Tuesday, April 29, 2008


My flatmate returned from a trip to Germany last week and handed me a little souvenir. 'You must have loads of these already,' she beamed, 'but here's another one anyway.' With that she handed me a little wooden square with a Hebrew letter painted in gold on each side. I had absolutely no idea what it was.

'wow... thanks,' I managed to reply, painting on the world's largest showbiz smile. 'I don't have any actually... wow.'

After much searching of pictures on allthingsjewish.com I've finally managed to figure it out. It's a dreidel. I need to upgrade my genetic Jewishness and fast. Fortunately there's a great big family Jew-do going on this weekend so I can brush up on all things Yiddish. Shalom!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

more flat horror

Last night I swear I saw a mouse run underneath the fridge at home. I live on the top floor. How on earth did he get up there? The stairs practically kill me and my legs must be at least 50 times the size of his.

Argh. The sooner MC and I get our acts together and start proactively flathunting, the better.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Mondays

I woke up this morning to discover that my bathroom had flooded. Typically, this has to happen while I am on a tight work deadline and my flatmate is in Berlin. Just to make things even more fun, my landlord doesn't have a key to the property at the moment, because last weekend the front door lock died so we had it replaced and I hadn't got round to sending him the new key.

He promised to come over asap - with the caveat that he'd just had his eyes lasered so strictly speaking wasn't supposed to drive. The man is a nutcase... but also a saviour because, true to his word, he did turn up and claims to have solved the problem (frankly I think the whole apartment needs replumbing but what do I know).

I also made my deadline because I managed to negotiate with the lady downstairs (a mum of two and the only person in the block who doesn't work), somehow persuading her that it would be a Really Good Thing for her to stay home so that she could let the lasered landlord in. Sometimes I think I should be working for the UN.

Then I got to work and discovered that my computer has died. I logged on at 10am and the spare computer is still rewriting my profile, email by painful email (there are 15,000 in my sent box alone). Poor thing.

Anyway the lovely news is that MC bought me peppermint tea and chocolate cake to cheer me up, and the blogger known as She of the Handbag informs me that she has purchased a pair of pajamas for me with 'ooh la la' written all over the legs. Every black cloud....

PS I removed my last post about the fantastically named HR lady because I realised that googling her bought this blog up first! And even I think it would be a bit unkind to self indulgently google yourself only to discover that an anonymous blogger was deeply disappointed by you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

when branding goes bad

I have been meaning to write this post for ages but haven't been able to illustrate it until now. So thanks to foundshit - click here to see a complete monstrosity of advertising in its full glory.

Everyday on the way to work I see this van. And everyday it notches up my blood pressure a little. It is simply wrong on so many levels. Primarily though, I just can't get my head around the concept of using a stoned-looking Eastern European model with big tits to sell cooking oil. It's COOKING OIL people! It's that shit that you use in a frying pan that gives you high cholesterol. It is not a beauty product - and even if it was, I am hardly inspired to aspire to look like her, or even worse, to fuck her, are you?

It's taking the whole 'sex sells' cliche way out of its comfort zone. And it's driving me mad. I'm no marketeer (thank God) but surely this is not the done thing?

Friday, April 11, 2008

my life in six words (meme)

'Worth waiting for, but usually late'

Quoted from Smith Magazine:
"Six-Word Memoirs: The Legend" - Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response?
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word story.

2. Post it on your blog [and include a visual illustration if you'd like].

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible [so we can track it as it travels].

4. Tag at least five others with links.

5. Don't forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

6. Have fun!

Okay so I tag... well whoever wants to have a go at it really. Fake Adult, I reckon you'd be good at this. And Almost Witty, you too!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the curse of white wine

Last night it happened again. I had a few glasses of white wine and ended up having a go at MC, who was doing nothing more harmful than trying to persuade me to take a taxi home when we left the bar. My lovely friend V thinks there's something in the proverbial 'jesus juice' that sends women a bit mad and I have to say I think she's right. So why am I still drinking it? I know it brings out the worst in me. It's really not fair on MC either - if the situation were reversed, and he was the one who got aggressive after a few particular drinks I would be devastated that he kept on doing it. It would probably end up being a dealbreaker, and that in itself would break my heart.

The problem is... I like wine. I like the taste, the texture, the cultural ritual of having a glass of it. Fuck, that looks so selfish and frankly lame written down - I have to attempt some willpower at some point soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

weird work

On Monday I spent the day out rambling with a group of radio presenters (I had to practically boil my jeans to get the mud out aftewards but I got a great article out of it - the walk not the jeans). Tomorrow I am attending a dance class in south east London, also in the name of work. I am terrified. Apparently a group of deprived children have devised a performance piece based around gun crime - and they want to teach it to me. Oh - and there's going to be a photographer capturing the whole mortifying experience. Eek.

Isn't it amazing what a big impact the smallest things can have? Today I am wearing a crisp white shirt and an amazing new foundation that I discovered yesterday during a lazy afternoon off, out shopping with MC (which of course was not work related). As a result I have been feeling uber chipper and groomed and professional all day - a shadow of my usual shabbier self.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

conforming to stereotype

I am as guilty as the next person of making snap judgements about people - usually not particularly flattering ones - and hoping to be proved wrong. When I first heard about a 9 year old schoolgirl called Shannon Matthews who went missing from her home in Yorkshire, at first I just thought the usual things about how awful these situations are, and waited for what I thought would be the sadly usual police report down the wires about finding a body.

Then I saw her mother. At 32 Karen Matthews is only two years older than me, and yet somehow she has managed to give birth to seven children with five different fathers (apparently the two who do share the same dad are known by the family as 'the twins' - despite not being anywhere near the same age). She was living with a 22 year old boyfriend who had been hit so hard with the proverbial ugly stick that it had clearly also knocked out any brains he might have started out with. They live on a run down looking housing estate and I have to admit, I thought, chavtastic.

So did the rest of the British press and there was much comment about whether Shannon Matthews was getting less publicity than Madeleine McCann (seriously. I thought the playground was bad enough. i didn't realise there was an A-list of missing children as well) because she was from a less affluent background. And wasn't as cute looking. It's possible, as horrible as that sounds.

Then they found Shannon, hidden in the bottom of a divan bed in her step uncle's house less than a mile from home. Wonderful. And then it got weirder... they wouldn't let her see her mum. Then the stupid stepdad was arrested for possessing child porn (not of the family). Then his mum and sister were arrested for assisting an offender, Shannon did see her mum and told her she didn't want to go home... and now her own mum has been arrested for perverting the course of justice.

Current thinking is that it may have been a money making scam - the McCanns say somebody had contacted them twice to ask, aggressively, for money for Shannon's family. Apparently there had been a similar storyline in an episode of an observant, funny British drama called Shameless, which is essentially about a chav family. Shannon's mum has confessed to knowing all along where her daughter was.

Who in their right minds could seriously contemplate staging the kidnap of their own child to make a bit of quick cash because they saw it on a tv show? It's so sordid and desperate and shallow and moneygrabbing that just writing about it makes me want to take a shower. The awful thing is that this mentality, education, situation is endemic in the UK. The teenage mums have spawned more teenage mums who in turn have spawned more... and there's not an ounce of intelligence between them. It's just terrifying. I suppose I must have had a lucky escape somehow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a fart in a hurricane

I would like to congratulate whoever it is who has organized today's procession of the Olympic torch through London. It can only be described as a fete of comic genius. Watching a succession of happless British 'personalities' attempting to half jog through a snowstorm while carrying a burning flame which inevitably kept extinguishing itself is so entertaining that I have just run further than ever before on the treadmill in the gym because I was so engrossed I forgot the time.

Special mention also to the billions of police runnning about brandishing their truncheons in what is surely some kind of bizarre tribute to Benny Hill. I have lived in London for most of my life and now I understand why it's becoming a more dangerous place. The police are too busy camping it up for the Olympics to care about the less showbiz side of crime - you know, the boring old rapes and murders and muggings.

This flame-in-a-snowstorm fiasco is almost as hilarious a concept as believing that people will happily gloss over years and years of the worst form of human rights abuse in order to watch sporty people run around a field and pat each other on the back when they receive a medal for doing the above. I am proud that the people of London aren't prepared to let this go without kicking up a fuss.

Friday, April 4, 2008

being a disappointment

Sometimes you just feel you've let somebody down - and there's nothing you can do about it. I managed to disappoint a complete stranger yesterday, when I received a text from an unknown number which said: 'were you being serious when you asked me out?' Being a person who immediately gets a guilty conscience, I wondered who on earth I had been talking to - when clearly inebriated - who had so badly got the wrong end of the stick. Then I realised that I haven't spoken to any strangers lately and breathed a huge sigh of relief. So I returned the text, telling the mystery person that they had the wrong number. And then - this is the heartbreaking bit - I got a reply. 'Aren't you Robbie?' it asked tentatively. No. No, I'm not Robbie. I don't know who Robbie is but I'm very cross with him for leaving me to sort out his commitmentphobia. Bastard.