Nothing to do with Charlize Theron or Bob Dylan.

Location: Norwich, United Kingdom

Keep on Truckin'.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Now Touring the UK

This week I embarked on a veritable tour of two of my favourite places: Liverpool and Southwold. Not that from past experience they should be my favourite places, for Southwold is beautiful but turned my demi-cold into something much more ugly and sinister with a lot more goo, and Liverpool only ever taught me two things: not to stare at a scally in a partially blacked-out Honda at a petrol station, and to never choose to sleep in my brother’s bed rather than on the floor.

This week’s sojourn was intended to be far more wholesome however, since it was with my Mum who took her birthday week off work to spend it with her darling offspring, namely Offspring #2 (Simon) and Offspring #3 (me). Offspring #1 (Caroline) has contracted the dreaded Pox and is currently counting her spots in the spare room where she has been shunted by her husband. Chicken Pox is extremely contagious and likely to turn other people into poultry (probably) which was why Mum insisted she didn’t come on our little outing, although so vehemently that one suspected the Pox was simply a cover for the fact that she was actually projectile vomiting with her head spinning about 360 degrees.

On Wednesday, we bought Mum dinner in a restaurant which was initially lively, but silenced by the arrival of a pianist who looked unnervingly like Michael Gambon, and stared at his audience under beetled brows with an intensity which implied he had concealed a small warhead inside the
instrument. We also took her to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, from whose tower you can see the entire City in all its Mersey-glory. However, to get to the top meant taking two lifts interspersed with a 108 step climb around the belfry. The lift itself spoke. At the UEA Library, The Voice of the Lift is a breathy young lady who lewdly purrs ‘Gooooing Dooowwn’ to bemused students. The Voice of the Cathedral Lift sounded like Darth Vader, if Darth Vader had joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, played Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night Dream on an outdoor stage, and it was all very difficult, and there wasn’t any amplification and he’d had to rely on his projection alone. Thus:

(Heavy Breathing) Levellll Tenn: The TOOOOOOOWWWWWWerrrrrrrrrrrr

Levelllll Foooouuuuuuuur: Elizabeeeethan Embrooiidery Ex-hi-bi-tionnnnnnnnn

Like many tourists, I came home (to Lydia’s own birthday celebration) with some very bad photos (coincidentally blurry whenever Mum happened to pick up the camera, see right) and a Beatles mug. Unfortunately, the God of Mugs, He giveth and He taketh away, because yesterday I managed to break Emma’s.

Now its Sunday, and sunny. Spring may (MAY) be just around the corner. Let’s not jinx it people.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Stating The Obvious

It's St. Paddy's Day people. Do I really need to tell you this? OK, so you're about as Irish as Chicken Jalfrezi, and your hair is NOT fashioned into auburn ringlets, nor do you have leiderhosen-esque britches on or live at the end of the rainbow.

But all your friends are down the Pub without you.

A Bohemian Life

These last few weeks are a fooking killer, and my ever-tightening purse strings are doing nothing to help the rabid persona I have adopted about the house, nor cure the literal twitchy eye I had last week, that went away in Dublin, and came back on Monday evening, approx. 7pm. People are starting to look at me as though I may gag them with my own two fingers. Today, in a misunderstanding, Moo and Em thought I was retracting meal vouchers needed for her 21st! Birthday! for my own private candelit dinner, such is my reputation for being resident über-bitch and Someone To Actively Avoid™.

The fact that I can currently only afford one meal a day (sausages) and am, at all other times, living solely on honey-on-toast (which is NOT filling and has made me headachy and constipated to the point of wondering whether faeces can, in fact, be retched out) has, thankfully, gone unnoticed. Because I may look as pale as Tony Blair when he heard the recording of Cherie singing, 'When I'm 64', but at least I still have my pride. Unlike Cherie. Although she probably doesn't discuss her bowel-movements online. I call it 1-1.

In other food-related news, I notice that KFC are now shockingly doing a "Mum's-Night-Off Bargain-Bucket", conveniently in the run up to Mothering Sunday (the 26th of April, kids- Pritt-Sticks at the ready!) I was thinking that if I were to get my Mum a bucket o'something for her nigh-on 22 years of trouble it might have to be more than chicken. This year, I'm guessing she'd probably quite like a bucket o'grenades, or even a bucket o'cats, to hurl at various men, passers-by, and anyone who blocks her in because of a wedding, the purpose of which she sees only the following:

(a) An Oscar's Red Carpet-style "Fashion Hits and Wardrobe Malfunctions" run-through.
"The bride is FAR too dumpy to carry that off".
"Halterneck? With her arms?"
"What. An. Ugly. Hairstyle", etc etc

(b) A mock-Tomorrow's World POTENTIAL DEATH-TRAP! run-through.
"Those kids are going to hit my bloody car with that shoe if they're not careful!"
"If that horse steps back a bit more it's going to crush that baby!"
"One day, they'll tug on a tombstone like that and it'll fall on them and break their leg!" etc etc

OK, I'm resident evil. But you can see where I get it from.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I felt honoured to be texted on Friday night by my friend Ash, who has been travelling about Thailand for a few weeks now on his way to Australia, where he is sure to set the convicts alight with his skill in accountancy and work-shirking, the latter of which I discovered last summer. Ashley (or Chipchase* as he came to be known) bought me a cocktail at lunchtime on my 21st Birthday called A Multiple Screaming Orgasm, knowing full well I had "important" work to do for our beloved NHS in the afternoon. As the gloopy mix of Tia Maria, Baileys, Vodka and Kahlua topped with whipped cream fused itself against my stomach lining, I was no longer able to

(a) use the telephone without sniggering, despite the fact that for much of the time it was A&E calling for medical notes
(b) remember anyone's name, incl. staff, patients and, more crucially, MY BOSS or
(c) look at the over-complicated shelving system without being convinced that the numbers were, literally, spinning.

I was especially glad to see that Ash has not altered his seedy ways in favour of culture or, indeed, decency, as I pictured him tapping this into his Nokia on Ko Phan Ngan:

"Full moon town is Gino Ginelli! There's no room for heroes. Get to bed Gitsy"

*For reasons I cannot remember, me, Ash, Sam and Vicky (our stoodent Team) gave ourselves the following nicknames (possibly because it allowed us to talk in code about who-tried-it-on-with-who at the staff parties, or more likely because it shortened the long minutes we had to spend on the phone listening to monotone voices):

Ash: Ashley Chipchase
Sam: Ishmael Onkentel
Vicky: Happy Rahman
George: Prunella Boffin

To combat the boredom of a quiet Wednesday morning, Sam devised a competition to determine who was the greatest team-member. Our task was simple: to get a set of medical notes delivered to us urgently and addressed to our alter-ego. As the entire secretarial staff seemed to be on a coffee break, I spent the next few minutes staring blankly at the computer screen, when I heard, from the next desk,

'No, not T-A-L, T-E-L. O-N-K-E-N-T-E-L. With an E. ISHMAEL ONKENTEL'.

Before I even made a successful call, one of the porters burst into the office, zipping from divider to divider, looking desperately for the P.A. of the anonymous Ishmael who, it was assumed, must be one-of-those-new-consultants-from-abroad-who-had-commandeered-the-Orthopaedic-block. It took Sam all of about 8 seconds to ring all our extensions with the news that said set of notes was sitting on his desk before he put it in the appropriate pigeon-hole, a bit faster than usual. Everyone's a winner!**

**I do in no way endorse this foul abuse of dedicated NHS staff.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ich Bin Ein Dubliner

I spent most of today trying to sort out my photo-set from Dublin on Flickr, though I'm sorry to say to you all that there is a distinct lack of snapshots of either top-bunk lewdness or Guinness-fumbling, which is largely due to there not being any, at least on my own account. Things with the (I discovered) not-so-young-man (32!) were absolutely non-awkward and I had remembered him accurately as the perfect gent. However the weekend was fairly eventful and was distinctly marked by the following, in no particular order:

Vomit (from 80% ethanol)
Stolen perfume (boo!)
A vacuum-cleaner cupboard mistaken for a water closet
Vomit at the check-in desk (from motion sickness)
Champagne at the bus-stop (oh, and maybe from that as well)
Panoramic Guinness
A giant spike
Men in kilts

There was an incredible buzz to the City on Saturday afternoon, when Ireland played Scotland in the Six Nations at local stadium Landsdowne Road which is, apparently, now closed after 128 years (making it the World's Oldest International Rugby Stadium™). However, weep not, fact-fans, for they're just moving the pitch around 90°, for reasons even Northamptonshire County Council would be pressed to justify. As well as making much merriment, the fans' awe-inspiring turn out provided myself with a considerable amount of oggle-action, thanks to the self-explanatory appearance of the World's Greatest Garment (™), the Kilt. Goodness knows I have tried to fight my obsession for years, but seeing literally hundreds of them per square metre was as a red rag to a bull and I ended up taking many gratuitous and voyeuristic photos of them for my own, erm, personal collection.

Freud et al, say what you will about me drooling over what looks with squinty-eyes like a man in a skirt; I'm happy just to have this image in my life (I'm thinking of the man on the left, despite the afro-wig).

When I finally returned to Norwich last night, I went out for a few drinks (again) with Mr. Jay. Despite four such dates there has still been no locked-lips and, with continual interrgation from multiple parties as to mine and his every movement, I am considering opening a seperate blog I can update on the move. Please let me know if you'd be interested in reading more of the following, which is a sample of this potential diary, sure to stop the world from spinning on its axis, at least temporarily:*

12.08: Read e-mail. No kissing.
12.09: Scratched nose. No kissing.
12.10: Weird feeling. Is it thirst? It might be thirst. No kissing.
12.11: Considering a glass of water. No kissing.
12.12: Glass of water. No kissing.

P.S. It appears that this is only my fifth post in four weeks, and It's not like I was even trying to cut down for Lent, either. B+, will try harder.

*Apologies. Enjoying a very bad mood. Need another holiday.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Get Me To The Guinness

In a few short minutes I'm heading off to Manchester to meet up with my old-friend Nina. She's not old, but, erm, you know what I mean. I wouldn't normally make such a stupidly long trip (from Norwich, trains either go via London or Edinburgh*) except that 7 of us are heading to Dublin for her birthday!

Obviously I don't buy into the Irish stereotype (hence the groundbreaking title of this post) but I am looking forward to enjoying much craic this weekend. The only element of this I am not so much with the looking forward to is that one of our party is the guy I kinda maybe got a little bit naked** with on a sofa on New Years Eve 2005/New Years Day 2006, depending on whether you're a pedant, or just someone who likes to split hairs. Anyway, long story short, it wasn't the most tactful move I've ever made and since I haven't seen him since he drove me home later that fateful morning, things could get quite interesting/ugly/otherwise.

I can't keep my mouth shut about ANYTHING so I'm sure I'll share the scoop on Monday.

'Til then, chicky ducks, have a good weekend! X

*Slight exaggeration, but not much
*Not the whole way naked, silly, who do you take me for?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Too Much Andy Caine

It's been raining a lot here over the last couple of days. Those of you currently trying to sell cars in the Seventh Circle of Dante's Inferno (a.k.a. Perth, Western Australia) may wheeze in anger at my ungratefulness for living in a climate where clothes are not your enemy, but having been showered in Norfolk sludge by a speeding No.28 bus, from my trainers to my beret, I was wanting a piece of that gas-oven sunshine for myself. Plus the letterbox came off in my hands this morning, and I was feeling cursed.

Last night I had a dream that I drove to the Hook of Holland from Amsterdam in the back-seat of Nina's car while her boyfriend Anthony ranted in the passenger seat about how inconvenient it was to have to detour to Ang Lee's house to pick up his son, Maddox Jolie, and their ginger cat, who both needed a lift to the Ferry Port. Not accustomed to such hallucinatory visions I consulted my trusty Dream Dictionary.

Diagnosis: Oscars Goggle-eyes due to over-exposure, esp. Jake Gyllenhaal in a chequered shirt and Michelle Williams' dress. But mostly Jake Gyllenhaal.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sea Bass

Having spent a week convalescing c/o Mother, I'm feeling more plucky, quicker on my toes (and probably lighter too, having dropped a stone in that most enjoyable of weeks), with a little left-over bass in my voice, and more ready to admit that I sort of, kind of, have a crush on Boris Johnson. Yes, even though he is pro-nuke. It must be the hair. That's it, it's the hair.

Speaking of which, I finally had my bush cropped this week. Some of you may recall the multiple disasters that have befallen me in the hands of my hairdresser, Kylie (yes, Kylie), over the past year. Her powers of photo-interpretation are, quite frankly, staggering, and there have been many many times when I have exited the grandiose supermarket salon trying to not to weep in Debenhams' toilets because I look like I slipped Edward Scissorhands a fiver to give me a short back and sides. As well as the disastrous 'pixie-crop' of 2004, Kylie is also responsible for the heinous banana (I said, 'Ashy', woman!) hair I sported for roughly 5 weeks last March

And yet I rebook, because she actually enjoys talking about Harry Potter and Heath Ledger.

Me: 'I'm growing it out at the moment'. (She looks distracted). 'OK? I don't want you to chop my fringe or anything, just a little trim at the end and my roots. Mainly, just the roots'.
K: 'So, I'm just going to nibble at the ends then, OK? And chop into this fringe as well'.
Me: (Worried) 'OK, but not too much, cause I'm growing it out and at the moment it's just getting in my eyes. And also, the back's getting a little Kevin Keegan, and it just needs a teeny snip'.
K: (Seemingly not convinced) '.............OK'.

Two hours later I look like a lightbulb. A literal lightbulb. My fringe barely reaches halfway down my honestly gigantic Harris-forehead and the longest glossiest strands of hair I've been carefully cultivating since last summer lie sadly on the tiles and are promptly swept away by a minion with a very dirty-looking broom.

Must not weep in Debenhams. Must not weep in Debenhams.