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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What a tangled web we wee.

Went to see Michelle Williams's new film the other day, Take This Waltz.

Take this schmaltz, more like. By the end of it, I wanted to climb into the film and throttle the lead character, while yelling 'strap on a pair!' She says 'I wuv you' to her long suffering husband, for god's sake. I mean, what a dick. It's pronounced love, you're not six years old, you don't have a speech impediment and it's not cute.

The film wanted to be Blue Valentine, Michelle Williams's other off beat, quirky independent film made of late. But that one had Ryan Gosling in it and this one didn't - the least of the differences that made this one fall flat.

So Michelle Williams's character is having an internal moan in her twee little head because she's been with her husband five years and they get on really well and their careers are going well and they have a beautiful home. Boo hoo, Michelle Williams.

Her big problem is, they wee in front of each other. She has a wee, he brushes his teeth, and you're supposed to be thinking, oh, poor Michelle Williams, her marriage is reduced to having a wee in front of her husband while he brushes his teeth, when what she really deserves is the hot crumpet who lives across the street and undresses her with his eyes all the time.

She thinks the grass is greener over on the other side of the street, and after a very long two hours of wistfully looking just off camera wondering if there's more to life than having a wee in front of your husband, she leaves her lovely, funny, sweet husband and goes to have mad, rampant sex with the man across the street. They do it missionary, they do it upside down, they do it with women, they do it with men. Michelle Williams is so sexually satisfied and everything has worked out great because she followed her libido into the arms of an adulterer and is no longer having a wee in front of her husband.

Only - spoiler alert - time ticks on and eventually hot, mysterious lover from across the road becomes long term boyfriend and the rampant sex is replaced by having a wee in front of him while he picks food out of his teeth with dental floss.

Ah, you got your comeuppance, Michelle Williams! You thought the grass was greener, but it wasn't, it was just a bit less trampled on, and now the new grass is the old grass and you are weeing on it.

I remember the first time I had a wee in front of G. It took a lot of courage. He'd already started weeing in front of me and we lived together, if I could just get over it then it would make sharing the bathroom a lot easier. So I did it and it wasn't that bad and he still fancied me and our relationship continued. Not exactly the making of a Hollywood rom-com.

Last weekend, we went out with some friends. We drank a lot of booze and a lot of water, in an attempt to negate the booze. We slept in our camper-van outside their house and the last thing my friend said to me as we went out to sleep was: 'Do you want a key to the house in case you want to come in for a wee?'

I waved her away with nonchalance, told her we'd probably just scoot off in the morning, I didn't need to come in for any ablutions or pit-stops. My brain forgot I'd drunk 17 pints of water and my bladder was too busy drowning to send out a message to said brain requesting a key to said loo.

At 5am, I awoke with a dangerously full bladder. In my mad panic for a receptacle, I woke up my sleeping future husband, who then realised he too needed a wee.

We were on a residential street. There were no trees for G to pee towards, no bushes for me to pee under. 'Just pee in the street,' G mumbles. But I could feel the judging eyes of 100 residents, even though it was 5am, dark, and they were probably all asleep. What if I woke one of them up and they started shouting at me from their window, mid stream? It would be traumatic. I might accidentally dribble down my leg.

So I grabbed the only thing I could find to wee in. A saucepan.

And I realised, while one of us was weeing in a saucepan and the other was weeing in an Evian bottle, that we've both seen too much. It's probably best to just stay together. No use going with some hot guy across the road who doesn't know I pee in a saucepan. Because eventually, he will. So I'll just stick with the one I've got and try not to pee in front of him too often. Just to keep the magic alive.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Our marital hootenany

Here is a picture of page 43 in Grazia this week. Owls. Owls everywhere. Owls in fashion. Owls on T shirts, owls on Kate Bosworth, owl earrings and owl belts. Twit twoo, you might think, that’s a nice T shirt. Going to get me one of those. Not I. I am not happy.

Usually I’m delighted to be accidentally in fashion. A pair of wedges I bought in Clarks recently were featured in Bella magazine a few weeks later, on their ‘this week we’re loving...’ page. Women who buy shoes in Clarks don’t usually expect to be labelled fashionable. I was delighted to be accidentally fashionable and immediately tweeted my fashionable friends to show off that my shoes were on a fashion page and I was bang on trend.

But this is different. I did not accidentally follow fashion, fashion accidentally followed me and I need to put a stop to it, pronto. How do you put a stop to fashion? Do I call Vicky Beckham? Ask her to do me a quick fave and under absolutely no circumstances be seen in an owl jumper?

It’s all Gareth’s fault. He started it, by liking owls - actual owls, not owl jumpers and owl earrings. Actual living owls. He can reel off a list of owls that are native to the British Isles, he’s intrigued by their faces and fascinated by their hunting prowess, the design of their feathers and that they fly silently. He likes the fact the collective noun for a bunch of owls is a parliament of owls and that they have three eyelids per eye, one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

All very well. Gaz liked owls and banging on about owl facts (see above). I liked buying him presents, so when I saw a little furry owl in the gift shop of an owl sanctuary we went to, I bought it for him, so he could put it in our little bonsai tree and pretend he had the actual owl he so longed to own. Slowly, friends and family got wind of his adoration and he / we were given so much owl paraphernalia that things started to get a bit silly - you could sit on our sofa and without even moving your head, ratchet up double figures of the amount of owl crap you could see in our living room. I thought it was fun - it’s not like it was cats we were into (crazy old ladies are into cats. A cool young hip couple like us had found a totes unusual animal to obsess over) I didn’t really share G’s appreciation of what made actual owls so great, but I did like hunting for obscure little owl titbits for the flat. In fact my hunting prowess would have made an owl proud, hur hur.

Then we got engaged. As wedding plans developed, we thought it would be hilarious, ironic and unusual to have an owl themed wedding - stopping short of having an actual owl deliver the rings, because we don’t like our owls to be kept in captivity with a chain on their ankle.

We made this decision, this owl themed wedding decision, a year ago. Long before the owl fashion erupted. Twelve MONTHS before Grazia suggested you spend £795 on an owl jumper. (That’s one month's rent. On a jumper.) Three hundred and sixty five DAYS before Grazia told it’s 500,000 readers that £195 spent on an owl scarf was a really good investment.

At first I just thought it was rather convenient that I had been able to get a few owly things in Accessorize over the last few months. Now there has been an explosion of all things owl and I realise I have been feeding in to the very fashion craze I didn't want to happen.

Thanks Grazia. Now we look like we’re doing whatever you tell us, but tenfold, because we’re not just buying your jumpers, we’re decorating our entire wedding to your gospel word. We’re going to look like crazy fashion mad Grazia groupies who have no control of our fashion urges. Owls are in, you say? Right, get me a million of them, I’m going to decorate my wedding with so many owls you’ll be eating mice for main course and growing extra eyelids by the first dance.

For the record, our wedding may be airing six weeks after Grazia told you to like owls, but we started the trend, alright? And only because G really likes real, actual, wild owls.

Bloody fashion, coming along and making me look fashionable, right when I most don’t want to be. Where were you, fashion, when I really needed you? When I was at school and all the cool kids were wearing Levi’s and Dr. Martens and I was wearing my t-shirts inside out and my dresses back to front?

I’m just stating, for the record, that I really like wombats. There, I’ve said it. It’s out there. Look out, Autumn / Winter 2013, you’ve got wombat mania coming. And I’ll be leading the fashion pack with my wombat jumper and my wombat earrings.

(Something tells me this won’t take off. The wombat silhouette looks a bit like a poo.)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strangers on a train

When was the last time you had a stranger sleep in your house? A one night stand? A party so kerrr-azy it was gatecrashed by people you didn't know?

I can't remember the last time for me - probably because the party was so epic. But the point is, it's been years.

Well, it had been years, until a few nights ago. Now it's just been three days.

For her own sake, I'll call my friend A Nonny Mouse. A pseudonym. Her real name is Rachel Peters. Don't want you guys judging Rachel Peters for having a strange man back for a romp.

A Nonny Mouse was staying with us for the night and coming by train. I drove to pick her up and she called me as she alighted her carriage. Hmmm, she sounded different. I'm no detective but there was a definite gin-like giggle in her voice. She was inebriated and I knew it.

'Er, I've met someone,' she tells me. I'm so rusty at all this strangers on a train business I presume she means she's bumped into a friend. No. A stranger. On a train. 'He's got nowhere to stay tonight… could he come back to yours?'

Well, I already know what Gareth's going to say to this. He's a photographer. He has, I don't know what, tripods and stuff, the last thing he'll want is a stranger coming back and eyeing it all up.

A Nonny Mouse, who I'm going to call Nonny from now on because it takes less time to type, arrives at the car park with this man of questionable character. He tells me his name is Ozzie, but it's not his real name, and no I don't need to know what his real name is. Within one whiff of his scent I can tell he's been drinking for several hours and probably doesn't wash much, but he's good looking enough and I can see why Nonny has been flirting with him since Swindon. That was probably about the time the booze kicked in and she stopped being able to smell the lavender / musk / sweat emanating from his every pore.

Not one to be a party pooper, despite knowing Gareth won't be happy, I say alright, he can come back, but he better not nick anything.

Ozzie assures me he won't. Nonny assures me he won't - she tells me she trusts him, which is quite the endorsement from the drunk girl who has known him for one sixth of a day.

Still, she had this cute look in her eyes like she really didn't want the fun to end and I wasn't going to be the one who sent Ozzie off to sleep rough while Nonny was left with nothing more exciting than coming back to the chapel for a cup of herbal tea and a cold sofabed.

Ozzie, Nonny and I arrive back at ours. Gareth seems to be taking it quite well - Ozzie is very charming and makes sure he makes an effort to show us he's not the 'Shit, since that bloke came over I can't find my piano' type, but more the 'Wow, since that bloke came over and did Reiki on me I'm really feeling more connected to my chakra.'

(Note - no, he didn't do Reiki on us. As if I'd let anyone hover their stupid hippy hands over me. But it looked like the kind of thing he'd do. He lived in a van, shat in a ditch and washed in a bucket for god's sake. Every day of his life.)

Ozzie and Nonny get flirty and continue to make their way through the rum they were enjoying on the train, so Gareth and I made our excuses and went to bed. With every single piece of Gareth's camera equipment. We stacked it up in the wardrobe, I had to spoon a tripod. He then wedged a laundry basket under the door handle and put his trusty baseball bat down his pyjama bottoms. Armed and dangerous - Gareth was ready to take Ozzie on, just as soon as he got through our barricaded bedroom door and went for a lens.

The next morning Ozzie left with nothing more than he came with and we all had a jolly good laugh about how worried Gareth was about his very expensive kit. It's easy to laugh when nothing gets stolen.

Later, I went to meet up with some girlfriends and regaled to them the story of my unusual night with nothing but a laundry basket between me and what could have been a killer rapist thief.

Soon, all the girls were offering up their own stories of the strangers they had had back to their houses - back in the day, of course, not recently. We are all ridiculously predictable these days.

I'll leave you with this. My friend Cesca's anecdote beats Ozzie's 'I didn't steal anything' story hands down. Her husband, Mike, he makes a regular appearance here, he's a good bloke. The kind you instantly want to hang about with. And so it was that Mike met some guys in a kebab shop or on the tube or something, I forget the details. Mike, being the generous, trusting man he is, invites these 'legends' back to his for a nightcap. Strangers come back to Mike's house and they all get thoroughly drunk, to the point where everyone passes out.

Hours later, Mike wakes up to a knock on the door. It was the guys he'd been partying with the night before, the strangers he'd invited back to his for a night of fun. The 'legends'.

'Er, we stole your wallet,' said the strangers, handing it back to Mike. 'But we felt really bad about it because we had such fun with you last night, so we brought it back.'

Isn't that just lovely? Criminals, brought to their knees by Mike's banter.

I like to think Ozzie would have stolen our house if we weren't so charming, but I'm not sure I came across as charming when I said: 'Right, we're going to bed. Don't steal anything, I'm a journalist, I'll find out where you live. Night night!'

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