Saturday, February 28, 2009


This weekend is to be almost entirely given over to wedmin - the boring bits of organizing a wedding that have to be achieved regardless. Today begins with a meeting with the flower arranger (which I think has potential to be fun, at least for me).

This is followed by some indepth chats about marquees, tables and various varieties of hog roast (again could be good if samples are involved. Although I expect it's just going to be pictures). We are meeting our caterer, a farmer, and the marquee man, a scout leader, in a pub. It all has shades of Withnail and I about it.

Have managed to wangle some interesting filming at work. One piece is about pawnbroking (the cause of much hilarity and hence the title of this blogpost). The other, and I still can't believe my luck, is about handbags. Result!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brit bashing

Yesterday I bought a dress that cost more than my entire wardrobe. I finally chose my wedding dress. They really are incredible contraptions. I was corsetted to within an inch of my life and even my boobs had their own little bits of scaffolding to give them 'lift' (dress fitter speak for 'honey, you're starting to sag'). But the result was simply astonishing.

I could have done with all of the above on Wednesday when I had a bit of a showbiz treat - a night at the Brit awards with a rather fabulous friend. I was bemoaning the fact that my entire team was going on a work trip that I couldn't attend because I can't do my job without Internet access. I was feeling very left out and depressed and bitched to Fab Friend about it over several large glasses of pinot noir. 'why don't you come to the Brits with me instead then?' he offered gallantly... And suddenly the work trip was a lot less bothersome.

What a party. FF and I gossiped through the awards themselves, obviously, but the performances were spectacular. I guess there's nothing like performing in front of your peers and paymasters to encourage you to pull out all the stops.

We laughed heartily at all the z list hangers on lurking near our table (former atomic kittens, the obligatory forgotten soap actresses et al) but by far my favourite was Lee Ryan, once of Blue fame (eh?) mincing around in a wet-look suit jacket and Cuban heels that I swear were bigger than my own killer stilletos. Quality. I spent far too long trying to get a discreet picture of them but I'm ashamed to report that I failed miserably. So much for all that multimedia training that work inflicts on me on an almost daily basis (or so it seems).

The aftershow was fairground themed, complete with dodgems, wrestling ring, fortune tellers and a rather pointless maze which we rather pointlessly wandered around at 3am before deciding that it really was time to make a move. I persuaded Fab Friend to crash at mine, only for the cab driver to get completely lost and admit it was only his second week in the job. Somehow, through my champagne haze, I managed to get him back on course but the fare by this time was huge so he asked me to pay whatever it usually costs.

Thus for the first and only time in my life I got a black London taxi in the wee hours of Thursday morning for the princely sum of £10. How I got away with that I'll never know.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Arabian Nights (and days)

Dubai is a city rich with smells - from the good, like the spice souks with row upon row of vanilla, frankencense (how DO you spell that?), saffron to the downright vile - like the taxis by the end of the day. Find myself sitting in the backseat discreetly wafting perfume around like some High Priestess of Prada simply in order to breathe.

It's luxury hotel living all the way simply because there isn't anywhere else you can get a glass of wine - even at an eyewatering 20GBP each for standard blanc de blanc. (Oh, needless to say the Airport Lady was wrong about Dubai's cheap Duty Free! Bah) Definitely a proverbial playground for the rich - I am dreading my credit card bill this month and I don't even have a thing to show for it.

The sound of construction work fills the air and roads change daily as more and more building sites spring up seemingly overnight. My friend no longer has a front door because the road in front of her apartment disappeared in a pile of orange traffic cones and 'men at work' signage. The apartments though are stunning. All beautifully laid out with swimming pools and gyms as standard - while the UK seemingly freezes and then floods I am curled up on a sunlounger by a heated pool (not that it needs it) smothered in Factor 25.

I've prepared a few blog posts about my experiences here but as I'm not even sure whether I'll be able to publish this, the others will have to wait until I'm back in the UK. Anything deemed 'inappropriate' online is banned. And that just about sums me up most of the time so I think this will have to do for now... sorry folks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Aren't airports weird? I'm sitting here in shiny new Heathrow terminal 5 at 7pm feeling like it's about 4am. The half lights, the drone of the aircon... I haven't felt this disorientated and timeless since I stalked the hotel casinos of las vegas, all of which sounds far more glamorous than it actually was.

I'm sure I should be doing something important like buying toothpaste or throwing myself at the nearest prada handbag store but instead I'm tucked away in a little corner typing furiously on my iPhone. It is perhaps no coincidence that I watched The Terminal the other night.

Anyway I'm resisting the duty free because, according to the check-in lady, t5 is one of the most expensive in the world in that department. I'll spare you her story about the global airport costs of 200 b&h (no need to thank me) but suffice it to say where I'm headed things cost one third of what they do here. Be still, my quaking credit card.

The other thing worth mentioning is that I'm flying solo. Dear MC has some very time consuming work commitments in London (and a stinking cold to boot, poor love) so all in all it's the perfect moment for a spot of sunny, girlie r&r with my oldest friend. In aforementioned lavish apartment. Something tells me I won't be seeing am awful lot of the city of Dubai itself...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

hello, siberia

yes, I'm yet another Brit blogger going on about the weather. But it is extraordinary to emerge from a very lazy Sunday afternoon in a cosy pub only to find one's urban gritty abode transformed into Narnia. Admittedly after my third snowball attack in as many minutes I was considerably less enamoured with the whole scene but all in all it's been quite beautiful, if treacherous, in London town of late.

Anyway weather permitting I'm off to Dubai tomorrow to visit an old friend. Apparently her boyfriend is away, leaving us to housesit his sumptuous penthouse apartment. It's a hard life. Not sure what blog access is like in UAE but i'll do my best to log in. Are you on twitter yet?I am utterly addicted!