Monday, 30 April 2012

A silver fox, a dead rabbit and a sex starved neighbour.

I have just googled "Silver Fox".
The images that came up were George Clooney, Anderson Cooper and a variety of wild dogs in their natural habitat.
There wasn't any pictures of me, most probably because:
(A) I'm not famous
(B) I don't have yellow teeth and hang around rubbish bins.

I have been researching the folically challenged fox because the other day the crazy lady who lives opposite me wolf whistled and beckoned me over to her back gate with a call of "you're looking good silver fox".
Now, at first I was hoping she wasn't referring to me.
She's always loitering around at the end of her garden muttering or singing to herself and I have grown wise to her powers of seduction already. She once lured me into her house in the guise of looking for her (escaped) pet rabbit and then locked me in and promptly tried to kiss me.
My most abiding memory of that encounter was smeared lipstick and nicotine stained teeth.
I now try my hardest to avoid or make eye contact with her so I ignored her until she screamed "Oiii, you in the black gilet and tight ass jeans, stop ignoring me" and at that point I knew I either had to make a run for it or turn around and acknowledge her.
"Hello, how's your rabbit?" As soon as I said it I wished I had bitten off my tongue and swallowed it.
"It's dead" she replied and laughed manically.
 "You're looking very sexy with your grey hair and tight jeans"
"Really? Umm, thank you, your earrings are nice" and by now I really wanted to run back to my flat and hide in the wardrobe but before I could . . . . .She lunged at me, all wild eyed and flailing tongue.

I have just googled "Sexual harassment".

It wouldn't let me see any images as I have "parental controls" on my laptop (just to protect myself when I get bored) but I am sure it would have shown a picture of my neighbour with smudged eye make up, in a baby doll negligee,with a cigarette hanging from her mouth and a dead rabbit in her handbag. The other image is probably Tiger Woods.

There is tons of verbiage on sexual harassment in the work place and how it "constitutes a health and safety problem" but nothing about "sexual harassment in a back garden" and how it constitutes a real problem regarding my neighbours mental health and my safety.

I can see her from my living room window as I write this.There is an old wooden wardrobe in her garden along with a mattress, a basket ball hoop, two black cats and a white pit bull.
There are no plants, flowers or any type of greenery, it looks like somewhere Freddie Krueger might sunbathe.
This says a lot about why I am fearful for my safety and why I always walk past there really quickly (the speed does depend on the tightness of my jeans).
She's in the garden in a kimono and a pair of wellington boots and her hair is in a top knot. I think the look she's gone with today is part Geisha and part farmer and it would work, if she was thirty years younger and at Glastonbury. She's also smoking what looks like a cigar and I can tell by the cheapness of the kimono that she's an accident waiting to happen. One stray piece of ash and she'll be alight like a Catherine Wheel.

If I am quick I could probably take a photograph of her with my phone?

Ooops, she's seen me and it's too late for me to pull the blinds down so I'll just wave (half heartedly) and then give her the finger when she turns around.

Did I mention that I'm sat at my desk in my underwear?

I have just googled:
 "Is waving at your sex starved neighbour whilst wearing nothing but your underwear and holding a camera phone likely to give her the wrong idea?"

Google let me down with this one. No images, no advice but I think I know the answer already . . . . .

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Adele Effect (or I don't mind Adele fans but I couldn't eat a whole one).

Much like every young African American girl was inspired to put on a spangly dress and lip sync into a hairbrush by Whitney Houston in the 1980's and every white girl donned a pair of lacy gloves and mimed to Madonna, every decade (or year depending on their longevity) provides a new female icon for the girls and the gays to aspire to.
 Sometimes it's the good - Who? (I've never subscribed to diva worship). Sometimes the bad - Britney, and sometimes it's the ugly - Ga Ga. 
What I have noticed recently is a whole new army of Diva worshipping clones.

While I agree that Adele is a great inspiration for female empowerment and for body acceptance she also seems to have started a worrying and seemingly unstoppable trend amongst overweight, extremely camp and ever more obnoxious gay men.
 It's increasingly likely that every time you switch on a TV talent show like the X Factor, The Voice or BGT there will be an Adele clone, with the same hand movements, microphone style and vocal inflections.

Yet this won't be a young girl struggling to find her voice or a suburban housewife suddenly aware of her inner strength - it will be a creature of not obvious gender, with a huge fringe, hands like shovels and a name like Trevor (or something equally as homely).
 Recently on The Voice I'm sure the beatific smile Tom Jones wore on his leathered face was actually masking a feeling of abject horror when he turned around and found that it wasn't some girl with good hair "Rolling in the Deep" but another insanely camp pretender, and he's not the first. Anyone remember (insert name) from X Factor last year? No? Me neither. Pie & chips has more longevity.
 I think anything and anyone that gives someone a little hope and confidence is a good thing but each one of these Adele wannabes are so predictable in their styling and phrasing and so 100% secure of their impending divadom that each one of them truly believes they are only a high note away from their next custard slice. 
Adele sang "never mind I'll find someone like you". Well, Adele,  we have, tons of them.
 I have nothing against Adele. I don't mind her music but much like an over calorific lunch or dinner, I can only stomach little bits of her at any one time.
I appreciate her talent, her voice, her beauty and her (not sure how real this is) ability to retain her common touch and her down to earthiness. Her saying to Kylie Minogue at the Brit Awards that she made her look like a drag queen is a marketing mans dream. She got the girls, the gays and every housewife in the land on her side (with that aside) but the men she seems to inspire are like a new tribe of Amazonian drag queens who fear no one, care about nothing and want everything. 
 Every morning I see another Adele Mighty ( they are never mini ) me. On the tube they push everybody aside, normally swathed in black, with an over plucked arched eyebrow and a man bag, and there they sit with a haughty look and a don't you dare mess with me attitude.
I've watched them push to the front of the line In Pret a Manger with their chicken salads, yoga detox drinks and their banana cakes and I see them striding purposefully through Soho every evening. . . and they make me very afraid.

I wouldn't be nervous about a bald Britney, a bewigged Beyonce, an ageless Kylie or a crotchless Madonna as these are divas for the mainstream but a herd of male Adele's setting fire to the rain really does put the willys up me. It seems like every overweight gay in the land has grabbed a microphone and embraced her as the way forward and they are leaving the Muscle Mary's, the Club Kids and OAG's ( old age gays) quaking in their rather considerable wake. 
Where are the Karen Carpenter clones when you need them?
 I will leave the last word to Whitney. She sang "everybody's looking for a hero, people need someone to look up to".
I just wish the Adele fans would adopt an attitude less threatening, or at least try a little humility and stop taking their new found independence so seriously. Adele seems like the kind of girl you could go to the pub and have a laugh with whereas the boys she inspires look like they'd crack you over the head with a beer bottle if you bought them the wrong cocktail.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Common as Muck.

I have never learned or wanted to learn how to watch my mouth, I prefer to watch other peoples. Occasionally I'll look in the mirror and I see my lips moving but I am far too busy talking to ever watch my P's & Q's.
I sometimes forget to sound my T's and I also have a tendency to drop my H's (aitches). I'm pretty sure I speak the Queens English, but only if the Queen had grown up on a rough East End council estate.

Speaking like a cockney sparrow will disarm people and they will look at you with fascination, amusement or wild, all consuming lust.
Sometimes it will be all three.
I've always tried to stay true to who I am by never losing my accent. It used to become even more pronounced if I found myself in the company of pretentious people or social climbers.  I could quite easily slip into a caricature of an East End barrow boy, which was great for my sex life but it can hinder a career, especially as I wanted to read the early evening news. I maybe could have got the gig as a weather girl but reading an auto cue about fuel shortages and worldwide famine in the style of Eliza Doolittle was never going to carry me far.

If you fancy yourself as Pygmalion it's best to underplay your language skills in the first place. Being good with words and being good with your mouth are two totally different things.

The way we speak can open doors or cause them to be slammed in our faces. My accent isn't threatening or intimidating (unless I'm wearing a balaclava and carrying a gun) and although it isn't as pronounced as when I was younger, it's pretty obvious that I could be up for a part in a Guy Ritchie movie, although I'm not half as common as anyone in Eastenders. 
I have also learned to temper my language as I've grown older. I no longer frigg and f*ck as much as I used to or as much as I'd like to, but then again who does these days? You say the wrong thing, open your mouth at the wrong time and you'll only end up with a case of Chlamydia.
 I've learned that a little bit of profanity goes a long way - you just have to choose your dirty words very carefully. Effing this and effing that will only make you sound effing stupid. 
Royalty and babies are the only people who make swearing fun so unless you're wearing a tiara or a diaper there's no need to pepper your personality with profanity. Posh people can sometimes get away with swearing because although they make it sound awfully polite, they also make it sound terribly filthy. Whenever I hear a posh person swear I immediately think of them naked, except for a pair of riding boots and a top hat, and sometimes they are in a stable eating a bale of hay.

Your accent says a lot about you and if you suddenly lose it or it becomes affected then the only message you're going to be sending across is that you're false and trying too hard. I'm all for self improvement but not at the expense of my character. I do have a telephone voice and it's the same tone I use when I'm having sex. I drop an octave and I round my vowels - It's the same vocalisation method Whitney Houston used on her last tour. I just manage to hold my last note that little bit longer.

Whatever your accent it shouldn't really matter. It's what you say that counts and I've had a lot of people tell me that when they read my blog it's like I am talking to them, that they feel they can really hear my true voice. . . .

Which is really rather lovely.
Except I'd never say "oh, that's really rather lovely".

I'm more likely to say "oh, fanks mate but you shouldn't believe every fing you read".

(before you call the spelling police, read it aloud, it's the way I talk, innit).

Monday, 9 April 2012

We could be life long friends but I really don't like you.

I have four friends.
I'm not talking about Facebook friends or twitter followers. I'm talking about people who I've shared mostly everything with. 
Whom I've seen naked. Whom I've gone on holiday with. Whom I've been vomited on by. Whom I've woke up with and had my left hand on their breast. Whom I've been through deaths, marriages and divorces with and whom I've gone on drug, alcohol and karaoke binges with.
These are the kind of things that make someone a true friend.

I have about 150 friends whom I've seen naked and I've been on drug, alcohol and karaoke binges with.
These are the people I've slept with.

I have one friend with whom I went on a karaoke binge and then vomited on.
This makes her someone who never wants to see me again.

Recently I've been cutting ties, pushing the driftwood out to sea and trimming my friendship bush. A healthy garden is one that's nurtured and cared for. You can always have one corner that you leave to grow wild and free but then you've also got to make space for the compost. 
This is the space where you recycle and get rid of the weeds. Where you gather all the junk and set fire to it. 
( I live in a one bedroom flat so god knows how I know all this about gardening).
I like to think of each of my friends as a flower in a garden. Each one needs watering at different times, some need more attention than others, others grow strong and wild and some are just, well, big old winter pansies, and they need the most attention of all.
I also have flowers in my garden that grow freely on their own, they don't need that much attention. Sometimes I'll give them a little water and have a chat and they quite happily carry on growing until the next time I see them. Then there are others that no matter how much weed killer I pour on them, how many times I try to dig them up or get next doors dog to piss on them, they still hang around. Slowly they take over the garden and rid it of all its loveliness . . and these are the times when I pray for a hose pipe ban.

I've lost a couple of friends, not through disease or bad taste in music but because of disappointment. I think that's the biggest killer in any relationship, be it friendship / marriage / client / dealer / pimp / whatever. To be continually disappointed in someone will destroy any love / hope or dependency you have for them or in them.  
Sometimes it can be because you find them flirting with your partner, rummaging through your wallet, jumping up and down on your Mulberry bag (this actually happened to me) or just never being on time. 

Other times it's because you can sit at a dinner table with them for over an hour and not once will they ask how you are or what you've been doing. These are what I call the  "I'll talk and you listen" brigade and these type of friends are either self obsessed or taking cocaine. 
The way to tell the difference is this - if they pause to actually put some food in their mouth then they are self obsessed, if they don't, then they are on cocaine.
Drugs are the very last thing you want to build a friendship on, unless you happen to be a drug dealer.
The friendships you make at 4am with your eyes like saucers are probably going to be with people you'd normally run a mile from. If you have to take drugs then choose them very carefully, if you have to make friends, then don't take drugs. The friendship will only last until the comedown and it's at that point you'll find that high friends in low places are the last thing you need.

Work friends can sometimes be your fair-weather friends too, even though you'll spend most of your waking hours with them.  
I have met some of my best friends through work but it's true that familiarity can breed contempt, especially when you're both going for the same promotion. 
The person who's volunteered to get your lunch may also be spitting in your sandwich. 
There are people you meet at work that will be your friends for life even after you've left the work place. Then there are others that you really feel you had a bond with and that you'd love to see again but who don't answer your calls or respond to your emails.
 In this case, don't stalk, walk. They were probably only after your desk in the first place.
I've always treated my best work friends like my school friends. These are the people whom you want to get into lots of trouble with, have fun with and get drunk with. The best thing about having friends at work is the shared hangovers - if you're going to go out and get drunk on a work night, make sure it's with someone you work with, it makes the day after go so much quicker.

 It's said that in every lifetime there is the one that got away. It normally applies to someone you love but it can also apply to friendships (and would be victims of serial killers) so always remember your best friends are like flowers.
Sometimes they need watering, sometimes they need a little bit of sunshine and sometimes they need to buried knee deep in shit before you realise just how precious they really are.

N.B Contrary to popular belief, I have only ever been to a karaoke bar once. I don't take drugs. I don't have green fingers and I am not in any way a pansy.

Monday, 2 April 2012

How I survived Steve Jobs, Mulberry and a life of excess . . .

Recently I have been seriously considering selling everything I own. Except for my laptop, a couple of pairs of jeans, some t shirts, my iPod and my watch.

I've realised just as I've written this that two of my most needed possessions are Apple products? Good God Steve Jobs! Maybe you really did change the world?

Anyway, this isn't a post about life without Apple, it's a post about wanting to be dispossessed. About my not being possessed by my possessions and disposing of them.
Are you still with me? Feeling possessed? Then call an exorcist.
The older I get the more I feel tied down by the things that I own, and I really do have a ton of stuff. I have bags within bags within bags of clothes. Shelves of books, cases of Cd's, shoes I've never walked in and coats I've only ever filled the pockets of with receipts (for other coats). I have picnic hampers that have never seen a blade of grass or a sunny day and I have a beautiful antique laundry chest, that sits empty and is covered with a fur rug. I don't need any of this stuff and yet I desperately wanted it. I loved it for a while, I clung to it, and now I take it for granted and I really don't need it.

Possessions don't talk to you. They don't show you love or encourage you to love them (unless you're high or mentally unstable). They don't work for your love or attention, they just sit there, gathering dust and keeping you in your place. Who the hell needs fifteen sets of identical white bedding? Especially when you live alone and are not planning on bedroom antics anytime soon.
The things we amass remind us of who we are and my days of being a tan leather Mulberry bag are long gone. It took me two years of therapy to be able to leave the house without a man bag. I'm rather glad and very lucky that I've reached middle age and I don't look like a leather holdall and I am no longer defined by something I have on my shoulder (therapy even got rid of the extra large chip)
Next time you see a pinched, taught, mean little face, take a look at the handbag. They say people grow to look like their pets? Middle aged gays and embittered women start to look like their handbags.

I'm enjoying the process of finding out what I really want and what I really need. No single person needs five picnic hampers, even if I have filled them with magazines, books and bottles of booze ( that I will never drink). I think I've only ever been on two picnics in my life.
I have more magazines than a New York News Stand and I haven't even read them. I probably bought them to place on my coffee table along side my coffee table books . . .  and I don't drink coffee.
The more possessions I have the more confused I get. It's difficult to contain all this stuff in a one bedroom flat so things that should be in the bathroom end up in the kitchen. Tubs of Creme de la Mer sit next to bottles of ketchup, my underwear sometimes ends up in my desk drawer and my groceries sometime need storing in the wardrobe. When space is at a minimum than excess is not best.

 "Going Large" "Buy Two get One Free" and "Super Size Me" aren't healthy when you have a tendency to over egg the pudding anyway. That's enough food analogies right there, a trip to the supermarket opens up a minefield of problems for me. I'm cooking for one but somehow always end up buying for four  . . . and throwing away for three.

It's not greed that makes me gravitate to excess, it's probably the baggage I've carried around for many years. My life has always been about the excess baggage but now I can walk into a shop, restaurant or bar and not have to buy, taste or drink everything I see.
I don't subscribe to the "whatever you've got I'll eat it, snort it or ride it" mentality anymore and it's made me calm. I now want a simpler life, one where It's just me and my personalities (see, I can't even be satisfied with one of them). I've decided that having everything and letting it go is better than wanting everything and getting nothing. In the end, you don't own your possessions, they own you, so I'm getting rid of mine. I haven't decided quite how I am going to do it, I think it will be a mix of sell, sell, sell, give, give and then maybe I'll have a huge great fire. However I do it, I think it's time.

 I'm going to end this post by saying I always felt that the Louise Brooks quote "I never gave anything away without wishing I'd kept it, or kept anything without wishing I'd given it away" was the measure of me.

But now I'm feeling this:

"What you keep for yourself, you lose, what you give away, you keep forever."

Especially if it's herpes.