Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Low maintenance

We were watching Big Brother last night (I make no apologies but I was doing other stuff at the same time) and HF was going absolutely spare at the waste of space that is "Nicky" who is the very definition of the word high maintenance. He was extremely angry at how shallow she was. I asked him if he thought I was high maintenance and he rather sweetly said I wasn't at all (apart from obviously needing constant reassurance, but no-one's perfect).

Anyway, so I'm a pretty low maintenance girl, I would say. I don't wear make-up to work. Or to the gym. I only in fact wear it when I am going out somewhere of an evening, which these days seems to be increasingly less frequently. And if I'm really doing myself up, I don't spend more than half an hour, tops (of course, if I'm drinking simultaneously it tends to take a bit longer due to all the redoing it after smearing mascara on my cheek and earlobe).

My skincare regime is pretty brief and while I obviously wash and condition my hair, I have no time for all these new-fangled treatments. I have recently discovered that actually, sometimes, I quite like straightening my hair. But if I can't be bothered, I just tie it back and try and detract from it with a slightly manic smile.

I never paint my nails, I don't do waxing (did it once at home, screamed, wasn't impressed with the results and vowed never to do it again) and only shave my legs infrequently in the winter.

I tend to ignore fashion unless it looks bitchin' on me (some things suit short and curvy - lots of things do not) so a lot of my clothes are pretty old and if I'm going somewhere I'm going to get hot and sweaty, or muddy, I wear something old, loose and comfortable, hang what it looks like.

For a long time I pretty much didn't bother cutting my hair (or got it cut at the student barbers who charged men or women a fiver to get snipped - bargain) but I am becoming quite fond of my crowning glory. I still don't get it cut every six months, do I look like I'm made of money? Could do with a trim right now though...

Anyhoo, getting to the point. As part of the old Paul McKenna weightloss thing, you have to visualise yourself at your ideal weight - and when I visualised myself, I had lovely reddish hair, much like it used to be when I used to dye it.

So I broached the subject at work, just, you know, to get a feeling for whether they looked shocked or horrified. There was a slightly uneasy silence.
Boss said: What would look really nice, frangelita, is if you got several different colours put in. But I've never seen someone who dyed their hair at home without thinking oh, they've dyed their own hair.
I countered with the price - she said oh, it would only cost about £70.

To me, that is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on your hair. Plus, it might look DREADFUL, and then having spent all that money you would feel duty-bound to say oh, thanks and keep schtum. I used to dye my hair and the worst thing that ever happened was I spilt red stuff on the carpet. Plus, my sister dyes her hair a different colour roughly every six weeks and it always looks really good (apart from when she was about 13 and used sun-in and turned her hair to straw).

So what do you think on home hair jobs? Good, bad or ugly? To see me with red hair (admittedly when I was about 15) turn to Quiet Pictures on the links on the side. I did that.

More on that story later.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Black and blue

I bruise easily. (Ooh, that sounds like a song lyric. But then I'm probably mishearing the song in my head).

As a child, I wasn't a tomboy exactly, but I read a lot of books about tomboys and I wanted to be one. I used to play in trees, fall over quite a lot and be generally quite scraped. I also did up to 10 hours gymnastics a weel, including lots of bar work where I ended up with really quite bruised thighs. And really hard, calloused palms. I was also a tad, umm, reckless about my own personal safety, once nearly breaking my neck falling off the bars. I was convinced I was invincible, and so sported lots of cuts and bruises resulting from my daredevil antics.

Now I'm 24 and theoretically an adult people look at you funny if you climb trees. There are also less opportunities generally to extend the bounds of human capability in a bruising fashion - I don't ride a motorcycle - with all the health and safety regulations.

However, I still manage to end up with marks all over my body. Currently I have a welt on my hand, some scarring over my left fore-arm, a couple of scratches on my leg, one REALLY BIG bruise on my right thigh, and lots of little bruises which you can't really see but I know they are there.

Basically, I'm really quite clumsy. For a former gymnast, I am extremely accident prone, I stub my toes ALL THE TIME, I walk into things, I bang my head on car doors and I lift hot trays out of the oven without appropriate protective gear. I tend to scream and yelp when these things happen because it really, really hurts - even if only for a fairly brief period. I feel like hitting whoever is closest so they can see how much it hurts.

There isn't much I can do about most of this, it's just the way I am. A lot of the toe stubbing is done in the morning before I put my contact lenses in. But there is one thing I can change. For months I have been being stabbed all over my body by errant springs in my mattress - which I've had for about four years and was second hand to begin with. It is the source of most of my otherwise inexplicable injuries (the other is drinking injuries, which probably deserves a post in itself). I wake up extremely discomfitted, bruised, and tired. And apparently not sleeping enough makes you fat (some study I read the other day).

So, this weekend, I'm buying a mattress, I even spent about an hour lying on them the other day to see what me and HF liked the best.

Although, of course, it being from MFI, I probably won't actually get it for about 8 months).

I really hate MFI. I got the big bruise there when I walked between two ill-advisedly close bedsteads and smacked my thigh into the bedknob. Grr.

More on that story later.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Someone dropped a big hint about seeing some comparative pictures of me before starting on Paul McKenna (sounds like I got in a fight with him or something) and afterwards. Unfortunately, HFs digital camera has packed up and gone away forever, so the pic I took today is on my tiny digital camera and the quality is therefore quite shoddy. Anyhoo...

Me (left) on New Year's Eve:

And me today wearing my new black top with pretty ribbons on it (I'm such a girl at the moment, I bought pink knickers with little flowers on them today)

I suspect it's hard to see if there are any discernible differences due to the general difference in outfits, backgrounds and so on. Once I get my next film developed (yeah, so what if I use an old-fashioned camera, it's an SLR) I might print a better picture.

I did a race day ride at spinning class today. I thought I was going to die. But there were cookies at the end, so it was all good.

More on that story later.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

How to make friends and influence people

I had a number of ideas of what I was going to blog about today - things I have misheard or misread, why I hate being me #1 (migraines), strange dreams I have had and a selection of other options. But instead, I'm going to list a number of things which I have been known to do which I suspect irritate/offend/annoy people.

Many of these are really Americanisms, which is fine when they are used by Americans, I don't have a problem with that. I am not an American and should know better.

1. Say "can I get" instead of "could I have". This REALLY annoys my dad, but hey, he let me watch all those American sitcoms.

2. Australian question inflex - where you say something and raise your voice at the end of the sentence so it sounds quite irritating. This is really lazy sentence construction, if you want to ask something, formulate a question.

3. Referring to things I don't like as "gay". I love gays, me, and in no way mean to suggest that to be gay is a bad thing. And I know lots of people do it. But it doesn't make it any better.

4. I pronounce wander and wonder in exactly the same way. As far as I'm concerned, this is correct. But one of my mates pointed it out and said it drove him mad and that wonder should be pronounced "wunder" not "oneder" as I was saying it. The thing is, why? I mean, you're hardly going to use them in a context where it could be confusing?

"I wonder where he's wandered off to." See? Not confusing.

5. Remove all the hair from my hairbrush and be a bit careless about where it ends up. HF said if he could change one thing about me, it would be the way I leave hair everywhere. That said, he would really hate it if I got it cut. You can't have the best of both worlds, sonny Jim.

6. I say tikka, not teekka and pronounce cumin come-in not qumin. Which are apparently wrong and go some way to irritating my best friend (she's a bit posher than I am).

7. I trumpet quite loudly and reliably every morning. But only HF hears it, it doesn't smell and to be honest, he usually responds with the trombone.

8. I haven't done this one in a long time. But when I was younger, on occasion when I was very drunk, I used to ask my friends or boyfriends to slap me round the face to help me snap out of it. I'm pretty sure that no-one ever agreed to do it.

9. When someone starts talking about a subject which bores me, I tend to switch off. But you can never tell for sure, because I have an excellent memory so can recite back the last few things the person said if stopped just as if I was listening all along. A few people have caught on to this (namely HF) but unfortunately it hasn't stopped him talking about Lincoln City Football Club aka the imps. Please, if anyone hear likes the team, befriend him so he can talk to someone else about it.

10. I can't think of another one. But I'm sure I've demonstrated dozens of irritating habits over the last few months, so feel free to chime in and add any. I should warn you, if it's really mean I might get all upset.

I may get round to one of the other posts at some point.

More on that story later.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Moments to remember

I was reading some reviews of the new film United 93 which is supposed to tell the tale of the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11 and it made me think about the things you are supposed to take down, imprint in your memory ready to dredge up if anyone asks.

People of a certain generation can apparently reel off exactly where they were when a number of "legendary" people, for example John Lennon or Elvis Presley, died.

I'm not of that generation but there are a few epoch-making moments when I can remember what I was doing when I heard the news.

I was alive when the Berlin wall came down, and during the Live Aid concerts. But I don't remember the events - just being told about them and the images in my head are acquired, rather than actual memories.

So the first biggie, I suppose, was the death of Princess Diana. My brother told me she had died, after I had just got up on a Sunday morning. I told him to stop making things up and went to the loo, but it soon became clear he was telling the truth. Other things I remember about that day? Being really annoyed that instead of playing the Top 40 countdown, all I could listen to on any radio station was funeral dirge.

Before that, I remember when our Tory MP in Newbury was defeated in a by-election by the Lib Dem guy, David Randall. This was A BIG THING cos it was one of those bluer than blue seats and my parents talked about it a lot. Probably my first strong political memory.

I also have a clear memory of reading about when we sent forces into Chechnya and being scared about being at war. I don't think I really understood then (I guess I was about 16) that we never really haven't been at war since long before I was born.

Obviously, I remember finding out about the attacks on the World Trade Centre. Again, my brother told me (bit of a pattern here?) as he had heard it in the radio when he was driving back from somewhere. Again, I didn't believe him until I saw it on the telly. Me and my mum had to go into town shortly afterwards - and we saw the second plane crashing into the towers through the window at Dixons. It was a pretty surreal moment because the town seemed virtually deserted - everyone was glued to their tellyboxes. My brother tossed around a few conspiracy theories about it being the end of the world and a direct result of the millennium bug kicking in rather later than anyone expected.

I'm not sure when I found out about the Asian tsunami earthquake but it was at some point the same day. The details of what I read/saw afterwards are clear, but not the moment I heard the news.

And the London bombings last July? I was at work and one of the ad reps came in and told us to switch on the telly. We watched in silence then I had the bbc website on a loop for the rest of the day. I remember feeling proud about how well we, the general public, were dealing with it. We also switched the tv on in the office (a fairly rare event except when horse-racing is on - not my choice) earlier in the week to see the 2012 Olympics being awarded to London. Then, we all cheered. The contrast was pretty stark.

So why are these things in my memory? Did I take note of what I was doing when Hurricane Katrina devastated America? Or the Indian earthquake? Or when it became clear about the genocide in Kosovo, or the famine in the Sudan? Is it imprinted on my memory because the media have told me to take note? Or did I select the things which mattered most to me?

In fairness, it would be difficult for me to clearly remember a lot of the things which happened when I was very young and as I grow older and more interested in the world I am bound to pay more attention. But still, under whose agenda am I making my memories?

That said, I may not remember all those things. But my memories are crystal clear of the day I met my beautiful niece for the first time; the day I picked up my GCSE results; the day I saw my grandfather die; how I felt when Blur beat Oasis to the top spot with Country House.

You can't help but remember the things that are important to you. And those things will change as your priorities change. So while the media helps you acquire memories about things, you decide whether or not to discard them.

Of course, there are many other memories that I would just as happily forget.

More on that story later.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weight Loss Update

You might notice I've gone a bit quiet on the weight loss front. This is not because I've fallen dramatically off the wagon (despite the muffins, croquetas and other delicious morsels I've been rustling up in the kitchen), there have just been other things on my mind.

To date, I have lost 1st 5lbs, or 19lbs total which I am very pleased with. However, I would, ideally like to lose another 2½ stones, depending of course on whether I start looking worryingly baggy in the skin department.

I'm still not about to publish my actual weight, suffice to say that according to body mass indexes and all that junk, I am still about that much overweight. That said, I'm not a big lumpy elephant-shaped thing and I'm probably quite muscular for my size, so I may cut myself a little slack on that front.

I've reached a bit of a plateau and haven't lost any more for about a month which is a little frustrating but in fairness, I haven't gained anything and I have been probably stretching the Paul McKenna rules a little bit (ie continuing to eat when I was full).

Anyhoo, I've been pondering the weight loss issue and have come up with some thoughts.

Reasons I am glad I have lost weight
1. Lots of lovely comments
2. Yoga, spinning etc, are all noticeably easier
3. It's actually fun going clothes shopping
4. My clothes fit better
5. My feet/back/body don't hurt as much after a hard day's walking (okay, shopping)
6. Better skin
7. A renewed vigour for activity which usually results in me attempting swing-dancing on my own in the kitchen after Strictly Dance Fever
8. I feel a lot less guilty about eating "naughty" foods
9. Times when I feel like the fattest girl in the room are less frequent

Things I do not like about having lost this weight
1. My boobs have shrunk
2. Stretchmarks
3. People constantly ask me about how come I keep making muffins if I'm on a diet
4. Sometimes the compliments are a bit back-handed and suggest I was a bit of a minging heffalump before (I wasn't, I was an attractive curvy girl who needed to lose a bit of weight)
5. When I tied my hair back for the gym the other day I looked about 12 years old which I feel is too young (haven't been asked for ID yet)
6. I think I might be getting a bit too vain
7. All this weight loss business is all getting a bit time-consuming and I'm now at the gym for some reason or other about five days a week which is cutting into my busy schedule of watching television (or, starting work on some more short stories/my first novel)
8. The people who were supportive at the beginning seem a bit concerned when I tell them I still want to lose a couple of stones (they think I might be overdoing it)
9. Despite everything, my thighs are still roughly the same size as a tree trunk and I might be getting minor bingo wings.
10. I have a terrible fear that when eventually I do reach the weight I want to, I will have extra, unsightly skin.

I know it looks like there are more negatives than positive, but generally, I do feel better and there's nothing quite like being told how good you look. I still have a long way to go but I'm not about to start exercising manically, inducing vomiting and diarrhoea or fasting.

That said, I may need to start doing some weight training.

More on that story later.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Celebration time

Ladies and gentleman, commenters and lurkers, I would like you to join with me to celebrate the occasion of my 100th post.

It has taken me some seven months to get to this stage and to be frank, I have presented you with some terrible, self-indulgent drivel - as well as witty, incisive observations - in this time.

Some of you have got here because I strong-armed you into it by commenting incessantly on your blogs, others because you perhaps have a shared interest in weird stuff such as jewellery dummies.

Others have found me courtesy of our friends at Google.

To mark the special occasion, I shall publish a number of the things you can type in to Google to lead you right here - and I shall attempt to answer them all.

People have found me by looking for:

  • Wrestling throw dummy under $99 - sorry, don't know what this even is
  • Piano head mare - hmm, intriguing but there are no answers to that here
  • How to draw cute foals - I thought I explained this one already, I can't draw. At all. Go ask my mum, she used to make clay models of horses.
  • Man in a chicken outfit that will do stuff - provide the chicken outfit and £50 and I'm sure I can persuade my mate Will to sort you out.
  • Ceramic conkers - Why would you want these they would shatter as soon as you tried to play conkers with them?
  • Prader willis how does one look - Well, if I understand it right, fat.
  • Flange rude meaning - see also minge or muff (my personal favourites)
  • Inside the head of someone with anorexia - Is a place where I don't want to be.
  • Cheapskates club on oxford street in London - If you're a cheapskate you shouldn't be clubbing in London.
  • Little mermaid pain walking - Ha! I already answered this one! It's Hans Christian Anderson who said that every step she took on her magical feet would be agony.
  • Euphemisms for death - See previous post for a list of these.
  • Keyboard shortcuts heart smiley faces - As I said, I didn't write these down so I had to go through them again. But, a heart is alt 515 and a black smiley face is alt 258.

Let's hope you bonkers people keep finding me and providing such a wide variety of entertainment - it's like googlewhacking for the blog age.

Anyhow, I would like to invite all of you lurkers and commenters to say hello and wish me happy blog-day. You can even ask me a question if you like, you never know, I might answer it.

More on that story later.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Success at last! After a second attempt at the delicious wee deep-fried morsels of bechamel, new recipe provided by the lovely Sherbert, I produced (and ate) a plateful of very nearly authentic croquetas.

The ham may have been Tesco be good to yourself honey roast, but there was a definite flavour of mediterrannean deliciousness.

I apologise for the shocking mess in the background, but I still have plastering-related pandemonium going on. I normally sleep in a bit on a Thursday on account of it being publication day, but when I woke this morning, I had this horrible image of the plasterers letting themselves in bright and early and finding me sprawled pretty much naked across my bed. Even worse, they might see me before I brushed my hair.

Quick question - how important is it for a 24-year-old to moisturise and any recommendations as to what regime I should be following? I am seriously lazy when it comes to that sort of thing, but got a bit scared when my boss made some (unrelated to me) joke about the scary woman from 10 years younger deserving to look like she did if she didn't moisturise.

I mean, seriously, if you can be a bit greasy/sweaty (charming, I know) is it really the done thing to slaver cream all over your face?

I saw the pictures of me doing Krav Maga today*. They were shocking. But the first thing I thought was how thin my face looked - only one chin and everything. I'm becoming shockingly vain and seeking compliments from everyone I haven't seen in a while. Teehee.

More on that story later.

*I will not be posting these pictures as I think there may be some copyright issues what could get me fired.

Krav Maga

In this day and age, a woman needs to know how to protect herself. There are big bad men around every corner, just waiting to attack you or worse.

So when a new class promising to teach you easy to learn moves that you can actually remember in the heat of the moment started up on my patch at work, they decided I would be the ideal person to test it out and pose for a series of stupid photographs (okay, I admit it, I sort of volunteered I just wish the pix weren't necessary).

Krav Maga comes with impeccable credentials, having been devised as a simple form of combat for the Israeli army in the 1950s. It takes inspiration from martial arts such as judo, karate, tae kwondo and jujitsu - but focuses on how to use it in real situations, apparently.

My session didn't get off to the most auspicious start after being told to pair off with someone of a similar height and build. The only person left once those who had arrived together had arranged themselves was a strapping man at least a foot taller than myself.

Oh well, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Our main instructor told us that every time we defend ourselves, we should always follow with a counter attack to "take out the nervous system". From what I could see, for the most part that involved a sharp kick to the groin area.

Hmm, sounds like fun...

The session got straight in to the action and I was shown how to defend myself against my opponent, as he attempted to throttle me both from in front and from behind (behave), how to escape if someone was holding a knife to your throat, and a series of punches and kicks.
As most of the counter attacks involved me pretending to kick my "attacker" in an area he really would prefer me to avoid, he seemed quite relieved when we waved goodbye to get into groups of three.

This time we learned how to defend ourselves when being attacked from both sides, all the while using protective pads to ensure no-one got too good at defending themselves.
It was all good fun and, despite making you a bit breathless after a while, did not seem to require a particularly high level of skill, agility or flexibility (although obviously I have all of these things in bucketloads).

Apparently the system, which relies on natural instincts, can be picked up within about two sessions. Two of the blokes taking the class told me about actual examples of people who were set upon managing to use the Krav Maga techniques to escape.

The other instructor, who has a background in amateur boxing and I suspect received a few too many punches in the head in his day, had this to contribute:

"My mum accidentally kicked my dad in the nuts when she was practicing defending herself the other day and she said it was worthwhile just to do that."


Fortunately no-one has set upon me since I took the class so I don't know for sure whether it's up to much but, several days later, I can clearly remember the few simple moves I picked up during the session.
And when I invited my colleagues to attempt to set upon me, they seemed strangely reluctant to do so...

That said, I'm well-known for my vicious nature around the office and I demonstrated my impressive upper body strength the other day by doing a few clapping press-ups.

More on that story later.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How to induce a heart-attack in an otherwise fit and healthy girl

I had the shock of my life yesterday*.

As I now live a 10-minute walk from work, I quite often walk home at lunchtime because it's cheaper and, if I time it right, I can catch a sneaky
Neighbours or Scrubs episode.

It was a fairly busy day at work, so my plan was to eat my lunch, grab my gym stuff so I could go straight there at the end of the day, then head back to the office.

My mind was elsewhere while I opened the mailbox (nothing interesting, sadly) and I absent-mindedly noted that the front door was wide open - not usual at that hour of the day, but not entirely unheard of in a building housing three separate flats.

But coming into the hallway, I realised the front door to my flat was ajar and my heart started pounding. Rushing towards it, I opened the door, expecting to be greeted by the sight of a devastated flat with my lovely new printer/scanner/photocopier all stolen.

What I actually saw was worse. I'm ashamed to say my reaction, rather than a string of expletives, was a more prosaic (and Americanised) "Wow!" Basically, all the plaster had been ripped off two of my bedroom walls, the furniture moved, and two highly disreputable-looking men wondering around drinking tea from MY cups.

Next thing I noticed was the sound of Will Young blaring from a stereo (not mine, some portable thing they had brought with them), my cat Missy (who currently does not go outside after I wrote a story about a dog being found in town with its throat cut) wandering around looking very uncomfortable and all the windows wide open.

It transpired these were the "contractors" my landlord had employed to come and deal with my damp problem. Except the last I heard about it, they were just having a look and were going to tell me what and when was going to be done. And my understanding is that rental property or no, they had no right to be there without my sayso.

I was completely taken aback - and in need of my gym clothes - so I didn't really know quite how to respond. Plus, these men had to have been given a key by someone who should have called me - they were presumably just doing their job and it is a little unfair to shoot the messenger. So I just asked a couple of quick questions, then ferreted around for my clothes, which were all underneath dust sheets, trying not to make it too obvious I was waving my sports bra around.

They assured me they were on a teabreak for a while if I wanted to eat my dinner (umm, where?) but after extracting a solemn vow from the older and slightly less disreputable man to ensure Missy was shut in safely before they left, I left.

I even managed to keep my cool during a phone call to my estate agent (he calls himself a property manager but this was pretty poor damn management if you ask me) where I expressed my extreme displeasure and he claimed he didn't know about it until they turned up at the office seeking the key. Yeah, but he could still have called me as soon as he knew.
I think I may actually exercise my right to be bloody angry and once in possession of all the facts, draft a letter outlining my concerns. When I got back they had done a fairly good job of clearing up but there was still an exposed, plasterless wall (it actually looked quite nice, but that's beside the point). Lord only knows what I'll find after another day of it. I still don't really know what they're doing, whether they're just replastering or installing a damp course. In either case, can I carry on living there while it dries?

I kicked off my anger at the promised Krav Maga self-defence class last night.

More on that story later.

*Actually, that's not true, the shock of my life was probably when my 17-year-old little sister rang me up to tell me she was pregnant. But this was pretty close.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The best May Day party in Oxford

Or, how to scare yourself senseless and convince yourself you are in a scene from trashy teen-flick Urban Legend.

I have just returned (well, it was actually about four hours ago but you know what I mean) from a birthday-cum-may day weekend in Oxford.

Now they go a bit mad for May Day in Oxford (am currently undecided whether or not that should be capitalised, so shall change it each time), last year to such an extent that a number of fool-hardy youngsters ended up in hospital after jumping from a high bridge into inch-deep water. Yep, we are talking about the cream of British undergraduates here.

Anyway, it was our intention to become one of these universally derided idiots although preferably in a slightly less painful fashion.

There are a number of different may day events going on in the town, starting on the Sunday night, ranging from posh balls with ticket prices fairly similar to my current monthly rental on my flat, to skanky dos in pubs down the Cowley Road and everything in between. Oh yeah, and there's also always a number of twats who jump into the river at 5am.

E, whose 25th birthday we were also celebrating, had heard about this big do out at Port Meadow. No-one we had spoken to had actually heard about it, but when we looked on t'internet we found several references, one suggesting it was *the* hangout for beautiful people and dogs on strings. Definitely the one for us, then.

Most of the party had dispersed by then as we had a special party for E on Saturday (report may follow if I can remember what happened) so it was just me, HF and E, who said she wouldn't mind driving up as we were all pretty hungover from 48 solid hours of boozing.

On arrival at Port Meadow, we saw a number of cars parked at the side of the road. But, err, nothing else. 'Not to worry!' said E, 'It would make more sense if it was at the other side of the meadow (pretty damn big meadow, this one) cos then everyone could walk into town afterwards'.

After another 10, 15 minute drive, we followed a deserted country track up a hill. It was about midnight at this point, raining a bit, and really quite isolated. We got to the end of the road and looked at the meadow. It was completely deserted. No lights. No music. No beautiful people other than the three of us, and definitely no dogs on strings.

We couldn't quite believe there was nothing there, so we switched off the lights and the engine and attempted to listen for a thumping bass line. There wasn't one, so HF got out of the car and had a bit of a wonder.

After he left, it was just me and E in the car and we were in relatively high spirits so the conversation quickly turned to how 'funny' it would be if HF didn't return. Or, worse, if he did return but it wasn't him, it was a crazed axe murderer. I don't know if it was the rain, the dark or the surrealness of the situation but within a couple of minutes we were quite freaked out. When HF started walking back to the car, we decided it might be wise to lock it, you know, just in case it wasn't him after all. Matters were made somewhat worse when he decided it would be 'hilarious' to start stroking the window in a weird fashion.

We let him in, after some shouting at him NOT TO SCARE THE HELL OUT OF US and we were soon happy as Larry again once the lights were back on and the engine was humming away underneath us. E said it would be quite a scary place to live, as it was indeed very dark and isolated. To prove just how spooky it would be, she decided to switch the lights off. While still driving. Again, this was virtually a single track road in the middle of nowhere, no houses, no streetlamps, no bobbies walking the beat. In fact, E thought it would be a great idea to continue switching the lights off for a few seconds before putting them on again for quite some time. I may have been shouting at her a little bit (she never saw Urban Legend so can be excused slightly for her thoughtless actions) and eventually she decided it might be best for all concerned if she left them on.

Oh yeah, we passed this tiny car park area on the way back near the meadow and she wanted to stop the car and get out, just in case we'd missed a massive piss up somehow. I soon got rid of that suggestion and we went back home.

It was all actually quite entertaining. We thought we might tell everyone that the Port Meadow party was absolutely amazing and try and generate a bit of traffic for next year's event, so there might be six people in a field instead of just three. Who knows, the year after there might even be 12.

So that was May Day. Apart from a brief flirtation with a party further up the road (we thought we would try and entice party goers in to our place by turning up the music really loud but E got scared they would trash her house) we went to bed and set the alarm for 4.20am so we could walk down to the bridge. When it went off, we made an executive decision to stay in bed (it was still dark and everything), so we actually managed to miss the entire may day event.

Although we did see a man (read immature 18-year-old student) nearly shoot out his own eye in the park this afternoon with a make-shift cannon he was attempting to fire into the river.

More on that story later.