Monday, 19 September 2011

The life and times of Mark vs. George.

At 11.45pm Mark closed his eyes. He pulled up his duvet close to his chin and revelled in the warmth of it.
He had a little daydream about winning the men's final at Wimbledon, Nadal being putty in his serve before sleep drifted him away.
At 9.15 Mark woke with a start. DAMN!  He'd missed his alarm, overslept! Bleary eyed he started to stagger to the bathroom and crashed into a marble wall. Rubbing his head he gazed at the marble wall in a confused fashion. He didn't have any marble walls in his house. This made no sense. What sort of a person has marble walls in his bedroom? Who the hell could afford such a thing anyway? Perhaps he was having a weird dream, sometimes his dreams felt this vivid. They didn't usually hurt his head quite so much though...
'George sir?' came a quiet voice. He turned to see a small ginger woman in a maids outfit. She looked young, 19 maybe, timid in her demeanor. 'Are you alright?' she asked.
"I am" Mark replied, "but who's George?"
The maid looked perplexed. "You sir" she ventured.
This really was one freaky dream for Mark. He gazed in the mirror on the wall, it was certainly his reflection. Why did this strange girl think he was called George. Where the hell was he?!
As he looked round the room he had never seen a bedroom so lavish. As well as the marble walls, all the furniture was ornate to the point of ostentatious. This had never been Mark's personal taste, what with him being a nice chap who preferred the simple things in life.
The walls were covered in Beatles records. "Who likes the Beatles?" he asked, with a incredulous edge to his tone. (Again, not really his cup of tea.)
"You sir" the maid answered again, completely bewildered, "it's your job sir."
His job? Now Mark was completely confused. He was a vetinary nurse and he really had no idea what this strange ginger girl was talking about. And why did she keep calling him sir like he was her boss or something? It made him feel quite uncomfortable.
"You're a George Harrison impersonator" the maid added, "and I think you may have had too much to drink last night sir."
Now Mark understood, he had jumped into someone elses body. Like Quantum Leap! And he was here to sort out whatever rot this George Harrison impersonator had got involved in. Maybe he would save his life, win the femme fatale as his own!
"By the way, your mum is on the phone" the Maid added, handing him an iPhone 5. Mark wasn't even aware these were out yet. Who knew impersonators were so well paid and connected.
"Mum?" Mark asked.
"George love" she started.
It was his mum! He knew his mum's voice anywhere, it was her! It was Ruth! But why was she calling him George. Oh this made no sense.
"Mum, why are you calling me George, my name is Mark."
"Oh no love, we nearly called you Mark but your dad didn't like it. Changed it to George at the last moment. It's a good thing too really, because you became your wonderful super successful George Harrison impersonator self keeping your entire family in the lap of luxery. I'm sure if we had called you Mark you would have ended up a vetinary nurse or something... "



Friday, 26 August 2011

A world without daydreams

Some time in 2047 instant teleportation was invented.
Yes, some incredible supergeek developed a chip that could be placed into the thumb. The initial prototype meant that you could be transported to the place in your mind you most desired to be. However, Mr Supergeek adapted his idea when he kept turning up in pretty girls beds. The screaming just got a bit too much.
So, for his final design to work, you had to say where you needed to be out loud. He also created parameters around houses. Rather like a vampire, if you wanted to enter, you had to be invited across the threshold.
Soon, Mr Supergeek was so wealthy and powerful he made Mark Zuckerburg look like a stupid pauper. He turned the world into a fantastically productive place. Procrastination was eliminated from the dictionary and great leaders envisioned a world where people became these demi gods who never had to stop, who became greater and richer and more productive all the time!
Except, they didn't.
There was a bizarre side affect to Mr Supergeeks new invention he didn't anticipate.
The death of daydreaming. There were no more people staring out of windows on trains or cars or planes, planning futures and admitting to their minds their deepest desires and wants. Or creating silly stories in their heads, or coming up with crazy inventions such as teleportation via microchips in thumbs.
Truely, the world was a very productive place. No one faffed around. No one experienced delays. The world was an efficient machine where no one needed to read books, make up stories or feel desire or longing or excitement. (Well, how can you feel longing or excitement if you get something immediately?)
Despite what Mr Supergeek thought, that people would be teleporting themselves to crazy, amazing locations - the death of daydreaming meant that people just went where they needed to be. The office, that meeting, the supermarket. Couples didn't transport themselves to waterfalls and frolic in the surf because they had no time to create such a fantasy. They were so busy being productive. Getting things done. Ticking off lists. They went through the motions, day after day, in their perfect mechanical way.
One morning as Mr Supergeek awoke, his surgically enhanced bronzed beauty by his side, a deep sadness he couldn't understand or place in his heart, he saw something sticking out of the corner of his bed.
With confusion he realised what it was... something he had not seen in a long long time. A real (i.e. not computer generated) playing card. A queen of hearts.
The queen spoke to him in a way no one had spoken to him in many years. She said one word. Just one little word that had been missing from the world since his invention launched.

Monday, 18 July 2011

What about me?

I often think about what Marilyn Monroe's last thoughts were before she died.
In fact, I often think about what people's last thoughts are before they go. Morbid I know and a weird thought for a mini champagne bottle like me. I'm Moet by the way. Well, my full name is Moet Chandon Brut Imperial the third, a junior officer of the champagne order. But my friends call me Mo.
I'm honestly not prone to depression or anything, despite having a candle stuck in my head and melting down my body.
Bloody barbaric the things humans do, they either smash us, or if we're pretty they stick wax on top of us and burn us. They have become more humane as the years have gone by and started to send us for reincarnation so we can have many lives, not just as champagne bottles but also water bottles or beautiful paper to be handwritten on, or toilet roll... admittedly that one's not so glamorous. 
Anyway, back to my morbid ponderings. I just don't believe your life will actually flash before your eyes. I really don't. I mean, death takes a second, there is no way a lifetimes worth of memories can flash into your head in that time, your synapses will explode. It's clearly something people say as comfort. The thought that as you are going you will get to relive the best bits, see the ones you love one last time.
I think people will be thinking something much more mundane. Something like, 'I should have eaten the cauliflower instead of the broccoli.' Or, perhaps petulantly, 'this isn't fair.'
I've decided that Marilyn would have been thinking, 'what about me?'
I feel a great connection with Marilyn Monroe. I think it's because we are both glamour icons. I know for a fact she drank a lot of my kind too. Probably more senior officers. Lucky buggers.
Would she have regretted being a vacuous sex symbol? Felt enormous frustration that she was nothing more than the male attention she received?
Despite the book after book she devoured no one saw more than her curves and pretty smile. No one listened to what she said unless it was sung in breathy tones. I know how that feels, no one pays any attention to me unless I'm full of joy and bubbles.
Would she have hated the double bind she felt stuck in? The fact that she craved and hated this attention from men? The fact that the entire world thought she had everything because every man wanted her. Well, at least the symbol of her. But no one really understood the thoughts in her head.
Would she have hated the pressure she felt to always be a performing monkey of charm and seduction? I've watched women have to do it, I'll be poured into a retro champagne glass and I watch as women smile and listen animatedly to dull men because they so desperately need these ridiculous and rude buffoons to like them, to feel loved. To be an eternal seductress, worth only what the last man thought of you, oh god the pressure of being an everlasting flirt in a sexually saturated world.
And it's not just that, it must have been tough for Marilyn to always be dealing with other women's jealousy because of how she was desired, but in the same breath she needed to keep it up at all times, needed to be the most beautiful woman in the world time and time again, just having one man think it once was not enough, she needed all men to think it constantly, always. Because to this world, that was her entire worth.
With all this swirling round her head it's no surprise she took her own life...  
Sometimes I'll be burning away, the creamy wax dripping down my neck, the only attention I'm paid is for that of my outer image and those thoughts will creep into my head too: "What about me?"
I have thoughts, feelings, and I'm rather good at long division. Will anyone pay any attention to that? I am not just a beautiful empty vase for candle burning.
What about me?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The one where I arrogantly answer the Q&A from guardian weekend.

When were you happiest?
I couldn't possibly pick one particular time but I'm a woman who loves novelty and change, when I first moved to Cardiff, when I first moved to London, whenever I start a new job. I'm always terrified as I like structure and routine but pushing myself seems to make me happy.

What is your greatest fear?
Never having a family of my own, and drowning.

What is your earliest memory?
I was in reception and my school got flooded, I was wearing a purple cowgirl style dress with black fringing. I remember my teacher complimenting it. My obsession with clothes was born.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
I'm going to cheat and say two people. My parents. My mum is my emotional life guru and my dad my practical life guru.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Drunkenly sobbing on the night bus home last night was pretty embarrassing.

What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother's Emerald ring. And my iPhone.

Where would you like to live?
A London flat I actually own.

What would your super power be?
The ability to persuade anyone to do anything. I would use it for the powers of good of course.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Paloma Faith. She acts too, she was in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

What makes you unhappy?
Hangovers, loneliness and misogyny.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Forgive me arrogance, but on the most part I quite like my appearance. If I don't go to the gym for a few days though, I start to feel like a blob.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I'm quite patronising. It just blurts out, I can't help it!

What is your favourite smell?
Books, new and old.

What is your favourite word?
Superfluous. I like to pronounce it super-flow-us.

What would be your fancy dress of choice?
I'd like to dress up as a black forest gateau. I'd wear plum velvet trousers, a brown top covered in chocolate sprinkles, plum velvet long gloves, a white wig, fifties make up with a cherry in my wig.

What is the worst thing anyone's said to you?
'I love you, I just don't think I can love you in the right way.'

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I secretly enjoy pulling mascara goop out of my eye. I love it when it spreads across my eye and I have to pull it out slowly, like a string. It's weird and it makes me tingle.

What do you owe your parents?
Love and my time. They have spent years listening to me, and they deserve to be listened to in return.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
I spend my entire life apologising for myself. If I've really hurt someone, I imagine I have already apologised for it.

What does love feel like?
Like you are going mad. And then boredly content.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
'I went on this really bad date...'

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To the 1940's to watch Rita Hayworth flamenco dance.

When did you last cry?
This morning, to an advert about a charity for deaf and blind children. It was really sad!

How do you relax?
Working out, drinking, reading, daydreaming to loud music.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Proud and Humble by Imelda May. I'm not religious but I do live my life very much this way. I always do my best.

How would you like to be remembered?
Positively and with love from my grandchildren.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The clock.

I am the clock. I am never late. Always on time. Always to be relied upon.
As I, the clock, strike two, Jack is not on time. He is late and thus, cannot be relied upon.
He has his excuses set out, the district line was down, his ex-girlfriend kept calling, being the crazy bitch she is, then his trainers got eaten by the dog and thrown into a pit of fire by the dragon that attacked his dog and flew away with them. And obviously he had to follow the dragon and get his trainers back because his loafers didn't work with the rest of his outfit and certainly wouldn't work for the romantic picnic he had planned today with his new girl Jess. 
Well, I have said new girl, but being the clock I know what Jess is doing by my time, and as I strike two, she is going into Primark. She is not interested in unreliable Jack. She had a man like him in her past, a man who was unreliable and she vowed to never go down that route again. So in her mind Jack, though he does not know it yet, is dumped and Jess is off out shopping to buy that long floral maxi skirt she's had her eye on. Having been let down yet again by yet another man, she thinks she might deserve it.
Sometimes I, the clock, wonder if relationships are worth the hassle. I watch time and time again the lies couples tell around the time they keep. 'I was in the office dear,' he says while he was actually playing golf.
'Sorry I'm late, massive queue at the supermarket' she says, when actually she was in a hotel room banging the life out of her dental nurse. (The audacity of it, she could of at least have gone for the dentist).
It's 2.12pm and Jack is at Jess' door. He rings and rings but there is no answer. He's getting nervous. Did they definitely make plans for today? It was definitely today, he's not going mad. She had made that comment about disliking lateness. Is she punishing him? At 2.20pm he rings again, no answer. He decides to wait. He really likes Jess, hasn't felt this way about anyone for a long time. Shit, he should have been on time. God he thinks she's beautiful with her long brown hair and hazel eyes. Really nice bum too. And her laugh, just lovely. I strike 2.35pm and now Jack is very nervous.
Jack should be nervous, at exactly this hour Jess is walking down the high street, skirt in hand and a smile on her face. She catches the attention of everyone who walks by. Jack is not really on her mind at all.
I, the clock, wish more women were like this. So many women sit by me counting the seconds for his arrival. They don't go out and find their own joy, even if it's a simple pleasure, like a walk in the park or a new skirt. They wait for a man to give them pleasure, to give them worth.
It's funny because although I wish more women were like this, it really is rather detrimental to me. If they are out searching their own pleasures, they rather forget about me. I pass them by, like the wind, and they barely even notice I'm going. I don't get the same love, care and attention.
Jack should have given me that. He should have paid me some attention. Now it's going to take a great deal of effort to regain Jess' affections. I'm not even sure flowers will cut it. She has drifted away from him on the breeze and it's quite possible her feelings no longer remain. All because he was a couple of hours late. He didn't pay me, the clock, the respect I deserve.
That makes me feel rather good, like some sort of god. I don't want to be a tyrant with my powers, though it is tempting to ration myself. The less time everyone has the more precious I become. It would be nice to be considered a rare jewel. No one appreciates me when I'm generous.
And so I strike 3.54pm and Jess is back at her door. Jack is still there, looking rather glum with his wilted flowers and pathetic looking stale sandwiches. He has waited for nearly as long as he made her wait. Perhaps this will be enough for Jess?
'We could have spent the last four hours together you know.' Jess says to him.
Jack is full of apologies. It will never happen again he swears. 'Our time together is too precious.'
Ahhh, there ladies and gents, is the respect I deserve.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Buddha Clan: Part II

It has been many months since our first visit to the buddha clan. I am pleased to report that King Pink Buddha was not usurped by 'disco buddha.' It seems the ginger goddess is fickle in nature and what she once considered shimmering in glorious light, soon became tacky over priced bits of broken mirror.
In fact, it seems King Pink Buddha has been rewarded for this difficult time where his throne was in disrepute. He has been given a jaunty tequila hat to emphasise his jolly disposition and make him the same height as the serene buddhas who flank him.
The ginger goddess has also bought him a pet. A tiny golden buddha, this buddha hangs round his neck and gives him nuggets of wisdom on all matters. In fact, yesterday, as King Pink Buddha was reaching for a second portion of coconut pudding, golden buddha whispered the calorie content in the dessert. With a heavy sigh King Pink Buddha realised where his moobs come from.
Despite the sobering health messages, King Pink Buddha has grown to love his little advisor and, goodness, the little guy has a cheeky sense of humour. Just the other day he was playing hoopla with one of the goddesses rings, tossing it over the serene buddhas pointy hats and chortling with merriment.
At this point, the ginger goddess wandered into the living room. Quick as a flash the buddhas froze as any good personified household object should when a real life person enters the room. She saw the ring on the pointy hat and laughed, thinking the brunette goddess had put it there, just part of her odd sense of humour. The brunette goddess thinks the ginger one did it, and is becoming concerned for her sanity.
But what of the rest of the clan? It has grown in size and personality. The buddhas are taking over the windowsill and beyond. General Pewter Buddha still tries to rule the roost, but as life is going so well for the buddha clan, as they are so loved and revered by the goddesses, he is more often than not ignored.
The most exciting new addition to the clan is... well, a female buddha. An unexpected twist to the tale! She is kept inside a glass house and gold flakes float about her person, adding to her beauty and mystery. The rest of the clan adore her and often lay lotus flowers at her feet. Sadly she cannot touch these flowers, her glass house restricts such contact.
But who of her male admirers will she choose? Will it be nearly headless buddha, the brave warrior who lost his head in a battle with the great emperor Christmaswrappingpaper, but was rescued with the speedy application of some glue?  Or perhaps it will be giant golden buddha and his sidekick, not so giant golden buddha. Perhaps her protecter, the old, wizened and er, wooden rotting buddha will win her heart with his devotion and experience. Perhaps one of the serene buddhas will entice her with their sweet fables told with melodic voices. Or lazy buddha, laying back with a massive smile, bulbous belly and offerings to the gods will press her buttons? It is always difficult to foresee which way a lady's affections will swing.
King Pink Buddha is a little concerned with the new yearnings in his clan. All this idle chasing of a woman is distracting the buddhas from their true service to the goddesses. What if they notice? What if they are not appeased? The black sack of evil could take them all!
He is hatching a plan. A plan of sacrifice of lady buddha to the goddesses. Surely that will appease them?
However, it's pretty tempting to just have her for himself, that will stop all this ridiculous pining in the clan and what woman doesn't love a jaunty hat?
Besides, he is the king after all, it is he who should have a wife the entire clan reveres...

Monday, 4 July 2011

The tamed Lion

Once there was a lion named Jazz. He spent his days sat on a desk. His mane was... well I would say enormous but these things are all relative. Compared to the rest of his body his mane was enormous. But compared to a real lion's mane Jazz's springy orange tendrils were,without meaning to be rude, rather lacking.
Because you see Jazz was a mascot. A very tame Lion. He idly sat on this desk, a symbol of all that his owner could achieve in her working life. A muse, if you will. To her he represented courage, power, fiestyness, determination. You'd think representing such immense traits would be a lot of pressure for a tiny fuzzy little lion to undertake but in reality, he was very frustrated. You see the problem with being a symbol, a muse, is that you don't really get to achieve much yourself. You are just a representation of someone elses achievements and self worth. So much potential trapped in a gilted cage of mere inspiration.
And so Jazz dreams of much more than the spurious life he is currently assigned too. He dreams of being wild, running through the woods, the fields, the desert on his own four paws. Fighting knights and roaring at the stars. He dreams of having a real mane rather than tendrils of wool, of having intimidating muscles rather than cotton fuzz.
He cares for his owner, he knows he helps her through the day and he is grateful for this small job. He knows she thinks he is beautiful. But he envies her reality. She runs on grass with her own two feet and dances through the streets of London late into the night. She rules her own world, fights her own battles and rescues herself over and over. She is not tame like him and oh, how he is jealous of her. While she is out feeding the world with her song of passion, resentment, hatred, love and joy Jazz sits on her desk dreaming of the night sky he never sees.
Some days when she is sad, when she is feeling the pressure of the world and thinks perhaps it would be easier if she were tame too, just someone's muse, he wants to roar at her. He does everything he can to use his paws to scratch at her face and make her realise how lucky she is to be wild and free. That if she would give him the chance he could turn into a true almighty beast who could take her and her freedom on. 
One night a different cleaner comes to the desk to wipe down the computer screen. Unlike the usual cleaner who finds Jazz the mascot very sweet, this cleaner has a nasty ambivalent face. He plucks up Jazz from the desk. 'What is this bit of tat?' he mutters with disapproval. Sighing he chucks Jazz into the black bin bag and continues to drag it about the office.
Panic fills up poor little Jazz's heart. His owner! His desk! His life! His beautiful gilded cage! It's gone, all gone. He is stuck in the darkness, lost to the wilderness. He feels as though he is suffocating, the stench of rubbish about him, dread weeps through his body. The bag is tossed through the air and Jazz knows that if he were able to vomit he would be retching everywhere by now. The bag hits something with a shudder and Jazz comes rolling out with a whimper. It is a different kind of darkness now, a cold darkness with twinkly lights. He claws at the other black bags in the garbage truck, starts to roar with fear at the starry night sky...
With that, Jazz starts to realise what has happened. He is no longer tame but wild and it is terrifying and beautiful and wonderful. He continues to roar but it takes on a different quality, full of hope.
He is free and roaring at the stars.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The hedonistic puppet.

There was once a little blonde puppet dressed in purple. She had little purple clogs, a glittery purple dress and even purple eyeshadow to match her purple eyes and dainty little mouth.
If a fairy had appeared from nowhere and turned her into a real girl, then she would have been considered someone who was a people pleaser, someone with low self esteem, a worrier perhaps prone to anxiety and depression. As a real girl she may have sought herself help from a cognitive behavioural therapist.
But as it is, she is a dancing puppet with a penchant for purple clothes and glitter.
She often goes on dates with boy puppets (alas, she has not yet found her Pinocchio), and on these dates she truly sparkles. She is witty, sexy, interesting, full of big smiles and giggles. The boy puppets generally always ask her out again. But as she smiles, inside she feels rather, well, wooden. Her heart has not yet come into play and without any real emotion to fuel it, her sparkle is splintering. It is too bright, too needy. And she is becoming so very very tired with her 'oh please like me, please like me!' dance.
She doesn't only do this dance for the boy puppets. Day in, day out, she performs this dance for anyone who shows a smidgen of interest. Everyone she speaks to. She whirls and twirls on her strings, her expensive glitter swirling around for anyone who might look. She is full of smiles and positivity. She lives a whirlwind of hedonism to make those around her smile. To entertain them with her stories and parties. Without it all she worries everyone will see her for what she is, just a plain wooden puppet.
After another day of whirling and twirling in ernest, desperate for love, attention and belonging. Our lovely purple puppet droops to the ground, her eyes virtually closed, she is caged by self loathing and the need to please others. Yet again her dance has drained her and still she has not recieved the love and appreciation she so craves.
That night, her dreams were visited by a kindly looking fairy dressed all in green.
"Are you going to turn me into a real girl?" asks the puppet.
The fairy shakes her head and instead puts a rather ugly, bony hand on her head. Her kindly face morphs into something far more sinister. She tugs at our puppets hair until tears spring into her large purple eyes.
"If you want to be free, you have to cut your own strings" hisses the fairy before she dissolves into dust.
Although it's agonizing, our brave little puppet pulls down each string and rips at them with her teeth. It feels like it takes hours, all night in fact. As she rips apart one string another seems to appear. But she continues, silently sobbing through the pain, ripping the strings away.
The next morning she wakes with an odd feeling. She is no longer wooden! She has flesh, skin and bone. No longer does she feel self conscious, desperate for others love and desire. Instead of sparkling with need, our purple puppet shimmers with self assurance and worth. She doesn't even feel the need for the purple eyeshadow.
With this new found self love and respect, she is free from pandering to the demands of others. She finds everyone is looking at her differently. Contrary to her expectations, they are looking at her with real admiration, real respect, they really like her.
Finally, our puppet's heart comes into play.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Gentleman Caller.

For the past few months Miss Mayer has been entertaining a Gentleman Caller.
He's tall, attractive, works out and looks after his health. He's actually a bit blonder than you would expect... perhaps a little gingery? He definitely has a bit of a beard. A man like that always gives Miss Mayer terrible stubble rash but she secretly quite enjoys it, even though it can make her face very sore. Sometimes he wears glasses, but not always.
He's a bit retro in his ways and this is marked by the fact that he likes to wear a hat. Men nowadays never seem to wear hats, it's a real travesty.
The Gentleman Caller has a lovely voice. His accent can often change, sometimes he's northern, sometimes Welsh, sometimes a posh southern boy. A couple of times he has been a bit of an Essex boy. But one thing never changes, Miss Mayer loves listening to him and every intelligent, interesting, sometimes slightly geeky thing he has to say.
He takes the mickey out of her a lot but it's clear he adores her and her ditzyness. He adores the fact she can't put up a tent to save her life or even with a google map in her hand, will still end up going the wrong way. It means that he can sometimes look after her a little bit. Put her to bed when she's had too much to drink and is gabbling away about some rubbish.
I could go on and on about the thoughtful, romantic gestures that the Gentleman Caller could give. But that's not his way and it's not even really what Miss Mayer wants. Flowers on special occasions are nice, he knows that and does his best. But really he just loves being with her, doing things together. He loves it when she bakes for him, he loves it when they lie in bed and read together.  
He's a very decent, reliable and kind man who puts Miss Mayer first. She's more important to him than beer and the boys but only just! And he knows she needs her space to go out with the girls or even just be alone sometimes.
His sense of humour is pretty daft and silly. He's also creative, confident in himself and imaginative. Miss Mayer is always impressed by the fact that he seems to think quite differently to other people, he thinks like her.
He isn't too moody and is quite laid back but this doesn't stop him from being ambitious and passionate.
Although he is a massive softy, he's still a typical bloke. He still watches gory action films, the odd bit of football and/or rugby and is a bit obsessed by breasts and sex.
Despite fulfilling her checklist of 'perfect man wants' the most important thing about Gentleman Caller is that he loves Miss Mayer and would do anything for her. Oh and he thinks she's damn hot stuff. He tells her of these things sometimes, but often he doesn't need to. She can tell by the way he acts.

Yes, the Gentleman Caller really is the perfect man. What a shame he is a mere figment of Miss Mayer's imagination and lives only as the shirt of one of her former boyfriends (we'll call him 'A') and the tie of another former boyfriend, 'B', and a man's trilby she found in a shop in York and thought would rather suit her, all hanging on her clothing rack.

Last week Miss Mayer had an epiphany. She realised she could never move on with her life if she held on to the past, and to an idealised notion of what the perfect man would or could be. She decided that the two former boyfriends would not miss their tie and shirt, considering she'd had them both for a very long time and neither had come back to reclaim them. So she took the tie and the shirt and threw them in the bin.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The inability to stop daydreaming.

A few weeks back I wrote a post about giving up daydreaming. So I thought I would write a little update on how I'm doing with the, well, you know, not daydreaming...

It can't be done.

Seriously, it's totally impossible. 

Although, I've not been daydreaming at work and getting to bed on time a lot more and making it to the gym earlier, all of which are positives. But you can't change the habits of a lifetime in just a few weeks and Ryan Reynolds is too strong a pull to resist for 20 minutes at 6.10pm on the tube. 
I chatted with a friend about this (the inability to stop daydreaming that is, not Ryan Reynolds centered fantasies) and as I've never been one to sleep well she suggested that perhaps daydreaming is the way my brain rests. 
That and it really does cheer me up after a stressful day. 

Thus, I shall reach a compromise. I shall accept that daydreaming is just part of who I am and this will never change but I will try very hard to not daydream in the below situations:

1) At work
2) When I should be down the gym (perfectly fine to daydream while I'm at the gym, helps the time go by in a much more pleasurable manner)
3) When visiting my parents (they deserve my full attention!)
4) When out and chatting to friends (as above)
5) When I'm on a date and meant to be focusing on what the man is saying (insensitive to be daydreaming about Mr Reynolds or Mr Depp at this point really) 
6) When I should be going to bed
7) When I should be having a post run shower (I know, I'm disgusting)
8) When I should be cleaning the kitchen/bathroom/sweeping the living room floor
9) When I'm already running late to meet someone and shouldn't really be making myself later... 

Oooh, Johnny and Ryan, without shirts but with chocolate brownies that don't make you fat. 

Whoops. What can I say, the place in my head is just a nicer place to be.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Giving up my largest vice.

When I was younger I did one of those quizzes in a magazine that determines what kind of personality you are. Obviously such quizzes are often a load of generalised rubbish but this one got me spot on. It said I was one of life's dreamers. Always got my head in the clouds in a world of fantasy.
I live in a little fantasy world a lot more than I live in reality. (N.B I am able to tell the difference between my little fantasy world and reality - I don't have a personality disorder, I assure you all!). I can't even begin to imagine the hours upon hours upon hours of my life I have spent day dreaming. It's my greatest pursuit, my largest vice.
My very vivid and extensive imagination does have some plus points. I can write a silly story at the drop of a hat, I think very creatively at work, I'm more fun to be around as I have a very particular silly outlook on the world. Also, it's a great survival technique, something that keeps me cheerful. If I'm having a crap day I can just day dream about shoes and/or sex for a while and then I feel much better.
However, constant day dreaming has many negatives. A sheer lack of productivity is certainly one of the worst aspects of being a daydreamer. For example, it can be super busy at work, I'm working really hard and then Ryan Reynolds sans shirt chained to the floor a'la that famous scene in Blade pops in my head. Next thing I know, an hour has passed... in reality I have done little more than stare at a spreadsheet but in my fantasy world Ryan and I have met, fallen madly in love, married and he re-enacts that scene for my personal pleasure on a daily basis. Or, I've just got home from a really good night out with my girl mates. I should be going to bed and getting some sleep but I put some music on, lay on my bed and imagine all the amazing holidays and shopping trips me and my girlie mates could go on if I won a million quid on the lottery. Next thing I know, it's nearly two in the morning and I need to be up at 7am. I have lost many a weekend dancing round my house to music and imagining I'm a world famous jazz singer. I read an article recently that people tweeting all the time means they are now easily distracted from life's tasks. I never needed twitter to be distracted - my little fantasy land always did that for me.
Although my daydreaming has made me quite ambitious, as I'm always dreaming about the next big step, the next big thing. I worry that this means I will never be happy or content with my lot. I mean, it's hardly as if my daydreams are rooted in any achievable reality. I don't buy lottery tickets so it's pretty much impossible for me to win, I'm never going to become a world famous jazz singer due to the fact that I suffer from stage fright and it's not as if Ryan Reynolds lives down the road (sad times that). Constant day dreaming means that sometimes I don't appreciate the great things I have achieved and the amazingness of reality!
So, for one week, I have decided to instill some discipline to my head and give up day dreaming. I know this will not be easy. I gave up chewing pens just by putting nail biting solution on them but, as a former colleague pointed out to me, there is no nail biting solution for the brain.
Here are my rules for this week:
1) No music unless I'm doing something. I.e. right now, I have some music on but I'm writing so that's ok. But laying on my bed and putting music on is a no no. It's a sure fire way to day dream and no sleep at all land.
2) I shall have a daydream allowance. Twice a day I walk about twenty minutes to and from work. I have to make this walk so here is where I am allowed to let my brain go mental and have a good day dream to get it out of my system.
3) Instead of listening to my Ipod and daydreaming on the tube I will always read my book no matter how crowded it is. I shall read when I'm waiting for the tube as well.
4) If I start to daydream I shall stop and do something productive.
5) Every day I shall appreciate all the good things about my reality.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Dr Robotham and the 'evil' Roasted Penguin.

There was once a world where mice drove tube trains. The mice bloody loved it and you could hear them squeaking with delight through the trains PA system.
In this world, plays at the theatre would consist of women laughing and little else. And women in general were ruled by the pendants on their necklaces. As little girls, who had not yet been chained by the pendants desires for beauty and love, they would run amok in the fields filled with contentment and happiness.
When each girl hit 13, their fathers would construct a pendant that characterised what he wanted his little girl to be in life. Often, the fathers were kind and gave their daughters pendants of birds so they could continue to be free, although of course, still tempered by the need to be graceful. The girls who were given heart pendants were the worst off, for all they desired in life was the good love of a man, not an easy thing to find at any stretch.
For the daughter of Dr Robotham, there was only one thing her father felt able to give her... a robot pendant that he had named 'Mini Dr Robotham.' He hoped Mini Dr Robotham would guide his daughter through life without the shackles of love and vanity.
She despised Mini Dr Robotham all through school. While her friends had pendants of flowers, hearts, birds and keys (keys to the heart, get it?) she had a clunky robot with diamonds for eyes. But Mini Dr Robotham forced her to study hard, to be clever and disciplined. By just 16 she had already achieved great things.
By 26, she was a celebrated scientist, forging the way in the treatment of cancer. All day, every day, Mini Dr Robotham pushed her on, worked her harder, forced to strive for great breakthroughs.
It was then that she met a man. A fellow scientist who went by the name 'Roasted Penguin.' So called because when he was very angry or very excited about something, he would go red in the face and hop from side to side, like a penguin who had been shoved into a hot oven. Despite this unflattering characteristic, he was exceptionally good looking, kind hearted and in love with, well, Dr Robotham (because that is what she was now, although we'll call her Jennifer, to avoid confusion).
Of course, her miniature hated him and thought him evil. If his protégée was to sense Roasted Penguin's feelings it would stray her from the wrong path! She would forget all about order, good sense and discovery and her life would slide into daydreaming and gooey lovey doveyness (ick). These two traits were not productive! He had to keep her on the right path. Save her from the fates of other women who mooned and cried over men all day and made no real achievements in life.
Whenever Roasted Penguin smiled at Jennifer or helped out with some small deed in order to win her affections, Mini Dr Robotham's diamond eyes would blaze and cause Jennifer a small pain in her chest. He hoped this aversion therapy would put her right off the whole concept of 'love.'
Unfortunately for Mini Dr Robotham, Jennifer assumed the pains were pangs of longing for Roasted Penguin and a desire to no longer be lonely with just her work. For Mini Dr Robotham was merely a little robot and didn't understand the human need to be loved. Despite his best intentions and his attempts to keep them apart, Jennifer returned Roasted Penguin's feelings.
Happily, despite his concerns that their love would lead to a lack of productivity and sentimentality on the part of Jennifer, he was wrong. He had trained her too well to love like that.
And the old adage that two brains are better than one was certainly true here. On her own, Jennifer was a very clever woman, but with Roasted Penguin by her side, she was pure genius.

N.B. There is a man out there who actually goes by the name: 'Roasted Penguin.' I barely know this man and this story has nothing to do with him. I just really liked the name.
Similarly, there is a real person out there who goes by the name 'Dr Robotham.' This is a man I do not know at all and again, this story has nothing to do with him. I just really liked the name.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

For Dan, Hannah and Oscar... for they are the only three who might get this.

Upon once a time there was a lady. She was a great beauty with dark hair and cat like eyes. But more than this, she had charm and depth and a frivolity that was impossible to resist.
On this particular evening, she was flanked by two gentlemen, two gentlemen who were entirely different but entirely the same. (I believe in modern terms, this is considered a bromance.)
First of her gentleman guards there was Oliver. A tall, blond and handsome man who often did push ups behind red velvet sofas (apparently the motion wakes him up, very odd indeed) and secondly there was Daniel, a gentleman of Indian decent who was a master of the piano and an all round 'laugh.'
The three tonight had to look after a ginger creature named Shelley. She drank and talked a lot but her jokes were often amusing, so she was easy to tolerate.
On this particular evening, after an hour or so in what is often known as an 'old man's pub' on Long Acre, this lady and her posse found themselves in an enchanted cave. The cave was decorated with many dancing men, men dressed in fine materials, green sequins, gold silks, purple sashes and silvery pointed shoes. Some men were more than dancing, they were doing difficult yoga positions or swinging on swings. It was quite the sight to behold.
After a glorious meal of stewed meat and pumpkin, lentils and yogurt (generally left for its boringness), the lady felt she should take her posse to Hospital.
Oh I don't mean a hospital with doctors, no one was ill you see. I mean a hospital of the soul... A bar that serves cocktails containing egg whites for a mere nine pounds and sofas covered in faux animal skin. What more could the human condition ask for?!
It is here that the story becomes a muddy affair... the cocktails were of the very strong variety and so the night became blurry... fun, but blurry indeed with conversation and far too comfortable sofas for a trendy bar.
This is where our tale moves to the ginger creature. You see, our fine lady did not overdo her drink and elegantly and easily found herself a bus back to Kensington where she resides. However, the next thing Shelley knew was sitting on an overcrowded night bus back to East London sans posse, pondering why the girl with the shaved head next to her was crying and why the could-be-gay-but-no-one-is-100%-sure man opposite her was rubbing her shoulder and telling her that 'Dave' needed to grow up, that although he loved her he couldn't deal with how special this shaved headed lady is and so had legged it.
And so it is four in the morning and the ginger creature with the terribly amusing jokes and over convoluted vocabulary is tapping away at her lap top trying to tell the tale of her typical Saturday night in London...
In short, when it comes to London ladies and gents, Shelley has one thing to say: Oh baby, it must be love.