Friday Five: 11-08-2017

Reading: ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. This book had been doing the rounds on Instagram with lots of people I know recommending it. Having a lot of friends in the medical field I saw the cover and honed in on it. I wasn’t really sure what it was about but was forewarned it was going to make me cry. It did. I sobbed ugly tears whilst considering my own mortality and wanting to tell everyone I loved them.

Listening: ‘Little Of Your Love’ by Haim. They’ve not been on my radar until recently but now they’re invading my brain with their catchy tunes. Plus I’d quite like them to be my friends and part of my ‘hashtag girl squad’.

Watching: ‘Sixteen Candles’ – off the back of being asked my favourite John Hughes movie moment I dusted off my box set and started with my favourite. A chance to relive my teenage crush on Jake Ryan and lament the fact he never turned up to collect me in a red 80’s Porsche.

Lusting: Greeting cards make fantastic cheap artwork if you pop them in a fancy frame and ‘Sapling Press’ are knocking it out of the park with their offerings. I love so much of their work I could have an entire Sapling gallery wall.

Loathing: People taking pops at medics – the Gabby Logan interview with Pam Venning the IAAF medical officer was disgusting. Venning is a trained medic and exceptionally competent and yet she was hauled over the coals by a sports commentator about her decision to bar an athlete with Norovirus.

Throwback Thursday: Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do 

A new series where I delve into the past nine years worth of wanging on about nonsense and share some of my favourite posts. Kicking it off with the very first post which started it all way back in September 2008. Enjoy! 

Our eyes met over the top of the carrots and in that instant I knew that rather ironically I looked exactly like a rabbit startled by a set of oncoming headlights. Unfortunately for me there wasn’t a handily placed hedgerow to hop off in to and hide. With a weak half smile I went back to absentmindedly looking for the smallest carrots I could find whilst praying to Jeebus that I’d be left to finish my shopping in peace as well as trying to blend in with the display of potatoes behind me.
Feeling like I was being hunted I stalked over to the sad girl aisle aka ‘ready meals for one’ desperately hoping that he’d hop back on his bike and pedal out of my life once more. Just as I reached for a cottage pie emblazoned ‘JUST FOR ONE’ in huge orange letters the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and then ‘Long Tall Ally how lovely to see you’. Taking a deep breath I turned to face the man who was responsible for tearing my heart out through my chest less than seven years ago. And just my luck he was looking disgustingly handsome, tanned and……… MARRIED! There it was, the platinum band on his ring finger, and yep, incoming Blonde with a honeymoon tan and grin on her face a mile wide. Quite apart from the tropical tan I could tell the wedding wasn’t long ago due to the fact that they were both exuding post shag euphoria and were practically frotting over their smug married trolley.
I must have done something really heinous in a previous life, perhaps I was Hitler or maybe even Stalin but for some reason quick pleasantries were not the order of the day and he wanted a rundown of what/who I was doing since he performed open heart surgery on me sans anaesthetic. Smug marriedness was oozing from every perfect pore of his as he trotted out the questions every single non career girl dreads. I like to think of them as ‘The Big Three’ –> Where are you living? Where are you working? And the doozy, Are you seeing anyone? Ugh.
I made my excuses and a swift exit spending the next half hour dancing through the aisles trying to avoid having to bump in to them again as I couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t dismember him with the shop’s bacon slicer, before heading home to divvy up my food in to ‘petit portionettes’ to suit my new little pouch. People must think I’m Skippy the Bush Kangaroo when I keep going on about my pouch, I swear my colleagues think I’m going to pop out a joey and hop round the office wearing boxing gloves. They would be most disappointed to hear that actually the pouch is the latest weapon in Long Tall Ally’s arsenal to let the skinny girl out. I bought a thigh toner in Argos on the way home so I can transform myself in to a hardbodied Muscle Mary although I do realise the transformation is going to be a LOT harder if I don’t bring it in from the backseat of my car.

Even after my nightmare shopping scenario (binge eater has emotional crisis in supermarket and escapes unscathed!) it turned in to a momentous occasion as I realised whilst lying in bed that (ignoring the size of the junk in my trunk which rivals Germany) I have a flat stomach! And more than just having a flat tum, I could actually see.my.ladygarden! I’ll just say that again for those in the cheap seats, I could see my lady garden! But the joy didn’t end there, oh no ladies and gentlemen I could in fact still see my lady lawn when I stood up. *cue trumpeting choruses of angels* The skinny minnies of the world cannot understand the delight in not having to move ones belly out of the way to reassure myself that I am in fact female and that my chest appendages aren’t just a big old pair of man boobs however it’s better than cream cakes, than Jimmy Choo, than sex! In fact, I’d happily wager it’s better than all three at once.

Here We Go Again…

Selling a dream

A dream? Darling that line is a NIGHTMARE but yes, I am in fact really that tall. This message reminded me of the man who refused to believe I was 6’2″ and kept asking me how tall I was really. I kept confirming that yes, I was indeed 6’2″ and then he asked how tall I was REALLY and I realised I was busted.

Me: I’m 1 metre 88 centimetres

Him: oh cool (beat…) Hey! That’s 6″2″!

Give. Me. Strength.

Sometimes you see a username and unlike all the ‘sexybigboy4U’ nonsense it gives you a little bit of hope. I clocked a message late last night and was pleasantly surprised because I thought the username was a subtle head nod to one of my favourite TV shows, ‘Community’ but in an effort to play it cool I didn’t open it and went off to sleep.

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‘_cool_cool’ turned out to be anything but. His late night message of ‘cant sleep at all lol hows u?’ (grammar model’s own) was a thinly veiled booty call and so because I hadn’t replied immediately he blocked me. I’m heartbroken, honestly. How will I cope, life can’t go on, wah wah wah etc. My broken heart was mended slightly by the next love missive, because really who doesn’t want to be told they’re as rare as a diamond? Knowing my luck though I’d be a conflict diamond with a bloody past explored by Leo Di Caprio with a dodgy accent in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Brightest creation

From there it got more promising (and thankfully, less cheesy) with a question I could probably write an essay on…

John Hughes

Surely it has to be Jake Ryan turning up at the church where Samantha Baker is wearing an 80’s heinous bridesmaids dress and flower crown? The ball achingly awkward chat on the street before they end up sat on a table sharing a kiss over her birthday cake? *Chandler voice* Could that BE any more perfect? (answers on a postcard please) Also, massive hat tip to Long Duk Dong for, well, being Long Duk Dong *heart eyes emoji*

Then came an offer I… well, I COULD refuse. I’m a one man woman, and let’s face it he doesn’t just want someone who can play with other guys when she wants. He wants someone who can play with other guys when she wants… as long as he can watch whilst deep breathing and frigging himself off in the corner of the room.  And I’m not about that life.

Play away

 

I’m also not about getting messages which sound like the start of a cover letter for a job application – it is NOT hard work dating me, no matter what you may have heard to the contrary. I mean ‘Tell me again about being a sustainability champion’ is hardly pillow talk is it.

Educated

I know, sexy right? *Fans self* And to round off this wander through my inbox let me present Mr Tally Ho:

British 1

High Tea at Harrods? Yes. Mapping each other’s personal psychology? Heck NO. You do NOT need to know the inner workings of my psyche until, well until never really. That’s a surefire passion killer amirite? And to just confirm that us Brits are nothing more than a stereotype:

British 3

So internet friends, which would YOU pick?

The Hoover Dam

It’s like someone has turned a tap on behind my eyeballs and wandered off leaving it running. 

It started with the book “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi – the story of Paul coming to an end of a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon and being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. It was never going to be the easiest of reads but it made me examine my own mortality in the harshest way and made me howl with tears. 

Then it was a YouTube video of someone unboxing a handbag. Yes a Mulberry handbag reduced me to tears. She was just so shocked and grateful and before I knew it I was snivelling away wiping tears on my sleeve. 

An indie rom-com with Daniel Radcliffe was next. It wasn’t even very good but the thought that they might go through the whole film blatantly in love with each other and not end up together at the end was too much to take. Boom. Tears. Even more tears when the frigging thing finished without a proper conclusion. Bastards. 

Within the first three minutes of watching “Diana: In Her Own Words” I was reduced to tears thinking about how she died on my Mum’s birthday and then less than a year later my own Mum was dead too. I knew I was headed for a proper snotty sob fest so had to switch back to Harry Potter which was weird given I’d just been crying at a film where Harry showed someone his wand. 

Lord only knows what I’ll cry about tomorrow. Perhaps it’s time to buy shares in Kleenex? It turns out medication regime changes can be an absolute pain in the arse when it comes to getting onslaughts of weeping. Chatting to my wonderful friend Bella I realised it’s going to be really hard to work out the new normal. I’ve been medicated against the feels for so long that I have no frame of reference for what is “normal” sadness and what is “I’m totally worthless why am I on this planet” sadness. 

Hang onto your hats, it might be quite the ride. 

Bonjour, My Little French Fries…

I love children (couldn’t eat a whole one…) but I’ve never seen them in my future. Sure I can be the hip Aunty or Mum and Dad’s slightly kooky friend (but I refuse to smell of patchouli or become a crunchy granola hippy) but I’ve never been able to imagine pushing a pot roast out of my fanny and rearing it as my very own. I’ve always thought it’s a by-product of being terminally single, that my brain won’t let me imagine myself with rugrats to try and lessen the crushing disappointment that I’m going to be single forever with a vagina that has grown cobwebs through lack of use.

If I’m really honest with myself I’d like nothing more than to have children but when I envisage myself ten or even twenty years into the future I am not surrounded by Lamaze toys and JoJo Maman Bébé clothing or the detritus that comes with having teenagers in the house. In fact I see myself much as I am now, living with too many books and a multitude of artworks waiting to be framed and hung. Being at the stage where I’m starting to run out of ‘good egg years’ and knowing there is a family history of fertility problems however means that I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about what sort of Mum I would be were I to ever bear crotch fruit.

In a nutshell (does trapped in a nutshell dance)… I’d be Beverly Goldberg.

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I’ve always loved a jazzy jumper, have a plethora of saccharine nicknames up my sleeves, and am inherently nosey when it comes to other people’s lives. I’d be all up in their grill, wanting to be the hip Mum but never quite managing it. I’d take the protectiveness to the Nth degree and probably refuse to believe my children were anything other than A grade superstar children. They’d all study at the local equivalent of the Jenkintown Funk Academy because I couldn’t bear to loosen the apron strings any further and they’d probably spend most of the young lives thinking I was a gigantic pain in the butt.

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In which case, maybe it’s a good thing my vagina is going to remain entrance only.

Sunday Sound Off: ‘Belonging’

Controversial one this but there’s a new advert for the Army which really gets on my tits. There’s a soldier trying to climb into the back of a truck which keeps driving off without him whilst everyone in the back laughs. The tagline is ‘this is belonging’. Well if that’s ‘belonging’ then count me out.

Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of banter and can take a joke but for an institution such as the Army which has had issues with hazing and bullying before to lead with such a tagline is grossly irresponsible. The guy in the ad might well see it as ‘being one of the gang’ but what if he doesn’t? What if he feels as though he’s actually being singled out or bullied?

For the Army to lead their recruitment drive with that being a symbol of belonging to the team, isn’t that going to make it harder for those ‘in the team’ to step forward if they’re being victimised? It can be hard enough to stand up and say ‘actually, this situation is completely shit’ and this difficulty can be magnified in the world of military service but to add in the peer pressure of it being ‘belonging’? Bullshit.

Yes being in the Army can be a pressure cooker, and yes part of it all is being able to blow off steam and have a laugh but come the fuck on.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s reflections on the toxic behaviour I’ve experienced from ‘friends’ over the years where actually they’re being spiteful as all hell but it gets passed off as banter. Maybe the scars from my past are inflaming over this and nobody else thinks its an issue, but every time the advert airs the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I know I’m sensitive to the point of ridiculousness sometimes but it’s just gross.