Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Two weeks in...

I have been following Paul McKenna's "four golden rules" for two weeks now (God I hate all these cliches) and while I can't exactly rave and swoon in the way some people have been doing about the scheme, something seems to be happening.

Yesterday, in a meeting, my immediate boss said I looked like I'd lost a bit of a weight. That makes three in a week. And, I could be fooling myself and I do realise that these things are a bit relative, but I looked down at my trousers this morning and I thought they looked a trifle looser.

Have I lost weight? err, actually, I don't know. I haven't weighed myself, you see, and while Paul allows you to weigh yourself after two weeks, I didn't get round to doing a preliminary weigh until a few days in, so I'm going to wait until Friday, after which it will be two weeks since weigh-in #1.

I have never really been into dieting (hence this 'non-diet' approach) because I have too clear an understanding of why lots of people immediately gain all the weight again once they finish the diet - they can't stick to punitive regimes. And quite frankly, why would I want to deny myself so many things? With this scheme 'no foods a sin' (yes I know weightwatchers says that too, I told you it was full of cliches) and I even ate the extremely decadent, calorie and cheese laden tartiflette (see here http://gastronomydomine.blogspot.com/2006/01/tartiflette.html for a recipe) on Saturday night - i just ate it really slowly and stopped when I had had my fill.

It's a bit bizarre, actually, for the first time that I can remember, I am still munching away long after Andy has finished. I'm leaving a little bit of food on my plate every day (admittedly, when it's my morning bagel which I LOVE it's a very little bit) and I don't think I've had seconds on any occasion. A couple of times, I woke up in the morning and wasn't hungry yet so instead of forcing down some very dry-tasting toast or whatever, I brought a bagel into work and had it when I developed an appetite.

The thing I am finding a little harder is scheduling my midday meal, in that I pretty much have to take my lunch hour at a certain time so what do you do if you're not actually hungry? Or if you're hungry before then? I always bring in a piece of fruit so that can sometimes help, but still... It's a bit daunting tucking into lunch in front of the skinniest boss on earth. All she seems to eat is sweets and crisps. (Hmmm, healthy).

So I am pleased with the progress so far. However, I really want to lose about three stone, if not four. This is obviously a long-term aim so can I keep this up long-term? I think that I can because to be honest, so far it's not been very hard. Hell, I even went to the gym last night after having already been to a council meeting for work (53 floors on the stepper on five minutes - this is I believe some primeval form of torture - 30 mins on the cross trainer and some weights).

Oh, a question... anybody got any good talking book recommendations that I can put on my MP3 player and listen to at the gym? Preferably stuff I can borrow from the library ;-) It would be nice to have a bit of a change from pumping choons.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

On the heath

I took some really nice pictures today. I've been quite good, actually, I got up ridiculously early for a Sunday (before 10am!) and went to a gruelling hour's spinning class, where I was told our workout was based on a stage of the Tour de France where there are 21 (yes, 21) individual peaks where you have to sprint for 15 seconds before sitting down again for about a minute, then getting up again for the next one.

It was really quite hard to walk home afterwards.

Anyhow, after that impressive show of general healthiness, I went for a walk on the heath with other half. We walked all the way to the top and it was a lovely, sunny day (if cold) so I took my tiny digital camera and took some lovely pictures.

The camera made some slightly weird beeps at me. I wasn't too bothered, clearly the batteries were going but it gets powered through my laptop when you upload the pictures. Imagine my anger when I plugged it in and it said it had no pictures on it. So, if the battery runs out it loses all the pictures then. Just so you know, there were several really nice views of the town of Newmarket and a picture of a young man kite-surfing (I'm pretty sure that's what he was doing, anyway).

To make up for what I'm sure will be a huge disappointment to you (not being able to see the home of horseracing in all its glory), here's a picture of my cat Missy, looking furry and purry.

Friday, January 27, 2006


I just wrote a long, involved, post about how what people wear affects people's impressions of them.

Then I thought, this is really obvious and boring.

So instead I'm going to campaign for Maggot of Goldie Lookin' Chain fame to win Celebrity Big Brother.

Go Maggot!
(I touched his hand once, you know)

I would also just like to share - yesterday, I got my second unsolicited "have you lost weight" comment. Go Frangelita!

Also, Other Half told me, quite romantically I thought, that he had felt my bulges and they were definitely less bulgy. He is now recovering from severe concussion from a blow to the head....kidding.

I am loving the new clock which I have installed on my blog (tells the time and everything), courtesy of following a link from the beep's blog. I'm sorry, I'm feeling too lazy/thick to figure out how to link to him. I think it's www.beepola.blogspot.com There you go.

I am also loving the gay cowboy movie review on sex, money and html (link under blogs I like - yep, I'm that lazy today).

I guess I'd better just reiterate my main message - if you give a s*&t, vote Maggot for BB. Honestly, welsh gangsta rapping. Just makes me wet myself even thinking about it.

Go Maggot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Baby wombat

I realised that this has all been a bit heavy and I haven't posted a picture for ages. So here is a picture of a baby wombat courtesy of the beeb

Continued weight-loss obsession

I wasn't always a lard-arse. Actually, I don't really think of myself as a lard-arse now, more of a work in progress who is a bit cuddly.

I know exactly why I'm not the size I was when I was 18 (only six short years ago). It's down to three key reasons all spurred by going to university.

1.I stopped doing between four and eight hours gymnastics training every week. Before uni, I was a keen and fairly good recreational gymnast and there were only club sessions a certain number of times a week, so if I didn't go, I didn't get to train. Gym is one of the best allover forms of exercise there is, working every muscle you can think of (and some you didn't think you had) plus its really good fun. During the summer months I had to run round the massive field twice before the session started, then do 30 minutes of fairly strenuous cardio and stretching and then the gym itself. But seeing as I was only recreational level (ie I was never going to compete for my university and win stuff) the university couldn't really offer me any continued training facilities. So I stopped that pretty much overnight.

2. I was forced to start eating new things and discovered a love of cooking (and, err, eating). This may sound like a good thing, especially considering pre-uni my diet largely consisted of chicken nuggets, fish-fingers, potatoes, curry and occasionally pilchards or cheese on toast, but when there is a whole world of new and delicious things to eat, you just kind of do. I also discovered the impossibility of cooking for one - so cooked for two and ate both portions (limited fridge space, you see). Having been taught not to waste food (my Dad is really big on this, he makes people eat the three remaining carrots when we are so stuffed we can't move), I was hardly about to throw it away.

3. I fell in love with someone who loves me for who I am. In almost all respects, this is clearly a good thing. But living with someone who you care a lot about means that generally, I would rather snuggle up and play silly games than go to the gym or go for a walk. I'm under no pressure to lose weight to attract some shallow man in a nightclub. Plus, while OH is no chubby chaser, he does not like the idea of me losing a lot of weight and any time when I am working especially hard, he tells me if I get any thinner I will vanish (obviously this is nonsense).

I reckon with this combination of factors, I gained almost three stones during my university years, and since then I've put on about another stone. That's not great, is it?

I guess I am a little unusual for people who are as overweight as I am because I actuall eat quite healthily, just too much, and I am also reasonably fit - which unfortunately makes it rather harder to lose weight. And also, I bloody love food:-)

To end on a positive note - I got my first (unsolicited) 'have you lost weight' comment last week from someone I used to work with and hadn't seen for a couple of weeks. Keep 'em coming.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Surefire weight loss tips

I've been thinking about this. There are a few surefire ways to lose weight fairly rapidly. See what you think.

  1. Get a tapeworm - this may prove extremely bad for health but you will definitely lose weight as the worm eats all your food. I understand they're quite common in undercooked pork (of course, you might die of some other gastric ailment)
  2. Develop some kind of vomiting sickness - if you're throwing up all your food you can hardly hang onto the calories but again, a fair chance of permanent damage.
  3. Go to prison - this even worked for porky Bridget Jones. Of course, the incessant buggery, malnutrition, lack of vitamins and exercise probably won't make it too pleasant a stay.
  4. Go to hospital - apparently hospital food is so rancid, you just can't eat any of it.
  5. Amputation - I nicked this idea off someone else's blog, but for a limb you would lose a couple of stone in one fell swoop, who cares if you're a bit hobbly afterwards.
  6. Suffer paralysis of the alimentary canal - meaning you physically can't eat and have to be fed through a tube - you're hardly going to overeat, are you.
  7. Give birth - the disadvantage to this is that while you do lose an awful lot of weight very quickly, you have to pork out quite a bit first
  8. Row the atlantic (I saw James Cracknell and Ben Fogle after they did it, and it definitely works)
  9. Ride a heavy motorbike around the world (I saw Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman do this - he lost about four stone)
  10. Only eat what you can kill and grow - this would be particularly effective for me as my growing/hunting area is a small barren area of concrete and I'm too much of a wuss to kill anything (other than cheating boyfriends, but I obviously wouldn't eat them)
  11. Walk around carrying your bodyweight in stones (or some other similar thing) - I read this in some fantasy book but I'm 100 per cent convinced of its efficacy.
  12. Stop eating altogether - but where's the fun in that?

Hmm, most of these are really not very appealing. Actually I would quite like to row the atlantic, but I get knackered after 15 minutes on the rowing machine (no actual water, much less the freezing atlantic) so I'm pretty sure I would die. I also used to like the idea of being the youngest woman to climb Everest, but seeing as I don't climb and I don't have £25,000 it's probably never going to happen.

On a continued weight loss theme, Celebrity FAT club's Mick Quinn (apparently some footballer) opened a gym near us today. He said it was going 'well' but wouldn't tell us how much he had lost before tomorrow's fit camp weigh-in. Shameful. I did take heart that all of this year's fat celebrities are actually fatter than me.

So having thought long and hard about the above surefire weight-loss tip, I think I'm going to stick with eating less and doing more. I'm still listening to the hypnotist man, btw, but instead of feeling all this inner radiance and confidence and seeing the weight melting away and not thinking about food at all, I'm finding it so damn hard to figure out if I'm hungry or not I'm thinking about food even more! Hmmmm. Well, Friday week I'm going to step on the scales again so if I hear good news, I'll stick with it. I mean, it can't hurt. And I'm not ready for any of the measures above (which, obviously, I do not recommend).

Keep thinking thin thoughts.

Friday, January 20, 2006


This is something that makes me angry. Not because I'm a bit tubby (more than a bit, I weighed myself today and it was quite a shock, I can tell you), not because it's a pretty silly thing to do when you live in a developed country with plenty to eat.

No, I experienced anorexia almost firsthand. A close friend of mine developed it when I was at school and I had to sit back and watch while she became smaller and bonier.

The reason I'm sharing it with you now is because I've discovered there are a number of websites dedicated to anorexics giving them handy hints about what to do.

Anorexia can literally kill you. Your body needs nutrients to survive so as you lose body fat you get hairier (the hair is to keep you warm because there is no fat to do its normal job) your periods stop, perhaps permanently if you do enough damage, you are likely to find yourself weak and possibly prone to fainting, and you can develop osteoporosis.

If you over exercise in this state, you have none of the necessary joint protection, which can lead to arthritic problems and puts increased pressure on weakened bones (from the lack of calcium).

And if you throw up, you destroy your stomach lining, the enamel on your teeth and seriously weaken your heart. It's likely to give you crippling stomach cramps.

Your hair becomes dull, your skin greasy, your lips cracked. Imagine people who have survived a prolonged period of starvation, like siege victims or people at concentration camps. Yep, that's how hot you become.

I'd like to add that my friend never became that ill. She was threatened with hospitalisation or starting to eat, and, quite literally, she chose life. Now she can polish off a chocolate cake with the best of them, and not feel guilty about it.

But today's society has changed from how it was for her, nine years ago. How much skinnier are celebrities? How much more focus is put on losing weight, diet secrets of the stars and the dangers of obesity? Lets not forget it's just as dangerous to be too thin. When I see people like Nicole Richie, I can just imagine her snapping in two. But these people talk with pride about how they can eat what they want or about their ridiculously strict regimes. Liz Hurley admitted (and subsequently, I think, said her remarks were taken out of context) that she only ate one meal a day and went to bed hungry.

Most teenagers see their bodies in a warped funhouse mirror. So when they look at the tv schedules and see how many famous, important people are thin, and how all the terrible fatties out there need to be on these strict diet plans, how tempting must it be to do something about it.

When someone develops anorexia, they hurt more than just themselves. They become secretive, develop disgusting habits such as hiding and hoarding food, they tend to lose interest in previous passions. Their families don't know what to do, or how to help.

I was shocked and angry when I first learned about these pro-anorexia websites. Chances are these people with abysmal self-esteem are beautiful and slender before they start destroying their bodies. And there really is help out there for people with a problem with food - medical websites, your GP, any doctor, friends, the school nurse. They are probably more willing to listen and less judgemental than you think. Don't get advice from a bunch of other people who are slowly killing themselves. If you saw them clearly, you would know how wrong it is.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Unsettling side effects

I'm in Day two of the Paul McKenna I can make you thin plan. So far, I have had no strange inexplicable urges likely to have been brought on by surreptitious mind-conditioning through the hypnosis CD - ie dancing like a chicken or eating a raw onion, as one of the people who bought the book and lost weight said happened to them at a live show.

Unless of course you count dancing without warning like a mad thing, but I think anyone who knows me would confidently reassure you that this is perfectly normal behaviour.

As hoped, by trying to follow the 'golden rules' (I think this is what I hate most about diets/losing weight, all the hideous cliches), I'm pretty sure I ate less, but then I didn't really eat as much fruit and good things as usual because although I thought I should, I didn't actually want to. As per Paul's rules.

But, lying in bed watching Desperate Housewives, I started to get tummy cramps. Arriving at the loo, I had sudden, violent diarrhoea. Now hangabout here, if this is how Paul gets you thin, by sneakily making your stomach reject food through your ass, I don't want any part of it. Then again, I did eat some unwashed grapes which probably wasn't the best plan.

That pleasant feeling passed, but all today I've had stomach cramps and once had to make a dash to the loo with what I thought was going to be a recurrence. It turned out to be a fart, but none the less, I am a tad concerned.

Am still planning to hit the spinning class (which is a form of tortuous exercise involving cycling on a bike that pushes back at you) tonight and weigh myself, which is a little worrying, but if I still have this pain I'm just a tiny bit concerned I might inadvertantly poo myself. Not that this has ever happened before but you can't be too careful.

One other thing which seems to be happening is instead of dropping off, relaxed after my hypnosis CD, I'm really not sleeping very well. Maybe I need to listen to them earlier on, we'll have to see.

Catch you later. *thinking positive thoughts about being slim with a healthy body with firm musclees*

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I can make you thin

This is a lie. Clearly I cannot make you thin. I don't know who you are or whether indeed you are fat. However, I have taken the plunge, in keeping with New Year's resolution number one for the past two? three? years, in purchasing a diet book.

Actually, that's a lie too. What I have actually bought is I Can Make You Thin book and hypnosis CD.

Now I'm not a sceptic per say, but I do have a healthy sense of the likely and the really quite unlikely. I am also extremely knowledgeable about what does actually make you thin. Only one thing - eat less and do more (well, it's hardly rocket science, is it). But that's actually quite hard really.

I know how diets work and more importantly how they don't work (being completely unattainable and impossible to follow, forcing you to start eating things you hate and stop eating everything you like). I know quite a lot of things about being healthy and indeed I do eat a lot of fruit, veg, brown rice and wholemeal bread. That's my problem, really, the eating A LOT of it.

I've toyed with the idea of weightwatchers before. I even photocopied some of the info sheets off a mate. And I don't dispute that for some people, it works. But for me, it's just far too prescriptive - keeping track of every single thing you eat, buying all kinds of silly things most of which will go rotten cos really, who eats that much purple sprouting broccoli in the three days before its past its sell by date, and generally spending a lot of time hungry.

I was bored and curious so I looked up the Paul McKenna thing on amazon. The advice fits in with what I know to be true (your body goes into starvation mode if you don't eat often enough, there's no point in forbidding yourself stuff you're going to crave) and more importantly, virtually every reviewer said they had lost weight and felt better. Also, it represented no extra strange shopping, a one-off payment of less than a tenner and something entertaining to write about.

So I bought it. Read the book last night - rules are as follows.
1.eat when you are hungry
2.eat what you want to eat not what you think you should
3.eat slowly and consciously enjoy every mouthful
4. when you think you are full, stop eating.

Sounds simple enough. Except, err, how can you tell whether you are really hungry and when you are just experiencing an unnecessary craving? Practice, I guess, but I do know one of my big problems is eating when I know I'm full. So I'm going to think really hard about that.

I also listened to the CD. Don't think I was enormously hypnotised, but a lot of the stuff made some sense - it's not like he was telling me that food would turn me into a heffalump and all I could eat was celery. No, it's more along the lines of "you want to taste lovely fresh, healthy food" and "imagine your thinner self" "fill yourself with positive thoughts".

Oh, and you're also not supposed to weigh yourself for at least two weeks. Not too much of a problem, I stopped weighing myself long ago when I had a hissy fit that all the scales were AT LEAST TWO STONE OUT. But I should get a beginning reading and am going spinning tomorrow, so I'll try and surreptitiously hop on the scales then.

Am supposed to listen to the old CD every day when I can, so I shall try to keep that up. Will keep you posted on my success.

Here's to a slim, healthy, me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Walking the streets of London

No,not in the prostitute sense. I had a slightly silly weekend. Living as I do near Cambridge and being invited to a night out in London, somehow the cheapest and best way to do this seemed to involve going via Oxford. Hmm. Anyway, us being general cheapskates, we decided not to join everyone else at School Disco (please, we're just a little bit old for that now). After a certain amount of time, school skirts and ties just look wrong. After about the age of 15, really.

Initially there were going to be lots of us going to this other club, some place called Collide-a-Scope which actually appeared to be the student union of one of the London colleges, but due to illness, confusion and other stuff, it ended up being me, other half and best friend. None of whom were actually celebrating our birthdays. This place had pints for £2 and entry for £5 - in London! - and a fab view of the Thames - no really, you could actually, drink, dance and watch Big Ben, the houses of parliament and the London Eye at the same time.

So good time was had by all, then it came time to leave. From Surrey Street, Holborn, to Marble Arch where our bus was going. We looked at the tube map (which by then had of course finished) and it didn't look all that far. We asked the nice bouncer man and he sort of laughed when we said we would walk. He sort of gave us directions, but by this time other half had lost patience and started walking. Bouncer man (who was quite burly and black) said oh, he looks like he knows where he's going.

He didn't.

But it wasn't that hard, as it turned out, just long and far. And for some reason, other half, who is a foot taller than me, and best friend who is actually two inches shorter than me, decided to march at speed the whole way. I mean, really, really fast. My 'funky' trainers are not really that comfy (at least it was trainers) and I had developed at least eight blisters within minutes.

It's a pretty nice walk at night, actually, much less crowds and all the buildings are visible and lit up all prettily - you can actually see them. It's quite cool.

However, no time to stand and stare with OH and BF, oh no, it was marching all the way. Were they trained in the SS or something? There was a reason for this - if we missed this particular bus, we would have to wait a whole hour for the next one. But still, I was panting away, having already expended all my energy boogeying on down in the club. And walking earlier. There was generally a lot of walking.

It took a really long time to get to Oxford Street. It then took an even longer time (well, the blisters were getting really quite agitated by this stage) to get from there to Marble Arch.

So finally we're at Marble Arch which is like a massive roundabout. The bus stop was two massive carriageways and a small piece of park away. How to get there? No obvious or nearby pedestrian crossings. A subway - which, on close inspection, was thoroughly gated and dang it all if I hadn't forgotten by wirecutters.
So throwing caution to the wind(s) I grabbed OH and BF and dragged them across the road - at least four lanes - obviously checking both ways like a good little girl, only to find a rather peculiar trough-like barrier on the other side. Not jumpable with my 5'3" frame, so some rather inelegant climbing followed. Across the park. Then, goldarn it, another troughy thing. So more clambering.
This second section of carriageway was a bit more hairy. Largely because this was where all the buses went. And you just do wiggle quite a bit when a massive bus goes past you.

Of course, we did eventually succeed in crossing the road. And who needs limbs, really, I mean four is more than many people have. I'm quite happy with a pair of tits and a head on my shoulders.

The bus back was a bit full of extra enthusiastic teens. We fell asleep.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Blockbusters three for £5 for a week

I saw the above offer. And I thought, well, why not? For some reason not entirely clear to me (and possibly influenced by reading Tabbyrabbit's review of Land of the Dead (actually it may have been Dawn of the Dead, I read the review but not the title), I was eager to see a film involving the living/un-dead. Noticing in the shop as I did that the new cartoon thing featuring both Ricky Gervais and Ewan McGregor (sadly not in the flesh) was out, I would also have settled for a movie involving pigeons. Err, just the one I just mentioned, then.

Unfortunately, for reasons even he cannot explain to me, zombies and the living dead in general scare the bejaysus (is that right sp?) out of other half. Extreme gore, mass murderers, horrific stories based on true crimes are all fine. It's just the implausible possibility of some dead people getting out of their final resting place and wandering around, shambolically and groaning a lot.

So we decided to try and make us all happy with the three for a week offer and watch things neither of us had seen before. So, after much deliberation, we chose Jeepers Creepers, Requiem for a Dream, and Identity.

In the order we saw them -
Identity - not bad. Nice twist, but a little high on the spooky child element (am not at all keen on freakish children, it's just wrong). Nothing too outstanding, but an original premise quite tightly worked out.

Jeepers Creepers - Oh my god. What a crock of shit. Started promisingly enough with a bickering brother and sister taking a teenage roadtrip home after university. But, seeing as she insists on taking the country route, they obviously find a terrifying monster who runs them off the road. Feeds into a lot of decent cliches such as curiosity killed the cat and in a sort of self-aware way makes reference to them. At this stage, genuinely quite spooky. Then we actually find out more what the killer is. And it's the biggest pile of pants story I've ever seen/heard. I won't give it away (not that I'm recommending anyone waste their life watching this) but come on, really? Its one saving grace is the very end where it decides to be a little bit brave and avoid the copout happy ending, but all in all, there were unnecessarily gruesome bits and the killer thing was just plain ridiculous.

Requiem for a Dream - heartrendingly upsetting. Got this out because other half had heard there was a scene involving a double-ended dildo (which there is, but trust me, even if that kind of thing turns you on, it is in no way sexy. at all) and because it has Jared Leto in it. Didn't really know much else about it. I suppose the best way to describe it is a poignant depiction of how drugs of any kind and addiction can destroy once beautiful relationships and lives. And the ending was just deeply, deeply depressing. I actually cried because while I'm aware it's all made up, there are people for whom that is their life. And the way they film it, you can kind of understand how they got there. Also the cinematography of how they show the drugs being taken and juxtaposition of different stories and different states of mine is really well done.
But it's not one to watch on your own, late at night, feeling vulnerable.

So those were my films of the week, I think Requiem for a Dream was the best one but it was very far removed from light entertainment. If I were you, I would just go and borrow a pirate copy of next season's Lost (haha I did that too, I know what's down the hatch).

Off for a weekend of drinking and dancing.

Keep safe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Worrying discoveries

I have found out something rather disconcerting. Two people I work with read my blog. Eeek. It's funny, because I'm happy for my Mum to read my blog and indeed encourage it (well, no-one else leaves quite so many friendly comments) but work friends? Hell, half the time I'm at work *coughs hurriedly* err, thinking about work (yeah that's believable) as I blog. So it's just a tad concerning that these people are reading the comments I'm blithely putting down about my hopes and dreams (that I won't be working with them for too much longer - nothing personal guys!).

I had a conversation with my mum over Christmas about different relationships we have. We both agreed that the other one is easy to be with. This, for me, is because I am lucky that I have always been able to talk to my mum about pretty much anything - with one exception. Sex. Don't want it discussed.

Unlike when I was in my early teens and most definitely not sexually active when I felt it was completely appropriate to ask my mother absolutely everything I could think of - was she a virgin when she got married, how many people did she sleep with, how old was she, who was the first...

Wisely or not, she decided to treat me in a very mature fashion and answered all my questions fully and in great detail. I can't actually remember all the answers, but did think I was shockingly naughty to get all the juicy facts out of her.

My mum has always answered me fairly frankly. I was, what polite people would call a "precocious" child. Some would say a pain in the neck know-all. I would spend all my time reading books, full of burning questions. Didn't have too many friends but the ones I got I kept (just as well, they know wear the bodies are buried).

Here are some good questions I distinctly remember asking when I was little.

ME: Mum, is Jesus a man?
MUM, sounding nervous: Yes dear, why?
ME: I just wanted to check because when he comes back to be king of the world,I want to marry him and be queen of the world.

Hmm, early delusions of grandieur.

Anyway, going back to the point. I have a lot of people in my life and some of them are just exhausting to be around. My best friend, EM, I can completely be myself with. Not at all difficult company. My boyfriend, also easy to be with. But beyond that small circle, it gets harder.

My relationship with my uni friends is based more on performance - all relating to when we met and the place we were at. Being together is just fun. But you can't just sit down and watch TV. Oh no, it's all about besting each other. Which for me, usually involves doing ill-advised gymnastic manoeuvres in nightclubs (that's another story) which generally leads to much hilarity. On more than one occasion, it has also led to a certain amount of pain. My Dad, bless his cotton socks, needs a certain amount of praise and support all the time - my sister to some extent too. My brother I just fight with constantly because we are sort of fundamentally different. Or possibly too similar, I don't know.

As for my work friends, well, they're my bitches. (joking, will, if you're reading) Actually they're pretty easy work too.

I guess you need different people for different things - I guess I quite like being the centre of attention (no, really, I hear you scream) and that's part of me too, the flambuoyant performer. BUt sometimes I like to do veg out. And I always like to slag off other fat people (not real ones, celebrities. and occasionally weird people I write stories about), for which my immediate boss is an excellent companion.

Must go now, Lost finale is on. May blog immediately after with shock/confusion/disappointment/excitement/disgust....

No more Sawyer for months! I don't know how I will survive.

Monday, January 09, 2006

my house

Bought an extremely cheap tiny digital camera t'other day. Unfortunately it seems surprisingly difficult to use. I have taken a number of pictures of my nose - and one of my other half looking rather like a dead body lying on the floor. But I did manage to take one of my house and of my cat. Here they are.

Rubbish euphemisms for death

If anyone finds this offensive, please let me know and I'll take it off. I work on a local paper and we get dreadfully worded death notices in on a regular basis - grammatically incorrect, rampacked full of cliches and things which make no sense. It's just not respectful and the person who died deserves simple, elegant prose.

Here are some things that irritate me.

She fell asleep – what, so she’s going to wake up after a nice long rest?
He lost his parents – highly careless, surely he can find them again if he just looks in the right place.
Mrs Norman leaves behind a husband and two children – well, I think we would all think less of her if she tried to take them with her.
Eric passed on – as in he said no, I’ll pass on the sprouts cos they make me a bit gassy.

Other pants things used in obituaries and death notices
Clichés such as – Gone but not forgotten – so why do you need to put a bleeding ad in?

I’m also not at all keen on people who ‘bravely’ suffer illness and disease – yes, it’s horrible but it’s not like you have much choice about it, really, is it? Far braver are the people facing life without them. Or firemen who die rushing in to save someone but that is a positive action, rather than just accepting something which you don’t have a choice about.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sympathetic person but let’s be honest, they died. You can be gentle and kind without reverting to mawkish oversentimentality. I’m not even saying call a spade a spade, I’m just saying what we journalists get taught in hack school – KISS keep it short and simple. Much more appropriate and accurate.

Friday, January 06, 2006

My friends love me

I directed some of my uni mates to this site.

This was their response...

"I have looked at your website - it's sh!t.

Only joking Fran. Anything compiled by you, or about you is amazing.

Susini x x "

And from Dan -
"fran your website is s h i t as it has no c o c k on it "

Yeah, cos I'm really going to post g a y p o r n on my tasteful lovely blog.

He did send this later on, however -
"(I actually thought Fran's website was ace, but it was far funnier to slag it off)"

Big Brother & My Name is Earl

I must warn I may be about to start blogging obsessively about Celebrity Big Brother. I know I should be ashamed, but I'm not.

Highlights so far:
*Essex bimbo to Michael Barrymore and the former baywatch bint - What's a gynaecologist?
*Bloke from some band which had a number 1 in Japan and Jodie Marsh, to BB - Can you please tell us the names of all the people in here?
BB-Big Brother does not answer General Knowledge questions.

So, erm, what questions does Big Brother actually answer? Is it in fact that BB doesn't actually know any of these answers? Hmm, let's think on that one.

I have been going off the programme of recent years because the people are so objectionable in general. I know dozens of people who would be more entertaining to watch.

However, I just think it was genious putting Maggot from Goldie Lookin Chain in. First words - I'm just here to make up the numbers.
At least he's honest about it! When i was at glastonbury this year, I saw the Chain (twice) and Maggot did a bit of crowd pleasing and touched my hand. Sad to say it was rather cold and clammy.

Ok, scrap BB, I've just started watching My Name is Earl and I have seen, ooh, all of 2 minutes and I love it. Comedy sideburns, beercan tag,and inappropriate, big afro man. As in the afro was big, the man was actually quite slim.

Ooh, no, Earl got hit by a car. All this crap about women multi-tasking is clearly bullshit as here I was, about to put down my feelings about life, the universe and everything and instead I'm just blindly recording everything that I see.

Question - how come there aren't more tv presenters wearing hats in this country? And baseball caps don't count?

There should in fact be more hats generally. I am an advocate of people wearing top hats and canes to work, and "fascinators" down the shop. Sign up here to the "wear more hats" campaign.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Feeling better

I was going to write this post about how I was feeling much better than the other day.
Then I was overwhelmed by an uncontrollable sneezing attack. This seems rather unfair. I don't feel headachey etc anymore or ridiculously blocked up, but instead I am finding that I am sneezing an awful lot which seems to be rather painful to my throat.

Was thinking today about things I worry about - well, the new year is a time for hopes AND fears. This could sound a bit depressive, which I'm not, so I'll try and keep it to the more humourous ones.

I'm afraid that...

-I'm actually fatter than those people I secretly gawp up and think 'cor, he/she's been eating a few too many pies'...
-I'll wake up one day, never having written any books but having spent all my life saying I'm going to write a book...
-Someone will publish my book but no-one will buy it and it will be destroyed and made into road surfacing...
-My book will be published and universally panned and I will forever be known for having written something so dreadful...
-I will continue to grow at my current rate until one day I take over the whole world instead of being merely the size of a small house...
-One day, driving along in my car, all four wheels will fall off and I will die in a terrible accident...
-All my friends secretly dislike me but carry on hanging out with me cos I'm so damn persistant...and cos I can do backflips...
-I'm actually more boring than the people Iwith whom I switch off mid-conversation...
-My belief in my own various abilities has been fostered by doting parents and secretly I'm a bit shit at everything (I'm certainly no good at football)...
-I'm going to wake up one dayand find I'm knee deep in nappies and have inadvertantly become a smug married with heaps of children and be unable to speak about anything other than their EXTREMELY BORING habits...
-If I want to lose weight I may have to stop eating cheese...
-An electric cable is going to fall down as I walk under it and electrocute me...
-The damp in my house will spread until I develop a terrible case of consumption (or whatever it is you get from damp) and die slowly and painfully...

Oh well, you need to have some dark to make the light look brighter.

Troubling emissions

I found this on the beeb today. Quite revolting I thought, but
  • click here
  • if you're interested

    Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    I have NYE pictures

    Susie and Sally Dan and Susie
    Me and John
    Me John and Sally
    The whole gang
    Me and other half


    I lived here for three years when I was doing my degree. I miss living by the sea. It's very calming when you feel lost, angry or confused.

    Poorly sick

    I appear to have come down with a nasty cold. This comes after a couple of weeks of saying 'oh, poor you' to a coughing and spluttering other half while inwardly smirking about how well and healthy I am.
    Now whose laughing?
    I am not very ill really, but enough to forgo a nice dinner and watching Blackadder DVDs in favour of dosing on the sofa with a lemsip wearing more clothes than would strictly speaking be necessary for a visit to Siberia. This is annoying as I like Blackadder v much.
    Now that I have abandoned my sickbed (well, sofa with duvet on it) for blogging, cheeky other half has taken it! Damn cheeky!

    I have decided a full account of NYE celebrations would be too shocking and reveal too much. I will, however, put some pictures of us looking fabulous up asap.

    Instead, I will talk about that old chesnut, New Year's Resolutions. Last year I vowed to lose two stone, move house and get a new job.

    Well, I moved house...

    I'm going to reiterate my intentions to lose weight and find some job satisfaction...either where I am now or elsewhere and add a couple.
    • I will make my gym membership worth paying £28 a month for (which means I only need to go twice a week and I already do yoga once a week so it can't be that hard).
    • I will start learning to speak Arabic (an invaluable skill, I feel, for journalists today)
    • I will start taking dance classes so I actually look those bods of Strictly Come Dancing instead of imagining that I do.

    It's a funny time of reassessment, January time - especially considering that this month marks the anniversary of when I started work.

    Me and my friends of the fancy dress NYE celebrations fame decided we would all exchange best moments of 2005.

    Here are some of mine...

    • Winning a writing award (no fear, it wasn't for blogging)
    • Spending two weeks travelling in Israel with my best friend
    • Getting wet, loud and joyful at Glastonbury festival
    • A night spent with my two gay best friends at Heaven, the biggest gay nightclub in the world (apparently)

    And some hopes for the new year...

    • Go to Thailand
    • That some of the people in my life who have had a very bad year for one reason or another have good times ahead.
    • I finally have the courage to start writing one of the many books I have stored not very safely up in my head.

    Wish me luck!

    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    Happy New Year!

    Well, the new year has been had.

    I told my other half just now I had been blog wandering. He asked if this was a technical term and I said it was. He then went off talking about the strange language us bloggers used and said *oh, a blog which hasn't been updated for a while is a nog and isn't that blog wandering business called a flog and a new blog is a drog?* Teehee, different world.

    He is over my shoulder reading. Unnecessary censorship, I feel.

    Anyway, clearly it is the new year. I will give full details about a truly ridiculous weekend of drunken debauchery (during which my friend Dan who is very gay was invited to apply to become a drag queen in the club we were visiting). But as the other half is pressuring me to let him check something (sadly, probably just the Lincoln City football results) I will give you the full version tomorrow.

    Okay, so the expurgated version is as follows...highlights include walking ten minutes to Clapham North station to find it was closed due to the tube strike... with all of us in ridiculous sixties outfits including Dan dressed as a very unattractive woman...deciding to walk all the way to Stockwell in our outfits, receiving millions of honks from disbelieving and NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF IT ALL drivers... travelling on a packed tube to Old Street where not a single other person was in fancy dress...arriving at the restaurant 40 minutes late where Dan was hit on by dozens of seemingly normal straight women...walking to the club and queuing up with lots of other 60s/70s folk where Dan, now very drunk, indulged in noisy frottage and made up an embarassing and inappropriate rhyme which I don't think you want to hear...dancing and having our photograph taken about 18 times by who I can only hope was the club photographer and not just some random old man who likes pictures of strangely dressed folk (entirely possible seeing as almost my entire bosom was on display)...swimming...putting my wig back on over drenched hair and my dress over the top of my sodden bikini and continuing to dance...chatting up a man who looked remarkably like Will Young on the tube home (not me, obviously I am unavailable)...saying happy new year to complete strangers in McDonalds, Brixton (shaming, I know, but we didn't actually eat anything there because I ran out of patience).

    There is so much more to say, I shall endeavour to get pix on asap but we brought a disposable with us which my friend Dan has so it may be a little while before he gets his arse in gear to send the pix to us. Other half took some on his mobile, may try and do something cunning with those. Not sure how...

    Anyway Happy New Year!

    Here's a random picture from my collection just for fun.