Ice Ice Baby

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Party pooping in style

This weekend (and before really) social media has been awash with videos of people, first celebrities and now all the people you work with, drink with and spend time with, tossing icy buckets of water over each other. All in the name of charidee, apparently.

A discussion with my beloved this morning as we completed our own version of the ALS ice bucket challenge (walking around the Level while it pissed down) has led me to this post.

I’m not being a spoil sport about this, I want that to be known first and foremost, although I can assure you that I won’t be standing in my communal front yard in a bikini top while Mr Bee flushes me through with cold water (relax, World).

I’m taking a Patrick Stewart stand on this one, which I think is perfect acceptable given that it’s all about the money, rather than how many of us end up soggy.

I agree with anything that raises awareness for a good cause and up until I saw Lily Allen looking fabulous during hers, I didn’t have a clue what the eff was actually going on. In fact, it took this very touching video to make me realise what it was even for, and that was a good few days in.

(Most people haven’t been as clear as they could have been about the reason for doing the challenge but this seems to have rectified itself the more people are doing it).

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is a motor neurone disease. In the US alone upward of 30,000 people are affected and it claims about 2 in 100,000 lives a year.

Of course Wiki has this is terms of explaining it better but it’s an awful degenerative disease I had no clue about a few days ago. I now have a basic understanding of what it does, all thanks to Cumberbatch in a tight wet tee.

Oh yes!

So, in short I am not poo-pooing those who have partaken in the ALS challenge at all, and unlike some of my less amused friends on Facebook, say, have been enjoying most of the videos. It’s nice to see people you’d never normally expect to be getting involved and also, as I have typed this with a steadfast ‘I am not doing it’ agenda, I’ve started to become even more touched by those who have done it.

My personal reason is that I’d like to be a quieter participant, I might be the silent Queen of the #selfie but I’m not so much of a stand up and be counted extrovert (and I know not all are). Practically, I don’t know where I could do it – the shower perhaps? Plus, Mr Bee thinks I should be concerned that people will think I’m a ‘pussy’ if I am nominated and don’t do it (nobody has yet, thankfully) and on our walk I got all Warrior Woman, ranting about peer pressure at my age, my right to stand as a single person, etc. And now I have come too far to back down.

This is how our arguments tend to go.

Instead, I will be donating to ALS whatever happens and should I be nominated by somebody cruel (it will Mr Bee taking me down with him), I will deal with it my way. Pussy or not, I’ve got this.

It would feel remiss somehow not to mention the King of my Heart in this post. Did you see Tom Hanks’ ALSIBC? I love him so so much!

So, have you been nominated and if so, will you be doing the challenge? Col of The Bohemian Within just has! What are your thoughts?

If you would like to donate to a great cause, you can do so here.

The Only (Riot) Grrrl In The World

robyn2Ever notice how the best songs are the heartbreak anthems? Sometimes not even anthems, some are weepy little poems that still have the power to cut you like a switch blade (hey there Joni).

Even though I hung up my angst a long time ago (does one ever?) and am not currently nursing a sore heart, I still love the fist pumping, imagine myself standing on tables, shouting at all the pigs that ever let me down psalms the best.

As I shuffle reluctantly to work every morning, my iPod bruising my ear canal ever so slightly, I always have to make the final push with a great song in my head, that extra protection against the day ahead.

Now I write all this with the best of intentions but my musical catalog contains an awful lot of Janet Jackson so it’s usually something like What Have You Done For Me Lately? off Control that gets me fighting.

JJ notwithstanding, it’s funny how some lyrics just jump out and elbow you in the ribs, isn’t it? They have the ability to drag you back through time to the exact moment you found yourself standing hesitantly outside a coffee shop after a blazing row with a boy you’d only been seeing for a few Summer months.

You remember your carefully chosen words, and how carelessly he batted them away like fruit flies. You remember how black his eyes became in rage, the chocolate-brown evaporating from them completely, making him look demonic. How you had known right there that this was it, that no matter how lovely his skin felt or how pumped you were that he chose to spent these hazy twilight hours walking around the city with you, it was done.

You recall the tears that you thought would never end, your best friend’s hand on your back and the thought, even in that moment, that you were crying not for this, but for everything bad that had ever happened to every person in the world.

Most of all you remember that it was over because you decided it was; that you weren’t going to take shit any more.

That’s what a heart-break tune will do and it doesn’t matter if you’ve moved on, if you’re happy now. It doesn’t matter if you rarely think of them; those fuckers built you up to be the fabulous person you are today and tribute must be paid, even if it’s angry.

Especially if it’s angry.

So what’s my go to angry anthem? You’ll not be surprised to learn there’s some utter toot in here: Since You’ve Been Gone, Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Dancing On My Own, Raspberry Swirl. Sinead O’Connor’s You Cause As Much Sorrow. Mr Brightside. Harpoon.

Army of Me.

All my loves.

Special mention to Joni’s Case of You which saw me through a wonderful break up (I loved it). Less punch facey sure but just as powerful. (I’m listened to Joni as I tie up the ribbon on this post with a flourish, because she’s the one).

It is true that every girl has a fighter inside, a riot grrrl or a punk, whoever she wants it to be. She may be a soft touch like me, most of the time, but given the right theme tune, that fighter will awaken to stomp the shit out of her memories, free to fight another day.

So what’s your angsty/angry/fighter theme?

The Trouble With Netflix

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Photograph does not belong to me

Anybody else got a Netflix addiction? Seriously, it’s like a potent drug and I’m expecting an intervention any time soon.

It all started with the Adventures of an Upper East Side Gossip Monger (or Gossip Girl) and has spiralled from there. I wonder sometimes if my relationship can take the strain of yet another weekend main-lining trash TV in my pajamas.

I’ve just finished Nurse Jackie but have done: Gossip Girl, Hemlock Grove, Orange is the New Black, all 7 series of Skins, now the first season of Bates Motel. I don’t know what the deal is with the way it just takes over your brain and holds you there for two days straight, rendering you unable to do anything else, like keep a rational thought in your head, Hoover or leave the flat. I’ve been known to not speak to my own family for several hours while they are in the same room.

Perhaps my only hope is to stop the subscription and step away from the PS3. Go cold turkey and take back control of my life.

Ooooh:

Are you still watching “Nurse Jackie”?

Just one more episode, then I’ll read a book. Promise!

So This Is Thirty

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Chewing over turning 30

Hello!

My post has been published on the very cool blog, My Thirty Spot this morning. If you fancy having a little look, I talk about my experience of turning 30 over here.

Believe me, it was kind of a big deal.

Also, thanks to Hannah as I totally pilfered the idea from her and her post, A Letter to My 20 Year Old Self.

Imitation is still the highest form of flattery, yes?

Let’s Talk About Sex

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Tip toeing into womanhood

Write about your first sexual experience (via Writing Exercises)

My first sexual encounter wasn’t all that but, as is often the way, I have been left with a great story to add to my box of memories which sees itself rolled out when the vodka is flowing and the tone has been lowered.

Something you might not know about me: I love talking about sex.

People can be very prissy about it but it’s only natural, right? I don’t think I’m a lewd girl without class but I enjoy penis talk and a girthy range of other saucy topics. So sue me.

Like Salt n’ Pepa once said “Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be. How it was, and of course, how it should be” (Let’s Talk About Sex, 1991)

I was a late bloomer. Not for political reasons. I was just terrified of the idea of ‘doing it’ and the male form, and crippled by my own inadequacies as a ‘woman’. My classmates were happily sowing their oats and taking the piss out of all of us Virgins, pondering whether we might actually be ‘lezzas’ and making us all terrified to even glance in the general direction of someone of the same sex.

For about twenty minutes I sat and thought about whether I actually might be into girls but I figured in the end that my fascination with the more exotic of my species was down to the comfort in which they strode about in their own skin. I liked boys anyway and wanted one for myself, if I could only muster the courage to touch one.

I was eighteen when I finally got to the stage where I thought I could shrug off the taboo of still being chaste. By then my friend Lucy and I were going up to London every weekend and going to clubs, being bad girls. We met some boys (I say boys but my boy was 24) and started to spend time with them, sometimes sharing their spare room if we missed the last train home, which we always did.

Through these boys I met Marvin. He was quite the alluring prospect with his tight dreadlocks and beautiful dark skin. I wasn’t all that romantically inclined but he liked me, smelt nice and hey, if it all went wrong I didn’t have to see him again. Tactics, my friends even at that young age.

We arranged to meet and by chance, Lucy had also lined up a date for the night, so we booked into a B&B in South London. We went for drinks then went our separate ways, Lucy to the boudoir with the boy she’d met in the Wimpy, me with Marvellous Marvin.

I lied about my experience, scoffing convincingly when questioned about whether I had had sex before. This perhaps worked against me in the end, since he took no prisoners if you know what I mean.

When the deed was done (hours later), he got up, told me he had to go back to his girlfriend and asked me for cab fare. With a smile that may or may not have contained a gold tooth, he was gone.

I wasn’t even mad. He’d served his purpose and when he asked to see me two weekends later, I ignored the message. All I really remember now of that event is the morning after, walking to the tube with an ache where you’d expect an ache to be after being thrown around all night like a rag doll. It felt like adulthood.

I didn’t have it off again until two years later, and that time I got my little heart shattered.

But that’s another story.

Road Tripping

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‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on? (If you don’t or can’t drive, any land-based journey counts.)

Via The Daily Post (27th July 2014)

Like all predictably cliched girls, one of the items on my bucket list is indeed ‘Go on a Road Trip’. I like the idea of getting in a van or a car and going anywhere the wind takes me. I have been lucky enough in my past to have been part of more than one.

In Australia, my brand new Irish friend and I bought into a battered old station wagon with two Canadian boys and we travelled together for a few months, boogie boards in the back, love beads hanging from the rear view mirror. See? Cliche.

tumblr_n9c6ctxECJ1tu3m8ao1_500I don’t even remember what happened to the car in the end or the boys, although I do remember on the night of my 21st birthday that I threw myself at one of them, the first and last time I ever took the initiative with a guy (sad but true). Later my preferred mode of transport was the trusty Greyhound. Every time I scored a window seat I would imagine I was Julia Roberts in Sleeping With the Enemy, off to start a new life.

Now, I have someone I want to see the World with and ironically we’ve not been on holiday abroad for years. This is both for economical reasons and more besides. I’m not worried though, for my love makes me feel as free and as invincible as the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face.

But if I could choose my ideal trip it would, unsurprisingly, be the whole USA/Route 66 experience. Those wide open roads, the skies; nature. I want to live it, breathe it all in.

I want the cabin in the woods, the tent by a stream, “You kids ain’t from around here, are you?” treatment, without the killings, obvs.

I want to turn off my phone, pull out my Polaroid camera, listen to Skynyrd in t-shirt and jeans, no make-up, tangled hair. I want laughter and adventure. Burgers and pancakes. Freckles on my arms.

I want it all.

Yes, I have thought about this a lot and maybe one day I shall have my wish. One day we will take a month off and just drive. Until then, there are mini-trips and bus rides and the countryside.

Adventure is in the heart.

 

Obit

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Write your obituary (via Writing Exercises)

God, this will be a challenge. I was going to say it’s a bit macabre to think of now but actually, should we be looking at death in such a negative way? There’s a beautiful simplicity to the fact that we’ll all face it one day and, of course, I don’t want to dwell on it for too long but I don’t think we should be afraid. So I’m going to attempt this with some relish.

When I go, to be fair, it won’t matter what anybody says; I won’t know.

One person could turn up to say goodbye and that might just be the person leading the ceremony. There might not be a ceremony at all. I might be fed to the neighbourhood strays in bite size chunks. If the World ends before I’m ready to go, we’ll all be in it together. Here goes:

Sad news comes in today of the passing of Christa Bass. Mrs Bass, of Austrian descent, was a well loved daughter, sister and wife, best known for her clumsiness and ability to make a mountain out of a molehill.

A mediocre writer, Bass spent an awful lot of time talking about writing when she should just have written but did enjoy minor celebrity when she had published a slim tome of tongue-in-cheek life advice.

Bass was quite nice, sometimes funny and without question one of the best tea makers of her generation. She was also good with little paintings in nail enamel and quite eloquent in small groups.

She is survived by her handsome husband who has full permission to remarry as long as the new wife reads, her step son, three cats and a dog named The Hound. Yes, she finally got the be the pet owner she was born to be.

She will be missed. Quite a bit, actually.

Here’s hoping, eh?*

*That I get to have pets.

Is this a depressing topic or do you think we should all be better at talking about these things? What will people say about you do you think?