Thursday, 12 November 2009

Public Transport Paranoia

When I'm on a bus I get a tiny bit upset when two free seats become available and the person sitting next to me moves. I take it personally and wonder what I did wrong, "Am I unsightly? Do I smell?" when I know full well I showered and deodorised that morning. Unless I'm really pooped and need a window seat to stop my head from lolling about I tend to stay put when the free seat situation arises so not to offend my travelling partner. I am sure they'd prefer me to leave but I'd rather stay put so they feel loved.

This morning I had the most wonderful bus experience I think I've ever had, on London transport at least. I was next to the window and a beany-hatted, plaid-trouser-wearing, guitar-holding man sat next to me. An excellent experience in itself but wait, it gets better. This fellow forfeited SEVEN sets of free seats by the end of the journey. I have never seen the phenomenon of that many free seats on a morning bus journey but that is besides the point. I was so happy I nearly told him I loved his trousers (they reminded me of my favourite pair of pyjama bottoms) and wondered if it would be inappropriate to hold his hand. You'll be pleased to know I settled for prolonging the leg to leg contact that occurred when the bus turned a sharp corner (this may have been when the driver nearly ran over a little girl). This is what I have to resort to these days to get male physical contact - either touching them on public transport or going to partnered dance classes where you get held by a multitude of men without them expecting to get in your pants. Ideal.

Sadly he didn't get off at my stop but I smiled at him as he let me out and then we had a moment through the window. Aah.

I regret not complimenting his trousers.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

50 Quid and All for a Bit of Free Cake...

The news about The London Paper has inspired me have a root around in my old Facebook notes.

In April 2008 I wrote my first 300 word article for The London Paper's reader column (here is my second offering) but they never published it. I told myself it's because they can't print the word blowjob. So I published it on Facebook instead and now I'm publishing it here as well. Ha! That'll teach them for rejecting my ramblings. And now onto the main event...

50 Quid and All for a Bit of Free Cake...
April 2008

Two years ago I signed up to an escort agency, somewhat naively it turns out. Having graduated from university and getting nowhere on the job front I thought it’d be the perfect solution and all I’d have to do is accompany men to weddings and that meant free cake. Brilliant. After paying the £50 joining fee I was contacted saying there’d been a lot of interest in my profile and I’d get £1000 for an evening. I was amazed.

‘And I don’t have to have sex with them?’

‘Of course you do,’ the man scoffed.

‘Oh, but on the website it said no sex.’

‘We have to say that because it’s illegal,’ he replied patronisingly.

He then attempted to persuade me to ‘touch’ men if I wasn’t going to have sex with them. I told him I wouldn’t even if I was offered a million pounds. I was left feeling a bit silly and £1,000,050 out of pocket.

I had a few calls after that from clients themselves to whom I explained the no sex deal. They liked to barter, suggesting that perhaps we’d like each other. I wanted to reply, ‘If you’re needing to pay for sex I’m thinking that’s unlikely.’

Things went quiet.

A couple of months ago I had a missed call from a number I didn’t recognise so I called it back. ‘Do you do massage?’ Um no. Then the other weekend I received a text referring to me by my escort name asking if I’d be free for a date anytime soon. Instead of ignoring it I replied explaining how I’d naively joined the site. The negotiations began on his part and I had to explain that I don’t do physical contact and am purely company to which he replied, ‘So would that rule out some kissing and touching?’ I text back, ‘That would entail physical contact.’ I then received this: ‘So would a blow job or hand job be out of the question?’ Hmm let me see…

This week I have had two other men get in contact and yet I only paid for a year’s membership. Perhaps the website feels guilty about the false advertising. Tonight I decided to log on and on my profile it said, ‘I am signed up on a no sex basis.’ It appears men willing to pay for sex are not willing to pay for an eye test.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Secret Squirrel

If there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I cannot sleep on an empty stomach. I was already aware of this information and yet last night I attempted to embark on slumber with a gurgling stomach. On the rare occasions that this has happened in the past I have waited it out fooling myself that sleep will battle it out and defeat hunger; four hours later I’d crumble and then go and eat some (haha).

So last night I gave in within 15 minutes of having been horizontal instead of wasting hours lying awake with only my chattering stomach for company. Like a secret squirrel operating under the cover of nightfall off I went foraging for nuts. I felt nuts would be less offensive to my toothbrush than BBQ Pringles or a clove of garlic so I stood in the kitchen in my pants and ate 45 grams of cashews. I wasn’t fully satisfied after my ‘feast’ but short of eating the Pringles and the garlic there’s not a lot I could do about it. At least my flatmates didn’t catch me with my boobs out popping nuts in my mouth.

And with a brush of her teeth and a sigh of relief the secret squirrel fell asleep.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Supervisor Steve and Sanitary Bins

You may be aware that my supervisor Steve is the funniest man ever to have walked the land. I would very much like to give him his own television show but as I am in no position to do such a thing he remains Head of Despatch at our postproduction company. Here are some of his antics in the last week or so…

On Thursday last week Mike had a bit of milk left in the bottle once he’d used the rest for his cereal so he asked Steve if he wanted to drink it as he tends to enjoy our dregs. On taking a sip Steve stated seriously, ‘God, that milk’s cold. I can feel it entering my lower colon.’ If this wasn’t amusing enough he went on to say, ‘I can feel it rushing past my appendix.’ I was laughing so hard at his deadpan expression and choice of internal organs that
saliva nearly fell out of my mouth. On typing this up the hysterics began again so I’ll be sure to read this little paragraph if I’m ever feeling miserable.

The same day our other supervisor Jack had a clear up of his desk area, which inspired me to do the same as I’m a bit of a scrap-paper fiend. On sorting through my pile of paper I came across a poem I wrote about a year ago; in an attempt to get Mike’s comedic juices flowing I'd set us an exercise from the
book of a comedy genius whose stand up comedy course I had attended in 2007. The task was to write a love poem written by a sanitary engineer. This is mine:

Love Poem of a Sanitary Engineer (bog fixer, sanitary bin installer/taker awayer)

How I love thee, Sanitary Bin,
Not only your outsides but all that’s within.
The glistening fluid that highlights your grey hair,
Makes me want to stand all day and stare.
I’ve never smelt a smell as sweet,
As the smell that you excrete.
And the way you overflow with love and rose stained strings,
Fills me with desire and makes my heart sing.

Personally I think this is quite good but I feel the title should be something more like Ode to Sanitary Bin. That would be more fitting and romantic.

On Friday Steve used the word gusset twice and said that you can eat pubic crabs if you feed them up enough. I won’t be accepting an invitation to dinner at his house in a hurry.

On Tuesday of this week, after eating two of the brownies I made at the weekend, he declared, ‘She’s good at brownies that go in your mouth and brownies that come out her bum.’ That man has a way with words. I’d go as far as to say he’s the Shakespeare of the 21st century.

On Wednesday however his Shakespearean reputation was in tatters when he insulted me in front of everyone in the office. He was saying that we are all ageist (he is around 50 years old and has a real age complex) and so I took it upon myself to remind him that he could be done for sexual harrassment and weightism, as he’s constantly telling Mike that he’s a fatty, so he has no legs to stand on. We were all laughing about it and having a good time. He said that he wouldn’t call Mike fat if he actually was and then these words came out of his mouth, ‘You don’t hear me saying anything about Sonia’s complexion do you?’ and rather than realising he’d gone a bit too far he continued to go on about my skin and how it makes me have low self esteem. It was word vomit central. I was so shocked I exclaimed, ‘Oh my god, Steve!’ and as I looked at my computer screen tears involuntarily started coming out of my eyes without so much as a facial crumple. I was hurt that he used something against me that he knows I struggle with. I could hear him typing an email straight after and I nearly said, ‘If you’re typing an email to me I wouldn’t waste your time,’ but I didn’t want to seem presumptious. But sure enough I got a new email alert and this is what he’d sent:
Sonia - I am a fucking twat.

I didn't mean any of those comments. When I start I do not know when to stop.

You are the last person that I would ever want to hurt.

I am so sorry. Please forgive me.

A few seconds later he came over and said, ‘Did you see my email?’ to which I replied that I was not interested. He kept saying sorry over and over and then proceeded to ask me what I was having for tea. I asked him very politely, ‘Please can you just leave me alone, is that alright?’

The next morning he came straight over to me saying such things as, ‘Are we going to forget about tomorrow?’ (he meant yesterday) and, ‘Just be the bigger person here.’ I went a little bit mad and said, ‘Don’t you dare make me feel bad for something that YOU have said to me,’ and I suggested that he leave things for a while. As a man with a daughter around my age and a wife you’d think he’d know better. You’d be wrong.

Today after a frosty start we are starting to see some sunny intervals and I’m sure come next Monday I’ll be singing his praises and quoting his genius but no doubt he’ll wind me up again with his antagonistic ways some time soon.

All in a (well eight) day’s work.

(Please note that Steve has a Yorkshire accent.)

Steve, Mike and Jack

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A Lovely Story About Poo: Number Two

There has been a lot of talk about Britney in past blogs and I feel I have been neglecting the topic of toilets. Anyone accidentally landing on the Ramblings of a Toilet Blocker blogspot could be forgiven for feeling lied to and I wouldn’t hold it against them if they sued me for false advertising.

So this blog is for them…

A few weeks ago I went for dinner with a friend, let's call her Paula, who is in a very complicated on/off relationship. She was telling us that she had been talking to her ‘lover’ on the phone whilst she was sat on the toilet doing a poo. Paula decided that it would be appropriate to tell him what she was up to and he said, ‘Nothing you could do would put me off you.’ Lovely sentiment but wait, it continues... ‘I would use your poo as toothpaste.’ I WOULD USE YOUR POO AS TOOTHPASTE, people! Now I love poo but this, my friend, is taking things too far. I draw the line at touching, eating and using it as toothpaste.

I don’t know about you but talk of number twos really does tickle me. Another friend was recently trying to explain which photo she favoured of a number that had been taken at a party. She said, ‘I love the one with me looking up like a turd.’ I did enjoy her description. Not long after this, and I can’t remember what it was I'd said to evoke this reaction, she exclaimed, ‘I’m so excited, I might need a poo.’ I tell you I laughed quite heartily at this, especially as said friend isn't really one for faecal chat. She really has drawn the short straw with me as a companion.

My supervisor Jack decided it would be a good idea to start tickling me the other week - we are all very professional where I work - and I had to shout, 'No don't!!' and explained to him that I needed a poo and that if he continued I might accidentally go on my chair. A sure fire way to stop a tickler in their tracks. It wasn’t a lie though; I really did need to go.

He was telling me that one of the bookings guys likes to use the phrase 'Chew my poo,' when clients are being demanding. I do enjoy a sentence that rhymes. I often hear the same guy cry, 'Shit the bed!' when things aren't really going to plan and a more recent one that really took my fancy was, 'Shit cakes'. I liked this because I like poo and I like cakes, a perfect pairing if ever there was one.

In May I went to my friend Alex's gig at Monkey Chews in Chalk Farm, the same place I met my poo soul mate, and I was very excited because I knew that she would be there. I hadn't seen her since that first time but she would always text me intermittently with tales from the toilet and brighten up whichever day it was she’d send them. After she and Alex had serenaded the audience nine of us were stood in a circle downstairs and the subject of poo came up practically straight away. There were a few people in the circle who I’d not met before including a girl who confided that she'd been constipated of late. I told her to try eating a salad of avocado, tomato and cucumber, which usually gets me going. At that moment I mentally distanced myself and realised I was chairing a Pooaholics Anonymous meeting. People were looking to me for anus-related advice. I finally felt like I had a purpose in life and it warmed the cockles of my heart.

Another day in May I was having bowel issues which I think may have been due to nerves (it appears I am not only an emotional eater but an emotional pooer too) as I was going to the birthday party of the object of my affection who I wasn’t convinced wanted me to attend. I spent much of the day with my least favourite of all the poo groups: diahorrea. I was waiting for my friend to meet me so we could go together and my stomach was still churning so I text her telling her if she happened to have any Immodium I would love her forever. She didn’t have any but I think I’ll probably love her forever all the same but that is not relevant to this story so I shall continue... Once inside my stomach chilled out a little but, such is the case when you’re drinking pints of water, I soon needed a trip to the lav. Disaster struck when I decided to read the door-locking instructions, that were sellotaped to the door, even though I had used the toilet various times in the past and had had no problems. Reading the instructions confused me and I managed to pull the handle off the door. I went in search of someone to help show me the way when I came across the boy I was quite fond of and so told him of my predicament. We went into the toilet and he demonstrated how to do it locking us both in and then, joy of joys, he kissed me. I will forever remember being in that overlit bathroom being kissed by someone I really liked as East 17's ‘Stay Another Day’ could be heard playing in the living room and a girl’s screams emanated from the bedroom. It was a moment when lighting concepts and the need to wee were the furthest thing from my mind. A magical moment I’m sure you’ll agree.

Passing Firetrap at Seven Dials in Covent Garden on my lunch break a few weeks ago and I was delighted to see the best window display I've ever had the pleasure of setting my eyes upon. Unfortunately they’ve now changed their display to chainsaws which are very pretty but do not rub me up aesthetically quite the same way. Luckily I got a pic in the nick of time so all is not lost.

Last week I came down from the poo toilet at work to have Mike waiting for me at the bottom of the staircase. He ran ahead of me into our office to tell Steve to stop his clock. It took me two minutes to do my business. They don’t say I have rocket sh**s for nothing!

I was just searching for this blog in my documents so I could finish editing it as I have been highly unmotivated of late and I came across a Word document containing potential blog ideas. One was so relevant to this blog I had to include it:

“Fri 4th April 2009 18:14

Just went into the loo to wash the sugar off my hands from my fourth donut of the day. I read the typed sign on the door as I went in which says, ‘Please do not poo!!!!’ and someone has written in pen in tiny writing underneath, ‘In the sink’. That amused me. It reminded me of the time I was in the Betsey Trotwood pub in Farringdon having a wee and there was a sign on the inside of the cubicle door saying, ‘Please do not poo in the toilet’ and someone had written underneath it, ‘Where would you like me to poo then? In the bin?’ Oh it did make me chuckle. Was up there as one of my most enjoyable non-poo toilet related experiences.”

Earlier today I was chatting to a friend on Google chat who told me that he was typing from his toilet (reminiscent of ‘Paula’ and her 'lover' apart from the fact I don’t want to use my friend’s poo as toothpaste) and he even typed the sound effects for me so that I could be fully involved in the experience. I helped by finishing it off with ~@~ which in the world of Google chat creates the picture of a poo! This trick was shown to me by a random American fellow I met outside a pub in the interval of a comedy night I was doing the door at. He gave me the greatest gift I have ever received – the gift of poomoticons. Now you have that gift don’t be scared to share it.

I hope you have enjoyed these ramblings of a toilet blocker (you’ll be pleased to know the designated poo toilet at work is getting used to my mammoth poos and doesn’t blog quite so much these days) and that you are having a lovely day.

Forever yours,

Toilet Blogger

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Bitter 'Bout Britters

Oops I Did It Again…

…I made yet another dim-witted decision. The only difference with this one is it’s probably the most ridiculous of all my bad choices and has brought to my attention just how many times I am left disappointed through unskilled judgement.

On Wednesday last week at around 5pm I was offered 3 free tickets to see Britney in concert. This came an hour after my flatmate emailed to tell me that she’d got a ticket for £5. I was pretty devastated, as by the time she’d checked to see if there were any more there weren’t so it seemed like fate when I was offered some free tickets just as I was contemplating suicide. However they were for that very night and I had already agreed to work on the door of the Moonfish Rhumba boys’ comedy night and because I’d let them down the last couple of times I didn’t want to do it again, not even for Britney who I have loved since the beginning of time.

The following day at work I was offered two more tickets but this time for the sum of £100 and for Saturday night’s concert. It was my chum Rachel’s birthday that night and I did not want to let her down so again I turned down the tickets.

On Friday the same guy offered me his tickets for £80 but still the birthday came first. Then the Production Manager came down in the afternoon and said, ‘Sonia, you like Britney don’t you?’ I groaned, I couldn’t take much more of having to turn Britney down. My luck was in though, lending truth to the phrase 3rd time lucky, as she told me that she could get me tickets for Britney on Sunday for £2 each! I nearly died.
She is a member of a thing called Audience Club where you pay a certain amount a year and then you only have to pay the booking fee for such wondrous things as Britney concerts. She brought me the confirmation email and told me that she didn’t have her membership card on her but they never check. This worried me somewhat as it would be just my luck that I’d trek to the O2 and then be denied a ticket but this was a risk I was prepared to run. There had to be a reason that I was offered Britney tickets three times in just as many days.

Sunday came around and Victoria accompanied me on what turned out to NOT be the giant mission I expected the defunct Jubilee line to cause. Nervousness about the impending potential ticket rejection accompanied us on our journey; Vic was more nervous than I was as she was more optimistic about our chances of getting our mitts on the ticks. Because I was 87% expecting to be denied I wasn’t quite so worried. We decided that I would go to the pick up point on my own as the pressure would be too much if I had to make up stories about where my membership card was. I had however decided I would be honest and say I didn’t bring it because no one ever checks it. I approached the ticket booth and stated I had booked my ticket on line and gave the name of my Production Manager. The lady asked if I had an email and so I handed over the extremely crumpled print-out (my attempt at trying to get the ink to come off where it said to bring the email ‘along with your audience club membership card’). Thankfully she didn’t ask for the card but she did ask me a question that will haunt me forever more, ‘Would you like VIP standing or 4th Tier seating?’ Alas, a choice had been bestowed upon me. Hmm, standing up close or sitting up top? It was a tough one. I shouted for Vic. She looked frightened. Had my attempts to blag tickets failed? When she got to the ticket booth I smiled and asked her what she thought. We deliberated for quite some time and then settled on seating. We screamed with delight when the tickets were in my hand. I was concerned they might chase us and say, ‘You are far too excited, can we see your membership card?’ but they didn’t so we went to S&M (Sausage and Mash) Café. As we ate I was being very quiet and I took this as not quite believing we had tickets to see Britney Spears. I had never been to a concert before so for my all time favourite pop star to be my first was beyond comprehension.

We finished our food and went to get a coffee and a scone (for me) and then made our way up to our seats. And that’s when I saw I’d made the wrong choice. Had we picked VIP standing we’d have been able to TOUCH the stage. As it was we were right at the top where, yes, we could see the entire stage but when you’re in a plane you can see an entire ocean and yet not the fish that are swimming in it. I told myself it was better where we were because it’d be a pain standing for a few hours. Then Ciara came on. I am also a massive fan of her for she is the most amazing dancer. And she was amazing from where we sat if in fact it was Ciara that was on the stage. It could have been any Tom, Dick or Harry apart from the fact she had quite a cleavage on her, which is saying something considering I couldn’t make out her facial features. For some unknown reason they hadn’t put the big screens on for the unfortunate ones in the rafters so it was like watching the TV in someone’s living room from out in their garden.

It wasn’t until Britney came on (could have been a random off the street for all I knew) and the screens didn’t that the misery truly overtook me and my mind was alive with all the other decisions I’ve made in my life that have left me disappointed. I’ve always known I don’t like to be given too much choice but never really knew why. It was at this moment I realised it’s because I don’t trust myself enough to make the right decision and because I never listen to my gut feeling I always end up making the wrong one. I was thinking about things so much that I started to cry. Thank goodness it was dark and I had a tissue in my bag. I didn’t want Vic to see me upset.

Vic kept saying she felt guilty for saying we should sit but I without doubt knew, and told her, that it wasn’t her fault. I should have heard the words ‘VIP standing’ and cut that woman off before she’d had a chance to say ‘seats on the roof.’ What on earth possessed me to even question which tickets would be better? A choice made from being cautious and practical (best to be comfortable) rather than trusting my instincts that I can’t seem to decipher anymore. It’s like I’ve ignored them so long they no longer speak to me or such inconveniences like logic and other people just shout over them.

When we went our separate ways at Tottenham Court Road tube Vic apologised again, and again I told her it wasn’t her fault. She saw my eyes fill up with tears, which set her off, and I felt awful that I hadn’t been able to hide my heartbreak. And I know that this must sound absolutely RIDICULOUS to anyone reading this but I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset, not even about a boy. I have to emphasise the fact this wasn’t just about Britney (the tickets only cost me £4 for goodness’ sake), it was about realising that my life isn’t what it could be because I’m an imbecile.

Now I see my quietness was due to subconsciously knowing I’d made the wrong ticket choice rather than not quite believing I’d be ‘seeing’ Britney Spears. My reason for being offered tickets so many times was now apparent. It wasn’t because I’d end up looking up her skirt but to teach me I need to get a grip where opportunities are concerned.

I walked home from Tottenham Court Road so I could have a good cry and when I got in I decided to write a list of all the rubbish decisions I’ve made and what influenced me to make them…

-Turning down the role of Mary in the Nativity play at one of my primary schools. I made this decision because I thought my mum and step dad would mock me for having a husband who was a boy. As it turns out they never came to see it and I had to deal with being demoted to the chorus where I was made to wear a bow tie.

-When I was about 8 years old I went to see my auntie’s friend be a contender on Gladiators. At the end the Gladiators came out and did a lap of the arena. We were in the 2nd or 3rd row and I remember catapulting myself across the rows in front shouting Cobra’s name as his cheekily pranced past but he didn’t hear me and I remember feeling utterly heartbroken. I just about managed not to cry on the way back – apparently I was more mature back then. I don’t think I’ve felt that way again until last night. To be honest short of throwing myself into the ring there’s not much I could have done to have won a smile and a hand slap from the man and that occasion wasn’t really about decisions but I thought it was a good example of feeling inconsolable like I did on Sunday.

I kept the rest of my childhood years pretty minimal in the bad decision stakes as far as I can remember. I’m sure I’ll think of more examples after I’ve posted this though.

Then came university…

-I was in the cheerleading squad from shortly after it was conceived so when it came to appointing a new captain a year or so down the line I was one of the few original members left. I wanted to put myself up for captain but I knew another girl (not an original) wanted to be captain so I stood down. Only afterwards when a few girls came up to me and told me they thought I might put myself up and were sad that I didn’t was I a bit gutted. Once the new captain was in power we were made to audition and although I got through I was the only original member left. It became elitist, we didn’t cheer at enough games and yet we were made to wear our uniforms on nights out even though we didn’t do anything and I was embarrassed to be on the team. Another example of making the wrong choice because of someone else.

-As many of you will know I have been single since the beginning of time. This could be partly to do with my awful choices where men are concerned. I made many a mistake where my heart was concerned at uni due to only liking inappropriate men - those with girlfriends, those with carrot dangling fishing rods but with no actual interest in ever letting me have more than a nibble and those who liked to stick their carrots in same sex rabbit holes. One day love arrived unexpectedly in the form of a Greek fellow who I was very good friends with and whom I worked with in a shop in town. I never fancied him and was definitely under the impression that he didn’t fancy me. In the summer holidays after my second year at uni we got chatting on MSN messenger and he told me that he’d always fancied me. I was dumbfounded – I had never suspected a thing. He then arranged to come and stay with me for the weekend and I was worried, as I’d never viewed him in this light. He came to visit, as a friend, and we got on like a house on fire as we always had and then he went in for the kiss. Internal panic need not have occurred. Kissing him was a joy and we spent the whole weekend snogging each other’s faces off. After that we were in constant contact emailing each other every day and it looked like it could go somewhere. And that is when I made the decision that I is at the top of my list of biggest regrets of all time (it has now been pushed down to 2nd place). I ended things before they could go anywhere because I thought having a boyfriend would interfere too much and annoy my friends. I have a habit of ending things before they’ve even properly begun (I can usually tell when something isn’t going to work) but this time was different. This time I knew I was making a mistake. It was all very amicable and we’re still friends but he’s now married with a dog so that nicely rubs salt in the wound. An example of not listening to my inner voice and doing something because of other people.

When I left university I was still a member of this model website where photographers get in touch to use you to practice taking pictures. A guy got in touch who lived in my home town and I went to meet up with him to talk about what sort of pictures he wanted. He was in his mid thirties and seemed a bit odd but I chose to ignore this and we set a date for him to take some headshots. I went to his flat on my own and I imagine I probably didn’t tell anyone where I was going. It was fine though, if a little awkward. The next time I went he wanted to do beauty salon shots so he asked me to put a towel on and a facemask and some cucumber on my eyes. I did as he asked and he took the pictures. When we’d finished he asked if he could get some massage shots. I asked him how that would work and he told me he’d put the camera on automatic so he could massage my back. Warning bells started going off and although I hate people touching me who I don’t know very well I didn’t want to appear unprofessional so I lay on the table face down. He pulled out some Co-op own brand baby oil and started to rub it into my back, the camera going off at regular intervals. This went on for an uncomfortably long time but again not wanting to appear unprofessional I stayed quiet. The massage then took a turn in the wrong direction. His hands started to move from my back down to my sides and up towards my breasts. This was where I drew the line. I flinched and yelped, ‘Have you got enough pictures now?!’ He must have taken this as some sort of invitation as he then said, ‘I can turn the camera off and carry on?’ My eyes must have been popping with horror. I told him that wouldn’t be necessary and ran to the bathroom to change. I called my friend Mark who I knew was in town but when I got through to him he was on his way back to the village where he lives. He must have heard the panic in my voice because he told me he’d come straight back into town and get me. I don’t think I could have been more relieved and I felt sick as I tried to tell him what had happened. I could smell the baby oil and I felt violated. The ‘photographer’ sent me a text message which I came across the other day when I was looking through the inbox of an old phone: ‘Sorry if you thought I was out of line but I did ask permission and stopped when you requested.’ Mark said that he was blatantly trying to cover himself in sending that text. Stupidly I never reported him. I really hope he didn’t get his mitts on anyone else or do anything worse. I can’t think of a more obvious example of not listening to my intuition. Even on the initial meeting I should have decided not to take things further. Ah well, you live and learn. But not me, apparently. Less than a month later I went to Huddersfield on a bus on my own, and I know I definitely hadn’t told anyone about where I was going, to meet another photographer but fortunately this time wasn’t as dodgy though it did still have its moments.

In October of the same year (it was 2005) I auditioned to be a character at Disney Land Paris and made it through the final audition even though I messed up the dance part because I was stood at the front and had no one to follow (my memory is awful where dance steps are concerned) but I improvised with some Brady Bunch style moves and they seemed to like it. They wanted us to leave ASAP but because I was saving to do a volunteer placement in South Africa the following April I asked them if it’d be alright to come after I’d done that as I worked out I wouldn’t be able to save enough money working at Disney. They said that would be fine and as I left I double checked, ‘So I’ve definitely got the job?’ and the man said, ‘Yes.’ So I went back to work in the Natwest call centre – the only thing that got me through was the promise of sticking a cartoon character’s head over my own.

When I was coming to the end of my time in South Africa I still hadn’t heard anything from Disney and I was worried especially as I’d sent them a few emails over the 6 months since I’d auditioned so they wouldn’t forget me. Finally they got in touch saying they’d never guaranteed me a place. I was mortified. I had made a decision based on practicality and other people (bastard charities!) and ended up losing out on my dream of being a Disney character. I swore I would boycott their films but this didn’t happen, as I’m quite partial to a bit of Mufasa. I don’t regret my time in South Africa at all – if I could have stolen some of the orphans I would have – but I’m sure had I gone to Disney in October I’d have scraped the money together somehow.

When I moved to London I met a guy when I was helping his friend promote a break dancing company. We arranged to go out on a date and because I was new to London I arrived a bit late, as I wasn’t yet used to the tube system. (Also I’m always late for everything, though I am improving.) When I got there he called me to ask where I was and I told him I was outside the exit. He asked if I could see various landmarks and I couldn’t. He told me to walk towards something so I did as he said and walked to where I thought he was talking about. He called me back and started shouting at me, and I mean properly going off on one. I was a bit upset and thought if he was being horrible to me at this stage I should probably leave that minute but, yes, you’ve guessed it, I didn’t and it turned out I was at the back exit rather than the front. We went on our date which was alright in the end but 5 weeks later he sent me packing on a bus in floods of tears after shouting at me again because he couldn’t tolerate the fact I see the good in people and that I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and that was the end of that. Again me not listening to my instincts and being disappointed as a result. As it happens we’ve bumped into each other a few times since then and a few months ago we started going on dates again but although it’s been left open and he keeps asking to see me but I haven’t been making the time. I see now that I should probably just cut it off completely.

There have been countless other mistakes that I have made but this is already novelesque and I don’t want to cause you blindness from looking at your screen for too long. Many more boy related mistakes have been made, a more recent one was that I met someone who I was in constant textual contact with but I wasn’t sure if I fancied him even though I love ‘conversing’ with him. Then my friends met him and very much approved and thought it would be a good idea to go there and so I took this as good reason to pursue him. We kissed and I well and truly fell for him and then out of the blue he put an end to things before they’d even started. It was so unexpected as I’d not demanded anything of him and I told him it was like he’d punched me in the back of the head. It reeked of the Greek boy episode – this guy’s fear was palpable but he’d made his decision and I was left upset though I couldn’t be too angry with him given I’d done the exact same thing in the past.

But it’s the Brit episode that’s left me broken. It seems many of my disappointments have stemmed from trying to keep other people happy or caring too much what people think. I take full responsibility for this weakness – I am blaming no one but myself. Not wanting to let people down isn’t a bad thing but not trusting what your heart is telling you over someone else’s opinion is an awful thing to do. I don’t know how I’ll go about working out how to know what I should be listening out for within myself; I always get logic and instinct mixed up it seems. These examples might sound petty and insignificant but for someone whose favourite motto is ‘It’s better to regret doing something than regret never having done it at all’ it’s an example of mild hypocrisy. Things have got to change. I have to get a grip on my life. Good choices start today people! Today.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Hot Cross Nuns

Some time ago, shortly after I began my Facebook ban (it was Saturday 4th April if you like specifics) I spent an hour in the company of a bearded fellow who made me and a couple of his chums some breakfast before pootling off to Bristol leaving us to our own devices. Prior to departing he divulged a piece of information, that in a few months he would be driving to Mongolia. It was an interesting titbit but I thought nothing more of it. Later that day as I dined in Pizza Express with his last remaining friend, who told me of his travels in America and his plan to move to Canada one day, I realised I haven’t actually done a lot with my life, well, where being nomadic is concerned. And yet I consider myself to be a free-spirited sort of person. I remember when I applied to go to uni a friend said they were surprised as they saw me more as a wanderer. I feel I’ve let my inner wanderer down. These thoughts flickered through my mind for the remainder of the meal but all was forgotten once we left and started watching Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The next day as I walked from my flat to Primark on Oxford Street (doing this on a weekend just shows my state of mind at the time) I spent the entire time working out how I could get to Mongolia in terms of saving up and getting rid of all my crap. I’m not sure I could pay someone to take on my collection of dance-based DVDs and Britney Spears videos. I was working myself into quite an internal frenzy and got a bit of a headache as a result. Never before in my life have I ever thought about Mongolia (apart from when I went through a phase at the age of 14 when I called everyone ‘Mongolian monkfish’ – always been a fan of alliteration) let alone going there which just shows how easily influenced I am, and yet here I was mentally preparing to ‘do one’. That night sleeping was somewhat problematic.

Monday morning came and with it the confirmation that things always feel better in the morning - the urge to go to Mongolia had worn off. After a few hours in the workplace I was on the Internet looking for orphanages in Mongolia that I could help out at. Things may feel better in the morning but they soon sneak up on you after lunch.

Tuesday saw me abandoning Mongolia once more deciding instead that I should move to New Zealand and so I did a bit of visa research. It looks like I’m probably not skilled enough to live there permanently so I’ll have to do a plumbing course or some such thing that I’ve heard guarantees you a place in Antipodean hearts. By the afternoon I was seething due to my ‘training’ being used as an excuse for certain people to give me all the work they can’t be bothered to do themselves. And yes it only means having to watch DVDs all day but I’m learning nothing apart from how to make a dog behave (watch Dog Whisperer for more info) and that one of our clients deal purely in films starring Shelley Winters; that particular day involved her being incestuous with her sons. Lovely.

When I came back upstairs my supervisor Steve had sent me some links for farm jobs as I had been telling him the week before, in another bid for escape, that I was thinking about becoming a farm hand. When 6pm rolled around I called a lady from one of the adverts who was looking for a live-in fence painter/dog looker afterer but I think she was looking for someone a bit more foreign accent rather than merely a Portuguese surname. The position was immediate which didn’t work for me as I’d have to give a month’s notice at work. A couple of hours later and I had a voicemail from the same woman saying she’d been across to see her neighbour who was looking for someone to muck out horses and be a mother’s helper. I’m scared of horses and ‘Mother’s Helper’ is the title of a Point Horror book so I took it as a sign that it probably wasn’t the job for me if staying alive was something I wanted to do. She sounded somewhat hesitant when leaving the voice message as she’d spoken to a English Sonia earlier in the evening and yet had to suffer overexcited Australian Sonia on my answer machine. I’m under the impression she’s probably pleased I didn’t call her back.

I explained my farm based and general agitation situation to my flatmate Halley telling her my nose constantly hurts from London pollution and that I’m in exactly the same position I was in when I first moved to London nearly three years ago: in a low paid runner’s wage job and sharing a bedroom. I told her that the only thing keeping me in London was choir. This tickled her I think and she went on to suggest that I join a convent that has a choir, like in Sister Act. I told her I may as well do that given I’m practically already living the life of a nun. A few years back I decided I wanted to become a Buddhist monk in whatever country it is that Buddhist monks come from. I really should have known this information given the decision I was thinking about making, however I didn’t feel ready to shave my head so that didn’t happen.

A couple of nights later I found out my sightseeing chum Rob has decided to pack in his job and move back to our hometown to save money to go travelling and I thought maybe this is a sign, as I had been considering a moving home and saving money for travelling.

The nun option cropped up again on Easter weekend. Victoria Thompson and I had gone to visit our chum Phillippa Quinn in Cambridge for her birthday. Over dinner Phillippa’s mum suggested I become a nun due to my unnervingly brilliant knowledge of Bible stories, which was highlighted when P.Q gave us an Easter Quiz. I informed them that in primary school I got 100% in my Scripture exam. I do love a good bible story, and a hymn. In response to P.Q.’s mum’s suggestion Vic said, ‘You couldn’t be a nun, you like kissing boys too much.’ I would have to agree with her. Perhaps they’d allow me to kiss boys given my excellent bible story knowledge.

Since then another reason has come to my attention for not leaving London, other than choir, and that is my bed. It is so lovely that I can’t bear to get rid of it and I have nowhere to store it. Also London has been good to me since it found out I’ve been thinking of leaving so I may just stay a little longer. I feel I’m not quite done.

The moral of the story is Facebook bans lead to itchy feet, unrest in the workplace, obsessions with East Central Asian countries and secreting nunny vibes. Beware.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

My Offering to The London Paper

Thought I'd send The London Paper kids a rejigged note I once wrote on Facebook to see if they'd publish it as every day they have a reader columnist.

I have a feeling they won't as it isn't particularly relevant to anything going on at the moment so I'll just publish it myself. Had I sent it in around the time Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were doing their rounds on the red carpet then perhaps it would have made the pages of the free paper. Who knows? Well, here you go...

I’m broody, something you would have known had you been in Kew Gardens the other week and overheard me whispering to my friend’s girlfriend who I’ve only met briefly once before, ‘I’m worried I might steal a child.’ Had you only seen her face then you may have just assumed I’d escaped from a mental asylum.

Although I want nothing more than to pop a little munchkin out I'm not sure I'm prepared to bring kids into the world we live in. A world where people won't recycle because, 'There's nothing we can do to make a difference, it’s too late.' We can try though, no? No, because they're too lazy even though all they have to do is just put their paper bits in a different bin that I have placed in front of their workstation. A world where you have to hold a door open for a man who doesn't even say thank you. A world where kids are penetrating each other with jibes and knives. What was wrong with penetrating each other with kindness and condom-clad genitalia? It worries me that there will be no world left by the time my hypothetical child grows up and so it's looking likely that I'll have to forego having children because it wouldn't be fair to bring them into such a mean, corrupt and deteriorating place.

BUT there is a glimmer of hope: there must still be manners lurking about and kids that only use knives to cut up their dinner and do you know what makes me think this? Well I'll tell you… High School Musical, a film that for those of you who haven't seen it and all its follow-ups is enough to empty the contents of one's stomach with its high content of twee-ness and enthusiasm. This sickly film has broken box-office records and that tells me the world isn’t so bad if the youth of today can't get enough of a film that has me teetering on the brink of wanting to stab, if not someone else, then myself. You could argue that maybe it is the cause of all the stabbings but I can't help believing that it's a genuine love these kids have for the films that has the potential to get the world turning on a more positive and wholesome axis rather than it's current skew-whiff one.

Perhaps my womb is not redundant just yet...

Friday, 3 April 2009

Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know, I shouldn't be allowed outside, yeah.

A couple of weeks ago I received a quite delightful email from my friend David. He told me he'd seen a man on a breakfast television programme asking people to apply to be in a BBC Three documentary called ‘Britain on Britney’ about Britain's fascination with Britney Spears. David thought I should apply knowing how much I love the ‘Crazy’ star and I thought that was a brilliant idea so I sent them an email listing reasons why I'm a Britney fan, which included the fact I used to deface hot pants to mimic her photo shoots and perform as her in school talent contests.

I thought I probably wasn't a crazed enough fan to secure a place in their programme but they emailed me the next day asking me to come along the following weekend to take part in the world's biggest dance tribute ever and that the whole day would be spent learning and performing the routine from ‘...Baby One More Time’. They also asked for parental consent if I was under 16 years of age. I emailed back to tell them that I am 25 and then jumped around my work place like a 12 year old on sherbet due to sheer excitement.

Saturday 28th March came around quickly and I got up at 7.10am. I don't even get up that early for work so you can imagine how much this meant to me. The night before I’d attempted to get a head start on the dance routine but found, much to my dismay, that the rumours are true about Youtube taking music videos off for UK users. I'd managed to get my flatmate Halley to agree to come along; I'm usually happy to do things alone but the prospect of being at least ten years older than everyone was daunting and I didn't want to appear paedophilic. (I needn’t have worried as later in the day the girls I was dancing with guessed my age as either 17 or 19 so I was mollified.) We arrived on time but were made to wait outside in what was a freakishly cold and drizzly morning. My flatmate was not impressed by the fact we were definitely the oldest people there and even less impressed by an underage person asking her for a cigarette. We queued for what seemed like an eternity but I kept myself occupied by eating the massive tub of yoghurt I'd brought with some Ready Brek and banana thrown in. When I'd finished I was left with a dirty spoon, which I waved around in the direction of a cameraman who was filming the oh-so-interesting queue of overly made up tweens.

When we finally got in the doors we had to go through airport-style security and I asked them what I should do with my spoon. One of the security men took it and put it on top of the X-ray machine while he put the bags through. As I collected my bag and coat at the other side I heard a voice shout, "Don't forget your spoon!" I never thought I’d hear those words in my lifetime and so the moment will stay with me forever.

We were in. And we were queuing again. Halley and I got into a highly inappropriate conversation considering the four girls in front of us were all under nine years old. As we reached the doors of the studio we'd be performing in (I recognised it as the Top of the Pops studio that I'd been to when I was at university) Halley asked what I'd do if, as a surprise, Britney turned up. As I went to answer I could feel my voice breaking and I told her that I would definitely cry and that I was nearly crying just thinking about it.

Rehearsal started about two hours after schedule and we were taught the first few dance moves by 'choreographer to the stars', Paulette Minott. She then asked who was currently taking dance classes and told those who weren't to move to the side. Those of us that were moved to the side were then put right at the back in the smallest space imaginable and then I realised what they'd done. They'd stuck all the rejects at the back so they didn't have to teach us the whole routine. I was outraged. Just because we weren't taking dance classes at that very moment does not mean that we hadn't ever taken dance classes or we were incapable of learning the routine. In the position we were put in we couldn't do any of the full movements involved in the routine and my eyes welled up with tears. A 16-year-old girl next to me voiced her disappointment as she'd only just quit dance classes the week before and felt she had been tricked into the reject pile. I blinked quickly to get the tears to go away but they soon came back. I was surrounded by 14 to 18 year olds, and one random 50-year-old man-fan, so I got a hold of myself and told everyone near me that we should go on strike. I do love a good strike but can never seem to get people to take part in them at work or at Britney documentaries so we just got on with it but with minimal enthusiasm.

I could see Halley in the group in front and I was quietly seething that she'd wangled herself into a better group but in a break I found out that she too was not being taught the whole dance and was surrounded by people even younger than the ones surrounding me, and Hal does not like children. She asked if I'd mind if she left and I told her I wouldn't but that she should take advantage of the free lunch first. As we queued for food Hal pointed to a Britney look-alike who was in her group and I couldn't help but stare. Her face was so similar it was bizarre. I pocketed a massive handful of cereal bars for later and grabbed a couple of sandwiches and we ate together before she took off and I went to get into my school uniform. Once I was dressed I spied the Britney look-alike who looked even more like Britney with her uniform on. I wanted to ask her if she'd be my best friend but instead requested a photograph. She asked if I could wait for her to put her lipstick on and then asked if it was the same colour that Britney wore in the video but that she should probably know that given it was her job to be Britney. I asked her if she was a professional Britney look-alike and she said that she was. I said, "Good because if you weren't I'd have told you you should be." We had our picture taken about five times because she wasn't happy with the first couple and then we went our separate ways to embark on the routine that we'd have to perform 16 times.

The 16 repetitions became a little tiresome after about the fourth one so we really started to mess about on the back line pulling ridiculous faces as we danced. This got us some attention from the cameramen which in turn got the director and choreographer talking and they decided to mix things up a bit and let the rejects freestyle down the middle. We were so excited and made sure we held right back and I moonwalked really badly alongside a backward somersaulting girl and really hammed it up for the cameras. On the second take I was singing the completely wrong words at the camera so I've almost certainly ruined any chance I had of appearing on screen. This is probably a good thing because I have a feeling if they do show me at any point I'll be embarrassing myself quite horrifically.

By the 15th time we'd done the routine I was starting to get a migraine from all the head flinging that goes on in the dance routine so I went to watch the action from the tiered seating. It was then time for the freestyling section where you were allowed to dance or sing to a Britney song of your choice. I opted out and settled in to watch what was on offer. A couple of girls did an amazing dance to "Womanizer" which became rather distracting towards the end when one of the girls had done the box splits and on standing back up her tampon string seemed to have escaped and was swinging happily below her extremely short skirt. It was either a tampon string or a white string-like part of the girl’s knickers - I was so far away I couldn't tell but I'm sure the cameras picked up whatever it was better than I did so you'll be able to make your own conclusions when it gets aired in June, that is if tampon strings are pre-watershed material.

Some more people were doing their thing when a researcher came up and asked if any of us were Britney fans who weren't performing. I said that I was and she asked if I'd come and have an interview. I said yes. As we walked down to the interview room I told her that I'm not like a mental fan but she said that didn't matter. I had a press interview first where the man asked such questions as, "If Britney was here now what would you say to her?" to which I replied, "I'd say come round for a cup of tea and a counselling session." He seemed amused by this. I felt the way I feel when in job interviews - I never say the right thing and can never think of good examples so when he asked what it is I like about Britney I have a feeling I said the most clichéd things ever. Then it was time for the documentary interview. I went into a dressing room and was asked to sit on the dressing table which had one of those mirrors framed with bulbs behind it. I told the interviewer that I was sorry I'm not a gushy fan and she said not to worry because they wanted different types of fan. She told me she'd ask questions from the side but that I should look straight into the camera when answering them…

Now there is a time in everyone's life when they make a silly mistake but usually only a select few witness it and it's soon forgotten. What happened on Saturday could have been one of those moments - I said a couple of silly things in front of two people I didn't know. This would have been fine had one of those people not been holding a camera that was recording my word vomit for the whole nation to see. If they choose to use the 'material' I gave them I have the feeling I will be in a lot of trouble. Every time I think about the things I said I inwardly groan. After a few standard questions she asked what my favourite Britney song was to which I decided to say "Crazy" because I knew everyone else would be saying her more recent ones. And then I gave her the reason: "Because it reminds me of my boyfriend at the time who used to drive me crazy." What did I say that for?! I will blame that one on Adam Vear who used to say that song reminded him of my ex and me at the time it was released. A few more questions were asked and then she said, "Is there anything that's happened in Britney's life that you particularly relate to?" Now I could have chosen to say anything like, "When she umbrella-ed that person's window - I did that once," or, "I once told everyone at school that if they gave me £20 each I'd shave my head," but instead I began to say something and then stopped and said, "Oh no actually I can't say that," to which she exclaimed, "You can't say that and not tell us!" So I relented and this is what came out of my mouth: "The Britney and Justin thing reminds me of me and my high school boyfriend. People always wanted us to get back together and I think everyone hopes that Britney and Justin will get back together one day." I then added, "Please don't use that!" She followed this up with, "Do you want to get back together with him?" I laughed, "This is turning into therapy!" and then looked right into the camera and said, "No comment." What an idiot.

I have only in the last four months been back on speaking terms with my ex boyfriend because his girlfriend (now his ex) thought I was trying to break them up. If she, or even he, sees this documentary and they show me saying those ridiculous things that would have been more relevant when I was 19 than now then I am going to get it in the neck.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance. I don't know what I was thinking. I imagine it's like when you kill someone but don't remember doing it. It was just like that.

Unfortunately during the day I didn't get to engage anyone in conversation about poo but I did get punched in the eye and smacked in the back of the head, which perfectly paints a picture of how little space we had. It alerted me to the fact that I should be more careful when I go out dancing because I cannot recall a time when I haven't elbowed or punched someone with my erratic arm movements when on a dance floor and I had no idea just how painful it can be. I have also learnt that I should never get myself in interview type situations because I act like an amnesiac killer. If ever there are lessons to be learnt in life you have permission to learn from my abundant mistakes.

(Monday 29th June: Just received an email saying that 'Britain on Britney' is now called 'Britney Spears Saved My Life' and will be aired at 21.00 on BBC Three on Sunday night. Here's hoping they don't show my interview or me hamming it up in the dance bit. High school levelled humiliation potential. Arghhh!!)
29 June 2009 11:16

Friday, 27 March 2009

A Lovely Story About Poo

I’d been thinking a lot about faeces and whether it would be appropriate to write about them when my workmate Greg text me from our designated pooing toilet at work to tell me he was having bowel problems. Not only did I feel honoured that he would text me mid-expulsion but I also took it as a sign that it would be a loss to humankind if I didn’t write a little note about some of the eventful poo experiences I’ve had in my life …

When I was at school I went on a skiing trip to Austria. It was my 18th birthday the day we got there (this is not relevant to the story – I’m just setting the scene). One evening we went bowling – I even remember what I was wearing: a black polo neck jumper with cool cut out bits on the shoulders and little union jacks below them (also not relevant to the story). I felt a rumble in my stomach so hastened to the toilet and I’m sorry to be so graphic but it was like pooing chocolate milkshake. Not as tasty though…I’d imagine.

On my first day at my university halls of residence I christened the shared toilet on my corridor with the biggest poo you have probably ever seen in your life. This would not have been a problem had the toilet been of a sturdy nature like the ones I’d grown up with but this loo could not swallow the contents. Lucky for me a toilet brush was on hand and I eventually managed to get it down and wiped my brow with relief that I would not be known as the girl who blocked the toilet.

In my final two years I made it my mission to try and poo in every toilet on the main campus. I made a pretty good dent but failed to penetrate them all. In my last year I managed to block my house toilet with an almighty turd – one of those blockages that causes the water to surge upwards. I was living with a girl and two boys and one of them, Neil, happened to be around when it happened. I was in a rush for a lecture so I couldn’t stay to deal with it so I had to tell him what I’d done, though it was pretty obvious, and he was so lovely about it and said he wouldn’t tell the girl we lived with (his girlfriend) which I was grateful for as she loved to gossip and although I enjoy being spoken about I wasn’t really up for my giant pooscapades being the talk of Textiles that week.

A group of us from my Media Studies module used to go for these huge Malaysian meals at our friend’s mum’s house and myself and my friend Dave would weigh ourselves before and after our post meal poo. It was a fun way to pass a bit of time and to see how weighty our waste was. I’d highly recommend it in times of nothing better to do.

Last summer I went on holiday and I could hardly poo – this may have been because I don’t often eat meat and it was cold meat central in Marbella - but when I did it was like rabbit droppings. It was really quite upsetting because, as you may have observed by now, I do love a good poo. I needn’t have worried because when I returned to Angleterre, after a good sleep, I did four MASSIVE poos in one day – three of which were before midday. It was quite an occasion – a backlog if you will (‘scuse the pun). My bum certainly felt it.

Whilst on holiday, on one of our joyous trip to the supermarket, I bought some humungous and extremely delicious pains au chocolat. Because I was so hungry I placed my shopping bag on the ground whilst I got one out to eat on the journey back to the apartment. The bag was getting heavy so I lifted it in front of my stomach rather than holding it by the handles. I soon got bored of this and went back to handle holding. It was then my chum Victoria noticed I had some chocolate on my top so I licked it off. It didn’t really taste of anything though and then I took a closer look and realised it was actually bird poo that had come off the bottom of the shopping bag and in my greediness I had indulged in a bit of involuntary coprophagy. Brilliant.

This is the first time I’ve felt I could talk about this next event, which happened on 28th August 2008 in the workplace. At this point in time I was not so open about my penchant for pooing, with people at work at least. I sent an email to my flatmate, which contains within it an email sent to the whole company from the accounts assistant who also doubles up as our cleaner. I’m the one in blue:

Oh my god I’m so secretly embarrassed...

Subject: 1st floor (Last user)

Dear all,

The person who last used the toilet on 1st floor, left it unflushed.

Please take in consideration that it is very unpleasant for anyone going to the toilet to find it like that.

Specially when there could have been a client.

Please take the care to flush, because is unfair on the next person that has to use the toilet and to clean up.


I flushed the damn thing twice because my humongous poo blocked it and I couldn't wait for it to refill again so I left a bit of loo paper over the top of it hoping no one would notice. Good lord. I don't understand who she thinks would ever not flush a poo?!


Hope you’re having a good day


My flatmate wrote back to tell me that I’d amused her and a few minutes later I had to write again…

Oh no it’s getting out of hand.

Everyone has started sending accusing emails to my supervisor saying everyone is betting he did it.

He had previously sent one to Mike [he sits next to me at work] accusing him.

In the time I’ve spent writing this he has received 2 more emails from bookings team saying he's guilty and now everyone in the room is discussing the huge log!


I cannot wait for the dust to settle on this one so I can write a blog about it.

And now my wish has come true. Oh the liberation to be able to talk so freely about poo.

A few months ago I was at work - it was a Wednesday and less than an hour to go until home time – and the need to poo was quite apparent. Greg took this as his cue to need one too so I had to wait for him to go and for the smell to pass before I could have my turn or turd, whichever you prefer. My time finally came to sit upon the porcelain throne and what started off as a pleasant experience soon took a turn for the worse as I managed to cause an almighty blockage, the water level rising a little bit more each time I flushed it. I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for the toilet to fill back up again and by the third flush the water was half an inch from overflowing. I realised I was fighting a losing battle. I went back downstairs to give it time to settle down. I was so embarrassed/amused that I told Mike of my predicament. About 5 minutes later (and bear in mind by this point it was way past my home time) I decided to go back up but to my dismay the cleaner/accounts assistant was cleaning the sink area. I thought I had to say something, especially given her penchant for sending out emails to the whole company when the toilet gets blocked with giant turds. So I went in and politely asked, 'Have you cleaned the toilet yet?' and she said that she hadn't so I sheepishly offered up this little nugget of information, 'Um, I've sort of blocked it, I'm so sorry!' She told me to tell the head of engineering and to say that I hadn't seen her, as he'd make her deal with it. He'd already gone home so I sent him an email:

I'm sorry to do this to you first thing on a Thursday morning but I just came across an almighty blockage up in the toilet on the way to the library and it's on the verge of overflowing.I hope it's gone down by the time you get this.

Did you enjoy the way I made out like it wasn't my doing? I felt that was quite ingenious. I went up to tell the accounts assistant that I'd sent him an email but she was no longer in the bathroom. I went out into the hall and heard her talking to one of the directors up the stairs who was saying something about a toilet poking tool and it dawned on me, the director OF THE ENTIRE COMPANY was going to unblock it. I closed my eyes and prayed he wasn’t told who did it because I wouldn't be able to look him in the eye again. I came back downstairs to wait it out and then went back up again: the blockage had gone without a trace. I was so relieved and emailed the head of engineering again to tell him he would not need to do any turd taming first thing on Thursday morning after all.

This morning I came into work and was telling my supervisor Steve about a lovely girl I met last night who was as enthusiastic about the pooing process and talking about poo as I am. I don’t know how we got onto the topic but once we started we just couldn’t stop. The guy who introduced us to came back to speak to us and we managed to get him in on the conversation though I’m not sure he was as in his element as we were. He soon wandered off and although our conversation turned to other things we were soon back on poo. Just as she was telling me what her favourite kind of poo was our introducer came back with someone else he wanted us to meet. We had to cease the subject and I have to say I was gutted and eager to hear her preference. The chatter turned away from toilets, at one point people were commenting on how old my phone was. The guy we’d just been introduced to had an antique camera hung around his neck and I told him my phone and his camera would probably make great friends. As I said this I jiggled my phone around in front of his camera lens as if my phone was having a chat with his camera. I’m glad most people in the circle were suitably inebriated or that may have seemed like quite an odd thing for a sober person to be doing. My poo soul mate announced she was leaving so I took the opportunity to lower my voice and ask, ‘Before you leave, what is your favourite kind of poo? I have to know!’ and she told me it’s the kind that comes out in one big straight line and pokes out of the water. I exclaimed with glee, ‘That’s the kind I do!!’ It truly was a joyous moment.

On hearing this story Steve asked, ‘Do you not nip your arse, twitch your eye?’ and told me that I can’t have any muscles down there if they come out in one go. I told him that of course I have muscles down there or I’d not be able to hold it in when a toilet is not readily available but that I focus my mind to not contract the muscles so that my poo comes out all in one. I think that you’ll agree, even if you won’t admit it, that there is nothing more satisfying than doing an all-in-one and knowing there’s nothing left up there – an unsavoury side effect of contracting. I told him I felt the control I have over my muscles using my mind would come in handy when giving birth to which he replied laughing, ‘Yeah ‘cause you don’t want the baby coming out in bits.’ How I laughed! He then went on to say, ‘They always say if you put a pencil up your arse you should be able to twitch and twitch until it comes out.’ I don’t know who always says this to Steve but I shall be having words with them if I ever find out, putting those sort of ideas in his head. And mine for that matter.

And thus concludes my lovely story about poo.If you feel the need for more things pooey have a look at, as recommended to me by Greg Elston.

The word poo has been used 26 times (27 now) in this story. I just looked up the word poo (28) on an online thesaurus and it had nothing for it but under the word ‘feces’ (the American spelling) an alternative that comes up is ‘meadow muffin’. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more lovely phrase in all my years on this planet and I hope that it has made your life more meaningful for having heard it.

With love from,

The Toilet Blogger