Sunday, 13 September 2009

Jessica 6

It's been a while, so just a quickie to start the ball rolling again.

Memories of my leaving party on Thursday:

Mistake One - thinking I could get away with no bra.
Two: Mojitos and champagne.
Three: A four floor nightclub in Bristol
Four: Tequila (although in my defence, this came about whilst trying to cope with Mistake Three).

Why stop at four? I could go on but I think you get the gist.

All of the above resulted in a broken shoe and time spent lost in dry ice and separated from friends. Yes, I know, we've all been there. But have you shuffled your way past hundreds of 16 year olds, trying to slip away unnoticed, chest sagging like an air mattress on the last day of a freezing camping holiday in Cornwall, to have 'Oi! Milf!' shouted at you across the emptying corridor by a pubescent teenager whose skinny backside barely holds up his jeans, probably rides a BMX and who, if held too close to a naked flame, would ignite from the hair down?

Probably not recently, I would have thought.

But, here's the rub: I was caught between feeling slightly grateful that someone would think I was attractive enough to call 'milf' and, like an extra from Logan's Run, horrified that I'd been discovered.

Perhaps it's time to accept fate and report to the Sleepshop. I'll contemplate that thought whilst I submit this post and log back on to Koodos to find replacement shoes. After all, I'll need to look good whilst I'm Running, won't I?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Not the best post, but its a start.

I’m in a bad mood today. My reasons not to be cheerful (in no particular order) are:

  • My blog – I’ve been trying to think of something to write for weeks and I still can’t come up with anything interesting. I would like to start something and stick to it. Just once.
  • I spent much of Easter weekend moving clothes around and sitting on my bed, contemplating how the seasons of my life are defined by unpacking clothes from storage and packing them back up again when I realise that they still don’t fit.
  • This week’s cakes baked for the office were a bit rubbish.
  • I keep having a recurring nightmare, featuring various friends from the past, with whom I’ve lost touch due to my laziness in returning calls. It doesn’t take a constipated mathematician to work that one out with a pencil. Anyway, as a result, I’m not sleeping very well.

Reflecting on all of the above has made me realise how shallow I am (none of the above is Cancer, after all) and has pushed me down what I hope to be a narrow path (i.e. no room for turning). It’s time to pull myself together and lead a better life. I’ll be 40 years old in June and find myself careering towards a mid life crisis. Only a few Minor Achievements will help me avoid what is currently the inevitable whining session to the long suffering Big Al.

The Minor Achievements will be very minor. Softly softly, catchee monkey:

  • Reduce caffeine intake to 2 cups per day.
  • Check TLP’s homework every day. With patience and grace.
  • Shed a dress size (this month’s Red Magazine told me that, to lose weight permanently, I must change my mindset and see weight reduction as ‘shedding’ rather than ‘loss’. In this way, I won’t miss the person I used to be. For God’s sake. I won’t miss the fat bird. I’ll be waving her off at the station and changing the locks).
  • Answer the phone. Every time. I plan to keep the few friends that I have.

There. It’s written in my blog, the modern equivalent of the stone tablets and therefore will be so. Ha ha.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all shoes are created equal...

Now that my muffin top has upgraded itself to a deluxe 9 inch Christmas cake with marzipan and lumpy royal icing, I've decided to focus my efforts on shoes.  My feet have recently shrunk half a size and so I've decided to reward them with the love and attention they deserve.  

This has opened a whole new world to me.  Where have shoes been all my life?  Take a look at these beauties.  I love them.  

Big Owl* is less sure and has commented that they're different to my usual choice.  Exactly. That is the point.  I'm having small mid-life crisis in shoe form, which will pass when I fall over again at work and take out a row of desk pod partitions.  

It's happened before - the partitions fell like dominoes and, as I picked myself up and dusted off my wide legged trousers (which were responsible for the whole thing - heels get caught in my wide legged trousers), no-one said a word.  A room full of men and no-one asked if I was O.K.  Admittedly, there were all software developers.  I think that they felt it was bad enough that they had to share their working day with a woman, but when she had the bad taste to draw attention to herself, the only possible reaction was for them to huddle closer to their monitors and code faster.

Anyway,  I've discovered that high heeled play shoes pay no attention to buttons that refuse to do up over expanding chests.  They ignore bingo wings, and forgive wobbling thighs. They preach body tolerance and size equality.  What a relief to have found them.  Now I just need to turn my lumbering lurch when wearing them into a sexy catwalk-model strut.  Easy peasy. 

I feel another visit to the orthopaedic  surgeon coming on.

*Big Owl:  my husband, formerly known as Big Al but renamed by my sister's five year old son.  He is indeed a Wise Old Owl but shows me far more patience that his namesake did for Pooh.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Open wide...

WTF?  I mean W.T.F.???  I've just got back from the dentist and have had to make myself a strong G&T (yes, am trying to fit in as many TLAs* as possible in this post).

I went to the dentist for a check-up.  Admittedly it's been a while since the last one.  My money was on a couple of fillings, at worst.  I even thought that I might treat myself to some whitening.  My friend Lady Perkleton has just had hers done and she is now a gleaming goddess. 

Anyway, went in expecting a clean up,  came out with a quote for braces.    I'm going to have to pay three thousand pounds for 18 months of wearing braces. The ones which are cemented in.  I'll have no money and a mouth like a spotty teenager.  And a possible bridge.  And then, if I'm not completely wiped out, I could have my teeth whitened.

The thought of this led me to the conclusion that I MUST lose some weight quickly (all roads lead to body size issues).  My self esteem will plummet if I have to wear braces AND continue to be the size of a couple of space hoppers (and that's just my bra).  

I dusted off my on-line WW account and set up the menu for the week ahead.  I will turn into a health freak and a gym nut.  I may set off the security detectors at the airport but the official who frisks me will note my rock hard butt and calves of steel.

All this thinking and planning exhausted me, so I polished off the remainder of my G&T and ate a large bag of pretzels.

Now I'm about to go out to dinner with my mother and sister.  Both of whom have exceptional teeth and are frequent users of the treadmill.  I'm hoping that my competitive streak will kick in and I'll finally find me some self control and discipline.  Surely it's in the genes somewhere?  Dig deep, FK, dig deep.  And carry on digging, as that three grand has got to be found somewhere.

*TLAs:  Three letter acronyms

Saturday, 7 February 2009

'So then, you shall know them by their shopping lists' (Matthew 7:16)

Must buy:
  • New hose attachment for the tumble dryer
  • Low energy bulb for the outside light
  • New toilet brush (don't even ask)
  • Geometry set to replace the fifteen lost by the Little Prince in one term
  • Cheap vest top to wear under a new-ish but now sagging V-neck sweater which is indecently showing my now sagging boobs
  • Chicken wire (for the Little Prince's school project - constructing a model motte and bailey castle.  Nothing to do with afore mentioned sagging boobs).

I wrote the weekend's shopping list on the back of one of the many, many 'Diary of a ...' articles hanging around at the moment.  You know the type - fashion, cosmetics, the suffix 'ista' thrown in somewhere.   And the references to the writer's career were even more sickening:  script writers, Hollywood, New York, chick lit and HBO.

The woman is probably the same age as me (hey, I'm not forty, YET).  I bet her shopping list doesn't include plumbing attachments (although maybe attachments of a different sort?) or toilet brushes.

I was going to suggest some possible items which may be included in her list.  But I wouldn't know where to start.  Specially prepared meals which follow a complicated gluten, diary, protein, calorie and air free diet and perhaps some face cream made from the the tears of a unicorn, I would have thought. 

 I don't expect she eats a family bag of Doritos whilst sitting in her thermals having just defrosted the fridge and thrown away 3 carrier bags of healthy food brought at the start of a diet week which disintegrated into pizza and houmous. Well, at least the houmous had red peppers - surely one of my five a day?

Anyway, back to the shopping list.  I took a long, hard look at it.  I realised that I had to do something drastic.  I took a deep breath and added the ingredients for my ultimate comfort food:  lasagne, made with real bechamel sauce, chicken livers, a couple of litres of marsala wine and a kilo of parmesan.  A thousand calories per tablespoon.  Bliss.

Friday, 6 February 2009

'You can take my youth, but you'll never take my Big Slipper'

It's finally happened.  I think perhaps it was my new hair straighteners that pushed us over the edge.  My GHDs have upset the delicate balance of the global climate and we have plunged into a new ice age. 

I opened the door this morning to a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow.  Gale force winds, heavy snow and thunder and lightning.  Thunder and lightning?  What the hell happened to the Narnian view from my dining room window last night?  Mr Tumnus has hopped on to an Easyjet flight to Malaga and the White Witch has won Celebrity Big Brother.

At least I can have a guilt free day 'working from home'.  My i-Tunes collection will be as clean as a new pin by the end of this morning.  No more mediocre tracks from The Feeling's very poor second album.  The soundtrack from Mamma Mia will be no more.  A quick dip into the excellent Genius suggestions and I'll be young and cool before lunch.

With hindsight, I think I may be sliding towards a mid life crisis.  Hair straighteners?  Deleting Abba tracks?  Thinking about it, I did get my eye lashes tinted at the weekend.  The ultimate in self absorbed treatments.  Next I'll be getting a boob job (ah, I can but dream) and a tattoo of a meaningless Chinese symbol above my tailbone.

Of course, in the real world, that won't happen.  I love my sofa too much and couldn't show the gym the commitment required to build the body of a twenty-five year old.  My dressing-gown and slippers will ground me and I'll never give them up.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I'm loving angels instead

It has finally snowed so I've done what any sane wife/mother would do and have left Big Al with the washing and the Little Prince causing trouble with his friends and have escaped to work. I would rather brave icy roads and follow crawling Fiat Pandas across a frozen Wiltshire wasteland, than stay in and clean the house whilst pretending to 'WFH'.

I made the right decision. At lunch time, our team were challenged to a snowball fight. I'd like to say that we whooped the competition, but alas, I'd be lying. I had snow shoved down my pants and in my face when I was trying to make a snow angel. Surely that's against the rules? Everyone knows that snow angels are sacred and that those stupid enough to lie in the snow in their jeans, with no hat, should be left in peace to create an icy masterpiece.

Anyway, now I'm snug and warm at my desk, indulging in some quiet i-Poddage and deleting emails with the carefree abandon of someone with wet pants and and bad hair (dried with a paper towel in the girls' toilets). I'll be leaving the office at about 3.00pm to miss the Big Chill and will be home in time for a Big Al Special Tea.
I plan to eat it in front of the TV whilst watching the last episode of that '80s masterpiece, 'North and South' and will close my eyes and imagine myself looking coyly up into the eyes of a young Patrick Swayze - 'Why, I do declare Orry Main, you are a postively charmin' jennalman'.
Several excellent Americanos from the office coffee shop. Fun in the snow. Some good music. An Al Special. Escapist television and retro eye candy. A perfect day.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sequins & Snowboards

We got back from skiing in Eastern Canada last week. We met many interesting and varied people. My three favourite encounters are below. I make no apology for the snobbish bent to this post. What can I say? I like to think that I'm just 'socially aware'.

Swiss Family Chavs
A group made up of several large families from Essex. Tans, shaved heads, nails, loud children and, I’m sure, several unnecessary 4x4s at home. I considered saying a few Hail Mary’s as penance for taking an instant dislike to them. Until we overheard them discussing immigration with an equally unenlightened Canadian in the hotel bar. ‘I don’t mind the Poles’, an Orange One whined. ‘But they need to fit in more. I mean, when in Rome…’

The Sequins
We arrived at the hotel on New Year’s Eve. The hotel had stated that the dress code that evening was ‘resort casual’. We wore jeans and snow boots.

The other guests wore sequins. Lots of them.

In fact, I have never seen so many sequins in one room. The glitter balls were over shadowed by the sequins. The event should have come with a warning to those suffering from fits brought on by flashing lights.

The revenue of the worldwide sequin industry must rely heavily on the New Year’s Eve dinner at this hotel.

I can imagine sequin salesmen throughout the year, gathered around the flip charts at their quarterly sequin sales forecast sessions, estimating the number of North American female guests due to attend the Fairmont’s celebrations. ‘Well, Larry, they’ve just had another table of 10 from Des Moines confirm. And the Irwins from Oklahoma City are considering a return visit, once Janice has gotten her order in to The Shiny Star Boutique. It’s looking good and I know you won’t quote me on this, but I reckon we can count on that bonus weekend in Scottsdale’.

We quite enjoyed the evening, once I’d returned to our room and retrieved our ski goggles.

Frickin’ AWEsome DUDEs!
I can’t believe that this group were real. I thought I had been run over by a moose and had woken up in a very cold version of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’.

Every year, hundreds of college kids from the US take advantage of the cheap ski breaks and arrive en masse at the resort. They were a joy to behold. Their lack of vocabulary and general air of world domination would have made Dubya proud. Their lack of consideration and disdain for other guests would have had Dick Cheney jumping out of his wheelchair for joy.

I think that our xenophobic sense of disdain and disgust was justified as we watched them snowboard down the mountain, wearing surf shorts and bikinis, quarts of (very crap) American beer in hand, whooping and hollering to each other across the beginners’ trails.

The future of the western world rests in their hands. A frightening thought.

I’ve just read back over this post and have realised that I need to loosen up and get a life. I’ll break out the St Tropez lotion early and will start sewing the sequins on to that LBD. New Year’s Eve 2009 is only 338 days away.