Tuesday, 21 April 2015

No Comment

Today I was out running with a friend. It’s a lovely sunny day and we were taking it at a steady pace as we try to extend the distance we can cover. As we run, we chat.

Cue man, sitting on a bench in the sunshine:

“Maybe if you pair were talking less you could go a bit faster.”

I’m sorry – what now?

Tell me, what do you say to that? Anything ending in ‘off’ feels appropriate, but doesn't really address the key issue here – that this stranger feels it’s perfectly within his rights to comment at all.  

On the return leg we pass a group of blokes. They have less to say about our technique, but still pass comment.

This isn't unusual. On our runs we are regularly offered helpful encouragement, smutty comments, jiggle ratings.

No we don’t need any help up that hill, we will ‘keep going’ thank you very much, and yes, pal,  I am aware that bits of my body move when I run.

This isn't flattery.

Would they say this if we were a pair of men not women? It feels unlikely, but I’m not a man jogging, so I don’t know. All I know is that it’s 2015 and we are being casually harangued by men in broad daylight.
And that doesn’t seem very ok to me.
So to the chap on the bench - thanks for the advice, but if you could keep your remarks to yourself, we’re quite happy at the pace we’re going.

Besides, it’s not that slow. We’ve already lapped you twice.    

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Things I think I know

I spent the weekend with university friends. Back when we turned twenty, we flat-shared, drank Jack Daniels and watched episode after episode of Friends together.

Whilst I do not consider myself past it, and in the loosest sense still broadly associate with the term ‘young,’ this weekend the three of us spent a substantial period of time discussing de-humidifiers. In fact, such was the interest in the blighters, I had to produce mine so we could compare models.

Has it come to this? Thirty one and discussing de-humifiers. And it got me thinking, what on earth has changed in the decade since those head (achey) Jack Daniel days?

Here are a few things that I have learned since then.

I don't like Jack Daniels.

My overdraft is not money to be spent.

No-one really has the faintest clue what they’re doing.

You won’t stay in touch with everyone.

No Bruce, I was not 'born to run.'

Spotting a narcissist early is advantageous.

I'm suspicious of people who seem too nice.

Go easy on yourself.

Never buy jeans in a smaller size to ‘slim into.’

Walking solves most problems.

Cool is overrated.

Banks are untrustworthy.

Nowhere beats your own bed.

I know nothing.

And finally, possessions cannot make you happy - but a dehumidifier and a tumble drier can absolutely change your thirty one year old life.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Radio Silence

Forgive the radio silence. Rachel about town fell off the wagon. I’d like to think you missed me. A couple of you did. You’re probably the two friends who are reading this now.

Besides, The Boyfriend keeps saying ‘hilarious’ things and commenting that he used to get his star turn on the blog. So I’m posting again to shut him up. Or for the love of writing. Or simply because I like the sound of my own voice.

 Anyway. I've posted. More quality (ish) content to come soon. Watch this space.

Monday, 18 November 2013

On coming full circle

Some of the die hard readers out there may remember that I started this blog way back in November 2010, and my very first post was about saving a flat deposit.  You may also recall that I swiftly learnt that I wasn't actually very good at saving money and abandoned that plan. I was young (er) and foolish and liked shopping in Zara.

But somehow, in a turn of events that is still quite incomprehensible to me, I have managed to amass just enough money to reasonably pass as a deposit.

I no longer live in the capital city, but I do still live in an expensive part of the UK where it’s not unheard of to pay 50k for a parking spot.

So, upon abandoning all hope of a parking space, a garden, or a kitchen island (the moment I will truly know I am an adult) I have begun the flat hunt.

I have learnt the following about flat hunting.

1. Estate agents are doing you the favour. Now I know you’re thinking ‘but they make their money by selling houses.’ You are wrong. Showing you around property is very inconvenient for them. It cannot happen at short notice. It definitely cannot happen outside of office hours. Learn this early on, lest be continually annoyed and frustrated.

2. The estate agent will constantly state the blooming obvious. You will be standing in a room with a sink, oven and fridge. You will be discussing the dinners you will make in said room. They will still insist on stating (for the record) that you are currently in the kitchen.

3. Windows are no longer called windows, they are called ‘aspects.'

4. Apparently it’s not good etiquette to look too closely at people’s family photographs or through their cupboards.

5. If you want a sea view you’ll have to be prepared to knock down walls, throw away half of your possessions, de-mould a bathroom and have serious doubts on whether your bed will fit in the bedroom.

Problem is I want the sea view. Seems I'm just as foolish three years on.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The magic of Christmas

On watching the John Lewis christmas advert 

Me: so, what do you think? Were you moved?

The boyfriend: yeah, I suppose I was.

I'm really pissed off with the rabbit. I mean clearly the bear needs to sleep.

Me: But he'd never seen Christmas.

Oh, never mind.

If you haven't seen it yet you can shed a tear, or be annoyed at the hare, here

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The lost art of travel

I don’t remember the heyday of travel. Way before my time. But you see it don’t you - in films or on Downton Abbey. The days when travellers wore their Sunday best, and strolled onto steam trains or stepped elegantly into propeller planes.

Flying was a luxury for those people who wore fur and knew not of ‘the weekend.’ You and I would have been on a coach trip to the seaside with a scotch egg in our back pocket.

But now, thanks to the wonder of budget airlines, we can all take to the skies. But there’s no Sunday best or elegance in the matter, as I discovered on a recent trip with our lovely friends at Ryanair.

Queuing for her onboard scratch-cards
First there’s the stampede. The flight is called and we run. Bags and limbs flailing as we sprint across the airport. Picture the scene of the Pamplona Bull Run and you’re half way there. Next it’s time to be manhandled into a waiting area where I learn how battery chickens reside. And that’s before we’ve even made it onto the plane, where cramped quarters bring out the ‘best’ in my comrades, especially when it’s announced we’ve missed the take off slot. But don’t worry, there are plenty of cheese and ham paninis on sale to keep our spirits up; cheap at half the 8 euro price tag.

And as you haven’t paid for an allocated seat, priority boarding, or simply been mugged on your way onboard, you’ll have to sit on a stranger’s lap the whole way. They’ll give you an infant’s seat belt if you’re lucky. Ah well, chocks-away.

But Ryanair, what you don’t realise is that the triumph is mine. Even with your detailed baggage dimensions and weight limit and strict policy enforcement there was no way I was paying £70 for the privilege of luggage. And now, sweet smugness. No check-in queue for me. No waiting at the carousel. No chance of you sending my bag to the wrong side of the world. Oh no.

Of course I haven’t really got enough clothes for a week, and there’s no glamour in washing your smalls in the hotel sink or running out of shampoo, but we’ll just gloss over that.

Travel’s not glamorous anyway.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Solving one of life's mysteries: Conversations with the Boyfriend

On the contents of the washing machine

Me: Oh, I've been meaning to ask you. Do you know why there was pasta in the washing machine?

The Boyfriend: No. Well, I mean I did cook some pasta, and maybe some has got into the washing machine.

Me: Right. But I mean, any idea how it got in there?

The Boyfriend: Was it cooked?

Me: The pasta? Yes it was cooked.

The Boyfriend: But I mean, maybe it went in raw and cooked in the machine.

Me: I'm not sure a washing machine boils for 13 minutes.

The Boyfriend: Oh well, it's solved then. We know it was cooked before it went in.

Me: Yes, but why was it in the washer?

The Boyfriend: Oh that? Yeah I've got no idea.


For more conversations with the boyfriend, you should click here