Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Summer Lovin'

As July is drawing to a close I find myself sick of our Summer sale and, I must admit, sick of our customer’s adamant demands for a gift wrapping service. It must be a retail thing, but I find myself excited at the publications of Vogue and Elle’s catwalk collections and fantasising about my upcoming Winter Wardrobe. Oh to wear layers again. I’m dreaming in black and white and designing in tartan.

As it stands money is becoming something of a worry and I am no longer able to guzzle the skinny white mochas in abundance. It’s a shame really, because Builder’s Tea from Cath Kidston Floral/Duran Duran Tour Mug Musings just doesn’t have the same ring.

So here I am, slightly overworked and slightly worried about finding dream flat with Lovemenot. I’m also still slightly shaken after spending a weekend swinging through trees and alighting zip wires to celebrate Rachel’s hen weekend…whose idea was that? Oh yes of course, mine and Cat’s, bridesmaids/event planner extraordinaires. I did it though, not bad for a girl who is afraid of both heights and sudden movements she has little control over, I have the certificate to prove it too. But a lovely Hen Weekend it was in the end, champagne, cream teas and tears, just as we knew our Rachel would want it.

Alarmingly, one July trend I won’t be sad to see the back of is the break-up trend. I always thought Summer was the time to hook up, relax with a Corona and enjoy holding hands strolling joyfully on a hot day. Apparently not, as many of my close friends have broken up with their prospective other halves/are considering breaking up with their other halves or are in self-imposed emotional turmoil over their other halves.

Not long after my Birthday I found myself counselling MMH over Pimms in Soho, as his first relationship had left him high and dry. He, of course, asked the question ‘how do you deal with this?’ I wasn’t sure what to say, because I knew I had come far since the Great Unmentionable, but I didn’t know what had done it. I suspected it was everything from my family and friends, to my psychic, to my job and my Blog, not to mention a slight obsession with Milburn TV (that was the first week; it was the only thing I could laugh at). It’s a sad thing though when something comes to an end, I can’t remember who said this to me but I say the same to him…you’ll be fine darling man, you just need to feel it.

Another close friend has been somewhat concerned about Facebook antics that, it must be stated, took place long before she and her current beau got together. I must say, leading on from a previous rant about the Internet (which I understand is highly hypocritical as I type this little musing…soon to be posted…on the Internet), that it has a lot to answer for. Earlier on she and I were emailing and discussing the minefield topic of whether or not we looked through Facebook photo albums of boys we liked. She said yes, and was absolutely certain that boys who liked us looked through our photos (you saw nothing tattooed one, NOTHING). I, on the other hand, tend to banish the neurotic side of my brain and try to imagine a potential as a blank canvas, someone I can learn about as we go along without drawing my own conclusions from photos and wall posts. It’s easier said than done and that’s the trouble, everyone’s history is blueprinted now, the Ex-Files are plastered across your man’s home page and there is no escape from off-the-cuff comments or posts they made have made in jest. After all, I wonder what my future boyfriend would think of my musings should he come across my tales of love, lust and longing? Still, she realised she was wrong and I am hopeful she may wean herself off the great Facebook photo race and relax a little into a relationship that sounds all fun and frolics to me.

And so, in between the break-ups and the househunting and the turning 26 it’s been quite an eventful and hot month. I guess you only have to look around you to see that nothing endures but change, sad as it seems. But I, for one, am looking forward to August, lots to do and see and even closer to being able to wear a duffle coat with a cute tartan skirt! I’m off to join a library and learn how to screen print…

On The Brink of the Mid Twenties...

I woke up on Thursday July 1st both incredibly anxious and excited. Excited because Dead Sons were uploading their first four songs since the name change and the addition of two new members that day. Excited because I only had two sleeps to wait before an epic amount of friends from my home town, my formative Uni and work friends plus my London buddies would all be visiting for a big party. Anxious because I only had two more sleeps as a 25 year old. I was on the brink of mid and late 20s, staring over the metaphorical cliff and I was running scared.

So what did turning 26 mean? I guess for some people it might mean an evaluation of your job, looking at a mortgage, considering taking a relationship to the next level and getting a pet? For me, it meant I probably had to make it to Glastonbury in the next two years, as I had promised myself I would do despite my hatred of camping. Also, having overcome my fears of sushi and Indian curries, I should probably attempt my Mount Everest of fears next and get back in the driving seat. I don’t know though, is there a right and wrong in this day and age?

I didn’t know what I was afraid of, apart from having to start ticking the ‘Over 25s’ box in surveys. Is that a crows foot I see next to my left eye? Did I start my rigorous moisturising routine too late? Will I wake up one morning with a new-found penchant for successful bankers and below-the-knee hemlines? Thankfully this last one has not yet occurred and, much to the dismay of those more sensible types around me, I still find video footage of cute, plastered, band boys wrapped in gaffer tape and throwing themselves out of moving vehicles both hilarious and strangely alluring.

This visibly pains and confuses some of my closest friends, the normal ones we shall collectively name ‘The Marrieds’ simply because some of them are married and some are pretty damn close/making future plans/not drinking as much gin and falling in love with £3-a-gig musos as I am. I love ‘The Marrieds’ as I do all my friends, more than life, and they love me, but they don’t understand me. Plus it would take a lifetime for me to explain myself to them, especially as I have no answers myself. So we all co-exist in a lovely world of forever friendship, and I gloss over some things/leave out vital bits of information so that they don’t think I’m either mental or about to elope somewhere with a 22 year old guitarist at the drop of a hat (which, I should point out, my Mum is fully prepared for).

Thankfully I have my Sismance (see what I did there) with the delectable, no-gloss-necessary Miss Lovemenot, who needs no explanations, just daily rants/plans/wise ideas/very unwise ideas in amongst managing our lovely store in St Johns Wood. And because we can’t get enough of each other, both at work and in social hours, we have decided to be up sticks from our current housing situations and become flatmates! Happy Birthday to me! A new flat on the cards and Dead Sons have not ceased to amaze me…..perhaps it’s going to be a good one after all.

The Birthday, as ever, was epic. I make it my duty each year to get as many people together under one roof as I can for celebrations and a chance to catch up. Lovely Katy and Mim had spent the Friday night with me catching up over Chinese and trying to right the same wrongs we spent many an afternoon in the Duo stockrooms of Bath trying to do. They also had the pleasure of waking up to the shrieks of ‘It’s My Birthday’ the following Saturday morning followed by a tearful moment collecting my parcels from the sorting office when the man at the desk wished me a Happy Birthday…I don’t care, I’m full of love. I’m special around this time of year, special as in should potentially be institutionalised. Jodie arrived, dressed as a pirate and still drunk from the night before at 10am (one literally can’t wait for her impending move to London in September) and we all chilled with an afternoon picnic in the park before my darling sisters of mercy Cat and Rachel arrived for the evening. Bless Lovemenot for speeding her way to mine after work and taking a mere 20 minutes to beautify herself before we hit Brick Lane for an Indian and I finally got to meet MMH’s new love interest.

Brick Lane was a good choice, many a night had already been spent in its fabulous bars and restaurants plus I had recently experienced what I would consider a brush with fate as I bumped into an old Bathonian crush of mine not once but twice. As it happens things went no further…but we are still hopeful. I had chosen 93 Feet East as my club of choice for the evening partly due to the tales I had heard of the vast amounts of skinny rockers that frequented there and partly due to the musical promises of Motown, Indie and Disco mash ups. In truth it was slightly overcrowded and overheated but fun nonetheless. We drank, we danced, we had an epic journey home barefoot, followed by tea and cake at 4.30am. And I’ll probably never forget the glint in the eye of the beautiful, trilby-adorned stranger who removed said hat and gave me a flirty ‘evenin’ as he walked by.

It hit me, as we sat around the table at the Indian just how time moves us forward, and yet, I felt as if I had seen everyone yesterday as they all sat catching up on work, men and Rachel’s impending wedding. I often talk about fate and soulmates and sometimes I long for things that I’m without. But it’s bloody humbling and earth-shatteringly brilliant to know you have these people around you who will not let you fall when you have every intention of jumping, who will accept all parts of you and who all, in their own way, make up the fabric of your life and who you are. Like Cat and Rachel who first met me in the post-Goth phase and struggled through university and the first glimpses of adult responsibilities. Or Jodie who showed me around on my first day at my beloved job at Duo and, upon asking her if she was with anyone special, confidently replied ‘until there’s a ring on it, I’m a free woman,’ Beyonce eat your heart out. And then there’s Shantel who helped me get out of the Hell-Hole and has become an unlikely alliance and fabulous ‘one too many’ drinking partner. My partner in crime Lovemenot and MMH, the best fellow gig-fiend and gay husband a girly could ever ask for. At that moment, I felt like the luckiest woman in the world to have these people and other sadly absent friends and family, around me.

So I realised…if the last 5 years are anything to go by, bring on the late twenties, as long as I have each and every one of these lovely people around me, or at least on the end of a phone, it’s going to be another big adventure.

The Serpents of Serendipity Rear Their Hopeful Heads

Earlier this month I had a sudden thought…to online date or not to online date? That is the question. To throw yourself back into the realms of online obscurity and anonymity or to keep the fatalistic, romantic part of you alive and kicking as you frequent social events with an agenda (albeit a hidden or subconscious one) of meeting a single, lovely boy?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife…not so these days I’m afraid Miss Austen. It is a truth universally acknowledged in this day and age that thanks to such brilliant discoveries as The Internet and other ‘forward thinking’movements in our society; a single man in possession of a fortune (good or otherwise) must be in want of a date/phone number/potential friend with benefits or, for some unknown reason, someone to ‘Poke’ occasionally on Facebook.

As I write this my ‘Old Soul’ head takes over and I’m totally with our Jane. A huge part of me (the overwhelming part that also believes I have lived many lives) yearns for a more simpler time when it comes to the rules and regulations of dating and relationships and all that malarkey.

Sometimes when I’m scattily wandering the more upper class areas of London after a delightful afternoon getting lost in the flagship Waterstones; I imagine myself all trussed up in corset and camisole, sewing a pointless picture and gazing out of a window, awaiting the arrival of a man who will ask my Father’s permission to court me. Instead I find myself hounded down Ballard’s Lane early one evening, whilst innocently walking home from work, by an inebriated, strange little man known only as ‘Anthony’ who, in his own words was ‘hoping to take me on a date’. Now putting aside both the fact that he was clearly old enough to be my Father and a drunken chav, who the HELL does he think he is? Hoping to take me on a date? You’ve got more chance of Megan Fox turning up naked on your doorstep matey let me tell you (and that’s only because I have a sneaking suspicion she may be easy). And as for asking my Father’s permission? Good luck finding him, try ringing the Daily Mail.

I won’t go into any kind of remote detail about a gin-fuelled evening at one of my favourite haunts ending in a bitter argument between two young best friends (one was cute and the other had the mysterious intrigue mastered), but it was one of those 5 am crashing back to earth moments when I had to stop and ask myself ‘what the f**k was I doing?’ I don’t know if those two made up, I never saw them again.

And then there are the countless occasions when we head out for an evening of dancing and merriment only to encounter nice young men who you might hang out with for a while, have a drink, have a dance, discuss current affairs (or belief in fate – I have a bracelet, it attracts that kind of attention) and then complete the evening with a hasty exchange of phone numbers as the bouncers are throwing you out and maybe a cheeky kiss. Only to never hear from said nice young man again. Ever. A very good friend of mine had yet another encounter with one of these creatures recently, we’ll call him Parklife. And much as it pains us to say it, the sudden break off of contact has led to many an afternoon at work discussing the possible reasons why someone, who seemed very keen and followed up the evening’s events would change their mind. We’re strong women, we pick ourselves up and move on, but this behaviour continues to baffle us and destroy our faith. So what to do?

Well with these continual delights the men-folk of North London have offered to me so far, one cannot help but be intrigued, once again, by the idea of internet dating, and the entire stigma attached to it!

I’m going to tell you a story, a familiar one.

Once upon a time, on a crowded street in Soho, two people hopeful of the evening’s potential events, battled against the howling winter wind and snow to meet for a drink. They had spoken, using the magic of the Internet and connected somewhat over a shared love of Kasabian. He was successful in his job in Advertising for a very well known red-top paper; she was new to London and keen to meet like-minded people.

And it was on those cold stone steps that they first caught each other’s eyes. He had lovely blue eyes, a touch of Ricky Wilson with Tom Meighan’s Irish heritage thrown in. But where was his neck? She was sure he had had a neck hidden under the Larne and Scott shirt he was wearing in his photos. He couldn’t make out her hair colour in the light, she was something of a chameleon in her photos (no tongue jokes please), but he had to admit he was impressed. Nevertheless, into the pub they ventured for drinks and small talk. And they talked…for five more dates.

They had lots in common, music and fashion mostly. He introduced her to the wonders of sushi and interactive table ordering, she introduced him to ‘Send In The Boys’ and The Backhanded Compliments. He listened intently to her stories of wrong-doings in her previous job and they both talked long into the nights over fine dining and sickly-sweet apple and cinnamon cocktails. Things were going well. Then came the third date kiss…

She was enjoying the kiss, it had been a while coming but she was enjoying it with this lovely, tall, elfin, slightly ginger….oh wait, she was pretty sure you weren’t supposed to imagine kissing someone else during a first kiss were you? Something was wrong. Was it the cocktails repeating on her? The lack of neck still? She tried to put it to the back of her mind, but it haunted her, was this whole seemingly sweet scenario of dating a set up for a rather huge fall?

Still, on they struggled for two more dates, including a mood-killer film trip to see ‘Precious’ and an awkward trip out with his work. But it wasn’t the same. The light brushing of hands wasn’t exciting it was weird, the conversation became stilted once they had decided which Kasabian album was the best and he had repeated his ‘I met Hugh Jackman’ story a few more times. Until one day, the conversations stopped completely and the love affair that could have been, faded away to oblivion.

I know this story only too well, because, if you hadn’t guessed already the young lady in question was me. Yes, both cajoled into, and intrigued by the world of Internet dating I decided to give myself a heads up in London City and help Mr All-Seeing and All-Knowing along on his then-miserable way in the process. Plus I was massively impressed by Goldie’s recent Internet find in Sheffield Sam (he turned out to be a twat too).

I don’t think I was looking for anything, nothing more than friendship maybe, plus I was developing a huge crush on my then Commercial Director at the Hell-Hole and this needed to be stopped in its tracks as quickly as one can say ‘Staff Christmas Party’.

So on I went, creating a profile and writing facts and figures about myself and anything that I felt people might want to know about me. And this is exactly the reason I decided not to venture into the world of online dating again.

It’s not that I am against the idea. I know several couples (Mr A-S A-K included) who have met and wooed electronically and have gone on to sustain very meaningful relationships. I also don’t believe the same stigma of yesteryear is attached the idea these days either. It seems as if busy people are taking control of their lives and making it easier to network in the short free time that they may have. But writing this alone, I die inside a little bit. It all seems very clinical, as if we are vetting someone on a flat screen for potential chemistry and picking out the likes and the dislikes and then making an informed decision. My experience mentioned before, forced me to question why we met and what compelled us to keep meeting? Something kept us going but, in hindsight, I doubted that the chemistry had ever been there as it should have been. I kind of hate the idea that someone would choose not to date me because of my taste in music or the fact that I like knitting, more so than the relentless knock-backs and disappointments I have faced on nights out. It feels exactly as it is, virtual reality. It’s not real life, it doesn’t compare to real feelings and my thoughts and ideas are further encouraged by the news that a very dear friend of mine recently found her Father emailing another woman. I wondered if that’s where we’re all headed. A virtual world where emailing someone who is not your wife is only virtual cheating and, therefore, not akin to real life. So that equates to virtual dating too for me in that case, ‘you tick certain boxes but the fact that you hate ‘Two Door Cinema Club’ means we’ll never meet or get on’. It’s to the point and stark and, for me, incomparable to the chemistry and fireworks that I have both experienced and dreamed of for so long, be it unrealistic or otherwise.

Call me old fashioned, or delusional may be closer to it, but I have always loved the excitement of sparks flying across the room or butterflies in your stomach as you realise the man you have been talking to for the last fifteen minutes (because you really fancy his friend) actually has lovely eyes and a sexy smile. There is no vetting prior to those moments, no informed decision making on a character without having said so much as three words to each other, there's just that moment when you either decide to pursue or walk away, to put yourself out there or forget it entirely.

What I really want is a dumbed-down ‘fishtank’ moment from Romeo and Juliet or a re-enactment of the end of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and I just don’t feel ready to give that up yet, not for a flat profile and ten words to sum up my character. It may be a relentless task meeting and dating out there but it’s the real world, with real people and real moments and that feels better and more hopeful to me right now.

* * *

Lovemenot and I ponder this over a morning cuppa at work, the whole meeting/dating thing. She too is not interested in the online dating world. We’re discussing past evenings out and deciding to put an end to analysing acquaintances we made/half made both weeks and months ago to no avail whatsoever. Wondering why ‘insert name here’ didn’t call, why ‘insert name here’ ever bothered to take our numbers in the first place if they had no intention of ever using it and why we should ever bother giving out our numbers again.

She hasn’t heard from the last man she met and really rather liked, with no good reason of course, and I’m further fuelling my inexplicable, enamoured admiration for the French with my new literary revelation, ‘What French Women Know About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind’. This Bible of a book teaches us to be more ‘in the moment’, more flirtatious, less analytical, not really give as much of a f**k as English people normally do about sexual politics and to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. Simple then. Be French. I can see this is the sort of person I want to be, but I can also see the long, painstaking process it may take to get there. After all it’s been 26 years and I’m none the wiser. But we’ll start as we mean to go on. So…devouring the last of our chocolate croissants (you have to start somewhere), Lovemenot and I hatched a forward-thinking plan and it starts with a little word called Serendipity.

Lovemenot and Belle’s Two Simple Steps to Dating Contentment

1) We will now be capping all excited spouting about potential men-folk interest at a strict three month ‘trial period’ where we shall be telling nobody ANYTHING for fear of having to let them all down again. This will be difficult but we feel we may near enough need to be traipsing down the aisle before admitting to our friends and family that we are, in fact, ‘seeing’ someone.

2) The phone numbers thing is getting downright irritating so, to avoid future disappointment in this field, Lovemenot and I will be making like Kate Beckinsale and employing some ‘Serendipity’ fairy tale notions into our nights out. If a boy wants our phone number we will literally tell them our full name, where we work and that if he really wants to see us again, he can find us at that way. Serendipity is employed, no phone-staring will be allowed (except for wallpaper settings) and the world will make sense again.

So is it working? I’ll have to get back to you on that one…..

Friday, 23 July 2010

If I Ever See You Again....

I won't know whether to laugh or cry, look or hide, hit you or hug you.

I won't know where you have been, what you have done or whether you have thought about me.

I've always hoped you would have seen me, laughing away on the tube, engrossed in a book, playfully touching the arm of the man leaning at the bar. Maybe you will have seen me, maybe you'll tell me how happy you were to see me smile again, the 'old me' you knew and loved, as you gazed out from a shadowy corner not wishing to interrupt. Or maybe you've forgotten my name already.

Perhaps you'll walk on by and pretend I'm not there, as if we never existed. I won't know what to do with that. Perhaps it will be for the best or maybe I'll feel worse than I've already had to feel. Perhaps I'll just cross the road and pretend like I never knew you, and you won't know what to do with that.

I hope the memories don't come flooding back, or that your smile will change everything I've lived and learnt after you. I expect someone will be in your place. Maybe, in the dim distant future, I'll be throwing my head back in hysterics, clinging onto the arm of a lover, as we race down the escalator of Liverpool Street Station towards a future, bright and unknown. It will be a mere snapshot in my world, but it will take a lifetime for you to forget.

I can't change anything. I know that now. But I can't blame myself either for being me and for asking the questions that I asked. There were times, buried under grief on my sofa or hiding in my quilt that I knew I could never forget you let alone contemplate replacing you. But as the months go by and the silence between us tears the space between our memories and our present wider and wider apart; I find myself forgetting your walk, your voice or the things we used to laugh about. The lines and contours of your confusing, shielded gaze are no longer etched so unforgivingly on my mind. It's all becoming hazy and mixed up, only faintly touching me now. You left a hole, it may always be there, but you are paling into insignificance much as I have to you.

In the years to come, there will be more memories, more nights out, nights in, moments of love, moments of despair, friends, family, lovers, a barrage of promises kept and broken. And our time will seem so distant, so far away that my heart may no longer skip a beat when I hear your name. I won't need to compare anybody to you because I know now that it just wasn't meant to be. It was your choice and it will be somebody else's choice one day not to walk away. I've picked myself up Gally, have you? I've learned something here have you?

So if I ever see you again....I know I can hold my head high in the knowledge that I did everything I could but it just wasn't enough for you. And that's fine, because all that I am and all that I have become since you, is probably all the better for it.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Time Flies...AKA The Wilderness Months

Rule Number One of The Blog Club… ‘Blog and Blog Regularly’. It appears I have been somewhat overlooking my musings of late – not that I haven’t been having them; needless to say my mind, as ever, is a ticking timebomb of whys, hows and what ifs on a near-constant basis. So to skim over the events of the past few months I shall start by saying this; I don’t believe I could have packed more into my life if I tried.

May flies by with flashes of uncertainty as I start to settle at work and am finally no longer looking at the clock every morning at 7.15am knowing that The Great Unmentionable will be leaving for work. Alas, life continues in a haze of new customers, friends and experiences under a great ash cloud, which grinds the modern world to a stand-still and leaves my poor parents unable to fly to Dublin and having to make do with an Oxford retreat instead.

I had kissed goodbye to April and all its wonder with a scrawled angel now forever sat on my shoulder another visit from the Dream Boy, a man who now inhabits my waking thoughts on a daily basis. I’m not going to gush at their sheer brilliance again, but our main man was still playing ‘no speakies’ and this continues to frustrate me.

I emerged into the heat of May newly confident in my care-free spirit – of course encouraged by MMH during a tipsy bonding conversation at Waterrats – and hopeful of the future, a much-needed holiday with my oldest and dearest friend Goldfinger booked and a desire to move forward and perhaps try that Acid Wash tube skirt at work. I couldn’t beat the sudden overbearing unhappiness in my flat but felt it best to stay put, at least for now. Something just wasn’t right between those four walls that I was supposed to call home, it never really had been.

Mr All-Seeing and All Knowing had swiftly become Mr No-Seeing and No-Knowing since he had pretty much shacked up with the new GF (whom I take full responsibility for finding - well my impeccable profile writing anyway). Not that I was complaining, at this point I’m a mere two months into self-imposed Gally-rehab and still prone to suffering the kind of unbearable lows that only repeated plays of ‘Tunnels’ by Arcade Fire can drag me out of. My mindset remains unaltered – ‘F**k all couples and F**k their stupid romances’, so regular stints in ‘new couple central’ could prove unhealthy (think some of the more memorable, pig’s blood-spattered scenes from Carrie here).

Now we come to a much anticipated visit from Goldfinger. My oldest friend who really has been through it all with me – Primary school, Secondary School, years of Ballet classes (where her costume may have occasionally included gloves on cold days) and my erratic penmanship during the separated Uni years. In many ways nobody knows me better, we’ve had so many good times (she has never let me forget a very naïve error made at a tender age when I pointed at and mistook a discarded condom for a prawn, lying on the ground in Goodland’s Gardens), bad times (concussed by a football – more than once) and downright hilarious times – try 22 years of downright hilarious times.

There is nobody who would happily prance around to ‘Telephone’ whilst gleefully clutching a teapot more than Goldie (video evidence never to be seen in public I’m afraid). Nor is there anybody who would be able to share in my delight at the random old woman munching on a tasty Gregg’s morsel whilst perched on the wall outside my flat – only to later be confronted with her scary look-a-like clinging onto the railings outside Finchley Central Station for dear life - as much as Goldie. We may be world’s apart in some ways, but we have so much that keeps us together. I couldn’t imagine a world without an occasional ‘Hola’ email, or her words of good, honest advice thrown in for feasible measure (‘you just can’t contact him anymore, you’ll feel better…failing that...harass R----- until he’s yours).

Goldie, Goldfinger – she goes under many more pseudonyms – was so called after the Ash song, one that cemented our friendship during those turbulent early years of Secondary School. This was our first transgression from greasy boyband love songs to Brit Pop and angst! Thus, Goldie and Wheeler-Dealer were created (you see, even then I had designs on marrying a rock star). And years on there have been many many songs and many many crushes for us both, but not so in the Ash league. And so..to celebrate this and so much more, we had a girly couple of days surrounding Ash’s 18th Anniversary appearance at Koko. Cue inappropriate footwear and even more inappropriate laughter on the tube.

The gig itself was mesmerising, being bustled from pillar to post in a raging pit to some classic tunage never felt so good. The band were amazing, as we stood both surging forward in the crowd and being pulled back to a simpler time, proof that there is sometimes such a fine line between the revelations of a naïve 13 year old and the musings of a deep-thinking, often troubled 25 year old. Tears were shed, toes were stepped on but there isn’t anyone I would have rather been there with.

I think we all need a friend like Goldie in our lives. Someone to lift the spirits, the positive spin to your negative mood and someone to sit and listen and care even if they think you’re mad/losing it/stupid for even thinking it/all of the above. So this continues to be one hell of a lesson in friendship for me..thanks Goldie, here’s to another 22 years of believing we can have it all.