Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sam's place

Even though I lived there too we always referred to it as Sam's house, or Sam's flat or Sam's place. 

EVERYBODY knew Sam's place. 

I've forgotten how many years he has lived there, his mum owns the place, amongst others.  I eventually moved out after two and half years but that makes for another story.  

The row of flats are set back from the St Paul's Road between Highbury/ Islington and Angel underground stations.  You walk up the steps to where the shared balcony with the adjoining flats is and then through the wooden gate onto our private courtyard.  

To the left of the front door are two recycling boxes overflowing with wine and beer bottles of every coloured glass and branded labels as you can possibly find within a five mile radius.  To the normal household this would appear to be the consumables of at least a year's worth of booze but at this flat we manage to fill the recycling boxes every couple of weeks, and in less than that if someone gets really excited.  

So on this particular day I let myself in with my key, the black iron gate that protects the front door is unlocked so I know that somebody is home.  Again in the normal household, where all the residents have full time jobs you would expect everyone to be at work at this time of day. 

But not at this flat. 

I go in and I'm met with the usual smell of alcohol and that recycled aroma of alcohol that has travelled through the stomach and breathed back out again that flows through every room.  It's pretty quiet which is unusual. 

The newly fitted kitchen with its black granite surfaces is to the right, before the stairs, and as usual it is cold and messy with unwashed dishes, empty beer cans, over flowing ashtrays and various fancy dress garments and old ladies hats.  

The top layer of the chicken outfit is half draped over a kitchen chair but mostly hanging onto and touching the dusty floor.  The familiar purple wizard’s cape has been screwed up and discarded in one corner as if flung off by its previous wearer and forgotten about.  I also notice that my orange plastic comedy sized sunglasses that came from a festival in Amsterdam have been taken from my bedroom and have joined the clutter in the kitchen, oh and there's a pink straw hat, the kind that you might see on Mrs Marple.  I have no idea where that has come from.  

I go up the stairs already imagining what chaos is going to greet me. All the main rooms are there, the sitting room, the bathroom and three bedrooms.  The overall décor of the flat is modern, clean off-white coloured walls, brown leather furnishings and unfortunately an unforgiving beige plush carpet inevitably stained with the red and brown and whatever coloured alcohol has been spilled on it. 

The place is dead quiet which, like I said is unusual because we never sleep at the same time here....
..…the same as we don't all seem to go to work every day as we should either. 

Especially Sam who is also fondly known to his friends as 'Lord Faffington' and is often known to be ''working from home''.  Yes working from home in inverted commas indeed.  I pass the sitting room, where most of the hedonism of this little London flat takes place and without looking I already know it is in the same state of disarray as the kitchen with the addition of cds everywhere, cd cases covered in the familiar white dust and rolled up notes or pieces of magazines.  People also like to flamboyantly jump around and throw things in the sitting room so the sofa cushions are probably strewn about the place and somebody I’ve never met before will be asleep on the floor.

I already know this and I haven't even been in there yet. 

I head for the bathroom first which is located at the furthest point from the landing and is on the left to Sam's bedroom.  Now when I first moved into this flat Sam hid his promiscuity from me, probably out of politeness, or maybe even in an attempt to hide his intentions!  Either way a man's promiscuity isn't something one can keep hidden for very long!  That would be like asking a child to pretend they don't like sweets and to then continue pretending to dislike sweets even when in the presence of brand new sweets!  

So I'm heading for the bathroom but the door is locked, indicating that it is in use, when a girl I have never seen before comes out of Sam's bedroom, wearing very little and a guitar. This isn't all that unusual and my other flatmate and I are completely used to complete strangers coming out of rooms in the flat, but Sam now has a girlfriend...a girl he really likes, loves even, and whom he has been with for a little while now.  

'oh hello' she says, 'I'm just leaving'... ooh ok.  

So this doesn’t look good, bearing in mind we all know Sam’s missus.  Oh but of course…on closer inspection the girlfriend is there also, all tucked up under the duvet all naked with a sheepish look on her face… looks like my beloved flatty and his girlfriend have found themselves a new hobby!  

A hobby worth bunking work for!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My mum

My mum used to be such an angry woman, with dark moods and a frustrated temper.  She always had an eighties perm and a frown on her face.

Mum seemed to be in the kitchen for what seemed to be my entire childhood, making a mess and a fuss over the simplest of meals.  I remember the smell of the ironing and the huge pile of dad's shirts and our school uniforms.  She would set herself up in the corner of the kitchen, the iron hissing as she stared into the surrendered fabric.

When she was sitting in 'her' chair watching TV I knew I had to be quiet.  If I spoke to her she told me to sshhhhh!  I told my friends at school that my mum didn't like me. I could never understand their reaction when they said that of course she liked me.  'No, she really doesn't' I would reply, confused that they would say that when they hadn’t even met her.

My mum never attempted anything more daring than a tweed skirt and British Home Stores' blouse.  I resented her for not being as cool as the other mums.  I remember her picking me up from school once with an even tighter perm and I cried all the way home.

I don't remember much more of my childhood but that’s just because nothing happened.  We stayed indoors.  My mum being quiet and furious and me bossing my brother around; blackmailing him to do as I’d say otherwise I'd tell mum that he called 'The Shoe People' The Shit People.  I had a whole arsenal of blackmail stories – and the power was all mine.

My dad would come home wobbly and loud telling us stories about talking dogs.  My brother and I would giggle childishly and ask for more stories, relieved that he was home.  My mum scowled and told us off for encouraging him.

As I got older my mum grew smaller and plumper.  She changed.  She started to smile.  We sometimes mucked around together making cartoon voices and taking the piss out of my dads friends or people on the telly.  The older I got the more relaxed we were with each other.  I remember thinking that she liked me. 

When I left home I would phone her for no reason.  She was excited to hear about what I was getting up to.  I would tell her about drunken nights out and people I’d met - she would giggle like a teenager.  When I went to uni my mum proudly announced that I didn’t need a man in my life.  She decided that I probably wouldn’t have kids and instead I would be a ‘career girl’.  

We speak less now but that’s just life.  I don’t recognise the woman I grew up with.  She stopped me from getting to know her.  Eventually she told me the reason why.  I told her that I knew.  I had made a point of working it out for myself.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Mood swings

I've always been a very up and down person because my moods tend to be as follows:

One minute I'm:  Eeeekk hooooraryy yayayayaya wooooooowooooooo hubba hubba

43 seconds later it's like:  Boooooooooooooo hmffff I hate myself, the world is shit, yuck, rubbish


And then:  Hehehheheehehehehehe who wants to get drunk and stuff, yippeeeeee

Later: Naked on the bathroom floor: "whats going on?"

Sometimes I'll worry extensively about why I'm not as normal as the normal people but then other times I think its actually quite nice to be a little bit weird.  And I am a little bit weird.  Although I can very effieciently and effectively cover it up if I need to - like say, on a job interview or in front of friend's relatives, but get to know me really well and all this random stuff pours out of me like a broken lava lamp on a particularly sticky day.  So I've got a crazy head and I try to keep it all to myself.  Sometimes its fun to share it someone else but sometimes its the wrong kind of stuff to share and that's when I bottle it up.  And when alcohol goes in then I'm no longer in control of what comes out or in front of whom.  That's why I'm best keeping drinking to a minimum.  But its still fun to do on occasion so I haven't completely given it up.  Just warning you.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Hangovers and self loathing

It's Monday morning and I can't believe how horrific I feel after accidentally getting drunk on Saturday.  My boyfriend and I popped out very briefly to do a spot of shopping only to be ambushed by a violent blast of hail stones. We popped into the nearest Slug and Lettuce for cover....where they happened to be promoting 2-4-1 cocktails.  I even tweeted how shopping had turned into cocktails all jokingly and happy.  Over the years I've ticked various different alcohols off my list as ones to never drink again... Anyway Prosecco is still very much on my list as a go-to.  Kir Royale after Kir Royale and many more Kir Royales later... I'm completely obliterated and have stupidly forgotten to eat anything.  

I progressively become more wonky and more shouty.  I get more badly behaved, which can be either really unpleasant or really entertaining, and no doubt anyone who sees drunk Kat will assume that I actually enjoy acting like such a div in public.  I suffer hugely in many ways when I drink.

The hangovers that I never used to experience have made themselves present with a vengeance, making up for those early years of self abuse, doubling and tripling the pain.  For a good couple of days after the binge I become an angry, tearful, self-loathing, involuntarily bulimic, brain tumour pain, bipolar sufferer who can't have the lights switched on or get out of bed, except to violently throw up.  

I also have to face the fear.  

Misery and memories I'd rather forget, a spiral of guilt, regret and embarrassment whirs around inside me. My vision is blurry and I'm sweaty and unhappy.  The flat is a mess and I've not only wasted my weekend but the first part of the week too.  The gloomy depressed me, who is never that far away at any given time, has been fed ammunition and is unleashed yet again.  I make a dramatic phone call to my boyfriend telling him that I am ready to die so I can't feel the pain or humiliation any more.  He turns up with a rescue package of food, fruit smoothie, pain killers, love and foot squeezing and helps to talk me down from my tower of hate and self-loathing.

I've tried very hard to become a member of the adult society where I am in control of myself, my actions and what I chose to consume but occasionally I get caught out and the hell-raiser inside of me raises her boisterous head once and again, pulling the rug from under my feet before I even realise what's happening.

I have gone from a full time drinker to a part time drinker to hardly drinks at all. Sometimes it is a bit fun to get drunk, however its the tipsy bit before that I find buzzy and exciting.  But I can rarely end there.

Why is it so easy and delicious to get drunk?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Valentines Day

Why I love my boyfriend:

  • He saves me from spiders and other monsters
  • He puts up with my shit
  • He's all nice and handsome
  • He's tall which is good for getting up-high stuff
  • His hair is the same colour as a Golden Retriever puppy
  • We make up our own jokes, even though they make no sense to anyone else
  • He drags me around the flat on the bath mat when I'm drunk and incapable of walking or supporting myself
  • He gives me the best advice, better than anyone else I've ever met on the planet
  • He gave all his Kinder egg cars to Matilda (apart from the Porshe because he really likes that one)
  • He looks after me when I'm sick
  • He protects me when I'm being attacked by sadness
  • He squeezes my feet
  • He has super-hero survivor instincts
  • He instinctively knows how to do all DIY
  • He cares about the squirrels
  • He still likes me even when I hate myself
  • He loves me all the time - and I've never met anybody who loved me unconditionally before

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Project sausage dog puppy

My niece gave me a drinks coaster with an animated sausage dog on it for Christmas.  For my birthday a few months before she gave me a mug with the the words 'Giddy Aunt'... this tells me a few things.  She knows I like sausage dogs, she realises that I'm giddy, she knows I like drinking - hence the mug and the coaster and I'm talking coffee and other drinking. 

Now I don't think that she bought them herself because she has just turned two and of course two year olds don't have their own money, they are also pretty small to reach the shop counter and pay for the items anyway.  Plus I have a sneaky suspicion the writing on the gifts was my brother's hand writing. Although I do like to think that she is pretty clued up for a two year old. 

This wouldn't be the first time I've been bought a gift featuring a dachshund...and now FINALLY I am getting closer to getting my first real miniature sausage dog.  Next month I move into a new, pet friendly flat and this is when project puppy really begins.  It's about flippin' time.  I've grown up with dogs as the household pet and have always wanted my own.  Weiner dogs being my favourite, ever since Victor Meldrew accidentally picked one up and 'answered' it instead of picking up his portable house phone, shown here:

I'm exciting about the little adventure we will have together.  So this news has really made my year - that and the fact my mum sent me an email the other day with an 'OMG' in it.  Bless her!

Friday, 31 January 2014


Boy is it easy to waste time or what.  I've spent the morning flitting from one tab on my laptop to another interjecting now and again with little bouts of walking around the flat.  Pointless, get-up-and-walk-around-for-no-reason, before I sit down and get on with wasting more time.  Funny how I get those little spurts of energy to get up and do no good thing, instead of sitting and getting on with my work. Needless to say I haven't done any work yet!

I spend so much time wasting time that when everyone else is on their way home I begin to get some actual what-I-get-paid-to-do work done!  I'm finding myself increasingly easily distracted either with the squirrels that have been trained to come to the back window for feeding or by reading a whole bunch of news articles and other blogs because I'm telling myself this helps with my 'creativity'.  I guess watching Real Housewives of Orange County must be helping my creativity as well...ahem *cough *cough.  I also find myself going over to check what's in the fridge, even though I definitely know what's over there in that there fridge because I had a look fifteen minutes ago.  Suddenly I feel the need to start cleaning the grout in the bathroom tiles and taking the recycling out to the bins.  Hmm and I bet if my actual job was to clean the grout in the bathroom tiles or take out the flippin' recycling, guess what I'd be doing instead?  Yes, getting on with the websitey stuff I'm supposed to be doing in the first place.

At least the weekend is within licking distance :)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Why aren't you on Facebook?

My boyfriend's mum is obsessed with Facebook. She is constantly checking her iPhone for updates and posting pictures of her cats in various different sitting positions around the house.  Like anyone with an obsession she doesn't understand why everyone else doesn't feel exactly the same way she does. 

She also loves cats, which I do not. 

So anyway, my boyfriend's mum found out that I do in fact have a Facebook account.  

It is a private account which I set up to keep in touch with a couple of old friends I hardly ever see and to connect with my fellow drama students to discuss coursework and the like.  Also, I signed up in case I would ever have to use Facebook in an employment situation (I don't want to look stupid at work do I)

Bf's mum didn't find me by looking me up, she found out because she heard me telling her daughter, my friend, about it. And, as is her habit to repeatedly ask the same questions as if it was the first time ever mentioned, she asked me TWICE that evening 'so did you say you ARE on Facebook?'  You see for a long time I wasn't and she knew that.  And she would ask (repeatedly) 'oooh why aren't you on Facebook Kat?' desperately wanting to be Facebook friends with everyone she knows.  So when I did eventually get on Facebook, for the reasons mentioned above, I continued to let her believe I still was NOT on Facebook.  Even when we changed the subject that evening I could tell from her face that she was still thinking about the Facebook conversation.

After a family debate about whether rabbits should be allowed to drive cars or something similar bf's mum couldn't hold it in any longer and finally said to me 'so are you saying that I can't find you if I looked you up?' 

I replied 'No. It's a private account, no one can find me and I hardly ever use it so there would be no point anyway' and that's the story I'm sticking with.  And no doubt about it she will ask me again.

I feel the two of us speak separate alien languages. Trying to explain our points to one another and trying to listen and understand but without the message really getting through, ending with both parties just grinning at each other thinking 'what the fucks wrong with you?'

My original feelings about not joining Facebook was the knowing that I'd be looking up people, who otherwise should be banished from my life, at four in the morning after a few too many cocktails.  I'm not saying everyone on FB does this (they do!) I just know that I definitely would.  The other reason is that the people who should otherwise be banished from my life could do the exact same thing to me. I have already experienced this with such people contacting my brother and close friends via FB asking for my number and so forth etc.

There's no need to keep asking me why I don't use Facebook (or do I like cats yet.)  People are allowed to be different to one another and have their own preferences - otherwise what would be the point of living.  

Some people, like bf's mum, think that if they keep on about something then the other person will eventually crack and give in just to keep them quiet about it.  

But I'm the opposite.  The more someone gets on at me about something I don't want to do the more I dig my heels in.  I don't just give in and say 'oh go on then' to shut you up.  I will keep saying no until you get bored of asking.

So I have concluded to block bf's mum before she even tries to find me on Facebook.  

Thanks for listening x

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Giving up smoking

In the future people will say 'I remember smoking'... it'll be one of those passing phrases like 'I remember floppy discs'. Smoking will become an old fashioned, passée activity. A dying trend and not in the cool retro sense like victory rolls or knitting. The smell will be associated with 'old people' the same way some might say moth balls or lavender is. Kids will associate smoking with something their grandparents do and for that very reason will be a reason to not do it. 

I remember feeling outraged when the smoking ban was announced in the UK. This felt like a personal attack on me and my choice of bars and clubs I frequently visited. Having grown in a society where smoking was perfectly acceptable, and extremely common amongst everyone I knew, the thought of not being allowed to smoke indoors was like being told we were not allowed to talk indoors. Endless drunken debates with my friends (and anyone who I would make listen to me) ensued as to why should we stop smoking in public places. As much as I talked about it I was still in some kind of denial about it and believed that something would happen to turn it around again - a bit like the disbelief that Michael Jackson would perform 100 concerts but not knowing why it wouldn't happen, and then he died. 

There was many a debate within my social group. I was head speaker. My opinion was that it would be as fair to introduce a law which meant everyone must smoke - then there is no reason to ban it due to poor passive smokers working in bars and restaurants, who incidentally, had CHOSEN to work there in the first place! And why stop there, smoking could even be taught in schools so everyone knew what to do. That seemed just as fair as introducing a ban. So fast forward a few years and ask my ex-smoking self about the smoking ban! 

The smoking ban is one of the best legislation ever passed in this country. I gave up smoking nearly two years ago. I always knew that I wanted to give up before my thirty fifth birthday for two main reasons. One, I didn't want to develop the smoking lines that my mum had - even though she had stopped smoking about ten years before they appeared, and two, I was always told that the contraceptive pill I was taking couldn't be prescribed to a smoker thirty five or over due to possible links to heart disease. It seemed such a long time since I was given this information but wow how that land mark birthday soon came around! It is actually coincidence that I gave up just before that age. My boyfriend had given up and I was getting tired of the social setting I was in and everything associated with it. I made the decision to stop, realising I wasn't enjoying it anymore, and that was pretty much that, maybe the odd puff here and there when I was drinking in the those first few months but I was soon completely free. 

And what a turn around. 

To even see someone smoking brings up a nauseous feeling in my gut which then travels up to land in my throat. I can feel my throat tightening and I experience flash backs to the dry flaky lips and dehydrated face after a night of heavy smoking. The inside of my head felt dehydrated. Even smoking without drinking could easily give me a hangover the following day. 

And don't talk to me about the smell. Urgh! My nostril hairs are screaming in agony just writing about it! The thick, strong odour of poisonous fumes that surge up the nose and attack my senses. I swear it didn't smell like that when I was a smoker. It's become an odorous cocktail of chemical, manure and hot tarmac. It is so thick and engulfing the smell and the fumes compare to nothing else - perhaps maybe a nuclear plant blowing up. I never could've predicted I would feel like this once I had given up - if I didn't know better I would think that someone had used hypnosis using all those nasty associations to replace any craving I might have ever had. 

There are no more phlegmy coughs or smelly hair or stained fingers. Air is fresh and it is a pleasure to breath it. If I'm stuck behind a smoker as I'm walking somewhere my natural reaction is to cover my mouth and nose and quickly over take them. The sickness I am feeling in my stomach as I write this speaks for itself.  

Somebody gave me an electronic cigarette in those early days but I soon weaned myself off of that.  It was the taste and the drying of the throat which put me off...and it wasn't even as strong as a real cigarette so it just made sense to completely quit.  

Haha, I win; smoking, you lose!  Now I will never look back. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Why can't my subconscious tap into the happy the same way it can tap into the sad

I've had loads of great experiences and had LOTS of fun over the years so why, sometimes, is it easier to feel sad for no reason than it is to be happy for no reason?

I remember feeling so so utterly sad that to move from the sofa required so much effort I felt I should make a phone call to get some help.  Heavy pushing down on me, and so I just stay there. Why doesn't my subconscious tap into the happy as quickly as it does the sad?  Lying on the sofa unable to even move my head.  Not wanting to eat but knowing that not eating is making me weaker.  I need to fight being weak if I'm even going to begin to feel un-sad.  

There is a perfume on my jumper that I had sprayed the other day.  But you know how everything smells different when you're sad. This day it has a different meaning.  This day it is a left over residue of the other day.  The other day I was dressing and readying myself to go out - to leave the house.  It seems like such a long time ago in comparison.  If only I could make it over the kitchen to make some food, that would be a start in my recovery.  If I eat something and pretend I'm ok will that bring on the happy.  Can I disguise it and dress it up - somehow trick myself that everything is ok?

I try and will myself out of my pit of sadness but I just lie on the sofa hating everything too much to get up.  Going over to the kitchen is still too much effort no matter how much I tell myself it will help me get better - the first steps in curing my bout of the sads.  

Going outside is completely off limits - the mere mention of it is crazy talk.  There is no reason known to man why on earth I should ever have to leave this house.  Or this sofa for that matter. I will live my life right here marooned in the sitting room.  Oh I do have driving lesson though - I can't really do that in the living room can I.  Hmm I might have to buy some food at some point.  No I don't need any of it.  I'll stay here and wallow in shame and self pity - much better than leaving the house to attempt to live.  So I'll just stay here and cry. 

Hopeless little me in this big wide world.