10 more reasons why I love my sister

1. When I freak – she doesn’t.

2. She has managed to cook me dinner for the last two weeks – the only reason I survived acclimatising to new job. Prawn pasta with fresh basil and tomatoes is a favorite.

3. She doesn’t drink alcohol normally and doesn’t succumb to anyone’s pressure – that is cool.

4. Outside relationships, she is the only one who I can happily sleep in one bed with for over a month.

5. Her deadpan delivery. As our male company was describing the taste of Amstel, she helpfully chips in: ‘Like sex on a canoe?’ – cue man choking on his drink. She takes a sip from her Diet coke and shrugs: ‘What? Dangerously close to water.’

6. Unflappability. She got chatted up by the till-lady at the local supermarket. ( And we’re not talking a funny look, literally “Hey you’re pretty, I’m done with my shift in a bit lalala etc.” ) She just smiles, hands over her card and replies: “Thanks. No cash back.”

7. We managed to end up in the same pub as a guy who has been weirding me out on my way to work. So she squeezes herself  in between him and me on our way out, with impeccable timing – his attempt to a ‘Hi, how are you?’ never reached me. Wing-woman number one.

8. She can also hum the theme-tune of The A-team. ( and is also a member of the shirtless Bradley Cooper -fanclub. Obviously.)

9. She too can eat. A lot ( ” Quick! Eat! Before your brain registers you’re full…”)

10. Despite the 25 year age gap, and the fact that he has no nose and no other attractive bodily features in the HP

Phone jokes on a post card please.

franchise, she still insists on marrying Ralph Fiennes. That’s real love. ( Oh and that is pronounced Rafe, Dad. In case you want to practise your speech.)

Snippets on the Tube

Both from some Scandinavian country they talked animatedly – both late twenties, early thirties. A couple. Suddenly out of nowhere he kissed her on the cheek, and even those who didn’t understand a word they were saying could see that he just couldn’t help himself. She glowed and looked about 15.

The little boy sat in his vest and his shorts, red cheeks from the heat in the carriage. His mother probably Chinese, her boyfriend was white and sat opposite. They were all German. She was very much involved with the beautiful boy, the boyfriend tried to impress her by interacting with the child. The boy wasn’t having it, the blown kiss was never picked up and he claimed his mother to himself by asking her questions and distracting her from any conversation with the man.

The wedding ring stood in stark contrast with the skater jeans, hoodie and trainers. Still when he walked out, he placed his left hand on the small of her back and helped her out of the packed carriage.

Meanwhile the goth group in the corner waited until the elderly couple stood up and left the carriage before taking the seats.

An Argentinian guy walked past on the escalator, breathing out a long sigh, smiled and said: Finally out!

He turned around on the second escalator and smiled again.

Outside of the station he turned around for the third time and an hour later he got us a second round.

Roll on the weekend!

Sad

Yesterday as I rushed into Waitrose to pick up some forgotten ingredients for dinner ( and only because it is the most convenient – yours truly is not yet a Waitrose shopper.) I witnessed three men sitting in ‘the cafe’.  It  really is just an open place in the supermarket with a couple of tables and chairs.

Three men, all suited and booted. Sitting by themselves eating their dinner, some roast chicken or ready meal curry, reading a newspaper to distract themselves. From eating or from being alone.  The rest of the world trying to scramble their dinner together in the aisles around them.

It made me a little sad.  I know it shouldn’t, because maybe they are really happy. Trying to avoid the missus and the kids for one night a week or just trying to take a breather from a hectic day. (I do wonder what is wrong with a Carluccio or Wahaca that is just around the corner. If you are going to eat out by yourself, lord you might well make it nice.)

Still I couldn’t phathom the idea of a little boy aspiring to grow up, make lots of money, wear a suit and eat a meal by himself in a bustling supermarket.

To Esther

Do you remember when in school the poor sods, whose birthday it was in the summer holidays, never got the chance to wear their papercrown in front of the whole class, stand on a chair and have everyone sing to them. When it was time for birthday parties they could never have them on their actual birthday because everyone had buggered off to France or Spain.

They were often the youngest of the year  or the eldest and overall it kind of sucked. (Though my birthday is in December, you know what that means: Christmas and birthday presents in one. This is not acceptable! Also, no one has time or money to go out with all the Christmas lunches etc. Anyway… steps of soapbox.)

My friend Esther was one of those children, unfortunately for her she is also the kind of friend who remembers everything. Good luck postcards for exams and rootcanal treatments, the caring text message to see how your job interview went, the encouraging letter when the kitchen has flooded and the goldfish has died (in an unrelated event.) Even with a North Sea between us, she manages to get things spot on. We might not talk and write as much as we used to but I like to think that we are there for each other when it matters.

With one exception.

In all those years (and I do mean years, even when we were really close.) I never managed to remember. I have been a week out, or even a month out once… Even after the time she gave me a birthday calendar for my birthday. This year  I thought about it last week and over the weekend and then this afternoon:

OH NO! I FORGOT TO SEND HER A CARD! AGAIN!

So shoddy voicemail ( she was obviously out with better friends!) it had to be and a public apology for the 26th time:

Darling Esther,

Happy Birthday! Hope you are having a wonderful day.

I am once again truly sorry about being such a rubbish friend.

May life grant you many more birthdays, giving me a chance to get it right one year.

Lots of love

x

Don’t you think…

Last night the wine-filled conversation turned somewhat philosophical and we were discussing the Second Coming.  No wait, let me correct that: I was discussing the Second Coming.

Imagine: there was me yakking away until I realised my conversation partner ( ok, it was my ex – I wasn’t going to disclose it but it adds to the pun.) so I realised my ex looked at me in a funny way.

I blinked and then asked him: You do know what the Second Coming means, right?

He slowly shook his head.

So I explained to him about Little Baby Jesus and how He died for our sins etc etc.

His eyes lit up:  Oh ok, I was confused. I thought for a second you were talking about multiple orgasms!

And that my friends is called irony.

Trend watching…

Other shocking news this morning from planet celeb: Orlando Bloom ( he of Pirates fame) and Miranda Kerr ( she of… well the eh model, I think) have according to my AOL news page: ‘followed the trend’ and opted for a secret ceremony.

Wow.

Just another trip to the post office

If that is the trend, I think non-celebs have been practising it for years. Look at that. Maybe actors and models are normal people after all…or we could all be famous – just depends how  you look at it!

Anyway, all the best to them on this lovely and grey Friday morning.

To you, yes it is Friday: Enjoy! x

Men on the corner of Marble Arch

Today as I was waiting for my sister to arrive, I sat at the window of a Pret a Manger on the corner of Oxford Street and Great Cumberland Street. ( I think – I might have made that up.) It is close by Marble Arch and close by Edgware road, and on the other side of the window was a group of men drinking Pret coffee.

They were together but not sitting as a group, they were all with their backs against the window, sitting in a line observing the street.  I actually hadn’t noticed them, what I looked at first from my bar stool behind the window was a man tying his toddler’s shoe laces. The child, a boy, was not even two years old. The man (presumably his dad) was crouched down, tying his son’s shoelaces with a fag in his mouth. This is the point where a mum would shout, or at the very least wince:  burning cigarette face-height of excitable toddler, not often a good combination. ( Yes and then we’re not even talking about passive smoking with children…but that is not the point I am trying to make.) It was interesting to see, because Dad was actually standing by the side of the pavement, just having a smoke. Protecting his son from running into the road. His son was being coaxed and waved at by the men sitting in front of the Pret.

That’s when I saw them. All these men, from dad and son to the men with coffee watching the world go by had recreated a scene that would probably be very similar to their native countries somewhere  in the Middle East, right on the busiest corner of London.  There were no women or wives to be seen, just a male get together from different generations. The old men in their chairs waving at the toddler, one of them bringing more coffee. Some children skipped by, one of the men gave them some money, not even reluctantly – not in that sighing mum kind of way, who shouts after her brood to not spend it all on sweets, because dinner will be at 7pm – but just in that interesting male relative love way: money given, no questions asked.

More coffee was had and more conversation was made, with each other and with the dad on the other side of the pavement. It didn’t seem like they knew each other, but the little boy kept everyone amused.

I was intrigued, spying on a community as well as gaining a little insight into male-communication. When my sister arrived it was 7pm, I got my coat and saw that the children had returned, showing off their chocolate bars and sweets to their benefactor. I could not contain my grin: their mothers would not be pleased but for now everyone was just being happy.