Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief!
So I did it. I sang and danced live on BBC 1 for Comic Relief and no one died.
If you missed it, here’s me and magician Pete Firman doing our thing. And no, I can’t tell you how it was all done. I swore an oath of secrecy beneath a signed photo of David Copperfield.
Topless Selfies and Chinese Takeaways
Last night I came across the Kim Kardashian Instagram post from earlier in the week. It was KimK and Emily Ratajkowski (her of Blurred Lines video controversy fame) posing topless in a bathroom with black boxes hiding their nips, both flicking the bird. Emily posted the photo (I feel like I can call her Emily since I’m discussing her rack) with the caption:
“We are more than just our bodies, but that doesn’t mean we have to be shamed for our sexuality #liberated”
And a whole load of thoughts started bubbling up in my brain. I’m not proud of them, but hey, I’m nuts so here goes:
Oh my God look how fierce they look. Look how skinny they are but with massive knockers. Talk about winning the genetic lottery. I wonder what I’d look like doing that pose.
*Goes to the bathroom, takes top off, emulates pose*
Oh. I don’t look like them. God I hate my stupid tits. And I really need to get skinnier.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be that thin just once. Well, no Chinese takeaway for me tonight. I bet Emily and Kim don’t eat takeaways, unless it’s from a place specialising in kale and dust sushi. In fact, screw a relaxing Saturday night, I’m going to the gym right now.
…Before I go to the gym though I’m going to send the picture to my girlfriends on our WhatsApp group just so they can all see how thin Kim K and Emily are.
Oh look – all my friends think they are incredible and wish they looked liked them too. Cool.
And then I started to think – what the actual FUCK.
Why, is two A-list celebrities taking their tops off #liberated? I know one thing for sure – it doesn’t make me feel #liberated. It makes me feel #totalcrapbags. And I’m a 32 year old woman from a supportive family with an ace husband and a nice career. Technically I have my shit together. Plus my job is engrained enough in the silly show-off world that I understand that it’s all nonsense and marketing and bronzer. And yet that picture actively makes me feel less. So if I feel that, what the f*** do less secure women or teenage girls feel when they see that picture?
So then I started thinking, what were Emily and KimK trying to prove in this picture? That they are empowered for taking their tops off? That they have had enough of being shamed for their bodies so this is them taking back control? Lord knows both of them have had a lot of flack in their time for how they look or how they’re perceived to flaunt their looks. Emily recently wrote a super interesting piece for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter called “Baby Woman” about growing up looking like she does. In it she says:
“I refuse to live in this world of shame and silent apologies. Life cannot be dictated by the perceptions of others, and I wish the world had made it clear to me that people’s reactions to my sexuality were not my problems, they were theirs.”
So is my reaction to her body in this picture my problem? She was born looking like that (give or take the professional hair and make up, personal trainers, stylists and maybe a bit of work). Why should she hide it? To be fair, if I looked like that, I’d probably take naked pictures all day and then look at them and laugh joyfully to myself at how great my boobies are. And you know, I did put a picture of me on Instagram in a bikini last year. I made my friend take it at an an angle where I thought I looked best and then filtered the bejasus out of it.
What’s the difference? Why did I take that photo? The answer was, I was on holiday with mates being silly… but not silly enough to have a photo taken where you can see any fat rolls.
Was my intent any different to theirs? Showing my body off at it’s best? I guess the difference is, I’m not a gazillionaire A-lister being viewed by a gazillion young girls, and I wasn’t suggesting I was fucking the system. They claim ‘liberation’, that their actions are in some way setting them free. But can it really be liberation if it oppresses me right back?
But then we come back to the point again of whose fault is it that I feel shamed by this picture? Why should these women I have never met be responsible for my insecurities. It has nothing to do with them. Why should they stop looking beautiful and posting selfies of their cracking cleavages because some idiot in a hotel room by herself really wants some Peking duck? I was more than fine with Amy Schumer getting her kit off for an Annie Leibowitz picture because that really did feel empowered and #liberated. But what does that say about me? That I’ll only accept women over a size 10 getting naked publicly because that doesn’t make me feel bad. Oh Ellie.
Plus, women going topless to demonstrate against female oppression isn’t exactly a new thing. Just look at Femen, the feminist activist group, those bitches take their tops off all the time. Isn’t it just the same thing? Hmmmmm. Those groups are fighting for things. They use their sexuality as an affront to a political system they want to change and they do it in a politicised unsexualised way. The only thing they are promoting is a fair, free society. Kim K and Emily are selling a whole lot more than that. They are selling their brands.
It feels like they’re leveraging their freakishly remarkable appearance to raise themselves up higher. Higher than they already are above the rest of us plebs. And as we view that picture and loathe ourselves and then send it to our friends so they can loathe themselves too, it sends us further and further down into that seemingly bottomless well of self loathing.
I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it all. I still think Emily’s Lenny Letter article raises some interesting points. But while I certainly don’t think she should be ‘shamed’ for her sexuality, I don’t think her sexuality should shame other women. And that’s what this picture does. I came across an article discussing the photo on an Aussie website and I think, as much as I like to sit on the nice comfy fence, the journalist, Jacqueline Lunn has nailed it:
” They are taking women, one “empowering” selfie at a time, to the very worst place inside herself.
That’s not empowerment. That’s two, very privileged, mean girls in a bathroom taking pictures of themselves and giving the world the finger.”
A guide to becoming an #internetsensation
Last week I posted a silly collage containing five silly photos of me being silly. The reasons behind my actions were extremely politically nuanced aka I was meant to be writing a new hour of stand-up so was avoiding doing work by fannying.
The photos were me doing an alternative to the ‘motherhood challenge’ pics I’d seen come up on my Facebook feed over the previous few days. So, instead of five pics of a darling child looking darling with avocado shit smeared all over it’s darling face, I did the ‘non-motherhood challenge’ which was five pics of me asleep with a bottle of wine. LOL. I know. Whatagal. Look, here it is.
And then it got weird – I whacked it on Facebook and within 24 hours it’d been liked by over 100k people aka I had become an #internetsensation.
Here is my guide to anyone else who finds themselves in the same situation:
YOU WILL REFRESH YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE A LOT
You will be excited and tell your husband how many more likes the post has got since you last told him and he will say ‘Bollocks!’ because some people are jealous of #internetsensations.
WEBSITES WILL MENTION YOUR AGE A LOT ESPECIALLY THE MAILONLINE
You will begin to think that ‘Ellie Taylor 32’ has nice double-barrelled ring to it. You think it’s to remind people that your ovaries are flaking apart by the very second like the magic rose in ‘Beauty and the Beast’. You’ll also be on an article on the BBC news site and be quoted as using the word ‘arse’ and your mother will be unhappy.
YOU WILL GET TV INTERVIEW REQUESTS FROM BRAZIL
You’ll also become a hot topic on Indian parenting blogs and as for Italian satirical sites – mate, they cannot get enough. You’ll even be on the French Huffington Post, which is called ‘Le Huff Post’ which you will find very funny. Which brings me onto the next inevitability….
YOU WILL BE INSULTED IN FOREGN LANGUAGES
Your favourite one will be a comment which Google translates as ‘It has dark circles under it’s eyes’ because even #internetsensations need to up their concealer game.
SOME PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO TRICK THEM AND THEY HATE YOU
People will look at the obviously fake silly photos you have taken of yourself pretending to be asleep and say things like ‘Staged pics, don’ t be crying when your biological clock runs out,’ because 1) they were dropped on their head as a baby and 2) they think biological clocks are like sand timers in ‘The Crystal Maze’.
MEN WILL SEND YOU EXPLICIT PICTURES
Some dreamboats will talk about how much they want to bum you accompanied by a photo of their erect penis next to a remote control (for what you assume, is a handy guide to scale). The remote control will be a generic make which is shame because every one knows ladies only let men who can afford real Sky controllers bum them. Other men will send you pictures of your head superimposed onto another woman’s body who is having sex. This is great to help you see what you’d look like with a nipple piercing and a tattoo of, what you think, is a wolf.
YOU WILL APPEAR ON THE ELLEN SHOW
This has yet to happen but I assume it’s the next logical step.
I think that’s the main points. Any questions call my PA.
Much love from the #internetsensation,
Ellie Taylor 32 xxx
Merry New Yearrrrr
I can’t believe we’ve hit 2016. It sounds like the future. It should be a time full of drone dogs and robot dogs and other dog-based inventions and also toilet seats that put themselves down after men do whizzs’.
I’ve spent my New Year in Australia, home of melanoma and Nicole Kidman’s old face. My Aussie husband and I parked ourselves with his parents and celebrated our first anniversary under the Sydney sun.
We marked our special day by spending an afternoon at a fancy spa having massages. What better way is there to show your husband you love him than by paying another woman to rub him for 90 minutes? I tipped her well. He said he didn’t.
We then took a road trip down to Melbourne along the coastal route. The South Coast of Aus is spectacular. Around every turn there’s another little town with incredible sapphire lagoons and a satisfyingly silly name. Merimbula. Narooma. Fannywang. Poonbag. Humpyknobknob. I think I’ve spelt them all correctly.
At one point we to took a break in a town to stretch our legs, peered over a little pier, and below us saw three enormous sting rays. Now, in the UK, if you take a quick break on a road trip the only wildlife you’re likely to come across is a mouse in a Little Chef, and that’s if you’re lucky. And yet right in front of us here, gliding along, were three bloody massive bloody sting rays. Who accidentally sees sting rays? I was the most excited person I’d seen since my husband met Anna, the masseuse.
For New Year’s Eve itself we headed to a music festival, camping with some friends. I don’t like to boast but I’m a pretty experienced camper (2x overnight stays at V Festival in Chelmsford – the focus of Bear Grylls’ new survival series), but camping in 41 degree heat and dealing with composting toilets was one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life, and I’ve played Jongleurs on a Saturday night.
Thankfully our friends’ kids were there to lighten the horror by saying cute little kid things. Like when lovely little Juliette, (six years old, loves ballet and fairies) said she didn’t want to use the boys toilets because the boys toilets “smell like dick”. My year has peaked already.
Happy 2016 you idiots!
Here’s to a year of good health and great haircuts.
Things I have learnt while training for a marathon
This time in three weeks I will be hunched up in a bath full of ice yelling things like “Where is my peanut butter pie-fritter-doughnut? I ran a MARATHON yesterday – I NEED ALL THE FATS! Start the intravenous avocado drip immediately”
Cos yes. I have agreed to run the Virgin London Marathon for a very good cause. It’s the cause of telling people I’m running the marathon. LOLs.
No it is.
Okay, it’s all to raise money for Breast Cancer Care – a great charity who provide support to anyone in the UK affected by the disease. It’s a charadiee close to me as quite a few women in my family have had this illness including my old mother dearest, aka Gill babes. Plus, I really like breasts. I was bought up on them. And without them it’s unlikely we’d have ever heard of Katie Price. Not on my watch.
Here are the things I have learnt training for a marathon:
1) Running beside the River Thames, taking in the sites of London town sounds like a picturesque way to do your training. In reality, it’s a gladiatorial gauntlet of French students with rucksacks full of baguettes, Japanese girls with extra long selfie sticks and men of all nationalities posing for pictures with Big Ben as a massive erect clock penis. I used to weave around them. NO MORE. I windmill right through these photo-hungry idiots like a neon lycra photo bombing machine. Tourist skittles.
2) A marathon is literally DOUBLE the length of a half marathon. So if you have ever done a half marathon and thought “Cool! I should do a marathon!” take that thought and shove it up your stupid uncramping arse. You know nothing, John Snow.
3) I’ve developed an extremely aggressive hand. In the olden days, I was like any other civilian; if I was rounding a corner and came across another human, I’d guess which way they were going and go the opposite way. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and we’d bump into each other and do a “Sheesh! Life is so SILLY!” smile. Not any more. I have no time for this shit. Nowadays when someone comes towards me when I’m running, I stick out my hand in the direction I’m going and they move out the way because THE GOD DAMN HAND HAS TOLD THEM. I feel powerful. I’m like Tom Cruise guiding a beautiful but inept female agent out of an Iranian hostage situation, with only my turgid palm and scientology alien gods for protection.
4) You become really boring and no one cares. You talk about nutrition, no one cares. You talk about your splits, no one cares. Even when you come home from a 20 mile training run with a funny feeling in your pelvis and say to your husband “I think I’ve broken my vagina” and end up having to put a packet of frozen soya beans down your knickers whilst doing a calf stretch, no one cares.
5) You become quite emotional because you’ve run for two hours and haven’t had anything to drink because you forgot money to buy a Lucazade because you were too excited about your new fleece headband and then you end up running over London Bridge crying because ‘One Day More’ from Les Mis has come on your iPhone and Eddie Redmayne’s funny little burpy voice seems to be singing directly to your dehydrated soul.
So please, if you can, I’d be so happy if you’d like to donate to my fundraising page
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Ellie.Taylor even if it’s just a few quid – that would be super lovely.
And for every pound you donate, I promise to knock one less tourist toddler to the ground.
Amen. And thank you.
Edinburgh Festival August 2014
Oh hi babeszszz!
I am on the train to Edinburgh for the fringe festival! I’m two hours in and I’ve had two double gins whilst watching a film with Ronan Keating in, so needless to say I’m very content. I’ve also had a piece of very dry chicken, some crisps and two wees, so all in all I am really making the most of the first class experience.
Anyway, what I want to say is that I will be performing my first solo hour comedy show ‘Elliementary’ from 1-22 August (not 11) at midday at The Counting House.
If you’re going to the fringe I’d love it if you came along. My show is free and unticketed entry but it’s best to get there a little earlier (maybe 1130/1145) as the room is small and there’s a chance you might not get in unless you’re an early bird.
Obviously, if you aren’t coming to the fringe and have no idea what I am talking about, just try and carry on with your lives really.
(There is a family with a toddler in the seats next to me on this train. I’m trying to pretend that I find the child’s incessant squealing adorable. I give it ’til Berwick ’til she’s ‘accidentally’ gotten herself locked in the disabled toilet. See if your interactive Peppa Pig game can get you out of that you little shit.)
OK. Must go. Lady with the drinks trolley is coming back and I plan to secure some mini voddies and a banana out of the exchange.
PLEASE COME AND SEE MY SHOW. OK. COOL. THANKS.
PS if you came to see one of my previews in the lead up to all of this nonsense, thank you SO MUCH. You were all brilliant. (Unless you were the drunk man who turned out to be funnier than me in the Midlands or if you were the leak in the roof in Brighton that slightly upstaged me, in which case, screw you.)
Edinburgh previews and stuff
Woah! She’s writing another blog entry so soon! ‘Slow down you speed monster, Taylor! The last blog you wrote was only six months ago! Leave the keyboard alone before you get finger burns from the sheer velocity at which you produce prose etc!’
LEAVE ME ALONE. I’ve been very busy growing out some layers and listening to old episodes of Desert Island Discs. Hugh Grant’s one from 1996 was a real winner until he chose a handkerchief as his luxury item. Total mood killer.
The show title and artwork suggest a keen interest for all things Arthur Conan Doyle. Sadly, I have no such interest – I do however like name puns and the chance to sport facial hair in promotional materials.
I am doing quite a few previews between now and the beginning of the festival in August, so if you fancy coming here are some options below:
CLAPHAM – Thursday 3 July – Bread and Roses Pub
CENTRAL LONDON – Friday 4 July – Leicester Square Theatre
BIRMINGHAM – Sunday 6 July – Ward End Social Club
CLAPHAM (again!) Monday 7 July – Landor Theatre
MIDLANDS – Friday 11 July – Stourbridge Football Club
NOTTINGHAM – Wed 16 July – The Canalhouse
MILTON KEYNES – Sat 19 July – The Crown, Stony Stratford
CROUCH END – Sun 20 July – Park Theatre
BRIGHTON – Wed 23 July – Komedia
KINGSTON – Fri 25 July – The Grey Horse
I would love you to come or it’s just me, a microphone and some self loathing. I really quite like my silly show so please do come along if you fancy it. Bring you best LOLs and even a few ROFLs if you fancy it. Snorters get in on 241. Silent nodders have to sit at the back.
But of you can’t make a preview, then maybe I’ll be seeing you at the Edinburgh Festival from 1-22 August (not 11th)! Come along!!!! Kisses amigos xxx
Happy New Year!
I’ve just gotten back from a Christmas break in Vietnam. It was brilliant. The spring rolls, I mean the people were so tasty, I mean welcoming. I warmed to the spring rolls, I mean the country as soon as I found out that the currency is the Vietnamese Dong. Telling your boyfriend that he ‘better get his Dong out’ in every restaurant you eat in for two weeks if anything makes the spring rolls, I mean the spring rolls, even more tasty, I mean welcoming.
We spent New Year’s Eve at a hotel bar in Ho Chi Minh observing local New Year’s customs by watching a ten piece latin band from Brazil do things with bongos whilst wearing Easyjet orange satin waistcoats. While us Brits welcome in the New Year with Auld Lang Zyne, it turns out the Vietnamese prefer a group sing a long to Shakira’s greatest recording accomplishment ‘Waka Waka’. Nothing makes you feel more immersed in South-East Asian culture than loudly yelling ‘This time for Africa!’ with a room full of Russian ex-pats as the clock strikes midnight.
But that wasn’t even the best bit of the trip. I know. What can be better than Shakira rockeoke? Well obviously it’s the the long haul flight. Seriously – what’s not to love? Sitting in a cushioned seat under a fleecy blanket watching dreadful films while sucking on miniature bottles of Baileys – it’s like being a student again. Except at university there is no nice lady with red lipstick bringing you beef curry (always beef curry) every four hours. Plus uni costs more. And there is less toilet roll.
I flew with Emirates who are now officially my favourite airline because they give you stickers to put on your chair/jumper/head that say ‘Wake me up for breakfast!’. You haven’t lived until you’ve been a personified food order.
There’s also ‘Do Not Disturb’ stickers, which mean that there you are, snoozing away, dribbling into your own clavicle like a garden feature with low water pressure, gently inhaling a cocktail of effervescent faecal matter all relaxed and floppy-headed, yet at the very same time your jumper’s basically yelling ’SHUT YO MOUTHS BITCHES! I’M HAVING A SEX DREAM ABOUT KARL DROGO FROM GAME OF THRONES – WAKE ME UP AND I’LL DO A DEPARDIEU ON YOUR LAP!’.
Such power. What I would give to be able to use those in normal life. The freedom a Do Not Disturb sticker could offer at social functions. Cuddly Auntie Jean asks you pass her the frazzles? Never fear – point at the sticker and do your bit to reduce morbid obesity. Your child falls over leading to some rather successful bleeding from the head and starts yelling for you? No worries – you are wearing the sticker of power – just point to it and carry on reading the DailyMailOnline ironically; they’ll soon learn to self soothe.
Just make sure you put on the right sticker. You don’t want to try and blank a boring person by accidentally asking to be woken up for breakfast. Although, maybe then they’d bring you a croissant and be less boring. Or maybe, if you are very lucky, a spring roll.
And so ends the first draft of my Lonely Planet job application.
Happy new year y’all! x
Things that have got on my t*ts this week
1) Pulled pork. Why ‘pulled’? Why not just pork? Pulled from where exactly? The bone? A bin? A bar? Is it slaggy pork? The kind that needs to ring it’s mum and tell her it won’t be home tonight? What has happened to all the regular pork? The one with morals and without unnecessary verbs in their past participle form attached to it. And if attaching verbs to meat is a new thing we’re doing, at least make it a chipper proactive verb without dregs of reluctance attached to it. For instance, “Can I have some ‘achieved steak’ please, and my friend will have the ‘entertained chicken’.”
2) And on that note , people who call themselves ‘Foodies’. As in, “Oh God, Jeremy and I are suchhhhh foodies, we just love to eat really good food. It’s rarrrlarrrr important to us.” IT’S IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US, YOU BELLS. Aside from those with mental issues, who isn’t in to food, exactly? Who actively seeks out shit, crap tasting things to eat, Toby’s Carvery customers notwithstanding? Hell, I’m pretty fond of air but I don’t post pictures on Instagram of various instances of atmosphere with a natty ‘Xpro II’ filter on it with titles like “Get in my lungs! #nomnom”. Have a cheese toastie and zip your pretentious organic cake holes.
3) Washing powder with names like ‘Blue Jasmine & Black Diamond’. Firstly, no one believes that there are actual precious gems in there. If there were, then people all over the world would be proposing to their partners with value packs of Daz, and ‘Blood Diamond’ would have been set in a laundrette in Hull. Secondly, what the frigging mcfrigbag does ‘Black Diamond’ smell like? Proctor & Gamble may as well issue a fragrance called ‘White Bollard and Medium Sized Plate’ for all the recognition it offers. I would feel far happier if the fragrances made my clothes smell of things I could appreciate. For instance ‘Definitely haven’t been on the floor under a damp towel next to a gym sock that’s gone hard’ or a scent that I believe would finally offer a female version of the Lynx effect, ‘Clean with a hint of bacon’.
4) Adverts telling me I am part of ‘Generation Easyjet’. I thought the Dark Ages sounded a depressing, but being told you are living in a time defined by aggressive women in orange scrunchies whose sole aim is to make you squish your handbag inside your suitcase like a Matrioshka-luggage-Britain’s-Got Talent-contortionist? That is a period of history that no one wants to be linked to. Not even Stellios. Sure, we all fly Easyjet, but no one is ever delighted about it. It’s like the flatulence in the lift of the aviation world; sometimes it happens but you wouldn’t gloat about it on Facebook. How else are we all meant to notch up the massive carbon footprint we are all under such pressure to create? Plus if I’m Generation Easyjet then I must be a bloody founding father of ‘The Age of the Pizza Express 241 Voucher’. Let them eat doughballs.
This year I have been to six weddings. If had been to Nandos that many times I would have at least got a free half chicken out of it.
I have loved every single wedding I’ve been too. All have been personal and different, and perfect for the couple involved. They have been epic days of loveliness, with nights spent dancing under Tuscan skies, ceilidhing my kilt off in barns in Essex or getting my Tina Turner on in hotels in Hull.
All this, while watching as some of my very favourite women in the world, dance the dance of a married couple, their arms entwined with the men who turn out to be their very favourite people in the world.
They are events to be treasured. Wonderful days that lead to the not-so-wonderful day after, a blurry mess of Nurofen and half remembered flashbacks of slut dropping whilst wearing the bride’s veil. In short, weddings are bloody brilliant.
But then my friends go and change their surnames and I hate it.
I HATE it. It’s visceral. And it’s usually Facebook’s bloody fault. A day/48 hours/a week have passed since vows have been exchanged and FaceyB casually notifies me that my friend has changed her name. Just like that. In a meaningless notification. Like they are a Farmville request. A tiny insignificant notification to tell me that my friend no longer has the name that has defined her, no, been her, forever.
And then I feel angry.
I’m angry because over night, my darling friend who I have known for ten, 15 or even 20 years has disappeared and someone unfamiliar has taken her place. It’s like a very adept kick to the tit.
This new girl has been created in click. And I don’t know who the fricking hell she is.
This alien-named girl never went to my secondary school. She never shared stolen bottles of Archers with me at dodgy parties in Romford where the boys smelled of Hugo Boss and the pungent pong of lingering virginity.
This usurper isn’t the girl I met on the first day of university. She’s never made a tally chart to keep a check on how many sheets of toilet roll we each used. She’s certainly never drawn her nipple on the back of a napkin to reassure me mine are normal.
It’s as though the girl I knew has just disappeared, happily sacrificed to the past.
And the worst thing, is that I know they are changing their name because they want to do so. It’s their choice. It could well be a choice I one day make if some idiot ever decides that they are really into lanky girls who write needy blog entries.
This ‘name change’ is something my friends have been looking forward to doing ever since they knew they’d found their person – they are thrilled to be able to finally become an official team, an official family with the dude of their dreams. They are delighted. Therefore I should be delighted.
But I’m not. Not yet. Because at this moment I am feeling petty. Petty and sad. I’m sad for the way things change, and the way the past gets gobbled up by time, and I am sad that before I know it, that new name will be assimilated entirely into a new life and it’ll be like the old name and the girl in my memories never existed.
And that’s at the selfish heart of it all. It’s all about me. All about the stand-up comic? Shocker. But of course it is. Because I can’t help but think that as much as these women are their new husbands’ wives, and their unborn babies’ mothers, before all that, they were my friend. And I miss them.
So for now, I need to sulk so can I can mourn the loss of the past, and in time I’m sure will forget that I even had this little tantrum. I will write Christmas cards to many a Mr and Mrs without remembering a time when you were someone else. But for now I do remember. So for now, I will use your maiden name at every opportunity – and that’s not to annoy or disrespect your new life (well, only partly) – it’s because I’m not quite ready to let the old you go just yet.
So here’s to you my lovely women; you’ll always be a Pearce/Sanderson/Blerkom/Hills/Gawn/Quayle/Clossick in my eyes… that and smug married bastards of course 😉
Summer is approaching. All over the country people are doing the annual wardrobe switcheroo, bidding farewell to baggy thermals and offering a sexy hello to all things with zero wool content.
As we speak, British meteorologists sit muzzled in dark corners, frothing at the mouth desperate to be the first one to bark out the phrase ‘It’s going to be a scorcher!’
The country has had enough of snow and eternally losing one glove. United, the women of Britain, stand, and boldly declare ‘Be gone wretched black opaque tights! I shall not look on you for at least three months, for my pallid, veiny legs are free! Summer is here and I DON’T NEED A FRICKING CARDIGAN!’
Because everyone loves Summer don’t they? Or so you’d think… I have a confession – I am a Summer Scrooge. I hate it. I hate the sweat moustaches, I hate the wasps, I hate the teenage girls who don’t have cellulite yet do have hotpants.
Every year I try to get on board with our most hallowed annual event, and every year, as I witness the afternoon sun glinting off my knee stubble whilst lost in the panicked thought of, ‘Shit, I forgot to put on deodorant again’, I realise that I’m not cut out for this season.
For starters, Summer, like your first teenage boyfriend who makes you do things in car parks you aren’t quite ready to do, is so manipulative.
Summer sweet talks us into wearing things with spaghetti straps. Summer pressures us into waxing things. And most upsetting of all, Summer guilts us into eating salad instead of PIE.
And the anti-pastry rule is just the start of the commandments when it comes to eating. Summer demands we ‘picnic’ because NOT sitting on some brown grass next to a bin in a weird side saddle position so people can’t see up your skirt, nibbling something lettucey would be a waste of this opportunity to worship Summer’s *cue Louie Spence hand clicks* fabulousness.
And if, when you do stand up you can manage to walk, seeing as you now have two dead legs, Summer then forces you to pretend to be pleased that some arsehole has bought along a Frisbee.
‘Amazing!’ you yell! ‘I LOVE Frisbee!’
No you don’t; only Labradors and weird male philosophy students like Frisbee.
I know my opinion is controversial because when I tell people that I prefer cold weather they look at me like I’ve said ‘YUCK, an orgasm’. But you know what, I don’t care. Me and my opaque tights are just biding our time, waiting to get back to our one true love, Winter.
Winter, with his sexy greying hair who whispers in your ear that he loves you just the way you are. He doesn’t care if you’re pasty, or stubbly or rarely seen without a hot water bottle tied around your middle with a dressing gown cord like a cosy suicide bombers vest.
The only commandment he makes, is a thing of beauty and wonder. ‘Thou shall eat pie. Lots and lots of pie.’
Thank God it’s Christmas in eight months.
So I went to The National Television Awards last night. Sure it was the first red carpet thing I’ve ever done but it turns out I was amazing at it. Here’s a few nuggets of advice on how you too can be as amazing as me:
As we all know at events like this, your outfit is king. Make sure you invest time in finding the perfect ensemble by enlisting the services of a stylist.
OR Go shopping by yourself spending two hours in Wagamama reading spy fiction and eating edamame beans while repeating the word “edamame” quietly to yourself in a generic American accent because it is a funny word, before realising you haven’t bought a dress. Spend 30-40 minutes in three shops before you declare you have looked EVERYWHERE IN LONDON and therefore settling for something in the Warehouse sale because 1) it’s in the sale 2) it kind of gives you a waist and 3) it’s in the sale.
Make sure when the day comes, you can get ready in a relaxed and timely manner so you really enjoy the experience.
OR due to your housemate aka mum deciding to have the bathroom done, go round to your sister’s house for a shower. Make sure you take your own towel and toiletries because “It’s not a bloody Travelodge”. When you get there, make sure your nephew throws fish pie at you before you climb into the shower to find there is no hot water because your sister forgot to put the immersion. Waste 20 minutes waiting for the water to warm up by asking your nephew to make animal noises and confusing him by saying ‘giraffe’ and ‘triceratops’. It’s also key that your nephew bursts in when you are towelling off and says ‘Your rudie is funny’. Drive home with wet hair and mild anxiety about your rudie. If you see someone you used to go to school with, ignore them.
Book a hair and make-up artist to make sure you are at your glamorous best.
OR decide tonight is definitely the time to try applying fake eyelashes for the first time. Spend 25 minutes gluing your left eye shut before You Tubing a ‘how to’ video where a teenage American girl simultaneously annoys, patronises and educates you. Swear a lot and put on too much eyeliner in the style of Avril Lavigne when she was going through that cross phase.
Make sure you book a sick ride to drop you off.
OR take up your mum’s offer of dropping you off in the family Toyota estate. After all, if you move your dad’s golf clubs and ignore the trodden-on pink wafer biscuits your nephew has thrown out of his car seat, it’s really quite plush.
When you arrive on the red carpet, be professional.
OR remember half way down the carpet that you have forgotten to pull down the thermal vest you put on under your dress, meaning that it is clearly visible from the back. Walk sideways like a crab in front of all the scary photographers ensuring the vest stays a secret between you, Mark and Spencer. Style it out like you are being playful and doing a very long grapevine step that people did in aereobics classes in the 90s. The photographers will not care because they have no idea who you are and will call you ‘Ella’.
Phew. The hard work’s done now, so relax and enjoy the night mingling seamlessly with all your contemporaries.
OR continually exclaim loud variations on the following ‘THERE’S IAN BEALE. THERE’S MARK WRIGHT. THERE’S MARK WRIGHT’S MUM. THERE’S MARK WRIGHT’S DAD, before going up to Sheridan Smith and telling her in one constant, ginny breath,
OR Steal someone else’s cab, get home, make a cheese toastie which you forget to eat and will find in the morning. Go to sleep in your thermal vest and have weird dreams about Ian Beale and your rudie.
Much to my disgust, I am back from my wonderful month long holiday to Australia. I am gutted. Don’t get me wrong, the UK has some things going for it, like pork pies and Stephen Fry, but I would chop both of those in a heartbeat if it meant we could get our hands on some shark infested waters and a claim to inventing pavlova.
Australia is just wonderful. If you haven’t been, DON’T. Save yourself the heartache you experience on return. Especially if you’re Northern. I’m finding the transition hard enough and I’m from the nice bit of the UK, but YOU guys would be searching for the painkillers and whisky before you’d passed the first sign post to Birmingham.
The reason I was Down Under over Christmas was due to the fact that I have chosen an Australian life partner. So incidentally, has my sister. It seems my mother severely underestimated the effect long term exposure to Neighbours and Craig McClachlan can have on impressionable young girls.
So Sydney was my adopted home for a few blissful weeks where I spent much time observing the natives. Here are some insider Antipodean facts for you:
1) Australian people don’t see shoes as mandatory, particularly on children. Everywhere you turn there are shoeless kids running around like human veruccas. I even saw GROWN UPS wander round shopping malls sans footwear. Imagine that. The only adult in the UK you see without shoes is Diana Vickers off of the 1987 Xfactor and she only does it because she’s totes a free spirit. These Aussie shoeless souls were definitely NOT free spirits because they were usually drinking slurpees from 7 Eleven.
2) While shoes aren’t de rigueur in Aus, they do have some other stringent sartorial rules which unfortunately, I learnt the hard way. Imagine my despair when I turned up to a bar in my favourite muscle shirt at 6:03pm and saw the below sign. Until that moment, I didn’t know it was possible for deltoids to do a sad face.
3) Australia uses jigsaws to lie to their children about animal behaviour. From my experiences gained by watching ‘The Really Wild Show’ I’m almost certain no cat has hatched out of an egg and then embraced two things that are very much below it in the food chain. He may as well have his arms around two zinger burgers.
4) As you can see below, Aussies like to put sheep placenta on their faces. Placenta. Of a sheep. Needless to say I didn’t buy any. If I wanted to slather my face with something weird and slimey that another mammal has excreted from their body, I’d just motor boat Dr Christian from Embarrassing Bodies.
5) Sydneysiders like you to admire their bridge, which I think is weird. Essentially, a bridge is just a road on stilts. Sure roads are great; I wouldn’t be where I am without them, but I’ve never been on the M25 and thought to myself ‘That flyover would look ace on Instragram’. But you gota do what you gota do, so below is the obligatory selfy. (I’ve got a picture in front of an brilliant roundabout but I want to stagger releasing such gold into the world.)
I have loads more of these mind boggling facts but writing about Australia just makes me miss it even more. There’s only one thing for it – I’m going to watch Bondi Rescue, stroke my muscle shirt and find the afterbirth of a sheep. Bonza.
If I had a pound for every time someone’s said “Hurry up and write a blog describing your experience when you recently flew in First Class!”, I’d literally have no pounds. But I would have an Anya Hindmarch toiletry bag that I stole from First Class. Did I mention I flew First Class?
But I’m still one of you though guys! Sure, my toiletry bag is superior to yours, but I’m still normal. What I’m trying to say, is that in my previous life when I had a grown up job and a vague chance of ever getting a mortgage, I flew to places for work and amassed a large amount of air miles. And much like money and bowling shoes, you cannot take air miles with you. So when I had to book a flight to visit absent boyfriend in Russia, I decided to splurge.
I splurged on the face of Economy Class and it’s plastic cutlery. I splurged in the eye of the nominally increased legroom of Premium Economy. And best of all, I splurged long and hard all over the flat bed of Business Class, because when I splurge, I. Do. It. Right.
(…And also because there were no other air mile flights available so I basically had no option. If I’m honest, the splurging was non-consensual.)
So here is the story of how I was made to feel like a movie star. (By that I mean ‘special’, not under sudden pressure to lose two stone and marry Tom Cruise.) I’ll do it in bullet points because lets be honest, the splurging paragraph was painfully laboured:
* I arrived at Heathrow and approached the ‘First’ check-in section so I stopped to take this photo. The man on the right of the photo is telling me to stop taking photos.
* After playing it cool at the check-in desk by saying “ARE THOSE REAL FLOWERS?” (they were), I was fast tracked through security. Never has the bit where the lady in the uniform sweeps her hands along your underwire been more thrilling.
*I then went into the Concorde Lounge for some breakfast. It’s like Giraffe, but for people who matter. Below is my table, complete with a rosemary plant. Special people like fresh herbs with their Special K.
*After spending lots of time putting things in my bag (magazines, biscuits, waiters), it was time to board my plane, where I was greeted by name and asked to turn LEFT. ‘LEFT’ MOTHER HUMPERS!!! And below was my cabin. MY cabin. All to myself. ‘Cos no other bastard was as important as me /stupid enough to waste all their air miles on a four hour flight.
*I settled into my seat and ingratiated myself seamlessly into the First Class experience by asking the stewards insightful questions like “ARE THOSE REAL FLOWERS?” (they were) and taking photos like this.
*This is my area, by which I mean my seat and not my vagina. Those are my FREE slippers (I smell them sometimes).
*Table cloth. That’s all I’m saying.
*After this I was too drunk to take more pictures, so I fell asleep. On my bed. A bed. IN THE SKY. And when I woke up, the air steward had covered me with a FEATHER DUVET. It was like being cuddled by a cloud.
*And then we landed in Moscow and I queued for an hour at immigration because I wasn’t special anymore. Sometimes I wonder what will run out first, the special memories of that special day or the shit load of biscuits I nicked.
What a summer! I survived my first ever Edinburgh comedy festival which is no mean feat considering it’s normal up there to say things like ‘This is my fifteenth gig of the day, only two more to go’ and ‘I had an early one last night, was home by 4’.
The festival was brilliant and uplifting but also awful and bone crushingly horrific all at the same time. Very similar to the act of child rearing, I imagine. Just when you think you’ve successfully placated a tantrum in Tesco, the little brat takes its trousers off and shits in the biscuit aisle.
So after a month of no sleep and audiences as fickle as a Natasha Giggs in a room full of men with the surname Giggs, it was only right that I took some time out in the form of a holiday.
So did I jet to Barbados for sun, rum and a passionate but fleeting affair with Michael Winner? Hell no – not after last time.
Maybe Marbella then, to hang out with some of my kinfolk posing on the Essex Riviera? No way – there’s no way I’m wearing a bikini with that fox Nanny Pat around.
No, in fact , I went to a holiday home three miles west of Norwich accompanied by my parents, my sister, my brother in law and my nephlettes. (NB: ‘nephlettes’ is a word I have created to refer to a mixed group of nieces and nephews. I’m pretty pleased with it.)
And the glamour doesn’t stop at the ‘Norwich’ name drop my friends, oh no. Due to the fact that there were seven humans and two bedrooms, the sleeping options were somewhat limited. But as my family love me dearly, they kindly managed to rustle me up a spot. I was informed by my darling sister ‘The baby’s in the living room so the sofa bed’s out of bounds. You’re on the floor in the hall.’
THE HALL. The picture below shows my plush dwellings.
Now I don’t mean to come across like a diva, but even Anne Frank had access to an actual bed. All I had was access to the post when it landed on my face. And on that point, IT’S A HOLIDAY HOME, THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY POST.
I never did decide what was the best bit of bedding down there; was it sleeping underneath a curtain of coats or maybe the exciting threat of giving myself concussion on the radiator during every nocturnal duvet readjustment? Gosh it’s just like a holiday version of Sophie’s Choice.
But all in all, I had a wonderful time with my family. The memories of the holiday will live long in my heart. Maybe even longer than it takes for the scabs from my ‘Welcome’ mat inflicted facial carpet burns to heal.