.



March

During March I saw the Guillemots, who were ace. James Zabiela and Danny Howells were also witnessed at Paradise Factory. March was not a good month. Lies were uncovered and trust was broken. But things were rebuilt eventually.



April

April was ace. I took the man to the Leeds Malmaison for his 30th. We ate in the restaurant and it was pretty much the nicest meal I've ever had. I had terrine to start and it was accompanied by chutney. In a copper pot. Cue much hilarity and Oswald Copperpot impressions. The Malmaison has the best selection of cheese in the world. Fact. April also saw a visit to Chester Zoo where I was dismayed to discover a distinct lack of hippos. Boo.



May

May was one of my favourite months of the year. We went to see Booka Shade and Sasha at the Warehouse Project and it pretty much blew me away. The night was followed by one of the most perfect weekends I've ever had. There was wine, laughter, breakfast at The Tavern and a lovely long walk in the park. I love a good long walk.

May also saw a visit to Dublin. Dublin was rainy, cold and so expensive I could have wept. But the flights were only £15 and we did have a delightful Indonesian meal. In fact, Dublin was all about the food. We went for less than 48 hours but managed to consume a McDonalds breakfast, a chinese buffet, the most expensive fish and chips in the world (17 euros!), a fry up and the aforementioned Indonesian. There was also a lot of cider and Jamesons drunk.

Other highlights of the marvellous month of May included seeing The Wombats, The Whip and discovering Star Wars lego on the x-box. It was also the month that saw me dye my hair black. I've not looked back. I love being a raven haired minx.


Dublin

June


June was also a fairly fabulous month. We had a truly perfect weekend camping in the Lake District. We cooked sausages, had a pub lunch, had scones with clotted cream and jam, drank gin and tonic and red wine and went for a fantastic walk up another big hill. It was beautiful and magical and the happiest I was all year. Glastonbury also took place in June and it goes without saying that it was amazing. Highlights included Jay-Z, Kate Nash, The Whip, the cider, the laughter, the sun and the pies. Oh, the pies!


Beautiful Ullswater

July


I got my Legal Practice Course results in July. I was shocked to say the least when I got a Distinction. I was not expecting that at all. I got bought champagne and dinner by the boy and I don't think I've ever felt more proud of myself. Other July highlights included going camping to Shell Island and my perfect Grecian holiday. I don't really have the words to express how wonderful it was. Sun, sea, sand, my soulmate. Nuff said.



August

August was the month of the festival. Bloom, V and Creamfields. Bloom was rainy, windy, small but lovely in every respect. Roisin Murphy, London Breakbeat Orchestra, Beardyman and Altern-8. Via pies, cider, hours spent laughing in the tent and fancy dress. V was as I expected, massive and very very commercial. But I loved it all the same. Mud, Girls Aloud, Muse, Maximo Park, mud, cider, wine, mud, lots and lots of camping stove cooking. Creamfields was loud, muddy and full of chavs. Quelle surprise. I got my purse stolen. But it was also ace. Fatboy Slim and Underworld were the main highlights for me.



September

The less said about September the better. I thought things were ok. He felt otherwise. Life as I knew it ended.


September doesn't deserve a photo.


October

October was simply the aftermath of September. I did see Dylan Moran, however, and that perked me up somewhat.



November

This was a better month. I started to get a grip of myself. I turned 27 and resolved to make some very big changes in my life. I finally got a job, started to laugh a bit more and realised that there's actually quite a lot to love about me. I had some good nights out, saw Roisin Murphy again and danced. Dancing makes everything better.


I ended the year looking like this. Goth.

December


And so, here we are. December has been a confusing month, to say the least. And I get the feeling the confusion will continue for a while yet. But it's been a good month. I am a lot more together than I have been for years. I have some very real, very personal goals to achieve in 2009 and I'm looking forward to getting started.





In short, I am ever hopeful for better things...



"For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!"


Sunday, 28 December 2008

And to all a good night...



Swag

I am currently in possession of one extremely painful grazed knee. Sadly I'm not in possession of the memory of how it happened. I blame the new shoes, cobbled Cheshire streets and my own lack of grace. Whatever you do, don't mention the 'S' word. And by the 'S' word I mean Sambuca. Just typing the word brings me out in a cold sweat.

Moving on...

Christmas was lovely. Really lovely. Which came as a complete shock as there are normally at least two arguments by the time the first bucks fizz is popped and the first wrapping paper is ripped greedily from the present beneath. The day was calm, cheerful and completely uneventful. Bliss. A moment of hilarity ensued when, after having watched an hour and a half of Mamma Mia, my Dad suddenly noticed that all the songs were by Abba. Nil pois for knowledge of films, Dad. Nil pois. I got lovely presents, bar the ubiquitous gloves, socks and bath stuff. Yesterday was spent quite literally glued to Mario Kart and I'm now suffering from a severe case of Wii arm. Painful stuff, people.

I'm off to weep into my own hangover. Until i return, enjoy Suzy's Christmas Day rant. 'Poisonous button mushroom' and 'vinegar lips' being my personal highlights...




There was only one thing missing from my Christmas. Or should I say one person. Only 3 more days of 2008 left. Maybe then the slate can finally be wiped clean. My wish for 2009 is for forgiveness and a chance to be a better person. To erase the bad and create good. Do Christmas wishes come true?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

"Make my wish come true..."




As of 12.30pm today I am work free until next year. Next year!

Post-work gin and tonic? Check.

Festive lunch out with work colleagues? Check. (Well I say festive but in reality it was a burger and chips. Nothing says Christmas quite like a slab of meat on a bun though does it. Festive slaughter.)

Presents bought, wrapped and under the tree? Check.

Marvellous. It would seem I'm all ready for tomorrow. All that's left to do is to wear my new shoes (£60 reduced to £35. EVERYTHING TO ME.) and feel like Dorothy on Christmas morn. Via a visit to the local pub tonight for the yearly bitch fest. Ex students from my school converge on one specific pub every Christmas Eve. Hundreds of them. And we stand in little groups discussing who's married/pregnant/got fat/dead/gay/in prison. Fake air kisses abound as people greet each other like long lost friends, when in reality they can barely remember each others' names. And I intend to sit in the corner with a pint of cider and soak it all up.


I hope you all have a peaceful and wonderful festive time and that you eat, drink, dance, laugh and love to your hearts' content. Because if you can't do it at Christmas, when can you? Excess = success.



Merry Christmas everyone!!



Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas: a photographic tale of joy



What's better than that wrapping paper? Nothing. That's what. DJ-ing snowmen are all I need in my life right now.



Where the magic happens and the money shot. Respectively.



A joyful candle. Next to the card from my parent that accuses me of being a 'lovely daughter'. I am no such thing. It also has a badge. I shall wear it on Christmas morn whilst drunk and abusive and see if they still think I'm so 'lovely'.

In your face, compliments!




Nothing says Christmas quite like a row of 4 million santas on a mantelpiece. Note my advent calendar (looking disconcertingly like it's about to knock the 1970s carriage clock off). I'm 27.



Ah, the dreaded bowl of nuts. I eat the walnuts. Mum eats the almonds. Nobody can crack the brazil nuts open. The hazelnuts get thrown away each year without fail. I pity them and their little round souls.



Baubles at the Trafford Centre. Well there has to be something pretty to look at while you're queuing your life away in John Lewis on the night before Christmas Eve. I did get a pack of tags for 25p though. Reduced from £1. Who said the credit crunch was all bad? Ich liebe recession.



Escalation sensation.




Merry Christmas from the Behemoth!


It wants your soul.



Monday, 22 December 2008

"All eyes on me in the centre of the ring, just like a circus..."




Confidence is a state of mind.


I know this to be true because I used to have zero. Zilch. Nada. Niente. Nil. You get the picture? Or do I need to google more words for nowt?

In having no confidence I was less attractive, less happy and less able to see the good in others. So I got some. Simple as. I don't know where it came from but it did. I started putting on a facade of confidence and, voila, I had real confidence. It's strange because I didn't even realise I was doing it but I've had a couple of people I've only met recently say that I come across as someone who's really confident. Changing your self image can completely transform the way others see you.

I've always used humour as a defence mechanism.

I have laughed my way through teenage bullying, hard times at university, family illness and anything else you can name. I laughed loudly, heartily and at length (yes, i said length.... stop sniggering). But confidence was always something that eluded me. Until recently. Now I like what I see when I look in the mirror. I'm under no illusions. I know I should shed a few pounds, go to the gym more and drink less. But the foundations are there. And I'm happy with them.

Compare that with a few months ago. I pretty much hated myself. I was unhappy with the way my life was. I was unemployed, angry and not a particularly nice person to be around. I felt so rubbish about myself that I pushed away the people I love the most. I couldn't see why they wanted to be near me. So I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. It took a major fallout for me to take a long hard look at myself, realise what I didn't like and where I was going wrong and resolve to change. And I have changed. At least, I'm well on my way...


"You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy."


I'm ready now.


Saturday, 20 December 2008

And so, the end is near...




I still have the dreaded lurg and am not capable of forming coherent thoughts so I present to you 'that survey that everyone does at this time of year'. 2008 kicked my ass. I intend to kick 2009's ass as payback.


1) Was 2008 a good year for you?

Yes and no. I had some of the happiest times of my life but also some of the saddest.

2) What were your favourite moments of the year?
So many! Seeing Sasha and Booka Shade at Warehouse Project was epic, camping in the Lake District in June, seeing the Editors in Blackpool, many many days spent beneath a duvet laughing till I cried, mainly just being with someone I was completely comfortable with.

3) What was your least favourite moment of the year?
September 14th, about 4pm. My world came crashing down around me.

4) Where were you when 2008 began?
At Chibuku in Liverpool at an 80s themed night. Drunk. Happy. Amazed by the fact you really can get exactly what you want. Usually when you're least expecting it.

5) Who were you with?
The man and his housemates.

6) Where will you be when 2008 ends?
No plans as yet. Either at home on my own or out with the gays. I have no desire to do anything really. Just want to try and forget the bad things that happened this year and brace myself for 2009. Last year was the best NYE I've ever had and I fear going out would only be an anti climax.

7) Who will you be with when 2008 ends?
Myself. Or a big bunch of trannies. I'm not sure which is worse.

8) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2008?
I think they were to lose weight, go to the gym more, be happier. I have achieved precisely none. Marvellous work, Helen.

9) Do you have a new years resolution for 2009?
Find out who I am and how to make myself happy. I'm well on my way.

10) Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes. Very much so.

11) If yes, with who?
I really don't think I need to elaborate.

12) If yes, do they know?
Yep.

13) Are you still in love with them?:
Relentlessly.

14) You regret it?
Not for one second. I regret many things I said and did but not the falling in love part. Love is wonderful.

15) Did you breakup with anyone in 2008?
I got broken up with. As it ever was. Always the dumpee.

16) Did you make any new friends in 2008?
Yes!

17) Who are your favourite new friends?
G and Tasha. Both make me chuckle incessantly.

18) What was your favourite month of 2008?
May or August. May because there were lots of good nights outs and a moment when I honestly thought I was set for life. August because there was a fantastic holiday, 3 festivals and a lot of cider-ific times.

19) Did you travel outside of your country of residence in 2008?
I did! Ireland and Greece. Dublin was rainy and expensive. Greece was hot, foody, drunken and wonderful.

20) How many different states/provinces did you travel to in 2008?
I AM NOT AMERICAN.

21) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2008?
Lose as in die? No. Lose as in lose? Yes. I hope to find them soon. And put them in my pocket for keeps.

22) Did you miss anybody in the past year?
My Nottingham friends always. And, for the last 3 months, someone else. I always miss the people I'm not with.

23) What was your favourite movie that you saw in 2008?
Juno I think. Or The Orphanage. Teenage pregnancy and terrifying children with sack heads. Tremendous.

24) What was your favourite song from 2008?
Breaking It Up - Lykke Li, A Thousand Nights - Gregor Tresher, You Know Me Better - Roisin Murphy, Moving To New York - The Wombats, Fidelity - Regina Spektor, Intermission - Plump DJs, Racing Rats - Editors, When You Were Young - The Killers. I like lots of songs.

25) What was your favourite record from 2008?
Youth Novels - Lykke Li, Stainless Style - Neon Neon, Headthrash - Plump DJs, Overpowered - Roisin Murphy.

26) How many concerts did you see in 2008?
Not enough. Editors, Guillemots, Roisin Murphy, The Whip, Simian Mobile Disco, Hot Chip, Girls Aloud, The Wombats + 4 festivals.

27) Did you have a favourite concert in 2008?
Editors at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom. It was breathtaking. The setting, the music and the company were all perfect. Plus the 11pm fish and chips.

28) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2008?
No. I'm lying though. Wine, cider and gin were my tipples of choice this year (when are they not). I drank a lot of wine in bed this year. Boxes of the stuff. Quite difficult to aim the spout I find. Usually resulted in wine covered sheets.

29) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2008?
Love is my drug.

30) How many people did you sleep with in 2008?
I don't sleep. I'm an insomniac.

31) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
Many many many things. Some alcohol related, some mania related. I am not proud of a lot of the things I did this year. I only hope I get a chance to put them right in 2009.

32) Where did most of your money go?
Gigs, clothes, hair straighteners (I trod on 3 pairs. Stupid cow), meals, drinks, a summer of unrivalled decadence, t-shirts.

33) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2008?

I couldn't possibly publish that here.

34) Did you treat somebody badly in 2008?
Regretfully, yes. But it was wholly unintentional.

35) Did somebody treat you badly in 2008?
No. Nothing I didn't deserve anyway.

36) How much money did you spend in 2008?
HA! Thousands. The phrase 'living beyond your means' took on a whole new meaning for me this year. I don't regret a penny though. Happy days. Although spending £300 on a pair of shoes possibly wasn't the most intelligent thing I've ever done. They are pretty though.

37) What was your proudest moment of 2008?
Getting a Distinction in my Legal Practice Course. And finally getting a job that I love.

38) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2008?
Any night out involving alcohol.

39) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2008 and change something, what would it be?
I would go back to the very beginning of the year. To 3am on New Years Day. And change the way I behaved. Because that was the moment he lost faith in me.

40) What are your plans for 2009?
To lose weight, go to the gym, get happy, work hard, sleep more, laugh more, love more, dance more, be thankful more, like myself more...

Friday, 19 December 2008

Noro noro, I have sorrow




That picture is how my head feels today.

I have teh illz, internet. My parents have both had the dreaded norovirus this week. I thought by avoiding all contact and sitting upstairs like a hermit I'd avoid it. No such luck. Mid-morning at work I started to feel a wee bit ill. By the time I left for the day I was dizzy, close to being sick and so weak I thought I might collapse.

A summary:
  • Projectile vomiting and nausea? Check
  • Headache? Check
  • Stomach cramps? Check
  • Aching limbs? Double check.

Ugh. I feel vile.

I do not enjoy seeing an entire day's food consumption in reverse. TMI? I thought so. But I'm in pain. If I'm in pain I reserve the right to be graphic. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow when I shall dazzle you with my wit and maybe even a collection of my favourite moments of the year. You lucky lot. For now I'm off to soak in my own misery and watch Lost Series 4 in bed. For only Sawyer can save me now.


Thursday, 18 December 2008

A new dawn?



Greece - Summer, 2008

I was struggling for what to write today but then wee-h wrote a post that pretty much sums up exactly how I'm feeling right now. So here goes...

People think I'm daft. They think I'm flogging a dead horse. At least, they would if I vocalised how I'm feeling to them. But I don't. Because I don't want to hear it. I don't want to be told to 'get over it.' Because, quite simply, I don't want to get over it. How can you get over something that you thought was forever? That got ruined by accident. That could still be brought back to life.

So I live in hope.

In fact, I am eternally hopefully for better things. For myself. For him. For the us that could be. That should be. That should always have been.

I've put my heart on the line now. I've put it out there. All I can do is promise changes... promise to be different... promise to never let him down again. All I need is a chance. Just one.

Because the way I see it is... if you don't try, you'll never know what could have been. You'll always think 'what if?'. And there's nothing worse than that. No matter how scary the leap might be, if there's even a chance that you can grab happiness with both hands, you have to make that jump.


Is the sun setting or rising? Only time will tell...


Lastly, I'd just like to apologise to the poor soul who googled 'madonna deepthroat wine bottle' and ended up here. What a huge disappointment that must have been. No madge and her terrifying crotch here. Just me and my terrifying inability to let go of the person I love the most.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Wordy Wrappinghood




Welcome to Christmas on crack.

I was dismayed by my rubbish attempts at wrapping so I took a little trip to Paperchase (I've spent so much money in there in the last week they should give me shares) in my lunch hour. And spent a small fortune on bows, tags and paper. I got home from work, ripped off my efforts from yesterday (paper, not clothes. Don't get excited, now) and proceeded to create the brightest Christmas presents known to man. I'm such a perfectionist, it's actually ridiculous.

This blog has turned into a regular festive, er, fest hasn't it. Apologies if you're not feeling the yuletide love as much as I am but I just can't help it. I am quite literally full of the joys of spring. Except in December.

Now, if you'll excuse me.... Nigella is creating a Rocky Road delight on BBC2 and she needs my full attention. How many sexual innuendos will she make this episode? How many asparagus tips will she deep throat? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

"I have been storing all my devotion. It flows like an ocean now..."



Witchetty gwub

Ho ho ho.

I've been wrapping presents. Sadly, my wrapping skillz this year are not quite as good as previous years' offerings. A lack of imagination caused by working for a living, a permanent cold and pathetic tiredness (12 working days in and I'm a wreck. Someone punch me) are all to blame. The presents above were a product of my finest present wrapping hour in 2006. Presents for my gay friends complete with C-Thatch and Craig from Big Brother 6 tags. I crack myself up sometimes, I really do.

So far today I have:

a) Dropped a fish pie in Sainsburys. A luxury fish pie, no less. It splattered and I ran.
b) Slipped on black ice. I'm not even racist and that's the treatment I get.
c) Seriously injured my jaw whilst chewing a mince pie with brandy cream. It was so tasty I don't even care.
d) Snapped the underwire in my bra whilst 'adjusting' the ladies. Cue an afternoon of severe discomfort.

I think I'll go and sit somewhere soft, safe and warm to prevent further injury.

I shall leave you with Craig's best bits. Enjoy him in all his ludicrous, dubious glory...



All together now.... "I refuse to diminish my character!"

Monday, 15 December 2008

"Hold out your hand, come back to me...."



7 feet of festive fantastic-ness. Alliteration turns me on baby.

Christmas cards sent - 0
Christmas cards bought - 78 (Yes, really. I only need about 15 but I panicked and bulk bought in Paperchase. 3 for 2. What's a girl to do. Rhyming ftw!)
Christmas presents bought - 3
New 'essential' Christmas outfits bought - 2
Mince pies consumed so far in December - Approximately 700

I am seriously behind.

I am however winning in the Christmas cheer stakes. Festive spirit FTW!

So, in the spirit of yuletide procrastination here's a round up of all things internet that are bringing joy into this cold cold house:
  • Food porn. If you only click on one link this year, click on this one. I beg of ye.
  • Ffffound! I cannot get enough of it. I just need someone to invite me so I can participate. Anyone? Anyone? (A prize for the guesser of the tenuous movie link. Well, not really a prize. More a pat on the metaphorical back)
  • Quagmire It. For all your festive giggedy needs.
  • San Diego zoo Panda Cam. I have become obsessed with those black and white beasts.
  • Stay Puft. I know he's meant to be scary but I heart him. I can't believe I hadn't seen Ghostbusters until earlier this year. Sick. Sick and wrong.
  • Alexey Titarenko's 'City of Shadows' photographs. Truly breathtaking. Sinister yet utterly beautiful.


And on that slightly spooky and Russian note...

What's rocking your world, my wee Christmas elves?

Sunday, 14 December 2008

"And suppose I never ever met you..."




Each year my friends and I have a little tradition. Now that we've all (well, apart from me) got our own houses/flats/hovels, one of us cooks an early Christmas dinner for the rest. Last night was the turn of my my beautiful friend Emma and her boyfriend Jim. Poor Jim, the only vegetarian amongst 9 rabid meat eaters. The food was incredible. Turkey, sausages, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, sauteed cabbage with cream and bacon, sprouts with chestnuts, carrot mash and the best gravy I've ever tasted in my life.

Seriously, I could have drunk it from a glass
(or, let's face it, the jug... I have no shame).

I drove over to do away with the temptation of drinking. But then got talked into staying in the spare room. So naturally, come 3.30am, me and Em are drunk on gin, still awake and watching non-stop music channels, offering a detailed critique of every song that comes on. I have two conclusions: 1) Every video for every R'n'B song ever made is beyond crap. Woman shakes ass in man's face. Man wears copious bling. 2) I have an astonishing knowledge of bad 90s pop. Lyrics. Dance moves. The whole shebang.

All in all, it was the perfect festive night. It's just a shame the kitchen had to look like this this morning. Strongbow cans in the sink? Check. We are vile.



Oh, and because I know you've been dying to see them. Here are the fruits of my labour yesterday. X-Factor badges. I like to take some credit for the fact she won....


Eoghan: Just say no

Now I'm off to decorate the 7ft behemoth of a christmas tree that my parents brought home yesterday. If I'm not back later send out the search party... I'll be trapped in a pine and tinsel nightmare of my own making.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

"And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star..."



Merry Piggin' Christmas

Today is officially the beginning of Christmas.

I've got A Spaceman Came Travelling (my all time favourite festive song, fact fans) on full blast, I've just finished baking some cookies (me? baking? HA!), I've been doing the annual panic shop via numerous online treasure troves (I don't do queuing) and I've just spent 20 minutes drawing holly on a picture of a pig ornament. He's called Clarence and I think he's super.

He wishes you all an oinkingly good Christmas.



In the spirit of festive joy I'm having a list-a-thon:

Top 5 festive films:
  • Santa Claus the Movie. I won't hear a word said against it. Dudley Moore as an angry alcohol dependant elf, what says Christmas more effectively than that?
  • Scrooged. Bill Murray. Nuff Said.
  • Elf.... "Buddy the Elf! What's your favourite colour?!"
  • Home Alone.
  • Love Actually. Makes me laugh, cry and feel all warm inside. Plus I fancy Hugh Grant in it, which unnerves me. I like the challenge of feeling disgusted with myself.
Honourable mentions go to The Snowman and Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. Because they're not actually films but they are incredible.

Top 5 festive choons:
  • A Spaceman Came Travelling by Chris de Burgh and his frightening face
  • 8 Days of Christmas by Destiny's Child (simply for the fact it is ludicrous)
  • All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey (plastic + valium + fake tan)
  • Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie
  • Fairytale of New York by the Pogues (god I'm such a cliche)
Honourable mentions go to Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff, that one by Wizzard and Ring Out Solstice Bells by Jethro Tull. Tune. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, however, is wrong on all levels.

Top 5 festive foods:
  • Lebkuchen. I could gorge on them until I was sick. Nice.
  • Florentines. Yum. It's become tradition to break out a box the minute the relatives leave on Christmas Day. And then eat them till we can't move and/or vomit.
  • Cheese! Because at Christmas you can eat as much cheese as you want and noone can judge you (apart from Santa).
  • Christmas dinner. I'm cheating and including it as one food. Roast potatoes, honeyed parsnips, sprouts with pancetta, 3 types of stuffing, turkey, gravy, bacon rolls, little sausages, cranberry sauce. Oh god, I'm salivating.
  • Mince pies with courvoisier cream. Sex on a plate.
Honourable mentions go to christmas tree chocolates, christmas pudding and turkey and gravy sandwiches. Yes, i'm a scumbag.

Top 5 festive drinks:
  • Mulled wine. Just be careful you don't choke on the cinnamon stick.
  • Baileys. I don't drink it at any other time of the year but I can get through a bottle on Christmas Day alone. And at only 4 million calories, who's counting?
  • Bucks Fizz. On Christmas morning. With presents.
  • Gin and tonic. Add a sprig of holly for added festive cheer.
  • That ageing bottle of ginger wine that's been at the back of the cupboard for 6 years. The one with the crust round the lid. The only thing left with alcoholic content by 3pm on Boxing Day.
Honourable mentions go to anything else containing alcohol. Christmas = booze.

Ooh, I enjoyed that. I encourage others to list their Christmas favourites. It will make you feel festive and/or very hungry. That's a promise from me to you.

And, because I'm a material girl (thanks, Madonna), here's my (non-exhaustive) Christmas list...
  • Mario Kart for the Wii. Please Santa, I've been a very good girl.
  • The Dark Knight on DVD. I need Christian Bale for Christmas. In vulcanized rubber. Yum.
  • This necklace.
  • These shoes. Please. I want to look like a high-heeled Dorothy on Christmas morn.
  • Mark Owen. Wearing nothing but very small black pants and a festive bow atop his lovely little head.
  • Snow.

Now I'm off to make 'Alex to win' badges for tonight with my magical laminator. Geek.


Friday, 12 December 2008

"I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do..."




How is it possible to completely underestimate how you feel about someone?

I think I've become very good at acting over the last 3 months. Pretending that I no longer care. Laughing. Joking. Convincing everyone around me. Even convincing myself to a certain extent.

But I guess it couldn't stay buried forever. The feelings are too strong for that. This is different to past heartbreak. The pain is stronger. Deeper, somehow. More overwhelming. If I let it, it consumes me. So I don't. I don't think about it. I focus on work. On keeping myself busy. On never stopping... not even for a moment. But tonight I stopped. I thought. I felt.

I ruined everything with my stupid issues. Lack of self esteem was my downfall. And now he thinks he failed me. But he didn't.

I failed me.

I failed us.



Stupid thing is, I've finally sorted myself out. For the first time in my entire adult life I actually like myself. Isn't it ironic (No Alanis, it's not. It's a coincidence).

Too little too late?

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I put a spell on you...


Spotted: Manchester Christmas Market, 2007

I do love a nonsensical sign.

In case you can't read that, it says "You can make your Christmas celebrations here!!! Information among the staff." Among the staff? What? Hidden amongst them? Booking information pinned to their backs? Price lists secreted under jumpers?

I've probably mentioned it before but I am a massive pedant. Bad spelling and grammar make me angry. An erroneous apostrophe can make me weep. Don't even get me started on 'i before e'. I just don't understand how there are shop signs out there that are spelt wrong. Or menus. Or anything, really. I'm actually getting worse as I get older because I'm starting to judge people for it. Starting to? Who am I kidding? I'm Queen Judge of the Judge Kingdom.

The sign below, however, delights me. Foreign mistranslations turn me right on...


Spotted: Greece, 2008

I miss my pedantic partner in crime. Noone else understands the horror of misplaced punctuation quite like him. Although he never could spell 'weird.' Wierd!!! I ask you!!! (feel my indignance through the power of exclamation marks)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..."


I've just seen George Sampson in the centre of Warrington whilst on my way home from work. What a ridiculously crap celebrity spot. Anyway, that got me thinking and I now present to you a list of 'celebrities' I have seen this year.

Prepare to be extremely underwhelmed...




Chris from Skins at Warehouse Project on New Years Day. What could be better than celebrating the start of another 365 than by seeing a sleb off their face and sweating. Yum.


Gok Wan on Canal Street. He sneered. I've mentioned it before. Let's not go into it again. Me and Gok have beef.


Jeff Brazier in TK Maxx in Nottingham. He of Jade Goody fame. The one she extracted sperm from and created mini Jeffs with. Shudder.


Scott Bruton off X-Factor fame in Via Fossa on Canal Street. He was small and surrounded by chavs taking his photo. We tried to drunkenly stalk him but he escaped our clutches. Darn it.


Jamie and Violet from Coronation Street eating big sausages in the Manchester Christmas Market. Rumour has it they left their partners to be together. She loves a big sausage does our Vi.


Note to self: A watched inbox never... boils. Or summat.

You are my sweetest downfall...




It's 16 days till Christmas Day. 16! Yowzer! (I can honestly say I have never used that word before. Where did that come from?)

Predictably, I have done next to no shopping yet. I just can't seem to find the motivation this year. Partly because I have been ill more times in the last month than in the last 5 years put together (hey tonsils, get a grip will you). But mainly because I don't want to go shopping. Every time I do, I just see things that he would have loved and I have to stop myself buying them. I'm a big fan of buying presents and I truly believe that it's better to give than receive (stop sniggering, filthbag). Buying him things I knew he'd love was one of the greatest joys in my life. So even shopping makes me miserable right now. I'm a rubbish girl.

In an attempt to spice up my life with some festive cheer here are some mince pie sized nuggets of joy from around the web....
  • This is far too cute to be allowed. How dare people be that happy.
  • Everyone loves a bit of yuletide Mariah. Mmm. All I want for Christmas is you.
  • My all time favourite Christmas film (well apart from Scrooged). "A sequel. That's it. We'll bring it out on March 25, and we'll call it... Christmas 2!"
  • Is there anything better than cats in christmas attire? I think not.
I shall leave you with a festive message from the one and only Beardyman... (I wouldn't watch it if you're a) religious at all or b) offended by naughty words)



Monday, 8 December 2008

Cryptic factor




I had a big post all planned out about how I'm getting too old for clubbing (nightclubs, not seals.... just to clarify). It was introspective, moany and self-indulgent. Yum.

But then, this morning, I had a bolt from the blue. And, to be honest, I don't have much to say right now. My head is all over the place and I feel a bit strange. Why do boys have the ability to do that? So, instead I'll leave you with a comical (I use that term loosely) photo from Saturday night. I may or may not have been at the sauce when this was taken (hint: I definitely had been).

You were my life too.

Friday, 5 December 2008

H is for...



Scrabble stylin'

I get strange ideas in my head sometimes. Irrational ideas. I have an extremely overactive imagination.

Take tonight, for example. I was driving home from work (work! I have a job! The novelty still hasn't worn off!). All of a sudden I was convinced there was a snake in the car with me. Completely convinced. I kept feeling something touching my leg and nearly had a heart attack when I leant down and touched... my scarf. I blame this. Ever since I was little I've had an irrational fear that there'll be a snake behind the sofa, or in my room, or in the bath. And, according to that story, it can happen. My biggest fear is walking into a room and seeing one of those massive fat snakes, coiled round on itself. One of those 20 foot ones. I'm actually cringeing (cringing? cringeing? neither looks right!) as I write this.

And this, my friends, is why I'll probably never live anywhere more exotic than Manchester. There was a cockroach in the apartment in Greece this Summer. It was literally the end of the world.


I'm such a girl.


*I heart my new necklace... get your own here. You get a free sweet and everything. I loves me a free sweet.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

"I wish this song would really come true, I admit I still fantasize about you…"




As everyone seems to be doing the '10 random things about me' post, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. I love a bandwagon...


1. If I'm listening to the radio, tv, etc the volume has to be set at an even number or a multiple of 5. 10? Great. 14? Fab. 17? GET OUT.

2. I was born with three thumbs. Yes, 3! Count 'em! One had no bones in and was just a floppy bit of skin. So they tied a piece of cotton round it (medicine was a technical business in 1981) and now it's a little stump. I always meant to get it removed. Now I kind of like it.

3. I own 16 hats. All woollen. All different colours. I have a compulsion.

4. I squawk when excited. Literally. I make a high pitched noise and often frighten others around me. The latest example is when Mark Owen is on TV in the latest Marks and Spencer advert. Other noises I make on a regular basis include oinking and growling. I don't know why.

5. I am an only child and, when I was young, I didn't just have one imaginary friend. Oh no, I had a gaggle (is that the collective term?). One was called Tom and I think I fancied him. The other was called Willy Russell and he was often in hospital with broken arms/legs. Clumsy bugger.

6. When I was little my Mum taught me the capital of each State in the USA and then had me recite them occasionally. I now know about 4. I was more intelligent at the age of 8 than I am now. Although I think I just had a pushy mother.

7. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

8. I saw Gok Wan on Canal Street last year. I squealed (see above) in excitement and he sneered at me. A hatred was born.

9. I am completely addicted to hot sauce. The hotter the better. I've eaten so much of it that I think I've irreversibly damaged my taste buds.

10. I despise mushrooms, aubergines and beetroot. Food should be neither grey, purple nor burgundy. UGH.


Tell me some things about you....


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

"When you lose the one you wanted, cause he’s taken you for granted"



Have you ever missed someone so much it made you catch your breath when you thought about them?

Have you ever missed someone so much that when you wake up and it was all a dream you could burst into tears right there and then?

Have you ever missed someone so much that you'd do literally anything to start again? To show them you can be a different person this time around?


Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I wake up and I think I'm back in that familiar room. With a soundly sleeping man next to me. Breathing softly with his strong, protective arms around me.

For that moment... life is perfect.



And then it all comes flooding back.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Viva los employment!



The lonely milkfloat

Winter is here, ladies and gents. Winter is here. It was -5 yesterday morning. -5!! And today, snow! Well, slush at least. I'm convinced the cold weather has arrived to coincide with me starting my new job. Just to make it all the more difficult to unwrap myself from a warm duvet at 7am, after not having had to get out of bed for anything for 5 months now. My body had forgotten what that time in the morning felt like. In fact, it had become more accustomed to going to bed at that time, if anything. Tut tut.

I'm two days into my job now and I can honestly say that I am loving every moment. Sad huh? I think I've been out of work for so long that my brain is just enjoying having something constructive to do, other than play de blob obsessively on the Wii or paint my toenails foolish colours. It's not even a job that I really thought would suit me as it's very very maths-based and I am not a friend of the numbers normally. But yes, for now I am thoroughly enjoying being back in the ranks of the employed. Ask me again in 2 weeks.

In celebration of my new found employment and all round career girl status (ha) I have started wearing my new glasses more often. This may just be an attempt to engineer a She's All That moment at some point in the future though (ie; girl takes off glasses... girl instantly becomes hot mama).


Spexy

*Note: I don't really live in a hovel. This computer is situated in the obligatory junk room that every house possesses.