Thursday, April 27, 2006

Okay. It does get better.

I am not a total loser in the dating stakes.


We've arranged to meet tomorrow afternoon.

I am going back to Langley, the armpit of North America and Hicksville, where I grew up. And as he (The Actor, people!) will be in the area visiting his parents who live not too far from my parents, he has offered to drive me back.


The Actor

Things with the Actor have gotten off to a shaky start. Again.

I met him in a crowded Vancouver pub last July, still jetlagged and disorientated and more than a little worse than wear after weaving our girlie chain from pub to pub along Granville Street and sweetalking tough looking bouncers into free entry and free rounds of sweet shots.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry." Flashing my best cheeky grin, the Englishness of my accent enhanced through alcohol. I've fallen into his arms. Literally.

And then the small talk. His friends leave him. He is enchanted; he says, letting them file past him. He is broad. Heavy arms tattoed through a black shirt. There is something, just something that happens in that moment and I leave him, my email address scribbled on a parking ticket.

The email the following day is direct. To the point. Vancouver men are not afraid to go after what they want and not afraid to let you know that they are interested.
I procrastinate, I have little time in Vancouver and am not interested in pursuing a holiday romance, although deep down I know that I will be coming back very soon.
He pushes. Lays it down in black and white.

"Meet me for a drink, I'll be at a gig tonight in little Japan. I'll put your name on the door.
I'll see you there."

There is something in that directness. I am intrigued. So I google. As you do. And I go out for dinner with a friend, meet some other friends for a drink. And in a split second, I decide to go. Rushing back to the Gorgeous's to change into a black dress, pulling on sexy wedges and taming sunsoaked hair. The zipper breaks, and there is nothing else to wear.

Should I still go? Looking at my dress in disbelief.

Absolutely, the Gorgeous says, taking needle and thread and sewing me into the dress.

"This way," she looks at me with a cheeky grin, "you'll have to behave."

And out the door, an hour and a half late.

He is waiting outside, sees me step from the cab and takes my hand. Is charming and doting, a gentleman in a Harley Davidson t-shirt and baseball cap. Holds my hand. There is something in all that, I feel safe. The night rolls into morning, and I leave the next day for a few days away with my family.
When I get back, he will already be on his way north for a film. I won't see him again.

And I get back to London, try to fall back into a routine. There are a few phone calls and the occassional email. He stops acting, writes full time. The emails and the phone calls stop. Life is like that.

So last week an email. I am back, would he like to meet up.
Yes. He says. Yes. Yes. Yes.

But somehow we can't seem to connect, phones going dead, Rosie, the cat vomitting mid conversation, a bee that needed to be released from his flat. And when we did arrange drinks last night I had to cancel and new dates can't seem to be confirmed.

So, I say with a sigh. Watch this space. I'm heading out into the big bad old world of actually dating.

Which will be a welcome and entertaining change from my current routine, snogging cute boys and then promptly forgetting their names.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

High heels and low lives

Vancouver, it seems, is not a city for high heels.

All day, women pass me by in practical flat shoes, trainers, low heels.

The Gorgeous looks at my new shoes with a mixture of distrust. To me, with a chunkier than average heel and a Vivienne Westwood inspired stub toe, these are *practical shoes*.

"Maybe you should get some runners..." she suggests, as I lay, my feet battered and sore, rubbing toes and carefully checking blisters.

I am not prepared for this, this west coast style where I am sent to interviews in high rises with ocean views, offices which are housed in log cabins nestled alongside beautiful coves, smiles and sunshine. I sat in a lounge this afternoon, 12 floors up waiting for my interview and pinching myself that the view of mountains and ocean was real, that this was my life now. Sat on the patio of the Kerrisdale sailing club last night, a glass of local Pinot Gris in my hand, watching windsailors framed against the sunset.

I have no regrets, and I have no expectations. This is all so new to me. London, where I could escape unseen, now seems a million miles away.

But I will not lie, it has been an uneasy unfurling. I had a panic attack in a busy street Saturday, overwhelmed by unfamiliar accents and wide open sidewalks. I feel like I am in a parrallel universe half the time, all this should be so familiar but is not, my hometown seems to have developed. 9 years has gone by for all of us, in buildings and development, seperations, deaths and unfulfilled dreams.

But it is a new start for all of us, I am finding ways of fitting in, of dodging the crazies who take my buses

"Oh dear, you are from England...?" The lady sat beside me, with the knotted hair and cat hair laying like accusation on her sleeve; pronounces it with a slight drawl, In-gu-lannnd...

"Do you, you know, live near the king?"

And I have to stifle a giggle. I am finding my own way. The Actor has called, wondering when he can see me. (Tomorrow - I am giddy!)

My employment agency has kept me busy with 5 interviews in 3 days, and I have already been called back in for a 2nd interview.
Things move quickly here.

You just need to be wearing the right shoes.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Merda! Los capitàs ebris!

I wake with a start and look at my mobile, my head still spinning. It is 7:31 am, and our flight left 6 minutes ago.

"G..." I look over at The Gorgeous who is sleeping, "G... we've missed our flight."

The Gorgeous bolts upright.
"But I'm ready to go!"

And that she is, she is still fully dressed from the night before. Right down to coat and boots.

I stumble to the washroom, red eyed and still very much inebriated.

We had been sensible, had opted for late night glasses of wine near Sta María del Mar each evening, avoiding the crowded bars and clubs. In truth we were knackered, the last week had been frantic, moving out of my house, leaving the job I adored and spending a non-stop 3 days in Wales seeing relatives. There had been no time to take it easy.
We had headed to Barcelona to relax, to shop, to reconnect and take it slow.
Had scoured the markets for fresh food at La Boquería, wandered the street of El Born taking in little boutiques, wide eyed at the beauty of the Catalans. Had walked the steps to the top of Sagrada Familia and wandered around Parc Guell behind tourists and locals until our feet were aching and we headed to the marina for jugs of sangria and tapas.

And then, our last night.

Over Rioja and paella, we attracted the attention of the two men beside us.
Captains, apparently, from landlocked Hamburg. In town for the Regatta.

I was the voice of reason. One drink, I said, we'll have one or two drinks and then head back. We have an early flight tomorrow.

Too many years had passed since the Gorgeous and I had drunk together, I forgot to remind her. There is no grey area and there is no turning back.

One drink turned into two, and so we sat idly chatting and drinking rum on the deck of their yacht. Two drinks became three and there it was.

"Let's go over there!" I say, pointing in the direction of the neon lights of Port Olímpic.

It goes from responsible drinking to convenient forgetfulness of the 1am curfew I had placed on The Gorgeous and I. Homemade rum, apparently, was my trigger this time.

And so we went, from bar to bar, from drink to drink. There is a vague recollection of inappropriate snogging of a gorgeous Catalan boy and then more rum on the yacht before I looked at the time and the clock read 4:17 am. We have to be on our way to the airport in an hour.

After this, it all gets a bit fuzzy. I remember walking up the long flights of stairs to our flat, thinking I may rest my weary head for 15 minutes and setting my alarm to wake up. The Gorgeous lays down, ready to walk out the door in half an hour.

And then.

"G..." I say, fuzzy headed. "G... we've missed our flight."

And so we did. But through some divine intervention, we managed to get the only 2 seats left on a flight that day back to London, slowly starting to sober up on the flight home.

I am never flying with a hangover again.

And I am never drinking rum with sailors ever again...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Skeletons in the closet

I've been trying to write about an event that happened last September for several months now. But this sort of thing doesn't happen, not really. It's something you only read about in the local papers. Not something that you ever expect to happen to you.
Then today perusing the internet and trying to catch up on what's happening, I came across this article.

And I thought finding our upstairs lodger dead after 3 weeks was a shocker...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In transit

Apologies for the lack of blog posts.

It has been a turbulent and transient few weeks, details about missing lugggae and planes in Barcelona, drinking home made rum with the captains of the Northern Lights and the trials of living out of a suitcase to follow very soon...

I'm boarding a plane tomorrow at 12:25 back to Vancouver, with 3 suitcases and the Gorgeous in tow.

I'll be posting soonish, now I'm a homeless and penniless student...