Thursday, 25 February 2010


"Is this the one you ordered, sir? Are you sure? Isn't it pretty! Here's the front label... aaaand the back label! Do you want to feel the print? It's embossed! And there's gold leaf on it!!!"

Sadly our waiter wasn't dressed quite this fruitily.
I got taken out for dinner yesterday, mm-hmmmm very nice; I actually wore a dress!!! Which is fantastically rare for me in winter - if there's one thing I hate more than draughty skirts it's TIGHTS. Nasty laddery chilly clingy things that they are. And every time we eat out (not so often, I hasten to add) I remember why I am sort of a liability in semi-swanky places:
When being fawned upon by the wine waiter I invariably find myself trying hard not to snort with laughter as I think of QVC presenters demonstrating Diamonique jewellery - much the same spokesmodel wrist action is used, whether what they're flourishing is a bottle of Chablis or a tennis bracelet (no, I have no idea what one is either) - it's the mime equivalent of "Nice, isn't it? Ooh, so pretty. Look at it from this angle. Now this one. Looooovely." - all of this while you're pretending to taste the wine, which frankly would have to be downright OFF for you to risk making the spokesmodel/sommelier cry at this point by saying No (unless you're one of those scary city-boy alpha-types who automatically rejects the wine just to show what an oenophile you are, and you betcha that's how you refer to yourself too, as well as bon viveur, you great ponce).
... Er, that was it. I had scallops with black pudding, and braised ox cheek with mash. Very nice too. And the wine was actually very good.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Plastic surgery for the thrifty

I've just had a brainwave. Yesterday I was talking to someone I met on Twitter, but in REAL LIFE in a bar (legalese comment inserted here about preserving anonymity, yadda yadda, you know who you are, lady) about Botox and whether it's worth it - "Does it hurt?" I asked with horrified fascination - apparently the answer has a lot of f-words in it and a Yes. Also she said you can't move the top half of your face for ages and although everybody thinks you look younger, they also secretly wonder if you've had a stroke. So, although I'm not unhappy with the way I look for my age, I thought : GAFFER TAPE. You heard it here first. I'm not sure if they do something approaching flesh colour (or a range of flesh colours), but it's ideal. Can be removed at the end of the day with, surely, less pain than 27 facial injections. Aaaaaand, for the more semi-permanent Phil Spector effect, duct tape, which can then be hidden under the wig you have Superglued on.
You may end up looking like this:

..however I think you'll agree that a little suffering is necessary for true ageless beauty. Or you could just bite the bullet and have Botox, which I have to say anonymous Twitter lady was a great advert for. Or, if you're me, neither, just ensure all your lighting is low wattage.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Moan, moan, moan.

Yeah yeah yeah, it's gorgeous. Try slogging across it in driving Arctic rain.

So Hammersmith bridge is closed all this week for construction work (obviously I've read all that stuff about NOT GIVING AWAY TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFO ON YOUR BLOG so as to avoid stalkage, but frankly there is only one bookshop in Barnes, so a determined stalker could find us fairly easily if pressed). Hammersmith Bridge is closed, which means that I have to get out of Hammersmith Tube, and walk across the bridge to get a further bus. Not too bad in the big scheme of commuting, I agree, but it's all relative - I'm so used to a few stops on the tube, wander out to the bus stop, tra la la. This bungs a whole fifteen minutes of exercise into my day, both ways, and furthermore it was absolutely chucking down this morning, so I spent this morning's little journey doing exclamations of indignation in my head - to the point where I was worried I'd start saying them out loud. Rough transcript as follows:

Oh bugger, it's... it's running off my nose! It itches! But my hands are too wet to wipe my nose! GET OUT OF MY WAY! Why are people with umbrellas incapable of moving to one side to let you pass? IT IS ILLEGAL TO CYCLE ON THE PAVEMENT!!!!! My nose itches! IT ITCHES!!! No really, hit me with your umbrella!!! DON'T BOTHER STOPPING, IT'S ONLY A BUS STOP AND YOU'RE ONLY A BUS!!!!!!!! There's a wet patch on this seat! Is it... me?

And so forth. My inner monologue on the way to work (when not muffled by the louder voice of whatever book I'm reading) tends to be a thing of sleepy oh wowness since I'm not fully awake until I've had my first coffee at 9.30ish. Today I have morphed into my occasional alter ego Mrs Freakishly Short Fuse. Sigh.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Adventures In Drunk Internet Shopping

Hurrah! Paid again. And after doing the sensible stuff (big Ocado shop, paying bills, dreaming of an iPhone), I went slightly crazy on (shhhhhh) Amazon - well, I may work in a bookshop, but I feel no guilt in buying CDs, DVDs and books that are out of print on line, especially when they are cheaper than the postage required to get them to me. I consider myself an object lesson in How Not To Buy Stuff On The Internet, however, and here are several cautionary facts you should consider if, like many, you love and admire me so much you wish to emulate my every action (pause for snigger).

1) Internet shopping while drunk is a foolish, foolish thing.
2) If you do not know how big your oven is, how can you be sure that the nonstick roasting tin with removable rack will fit? Eh???
3) Absolutely nothing is the colour it appears on screen. Not the nail varnish, not the t-shirt. What appears a gorgeous deep fuchsia will inevitably turn out to be a deeply unflattering and nylon-y looking salmon. I speak the truth here.
4) Nobody needs more than 15 plain black long-sleeved tops.
5) If it doesn't say "brand new, unopened" it will smell. Or have a suspicious-looking stain.

The second week of every pay month is marked by lots and lots of tiny packages turning up for me at work, mostly CDs, often DVDs, with varying degrees of delight or shame. I can always tell how drunk I was when I placed the order (in my defence: at home, usually late Friday after big nice dinner and a bottle of wine, on Mr Fishwife's laptop, Me: "C'nIvergo nyour laptop?" Him: "DO NOT START SPENDING MONEY ON CRAP." Me: "Juss wanna look at amazon. Oh! Yay! I bought you a looooovely t-shirt!! What chest size are you again? Doesnmatter, I've already paid..." usw) by how embarrassing the item is when it turns up. Xanadu, anyone? The Best Of Grandmaster Flash And The Sugarhill Gang?
HOWEVER neither the Internet nor the demon drink had anything to do with my new-found love for Mad Men, although I have just received the DVD of season 1 and am feverishly planning a marathon of Old Fashioneds, waspie corsets and smoking everywhere. To which end I give you my new giant ladycrush and secret role model, the flawless, fabulous, plus-sized Joan.Earth has not anything to show more fair. Nor more curvy. Sadly her chief attractions are hidden behind the accordion, but what the hell. I promise I will never get so carried away by the combined temptations of Fabuloso Spanish Brandy and payday that I buy an accordion.
PS AND she was singing "C'est Magnifique".