Hello chums! Due to overwhelming popular demand* I've added a subscribe function to my website. It's too easy to miss posts on Facebook (indeed, Facebook makes it bloody difficult to reach your followers without paying**). So, every time I post some nonsense about terrible dates I've been on or my ridiculous social awkwardness, then you can get an email about it. If that sounds like your idea of fun, then head over to: http://allthebiscuits.com and look for the subscribe button. Thanks!
*one person asked me
**so, I massively appreciate anything you can do to spread the word about this site to your friends (or, if you don't enjoy my ramblings, to people you don't like).
Hello! I've written a BRAND-NEW POST: How to Forgive. (It's basically what keeps me sane, or as close to sane as I'm ever going to come.)
I was going to be an accountant, you know.
New blog post at: http://allthebiscuits.com/working-girl/
(Plus! Lots of archive nonsense now published!)
Hello chums. I'm still transferring old content over to the new site. Busy writing some new bits and pieces; here's one of them.
Hope that you're having yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Here's the story of why I love it so much:
Haven't had any time for writing recently, but promise you some new stuff in the new year. Thanks for your patience xxx
Hello chums! Happy December to you. New updates coming soon... still loading up the archives at www.allthebiscuits.com.
Have a look! Please consider telling your friends–especially if they enjoy reading tales of terrible dates, awkward conversations and other embarrassments–to have a look*! Have a biscuit!**
*Thank you. It is devilishly difficult to spread the word. Anything you can do to help is most appreciated xxx...
**Today has been a hobnob sort of day
Hello chums. Right. RIGHT! I thought I'd collect all this nonsense on an ACTUAL PROPER WEBSITE, so I've been busy setting up www.allthebiscuits.com. Will be posting the archive from here on there (from the beginning, one post every day), so please do keep an eye on it. It'll be easier to find posts and browse on there too.
So. Will still be updating this page, when I've got the new site up-to-date.
Lovely! Thanks for your patience xxx
Elder Daughter: "What's in the London Dungeon, Mummy?"
Me: "It's got lots of gory history from London, with people like Jack the Ripper and..."
ED: "Bradley Wiggins?"...
ED: "You know, Bradley Wiggins, he tried to burn down the Houses of Parliament... oh, or is he the man who wins all the cycling events?"
HAPPY BRADLEY WIGGINS NIGHT, EVERYONE!
THE WINNING LINES: Tales from my dating days #19
We met online. After I emailed him my number, he rang me, but withheld his number. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation:
Him: “So, what do you do?”...
Me: “I’m a writer and a musician. How about you?”
Him: “Oh, I’m not going to tell you, sorry. You could be a stalker or something.”
Me: “Riiiiight. Hey, for all I know, you could be a stalker too.”
Him: “I’m not”.
Me: “Well, there you go, neither am I”.
Him: “Well, I don’t know that for sure. Do you still fancy a drink?”
Me: “Are you going to tell me what your job is?”
Him: “When I meet you. I have to be sure you’re not a stalker”.
I know I should have run away at this point, and that I wasn’t going to be romantically interested in him, but my curiosity was piqued… What was his job? What was he hiding? I had to meet him.
Eventually we arranged a meeting place and time.
Him: “Great. I’ve got your number so if anything changes I’ll give you a call.”
Me: “Fine. What about if I have a problem and need to call you, what’s your number?”
Him: “Sorry, I’m not going to give it to you. You might be a stalker.”
Me: “But you’ve got my number.”
Him: “But I know I’m not a stalker. I don’t know about you though.”
***Trigger warning: Abuse***
I remember the first time someone told me that they didn’t believe me.
I was just a kid, and I’d borrowed my dad’s guitar. I knew how much he loved it so I was extra careful with it, strumming it gently, and tucking his lucky plectrum back behind the strings when I’d finished....
ADVENTURES IN SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS #3:
Every few years—when I feel I have too much money in my life and not enough punishment—I join a gym. Years back, I'd just got a membership to a local sports centre, and went there for my first swim.
Now, it's not normally one mistake or misfortune that leads to disaster; instead, it's several small ingredients combining to create a towering cake of calamity. For example, it's not a disaster if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere....
ADVENTURES IN SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS #1: That time I went swimming.
In the changing rooms, I hung my white towel on a peg, changed into my costume, and left my glass...es in my locker.
I'm extremely short-sighted; I can't swim in my glasses, obviously, but I can't see anything without them.
So, I went for a swim—all very pleasant—then back to the changing room for a shower. I grabbed my towel off the peg and started drying with it, instantly realising that something was very wrong. My towel wasn't the right texture. My towel was, it transpired, actually some lady's white coat, and she wasn't very impressed with me.
These days, I wear contact lenses and a pair of goggles while swimming.
(Enjoy this sort of thing? Come and join me at https://www.facebook.com/AllTheBiscuits/ for more stories)
It's normal to get a bit anxious about doing a good job.
What's not normal is to get stomach-wrenchingly, can't-breathe, can't-stop-shakingly anxious about it.
Welcome to the wonderful world of stage fright....
Dating can be pretty brutal. So much so that it's tempting to stay in a crappy relationship if it means you never have to engage with the singles scene ever again. (Seriously though, don't stay in crappy relationships. Life is too short. Really.)
In my 20s, I ambled from one longish-term relationship to another, and then tumbled into a decade of marriage. When I found myself—somewhat bewildered and blinking—single again, the dating world had changed. And so had I.
When I was...
THE WINNING LINES: Tales from my dating days #18
It was a wintery, blustery day. We'd been for a long walk through the country park. chatting happily. Rather a promising first date, I thought, topped off with a hot chocolate in the cafe.
He grabbed the bill as it arrived:...
Him: “Do you want to see me again?”
Me: “Sure! I had a lovely time”.
Him: “Are you sure you want to see me again?”
Me: “Yes, I just said I did”.
Him: “I don’t want to put you on the spot here, but you’re definitely sure that you want to see me again?”
Me: (getting less sure by the second) “Errr, yeah”.
Him: “Well, in that case, I would be delighted to pay for your hot chocolate”.
Him: “Well, I wasn’t going to offer to pay for it if you’re not going to see me again.”
Me: “I'll pay for my own hot chocolate, it's fine."
Him: “I’ll buy it for you if you’re going to see me again”.
Me: “I’d really rather just get it myself, thanks.”
Him: “No, no, no, I insist. My treat.”
Me: “No, really.”
In the end, I let him buy me the bloody hot chocolate. But he never called me again (and I was somewhat relived).
HOW TO GET THROUGH A BREAK-UP (WITH YOUR SANITY RELATIVELY INTACT)
Even if it was a horrible relationship, even if you hated him by the end and you're quietly relieved he's gone, even if he used to chew his toenails in front of your parents*, take some time to acknowledge your sadness that it's all over. There might only be a pea-sized smidge of sadness, but it will be there and it must be acknowledged; you'll have gone into the relationship with at least some ho...
ON BEING A GROWN-UP
I'm not cut out for this, I'm really not. Being an adult is much harder than it looked in the brochure. When I was small, I couldn't wait to grow up, fondly imagining the time when I'd have all the answers, gliding gracefully between the days, busy only with the sheer enjoyment of living. I'm glad I had no idea how wrong I was.
Life is much more complicated than I ever gave it credit. There are bills to be paid, lines to be drawn, principles to be defende...d. And laundry to be done. So much laundry. Don't get me started on the bloody laundry.
But then, there's the sweet contrast between being a grown-up and growing older. The former promises disappointment and expectations that can't ever be met. The latter is a balm; the older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin. The more secure I become. The more I sense and value the love that surrounds me; the more I appreciate my friends, my family.
The flip side to that: being able to lovingly let go of some relationships and people. Recognising the friendships that used to work, but don't any more. And finally understanding that what other people think of me is none of my business.
These days, I have a sense of happiness, of peace, of calm, that I've never known before. Even amid the chaos of the endless logistics and paperwork. And the sodding laundry.
Being a grown-up royally sucks, but at least growing older is great.