take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's not you, it's me 

It could have been the surroundings which did it. The proximity of the sea, the only barrier being the impressive dunes just at the rear of the property, always brings a sense of calm to my over-sensitive self.

It could have simply been the fact that I wasn't at work and could enjoy waking up slowly and naturally, at my own pace, snuggling up to Big and dozing happily in the warmth of his arms before deciding how to spend our day over a leisurely breakfast.

It could equally have been the fact that, in the space of seven days, I only used the car twice, blessed as we were with a useful train station within walking distance. Anyone who has spent any time with me in a car will know that, especially on country lanes, things can get fraught when I'm behind the wheel as I do battle with the selfishness, arrogance and lack of consideration which seems to be a feature of our British roads.

But what I must consider is that the sense of wellbeing and lack of anxiety I felt last week could have been due to the total lack of anything remotely interwebular. I didn't so much as glance at the cut-throat world we call Blogland, that place which fuels all my inadequacies and in which I invest so much time and energy.

In truth, it was probably a combination of all these things. But last week was the final proof for me that my blogging balance has toppled firmly into the negative and, as such, there is only one possible solution.

It will be hard; desperately so. But I must, and will, stop blogging.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


The lighthouse at St Ives Harbour. They want to get that rust seen to...

Does my bum look big in this? Shadowy figures at Copperhouse Pool, Hayle.

Porthminster beach, St Ives. In England, believe it or not...

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Off to Cornwall for a week.
Expect snow, rain and all manner of other precipitations in the South West of England.

No work.
No blogging.
Hopefully, less anxiety...

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I strolled through the (blink and you'll miss it) bohemian quarter of our home town on Saturday afternoon, having sampled the new Italian restaurant for lunch and dispatched Big back home for the afternoon. I accept that his appetite for browsing is considerably smaller than mine and do not expect him to traipse sullenly around the shops with me, pretending to be interested in the seventeenth pair of shoes I try and then reject. I prefer instead to place him in a nearby "man crêche" ( i.e. a pub) or send him home to "influence" the results of football matches merely by his loyal presence and Jedi mind games. Clearly, judging by the sullen, traipsing males in evidence, many women do not share this attitude.

It was the heady aroma of patchouli which first aroused my (albeit high-maintenance) hippy genes and drew me into the colourful surroundings of one of those shops which sells hemp clothing, "smoking" equipment and more incense than you could shake a joss stick at. I knew exactly what I was looking for but it took me an entire circuit of the shop to locate it, only to find that it was just to the left of the door, as you enter - I had drifted to the right...

You see, I had been overcome with the urge to daub my hand with henna.

I had first come across this phenomenon at school, when I noted the intricate designs on the hands of those of my fellow pupils who came from families hailing from the Indian sub-continent. Later, I would be invited to "Mehndis": the Asian equivalent of a hen night - quite literally, a "henna night" - where women gather to adorn the bride-to-be with skin decorations, amongst other things.

During the late 90s, when exotic skin transfers were all the rage, I arrived at work with one on my hand which alarmed my manager and caused a colleague to ask "that" question which caused much more anxiety to me than was probably intended: "Are you trying to be a goth?"

After many years of trying to shrug off this label by strategic hair-streaking, I finally felt ready to join the ranks of the adornèd once again. So last night I set to work with the tube of henna paste, creating flowers, swirls and fronds which wove their way across the back of my hand, disappearing between my fingers. Whilst Kevin McCloud presented other people's Grand Designs on the television in the background, I was creating mine on my very own hand.

"Don't be alarmed by the black stuff, that will drop off," I explained to Big as he examined my handiwork suspiciously.

Once I'd finished my design, I placed my hand in a prominent position to dry so that the stain would take effect.

Barely minutes later, as we sat on the sofa, we began to indulge in what would have been described as "horseplay" if we had been cartoons on an eighties swimming pool poster. Inevitably, at one point, he grabbed my left hand. Inevitably, what had started out as a beautifully executed, original, intricate design ended up as a blob of black mush which smelt faintly of damp tea leaves.

The only solution at this point was to scrub it all off.

My design, ruined.

My hand, slightly orange.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A common occurrence when one reaches one's thirties is devoting precious weekends to other people's weddings. I can't help becoming more and more anti-wedding as I get older. Ironically, now that I am in a couple (though, I hope, not too smug a couple), I feel much less inclined to have a wedding than I ever did as a wistful, misfit singleton, where I would sit there at the "wistful misfit singleton" table at the reception, imagining myself one day as the bride, reflecting on the one hand on my increasing age and, on the other, on my decreasing ability to meet anyone new, let alone potential husband material.

In the initial frenzy of excitement surrounding my relationship with Big, I won't deny that marriage was mentioned frighteningly early on. But the more we attended other people's weddings, the less inclined we felt to subject our friends (particularly single friends) and family to this expensive (for both hosts and guests), formulaic parade of smugness and ostentation which many, though not all, weddings seem to have become. I think those drinkers among us are probably more forgiving due to the usually copious amounts of free alcohol on offer at weddings. Unfortunately, I am not so easily bought.

The underlying sentiment of marriage (committing oneself to a relationship) is not lost on me, and I must admit to getting a tear in my eye at those points in the speeches where these sentiments are expressed in public. Interestingly, I rarely get a tear in my eye during the ceremony, not least because the participants are spouting someone else's words in broken sentences. I have seen ceremonies where the couple have added their own vows or have decided to make the vows without the prompts and I feel that this, at least, makes the whole thing a little more personal. The most recent ceremony I attended was thwarted by the constant whining, crying, coughing and spluttering of the selection of babies and children who were present. I could hardly hear the words of the registrar and the bride and groom above this cacophony of childhood. I doubt that the children were particularly enamoured by being forced to stand up, sit still, stand up again, sit down again and listen attentively to something which no doubt seemed utterly incomprehensible to them. I'm sure they, like me, would rather have been doing something else.

I just wonder whether the sentiment is lost within the pointless ceremonials, like being "formally received" by the bride, groom and various parents, (a particularly cringeworthy experience on this most recent occasion, especially because most of them had no idea who I was, being the newish "partner") and milling around hungrily after the ceremony for what seemed like hours whilst the endless stream of photos are taken.

Then there is the wedding list. A subject upon which I ought not to embark, for fear of being unable to stop ranting.

No. The more I think about it, the more I wonder what it's all for. I can only conclude that I'm just not the marrying kind.