Monday, 30 January 2012

Finally. A Rochester you want to shag.

OK. A Rochester I want to shag, I should say. I don't know what kind of 19th century brooding anti-hero lights your fire, do I?
I'm a massive, almost obsessively weird fan of the Bronte sisters. (Where's the umlaut on here by the way? I can't find a fecking umlaut. Just imagine that every time I write Bronte, there's the proper umlaut over the e. Fact fans: their name was actually Brunty. When Mr Bronte came over from Ireland and left his pauper past behind he sexed up the name, so I can live without the umlaut. Sorry Mr B.)

The first Bronte book I read, as is most usual, was Jane Eyre. It was for A-level, although it seems strange to me now that I hadn't read it by the time I was 16... Perhaps I wasn't the erudite, intellectual teenager I nostalgically think of myself as. Maybe I was just an ignorant little scrote. Sobering thought.

Anyway. Being a hormonal and complicated teenager with an almost endless supply of unrequited, burgeoning sexual tension coursing through my veins, I adored Jane Eyre instantly. At the time I didn't have the understanding of the period and Charlotte's life that I do now, so I read it rather more straight forwardly. Which teenage girl wouldn't identify with the outsider Jane Eyre as she struggles to make a place for herself, but more than that, struggles to be seen and heard in a society that seems intent on marginalising and ignoring her?

She goes up against the local hottie and wins the affections of the arrogant, aloof and deeply deeply sexy Mr Rochester. And just when it's all going swimmingly, it's snatched away from her with the appearance of the mad woman in the attic and the total collapse of her trust in Mr R.
If I was Jane, I highly doubt I would have had the moral strength to run away rather than accept his offer of being his mistress. But Jane, of course, legs it right into the path of a really uptight guy who, via a frankly implausible set of coincidences, uncovers the fact that Jane is actually an heiress and proposes marriage to her. The very thought of a lifetime tied to a humourless, sexless, boring bastard sends her legging it right back to Mr Rochester, who by now, has handily dispensed with his crazy wife (she sets fire to the house and jumps off the roof) yet retains his honour because he is now punished with blindness and partial maiming. Jane decides that that's all marvellous and (one could argue, that now he's been brought down by 25 pegs or so and is dependent on her) lives with him in sexy bliss for the rest of her life (probably).

That's the story in a nutshell. But what I haven't conveyed here is the living heart of Charlotte Bronte herself that permeates through Jane's story. It's well known that Jane's time at the horrific Lowood School for Girls is based directly on Charlotte's time at a similar institution. A school where she and four of her sisters were sent to. And of the five, only three returned. It's arguable that the poor conditions, malnutrition at such a critical age, the grief, shock and abuse the girls suffered at this school could have contributed to their early demise.

But when Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre, she had only lost her mother and two of her sisters and the TB that would kill Emily, Anne and Charlotte herself was in the future. What is rife in the book is Charlotte's romantic and sexual wish fulfilment. We know she burned with a passion for the (married) Professor she met at a school in Belgium. We know this from her painfully intense (and mostly unanswered) love letters to him, practically begging for some kind of reply. You can feel the sexual tension throughout Jane Eyre and this brings me nicely on to the point of my post. A Rochester I want to shag.

Rochester in the book is fantastically sexy. He's aloof, arrogant, masterful, intelligent, uncommunicative... in short, everything I like in a man.

Rochester on screen has been almost entirely disappointing. There has been about a million versions of Jane Eyre. Just taking a few at random:

Orson Welles. Orson bloody Welles as Rochester. Almost as bad as Olivier as Heathcliff. Terrible.

Michael Jayston. Who? He was a Bond (on the radio) and he was a Doctor Who. Who the hell looked at him and thought: Rochester, I do not know.


Moving on a bit, we have Timothy Dalton. Yes, that Timothy Dalton. Better, but not even close.


Then William Hurt. This was actually a decent version from 1996, but sex appeal? Hell to the no. Jane was played by Charlotte Gainsburg, who is always excellent.

In 2006, the BBC put out a version with this dude:


A quick search tells me his name is Toby Stephens and he was in a Bond film. What IS it with Rochesters and Bond films?

And then we come to the latest film, which I saw the other day. It as Mia Wasikowska as Jane. And she is utterly excellent. My nightmare is that some fool sees fit to cast Keira bloody Knightley as Jane (she has already ruined Lizzie Bennett and, apparently, someone thinks she'd make an excellent Anna Karenina. My mind actually boggles). But Mia got it just right. Her Rochester is Michael Fassbender.


Bingo, ladies and gents. Fnally there's a Rochester worth shagging. And it's only taken 165 years.

You can be whoever you want to be

I've heard a fair amount of very lovely platitudes since telling people I'm about to start all over again by abandoning everything I know and love to live somewhere alien and remote. Ish. And they are lovely. I appreciate them. They're stuff like: "nothing ventured, nothing gained"; "what's the worst that can happen?"; "life is short"; "take a risk" and "you can be whoever you want to be."

It's the last one that has got me thinking. "You can be whoever you want to be." Can't you be whoever you want to be anyway? Or is the implication that if you go somewhere new where no one knows you then you can pretend to be someone else? Or is it enough to present yourself as someone else and that makes you someone else? And if it's that easy, and something I should do, why am I not doing it already?

So I could go to York and, when I meet people, I could describe myself as a non-smoking exercise fanatic who is easy going and not at all neurotic? I could dress like a business woman and have serious hair? I could not talk myself down and be all self deprecating yet at the same time sort of aggressively shy? I could present myself as someone who only swears once in a blue moon when I stub my toe as opposed to every other word? I could be all ladylike and not talk back. I could become aquiescent and quiet. I could tell people that I know how to organise my time and that I never ever stay up till 3amwatching episode after episode of New Girl. I could, in short, present myself as a well balanced adult.

And who do I want to be anyway? I actually like who I am for the most part. I know that I can be a pain in the ass. I know that I over analyse things. I know that I can be intense and weird. But I'm sort of fond of all of that stuff.

But it might be nice to be someone who cooks proper meals. And doesn't sometimes only eat toast and satsumas for days at a time. And doesn't smoke too much. And doesn't waste time. And doesn't look backward all the time. And doesn't hold grudges. And doesn't tie herself up in knots so much that she can't breathe. And doesn't get out there and do all the stuff  that she actually wants to do because she's scared.

I mean, why not? This move is about as out of character as possible for me. I don't do things like this. What I do is stay where I'm safe and wish I was brave enough to do something else. So maybe I'm already starting to be whoever it is I want to be.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

My personality is infectious

"I've ticked the box 'athletic and toned' . I've told you about my white water rafting adventures in the Congo and my curious yet spontaneous sense of humour and joie de vivre. I don't own a TV, of course, and I'm always on the go. Friends say I'd be the perfect boyfriend and I'm always optimistic. Life is for living. You only have one life. Friends say I'm sexy and handsome. I'm tall and intelligent. I'm looking for a girl who is between 6 stone and 9 stone 4, extremely attractive and knows how to look after herself. None of these 'no make up and jeans' types for me! I work hard to keep myself in shape and expect my woman to do the same. I don't want a needy or clingy woman and anyone who is with me should respect my need for independence and spontaneity. I literally don't know whether I'll be in the same country from one week to the next so I need someone who respects that. Anyone who isn't at my level of attractiveness won't receive a reply. Sorry ladies! It just saves you so much time in the long run, doesn't it? I'm at a stage in my life where I deserve a woman who looks like a supermodel and agrees to give me 12 blow jobs a day while never actually exhibiting any signs of a personality."

Love from 90% of men on dating sites.

Who look like this:


Or this
Or this

I'm not entirely sure what kind of mirror they all own but I wish I had me one of them.

30 things I will not do as a customer in a pub

So, as a customer in a pub, here are some of the things I will not do:

1. Do my best to attract the attention of the (very busy) bar person and then 'forget' what I was supposed to be ordering.

2. Order one drink and then when the (very busy) bar person is half way through pouring it, change my mind.

3. Go up to the bar and say: "Can I order some drinks?" and expect the answer to be anything other than: "It's a fucking BAR. All we sell are DRINKS. Of course you can fecking order a drink, you IDIOT."

4. Use the phrase: "Can I get..." as in "Can I get a beer?" This is not America. Ask properly. Preferably using "Please" in there somewhere.

5. Call Kronenberg "1664" instead of Kronenberg.

6. Stare blindly at the (very busy) bar person who is asking me what I would like to drink and then, even though I've been waiting at the bar for 10 minutes, act all surprised when I'm asked to place my order.

7. Order off menu.

8. Complain when there is a millimetre too much - or too little - head on my pint and insist the (very busy) bar person adjusts it to my exact specifications, all the while wearing an expression that says: "Call yourself a bar person? I can pour a better pint than that in my sleep."

9. Get pissy with the (very busy) bar person when they ask me for the money and I - ridiculously and inexplicably - have waited until I have watched the (very busy) bar person pour my round of 10 drinks before I even start to try and find my purse.

10. Count out change into a pool of beer on the bar and take upwards of ten minutes doing so.

11. Order a jager bomb and argue about how much Red Bull should be in there. Some say a third of a can, some say half. Who knew it was such an exact science?

12. Order a cocktail when the bar is so busy the (very busy) bar person hasn't been able to go for a piss for the last four hours.

13. Order a coffee in the same circumstances.

14. Click my fingers at the (very busy) bar person and expect a response other than said bar person pretending not to see me for the next half an hour.

15. Say "Smile, it may never happen" at the glass collector.

16. Refuse to leave the pub even when all the bar staff have piled up chairs around me and are all staring at me with barely concealed fury.

17. Ask for a lock in when not a member of staff.

18. Puke in a pint glass and then leave it for the bar staff to clear up.

19. Drip candle wax all over the table just because "I'm bored".

20. Vomit copiously all over the toilets and then return to the bar for more drinking.

21. Letch over the (very busy) bar person and ask them repeatedly for their number until said bar person is fantasising about sticking straws in my eyeballs.

22. Pinch the arse of the (very busy) bar person as she or he is trying to pick up hundreds of glasses.

23. Order three or four drinks and then, when the (very busy) bar person lines them up, inexplicably wander off to "find out what the others want".

24. Pay for every single tiny round I buy with a credit card.

25. Get pissy when there isn't a pool table instantly available.

26. Book a table and then not turn up.

27. Order an entire round and then when the (very busy) bar person comes to ask for the money, have "gone to the toilet".

28. Order ridiculously made up shots that involve 12 layers of spirits.

29. Repeatedly try and hug the glass collector and not pick up the signals of barely suppressed rage.

30. Dance wildly into a waitress carrying three plates of food.

These are just some of the things that I will not do as a customer in a pub.

It was my last shift tonight and it was sad. I will miss getting covered in beer slops and unnamed sticky stuff. I will miss the, um, eclectic mix of music played by the lovely northern DJ. I will miss the moments of camraderie that tend to occur when under metaphorical fire from the drunkards on the other side of the bar. I will miss getting so angry over inconsequential things. I'll miss putting 5 million steaming hot glasses away. Hell, I'll even miss being yelled at.

Bye bye bar job. It's been emotional.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Sleep paralysis

Are you not supposed to feel energised by a Major Life Decision? Isn't it supposed to infuse you with a sense of purpose and that? Ever since I made the MLD I have been fighting an overwhelming urge to sleep. Every time I start thinking seriously about everything I have to do in order to transport my life up to York it becomes overwhelming and I think: "After a little nap I'll be able to deal with it all much better." And then the nap turns into a 12 hours snooze marathon, complete with weird and unnerving dreams and then I wake up exhausted and start the whole thing over again.

This happens to me in times of extreme stress. Either I can't sleep at all and I'm bouncing round my flat at 3am feeling, and quite possibly, acting a bit weird, or it's like I'm constantly trying to fight my way out of a coma.

I'm no good at sorting stuff out. I should be making Excel spreadsheets and thinking logically. I hadn't even worked out my monthly outgoings till a friend came round and wrote it all down for me. I keep thinking about what's lurking in the cupboard under my stairs and then my brain just kind of tiptoes away because it doesn't want to deal with it. And, oh god, under the bed. There's things under the bed that no one needs to see. Ever. And I have to deal with it all.

Surely it's just easier to stay here for, like, ever? I can just live here and do what I've been doing and it'll all be fine. No one actually needs change and excitement do they? I can atrophy here, it'll be grand. They can come and dig me out in 20 years when I'm subject of a Channel 5 documentary: The woman who was eaten by cats and not found for three years.

But then I keep getting little frissons of excitement. OK, so I don't know anyone up there, but I might meet some awesome people. I am looking forward to getting some clients of my own and working on them how I work best. I get to run around the City Walls. I get to press my nose up against the Vivienne Westwood shop window and not actually ever go on because they look too snotty and intimidating. I get to find a new place to live with an actual spare room and spare bed and a garden for Fatman to explore. This is all very excellent. I just need to stop sleeping so I can make it happen...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Done, and done.

It's made. The decision has Been Made. Which means I'm waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and I feel like I have an adrenaline overdose.

I'm only moving to York by the way. I haven't decided to have a sex change or have a baby or cut my hair. It's not THAT big a deal. Except for me it is. I'm a huge coward. I like comfort zones and safety. I like my house and I like my friends and I like the way Leamington is so unthreateningly dull. I like the fact I know loads of people and the way it feels like home.

The last four or so years have felt more like home than anything has since my parents moved out of my family home in 2000, shortly before my dad died. Since then it's been so difficult to feel like I have a home anywhere. For years I felt like I was just camping out and was never comfortable. I was just staying in different flats. But my odd little house for the last five years has become my refuge and my haven.

I'm in huge danger of doing that thing you do when decisions have to be made. Like when you decide to finish a relationship and all you can think about was the good bits, the warm and snuggly bits, the pretty bits. Not the bits that made you bored and lonely and frustrated and annoyed and hemmed in and claustrophobic. It's like they've all been washed away in a sepia-hued rush of nostalgia.

But the reality is, I've kind of done Leamington. At least for a while. I'm not sure I can continue with a social life that revolves around three pubs (one of which I work in). I don't like the ever present possibility of bumping into people I have slept with and it's all very awkward, or proper full on ex boyfriends who I despise. Actually there's only one of them. And not many of the former I hasten to add, but I have been here since 1999...

Added to this is the people. My soulmate lives in Ryton. How am I going to leave her? And no, not in a lesbian way, but in every other way she is my perfect human being (damn our heterosexuality) and she makes me laugh and she's always there for me and she owns the cutest block of dog in the world (that's totally not why she's my soulmate though, no siree, I don't need pug love to make me fall in love with someone) and the thought of not seeing her loads makes me feel physically sick.

There are various other people who are so so so important to me and I am used to being able to see people pretty much whenever I or they can. How can you go from living somewhere where you're essentially never alone, or never have to be alone, to moving somewhere where you don't know a soul and could feasibly spend the next six months worth of weekends staring at a wall and weeping? I mean, why would you do that?

You're too scared to do ANYthing. The thought of getting on a plane gives you hives and sends you running to the doctor for valium. A visit to another city makes you anxious. You've never been on a rollercoaster and you're been too scared to imbibe class As since 1997. You've been on anti depressants since 1995. How the hell can you of all people make a move to a new city where you know NO ONE?

All of this is running through my mind. But I picked up the phone anyway and accepted the job anyway. From the 26th March, I will be living in York. Come what may.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Decisions, decisions

I'm on the cusp of one of those actual life changing decisions that I've read about. I'm not sure I've ever had one before. Mostly because my innate cowardice usually surfaces and I decide to go and have a nice nap instead, usually until the moment passes for some reason and then I don't actually have to drag myself out of the maw.

People have said to listen to my gut reaction. But I don't think I have a gut reaction. I trust my judgement about as much as I trust my ex-boyfriend. I never know what the right thing to do is. What if I do this and I hate it? What if I miss everyone so much that I spend the entire time staring at four walls and weeping? What if Fatman gets homesick? What if, what if, what IF?

How do people make decisions anyway? I might revert to my tried and tested Magic 8 ball... 'Signs point to no'. Arse.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Handbags at dawn

I'm having some issues with people taking exception to some of the hilarious and profoundly moving blog posts I write.

And it's really starting to piss me off.

Just to be clear, lest anyone is seriously suffering from an imbalance of intellect, all opinions on here are my own. While you may not agree with them, that doesn't actually change the fact that they are my opinions.

I didn't think it was necessary to caveat my sentences thusly: "In my opinion, atheism is the only logical and rational answer, although I completely understand that other people have other opinions and that is totally lovely and smashing." Because I credit people with the intellectual and analytical ability to infer this from my text.

I also didn't deem it entirely necessary to point out where I may be pushing my arguments or sentence construction for either comedy or dramatic effect. This is a blog. It is not even a very coherent blog. There is no theme. It's not for any particular audience. It's just general nonsense. I am not holding myself up as an expert on ANYthing. But I do know what I think. And no amount of poorly rationalised and badly spelled goading on Facebook will change that.

You know you can always not read, yeah?

Big smooshy cuddles to people who don't take everything I say so utterly deathly seriously.

Now onto the fun stuff....

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What's an atheist?

While at work last night I was asked whether I believe in god. I like questions like this. I like to debate these issues and find out what people think. It genuinely fascinates me if people say they believe in a god or a religion. I want to hear about why. I like to hear rationalisations and I like to hear how and why people form their opinions.

I answered, of course, that I am an atheist, it being the only rational and logical answer to this sort of question.

A youngster at the bar chimed in with : "What's an atheist?"

I'll just leave that hanging there for a bit.

We went on to talk about SOPA and Wikipedia and cheezburger and the shut down etc etc.

Same youngster: "What's Wikipedia?"

I just wanted to share that.

While my heart gently weeps for our future as a species.

And then some are The Finkler Question

I was having a discussion just now with a friend about books. Specifically about forcing yourself to read worthy books when, actually, they're just a bit shit.

My argument would always be to give a book around six chapters and then, if it's really not doing it for you, let it go. Ditch it. Take it to a charity shop. Don't burn it or anything because that would be weird. Unless it's by Cecilia Ahern. I'm saving loads of copies of her books to heat my house when it gets properly cold. PS, I love you was one of the most offensively twee, shit, patronising and godawful books I have ever tried to read. Oh, also Eat, Pray, Love. You can burn that as well. But nothing else.

There is a school of thought that all books should be finished no matter how much you're hating the experience. Because they're art. Or they're classics. Or they somehow deserve to be read because of their longevity or because other people like them. This is bullshit. Books, like films, like music, like art, only matter if they mean something to the observer/participant.

There is no point in forcing yourself through Dickens or Kafka or Burroughs or Blyton if the essence of the fable is lost on you. If there is no swelling of joy inside when you read a paragraph, or no inward nod of recognition and delight or even disgust and shock, then just put the book down and go do something else.
I'm a massive fan of the so-called classics and many books I read are assumed to be worthy when I tell people about them. Mention that your favourite genre is 19th century english, russian and french literature and people assume you're an intellectual snob. But some of the most profound, modern, emotional, funny - not to mention totally filthy at least in subtext - passages of prose I have read have been written by Zola, Kafka, Tolstoy, the Brontes and even Austen, Radcliffe and many, many others. Too many to mention, too many have filled me with total delight or envy or made me feel less alone in this godless universe to even articulate. I find it profoundly difficult to describe the joy some books give me. It can be almost transcendental when I read something that resonates so perfectly I can feel it.

But it's also true that  when an author has written loads of books it doesn't necessarily follow that I will like them all. And I don't force myself to try. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has been a favourite of mine since I hit puberty. But can I get through Vilette? Can I bollocks. I just get bored.

And Shakespeare? Almost nothing gets me like some of the soliloquies in The Tempest and Hamlet but, jesus chrisssst, reading A Midsummer Night's Dream makes me genuinely wonder what all the fuss is about.

The only exception I make is for the book group I take part in. I made a pact with myself that I would finish every book we set ourselves, no matter what. And then I read The Finkler Question. It won the Man Booker prize last year and it is easily the most boring, trite, dull book I have ever subjected my eyes to. I finished it in such a rage at the wasted time and the sheer effort it took to concentrate on the characters that I threw it across the room like a petulant toddler.

Since then I decided, book group or no book group, I'll give it six chapters and, the second I feel let down and used, I'll just walk away. Six chapters because some books that feel deadly to start off with suddenly show their true colours and delight and surprise you. And some are The Finkler Question.

My foray into Dickens has confirmed that life is just too short to spend it reading books you don't fully click with. Don't feel you have to finish it just because it feels like everyone else is. In short, don't settle, hold out for the ones that make you feel special and connect with your emotions. You're only kidding yourself otherwise, right? And there's always plenty more fish in the sea.

And the library.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Creepy McCreeperson

Online dating sucks balls (metaphorically I hasten to add). I think I've made that clear from some of my previous posts. Even though I know of at least four people who have actually become engaged or are already married after meeting their other half on line (one of them just met the one lass and BOOM they're engaged), I don't have the knack of online dating. I just can't seem to do it very well. I don't seem to be cut out for it.

I actually had a date last night with a guy who, although lovely, could literally talk someone to death. It was kind of fascinating to see how much he could talk about himself. He was genuinely entertaining, even if he did remind me disconcertingly of Lee Evans in his mannerisms (and that's pretty disconcerting) but jeeesssus christ. I zoned out a good few times. And that's one of my more successful efforts at dating.

The point of this post is to introduce you to the Creepiest Guy So Far Ever (TM). I get a lot of messages and that on the site. I think women just do get a lot. I don't reply to most of them. I don't see the point in replying with a 'no thanks' email. It seems rather odd and presumptuous and surely people are just firing out as many emails as possible in the hope that something'll stick, right?

Occasionally I'll get someone who mails me over and over again even though I don't reply. And sometimes I'll reply and say: please leave me alone, I'm not interested. But only if it's after repeated weirdness. I have no desire to be rude to anyone or make them feel shitty, but I do draw the line at being spammed by Barry in Bootle or whatever.

All of this is par for the course in online dating.

However, a comment popped up on one of my blog posts (the one about the PPI salesman if you're interested in witnessing said freakiness) with some gibberish and then a message to contact him on the dating site. Curiosity getting the better of my common sense, I put his name into the site. Turns out he's already mailed me multiple times.

I put the gibberish into google and it turns out he has created a blog specially for me to read. The tagline is something like: found you on match. I can't bear to look at it again to find out exactly what it says, but that's the gist of it.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong but that's just a leetle weird. A bit, shall we say, intense. A tad, um, stalkerishly creepy.

I mailed him with a one liner asking him to stop contacting me and thought that would be the end of it.

Nahhhhhhhhhhh, that wasn't the end of it. I got a 1000 word email explaining in detail the reasons why it's completely normal to put someone's user name into Google, find their blog, comment on it, set up another blog just for that person to look at with repeated messages to contact them. Apparently that's totally normal and I'm a massive bitch for thinking it isn't. He is also apparently my intellectual and emotional superior.

Ladies and gents, I don't want to get carried away here, but I think... I think I might have found The One. Buy a hat, yeah?

We all just want a ring on it. Apparently.

I read something today about single women. And about how 95% of single women secretly want to be married. I don't know where they got their statistics from. Perhaps it was sexistwank.com. But the thrust of the article went on to explain that even when women purport to be happy while not in a relationship or marriage, they actually secretly cry into their cat/cake (delete as applicable) every night, while flicking through wedding magazines and obsessing about how to trap that man. A life of hard won independence with the ability to work for oneself (albeit still at a lower wage for the most part than men), the right to choose whether to have children or not, the right to control one's own body, mind and desires: 95% of these women wish they could trade it all in for some farting, video game/golf/rugby (delete as applicable) playing irritant who promises to control their every move for the rest of their life while doling out self esteem crushing bon mots, usually in front of their friends.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm just bitter because I don't have a boyfriend. While that may be the case I did have one for nearly all of my 20s and a couple of years of this decade. I even lived with one for many years. Thing is, I don't like being single all of the time. Specially at Christmas. And birthdays. Oh, and Valentine's Day. Most of the major holidays actually. And now most of my friends are coupled up and, well, no one wants to feel like the last turkey in the shop, as it were. It's like being picked last for the team. Over and over again.

But a lot of the time I'm fully ambivalent about being single. I think I want a boyfriend but, frankly, the ones I have had have been nothing to shout about. I felt constricted and controlled and frustrated and hemmed in and narrowed when I was in relationships. I'm assuming that was because they were the wrong men. Perhaps I'm genetically programmed to be rubbish in relationships. Who the flip knows?

And sometimes I am bitter about it as it goes. I spent nearly eight years in a relationship with a guy who constantly and consistently told me that he would never marry me and that there was no future in it and that 'one day he would leave me'. At the time it was far more important to me to have a boyfriend and, besides, he was a really good cook and he did more housework than me and somehow I couldn't sleep without him there and I just couldn't ever EVER imagine being alone. At the time I told myself that I couldn't imagine myself without him. But that wasn't actually true. Although I had been very much in love with him at one point, the cracks in our relationship showed after a few years and it was clear to both of us that we weren't going to be sharing a double plot in the family cemetery. I just couldn't cope with the thought of myself as nearly 30 and single. Single = failure. Single = can't keep a man. Single = not good enough.

Since then I've been single for aeons. Centuries. Decades. A brief aberration of another doomed and disastrous relationship in the middle, but for the most part single. And I honestly don't know what I think about it.

Sometimes I do have moments where all I want is to be married. Doesn't even matter who to anymore. At my age, you can't afford to be picky, right? Someone with a pulse and a working prostate will be fine. Then I can have weekend trips to Ikea and I wouldn't have to go mooching round the shops on my own and I'd have someone to text when I'm out and someone to make me a cup of tea every now and again. I could go to Homebase and do the gardening and get a house in a suburb and a car and learn how to drive that car and spend my weekend decorating and buying things.

My lifestyle isn't normal for a woman approaching her late 30s. I don't have a regular bedtime. I don't eat proper meals. I don't have any plans to have children. I don't know where I'm spending Christmas from year to year. I have no routine and I go where I please when I please. I don't have to tell anyone where I am, what I'm doing and when I'll be back. Other than a solitary fat cat, no one is relying on me and no one is waiting for me. So I don't go to sleep until I feel like it. And I eat when I want. And I clean as much as I want to. And I watch whatever I want on TV. And when I feel like reading for 10 hours straight I do that too. Sometimes I just have tinned peaches for dinner. Or peas. A bowl of peas. Can't beat peas.

If I was back in a relationship I couldn't do any of that without it being a thing. Set meal times distress me and doing coupley things on a Sunday distress me. Sleeping in the same bed as anyone really distresses me. I won't sleep in the same room as anyone else if I can possibly help it.

But despite being an anomaly among my peers, a bit of a weirdo, someone that people jokingly refer to as a spinster (yes, really), and the fact that all of my female friends of a comparable age are in relationships or married or having babies, and in some cases, all three of those things. Despite this,
 the Office of National Statistics shows that fewer women are getting married than ever before. The rates are at their lowest for the last 100 years.

More people live alone than ever before. More people are choosing to go childless than ever before. So where did this newspaper get its stats from? I just went back to check the article and realised it was the Daily Mail online.

Suddenly all is clear. I really must check my reading material more closely in future.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Brrrrrring, brrrring, brrrring, brrriiinnng

In the middle of my surprisingly work-filled day of many phone calls, clients, photoshoots (sadly the writing will have to be done tonight methinks) I had a call from an unknown number. Absolutely nothing unusual there, I phone at least 20 people every day who I don't know.

"Hello, Debbie speaking"

"Hiiiiii. It's Jassssson here from PPIreclaimingrobbingbastardsplc"

Sigh.

"I'm not interested, thank you"

And there it should have ended, no? I do sympathise (to a very small degree) that people in call centres and who work for money grabbing scam fuckers are just trying to earn some money and it's not their fault etc etc yada yada. BUT, as soon as the person they are harrassing says: "I'm not interested, thank you" that should be the end of it.

And yes, I was actually that polite. I can be polite even when being cold called by a tosser in the middle of a busy day.

"So you don't want your money?" goads the J-man.

"There is no money Jayyyyson." I lilt in a disturbing sing song voice.

"Oh, you've never had insurance in the last 12 years? Hmmm?" Oh, he's sceptical now. Thinks he can appeal to my innate sense of undeserved entitlement, does he?

I can't believe it. I'm having an argument about missold PPI with a numbnut fool over the phone when I need to be phoning clients. I don't even know what PPI is. But I'm pretty sure there isn't a vast pile of cash with my name on it sitting somewhere just waiting for Jayyyyyyyson from Robbing Cunts & Son to liberate it for me.

"There is no money. You're wasting my time." Cutting tones. That'll show him.

"Fine," says Jason.

And I can sense it's the beginning of the end of me and Jase. Our entire relationship flashes before my eyes. I remember the good times (just before he spoke for the first time) and the bad (about five minutes ago) and I grow a little misty eyed. All that we've shared. Was I just going to let him walk out of my life? And then.

"Fine," he says. "I'll just take your money and give it to charity."

Well. Well, I never. Never have I been threatened in such a manner. How. Dare. He? Threaten me with taking money I didn't even know I had and, oh it's just too awful, give it to CHARITY?

"Take it ALL Jason and buy yourself a FUCKING mars bar." I said.

Then I slammed the phone down.

I hope he phones back.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Just give me my money back...

... you massive shithouse sons of whoremeistering fucktard assbandits. Just give me my fucking money back. To whom am I addressing this ditty? Debenhams, that's who. The online shopping experience that acts all fucking surprised when you want to send a parcel back - on 9 December 2011 - and then, and I know I'm presumptuous - expect your money back before the end of the FUCKING world occurs. Which I found out is December 21 2012. That's going to put a crimp on Christmas. Still, at least it'll save on fucking online shopping with returns that are impossible to make and refunds that are impossible to get.

I'm actually revelling in being angry about something. Anything. Three days and nights of crippling stomach pain while contorting my body in paroxysms of agony and writhing around on the bathroom floor meant that the only thing I've been thinking about is shitting and puking. Shall I shit now? Or shall I puke now? Or maybe both? Yeahhhh, let's go for both shall we, you bastard fucking crapmeistering CUNTbucket of an immune system.
It's amazing how it crystallises one's worries down to two things: when will I stop shitting and when will I stop puking? For the first 24 hours I didn't move from the floor. I couldn't drink water. I forgot to put the bins out. This pains me immensely. It was recycling day as well. I could weep looking at the overflowingness of my waste receptacles.

I only managed to take my clothes off after 24 hours. I kid you not. It may sound dramatic but one minute I was lounging behind the bar trading banter with friendly regulars, the next I was home commencing the writhing. Gnawing pain on the inside that was on a par with five days of appendicitis. Really, really fucking bad. Can't move, can't stand, can't speak, can't even text bad.

I know, everyone's ill, right? Everyone's got something? Blah, blah, fucking BLAH. I'm pissed off. And it's my blog so if you don't want self pity then walk away now. Go and read something amusing about a celebrity or some shit. My body lets me down over and over again and it's PISSING ME OFF. I have lost my appendix, my gall bladder, I have had my womb lining burned off, I have had my fucking nose cauterised, I have had tubes stuck down me, up me and in me, I've had burns cut and a possibly cancerous mole removed from my BOOB, I've had sinusitis that lasted for EIGHT MONTHS and now apparently I have got to undergo a load of new tests. Oh no, it couldn't just be a bug could it? Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it has to be something that necessitates tests, tests, tests and then probably some invasive surgery because I don't have enough scars on my abdomen as it is DO I?

The point made long ago it seems was at least pain knocks away the day to day worries. It shuts the voices up into one big primal scream. I suppose that's good. I had loads of weirdass dreams as well, turns out I was running a fever, who knew? My cat did but did he do fuck all about it? Nooooooooooooo. Little bastard.

I dreamt I had cancer and the doctor had organised a time for me to be put down. My friends held a little gathering in honour of the occasion and were well pissed off when I kept wailing that I didn't want to die. And I chose that moment to ask my mum where my dad was, turns out he's not dead, he's just moved to America because he hates me so much. Yayyyy. Subconcious I love you. You're A-M-AZ-ING.

Anyway, yeah. I feel a bit better, like. And it'll all be fine. And yay, 2012 rocks, I love the new year. And all that shit.

Monday, 2 January 2012

2012: fuck it

My New Year's resolution is pretty simple this year.
I know I need to kick smoking. I know I need to stop repeating certain patterns. I know I need to continue dieting forever and ever until I'm a cadaver and finally fucking thin enough. I know all of that. But deciding on January 1st that all of these things are going to happen when they failed to do so on December 31st is bullshit. Ain't going to happen. Boring. Pointless.
But this year I going to change something that should be easier than all the above. One simple statement which utilises one of my very favourite words. Fuck it.
People who I invest time and me into and don't reciprocate? Fuck it. Friends who never contact me? Fuck it. Comments and jibes and piss takes? Fuck it. Accordian man? Fuck him into the ground with a machete. People who make me feel insecure and worthless? Double fuck it. Feeling anxious and paranoid that I might or might not have said something, done something, hurt someone? Fuck it. Worrying about nuclear meltdown? Fuck it. Worrying about every single thing I put in my mouth? Fuck it. Fuck it all.
I'm going to try, just once, not to be 'positive' because that word makes me want to do a bit of sick in my mouth. But I'm very much over worrying about every single damn thing. And for the times when I can't say fuck it and mean it, I have a bumper pack of Valium. Bring it on 2012 you big bastard.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Bye bye 2011

I'm watching Charlie Brooker's 2011 Wipe. I'd almost forgotten about some of the shit that's gone on out there. You know, outside of my head and my tiny little world. Revolutions, the Arab Spring, Amy Winehouse, shitloads of murderous despotic dictators killed, shitloads of hysteria over the arse of the sister of some bird who married Prince William, the riots, nuclear meltdowns, Charlie Sheen, super injunctions, phone hacking gate, the revolting celebration of the US over the bloodlust murder of Bin Laden and, most shockingly and horrifically of all, The Only Way is Essex winning a BAFTA.

I think we just had the end of the world, people. The Mayans clearly got the year wrong. It's possible we've already all gone through it and we're all existing in some kind of happy creation of our own imaginations. Maybe this is what happens after the apocalypse. That would be disappointing, frankly.

Yes, I am writing this after imbibing a fair amount of gin and some beer. But I'm not drunk. It's all going to be completely coherent. Probably.

It's New Years Eve, well to be precise it's 4am on New Years Day and I'm blogging. I'm not at all sure what this says about my life, apart from the fact that I most certainly didn't pull last night.

So, how was 2011 for you? I'm pretty much relieved it has fucked off, between you and me. It could be my perpetual glass is half empty attitude, but I feel this year has vomited its fair share of shiteousness on my duvet. Although, I could flip it all around...

I may have left my job, yes, but I'm much happier without it and I'm writing for a living again And I work for myself. And I've rediscovered the grind of real, hard work at the pub, which has definitely done wonders for my sense of perspective and introduced me to what one could call a colourful cast of characters who might well form the basis of my first book.

I may have got back with my ex only for it to totally not work out in any way, shape or form... but I have finally freed myself from a really shitty situation that was just dragging on and on and on. And I'm genuinely fine about it. I have no regrets about that at all. Seeing someone clearly, I mean really seeing who they are underneath the charm and the lies and the bullshit is incredibly liberating. That moment when something shifts in your head and you finally are sure, completely sure, that this person is just horrible. They're not damaged or interesting or in need of help or confused or not in control of their own behaviour: they're just a dick. And they don't deserve one more second of your precious time. That moment is ace. And I had that.

I may still not be happy with the way I look but I'm still almost two stone lighter than I was this time last year and my hair is pleasing me on an almost weekly basis. 

I may still be single but I'm definitely narrowing down what I'm looking for out of a life partner. It's pretty much this: must not be a knob. That's pretty realistic, right? I don't want money, power, a six pack or a massive schlong. Just someone who isn't a fuckwit. Actually I do want a fairly massive schlong.

I may not have finished my novel but I have started this blog, which is amusing me greatly.

I may not have met the love of my life but I've met a some interesting and, in some cases, challenging new friends who I'm happy to have in my life.

I may not have gone running every day, partly due to the beautiful second degree burns I randomly sustained in November, but I've healed and I am running again.

In short, I may not have had everything I wanted in 2011, but I suspect I had a few things I needed. And I'm lucky that I was able to celebrate tonight with some amazing friends, some of whom I haven't seen in close to three years. So maybe my glass was half full all along.

Happy new year to everyone I care about, and those I don't even know. I hope 2012 brings you peace, happiness and whatever it is that makes your world complete.