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V Day Approacheth

Hey January! Fuck you in your stupid fucking face. Yes that’s right, off you fuck for another year. February, come at me, I’m ready. Oh except, whats that? Oh Valentine’s day. The day in the year that no one asked for. Ooo look: hearts and flowers, expensive dinners in restaurants set up with only tables for two. Oh an intimate dinner in a quiet bistro, dream on!  Couples are packed in like sardines in a can, all competing with each other to look the most in love. Yes! Let’s all eat oysters and drink champagne and use our noses to push that last meatball towards our other halves. Let’s buy roses and watch them wither and die the following week. You know what I need? I need a fuzzy white teddy bear holding a heart with the words “I love you” or “Be mine” on it. I want edible body paint and a pair of handcuffs inspired by Kim Kardashian’s ass cheeks! I want a butt plug shaped like Ryan Gosling! Let’s make the singles feel like unloved lepers for a(nother) day! I can’t even enjoy my usual activities like online window shopping with out being confronted with “Ideas He’ll love” and “Meanwhile in the Bedroom” sections (cheers ASOS). Netflix starts chiming in with either “10 Romantic Movies to Watch this Valentine’s Day” or the even more sick making “6  Movies to Watch Alone this Valentine’s Day” (suggestions included Mission Impossible (1 and 2) and Star Trek Into Darkness)) because apparently being single is the same as being a teen-aged boy. I lie, I loved Star Trek. Even Ann Summers is getting involved with daily promotional emails “Kitty, your Valentine’s Day specialists are here to make sure the big day is as perfect as possible”. God damn, Ann, can a bitch not enjoy a one time purchase without being bombarded with your assumption filled bullshit for months afterwards. It was a  lonely winter…

 

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Ahhh romance

Yes, okay that was fairly bitter. But to be fair, when you’ve just had to deal with log-fire-and-red-wine couples at Christmas and their smug Instagram posts, the last thing you want (after the utter ball ache that is January) is to be faced with the bleak weekend of February 14th. You can’t fucking go anywhere without being bombarded with love hearts and cherubs and Valentine’s Three Course Lunch Menus. When I was a kid, my dad would get me a red rose, a box of nice heart shaped chocolates and a card every year signed from “Guess Who?”, I was part of the fun of the day. It was nice. But now that I’m expected to actually be having a sex life (scoff!) I’ll be lucky if I get a smile from the crazy man who wanders outside my office with a can of Special Brew at 11am. Maybe I’ll sit and listen to Eminem’s Kim on repeat and think about all the boys who have wronged me. Maybe I’ll look up said boys on Facebook and go through all seven stages of grief as I scroll through their profile pictures. Maybe I’ll build a bonfire and burn effigies and chant to The Goddess in the hopes of retribution. Just a quiet night in, you know?

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The one thing I actually really enjoy about this horrid day is that for a week afterwards, you can buy a big fucking box of chocolates for like £2. Sure you have to go in and look like you’re a shit girlfriend who forgot to get her other half anything, but no one has to know that you’re single. Or that the only other person who might get a look in on your chocolatey goodness is your cat. And he can get fucked if he thinks you’re sharing. It seems like most of my (coupled up) mates have plans, and they’re all so blasé about it, saying (direct quote) “Valentine’s is a load of shit anyway. I’m more excited about the prospect of getting laid without parents being within hearing distance”. Also, I’ve just seen that 1979 Horror Classic, Dawn of the Dead is on Iplayer so I’ll be watching that in my pants whilst I snigger into a tub of Ben and Jerries at how little I spent this most consumeristic of days. So my fellow singles, don’t get down. If you got through the week long utter Shitfest that was Christmas on your one, you can get through this. Now excuse me while I go make out with a hot dog.

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Should I Hibernate?

As the nights draw in and the weather begins to work against every new hairstyle you attempt, my (still very single) mind turns to how I will spend the darkest months. It  seems as though everyone is coupling up, as though the north with doth blow and we shall have  snow and I will die alone when the heating fails because everyone I know is under a blanket by a log fire with someone they love. The beginning of winter signals the arrival of four months of cold nights and short days. We bid tearful farewell to the days of beer gardens and sun soaked lunches with friends are long gone, because why brave wind and rain for a pint when you can stay in with red wine and Netflix?

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In truth, I adore winter there’s something about wrapping up against the cold in layers and topping everything off with a time of year themed coffee beverage that shits all over sweating and shaving all summer. My skimpy summer dresses have been exiled to the loft as I welcome back my cold month cosies back to my wardrobe with open arms. Oh oversized cashmere jumper and  leggings, how I have missed you. I have to say I really love winter fashion but don’t get me wrong I’m devastated to have said goodbye to my bright prints, outrageous clashing and the ability to wear a bikini top in lieu of a bra. With winter comes velvet, the most glorious of winter fabrics, the simple fabric that turns a navy dress into the perfect post work drinks outfit. Blacks are back.  It is now completely acceptable to wear an outfit without a splash of color and I love it and its so chic!

A friend recently wrote a blog on the power of an all black outfit (http://www.thefbombblog.com/#!Back-to-Black/c1w7u/8EE83955-1B15-4355-B43D-0CD19BAAE658)

There is also a lot to be said about the party season, sequins are still here and they will not be banished. I love the glamour of winter, the (faux) fur coats, the sparkly chandelier earrings, the fact that dark lipsticks during the day are not only acceptable but celebrated.

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It’s the time of year for hot soups and hearty stews and endless roast potatoes and I love it. But winter is a cruel mistress; for every charity shop jumper, there is having to watch couples Christmas shopping in town. For every pumpkin spiced latte there is forgetting how to use the damn heating. We must take care of ourselves this time of year, make time for a hot bath with a glass of red (Oh Merlot, how I’ve missed your caress). My first post back in March, I was writing to get over some moron who crossed me; I referenced Bridget Jones then, and I’ll do it again now. That gorgeous moment when she runs out in her pants and gets wrapped up in Mr D’Arcy’s coat and you die inside. Yeh that. I feel like that’s what every couple does instead of a peck on the cheek in wintertime. The smug winter advertising about what you and your loved one will gorge yourselves on as you wear matching jumpers while sequinned confetti rains down on your perfectly laid dinner table. The emotional blackmail from supermarkets. Its a confusing time of year for singletons, while wrapped happily in the warm embrace of winter’s blend of warm smells enjoying the spices that the approach to Christmas reintroduce onto our pallets to; we remember the couples’ playground that is winter wonderland. The couples on ice rinks holding hands and laughing as you trip them up with a stray limb and curse as you avoid slicing apart their smug fingers.

 

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I feel constantly between moments of solitary bliss,  wrapped up cosy on the sofa, Sex and the city filling in the silence in the background, watching Carrie struggle with having landed an amazing book deal but suffers from a total lack of love life and feeling like I know what its like! Standing on a dark platform as the mist makes way for the rain but getting to work and having gourmet chocolate waiting on my desk. How do I feel? I honestly can’t decide! Winter is the pull of a cracker; a loud bang, secreted in one half festive novelty fun, the other a lonely cardboard cylinder of nothingness. So dark. So bleak. But all is by no means lost, the festive season brings delicious treats with which to quell the fires of anger. I’m talking hot chocolate, cinnamon pretzels, freshly made chilli chicken wraps warming your fingers as you peruse tiffin at Borough Market. Warm your belly on that crowded, damp train home with a warm coffee beverage laced with spices and sugar. Winter is for dinner parties and wine and catching up with old friends and eating too much cheese. Sure many of us may be facing the bleak wilderness of singledom, some are seasoned pros, others left out in the cold, others throwing their arms out to the open sky with the glee that comes with new found freedom. Many things are uncertain, will we ever go a whole day without having to hoist the crotch of our tights away from your knees? Will I ever bring my useless tiny umbrella on days when I actually need it? Will I ever see the sun again?

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Gympatience

Gympatience is a phenomenon which occurs when one finally decides to haul ones ass to the gym, and grows impatient when results aren’t instantaneous. With my first pay from my new job,I bought myself a pair of bright orange Nike Free Run iDs. With my second, I got myself a gym membership to the gym right by where I work. I now have no excuse but to go to the gym. At the particular establishment which I am starting to frequent, there is a personal trainer who I will refer to as SBG (Sexy Bald Guy) who is probably the only reason I’m so committed to going at least thrice a week. SBG is in his late 30s, and is one of few men who has managed to go to the gym and not end up looking like a horrific cave man/ hulk hybrid. He is toned and muscular but he still, somewhat miraculously, has a neck! Hurrah! So i had some free sessions with him, and it turns out, I can tone up simply by doing a little weight training and a little cardio for 20 mins three times a week! IDEAL!

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So summer is coming, Bikini Panic is occurring all over the world, and cupcakes have never looked so sexy. They peek at you from all over the place, behind glass counters in coffee shops, all over platters at family parties, blushing with pink icing, flashing a strip of  chocolaty muffin top before all is hidden beneath the thin layer of a pastry case. The sluts. Salad is making an effort, collecting together the best parts of the season in the shape of brightly coloured peppers, sweet vine tomatoes and creamy feta cheese, but it will always look like a sack of shit when placed beside the glory of a freshly made meringue pavlova oozing with raspberry coulis and chocolate mouse. Oh summery desserts, you are the bane and the beauty of the next few months, tantalizing me with your zesty yet creamy fillings, your sticky, crumbly, crunching texture and your empty, sugary, malicious calories. ‘You know you can’t resist me’, the siren cupcake murmers with a voice like honey, ‘Just one bite, no-one has to know!’ You resist!  Walking away, an ice cream catches your eye, ‘Oh, but I’m so delicious, and its summer! When else can we be together like this?’

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You find yourself salivating, your eyes drawn to all things naughty! Why is everything so much more delicious when its hot! Burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, scones, whipped cream, donuts, french fries and fucking pizza all baying for your attention like the gorgons on the rocks, luring you in with sweet sticky promises then devouring you whole. What’s a girl to do?!

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We ignore the temptation around us, throwing ourselves through the doors of the gym, out of our front doors, into the local school hall for Zumba and we move our gelatinous asses in the hopes that we will jiggle them right off! Lately I’ve been massively addicted to the health and fitness section on Pinterest. I go there for inspiration (NOT THINSPIRATION…this is a hugely unhealthy way to look. You want to be strong. Not thin) I see stories of ladies who have lost half their body weight and the only way to do it is to work hard and commit. So I am… fucking finally. I’ve flirted with the idea before, but never really bothered to stick with it but I’m in the right head space now. This weekend was horrific, surrounded by tiger bread, real butter (be still my frothing thighs), cupcakes, kettle chips and SO MUCH BOOZE I managed to stay strong. I owe it to myself to get this waist nipped in the bud! Its week 3 now. Just you wait til week 12 bitch.

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Food for thought (punches self in face)

Picture the scene, its been a long day, you make it home, and the house is warm, you go to the fridge….and nothing. Bare. A bleak white landscape stares back at you, the once bountiful land of nourishment has been ravished of its goodies, and you know who did it…..it was you. Hence you’ve been to Tesco’s and stocked up on the essentials, which for me are becoming more and more lavish the more I come to accept the fact that food is my boyfriend. Oh sweet harrissa hummus, oh glorious kettle chips and you, oh you my one my only entire packet of caramel chocolate digestives, life would be so much less wonderful without you constantly reminding me that everything will be fine.

Now I’ll be honest, your girl here used to be something of a porker, a lady of lardaceous tendencies, I discovered fairly early in life that my feelings are utterly ambrosial, so I would constantly chow down on delicious inadequacy, necterous anger and my personal favorite,scrumptious self loathing. Food and I have had a tumultuous time, my first year of Uni I lived opposite a Chippy and a Chinese restaurant, and having spent most of that (and the following two years) in a baked haze of gluttony, thought nothing of getting several meals there a week. But all changed when I realized how unhappy I was, and how much what I was eating affected that. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a glass of water and a house salad girl by any means, no no no don’t be so ridiculous, but I have learnt that I can eat absolutely anything I like without it having to be horrendously bad for me!

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It used to be that cooking was a chore, a means to an end, a ball ache; but, with shows like Masterchef and Bake Off creating a nation of out and proud food lovers our eating habits are coming out of the dim secretive light of the pantry and into the bright limelight of Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Glory be to the Hairy Bikers for showing us that food is sexy no matter who bastes the turkey in its own juices, (excuse me whilst I take my clothes off).It has been known for me to groan in a very inappropriate manner whilst watching back to back episodes of Man Vs Food, in which Adam Richman would take on huge food challenges, like the 190lb burger (be still my beating heart!) Interestingly, Adam has, since the show last aired in April 2011, lost 60lbs and the ladies who once flocked to watch him stuff his face with endless tasty morsels have now discovered that he isn’t as cute now that he looks like everyone else. My heart bleeds for you, Adam, truly it does.

Hairy Dieters Hairy Bikers man v food

For the last few years I have discovered that my kitchen is the heart of my home, it isn’t just where we cook and eat, its where we laugh, cry, sing, dance, share and welcome people into our lives. It has always been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, however I think that anyone anywhere can be won over with a good meal. The dinner table brings with it a chance to reflect, you share the buttery roast potatoes of life with you and yours, sure some people may prefer hot sauce to mayo, and arguments erupt at the table, but I know from experience, that any argument can be quelled by quietly putting on “I wanna know what love is” and letting the argument descend into the discussion thereof. Believe me, it has happened in my kitchen, talk went from “yes but you can’t tell me that you understand my financial circumstances” to “yes but what IS love” in about 45 seconds.

There is a saying in France (or so I’m told) ‘show me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are’ and its so true. A question I have often asked new friends or potential love interests (which are virtually the same thing) is ‘what would you have for your last meal’ and its a question that everyone loves to answer. My personal favorite answer so far came from a man who said he would have a tomato salad, made with his mothers home grown tomatoes, which were always so delicious because she would frequently nourish them with her own piss.