Thursday, October 25, 2012

What People Really Mean

People are horrible. They rarely say what they mean and everything they say is a thinly veiled insult.

Well, not everyone and not all the time, but sometimes, you just KNOW other people are not being entirely honest. Like, they can't help it. It's a very English thing to do - you couldn't possibly say what you really mean. It would disrupt the entire stiff upper lip thing that's going on.

What people really mean when they say:

"You're glowing." 
"You look like a lobster." 

"Honestly I don't mind." 
"I do a bit. But I've said I'll do it now so I can't really back out." 

"You look fine." 
"That outfit's not really that great but I want to go out and get pissed." 

"I'm sorry." 
"I'm only apologising so you'll apologise too." 

"Are you sure?" 
"This is a completely meaningless statement."

"It was great to see you." 
"I can't remember if I've met you before. This is suitably non-committal." 

"Come if you want to." 
"I don't want you to come but I'm too passive aggressive to say that." 

"You look interesting/different." 
"What the hell have you done to yourself?!" 

"I was too busy." 
"I forgot but want to sound important and have an excuse so I don't sound flaky." 

"Sorry, but..." 
"I'm not sorry at all. I want to say something insulting." (the same goes f0r: 'I'm not being funny, but...' and 'no offence, but...') 

"Would you like to [insert shit task that no-one would ever LIKE to do]?" 
"You haven't really got a choice. I'm TELLING you." 

"I'm too tired." 
"I can't be arsed." 

"Am I the only person who thinks that..." 
"I'm definitely not but want to seem original. And I want to be a stand-up comic so I'm working on observational humour. HAHAHAHAHA." 

"I don't really use Facebook." 
"I don't want you to add me, you creep/pervert." 

"As I said before..." 
"As you've clearly ignored what I said before I'll say it again..."

And finally, a classic:

"You look well."
"You've put on weight." 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sorry Definitely doesn't Seem to be the Hardest Word

I don't know why Elton John (and then of course, unforgettable Blue) sang about it being hard to say sorry because I cannot keep myself from saying. Literally (actually literally, not as in 'I am LITERALLY melting: I literally can't keep the words from exiting my mouth).

Soon, it'll be all I say. I'll walk into a room. 'Sorry.' 'What for?!' 'Dunno. Just, y'know, thought I'd be safe.' 'Oh right. Fair enough.' (it'll just become de rigeur). 

I blame it on English reserve. As a nation, we're too sorry. We must apologise for being merely alive. We apologise for someone's relative being dead, we apologise if they've received some bad news, we apologise for giving them bad news, we apologise if someone bumps into us, we apologise if we bump into someone. It's become a reflex. I'd never pull someone up if they didn't apologise to me though. The worse I get is giving them a hard Peruvian stare (a la Paddington Bear). To the back of their head, of course. I'd never do something as confrontational as let them know my discomfort.

Even when someone wrongs me, I apologise for what - perhaps for want of something to say, or just so they don't think badly of me (God forbid!). The thing is, I think some people think that's all I can say. It's like having tourettes. I pass someone on the stairs and I'm overcome with a strong desire to say those two pathetic syllables. Again.

Thing is, if you apologise, it is then inferred that is your fault. But it is also a great opening gambit. Can't think of something to say to someone you're passing? Just apologise. Then they can protest that 'it's ok' (hang on, what's ok? You didn't even do anything!).

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a bad thing. I'm terrible at holding a grudge and I'm always the first to say sorry during a raging row. But sometimes, I'd love to be unapologetic about my existance.

I'm trying to be less sorry, but it's not really working out, due to my much-too-nice disposition. But there could be worse things to be, I suppose. Like an axe-murderer. Or a Cliff Richard fan.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Made in Chelsea Bingo / Drinking Game

In the last 2 1/2 seasons of Made in Chelsea, something has become abundantly clear. I need to watch it with someone else or I'll look like an absolute MENTAL because I shout, cringe and wince at the TV. Because it is SO awkward, SO formulaic but SO brilliant.

So I decided to devise Made in Chelsea Bingo. Or a drinking game, or well, whatever. Because these things will happen at least once in an episode WHATEVER happens. You must drink/scream/whatever at the TV when:*

1. Anyone calls Jamie 'Boi'. BOI. Or utter 'YEH BOI'. In a non-gangster way, just because they're really cool.

2. Rosie mentions how weird her friendship is at the moment with Millie. I mean, they didn't have a friendship before that much, I mean, God knows they didn't really like each other, but their FRAHNDSHIP is really weird right now.

3. Someone gets called a stupid nickname. Wheeze, Spenny, Caggs, Millie Mack, Binky.

4. Every time there is an awkward silence.

5. Someone puts on an affected accent (the beauty of this one is that there is so much to choose from - Louise, Kimberley, Hugo's new bird, Rosie... I could go on. I mean, I don't know how they talk, they are concentrating that much on their frail-ness.

6. Rosie and Victoria are MORE EVIL. They will say at least, hmm, 3 things to destroy poor Millie's soul about her fashion career. "Yeh, I think [Rosie]'s applying for a real job..." (read: not like you Millie, who is doing a lowly internship).

7. Mark Francis laughs horsily, showing his ENTIRE mouth. Or mentions Jana, his former maid.

8. Amber tries to make out that she's not a 'society girl' or 'Chelsea' but she will talk in an uber-affected voice and perceive that she is better than, hmm, everyone else. And she'll be mean to Francis.

9. Binky says something stupid, or mentions fake tan (the last one applies to Ollie and Cheska too).

10. Francis tries to chat up a girl (he must have got through nearly the entire population of Chelsea by now), and it will be awkward, and we will cringe, and it will be deliciously brilliant. I think I fancy him a bit, despite/because of this.

11. Ollie runs his fingers through his shining mane.

12. Spencer says something inexcusably arrogant. Ok, Spenny, we get it. You didn't get the girl, you don't need to be a knob about it.

13. Jamie more resembles an over-enthusiastic labrador and talk like he's laughing. Constantly. Over time, you will grow to love him and want to marry him for his seemingly endless energy (just me? Ok).

14. Every time Frederick appears, because let's face it, he doesn't appear enough, and he's clever and dead fit and that.

*I realise that you might not be able to drink with this capacity so what you must do is distribute the numbers between your friends and drink when your number happens.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Make Yourself Look Popular on Facebook

I don’t use Facebook a lot now, preferring the instancy and well, betterness, of Twitter. I mainly use Facebook to spam people with my crappy blog links, because, well, then I’ll have some stuff on there. And, er, I want people to read my crappy blog links and ‘like’ them (and no matter how sad it sounds, I get a little buzz every time someone does ‘like’ them).

I’ve stopped updating my status because it’s better doing it on Twitter – there’s a better response and if it’s shit, it gets buried very quickly and to be honest, it’s far more likely I’ll have a conversation with like-minded people on there as I pretty much follow journalists and people who talk food constantly. 

Plus, my sister doesn’t check Twitter that much so there’s less likelihood of her taking the piss out of what I’ve written. And she likes taking the piss out of most things. Anyway. What I have realised is that Twitter is about posting stupid links and getting outraged over EVERYTHING but what Facebook is for making yourself look or sound better or worse than you really are. 

Now, don’t try and deny it. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, even Zoey Deschanel’s done it. God, I hate her. If you want to make yourself sound better on Facebook, here are some handy hints of what to do. As always, my tongue is firmly in my cheek.
  • ‘Like’ loads of pages so people remember you exist. In particular the ones that are just really long sentences. 
  • Check into your bed with your boy/girlfriend, just so everyone knows you’re getting some.
  • Post a classical music video, quote famous literature with big words in or something that’s generally profound, to sound clever and cultured. Bonus points for a controversial comment to go with it. 
  • In a similar vein, post Modest Mouse lyrics or similar vintage indie band. It’s pretty much illegal for someone to post a status of that nature and not get likes. 
  •  Tag EVERYONE IN EVERYTHING to represent all of your hilarious in-jokes that would probably have been better off in a private message. 
  • Spam people with your links all the time, just in case they forgot you write for a blog with more than two readers. Of course, I would NEVER do this. 
  • Ask rhetorical questions on your status. “Chocolate cherry cheesecake? Don’t mind if I do.’ (There’s always a risk if you ask questions no-one will answer them, so it’s safer if you answer them yourself). 
  • Check in. Everywhere. Starbucks, your local pub (every Friday night. Caption: “Gin O’Clock!”), the supermarket (at first glance, it seems pretty boring but it’s a Monday night at 3am and you’re on an all-nighter and you went to Tesco’s [sic] to get some popcorn!!!1111!!11111). 
  • Write stuff in another language. Mysterious. Oh, and stick a heart on the end to show you know basic HTML (ok, so that worked better with Myspace).
  • Frape yourself. No-one will ever know. People like pretty much every frape so even if it’s really shit, it’ll get at least one ‘like. RESULT. 
NB: These might not work.

Some more articles about Facebook:

Facebook Crimes
More Facebook Crimes

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to act on public transport

I travel on the tube daily. The tube is full of people. I am extremely intolerant of large crowds of people. It was never going to bode well. These are some of the things I have encountered on the tube, and London transport in general:

1. The escalators. If you can't read the signs, look around. See what other people do. DON'T STAND ON THE FUCKING LEFT. If you do, prepare for a WORLD of tutting pain from people like me, who are probably late.

2. Personal space. If it is a crowded tube, try not to all congregate by the doors. There's a shitload of room further down the carriage. And don't pull that shit you're 'too small' to reach the bar at the top - I can reach it and I'm 4 inches smaller than you.

3. Couples. It is 8.30 in the morning. No-one wants to see your tongues. Or one of you standing in between the other's legs. Or my favourite, sitting on knees. Once I was on a half-empty tube with one seat either side of me and a girl sat on her boyfriend's lap. Elbowing me. I wanted to make a point and elbowed back but they didn't seem to noticed and make smooching noises so in the end I moved a seat a long. But I gave them really bad evils.

4. People with guitars. Who burst into song and then start asking for money whilst there is a mixture of sniggers and eye-contact avoidance. Come on, NO-ONE talks on the tube, do you really think anyone is going to enjoy singing?

5. Oh, and people who talk too loudly. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have overheard on a silent tube because they were not conducted in appropriate inside voices. I found myself getting quite involved in a story about this old woman's friend who was having relationship problems but then they got off and I wondered why the hell I gave a shit.

6. Self-awareness. In a massively busy place like Euston, it would be great to have some self-awareness and actually recognise it's probably not a good idea to stop dead in the middle of the walkway WITH A MASSIVE SUITCASE at rush hour. I mean, come on!

7. Tube hierarchy! Obviously there is a complex hierarchy on the tube about who gets to sit down next. I was there for 15 minutes standing like a goon in the middle of all the seats and then you SWOOPED IN and got my seat after one stop! Bastard. Actually, maybe I'm the only one who does that.

8. "Inconsiderate arseholes". Those people who, upon seeing a carriage that is full to busting. They will still get on, even if they have to bend double and their bag still gets caught. Even though there is another train in a minute. And it makes everyone angry and make snarky comments and I start to feel awkward so I'd just get off the damn tube if I wasn't wedged into someone's armpit.

9. Eye contact. Those people who insist on standing in front of YOU even if it's not that busy so you can't stare up at the ads above the window or just around because all you can see is them. You are resigned once more to staring down. At a non-existant newspaper, probably. By all means, though, I must not make eye contact. That's weird.

10. Groups of kids. Just run. As far away as you can (or just to the next carriage, ideally).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why I fell out of love with Zooey Deschanel

I wrote a thing for Beatreview about Zooey Deschanel.

"The fact that she’s all innocent and wide-eyed and has a shit band (yes, it’s shit now I hate her, I am fickle, my ears were clouded by sheer admiration) just serves to piss me off more. she’s not sodding Bambi, she’s an American actress who’s making shitloads of money from being ‘kooky’. But to be fair to her, she does it very well. She is something of a poster girl for weird girls in indie films. Not weird, like, weird weird, but fun, hot weird.

She sounds like a frog. And, she’s not that alternative or weird any more because she’s in a shit Channel 4 series and she’s the UK’s most desirable woman. And I am most definitely ‘over’ her. I mean, for a while, I was clutching her pseudo-indie films and throwing tear-soaked tissues at the TV, wailing ‘What have you done? Why do I hate you so much?’. But now, I have come to accept that I’ll have to find some other weirder actress to idolise."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I've had my fair share of weird flatmates

Since I've moved to London, I've lived in some pretty 'interesting' places. Here are some flatmate traits I really could have lived without.

Oh, the notes. I came back one day to find no less than three notes lined up next to each other, taped to various empty household products. The first one: BUY YOUR OWN STUFF! The second one: AND BUY YOUR OWN MILK! Someone's been stealing mine and topping it up with milk. The third one: Well, I can't remember exactly but it was a massive note detailing how pissed off two other people were about it. Not that it had happened to them, they were just adding to the general unpleasant atmosphere. This isn't about the stealing - taking your housemates' food without asking is bad, but does it all have to be conducted through passive-aggressive notes and huffy, awkward silences in the communal kitchen?

Basic hygiene. For a very long month, I lived in a house in Wandsworth which had a very nice landlady, but the other tenants were left... wanting. Three men, from about 30-45. Which is fine, but there was one bathroom and in that was only a bath, no shower. I used to find, erm, bodily substances in there, body hair and, bizarrely, bits of tobacco. Who smokes in their communal bath?! Oh, and of course, the obligatory occasional skid-marks down the loo bowl (who knew there was a loo brush next to the loo, eh?). Pleasant.

Weird landlords. This is a huge generalisation, but I am NEVER living with my landlord again. I lived as a temporary lodger with the owner of a flat for a couple of months, and she was awesome, but otherwise, NO. Simply because it's way easier. And sometimes they're weird. Like this landlord I had in Hanger Lane. Complete arse. He was inconsiderate, didn't always flush the loo and sometimes, when he got pissed and forgot his keys, he smashed one of the window panes in the front door in. And 'forgot' to clean it up. I didn't stay there very long. Still, it's not as weird as one guy I went to see who wanted to live with only girls, didn't give a reason. On the ad it said he was 35. On getting there, I don't think he was a day under 50. Just a bit weird.

Living in a hostel. When I first came here, I didn't have anywhere to stay so I checked into the cheapest hostel I could find, in Ealing. I like Ealing, but there wasn't much going on in that particular part of Ealing, so I was pretty bored. Being skint, I had to share with three other people, so I was constantly on edge that my expensive laptop and life's possessions were ok. Hostels are good when you're travelling, but in real life, they're well, less fun. This one was dirty (I'm pretty sure that if you stay there less than a week they don't change the sheets), boring and the owners were weird and pervy. So if you're going to live in a hostel for a bit, choose carefully! Still, I came out unscathed and it was dead cheap.

Now I'm living in North London, having had 7 changes of address in total, staying on a number of kind relatives' floors and being glued to Spareroom constantly.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I've got some other stuff on other stuff

As well as this, which consists of me basically writing what pisses me off and a bit about food, I write for some other places. Other people are always plugging the shit out other stuff they do in their blogs so I'm gonna just do it. Sometimes I write for:

Beatreview: Music and lifestyle blog based in Cardiff. I write about pretty much exclusively music there. And a rant, occasionally.

Limebird: It's a writing blog. About writing novels and that mostly, but also about journalism and criticism and other things like that. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

E. Mishkin: A Review

If you're a London food blogger or foodie, you'll probably have seen a hundred reviews of Mishkin's already. But I'm going to write it anyway, so I don't give a shit. 

Mishkin's, near Covent Garden, the latest in Russell Norman's empire, is preceded by Polpo, Da Polpo, Polpetto and Spuntino (I reviewed it here last year), and is a 'kind of Jewish deli'. It is a pretty good description, but it's also very cool, especially at the moment, with the trend of exposed brickwork and very much 'un-fine' dining. Which isn't a criticism, because ultimately, it does look cool, and a lot of people like it a lot. 

Image from the Mishkin's Website

I went there this week, for dinner. I was lucky I booked when I did as there was a review in the Metro that day (now it's not just a secret that food bloggers and Twitter foodies can smugly keep!) I went in to wait for my friend, and was soon seen and seated (hurrah for booking in Central London!) and given water without asking (tick!).

The menu is pretty straightforward: sandwiches, sides, all-day breakfast and 'supper' items - snacky kind of food. In true Russell Norman style, it was on a piece of lined paper and in a courier new style-font. My friend arrived, apologising profusely, and we ordered. To celebrate my new job she declared that we must celebrate (my arm didn't exactly need twisting) with a bottle of wine. The carafe, the waiter advised, was only a little smaller than the bottle, and was cheaper too ('Definitely living up to the Jewish stereotype, so far). We went for a few things to share: duck hash, beetroot & pickled herring tartare, their trademark Reuben sandwich and a gem and walnut salad, recommended by the casually dressed and friendly waiter.

The duck hash, well, it was a bit.. ducky. I know, I know, what else do you expect? - but it was. We didn't manage to finish it, complete with fried egg on top. Perhaps we shouldn't have attempted it after all of the other food. The beetroot and herring tartare was a little too beetrooty (more herring please!) but was still completely delightful - I just really love herring. The gem and walnut salad was a bit of much needed green but to be frank, pretty ordinary. Pleasant enough though. The crowning glory was the Reuben sandwich. I mean, I know everyone is raving about it but I could eat several of those in one sitting (and they're pretty big). On rye bread, with pastrami, saurkraut and swiss cheese with mustard and gherkin on the side, it was damn good.

Another cafafe (well, it would be rude not to), and we went for the rhubarb fool and the bananas foster (apparently it's a big thing in Australia, according to my companion). The rhubarb fool was pleasant but by that point, was too much. The bananas foster was heavenly - I could have eaten several.

Image from the Mishkin's website.

The bill was about £70 for the two of us which is about average (I still baulked slightly but that's probably just my current financial situation).

All in all, a great meal, friendly staff who're on the ball and one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. And they also supply (credited of course), other local business' products - for example, Big Apple Hotdogs, which I've yet to try but I've heard are amazing, and the salt beef beigel from Brick Lane which I've had from the source and is pretty awesome (both at a decent markup, of course).

I know it's very trendy to sell all this preserved meat like pastrami, corned beef and salt beef which were until recently, very unfashionable and undesirable, but by God, maybe it's the bit of Polish in me, I love it all.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Sometimes I worry that I'm intolerant. I mean, yes, I am intolerant of slow walkers, overcooked mushrooms, when people don't understand me STRAIGHT away, poor grammar, people watching me eat and people who leave the teabag in too long, but that's all normal stuff, right? 

I'm talking about my intolerance to... nice people. I mean, I'm quite nice most of the time, but no-one can be nice all the time. I can be a bit of a bitch, to be honest. Like, the normal amount. But I really can't stop myself from getting mildly irritated by people who never have a bad word to say about anyone, or who seem to find it impossible not to at least roll their eyes at that snogging couple on the tube ('They're in love!' 'Yeah, but I can see their spittle CONNECTING').

You know the kind: you feel guilty for saying anything mean to them. They have that slightly shocked look, and laugh nervously at your HILARIOUS (if slightly off-colour) jokes, not because they find them funny, but to be polite. In fact, they probably find them quite offensive, judging by their split-second  uncomfortable glance to the side as if to say, 'Please rescue me from this nutter NOW'.

I'm not saying that they should become a grade-A bitch, because it's lovely to be nice. All I'm saying is: take a day off once in a while. Set your inner voice free. I don't seriously believe you think about kittens and puppies all the time. Say what you're really thinking. Be honest. Even to me. Especially to me. There's nothing better in my books than someone having the balls to tell someone else that they're being a complete knobhead. Or about someone else. Perhaps not quite as constructive, but every bit as fun.

I feel like I'm painting a bad picture of myself. I'm a good person and my heart's in the right place. But I'm human. No-one can like everyone. It's impossible. And there are a lot of knobs in the world. Ok, I feel I'm overcompensating - that's enough now.

And on a personal level, if you've got common hatred of something, be it that girl who always has a cheese and onion pasty on the tube every morning, that twat who is talking REALLY loudly on the phone to impress the girl sitting opposite you (and he's failing really badly) or a colleague who's so far up his or own arse that it would be rude not to share a 'what a tosser' look when they look the other way.

*Image from

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Note: This is an exercise for me, rather than anything you'd probably like to read

It's been ages since I've blogged or even written, call it writers block, except it wasn't that I didn't have anything to say, or even that I didn't have anything to write about, it's just that I couldn't be arsed. 

I reckon it was the environment that I was in. I think having white walls is like, t he anti-inspirer for me. I need to decorate my walls, or be around people, because otherwise there are no distractions that are physical, only distractions that are not actually here, like something on my computer screen, or the TV, or something else.

Also, I have come to realise that writing, for me, is all about looking busy. If I'm in a cafe, or with other people at least a bit of the time, I will write just so I look busy and writery, and if I'm looking busy and writery, I might as well be busy and writery. 

Also, I don't have a charger, and no internet connection, and the dog ate my homework, and I conveniently forgot that I have the use of a smartphone and wait for it, good old-fashioned pen and paper.

The next blog post will be far more interesting, I promise. I'm in a coffee shop, I'm practically honour bound.


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