Monday, December 15, 2003

"Ace...two...three...four...fiveFIVEfivefivefive [slap] ouchgeddofffuckinghellyoubrokemyfingerowowowow..."
While American troops were digging evil Middle Eastern dictators out of the ground over the weekend, our happy little household was more concerned with hurting each other late into the night in a few rounds of a particularly sadistic Chinese card game which is, if you can imagine it, a cross between slaps, snap and minor GBH. This along with a range of different poker games including the hilarious and psychologically scarring Mexican poker, was how we three saw through the weekend, oblivious to the international drama until Sunday afternoon.

I've spent most of the time since the news broke resolutely disbelieving that it is in fact Saddam, but I've abandoned the cod-X Files conspiracy theories involving genetically modified, alien hybrid doubles and badly scripted large scale government cover-ups and do truly believe it is Saddam they have captured. As yet, I've no opinion on what should happen to him now - all I am considering is the fact he is now available for questioning and it is now vital he is pumped for information until his lips bleed from the talking.

Has anyone else noticed how disoriented he looks in the footage shown on every news programme so far? Why did he allow filming? Why was he so docile? How did they administer the sedative and will they continue to drug him?

My sister arrived from France for her Christmas visit yesterday and I spent a jolly afternoon/evening with her and the rest of the family, making plans for the week she is here, although my hand was hurting right up to the wrist from our over-enthusiastic and absinthe inspired card-playing the night before and I was still feeling rather green. Top of the list of Fun!(tm) while sister is here is... a curry, a big feed at one of the fast food outlets not available in France, dim sum, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, vodka and orange juice, Bacardi Breezers, pubs and... Topshop. Though I won't be accompanying her there because I think that place is hell on earth and nothing, not even the range of shoes available there can make me spend more than one second beyond it's awful awful noisy crowded TV monitor-laden entrance.

In other news, I have almost completed my Christmas shopping and about to set off for my office party. Last night I finished one of three different presents I am crafting lovingly by hand and even though I resent and hate it, the spark of festive spirit and excitement in me is growing and getting hideously, horribly bright. I want to hug people and smile and wish everyone a happy Christmas time. Kill me. Please.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

”Ali (sporting a grey fleece) hung back sullenly in the doorway to the auditorium, looking at his watch from first bell and tapping his foot impatiently.”
So records The Guardian on my minor news scoop. I was at the Almeida for the launch of a new project we are doing here at work and amongst the great canap├ęs and after draining the excess wine from the reception bit of the evening, I looked up and spotted none other than Neil Kinnock at the Box Office. A bit later, Alasdair Campbell turned up; we watched and spied on them through the bottom of our wine glasses and then as they went into the auditorium, I scurried off to see my folks and immediately called Taxloss to tell him who I had spotted. With thanks to his journalistic sense of opportunism and a possible quick and easy remuneration, there it is in today’s paper – cheers!

In other news…have been invited to participate in a traditional Catalonia Christmas thing by friend from Barcelona. Makes Christmas logs seem even more unappetising, though as Prandial insisted last year when he found himself in that beautiful city, I'll be going along for the culture. Not for the scatological "treats," thanks but no thanks.

Friday, December 05, 2003

"Would you like some coffee H?"
"..."
"Is that a no?"
"..."
"That face you just pulled looks like you really don't want any coffee. Tea?"
"Uggghhh..."
"Hot chocolate? A smelly fruit tea? Some water? [pause] Are you alright? Are you sure don't want anything?"
"I think I'll have a glass of my special fizzy drink...[fumbles packet of Resolve]"
Okay, so I spent most of Sunday night giggling and hiding from Taxloss (sorry dude, but it's still funny), completely off my face on improv comedy and white wine. Spent most of Monday wishing I was dead. Woke up Tuesday morning feeling vaguely more alive, then toodled off to the British Library to meet Former Flatmate A and to see some exhibitions there. Former Flatmate B turned up and we took ourselves off to a bar nearby where we witnessed some performance poetry, live jazz and lovely dogs. I ended up drinking far too much white wine and shrieked non-stop with my old pals for two or three hours solid, then realised the performance poet was someone I knew from my early years at the Royal Court (she knew me when I was waiting for my GCSE results for chrissakes!) and we had a merry though blurred and oddly repetitive reunion at the bar.

Then I found myself alone with the lovely dog who kept leaping up onto the sofa to shake my hand and nuzzle me with his wet nose and I got talking to his photographer owner, to whom I somehow promised to take care of the lovely dog while he's away in Barcelona over Christmas and made extravagant plans to become a photographer too, mainly of funerals and "the beauty of homeless people. And bricks. Walls look great in photographs."

It's taken me until today to feel less like cutting out my own liver to distract myself from the crippling hangover. I am ashamed. I will be more so if I wake up Christmas morning and find the lovely dog sitting on my doorstep with a sign saying "Will you be my mummy?" Oh dear.

But yesterday was fun! Was assigned to go to a day-long cultural diversity meeting (yes, groan, roll eyes etc) and was prepped very thoroughly on how agonising and boring it would be... looking over the agenda for the day I realised my old witch-boss was likely to be representing her evil empire at the same event and so I was prepared for an agonisingly boring and anxious "blast from the past" kind of day.

However, so well prepared was I yesterday, I held my head up high and strolled in with a stack of emails/ electronic postcards from Lucifer who is currently touring China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. cunningly disguised as the documents for the day for me to read in dull moments, armed myself with a strong coffee and before I sat down, I located the organisers. I determinedly walked up to them and asked straight off if anyone from the Office of Doom had arrived yet. Nice Organiser said only one person had come, pointed to the film crew and lo and behold, all my anxiety vanished for it was none other than the Chilean there and we had a merry, huggy, shouty reunion over the various bits of oh-so-familiar camera kit. The day was spent lurking in a corner with the film crew, gossiping, smoking and drinking too much coffee, just like the old days. :: sigh ::

Found out the witch-boss was due to inflict her atrocious presence on the evening section of the meeting and so I fled as quickly as I could to the safety of my pretty Georgian basement flat and my beloved Taxloss and Boatie Flatmate, pleased as always to have left her shitty company. Pah.

Incidentally, the meeting was held in a Holiday Inn Express. Holiday Inn Express - we're talking Alan Partridge territory here. Coupled with the excruciating "cultural diversity workshop" in the afternoon where we were reassured that it's okay to be white but try not to make a big deal out of it, it was all in all a variably good-awful-fucking ridiculous day. Crap sandwiches too.

How has your week been, dear readers?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"I can see you!"
Some loosely connected words and phrases to summarise what has been going on since I last drenched this site with braindrool... incidentally, I am typing this in the office, waiting for a call and therefore still working and I'm watching the office pilates class take place on the floor around me with an intriguing set of props that includes a big foam sausage, some shiny squishy rubber balls and... lycra. Yep, it's that kind of office.

roast chestnuts and splinters under my thumbnails from extensive chestnut peeling but some really fucking great soup as the result
a gin-laden reunion with Velvet Goldmine who is heading evermore Brazil-ward
a v. generous and unexpected cheque / advance pay (yep, it's that kind of office) which I have been spending merrily with little regard for what will happen next month - well, I was so sick of being poor and sensible for so goddamn long, I am quite far beyond caring
another gin-laden reunion this time with Devukha during which we were given the surfeit canapes from a nearby party - I had a vol-au-vent for the first time in several years
Taxloss informing me that vol-au-vent means "death package" in French. I believed him. I am an idiot, yes, I know.
private view at the ICA
curry, gatecrashing a party and then drinking and drunken dancing with the Elite Drinking Force aka my postgradgirliefriends
improv at the comedystore with subeditors and Paul Merton
a fit of euphoric hysteria that led me to hide from Taxloss all the way home from the Comedy Store which included me ducking behind pillars and crouching behind cars, giggling madly as a bewildered and annoyed Taxloss stood looking for me. It was funny, especially when I slipped into the flat before him, hid in the bathroom and then leapt on him when he came in through the front door. Heh. It was funny. Really funny. Really.

and a variety of other things but I gotta run. More details available on any of the above, on request. Over and out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

"...[crouching possessively over desk and assorted stationery]... it's mine! All mine! Muahahaha!"
Got a tonne of stationery and office equipment yesterday and spent a happy day nesting, putting my hole punch and stapler into their positions and obsessive/compulsively arranging all my pens and paperclips. I'm currently getting toasted by my new desk lamp which is amusingly similar to the Pixar lamp. It doesn't hop about or do anything... animated though in quiet moments I find myself gazing into the slightly too bright bulb wishing that it would twitch or do something.

In other news, this was absolutely fucking amazing. I sat open-mouthed and stunned throughout with Boatie Flatmate pulling pretty much the same face sat next to me. It was breath-taking - very moving and with some extraordinary moments where traditional screeching, clanging and clashing Peking Opera was mixed with the gentler sound of a westernised score and of course, the simulated mah jong sequence was both amusing and beautiful to watch, the tragic ending was tragic and upsetting and far more stark and representational than the previous scenes and more chilling for that and though we entertained thoughts of stealing one of the many glowing red lanterns lighting up the front of the theatre, we didn't after we saw what trouble that kind of light fixture leads to... Stumbled home with Boatie Flatmate both feeling as if we had witnessed something really very special and wolfed down an almost indecently huge Chinese takeaway, just to finish off our Oriental evening.

In other news... not much news - am currently too poor to generate any but once I've got a few more pennies in the bank and therefore a greater range of ways to entertain myself (and eventually you dear reader), I will be out and about and there'll be no stopping me. Until then... it's Eastenders and doing the washing up and going to bed early. :: sigh ::

Friday, November 14, 2003

"Oooh, it's so much better than the last place I worked..."
...which shouldn't be such a goddamn surprise as regular readers of the Avenue will know. Still, the new job is turning out to be really quite good; it is

1) very relaxed
2) friendly and supportive
3) to the point of being almost holistic - there is a weekly office pilates class where the central board table gets moved to one side and the pilates teacher pops up for an hour's intense stretching etc.
4) I'm working very near my bro who I can tap for lunch every time I'm hungover and/or broke (see you nearly everyday then, k?)
5) the office - which has the never-experienced before luxury of windows and my own desk, woo! - is only half an hour away from home and
6) I'm back in the world of live arts and back in touch with all the people and companies and organisations I used to know before I defected to new media (boo hiss etc)

Yep, all things considered, it's looking good.

In other news, am seeing this tonight which is terribly exciting and hopefully this sometime next week.

I am so cultured (and ethnic to boot) , it sometimes makes me want to cry.

How are you?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

"Yes, but is it art ?"
Well, not in the strictest sense - it's the Turner Prize, which I saw on Sunday and was quite impressed by the maturity and substance involved this time round. Grayson Perry's pottery required some actual skill, Anya Gallacio's natural and not-natural sculptures instantly captured all our senses and made us walk around the room sniffing the smell of dying, rotting apples as we watched them decay in front of our eyes and the Chapman Brothers... well, they were just doing what they always do and making us laugh out loud. I recommend a peep if you're in that part of town - there's some kind of emphasis on craft as well as substance this year and that is a rare thing (consider last year's winner with the lights flipping on and off... yawn).

Also recommended, while I'm rattling on about visual arts, see the display on Trafalgar Square and some Heroes and Villains in the same venue. Good stuff - go see!

In other news... not much news. I'm enjoying a week off before going back into full-time work and avoiding any firework displays this evening, I've had my haircut, I've finally taken some clothes to be dry-cleaned which I've avoided for longer than I care to discuss here, I think I'm taking some relatives on a tour of Oxford tomorrow which I know will be agonising and fun in alternating amounts, dance classes have started again and we're learning some very nice sequences where we're doing some steps off-balance and lots of floorwork and I made a paper boat complete with rowers, a cox and very accurately proportioned and positioned blades for Boatie Flatmate as luck for a race last week with much-appreciated input from Taxloss who knows everything about everything. And I've got The Ambassador's Reception to look forward to this weekend. Raaah and gold-foil wrapped chocolates all round. Ole!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

"I was so cool when I was 16 and 17 and then I turned 18 and went to uni and then I was just weird..."
I am sitting in the internet cafe at the moment downing my lunch and contemplating whether or not to just run away from the filing job of doom but then consoling myself that it will all be over by Friday - woo! And to cheer myself up further, I've been watching the cute little guy two stations away bopping away on his chair as he listens to some live set over the net through his really quite enviably cool headphones. He's having a real little party on his own over there and it's making me smile.

In other news, today I am tired today because we had an unexpectedly in depth and enjoyable reminisce last night into the early hours about our mid / late 90s music experience and were obliged to go through all our CDs and play the most nostalgic tracks we could find including Stone Roses, Suede, Blur, Ash, Primal Scream and so on. I used to be *such* a tragic indie girl between 16 and 18 - I'd see all sorts of shite, unsigned bands playing their poorly attended mid-week gigs in dank and lame parts of Camden and Islington and wander around in what I shamefully recalled to be "cool" clothes that I had customed myself (but was actually spending most of my time looking like a colourblind tramp with poor sewing skills). It was perhaps the most exciting two years of my pre-university life: endless late nights, getting dressed up and over excited after college, going home on the night bus with my ears ringing from yet another onslaught of sound barely recognisable as "music" and trying to make excuses to my frantic parents in the morning before slinking off to A Level college and doing it all over again. And then i went to university and did it all again. I think I handled Freshers Week and adjusting to university life pretty well as I seemed to have done it all before two years earlier.

Ahhh, the memories, the memories...

Currently listening to: Ash - Nu-Clear Sounds, Suede - Dog Man Star, Beck - Odelay.

Currently watching: the cute guy still having a boogie two stations away, Teachers, Eastenders (I should be ashamed but I'm not)

Currently reading: a book about disability and miracle cures in classic literature for young girls (very interesting analysis of The Secret Garden, Little Women and What Katy Did), a travel book about a man trying to find King Solomon's Mines via a map he found in mysterious circumstances and the novel itself and... a few other books about books. Some sort of trend I've just noticed there - must get out to the library again soon...

Thursday, October 23, 2003

"Go on... I'm sure he's not asleep yet..."
I have not had to do a full day's work while hungover to fuck for a while now and it is quite a shock trying to balance on my crappy ladder with an armful of files and suddenly wanting to vomit while my head erupts into an internal and out of tune rendition of Holst's Planets (all of them). I blame my darling post-grad girlie friends with whom I always seem to end the evening rolling in drunk and reeking of booze, fags and unsuitable men, talking nonsense. I can just about recall lying in bed and commanding a slightly startled Taxloss to wake up Boatie flatmate so he could "snuggle with him... I don't mind watching..." and then it all went blank. And now it is all flashing lights, churning guts and cold, shakey moments in between flashbacks of the night before. I think we ended up in an Australian-theme pub and were dancing to ... oh god, it's all coming back in a rush, just like the gush of bile rising up my throat... I'm off to take some more Resolve. Pheh.

Friday, October 17, 2003

"Hello, is that Hypatia? I've got some good news for you..."
... I got a new job. After letting me know I was up against one other person at some point in the afternoon, they ransacked me for references and spent the rest of the day chasing them up. God bless my referees - thank you both! They both came up trumps for me and after I spent the whole day putting files back in the wrong place with shaking hands, spilling tea all over myself and generally going white faced with fear and anxiety, I thought I was going to break under the strain and crawl weeping into a bundle of 9278452 - 9353452 files. And then I got the call... and I got the job.

Ah, must go and finish my champagne before it goes flat.

In other news, as my darling Taxloss can confirm, the new phrase of the household is... "you're twisting my melons man." And I've come to terms with my Little House on the Prairie obsession and am going to take up knitting. Yes, that's right: knitting. Who wants a scarf? Or... a scarf? or... you know, a scarf? No requests for anything more complex than that - I can only knit things that are straight and of one shape and length. But eventually i'll be able to put together lovely fuzzy gimp masks and crotchless ribbed catsuits, so I'll keep all you wool-fans posted, k?

Friday, October 10, 2003

"...9352674...9352674...oh god, just fucking kill me..."
I am a temp. I am a worm. I am a hopelessly slow filer monkey currently crawling around a really really badly kept medical records department trying not to get wedged in between the overflowing shelves and climbing up and down wobbly, broken ladders while sweating like a bastard, showing my pants to anyone who might be looking, dropping things and praying that the day will end soon. ::sigh:: As long as I can pay my rent and get my haircut, I shall just have to get on with it and spare the moaning. Hell, I'd be moaning a lot more if it wasn't for this internet cafe - 1 hour for 1 pound and I am allowed to chow down my lunch and sip bad machine coffee in between typing. If only I was allowed to smoke as well, the experience would be complete. Oh thank you Internet - god bless you and the respite you give me from temping doom!

In other news, Former Flatmate B is back from healing the third world and settling back into civilisation via unsuitable shoes and sit-down toilets. Hurrah! More nights of cheap white wine and shouting loudly and cackling until dawn to come!

In other news, Taxloss Towers has become a frighteningly decadent eaterie with Boatie Flatmate, me and Taxloss himself going for broke (literally) in the beautiful new Sainsburys Market. It is proving to be a mixed blessing - great to be able to buy decent food and cook wonderful meals in the evening but we're doing this every evening and soon we three will be 1) fat 2) broke 3) fat and broke.

Oh dear. Taxloss is away this weekend and I must not go to Sainsburys to cheer myself up. I'm just going to have to drink that pint of fresh custard in the fridge and make do with the leftovers until he gets back. :: sluuurrrrrrpppp::

Sunday, October 05, 2003

"Yaaaarrrgh!"
Ahoy there me hearties! I be quite pissseed right now and about to set satil for the land of Temping -\it be a fine land, with money whcih I have not handled for a while now, to be sure, to be sure... so long to being broke, here's to being broken spirtied! Yaaargh! With extra parrots and peg legs etc. Ole!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"Do you want some more cheese? Wine? A cigarette? Go on, help yourself, have as much as you'd like..."
Am in France. Have at times assumed I am in Heaven. Got into Nantes early evening. Had short tour of town then had lovely French style dinner with Sis and Beau-Frere in their home. Next day, had lunch with Sis in town and was left alone to shop until I ran out of money. Ran out of money; stopped shopping. Had drinks. Went back to the flat. Had some cheese. Went out for drinks. Had more drinks. Met some French friends. Had more drinks. Went to restaurant for dinner. Ate smoked duck, foie gras, cheeeeeeeese and drank wine so rich and maddeningly fume-filled, I almost fell off my chair groaning with bliss. Then went to smoky bar and had more drinks. Had more drinks then things got blurry and got lost walking home at 3am - often in the wrong direction. Then took a boat and nursed our hangovers today by spending afternoon on the river and about to tuck into moules but unfortunately no frites and more yummy wine. Then more shopping tomorrow and going home, bidding a sad farewell to Sis and Beau-frere and the land of Everything I Love About Food, Fags and Booze. Am already upset. Must have more cheese to fend off glumness. And note to self: buy industrial size pot of wild boar pate and practice spreading it all over myself.

Goddamnit, I don't want to go home!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

And now it is Saturday night and I’m going to have to be up at literally the crack of dawn to catch my train to France; this time tomorrow, I shall be with my sister and my brother-in-law, enjoying French hospitality, fags, booze and dairy products. Woo! I shall come back bankrupt and no doubt still unemployed, but hey! It’ll be my third trip abroad this year so that’s no too bad and I shall update all you avid, salivating readers with my French adventures (if the five of you can wait that long).

My other sister has had a tattoo done for her 30th birthday. Gosh, I can’t wait to get older…

Thursday 18 Sept
Spent the day forcing myself through six more job applications in a rush to get them out before deadline and before I go abroad to the land of cheese and wine, then after a an aggressive emailing session at the library I came home and began to prepare dinner for our most honoured guest… Devukha! After scoffing down the food and three bottles of wine between four people, we had coffee and a whole bottle of Metaxa which I have never tried before but am pleased to say I know quite well now due to Devukha’s unstinting introduction to the beverage. Gosh, he does know his food and drink, and thanks for making the sauce for the chops – we would all still be in A&E having our stomachs pumped as it was the most puzzling bit of the recipe for me. Adding wine to the pan? How does that work? Wine is for drinking, you can’t heat it up and eat it in, like, food.

Wednesday 17 Sept
Forced myself to break from the schedule and set about making calls before ER to sort out various bills and… things. Then I lay down on the sofa and watched ER anyway. :: sigh :: I did manage to venture further than the cornershop to my bank where I changed my account to an ISA which is so tragically exciting for me right now, I can’t bring myself to go into it here, this blog, which I started to record my life as it unfolds in some bizarre fit of deluded self-love with the notion that I actually have something to report to the websurfing world and that there are people out there who give enough of a toss to read about it. Oh, how I hate being proved wrong… started and finished one more frickin’ job application and spent the rest of the evening making soup and drinking wine and mocking the adverts for Underworld. So there’s a war between vampires and werewolves? Like, is anyone surprised? They’ve never got on, not since the werewolves failed to get an invite to the vampires’ summer barbecue and parked in the vampires’ usual space at the shopping centre and then the vampires kidnapped the little werebabies and sucked them all drier than stale Weetabix. There’s been bad blood between them ever since. Bad blood, get it?
Oh, forget it…
Monday 15 Sept
Went to my dance class and surprised myself at being quite able to keep up with it all and not dying at any point during the physical exertion. I was actually hoping things would go faster and the sequences get more complex by halfway through the session so it’s looking good in terms of keeping up with this. I still managed to forget left from right during one particular sequence and somehow nutted myself really hard at one point (while I was skulking at the back of the room so hopefully no one saw it happen) so I don’t think I’m ready to skip to the next level. :: checks bruise :: Hmm, no, not yet.

Sunday 14 Sept
Had a jolly day out by the sea with Former Flatmate A, having lunch, sipping cocktails, shopping, strolling along the seafront and stumbling across some sort of Hare Krishna jam session on the pebble beach, then more cocktails and a sore throat on the train home as a whole day of non-stop smoking, drinking and rabid gossiping started to take its toll. Despite trying every shop possible in the south of England, I failed to find the perfect pastry cutters. Went to bed feeling strangely unfulfilled

Saturday 13 Sept
Hungover. Oh, so very, very hungover. Bleurgh.

Friday 12 Sept
Had the worst job interview I’ve had since leaving full-time study. I was so clearly not right for the job, it was farcical to see through the interview at all but I was there, they had the questions in front of them and I had taken a seat already and it was just a case of red faces all round as we limped through the process, all present knowing full well I shouldn’t have been there. They still made me sit the fucking database test which tempted me in all sorts of ways to further ridicule this ridiculous morning but was too busy trying not to point around the office laughing at everything I saw. :: sigh :: Well, that’s one rejection letter I’m actually looking forward to receiving… Crawled home, still feeling humiliated and annoyed about wasting a large part of my day and started getting ready for the evening. And the evening was booked for…The Official Leaving Do. And fuck me if it wasn’t a big one…
So, with five people leaving all at the same time, and with the previous night’s clandestine meeting still very much on our minds, I met up with all my former work colleagues for a curry in Soho. Things started badly when I minced into the restaurant in my red high heels, feeling extremely buoyant and purged of all previous bad feelings towards the job and the company… and walked straight into one particularly distraught colleague who had taken one look at those present at the table and had refused to move from the doorway, claiming that there was “no way she was going to spend her Friday night with that horrible fat woman.” It took me and the Chilean all our collective strength to drag her to the table and then the other resignees turned up late so some quite blatantly divided and hostile small talk had to be made until the rest of the gang arrived and diffused the situation.
Despite the bad start, the meal was great and after the initial awkwardness we all had a fantastic time; there were a few moments of whispered discussion as we compared notes on the interviews of the night before but apart from that, it was all very jolly and amusing. We were each presented with an enormous bunch of flowers and a gift and some amusing “You’re Leaving!” cards which really surprised me as I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually remember my name by this point, having so successfully withdrawn from everything so early on… was genuinely touched and having let go of all my bad feelings quite successfully the night before, I was very, very pleased.
Had great moments walking through Soho to some Italian bar for more drinks afterwards as one colleague was constantly circling us like paparazzi, snapping pictures with an OTT camera and making us look like Z-list celebrities bigging it up unnecessarily. The Chilean had abandoned us by that point to help his friends’ band play somewhere in East London which was a shame because I know he would have loved swaggering through town with his own press invasion following him… his loss… A little old lady bolted out of a restaurant and demanded to have her picture taken with us, so convinced was she that we were famous… aww… drinking in the bar went from slightly awkward “gosh, what do we talk about now?” chit chat huddled around small tables to full on, shake your booty and fall over drunk slurring “I love you guys, keep in touch forever, okaaaaaay?” madness. I danced with everyone, over-enthusiastically making up dance steps to songs as unlikely as Delilah, That’s Amore and Here Comes the Hotstepper. Rolled out onto the Soho streets sometime between midnight and dawn and made drunken phonecalls to the Chilean, trying to convince him to join me in going for “one more drink somewhere around here” while he made the counter-suggestions that I join him for drinks “somewhere near where I am.” Since he had no idea where he was, and I had no idea how to get there from Soho, we called it quits and I said goodbye to everyone then lurched home clutching my flowers and trying not to cry or be sick in the cab. Went to bed grinning and feeling like I had a very good time getting closure on my year with this mad, bad and sad little company

Thursday 11 Sept
Spent the day making clandestine calls to my old work colleagues, trying to gauge exactly what the nature of our interviews that evening were to be about. As five of us had resigned at the same time, for a variety of reasons but the main one being collective outrage about our treatment by the woman at the top and the blatant lack of direction, focus and money in everything we tried to do, the board of trustees had noticed and were duly concerned. Hence the calls and arrangement to see us each individually for “exit interviews” to be conducted without knowledge of the CEO, to garner a clearer idea of exactly what had been going on in the daily routine.
Despite spending the whole day reassuring myself as I sat on the patio smoking and drinking coffee that this was my opportunity to tell the truth about how things had turned out in the last few months, I turned up at the Secret, Undisclosed Location in a terrible state, having tried to be clever and getting the bus instead of the tube which meant I ended up over half an hour’s walk away from the Secret, Undisclosed Location. I looked so harassed when I arrived, they had to unpack an electric fan for me and made me sit by it until I looked less like an angry Chinese tomato about to explode.
It was oddly upsetting to go over my experiences at the company and to have to describe the craziness of the year I’ve spent there; I went into the job at the same time as starting this blog and I remember being so incredibly excited about it all, I couldn’t stop babbling about it. And I’ve come a very, very long way from where I started – there’s no denying the fact that I have got a decent year’s worth of work experience in commercial, charitable, digital arts / media marketing and general admin. I’ve made some great friends who I hope to keep in touch with and remain friends with as long as possible, I’ve got all sorts of new skills and confidence and am lucky enough to command an okay wage for my age (it’s been great job searching and rejecting jobs below a certain salary – never imagined I’d be doing that at this point in my life)… it’s been a great time, doing events, making up my job as I went along and feeling like I was really carving out a position for myself within the team overall – there was no marketing department before I was offered a marketing position and there was just me, putting together whole systems and designing and overseeing a department, all by myself. So why have I left?
I tried to explain it to the trustees as best as I could without turning the interview into a CEO-bashing affair but try as I might to discuss the matter in a more general way, it really is because of her that I am going.
I don’t want to stay because work seems to have dried up and for marketing, there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to market. I don’t want to stay because the facilities were beginning to really get me down; it’s a horribly run down building and we seemed to be working in the grottiest rooms with continuously blocked drains, ant-infested kitchen area and permanently uncomfortable windowless office space. I don’t want to stay because everything I’ve tried to do in the last few months has fallen through again and again; I’ve analysed and investigated and explored all the reasons why I’ve constantly come up against dead ends and those dead ends are always her.So I have left.
And by the end of the interview, I felt really drained and upset that this job which I have really made my own, and this company which has so much potential and in an area so exciting and cool and all the prospects for myself, my colleagues and the people we work with has been ruined by the one at the top, who has disregarded our skills, our experience, our strengths and our enthusiasm and has basically driven us all away by her incompetence, her crazy, unfeasible and unachievable ideas, her total lack of respect and astoundingly unprofessional behaviour. I’m so sad to go, to have to leave my colleagues and the vibe we had between us and all the interesting, exciting stuff we got involved in working in this area of the arts, but I’m just starting out in the world of grown-up work and I’ve become so disillusioned and so fucked off with what’s happened in the last few months, I can’t stay. And I told them so in my interview and left feeling hollow and heartbroken.

I went straight to my parents’ place for dinner as My Favourite Auntie was over from Hong Kong for her annual visit and it was mumsy’s birthday so all the blue feelings of the interview were cunningly dissolved in poppa’s excellent crispy duck pancakes and multitude of other gut-bustingly good dishes. The birthday cake was wonderful (thanks Big Sis!) and I went home to Taxloss Towers feeling somewhat okay. :: sigh :: At least I had experienced closure and went to bed feeling as if I could really move on from the Job of Doom to do better next time I go for full-time employment. Like the kids in South Park, “I learned something today…”

Wednesday 10 Sept
In keeping with my new schedule, I got up in time for Little House on the Prairie and spent an hour imagining I had my own little wooden house full of blue patterned china and a really pressing need to make my own bread and darn socks. Found myself longing for the perfect pastry cutters and had to slap myself really hard to snap myself out of my domestic fantasies. After the obligatory viewing of ER, I got ready to start my long, tough day’s tasks which were: lunch with my parents and sister at a funny little Thai place Big Sis had discovered, then some shopping, then meeting Former Flatmate A for drinks, then back home for dinner with my Beloved. Oh, I don’t know how I survived this arduous, frantic day but somehow I did and have lived to tell the tale of it here, in my blog. My folks seemed to enjoy the Thai meal which was a good thing as they are notoriously sniffy about eating out – they’re always up for trying new things and very knowledgeable about international cuisine and dining out in London but more often than not, will be incredibly fussy and critical about what they trying. Not so today, probably because the stuff we were having was so similar to what we normally have at home, “with just a bit more hot stuff” croaked my dad, mopping his brow and delicately spitting out some whole chillies.
Seeing Former Flatmate A again was quite marvellous as I have missed her terribly and in keeping with a strange and slightly distasteful tradition of ours, we met under Eros in Piccadilly and exchanged some money (my deposit on the old flat, in fact) like rentboys negotiating a “job.” We drank gin and vodka in the ICA and chatted until we were breathless and promised to meet for a day by the sea that weekend. And I went skipping home through St James Park feeling enormously pleased with myself. Ahhhh.

Tuesday 9 Sept
More of the same but with even more luxuriating in my not-working status. I spent some time pondering what career I could take up that would allow me to continue in this vein as long as there is some thing good to watch on Channel Four first thing in the mornings.

Monday 8 Sept
Embarked on my new non-working schedule of getting up to watch Little House on the Prairie, then ER, then hanging around considering another cup of coffee then doing bugger all until the others come home. Had more fun than it sounds like; it’s been an absolute pleasure not getting the tube and then sitting at a desk all day. Whee!

Thursday 4 Sept
My penultimate day at the Job of Doom and I began to realise what I was going to be leaving behind: all the friends I’ve made here, all the systems and procedures I’ve designed, all the little quirks and rituals that come with every sort of office job. One particular ritual I was particularly keen to see through one last time and that was to sneak off for drinks with the Chilean without telling anyone else, something we always did at the beginning of the week. Not quite sure how this came about – possibly because if there was any more than just the two of us it would always escalate into some kind of OTT, liver, brain and reputation destroying all-night binge. But, come to think of it, that would often happen if it was just the two of us… so, hmmm, not quite sure how the ritual came about… :: scratches head and looks puzzled ::
Nonetheless, we went off for a drink and that turned into two and by the tenth gin and tonic for me and nth pint of…Whatever for him, it was clear it was going to be a long night. And so it was, and I had to crawl into the office in the same clothes with a rotten hangover the next day, trying not to look like I had been A Very Bad Girl and hoping against hope that I didn’t smell too bad. Had low-key “You’re Leaving!” drinks after work, an event that was poorly attended due to an Official Leaving Party scheduled for the following week and was grateful to slink home to welcome back August D from Amsterdam, pleased the madness of My First Job was at last over.

Tuesday 2 Sept
Skived off work, claiming my FUCKING MOSQUITO BITES were too inflamed and infected to allow me into the office. This was partly true as I had been bitten on my goddamn right eye which had actually prevented me from putting in my contact lenses or wear my glasses and had left me temporarily blind and therefore useless. However, somehow, despite my (exaggerated) bodily afflictions, I made it to a job interview and spent the whole hour there trying desperately to impress the panel and trying not to show how badly I wanted the job. I think I failed in both areas and in fact, later failed to get the job but :: sigh :: it’s not going to happen in the blink of an eye and though I have missed out on this really good position at a really great place with some very impressive people, something on the same scale will hopefully come up again. Pleasepleasepleaseplease let something like this come up again...

Amsterdam
For a report on Amsterdam, I recommend going over to Taxloss and seeing the pictures of the cats Mishi and Minou who formed such a large part of our experience over there. All I have to add to the report is: Anne Frank house very, very good place to visit – very carefully planned and not at all morbid, not particularly political or accusatory and a very moving and genuinely informative experience for those who want to know what it must have been like for the Franks to live through those times and to live as they did, great to see the sister of August Dangerlove who really must come over to the UK to see us as we had a lot of fun together, FUCKING MOSQUITOES, I like the trams and cor, aren’t coffeeshops over there just great? Journey there and back as trouble-free as it could possibly be, in stark comparison to August D’s troubles but that had nothing to do with me. I hope.

Friday, August 29, 2003

"Meow."
Hello from Amsterdam! So here I am with Taxloss in an internet cafe in the centre, getting ready for a Friday night out. So far this trip has involved:

- one beautiful loft-style apartment which we are looking after as well as the two lovely, lovely cats residing there
- an extremely exciting trip on a double-decker train which you can smoke on! (I've never been to Amsterdam before so forgive my gibbering excitiement about the public transport system, k?)
- some shopping
- lots of sleeping
- coffee on the balcony and general relaxation
- rain.

And to look forward to in the next three days I am spending here are trips to the Anne Frank museum, the Van Gogh museum, coffeeshops, meals out and nights in and general holiday-ness with delightful feline and boyfriend-type company. Not exactly missing London and all that London holds for me but looking forward to going back nonetheless, if only to gloat and discover how Boatie Flatmate has fared with all his vegetable matter. Keep having images of getting back into the flat to discover him blank-eyed and bloated, sitting on top of a pile of vegetable peelings, groaning softly to himself with half a carrot dangling from his lower lip.

Speaking of flatmates, it appears that Former Flatmate B is enjoying Africa and not poorly at all which is good to hear as she is supposed to be healing people out there and not succumbing to any available illnesses - though the radical weightloss plan involving a convenient bout of dysentry is still on the cards. And Former Flatmate A is also abroad at this very moment so it seems that the three of us previously domestic beings have well and truly Moved On. A reunion is much needed - suggestions anyone for appropriate reunion-type doings? No paintballing or school discos please - suggestions of that ilk will be laughed at scornfully and derisively in the searingly hurtfulway that only we three can jointly manage.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

“You did very well, but…”
Have recovered from the manly meat-scorching weekend and have been surprisingly busy since then: one interview with a performance poetry outfit who turned me down in the nicest way possible for an administration position, a picnic in the park with brass bands, cooing babies, ice-creams and sunshine, then a thought-provoking film that made me and attending mother and sister contemplate our own family history, computer updates and protection against that nasty virus going around, lots of films to watch on my external hard drive (ooh, I do love that thing…) including the Gerald Scarfe designed Hercules which is perhaps the most sarcastic and knowing of any Disney production, sackloads of home-grown vegetables courtesy of Boatie Flatmate and his allotment owning Dad, strenuously avoiding the carnival, two new books, 1 x CD of piano music (Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, Ravel), 1 x CD of rare original recordings of gospel music, 1 x CD promising an “ambient trip to Bombay”, an empty space in my bed where my beloved should be and many, many happy thoughts about my impending trip abroad to join him in the land of clogs, weed and tulips.

And after all that excitement, I’ve got another interview coming up, my last day in The Office of Doom is nearing and I’ve got tickets to France to spend some quality time with my sister and her husband. Join me, readers, as I throw my head back and let rip with a great big “Woo.”

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Monday, August 18, 2003

”Help, help, I need some cheap white wine and new shoes! Lipstick! Glittery hairclips! Anything delicately scented and frilly! The testosterone is driving me crazy…!”
Saturday
- slept in
- got up and started preparing the barbecue scheduled for the afternoon as Boatie Flatmate had promised to play host to the men’s squad before they all scampered back to the river for a boat party (they clearly can’t get enough of the Thames these guys…)
- made houmous
- the flat slowly filled with enormous men clutching cans of beer and steaks and sausages; I retreated to my room with an armful of job applications and the complete scripts of Father Ted as I was slightly overwhelmed by the testosterone level suddenly shooting up so rapidly
- August Dangerlove tottered into the bedroom after his afternoon drinking session nearby and had a little lie-down so I was relegated to the living room where I was surrounded by huge men wandering about taking showers and getting changed into dinner jackets, bow ties and dress shirts for their boat party
- Big Sister wandered in just as the men’s squad was leaving and found herself in a maelstrom of aftershave, cufflinks and shirtstuds, joining me on the patio where we sat momentarily stunned
- We sat and drank white wine and ate crisps and balanced out the boyish traces remaining in the flat with our girlie chit-chat about shoes, tan marks, our winter wardrobes and houmous recipes
- August Dangerlove woke up and joined us looking bewildered and a bit startled
- Sent Big Sis on her way and then tumbled into bed
Sunday
- got up extremely early and toddled off to Brixton market to gather together a back-breaking mound of fruit and vegetables
- had brunch with Taz, a rare and pleasant thing where we caught up on everything that has happened since we last met oh so long ago
- showed him the flat and whilst there, we discovered Boatie Flatmate and a casualty of the night before cooking a reviving repast of sausages, still in their dress shirts and looking slightly green
- fired up the barbecue again for dinner after spending all afternoon writing and chatting to the casualty
- sat around shouting abuse at the TV as Titanicwas being broadcast then introduced Boatie Flatmate to the joys of South Park: The Movie. The second Leonardo DiCaprio finally died, we bore witness to the fabulous line uttered by Boatie Flatmate as he slotted the video into the machine “Right, time now for some Uncle-fucking”
- ended a long and fun weekend with the realisation that though my current household is male-dominated (very much so as this weekend has proved), my hateful workplace is very, very female dominated and my cycle has synchronised with everyone else and the cycle I assumed I was stuck on and have actually planned around it well and truly out of the window. This means that I was totally unprepared for the way I feel today which makes everything so so so so so much worse: I am now in the midst of crippling “Women’s Troubles” with a banging headache and an unutterable urge to KILL AND MAIM. A LOT. If I hadn’t done so already this time last week, I would have resigned today.

Monday, August 11, 2003

"I hope you understand that the experience and opportunities I have gained here have been invaluable in informing all my decisions about my future in the arts and charitable sector."
I have resigned.

I have no other job to go on to but fuck it, I'm not going to stay here and face more insanity from insane people who presume to be my managers. I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to work for such an abysmally shite and unreasonable witch and her crook of a son who I'm sure is only employed by Crazy!Mum to save money from sending him to the drug rehab / vet. I have also learned the valuable lesson of never assuming that
1) being given a raise
2) not seeing it in my wages for two months is 3) a reason to discuss it with the finance officer / her son as "we do not support a culture of gossip and rumour in this organisation and perhaps there is a reason why we have been witholding your extra pay but did not wish to discuss it with you."

Dear readers, boggle with me and pull similar gobsmacked expressions of contemptuous disbelief at this list of other things that have driven me to hand in notice this morning:

- wages were incorrect and at risk of being processed late last week due to the son suffering "flu" i.e bleeding copiously from the nose and coughing a lot and not being around to put pay through to us
- Insane!Boss was then called in by her cowardly son to sort things out as he was too appallingly shite at his job to know how to do it
- she put the wages through but not until she had literally spat at a colleague to "move these fucking cabinets out of the fucking way, I don't know why the fuck these have been put here in the first place; sort it out"
- I've had four different line managers since getting here 10 months ago, one of whom walked out to work in a shop, another who developed diabetes and had to leave
- I didn't have my own desk until January
- that desk I had to give up the accountant every Thursday until two months ago and so was the only member of staff to be hotdesking at any point (i.e there was never a spare desk for me to use except during lunch)
- I have too much self-respect to cast my lot in with this bunch of retards, crooks and self-deluded miserable bureaucrats

So I am going. Ta-ta and toodle-pip: if it is possible, I will begin to care even less about this place and actually get some of my soul back.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

"We could tape this and sell it and create a fortune and never have to work here again!"
[Int. main doorway to office, blinding hot sunshine and the white hot concrete of the car park fills the view. Pan back to include full kitchen area. Colleagues 1, 2 and 3 (all female in short skirts and very small vest tops) stand with Hypatia by the fridge.]

Hypatia: Fuck me, it's so hot today. I spilt some water on the stairs outside and I swear I heard it sizzle.
Colleague 2: Ooh, I wonder if there's any ice in the freezer?

[Colleague 2 throws open freezer; zoom in on full ice cube tray.]

Colleague 1: Ooh...

[Colleague 1 grabs ice cube tray and knocks out two ice cubes; the rest copy her]

Colleague 3: Oh god, that feels good. [She starts rubbing the ice on her upper arms. Colleague 2, 3 and Hypatia copy her.]
Hypatia: Ahhh... that's just absolutely lovely...
Colleague 1: Hmmm... oh, yes...
Colleague 2: Very nice, very nice...
Colleague 3: Could you rub some on my back?
Colleague 2: I'll try but your skin is all slick and moist.
Hypatia: It's really nice sliding these ice cubes up and down my inner thigh... have you tried that yet?
Colleague 1: Mmmm... that's good, I like the way I can feel the cool ice water dripping down across the back of my knee.
Colleague 2: Ooh, look, you're all wet...

[Cut to exterior shot through doorway, framing these four women running ice cubes all over their hot bodies. Enter Colleague 4 into shot, male, mopping his brow. He pauses, stops and stares at the scene.]

Hypatia: Hello Colleague 4, do you want some ice to rub across your chest?
Colleague 4: [Silence]
Hypatia: Colleague 4, are you alright? It's very hot today isn't it?
Colleague 1: Have some ice, we've just put some on ourselves and it feels really good.
Colleague 3: Really, really good.
Colleague 2: Yes, it can really lift a day like this when you make yourself all moist and cool.
Colleague 4: [Faints.]

:: sigh :: This hot weather is making the most mundane and unending day at work go a bit funny. And you know what? I live in a basement, I work in a basement, I travel by underground all the time... I cannot bear this unrelenting, remorseless, merciless heat, I cannot... it's driving me and everyone around me totally nuts...

In other news, I'm off to Lyme Regis for the weekend! Woo! Not London! Huzzah!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

"What's more, a certain infamous fantasy of mine was being fulfilled..."
"...For years I had dreamed it: the idea would steal up on me whenever I hit a dull, obsequious stretch at work, and I had a chance to look out over the coming years and realise that there was nothing much to follow but more of the same. A little house, I would say to myself. Just a little house of my own to care for, just mine, just my house, a few rooms to think about, a big kitchen and a yard out back..." Why The Tree Loves The Axe, Jim Lewis.

Ah. And that sums up the last few weeks so far in the new flat, my infamous fantasy being fulfilled. I've been cooking and cleaning and keeping the place tidy and had my parents over for dinner on Sunday - we sat on the patio at our candlelit table and looked at aerial pictures of the whole of London during coffee, I've been shopping in the delightful little market buying fresh foccacias and (unfortunately ungutted or cleaned) fish, fruit, vegetables, prosciutto and chorizo and olives from the numerous delis nearby... ah. It has been nice.

So, apart from the domestic bliss (jesus, I've even started sewing and "turning over" my dresses in the evenings like a genuine Victorian housewife...) I've started job # 2 hunting in earnest. Fucking hell, I'm out of here as quick and as soon as it is possible, oh yes.

In other news, some of a worrying nature from Ananova:

Thirty-seven held for cockle-picking

Thirty-seven people have been arrested for picking cockles from a beach.
They were arrested in Morecambe, Lancashire, after they were allegedly involved in illegal cockle-picking on the sands at Morecambe Bay.
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said three vehicles containing the suspected illegal immigrants from China were stopped.
She said: "This incident appears to follow on from something that occurred back in July when complaints were received from the public about the activities of the Chinese cockle-pickers who were becoming a growing concern to the community."

Shit - where are my parents today?

Thursday, July 24, 2003

"You sub-editors... you're all subnormal..."
Since my last entry here, things at work have... not exactly improved but changed muchly. And not necessarily in good ways as I seem to be swamped with a multitude of aimless and frustrating tasks but at least Graphics Guy is back, albeit with his crotch-dancing joie de vivre wiped out of him. Home life is still amusing and Nice, as is the darling Taxloss and our early rising flatmate. Also...
1) went to see new friend Velvet Goldmine from the dinner party on June 26, play in The Telegraph in Brixton. His band The Trap are a good live act to witness. The evening was officially declared A Cracking Good Time
2) went for dinner with Taxloss and his workmates last night and had what was officially Another Cracking Good (Vegan, Gluten, Wheat, Dairy Free) Time. Thank you Deputy, Sundried, Lentil and Taxloss for inviting me - and cuddles to Ringo for being such a good kitty, who's a good kitty? You're a good kitty! Yes you are, you are a good kitty! etc. See him can-can as a kitten
3) I have grown to resent and detest my job and the woman I work for.
4) still living with Taxloss
5) have started my monthly shedding of womb lining and I WANT EVERYONE I HATE TO DIE, RIGHT NOW, IN PAIN, SLOWLY.

Friday, July 18, 2003

"Shhhh..."
Things have taken a rather dramatic turn at work with raised voices, disciplinary hearings and an atmosphere in which everyone feels obliged to tiptoe around quietly and not make eye contact with one another. :: sigh :: And still settling into the new flat; I promise I *will* settle, Taxloss, just gimme some time and more space for my shoes! So this week has been exhausting and draining and unsettled in more ways than one and I am currently sitting at my desk wanting to cry. The proximity of the weekend is the only thing stopping these pesky tears...

Still, am blogging and surfing away my blues and enjoying some hentai, listening to some cool, uninterrupted music and wasting mine and my BigBro's time in IM.

Am looking forward to next week, a new start and so on after plenty of sleep and some intense Tidying Up and Sorting Out. And some good lovin', of course. That should sort me out.

Big smiles and bright faces when I next write here, I promise... leave things in the comment boxes to cheer me up, if you so will...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

"Who was the first person you ever slept with?"
Apparently it was necessary for the CEO to know in order to set up an account in my name, with this as the security question, to access some sort of website. I am, frankly, suspicious...(if you really want to know, click the link and ask me via email...)

I have moved in with Taxloss - rather than enlist any of my relatives who are surely by now thoroughly sick of helping me move between places, I hired two lovely men and their generously sized van to help me get from A to B. Both men were Indian and conversed with each other in Urdu - then the younger one completely surprised me by asking me where I came from and on hearing I originated from Hong Kong, immediately launched into conversation in perfect Cantonese. I was impressed and then ashamed that I couldn't keep up...

I can't comment on the move overall at the moment as I am at risk of being overwhelmed by the whole thing, though I will take this opportunity to say: it is very pleasant. We have been enjoying dinner on the patio in the cooling evenings ofthe recent hot, hot days. I no longer have to pass through the huddled masses of crack/smack/dope casualties on the way to the Tube station in the mornings. Nobody tries to sell me a used Travelcard at any point of my journey to or from work. All my books have been put away as have my CDs - I've taken this opportunity to re-read and re-listen to stuff I'd forgotten I owned. We've been having strange conversations about splitting the shopping, who will cook and who will wash up most evenings. I wake up and still think I've got to get ready and go back to my old flat to Get Things Done. This is no longer an option. Ah...

In other news, the weather is very hot. Very hot. Very, very, very hot. CEO, as well as shouting out suspiciously intrusive questions across the openplan office, has been stocking up the communal fridge/freezer with ice lollies and fizzy pop and therefore the team overall have been sitting at our respective desks, clutching our heads with woebegone ice cream headaches. Oh, life is *so* hard...

Monday, July 07, 2003

"...you could attack the fat one with clumps of that cholesterol lowering margerine: it would melt her like water on the wicked witch of the west a la Wizard of Oz..."
*Ahem* Additional photos of our time in France - supplementary to the photos I've linked to previously, therefore these particular ones are mainly of kids and people milling about.

Oh, and some graduation pictures, as promised, in which I look generally horrible and from some angles, offensively awful. But, hey, the folks look pleased which was probably always going to be the most important part of the event...

In other news: I've had my haircut. I've finished the Harry Potter book. I've discovered that Jessops can develop your standard 35mm films as normal AND digitise all the pics and put them on PhotoCD for a minimal extra charge - Woo! And I've done absolutely no fucking work all day, except IM with my BigBro, upload photos for your viewing pleasure, email people and eat ridiculous amounts of organic houmous at my desk. Woo. And YAY.

Friday, July 04, 2003

"It's Friday... of course we're not doing any frickin' work..."
Yah, I know it's lazy blogging to just copy and paste IM but as this blog seems to be a log of my activities it's the best way available to me for conveying just what I do all day. Oh, how office larks have imporved since the arrival of some speakers and the availability of Realplayer...


Hypatia says: help me!!! Graphics Guy is dancing in the back office holding his crotch!!! make him stop!!!
Colleague 1 says: I dont think I want to - im coming in to see
Hypatia says: no!!! you'll go blind
Hypatia says: wait - I'll let you know when he's grabbing himself and hopping about again...
Colleague 1 says: I'm on orange alert and ready to move at your command
Hypatia says: standby...
Colleague 2 says: r we going for a drink tonight
Hypatia says: ummm... dunno. Are you asking me out on a date? I've got a boyfriend you know
Colleague 2 says: if i was you asking you out and a date i would not do it with Colleague 1 in the conversenation aswell
Hypatia says: oh, I see. You're trying to make us fight over you? That's sick.
Hypatia says: Colleague 2 actually asked Graphics Guy out for a drink first but he's not on messenger - and he turned Colleague 2 down!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Colleague 1 says: Colleague 2 you cant have us both - its decision time
Colleague 2 says: how dare you you know Graphics Guy only as eyes for you
Colleague 2 says: i greedy
Hypatia says: WHICH ONE???
Colleague 2 says: i am greedy
Colleague 1 says: iTS ME OR HER
Colleague 2 says: i choose......
Hypatia says: Let me point out to Colleague 2 that Colleague 1 is the vegetarian option
Hypatia says: I come with Chinese ribs
Colleague 1 says: thats right - im 100% organic
Hypatia says: careful with your spelling there, girlie
Colleague 1 says: lol
Colleague 2 says: cat fight
Hypatia says: let's not fight with false advertising tee hee
Colleague 2 says: o.k
Colleague 2 says: r Colleague 1 and Hypatia going for a drink aftter work
Hypatia says: without you Colleague 2 - we've decided we're not going to fight over you and run away together instead
Colleague 2 says: nooooooooooooooooooooo not again

Oh dear: there are biscuits in the room and the new Weebl cartoon is up, some very funky d'n'b is playing and the drinks are beckoning. Like, I'm gonna do any work, ever. yeah. ::grabs crotch and starts dancing::

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

"So what do you do at work all day?"
Hypatia says: :: boggles :: can you see the future?
Andrew says: oh yes
Hypatia says: okay, tell me what I'm going to do with the banana, two plums and shirvelled passion fruit on my desk
Andrew says: make amusing images of genitalia and email them to me
Andrew says: you have a scanner right?
Hypatia says: Wow, you really *can* see future!
Andrew says: it came to me the moment you said plums
Hypatia says: plumsplumsplums
Andrew says: oo stop it you're just turning me on now
Hypatia says: have got office graphics designer guy on case re: the fruit
Hypatia says: hang on...
Hypatia says: oh, he's just eaten some of it
Hypatia says: damn
Andrew says: gah
Andrew says: didn't he know there was a higher purpose at stake
Hypatia says: well, he of all people I thought would understand the importance of art

Well, after that fruitful (fnar) morning of hard slog in the office, I ate the banana. I was hungry. I'm sorry: you just can't be a starving artist if you happen to make "art" out of fruit.

In other news, graphics guy has now moved to the desk opposite me and works on a very sexy Powerbook, through which he blasts out music on iTunes - and Realplayer! I can finally hear that set by The Necks on BBC Radio 3! We can watch movie trailers! We can view the new Weebl cartoons with sound! Woo! YAY! Graphics guy also wears the most intoxicating and mind-bending men's fragrances that are sometimes, often when he wears incredibly tight and artfully deconstructed FCUK t-shirts, quite distracting.

Ah. What can I say? Plums.

Friday, June 27, 2003

"...first scene would have been Lo Pan ruining everyone's shit, killing all the babies and then spiking midgets off the ground. Oh man..."
Inspired by my all too brief glimpse of Big Trouble in Little China on Wednesday night (I was putting on make up, drinking beer and trying to stay upright at the time so wasn't really concentrating), BigBro has kindly supplied the link to this delightful little page that cunningly connects Middle Earth to Chinatown. Much as I loved Lord of the Rings, I can't help but think: How right this man is. Definitely not enough lesbians. Aaaaaand... "Piss off Fairy King, I'd rather die" - my thoughts exactly, my thoughts exactly.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

"Please don't encourage me to open my mouth. Bad things might happen. Bad, bad things."
Woke up this morning and realised

1) Woman of Wales, newly returned to the British Isles from her sojourn aborad in Italy, was alseep next to me
2) I was still drunk
3) my alarm setting had wiped itself in the powercut yesterday and therefore hadn't gone off
4) I was late for work

I am now at work and I am

1) not drunk any more
2) not doing any work
3) drinking bright yellow lemon flavoured Resolve
4) trying not to be sick
5) dying

We had a barbecue at work last night to celebrate the work of our volunteers. It was great sitting in the sun, having drinks and basically relaxing together. I was due to go to a birthday dinner later and so determinedly did not eat anything. And I don't like beer so there was a bottle of wine for me, which I enjoyed almost entirely on my own. Then the event was wrapped up and I had just under an hour to kill before the next event so ended up sitting in The Chilean's kitchen, sharing a beer and watching the opening of Big Trouble in Little China, him packing for Glastonbury and me putting on my make-up. Then I was off to BlahBlahBlah for a gorgeous meal with gorgeous people, none more gorgeous than the birthday girl herself. Was quite entranced by the young man sitting next to me - he looked exactly like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and fronts a rock band. I've somehow committed myself to seeing him play his next gig, which for the life of me I cannot remember where, or when, though I will endeavour to be there. How very Velvet Goldmine of the both of us.
And then it was back to our flat with the Woman of Wales to stay up far too late chatting and catching up. All of which explains the green and wobbly state I'm in now. And... ohmygodit'snotevenlunchtimeyet. ::sobs::

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

"Ooh...!"
As promised... pictures of my sister's wedding.

Aaaaaand... the place we were staying.

Oh, and some pictures of the kids too. Awww.

Enjoy.

"No, I do not have a feckin' lighter!"
Of course I don't. I no longer smoke.

Can I be smug now? Can I? Can I? Huh?

"Sheikh Rattles Royals"
A picture caption gem from Metro, yesterday, accompanying reports on the "comedy terrorist" intruder at Prince William's birthday bash. I don't think he's funny but I can see already that that is of little importance in a career based on embarrassing, harrassing and intruding on people, some who deserve it and some who don't. All it takes is courage (of a sort), a lot of cheek and two strategically placed false beards. Hurrah for the Edinburgh festival (or not).

I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix whenever I can gather the strength to lift the damn thing - it is a rather large and heavy edition. Though excited, I'm not tearing through it as I did with the others, perhaps because of the weight and bulk of the book which prohibits carrying it around with me, but also perhaps because of fanfiction. I am an unabashed follower of fanfiction, especially Harry Potter fanfiction, and yes, especially slash fanfiction and I've read a lot of it, some very very good and some extraordinarily bad, between the release of the "real" books. Two particular fanfictions have kept me hooked as powerfully as the "real" or canon books and have actually started to confuse my reading. The characters from the fanfiction are proving more familiar than the ones in canon, and at the moment, more appealing: Order of the Phoenix is *so* much more serious and dark than the previous books with a lot of brooding, blood, bad temper and other things beginning with B. It's growing up as well as growing on me but there are some teeth-grindingly shite moments of petty schoolyard rivalries and the usual saccharine school story stuff juxtaposed with moments of very definitely grown-up terror, forboding and apocalypse. This fifth book in the Potter universe is clearly bridging that tricky moment when things go from bad to worse, from kid to adolescent, from confines of the school to end of the world as we know it... and it is certainly tricky reading. More ranting / reviewing to come...

In other news, last night Life is Beautiful for the first time. The numerous tall, skinny, pale and sensitive boys I knew at university all raved about it when it was first released and their glowing tear-filled eyes (always brimming over with poetry and pain... always. Gosh, I miss those boys...) and I've only got round to watching it now. It deserved all the awards it got - it is a truly remarkable film, and so utterly winsome without trying. Charming, funny, subtle yet overwhelming at times, I can't believe it took me so long to rent it and watch it. Go view; go view again if you've seen it already.

In other news I've rediscovered the joy of reading. At the moment, Flatmate B is hard at her books for the next set of exams in her medical career and Flatmate A is hard at her books as she is writing more reviews for the Observer. And me? I'm pissing them both off by coming home from work and lying on the sofa with the TV on, my dinner simmering away on the stove, gin and tonic sloshing about and books piled up aroudn me for my reading for pleasure. No deadlines, no note-taking, no looming exam or essay... I looked forward to the time I could read for pleasure all the way through three years of uni and one year of post-grad and play-writing/reading madness, and I am now enjoying that much longed for time. Recently, I've read:
Some of Tennyson's poetry
The Sandman: World's End
The Dreaming: Beyond the Shores of Night
The Talented Mr Ripley
Moab is My Washpot - Stephen Fry's autobiography

I've just started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixand Carry on Jeeves.
I've not read any Wodehouse before and am really looking forward to discovering the Jeeves and Wooster universe, full as it is of comic misunderstandings, tea on the lawn and aristocratic silly twits. Rah. Tally-ho!

What are YOU reading? Tell me...

Friday, June 20, 2003

"... [chews]..."
112 hours without smoking. And amazingly: 0 temper tantrums, 0 anxiety attacks, 0 moments when I wanted to fling myself against a brick wall for the love of a cigarette... Much to the amazement of everyone including and especially myself, I've been leaping out of bed, bright-eyed and feeling fabulous and doing yoga in the evenings, sleeping like a log at night and cooking and eating very sensibly. I've been smoking for (wait for it... ) seven years and in all that time, I've not managed to go without for any prolonged period of time. Seven years of not even considering breaking away from it all, seven years without even making an effort to try. Well...I'm trying now. It's still a novelty, so I'm sticking to it, and enjoying NOT smoking.

The gum works a treat, btw. I hadn't realised how much I had cut down in my smoking until I invested in a box of the lowest strength nicotine gum... and found myself tripped off my nuts after two pieces. It is very curious stuff, powerful and quite repellent - I only chew it now when I really need a hit, so can probably come off the gum soon too. And then I will be a non-smoker. How very... extraordinary.

Would I be evil and wrong and defeatist if I crack and have one on a Friday night in the pub? Just one? Or would it be a sensible and fair way to learn how to live as a non-smoker who gets tempted like anyone else at times and otherwise has no interest in the filthy habit?

Either way, life is indeed changing. Oh yes. Updates to come...

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

"I'm back!"
Yep. And experiencing a surprisingly even 50-50 split between being glad to be back and wishing I was still in France. I'm browner, fatter and happier than I have been for a while. And I will show you all pictures very soon. Of course, I would like to still be by the pool, digesting yet another lunch of crepes and cider as the sun bathes me in its benevolent, nourishing light. And of course, I would love to be with my sister, basking in the glow of her nuptials. But then again, certain things appeal about being back here. My god, I lived a week without The Guardian, my computer, the internet and PG Tips, and I lived to tell you all in this posting. However, I did *not* manage to live without cigarettes - yes, yes, the nicotine gum plan went tits-up within seconds of getting into my little chalet in the French countryside and remained in the mammaries pointing norht position until Sunday of my return. But it was a wedding, a French wedding, my sister's French wedding at which it was impossible to not smoke - it's a national pastime for Christ sake, as is eating cheese and drinking wine... ugh... no more cheese for me, thanks... so now I am back, I'm on the gum again. Over 24 hours now...

The first thing I did when I got back into London was to call up my darling August Dangerlove and demand something that I definitely could not get in France. I knew exactly what i wnated from him and, I am pleased to say, I got it. I got it goooooood. However, if my imagination ever starts to flag and I find myself at a loss as to what to demand of him next both orally and aurally, this will prove invaluable. As will this little piece of animated joy, especially when the darkness descends upon me and my soul goes down the hole to the pit where my heart has gone to die.

Gosh, I had fun while I was away. But its good to be back. Huzzah!

Saturday, June 07, 2003

"I'm off!"
Back in a week: I'm off to France for wedding goodness, hopefully some sun, some swimming, some good food and wine... and a hell of a lot of nicotine gum. I've got a box of 105 pieces of the stuff. Let's see if they become My Next Big Thing. Or the Next Hurdle at Which I Fall. Updates to come, and no doubt lots of photos, lots of temper tantrums and cold sweats, shaking hands, and mild forms of withdrawal mania...

Monday, June 02, 2003

"As if we were still twenty-two..."


It was your birthday, we had drunk and dined
Half of the night with our old friend
Who'd showed us in the end
To a bed I reached in one drunk stride.
Already I lay snug,
And drowsy with the wine dozed on one side.

I dozed, I slept. My sleep broke on a hug,
Suddenly, from behind,
In which the full lengths of our bodies pressed:
Your instep to my heel,
My shoulder-blades against your chest.
It was not sex, but I could feel
The whole strength of your body set,
Or braced, to mine,
And locking me to you
As if we were still twenty-two
When our grand passion had not yet
Become familial.
My quick sleep had deleted all
Of intervening time and place.

I only knew
The stay of your secure firm dry embrace.

-- Thom Gunn, The Hug

Some Thom Gunn to mark the appearance of some birthday photos here. And Happy Birthday to James, with whom we celebrated his 23rd year on Saturday, in traditional "tearing up the streets" style. Ah, aren't bithdays great? Wazzo times, my friends, full of delightful norks. Brill!

Friday, May 30, 2003

"You know what it smells like in here? It smells like someone died after eating loads of boiled eggs and the corpse is rotting in a pile of horsehit."
TODAY

9.00am Staff meeting.
9.30am At desk; remove all incriminating files saved on PC that I suddenly realised at 4am last night would get me sacked
9.45am Cigarette break
10.00am Start typing up minutes from the staff meeting in between emailing friends and bitching in IM with colleagues
10.55am Server goes down like a Hollywood ho on an Englishman, taking the internet connection and printer connection with it
11.10am Cigarette break in the sun. We notice the drains are blocked and start throwing out an evil smell.
11. 20am Server is confirmed as suffering from heat stroke. Half the office vacates to the shops to buy it an air conditioner
11.30am Evil smell proliferates our halted office. I discover old radio and plug it in and play with it while showing colleague how to fold flapping paper birds.
12.00pm Colleague successfully completes his first flapping paper bird. I play with the radio again. We close all the windows and doors because the drains smell as bad as the headline on this entry suggests and the chemical the caretaker chucks about to clear the mess smells possibly worse.
12.20pm Despite the smell, my hunger overcomes me and I have my lunch.
12.25pm The air conditioner is installed.
12.35pm Server comes back up. There's no excuse but to do some work.
12.50pm Fail to start any work.
1.00pm Go on the internet
1.20pm Notice that the smell has gone. Ponder cigarette break.Read blogs and emails
1.45pm Start blogging.
2.00pm Still blogging.

Would you believe that this is a relatively normal day for me? Like, pheh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"I am articulate, conscientious, punctual and diligent in all matters."
"I also have a wazzo pair of norks. Would you like to see them?"

Apologies to Flatmate A whom I hindered more than helped in the putting together of her application for Grown Up School. Hope it went off in time and that you're pleased with it, despite the hold up last night with my range of inappropriate and... inaccurate words and phrases.

"I may be the irongmonger's daughter, but I know a surprising amount about fish."
"One of the most notable qualities about myself is my villainy and excellent record of dastardly deeds."
"I enjoy knitting, gardening and sodomising small helpless animals I find in the street."
"My capacity for work is surpassed only by my ability to avoid it."
"My typing speed is in excess of 65wpm. I like to be spanked for typos."

That last one was, of course, inspired by my weekend's cinema-going. Quite important to add when applying for new office-based jobs, as the film so helpfully informed me.

In other news, I've just had my first ice-lolly of the year, after my first outdoor meeting which followed lunch al fresco, which I enjoyed after a series of cigarette breaks. Outside. Yes, I have spent more time outside than inside today, and have managed a surprisingly large amount of work. I *like* summertime. Whee!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

"I want that back, you bastard!"
The scene: Saturday night: August Dangerlove is sitting on his sofa. I am sprawled next to him, picking my way through a bumper bag of Revels, hoping to find a handful of Maltesers amongst the yucky orange creams. August D, who has so far ignored all the snuffling and chomping and wolfing emanating from my corner of the sofa, accepts the one single chocolate I offer him from the bag. Just before he puts it in his mouth, I'm struck by the utter and absolute conviction that it is a Malteser and I say "If that's a Malteser, I'm going to kill you. I bet there's only one in the whole bag and if you get it, you die." He looks at me, chocolate halfway to his lips. He puts it in his mouth. He bites down on it. The mocking sound of a malty crunch echoes around the room. I howl. He laughs. He doesn't choke. I'm left with the conviction that the only Malteser in the whole bag has gone down his gullet and I'm left with a sack full of orange creams, coffee creams, chocolate peanuts and rock hard caramels.

I cannot forgive him. I cannot.

I finished off the rest betwen shoe shops the following day. That really was the only Malteser. The only Malteser in the whole feckin' bag. Bwah.

In other news, we saw Secretary - and it was very good. Very kinky. Very funny. Surprisingly sweet and lovely. The typing test on the website is quite amusing, though James Spader does not leap out of the screen to slap a saddle on you if you fuck up. Which is a shaem. Whoops. I meant to type: "which is a shame." Hmmm. See the film. Typos will never be the same again.

In other news, the weekend involved home-made Thai curry, shoes, feckin' huge coronary disease-inducing pancakes, shoes, Mussorgsky, Eurovision song contest results (no songs - couldn't have dealt with that after the Malteser affair), going out for quiet drinks in the oddly deserted bars of the West End with newly blonde friend down from Scotland and the usual crew which turned into a rather epic evening, shoes, watching all the Bank Holiday Monday films such as The Prince of Egypt and crying (hungover, hormonal), shoes, watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and laughing (he named himself after the dog!), shoes, more shoes.

Am now back at work. Need more shoes.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

"...I was briefly siezed by a desire to leap the tracks, cling onto the outside of her train and pursue her..."
But dear old August Dangerlove has decided to take up the chase via blog instead. I admit, it is all my fault: mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

In other news, I've acquired a taste for lunchtime shopping. Lots of shopping. Shoes. Clothes. Scarves. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.Not bags, oddly, though of course, if I spot any I like I may be obliged to purchase them. All of them. Yes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

"I love pie."
And I love Weebl for the distraction he (and sometimes his friend Bob) offers.

Colleague1 says: pie in a jar - im ordering one, as long as the hick in the photo delivers it personally- mabey then Boyfriend will marry me
Hypatia says: I just don't get how it works...
Hypatia says: is it like baby food? do you have to submerge the jar in hot water?
Hypatia says: can you only eat it if you have a gun and have married your own brother/father?
Colleague1 says: the pastry must just sit under the lid ? - but really that makes it filling in a jar with a pastry top
Colleague1 says: you can only eat it if your 4th generation inbred
Hypatia says: ah... well, your tastebuds would be on the soles of you feet so no wonder these things are popular
Colleague1 says: lol
Hypatia says: I'm going to order one for Colleague2
Colleague1 says: He would actually probably eat it and enjoy - "and mabey then he would marry you" - ohh - there is a 'how do we do it' section - im gonna investigate this phenomenon
Hypatia says: you go girl! yee-hah!
Colleague1 says: duu hu
Colleague1 says: one guy says " A salesman sent me this pie in a jar…what an order he got! " mabey we should send pie in a jar to all our contacts
Hypatia says: ... [new project] in a jar?
Colleague1 says: here's another one .... "i just wanted to let you know the the pie I ordered was received in Kuwait...and was shared by a few of the guys there " - no wonder there is so much trouvble in the middle east
Hypatia says: lol - they probably buried hte jars for Blair to find as "weapons of mass destruction" later on
Colleague1 says: poor inocent children getting third degree burns from boiling pie filling explosions - I hope amnesty are aware of this
Hypatia says: "Agh! Duck! Flying pie! Everyone get down, GET DOWN!"
Colleague1 says: lol !

Monday, May 19, 2003

"Oh no, it's the pigs! In their jam sandwiches with the woo-woos on!"
August D's loving description of the police going by in their vans late Saturday night. Or early Sunday morning, for the pedants among you.

I realised this weekend that I've been consistently on the bottle and undeniably off the wagon since just before my birthday. I feel, not to put it too lightly, like pigswill and have finally admitted that I am probably a fifth of the size of the people I drink with and really shouldn't try to match the quantities they imbibe with how much I can manage. Rising to the challenge and failing miserably is just too regular an occurrence. And as I pointed out previously, my poor Big Bro is going to run out of trousers one day.

Why the sudden temperance? Last Monday, I was bored and feeling a bit low (ie. hungover) and so retired to my room with a bottle of champagne, my notebooks and a copy of Tennyson's works and got fuzzy-headed. Again. On Wednesday, it was my graduation. I got drunk at the dinner afterwards and carried on back at my place with Flatmates A and B. On Friday, it was my BigBro's birthday and I turned up drunk from drinks after work to carry on the merry-making at the dinner table, and then back at my place, I carried on having drinks with whoever was around. The weekend following this excessive Friday, I was either drunk, hungover or asleep. Again. This blog is getting repetitive, and I'm bored of being hungover. It is just so dull. There must be more enlightening ways to use up my spare time than lying on the sofa feeling rotten and wishing I had bought more Alka-Seltzer. So I'm going to take a break - from writing about it at least.

In other news, I got lots of books!

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
The Talented Mr Ripley
Coraline
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the First - A Bad Beginning.

I am *so* excited - these are all the books I've been wanting to read for the last few months and I've finally got them all. Yes, three of them are technically kids' books but by god, they look good. Thanks to the lovely August D, who I *will* bring over to the dark side... the dark side of the kids' section, muahahahahaha... Reviews to come...

Friday, May 16, 2003

Hypatia says: what is best way of eating an orange?
Andrew says: with your mouth
So, on Wednesday 14 May I took the day off work and went along to Guildhall to finally graduate from my Post-Graduate Diploma in Cultural Management. I slept in, went to see my parents and had noodles with them and a rather unexpected but nonetheless interesting and stimulating conversaiton about the root of anti-Semitism with Mumsy. Then we trailed off to Bank and the graduation ceremony in our finest gear and spotted a cousin who was also graduating that day with an MSc in a completely different subject. I became jealous and envious of the gold lining on her robes and developed an overwhelming urge to go back to academia and work my way through every possible outfit and qualification going. As it was, I was wearing just a black robe with a maroon hood and green neck band (yes, *so* attractive) and as sole representative of the class of 2002, I felt a little conspicuous. Hmmm.

At least this time I didn't have to kneel to receive my qualification or hold anyone's finger and be led along to the college president sitting on a throne - and there was no Latin either, unlike the ceremony at Cambridge, of which I have many stories, none of which I want to mingle in with this particular graduation tale. That was a different world entirely and this time round, it was just a pleasant, rather demanding day full of photos, big smiles and nice surroundings.

After a long series of photos in the yard outside Guildhall, it was time to take off the robes and silly hat and proceed to dinner - on the way to which I managed to lose both parents in the rush hour crush at Bank tube station. We went to the usual Chinese restaurant near my folks' place and the staff were absolutely wonderful, the food was amazing and a good time was had by all. the menu included:
Chicken's foot and coconut soup
roast duck and fried bread dumplings which we ate with condensed milk
eel in black bean sauce with dried fruit peel
beef, spinach, cold meats and stuffed tofu, aubergines and peppers
a beautifully presented fruit plate
a sweet soup of semolina and red lentils and... other unidentifiable stuff.

Yummy. You see? It's true - there are lots and lots of things you won't ever see or order on the "Western" menu. And you are all missing out. Or not.

So after that day of excitement and celebration, I was back in the office to do not very much and waste everyone's time in IM.

Hypatia says: I only knew the cantonese for goolies
Hypatia says: and to this day i don't know the proper word for it
Andrew says:in what language?
Hypatia says:heh - cantonese. I'm quite aware that the proper english word is...
Hypatia says: rumbling fuzzy man-globes
Andrew says: that's the one
Hypatia says: or two if you're normal
Andrew says: ssshhh

In other news, 'tis Big Brother's birthday today. His is the second in the slew of summer birthdays in our enormously extended family and the veritable stream of cakes and meals and presents won't let up until mid-October. Jealous, are you? Ah, well... I can't help it if we were all summer-time babies...

Saturday, May 10, 2003

"I'd seen a vodka ad once, just a glass full of vodka standing in the middle of a snow-drift in a blue light, and the vodka looked clear and pure as water, so I thought having vodka plain must be all right. My dream was some day ordering a drink and finding out it tasted wonderful." – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
On the theme of drinking, I exceeded the usual pissed-up pratfalls of a Friday night last night. It's rather disturbing how often my entries here on the Avenue read like this, but here goes...

So, the CEO is away at the moment and my line manager is in charge. None of us, including the aforementioned line manager has any motivation after the launch to actually do any work so we spent the day in IM giggling and being silly until it was an acceptable time to go to the pub. Once there, we embarked on an office outing to TotallyFuckedLand until I realised I was drastically late for dinner with my parents and had to run away as best as my alcohol-addled legs would allow. (That’s not very fast by the way. In fact, I got further just standing still and letting the swaying pavement take me into the distance...)

Burst into the house to find everyone at the table finishing dinner. I make no apologies - mainly because I can't as my face seemed to have collapsed in on itself by then, and start to eat, thinking that some food and plenty of cool, clear water will sort me out. However, I had no idea that our cousin who works for Harrods had been wine-tasting for that illustrious emporium of over-priced...stuff that afternoon and had very kindly furnished our meal with the left over bottles. So the plan to sober up was...unfeasible, after all. And it all ended with me sitting in a puddle of red wine, apologising profusely as the booze seeped into my clothes, the table and the carpet... then I had to go home (couldn’t exactly stay after that little catastrophe…) wearing a pair of my brother's trousers and suffered the loss of one, then the other contact lens whilst stumbling through London Underground, struggling in vain to 1) see where I was going and 2) keep the trousers from falling down by yanking them up with both hands in a comedic slapstick fashion every two steps. Ugh. This must not, *cannot* turn into a tradition, a ritual, a habit. My brother will run out of trousers one day.

There have been few references to the world outside the Avenue, I know; but things have been... self-absorbing lately and will probably continue to be so until the wedding is over. So, please feel free to keep peering through this (Microsoft?) window into my world - or pull the curtains closed behind you and come back later, there’s a good chap.

By the way, is it tragically sad or hopelessly hip to avoid a party because you’ve been partying too hard and need a night in? I can’t decide if it’s an embarrassing sign of not being able to keep up and keep going or a sign of admirable and sensible self-preservation. Well? Hmmm? Huh?

Friday, May 09, 2003

"What the hell do I look like...?"
For the love of god, please don't tell me - it's very clear what I look like: a twat. A very drunken, out of focus twat. But at least everyone else does too. Muahahahahaha etc.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

"Wait - that's not right. How old am I? If I've lived 23 years, then...then... is this my 24th birthday? I don't understand..."
I got confused. I am still confused. I am still 19, and I have decided that I will be for the foreseeable future as I am unlikely to figure out the conundrum above. :: sigh :: I was thinner when I was 19. I had less chins.

The great mysteries of life aside, The Birthday was great and surprisingly lengthy too. After the extended post-launch bash on Thursday, at which there was some birthday cheer when the people present could pull themselves out of their pint glasses to slur at me loudly and damply "Haaappp-yyy buurrrr-(hic) day, Hagel... Hazzle... whoever the fuck ye are....", I went to have dinner with my folks on Friday evening. It was sad not to have my LittleBigSister and the French Fiance there and things were rather subdued. The slightly subdued atmosphere could also have been a side effect of my absolutely rotten hangover and the reeeeallly unwelcome calls from Least Favourite Cousin No.1 ( on whom I will not comment on in this blog as there is no html tag for "sheer, unadulterated, blind, seething hatred.") but things went as well as they could in between the bouts of ear-splitting outraged shrieking.

Saturday was spent being delightfully selfish and insular: I did absolutely nothing except fiddle about with my computer (I'm now online at home - woo-YAY etc.) watch Blackadder IV (the whole series in one glorious, neverending loop...) and then lie in bed scribbling away idly in a series of notebooks. It's lucky I had this day to myself as Sunday proved rather busy...

So Sunday, I got out of bed and had a leisurely long breakfast of coffee, toast and pheasant eggs (!), rounded off nicely with a mint Cornetto (!!) and then dragged myself around the shops in the blazing afternoon sun, getting in the stores for the afternoon's party. And boy, it was a paaaaarty. It was good. It was very good. I feel loved and cherished and very pleased. Thanks everyone - this is one to remember.

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