Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The newest member of our team reported for duty on Monday with the world's largest spot right between the eyes. It was so impressively enormous (we are talking the size of a 50p piece), I actually wondered at first whether it was a cut or a bruise and spent most of the morning trying desperately not to talk to it while I drew my own conclusions.

Hopefully, because of its location, I still looked like I was making eye contact.

We all studiously ignored it. All of us except one. This particular lady seems to have absolutely no editor between her internal monologue and her vocal chords.

'Oh, look at that giant zit on your face!' she chirped innocently as she walked in, three days later. You could have heard a pin drop. Everybody suddenly found some very serious work to do and all heads were bowed in front of computers. She didn't bat an eyelid.

Actually though it was the best thing she could possibly have done, because now it's all out in the open and we've been laughing about it ever since.

It was certainly a better outcome than her last attempt at this sort of thing. 'You do have a big belly!' she smiled as she walked past one of our slightly larger reporters. That didn't go down so well.

I guess a spot disappears rather more quickly than a substantive gut.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rhythm is a Dancer

Usually I approach any kind of rhythmic performance (yes, probably even that one) with the grace and poise of an average adult rhino.

After a few drinks I enjoy a boogie as much as the next girl but I would never go so far as to describe myself as a 'dancer'.

I purposefully avoid any kind of dance/routine-based exercise class on the grounds that I generally can't do half the moves, and if even I can do them, I'll forget which order I'm supposed to do them in.

So why was it that today, in my new class Body Combat, I suddenly morphed into a go-go dancer from the 1970s? I ponced my way around, hips wriggling, boobs bouncing and jazz hands a-plenty while while my fellow classmates snarled, kick-boxed and punched their way along to a series of aggressive house music tracks.

The instructor actually gnashed her teeth and made growling noises as I inadvertently sashayed through a succession of swing punches during a particularly nasty tune that was supposed to symbolise the metaphorical moment of the class's 'fight'.

'Left foot in the ring!' she shouted, resulting in me doing a pirouette for the first time in adult life.

The only possible explanation for all this is that I was temporarily possessed by Darcy Bushell. It was like the Moulin Rouge had suddenly rocked up in a Rambo film and neither one of us knew what to make of the other.

I think I'll stick to the treadmill from now on. Needless to say I'm not very graceful on that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bad bride

What is the bridal equivalent of a slummy mummy? Because if there's no existing definition, I fear it should be 'a zuzula'.

One of my friends is getting married a week after me. Within two days of becoming engaged she'd arranged absolutely everything. Venues? check. Dress? check. Bridesmaids dresses? check. Napkin holders? Sorted. Seriously. I have never seen anything like it. She is the archetypal bridezilla and she's making me feel like a very bad bride.

With 3 months to go I have no intention of purchasing a single bridal magazine, let alone attending a wedding exhibition (surely life is too short?). Needless to say my friend has subscribed to at least four publications and been, to my knowledge, to at least 2 wedding fairs in search of inspiration.

Back in February she told me off because, with five months to go, I had yet to book a photographer. Did I not realise how quickly they get snapped up? (no pun intended) She is also now organizing her own hen do after the plan cooked up by her official chief bridesmaid was deemed inferior.

She asked me what present I was planning to buy my groom as a wedding present. I said I thought a £10,000 wedding was present enough. Apparently that's not in the spirit of things.

Next question: Which part of the wedding am I most looking forward to? Becoming MC's wife, I replied. Call me old fashioned...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Of all the offices, in all the world...

We have a new arrival in our office. He's the latest in a long line of work experiences - who I have to say are on the whole putting me to shame with their go-getting attitudes and seemingly endless specialist knowledge. What happened to the ones that made the tea and were grateful for it? Bah.

Anyway we all received an email ahead of his debut on the team. I half-read it and filed it dutifully under a new email folder I have created called 'admin'. It's where I put all those boring but worthy emails that might come in useful one day (they include, for example, a note about music copyright and a reminder to do the latest health and safety assessment watsit). I figured one day I might need to know who the new chap was.

He arrived and looked strangely familiar. Given that the average age of our work experiences seems to be early 20s, I figured he must be a friend of my sister's but no, it niggled at me all morning. I definitely knew him, directly, from somewhere. But where?

I turned to my delightful admin folder and dug out the introductory email. And then it hit me. He had the same name, and the same appearance, as a boy I had a flirtation with at university. It was one of those flirtations that slowly mounted to a crescendo, only to fizzle out abruptly shortly afterwards. In short he's not someone I expected to see again.

Can I work from beneath my desk for the next two weeks, do you think?