Wednesday 27 May 2009

Dancing is my remedy

The inside of my head

I'm currently in the midst of five glorious days off work. Yes, I'm greedy. A three day weekend you say?

Pah, I'm having five.

Saturday and Sunday were full of wonderful debauchery so I still feel like I'm recovering. As such, I have no words. So, instead, I leave you with my two favourite visual treats of the moment...

Cassetteboy v The Apprentice

Little Boots - Remedy

"And when the music fades away, I know I'll be ok..."

Friday 22 May 2009


Image by levitening

Do you know what really warms the cockles of my cynical old heart?

Seeing an elderly couple holding hands. An elderly couple who've obviously been together for decades. I saw a couple at lunchtime. They were in their eighties, at a guess. He in a faded grey suit with a handkerchief in his pocket and wearing a hat. She in a patterned skirt and tightly buttoned rain mac. It was drizzling with rain. He held her hand and they laughed. Twinkling eyes glistening with love and happiness, despite their advancing years and the miserable weather.

And do you know what I thought?

I hope I have that when I get to their age.

I want that.

Wednesday 20 May 2009


Thanks again to Smidge for the idea for this post (I don't have an original idea in my head at the moment). Like her, I'm trying to find the positive in things at the moment and so this was perfect for me to do. No pun intended.


The perfect outfit: My dress sense has been known to be, erm, slightly eclectic at times. I'm a big fan of chunky, bright plastic jewellery. My favourite skirt is a pink tutu-type affair that wiggles when I walk and has loads of layers. I own a pair of amazing Christian Louboutins. Just one problem, they're half a size too big for me. Still, I strut around the house in them and dream of dinner dates and red carpets. Am also a big fan of the low cut top. Well, if you've got it, flaunt it. Put all that together and you've got some semblence of an outfit that I might like wearing.

The perfect meal: The meal I had at Spice Market in New York. It was beyond incredible. If we're talking every day type food though, I'd have to go for a roast dinner. Lamb, roast potatoes, gravy, mashed potato, broccoli, etc etc.

The perfect hangover cure: More wine. Or, failing that, a gallon of water, a bacon sandwich and a walk in Sefton Park.

The perfect road trip: To the seaside or the Lake District. Anywhere with fresh air, ice cream and beautiful scenery. And fish and chips if we're talking seaside.

The perfect facial feature: I'm with Smidge here.... eyelashes! Nothing sexier than a man with lovely long eyelashes. I also like a big nose. Not scary big, just... prominent.

The perfect drink: Gin and tonic made with Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray gin, full fat tonic water and plenty of lime. I like a limed rim too (no sniggering).

The perfect song: 'When You Were Young' by the Killers. So many memories. Also, like Smidge (are you my twin?), 'You Got The Love' by Candi Staton.

The perfect sign of affection: Being kissed on the forehead or nose.

The perfect afternoon: A big long walk in the country followed by a lovely pub meal and lashings of decent wine.

The perfect vacation: The one I've just had in New York was pretty perfect. I'm not usually one for lying on a beach but, having said that, Greece last year was incredible. To be honest, as long as I'm on holiday, anywhere's going to be pretty perfect!

The perfect invention: A toaster that doesn't have a 'burn' setting.

The perfect type of wedding: I know someone won't believe me when I say this but I can honestly say that I've never thought about it. I don't have the dress planned. I don't know where I want it to be held. I think the perfect type of wedding is one where two people really love each other and, if that's the case, it shouldn't matter where it is.

The perfect album: Moon Safari - Air.

The perfect accent: Northern! Specifically Lancashire or Yorkshire.

The perfect date: Drinks followed by good food followed by more drinks. With a lot of laughter, a bit of flirting and that excited feeling you get in the pit of your stomach.

The perfect weather: Rain on the window whilst I'm tucked up indoors. Or a beautiful British Summer's day with not a cloud in the sky. I refuse to choose.

The perfect party: One with all my closest friends, cocktails and the Eurovision Song Contest. Much like the one I went to on Saturday in fact.

The perfect sport: Football. I support Manchester United. Get over it. I'm also a sucker for the Olympics and have been known to stay up until all hours watching the gymnastics.

The perfect thing to say: Let's go on an adventure. Or, 'Shall we go to Nandos?'. Ha.

The perfect day of the week: Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Saturday. Basically any day on which I can do what I please and not have to go to work.

Ah, perfect....

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Escape to the country...

Glenridding, The Lake District

Do you ever get the urge to run away?

That's exactly how I feel today. I'm not particularly sad or down or worried about anything. I'm just.... restless. After Friday I've got five days off work and I want to go on an adventure. I want to go to the country and see beautiful sights and breathe in clean air and wake up under canvas, the smell of bacon in the air. I want to walk up hills till my legs hurt and sit in cosy pubs with pints of cider.

Maybe I am sad, maybe that's why I want to run away for a few days. I don't know. My Dad's got something wrong with him and we don't know what it is. He's having scans this week. Hopefully the results will come next week. Hopefully it won't be anything serious. Hopefully. Whatever it is, it's never easy having to face the mortality of your parents. Or anyone close to you for that matter. So maybe I am sad. Maybe I feel helpless and worried and a little bit scared.

Maybe I just need to get away for a couple of days.

Maybe then I'll feel ok again.

Friday 15 May 2009

Blowing my own trumpet

Because if you don't, why should anyone else?

I've been feeling a little introspective this week...

Maybe it's because my parents have been away and it's the first lengthy spell of alone time I've had in ages. Maybe it's because of the miserable weather. Maybe it's because of misunderstandings and misconstruances. Whatever it is, I'm dragging myself out of it right now. And, to start, I'm following Smidge's lead and giving myself 5 compliments. Because, you know what, I deserve them and how you can expect anybody else to compliment you if you can't do it yourself?

1) I'm incredibly caring and loyal. I really am. If I let you into my life and trust you, I'll do anything in my power to be there for you and make sure you're happy. I regularly go out of my way to support the people who mean the most to me. Whether that's a phone call, a simple 'are you ok?' text message, or a car journey to see them, I do it. Gladly.

2) I'm completely non-judgmental. Tell me anything. Go on. I won't judge you. It's just not my style. I may giggle, I may give you a withering look, but there's nothing you can tell me about something you've done that will make me think any less of you. Unless it's murder or something. That's not cool.

3) I've changed myself into a person I actually love. It took a long time to get here but I'm finally proud of the person I am. I'm not perfect, who is? However, in the space of six months, I've overhauled myself to such an extent that the sincerity of it has been questioned. But the questions are completely unfounded. Contrary to popular belief, people can and do change. I may have my off days but I can genuinely say, without a shred of doubt, that I am now completely honest, both with myself and others, at all times. There is not one word that comes out of my mouth that I don't wholeheartedly mean. I've turned myself into an optimist, always seeing the glass as half full, and I find so much joy in life these days.

4) I'm honest about my feelings. I believe in telling someone how I feel. I wear my heart on my sleeve and, although there are negatives to this, at least I'm honest about my feelings. I don't hide parts of myself away for fear of looking weak or pathetic. What you see is what you get. I cry, I get upset, I'm immature to the point of ridiculousness. If I do these things in front of you then it means I trust you, be thankful for that. I don't see natural human emotions as a sign of weakness and, if people show me their fleshy underbelly (oo-er), it only endears them to me more.

5) I'm a witty beast. No really, I am. Humour used to be a defence mechanism for me back in the bad old days. Not so much these days. I have an extensive vocabulary and I know how to use it. The ability to indulge in word play is, to me, one of the most attractive qualities a person can possess. It's geeky, it's intelligent and it's downright sexy. Throw wordy witticisms at me and I'll most likely be your friend for life.

I actually really enjoyed that. I think that being British discourages us from taking a long hard look at ourselves and pointing out our strengths, not just our weaknesses. We're a self-depreciating nation who find it difficult to stand up and say just how fabulous we are. Well I demand that it stops, now. So....

What do you love about yourself?

Thursday 14 May 2009

The eternal battle

Roll up! Roll up!

Ladies and gentlemen. Today I'm going to talk about the differences between men and women. I don't profess to be an expert. I don't even profess to know all that much about it. But I'm going to do it anyway. Because it's my blog (and I'll cry if I want to).

Men and women are like night and day. Ying and yang. Pork chops and apple sauce. They go together extremely well but they're fundamentally different.

Exhibit A: Problem solving:

Men want to find solutions to problems when their girlfriends/wives/friends/relations/concubines talk about them. The women in question most likely want to do just that. TALK about them. I don't want you to solve my problems for me, I'm more than capable of doing that on my own. I just want you to make sympathetic noises and then make a smutty remark to make me laugh.

Exhibit B: Arguments:

Men + women = arguments. It's inevitable. Whether it's a little tiff, a bout of ignoring or a full blown windowpane rattling slanging match, arguments happen. Men want to ignore what's happened and talk about it at a later date, when both parties have calmed down. Women want to sort it out there and then. It's a woman's instinct to fix whatever is wrong immediately. To this end, I also think a lot of men hold grudges far more than women do. It's an argument, get over it. It's not the end of the world. It doesn't mean that it's all just a big waste of time and that you're obviously wholly incompatible. It just means you're human. Everyone argues. FACT. It's how you move on and learn from the arguments that matters, not the fact you had one in the first place.

Exhibit C: When men have problems:

If a man has a problem very often he retreats into his 'cave'. He wants to be on his own and to think about it in his own time and his own way. He wants space. The woman, however, sees that he's down and wants to help. She wants to comfort him and make sympathetic noises. Note: She never wants to solve his problems for him (see above). Women are nurturing, caring creatures. Don't push them away when they're trying to help.

Exhibit D: The concept of space:

Both people in any sort of relationship have the right to want space from the other person. That's a given. However, the way they go about getting said space is often very different, depending on their gender. Women will often be upfront and say it. 'I just need a bit of space from you. You've done nothing wrong, don't worry. I just fancy a bit of me time.' Men, on the other hand, sometimes push women away. Be it with snide words, ignoring phone calls, hurtful actions. Men say things to make the woman go away. But the women don't realise that things are just being said because the men are stressed or tired or in need of some alone time. So they take those things to heart. And, because of this, they cling, because they think they're the problem. Pushing away = clinging. It's a vicious cycle. Just be honest with me. Isn't that all any of us crave? It's completely normal to get annoyed by someone and to want some time out. But don't expect me to be a mind reader, give me a clue.

And thus concludes my study into the male and female genders. Of course, some or all of this may not apply to some or all of the people, some or all of the time. But it's just a few things that I've come to realise over the past couple of years. And I'm making my peace with it.

The fact is, men and women are both crazy. It's just about finding someone whose craziness you can learn to accept, help them through and maybe even find endearing.

Friday 8 May 2009

Tis the season...

Ain't it the truth

Festival season is almost upon us...

Well, kind of. Glastonbury is only 7 weeks away at any rate and that little nugget of realisation was enough to send me into full on panic/excitement/spiralling out of control mode earlier. I spiralled so far out of control that I spent £45 on some wellies. I feel it was a necessary purchase though as my trusty leopard print numbers died a sad and tragic death at V last year. They sprung holes, let in water and mud and eventually I just had to say goodbye. I abandoned them in the car park along with my pride, dignity and 7 hours of my life (nothing worse than queuing to get OUT of a car park). So I'm now the proud owner of some green Hunter adjustable wellington boots (adjustable to fit round my gargantuan calves). Who on earth do I think I am? Kate 'where's your daughter' Moss? Please.


In celebration of the close proximity of festival joy I bring you....

My Top Ten Festival Moments (in no particular order):

1) My friend Emma falling in the nettles in the permaculture garden at Glastonbury in 2007. We'd spent the afternoon in the Jazzworld Field getting progressively drunker, louder and more obnoxious on Brothers festival strength cider. We then attempted to traverse the Green Fields and said nettle disaster occurred. On texting her boyfriend Emma received the following response "But it's not even time for Emmerdale yet". Daytime drinking for you there.

2) Dame Shirley Bassey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, again in 2007. She wore wellies with 'DSB' encrusted in rhinestones, sang 'Big Spender' twice ("you've paid your money, you can have it again") and exited the festival in a helicopter. Legend.

3) Me having an emotional drunken breakdown and heckling Amy Winehouse at V last year. C had to take me back to the tent and, as I was so utterly drunk, the only way I could get there was to make up a song and time my footsteps to the beat. It went thusly "Moo moo moo, I'm a moo, everyone's a moo, we're all moos. Moo moo moo." No, I don't know either. It was 6pm. FAIL.

4) Seeing Altern8 DJ at Bloom last year. Sunday afternoon + early 90s rave anthems = complete and utter joy.

5) Seeing Bill Bailey close Glastonbury in 2007. There was 2 feet of mud, the rain was coming in sideways, I didn't have so much as a poncho to keep me dry. He was incredible.

6) An utterly bizarre moment at Glastonbury in 2004 when James Hewitt served me cider from the Brothers bar. Yes, he's the man who had an affair with Princess Diana. No, I don't know why he was there. But it was definitely him.

7) Fancy dress day at Bloom last year. Highlights (no pun intended) were the two men dressed as highlighter pens, the hoards of old people and the two men with eyeballs for heads, wearing top hats.

8) Muse at Glastonbury in 2004 and last year at V. Two of the most incredible performances I've ever seen. I don't often listen to their music in the comfort of my own home but for sheer theatrics and take-your-breath-away-ness, you really can't beat them live.

9) C trying to smuggle a bag of wine into the V festival arena by putting it down his trousers. We got it inside and hilarity then ensued when he poked the spout out of his fly and poured the wine into cups. We got a lot of comedy mileage out of that one, let me tell you.

10) Getting so incredibly sunburnt at Glastonbury 2003 (my first one!) that I woke up the next day with a face like the elephant man. The evening before, following too much alcohol, I felt rather unwell. I crawled back to the tent and was promptly sick. Convinced I was going to die, I was practically writing my own will. I thought I'd been poisoned. It was sunstroke. I spent most of the next day in the tent with moisturising baby wipes on my face shouting 'I am not an animal'. Dark times my friend, dark times.

There are many many more moments that I cherish from my festival going experiences. However, many are of a more 'adult' nature and so not really suitable for airing on a blog. Rest assured though, there's never been a dull festival moment for me.

Wednesday 6 May 2009


The Heart Nebula

New beginnings and second chances. Best things ever?

I've become convinced recently that the human heart's capacity for forgiveness is huge. Although the ability to forget may take a little longer, it's forgiveness that's the most important thing. Once forgiveness comes you have the chance to move the forgetting part along a little bit faster. I've done many things in my life that I'm not particularly proud of and, sadly, I'm sure I'll do many more in the future. It's human nature. But what I am certain of now is that I won't make the same mistakes again.

I spent a long time - years actually - repeating mistake after mistake after mistake. Relationship mistakes, drunken mistakes, money mistakes, education mistakes. I couldn't see it at the time of course. I couldn't see that my behaviour had become self-perpetuating. I couldn't see that I'd become a victim. I was always ready to blame someone else for the way I was, particularly a boy who broke my heart when I was only 20. I think I used him as an excuse so that I wouldn't have to face up to the fact that the problem was me. Sure, he was the one who broke my trust. He was the one who made me scared of ever finding happiness again, in case it got snatched away once more. But it was me who allowed him to have a hold over me. It was me who allowed him to affect every single subsequent relationship that I've been in. It was me who allowed myself to be treated the way I've been treated.

Well not anymore.

I am no longer a victim. Over the past few months I've become someone that I actually like. Someone who deserves respect and who won't settle for anything less. And I'm actually pretty proud of that. Ironically, it took losing the one person thing I thought I couldn't live without to force me to make the changes. But change I have. And, although I still have my off days, the girl I used to be is gone for good.

And you know what? I don't miss her at all.

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Nation Schmation

Roll up! Roll up! Come to the Circus!

So, did we all have a riproaring Bank Holiday?

My Saturday night was spent at Circus @ Nation in Liverpool (lineup here). I'd been really excited about it all week and was looking forward to dancing till the wee small hours and trudging home at dawn. Alas, once again, Nation let us down. The crowd, the venue, the bored looks on the faces of the DJs. All of the above were seriously disappointing. Yet I still managed to have a great time, mainly thanks to some half decent music and the company I was with.

The rest of the night/following day in bulletpoint form:
  • Gin and tonics. 47% export strength. Yum
  • C on his decks. My own personal DJ
  • Sefton Park at 8am. Tree climbing and nearly falling asleep underneath a particularly inviting tree
  • Series 1 of Monkey Dust
  • Series 1 of Flight of the Conchords
  • Peep Show (if comedy watching was an olympic sport I would win gold)
  • An episode of LOST that we talked over. I heart Desmond
  • Bacon sandwiches
  • More gin and tonics
  • Laughter
  • More laughter

So, all in all? Not too shabby at all. In fact, it was pretty darn awesome. The moral of the story? Making your own entertainment can sometimes be a lot more fun.

What was not so awesome was having to get up at 3.45 yesterday morning to deposit the parents at Manchester Airport. 3.45! am! On a Bank Holiday! The beasts.

What joys did the weekend bring you?

Saturday 2 May 2009

Terribly happy

Glastonbury 2008

Hello there my little Saturday cherubs...

Today is going to be a good day. No, a great day. I can feel it. Naomi over at Rockstar Diaries has been doing a lovely little feature where people name 10 things that make them terribly happy. So, in the spirit of Bank Holiday joy, here are mine.....

1) Piglets
2) Wearing my pink tutu and swooshing around
3) Being tucked up in bed whilst it's raining outside
4) Days in the country - pubs, walking, camping, laughing
5) Festivals
6) Sitting in the sun with a glass of wine and friends
7) The ache I get in my legs when I've been to the gym
8) When you're in a nightclub and you hear a song that you've always wanted to hear whilst out
9) Learning new things
10) Buying gifts for people that I know they'll really love

What 10 things make you terribly happy?