Sunday, 25 November 2012

It's Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away...

Obviously the original place from which this, my final blogpost as Miss Musing, title is borrowed, once had much deeper and darker meaning as Kurt Cobain scrawled his heart out before tragically taking his own life.  Well, fear not, I'm not doing a Cobain, just doing what I think I do best, reinventing!

A Tarot reader once told me I was like a phoenix (no, not feathery and mystical), with the ability to rise from the ashes.  I've always liked this analogy, I think it sums me up and I think this lies behind my decision to move on from The Skinny Mocha Musings.

The truth is, people enjoy reading about single, momentary tragedies and challenges in life.  I like to think that through the whirlwind of my mid-twenties crises in London, readers could relate to me and my troubles.  I also think people can relate to me now; sharp-tongued, hideously romantic, in love with all things vintage and really not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve.  Personality doesn't change, but the self-belief that people want to read about you does.  I love to read about chaos, I loved to write about chaos and the tragic ashes from which something quite beautiful arose.  I don't so much think you, lovely fellow musers, want to read about new trials and tribulations of a rock and roll mum, or how my job and it's compliance rules appall me.  I don't want to regale you with tales of knitting and crafting, home-making, baby-ness, gigs and romance.  I want to put my creativity into something new, fiction, business, crafting, probably not picking up the pieces of a broken heart.  Over and over again.

So, before I sign off for the final time, here's a few tidbits I've learnt in my 28th year on this good old planet.

1) I am probably the most impulsive person I've ever had the pleasure to know.  I'm quite headstrong, not really bound by personal limits or the warnings of others.  And the best thing is, I'm O.K with that!
2) The word Mumpreneur should never be used in my presence.
3) Setting up a business usually involved a business plan, a foolproof one.  Not one that will send your arse packing right back into retail management before you can utter the word 'cupcake' one more time.
4) Having mentioned point 3, it also takes a certain amount of bravery to set something up on your own.  And there is nothing to stop you using what you've learnt to set up a new business in the near future.
5) This plan to develop a business, will definitely not class me as a 'Mumpreneur'.  Because that term is awful and should be tossed on the pile of 2000's faux pas along with 'Amazeballs'.
6) Some people in life, simply will not go away. 
7) Reading about pregnancy and birth scares the s**t out of you.  Enjoy YOUR pregnancy and not reading about someone else's.
8) Losing a child-like wonder about the world, makes it much harder to live in said world.  Best keep that sense of magic and determination.  Things can only get better.  Ironically not for D:Ream.
9) Pregnancy tends to ignite some sort of regressive therapy within you, a sudden need to get out those Marilyn Manson albums of yore, a need to wear the darkest lipstick you can possibly get away with, a last look at the likes of Skeet Ulrich and co in such classics as 'The Craft'.  Perhaps this is a reminder that whatever happens, even when you have infants depending on you, you are still you.  Or perhaps it's because you feel that playing 'Holywood' around your child could potentially constitute as child abuse of the ears.  

I think that's it.  I really think there is nothing more to say.

So I guess I just wanted to thank my lovely friends and musers who have continued to read my ramblings over the last 2 and a half years.  Thank you for your ears, thank you for your eyes, thank you for your opinions and thank you for letting my little old life infiltrate yours for a short while.  Keep an eye out for more writing fun in the future!  I hope, one day, when you see my name in lights on the 'BOGHP' tables in Waterstones, you'll remember our time fondly and think to yourself, 'she's come a long way, I remember when she was rambling on about being madly in love with someone called Dreamboy/I remember when Bob the Builder turned out to be a lying arsehole/I remember when Mr Jeffery came along and made it all better.'  Just, whenever this does happen, remember NOT to use the term 'Mumpreneur'.

So I'll sign off in the words of someone I have always loved, Only Fools and Horses very own Delboy;

'This is not goodbye, this is....Bonjour'.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Not Intellectual, No We Ain't Got The Time...

It occurred to me today, whilst mouthing ‘we’re closed’ through the window of my shop, ten minutes after said-close, to some sort of hot chocolate-crazed woman; that it may not, after all, have been my imminent withdrawal to the blissful land of coupledom that put me in such high tolerance of the stupidities of the General Public for much of 2012.

It may, in fact, have been the almost long-forgotten decision I made to remove myself from the world of retail management, which I so helpfully combined with my life-move to Nottingham to co-habit with Mr J and his band of Merry Midlands Folk.  What bliss that was…contentment, relaxation and if anybody had any problems at my places of part-time, I simply no longer had the power, or indeed the will, to do anything about it. 

Fast forward a few months, three house moves, a sort of half-planned, half-unsure of where we’re going with it business, plus a teeny tiny little factor of this little surprise, coming to a town near you in early March 2013, I’ve not only found myself shunning the world of fashion retail (because it’s mostly appalling), I’ve found myself back in the business of being a store manager for a top-end merchant of tea and coffee (which, in many ways, is still appalling).  Gone are the blissful memories of no weekend work or complaints letters to deal with, the sarcasm has well and truly returned with a bang and I’m back to dreaming and planning new ways to make a living/livings with my hobbies, as opposed to dealing with incompetence and brainlessness (customers, not actually people I work with) on a daily basis…

 Bebbe Jeffberry!  She's actually a bit bigger than this now, but the 20 week scan pictures were awful!

‘Oh, so that means, if you’re shut, I can’t come in then?’  Pretty much love, the lights turned off and till shut down is what we call ‘subtle hint number one,’ I too shall be soon exiting the building which will mean that, despite your fawning gawps through my shop window, there will not be a soul here any longer who would be able to serve you.  It may come as quite a surprise to some people out there, but shops generally work on their own timetables, not on the off-chance that you might be a few minutes late into town.

Don’t even get me started on the couple who tried to serve themselves coffee and operate our grinder earlier on today.  Honestly, try that at Nero, operating machinery by yourself definitely falls under a Health and Safety clause.  Of course it’s OUR fault we don’t have a sign explaining that customers are not to serve themselves, despite the endless amounts of coffee paraphernalia involved in doing so, not akin to Kurt Cobain’s top desk drawer if I’m not mistaken.  Nothing to do with the fact you’re just useless excuses for human beings then?

So I got home today, I felt narked-off enough to start ranting about life again and thought, hey I remember when I used to write about things like this and people enjoyed reading them.  Well HERE I AM.  Unfortunately I’m currently leading a caffeine-free life, which means a distinct lack of Skinny White Mochas, (one day my friends, one day soon) what with the bumpette and all, but this only serves to create more black humour, surely?

Forgive my absence, I’ve been a little accidentally busy settling in to life as a nearly-Northerner, but here’s to new musings, new rants and new musings from a New Musing Mummy-to-be! Whose in?!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I Go Crazy..Cos Here Isn't Where I Want To Be

So firstly, it appears this whole self-employment business is making me extremely lazy in the blog department...either that OR my life is of little interest any more.....I'm going with the first!

What a strange couple of months it has been too in the world of Miss Musing and all who travel along her path, from moving to new jobs to sudden loss of jobs and sudden closures of beautiful Jigsaw stores :( and sudden surges of interest in aforementioned self-employment.

I'll be honest, when I originally started writing this post, it was mostly going to be a tongue-in-cheek gripe at losing my job, alongside other somewhat mishaps, that have made my life feel low at times.  Then again, you have one conversation, read one thing on Facebook and suddenly you feel invigorated to make do with what you have and, in turn, make what you have work.  Your perspectives change.  Again.

I was annoyed at getting a phone call to say the shop would be closing, annoyed that I would have to uproot and find something else again.  I was annoyed at certain types in the cutthroat world of crafts and catering who just couldn't seem to be straight with me, annoyed at letting myself take this so personally that I even considered throwing the towel in on Miss Berry's.  I was irritated to feel as though I was losing grip of everything I had pulled together since moving to Notts and would be left with nothing.  That's the issue with perspective, you can't see any good until you find out someone has been struck with a much worser deal in life.  And that is all it took.  Being annoyed doesn't change anything, being pro-active does.

If you believe, like me, that life is made up of a series of important moments in your life.  If you, like me, count staring wistfully out of a window waiting for lightning to strike to an energising theme tune by Arcade Fire, as a genuine hobby, then you'll understand what I mean.  You will also have been told to do at least one of the following at some point in your life;
a) 'come along Dolly Daydream'
b) 'can you just get over it, please?'
c) 'but there really is nothing you can do about'.
If you're anything like me, you'll also be just about coming round to the theory that feeling sorry for yourself (whether listening to Arcade Fire or not), doesn't get you anywhere. 

It took less than an hour for me to pick myself up from the depressed slump I had talked myself into, talk to someone who wanted to listen and realise that ultimately, the only person who was in control of me...was ME!  If I didn't like a situation, then I had to change it, if I didn't like the disposable nature of a job, leave it and if I didn't want to be another faceless employee in a big company, fight against it.  Was it perhaps time to see myself as not 'unemployed' but 'self-employed' come June 11th?  Had I been taking on all those extra hours at Jigsaw simply to play it safe rather than face the fear of venturing out on my own?  Was it that I only really had to start believing in myself and my abilities to make it through this dark patch? I thought perhaps so.  And in those darkest hours, some of the people I hardly proclaimed to know, came through and showed faith in me.  The lightning came, the theme tune played, I was no longer going to see June 11th as a bad day.

That day came and went...surprisingly I'm still here.  The closing of the shop was horrible, but I'm still here.  I've worked my arse off the last few days to get as many stalls and recognition for Miss Berry's as I can, I'm still here.  I've been ready to apply for full time jobs and, in those split seconds, been approached about stalls and upcoming gigs to promote myself, I'm still here.  I even fulfilled one of my resolutions - I did an open mic night with Mr J.  I'm still here...

I'll be back when I've got something funny to write, but for now I'm plugging away turning dream into reality and acting on the somewhat divine realisation that the only person that can really chase my dreams and change what is me!

Mwah x

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Just Another (Samantha) Brick In The Wall

Last week, whilst selling my homemade cupcake wares at down town Sneinton Urban Food Market; I was much struck by the approach of a kind faced older man who waltzed up to me, not to purchase the aforementioned cupcakes, nor to enquire about the wealth of possibilities in ordering a tea party service.  No, my friends, he simply came up to me to comment on how pretty I was in vintage tea dress and flame-red victory rolls.  I smiled sweetly and thanked him, but inside I was crying, devastated at being the victim of such old-fashioned charm.

Of course, as with all traumatic happenings, this brought back painful memories; admiring men-folk giving up their seats on the bus for you, a swift smile or a name on a guestlist, not to mention the hideous incident involving an old male friend of mine on a dinner date.  My friend and I had taken a fancy to Japanese cuisine, so off we trotted to the incredible Michelin-starred Roka and caught up over sticky ribs and Merlot! Alas, upon my return from the little girls’ room, I was most horrified to learn that said male friend has PAID FOR THE WHOLE MEAL.  He smiled, a calm gentlemanly smile before a slyly commenting on my dress and whisking me off to Marylebone for a late night tour of the sites; a gesture of kindness he must have thought, upon gazing at my outstanding beauty glimmering in the neon lights.  I was fuming.

Then I woke up, realised I wasn’t Samantha Bloody Brick clearly talking out of her arse and got on with my most menial life as an avid non-reader of the Daily Mail.

Honestly, I felt compelled to write this (after spending my day fathoming furniture for my upcoming new abode with Mr J – we’ve bought a mattress together, guys this is serious), but it really is women like Mrs Brick who get my metaphorical goat (whose name would be Mabel, and who would have a gingham bow tied around her left ear, should she exist).  Not to sound old fashioned, but I don’t think Emmeline Pankhurst and the like chained themselves to railings for women’s rights, only for one taller-than-average, pent up writer to get frustrated with unrequited attention and decide to rub the females of the British Isles noses in it with her First-World problems.  An uttered exhaustion at constant come-ons by unwashed miscreants of the pub-crawling, club-brawling world is one thing (totally justifying myself here), but a page-long essay of how one’s beauty (sorry, did someone say nose like a pug?  No?   Must just be me!) has left her in the terrifying paths of evil predators who enjoy showering her with champagne, upgrades to first class and bunches of flowers.  It’s not behaviour I condone, mostly because they’re probably twats, but it’s not condemnable either, surely? 

I’m not a jealous person upon reading this eloquently written ‘plight’, as I am sure the hundred of other out-cryers are not either.  Whilst not considering my position in the ‘beauty stakes’, I am the sort of person who takes pride in her somewhat abnormal sense of style and, admittedly, who is flattered if someone, stranger or otherwise, chooses to make a positive comment towards you.  When I was single it was nothing but a confident boost to hear a polite compliment (not you, strange and ridiculously tall man at the chicken shop in April 2010, not you), now I bat for ‘Team Couple’, it’s still nice to think someone has noticed you, only if it is just a momentary brush off as you toddle off on your journey.  And for the purpose of this exercise, I am speaking purely about compliments from the opposite sex, the odd smile on the work commute, a flirtatious conversation in the workplace; I’ve not been so ‘unlucky’ as Mrs Brick to have been adorned with such a fine lifestyle due to my being such a sight for sore eyes.  Whilst she admits she is no Elle McPherson, her womanly powers simply leave men so weak at the knees they can’t help but reach for their wallets.  Well done Mrs Brick, well done to you, I bet even Elle herself can’t vouch for that sort of adoration!

My advice to Samantha, should she wish to hear it, would mostly end with the word ‘off’.  The more constructive backlasher in me, would suggest a literal dressing down of herself, a need to blend into the crowd, less of that make-up and very average hair-styling and more of a ‘head down’ attitude towards the cruel cruel men of the world; if indeed such a thing poses a problem for her in this recession-sodden, more-bad-news-than-good world that we live in. Day in day out there are people with money problems, hideous regimes going on in countries we don’t even like to think about and issues with stalking, paedophilia, murder and rape right on our doorsteps, but one can only imagine your daily anguish…MUST BE TOUGH!  I might ask what her husband thought of these public displays of affection from near strangers (Mr J, should we ever be thrust into such a situation, would probably consider them to be figments of my imagination – just saying), and whether or not he had levelled up the possibilities of ADHD – but a posh version.  I would probably finish with ‘who really f%$%(^ing cares’.  But that’s just me, and nothing I write is going to be deemed important enough to publish in the Daily Mail.  But perhaps Samantha, it’s really just time to put a brick in it.

I think that’s about enough from me, I’ve got the task of picking out a wedding outfit for my oldest friend’s reception next week, let’s hope it’s nothing too eye-catching, nobody wants the awkwardness of a free glass of wine at their table.


Monday, 19 March 2012

I Am Done With My Graceless Heart...So Tonight I'm Going To Cut It Out And Then Restart

Well, in my opinion happiness is all well and good and that, but it is also quite the crusher of creative flow, in the case of both myself and Mr Jeffery.   Apologies for the lack of blog...but it appears I have lost my inner bitterness and ability to see the macabre joke in everything, whilst the ever delectable Mr J fails to write any new tunes, it seems, unless someone or something is royally effing him over.  We’ve discussed splitting up for a week to aid this...but truth be told that probably won’t happen, my laptop could never replace those cuddles!

Since I last wrote, it appears I have quit my old life almost completely, for a new one, in Nottingham, with Mr Jeffery and absolutely no managerial duties whatsoever.  Today, on this day of love to all the Mothers out there, I’m recovering from cupcake stall number five!  That’s right... Meet Miss Musing Mk2: creative Goddess, homemaker, penniless planner, vintage Del-boy in the making, tea party host extraordinaire and purveyor of cupcakes and other such goodness coming to a stall near you (providing you live in and around the Nottingham area).   No more hideous Sunday morning KPI trackers or cursing my incompetent area manager’s daft phone calls...this morning my main concern was to ensure my victory rolls didn’t resemble either a) Gary Oldman in Dracula or b) Wolverine.  Suffice to say, they’re looking fierce!

I wish I could say it was a difficult decision to leave London, and all that had come with it.  The difficult bits were people shaped – Lovemenot and her hair (not to mention THAT salmon dish she does), MMH and his banter, Goldie and our Food Around the World tour, Stickels and his Veggie Burgers (congrats on the progression to cooking from raw my love) and so many more.   But the life-issues were worth leaving; the hour long work commute with nowt but George Harrison on repeat on the iPod to restore serenity in one’s life along the Piccadilly line, the constant pressure from a job you simply don’t care about anymore and sustaining a relationship with the man you love via the phone and National Express coaches.  There is only so much one can take when you start planning your life together with miles of the M1 still jarring a wedge between you.  Something stopped making sense around Christmas time, there were flying visits to both families, an interesting New Year jaunt at Gunthorpe Village Hall with Mr J and family (a far cry from the gin soaked and mascara stained memory of Proud last year) and, amongst other lovely gifts from Mr J, a house key and a poem – the decision was made.  I could no longer live an unhappy half-life in London town, when an exciting full and new life was waiting for me.

As for the business?   Well that was easy too.  I simply no longer enjoyed managing people, as amazing as my team was and still is, or working in the fashion rat race.  I’ve always fallen on the creative side of the spectrum and have forever griped with the idea of putting my creative frustrations into some sort of business venture.  I think the fear has always been there as I am, after all, crap with money and can barely work an excel spreadsheet.  I remember a certain conversation with an old MD of mine (describe in 4 words…a**ehole in Ralph Lauren) a few years back when I was just a young upstart living in rockin’ Bath.  He was the type of man who liked to make women feel small (read: clearly overcompensating for small…personality methinks); I talked about my pipedreams of owning my own boutique, he threw figures and bonds and other such jargon at me which, frankly, scared the living daylights out of me.  It’s only now, now that I’ve done the big bad manager’s job in big bad London, that I can appreciate how much I probably really do know about business, things that you couldn’t probably teach on a business management course, things that only dealing with the lowest of all the cretinous public can arm you with.  So I suppose with that, and with Mr J’s unfailing support of my happiness, I decided to set up my own catering and vintage tea part business.  There were flyers to make, plans to put in place, a Food Hygiene course to pass (BTW High Speed Training is no Ronseal…it took me HOURS) and a part time job to find.  Hello Collard Manson, quirky fashion boutique, exquisite jewellery retailer and my new place of work.  Things really feel as though they are slotting into place.  I’ve traded in the late nights and the stress for doing something I love and though it’s hard work and a level of frustration I didn’t know existed, I have never been so happy as to watch something of my own doing grow.  I may no longer have Whistles dresses on tap, but I do have fun and moments of pride and, hopefully, a legacy in the making.  

Don’t get me wrong, fellow musers, being The New Girl (in a non-kooky Deschanel way) is not without its drawbacks, especially when one’s other half can be somewhat forgetful with introductions.  There are the dreaded ‘Ex-Files’ – they can appear anywhere, at any moment and upstart the most hideous of conversations.  I’m lucky enough to have a very honest boyfriend, who has imparted his truths of lives once lived, relationships that shouldn’t have been and bad marriages that are yet to be dissolved with an almost brutal level of honesty.  There are no secrets and there should be no faithful inferiority complex rearing its ugly head at sightings of Facebook friends and whisperings of girlfriends and flings past.  But it does and it will.  My one fear of planting myself in amidst Mr J’s life up here, was just that and this is the only thing that still brings some sadness to an otherwise delightful existence with him; sadness not so much in what has been, but in my inability, still 6 months on, to deal with it.

Still, we can’t dwell on the past, the great Florence Welch sings ‘I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind, I can never leave the past behind.’  Well said Flo (and, by the way, stop stalking me – first we meet in St Johns Wood, then I look up to see your pale familiar face staring in at my shop window on Carlton Street – it’s not healthy, it’s frankly quite embarrassing), here’s hoping your ecclesiastical sounding teachings will get through to the dwelling melancholy-holic that still feels more comfortable shedding tears at a late night bus stop, one day.  In the mean time there are vintage tea parties to plan, Ebaying to be done and a trip to Birmingham as part of Mr J’s extensive entourage (still no new tunes but some outstanding older ones on his new EP).  If you are coming to the Yard Bird tonight, I shall be the Merch Girl complete with red lippy and decidedly un-Wolverine like hair!

Love to your Mothers

Mwah x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Wish You Were Here....

Back in September, I entered a writing competition with Elle magazine; 900 words on an event that shaped your life, was the brief.  I considered everything, from incidents at primary school, to lifelong friendships, to tattoos, to broken hearts and nasty boys; all lovingly beheld in their shaping of my life.  But in the end, I saw this competition as the best possible way to keep alive the memory of an extraordinary girl whose friendship, no matter how brief, helped to shape who we are today.

I didn't win the competition (and I've served Lorraine Candy at work, so I'll be taking this small point up with her, once she agrees to hand over her gorgeous sheepskin poncho), but I didn't want this piece of writing to land on the slushpile with so many of my other ideas.  So here it is, just for Hannah, a small tribute to someone who I know is watching over us still, and probably having a right old laugh.  We still miss you...

For Hannah and All That Came After – Sept 2011

In a matter of weeks, we will all be celebrating in style as we wave a reluctant ‘au revoir’ to my dear friend Cat, who is off on a much-longed-for adventure around the world, for who knows how long.  Rachel and I will be quite lost without her on our continent.  One person will be notably absent from the celebrations.  Notably, of course, because she would have been the one person who would have encouraged Cat from day one, not to mention seen her off with nothing but smiles and endless shots of Tequila.  Our friend Hannah, a passionate and wonderful person, whose life was cut tragically short by The Big C, aged just 23.

I was an idiotic, sullen nineteen year old when I first met Hannah, all mile-high legs and bleach blonde hair; caught up in the throes of a hideous ‘woe is me’ crush (I wish I could tell you things have changed in the eight years since, sadly not true) and desperate to be ‘different’.  I paid little to no attention to a future that crept closer and grew ever more uncertain as the fuzzy Uni days flew by.  We all lived in the moment I suppose, but not with passion, with denial.  Hannah was the girl who made it happen, who approached life with a shrug of the shoulders; the girl who would advance on the intimidated guys staring in clubs to get answers, if nothing more.  The girl who realised there was more to her and all that she did, who saw her first diagnosis as a springboard to plan for a brighter future, to gain that place at Uni and fulfil her dreams of becoming an English teacher.  I only wish she had got that far.  Even in the deepest, darkest moments, she never once questioned ‘why’, she simply beheld a belief in beating it and, when she knew she could fight no more, concentrated on making the dreams of those closest to her come true; by creating a living will, a testament to her giving nature, a need to provide a future for those around her, one that she would not share.

Years have gone by and the three of us, Rachel, Cat and I have remained the closest of friends.  We continue to be each other’s confidantes, encouragement, discouragement where necessary, shoulders to cry on and, last year, Cat and I played the roles of proud bridesmaids on Rachel’s Big Day!  We are all still bonded, as ever, but not in the wake of the impossible unfairness of Hannah’s passing, but in her incredible vitality for life, even when she was staring death in the face.

They say everyone who comes into your life, comes into it for a reason.  Well if that’s the case, I will forever question why we had Hannah for such a short time and why other unnecessary types mess about in our daily existence for so much longer.  Either way, Hannah was the sort of person who could instil those feelings of endless possibilities within you, someone who would always tell you to ‘Go for it’ whether ‘it’ be the pursuit of a true love or scaling Mount Everest; even if she does now represent a tragic reminder of the fragility of life in all of us.  I cannot help but think she is perhaps a big reason why Cat is following her dreams of round the world travel, or why Rachel and her Husband are in the process of planning a permanent move to Australia.  Perhaps Hannah really did lie at the root of my decision to break free from the quiet routine of my existence in Somerset and move to London, to realise my dreams of becoming a writer, or even just become a part of a new city, to start a new life.  I’d like to think she is here as I sit, typing this, hopeful of some sort of reward or recognition for my work, or that she is even the one encouraging me to saunter across the High Street where I work and drop my phone number into the hands of my latest crush.  Either way, I believe she left us all with a message; to see and do everything you want to; to experience all that you can, because she ran out of time and time, for us, no matter how short, is a gift that we must all cherish.

So here I sit, finally half the embodiment of everything I think I want to be, copper hair, ridiculous shoes, inked body and ever-consumed heart.  I’m still planning, celebrating, dreaming, believing the impossible and always inspired by my sweet, but all too short friendship with Hannah, as we all are.

Wherever you may be now, dear friend, I hope you know we are all still going for it, like you would have wanted us to.  Our hearts might have sunk when we said goodbye, but we were uplifted by you and your fierce, unapologetic, uncompromising attitude towards an illness that may have taken you from us, but at least taught us something about embracing freedom, about endless possibility and about going for what we really want, if only because sometimes life really is too cruel and too short.  And in that alone you, our lovely girl, will forever live on.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Before Too Long…There’ll Be Somebody Else, It’s Then That You’ll Know That You Wanted More…

Let me start by wishing you a most Merry of all Christmasses.  Hopefully as you read this, you are all snuggled up with your loved ones still patting a heavy stomach of mince pies and merriment, looking forward to the welcoming ceremony of 2012, and all that it may bring.

Incidentally, since you asked, I am sat typing this whilst Audrey struts her stuff in Breakfast at Tiffany’s on my DVD player, snuggled up in my most furry of fur coats as the boiler has decided to pack up.  Ridiculous.  Happy bloody Christmas.

Christmas, it must be said, was wonderful; short as ever for us retailing types, but wonderful none the less.  Mr Jeffery did me proud with his thoughtful and lovely gifts…which may have included a rather romantically wrapped key to his house….which may have been slightly more romantic, had I not been informed of this gift in a somewhat laughable incident prior to the festivities, in which I traipsed all the way back to London…with Mr Jeffery’s key still in my bag.  Cut to Christmas day, Nanny Musing is struggling to keep her cracker hat on her wiry fro, Mum is beaming over at me and love-of-life as we open wonderful presents and, surprisingly, we were subjected to Eastenders which I haven’t watched in years and, after that episode, I am overjoyed that I don’t; such relentless sorrow could not be endured of an evening four times a week. 

So we’ve hit the 3 and a half month mark and a wonderful 3 and a half months it has been; feels like years, but in a good way. But, as any girl knows, the first few months can also be what I like to call ‘The Woodwork Phase’; we’ve all been there girl meets boy, other boys from the past home in on some sort of inner radar device, girl is inundated with offers, apologies and such like.

It started with a Facebook message, about two months ago now.  It was from a bloke who ended up getting off with a friend of mine on one of my first nights out upon my arrival to London.  Ben was his name, though I remember calling him ‘Serge’, mostly because he had a beard and a friend named Tom.  This was also the night I fell in a bin, just to remind you how out of it I was.  Nevertheless, I digress, off ‘Ben’ and his friend trotted never to hear from again; life goes on, my so called friend disappears off the face of the earth and this appears early one morning in my FB inbox;
            ‘Funny how I remember your name after all this time, give me a message sometime, it was you I fancied, not your friend’.
Hmmm, wasn’t how it looked at the time mate, whilst I was busy trying to prise myself out of the bin.  I took great pleasure in a short message that said something along the lines of being a taken woman and ha ha and take care.  Honestly, men!

I don’t imagine for a second that Jon Richardson’s radar is anywhere near tuned in my direction, but it had remained a dream of mine to meet such a man who can make me laugh and cry simultaneously, with his humourous hatred for all mankind, and his cute dimples.  Alas, that dream came true at the start of December, in a basement tucked away by Old Street station, we had booked tickets for a sneak preview showing of Stand Up For The Week; little did we know how informal the evening would be.  Remember those ramblings a short time ago, a time when I had a firm belief I could be the woman for him?  Well, cut to Lovemenot virtually shoving me in Jich’s direction, a nervous request for a photo and a nervous acceptance, mission accomplished (disclaimer: Jich no longer allowed on my allowed list – he’s been replaced by Miles Kane)!  That’s the sort of spontaneity one can only find in London, how I’ll miss those moments.

What is it with them all?  You spend a good deal of your twenties single and ready for any eventuality (bolts out of the blue, celebs popping up on your doorstep) and you can’t even get the attention of the man who lives two doors up from your shop.  All of a sudden, just when you’re settling in to something new and serious, the lights go on…only this time guys, there really is nobody home.  Even Dream Boy attempted a minor flirt on our last meeting, something about absence making the heart grow fonder; no thanks DB, you of all people had time a plenty to see through my bashfulness and sort it out, too little too late!

And, as if these little flirtations weren’t enough, just when we thought a certain Gally had perhaps been asphyxiated by his own collection of overpriced, imported feathers (and other such hideous thoughts one conjures up in dark moments), he emails.  Well to be exact, I sent an email.  Something to do with laying ghosts to rest, I decided to send a quick email, a hello and a ‘hope you’re ok’.  He replied…and wanted to meet up for a drink.  I was shocked to my very core, not only had he been alive all this time, he was suggesting a catch up?  Not only that, it now appears he has set up his own fashion label with fancy website and interest from fashion bloggers already.  Well la de dah!  I’m 90% happy for him and 10% pissed off with this over-the-top success, as any ex would be – jammy bastard.

I suppose I thought about the drink, he knew about Mr J and my decision to potentially leave London for the love of such a good man, so there would be no wires crossed there.  Plus, there was the opportunity to get a few answers, gain a bit of closure, explaining that to Mr J, however, was a much harder conversation to have.  I decided it was a good idea, I responded to Gally with a few bits and bobs about the job etc – he never wrote back.  Oh well, closure accomplished I think – I know he’s alive and well and probably happy.  I guess there are some things we are not supposed to have answers to – like why the ‘Woodwork Phase’ will always crop up at the start of a new relationship, regardless!

Anyway, must get going, this rather lavish production of Great Expectations has me hooked, plus I have New Year’s Resolutions to plan…there’s no time to tell you of our first trip away together – to see Kasabian in Cardiff (awesome – on all levels), or our first road trip to Somerset (Mr J, an ex-employee of Nero, drank a Starbucks – I took photographic evidence).  Here’s to a fabulous 2012, I do hope you all get what you are hoping for; for me 2011 has been something of a turnaround…here’s looking forward to whatever 2012 may have in store. 

See you on the other side….

Mwah x