Monday, 30 June 2008

Officially Completely Insane

I've done some stupid things in my time.

I once walked the entire length of a massive open plan office with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose. Not to mention the time I got caught in my pyjamas in the... Ok, better not tell you that one.

So, maybe some weren't surprised when I came up with my latest stunt.

One Saturday afternoon, over too many bottles of Pinot Grigio, a plan was formulated. Summer makes people do crazy things, especially after two winters in a row.

Perhaps this is why I decided that I should set about the journey of trying to line up 20 dates in 20 days.

This was the pitch:

Is Romance Dead? Or is it Just Me?

I'm going to try and find out.

I'm researching for what may become a literary piece but this time I'm really rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. Figuratively.

July is going to see me carry out what I believe to be the ultimate dating challenge. See, I'm the first to admit, I'm sceptical about this whole romance rubbish. But perhaps before I completely wash my hands of it, I should really give it a good go. Just so when I am 75 and surrounded by cats and newspapers, I can sit on my couch which is covered in plastic and think 'well, at least I gave it a shot'.

So this July, I am going to attempt 20 dates in 20 days. Now anyone can jump online and set that up. But time and time again I hear people say 'the way to meet him is through your friends'. Well, I'm putting that to the test. I'm asking my friends to help me line up a date for every day, from the 1st of July to the 20th.

The challenge details:

The chosen male shall be tasked to choose the date. This is where I ask for a large helping of creativity. Not only do I want to find out if there are actually 20 single men in London, but I want to find 20 great things to do in London on a date.

The financials:

We split everything, and here is the catch: the date must cost only a maximum of 20 pounds.

And there is even a blog. Of course.

So there we have it. Crazy? I know.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A New Addition

In an attempt to curb my incessant selfishness, I have recently taken responsibility for another life.

Well, it was forced on me of sorts, but when the lease-a-plant guy told me to keep the unwanted plant in the rubbish bag or to throw it away, there was only one option. Throwing a plant in the bin would be awful karma. Even if it is only one of those nondescript green office plants that sits in the corner of the room in an attempt to fool employees into thinking they are not sitting in a large polystyrene box.

So on Monday, Plant (as I affectionately call him) took his first tube ride. He was fine at Elephant & Castle where we got on, but by the time we got off at Clapham North he had taken on a very harassed look. A quick stop at The Clapham General Store to pick up a pot and some potting mix, and then we were home, for some time on the balcony and a few big glasses of London tap water.

He perked up quickly and seems to be fitting into life at 11 Langham House just fine. And I haven't accidently tipped battery acid into his pot or done anything equally as mindless to him. Yet.

Monday, 16 June 2008


I last went to a music festival eight years ago, where we cooked instant mashed potato and bird's eye peas on a little primus stove somewhere out the back of Golden Bay, NZ; bathed in the river, and slept on those incredibly useless pseudo-foam bed rolls. It was right up there with the greatest four days of my life.

Last weekend I festivaled again - on a small-ish island off the south of England, with 64,999 others. The Isle of Wight festival was rather famous back in the day. 1968-1970 to be precise. In 1970 The Doors and The Who headlined on Saturday, with Jimi Hendrix having a go on Sunday, along with Joan Baez.
Well, things have changed since 1970, and also since 2000. A lot of the above are dead. I don't eat instant mashed potato anymore, and am very reluctant to sleep on another one of those stupid bedrolls.

So last weekend, while others camped, we 'glamped'.

An ingenious company will go in and set up a tent for you, in your own area very near the main arena; give you inflatable airbeds, and nice new sleeping bags. You rarely have to queue for the (hot) showers; whereas your average camper will be waiting for sometimes over an hour and a half for a cold rinse. Oh how lovely it was when this morning at 5.30am, I packed my very civilised weekend bag and just walked away from the tent. No peg counting, or fly folding needed.

There is one downside to all this being grown up though. Where eight years ago I recovered from the festival by lying on a beach in the Abel Tasman for five days; this morning, four hours after hovercrafting my way off the island, I found myself back behind a desk replying to four days' worth of e mails.