Saturday, 25 March 2017

Alternative Career: Medic...

Pros: Today, I completed a two day first aid course and to be honest with you, I’m full of it. So much so that I feel like singing a duet of Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better with Mother Theresa, except I can’t because, you know, she’s dead. And to be honest, as kind and motherly as she looked, she didn’t appear to be the singing type, so perhaps it’s best all round (that we aren’t doing the duet, not that she’s dead.)

You want mouth to mouth? I’m your man! You need some part of your anatomy flooding with my own harmless (yet very lovely) fluids due to third degree friction burns? I’ve got your back. And not only do I have your back, but I know exactly where to whack you (five times) if you’re choking on something entirely inappropriate. My new skills will be enough to save you from an embarrassing trip to your local A&E. You don’t want nurses with bad perms laughing at you behind your back as they empty your bedpan, do you? And if I can’t dislodge the errant marital aid by rupturing your spine, I can have you bent over and chucking up the offending article as I deliver my own version of the Heimlich Manoeuvre (it’s two parts Heimlich, one part Hokey Cokey and one part reverse twerk, if you’re wondering.) Today, I was even crowned king of the bandage, which made me disproportionately proud until I realised that the course instructor (possibly a direct descendant of Charlie from Casualty) said bandage and not bondage. She was a bit incoherent, to be honest. She pronounced my name Shonny as opposed to Johnny, even though she wasn’t even a little bit French. I quite liked it although I don’t think she liked me very much. In fact, she seemed to take against me when I disappeared to the toilet for twenty minutes this morning, just after she started rambling on. It wasn’t my fault. It was the fault of the curry I inhaled last night.

Upon my shamefaced return to the room, I couldn’t do anything right for the next hour. She corrected me for the way I was giving CPR to Chucky, a terrifying looking plastic baby and then when I did what she asked, it turned out that I was wrong again and she made me do it the way I was doing the first time around. I don’t think it helped my case that when I finished giving CPR, I thought it would be funny to say, ‘Time of death: 10:46.’ She may not have been French, but she sure had the sense of humour of particularly dour Parisian.

Cons: It turns out that I can’t take anything seriously. Who knew? This was not good for the instructor’s resting bitch face, which was of an Olympian standard throughout. Apparently, when considering when to call the ambulance for an unresponsive, non-breathing person, the correct answer is not: ‘Depends on who it is.’ Also, it turns out that it’s not a good idea to check a baby’s responsiveness by shaking them as though they’re a particularly rattly Christmas present. At least I know that now. Phew.

Fortunately, I made a rather lovely chum on the course and we kept each other sane through a series of well timed nudges and comedy winks. But you know how wherever you go, there’s always one? And by one, I mean one utter and complete twat. Well, for a change, it wasn’t me. The One in question - let’s call her Mrs Dickhead, because if the phallic-shaped cap fits, then Mrs Dickhead shall wear it. And not only will she wear it, but she will give you a ten minute run down about how she is an expert in both dicks and caps and how her children are also proficient in a variety of penis-shaped head decorations. I was weary of her from the outset. We were compelled to introduce who we were and share something interesting about ourselves to the whole group. I know: horror, cringe, no one cares, etc. At least we didn’t have to wear DIY name badges as though we were all simple or disabled. Mrs Dickhead thought it would be appropriate to say, ‘Hi, I’m Mrs Dickhead and what is interesting about me is that I enjoy cross-stitch.’ A resounding argument for enforced euthanasia, I’m sure you’ll agree. Not only does she love a lovely cross-stitch (how she manages to keep her heart rate down is a mystery to me), but she’s also brilliant at talking over everyone. She is first class at correcting people (including the instructor) and telling them that they’re doing it wrong, only to massively fuck it up herself or just start inexplicably gesturing wildly, as though she’s a really dramatic Kate Bush video. Case in point: she shouted at me for using one finger to raise a baby’s chin to open the airway (which was correct, thank you very much Mrs Penis Bonce) before having a bash herself where she performed what looked like a karate chop to the forehead. At one point, the instructor asked what we would do if we chanced upon a child who had drunk some bleach. Mrs Dickhead thought that the right answer was, ‘I’ve been to almost ALL of the Caribbean Islands!’ Silly cunt.

Chances: Given my general propensity towards calamity, it might be best that I give this one a bit of a swerve. Besides, isn’t the fundamental principle of all medics to do no harm? To be honest, if Mrs Dickhead needs an ambulance, I can’t promise that. Especially as I might be the reason she needs it in the first place.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Rainbow Insanity...

Colours, but not as you know them
For some unknown reason - possibly insanity - I found myself wandering the isles of B&Q recently. This is an extremely rare occurrence because I cannot stand DIY stores and will avoid them at all costs. I'm just going to say it out loud: the only sort of DIY I'm into... well, it doesn't involve depressing, fun-free stores that reek of body odour, depression and dysfunctional marriages.

It doesn’t help that my handy-man skills have all the grace and charm of a flatulent hippo with ADHD. Try as I might, I just cannot do the most straightforward of DIY tasks. Shelves? Forget it. Besides, I don't know if anyone has told you, but ornaments actually look shit and no one is that interested in looking at your books. Not really. A bit like your holiday photos: no one really cares. As for plastering? I can't even spread butter over bread without the end result looking like an aggravated assault.

The erection (tee-hee and guffaw, etc.) of flat-pack furniture is the worst. Just thinking about Ikea is enough to make me break out in hives and go on the rampage with a tube of mastic and a spirit level - mainly because I don't know what else to do with them. The end result is always the same: the job rarely gets finished in the way that the confusing, badly-written pamphlet demands. I always end up with bits left over that have nowhere to go, yet seem important. Like large chunks of wood, more screws that you can shake a stick at and a set of alan-keys that have gone untouched through the misery that was construction. I often always have to rely on my talent for bodging to get things completed. Take the last thing I attempted to create: a CD case. The manual said that the job should 45 minutes. It took me six hours over the course of two days. During this mission, I cut myself three times, nearly took my good eye out, said the eff word a lot, lost a third of my own bodyweight, resisted ransacking and looting my own bedroom and considered throwing all of my CDs away. Then I saw sense and got help from a girl.

And so, at 10am last weekend, I found myself parking up outside the local B&Q. In other words, high doom. I'd like to tell you that I was hiding out from the rozzers or even dogging but, less interestingly, my bedroom needs painting. I'm flirting with the idea of a ‘feature’ wall, which sounds horribly pretentious, but will look rather lovely when it’s done. And at least this way, I get away with only painting one wall rather than four. Win-win, etc. But what colour? Hmmm…

After consulting the colour charts, it appears that in the years that I have happily remained persona non grata in DIY circles, things have changed beyond recognition. All I wanted was a tin of red paint. Dark red to be more specific, but it doesn’t exist anymore. If you want red – normal red I mean, like fire engine red - you have to ask for a shade of red called DIVA. Yes, DIVA. All capital letters and shouty. I was a bit intimidated just looking at it, to tell you the truth. It gets worse though: if you want to go a shade darker, then there is no point asking for a litre of burgundy. Oh no. You need to request something called CRIMSON LIPS. I can just see my Dad coming to visit and admiring the freshly painted wall while I come over all theatrical (for a change, like) and say, ‘Here, Daddad, do you like my CRIMSON LIPS? I was going to go for DIVA, but thought CRIMSON LIPS was a touch more moi…’

Now, I understand that the people who produce the paint charts have to get creative with names but some of the names I saw today were just fucking ridic. For example, can you guess what colour SUNDAY DRIVE is? It’s white. Why they can’t just call it white, I have no idea. If you wanted to go a notch towards cream, then what might you ask for? Beige? Magnolia? Don’t be silly. The answer – obviously – is CHESHIRE HIGH JINX. I shit thee not. If you wanted to go a touch whiter instead, what have you got? Brilliant white? Angel-Jizz White? Er, no. The answer – and I’d sit down for this if I was you – is VINTAGE FROCK. I wonder what size that comes in?

Can you hazard a guess as to what colour MAYPOLE MERRIMENT is? I’d naturally opt for brown (fnaarr!) But no. It’s beige. And what about FUZZY SLIPPERS (yes, really). Well, that’s beige too. A bit more towards cream. In fact I’d call it creamy-beige, but I’m  dead common, me, so it’s hardly a surprise. Poor old beige really has been reinvented and then some: it also masquerades under the following names: SPOTTED DOG (snigger!), CREAM TEA IN THE COUNTRY (chortle!), TOWERING FAƇADE (cackle!), MINCE PIE (oooh, yum) and REAL CIDER (ugh – I once threw up after a night on cider and now the mere suggestion makes me retch.)

The people who came up with these names must have been off their tits at the colour christenings. How else can you explain dumping the name ‘orange’ and replacing it with CONSTABLE’S TRUNCHEON? The green family has also been remixed beyond what seems absolutely necessary. What I thought was olive green is now called… NAUGHTY CROCODILE. A much paler green – which I’d call, erm, pale green, is now strangely named FAMILY GATHERING. What’s green about a family gathering? My favourite shade of green, though, has to be UNEXPECTED CAY, which I initially read as UNEXPECTED GAY, which is why I liked it in the first place.

What’s next? I can just imagine next year’s chart. Beige could take on several new identities altogether – I’m thinking PISSED UP TRAMPS FART or LIDL RABIES FOAM. We could revive blue as SUMPTUOUS HYPOTHERMIA; yellow could be TWENTY A DAY TEETH and my favourite shade of green will be called KERMIT IS A CLOSETED ALCOHOLIC.

Oh dear. It’s all too much for me. Looking at a rainbow will never be the same again. In fact, I think to lie down whilst I assimilate this new information. Either way, I don't think I can be arsed to decorate. It's too much confusing and stressful.

Until next time, take care people.

Lots of love,


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fasting on the 5:2 Plan...

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when they get round to making a movie of my life (because they really ought to) I think the person best suited to playing me would be Oprah Winfrey. Yes, we may not be of the same sex or race, but we have two things in common. Firstly, we’re both kind. She gives millions of dollars away and builds schools in impoverished nations. Similarly, I often buy the Big Issue and I always give way at junctions, allowing my fellow road users to get to their destinations a trifle quicker than if I’d just flipped them the bird and put my foot down. I’m also thinking of sponsoring an orangutan, which would be rather lovely wouldn’t it? See, me and Oprah… The scale of our generosity is practically the same, don’t you think? In addition to our unwavering altruism, we’re also identical in the weight department - ie. we both have waistlines that fluctuate at a similar rate to the tide. Honestly, it’s a pendulum that never fails to ricochet from one extreme to t’other. One minute, I’m on a health kick that is working so well that people are starting to wonder if I’m riddled and the next thing you know, I’ve merely looked at a battenberg and suddenly I’ve got a collection of sweaty chins, thick ankles and type two diabetes.

Over the years, I’ve flirted with most diets. The grapefruit diet didn’t work out for me on account of the fact that grapefruit tastes fucking awful. The cabbage soup diet didn’t work because I was unable to consume said soup without half a loaf of crusty bread. Slim Fast wasn’t quick enough. The Atkins diet troubled both ends: not only did it make me constipated but it made my breath smell rotten. Slimming World and WeightWatchers involved maths, which I am not good at. I used the MyFitnessPal app for a while, but then I’d conveniently forget to add in the Snickers Duo that I accidentally consumed. Along with the (four slices of hot, thickly buttered) toast. And the, erm, wine. I once thought about eating raw chicken, thinking that the ensuing food poisoning might help shift some flab, but knowing my luck I’d probably just drop dead.  

So anyway, colour me DELIGHTED when I found out about the 5:2 diet. You eat what you like for five days of the week and then for the other two, you basically pretend that you’re in a concentration camp as you limit yourself to 600 calories. Not only do you lose weight on this bad boy, but it also has other hidden benefits: according to the available information, intermittent fasting is good at inhibiting the growth of a hormone called IGF-1. No, I don’t know what that means, either. But apparently, this is a good thing. So hurrah. And also, fuck it.

So, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Or possibly not. Here’s what happened when I fasted yesterday.

0600: Dragged from lovely dream by Satanic werp-werp-werping of evil alarm clock. Sit on loo for sit-down wee with head held theatrically in hands while trying to remember said dream. Spectacularly fail to recall dream but clutch imaginary pearls nonetheless as I remember that today is starvation day. I’m also out of moist wipes. Not a good omen.

0615: Make coffee. Without milk. I’m saving all my calories for when I get home from work. All 600 of them. It tastes like an ashtray smells, if that makes sense. Still, this makes me feel slightly nauseous, which is a bonus as I don’t want to eat.

0616: That’s not altogether true. I could manage a McDonald’s breakfast. You know, if it was forced upon me.

0643: Make second cup of strong, black coffee. Four heaped spoonfuls, resulting in the end product resembling something in between treacle and tar. Every sip is a grimace-laden effort. Am slightly worried that drinking such a savage elixir will result in heart problems, sight loss or minor stroke. Do it anyway.

0701: I’m properly off my tits! I feel like throwing up but that’s okay because I also feel fantastic. I’ve got that much caffeine flowing through my veins that I start dancing like MC Hammer. You can’t touch this.

0704: Hurt self. Man down! Man down! All thanks to MC Hammer-related jigging about. Decide that MC Hammer is a total cunt. Glad he went bankrupt. Oooh, look at me. Fasting is making me bitter. This is going to be a fun day.

0725: Drive to work. Normally, I listen to LBC due to impending middle age and unrelenting desire to know what’s going off in the world (usually mass tragedy or wankers fucking things up, resulting in further mass tragedy). Today I listen to nothing except the empty rattle of my bleating belly. Hopefully, feeling sorry for self burns lots of calories, in which case, I’ll be a size zero by teatime and we can forget all about this ridiculous fasting lark.

0800: Open up Breakfast Club. Serve breakfast to forty children. Resentfully. Fortunately, one of them projectile-spews a bowl full of Cheerios all over the place. I’m suddenly back to feeling bilious myself. Hurrah!

0954: Rather than risk a bleed with another coffee, decide to have a cup of green tea. There are many benefits to green tea: its antioxidant properties, blah, blah, won’t get cancer, blah. No one tells you that it’s fucking foul. I manage half a cup. Decide that I hate the world.

1035: I still hate the world and everyone in it. Even Bob Geldof. He would probably sympathise with my plight, thinking about it. Feed the world, Bob? Feed me. Do it now.

1141: All I can think about is food. I want to cry. And then eat my tears. My delicious, salty tears.

1200: Do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that I’m on lunch hall duty so have to spend the next hour supervising four hundred children eating their school dinner. Today’s menu features one of my favourites: sausage and mash. The good news is that not only do the sausages smell slightly sinister, but they also look anaemic, tiny and slightly repulsive,- much like my ex-boyfriend’s unmentionables. My commitment to fasting has never been stronger. It’s like the weight is dropping off me.

1314: My lunch break is from 1300-1400. Because I cannot eat anything, I decide that I should go for a walk into Edgware. If you’re not familiar, Edgware is… How can I describe it? It’s a bit like civil war almost broke out in a shit hole but at the last minute everyone decided to make friends, open a Nandos, an all-you-can-eat Chinese and a few pound shops. I, meanwhile, flail around, all dramatic, as though I’ve got mental issues. Thing is, so do most people around me, so I blend in quite nicely.

1400: Arrive back at work. I am acutely aware that I have not consumed any calories since 1900 hours yesterday. That’s 19 hours without a significant morsel inside of me. I’m twitchy, itchy and that hungry that I could cut a bitch. Which bitch? Any bitch.

1401: My fingernails have never been so tempting. I’m pretty certain that there are zero calories in them. In fact, I find myself Googling this and it turns out - fact fans - that there are a mammoth two calories in each nail. That’s twenty calories in all, which might not seem much to you, but when you’ve only got six hundred to play with, it’s a significant amount. Too much. I will simply have to go without. Am filled with woe.

1406: Suddenly strikes me that I spent valuable life researching the calorific impact of eating own fingernails. Is this what has become of me? Might ring the Samaritans.

1508: It’s someone’s birthday and they bring me a piece of chocolate cake. Am suddenly paralysed with fear / longing / desperation. I sniff it. Three times. Then I hand it back. Mood is suddenly heightened by expert will-power that I have displayed. Or is that I have accidentally snorted some sugar from the cake? Consider knocking out fifty squats to burn off what I have inhaled but decide against it on account of the fact that my groin is still sore from MC Hammer dancing malarkey and also, I might die.

1700: I am home. Fall through the door feeling like I have just finished the London Marathon, except there is no one there to furnish me with a foil cape or a medal. Or a 600 calorie meal.

1730: I want pizza. I want a hot sausage roll. I want McDonalds. I want a kebab. I want another hot sausage roll. I want a Sunday dinner, even though it’s not Sunday. In fact, I want all the food. All of it. And some wine and beer. And a pudding.

1731: This is tonight’s menu: six boiled eggs, a whole cucumber and a side order of despair. Have you ever tried to eat six boiled eggs in one sitting? The first two are easy. Number three is a bit claggy. Four is a challenge, perhaps like scaling Everest or solving a Rubix cube. Five makes you sweat and number six gives you rectal itching just looking at it. Also, cucumbers are shit.

1801: Decide to give up for the day. Retire to bed brimming with resentment. Cry-wank into pillow.

1804: Pass out with sheer exhaustion.

0600: Wake up with the lingering taste of egg humming in my mouth. Hear my mother’s voice ringing in my ears, telling me that eggs are, ‘very binding’ - ie. I won’t be shitting anytime soon.

0602: Run - yes run! - to bathroom. Sit on loo and fail in attempt to drop the kids off at the pool, as it were. Mother knows best. Give self a hernia in the process.

0605: Remove every last shred of clothes. Stand on scales and breathe out. Weigh self.

0606: Decide that the 5:2 might not be the diet for me. Yes, I’ve lost three pounds but on reflection, I decide that it’s not worth it. Consider (for the millionth time) doing my own Salmonella Plan, facilitated by licking raw chicken. At least that way, the issues brought on by the BINDING nature of over consumption of eggs will be remedied.


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