Monday, 22 November 2010

A marriage proposal.. In Cafe Rouge.

My boyfriend and I went to Cafe Rouge, simply because we had converted Tesco clubcard points to make prizes; in this case, restaurant vouchers. Our meal was fine, I had rice and vegetables in sauce and boy had meat and potatoes in sauce.

Whilst eating, I notice the lady beside me (she really is beside me. Waitresses made sure to cram in as many couples as close together as possible) is crying. Cringe and awkwardness. Then, I see a glimmer in the corner of my eye with my crow-like peripheral vision and realise that golly gosh, he's gone and proposed to her with a sparkly sparkly ring...

In Cafe Rouge. Right beside me. Right beside me and boy and our elbows and outdoor coats.

Trying to digest this, as well as the rice, vegetables and sauce I couldn't help but gawk a little bit. At this point I reflect that that's what the proposer would've wanted anyway, even if the proposee didn't. Although she had agreed to marry him, so I presume that she would share his opinion on the matter and so I continued to gawk and do not feel bad for doing so.

After they nabbed a couple of glasses of free champagne, proposee spends approximately 25 minutes calling and texting and status updating and social networkinging and tweet and pinpinging everyone in her phonebook. She doesn't know how to send multiple messages and so this is a lengthy process. Meanwhile, proposer just sits there... maybe he's looking smug, but I'm not looking at him, I'm (secretly) watching female fiancee; appauled by the (kinda lack of) drama unfolding.

Now, really. For one, am I that old-fashioned and romantic to think that a proposal on a busy Saturday evening at Cafe Rouge is not ideal? Nor is it very personal. I don't know. I don't judge the pair as a couple, but it certainly was interesting to see how this extraordinary tale unravelled. Secondly, the importance of being socially aware and 'being connected' to one another has a horrible affect on people's personal lives it seems. Those (precious?) moments after the proposal, she ain't gonna get them back is she! Ever!

Her thumbs hold onto distant memory of the proposer's words as they were translated into noughts and ones quicker than any nimble soul could ever get down on one knee.

Cafe Rouge proposal + super social networking. It's a thumbs down from me, I'm afraid.


Monday, 1 November 2010


Whilst walking along a busy main road you can combine the inhalation of fumes, the splash of murky polluted puddles, beepbeeps from the early morning perves etc with a beautiful backdrop of magenta and vermilion. The deepest purple and the freshest green amongst sunshine yellow and burnt orange frame the edges of the street so colourfully. If you happened to have a 24 pack of Crayolas handy, I'm pretty sure you could identify every snazzy name they ever gave those little pencils - 'burnt sienna', 'tan'...

In the afternoons at 5.30pm before the clocks went back, a clear blue sky was the prettiest colour of 'sky blue' that'd ever been called pretty. I actually once smiled up at it because it was just the most perfect shade.

Now the clocks have gone forward the daylight fades too quickly and I squeeze my desk up against the window to absorb as much as I can while it's still around. Now I walk home and it's dark and car lights are on and it scares me when they roar past in the blackness and I can't see the tree leaves that are so beautiful in the light. Now they're only shadows, and all I smell is carbon, and all I feel is 'grey'.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The future

My boyfriend doesn't like X-Factor. Of course, I watch it and I make him watch it and now he is as addicted as me...I think...maybe.

For the duration of the show I tend to make these remarks quite freely:
'What are they doing?!.'
'UGH, that's so flat.'
'Why is he constipated?'
'Why is he smiling like that?'
'Oh I love her.'
'They're just singing in unison again! Dammit One Direction, why won't you harmonise?!'

And ever since Cher was deemed 'THE FUTURE OF POP MUSIC', I have decided to reconsider all that this world stands for. If that girl is the future, I don't think there is much point in continuing. Will we really be subject to scrawny/verging on ill, chav-esque Cheryl-looky-likeys who are apparently too 'street' to wash their faces and proudly sport heinous treble-clef-side-of-hand gross tattoo transfers...


What I would do to just lend Cher a Simple make-up wipe or two, and while I was at it perhaps mention that if she got a good pair of trousers with a decent crotch she wouldn't have to dance with her knees wide-out and be groin-centric. I'd take her to Gap for some tailored monochrome - see if she can rock that.

Hmm, my prediction for the final is as follows:
Matt, Cher, One Direction. And I reckon Rebecca and Katie will go far.

Perhaps I digress from my initial point. What was it again..?

Anyway, it's quite nice to huddle round the tele all cosy, and with no Generation Game to keep company on the weekend's any more we now set our eyes on the future of all that is to be 'pop'. No more cuddly toys or plate smashing, we get to slag off, scrutinise and criticise everything that's shoved into our little spongey faces. We're wonderfully reassured that it's OK to divulge with others to compare 'our' thoughts and opinions on those poor X-factorites.

I have decided not to get started on Brian Friedman this time around, but my wrath will come very soon. (i.e. just because you are gay does not mean you are exempt from being hideously sexist, inappropriate and downright degrading with your dance routines!)


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Still Reigning, Still Dreaming. My VIP pass to Fin DAC's Hendrix exhibition

Beautiful Crime sure know how to host an event. The creative agency (specialising in urban art and culture) hosted the pre-release party for Fin DAC’s highly anticipated collection of hand-finished screen prints at the uber-funky Red Bull Studios last Thursday. Still Reigning, Still Dreaming celebrates musical legend Jimi Hendrix, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his death.
A smattering of paparazzi lingered outside as the event drew an interesting crowd. I shyly shimmied past Gemma Arteton and her super-gorgeous pals (and puppies), was nearly bowled over by an aggressive Goldie, and was surrounded by those who just generally ooze coolness. Lots of strong eye-brows, awesome afros, sick trainer and suit combos etc. As I finally got a place at the bar, I was accosted by a hairy man who insisted the barman make me one of his ‘deadly specials’ after he’d overheard my pathetic order of one beer and a cranberry juice. Wrapped up in counting my pennies from my purse, I realised that there were no tills and it was in fact a free bar and I understood why people before me had carried off two trays full of shots. Having turned an appropriate shade of pink, I slunk off into the not-too-dark to observe Fin’s work, handing my plus one the hideously rum-tastic freebie and squeezed past those with tattoos and caps and skateboards strapped to their backs.
The artist classifies himself as ‘Sub-Urban’, claiming to be a kind of hybrid someplace between street-art and beyond. He uses an unusual ‘spitting style’ technique to explore the creative possibilities of painting with aerosols. It was a real privilege to see such interesting work up-close as it hung on the studio walls. The detail and layering is stunning and provides such depth that is often missing from two-dimensional street-art and graffiti. From a distance, the image of Hendrix is truly striking but the real beauty of the artist’s work is in delicate precision and careful use of stencils to create patterns and shimmers and luminance through metallic paints and a spectrum of colours.
DAC completed the final piece of the collection on the night, which was quite pongy but nobody seemed to mind. Crowds gathered round to watch the artist at work and although the zillion camera flashes probably didn’t provide a perfect working environment, the artist was engrossed. The four special edition artworks, completed on wood, copper, metal and canvas, were up for sale and priced at the hunky sum of £1,970 each – relating to the year that Hendrix died.

Meanwhile, there were DJs and live music from the talented Lewis Floyd Henry, who played one hell of a guitar and a half-size drum kit to perform as his one-man band. There was an electric atmosphere, and the Red Bull Studios were the perfect setting for such an exhibition that combined contemporary class with an urban edge.
At the end of the night, all guests received a goody bag which included more fantabulous freebies from the event sponsors – I was extremely happy to find a hefty can of Tigi dry shampoo, a mini bottle of Uluvka vodka, a Red Bull shot of caffeinated goodness and The Red Bulletin - a very cool little monthly magazine which combines extreme sports, photography and culture.
What a treat!
You can see Fin DAC’s personal photo stream here:

[Originally written for Pop Weasels:]
All photographs KB©

Monday, 30 August 2010

My trip to the Job Centre

The other day, I succumbed to the allure of Job Seekers Allowance and made my way down to the job centre.

As I tried to sort out my brolly and shelter under the soffit I got four young lads' smoke puffed at me as they discussed some stuff:

"...nah I can't be f*ed with her."

"Ahah nah not if you've got that 27 year-old on the go eeeeeeeeey?"

"Nah mate nah that was just a one night thing..."

"Yeah, yeah. It was meant to be a one night 'ting.." And all of them joined in, "nothing more than a little one night fling, now when I'm in needs you're the one I ring.. I NEED YOU TONIGHT. HHAHAHA."

"......................Oh f* it we'd better go meet D-Chizzle*"

*It was something like D-Chizzle, but could've equally been Hizzle, Nizzle or Bizzle. I was inside by this point.

If you're not familiar with Professor Green, that excerpt is from his recent hit, 'I need you tonight' and I was thoroughly annoyed to have this track in my head for the rest of the day.

So I filled out some forms and answered 'No' to needing a translator.

I made my way to a waiting area in the middle of the room and accidentally dropped my sopping wet umbrella onto the legs of an old man; I felt bad but then I didn't because I realised that it was stupid that he was wearing shorts in such torrential weather.

I had a meeting with Carol to check some things. We were interrupted as a man came round to reset her panic button underneath her desk that she'd had to use that morning because someone got mad.

I was sent back to the waiting area where there were now only two men sitting. After a few minutes some police officers came towards me and I was scared. Then it was OK because they weren't looking for me at all, and arrested the man sitting opposite who had been looking out of the window for a really really long time.

I decided not to look out of the window, and instead looked down at my forms I had in my hands. Underneath them all was my degree certificate. It was crumpled because I had tried not to let it get wet.

I thought about the three years of hard work and reminisced about university life. That was stupid because I got a bit upset. It didn't help that the man to the left of me really stank of booze so I couldn't even disguise my sniffles as when I snorted my nose would get an influx of stale ale and general poo smell.

Then I saw another lady, Sandra, and she was nice. She asked if I was OK so I said 'Yep' and realised I was a mug so decided to get a grip. We spent some minutes doing a search for jobs which sounded un-fun but she reminded me the most important thing is to get a job and think about career later. Oh. Right.

I came out of the job centre to more rain and gave up trying to keep myself dry. I stopped off for a coffee. Soggy and alone, I focused on the fact I actually had enough money to buy the coffee, even if it was mostly silver coins (and a disguised Euro - win). I noted that I had a nice warm home to go to, and I was alive and well enough to walk myself back.

I will quit whining and carry on applying. As everyone keeps saying, something will come along in the end.

PS. I will be signing on every Wednesday. Hooray!

Friday, 23 July 2010

An advert that is stupid

John Frieda Go Blonder : "WHERE IS THE SUN?"

First of all, it's impossible to steal the sun because it is too hot and really far away. You'd probably need to be an astronaut too, and judging by that girl's somewhat inability to talk, I'm going to guess that her main talents include pulling that really annoying face, raising her eyebrow and being mute. I doubt that she has gained the necessary qualifications to become a sun-stealing spacewoman though looks can deceive and perhaps I am being a little unfair to Blondielocks. The main point of this post is to outline the stupidness so here are the consequences of what would happen if the sun was stolen and then like.. put in your hair:
  • You'd die.

  • Your hair would definitely be in worse condition.
What is also stupid about this advert is the promotion that follows regarding their equivalent brunette collection. Basically, there's no equivalent to the sun, and brown is a really difficult colour to match up with something humongous and awesome like a sun so they don't even bother using Blondielocks' stereotypically evil twin... Brownielocks. Imagine if the sun was brown though. Everyone would think it was rubbish. So, basically, John Frieda are stupid... and brunette-ist.

Friday, 12 February 2010


Every day I get older.

I'm finding that being 21 is particularly difficult. Not only do I have an inexplicable obsession with reminiscing these days, but also an unavoidable and unmanageable tendency to dwell on every decision knowing that each step I take is leading to another, another, another. Leaps of faith are a regular occurrence that I just don't feel comfortable making. Sleep is lacking on all accounts and afternoon naps of first year are a thing of the past (see, reminiscing again...)

Of course, one could argue that every minute detail you decide upon in your life has its respectful consequence, one biscuit or two pour example (i'm talking packets here, these are tough times), but I do know that my mind is not ready to decide upon an answer for that ominous question that seems to be on everyone's bloody lips at the moment - What are you going to do with your life?

Ok, so HOLD UP... let's break it down:

What-are-you : a third year student, currently juggling a million and one deadlines whilst trying to rid myself of the straitjacket that's conveniently wrapped itself around me and the lamppost in the centre of the high street down in Antisocialville; population 1 + sketchbook, camera, laptop and ever-prevalent backache, headed for graduation 2010.

going-to : I'm going nowhere, unless it's the library.

with : ...Myself.

your-life: In this context I guess it means your life of the future.. which I think is ridiculous on many levels. Mystic Meg, anyone remember her? She was involved with all that future, predicting malark and look how far that got her. Let's deal with the life of now - sitting, breathing, being.

? : This is a wiggly line and a dot which concludes this silly,wiggly question quite appropriately.

Recently, my answer to this question has been- I ain't got a clueeeeeeee! And this is a lie... big pants on fire liar, right? WRONG. I don't have a clue... does anyone have a clue? What about letter it might begin with? Sigh. I'm dealing with technicalities here, nobody would have a clue would they... this isn't eye spy. I hate that game, who invented that game!? It is not a game, there are no winners = no point of it existing.

A-ha! Winning. Now that's a topic I can relate to and it may even be relevant to this little blog right here.. mabes.. Ok, so I like winning; in my life, I want to win. There we go, that's what i'll reply to the next person who asks me WAYGTDWYL.

Mmm, perhaps not. This isn't a game of Monopoly where I insist on being banker and slip myself an extra 400 each time I pass GO...and Go To Jail.

Perhaps the only option is to run away. Run run far away and in the opposite direction to the way the globe spins, reducing time to a meaningless nothingness that can not affect me as I reverse the inevitabilities of growing old and avoid all the decisions I would've had to once face.

But where to run to!?

UGH, maybe it is too late for my mind to be wandering. But I know as soon as I save this up there'll be no shutting it up 'til early morn as I try to digest the day's events. I'm meant to be having a few days off but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I'll continue in the morning where i'll be bright as a button, shiny (oily) and about4 dress sizes larger than I was today after a hefty binge of vegetable pasties, Thorntons chocolate, organic flapjack, custard from the tin, Co-op walnut cake, pasta bake, Weight Watchers yoghurt (it was on offer), 2 p-p-p-p-penguins and a homemade caramel shortbread...

I guess my mind won't be the only one having trouble digesting.