Friday, 31 December 2010

Who's ready to freefall?

So we've come to the end. This is it. The top of the mountain.
Take in the view then close your eyes and feel the wind on your face, soak up the atmosphere-we only get to be here once a year. Now look down on the path you've climbed up,remember the good bits ,the arduous bits and the memorable bits. Smile at the feat you've conquered.

Then come those nail biting  ten seconds in the countdown . It's time to leave the view, the quiet summit and snap back to reality. It's time to jump.
A sixth of a minute spent free falling through what life threw you in 2010. A sixth of a minute- unbelievable how fast the mind works under pressure...

TEN....Suddenly,your head becomes filled with swirling emotions, a mad blend of confusion. Your minds in a mad panicked rush to consider all you've done in the year, all the people you've met and hold on to it all. ...EIGHT... What's to come in the future? What new faces? places? ... SEVEN... What fights can I resolve, what slates can I wipe clean? A fresh start perhaps now? ....FIVE... this means the end of Christmas doesn't it? The end of holidays and boredom eating..Time for cold weather (without the optimism of Christmas to pull you through), work and in creeps the acrid stench of  starting a year all over again... THREE... Should I be kissing someone on zero? Quick, quick, scan for someone, anyone! ...TWO...time is running out... ONE... Oh lord, here we go, It's coming , It's time...                                                                HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! 

And then there we are again, back at the bottom of the ladder, at the foot of the hill,at the  base of the mountain.

Well there's no point just standing there looking up! Get your shoelaces tightened, stretch your legs and take a deep breath.  It's time to start the climb again....

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jingle Bells, awkward smiles, fake laughing all the way... (Sing it aloud for optimum giggles)

CHRISTMAS. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see that word? As the festive syllables bounce off the page and trickle into your mind, what visual imagery is conjured? 
Presents? A tree? A luxurious roasted feast with all things scrumptious?

Well OK, these may be quite relevant- but I know something better. Something that arrives every year without fail. Something that rumbles at the heart of mankind, stirring emotions of hilarity, embarrassment, tension and sadness all wrapped in one. Oh yes, I'm talking about the facial facade of the unwanted present opening.

I'm talking about those indescribable looks on peoples faces as they unwrap an unwanted  present. It really is hard to put into words and this blog can't do it justice. The eyes, the nose the flinching and the voice pitch that arises after opening an undesired gift. It's priceless.
Watching people attempt a joyous expression, force a warm smile and fumble out some drivel about it being what they've really wanted all along. The best is the fake jaw drop, a feeble (but hilarious) attempt at the 'shocked with amazement'  look.

Nothing beats watching the inexperienced. Their pathetic attempts (with obvious disappointment glazed all over their faces) always ends in blushing and incomprehensible sentences about gratitude. Everyone knows they don't like what they've opened. It's hilarious, to watch.

Then there are some who are experts at it. They've had enough experience to have learnt how to handle the situation with care. I am one of these people.So, to spare feelings and diffuse an awkward situation follow my festive facade steps this Christmas...

 Upon opening:

1. Widen your eyes immediately.( This gives a shocked affect, and the strain of widening makes your eyes water, thus they glaze over into a seemingly awestruck and joyous look)

2. Quickly pick out an aspect of the present and say why you like it.  (If you panic and time is racing-go for colour. It's the easiest)

3. Rotate the present and look at it from all angles, while softly commenting on how it will really go with something you already own. ( The rotation distracts them, thus they are not fully focused on the words leaving your mouth.Your soft talking in the background offers reassurance and lulls them into believing your gratitude.)

4. Make sure your talking tone is light and upbeat and talking/comment MUST commence as soon as the  present is opened.   (Any delay hints at disappointment/ bewilderment. And we really don't want that. Or you'll be sussed.)

5. Lastly, the key step. If all else fails or you've messed up the previous steps- go for THE HUG. (This switches the verbal struggle to a physical act of warmth and compassion. They may even take the hug as you not being able to 'put your gratitude into words')

SO, there's my Christmas gift to all you inexperienced out there. Give the steps a pop this year and see how you fare. Just remember...

''Jingle Bells, awkward smiles,
 Fake laughing all the way...
 Oh what fun, it is to watch,
 What present-openers blush and say. Hey!"

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday Bliss...

Today I've had an epiphany. I've at last, after 16 years of living, learnt to appreciate the truly ineffable beauty of a Sunday.

Before it would just be 'the day before school'  or 'the day left to do all the work on' , but today I've managed to lift the childish cover of these naive ideas, walk through the fog of misunderstanding and finally see the crystal clear,serene brilliance that is the 7th day of the week.

Anyone not yet at this stage, I urge you to pay attention when you open your eyes next Sunday. It's magical...

...Staying wrapped up and nestled in the comfort of your covers, while the delicate sunlight streams in through the window and dances across your pillow.
The gentle silence of the car-less roads and mellow humming of the Sunday birds.
Then there's that gorgeous smell of Mum's roast, wafting through the house. Hot gravy, crispy potatoes,succulent chicken breast, toasty Yorkshire puddings...their tantalising aroma trickling gently into your sun kissed room. The flavours dance under your nostrils, lulling your senses, caressing your body and soothing your soul.

It's a day to get things done, a helping hand with the workload. It's a day to relax, unwind and regenerate. It's a day that's essential to our society and the very core of our humanity. This day is Sunday, and we must NEVER take it for granted.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sprinkle snow? Sod off.

I didn't believe the weatherman.
I thought he was lying.

 As I sat there swamped in coursework, tomorrows exams heavy on my mind, textbooks surrounding me on the floor- I was barely listening to him on the TV. He was a dull drone lingering  in the room,talking away to himself. My eyes were bloodshot stinging with sleep cravings, my arms limp and lifeless and my head was stressing and sore. But then I heard it.  Those delightful, heart warming words that caressed my fatigued soul. Like a cosy embrace, a surprise party,  a passionate kiss.
 He shook me into life with his chocolaty words:
 ''Prepare for snow".
I could have kissed the TV.  And I did.

So the revision was aborted, the textbooks slept scattered on the floor and I enjoyed an evening of elation. The weatherman had saved me. I climbed into bed and slept sweetly in the night's soothing, snowy embrace.

Morning came.  I opened my eyes and frowned at the frostiness of  my Wednesday morning room and the exams and deadlines that were to follow me that day.  But then it hit me. The memory flooded in, warmed me up and I began to grin.
There wasn't going to be any deadlines/exams, I knew what lay behind my window blinds this morning. Snow!
Those heavy white showers that would come dancing down, coating our clothes.
 Serene white blankets would be smothering the  roads, hushing them into a silent sleep .
 Cars sleeping under luxurious, white sheets.
 Delicate flakes settling on our eyelashes.
Giggling children prancing in woolly hats,puffy coats and chunky mittens.
Snowball fights and sledding down glistening hills, fresh laughter and pure faces.

 I could just feel it. The crisp air was whispering  it in my ear. Our  'get me out of work free card' had finally arrived! 
But NO. It had not.

I pulled back the blinds and wailed in agony.

-Serene blankets? NO, my hideous grassy lawn was still very much visible, with a sickeningly slight sprinkle of white on top.

-White rooftops and trees? NO, the roofs had a mere pinch of white on them and the tree leaves bragged some sloppy, melting sludge.

-Showers of snow cascading down? NO, but instead a light ,watery drizzle-dampening the ground, and my spirits.

-Sleeping, empty roads? NO, the gritters had been out and cars crawled on down the grey street, their growling engines laughing viciously.

-Giggling children? NO.
-Snowball fights? NO. NO.
-Sledding? NO. NO. NO.

This was the kind of snow that just caused accidents and delays. No fun, no freedom ,no Christmas spirit-just problems. This wasn't real snow.

I felt sick . My insides churned with disappointment, my shivering body over flooded with melancholy, and yes I'll admit it, my eyes began to well up.
 So there I was shaking in the bitter cold, goosebumps and misery gripping my body, tears streaming down my icy, throbbing cheeks,tickling the corners of my mouth.

Suddenly , I felt sharp corners of paper digging into my frosty feet which triggered me to look down. It was my scattered coursework and revision notes. They lay there, unfinishedUh oh.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

How to spice up a tube journey

Doors opening. Feet shuffling. Seat grabbing. Bags brushing. Headphones in. World out. Newspapers up. Doors closing.

Tube journeys are always going to be a mad uncomfortable rush. Hundreds of stressed commuters overloaded with bags cramming into an ill lit metal cylinder that crawls along a darkened track ,isn't going to be a journey of enjoyment. We bare through it, and if we're lucky, we get to do so, SEATED.

The only problem that I've found with seating, is the overwhelming desire to study the passengers sitting opposite you. It's that  unrelentless urge to examine their clothing, facial features, mannerisms and just soak up the essence of them...but you can't. The risk of them catching you looking is just too high. Thing is, if they do, you have to force a embarrassed smile then naturally, in gushes the strawberry cheeks and the rest of the journey must be spent looking at anything at all but at them. So can you not look at them at all?! No,fear not- there's a solution. Shoes.

Look down and you'll see them, a beautifully long  line of colours, shapes and  sizes all for you to examine. You can imagine up scenarios for each type, conjure up an image of the wearer and his lifestyle-all from just the shoes. It's a beautiful game.

Then again, perhaps you're not lucky enough to get a seat?  You're traveling in the rush hour and have ended up a tinned sardine, captured in hot and agitated huddle with passengers from all walks of life. You're so close you can feel their shuffling feet trampling on your toes , hear their hearts thudding, feel their hot breath settling on your skin. But it's OK. In this uncomfortable, baked beans scenario, a game can be played. Just follow the steps:
1. Source a near passenger with headphones in (it's probably harder to find one without them in to be honest...)
2. Lean in and listen closer to the song they're listening to, but make sure you're discreet.
3. Make sure you know the song, if so BINGO.
4. Now, making sure they can see you, begin mouthing the lyrics of the song they're listening to (if possible in sync)
5. Watch their facial expression

They either assume by some massive coincidence you're listening to the same song at exactly the same time on your respective i-pods or ,if you're without headphones yourself, that you just happened to have that song in your head. Either way, the look on their face is utterly priceless. In fact, that expression change from 'sick to death of this stinking monotonous journey' to 'OH DEAR LORD, WE'RE LISTENING TO THE SAME SONG AT EXACTLY THE SAME DARN TIME'  is reason alone to get  the tube.

 So, there's just a couple of tips to help ease  tube journeys. Maybe you'll find them useless, maybe life altering, who knows? But hey, all I can say is try spicing up your tube journey and give it a go...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Willy Nilly Walkers.

Right foot.........................left foot...............................right foot...........................slowly turn head and gaze in shop window.........................left foot.....................stop and switch shopping bag to other hand.............................turn head to watch swarm of people on your left.........'Is that Clara?, oo yes I think it is'..........stop to examine closer.......'no,it's not Clara'...................right foot.................make comment to companion that walks with you...................left foot.................


It's people like this that are all that is wrong with the world. It's people like this that make life just that little bit more aggravating. It's people like this that make my blood boil, my head throb and my teeth grind. You know who I mean, I can hear your insides churning too, just at the thought of them...Lord save us from the WILLY-NILLY WALKERS.

I'm talking about those people in today's fast paced society, who feel it appropriate to walk as painfully slowly as possible down busy streets and just get in the way. They clog up the pathways, induce further stress to the dashers around them and worst of all, they are completely oblivious to the mayhem they cause. They need to be removed, cast out of society all together, out of the way.

Stupidly, this weekend while speed shopping around Brent Cross ,i thought I'd find a method to avoid the irritation. I thought I could find away around the aggravating amblers and maintain a cool , clear head. And, like many of my experiments, it failed. Though, to take a drink from the glass half full,  it does provide an entertaining conversational piece at the dinner table.

So I'm rushing. I need to get the earring shop on the other end of the centre within 3 minutes, pay in 2 mins and hit the Boots downstairs before a mad dash, competing against the ticket warden to get to mum's car first. The ticket expires in 12 minutes. The race is on.
So, adrenaline pumping, heart thumping I begin to slide in and out of people and dart up the congested shopping parade.But then no, oh no, there it is. Holding everything up, nonchalantly swaying through the shopping crowds, leaving hoards of consumer traffic and angered shoppers bibbing with their furious eyes.Yes, it was none other than a Willy Nilly Walker.
Time racing, I impulsively decided I was having none of it . It was time to push on, liberate myself and take that stress relieving stride through the crowds and not crumble to the Willy Nilly. Shoulders back, spine straight and eyes fixed on the earring shop- the stride began. I surged through the crowds, feet darting meticulously through the masses, eyes looking at me in awe, marveling at my boldness. Shops blurred as I drilled on, like a spider in a snail's race-boy did it feel good.

It was in fact a little too good to be true. Head in the clouds, all of a sudden my legs hit an obstacle and I was quickly brought out of my daze and back down to the ground. Literally. I tumbled, bags flailing out in all directions, and went head first into a nut stand. The obstacle I'd hit was in  fact a mere toddler who now thought it appropriate to bawl hysterically and point at the crimson faced me, sitting sheepishly in a pool of cashew nuts.

 And do you know what was the worst thing about it all? Not the clear up of nuts off the floor in front of the hundreds of judging eyes or the hefty parking ticket that I ended up presenting to my mum, but it was that while in the process of clearing up my mess I caught a glance of the Willy Nilly Walker who, in the meantime, had made it as far as the earring shop.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The murdering of my alarm clock

 Waking up on a winter morning to the shrill screech of an alarm clock, is soul polluting. Seriously, being dragged out of the warmth of your soft, tranquil, bedded haven, into the reality of a bitterly cold November which lunges at your shivering body with it's icy bite, cannot be made pleasant under any circumstance. Well,this week, a foolish part of me thought otherwise, and I conducted an experiment. It failed. Miserably.

I decided that I was sick to death of that sinking feeling, that viscous poison that seeps  into my mind as soon as I wake. The daunting reality of school, deadlines, and facing unresolved issues of the previous night. Climbing out of my bed(and thus out of the sweet embrace of dreams and plush bedding)and into the day, really is the hardest step. So i thought I'd have a go at making it enjoyable. I figured, if I wake up to things that make me smile, I'll be more willing to start the day. So, I took 3 steps:

1. I wrote down the address of the party I was going to that coming weekend, on a piece of paper in capitals by my bedside.
2. I set my alarm as one of my favorite songs, so I'd feel motivated to get up when  I'd hear it.
3. I Placed a hilarious picture of me and the best friend on the carpet (so I'd have to see it before I got out of the room)

It all sounds peachy, doesn't it?  It was far from it. The outcome was :

1. I woke up furiously confused and knocked the party address paper behind the dresser (which resulted in a mad panicked dash around the house on the night of the party)
2. The sound of the song I so loved, made the bitter, temperamental troll that is me in the mornings, shake with rage. Fatigue and rage, not a good mix under any circumstance, let alone the morning. Let's just say, that song is no longer a favourite and the mp3 device that played it was thrown across the room and destroyed. The sound of it shattering to pieces, now THAT, that was music to my ears.
3. When stumbling to the find a dressing gown in my darkened room, I slipped over on the picture and did considerable damage to my knee cap. Wonderful.

So, I conducted an experiment and it failed. But, on the bright side- I learned something utterly profound. Something that will stay with me for life. Something, invaluable. Just remember the 5 W's:


Sunday, 31 October 2010

Bullied by my Biscuits

I'm sick of being tormented by the food in my kitchen, or more specifically by their expiry dates. It's a form of bullying. They say they'll go off  ages away, as if i'm not going to scoff the product much faster than that! Is it to reassure us so we don't feel the need to rush all our food? No, i'm going to be a pessamist on this one, it's just plain teasing. It's saying 'you're bloody greedy, normal people don't eat this fast'
 As if my bar of dairy milk is going to last me until march next year. Or my Frosties will last until next September or those delicious cupcakes will make it to December! Truth is, nothing lasts longer than about 3 days in my house. Three teenagers, what can you do?!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The last minute rejects.

Did you know paying for your items at a supermarket till can actually be rather intriguing? I made this discovery this morning, after a mundane shop for essentials at Tescos. 'So what's so brilliant about it?' ,you may be thinking. Well , It's not the bleak, drained face of the cashier as she stares straight ahead with those empty, soul polluted eyes. It's also not the constant, shrill beep of the machine as your items pass through, excruciatingly slowly. Handing over the cash,or any cash for that matter, is never a pleasant experience and  trying to peel open the flimsy plastic carrier bags is always a messy frustration- so what is so great? Simple as, it's 'The last minute rejects'.
                                   You may be confused as to what on earth they are, but believe me, you've seen them-we've all seen them. I'm talking about those items that customers before you have panicked about and decided to drop as they approach the till. They have mounted up in stacks, varying objects that just didn't quite make it out of the shop. Before you know it you're thoroughly entertained, imagining up all kinds of scenarios for the rejected items. Perhaps it's a toy that a child has slyly popped in the trolley and the mother notices just in time-surely a tantrum would've followed? Or how about that mouthwatering, creamy chocolate bar? Perhaps a woman was feeling guilty about it and, at the last minute, panicked about fitting into her new autumn dress and flung it on to the side of the counter. Or that pricey power drill? Must have been a woman scolding her husband and removing it from their basket- becuase he never uses his current power drill, let alone does any DIY work,ever.
                                  Honestly, it's a brilliant game to play and it passes the time. So, next time you're at the checkout, have a look for those reject items...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The walk of shame.

Ever wondered what it's like to walk death row? Feel that plunge of darkness shroud you, that unbearable rip at your insides? Sense the furious eyes burn through you, the weight of the world crush you, as you drag each trembling leg forward,step by step, wading in the bitter shame and embarrassment that clings to your shriveling body? The feelings and emotions that one must go through, seems almost unfathomable. However, those fascinated by the concept will be thrilled to hear that you can experience such a walk yourself, whenever you want to, simply by traveling on the bus.

We've all walked the 'walk of shame', and those who haven't should consider themselves lucky.Those dreaded steps from boarding a bus to finding your seat cannot be avoided, but only endured. I took those steps today and I can still feel the sting. So, as I beep my oyster card and head down the bus for a seat, I can sense the wave of judgment that hits me.A wall of emotionless faces,headphones plugged into their ears, yet with those intense glares fixed upon me- scalding and sly. They consider my every movement and my every garment,they don't miss a thing. It's like showing fresh meat to a pride of ravenous lions. This walk, from boarding to sitting, must be done as quickly as possible. This walk must be done smoothly and without offense.But remember, above all else,this walk must never be done with eye contact. Never make eye contact with the lions.

The most ridiculous thing is, as soon as you find your seat ,  the crimson in your cheeks fades away and that soft rush of relief floods over you, you're part of the pride.You've become a lion, awaiting new meat to devour with your judgment.So as the bus stops and the new passengers climb in , it's now your turn to glare intensely at them and inspect your prey.

So you may think this all a bit loony,just me rambling off on an absurd tangent (which is very true), but in a way, I may have helped you. If you're someone who travels by bus and is sick to death of the mundane atmosphere that encases you,next time you're there- you just think of my 'pride' concept. Believe me, it'll make the journey just that little bit more interesting and you may even manage a half smile. I like to think I do my bit to help in the world...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The sting of a mistaken wave

Too many times have i felt the excruciating sting of a mistaken wave. Perhaps I'm waiting for a train, shopping or just casually ambling down the street- no matter where-  it. will .find. me. Today it found me,and it was  particularly painful.

I was waiting at the bus stop and sure enough , up ahead, I saw someone vigorously waving at me, well at least I thought it was me. I was filled with intrigue at the broad grin on her face and the enticing nature of her glistening eyes. She was making me feel so...loved. I had absolutely no idea who she was, but certain her eyes were locked on mine, I convinced myself she looked familiar, and yes, I began to wave back. And oh boy was I vigorous.

Thing is, what if i DID know her? It'd be more embarrassing for her if i didn't wave back, right? So really, in a way, I was doing the honourable thing and sacrificing myself for this waving stranger.Almost medal worthy I reckon.

Anyhow, back to the tale, I was now vigorously waving at the woman,waiting to see some sort of acknowledgment on her face. About 20 seconds passed,nothing. My arm was beginning to hurt. Perhaps I should walk over to her? Yes, that's probably what she is waiting for. As I rose from the bus stop seat, and when I say seat, I mean that uncomfortable piece of slanted plastic (seriously, what's that about?! It's more of a perch)  I was suddenly shoved from behind. As I looked up, I saw the 'shover' moving towards the 'waver' for an embrace. Oh.
I slowly retreated my waving hand and tried to form it into a stroke of my hair. I turned around and yes, everyone at the stop had been watching my foolishness. I  felt a gush of heat flood my cheeks. I  lowered my head, quickly pushed my headphones into my ears (they weren't attached to anything) and stared intently at my phone as if  I'd received some enthralling text message. Soon I felt the mocking glares begin to fade and I sensed I was no longer the source of interest at the bus stop. I sighed, silently and contentedly.

So, when in doubt(or rather embarrassment in my case), just smother yourself in technology to achieve that 'up to date' and current look, it'll always throw people off the scent.It's true though isn't it?! If you see someone on a new gadget or typing away on the latest technological 'must have', you assume they know what they are doing! I reckon it's all a ploy, a deterrent from the truth that no one really knows what they are doing and it's all just a facade to shield from embarrassment.  So, next time you spot someone with an iPhone, a Mac-book Pro or an iPad, don't let it fool you, they probably haven't even worked out how to turn it on...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Eluding Essays

Starting a piece of work is horrible. I mean, once you get started it's alright and you get into the flow of things-but starting it all off, it's just excruciating. Ever been swimming and had to take that dreaded first plunge into the icy water, before you become immersed and comfortable? Felt that sudden, nasty sting of the water and chilly grip on your insides, all so shocking and unbearable?  It's just like that. Brr.

So, you have this work to do, you know you have to do it sometime and you know if you don't do it- it'll be playing on your mind anyway-so why not start? Believe me, It's harder than it sounds. You see I've developed a terrible habit. I do absolutely everything i possibly can to avoid starting. I just hurl out these obstacles and back further and further away from just blimming getting on with it!

I'm sitting down at the table, the blank page in front of me, a good working light is on and it's almost silent-the perfect atmosphere to get going. But no, oh no, i can't possibly start NOW! I haven't walked the dog! Right, 45 minutes later, feeling refreshed I'm back in front of the blank page. But wait-I should probably go and charge my phone and of course, i must check my email. 30 minutes later,I'm back staring at the page. It's still blank. Ooo isn't that good TV show on now? Can't possibly miss that. 50 minutes later, right,  now it's time to REALLY start. Ah but I reckon I must have a cup of tea to get me thinking , and while I'm there, why not a sandwich?  20 minutes later, should i start writing in blue? No, i think black, I'll go and get a black pen...

This goes on for hours, no exaggeration. By the time i actually get around to writing something down ,it's all a mad ,deplorable ,last minute rush. And the the thing is, when you get going-it's really not that bad. So my advice for the day ( life, in fact) is that if you have something to start- just dive straight in and get it over and done with. Yes, it may be intimidating,frustrating and tortuous but ,oh boy does it feel good when it's done.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Takeaway Terror

A takeaway is one of life's most treasured gifts. The idea of ordering yummy foods all precooked and ready and having them brought to your door to be eaten however you like, in the comfort of your own home. It all sounds faultless, brilliant, divine-that is, if you get the  food you bloody ordered.

On too many occasions has my takeaway experience been utterly obliterated by not actually getting what I want. I'm all set,drink on the side, plate and cutlery at the ready,Saturday night TV rearing to go and the sofa bum mould is beckoning me to sit down and begin tucking in to the bliss in the brown bag . A perfect scenario, until i realize, what i want isn't there. I check again (several times in fact) but no, it's nowhere to be seen. I panic,I fumble, I frown. It's no use, sound the alarms- a meal is missing.

Now, however small what I am missing is, I feel cheated. It could be a few pathetic poppadoms, but I just can't let it slide. My body won't let me.  My dinner won't quite be the same if i try to ignore the problem- it's like a piece is missing, my taste buds are sickened and appalled with the absence of the dish. The only option is to ring up and complain. This, for me, means further pain. I mean it's bad enough ,coping with the sadness and dissatisfaction that engulfs me without my dish, but now i must be overridden with guilt as i moan to the restaurant workers. 

Thing is, after all the awkwardness on the phone there's also that  excruciating moment where the new , correct food changes hands, both of you wallowing in embarrassment. Having to look them in the eye after all your moaning and them into yours after their failure to do their job properly. Shudders. And while this whole catastrophe has unfolded, your other food has gone cold, the TV show has raced ahead (and you just know you've missed the best bits!) and the bum mould on the sofa that before beckoned, has now risen to a mere,worthless crumple. Brilliant.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tea Technology

So ,this week along came the long awaited Eastenders episode where the notorious 'Queen Vic' pub burnt down. Now I'm not writing to bore you with an in-depth article on the wonders of Eastender's plots and characters or anything like that- but simply to bore you with the circumstances that surrounded me watching this particular episode.    I bet you're quivering with excitement.

So after a shattering day,  I settled down on the sofa with a gorgeous cup of tea, ready to watch the episode. The cup of tea was sublime,that perfect blend in my favorite mug, warming my insides, trickling gently down my throat and easing my fatigued body. The all butter shortbread biscuits that accompanied it were also brilliant. They soaked up the brilliance of the brew when dipped in (resisting falling in the mug all pathetic and soggy) and then crumbled delicately on my palette ,soothing and satisfying my eager taste buds.

Anyway, so content as I was, I delved into this episode filled with twisting events, distressed faces,crying and lots of screaming from Barbara Windsor. All together, I'd say a pretty gripping 30 minutes. So as the fire broke out in the Pub, the crackling and burning of the flames and intense colours managed to consume pretty much all of my attention and all of a sudden my dog has knocked my arm and my tea has spilt all over my lap. Normally, I'd huff and puff and get up to sort it out, but amidst this enthralling episode, i decided to wait. This, it turned out, was a very good idea. I actually found myself  hurled into the Drama of the episode. The burning in the pub and distress of the people was parallel to the boiling tea that was scalding my legs . It was like i was there. I could feel the heat, the burning, the pain. I was with the characters,amidst the flames and chaos. Never has there been an Eastenders episode quite like it. Superb.

So, if you ever get to a fire scene in any of your favourite drama series/TV shows and fancy making it just that  little bit more intense and realistic-  i suggest you make yourself a dangerously hot Cuppa,fill it  to the brim and then hold it precariously. Talk about getting the full experience!  Forget HD, it's all about HT (Hot Tea).

Saturday, 4 September 2010

There's nothing like a trip to the cinema...

There's nothing quite like the cinema. I mean sure,you could watch a movie in the comfort of your own home and cosy up in the familiarity of your sofa, revelling in the knowledge that it's so much cheaper than a trip to the cinema.However,no matter how much we try to convince ourselves, we know deep down that it really doesn't compare to the full on,hardcore, cinematic experience.

I'm not just talking about the impressive size of the screen,but rather the whole experience. I'm talking about the build up of ticket buying, the stalls of mouthwatering refreshments you pass and perhaps pick up(despite their ridiculous pricing),the excited walk down the dark halls to your screen,the seat choosing and settling down. The darkness that fills the room as the curtains expand and the silence of an eager audience,hungry for entertainment. That crunch of the popcorn, the hiss and bubble of the fizzy drinks bottles as they open and that sweet aroma that wafts from the confectionary bags.

You see, those sitting in the seats are not an audience, but rather a team. All of you exploring the realms that lie ahead, together. You journey into the world,release your emotions and soak up the experience, together. The gasping,the crying,the laughing-you are a unit.
So sure, you could stay at home and save a bit of cash -it's the easy thing to do right? Although, perhaps every once in a while we should all treat ourselves and head down to the cinema to where the action is,because (without trying to sound like a Loreal advert) it really is worth it!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

September sadness

Is there anything more depressing and soul destroying than the change from August the 31st to September the 1st? Even just the word September makes me shiver. eurgh.
Today it was my last day of freedom before I'm back at school ,caged in coursework,suffocated by schedules and  trapped in some terrible timetable once again. No more not knowing or caring what day it is-but instead having to write the date several times a day in exercise books,engraving it into my mind,no room for forgetting it. Fantastic.
So this afternoon i was dragged to Tesco's for the dreaded school supplies shop. Oh and,as predicted, it was excruciating. It's bad enough having the holidays draw to a close, but being greeted by huge,daunting 'Back to School' signs as you enter is just rubbing salt into the wounds. On my left, a row of pens,pencils,rubbers and rulers began to make me feel nauseous.Memories of  bells,exams,teachers and deadlines were all flooding back to me-seeping into my mind like a viscous poison, scalding my brain. I looked to my right and saw stacks of notebooks,folders and ringbinders teasing me further. I could see the uniform section up ahead, the shirts,skirts and tights taunting me with their dull and dreary colours. My temple began to pulsate and throb and ,unable to withstand it any longer, i fled to the safety of the cereal aisle.

I really wasn't ready to do the school shop,or bring myself to accepting the holidays were over and the truth is it's the same story every August. So shopping in the aisle with folders,sharpeners and coloured note cards? Ha, i think i'll stick to where the Frosties,Shreddies and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are found!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Nocturnal Bliss...

For some, the Summer holiday means sunshine, ice creams and sandcastles, for others it means relaxing, socializing and catching up with your television shows but for me, nothing says summer holidays like switching to nocturnal living.
                           I mean, here in London the sun tends to make very rare appearances, leaving us with the expected August showers. Beautiful,golden people grinning in sunny pictures? Try drenched rats shivering in the grey. What I've found though, is that you can sulk away and complain about the horrific weather or you can adapt and work out how to really make the most of your Summer.
                           You see, the real magic, the real deal lies deep within  the realms of the night. I'm talking about when the parents have drifted off to sleep, darkness has wrapped herself around the house and all that can be heard is the gentle,rhythmic ticking of the clocks and mellow hum of the electronic devices. You see here, right at this point you have it all. You can curl up and watch a movie, the atmosphere enhanced as the silent house watches with you. You can indulge in late night snacks, everything tasting just that little bit sweeter and naughtier. You can listen at the windows for the night life that crawls by or the changing songs of the early morning birds. You can even get online and chat to other nocturnal beings, all feeling more excited and chatty at the prospect of being up and awake in a still and sleeping world. This, is Summer.
                                              So forget winging about the weather, groaning about the lack of entertainment or absence of friends, because August brags something much more enchanting and brilliant-just as long as you stay awake to find it.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The dad shop

This Summer I have been ridiculously greedy. As I've been going out a lot I always seem to find myself eating or pigging out on junk food and ramming popcorn and slushies in my mouth at the cinema. So, on Thursday night (after a particularly greedy surge while seeing SALT) i decided that when I woke up the next morning it was time for healthy eating. Bless me, I actually thought i could do it-but how wrong I was.

So I woke up on Friday morning ,feeling refreshed and ready to begin my healthy day-but then disaster struck. As I ambled into the kitchen, I found my dad unloading the food from his Tesco shop earlier that morning.Now,  just to make it clear, sending my dad shopping IS NOT CLEVER!. You see, when my dad shops he doesn't look for fruit,meals and balance he loads the trolley full of , to put it succinctly, lard. The result of the shop always concludes in the same scolding by mum-you think he'd learn. £85 spent- 1 decent meal, classic dad. I mean don't get me wrong, when I'm in the pigging out mood it's brilliant, but when I'm not -it's a different story.

 So, as  gazed around the kitchen i saw cookies stacked up on the counter, muffins galore, chocolate multi-packs, Galaxy mousses, huge tubs of ice cream, flapjacks,caramel digestives and uncountable amounts more. Everywhere i looked, all i could see was delicious fatty foods, just when i really didn't want to see them. Typical. So i rapidly opened the cereal cupboard for an attempt at a normal breakfast. Did i find it? No, of course not,it's dad. Instead i see Coco pops, Honey waffles, Frosties and cookie crisp. Resisting ripping open the pack and pouring the carbs into my mouth was becoming a challenge now. So I darted to the fridge to grab a drink,something fresh or fruity, but oh no. Instead the fridge was lined with chocolate milk, Pepsi and vanilla smoothies. My taste buds were now screeching, mouth tingling and belly growling impatiently. So in one last desperate attempt to stick to my healthy plan- I sprung open the bread-bin to not find nutritious wholesome bread, but sugar buns, marble cake and banana loaf. That was the final straw and my body took over from there.

I don't remember much after that,  just opening my eyes to find myself sprawled out on the sofa and smelling of chocolate. There were biscuit crumbs on my shirt, a muffin wrapper at my side and a 'licked clean' Galaxy mousse cup at my feet, next to a peculiarly empty vanilla smoothie carton. Oops!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

When you know it's time for bed

You can't control it, fatigue-no matter how hard you try. It floods your system,an unstoppable wave of collapse,gradually closing down all parts of your body. That dull,heavy ache of the bones, numbing of the legs and sudden weight of the head. And then the eyes. They throb away, weak and stinging. Sharp needles of pain lunge at your eyelids-forcing them shut. Then there's that blissful darkness-soft and comforting,how you long to feel. But you need to work on,climb out of this serenity,this haven. So you prize those eyes open, the sudden burn of the light, piercing you deep-unbearable. The words on the screen in front of you become blurred-a fumble of uncomfortable letters. Then the yawn. That gaseous tsunami that erupts from within you-powerful and hot. Your body is screaming at you,warning you to stop and rest. Perhaps it's time to obey the body. Goodnight.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Waiter's terrible timing...

While dining out yesterday, I found my evening was spoiled, obliterated in fact. Oh, but it wasn't the food, the area I was seated ,the company I was with  or anything like that, oh no, it was the waiter constantly picking the most inappropriate moment to interrupt me!

 Honestly though, this is always happening - my dinners out are often ruined by this issue.
Oh but it's no pressing issue-it's just that simple infuriating phrase of  "Is everything OK here?"

Yes, it was blimming OK, until you came!
It's also bound to be at that moment where you have sauce dripping from your lips, cheeks swollen with food and as you attempt to force a smile to assure them you are in fact OK-your teeth,smothered with food and your cheeks (crimson with embarrassment)- forms this monstrous appearance.
The waiter now notices his ill timing and is also embarrassed, so you are both now trapped,sinking deeper into this awkward abyss

It's just so aggravating, like being on the loo and someone just waltzing in when you are quite clearly 'preoccupied'

What's the harm in judging the situation and picking a more appropriate moment? You see I have developed a theory. I reckon they time it purposefully, probably wagering with fellow colleagues to  find the most awkward moment- and then they POUNCE. Feeding off our embarrassment.
You could argue "But it's their job to ask!". Well is embarrassing customers part of that job requirement?!  I think not. 

Monday, 23 August 2010

Heavenly Hideout...

I found out today that going shopping with your brother is tough work. In fact, it's not just brothers-it's any male. The issue is that we don't share the same shopping mindset.With me it's a look at everything, pick my favorite items,consider pricing and perhaps cheaper pricing in nearby stores,think of clothes it will go with  and think of occasions to wear it.I love wading through rails to find those items you truly love and fully immersing myself in the shopping experience-the colors,the layout and hell, even the song that's playing in the store! My brother, however, takes the 'see what you like then buy it' approach. Nifty yes-but infuriating for me. We would split up to the male and female clothes sections in a shop and within minutes (while i'm prancing about by a dress rail) he is back, finshed looking and trying to hurry me up! It's just exasperating.

However, it was during this incessant hurrying i learned to appreciate the oasis that lies within each shop,that holds out that saving hand to female shoppers everywhere. the changing rooms. Fleeing my brother's nagging i found them, the perfect escape.Welcomed by a smiling assistant, i walked down a shimmering hall of rooms into my own,private cubicle.No nagging,no pressure-just a room, all for me and my clothes. So i prance around in the mirror, checking the clothes from every angle,mixing and matching with other items and soaking up the atmosphere.This is how shopping should be.This sweet haven has been under appreciated  and taken for granted for far too long . Ladies, nothing compares to the sweet serenity that lies beyond it's walls .

So, the next time you're shopping, he's nagging you to speed up and you're feeling that pressure to rush- STOP. Don't give in , just scan for that angelic sign. Once you spot it -run. run as fast as you can, grab as much as you can and get.into.that.changing room! Because I'll tell you one thing-no matter where you are, who you are or what you're doing- you'll always be safe there.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The free time loop

Day after day we long for it, dream of it. So rare, so delicate -once found it must be cherished. You know what I'm rambling about,the words are sitting serenely on your tongue. Free time. Those precious golden snippets of time you have completely and utterly free. Sandwiched between busy work schedules, arrangements and the unremitting hustle and bustle that life suffocates us with-you find these moments, these jewels. I was fortunate enough to find one yesterday-a whole day to myself ,a whole day to unwind,relax and forget the day to day toil. So perfect, so sublime,yet...yet so useless.
                                        I had awaited this time for so long- yet i had no idea what to do with it. I was baffled by this new power. I began with a bit of telly, a little reading-but then what? How should i spend such priceless time? As i sat wallowing in confusion, the next devious emotion began it's crawl into my mind,hacking away and spoiling everything. Boredom. This subtle bitterness spread and before i knew it i was desperate to occupy myself and prevent this tedious wave.
                                           As a result, i sought work and then...then back i was. Back to the strain and perpetual labour that i had so desperately tried to escape from. I was once again yearning for those jewels of  free time, completely forgetting the uselessness they bear.