Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Baptist Funeral for an Atheist

Rowan and I had hoped to go away for Christmas, my parents would ideally cancel Christmas and hide away reading endless books, completing crosswords and eating Chocolate. Rowan's Mum was planning on spending Christmas with her parents as her Father hadn't been well recently, unfortunately her Father passed away at the end of November. Robin was a bit of a legend, Rowan and he pen pal'd while Rowan was living in Hong Kong and had gotten to know him well, this is Rowan's eulogy for his Grandpa:

Such a fantastic story, this old adventurer finally passed. Darjeeling narrow gauge railways through the base of the Himalayas.. That was just to get to school! He got strafed by a zero fighter while running along a runway in Burma. He had close call with the Japanese navy as he manned a 40mm canon on escort carrier HMS smiter. He blew up a Japanese monument in Hong Kong. He carried on blowing stuff up as his regular job. He faked his age so many times he forgot how old he was. He gambled and won; (He probably knew what the horse had for breakfast) He spent his grandkid's inheritance on holidays and cruises (legend) he was a shopkeeper, a centre of community, a most aggressive driver, and my mother's father. Our much loved, and missed, legend Robin Sinclair D'Ortez sadly taken from us yesterday.
Rest In Peace

The funeral was held in Tenby at the start of December, a simple affair at the local crematorium with friends and family, his daughter's local preacher said a few kind words, followed by some food at a beautiful Baptist church in Tenby. 

Rowan and I spent Christmas with his Mother, we visited the local butchers on Christmas Eve and I have to hand it to Gorseinon, they have a healthy, strong town centre with a variety of wonderful shops, bespoke and traditional; some thing unheard of within commuterville (the M25 and surrounding counties), which I've always felt is a huge shame.
We got to play 'Cards against Humanity' on Christmas Eve with friends; you know you're friends are dark when they state 'when does this game become offensive', half way through playing. Our Beef Wellington could do with some work, but it was a very nice lunch and we've plenty of years to perfect it! We spent a couple of days with my family en route home, attending the local pub in the village and winning the pub quiz for the first time ever!

A pretty good Christmas all in all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1.1% Fat Loss

Two months in the gym and I've lost a total of 1.1% fat apparently. According to the gym, me holding on to a game console controller can tell how fat I am, which seems unlikely and what happens when if you have fat hands?

The gym worker was surprised that my left side is leaner than my right side, bearing in mind that I'm right handed, well I try to spread out the usage, I've always been afraid that I'll break my right arm and be left unable to write, etc. Sad times indeed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Breast pain and lumps

On the 23rd November, I went to the Doctors. Since my last miscarriage, I have had various pains in my boobs. It started out in both but recently it has been concentrated on to my right boob.
I have had aching and throbbing, my areola has changed shape and colour, I feared my nipples looked inverted at one point but I don't think they did, my right boob is a very different shape and size to the left one, they were similar looking beforehand, it almost looks used up. I also had a bout of fatigue. I was concerned, as they are all symptoms of breast cancer and I'm a hypochondriac!

However on Tuesday night I felt a small lump on the upper outer side of my left breast and freaked! Poor Rowan had to try and comfort me...it was no use. I have had a breast mouse before but it was in the wrong place for cancer, so could calm myself that way. Also it completely disappeared after my cycle completed, so off I skipped into the merry world of make believe, thinking of my immortality.

By the time I reached the Doctors, I knew he would say it was a breast mouse and not to worry and to come back after my next cycle had finished. He said exactly that and explained that my hormones probably weren't settled after my MC, he was very kind, friendly, and understanding too.

On Sunday night, the 25th Oct, I found a second lump at the outer base of my left breast, queue mass hysteria again.

On Monday morning I was the first person in my clinic, exclaiming that I didn't mind losing my boobs I just wanted to keep my life. I asked for the Doctor to call me, which he did. Once again, he was calm and friendly explaining that it's probably my hormones and that two small lumps were particularly linked to cancer.

By Friday, the 30th, I had a third lump, this time on the upper outer side of my left breast. Pain and discomfort in buckets with it, I couldn't sleep on my left side and found bras extremely uncomfortable, along with shooting pains in my armpits and down my arm. Once again, I reminded myself that it's hormones and that I shouldn't panic. However I also had a lump on my right ear, so popped back to the Doctors and he said that it was 100% unrelated, which I had assumed already and that I should apply a particular cream. I informed him of my third lump and he said it all seemed to fit with his theory.

I have since started my next cycle, on day two (yesterday) I had some sharp stabbing pains in my right arm pit, upon further inspection I found a lump, queue a restless night freaking out again. However I read this morning that lumps and pain in the armpits and boobs are completely normal during your cycle and that you shouldn't  feel or look for them before or during your cycle, as you'll find them. I am now keeping calm and waiting for at least three days after my cycle ends to have a feel around, dear God, I hope they've all disappeared, along with the pain and discomfort.

Randomly, they do coincide with my Miscarriages, as I had the one before 2-3 months after my first miscarriage and these ones have been 3-4 months later, however this time round the miscarriage was a little different.

Fingers crossed it is just the those joyous hormones, that control our vessels!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Loose Bowels

For some reason, the gym I have been frequenting constantly has stinky lavatories. I guess the joys of exercise has been greasing the bowels and allowing we ladies to create vile stenches, trapped behind full height doors.

Additionally, the lavatories at work have full height doors and fire door hinges, which results in the smells being trapped for all eternity, I take a lot of deep breathes when near the loos in Regents Place. If only it did smell and look like Roses.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Wedding Planning

Since getting engaged (February this year), we haven't done very much in regards to the wedding, we compiled our preferred guest list, which consisted of 115 people, expecting 90 to attend. Fuck, that's a lot of people to buy dinner for, but every single one is important or proper good fun!

Since then, we've spoken about it on and off, moved it from the Oxfordshire countryside, to Central London, to East London, to South London, to Swansea, to Gorseinnon, to who knows where next!

We've gone from having it at a Hotel, to a Marquee, to an Abandoned Building, to a Sound Studio, to a Pub, to a Barn, to a Field. As I explained to my Grandma when she asked about our plans recently "there are too many options, therefore you can have anything and everything, which makes deciding far too hard".

One of my friends got engaged in July and was joking that she'd probably be married before me, I wouldn't be surprised. When I met up with her two months later, she was on the same page as us, realising that it was just a lot of work and money and decisions and putting it off, or not committing was a lot easier, than actually planning and arranging it.

I recently thought that a vineyard in Wales would be a lovely option, off to Google I went, however most of them weren't taking bookings in 2016 anymore. And then I found this: Fforest
The idea of a weekend of celebrations and fun with my friends and family is perfect, however the cost is something else...we shall see.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


I ran for 15 minutes straight today, covering 1500m. I really wanted to call my Secondary School PE Teacher and let her know. She was trying to get me to do that when I was 15 and I failed every time, I beamed all day about this and told everyone I met, they don't get it, they don't know but I do!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Joining the Gym

It's Halloween at the Gym, everyone is dressed up, it's very bizarre!
Today I joined the gym, my work offer a discounted rate and it's right downstairs and classes are included, who could say no!

The only really worrying factor is that all of the ladies at work constantly tell me how they've all gained weight since they moved offices. I'm trying to lose weight, bearing in mind that 80% of my clothes don't fit me currently. Although, my new office is surrounded by sweets, chocolate, cakes, etc., no wonder they've all suffered the same fate.

Not me though, I'm going to go to the gym, expel my energy and fit back into my clothes. I hope.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

34.4% Fat

I had my induction today. I mainly want to increase my cardio "aka running ability", tone up and become flexible. I was publicly weighed (if I did embarrassment, I could have died) I weigh 10St 13lbs, the heaviest I've ever been, no wonder my zips and buttons groan under the pressure my wobbly body applies to them. And I have 34.4% fat in my hands, apparently! Which may explain why I've been suffering from 'fat fingers' while I type and hit two keys at once! Who knew fat in your hands was a thing and what if you actually suffer from fat hands but have a thin everything else, surely that is a thing!

I explained what I was hoping to gain from their torture chamber, so he started arranging loads of weight machine exercises, etc., say what?! I've never looked, let alone done any of these before. I'm not convinced but we shall see, who knows?! I'm open to options.

Friday, October 09, 2015

New Job


I’m unsure how I feel about it.
In the past four weeks, I have had various interviews with agencies and companies, most notably:

For a famous family which required a NDA to be signed for the interview, I’ve probably already said too much!
For an investment company which was nice but I totally failed the tests, however they liked me and wanted a second interview, which is super nice.
For another investment firm that had a double act interview me, I wasn’t keen on this and it came through the agency I didn’t really like. I had such pleasure telling him that I’d been offered a job elsewhere when he tried to let me down gently, jerk!
And then for the company who have offered me a role, which is based on Euston Road and seemed relatively normal and nice.

It’s for a good firm, with a little ego, with normal people and a reasonable pay package, good holiday allowance and extras attached (not that extras have ever bothered me before?).

I start next Monday.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Dreaded Job Hunt

Looking for a new job is hard work, you have to scoured various websites, uploading, editing and adapting your CV time and time again, selling your personal information to the lowest bidder. After you’ve spent a couple of hours doing this, you sit back and feel accomplished, if only the entire process felt like this!

If you’re unlucky you hear nothing further, except for the occasional email rejecting you but being super kind and thanking you for thinking of them, telling you lies like “we’ll keep your details on file”, file meaning the bin.

If you’re “lucky” first thing the next day, your phone won’t stop ringing with calls from recruitment agencies wanting to check you’re a real human being. If that call goes well, you’ll then be invited to meet with them, this is so they can check that you’re presentable, it’s an unpervy first date, or so you hope. Therefore, you arrange to meet them before work (having had no sleep), on your lunch break (missing the chance to actually eat), or after work (when you’re mentally exhausted from your day job). Off you trot to meet this person who is apparently worthy to judge your every whim and word.

I was applying for Personal Assistant roles which meant that not only did I have to be presentable, organised and good at communication, it traditionally involves four Prove-It tests for Microsoft Office, a typing test, a spelling test and grammar test, oh the good old days haven’t left us yet!

The Prove-It tests are simple, however, if like me you often use shortcut keys or the right click menu, you’re going to fail every simple test:
Can you change this line of typing to italic?
“Yes I can” you scream in your brain, you automatically right click.
“No you can’t” it tells you, asking you whether you want to move to the next question because you failed that question.
“Bugger, fuck” you stammer and yet there is still the question: Next Question? You finally manage to complete that question, proving to yourself that you’re not a dumbass. And the next question loads triumphantly, while the elf that operates the test laughs uncontrollably at your stupidity.
“Can you save this document?”
“Duh, of course I can!”, and off go your fingers hitting ‘Apple S’ or ‘Ctrl S’, before you’ve even considered that your way, isn’t the tests way, and up pops that dreaded question, ‘Next Question?’
“FUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!” you seethe through gritted teeth and this is only the 4th question, what will happen when it asks you to insert a table? Do Macros? Pivot Tables? Animate the Presentation?
You compose yourself, you gather your thoughts “What did you do when you were first plonked in front of a computer at school?”, oh yeah, you used to go through ‘File’. You click ‘Next Question?’.
“Change the heading to ‘Heading 2”, you’ve got this, you can do this, it’s easy, but wait! You need to think old school ways of navigating the programme, so you sit and think “what was the old school way of changing the heading setting? Was it always on the ribbon or was it once hidden in a drop down menu? How new is the ribbon? Have you always had these pre-set ideas of what a heading should look like or did you used to have to manually set them? And if you did use to have to manually set them, how did Microsoft decide that these were what the average user wanted? And if they did decide that, are you just a Microsoft lamb following what you’re told you need, rather than actually needing it?! WAIT! You’re off track and now probably look like you have no idea how to change the heading, these tests are timed, oh god! You select the heading option on the ribbon and the next question loads, was that a fluke you ponder?!

Eventually you realise that there is no proper way of doing these tests, as they are a pointless waste of time, created to prove that you can turn a computer on and open, save, edit a document. The sweaty palms and fear of the unknown is all a waste.

You ace the typing test until you reach the end, when you’re told that you type at the speed as an OAP with arthritis in their hands and only have an accuracy of 60%.

Onwards you press, you won’t let them get you down…the spelling test: Independent / Independant / Indapendent
Balls, does Independent have all ‘e’s in it or are there ‘a’s too?! Hang on, you were on the newspaper with the same name’s website earlier, how was it spelt? Bugger, it has an ‘a’, it definitely has an ‘a’, doesn’t it? You chew through the end of the pen you’ve been given, now you can’t give it back and will look like a thief, this is going from worse to worser, is that a word? What are words? Who decided what they were and how they were spelt? You know Shakespeare created a load of them “damn you Shakespeare” you cry, but does “Shakespeare” have that many ‘e’s and ‘a’s? FUCK! You resign to the fact that you’re going to look bloody stupid with all of these terrible results, you move to the grammar test and start circling everything…double spaces, indentations, the sign off at the end, the word in bold, you circle everything so much so that it look like a teacher assessing the work of a dumbass 5 year old, in your face child who can’t write or read.

Eventually, you meet with the agent and instantly start with your disclaimers “I totally blanked”, “I use shortcut keys”, “my dog ate my homework”, “Derek Drew did it Miss”. They laugh, they’ve heard it all before and couldn’t care less, they just want to make sure that your Mum didn’t apply for the job for you, writing your CV and cover letter. I’m not sure what is actually wrong with that, she may have helped, she’s good at the English malarkey and stuff.

You sit and have a casual chat, you’ve now lulled you into a social calm, you slouch, tell the truth, laugh and stop yourself from saying inappropriate witty one liners which your friends would crease up at. You decide that this person is the best person in the world, you almost want to invite them for a pint, you don’t but you feel such a connection. After all that, you head back off to work or head home. You realise you’re very tired, being the BEST you, is hard and knackering. You reward yourself with a pint and pyjamas.

Depending on the agency, depends on what happens to next:
The Agency who puts you forward for EVERY job, whether you’re experienced or not, whether the money is what you had hoped for, whether it is even in the right field.
The Agency who wants you to do the job for them, asking you to constantly check their website and let them know if you’re interested in a particular role.
The Agency who calls every day with various potential things that you never hear any more about said role.
The Agency who remembers you exist 3 months later when you’ve found a new role and let them know so.
Oh there are endless agencies and they all have their ways, some are great, some are terrible, some are fun to talk to, and some are bloody good at what they do. These are the agencies you hope to find, as you internet date your way through them all, applying for this job and that…hoping that you end up in a nice company with normal people and get paid reasonably well for it.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Tube Drivers vs Bus Drivers

Once again everyone within the M25 stressed and over-reacted about having to consider an alternative route to work, or (if my office is anything to go by) everyone chose to work from their sofa while in their PJs (I wish I was on my sofa in my PJs).

This morning there were less people, less moaning and everyone seemed in pretty good moods, it was tres nice; however whenever anyone does mention the strike the first topic they go to is that the Tube Drivers are well paid and do very little on the grand scheme of things. I don’t think that we should even be talking about them, I think we should be discussing the people who step up and work extra shifts and cope with added bollocks due to the strikes, therefore I am dedicating this post to all of those people.

This morning I saw:
  • The Police directing, advising and managing people, enquiries and bus queues (a nice little extra  line on the CV under ‘crowd control’, ‘bus queue management’, it’s a skilled job and someone has to do it). Well done to the Police.
  •  National Rail Staff (and potentially some TFL workers) were out in force at Victoria Station (and probably elsewhere) handing out alternative travel leaflets and advising us ‘lost London idiots’ on how to cross a road and not get run over. Well done you guys!
  • BUT, most of all I want to send out a HUGE thank you to the Bus Drivers. Over the years I have often pondered on who has the shittier job: Tube Drivers or Bus Drivers, and I always come to the same conclusion, Bus Drivers. They have to contend with the general public face to face, the general public who are still trying to buy bus tickets with cash, who are drunk, who are morons, who are rude and demanding; anyone who has worked with the general public (in a shop, bar, at events, etc.) can contest that we are generally dumb selfish arseholes, this in itself is an awful prospect and something the Tube Drivers don’t have to content with during their average working days. Add to that, suicidal Cyclists, who think they are participating in the Tour De London, and moronic Pedestrians, who think that the bus won’t hit them, ever; Taxi Drivers who believe they rule the roads and, once again, the general public who drive cars this time, and have no idea where they are going and you’ve got a Godly awful job. Then add that their routes can change at the drop of the hat and they’ve got to just go with it, say what?! And during industrial action by Tube workers the bus companies put on more services, BOOM! We’ve got ourselves some people who need appreciation, kind words and a MASSIVE shout out!

So to all your grumpy Bus Drivers out there, and we know you’ve every right to be grumpy (look at the list above), we appreciate your efforts and feel you deserve some mega London love, instead of the usual night bus’s drunken passengers trying to pay with their burgers and leaving you vomit as a memento! Keep up the great work!

PS I am sure there are 100 other groups of people who I should be thanking but there is no need to go over board with this post...however, great work guys and gals!

Monday, August 03, 2015

"Pregnancy Sensitive" - The Great Post-Miscarriage Condition

One of the biggest problems with having a miscarriage is that people who fall pregnant (whether intentionally or by accident) tip-toe around you, making you feel like a white elephant with leprosy.

People expect you to be "pregnancy sensitive" and therefore unable to be happy for others who have something which you also hope to have one day, which is all very frustrating. I won’t lie and pretend that after my operation that I immediately wanted to be around babies, pregnant people, children or people who have had children, as I didn’t, but it wasn’t because I was bitter or jealous of them, it was because they were walking, talking reminders that my genes had failed and that I was once again sent back to the start, delayed. They reminded me of the endless hours waiting to be told by a surgeon that the pregnancy had failed; the pamphlets and softly spoken ‘buzz’ words the nurses used and of the nervousness just before my operation…something I understandably wanted to forget at that time.

And, I am not going to pretend that when one of my closest friends told me she had fallen pregnant without meaning to (she had been told at the end of last year that she would struggle to fall pregnant due to a medical condition), that I wasn’t a little upset but I was also ecstatic for her, she had something that she had been told would be difficult to achieve. She had something which she hadn’t wanted, just yet, but did want; she and her husband now had a future that they probably (and I’m sure they would agree) would have continued to put off, as the timing wasn’t right…they also had something which could have been extremely trying and hard for them to have gained (when they had finally found the right time). They’d been spared all of that upset and delay and that is something to be happy about. Yes, I was initially upset (which I felt dreadfully guilty about) but it was more to do with the fact that my child (had it my original pregnancy worked out) could have been close friends with hers and we’d have something to discuss and share, I’d be able to answer questions and advise her. And I felt as though I had been classified as obsolete and irrelevant...obviously when I fell pregnant the second time round I was over the moon, I got the chance to share this experience with one of my oldest friends!

We all know how that worked out, but that didn’t mean that I was jealous or upset about her pregnancy, that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t speak to her about what happened to me, if I had wanted to. I couldn’t have been happier for her and I still am. I think when you struggle to get and remain pregnant, you are more aware of how difficult it is, therefore you have this joy for others…yes, you feel a tiny pang of ‘oh great, another pregnancy to remind me of my failed ones’ but that lasts for about 5 seconds before you swallow it and fill yourself up with joy and hope.

Regardless of this, I have had someone announce their pregnancy to me and immediately change the subject to my upcoming / unplanned wedding…; I have had someone not tell me in case something happened a second time around for me, so I would feel able to approach them about it, if I felt the need (obviously meant with the best of intentions but this made me feel as though I was viewed as incapable of reaching the intended outcome, resulting in the feeling of betrayal), among their other numerous reasons; and I have had someone console me on my second miscarriage who totally avoided telling me about the fact they were 12 weeks pregnant, due to awkwardness, making me feel as though I had three heads! And let’s be fair, it wasn’t as though I wouldn’t have found out eventually…I mean, six months later out pops the topic you avoided and that makes for some scratching of heads and confused facial expressions!

We white elephants with leprosy are aware that just because we have had issues, this will not result in the world stopping others from falling pregnant until we feel able to deal with it; we know that people will continue to receive said news and we know that this is in no way a reflection of our short comings. Yes, there are some of us who it may be best to tell over the phone while they are at home, as they will need a few minutes to compose themselves but even they will be elated for you. Just because we’ve had some setbacks or may need to approach parenthood from a totally different angle to you, this does not mean that we are also incapable of sharing and celebrating your news, I feel it makes us more capable.

So, in light of this people of the world, I feel that I need to give you some advice: Yes, be aware that people who have struggled to fall pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy may be a little sensitive about the subject, you may even get a couple of tears, however these are not directed at you (they are internalised emotions which will not desist from many moons ago). BUT we are also very happy for everyone who does fall pregnant and will want to ask all the usual questions: When are you due? Will you find out the sex? When is your first scan? etc.. and will continue to do so. We will also want to be updated on the progress and the stupid names your partner has suggested, as why shouldn't he want to call the child Balthazar Guthrum Rollo (partially one of Rowan's own suggestions)?! And, when that little bundle of tears, shit and vomit does pops out, we will also want to cuddle them and to hear all the gruesome details of childbirth. we are still human after all!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pregnancy Take Two - The Results

I heard from the hospital and had my final visit today. I'm happy to announce that it was not a Molar Pregnancy, after everything, they've confirmed that it was 'just a failed pregnancy'. Oh, just a failed pregnancy...nothing more, thank God?!
The Doctor who called me kept on telling me that it was just a miscarriage and I was thinking 'no, no it wasn't. Nothing like what happened first time round happened this time round. This time round I had some spotting which stopped and then had an evacuation, as you told me I had too. Did you get it wrong?'. Finally I was told the whole truth about what happened, instead of what they had led me to believe, which was:
On my first trip, they struggled to see the sack (as everything is so small) and told me I would miscarry, but she wanted me to visit in a week for a confirmation.
On the second trip, the Sonographer told me that it looked like a Molar Pregnancy and that cysts were present; the Specialist didn't even look at the scans, just read the report and signed the paperwork.

Today, finally, the nurse confirmed the following:
On the first trip the Sonographer struggled to find the sack, especially as it was so early and there were signs of trauma, possibly resulting in a potential miscarriage. Additionally my HCG hormones were high, which is apparently synonymous with a threatened miscarriage.
On the second trip the second Sonographer couldn't see a sack or foetus but could see potential cysts and therefore reported a Molar Pregnancy.

Why they couldn't tell me on the second visit that there appeared to be no sack, however potential Molar Pregnancy signs, is beyond me. Instead they went straight for 'You have a Molar Pregnancy' and worry me senseless in the process.
Why they couldn't be straight with me from the first visit, instead of saying 'you'll miscarry', why couldn't they say everything is super small and I don't think this will be a viable pregnancy, I'm sorry but we'll confirm next week. Then on the second visit they say, I agree this isn't viable, however there appears to be worrying signs of a Molar Pregnancy...but this may not be the case and it may be a simple miscarriage?! But in these cases we have to perform an evacuation to confirm our suspicions, is beyond me and yet they jump to worse case scenarios and have you out of my mind.

On the upside, it wasn't Molar, which means that Rowan and I do not have to wait 6-12 months to continue to try for 'Pregnancy - Take Three'. This also means I do not have to attend endless blood and urine tests at Charing Cross Hospital and that there are not any further worrying health issues to panic about. On the upside this is extremely positive and wonderful news (although very sad), it is just a shame that it was delivered and dealt with in a confused, muddled and not straight forward manner.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Friday morning saw myself and Rowan heading to St. Thomas's hospital to have the grim procedure of my Molar Evacuation. The day patient nurses and staff were all lovely (apart from the receptionist who couldn't raise a smile if her life depended on in). I tried to remain cheery but it is a difficult thing to do in light of what was to come.

I cracked the joke about shamefully wearing the same outfit as everyone else, the only people who raised a smile were the nurses, I fear all the other patients were extremely nervous, understandably. All in all I was there for about three hours, knocked out for approximately one hour. And then it was all over and I was no longer pregnant, just another statistic. Now I have to wait for two weeks and call a random number on a Wednesday between 2-4pm only, it feels like something out of James Bond, I wonder if the page with the details on them will burn once the call is complete.

The call should confirm whether it was a 'complete' or 'partial' molar, by then I should also know if my body has been drained of all HCG hormones or if the procedure (which is performed blindly) removed everything; there is no guarantee and the remains may continue to grow, resulting in a second procedure, which is all terribly fucked up and annoying.

We also can not start or continue to try to get pregnant until everything is at nil, as if waiting is my best past time and something that I truly excel at with ease and grace.

In other news, all of my temping has finished so I am once again unemployed and not getting paid. E.G. skint! Tomorrow I start the boring process of job hunting and trying to prostitute myself out to the highest bidder, I'm sure you can tell that I am not looking forward to it. Why can I not get paid to sit at home watching films / TV, while crocheting?!

We have started to sort out our garden again, for a second time. The first time round a bastard squirrel ate all of the seeds (and did so like a bloody ninja for at least a month), this time round we have skipped the gestation period and bought pre-grown herbs and flowers. We even took pity on two dying house plants for a whole 50p each, although my green fingers are not green in the slightest.

I've purposefully bought some self-drip feeders, so that they don't all automatically die as soon as I get distracted...we shall see, a little like we shall see what the phone call in two weeks, my next lot of blood tests and all of these jobs I apply for bring. Being a grown up is so dull and painfully slow at times.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Tube Strike

Having walked into my temping job today, (it took about one hour and was extremely pleasant, much nicer than getting the tube) I really don't see one day of mild inconvenience a problem. The main issue with Industrial Action is the fact that the general public only hear "tube strikes, over paid idiots revolt", it's never the actual facts of why or what?! The other issue is the divide between public and private sector, my generation (especially) do not understand the merits of Unions and Industrial Action, one comment I heard this morning was in regards to HSBC laying off employees and complaining that none of those employees are striking, well if they had the support of a Union, maybe they could or would, but does striking ever work?!

My observation and experience of striking is that those who strike never get what they want, the bosses make empty promises and then walk away. Look at the Scottish referendum as an example of how it should work, and yet Parliament are still trying to stiff the Scots by backing out of their wild and desperate attempts to woo the people into staying in Britain. Luckily they were caught on camera making maddening promises and therefore have been shamed by the press into keeping most of them. But the Union talks aren't filmed and the promises are half arsed and intended to bend the wills of the people at the bottom of the chain, once the Industrial Action is over, the bosses walk away washing their hands of the promises and chuckling to themselves about what idiots the little people are...

The previous LU strikes last year in regards to the ticket office closures and redundancies did nothing, a skeleton service was run, TFL and LU promised to revise the plans and low and behold in every station we now witness ticket offices being closed, the walls being tiled and the machines offering customer service to the general public in need. And I still support those strikers and worry for the stations on the outskirts of London where the machines are often broken and the staff are over worked and unable to offer alternatives to abandoned commuters.

Being told that you have to work nights, weekends, drop your personal plans at 24 hours notice to service the general public all for a pay increase of 0.75% isn't fair and yes, I am aware that the private sector may have these rules also and they've no choice but to abide, but this is why Unions exist. You may not agree with them, you may not understand them, but they offer support, assistance and care to the members and the members families and will continue to do so.

This morning, I thanked the strikers outside Stockwell station for supplying a daily service which most people take for granted. You may not agree with striking and maybe it doesn't get the outcome the Unions want but what it does do is highlight how much for granted we take certain services and individuals, it highlights the fact that numerous businesses make promises on behalf of their staff and then expect the staff to adhere and roll over.

Today we all got to see parts of London we wouldn't normally see. We got to find out that London really isn't that big and you can walk across it quite easily. I got to see Buckingham Palace, a guy riding his kid's scooter, two guys in suits on a Vespa and took in the sights of the River Thames from Vauxhall Bridge. Some people will have had the chance to work from home, getting an extra hour of sleep due to not commuting. Today is a day to celebrate, all businesses know problems may occur so are more relaxed. We all got to have a slower start to the day and got to take in some of the sights of London.
If nothing more, Tube Strikes should cause comradery and should encourage you to realise how easy life can be when everything runs like clock work, they are a secret old world blessing, which allows you to take five seconds out and breath.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Passion of Christ

I watched 'The Passion of Christ' for the first time ever last weekend. I was raised attending Catholic Church and attending occasional Sunday School classes. I studied Religious Education during my GCSE's as I wanted something interesting and challenging, additionally I have always found religion interesting bearing in mind everything it is responsible for in the world, past and present.

These were my thoughts while watching it:

Wow, Jesus created the first ever tall table and chair in the world!
The Jewish Rabbi's look like Persians.
Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, like the pirate he should have been.
The Devil is extremely Androgynous, I wonder if all holy beings look like that.
Mel Gibson obviously hasn't watched 'Hunt for Red October' enough to master the true art form of changing from foreign languages to 'English'. However, bravo to the cast for learning Aramaic and Latin.
They've all got excellent dental work and by that I don't mean white and straight, I mean the level of detail to dirty the actors teeth was extremely appreciated by me.
How come the Roman Soldiers do not realise that if you whip a man 50 times, then stuff a crown of thorns on his head and then make him carry a cross, if you continue to whip him, he will fall down and he will drop the cross. They are obviously not particularly bright bunnies and behaving like this, will not make said man move faster!

Additionally, I did like the film, it was a little long winded and extremely heavy going but it was good and reflected the sacrifices that he did go throw, but come on Mel Gibson, through some smiles in, somewhere...even the Bible is that arduous!!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Pregnancy, Take Two - The Molar Pregnancy

I cannot help but feel that my body is slowly trying to tick off every single thing that can go wrong during pregnancy:

First Trimester Miscarriage:  TICK

Dreaded Molar Pregnancy that every pregnant woman fears: TICK

What next, Second or Third Trimester Miscarriage? A positive test result in relation to a terrible syndrome which can wreck your beautiful future child’s chance at a *traditional life? Near death experience, resulting in the removal of your womb? Still born? Cot death?

I do know that I am being overly dramatic but I feel fucking shitty right now. I know that on the grand scheme of things life and death can be a whole lot worse and at least I found out relatively early and didn’t go on thinking for the rest of my first trimester (five weeks) that everything was blissful to discover at 12 weeks that it was a clusterfuck of cells masquerading as a foetus.

I do know that it is just the luck of the draw and we had no luck this time round. I joked with Rowan in regards to our odds for a traditional pregnancy next time round: We’ve been part of the 1 in 4 miscarriage brigade, now we're part of the 1 in 600 Molar Cell Calculation Fuck Ups. However, bearing in mind that Rowan’s odds for getting MS after having Cholera, Meningitis and a rare tropical disease (that the London Hospital of Tropical Diseases hadn’t seen for a hundred years) were pretty low, it also highlights the fact that next time round something even more fucked up may strike and that all of the worry and panic I felt when I first found out about this pregnancy were for nothing; if you are going to miscarry or have something crap happen, that will continue to occur regardless of sleep, work, what you eat and drink, or how you live your life.

Pregnancy is a very strange creature. It can take months, years and decades to conceive to have it cock up. The whole process is one of chance and the potential outcome is also one of chance, yes age and health will go against you or in your favour, but so will walking down the street instead of catching a bus or wearing red instead of green. My point is that when it is right and you end up with a healthy baby for the foreseeable future, it is truly a gift, a remarkable beautiful gift of every bit of chance working in your favour.

I am someone who panics when in limbo, however as soon as I have facts and answers, all is good. So in answer to everyone who wants to talk and ensure me that they care (and yes, I do know you care and you mean the best, and I do really appreciate that, even though I am coming off as an angry, senseless, selfish bitch from hell) but there is really nothing to talk about, the facts have been discussed with the specialist, the consent forms have been signed and the procedure has been booked:
Yes, it is shit.
Yes, I know that it doesn’t mean that we’ll continue to struggle in the future.
Yes, I know this is just circumstantial, a setback, if you will.
Yes, of course there are various other options out there, if my body does decide that creating life is not it’s cup of tea.
Yes, I’m aware that someone’s cousin’s sister-in-law-once-removed also had one and they’ve now got 40 children of every colour and religion, having their first pregnancy at the grand young age of 62.
Yes, Rowan is being extremely supportive and perhaps you could also extend a kind word in his direction, as this is happening to him also. He is also going through this with me, he is also hurting at the loss of our potential child and future that is now delayed, once again.
And Yes, I know that next time it may work out, however I also know that it may not and that it isn’t a reflection on me, or Rowan, and it isn’t a bad thing. However it is a shitty thing but shitty things happen daily in this world and I am at peace with that.

*I have purposefully not used the word ‘normal’, as when it comes to creation, birth and life: normal isn’t a "thing", it doesn’t exist.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Great Waiting Game

Yesterday morning I woke to some "spotting", pregnancy term for light bleeding. It was light brown and I hadn't seen this kind of bleed before. It worried me slightly but I assumed the Doctors would tell me to come back to them if something of relevance happened. So I got ready for work.
Rowan was worried and suggested I call the Doctors, I told him they wouldn't be interested. By the time I got to my temping job, I decided that I may as well call them, what did I have to lose?!

Ring ring, ring ring...
Receptionist answers "Doctors surgery"
Me "Can I please see the Doctor as soon as possible?"
Receptionist "You won't be able to see him today, unless it is an emergency"
Me "I am in my first trimester and I have bleeding, however I'm unsure if this is classified as an emergency"
Receptionist "Well I'm not a Doctor and wouldn't be able to make that judgement. Bear with me"
... "Did you say you're pregnant?"
Me "yes, in my first trimester"
Receptionist "Would you like to speak to the midwife?"
Me "yes please"
Midwife (in a very thick Jamaican accent, I won't write phonically, it will just insult everyone) "Hello"
Me "Hi, I'm in my first trimester and I am experiencing some light bleeding, do you think I should worry?"
Midwife "I think you should go to the EPAGU at St Thomas' and get checked out"
Me "Oh, I was going to go to work and see what happened"
Midwife "You're crazy. You can do that but you can also see if it is something to worry about"
Me "Do I need to make an appointment?"
Midwife "If you want but I would just go down there, Floor 8"
Me "oh"


I let my agent know that I wouldn't be going to work. Apologised profusely, as I'm British and it's the done thing "I'm sorry old chap but my womb is failing on me you see and I've got to go to the hospital and get invaded in my lady area with an inanimate object covered in a jonny and lube".

I finally arrive at St Thomas' in a total state, by the time I reach the EPAGU, I've had a total breakdown and lived through a miscarriage , been rushed to surgery with an ectopic pregnancy, etc. (I can be a little dramatic at times).

They are lovely. I come out of weeing in to a cup for some unfortunate nurse to test to have the kindest woman hand me a cup of water, check on me and have a little chat. She was an angel. I'm not even sure if she was actually there or if I was just seeing a heavenly figure for comfort. She told me about her first visit to the clinic and that she went on to miscarry. However she has a 4 year old daughter and a 9 month old son (he is half of a set of twins, however his brother passed on on day 8, totally devastating).

In light of this news, all of a sudden the worse didn't seem that dreadful, don't get me wrong, it's sad and causes endless upset but it isn't comparable to carrying to full term, giving birth and then losing them. I'm not sure what is.

Eventually my scan came up. The Gynaecologist was very nice. She took forever up there and I thought I was going to be presented with a full "holiday pictures slideshow" when she was done.

However I was met with a confused, puzzled look.

Gynaecologist "Firstly, I thought this might be your sack"
I stare at a screen of grey fuzz and see a distant circular thing...
Me "ok"
Gynaecologist "Then after much searching (she didn't say this but I felt that she should have), I found this which I'm sure is your sack. I'm terribly sorry but it looks like a miscarriage to me. I can see blood next to (she may have said 'in', but I can not remember) the sack. I'm not 100% sure and would like a second opinion, do you mind waiting while I speak with a colleague".

4 days pass by (more like 3 minutes but you know how slowly time goes when you're eating every finger nail and seeing your foetus slip from your grasp).

Gynaecologist reenters room

Gynaecologist "I'm sorry but my second opinion agrees with me, it looks as though you are at the start of a miscarriage. I would like to order some blood tests to make sure and have you come back next week, so I can check on you"

I start to feel like Frankenstein's monster.

Me "ok"

Off I walk back to the waiting room to await my blood tests. Eventually I get called. I am chatting / half crying to the nurse and she's lovely with her thick Eastern European accent. I ask if I will be classified as a 'high risk' pregnancy next time, "oh no, not until you've had three". THREE??? Say 'le fuck' what?!

Post the blood tests I walk out of St Thomas's half in a daze, semi crying, semi crazed, unsure of what or how to feel. I call Rowan and confirm everything to him. I feel shit, I insisted he didn't come along (as I didn't want to bother him) and all I've caused is for him to have no idea what is going on and to not be involved. Not fair Pipsywoo, not fair.

My blood tests came back and they confirmed that I still had pregnancy hormones in my blood. Which means they have no idea what is going on and I've now got to go back next Monday for a follow up scan. Should I miscarry in the mean time, I need to notify them and potentially return sooner.

So here I am. 36 hours later...no heavy bleeds, no particularly bad aches from "that" area and my boobs still ache. I have no idea what on earth is / will go on over the next 6 days. It is just another day / week in the life of a pregnant woman - the great waiting game!

Pregnancy Irritation

I'm annoyed. I got home from temping today and found an ominous thick envelope for me, I knew it had to be from the NHS. Let me back track a little...about 20 seconds after telling my GP that I was pregnant, before asking the date of my last period, he asks "do you want to be tested for Downs Syndrome?", "What?" is all I could think...what on earth? I guess yes as I would be good to be prepared, however it wouldn't change anything.

The last time I told a Doctor I was pregnant, he congratulated me and asked me lots of nice Doctor questions, patted me on the arm and saw me on my way (ok no arm was patted but that's how it should be, sugar coated and fuzzy). Not being constantly reminded that "you're an old mother and your baby may suffer from various illnesses / disorders". Yes, obviously it is possible, I'm not dumb, blind or stupid but I wasn't expecting that question so early.

My Mother has told me that she was considered at the grand age of 30 in 1976 an "old mother" and every time she would go to the Doctors the nurses would always loudly declare "she's the old mother", as though she was deaf! BUT, that was the 70's, times have moved on. The average woman falls pregnant at 30 in the UK, findings found in 2012. I was pregnant at age 32, however it didn't work out and at 32 I was not considered at risk or old, however the cut off point has obviously been reached and it is 33, accordingly to my GP.

Let the good times roll, what's next declaring the music in the shops on the high street is too loud and that the youth don't know how good they've got it?, both things I have thought in the last seven days...funnily enough.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

St. Leonards on Sea, Hastings

Back in April Rowan and I fancied a trip to the seaside. We originally wanted to visit Westcliff on Sea, Kent, as my Grandma went there on holidays as a child, as the photo shows below. That is my Grandma back in 1925-26. She's so cute!

However, after much deliberation about gawdy bed and breakfasts, which Westcliff is lacking in. We found this incredible location: St Benedict Bed and Breakfast, in St Leonard's on Sea.
I had heard many things about Hastings, most of them were negative, but Rowan and I fell in love with St Benedicts, so thought it was worth a visit.

Hastings is bloody beautiful! It's Victoriana, misty and mysterious, we came through a large mist cloud that circled the cliff tops, you couldn't see the castle ruins from the beach. There were the usual arcades and sea side shops but also beautiful random architecture like this.

A church, right in the middle of some beautiful Georgian homes, how random and quaint! PS It looks like this still even now. Further down the promenade you have buildings like this. It sticks out like a sore thumb as it's so tall compared to the rest of the street, we couldn't help but photograph it.

courtesy of instagram.com/rowanfoto

Additionally, Hastings is filled with the usual shops you find in a town, as well as lots of craft start ups, vintage and bric-a-brac stores and reclaim yards. We LOVED it! It ended up buying a coffee table, which I have my feet on now, and a butter dish. We also saw 1001 things we wanted to buy but restrained from doing so, it was so so hard!!!

St Benedict Bed and Breakfast is A-mazing! The couple who own it are warm and friendly. They purchased the building back when it had been broken up into flats and set about restoring it to the original form. It has been hard work but they've done an incredible job. 

Each bedroom is different, we opted for Mr Parry's room, which is a bedroom, dressing room and en-suite, with views of the garden and a four poster bed. I had to hop on to it, as I'm a short arse, it was incredibly comfy.

The rest of the building was just as elaborate and incredibly decorated, there were points of interest at every corner. Upon arrival, we were checked in and then offer tea in the lounge with yummy cake!

courtesy of instagram.com/rowanfoto

Additionally to bed and breakfast, you can have the option of a Victorian dinner being cooked for you, we didn't opt for this but highly regretted not doing so shortly after arriving. I also regretted not packing a large hopped skirt and corset.

As I'm nosy, I had a potter around the house and came across the below decoration inspiration...

The entire place is remarkable, definitely worth a visit. Full of Christian paraphernalia and quirky talking points. Apparently the owners have been known to host wakes, wouldn't that be incredible: a traditional Victorian wake in a Victorian house, OMG!

Rowan and I enjoyed our time there that we are tempted to move to St Leonards on Sea, it is so beautiful, full of gorgeous Victorian houses and Georgian builds. It is definitely in our list of Top 5 places to move to.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pregnancy, Take Two

Rowan and I have been trying since we lost our first pregnancy in November. We gave it a break during December, to allow my body to readjust and then started up again, in a casual fashion, focusing on my ovulation period.

I started to get a little frustrated in May, as the first time around it only took 3-4 months, at the start of our 5th month a good friend announced her surprise pregnancy, I was so excited for her but also a little sad for myself, which is stupid and selfish but apparently kind of normal...?! I didn't feel normal, I felt terrible and miserable for being so self centred.

This month Rowan kept on telling me to be positive and that it will have worked this time, for sure. I pushed back saying that all symptoms were negative, I had started to get all of the normal signs that it hadn't worked. I felt completely normal, other than a week of my womb feeling a little hard and some tenderness in my boobs, nothing.

Come my due date and nothing, I am never late, it's unheard of. I head off to a family event on Saturday and start to think about how my boobs really, really hurt, similar to the last time I was pregnant, which is odd. I did a test and discovered that I was 1-2 weeks pregnant. I was so excited, full of love and giddiness and so was Rowan.

Two days later my boobs hurt less and I freak, this is how it happened last time, my boobs didn't hurt, then all of my other symptoms stopped and then my miscarriage took place. I am out of my mind and Rowan has no idea what to do, other than telling me to calm down, I head off to my temp job and put it out of my mind, or at least try too.

I speak to a friend and she confirms that every pregnancy is different and the joys of bodies, therefore it constantly changes each time, and that boobs do stop hurting for days or weeks at times and that other symptoms do fluctuate.

This morning we went to the doctors to confirm my pregnancy. The Doctors doesn't initially put my mind to rest about my boobs hurting less, the cramping being normal or my other symptoms being perfectly fine, but post the visit I do feel calmer. I read lots of posts online and lots of women have pregnancies with minimal to no symptoms, and knowing this makes me feel better. My boobs do ache but not hurt, this is enough for me and if this is all I suffer with for the next nine months, bring it on, I'll be one lucky individual.

I am keeping positive and taking it as it comes. The Doctor did put my mind at rest in regards to one thing: traditionally if you lose your pregnancy 0-12 weeks  it is due to the foetus not being right, however if it happens after 12 weeks, it is more to do with your body. This isn't the case with all but it has finally made me feel rest assured about my miscarriage, finally.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cannes Film Festival

It is something that I have always wondered about, the mysterious world of Cannes Film Festival!

Ro and I didn't travel around to Cannes last summer while we were in Cote D'Azur, we turn right around when we discovered St. Tropaz was undesirable and stinky. However, town and beach wise I wish we had. The sea and town are very beautiful, however the main strip, which during the Film Festival is basically a car park, could really do with some coffee shops, really really do with easily accessible coffee shops.

I was there for 6 days and walking around seeing people like Juliette Lewis, Slyvester Stallone, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, John C. Reilly (I missed him, however my colleague saw him) and Paul Dando was surreal, it didn't make up for the lack of sleep or chaos that the Film Festival is!

We were working with a well known European Luxury Jewellery brand, who were wonderful and extremely helpful, however the jewellery withdrawal process, due to security requirements did make the entire week constantly delayed madness. All brands present at the festival are selling to clients, as well as lending to famous faces, which adds even more logistical hell to the brands!

I was working 19 hour days, the one time I did swim for 20 minutes, I came back to 4 missed calls, 8 text messages, 20 emails and 2 whatsapp messages - 20 minutes one morning, not even at the height of the chaos! My colleague was sweet and tried to help but she was tired most days due to driving so much and had failed to keep on reading her emails thoroughly, therefore was constantly out of the loop; add to this a manager who kept on trying to change the itinerary for the day, due to being based separately to the rest of us, resulting in his being out of the loop, means that Cannes is just a crazed nightmare of hell!

Add two agents who did their own thing and therefore their models were doing as the agents pleased, means that my life was hell and I had approximately 4 nervous breakdowns! NOW, I am a cool headed, chilled person most of the time, you can pile workload upon workload on to me and I will just trudge on working, however when you are trying to manage a model's expectations and keep her happy and receiving endless calls from agents screaming at you, it is hard to not throw your phone out of the window and crack open the champagne. I did not do this. When you finally get to the event and you are not allowed in, as someone forgot to add your name to the list, so you can not update the model you are escorting and make sure that they are ok, it is even more frustrating. BUT, when this is basically the norm for 6 days in a row, time after time...4 nervous breakdowns seem appropriate.

This is just a snap shot but safe to say, I shall not be going back any time soon. I have been horrific and told numerous people that the German's need to go in and sort it out, I find it madness that Cannes Film Festival is organised constantly for six months plus and some random individual is allowed to stand on the end of THE red carpet and no one questioned me for 20 minutes, this is a huge security flaw. The fact that as long as your car has a pass, you can gain access to some of the richest, most talented and famous faces in the world is utter madness, however it is indeed the case! A scary case, but THE case!

There are people everywhere and the average person is purely there to star spot and soak in the crazed atmosphere. Everyone else is a manic individual trying desperately to do their jobs. Restaurants have queues every night, hotel bars are rammed with individuals and the paparazzi are lurking around like the dogs which they are! If you like to constantly feel as though you can not do anything, that your hands are constantly tied behind your back, but you would love to stand on the end of a red carpet for little to no reason - Cannes is definitely your place to be!

View of the average person!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home Improvements

We spent a weekend in March clearing our tiny decked area out the back of our flat and the small gravelled area out the front. Broken pots, various weeds growing all over the place. Lots of crap everywhere. Once finished we were very pleased with ourselves. We just have the dark green walls to wash and we will buy some chairs and a table to sit at. I'm very excited. I got some plants for the windowsill too.

We are also having a sunflower growing competition. I am in the lead but by default, as my plant was under an outlet from upstairs flat, so got extra watered, oops! Ro is now talking to his and kissing it goodnight to will it on...

This weekend, we bought some sticky film for our front windows, we have had a piece of silk up and I was planning on painting it but decided I would try these and after various applications, it is rather striking, even if I do say so myself. Not bad for £10.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Emily Moya-Mole

I finally got to meet my gorgeous niece, Emily. She is truly beautiful, she obviously takes after her mummy. She was born at the end of January and I hadn't had the chance to introduce myself to her until now. However, she's not so keen on me. She may be concerned as I have the same square face and teeny chin she does, I understand this apprehension.

I still think she's incredible. At two months, she has a strong neck and is already gurling back at her mother as she speaks to her in Brazilian. I'm very much looking forward to watching her grow...

Saturday, February 28, 2015


To celebrate our one year anniversary, Ro and I took an impromptu trip to the romantic city of Brussels. Ok, not so romantic but it is at the end of the Eurostar and is very nice.

Ro and I have very similar tastes, which means we love kitsch, antiques and garish things. We chose to stay in Mozart Hotel, as it had everything we wanted: gold, tiles, antiques, old paintings, etc. It was just up our street.

We met the owner of the hotel, Ben, who was also lovely and had opened up his hotel restaurant as a soup kitchen for those down on his luck. This guy truly has a good heart and was just so generous and thoughtful.

Of course, while in Brussels, you do what all the tourists do and drink to you can't drink no more. Hence La Corne becoming one of our favourite new tipples. The best thing is that you can't put the glasses down without a stand, which means you are unable to get truly shit faced...well, you can, as we did in fact.

On Sunday morning, we bought a beautiful ring for me to wear for the rest of my life. Ro and I are now engaged, the poor boy is mad. However, my ring is bloody beautiful and makes me as happy as he does.

We saw the 'Mannekin Pis', my father had told me that he was a little chap who you could miss if you didn't look hard enough, he was not wrong. He is tiny and they dress him up for some random reason, this would be like us dressing up Nelson on public holidays, I'm not opposed to this suggestion, I just would like to opt out of being his dresser.

It is also very strange seeing little boys peeing everywhere!

We also found the only goth bar in Brussels, it is just off the main square and was a lot of fun: black lights, corpses in coffins, dark leather everywhere, skulls for glasses...metal on full blast, everything you could want from your local goth bar!

How is it that Europe does squares/piazza so well? Brussels is no exception and has some stunning architecture, from vaulted ceilings to beautiful ornate stone work. We had a long discussion about the fact that Brussels missed a lot of the bombing in WWII, due to it changing hands so many times, the only real damage it appears to have incurred is from mortars and they appear to have fixed them up good and proper.

Not only do I have a ring to remind me of our time in Brussels but we also have some remarkable cushion covers to rest our weary bones on in the evening and a load of random crap from a flea market we thoroughly enjoyed!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stand Up

For Valentines, Rowan and I attended an 'Anti Valentines' stand up comedy night, a friend of Rowan's was hosting in Brixton. It was rather fun, until the crowd participation started. Ro and I agreed to join in, as we are chumps, or kind people, you decide.
Ro was very funny and spoke about the first present he bought me, which had the florist's bad hand writing on it and every time 'can't' was written, it looked considerably like another word.

I spoke about a valentines I received when I was a child, thinking that a nice boy liked me, to only realise some years later that my mother had given it to me. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Los Angeles - Part 2

I woke up super early the first morning, had I expected anything else?! Not really. I lie in bed, trying to numb my brain with TV - fail. Eventually I get up and take a walk. I find adverts for free dog poo, I'm so glad to see these issues are universal and it isn't only shitty Chelsea and Mayfair, where people make the effort to bag their dog poo and then leave the bag on the pavement.

I ended up walking to the Beverly Hill Mall (much to the hotel receptionist shock, apparently people in Los Angeles do not walk), it was shut until 10am. Everything is shut until 10am. I popped into the local 24hr pharmacy, which was actually a large corner shop with a specialist pharmacy area. The rest of our day was full of pre-production meetings and fittings for the shoot.

The first day of shooting was executed in an amazing Malibu beach front mansion, that had the steepest drive known to man. The house was apparently used previously in 'Entourage'. The shoot included flowers being dangled with invisible fishing wire and created beautiful backdrops like this.

We had a male model on the first day and the poor guy hung around all day, to have his ear feature in the final photo. Below you will find the true glamour of photoshoots: Fake props and the 30 people surrounding the models in a "romantic" moment!

That night I enjoyed a nightly swim post shoot. Everyone thought I was mad, it was only 12 degrees but it was glorious!

Each day was gruelling, long days, starting on average of 6am, finishing at either 6pm or some nights 9pm. Everyone tried to keep their spirits up though...dark chocolate was the snack of the day, due to the model I was with having a secret obsession with it.

I got to see Simone again midweek, we hit a very nice Mexican, where the hostess did what they do in the films, seat you at the bar and collect you once your table is ready - yay! I also got to see The Viper Rooms, The Roxy and some other landmarks. I still hadn't seen the Hollywood sign though, even though I'd been up in the hills, etc.

The second days shooting was at a famous Beverly Hills home, known as The Sheats / Goldstein Residence (it was designed by John Lautner, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright). It features in 'The Big Lewbowski, as Jackie Treehorn's home. It was pretty cool, although everything was concrete and it had lots of sheer drops everywhere, my vertigo wasn't overly happy. Plus, it was the wrong day to wear high heeled boots - two locations involved walking down steep hills. It had lots of hidden gardens and holes to hide in. Plus some huge Koi.

The view from the edge of the pool was incredible, however you would not take children to this house. Apparently, only one person has fallen from the walkway in the current owners term, I'm not sure if I believe that, if the photos located everywhere were anything to go by.

Above is the stylist checking that everything was ok, wardrobe wise, however I think it looks like the grim reaper visiting.

On Thursday, was the last day of shooting. We were based up Mulholland Drive in a car park initially and then moved to a beautiful park which was hidden at the base of Mulholland Drive, if the people who lived there knew such a beautiful park was hidden, they'd be swimming in the lake every weekend. Or maybe that is frowned upon?! The weather was beautiful and the scenery glorious!: luscious, green, gorgeous!

Friday morning saw me packing up and heading out to Sunset Blvd to see the Stars! I had one intention, finding Danny Devito. I walked up the wrong side of the road and completely missed him, especially after Simone had been kind enough to tell me where he was lurking. I did, however find him!

I found Peter Falk "just one more thing" for Rowan too!

After this, Simone picked me up, we collected the gorgeous Quincy from her home and headed up to the Observatory and guess what I finally found:

Yep, the Hollywood sign! Woo Hoo! So up here is featured in 'Yes Man' and 'Rebel Without a Cause'. I'm still yet to watch 'RWaC', I promised Simone I would and I still haven't. I've owned it for years and fail to ever watch it, it isn't ok or acceptable. I will watch it by the end of the year, that is my one promise!

Here is the view from the front of the Observatory:

Eventually I packed my bags and headed off to LAX. Surprisingly, as always, I had forgotten to buy any sweets or presents, other that an 'I love LA' magnet for me and a 'Best Boyfriend' award for Rowan. I had also failed to post my postcards, I'm crap some days, what can I say. This saw my getting ripped off at the airport and buying over priced sweets. I also never saw a twinky, not even once while I was in LA. I've come to the conclusion that they don't actually exist!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Los Angeles - Part 1

Right, this tale starts in an arduous way: My new boss (a PR chappy) needed to send me to LA to escort one of our clients (it helps that she is positively lovely, bright and sweet natured, this will not be a hard week for me (fingers crossed)).

Said new boss, booked my flight under my everyday name, not my passport name; this issue saw me connecting two calls between BA and Mauritius to get this approved and changed.

All sorted, however a few days before I departed, I noticed the return was booked for March; once again, calls were connected and all got sorted...or so we thought...roll on the day before departure and the lady who had changed my return flight, had changed my surname, so that the first letter was now on the end of my first name - good times! At this point I couldn't be bothered to connect calls, I decided I'd get it sorted at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Arriving extra early to allow for changes, I tried to automatically check in - fail.
I spoke to a representative who tells me to just line up and they'll sort it out for me at the desk. 45 minutes of queuing and the lady starts to process me, only to stop due to my booking being flagged. Instantly I'm worrying that my mother being born in Egypt, means I could potentially be a terrorist (cause there are loads of them in Egypt?!) and therefore USA have told BA that I'm not allowed to fly, etc. Oh the humanity!

Off to E section I trot. After another 10 minutes of waiting; oh, did I mention that I had a killer hangover?! I did and it was blinking brutal! Anyway, I digress, a nice young man called Sim calls me forward and starts to sort out the nightmare that is my booking. Halfway through he halts and says "oh, you've been upgraded to Business, before I continue, I'll secure your seat against your new name". Sorry, what?! Upgraded. I thought this was only something that happened in the movies or to newly weds, how exciting!!! Instantly I've visions of champagne, caviar and then a wave of nausea hits me! I really do not recommend flying hungover...EVER! Anyhow, Sim helps me out and he also prints off my e-ticket from my flights to Geneva, so that I can add those to my Airmiles, oh yeah, I collect air miles now! How grown up am I?!

I eventually go through and head straight to my gate, as I have no time at all to potter about. Arrive at the airport and get boarded first, as I'm in Business. Did I mention I'm seated in Business?! I hadn't, oh sorry, I meant to tell you that I'd been upgraded, for FREE, to Business!

I walk through what I assume is First, and start to look for my seat, random these numbers are lower than mine. I am seated in a flat bed seat, holy fuck balls!!! This is Mega, Balling Pimp-mazing!

I'm so nice to everyone, I'm overly polite, I never mind that my first option isn't available, I keep the menu, I keep on returning my glasses to the flight attendants, I basically do not fit in and I am loving it. I can confirm that the First Class lavatory is just as shit as the Battery Class lav, also the paper is like tracing paper - some things never change, even with money! My steak was over cooked and the expensive Sancerre was mediocre - these are my only complaints and yes, I am allowed to complain, it's the British way - behind people's back and after the issue arose.

Of course, I was pikey enough to acquire the blanket from Business Class, somehow it ended up in my bag and is now in my suitcase...oops!

Once in LAX, after the three checks of your passport and once they've collected samples of everything but your bodily fluids, I found myself being confronted by 100 signs with different names on and I couldn't read them, so I ended up doing a very extravagant lap of arrivals, to no avail, oh hang on a minute there he is...whoop whoop! I've got a driver! Off we go and he has only bloody got a limo for me! I mean, could this day get better?! The limo is a little rough around the edges but he's nice and other than an old style Daimler I once went in, I've never been in a limo / stretch or normal. In addition, the best of the 80s was playing...

I arrive at The Chamberlain Hotel, it's in West Hollywood and is really nice, very residential and quiet. Everyone is super nice and I've only bloody got a suite - this is getting cray cray! Traditionally, when at a hotel, I only use the bed and bathroom, so having a sofa, chair and two TVs is a little over kill! But, when in Los Angeles, you've just got to roll with it...

Last night, I got to see Simone, she treated me to dinner in a diner and halfway through my margarita, I started to feel wasted, oh yes, Jet Lag - good times! It was lovely to catch up though and I'm hoping to see her later in the week also.

The downside to jet lag: I was in bed by 8:30pm and asleep by 9pm, however post 1am, I was waking every few hours due to a toilet that likes to gurgle and not being tired but hopefully I'll sleep tonight and get a little acclimatised!

To follow my mega exciting LA times, click here!