Wednesday, 29 August 2012

21 candles...

The Lurch turned 21 yesterday. Unlike me, he's not really into the whole "birthday" thing, so we opted for a low key meal together in Piccadilly Circus (which he banned my camera from) before heading to my mum's house where she greeted him with this...*

...which is probably the greatest thing anyone could have done for him seeing as he loves both Kit Kats and Crispy M&Ms. After he pretty much wrestled my two younger sisters for a slice of cake, we headed home to chill and watch American Dad! Dude, we're so hardcore!

Post Script: Now that he's legal to drink in the US, I've ramped up my "please can we go to New York and San Francisco, please, please, please" pleas. They're falling on deaf ears at the moment.

Oh, unless Wrestlemania 30 is in New York. Because then he's totally agreeing to it. So, powers that be at WWE - get your act together and give me a trip to NYC!

*Yeah, I definitely got the baking bug from my wonderful mother.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A letter to my Lurch...

To my lovely VLB...

I think it's incredibly mean and silly that you have to work on a Sunday night. I mean seriously, who even goes to the pub on a Sunday night? Stupid alcoholics! As I sit here all on my lonesome on this dreary Sunday night, I've realised all the truly absurd things I do when you're not here. Things like...

- watching two Disney movies in one day. Yes indeedy, two Disney movies. You saw how excited I got when I saw the advert pop up early this morning, is it any wonder I glued myself to the bed in order to watch Beauty and the Beast today? I also found a place in my hectic Sunday schedule for the Little Mermaid. I've been singing Part of That World for about three hours now.

- eating a ton of vegetarian food without worrying whether or not you'll liken it to cardboard. Vegetarian roast dinner earlier, and now a plate of vegetarian sausages in burger buns. They're amazing.

- responding to a gazillion emails. That's now every single person who's emailed me since the beginning of the blog responded to. That's gonna earn me about two Brownie points.

- watching soppy films that you hate. Not only did I fit in a Meg Ryan film (You've Got Mail) I'm now watching a Sandra Bullock film (Two Weeks Notice. Not While You Were Sleeping. Oh how I wish it were While You Were Sleeping)

- creating stupidly extravagant plans in my head for your birthday this week. Each and every one of them are far too ridiculous and far-fetched and expensive to actually happen on Tuesday, but a girl can dream, right?

- dreaming of Coney Island. I don't know why. It's a childhood fascination that has only been made worse by Lana Del Rey. And Sandra Bullock just mentioned it.

- finally getting around to downloading a Photoshop trial. Let's see what all the fuss is about.

So whilst you're busy at work, pulling pints and hopefully not having to listen to too many drunken stories, I am here, quietly plotting ways to remove chicken from the bedroom forever. I happily await your return tomorrow (with McDonalds. I definitely want McDonalds upon your return)

With love,


Post Script: I definitely, totally, 100% also hate the Counting Crows/Vanessa Carlton version of Big Yellow Taxi. It's awful.

PPS: I now completely understand why people think we're a married couple. It's a bit sickening, isn't it?

Lazy Sunday thoughts....

I've come to the conclusion that I need a gay best friend.

Not want, not "would like". No. NEED. It is an essential requirement for my life to continue.

Before you jump ship and run away screaming from the crazy blog lady, let me explain...

I was brought up surrounded by a huge variety of people. There were my nan's loud Irish family (where I got my storytelling skill and stomach for Guinness from), and my grandad's seriously insane lorry driving buddies (my grandad was a lorry driver, in case that didn't make sense). I then had my uncle's "badman rudeboy" friends (some of whom went on to form/join So Solid Crew. Yeah, I know.) and my dad's "geeza" mates, who taught me everything I needed to know about downing a pint in under ten seconds.

Every group taught me something new. The Irish taught me to not take life too seriously, and the truckers taught me how to make a joke about literally anything. The rudeboys taught me how to stick up for myself and the geezers taught me the offside rule. Each and every individual contributed to the hot mess I am today. But there was one group in particular that truly helped to shape me as an individual.

My mother's friends.

My mum had the greatest group of gay friends any young woman could ever hope for. They taught me about acceptance, tolerance, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, and living life to it's fullest. They were the only group of people who would happily sit down on a Sunday afternoon and watch my one-women retelling of West Side Story in it's entirety (god I was an obnoxious child) before giving me pointers on how to use my South American heritage to my advantage to make my Anita just that bit more fierce.

I have a huge fondness for musical theatre, gay icons, and general hilarity. It's something that is rather unique to me within my family. And it's on days like this - slightly overcast Sundays when I'm at home alone watching rubbish reality telly - that I have a sudden urge to blast the Gypsy soundtrack at full volume.

My sister dies of embarrassment whenever I start singing a showtune in public (I have a showtune for every possible situation I find myself in) and the Lurch isn't particularly fond of musicals (go figure), so I'm stuck in this weird land of being a gay man's best friend without actually having a gay man as a best friend.

This is a really weird post, isn't it?

I'm not too fussy, either. I'll take a Will or Jack from Will & Grace. Either completely straight-lace (terrible choice of words there) or so deeply flamboyant a feather boa would blush. So kids, if you happen to know of a gay man who is desperate for a female hanger-on, kindly point him in my direction.

Muchas gracias.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A person's a person, no matter how small

It's a mild summer's evening, and I'm sitting at home waiting for the Lurch to finish his first proper day at his new job (congrats baby!) whilst forcing myself to not open that beautiful looking bottle of wine sitting over there staring at me. Instead of forcing myself to write proper articles that actually make me money, I've decided to sit down and watch Horton Hears A Who! on FilmFour.

I'm sitting here watching Horton Hears A Who! (exclamation mark is absolutely necessary) and soaking up every glorious moment as if I were five years old. I've realised that, scary as it may seem, or perhaps even as weird as it may seem, that Dr Seuss has well and truly moulded me into the individual that I am.

Much like my childhood obsession with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (which prompted me to once try and fit through an actual rabbit hole aged five. Result? Broken nose and several bruises to the face area) I worshipped every weird word that came from Dr Seuss as a child. I still have several of the Seuss books that I devoured as a child, and have lovingly replaced the ones that got lost along the way to adulthood.

I implore each and every one of you - no matter how old or young, how silly or structured you are - to head down to the nearest library or book shop or DVD place and buy or rent a Dr Seuss book or movie. But preferably a book. It doesn't matter which one (although I recommend The Lorax). Just read it. Every single page.

I promise you that you will love every second of it. And you might even learn a thing or two!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Hello published writer!

You guys, it's actually happened! I am now officially a published writer. Yes, the article is awful and it's definitely not my best work, but it's published!

Check it out and let me know what you think...

Friday, 17 August 2012

In which a box takes over my bed...

Kids, there's a big change a coming! I've decided to put my geek hat on and get back to what I love the most - learning. Well, I say "put the geek hat back on", in all truthfulness, it never left my head. It's pretty much just an extension of my hair.

Right, I signed up to an Arts & Humanities course with the Open University and sort of forgot all about it until this morning when the mother of all boxes landed on my doorstep. I kid you not, it's just about the biggest box ever. The Lurch carried it from the door to the bedroom, but he just sort of flopped it onto the bed and now I can't move it without fearing for my life.

So now I'm sort of stuck in a weird, almost acrobatic, position on the bed, writing away but with pins and needles in my legs. I have a massive book on Shakespeare under my elbows and I'm pretty sure I broke a toe when I tried to stretch my leg out but caught it on the box.

Honestly, if this is what it's going to be like for the next ten months, I'm not too sure I want to do it. Sure, I love learning and gettin' my geek on but, well, I like having a nice feeling in my legs a hell of a lot more.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

So... Cupcakes...

A lot of people have enquired as to the 'cupcake' part of this blog's name. The 'calamity' part sort of makes sense to people (I live in London, life is not simple) but, without having stalked my other blog, the cupcake bit flies over people's head.

Brace yourselves, this is incredibly boring.

I love me some cupcakes. Big ones, little ones, normal sized ones, giant ones, anything that slightly resembles a cupcake is more than welcome in my life. I love to make them, decorate them and lavish my friends and family with giant cupcake parcels (I'm totally trying to fatten them up in the style of Hansel & Gretel, but you can't tell them, it's a secret)

When I started this blog, I decided it would be more about my life than my other blog. This is a 'lifestyle' blog and, as such, needs to include details of my life. Makes sense, no?

I have a huge personal agenda in life. I can fail at absolutely everything else and it won't bother me. But failing in this means I might as well go and top myself: I need to find the world's greatest cupcake recipe. Simple as. I've wanted to do it since I was a little girl and I won't stop until someone proves they have the world's greatest cupcake.

So there you have it. I like me some cupcakes. I want me the greatest cupcakes.

Do you know who owns the world's greatest cupcake?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A View from a Bridge (sort of)

Me and the Lurch have this thing where we go on crazy long walks. From Elephant & Castle to Battersea via Leicester Square, Piccadilly, Green Park and Victoria. We'll go out and be out for hours. We've done the Elephant & Castle to Soho walk quite a few times, too. It's fun to do it at night, to see exactly what London has to offer when the lights go out. Sometimes, it's hilarious (drunk guys singing along to Britney Spears on Oxford Street is never going to be a bad thing!) but sometimes it's a bit disheartening (fights, arguments, general nastiness). 

We rarely take walks around my neck of the woods. South West/West London is a lot quieter than Central London. Yes, we still get the sirens and the drunk people, but my little area is built up mainly of high earning professionals or young, middle class families. When I was growing up (a mere 30 seconds from the Thames) I had a playground and park on the river banks. That's since been replaced by apartment and office blocks. Sad, but a sign of the times.

Yesterday, I managed to persuade the Lurch to take a walk around my route. Forget the chaos of Central London and the gazillions of Olympic tourists, and take in the serenity of my neck of the woods...

This creepy little statue can be found next to Battersea Bridge. It's titled something like "Family's Day Out" but their faces are genuinely quite creepy.... As you can tell by the Lurch's face....

Albert Bridge. The greatest bridge in London. Taken from Battersea Bridge. Looks even more amazing at night (I'll prove that to you soon)

This sign has fascinated me for a good few years. The entrance to Chelsea Harbour; this sign introduces the Design Centre held here.

Look at that little face!

Chelsea Harbour

I can see my house from here (sort of)!
View from Chelsea Harbour/Imperial Wharf of my little neck of the woods. My little flat is hidden behind the brown/green tower block.

It's so bizarre seeing the heliport from the Chelsea side of the river.

Route taken: Battersea Riverside - Battersea Bridge - World's End - Lots Road - Chelsea Harbour -  Imperial Wharf - Wandsworth Bridge - Battersea Riverside

How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Bobby's Diary

I was listening to Vogue at the time.
Strike a pose!

Just before I forced my Lurch to head to McDonald's late at night

The majority of our McDonald's haul. The McFlurry and the toffee sundae have been hidden out of sight(!)
Please accept my apologies for just how awful my bed looks.
But I totally have the red McDonald's glass now. Yay.

Words cannot explain how beautiful this was.

Oh, by the way, Bobby is my phone. And he is lovely.

My Lurch

Kids, this is the other half. The partner. The dude. Anything but “the boyfriend.” I've never liked that word. I don’t know why. It’s one of those weird things I have where I don’t like things that pretty much everyone else does. It’s like an illness or something. I totally need help for it. Anyhoo, this is the Lurch. I don’t know why I call him that but I called him that one night and it totally stuck. FOREVER!!!! (Excessive exclamation points definitely get a point across). I can't remember why he looked so snazzy (my memory truly is awful, it was only a month ago) but I'll let him get away with looking so snazzy because he's so beautiful.

So here's how my week went...

I've been in a major funk all week. A painful, miserable, boring funk. I've eaten more than my weight in peanut butter and then get really depressed about eating so much peanut butter that I go straight out to the shop and buy another jar of peanut butter. Total amount of peanut butter consumed this week? Three. Whole. Jars. I'm going to peanut butter hell but boy will I have fun there.

I've had a couple of job interviews this week. Nothing majorly exciting and I'm almost 100% certain that I am 100% guaranteed to not get either one of the jobs. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I talk like this in real life and end up rambling in job interviews before asking the interviewer if they ‘get’ it. They never do. They don’t know what there is to get. Heck, neither do I, but that is yet to actually stop me.

I thought I got over my funk when I realised that I hadn’t actually chipped a tooth (I totally thought I chipped a tooth last week. On a cookie. I didn’t. It was just a real tough cookie with a long history...) but then I realised that I've completely forgotten the password to my Etsy store and therefore can’t sit back and bemoan my complete lack of customers on there. Seriously, I've been making these baskets and baby clothes and bottles and everything for so long now. I think, somewhere along the line, I actually forgot to let people know that I definitely do sell those things. Too late now?

But then I definitely got over my funk by dragging the Lurch to McDonald’s at nearly midnight last night. As we arrived, I finally revealed that my phone and my iPod definitely have names that match their incredibly distinctive personalities. He shook his head. He raised his eyebrows like he normally does when I say something he can’t quite believe. He laughed and agreed that it was definitely the type of thing that I would do.

At McDonald’s, I revelled in the fact that I got to add a different coloured wristband adorned glass to my new obsessive collection of McDonald’s wristband adorned glasses. By the time I actually get round to growing up and moving into my own place, the only glasses I'll have will be the free McDonald’s Coca Cola glasses, but those wristbands are so pretty (only one more colour to get!!)

And then the funk came back, because my internet connection went down for about three hours. I mean, I had an internet connection but it was slower than dial up for three hours. Which meant that I lost three hours of blogging, and cyber stalking, and Google Doodle games.  But the funk is gone again. I think. I lost it somewhere along the way to Jeremy Kyle Town.

Oh, yeah, and its Friday.

Post Script: I've mentioned McDonald’s and peanut butter a lot. A LOT. Surely I deserve some sort of payment from either the makers of peanut butter or the corporate bigwigs at Maccy D’s? You can’t find a promotional machine like me, my friends. Especially when it comes to McDonald’s or peanut butter.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic Fever

Way back in 2005, the International Olympic Committee chose London to be the host of the 2012 Olympics. British taxpayers rolled their eyes, the French sulked (boy, do us Brits love annoying the French) and I got all giddy with excitement. At the time, I had just turned 14 and was involved in just about every possible activity you could think of: ballet, gymnastics, Taekwondo, horse riding, writing (I was an obnoxious teenager, unfortunately). I adore sports of all kinds, and when the Olympics roll around I become almost unbearable to live with, constantly updating people on the medal table and British medal tally. Filled with ridiculous enthusiasm (as a Londoner and not yet being a taxpayer) I started to begin my little quest to fully enjoy the London Olympics.

Just 24 hours later, London was plunged into a deep sadness. 7/7 (I hate that term) rocked not just London but the entire UK. A few extremists decided to rip through the heart of my beautiful city and destroyed 52 brilliant lives. It was the first time in my short life that I had experienced widespread elation and devastation within such a short time frame. Truthfully, the wounds have never really healed, and I reckon it would be damn near impossible for you to find a Londoner who doesn't know exactly what they were doing when the news of the attacks broke. (I was at home, suffering from tonsillitis for the sixth time that year, sketching the illustrations for an essay I had written, and heard the sirens whizzing past my mother's house)

Victim's Tribute Wall - BBC Website
Memorial at Hyde Park

Due to the close proximity of the two events, it seemed both fitting and essential for Danny Boyle to interpolate the events of July 7th into his wonderful opening ceremony for the Olympics. It was a beautiful moments. For reasons that are not entirely clear, US audiences were not treated to the wonder of the tribute due to the American broadcaster choosing instead to air an interview with Michael Phelps. (I won't reveal exactly what I think of this decision as I don't go into politics. I love me some politics, but learnt very early on not to discuss these views with strangers. People get all types of angsty when the P word is mentioned!)

People rolled their eyes (hard) when London was announced as the host city. It's too cold, rainy, and damn right miserable over here to host such a magnificent event. Boy am I glad we've proven the world wrong. For the first time in my life, I've noticed a distinct sense of solidarity amongst us Brits. Even Andy Murray sang the national anthem when he won his gold medal! Public transport is running like a dream (as a Londoner born and bred, this was an incredible shock to the system. I actually got a seat on a train at Bank. At Bank!!) Olympic fever has well and truly gripped the nation.

I missed out in the ticket ballot and lacked the funds to purchase last minute tickets released over the past few weeks, but I've still done my best to soak up the atmosphere. Watching as many sports as possible on television, spending a day hanging around by the Excel (where I met some wonderful South African tourists. Seriously, they rocked!) and teaching the boyfriend the national anthem (which I have sung at the top of my lungs more times than I care to count over the past fortnight).

I will be incredibly sad when the Olympics leave London. It's brought us Londoners closer together, it's been an incredible advert for the UK, and we've introduced the world to Boris Johnson. You totally can't have him by the way, he's ours and we love him. I truly hope the Inspire a Generation tagline comes to fruition; it would be a delight to watch today's young kids grow up into tomorrow's brilliant athletes. And I would just like to extend a thank you to the wonderful Games Makers, tourists, and journalists who have made my beautiful city a pleasure to be in over the past few weeks. If I could hug each and every one of you, I would. Thank you!

A wonderfully British Games Maker

Boris on a zip wire. You're welcome.

Are you afraid of the fear?

Life has interesting ways of challenging you. It may only happen once, or you may be confronted by it on a daily basis. You may be exceptionally prepared for it or it may attack like a lightning bolt. Either way, it happens, and it's success is determined by just how much you fear it.

I'm only 21, but have already been confronted by The Fear. It jumped into my life just a few short months ago when I was plagued by an identity crisis of sorts. I'd always longed to express myself through writing - it was one of the few enjoyments that have stayed with me throughout my life - yet found myself realising that I hadn't actually written anything for months.

The Fear presented itself as such: devote myself to the life I had always imagined for myself (even if it means living off of toast and pasta for the rest of my life) or remain stuck in a hellish job just for a pay check.

Noticing the need for a change, I made a drastic decision and quit my job. I realised that I needed to spend a few months focusing solely on my writing, devoting myself to the characters I had envisioned in my head for years. Quitting my job wasn't an easy decision to make, and I've since relied entirely on ad revenues and the occasional freelancing job to pay the bills. 

It isn't a particularly lucrative career path, and I'll probably never be a millionaire, but it's the happiest I've ever been in life. Sure, I could sell out and write a God awful book a la Fifty Shades to rake in the cash, but that would be the equivalent of making a deal with the devil in my mind. Yes, I'll have to return to employment eventually, but this time I won't allow myself to become a slave to the corporate machine. 

Someone I know said to me a few months ago that "all writers want success" and that a writer with no money might as well not bother writing. They cannot imagine how wrong they are. I don't write for success, nor for monetary rewards. I write because I have to. And that's not something I'm expecting them to understand. After all, they haven't confronted The Fear, and I doubt they ever will.