Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Years Resolutions. N.B. this isn't fiction.

It's that time of year again!
Yesterday out of interest I had a look at my resolutions for last year. Then, I had a good think about how much I have achieved.
Resolutions 1 & 2) Pay off overdraft, improve finances and approach to money.
I have completely paid off my overdraft and, wait for it, wait for it... have savings to the tune of £800! I have very much changed the way I approach money. In fact yesterday, I was in a shop and there was a lovely pair of red peeptoes on sale for £30 and a similarly lovely pair of nude peeptoes for £35. I walked out of the shop without buying either, reasoning with myself that I already owned three red pairs of shoes and a nude pair I never wore enough anyway.
Resolution 3) Improve my punctuation.
I'm sure it will never be my strongest point, but in the summer this year, I did have a meeting with my previous boss and he said he felt my punctuation was much improved. Hurrah hurrah hurrah.
Resolution 4) Get back to a healthier way of living.
I will go to the gym after work and then not have any sweets at the cinema. I will, I will, I will!
Resolution 5) Start being more crafty and making my own clothes, chutney and jam.
Errrrm, what?!
Resolution 6) Get better at web design.
Marginally improved. I think my site does look prettier. Probably can't be bothered to make it any better. 

And then we go to that sneaky bit at the bottom about about being a dignified lady and handling the menfolk better... well, it's safe to say that the money issue is where I have really excelled this year!

And so to my resolutions for 2011. Every year I make resolutions about money and health and to be honest, I will always try to improve myself in this way New Years Resolution or not, so for 2011 I have decided to take a different course:

1) Stop putting so much pressure on myself because I always do my very best anyway.
2) Like and accept myself for who and what I am, because I do quite well and am quite nice really.
3) Show more kindness to others, especially the homeless.
4) Stop getting into debates with people. It only gets you feeling wound up and upset.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The history of the dumped coffee table.

Nicola found the coffee table in the local recycling bin on a Saturday night.
It's a beautiful bit of furniture. Ornate and elaborate in design carved from thick, extremely good quality wood. Nicola knew it would be expensive, she had an eye for these things. So she did what any self-respecting Phd student would do. She got her dad to pick it up and take it home.
It looked just perfect next to the book shelf with her twenties style retro lamp (purchased four years ago from TKMaxx for only £24.99) sat atop it. Her materialistic sister and flatmate loved it as well. It appealed to her faux bohemian sensibilities.
Not once did Nicola ask herself why someone would throw such a lovely piece of furniture away. Not once did she wonder where the coffee table had come from. She was too busy relishing her damn good luck that she had found it.
Just four days prior, a couple stood in their flat, either side of the coffee table. And they were screaming at each other. This wasn't some little lovers tiff, they were ready to destroy each other, rip each other to shreds. You see Jack (that's the boyfriend) had discovered that Amy (the girlfriend) had slept with his best friend. But she insisted that she only did it because she knew that Jack had slept with every woman from Mile End to Earls Court and back again. Yep, he was a busy man on that District Line.
Amy also found Jack's best mate bloody attractive but that's by the by, she was too consumed with hatred and revenge for her philandering, womanising arsehole of a soon to be ex-boyfriend.
His face was also contorted with rage. He couldn't believe the little slut had just blamed him for her betrayal, that she had slapped him round the face.
As Nicola had calmly cooked her boyfriend and her sister seafood spaghetti and apple crumble, Jack had smacked Amy so hard that she had flown head first towards to coffee table, cracked her skull open and died as her blood seeped into the carpet and her soul into the table. The table was very special to Amy, it had been a gift from her late and very wealthy grandmother.
Panicked, Jack had wrapped up Amy's body in bin bags and, in the middle of the night, crept down to Regent's Canal and chucked her into the water. He had used Vanish stain remover to sort out the carpet and reported Amy missing to the police. For just four short seconds, Jack thought he had got away with manslaughter.
But the coffee table had other ideas. For four days the table haunted him. Whispering at him with her voice. Filling his mind with grotesque images, plaguing him with guilt for cheating on her and killing her. Sometimes, out of the corner of his eye, he could see Amy, covered in blood and crawling out of the table. Of course, when he looked over, there was nothing there. He barely slept, his dreams were filled with torment.
By day four it had got too much. In a fit of rage, which tempered on borderline insanity, he picked up the coffee table and flung it in the local recycling bin before joining Amy in the canal.
Just four minutes later, unsuspecting of the tables dark and trecherous past, Nicola put out the weekly recycling and was delighted to make her discovery.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Tale of the Wonky Poster.

Once upon a time there was a poster named Amelie.
Amelie was wonky. She sat on the far wall, pretty much the first thing everyone saw when they entered the large, white living room. She could have been beautiful, with her green background, red dress, dark hair and big eyes. If it weren't for that damn wonk, she could have been the most beautiful poster in all of Flat 7, 52 Globe Road, perhaps beyond.
All the other posters in the living room were perfectly perpendicular, not to mention practically perfect in every way. The twin Banksy posters were perfectly aligned in look, thought and feel. The jazz singer and her contemporaries stood perfectly straight and elegant.
Being surrounded by such perfection must have been bloody depressing. Amelie felt like the fat, ugly sibling, not perfect in any way. This was of course, Amelie being a touch overdramatic, she was only imperfect by an approximately 27 degree angle, but hey, just you try to reason with neurotic, teenage shiny paper, it's like talking to a wall...
Amelie was desperate to straighten out. Every time someone entered the living room they stared at her with mild irritation upon their faces. She heard comments, how annoying she was because of her wonkyness. If she hadn't been so shy and retiring she might have got angry and accused them all of bullying her. But Amelie was so mild mannered she just took the nasty, prejudiced anti-wonky comments to heart and drooped further down the wall.
For some bizarre reason, her two owners loved her wonky disposition. Whenever she heard comments from guests about how she 'just needed to be straightened out and then this room would be perfect' (I mean seriously guests, how hurtful, what must those words have done to poor Amelie's self-esteem?!) her owners spouted that it gave her and the room character, how they celebrated her difference, and because of her wonk she was 'special' and 'unique.'
Amelie cringed when she heard her owners say these things. "Why can't the lazy buggers just get up on a chair and straighten me out?" she thought to herself.
Then, everything changed. One Saturday night in early November, her owners held a gathering. The comments about her wonkyness were coming thick and fast. This particular group of guests found her wonkyness particularly offensive. Amelie desperately tried to pull up, to make herself appear as straight as possible. But nothing worked, the more she pulled, the more irritated the group got. Eventually, they all left. Her hideous wonkyness forced them out of the living room and down to the local pub. They couldn't take her anymore it seemed.
Miserable and lonely, Amelie dozed off to sleep.
Then, in the middle of the night she was woken by a rough pulling. Opening her eyes she discovered a beautiful maiden with tumbling brown hair removing her from the wall.
"I can't handle this poster anymore," the maiden muttered, "I know Shell will be pissed off, but I have to straighten it out."
STRAIGHTEN IT OUT! Oh wonder and joy! Amelie was on top of the world. Finally, she would join the world of perfection. No more comments and mutterings anymore, no more stares of mild irritation. Amelie was going to be just like everyone else!
Amelie couldn't sleep anymore that night from sheer excitement. She couldn't wait for daylight when she could announce herself to the world as a 'perfect poster.' Part of the perfection gang.
But daybreak did not bring her the adulation she craved and hoped for. In fact, the look of utter disappointment on her owners faces made her feel mild shame.
But it was the response of the guests that upset her most. None of them admired her for her straight beauty. In fact, they didn't seem to notice her at all. They were indifferent to her, it was like she was invisible.
It was then that the jazz singer poster rather bitchily said something (in poster language, it's not something us humans can hear) that made her new found joy crash to smithereens: "I'm glad they straightened you out. All your character meant that you always got the attention. Our owners always loved you more, we were all ignored because compared to you we were straight and boring."
And that's when Amelie realised, being the same as everyone else is all well and good but there is nothing special or unique about aligned perfection.