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.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Brutal Beard 2

To get some context, you might need to read the post just before this one.

According to my colleagues, I have smug wife face.

It's not often that I get to be proud of the Ginger I married. Let's all embrace this brief moment.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Brutal Beard

The title of this blog (if you're wondering) is Ginger Beard's new name, purely based on the hilarious email he decided to send the estate agency who run our flat.

Let's start with the one I sent....

And swiftly move on to Brutal Beard's response...

Modern romance Ladies and Gents, modern fucking romance.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Do the right thing

I've completely given up on receiving a free coffee from Pret.

Just before Christmas I realised that they only give them out to minorities, after hearing that my ginger friend Jen got one. Well, natural brunettes with an alarming amount of white hair need coffee too.

But they are not, evidently, going to be getting it free from Pret anytime soon.

I've instead been building up the courage to offer one of the array of Big Issue sellers outside of the place, a drink.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but although most people only require for courage for one or a mixture of the following ventures:

-Saying hard things
-Tough times
-Climbing a mountain

I need to summon courage for the little things. After building up to this act for months, I finally thought, 'Here we are, today is the day!'

And so I did what any other reasonable, commuting woman would do, with charity in her heart and an occasionally acknowledged anxiety disorder, I approached him from behind.

That's right, coffee and a heart attack, I am too kind.

I then essentially yelled at his back, 'I'm just going to get myself a hot drink, would you like one?'

And he said, 'No, I've just had one thank you.'


I mean he might as well have spoken in Latin (that's right people, a dead language).

The thing with me is that I tend to think over, in intricate detail, a range of likely scenarios. And if someone dares to stray from the script, which they've never seen, then I am, in a word, FLUMMOXED

I said, 'Are you sure?'

He said, 'Yes, thank you though.'

I stood there for a bit, silently.

Should I have offered food? I'm not sure. It's bothering me. What if he was waiting for me to offer a ham and cheese twist, and I failed him?

Ginger has a great story, where he offered a homeless man a falafel kebab, straight out of the shop. The guy looked inside the wrapping, made a face, threw the thing in the bin and lit a cigarette.

I think it comes down this horrible feeling we have of, finally, I'm doing something good, it's a small thing, but I'm giving back, being met with, in essence, rejection.

Elation that gets smacked down.

There's nothing mean about what these two men did. It's just sometimes we can forget that they have a right, just as we do, to say no, to have preferences, to not be, as we assume, desperate for anything they can get.

Wow, that was deep. I went deep, and it felt weird.

Let's get shallow; you look pretty.


Monday, November 30, 2015

The tiny fridge demon

It wasn't by the way...that is, a tiny fridge demon. That was my first thought when I heard the screaming. Turns out it was a mouse getting caught in a trap behind the fridge.

A very disconcerting soundtrack when you're in a towel eating your Crunchy Nut cornflakes.

I immediately told Ginger, assuming that he would do a man thing.

He did not have any man things at his disposal. I have definitely married the wrong Geordie. Perhaps my mistake was to draw a husband from the Geordie pool full stop.

Google says, put it in a sandwich bag, seal it, and hit the mouse on the head with a hammer.


Does anyone want to come round and sort this out? I ordered a frankly bizarre quantity of a rice in the week shop, and I'd be happy to give you a bag in exchange for a quick death (for the mouse, not me, though, if I think about it I am definitely at a point in London where if I can't escape soon I will request to be euthanised).


I am getting very close indeed to my free Pret coffee. By which I mean that after I'd paid for a coffee and was waiting for it to be made, a different man asked me if I needed anything, and there was free coffee in his eyes.

SERIOUSLY. I could see it in them, all tantalizing and easy. I bet the next bitch in the line really got some.

SORRY. But I have a headache because the fridge demon thing really shit me up.

In other news, I ventured out into the world on Saturday night, by choice. This had a lot to do with the fact that on my last outing, I met two Irish brothers called Steven and Semen (pronounced Se-men, not See-men). Maybe it was a joke. I don't care, I had a STUPENDOUS time.

However on Saturday, this is the time I had:

After spilling his drink on me, man says: I'm not going to apologise.

Me: Why not?

Man: Because I'm a c**t.

I've left the asterix in for my mum.

I wasn't sure if it should be asterixis, but then I googled it - Asterixis (also called the flapping tremor, or liver flap) is a tremor of the hand when the wrist is extended, sometimes said to resemble a bird flapping its wings.

Me and Google are really not getting along today. BAD GOOGLE.

I can't read the words 'liver flap', I'm trying to drink a cappuccino here, ffs.

ALSO, I finished my novel, and early as well, which is probably a reflection of the low quality of my life throughout November. Bravo.

About three words were good. And I'm going to take those three words, and make a new novel out of them. Because I went to an editing masterclass last week and they basically said, re-write the shit, and re-write the shit, and re-write the shit, until you can see a slight glimmer of gold in it. Then you have a novel, and this takes approx four years.

The problem is that I need to have a published one before I'm thirty, because I really need to achieve something. I already have a failed marriage on my hands guys. That gives me two years to sort myself out.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dear London

It just might help if I compose
A list of my main London woes
It's worth a try I guess, here goes:

What is this black stuff in my nose?

Fine yes, the city never sleeps
But roars awake with glass and beeps

Dawn chorus you are mighty shrill
Through my single glazed and sill

And lest we not forget the trains
Bright hearses for our spent remains

Grab me, grope me, push me hard
I'll pay you with my Oyster card

We have sunk in your dark belly
Sleepless nights and box set telly

On we march, persistent herd
'Privacy' a term absurd

Competition rough and rife
Dreaming of the country life

Thought it would be wondrous - Psych!
Drink your way through
And poor as you like