Family Affair

Its Monday morning and I have risen at the crack of dawn. Today will be a busy day, and it starts at the gynaecologist. 

Most people don't think much of going to the gynaecologist. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable, yes there are those stirrups, but all in all its a bit of a non event. Unless, of course that is, you are me. 

When I arrive I sit down to see the doctor staring intently at my file. I immediately start panicking. He hasn't even met me yet. What can possibly be wrong with me? Am I going to die? He then ruffles his papers, puts down his file, and says,

'Younger. Does the word Leckie mean anything to you?'

I'm panicking now. This man is Scottish. Leckie is the name of my Granny's house. Either this man is a psychic or he is also my Grandmother's gynaecologist. I shudder at the thought of it. 

Oblivious to my horror, he continues with a walk down memory lane. 

'You know, I very nearly bought your Granny's house once. We went there for tea. Your Uncle has  man trap in his dungeon.'

I'm nodding. Its true. Great Uncle Bobby did have a man trap. I believe that it looked a lot like a bear trap, just with somewhat more grisly intentions.

He gestures for me to get up on the bed and put my legs in the stirrups, and then just before he opens my legs he says'

'Your Granny's got a lovely fireplace.'

THE EARLY BIRD...

Its 6.30am and I can't sleep. This is partly because it's 25,000 degrees outside but also partly because I have a gig today and I'm nervous. Very nervous.

I've been doing a lot of gigging recently. Its the time of year for it. The Edinburgh Fringe is but days away and I'm hoping and praying that it will 'all pull together in the end.'

Previewing must surely be the hardest part of being a comedian. Its when you have to stand up in front of a group of people with a load of new material and hope that at least some of it lands. At one of my first gigs, the biggest laugh received was from when a stray dog wandered in off the street, onto my makeshift stage and sniffed my leg. I was performing to four people in a cafe basement. Wembley this is not.

Gigging in a heatwave is also not something you're expected to prepare for. Tiny, packed theatres with no fans or windows and stage lights which light up your performance space like the Sahara. This week I sweated so much at one gig that my mascara melted and rendered me temporarily blind in one eye. I performed the whole second half with a leering wink and finished with a gasp. I was so hot I wanted to jump out of the window.

Sweating and dogs aside, it would appear that the show, and my career are coming together. Just last Tuesday I welcomed a photographer from the Daily Telegraph into my home. Well I tried to, but I locked myself out coming out of the door to look for him. We ended up begging some kiwis from 5 doors down to scale my neighbours' garden walls and break into my house. They nearly went by undetected, until the hunk next door spotted them lurking by his rose bushes. After shouting at them in his pants for quite some time, I managed to persuade him that we were not a strange burgling collective but we were in fact the girl next door and a photographer from the Daily Telegraph. He looked flabbergasted, announced we had 5 minutes before he went on holiday, and lent us a ladder.  

Wish me luck in Bedford tonight. After this week I feel as though I'm going to need it. 

2015 - THE YEAR THAT WAS

I’m not doing New Year’s resolutions this year. This is partly because they’re always farcically ambitious and failed by January 3rd, but mainly because for the first time ever, I don’t want to change anything

At the end of 2014 I decided that 2015 was going to be my year. I was newly single, unemployed and had overdosed on quality streets. In a fit of madness I decided it was time for a new year new me. Let it be known that I never do things by halves. 

Instead of taking up yoga or vowing to drink less gin like a normal person, I decided that I was going to become a stand up comedian.  

I applied to take a show to the Edinburgh festival, performing a solo hour for 26 days in August. By the time I had realised how ridiculous this was I had had my application accepted. I could count the number of times I had performed stand up on two hands. I had never performed for longer than 5 minutes. 

The next 6 months became a marathon of working all week, and writing all weekend. I had no idea where to start. I woke up every single day with a cold dread seizing in my chest. How was I going to do this? Did it matter if I pulled out? Did I really have to do the whole hour?

I decided to call my show ‘Champagne Socialist,’ and base it around my thwarted attempts to be a lefty, Hackney dwelling media wanker when I sound like the Queen and my lineage includes Tory cabinet ministers. I covered everything from princes, porn and privilege to a penchant for terrible taxidermy. The show began to take shape. My nervous energy took over.

I got a new job, working in food TV. My new boss and I shared a dark sense of humour. Together we came up with an idea called ‘Deliciously Stella.’ Pained by an instagram feed filled with beaming skinny white women peddling chia seeds and the benefits of beach yoga, I decided it was time for a parody. I looked to clean eating queen Deliciously Ella for inspiration and settled on the name Deliciously Bella. Alas, it was taken, so Deliciously Stella was born. 

Together, my boss and I dreamed up ridiculous posts that satirised the movement and I began trolling celebrities on instagram, willing them to like my posts. A month later, it had worked. I was featured in Grazia and spotted by Davina McCall. She tweeted about me and I gained 5000 followers. The Deliciously Stella wave had begun. 

Over the next few months I juggled work with magazine interviews and writing my show. I started previewing it to friends in pubs. Making notes on where I got laughs, separating the wheat from the chaff. As I made progress, the popularity of Deliciously Stella began to eclipse my little show about being posh. It was suggested that I ditch it and write a show about Stella. I stood my ground. I would not budge. (I’m doing Stella the show this year)

My parents live in Edinburgh so I moved back home for the month of August. They’d made me trade bedrooms with my brother and I was less than impressed. Nothing makes you regress to behaving like a toddler quite like unconditional love.

The Edinburgh Festival is amazing. For many people it’s their favourite time of year. For my it was more like an endurance test. My best friend and Edinburgh festival afficionado came up for the first weekend to ease me into my first shows. On day 1, my projector broke. I had a panic attack and shouted at a woman called Brenda in Argos. I had never seen my mother look more grateful than when Emily whisked me off to the apple store while I gobbled xanax and tried to learn my lines. 

After Emily left, my parents paid my sister to drive me in and out of Edinburgh, help me flyer and deal with whichever nervous breakdown was in full swing that day. She made and wore a sandwich board with my face on it. I have never felt so loved. 

The first two shows were terrifying and then on the third day, something changed. I walked into the pub basement where i performed my nightly show and I saw that my venue was packed to the rafters. A queue of Tory dads were snaking around the block. My mother had sent out my press release to everybody on her Christmas card list. 

From that day onwards, the shows got better and better. I was having the time of my life. I was making money doing comedy. I was named as one of Glamour magazine’s top 8 comedians to see at the Fringe. I was riding high. 

A week later I got a 2 star review. My stomach flipped and I fell on the floor. I made my mother buy sleeping pills off the internet that were sent from Spain and I lost the will to continue. 

By the end I was a broken woman. I’d shed a stone in weight and I needed a holiday. There was one more night to go and I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted was to lie in a darkened room. Then, on my final night, something amazing happened. my venue that held 50 people held 100. People were standing outside the pub door, they were sitting on top of the bar, 10s of people were standing just to see my show. My other best friend  and flatmate had flown up to see me even though her foot was in a surgical boot. Everything was going to be OK.

My friend and the woman who would become my agent was sitting in the wings. I’d made it. I had survived. I was officially a professional stand up comedian. 

I now have over 80,000 instagram followers and am involved in projects so exciting I’m not allowed to talk about them. 2015 was actually my year. 2016 has got a lot to live up to. 

My Christmas tree this year is so on point. I wish it could be this beautiful every year. Who’s tree has inspired you this year?Merry Christmas! #christmastree #christmas #christmascheer #festive #decorations #onpoint #onfleek #treegoals #goals #inspire #glow #love #joy #deliciouslystella

My Christmas tree this year is so on point. I wish it could be this beautiful every year. Who’s tree has inspired you this year?Merry Christmas! #christmastree #christmas #christmascheer #festive #decorations #onpoint #onfleek #treegoals #goals #inspire #glow #love #joy #deliciouslystella

#aboutlastnight

Hello readers,

Sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve been busy establishing myself as a stand up comedian and running a little something called ‘Deliciously Stella.’ To get my return to blogging off to a super pretentious start I have written a poem about burning the old candle at both ends. Happy Monday! 

London has a shared pet dog, and his name is shame 

You’ve probably all met him, though you might not know his name

Shame knows what you did last night, he knows what you were wearing

Shame walked you home in broad daylight, when you were tired of caring 

He waits for you on street corners after big weekends, 

He yaps at your heels on Fridays after drinks that didn’t end

You tell him, I’m an adult now, I have to go to work

Life’s too short for shame you say. And then you hear a bark.

WHITE WINE WEREWOLF

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Guess who’s back. Back again… 

Me. That’s who. Apologies for my absence from 22 and on the shelf, I’ve been extremely busy trying to write MY EDINBURGH SHOW. You’ll probably be hearing about it a lot on here as I’m about to instigate an intrusive marketing campaign across all social media to encourage people to come. It’s in Edinburgh by the way, at the monkey cellar at 7:30pm for the whole of August. Miss it and miss out.

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/champagne-socialist

Making people laugh while I talk about myself for an hour has started to feel more and more terrifying and it will come as a surprise to no one that I haven’t managed to keep up intended levels of sobriety.

I cracked for the first time at a friend’s party in Battersea and haven’t looked back since. This is in spite of the fact that my friend called me the next day to tell me that he had to drag me out of the bath. I was trying to claim diplomatic immunity for my horrendous behaviour due to being in international waters. 

There is a moral to this story. Never drink white wine. There is a certain type of woman who cannot drink white wine without utterly disgracing herself. That woman is me. There’s something about white wine for me that is uniquely dangerous. We call it the white wine werewolf, and it doesn’t just come out at night. He happens when you’re at the races, at family events but more often than not, he rears his ugly head when you are on a date. 

Nothing turns white wine into lady petrol quite like a date. It always starts innocently enough. You meet. You make some small talk, you attempt to crack some witty jokes. You’re having a great time. You order more drinks. You stick to wine and he gets a beer. This is when the werewolf starts to growl.

I’m no fool. I know that wine has three times the alcohol of beer and yet I continue to match him drink for drink. The next thing you know you’re signing your date into a private members club under your ex’s name. You order a club sandwich on your ex’s tab. You snog your date in full view of a crowded bar at 8pm. You go to the loo. You lie down on the floor for 30 seconds. You fall asleep. 

You wake up to your ex banging on the door. He’s seen the club sandwich and he wants answers. Your date has left. Your ex is furious. You cry. He calls you a cab. You wake up fully clothed and refuse to go on a date for 6 months because the shame attacks just won’t end.

This is the curse of the white wine werewolf. Have fun drinking in the sun this weekend ladies. You’ve been warned.

DON’T TELL THE BRIDE

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No. Your eyes do not deceive you. That is me. Wearing a wedding dress. I thought about sending this picture to all of my ex boyfriends with the caption ‘it could have been you,’ but then I remembered that often what is hilarious to me, would incite the need for a restraining order in others.

Just to be clear, I am not getting married. I haven’t had nearly enough time to inflict Stockholm Syndrome on some poor, hapless man. I was trying on wedding dresses for work. In Huddersfield.

When I told my mother about my day trip she immediately asked for me to send pictures, ‘in case I don’t get another chance to see you in, you know.’

Her conviction that I am going to die alone with cats has reached fever pitch. So much so that my flatmate has offered to have a word with her so that I stop staring into the distance and muttering about spinsterhood. 

When I told her I’d given up booze for a bit she was aghast. ‘But how will you meet someone? What if you only drank gin? Or champagne?’ I despair.

The wedding dress designer was a charming man, who on account of me potentially putting him on the telly had told me that I had the kind of figure that could pull off any dress. He then realised that I would not fit into a single sample dress and put me in one which in his own words, (insert Yorkshire accent here) ‘makes you look like Ursula the Sea Witch.’ 

He also put me in the shroud below, which I think makes me look like Uncle Fester.

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In better news, I seem to have acquired an admirer. The Turkish man who works in the corner shop at the end of the road has asked me to run away with him. Last time I went in there to buy maltesers he giggled like a little girl. He should probably get some self respect. 

To be fair, I had just told him there was a frog on my doorstep. Perhaps he has construed this as a British innuendo. I also didn’t look hideous in all the dresses. To quote Keira Knightley in Love Actually, I looked ‘quite pretty.’ Maybe there’s hope for me yet…

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SMUG LIFE

I would never be so bold as to describe this blog as a ‘lifestyle blog’ because it’s far from aspirational, but I have to admit that I had a pretty smug weekend. I’ve been a bit poorly so have found myself in enforced sobriety for a while. If you’re wondering why I’m always ill, I am convinced its because I’m an 80s baby and my mother smoked like a chimney when she was pregnant.

This weekend I went to no nightclubs, woke up in no gutters and have thus far not suffered a single shame attack. I’ve changed. Yesterday I made like every other middle class person in Hackney and rode my bike to Broadway Market. Never have I felt more like the face of gentrification. Because my best mate and I are incomparably cool we have matching bicycles and when we ride them together I get so excited I get Taylor Swift tourettes, screeching lines from various songs at passing pedestrians. I think its the only way I know how to vocalise wholesomeness. 

Naturally I had to lower the tone at some point, probably when I downed a cystitis sachet with my brunch…

I’ve been off work with yet another kidney infection and am doing everything in my power not to get another one. I’m particularly annoyed as I had an operation last month in a bid to stop them happening but clearly it hasn’t worked. Nothing says disappointment like finding out you were spit roasted by a catheter at 9am to no avail. When I awoke from the anaesthetic the nurse had to tell me to stop dancing as I might hurt myself. I then asked her whose party we were at and where my friend Anna was. Naturally I thought we were at a rave.

Immediately afterwards the man in the next door bed to mine woke up and screamed: ‘I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go through with the procedure.’ That’s one vasectomy that will be being swiftly reversed. 

After my delicious brunch and less delicious cranberry sachet, my friend and I met up with our friend Tommy to browse the cheese counter. We also acquired another middle class accessory, a Boston terrier. Her name is Patty and she is adorable. She is also a man magnet. Single ladies, take note. 

After parading Patty, I went on a sober pub trip and hosted a sober dinner party. I hate myself for being so boring but I have got an Edinburgh show to write. Its at 7.30pm in the Monkey Cellar in case you’re wondering and is running for the whole of August. 

PLEASE COME! DON’T MAKE ME PERFORM TO AN EMPTY ROOM! My mum has offered bed and board to anyone willing to watch me. Now that sounds like an offer you can’t refuse…

Red Bastard

You know its been a good night when you wake up with Mardi Gras beads all over your bedroom floor. You know its been a weird night when you realise that you haven’t woken up until 3pm and Barry from upstairs is doing the world’s best impression of attempting to ‘swing a cat’ in his kitchen.

This is what happened to me two weeks ago when I woke up after seeing 'Red Bastard.’ Red Bastard is a comedian and madman whom I went to see perform at the Vaults festival in Waterloo. I had planned a night in but was lured at the last minute by pictures like the one above. I never fail to be intrigued by a man in a baby gro full of space hoppers. 

As a sometime comedian myself, you would think that I might be generous when it comes to audience participation. I’m not. I hate it. Sorry. Red Bastard instructed us all to swap seats with the person next to us and immediately my seat was lost. I ended up sitting on my friend Henry’s knee. I was elevated in the eyes of Red Bastard. After I’d witnessed him chase an audience member to the loo I began to ignore his requests for participation with fervour.

I could feel the glare from the drama students in the audience. I’m quite sure they would have given their left arm to sing in public, but I was only on my first bottle of red and I was not playing ball. At the end of the show Red Bastard stripped naked, reminding me of the time my mother sent me to see 'puppetry of the penis’ when I was 14. I have never forgotten 'the emerging mollusc.’

After the show, the rest of the venue turned into a club and we continued on our road to ruin. The Mardi gras celebrations began and I remembered that I had in fact been there before. Last year my parents were in Antigua and I had to stand in for them at my sister’s parents evening. The night before I went to the Vaults, won a dance off and a crown and returned home at 5. When my other sister picked me up the next morning I was blind. She force fed me bacon sandwiches and coffee and after being denied a nap in my sister’s dorm room I snuck in late to the speeches. 

My old teachers politely leant back as I breathed booze everywhere and my sister repeatedly poked me throughout the day to stop me nodding off. She also had to intervene when I cornered a couple in the buffet queue to tell them my views on Pandas. They are pointless, stupid, expensive animals who deserve to go extinct. 

I made another vlog at the weekend as well. There’s a poem in it. I really don’t like doing these. Enjoy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZETiLgyIPmk 

LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE

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It’s nearly the weekend, I have survived my first week at work and I am no longer living on month old dry goods from the back of my festering cupboard. I have also enjoyed the best Valentine’s weekend I’ve had in years.

I had originally planned to go to 50 Shades of Grey with the ladies, get apocalyptically drunk and wake up hating myself next to someone I have no recollection of going home with. Luckily I was saved by the bell. I was offered a job, I was starting in 5 days and my Mum offered me a plane ticket home to Scotland. 

There are many good things about parents, but the best thing is definitely that whole unconditional love thing. That’s what gave me the mandate to stand at the fridge door eating 8 peperamis in succession whilst wailing that I wasn’t ‘where I saw myself at 27.’ It’s also what prompted my Mother to drive me to an out of hours GP so that I could get my crazy mitts on some sleeping pills. They know it isn’t worth riding it out.

It certainly helps that the man above is my Dad. While my coupled up friends were digging out greying suspenders and swearing that they’d never worn them in front of a boy before, I was having breakfast with a man willing to squeeze a size small t shirt over his checked shirt to cheer me up. The greatest joy of my weekend was explaining why Beyonce is so fantastic to a 55 year old man.

I was joined the next day by my brother and my friend Cookie, a man whom we nicknamed Tom Booze after he got so drunk we rolled him under a marquee to get him out of sight. Tom Booze has been shipped off to Aberdeen to spray penguins with oil and had promised to rob a grave to give me some roses. We drank endless red wine, took walks on the beach and listen to Abba Gold on repeat. Apparently my Grandfather chose ‘Thank You for the Music’ as one of his desert island discs. He was a man of taste.

Considering that last Valentine’s Day I received the card below and my ex-boyfriend went to a gig with another girl I would consider this year a triumph. Roll on V day 2016.

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WEEKENDS, WEIRDOS AND WATERSHIP DOWN

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’ve had an odder couple of weeks than usual since my last post. January has barely thrown up a sniff of a television job and I’ve been working in a jewellery shop to keep the wolf from the door.

When I say I’ve been working here, what I mean is that I have been sitting in a basement with a madman, hugging a radiator. They need another person in the shop for insurance purposes. I am that insurance. This hasn’t stopped my boss telling me how many people he has killed with his bare hands. He’s ‘broken all of the ten commandments’ apparently. I hope he won’t be expecting me to lend muscle in a raid. 

I’m afraid that the 'weirdos’ section of the title of this blog doesn’t really do justice to my current employer. I couldn’t find a word for bigot that begins with a W. Thus far he has been racist to almost every ethnicity on this earth, denounced anyone looking for work as a scrounger and has offered to repeat the holocaust in exchange for £100,000. Over the course of the week he has also developed a sty and looks more and more like General Woundwort from Watership Down every day.

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Last week I resolved to live for the weekend and planned to spend my saturday night in a basement in Hackney to drown my sorrows. I took a trip to Beyond Retro to cheer myself up and bought a top that was probably nicked from an extra in Coyote Ugly who got lost in Cyber Dog. It is amazing and I maintain that I am not too old to wear it. Here is a picture of me doing my best bar dance at 4 in the morning. I could probably do with some winter sun. 

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Spanners were thrown in the works when my ex texted me to announce that he may or may not make an appearance in the basement. Considering that last time I bumped into an ex I told him that I had just 'been at the gynaecologist to get some tests’ I thought it best that I get so drunk I was unable to form sentences. I drank a bottle of wine in 3 minutes. My fate was sealed. 

Three tequilas later and a stolen beer that was later revealed to have not just contained beer, my eyes were looking in different directions and my face was more miserable than one of Katy Perry’s sharks.

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My housemate is an amazing girl DJ and was playing back to back with some guy. Sometimes boy DJs feel threatened because she’s better than them. I was one angry feminist and this chump was hogging the decks. 

I started giving him a look reserved by Regina George for people who don’t wear pink on Wednesdays. It had not gone unnoticed. My housemate was mortified. Typically, I had decided to wage my stare off with the guy who owned the party and he was not impressed. Apparently he was Alexa Chung’s brother. I definitely did not care.

Thankfully my mates decided to bail before I was forcibly removed. It looks like dry January may have affected my tolerance. If you see a woman in a gutter in Greenwich wearing an ill advised lace up top it is me. Please send me back to Clapton. 

THE GIRL WHO CRIED CARBON MONOXIDE

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It had started out as the evening of dreams. I had successfully managed to make a meal using my spiraliser and was settling in to watch ‘First Wives Club’ with my housemate.

So well was it going that we had even agreed that as I was the most likely of the two of us to wear white leather trousers, for today I could be Goldie Hawn. (I’m really Diane Keaton but everyone deserves to be Goldie once in a while.)

That’s when we first heard the noise. A beeping sound that I usually associate with the dishwasher coming to the end of its cycle. My housemate burst into the sitting room.

'What was that noise?’

'Erm. It was the dishwasher, no?’

'That is not the noise the dishwasher makes. Have you checked the carbon monoxide alarm lately?' 

'Erm. No. But I do have an irrational fear of carbon monoxide poisoning that stems from an episode of Hollyoaks where all of the students died in their sleep. Also our boiler has been breaking a lot.’

We checked the alarm. It said 'go to fresh air.’ We were not about to take any chances. 

Within seconds my housemate and I had convinced ourselves that we were feeling light headed. I fabricated a persistent migraine and convinced myself that there was more condensation than usual on my bedroom window. We had to evacuate.

I called home to check the rationality of my claim. Dad answered the phone.

'You’re quite right darling. You can’t take chances with these sorts of things. Best stay somewhere else tonight.' 

His corroboration was all we needed. Liv and I decided to drive to her parents’ house in Surrey. It was the only place where we would be safe. I called my other housemate and told her to come home immediately. She was back from the gym and needed a shower. I told her she couldn’t risk her life. At this point Liv remembered that she’d left her ipad inside. We sent Anna in to get it. She hadn’t been inhaling the poisonous fumes for as long. 

A this point, a man who lives in the halfway house next door, leaned out the window and shouted at me to shut my trap. I told him that there was a gas leak and we were concerned for our health before turning to go to the car.

'If you’ve got something to say to me you can say it to my face.’

I turned. He spat at me. I must have looked pretty threatening. All 5 ft 4 of me in my flannel pyjamas.

Soon, Liv and I were in the car, clutching a packet of Xanax. It’s worth mentioning that my mother had yet to comment on the night’s proceedings. She is undoubtedly better acquainted with my tendency towards melodrama than my father. She once looked after me when I was coming off prozac and I threatened to throw myself into the garden pond every morning for a month. I never got past the jetty.

Roughly 30 minutes into the drive we realised that we may have overreacted. We decided to take a detour in Wandsworth and went to Liv’s sister’s house. We called the British Gas hotline. They needed to come over and check out the boiler immediately. We had driven halfway across London for nothing.

On the way back, I decided to buy and stress eat the entire Marks and Spencer’s party aisle in a petrol station. After inhaling a family pack of sausage rolls and a lot of pic n mix cheese, the likely outcome of our drama became mortifyingly clear. It can’t have all been in our heads.

I called my friend to ask if we could stay at hers if our house was poisoned. She laughed so much she cried. The game was up. Could it have actually been the dishwasher?

The Gas man came. Halfway house man was back. This time trying to incite a race war by insisting that people couldn’t just walk in here expecting it to be a white area. He explained that he was mixed race but his kids would turn out whiter than us. I was baffled. The gas man explained he was there to do his job. Half way house man was apoplectic. I wondered if he was the same man who frequently woke me in the night playing 'Rhythm is a Dancer’ at full volume.

The Gas man left. I ate constantly throughout his visit. There was no carbon monoxide. The alarm had not gone off. We were safe to sleep in our beds without risk of a silent, odourless killer. 

FYI: If you haven’t seen 'First Wives Club’ it’s on Netflix and is amazing. Also I’m the blonde.

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BAMBI'S REVENGE

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People are always banging on about ‘middle class problems.’ Whether its Buzzfeed moaning about hot pitta steam or furious commuters tweeting about the bus to Crouch End, middle class people always seem to be in a bit of a pickle.

But what about ‘posh people problems?’ Or more specifically, ‘posh people injuries?’ The picture above is of a pair of antlers I have hung in my room. The antlers that fell on my head.

They belonged to a deer that my Grandfather shot on a trip to Spain. I relieved them from my Grandmother’s house as she’s run out of mountable walls. They used to hang above my bed like a warning to potential suitors.

‘Don’t forget my Daddy has a gun.’

I was off work with a kidney infection and was doing my best to put off working from home. I noticed a fedora on the floor and nattily hung it on an antler spike before lying down for a nap. What happened next was the rudest awakening I have ever experienced. The antlers were off the wall and had skewered my forehead. I was seeing stars. I immediately took a photo of the damage.

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My head swelled up like a watermelon and I began furiously messaging the picture to my friends. Then I called my mother. She was having lunch with my sister’s godmother and her new boyfriend. As I was about to explain what had happened, said boyfriend hung up on a conversation with his son in London, walked into my mother’s kitchen and said:

'You’ll never guess what’s just happened to a friend of Phil's…Her antlers just fell on her head!’

It transpired that my sister’s godmother is going out with my friend Phil’s dad. I once commented to a friend’s mother that it was a very small world. She replied that it’s a very small class. Horrifyingly, it looks like she might be right. 

BLACK FISH

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I’ve been inspired to write this post as I sit sewing together a felt killer whale. Its not the first one I’ve made, the other was intended as a Christmas tree bauble in honour of my friend’s wedding. I left it on the train.

The significance of the killer whale is a secret known unto a select few. To some, I am nicknamed after the most famous whale in captivity, Shamu.* 

Shamu is the name attributed to every killer whale in residence at SeaWorld resorts in America. These whales are stolen from their mothers in the wild, trained to perform tricks and invariably have (sometimes deadly) run ins with their trainers. Most of us found this out from the movie Black Fish. Prior to its release I had been to Sea world close to 10 times. My mum just loved the end when the big whale splashed the audience. What can I say.

My name was coined in the summer of 2007. It was my first University holidays and my first taste of my over draught. My parents had sent me to London to work and pay off my debts and it wasn’t going well. After a few failed attempts at getting a job that I absolutely did not want, I went to stay with my friend in Cornwall. 

I’m a bit of an expert at outstaying my welcome. My parents living in Scotland has meant that I pitch up at people’s houses in the hope of bed and board more than most. Usually this ends up well, but on occasion I have over-estimated my charm. What started as a weekend in Cornwall turned into weeks when I got a job in a nearby cafe. It was then that I began to eat them out of house and home.

Tactful hints from my friend were ignored. Encouragements to embark on walks were turned down flat. I even lifted up my legs so that my friend’s mum could hoover under my feet. I was reading Harry Potter and had made myself at home. My days were definitely numbered.

I knew my appetite was spiralling out of control when 6 sausage rolls intended for lunch were eaten by the dog. I later admitted to being the dog. In a bid to get me out of the house (and away from tomorrow’s baguettes) the family took me to Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop in Padstow. The fresh salty air of the ferry journey was making me hungry. I partook in an eating competition.

One portion of fish and chips, a chip butty and an unnecessary ice cream later, we headed back towards the ferry. I was somewhat unfortunately wearing a black leather jacket and white jeans. The ferry refused to take me.

My dinner companions lost all composure as they offered to let me swim behind the boat. I had eaten myself out of a lift and was dressed like a killer whale. I only had myself to blame. I have now been called Shamu for nearly 8 years and haven’t weighed as much since.

If you haven’t already, please sign this petition to stop whales being kept in captivity. We Shamus deserve to be free.  

http://action.sumofus.org/a/seaworld-orcas-captivity-california-ban-blackfish/?sub=homepage

*FYI Free Willy is a fictional whale but was in fact played by none other than the orginal Shamu. 

OLD MAID

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‘Can everybody please stop getting engaged so that I can die alone in peace’

I’ve been dying to put this as my Facebook status for weeks but realise that I will look bitter and haggy (I’m still definitely the latter). I am also really happy for you guys (honestly) - its just a little overwhelming when I see a ring every time I open my laptop.

The 'first wave’ of engagements is on an absolute roll and for my year group, this year has definitely been the year to put a ring on it. To celebrate this with my nearest and dearest who are soon to be wed, I thought I would tell you about the day I found out that I was officially a spinster in the eyes of Her Majesty the Queen.

My Dad’s a bit of a toff you see. So much of a toff that once a year he must perform his duty as a member of 'The Royal Company of Archers’ - Scotland’s official protectors of the Queen. 

Every Summer he shoe-horns himself into an outfit that combines a moss coloured suit, a beret and a bow and arrow and prepares to sweat like a pig in a cellar at some ridiculous ceremony. He looks a bit like this:

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I sometimes think that my father and the Queen have rather a lot in common. They both confuse the concepts of sexism and tradition for a start. You see I am denied my birthright to ponce around with a bow and arrow because I am a girl. Dad thinks this is right as it 'has always been that way’ and 'he would not dream of interrupting my coffee mornings.’ When I am supposed to have these coffee mornings I am not sure, somewhere in between having a full time job and IT NOT BEING THE 50s.

It is also worth pointing out that his skills with a bow and arrow would be somewhat superfluous, should, for example a terrorist attack on the Queen occur, or if someone had thrown an aborted foetus at the Pope on his Royal visit to Edinburgh.

This is a gentleman’s club that comes with perks however. I was for a few short blessed years, allowed to accompany my parents to the Queen’s royal garden party, a welcome chance to (badly) Harry hunt and laugh at my father turning puce on a boiling hot day. That was until I found myself unmarried at 25.

Yes - in the eyes of the Queen if you’re over 25 and unmarried you are officially gathering dust. As an 'unaccompanied older lady’ the Lord Chamberlain casually removes your name from the annual invitations and you once again have no reason to ever wear a formal hat.

I’ve pondered what this means for the rest of her family and am gravely concerned for Beatrice and Eugenie. There is now a very real prospect that they’re using their boyfriends as beards so that their Granny invites them to parties. 

NOAH's ARK

2015 has not got off to a good start. Not only am I single, unemployed and unable to fit into anything but dungarees due to a two week crash diet of red wine and molten cheese, I am also writing this post from my bed, wearing a cashmere house coat of my mothers that smells of fags and Chanel no. 19.

I am back in London and my boiler has exploded. There is a biblical flood downstairs and the entire flat smells of wet rug. I found about about this disaster from my neighbour, a man whom we refer to as bin laden due to his fixation on where we leave our rubbish bags. Needless to say he was not thrilled to see water spurting out of the building.

I had been to see my other housemate DJing the night before and was still in Sheen wearing a mesh, frontless swimming costume and hot pants. Waiting for the bus with elderly people and children was sobering. Especially when I realised that I had not washed my face and probably still smelt of whisky.

I returned to a bog. The boiler was still making guttural belches and our turquoise rug had dyed everything it touched bright blue. I thought about getting on a plane back to Scotland but resolved to crack open a bottle of red, get in the bath and call Pimlico plumbers.

I put my housemate to bed and waited to greet the plumber in tartan flannel with a red wine mouth worthy of a corsodyl advert. The plumber turned out to be a bit of a dish. I unfortunately remained a bit of a disgrace.

He was due to install our new boiler at 10am. He still hasn’t showed. Something tells me he’s trying very hard to delegate the job…

THE WEDDING OF THE YEAR

10 days ago today, I was in a state of dizzying excitement. I had eaten nothing but eggs and spinach for 5 days, was looking forward to Christmas and had convinced my mother that I might bag myself a Prince. My best friend from school was getting married, and I was damned if I was going to look any less than sensational at the wedding of the year. 

When I was at school, one of my friends threw her 17th birthday party in the Savoy. My mother had bought me a satin number in Karen Millen that was a little on the tight side and I decided to go on my first crash diet. We named the dress the ‘silken worm’ and every night my friends would gather in my dormitory to clutch at fabric and heave at zips. I was in a similar predicament before the wedding, except this time my outfit wasn’t cheap and I’d finally grown some tits.

Everyone who is anyone was at this wedding so I thought it best to wear sunglasses into the church. As anticipated, I was papped. However my thrill was slightly dampened when I realised that they had thought I was Zara Phillips, whom I’m quite sure has recently given birth. 

Disappointed to see that Philip Treacy’s predator was not going to make an appearance, my friends embarked on a game of 'hat or snack’ in reaction to a fascinator in the row in front of us that looked like Mikado biscuits. I attempted to choke back tears every time I saw the dress or any members of her family. I had no idea I was so much of a sissy. 

After the service we were whisked away to a marquee which had been decked out like the interior of an alpine lodge. The bar served Espresso Martinis and it snowed inside. I was in heaven. At one point the photographer caught me on the way back from the loo. I did a catwalk down a line of silver birches. I tripped. Still single in case anyone was wondering.

After a dinner where I could not eat without being bruised by my corset, I transformed into my persona for the night 'the Dad molestor.’ I spent the rest of the evening flirting heavily with everyone over 40 and screeching at my friend George because he had hippos on his tie.

Mum can hold onto that dream of a televised wedding, or any wedding for that matter. The bar has been set. And it has been set bloody high.