StickleBec – Plug n\’ Play London

I love holidays

I love holidays. I do, I really do. They are great. Especially, as was the one I’ve just come back from, they are free. (Apart from spending money, which I managed to get through quite a lot of.)

I went with Alex, to Nerja, which is 60km east of Malaga. It was a bit “Brits Abroad”, but not too bad. I can imagine places like Marbella and Torremilanos are worse…

I urge anyone who is flying budget to anywhere in Europe not to fly with Monarch. Our flight on the way was delayed by 3.5 hours, and we were given FOUR POUNDS each in food vouchers as compensation. FOUR POUNDS. That goes nowhere in an airport, you can barely buy a cup of coffee for that. So then when we finally got on our flight, the seats were miniscule and the aircrew like weird fake people.

I spent a lot of the holiday feeling nervous about driving, as every day seemed to come up with a new driving challenge. First day – driving for the first time on the right, in the dark, not knowing where we were going. Second day – driving in the light, with lots of traffic. Third day – driving up a mountain, on the right, with no barriers to a sheer drop. You get the picture. The last day was actually the worst, driving through Malaga city centre on Saturday afternoon was hairy, to say the least. 4 lanes of traffic going into a badly signposted roundabout (and not knowing where to leave the roundabout), created a jelly like Becca. We did finally find some parking, nearly had a fit because we couldn’t read the tariffs and thought we were going to end up paying about 200 Euros for the day’s parking, but then managed to not speak to the very non-English speaking parking attendant and figure out it was only going to cost us about 10 Euros for the day.

So apart from driving experiences, the holiday brought a lot of Monopoly (travel set bought at the airport – initially felt tiny but very rapidly got used to), some sun, although not that much as Alex managed to get sunstroke on one of the early days that we had spent on a very windy beach, not realising quite how strong the sun was, and actual tons of delicious seafood.

The relaxed and rested feeling I had at the end of the hols was slightly ruined by a delay on the way back (I think I’m jinxed – out of 4 flights in 3 weeks, 3 have been at least an hour delayed), meaning I didn’t get into bed until about 4.30am, but I still can feel the sun on my face when I close my eyes…. awww….

So the next big thing is the move in with the boy! Very excited, but also very sad indeed about leaving The Catster and 3B. I am maybe slightly foolish in not having started to pack yet but I don’t think it’s going to take me too long. I may be wrong though. It feels like ages since I’ve moved and I know the last packing up procedure was super traumatic but that was more to do with us (when I say us, I actually mean me, with a tiny weeny bit of help from ex-flatmates) having to clear and clean the entire house which I suspect hadn’t been properly cleaned for nigh on 5 years. The imminent move surely can’t be anywhere near as bad as that one.


Day 6

I a bit worried about how rubbish I feel today. It can’t possibly be due to the not drinking thing, can it? I have been feeling totally exhausted, headachey and extremely emotional all day.

A couple of hours ago I had a totally random argument with someone at work that I picked(which of course I cried after), and have been snapping at boss/team/etc etc constantly.

I tried to lighten my mood at lunchtime by going shopping, and it worked during the event, but once I was back in the office I felt crap again. Maybe because I didn’t actually find anything I wanted (apart from a completely unsuitable and expensive, but incredibly gorgeous neon pink raw silk shift dress… which I may have to go back and buy for another occasion).

Hopefully a quiet evening with D will make me feel a bit better. (Plus it is Friday tomorrow which, once I’m out of work today, will improve things).

*Hangs head in shame*

I know it’s been an incredibly long time since I wrote but I do have a good excuse. It can (almost) entirely be blamed on a certain half Greek man (let’s call him D) that has been monopolising (in the very best way) my time for the last 2 months or so.

Consequently, due to the lack of wishing to gush and gloat, I have had very little to write, but am going to try my best now!

Am on day three of a 2 week detox. As you tend do in the early stages of relationships, D and I found ourselves drinking at least a bottle of wine (more usually 2) a night, and I slipped into the rut of going to the pub every lunchtime so very soon starting feeling a bit over boozed. D suggested taking a two week break from drinking which I agreed to, maybe somewhat foolishly. So Friday night saw me drinking beer until the actual second before falling asleep, getting as much in as I could before the ban started. The weekend was actually not as bad as I thought it would be, and we even went for a pub lunch and drank sparkling water (even whilst the Catster was drinking wine). Quite proud of myself. Even more proud of myself for resisting after sitting on the very front row of the cinema for 28 Weeks Later. I am not generally a horror film fan, but I got forced to watch 28 Days Later and quite enjoyed it, and although the sequal was a good film, it was incredibly gory and I am slightly ashamed to say I did close my eyes quite a lot and I think D’s hand got a bit squashed at times. So could have done with a stiff drink after, but instead we went home, drank sparkling water (again) and played Scrabble. Oh so rock’n’roll.

Yesterday did turn out to be quite a games day – Skip Bo in the pub over lunch, Trivial Pursuit in the afternoon, and Scrabble later in the evening. I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of, and that it could be a sign of getting old, but then D has only just turned 22 and he seemed to enjoy it…

I think the hardest part of not drinking is actually going to be lunchtimes. I love the fact that the whole of my office takes a 90 minute lunch break, if you’re not a gym person, there is a not a lot to do other than go to the pub. We don’t have anywhere to sit in our offices apart from at our desks, and 90 minutes is a long time to try and fill with anything other than work whilst sitting at a desk. Hence why I’m writing today! And may be for the next couple of weeks on a more regular basis.

The quietest busy week ever

The dizziness evaporated on Saturday morning thankfully, which meant I had the bonus of a free weekend when I thought I was going to be in bed for 2 days.

The Catster and I, very energetically, made it to Ikea Croydon on Saturday afternoon, where we bought exciting things such a curtain pole and herrings. (Herrings much more exciting that curtain poles, of course). It’s quite a long round trip on the bus so it was definitely evening by the time we got home.

We accidentally drank 4 bottles of red wine between us that evening, accompanied by Trivial Pursuit and Skip Bo playing. Oh yes, we are so cool. Saturday night in playing board games…It also accidentally got to nearly 4am before it was bedtime so Sunday was a wipeout until…

4pm I suddenly got a massive burst of energy, partly motivated by having visitors (family and old friends) on Saturday and wanting to have my room lovely and finished by the time they arrived. So I enlisted the help of HD and his power drill to put up the curtain pole, whilst I faffed with altering the length of double layers of sheer curtains. One thing I have to say is – bugger Ikea! They make you think that it’s going to take 2 seconds to cut the curtains to the correct length and easily iron them into place using the clever iron-on strips, but in reality it is no where near that simple. Especially when the curtains are very slippery material and there is no where in the house big enough to lay them out flat. But eventually, with fab advice from The Catster, I managed to get all 4 done and up. Along with some very cute pictures of “duckies?”, and finally hanging the beautiful painting/picture/collage-thingy that The Catster bought me for my birthday 4 months ago.

So, I was anticipating very busy/drinky week this week, with plans for excess every single night, including Monday. I arrived at work yesterday and in confirming the evening’s plans with my work colleagues, got many a cancellation due to illness. So the festivities (brought about by bars in the City deciding to offer 50% off the food and booze bill until the end of January) were cancelled, and I ended up having a fairly sensible evening out with one colleague.

Tonight I was supposed to be meeting up with Alex but she has tonsillitis (more illness!!) so that’s been postponed. Tomorrow was supposed to be drinks with a friend who is notoriously terrible at forgetting plans and who subsequently I haven’t seen since the summer, has again cancelled on me as his “work are taking him out, planned at the last minute”. So I suppose it’s better for the wallet and the liver that all these plans have been cancelled, but it’s quite boring. Although I was slightly worried that I might be a bit of a wreck by the end of the week, I was quite looking forward to it after being somewhat of a hermit during January.

At time of going to press, Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday lunchtime plans are still there, so the end of the week will be more exciting than the beginning.

Even more dizzy

Ever experienced feeling like you’re going to fall over when you’re laying down (whilst I was writing that I realised that I have felt like that many a time but only due to alchohol abuse and that hardly counts as along with that generally comes intense nausea)?

I’ve been feeling a bit like that for the last few days, I felt very strange last night so decided to have a day off work today. Nice.


I will elaborate tomorrow depending on the gravity of the situation.

I’m back

For some reason I haven’t managed to find the time to write recently, not quite sure why as I’ve found plenty of time to sit around doing not a lot else.

I have a day off work today which is marvellous. I took a day’s holiday so I could have a slightly extended weekend in Chelmsford with the parentals. Was lovely weekend, starting off with seeing a ballet at the Royal Opera House. My dad got me and my mum very cheap tickets on the very highest seats in the house, the upper slips. They don’t even have proper seats up there, just padded benches. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much unless we stood up, which we did for most of the first act, as it was absolutely fabulous. Amazing music and incredible dancing. When the first act finished we popped down to the local bar to meet my dad for a glass of wine in the local bar. The second act wasn’t so great and we didn’t feel it worth standing up, so we didn’t return for the third act and stayed drinking wine and eating cheese until my dad finished.

My parents are having their loft converted soon (if they can figure out a slightly cheaper way of having it done – they got an estimate last night from the architect which is twice the amount they expected and very very expensive indeed) so we spent the rest of the weekend going through boxes and boxes and boxes of old things. I had to sort so many toys and books from my childhood, very nostalgic! We got rid of a lot of stuff.

Trying to decide what to do with the rest of my day, seeing as I got motivated and have managed to get back to London before lunchtime, I should use the afternoon productively. I was planning about going out somewhere this afternoon, but a lack of money and the inclement weather means that I am having second thoughts.

Woo hoo!!

It’s been unblocked!


Firstly, I am annoyed.

Work must have realised how much time I spend on wordpress and have blocked it. I am very annoyed, as I have always used quiet times to write posts. I suppose I could always write them in an email, send them to myself and post when I get home but it doesn’t feel the same.

Damage relates to last weekend. Friday night started off pretty sensibly, with The Catster and I going to see My Life Story at the Astoria, which was a splendid gig indeed. We managed to bag ourselves a spot at the front of the upstairs so we had a completely unmpeded view of the band for the whole set. They have such good songs! Muchly enjoyed indeed.

We were on the bus home by about 10.30 and it was looking to be a very sensible, 3 pint of beer and bed evening.

It all went a bit wrong when almost home, I received a phonecall from a friend who had had a rather unpleasant evening and wasn’t able to get hold of her boyfriend, and wanted to come to HH to go for some drinks, which of course I agreed to, being a good friend an’ all.

So we headed off to Escape. I suddenly got in the right mood for getting a bit wasted, so we (in hindsight very foolishly) started off with tequila shots. Oh deary me. So anyway, my friend spent about 75% of the next couple of hours standing outside the bar talking to her boyfriend on the phone. As you can imagine, I looked quite lonely so a group of guys took me under their wing and we started chatting away. One guy was incredibly goodlooking and we were getting on famously until one of his rather flamboyant friends came over and drove him away from me with his incessant chatter. Although he was a lovely guy, he was wearing an orange bodywarmer which really wasn’t attractive. Anyway we had a good old chatter about Herne Hill as he had lived here for about 10 years. Friend then came back from phonecalls, and after a few more shots 4 of us decided to go back to my flat.

It was a silly idea indeed as we very quickly got stuck into a bottle of gin. Within a short time, my friend had kind of lost the plot so I had to send the boys home to get her settled into the den.

Woke up the next morning about 10am with her freaking about the fact she needed to get home to her boyfriend as they were supposed to be going out for the day. After getting a cab for her I crawled back into bed for a few more hours kip.

That’s when it all went very, very wrong. I spent the rest of the day trying to sleep but having to visit the bathroom to barf on a fairly regular basis. It got to the point when I couldn’t even keep water down. Honestly, I haven’t been sick like that for years, well, at least two. Even on Sunday I struggled to eat anything, and felt like I had been used as a punchbag so spent a second day in bed. A completely wasted weekend. Also, wasted tickets for Placebo at Wembley which I had really been looking forward to.

Monday morning came along and I still felt rough as a very rough thing. Hence a pretty quiet beginning of the week. I was getting stomach pains when I ate anything which I think is probably quite a bad sign.

By Tuesday I felt ok enough to have a couple of pints at lunchtime, although the second one had to be forced down…

Wednesday was a brilliant day. I had my team xmas lunch, for which we left the office at 12.30pm and didn’t go back at all. We spent the entire afternoon sitting in Cafe des Amis, drinking gallons of red wine and eating divine food. By 6pm I was pretty wasted so I headed home and went straight to bed – asleep by 7.30pm. How I felt the day after just goes to show how badly we sleep when drunk, as althought I got almost 12 hours shuteye, it could have been only 5 or 6, I was exhausted.

Intending to have a quiet Friday night, my arm was twisted to go to a pub near work for a couple of beers after work, which turned into more than a couple, although not a late one.

Saturday and Sunday have seen much activity in the form of christmas shopping in Brixton and Herne Hill, wrapping presents, and general house tidying, interspersed with a long walk in the park, and a visit to a bar in Clapham Saturday night for a colleagues birthday party. Oh, and taste testing 2 different brands of champagne that are on a half price offer in Sainsbury’s at the moment. Had to be done so that what we have on New Year’s Eve is up to our high standards.

More winter boredom

I’m sorry to be a bore but please take a moment to look at this. (Click on Sunrise and Sunset times today for the UK, then on the map).

I happened to glance out of the window at 15.09 today, which I know as I am watching the clock avidly (anyone ever known a slower day than today?), and the horizon was pink and looking decidly sunsetty. 15.09!!! And there are still 15 days until the shortest day, when finally it starts getting lighter in the mornings.

On a more positive note, the alarm clock/light contraption seems to be working better now I’ve put it in my direct eyeline. Apart from the fact I seem to open my eyes and think “What the bloody hell is that?!” every morning, at least it is waking me up a bit more gently than an alarm screaming through my dreams.

I know I keep banging on about winter, but for some reason it seems just that little bit more of a bore this year.

On a completely separate note CONGRATULATIONS HAPPY DAVE!!