THE MORNING AFTER

Am I dead? I must be.

No human being can physically consume 2 bottles of wine, 5 jagerbombs, 2 mojito’s, 3 tequila shots, an entire pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea and still live to tell the tale.

I feel strangely calm about it all.

‘At least she died doing what she loved’ they will say. ‘Getting off her tits’.

I am ready. Take my hand, oh Lord and lead me through those pearly gates!

Let me feed you grapes and plait your beard. Sit on your lap and confess to you my sins.

(I don’t mean that in a prozzy, lap-dancey sort of way. That would be totally wrong. I mean like innocently sitting on Santa Claus’ lap. A family friendly Santa. Not the perverted kind, where people pay to be put on the ‘naughty list’ and be beaten over the bottom with a candy cane).

Blearily, I peel open one burning eye.

Well I must say, heaven isn’t quite how I expected.

There are no angels, for starters. No fat cherub plucking a harp. No Elvis Presley donning a loin cloth and singing ‘A Big Hunk O’Love’.

Instead, I am staring into the eye of a battered sausage. A half-eaten battered sausage.

Whilst lying spread eagled on my kitchen floor.

Oh god. This is not death. This is something far, far worse.

This is the hangover from hell.

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I’m not talking the bearable kind, where you pop a couple of painkillers, untag the photo of you shitting in a bus shelter and head off for brunch.

Oh no.

We are talking the type of hangover sent by Lucifer himself.

The sort where every limb feels like it’s been through a Christmas tree shredder. Like a small family of possums have curled up and died in your mouth. A group of primary school children have just learnt to make scrambled eggs. WITH YOUR BRAIN.

I also appear to be stark bollock naked, bar my ancient pair of Winnie the Pooh pants, which depict a map of the 100 Acre Wood. They are by far the most shameful item of lingerie I own and are only worn in times of desperation.

Oh please, God. Please say I didn’t bring a man home in these. Right now, I have about the sex appeal of a courgette.

I peel my head from the floor and look towards the door.

Mens shoes. Oh god. Big brown suede ones. That will be him. They are bloody huge actually, aren’t they? Like flippers. Maybe I brought back a clown. Or a walrus.

Oh Christ. Did I choose to be rogered in my own kitchen? Perform some hideous striptease for him, wearing nothing but stiletto’s a pair of oven gloves? Bend myself over the hob and demand a good porking?

I don’t know who this man is, or where he has come from but fear it has something to do with the battered sausage.

I sometimes find it hard to believe that life has turned out this way.

I led a very sheltered childhood.

A proper country bumpkin, who’s favourite hobbies included bailing hay and accompanying my father to the rubbish dump.

‘Why would I choose to drink alcohol when I can get FRESH MILK from our very own cow?’

‘You’re all going down the park to do balloons and poppers? Oh goody, I LOVE poppers! I’ll bring the paper hats. And know how to make a balloon stegosaurus!’

‘Sorry Ben, it’s really sweet of you to invite me to the party tonight but Mum’s making me my favourite casserole. With EXTRA DUMPLINGS!’

I drove a tractor . I sang in the church choir. I owned a pig.

I didn’t care much for clubs and would rather make my own fun on a Friday night. Such as farting in the bath and pretending it’s a jacuzzi.

But then I moved to London. And all hell broke lose.

It started with the fags.

I had previously written off smoking as a filthy habit.

‘Why would anybody choose to deliberately knock years off their life?!’ I cried to my mother, whilst she vacuumed the dog.

‘I cannot WAIT to grow old. I can watch Miss Marple. Eat biscuits. And sit on a COMMODE! That’s a chair that you can actually poo in!’.

(As a toddler I used to have daily ‘potty and video’ time. This involved being sat in front of my favourite show, usually Playdays, whilst cheerfully laying a gigantic dump. It remains one of my fondest childhood memories. So the thought that I could go full circle in about 80 years time was all too much).

But at uni, my opinion on smoking started to change. Due to one, small fact:

ALL THE FIT MEN WERE IN THE SMOKING AREA.

Like, seriously. All of them.

I soon realised that this dirty, glorious little death stick was my one way ticket to a giant cock fest.

And I was diving in head first.

Being a smoking novice, there were some slight mishaps along the way.

Such as the time I borrowed a guys lighter, locking eyes over the flame in what I considered to be a sultry manner and inadvertently set my fringe on fire.

Or the time I nervously rolled a fag in front of the guy I really fancied, realising too late that I had licked the wrong side of the paper. Therefore making the cigarette baggy and completely un-smokable. Determined not to lose face, I casually took a drag and managed to actually INHALE THE FILTER. As in, it shot straight out the back of the cigarette and down my throat.

It is quite hard to look sexy whilst being given the heimlich manoeuvre.

And then I met him.

They say that love can strike from anywhere. I didn’t believe them till it happened.

Gordon was more than just a lover- he was a soulmate. The ying to my yang. The bean to my burrito.

Someone who warmed me through cold winter nights, lay down with me on hot summer days, and came as my date to every party.

And he went with so much. Tonic water. Elderflower. Orange juice. Cucumber. I’ve even tried him with dried mango, which I would thoroughly recommend.

Ahh that beautiful, strong bottle in that murky green shade.

God, I want my wedding dress to be that shade of green. And my husband’s suit. In fact fuck it, I don’t even want a husband. I will happily walk down the aisle pulling along a bottle of Gordon’s on wheels. Exchange rings. Read vows. Sing from hymn books. Or should I say gin books. HA HA HA.

I’m going mad. I need to get up off this kitchen floor and stick my head in the fridge.

I’m unsure at this point exactly who lies behind my bedroom door, but judging from my recent conquests it will be one of three types of men:

  1. An arrogant suit wanker, who secretly gets spray tans and lives with his mother.
  2. A balding man wearing a yellow anorak and waterproof trousers, which I thought last night to be funny and ironic. But now just realise that he loves wet weather gear. And is planning on taking me fishing.
  3. A genuinely lovely, normal man, who took one look at my 100 Acre Wood pants and ran straight out the door, not bothering to take his shoes.

G x

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Dinner Fate

I am a very poor example of a woman.

I do not sew. I get no satisfaction out of cleaning. I have zero interest in gardening, flower arranging or drawing (unless it’s a large cock on a steamed up window).

I still find farts hilarious and am perpetually told off by my parents for ‘poo talk at the dinner table’.

Shopping bores me. Babies scare me.

I don’t watch rom coms, unless they are worthy of a good perv.

(For example, in Pride and Prejudice when Colin Firth emerges all hot and bothered from the lake with his shirt stuck to him- episode 4, 32 minutes in).

I have the alcohol tolerance of an ox and the mouth of a fishwife. I shall never forget the look on my friends face when I casually described a guys penis as his ‘raging bell end’.

However, the one area where I truly fall short in womanhood is the cookery department.

I hate cooking. I simply do not see the joy in it. My few optimistic attempts have resulted in me tearfully smacking the hob with a rolling pin and having to retire to my bed with smelling salts.

Having grown such a complex about my arch nemesis- THE OVEN- that I had started throwing it dirty looks and muttering ‘bitch’ under my breath every time I walked past, I decided it was time to do something about it.

Did I buy a beginners recipe book? No.

Book myself onto a crash cookery course, perhaps? No, no.

I decided that the only logical solution to my problem would be to ENTER A COOKERY COMPETITION ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

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The premise of the programme is simple.

A woman is set up on a blind date with a man and must cook him a three course meal, winning him over with her sparkling wit and dazzling culinary talents.

Oh that man. That poor, poor man.

The thing is, I never expected to get through.

When filling in my application form (fortified by several gins and an uncooked pop tart) I made very clear that the sum total of my cooking experience amounted to that of opening a tin of Chappie for my dog.

And that my last date (in a very posh Japanese restaurant) had resulted in me drunkenly flinging a piece of sushi over my shoulder and tying my napkin round my head to do my impression of Mother Teresa.

But they bloody lapped it up.

During my audition, the cameraman laughed so hard that he actually shot tea out his nose and had to retire to the balcony for some fresh air.

Admittedly, I was a little candid with my answers:

‘Describe your ideal man in two words?’

‘MENTALLY UNSTABLE’

‘What is your favourite dish?’

‘Fruit salad. But just the grapes. That have been fermented into wine’.

I think it was the final question that finished him off:

‘How far would you be prepared to go for a first date?’

‘Oh gosh I’m not sure, ummm… A kiss and a cheeky finger perhaps?’

‘…. I meant travel wise’

And so I was shortlisted for the programme.

My first task was to compose a winning menu.

‘I’M GOING TO DO A MEXICAN THEME!’ I announced to my friends at the pub, triumphantly slamming my gin down on the table.

‘Good god, think of the possibilities! Sombrero’s, tequila, pinata’s, comedy moustache’s… What’s not to love?’

‘But Gabby, what food are you going to-‘

‘I could even perform an authentic Mexican dance! WITH MARACA’S!’

Blindly ignoring everyone’s protestations, I proceeded to draw up my menu.

Now if there’s one thing I love, it’s a sexual innuendo. I have the body of a young woman paired with the brain of a pervy Uncle.

One of my most mortifying memories is at a job interview to work as a part time receptionist.

‘Now then’ the manager explained ‘Everyone who works here is extremely busy. I won’t be able to be on top of you 24/7’.

‘SAID THE TART TO THE VICAR! HA HA HA’ I nervously blurted out.

Needless to say, I did not receive the job.

And so, sat with a large glass of wine, I proceeded to write the most perverted menu known to mankind. Which was promptly sent back for being ‘too explicit’.

‘How on earth could you think ‘stick your churro in my chocolate sauce’ would be ok?’ my horrified friend asked. ‘And ‘stuff my piñata?!’

Yet by some miracle, after some hasty editing, my sordid little menu was selected.

I WAS GOING ON THE SHOW.

‘You know what?’ I smiled to my housemate ‘This programme could be the making of me. Not only am I FINALLY going to learn how to cook but there’s a slight chance that I might actually meet the man of my dreams. I think this is the best decision that I have ever made’.

Cue one month later.

WHAT THE BLOODY HELL HAVE I AGREED TO?!!!

It is the night before filming and I am about to have a panic attack.

I have not practised a single dish.

I still don’t know what the fuck a quesadilla is.

The sum total of my ingredients amounts to a bottle of tequila, a piñata and lifesize cut out Mexican man.

The only way that I can stop myself from having a complete nervous breakdown is by watching re-runs of Family Guy, whilst rhythmically stuffing jelly babies up the piñata’s arse.

After a hasty ASDA shop and a fitful nights sleep, where I dreamt that my arms turned into giant burritos, the dreaded morning came.

To start with, I kept it together pretty well.

I confidently arranged all my saucepans on the counter and weighed out the ingredients as if I had a clue as to what the hell I was doing.

Then things got a little… feverish.

With three large lights trained on me and all the windows shut in the flat (to drown out the noise of the sailing club opposite blaring out ‘YMCA’) the temperature in the flat had risen to about 30 degrees. And I was getting a little flustered.

‘I will start by getting my chicken out the fridge’ I smiled confidently at the camera, sticking my head inside for a moments blessed relief.

The thing is, I had never actually handled a raw chicken before.

And it REPULSED me.

I felt my stomach do a worrying flip.

‘I’m going to be cutting the chicken into bite-size chunks for my fajita mix’ I explained, trying to ignore the assortment of black spots appearing in front of my eyes.

I shakily layed out the wobbling monstrosity on the chopping board and stared at it for a few seconds, breathing deeply.

A dark fog started to descend.

‘And now’ I smiled deliriously at the cameraman through chattering teeth ‘I shall slice the chicken with my trusty carving knife!’

Blackout.

The next thing I remember is being hauled up from the chopping board by the director, with a chunk of raw chicken swinging jauntily from my fringe.

The lovely camera team then proceeded to carry me to my bedroom, with a cold flannel.

This is where the further embarrassment lay.

I normally keep my bedroom in reasonably good shape.

But lately, things had got a little ‘slack’. To the point where Stig of the Dump would not have been seen dead in it.

‘JESUS’ the cameraman swore, skidding on an old plate of spaghetti.

Another stifled a small scream at the sight of the very life-like stuffed gorilla sat in the corner of the room.

‘Oh, don’t mind Nigel!’ I smiled, hastily shoving a packet of Wind-Eaze into my bedside draw and turning over a framed photo of me cradling our prized family pig.

I never got to meet my date.

I was instead driven in the back of the film van to the nearest walk in clinic to get my head looked at. (By that, I mean the bump on my head. Not my mental state. Although that is probably something that I should also look into).

I have taken three things away from this experience.

1. I must never again attempt to cook a raw chicken. I am going to stick to what I know- cuddling them, brushing them and thinking up hilarious pet names for them, such as Princess Layer.

2. I am quite possibly a sexual pervert and need to seek professional help.

3. I must hastily retract my application to appear on Masterchef.

G x

How To Disgrace Oneself

My parents want to send me to finishing school.

This was made abundantly clear last Christmas, when I unwrapped three books entitled ‘The Bluffers Guide To Etiquette’, ‘Her Ladyship’s Guide To The Queens English’ and ‘The A-Z Of Modern Manners’.

They are a bloody hoot of a read.

I’ve decided to share with you a few extracts of ‘advice’ and how I have managed to reflect them in my daily life.

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Being Emotional 

‘Don’t get sentimental or try to get your man to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions. Men don’t like tears, especially in public places’ 

YES, WELL… Once on a first date, I got rather drunk and emotional about my recently deceased dog, Teddie. Through a series of hideous flashbacks, I remember raising my wine glass and hollaring ‘A TOAST TO TEDDIE!’ before attempting to sing the first few lines of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

I think it was at that point that I was taken home in a taxi.

Drinking

‘Never get dunker than your love interest and know your limits- a graceful drunk is always alert to the warning signs of impending toxication and ready to go home before an enjoyable evening ends in tears’

HA DE HA HA ROFLS LOLZIES OHHHH WHERE ON EARTH DOES ONE BEGIN.

The time when I sat on someone’s front doorstep with a traffic cone on my head and declared ‘IM A GNOME AND IM NOT GOING HOME’?

Perhaps three weeks ago, when I brought a family of four Hungarians home for a nightcap and a game of charades?

Or maybe the time when I locked myself out of my parents house at 3am and decided to shout up to my fathers bedroom window ‘RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL LET DOWN YOUR HAIR!!!’ (my father is nearly bald).

The thing is, I know my limits. I just CHOOSE TO EXCEED THEM.

The instance that sticks vividly in my mind, like a small turd pressed into the pages of my memory, is a night I spent in Buffalo Bar in Cardiff.

I was a most pleasant evening, until my ex turned up, who I hadn’t seen since our break up a year ago.

I mean, I think I kept it together pretty well. Enquired about normal things, such as what he was up to now and ‘DOES YOUR GRANDMOTHER STILL KNIT THOSE ADORABLE LITTLE BONNETS?’

But of course, the moment his back was turned I staggered up to the bar, like a cow on rohypnol and wheezed ‘Make me your strongest cocktail and then BRING ME FIVE OF THEM’.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the girls toilets. It was eerily quiet. Yes that’s right, you guessed it. THE CLUB HAD LOCKED UP AND GONE HOME FOR THE NIGHT. Tables and chairs stacked, the lot.

I was eventually let out by a lovely cleaning lady and then found by my friends an hour later in Burger King, eating a Double Whopper.

Internet dating

‘Choosing your date in much the same way as you pick dishes from a menu lacks the finesse and subtlety of traditional courtship, but it opens you up to a world of possibility unavailable through conventional channels’.

Ahhhh Internet dating. Yes.

After hearing several rave reviews and success stories from friends, I finally succumbed to pressure and joined plenty of fish.com.

They say ‘fish’… I say PLENTY OF FUCKING BATSHIT CRAZY WIERDOS.

I lasted 4 days before deleting my account, mentally scarred from the experience.

The final straw came when I received a private email from a guy asking me to be his ‘submissive’ (I think this was at the peak of the 50 Shades craze)

His profile picture was a man in a business suit, with no head (I mean that it was cropped out, not like a severed head).

Attached to the email was a seven page document listing my ‘duties’ as a submissive, including the line ‘you will be rewarded for sexual acts in whipped cream and vegetables’.

I decided not to meet him.

Tattoos

‘The upper classes normally abhor or shun tattoos. You should do the same’.

Whoops.

Smoking

These days an attachment to nicotine has to be very strong indeed if you are going to stand the social pariah status of the smoker. Do not start’

Whoops.

Swearing

‘The foolish and wicked practise of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character despises it’

Double fucking whoops.

Shyness

‘Shyness can be crippling, especially in the young. Ordinary shyness can be conquered by simply putting yourself into timidity-inducing scenarios and forcing yourself to join in’ 

Somehow… SOMEHOW I just don’t feel that shyness is something I particularly suffer from.

Even as a toddler, I was always somewhat of an ‘exhibitionist’.

My parents have a hideous, HIDEOUS anecdote from my childhood. Apparently, I used to drag my empty toy box up to their bedroom door and sit in it, stark bollock naked. I would then proceed to lie on my back, with my legs pulled up over my head and shout ‘SPECIAL DELIVERY- IT’S YOUR CHRISTMAS TURKEY!’

Till next time.

G xx

BLIND DATE DRUNK

So my friend has set me up on a blind date.IMG_2224

Now, I can be a LITTLE picky when it comes to the men that I date (I realise that at this stage beggars can’t be choosers, but even so). I once stopped dating a boy because I became transfixed by his nostril size. Another ended after the first date because I thought he had ‘arms like eels’.

So my friend pre-warned me with this guy -‘Just turn up on the date with an open mind’ she said. ‘Don’t be a dick and stalk him on Facebook before hand or analyse his profile pictures. You could really like him’.

So that night as I logged in to stalk him on Facebook and analyse his profile pictures, I tried to look to the positives. I mean… he seemed lovely. A nice, well-dressed… God-fearing boy (is this the sort of thing one is supposed to look for?). I almost balked when I got to the profile picture of him cradling a large salmon, but managed to move past it.

Then my mind started to wander- what if I actually did like this boy? Salmon is, after all, my favourite fish. What if I actually took things slowly, dated him properly and he BECAME MY BOYFRIEND?

That’s where the thoughts about mine and my blind dates future together should have ended.

But unfortunately for me, my gin-addled brain kept on whirring.

Suddenly, I was thinking through what area in London we would move in to together (south, clearly), how many bikinis I should take with me on our first holiday to the Maldives (making a mental note to pack cystitis relief sachets and corn plasters in my toiletries bag), where and how he would propose to me and whether I would burst into tears or laugh in his face, what sort of hat my mother would wear to our wedding and whether our first born son should be called something sensible, like Sam, or something really edgy, like Barabbas or Wee-Willy.

And then the inevitable came. The arguments. The heartbreak. Me walking into the bedroom to find a pair of size 8 knickers (clearly not mine) stuffed behind the bedside cabinet. Him walking in on me without makeup on for the first time in our 3 year relationship and realising that he had actually married a woman who resembled a large badger.

Then came the divorce; arguments over who got to keep the candelabra and who got landed with the Japanese Peace Lilly. Him silently removing his wedding ring, me beating him over the head with his latest catch of salmon.

So as you can imagine, when the time finally came to actually meet this poor boy for our first date, I just… couldn’t. I mean, WE HAD BEEN THROUGH SO BLOODY MUCH TOGETHER ALREADY.

And frankly, quite frankly, I was still slightly smarting at him being allowed to keep the collection of Faberge eggs, when he KNOWS that they are my favourite and he NEVER REALLY WANTED TO BUY THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

More to come…

G x