I’ve become addicted to eBay. It was all Shoewawa’s fault with its lovely designer shoe round up. I bought some Patrick Cox shoes in a style that’s not really that fashionable or suitable winter wear. But I’ve been hankering after a pair in that style for most of my adult life, and the fact that they were designer only added to the joy. (Plus, every time I put them on I am reminded of Daisy’s job interview for Flaps magazine in Spaced:
Daisy: I like your shoes.
Fellow Interviewee: Thanks, they’re Patrick Cox’s.
Daisy: He’s got small feet for a man, hasn’t he?!
Interviewer: Great shoes! Patrick Cox’s?
Daisy: You should really think about wearing your own shoes next time
(or something – I’m not quite that much of a geek that I know the whole thing by heart).
I signed up to eBay about 4 years ago and this is the first thing I’ve ever bid on. (What’s the past participle of Bid? Should be Bad surely.) This year was also the first year I signed on for Instant Messenger so that I could waste the day more efficiently with Fellow Skivey Friend. Before that I dismissed it as something my niece uses for communicating with her school friends and miscellaneous paedos. (By the way, she assures me she doesn’t communicate with paedos in case there are any torch carrying tabloid readers ready to burn this blog down.) Sure enough, we’re never off the fucker and we may pretend to be using those smilies ironically, but I suspect we’re just kidding ourselves. ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!
And now for the news…
I was on TV the other day. I say that like it’s a perfectly natural thing for me to do, but my bowels, given half the chance, would beg to differ. It’s been a tenderly held ambition of mine to be interviewed about my fantastic band in which I explain my moving and inspirational lyrics to thousands of adoring fans. Unfortunately, it wasn’t about that, not least because I don’t actually have a fantastic band (or any other type of band for that matter). Instead it was about some no-story and I was there for a spot of punditry in my capacity as a so-called expert in my field.
This is utter bollocks, of course. It was fellow skivey friend who fobbed the gig off on me – he blew them out for a radio interview and The Auteurs concert. I was *this* close to turning them politely down with some hastily constructed excuse when they offered to send a car to collect me.
Send a car and I’ll overcome any fear.
The car arrived bang on time. Unfortunately that time was 45 minutes before I was due on – far too late to get me into central London through rush hour traffic on time (what the fuck do I know – I don’t even drive). Five minutes before I was due on air and we were still sat in Camberwell. Not good.
For some reason this failed to make me more nervous. That’s because, by this stage, I had sunk into a slightly drunken torpor, my brain’s way of protecting me from the whole hideous ordeal. Halfway there and my glee at being driven about in the back seat of a smart car like Ms Big Pants gave way to motion sickness and I honestly thought I was going to puke right there in front of the nice driver. Fortunately, a day of petulant bowels meant that there was nothing at all in my stomach even if I did decide to vomit. Instead, I lay there groaning gently, my head lolling back on the head-rest hoping nice driver wouldn’t notice.
On arrival (more than 15 minutes after I was due on) I was escorted down to the studio by an attractive, but slightly eccentric, posh young female. The studio was tucked away in the basement and I was disappointed to discover that news studios are not the hive of activity I’d imagined. Four unmanned cameras and one lady in a headset were the only witnesses to the newsreaders’ reports. The room was also entirely bare and rather small.
The news readers chatted to their earpieces every time they were off air and the female presenter checked her hair and makeup in a small mirror up until the very last second of every one of her links. When it came time for me to go on, the headset lady plonked me in a chair, stuck a mike on me and wandered off again without even a word of instruction about where to look or what not to do. The news reader man was very personable, though, and after instructing him not to ask me anything hard we were being counted back onto air.
Afterwards my sisters gave me a full review. My hair looked shiny and I didn’t fiddle with it too much. I said “you know” too much. My teeth looked very white – had I had them whitened? My joke was funny, but I was too nervous at the start. You couldn’t see my bra through my shirt. I don’t think they actually listened to a word I said (apart from the gag and the “you knows”) but I looked good, so that’s ok. It was all over in minutes and I soon found myself getting back into a car to be driven (this time by a surly driver, unhappy at having to go further than W1) all the way back home again.
Milway showed up soon afterwards bearing a Chinese Takeaway and a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, because I was on so late, the video hadn’t caught my white teeth or my “you know”ing so I’ve yet to see my televisual debut. Full of Chilli Beef and champagne, and drained from the fast-diminishing adrenalin, I fell asleep on the sofa early (earlier than usual anyway – I’m incredibly prone to armchair napping) with some show about mutant lab mice humming away quietly on TV.
Question: if I wax the line of dark hair on my stomach how do I know when to stop? I finally got round to whipping the fuzz off and I was left with a strip of baldness that suddenly made the rest of my stomach look rather hirsute. This stuff is only fine, downy hair, but contrasted with the bare patch it looks enough to whiz off and knit a jumper from. If I start waxing around the hairless bit I could keep going forever till I’ve got bald arms, bald chest and bald back. Then what will Milway have to grab hold of in the throws of passion?
Yoga is ruining my life
Laziness being an integral feature of my character, I soon realised that if I wanted to stay skinny without breaking a long-standing commitment to feeding my face with curry, cashew nuts and crispy duck, I was going to have to do some exercise. Step forward yoga: the perfect lazy person’s fitness regime. No undignified jogging or humiliating aerobics routines for me thank you very much – I would be spending my evenings sedately stretching my way to a fitter, more toned body, all without breaking into a sweat. Blessed with hypermobility syndrome, those cracking joints would come in handy for popping limbs out into impressively painful-looking positions. All in all, a civilised and leisurely past time. Also, great potential for showing off drunkenly to friends.
Ah, how wrong I was. My first mistake was joining a class taught by a crazy vegan Sri Lankan who rises every morning at 2.30am to practise for 3 hours before going off to work. He teaches one, sometimes two classes every evening and then returns home for a plate of steamed vegetables and four hours’ sleep. His classes are moulded on the 80’s principle of “no pain, no gain” and he has never once said anything remotely “listen to your body”–like. My god! What was I thinking?
Unfortunately, by the time I realised what I’d let myself in for I was hooked. It turns out that I didn’t just join a yoga class, I joined a cult as well. There’s no point in me trying to escape now – I’ve been fully indoctrinated. I go to my teacher’s house for Sri Lankan curry, socialise with the other girls and boys, apologise profusely if I can’t make a class and turn down any clashing social engagements for fear of letting down teacher and the class.
This wasn’t meant to happen! I’m not sure how I’ll ever get away. Long after I’ve moved to the Home Counties to become an insufferably hypocritical pinko liberal with a barn conversion and a drawer full of knit-wear, I’ll still be hauling my aching bum muscles up to London for 25 rounds of sun salutations, a stack-full of asanas and a plate of vadai.
Spent the day hanging out in Knightsbridge on Monday, pretending to have incredibly important business meetings and generally swanning about acting *fabulous*. The day was rounded off with a cream tea in a smart tea shop opposite Harrods accompanied by a fellow skivey friend. It was only on leaving that we realised that we were by far the commonest people in there.
The thing that gave it away? Every other person in the café had spectacularly failed to make an effort with their appearance. What is it with Sloane women? Why can’t they slap on a bit of makeup every now and then? They’re all covered in pearls, wearing their designer body warmers with penny loafers (and – vom – tights) and they can’t take the time to cover up their acne scars and brush their dirty-blond hair before they scrape it back into that fashion-defying French plait? Can’t they spend a bit of that trust fund on some cosmetics. I mean, go natural by all means, but at least take the time to moisturise. Makeup may well be vulgar, but a pallid complexion, spots and a scrunchie is not what I want to be staring at while I’m feeding my face with scones.
Meals on Wheels
Al's grandfather got meals on wheels until he moved in with the Milway parents to grumble continually and generally cause grief (as every old person should). The tepid brick of stodge that arrived in its aluminium casing each day was exactly suited to grandfather’s dietary preferences: suet puddings, pies, peas, mash, gravy, fish in white sauces with green bits in – food entirely untainted by any foreign influence. For me, this food is novelty comfort food; for him, it’s the food he’s eaten his whole life. Nothing beyond bland has ever passed his lips, although as part of the RAF he travelled the world. This is a man who lived in India for a year without tasting a curry and expresses surprise each and every time he sees us tucking into pizza (there’s nothing wrong with his brain, he knows what a pizza is – it’s just his polite way of letting us know he doesn’t entirely approve of such stuff.)
So what food will we be delivered in our dotage? What foil boxes will we be sliding into the oven to reheat (or, more likely by then, what plastic Tupperware will we be popping in the microwave)? Thai Green Curry and sticky Jasmine Rice? Fajitas? Lamb Bhuna and a Naan Bread? Shredded Chilli Beef and Egg Fried Rice? Spicy Ramen? Pizza?
Let’s hope so.
Let’s hope we’re not being handed trays of Gammon and Pineapple, and if Bangers and Mash is on the menu, it’d better be bangers covered in honey and sweet potato mash. If not, the plastic boxes that I get delivered each day to my doorstep will not be courtesy of the Meals on Wheelers but the Ghurkha Cottage. Maybe I should look into getting that pension sorted…
Spent a long time writing another breathtaking piece of literary genius last night only to have Blogger choke and go fut. I blame the Americans. It's not enough that the selfish sods vote that cretin back into the Whitehouse, but now they have to blog on about it all at the same time as well. Rest assured that my post was hilarious, thought provoking and just a little poignant. Yes, as always with me, it was about food.