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.

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

I Was Young and Needed the Money

I once spent four and a half hours cleaning my father’s car, only for him to run his index finger along the bonnet and tell me it wasn’t spotless enough.

Admittedly, I hadn’t really removed any of the dirt, merely repositioned it. Considering the fact I had worked my way through a thousand gallons of water, two giant sponges, six bottles of washing-up liquid and 32 rolls of kitchen towel – this was something of a disappointment.

My parents were very keen to teach my brothers and I the value of money at a young age, and it is fair to say – they succeeded. Having persevered with the car for a further two hours, I was dutifully rewarded for my hard work, determination, blood, sweat and tears (so many tears) with what my father considered to be the going rate: fifty pence. I also caught a cold from being sopping wet all day, developed a rash from the industrial cleaning products and lost all feeling in my fingertips for three days.

Needless to say – that was the last time I ever worked for 7.6 pence an hour. It also marked the end of my short-lived car valeting career.

I was made redundant today, a scary prospect to say the least. To mark the occasion (aside from the obligatory job hunting) I thought I’d take stock of what I’ve learnt so far in my fourteen years of employment. Please remember, I was young and needed the money:

AS A WAITRESS – ONCE YOU’VE TAKEN A FOOD ORDER – MAKE SURE YOU PASS IT ON TO THE KITCHEN STAFF. They’ll cook it so much quicker that way.

CUSTOMERS DON’T TEND TO LIKE IT WHEN YOU SPILL HOT COFFEE DOWN THEM.

WHEN CARRYING 72 EMPTY PINT GLASSES STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER, BE CAREFUL NOT TO TRIP OVER YOUR OWN FEET.

IF AN INTOXICATED CUSTOMER LOOKS LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO THROW TWO BEER BOTTLES AT YOUR HEAD – IT’S BECAUSE HE IS ABOUT TO THROW TWO BEER BOTTLES AT YOUR HEAD. That’s your cue to move.

DON’T BE A DOORMAT. If your obsequious boss frequently guilt-trips you into coming in early (unpaid), finishing late (also unpaid), cancelling your social life and mopping the floor with your tongue: leave.     

NEVER DATE THE BOSS. Especially when he looks like Phil Mitchell.

WHEN YOU EVENTUALLY GET A PROPER GROWNUP JOB – ALWAYS CHECK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE FOR WORK. You can just about get away with odd socks, but wearing your top inside out in the boardroom will start rumours.

IF YOU FALL ASLEEP AT YOUR DESK/CRY IN THE LADIES TOILETS/VOMIT IN THE WASTEPAPER BASKET, JUST ONCE – DON’T EXPECT YOUR COLLEAGUES TO FORGET IT. EVER. 

ANNOY PEOPLE LESS AND THEREFORE AVOID GETTING STABBED WITH A BIRO.

MINIMISE THE WEB BROWSER WHEN YOUR BOSS COMES OVER. Not everyone shares your appreciation of David Beckham in his underpants. (I am yet to establish why).

THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW IS NOT THE TIME TO EXPERIMENT WITH FAKE TAN.

BEWARE: “REPLY ALL”.

FOR SOME LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT – REPLACE YOUR BOSS’ MOTIVATIONAL POSTER “PLAN, PREPARE, PERFORM” WITH ONE FAR MORE CONSTRUCTIVE, LIKE “PLAN, PREPARE, POTATO”. I give it 3 weeks before he notices.

DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY.

HAVE A PLAN E! This is mine.

The True Confessions of Me, aged 29 and a little bit

I heard a vicious rumour that confession is good for the soul. With this in mind, I have decided to share my many crimes, faults and misdemeanours with the world. Brace yourselves:

I strongly believe that chewing gum is a filthy habit.

I habitually chew gum.

Not once have I retained the packaging for future reference. Does anyone?

I cried when Max said goodbye to OB on Hollyoaks. Yes, really.

I think Bruce Forsyth is highly overrated. There, I’ve said it. (Please don’t hurt me).

Only when accompanied by a small child, do I wait for the lights to change at a pedestrian crossing.

I am aware that I risk death by a thousand scorch marks when coughing loudly in the presence of smokers. Nonetheless – I have a point to make.

I have been known to eat my way through half a tube of Pringles in one sitting. Then cry.

I have a discoloured tooth, which contrary to popular belief – is not the result of poor dental hygiene, but the outcome of a food fight at University that got out of hand. Never take on your friend when she’s armed with a broom – you won’t win.

I know I talk too much. This does not stop me.

My mother taught me that “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”. I am yet to master this. (Please see previous comment).

I have no idea what the terms “well jel” or “reem” mean, nor do I care. You have permission to slap me with a mackerel if I ever use them in a sentence without a hint of irony.

I once got very excited about the arrival of our new washing machine.

I love to mock people who take trivial games seriously, by overtly cheating in their presence. Potting pool balls with your hands always goes down well. (No pun intended).

If Princess Mercedes Armani von Fluffinton poops on my rosebush one more time – I shall pelt her with a pineapple.

I have a secret crush on Kermit the Frog. Please don’t tell my husband – or Miss Piggy.

“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?”