Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Laura Lexx does Ireland...

Well I'm officially on my first work trip abroad - enjoying the sights of Ireland! When I say sights, I mean so far I've sort of been in the hotel and am now on my way to an office. But who cares says I? Not I, says I!

So far the journey has been interesting - yesterday I spent a marvellous 6 hours in Birmingham airport. At first this wasn't so bad, I set up my laptop in the corner of a coffee shop and got to work and chain drank coffee so I could stay in my seat. But then I reached that awful point of no return where you realise you are dying for the toilet...but when travelling alone this involves packing up everything and going to relieve yourself, then returning and havign to buy MORE coffee to get back in. Then there's the dilemma that the 90 men in suits who've been eagerly eyeing up your plug socket (not a euphemism) will sneak in and you'll be powerless (pun intended) to do anything about it. So I tried to ignore my ever inflating bladder and carrying on working but I noticed the calls I was making were getting higher and higher in pitch and my leg was shaking intolerably. So relieving myself happened. I should add, after I'd packed up and gone to find a loo. Not in the coffee shop.

After losing my spot by the power supply I thought I might as well go and check in and sit in the lounge - however, being the naive little swan that I am I'd forgotten all about the no liquids rule. Bugger. I should mention at this point that right now I have sun burn. Awful sunburn. Sunburn that looks like I modeled my skin tone on Battenberg cake. It's really not great. So in my bag I had many lotions and potions for the treatment of this horror. I was rather loathe to throw them away as the security woman suggested. I thought about squirting them in her eyes and running but thought I wouldn't get far. Security meanie suggested I go to left luggage and see about leaving my products there until I returned the following day. Left luggage informed me that it would cost £15 per item. I informed left luggage that they were bottles. I was not paying someone £45 to baby sit some bottles for me. Left luggage asked if they were bagged. I said no. Left luggage sucked in some breath and said £15 per item. I said I was more than happy to go and find a bag. Left luggage sighed sadly and said it would probably still be £15 per item but a bag might help. I left left luggage and wondered what kind of luxury my soltan might have enjoyed had I left it in this Mecca of a product hotel.
I mosied over to Boots who very helpfully offer 100ml bottles for the decanting of your potentially orphaned moisturisers. This made me a very happy bunny and I spent a brilliant 10 minutes in the lounge squirting everything from a big bottle to a small bottle. It was pretty much how I remember primary school being. Only better and I had a smug feeling of being the winner. I walked back to security with my head held high, ready to show her what a clever wee thing I had been, only to find she'd gone off duty and there was only a bald man there who couldn't have cared less about my bottle genius. Poo.

At this point I discovered that if I wasn't going to be fleeced for luggage charge I would need to be able to cram all my belongings into one bag and then smoosh that one bag into the tester cage. This necessitated the wearing of a large amount of the clothes I had in the bag. Having crammed everything in and got through, looking now like a tomato coloured Michelin man with copious bottles, I reached the scanner where they asked me to remove all layers and to take everything out of my bag. I naturally complied but the removal of the jacket layers only meant that everyone in airport security saw the sunburn of doom.

Once on the plane I made friends with a man named Seamus who was mightily helpful and told me about every single Irish comedian and club he could think of. Naturally I promised to go to all of them and tried to think up some interesting questions about his animal vitamins firm. All I could think to ask was 'Do you have to make them look like grass to get the cows to eat them?'. Seamus doesn't have to make them look like grass to get the cows to eat them.

Tune in soon for the second part...

Monday, May 17, 2010

A few wonderful things...

There were just a few great things about my journey home tonight.

1 - I don't think I will ever get tired of sitting at the front of the DLR and pretending it's me driving the train. When it shakes and bumbles along I feel like I'm on a lego toy train going to deliver little plastic cubes to plastic people. It almost annoys me when I'm asked for my Oyster card - who the hell asks the driver if she has a ticket?! I don't need a ticket! I'm driving the bloody train! I like to call out 'All Aboard' on occasion and sometimes frown when we slow down and shuffle about to look at the tracks. The DLR is a brilliant invention although I do have to wonder sometimes why it has lights on the front of it when the only driver is highly unqulified little me... Next time you're travelling on it and a shortish brunette girl is sitting at the front saying 'Chuffa Chuffa' just smile at her and tell her she's doing a great job.

2 - I never really appreciated how magical an atmosphere a football game provide until I moved to near a football ground. Charlton turns into an incredible place as soon as there's a game on - a thousand cars suddenly turn up and socialise bumper to bumper along the narrow roads. The police arrive on masse and gather around smiling welcomingly to everyone and trying to pretend it's a good thing they have to be there. For just one evening a week there are people, everywhere on the streets. People leave their houses and just gather outside. Especially on an evening like tonight - it's just amazing. And then there's that earthly rumbling, booming of the thousands of fans chanting and roaring and living for the game. Aside from the fact that it's actaully phenomenal to hear thousands of people chant 'Charlton' as one with not a single 'T' pronounced, it's quite a moving feeling. As close as the modern girl can get to standing on the edge of a Greek or Roman battle field and feeling the raw power. What a feeling. Almost makes me want to watch football...well it would if it wasn't for -

3. - if it wasn't for, THE CRICKET YESTERDAY!!! Sweet, sweet victory. Sweet, sweet victory over the Australians. Bliss.

4 - I suppose tonight was also good because it meant I survived last night. And last night was yet another example of my attempts at dating. It turns out I'm quite appalling at dating. Really quite appalling. I spent the evening with an Oxford, yes Oxford, graduate with a charming smile, excellent pronunciation and vocabulary and a good knowledge of the England batting line up. Perfect? No, but then I'm a realist. And yet I somehow managed to end the evening by exiting a train he had not and inadvertently leaving him on the tube. How this happened I'm not entirely sure...I can only say that without a doubt neither of us quite meant for it to happen but it did! I got off and headed for the exit and by the time I got to the stairs I turned round and saw him staring bleakly out of the train window as it pulled away...not exactly the romantic ending I'd hoped for!

Ah well. Tonight was amazing anyhow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bank Holiday Monday

And so it's Bank Holiday Monday - am I not supposed to be out? Celebrating freedom? Partying hard like all single 20 somethings in the capital? Should people not be wining and dining me like the small hobbit with bowel problems that I am?

Well they are not. I am stuck in with terrestrial TV and a blanket. Not even Sky and a snuggie. Oh no no. Terrestrial and a blanket. Terrestrial currently plays as follows -
1.. David Cameron
2. snooker
3. David Cameron
4. Obese people having surgery.

I can choose either comatose boredom (snooker), vomiting (obese surgery) or extreme vomiting (David Cameron x2). what is a girl to do?

In the end I have opted for my old faithful copy of 'While You Were Sleeping' possibly the best film ever made and pretty much the only (non-animated) film that I can recite start to finish. The wonderous love story of Sandra bullock and Bill Pullman is a must have for all singletons worried they will never quite seal the deal on that mythical 'true love'.

Not that I believe in true love in any way shape or form. I believe in true compromise. I come from the strain of folks who believe love is a feeling, very real, but nonetheless created by humans due to the boredom of survival being fairly easy. Sarah jessica Parker et al have a lot to answer for in terms of girls pinning all their hopes on the 'one'.

Why have'the one'? What's wrong with the many? Pick and Mix comes with a scoop for a reasons - pincers are restrictive to the amount of candy one can consume. Therefore, says I, why restrict your thinking to pincer sized portions? Why not cast the net wide and have all the sugar mice and strawberry laces you can swallow?

Answers on the bank of a postcard please.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Black Weekend

So...I for one could not be more glad it's Bank Holiday tomorrow. Not because the weather's nice, not because I have sooper dooper plans. Not because Tim Minchin is swinging by to get my opinion on his new piece. I have a black eye - my first ever black eye. My eye is puffy, painful and purple. Three shameful p's. Thanks to the miracle that is May Bank Holiday I have every hope the little beastie will be gone by Tuesday and I won't have to explain why I am disfigured.

See, the difficult thing is I actually did it to myself...accidentally of course! But nevertheless, I feel slightly like I'm trying to cover up for some abusive husband when I explain to people - I fell. Which I did.

I fell onto my own knee and gave myself an egg sized bump. I also twisted my knee so that I can only limp. I muchly resemble Quasisoddingmodo right now. Although, having said that my trip to ASDA was muchly improved as I now seem to fit in with the locals in East London.

The highlight of morning trip to ASDA was the guy who left his basket full of crisps and 18 pack of Stella by the checkout, asked me to hold his place and explained that he'd forgotten to pick up a baby toy...oh wow. It just doesn't get better than that.

I'm now attempting to cook a roast dinner which I've conned a friend into joining me for because the prospect of roasting for one was just too sad. I have absolutely no idea how long all the separate bits take and in the race to be as black as my eye the parsnips are kicking ass. Potentially they will have to be devoured before my friend arrives and realises what a culinary disaster I really am. I do so hate to spoil the illusion that I'm aching to be a housewife in every way.