This is not just environment friendly…

..this is  [insert upmarket foodstore] environment friendly:

On my way home I popped into said foodstore to pick up something quick and easy for dinner.

Ah fresh pizza on offer, excellent.

No queue at the till. Brill.

Till lady goes: ” Would you like a small bag?”

I rummage through my bag looking for my purse and on routine pay by card, so I reply absent-mindedly: ” Yes please”

When I look up again I see a lady cramming two pizzas into a tiny bag. So tiny you would almost think it is too small.

In fact upon closer look, it is actually too small. Only one and a half pizza fit in the now very stretched green-yellow bag.

Plan A ey, Upmarket Foodstore?

I wonder if the till lady considered Plan B as I cannot actually get the bag handles together to carry the pizzas in a bag.

I could just lift them up like carrying boxes but surely that would defy the point. So I try: “Could I perhaps have a bigger bag?”

The lady looks at me and mumbles shocked: ” But we charge for a bigger bag!”

Ok… looking at the pathetic looking pizzas wearing the bags like sumo wrestlers in body-con, I decide to take my chance: “How much?”

Lady: “5p”

I give her a reassuring nod – it’s ok I understand: The environment has its price.

Like any good citizen, thinking of my great grandchildren who I’ve borrowed the planet from, it’s price I am willing to pay.

Confessions.

Returned to London home to find my laptop cannot connect to the internet anymore.

Not a happy bunny.

I’m no computer expert but even I can see my whole screen is f*cked and Access is Continuously denied to the services that should enable me to connect to the outside world.

About to leave my job, nowhere to go just yet and this is a fact:

I need internet access.

I need to be able to send my stuff off, I need to update my blog! Argh so many needs!

The dying notebook being my 3rd laptop that I have gone through in 5 years.

If I cannot get this fixed and I refuse to pay a repair fee that could buy me a new laptop, I am actually considering to sell a kidney ( or donate an egg)  and turn to the dark side…

Perhaps it is time to confess: I am secretly Un PC.

Decisions Decisions

Art Rat

In my parents living room, not on display but more as  part of a group on a shelf; amongst  two birds brought home from a foreign holiday, a box that my mother decorated during one of her evening art classes and in which we keep paperclips for reasons unknown, a barometer my Dad might have gotten from work and  loads of little statues and dolls me and my sister once collected or just gathered in time, stands a little silver statue of a Rat.

Dated 2003,  it still has a yellow paper wristband around it with a time written on it: 15.22-16.37 It was the strangely chosen allocated time that I was allowed backstage to prep for my little performance. I was outraged when I was refused entry because it was 15.15 not 15.22.  2003 means that I was 19 when I entered, the upper-limit of the 13-19yr bracket that was allowed to participate in the art contest. I had been living abroad by myself for two years and I was fuming over this stupid bureaucracy.  All around me the 13 year olds were throwing crisps at each other.

I was nervous because everyone else in my theatre category were in a group; I had once again entered on a whim (impulsiveness kind of happened, even back then) with something so off the wall it could be considered in appropriate if there had been rules. There were none, just a theme: Future. So there I was, swallowing nerves and pride when I was finally allowed to enter after 7 minutes. Everyone had chosen futuristic outfits and the look of silver mixed with white and fluorescent was everywhere. I merely had a chair and a table – oh and a mobile phone. Two. But only one you could see.

My boyfriend at the time drove me there, and I nearly drove him mad with my nerves. He didn’t understand why I was so worried, surely everything was going to be just fine. I spat at him that he had no clue what I was about to do. He admitted that he didn’t. Afterwards he said he understood my fear and thought it took guts to perform that in front of groups of teenagers, sucking coke and eating crisps waiting for their mates to come up.

When the presenter asked me what I did and whether I performed before I kept it vague. I was sick with nerves but knew that being the underdog would always help you further than being cocky. Also, it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past when you are about to go on stage, you need to be good in the moment. She gave me a short introduction with the nonformation that I had given her and on I went.  Everyone was allocated 10-15 minutes I believe and where others had filled it with futuristic acrobatics, rap and streetdance ( all in the category of theatre would you believe, opposite fine art and sculpture I guess) I had decided to transform myself in an old lady waiting for the phone to ring. That was all.

I scuffle on which takes forever, the I make a show of trying to sit down which is hard to do when you can only move slowly. Then I wait, I look at the phone, pick it up, sigh, look away, look at the phone again sigh etc repeat to hearts content. I get up, scuffle away and when I am close to exiting the stage: that is when the phone rings! Oh no turn around again, scuffle scuffle, to the table: phone stops! Light out.

It was hard, this was not something people expecting and after an electrifying street-dance performance the silence was deafening. Then people started laughing uneasily, kids started shouting abuse ( Lord 12 minutes to go still!) but I knew it worked when the abuse was stopped by their peers. I knew it worked when people were quiet again, though at that point I wasn’t sure whether it was by sheer surprise of the madness of this little piece or whether they actually appreciated the concept of old lady waiting for a phone call as part of the theme: FUTURE.

When it came to handing out the prizes, I whispered to my boyfriend that I didn’t want to be first as I had to fly back to the next round which I wouldn’t be able to do it being in the middle of term and all. Still second would be nice… Second it was and there I was, a lone but very wide grin between the hip-hop group (third) and the futuristic acrobatics (a very deserved first). I think I even got some money for it and on the way home we were joking how it was the most I had ever been paid if you looked at the pay per minute!

A little silver rat that stands between all the junk of the past but which reminds me that winning comes in all kinds of shapes and Gold doesn’t have to mean a thing.

Audrey in Orange

I wonder how often Audrey Hepburn walked into her local pub and got a bear-hug from her 6ft1 very old friend who she might have snogged when she was 15. ( He snogged 95% of her year so this does not make her a slag.) When her feet finally reach the floor again she is wearing an orange tie ( “Double windsor took me awhile to get it right.”) and is being berated for the lack of Orange she is wearing by the bear-hug guy’s girlfriend of seven years: “You should have called, we have an extra shirt!” As a hello she gets kissed hello by all her  friends, 3x traditional way: left right left.

She puts 20 euros in an empty cup in the middle from which the drinks will be paid. A tenner gets chucked back at her and she is told not to be that greedy! Then some of the men in the group that is sharing the table with us, light up: smoking-ban or not.  I told you my town has little patience for unnecessary faff.

The match starts and people start singing the national anthem completely out of tune but with their hands on their hearts. After eight minutes one of the Dutch players goes down. The whole place shouts: ” CHANGE PLAYER!” When Van Persie scores the bar plays the music and the whole crowd sings: ” We’re going again, yes we’re part of it: VIVA HOLLANDIA!”  The owner brings around orange shots but one eye ( my working eye) on my friends tells me I should decline: nasty stuff apparently.

When someone attempts to blow a vuvuzuela behind us, a guy turns around and shuts him up with a growled “Hey! You’re not at home!”. Arjen Robben number 11 starts his warm up  and the pub starts to cheer. When he gets on the field the music starts again: VIVA HOLLANDIA! and he hasn’t done anything yet. He creates a chance soon though and Klaas Jan Huntelaar finishes it: VIVA HOLLANDIA! Shots again, we decline again. So yes we might have had a teeny tiny set back, a penalty when someone was protecting his face ( and what a pretty face it was Van Der Vaart…) but we are doing great.

Throughout the game I manage to catch up briefly with friends but when I’m about to leave, a complete stranger comes up to me. He is the only one to make a comment on my sunglasses as I was protected by friends in the know. He looks at me and then asks me genuinely: ” I hear you live in London… why on earth would you want to do that?” I smile and I get saved by a friend who says goodbye. Three kisses, left right left. I give him back his tie.

As I walk home, one of the guys comes and rides his bicycle close to me:

How long are you here for?

Til Monday.

Good, Monday they will play again.

What time?

4pm.

I’m not sure if I can make it.

I think you can! Anyway see you soon!

And with those words my whole body feels that Audrey missed out.

Tonight small town, tomorrow…

My sister has just come back from Belgium where she’s been digging holes for a month and now she has ‘forgotten’ to bring back chocolate.  I might have to hide my disappointment behind  my theme of today: sunglasses.

The combination of sunny weather and freshly lasered eye make me sunglasses-bound for the next week. Sunglasses should be acceptable and easy to navigate in daily life. I mean unlike braces and wheelchairs they don’t stop you from eating certain foods or trouble you when you need the toilet.

Now the sun is out, sunglasses should definitely be completely acceptable. However. I am kind of trapped in small town this week. Last month when I had my other eye done, it was raining and I tell you:  my small town doesn’t take kindly to what is deemed unnecessary behaviour.  Move to London ok, but don’t come back having to wear sunglasses when it’s bloody overcast! Rather than cool, I felt embarrassed.  As I am planning to go to a local pub tonight and see the Cameroon- Holland game I will probably face the same problem when I am unable to take off the glasses inside.

This is something I should clearly get over if I am to pursue my quest for world-domination. (Had I mentioned my quest for world-domination? I have decided that this might be the next obvious step forward in my life, being 25 and all.)  Let’s face it: world domination just screams sunglasses! ( and whispers Adolf but I was personally hoping to steer it more towards Madonna or Oprah.)

Sunglasses should be cool and sophisticated, so  in an effort  to combat my embarrassment I have decided to embrace the glasses and new life-philosophy. Yes tonight Matthew I am going to be:

…and when I say Stevie I mean Audrey, tonight I will be channeling:

Parent Managing

Today was the day of my second eye- treatment. (To paint a picture, I am typing this with my sunglasses on, protecting the sensitive, swollen and slightly teary right eye – charming.) As I had to take out my right contact lens  for two days ( my left eye is already fixed) I was obviously unable to drive. My parents were again so kind to drive me to the hospital in Rotterdam.

The only way for me to fight the inevitable  irritation of being treated like my mother’s child whilst sitting in the back of the car ( meaning: I’m perfectly capable to navigate my way around London-life, but once at home my mother  finds it necessary to keep all my hospital letters and papers in her handbag…) is to put my sunglasses on and ear phones in.

I must have fallen asleep, because when I opened my eyes it was 1pm. Appointment is at 1.15pm and  despite glasses and ear phones I sensed  some tension. So took my ear phones out and my Mum turns around. “Do you want something to eat before you take those pain killers they give you in hospital – they make you ill otherwise.”

I nod and search my handbag for some food, when from the passenger’s seat she passes me a lunchbox with sandwiches and a bottle of water: I felt five again. At this point Dad asks “Do we have to keep on ging straight? My Mum looks at her print-out and confirms this statement. He promptly goes right. Panic! What to do? I gather that we have no clue where we are. “TomTom?” I offer.

Ah they left the Tom Tom at home. You see my Mum doesn’t like driving with the TomTom if we have to be somewhere on time in case it sends her a different route than she is used to. This reasoning fails on three levels today: 1. She isn’t driving. 2. She is clearly not used to this route from a month ago. 3. We have to be somewhere on time and the trusted print-outs map and directions fail.

With seven minutes to go, my Dad suggests to call the hospital to tell them we are running late. Mum grabs her phone and searches her handbag for the hospital letter. I have taken it back into my handbag and suggest I call the hospital since it is my appointment after all.

I explain to the  receptionist that we are running late but that we are already in Rotterdam. “We are at the Princes lane!” Mum shouts from the passenger’s seat in the hope the sound of her voice will not be blocked by my head and that the receptionist can shout loudly enough to direct her to the hospital. Alas, the receptionist wishes us a safe journey and tells me not to worry. Ha!

Then the classic happens, as we are nearing a gas station and Mum says: “Let’s pull over and ask.” My Dad calmly drives on. I can see my mother’s grip on the door tightening. It doesn’t help that Mum always wants to be on time ( yes ok it is hereditary!) and my Dad is quite possibly the slowest driver in the world. Safest but the Slowest.

Second attempt, second gas station. Dad now pulls up until we are nearly blocking the door and Mum  jumps out of the car and literally runs inside. She changes her mind and runs over to the gentleman cleaning the outside bit of the gas station. He doesn’t want to help, she runs inside again. My Dad dryly states:  “I think your Mum is getting nervous.”  I look at him and wonder how my mother copes. She is beyond nervous, nervous was probably when we left the house, when she realised we would be precisely on time if we would drive there perfectly.

Mum comes out of the building triumphant we are already on the right way. Straight on, pass nine traffic lights left and left again. “You should just drop us at the hospital and park the car,” she instructs Dad. When we arrive, she and I step out of the car. “So the parking is just straight? ” Dad asks as Mum slams the door. She  opens the door again. “No it is just straight ahead.”  My Dad feebilyattempts a “That’s what I said”, but the door is slammed closed again and Mum is legging it to the hospital doors. I ask her to wait up or whether she intends to start the laser-procedure without my right eye.

Once inside the building the receptionist takes me in to another room to pay. My face  must say it all. ” Aw I have the same thing with my parents.” she consoles. “Don’t worry, the doctor isn’t here yet.”In fact the doctor wouldn’t arrive until 20 minutes later and I would not be treated until an hour later.

When we walk back to the car, I am starving. I put my arm through my mother’s and say whilst thinking of one of her speciality dishes that is waiting at home.”Mmm, I am looking forward to some pasta.” She looks at me in bewilderment “Oh but I only made the macaroni cheese, I can do you some pasta if you like.” Gotta love her. I kiss her and tell her macaroni cheese will do just fine.

So wrong…

For some light relief, slight boredom, following through on the recent kamikaze tendencies and out of fear I might be losing you my darlin’ readers with too much semi-philosophical nonsense lately:

My List of Wrong Crushes

Let me start with a disclaimer: Hereby the writer refuses any responsibility for any health issues that might arise from reading this list (choking, heart failure, death by shock) as she is well aware that her level of wrong might supercede the average. See previous post about her taste in music.

1. Freddie Mercury. I know, he swings the other way. May I add that he’s been dead for nearly 20 years too; so really him being gay would be the last, if not least, of my problems.  

2. Edgar Davids. Dutch footballer currently being prof punter on the BBC when the Orange Team plays. He had to wear protective glasses when he last played a major tournament.  Very strangely this seems to only add to his appeal.

3.Bruce Springsteen. I don’t get it myself. Can’t believe I am sharing this.

4. Gerard Butler. Wrong because after his turn as a pretty cool King Leonidas, he sold his soul  to chick-flicks and B-choice action movies. ( Listen Gerry, is this a money thing? Do we need to talk?)More wrong because my friend Laura already intends to marry him. ( What can I say, she is Welsh. I wouldn’t take my chances in a bare knuckle fight…)

5. Desmond Tutu. As in the Archbishop. That is right. Considering the current Pope, DT might be the only hope mankind has. Strangely attractive because he is a man of God and seems to have a sense of humour.  It’s an interesting combination. Like the attraction of a good-looking man with a wedding ring, you wouldn’t go there but you can still smile.

 6. Rudolf Nureyev. Very cranberry possibly gay, most definitely dead. Still a good-looking man.

7. Joshua Jackson. He was Pacey ( what kind of name was that?!) in Dawson’s Creek. Mrs Cruise or not, I think Katie got it wrong.

 If you haven’t passed out and are still reading this, I would also like to state that I do have Right Crushes but they are not as entertaining to share!