Friday, May 30, 2008

london life

Last night, I had a second interview with a very strange little east london outfit who seem really keen to employ me but have yet to tell me what it is they want me to do. Progress of sorts: they have actually committed to emailing me a job description (which naturally hasn't arrived yet) ahead of our third meeting. I am not holding my breath.

Anyway far more excitingly I then met up with the delectable Peas on Toast for the first time after avidly reading her blog for years. I felt like I'd known her forever and within minutes, we were gossiping away like a pair of fishwives, indignantly waving around large glasses of vino. It was wonderful - and suddenly it was 3am.

Poor Peas exchanged her swanky hotel for my sofa and about 3 hours later headed off for the long journey to work.

I, on the other hand, decided I couldn't face it, and am still here, languishing on Peas' sofa, wondering how long it might feasibly take for, ahem, the boiler to be mended. Perhaps it'll be an all day job....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

standing in the way of control

I have written something that I feel strongly about and I have a nasty feeling it may end up costing me my job. The people I wrote in support of love me; the people I wrote about are extremely pissed off. I can and will back up every single word but unfortunately for me the pissed off people are the ones who hold the paystrings. Isn't that just typical? We shall see. I can't really say much more right now, other than it is something I felt could not remain unmentioned. I do not have the support of my editor this time. The moral high ground is proving to be a rather lonely place.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I have just had to give a radio interview about the joys of HDTV. I tried to get out of it, on the grounds that I could write on the tip of an eyelash what I know about the damned thing. But for the purposes of this particular show they didn't mind, and so for one day only I am their official expert. Isn't it funny how these things work behind the scenes? Perhaps I should listen a little less carefully to what i hear on the wireless in future. Shamelessly though, I rather enjoyed the experience - so if anybody wants an interview on anything at all, get in touch. I am officially a media whore. Next thing I know, I'll be applying to go on Big Brother... possibly around the same time that Hell freezes over. I can't believe that's coming round again. Is there seriously anybody left in the country that actually wants to go on that show?

In other news, MC and I moved our first carload of stuff into our new home on Saturday. Books, candles and pot pourri (me) - cult action figures, comics and movie posters (him). It really is going to be an apartment of two halves...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My night with Neil Diamond

Stricken with a summer cold, half way through a gruelling week at work and exhausted after a two hour appraisal, there was just one appointment in my diary that I was absolutely determined not to cancel.

Neil Diamond was coming to the BBC and I had somehow managed to guestlist my way to the hottest ticket in town. He may be old enough to be my grandfather (‘my vanity is greater than my accuracy,’ he said modestly when it came to discussing his age) but I grew up listening to the legendary crooner (with worldwide album sales of 125m I can’t possibly be alone in that) and I was not about to miss the opportunity of hearing him perform live.

He received a standing ovation when he walked out on stage. ‘You can remain standing,’ he rasped in that husky Brooklyn twang, at which the female half of the audience forgot about their hot flushes and swooned. Admittedly his dance moves these days are limited to a bit of well timed finger pointing and the occasional knee bend but somehow it all still works – and it’s electric to watch. Even us, the usually cynical hack pack, were up and dancing by the time Neil got to Forever in Blue Jeans – which he enjoyed so much, he did twice. ‘I used to like that song a lot… I’d like to keep it that way,’ he wheezed at the prospect of singing it one more time for the delighted crowd.

I have interviewed many a precocious one-hit-wonder who has recoiled in horror at the thought of being in actual contact with a ‘fan’. They should all take a leaf out of Neil Diamond’s book – a legendary songwriter with 40 top ten hits under his belt who managed walked around the radio theatre, dancing with the audience, shaking their hands and serenading them. Yes, by the end of the second rendition of the energetic Blue Jeans we were as exhausted as he was and it was a relief all round when he launched into a long introduction to the title tune of his new album, Home before Dark, as everybody caught their breath back. We didn’t even mind the mild evangelising that went along with it (he attributes his talents and success to God).

The thing with Neil Diamond is that you probably know more of his tunes than you realise. Even if you can only think of Sweet Caroline right now. He finished his BBC set with I’m a Believer, a hit he penned for The Monkees in 1966 which has been much covered since. And then he was gone. No encore – to be honest I don’t think any of those present, including him, could have coped with the excitement.

The middle-aged audience glided out onto Regent Street feeling like teenagers and vowing never to wash the hands that Neil Diamond had touched again. I did something that any self respecting thirty-something should do after seeing such an icon live in concert. I phoned my Mum.

Monday, May 12, 2008

past, meet present

This morning I was happily walking to work with MC when I saw a familiar figure ahead of me. It was the significant ex, and he was literally about ten paces away from meeting the current beau. I was completely freaked out about it. I'm not really sure why - the ex is part of another life, and not one I'm particularly keen to revisit. But the thought of two people meeting with one thing in common - me - makes my toes curl. So I slowed down, and took an early turning into work, and watched gratefully as he receded into the distance. I didn't tell MC because I couldn't even explain it myself. I've met the ex's girlfriend and been fine with it so really, there shouldn't be an issue. But somehow, there just is.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

not for all the tea in china...

There aren't many things that you simply couldn't pay me enough to do. Pretending to be a cowboy in order to present the results of the London elections, however, is one of them.

PS this is my first ever Youtube/blog post. Hurray for multimedia!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

isn't it ironic

Yesterday I met up with a friend who told me she recently spent an evening absolutely out of her little tree, courtesy of some prescription drugs given to her by Alanis Morrissette, chanteuse behind the oh-so-appropriately named jagged little pill album.

She even went on a facebook rampage, leaving incoherent little messages on the walls of people she shouldn't have. She remembers none of the above. She doesn't know what she took but she was totally battered by whatever it was.

It got me thinking. I can imagine a rummage through the medicine cupboard of Britney or Amy Winehouse proving quite fruitful. But Alanis Morrissette? I probably wouldn't smoke anything she offered me if I had to get up for work the next day but, prior to this, I wouldn't have thought twice about accepting a painkiller. Goes to show - it's the quiet ones you have to watch.

(Yes, I'm awake at 6am. I have no idea why either. I'm blaming Alanis).

tit for tat

I'm slowly learning how to compromise.

Case study one: The Boy watches Atonement (beautifully shot, multi-layered narrative about love and loss and misunderstandings) with me - and I in turn watch Iron Man (chap in metallic suit blows shit up).

Case study two: I buy a big pub lunch for The Boy's parents - and two weeks later he attends the Essex branch of the Zuzula clan's family party (which was a bit like the Ritz, only with a lot more booze thank God).

Case study three: We have found a flat. Oh yes. I am actually on the verge of living in sin. It may not be for the first time but I have every hope that it will be for the last. This boy is for keeps, all being well. Anyway. We're moving at the end of the month and the compromising is going to be endless. Should the spare room be a bedroom or a geek room? Should the posters in the hallway be Marilyn Monroe and Rothko or 30 Days of NIght and V for Vendetta?

But... and here's something weird, especially for a shamelessly material girl like me. I don't really mind. I would live with MC in a cardboard box surrounded by cheese (my food nemesis) if it came to it. Only don't tell him that. Because the Monroe portrait really does deserve pride of place...

Friday, May 2, 2008

So last night I donned a posh frock and took tea at the Ritz. Which would have been lovely had I a) not got soaked in a torrential downpour on the way there and b) watched in horror while the worst kind of Essex girl (yes, one of our party, joy) attempted to smuggle out a tea strainer in her cleavage before lighting up an Embassy No 1 outside and trying to seduce the concierge.

I always feel out of place around these brassy women, with their GHD hair and lipstick and French manicures and Tiffany hearts and minor coke habits. They spend so much time and money preening themselves to perfection - only to let themselves down the second they open their loud, crass mouths and screech "alwight, darlin'?". And yet they make me feel so inferior, so small, so... straight. I just go to wallpaper in their company, and try not to let them see my unkempt fingernails. It's like being back at school when you haven't got the 'right' accessory of the moment. Pathetic at my age, really.