Monday, 19 September 2011

Cut the crap; I just want to wash and go!

Hair. We all have it – some more than others, and not necessarily on our heads, but there’s no escaping it. Never mind shoes; hair is the first thing we notice about other people. And first impressions do count, which makes the fact that hair often has a mind of its own more than a little bit of an obstacle when it comes to making oneself presentable to the outside world.

I’m one of those people who have to wash their hair every day (anything less than squeaky clean locks triggers post traumatic flashbacks to my greasy teenage years). So for me it is essential to have hair that is easy to style – as in wash and go easy.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Grumpy single gal WLTM: an age appropriate man

Every girl likes to be approached by a man on a night out, don’t they? Even if you’re not single, it’s probably nice to know you’ve still got it. If you are single, it’s exciting to meet someone, right?

What if that man is pushing 50 (or 60 but tried Botox), has a big enough beer gut that he can’t remember what his toes look like and yet still thinks he’s God’s gift to women? Thought so.

This is what happens to me on a regular basis. I am only 25; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope for men aged 30-ish and under to approach me instead of middle-aged balding ones who may or may not be having a mid life crisis. What’s even worse is that these ageing, leering, old-enough-to-be-a-granddad men are getting in the way of the good ones.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How do you like your toast in the morning?

There’s a lot not to like about being in hospital. I can state this as an unequivocal fact as I recently had the pleasure of three long weeks held hostage in one. There isn’t enough time left between now and the eventual end of the world to detail each and every thing that annoyed me, every comment that irked and every slight to common sense and good manners I underwent. They were simply too numerous and too pestilent. Before long I accepted that if I was going to make it out alive I’d just have to shut down the grumpy part of my brain and accept it all or else I was in danger of having an aneurysm or, worse still, being more closely “monitored” than I already was.

So as I endured all the horrors of the ward I tried to remain upbeat about the fact that most people were under the delusion that in a hospital fabric has the same properties as brick and therefore pulling a curtain means that your conversation cannot be heard by those six feet from your bed. There are now people who I could convincingly impersonate based on the amount and depth of detailed, personal information I now know about them.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Time at the bar: how not to treat the regulars

Generally, I choose the house I live in based entirely on the local. In London we lived a few doors down from a boozer that served Pimm’s by the bucket load and knocked out a wonderful BBQ every summer. This was followed by the lovely ramshackle gastropub just around the corner from our house in Oxford; it served amazing mulled wine and I had a very happy winter indeed.

The village that we have moved to has a wonderful pub made of stone, with roaring log fires and wooden floorboards akimbo. It is suitably ‘ye olde worlde’ and I fell in love with it. I had visions of numerous hours spent sitting next to the fire with a good Merlot whilst chatting to villagers about badgers, hedgerows and cricket. That was until the landlord arrived.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

And finally, news broadcasts get even more frivolous

A writer’s lot is a hard one. Why are you scoffing at the back? Well, I suppose it does all depend on the type of writing that one undertakes and how successful they are, but I reckon most writers are in the same boat.  

While everyone thinks that ‘writer’ means you’re getting paid like JK Rowling or Stephen King, the reality is often that a ‘proper’ job is also required in order to ensure the bills get paid. Oh yeah, this industry is all about the glamour.

One of the worst things about writing for (something of) a living is that switching off from work is like attempting to stop the wind from blowing. The laptop is always there no matter what you are doing, taunting you with its ability to travel ‘look at me—I’m portable!’

Monday, 1 August 2011

Beware the temptations of the internet

Ah, the internet. You have to love it, don’t you? How did we ever live without it? Communicate with our friends? Find out the name of that actor in that obscure film on the telly last night? Find a recipe that includes the random contents of our fridge at one in the morning? It doesn’t bear thinking about. I mean, you wouldn’t be able to read this when you’re supposed to be writing that important report or sorting out that account for your boss, would you? You might actually be doing some work. Perish the thought!

Having said that, the internet is not all good. Oh, no. It is a dangerous place indeed. And no, I am not talking about online stalkers, viruses and scams. I’m talking about its convenience. It makes life easy. Too easy. Especially when it comes to spending money. Let’s be honest here. Paypal is the shopping equivalent to the atomic bomb: just press one little button and the result can be catastrophic. It is even easier than a debit card. When you use that in a shop you have to physically hand over your form of payment to another person before you part with your hard earned cash.