March 29th 2020 – home (obvs)

So, I start working from home from Tuesday. I’m weirdly looking forward to it actually, not least because it forced Mr P to tidy up the room that was once our dining room and has since become his art studio. I’ll have to pop in to work for a day or two a week to do things I physically can’t do remotely and I’m pleased about that too – seeing different people will help to keep me sane.

Spring cleaning has began in earnest. I had a thought that I could blitz the entire house in one day, vastly underestimating just how much shit I’ve got and how much dust there is! I’ve done the dressing room and bedroom, filing four bins bags of rubbish, and having to empty the vacuum cleaner twice. It feels great though and I’ve settled on tackling one room a day (on the days I’m not working obviously; I’m not crazy).

Apart from that, I’ve had a hankering to do a jigsaw – something I abhorred as a kid. The online ones are okay but I feel a real one would be much more satisfying. Might have to have a scout online to see what I can find.

How are you all getting on? Found out how dusty your houses are yet?

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Getting my Priorities Right

I woke late the other day. Scrabbling for my phone, I discovered that I had precisely fifteen minutes to make the bus. Fifteen minutes isn’t so bad: it’s enough time to shove a slice of toast and a cup of tea down my throat. And it’s also just enough time to fix my hair and make-up.

So which did I choose?

That morning, I utilised the work’s kettle for the first time in years and bought myself an oaty snack bar for breakfast.

I was talking about this to one of my colleagues, Mrs P. She said that when she had a corneal abrasion, she was reprimanded by the nurse who treated her for wearing make-up despite the fact that the accident occurred after she had applied her slap for the day. She was then given an eye patch and still proceeded to mascara the uncovered eye.

I sympathised with her completely. Whenever I get an eye infection and buy some drops from the pharmacist, they advise me to forgo make-up for the duration of the drops (five days) and then throw all make-up away in case of cross-infection. I never listen to them.

And people accuse me of being vain?!!

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Taming the Green-Eyed Monster

I admit that I used to let jealousy get the better of me. I would let it eat away at my insides and never tell anyone about it until, eventually, inevitably, it would come spewing to the fore. I would end up having a go at Mr P without any grounds or evidence, and when whatever was troubling me wasn’t really his fault. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, so I could vent when I didn’t have my soothing girlfriends to hand, and sort things out in my own head without causing an argument.

I believe Mr P has an admirer. I believe he has many and this particular one I have suspected for some time now. She is an acquaintance of ours with a boyfriend herself, albeit a long-distance one. On Sunday night, I noticed that she was flirting harmlessly (if there is such a thing as harmless flirting. I am aware that I’m on my own for believing that there isn’t) with him but nothing was reciprocated. However, I suspect Mr P might also fancy her. Not enough to cheat on me, you understand, but enough to get my hackles up. I completely understand that nothing would happen between them (I don’t think either of them would do anything to hurt me, to be honest) but I need to know how to get past caring that people fancy my fiance. Mr P takes it as a compliment when someone eyes /chats me up. He recognises that there isn’t a problem, that I’ll be going home with him and that I’m wearing his ring on the third finger of my left hand.

I wish I could be cool like this. Be cool in that of course other girls will fancy Mr P; he’s amazingly handsome, affable, funny, charming. He’s a catch but he’s my catch. I think, as a woman, and a neurotic one at that, that there will always be a little niggle at the back of mind, wondering what if he happened to fancy someone more than he fancies me and decided to go for it.

I get that these thoughts are completely self-destructive and won’t do me any good at all if I let them fester away inside but even just writing a short post about them has helped some. I just need to take several deep breath and chill the fuck out.

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Gaining some Perspective

Mr P walked out of his job as an electrician two weeks ago. Since then, we have been building a website for him to sell his artwork on and pursuing that avenue. He hated being a sparky and now he finally has the opportunity to do something that makes him happy. I’m pleased for him but obviously it means that money is tight when we’re depending on one salary.

We’ve been living on student food and even downgraded from lovely, lovely Marlboro Lights to rolling tobacco. Rent day is looming, as is a stag do which is mainly paid for but which will still require spending money. Don’t even mention council tax, bills and general, you know, eating and stuff.

The other day, whilst frantically searching the internet for proofreading / virtual assistant jobs, I cracked. The worry had got on top of me and taken over.

Yesterday, I heard some terrible news. One of our friends, Mr R, suffered an aneurysm on Monday night and yesterday morning, his wife had to make the heartrending decision to turn his life support machine off. He leaves behind a wife, Mrs R, and their three-year-old son as well as a 10-year-old son from a pervious marriage and countless family members and friends.

I’m still a little bit numb at the moment, like it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m already dreading the funeral though and knowing what I can say to the bereft Mrs R – what comfort can I possibly give? I just keep thinking of the times when you wake up from a horrible dream about your partner having been killed and that wonderful moment of relief when you see him sleeping peacefully next to you and you realise that, thank fuck, it was just a dream. For Mrs R, she won’t see her husband’s head on the pillow next to her. The nightmare will extend on into her days for months to come.

It’s such a tragic, tragic loss and my heart goes out to Mrs R and the two boys. And it sure gives me moaning about having to buy baccy a whole different spin.

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Sticking Up for Posh

So many people despise Posh Spice. They think she’s moody, too thin, thick, miserable, and not good enough for the divine David Beckham.

Personally, I’m sick of the bad rap poor old Posh gets. When the ‘lovely family man’ David Beckham cheated on her with their smug, fake-titted bint of a nanny, Rebecca Loos, Victoria was ridiculed. people assumed that her frigidity must’ve pushed David into the arms of another woman. She didn’t get one scrap of sympathy and David didn’t get an ounce of blame. When she took him back and patched things up, she was derided for being weak.

No one gives her snaps for having four children and managing to keep a marriage going for upwards of a decade. No one congratulates her on her gorgeous dresses (that she herself designd). Everyone just swoons over her hubby and bleats about how wonderful he is. And don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a Becks admirer as the next girl with fully-functioning eyes and loins, but he still cheated and apparently got away scot-free.

On the flip side of the coin, when the vile Ashley Cole shagged around behind Cheryl’s back, she was suitably lavished with love and sympathy before soon after being transformed unto a National Treasure.

Why? Obviously, Chezza comes across as more personable because she used to weep at the sob stories on The X Factor. She’s naturally pretty, she seems friendly and approachable. But that’s just difference of character for you. Just because you don’t see Posh smiling much or spilling her heart out on chat shows, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t have garnered the same treatment when her world fell to pieces as well.

Never mind David and his British lionheart leading Team GB to Olympic Gold this summer, our Vic’s the true heroine.

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What it Means to be a Brit

I catch the bus to work every morning. Sometimes I am there on my own. Sometimes another few people are waiting in line with me. Most of the time, I am the last to join the queue. Rarely do I reach the stop, and therefore the beginning of the queue, first.

This is all very simple. Everyone knows how to queue. Everyone understands that whoever reached the bus stop first should get on the bus first. It’s simple, right?

Not for everyone, it would seem. A few mornings a week, two schoolchildren catch the bus as well – both boys, they must be about 10 or 11 at a guess. They wear the embarrassing red and blue caps and shorts that denote their public school status. They often reach the bus stop last, running to meet the bus, giggling all the way. Aww, what cute, joyful children, I thought when I first saw them. This opinion soon disappeared when they proceeded to board the bus before me but I decided to let them off, figuring that, as they were in a rush, they may not have known I was waiting for that particular ride.

But it happened again. And this time, they had time to wait at the bus stop. They had time to notice that Iand another chap were there first and yet still, on they got.

Now, I realise that due to my ludicrous reverse-snobbery-chip-on-my-shoulder, I have a dislike of public schools and anything elitist in general. I believe that public school teaching can bring children up to think they’re superior to everyone else just because their parents happen to have white collar jobs. I know this isn’t a popular opinion and makes me small-minded and bitter but that’s how it goes. So, already I hadn’t exactly wormed to these children and then they go and queue-jump. It makes  me wonder just what they are being taught at these schools if they don’t understand the simple rules of queuing.

I know, I know, I know some may think this makes me sound like a grumpy old woman (and with 28 looming on Friday, I shouldn’t be taking any chances) or do lack of manners bug everyone? Am I being woeful intolerant or completely sensible?

I won’t point out their error, of course. Obviously, as a good English lady, I will grit my teeth and smile politely as they barge in front of me to get on the bus first. Then rant and gnash my teeth and moan all about it on my blog instead. Because queuing isn’t the only thing Brits are good at, they’re also wizards when it comes to moaning about something incessantly and then categorically failing do anything about it.

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BOOK: Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Brief Synopsis: This is a satire on 19th century society which follows the lives of two friends; the mousey Amelia, and the shrewish Becky. Their lives, loves, disagreements, betrayals and falls from grace.

 Good Points: It’s funny, a good story with lots of twists and turns.

Bad Points: It can be quite confusing to sort all of the characters out in your head (there are so many and a few share the same name).

Good For: A weighty tome full of laughs for classic literature lovers.

Overall: 3/5

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Model Behaviour

So, you may remember that I was asked to model a wedding gown at a wedding fayre on a catwalk a couple of weeks ago. I bought myself some vile gold and white shoes that were fairly flat (for me – 3 inches) and a strapless white bra only to be told by my coworker and fellow model that the dress originally destined for me had been flogged and that I was going to be wearing a turquoise and black prom dress instead. No problems: I got to wear black shoes and didn’t have to worry about my usually vampish make-up not really befitting the face of a blushing bride.

We turned up at the venue to find that the catwalk was raised from the floor and that it was about a metre wide. Worried, we all turned and started muttering to each other about the possibility of falling off, tripping up and generally making tits out of ourselves. We were then told that we would be helped up and down the steps by a couple of tuxedo-ed volunteers and we figured that if we just had to climb up one end and down the other, we could manage it.

Then, I saw my dress. Whilst everyone else was slipping into chiffon and lace confections, my turquoise and blue sequinned prom dress glared out from the rows of white and ivory like an evil blue eye.

The dress was like something you might’ve seen on Come Dancing from the 80s. I didn’t get a photo (funny, that) but this is similar to what it looked like, only turquoise rather than  purple.

Nice. Still, I get to sashay down a catwalk so I wasn’t complaining. Hell, I’d have braved the runway with a turkey strapped to my back.

As it turned out, the dress was gigantic, even with a copious amount of safety pins at the back. I was starting to panic, thinking that there wouldn’t be a dress to fit me and I would have to skulk home, the only model in history too thin to strut her stuff.

And then, thankfully, a dress appeared. A huge wedding dress with a long train and a long veil. Not something I would pick for myself but, God, something I definitely wanted to dress up in. It was a little bit big, and I had to slip my black bra off and make do with the odd flash of a black shoe but it was mine to wear. On a catwalk. Hurrah.

Then, we were told that the sequence would be: get helped up onto catwalk, walk down, stop at end, smile for photographs, turn around and walk back. The catwalk was only a metre wide. Everybody;s dresses were about two metres wide with trains and veils and all sorts of obstacles to contend with.

I was bricking it as I waited for my turn but once I got up there, I didn’t trip, I took my time, I smiled, I enjoyed wearing a marvellous dress and hoped that somebody would see it and buy it.

My inner model has been nourished and I loved every moment, despite the gut-wrenching  nerves. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, even if I had to wear the Come Dancing dress.

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BOOK: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Brief Synopsis: Lisbeth Salander is a highly intelligent computer hacker and code cracker who can find out the most minute details about someone’s life easily. Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist hired to solve the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl back in the 60s. The task seems impossible, unsolvable; that is, until Mikael meets Lisbeth.

 Good Points: It’s not the sort of book I pick up regularly but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, exciting and not too in-depth, as I thought it would be.

Bad Points: In my opinion, it tails off towards the end and I found some of the sexual violence scenes gratuitous.

Good For: A thrilling read, but not for sensitive souls.

Overall: 4/5

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A Bolt from the Blue

The other day, I received a rather surprising Facebook inbox message. It was from Mr P’s ex-girlfriend, who I’ve told you about before. I was perturbed somewhat to see her name peeking from my inbox but, with Mr P sitting next to me, I opened it and read on.

She basically said that she thought I might be shocked to hear from her but that she wanted to congratulate me on my engagement, that she wished nothing but the best for us and passed on a Happy Birthday message to Mr P.

Nice. Very nice, completely unexpected and not something she was obliged to do.

I thought for a few minutes before writing back. I thanked her, promised to pass on her comments to Mr P and wished her well.

And that was that.

Mr P had already heard from her; he received a text message back in December when our engagement was announced on Facebook. I didn’t expect to hear anything but I’m taking it as part of her ‘closure’ for want of a better word (damn you, Rachel Green). She was madly in love with Mr P so hearing that he is now engaged, despite it being 8 years on from their relationship ending, must’ve hit her like a lightening bolt. I don’t carry feelings for either of my ‘ so I don;t think I would feel the same but, for her, this is big, big news and for her to email me her best wishes shows maturity and proves that, finally, she has moved on with her life and is hopefully happily gallivanting around London, buying shoes, going to gigs and being generally young, free and fabulous.

Cheers to her.

Posted in Cue Carrie-Bradshaw-Typing-In-Hotpants Moment, Freaky Shit, Love 'n' Stuff, Never Mind the Beckhams, The Hairier Sex (usually), Yay! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment