Sunday, 14 October 2007

Ten Years Younger

Recently, when I look in the mirror, I have been caught off-guard by the drab spinster glowering back at me.

I have spent the last year mentally pushing a big, yellow, gelatinous jelly '30'. Like many things, it's been getting softer and gloopier, so the more I push, the further my hand slips into it, and eventually I will be totally engulfed.

So, it was with some surprise that I realised, on 7th October 2007, that it was actually my 29th birthday, and that I have still another year to push.

However, it would seem that, for the moment at least, the drab spinster lives only in the mirror. In the three days before my last non-thirty birthday (until I hit forty...), a different random stranger on each day was deluded enough to mistake me for, quite specifically, a nineteen year old.
The most alarming element of this, however, was that instead of this filling me with the usual indignant anger (generally involving a great deal of ranting on about how people must therefore think I am a silly teenager, with no life experience, and are not giving me credit for the limitless wisdom I have amassed during all my many decades of traipsing through life's rich tapestry etc etc), I was actually secretly rather pleased! People always said that one day it would be a compliment, and it would seem that that day has finally arrived. I really must be getting old.

I must also be going through some sort of pre-mid-life-crisis. On a recent shopping trip, it was all about bringing back the '90's "style" as I expressed it back then.

"Out!" with the poker straight hair of my girlhood fantasies, and, "Welcome back!" kinky-kinks!

"Off!" with the twenty-somethings, working-girls, cropped jacket, and, "Long time no see!" to the second-hand, velvet jacket with the star on the lapel!

"Farewell!" to the London-look booties, and, "Aloha!" to the Doc Martins of which dreams were once made!

It is possible that people have been mistaking my age because I have started dressing in a near-identical fashion to that of my mid teens. The only differences are that, this time, the DM's are bronze, not green, and that I have made the executive decision to leave the velveteen hat with appliquéd stars festering in my parent's loft alongside the tye-dye t-shirts. There are some levels to which one really should not stoop the second time around.

Who needs Nicky Hambleton-Patent-High-Waisted-Belt-Wearing-Jones? I have given myself a step back in time, and the public's verdict is that I am ten years younger!!

I am.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Battle to the Bitter End

Waiting for the coach to London...

  • A girl-next-door looking girl with a grey puppy ambles by, complete with an affected dreamy gait, under the Sainsbury's sign that is adorned with pigeon feces. She is looking to see whether anyone is looking at her, especially the greased-up young men in the silver people carrier (I would guess that they have rented a New Forest cottage for a stag weekend. Booze and porn in a picturesque location, away from "The Citee"). But she is distracted when her cutesy, accessory puppy stops to eat something revolting and goopy from the gutter. She yoinks him away promptly. But it would appear that her chat-up ruse has worked, in a sense. Someone has finally noticed her and tries to strike up conversation! An elderly couple gab over her and the dog, as she wistfully watches the people carrier drive out of sight.

  • A woman of about sixty in a long blue skirt, sandals, a white blouse under a pink cardi and greying blond hair tied in a low ponytail. She could be the mother of the puppy girl. She is carrying a wicker basket full of ye olde country flowers, and looks rather too quintessentially countrified. Much like a vicars wife in a Miss Marple novel, the flowers conjure the image of her rustically gathering her blooms in the garden of a thatched cottage. I should think it's more likely that she bought them in ye olde Waitrose. The whole effect, however, is somewhat ruined by the fact that she is engrossed in conversation with what looks alarmingly like a drunken tramp.

  • A gaggle of cauliflower heads waiting for the coach. All bedecked in beige chinos and elasticated skirts, clutching their tickets and clucking in a frenzy. When the coach arrives, they surge forward and join ranks to strengthen their collective position in the queue. I loiter at the back of this gathering. It's the safest position for someone of my status, if there is one thing that cauliflower heads hate more than youth, it's a youth they suspect of trying to push in front of them in a queue. However, my careful positioning backfires. As the coach pulls up to park, it totally by-passes the queue and draws to a halt with the door directly in front of me. All the bobbly heads swivel in my direction, and I dare not turn around to witness the steely eyes I can feel boring through to my brain. Quick as a flash, a lady sporting a pair of very new looking, beige Birkenstocks and her daughter (who had previously bumped into me whilst hoiking up her bra) bustle around me to the side nearer the coach door, and stand so close to it that they are forced to move out of it's way as it opens. They cleverly manoeuvre this so as to push me behind them, into a definite second place. A freckly woman appears on my other side and feigns anxiety about where the coach is going (even though it is emblazoned, perfectly clearly, with the word "LONDON"). After she waggles her ticket in the air and asks the driver if he is going to "LONDON", she appears to believe that, having established personal relations with the driver (who replied "Yes" to her question), she is now far superior to everyone else, and pushes past Birkenstock-Lady, Bra-Daughter and myself, pipping us all to first place! Bravo! Well done you, Freckly Lady!

  • As the coach makes it's way out of Ringwood, and the driver informs us that the toilet, located at the back of the coach, " for liquid purposes only."

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Muddy Plums

Now that I have washed the mud, goop and fellow-festival-goer's piss from the hem of my Pirate skirt, and have returned to the begrudged bosom of employment, I can gaze through nicotine-addled eyeballs back upon the glory of an otter-ridden festival in deepest, darkest Dorset.

With wet wipes squeezed amongst the glittery trousers of yore in my boasting rucksack, bacon-rind and poppy seeds firmly wedged in between my teeth, I was ready for anything Saint Mary and her pet otters could hurl at me.

And hurl at me they did.
In no particular order...

  • The delights of the washboard-backed, be-beaked girls of Gogol Bordello, although the lead singer appeared to have gone a.w.ol, you know, the lady with the blonde hair and a gap in her teeth.

  • The flouncing hair of Bill Bailey with his unprepared, triple encore, complete with army-tank sized child bulldozing his way to the front.

  • Raucous, mud-flinging dancing as a side effect of the disease they call "Bellowhead".

  • The Tiny-Tea-Tent groupie and his unfortunate attempts to be gallant, despite forgetting the number 1 thing one does not ask a lady.

  • Almost wretching whilst doing the ass-dance to honkin' Annie Lennox, although my luridly coloured bustle compels me to carry on.

  • Joining The M in their weird trip around the world... "BELFAST!!" I hear you cry!

  • Toilets, which at certain times of day can only be described as, as I commented to some random ladies, "HEAPED".

  • A childish dream coming true: waiting an hour to be hoisted out of the mud by a tractor (The car! Not me!).

  • Spectacular feelings of insecurity as girls consistently ask to borrow lighters (also in the aptly named "Pussy ParLURE" and magical mystery land at the bottom of the hill).

  • Indulging in the truly British tradition of barbecuing cheap meat in the pissing-down rain.

  • Opening my tent in the morning to be confronted by two looming twins, in full, surreal, fancy-dress, proffering stale mini-muffins and beer.

  • Being constantly reminded of India, as the interesting aromas, heavy traffic and unconvincing sales-patter envelops me. And the monsoon.

  • A cheapo silver top hat, bedecked with a stolen garland of flowers.

  • Girls wearing LED-flashing braces in their mouths, only to later find them flashing in the twilight mud. (Again, the braces, the girls weren't flashing in the mud. At least, not where I could see them.)

  • The discovery of the true worth of novelty wellies. God bless Priceless Shoes in Bournemouth!

  • A medley of weirdos. Guessing which ones were in fancy-dress, and which look like that all the time was, for me, a never ending source of fascination.

  • A distinct lack of The Aston's Fizz.

  • Horror caused as my long awaited sausage is smothered in spinach, as requested, but looks strangely similar to the goop I have been trudging through all weekend.

  • Forgetting how to walk on flat, dry surfaces, as discovered at the toilet-stop on the way home.

  • Having an otter-tastic time!

This half-arsed, cop-out, listed blog was brought to you by the inexplicable need to record more about this event than simply a muddy girl in pants.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Fallen Goddess

It has been raining in a Devonshire field all night long, onto, and into, the tents of grubby festival-lovers slumbering in their canvas cathedrals below. They arise to find the grassy slopes transformed into mud pits. With only a sausage and an otter to comfort them, they think "Fuck it!" and skip their way to the front of the main-stage,
where the clay-like mud has been whipped into a thick, creamy substance that bubbles and explodes under the rabble of be-wellied feet,stomping to regurgitated jigs.

Everyone looks rough. The revellers all sport sleep encrusted, baggy eyes, greasy, tent-hair, and grimy, sweaty skin, all swathed in the aroma of other people's faeces.

But amongst them, is a Goddess.

With low slung trousers that emphasise womanly curves, cascades of curls, a top that strategically reveals an ornate tattoo upon a bronzed back and a bottle of rum in one hand, all men's eyes are drawn towards her. She unconvincingly pretends not to notice, and giggles with glee as a soldier-type tries to engage her in a mud-wrestle. His friend wants a piece of the action too, and joins in. Soon, there is a whole group of men trying to wrestle the Goddess into the mud. She continues to swig her rum whilst giving as good as she gets, and smiles alluringly at each of her suitors as she pushes them to the bubbling, orange-brown depths below.

Now the centre of attention, she half-heartedly tries to invite her previously unseen friends into the fray. One boasts glitter-daubed eyeballs, blonde pigtails, a leopard-print fur-coat and a bottle of rum in one hand. The other is rather nondescript, with no bottle of rum in either hand. Leopard Girl laughs and slugs back more rum, Nondescript Girl does something nondescript, but neither opt to join the Goddess and her cluster of men.

Sometime later, and the heady music continues to swirl into the drizzly afternoon. The serious music lovers, standing back from the maniacal dancing contingent, have to dive for cover as the Goddess is dragged by her ankles through the crowd by a group of her admirers. Still clutching the now empty bottle of rum, head thrown back in drunken abandon, curls and ass leaving grooves in the orange-brown goop beneath her nubile body, she is oblivious to all. She does not even notice Leopard Girl stumbling through the crowd, heavily supported by Nondescript Girl, presumably tent-ward to vomit.

Not long after, an innocent young lad, enjoying his first festival, is sitting on a precarious bench outside the otter tent. He self-consciously rolls a cigarette and tries to look like he is comfortable in his surroundings. The effect is somewhat ruined as a mud-monster, wearing only a pair of orange-brown knickers and an orange-brown top revealing an ornate tattoo on it's orange-brown back, lurches from the nearby crowd towards him. The monster stumbles in his direction and grabs his face. Orange-brown hands smear goop all over his cheeks as the monster thrusts its mouth to his, ramming a rum-infested tongue down his throat.

The lad tries to retain his cool by fumbling with his tobacco and blushing furiously, the monster cackles with rabid glee and trudges up the hill presumably tent-ward to vomit.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Gazpacho Gripe

Balls to summer then. I don't even care if it wants to chuck it down with God's gushing tears just days before I go camping with Morris dancers.

During the minor flirtation with sunshine last weekend (as mentioned in a previous, hilarious blog), I went on the hunt for summery, refreshing foodstuff for my Saturday, garden-drenched luncheon. A carton of Gazpacho soup enticed me and I merrily purchased it. However, due to a rather late breakfast of bacon and wobbly eggs (provided by the chickens that live down the road), I did not get round to eating it and looked forward to having it on the following day. The Lord's Day, if you will.

But Sunday dawned, rather grey and undecided, and I passed up the opportunity of sitting in a garden, as it would have resulted in my taking all my clothes off, then having to put them all back on again, and then taking them all off again and then... You get the idea.

Obviously, I could still have partaken in the afore-mentioned carton of soup. However, the thing that makes gazpacho stand out from the others is that it is to be served cold. This is why it was the perfect choice for a sunny, summery day. I know that it is supposed to be cold for two reasons:

  1. It says so on the carton
  2. Back in my youth, when I dabbled in geekdom, I was a fan of the Red Dwarf novels. These were far more comical and in-depth books of the television series (starring Chris Barrie, the darling of Ringwood Recreation Centre). In one particular chapter, Rimmer has been trying to schmooze with the hierarchy of the ship, and finally gets an invite to dine at the Captain's table. He is already making a fool of himself, but is under the impression he is charming those around him, when gazpacho soup is served. Horrified at its chilly temperature, he haughtily sends it back, creating a scene with regards to the inefficiency of the kitchen staff. Millions of years later, he still blames this social faux pas as the reason he never was able to make it as an officer. This is a pretty dry account what I remember to be a very funny story in the book...

Anyway. I thought I would be able to have it for lunch yesterday, which, although not a scorcher, was relatively pleasant. But I was whisked of to the pub for some greasy bacon. So I have had it today, and it feels as cold and wet and damp in my stomach as the goddamn day is outside.

This shit-blog was posted for your perusal against my better judgement.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Dirty Weekend

I have tried so hard to get over him. I have been with other, more minty lovers and enjoyed the refreshing, peppery tang they left in my mouth.

I thought I was strong. But I was wrong. I should not have underestimated his cunning whiles.

He waited until I was at my most weak and vulnerable, then he gazed at me from an unexpected position under the coffee table with those 'spark me up' eyes.

I thought I would give in to his charm after a few glasses of wine, or a fine meal. I thought he would seduce me as he did back when we were lovers. But he was cleverer than that. He waited until my friends were not there to protect me.

I was alone and confused. He said he just wanted to talk, no strings attached. It seemed reasonable, maybe I had been cruel, cutting him out of my life like that. What about his feelings, surely he had them too?

We gazed at each other from across the room, I could feel my desire for him welling up inside me. Then, like lovers in a film, I ran towards him as he stoically waited for my forgiving embrace. I took my dirty lover and lead him outside to the star-spangled alleyway and took him into me with sordid glee!

Oh! The pleasure of those naughty moments we shared that night. How could something so wrong feel so right? In my lonely moment of need, there he was, my temptation, holding out his smoky hand and pleading "Come, join me", and Oh! How we fused together that night!

The next day, I felt dirty, but alarmed myself by relishing the sensation and counting the hours until I could be reunited with my dirty pleasure. Finally I ran home, into his welcoming arms and although we clung together, our absence having made my heart fonder, something was amiss. Something of the fire had died. Yet I refused to believe it was so, and had him twice on the stairs.

We quarrelled later that night. I was heart- broken. All my weeks of trying to get over him were shattered in the space of two lonely nights, and I was back where I started. Stuck in a rut with someone who would ultimately only hurt me and bring me pain. Yet despite knowing this, I still wanted him so much.

Tonight we went for a few drinks, we always get on better when we are drunk. I know this is not a good basis for a relationship, but what can I do? He is in my bed, waiting for me now. I can't bring myself to tell him that it is over, I know he will get angry and try to force himself into me.

But I have my secret defence mechanism, I will tell him:

"I should have changed that stupid lock I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome any more
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye

did ya think I'd crumble

did ya think I'd lay down and die

oh no! not I!

I will survive

as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live

I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive

Friday, 10 August 2007

Déjà Vu

Today feels like this time last year. That is to say, that after months of pissing-down rain, the sun is finally blistering outside, whilst I am stuck in an office. Only, whereas last year's office included a chandelier, the current building boasts un-opening windows and dodgy air conditioning.

(*May I interrupt at this point to say I have just spent about an hour illegally scripting a, frankly, genius blog, only for none of it except for the first, warm-up paragraph to save. This pretty much sums up the day, and I apologise for the sub-standard re-enactment that follows...)

However, in the words of Terry Wogan, I mustn't grumble. Back in those days, it was positively traumatic to have to drag myself onto a bus at the crack of my dawn to traipse into a whole different county, only to sit with the now-legendary Tiny & Jabbering Jane in their plush, yet pointless office suite. I am now so busy determining if the purple plums should be categorized as A or Z, I have no time to gaze lazily out of the frozen-shut window and daydream about the daydreams I could be dreaming next to my mother's stupendous frog-pond.

Which is why today has been so difficult. Having finished all my tree-shits by 10:30 this morning, I was more than tempted to claim the remainder of the fat, juicy day as my own. But maybe my nemesis (as she shall now be known, "Perky" is just too amicable) and her martyrs have been rubbing on me, or maybe (even worse) I have developed some horrible sense of responsibility. Either way, I stayed.

But the stinger (unfortunately not the organic, Hugh-Whirly-Girly variety) was as follows: I was in the midst of introducing our new lamb-to-the-tree-slaughter to the wondrous world of binding pleasure, when she was whipped, whipped, I tell you, from under my oddly formed nose. Out! Out went she! Out into the glorious sunbursts of fun. A tree expert swept her away to avenge (or condemn) trees in some far-flung, exotic location. Possibly Winchester.

But, wait, my avid reader! Wait! For what is already a terrible tale of sunless woe now takes an even darker plunge in to dark depths of dark. Nemesis came waddling over to me, in her cheap, wooden heels and drawled in her inimitable fashion that she would also be trailing off into the sunset, in the wake of her beloved tree-man. So flinging some overly-complicated-but-not-actually-that-complicated-if she-just-explained-it properly bit of her work in my direction, off she wobbled.