Saturday, 30 July 2011

...And then it was payday.

And so, her barren bank account has pennies again.
Or so she thought.

Once she pays out her rent (which she happily hands over), the car insurance (which she is less than happy about), her credit card bill (should she chop that up again?) and the money she owed Frank (for christmas flights to Berlin)... there aren't that many pennies left.

Certainly not enough to purchase all the beautiful items she has been coveting in this month's Vogue. Really she should stop buying it, but it's a little taste of heaven once a month. A little look at the dark side, those things she might be able to touch but never wear.

Save, her Father says to her. He has been saying this since she had her first money box.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, says her Grandfather.
Fancy lunch? says her best friend.
Oh my god - you have to have those shoes, says the other.

It's no wonder I never have pennies she moans.
Her Papa says that the more you earn the more you spend. He gives it a special name. She just calls it greed. The more you have, the more you want.
(Of everything in fact... except maybe ice-cream, although Frank may disagree. Never too much ice-cream)

If I had nothing, she mused, would I crave anything? I don't think I would realise what I was missing.
Perhaps I should sell everything, give my pennies away and move somewhere simple!

But if I sell everything, would I keep anything? Does the box of momentos in the attic mean anything to anyone else? Do they have a value? Would anyone buy them?
Perhaps I should get famous, she said to the Dog who was staring at her blankly. If I was famous then someone, somewhere would buy something I touched. Well, then if everyone did that, then I would have sold all my things and more. Like the pavement outside my house. Then I would make lots of money. I could get rid of all my things and then give all my money away too... after I had bought a ticket to somewhere simple of course.

Her sister overheard her talking to the Dogand chipped in with, but if you had once had everything and then gave it all away, you would know what you were missing. How do you know if you'd be happy then?

Oh and what a question it is...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

... And then I learnt the hard way.

Do not cut fresh red chillis and touch your nose (even after washing your hands) apparently chilli oil is remarkably hard to get rid of and now my nostrils are on fire! Ice cubes please.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

...And then I made a purse.

Apparently I'm too poor to buy one.

Actually I blame Frank.
I spent the whole afternoon trying to recreate something I pictured in my head for the briefest of moments.
There appears a communication error between my brain and my hands.
The little purse looks nothing like I imagined it to, and looks awful with the new handbag.

Ahhh, the handbag. My worst (or best, depending how you look at it) impulse buy in a long time. The problem with Sevenoaks, Frank's temporary home, is that it has lots of little boutique shops. The second problem with Sevenoaks is it has traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. And the third is that the cute boutique shops are right next to the lights and crossings.
So naturally, whilst waiting for a group of yummy mummies to cross with their troop of pushchairs, a very pink clutch handbag caught my eye.

The honk of a car horn brought me round, and I left the bag in the window. Unfortunately for Frank, who I hadn't seen for three weeks, the handbag was the first thing I spoke about.
Naturally I dragged Frank back to the shop and used up the last of my birthday money and a donation from him to make the bag my own.

Of course it matches nothing I own. Oh well.
But my purse doesn't fit. My lovely tan  "I'm-made-for-a-big-bag" sort of purse doesn't fit. So, I decided to make one.

What is more ridiculous is that I partly decided to do it because I didn't want to drive to town and pay to park. So... I spent the afternoon sewing and stitching the monstrosity that has now been destined to a life in the bin. I don't even want to associate myself with it.

oh dear.

So Frank has a share in a pink clutch bag, I have a home-made purse I hate (and a very clean car) and because Mumma Dodd is sofa bound (the bucking bronco incident) I have renewed and refreshed (not that I really needed to) by love for Miss Carrie Bradshaw.

Oh what a sunday.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

...And then it all went up in a puff of feathers.

I'd not seen a pigeon explode on impact until this evening on the A3. It was an unfortunate incident, however I blame the stupid bird for flying across the path of a speeding Honda Jazz at roughly 70mph. The driver (female) looked incredibly shaken and distressed as I overtook. I, the heartless creature I am, tried to stifle the giggles. Any one overtaking me, would have thought me a crazy woman. Upon looking in the rearview mirror after pulling infront of the pigeon-killer, I saw the birds headless carcuss mushed up against the grill.

I shouldn't laugh really, the pigeons can't help being brainless (or in this case headless) and I wouldn't  like to be the woman peeling the pigeon from the front of her car. What a nice surprise she'll have had when she reached her destination. A balding dead pigeon.

So the weekend finished with the bird explosion, the most exciting event to have happened in the past 56 hours ( I must include my Friday night, because my weekend starts at 5.01pm)

I find that my weekends are primarily for relaxing, catching up with friends and doing all those activities in the week that you have no time for (or more likely, can't be bothered to do). But this weekend was another weekend without Frank, and Miss Hendo and Miss USA were missing too. Unfortunatley for me, they had decided to book annual leave at the same time. Needless to say it has been a rather uneventful and quite week in the office followed by an equally quiet weekend.

On saturday morning, Mumma (now an invalid due to a intoxicated incident with a bucking bronco) lounged on the sofa with an ice pack, catching up on a television box set that she missed when it premiered.
Now I will be the first to argue that Sex and the City shall never lose its place in the heart of many women, each of them hoping their lives might be a little more like those of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Or if not like them, then at least worthy of an internationally acclaimed series.

After watching any episode of this brilliant programme that has a cult like following, I pretend that I lunch with friends all the time, that I live in a beautiful brownstone and have an incredible shoe collection. Of course none of this is even remotely true or even likely to blossom into future reality, but I pretend nonetheless. So on saturday afternoon, spurred by desire for new reading material and a little escapism from the mundaneness of the week - I slipped my feet into my favourite pair of heels, put on my new trench coat (for a little of that classic chic-ness) and my film star sunglasses (a gift from Frank to complete the look) and drove into the city, parked and wandered through the throng of saturday shoppers to the quiet escape of Waterstones. Now this is not something that any of the SATC girls would consider (with maybe the exception of Charlotte) but I felt I looked the part, regardless of my selected activity.

So call me an oddball, I really don't mind - or choose another carefully selected endearing term for 'weirdo', but I love bookshops and libraries. I prefer the shops because they have a particular smell, and all the pages are crisp (See? Strange girl) I spent two and a half hours perusing the shelves in the basement of my favourite bookshop. It has comfy chairs and low lighting and it's so unbelievably quiet. Nobody makes a sound. Even the cash registers don't beep. Its odd really, to find somewhere so peaceful amidst the hubub of the high street, and people respect the tranquility. Never have I heard a rowdy bunch of shoppers enter the store, and if they have I believe they were escorted quickly from the premises.

I intended to purchase only three books with the remainder of my birthday pennies from the parents. But the problem with  the "three for two" offer is that you want to make sure that you are buying the best three books possible.

I kept picking books up , reading the back, putting them down. Selecting another, reading the first chapter and then returning it to the pile. It was this indecisiveness that resulted in my careful selection of not three, but six books.
You see, you can't select four or five in this instance because the third and sixth book are free - it would be rude to leave the shop without the literary work of some potentially unknown author when you aren't being charged for it.

I felt like quite the educated young lady, until I reached the 'classics' shelf and realised how few I had read. I will not disclose the actual figure for fear of it ruining any predetermined ideas about my education and knowledge. I shall make it known however, that not once did I pick up one of those "chick flick" books. They have the brightly decorated covers that scream "fun" and "simple". I love them (on occasion, when my brain is addled and requires easy words to mull over) but I felt that that nearly three hours of perusing and careful selection would be wasted if I left with an array of simple reading.

I paid for my six books, and refused the offer of a Mr Men bookmark. Apologies Roger Hargreaves, I would rather not have Mr Bump looking at me as I read. No hard feelings of course.

I wondered what else I might do to fill my solitary afternoon. There were no museums and no art gallery to wander around to expand my capacity for knowledge and culture. So I went to Starbucks. When in doubt a double shot, extra hot, tall skinny cappuccino with a shot of irish cream syrup always sorts me out.
So I sat at the window of this coffee franchise (which doesn't smell like ground and roasted coffee beans and more like stale air conditioning) and watched the world go by. Soon the coffee was gone, and I wished I had bought a muffin to silence the grumbling from my tummy. But no. I refused the option of additional extras because Starbucks have now printed the calorie content of all their beverages on the menu board. Now, I am no calorie counter, but when someone shows you how much 'stuff' is in your drink, you begin to feel a little self concious when you order cake too!

Naturally my parents were shocked by the amount of pennies spent, when I'd only intended to buy one book (alas the well considered marketing strategy of book offers and impulse purchases). So much money for words!

So now I have five books to read (sadly I am a quick reader and the stack of books was just too tempting. You must all read "When God was a Rabbit" - and no, I am not blaspheming). However I feel these five books will provide great comfort when the delayed shock of bird manslaughter sets in.

And because it is such a great way to spend a quiet rainy afternoon, I shall never buy a Kindle.

N.B Isn't it odd that a word to describe the unlawful killing of another being without malicious intent, contains such a happy word? Man's-laughter ... makes a mockery of the justice system don't you think?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

...And then it was a totally amazing Friday night.

Or not.

It turns out that I forgot to make any plans. I got this week, next week and last week nicely muddled. Very well done!

But rather than spend the night infront of awful british television waiting for sleep to consume me, I decided to embrace some physical activity and... move my room around.
Oh what a enthralling Friday evening.

However, laugh all you like - I shall have no hangover in the morning and I found a pair of earrings I thought I'd lost months ago. Would you believe it?
So while the parents were dressing themselves up in a long dress and penguin suit ready for a night out with a free bar, I ate shop bought pizza from a famous restaurant chain... the fast pizza place. (Its never as good without the doughballs. And I've got quite used to the missing chunk in the middle and replaced with green leaves.) Mine was burnt this evening and came with onion rings and bahjis.
Don't ask. I let the smallest Dodd cook.
Never again.

I thought I would tidy at the same time as reshuffling furniture, y'know be ruthless and throw out things I havent needed or touched in a year.
Realistically I've just found new homes for everything. I can't even claim that there will be logic involved in my tidying, the smallest Dodd was involved and I was drinking gin. After all it is a Friday. I just haven't treated it like one. What a waste.

I think I might blame it on my lack of fun pennies to spend, all because of stupid Brian. I will admit to my naivity and say that I thought my car would only cost about £150 for MOT and service, and I think I just expected my insurance to be the same as last year.
Actually its not. According to the insurance companies I am a boy. Even though I am female (obviously) because I am twenty-two I must drive like a twenty-two year old male. My premium reflects this.
I will also admit that I am no pro at reversing, but I'm not worth £892 of bad reversing. Don't even do it that much. Always try to move forward....

So what a night.
I ate burnt pizza, dragged bookshelves across my carpet and scuffed the wall (sssh, no one will ever know because I strategically placed a picture!) and compared the meerkat dot com for cheap car insurance.
I need to get a life!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

...And then I lost my policeman virginity.

No. Not like that.
And no, I didn’t spend the evening in a cell either.

I have lost my lovely v-plates to the threat of a delicious brown envelope crashing through the postbox.
Smile and say ‘cheese’?
Yes that’s right, there might be three points and a £60 fine on their way to me as we ‘speak’. I am quite the angry person, and it’s just in time for my insurance renewal.

Where does this £60 go, eh? I know I’m not the only one who drives a little over 35mph in a 30-zone, so there must be a very nice pot on the desk of some office in London, waiting for the Policeman’s Ball when it’s given out as a prize to the Officer who scored the most speed traps.

There wasn’t even a chance to be pulled over and bat my eyelashes “Oh gosh Officer, I am ever so sorry.”
It was a mobile unit.
They were too ashamed to even show their faces. It’s okay chaps, I know that you speed too!
Those mobile trucks must be thug/idiot/driver proof to stop people like me going back, pulling up, getting out and knocking on the door. Obviously I was going to be much calmer that your average speeder. But by the time I’d planned what I might say I’d already gone sailing up the other side of the hill. Nearly jumped a red too – what a laugh!

I’m just praying for an empty doormat next week. Otherwise…I’ll be £60 less rich, £60 less close to my Mulberry handbag and you know that every insurance company will double my quote, just because they can.
If I was only a 2 mph over the ‘allowed limit’ I shall cry. A lot.
And to think that I avoided the motorway to save petrol money! PAH!

Monday, 4 July 2011

...And then I should've listened to my instincts.

It appears that I have a complete inability to listen to my gut.

I don't know when I'm full, so I keep eating until I am a proud Mumma of a glorious food baby. I complain. I moan. I decide to exercise to boost my metabolism, which makes me hungrier, so I eat more. And the circle begins.

I know that purchasing cinema sweeties is a bad idea...but I do it anyway. And spend £6, that's right - the cost of a cinema ticket on a small coke and pic'n'mix jazzles (the white buttons with sprinkles). I only had one type of sweetie (oh and chocolate raisins, that were actually peanuts in the wrong contained. Vue - I am glad I don't have allergies) so they should give me some sort of discount, it was hardly a mix. Pah! ... Should've bought your own sweeties, I hear you cry. Yes. Yes I should.

I know that there are better fitting dresses out there, but I purchase an 'okay' one anyway, only to drive back to return it the following day. (Along with an array of other items, that were solely impulse buys and should never have left the store - thank god for refunds) I know that parking in a 30 minutes free parking zone is a risk, but I do it anyway. Only to run back to my car, because every store had a queue, to see the traffic warden scouting the car park waching the clock so they can slap a ticket on your windscreen as soon as your time is up. I think I had seconds to spare. I'm getting good at cutting it fine, if that is of course an admirable trait to have. My gut says no.

I also didn't listen to the little voice who told me to change out of white jeans (which did not belong to me) before I began to serve up a lasagne. I was so preoccupied with the 'perfect' serving, and not splashing myself that I didn't see the crispy cheese stringing along and the dollop of meat sauce land on my foot.
But I felt it.
I have a blister on my foot. It's huge. From a lasagne. I can't even pop it because then I can't wear shoes.And if I can't wear shoes? ...Lets not consider this. Havaiana's would not be appreciated in the office. So I am stuck with an unsightly postule of my foot.
Perhaps next time I might wear steel toe capped boots?
If I suggest it to myself, I probably won't listen.

I think I have what can be called a minor split personality defect, not enough to be deemed dangerous or medically unstable, but enough to cause seemingly insignifcant problems, which snowball into catastrophic proportions.
Not that my burn fits this classification, nor the returning of goods or even the expensive sweeties.
However we could play the game of consequences and my purchasing of expensive sweeties results in my lack of change in the purse, which means that I am unable to pay my parking fee, which means Brian and I would be stuck in the carpark, there would be a parking officer and a clamp involved and because I had already bought a serious amount of ill-fitting clothes, there would be no money to pay for the removal. Therefore he would be towed and taken to a scrap heap. And where would I be?
Still in the carpark. Car- less. With a student overdraft, loan and no money to buy a replacement. And Frank would never see me.

See? So maybe I should start paying attention to that little voice.
It sounds spookily like Mumma Dodd (or Papa Dodd if it involves pennies) and they're always right. Or in the unlikely instance that one of them is wrong, then the other one won't be. And if in the unlikelier event that they're both wrong, then there probably wasn't a right answer anyay.

So now it's time to pay attention to those (sometimes conflicting) opinions, perhaps  I'll be more productive because I'll spend less time recitifying the things that could've been done right in the first place.

And so it appears that I have reached a life changing observation...
But an observation is merely bearing witness to something, so it doesn't neceassarily affect how I move forward. Gut, what do you think?

I am almost certain that addressing your internal organs is a secondary sign of insanity.