Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

Hooray, I've made it! It's the end of 2010 and this diva is still standing !

Things I've learnt this year:

Remember to be grateful - I have literally landed on my feet the whole of this year, particularly when my back has been against the wall.

To take no prisoners - in my life and at work - I deserve the very best iand I don't have to put up with bad situations.

Not to run away from tough shit - life is great, but sometimes its not. How you deal with the tough times is what truly counts.

I am good at stuff - laughing, shopping, bad karaoke, giving advice (general and dating!) and I'm a certified fashionista.

Things I am going to do this year:

Step up on my writing - do more of it!

Spend more time with my family and friends.

Take up more freelance work - not just writing, I source materials for house refurbishments.

Make more me time - to do my photography, go to dance classes, rock climbing and definitely some more fencing and before I forget find a new love interest !!

Remember to enjoy life, because it sure ain't a rehearsal.

Thanks for continuing to read me and I hope you have a brilliant 2011 - May all your dreams come true !

Love BB


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Is Over !

It's official my trying to love Christmas amnesty is over. It was ended by the pickpocket who helped themselves to my purse this afternoon, while I was out at the sales

I realised just how crap a memory I had when I tried to remember just how many cards I had in it (come on can you remember what you have in your purse or wallet, when you haven't got it right in front of you?), whether my membership card for the National Portrait Gallery is still valid and then regretted not having another copy of the picture of me and G,which was nestled in it clear insert.

I went back to all the shops I'd been to in the vain hope that someone would have handed my discarded purse in, but my pleas were met with stony indifference, only one assistant suggested I leave my number just in case and said she hoped my purse would turn up.

Back home a last minute desperate rifle through my bag, confirmed what I already knew and I called the bank.

I was pleasantly surprised to be connected to a human being (not a call centre in India!), who cancelled all my cards and gently reminded me that I'd got off lightly, aside from a little inconvenience I was not hurt and no money had been taken from any of my accounts -I was lucky.

She was right.I am, but the fact remains it gave me a wake up call not to stress out on the small stuff which I always do(after all nobody died, I just had a dodgy incovenient panic hour)and to be more alert to my surroundings and the people in them.

Lesson learned !

Monday, 27 December 2010

Friends Reunited !

If there's one thing you need after overloading on 'family' after Christmas. it's time with your friends.

M is back in 'Blighty for her annual Christmas break, leaving the Big Apple behind and luckily for her arriving just in time to miss our own snowbound airport chaos.

We caught up today for lunch at Selfridges, having managed to navigate our way past sale crazed bargain hunters, making up for being denied their Boxing Day fix curtesy of a national rail strike yesterday.

You wouldn't believe we haven't seen each other for three years. The banter was the same, our serious moments were just the right side of grown up - short and sweet but not too depressing.

Best of all though was the fact that we still share the same way of looking at things (men taste is marginally better!) in our lives and for that I am truly thankful.

I didn't hesitate inviting her to come along and have dinner with LL and I at a cheeky little Thai place in Shoreditch. LL duly arrived suitcase in hand, fresh from the 'Orphans Christmas' at N's, looking amazing in a Ruskie hat I would have died for.

Oh how I wish I had joined them, particularly when I heard they spent Christmas eating, drinking and best of all watching back to back episodes of The Tudors, featuring the very truly beautiful Jonathan Rhys Myers and the even hotter Henry Cavill.

LL was on tip-top form, full of stories, wise cracks and her usual wiry wisdom. She and M got on like a house and fire and hanging out with them both during a fun-filled evening made me thank heaven for good friends.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

The Only Way Is Up

When a woman splits up with her man, she can always rely on her girlfriends to pull her through. However, when your ex rubs you nose in you splitting up, in the press and on national tv repeatedly, there's only one place to go to vent instantly - Twitter!

Last night's The Only Way Is Essex was a classic Twitter source, just begging for instant comment. Leading man M has been in a love triangle with his ex L1,who constantly tells anyone who'll listen to her, that they were 'together for nine years', almost like it's her Blue Peter girlfriend badge of martyrdoom.

New girl on the block L2, who sort of replaced L1 (Although M continued seeing L1 on the side!)and let's not forget, cheeky outsider S, who put the cat among the pigeons last night by confessing to be 'sorta seeing' M too.

In fact M and S ended the night in a black cab (Eastenders stylie!)heading off to the well renowned Essex nightspot Faces.

I'll admit I was glued to this hour long bitch fest, full of comings and goings and demonstrating the sheer stupidity of all the ladies concerned, allowing themselves be played by someone who is already completely in love - with himself!

I knew that fans of the show, wouldn't be able to resist a good old venting session on Twitter today and they didn't let me down. M and L kicked things off.

M moaned "Not having a public row pathetic on xmas, but just 2 say im SINGLE and have been for 9months, was seeing lucy in between, so how can any harm be done?"

Then L (that's L1, not L2!) hit back "U serious! You low life scum! How dare u even make this 100 times worst for yourself, get on with it u nasty evil person!!"

Then it was open house, as everyone (all pro L1 not L2!) piled in with their opinions on the situation.

"M needs to give himself a good scrub down and stop sleeping about! Man whore! It's not attractive! Lauren - stay clear!"

"I don't blame u hun u deserve so much better ur beautiful and won't have a problem finding someone nicer, have a fab xmas"

" M tried to make you look stupid but he came out of it lookin the bigggest fool ! chin up - keep smiling x"

All of these comments were from nice sensible people, trying to give honest and sincere feedback, but they missed the point. They proved there is such a thing as oversharing!

If you are going to open up your personal life to the world, then be prepared to be judged, sometimes harshly. I should know! How you deal with it, is what shows what type of character you are.

Looking at the Twitter traffic, M's ended the day branded as a 'love rat', while L1 has got so much Twitter sympathy, it may just give her enough of a boost, to realise that she is responsible for how she is perceived and treated by men, particularly the oh so charming M.

If you accept bad behaviour in your relationships, that's all you'll ever get and then some of the blame has to be laid squarely on your shoulders. You can't just blame the other person.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Ok

Apart from all the stuff I've been through this year, I've watched lots of changes in the lives of my friends too.

The latest news was from A who has just landed an ace new job, which finally takes him to a role and industry, where he will have the opportunity to do amazing things.

I've watched him over the last few years, find love with an amazing person, give the very best advice and loyally support his friends, be a sweetheart(but don't get me wrong, he can still bitch with the best of us!)be a rock for me and end up exactly where he should be - which is super happy.

We're having lunch tomorrow and I can't wait to see him !

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Wrapping Up Work !

I'm trying desperately to kick-start my Christmas spirit, but trying to do that while you're still at work is another thing entirely.

The day began badly when J who dragged her sick Lemsip fuelled body into work, was promptly sent back home by S. She felt so rubbish, she didn't even want to hug the year out, for fear of inflicting her germ warfare on the rest of us.

S and I quietly worked through our morning tasks before she dropped the bomb ! that our Colombian princess - Ms Thang is leaving our glamorous advertising bubble for a photocopier company !!!

Maybe it was the unguarded shots I managed to snag of her at the Christmas party, which showed the cheeky side we always knew she was hiding, but that only seems to appear when she isn't worrying about her boyfriend and checking in with him at regular intervals.

I suspect that her all controlling other half, may have had a little something to do with this sudden career change, as rather too conveniently her new workplace is super close to their home; giving her even more time to chase around after him.

Poor cow ! It will be interesting to see who replaces her, after all they will have a table full of people whose personalities they will have to mesh with.....I already sense impending hours of fun breaking in the newbie !

JO has been replaced (but is most definitely not forgotten by us!) by amiable, but throughly dull young man. He appears completely competent, but has all the charisma of a damp Catherine Wheel. Hopefully, we'll see a spark of personality from him in the New Year!

B, O and I managed to package up the last of the overseas Christmas presents (part of our company charity drive) and get them couriered to the Salvation Army home in Africa we are sponsoring.

The good vibe continued when we managed to catch out S, who always takes care of everyone else's birthdays, with a little birthday celebration of her own.

A jam-packed finish to my year at work !

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow Sucks !

For the second time in as many weeks, my weekend plans have been disrupted by the crappy weather. Six inches of snow in about 20 minutes, one text from LL

"Errr, I'm sorry but I'm too hung over for Santa at 11:30. Not feeling good at all. Can I cancel without you hating me? x", and suddenly my morning was clear.

I could have stayed indoors, but since I was up and that Soap and Glory super size tote bag offerwas calling out to me, I bit the bullet and went into town.

Its amazing how determined a woman can be in pursuit of a bargain. I snapped up 2 Soap and Glory bags, some groceries and the paper before heading home.

Snuggled up on my sofa, watching the snow I cast my mind back to this time last year, when I was under the thrall of DG who turned out to be a triple A Bolter.

I smiled as I thought how I would handle him now, which of course would be to bin him immediately.

What a difference a year makes !

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Best Christmas Party

After the impersonal superclub venue of last week's party, last night's tasteful venue in a classy London enclave was a well executed affair.

It was intimate enough to hold all of our team and its guests, a DJ, bar, entertainment and still had just enough dance room for everyone to comfortably throw their best bad arse dance shapes !

There's something about free food and drink, that causes those who are asked to 'dive in' to always over indulge in it.

There are of course consequences to this. Aside from the obvious canape overload, which generally leads you to stuff yourself just for the hell of it and if you happen to be wheat intolerant, bloat up like a blow fish, alcohol is a much more deceptive seducer, that divides its indulgees into distinct groups.

The first are the steady eddies. They know their favourite tipple, don't mix their drinks and move onto water as soon as they hit their limit.

Others however, push through with some decided dodgy outcomes.

One hot and happy couple have so far been sighted snogging at the annual offsite, last week's party, once again tonsil wrestled at our party, as soon as the alcohol hit their system.

I'm not sure what the they're waiting for, but I think on the evidence of last night, they should get a room and work things out!

Then you get the middle ground martha's. This group manage to hold their alcohol, or it seems like they can, until the end of the night. This is when their memories lapse and suddenly they found they've lost stuff.

Two gems were J who thought she lost her I-phone searched everywhere and then found it safely stashed in her cheeky thigh boots! T worked herself into a annoyed frenzy, when in her cab home she 'realised' she'd left her handbag in the club.

Several frantic phone calls later, the cab dropped off one of her fellow travellers, who oblivious to the panic, after a back of the cab snooze, handed over the 'missing' bag, over to T who had given to him for safekeeping.

The last group are the never know when to stop brigade. This special band take it to the max. Drink til they can't stand, lose the power of sensible speech or just want to hump the next person or pillar they come near.

Just like H who finding herself barely able to stand or speak, accepted the kind offer of a bed for the night from a colleague. In the middle of the night she got up and decided to go outside and get some fresh air, in her pjs.

Unfortunately, she managed to lock herself out. Instead of knocking on the door and waking up her host, she flagged down a cab and asked to be taken to the nearest police station, which is where she spent the rest of her night.

Realising that she was in no fit state to come into work, she left a sheepish voicemail for her boss, briefly explaining her status and asking that he spare her blushes, which of course with a story that funny he obviously didn't do.

Arrrr the joys of the Christmas party !!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Door To Our Future

As you all know I hate Christmas, but this year I've decided to change things up by working with the homeless at a hostel with LL and N. I am also attending the 'Orphans Christmas' at N's house.

The reason for my change of heart I've decided not to let the present and my future be coloured by some bad experiences in my past.

It's funny how I easily I can let go of my romantic hit and misses (apart from H, but I've mothballed all of that away now!), probably because I'm so used to picking myself up, after consigning the latest 'Mr Not Quite Right' to the unsuitable pile.

Also because through my friends and inevitably this blog, I work through all my dating joys (few, but precious!) frustrations, laughter and disappointments.

I can look back on things like my defunct friendship with G, with a smile. We had some really good times together...but I always knew that I if we ever stopped hanging out, I wouldn't really feel it that much.

I was always more self sufficient, together and less needy than her, which is probably why we got on so well together. And I've always valued my family and friends over my partners however, great our relationship was or is. You never know what's around the corner.

I don't even despise HWMBO anymore, in fact I should thank him. If he hadn't been so unpleasant, I'd still be there chasing my tail. Trying to cope with his impossible demands and making myself sick with worry and completely miserable in the process.

Yes, I've let it go, because after all the crap with him I've found a role that challenges me, that I'm good at and regularly praised for. I am good enough, which of course I always was.

I realise that all the blood and sweat I invested, in doing my degree at night school was worth every moment. First time around, I just wasn't ready for it and didn't see the value of having a decent education and the choices that possessing one would give me.

Most of all I realise that your future, which we always see so clearly at the end of each year, is yours and mine to to mould and realise as we want it to be.

It is what it is.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Moody Pole

I'm recovering from a day spent with a super moody T.

T does amazing building work (my bathroom and living room both look fantastic), but he can also be a little precious and stubborn sometimes, when you ask him to do something he doesn't like; which is weird really considering he's agreed to do it and he is getting paid.

I simply asked him to replace some rotten wood in the frame of my front porch. He did that no problem, but also managed to knock out both porch panes of glass.

I persuaded him that a porch without glass was non-negotiable, particularly as he is leaving for Poland on Monday. He took the news grudgingly, first telling me he didn't know where he could buy glass from.

Not being a lady who likes to take no for an answer, I went online and found a shop close by. I also ran off a map to the shop, as his Polish sat nav, didn't (just like its owner) want to co-operate!

He sulked all the way, as we made our way to the shop. 35 mins later he had got us 'lost' 4 times. It was pretty good going by T, since the shop was only 10 minutes from BB Towers!

I didn't want to take the chance of him losing us for a 5th time, so I ended up calling the shop for directions. Once we'd arrived, picked up and loaded the glass onto his van, I heaved a large sigh of relief.

That was until we got half way home. One badly negotiated speed bump by the still grumpy T, meant that the next thing I heard the crack of one of the panes of glass shattering.

Bloody typical ! I was meant to be at Winter Wonderland with LL, not trying to pacify a moody Pole and buy another blooming pane of glass !

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Mad Men and Office Sirens

There's nothing like the morning after the night before to sort the the weak from the strong after the office Christmas party. When I got into work today with my partner in crime from the night D, our office was almost deserted !

No surprise there. Everyone certainly went for it at the party. I don't think I have ever seen so many amazing looking men and women in one room.

The boys were all in sharp suits and skinny ties, while the ladies proved that late 50s - early 60s glamour is beyond chic.

The venue was overflowing with beehives, bell dresses, huge petticoats, cute bags, painted nails and pillarbox red lips.

With a free bar all night, you might have expected a roll call of naughtiness, but there wasn't any that I saw.

Maybe it was the mellow vibe on the night, or maybe it was just not wanting to deal with a hammer head in the morning and having to get up and go to work !

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Moon Has Eclipsed

There are two things I wanted for Christmas. One was a new unattached, smart, funny, emotionally secure, available man and the other was for my 'Moonlighting' couple to stop dancing around each other and sort themselves out.

As you all know I am still looking for number one (but hey, who knows what might happen tonight at Christmas party!) and unfortunately, as of last night number two is no longer a possibility.

C texted me with the bad news.

"Have just left Mr M in the arms of another woman. Cancel your best woman speech and don't buy that hat! He had a word with his friend who then 'distracted aka entertained ' me, while he closed the deal with her. I'm ok though"

How bloody typical of a man at the Christmas party, to be swayed by the office bombshell, instead of getting together with someone who will last a lot longer than one drunken night, I thought as I texted back.

"The man is a total fool! Not worthy of your lovely wonderful self -x-"

"Thanks BB. I'm feel just like you did over I, you know, ok with it. I left the party a little early, so he could do his thing. I'm more pissed off with his friend who I get along really well with and who knows the score between us, but still got involved"

"I am so glad I wasn't drinking. I just had a feeling, so I made a dignified exit. I've always had my doubts about him and I was right. It couldn't have been much worse, but I am a little hurt"

"No nice guy behaves like an arse in front of someone he knows likes him. His loss bigtime cherub. I feel your disappointment and you have every right to feel like this. Both he and his friend are idiots. But just remember you are leaving this nonsense behind for a new job and more sincere friends elsewhere. Better days and people await you", I replied.

A gentleman just like a woman has the pregative to change their minds. However, there are more grown up sensitive ways to, let someone down gently, than roping in a friend to keep your 'outgoing' love interest occupied, while you get busy with her replacement.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Nanny BB

I've been a little grumpy today...I know it seems almost unbelievable but even divas get the blues sometimes, and forget that everyone has to start somewhere and sweating over small stuff is a complete waste of time.

This week I have been charged with looking after our intern, which has gripped me with the overworthy desire to ensure he gets the most out of his time with us.

My need to be on time, super organised and in control (I even prepared his schedule myself) means I am slowly driving myself nuts, as personified by my morning of chaos.

I started the day by somehow ending up waiting twice as long for my bus to the train station, which meant I missed my connecting train, which meant I was half an hour late. I hate being late for anything, so I immediately felt like I was running behind for the day.

The first two 'meet and greets' flagged on the intern's schedule both cancelled and I was forced to scramble around the office looking for some other work to occupy him with.

Lunch couldn't come fast enough, but after lunch a communication from our big chief reminded me that I was once an intern sort of !

Our meeting tomorrow is a very important location to me. When I was studying, through the university, I managed to land a brilliant internship placement, working at a radio station and ended up writing and producing a show for them.

I remember being beyond scared, excited and proud when it finally aired. Which is probably what it feels like to be a 16 year old, plunged into the world of work, when you have little or no idea about what you want to do with the rest of your life.

I made a mental note to chill out and try and make things more fun for him and me !

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BB the Matchmaker

While my love life seems condemned to the Land That Time (and dates!) Forgot, it doesn't stop me wanting to play matchmaker to those around me.

Ms Blonde and Ms Brunette have both confessed to having a soft spot for H. H is a tall, long haired 20 something hot rod who is incredibly (for our building) single!

In fact he's hot enough to make several of the ladies I work with, pray that something mechanical goes wrong, just so he can come upstairs and fix it!

H told me he was helping set up the party venue, so probably wouldn't want to stay for the party.

"But what about your two secret admirers - Ms Blonde and Ms Brunette?" I said teasing him.

"Why won't you just tell me who they are ?", he said grinning widely.

"My lips are sealed" I said, leaving H none the wiser.

"I think you should tell him" said F on the boat ride home. "That way he can go for the one he likes the best".

"Yes, but you know how silly guys can be. I think Ms Brunette is perfect for him, but you know he'll probably just follow his groin and go after Ms Blonde"

"Not necessarily" replied F sensibly. "He might go for Ms Brunette. Tell him who they are and see what happens".

What's a BB to do? Keep silent or stir things up ?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Snowed In and Introducing Little Ms Text Pest !

No I've not gone AWOL, I've been snowed in and my broadband crashed too! BB without contact with the outside world is a like a fashionista whose credit card just got cut up in front of her- deranged !

Fortunately, my phone still worked, which was handy as C phoned me on Saturday with her 'Moonlighting almost romance' update.

"I've done it again BB. I told everyone how much I fancied him and then I texted him to tell him that the only reason he was at the company party in Brighton, that I couldn't go to because of the snow, was so he could get off with JW !".

"So let me get this straight", I said laughing.

"You told the guy that you aren't actually dating, off for potentially trying it one with someone else, that he doesn't like?"

"That's right" she said.

We both laughed our socks off for about 5 minutes, only stopping because my sides ached and her eyes were streaming with tears. While she laughed at her own silliness, I was laughing about how crazy horse lust can make you do truly loopy things sometimes.

"Please tell me you didn't do anything else nuts after sending that crazy arse text to him?", I said, still laughing.

"Course I did! You know what a nutter I am after a few glasses of wine. I sent a few more texts"

"Oh no! How many more?", I said, waiting for her punchline response.

"15!" she said snorting with laughter, which made me laugh even more.

"Listen, it's done now cherub and if he's half the fun guy you say he is, he have laughed about those messages just as much as I'm doing now".

"I hope so", C replied doubtfully.

An hour later she called back. Mr M had texted back...

"I received several very funny texts from you yesterday. You do know I am going tease the hell out of you, when I see you on Monday !"

Game on! Who knows they might actually make it to that second date, before Christmas !!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Letdown

I've always been one of those people who is happy to help out if I'm asked, particularly if I know my failure to act or complete a task will impact on the person who asked me for help.

Today I was mega disappointed to find a schedule co-ordination task I assigned to a few of my 'reliables' some of whom, had just read my email, ignored me face to face follow up and done absolutely nothing about my request.

Consequently, I found myself doing some hardcore apologising to a colleague who I regard as a mentor and whose support and understanding I value a lot. In short I looked like an incompetent tool.

To be told by one of those assigned that she was "really busy" and it "wasn't her job" really pissed me off, particularly because I've done a role like hers on numerous occasions over the years and compared to my curent one, I wipe the floor with her take on being busy.

Once I'd finished being pissed off, I did what I should have done originally, which was to make time to complete the task myself. It took me a day and a half of phone calls, favour pulling and some mild pleading to pull the schedule together, send it to my mentor and apologise again.

Fortunately, she was understanding and thanked me, but it goes without saying that tonight while I'm working late, to make up for the time I 'wasted' today, doing something I delegated two weeks ago, little Ms 'I'm too busy" is off getting very merry at one of our numerous Christmas parties.

I have no problem with that at all, but what did hack me off is that I've always bent over backwards to make sure she's ok and today she basically told me to get lost.

A mistake. Hers not mine, because as I always say, don't piss off someone if you don't need to. Life has a habit of biting you hard when you do the wrong thing.

I remembered something S said to me recently, with that wary raised eyebrow look she throws me sometimes.

"You need to leave behind your past. You aren't the same person and you most definitely aren't one of the girls anymore. Stop acting like one and stop protecting some people who wouldn't do the same for you".

Never a truer word said by you S and yes, yet another BB lesson learned !!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lucky Me !

I spent the day snuggled up on my sofa watching old black and white movies. It was another one of my days off that I have to take or 'lose it" !

Watching the snow fall outside from my cosy spot, I was struck by how lucky I am to live in a nice house, have a fab job (that's been a long time coming, but was so worth the wait!), have a great family and amazing friends.

It just takes a minutes to be a little grateful and a lifetime to not do it enough!