Nothing to do with Charlize Theron or Bob Dylan.

Location: Norwich, United Kingdom

Keep on Truckin'.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Scraping The Surface

I will now admit the following:

  1. When I was in school I was generally terrible about borrowing other people's stationery and giving it back. It wasn't malice, most of the time I lost it; vis a vis the infamous Lower-Five D. Parker-Pengate, whereby me and Jo swapped Pen Lids for a few days (they were contrasting colours) in which time I lost my pen and therefore her original lid, which she wasn't too happy about. So sorry Jo, and to all of you, especially Emma Mapletoft, because I appear to have your hockey socks (I did wash them, to be fair). If anyone has a specific piece they'd like returned, I promise I will make every effort to locate it.
  2. I'm really quite bad at climbing and find it impossible to do without scraping the surface off my right knee. One large scar on there has only just healed, and yesterday I gone and done it again and now have huge purpular, pink and blueish bruises all over the shop. Fortunately I did keep my dignity by completing my climb (and well), but then made the mistake of looking over and seeing the regulars hanging upside-down in the cave without harnesses on. Honestly, these people drive out into the country and track down large boulders for kicks! They exercise by shimmying under tables and back up the other end without touching the floor! They study things like Enviromental Sciences! Meterology! Oceanography! Ahem.
  3. I really like that song by Simon Webbe. You know the one, he was off of off of off Blue. Gaag, my bravest confession yet...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Eggs and Excellence

Last night Moo was very enamoured of me, as I used three of her eggs (yes, cookery fans, that's three eggs) making some outstanding Yorkshire Puddings to accompany my more rudimentary roast. Yes, indeed, the Mother's got me down for Christmas Day. Considering the Gangbusters-like appearance of the kitchen post-roast, it was time for a clean, particularly as today was the ETA of our landlord for a routine inspection, or rather his daughter, as he's sketchier than a box of charcoals, and more rickety than, erm, rickets.

The first (and last) time I did business with him was when I arrived first at our new house, only to discover the key i'd been given didn't fit the door. Round he came with a thick bunch of keys (all of them working), only to become confused as to which was mine. I tried to point out that it was the key with THE HUGE BUMP STICKING OUT THE SIDE OF IT WHICH LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THE OTHERS, but he insisted on trying them all several times, mostly because he forgot after each 'round' which one he decided didn't fit. After many minutes of hopeless persuasion, I began to walk back to the car to speak to the Mother, who was blowing several fuses and probably tripping the lights as well, as she mercilessly gripped the steering wheel in frustration.

Unfortunately he wasn't prepared for the "sudden movement" and twitched so powerfully that he bounced onto the discarded oven outside and riccocheted back onto the wall, soaking himself in the process.

Today we received a thorough 'thumbs-up' and 'excellent' comments from the daughter, although she did point out the black spots of mould inside the back door. Having spent a good evening slogging my guts out in the bathroom for the same reason, I'm hoping to avoid it, although the 'We'll have to clean it' comments, coupled with exaggerated stares in my direction and the lack of other volunteers suggests it may be again down to me.

That's the joy of student, right?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Good Morning Dover Street

My alarm goes off at 7.05 and, as usual, I need to wash my hair before my 9am seminar. This involves finding a towel semi-naked in the cold, running downstairs half-naked in the cold (pegging it across the kitchen floor) and showering fully-naked in the cold of the tacked-on bath shed. During the ten blue minutes, my inner-monkey attempts to keep me warm by standing all my hairs on end, not realising that I evolved a few years ago and now leave all that gumpf to Messrs H and M. Still shuddering, I rootle optimistically in my underwear drawer and inevitably find only the French Knickers (which go with the Bra) and The Ridiculously Small Thong (for tight trousers). Both of them are like bloody cheese-wire.

In the rush that follows, I make a half-hearted attempt at presentability by poking at my eyes with a large mascara wand and straightening my fringe (stuffing the rest of my hair inside a hat). The fringe lasts about 3.4 seconds in the gale. It begins to snow, but at least i'm not cycling, as everyone who passes me is absolutely beetroot and has the look of someone who is trying to be brave despite that large hernia. When I get into class, somehow always 7 minutes ahead of time, (despite a nagging worry of lateness which at least keeps me warm), the tutor bows once more to switch on the radiator which makes everything smell of burning hair for about 30 minutes. The girl next to me wears her genuine Gucci Bag on her lap throughout. I brush against it with my left-handed elbow and she looks at me as if I want to whip it off her and sell it on the black market.

Then it gets to lunchtime, I'm eating some hot pasta, watching the flakes outside and chatting to my housemates, and everything is winter-perfect.

I guess I'm just not a morning person.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Code Red

Me and Moo headed into campus tonight for the bi-monthly Indie night. It was, as we discovered, absolutely flipping freezing outside. It didn't help that the bus was 20 minutes late, nor that we we wearing a summer jacket and cardigan respectively. We felt quite feeble, clammering together, imagining this was simply a mental endurance test, a la SAS. However, we felt a bit better about ourselves when, crossing the threshold into the bar, it started to snow an absolute blizzard outside. Not your regular blizzard either, this was a full-on, apocalypse-style blizzard, from which legends are born. Below is an artist's interpretation of the weekend weather:

In other news, we were treated to a performance by the band Apartment, who shuffled unsurely on stage about 11.30pm. The LCR isn't the best venue, but most agreed early on it was fairly de rigeur stuff. In fact, in order to give the final death knell on Norwich's reputation for live music, quite a few people started heckling. Fortunately, the set got a more interesting, though the singer went quite quiet post-heckle and there seemed to be an increase in shoe-gazing amongst the others. It wasn't until the last four songs, each of them proclaimed as the last, the repeat of an earlier song because 'you love it so much' (trying to tick the crowd off, natch?) and a ridiculously indulgent final drum solo that I began to lose sympathy. Although they did their best to deserve it, I'm not sure they really needed the rough ride.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

YO YO Y-Oink

Me and Moo were talking about Roots Manuva next week. She's been hobbling about the house like Yoda today, thanks to an inexplicable jippy knee. I gave it a Thai-style rub around tonight and in the post-massage ecstasy, she picked up my bed-partner, Potter the Pig, and suggested we brought him to 'Manuva for a bit of oinky gangsta action.

'He is a bit of a dude, isn't he?'
'Yeah, but he probably needs a bit of a hip-hop makeover so as to not embarass us in front of the cool kids'.

What began as simple banter ended up as an all-in-one hooded jumpsuit fashioned out of an old pair of tights, complete with ear- and tail-holes.

'He needs a gangster chain'. Done.
'He needs some arm-bling'. We tie a rainbow ribbon onto his trotter.
'He looks gay. He needs some punking up'. We add a couple of 'duck-skull' and "scratch it" badges.
'He looks a bit hard. He needs to look more dude-y and intellectual'. We add spectacles.
'He needs to look a bit sketchier'. We tuck a 'spliff' (a page from my diary ripped and rolled up) behind his ear.
'Maybe a bit more, er, über-cool'. He gets some head-phones and a little black box, complete with CD, to scratch.


'Do you think we're maybe regressing slightly?'
'Yeah, but he looks pretty hot anyway'.
'That's a bit bestial'.

People will do ANYTHING to avoid their dissertation these days.

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's Just Not Cricket

Here's a shot I took of Arctic Monkeys over the summer. And here's where I'll be putting those interminable music posts from now on >>>

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Thanks But Unthank

Thanks to some spontaneous and projectile illness, I didn't drink last night. I didn't drink during the Vodka stage, the Wine stage, the bopping stage, or even the post-party noodle stage (courtesy of Kevin Chin), but I was damned if I was going to miss out on the hangover fry-up stage.

And so it was that we headed to that infamous UEA haunt, the Unthank Kitchen. Being fortunate souls, we're within sniffing distance of this cultural centre, built helpfully between the Hardware Shop and the Pub (for all your out-of-halls needs etc).

There's room for only four tables inside (we shared with two skatery-looking fellows) and four out, where ONLY the hardiest/ogling-est boys eat;

1. because of the seasonal turbine-strength winds
2. because of the continuous traffic smogging up your glasses and
3. because of the potential to spot very good looking girls wearing last night's miniskirt and hoping to get home unnoticed

For £3.65, the obviously-student chefs will cook you up a dream of a Full English while you peruse your complimentary Daily Star (and other students at will). It's a utopian place where the intellectual, stoner and Burberry caps come together for the shared purpose of eating lots of greasy food and chatting about the previous night's escapades (before heading back to watch the tail-end of T4).

I've never understood how people get jobs after three years of this.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And Yet More Nuggets

In the spirit of all things Lil' Kim, here are some more morsels for your portable stereos (because I've been rather slack at this of late).

1. Simian, 'La Breeze' (from THAT advert, but an amazing two years old. Buy the lot).
2. Bob Dylan, 'Oxford Town' (music for people who wear spectacles...or contact lenses).
3. The Crimea, 'White Russian Galaxy' (guaranteed to stay put in your head for at least 3 hours).
4. The Faces, 'Ooh La La' (a bit of obligatory old, courtesy of Nina).
5. Pulp, 'Babies' (because).
6. Roisin Murphy, 'Sow Into You' (when I grow up I want to be her).
7. Anything by Tom Vek ('C-C...' if you must).
8. David Bowie, 'Knock On Wood' (get the new Platinum Collection if you're a newbie).
9. Desmond Dekker, 'You Can Get It...' (I listened to this at the bus-stop while it was raining and it felt very inappropriate [Coldplay weather etc]. Ace).
10. John Legend, 'Number One'. I was listening to this in the car with the Mother and got a wee bit blushy because of the following lyrics (rapped by Kanye West, no diggidy, no doubt). For those of you who ever thought rap was generally misogynistic....!

I suppose you was told by them hoes I was cheatin'
Thinkin' my heart don't got nothing to do with my penis
He got a mind of his own and he just be seeing shit
And I don't wanna cheat but I don't be saying shit
I try to jack off he ask me who is you playin' wit?
But I know he love you he told me you was his favorite

Aaah, the penis personified. What better to put on your 'pod?!

Guilty Pleasures

Jo and Roo in New Zealand: You Lucky Things. All this talk of travelling has made me feel very nostalgic for those halcyon Gap Year days, especially since I discovered all those digital photos in the pit that is my forgotten bedroom in the Shire. OK, so I looked like a young Esther Rantzen and spent most of my waking hours extracting sand from my belly-button, toes, ears, gums, etc. But just look! Sigh.

What I actually meant to say though was that I'm really getting into 'Lighters Up' by Li'l Kim. Everytime I hear it I forget that I'm really a weedy, middle-class nerd who spent most of her youth listening to Backstreet Boys and Five (or should I say 5ive, the Best Boyband Of All Time, except perhaps for Take That) and boogie about my room, shaking my little white rump, desperately wanting (but managing not) to shout "Fo' shizzle!" ...which is the kind of thing that would probably get me beaten up in public.


That was the sound of my remaining credibility flying out the window.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Holding It Together

Our house is falling apart. Call me paranoid if you want to. Go on, it's OK, I'll forgive you in time. It was the Mother who first noticed it. Heaving bags of my clothes out the door she spotted the tell-tale signs of a house in the process of ruination, thanks to its irresponsible caretakers. Yes, friends, from the dark chasms of the extension wall camest a huge, blue, manga-fluffy, hand-sized froth of mould. Her vocal chords struggled to express her shock.

'Jesus, you're going to be breathing it in!, and then you're all going to get ill!, it's going to get in your lungs! and clog you up! and then...'

'OK, alright. Mum. I. WILL. DEAL. WITH. IT'.

When I returned a week later, I felt sure I could easily bleach away our house problems.

That was until our chimney fell off and hit the car outside.

And then the front window got smashed.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Totty or Spotty?

About a week ago, it was revealed to me that not only were most of the men I knew doing it, but my housemate was doing it too. In fact, it seemed like everyone was doing it.

Now, I'm not the type to get it on these shennanigans, but when Lyd titilated me with the offer of being able to find all our friends on Hot Or Not (provided, crucially, that I signed up) I couldn't resist. So enthusiastic was I, that I just put up the photo of myself in the pink wig. 'It doesn't matter', I thought. 'I only want to find [insert name] then i'll unsign'. What an error. Within a few hours I had had 173 ratings, most of which fell around the 3 out of 10 mark (I think I scored a high of 3.9).

However, in my post-party state I was greeted by a lovely letter from the Hot Or Not chaps, informing me of men who had been oddly attracted to my clearly horrible 3.9 out of 10 face. I laughed so hard I think a bit of wee came out. I've since taken my photo down (always sticking with the plan), but this e-mail was worth it, and I'd like to share a bit with you here....

N.B. They came with photos, but I'm wondering whether its illegal to show them. So I won't.

Hi,my name is Skid. I like movies,music,cars and arts.Ilove sunrises and sunsets,ladies in jeans or lingerie. I like to kiss necks and play guitar. I'm very easy-going and adore long legs in hi-heels.

I'm a thinker. I see all sides of everything. I'm also impulsive and crazy. Come and talk to me. My girlfriend just broke up with me.

i am from turkey i like a lot of things and i am very friendly

Hi, my name is John, from Clacton-on-Sea, 62, easy going, honest, loyal, faithful,sincere, sociable,genuine, patient, good natured, patient, young at heart, like jazz , walking, sunbathing,photography, eating out, travel. Am NOT working at moment.

smokin.................. drink a bit but i prefere smokin u dont get the hangova.

thats me so if u don't like fat people or kids don't bother.

I'm back in Northampton this week.

Have fun x

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Tried, I Really Did.

I've spent the last few days trying to be more wholesome. After all, drinking is neither big nor clever (its not like you need to be a genius to maximise your gullet and pour burning spirits down it) and I do kind of have work to do, sort of.

In the spirit of all things civilised, I went to the park last night to watch the fireworks, as one does on Guy Fawkes Night. Poor old Guy, he was hoping for some pyromaniac fun, but unfortunately the mizzle let him down and he was forced to abandon his plans of burning, erm, himself. However, the lives of several hedgehogs were saved in the process, so it wasn't all bad.

Also, I get the feeling that the Nor Folk weren't bothered by this; most of them had just come to see a shit-load of explosives go sky-high, innit. 'Quarli-ee tyrmin meat' (excellent synchronisation, my good fellow) was heard from many a yoof as The Killers and Faithless (whoever said that the Flatlands didn't move with the times?) sung to the display. Afterwards, in true country fashion, there was a mass exodus towards the Waltzers where teenagers in fake Burberry caps were charging £2 to make people vomit.

To top this most wholesome of nights off, we went to the Union Bar (the closest to the park) for a quiet glass of wine in the warmth. Of course, the queue for drinks was 10 people deep and there was nowhere to sit, so we ended up drinking in the Square outside, watching Freshers in nothing but strategically arranged bin bags and duck-tape being ritually walked like dogs, and stood in the pond with wet leaves dumped on them in the name of Football Initiation.

To all civilised people everywhere! (We are fighting a losing battle, luvvies).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mood Swing in 30,29,28...

Honestly. If I were not me, I'd have marched straight up to me, grabbed a leafy stick from a gracious tree, smacked myself about with it for a couple of seconds and then poured a sticky drink over my head. Possibly Coke, for the extra caffeine factor. Sorry boys, but this is PMT like I've never experienced before. I cried three times today (which wasn't helped by a giraffe-sized hangover from last night's party, compounded by the realisation I WAS THE ONLY ONE DRUNK) and have since been calmed only by an evening courtesy of Messrs Ben and Jerry.

Thankfully the alcohol has now left my system; the cocktail of Fosters, Vodka and Red Wine Punch, White Wine, Carlsberg AND Stella proved fairly lethal, though it did give me an extra swagger befitting my pirate outfit (I planned 'A Clockwork Orange' but hadn't bargained on the City-wide sell-out of Bowler hats). In a daring move, I instigated a drinking game, but its success led to my own demise.

Now I'm taking a moment to (once more) reflect on why

(a) drink is evil
(b) old people get stick (how cool were the septogenarians on What Not To Wear?!)
(c) landlords get away with it
(d) librarians don't know their alphabet and
(e) moisture makes my hair look like an afro in need of a comb

But hey, it's my hormones talking, right?!