People are just throwing this around willy-nilly, pretending to care about obscure diseases when the only awareness going on is brand awareness. We’re not stupid, giving away free hair extensions to ‘raise awareness of hair trauma issues’ and then paying Facebook Ads to get traffic is the biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever come across.
2. Animals that look like plants
3. Publicly shaming people who feed ducks bread
Oh look, here’s a picture of a young mum who barely has the strength to feed herself, trying to take her kid to the park and create memories even though she would rather be asleep/dead. Let me comment on the photo of them feeding bread to the ducks about how bread is, in actual fact, not good for them and they should be fed seeds and organic pulses from that really expensive shop 40 miles away.
If your life is really so dull that you feel the need to point this out, do it over private message. Don’t humiliate people in public over something that was clearly unintentional.
4. Raccoon fingers
5. American narrators of British history documentaries
Sorry guys, but it just doesn’t work. The Thames Archaeological Team dig does not need to be set to the American Psycho soundtrack with a jarring, out-of-place accent foreboding how “they only have 2 hours before the tide comes in and washes everything away.”
We don’t have the attention span of a 2-year-old, we are capable of following the storyline with just the voice of Tony Robinson and some light lute music to spice things up.
6. Children’s Choirs
7. Photography projects on the homeless
Jesus, show a bit of decorum. There are so many crass amateur photographers out there trying to make it big by being ‘edgy’ and ‘real’. But in order to be edgy and real, it appears that you have to exploit homeless people who don’t give a fuck about your Masters in Digital Art, paid for by your parents.
“The Long Walk Home – a visual journey through homelessness through the various shoes of vagrants”
“Barbed – how one man’s barber charity is cheering up the homeless, one destitute hobo at a time”.
Get a little perspective. This is nothing but poverty porn and you know it. But hey, it’s getting you views so go for it, fucktard.
8. Goat’s eyes
9. People who refer to themselves as “a unicorn”
10. Russian gymnasts
11. Guilt tripping from the bottom of the barrel
It doesn’t matter what you do nowadays, if you’re not feeling guilty about it then you are the shittest of humans. I watched a video in which people staying at a hotel were told that there wouldn’t be any bottled water available for 10 hours. The undercover cameras then filmed their reactions, which were obviously that of disbelief and annoyance, only to then show them a video about children in Africa who have to walk for 10 hours to get water.
The whole “bet you feel like a right dick now” reveal that happened afterwards was just ridiculous. You can’t compare these things. If I went to a remote village in Africa and got pissed off that my water wouldn’t be delivered to me by a small child for 10 hours, that would make me an asshole. If, however, I’ve paid €150 a night to stay in an overpriced hotel because nothing affordable seems to exist anymore, then fucking right I’ll be pissed off if there’s no water.
And it gets worse. The very next day I saw a video about a woman who had one lung and the tag line was “You take breathing for granted” – Yes I do, I take breathing 100% for granted. Every day I wake up and expect to be breathing. It’s how I know that I’m not dead. If I had to actively feel grateful for breathing, I wouldn’t be able to work, eat, or wash, because all my time would be taken up with thanking circumstance that I have a working pair of lungs.
12. People who hashtag #Prosecco in their instagram posts
After a particularly heavy weekend in Rome that saw me relegated to the toilet for longer than is polite, it occurred to me that I have been drinking pretty much every weekend since the age of 14. That’s almost a quarter of a century of jagermeister, beer, red wine, consequent hangovers, junk food, and existential crises.
It’s kind of gross. My last baby tooth was yanked out by my drunk-ass self in a Paceville toilet, and since then my liver has been under permanent attack. Once, at the ripe old age of 15, and all in one night, I drank 2 bottles of red wine to myself, proceeded to throw up in a bar in front of all the ‘cute seniors’, got dropped by my equally drunk best friend down a spiral staircase, threw up again all over the backseat of some random guy’s brand new car as he was driving me and my friends home, got forced into a cold shower by my friends who put me to bed where I stayed until I (surprisingly) surfaced the next day with zero memory of everything except the embarrassing parts of the night before.
I have had high expectations of my body’s ability to heal itself for quite some time now and I feel like I’ve had my fun. I’m so unbelievably bored of it, and I’m at that age where what I do now will have a much more significant impact on my lifespan than what I did when I was in my twenties. So, for this reason, I decided to stop drinking for 4 weeks, primarily just to find out if I could. For all I know, I could be a raging alcoholic, I’ve just never stopped drinking long enough to find out. But this experiment was also a way to find out if there is anything else to do for fun that doesn’t involve drinking (or joining a gym, fuck off with that). After I was finished, the plan was then to return to drinking, but at a much more modest pace. You know, like what French people do.
So, after 28 days of not drinking, here is what I discovered:
1. People Are Shit
Oh my god. People are so fucking shit, how did I not notice this? Oh yeah, that’s right, because I was smashed the whole time. Going into a social environment as the only non-drinker, I could not believe how self-obsessed everyone was. Drunk people LOVE to talk about themselves. And in the most nauseating way, too. Here are just some of things that were said to me without even a hint of irony:
“I’ve travelled here, and here, and here, and there, and as a result I am an authority on every single culture that exists on planet Earth at the present moment.”
“I teach yoga. I’m pretty amazing. Look at my bendy body, look at it bending more than is necessary. Wow, right?”
“I have quite a lot of money, not to sound like an asshole.”
“My husband has quite a lot of money. It means I have the luxury of being flexible with my career choices. I’m currently on my 9th career move because I have experienced no repercussions as a result of lack of commitment due to all the money that my husband gives me. He’s really cool like that. He respects my need to be free.”
“I train for 2 hours every day after work. Feel how heavy my bag is. It’s because I have to change outfits 3 times a day because of all the activities I do. I also have to carry my lunch in there because I’m vegan, so you know, I have to plan my meals.”
“I’m quite important, as much as I despise myself for saying it.”
No need to despise yourself, everyone else is already doing that for you.
2. I’m Not Sure Pizza Is As Amazing As I Thought
Think about it guys. It’s basically just bread and cheese with some fancy ketchup. I think the only reason I like it is because I can eat it with my hands when I’m an immobile, onesie-wearing, hungover mess on my sofa, and I don’t have to feel bad about it because you’re supposed to eat pizza with your hands. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there are actually better things than pizza to eat if you are willing to commit to cutlery.
3. I Actually Like Sundays
When I drank every weekend, Sundays were like a horrible no man’s land for me. You can’t go out on the smash because you have work in the morning, you also can’t do anything productive like exercise or cleaning because you’re hungover from Saturday night, so you kind of just sit there in your pjs feeling this horrendous guilt mixed with dread that the working week is about to start all over again and you’ve achieved literally nothing.
When you don’t drink, however, your entire weekend is one giant Sunday. And where before it was my write-off waste of a day, now it’s like I’ve discovered a whole new day. An entire day has been added to my week. It’s amazing!
4. I’m Thinner
The fact that my drink of choice is pints of 200 calorie beer advertised by Peter Kay, of course I’m going to lose weight. I consumed up to 1500 less calories over the course of a weekend.
5. I Can Be Productive When I Want To Be
I wrote this article, for example. Since I fulfilled my life-long dream of writing for a living, you’ll be fucked if you think I’m touching a keyboard after 6pm on any day of the week or at all on the weekends. I like my free time to be as devoid of words as humanly possible. Or so I thought. Turns out that it’s not that I don’t want to write. It’s that I can’t be arsed writing because, you guessed it, I’m hungover and my brain can’t create anything other than the minimum words needed to order a pizza.
Although I don’t want to replace drinking with fitness activities (because I just don’t like people who do that), I do want to be more active in general. So, now that I’ve stopped drinking temporarily, I have joined a trapeze yoga class which is kind of awesome because you get to hang upside down and swing about under the guise of exercise, plus the other day I did some kind of martial arts drill on the roof of a seafront house in Xemxija. I mean, Jesus! My instagram has never been so horrifically smug.
#innerwarrior #namaste #livelaughlove #beautyinnature #downwarddogkindaday
[Side note: Can someone tell me how to properly hashtag? I’m not sure if you put a full stop after the end of your caption and then start your hashtags on a new line, or if you don’t use a full stop (the horror) and just go straight into the hashtags? I’m becoming my mum it’s fine.]
6. More Sex
Not surprisingly, you feel less disgusting when you’re not drinking, plus you are thinner. What does this mean? Naked! Naked all the time!
7. People Say Mean Things When They Are Drunk
Someone said to me: “You look younger than what you are, apart from those wrinkles on your forehead. They kind of give the game away.”
Uh, thanks bitch.
And also this one: “I mean, I don’t know your financial situation, but I’m assuming you can’t afford to buy property in Ta Giorni.”
Assuming from what exactly?? My wrinkly forehead? I’m an oil industry veteran you fucking asshole. A VETERAN. OLD MONEY. VINTAGE CURRENCY. BLACK GOLD. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything.
Turns out I can’t really afford to buy property in Ta Giorni, but whatever. At least I’m not on my 9th career move and entirely financially dependent on someone who is quite obviously fucking the company events manager, and has been for some time. SOME TIME.
8. I’m No Less Cynical
It may surprise you to hear that cutting out the drink has not made me any less suspicious of happy people. Most people still annoy me, I still hate inspirational quotes, and selfies, and narcissism, and stupidity, and charcuterie boards. If anything, it’s probably made me worse because I can’t soften my tolerance with John Smiths.
So my conclusion after a month off the booze is that I’m definitely not an alcoholic, which is nice (I got drunk to celebrate), but I’m afraid that enduring any social activity without drinking is not possible for me at this stage. It’s not the physiological need to drink, it’s that everyone else is a problem when you’re sober in a bar. If I stopped drinking completely, I would have to stop going out completely and that in itself is not healthy for a fluttering social butterfly like myself.
Saying that, I have discovered a whole new way to spend my free time, and I really like it. I like trapeze yoga, I like writing, I like organising my life, and cooking, and phoning my mum, and being good to myself. So I’ve made a deal with my inner 15 year old to only go out when I actually want to, which is only about 50% of the time that I actually do. All that’s left now is to learn how to say no…
1. How on God’s green Earth did it take me almost two decades to notice that Jeremy Beadle had one tiny hand? Growing up, I saw more of him than my own father – and Beadle died in 2008 so why do I give a shit?
2. I wonder how many puppies are being mistreated right this very second.
3. Pretty sure I wasn’t this fat 5 minutes ago.
4. Watership Down.
5. At least I’m not pregnant. Although, people can still get their period when they’re pregnant. I could be pregnant. I should be pregnant, I’m fucking 35. Do I think this is a game?
6. Hmm, I seem to be suddenly incapable of doing my job. Let me stare at this pen for 20 minutes and get sad about over-laden donkeys in remote Morocco.
7. Oh my God, that text I sent two years ago to the guy I was casually seeing with the inappropriate joke that went down like a shit sandwich. How embarrassing. *Followed by me making an incoherent noise and touching my face like I’m trying to take my skin off*
8. Fried chicken.
9. Oh wait, I can’t be pregnant. I haven’t had sex in months.
10. I haven’t had sex in months 😥
11. None of this matters. I’m going to die of toxic shock syndrome next week.
12. I don’t think I ever want kids, everyone makes them sound about as fun as hemorrhoids.
13. I miss Super Mario Brothers 3. Let me cry about how much I miss Super Mario Brothers 3 because playing it on emulator is just not the same, and then I realise that I miss a game that never truly existed, which pushes me over the edge into the great abyss of depression where I contemplate if anything good from my childhood was ever real. What is life? What is love? What is Mario?
14. Whatever happened to Beppe off Eastenders?
15. Is anyone really happily married?
16. I should stop drinking. For a few hours.
17. I really need to write down all the awesome plans I have for my funeral and send them to my mum so she knows what to do when I die of toxic shock syndrome next week. The thought of someone else choosing my funeral song is making me nauseous.
18. I bet BBQ’d dinosaur meat would taste fucking delightful.
19. That was probably my last decent egg. Hello barren wasteland.
20. That story my mum told me in 1986 about a blind orphan that nobody wanted.
21. One month until my boyfriend moves here, which equates to one month until I begin my journey of transformation. I will become a new woman. I will stop drinking so much beer and I will join a gym, I will nurture a routine and I will moisturise every day. Our sex life will never fade. Ever. Twice a day for the rest of our lives is a completely realistic and sustainable goal.
22. There are no Wine Gums in this vending machine. What kind of “office” is this, and how do I join the Union?
23. Actually, I do want to have kids. I shall have a child who skateboards and will one day save the world and/or be good at drawing.
24. Who knew pancakes made such great spoons?
25. My boobs hurt. Definitely cancer. I think I’d wear a blue head-scarf if I had cancer, I’d wear a wig if I was going to something fancy though, like a wedding.
26. I want to get drunk with Adele and Jeremy Corbyn.
27. Everyone hates me.
28. I need to poop, but I am not in a safe enough space to commit to the unpredictable farce that is a period poop. Utter carnage that requires complete privacy. You got yourself in a real bind here young lady.
29. I wonder what it feels like to walk home alone at night and not worry about getting raped by every single person who walks past.
30. Didn’t get raped, which means it remains biologically impossible for me to be pregnant. Also means I still haven’t had sex in months.
31. The woman on the Secret Escapes advert is a cunt.
32. Time for a nap.
33. Why do I feel so unbearably awkward eating bananas at work? I’m not in high school anymore.
34. I’m not in high school anymore 😥
35. I am absolutely terrified of having kids. Some days I want them, some days I don’t. The truth is, I want them, but the fear of doing a bad job is utterly paralysing.
36. My uterus feels like it’s tumble-drying an arsenal of medieval weapons.
37. I should volunteer for a charitable cause, like having lunch with lonely pensioners.
38. Put the dungarees down. You cannot pull off dungarees anymore. No matter how much you might think you look like a white Lisa Lefteye Lopez, you are from Bridge of Don. You are not, and never will be, ghetto chic.
39. I am removing myself from all social media immediately. I am surrounded by retards.
40. Looks like I’ve successfully made it through another blood bath. Oh, the return of rationality is such comfort…although it’s still entirely possible I may be pregnant.
I haven’t watched MTV’s Video Music Awards in years. I don’t know what I thought was happening with it in my absence but I reckoned it would be pretty much the same as it used to be except with more hashtags and less plaid.
It appears I was quite wrong. I decided to watch it last night because I had a tube of Pringles to get through and I don’t feel as guilty when I accompany them with feature length things on the internet. It makes obscene Pringle consumption more of an accessory as opposed to a crime in itself.
As I got through the first 15 minutes of vague girl-on-girl action and bondage-themed outfits, it slowly dawned on me that I had no idea who anyone was. I know everyone says that when you get to my age but really, I barely recognised any of the names that won awards that entire night, I was genuinely surprised by this. Although expectantly weaker, I really thought I still had a grip on popular culture. I do not!!! Who the fuck is ‘Fetty Wap’??? And why does this person’s name sound like northern slang for a bit of cheeky masturbation?
Someone I did recognise was Britney Spears. She was there. Although she clearly had no idea she was there. Looking at her dead, fragile eyes blinking in the spotlight on stage, I think she was in a land created entirely by herself. One which featured double-denim sewn together with Justin Timberlake’s soft curls, a lifetime supply of fried chicken and possibly meth. She looked done, completely void, like she’d forgotten her child in a motel carpark and couldn’t quite decide if she could be arsed going back for it. It was quite sad really.
Another person I had heard of was Justin Beiber. Unlike Britney, he very much knew he was there. A harsh, jarring reality for him – it was as if he had suddenly realised how depressing his world was as soon as his performance started. I found it quite difficult to watch, I have more energy when I have one of my hangover-PMS combos. At the end of the song he literally broke down in tears, bawling his little eyes out because he is essentially a child and the entire world fucking hates his guts and wishes he had died in a fire as a baby. I give the poor kid 5 years.
Kanye and Kim. They’ve been done to death on the internet so I’m not going to talk about how they were dressed as if they were playing the part of foliage in a school play, or how Kim’s left breast is going to give me nightmares for the next 6 months, or how her face. Just her face. She’s younger than me, yet she looks like a permanently suspicious, swollen pensioner with chronic allergies.
No, what I will talk about is the “vanguard” award that Kanye won. I don’t even know what that award is or means or implies but the delusion of it all was bone-chilling. You see, Kanye West is a cunt. This is fact. He is a tantrum-throwing bully who thinks his job on this planet is to make empires cool again. He is comedy to the extreme. Before watching this year’s VMAs, I thought everyone knew this. I thought we were all in agreement like “Golddigga was an absolute smash of a song but let’s just make sure he never gets outside without being accompanied by an adult.”
I can’t believe how wrong I was. People are lapping this shit up! I know this because not nearly enough piss was taken out of him on the internet after his questionable, 11 minute acceptance speech. His ramblings were confusing yet dangerous all at the same time and preceded by an equally baffling introduction video which I have transcribed below:
“The artist aims for perfection. He wants to be the best. Every day is spent pursuing the images the artist dreams. When we see his work, we feel its energy. It transforms us. He advances culture by destroying what came before, so we can start anew. He doesn’t just feel. He follows his truth wherever it leads. If his honesty brings chaos, it doesn’t make him wrong, it makes him a person. It’s important to stay idealistic, to be vocal, to see the world through eyes of a child: free, open, full of wonder and imagination. He shares these dreams with us. We have to fight for our visionaries. We won’t go gently into victory. And we’re better for it.”
Well you can fuck off if you think I’m going to fight for Kanye. He wears ridiculous leather tracksuit bottoms and refers to himself as “God’s vessel”. Bear in mind that this was all pre and con-cluded by Miley Cyrus dressed like a dead clown-prostitute talking non-stop about how much pot she smokes like she’s the first person to ever try it. Completely surreal.
As the camera panned around the venue, the whole room looked like they were just holding it together and no more. None of them can walk unaided and they can’t move their faces at all. It’s like they know that at any minute all their collagen could expire simultaneously and they will fall to the floor en masse, smashing into a million pieces. “I’ve just got to make it through the next hour without melting, please don’t let me melt ’til I get home, people can’t see me in my true form.” The desperate, straining panic in their faces about the only thing the surgery can’t hide.
My experience of watching the VMAs after so long has left me feeling 20% sad that I’m so out of touch and 80% grateful that I’m so out of touch. I’m not going to lie, I feel a little bit like I’ve been discreetly booted out of a club that I used to be so knowledgeable and active in. I remember the good days when the ceremony was dominated by Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Tupac, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Blackstreet, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr Dre, Missy Elliot, Prodigy etc. The majority of whom had things to say. Last night I watched Nicki Minaj punch herself in the vagina about 20 times whilst singing about ass and pussy, how she is better than everyone else and hates everything that cannot satisfy her sexually or financially.
I went to bed last night with distinctly uneasy and apocalyptic thoughts – but is this simply a case of natural progression? Am I just becoming my parents who in turn didn’t want to become their parents? Is the same thing going to happen to my unborn child one day or is there something genuinely wrong with the entertainment industry nowadays?
I need to stop ending my articles with questions. I’m starting to sound like Carrie fucking Bradshaw.
It’s been over five months since I moved to Malta and all has been quiet on the blogging front. I would regale you with tales of my recent adventures but the honest truth is, with the exception of smashing down seven Jagermeisters one night and falling into a bush, I have been relatively well-behaved.
When you first move to a new country you find yourself mostly surrounded by strangers and as a result your social life inevitably takes a bit of a temporary nose dive. Combined with my weak attempt to save money due to the oil industry well and truly fucking me in the asshole and the Mount Doom-esque temperatures outside making my hair look like I have a ball of tumble-weed stuck to my face every time I step out the house, this has resulted in me spending a lot of time indoors on the internet whilst being blissfully caressed by my air conditioning. As a consequence, this article will mostly be dealing with things on the World Wide Web that are currently pissing me off.
People need to catch a grip of themselves. Cyberspace seems to have become a land of over-sensitive, self-righteous morons with a sense of entitlement that makes Mariah Carey look like a Salvation Army volunteer. Everywhere I turn there is a barrage of conflicting information on news and social media sites that is then defended by an army of keyboard warriors who think that winning an argument over whether gluten intolerance is actually a thing is going to be their Martin Luther King Jr. moment. Like if it wasn’t for them, the Diet-Nazi minority will not be able to drink out of the same water fountain as me. Or eat the same muffins. But you can’t eat muffins because they have gluten in them so maybe you should just step the fuck away from my muffins, go eat some lemongrass and listen to Natasha Beddingfield or whatever it is you lot get up to.
I read an article recently which was written by a girl who had sex with a number of women and then proceeded to get pissy because her friends were referring to her sexuality as being that of a bi-sexual or a lesbian. She said the following: “Just because I have sex with women does not make me a lesbian” and then started banging on about how she was tired of being put in a box and labelled. I mean, what am I supposed to do with that?
It wasn’t so long ago that being gay was taboo, abhorrent to the point of criminal, and now a substantial portion of the population, myself included, are proud to come from a society where these views are no longer tolerated and most people believe that everyone is free to love whoever they choose. It’s beautiful. But then people like that go and ruin it with, well, I don’t even know. I literally don’t know what she wants from me. By all means don’t classify yourself if that’s how you feel but for the love of God don’t be offended if someone catches you chowing down on vagina and assumes you are a lesbian. We’ve only just started to make progress and yet I feel that a minority of people are encouraging regression out of fear of offence.
Sticking with the subject of homosexuality, I was having a conversation a while back with someone who suggested that the fact I had never slept with a woman is because I am in some sort of denial, suppressing my true gay feelings with the implication that I was somehow ashamed. I am not ashamed. The reason I have not slept with a woman is because I am straight. Mad for the cock, wading in scrotum, inherently attracted to all things male. I don’t understand why to some people this is now not an acceptable explanation. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for not being gay. I’m straight for the exact reasons that homosexuals are not straight and bi-sexuals like a bit of both. Why must we debate these things to death? It’s unnecessary, a bit antagonistic and distracting us from the real difficulties that the gay communities still face.
Another issue that is getting more than its fair share of coverage right now is that of feminist extremism. Or is it aggressive feminine equalitarianism? Or feminazism? It’s gotten so out of control that I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to call it any more. You know what I’m referring to though, the women who are destroying my life by taking offence at literally anything that comes out the mouth of a man. It is embarrassing and it is causing me no end of problems at work.
For the majority of time that I am on a drilling rig I am the only female. Increasingly I have noticed that when I first arrive on a rig the new guys just have no idea how to deal with me. They don’t know whether to offer to help me with things in case I think they are assuming I am incapable of doing the job on my own. They don’t know how far they can go with their questionable jokes or general banter in case I report them for harassment and I sometimes struggle to be included in their social activities outside of work, presumably because they expect me to be a complete fun sponge.
The thing I loved most about my job is that we all help each other out when we can, it’s a form of bonding and I get to know my colleagues much quicker when they are not terrified to talk to me. Everyone knows how much I love a dick joke and yet I am denied this pleasure as a consequence of their unease. Feminism is supposed to help me and yet I worry that I could become alienated in my workplace as a direct result of it. I am not a “male sympathiser” I am just a person. I don’t give a fuck what sex you are, let’s just hang out and feel comfortable enough to be ourselves without the threat of repercussions.
In a lot of areas of course I support feminism, I’m not an idiot. I wouldn’t have the life I have now if it wasn’t for the movement and I am massively grateful for what women throughout history have done for us. The problem I have is that I feel it has gone from an issue of fundamental rights to an assumption on my personality. “You are a woman. Understand that we do not like drawing penises on people’s faces when they are passed out drunk, we do not like cooking and cleaning, we do not like sexualised or violent video games, we do not participate in games of cock-or-ball, we are not baby making machines – we are career-driven, independent, uptight, boring-ass bastards who are so weak that we have a meltdown every time a guy makes a distasteful quip about our periods.”
I am a woman and I will decide what I feel comfortable with. Believe it or not there is a side of my personality that is completely detached from the genital lottery, a part therefore that is none of your concern, so please stop taking my fun away under the pretence of feminist progress.
Veganism. Another area of massive bullshit. It’s not the concept I have a problem with, it’s the people who ruin it for everyone else. I overheard a conversation between two vegans in a pub not so long ago. One of them ordered a vodka and Redbull to which the other, sucking air through her teeth, asked: “Oh, so you’re not a full-time vegan then?” The other girl seemed a bit confused and replied that she felt she was. “Well you can’t be if you’re drinking Redbull” was the response.
What the fuck guys? For real? Out-veganing each other?? Shouldn’t you be supportive? You are such lovers of all living creatures after all. Shouldn’t you be nurturing a tolerant, welcoming environment within your strange chlorophyll-infused club instead of smugly ostracising the very people who are trying their best to join your cause? Jesus Christ. I felt like taking that poor girl for a steak. Only drunk “lads” from Newcastle try to out-carnivore each other, the rest of us are pretty non-competitive about what we put into our bodies.
Finally, I would just like to say that I categorically do not give a shit if you read a story from a book or from a Kindle. Apparently e-books to a “real” book-reader have become the iTunes to the hipsters of vinyl martyrdom who ride around Shoreditch on their Penny Farthings eating kale-infused quinoa and wearing ridiculous shoes. Sometimes I read physical books, sometimes I read e-books. It depends how near a book shop I am and how desperate I am to read a particular story. It’s what technology is for, it gives us that choice. The fact that people genuinely sneer at this would be almost comedic if it wasn’t so infuriating.
Sometimes I think humans have become far too self-aware. That there is too much berating advice, too much chastising, too many eggshells and too much pressure to be this enlightened being of egotism and pomposity who will always know better than everyone else. I often wish things were simpler, like that I was a dog or something, just playing with inanimate objects for hours then going to sleep blissful in the ignorance of anything other than basic survival and procreation.
Maybe I will join a cult like that one in New Zealand where they just feed and impregnate me. That removal of choice right now seems like such luxury! Of course this could never happen, I don’t think they have Wi-Fi so I’d have a terrible time but I’m sure you get my point. I’m fed up of wondering if I should feed my baby organic food (I’m not even remotely pregnant for fuck’s sake), or how I’m going to support myself financially when I’m too old to work or if I’ve eaten enough fish this week to combat the myriad of cancer risks I expose myself to on a daily basis.
I shall conclude with the case of the professor Sir Tim Hunt who jokingly suggested that women shouldn’t work in labs because they keep falling in love with everyone and crying. A 71 year old Nobel Prize winner who has made significant discoveries in the areas of physiology and medicine reduced to being defined by a joke. Admittedly a shit, ‘ill-advised’ joke, but not one that I feel warranted his being torn to shreds, humiliated by the media and public to the point that he felt he had to resign.
It’s like the whole of society is expected to live by the standards of the most easily offended person, the one least capable of taking a joke. How is that fair? If we keep unquestionably relenting to these fucktards we are going to end up in a world without laughter and that, sir, is a world that I do not want to live in. Please, I implore you to stop trying to recruit me into your righteousness. I’m a lost cause, an utter disgrace of a human being, and no overbearing man, woman, lesbian, bi-sexual, gluten-intolerant, vegan, white, black, misogynistic, book-reading hipster is ever going to change that.
This site has become a poor excuse for a gaming blog. For reasons out with my control I have been console-less for a criminally long time and so instead of writing about games, I appear to have turned my life into my very own, really shit RPG that doesn’t even have any dragons. I have the storyline quests (my ongoing articles in which I talk about becoming single, moving to London or going to Thailand to “find myself” only to find myself mostly drunk) and then I break them up with unrelated side quests, articles where I go on rambling tangents about inspirational quotes and why I dislike vacuous, happy people so much. This article falls into the storyline category and is about my newest quest that is so fraught with danger and intrigue that one might even class it as a franchise title of its own. The Oblivion of Elder Scrolls for example.
After coming back from Thailand refreshed and with a new outlook on life (and also discovering that it was impossible for me to afford to live in London on my own without returning to the days of living like a hobo student), I decided that it was about time I constructed a plan to find myself somewhere reasonable to live. This development happened to coincide with a trip to Malta to attend my school reunion. I flew over in June last year and had a week out there that was so unbelievably, mind-blowingly, fantastically fucking awesome that I couldn’t even begin to do it justice in this paragraph. It deserves an entire article to itself which I will save for another day perhaps.
Anyway, the sun was shining, I was surrounded by old friends, intoxicated by dizzying nostalgia and thrown back to a time when everything was just right, where no one questioned my weird accent or love for the Eurovision Song Contest because everyone had a weird accent and a love of the Eurovision Song Contest. One night after a few drinks, Petra (a friend of mine from school who now lives in Croatia) told me that she missed the place and would move back if she had the balls to do it alone. It didn’t take long for me to realise that with no ties back home and a job that allowed me to live outside the UK, she might not need the balls. I could be one ball, she could be the other! We could do it together scrotum style!
I woke up the next morning bleary eyed, still very keen on the idea but expecting it to have become just another drunken plan that seemed excellent at the time but so difficult to execute that it would just disappear off into the horizon like all my other wild ideas do. I had forgotten, however, that we used to live there, we know people there, it’s familiar, they speak English, they drive on the same side of the road, they have Pastizzi, it’s warm. This wouldn’t really be too much of an irresponsible upheaval. This was, in actual fact, an entirely plausible idea and after deciding in Thailand to be a bit more daring with my life decisions, I felt like it was meant to be, that this might finally be my chance. To my delight, Petra felt the same and so we spent the rest of the year planning our big move.
That big move is in four days. I am moving to Malta in four days. Holy Fuck.
Now this is by no means a forever thing, initially more like a 6 month tester of the Mediterranean island. It’s completely likely that work or life will get in the way and that sooner or later we will have to move on but if after the 6 month trial period I still like it, then I’ll stay for as long as I want to be there.
Before I could leave though, I had some things to take care of back home in Aberdeen. I had to sell my beloved car and say goodbye to all my friends up there. I decided for reasons beyond even my comprehension that I would take the Megabus Gold, a cheap and terrifying coach company that had recently put beds on their buses. Going to sleep on a bus in London and waking up in Aberdeen was too exciting a prospect for me to turn down. The flight is only an hour and a quarter but this 12 hour adventure sounded like much more fun to me.
I had grand expectations for this trip. Because I am a dickhead I actually packed a little sleepover bag like I was going to a slumber party circa 1992. In it I had pyjamas, a bottle of water, a small packet of Oreos, a book about colonial Holland (?), make-up remover wipes, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste and about 18 different chargers because I am a filthy technology whore. All that was missing was Dream Phone and a book of madlibs.
For my journey I wore a sensible mint coloured jumper with a faux-jewelled collar and my nice ‘travelling’ jeans. I sometimes get a bit of hassle for my choice of attire when travelling but I’m pretty sure that I’m not the problem here, everyone else is. When I go to the airport I like to look nice. I wear my favourite, smartest clothes, I put my make-up on immaculately and put root-booster and coconut oil in my hair. “Why?” you may ask. Well, because I’m away to go fly in the fucking sky that’s why. I’m going to walk into a lump of metal and I’m going to soar through the clouds and when I get off it I’ll be in another country entirely. I have taken about a million flights in my life and I still can’t get my head around how amazing that concept is and yet all you assholes turn up in your jogging trousers, shit jumpers and withered ponytails like you’re getting the number 2 bus into town to pick up your dry cleaning. It’s barbaric.
I love the travelling parts almost as much as I love the destinations. I like to turn up at airports around an hour before I need to just so I can walk around and look at stuff. I sit in bars and cafes and people-watch, wondering where they are all going or where they have come from. The families with young kids who are going on “holiday” and yet look like they want to kill themselves before they’ve even made it through security, the business men and women who eat alone, pissed off they can’t smash some ales down because they’ve got some bullshit meeting to go to when they get off the plane. I then take myself off to the Duty Free and allow myself one luxury. It’s usually something shit by a designer that in any other circumstances I wouldn’t give a fuck about and try to find something that is within my embarrassingly low budget (“Excuse me, Chanel don’t do fridge magnets or keyrings by any chance?”), and of course I have to buy something made by Kinder and a Viz magazine. Then I get on the plane and have a grand old time. Maybe I was born in the wrong era, maybe I should have been Victorian. Remember the nick of them when they used to get on a train? Ball-gowns and all sorts. That’s how travelling should be, a magical event, and I will not relent even if it is for the god damn Megabus. I make the effort in homage to the wonder of travel.
Well I turned up at Victoria station and didn’t I look like a fucking retard. The place looks like visiting hours in a Turkish prison. There were people getting dragged out by police for not paying, others sleeping on the dirty floors and, my god, so much sausage roll consumption. I felt I’d misjudged the situation when choosing my outfit. I wished I’d dressed in my greasy work overalls, it would have been more reflective of my character after all.
I proceeded to get on the bus where the error of my ways became much more apparent. Everyone was wearing pyjamas already, they had gotten on the bus like that, and with no curtains on the bunk I had been assigned I had no way of getting undressed. I had to sleep in my travelling clothes and under-wire bra which was akin to sleeping on a roll of fibre glass filled with horseshoes.
As the bus pulled out of the station and made its way through the streets of London, I soon realised that falling asleep was going to be a challenge. The only thing between me and death was a 20 stone Glaswegian bus driver and there I was, lying disorientated in the pitch dark, flailing around like a new-born goat. Every time he hit the breaks my heart would race because I had no way of seeing if he was breaking for a traffic light or a fireball pile-up of dead bodies and shrapnel on the M25.
I did eventually manage to drift off and I arrived in Aberdeen unscathed the next morning. Despite my complaints, I would genuinely recommend using the Megabus Gold, it’s cheap and pretty hassle-free considering the length of the journey. Just don’t dress like a prick.
I had a few nights out organised so I could say my goodbyes and they were really great. Really. Great. As the time passed I found myself getting more and more upset that I was leaving. I have memories there and good friends and I know it inside out. Aberdeen really is a cunt. To make matters worse, I have been covertly seeing someone in Aberdeen for a little while. Remember that exotic holiday romance that I was fantasising about in my article about Thailand? Well, I got it. Except I ended up meeting someone out there from the fucking Bridge of Don. Who just happens to be awesome. A male version of me with more tattoos, an impressive book collection and an enthusiasm for the gameshow Pointless matched only by myself. He may actually be funnier than me too. Asshole.
To use an excellent analogy told to me by one of my friends: “Being from Aberdeen is like being in an abusive relationship; no matter how hard you try to leave, you just keep coming back for more.” So what started life as what I thought would be a poignant but mostly joyful departure soon became a complete and utter disaster area. There were tears at the airport and long, wistful, contemplative stares out of the aeroplane window as my home town shrank away into the distance. I did not have a grand old time on that flight and the clothes I chose to wear were decidedly more comfortable than usual.
“Stay here Jillian!” The city was singing persuasively to me from below the clouds. “Look what I’ve got for you! Friends, nights out with people who care about you, a potential husband and father of your children, dancing, going to the theatre, drinking red wine in your pjs and watching good movies, so much sex it will make your eyes water. This can all be yours, just say the word.”
But it’s a trick, and it’s not the first time Aberdeen has tried this one on me. You see, after a while the novelty of you moving back wears off for everyone and you don’t see people as often as you first did. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way life goes. Consecutive weekends spent dancing to Toca’s Miracle in Vogue will slowly become a 3 month thing, then a 6 month thing, an annual thing, before eventually ceasing altogether and as the weather gets worse you find yourself locked away indoors watching Escape to the Country and playing video games, desperately trying to transport yourself somewhere else, somewhere better. I’m not falling for it again. I can’t fall for it again no matter how tempting it is. I’m 34 years old, I have to get my shit together and this is my last chance to at least try the life I felt I’ve always wanted.
I don’t want to spend my copious amounts of time off from work just existing, waiting for the wind to die down so I can go to Tesco, I want to go for runs along the promenade, I want outdoor yoga that I know I’ll secretly hate, I want beers at Exiles listening to Pink Floyd and writing articles on my terrace whilst looking out at all the jet-skis and boat parties. I want to eat better, sleep better and occasionally party harder. I’m leaving you Aberdeen and I can’t believe how much it hurts. I’m also leaving you London, my little rebound fling with your fun activities, endless gigs and delicious beer and that hurts too, but *insert generic quote about risk taking and facing your fears here*. I’ll see you on the other side my beautiful friends 🙂
On a side note, there’s a good chance I’ll have a spare room so you are all free to come and visit. Bring rowies.
I talk a lot about how much I dislike inspirational quotes. In fact, I talk about it so much that I am in danger of coming across as a permanently premenstrual, life-hating, turbo bitch so I thought it was about time I explained myself. Despite my sometimes cynical outbursts, I am actually an insanely positive person, optimistic to the point of disability, so my issue here is not with offering people a bit of harmless motivation in their lives, it’s that these quotes are everywhere, generally complete and utter bullshit and can sometimes even mask a somewhat more sinister motive.
The problem I have is two-fold. Firstly, the overshare. I’m talking about the people who are responsible for my newsfeed becoming an orgy of other people’s problems. I wonder if the quote-oversharer realises how they are perceived. Maybe they think that they are helping the social networking community by giving them a couple of hundred stupid sentences to read every day. Maybe they think “Hey, this doesn’t apply to me because I’m pretty happy right now but perhaps one or two out of my 500 Facebook friends are having problems at home and this will help put things into perspective.” No. Stop blanket-inspiring. Okay it might help brighten one person’s day but at what cost? What about the other 499 of us who would quite like the internet to be a light-hearted, frivolous way to avoid doing actual work at work? If you really feel like you need to help someone, statistically you’d be helping way more people if you just didn’t post it.
Or maybe the poster themselves is struggling with something and found a quote that relates to their particular problem. Again, why share it on my internet? Stop forcing your problems on me without my permission. I am far from heartless and love nothing more than giving advice if I know it will help, however I’d rather you picked up the phone and asked for my input rather than leaving cryptic quote-hints about your life struggle in my newsfeed and expecting me or someone else to pick up on it. If I could read minds I’d be hanging out with Magneto not decoding your status updates.
Then there are the people who every now and again will just have a colossal quote meltdown. Out of nowhere you get 10, 15, 20 inspirational quotes in the space of 30 minutes from the same person implying a multitude of issues including back-stabbing friends / bullies / inattentive husbands / repressive bosses. Please believe me when I say that this does not make you inspiring, this makes everyone think you are a fucking lunatic. Desperately over-posting how great life can be if you follow your dreams makes it look like you’ve just massacred your entire family and are clinging on to any mitigation you can find; “It’s okay, I found this quote from Einstein that told me if someone doesn’t appreciate me then they don’t deserve to be in my life. So yeah, they’re all dead now.”
Moving on to address the second problem I have with inspirational quotes: The content. The majority of these quotes either do not make sense or are just plain common sense. All too often I find myself asking “Da fuck did I just read?” It’s physically impossible for me to soar like an eagle over the clouds of my life’s problems and even if I could be arsed to grasp such a fucktarded metaphor, I’m still not sure exactly what it’s telling me to do. Talon a motherfucker? I genuinely have no idea.
Of all the inspirational quotes out there, there are two that particularly tug on my tampon, the first of these being “Live in the moment/Live for today” etc. The thing is, I’m not sure what other moment/day I’m supposed to live in. I woke up this morning and tried to live 3 weeks ago when I was getting drunk on German beer at Winter Wonderland, but guess what? I’m on a rig, it’s fucking hail-stoning outside and I just watched a roughneck do a rocket-snot out of his nose onto his boots then try to scrape it off using a selection of small rocks. Despite my best efforts, today is today and it’s impossible to do anything other than live in the moment no matter how good or bad that moment may be. If you think that the arrangement of a whimsical font printed on a backdrop of misty sunsets is going to help you with the bad times then…well, you’re gonna have a bad time.
The second type of quote that annoys me are the “deserve” quotes. These are real nasty. Things like “If someone doesn’t blah then they don’t deserve to be in my life.”
Fuck off. That is offensively passive aggressive and not very nice at all. You know full well that half of your more caring Facebook friends will be wondering if they are the cause of your public anxiety, but you like that. You like the drama. Instead of growing a set of balls and calling that person up to sort out whatever mundane issue you have, you choose to post a snide remark, thinly-veiled as a motivational quip to let all of cyberspace know that someone was a dick to you. This might sound harsh to some, but honestly, I don’t care. And if you are the kind of person who needs to post a weird quote in order to let me know that I personally pissed you off, then I’m genuinely happy that I pissed you off, you deserve it for being a pussy.
But the award for worst inspirational speaker of all time has to go to Marilyn Monroe. My word that girl can talk some amount of horse-shit. I don’t understand what the fixation with her is. Some girls see her as a symbol of feminism; a strong, no-nonsense, beautiful woman with giant breasts who used sex as a weapon and died in a pool of her own vomit after overdosing on the pills that she relied on so heavily to make her feel artificially happy. I like her movies, I like her face, I like her flirtatious, sexed-up 50’s image. I’ve always thought that she was beautiful and talented but not, in my view, inspirational. I’m reading Malala Yousafzai’s biography at the moment. Now that shit right there is inspirational.
The use of motivational quotes to help you in your daily life does work for some, even me on occasion believe it or not (my personal favourite being “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” except Banoffee Pie obvs…..and curry…..oh and maybe KFC). For example, you might be out for a run and sweating so hard that you feel like your ass is melting down the back of your legs but you have a little sentence tucked away in your head that helps push you through that wall. That’s great and I believe that it works but there is no reason to repetitively post it online every time you do some exercise. This is what it looks like to everyone else: “I’m jogging, I’m a better person than you because you are not jogging.” Don’t be a quote-cunt.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is be inspired. Be inspired by words, art, literature, history, sport, whatever you want, but for the love of God pipe down, print it off and stick it on your wall. What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for the entire fucking internet and I know I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of my newsfeed being hijacked by the same old weak, lazy, vague nonsense every day of the god damn week. But I’m not one to sit here and moan, oh no, I’m a do-er and I have come up with a top-notch plan to bring this all to a well over-due end. The next time you find yourself googling for inspiration in the form of a quote, replace the word “quote” with the word “meme” and post that instead. Please, it’s Christmas 🙂 xx
Over the past year I have been making some serious progress through my bucket-list of singledom. I have gotten drunk in Norway, Paris, Cyprus, Malta, Aberdeen, Yorkshire and London. I have been a token minge on a stag weekend in Frankfurt, had laser eye surgery, my teeth whitened, my tonsils removed, been heavily tattooed and am currently in the middle of getting most of my pubes lasered off for all eternity. I have had some pretty spectacular experiences, and a few terrible ones too, but without a doubt this year has been one of my most exciting.
I made this list when I first left Aberdeen at a time when if you’d asked me if I wanted a husband I would have said something along the lines of: “I don’t remember saying you could come up for air sunshine, this bitch don’t pay you to talk.” Recently, however, the once distant thoughts of vague maturity have been creeping steadily towards the forefront of my consciousness and it is for this reason I felt it important to have one last self-indulgent adventure before I began focussing on maybe calming down a little bit. This adventure came in the form of a three week trip to Thailand and Cambodia with the most inappropriate human being I know, my sister Lisa.
Lisa had already been in Thailand for 3 months at a fat camp (or as she put it: “It’s a fucking fit camp”) so the plan was to meet up in Bangkok for a few days before we left for a week in Cambodia followed by ten days island-whoring off the west coast of Thailand. As is customary for any sort of Dingwall-organised activity, it all went to shit on day one when I arrived at my hotel expecting her to be there waiting for me like an excited, dribbling puppy. Instead I received this phone call:
“Hey, it’s Lisa. I’m still in Hua Hin, I had prawns last night and just shat all over the bath mat. I won’t make it to Bangkok until tomorrow.”
Luckily it was pretty late and after nineteen hours of travelling I was feeling decidedly sticky so all I had the energy for was a shower before I K.O’d for the night. Lisa and her flaming butt-hole met me the next morning and after a bit of shopping we began planning which ping-pong show we were going to go see that night. Because that’s really why we’re all here isn’t it? What’s that? Temples? Can a temple shoot a dart at a balloon from its moist loins? No. Fuck your temples.
I was excited about this, Lisa had told me about one girl she had seen who was firing bananas out of her chonch and trying to catch them in her mouth but she was so shit at it, they just kept hitting her in the face. This was a pretty special mental picture and one that I wanted to witness for myself so we climbed into the nearest tuk-tuk with a high-five and an enthusiastic cry of “Let’s go see us some titties!”. We decided to go to Nana Plaza, “The World’s Largest Adult Playground” and see what it had to offer.
Upon entering the place (a courtyard surrounded by strip clubs) we were immediately accosted by a barmaid/prostitute who was determined to get us to drink in her bar. It was the only one without naked, borderline-adult females prancing around so we decided to have a drink there before going into one of the clubs to see a show. I ordered a jagerbomb because I needed to find my nerves. I was pretty terrified. All around us were western men pawing at depressed looking young girls. There was a lady-boy walking around in lingerie with one gravity-defying tit randomly hanging out of her bra and a bunch of creepy American guys playing Connect 4 with some prostitutes. Cheers guys, right in the childhood. I used to love that game, now it will forever be known to me as Connect Whore.
The barmaid came back over, this time with a friend, and both women started talking to us. They asked us where we were from, said they liked my lipstick and then began telling us how difficult their lives were what with the whole prostitute thing, their only other option being to starve to death in a remote village. My sometimes shocking naivety and overwhelming desire to talk to strangers meant that this was a bad place for me. I believed most of what they said and even felt sorry for them at times. Until this happened:
“It is so good to talk to woman as friend instead of man who want jiggy-jiggy all the time……unless you want more than friend? You and your sister together, I give you good price? You buy me drink first?”
What the fuck lady? So this whole relationship has been based on a twisted web of lies and deceit? You told me you liked my lipstick, I bet you say that to all the girls. Take your herpes and smashed-up vagina and get the hell out of my sight.
I needed a piss and to get away from these assholes quick so, being the caring sister I am, I left Lisa on her own and went in search of a bathroom….except the only toilet in the place was at the wrong end of a strip-club. I drew back a stained, worn, velvet curtain and tried my best not to let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Didn’t work. There in front of me dancing on a stage were three topless girls in bright white underwear with the deadest eyes I have seen on an alive person, bearing more than a passing resemblance to that creepy fuck who climbs out of the TV in The Ring. Sitting facing them were three Arab men, all whiskey-lipped and rapey-eyed, staring holes through the girls whilst they gyrated unenthusiastically against a dirty wooden pole. I just thought of all the vaginal splinters and aids and wondered how the hell I was supposed to go pee without catching something terminal/being murder-raped. I got to the toilet and hovered above it until my thighs were trembling (about 5 seconds. I have no muscle tone), managing by a matter of millimetres not to piss all over myself. I drip-dried because of course there was no toilet paper and got the fuck out of there. Lisa was still getting propositioned when I got back so I just looked at her with Shrek Puss-in-Boots eyes and said “Can we go to a normal bar now?”
And so, 40 minutes after we arrived, we left that terrible place a pair of failures. I, more than anyone, wanted to regale you with tales of banana-induced black eyes and cigar-puffing uteri but it turns out the reality of these awful shows were just too difficult for me to stomach, and for that I am deeply sorry.
Next stop, Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh smells of burnt matches and eucalyptus with just enough B.O. thrown in to be noticeable but not offensive. After a day of sightseeing in the capital we headed north to Siem Reap, a city which is home to the most ridiculously beautiful temples you will ever see (yes, Nana Plaza made me change my mind about temples. Marginally less paedophiles for a start). We got ourselves the cutest, chubbiest little tour guide – think the Wilderness Explorer kid from ‘Up’ – and set off to the Angkor Wat Temple at 5.30am for the sunrise. It was worth it, looked like this:
For the next couple of days we mostly partied in Siem Reap’s premier night-spot ‘Pub Street’, a 90’s throwback area of town with graffiti covered grunge bars, awesome old skater tunes blaring out onto the street and super friendly locals serving you every cocktail you can imagine (one of whom used to work on the rigs in the North Sea….aka free shots for Jillian!). I could have stayed forever, I really loved it, but sadly our time there had to come to an end so we flew back to Phnom Penh before enduring a three hour white-knuckle taxi ride to Sihanoukville, a relatively isolated backpacker’s beach resort on the South West coast of Cambodia.
I was looking forward to this place. I had visions of arty, bearded, beautiful, bare-footed men playing beat up guitars and feeding me bullshit about how they had come here to find themselves. In this vision of mine I would believe said bullshit, fall temporarily in love with one of them and we would spend the next three days having red-hot sex by candlelight, perspiring in a thatched beach-hut perched on unblemished white sand, only stopping to drink beer, eat phad thai and skinny dip in the shimmering turquoise ocean (ideally an ocean that contained no seaweed or things that could kill you).
I was mistaken. Turns out “backpackers” is now a catchment term for any dickhead who is on holiday. Sihanoukville is full of these cunts:
It was horrendous. No one there was over the age of around 23 or had any idea how to survive in the real world. Even the beards were below par. They were the hipster kind, the ones that are trimmed so short that there is zero chance of getting any food stuck in there and is usually set off with a pair of oversized sunglasses despite the fact that the sun went down five fucking hours ago. It wasn’t looking good for us but we had to make the best of a bad situation so we joined an organised pub crawl….for children apparently. Lisa and I felt like lepers and no amount of vodka redbull buckets would help this. The place was an unashamed meat market, inebriated teenagers everywhere trying their hardest to either impale or be impaled. Just as we were about to give up and leave, however, one of the guys from the pub crawl came over and actually started a conversation. Disappointingly he was a 20 year old overly-muscular, waxed, tanned, vest-wearing, guido fucktard from Ipswich who could barely string a sentence together, but at least someone was talking to us. Unfortunately, after only being in his company for about 10 minutes he came out with this little gem:
Guido: “Hey, can I like, you know, come back to your hotel room babe?”
Me: “Uhmm…….no, that’s weird.” (Secretly smug. Thinking I’ve still got it, foolish youths still want a slice of this nubile pie)
Guido: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as a creep, it’s just…well…I’ve always wanted to try a cougar.”
A cougar??? I’m fucking 33 years old! A childless, unmarried, free spirit of eternal youth, you chlamidia-ridden sack of mental illness.
We left, and I put two layers of Lancome Vissionaire on my face before going to bed that night.
The next day we decided that we would head to a different beach to avoid the throbbing masses of gap-yahs and guidos and managed to find one that was a bit more suited to a pair of rancid old dried-up cougars. We spent the day sunbathing (or in my case shade-bathing, drenched in factor 50, sweat pouring down my beetroot face), eating banana crepes, smoking menthol cigarettes and drinking iced tea. We watched the sun set whilst infatuated couples walked hand in hand along the beach with their love all up in our faces and for the first time since leaving Aberdeen, it almost made me want a boyfriend. I will admit that I did get a bit philosophical about my future for a minute there on that beach, but it was short-lived. I soon composed myself and convinced Lisa to go to an open-mic night of poetry in one of the rock bars nearby. She was sceptical having never been to one before but I knew from experience that these can either be terrible cringe-inducing affairs or really quite impressive. Either way you’re going to have a good night.
We turned up at Santino’s Rock Bar where a young (and very brave) Canadian girl was standing alone on stage reciting profound yet amusing poems about childhood, adulthood, how life is yours to live how you choose and fuck what anyone else says. I liked it, it felt fitting to my relatively new-found circumstances. After she was finished, an older Canadian gentleman with a braided beard and long grey hair took to the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect from such an eccentric figure but what came out of his mouth was as hilarious as it was unpredictable. One of his poems was about his younger years in which he would give girls crack in exchange for sexual favours. “Air-tight” and “skull-fucking” are only two of the multitude of phrases I can remember from that performance. After he was done, I did my usual thing and annoyed the complete stranger for copies of a couple of his poems so I could share them with you (couldn’t get my hands on the skull-fucking one though, soz):
Surgically Altered Self Fulfilling Prophecy
It started with falsies and a hair dye When she was 12 And she hasn’t been true to herself since 3 breast enlargements 2 reductions Excessive amounts of nips and tucks A brutal physical exercise routine Never feeling quite good enough But by now Nothing can hide the age And the only benefit I have found After all these surgeries Is she gives great gummers But never swallows Still Not quite good enough
Things to do at a Hostel or Guest House
Watch the parrot play with the pen Shower, wash your shirts Because they don’t get dirty Just yucky and stiff Pick a banana Watch it ripen Then eat it Disassemble your hairbrush Clean it And put it back together Remove the sleeves of a shirt Stitch by stitch Instead of just cutting them off Make a pipe from a papaya stem Make a grasshopper from a papaya leaf Watch the tide roll in Watch the tide roll out Go for a swim in the ocean Peel and split a coconut Drink the milk Put a chunk of coconut on the ground Watch the ants eat it (That’ll take a week or two) Wear the remains as a pendant Number and mark your beers Before putting them in the fridge See if there is a beer thief Or you just get too drunk and forget Try to figure out who is fucking whom If any at all Fill the newbies in on the scene Pick up after someone But don’t do their dishes Sharpen the kitchen knives And be a hero to everyone If you are bored You have found the limits Of your imagination
What a guy! We ended up having a brilliant night that ended with us sitting in a tree-house bar watching a Thai reggae band – and just like that we had salvaged our trip to Sihanoukville. Just in time too, the next day we were heading back to Thailand.
After a long-ass day of travelling we finally arrived at our modest beach bungalow on Phi Phi island. I had been warned about this place. People who had been there had said that I wouldn’t like it, it was full of tourists and tacky beach parties. I wasn’t so sure, we had been having a pretty subdued time up until that point and I was ready for some shameless touristy fun. At the weekend we headed to a fire show at one of the beach parties where I discovered that no matter how hideous the man, take his shirt off and make him throw bits of fire around and I will instantly want him on me.
They had a limbo competition too, the rules of which were simple: girls do it topless for a free bucket of drink, guys must do it naked. A total chubster decided he would go naked for a free shot but unfortunately for us he approached the limbo thing from the wrong side meaning that all his junk in all it’s magnificent, wrinkly, dangly glory was right there in our faces. I felt like we deserved the free bucket. The music they were playing was out of this world; dance tunes from years ago that you loved but had forgotten even existed. Needless to say I got suitably smashed and thought that getting involved with a fire hoop would be a great idea. I thought I was pretty heroic, successfully managing to run through the flames unscathed…until I woke up the next morning to find the back of my leg stuck to my sheets. I still have the scar but I quite like it, it reminds me of one of the best nights of that trip.
The next day we headed to the harbour colossally hungover for an overnight boat trip to Maya Beach, the place where the movie The Beach was filmed. Thankfully everyone on the boat was also hanging out of their arseholes so we didn’t have to engage in too much conversation. When we arrived the sun was just beginning to set, and being on the only tour to offer an overnight trip meant that our small group had the whole place entirely to ourselves. Facing out onto an unbelievably beautiful bay, we all lay around on the sand in a little semi-circle whilst our guide brought out his guitar and prepared to provide us with some tunes to accompany this breathtaking backdrop.
All around us were couples lying in each other’s arms, the air was still, the sea was washing softly over the sand whilst the sun set over the violet horizon. It was the most romantic moment I have ever experienced. The guitar started up and just as a tear was about to plop out of my eyeball, our guide (whose English wasn’t very good) started to sing that sentimental classic “Fuck you, you ho, I don’t want you back.” I’m not kidding, he couldn’t even sing either. He was screeching it at the top of his lungs, completely oblivious to what the lyrics meant. Lisa and I were absolutely destroyed, we laughed way too hard for way too long. He was going “Cam on guys! You know dees one right? Seeng along!!!” Oh, and we did.
After he was done, and with that ice-breaker on the beach having turned out to be more of an ice-obliteration, we headed into the trees for a BBQ with our new friends. I forced down a vodka redbull bucket but was still not feeling too hot so I was a little relieved when it was time to row back to our boat where we were sleeping for the night. When we got back on board, our guide (who was now not surprisingly my hero) suggested we go swimming in the deep, jet-black, terrifying, monster-infested sea. I was not up for this. I decided to stay on the boat instead and watch as a crazy German guy from the group jumped off the side.
What happened next I did not expect. In this part of Phi Phi there are little plankton swimming around that light up when they are disturbed so when he jumped in, the sea lit up all around him like he was swimming in thousands of tiny little diamonds. It was like something out of mother fucking Avatar!! I was beside myself and jumped straight in after him. We all splashed around in there for as long as we could, the thoughts of ravenous great white sharks and, more importantly, any hint of a hangover rapidly disappearing.
We got up the next day and sailed straight back to Phi Phi harbour where Lisa and I were catching a boat to Koh Lanta, an island to the East of Phi Phi. This was the last stop before I headed home and after all the excitement of the trip so far, the plan here was to do as little as humanly possible for the last three days. We stuck to the plan faithfully, so much so that it’s given me fuck all to write about but it was awesome. We ate, drank, swam, turned up at a dog shelter and walked some dogs, had massages and slept in pretty fancy bungalows.
When the time came for me to fly home I was well-rested and more than satisfied that I had made the most of my time in these two top-notch countries. When I first booked this trip I was excited, I expected it to be similar to some of the other places I had visited (and loved) in that part of the world. But none of them were even close to Thailand and Cambodia where the scenery is so ridiculously stunning I felt as though I had been transported into an Elder Scrolls video game. The people there are so genuinely happy too, even the ones who have nothing, a quality that no doubt has a foundation in the Buddhism they practice – a beautiful philosophy that makes all of our religious fighting and flagrant materialism an embarrassment.
When you’re out there you very quickly find yourself adopting romantic notions about living there forever. Who needs things right? All we need is love and $3 a day to eat phad thai! We could totally do it, why can’t we do it? Let’s do it! It’s like they have some sort of airport-sorcerer waiting at arrivals casting mind-fuck spells on you at passport control. But like most spontaneous and irresponsible ideas, those dreams disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. Lisa headed back to her fit camp in Hua Hin for 2 more months where she lost a total of 3 stone and became a badass at Muay Thai. I went back to London with a revised set of priorities and a clearer idea of what the fuck I want to do with my immediate future.
And so my ‘Bucket-list of Singledom’ Quest is complete. I’m not sure which achievement I’ve unlocked, probably irreversible organ damage, but I’m excited for the next level. A level I shall call “I Should Probably Stop Fucking Around and Find Somewhere to Live.”
It’s no secret that I love Jason Derulo and I refuse to be embarrassed by this. Anyone who can sing about trumpets – possibly the stupidest, most un-sexy instrument in the world – and get away with it will always have my respect. The man is hilarious and I’m tired of people writing him off as just another shitty, pop cunt who feels the need to tell people his name at the beginning of every song. He is so much more than that and using a selection of some of my favourite lyrics of his I will attempt to prove why.
“Our conversations ain’t long, but you know what is”
– Ha! He’s talking about his penis!
“No matter what you say, you always sound sexy to me”
-Hey Jason, my piles are giving me some serious jip today. Do me.
“So open the curtains, and let me inside for more”
-Lol. Beef curtain joke.
“Oh I want the world to see, so I regulate some jewellery”
-As if the man ain’t busy enough, he’s a regulator in the accessories industry making sure African children aren’t dying for diamonds or some shit.
“I’ve been looking under rocks and breaking locks”
-He fucks crabs and robs old ladies. Badass.
“I met her at a bar, the look she gave me said I wouldn’t get far, but that ain’t never stop me”
-He’s a little bit rapey.
“Bitch, I’m a star”
-And possibly a little gay-fabulous.
“Sold out arenas, you can suck my penis”
-He doesn’t fuck about with stupid things like subtlety, and he doesn’t need to ask me twice.
“This girl on my lap’s passing out, she’s a blonde”
-He’s all about the detail. The random detail.
“Just when you thought the water park couldn’t get no wetter, I’m dripping down her back like I’m doing it in my sweater”
-He’ll cum all over you on Splash Mountain. Mad skillz.
“I got lipstick stamps on my passport, I think I need a new one”
-He understands the importance of personal document maintenance.
“And I know papa got diabetes so I must watch what I eat”
-He’s health conscious.
“Her pussy’s so good I bought her a pet”
-He bought me sea monkeys. Make of that what you will.
“Is it weird that your eyes remind me of a Coldplay song?”
-What, Yellow? My liver has been a bit tender lately, I’ll go get that checked out. Boom, Jason Derulo just saved my life.
“Is it weird that I hear trumpets when you’re turning me on?”
-Sorry love, that was my arse. God damn refried beans.
“Walking the dog in my neighbourhood, said I never would”
-You shouldn’t have bought a dog if you couldn’t handle the responsibility Jason.
“Every picture I take, I pose a threat”
“Jeans are on the floor, tipsy on the floor”
-He is well aware that the same word rhymes with itself, whether the sentence makes sense is not important.
“I wanna cum anywhere you want me to”
-In my dog’s asshole. Hey! You said anywhere. No take-backs.
“Shake what your mama gave you”
-A predisposition for bladder weakness? Well okayyy, if you’re sure…
“Let me take you home and I kill that girl with two stones”
-What? Is he talking about his balls? *slow nod*…..Nice work JD.
“Yum, pussy bum”
“A future with a dog named Ben”
-He doesn’t waste your time with vague detail.
“I deeply penetrate it, then I take it out and wipe it off”
-But he’ll never use your good towels, only the ones you use when you’re on your period or dying your hair.
So, yeah, there you have it. I think you’ll find the evidence indisputable – Jason Derulo is the most under-rated, lyrical comedy genius of our time. And just think, if Chris Brown hadn’t gone all Street Fighter on Rihanna’s face, JD may never have had his time to shine. It almost doesn’t bear thinking about.
So after nearly 6 months of living the single life, and under the severe duress of my sister, I have recently joined Tinder. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Tinder is possibly the shallowest, most addictive way to attempt to get laid I have ever experienced. It’s a dating app that works by linking info from your Facebook page therefore eliminating the need to write a profile or barely even type. Once logged in you are immediately presented with pictures of people who live within your specified radius and it’s up to you to decide if their face is something you wouldn’t mind sitting on. If you’d rather sit on a rusty chainsaw, you swipe left, but if they give you yoghurt pants, you swipe right. It’s basically ‘Hot or Not’ but with a lot more interactivity and a lot less nineties tank-tops and mahogany lip-liner.
The beauty of this app is that it is completely risk-free. If you like the look of someone and right-swipe them they will never know unless they right-swipe you back, meaning that rejection (at least on a physical level) is near impossible. Only when matched are you able to message each other, a process which is horrendously awkward until you get the hang of it.
It sounds pretty straight forward right? To the point where you might think that I’m knee-deep in cock and candlelight dinners every night of the week. Not so, my friends. You see Tinder is so jam-packed full of douchebag-yolo-swaggers that I have repetitive strain injury in my thumb from swiping left so much. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these hairless lumps of muscly skin are lovely guys who appeal to millions of women but they’re just not my type. Unfortunately, it seems that most of my type are too busy growing beards and playing video games to be on Tinder……which, ironically, is exactly why they’re my type.
Other than the blatant focus on aesthetics that this app encourages, the other thing that surprised me was just how many profiles are near identical. Obviously guys don’t swipe other guys so they never get to see each other’s pictures but seriously, if you’re a man thinking about joining Tinder and you don’t want to look like a generic, vacuous advertisement for what’s wrong with modern society I’m going to give you a few pointers so you know what to avoid. A public service, if you will.
1.Tigers. First and for the love of fuck, don’t be stroking a tiger. I thought they were supposed to be endangered? Since I started this caper I’ve come to the conclusion that there are more tigers in the world than Chinese people. I won’t be sponsoring one any time soon I’ll tell you that for free. Also, tigers don’t like to be stroked, they like to kill shit, it’s science. They don’t look happy in your picture, which in turn makes me unhappy, which in turn makes me not want to right-swipe you.
2.Muscles. If your pecs are bigger than my tits, I assume one of the following things:
You either suffer from permanent roid-rage and will probably beat me to within an inch of my life on our second date if I step out of line – Or – that you spend so much time in the gym obsessing over your appearance that you have very little time left for developing any sort of personality.
I am aware that this is a sweeping generalisation (this whole article is tbh) and not everyone who looks after themselves should be negatively judged so if you’re a mentally stable guy with a substantially fitter than average body then you should probably include a pic that makes you look like you have some sort of banter. Stealth bum something or motor-boat a doner kebab and you won’t come across as so terrifying.
3. Neon Ray-Bans and/or a low V T-shirt. It’s not that I don’t believe men have a place in fashion, and just because I think you look ridiculous doesn’t mean that all women do, it’s just that there are too many of you. After seeing different guys in same attire for the 30th picture in a row, you all just become one giant, faceless mass of man-cleavage and it’s kind of gross. Change it up. Wear some double-denim and a cowboy hat, at least then I’ll know that you are capable of laughing at yourself.
4. Snowboarding. This one is probably the most popular pic, more popular than the tiger-stroking even. Again, I have no problem with snowboarding, it’s pretty cool but I cannot see your face or body in that get-up. You might be able to “get good air with the pow” or whatever shit the kids say nowadays, but if your face looks like a melted welly I’m not going to want it anywhere near my genitals.
Another thing I noticed about these pics is that they actually make me feel slightly intimidated. I mean, I can’t snowboard for shit and although I have the potential to be physically capable of climbing a mountain or running a marathon, it’s not something I would do on a regular basis. Filling your profile full of high-energy pics makes you look like you’re in a tampon advert and I automatically feel that I will look like a fat, lazy, Bargain-Bucket-munching slag-heap in comparison. One pic of your outdoor activities will suffice. Just one.
5. Don’t hold a fish. This one should really be self-explanatory.
6. Music Festivals. “Look at me in my designer wellies, neon Ray-Bans and low V, standing in a field covered in strategically placed mud. Look how alternative I am. I love music. Music is my life!”
Then I look in the background and who’s on stage? Rihanna. Fuck off. You are not at a festival, you’re at an outdoor pop concert, that place will be absolutely crawling with kids waiting to get into the soft-play area that is conveniently just out of shot. Do you think I came up the Clyde on a banana boat? If you can show me a backstage picture of you sucking off Lemmy from Motorhead then we’ll talk.
7. Tribal tattoos. I am aware that these were fashionable back in the day and a lot of people fell into the trap. I’m a huge fan of tattoos so I appreciate the pain you went through to get that sleeve but it’s the guys who have a tribal tattoo and don’t look like they regret it that concern me. It’s probably better if you don’t wear a vest. Ever again.
8. Holding the Olympic torch. This is kind of similar to the tiger thing in that I thought people rarely got to touch it. Nope. If Tinder is anything to go by everyone in the entire country apart from me got to hold the thing. Where the fuck was I, in a coma? It’s been touched more times than a BBC intern, so putting that pic up will not make you stand out, it will just make you look routinely basic.
9. Gym selfies. Selfies in general are dodgy ground for me, sometimes they are necessary and I’ve been guilty of a few myself, but pouty phone-selfies in a mirror? You look ridiculous. Selfies in a gym mirror with all weights behind you and your trousers hanging so low that I can see the base of your penis-shaft? No thanks, I already ate.
10. Drinking Grey Goose or champagne/Leaning against a fancy car. You are trying to tell people how rich and gangster you are. You are going to attract retards. This may be what you want and good luck to you, there are a lot of retards out there so you are guaranteed to at least get your hole out of this approach, but personally I feel there is too much financial peacockage on Tinder and it makes my thumb hurt.
It’s possible that I’m getting too old for this or that I’m a lesbian and I just don’t know it yet but whatever my reasons I can only be honest about my experience with this app and there is little variety here. I feel like I will get tired of it sooner rather than later. The only problem is that sometimes I forget this app is not a game like Angry Birds but that these are real people I’m swiping, that’s how addictive it is. There’s no denying it gives you a nice ego boost but it has the potential to turn even the most self-loathing of people into narcissistic monsters.
So let’s be (semi) serious here for a minute. I’m sitting here slagging off the guys on Tinder but if I’m really honest with myself, I feel that I’m the problem here. I think it would be stupidly self-sabotaging to deny myself the chance to meet someone I really like, maybe even enjoy myself a little bit, but the thing is I’m not sure I particularly want to be in a full-on serious relationship just yet. I’m going to Thailand in 8 weeks to tear shit up, I’ve got a school reunion in Malta to attend this summer so I can disappoint everyone with my lack of husband/family/social-development-since-1998. I’ve got shit to do this year that I worry would be hindered by having to be answerable to anyone other than myself.
Then again at the other end of the scale, and this may shock you, I’m not a natural slut either. I can’t do one night stands without hating myself no matter how much I tell myself it’s the 21st century and liberating and empowering and blah, blah, blah. So if I’m not actively hunting for a boyfriend but I also don’t want an anonymous penis for one night, what the fuck am I doing on Tinder? Maybe I should stop judging other people for not being what I don’t even want. Maybe I’m fucked anyway because there’s a link to this blog on my Tinder profile (*ahem* hi guys) and I’ll never get right-swiped again. Or maybe I should put my phone down, buy a weapons rack full of vibrators and just crack on.
Once I’ve checked out my newest Tinder match and swiped a couple more times.
In the meantime, have a look at these beauts…
For the ladies out there, don’t worry I haven’t left you out. While writing this article I became curious as to what the Tinder experience was like from a man’s point of view; Are we as equally annoying as them or do they just right-swipe the shit out of anything with a full set of limbs? To answer these questions I have enlisted the help of a friend of mine who is also on Tinder. He has written an article about his experiences with the app and I have supplied a few excerpts below for your reading pleasure.
Tinder the Relationship Finder
“My Tinder experience started in Autumn last year. Actually I can be more specific: my first match occurred with a girl named Charlene on 10th September and 12.45pm was when we started chatting, 12.55 would have been when the conversation ran dry. Alas Charlene and I were never to be. Fuck it, onto the next. This is the main thing about Tinder is that it’s not that real. It’s not real at all until you finally meet each other. But some sort of etiquette should still be followed and on both sides too because saying that the dialogue occurring prior to a personal meeting isn’t real is all fine but abusing it by acting rude, obnoxious and uncouth is not likely to be tolerated. I found that out after asking a few girls if they wanted to see a picture of my cock. That wasn’t true I’m afraid. I didn’t dare because I started out with good intentions on Tinder, or so I thought.
My reason for going on there was to help get rid of any unwanted thoughts about the ex-girlfriend. Nothing suppresses the feeling of wanting to bury the axe into one’s skull better than the beginnings of a new relationship right? Err, yeah right. It turned out I wasn’t the only one though. Through my encounters there are a lot of girls who have recently been put back onto the market looking to either forget their significant other, or to play jealousy games. There are other reasons for going on Tinder.
One girl that I began chatting to had recently moved to England and was a bit nervous about meeting new people. She was hoping to find a city guide. That’s fine, I suppose. Why she chose to use the bikini shots down the beach or shots in a mini skirt looking provocative was a little beyond me. She would have found the right sort of person I’m sure.
Another girl was canvassing for language students she could teach Cantonese. £50 a lesson. The conversation was cut short.
Instagram likes. A few girls want more followers on Instagram so they pasted their username into the tagline. Now we can all go and like the willow shading they used for the pic of their roast dinner. They must have a creative side.
One girl was open about being in a relationship already. I didn’t feel as though this could go any further for me. I’ve been through that experience before and three is definitely a crowd.
A few profiles I matched up with were very receptive and wanted me to go to the copied URL they messaged me. Oh, sex chat. Classy girl, Daddy would be proud. What’s that, you want to show me what you can do with a wine bottle? Put my credit card number in. No thank you, I’m a nice boy.
I’ve noticed a sensitivity in some girls on Tinder and I was curious. Consequently my tagline changed from a song lyric, very cliché I must admit, to a bolder and more brutal statement about myself.
“FYI I’m taller than average, I’m not looking for an easy lay and don’t need to be reminded. I haven’t been skiing or snowboarding and haven’t stroked any lions or tigers. But, swipe right if you don’t give a fuck too :)”
It finishes with a smiley face, I know.
I got fed up of the same questions that some of the girls would start with, or even what is written on their tagline. If I see something like “Not on here for a hook up” that slightly annoys me. If I read a variation of that line with “I’m not looking for an easy lay. You’re going to have to try hard to impress me. I don’t make the first move” that irritates me to fucking distraction. Egotistical fucktards like that make me grind my teeth in my sleep. You would only get a worse reaction out of me by playing Rihanna music. It gets worse if they completely undermine their tagline with the obligatory down-the-top cleavage selfies and massive D&G sunglasses donned duck face.
My tagline was to prevent another girl from asking me how tall I was because she’s 5,9” and likes to wear stilt-walking style stilettos. I’m still taller. The tagline also was to highlight my lack of off-piste prowess and that it mattered less to me than planking or Movember. And that I have categorically never stroked a member of the big cat family. It’s not on the bucket list. Did I miss that lesson at School on how to lead a good life? Pet a tiger because they fucking love that. In writing that tagline I thought it would help me actually isolate a better group of possible matches. It didn’t, it opened the floodgate to girls all starting with “Funny tagline lol. You’re so funny” I imagine them saying it like Janice from Friends. Ooh stop it with the fingernails down the blackboard, my poor brain.
After all is said and done I’m still on Tinder but, now that I’m a seasoned pro, I use it to amuse myself. It’s a Hot or Not game. Can I be bothered by the resulting inevitable text exchange? Very rarely. Playing the Tinder game is addictive though. It helps the mojo and strengthens the confidence somewhat making you feel just that little bit more prepared for a real chat with someone after a flirtatious smile. There’ll still be the odd times when my interests are piqued such as when the girl is holding a saxophone or sporting a blog link for a tagline but for the rest “IT’S A MATCH! Would you like to continue playing?” Yeah sure, just don’t take it too seriously.”
Since I last posted there have been some pretty major developments in the mess that I call my life. For a start I am single now, something that I know every 33-year-old female aspires to. Saying that, in between the deep whistling noise coming from my cavernous wind-tunnel of a fruitless womb and the deafening tick of a suspiciously absent clock, I can just about make out the unmistakable sound of adventure. It sounds like pint glasses clinking, traffic in still air, the quiet roar of a distant aeroplane, and fear – shit loads of sweaty, choking, all-encompassing fear. Aberdeen has been good to me, I will miss it and everyone that I loved during my 14 years there, but it is time to move on and where better to start a new chapter than in the coolest knife-crime hotspot in Europe…..Landaann baby!!
Although I have not long arrived here, my sister has been living here for quite a few years now so, visiting her regularly, I have come to get to know the city a little bit. Now, you all know that I am possibly the least judgemental human ever to have walked the Earth, but even I have made some observations that I think need to be addressed. I have put my thoughts into an open letter to the city because I like to pretend that things are people.
What if I don’t want spinach or halloumi cheese in my food? What then? Do I just starve to death? I don’t even know what halloumi cheese is but I know I don’t fucking want it.
Untie that pastel v-neck sweater from around your shoulders and stop judging me. If I can’t stand upright long enough to successfully light a cigarette that I don’t even want to smoke outside one of your generic nightclubs, then that is my problem, not yours. Also, your shoes are really terrible.
Keep telling me how much you love my accent and exotic eye-shape. A bitch never gets tired of hearing that shit.
Stop giving me things to put in my handbag. I’m getting pretty tired of having to clean it out every single day. Tube tickets, train tickets, bus tickets, enough receipts to start a Belfast bonfire, plastic bags, chewing gum wrappers, empty bottles of water, flyers that I said I didn’t want but you still gave me, another bit of paper asking me to come to church and be saved or burn in hell for all eternity, wooden Starbucks coffee stirrers (I don’t even like Starbucks…..or coffee for that matter), bobby pins, loose change, £5 notes, business cards for taxi companies, free pens. Please get a hold of yourself, I can’t take any more.
Stop selling everything I’ve ever wanted within a mile of my house. I spent £700 in my first two days here. Okay, you don’t have to stop doing that if you don’t want to. I love things.
Consider slowly introducing uglier women into your gene pool. I feel it’s only fair that the population of London is a true representation of the population of the rest of the country. We can’t all wear 6 inch Louboutins and crop tops on a bare Tuesday afternoon, if I want to go to the bank looking like a sticky hobo then that is my prerogative.
Please continue to serve Timothy Taylor Landlord in the pub next door. It’s the only thing keeping me alive here, I’m sure of it. Well, it’s definitely not the spinach anyway.
Stop presenting me with an array of your most handsome men and then making them all Italian. It’s disappointing.
Enough with the sirens. If all these people you are saving have to die so I can read a book about Medieval England in peace then so be it.
Stop jogging on a Sunday morning, you make me sick. Also, there is such a thing as too many yoga studios.
I am more than happy for you to continue to host what seems like a conveyor-belt of gigs by my heroes.
Oh, and keep looking like this. You looked nice today.
As those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know from the onslaught of photos I have subjected you to recently, I had a Eurovision party last weekend. Eurovision really is one of the highlights of my year. I have loved it’s overly made-up, shiny, happy, disturbing little face ever since I moved to Malta in the early 1990’s. Over there it is kind of a big deal. I remember being in a nightclub around 1996 when they turned the music off so everyone could hear the results – that’s right Usher, pipe the fuck down, it’s is Gina G’s time to shine. On top of all this a good family friend of ours, Mike Spiteri, was Malta’s Eurovision entry for 1995. Yeah you heard me, I actually know someone who has actually sang in the actual Eurovision Song Contest. You might say I am weaved into the very fabric of the establishment, buried so deep I think my balls may have just slipped in.
Mike Spiteri’s Eurovision Performance, 1995 (I have no idea who the man at the very beginning of this clip is, but I want him on me).
Unfortunately, when I am even the slightest bit vocal about my favourite event, I am usually met with one of the following reactions:
“But it’s shit.”
“But, no one can sing and the songs are shit.”
“But it’s so tacky and shit.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so shit.”
“It shitter than the actual shit I just took, and that was really shit.”
Or the classic:
“I stopped watching it when we stopped winning. It’s so political now, it’s not about the music anymore……and it’s also pretty shit.”
“It’s not about the music anymore”?? What has music got to do with any of this? See, the problem here is that people are thinking about the Eurovision like it is some sort of song contest or something. It’s not a song contest. With the obvious exception of Mike Spiteri of course, the songs are generally terrible, often tacky, commonly cheesy and almost always ten years behind regular music. The key to enjoying the experience is letting go of the musical concept. Let it go. Just accept the fact that you will be hearing nothing but shite for three hours straight and I promise you you’ll start to enjoy it for what it is: Essentially The European Championship for girls.
It is about the excitement of watching all of our continental neighbours coming together to compete in a light-hearted and slightly bewildering atmosphere. It is having the opportunity to wave fuck-loads of flags around and pretend to be patriotic. It is the provision of an entertaining environment in which to rip the shit out of any country whose border isn’t in direct contact with ours (i.e. all of them). Do you know how many Nazi jokes were thrown around my living-room the other weekend when Germany came on? Fucking hundreds.
If that’s not entertaining enough for you, then the occasional inappropriate performance should keep you interested. This year, for example, the Ukranian entry consisted of a visibly uncomfortable man suffering from severe gigantism standing awkwardly on stage dressed as the giant from Jack & the Beanstalk. Little bit racist. There was also a lesbian kiss at the end of Finland’s performance, but they weren’t even real lesbians! What’s wrong with hiring lesbians? If you’ve got a lesbiany job to do then it’s only fair to hire some lesbians. They’ve got bills to pay too, you know. In fact, half of the shit that goes on on that stage should not even be allowed. This year alone they violated about fifteen separate human rights laws, how anyone cannot enjoy watching that is beyond me.
And in answer to those who say it is all “political”, I say this:
Denmark won this year. Famously a real heavyweight in the political arena. The problem you have is not with the political nature of the voting, you’re just annoyed that Britain isn’t winning anymore. There’s nothing we can do about that. Like powdered mashed potato and soda-streams, the UK was incredibly popular in the 70’s and 80’s but after a couple of illegal wars we are no longer the top dog. What was once the most powerful and desirable cheerleader in the High School of Europe is now a fat, abusive, self-harming single mum with a drinking problem. It’s time for other countries to have their turn in the spotlight – and if they all want to vote for each other instead of us, that is totally fine by me. I don’t really blame them – and anyway, although the scoreboard may look slightly suspicious in places, the best song does generally always win in the end.
So, as a radical Eurovision extremist, I feel it is my duty to convert the Wogan-denying infidels of the UK. In order to do this, I have been hosting Eurovision Parties most years since 2004. I want to rid the world of its Euro-cynicism one social gathering at a time and it’s working. It’s slow, I mean I think in the last nine years I’ve converted about three people, two of them children, but any progress is good progress. If you’re sitting there thinking that you would like to help the cause by hosting your own Eurovision Party then you, my friend, are in luck because I’m about to get all Pippa Middleton on your ass…
Eurovision Scorecards, Sweepstake and Poster (pictured below, download them here)
Pictures of Terry Wogan
A Word document containing the flags of all the participating countries
Half the contents of your nearest Pound Shop
A Crown from Burger King
A packet of Wagon Wheels
A shit-ton of alcohol
(Preparation time = 3 days)
T minus 2 days until the party
Today you will have two jobs to do: Sort out the prizes and buy all the drink.
Head to your nearest pound shop where you will find not only your prize bags, but everything you will ever need to put in them. You can award any amount of prizes you want but I usually award them for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Buy literally the most shit things you can find, making sure to include a few items with Union Jacks on them – it looks more professional if you stick to a vague Eurovision theme. This year my prize bags included a Fray Bentos Steak & Kidney Pie for one, a Buck’s Fizz CD, a Justin Bieber watch, a British flag tea-towel and a Union Jack themed cake-decorating kit. Once you have sorted out the main prizes, buy some small party bags, a packet of Wagon Wheels and a couple of large bags of sweets. These will be divided up equally and handed out to each guest to take home at the end of the night. If you’re waiting for an explanation for the necessity of Wagon Wheels then, please. Kill yourself.
Next, head to the supermarket to get booze, stopping at Burger King on the way to steal one of their cardboard crowns. Buy as much beer as you can fit in your car, remembering to make use of the glove-compartment space and gaps underneath the seats. In terms of things that aren’t beer, it’s nice to have a focal point at a party and ours is usually some sort of sangria-punch concoction created by Billy, however this year my friend Alison made Eurovision cocktails which were way better. Finally, do not forget the Jegermeister. When you get home, sit at the dining-room table and prepare all of your party bags whilst listening to your other half tell you how much of a fucking weirdo you are. Make sure to hide the bags in a cupboard so the guests do not find them before the official “reveal”.
T minus one day until the party
I’m not going to sugar-coat this, today will be the most stressful day of your life. Today, not only must you buy all the food, you will also have to do all the printing and decorating.
When you are buying food it is best to adhere to the following guidelines:
Make sure there are sausage rolls. If I turn up at a party and there are no sausage rolls, that party is dead to me. Don’t be a dick, give the people what they want.
Any food you buy has to be penetratable and strong enough to hold a toothpick. i.e. no weird pasta or salads.
It is now time to get down to the business of printing all of our Eurovision paraphernalia. The reason we must leave this job until the last minute is because of the stupid semi-finals (which I would not recommend you watch by the way, it can ruin the surprise). You won’t know which country is participating in the finals until today and the BBC do not update their scorecards until the late afternoon because, you know it’s not like we want a professional, instantaneous service for our fucking license fees or anything.
When the BBC have finally got their act together, print off the following documents IN COLOUR:
A scorecard for each guest.
A few posters.
3 – 4 copies of your Word document with all of the finalists flags on them (the flags must all be the same size in a 2 x 5 format like in the picture on the left).
Some nice pictures of Terry Wogan – I prefer to use pictures of him smiling and generally enjoying life, however the one of him on Points of View with the tight trousers and detailed penis outline is equally acceptable.
Take one set of flags and cut them all out, google the shit out of each one to make sure that you know 100% which flag corresponds to which country and then write the country’s name neatly on the back. Set these to one side for now. Cut out another set of flags and, along with your British Entry posters, use them to decorate your living room. Cut out the remaining flags and cellotape them to toothpicks, these will be used to stick into your sausage rolls and mini Cornish pasties, etc. Finally, take all of the photo-frames you have in your living room, remove the boring pictures of your children and replace them with pictures of Terry Wogan. He may not be our commentator anymore but in British Eurovision culture it is seen as a mark of respect to acknowledge him in some small way.
Get up and clean the absolute asshole out of your house. Leave a few things casually lying around, a towel over a radiator or an off-centre cushion on the sofa to present the illusion that you have given your house a quick, casual tidy-up as opposed to spending five hours cleaning the bastard thing. Now get yourself in a shower because you stink and your guests will be arriving at any minute.
Once everyone has turned up and they have been given a drink (or in my case, have poured themselves their own drink because I am a pretty basic hostess), place all of the flags with the country’s names written on them into a hat and pass it around. Depending on how many guests you have, get them to pull out two or three flags each. Write the names of each person and the countries they have drawn into the sweepstake. Put this somewhere where you can’t spill drink on it.
By this time the contest should be just about to start. Make up your Eurovision cocktails and hand them out before explaining how the scoring system works. It’s pretty straight forward really, they must score each country out of 12 depending on how good they think they are. They can go back and change their scores right up until the first results are read out. There is literally no purpose to this, it’s just a way of encouraging debate and people seem to enjoy it.
Top tip: It is helpful to write little notes next to your scores to serve as a reminder, because by about half way through the competition you will be so drunk you will have forgotten what the first acts were like. For example, this year I thought the girl who sang for Russia looked a little bit like those lucky trolls from the 90’s, so I wrote “90’s Troll” next to her score. This really helped me later on when, after my seventh Jegermeister, I was lying face-down in the back garden covered in someone else’s vomit.
After the last performance is over, put the food out while you are waiting for the final scores to be revealed (for the love of God, don’t forget to put the toothpick flags in). The results part of the show is a bit on the lengthy side so if you want to mute the TV and stick some tunes on, go ahead. I prefer to leave it on because the utter nonsense that comes out of each country’s presenter is almost as funny as the performances themselves. Finally, when the winning order is announced, hand out the prizes to the guests who pulled out the corresponding flags (bestowing the Burger King Crown of Victory upon the head of the person in 1st place). When the evening is coming to a close, give a Wagon Wheel Party Bag to everyone else as a thank you for not moaning about how shit the Eurovision is.
So there you have it, a handy guide which if followed correctly, should result in you hosting the greatest Eurovision party ever known to man. It’s a ‘go hard or go home’ kind of affair and there will be times when you may doubt your abilities as a host or even lose faith in the contest altogether, but if you believe in yourself like you believed in Bonnie then you will reap the rewards. Just remember this simple motto: “If you think you have gone too far, go further” and I guarantee you they will be absolutely fizzing at the slit to do it all again next year.
Some of you may have heard of this card game already, some of you may not. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, let me introduce you to the finest example of family entertainment currently available on the market.
Cards Against Humanity – “A Party Game for Horrible People” was created in 2010 by a bunch of Highland Park High School alumni who submitted the idea to Kickstarter. It was so ridiculously amazing that they exceeded their funding goal by almost 300% and the game is now available either to buy from Amazon here, or download for free here.
The rules are as follows:
One person in the group is randomly selected as the Card Czar who deals out 10 white answer cards to each person in the group. The Czar then picks one black question card and reads it out loud. The other players must choose the most fitting/politically incorrect answer available to them and submit it face down on the table. The Card Czar shuffles all of the answers and reads each card combination out loud before picking a winner and awarding them one ‘Awesome Point’.
I first stumbled across this game a few months ago when people were uploading photos of their cards on Twitter. I immediately had to get involved and so bought one for myself and one for Lisa’s boyfriend Dan for Christmas. Having just played the game for the first time, and almost giving myself a hernia from laughing so hard, I feel it would be a crime against humanity not to share the results with you (see what I did there?).
So to conclude, this is the best game in the entire world and an essential purchase for the whole family. You will learn things about your parents that you probably didn’t need, or ever want, to know and the children will learn a plethora of new vocabulary words. GET IT BOUGHT BALL-BAGS!!!
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day!! Not really though!! I hope all the shallow, materialistic, corporate ass-raping doesn’t cause irreversible bowel damage. xxx
Being a 32-year-old, unmarried, childless waste of a human life, I am often asked when I’m going to sort my shit out. I would like to take this opportunity to tell these people that I do have my shit sorted out, and said shit is divided up as follows:
Billy and I have been together for over 12 years with no intention of getting married. Like none at all. I have no interest in wedding dresses, flowers and colour coordinated fabric swatches all crammed into a room full of relatives who don’t particularly like each other. We already have the mortgage, the dog and the joint bank account, why would I want the piece of paper that gives Billy permission to take a shit with the door open? Now, this is not to say that we won’t ever get married. I’m sure once I’ve popped out a few kids and my vagina looks like the blown out remains of a Baghdad government building I will give in and accept my fate, but until then, I would rather spend wedding-money on things like this:
Plus, I quite like being someone’s girlfriend. It gives the somewhat exciting illusion that it could all come to an end at any minute* (*update: it did) and it also makes me feel like I have loads of time until I have to start breeding* (*update: I still don’t). We did get engaged about 7 years ago, but that was essentially just so people would stop asking us when we were going to get engaged and also in the hope that they would back the fuck off my uterus and stop making unrealistic demands of it. I wasn’t ready for kids then and, even though it won’t be long before my ovaries shrivel up and disappear in a little *puff* of dust, I still don’t know if I am. Not long ago, I was accused by a complete stranger in a bar of being “selfish” for having this attitude towards having kids. He said, and I quote:
“So you’re 32 and you don’t have any kids yet? So you’re selfish then? You’re a woman, it is your responsibility to have children. Every man does not necessarily have to have a child but, as a woman, you do. Right now, while you’re sitting here with your pint and your little job, you are depriving a child the right to human life. How does that make you feel?”
I proceeded to explain that I felt it was more selfish to sit in a 2 bedroom council flat with no job, pumping out 5 kids who will then be brought up in cramped and poverty-striken conditions, but he was too busy staring at his sister’s tits to pay attention to anything I was saying.
When it comes down to it, money is the issue here and I hate myself for even saying that. For the majority of our relationship, Billy and I have had no money. At one point we were living off £30 a week between us. In order to try to make the situation a bit better, we decided that I would go to University and Billy would take on a second job to pay the bills. I graduated in 2009 and Billy is now free to start his own business, something he has always wanted to do. It is only in the past year that we have bought a grown-up house and have money left in our bank account at the end of the month. Do you have any idea how fun that is? I’m still not over the novelty of being able to buy something I want for the simple reason that I can. I just bought this teapot. Don’t even need it:
All I want is a couple of years to enjoy this feeling before I spend all my free time being skint again and going to coffee mornings slightly drunk on wine and completely covered in shit-spew. I want a god-damn video game room before it gets turned into a nursery. I want to go on a grunge pilgrimage to Seattle. I like my boobs, my vagina is top-notch and I wouldn’t mind keeping it that way for a little while longer. On top of this, I love my job and, right now, cannot bear the thought of leaving it. I appreciate that there are people out there who can’t have kids, and I may live to regret putting it off for so long, but is having kids because other people can’t have them healthy motivation? Probably not.
Maybe that sheep-raping Yorkshire dickhead in the bar was right. Maybe I am selfish. So what do you do when your head is that of a 14-year-old boy but your body is that of a middle-aged female? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t start a family and, let’s be honest, what the world needs in these hard times is a Jillian/Billy combo-human (or ‘Billian’, as they will be known). I am genuinely excited about one day having a baby, just let me buy a few more pieces of Lionel Ritchie crockery first.
As a rig worker and proud owner of a vagina, I am always asked what it’s like for a female working in a predominantly male environment. Has spending so much time in this testosterone-fuelled domain ever resulted in the compromise of my femininity? Have I experienced any damaging discrimination as a result of my gender? And what does the increasing presence of women on rigs mean for the future of the industry? This article will not answer any of these questions because, really, who gives a fuck. However, as a result of all the interest shown in my job, I decided to keep a note of a few of the shenanigans I have experienced over the past few years so that you have some idea of what we have to put up with on a daily basis.
There are three main types of reactions when a girl arrives on a rig:
There are those who will just come right out and ask if you are single and willing to get your gash smashed by any old member of the drill crew. When you say no, they will probably never talk to you again.
There are those who will ask you what your name is and if you are single and willing to get your gash smashed by any old member of the drill crew. When you say no, they will still drink tea with you and have a laugh.
Finally, there are those who will do literally anything to avoid having to talk to you/walk past you/make eye-contact with you. They are TERRIFIED of anything with a uterus. I like to talk to them about my excruciatingly heavy periods and the invasive processes involved when getting the coil fitted.
Luckily, around 80% of the guys fall into the second category and I have made some genuine friends during my time in this job. Saying that, it is still quite awkward when you first arrive on a new rig, to the point where the only thing I want to do is hide away in the safety of my unit and drink tea. I have learned, however, that all this does is prolong the awkwardness so instead I go against every fibre of my being and force myself to talk to everyone at the first opportunity. I remember doing just that on my very first day on a land job and recall a conversation I had with the derrickman that went exactly like this:
ME: “Hi, I’m new here. How’s it going?”
DERRICKMAN: “Oh hey, I’m the derrickman. Just to warn you, we’re all a bit crazy on here. Last week one of the roughnecks was doing my head in so I did a big shit on the floor of the pit-room and threw it at him. Do you want to go to the cinema some time?”
Things were not much different three years ago. On my first ever day offshore, I stepped off the helicopter and into the heli-lounge where I immediately noticed a few posters stuck to the walls. Upon closer inspection I realised that the posters included a photograph of a turd curled up in the corner of a shower with the following message:
“Whoever is shitting in the communal shower needs to stop. This is the third time it has happened this year and this behaviour will not be tolerated. We are currently in the process of eliminating crew members who were on leave at the time of all three shits being discovered. We will find you and you will face disciplinary action.”
On that same rig there was a decidedly creepy electrician. I was a week into my first hitch and still pretty terrified of everything, including him, but unfortunately for me the plug socket in my room broke and I couldn’t use my hairdryer (omg). This was a genuine emergency, so I had to go and find him and ask him to fix it for me while I was out on shift. Later that evening, I entered the galley to have some dinner. As I sat down at the table, the electrician walked past, winked at me then patted his ass whilst saying “ASDA price”. At first I had no idea what he was talking about but it suddenly dawned on me that I had bought all my offshore underwear from ASDA in one of those cheap packs of 5 things. The motherfucker had raked through all my pants!!! And to make matters worse, one pair was distinctly looser fitting when I next put them on. I refused to put in a complaint against him because I felt this was my first test and crying to the Company Man would equate to failure. Instead I found the gobbiest, loudest, most annoying member of the crew (the crane operator obviously) and told him everything. He promised to make the electrician’s life hell and he did. It was wonderful to watch.
Returning to my current land-based job and the ever popular topic of turds, a little while ago I was talking to a Company Man who has been in the industry since the 70’s and so has seen and heard pretty much everything. He has some seriously impressive stories, but my personal favourite is this peach:
In 1984, when he was a driller, himself and the drill crew went out one night for a curry and, as men do, decided to out-do each other with competitive consumption of flaming butt-hole inducing Vindaloos and Fals. The next day on the rig, the derrickman was up the mast hard at work when he suddenly felt a cramp. You know the cramp, the one that says “I need a shit, and I need it yesterday”. There was no way he would be able to get down the mast with all his harness gear on and make it to the toilet in time so he decided to lay some sheets of newspaper over the pipe racks and curl one out up there instead. Bear in mind that the pipe racks are made up of metal bars with big gaps in between which look straight down onto the drill floor (see Fig. 1).
Unfortunately, when he turned around to do a squat, a light breeze caught the paper and, without him noticing, blew it away. He shit hard and it flew through the gaps, straight down onto the assistant driller’s head. The assistant driller instantly bent over to protect himself, resulting in his hard-hat falling off revealing a massive curly afro which was now exposed to the still-continuing onslaught of bum-gravy. The man had shit in his hair, his ears and his eyes, unsurprisingly causing him to throw up – an action immediately repeated by the nearest hungover roughneck (see fig. 2). The rest of them were hiding behind the pipes crying with laughter. The driller walked into the doghouse to utter carnage, there was shit and spew all over the floor and all the levers and equipment. He said it had the texture of vegetable soup and the smell was out of this world.
Although things have calmed down considerably since the good old days of literally shitting on each other from a great height, there are still some pretty amusing goings on. As you can imagine, pranks are pretty common on rigs and I got completely nailed by one not that long ago. The driller phoned down and asked me to come outside so, thinking it was work related, I hurried over to find him and a few other guys huddled together, whispering to each other at the smoking shack. When they saw me coming they asked if I could hold a giant roll of industrial cling-film for a second. Being the helpful person I am, I took the cling-film from him and suddenly everyone started inexplicably taking pictures of me. I asked what the hell they were doing and in response they pointed to the mechanic’s motorbike which was completely wrapped in cling-film in the car-park. They texted him the photo of me holding the cling-film about half an hour after he discovered his bike. Cunts.
Despite being at my expense, I did find this highly amusing and so got a proper picture taken with the bike:
Now, obviously, with all these men being away from home, penetration of some of the local ladies is inevitable, especially when the majority of these women have seen more helmets than Hitler. I absolutely love when this happens because it almost always results in some form of horrific/embarrassing/hilarious situation. Take this, for example:
Rig worker A receives a phone call from rig worker B.
RIG WORKER B: “Alright mate? Just thought I would phone to let you know that I am currently in a bath with two birds. Here, I think one of them is called Tracy. Speak to Tracy.”
TRACY: “Hello! You alright? I’m in the bath with your mate and I just took a massive shit so I am ready for some anal.”
10 minutes later, rig worker A receives another phone call from rig worker B:
RIG WORKER B: “Mate, listen to this…..” followed by the muffled noises of the phone keypad being randomly pressed. “I just shoved my iPhone up her, she loves it!”
TRACY: “Is that all you got love? Not have a fax machine? This thing is barely touching the sides.”
An iPhone?? Jesus Christ, that girl must have a clunge like a clown car!
So, to sum it up, how well you deal with being a girl on a rig, or a guy for that matter, correlates directly with your tolerance for stories about shitting and disturbing sexual encounters. Believe it or not, some argue that as a female you are at an advantage on a rig because you will get help whenever you need it (take Carl here, for example, a lovely yet verbally challenged roughneck who kindly sewed a rag into my jeans when they got a hole in them), but to them I say: “Fucking right! I have to put up with people getting their arses out and crapping everywhere so the least they can do is lend me a fucking screwdriver”.
When I’m at work, sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s hard and sometimes you have to ward off advances from creepy old mud engineers, but it beats working in an office any day. As much as these boys drive me crazy, I will grudgingly admit that in a strange way I sometimes miss the little cocksuckers when we all go home. To top it off, I spend a decent portion of my time here either laughing hysterically or drawing penises on things, but more importantly I get to go to work in a giant, quilted baby-grow – and all without judgement. What’s not to love?
I appear to have forgotten how to write and so am spending most of my time fucking about on 9gag.com instead. It is ruining my life.
Today I created this beautiful image, inspired by an incident last week in which Billy asked me to shut the blinds because the sun was getting in his eyes whilst he was trying to play the Witcher 2. This is what happened after I shut the blinds. Troll Sun will be blocked by no one.
A little rage comic I made at work, instead of doing actual work. I’m probably going to make more of these because I like them a lot. Check out www.9gag.com where all the rage comics on the interwebs live.
*N.B. This article has nothing to do with Skyrim. Sorry.
In the summer of 2008 I spent seven long weeks on the Isle of Skye as part of my field mapping dissertation for university. There were eight of us in total; me and seven of my favourite guys from the course, all battling through endless days of pissing, shitting and masturbating in forests, on hillsides and in lay-bys (N.B. I only peed. I keep the shitting and masturbating for Chat-Roulette). If I’m honest, I learned very little about geology during those long hours of standing in torrential rain getting mentally undressed by sheep whilst trying to write in a wet notebook with a blunt pencil. As time went on, however, I stopped hating and began to realise that this summer, although geologically unsuccessful, was quickly shaping up to be one of the best in history, and it’s all thanks to a tiny village with the most ridiculously beautiful view you will ever see.
Elgol is where my mapping area was located and where three of my uni friends, Beau, Luke and Mike were renting a flat from a local family. At this point we were on week three and I was beginning to get a little bit tired of actually doing work. The fact the sun had made appearance for the first time since we arrived did not help my mood, as all I wanted was a god-damn barbecue. I arrived at their flat ready to map, only to find that they weren’t even home so, after trying on all of their underwear and cleaning the toilet with their toothbrushes, I decided to go look for them. I eventually found them stepping off a fishing boat which had just participated in a random boat race in the middle of the loch. The boat belonged to Alistair, an almost mythical creature, who along with his wonderful wife Joanie, also owned the flat that the guys were staying in. Alistair had been feeding the boys whisky and prawns all morning and I could tell straight away that there would be no mapping for us that day. They got off the boat, handed me a can of Tennants and explained that today was the Elgol Gala and we were getting involved. All I could smell was beer, fishermen and barbecued meat – I was welling up. In fact I was moist pretty much everywhere.
What we didn’t know at the time was that participating in the Gala involved taking part in the Crofter’s Olympics, a Highland Games type competition in which we use our pathetically inadequate city ‘strength’ to compete against teams of Highland locals who actually work for a living. Upon hearing about this, we instantly ran back to the flat to put on our matching ‘Skye 2008’ t-shirts – if we were going to be beaten to a bloody pulp, we were going to do it whilst looking like a stylish team of professionals. We looked totally gay, it was awesome.
The first event was the caber toss. For those of you sillies who don’t know what tossing a caber involves, you basically pick up a tree trunk and try to flip it 180 degrees in the air whilst at the same time ensuring that it lands as straight and as far away from you as possible. So, essentially the opposite of what any of us are capable of. What the guys on my team needed was something like a ‘Shoes & Belt Accessorising’ event or maybe a ‘Who Can Get the Most Girls to Suck them Off Behind the Village Hall’ competition, we would have totally won those. Needless to say, Beau, Luke and Mike all failed miserably, leaving it down to me. Alistair handed me a slightly smaller, but still substantial, lady-caber and I just closed my eyes and threw it. By some miracle, it flipped 180 degrees and landed beautifully on the grass in front of me. A few people congratulated me saying things like “Well done, that’s amazing!” – but we all know that it is not amazing. Being a female who is able to throw a tree across a field is less ‘amazing’ and more ‘I’m gonna rip your wife’s face off with my vagina and there’s fuck all you can do about it’. I’m not proud of what I did and to this day Billy still asks me if I’m absolutely sure I like penises.
Next was the five-legged race. At the start of this race, Alistair bent down and tied all four of our legs together, stood up in front of everyone and said (AS A JOKE) “Fuck’s sake Jillian, you could have washed your fanny, peeyoo”. Nice. I spent the rest of the day telling anyone who would listen how he was just kidding and that, in reality, going ‘down there’ was like getting a refreshing blast of alpine forest to the face. Anyway, after coming a close second, we moved onto the welly-boot throwing competition where Beau inexplicably threw the welly behind him and almost took out a small child.
Finally, it was the dreaded tug-of-war. We were sitting in overall second place when we began this event. We thought that we could take them, that we were going to come away from this whole experience victorious after our first attempt – then we realised that there were four bastarding rounds of it and (in my slightly tipsy head) the members of the first team were staring straight into our souls, salivating all over their giant steel-toe capped boots. I was pretty tired/scared at this point and considering that the opposite team’s captain was called ‘The Butcher’ and their anchor weighed more than Beau, Luke and Mike combined, we didn’t stand much of a chance. Our only hope was to at least beat the team that consisted almost entirely of old ladies – except these old ladies appeared to have been sent to destroy us from the depths of hell. One of them was rolling around on the ground and pulling so hard that she began bleeding profusely from numerous lacerations in her arms. They humiliated us with a crushing defeat and when it was all over we left her bloodied and sweating in a heap on the floor. It’s possible that she was dead. I hope she was dead.
Overall, we finished in third place, which considering the trauma, I was delighted with. We spent the rest of the afternoon up in the village hall drinking beer, eating vulgar amounts of meat and walking around the numerous stalls which sell the inevitable pile of shit you find at every village gala. To give you an idea of what we are dealing with here, I entered a raffle and won a jar of olives, a bottle of men’s shower gel and some orange cordial. Rock and roll.
In the late afternoon we were kicked out of the village hall so that it could be transformed into Elgol’s premier ceilidh venue. Now, I love a ceilidh more than anything in the world (except iced tea) so I was beside myself with excitement and headed home with the rest of the guys to shower and get whored up for a night of drinking, dancing and debauchery. When I realised that this night had the potential to be one of the highlights of the summer/my life, I called Cameron, Iain, Sam and Eoin (who had missed the day’s events because they had actually been mapping – lol) and told them to get a fucking grip and get down here.
I think it’s safe to say word had got around that there was fresh cock in the village because when we arrived back at the hall it was like a scene from 28 Days Later. There were salivating girls in abundance, ready to tear chunks out of anyone who got in the way of them and the scrotums of my poor friends. Luckily for the guys, the wristbands that everyone is given on the door were colour-coded according to age, providing them with a handy visual aid when deciding how best to proceed (the catchphrase of the evening became “GREEN FOR GO, YELLOW MEANS NO, BUT YELLOW CAN MEAN MAYBE IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT ANY ACTION BY 1AM”). At one point I went up for a dance with Cameron, which resulted in a blatant head-case coming charging towards me saying “You trying to steal my man??”, to which I replied “I’ve been living with him and his trench-foot, man-fart, sweaty-balls for the past month. Seriously, you can have him. In fact, if you promise to keep him occupied for the whole night I’ll even throw in a jar of olives, some shower gel and a bottle of orange cordial”. She took the bait, and from the looks of her, probably most of Cameron’s foreskin that night.
At around 3am we managed to make it home, exceptionally fucked but genuinely delighted with the day we just had. It was totally stealth, none of us were prepared for it, and although I woke up the next day feeling like death, it was the most worth-it hangover I’ve ever had. What had begun as a boring old day of mapping had ended in utter chaos and I loved every minute of it. It changed the rest of that trip for me and over the next few weeks we got to know a lot of people in the village: Alistair and Joanie, their kids Craig and Grant, even my once nemesis “The Butcher”, who is now my total fave and not scary at all.
As soon as I got home, I told Billy that he needed to come see it for himself and we have been back every year since along with various combinations of the original seven. I look forward to it more than any other holiday, which considering it is only a four-hour drive from Aberdeen, is borderline unbelievable for me. Over the past four years I have been fishing with Alistair on his boat (where I had to kill things with my tiny, bare hands), I’ve swam in the fairy pools, bottle-fed Joanie’s lambs, walked for miles, drank shed-loads of beer and ate truck-loads of BBQ – but I still have not won the motherfucking Crofter’s Olympics. Sadly, I will be missing it this year due to having to work for a living but I have a feeling that 2013 will be my year so, Butcher, you better be trembling in your yellow wellies because I am coming for you and, this time, I’m bringing my sister. Yeah that’s right, Double Dingwall for the win. 😉