Real-life chicklit
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Click here for the first chapter of the sequel to Real-Life Chicklit: The Provincial Princess.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Sadly, any best-selling novel must eventually reach its denouement, and mundane stories of the everyday life of young professional women who are desperate to get married are no exception, I'm afraid. And so we reach the final chapter of Real-Life Chicklit.
Readers who have been with me since the beginning (I can hear the violins now, can't you?) will recall that I called my blog Real-Life Chicklit because, as a 29-year-old, professional, London-dwelling, dieting, Marlboro Light-smoking, white wine-drinking woman with a boyfriend who refuses to propose to me, a full-time job, a cat and a best friend with a disastrous lovelife I was a living, breathing example of the chicklit stereotype and wanted to tell my story to show what it's like for us in the real world.
However I have now left my job and am embarking on a freelance, downshifted life that will involve moving out of London and (the violins swell to a dramatic clash of cymbals!) stopping smoking tobacco. So I'm not so chicklit any more and sadly, this means the end of RLC.
I could leave you with a discussion of the etymology of the phrase "swan song". But I won't.
So, in homage to the doyenne of the genre, Her Majesty Queen Helen Fielding, let me leave you with a few "since January 2004" statistics:
Weight lost: 19 lbs
Fags smoked: at least a gazillion
Calories consumed: 448,000
Weddings attended: 2
Number of those that were mine: 0
God-daughters obtained: 1
New friends made: 1
Units of alcohol drunk up until my work leaving do on Friday: 72 (been on a diet)
Units of alcohol drunk including my work leaving do on Friday: 4,798ish.

Tune in, though, for the sequel (provisionally entitled "The Provincial Princess"), starting sometime soon. It's going to be one of those "My adventures in the countryside, for all you poor bastards who still live in London" things like they have in the Sunday papers, but hopefully more interesting, less smug and with a lot less of the "oh dear the charming local shop where the lady behind the counter actually talks to you doesn't have enough beeswax to french polish the antique floorboards of the 15-bedroom thatched cottage that Tarquin and I bought with the £400,000 profit we made when we sold our flat in Stoke Newington" coz I hate that shit and always turn to the gardening section and also coz I don't have a flat in London to sell. It'll be chickens, wellies and more of the moaning about stuff that you've come to know and love.


Thursday, August 19, 2004
DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D A M N ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I have missed yet another Circle Line Party. I don't fucking believe it. I was religiously checking the website for months, and then of course a couple of months ago I stopped doing it, and lo and behold, they bloody go and organise one and I miss the motherfucker. DAMN. DAMNDIDDYDAMNDAMNDAMN.
I bet loads of people I know were there (I'm not trying to salvage cool here by associating myself with it, I just mean that for months to come people are going to be saying to me "So did you go to the last Circle Line Party? You didn't? Oh, shame, you missed SUCH a good night" and then tell me about it in great detail so I end up even more pissed off than before that I still haven't managed to go to one yet.) I can't believe I didn't hear about it through my knitting circle who are usually part of the shebang.

I am SO out of the party loop.

Although I did see RenniePilgremTheGodfatherOfBreakbeat for free last Saturday at a great party called Hum which you should go to.

Word of the Day: squeeze. As in "the main squeeze", which is one of my favourite phrases. Not as in the 80s pop group, although they did give the world Rowland Rivron and Jools Holland, so that I guess we can thank them for.

I can't believe I left bean sprouts off my list of vegetables. They should totally be at number 6, coz I love them. Especially chick pea sprouts that still have the bean attached, in peanut butter sandwiches, or mixed up with houmous in a salad. Also the boyf and I have just discovered sunflower seed sprouts, which are delish. But I can't bear to knock broccoli off its tenuous 10th position, so I guess my top 10 will have to go all the way up to 11 - rock'n'roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, in an uncharacteristic spate of enthusiasm, I have another Older God for you. Can you believe the delightfully broodingAntonio Banderas is 44?! Melanie Griffith is a lucky lady (or have they split up now? I can't keep up).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I'm in the mood for lists, so here are my top 10 favourite vegetables (and being vegetarian, I fancy myself quite the connoisseur):

10 broccoli. Fun little trees and really nice on the barbecue: just stick the raw broccoli on the barbie and in a few minutes you've got a veg snack that's not unlike the crispy seaweed stuff you get in Chinese restaurants. It would be higher up the list apart from that when I was a kid, my dad used to grow it, and however much my mum washed it there were inevitably caterpillars still left in when it was on the plate, a childhood trauma that I've never quite got over.
9 the onion. The basis of all decent cookery and nice roasted or pickled. But they make your eyes water.
8 french beans. Not stringy like runner beans. But it's a bit of a pain in the arse to top and tail them and I refuse to pay extra for ready-trimmed ones.
7 the courgette. Really nice if you slice them in half lengthways and grill them without any oil on. Also good in tomato, garlic and onion sauce with dumplings cooked on top.
6 the sweet potato. Makes lovely chips and especially good baked and served with sour cream.
5 the avocado. So what if it's a fruit, this is my blog and I want it on my list. Delicious and good for you even though it's a bit fattening, especially if you're a girl 'coz of all the vitamin E and those special oils that ladies need. Apparently you can live on just avocados because they've got everything in you need to survive.
4 spinach. Really tasty and good for you and I like it on pizza or in cannelloni with cottage cheese. (Chef's tip: if you steam it instead of boiling it you can avoid the drainage issue that means you get a pool of green water on your plate).
3 garlic. Vegetarian cooking is all about the herbs you use and I never start anything without garlic. Also, its medicinal uses are manifold, although if you want to have a sex life, don't eat a raw clove before you get into bed every night, like the boyf did during his detox phase. I still swear that naturopath was trying to steal him away from me.
2 the pea. I love peas. I always have double portions (they're nice in salad the next day if you cook too many, but I usually eat them all). They're so sweet, they cook really quickly in the microwave and you can stick them together with your mashed potato and gravy for a fun dinner-time sculpture. And they are the farmer's friend, fixing nitrogen back into depleted soil without the need for artificial fertilisers. I guess all I'm saying is, give peas a chance. Arf arf.
1 the potato. Humble, they say, but I disagree. It's low in fat, high in fibre, there's even a dash of protein in there and of course, there's always the chance you'll get one that's amusingly shaped. It's really easy to grow and the plant has beautiful white flowers.
However, for me the potato wins out over the delicious pea by virtue of its amazing versatility. Boil it; bake it (my personal favourite); mash it (a close second); cream it; garlic it; layer it; chip it; croquette it; waffle it; use it as a base for tasty soups; make it into crisps or reconstituted potato snacks such as Pom-Bears; even, if you like tasteless junk food, have it as those alphabet shape things that my mum never let me have when I was a kid. And you can make it into booze. Hurrah indeed for the potato!

I watched Freaky Friday the other day when theboyf was out and I fancied some mindless entertainment and you know what, it was quite a funny film, not least because of the talents of the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis. I hadn't seen her doing slapstick comedy before and she was very funny, and also looking stunning thanks to that bone structure and a heavy dose of the Good-Looking Chromosome no doubt inherited from mum Janet Leigh.
So I'm going to make Jamie a special one-off Older Goddess of the Day (just to recap for new readers, this is my occasional series where I pay tribute to women ageing fabulously because they inspire me that being beautiful doesn't, as our culture so frequently would have us believe, end at 35).

Meanwhile today's You Still Would (a similar kind of feature, but with more perving) is the charmingly cragged Daniel Day-Lewis. I'd give "my left foot" for a crack at him, eh girls!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Denzel Washington is 50 this week and therefore my Older God of the Day. And let me tell you, it's a happy birthday to him, and a very, very happy birthday for all the rest of us who appreciate a set of lovely big brown eyes and a nice trim backside (shame he's made so many appalling Gard Bless America-type movies).

I can't decide whether this is a cute animal story or a really, really scarey story about the dangers of flying in aeroplanes. Whatever, being a cat-owner myself, I can totally relate to the poor pilots' plight.

I wish I didn't have to work and could just stay at home with my cat.

Yay! It's time for another silly personality test. This week, there are two.

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com


What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

I'm kinda pleased about being JFK, but he did cheat on his wife which isn't a very nice thing to do. Also, I'm not aware that I use power to increase my sexual options, but if this test says so.... well, we've all got to get our oats in somehow.

Friday, August 06, 2004
I've just realised that my friend Tone's husband looks like a young Jeff Beck, and now I feel really weird about fancying him (Jeff that is, not Tone's husband, whom I don't, repeat don't, fancy in the slightest and have in fact never even thought of in That Way).

Yay! Kids that throw horrible big noisy scarey fireworks around are going to be locked away for ever and ever, and so they should be. I can't see these news laws making much of a difference to the annual horror that is the months of October and November in Hackney, though, to be honest: the shops are already full of illegal fireworks so I don't see why they'd take a blind bit of notice when someone changes the rules of what's illegal and what's not. Ho hum. Guess I can look forward to knawing fear when I'm cycling home from work, as per usual.

If only I could be comforted through my firework fear by the arms of today's Older God, the third best British guitar player that ever lived, 60 this year and still a sexpot: the one and only* Jeff Beck. He's kind of like a craggier version of Jon Bon Jovi and I totally still would, despite that nose. Although I sure as hell wish I'd been around to have a crack at him when he was all broody and early-psychedelia in the Yardbirds. Let's face it, he's the best looking thing in Blow Up and that's including Vanessa Redgrave's minge.

Dammit. Why was I born so late?

* other Jeff Becks may be available

Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Spiders - they're evil. It's official.

Sharon Edwards: get well soon.

I think I might have got proper coffee instead of decaf by mistake this morning. I'm spoiling for a rumble already and I'm only halfway down the cup. Woe betide anyone in my office who crosses me in the next three hours or so: Nobjockey, this means you (shame you don't read my blog).

This is absolutely haaaaaarrrrible. I mean, the bloke is 18, for crying out loud, it's not like he couldn't work out what was going on. "One thing led to another"??? How, exactly does "one thing lead to another" with your own mum (that's a rhetorical question, I really, really don't want to hear the details)? Or, indeed, your own son?

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