Wednesday, November 30

The Wednesday list
(Because lists aren’t just for Fridays)

Inspired by an absent friend, here’s a list of things I used to like but that I don’t like now (in no particular order).

1. Telly
Well, it’s all crap innit? I’ve ranted enough about that already on this blog – Mr Meep thinks it’s all getting a bit ‘preachy’. S’one asked me today if I’d been watching ‘I’m a Celebrity’. I said no, but they still proceeded to tell me all about it for about 20 zillion hours. I wanted to scream. Or fall asleep. Or a combination of both. A Scleep.

2. Getting pissed
About 10 years ago, I’d be hungover for approximately half of my waking hours. In my defence, I worked in a call centre so drinking to forget was obligatory. Don’t get me wrong, I still like a tipple. I’m a big fan Mr Hoe and his lovely Gaarden and there’s nothing better than a glass of red in the bath on a cold Sunday afternoon. I like being tipsy and a bit giggly, but I also like to be up before the sun with a spring in my step, not lying on the sofa feeling like there are an army of angry rhinos charging around my head.

3. Chicklit
Chicklit can be done really well – I loved Bridget Jones, Lisa Jewell is fab and I’m a bit partial to a Jane Green. But when someone made up the term ‘chicklit’ it spawned a thousand badly-written novels with exactly the same plot:

Late 20something girl living in London, a bit scatty, single. Shares a flat with a friend with a sensible job (accountant, a bit of a perfectionist, a tad uptight). Has a GBF who’s very flamboyant. Girl falls for unsuitable man, GBF warns her to be careful. Her and GBF fall out. Unsuitable man cheats on her, she is heartbroken, GBF comforts her. Meanwhile, uptight flatmate realises she’s too serious, gets a new haircut and pulls a hippie bloke who persuades her to go to Nepal. Heroine meets new man. GBF buys cute puppy and meets dream boyf while walking her in park. Heroine gets married. GBF’s puppy is bridesmaid. The End.

4. Travelling
I’ve been about a bit when it comes to globe trotting, and I’ve loved every minute of it. But when your holidays are limited to a long weekend here and a week there, I find the whole abroad thing a tad stressful. Of course, I’d love to a road trip around California or go trekking in Vietnam, but packing it into a fortnight just doesn’t appeal. So being a budget-conscious Wombly type these days, I like my holidays in Britain, involving cream teas and country walks. Blimey, you can tell I’ve hit 30.

5. Radio 1
There was a time when I thought Chris Moyles was funny. Why? He’s clearly the anti-mumpet and an absolute knobber to boot. Thank goodness for DAB, which brought with it the delights of XFM (Adam and Joe!) and 6Music (er, lots of top tunes!).

6. Magazines
When I worked in magazines (I was “Britain’s Premier Motoring Journalist”, don’t ya know), I realised how none of them have any new ideas and that the same features get recycled year-on-year. Now I find it hard to read them at all. Tragic.

7. Cooked breakfasts
Maybe it’s because fry-ups go with hangovers and I used to have a lot of both, but nowadays I can’t face a big, hot, heavy breakfast in the morning. I want smoothies or toast or, if I’m feeling a tad continental, a croissant. Oo la la, I’m right posh, me.

8. Lying in
On Sundays, Mr Meep walks Baroness Blod and it’s my turn for the weekend lie-in. The longest I’ve managed to stay asleep over the past few weeks is 8.15am. I still like to laze about with green tea and newspapers, but just can not seem to sleep. Strange.

9. Dominos pizza
Mr Meep and I used to love this as a Sunday night treat. Now it makes me so thirsty that I have to get up in the night and down pints of water after I’ve eaten it. Odd.

10. Homophobia
Ha, only joking – that’s never been any good. I love a nice gayer.
Clothing Crisis
I need some new clothes. I’ve needed some new clothes for ages, but I feel guilty for buying them and find shopping generally quite stressful. I usually return from a clothes shopping session feeling fat (things don’t fit over my boobs), too tall (trousers are always too short), red-eyed (the air-con plays havoc with my contacts) and straggly-haired (I am straggly haired. I never actually brush the back of my hair because I forget and it’s boring. It’s just that usually, I don’t encounter any ‘view yourself from all angles’ mirror arrangements).

This is what I need to buy:
  • Work clothes
    I hate having to spend money on work clothes, but as I spend about 10 hours of the day in my work get-up, I thought I should make an effort to look and feel nicer. Don’t worry, I’m not turning into a ‘professional’ – I’m going for funky clothes. Under no circumstances am I purchasing a flammable polyester suit from Next. There are people in my office who only wear beige, navy and black from Next. If I pick something up, I must think, ‘Would they wear this?’. If the answer is yes, I put it straight back.

  • Dog-walking/ambling about in the countryside coat
    I need something that’s a) warm b) waterproof c) not black or navy d) quite fitted and does not look like a sack. Does this coat actually exist? I don’t think it does. I tried to find one last year, got totally frustrated and came home with an impulse buy that was a) a puffa jacket b) black c) dull d) not waterproof and e) from M&S. I took it back the next day when my sanity had returned.

  • Hat/Scarf/Gloves combo
    Today I am wearing a pink glittery scarf, some blue and cream stripy mittens, and a pink and black hat, none of which match each other nor the red coat I am wearing. I’m thinking stripy, bright colours, possible a few sequins… I’ll be fabulous and warm - Hurrah!

  • Warm, funky jumpers
    I have two cardigans that I wear on the weekend. One is my pink stripy which has been washed a squillion times. The other is a lovely glittery zip-up thing, but I realised last night that I am wearing it in a photo Mr Meep keeps in his wallet. It’s of me when we first met - I was 19! Time for a new one, I think.

    So I’m toddling off to the shops on the weekend to create the all-new Miss Meep. I might even brush the back of my hair to match my new image.
  • Tuesday, November 29

    I do like winter after all
    It's cold but sunny, the kind of weather that makes you feel alive. I wish I was on a beach or on top of a mountain, Mr Meep by my side, dog at my feet, drinking coffee from my thermos, staring at the sky.

    We'd run along the sand, throwing sticks for Blod, then sit on a rock and watch the sea. Stripy scarves and woolly hats would keep us toasty. Our cheeks would have a healthy glow.

    On the way home, we'd stop at a country pub and sit by the fire with a pint of winter ale, browsing through the papers and chatting about nothing in particular.

    Friday, November 18

    The Friday List
    Reasons why I need to get out of this office soon

  • Yesterday, I heard the expressions 'deliverables' and 'win win situation' in the same sentence
  • Overheard this morning: "I don’t understand it – she wants to work part-time so she can spend more time with her baby. But what about her career?"
  • Three colleagues were discussing the opportunities they could get from joining the 'Middle Managers Network'
  • Over 75% of the female staff are wearing almost identical black flammable suits from Next in an attempt to look 'professional' when the VC came to visit
  • I've just seen another empty packet of haslet in the kitchen bin
  • I'm so busy, I can’t find time to blog
  • Tuesday, November 8

    The Great Television Experiment: Week 4
    As Dave Grohl said recently, I got another confession to make…

    After a great start in the telly-ban, in the last two weeks, when I’ve been at home alone, I have succumbed to the lure of the box in the corner. It’s usually happened when I sit down to eat – I don’t like eating alone and I find it hard to read and eat at the same time. In the summer, I’d sit and look at the garden, but staring at the wall doesn’t have the same appeal.

    Anyway, I confess to watching the following:

  • What Not To Wear (half an hour)
  • Jamie’s Italy (half an hour)
  • The second half of a documentary about children being adopted (half an hour)
  • Wife Swap (two episodes; one hour each)
  • And the one I’m most ashamed of… about 15 minutes of Strictly Come Dancing (shudder)

    So, that’s 225 minutes – or almost four hours – of wasted time. It’s not as if I watched anything educational (well, apart from the adoption programme, which just made me cry a lot).

    On the plus side, if the typical Briton spends over four hours a day watching telly (surely that can’t be true?), then I would say that my quest to reduce telly-watching has been a success. While the majority have spent 112 hours watching the box, I’ve used those spare 108 hours to do other things.

    108 hours? That really sounds like a long time. I could have started writing that children’s book I’ve always thought about…