Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Prelude to Chez Gérard - Day 5

There it was right in front of me. His number, sexy barman’s number! This was now a sacred piece of paper. I nearly slept with it. Even though I had put the number on my phone, it was still sacred paper; my holy grail. It even smelt of him. (No it didn't) but that’s how delusional I had become.

I wondered when a good time to text was. Now I was home, was that too soon? Or should I wait until tomorrow? Well really the question was could I wait until tomorrow? The answer was plain and simple, no! However, in all my excitement, I knew that if I text him and he didn't reply then I would be up all night checking my phone. I doubt he was at home willing me to text him, he was probably already asleep.

Berkley was an odd one… He messaged me first, something along the lines of ‘Hello, my name is Berkley. What a charming picture…’ hmmm well charming wasn’t what I was aiming for with my picture but I liked that word. ‘…Would you do me the pleasure of accompanying me one evening to dinner?’ Oh I say! He was what I like to call an ‘old school gent’. They really don’t make them like this anymore. These species of men are very hard to find. But when you find them, they are very enjoyable in so many different ways.

I found his message just so enchanting that I had to say yes. Who wouldn’t! It sounded so romantic, like something out of a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers musical. The thing is, anytime I smell a hint of romanticism, (regardless of if I’m in delusional mode or not) I'm already planning the wedding! 

Berkeley and I were to be married on a summer’s eve in his beautifully big country mansion on his grand estate. The day after, we’d go shooting in the morning (never been, but it sounds delightfully posh) and have a fabulous garden party in the evening … yes, I really am that insane.

We’d had a few brief messages back and forth and a date was set… for 6 weeks’ time! That was when he was next available. See, Berkley was a consultant, he consulted all over the world (apparently) for companies that needed consultation I guess and that’s all I managed to find out. He seemed to not be that keen on messaging, at all. After the date was set that was it, the messages were few and far between.

I decided to text sexy barman on my lunch break. I figured that that would be a suitable length of time from when he gave me his number. Ok great, good, now what do I write? It occurred to me that I didn’t even know his name! Though for a text I didn’t need his name so that was not an issue…. What to write, what to write….. The problem with me is that I can’t just write something simple, it has to be what I consider amusing, but I couldn’t think of anything…

At the age of 40, Berkeley would have been the oldest guy I’d ever been on a date with. It made me realise how much of a child I still feel at times. I was nervous, probably the most nervous I’d been all week. There I was, back at Covent Garden Station (having taken the lift) anxiously looking around. There was this old man opposite me who smiled every time I caught his eye and he was starting to annoy me as I felt the need to smile back every time just to be polite.  Berkeley and I had arranged to meet at six but now it was coming to quarter past and I still couldn’t see him. Hmmm, maybe he went for a walk as I had turned up slightly late or maybe he chickened out? Well if he did, he would have messaged me I was sure of it. The old school gent would never keep a lady waiting. How very odd…. I decided to wait until about half past before I messaged him. I caught the old man’s eye again, he winked and waved.  Ewww. He then started walking towards me, great! This is not what I need when I’m about to meet my newly appointed husband for a date. As he got closer I began to realise…

Farking hell it was Berkeley! FORTY BLOODY YEARS OLD MY FECKING FOOT! This man looked about Sixty and that was me being kind! 

Fan-flipping-tastic, I was about to embark on a date with a GRANDDAD…

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chez Gérard - Day Four

I got into work tired as hell; all this dating was catching up with me. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so eager to ram so many dates into one week. All I wanted to do was to go home and sleep. Ok so I’d make up some excuse and suggest we rebook. No big deal. Ok great… Then I get a text from Ray. ‘We still on for tonight, can’t wait x’ Dammit! Now I feel guilty. So instead of replying ‘No, go away, I need sleep.’ I end up confirming. Typical to my life the day dragged. I was missing my bed and was also angry at myself that I would not being seeing it straight after work. But I had only myself to blame and I was fading, fast.

Now, there’s no point turning up to a date worn-out and fed up before it’s already started. If you’re going, give them a fair shot. So I told myself to get a grip and got some red bull on my lunch break. The plan was to drink it an hour or so before I left work and then it would kick in when I met Ray. However, I was getting drowsier by the second, so I drank it right after my lunch. About an hour later I seemed to have a headache so I took some Nurofen. By the time I left work, I still felt tired, so decided to get another Red Bull. I didn’t think anything of it the time, I mean I’m not really one to drink energy drinks anyway. But trust me when I say that taking Nurofen mixed with Red bull is NOT a good idea. I know that now…

Waiting at Holborn I couldn’t have been more excited or anxious or... buzzed and when I saw Ray I ran towards him. What started out as a hug ended up as me nearly mounting him, true story. I had somehow managed to wrap my right leg around his knee, my left around his ankle and my arms around his neck! To say he was startled would be an understatement. To this day, I’m still not even sure how I got into that position so quickly. He unpeeled me off his body and asked if I was alright. I’m not sure I even knew I wasn’t at that point.

Ray wanted to eat at a restaurant that his work colleagues had recommended, Chez Gérard. But when he said the name, he all of a sudden developed this accent (obviously it was meant to be French) so it sounded like he said Share Jeer-rad-de… GREAT news for me! I’d never heard of this place before. I was too busy worrying about if I was going to make it to the end of the date in one piece to realise where we were going. 

As we got to Convent Garden, I felt like I was about to have a heart attack. Anyone that’s walked from Holborn to Covent Garden will know it’s not far at all. Though I seemed to be shaking ever so slightly and every step I took seem to send my heart into palpitations. I’m not sure Ray even noticed and if he did, he didn’t show it at all. By now I was feeling sick, like I was literally about to spew everywhere.  He kept talking and no way was I listening to what he was saying, but on reflection he seemed quite content talking without me actually responding. I desperately needed to stop walking.

‘Helene, why are you speaking so loudly?’
I wasn’t. Loud doesn’t even come close. I was literally shouting, like a mad woman. By this time I was off my face! I was shaking, randomly scratching myself; my left eye seemed to be twitching involuntarily and I won’t even go into detail about the amount of times I’d farted. Ray was now staring at me and all I could do was stare back, I didn’t even know what to say and was scared what would come out of my mouth if I dared to speak. He smiled and got out his phone and said we were less than 5 minutes away. Chez Gérard wasn’t far…. HANG ON A MINUTE. With no silly accent I realised where we were going. I stopped and shook my head (Not really sure if this was part of the crazy body spasms I was having)
‘Why are you shaking your head?’
‘You didn’t say that we were going to Chez Gérard’
‘Yes I did’
‘No, you said Share jeer-rad-de’
‘Yes.’ And then he said the two names with and without the stupid accent. Why do people try and put on an accent when they can’t do it properly? It’s dumb! Don’t do it! It confuses people!
‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’ (Now this was my way out. I would answer yes and then we would go to another place. Simple! Right)
‘Yes I do.’
‘Ok sure, ladies choice of course’. Good man. I was saved, so I thought…‘I hear it’s a really good place, just out of curiosity why don’t you want to go?’ So this is the perfect example of why you should think before you speak. I should have told him the truth, or rather a version of the truth (I didn’t want him knowing I’d been on a date every day that week) So, I could have told him I’d already been earlier in the week. But instead I said…

Again with the shouting and I don’t even know where this statement came from. I have nothing against anything French! So, I actually confused myself by saying this. 
‘Do you hate French people and their food?'
Beads of sweat now forming as I try and think of an answer, but it’s hard as I’m still confused by the last answer I gave!
'I have nothing against any person or persons of any race and or religion of any kind and or shape or form and race or the French’ (No this sentence doesn't make sense but that’s what I said!) 

Ray told me I needed to broaden my horizons and try new things blah blah blah BLAH. So I’m standing at the bar waiting for my drink (yes I was going to add alcohol into the mix) and all I could keep repeating to myself was Share Jeer-rad-de, Share Jeer-rad-de, Share Jeer-rad-de…

‘That’s the worst French accent I've heard yet’ Ah but of course, my barman was back. Actually, he was quite cute and I’d never noticed before. He winked and was gone as quick as that. Ray reappeared and started his blabbering about goodness only knows what. For some reason he was slowly turning French! I couldn’t understand half of what he was saying; I was too drained to decipher his rubbish accentI’d had enough, the alcohol wasn’t helping and my farting situation was getting worse(To fart outside in a crowd of people is one thing, but when eating in a restaurant, it’s completely another level let me tell you!) I endured dinner as Ray seemed so eager to show me how amazing French food could be, even though I had eaten it every single day so far I tried to play along.  But it was still sweet, I mean he hadn’t done anything wrong; it was me acting like the crazy person. 

By the end of the evening I was already half asleep. All crazy side effects aside, I just felt no excitement about Ray.  He was handsome enough, he was chivalrous, he put up with my crack addict behaviour but there was just no part of me that wanted to see him again. I guess sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

He called us two cabs because he ‘ doesn't do public transport’ I found this hilarious but wasn’t going to complain about getting a ride home as I was exhausted. His cab came first and I convinced him it was ok to go. After all I had put him through I wasn't going to make him wait around any longer. My cab arrived soon after and I couldn’t get in fast enough. As I’m telling the driver where to go, I see barman leaning against the wall smoking. Gad dam he looks so sexy! He sees me and walks up to the window...
‘This guy was better than the last one strawberry’
‘That’s what you always order, a strawberry daiquiri’ I smile and tell him it’s my favourite drink. And he tells me I should call him! Was I dreaming or was this for real?! It didn't matter, I was enjoying the moment. He writes down his number on a piece of paper and hands it to me.

Before he leaves he says ‘Strawberries are gorgeous’

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

I thought I’d break from my Chez Gerard story and pay tribute to the greatness that was Amy Winehouse. 

There is no need to praise her music as it literally speaks for itself. Every lyric, every note, every melody, every song, a testament to how talented she was…

As much as there was an emotion of sadness, the feeling of shock was at a minimum. Still awaiting the results of the autopsy, many have already arrived at the conclusion that drink was partly to blame, but that it was a drugs overdose that killed her. Hmmm… maybe those both did play their part, but I'm sure her broken heart had an even bigger effect in all of it.

Admittedly, I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to any type of drug (bar flirting with the occasional hangover from hell… never underestimate the power of alcohol.) But I do know what it’s like to be addicted to a person, unhealthy addicted, believing that I was madly in love. And Amy was madly, hopelessly, relentlessly in love with her now ex-husband. No matter how incoherent she was during an interview or performance, she was always able to articulate the phrase ‘I love my Blake.’

I believe she was in love with him, no matter what people say, I think they were both in love and deep in it, deeper than they probably realised. Sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be together and this is when love becomes something dangerous. If you let it, it’ll take over the whole relationship and surround you in a bottomless thick mist. You won’t be able to think or see clearly at all. It turns into this desperate infatuation, where you feel like you can’t even breathe without the other person.

"We loved each other intensely and probably in a really unhealthy co-dependent way Blake Fielder - Civil

This is when love stops being that and becomes a version of self-harming. To immerse yourself in someone else in never ever a good thing, you’ll start to lose your mind and become a shadow of your former being. This in itself is like a drug. You no longer want, but you feel like you need that person to survive and exist. This is exactly why love can be treacherous.

Dealing with a broken heart is agonizing enough, but when you’ve made that person your absolute everything, it’s excruciating. Every single heartbeat reminds you, every single breath is painful, every thought is about that person, you lose your appetite and the will to want to do anything, you become exhausted but you can’t sleep which makes you even more exhausted… your body soon switches into survival mode, everything just shuts down eventually…

Amy’s mother was quoted as saying “I just think she put her body through too much and it just gave up. If you continue to neglect yourself, there is only so much it can take.”

For me, survival mode is finally being able to sleep, my body is too exhausted to fight anymore and I just sleep for ages and that’s all I want to do. Cry and sleep and cry and sleep and cry myself to sleep. Once I've achieved some rest, I start to eat and slowly (sometimes what feels like too slowly) everything starts to fall back into place. These are desperate, sad times where your body is trying to fix you and you need to let it. Turning to alcohol and or drugs at times like this would make it even harder for your body to cope…. Like Amy’s mother said, there is only so much your body can take…

'There are days when I feel like I know what love is and days where I’m not even sure it exists. But I do know that no one is going to save you, they simply can’t. You have to save yourself first…' Helene  Enahoro

Why do I wish I never played?
Oh what a mess we made
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game

Over futile odds
And laughed at by the Gods
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game  - Amy Winehouse

RIP Amy Winehouse 
1983 – 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chez Gérard - Day Three

With Jason it all just seemed so comfortable and natural which, I thought, was a good thing. Honestly, how often do you meet someone and ‘click’ with them? Like almost instantly? I know it’s rare for me at least. So much so, that soon it had gotten to the point where I feared that I had fallen into that dreaded ‘friend zone’. We’d been speaking for a while and it had gotten to the point where I thought we were never going to meet as he travelled quite a bit for work. But then I persuaded myself that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing if we didn’t. We were getting on really well, so why was I putting a time limit on it? And what if I was in the ‘friend zone’ would that be a bad thing?

So one night he calls with an unusual tone to his voice, it was like speaking to a completely different person. He’d been feeling down for a while, so decided to take some time off work. When I pressed him for a reason, he just said that he felt like something needed to change but he wasn’t quite sure what. He apparently needed to get out and have fun and I was number one on his list! Yay! I instantly got excited, we had such a great relationship over the phone that meeting in person would be amazing right?

Since he had left the site, I couldn’t remember what he looked like! We joked about it and I asked him to email me a picture so I would be able to recognise him. Fair enough I would have thought… However, he said it would be interesting to not send pictures and instead tell each other what we’re going to wear… hmmmm … I wasn’t too keen on the idea to be honest and anyone who’s ever been on an internet date or even a blind date can relate to this. It’s hard enough looking at a picture or even a few pictures and then identifying the person in the flesh! Even still, I agreed. I mean, what was the worst that could happen?...

As a joke, I said I’d wear a rose in my hair and he said he’d wear one is his hair too. Oh Jason did make me laugh; only… he was not kidding! I was a tad concerned, though I convinced myself that he was going to come up with some extremely romantic way of giving that rose to me.

So there I was standing outside Topshop in Charing Cross, frantically looking around trying to see if I could recognise him but at the same time trying to look calm and relaxed. It was odd, I didn’t even know what I was looking for but I just kept looking (how very appropriate!) Then I spotted the most random dressed man I’d seen in a while. And I will never forget, he was wearing brown Ugg boots, white skinny jeans, a white t-shirt that had a v-neck practically to the navel, a scarf and sunglasses to top it off. I couldn’t help but look him up and down; it was a special outfit that’s for sure! But you know, each to their own, who am I to judge someone who…. Is that a pink rose in his hair?!! Oh my goodness, why is he wearing a rose in his hair! And then it clicked… No surely it can’t be him in that ensemble, can it?

‘Helene, we finally meet!’ It is Jason! With a pink hair band, yes I said pink, on his head with a rose…no joke! We hugged and I was in shock…. This is not how I imagined him at all. I asked if the rose was for me (why else would he be wearing it right?!) Well no, I was wrong! ‘He told me it was ‘part of his outfit’ …

I wasn’t even listening when he said we were headed to Chez Gerrad, I was still in shock! Can men wear Ugg boots? Because honestly they are borderline feminine and with that v-neck… I just couldn’t cope. I needed to acclimatise to this whole fashion statement he was making and I was just getting my head around the idea when he stopped, took off his sunglass and asked if he had something in his eye. Bloody Nora!

Now eyeliner, is eye liner, is eyeliner. It doesn’t matter who is wearing it, it’s still EYELINER! If a man is wearing makeup, he is wearing makeup! What is all this ‘guy liner’ rubbish?! I’m not quite sure how Russell Brand managed to make wearing makeup and nail varnish manly but ever since then a few men have jumped on board. Ok fine each to their own; however, if a man is wearing more eye liner than you, it is a cause for concern, right?

Was he gay? Yes. But how did I know he was gay? I just knew. Could I get him to at least remove the hair band?! Was that rude? But was I sure he was gay? I mean, have I just made him gay because of his collaboration of an outfit?!! I can’t be sure until he admits it! Well he obviously doesn’t know he’s gay if he is, otherwise he wouldn’t have been on a straight dating website! Ok, I needed a drink and a strong one to get through this.

Jason was in the middle of saying something when I just got up and headed to the bar. ‘Let me guess…. A Strawberry Daiquiri right?’ I look up and it’s the same fricking barman! Do they not ever give their staff days off in this place?!!! Before I had a chance to order the shot of vodka that I so badly needed, Jason comes to tell me that our table is ready. The barman nearly spilt my drink when he saw him. He gave me that look, you know the look that says so many things one of which probably being ‘What the fu*k?!’

I decided my mission was to make Jason admit that he was gay… but how? And what if I was wrong! What if he wasn’t gay at all but just liked to experiment with fashion?! Ok, I needed to get a gripI tried to ignore the huge pink rose in his bright pink hairband and the fact that I could practically see his nipples through his top and start the conversation. He admitted to feeling lost (aha!) and confused (BINGO!) but didn’t know why…. (Oh but I think I do!)

We left the restaurant and started to walk around the plaza and I decided to take a leap of faith. Most importantly, Jason was my friend, our phone relationship was so great, so I told him that even though we don’t really know each other, we’re still friends and I care about him and if there was anything at all he wanted to get off his chest he could. Sometimes it’s easier to speak to a stranger about some things. I smile, hug him and carry on walking. He catches up to me and holds my hand and we just walked, in silence, aimlessly for what seemed like ages…

Lying on the grass near embankment, both staring at the sky, neither of us had said much… and then he spoke. I guess he was readyHim joining the website was his one last attempt to try and be straight, he was afraid of what his friends and family would say, he was petrified of what it meant and what it was going to mean now he had allowed himself to realise he was indeed gay… and then we talked non-stop for hours…

This particular date left me thinkingIt just so happened that Jason was gay, so I was right that time. But what about if there’s a next time? What if I were to meet another guy who liked to dress out of the stereotype of what I considered to be heterosexual?! Will I just assume he’s gay also? I’m still not 100% on board with men, makeup, nail varnish and skinny jeans, but does that mean I would turn down the chance of finding happiness based on that?

I hope not…

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chez Gérard - Day Two...

Richard worked in the city, though I couldn't tell you as what exactly (something to do with wanking and banking.) And he was quite blatant to the point where he could be considered rude... But I found this aspect of his personality quite interesting and challenging.

Ahhh now there's that word 'challenge'. How many times have you said or heard your friends say 'he/she's a challenge'... Er na, they’re not. Their either a dick and or a bitch (yes there are dick bitches amongst us) and because we don't want to see or believe it, we put the 'challenge' label on them.

(Anyone reading this who has someone in their life who they consider a 'challenge' please remove that label and replace with the following: Women, rip off that challenge label and replace with 'DICK', place it right in the middle of his forehead so very time you look him in the eye you'll see it. Men, gently place on said female the 'BITCH' label.)

The plan was to meet for after works drinks… Not food... Drinks… We were to meet opposite Covent Garden station and I was told to "look sexy" otherwise he'd be annoyed... (!!) Never in my life had anyone instructed me in such a way, so I did the opposite…

Not only was I dressed casually (sandals, jeans, vest top, basic make up) I also purposefully arrived 20minutes late. I saw him as soon as I arrived but pretended to look around for a bit. As soon as he spotted me he came over. I turn around and there was Richard, with his slightly chiselled jaw, big brown eyes and ruffled hair. He was definitely more striking in the flesh, like a lot more... He leads the way while asking me how my day’s been etc. I wasn't even paying attention; he was so charming and sexy and funny and sexy and tall and sexy. He stops, takes my hands, turns me towards him and says 'You look absolutely gorgeous' (MARRY ME NOW PLEASE!!) I was now on cloud nine...

Next thing I know we're at Chez Gerard! Erm what?! 'I thought we were going for drinks? This is a restaurant!' He smiles and takes my hand again (surely this means he loves me right!?) and says 'Yes it is. But it also has a bar, plus I'm a bit hungry aren't you?' I start nodding, I was hungry alright, but what I wanted wouldn't be on that menu... He leads the way ‘After you’ (OK LOVER!)

Once inside, Richard tells me to order drinks from the bar (I had no idea there was a bar in here!) and he heads over to see if there is space for us to eat.
‘Can I get a Strawberry Daiquiri and Gin & Tonic please?’ Why is the barman not moving? He finally says 'It’s a lot cooler in here today. The air con got fixed' Then he winks and starts making the drinks. I stood there for a moment wondering what on earth he... OH! Was this his way of saying he recognised me from the day before?

We get seated and I stare at the menu, again, and contemplate having the same thing. Plus I didn't want to spend time choosing food; I wanted to look into the eyes of my new husband, who kept looking at his phone. No problemo hubby, I can wait while you sort out important business. I'll just start thinking about the colour theme for our wedding... 

'Sorry, my girlfriend keeps calling and texting me' (Ok... WHAT?!!! Maybe he meant female friend..?) 'She always thinks I'm up to no good' (How ironic!)
'What?' (WHAT?!!)
'My girlfriend. I’m going to turn my phone off so I can focus 100% on you now' (WHAT.The.Hell?!)
'I'm sorry, you have a girlfriend?'
'Yeah, I can't just dump her. That wouldn't make sense would it.' (WHAT?!!! YES... yes it really would!)

So, Richard has a girlfriend who he wants to break up with. But he didn't want to break up with her and be single, he wanted to "see what was out there first" to be on the safe side. (But what about our wedding?!!) By the end of his explanation, I had already had my first drink, plus a double vodka and coke and was currently gulping down the wine he had ordered to cope with it all.

'I hope this doesn't change things between us' (Well she's not coming to our wedding that's for sure!)
'What things? We don't have "things between us", we just met! And you have a girlfriend!!'

He was so nonchalant about the whole thing, shrugging it off and telling me he was going to break up with her once he found someone else. I sat there staring at him, right at his forehead where I had now placed the DICK label... I've never walked out on a date before and so was contemplating what to do next.... But I already knew I had to leave. I didn't want to potentially be with someone who had such a flippant attitude towards cheating. He wanted to walk me to the tube but I told him he should stay... I needed space...

By the time I was outside I could feel the alcohol taking effect, I was so angry and disappointed and tipsy! Why would someone do that? Why would someone with a girlfriend join a dating site? Why not just man up instead of trying to take the easy way out?

But this was the life of a singleton, going into the battle ground they call dating. We have to be ready for everything, whether it be meeting the most amazing men to meeting complete wankers. I didn't want to dwell on it as there was no point. I had to brush it off, plus I was meeting Jason tomorrow...

Now Jason was erm... He was... How should I put this.... Gay... But I didn't know he was gay at first and obviously nor did he!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chez Gérard - Day One...

I was in the last few weeks of my first year at uni, so I had shizzle loads of work to do. I mean I was literally producing essays out of my patooti! I didn't have time to sleep let alone explore the online dating site! So my friends took over and started chatting on my behalf, basically lining up the dates for me so that when I finished I could jump straight in as it were. And trust me; I went in head first…

Ned was (and still is I would imagine) a lawyer, very charming in the emails we exchanged. I can’t really remember how it all happened but we arranged to meet. It was one of those rare summer days we have where the sun is out and it’s just so very humid.

He wanted to take me to a restaurant in Covent Garden, Chez Gerard apparently. Ok sounds great! Randomly, we bumped into each other on the underground. Luckily he looked exactly like his picture. (You’d be surprised how many people look nothing like their profile picture!) So we start chatting as we walked up the stairs towards the lifts. So we’re standing there and we hear an announcement. … The lifts are temporarily not working due to a fire alarm … hmmmm, I guess we’re going to be waiting a while.

Next thing I know, Ned has suggested we take the stairs. Erm... Now, I have a question for all of you reading this, how many of you have actually taken the stairs in Covent Garden station instead of taking the lift? Those of you that have done it... YOU ARE CRAZY. For those of you that have never been to Covent Garden station or have been sane enough to avoid the stairs at all costs like myself, let me enlighten you. There is a sign at the bottom of the stairs that states and I quote ‘This stairwell has 193 steps. Do not use except in an emergency.’ Now that ladies and gentlemen is what is known as disclaimer…. I have never ever in my life been tempted to even look at those stairs let alone climb them.If there is no emergency I am not taking the stairs therefore I was quite happy to wait to see the actual burning flames touch my face before I considered it as per the notice...

But there I was being led by Ned up the dam stairs. It wasn’t bad… at first! It’s just one big winding stairwell. Then it got to a point where my legs thought, f*ck this for a laugh and they refused to go any further. I looked behind me and there was nothing but a winding staircase, I looked ahead and yup… same thing, we were trapped!! And to make matters even worse it was hot and sweaty. Ned, on the other hand, seemed to be having the time of his life. While I was considering faking some form of a heart attack so we can be rescued; he was suggesting that we take the stairs two at a time. Erm.. NO!

As if I wasn’t hot enough from climbing those bloody stairs, we get outside and the humidity slaps me in the face like POW!! Cue more sweat… great. Now we’re walking towards the restaurant and I’m gasping for breath but trying to act like I’m fine… I needed air! By the time we arrived I'd found a flyer in my bag to fan myself with and was just generally hot, sticky and sweaty. When we got inside I felt the sweat start to trickle down my back…. Oh yes, this was going so very well! Why was I standing in a restaurant that had no air? There was no air outside; there was no air inside… who had stolen all the frickin air?!!! The waitress informed us that their air conditioning was broken (Of course its bloody broken there’s an air thief around!)

By the time we were seated, I was sweating like a BITCH ON CRACK, no joke…. Meanwhile, Ned was questioning me about wine. Do I like red wine? Do I like white wine? These grapes from France, that grape from Italy… I kept nodding and frantically fanning in the hope that one day I would be able to stop sweating. I excused myself and went to the ladies to freshen up, I almost screamed when I saw my reflection, I was a mess to say the least.

When I got back to the table the wine had arrived. Now, not a lot of people, me included, know how to taste wine properly. I try and avoid being the person at the table that tastes the wine first, if I have to; I normally just take a sip smile and nod my head. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t know what we’re meant to taste anyway. But not Ned, I’ve never seen someone take so long to taste wine before. He picks up the glass, starts swooshing it around, takes a sniff, more swooshing, and lifts the glass up, back down again for another sniff... This whole routine went on for about 5minutes. Meanwhile the waiter is still standing there and I’m watching wondering if I’m meant to say or do something... Finally he tastes the wine and he says ‘It’s too warm’!!!!... Apparently, this wine was going to taste like butter due to the something something of the doodah something grapes... And funnily enough, once I got to taste this sacred liquid (only after being guided through all the swooshing and sniffing malarkey) it did actually taste like butter!

I think the date went well (apart from the whole sweating like a freak fiasco!) After dinner we took a walk around Covent Garden as it was such a lovely summer evening and the air had returned. (Thank the Lord!) We walked back past Chez Gérard before heading home; I had no idea that I’d be back in the same restaurant again so soon…

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who else has Got Talent?

The one and Only Steven Hall
I was lucky enough to go and watch Britain's got talent thanks to my sister working on the show. It was a very different feeling sitting in the audience than to watching it at home. Definitely much more emotional and considering I hadn't really watched all of the auditions therefore not knowing who these finalists were. I found myself on the edge of my seat screaming, clapping and chanting for them like a lunatic.

Steven Hall (a finalist on the show) said 'Things like this don't happen to people like me' and there he was...

A 50 something year old telecommunications engineer in his brown suit with his tie tucked firmly into his trousers, was up on stage dancing his heart out to millions of people including myself. .. So actually Steven, things like this do happen to people like you, because you made it happen…

How many of us plan to do something but put it off constantly. Let me tell you, procrastination seems to be my middle name these days. If you ever need an excuse to why you can't do something ask me, I'll have an answer for you. 'Oh no I can't do this, because I don't have that' 'I won't be able to go today because I'm tired, so I'll go tomorrow' (yeah right, tomorrow I'll have another reason why not) I can't look into this because Glee is on'…

But these excuses (and they are all excuses, not reasons) have not been valid when it comes to the men in my life. Where boyfriends are concerned, I will trek to Timbuktu and back just to make them happy. Good or bad? … I don’t think it’s all bad, in fact at the time it seems like a perfectly normal thing to be doing. I mean when you care about someone them being happy makes you even happier. So that’s good right?

However, as much as I think getting lost in the moment can be very romantic and enchanting, I've learnt that it’s imperative not to lose yourself. This really is a key factor. Even though it may not seem like it at the time, we have to appreciate that not all relationships last forever. And surviving the aftermath of a breakup is hard enough at it is without having to realise that you are left with nothing because you gave them everything.

Don’t get me wrong, be in the relationship and be in it fully. But try not to make excuses which you turn into reasons to why you can’t do something for yourself. It is much easier to help someone else achieve their dreams. Why? Probably because it isn’t our own, so if they fail we feel minimum hurt and if they achieve it we can reap the benefits also (to a certain extent)

For years I've been unsure why I keep holding myself back….. And the reality is that it’s because I’m scared. I’m scared to fail but even more interesting is the reality that I’m scared to succeed...

Our greatest fear it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
- Marianne Williamson

Let’s all be like Steven Hall and get up on that stage that is life and perform our hearts out. This is the only life we have. So why not do our best to make it happen now as there is no guarantee about what may happen tomorrow…

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Well looky what we have here, Ryan Giggs is a cheat. No 'allegedly' rubbish, he cheated. Now it’s all out in the open all I have to say is Ryan, you bought this shit on yourself.

Let's look at the 'facts' shall we:
With who did he chose to cheat? Imogen Thomas.... Errr HELLO! What the hell!! Does anyone have any idea what she does career wise? EXACTLY! He chose to cheat with a woman who makes a living dating footballers and selling her story to the press. No sympathy for you Ryan, none at all mate. And then Imogen wants to start crying because she was named at first and he wasn't. Er Biatch get yourself a dam job! Ok so we don't know the real hard core facts at all. For all we know Ryan’s wife could have been cheating or they could have temporarily separated. We just don't know for sure. And in Imogen’s defence, Max Clifford did step forward to say that she was never trying to sell her story in the first place. Hmmmm....

I have no idea what he was thinking, maybe I should ask his dick. But all I can say is stupid, stupid man. He obviously has no respect for his wife because if he did then 1- He wouldn't have cheated and 2- If he did momentarily lose his mind, he should have picked someone who had as much to lose as he does (or did?)Not a wag wannabe. Maybe that's why he got a super injunction, to save his wife the embarrassment? (Or to stop her finding out by reading a paper) Because it is embarrassing when someone you’re dating (let alone married to) cheats on you and everybody knows. When your boyfriend confesses he’s cheated that's one kind of pain. When you find out he cheated, it’s a different kind of pain. But when everyone and their dog know that they've cheated, that's pain + embarrassment. And I say this from the perspective of having being cheated on myself; it's so much easier to deal with the situation when nobody knows about it.

I think when you're in a state of pain whether it be physical and or emotional, your body shifts into survival mode. The brain clicks into overdrive to make sure you can cope (hence the feeling of constant tiredness right?) therefore you aren't thinking straight. So the last thing you need is for friends to be telling you what to do and or how to feel. What you do need (and this is me speaking from the experience of being cheated on and watching my friends be cheated on) is your friend to be objective. Someone to ask you how you feel and what you want to do next rather than screaming out 'that muthfcuker, let's cut off his penis, it was too small anyway!' not productive people, not productive at all.

To be fair, your friends are there to protect you. However, there are times such as these when their comments are just not useful. And I've even done it myself in the past telling my friends 'you don't need him', 'you're too good for him', 'don't forgive him' Even though there may be an element of truth to these comments made, I know now (in hindsight) it’s just not the right time to go there, what is needed is compassion and support. during that period, I said all those things because seeing my friends in such a state had caused me both anger and heartache. Then, I got cheated on... BAM! Everything changed, my world turned upside down instantly. I used to be the spokesperson for telling my friends that they should never ever take someone back who's cheated. Because I was so sure that good men didn’t cheat. Ha!! But alas, all of a sudden there I was in that same position. Cheated on by the person that I loved the most 2nd to my family... Now what? My friends were telling me the same thing I told them and I hated it. I didn't want to break up with him. I wanted him to come back and love me again and pretend it never happened. Did I feel hurt? Of course I did. Amongst other feelings such as pure disbelief and complete betrayal, not to mention the total and utter disgust at the skank hobag (true story) he decided to cheat on me with. And for the finale, to add insult to injury, everyone knew about it. But like I said before, I didn't want to break up with him and it was so much harder to piece together what was left of our relationship once his cheating was common knowledge. And that's why my heart goes out to all the women married to famous men who cheat.

As I grow older (begrudgingly) I have convinced myself I am getting wiser. Everybody, bar none, makes mistakes. FACT. So what does this mean in regards to cheating?... I'm still learning myself to be honest. However, as mentioned before, I think one of the many factors to consider is how it happened. If it was a one night fling I'd be more inclined to forgive, though a probationary period may be required. (Jude Law you have been warned) If it was a long term situation, now that to me is a total piss take. (Chris Tarrant please raise your hand along with Gordon Ramsay’s Father-in-law) and as stated before, if it's a public kind of cheat that's also different and I think worse(Ashley Cole please go and stand in the corner after placing the Dunce hat firmly on your head. Oh and leave your phone behind, I think we’ve seen enough pictures for now!)

Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage? Does it mean nothing to anyone anymore?

I used to think I had the answers when I was younger, I think we all did as it all seemed so simple back then. But now I know not to judge unless I myself have been in that exact situation because trust me; you think you will do one thing and you end up doing the total opposite. But what I will say is that if you are going to forgive someone for anything not just cheating, properly forgive. Don't use it against them over and over again. There's no point, believe me! Say everything you have to say, get it all out, cry, scream, shout, grieve and do whatever you need to. Then close your eyes, take a deep breathe in….. Hold it for a few seconds and then let it go and I mean let all of it go, not just the breath (easier said than done I know) But no relationship will ever work if you dwell on the past.

They say trust is like a piece of paper, once it’s been crumpled it can never be the same again. …. Perhaps... But for now I think I’m ok with ironing out the creases when need be and taking it from there...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


By this time I was broken. Totally and utterly broken. It was like someone had thrown me in a boxing ring without me knowing it. There I was taking hit after hit and not even realising why or how to protect myself from getting repeatedly hurt. Every time I got knocked down, I got back up more bruised than the time before until my body couldn't take it anymore. Until there I was, lying on the floor exhausted waiting for the beatings to stop. Totally and utterly broken. I couldn't even breathe without it aching. I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping; I couldn't function properly at all. I just wanted to lie in bed with the covers over my head indefinitely. I was on the verge of a breakdown and not a pretend breakdown. Not what we say when we've had a hard day and we're fed up. My mind literally was unravelling. I went insane in the membrane (more about that later) If I were a celebrity, I would have been taken to rehab (and I mean Britney Spears style). But I'm not and therefore didn't have that luxury of being whisked away so that I could recover from my trauma. Like that dude from McFly who went into rehab because his girlfriend from The Saturdays dumped him for a football player. Like honestly…. MAN THE F*CK UP!  

Truthfully I was envious, because that’s what I wished I could do. But I couldn’t, I had to get up, I had to go to work and I had to carry on. In times like these my version of rehab is my friends. They gathered around me in force from the beginning to the very end, making sure I had all the support I needed to get me through it. I know that's what friends are for but still, I am forever grateful.

Once I had recovered as much as was possible, it was one of my friends that suggested that I try online dating. My first response was ‘Get Stuffed’ online dating is like giving up on any hope of meeting a guy in your every day life right? Surely this should be a last resort?! She tells me to think about it... So I did... And then forgot about it. Until one day I was on my way to work when someone handed me a flyer. I took it without even looking as I saw my bus ahead and knew if I missed it I'd be late for work. I must have dropped it without even realising because the next thing I knew the guy was shouting after me. I turn around and he's now following me.... I get to the bus and he's right behind me! He taps me on the shoulder and hands me the flyer AGAIN.... And there it was, all laid out for me as bright and as colourful as ever. 'Want to meet other singles join now!' Surely this was a sign right? The guy must have seen some kind of despair in my eyes to know I needed that flyer!

Online dating is basically a forum for you to advertise yourself. No two ways about it. It's like Hello look at me, I'm single, please apply within. You put up your best picture(s), write nice things about yourself and wait for a response......

I initially joined for three months but came off after about two and a half as it was quite exhausting at times. If you're going to do something like this, do it full throttle. The whole point is to meet people, so I was very proactive in suggesting meeting in person. I mean, I wasn't looking for a virtual pen pal! There's got to be a point where virtual reality becomes actual reality in regards to this online dating malarkey. I wouldn't suggest joining if you're still hurting from a previous relationship. Just because the contact you may have with the people you chose to talk and respond to may not be face to face, it doesn't mean that rejection isn't involved. Trust me there is a plenty! Therefore you need to be as whole and happy as you can be to allow people into your life and give them a fair chance. And be stable enough to take rejection. As is with everything in life I guess!

I came off the site having met a few really great people and seeing some amazing parts of London I never even knew existed. It allowed me to be random and spontaneous and have some great adventures. Don't get me wrong, I mean I did meet some total nutcases, but such is life!

All in all, Social networking seems to be the way forward these days.... Right?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

She found her Prince

As were most of the world, I too was watching the Royal wedding. Not really fussed about the whole thing I chose to work that day and therefore watched it online. So there I was watching the guests arrive and I was surprised to that see Lady Gaga had been invited. Oh no wait, it was Princess Beatrice with a huge pretzel on her head! Previous to which, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson waltzed in looking like a villainous character from a Marvel comic. Nevertheless, everything was fine and dandy until I saw Kate in her wedding dress and then I started to feel emotional. To be fair this is not uncommon for me while watching wedding programs, whether it be Don’t Tell the Bride or Wedding SOS or even My big Fat Gypsy Wedding I don’t care. I love them all. And no matter how hilarious or grotesque the actual wedding may be, I always start to tear up. And this was no different; there I was watching Kate in such a beautiful dress and I was doing just that.

When I was younger it all seemed so simple, I was so very certain that I would be married, it wasn’t even an option that I wouldn’t be. Back then I was in a long term relationship that lasted around seven years, it wasn’t perfect but nothing ever is, and we both thought we would get marry each other. I’ve never loved anybody the way I loved him, so passionately, so freely, so willingly, and so desperately. He was my breath, my joy, my sorrow, my pain, we were each others everything. He was my first ever love… Cue a break up that lasted about two of those seven years, a close call with insanity and figuring out who I was without him then fast forward a few years later and here I am... 

The older I get, the further away it all seems. I mean for a man to confess his undying love for me and propose. Ha! I'm lucky these days if I get a guy to take me to the cinema on Orange bloody Wednesday mate let alone commit to a bog standard relationship. Anyway, there I was watching her get married, tears streaming down my face. By the time her brother had finished his reading, I was blubbering like a child with the realisation that it may never happen for me. I'm not saying it won’t happen, I'm just thinking about all possibilities given the circumstances. Kate found her Prince, will I ever find mine?

Its all so typical, the guy you like doesn’t like you back, or he’s not ready for a relationship or he’s just generally a piece of shit! Or you meet a great fantastic guy but there’s just no spark at all and no matter how hard you try because you know he’s a great catch, you feel nothing. And now you’re the piece of shit because you have to tell this person, who you know will make a great amazing boyfriend, why you don’t want to be with him. Then comes the pain, of not knowing why someone you care about doesn’t feel the same way about you. The upset of being that person that doesn’t reciprocate and has to be the bearer of bad news. I can tell you one thing; neither gets any easier that’s for sure.

In one of the speeches it was said ‘... We are all incomplete…’ and it got me thinking…

By falling in love, our life, which we once thought was whole, is now more amazing because of this love we feel for this other person. This person that makes us see the world so very differently than we did before, this person that helps us realise who we can be and makes us feel like anything is possible. This person who we’re in love with, they’ve completed us, even though we may not have realised we needed to be.

Maybe this is why, no matter how many times our world gets turned upside down, no matter how many times we’re deceived, disappointed and lied to, no matter how many times we get hurt and feel the discomfort and soreness of heartache, we still pick ourselves up and piece ourselves back together emotionally and physically the best we can, so that we can try and carry on searching for our soul mate to make us feel complete.