Saturday, 16 February 2008

Working for Peanuts

Goodness. I have split the blogger community asunder. And I'm glad.

I like the fact that you'll be honest with me. Not for me the namby pamby 'Oh, but it's lovely. You're lovely. Have you lost weight?' I'd rather you tell me what you think. And so you do. With bells on. And that way I know you're reading it too. But just to give you all a little break from the controversy, I've decided to stick with 2 less controversial topics that I've also promised to write about (Crystal, I promise I'll come back to holiday). Today, pay attention, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to discuss weight and work.

You may remember that I've promised to shed 10% of my weight within 6 months. This campaign, within our office is affectionately entitled, 'Axe The Flab'. I may well yet have to resort to an axe. Lola, you've given me excellent advice on how best to do this, and I can see that I was clearly along the wrong lines with chopping off a leg. As you very kindly point out this is 18.5%, and therefore that is too much. A head is 7%, and therefore not enough (although it would help in the long term, as I would no longer have a mouth to put food in, and I'm not sure you can put weight on by cramming cake straight into your neck stump.) Also there is the dead related problem. Although I will await for Lola's properly scientific advice, I'm pretty much convinced at the moment, that if the worst comes to the worst, I can do without 1 arm, 1 foot, and a generous shaving off each buttock.

All is not going well at the moment with the weight loss. I was off to a flying start, and lost 2.5 pounds the 1st week. I felt like I had too. I commented that I felt like a waif. I felt like a bag of crisps or 12 would set me back on the right track. But I stuck to it and lost another pound the week after. Then, my birthday week, I put a pound on (goodness, doesn't pizza & vodka weigh heavy when it's in skin?), and I think this week I've stayed the same, although I was technically wearing lighter clothes, so may in fact have put weight on again. Tricky damn business. But at least I'm going in the right direction, and at least, technically and theoretically, I know how to lose weight.

A colleague of mine who's doing the same thing put 2 pounds on the 1st week, then lost 1, then put another 2 on. She's lost the will to live now, and can't remember if she's lost or gained this week, as she now has no idea how much she weighed in the 1st place. She was listening in to a convesration I was having with a friend when I explained how I'd been really good, eating chicken, fish, vegetables, lots of fruit (this was early on & I wasn't counting lemon in my vodka as fruit). She asked if I'd changed what I normally ate. I said of course I had. She looked at me in astonishment.

'God,' she said. 'I don't think I could do that.'

She appears to be under the mistaken apprehension that by signing up for the campaign, she has effectively guaranteed that she will lose weight. And cannot understand that if in 1 week, you have fish & chips (twice), pizza & chips, a family size lemon sponge cake, and 2 Danish pastries (with vanilla custardy stuff) per day, then you will not automatically lose weight. Beats me how she lost any weight in that second week.

It is only my competitive streak that keeps me going, and soon I'm going to lose that. Well, not lose it, but just not have access to it. Bacuse you see (cue drumroll & fanfare), I have a new job. I've signed on with an agency, been for an interview, been offered the job and handed my notice in. All in the space of 2 weeks. It has taken my breath away, and I'm fairly sure that when the adrenalin wears off I will be in shock. But for now, I'm very content, and delighted with the fact that I gave a figure for the salary I was looking for, and left myself enough room to negotiate, because I was at the top end of their salary band. I'm even more delighted with the fact that they clearly realised I was a catch & no mistake, and offered me more than I asked for. I'm even more delighted than that, that this equates to a salary increase of approximately 17%. (so my mathematically minded friends tell me). And to that person who told me that the grass isn't always greener? No you're right, it isn't. But the grass is dead on this side & I'll thank you to keep your miserable face & opinion to yourself. So there.

I had a bit of trouble with writing my resignation letter. I've not written one for years. In the end, I wrote a very pleasant one, thanking them for the opportunities they'd given me.

But I'm still quite fond of my first draft.

'Dear (insert name),
I would like to tender my resignation from the company forthwith. This is because I hate my job, and (insert other name) is really mean, and I hate her too. Also, I think you have the potential to be mean, and in fact a mini-me clone of (other name). I would rather eat my own feet than continue working here.'

And I would too.

But I'm trying to lose weight.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

When is a Relationship not a Relationship?

First of all, I'd just like to say a massive thank you to readers new & old who left such lovely comments on my birthday post. I did feel quite brave coming out with a photo, and I promise it's never likely to be repeated! I had a great birthday, thanks all.

Secondly, as promised, there's some things I need to get back to, because I've not posted here as regularly as I would have liked. I've been busy with all sorts, but I'll try to get you up to speed.

Right. Where to start. Right. Erm. Well.


You'll remember that I walked away, right? And you'll remember also how that went, right? That despite my promises and oaths, I walked right back, about half a nano-second later? Right.

Well, after Christmas, we had a bit of a talk. Or at least I did. Because by now, I was so certain as to how things went, that despite his presence, I decided to hold both sides of the conversation. I am nothing if not helpful.

Me: I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that you never meant for any of this to happen. You don't regret it happening, but you don't want to hurt me. You would never do anything to hurt me, and that's why it can't happen again. But you're not sorry and you enjoyed it. But you don't want to hurt me. And you just don't see me in that way.

He at least had the grace to laugh.

But, in an extremely sly move, and most unexpectedly, he had changed the script (although he told me it was a damn good effort.) You see, I've been here before with him, and I said that unless we did something about it, then I didn't think I could rule it out that it might happen again.And he said that he didn't think he could, either.

Then he said he didn't want to rule it out.

Now readers, if you are paying attention, you will note that this is something unexpected (To me at least. But you are probably quicker on the uptake, and decidedly more realistic). You see, although he doesn't want to rule out the possibility of us spending the odd night together here and there, he doesn't want anything else. At least, not from me.

This is not where I expected my life to be. At some point, I was meant to have moonlight and roses, champagne and dancing. I think I maybe need to check my Amazon order again, because something has gone awry.

So I did the only sensible thing. I told him that I wasn't interested in half measures. That I deserved better than that. That I deserved someone who wanted all of me, as a person. And I told him to stop being so damn cheeky. Did he think I was some cheap bit of skirt?

Did I fuck.

I laughed, and told him OK, that we'd see how it goes. Then I giggled a lot, because frankly, this is so out of character from my usual self that it is like an alien invasion.

And it's going really well. I think I'm more surprised than anyone.

But when I was talking to Belle about it, she doesn't seem to get the crux of the matter. God bless her, she's had a lot on her mind of late, so I can understand her confusion. You see, WE ARE NOT DATING. At all. We are not in a relationship. But she's not getting it.

You might be able to settle this for us.

This is how it goes. We talk to each other, and then we suggest a time that we might like to go out. We work together, so it's usually after work. So we make an arrangement in advance. He asks me if I'd like to stay over, and if I would, then I take an overnight bag, which is infinitely easier than before when things just 'happened', and I had to borrow shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes etc, and wear the same clothes to work 2 days running. Not a good look, if I'm honest.


Then we go out for a drink in town, have a laugh, like always, chat about rubbish, like always. Have a meal, then go back to his home town (far posher than mine, in a very nice part of Birmingham). Have a couple of drinks there. If we haven't had a meal in town, we'll pick up a takeaway, then go back & watch ER. Then, well. You don't need all the details.

He was disappointed, I think, that I couldn't stay over the night before my birthday, so I'd wake up with him. But I had other plans. On Monday, I had some exciting news, so we went for a drink after work. Then I stayed over in an impromptu fashion. On Thursday, we'd planned to go out for my birthday, which we did & it was lovely. Had a meal, went to the cinema, went back to his house (with my overnight bag this time). Friday, we went out for a drink with loads of people from work.

I had approximately 12 vodkas too many, on top of the 6 or so that were OK, and was feeling a little bit the worse for wear. He didn't ask me if I wanted to stay at his house.

He told me that I had to.

Because he was worried about me getting home by myself. It's a long way, for goodness sake, I'm a woman on my own, and IT'S NOT SAFE, YOU ARE STAYING. (I might have taken a swear word or 20 out).

When I have had a little drink, I've been known to let the feisty side of me come out. This was one of those occasions. I was really stroppy with him. Did he not trust me to get home? Did he think I was some pathetic woman? He'd let me go home like this before, what's changed? Did he think that now, especially now, that I wasn't so damn careful of the boundaries that we'd set up, that I was looking for him to rescue me?

And do you know what he did then? He agreed. But he still said it wasn't safe. But that he was just being protective. Maybe a bit over-protective, he said. When we got to his house, I sat on the sofa & sulked. Then I cried. Then I went to bed, to stop the room spinning. I don't think we spoke until the morning.

Surely to god, none of the above is how couples go on with each other? Where is the moonlight & roses? Where is the champagne? No candles?

Belle told me that it sounds very much like a relationship to her.

But then I played my trump card.

We're not going out with each other. Because he hasn't asked me out.

So there.

Saturday, 2 February 2008


I'll come back to the other topics, I promise.

But today, it's my birthday.

1. I'd like to stay up all night and watch the sun rise.
2. I'd like to go to a country I've never been to before.
3. I'd like to learn a new language.
4. I'd like to go dancing.
5. I'd like to be sent flowers.
6. I'd like to walk barefoot in the sand.
7. I'd like to go and see a new band.
8. I'd like to go to the opera.
9. I'd like to ride a horse.
10. I'd like to learn to drive.
11. I'd like to have beautiful nails, with patterns.
12. I'd like to lie in a field and look at the stars.
13. I'd like to make snow angels.
14. I'd like to smile and laugh more.
15. I'd like to drink champagne.
16. I'd like to go for a long walk in the country.
17. I'd like to go to the National Gallery.
18. I'd like to get a new job.
19. I'd like to go and see a French film, with subtitles.
20. I'd like to have a massage.
21. I'd like to see my son stay as happy as he is now.
22. I'd like to sit outside and drink wine in the evening.
23. I'd like to exercise more.
24. I'd like to wear fancy dress.
25. I'd like to spend more time with my friends.
26. I'd like to go to the theatre in London.
27. I'd like to watch Shirley Valentine again.
28. I'd like to learn to ski.
29. I'd like someone to tell me I look beautiful.
30. I'd like to start voluntary work.
31. I'd like to make a difference to someone.
32. I'd like to go on a boat.
33. I'd like to lose weight.
34. I'd like someone to sing to me.
35. I'd like to be brave.
36. I'd like a wish to come true.
37. I'd like to see fireworks, and have a sparkler.
38. I'd like to wear silk.
39. I'd like to be in love, and be loved back.
40. I'd like to be me, but better.

Lots of love,