Friday, 6 November 2009

Leave Rafa Alone

It's not always easy being a Liverpool fan. We're like the under dogs of the top 4 - and yes I know, at least we are one of the top 4, but while we are up there, considered alongside Arsenal, Chelsea and the Scum, sometimes the difference between us and them seems mammoth. I'm pretty sure fans and players alike take for granted that Man U are going to win no matter who they play - and for the most part, they do. But while on paper we surely should win, we can never say for certain that we will.

Ironically when we meet one of our big rivals we pull out all the stops and we seem to fight more, and we've won some games which perhaps we weren't expecting...i bet Man U assumed given our run of bad luck it's be a walk in the park to take 3 points off us. But as if we're going to let Man U do that. So why do we let Fulham do it?

The difference i see between us and the other top 4 teams is the strength in the squad. Last season we finally had our starting eleven sorted and it worked like a dream, but what happens when one of the first eleven can't play? if the rest of the squad is rubbish then we're going to suffer when the likes of Gerrard or Torres are injured.

Of course then Alonso left, and christ if we haven't been allowed to forget it by every Red who can be arsed ringing phone-ins to complain - what sort of people do that anyway?? "We want Alonso back" "We're missing Alonso" and everyone's complaining about Rafa because Alonso has gone - Alonso chose to go. Rafa never wanted to lose him anymore than any of us did. But as much as I love my home, given the choice between living and raising a family in your home town in Spain and living and raising a family in Liverpool... can we really blame him for wanting to leave?

Rafa's got a long term plan, get the perfect starting eleven, then strengthen the rest of the squad. It's not his fault one of his key players left, and i reckon from the small glimpse we've had of Aquilani, he will be really good, but he needs time to gt familiar with the team and settle in. We're not going to have the answer over night.

Maybe this isn't our Season, and yes, that's so disappointing given how close we came last season, but there's next season and the one after... It's a marathon not a sprint and we have to get off Rafa's case, because it's not his fault his key players are injured...

Perhaps they should rethink International Duty. Why can't all the qualifiers be played in the close season? at least then the England Squad would get a decent run of time to train and play together, and they could stop disrupting our domestic season and ruining all our players.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Travel Rage

Oh My God! I'm not saying I'm the worlds greatest driver but it seems that the streets of Waterloo are full of stupid dangerous drivers. So annoying.

And they all come along at once. So a 5 minute journey to work feels like a white knuckle ride.

Last week I opened the gates to my carpark - and that in itself is no mean feat...sometimes I can be pressing that damn remote control 30 times before it randomly decides to open the gate. But when the gates open there's a big van stopped across the driveway...who parks a van across a driveway for Gods sake??

So I squeezed myself out through the gap he'd left me and trundled on my way. As I'm pootling along a car infront of me starts indicating left, like he's about to pull in, park up, as I move out to the right to over take him he suddenly swings right and parks on the other side of the hello? I mean indicators are pretty self explanatory right? You move it that way to turn that way and this way to turn this way...

Of course if other drivers aren't being stupid then I'm getting lost... I nipped out to buy some bacon for breakfast on Sunday and on the way back managed to get in the wrong lane taking a slight detour round the cemetery at the end of the road.

I tend to go out of my way to avoid certain roads that I don't feel comfortable driving on. Unfortunately all of those roads lead from my house to my boyfriends house and I've had to learn to love them. But I constantly find myself in the wrong lane. We live 10 minutes from each other and yet sometimes it can take me 40 minutes to get home coz I somehow take a wrong turn. Still I've mastered it now.

I suppose there are worse ways to travel...

I went for a snowboarding taster session last weekend. it was hellacious!
Well maybe I exaggerate, it was kinda fun for about 2 seconds at a time...those 2 seconds inbetween wobbling about all over the place and crashing into the crash mats at the end of the slope. 2 seconds in which I somehow managed to stay upright! Then just as I'm congratualting myself on staying upright and thinking "wowee that was fun" I look up the hill to where everyone is lined up and realise I have to somehow walk back up there with a piggin' great snowboard attached to one foot!

The instructor tried to make us turn left and right, jump, and touch the board...I could just about go in a straightline. The only thing I did during the whole session that impressed the instructor was nearly take out a skier....apparently that is a good thing in snowboarding world - excellent -I should do just fine up a moutain then!

So - am I going to go on a snowboarding holiday with my boyfriend next year? I think so. But he's going to find out just what a nark I am when I can't do something right away, and I may need to take some lessons in seeing the funny side.

And if any skier indicates left and turns right he's getting the full force of my road rage!

Monday, 15 June 2009

What a difference a week makes.

Dexter is very cute. There we sit every Sunday afternoon watching a few more episodes. We can overlook the serial killer aspect coz well, he has some morals...and besides, he's a bit easy on the eye.

Dexter the kitten on the other hand is very very cute but very very annoying. Wherever you walk in the house there's this kitten trying to stand on your foot. His eyes notice every little movement and pounce on anything that stays still long enough for him to catch it - including arms legs fingers toes...

Tilly has learned to tolerate him but he tests her patience on minutely basis, trying to fight her...she makes the best noises and swipes him across the face with a bigger heavier and stronger paw, but he just comes back fighting!

Last week I was mostly being immobile. I had a bit of a cold the week before and apparently the virus spread to my muscles and I was unable to move my neck. I struggled into work for 2 days before it took over my arm and back and I couldn't even get out of bed without taking a few pain killers. The doctor couldn't give me anything to treat it because of the blood pressure tablets I'm taking. So my days were spent on the sofa, with a heat pad around my neck and painkillers close to hand. Pain killers that knocked me out within 10 minutes of taking them. It's a wonder I managed to watch any of the shield at all! And lucky I was at home coz I had a wall of stench around me caused my regular applications of Tiger Balm. None of this had any effect on my pain or my ability to move mind you, but psychologically I felt like I was doing something!

So finally by the weekend I had some mobility in my neck and I left my house for the first time in 3 days and went round to visit the cats, and my boyfriend, and play guitar hero. I've even progressed onto medium and laughed at my former week younger self who couldn't even complete a song on easy!

Incidentally my boyfriend, really is the best boyfriend ever. He brought me round some emergency milk rations midweek and made me a cuppa. It's the little things that matter you know!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

New addition

My boyfriend just got a kitten. 11 weeks old and all curious and interested in the world around him. He's called Dexter. He doesn't look like he's thinking in the voice of Stewie from family guy. Tilly, on the other hand, appears to now be plotting to kill him. least she's no longer planning to kill me. So I'm thankful for that.

Day one in the 2 cat house: Tilly demonstrates how big her claws and fangs are, wins the loudest hissing contest and starts working on her Yoda impressions before promptly finding the furthest possible point in the house away from Dexter. My boyfriend spent hours paying her attention and she rewarded him by sitting on top of the kitchen cupboards right up in the Gods where bless him he had no chance of reaching her.

Conclusion: cats are evil...but clever!

Day two in the 2 cat house: I've consulted the ancient text from the olden days (my childhood that is) and realised that Tilly and Dexter are dead ringers for Garfield and Nermil.
Dexter: oh look how cute I am playing with shoe laces...look how cute I am digging my claws into the sofa, look how cute it is when I bite the humans hand..."
Tilly: Grrrrrr

Day three in the 2 cat house: The humans are exhausted. Dexter keeps trying to get Tilly to play but Tilly wants to be left alone. Tomb Raider is being used as a distraction, and take away is on the cards. Turns out Dexter is a TV addict too.

So all in all - the least restful weekend anyone could wish for - a long weekend at that.

I returned to my flat on Monday evening, had a quick tidy up and awaited my friends arrival to watch...ironically...Dexter. We watched the first 2 episodes of series 1. Amazing. I was snuggled in bed and under the duvet by the time they reached the front door, but alas, my sleep was short lived...the car had been smashed in. Horrendous. my neighbour left a note on the car saying that there was a witness and the police had been called. Apparently it was someone in a grey hoodie ...well then, shouldn't be to difficult to find eh??? In fact wait a minute...I hope it wasn't my boyfriend! I went down in my PJs to let them into the car park to keep the car off the road until it can be fixed. Then I drove them home. When I returned I'd somehow managed to lose my phone and spent a further 20mins searching my car from top to bottom and eventually found it lodged somewhere beneath the passenger seat. Finally crawled into bed again around 12:30.

On the plus side the 2 cats slept soundly all night on the same bed...progress!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

No rest for the wicked...

I'm coming to the end of one of the busiest weeks I've ever known. There was a time, and it wasn't even all that long ago, that I has so much free time it was crazy. Except that, because all my free time was tied into the TV schedule it sort of seemed like I was busy, even though I was sat on my sofa all night watching TV.

I can't remember the last time I watched something in real time on the TV (unless you count the whole "these events occur in real time" of 24). I am completely up to date with 24 though and that was a real achievement of which I am quietly proud. It takes a certain amount of stamina mixed with laziness to watch 140 episodes in 6 weeks.

Its generally considered better to be busy what with the whole Devil making work for idle hands thing...apparently if you're sitting around doing nothing, then somehow unbeknown to you, you'll suddenly start plotting mass murder, or somehow arm a nuclear bomb. World War 2 possibly came about because young Adolf's train set broke.

Another over used expression is the whole "well I'll sleep when I'm dead" which we run the risk of happening sooner than we hope for given the both end burning candle thing people have a habit of doing.

I'm notoriously lazy so even when I agree to do something I know what excuse I'm going to give nearer the time to cancel. My boyfriend however does what he says he's going to do and has a diary that is bursting. Mostly with football and fixing computers.

This week though, we went out on Sunday, saw the Specials in Manchester on Monday, watched the Champions League semi on Tuesday, had a birthday meal out on Wednesday and tonight we saw Little Shop of Horrors at the theatre. Tomorrow we're going to watch wrestlin and Saturday another birthday party.

Roll on Sunday.

I keep buying presents for my boyfriend, I like buying him stuff, my way of showing him I'm thinking about him I suppose, and my way of rewarding him for being the best boyfriend ever! Plus I get to buy useless stuff that I want but just can't justify buying for myself.

Next week though, I think I'll try giving him the gift of time. While also treating myself to an unadulterated week of reaquainting my arse with my sofa and rediscovering the TV schedule.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

There's always one isn't there...

I was on a training course the last 2 days. You know how there's always someone in the class that knows it all already, and answers all the questions and finishes the exercises before everyone else and sits twiddling their thumbs? Yeah I hate those people. Why are they on the course if they know it already huh???

Yeah except on this course, I was that person.

My company wants to have "IT Champions" and in order to become an IT Champion you have to get this qualification, and in order to get the qualification you have to take a number of courses. Just so happens the courses are mostly Microsoft office courses; programmes that I use day in day out. So sure I already know it but I have to be there to get the qualification.

Anyway, I did the exam today in Excel. I took the Microsoft Office Specialist exam towards my MOS accreditation (hark at me huh?) and I needed 690 to pass....I got 893...I hate me today! I'm probably really really irritating!

And as it turns out I seem to have this sense of surely I can do that better. This morning I got to the end of my road and saw a tailback of traffic right over the Seaforth Flyover. I quickly took a left and kept taking lefts to avoid long traffic queues. I never usually do that, but today, possibly under the influence of Jack Bauer, I thought I had a visual on a hostile and was constantly on the move...all the way to Wavertree.

My health too...none of this 6 months of medication testing and combinations of drugs to manage my blood pressure oh no my blood pressure is now normal on the 2nd try. Just one measly little tablet...I mean it still interferes with my eating habits and really pisses me off but all the same given that my dads cocktail of tablets meant that if he jumped up and down he sounded like a maraca, I think i'll take it!

Anyway, my 24 mission is going well...I'm now upto episode 8 on season 6. If I can put in some hard slog over the weekend my boyfriend may be able to t alk to me about the next episode he watches. I am loving this show but I will be glad to get to the end of it. I've got a backlog of Greys Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Boston Legal, Shameless...So much TV and so little time.

Ah the things we do for love least... that's the excuse I'm using this week...not that a reason is ever needed to watch several hours of TV.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


There are probably millions of things in this world that I don't know I've forgotten - given that I can't remember them now, I certaintly don't recall ever knowing them.

I used to have a great memory. I used to say things like "remember when.... yes you do, we were stood in town outside Burger King, and we bumped into John and he was saying...oooh i dunno about 6 years ago, I was on my lunch hour when I worked in Castle Street, it was a Wednesday" or something along those lines and I would be greeted with completely blank expressions.

Even a year ago I had a better memory than I do now. My boss found it odd that I never took notes in meetings but I still remembered all my action points. Now though my most over used phrase in work is "Shit! I forgot - sorry" which is followed by "write it down in future" which would be fine, except I don't even remember writing it down to read it

And I'm not sure what has caused this loss of memory...getting romance... although I'm not even certain I can remember when my boyfriends birthday is...I think it's the 4th Feb but I couldn't say for certain without checking my phone or Facebook or something.

I've been nurturing an addiction to 24 over the last few months. I'm up to episode 9 of series 4. I watch about 8 episodes at a time but then I forget what day it is in real life. This week I'm even more disorientated due to the long Easter bank holiday. I think today is Thursday but it feels like Wednesday and yet when I woke up I thought it was Friday.

I depserately want to reach series 7 while it's still on TV. My boyfriend has no one to talk to about Series 7 and I feel sad for him...he keeps telling me of the sleepless nights he has worrying about what's going to happen next and I am resolved to get up to speed so he can talk to me about it. Is is wierd that our biggest problem in life is having no one to talk to about a TV show? That the thing that worries us most is "how will Jack Bauer get out of this one?"

I should probably worry about my health or money or work or something...but I don't really have any particular worries. I'm in good - or at least managed - health, I earn a decent wage, and have good friends and family. What have I got to worry about?

Normally under these circumstances I should start worrying that my boyfriend will suddenly realise I'm a bit of a tit and dump me...but I can't even summon up that fear because if I'm a tit then so is he. So Jack Bauer it is then....God how Is he gonna get out of this one???

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Oh yes, being from Liverpool I am naturally very well cultured.

On Friday night for instance, I went to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform at the O2 Arena in London....ok the fact they were performing the music from Star Wars is irrelevant. They were breathtaking.

After the Fox Fanfare brought down the curtains and the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...." appeared on screen and the opening bars of the Star Wars theme rang out I promptly started to cry.

There were hundreds, (or at least it looked like hundreds) of musicians on the stage, all in their formal attire, the conductor at the front leading them...playing Star Wars music. It was just awesome. Well I can't summon the words to describe how awesome it was, given that I claim most things to be awesome....this was Uber Awesome!

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra... Well ok that doesn't mean that much to me either, but apparently in terms of Philharmonic Orchestras the Royal is like at the top of the premiership.

It may have been the least formal crowd they have played to; lots of nerdy middle-aged men wearing tshirts with slogans like "Han shot first" or R2/D2 in the AC/DC style font or various storm trooper or Darth Vader images. Stormtroopers walking across the zebra crossing like on the Abbey Road album cover.

Members from the 501st legion (group of enthusiasts across the world who have full on Star Wars costumes and turn up at these public events) turned up to pose for photos with the crowd...I hung back slightly from Darth Vader and his imperial guards...I don't care that he's just a man in a suit...he's terrifying. But I was loving the Storm Troopers. They really are pretty damn sexy looking!

Speaking of scary I've affectionately started calling my boyfriends cat Darth Tilly, because she combines that sort of menacing all in black ensemble (broken up by a collar of bling) with eyes that stare right through you, and if you could hear her thoughts she would speak in the same voice as Stewie off Family Guy.

I am convinced she is trying to kill me. Maybe in a blind fit of jealous rage that I'm taking attention away from her. I wake up in the night unable to breathe coz she's sleeping on my chest. She walks under my feet when I'm carrying hot tea up the stairs, and she hangs off my feet when they stick out the end of the bed. I am scratched to bits. Although admittedly, while i'm being punished for taking his attention, he is being punished even more for giving me attention...when he drinks tea it starts squirting out of him from all the punture wounds!!

Aw but then we get on the sofa under the red blanket and she comes and curls up on our knee and headbutts us to make us stroke her and she purrs so loud we have to crank up the volume on the tv.

So really, while she might err on the dark side, there's still some good in her!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Bored to death

Apparently when you yawn it's because your body needs to take in oxygen. I often find I yawn when I'm bored so if being bored leads to a lack of oxygen, if I didn't yawn could I die? Could I literally be bored to death?

I've certainly on occasion been so bored I've lost the will to live. And I know I shouldn't say that, my sister always shouts at me when I say I'm losing the will to live. And when I think of all the people I've lost over the years I do feel a moment of guilt for being so flippant.

Weirdly I have a vague awareness of my mortality. That awareness comes and goes though. Like sometimes I'll be really aware of it in some kind of weird belief that I could die at any minute. Well I suppose we all could really. And then I have other moments of arrogant belief that stems from a reliance on the reality of television and film and novels where everything always works out well in the end and as I am the lead character in the story of my life then surely nothing bad is ever going to happen, that won't eventually come good. Rather than dying my story will just end on a high note and my life will be preserved in a state of suspended animation or something...actually I have no idea what a state of suspended animation even means, but I was listening to the Divine Comedy the other day and that line is said....I might wiki it and see what it actually means....

*opens up a new tab on t'internet*

Oooooh ok, I have decided I don't want to be preserved in a state of suspended animation at all...I hate being cold! And in any case I've completely lost my train of thought now. The point is that sometimes I find myself wondering if what I'm about to do could potentially be fatal. And then I go and touch the nearest bit of wood - because of course touching wood means that no bad thoughts will ever come true - I dunno how it works, it's a branch of science that I don't understand.

I had a funny spate of car accidents a few years ago - nothing major, and none of them my fault. I'd be stationary in my little clapped out 17 year old VW Polo (Margo her name was, I loved that car, everyone ridiculed her and called her names but she was like a beloved pet to me) at some traffic lights, or in a queue for the roundabout when some buffoon in a fancy car would misjudge the distance and smash into the back of me. I often wondered if they were so amazed by the age of my car that they needed to get a closer look, but it did mean that each time I got into a car I wondered if I would have another accident and if it would actually be serious. I was so worried about it in fact that after Margo finally went to the big carpark in the sky after her final arse ramming, I acquired a beautiful Mazda (The reverend, he was green), and was terrified everytime I drove it because it was just too pretty to injure. Perhaps due to the respect the Reverend demanded by other drivers I never had any incident in it, but the stress of driving him became too much and I sold him on and bought a slightly scratched Ford Fiesta...(initially named Fernandez after my Spanish friend Cristina Fernandez, but the fact that Fernandes played for Everton and my car was blue...well I had to change the name to Fernando for Torres)
Within a month of owning Fernando a black cab drove into the back of me. But it was ok, just nicked the corner and no damamge was caused.

Anyway... I was watching Jade's wedding on Thursday night. And I cried. I don't much like weddings mind you, so it wasn't really the wedding. I like Jade. She's provided me with many hours of reality tv viewing. And she inspired one of my hair cuts - yeah most women copy Jennifer Aniston, but not me, I go in the hairdressers with a picture of Jade Goody. Again due to the nature of watching TV and all that, I am assuming that even though her cancer is terminal, and it's called reality TV for a reason, somehow at the end she'll pull through and it will all be ok. But then of course while watching Jade's wedding it occurred to me that that it's not a soap opera, or edited in a way to make you think it's worse than it is. She really is dying. And it's so sad.

When I think about death the overriding sadness for me is the thought of all the songs and TV shows I'll never know about. Sometimes when I'm thinking about my friend Nick who died a few years ago I think about all the cool songs he never got to hear. And I know it's stupid because well, once we're dead we're not going care about songs we wont get to hear - or maybe we'll still hear them...who knows?

But anyway. Life is for the living. Sometimes it crosses my mind that I waste a lot of my life sitting on my sofa watching TV when I should be making the most of it. But essentially at the end of the day all we can do in life is strive to live the happiest life we can. And we all find happiness in different ways. And if your home is where you're happy then my home is on a sofa under a red blanket in front of a TV.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The first rule of geek club...

I don't know how it happened. One minute I was perfectly self centred and hermit like watching TV on my own, maybe at a push texting fellow programme fans all the way through with a running commentary - but God forbid I actually watch the show in their company.

The next minute not only do I suddenly have a boyfriend, but I've also come up with the grand idea of inviting a group of likeminded people to my place to watch geeky type shows on my TV.

And not just once either...oh no...a regular monthly occurrance.

Who am I and what have I done with Helen?

And tonight I have finally realised why I have always returned home and locked the door behind's so I wont have to tidy up!

I just spent the best part of Monday night cleaning...and irrational cleaning at that - I mean I'm fairly sure my fellow geeks wont walk straight into my flat on Thursday and look in the oven...but the oven I cleaned nevertheless!! And I rearranged my geeky toys for maximum display purposes so that they will look around my room and think how cool it is.

And so far the fact that someone is going to sit in my space on the sofa hasn't brought me out in a cold sweat. I don't really care. It's only for one night right?

I'm sure that's not the only reason I've been anti-social. I think that I have become more sociable because for the first time in a very long time I am happy. Truly happy. Not the sort of happy that I used to be when I was sat on my own watching TV, that was merely consolation happy, the sort of "you know what? I'd rather be sat on my own watching TV.." kind of happy. But then again, there are not that many things I'd rather be doing than watching TV.

It's funny how bad news travels fast, people prefer to moan about bad things than celebrate good things, and we believe the negative things far more easily than the positive things. I've spent way too long believing the bad things, even though deep down I knew they weren't even true. So it only took 1 person telling me I was miserable boring and unsociable and that no one really liked me to create that negative state of mind that I've been carrying around for the last 10 years.

I've watched TV on my own for a long time because I assumed no one would want to watch it with me. But I found someone who does. And so now I am happy.
And now I even have the courage to not only meet new people, but invite the people I already knew, into my home to watch TV with me.

I hardly recognise myself...but that might be the big daft grin that's permanently distorting my face.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Medical catastrophes

So following on from the scary chest echo, a week later I was called in to the hospital again to get a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted. 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, to be returned at 2pm on the Sunday. I mean way to ruin a weekend!

But at least it went back before the Merseyside derby kicked off!

The nurse told me that I wouldn't notice the monitor after the first few readings, once I got used to it going off every 20 minutes. And I was told that the arm band would only go tight if my blood pressure was high, and of course as all we're doing is testing the hypothesis that I am scared of doctors, it was destined to be a painless exercise.

Of course the damn thing went off twice on the drive home. "Keep your arm still when you hear it beep so it can get the reading" Dammit...each time it went off I was at traffic lights, and then had to crawl along in 1st gear until I could move my arm again. And oh my God did it hurt...the arm band went so tight my fingers were starting to tingle.

Saturday night we had a family meal round at my you might think that a family meal is cause for high blood pressure but actually my family is pretty cool. We are one of those rare families that actually get on well and dare I say it, like each other.
Although after lots of abuse on my decision not to drink while being monitored I was in danger of being disowned by my siblings.

Many conversations were half abandoned that night at the distraction of a loud beep and a whirring noise coming from my end of the table. And the ongoing insinuations that I was breaking wind all night started to wear a bit thin even for me and my juvenile mind that still laughs at fart jokes!

4 weeks later i finally went to see a consultant to get the verdict of all my tests. And I was officially diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Now on the one hand I'm naturally a little concerned about that but at the same time was thinking "in your face Mr. White Coat Hypertension man!"

The consultant told me I had a little damage to my heart due to the long term hypertension but it's completely reversible and promptly started me on a course of perindopril. I say a course...although as he sternly told me "This isn't something you can cure with a few pills, you will be on medication for this for the rest of your life" I felt like I'd failed a test and on my own head be it!

He asked me if I had plans to start a family. No. "ok then well if you do you will need to change your tablets because you can't be on these if you are pregnant." Can I say again....No! he laboured the point for ages and ages, and I was close to saying "God! we only got together last week I have no plans to start a family any time...never mind anytime soon!"

He also told me not to read the side effects because I might get scared. My sister thoughtfuly looked them up in t'internet and told me all about it. I am potentially about to turn into a mutant. Hope I get super powers too!

After a week, I'm no closer to auditioning for the X Men. But God I'm tired. And the bad guys will scream and beg for mercy when I close my eyes and fall asleep!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The good the bad and the ugly

It took me a long time to realise that I was quite anti-social, given that I had always considered myself to be quite friendly and outgoing. It was probably when I was accepting an invitation to something knowing already that I was going to think up an excuse not to go nearer the time because it was a Tuesday night and Smallville was on.

I spent many years thinking there was something wrong with me because I didn't seem to be programmed to survive in a relationship, and then one day I just accepted that there was nothing wrong with me...I just like my own company more than most of the people - certainly the men anyway - that I have ever met in my life.

And with that realisation I happpily took the path least travelled, choosing to be single, not because I can't get a boyfriend, not because no one likes me, but because that's what makes me happy.

But all the people that kept telling me "You'll change your mind when you meet the right person" turned out to be right. And I'm trying really hard not to do a complete about turn and become all smug about it. But I feel damn smug right now!

Of course it's true that good can't survive without evil. I mean would the rebel alliance even exist if it wasn't for the Empire? Would Superman need to save the world if Lex Luthor wasn't trying to take it over? No!

So I realised this morning that I had been stood in front of the mirror in my unmatching black bra and Paul Frank monkey yellow Tuesday pants, with a big pair of green crocodile slippers on my feet, towel wrapped turban like around my head cursing myself for not having gotten round to replacing the old pretty/sexy underwear sets I'd thrown out last year on the understanding that no one would be seeing them anyway and I needed a whole host of new underwear after a random growth spurt saw me go up a bra size.

I was also aware that I was contemplating what I was going to wear when he comes over for dinner tonight...or rather - to cook me pancakes.
When I realised I'd been stood there looking forlornly at my reflection for half an hour it occurred to me that a) he really wouldn't care at all what I was wearing, coz that sort of thing really isn't very important, and b) he's not coming over for like another 7 hours...and I gladly pulled on my sweat pants and started making some breakfast!

Although this little random episode came straight after I'd had a bath, shaved my legs, plucked my eyebrows and moisturised...moisturised for Gods sake.

But I cant help thinking that I am making an extra effort because he doesn't actually expect it. He seems quite content and happy with me just as I am...I mean if he turned round to me and said "fuckin' hell you're a hairy bitch have a shave will you" I'd be throwing out the razors in a formal protest, or if he told me how rough I look when I first wake up in the morning with a hangover, I'd be thinking "hmph love me love my faults" and all those "if he can't accept me as I am then he can fuck off" "This is me take it or leave it" type cliches.
But he doesn't. He smiles at me, kisses my rancid alcohol stinking morning mouth and tells me I'm beautiful!

So while I moan about the grooming, and the having to be sociable and meet new people, it's a necessary evil, and totally worth it. I once said I didn't want to go looking for mr right, I wanted him to swing by and land next to me on the sofa...and that he did!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

Someone told me once that if you do something 21 times it just becomes a natural part of your routine.

Admittedly this was meant to encourage me to go to the gym 3 times a week for a mere 7 weeks to make it part of my new health regime a few years ago - needless to say it didn't catch on. I probably stopped after 6 weeks before I was in danger of getting too used to it and becoming a health freak.

Although I may well have spent way more than 21 days in the spa, but that's different, and since I gave up my gym membership I definitely mourn the loss of the jacuzzi.

There may well be many things I have done 21 times and just accepted as part of my normal routine. Definitely watching TV. Apparently for every 2 hours of TV you watch you increase your risk of obesity by 23%. Blimey, I'm suprised I can even lever myself off the sofa, let alone walk! I also heard a rumour that watching TV stunts your growth, I actually started shrinking at one point, but it's totally worth it; TV makes the world go round.

I'd go as far as to say that pretty much everything I know about the world I learned from TV. And if watching TV was so bad why did we have entire lessons in Primary School dedicated to watching the weekly episode of some educational kids programme. I want to call it "Mummy and Me" but that makes no sense...although may explain why teachers often got accidentally called Mummy!

But really I suppose I'm a creature of habit, I don't think I necessarily have to do it 21 times to make it a habit. I just need to like it.

As a kid my mum was always trying to get me to like new foods, I was such a fussy eater and when I liked something I just wanted to eat it all the time. My mum got sick of saying "No, you had that last night, you make yourself sick on it" and I'd laugh and think, why would I ever go off that, it's the best food ever! Then 2 weeks later the thought of eating it again would make me feel sick and it would relagated to the back of my mind where I keep food menus, for a few months.

Except Pizza right? I mean no one gets bored of pizza. If I had to make a guess at what my body was made up of it would be lager, pizza and kebabs. But the strangest thing happened when I was eating pizza for breakfast on Sunday morning and realised I'd had pizza 9 times in a fortnight...I realised I was sick of pizza. I'm not entirely sure where my fuel is coming from over the next few weeks but it would seem that my mum was right when she told me "you can have too much of a good thing".

Songs too, if I hear a song I like I play it over and over on repeat and sing along to it at the top of my voice for a week and then I think "oh God I'm so sick of hearing this song, it's on all the time, change the bleedin' record!"

And I love sitting off on the sofa on my own watching TV, I'm pretty anti-social and when I spend time with people I am secretly longing for the time when I can make my excuses to go back home.

Except once in a while I might spend an evening with someone and enjoy it so much, that I want to do it again, and again and again...until they bore me and I have to avoid them for a while.

I'll know I've met Mr Right when I've been in his company 21 times and still not got bored of him!

14 down, 7 dates to go....!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Hallmark Holidays

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of my friends that don’t like Valentines day, and it’s not because they’re single and bitter that no one is buying them cards and flowers, because actually they are in relationships. But why should we wait until Hallmark tell us to say “I love you” wouldn’t it be far more romantic if from out of nowhere your other half went out and bought you a present, or saw something and just thought “yeah she would love that” and bought it on a whim?

It was traditionally believed that Valentines Day was for secret admirers, a way of letting them know that they liked them. But in actual fact it turns out that according to the Catholic Church Valentines day is actually for people who have met their soul mates.
I’ve always complained about couples gegging in on Valentines day and making single people feel all depressed and unloved by wandering around all happy and covered in flowers and chocolates. But turns out it’s just for them anyway.

So this year I had planned a Green Wing marathon with the newest addition to my friend list. We chose Valentines Day simply because it was the next available Saturday. But as it turns out somewhere along the line we had a road to Damascus realisation that 2 slightly reclusive tv addicts that have discovered a vague happiness to watch tv together were probably a perfect match and we stopped being friends and became something way more interesting instead.

The most common response to this bit of news however was “ooh just in time for Valentines Day” and unsure what to do about this I decided to just discuss it…put 2 communications people in a relationship together and you get a lot of communicating.
Plus we pretty much think the same way so it’s almost 99% certain that whatever I think he’ll agree with. We agreed very happily not to exchange anything for Valentines Day.

Then on Friday night we met up in town, couple of his friends couple of mine and we all got talking about Star Wars and the greatest Christmas present I ever got (a Star Wars clone trooper helmet off my brother). The conversation went something along the lines of…
“Obviously my brother would’ve preferred to buy me a Storm Trooper helmet but there wasn’t any on sale”
“Oh I saw a Storm Trooper helmet on the internet for £45”
“Oh you should’ve bought it” I said drunkenly dismissive of the price
“Right hang on” he says pulling out a swanky Iphone
“are you seriously buying it?”
“yes, we’ll call it a Valentines Day present”

Arrrrgggghhhhhh! And no! I didn’t buy him anything – not even a lousy card!And I’m feeling pretty guilty that I encouraged him to buy such an expensive and lets face it particularly useless, despite how cool it’ll look in my lounge, gift for me.

But I’m sure the guilt will pass when we’re sat side by side in storm and clone trooper helmets watching the Big Bang Theory.

You gots to love us nerds!

Challenging the norm

So ok, who came up with the notion of how things should be?And why do we just accept it?
I find it’s generally accepted when it comes to relationships that the man should be tall and strong, while the woman is small and fragile and in need of looking after.

But why are men the protectors? I mean women have an inbuilt sense for protection, put a man defending his lover against a woman defending her child and I know which one I’d put my money on. Women have this nurturing instinct that makes them protect their family at all costs, so how does that make the male the dominant gender? When something scares me, my initial thought is “I want my mum” not my dad or a boyfriend, my mum (or in the absence of my mum, my sister). My mum rocks! She picks up spiders in her bare hands and everything!

So ok, for years I have had this thing about tall men…most of my friends like tall men too – but they’re mostly short themselves so tall by their standard is anything over 5’4”. My first boyfriend was 5’4”. He was my first love so I didn’t much care about things like that. I just adored him. After we split up someone told me they’d thought we had looked kinda silly together so I bought my first pair of high heel shoes and declared I would only ever go out with someone that was taller than me.What makes it look silly though? Do I look silly walking down the street with short girls? No. I would guess not. We all come in different shapes and sizes so who decided the man had to be the tall one? And why do we buy into that as normal?

I’ve been out with several tall men since then, and frankly they were all wankers! That may or may not be related to their height of course!

The most stupid thing though is the prejudice we have to ginger hair…now seriously…ok I have on occasion made some comments about ginger hair for the amusement of myself and my peers but I am a reformed character. Because seriously, we have equality and diversity laws that make it illegal to discriminate people for the colour of their skin, their religion, their ability or their gender/sexuality – and yet it is widely acceptable to take the piss out of gingers. And what’s so wrong with ginger anyway? Seriously, when you think about it, I mean if you’re painting a picture who wants boring murky brown when they can use bright happy orange? Seriously?

Presumably it’s to do with it being a minority and we seem to distrust anything that goes against the norm. And you know what? In my experience the first thing that seems to come out of the mouth of people in taking the piss out of the red heads is "eeeeh ginger pubes" Not being funny right...eeeeh pubes...who cares what colour they are???

And finally the whole single thing…I mean what is actually wrong with being single? It seems to be a universal truth that everyone needs to be in a relationship…Women talk about finding a rich man to take care of them…I'm often being questioned about why i'm single, what's wrong with me, why can't i get a boyfriend...I get pitied...because obviously we all need to be in a relationship...Well that’s nonsense. Women don’t need men, I mean ok that doesn’t mean they don’t want one. But we don’t need them. We don’t need looking after…I’ve been leading the charge for being single lately, not wanting to settle, not wanting to lose my sense of who I am, and not wanting to accommodate another person into my life. And I stand by it. I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.

That’s not to say however that if the perfect man presents himself to me I’m going to be childish and stamp my foot and stubbornly say “nope” coz that would be silly. Finding someone who’s just right would be great, assuming you know what it is you're lookng for...and maybe you don't even realise what it is you're looking for until you find it and think "ah that's what i'm looking for". It’s just that it’s a big wide world with millions and millions of people and finding the right person that you could happily spend your time with, share your sofa with and put in charge of the remote control is surely to God like finding a needle in a haystack? And be able to actually share your innermost thoughts in the safety of not being judged, or God forbid it…changed…well does such a man exist?

Well actually yes he does! And i'm now in a scary world of confusion just wanting to hang out with him all the time, when i've been resolutely happy sitting alone on my sofa with my TV for company. But combined with that terrifyng prospect that i might never be single again. Luckily i'm not the only one of us that thinks that way so we should both be able to maintain the good points of being single with the good points of being together.

And guess what...he’s short AND ginger!

No Good Ever Comes From Going the Doctors.

I've always avoided doctors like the plague!
My theory was that nothing good ever came of going to the doctors. If I was desperate I’d occasionally enter a walk in centre, but as far as possible as long as I had some ibuprofen and some Beechams I could pretty much cure myself of anything.

Of course some things you can’t ignore. A routine smear test for example. Having had 2 botched attempts from walk in clinics I eventually went to my GP practise and while I was there my blood pressure was taken and was through the roof.

I went back 2 months later and as it was still very high and given my family history (dad had quadruple heart bypass and my brother had a stroke) my GP sent me immediately to hospital.

Unfortunately it was 8pm and I had to go to A&E.
A&E?? with high blood pressure? I kid you not.She gave me a letter to hand in, and the triage sister looked at me in disdain “so what? High blood pressure? That’s it?” I shrugged and nodded. “take a seat”

I sat on that chair for 11 hours. Now ok I could understandably have a good old moan about having to wait 11 hours, but that’s not the fault of the people on duty. I was neither an accident nor an emergency and those ambulances, they just kept coming.
Finally a doctor comes to see me. He takes my blood pressure – which as my body was gradually falling asleep was probably not quite as high as it had been at a normal more awake hour. He did all kinds of tests on me, checked my eyes, my ears, my reflexes, and eventually said “it might just be white coat hypertension” I waited 12 hours to be told I’m scared of doctors??

“we’ll order lots of tests though just to make sure” he says and wanders off. I have an ECG done and I provide a urine sample. And then I am handed a request form asking for further tests that I have to get done by my GP, including a 24 hour urine test. This means I have to capture a sample very time I go to the toilet in a 24 hour period. I was informed I would get the container from my GP.
Except my GP doesn’t have them. Apparently only hospitals have them. I phoned the walk in centre and asked if they had them. Yes they have them! So I went along to the walk in centre to request a container. They hand me a normal urine container. I explained what it was I needed and they looked at me like I was stupid. Apparently only the GP has them.
So who has what? And why isn’t it common knowledge amongst the various departments in the nhs? On top of all that I was called in for a chest echo or echocardiograph. This is basically an ultrasound of the heart. Feeling rather exposed and vulnerable I listened to the sound of my blood flow and looked at frankly disturbing images of my heart on a grainy black and white screen. And when it was all over I asked “so was it ok?” “oh I can’t give you the results I have to give them to the doctor” Wait a minute…aren’t we supposed to have some right to know what’s going on?? She then added “it’s nothing to worry about”Is that, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about or, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed to worry about???

And so the tests keep on coming. Do they treat me for high blood pressure yet, or is the blood pressure a symptom of something else?

In the meantime I am ignoring the urine test request. If that doctor still wants me to do it he can bleedin well provide me with the pot to piss in!