Trying to be a grown up, failing

I turn 20 this year.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m still very young and 20 years is hopefully a very small fraction of my life; a mere drop in the ocean of time as a whole.

That being said, 20 years to me is obviously the longest span of time I have so far ever known. Quite frankly I am amazed I have survived this long, especially considering I have lived away from home twice now. I find it honestly amazing that I am even allowed to rent a flat. I don’t know anything about money or finances or even life. Some days I literally forget to feed myself. I require adult supervision at all times – I am a CHILD for god’s sake.

When I was significantly younger, I thought 20 was a Real Person age. By the time you were 20 you were supposed to be a proper fully grown human being with a job and a house and control of your life. In recent years I’ve grown to realise that this notion is hilariously incorrect, but I still feel that my 8 year old self would be shocked and horrified.

I sometimes wonder if anyone actually grows up. Ever. Do the people I think of as grown ups really ever FEEL like grown ups? Or do they just pretend they’ve got a clue when they’re really just stumbling from one day to the next, just about managing to appear that they have their shit together, all the while feeling like this guy?

 Image

 

Maybe even my PARENTS, the most grown up grown ups I can think of (may it be noted that they actually aren’t very mature when I think about it but I will forever perceive them as if they are), are just really old children. I’ll never know.

I’m not entirely sure what’s brought on this mad panic-rambling, it’s just that I suddenly felt the need to tell/overshare with people that I sometimes forget that I’m not still a 14 year old emo kid who wears too much eyeliner and listens to sad music all the time.

The further away I get from that, the more it freaks me out. As I’m writing this, I really want to get on a train back to London, demand someone picks me up from the station (or else I’ll have a tantrum about how nobody cares about me), ignore everyone in my house and sit alone in my bed whilst pretending to be cool on MySpace or something like that.

Ok, maybe not entirely. I mean, I get to drink alcohol without it being illegal now. And I can have sweets whenever I want, sport allowing. And my life is actually pretty good.

My plan of action is to reach maturity by limiting myself to only one song by The Smiths per day and only posting the lyrics to said song as my Facebook status when and ONLY when it is completely and utterly necessary.

Anyway, I’m done with my oversharing now. I think my need to post was possibly arisen by talking about blogging with some of my friends today and I was reminded how much I miss telling people about how terrible at life I am.

I like to keep this blog ‘alive’ (and by that I mean post on it once a year) since it’s somewhere I can voice my inner most musings when I feel it appropriate. If it ever is. 

So now you’ve been reminded how ridiculous my musings really are, it’s goodbye again for now. It’s been fun. Maybe see you again next year!

Z x

I’m happy, damn it!

The lack of pain and anguish in my life has left me totally void of inspiration and I have nothing good to write about. Woe is me.

If “silly little brat is complaining that nothing is wrong!” is what you initially thought after reading the previous paragraph, you’d probably be right. However, you probably don’t understand my sense of humour either. Nope, you’ve missed it completely. Awkward. You should probably go before it gets any more uncomfortable. 

This post really only exists for the sake of me writing a post, since nothing exciting has happened to me lately. Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad has happened to me either, but that’s exactly the problem! I mostly use my blog as a way of reflecting on my own thoughts and feelings, and then writing them down in an entertaining way. I hope. This is why the vast majority of my posts have been inspired by amusing or borderline controversial events that I’ve witnessed take place. However, nothing borderline controversial OR amusing has happened to me lately. No, annoyingly, everything has been good. But who really wants to read that?! 

Admit it. You would much rather hear about someone’s cringeworthy cockup than their success. It’s not that you don’t want everything to be going well for them, it’s just that you wouldn’t get as a big a chuckle out of it.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, right? We’re only human, after all. 

In case you still don’t fully understand my humour, I should point out that I am, of course, joking about being furious with my joy. I’m truly thankful for everything that’s going well in my life at the moment (of which I shall spare you the details since I don’t want to bore you to sleep with them). However, I totally get why some of the world’s greatest musicians/writers etc. were depressed. Well, I kind of mean that the other way round. In all honestly, I’d be over the moon if I had just made a shitload of money selling something I’d written. But I understand how their sadness enabled them to put somethingly heart-wrenchingly moving and inspirational together. Think about it – how many of the most famous songs in the world are about something really, really, really good happening to the protagonist? Hardly any, they’re all about sad stuff. It’s just so much easier to write when you’re pissed off with everything.

There’s a lot coming up in the pipeline, but writing about it now would mean I’d have nothing to write about after it had happened. You wouldn’t be nearly as interested – you’d already more or less know the basic outline of what I had going on and wouldn’t particularly care to read the full story. So for now I have to be patient and think of something witty to say about the upcoming events. If you see me out and about with a pen and notepad in hand, it’s because I’m terrified of thinking something funny and then forgetting it by the time something blogworthy has happened. (Only kidding, I promise I don’t ACTUALLY try that hard on these posts, I’m not quite that sad. Not quite).

Until then, adios. I promise you all that my next post shall be mildly more entertaining than this one. If it isn’t, hopefully it’ll at least be informative. And if it’s neither, I should probably just stop writing this blog all together…

 

Z. x

Seal of Approval

I’m dead happy today. I’m not entirely sure why. 

Nevertheless, my fantastic mood has inspired me to spontaneously write about all the stuff that I’ve recently discovered or rediscovered, which I now love. I feel like I’ve done a lot of discovering in the last few weeks – from coffeehouses to hobbies and music. Here is my official list of stuff that I currently love.

 

Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
This is no ordinary cinema. A friend of mine introduced me to it a couple of weeks ago when he took me to a screening of the apparent worst film of all time, The Room. If you haven’t seen this film, I strongly suggest you do. It is pretty much like this clip here the whole way through. So, so funny. And no, it was not supposed to be funny. 
But anyway, the PCC! They run movie marathons that can go on for several days or so I hear, quotealongs (I fully intend to go and see the Anchorman quotealong in March), theme nights, the whole shebang. Definitely worth checking out. http://www.princecharlescinema.com/

Nude Espresso, Brick Lane
I was looking around Old Spitalfields Market one Sunday morning a few weeks ago when I got a text from my friend who lived in the area. I told him where I was and that I planned to pop into Costa with my friends for a coffee. This was probably the best mistake I could’ve made. Now, my friend has made no secret of the fact that he can’t stand Starbucks or Costa and is possibly what you might call (or what I definitely do call) a coffee snob. I’d never actually understood it until that day. Coffee is coffee, right? Wrong. He made it his duty to rescue me from Costa and show me the light. I met him at this little place on Hanbury Street which was absolutely crawling with hipsters. But, in East London, that’s not exactly unusual. It was so full inside that people were actually sitting on the doorstep, clutching coffee cups like they were homeless. As I carefully picked my way through the human barrage, I realised that if people would go as far as to sit outside at the beginning of February, this place couldn’t be half bad. I was correct. The two lattes I had made Starbucks taste like dishwater. I have been converted.
If you’re a lover of coffee and are in that general area, I’d definitely give it a try! 

Phoenix’s new album
…Which has not yet been released. Ok, I know it seems nonsensical to give something the seal of approval before it actually exists, but guys, I just know it’s going to be really good! I can feel it! 
When I discovered they were releasing a new album, I nearly died. I love Phoenix. They’re French and delicious-sounding. Their songs are sublime, especially when sung in that glorious accent. 
I’ll admit that there was some initial apprehension, too. When you love more or less every song a band has ever done in the past, there is a lot of pressure on their new stuff to be equally as awe inspiring. But you also think “how are they supposed to match that?!” Well, it seems they have delivered. I first heard their new song, Entertainment, earlier today. After that, all my apprehension melted away. Just as fantastic as their older stuff. 
If you have not yet become a fan of Phoenix, I strongly recommend you get on it. My favourite tunes of theirs are Rally, If I Ever Feel Better, 1901 and Sometimes in the Fall. Go listen! Go now! 

Baking
My friend Hannah and I have always had this pipedream of moving to a lovely hot, sunny country and setting up our own cupcake business. (How awesome would it be, though?!)
So my mum decided that she would humour us, and for Christmas she got me a book on baking. Probably a big mistake. So far I imagine I’ve spent a small fortune on cake ingredients and equipment. My kitchen is now more or less constantly covered in flour, cocoa powder, sugar and icing. 
Here is one of my most recent and successful creations. No honestly, I really didn’t mind spending Valentine’s day alone. Not at all. 

Adam Ellis’s blog
Or to give it its full title, Books of Adam. Adam is an American writer/blogger/illustrator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever read. I say ‘read’ because I’ve never actually had the pleasure of meeting him, so reading will have to suffice. I also realised this morning that he shares the same view of the Friendzone as I do (see his Twitter for reference – @mobydickhead, my earlier post ‘Friendzone’ for confirmation). 
I’ve been following his blog for a while, but I thought it was definitely worth a mention. His posts are wonderfully illustrated, hilarious observations of his life and the world at large. 
If that doesn’t sell it for you, he is also, to quote Zoolander, really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. Well, that felt creepy to write, but it’s definitely true. Sorry, Adam.
Have a look for yourselves – http://www.booksofadam.com

Other stuff
Marc Jacobs’ “Dot” perfume. 1001 Nights, apple & cinnamon and lemon & ginger flavoured teas. Lena Dunham. Yoga pants. Tapas. Live comedy. And the fact that my mum ‘gets’ Peep Show and I now have someone to watch it with. 

Z. x

The Lady

It was a night like any other at Europa Gym. I’d just finished training and headed off to the changing rooms for the highlight of my session – getting out of my sweaty, chalky kit. (For the record, I’m joking – I do enjoy gym really. Sometimes).

It was surprisingly quiet, normally there are gymnasts and their parents wandering about, but not tonight. That was until two girls burst into the changing rooms. They’d obviously not thought there was anyone about either since they were having what I can only assume was quite a private conversation in very loud voices. 

They walked past me, continuing their conversation until one of them stopped mid-giggle to tell her friend “oi, shut up there’s a lady in here”. I thought nothing of this for a few moments, then stopped in my tracks. The changing room had been empty when I got there. The only two other people around were the gymnasts who were 7 or 8, and they obviously weren’t talking about each other. I gasped.

 

I was The Lady.

No, this couldn’t be right. There must’ve been an awful mistake. There’s no possible way I could be The Lady. 

 

Skip forward a week or so to the Olympic exhibition at my old school that I’d been invited to. It was a nice evening, showcasing some of the memorabilia some of the students had collected and photographs by one of the photography assistants. 

As the night drew to a close, I stood about chatting to one of my friends who was in the year below me at school, generally catching up. A mother and her daughter approached me and asked for some photos, one with me and her and one with the daughter too. I was happy to oblige, so the mother told her daughter to “go and stand with the man” while she had her photo done. The man? Which man? Then it dawned on me. My friend was The Man. 

 

All my friends and I are slowly turning into The Man and The Lady. 

When did this happen? When did I stop being That Girl or even Little Girl?! I specifically remember one day (probably almost 15 years ago now) when I was leaving my ballet class in the car. One of the girls in my class walked past and yelled out “bye little girl!” 

Amusingly, I think she was probably younger than me, but the point stands. I used to be Little Girl. And now I’m The Lady. Soon enough I’ll become The Woman and then move on to be The Old Lady.

The worst part is, you can’t even correct the person who has mistaken you for The Lady or The Man. Especially if they’re kids. As tempted as I was to interrupt their conversation with “haha, no, you are mistaken – I’m a GIRL, silly!”, I’m not sure whether I could’ve got away with it without being The Crazy Lady instead. And sadly, in true old person style ‘I remember when I was their age’. There were girls in my gymnastics class who were then about 18 or 19 and I remember thinking they were adults when in actual fact I probably couldn’t have been more wrong. To those girls (who are probably now a bit closer to being The Ladies), I am deeply sorry for any mental anguish I may’ve caused you back then by thinking you were old.

Maybe this is when the ageing process starts. As soon as you become The Lady or The Man, you’re no longer a child and it’s all downhill from here. For me, I know that it really has started. I keep getting crap post. Today it was something to do with my car insurance. Yesterday it was from my bank. It was all written in TImes New Roman. I’m doomed. 

Luckily I’ve not been called The Lady since that fateful day a couple of weeks ago, but I’m bracing myself for the next attack. I assume it’s like wisdom teeth. It can happen at any age after puberty, but nobody ever knows exactly when it’s coming, nobody prepares you for it, and it reminds you that you are turning into an actual real life grown up.

I’m just thankful that I’m not at the point of getting grey hairs and a mortgage yet and hopefully I won’t for a while. Until then, I am intent on acting like the biggest kid possible to reduce the chances of being called The Lady again any time soon. 

Z. x

Friendzone

So somehow, my jet lag has taken a turn for the worst again. It’s been fine for the last couple of days, but today I was up at 5.30. Not cool. Unable to sleep, I went downstairs and put on the TV. Not fancying cartoons today, I flicked over to MTV where I then went on to watch half an hour of the worst television I have had the misfortune of seeing in a while – and I watched a few episodes of celebrity Big Brother.

It was called Friendzone. And it was terrible.

From what I picked up, it was about desperate guys who had been stuck in the ‘friendzone’ for a number of years with a girl. For clarity, I’ll define the friendzone – when a girl or guy gets stuck ‘being friends’ with a member of the opposite (or same, depending on your sexual preference) sex that they really like. The ‘friendzoned’ party wants to be more than just friends, whereas 9 times out of 10, the other person does not.

Which is why I think that this as an abominable concept for a programme. Has anybody that you’d consider just a friend (and REALLY wanted to keep that way) declared their undying love to you? If yes, you know how awkward that can be. If no… well, it’s pretty awkward. Add a few cameras, witnesses and oh, you know, MTV’s entire viewing audience and BAM, you’ve created a living hell for your poor crush.

I personally sympathised with the crush. I know you’re supposed to be rooting for the guy confessing his love, but I found it too hard. There’s just something intensely irritating about these guys. Maybe it’s the knowledge that in all their desperation, they’ve taken to the TV to discuss what probably should be kept as a fairly private issue. Maybe it’s their unwillingness to accept that they might actually be the problem. Or maybe it’s just the annoyingly smitten look in their eyes and the constant fawning over these women who would probably just like to be left the hell alone.

I have no idea what they hoped to achieve by putting themselves out there like that in front of millions. My guess is that they either think their crush will see it as some huge romantic gesture and fall hopelessly in love with them for their efforts and they will ride off into the sunset on horseback to live happily ever after, or to shame them into saying “yes, I’ll go on this date with you” since they’re literally in front of a huge chunk of the population and the ask-ee will look bad for turning the asker down.

Now, I do believe it could be the former of the two cause these guys genuinely seemed to live in a weird fantasy land. And I hope for the poor girls’ sakes it was that. Cause the alternative is pretty bloody horrible. Pressuring someone to go out with you is not OK. Don’t do it. Ever. One of the poor women that I saw looked like she was trying hard to mask her horror at being put on the spot like that. She agreed to go, but she seemed genuinely reluctant and a bit pissed off. She did a piece to camera at the end, and while she was saying all the right things, she had dead eyes. You know, the kind of eyes that say “I am not here and saying these things by choice”.

As the guy, I don’t understand why, if you cared that much, you need the entire world to see. A relationship is between two people. Not two people, a producer, a cameraman, and the entire western world. They could have done the exact same thing without the rest of the people I just listed in the equation.

Generally speaking, I think the friendzone exists for a reason. And no, that reason is not “for a challenge”. If you’re in the friendzone, chances are you were probably put there on purpose on god damn it! I think most people have probably been on both sides of the fence. OK, being on somebody’s hook is never fun. But trying to be friends with someone who you know wants more than that isn’t fun either. And if they keep persisting and trying to wear you down, it actually makes it a damn sight harder to keep being friends with them in the knowledge that they might suddenly explode into a quivering heap of confessions and love songs and flowers and other mushy crap.

The more I watched on in horror, the more I was shaking my head and thinking “come on man, pull yourself together! Have some freakin’ pride!”
It got pretty hard to watch. Especially when the girl subtly hinted that she wasn’t looking for anything at that point in time when asked by the boy what her view on relationships was, making the excuse of “I have to focus on my career”. That’s fair, I thought. Cut to a clip of him saying “maybe she’s just saying that she’s not interested in relationships cause she doesn’t know it’s me…”
JUST NO. She was probably saying that BECAUSE she knew it was you! Why can’t you get the hint?! Stop ignoring the hint! You’re making it so much more awkward! You need the hint, need it I tell you!
Why can’t you just accept what she’s saying? She doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Not with you, not with anyone. Ok, yes it might just be an excuse. But if that’s what she’s telling you, can you not just go with it? Please?! Maybe you just aren’t what she’s looking for. And this could be for a number of reasons. (Possibly not least because you are kind of needy and annoying and overly persistent).

You could argue “hey Zoe? Don’t these guys at least deserve an explanation?”. I can kind of understand that they might want that. But often the hard truth is that she simply doesn’t like you. But you can’t just tell somebody that, not when they’re at obsession level: crazy. And yes, going on TV to declare your love for someone is pretty crazy if you ask me. To make it less awkward for everyone, ignoring it and hoping that they pick up on what you’re doing just seems like the polite thing to do. If your crush is throwing around hints such as “oh, you’re such a good friend” or “you’re like a brother/sister to me”, it’s probably not that they haven’t noticed that you like them. It’s probably that they’re trying to warn you off without actually having the conversation because the conversation is unpleasant as hell. The person on the receiving end feels rejected and heartbroken, the one doing the rejecting and heartbreaking feels like a bastard. See, this is why confrontation on such issues is bad.

And that, guys, is what I deduced from today’s early morning viewing. Call me harsh, but…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no psychology expert or relationship adviser (obviously), these are just my personal opinions on the matter! Feel free to share your own views :)

Z. x

Off to see the wonderful wizard of Oz

Anybody that has read my Twitter bio will know that I describe myself as a cunctator.
A few people have asked me what that means. In the least prattishly condescending way possible, I’d like to tell those people that Google is your friend. 

But in case you and Google aren’t on good terms right now, let me give you an example. It pretty much sums up why I describe myself in such a way.

I’m flying to Australia for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival tonight. My taxi is coming at 5. It’s now 1.30pm. I still have a LOT of packing to do. So naturally, I am sitting on my bed, in my underwear blogging about how I have so much to do and intermittently looking at pictures of cats on Reddit. 
Yes I am aware that the case will not pack itself, as much as I would like it to. Yes I am aware that time is running out. But why do now what I could do later? 

I’m basically writing this blog for two reasons. The primary reason is because I need something else to occupy the time in which I could be packing. Secondly, because I feel like I should tell people that I’m competing. I’m not sure whether anyone gives a toss, but I thought I’d tell you anyway, just in case some of you do. (Please give a toss).

I’m lifting in the middle of the afternoon (Sydney time) on Friday the 18th of January. So in less than a week.

I went up to Leeds last week to get my last bit of training in. Why is it that it’s only when you’re training under the supervision of the head coach and some of your teammates, just over a week away from competing, that it becomes apparent how unfit you are? My legs felt like they were going to physically fall off. I managed to work my way up to about 90% of where I was before the Olympics, the peak of my physical fitness. Weights that would have flown up 6 months ago now felt like they could literally kill me. Well, I suppose they could. And they might. 

After that session, our coach announced to me that they would be my opening lifts.

HOLY. BALLS. 

I am quite genuinely hoping for a miracle. Please GOD let nobody else turn up in my category. In fact, let nobody else turn up for weightlifting at all. I don’t want them to see me like this.

Yes this is nobody’s fault other than my own for delaying the hard work as long as I have. I am now mentally screaming at myself “for God’s SAKE, Zoe, stop being such a flipping cunctator!!” 
Normally these things work out for me, somehow. I don’t know how. But it’s never landed me in any real predicament just yet. So I’ve got to the bargaining point of desperation – “please please PLEASE just let this work out for me, I know I’m an idiot but I promise I’ll never procrastinate again EVER as long as this just goes reasonably OK for me, please!” 

I’ll let you know in a week if my prayers were answered. 

In the mean time, I have 21 hours at 30,000 feet to contend with. A whole day of travelling. I find it really weird that you lose a whole day. I feel like I’m being robbed of some life. 

I also know practically no one else going. I certainly won’t know anybody on the flight out there other than my coach. It’s not that he and I don’t get on… It’s more that we don’t really speak. In my experience, he sits there doing important stuff on his laptop and reading/answering emails. That’s fair. However, what am I supposed to do?! I’d be fine if I just knew one person that I’m travelling with reasonably well. They could help get me through this nightmare.
I imagine I’ve mentioned how socially awkward I can be. Well, that would be ‘hugely’. Once I’m in conversation with somebody that I’m 100% sure doesn’t hate me, I’m fine. But introducing myself to people who MIGHT hate me is just not my cup of tea at all. For the record, no, I’m not a massive bitch in real life and they probably don’t really have any reason to instantly hate me. But they could.

So, it’s either come across as an asshole who won’t speak to anyone and sit on the plane sobbing inwardly to myself about how lonely I am, or nervously approach people who might very well hate me and struggle to think of a good topic of conversation while sobbing inwardly to myself about how badly this is going for me. Either way, the whole journey will be one big awkward cringe-and-sob-fest for me. Welcome to my personal hell. 

Right, I’ve been blogging for almost half an hour. I really must start packing. Well, should. I imagine I’ll find something else that needs taking care of during the 9ft walk from my bed to my suitcase. Hopefully. 

See you on the other side, guys. Or maybe when I’m back on this side, depending on how much cunctating I feel like doing. Really must stop doing that.

Z. x

Aunt Antics

Ahh, Christmas.

The one time of year where you see the bits of your family you haven’t seen since the last one.
In my family, this can be quite a joyous occasion since, as I imagine I’ve mentioned previously, my family are all batshit mad. This afternoon we had the pleasure of my mother’s sister, Tori*, stop by the Smith household to regale us with her ever-amusing tales of 2012.

Allow me to share a select few anecdotes that caused me to laugh myself silly this afternoon.

*Disclaimer: all the names in these stories have been changed to protect my aunt’s privacy/myself when she finds out about this blog. Only kidding about the last part. I think.

The Coffin in The Kitchen

Tori and her friend Sara arrange to get together at her house. When she arrives, Sara suggests they get Chinese. Now, although the most logical option on a cold winter’s night would be to order a takeaway, Sara is keen to go and pick it up instead, so she and Tori wander off into the night to collect their delicious Oriental feast.
30 minutes (or thereabouts) later, Tori and Sara return back to the house. Neither spot anything unusual until Tori enters the kitchen.

Where there is a fucking coffin.

Apologies for the language. But this is basically how Tori relayed the story to us. Quote unquote – “I shit you not, there is a fucking coffin in my kitchen”.

Like everyone else in the family, Tori is mental. So instead of screaming or immediately calling the police, she goes to investigate it further, Sara and their tasty bags of deep-fried  morsels in tow (Tori’s initial reaction was apparently “for god’s sake, keep the Chinese away from it!”). As they approach, she sees a pair of FEET at the end of it, where the coffin is cracked slightly open.

Tori, being an avid watcher of all programs supernatural with a wild imagination, immediately jumps to the logical conclusion that a vampire has entered her home. I quote, “My first thought was that it was a vampire that had arrived in a puff of smoke while we were out”. Her cat, Twig (ironic – he’s a huge ginger monster) is sat outside the kitchen going absolutely crazy, which is proof enough for Tori that this creature in the coffin is not from this world. And then she realises how stupid that sounds – it MUST just be a homeless person who usually sleeps rough inside a coffin, but tonight has treated himself to a night at chez Tori without disturbing any of the locks somehow. Right?
She turns to Sara, who looks terrified. “Have you set this up?!” demands Tori, but Sara denies all knowledge.
The fear is beginning to set in, so Tori suggests that they call the police. “And say what? That there’s a coffin in your kitchen?” says Sara. So instead, Tori then suggests that she knocks on her neighbours door. Again, Sara is doubtful as to whether she should.
(I do believe the conversation went along the lines of
Sara: Well what are they going to do?!
Tori: I don’t know… He’s a man!)

Sara tries to kick the lid off the coffin while Tori paces around the kitchen, trying to think of a solution. Then Sara really starts freaking out, which then sets Tori (and Twig) off. At this point, all that can be heard from the house is a chorus of screams and screeches, before Tori picks up the phone and dials 999 while yelling “I’M CALLING THE POLICE” at Sara. “NO, DON’T CALL THE POLICE, DON’T CALL THE POLICE”, Sara shouts back – at the same moment a man with a werewolf’s head jumps out of the coffin, causing Tori to scream in terror.

Until she notices Sara laughing.

And werewolf head man removes his furry disguise in true Scooby Doo fashion.

And Tori realises it has all been a prank.

However, the emergency services have now picked up the phone. Tori hurriedly puts down the phone, but two minutes later there is a loud thumping at the door.

The police have come to join the party. Apparently, upon hearing screaming and “DON’T CALL THE POLICE” shouted repeatedly, they’re obligated to intervene.

At which point, a very humiliated Tori has to explain that her idiot friend has played a prank on her, and werewolf man is actually just Sara’s boyfriend who had been doing work on her house earlier that week and had had an extra key cut in order to pull off this elaborate prank. The best part was, he had earlier set up cameras in her house to catch her reaction on camera. The police were absolutely delighted to have the footage, and promised to tell all their colleagues in Gravesend and Maidstone departments.

Stuck in Greenwich Park, from the perspective of Tori via her facebook status

“OMG! Could this afternoon have gone any worse if I tried??? Went to Greenwich and actually managed to find a parking space just OUTSIDE the park (that’s a first). When we walked into the park saw the car park was virtually empty and being the lazy bitch I am, decided to go back and get the car and move it to INSIDE the park, so it wouldn’t be too far to walk back ….. Didn’t realise they locked the bloody gates at 6pm and we arrived back at the bottom gate at 6.03pm to find a locked gate. Hot footed it up the hill outside of park (nearly killed me), only to find the main gate locked too, with my car INSIDE!!!! Eventually managed to climb over the huge ‘kin gates at the front (more like clawed my way over, not a pretty sight), then drove around the park, in bits you aren’t meant to, – that was actually quite fun :))) – looking for someone who might actually be able to let us out, but NO. In the end called the police to come and rescue us from the park. Only had to wait 2 hours for them to drive back from winter wonderland – as you do – for them to come out with the key. When they eventually arrived and unlocked the gates for us, my ‘kin car battery had died cause I had the heating on. Police then had to jump start my car, they couldn’t find the battery (no point asking me, I didn’t even know where the hazard lights were kept). Then [boyfriend, won't mention name] was helping them with the light from his phone, until that battery died and then my phone died. Then in my daze, got lost leaving Blackheath (how the hell do you do that???) only to find the petrol light had come on”.

The Boyfriend

Tori, who was 42 this month, has got herself a 26 year old Turkish toyboy. He is married. I know… What. The. Hell.
For obvious reasons, they have been keeping their relationship a secret. But it’s fine, as she has diagnosed his wife as a sadistic narcissist with bipolar disorder. (In fairness, from some of the other stories re the boyfriend, she does sound pretty nasty).
For Christmas, she bought the boyfriend an expensive aftershave. When he expressed concerns about the possibility of being rumbled by his wife, she instructed him to tell her that “he had found it on the train, all wrapped up nicely in it’s bag. Well… that’s possible?”

Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for my aunt Tori.
I’m largely looking forward to seeing the rest of my mum’s sisters and my lovely, offensive granddad over the remainder of the festive period. I imagine I’ll be back with more family stories soon.

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! If not, then I hope whatever went wrong is worth telling stories about. (And if so, then PLEASE feel free to share your stories in a comment/give me a link to your blog!)

Z. x

Happy Armageddon!

So here we are, the day before the day a lot of people have been silently (or not so silently) freaking out about for a while. Ladies and gents, judgement day is almost upon us.

First things first, I don’t personally believe that the world is going to end tomorrow. Maybe that’s cause I quite like the idea that, thousands of years ago, the Mayans sat around their calendar giggling and saying “here, guys, I’ll tell you what will really shit some poor sods up one day – let’s tell them the world’s ending”.

Meanwhile in 2012, chaos ensues. 

For the sake of this blog, let’s not completely rule out the idea of the world ending. If it does, I imagine it to be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy – the human race will unintentionally destroy the earth in their panic and confusion.

It’ll be like the riots in London last year. Most people weren’t actually rioting, they just took an opportunity to trash things and steal stuff. It’ll be like that all over again, the streets overrun with scallies who have jumped on the bangwagon of destroying everything in sight.

I’d actually rather we were all wiped out by a massive comet than have to watch morons set fire to buildings again. 

I do predict that a few people will be getting up to some crazy stuff tonight, just in case we don’t live to see another day. Ever since the term “YOLO” was coined (for nice, normal people, that means ‘you only live once’), people have been taking it to mean “I’m going to do something I know is really stupid and ridiculous but I shall justify it by saying YOLO afterwards, shrugging it off and ignoring the potential long term effects it may cause”. I imagine that even with the slightest chance of the world ending, we will see some extreme YOLOing tonight. It’s the perfect excuse. 

As I sat in front of the TV looking scruffy in man-sized tracksuit bottoms (how’s THAT for partying like it’s the end of the world, Jay Sean?!) I started to wonder if the ruckus had begun anywhere. Then I started brainstorming what havoc I’d wreak if I a) could be bothered, b) had the minerals and c) truly believed that my death was imminent. 

It turns out that I’m VERY boring. I couldn’t come up with anything particularly meaningful or creative. My best idea was probably acquiring a jet pack and flying through the skies of London naked while eating a red velvet cupcake, scattering crumbs like they were confetti and singing I’m Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado in between mouthfuls. Random..?

Bored, I asked my family the same question. The first person to think of an answer was my mum. And with these few sentences, she made my entire day. In fact, I can probably die happy now. 

Conversation went as follows:

Me: If there was absolutely no doubt that the world was ending, what would you do?
Mum: *ponders question for a moment* Well, I suppose I would cry and want to be with my family. Wait, no. I’d make a cake and then NOT wash the bowl up.

She is WILD. I genuinely think my mum’s plan of action is potentially the best thing I’ve heard all day. 

But it seems that instead of flying around spreading goodwill and cake to all men, I’ll be at home enjoying the increasingly sandpapery feeling in my throat. Getting ill just before Christmas is basically a talent of mine. 

I hope to post again soon, you know, if we’re not all perishing in a fiery cesspit that was once planet earth. If we are, I’ll see you all in hell. I imagine. Unless you’re good. Which I sincerely doubt you are since you’re reading my blog… 

Z. x

 

A less than gleeful return to the blogosphere

*puts on overly feminine, diary-writing-in voice*
Deeeear diary,
 
I am bedridden with a severe case of teenage angst. 
All I’m capable of doing is sitting in bed in my own filth watching various episodes of Peep Show, pausing only to have a momentary sob or update my facebook status to a relevant yet vague song lyric. It’s tragic.
 
This is my woeful tale of self-pity.
 
I met a boy in August. To protect the ‘innocent’ (hmm), we shall refer to him as Boy.
 
I reckon August was probably the best month of my entire life. For obvious reasons. Boy and I met maybe less than a week after I competed. We met through a friend I met in the village, who shall also remain anonymous. 
It was still sunny (well, what passes for sunny in lovely England) then, so we did lots of sun based activities, i.e. things that can be done inside, outside. I.e… went for dinner a lot, but sat in the outside part of the restaurant. Glory. 
 
The first time we met, Boy took my number while we were slightly boozed. I thought nothing of it. Yes, he was attractive. Yes, he was funny. Would we get in touch? I didn’t know. At this point, I had a sort of ridiculous crush on somebody else so I wasn’t too bothered either way. (For the record, nothing came of that either. What is wrong with me?)
But Boy texted me the next day, and we began chatting. We arranged to go for dinner. Why not, I thought. Harmless fun. 
 
It was during dinner that I decided that actually, I rather liked Boy. 
So for roughly three glorious months, we continued to galavant around London happily. We didn’t do anything particularly spectacular, I was just happy to be in the company of somebody I gelled with so well. I liked his dark sense of humour and I guess he must have found my initial social awkwardness endearing. 
 
But then one day, Boy realised that I am, in fact, an idiot. 
 
Ok, so he didn’t put it quite like that. He was actually very nice about it. But the message was clear: we were going to have to stop seeing each other.
In hindsight, it was inevitable that it couldn’t last. Heck, nothing lasts forever. Not even [insert appropriate celebrity couple that we though were solid but have actually split - I can't actually think of one myself]. Boy is a bit older than me, and we have different interests. But all things considered, we got on well. So I was pretty gutted. We kept in touch though, and continued to meet up occasionally (which probably drove my hormonal, teenage mind a bit bonkers). 
 
So, the months continue to go by and Boy and I stay good friends. But there’s still an underlying element of “something-used-to-be-here-which-isn’t-anymore-and nobody-feels-completely-comfortable-with-this-current-situation-considering-the-former-one”. This didn’t help things at all.
 
In between my good days (“I am queen and ruler of the universe and nobody can stop me because I am happy and independent.”) and bad days (“shit. Maybe I should get a cat and prepare for spinsterhood”), i generally tried to get on with my life.  I start chatting to a new guy. New Guy is nice but I still find it hard to completely get over Boy. 
 
Boy and I are now occasionally bickering with each other. It wasn’t nice. It all came to a head the other day, when Boy says he’s seeing somebody else. And suggests that maybe it’s wise that we don’t chat anymore. Ouch. 
I’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that I’m probably going to lose somebody I now consider to be a good friend, or the fact that I’ve already bought their Christmas present. Or that if I do indeed give them their present, I have to see them again for what could possibly be the last time. Unpleasant.
 
So, Internet. That’s the story of how I came to be sitting in bed on a Saturday night, sadly blogging away all my troubles with Peep Show minimised on Safari. It was either that or go full psycho and have a complete kitchen floor reset. (For those who aren’t familiar with the kitchen floor reset, allow my pal Russell Kane to educate you on the matter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQccbDwQlMQ. In fact, everything he says in this clip is brilliant).
 
Not my most entertaining post ever, but quite potentially the most personal. And my first one in several months. 
I’ll attempt to post something more joyful before/around/after Christmas. 
 
If I fail to do so, hope everyone reading has a bloody brilliant Christmas and a splendid New Year! Make sure to drink lots. 
 
Z. x

Dear Diary, I have realised I am a bum

I apologise once more for not posting particularly frequently. 

Since the Games I’ve just been having too much fun to think about it! I got back from Sardinia today, where I spent 9 days with Hannah and our friend Martina happily chilling in the sun. 

In the past week, I think I’ve eaten my bodyweight in carbs, particularly pizza. There was this one day where I ate 2 full sized pizzas within the space of a few hours. Yeah, I know. However, that turned out to be the cheapest option – when Martina and Hannah attempted to eat the healthier option of crab, the bill ended up coming to, wait for it… EIGHTY ONE EUROS. The waiter hated us for some unknown reason. We weren’t actually being that ‘English’, either, and you know what I mean by that. He was the most impatient, odious little man I’d ever had the displeasure of encountering. Martina (who is Italian) had to translate the menu for us, but apparently that was such an inconvenience for this man that he just had to let us know about it. So he ended up rushing us into the decision of crab, which on the menu was priced “per hundred grams”.  He brought out a KILO of pasta and crab. Those two meals alone were €54. He looked so smug when he brought us the bill, that we all wanted to punch him. We all momentarily considered doing a dine and dash and let that smug little so and so foot the bill himself. Other than that, it was a good little break. Went to the Sun and Bass festival one night which was a good laugh, and other than that we spent the majority of our time sunbathing on nice beaches. 

However.

It all suddenly dawned on me more or less the second the wheels of our plane touched British soil: I have no idea what I am going to do next. 

For the last year, I’ve spent my time looking forward to stuff. I’ve been busy training for the Olympics and other competitions, moving up north, moving back home, making plans for fun stuff to do after the Games etc. Sardinia was the last of those plans. And now I’ve realised that I haven’t planned any further ahead than that. 

I know, I know. I’m an idiot. Deep down I probably always knew I’d eventually reach a dead end and plans would stop making themselves. But a part of me wanted to believe that I could carry on that way forever, not having to take responsibility for myself, being carefree and doing more or less whatever I wanted outside of training. And I suppose I still could do that. But I couldn’t justify it to myself – what would be the point in sitting around and twiddling my thumbs all day, waiting to go training? I may as well do something productive with my life while I have the time and motivation. 

A few people (including my Dad) seem to have the opinion that being an Olympian will be enough to see me through the next decade or so without having to bother about qualifications, jobs and financial issues. And maybe they’re right, but I doubt it somehow. And anyway, I’m hoping that life won’t just finish at 30ish, and I don’t just want to be left a penniless, unemployed freeloader with no qualifications who still lives with her parents. So I’m now realising that I’m going to have to take the bull by the horns and sort my life out now while I still have time! 

My next problem is that I have absolutely no idea what I actually want to do with it.

At first I thought I wanted to study journalism, because I love writing, as you can probably tell by the way I babble on in these blogs. But then I thought that maybe getting an internship somewhere like at a newspaper or magazine would probably be more useful potentially in the long run if I wanted to somehow get into journalism. Then I realised that I have absolutely no idea how I would go about doing so, seeing as I am currently a bum with no qualifications higher than GCSEs. (I did get an A* in English lit though, of which I am rather proud). 

I also do think that studying might be my best bet at the moment, as my schedule can be a bit random with the odd media appearance, training and other weird, one off opportunities that seem to arise more and more frequently. 

Argh! It is probably too late to be wracking my brain trying to decide my fate. Its currently half 10pm, I’ve been travelling all day (or what feels like all day) and my mind has gone into overdrive. What I would really like to do right now is lie on the floor, weeping whilst screaming “THERE IS NO HOPE AND NO FUTURE”. Melodramatic? Possibly…

I’ll come back to thinking about this tomorrow. For now, I think I need a good night’s sleep to clear my head. Just thought I’d let off some steam first by sharing these thoughts with everyone. Strangely therapeutic. 

Thanks for reading my particularly angsty post. Teenagers, eh?

Z. x