Thursday, 26 August 2010

Er...Hello Again. Remember Me?

Wow. It's been a while since the last one. Quick recap on the year and a half that have flown by...

- Got an iphone which now is never out of my hand for twenty minutes
- Moved to North London which, as I fully suspected, is full of drug dealers, crack whores and fried chicken shops.
- Seen a few friends get married, have babies and move out of London.
- One of the BFF's has bucked the trend and moved to London.
- Been on a few sailing trips, and despite my fear of water and not being able to swim, have quite enjoyed it.
- The other BFF has turned bionic.
- Fell in love with the most amazing boy.

Not a bad year then.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

My Friend Liz

My lovely friend Liz is getting married soon and I'm heading up to Newcastle for her hen weekend this Friday. We're putting together a book for her and I've been trying to write something to put in there. The only thing that I can think of is lists, and this is what I've got so far. I never realised how difficult it is to write something meaningful without sounding cheesy and trite.

What can I say about the fabulous Liz? So many fun memories… A lot of them involve travel of some kind…

Like the time she booked us all into a crackhouse in Essex for a friend’s wedding. I’ve never stayed in such a ramshackle place in my life, and I’ve been inter-railing round Europe on a budget of £5 a day.

The free champagne at the same wedding, and the crazy dancing that went along with it.

Visiting Eli in Exeter for the weekend where Liz had the entire day off work and still managed to miss the train. It also transpired that she’d brought just winter clothes on what was the hottest weekend of the year. And no pyjamas.

Going to Kenya and Uganda for a business trip in early 2006. Highlights include: Liz wearing her pyjamas on the plane, her raggedy old duck wash bag, sharing a plane with a Kenyan deportee who cried and wailed for the whole flight, kissing rescued giraffes at the giraffe sanctuary, her falling over in the bathroom and soaking herself and holding up the whole bus (it’s not a holiday you know!), listening to inappropriate stories about tampons during a dinner with the British Council, and generally laughing a lot and not doing a great deal of work. Thanks for a really great and memorable trip Liz!

I remember Mark coming to meet her at the station when we got back. He’d brought a little bag of essentials like milk for a cuppa when she got home. That’s how I knew he was a keeper – it’s the little things that mean the most.

I wish you both all the happiness in the world, and am thrilled that I get to share your big day with you. I know the past few years of love and laughter are only an indication of the joys to come as you set out on your life together. Thank you for showing the world that love really does exist!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Texts in my inbox, volume 1

  • That's nice. Poke the infected eye then touch the other one.
  • There are some nice looking boys...and beer. This is a good Friday night entertainment.
  • Swyddfa!!! One ginger on the train half tipsy!
  • Glasto was amazing just wish I had started going earlier. Def going next year. Failed dramatically with the she pee.
  • Pants. Can you cut off a bit of his hair for me as a keepsake?
  • I want to go home and boil myself clean.
  • No I've got bacon feet
  • Someone's got penis envy...
  • Bloody hell. Have you been at home all day watching the Wire instead of going to work?!
  • Merry Smurfday!
  • My brain hurts
  • But I'm like a good red wine...I'm getting better with age.
  • Deal. Are we called Sex Panther? Or All rock and no roll? Even though we'd prob just be all roll. It could be ironic and therefore awesome.
  • Iw roper drunk and fveked i need help
  • I'm working on perfecting margaritas...the fun is in the journey.
  • It's ok my dad's a fish.
  • Just been stopped and handed a mag about noah and god! She told me to read it and learn how to be saved. Do i look like i need to be saved?!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Random thoughts

My evening meal tonight consisted of a tin of sardines eaten straight out of the tin whilst standing over the cooker waiting for a pan of water to boil. The pan of water was for steaming some broccoli that I needed to eat before it started to turn yellow. A balanced and nutritious meal if ever I saw one. I have friends who are dropping sprogs all over the place, and bringing new human life into the world, and I'm still eating fish out of a can and mouldy vegetables.

On another note, I met up with Sis#3 yesterday and we went round to her flat for coffee after dinner. She lives in Sloane Square, just off King's Road and for those folks who don't live in London, this area in general is full of very wealthy and very pompous people. I decided to get the bus home as it would be easier than changing several times due to the Victoria Line not working. At the bus stop, who should I come across, but a group of yoofs. They may all have been wearing expensive blazers and designer jeans and talking in very posh voices but they were still doing exactly the same as the yoofs on the council estates dressed in Adidas. They were just hanging out, drinking beer from cans, swearing, spitting, and generally being very loud and annoying. It's funny how urban tribes may live in completely different worlds, but at the same time, strip away the superficial stuff like clothes and accents and they're participating in exactly the same rituals and practices.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

It's only a game

So the new football season has started. I wouldn’t normally care, but last season I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I joined in the Fantasy Football shenanigans and entered my own team. To my horror, I found that I actually really enjoyed it. There’s something about trying to second guess what’s going to happen in games and gloating over mates when you manage to move ahead of them in the league. By sheer luck (although I told everyone it was sheer skill) my team actually managed to do quite well and after leading for quite some time, I came first in my work league and fairly well in my friends league. This pissed off a lot of people, which is my specialty I’m told, so it was to be expected really.

I used to be a big football fan when I was younger. The onset of puberty and my fascination with 22 hunky men in shorts running around a field was no co-incidence. I seriously believed that I was destined to marry Ryan Giggs. At the age of 11, the first ever Valentine’s card I ever sent was to him. The heartbreak and disappointment when J17 published pictures of him holding up sacks and sacks of similar cards from like-minded 11 year old girls was unbearable. It still hurts a little now just thinking of it. So began my support of the mighty Man U, and a crazy obsession that went as far as spending all my pocket money on football magazines like Match and FourFourTwo, and religiously recording Match of the Day. Not because I was out partying and I would miss it. I was 12 and had the most over-protective parents in the world. Going out into the garden after Neighbours wasn’t allowed. No, I would watch it on Saturday night, whilst recording it so that I could watch it over and over again throughout the week. I was a very dull child with obsessive tendencies.

Nowadays, I think one of the most interesting things about football is finding out which teams people support and why. It’s amazing how someone can be so obsessive about such a simple sport. I don’t like football, but I love the passion and the dedication it invokes in people. Relationships can come and go, people change and move on, but which team you support rarely leaves you. Sure, sometimes, when you’re in your fickle teens and trying to figure out who you are, some restless people may switch sides, but generally, once you’ve moved into secondary school, your team is your team for life. I have a great respect for people who have a devotion to their local team, no matter how rubbish and useless they are. I have a friend who’s a season ticket holder for Wycombe Wanderers. They’re never going to do amazing things in football, but his house is still full of Wycombe fridge magnets and the team calendar with the season’s fixtures. A friend at work used to play me the commentary from old York FC matches from the 50s when they actually used to win some games. The delight in his face when they scored made me laugh so much. More interestingly, a friend from overseas came to the UK many moons ago on a family holiday when he was just a tiny boy in shorts. His father wanted to buy them all a souvenir and so bought him and each of his 3 brothers a football scarf – a different one from a different team each. From that day on, he’s been a devout Nottingham Forest supporter. Another friend recently arrived in the UK from the shores of Kangaroo Land wondering what team to support. He wanted to support a London team so that he could go to as many games as possible. Did he choose Chelsea? Arsenal? Even Fulham or Crystal Palace? Nope, he went for Dagenham and Redbridge. He wanted a more interesting team where he could be sure that the supporters in the stands were there for the love of the team and out of passion for the game, rather than a corporate fat cat who was having a day out on company expenses. I admire his inspired choice. However, I’m not sure whether I will still be as impressed when I’m in the Dagenham grounds. Yes, I’ve decided to pop my football cherry at a Daggers game and am venturing out to the middle of nowhere to watch overgrown men get emotional about a muddy ball being kicked about in the middle of a freezing cold field. I can’t wait.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Aidan P, Rest In Peace

I found out yesterday that a friend had a fatal accident last week. It's thrown me into a state of shock and I can't stop myself thinking about it.

People die, I know this. It's a fact of life and the ultimate, unavoidable ending. But this happens to old people. Grandmothers and grandfathers. Elderly friends of my parents. People who have lived their lives and have the crows feet and stuffed photo albums to prove it. This doesn't happen to people my age. Aren't we all invincible until we reach retirement age? Isn't that the deal?

Aidan was only 28. He was 9 months younger than me. He once joked that I was being born when he was being conceived. He's left behind a wife and two beautiful young children. The youngest was only 8 months old. She'll never get the chance to learn first hand what a wonderful and loving person her father was. She doesn't get to grow up hearing his stupid jokes and listening to his infectious laugh. She won't get to experience his crazy driving or have to endure his System of a Down cds at full volume. She doesn't have the chance to discover that her father was the world's greatest optimist. Constantly full of life and enthusiasm, he always had the ability to find the humour in everything. Part of me is still expecting him to jump out at any minute, laughing, telling us it was just all a prank. Maybe that's just his optimism that's rubbed off on me. Maybe that's because I can't quite believe that he really has gone. Maybe I should just be happy that I had the privilege of knowing him during his very short life. Maybe this is just fate and was meant to happen. Maybe I don't believe in fate anymore...

I'll miss you Aidan.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Murder on the dim sum floor

I’m marking this day in the diary for future reference. This could go down in history as a day to remember. After years and years of waiting, the ‘rents are finally getting to meet one of their daughter’s man friends. Sis#3 has bitten the bullet and decided to let the ‘rents and man-friend battle it out over a few bowls of sticky rice and miniscule cups of jasmine tea, whilst we all watch with bated breath. The paramedics will be on standby…

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Things that have made me smile recently

  • Making it to the gym two days in a row
  • Hearing someone singing along to Shakira in the showers at the gym
  • My flatmate who has totally blitzed our flat after we’ve been living in squalor for the past few months
  • Receiving an x at the end of a text from Boy
  • Receiving an unexpected phone call from a friend who I haven’t heard from in a long time
  • Discovering the world of charaben
  • Receiving a package at work which turned out to be some fruit juice which I had won after Sis#1 nominated me in an online competition

Friday, 1 August 2008

Letter to boy

Dear X

I had a very strange and intense conversation with someone last night that's been playing on my mind a lot and I wanted to talk to you about it.

I hope you don't mind. Feel free to delete it if it's too weird.

I was told that I had upset and offended someone with my constant sarcasm and mean (but probably very witty!) comments. To the point where he was actually considering cutting off all contact with me. I'm glad he was able to communicate this to me before just ignoring me forever more, but it's still upsetting to me that I could have annoyed him so much when I just thought I was being funny. I know I use humour a lot - probably as a form of attack and to deflect from anything on a more serious level. However my intention is never to actually cause any hurt, and I'm horrified that it could have been viewed as that.

I think the person I was talking to has issues of his own and our relationship is a little strained at the moment as we used to date and we're struggling to find the right level to re-engage at. It's always hard trying to find a comfortable level of friendship after a relationship, and this one is no different. I'm still always thankful that you and I somehow managed to remain good friends for all these years.

Last night I realised that I do tend to be quite mean with my comments. I only do it with people that I like and feel comfortable with, and it's all done with good intentions. I know I've annoyed you in the past by being overly mean, and I wanted to let you know that I never do it to cause any hurt or upset in any way. I am going to make more of an effort to stop being so flippant and rude and to try to be nicer. I guess it's just easier for me to make fun of people. It's like the cliched pulling someone's hair and tripping them up in the playground when you like them.

I probably also do it to distract myself from getting into deeper issues with people. If you don't know someone too well then it's always easier to converse in an infantile fashion such as sarcastic digs rather than exploring more complex discussions. Perhaps this is what upset the boy more than anything - the fact that I was preventing him from actually having any meaningful conversation and preferring to resort to pathetic jokes. It's probably some kind of defence mechanism that I've been running since the beginning of time. It scares me when people begin to get too close and sarcasm has always been my way of dealing with this fear.

Anyway, the whole point of this is to say to you: I'm sorry if I have caused any offence in the past with my relentess mocking of you. I hope that you haven't been offended too much, although I have received reprimands from you telling me to be nicer and less mean. I hadn't realised how tiring and awful this can be to people.

Sorry for the long self-indulgent monologue.


Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The power of 3

This weekend was a rather pleasant one as weekends go. It could have been due to the weather being fricking glorious and it finally feeling like summer. It could have been due to the fact that it was the first weekend in ages where I didn’t have to log onto a computer and do any work. But it probably has most to do with the fact that my girls were in town! Yep, the holy trinity came together once more to drink, eat and talk utter rubbish.

The weekend began on Friday night, when I met up with some friends of mine who I hadn’t seen for a while. We were drinking cider which is always a bad sign, and the fact that lunch had consisted of a small salad and a banana and dinner had been 2 Nurofen plus should have set alarm bells ringing. Funtimes were had by all though. Especially when I started dancing round the pub to the music in my head. And when I fell off my bar stool several times. And I don’t remember this bit, but apparently I attempted to kiss one of my friends, who I actually have no interest in whatsoever. I don’t know what it is about alcohol that turns me into a lecherous old man. If it wasn’t for the wonderful A, I would never have made it home in one piece. I also have to give props to the two random strangers who stopped me on the tube on the way home to check if I was ok and helped me out. Boris may have stopped drinking on the tube, but as long as the pubs are allowed to serve fools who can barely speak, there will always be louts causing mayhem on the public transport system.

The rest of the weekend was much less drunken in comparison, but it was just divine to have my two most favourite people in the world both in the same room at the same time. We’ve been friends for almost 10 years now, but we’ve only ever lived in the same city for about 2.5 of those years. The second and third years at uni were spent in the same little village, be it Willamette or Keele, but after graduation, the time we’ve spent together has been appallingly little. Not because we were sick of the sight of each other or that we would gauge out each others eyeballs with a rusty spoon if we saw one other, but because of great big sodding oceans getting in the way. The year that I spent in the UK whilst the other two were still living it up in Japan was one of the longest and loneliest that I can remember.

For the past few years, we’ve actually all been in the same country, but hundreds of miles apart. Which might not be such a big deal for some people, but seeing as none of us can drive, it’s not as easy as that. Jobs, lack of money, other commitments and sheer un-organisation has meant that we only actually meet up about 3 or 4 times a year.

We talked about the crapness of having so many people who mean a lot to us not being in the same city or even country. We came up with the idea that when we win the lottery, we would buy a beautiful desert island and build houses for all our friends and families so that we could all live together in one place. (I’m not actually sure how this would happen as just a few minutes earlier, we’d been discussing how none of us even knew how to buy a lottery ticket. The Teacher actually said that they scared her.) I think that’s the one downfall of doing so much travelling and meeting so many incredible people along the way. You inevitably have to leave them. There are people for who I have endless amounts of love and respect, who live on the other side of the world. I know it can be nice to have international friends to visit on vacation, but I would gladly sacrifice the cheap holidays just to have them nearby. Just so I can call them up on a random Wednesday evening and suggest a meet up in the pub to talk about nothing and everything.

I miss not having my friends close by. Which is why I’m counting down the days to when the BFF’s finally see the light and move to London. If not for the culture and the restaurants and the shopping and the endless galleries and the museums, then for friendship, for home made dead moth cocktails and for belly laughs.