Friday, March 31, 2017

Drink me

There aren't many things I like about my husband (as you may have already gathered) but there's one thing I like.

Nay reader, love.

And I mean LOVE.

His Vitality membership. For those of you not blessed with this, it's essentially a membership (paid for by companies who love their employees) where the employee is rewarded with gifts when they exercise.

Every time Ginger Beard completes a certain number of steps, Vitality rewards him with a Starbucks voucher. I then force him to send me said voucher and get free coffee.

That's right, his getting fitter, supports me getting fatter (I love me a caramel macchiato).

Here's what annoys me:

When he's not moving.

Because when his little, oddly shaped feet aren't dancing about, coffee is not on the menu.

When he comes home from work and is all, 'How was your day? I missed you!'

I'm like, 'Shut up and start running. I don't have time for this shit.'

And then I push him out the door, and close my eyes, and try to forgive him for being slow.

Honestly, I resent it when he sleeps.

His sleeping benefits me not at all.

This is what they meant when they told me that marriage would be tough I guess. You have to acknowledge their shortcomings and then try very, very hard, to change them.

But I wonder if it would just be quicker to divorce him and then marry someone like Usain Bolt?

Can you imagine that volume of coffee?

I can. Despite the fact that due to to my excessively high volume of caffeine intake, my vision is strobing.

Usain takes so many steps, that unlike Ginger Beard, he would have time to eat dinner and see his friends AND keep me in coffee.

The best ideas come to me on Fridays. Good ol' Fridays.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lose like a boss

Guys, I am very clearly on a losing streak.

Yes, you might use my choice of a life partner as evidence of this, but it's not something I'm ready to talk about.

Just as I was about to type out this post, I knocked an entire cup of tea over my desk. Now, in all my clumsy years, never have I been able to empty out the whole cup. Furthermore, never have I so expertly targeted my phone, keyboard and mouse, so that when tilting these items slightly, rivers of tea fell down to my socks.

I am not surprised by this.


Because this week (and hopefully this week only) I am losing.

Luckily, this is not unfamiliar territory to me. You don't get drive by ketchuped in your youth and emerge from the experience thinking that luck is on your side. No, you ready yourself for the next saucing. You make a mental note to purchase a range of waterproof jackets and start to wash your hair less frequently, because, well, you just never know when it's coming. Only that it is coming.

I started trying to get fit this week, started with an early morning lane swim. When they're cleaning the swim changing rooms, you can only use the dry sports changing. Which is fine, until you return from the pool, and realise there's no privacy, just one wide open room. I'm not good with nudity.

Despite my foul mouth, and love of all things dark and inappropriate, I want everyone's bits (including my own) wrapped up and out of sight. It's the chink in my otherwise shameless armour. My close family could not be more different - and used to swan about, bathroom door wide open, tanning in the garden stark naked. Whilst I would run quickly away from the slightest sight of buttock.

Thus began the mammoth challenge of me trying to cover myself with my small towel, whilst simultaneously trying to dry and dress. Luckily everyone else was in front of me, so I just had to focus on covering my front (which is where most of the offensive articles are). So I was quite happy to bend over in order to dry my toes etc. When I was fully dressed, I turned around to find that a full length mirror was directly behind me.

I've not yet made any friends at the pool.


Last night I tried a Hula Hoop exercise class. I assumed (and I think it was a fair assumption, judging by my masterful ability over the skipping rope as a child and the level of dance moves I have thrown out in clubs across the UK) that I would be simply marvellous.

I was not marvellous.

I was humiliated.

When I wasn't simulating aggressive sex with the invisible man, I was picking my hoop off the floor. Picking it up, over and over, after it had smacked into my shins, for an hour, whilst everyone else, fat or thin, fit or not, and even my own 65 year old mother, performed effortless spin magic.

Keep smiling the instructor said.

Keep smiling? It was effort enough not to burst into tears folks. But I didn't feel like uttering the truth, which would've been something like

 'I'm sorry that I'm almost thirty and yet somehow crying like a hysterical child in your class, but I'm losing a lot recently, including, since you asked, being rejected from the Jerwood Writing Mentorship Scheme, which I was foolishly holding up as some kind of last ditch attempt to retain my sense of self as a writer. And I have mistakenly assumed that if I came here tonight and smashed this hoola hoop lark out the fucking park, then everything would be okay, but I was wrong. Because I am very clearly shit. And very clearly red. And life is not what Disney sold me. Not at all.'

So I didn't cry.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yes Sir, No Sir.

Been going through a bag of old school reports. Illuminating stuff. I was a very special thiirteen year old:

History - 'I am enjoying our new topic on slavery.'
R.E - 'This year in R.E I have really enjoyed the topic on racism.'

Maybe this is why I don't have any friends who aren't both White and British. Who enjoys the historical struggles faced by ethnic minorities? ME.

I was also a shitty fifteen year old:

'My weakeness currently is 'apparently' in maths.'

It really was. I was shit at maths. A girl called Yasmin threatened to attack me if I didn't do her homework and I was like, 'Look, I'm sorry, because I really don't want to be stabbed, but you will fail maths if I do your homework.' Then she laughed, and told everyone on our table that I was actually alright. And she never attacked me.

Come to think of it, bad things happened to me regularly in maths. Like, once a boy touched my thigh by accident then turned a worrying shade of purple and never talked to me again. It's a shame because we used to have some top quality conversation. But I guess my legs are pretty intimidating at the best of times.

Also one of my math's teachers was fired, becuase he was arrested for growing weed in his garage.

I had to take extra math's lessons in my spare time. It's amazing that I have a healthy relationship with my mother.

ALSO - and this is just a school thing in general, I once started a petition against the two most popular girls in school called the 'I hate Clare and Emma Petition.' I've changed their names in case they read this and come for me. I really don't think I understood what a petition was. But a lot of people signed it. And then Clare's sister found me and tried to throw me through a window on the second floor of the building. But my history teacher, drawn over by the crowd screaming for my blood, interrupted and saved my life. I can't remember his name, but he used to carry a large volume of pencils in his pockets which made him both a painful person to bump into in the corridor and a popular target for penis jokes. However, he was probably more well liked than me at this particular juncture.

You might be thinking that I was very unpopular at school. But you'd be wrong. I bought my trousers from M&S, was only comfortable in flat shoes and was once in a band naievly named, 'Threesome.' I spent many lunch breaks on daddy long legs killing sprees (their small deaths made me feel safer in the world), and got very upset when people borrowed my gel pens, then failed to return them.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

You are what you eat

Alright Chumps?

As myself and the lovely Ginger Beard are soon to be in a new home, I've signed up to several Chester Facebook groups where people sell shit.

And they are WONDERFUL. I don't mean that anything is useful or worth buying. But the bizareness of them keeps me chuckling throughout the day, like irrelvant but comforting colleagues.

This is my favourite, for many reasons. Mainly becuase the lady selling this has titled it 'Children's book about dealing with divorce' and then provided a two-step, two book approach:

Step one: Parents' divorce

Step two: One parent kills other parent

Don't worry - I have flagged it to the police.

I really want to buy them, but not from this murderer so I looked the first one up on Amazon. One reviewer writes that the messages are positive, but that the cartoon children have grim expressions throughout.

The little boy looks like a child David Bowie, so that's one thing he's got going for him, even if his parents don't love him enough anymore to stay together.

No one has reviewed the death book. I imagine the child abuse hair cut of the cover model put them off.


I went to see my dental hygienist today and she was all like,

'So, what's new with your mouth?'

And I was like, 'I snapped my inside brace in half and you guys replaced it with fibre glass last week.'

And she said, 'How on earth did you do that?'

And I said: 'Sandwich.'

And she looked and my teeth and said 'You're sustained a few traumas to the roof of your mouth.'

And I was like, 'Yeah, hot potato.'

And she was like, 'What?'

And I was like, 'I burnt it eating a hot potato.'

And I really don't think I can go back there, becuase these people don't think I can eat food responsibility.

ALSO you hear that carbs are bad for you, and here we are thinking it's once they're dissolving within your stomach rather than during the initial entry into your face.

Be careful.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Seeking a friend

Good news guys - alongside the building, gut deep realisation that this marriage is just not going to work, I know have physical proof too.

Our wedding rings are attacking us. Ginger was the first one to notice that the skin under his ring was looking proper dodge, like eczema on crack. Checking mine, revealed the same. Plus, if you squint, and then completely lie, the cracked skin spells out the word, 'Divorce'.

Even though I am sure that we need to call it a day before our fingers fall off, I Googled it. Google thinks it's Wedding Ring Dermatitis, and not in fact, a symptom of the sham life we have concocted together. Google is wrong.

It also claims that this is easily treatable. But you try evicting a desperate Geordie who sees you as a role model, and let me know how this turns out.

This is what they say on (a source of great wisdom):

'While you should definitely see a doctor or dermatologist if your symptoms escalate, here are a few at-home remedies you can try first to help resolve the rash - Take your ring off.'

They do provide a long list of remedies, but I'm only going to focus on the first one. And it's definitely not because I want to find out what calibre of man I can reel in, without the off-putting indication of my marriage on show.


How do you get friends?

I mean OBVIOUSLY I have friends. But let's say, hypothetically that I've moved somewhere new, and I work from home, and am no longer in education, and don't really have any friends.

How would one acquire some?

I've begun to draft an ad for the paper (but maybe I'll just put it online because no friend of mine is going to be the kind of person who reads the paper. But then again maybe they married a smarty pants fake Doctor like I did, and their husband reads it and is all like, 'Hey, honey, there's a girl just like you in the paper. She doesn't have any friends either!':

Girl without friends, seeks friends. Those who do not entirely confirm to the below criteria should not waste their time:

- Watches/has previously watched/is prepared to watch, all eleven seasons of Grey's Anatomy. (That's all I can really talk about these days).

-Enjoys brief walks on flat terrain.

- Drinks coffee (I don't really trust people who don't rely on the stimulation of legal drugs).

-Has a substantially unattractive partner (am considering divorce and do not want to target your partner as a rebound and thus destroy the friendship before it's really had a chance).

Monday, May 30, 2016

Shiny and new

One of the best things about moving to a new place is the possibility of reinvention. You have to create a new existence for yourself; potentially a new job, new friends, a new lifestyle, and so, you might as well take up the opportunity to create a new you in the process.

I desire to be the kind of person who is instrumental in the team's Pub Quiz victory, the one who can go deep into the well of their knowledge and return, to much acclaim, with the right answer.

And people would say things like, 'Bloody hell, I knew Gemma was an expert on starting unsuccessful online businesses, but I had no idea that she also had such an impressive grasp on Victorian Britain!'

And I would blush, but not too much, because I am not really that humble about it.

And then they would quit our quiz team out of shame and shake their fist at their own poor quality education and wonder how my brain could be so big, and yet my head, so small.


But when I went to the pub quiz, a strange thing happened; I didn't know any of the answers. Now, my first complaint is that there weren't any thick questions, you know, questions for the thicker individual, which is surely a staple of the pub quiz. Questions which give inferior minds a chance to take part and not feel like completely redundant morons.

My second complaint is that not a single question centred around any of my numerous abilities:

-Spontaneous poetry
-Discussing things to an insane and tedious level of intricacy.

In other words kids, it was a fucking joke.

No one else seemed to have a problem with answering, but I very much doubt that they are a match for my impressive mind - a mind which undertook many hours of extra Math lessons and then totally bossed it by just scraping a C.

Ginger Beard was very supportive at first, and my sense of humour did a great job of inflating and creating a protective barrier between the truth and my ego, for a time.

But when Ginger marched me to Waterstones, and made me buy several stimulating books on general knowledge, I knew that my sensational good looks and above par dinner table manners, were no longer enough for him.

If this marriage was going to survive it's first fragile year, I would have to up my game. And so I did three, crucial things. I threw my unread copy of Glamour magazine in the bin (not before removing the free samples within), I ordered glasses with extra large frames from Specsavers and I hid those awful, boring books so that they couldn't hurt anyone, anymore.

Then I realised, it's okay, I don't need to be a genius, because I'm going to be an artist. And art doesn't have time for history, or geography, or any of the other subject matters which I know absolutely nothing about. You take some paint, and you bosh it somewhere, and you demand a lot of money. So I went to a drinking and painting evening. And my canvas is so bad, that Ginger has hung it up in the lounge to make him feel better about himself.

Join me for the next blog, when I will further engage in activities which only serve to confirm my failings!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

And the Lord said

One of my housemates is creating his own religion. At least that's what he's calling it. I prefer, cult.

He helpfully left a ton of notes (a first draft perhaps) of it in the bathroom. But if he's reading it when taking a dump, it doesn't bode well - showing very little respect indeed for his own work.

If I was a better, more forward-thinking person, I would've taken photos. Because the delightful find has now disappeared.

Every page addressed the reader as 'You,' and instructed them on how to live their lives according to his new, invented cult.

I'm going to knock on his door over the weekend and ask to join.

Hopefully their is a challenging, and yet fun, initiation process.

I've always wanted to truly belong somewhere and now is my chance.

He's the same housemate who we caught listening to 'Walking in the air' from 'The Snowman' at crazy volume last week.

He's very posh and, evidently, very special.


WE'RE LEAVING LONDON. That's right, leaving, evacuating ship, abandoning the big smoke, (I've had to start looking for synonyms), parting ways, saying goodbye.

The danger here, is assuming that my life will become immediately better in 7,000 ways. What if it's not? What if I end up missing being yelled at about the bin rota, or craving the grey blur of a mouse as it darts behind the fridge?

What will I have left to complain about?

Oh, oh wait, there's still Ginger Beard. At ease people, at ease.

Ginger's new company has offered him a relocation budget. I am going to buy:

-Moving shoes - shoes which are equally sensible and stylish, often referred to as, 'The moving girl's shoes.'

-Moving snacks - high in calories and fat so that we can maintain momentum.

-Moving puppies. Because no one can do a good job of shifting their shit from London to Chester without an array of over-excited Collie-Cross Spaniels.

And bottle of Disaronno, to take the edge off being in a small van with Ginger for four hours. Because he might want to discuss our sham of a marriage in front of my occasional friend and historic colleague JB.

I'm happy to discuss it with JB directly, but I don't want Ginger to be mouthing of without my total inebriation, all like, 'JB, I'm so unhappy, Gemma is more attractive and intelligent than me, and I'm struggling with it.'

Quit your jibber jabber fool.