Thursday, 20 December 2007

Finally (It's Happening To Me)!

I have fantastic news this morning, guys - I got a new a job! In my rather sorry state yesterday, I went for a second round interview with a company that I really really wanted to work for.... this is the job I wanted the most out of all the ones I've gone for. I met the Director of the Commercial Team, who I'd be working under, and everything went really well. I spoke to my agency afterwards and let them know I was keen, and they phoned back an hour later and told me they wanted to offer me the job! Apparently I've found the secret to giving great interviews - get pissed the night before (only kidding Mom, I promise)! So I'm waiting for the finalised offer to come through today, such as salary and benefits and things, but I basically know what's going to be in the contract, so I will just have to formally accept.

In keeping with my no names policy, I won't say which company it is, but it's working in radio, and the team I will be in is responsible for the marketing, sponsorship and events for all the radio stations on the company's portfolio. There are two perks I am most excited about: Number one - I will finally fulfil my ambition of seeing a bonafide celebrity, as in not someone from EastEnders or Hollyoaks, but a Hollywood Celebrity. The building I will be working in houses 5 radio stations, and A-List Celebs are constantly coming in to do promotions and interviews. Yesterday Will Smith was due to arrive half an hour after my interview to do promos for I Am Legend. Ok, closing my mouth and stopping the drooling right about now. The second thing is the free concerts. Apparently staff get complimentary tickets for every event under the sun in London, including all the huge outdoor London music festivals in the summer. So I plan on whiling away my time next year at Party in the Park, Get Loaded in the Park and the SW4, to name but a few.

It's pretty much perfection wrapped up in a package and placed under my Christmas tree. So I'm very very excited, and have just started telling my team. Understandably, there's a tinge of sadness accompanying my ecstasy, as despite my desperation to move on over the last 4 months, I adore my team here and will miss them a lot. They're all happy for me of course, but also moaning about how miserable I'm making them now that I'm leaving, which makes me feel good and bad at the same time! As I said, I'm waiting for all the details, but I think they will want me to start first week in January.

I'm cutting this post short now cos I have to e-mail everyone I know and tell them the impossible has happened - Lopz has actually been offered a permanent job in something she really wants. I know they all had faith in me, but I bet there will still be a level of "I don't believe it, she finally did it!" I know I'm still pinching myself to check that it's real. ;-)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Smells Like Just Spirit

I am so hungover today that even typing makes me feel sick. It's a Level 10 at the least, more likely an uncharted Level 12. I am so nauseous I can't drink anything - helpful, really, when you know the one thing that will make your body feel better is water - and eating was out of the question for most of the morning. I sat with an opened bag of crisps on my desk for an hour, desperately wanting to eat them but unable to suppress the nausea for long enough to swallow. You know it's a shocker when you can't eat; usually a plate full of the greasiest food imaginable solves all your problems.
So to what do we owe my sorry state of being? Our team Christmas party last night at Smollensky's. It was a good night, what I remember of it. It wasn't THAT bad... ok, it was, but I do remember more or less how everything went down. The part I'm a bit hazy on is where we went after dinner, what time we stayed there til and what time I got home. Oh yes, and who was there. Ok, quite bad then. At least I got a cab home, and somehow managed to pay for nothing the entire night again, including the cab. Damn, I'm good!
I was crapped on from a dizzy height by Shoes this morning though, as apparently I caused havoc on my arrival home. I do remember hiccupping a lot, but I don't remember it going on for half an hour (it did) and being so loud that Shoes could hear it through the wall when he had finally given up trying to sleep in the same bed as me and had removed himself to the lounge (it was). I also "stank like a brewery" (payback's a bitch then) and "snored like a chainsaw (again, hello pot I'm kettle). He shouted and slammed things a lot this morning, and then phoned to apologise once we'd both finally gotten ourselves to work. He says he was just worried about me coming home by myself in such a state... I told him to try saying so next time.
I have just finished my first bottle of water for the day - a whole 750ml. I can hear all the little cells in my body crying out in thirst, but tough shit, they'll have to make like an Arab in a desert for today and survive. Maybe they can nick some from my eyes, which won't stop watering as the eyeballs are practically buried under a layer of grime. Seriously, they're so dirty I can't see properly through my contacts, even though I have taken them out and cleaned them no less than 7 times today (my contacts, not my eyeballs obviously). And no, the dirt's not on the lenses, I did check that. How does one get one's eyeballs dirty? They should set up a research facility to study this. It's bizarre.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

From The Horse's Mouth

Dear 13 Year Old Self

There's a trend in the blogging world at the moment to write a letter to yourself at age 13, so I thought I'd give it a go, since you know how much we love to write letters. Don't worry if you don't understand the word 'blogging' - it hasn't been coined where you are yet. You'll come to understand it later though. For now, just know it has something to do with our passion for writing, which is one of the reasons we decide to start one. You'll be glad to know we don't lose our love of writing, but we don't end up becoming a journalist like you think we will.

And listen up chick, I know you're still playing those sneaky games of Barbie with our childhood best friend Elke, so take my advice when I tell you it has to stop! You're too old for that now. But you're still wonderfully innocent, and you'll be glad to know you stay that way for a while yet. I think I've caught you just as Elke is about to move to America for good. I know you're heartbroken, and I know you feel like you will never find another friend like her. But I want you to dry your eyes, because we do find another friend to share everything with. Her name is Schmokkle, and she'll grow into the best friend we could ever hope to have. I know you've known her since you were 5 and you've always thought she was retarded, but that's only because she speaks German. Speaking another language does not make you retarded! What are you like, girl?

In about a year you're going to go on your first date. His name is Michael and he's a real gentleman, but don't be upset when he doesn't kiss you goodnight. He's even more scared than you are. After things don't go anywhere with Michael, you're going to start going to a few house parties. This is when you experiment with alcohol for the first time, and you have your first kiss. You don't get drunk - in fact, you'll be one of the few in your group who doesn't. You'll find you know how to stand up for yourself, so don't worry about the dreaded peer pressure: you're strong even at such a young age. When you get together with High School Obsession, you're going to think he's the only guy you'll ever love. Don't get mad at me ok, but you don't actually love him. You only think you do. Real love comes much later.

You're going to go on a church camp when you're 15, and you're going to come back with the conviction that the things you've been doing are wrong, and the friends you've been hanging around with are a bad influence. You're going to go and see your friends and tell them you can't hang out with them anymore. Don't ask me now if this is the right thing to do, because I'll say no, but you won't believe me. You're going to believe without a shadow of a doubt that you're doing what God wants you to do, and it's going to cause you so much pain. I wish I could forewarn you about how cruel kids can be towards things they don't understand, and I wish I could stop you from doing it to save yourself the anguish, but I know you won't be deterred. You're young but you're stubborn and you stand up for what you believe in. I admire that in you. Don't worry, even though things get shaky sometimes in the coming years, we never lose that quality.

As a result of this camp and your actions, you're going to lose all your friends for a while, even Schmokkle. It's going to take years before you all grow up enough to get some perspective about the situation, but I can promise you that eventually we do. Don't be too angry at Schmokkle when she turns against you - in her view you turned against her first. Just know that your friendship is strong enough to survive anything, and it does, even when it is sorely tested in later years.

While we're on the subject, I admire your convictions and your sense of truth, but the way you see the world is very simplistic. You see things only in black and white right now, and when you grow up you'll find the world is really coloured in shades of grey. Try to put yourself in other people's shoes a bit more. You'll find we become very good at that later on in life, but it would make things easier for you to understand if you could start now. You'd do well to remember that faith is about love and tolerance as much as it is about truth. Don't separate the two.

When you're 17, you're going to meet a guy who will take your virginity and your innocence in one fell swoop. I wish I could tell you to stay away from him, that he's going to turn your life upside down and destroy the very fabric of who you are. Mom and Dad and all your friends and family are going to warn you about him, but you're not going to listen. I wish there was some way I could protect you from what's going to happen to you, but there isn't anything anyone can do - you'll make a terrible mistake by getting involved with him and it's going to take you nearly three years to get out. When you finally do get out of the relationship, you're going to look in the mirror and not recognize the person looking back at you. Don't be afraid. You'll find out who that person is eventually, and you'll be so proud of who we become. Lean on your true friends. Trust your family. They will be the anchors that get you through this storm. Remember that it is our ability to overcome the trials on our lives that define us, not the trials themselves. He will not define who you are - only you will do that.

Be kind to your little sister. You don't know it now, but she is going to become one of the most important people in your life when you get older, and you're going to develop a bond the kind of which you can't even conceive right now. I know you think she's young and silly, but she's going to teach you so much about yourself, and you'll grow to need her as much as she needs you.

Don't be too hard on your parents. You're going to get so angry with them when you find out they aren't perfect, that they're people too and they make mistakes. Try to understand that they always have your best interests at heart, even when they do things that may seem to indicate the opposite. Always keep the lines of communication open. If you do that, you'll grow up to know the joy of being not only their cherished daughter, but one of their closest friends. I know you think that sounds crazy now, but you'd be shocked to learn how much we like hanging out with them later in life. Yes, we really hang out with them! Forgive them their mistakes. Take note of how many times over the next ten years they will have to forgive you.

When you're older and you meet a boy called Shoes, know that something very special is about to happen to you. You'll finally find out what true love really is. Don't ever take that for granted. Know that every second you spend with him is a treasure, and should be treated as such. Learn the differences between men and women. Don't expect him to understand you completely, just be grateful that he loves you enough to keep on trying. Have fun together. Remember to laugh. Don't be so serious all the time. You're young and you have the world at your feet. Know that you can do anything, be anything. You're going to get to a point one day when you no longer believe that, but you should. You should always believe in your dreams, even when they seem impossible.

If I could give you one piece of advice to keep with you through your teenage years, it would be to always focus on the good things in your life. You have so much to be thankful for. Don't ever forget to take a moment each day to appreciate that.

Love Your 27 Year Old Self

P.S. 27 is not old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S.S. Never ever drink kahlua and milk, it will make you REALLY sick.

Monday, 17 December 2007

It's Raining Men

Last week was pretty busy at work and I didn't get a chance to post, so thought I'd store up all the anecdotes and news tidbits for one whopper of a post this week. Of course, now that I'm there, I can't remember anything I wanted to write! I'm trying to get into the habit of scribbling ideas in my notebook as they come to me, but clearly I have some work to do before that actually takes off - like maybe picking up a pen.

I've had a number of interviews over the past week, and I've also had some pretty positive feedback, so I'm starting off this week feeling quite hopeful. The last one on my list is a second round interview on Wednesday, and that's the end of the current lot. They've started interviewing for my position at my company again, so I think they want someone to start as soon as possible in the new year. Which means I'm on a bit of a tight schedule if I want to get a new perm job without having to temp in between once I leave here. I'm hoping to have something good to report soon, but if I don't mention it again, assume nothing came of any of them and we're back to business as usual.

On Friday night I went with Mello and her GBF PrettyBoy to G.A.Y. at the London Astoria. Now, G.A.Y. is a club I have been dying to go to ever since I came to London. I remember walking past it in my first week here and reading with wonder the tattered flyers tacked to the intimidating black doors, advertising gigs by everyone from Madonna to Kylie to Atomic Kitten. I imagined drag queens clad in bustiers and feather boas a la Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and gorgeous gay Adonis in micro-hotpants and little else, their abs rippling as they shimmied their snake-like hips around the dancefloor. No, I don't have some weird sex fantasy involving gay guys, I just think most of them are hot! And how nice to be able to perve to your heart's content and know you won't have to deal with any unwanted attention resulting from your eyeballing. Plus, the gays know how to throw a party, it's a fact.

So when Mello invited me to spend the night treading the floorboards where many legends have gone before, I couldn't say no, despite only having £20 to my name. It was never going to be about getting pissed - £20 does not go far in a Central London club; instead, it was going to be about getting down!

We met PrettyBoy and his boyfriend The Brain at a bar in Leicester Square for some drinks beforehand. PrettyBoy is so named because he is exceedingly pretty in a delicate, almost ethereal kind of way. The Brain is big, black and intimidatingly smart (he's a teacher who moonlights as a playwright). I'm still learning my way around terminology in the gay community, and my first faux pax of the evening came in the way I addressed their relationship. Very proud of my integratedness that comes from hanging out with GBF, I casually asked how long PrettyBoy and The Brain had been partners for. PrettyBoy looked at me rather quizzically, while The Brain seemed set to hightail it out of the bar and down the road in a cloud of dust, Road-Runner style. He informed me, rather panickedly I thought, that the two of them have been going out for just 4 months, and that PrettyBoy is his boyfriend. Realising quickly that I had obviously attributed far more intensity (and perhaps fidelity) to their relationship than was warranted, I quickly backtracked and made a rather tasteless comment about casual sex, which drew further concern and raised eyebrows from both men. Righto, off to as good start now that they think I am both naive and a sexual merry-go-round.

The tables turned my way again when the guys discovered my age, and were in a state of shock, both declaring they didn't think I was a day over 23 (incidentally, this is both of their ages). They were fabulously complientary for the rest of the night, and by the time we left to hit G.A.Y. my head was twice its normal size. The Brain didn't come with us - apparently it's not really his scene. A gay guy doesn't like G.A.Y.? How is this possible, I mused to myself as we sashayed over. I was soon to find out.

We got in with no problems, despite being nervous about it. The club has a strict gay and lesbian majority policy, and if they suspect you're straight and the straights are outnumbering the gays inside, they'll very likely refuse you entry. It was early days though, so we cruised through. I was wearing a red catsuit, something I had my mom send up after I'd left it behind in CT, thinking I'd have no use for it. This was before I'd been out in London and realised there is no city in the world better suited to a catsuit. Scarf, who'd been at drinks with her work, had decided to come and join us, and I spent about 20 minutes in the lobby waiting for her. I now know that if I ever want to go to the club again and I'm worried about the quota issue, all I have to do is stand in the queue in my red catsuit, and I shouldn't have any problems. Luckily for me, the bouncers are all straight, and they were pretty much falling over themselves to offer their services (How many more of your friends are coming? Do you need more free entry vouchers? Are any of them straight?). Good to know that feminine wiles can still work in a gay club!

As much as I was looking forward to the night, and as glad as I am that I have finally been to G.A.Y, I don't know that I'll be going back - at least, not on a Friday night. This is simply because it is so cheesy, even Micky Mouse would have a problem with it. Heaven knows I love cheesy pop music, and shaking my ass to Britney and Rihanna is definitely my thing, but even I struggled with this. After spending about 20 minutes on the lower floor where they play 70's and 80's stuff, we moved up to the top floor where they play only 90's (nothing later), because as good as I am with old music, even I could only recognize 1 in every 6 songs on the lower floor. So 90's it was, and my goodness, what a heavy dose of it. After the stellar triple play including I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys, Ooh Aah.... Just a Little Bit by Gina G (who even remembers that song!) and No Limit by 2 Unlimited, I thought it could not get any worse. I was wrong. The low point of the night was a remix of My Heart Will Go On from Titanic, with the entire floor belting out the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

Don't get me wrong, I entered into the spirit of things with gusto, because I firmly believe that a good night out depends on much you're going to allow yourself to have fun, no matter what the circumstances. So I sang along with the rest of them, and shook my ass like my life depended on it. But could I reprise Celine Dion along with a cat's choir of 300 other people again? No way. Not even if the guys really did wear those micro-hotpants.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Baubles, Bangles And Beads

What a truly satisfying weekend. Well, I'm actually only talking about Saturday, but Saturday was my weekend, as it was so good the rest pales in comparison.

On Saturday The ArtyOne and I went to Clothes Show Live 2007 in Birmingham. To the uneducated (as I was until not too long ago), Clothes Show Live is the "largest fashion and beauty event in the world" according to NEC, the exhibition site that plays host to the extravaganza. 6 days, 7 fashion zones, 20 halls, 40 models and dancers, 450 fashion, hair and beauty companies and a sprinkling of celebrities all under one roof.... if women had wet dreams, this would be their inspiration.

The ArtyOne and I had free tickets, as third musketeer BlueEyes works on the show. Or maybe "works on the show" is a bit of an understatement - she is one of the elite handful who basically own the show. She is the show. Or at least, she was until Jesse Metcalfe from Desperate Housewives showed up.... then she was calling for a show(ing) along with the rest of the crowd.

Being a Very Important Person herself, she got us VIP tickets which had us sitting 5th row from the front for the 12:30pm catwalk show. Hunky Jesse introduced the event, and the rather young and almost entirely female crowd went apeshit (the weekend is pretty teenybopper, since they're at school on the other days). The ArtyOne and I were not that impressed.... I mean, yes, he's cute, but in a Hollywood, perfectly proportioned kind of way, and we both prefer out men a little messy and, well.... manly. Jesse is the fairytale Prince Charming - I prefer the Camel Guy. The Sugababes were next up, performing their latest single About You Now. I like some of the Sugababes music, but it's not going to get me jumping out of my chair or anything. Then the fashion show started, and gorgeous models interspersed with the best looking dancers on the face of the planet shimmied and boogied their way up and down the catwalk to everything from Britney Spears to Linkin Park. It was when the male dancers came out wearing jeans, leather jackets and nothing else that even I finally lost my cool. And then to make our already salivating lips smack even harder, they took off the jackets, did a spot of breakdancing and threw themselves into suggestive poses right on the front of the stage, just a few metres from where we were sitting. Two steps forward and I would have been tracing those those rock hard obliques with my fingertip. Mmmm. Very fine specimens.

After the excitement of the show, 3,000 very flushed women and girls made their way out of the theatre and hit the shopping halls to do some serious damage to their credit cards. In sticking with the imagery, the wealth of the shopping population started out at the level of the USA, and in less than half a day spiralled down to that of Ethiopia. 5 and a half hours straight, no eating, no drinking and no toilet breaks - we were on a mission. We descended on the hundreds of stalls touting clothing, make-up, accessories, make-overs and style sessions, spray-tans, workshops and wellbeing treatments of every conceivable sort. We bought goodie bags of make-up and beauty products for £10, when the contents were worth £40. We paid £2 for a beauty magazine complete with a skincare kit in miniatures. Gorgeous winter coats were flying off hangers at £15 a pop, and fashion items in styles to suit everyone on the planet were practically being given away for £5 or £10 a piece. Our arms were loaded down with bags to rival those under Amy Winehouse's eyes, but we felt no pain and no fatigue - we were invincible. We were like the Spartans in 300 - just a few souls with so very much to conquer, but our hearts were strong and our wallets generous; and when they stopped spewing out our life savings in cash, our plastic virtually melted in the team effort card swipes to keep the shopping spirit alive.

£90 later (and this was after having a budget of £20), I walked out of there with over £250 worth of clothing and beauty products. There are no words than can quite describe the satisfaction. Even better, when I told Shoes about my fantastic day, even he agreed it was an opportunity too good to pass up. Of course, he thinks I only spent £50..... lying by omission is sometimes the glue that keeps a relationship strong. ;-)

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

God Rest Ye (very) Merry Gentlemen

Top 10 Most Outstanding Moments at our Christmas Party:

1) Being greeted with free champagne on arrival, and the ensuing free-for-all mosh pit at the bar as people dived in to get the coveted - and limited - second glass.

2) Lunch being served an hour late, and the kitchen running out of turkey, causing a half hour delay while they defrosted some more. This was followed by same kitchen then ingeniously running out of strawberry roulade, causing an uprising as the peasants revolted and hurled abuse at the waiters, who hurled far more colourful abuse back (I'm hoping our reaction was reflected in their tip).

3) Drinking for free all night, after finding myself sitting next to Farhana at lunch and discovering she doesn't drink, and filching her tokens off her.

4) The "surprise entertainment" - salsa dancing lessons on a dancefloor the size of a postage stamp. Reminded me very much of that scene in Dirty Dancing where the guests are learning the side to side bunny hop. Unecessary and deliberately painful.

5) The Company's Got Talent - the shit PA system meant you couldn't hear the lyrics, the horseshoe shaped bar meant that only the 30 people gathered in the front could actually see anything, and sure enough, a group of semi-drunk girls thought it would be cool to get their karaoke on to Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. Well done guys, this was clearly a roaring success.

6) Finding out a rather scandalous bit of office gossip about who's shagging who..... my lips are supposed to be sealed, but I may have to drop a hint to the person in question, it's just so good.

7) Finally revealing my tattoo to those in my team who've heard of it but never seen it (before you get any dirty ideas, it's across my lower back). Many compliments followed.

8) Spending the rest of the night running away from one particularly over-enthusiastic middle-aged male fan of my tattoo who decided it would be fun to a) try and touch it (read: major grope) whenever I walked past and b) look for other possible hidden tattoos on the rest of my body. There's always one.

9) Dancing. First with a group of people, then on my own when said group disappeared, then doing the tango (or trying to) with DB, the company's own perpetually pissed Don Juan.

10) Leaving with two of the guys on my team, and having everyone ask what time I kicked them out this morning. Juicier than the reality, which was a rather grumpy boyfriend shattered from a night of no sleep due to my excessive drunken snoring. Payback's a bitch!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Today is the day of my office Christmas party. We have two parties - the big company one today which most of the staff body attends, and our team party on the 18th. Of the two, the team party is the one that we are all looking forward to. That should be great fun - we're all pretty friendly, there's a certain level of close-knit camaradarie and we can get plastered without worrying about the Directors looking over our shoulders.

The party today, on the other hand, seems to have inspired a lot of grumbling and reluctance among the masses. Apparently if it's anything like the parties from years gone by, we are all going to be bored stiff by 8pm and only the hardcore (read: frowned upon losers) stay on to get well and truly pissed and create the few juicy stories that actually exist in the lore of these events. So I am feeling ever so slightly ashamed for being excited, but seriously? Grumbling about the chance to take most of the day off work and spend it eating, drinking and chatting? Who cares if no-one pukes in the pot plants? So what if people don't fall over on the dancefloor? I do enough of that when out with my mates, so a civilised Christmas gathering is quite attractive to me. And there is always one who defies tradition and causes drama. I can sit smugly assured that this time it will not be me.

The celebrations officially kick off at 12pm, when everyone is allowed to abandon their posts in the office and make their way to Sugar Reef Bar in Piccadilly. You might remember from a previous post of mine that Sugar Reef is the most expensive bar we've yet been to in London. As our £10 ticket covers the three course meal and 3 drinks throughout the course of a very long afternoon, I have already targeted the non-drinkers at my table with every intention of begging off their extra drinks tokens.

Lunch will be served at 2pm, whereafter there will be some sort of surprise entertainment, and then, horror of horrors, an event which is sure to inspire derision among the troops: The Company's Got Talent. A talent show inspired by Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent, complete with our very own Mrs Nasty judge. As much as this could be a rather hilarious and enlightening event if done properly, our staff have shown considerable stubborness in refusing to drop their oh so important "too cool for school" airs and graces, and I believe at this stage we only have one entrant - a rather eccentric Director who is doing a nasty and disparaging song/rap about another Director who recently left (ok, so this should at least be controversial, if not down right funny). I think overall it's a cool idea, but you need everyone on board with 100% enthusiasm to make it work. A half-hearted production will fall very flat.

To make things worse, because of the lack of entries into the contest, they have now extended it to include karaoke. So what's going to happen is, at about 6pm when most of us are pissed and some have a little Dutch courage going on, we are going to be subjected to some atrocious wailing to Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and any song from Grease by those whose Dutch courage leads them to believe that other people will actually be impressed by their attempts at singing.

As it's starting at 6pm, and many people with families will end up leaving around normal end of work time of 5:30pm, this stage might send at least another 50% packing, and so leave the few who actually want to kick back and get pissed before the disco starts at 8pm. We just have to somehow get through the preceding earache.

Anyway, it's a welcome change from the drudgery that is my daily routine, and I for one will enjoy myself, whether or not I have any comrades with me. I'll report back tomorrow morning as soon as I can sift through the thoughts in my no doubt addled brain.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Two Girls One Coup?

This weekend, I was introduced to the 'Two Girls One Cup' video that has been doing the rounds on the internet. I say introduced, because I refused to actually watch it. I believe there are some things in life you should never see, so that in your darkest or most depraved moments, you don't have that memory to call up and thereby seriously gross yourself out. The concept was explained to me, but since this is not a fetish blog, nor am I a person who enjoys those sorts of things, I'll refrain from explaining it here - google it if you're interested.

It did make me think though. What in the bloody hell drives a person to get off on that kind of thing? How do you first discover you're into something a little more sick and twisted than the rest of mankind? For example, do you - as a guy - go to a public urinal as a child and find yourself turned on by the sight of the guy next to you taking a leak (not the concept of this video, but take that about 1000 miles further and you'll get there)? What then? Do you drink more water/beer than the average Joe Soap so you can go more frequently? Is there a code by which you can identify other Piss Perverts, perhaps a hand signal... and then maybe a secret society into which you can be initiated? The mind boggles.

I am no prude, nor do I judge others for their weird and wonderful sexual tastes, but there is definitely a line, and finding videos like 'Two Girls One Cup' even remotely thrilling is just beyond me. And the most of the rest of decent society, I would imagine.

Speaking of weird videos on the internet, if you have a moment go and check this out:

Don't worry, there are no fetishes or kinky sex acts involved. It's simply a guy who has created a blog where he posts photos of himself running away from a camera, as said camera takes a timed photo of him. Many photos. Over and over again. In various different places. WTF? Is anybody else confused, or is it just me?

Thanks heavens for the crazy world we live in.... I think.

PS Just so you know, I googled the video concept myself and although I haven't seen it, I can tell you it's chocolate.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

When Shoes Shuffled His Feet

So, our dinner party with GBF was fantastic - way better than expected! I didn't have high hopes initially, as when Eyes enquired of Shoes last night whether he was coming to gym, Shoes replied that we were going to the gay guys for dinner and proceeded to sigh and huff like the big bad wolf. We left our flat and I had to stop halfway to go back for Shoes' lip that was dragging along behind us.

I was feeling surprisingly at ease in the beginning. Usually, I am so aware of Shoes' resentment at being dragged along, that I tend to spend most of my time watching him out the corner of my eye for signs of panic / excessive drinking / glaring shyness (which is often misconstrued as an air of disinterest), and frantically trying to bail him out of awkward situations. The first and most welcome icebreaker was Luna, GBF's 2 year old staffie puppy. I had already heard everything about Luna, from her eating and sleeping habits to what she got for her birthday (a £100 pound swarovski crystal collar and 2 x £50 fancy plastic food bowls), but I had yet to meet her. Shoes' dream dog is a staffie, and he frequently talks about his longing to own one when we eventually go back home. Luna was the best kind of therapy for this newp event - she provided conversation of mutual interest, she was boisterous and made us laugh, and when there was a lull in talking, GBF made her show off all the tricks she can do. Soon after we got there, D and Zen arrived. They are the other couple I have met through my volunteer work at the RSPCA, and they are absolute gems. Very quickly I realised that something was missing. That sense of constantly being on edge, worrying that Shoes was going to look pointedly at his watch one too many times... it wasn't there!

I've mentioned before how I am a little obssessed by this freebie website where I get free movie tickets and the like. D was the one to first tell me about this, and I knew she and Zen shared my love of cutting corners in entertainment costs. What I didn't know is that these people are professionals. They could write a book on how to get things for free. Movie tickets and mini samples? Pah, they've got two laptops, a tv and even a weekend away! I won't go into the how to right now, except to say that it's all legit and there's no theft involved, but suffice it to say, once the conversation turned to this topic and we realised just how much they take the piss, we were all in stitches for the rest of the evening.

Shoes appeared to be genuinely comfortable, and not once did I need to bail him out of a social faux pas. We'd agreed on an exit time before we came - 10pm. Finally, at 11:15pm, Shoes looked at his watch and gave me the eyes. I was nothing short of relieved; the wine and rich food had made me sleepy, and I could quite happily have left half an hour before!

As we all said goodnight and made promises to hook up again in the future, Shoes and I started in the direction of our flat and I asked him the all important question: "That wasn't so bad, was it?" His reply? "Not at all, it was cool. They are actually very cool people." And that, right there, is the highest compliment that Shoes can give. :-)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Crowded House

You know you've still got it when you're 27 and you get asked for ID when buying wine in Sainsbury's. Yes, that really happened to me this morning, and I am still absurdly pleased about it.

I'm pretty sure from the way she was staring puzzledly at it that the cashier was unfamiliar with the South African drivers license. I could feel her rising panic as she scrutinised my card, flipping it over and back again, looking for that elusive proof that I was of age. I helpfully pointed out the date with a perfectly manicured fingernail - do 17 year olds even have perfectly manicured fingernails? - and enunciated clearly "1980", but she still scowled at me suspisciously. I could practically hear her thoughts: Is this a trick? Is this a fake ID I'm supposed to recognise and instantly alert my superior to? It didn't help that while she was struggling with her sense of morality and power, I was standing there with an inane grin on my face. It's no wonder she was reluctant to give in. We had a brief face-off - she stared me down while my inane grin widened to a moronic one, and finally she conceded. The battle was over. I had won my prize. Well, won the opportunity to pay a fiver for a bottle of wine, anyway.

The wine is for an early Christmas dinner that Shoes and I are attending tonight. GBF, who's been off my radar for a couple of weeks (I must have really scared him at our last drunken meeting) invited us along with another couple who we've met through our RSPCA work. I'm excited; Shoes, not so much. The thing about my boyfriend is that he is the most delightful person once you get to know him; around his friends he is relaxed, witty, uninhibited and positively sparkling in Christmas-tree-light style. It's the getting to know him part that presents problems for other people.

He's not unfriendly by any means; he just has an enormous psychological block against meeting new people. He's the person at the party who is so terrified by the thought of being in a crowd of people he doesn't know that he's apt to drink too enthusiastically too quickly for Dutch courage, and then needs to go home early (come to think of it, this is quite possibly a deliberate ploy). He's the guy for whom small talk is worse than the Bokke losing to England. He's said before he'd rather have no new friends for the rest of his life than suffer the agony of "So, what do you do?" conversations one more time. I refuse to take this seriously though, because even if he does mean it, I'm not about to let him hide in his cave so I am continuously forced to present myself as the swinging singleton whenever there's a dinner party/wedding/work function for Lopz plus one. I have made it my mission in life to help him get over his crippling phobia of "newps" (new people) by dragging him to various events where he knows no-one. This is for his own good, and one day when his sparkling repartee is the coveted centrepiece at every party in the neighbourhood, he will make a heartfelt speech in front of a crowd of VIPs about how he could never have done it withouth me. I only have his best interests at heart. Besides which, I have run out of excuses for reason why he is not with me at newp events. "Oh, he's having a guys' night out tonight" or "The footie's on, and he is just SO sports mad, ha ha *cough cough*" are no longer cutting it, and I have to deal with the looks of pity shot my way throughout the rest of evening. "Shame, they're obviously going through a rough patch" is what kinder half are thinking, while the others clearly snipe under their breath, "Boyfriend? Then why haven't we seen him in seven years; she's actually sad enough to make him up."

I am putting a stop to this right now. I see tonight as another opportunity to show him that the rest of the world does not bite; that in fact, there are some very pleasant people out there just dying to be his mates. The fact that he sees it as a form of slow torture is irrelevant - in the long run, this will only serve the greater good of coupledom.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Baby's Got Back!

I'm back!

I've decided to return after taking a bit of a break from the blogosphere. I wasn't happy with how miserable my posts were becoming.... every time I sat down to write, all my disappointments, insecurities and self-doubt rushed to the surface with the force of a freight train, and they became the only things I could concentrate on and therefore write about. I firmly believe my blog is a place where I can say whatever I want, and it does help to work through some of those things by writing about them. Conversely though, writing about them also causes me to dwell on them more, and dwelling on all the things that are going wrong in your life for any longer than is necessary, does end up causing you to feel more depressed than you otherwise would.

So, no more of that now. Life is definitely good, and if there are a few bumps along the way that I have to scramble over, I shall endeavour to do so with a positive attitude and not quite so much introspection.... I do believe that sometimes intense thought can be one's enemy.

On that note, I have been for a couple interviews, but have decided for the interim not to discuss my work situation on my blog until I totally have a handle on things mentally. Which will probably be the point at which I finally get offered that elusive perfect job, but until then, I will keep any failures to myself, as it's simply easier on my pride and therefore takes the pressure off posting.

A couple of things did happen last week which helped me get over myself, and the most important of those did so by making me realise how trivial the things that I am going through are in comparison to some of the other struggles that people are facing. Sometimes you just need your life put in perspective.

A good friend of mine suffers from an eating disorder. She's struggled with it for many years, and it's taken various forms over time: compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia. Her relationship with food has always been difficult, and its complexity is proportional to how smoothly or not her life is going at the time. She told me last week that she is now in a programme - she joined about a month and a half ago, and finally worked up the courage to let me know. This is the first time in all the years I have known her that she is getting help, and it's a decision she came to by herself, and she worked up the guts by herself to go to that first meeting.

Some background to flesh out my story here: When I was 17, I got involved with a crack addict. What followed were three nightmare years of descent into the dark world of drug addiction - him using, me trying to save him - which tested the foundations of everything I ever knew or thought about myself and other people. Because of this, I've spent a fair amount of time at support groups and clinics for addiction of all kinds. Eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction.... they all amount to the same thing, and occur for the same underlying reasons; they just take different forms of expression, if you like.

Because of my own experiences, I know just how difficult recovery is for anyone suffering from this disease. I also respect and admire those who've succeeded at it perhaps more than anybody else, as the price of getting to the point of recovery is extremely high for everyone involved, and I have personally paid those costs.

When she admitted to me last week that she had entered a programme, it's like someone took the microscope with which I had been studying my life away from my eye, and for the first time in weeks, I saw things the way they really are. Basically, I stopped being so caught up in my own issues that I didn't spare a thought for other people who matter to me, and the trials they're facing. And you know what, it was the biggest relief to have my perpsective back. It felt like someone had given me back part of my brain!

I am so incredibly proud of her. My heart just soars when I think of what she's overcome to get here, and I nearly choke on my happiness at the new prospects for her future. She was reluctant to tell me, as I said to her a few months ago I didn't think she could do this on her own, and she desperately didn't want me to be right. When it turns out I was, she was at first too embarrassed to say anything. What she didn't know was that by telling me, she helped me as much as I helped her.

It's funny how things work sometimes. It feels like everything is finally right with my universe. :-)

Friday, 16 November 2007

Feels Like Home

I watched the most incredible sunset from my office windows last night, and experienced an overwhelming longing for Cape Town. The sky was a palette of red and gold streaks, and the sun a burning orb reflecting a glittering amber off the buildings. I work in a building which has floor to ceiling windows all around, and it gives us a 360 degree view of London and its frequently occurring 4 seasons in a day. I've seen skies so blue they sear your corneas, felt sunshine so bright and warm that you can imagine yourself basking on the open veld in the Karoo, and witnessed thunderstorms and driving rain so powerful, you feel the whole building might be swept away as they power past. It's a great thing to have in the middle of a city, where your immediate view is usually of grey, high rise buildings. I had formed an impression of London before I came over here, and that impression certainly didn't include colour, beauty or variety. It's been delightful to discover that while it can never touch the beauty of Africa, London does hold it's own charm, and there are some things, like the occasionally dazzling sunsets, that bring us expats a little closer to home.

I've been thinking about Cape Town a lot lately. I'm going home in just over 2 months for 2 and a half weeks, and I can't even begin to describe how that makes me feel. The last time I went home was October 2006, and I haven't seen my family and friends since then. While I miss them on a daily basis, I do what you have to do when you're away from home for an extended period of time; I get on with life, and don't let homesickness get in my way of making the most of my experience here. Every now and then, though, it rears its head up and becomes an almost tangible thing. Strangely enough, now that the time to go home is so near, I am feeling increasingly homesick and desperate to see my family. I suppose the saying 'out of sight, out of mind' is very true in that sense. When you have to, you put certain things from your mind as a survival technique. I couldn't survive here with any decent quality of life if I allowed my longing for home to get the best of me. But now that it's appraoching, and we're talking about it and planning all the things we're going to do, and I think about being back home with my family everyday; now it's becoming harder and harder to be patient and concentrate on the good things I have going in London.

I guess the fact that my job hunt has been so dismal isn't helping either..... the last few months have been hard, and going home has never looked so good.

It's all I can do to go through the everyday motions and try not to wish the next two months away. I know after this trip, I'll be able to come back to London with enthusiasm and hope, instead of my current resentment. If only flights weren't so frikkin expensive, I'd go home twice a year to recharge and soak up the spirit of home.

I should mention here that despite the constant knock-backs, the machinery is still whirring in the job hunt and I actually have another interview next Thursday. I'm also waiting to hear about possible interviews for three other roles. I'm grateful for the opportunities that seem to keep coming my way, and hopeful that one of them is going to be my niche. I'm not going to discuss them here though, as I've realised the constant tension and my incessant self analysis in my current state is actually making it harder, and there's no point in putting extra pressure on myself. If it goes well, you'll know about it; if not, you won't hear anything - unless I'm in the mood for a rant, in which case you'll hear far more than you need to!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Not That Kind

So I just got a call from my agent, and I didn't get the job. Neither of us did actually.... they've asked for more cvs. So I guess my feeling was right after all.

I'm ok I suppose, definitely better than the other times I've been rejected. It's never fun, and I wish I knew why, but at least I don't feel like throwing myself off a bridge. My agent is chasing them for more specific feedback; hopefully this will give me a clue.

Even though I have other options, and I'm getting calls everyday, I'm starting to a feel (irrationally) that I have a "second interview curse", where people are impressed by my cv and acknowledge my capabilities in the first round, but when I get to the second round they take a long hard look at me and mentally throw me in the "no" pile. I feel unemployable. I know that I'm not, and I know that someone, somewhere, in the greater universe must want me to work for them. It just feels that the only way I'm going to get there is to temp first. Companies don't usually care that much about what kind of temps they get. Obviously they want capable ones, but if in the long run the person doesn't fit, it's easy to replace them.

I keep wondering how I would have fared in my temp roles if I'd had to interview for them. Would I have been chosen? Or would they see me the same way I've been seen in the 3 months' worth of interviews... good, potentially the right candidate, but at the last second, not quite good enough? Would I even be getting temp roles if I had to interview for them? See, when I think like that I get a little scared, as all the evidence is pointing to a no. Which begs the question - what is that I do in my second interview that puts them off? Or is it not what I do, but simply who I am.... an even more harrowing thought.

I suppose it's not a very good thing to sit and analyse like this. They have their reasons, and I hope they will forward them on to my agency so they can help me next time, but let's be honest, how truthful are they going to be? Maybe they just didn't like me. Would they say so, or would they cover it up with "she doesn't have enough experience in blah blah blah (hard to swallow in this particular situation, as I've done everything on their list).

My biggest problem is the slow draining of my confidence. I can still remember how I felt after my first interview for a perm position a few months ago. I was so shocked when they said no. Like, how could they possibly not want me? With each subsequent rejection, another part of me stops believing in myself, and becomes more resigned to the fact of it. I know this is no-one's fault but mine.... I have to be strong and competitive enough to fight for what I want and believe in my potential no matter how many knock-backs I get. It's just difficult.

Ok. I'm not going to let this one get to me, I'm going to take it on the chin and not be upset. But I am going to say that I hate job-hunting in London, and going home is looking more attractive than ever right now. I won't do it; I'm not going to quit, but I'm allowed to hate it. And I do - very much. On the bright side, it's the first time I haven't cried. :-) There's a spark left in me yet.... a little dull at the moment maybe, but definitely there.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Spending My Time

I've been pondering for a while now this whole blogging communuity business. Don't worry, this is hardly going to be a philosophical dissection of the minds of bloggers as I see them.... I'm not usually given to posts like that.

I just wander where everyone finds the time!!!! I love logging onto my pc in the morning at work, surfing the blogs I regularly read and seeing what everyone has been doing / thinking / feeling. However, when I make a concerted effort to read all my favourite blogs, comment on each one and then sign up to receive follow-up comments so I can continue the conversation, I find that half my work day disappears alarmingly quickly and I am scrambling to get things done later in the afternoon.

Let me state here that I am a multi-tasking expert: I am a team PA and I used to be a production co-ordinator, and the only way to truly impress in these jobs is to co-ordinate diaries / shoot schedules with one hand, whilst holding a phone to each ear with the other and typing with your foot - oh, and making a round of coffee for clients with sheer willpower.

But when it comes to my cyber-friends in the blog world, I am easily distracted from the task at hand by the post that So-and-so has just written about his/her crazy housemate / day at work / sexual experience and the barrage of criticisms, opinions and affirmations that flow from far and wide as everyone else jumps on the bandwagon. I love it, I really do.... I have my own special group of anonymous "friends" that none of my real friends know. They do, however, take up a lot of my time, which I suppose is par for the course if we're talking friends on any level here, even anonymous ones.

Does anyone else have the same problem? Blogging is as fabulous as it is time consuming, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, 12 November 2007


It's a merry Monday morning, and I have butterflies in my stomach. Today is the day I am supposed to find out about the TV Network job. I just spoke to my agent, and she said she's going to call them in an hour and see if they've made a decision. I won't be surprised if they haven't, as it took them a week to get back to us about second interviews.

I was hoping I would still be blase about this now that crunch time is here, but I've discovered I'm human after all (as if I had any doubts) and I really want to get it, and I will be pretty bummed if I don't. I guess the thing that's different this time round is I know I did all I could do, and I'm proud of the way I handled the whole process. If they don't pick me, it won't be because they doubt my ability to do the job well, or because they don't like me. It will be simply because they liked the other girl more, or felt that she would fit better personality-wise with the rest of the team. Basically, I won't be passed up for this job due to any shortcomings; but I might be if the other candidate had that little something extra that made them go "wow!". And that I can live with.

I hope if it's a no that I get the answer tomorrow, though..... I'm very emotional today for some reason, and feel permanently on the edge of tears even though nothing's happened yet. Bloody hormones *sigh* I was walking from the station to work this morning, annd "May It Be" by Enya came on my mp3 player, and it struck me how it's perfect funeral song, and it would be nice to play it at the funeral of one of my friends if they had to die - and before I knew what was happening, I was balling my eyes out in the middle of the street. Ja, ek se maar niks nie.

The weekend was great. G-Days and La Poo came over on Friday night, and the girls watched reality show Dirty Dancing: Time of Your Life, where couples recreate the iconic scenes from the movie and then have dance-offs in pairs, while the guys drank beer and made sarcastic comments about the show, causing us to turn the TV up very loud.

On Saturday we went to the last Friendz boat party of the season. Neutrino was playing a set, so we went along for support but also because we've really fallen in love with these parties. Friendz is a South African party promoter in London, and they're still quite small, so their followers all regularly attend their events and everybody knows everybody else. Also, most are South African, so it's a little like a slice of Cape Town in London. It was an absolute cracker of a party, my only complaint is that it went way too quickly! We left Temple Pier at 3pm and docked again at 9pm. Then everyone came back to ours for the after party. Things get a bit blurry round about there, but we ended up going to bed at 3:30am, and spent most of Sunday wandering around in a bit of a daze.

This afternoon my company has a compulsory staff seminar entitled 2012 Olympic Games Celebration. Obviously we are involved in the work leading up to the Games, and this is the opportunity for staff to get "an update on all aspects of our work in relation to the 2012 Games and Legacy." This will be followed by drinks to celebrate the milestones we have already achieved. Can I can a snore snore snore? I am so not going to this. Have invented an interview with a phantom agency, when in reality I will be leaving early and going to grab a table at Wagamamma, where Shoes will join me for an early supper before we see Beowulf at the IMAX. I know, I should get a slap on the wrist, but there is a reason why I don't want to stay in my job.... I am not at all interested in what my company does! It's not even the fun part of organising the Olympics, it's the drudgery that comes with getting London ready for the masses descending on it. I'm afraid I feel no guilt for this one; in fact, it makes for a great start to my week. :-)

Friday, 9 November 2007

Time To Shine?

So yesterday I went for my second interview with the TV Network. I met with the same HR Manager I'd seen before, and the Head of the Planning team, along with his "Number 2", as he referred to him. I'm still not certain, but I get the same impression that it's between myself and one other girl.

How do I think it went? Ok, I guess. There was nothing that I would do differently if I had to go back and do it all over again, but there wasn't an overwhelming sense of "Yes, you rocked that interview!" I liked both guys, answered the questions well (or so I think), and shared a few laughs with them. I did all the things you're supposed to do. I just didn't walk out of there feeling anything, other than relief that it was over. For those who have been following the drama of my job search, you'll know if there's one thing I can count on, it's that my post-interview feelings have absolutely nothing to do with the eventual outcome, so in this case it could be a blessing in disguise.

I did ok. Would I give the job to someone who did just ok? No. I can only hope I'm wrong, but this time I'm really prepared for the worst.

I should get the call today to find out if I got it, and I'm not really even tense or excited. It's almost like I've already said goodbye to this one, which would obviously make a nice surprise if I get it. I think subcosciously I am telling myself to feel negative no matter what the situation, as it's far easier to deal with if you believe you weren't really in with a chance anyway. I recognize this as a not very healthy attitude, but it's sort of out of my control at the moment.

I will of course update you later with any news.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Until It Sleeps

How strange - this morning I've come a little later that usual into the office, and there is almost no-one here. Immediately I want to do things I'm not supposed to do.... not that I don't do them anyway, but my pleasure in browsing on Ebay or reading my daily tabs increases exponentially when there's no likelihood of getting caught.

I've really been struggling to sleep the last few nights, and I feel tired all the time. After 7 years together, Shoes and I seem to have reached a stalemate in our sleeping pattern to which neither of us can see an end. The problem lies in that I am naturally a very light sleeper, while he could sleep through an atomic bomb provided he was already passed out when it hit. When we first met, he was living with his best friend, and neither or them could sleep unless the radio was on. In addition, noise from house appliances, dripping taps and ticking clocks presented no problems for them at all, while for me they still represent a slow and painful torture.

I need total silence and total darkness in order to fall asleep, and then the same to stay that way, preferably with a constant temperature. I imagine I was one of those babies who fought tooth and nail upon leaving the womb.

Recently, Shoes has begun to snore. Not big, chainsaw-like growls, but gentle, nasal breathing which starts off as a deep sigh and progresses to a slight whistle at the end. Both of us are guilty of chainsaw snoring when pissed, and I've always been able to tell how tired Shoes is by his breathing pattern. When he's getting enough sleep, he's quiet and when he's fatigued, he snores. Now though, he's snoring with increased regularity for no apparent reason.

My nights have begun to go like this:

11:00pm - Shoes and I get into bed.
11:20pm - We finally stop talking/fighting over pillows/getting up to tend to things we've forgotten, such as setting the alarm.
11:27pm - Shoes' breathing deepens. I lie awake listening to annoying songs playing in my head.
11:31pm - Shoes is clearly asleep. I contemplate how long it will take me to fall asleep tonight, while listening out for the first snore.
11:32pm - The first snore cuts through the silence.
11:33pm - I kick Shoes.
11:34pm - Shoes rolls over and groans. Silence ensues.
11:36pm - Shoes lets out another contented snore.
11:37pm - I turn over and glare ferociously at his back.
11:38pm - Shoes asks me to please stop glaring at him, as he's trying to be quiet and it's not his fault if he snores (yes, he really can sense my ire with his back to me).
11:40pm - Another snore pierces the tension in the air.
11:41pm - Followed by another.
11:42pm - I get up to go the loo, and make as much noise as I possibly can.
11:43pm - I come back, and all is quiet. I get back into bed.
11:46pm - A fresh snore breaks out.
11:47pm - I grab my pillows and the extra blanket and exit the room in a huff.
11:49pm - I make a bed on the couch and settle down to sleep.
11:51pm - The tap drips.
11:53pm - The freezer motor turns on.
11:59pm - I get up to fetch a glass of water to cool my mouth, which is dry with rage and exhaustion.
12:00am - I get back onto the couch.
12:20am - I wake with a start; I am trying to turn over on the couch, but there is no space and I nearly smother myself with a pillow. I turn back to the position I started in.
12:35am - I am just drifting off to sleep. Aaaaaah.....
12:36am - The chavs across the block start shouting.
12:37am - I get up to close the door all the way.
12:57am - I wake up, covered from head to toe in sweat from the heat building up in the airless lounge.
01:01am - I give up, collect my pillows and go back to the bedroom.
01:02am - Shoes in sleeping soundly in complete silence.
01:03am - I get back into bed and wait a further half hour for my body to relax from the night's events before I finally fall asleep.

No wonder I'm a little cranky before my coffee!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

1, 2 Step

This morning I got the call I've been waiting for.... I have a second interview with the TV Network on Thursday! I don't know exactly how many other people I'm up against, but I know my agency sent through three candidates, and they want only two back for the second round. So this is good news, but I think I'm more nervous than excited this time. So many close calls.... will this finally be my time? I really hope so.

I just had a cackling fit sitting here at my desk, thinking about the guards at Windsor Castle on Sunday. They are Shoes' and my new favourite things. They march around in teams of 4, dressed in their impossibly old-fashioned grey coats with their pirate-ship hats, and they have little tappers on the heels of their shoes so their clickety-clacks echo through the grounds. We followed them around for a while; it seems people can't help but do this. The majority of visitors turn into giggling monkeys when they come into contact with the guards, marching along behind them and imitating their swinging-arm strides, or attempting to distract them from their business of looking solemn and important. It was quite funny watching human beings treat them as if they were some exotic (and clearly not very well respected) animals in a zoo - ourselves included. Shoes and I were in fits of giggles as we trailed them with our camera, taking video footage of their sweaty, pained looking faces and the Japanese tourists shoving cameras in them.

We were trying to figure out how they know when their shift is over. They're not allowed to look at their watches, or indeed anywhere except straight ahead, so we decided they must have learnt to tell the time by the sun. Imagine that.... you need a piss so incredibly badly, but you can't go and you have no idea how many hours of marching you have left to do before you can relieve yourself. My guess is that they sign up for the job expecting a bit of prestige and perhaps to meet Her Madge the Queen, and spend the rest of their years thinking up terrorist plots to eradicate all tourists.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Liverbreak Hotel

What a great weekend! We arrived at the hotel on Saturday morning with few delays - the only major issue being that the sat-nav mistakenly told us we'd reached our destination whilst we were still driving down the highway. No matter, a bunch of bright young things like ourselves managed to work out that we had to turn off into the village of Marlow, where the Crown Plaza was located. The trip itself was also fun; we carpooled with Shoes' colleague The Photographer and his wife, The Giggler, and the four of us got on famously, despite the fact that they're Australian! Maybe that's because we can finally lord it over them in this year's sporting results.

On arrival, we checked in and the employees went straight into a 2 hour meeting, leaving the WAGS to take full advantage of the hotel facilities. Shoes and I did get a bit shafted with the rooms though. Everyone else had rooms upstairs, with king size beds and baths resembling swimming pools. We got the disabled room right by the stairwell; the room itself was substantially smaller (how does that make sense if it's for a person in a wheelchair?), the bed was only a double and there was a seat in the rather open plan shower, with assistance alarms everywhere. Of course, the first thing we did was pull a string and set one off whilst trying to find the bathroom lights. We're still a little confused as to why we got that room; we could definitely be classed as impaired when we're pissed, but I think disabled is pushing it a bit.

No matter though, as when the boys left for their meeting, The Giggler and I tried our hand at being Ladies of Leisure, aka Ladies who Lunch, and spent the next couple of hours drinking champagne in the jacuzzi. The company opened an unrestricted tab at the bar, and we were allowed to have as much as we wanted as many times as we wanted. Can you smell the lust for alcohol? We could. We found another WAG, EnglishRose, on our journey to the Good Life, and the three of us plotted and planned ways to make our husbands/boyfriends very rich so we could make this a permanent thing. After we'd discussed everything from having babies (there were several Chinese babies who we all went a bit mental over) to marrying a sugar daddy and bumping him off to keep us in a lifetime's supply of champagne, it was time to join the guys for a 3 course lunch.

Then it was back to the bar for more drinks, and watching the guys play Robot Wars, their elected team building activity for the day. It was actually less team building and more "I am going to fucking whip your ass!" as the game involved four teams of two each controlling an armour plated car, with the goal being who could flip the others upside down the most. After some serious competition and some even more serious threats (Director: I will fire anyone who beats me!), the game was over and the party began.

Shoes and I popped into the village of Marlow to buy him some shoes for the dinner, as he'd forgotten his at home and only had takkies. It's a really gorgeous little place, in fact, it has been voted the best kept village in Buckinghamshire. It's light years away from London, with it's open spaces, fresh country air and beautiful clean streets. If I ever had to stay in the UK permanently, I could see myself living there.

The dinner was excellent; a three course meal of prawn and sweet pea risotto (which I passed on - I have a pea phobia and find it difficult to even look at them), roast saddle of lamb and champagne and strawberries torte, accompanied by lots of wine and baskets of fresh rolls. We even had our own caricaturist, who went from table to table drawing as many people as she could in the 2 hours. Shoes and I each got one done. I'm quite proud of it; even with the exaggerated features, I still look quite fetching! Shoes looks like a seedy car-salesman. After dinner, we had a fireworks display organised by the company, and hot toddies on the terrace (think med lemon laced with cheap whisky, best avoided if you don't want to pull nasty faces in public).

By that stage, most people were well pissed already, and everyone headed into the bar for some gross abuse of the company tab. Shoes and I retired at about 12:30am; he had to drag me away from an intense conversation with Bill, the company's oldest and most interesting member. He is possibly the most knowledgeable person on the planet, and a great story teller to boot, but I don't think Shoes was too impressed when I asked if we could take him home with us. Bill, on the other hand, looked quite delighted. It was good we went to bed when we did, as I think we just escaped the part where people start doing things they seriously regret on Monday morning. The tab stayed open til 4am, when the hotel staff had to kick out the die-hards and deny them further intoxicants.

There was not one single person who didn't approach the breakfast table with a obvious hangover the next morning - well, except for The Photographer and some of the other Asians who don't drink. Some didn't even make an appearance at all, leaving us wondering exactly what went down as the sun came up. Breakfast was a bit of a chore, as much as we wanted to eat, none of us really felt well enough to take full advantage of the massive spread.

On our way back, we stopped at Windsor Castle, paid a whopping £15 each entrance fee, and proceeded to spend the next 2 hours checking out how the Queen lives. Suffice it to say that I would now quite like to be a queen, and if I was William or Harry, I wouldn't bother going out to the clubs in Mayfair - I'd simply entertain in my castle. It's absolutely stunning - grand and sumptuous like in books of tales about ancient kings and queens.

We ended off a great but rather unrelaxing weekend with our bums glued to the couch, watching X Factor and Tsotsi. I enjoyed myself immensely, but can't help feeling I was robbed of my down time. I'm going to have to do some serious lazing about over the course of this week.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Hotel Buckinghamshire!

Still waiting to hear about the job.... they are really taking their time in making a decision. A Witch from a different Coven phoned me yesterday though, with a similar role for the same TV Network, but in a different department. This will hopefully increase my chances of getting in there, fingers crossed. Either way, it's nice that there's a bit of activity going on in my job search.
Last night I joined the rest of my team at the pub to raise our glasses in farewell to one of our most flamboyant members. That was the 3rd night in a row that I've been out this week, and after my shenanigans on Wednesday, I couldn't face either a late night or alcohol, and left at 7:30pm after just one diet coke. I must be getting old.

Shoes and I just chilled in front of the pc for the rest of the evening, buying mobile phone covers on Ebay and watching 24. I feel like I need another whole week of that... well, maybe not the Ebay part, I've been going a bit mad on it lately and I have about 7 items of clothing coming in the post. Of course, I'm having them all sent to my work address and I've customised My Ebay so my sins are all well hidden. Knowing my luck, my boyfriend, who up til now has always been completely uninterested in blogging, will choose today to start reading mine. If I don't post on Monday you know I've been locked in a closet and he's thrown away the key.

This weekend we are off to Shoes' Company Weekend Away. I am rather exaggeratedly excited about this. The 20-25 odd employees and their partners (and kids, I believe) are all driving up to The Crown Plaza in Buckinghamshire tomorrow morning for a day and night in this luxury hotel. Part of my ribald enthusiasm stems from the fact that this will be the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed at, and I have these visions of lolling around on the bed in a terrycloth robe ordering room service, a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Women (except without the pre-requisite pimping out of my body). I can see myself taking long leisurely laps in the hotel pool followed by a sauna session and a facial while Shoes and his team spend the afternoon building rafts or some other inane team bonding exercise.

Either that, or I will join the other wives and girlfriends in the hotel lounge and drink cocktails whilst admiring their babies. This part I think might actually happen, as I know for a fact that at least two wives will have their little tykes in attendence, and both just happen to be Chinese. If there's one type of baby I adore above all others, it's the little Chinese ones, with their perfect peachy skin, jet black hair and slanty eyes. They make me want to grab them and squeeze them really hard - not in a you're-a-child-abuser-and-you-should-be-locked-up kind of way, but just because I can't think of any other way to express my appreciation at how squidgy they are. I will probably keep this all to myself though; no sense in alienating these women right off the bat. Also, I'd prefer not to be seen as some kind of Asian people stalker.

We're picking up our car from London city Airport tonight - it feels like we're going on holiday!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Wannabe Fag-Hag (GBFriendship Never Ends)

Ohhhhh, I'm feeling rough today. I took the day off work yesterday to go to an RSPCA microchipping course, and ended up in a pub until late with my neighbour and fellow chipper, New Gay Best Friend (GBF), downing an unmentionable number of large glasses of cheap white wine. Eeewwww.

It started out innocently enough, as it always does. GBF and I met at a chipping event a few weeks ago, and decided to do this course together so we could actually do the microchipping of animals instead of only handling the paperwork. For those who don't know, microchipping is the process of inserting an electronic chip the size of a grain of rice into the skin between an animal's shoulder blades for identification purposes. Each chip has a unique number which is logged into a database and matched with the owner's name and contact details. If someone's pet gets lost or stolen and is returned to a local vet, the vet can scan the animal for a chip and reunite pet with owner in a matter of minutes.

I've been volunteering with the RSPCA for about 8 months now, mostly helping out at their free chipping events, and GBF has just recently joined to get as much experience as possible for his business that he's opening up - he is studying to be a Dog Adviser and Psychologist. We discovered on that event that we live practically next door to each other, and that both our boyfriends share the same first name. We have a lot in common, including a great passion for animals and shoes.

We both approached this chipping course with more than a little trepidation, as although it looks very easy - the process is exactly the same as getting your ear pierced - it's a little nerve-wracking when you're the one holding the gun and the animal is squirming and yelping like it's about to be murdered. I went first with a kitten, which was actually really easy, as they're so small it's easy to hold them still. GBF went next with a crazy half feral cat that tried to scratch his eyes out, but he managed it and neither of us killed either of the two animals we chipped. In fact, it's actually much harder to restrain the cats than it is to chip them. Only one girl out of the 15 of us on the course got bitten, and it was just a surface scratch - the dog responsible was immediately muzzled for the remainder of the procedure.

After we were finished, GBF and I decided we needed a drink, so we headed back to London and to our local pub, where "a couple of drinks" quickly got out of hand, and my attempts to leave and go to gym (yeah right) were repeatedly thwarted by mysterious glasses of wine that kept appearing on the table in front of me. We decided it would be a good idea for me to meet GBF's husband, who rocked up to find the two of us quite pissed already and talking over each other at great volume as we recounted the events of the day. GBF is the girl in the relationship, and eventually I think the two of us got too much for Husband, who retreated to the safety of another sane patron's company while GBF and I had a hug-fest and I declared my life-long ambition to be a fag-hag, which he embraced wholeheartedly. While we were promising to be each other's gay/straight best friend forever and planning on when next we were going shoe shopping on Oxford Street, I decided it would be a great idea to take them home and introduce them to my housemates.

Cue utter confusion at home as I waltzed through the door with 2 drunk gay men and introduced them as my new best friends. Later I sulked because I thought they'd been rude to my new pals, but looking back it was probably just bewilderment - not that they're gay, but that we were all rather pissed and loud and I have only just met them! Anyway, still waiting to hear from GBF this morning, I hope I didn't offend him with the series of drunken texts I sent him after he'd gone home. I usually don't text when I'm pissed for a reason, but oh dear, I broke my rules last night and I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks I've lost the plot.

Still waiting to hear about the job.... Agency Witch called yesterday to say they liked all three candidates and were still deciding.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

I'm sort of avoiding my blog at the moment, because I went for the interview with the TV network yesterday and I'm now completely superstitious about it, despite never having indulged in these kinds of beliefs before in my life. I'm afraid that if I talk about it, I won't get it. As simple as that. This is a ludicrous idea, I know, but you can't really blame me, can you? I wax lyrical about the fabulousness that is this new job I am applying for, only to get told in the end that I'm not quite what they're looking for, thank you very much. It has started to mess with my head. I actually think that by not talking about it I may have a shot. Ok, so, moving on from the apparent loss of my rational mind....

The weekend was pretty damn cool. On Saturday we went to Verve Bar for La Poo's 21st, and in true 21st birthday style, she got absolutely legless and suffered a 24 hour hangover the next day. I was on my best behaviour, and emerged from the bar at the end of the night barely even tipsy. How boring. *sigh*

Shoes was the Awesome Foursome's public enemy of the night, as he got the most pissed and decided, as he often does, to pull out mid party. Well, not quite mid party, but at 10:30pm, when we were only planning on leaving around 12pm to catch the last train home. I was having a great time, despite the fact that we'd already spent our (small) drinks budget by that stage, and was keen to stay. Shoes magnanimously offered to make his own way home, but I was not about to fall for that one again. I have suffered through a fair number of drunken Shoes nights where he falls asleep on the train/bus and overshoots his stop, landing up in the sticks somewhere (literally, there are small towns with bales of hay in outer London) and needing an £80 cab ride to get back home again. That was more than we'd spent on drinks, and I was having none of it, so I opted to accompany him home.

We walked to Charing Cross and stopped off at Burger King so Shoes could get his late night On The Piss snack, and then we jumped on the train. I had been wearing my brand new leopard print peep toe stillettos... shoes I bought about three weeks ago in Camden and that I had been dying to wear out. Due to the extremely annoying fact that my left foot is substantially bigger than my right foot, the left shoe had clamped around my toes like a python round a fatted pig and was not going to give even a milli-inch for one second's relief. My second-from-left-toe (What on earth do you call that one? The little piggy who had none, maybe.) was permanently bent upwards, like a meerkat keeping lookout. The result was that I had to take that shoe off at the bar every half hour or so and massage it (the shoe, not the toe) in an attempt to soften the material and prevent my toe from getting gangrene. So, I had wisely brought a pair of slip-slops with me, and I wore them to and from the bar. Shoes had brought a backpack for me to keep my spare pair of shoes in, and when we got on the train, I put the pack with my stillettos on the rack above the seats. You can see where this is going.

Shoes ate his burger as if he was going for Gold in the Food Gobbling Olympics, and fell asleep straight away, as predicted. Luckily I was awake and alert, and I stayed up watching the stations go by and thinking random thoughts. If only I had chosed that time to think about my shoes.... We reached our station, and I tried waking Shoes up. He was vas aan die slaap however, and was not waking up for love or money. In my panic to rouse him and get him off the train before it pulled out, I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE BACKPACK. It was only as we stood on the platform watching the reatreating train, me congratulating myself on successfully dragging my drunken boyfriend home, that I realised. Fuck.

I've done all the necessary like file a lost property report, and phone them every day day to check on it, but I know deep down I'll never see those shoes again. I hope the bitch who's wearing them now breaks her fucking ankle. You see how shit hits the fan even when I stay sober? I might as well just get pissed!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Let's List Again

Having a minor lack of motivation for blogging at the moment... perhaps because I have nothing of major interest to say? Life is perfectly ordinary, but there isn't anything in particular that I feel like sharing with anyone, nor is there any great event on my mind that deserves to be written about.

I'd call this writer's block, but it is clear from previous posts that I am more than capable of rambling on about jack shit when I have nothing of substance to say. I am merely trying to avoid that here.

Instead, I will make a list of upcoming happenings in my life and pro and con for them for our collective amusement.

1) La Poo's 21st birthday party tomorrow at Verve, Leicester Square
Pros: Excessive drinking, ho-like dancing, unveiling the new and improved me who can hold her liquor without being the centre of attention in a very bad way.
Cons: Feeling every single second of my 27 and a half years, and perhaps a few more besides.

2) Watching X Factor on Sunday afternoon (yes, this is a big enough event to get a metion on my blog, and no, I don't care if this makes me a sad sod)
Pros: Daniel (what a hottie) and Leon (bit of a Mama's boy, but we loves him anyways). Also what Hope, the Girl Group from Skankshire, will be wearing.
Cons: Getting shouted at by my housemates for my constant sarcastic jibes about how the show really works behind the scenes, thanks to Chart Throb by Ben Elton, which has forever changed the way I view reality TV.

3) Job interview on Monday
Pros: Prospect of a new start in an industry I desperately want to get into.
Cons: I don't need to expain these since they're are detailed at great length right here once a week - the potential bone-crushing, breath-squishing disappointment if I don't get it, the self-esteem barometer freezing way below 0, etc etc.

4) Halloween Pub Quiz on Tuesday night with workmates
Pros: Possible free booze, wowing everyone with my extensive knowledge of pop culture.
Cons: Revealing my complete ignorance of British politics, being drawn for the uncool team (you know all the cool people end up in one team, watch my luck to get picked for the other one)

5) RSPCA Microchipping Course on Wednesday
Pros: Learning to microchip animals and thereby doing a good service for a charity that is important to me.
Cons: Accidentally maiming the real live practice cat with the needle.

6) Roger's Leaving Drinks on Thursday night
Pros: Raucous night out.
Cons: Hangover next day.

7) Friendz Boat Party next Saturday
Pros: Mayhem mayhem mayhem sailing down the River Thames.
Cons: Where?

I should do this more often, it puts life in persepctive. A very special happy birthday to Black Velvet, we will call you later when drunk to shout obscenities down the phone ;-)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Die Another Day

Don't really have time to post today - for the first time in a long time I have loads of work to do and am feeling quite frantic. But.... there is some good news: I have an interview with a major TV production company on Monday. This one is through the Coven that ignored me for two months after I went to an interview through them and didn't get the job. Not surprisingly, I am a little mistrustful of the Witch who blanked my attempts to contact her, but still, she did just get me this interview, so I'll call a truce for now.

The position is for a Planning Team PA and involves all the usual duties plus assisting with other things, like research and co-ordinating company events.

I love this stage of the job hunting process. I am quietly satisfied that I have an interview, hopeful that it could go well and secure in the knowledge that it's something I'm qualified to do. Even the next stage - the actual interview - is fairly trauma-free. It's only after the interview is over that the shit hits the fan, particularly if it has gone well and I think I'm in with a shot. Oh well, no point in thinking about that now. If it's meant to be blah fucking blah and all that crap.

For now, I'll just bask in the contentment of someone wanting to see me. That's good enough for today.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Old Before I Die

The green eyed monster from yesterday appears to have gone back into its cave for now. I didn't do anything specific to chase it away, but I'm grateful it's gone for now. It's unbecoming... I'd like to say green isn't really my colour, but unfortunately I look pretty good in it. ;-)

I had a look at myself in the mirror last night, and I can't see any signs of aging yet. My skin doesn't have that youthful glow anymore - although maybe that's just paranoia - but there are no wrinkles and no grey hairs and I'd like to think I don't look my full 27 and half years. Is this what it's going to be like from now on? Will I be constantly on the look out for signs that I'm no longer as young as I feel? Because I still feel 21 inside - I think I stopped "feeling" older after that birthday because the spirit of a 21 year old is worth hanging on to. You're at a stage where the whole world is at your feet and you probably haven't had the chance to be jaded by life yet.

Today I think I'm being more rational about this than yesterday; when I was actually feeling quite panicky in the morning. I know, how pathetic is that. Still, I can't help but wonder how on earth I am going to cope with turning 28, let alone 30 and then 40 if I am having heart palpitations and the urge to maim everyone below the age of 25 now. I have to get used to this. Maybe that's why people have kids, so they can feel vicariously young again. Lucky for me that I want a baby. Perhaps I'll have to have 4 instead of one; everytime one reaches school going age, I'll pop out a new one so I can see the world through another toddler's eyes. Oh crap, this is beyond sad. Somebody save me from myself. What was that about being rational?

Monday, 22 October 2007

I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

It's the morning after a victorious weekend, and I feel slightly out of sorts. Not least because I was supposed to be home today, pulling a sickie, but instead I am at work where I am actually working, worse luck. I decided last minute that I wasn't feeling bad enough to warrant not getting paid for a day's work (the life of a temp: you could be run over by a bus, your lungs collapsing and your heart arrhythmia-ing and you still don't get paid a penny's sick leave). Shoes and I had previously concocted the Great Monday Off, whereby we would both suddenly come down with a mysterious ailment which would render us unable to come into the office, although we would have made an heroic effort (involving getting out of bed to grab the phone in order to call in sick). We had visions of spending the day curled up under the duvet, sipping hot chocolate and watching 24 whilst the elements raged outside.

Anyway, our night on Saturday didn't quite go as planned and we felt 100% this morning instead of badly fatigued and hungover, so it seemed a waste of good sick days - paid or not - to stay at home. Also, the elements were hardly raging; it's just annoyingly cold. So we struggled out of bed at 6:50am through pitch darkness - already, and it is only October - and made our way to work like good little rats. Shoes the skiver has since gone home, after looking suitably sorrowful enough to elicit sympathy from his manager who insisted he take the afternoon off. Honestly, why I can't look pale and tired just by longing for my bed and a bit of UFC? He's quite pleased with himself, which perhaps accounts for at least some of my crankiness.

The weekend was great, although somehow not the super weekend I expected it to be. Of course, I am so incredibly proud to be South African right now; not that I'm ever not so, but being in England while we won that trophy feels that extra bit gratifying. I have a constant urge to stick out my tongue and waggle my fingers behind my ears whilst chanting "neh neh neh neh neh!" in the manner of the 5 year old bully who always hogs the best swing at breaktime. I have been very sporting, however, and I have not once said I told you so, despite putting up with some serious lip on Friday. I feel that at this point, words are unnecessary; our boys did the talking with the ball (ok, so it wasn't the most exciting game and we didn't score a try, but honestly, when you win the world cup, who really cares?). I won't lie, I had a tear in my eye as John Smit hoisted that trophy for the first time. Our country needed this, our spirits needed this, and even though I know it will not have even half the impact of our 1995 win, it's still a big moment for us and a day when we can all feel united in celebration.

Then England's hopes were dashed yet again as Lewis Hamilton saw the F1 Championship slip from his grasp. This was another day of good news for me, as I am a staunch Kimi Raikonnen supporter and it made my day to see him finally win the title he has had to fight very hard for over the last few seasons. So why the not so super weekend?

I don't know! The party at Koko on Saturday night was fun, but we were tired from a long day of drinking and adrenaline, and we left pretty early. The whole day yesterday I felt a bit flat, even when I was watching the F1 interviews and I saw Kimi give the first genuine smile I have ever seen (he is well known for his lack of emotion; they don't call him the Iceman for nothing). I was thinking a lot last night about getting old. Not old old, but just hitting 30 and the years beyond. I was imagining myself with wrinkles, watching as gravity takes its toll on my body, and I was getting quite heavily depressed by my thoughts.

This might all be down to the fact that next week is La Poo's twenty first, which made me think in turn of Scarf's twenty first that she is having when we go to home in Jan. I'm hardly over the hill yet, but suddenly I realise why there is this eternal quest for youth. How can you look at a person 7 years younger than you and not wish that you had those extra years too? I don't wish to be younger really, and I don't wish to be more like my younger friends - I will be very clear here; I don't want to regress in terms of knowledge, experience or maturity. I do however, want to be 27 when Scarf turns 27, instead of the 34 that I will be. When I turn 30, she will be turning 23. How am I supposed to not hate that? It's a terrible thing to admit, but I am completely jealous that she has all this extra time that I can never get back. Maybe this is what they mean when they say stick with people your own age.

So there you go: I had a nice weekend, surrounded by all my friends here in London; I was victorious in terms of the teams I support and I even went clubbing wearing a brand new dress and boots which, if I do say so myself, were pretty hot. And all I can think about is how I'm going to get old and my friends are going to stay young (relatively speaking), and I don't have a career to speak of, and I'll be 30 in 2 years and 5 months and I'm still stuck temping in London after more than 2 years here....

Is it the winter blues, or is it just me?

Friday, 19 October 2007


Again, I am having trouble working today. This is because my inbox is being bombarded with rugby related e-mails, everything from the Brian Habana song (creativity at its worst, people) to the True Springbok Supporter chasing the cheetah that's chasing the springbok, until he catches him and scoops the springbok up and away from the cheetah's clutches (quite enjoyed that one). Everybody who has any connection with South Africa is in a fever today. Thabo Mbeki appealed to the nation last night to wear the green and gold with pride today in support of our boys, and I am doing my part by sitting at my desk decked out in a springbok beenie and scarf. Of course, this kind of patriotism will always attract derision (read bad sports) and so I have heard every chirp in the book this morning as people cannot stop themselves from making a detour past my desk and having a go.

None of them have had anything particularly witty to say, though. They just bluster on about whipping some South African arse (in plummy tones that make it sound like they're talking about pruning roses) and threaten to strangle me with my scarf. I sit stoically through it all, blazing with pride brought on by total belief in our abilities and the irresistable chance to piss off the English.

We're having about a million people over tomorrow for drinks and a braai before the big game, and afterwards - after our sure victory - we will go and celebrate to the vinyls of Paul van Dyk at Koko in Camden. I couldn't ask for a better weekend line up.

And now I must rush, as I have been charged with the collection of supplies from the saffa shop in Charing Cross.... savannas, castles, boerie, biltong and a few rugby memorabilia.

GO BOKKE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shosholoza!