Sunday 28 February 2010

Free bitch baby

I've been feeling odd all morning.

This may have something to do with the fact that I went out last night and drank my body weight in gin, pink champagne (a girl's got to celebrate a promotion in style) and cocktails. It may have something to do with the fact that I sent an email at 3am that I really shouldn't have sent. It may also have something to do with the fact I've only had four hours sleep.

But a minute ago it hit me. The real reason why I feel strange.

I don't have to do anything today.

I don't have to be anywhere or do ANYTHING. I can't remember the last time this happened. I can sit on the sofa underneath my slanket and watch Eastenders. I can weep silently into my raging hangover. I can have a nap. I can watch DVDs. I can do whatever I like. It feels very very strange.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to resent alcohol and not eat cheese. Oh, how I wish I could eat cheese.

Friday 26 February 2010

Good things hunting

The Good:

Another promotion at work and a hefty payrise.
A weekend in London in April. (London people, let's hang!)
Barcelona, obv.
Northern Quarter drinking tomorrow night.
A selection weekend for the Festival Branch of the charity next week. In an old boarding school. Late night drinking and flouting of lights out rules ahoy!
A weekend in Nottingham in March. I miss it.

The Bad:

I've started having migraines. I had my first one about three weeks and I've had a couple since. Why?
Insomnia and resulting tiredness the next day is making life difficult.
I fear I may have taken on too much.
A shift at the charity tonight. I love it but today I'm just not in the mood. I want to lie in a darkened room.

The Ugly:

Well, nothing really. Life is beautiful.

Tell me yours! Do you have any exciting plans for the next few weeks? Any annoyances currently grinding your gears? Have a lovely weekend folks xx

Only in dreams

My insomnia has reared its ugly head.

I'd been sleeping like a baby for months. My past sleep problems had vanished into thin air and, although I wasn't quite getting the requisite eight hours (more like six), I was always fairly well rested.

Until last week.

For the last eight days I've been really struggling to get to sleep. When I do eventually manage it I've been having incredibly vivid dreams. Dreams so intense that they wake me up and cause my head to spin. The subject of the dreams? C. Always. Inevitably.

Sometimes the dreams are of normal every day situations. Sunday mornings spent entwined in the duvet, papers spread out between us, the smell of fresh coffee in the air. An arm around me. A stroke of the hand. A smile. Sunlight streaming into the room. Sometimes the dreams involve frightening situations or situations so bizarre as to leave me confused when I wake, wondering what is reality and what is dream.

I'm not sure where these dreams have come from. I'm not aware that I've been thinking and lamenting and wondering a particularly huge amount. Is it my subconscious telling me that something is missing? Telling me that I'm not as happy and content as I think I am? Or am I reading too much into it?

I don't know. I'd like it to stop though. It only makes things harder.

Wednesday 24 February 2010


"We are becoming the men we wanted to marry..."

There are many ways to interpret those words (a quote I saw on Gala's site). We're becoming nasty, because women always want bad boys? We're becoming stronger and more self-sufficient, because women like those qualities in men? We're earning more and providing for ourselves, rather than waiting for a man to do it?

In the past year I've become tougher than I ever imagined possible. I've dealt with everything that's been thrown at me and emerged (relatively) unscathed and all the stronger for it. I spend a lot of my time volunteering... walking dogs and listening to those in need. I go running. I go to the gym. I eat healthily and drink a fraction of the alcohol that I used to. I laugh. I work hard (most of the time). I'm not afraid to cry. I'm fiesty and I stand up for myself, no matter what.

I spend my time loving my life.

I've always wanted to marry a man like that.

Maybe, just maybe, I've become someone he could have married.

Monday 22 February 2010

An hour in the life of...

Saturday morning:

7.00am - Alarm goes off. Mild panic ensues as I think I'm late for work. As the panic subsides horror takes over as I realise I've got a duty at the charity. Still hit the snooze button anyway.

7.09am - Snoozed alarm goes off. Deny all knowledge of volunteering commitments. Hit snooze.

7.18am - Second snooze is over. Swear a bit. Kick legs in air in manner of small child. Have tantrum.

7.19am - Tantrum over. Put contact lenses in, attempt to drag brush through hair that has become a rats' nest over night (what DO I do in my sleep?).

7.21am - Bathroom-tastic. Spend too long brushing teeth as become mesmerised by sight of own, terrifying reflection.

7.35am - Attempt to find clothes that don't make me look like a bag lady and/or mad.

7.36am - Give up the search and fling on nearest clothes. Look in mirror. Curse fact I look like a bag lady. And mad.

7.40am - Stumble downstairs, set off house alarm, wake entire street up. Nice work, Helen.

7.45am - Shove food in mouth and try to chew. Do not like bananas at the best of times, let alone pre-8am on a Saturday morning.

7.46am - Resent life and all it contains.

7.50am - Finish chewing banana, try to hold back retching.

7.51am - Leave house. Realise car is iced over. Swear. At car. At myself. At weather. At pigeons.

7.52am - Find de-icer. De-ice car.

7.55am - Get in car. Turn heating on.

8.00am - Drive away from house in a whirlwind of dread, resentment and banana hating. Realise morning is quite pretty. Stop moaning.

Friday 19 February 2010

Things that make me unfeasibly happy #1

The fact that I've just managed to make 'For the Love of Money' by The O'Jays into a ringtone for my iPhone using this how to guide. I've been singing it in my head all week (and sometimes out loud, just to give my work mates some aural pleasure) (aural, love that word). Hurrah.

Money money money money.... MONEY!!!

Friday, cryday

I've been feeling a little bit weepy this week.

The reasons are varied and numerous but largely stem from the fact that I've not been sleeping much and/or very well. Also see: women's 'issues' (and the accompanying hormonal mania), work stress and, most ridiculously, the realisation that I can't remember what his voice sounds like. Silly, eh?

So, to cheer myself up here's a list of things that are currently making my eyes dance and my mouth grin:
  • CHATROULOLZ. If you've not heard of Chat Roulette yet then where have you been? The concept is genius but I'm too terrified of seeing an old perv touching himself to actually try it myself. Or a young perv for that matter. Penises = just not that pretty. Sorry.
  • This 'Ooh, cake time' mug. I may not be able to have cake at the moment but it doesn't stop me dreaming of that glorious day in the far off future when I can indulge myself and stick my head into a giant chocolate fudge cake. Yes, right into it. Like a trough.
  • Daily Burn. It appeals to my complusive, obsessive nature. I like to be able to track the exercise I do, the amount I weigh and the amount I've lost. Graphs please me.
  • Fennel tea; M&S grapefruits; Slimming World chips (they're really tasty, honestly); making rubber band balls; getting excited about Glastonbury even though there's still four months to go; exciting new writing opportunities; lighter mornings and finishing work before the sun sets; laughing, always; and.......

The fact that I'm going to Barcelona in seven weeks!!!!

Oh yes. My gorgeous friend N and I are heading off for a jaunt in April. The flights are booked and paid for. Things to do: find cheap accommodation, save some money, brace self for 4 days of tapas, booze and pure joy. Hurrah. I cannot wait. Hints, tips and recommendations will be gratefully accepted!

What are your plans for the weekend, my lovelies?

Thursday 18 February 2010

Snap snap snap

I've been naughty.

I've bought myself a new camera. A rather expensive (for me, anyway) new camera. It arrived yesterday and I'm completely smitten. It's love at first sight. I predict that this is one love affair that won't end in heartbreak and me gaining two stone by stuffing myself with pork pies.

It's going to take me a while to figure out how to use it properly (I've only ever had point and shoots before now), hence the slightly out of focus nature of the photo above. I've wanted a decent camera for years but have always been too afraid of spending such a huge amount of money on something that is, essentially, a luxury. After my car it's the most expensive thing I've ever bought. Frightening.

Still, it's a fairly major thing to cross off my Big 50 list. I just need to learn how to use it now.

Any hints, tips, suggestions of things I need to buy (extra lenses? I got an 18mm-55mm one with the camera) and links to helpful sites would be appreciated.

For now, I give you the second photo I took with it last night. Well interesting I'm sure you'll agree...

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run run run!

I have a difficult relationship with running.

Difficult as in I'm not very good at it. And I don't like doing things that I'm not very good at.

The reason (well two reasons) I'm not very good at it?


I am, ahem, fairly well endowed in the boobular region. Too well endowed for my liking actually and I'm hoping that my continued weight loss will go some way towards reducing the girls to bearable proportions. Anyway, boobs hurt when you run. Mine do anyway (note to self: buy a new sports bra). And I don't generally want to run the risk of two black eyes, so I avoid running like the plague.

So why on earth have I signed up for a 5k Race for Life in June?

The reasons are threefold:

1) My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Six years on and she's cancer free. My Aunty too has had breast cancer. She was diagnosed 16 years ago and thought she'd beaten it for good. She found out a couple of months ago that it's come back.
2) Running will hopefully help me hit my Slimming World target sooner than I would otherwise.
3) I'd just really like to be able to run.

If any of you lovely, lovely people would like to sponsor me then there's a little button over on the right there. Or you can just click here. Obviously I'd really appreciate it and will send good thoughts and love your way for all eternity if you can spare a few quid. It might even motivate me to actually start training for the damn thing!

Big love x

EDIT: It's not until 19th June, so there's plenty of time to scrape some pennies together. G, I'm looking at you.

Sunday 14 February 2010


Dear Valentine's Day, 
I don't really like you. I never have, even when in a relationship. This year, however, you've grown on me slightly. I got some lovely cards from some lovely friends and I'm off for lunch with yet another lovely friend. I have a lot of love in my life, and I see that now more than ever before.

Dear LCD Soundsystem,
I love you. 'Something Great' is my song of choice right now. Thankyou for recording it.

Dear Slimming World,
Thankyou thank you thankyou. You've changed my life. I love the way I think about food now and I finally feel like I'm beating my demons.

Dear cottage cheese,
I will never love you. I'm sorry. I've tried, really I have. I can't get over your lumps.

Dear chocolate cake,
I miss you. I miss you a whole lot. I will always love you but we just weren't meant to be.

Dear future plans,
I'm excited. I'm excited to live you and experience you and love you.

Dear Davina,
Your exercise DVDs are HARD WORK. They make me feel like I'm about to collapse and/or vomit. But I love them all the same, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Dear friends,
Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful people. You know I love you, no matter what.

Dear Mum & Dad,
I love that you're so happy together after almost 40 years of marriage. Dad, I love that you gave Mum her first ever Valentine's card today. Even if I did have to buy it for you.

Dear C,
I don't think I need to say anything really. I love that we tried. I love that I met you. You showed me who I want to be.

Dear love,
I love you xx

Saturday 13 February 2010

The one where I become an adult (possibly)

 The new rave?

I was on an overnight duty at the charity last night.

11pm 'til 5am, baby. After a full day at work which had been followed by drinks and a catch up with my friend, B. I think it's fairly safe to say that at 5.45 am this morning (when the duty actually finished, thanks to a caller who rang at 4.58am) I looked not like death but like a piece of chewing gum stuck on the sole of death's shoe. Fairly grim is a semi accurate description. Dead witch is more accurate.

I then took it upon myself to go to Tesco. That's just how I roll.

It wasn't until I was driving home, Gregor Tresher's 'A Thousand Nights' blaring at ear-splitting volume in order to keep my eyes open, that it dawned on me.

A year ago at 5.45am I would have been crawling home from a nightclub, still raring to go. Get in to the house, tiptoeing so as not to wake housemates. Gin and tonic. C on the decks. Fighting sleep until at least 11pm. Squeezing as much out of the weekend as possible. More drink. Comedy DVDs. Duvet. Party party party.

These days at 5.45am I'm buying ingredients to make Slimming World chicken tikka masala, having spent the night listening, encouraging and offering support to people who need it (and fending off calls from horny perverts).

Am I a grown up now?

Friday 12 February 2010

He doesn't look a thing like Jesus...

Happy (early) V Day, one and all.

And to one in particular, wherever he may be xx

Thursday 11 February 2010


This week is great. Super great in fact.

The reasons are varied and numerous but include the following:

  • I got Slimmer of the Week at my group meeting on Tuesday. WOOP. I've lost 10.5 pounds in three weeks and am feeling ridiculsouly smug about it. The whole story, including the back history to my whole 'issues with food' mania is over on my slimming blog (if you want the address, let me know).
  • I've been coveting a French Connection cardigan for MONTHS. Last time I checked the website I couldn't find it so assumed they'd stopped selling it. Then, as I was trawling my bookmarks today, I found that I'd saved the direct link to it. Click. Reduced from £65 to £26. SCORE!
  •  I had the most incredible salad for my lunch. Now, me and salad have always had a tricky relationship. I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it. Really I did. But I could never get beyond mild disdain. It wasn't filling, it was too green, it didn't have any joyous fat in it. Salad, I take back everything I ever said about you. The slander, the vitriol, the hatred. I now love you. If anything, I think this shows how much I've actually changed the way I think about food in just three weeks. I always choose the healthier option now and where as before I was constantly thinking about when I could next have a McMuffin or some crisps, now I don't even consider them as viable choices.
  • I saw Precious last night and loved it. As much as you can "love" a film that contains rape, incest, obesity, illiteracy and pigs feet being eaten. It was funny, heartwrenching, shocking, at times uncomfortable viewing and I loved the style of cinematography. There were also some incredible shots of Harlem. I love Harlem. Big style.
  • The sun is shining. Spring is wending her merry way towards us. Faster than a speeding crocus.

Apologies for the bullet points, by the way. My mind is just ridiculously busy at the moment and I'm unable to actually write a well constructed paragraph. Bad blogger.

Monday 8 February 2010

Tweet tweet

So I'm sure you're all on tenterhooks, just waiting for some tales of debauchery from the girly tweet up that happened at the weekend. You're not? Shame on you. You should be. Because there was debauchery. And a lot of laughter. And a sighting of Mat Horne. And lime thievery. And the most beautiful apartment you've ever seen.

However, what happens at the tweet up stays at the tweet up and no more shall pass my lips.

Verdict? Lovely ladies. Really lovely. I had an awesome time and cannot wait for the next one!

Verdict on Mat Horne?
Short. Really short. Sammy still would though.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Beautiful Blogger?

Lots of thanks to the lovely Anything Fits a Naked Man for giving me this award. I'm not sure exactly how beautiful either myself or this blog really are but I do love me a compliment. I'm supposed to list seven interesting things about myself and then tag seven other bloggers. My problem is this: I've been writing in this blog now for almost 18 months. I've done a few of these 'interesting facts' lists now and I'm not sure how many things there are left to tell, aside from TMI things that noone needs to hear. (FYI, buy me a large gin 'n' tonic and I'll tell you as many TMI things as your heart desires). Let's see what I can come up with...

1) I fear window cleaners. Not as a general rule, you understand. No, I only fear windowcleaners if I'm in the room of which they are cleaning the windows. Example: I was sitting at my desk this morning, happily minding my own business, obsessively checking Twitter/drinking green tea/avoiding work. All of a sudden the top of a ladder appears at the window. The Fear begins. The window cleaner climbs the ladder, merrily sloshing his bucket of water about, squeegee in hand. And then it happens. We make eye contact. I spend the next ten minutes not knowing where to look. Awkwardness pervades my every movement. I blush for no reason at all. That is why I fear window cleaners.

2) I cannot use the toilet at work if someone else is in another cubicle. I have no idea why. I just can't do it. Call it stage fright. Call it being a girl and not wanting anyone to know that I wee. Call it whatever you like. It all boils down to the fact that I am a giant freak.

3) I was once held at knife point at a bus stop in Nottingham. On the same street I also once saw a man waving a gun about. Both of these things may give you a clue as to why I left Nottingham.

4) I get extremely upset when I hear about animal cruelty or abuse of the elderly. If I know there's going to be a news story about it I usually switch off as I'd just rather not know. I find it very hard to forget things that upset me like that and I regularly cry at the news. Sometimes thinking about the world that we live in makes me terribly sad. For the most part though I'm a very chipper person and I genuinely see the wonderful things that exist, rather than the awful.

5) I cannot think about what happens when you die (not that I think about it often) without my brain hurting. Similarly, I find it hard to think about what would happen if the world ended. Who would know it had ended? What would there be? See? BRAIN OUCH.

6) I have never seen Gladiator. Apparently this is shocking. See also Cocktail, Braveheart, Die Hard, The Godfather. Until I met C I'd also never seen Ghostbusters.

7) My favourite song in the whole world is 'You Got the Love' by Candi Staton. It always makes me smile and reminds me of many happy times in my life. Bizarrely I always seem to hear it whenever I need it the most. Many a time when I've been sad and driving somewhere it's started playing on the radio.

So, there you go. I'm not sure how 'interesting' those facts were but I got nothin' else! I tag Smidge, Jenn, PJB, Jeni and anyone else who feels like having a go.

Friday 5 February 2010

Schönes Wochenende!

What does the weekend have in store for you my darlings?

I for one am looking forward to two days of pure unadulterated fun. Tonight I shall be mostly dying my hair to refresh my raven-ness, drinking water, eating wasabi peas, watching The Wire and possible indulging in a (small) glass of white wine. I know how to partay.

In truth though I'm merely saving myself for tomorrow. 12 girls. 1 city. Untold carnage. Yes, it's the Girly Manchester Blogging Tweet-Up. Or GMBTU as I like to call it. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Although, coincidentally and completely uninterestingly that's the name of a Trade Union that I do cases for. I think they may have more important things to deal with than wine, pretty boys and high high heels though. Poor them.

Yes, today I am mostly speaking gibberish.

Why? Because I'm giddy. And why am I giddy? The sun is shining! Now all I can think about is Summer. Beer gardens, ice lollies, ice cold cider, barbecues, festivals, light nights, the smell of freshly cut grass lingering in the air. I cannot wait.

But first, the weekend cometh! Tell me your plans oh gorgeous ones!

Wednesday 3 February 2010



I got home from work over three hours ago. My poor little trotters still haven't thawed out. Even sitting 'neath the Slanket of Dreams (tm) for the last hour hasn't helped. Pointy silver shoes may make you feel like a joyous little elf, Helen, but they are not suitable for a snowy day in February. Silly girl.

Also, is it ok to still wear my Henry Holland alphabet tights despite the humungous ladder blighting the same? No? Thought not. £11 well spent there. Marvellous.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Luck is believing you're lucky, that's all...

Today I need to ask you a favour, dear reader.

At 3pm I have a meeting. A very important meeting. Possibly one of the most important meetings of my life.

I need you to cross your fingers for me. Pray for me (if that's your bag). Think good thoughts for me. Send good luck winging its way to me on the breeze.

If you do, I'll buy you a cupcake. Maybe. Possibly. Probably not. But I will be very grateful.

Monday 1 February 2010

Enter the crypt

I'm feeling completely on edge today.

But not in a bad way. Well, maybe in a slightly bad way. I feel like I'm at a crossroads and it perplexes me. It's time to make some big decisions. Big, scary, potentially life changing decisions. Decisions that could take me far from here, or not so far at all. Decisions that could affect my whole career, life, future happiness et al. There are things in the pipeline that are potentially very exciting but something's niggling me. A little voice at the back of my head. The same little voice that tells me I'm not good enough or that I look too fat in that dress. The voice that is 99% quieter than it used to be but that still rears its ugly head occasionally.

I'm being cryptic I know and for that I apologise. But, for now, crypticity (is that even a word?) is wholly necessary. At least until my poor befuddled brain works out what it wants. What it really, really wants. (Check me out with my mid-90's pop references, I'm so topical)