Monday, July 31, 2006

Coming Soon!

Sadly I missed reading this post before I boarded what was supposed to be a train but wasn't and headed off to meet the divinely divine Miss Devylish on Friday because work has been beyond busy.

But as a taster, did we have fun? Oh indeed. Indeed we did.

But you'll all have to wait as work is not playing fair and I have little time to scribe today, so sit tight. There are adventures galore!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

All I ever needed to know before I started to date...

A Devyl to set the record straight.

A man to explain why men need to have a little mongrel.

And dating etiquette so I can see where I'm going wrong...

...I especially like the rule about not drinking on a date, I should note that down somewhere.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


4 months of sofa living have taken their toll.

I am exhausted.

Add to that the rollercoaster of adapting to a new lifestyle, understanding Canadian dating mores, trying to find a new job and ending up over my head in an office of bankers. Splash in some long hours, the confusion surrounding my still missing furniture, missing London like a lover, finally finding myself on the winning side of a long battle with a niggling health concern and learning how to find my niche within a city that has moved on. Top it off with the odd identity crisis, one or two bad dates, a few shaky moments of ohdeargodwhathaveidone and you've got it all in a fantastically mixed cocktail.

So I'm packing my bags and escaping to another beautiful city on the weekend to cause as much havoc as two little misses can do.

And which I hope will suitably make up for the dreadful writer's block beseiging me at present.

And so my gifts are as below, a piece that inspired a well thought out and sensitively debated conversation. Following on a carefully philosophised point, I did actually utter *It makes me so grateful that I never, ever have to be... a mail order bride...* (via)

I think the Nurse knew what I meant. But it didn't stop her from laughing her head off at me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Am I sad... thinking this is sexy?

Because I do. I really, really do.

*gazes in awe and wonderment...*

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Life Lessons

There comes a time when you look across and see a friend, who has seen you through the worst, who has held your hand, helped you to your feet and kept you there, has pulled you out of scrapes, stood beside you when you fought your demons, whose laughter made you smile and safe, who's turned to you at breaking point, held onto you, and held you back. Who has turned and pushed and pulled at you with words and wine fuelled rants, red with jealousy, bitterness and unhappiness lashed out with criticism and wry remarks, hit you so hard and so often the words fly off you; that you need to remind yourself that it never was you.

That all this hate and all this anger was always there, a virus riding bareback.

Once, sitting beside a friend, felt that rage barely in check, and knew it wasn't mine, wasn't for me.

And so I drew back, slipped away little by little and distanced myself. Gradually cut ties and in doing so, turned encouragement to anger and disdain, became accountable for all that she held dear but could no longer hold.

Maybe I should have been more cautious, more truthful. Maybe I was intimidated by her lashing tongue, cruelty on the back of venomous words. I thought it may be better to walk away, little by little, instead of letting go in a big finale.

I think the greatest lesson I ever learned was to never take it personally, we are drawn to those we need to benefit from and in these friends throughout the years, I learned more than how to pick myself up again but also to know when to say goodbye, when to know it wasn't me and when to stop taking responsibility for anyone's actions but my own.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Do I have to put the hat on too...?

"...Three things..." I start, cradling the phone; my voice husky from far too little sleep and far too much alcohol. The Nurse, reticent on the other end.

"One. You tried to snog me on the dancefloor..."

I am scared the Nurse has stopped breathing.

"Two. I have photographic evidence of you dressed in a PVC policewoman's outfit..."

I know she's alive as she has issued a little whimper.

"Three. I have lost Scott..."

I hang up. The bed is spinning in the room, and despite me holding on for dear life, I cannot stop it.

It had started innocently enough. A few drinks with the Nurse, and then a text from Scott saying he would be in town. A brand new credit card and the company of 2 of my dearest friends later, things, as they do... well, all went a little downhill.

It started at Bimini's, followed us through to champagne cocktails at Lucy Mae Brown, a few cheeky drinks at Morrisey, and then... sadly, all fell apart at Doolin's.

"Whatever you do," the Nurse says, "no shots..."


A nod to the waitress and the table of young men beside us later, and the Nurse had forgiven me. Wrapped as she was around a delightful young man whose name, I believe, escapes us all.

A dare later, we were stood in Granville Street's finest. I said..." just pick it up, hold it against you and ask the complete stranger what he thinks...".

When I turned around, The Nurse was gone. A bump, a mutter and a crowd of young men pointing me in the right direction.

"Do I have to put the hat on, too...?"

Stepping out of the dressing room, resplendent in PVC.

"...or are the glasses enough?"

I am speechless. And so I do what only a best friend would do.

I commit that memory to technology. Drag her by the hand and take her back to the bar.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Links? Help!

So, okay.

Although I am going away this weekend, to a lovely wedding in Victoria where there is a high likelihood that I will get quite tipsy and gay and perhaps snog someone inappropriate and fall off the ferry due to a champagne induced hangover Sunday afternoon as the wedding is 2 days long, I need to update my links which I lost last week in a bizarre saving without looking accident.

What I'd like to do is add some new and lovely blogs to my already fabulous blogroll, which is where you come in.

So go on, drop a comment and make me a recommendation... what's the best blog you've been reading lately? Old or new favourites? Unsung heroes? Or just complete nutters?

In the meantime, the producers are still trying to make up their mind about whether to let me have this job or not and in the meantime, I am turning manic.

Also, this is very very cool (especially if you're a Star Wars geek like me!)

This is the most disturbing scene I have ever lain eyes on. And I have seen some not very nice things, I used to live with 3 boys (and briefly, with a dead guy)

And the Hoff. Nothing quite like a little Hoff. Seems as if he's getting into some trouble. I mean, how do you cut yourself, in the men's room, on a chandelier?!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


When I first moved back, and was looking for a job and needed to clear my head, I'd walk down to Granville Island , sit on a bench looking over at English Bay, the marina and Burrard Street Bridge.

I have almost always lived a bridge away from the City, in London I had my favourite bridges as I also did in Paris. There was always something, as you crossed; as if you were off on a new adventure into the city, or going home at the end of one.

I have always loved this particular bridge, when I was looking to move out 10 years ago the apartment I wanted is in the building in the very right hand corner on Beach Avenue.

I ended up in Glasgow, and the rest as we say is a drunken old mess.

Also another of my favourite spots has become Jericho Beach, the Galley has one of the best patios in Vancouver (and actually serve some of the best burgers as well...)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

That job I want?

The one I want so badly it hurts? That job, which is housed in its own little village, with a basketball court and a full size football pitch, and a cinema and restaurants and coffee bars galore and the coolest ever job in the whole wide world? The one I have had 3 interviews for and haven't blogged about it because I didn't want to jinx it?

Well. Today I get a phone call. My man at the company leaves a message. He is my man inside. Saying he wants to update me on the situation as they've finally had a chance to talk.

And then. Then I can't get a hold of him for the rest of the day. Sneakily wandering away with my mobile tucked up my sleeve. How many messages can I leave before I'm a stalker? I leave 2.

Pace. Feel sick. And hot. And bothered. Pace some more. Try calling again.


Try not to be distracted. Stare at my phone. Ring, dammit. Riiiiiiing.

And finally. My man calls.

Apologises. And then leaves me dangling... saying "It all went really positive, there are some processes that need to finalised tomorrow so I'm hoping I'll be able to call you at some point tomorrow with more news..."

What, pray tell, does that mean?!

Dear god.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Drink and dial

The Nurse reminds me of a time, when we were just legal and our Monday nights involved being down at the China Beach knocking back $1 glasses of green beer or Tuesday nights at Luvaffair or Thursday nights at Kits Pub or any other night from Monday to Sunday and we would wake the next day, stare at the wreckage that was my untidy bedroom, and there in the middle, amidst CD's and discarded outfits, it would sit. With a clear path around it, like a beacon.

My telephone.

And we would look at each other in horror, wondering which current or potential beau had received the phone call in the early hours, too hung over or too embarrassed to try to remember.

When I first moved to the UK, my phone bills were extortionate as a result of the drink and dial. Not to mention my complete inability to work out the 8 hour time difference in my inebriated state.

And then came the text message. The Nurse's mobile phone is now confiscated at an early stage of the evening, as she is a serial dialler.
I, a slave to my phone, cannot bear to be parted and therefore have admissions of drunken texting. Feeling the embarrasment the following day when checking my sent messages in order to piece together the evening. I try to refrain, my dignity seeming to be a much more important feature in my life these days but like everything, I tend to regress sometimes.

And then this. Samsung has taken it one step further, unveiling a phone that will lock you out if you are over the limit and therefore rendering you incapable of the drunken midnight phone call.

Drink and dial will never be the same.

Temporary meltdown

I seem to have taken a turn of temporary insanity, and in doing accidentally pressed SAVE on my new template design before I'd had a chance to copy over my links, and my counter. Another reason not to update your blog at work on the sly, kinda takes your eye off the ball.

So it's not that I don't love you anymore, I'm just internet less at home at the moment, and my weekend was spent recovering from Friday's excesses (the right amount of scandal and mayhem, involving a cameo from the Actor, a PVC clad policewoman, a bar crawl and of course, random snogging), escaping to my parents and trying to mediate between my family. Isn't dysfunctionality fantastic?

And I'm currently looking for a new place to live. Oh, and to work. So I'm keeping busy.

I'll be adding my links again soon, because, really, I miss you all.

Friday, July 07, 2006

One year later

One year ago today, I made my way from the house in Kentish Town in the early morning, through Kings Cross, laden with luggage and there I was sat at Gatwick Airport in the departures lounge, sipping coffee, having lent a sympathetic ear to a friend who had recently ended an affair, called my cousin to wish her a happy birthday, waited to board a flight back home to see my family.

The departures board flashed with a delay to my flight, and I sat back. Tired, apprehensive and unexcited about the prospect of the 10 hour flight, I flicked absent mindedly through a magazine. Leaned over to check the text that had just come in.

"... have a great flight. All hell breaking loose in London. Something about a bomb..."

Thinking it was a joke, I didn't think anything of it. Then my phone beeped again.

"Are you okay? Tubes are down. Some sort of power surge"

And again.

"Where are you?"

There are no televisions in Gatwick, and as my gate was finally confirmed, I started to feel a bit of dread. Calling L who confirmed that a bomb had indeed gone off, not too far from his office and they had been instructed to stay inside.

I called my office and my colleague Mike kept it simple, told me all they knew. 4 bombs, strategically placed around London, had gone off. That was all. Everyone in my office accounted for.
I tried to reach friends, spoke briefly to a stunned Tony in France, left messages with Knickers to try to reach my parents, knowing my mother would turn on the news and be concerned.

That was the longest flight of my life. I think I cried silently for the majority of my flight, fellow passengers, the stewardesses unaware. Knowing the underground like the back of my hand, I could only imagine what sort of destruction a bomb could cause in that small a space. Thinking back to 911 and to what had happened. To London. To my city.

Touching down for a stopover in Calgary, and finally able to get the full report. Text messages from friends checking in. My uncle, forgetting when I was to fly, leaving a worried voicemail. Finally reaching my father, his voice breaking down the phone.

An hour later, touching down in Vancouver. Rushing through Customs, and being ushered into a holding pen. My luggage opened, searched. Questions barked, I think I answered in a whisper. "Yes, I packed my bags...I am visiting family, I am Canadian..." . Thrusting my passport back at me and waving me on.

My mother is emotional, talkative. She has been bending the ear of the journalist sent to cover the arrivals. The TV crew trains its camera on her, she mentions my job. As I make my way into the Arrivals, a flash, a camera following my mother to me. I am home. And all I want is to be back at work, with the TV over my head, the wires coming in. All I want is to know how my city is.

I forget all the media training I have had, mumble and murmur responses, trying to hide my face from the camera. I break off, stunned disbelief on my fellow passengers. Most of them hadn't heard until then.

I spent the evening without sleep, reading blogs and watching BBC World. Trying to get my head around what had happened.
The day before, I had taken a bus past Trafalgar Square to catch the tail end of the Olympic celebrations. I remarked to my father sleepily, that they had chosen the wrong time. That London was so strong, that something like this couldn't break its back.

The following day, I went down to Kits beach, bought all the newspapers I could get my hands on. Turned the pages, my picture in black and white staring back at me. Images from the carriages, interviews with survivors and rescue teams. Sat and cried like my heart would break. I'm not sure my friends, nor my family understood why I took it so hard. I don't think I do either - I think because I could only watch it from afar. I wanted to be back there, wanted to be one of the thousands that poured onto the streets in memory.

When I flew back to London 2 weeks later, another bombing and confusion surrounding the shooting of an innocent man , I felt disjointed. Disconnected from the city that I loved. Riding the Thameslink past Kings Cross, there was nothing to suggest the violence that had marked it a few weeks prior. Walking past armed police and dogs and becoming much more aware of fellow commuters became a daily occurence. I had never liked taking the tube in summer, and so I stopped. Other than that, not much changed.

Although it took me a long time to get back into my old life, I had already made the decision that I would be returning back to Vancouver and to this day I know it has very little, if anything at all, to do with the bombings. I had been a few streets away when the Admiral Duncan was nail bombed, had learnt that bomb scares were a part of daily life.

Something inside of me had changed before then, I wanted to be part of my family again. It just took a little while for me to get there.

I have included some links to the stories I have been reading, there are some amazing voices out there.

Rachel North. Thanks to Pixel Diva who introduced me to her writing some months back.
Guardian Unlimited: Matthew Weaver and David Batty have recorded interviews with the survivors here.
Holly Finch

July 7th is also the anniversary of the death of a very dear friend, who 13 years ago today fell asleep at the wheel of his car with 2 friends, who luckily survived. There are things that will always stay with you, Chad's death is one of them. It was the first time I have ever had to face my own immortality. At 19 we thought we were invincible.

I have lost a few other friends along the way, and it never gets any easier.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cimetière Montmartre

There's a great shot of a tombstone as part of this series which I am trying to find (I think it's with the rest of my freight which is still missing) for a gentleman by the name of Louis Bastard.


Mood shots

Taken a few years ago when I was making plans to move back to Vancouver.
Sadly I lost the rest of the series in *The Divorce*


I just wanted to inform you that I am premenstrual (which is probably far too much information for my male readers but as this is a blip I'm afraid it has to be acknowledged) and as a result...

I am having an identity crisis.

Not to mention, I am frantically questioning what I want to do with my life.

I am not anamoured at all, nor am I motivated or stimulatd by my current job and it's only the fact it is paying the bills and allowing me to play that I have not shoved PIM's into faces on the "Can you bind this?" request and marched out the door. Whatever it was that I signed up for, it certainly wasn't to be an admin assistant to an office of alpha males. I have had to swallow my pride on several occassions, and bitten my tongue when orders are being barked at me or menial tasks dropped on my desk.

Okay. So I used to be Personal Assistant to the Editor in Chief of the best daily newspaper on the world wide web. (The Webbys are there to prove it)
We all have choices and I think I may have chosen unwisely this time. But we all need to pay the rent.

I also blame the film, "The Devil Wears Prada"on my ensemble today which I have to admit, I do love. Even if the IB's are a bit taken aback to the blatant use of accessories today. And the film, if you are a clothes junkie, fashion whore or media tart could be the greatest film of all times.

Well, in parts.

Other parts made me throw my hands in the air, look skywards and say *why oh why oh why*
a) Can't I have those Choos? b) Can that jacket/, that handbag, that scarf (I did spot my Vivienne Westwood which almost made me pee) not be mine?
c) Did they have to ruin a great story line by making the woman have to choose between man and career? Shouldn't we be able to have it all? Why does there always have to be a throw away ending?

So just to let you know, I am having another little meltdown. Although I know I should be patient about the fact I have only been back less than 3 months, I'm not that patient a person when it comes to my life and I really really don't know what I want to do next.

In the 3rd interview yesterday morning for the job I am covetting, I was asked what drove me, what inspired me, where did I see myself a year from now? And in that heartbeat, I froze. (and subsequently bollocks'ed the entire interview up, I'm sure of it)

What do I want to do with this great ole life of mine?
Schooling is an option, definitely and I'm looking at a variety of schools for Fall Term now. But then again, what do I want? Where do I see myself in 5 years? Looking at the big picture, it is actually an exciting prospect. But at the moment, it has triggered a severe bout of self doubt from some not so fun PMS.

One thing I am damned sure of though, I don't want to be here in a year with a knot in my stomach in case I make a mistake; regardless of the paid overtime.

And now that I have had my little outburst. whinged a little and shown you all my shallow side, I shall resume regular activity tomorrow.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Pint Sized Postman

"I haven't been single for a long time... " The Pint Sized Postman looks down at his pint, "and now... " he spreads his small hands on the table nervously, " I am."

Fixing blue eyes on me, I can't help thinking that he does indeed resemble a leprechaun. I think it could be his beard. Or maybe that he has taken to mimicking my accent at every opportunity.

I excuse myself, rush to the loos and send off a quick text to the Nurse.
*Please rescue me!*

I have never had to do this before, never resorted to the tactical emergency that most daters have at one point or another conjured up to get out of a bad date. And granted, I have never been handed an emergency card - several years ago I was simply and quite bluntly, stood up. (A choice selection of Mature Woman porn sent to his work address in a clear cellophane envelope several weeks later may or may not have been my quid pro quo. Hell hath no fury like a Lady scorned.)

I wonder, as I'm stood there, phone in hand what I am really doing there? He had seemed charming and funny, and I tend to have streamlined a pretty good vetting procedure for the easily disturbed or manically depressed.

I make my way back to the table. I don't know what to do when the smiling waitress returns with another round he had ordered in my absence, I was hoping to make my excuses and dash out the door as soon as the last dregs of ale had been emptied.

"So where do you go to pick up men?" He deadpans across the table to me. I am hoping the ground will open up and, oh... I don't know. Swallow me? Swallow him? Swallow the table of teenagers beside us to give us something else to talk about?

I hum and haw, and then stop. I can't remember the last time I went out to *pick up men*. I think I was in my late teens.

I've now started to question whether I am a Sim U Date. Or a rebound. Or if, in truth, he has been single for such a short time that the dating field has upset his meridians.

"I was talking to my buddy the other day, and we were saying we don't know where single men can go to meet single women..."

I think about suggesting the corner of Seymour and Nelson but I don't think he'd understand my humour. So instead, I bite my tongue and make a mental note to make a few more tweaks to that vetting procedure I seem to have so much faith in.

"And I'll bet you like tall men, don't you?"

I can't lie, can I? I mean, The Ex was 6ft7. I like tall men. Always have.

I nod.

He looks a little angry. "Why is that? You're shorter than me!"

I take this opportunity to look down at my phone, feign concern and stop a clever little retort along the lines of "Not when I'm in heels...". But I don't. I am trying to get out of this with dignity.

"I'm sorry", I say, downing my pint. "But look at the time, I do really need to get going...".

He looks disappointed as I try not to run out of Hell's Kitchen with my feet flying. When he leans in for a kiss as we are saying goodbye, I can only do a duck and dive, pull out of a quasi hug with his lips floating in mid air and chalk the whole night up to experience gained.