Goggle-Eyed-Goldfish

I am beginning to think that I will never learn;  that due to my own shyness and stupidity I am going to end up either: single and longing for hot boyfriend for rest of life, or, having a relationship with someone uninspiring and unattractive whilst longing for hot boyfriend for rest of life.

You see, I’m just way too passive.  Not even a little bit passive (the kind that can be passed off as being almost attractive and alluring), nope, I’m just about as damn passive as an inanimate object, I’m basically, well, dead.

Of course, I’m not always like this; I can be bubbly, entertaining and as enthusiastic as you like…it just so happens that I am much better at embodying all those qualities people actually like in front of people I don’t like…well not like like anyway.

As you can imagine, this can become somewhat of a hindrance, as while I am very much still of the opinion that it should be a guy that makes the first move, if the girl said guy is trying to woo is always seemingly staring off into space, with the facial expression comparable to that of a dead, upturned, glazed, goggle-eyed goldfish upon sight of him, he isn’t exactly going to think she’s interested now, is he ?

I am the classic shy-girl case…only I am not shy at all:  With adults older than me especially, I am very forthcoming, starting, maintain and manoeuvring conversations wherever I want them to go with ease.  I actually enjoy being sociable an incredible amount and I would even consider myself to be quite good at it,  until a bit of young, male, testosterone comes along that is, at which point I revert to my ten year old ways, hiding behind the legs of adults and avoiding any chance of communication.

Upon seeing someone attractive my confidence collapses on itself: The face I thought I’d done up quite well, and the clothes I thought well chosen instantly get over-analysed and deemed mistakes.  I become paranoid, overly self-aware, and very anxious.  I cannot bring myself to make eye-contact, let alone speak with hottie in question.  I will choose seats across rooms, wait longer in shop lines and even abort plans completely just to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment with said hottie, who could ironically, if given the chance, potentially be the love of my life.

And so I go to the uglier boys: The boys around whom I feel comfortable, the boys I make laugh and the boys whom will never, ever, not in a million years, end up being the loves of my life.

I have recently realised I am not the only one who is like this; among the girls who take pleasure out of batting their eyes in the street and seeing how much they can fill up their ego-meter, there are girls who, like me, would rather die than do anything of the sort.

Why do we do it to ourselves?  I am always complaining about how I fancy no one I know, how there is no one for me to go after, no lead to follow, when really, it’s all my own doing.  How are we meant to fancy people if we won’t even give ourselves the opportunity to have our avoiding eyes caught?

As a feminist, I feel my behaviour is especially bad.  Feminists are meant to be empowered, self-loving, confidence-filled power houses, and yet, I see a hot guy and run a mile.  I don’t know what it is that stops me from throwing caution to the wind-it’s not even that I feel it’s shameful for women to make the first move-but whether it be the fear of rejection, being judged or perhaps even opening up to someone, something always freezes me in my tracks.

One day I’m going to stare at that guy in the street until he melts;  I’m going to pass my number to the gorgeous guy behind the till at the supermarket;  I’m going to go dance with a guy that I’ve spotted across a bar.  One day.

But for now, this day?  I guess I’ll keep doing my goggled-eyed-goldfish expression until I get the hang of batting my eyes without getting eye-ache.

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Tragically Tinder

Oh Tinder, Tinder, Tinder.  Always a giggle, just not always for the right reasons.  I often  find myself questioning the sanity of males, myself and in fact the entire world after spending just a few brief moments scouring through profiles of supposed potentials.  Sometimes, what I come across is actually so laughable that I become momentarily convinced it is actually an app set up by deranged girlfriends to make their boyfriends look so ridiculous that no one is interested, now, next week, or ever again for that matter.  Here are some handy helpfuls to prevent you from, well, looking like a complete muppet.

There are no actual guidelines for what to fill that big blank space with.  Emojis, words, social media links…whatever you do decide on, make sure it’s not the following:

Your height: Apparently what is considered now as a sufficient insight into a person’s personality, boys will often give their height.  Most of these are often above the 6ft mark, giving the impression that, a) either you have been living in The Home of the Giants your whole life without realising (unlikely) or, perhaps more likely, b) they are lying.  Even on the odd occasion that the highly unlikely 6ft10 claim is in fact, factual, who actually cares ?  Like, yes, it’s good to know I won’t have to bend myself in half to be able to kiss you but if your height is seriously the best you have to offer: neeeext!

Bragathons: Most guys claim not to want a golddigger, but going by Tinder profiles alone is one sure contradiction to that.  My most recent favourite was a guy who claimed he worked for charity, cute right ?  Wait for it:  ‘I work for one of the biggest global companies,’ oh ok, clearly successful ‘raised over 5million for charity,’ that’s impressive if a little boastful ‘10% of donations are mine to keep…you do the math,’  YOU DO THE MATH ?! SORRY, WHAT ?! Not so cute aw lovely charitable man now right ? Maybe some girls buy in to this, but if they do a) they should stop, it’s gross and b) girls that ARE attracted to this aren’t worth keeping…who actually wants a gold-digger anyway?! Neeextt!

Your Name: I think there is a trend among young men of my generation, as many of them seem to be so very extremely poor sighted that they are somehow not realising that their name is written in BIG, MASSIVE, BOLD LETTERS below their picture, so proceed to write it again.  This name is followed by a big, gaping gap bellow, crying out to be filled with personal facts yet nothing, zilch, nada.  I mean it’s all very well and good to be proud of your name, but does it really give us any insight in to whether you are a creep or not ?  I mean, you didn’t even pick if for Christ sake, that was your parents! Neeeext!

Nothing:  Arguably worse than all the above, when there is nothing at all.  So Paul, you are 25.  Twenty five years of life, presuming of course you are actually a real,breathing person with a fully-functioning brain, and yet, nothing to say about yourself.  Not ONE thing.  Why does this need to be so complicated ?  Say ANYTHING.  You have a cat, you like orange juice, you live in a house, you BREATHE.  JUST SAY SOMETHING! Neeext!

I would think what to pick as an appropriate picture would be somewhat simpler, how very naïve of me.  Here are some no0no’s

Group photos:  What is this seriously ?  did I download ‘Where’s Wally’ by accident, or was it ‘Guess Who’? Having a picture of you with a bunch of people is reassuring that you have mates, yes, however apart from that, it is literally the most annoying thing you could do.  Us girls are extremely busy ladies, Tinder is therefore squeezed into those very sparse spare moments (not to be confused with an app we use when bored, all the time or when on toilet.)  We do not have time to search through your 5 group photos to see if a person appears in each and therefore can be identified as Wally: Nexxxt!!

No-face pics: 6 Photos, six chances to show us your face, as, let’s not beat around the bush, that is what we are here to look at and therefore judge first.  Six chances, and yet you fail to show us even a nose we might be able to recognise if one wanted to identify you on a first date in pub with two people inside.  You’ve shown us everything else:  I know what colour your bike is, what car you drive, the number of the villa you spent your holiday in…heck I think you’ve shown me half of England in your pictures…but not your face.  Not very helpful, unless girl is an extreme hobby enthusiast and does not care if date is cute, or for that matter even owns a face.  Neext!

Pics with hot friends:  This has happened to me quite a lot recently, where first picture has infact been a bromance shot, however one of the guys has been so attractive that I decided to scroll on and see if it was him I was meant to be swiping!  All that only to discover…am not swiping that guy at all, am swiping other guy who did not catch my eye, has now wasted my time and also disappointed me deeply.  Why do it to yourself: Neeext!

Body Shots: Girls do and will like that you look after your body, however it is US that are meant to get told off for being too provocative, not you lot.  Would you go dressed to a first date topless?  Hopefully the answer is no, and as Tinder relies on the same primary principle as first dates(that being first impressions definitely count) you’d probably be better off putting your nips away.  Yeah, you look great, but most of us don’t want to see that so soon on.  Not only is it off-putting and narcissistic, it can also be intimidating! I’m sat three quarters of the way through a family share bag of Minstrels after not going on the run I was meant to do this afternoon and you’re stood there looking like some kind of Abercrombie Model, scary!! Neeext!

I can’t say I’ve found my Romeo on Tinder yet, perhaps I’m just too fussy what with the lengthy list of undesirables I’ve managed to create.  However I have come across a few nice guys here and there.  I don’t doubt there are also a lot nicer ones I’ve skipped without so much as a second thought for reasons listed above.  Something to bear in mind if you are trying to bag yourself a Tinderella lads!

Speaking of Tinderella, what about us?  If you can fill me in on your pet hates from the female profiles you come across let me know, I’d love to hear from you. I’m sure we’re not perfect either!

 

 

Lion and Deer

When I was in Paris I used to go running in this big park called Bois de Boulogne.  They had a special track there; a 3km path with obstacles on route: bars, hurdles, beams etc for muscle training and agility.  From time to time I’d take it and do the course, coming out the other side looking like a camouflaged soldier ready for battle, with mud smeared and splattered over my legs and twigs stuck in my hair: fit.  I never saw any other girls doing it.  Sometimes I’d see one scamper past, like a dainty deer that had taken a wrong turn, winding its way around all the obstacles like they were predators that would attack if she trod too close.  The boys did the obstacles, well, of course they did;  In big groups, in pairs, alone, they’d always be there, jumping high, sprinting fast and pushing hard; looks of determination, ferocity and willpower stuck to their faces like marks of masculinity.

And how masculine it was, like being at a free weights section in a gym, their testosterone tainted the area, making it feel almost a no goer, boys only, mens’ club.  But me being me, far from feeling put off, I was intrigued. I watched in no man’s land as they let rip: laughing, working and joking together; like Lions at the top of the food chain, these men were full of confidence and for that reason had not a care in the world.  I wanted so badly to play with them.  I followed in their steps, like a cub, trying to imitate them, to jump as high, sprint as fast and push as hard, but Lions do not make company with deer, and so I was left to play alone.

Because in reality,  I am a deer:  I was a deer from birth, I will be a deer next year, and I will die a deer.  It’s not a sex change I’m after, I just wish sometimes my gender didn’t mean certain things were shut off for me or more difficult to access.  It’s the same for guys and I totally get that, this isn’t a one sided topic at all; it’s just as difficult for Lions to play with deer as it is for deer to play with Lions.

My first best friend was a boy;  We used to colour everything in black, play with action men and have water fights in the garden.  It used to drive my mum so mad, what with my wrecking anything remotely pretty with my lad-ish antics that eventually she begun to dress me in boys’ clothes. With my second best friend-this time a girl-little changed, and although we would occasionally dress up as princesses and prance around, we spent most of our time in the garden making mud pies and getting in a right old mess.  My sister however wouldn’t go near the stuff;  She did dancing, played with barbies and liked to do my hair, I thought she was mad.  She was very much a girly girl…and I was very much not.  This was all well and good when I was younger-I was cute enough to pull off mud stains and dungarees-but as I’ve grown older-and uglier-the pressures on society for me to conform as not just a girl but ‘girly’ have slowly become more apparent to me.  Now I’m expected to do all sorts of ridiculous things like wear makeup, don flowery dresses and behave in a ‘ladylike manner’: snore.

I’m not sure why it’s so problematic for us to link girls with blue, football and dirt or boys with pink, dancing and glitter.  I guess it’s what has been embedded into our history for a fairly long time, and it’s sadly been stuck too so rigidly like a set of socially acceptable rules that it now restricts us in what we feel we are able to do in our lives.  Whether it be simple daily things like the colours we wear, to our daily work where we spend the majority of our time, our gender is reflected in the choices we feel we can-and do-make.

While this suits some people-my sister for example loved every minute of the little princess she was able to be as a child-for others it leaves us either uncomfortably trying to force ourselves to fit in with our own kind, daring to delve into the other side, or more frequently, standing in no man’s land and not really belonging anywhere or to anyone.  I think we need to learn to break down the barriers between the sexes: forget the rules, the ‘should-bes’ ‘must-bes’ and ‘have-tos’ and instead behave in a way that suits us personally with the people that suit us personally.   We should have the right to choose to act like Deer or Lion, a melange of the two, or in fact both, consecutively.  If I want to go running through an obstacle course in a Vera Wang dress with a pack of Lion beside me, it is perfectly within my right to do so, and who is society to say different?

After all, who wouldn’t like to see the miracle of Lion and Deer running side by side together off into the distance ?

Pork ‘Yum’ Sung

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Or ‘Lettuce Wraps’ as my friend so eloquently calls it.  If it was on the menu, Yuk Sung was always a family favourite on the rare occasion we went out for a Chinese.  It was either that or Crispy Duck, but as my mother’s preference was Yuk Sung, and what with mothers being mothers, it’s often what we ended up having. We didn’t have it often, I suppose with Chinese you always feel like its a very naughty treat, because we all know just by looking at it, what with its shiny, sticky, stagnant appearance that it can’t really be that good for us.  That’s why I often cook Asian inspired food, I like to try and recreate the DSCN0311tantalising tastiness of their dishes in a healthier way that can be consumed regularly with no guilt involved.  I don’t know why I left recreating this dish so long, but I do know that it’s an absolute winner.  I cooked it for my Mum and Dad tonight, and they think so too.

Crunchy Lettuce, Minced Meat, chopped Vegetables and what makes it really magic, the lovely, rich, peanut-buttery sauce it is lathered in.  It’s healthy and nutritious and yet feels like a treat, you don’t feel cheated one bit.  Here’s to Chinese at home, the healthy way!

Ingredients: (Serves 4):

DSCN0288Filling:

  • 4 Carrots
  • 4 sticks Celery
  • Can Water Chestnuts
  • 3 Spring Onions
  • 800g Minced Meat (Chicken, Pork or Turkey)
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • Splash Sesame Seed Oil

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Sauce:

  • 2 small Garlic Cloves
  • 8 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 4 tbsp. smooth Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Sesame Seed Oil
  • 10 drops Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Agave Syrup

Lettuce Cups:

  • 2 Ice Burg Lettuces

Method:

  1. Chop peeled Carrots, Celery, Spring Onion and Water Chestnuts finely and put to one side.
  2. Trim and remove stem from Garlic, then blend until smooth.
  3. Add Apple Cider Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Peanut Butter, Tabasco, Sesame Seed Oil and Agave Syrup to blender and blend together with garlic until smooth.
  4. Taste sauce and adjust to personal preferences and put to one side.
  5. Add splash of Sesame Oil to large sauce pan along with honey and heat on high until begins to bubble.
  6. Add Minced Meat and cook until browned all over.
  7. Add vegetables and cook for further 2 minutes.
  8. Add Sauce and cook on high, stirring regularly and reducing the sauce down.
  9. Meanwhile peel the Ice Burg Lettuce, trimming the edges to form nice cups.
  10. When sauce has fully reduced down, remove off the heat and serve.

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OOTD-What A Coat

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There are coats and then there are coats in nude, made of crinkly PVC,DSCN0286 with peter pan collars and pop buttons down the centre.  Those are my kind of coats, and I’m lucky enough to have one of my own; thanks Topshop.

My mac has magic powers.  Unlike the boring black kind, which has the habit of accentuating the blandness of any outfit, a PVC coat will take that outfit and give it a strong focus point, a good point, an admirable point.  Quintessentially sixties, it has such a strong identity itself, it gives your outfit identity too, definitely a good thing for me as you know how I feel about looking like a wishy-washy trend-follower. In fact, you could be wearing joggers underneath, and yet the quirkiness of your PVC coat choice will, without fail, make you look at least little bit cool, an off-duty stylish person if you will ‘if she wears that to take the bins out, when its all paired together she must be fabulous.’  And who doesn’t like to be thought of as fabulous ?

DSCN0287I always get comments when wearing my magic mac, by both men and women.  My Nan always tells me she used to have ‘one just like it,’-like she does about most of the things in my wardrobe-and a French man recently gasped, ‘Wow, what a coat!’ on seeing it.  What with their conservative style, I’m not entirely sure it was a compliment at all, however I’m definitely going to take it as one.  What is it they say, ‘Fashion is meant to make you feel something.’

Coat: Topshop

Dress: Topshop

Bag: Topshop

Shoes: Hirica

Big, Bold, Bean Stew

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“There’s some Chilli Con Carne in the freezer,” would be my Mums last words as she rushed out the door to do whatever Mums do.  She unfailingly had something hiding in there when we were younger, whether it be a Lasagne, Shepherds Pie or Homemade Soup, there was always something satisfying that could be defrosted and taste just as good-if not better-than when it went in two (or ten) months prior.  We didn’t live in a place where getting blocked in by snow was likely, I think she just liked to be prepared.  It’s a Mum thing I guess, habitually feeling obliged to feed up any visitors that may happen to drop by.   So, following in my Mum’s footsteps, I decided to create my own failsafe, freezeable, homely dish.  My Big Bold Bean Stew is just that.  It’s made in big portions, so is perfect for freezing, family get togethers or casual suppers.

Ingredients: (serves 8)

  • Tin Kidney Beans
  • Tiny White Beans
  • 1 Cup green lentils
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used Hemp Oil)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. Thyme
  • 2 tbsp. Oregano
  • 2 tbsp. Paprika
  • 3 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • 5 slices Parma Ham

Method:

  1. Dice shallots and Garlic and put to one side.
  2. Heat Oil in a Large Pan.
  3. When hot, add garlic and onions and cook on medium stirring regularly.
  4. Meanwhile slice the chorizo finely, then cut in halves.  Tear Pancetta into rough pieces.
  5. Once onions softened, add meat.  Cook on medium for 5 minutes.
  6. Add herbs, stir thoroughly then add tomato puree.  (Mix will be very dry now, this is right!  Keep going!)
  7. Add a little stock to loosen up mixture and cook on low for 15 minutes.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and rinsed beans, mix in.
  9. Add the rest of the stock, stir, then add lentils.
  10. Bring to the boil for ten minutes, stir, then reduce to a low heat, and put a lid on saucepan.
  11. cook for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better)
  1. More stock may need to be added depending on cooking time, heat and how much sauce you wish the stew to sit in.  Be generous, it boils down nicely.
  2. Serve with rice, couscous, jacket potato, anything goes!  Use your imagination!

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10 Things I Learnt While Not Learning French in Paris

I moved to Paris last September to learn French.  I didn’t learn that much French.  However here are ten things I did learn:

  1. Kids Are Scary:  Especially when they start getting older and have that, ‘I don’t care if you take my Teddy’ attitude that renders you powerless.
  2. Kids Are Not Scary: Wiping bums, giving baths and train journeys with little ones in tow may at first seem incredibly daunting, but take it from me, it is not rocket science and while they will not always listen to you, they are not going to eat you either.
  3. Knitting is Fun: I realise I am probably biased due to my love of Granny clothing-the two seem to go naturally hand-in-hand-but there is something very therapeutic about picking up needle and wool and creating row upon row of identical stitches.  I haven’t actually made anything as of yet…but I am sure that is equally satisfying.
  4. Anyone Can Play Piano: Of course you need a piano, but apart from that, grab your phone, get on Youtube, include the words ‘Easy,’ ‘Piano,’ and ‘tutorial,’ and you’re all set.  I was always astonished by how impossible some of the twiddly bits seemed at first-I got tempted to sack it off completely after the first go-but give it time and you’ll be surprised how your fingers start moving without them asking to, like they have brains of their own.
  5. Friends Can Be Found Anywhere: On facebook, in a bar, on the street, at a picnic, on the Metro…you’ll be surprised where you can gather friends when you’re in a new country and have none.  Yes they may let you down, be a bit insane and not speak any English but friends are friends, right!  Well, I never said GOOD friends!
  6. Being Foreign Is OK:  Embrace your foreign accent and pronunciations, hope it is cute, or don’t, either way, DON’T BE SCARED!!
  7. Tinder Will Always Be Weird: Painful silences, awkward conversations, small talk…most the time they are horrendous.  Even if you do strike lucky, what are you going to say at your Wedding?  ‘Oh I liked her half naked selfie and her bio about loving cats?’ Weird.
  8. Getting Old Is Scary: Savings, University Degrees, Rent, Salaries, Bills…yikes! What happened to spending my money on vodka and new dresses?
  9. Everyone Should Take A Year Out Abroad: Gap years in a different country sort everyone out, even those of us who deem ourselves un-sort-out-able. (me)
  10. Black is Boring: After living in a City renowned (and rightly so) for its dark dressers, I am in need of seeing some hippie rainbow dressers.  Who needs chic anyway ?

Note For Mum:  I did actually learn loads French and this is all a big joke… (ha)

Button Up

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All shapes, Shades and Sizes

A practicality, or so much more than that ?

Before going to Déboutonner La Mode-a temporary exhibition in Paris all about buttons and their role through time-I’d never really given them much thought.  Silly really, as  must have sewn, fastened and even bought a good hundred of the things, in fact I’ sure I still have a box full of them in all shades, shapes and sizes stored somewhere at home.

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Due to my ignorance, the exhibition really was an insight and eye opener into how much buttons can modify, majestify and more so make an outfit work and I truly did find it fascinating.  If you’re sighing already and thinking that my blog has turned into some sort of pretentious, museum reviewing, educational nonsense then I can assure you it has not, I am very much still an idiot. BE PATIENT please you might just learn something, I know I did.  In fact I learnt a whole three things, THREE!  And now you’re going to learn them too.

  1. Without Buttons, Most Of Our Clothes Wouldn’t Work:  I had previously no comprehension or conscious realisation as to how many items use buttons in order to be wearable. On display were a selection of items that would simply not function in the same way without a button, a concept I had never previously considered.  Take the classic examples: A waistcoat, or any kind of jacket even, these would be of no use without buttons.  Yes, perhaps we could use other methods such
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    Mens Jacket’s require buttons to function effectively.

    as a zip, but buttons allow us more flexibility in choosing exactly where the fabric fastens, and where it does not.  Perhaps a further example to illustrate this would be the closure at the back of a women’s blouse.  The lovely little keyhole shape revealing the back, that is created by the fastening of just one button at the base of the neck.

  2. Buttons Make An Outfit Unique:  So far we have learnt that the button is definitely a very useful
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    Chanel Dress featuring all-over CC stamped buttons.

    tool in designing clothes, giving designers the freedom to create interesting shapes in a fairly simple way.  However, and something I’ve definitely never thought about is there are outfits made that are made unique because of the buttons chosen and said pieces without their buttons, would be simply ordinary and distinguishable.  Example used at the exhibition was the World Famous Chanel Jackets.  These have buttons crafted in order to feature the CC logo, and also on occasions, a replication of the same binding used on the jacket edges to frame the button.  Chanel has very much always used buttons to accentuate the strong brand, making the buttons unique, marked and exquisite, just like the outfit themselves.  Without the buttons, these jackets would a) not function but b) more importantly just be like the ones you can pick up in Zara for a twentieth of the price.

  3. Buttons Can Act Like Jewellery: While I love the Chanel Jackets, truth be told they are a little too fancy, mature and sophistated for me, so after five minutes pretending to be chic, I moved on to the Plastic button section, and yes, my favourite era, you guessed it: The 60s.  DSCN0184These buttons were much simpler than some of the previous extravagant ones I had seen made from stone, gold and pearl, but in some ways that made me like them more.  Perhaps it wasn’t the buttons themselves that I loved, but the way these simple buttons were used to really adorn and complete an otherwise plain outfit.  Much like a piece of jewellery can take that outfit to a new level, the buttons-especially those featured on 60s looks-served to add a pop to the outfit, whether that be in colour, texture or adornment.  The choice of the button served to give identity to the piece, also like jewellery.  Had a metal, sailor-style button been chosen for the outfits DSCN0185below then they would have been much more preppy looking, but as it is, due to them being oversized, block coloured and plain, the sixties vibe the designer was going for was successfully achieved.  The power of the button hey.

It was a fabulous exhibition, and as a lovely of fashion, I always enjoy finding out more about why, how and exactly what I am choosing to put on my body each day.  The button is something we often disregard, but hopefully I have shown you, as the exhibition did me, that the Fashion Business would be a much different place without it.

Whatever you go for: pearl, plastic, paper mache, gold, glittery or glazed, practical, personal or patented, button up.

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OOTD – Granny Goes Shopping

Granny, Granny Cool.
Granny, Granny Cool.

When I’m not dressing like a seven year old, I’m dressing like a seventy year old. I don’t mean one of those DSCN0207cool seventy year olds Grannies who could pass as your mum either, you know the the skinny jean-wearing, Hen do frequenting, shot sharing ones, I don’t mean those.  I mean a proper seventy year old granny, you know, one with wrinkles and stuff.

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For some reason, I feel quite cool dressing like your Grandma.  A far cry from sexy, all that covering up is some sort of rebellion that I enjoy to embody from time to time.  This weekend was the perfect chance as I went to an Antique Market with friends, and dressed as I did almost blended in with one of the vintage items up for sale.  There is something rather soft and endearing about dressing like a Grandma I feel, after all, everyone loves their Granny don’t they.

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Skirt: Chloe

T-Shirt: Whistles

Jumper: Topshop

Satchel: Topshop

Trainers: Zara

Three Strikes and You’re Out

I’m sorry, but you’ve treated me like crap and this is the third time now.  Three strikes and you’re out!  The next day I text her asking if we could be friends again.

I’ve been unlucky enough to have had some pretty big fallouts with some of my best childhood friends over the years, fallouts which have seriously hurt me and affected the way I interact with people now.  But I’ve always been rubbish at holding a grudge, and to be honest, despite all the hurt they caused, I’d take most of them back in a an instant if they approached me now.  I always find it fairly easy to forgive people that I’ve  known for a long time because-due to one too many experiences-I’m fully aware of how much of a loss I would feel if the person were to go missing from my life:  all those memories made in the past and no one to reminisce them with; having to bottle private things up as the person you could talk to anything about is now under no obligation to listen to your shit; going to the toilet by yourself on a night out because none of your other friends are comfortable with seeing eachothers’ floofs…its hard, and replacing them is even harder.  No matter how much that girl you met in the toilet in a club last Saturday did compliment your dress, it’s unlikely she will be able to instantly fall into the demanding roll of-that of your previous friend from birth.

So before I dismiss an old friend now, I have to really, really consider it.  Almost like a business deal, I analyse the profits and losses to be had from the decision in hand.  I weigh up what they’ve done wrong against the million things they’ve done right over the years, and nine point nine times out of ten-with a push along from my generous, forgiving and generally gracious personality, I give them one more chance at being my friend…in other words I realise I’d rather be screwed over once in a while than live my life without them.

That’s all very well and good for old friends, but what about the new ?  Say you did decide to befriend the girl you met in the club toilets, you start hanging out, how many chances would you give her to mess up before she got the boot?  One, a handful, limitless ?  Since moving to Paris, I’ve had to build myself a circle of brand-spanking, new, never-seen-before friends.   Au-pairs came over in heards from across the globe at the beginning of last September, and it was very much like being at a market; there was so much choice, and I got in early, picked up a small, but great scattering of  new girlfriends, and left the cows mooing behind. But now it’s the end of the school year, all of the kids have gone on holiday and we are very much redundant.  Slowly but surely, one after the other, my already small group of new friends suddenly started diminishing, and before I knew it, everyone had returned home and I had just one friend left.

Cue Kelsey.  I say she was a friend but at this point we’d actually only met once and spoke a few times on the phone; isn’t it funny how quick you are to widen your ‘friend’ circle when you become the only one left in it? I guess a more accurate label would be acquaintances, but either way I liked her.  She made my soul feel good, you know one of those people you just instantly click with, one of those people who makes you the ‘you-est’ version of you you can be ?  That was Kelsey.  So I arranged to meet her again at ‘Fete de la musique’ in Paris; with house music and raves going on in the streets all over the City,  I knew all I needed was a pal I could dance like no one was watching with to make it an incredible night.  I knew she was the right (and only) girl for the job, so despite her telling me she was going to be late, I hung around for what I knew had the potential to be an amazing night.   Two hours later, and a few confused text messages I didn’t quite understand and I was heading home alone, with the music, ravers and French ‘alleeeez’ still ringing in my ears, haunting me of what could have been.  Admittedly it was last minute plans, but I got exited to see her.  Being surrounded by people having such a fabulous time whilst waiting enviously on someone who finally did a no show felt exceedingly cruel, and it cut me deep.

That was strike one, but after an apology-which are so rare these days I couldn’t help but listen to-I forgot all about it and within a week and got strike two when she did another no show when a few of us planned to go to an open air cinema together.  This time she got the silent treatment for a few days while I decided what to do.  In the end all was again forgiven, but I made a vow to myself that another strike and that would be it, no questions.  But what we say and what we do are very different things, and despite strike three being the worst of the bunch (with me ending up with her lovely, but ever-so boring Tinder date for the night while she zoomed off on a motorbike with her ex-boyfriend) after being bluntly honest about what an idiot I thought she was, telling her exactly how shitty she made me feel and how insanely out of order her behaviour was, the next day it was me asking for us to be friends again.

Perhaps I was weak; I have lost too many friends that have meant too much to me over my short life so far and losing another scared me.  Perhaps I was just too kind; I was quick to forgive after hearing that sacred word ‘sorry’ once, twice, thrice.  Perhaps I was frightened of being alone; with all my friends gone, I was desperate even for this crumbly chance of friendship to work out.

Or perhaps I was just right.  I realised she was great, and what fun we could have.  I realised that despite her stupidity I was having more fun with her than I would without her and I realised that, after all, she is just human, and humans fuck up from time to time(or a lot in this case).  We are all different after all.

So how many chances do we give our friends, old or new, before we cut them out of our life for good?  For me, the answer is simple; how big, deep and painful would said cut be?  Would the cut ever heal, or would I left with a great big ugly scar for the rest of my life?  If the answer to any of the above is not a pretty one,  then my choice is simple.  After all, I’d much rather swallow my pride, be made to look like a push-over and left with a scratch then come out head held high with a mark to remind me of the person I’m leaving behind for the rest of my life.