Day 21. Teetering on the Precipice of Stupidity

I once inadvertently drove a car the wrong way round a roundabout. (Not something I recommend). It was without doubt the most stupid thing I have ever, ever done.

Until now. 

Day 21 of my plan to take over the world, and I have made an epic decision. I was aiming for brave – but am pretty sure it’s just really stupid. Drum roll please… 

I AM LEAVING WORDPRESS 

Before you pelt me with fruit, please allow me explain:

I started this humble blog roughly 15 weeks ago, with very little expectation that anyone other than my mother would read it. That didn’t worry me though – I just wanted to write.

Then most unexpectedly (for reasons unknown) after 6 and a half weeks, a post of mine was Freshly Pressed. My mind swiftly exploded and I gave a heartfelt acceptance speech to my fridge-freezer. It also made me realise that maybe, just maybe – my blog was not that bad, actually.

With total hits to date surpassing 39,000, my mind exploded once again today. Most inconvenient, as it made a terrible mess in my living room. Note to self: Must lay down plastic sheeting.

Just to clarify – I am under no illusion whatsoever that I have ‘made it’ in the blogging world. Far from it. But the last few months have given me a tiny glimmer of hope that one day – I just might.

So further to my ludicrous plans for world domination, my brother has very kindly offered to build me a website (he’s good like that). There is one major problem however – WordPress, being god ‘dam geniuses, make it exceptionally difficult to leave. Basically I have two options:

Plan A. Buy my own URL, stay on WordPress, upgrade to a prettier (though still generic) template. Keep my hits, my loyal followers and my sanity.

Plan B. Buy my own URL, leave WordPress, gain a unique bespoke website but lose my hits, my followers and all that I’ve worked towards for the last 4 months. Wave goodbye to my sanity. 

Naturally, I have opted for Plan B. Assuming I don’t manage to break it within 20 minutes, my new website will be up and running next week. I’m hoping that by having a site of my very own, I shall finally be taken seriously as a Creative Fruit Loop.

It is quite possible that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But I can’t let a silly thing like fear of failure hold me back. I’m actually rather adept at being a screw up, so at least I have experience on my side.

Should you wish to follow me on my new path to resounding failure success, then please join me on Facebook by clicking the bluebird and selecting ‘Like’. 

For anyone in need of an incentive: I’m going to post a particularly delightful photo of me modelling a face pack on my wall once I reach 100 Facebook ‘likes’.

If I get to 200 then you’ll discover what I look like in an afro, fishnet tights, legwarmers and hot-pants.

Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty.

Thanks to everyone for your support – I couldn’t have done it without you. The loyalty, love, laughter, awards, and praise you have bestowed on me have simply blown my mind.

Good thing I finally laid down those plastic sheets.

Oh Dear Diaries…

I have spoken before about the trauma I suffered aged six, when my brother Chris decapitated my beloved Tiny Tears doll. It is fair to say that none of us were ever the same again:

- Chris realised he should never mess with his little sister – due to her nifty right hook.

- I learnt to hide stuff from my brothers that I didn’t want damaged / maimed / beheaded.

- Tiny Tears developed a new-found appreciation for polo neck tops.

I became exceptionally good at concealing my possessions after Tiny Tearsgate, 1989. Anything of value or sentiment was stowed away in a safe place, until I left home at the age of eighteen. This included, though was not exclusive to:

- A second-hand paperback copy of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, purchased for fifteen pence.

- My extensive Pog collection.

- One hundred high quality fibre-tipped colouring pens.

- Three mixed tapes of Boyzone, Peter Andre, the Spice Girls, and Backstreet Boys.

- My top secret, highly confidential, tell-all diaries, that I began writing in 1995, at the             tempestuous age of twelve.

With impressive foresight at just fourteen, I acknowledged that I’d probably look back on my diaries in years to come and laugh. I may have underestimated just how much.

Here are some highlights from the last seventeen years in the life of me.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent:

11/05/1997 SECONDARY SCHOOL: Everything in this diary seemed to have a point to it when I wrote it. That’s why I refuse to look back and cross stuff out. Even the really embarrassing stuff about fancying Dave from my Maths class and cutting my own fringe. Again.

27/12/1997 SECONDARY SCHOOL: New Year’s Resolutions for 1998

  1. I will slap the next person who says I fancy Dave, because I don’t.
  2. I will tidy my room at some point this year.
  3. I will keep my room tidy for at least a week.
  4. I will stop worrying so much about how I look.
  5. I will marry Ronan Keating.

30/12/1998 SECONDARY SCHOOL: New Year’s Resolutions for 1999

  1. I will cut down on chips and chocolate, eat my greens and drink more milk.
  2. I will either slap or kiss Smith for being such a git.
  3. I will snog any (well, just about any) boy who offers.
  4. I will not take my mobile to school for the sole purpose of showing off. Well, maybe.

11/05/2000 COLLEGE: Oh fudge. I tried to pluck my eyebrows to make them look better, but now it’s a case of “Eyebrows? What eyebrows?” Will have to draw them on with pencil until further notice. Note to self: step away from the tweezers.

11/03/2001 COLLEGE: 

21/06/2001 COLLEGE: Have opted to come down with food poisoning on Friday. Not actual food poisoning, but this is my brilliant plan to get out of work. I am brilliant.

30/11/2001 UNIVERSITY: Nothing to report apart from my slow spiralling descent into madness.

“I didn’t lose my mind; it was mine to give away.” Robbie Williams.

11/02/2002 UNIVERSITY: This afternoon was highly productive. I finally mastered the art of reading half a book and blagging the fact I read the whole thing. It’s a talent. One I am proud of and grateful for.

19/04/2002 UNIVERSITY: My plans to go into Uni today were scuppered by an overwhelming desire to sit at home on my bed and highlight stuff. Very important stuff; naturally.

22/04/2003 UNIVERSITY: 

13/08/2003 UNIVERSITY: Mental note: Everything happens for a reason and anything pants that seems to crush you at the time, just makes you stronger in the end. H’mm, that’s very phylosophical of me for a Thursday afternoon. Must learn to spell phylosophycal philospohycal philosophical.

19/10/2003 UNIVERSITY: Am so proud of me! Have spent the entire day doing boring Postmodernism coursework. All something to do with hyperreality. Very confusing. Despite having written 2,503 words, I still don’t understand it. This does not bode well for the ‘A’ grade I was hoping for.

29/11/2004 UNIVERSITY: Momentous occasion: Handed in my dissertation. *Takes a bow*.

03/10/2005 POST-UNIVERSITY: An ode to Tony: “When I fall in love, it will be forever”. Thank you Nat King Cole. 

Note to self: Must put prophetic talents to good use. A winning lottery ticket would be a great start.

I am a Genius (Einstein Said So)

After several failed attempts, involving one giant paper aeroplane, thirty-six helium balloons, a home-made tea towel cape and a regrettable leap of faith from my best friend’s swing set, it became apparent to me at a young age that I was not meant to fly.

Over the last twenty-nine years, I have also realised:

1. My tree climbing talents are pretty much on par with that of a goldfish, and as such I am unlikely to ever become an Olympic Gymnast.

2. Despite my love of snow, snowballs, snow angels and snowmen, I once got so cold and wet playing in the white stuff that I cried for three hours and wished my fingers would fall off. The Polar Expedition I had planned with my brothers, Rainbow Brite and Kermit the Frog was swiftly called off.

3. Someone put salt in the sea and it doesn’t taste very nice. As such, there is simply no way I will be able to swim the Atlantic, solo, coated in goose fat – as hoped. Devastated.

4. I was conned. My invisibility dust turned out to be run-of-the-mill glitter. I not only failed to steal the cookie jar unnoticed, but left a sparkly path in my wake. Cat burglar I am not.

5. Despite fine-tuning a professional pout; my total inability to give up chicken wings is probably to blame for the downfall of my modelling career. (When I say “the downfall of”, I mean “my totally nonexistent”). Nando’s have a lot to answer for.

After so many setbacks, failures, fractures and disappointments in my life – I’d probably be justified in thinking that I belong on the scrapheap, along with cassette tapes, floppy disks, Charlie Sheen and Justin Bieber. But, no. Occasionally (and I mean very occasionally) I have a moment of brilliance, which compensates for the fact I cannot fly:

After four fabulous and thoroughly loved-up years together, in the summer of 2009, Tony finally did the decent thing and got down on one knee at a local beauty spot and asked me to marry him. I squealed a little, cried a lot, leapt on him with delight, eventually remembered to say “yes” and then proceeded to fall down a rabbit hole. Needless to say – I was overjoyed. Within a week of our engagement I began to think of ideas for a suitably outstanding wedding gift for him. I mean EPIC. (Cufflinks were not an option).

Aside from me and rib-eye steak, one of the greatest loves of Tony’s life is Premiership football team Manchester United. So over the next two years I secretly sent 165 letters to 142 Manchester United players (past and present) in over half a dozen countries and many of them wrote back. I managed to collate over sixty-five autographs and best wishes on personalised Wedding Day greetings cards from some epic legends – including Ryan Giggs, Peter Schmeichel, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Bill Foulkes, Nobby Stiles, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. I compiled them in an album for him to open on the morning of our wedding day. He says he didn’t cry when he saw it, but I like to think he did. 

Post Honeymoon, Tony took said album into the office with him. I received this email from a senior work colleague that afternoon. It made me smile: 

I’m with Einstein on this; everybody is a genius. You just have to unlock the potential from within – and realise that thirty-six helium balloons will be insufficient to power your flight to the moon. Several hundred on the other hand…

“Wax on, Wax off” and Other Words of Wisdom from the Silver Screen

Along with my house keys, odd socks and random bits of fluff – I often find wisdom in the most unlikely of places:

“WAX ON, WAX OFF”. Karate Kid  

Mister Miyagi coupled housework with martial arts training. He also caught flies with chopsticks.  Someone give him a medal. 

“IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, DON’T SAY NOTHIN’ AT ALL”. Bambi

As an English graduate, it pains me to see such poor grammar, but I’ll let Thumper off, on account of him being a rabbit.   

“I RECOMMEND ROLLING AROUND IN POND SCUM”. An interview with Kermit the Frog (star of the Silver Screen) 

“IT AIN’T ABOUT HOW HARD YOU HIT, IT’S ABOUT HOW HARD YOU CAN GET HIT AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD”. Rocky Balboa

Alternatively, you could just find a nice quiet office job.

“DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY”. The Empire Strikes Back 

For a creature that looks like a frog who ingested toxic waste as a tadpole, Yoda is surprisingly insightful. 

“DON’T EVER LET SOMEBODY TELL YOU, YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING*…YOU GOT A DREAM, YOU GOTTA PROTECT IT…YOU WANT SOMETHING, YOU GO GET IT”. The Pursuit of Happyness

*Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Having Pikachu tattooed on your inner thigh.
  • Wearing orange.
  • Dying your hair green and then getting it cut into a mullet.
  • Anything whatsoever to do with Justin Bieber.

“BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE”. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This statement also excludes Justin Bieber. 

“DREAMS DO COME TRUE, IF ONLY WE WISH HARD ENOUGH”. Peter Pan

I always dreamt of finding love – and look what I found!

It has become apparent however that I have so far neglected to dream hard enough for Adele’s voice or Pippa Middleton’s bottom.  Note to self: Must try harder.

This Is Just So Unexpected…

My gracious loser face is well rehearsed. I have had many occasions to use it:

  • The karaoke judges at Haven Holidays failed to appreciate my flawless rendition of ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’. (When I say “flawless”, I may have exaggerated a little – there were a few tuning issues, I forgot the words and my performance was lacking in melody, harmony and rhythm).
  • I once came third in a Michael Jackson lookalike competition.
  • Despite 3,792 submissions, none of my artwork ever made it onto Blue Peter.
  • Simon Cowell was not amused by my recorder symphony of ‘Three Blind Mice’ – despite playing it through my nose.
  • I missed out on the best costume prize at a friend’s Halloween party in 1991. The winner incidentally wore a white bed sheet with two eyeholes cut out of it. Even at eight years old – I could spot a fix at fifty paces.

Having spent so many years being overlooked, underappreciated and totally misunderstood (that’s my defence and I’m sticking with it) imagine my surprise and delight when this humble blog of mine was actually nominated for something fabulous. It was just so unexpected! So I danced like a rock star to celebrate. 

Now picture my response when I received four further nominations for other awards – within ten days. (I might have self-combusted a little bit). 

Okay, so given my misspent youth, I’m no expert on acceptance speeches – but I think I have a reasonable grasp of the etiquette:

DO

  • Thank all the people who made this possible.
  • Say something heartfelt.
  • Recognise those you believe to be brilliant.

DON’T

  • Blub. 
  • Have a major wardrobe malfunction. Bras and Knickers are strictly off limits.
  • Forget anyone really important. Like your mother/father/border collie.
  • Offend people.
  • Get intoxicated.
  • Bring along a superfluous handbag, or lose a shoe en-route. Thank you Meryl Streep:

SO HERE GOES:

* Thank all the people who made this possible* I wish to express my gratitude and undying love to the following thoroughly upstanding individuals for seeing something in me that Simon Cowell clearly did not. Here they are, along with the awards they bestowed upon me:

Suburban Enlightenment

April Hawks

Twyste

TaylaAC

Arizona Girl

*Here’s the heartfelt bit* It means a lot to me; really. Thank you.

*Recognise those you believe to be brilliant* Having spent literally minutes on PowerPoint creating a totally made up, brand new, fancy schmancy award, I would like to present it to the following outstanding blogs for being ruddy marvellous. I highly recommend them to anyone:  

The Life and Times of Nathan Badley

Prawn and Quartered

Childhood Relived

Project 1979

Globe Tracer 

Life Outside the Wall 

I believe this is the point in proceedings when the producer goes to commercials, so before I forget – I’d like to thank my mother, father, lucky pants and dog Yoko – who also made me smile all over my face. (Apart from the time she ate my favourite scrunchie).

Excellent News! Nobody’s Perfect

I have four brothers. The eldest – Oliver, selfishly made life particularly difficult for the rest of us growing up, by being so goddamn brilliant. How rude. While I struggled to make a three legged cat from Stickle Bricks, he built the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World using matchsticks and wood glue. His Hanging Gardens of Babylon were particularly stupendous.

At eight years old, my extensive list of achievements included:

  • Playing a Daffodil in my school’s production of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Learning all of the words to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
  • Mastering my three times table.                             
  • Drawing a Viking, whose immense moustache protruded from his nostrils.

When Oliver was eight – he started programming computers. By nine – he moved on to assembler programming (whatever that is). I just thought he was showing off.

Some people are simply destined for greatness. Oliver is one of them. Though don’t feel too bad – he can’t cook:  

Rumour has it Victoria Beckham has twelve toes, Brad Pitt is actually bald, Adele’s breath smells of cabbage, Dame Judi Dench once had an illicit affair with Billy Connolly and Sylvester Stallone can’t sleep without his comfort blanket.

Okay, so none of the above statements are strictly true, but for a brief moment, when you thought they might have been – weren’t you uplifted, just a little? By learning the flaws and mistakes of others – we feel a little better about ourselves (and sometimes a teeny bit smug). 

If it helps – Lily Allen really does have a nubbin.

As I face the formidable task of job hunting in this uncertain financial climate, I am comforted by the fact I don’t actually need to be perfect. Excellent news, given that I have the hand-eye coordination of a Muppet, coupled with the athletic dexterity of Moby Dick. I may not be made for waitressing, cheerleading or fire-juggling, but I can string a sentence together. I even know what an apostrophe is and I’m not afraid to use one. So somewhere out there in the job hunting abyss is an occupation with my name on it, something I am meant to do – that doesn’t involve spilling hot drinks, dropping people, or setting myself ablaze.    

I hear there might be a few openings at The Sun

“With great power comes great responsibility” (Stan Lee)

Facing imminent redundancy from work, I have decided to do the only sensible thing and prepare an acceptance speech for my next role as British Prime Minister.

There are the very small matters of starting up my own political party and getting elected for parliament to contend with first, but my mother reliably informs me – I’m a shoo-in, so here goes:

“Today is a good day. Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new government and I have accepted; Eric Cantona has agreed to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and I found a five pound note in my coat pocket, along with a gobstopper and three penny chews.

I would like to express my gratitude to the outgoing Prime Minister for making me look so good. I’d also like to thank my mother for always believing in me, my bullies for never believing in me and my lucky pants, without whom I wouldn’t be here today.

Please allow me to introduce my new Cabinet:

I thought I’d break with tradition – and bring in a Chancellor who knows his sums: Count Von Count.

James Bond shall oversee the nation’s security as Home Secretary. He has excellent credentials, having worked with MI6 for a number of years and also looks very fetching in skimpy blue shorts.

Consisting of 0% fat, 70% silicone, 20% Botox and 10% false eyelashes, Katie Price has an inexplicable net worth upwards of £40,000,000. I can only deduce that she must be the greatest entrepreneur the world has ever seen.  With this in mind – please welcome her as Business Secretary.

There was simply no greater candidate for Party Chairman than my dear friend Animal, of Muppet fame. Have you seen him on the drums?

Former London Major, Boris Johnson plans to protect this country from ‘oiks’ by chasing them on his bicycle. I have appointed him Defence Secretary for leading by example.

As Artistic Director of Pineapple Dance Studios, Louie Spence loves nothing more than showing others how it is done. I have every faith in him as the new Health Secretary. Anyone who can put their feet behind their head above the age of 8 is okay by me.

Last, but by no means least – I needed someone I could really depend on for my beloved sidekick. So I have appointed Robin as my Deputy. Rest assured – he will not be wearing lycra in the office, though what he gets up to at weekends is his own business.

Together, my Cabinet and I plan to introduce some radical reforms to address, amongst other things – the debt crisis, obesity epidemic, global warming and Justin Bieber.

But first things first – that door seriously needs a lick of paint. I was considering aubergine…What do you think?”