Squint Fork Rescue


I was setting tables today in work and I found a fork. This was no ordinary fork. Running from the stem up it was perfect, no faults except for some scratches but when my eyes reached the head, the poor wee guy seemed to wilt sadly to one side. Maybe at first glance you wouldn’t have noticed but sitting next to the smaller, perfectly straight starter fork, this fella looked rather out of place.

I showed my colleagues the wayward soul and each and every one of them looked with disgust and told me to cast the fork aside. Something inside me ached a little when I thought of binning this helpless little fork because it simply didn’t fit the mold anymore. I held the fork in my hands and it’s little tilted head screamed ‘save me’.

This fork somehow reminded me of life. How many people are cast aside because they don’t fit the mold of what’s deemed acceptable? How many people are called freaks because they’re a little bit different. Maybe we’ve all been this fork at one stage in our lives; put in a bin because we were no longer deemed worthy. Society’s cruel constraints or in this instance hospitality’s constraints told this fork it had to go. Yes it was no longer straight but did that mean it’s life had to be cut short? I was sure this dude had many more good mouthfuls left in him.

I took the fork home with me. If they didn’t already, many people now think I’m a little unhinged. And maybe I am. Just like the fork, I perhaps don’t fit in with what’s deemed normal but I’d rather be the squint fork. I’d rather be that rarety among the indistinguishable.

I’m now starting a squint fork relief fund for non conformist cutlery. A Just giving page will be set up shortly if you’re interested in saving helpless cutlery too. 

Planless 


I have seriously been neglecting this blog lately. If any of you read my last post then you know where I’ve been…

Uni also started back a few weeks ago and I already feel like I’m drowning in classes, timetables and notebooks. I’ve never loved university and I don’t hate it either but I’m not about to deny that I don’t wake up when my alarm goes off and think is it worth it?

Is it? Somehow through all the assignments, early rises and stress I can’t seem to see how it’s all going to end. Normally, when Im almost at the end of a good book I like to skip to the back and take a sneak peak at the last page so I don’t feel so tense not knowing the outcome. Yes it’s basically cheating and I’m sure it’s not the manner in which the author envisaged it being read but it calms me knowing the end result. Wouldn’t it be great if I could skip to the end of uni and see if I’m a multi award winning television presenter, living in a mansion with a four storey dressing room and my 1000 dogs yet?

People keep asking me, “so what are your plans when you finish uni?” Plans? I’ve not had plans since I was three and planned to steal my brothers action man so he could marry my barbie. I feel like I should know what I’m doing by now but I just smile and say, “hoping it just comes to me like a lightbulb moment and everything will then fall into place splendidly.” I can see people looking troubled by my response and it really makes me want to scream, “I have no fucking plan, stop asking me! I really don’t need the added reminder that I’m planless and have been winging it this entire time!!”

I have promised myself that I will have a plan by next year but for right now I’m just trying not to switch off my alarm each day and blissfully sleep my life away. 

Sugar Jungle

It’s been a long time since I went to the gym. Actual length of time is unimportant at this moment. Part of me feels guilty at my lack of effort on the exercise front, the other half is still in bed with remnants of last night’s chocolate cake on her face. 

I was really committed to being healthy when I got back from France, really no I wasn’t. My best friend Lauren was because the cow was going to Ibiza. Needless to say, the minute she left I took a blissful tumble into a jungle of sugar and fat and waved goodbye to the gym standing on the outskirts and disappearing as I was devoured by the sweet trees. I absolutely was not going back. I put my Chocolate loin cloth on and swung between caramel vines with the toffee monkeys and I loved it. 

After a few weeks in the jungle, life didn’t seem so rainbow coloured. Don’t get me wrong I was still enjoying bathing in the raspberry sauce river and sharing a toasted marshmallow mushroom with my monkey friends but I hadn’t seen the sun for some time and what once seemed sweet and fabulous about my jungle life was starting to leave a sickly taste in my mouth and a pain in my stomach. I had to find my way back to the gym.

I tried to venture back towards where I thought the gym was but I was tired, the thick icing dripping from the trees was making it difficult to see and the monkeys that were once my friends were now throwing chocolate poo at me because I was trying to leave. I took refuge in a jelly cave for some time and considered staying in the jungle because getting back to the gym seemed like an impossible feat.  

However, I powered on, pushed past the sour gummy beetles and dragged myself away from the large slabs of cake rock but I still couldn’t find the gym. Then while I was lying in a pile of my own vomit and thought all hope was lost, a flicker of light caught my eye, could it be the edge of the jungle? Could I have reached the gym once more? Nope. Turns out it was just the Tangfastics tree glittering in the distance. I’m still in the jungle and may not make it out alone. Send help. Preferably a fat person who can eat their way back out. 

Bienvenue à Glasgow

On Wednesday, I took some French people round Glasgow. As I walked up to meet them standing in their multicoloured raincoats in the pissing rain I couldn’t help but think what the hell were they thinking?

Back in France, hearing that they were coming to Scotland on holiday, I overexcitedly jumped at the chance to show them my city. Then, upon reflection I realised, I don’t actually know very much about my city…

As we walked through the sodden streets looking up at the gloomy buildings towering over us, avoiding spaced out junkies, the odd homeless person or flock of mutant legged pigeons, I looked over at the Frenchies. What was going through their heads? I wondered if they were regretting not booking a flight to sunny Barbados or even just staying in the south of France. This certainly wasn’t my idea of the perfect holiday.

As any uneducated on the topic of Glasgow Glaswegian, who needed to show off their city would, we took the open top bus. Of course due to the thunderous downpour sitting outside was off the cards. Only one stop from George Square to Glasgow Cathedral, which I saw in a school trip once but don’t remember because I was probably more interested in getting the boy I fancied to notice me than looking at some stupid church. This time I noticed it. As we gazed up at the structure, trying not to be blinded by the drizzle, I really was impressed, if I’d been visiting a European city this is exactly the kind of thing I’d get my daily selfie infront of. We wandered round inside, chatted a little about religion and when we resurfaced, blue sky was desperately trying to burst through, no rain in sight and a warmth cruised through the air. Yes Glasgow, this was more like it. We wandered up through the Necropolis behind the cathedral to the top of the hill and I felt a wee lump in my throat as we looked out over Glasgow, I’ve lived here for 21 years and never seen it look so beautiful. I looked over at the Frenchies snapping away with their cameras and pointing out buildings along the skyline. That morning it was like Glasgow had been the ludicrously drunk person at a dinner party, making a fool out of themselves infront of guests. Then  they were put to bed and resurfaced a short while later with a new lease of life, winning over anyone they spoke to.

Warning, if you are from Glasgow, what I say next may shock you. It didn’t rain for the rest of the day. We sat outside on the open top bus, zooming past Glasgow Green, the Clyde, the Science Centre and Glasgow Uni, which they thought looked like Hogwarts, I of course ruined the fantasy by telling them the tower was closed because people used to throw themselves off the top if they failed their exams. 

We basked in the intermittent sunshine, we ate sticky toffee pudding (which may have been too much for the Frenchies), we walked through Kelvingrove, we had a blast and I thought to myself, I really hope they love Glasgow as much as I do, pissing rain, creepy pigeons, sickly puddings, junkies and all. I think they do, who couldn’t?

Au Revoir France, Hello Scotland


My least favourite hobbit, Frodo Baggins once said, ‘How do you pick up the threads of an old life?’ A question I’ve been asking myself continuously this past week. 

I arrived back from France last Wednesday. Take That’s song, ‘Back for Good’ running repeatedly through my head, life rammed into two cases and a sun tan that will slowly begin to fade along with the memories of my life abroad. It’s probably for the best that I left France anyway, I think I was one baguette away from a gluten coma.

Now that I am back, I feel strange. I’m so happy to be here again with all the people that I love but I can’t shake the overwhelming feeling that I’ve left something behind. 

What could it be? I checked every corner of my flat, I packed all my clothes, I filled in all the paperwork, I said goodbye to everyone I needed to. I’m sure of it! Then what is it?! 

While I think about what I’ve forgotten, I’d like to list all the things I’ve just got back.

My dog, who hates me but was suspiciously excited to see me. 

My family, who welcomed me home with balloons, banners and fizz. 

My boyfriend, who will probably wish I was back in France within a few weeks of me moaning. 

My best friend, who has to my horror, forced me to go to the gym with her frequently since my return. 

Milk. Good old fashioned, blue, Scottish milk. 

The rain, hahaha ye right. 

And whilst I’m so overwhelmed at being home and having all these things in my life again, of course I miss France. I was only there 9 months but I had built a little life for myself and it’s strange that today that’s just a memory. I think I now know what I left in France, something small and something that I sense I will never get back, a little piece of my heart. 

Oi Life, Where do You Think You’re Going? Get Back Here!

  
I am sure that I am not the only person who is somewhat alarmed at the rate in which life seems to accelerate with every birthday that passes.
I honestly could’ve sworn I was 18 last week…

I’m sure anyone older than 30 is laughing at me right now thinking just you wait, you’ll hop in for a shower one day and come out to get dried and find that there is a stranger’s body staring back at you. I know, I’m 21 and all that, with the best years ahead of me but it still scares me. I’m not ready to be grown up and I need life to get back here, calm itself and take a walk with me until I’ve figured out what the hell I am doing. Already, people are asking me,“So what would you like to be after university?” Em at least 60% sane, I think. 

I remember being at high school, urging life to get a bloody move on, so I could stop wearing a stupid shirt and tie and get disgustingly drunk with my friends…legally. It seems that whenever you want it to hurry up, life staggers around behind you like that friend who had one too many Jaeger bombs in the club and can no longer persuade their legs to work.

And when things are going fabulously and you want to take a minute to enjoy the view, life has taken a 100 metre sprint while you’re hopping about, still trying to find your left shoe. 

I really do have to agree with the horrendously cheesy line, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” It does. It flies right out the window, down the street, boards a plane and waves to you on it’s way to Bermuda. I guess the sad thing is you don’t get it back. So as cliché as it sounds, I really think you should make the most of every second. Steal that child in the park’s ice-cream, eat the last piece of pie that everyone wanted, spend the money you saved for Dad’s birthday present on alcohol poisoning, run manically into flocks of pigeons in public places, sing loudly to strangers, tell your boss that his breath stinks, eat people who tell you what you can and can’t eat, hug a sloth for crying out loud. Because if you and life do something out of the ordinary everyday, one day when you are both at the finish line, looking back together, you’ll know that those years that seemed to disappear in a flash, they were the years that meant the most.

 Or…you’ll be in a low security prison somewhere, wishing you hadn’t run naked through Central Station that time because life told you it would be hilarious. 

Now Boarding All Idiots for Flight FR6542

  

I absolutely detest the people I find myself surrounded by when trying to get a flight. The minute I step foot in the airport everyone is my enemy. People are just incapable of being normal human beings when travelling is involved and I can’t cope. I must become wealthy enough to afford a private jet when I’m older. 

It all begins in security, there’s generally signs everywhere telling you exactly where to go, what to do and what you can and cannot take on the plane. Yet, people seem to wander aimlessly, faff about with their belongings and each time without fail someone tries to take a litre bottle of shampoo or sun cream through in their case. Hello! It’s an X-ray they will see it, they will find you and they will kill you. Ok, slight exaggeration but they will raid your entire case and you will feel very silly having some stranger wave your underpants around in public.

 Then you get the people that have to take everything off, belt, boots, jacket, jewellery, watch. Then once they have walked through the scanner, they stand at the conveyor belt trying to put everything back on. Meanwhile, tray after tray comes throttling through bashing the tray which they are trying to pull their belongings from further down the line, causing them to then fumble with their case to chase after it. The logical, smart thing to do would be to simply carry their stuff over to the tables provided so that everyone else can get in to get their trays too. I am of course that person who states this fact to whoever I’m with, just loud enough for the eejit in question to hear.

After knocking back three of the tester prosecco shots offered by an unsuspecting shop assistant in duty free and a large drink in departures, I feel slightly calmer. Then the flight is called and I wonder how many more halfwits I’ll encounter on the next part of my journey. Even walking to the gate gets my back up, people meandering on down as if it’s a stroll through the park with the grandkids. I’m not exactly in a rush but I hate dawdlers, if you want to walk slowly at least move in to one side so the rest of us insane people on a mission can get past you.

At the gate I can’t say it gets much better. People queuing before the gates even opened and people trying to skip the people already queuing even though none of them are going anywhere. When we finally get going and everyone floods towards the plane, this is the part where I lose faith in humanity entirely. 

A big long line of people waiting, often in the rain if it’s coming from the UK  and those who were first to get on the plane are strolling leisurely to their seat and when they find it, instead of sitting down and allowing people to get past to their own seat, they take their coat off, get their earphones out, try and untangle said earphones, thrust their bag which could easily go under the seat infront, up above them, oh wait they’ve forgotten their carrot sticks, back into the bag above. Meanwhile, from the back of the queue I am watching in disgust and contemplating sticking this passenger’s carrot sticks where the sun don’t shine. 

After a long struggle of painfully watching this scenario unfold several times, (minus the carrot sticks) I make it to my seat and go to put my case in the overhead locker, where I am met with absolutely no space because another moron has either put their case in side ways or shoved their jacket and handbag up there. Eventually after throwing Maureen from seat 18C’s jacket on top of someone else’s case, (she introduced herself as I sat down despite my don’t fucking talk to me face) I can get my case in, get in my seat and try to sleep because I honestly can’t take much more by this point. Maureen has other ideas. After telling me how she’s flying to France to make a fresh start because her husband left her for a younger woman and asking me 50 questions about my life, I politely tell her I’m going to try and sleep. If I’m lucky I can sleep for most of the flight and pretend I’m not surrounded by complete imbeciles. 

I wake up in a much better mood and realise it’s 10 minutes to landing. Result! I scan round and realise most of the people surrounding me are asleep or quietly reading a book, even Maureen has dozed off. I can’t believe my luck. 

Then the plane lands and a round of applause ripples down the aisle. Actually kill me now. 

Kindly Stop Before I Punch You Repeatedly in the Face

 
Ever considered punching a child in the face. I would never, ever do it but I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. 

Before you think, how could you even think of punching a helpless child, let’s look at the facts.

I’m trying my very hardest to drill even a smidge of English into at least one French child’s brain and there’s this little twit faced tosser, preventing me from getting anywhere close to that goal. I don’t have a short temper but this child really pushes me over the edge, he may be just a child but hell is just a sauna.

Every week; he talks over me, mocks my accent, mocks my attempts at speaking French, mimics me like a stupid little parrot, fidgets, throws things across the room, hits other children, ignores me time and time again and I hate him. Yes, yes hate is a strong word but I can honestly say, I absolutely detest every inch of this infuriating being.

Children have this remarkable ability to absorb information that you don’t want them to and when you actually want to teach them something it goes in one ear and out the other. I’ve heard this demon child, in perfect English, at the top of his lungs shout, “What the fuck?” And this phrase is not something I incorporate into my lessons. His pronunciation is perfect, even his accent sounds great but trying to squeeze the phrase,“I live in France” out of him is like trying to resuscitate a rock. After repeating the phrase four times, he stares blankly and says, “eeei lev France” then looks unbelievably pleased with himself, when the other children laugh profusely at his failed attempt. I on the other hand am not laughing. In fact, I’m holding back the urge to knock the mindless miscreant out.

I’d probably be behind bars immediately if I let this scenario unfold but there’s times when I question if jail is really that bad. My own bed, three meals a day and the complete and utter satisfaction of knowing, I would never have to see or hear the stupid incubus of aggravation again.

Despite this, I don’t think jail is for me. So, I compose myself and calmly tell him he is terrible at English and not a very nice person. Of course, he doesn’t care and is more interested in jamming his finger so far up his nose that he can probably feel his brain…if he even has one.

Le Mistral Really Blows 

 

“It’s a little bit windy today isn’t it?” Hadn’t noticed to be honest, I think to myself as I remove some leaves, a crisp wrapper and a small, stunned child from my knotted hair. 

The violent northwest wind that viciously appears unannounced, or ‘Le Mistral’ as it’s known here, really is unpredictable to say the least. It can be perfectly calm one day, then the next there’s people taking off like Mary Poppins left, right and centre and dog walkers, looking as though they’ve been at a children’s party and pinched one of the animal balloons. 

I actually don’t think I’d mind if it was a nice warm breeze but it’s sharp, bitter and icy; the kind that cuts you in two. I leave the house to get my daily baguette and woooosh, I watch as my legs trot off into the distance, “No worries! You go on ahead, I’ll just get you there!” 

Don’t get me wrong it has it’s funny side too. I like chuckling at people getting struck by signs and grannies getting dragged off into the distance by their shopping trolleys as much as the next person but seen as I have no car here and shamefully also own one of these shopping trolleys, I can’t really laugh. In fact, more often than not, it’s me battling furiously through the gusts with my two wheeled friend. 

And as suddenly as the wind appears, it leaves again as if it were never here. But I know it was here because once again, I have to call on my landlord to fetch the ladders so we can get the 80 year old from number 10 down off my roof. “Don’t worry Gloria, help is on the way.”

Thank You Mum

 

As it’s Mother’s Day today, I’d just like to take a moment to say thank you to my mum. 

Thank you Mum, for scraping my hair up on top of my head as a child, so I looked like a human pineapple. 

Thank you for outing how disgusting my room is whenever we have guests. 

Thank you for pointing out every grammatical error I make on social media.

Thank you for trying to force me to be a flower every Halloween and still maintaining to this day that I would look great with a tutu round my face.

Thank you for taking all my cosmetic items away from me in high school, after finding me paralytic in a field. 

Thank you for photographing me, everytime I try to eat an extremely chocolatey dessert.

Thank you, for frisbeeing coasters at my head when you’re drunk.

Thank you for using my bras as hats. 

But also thank you for, wiping away my tears when other girls were horrible to me.

Thank you for plaiting my hair at 11 at night, when I appeared looking hopefully with a hairbrush and two bobbles.

Thank you for being the photographer in my ‘photo shoots’ before a night out.

Thank you for helping me solve any problem I’ve ever faced.

Thank you for laughing at me when I’m silly.

Thank you for being silly with me.

Thank you for my blue eyes.

And thank you, for being my best friend.