Face to Faux with Simon Cowell

When meeting The Queen of England, one must abide by certain royal etiquette:

  1. Approach her face-on.
  2. Do not speak, unless spoken to.
  3. No touching.
  4. Try to mask the giant bolognaise stain you have on your blouse.
  5. Do not ask her to sign your cleavage; she doesn’t have a pen.

I was unsure of the correct etiquette for approaching television royalty Simon Cowell recently, when I faux-interviewed him. But I felt that a curtsy was in order:

Jessseeker: Your highness. I’m Jessseeker. It is great to meet you at last.

SC: Seriously though – what’s your real name?

Jessseeker: Jessseeker.

SC: No, really – what’s your real name?

Jessseeker: Jessseeker is my real name.

SC: Well, I’m not going to call you Jessseeker, because I think that’s a stupid name. I’m going to call you Paula Abdul instead.

Jessseeker: Moving on – you were recently confronted by a female intruder armed with a brick, in your London mansion. That must have been terrifying?

SC: It was. I told her “Take anything you want, just don’t hit the face”.

Jessseeker: So with hindsight, do you regret not hiring Kevin Costner as your Bodyguard?

SC: Along with high waisted trousers and dating Sinitta, that is one of my biggest regrets.

Jessseeker: Good to know you are so grounded in spite of your fame and fortune. I can see you look after yourself. You’re obviously in great shape.

SC: Tell me something I don’t know.

Jessseeker: Is it true you do two hundred press-ups a day?

SC: Five hundred. Sack your researcher.

Jessseeker: You’ve been accused of being rude, arrogant and insensitive to contestants. Do you think it is fair to be so critical of others when you’re not exactly perfect yourself?

SC: One million percent yes.

Jessseeker:  Final question. You said in the past that every show you have produced is something you would want to watch yourself. Can you explain Jedward to me please?

SC: Well Paula, let’s face it; they weren’t the act we were looking for. But the truth is – I don’t take myself too seriously and I don’t consider myself a star. Now where is that water I ordered? I wanted Evian, not Vittel. I said ‘tepid’; this is ‘lukewarm’ and I’m still waiting for my peeled grapes!

Incidentally – he offered to sign my cleavage, but I graciously declined. 

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Friends, Romans, Readers, Lend Me Your Ears


To mark my three month blogiversary, I’d like to pick your brains if you don’t mind? Ask me a question; any question. (Though please remember – there are women and children present).

Perhaps you’d like to know how I got that funny little scar in the middle of my forehead? Maybe you want to ask how on earth a crazy person like me got Freshly Pressed? Would you like to discover what it is like to live in England, or have four brothers, or how I cope with being unemployed and somewhat unbalanced? Does my husband Tony really want to name our first-born son Mister T?

If you’re a member of his fan club, then maybe you’re wondering why I keep picking on Justin Bieber? How on earth did I recover from Tiny Tearsgate?  What possessed me to share my diaries with the world?

The possibilities are endless. Ask me anything – apart from how I bagged my husband. I honestly have no idea. 

My favourite question or questions will feature in a future post and/or receive a fancy schmancy made-up award, courtesy of me and my mate PowerPoint.  

Happeeeeeeeee three month blogiversary, tooooo meeeeeeeeeeeee!! Where’s my cake?

Time to Take Over the World: Day One

It turns out this jobless malarkey is highly overrated. There are only so many conversations a girl can have about the state of the economy with her dehydrated house plant. So having given the matter much thought, I have decided not to become a worthless vagabond, but to take over the world instead. It was that, or learn Latin.

Never let it be said that I lack ambition. Like many bloggers, my dream is to become a wildly successful full-time writer, working from home – in the comfort of my favourite SpongeBob SquarePants pyjamas.

In three short months, jessseeker has inexplicably amassed 33,500 hits. Being Freshly Pressed during week seven certainly helped and featuring in WordPress’ Recommended Blogs for humor hasn’t done any harm either. Thank you WordPress Gremlins. I love you!

All I need to do now is work out how to replicate this twenty-nine fold to achieve what I would consider blogging success, namely one million hits. Then I can turn professional.

I’m reliably informed by people in the know that this is nigh on impossible to do. Having spent twenty-nine years ignoring figures of authority though, I have opted to do just that. Why break the habit of a lifetime?

It would seem like an insurmountable task, if it wasn’t for the support, intelligence and techie insight of my big brother Oli, who has promised to help me make jessseeker so successful that I “can retire on a bed of gold-plated chocolate money”. Dark chocolate, naturally.

So having observed some of the greats at work (Julie Powell, Dooce and James Altucher, to name but a few) I have tried to encapsulate their secret. Here goes:

  • Write well.
  • Write often.
  • Be different.
  • Make your blog look pretty.
  • Somehow establish universal appeal.
  • Get the world smiling, one blog at a time.

Do not under any circumstances:

  • Lose integrity.
  • Sell your soul to the devil.
  • Write anything nice whatsoever about Justin Bieber.

Okay, so I might have added the Justin Bieber thing. But it can’t do any harm.

I plan to measure my success by hits, followers, revenue and whether or not Stephen Fry is willing to write the foreword to my first book. Failure is not an option. That bed of gold-plated chocolate money will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

I am fully aware that flying over Buckingham Palace, dressed as Wonder Woman, with an old bath towel for my cape and teddy bear for company would be a more realistic ambition. So please wish me luck and I shall keep you posted on my complete and utter failure resounding success!

This Season, I Shall Mostly Be Wearing Slippers

In a moment of genius yesterday, I decided to walk three miles home in four inch heels. My feet are now adorned with blisters and I think I lost a toe. So this season, I shall mostly be wearing slippers – an unexpected staple for my spring wardrobe.

Thank goodness animal prints are currently on trend, otherwise my faux giraffe skin, fleece-lined slipper boots might look out of place at my job interview next week.

Regrettably, this is not the first time I have suffered in the name of fashion:

Some boots aren’t made for walkin’.  If high heels weren’t pretty and painful in equal measure, then I wouldn’t have thirty-seven pairs in my wardrobe I never wear.

Step away from the cabbage. As a University student, my desperate bid to squeeze into a particularly stunning dress, two sizes smaller than me, involved living solely on cabbage soup for two weeks. If only I had been pre-warned about the side effects…

Breathe in. Now hold it there – for eighteen hours. My corseted wedding dress may have taken four inches off my waist, but I couldn’t eat, drink or breathe in it. I still maintain it was totally worth the damage to my internal organs – and I didn’t need those bottom ribs anyway. 

You can stand under my umbrella (ella ella ay ay ay) but only if it complements my dress. Having left my trusty umbrella at home last month because it didn’t go with my outfit, I got caught in a torrential downpour thirty minutes later. I soon discovered that my purple satin clutch bag made a very poor umbrella substitute and my waterproof mascara had definitely been sold to me under false pretences.

I found myself singing Rihanna at the bus-stop at ten of clock at night – at which point my husband quite rightly disowned me.

One of these days I shall learn from my mistakes, but until then, I anticipate a great many more blisters, fad diets, funny looks from total strangers and photos on Facebook of me looking like a drowned rat.

Sorry about that.

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 Just Found a Chicken Bone in My Cheesecake… Is that Bad?

Having founded his own internet solutions company, run the New York marathon and purchased his first sports car, my brother Oliver decided recently that 2012 would be the year he finally learnt to boil an egg. Cooking has never been a priority to him, with culinary talents at the age of thirty-something on par with my neighbour’s cat.

So to address this glaring oversight, Oli set himself a challenge to cook a different meal every day for thirty days, in the hope he would magically metamorphose into a slim, follicly-challenged Jamie Oliver. Once a week, he held a ‘Come Dine with Me’ style dinner party where each guest rated his cooking and general hosting skills.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along with my mother and youngest brother Mike for Sunday lunch at the end of this process, once Oli had mastered the basics.

Oli's attempt at a pancake didn't exactly fill me with confidence

There was still a moderate risk of food poisoning, but having taken advantage our mother’s cooking for over thirty years, we were all in agreement that it was about time Oli returned the favour. I should have noticed the warning signs though:

1. The roast chicken was the size of an albatross and had only been cooking for an hour and twenty-five minutes.

2. The carrots made a bid for freedom by jumping off the kitchen worktop.

3. Oli referred to his colander as coriander.

But the food was surprisingly yummy. Had it not been for the fact the chef needed to nuke the undercooked albatross in the microwave three times after it first came out of the oven, we may have eaten within an hour and a half of schedule.

Dessert was also delightful – a fabulous boozy cheesecake, laced with glacé cherries. The biscuity base was quite crumbly though, due to Oli neglecting to purchase butter at the supermarket. Praying alone was insufficient to bind the biscuit crumbs together. Mike however loved it. I think… 

Oli took the liberty of documenting the event for prosperity. See if you can notice the subliminal jessseeker plug. It’s really quite subtle:

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the camera adds ten pounds – and there were at least six cameras on me at the time.

And The Bride Wore Monkey

I finally learnt all of the words to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1993. This would have been the highlight of my year – had it not been for a crazy girl named Carrie asking me to be her friend. We hit it off immediately and during our years together at secondary school, developed a mutual understanding:

1. The back of the class was always the best place to hide.

2. Boys liked girls in short skirts, but thick black tights were imperative. (We were classy young ladies after all).

3. Carrie would pick me for her team in PE every week, so long as I pretended not to notice when she fell backwards off her chair in Maths class (for the third time that day).

Nineteen years on and now a fully fledged teacher – Carrie spends far more time at the front of the class than the back. She continues to fall backwards off chairs on an almost daily basis, but in line with the school dress code, her skirts are much longer than they used to be.

It was only ever a matter of time before a man fell head over heels in love with her. Having spent years fashioning faux veils out of toilet tissue, next month Carrie finally gets to wear the real thing, when she marries the love of her life James.

To mark her forthcoming nuptials, this weekend, I joined nineteen of Carrie’s closest friends for a nice quiet, tasteful and sophisticated hen do celebration, complete with willy straws, a large inflatable banana and a phallic shaped cake.

As a bit of a getting to know each other exercise, the party was split into two teams, each given ten minutes to make a demure wedding gown fit for a Queen. I know ten minutes doesn’t sound like very long, but there was no need to panic as we had all the materials we could possibly need: Half a dozen rolls of toilet paper, some white bin liners, masking tape and fifteen metres of tin foil. Having made a valiant contribution to this task, by crafting a crown and several long stemmed roses from foil, I am now considering a new career in costume design. I’m sure you’ll agree, they both look ravishing:

The only information the bride-to-be knew in advance of the hen do, was when it was taking place. Everything else was clouded in mystery. As a result, understandably it took several weeks for Carrie to organise suitable attire for the occasion. With hindsight, she need not have bothered – as an outfit had already been picked out on her behalf. One that she would wear throughout, whether she liked it or not. Yes, that’s right, the bride wore Monkey: 

Having downed several Strawberry Daiquiris and French Martinis, we played a game of Mr and Mrs, where Carrie tried (and failed) to convince us she dated James for two whole months before they first kissed and then went on to justify why she once put her hands down the pants of a complete stranger. 

At around two o’clock in the morning on the first night, Carrie leapt into her bed, without realising it was two twins shoved together – rather than a double. It takes style to wedge yourself between two beds. Style, poise, elegance and several strong cocktails. 

The weekend was surprisingly educational. We all learnt how to screw in light bulbs and throw chicken feed the following morning during Bollywood dancing lessons. 

I think we all aspired to choreograph a visual spectacle comparable to Slumdog Millionaire’s Jai Ho fame, but sadly, I let the team down. This photo sums it up pretty well. Yes, that’s right; I’m the one in the middle, getting it all wrong. 

Had it not been for the fact that I am unable to follow simple instructions, have no rhythm and can’t tell left from right, then I’m pretty sure we’d have had it in the bag.

We went for a group photo shoot in the evening – during which, Carrie was allowed a brief hiatus from the monkey suit. We’re kind like that. Then, adorned with tiaras, hen party badges and glow bracelets, we went into town for drinks. Whilst there, we bumped into some gents who looked strangely familiar – the entire cast of Super Mario: 

No, we have absolutely no idea what Batman was doing with them either. He obviously didn’t get the memo.

We went on to a brilliant comedy club, where one comedian performed an impromptu Haka and another made some very naughty jokes about willies and nookie. Loved every minute.

The club laid on a DJ in the evening and we all busted some moves to classic tunes with funky beats until the early hours of the morning, courtesy of Aerosmith, The Killers, 5ive, Steps, S-Club 7 and (believe it or not) the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My funky chicken was of particular note.

We also bumped into our new friends Mario and Luigi et al. They nicked Carrie’s inflatable banana, so we took their mushroom. I don’t think anyone noticed; we were very discreet.

Several hours later, once most of the group had lost all feeling in their toes – we called it a night.  Everyone woke on Sunday morning feeling like they’d licked a cat. A thoroughly encouraging sign methinks that good fun was had by all.