Friday, April 11, 2014

Three blind mice (others available)

Some things aren't working out too well for me, and in most cases other people are to blame. I am to blame in precisely none of the featured cases. And though this is obvious, I think that it's important to stress the point.

Case 1 - Sleep

Unfortunately, when I'm tired, I'm horrible. This is genetically inherited. It obviously skipped a generation, as both of my parents remain reasonable and nice if unable to get a full eight hours. I can only assume that like me, one or all of my grandparents suffered from this condition.

It's a transformation, which sees me become a snappy douche bag, where I can neither be held accountable for my words and actions, nor reprimanded for them.

Now, Ginger Beard is fully aware of this, proven by the fact that if I am awful to my mum, she will turn to him and say, 'Oh dear, did someone not get enough sleep last night?'

And he will say, 'Afraid not Ann, afraid not." And then they feel sorry for each other.

So why, WHY ladies and gents, would he choose to wake me up last night with this:

GB: Gemma, Gem, wake up. Can you hear the mice?

Me: Wha? No. Go away.

*30 minute pause* (assumed)

GB: Can you hear the mice now?

Me: Shut up.

You know what, I wouldn't care if I could hear mice. I wouldn't care if Pinky and the Brain we're on our bed, plotting yet another ridiculous way to take over the world. I wouldn't care if an army of mice were holding tiny mice knives to our throats and demanding our finest cheese. Or if one was somersaulting in my hair, or running off with my much loved Tiffany lamp. Or a myriad of other unlikely mice based scenarios.


We discussed this at length the following morning.

Then we had a brief, but satisfying argument about shoe laces. Because that's what you get.

He's really lucky it didn't escalate. There have been past incidences (from both parties) that went way too far:

1. When Ginger Beard threw a packaged tuna sandwich at my face.

2.When I pushed Ginger Beard off a bus seat, and into the aisle.

I think we all know which hurt more.


Case 2 - Being a hero

Last week, I went out for a rather fabulous meal with my Mum. At some point we noticed that the couple next to us had gone, and left behind a scarf.

She looked at me. Of course she did. In times of crisis, everyone is quick to nominate me, to do what needs to be done.

Even though I had no idea how much time had passed since they'd gone home, I decided to run for the exit.

Now - and here's my question. Who puts a step in the middle of a restaurant?

If it hadn't been for that step, I probably would've returned the scarf, and received a handsome reward. Sadly, the fall prompted a considerable delay.

I've been spending a  lot of time recently with my friend JB. JB is a very good person indeed, always helping others and volunteering his time. The 'step' incident has firmly destroyed the plans I had earlier in the week, to be less selfish (inspired by all his do gooding.) I'm actually going to focus on being a worse person, and armed with needlessly interrupted sleep, this will not be too difficult.

Watch out.

P.s - my house is currently riddled with mice (who knew?)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The many forms of love

So firstly, (and I want you guys to know before I break it to Ginger Beard), I've fallen in love. And not in the traditional sense, with a human being, but in a kind of new agey way, with their blog.

I can't even remember how I met their blog, but that's how love works; it smacks you BAM in the face, and you're a complete mess.

Will Ginger Beard feel a sense of all consuming rage, mixed with unbridled confusion, that I can so easily replace him with a series of hilarious posts?


But as Alanis Morisette once said, "You live,  and then you bloody learn" (or something very similar).

If I had plans tonight, I'd cancel them, just to spend more time with this blog. And much like it is for loved up couples, who can recount the very moment when they 'just knew', I recognise mine. It was upon spotting that a pie chart (entitled 'My wishes' )  involved a segment labelled, 'That I had Jessie's girl.'

And if you don't understand that reference it's okay, because that means it's special for me.

And if you do understand that reference, and have also fallen in love with this blog, from a mere quote, let's get together and start a support group, ideally in London, but I guess we can work out the finer details at a later date.

I'm not ready to share it with you yet! I think this stems from the relationship my brother and I had growing up. Whenever one of us accrued something that the other wanted, we broke it. And even though he never reads this, Lee, I'd like to take the time to apologise for ripping up your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles posters. Because although the cellotape went some way towards improving things, those little heroes in half shells never looked quite right again.


I also took a circuits class for the first time! And when I say 'class', I mean that a colleague of mine, who is also a personal trainer, and refers to himself as 'The Smiling Assassin', and two other people who believed things would be okay, forced ourselves into odd and uncomfortable poses in the park outside our office.

Things were not looking too bright for me, as later that night, at approximately 9pm, I got into bed with a custard Muller Rice, and started to cry.

Ginger Beard: Are you kidding me?

Me: Owwww! Ow! Ow! Owwwwww!

Ginger Beard: Do you think this is an acceptable reaction?

Me: It hurts so bad!

Ginger Beard: You're twenty-six years old.

Me: Help me!

Ginger Beard: Do you need to go to hospital? No? Then stop crying. Right now. Shut it down. Shut it up.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is a small window, into the vast world of psychological abuse I experience each and every day.

If you would like to make a small donation, which can be put towards healing my weeping, emotional wounds, don't be shy.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Snow white and the seven commuters

I have worked out, (and it might be something to do with my alright A levels in Sociology and Psychology, that there are seven main types of London Tube commuter. Yes, sure, you can be a cross-breed, but try not to be; it's dirty.

1. The Fan.

Now, the fan loves nothing more that to get intimately acquainted with your belongings and body. These people are easy to identify, simply because you will feel them. When there's plenty of space in the carriage, or even a spare seat, they will still prefer to stay close, inhaling you, fingering the tassels of your bag (don't be crude please), rubbing up and down your...Enough! Essentially, they will sexually assault you, and claim it's accidental.

Tips - They're frightened off by direct eye contact. They have no balls (though oddly no issue with trying to find yours).

2. The Pretender.

They act exactly the way they would in the comfort of their own home. They are the ones who:

-Read their paper on your face (pretending you are not there)
-Let there kids climb up you/on you (pretending you are an empty chair)
-Board with a massive backpack, and insist on dramatically spinning round at regular two minute intervals and smacking your bitch up with it. (pretending they're not actually wearing a backpack)
-Hold onto the pole with their hand over yours (pretending you are the pole).

Tips - Kick off, go completely nuts over it. They can't ignore you if you push them into the gap between the train and the platform. It's especially effective, if you lean over their broken body and choose then to say, 'Ha. Mind the gap.'

3. The Dramatic.

Normally teenagers. You will find them:

-Alternating flawlessly between French and English, and find yourself absolutely fuming that your parents never armed you with any real life skills.

-Using the top bar of the tube for a series of pull ups.

-Vomiting. To be fair, it's normally more a thick trail of saliva hanging down from their lolling head, held by a mate at each armpit.

-Singing. Oh yes, and it's always the men. They tend do opt for a Diva classic.

4. The Zombie

I'd say this is the most popular type of commuter, and place myself firmly in this category. We're the ones who've shut down such a huge proportion of our brains in order to endure the trip, that we can hardly respond to anything. As we step on the tube, we say to ourselves, "Okay, the thirty minutes have begun. If you spot a seat, take it. Sit in it. Stare at things. That will be all." On cue, as we approach our destination, we begin to charge back up, slowly regaining our more impressive motor functions and speech. If you try and engage with a Zombie during this process, they will either:

-Jump out of their skin, and drop everything they were holding
-Initially reply to you with noise - along the lines of, 'Watghcfdf', before clearing their throat a few times, and giving conversation another go.
-Get incredibly angry. You have after all, interrupted their perfected survival state, and once more, brought them back down to the horrifying reality of where they are. Shame on you.

Tips - Leave them well alone.

5. The Sleeper

Easy mistaken for one of The Pretenders, the sleepers are closest to the fun-time loving animal, we have entitled - The sloth. Fascinating to observe in their natural tube environment, Sleepers will promise themselves for a few stops, that they are merely resting their eyes, before eventually drowning in a deep, mouth wide open, sunk in the seat sleep. Ah, bless. If you are lucky enough to spot one of these during a long journey, they will be the regular subject of the following exchange:

A "Do you think we should wake him up? He might miss his stop."
B "No."

Tips: Take a photo. I hear they last longer.

6. The Fighter

Has someone just punched you in the back of the neck? Is there no room in the carriage, but a woman has launched her small body at you, in hope that the sheer force of impact will create some? Is that man using his arse as a brutal, yet effective weapon? Then my friend, you're in the presence of a Fighter. Usually they:

-Have been commuting in London for five plus years, and no longer have any feelings whatsoever for their common man. In the early days, they wouldn't challenge a pregnant lady for the only available seat. But now, well, she's just collateral damage in the narrow tunnel of their goal.

-Look really, really angry. It's not a front. They will take you down. Try not to look weak. Try not to get in their way. Let it happen.

-Will hurt you. Yes, they're not about gently manoeuvring you round with little shimmies. It's brute force. It's elbows. It's a sharp kick to the shin. They've been training for this for years.

7. The Tourist

The Tourist has no idea what's going on. They might genuinely be a map wielding, tour of Europe Russian, but just as equally, they can be an established Londoner. The Tourist doesn't know any rules, not just the unspoken rules of the Tube, ANY rules. They move very slowly and never know where they're going. They consult each other and their phones at the most inconvenient of places. When their Oyster card isn't working, they remain at the barrier for a sustained period of time, pawing at it, shaking their little, clueless heads. 

We've all been The Tourist, but it's very important to grow beyond The Tourist.

Tips: Help them. And to enhance this tip, I'll share a personal story with you. When one of them tried to get on the train before I'd gotten off, I stepped very close to her face and aggressively asked, 'What are you doing?' and my words pushed her back onto the platform so that I could pass.


The Fan-Fighter - Molests you aggressively for a brief period of time.
The Zombie-Sleeper - Fakes sleep for escapism purposes
The Sleepy Pretender - Will happy let everyone bash them around, like driftwood in a strong current.
The Pretending-Fighter - Passively dominates. E.g. Wears a 'Baby on Board' badge without actually being pregnant.
The Dramatic Fan - Assaults you with the unnecessary size and scope of their gestures.

Others available.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Now, before I moved to London, I assumed that a good 70% of evenings experienced by Londoners' were painfully cool.

I thought, they probably can't help but glamorously sip away at Mojitos in Soho, on a sunny Tuesday night, then accidently wander into a Kasabian after party. It's not their fault. That shit just happens to them.

I've spent the past eight months patiently waiting for my quintessentially London moments. Did I nearly have one, when a fat woman hit me in the nose with her arse? Sure. Was I almost there when I walked passed Les Dennis, and my friend said, 'There's Les Dennis!' And I said, 'Who's Dennis?' Pretty much.

And then it happened, and it was sexier, and more fabulous than I ever thought possible.

Don't get jealous. It's one of those emotions that rots you from the inside. Nasty stuff.

I'll set the scene. (Have also changed names to protect identities).

Five of us are out on a girls' night in Shoreditch. We've reserved a private table, and we've booked a taxi. (If you haven't noticed, things are already bang on, stinking of London awesomeness).

There's GingerNinja (please note that the woman in question has no martial art abilities which I have witnessed, or has even shown me evidence of stealth, but I like the rhyme.)


I'm really struggling at this point because there's a second ginger girl. *Bashes head*. We'll call her StrawberryBlonde. The final character (aside from moi) in this night of almost unbearable London chic, is called ZumbaQueen.

I know that they all sound like really bad nicknames on a dating site (some of which would have drastically more success than others), but you'll just have to deal with it.


It's 7:30pm. BarbicanBabe has already knocked one of my six White Russian Happy Hour cocktails onto the floor. But it's okay, because we're in London, and we just don't give a shit about anything.

10pm. Happy hour has ended. ZumbaQueen is busting some serious moves. We've made friends with a group of men. I don't know where they're from. They don't speak much English. Roll on, good times.

11pm.  BarbicanBabe has had to evacuate the premises because she can't stay awake.

11:30pm. We're in the nightclub, in the basement. StrawberryBlonde and I have the dance floor to ourselves, and we look like we've attended numerous professional dance lessons. ZumbaQueen is laughing. That's okay. Let her laugh. We can't all be Queen's of Zumba. It occurs me, as we step up our routine to counter accusations that our moves are more hilarious, than they are smooth, that ZumbaQueen might merely be shaking as she throws up.

This is indeed the case.

It seems she has thrown up next to our pile of coats.

Sadly for GingerNinja, her coat had slipped to the floor, and is, as she herself described 'marinated'. ZumbaQueen is asked to leave, and we loyally escort her out. StawberryBlonde puts her coat on outside and discovers that it too, is covered in sick. She wears it anyway. It's very, very cold.

12pm. GingerNinja emerges from the bathroom. In trying to clean the coat (which it turns out is borrowed from BarbicanBabe), she has thrown up. Goes back to bathroom.

Vomited - 2
Wearing vomit - 2

12:05am - Man with strange plaited hat approaches StrawberryBlonde and says, 'Why did you look at me like that, you c**t?' Then turns to me, 'And you, you smiled at me.'

'Yes,' I say, with the level of confidence that only Gin, vodka, wine and rum can provide. 'I smiled, because I like your hat.'

'Are you joking?'

'No. It's fantastic. What do you do?'

'I decorate prisons.'

GREAT. After twenty minutes of telling him, in very specific detail, why I like his hat, he hugs us, and leaves.

12:30am - We've been in a pub for 5minutes. Someone says to me, 'Your friend is throwing up outside.' I go take a look at ZumbaQueen.

Vomited - Still 2
Wearing vomit - Now 3

I decide it's time for ZumbaQueen and I to depart.

And it only takes us three buses, and two hours to get home, which is lovely. Mostly it's lovely because ZumbaQueen passes out, and I hold her, so she doesn't fall into aisle, and get some time to reflect on how far I've come in life.

Number of girls who were not sick, or had sick on them/their possessions - 1/5

My secret weapon, is that I was sick the night before, and thus probably got it all out of my system.

It's almost too much.

Monday, February 17, 2014

That man is dead!


It's never a good start to a night out, when a man pretends to be dead.

It gets even worse when you end up in a morbid pantomime with the police.

To explain (for I fear those details alone don't quite provide the full story), myself and a friend were on the tube, no doubt nattering away about climate change, political unrest, or the like, when the driver stopped the train and made this announcement.

'To the ladies and gentlemen in the same carriage as two police officers, can someone please check if the man in the black puffa jacket is okay? He doesn't look very good.'

Thus began a series of moments, which would be quite nicely paired with a fast-paced, farcical bit of music, and Kenneth Williams.

The policeman were standing in front of the man in question, and struggled, for a sustained period of time, to locate him.

At one point (despite how much I really do hate the real thing) a few of us genuinely yelled out, 'He's behind you!!'

I suppose it didn't bode well, that the driver himself chose to ignore the policeman, and direct his plea for help at a bunch of London commuters, (which lets face it, would take your seat if you fainted and slid off it, by climbing over your listless body).

When they did manage to figure out where he was (having lost out on any chance of saving his life, had he been in need of it), they then tried to wake him up.

He did not wake up.

Collectively, as a carriage, as a cohesive unit, which required no words whatsoever, we all decided:

'He's dead'.

In my mind, I'd already attended my first support group. We'd hugged the woman next to him, understanding that she was suffering the most.

We'd even comforted the Policeman - 'There's nothing you could have done. Well, except maybe been a bit quicker in finding the only passed out man in a puffa jacket, instead of walking in tiny circles around his seat, staring at one another.'

When he did finally wake up, which was incredibly sudden, the rest of us exploded into a kind of hysterical laughter. We clapped our hands, and made friends, 'Did you think he was dead?' 'God, I was sure he was dead.' 'Hurrah, he's not dead!' It was lovely.

And trust me, when the standard interaction on those things, is having a large pair of breasts pressing into your back, experiencing the slow, wafting dance of someones BO around your nostrils, or being smacked round the head with a rucksack full of books - you fucking appreciate.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dying to Write

So.....I've accidentally not written here again for over two months. But on purpose I have:

-Run off a tube after one stop to throw up on the railings

-Attending a writing group for half the session and quit


-Mildly Assaulted a Policeman whilst crying

I believe those things more than make up for my absence

To get you up to speed with the ever mounting, relentless barrage of things I can mess up:

I also signed up for Movember run in, you got it, November. As I over slept, the only way to make it on time, was to run there.

I think my favourite part of the event, has to be when myself, and about seven other late people, were all running through Battersea, so that we could register to then run 5k.

I turned up exhausted, slapped the time tag on my trainer, pushed up my vibrant orange Movember headband, and joined in the twenty second count down.

As it was my first race running alone, I wondered how my mental stability would hold up. Luckily, every few minutes or so came a roar, along the lines of 'NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA Batman!'. Then a midget Batman (or a child, whatever way you want to slice it) came zooming past me.

Who else beat me?

Superman, a crowd of 118, Mario and Luigi, people dressed as crayons, and a man in tight green, latex shorts (to name but a few).

It's the only time I can remember thinking, 'If I looked more ridiculous, I would feel better about this.'


I eventually got round to signing up to a Writer's group, and felt very smug indeed. Firstly, It only took me seven months of living in London to join one. Go me! Then, there was a three week waiting list, thus ensuring it was top notch quality.

Turns out however that it was not, as I had interpreted to be 'A lovely, normal bunch of people' and could be much more suitably classed as 'A lovely bunch of Psychopaths.' In that, they were lovely, but they were also MASSIVE Psychopaths.

I already feel quite bad about sharing this with you, but I think that they would say, my creative outpourings are much much significant than their reputations.

And if they do Google me, and find this, I just want to say, that I'm really sorry, that I thought their manners were excellent, but I just happened to be consistently terrified.


Had no skin on his knuckles. Announced he was going to draw. I looked over. What's he drawing?

Oh, pretty sure he's drawing me.



Asked if he could observe me writing. Sat next to me and watched me write for ten minutes. Got very angry that no one wanted to critique his novel about Soho Bouncers. Left without saying goodbye.


I thought, 'Great! Someone who looks relatively well adjusted!'

Told me he was clinically depressed

Told me nothing he writes will ever be good enough

Told me about his Dad (linking in to the mind set behind above sentence.)

I did stick it out for 1.5 hours, before muttering some excuse and running away.

I'm pretty sure they won't Google me. I didn't do too well myself, having answered a few questions like this:

"Do I consider myself a 'Writer?' Well, I'm not sure. I mean, what do we really mean when we say 'Writer' anyway...?'

And my personal favourite:

'My story? Oh, it's about this little boy, who kills this little girl.'


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Long time no blog

I'm back, hurrah! Pretty confident this carries approximately the same impact as Arnie's once promised, then eventual return!

Where has she been, you ask. Scaling mountains? Trekking through the Amazon? Qualifying for Mensa, and attending weekly Mensa meets!

Well, no, not at all. But thanks for assuming such incredible feats for me.

I'm pleased to say I've actually achieved very little since writing my last blog. And if you must know what's been occurring since then, I've:

-Queued for an hour to attend a Bonfire Night extravaganza, to then not make it in, and see how many fireworks? How many was it? NONE.

-Become a laughing stock at work for believing a colleague's pearls were her Grandmother's, recovered from the Titanic.

-Had two large plastic bags, simultaneously blow across the street, attach themselves, one to each foot, and found myself, what I can only describe as 'fighting' them in front of a crowd of eager spectators.

-Been knocked into a fence by a dog.

-Overheard this fucker on his phone: 'And how much did he lose? Twenty thousand? We much be the most gullible bunch of billionaires going!'

-Applied for one volunteer writing job, in an attempt to resuscitate my pathetic wisp of dream, and been IGNORED.

-Accrued a ton of never-ending bruises from attempting to slot my bum between the brutal seat handles on moving tubes.

-Told everyone I was signing up for a half-marathon, and then didn't sign up. (Try it, it's great - All the praise, with none of the effort).

-Got diagnosed, by a Doctor, with hyper extension body.

Let's explore this last one:

When I say 'Doctor', I refer to Ginger Beard. For any new readers (as most of my recent audience is based in Bulgaria), Ginger Beard is my very fortunate boyfriend. Once upon a time he completed a Phd, and now considers himself more a Doctor of the world, than a Doctor relating specifically to the very narrow boundaries of his thesis.

But I digress. So when I say, 'Diagnosed', what I'm inferring, is that we were waiting for a train yesterday and he said, 'That's so weird.'

And I said, 'What?'

And he said, 'Your leg. Look at your leg.'

I looked at my leg, and I said, 'Huh?'

And he said, 'It's hyper extended.'

And I said, 'Like how I can twist my arms round each other many times, and dislocate my thumbs, and my jaw.'

And he said, 'Yes.'

Thus, ladies and gents, I've come to the logical conclusion that I have hyper extension body, or hyper extension bodimous if you'd prefer in in Latin.

If you Google it. You get this:

It's really no wonder that I've never felt like I truly fitted in. I have always felt different, and that, that difference, would inevitably hold me back from achieving my full potential. Thanks for listening.