Monday, 31 May 2010

A House Is Not A Home

...when C's not in it.

No I've not finally caved in to my unspoken love for C - that's how it is in the real world, you don't wake up and find you're in love with your housemate. You just just end up hoovering the messy bedroom they've left behind and finding the books they left behind.

Our transition from housemates to friends who live separately began on Saturday, when we spent most of the Eurovision Song Contest, texting each withering commentary, complete with a few laugh out loud moments.

Yesterday we caught up for all of about 10 minutes, I was on the way out and he had hangover.

Then I saw him briefly before he went up to bed.

“It’s our last night and you’re going to bed early” I complained, sticking out my tongue.

“Yep”, he said smirking…”You’ll be fine. It’ll be quiet around here though”

“Ain’t that the truth” I replied.

“And just to let you know I’ll be up 30 mins later in the morning, so you get a bit longer in the bathroom”

“It’s like you’ve gone already” I said wistfully.

This morning I took my time getting ready and sleeping beauty emerged just as I was leaving, still sleepy eyed and in his dressing gown, like a small boy about to get ready for school.

“Well this is it then “ I said a little sadly.

“Aye” he said, scuffing his feet along the pile of the carpet. “Although if I can’t move all of my stuff tonight, I might stay tonight and move the rest of my things tomorrow, if that’s alright with you”

“That’s fine I said. Well I think we better hug it out then, just in case I don’t see you again”

I got the bear hugs of all hugs and then he said “I’ll text you later, just so you know what I’m doing”
“Yes, that would be great I said. Have a good day cherub”

“You too pet and if I do leave today, I’ll see you at the weekend for a coffee and a catch-up”

As I closed the front door and walked to the bus stop, I was a little sad and happy. This perfect stranger has become one of my best buddies and taught me that the friendship, just like a relationship can be a slow burn, but when it’s right you just can’t beat it.

He’s also restored my faith in my ability to live with a man, let somebody into my space, be accepting of all their ‘stuff’ and weird quirks and not run for the hills screaming, when things aren’t exactly as I want them.

Agreed this was much easier to do without the pressure of a romantic entanglement and the hope that living together will lead somewhere, but the most important thing is I opened up and surprise, surprise no one died.

I’m not the complete emotional icecube basketcase I thought I was and hell if C says I’m ok, I can’t be that bad can I?

All Action Bank Holiday!

I always like to make the most of my Bank Holidays and today was no exception. Things began with a bang quite literally, when reaching over to my bedside table to shut off my mobile phone alarm, I managed to knock off my contacts lens case and my mobile phone.

Searching for your lost 'eyes' when you are as short sighted as I am, is like looking for the right shoe to that left shoe you managed to snag on the first day of the january sale at your favourite shoe store.

You look and look until you grab the attention of the only sales assistant in the store, bright enough to look in the other shoe size racks, to see if the one you want is there.

Five minutes later I spotted my contact lens case, nesting behind one of the bed legs. Another five minutes later and I found my mobile phone lying behind one of my underbed storage boxes.

As I stood in my still untiled showerbath - (my friend's Dad who was originally going to do the job, didn't work out quite as well as I wanted, so I've found another builder who starts work next week - God help me - I'm going through as many builders as I do dates!), trying desperately to wake up, I remembered that I was supposed to be having lunch with A at 1, I had to pick up LMM's birthday present and I still had to pick up the floor tiles for the bathroom.

The present was a doodle (No, I can't tell you what it is as LMM reads my blog!) lunch with A was great - she's in the process of making some massive changes in both her work and personal life and is doing great with both.

Which just left me with the visit to the DIY store.

There are many things that bug me about being single - not having access to oversized t-shirts that look better on me than him. Not having anyone to share the Sunday papers with, while it's still Sunday - C always reads the reminants the day after; and waking up beside a hot looking grumpy man who hates the fact that I'm super happy in the morning, when he's not.

The one thing that definitely turns me into a moany Minnie - is doing my own DIY and having to pick up the supplies to do it.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but that's what guys are supposed to do. C was at his sister's place recovering from Eurovision Song party and S (my other favourite toolbox guy) has only just come back from the Far East.

So it was with a heavy heart, that I found myself el solo stalking up and down the aisles checking out tiles.

Having decided upon my choice, I went off in search of a friendly assistant to take my order, be charming to - so he could cut me a good deal and maybe even get everything delivered free. Well if you don't ask you don't get!

As soon as F turned around and gave me a rather cheeky smile, when I mentioned I wanted a discount, I realised that there are some fringe benefits to DIY!

20 mins later, I had everything I wanted including the added bonus on the back of receipt order, of his phone numbers (landline and mobil) at the bottom of it. Result!

It was all going really well, until he let slip he was in his second year at university and still living at home with his mum. Arrrr..... maybe I should get him to come across to mine for some 1:1 tuition.....only joking....or am I? I'll see how the rest of my week goes!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy Friday!

OMG my new skinny flare jeans are tooo die for !! As all of you will know I am the type of woman who has to work her butt off in the gym to remain curvy but toned.

Finding the perfect pair of jeans that shows off just the right amount of junk in the trunk (if you got it, you just gotta flaunt it right!), makes my thighs look skinny and hugs my waist is no mean feat, but I was up to the job.

Finding a man who wants to go and see Sex and the City, should have been an equally hard task until S who I am meant to be dining with FBd me and asked whether I like Sex and the City.

Ever since my very first episode, when Miranda was dating a nerd called Skipper and Carrie has only just bumped into Mr Big, it was love at first episode.

I craved the shoes, the clothes, the impossibly gorgeous men and the tricky little problems the ‘girls’ encountered during their day to day lives.

Once they hit the tough stuff like infidelity when Carrie cheated on Aidan with Big (something so ridiculously stupid, because I’ll admit this actually always preferred Aidan – so hot, but also good with his hands….in the bedroom and around the house!).

Or when Samantha got cancer – ok I’ll admit it I cried when she said broke up with Smith and pretended she was over him, rather than him see her get sick.

Yes I am a die hard SATC woman. So I'm gutted to say this, though diverting, visually stunning (the clothes, the shoes, the hair, some totally gorgeous locations), it wasn't all that funny and just like so many of us have said to that new love interest - "I'm just not in to you!"

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

My Back Up Plan

Well the clock is well and truly ticking down all too fast on C's time at Casa BB. Somehow in the past week, we seem to have tlked more and laughed harder, both of us knowing that change is just around the corner.

When I made him laugh by talking about my latest train moment - why is it men you meet on trains are always married?

This particular magic moment had a shaven head (growl - this only ever works if the guy has a beautiful shaped head which he had!),three piece double-breasted retro, grey suit and the body of a rugby player - argh a little piece of heaven !

"He was so fit, I'll nearly wrestled him to the ground there and then", I moaned to C.

"You're the only person I know who says crazy love stuff like that, follows your heart, means it and is actually nuts enough to act on it", laughed C.

"What can I say, I'm an idiot when it comes to amour, Wrong time, wrong place, wrong person, wrong life....oh I sound like some dodgy heroine in a romance novel"

"At least, when you do me the 'Real Deal', with your extensive vocabulary and ability to talk complete crap, he'd never be bored being married to a nut job like you" he smiled.

"Thanks, is that a proposal, because if it is, that would be great as my back up plan T (one of my best guy buddies), has just got engaged to 'The Child' aka 'the Hobbit, (her nickname depends on my humour and annoyance that another great guy, has forsaken some amazing women his own age to hook up with a hot childwoman, who has an intelluct as large as my shoe size!).

Sorry T - but you know I speak the truth!

Being the mischievous minx that I am and knowing how easy it is to wind C up, I proceeded to rattle through venue, honeymoon and even dress selection, plus a five year timeline to 'our' wedding.

Watching the colour drain from his cheeks was so funny, that of course I couldn't hold my poker face too long without cracking up, something which wasn't helped by the cushion he threw at me.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Hot In the City!

It has been a pretty uninteresting week, that is until the heatwave hit hard today. Being couped up in an office which resembles a hothouse the minute the temperature gauge rises is cause enough to be catty.

But stepping out for lunch today I was confronted by an sea of women with absolutely no idea how to dress for the weather. There were several tribes that caught my eye.

The Trenchcoat Mafia
Out in force ready for action,wearing their coats despite it being 80 degrees outside, just in case the weather changed.

The Jimmy Shoez
Shoes fashionistas whose devotion is so extreme, that they wear even the silliest new trends - like sling clogs that are impossible to walk or hobble in or my number one pet hate at the moment - Sack Boots.

These hybrid shoe/boots/sandals - either in contrast fabric (black and gold or slutty red - shame on otherwise fashionable girl about town who stopped me dead in my tracks this morning wearing a fire engine peep-toe version of them!).

And don't let me forget the espadrilles version,or the gladiator sandal cross mix that would only look good on a TopShop refuge.

Attack of the Red Lobsters
Fair-skinned beauties who despite knowing better, spurn their essential factor 100 plus sun lotion burn themselves, just by walking around in the sun and insist on exhibiting the damage, wearing maxi-dresses with bikini tops underneath them.

Couple this offence with wearing cheap flip-flops and unpolished toe nails and I'd say we have a crime against fashion, which should not be forgiven any time soon.

The Busty Babes - Ladies - there really is no reason for you to give a free viewing of your assets by wearing lowcut summer dresses which don't quite fit you properly,and are in danger of setting the girls free when you least expect it.

Roll on summer - you've been a long time coming!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Chilled Out Sunday

Since I am the last one of our lady mafia who remains both manless and childless, increasingly I find myself cast in the role of lone ranger at the weekend.

While Saturdays are all about errands, shopping, lunch with the girls (when they're free from romantic entaglements and children) and the inevitable dash of housework; Sundays are officially chill day in Casa BB. There's nothing quite as chilled as London town on a quiet Sunday morning.

Usually I go to my favourite coffee shop, order a latte and crossant, then trawl my way through a pile of papers. This week was a little different as I had my bi-weekly facial in Covent Garden.

Walking towards my train interchange I spotted VW, looking too fabulous for words, clad in a terracota brocade jacket, which clashed fashionably against her dyed red hair and then just to finish things off a simple pair of black pants.

You don't expect to see a world renowned fashion designer scurrying through a tube station, on a Sunday morning trying to keep pace with a tall swarthy looking 6 foot plus man and I had to stop myself from being super nosey and seeing where she went.

At Covent Garden, I made my way to the nearest coffee and bumped into HBC. HBC is one of those actresses who started off mega gorgeous, but as now dropped that beauty tag and replaced it with quirky bad, no that's too kind, terrible dresser.

She was wearing and this had to be seen to be believed - a black frock Victorian coat, tartan bustle skirt, scuffy white t-shirt and platform blocked black trainers -she honestly would have given a bag lady a run for their money.

Perhaps instead of employing a housekeeper, she should employ a full-time stylist methinks! Meow!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

All Quiet On The BB Front ...Not!

To be perfectly honest absolutely nothing notable or worthy of my reflection has happened in the last week. It is as if everything around me has come to a thundering standstill.

Until today. Having agonised over a particularly square possible opportunity working in insurance, and just about got my head around it and the interview tomorrow, I found a message on my phone from the agency saying it was cancelled.

When that type of thing happens you can go several ways in your thinking.

First – "Darned it, don’t tell me I need to rework my cv again".

Next - I'll be honest, relief because I am way too loud to sit quietly in a room of number crunchers, picking key colours to make specialist information in my excel spreadsheet stand out, to the poor beggars who then have to interpret what the sheet means.

And finally, that dodgy after thought "Have I been blackballed by someone recently or in my dim dark past". Answers on a postcard please !!

Once you have put these crazy notions aside you can concentrate on the good stuff. Strange as this may seem, especially as I am in limbo in just about every area of my life right now, I’m pretty happy at the moment.

Granted my love life remains stuck in a wilderness void that only a minor miracle could penetrate through. I am still being 'courted' by various suitors, but right now I'm not that bothered.

My work status is at best ‘interesting’- today I found out the job in change management that I'd been sounded out about, have been gunning for and can do in my sleep, isn't going to me.

Apparently I've been 'earmarked' for an admin role with G - my power hungry opposite number whose been shoving all her crappy jobs my way.

Has anyone asked me whether I want this 'joey role' - no. Talked to me about salary, opportunity, my so-called bright future in a frankly rubbish role - hell no. The assumption seems to be that I'll just run with things, when someone finally talks to me about it.

I'm actually quite amused with things, as the whole situation is just waiting for me to inject a little bit of mischief by disappearing off into the sunshine a little sooner than I wanted.

Ordinarily I'd feel just a little guilty but it will teach them to not to count their chickens, before checking whether they're still laying golden eggs!

Despite all of this uncertainty I consider myself pretty darned lucky. I’ve learnt to accept that when things don’t come to me, are invariably not meant for me.

Work is the way it is, because good stuff is just around the corner and in the meantime little gems like the news that HWMBO has got rid of another incarnation of me, who lasted exactly a month (I rest my case, I was a saint to last as long as I did !), keep me mischieviously cheerful.

What comes next - you tell me !

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tantrums and Tiaras

The mark of a truly great pageant queen is how she copes which the tiara which she has long dreamed of gently nestling on her head, is cruelly snatched away from her at the last grasp, by an underdog.

The evening wear parade followed by the Q & A gave a revealing insight to the fashion sense and brain power of the contestants.

Answering any of 11 questions, previously given to the ladies, the tension was increased by each contestant having to select an envelope from the host.

The first two did well, but the third contestant tipped the audience into a bawdy rabble of approval, when she discussed how she would clean up the Caribbean, by taking a firm hand on crime.

You see there is nowhere you can avoid election fever !

Contestant four was LMM who managed to answer an incomprehensible question about green issues, even managing to end on a cheeky note that had the audience hollering. Things were looking good !

A short sharp no answer by contestant 5, the only sponsored representative, until she opened her mouth and made the girls on EastEnders sound classy; and two okish answers from the remaining contestants brought the official proceedings to an end, but heralded yet more entertainment.

A male singer stepped on the stage who was so in love with himself, that I think he failed to notice that he couldn’t sing particularly well, hitting a series of pitch bathed notes that weren’t helped by an aging sound system.

Thankfully the girl singer that followed him sang a feisty carnival tinged song, which for the first and only time on the night, resulted in the audience applauded the artist back for and encore.

The host who did a sterling job, considering she had to ‘fill’ more than once during the evening and her attempts at audience participation where met with all the warmth of an igloo by the audience, seemed genuinely excited about results.

First came the "Thank you for being you awarsds", - ‘Ms Website’ (public vote), Ms Elegance (LMM won by a country mile!), Miss Sunshine(no not really, but I couldn't resist throwing that one in!)

Ms Photogenic and Ms Carivogue went to J the pre-show favourite,. However, the drama really kicked off when the second runner up was announced.

In the lead up to the competition LMM had raving about J as being of the girls’ being ‘beyond gorgeous’ and being so photogenic she was “a photographer’s dream”. I didn’t see it. She was pretty sure, apparently the pre-competition favourite, but not stunning and quite sulky looking.

“And the second runner-up is J!” Suddenly it look like her world had collapsed. She lowered her eyes to the floor and seemed to be rooted to the spot before finally shuffling across the stage and having a tiny crown placed on her head.

“And the first runner-up is …..LMM!”. I leapt out of my seat and started threw down a few whoops, before I noticed the rest of LMM clan doing the same in the middle of the audience.

LMM was grinning broadly, having first grasped when her name was called. She looked lovely in a plunge line, floor-length green taffeta dress and smiled and waved at her family and me.

While she was enjoying her moment of glory, behind her, J could stand the shame of losing no more and as her legs gave way into an buckle mode, she was helped off the stage, where she dissolved into tears.

Then it was time for the big one…the winner…who went from shocked to embarrassed within 5 short minutes as carnation crown failed to stay on her head, despite the attempts of the host, the previous year’s winner and other assorted hand maidens…priceless

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Kind Hearts and Cornets

There is regular time and there is black time…black time being the more relaxed version of any real time and which exists in a universe all of its own dimension. On an invitation to a black event, if it says 7:00 - midnight, what it actually means is really starts around 10ish and a midnight finish is just not going to happen.

I for some reason have always operated on real time and have over the years, often found myself the early diva at social events having turned up on time or very close to it. Consequently, I have learnt the hard way that I need to adjust my arrival time to my company.

Hoping to hit a compromise I turned up at half past eight, in part courtesy of my taxi driver who managed to get us lost in a maze of street in South West London and in part on purpose.

My smug joy at outwitting black time evaporated when I enter the barely full auditorium where the contest was held. My heart sank as I realised, despite all my best efforts, I had failed miserably to miss the pre-event entertainment.

First a medley of tunes (30 minutes of indifferent steel pan playing) from the only steel band I have ever known who had no soul or passion.

Just two members - a sharp suit trilby wearing boy of about eight and the lady standing beside him, who looked spookily like D’s Mum seemed to be having a good time, smiling and swaying while they played.

Next up on the Caribbean’s Got Talent stage, was a husband and wife IndoCaribbean fusion dance team. Torture. Pure torture – lots of hand movements, dodgy poses and music which would ordinarily be reserved for elevator music.

It was 9pm before the beauty contestants finally hit the stage and how welcome they were. The first contestant stunned me by looking like a drag queen, with super exaggerated poses, bambi downward facing eyes and all the grinning technique of Batman’s Joker.

Fortunately, the rest of the contestants were quite normal. LMM looked gorgeous and spoke eloquently during her opening introduction and stood out as definitely being up for a top three finish.

By the time the ladies moved into their carnival and beachwear things finally fired up. It takes a lot of courage to shake your booty in front of a crowd and I had to take my hats off to the girls, particularly three of them, who looked like the gym was a word they could just about spell, let alone walk into.

The wonder of a sarong, should never be dismissed !

LMM had no such problem and the words ‘Damned’ and ‘Smoking' came just from the row I was sitting in, my contribution being “Ka Pow!” , when she strutted out all Beyoncefied, wiping the floor with some of the less confident contestants with a swagger which had ‘Trouble with a capital T’ written all over it.

There are no more scary words to a restless audience than “We’re just going to take a little break from the competition and welcome back the steel pan players!!” Their second slot was only distinguished by the rousing of another member of the band, who decided smiling and swaying might make the time go quicker.

Watching them walk off stage, I smiled, happy that I wouldn’t have to hear another steel pan drum until Carnival, when the big guns come out and you wonder why you have to wait a year to hear them again.

Once again the steel pan troop were followed by the IndoCaribbean fusion dancers – who sadly weren’t any better than their first slot. When the host of the proceedings came back on stage, finally signally the end for their slot, after a minuscule ripple of applause, she announced that we were breaking for 15 minutes for some food.

At that point I did laugh – old school Caribbean cooking at 10pm at night and a 15 minute break which of course ended up being 30 minutes - 45 minutes to some audience members who snuck in just in time for a final burst of ‘entertainment’ before the Eveningwear / Q & A session of the contest began.