Thursday, 24 March 2011

‘When people say, ‘She’s got everything’, I’ve got one answer – I haven’t had tomorrow’. Elizabeth Taylor – 1932 - 2011

It feels sad to be writing this rather long overdue blog, on the day our darling Elizabeth Taylor left this good Earth to join those other stars in that great awards ceremony in the sky.  But, alas, today is as good a day as any…and perhaps our Liz can throw a bit of inspiration my rather tired way.  For starters, I have abandoned my initial song-lyric title (sorry Magnetic Man – maybe next time) in favour of a rather inspiring quote from the first lady of the silver screen herself; in the hope that I too will be able to look forward in such a positive and mesmerising way.

I am currently sat, in the high-tech carriage of a First Great Western train, conscious of the man in high-visibility jacket trying to peer through the seat behind me to see what epic tales I am weaving ( - that’s for you High-Vis - nothing wrong with a highlighted bit of self-promotion during transit is there?)   I have just enjoyed another peaceful few days away from the Big Smoke and all its wonder, trials, tribulations and ghastly commutes, at home with Mummy Musing, Step-Dad Musing and Duffle Musing (that’s my cat).  I’ve been enjoying the silence of the near-enough countryside where the Musings dwell, taking long walks along Portishead considering a much brighter future.  Not to mention air-saxophoning along to One Night Only with Duran Duran which aired on Sunday night – JT, you’ve still got it you beautiful, beautiful man.  It’s been a tough few months you know, but things are starting to look up, my head is finally coming down from the all-consuming, curly cloud on which I have been clawing away and… MY ASSISTANT MANAGER STARTS IN MY STORE ON APRIL 3RD…Which, roughly translated, means I GET MY LIFE BACK!

February flew by in a gust of change following my Valentine’s bashing.  How was your evening?  Mine was really rather good in the end.  Lovemenot’s on-off-on-again-off-again-bloke didn’t come up in the end, therefore, leaving us no choice but to polish off the cheesecake she had considerately purchased for him, whilst blubbering away to our film of choice, Becoming Jane.  He called her Jane, he is my hero, why oh why didn’t they eff the lot of them and elope?!  For the record, there were, unfortunately, no cards or gestures of romance from secret admirers or, incidentally, insane banging on my shop door as the love of my life crumbles to his feet at the realisation that it is I, in fact, whom he should be with.  But alas… I forgot momentarily that I don’t care about any of that anymore.  Onwards and upwards from now on my friends.

And as any ordinary 26 year old, slightly neurotic, fantasist would; I decided to mark this turning point in my life with…yes you guessed it…Tattoo number three.  Indeed fellow musers, on February 15th I transformed from a girl with a couple of pretty cool tattoos into a walking Angelique Houtcamp-esque Inked Woman! 

It started with a phrase that once jumped out at me in a perusal of Glamour mag.  Those four words, Live Joyfully Without Apology, seemed to have been imprinted on my mindset from birth, a mindset that had become so lost in the great whirlwind of turning 26, that I felt like I had completely forgotten who I was.  That phrase became a design in italics with a bit of turquoise shading.  That design was then envisioned and, subsequently booked, on the back of my neck.  Then Ginger Bob Done got involved and, at approximately 2.15pm one cold but sunny afternoon, I was traipsing along Brighton front with lovely Anna, having had that very phrase emblazoned from one shoulder blade to the other.  Now that is some statement.  Mummy Musing was shocked, my friends were in both uproar and applause, not to mention worried about Mummy Musing.  I, however, was elated and on top of the world.  It felt like shedding a skin, and gaining a new one, and I vowed that from that day forward, I would learn to Live Joyfully Without Apology again.  And though there have been slip-ups since, I am slowly coming back to life.  It’s funny what a branding on the skin can do, you sort of feel a moral responsibility to live through that, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Well, at last, Spring is well and truly in the air people.  I know this because the other day, I ventured out on a Crumpet-run to Sainsburys in my Nude Ballet Pumps!  The last time they saw the light of day was pretty much under the rays of Kalymakis I think.  Naturally I spent most of the 10 minute walk back thinking how much prettier my bare feet would look with, say, roses tattooed on the insteps.  Of course, being of the mid-twenties age range and having still not mastered the art of packing for a few days at home; I chose this weekend to crack out the navy duffle coat and Uggs in a bid to chill out and ‘be comfortable’.  Comfortable I was.  Dying of sweat I also was, not a good look – imagine the separated fringe.

Still, with Spring in the air we have felt the need to blow the cobwebs away, and with the swift departure of our old housemate (the one we didn’t really like anyway), came a new Godsend in the form of Stickels…a Lady Gaga obsessive and would-be Big Brother contestant with a taste for veggie burgers, beer and grubby Dalston bars.  He fitted straight in, like foot to sock, with our commotion.  The great thing about Stickels is that he loves to talk about men as much as Lovemenot and I.  He also loves mental dancing in the kitchen – he’s on the right track baby, he was born this way!  He has certainly brightened up our evenings both in and out and has also promised to teach us the whole ‘Telephone’ dance ready to wow the unsuspecting crowds on another Shoreditch night out.  We Heart Him!

And with all this shedding skin and leaving things in the past, there almost had to be a new man involved somewhere along the line…however brief it eventually was.  It was just another night out at the legendary Water Rats in Kings Cross to support our friend’s band Leila and I.  Upon entry, I was struck by the amount of check-shirted cuties lining up ordering their Becks and whatnot, I had never been so pleased to have stowed the Lace LBD in my handbag in case of being caught short at work (I was caught extremely short with a long-awaited visit from Regional Manager who, consequently, I don’t want to string up quite as much now as I have over the last six months). 

Anyway…back to the evening.  We grabbed our wines, chatted with Conwaaaahh (singer and guitarist with Leila and I) and then followed through to check out the action.  And from that point on, the action mostly involved a long-haired, gorgeous man in skinny jeans and almost edible facial hair, hunched behind a merchandise table, looking my way.  There was edging closer to the table, turning up of the eye-flirting to the Buffalo Bar eye-sex standards of yesteryear (as in…last year) and a dazzling smile from the Hottie.  This led to a decision the Miss Musing of old would have challenged herself on…I decided to act the pale and interesting stranger who marches up to said skinny-jeaned Hottie simply to remark on his hotness, only to disappear into the crowd and leave him wanting more.  Lucky for me, said Hottie approached Lovemenot and I just as I was preparing to strut, armed with flyers and an ear to ear smile; a simple merchandise man he was not my friends…no no…turns out he’s the lead singer of the headlining act (don’t pull that face - it’s not like I have radar or something).  Fresh from Scotland (he is now living in London, I checked) Jakil have a sort of Incubus-inspired angsty rock feel about them, and also about 5000 followers on Facebook, quite successful then really.  He encouraged us to stick around to have a listen and gave us a flyer.  I, in my new found bid to Live Joyfully Without Apology, promptly scribbled my digits on the back of the flyer and waited, with baited breath whilst Jakil did their thing, and commanded quite a crowd it has to be said.

Much later, the Hottie was wandering around, clipboard in hand, taking down email addresses and mobile numbers for newsletter purposes, whilst I was mingling, hand on hip, flyer in hand.  The Hottie made a point of coming over to us, we chatted for a bit, I discovered he’s on the Victoria line (handy) and I got a free CD.  There was an invite for drinks afterwards, but we declined as Lovemenot had work the next day.  Plus I was still looking to be the aloof and interesting stranger. Cue Lovemenot’s swift exit, I was thanked for coming by the Hottie with a hopeful invite to another gig in the coming weeks.  I think, to be honest, I caught him off guard as I thrust the digit-inscribed flyer his way with a swift ‘this is for you…personally…if you fancy it’.  And with that, Miss Musing was out the door and running up the street feeling freer than I have in months.  Unfortunately the Hottie didn’t get in contact, probably shocked I should think.  But, the interest was there and it was something I needed to do, put myself back out there.  Plus, there is the possibility of bumping into him again at some point in the future and the hope that in some small way, I left a good impression with the Hottie.

So right now, my only need to whinge lies in the new Maybelline mascara that I purchased at the beginning of payday.  I decided to move away from my old ‘Make Up of Make Up Artists’ faithful, and try the new Lash Accelerator; partly because in the eyelash department, I am most certainly not born with it and, partly, because Zooey Deschanel has such beautiful eyes – ultimately still a mug for advertising then.  I’ve tried musers, God knows I have tried to stick with it and not splash the hard-earned cash on a replacement, but there is only so much crumbling and lack-of-highlighting I can handle when it comes to my daily make-up essentials.  I have managed to persevere, and will continue to do so until 31st March when the pay hits the account again.  But take this as a word of warning, it’s not as much a Lash Accelerator as a Lash Killer.  And if you succumb to the glowing, dewy stare of Zooey as I did, rest assured there will be black bits dangling from your lower lids from the moment you leave the house.  Grrrr!

Well we’re now coming towards the end of March and my weekend looks set to be fun-filled with Miss Lovemenot’s Birthday celebrations.  I promised a vocal Birthday present in the form of some karaoke so you’ll have to tune in next time to find out if that challenge was quite so eloquently executed. 

I’m off to enjoy the sunshine and prepare Birthday treats for that curly-locked girl I hang about with, and look forward to a bright and exciting tomorrow, in memory of lovely Liz.