My intercom still isn’t working, which is largely a good thing, as it means I don’t have to answer the door to nasty people after money. But it also means that the postie can’t tell me when something-that-isn’t-a-bomb, has arrived for me. In the olden days (ie. last year), all I had to do was saunter over to Copperas Hill, where the sorting office used to be. But they closed that, because the world has more need of further student accommodation than it does a postal service, and now I have to traipse all the way to Vauxhall. So, because I’m crap at concentrating on work when my day is being interrupted, I decided to take the whole day off and walk to Vauxhall (I know!), then into town, and spend my Christmas vouchers.
Normal people would choose to spend free stuff when the sales are on, so you can maximise transactions, but I knew that if I tried to do that, I’d end up in a police cell on a murder charge. So I’ve waited until now, when everything is full price, and the only things on sale are in sizes that no human can fit into. No matter, because whatever I ended up buying, it would be ‘free’ anyway.
So, I’ve come home with a few purchases that make me feel guilty for some reason, as I’m just not used to buying stuff for myself. My star buy, was a size 12 pair of jeans from Next. An ordinary thing, I hear you cry, but you’d be missing the point. They’re SIZE TWELVE! And when you’ve not been able to fit into anything under a 14 for decades, that’s like, uber-significant.
Before this odyssey, I’d carefully researched what my ‘ideal’ weight was – not what the magazines and lifestyle shows tell you you should be, but what the doctors and other residents of Planet Earth reckon. Whilst I want to be healthy, and a lot slimmer than I am, I don’t want that to be at the expense of feeling good. All that size zero crap is just that, crap. I don’t care what excuses people come up with, anyone who is a size zero, a size two, even a size six (I’m talking UK sizes here), then you have a problem. I’m 5’8, with hips, a bum and breasts, and I don’t want to hide any of that. I have curves, plenty of them, and I’d like to keep a hold of them, thank you very much. I just don’t want the bingo wings or tree trunks that seem to have fixed themselves to my person in the last 20 years. That’s what I want to shed, not what nature gave me. I may have the hair of a Victorian chimney sweep right now, but the rest of me is pure 1940s screen goddess-in-waiting.
So, a size 12 is the perfect size for my height and, “in my day”, that was considered slim. I was a size 12 when I was 21, and nobody, least of all myself, considered me fat. It’s only in the last 20 years that the social pressures and perceptions of a ‘healthy’ shape and size has altered to such a drastic degree, that it’s amazing most of us are allowed to even go out in public, so ugly we’re made to feel about ourselves.
To be honest, it’s going to be a few more weeks before I can comfortably pour myself into the size 12s, but I have them hanging up in the bedroom, so each time I wake up, I can see if ‘today’s the day’ they will go on. That’s a spur, that’s a massive piece of dark denim encouragement, and it’s going to make tonight’s chicken stir fry taste even better than it usually does.
I’ve lost a further 2.5lbs this week, bringing the total to 21lbs so far = that’s half way to my target. The week couldn’t have gone better, to be honest. I got my head down, planned my meals, stuck to the script, and I knew by Friday that I’d ‘lost’ a bit more. But Friday itself was a very close call, because I went on out on what’s called, in scientific circles, “a bender”, helping to celebrate my friend Simon’s 50th birthday.
Being Executive Director of the Philharmonic Hall, Simon has a lot of friends, so it made sense for the 47 of us to start the evening in the world’s smallest pub, The Belvedere. It’s ‘cosy’, to say the least, but Simon has shares in the plum porter, so that was that. I began on scrumpy, for some still-unknown reason, probably because I thought it would ‘last’, and I don’t trust the wine in pubs like this. Besides, it was way too early for VDCs. It might have tasted like Del Monte, but that scrumpy must have been about 80% proof, because the first one went right to my head – another anomaly, because I usually have the drinking stamina of a docker.
Thankfully, it was then time to head to the Phil for a superb evening of music with the Heritage Blues Orchestra, which was totally mellow and chilled out, and nice to see hardly any empty seats. The birthday party then headed back to The Belvedere, where I switched to Amstel, trying to ignore the million calories per pint contained within. The Belvedere is a bit like The Jones’ house in Oxton. They have a built-in space-time continuum thingy, which takes you forward to the next day, without you feeling a thing. By the time they kicked us out, around midnight, our numbers had dwindled as people drifted home to relieve babysitters (not in that way…), or caught the last buses to Zedville, which is what I should have done.
The rest of us ended up in Chinatown for a great meal, except I can never eat when I’ve been drinking, so I took a few pitiful forkfuls of my Singapore Fried Rice and got the rest packed up to take home. Later, it was on to The Attic (formerly known as “Upstairs At Parr Street Studios”), for some nightcaps, where I tried my twenty-third different drink of the night – a pint of Erdinger. Of course, I ended up leaving the Chinese somewhere (in the Ladies, if I recall…), which meant I’d just spent twenty quid on two Tiger beers, and I finally rolled in about 3am. But I felt great! I felt so un-drunk and just buzzy from having such a fab evening with fab people, there was no way in the world I was going to be hungover on Saturday!
I spent another hour faffing about, playing Pet Rescue Saga (probably) until about 4am, when I heard Antoine next door making his final drug deal of the night, and I decided I’d better get some shut-eye. Some time between reaching for my rose-scented, satin eyemask at 4.05am, and 10am Saturday morning, those bloody hammer-wielding pixies snuck their way into my apartment and began bashing my skull to pieces, while the Stomach Trolls got to work on my insides.
Even reaching for the laptop in a vain attempt to distract myself from my impending death, did not do the trick, and I just lay there all day, with a plastic bag one side of the bed, and clothes that smelled of lager, on the other side. I couldn’t even listen to the footy on 5 Live without feeling sick.
The pain had subsided, slightly, by Sunday, and it did give me a pick-me-up to see the boys play so well against Citeh. ‘Something’ is coming together for us, the way we’re passing, the way we’re communicating, the way we seem to be thinking three moves ahead instead of just hoofing and hoping. That’s how it used to be, and that’s where I hope we’re getting back to. It’s just a shame that Pepe decided to go all Jenny Agutter on us and let Aguerro in for the equaliser although, to be fair, you’ve got to admire the skill of that boy.
Despite that, I do think we should have got the three points, just like we should have killed Arsenal off in mid-week. Someone said to me, after that game, “well you’d have taken a point at the Emirates before the game…”, but no, actually, I wouldn’t. I never would. I have never go into a game thinking “a draw will be a good result”. Why? The point of football is to score more goals than the other lot. And if you’re a Premiership side, especially a side with our history, then in my opinion there’s no way in hell you should ever go into a match just to snatch a draw. It doesn’t make sense to me. You may as well just ask a Pools panel to sit and decide the results. But it seems that, if you express any disappointment at the way games turn out, then you’re accused of ‘not supporting your team. Wrong again. I know plenty of serial whingers, plenty of blind faithers and plenty of supporters for whom, no matter what the team does, they will always have something to criticise. It’s called ‘having an opinion’, and we’re all entitled to it. I know I’m spoiled, because I’m from an era when Liverpool used to win everything except Eurovision, but it doesn’t mean I don’t recognise how much the game has changed.
I know we’re not the team we once were – how can we be? Ian Rush is, like 100 now… – but it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to get disappointed if we don’t come away from each game with all three points, especially when we deserve to. There are some fans who will jump on your back the second you say “we should have had that”. They accuse you of not getting behind your team, which is bollocks. The reason I get so frustrated with Liverpool sometimes, is precisely because I am behind them 100%. If I wasn’t, then why would I be arsed what they do?
We outplayed Arsenal and we outplayed Manchester City, and I’m willing to bet that every single one of those players were as gutted as I was that we’ve only come back to Anfield with 2 points from the week, and not 6. And that’s the way it should be. Yesterday, especially, we were fantastic, absolutely brilliant, probably the best we’ve played all season. Some of that passing was a joy to watch, the positioning was well thought out, intelligent football that just goes to prove that being good at ‘thinking’ a game, is just as important as being able to play it. So why should I be ‘happy’ with a point? And why does that make me a bad supporter? All I’ll say is that some people need to get their heads out of their arses and start thinking for themselves, instead of what the internet or the media tell them to think. We are Liverpool Football Club, and we should never be ‘happy’ with a point, not after fantastic performances like that. And the next person to tell me I’m not a ‘proper fan’ (whatever that is) just because I want , and expect, us to win everything, will be receiving the contents of the plastic bag that was sitting by my bed on Saturday night.
Things I’ve Learned This Week
1. Scheduling is quite important
I used to be a queen of organisation, really I did. When I had a proper job, I was in charge of projects and I had to whip people into shape (sometimes literally, which they quite enjoyed…), to make sure things were done on time. It’s a shame I lack the same ability to self-flagellate. I’ve mentioned before that I often seem to do my best work when I’m under extreme pressure, but that’s no good for stress levels, even if the end result makes people happy. January was crazy with all the stuff I had to do, even if the majority was unpaid (scripts, treatments, synopses etc…), and February looks just as manic. But because it’s only the 4th, my brain translates that as “infinite time”, and I have to be careful that I don’t suddenly wake up on the 27th going “oh f**k I’ve left it all to the last minute”, like I usually do. For once, I need to pretend I have a proper job again, and people to boss around, then everything will go swimmingly…
2. I have medical amnesia
There’s no other explanation for why I keep forgetting that too much alcohol makes me very, very sick.
3. There should be a ‘Daytol’ to counteract the ‘Nytol’
I’ve been having trouble sleeping since around Christmas, and that was mainly down to the back pain. But now that’s cleared up, I still have difficulty at night, because I just can’t switch my brain off. There’s a separate hamster at the nightshift controls and he’s a little bastard. I used to be a bit naughty and take two of the Co-Cos I’d been given for my back, half an hour before I wanted to fall asleep. This took the edge off and infused me with a lovely blanket of anaesthesia which made the hamster drowsy enough for my subconscious to run past him to the gates of Zedland. I’d sleep right through and be nice and alert next day. But obviously that isn’t a long term solution, as Co-Co is addictive, and I’m still getting withdrawal symptoms from my cheese ban, never mind hard drugs.
So, I thought I’d give Nytol a try. I figured, since I could buy it over the counter, it’s as safe and cuddly as the Andrex puppy. Let me tell you, Nytol works, it really works, and I’ve enjoyed many deep, trippy sleeps, which has been great for the back, too. The problem is twfold – firstly, that you’re only supposed to use it for three nights max. Second, it takes hours to shift the sleepiness the next day. You wake up feeling very sluggish, jet-lagged almost, just so very, very tired, that you’d kill to be able to stay in bed for another three days. So Nytol gets me to sleep, no bother, but doesn’t want me to ever wake up again. I need the power of Nytol, with the after-properties of Co-Co. In the past I’ve tried special herby teas, hot baths before bed, and switching the laptop off at a reasonable hour, to try and get the arl’ brain to shut down, but nothing works. Any (natural) suggestions welcome.
Things I’m Dreading This Week
To paraphrase the Black Eyed Peas, I gotta feeling that this week’s going to be a good week.
This Week I’ve Mostly Been Watching…
1. 30 Rock Season 3
Just can’t get enough of this, it’s even made me start fancying Alec Baldwin, or maybe that’s the Nytol. It’s just so sharp and the team is so tight, they obviously love making this show, and that burns right through the screen. “Kenneth” has been given more to do this season, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been given his own series. I’d love to know how many takes they have to do for each scene, because there’s no way the crew could manage to keep a straight face through filming.
2. American Horror Story: Asylum
Well it’s finally all over, but it was a case of “shit, this is the last episode, and there are so many loose ends we need to tie up in 42 minutes! Quick!” I did enjoy it, but it left me feeling as though I’d had only half a plate of gorgeous stir fry, and I still need satiating. I thought Sister Jude’s denouement was fitting, but Lana Banana just annoyed me, as she’s been doing for most of the series. It became all about her, but it wasn’t all about her, it was about Jude (in my opinion). I also thought the Son of Bloodiface thread didn’t quite work, either. That had a feel of desperation about it, as though the makers had easily found parts for most of the original actors, except Dylan McDermott, so they just shooed this one in. It didn’t make sense to me that Lana killed Johnny at the end. If anything, Johnny should have killed her, which may have led nicely to Season 3. Anyway, it’s done now, but there was room for another episode there.
3. Gossip Girl
I know, I know, what??!! But this glossy, uber-unrealistic teen show has been a guilty pleasure of mine for 5 years, so I wasn’t going to miss the final season. I watched all ten episodes in one sitting, as is my ‘thing’, and it was an OK romp through more nonsense on the Upper East Side. Not a patch on previous seasons, but all the stars are way too old now to be even remotely believable as spoiled rich kids, and I was glad that the makers decided to just go to town on it and make seven hours of utter hokum to entertain us with.
Robert John Burke walked away with the scene-stealing honours, as usual, and I’m not sure how I’m going to survive without the glorious sight of Blair Waldorf’s kiss-defying lip gloss. The only up side, is that we don’t have to suffer that godawful actress who played Ivy Dickens, any longer. She really was just dire, even worse than Liz Hurley.
The Stats Bit:
Month 1: 8.75lbs
Month 2: 5.25lbs
Month 3: 1lb
Month 4: 0.5lbs
Weeks 17-18 (Christmas & NY!) – plus 3.5lbs
Week 19: 6lbs
Week 20-21: 0.5lbs
Week 22: 2.5lbs
Total after 154 days: 21lbs