Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've started working on my new Year Resolutions. Here they are so far.

1) (re)learn Japanese, and then go to Japan.
I've actually started this one, I've got some new teaching programs and they are going well. If I can get my Japanese up to conversational I can probably blag some press trips. Huzzah.

2) Re-write children's book.
I've been meaning to do this for ages. I've started and it's going pretty well thanks to some useful feedback from my mum and some chums. It should have been done months ago but I'm rubbish.

3) Do more Stand-up.
I thought I wasn't going to do anymore but then I accidentally went to a gig (it was downstairs at a party and we were morally obligied to go). One of the chaps at the gig was someone who was on before me at my first gig ever, it made me think I really should have another crack at it. I've got some new jokes too.

4) Move back to London, or somewhere with a night life
It's gotta be done. Cottage or no cottage I'm too young and too single to be living out the rest of my life as a hermit.

More to follow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Final festive party

I'm hungover, I have cuts on my hand and I bump on the back of my head. Yes I've been drinking. It was the work goodbye drinks and they started at 3pm with desk Whiskey and went on from there. I really can't handle my drink anymore (the gym effect) and so I had to excuse myself at 9pm with a case of 'absolutely ruined'. I stumbled home, slipped on some ice banged my head and cut my hand before I finally fell into bed.

I feel a bit special today, but it could have been much worse. The drinks were, well actually really good fun. This job may be in the wilderness but I do like the chaps I work with. I even had a proper blokie chat with someone I don't get on with terribly well. It was jolly festive.

So now I'm packing to return home for Christmas. I'm in a very different situation form last year. I've got a job, a proper career one, a house of my own but this time I'm single. Which is the default mode for me.

I'd like to say I'm going to use this much needed time off for some soul searching but really I'm just going to eat too many mince pies and sit next to a log fire. In balance I think that's better anyway

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I've completed my Christmas Shopping, hurrah. It took a couple of hours but that's mostly because my sister is so awkward to shop for. Now I've just got to muscle through my final day of work and then it's time to eat as much food as possible and watch James Bond films. Christmas is going to be great.

New Year's Eve might possibly be a bit lame. Last year with The Hitchcock Blonde was excellent and so I've been rather spoiled. The year before that I got mashed with the Brightonian Princess which was also good. The rest of New Year's Eves have been a bit patchy. There is a huge weight of expectation, vast cost and a vague feeling you should be at a party somewhere else.

One option, which I hadn't really considered, was that the Actress now owes me an a meal and a rescue, would it be bad form to call in the favour on New Year's Eve?

Monday, December 21, 2009

The danger of wedding hats

I had another first date on Sunday. It was a friend of someone I work with. We met at the usual place - an 18th century coaching inn - and had a good bottle of wine. After that we decamped to an even older pub for more booze and mince pies.

I got fairly blasted and I know this because I started ordering brandy. The girl was nice. Easy to talk to and pretty. It went well, not amazing but nice. Of course since this was a work arranged date my work chums are now talking about wedding hats and dresses.

I think I'll see her again, but I'm in no huge hurry. I think the problem is I've been rather spoiled by having excellent female chums and so often the women I go on dates with just aren't as entertaining.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Panto with pencil skirts

I'm a few days out of sync, you'll have to forgive me. Things keep happening. Right, so last Thursday I went to see a panto with my London chums. I was feeling a bit strange from the night before (too much naughty behaviour) but I was feeling very excited as I jumped onto the train.

The old office in Soho was full of the old lovable misfits that have sort of fallen together over the years. Ms Pencil skirt was there, and thankfully it wasn't weird. It was great to catch up with the London lot while drinking gin.

After a couple of snifters we stumbled towards the tube and eventually surfaced in Wimbledon. More people met us here while we had another drink to prepare the mind for panto.

We were assigned tickets at random, I swapped with a chum so that boyfriend and girlfriend could sit together which through chance caused me to be sat next to Pencil skirt. Luckly this wasn't weird and there was even a bit of light co-ordinated dancing going on between us. I blame the gin.

The panto was excellent. Brian Blessed is everything you'd want him to be and Pamela Anderson was good too, on top form but completely outshined by Brian.

After the panto I had to disappearing to the night, H had parked his car and it was running out of time on the ticket. We scampered out to it and parking wardens were swarming over the carpark trying to catch people out. The rotters.

One short car journey in the snow and we dropped the car off and went to the pub. I only managed a couple of cocktails before I was absolutely exhausted and crashed out. It had been a good day.

The next day I got the train back up North but was delayed by a few hours because of the snow. When I finally arrived at work there was a minor blizard going on. So I did the only logical thing - dug out my off-road bike and charged around the business park. It was for a feature, so I sort of had an excuse. Sort of.

During the day Pencil Skirt sent me an email asking if we could go for tea in the new year. I said of course and so plans are being made. I'm not reading too much into this - but I may cross a couple of toes.

The office party.

The office party was more like a trip to a nightclub than a party. The company is far bigger than I expected. Clearly I need to explore the other floors a bit more. There were a lot of people I didn't recognise - also girls seem to dress up a lot more for these things than the boys do. The chaps were just wearing normal work gear, where as the women were dolled up to the nines.

The nightclub was in an old library so it was a pleasantly pretty building. We were armed with 5 tokens to buy drinks and then we would be on our own. I caught up with a few people I hadn't seen in a while, including another person from the journalism training course who is now leaving. He was in good salts, defiant and full of vigor thanks to leaving.

The rest of the evening was fun, bouncing around from group to group of chums talking about all sorts of things. I chatted to the girl in HR (Tall, dark hair, great sense of humour) who I'm going to be working with in a few weeks and even danced for a bit. The music was awful but when needs must. I left at about midnight and in an excellent mood.

The next day I was off to Panto with Pencil skirt and the rest of the London lot.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In which twitter saves the day

Last night was not what I expected, which actually turned out to be rather fun. I got down to London early, positively buzzing with excitement. After a short bit of pacing about and waiting the Actress arrived and we ambled into the members club.

The moment I saw the alleyway to the club I had sudden flashbacks to if not the second then probably the third date with The Peruvian. She was a member of the same club. This made the next few moments rather exciting as any time a girl with long hair was spotted I flinched and hid behind the Actress.

The actress was on glowing form, I'd not seen her in months but she was everything I remembered and more, absolutely fabulous. We grabbed some drinks and I introduced her to the art dealer. She bonded instantly over wearing beautiful shoes that destroy feet. The Art Dealer took a real shine to the Actress, and so the evening progressed. The Lycra lady was there too. Looking resplendent. We made a bit of polite conversation about the planned adventure and then I went to get some more drinks.

It was all a bit of a whirl, and then Lycra ran off into the night with a client and I was left with the Actress having far, far too much fun. We played billiards and gambled with promises. I left the table with an offer of supper and a 'rescue should I need it' and so we drank some more and laughed. There was a book of 'erotic origami' which we tried some admittedly rather tame designs from and cackled at the results. I doubt the financial pages have ever been turned into 'those' before.

Eventually the Actress had to scamper off into the night, I was terribly sad to see her go, she had been even more fun than I'd remembered and yet again we had engaged in a surprisingly deep conversation about relationships and stuff. We will definitely go drinking again.

At this point I rejoined the Art dealer and we drank pink champagne and talked to some porn producers. I knew some of them from my old job and so we caught up on the gossip and they shocked the bankers left in the club with their stories from the set.

Far, far later we had to leave the club and stumbled home via a take-away to by something awful to eat. When we were back in the flat we drank rum and then went to bed. I was staying in the Art Dealer's spare flat - honestly, who has a spare flat?

Before I went to bed I tweeted about my might and thought no more of it. The next morning I work up, pulled my things together and jumped on a train. Work knew I was going to be a bit late but they didn't know how late exactly, neither did I. I arrived 'Up North' in good time but then had to spend almost two hours at the bus station waiting for a pesky bus. I arrived rather late thinking I was going to get a bit of a telling off but instead was greeted triumphantly - my tweet had impressed them so much they didn't mind that I was rather delayed.

There is a lesson in that somewhere, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. I also have no idea if Lycra was stirred into jealousy by the Actress, she (the Actress) was on form but who knows how the female mind works, not me. Either way the Actress was a delight and we are going to go out again because she is far too entertaining to take out rarely.

What a spiffing night out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The art of dating

I'm going to a bash in London tomorrow. The art dealing chum is hosting another private view and so I'm going to amble down to join in the fun.

I'm taking along an actress I met at a birthday party a few month ago. The one I send telegram style text messages too (how are you STOP fancy some gin on Saturday STOP etc) We are chums, so she is going to provide entertaining company and giggles while we admire art.

I could have invited a date to go along but that might have been a bit weird. There will be loads of people I know there so that would be a bit full on.

Also Lycra will be there, so I'm hoping that she is consumed with jealousy over seeing me with another woman. This sort of plan works in films so it's bound to work in real life.

I can see no flaws in this plan, apart from now that I think about it every time someone does it in a film it normally goes wrong. Oh dear.

Coffee with Chuck

I went for coffee with Chuck. It was her suggestion. It's the festive season and I was feeling pretty planted. By planted I mean that I have completely an utterly moved on and I couldn't give a damn what happens to her either way.

Given that I thought it was a pretty low risk activity. I was right and wrong.

The coffee ended up being a drink because it was late. It wasn't awkward, it was okay, or at least it started that way. We caught up in a slightly stilted way, polite as always. There was quite a lot of needless touching going on by her, far too much. Do you really need to sit on someones lap to show them a magazine?

Then she invited herself back for port and cheese. Again more touching, by her, not by me.

I'd picked up the hint that she had intentions on me, but I was having absolutely none of it. Eventually it was time for her to leave and she was slightly taken aback when she asked if I wanted her to stay. I said it was up to her, and that I would make up the spare bed. She was shocked.

She was amazed that I didn't want to sleep with her. This shock lasted a while, then after a short Alan Bennett style bit of dialogue she stormed off into the night. She was genuinely amazed that I didn't want to do anything naughty with her, or go out with her again. I suppose pretty girls don't get that very much.

Anyway, I think the whole Chuck affair is finally over. It had its moments but it's for the best.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is it wrong to date a racist?

I went on a date, and the girl made some, well some troubling remarks. Not full on racism just a bit of mild racism. Perhaps they were just ill thought out. The rest of the date was a bit dull, no sparkle, no adventures but not horrible either.

So why would I see her again? You may ask. Well she is local so there wouldn't be a 200 mile round-trip to see her. Slightly more importantly I was set up by a chum at work and she has rather made it her mission to get us together.

Is it really so boring up here that I'd put up with dating racists because it would give me something to do?

The evolution of gym kit

I go to the gym a lot. There really is very little else to do up here. I've never really been a gym sort. The first time I went they had to show me what everything was because I had absolutely no idea. I'm not really a sporty person, or I suppose I wasn't a sporty person a few months ago. My life up here may be very quiet but it's allowed me to affect a transformation which has been reflected in my P.E. kit

Outfit 1 - my first gym kit

As you may notice the shoes are, well shoes. The shorts are 'I must have been drunk when I bought these' and the t-shirt, well actually the T-shirt is okay. Basically it says 'I'm new to the gym'.

Outfit 2 - Starting to get some of the right gear
After my first visit I realised I needed to get some at least mildly sensible trainers. I was still wearing shorts that were almost trousers (honestly what are they for apart from to give you a stupid tan). The trainers were far lighter than my normal shoes and marked the beginning of me starting to a bit mental on the cross trainer (Elliptical for the American readers). I would burn about 200 calories in 10 minutes on it.

Outfit 3 - It's all white
I switched a slightly lighter t-shirt and got some of those special trainer socks. I happened to be out doing some shopping at lunch time and thought I'd get some actual clothes for the gym rather than just going in some things I had lying around. At this point I managed to burn 300 calories in 10 minutes on the cross trainer. My trousers started to get loose and my shirts fitted differently.

Outfit 4 - At last sensible shorts
The gym lady said that 300 calories was extremely good going for ten minutes (she couldn't do it). I was really starting to enjoy the gym experience I wanted to beat that. After really pushing myself I burned 340 calories in ten minutes on the cross trainer and decided that I'd aim for 700 in 20 minutes. I also started a new program of weights lifting twice what I did before. I sleep better and feel amazing after going to the gym. no-one ever told me that after going to the gym you would be off your face on endorphins.

Outfit 5 - My first vest
At this point I'm going to the gym every day, without fail. Even when I'm hungover. My first 20 minute run on the cross trainer lets me hit 600 calories, a few days later I push myself as hard as I can and I hit 678 and feel sick. I go and buy a vest, the first one I've ever owned that's not part of a fancy dress costume. I look very different and I've lost about 10 kilograms and put on muscle everywhere. The next day I hit 703. I've done it. The gym staff are amazed and my take my picture to put on the wall.

The next target is 1000 calories in 30 minutes. I'm not sure if I can do it, but I'm going to try. My knee is fine now, occasionally it still feels a bit weird but I'm stronger than I've ever been.

I don't know who I'm doing this for, I suppose myself, it really helps me relax but I'm rather looking forward to the next time I take my shirt off and a girl is around. she will get a pleasant surprise. I may still be a fop but I'm not built like one anymore.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Time to do stupid things

I haven't worked out when my blogging time is, which is why I've been a bit rubbish at updating. It's not a great excuse but it's a true one.

I've spoken to the Albert bridge girl a few times since the lunch. She laughed a lot on the phone, when I wasn't even being that funny. I'm taking this as a good sign, but I'm not getting too hopeful. I have however been managing to play it cool, which is rare for me. I don't do cool terribly well.

I think the problem is that playing it cool, is very much like not being interested and that just seems wrong. This is a source of comedy for me at least - I'm writing again - even thinking about doing a show. My job just doesn't stimulate me as much as it used to, and there just has to be more to life than well, a cottage.

That isn't to say I don't like the cottage, but I just don't think I should be here yet. I should be in London, or something. And not just because there are girls there who I like stomping across bridges with, but because there is life there. Proper life, the life you can't predict and that constantly surprises you. I need change, radical changes which means I'm going to have to do some radical stuff.

Yes, I'm fixing to do something stupid.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Something stupid on Albert Bridge

I think I'm dancing toward something stupid. The weekend was one of highs and lows but for me the pin-sharp moment was on Saturday at about 5pm.

I was walking across Albert Bridge in the rain, sheltering under an umbrella with a woman. She asked why I was walking so slowly and I said I was just enjoying the moment. It was cold, I was late for something else and I'm not even sure that she likes me in that way, but for the length of a bridge I was terribly happy.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Choose your own adventure Louche.

I have a few options this weekend. It's like a choose your own adventure book.

1) Stay in house whole weekend writing stuff I should have finished years ago. Clean cottage, do washing. Wake up on Monday with everything ready for the week ahead but with a vague feeling of 'is this really what I spent all week looking forward too?'. This is how I spend a lot of weekends

2) Date on Friday in the tiny town set up by a chum at work. On Saturday go clubbing with people from work (all girls) and see what the charms of the local town are on a normal weekend. On Sunday go for long hike with chum from work (male).

3) Go down to London for long weekend. Catch up with lovely London chums, then have lunch with girl who is so pretty I can't really talk to her (she has asked me). Possibly have first date with someone else work people are trying to set me up with. Toy with the idea of Christmas shopping but decide to do it online instead. Come home tired but at least feeling I did something with my time off.

4) None of the above.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The dangers of pork

I've been neglecting this blog of late, so much so that I fear social services may take it away at any moment and rehouse it with some foster posters.

At the weekend I went to London for a bash. It was marvellous. The tube was broken so I had to walk through London in the rain to get to the party. I didn't mind though, because it was a lovely stroll. Almost every street I walked down had a memory tied to it. First dates, last dates, chance encounters, drinking adventures and even quiet moments.

The party was good too, a load of old friends that I've sadly rather fallen out of touch with, well apart from email exchanges. It was by anyone's standards a lovely reunion. I ended up crashing at chums place and then meeting another chum for breakfast and then ambling off for a first date. The date wasn't a huge success, but it rounded off a pretty good weekend.

I miss London, and I'm resolved to return, which is I said to my boss that I wanted to see about a transfer to the London office. I do enjoy the people I work with but I just don't know anyone outside of work up here and so it's a but dull in the evenings to say the least.

I think, if I was settled down, cottage life would be fine but since I'm not it's not quite right. Instead I'm stuck eating vast amounts of pork as a source of entertainment. I ate so much tonight that I had to wobble down to the wine shop to get some port otherwise I would be dead, FACT*

I need a new hobby.

*Not actual fact