Friday, 30 March 2012

Irky Worky

In the last hour I've had an irking time:

Someone said 'LOL' to me - it's like canned laughter, I know you didn't find it funny.
I heard the word queef. I wanted to vomit.
A homeless chappy asked me for a cigarette, then chastised me for my point blank 'no'.
I forgot my phone this morning and so asked someone the time, he told me to piss off. Like I was going to steal his fake Rolex.
On answering the phone, I was called Vicky. Which came out more Vick-eh.
I admitted to a partner of the firm that I was internet dating. Any office cred I had, has evaporated.

Week-end. End.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ship Ahoy.

File nails, file paper, file nails. It's my second day in a new job. Receptionist, administrator and tea maker. I’ve learnt that I’m a natural at binding, have no sense of direction when it comes to finding stationary cupboards and I cannot use a cafetiere. This is not complaining might I note, merely a description. I’m grateful to have a job.

It’s not an occupation, more a stimulus to kickstart my considering of life choices; what do I want to do?

Since 2008 Fashion PR has been torturing me with its partisanship: from its penchant for employing (yet not paying) never-worked-a-day-in-their-life carbon copy labelled rah-rahs (note, discrimination) to it’s sheer nepotistical structuring. Note, discrimination. Work hard, bitch harder. I might know a thing or two about PR, but if you’ve not got the labels or you’re not sporting the trend that suits you least then you’re out. Once you’re in, you have to meddle, air other peoples laundry publically, snipe, drink til you’re ‘wah-wah’ and what for? To be forgotten. For when you’re out, you’re out. Simple as.

I am bitter, but at the same time, I’m moving on. Thinking further afield.
Longevity and fashion are, after all, ‘frenemies’.

Friday, 23 March 2012


Last day of unemployment, or as Mother calls it, 'freedom'.

I noted in a tweet that 'strolling' was my only mantra of the day. & it hasn't disappointed.

Whilst at a pedestrian crossing a dog called Hummus attempted to get under my (unbelievably) wide-legged trousers &hump my leg.
I got wold-whistled by the local tramp, who was riding a bike.
I lied to the beautician as to why I'd not been for a wax in so long. Said I've been traveling. Mortifying.
A gypsy came to my door with a paving spiel. He littered the 5 minute conversation with 'ya know?', had that mock-Irish accent and fulfilled the stereotypical mould of a 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' male.

I received a message on the dating site I'm on (regret):

saintordevil: welcome to manchester-would luv to chat-gd taste in music,v attractive and a redhead mmmm

He's obviously not read my profile one jot. I read his;
Unhappily married but trapped and unable to leave for the sake of the children.
No closeness and little sex in the relationship.
Stressful family and work situation and in need of an occasional release and distraction.
Only avaialable on a limted basis-mainly daytimes.
I'm looking for a friend with benefits


Me: Heres a few tips:

Either stay married and don't stray or leave. Children aren't an excuse.
Learn to spell.
Read profiles before you send your spiel.

saintordevil: Thank you for the advice,sorry if I offended you.Still welcome to our great city.I can spell perfectly well and amazingle i know the abbreviations too! If you ever need a tour let me know and you are still very attractive. Good luck

GOOD LORD. If he gets a date & I don't I'll eat my hat.

It's only 4.55. I, I, I, me, me, me.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

G&T. Date Me.

7 days post-event.

Took the plunge and arranged my first date. Virtually.
Since joining a well known dating site I've been separating the wheat from the chaff. It's 94% chaff. I'm pretty sure 75 percent of those who've messaged me haven't read my profile and I'd go as far to say they message hundreds of single ladies with the same 'hey there ;)'. Fucking hate emoticons.

Of the 6% I'm left with, I'll admit, I wasn't optimistic.
A sudden bubbling of assertiveness saw me message 2 males I found attractive. Males I thought might like to take me out. Like a lone lady at the bar approaching a lone male, I challenged protocol and made the first move.

I got a few replies & even started up a little rally of messages. A light-hearted bit of hoopla.

With little patience, I moved things briskly along. & so last Wednesday the meeting came to be.

What I knew so far:
Aged 27
Graphic Designer
Own flat in Manchester
Allergic to apples

My being early for everything is sometimes disadvantageous. Not tonight.
I slipped into a central bar, ordered a G&T when I gained a tap at my shoulder. My dearest friend. I'll admit, I hadn't told her. It was for fear of a real ribbing, which I obviously got when she learned the reasoning for me being there. Still, it was a relief to have someone to listen to my woes until he arrived.

Arrive he did. Dressed in Fred Perry, slim fit jeans, dreamily-excellent desert boots complimented by slightly 80s clipped hair. He was 2 inches shorter than he had noted but his face more than made up for it. He had said he had an athletic body, but he looked more toothpick like to me. That face, as I've said, more than made up for it.

As friend exited, the obligatory thumbs up were whipped out. I wonder if he saw.

30 minutes in, he's bought me a drink. Point. I've found out his background, respired in the most delightful scent and decided that the positioning of his ear piercing didn't mean he was gay. Point.

As I spoke of my various travels, I omitted several details that included my being there with boyfriends, which may have made me out to be more independent than I am. Not to fear. Yet as I weaved a (teeny) web of deceit I began to fluster.

Me: "wow it's hot in here"
Him: "not really, it's probably because you're not breathing much. You're talking quite a lot"

I'm fully aware that I talk incessantly when nervous, but never have I wished to be Zippy from Rainbow before.

It was going relatively well and we went to a few more bars. Engaging banter. He offers a bottle of plonk, I'm tempted, but remember last time I consumed wine on a date, "I'll just have a G&T ta".

Walked me to my mode of transport at 12 & leans in for a kiss, I peck on cheek. Slightly awkward. Suprisingly I didn't turn into a pumpkin.

Since this parting we have text infrequently. I broached going out again (no patience) and he said he'd try and squeeze me in. I think not. I told the sonny to jog on.

This isn't to say I'm disheartened. I might tone down my frank approach to first dates and perhaps hold back when admitting I hate sandwiches and sushi, but overall it's about your own confidence and character. I must say, not overly enamored by virtual dating. Tad contrived.

He was a bit camp.
Bitter? Me?

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

Arthur. Attractive name?

I prefer it to Chad. It has more grit and less bleach.

Despite being severely under the weather I forced myself to the Royal Exchange to view 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning'. When I say forced, I mean I was chauffeured there, back and was treated to ice-cream at the interval.

Sat on the banquettes, staring at the simple set, I had relatively no idea what was in store, bar being informed that I might see nudity and it was an adaptation of a 1960 film. Ignorant, I know.

From the moment that ducktail was revealed, I was enthralled.

It's a timeless subject: male tweenager sees himself as a big fish in a boring, non eventful pond. Controversially playing with the (attractive) mice whilst the cat's away and sowing his wild oats in any field open to him.

Arthur was said said subject last night; ale swilling, sharply dressing cock of the walk.

Aside from technology, the scene captured from Nottingham in the 50s is as relevant as a scene of today in any city. Congruent even. His dissatisfaction and resentment at life is tangible. His nonchalant swagger yet passionate opinionated bursts stand juxtaposed, enveloped in a confused, youthful exterior.

Faced with unwanted pregnancy, a loveless job and socio-political pressures Perry Fitzpatrick held down the characters' several identities remarkably. Coupled with an unnervingly gripping cast which included: Chanel Cresswell (This is England), Clare Calbraith (Heartbeat), David Crellin (Coronation Street), Jo Hartley (This is England), Graeme Hawley (Coronation Street), Ryan Pope plus some seriously talented individuals.

Hats off to the set designer Anna Fleischle and the directors in all guises.

Apt title: whilst we were watching him on a night out, becoming more and more inebriated, disillusioned and muddling through the one man party; not caring who he offended, spilt drinks on or hurt we patiently waited until came the morning. The hangover. The misery and pain: reality. Were we applauding the comeuppance? Or rooting for the anti-hero?

Shortly after leaving I tweeted:

"Saturday Night, Sunday Morning at was better than a Beechams for my cold. The leading guy can rub Vicks on my chest anytime ..."

I was a tad too flippant perhaps. It blew me away and it's on til the April 7.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Despite being as nasal as Alex Borstein*, laden with fluey symptoms and a burnt index finger**, I managed to drag my sorry self to The Manchester Fashion Network event at Harvey Nichols, 'An Evening with Fiona McIntosh'.

With a strict one drink per person sign, I was fleetingly tempted to throw a few more Beechams down my razor bladed throat with a goblet of plonk, yet found myself with a glass of water in hand.

Cramped, yet optimistic.

Guided through a brief biopsy of McIntosh's life, I was distracted by her necklace, the failure of the microphone from presenter Katie Poperwell and the clash of prints, styles and try-hard attitudes from those in attendance.

With no fashion background to speak of, the lady is a marvel, bringing us Grazia in 2005. If I were her, I could die a contented female, yet her ambition and drive has seen her harness the re-branding of My Wardrobe and consult for several of the most prestigious titles in fash-land. You wouldn't think it, in an alluring way.

The notion of cultural differences between Grazias was engaging: France is the chicest of the plastics, Germany the most impressionable, Australia the most health conscious and Russia the most delusional. Next to launch is the South African Grazia, groundbreaking and certainly one to monitor post-May.

Most of what she spoke of was relatively simple to comprehend, and her advice was succinct, precise and void of 'floral notes'. Dealing in facts:

Be consistent
Know your brand, stay true to it, no deviation
Media and retail are mashing, deal with it
Mediocre websites don't cut the mustard

Then she lost me. The Q&A saw some snore inducing questions but the last one jolted. Internships and her views. In a roundabout way she said that the ones who do anything get ahead suceed, they need to realise that their palms won't be crossed with gold and be assured their talent won't go unnoticed. Codswallop.

I do love a good event. Especially when I'm as crabby as I was last night.

*voice of Lois from Family Guy
** deliriously made a quiche, I burnt the finger when I was putting it in. Lord.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

High Vis Dating.

I'm staring wistfully outside. There are three reasons:

Squirrels & adorable creatures of nature
NB, not in priority order

Being trapped indoors due to gas pipe maintenance has its (minor) perks. The high-vis clad men rat-a-tatted on my door at 10, I flounced out all 'just got out of bed' when I'd done 2 exercise videos, washed my hair, slapped BB cream on and filled in my brows. You know, casual. We engaged in light banter as they took up some flagging. & I indulged them in tea and biscuits. I'm nice like that.

Flirting, tea making, flirting, laughing about my inability to find gas meter, flirting and hair swishing.

Not sure why, but gritty Mancunian accents with an equally weather beaten stance has an amazing ability to reduce me to what can only be described as a middle-aged single tart. I'm no giggler, but Jesus, one slightly amusing line escaped their mouths & I was throwing my head back hyena-like and wiggling as I dashed to make their brews.

This shameful action led me to contemplate my current love life. My being excited at 12 young strapping builders being outside, reflects just how (in)active my dating-sphere is.

Since moving back from London (10 days ago) I joined a dating site. Be it through boredom or being inspired by a friends new lady (met online), the traditional notion of 'internet dating' shed some of its stigma. Either that or my desperation swelled.
To be frank, bar/club hopping has lost its appeal. A few issues:

Gaining attention from (any) men is difficult if you don't resemble one of the Saturdays
If the male crowd are 'alternative', you're never 'alternative' enough
I'm not an (attractive) dancer
You can't hear more than 25% of the conversation
I only attract very strange men. No exaggeration.

As I'm not going to squeeze into a bandage dress or watch TOWIE for pulling tips or any time soon I'm thinking 'outside of the box' (hardly).

Just moved home to Manchester from London. Working in PR and starting a male style advice site come Summer, this is not to say that I'm a fashion obsessive or overly critical of anyone else's style. Aged 23, with a penchant for 50s/60s related music and style, indie music, a keen interest in discovering new places, people and actively avoiding the humdrum of reality. Dry humoured. I appreciate wit and the ability to spell correctly. No cliched characters need apply. Cannot abide frugality (bad experience).

Standard right?

Within 4 hours I'd had 30 responses, 95% asking whether I'd like some 'fun' (substitute the word fun with a more colourful action) or worse, a sob-story (this isn't an X-Factor audition). What really got my goat was the inability to read. I'm from Manchester, I don't need 'showing around' and I specifically noted I appreciate the ability to spell correctly. One message;

'Hey ther, how it going? cool profile, love thoes picturs, anyway im kinda new to dis. Not sure i should say, but if u chek my prof an like what u c, id love 2 talk mre. Anywy peace xx'

I ask you. This was from a 26 year old male who develops software. Education?

Still. There were one or two who seemed relatively normal who contacted me. I've agreed to a date (after some witty error free banter) with a Graphic Designer. We'll see.

On telling my friend I was embarking on this, she gave me a rape alarm. I certainly know how to pick them.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Manchester Irish Festival.

My family is Irish, most families have a drop of the Emerald Isle in them. We get around.

It was the Manchester Irish Festival over the weekend.
Based in Albert Square, it was a celebration of rich heritage; enjoyed through the medium of music and traditional produce, bound together in a parade proudly endorsing all counties as well as felicitating the 3rd generation Irish connections to the past.

As gaelic football teams strode, floats ferrying Irish dancers trawled and cars emblazoned with county flags proceeded, the pride was tangible.

The bar was never less than 3 rows deep, naturally. The traditional stew ran out after an hour, naturally. & there was a buoyancy rich with gossip, Guinness guzzling and gaiety that transported me back to family parties from yester-year.

It's something the English don't have. As St Patricks day rolls ever closer, I think George who?

Top buys of the day
Soda bread
Stew (worth mentioning twice)
Red Lemonade
Emerald Sweets
Whiskey & Diet Coke (I had 30)

Top sights of the weekend
Bumping into people I only see once a year wearing the same outfit, every year
Feeding gossip to a distant relation to see how long it'd take to get back to me in a chinese whispered mangle of lies (approx 18 hours)
Watching the little Irish Dancers slap away on their heavies whilst brushing a jealous tear away as I never got near that stage in my dancing career
People watching. It's my favourite


If I were to write a novel, it'd be abut my Mother. I'd call it Guilt.

If she's happy for more than 8 minutes, guilt.
If she spends over £10 on an item of clothing, guilt.
When she goes out & doesn't tell her sisters, guilt.

I blame the notion of Catholic Guilt. & it's been passed onto me. Difference being, she's 49 and I'm 23, my youth should be able to combat the evitable. It's a work in progress.

Urban Dictionary defines Catholic Guilt as: (click)

I recently moved home. Returning from London. It hasn't been a culture shock, in fact it's really taken a (recondite) weight off my shoulders, but ironically put tangible weight on me. This might be a new beginning for me, a return to that care-free 20 year old who hemorrhaged confidence.

Strange how in three years your life radically sidesteps, like Tetris.

I spent last week throwing myself into cleansing my possessions. Unearthing objects that emotionally impacted, from a letter I wrote (aged 14) to my violent Father, to a story book my brother &I made one Summer. It was cathartic.

Now I must look for a job and really decide what is it I want to do.

I thought it was PR. I was under the impression that if I worked hard enough unpaid, came in early and stayed late, then the laws of Karma would guide me towards a f/t paid role that saw me indulge in what I like to do best; communicate. Alas, the levels of responsibilities I was bestowed with varied greatly.
Remember when you used to go to swimming lessons? Imagine being a strong swimmer in the shallow end one week and a non-swimmer in the deep end the next. I didn't want repetition, just the opportunity to enhance my skills, develop them and be the best PR I could me.

I was a natural, had no problems getting interviews for big companies. The stick in the mud? Unknown, I've never had constructive criticism to pinpoint where I could have improved. Perhaps its the old elitist mentality, simply because I couldn't do a year within an unpaid role full time and meet some rather air-headed/influential people to play air kisses with I wasn't deserving of the role.

I'm knocking it on the head for a while. It was soul destroying.

What to do now? It's all a bit delusioning; from applying for admin based posts a post-labotomy patient could complete, to meeting acquaintances (loosely used) who have climbed the career ladder due to nepotism. There seem to be no doors (or windows) open.

Jealousy is not an attractive quality.
Must try harder.
I wish they manufactured motivation in a can.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


As I type, I'm conducting a homemade liposuction procedure. My implements? Bicycle pump and an array of kitchen utensils. The targeted area? Thigh.

What pushed me over the edge?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

I'm a 12, but JEEPERS, these garments were enough to reduce me to cellulite laden blubbering (ah ha).

It wasn't all doom & gloom, quite the flip side.
As I stalked up to the Market Street H&M, wristband slapped on, pickling myself in tea (5 cups before 10) I was giddy. Giddy at the thought of slipping into the chiffon, limbering into the lamé and caressing the cooling silk in order to satisfy the burning of the credit card in my pocket.

As I weaved between the overly loaded rails, I felt fit to burst. My pre-exam like nerves whipped away, I confidently strode into the fits, armed.

I liked it. More than Versace, more than Stella, more than Karl? It was fresh. Vibrant and wearable.

Fan-bloody-tastic bags. They must've cost a pretty penny.

Once these saddlebags are off, I'll be in those pantaloons faster than you can say Hennes & Mauritz.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Man oh Man.

Anyone remember that gem of a programme? I was 8 at the time. The orginal Take Me Out. Jeepers I wish it was still on ...

Memories (youtube clip)

Wonder why Chris Tarrant was the presenter, and spot Nell McAndrew what a saucy pot. Life before straighteners.

I've moved home.

It's going to be a bumpy ride. Mother has turned into the TV guide, and seems to have become annoyance personified. Yelp.