Monday, 28 May 2012

How to lose your underwear at an all you can eat buffet whilst committing the 7 deadly sins.

Recently I've been reading about the seven deadly sins and I've realised I'm guilty of all of them . . Except for one.
I don't think my behaviour has ever been particularly sinful or shameful and I've never been caught doing anything that would bring down the government or scare the locals.
I have always been a fine, upstanding citizen and the best thing about these supposed sins?
Most of them are fine to do standing up.

Here's my guide on how to sin when you're winning:

Lust isn't a sin - it's fun. You have a mouth and a few other accoutrement's attached about your person so put them to good use. It's no good keeping them to yourself or hiding your light under a bushel. Go out, spread the love and turn on your light. No one wants to know what you've been fiddling with in the dark. Displays of lust are perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged but do not engage in any provocative behaviour in front of pensioners, children, traffic wardens or unlicensed mini cab drivers. Everyone else is fair game (unless you're in a country where a twitch of the eye at an exposed nipple can get you four years hard labour).

Gluttony isn't a sin when you're home alone and no one is watching. If you want to stuff your face then do so. I am sure you have your reasons. Maybe your heart has been broken and the love of your life has left you? Then eat until your hearts content but if you've always eaten until your hearts content and now your sofa's broken? Step away from the fried chicken fatty or you'll never find a boyfriend.

Greed is good if you're at an all you can eat Chinese Buffet (doesn't apply to everyone, see Gluttony) or at the Selfridges sale. There is nothing wrong in buying something you like in duplicate, triplicate or in a myriad of colours. If you can fit it in your wardrobe then make sure you buy it. You never know when someone may steal an item of your clothing or you may lose something that you are particularly fond of. This is especially true with underwear and even more so when you're drunk. If you're going to get drunk then don't wear expensive underwear.

Sloth is fine when you're hungover. There is nothing worse than having to get up, go to work, feed the cat, empty an ashtray, brush your teeth, take out your contacts, wash your accoutrement's, roll out of the wet patch, answer the door, put out a fire or brush the sick out of your hair when you're hungover. So don't do it. Be a sloth and do it tomorrow. Just make sure you remember to change your underwear (see Greed).

Wrath is perfectly acceptable when your partner doesn't do exactly what you tell them to or buy you exactly what you asked them to. It's also more than OK to be full of wrath towards a noisy neighbour, someone who stole your parking space, cyclists, PPI salesmen and anyone you don't find attractive. If they don't tickle your fancy then you don't need to be anything but nasty. Love they Neighbour? Only if they are good looking.

Pride should be and must be encouraged. The meek shall inherit the Earth? That's fine, the proud will inherit everything else. What have you done today to make you feel proud? You got out of bed didn't you? That's one reason right there. You must ALWAYS give yourself a pat on the back. Try doing it in front of the mirror when you're feeling especially proud. Maybe wear a single white glove and speak in a very proper English accent and pretend it's the Queen doing it for you? It is her Jubilee after all and she's probably too busy to come and do it in person. Remember meek and mild grows into girls gone wild.

BUT (and this especially important)
Envy is a sin and will get you nowhere.

You must make yourself immune to the jealousy gene. You must do all you can to dodge it. Don't ever let the green eyed monster catch you with his evil eye and try to remember he sometimes comes hand in hand with the one eyed monster.
Green eye  + the one eye = Black eye.
You must never let him catch you with your pants down or with your mouth full.
Next time you're stuffing your face make sure you're not eyeing up someone else's bigger portion.
Never get upset if someone else has bigger shopping bags than you.
Don't get jealous if your partner sleeps through the alarm and you have to get up.
Don't ever get angry if you see someone sinning - join in.

There is a saying that "jealousy is the dogs bark that attracts thieves" - I have no idea what that means but if you look like a pit bull you'll probably understand?
The only thing I can gauge from it is this:
If someone gets jealous and throws you in the sin bin then be sure to face it, embrace it and then lift your leg and piss up it.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Gucci Loafers, Self Help Manuals, Mankini's & Anne Boleyn.

Recently I spent some time up in my mothers attic.
No, she didn't lock me up there with all her other "lost children" and no, I wasn't hiding from the police.
I use the attic as an extension of my wardrobe and I was transferring winter clothes to their rightful place (bin bags and old suitcases) and removing summer clothes from their usual place (bin bags and old suitcases). 
In England we only ever get a week of Summer and the rest of the year it's four seasons in a day so I've always found it useful to keep a selection of my clothes at family, friends, neighbours and selected police stations. 

You never can tell when a fur coat and a mankini will come in handy.

I've used this particular method of clothes rotation since I left home so in the furthest corners of my mothers attic and in the cases and trunks I have long forgotten are things that could now be classed as "vintage".
 It's a sure sign that you are getting old and that you also have the inclination to be a hoarder when you find things that belong to you that could easily be sold on a market stall on Portabello Road.
I found a cream linen suit from Joseph that was the first suit I ever owned and I found a pair of scuffed Gucci loafers that were bought for me by the first boyfriend I ever had. The suit still has all the markings of a heavy night of drinking Jack Daniels down the front of it and the shoes were the cause of the demise of my first relationship. 
In truth, I wanted them and he wouldn't buy them for me for fear of "buying shoes for the one you love will make them walk away from you". 
So he instead he bought me a pair of gloves?
I then marched straight back into Gucci, exchanged the gloves for the shoes I initially asked for and did indeed, walk away from him. 
At that point in my life, it was obvious that if you didn't get me what I wanted then I'd exchange the gift and the giver for something else.
There are three awful, shameful things in this story.
1. I can't believe I was ever so shallow and heartless.
2. Why the hell did I never get that suit cleaned?
3. What on earth was I doing wearing a cream linen suit and Gucci loafers anyway?
I guess the look I was going for at the age of 21 was some kind of euro trash pimp or a member of the Miami Vice squad. Whatever the look, there is only one photograph in existence of me wearing both the suit and the shoes and you can't really tell it's me because the head has been hacked off of it. 
Obviously the work of my first boyfriend.

Up amongst the clothes were also old C.D's, L.P's and Cassettes. 
Does anybody under the age of 20 even know what a cassette is? 
How sad they will never know the joy of spending every Sunday afternoon locked in their bedroom with their ear to the radio waiting for the countdown of the Top 40 to begin. Nowadays if you want to steal music you just go onto the Internet and download it illegally. It was much more fun and needed a lot more skill when you had to time the exact moment to take your finger off the pause button.How the hell do you expect to become a criminal mastermind when someone else is doing the job for you?

The most telling of everything I've hidden, forgotten and now rediscovered is the amount of books I read when I was growing up and the ones I read after I thought I'd finished growing. 
Sure enough there is some Dickens and some Brothers Grimm and I'd say just about the usual amount of film star biographies you'd expect from a gay in training but there are books upon books about the Kings & Queens of England. 
It seems Anne Boleyn may have featured heavily during my formative years.
I found books about Andy Warhol, Quentin Crisp and Leigh Bowery. The diaries of Joe Orton, Kenneth Williams and Alan Bennett are stuffed in a trunk next to guides to the best hotels in the world and interior decorating manuals. 
My childhood bedroom was probably more akin to a five star hotel - albeit one that had posters of Diana Ross on the wall.
I also found a book called "How to Make Relationships Work" - and it's obvious to everybody I've dated and also the great love of my life that I never bothered reading that one.
What I found most surprising of all was the amount of "self help" books I had read.
 "You Can Heal Your Life" "The Lost Art of Being Happy" "The Road Less Travelled" "How to Tame a Monkey Mind" - each of these had been excessively well thumbed and fingered.
Why was I reading these kind of books as a teenager? Why wasn't I out getting drunk and having my trousers pulled down?
I have no idea how I would have found out about these books and who would have advised me to read them, although I did spend an inordinate amount of time reading my mums Cosmopolitan and doing  "Will I Ever Find A Boyfriend & Get My Period At The Same Time" type questionnaires.
I don't know how it makes me feel finding all those books? I'm glad that I was always questioning and wanting to open my mind and be a better person but it makes me sad that I thought I could learn that from a book? 
I'd even underlined page after page in "You Can Heal Your Life" in fluorescent magic marker?
It seems I must have always been a therapists wet dream and yet I don't remember being that confused? 

The things I've hidden away in the attic are markers of my innocence, my loss of innocence and my wanting to learn and open my mind.
They are also markers of my selfish and unfeeling behaviour and my (mostly) awful taste in music. 
The clothes illustrate that I always had expensive (but questionable) tastes and the books are the most important of all because they show that not only can I read but I was border line obsessed with self help manuals and the Queens of England. (What a combo).

Now twenty years later I can honestly say that:
1. I would never wear a cream linen suit again.
2. I would never wear a pair of Gucci Loafers again (or expect someone to buy them for me).
3. Buying gloves for the one you love instead of what they really want will only make them want to strangle you.
4. I don't really feel the need to read a self help manual again.
5. I need to write a book called "How to Stop Reading Self Help Manuals".
6. I really wish I could spend every Sunday in my bedroom with a tape recorder and listen to the Top 40 on the radio.
7. At every opportunity I will still do  "Will I Ever Find a Boyfriend & Get My Period At The Same Time" type questionnaires.
8. I should really stop identifying with Anne Boleyn
9. I really need to meet a man called Henry.
10.I definitely need to spend less time up in my mothers attic.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Why you should never french kiss a Budgerigar in front of your children.

My biggest fear is that I'll live an "average life".
 I have a phobia of boredom and a hatred of conformity. The people I am drawn to are those who take risks and those who live a varied life.
I've never wanted to settle and I will never be happy with just "a little life".
My life needs to be big, it's the only thing that I'm happy to have "super sized" and to go large with.

 I'm not referring to possessions or money. God knows I have had more than enough of both and I've also seen how much rot and selfishness they can bring to good and funny people. I've had it, I've spent it and I've lost it and it doesn't bother me.
I'm talking about experiencing greater things and not coasting along in my comfort zone.
It didn't take much therapy to show me that who I am and what I am is part of what has happened to me in my past so I know the reason I've always been drawn to the slightly insane stems from my growing up in a house full of the beautifully deranged.

I was brought up not to conform. I was always taught to look for the unusual and to do what I pleased.
My mother has the most anarchic sense of humour. It wasn't unusual for my father to be sitting reading the newspaper only to find flames licking around his fingers because my mother had set fire to it or for us to be sitting around the dinner table and for her to suddenly start howling like a wolf. 
Meal times were fun times because we never knew who was going to get a raw egg cracked over their head (mostly always my father) or a face full of mashed potato.
Even now as I approach middle age, if there's a food fight going on, you bet I want to be there.

I grew up in an average house with some not very average people. There were numerous visitors and characters that passed through but this was the Warner household and so the Warner's were the stars of the show. Any illness, crisis, dispute or celebration was played out with the highest level of drama and theatrics and if anything ever needed saying - then the only way to get your message across was to scream it. There were five of us and a couple of pets through the years but the pet I remember most is a Budgie called Benji.

Benji the budgerigar is an excellent marker to show the mental state within the Warner household.
Benji belonged to my older brother so the bird to me was always pretty boring. He didn't really register as something to admire, look after or even pay attention to. Sure enough, every morning before school the bird would be in his cage, chirping away or sharpening his beak on a dried cuttlefish and sure enough every afternoon, after school, he'd be doing the exact same thing.
There were only two occasions when he got my absolute and undivided attention.

The first was when my dad caught a wild bird and decided to introduce it by opening the door of the cage and placing the thing gently on Benji's perch. I have never seen so many feathers fly through a cage door in my life and Benji proved once and for all that he wanted to and should be left alone.
His behaviour that day was akin to Hannibal Lecter (with wings and a beak).
Not long after this my interest in Benji hit its peak when I came down the stairs and walked into the kitchen to find the bird on the kitchen table and my dad trying to give him mouth to mouth. I looked quickly to my mum for some kind of reassurance that Budgie wasn't on the breakfast menu to be told "Benji's dead and your dads trying to bring him back to life, don't tell your brother".

Unfortunately, the breath of a grown man into the beak of a dying budgie did not denote the second coming of Benji, nor did he rise from the grave after my dad placed him under the grill to see if the warmth of that would help ( I swear to heaven above this DID happen).
The best part of that day for me was running back up the stairs and saying to my brother "you best get downstairs, Dad's kissing Benji".

Not surprisingly soon after that my relationship with my older brother soured like a bottle of milk that had been left out in the sun without it's top on. Things were never the same again. All I had to do was tweet gently from my bedroom or make the sound of a pair of flapping wings to feel the force of my brothers fists raining down on me. The battle lines were drawn with the beak of a dead budgerigar and every morning before school there were fisticuffs and karate kicks.

I'm not implying the reason I can't hold down a relationship for more than three years or I cannot bear to have anyone telling me what to do is because I saw my dad with a dead budgie in his mouth. I'm just giving examples of why sometimes my reactions and thinking may not be what everybody is expecting. I found I admired that bird after he fought like a ninja to protect his cage from some interloper and I also found that I started to feel my dad was probably a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

I also found that I started to count down the days to see what he was going to do when the dog dropped dead.

Life should be about having fun and not doing what is expected of you.
It should be about setting fire to newspapers and throwing mashed potato at each other.
It should be about howling like a wolf every now and again and doing karate kicks at the breakfast table.

Don't ever settle for sitting on a perch and sharpening your beak on a cuttlefish.
Before you know it you could be flat on your back on the kitchen table with an unknown man trying to give you the kiss of life or trying to toast you under a burning grill.

Instead, throw open your cage doors, spread your wings and fly . . .

Monday, 7 May 2012

So what if I'm single? It's not contagious . . .

I'm rotting.
We all are, slowly.
Although some of us are getting ripe and past our sell by date a lot quicker than others.
The thing is - I'm still on the shelf. I'm the last of the singletons amongst my friends, my family and even the people I can't stand.
I'm like the last over ripe plum.
I've been groped, prodded, tossed around and then thrown back out of the shopping cart. I'm like the banana that's on the turn or the last hairy coconut.
Although I'm not quite in the bargain bin just yet.
If I was in a supermarket I'd definitely be on the shelf in Waitrose or maybe even Whole Foods?
Morrisons and Aldi would take one look at me and know instantly that I wasn't just any old cheap fruit.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd be one of Tesco's finest.
Sommerfields would probably have me in their "exotic fruit" selection - surrounded by a bunch of Kumquats.
What I'm trying to say is that although I'm a bit bruised and I'm halfway to battered, I'm still a peach and I'm happy peach too.

I don't mind being single. I like the freedom it gives me and I absolutely love sleeping alone. There is nowhere in the world more fun than my bed - even when I'm the only one in it.
I like wandering around the flat in my underwear and I sometimes like just sitting in the corner, with the lights off, no TV, no music and no distractions. You can't do that if you live with someone. Unless you tie them up, gag them and lock them in a cupboard.
I can eat what I want. If one night I want to drink a glass of champagne and eat a tin of cold beans I can. If I want to eat a whole smoked salmon and wash it down with a shot of tequila I can. If I want to eat a mashed potato sandwich and help it down with an ice cream float I can do that too.
Who's to judge?
Who's to tell me I can't eat this and I can't drink that?
But then again, who the hell is going to wash up?

If I decide I want to run the bath until the water runs cold then that's my business. If I want to light twenty candles and then fall promptly asleep then it's only me who's going to wake up with singed toes and a blackened face (actually, the woman next door may end up a bit tough around the edges too).
If I decide I want to stay up all night watching black & white movies and then sleep through my alarm it isn't anybodies concern but my own, not even my boss. I tell him every time he opens his mouth "now listen, before you utter a single word, unless you're going to marry me, you can't tell me what to do".

If I decide I want to decorate the flat with Union Jack bunting and have a sofa made of marsh mallows, that's my choice. I'm the only one who's going to end up with a sticky arse.
If I decide I want cook a raw chicken with the heat from a burning candle then it's only me who's going to drop two dress sizes and wake up on a gurney in an emergency room.
If I want to wear a pig mask, a leopard print onesie and top it all with a pair of donkey ears then I'm the only one that's going to look like some horrific animal DNA experiment.
And if I want to scare the neighbours? Then I'll just wear that outfit and jump out of their airing cupboard in the middle of the night.
Who's to stop me?

I refuse to have restrictions put upon me.
I have no boundaries I'm not allowed to cross.
I can spend the whole day miaowing like a cat if I want to.
I don't have to live by anybody else's rules or regulations.
I don't have to be crippled by someone else's insecurities and I don't have to play anybody else's game.
I'm free!
I'm free to be me and I'm free to pull my pants down and walk around with a fried egg on my head and a smile on my face if I want to.
If I want to build a tent out of some bed sheets and have a camp fire in the middle of my kitchen it ain't nobodies business if I do.
If I want to sing at the top of my voice and dance around my living room like I've had my drink spiked and smoked a rock of cocaine I can do  - and I don't even have to smoke a rock of cocaine to do it. Because there isn't anybody there to watch me.

I don't care that everyone's getting hitched. It doesn't bother me if they are all shacked up with their heads over their heels and their asses in the air.
If  you're going up the aisle and if you're running down the aisle -  good for you!
Make sure you don't fall on your face and smash your teeth out.
Consumed and madly in love with a significant other?
Engaged & moving in or just in love & living in sin - I'm happy for you.

But more than that, I'm happy for me.
Happy to be me, happy to meet me and happy to know me.

But let me ask you this?
Could you imagine going out with me?

My god -  I think you'd drive me insane. . . .