By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Oh what a lovely bunch of coconuts...

I'm back Reader!

I'm the size of a small sea cow and I have more freckles than you could shake a stick at but I'm back gosh-darn it and that is a wonder in itself, given that I left behind a Brighton so full of sunshine and wonder that me and The Lad had very little desire to return. Oh Reader, it was a lovely mini-break. We paddled in the sea, we had Salty Sea Side Chips (they have to be written in capitals because that's how they're said), we walked so far our little leggies nearly fell off, we played on the pier, we went to Prof. Mirza (a lovely old Indian psychic set into the sea front who is so scarily accurate that I would suggest even the most hard hearted sceptics give him a run for his money), we ate so much in Choccywoccydoodah that we sweated chocolate, we watched Scream4 (awesome by the way) and we traipsed around The Lanes, stopping only for booze and more food. We were very much love's young dream (despite me getting us hopelessly lost late at night a few times, and him getting sulky because he wanted a freshly squeezed fruit juice) and then he got me a handbag.

Reader, I have never owned a new, pricey handbag before (that wasn't from a discount shop like TK Maxxamillion or Primarni). And this is a wonderful, very grown up handbag. It makes me feel like Keira Knightly in that Chanel ad, all cheeky and cute, but able to transform into a smouldering sex bitch at any moment. It's from a brand called Ollie and Nic, which I love love love. I've had a couple of their girlier handbags before (hand-me-downs from a very fashion concious friend's mother), but this is truly a woman's handbag. It's leather, cream and brown with bronze fastenings, and two different kind of strap. It even smells great (note to self, don't let businessmen catch you sniffing your bag on the train again, even if it is that nice).

The problem is Reader, that The Lad needs a lovely pressie in return. And I don't know how to top the most gorgeous bag I have ever owned. I genuinely don't. I kept trying to buy him stuff in Brighton but he didn't want any of it! I even found out where to get him an army hat he's wanted for ages but he's come over all apathetic about it! It's impossible! If anyone has any suggestions, I would be much obliged! I might get him shoes with wings. That aught to do it. (Aught?)

Anyway, back to the holiday, so yeah, we had a grand old time. The only downside was the hotel. The room was fine, clean, nice bath etc. But it had no internet or dvd player. That's cool though, it's an old hotel. We're not fussy about all that, especially considering we had a sea view. But the service was AWFUL (it was a bit like by being guests at the hotel, we were interrupting the staffs' very busy lives and being terribly rude about it too), the food was abysmal (to the extent that at dinner, we looked at our plates and decided to leave and go somewhere else within seconds even though the hotel dinner was included in the price) and it was rammed full of old people who hogged the lift to go down one flight of stairs even though we were on the 4th floor with heavy luggage. And there was one old french dude who stank the lift out. However, they probably thought we were a bit mad. I somehow kept getting caught coming out of the lift saying odd things. Once I was singing a Sarah Silverman song, 'it was brown and it had raisins and we flushed it for these reasons' and the doors opened on two surprised looking old biddies. Sorry Biddies.

But we quite enjoyed the Faulty Towers nature of the hotel, it made it all terribly amusing. Plus, they had fried bread at breakfast, so they won us over on that, plus the jacuzzi switch in the frankly giant-mungus bath.

Well dears, I am tired from all my travels, so I shall leave it there for today

Friday, 22 April 2011

Sweating BBQ sauce (of the Heinz variety)

Reader, today I gave in to my base instincts and had a BBQ. Yes, I know, everyone's doing it, but that doesn't make it right! It was 25 degrees in the shade, granted, but let's face matters gang: IT'S ONLY APRIL! Easter Sunday hasn't even happened yet! And normally on the Easter egg hunt I'm wrapped in flannel pjs (see previous blog)! This year I might be doing it in hotpants, and lets face it people, nobody needs to see that. I am sadly not Tamara Drew, hotpants do not make me look like a slightly wobbly goddess, they make me look like two large sausages have had a nasty accident with a denim thimble.

Bad times.

And yet still today the BBQ. I got wrapped up in the joys of summer. I flounced around putting bean burgers on the rack (in a way only a poncy veggie can) and Quorn hot dogs in my buns (ha ha, in-your-endo!).  And therein lay the problem Reader. I have a slight wheat intolerance. I ignore it much to my advantage for a large chunk of the time, but on occasion it rears its ugly head to remind me that it exists and when I reach 35 it will take over my life to the extent that I have to eat scummy wheat free pasta and eat rice bread (I mean for crying out loud, why even BOTHER?) But for now I bravely carry on shoving buns, ciabatta and pasta down my gullet with only a slight twinge of guilt about what will happen at Weight Watchers. Today was one of the days my slight intolerance decided to pop by. At breakfast, only marmitey toast would stop my morning breakfast pangs. At lunch, an Applewood cheese and sweet chilli sarnie sounded like a great idea. 'One olive bread roll' I thought to myself, 'Can't possibly hurt'. And it didn't. It was delicious in fact. Then, just before dinner (because Dad was taking ages doing man things with the BBQ i.e. Bugger all and I was starving) I snarfled a bit of buttery toast. Still fine. Then dinner arrived at last and I had olive bread as a starter and two burger buns for my bean burger and Quorn hot dogs. And suddenly WHAM! I looked like I'd had an immaculate conception that had been fast forwarded to getting stuck in a manger. Nothing hurt exactly, it was just all stretched to the point of bursting. Like I had self raising flour based triplets in there. My Mum looked at my tummy with what can only be described as a 'been there done that' look (she has been through all of the stages and has now been at the wheat free pasta stage for a good ten years). I had to roll up the stairs to bed. Of course one brilliant thing about this is it's an excuse to go to bed early. And I love going to bed early. I forgive myself for the overindulgence because I know it's only because in a few years I will have to say goodbye to my favourite food for good. But no worries, I'll just replace it with chips. Potato intolerance? I think not.

In other news, I have turned into one giant freckle. Such are the joys of being half Irish in the sun (I couldn't have got my Dad's gypsy skin could I? Not bloody likely.) I hate having facial freckles. You can always tell someone doesn't have them because when you say something like that they go 'awwww, freckles are cuuute though!' No. No you lucky freckle-less person, freckles are only cute if you have an adorable smattering of them across your nose. Not when you look like you've been machine gunned with dirty water. I now have trouble getting served in bars. I look like an 11 year old with breasts. And not in the Sucker Punch way.


Well, I shall leave you on that one Reader

Enjoy the sun and remember to cover up!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Crème egg omelette

Here's the thing Reader; Even though I have been with the boyfriend for two delightful years now, he is still not allowed to come to certain family events. There is quite a good reason for this. It is because he would definitely go off me and be so horrified that he might put me on some kind of black list. And most likely, dump me (only it would be less dumping, more never returning my calls ever again in the fear that somehow my craziness would turn from the family tradition kind to the chopping up boyfriends kind). And it's not just that, I might feel like I had to somehow reign myself in, and that just wouldn't be fun at all! Then I might feel disgruntled, and I'm actually quite concerned that a me without mental family events would be like Gordon Brown (who in my mind has defo never done Easter egg hunts and the like, hence why he's always so sad, like a big saggy dog who didn't get any of the Sunday roast).

For your reading pleasure, here are the things he has yet to come to;


This year, the Lad is coming to the afternoon part of this, where we shall be having a jolly civilised tea at the English Grandparents' house. I might have a sore tummy by that point but I will probably appear quite sane. There will be practically no sign of that morning's carnage. What happens on Eater Sunday mornings is this. Me and BTB (Brat Teenage Brother) grab whatever excuse for a pair of pjs we can, a pair of our dad's shoes each (for some reason he is the only person whose shoes are ever available) and shuffle out into the back room. We're not allowed to face the window, because then we'd inevitably spot  some of the eggs and that would be cheating, although BTB always tries (sneaky git). Then Mum and Dad open the door and we shove each other out of the way and the hunt begins. Dad by this point will have hidden a variety of eggs all over the place, and every year he gets sneakier. One year, he tricked us by just putting all the eggs in a black binliner on the decking and we assumed it was just a bag of rubbish, so were looking for a good hour before we found the chocolatey goodness. It used to be that I would get most of the eggs, I am the older child after all and BTB used to be about half my size, so I could reach the high hiding places that he couldn't. Now unfortunately he hulks over me by a good foot and is ridiculously strong. He is not above picking me up and putting me outside a room if I annoy him (this has happened before) so now I have to be extra sneaky at the Easter egg hunt. When we've found them all, we divvy them up (there's always a fight over the caramel and crunchy ones and no one ever wants the kit kat and yorkie eggs) then BTB hides all his in the freezer (he likes his so hard you might break your teeth on them), and I go up to my room and create a sort of Easter egg shrine. Inevitably, chocolate is chosen over breakfast. The festivities sometimes continue with a string of sneaky thefts and retaliations (i.e. BTB becomes convinced that I have stolen one of his eggs from the freezer, so he sneaks in and takes off the top egg from my pyramid, I find out and go and take his last crème egg and eventually it decends into all out chocolate war. Meanwhile the parents sit in utter glee that their crime hasn't been discovered, eating the original egg with relish). And the house exists in a hum of sugar high all day.


Possibly my family at its most excessive. On Christmas Eve I spend hours cooking the veggie tarts for the next day and prepping the carrots etc in between watching It's a wonderful life which it invariably isn't by that point because I'll be in a foul mood because mum will have been interfering in my cooking technique, BTB will be sulking because he wants to be upstairs on his playstation, the cat will have shat on the carpet as a crimble treat and the parents will be seriously considering throwing our pressies into the bin (a common catchphrase in our house at the festive time of year is 'I can hear another pressie falling off Santa's sleigh!') But it's still a very nice atmosphere. Next, we get mildly pissed (the parents on white wine, BTB on cider and me on amaretto) and hang up the stockings, pop the mince pie on a plate and the sherry in a glass by the fire, put a carrot in the garden for the reindeer and if anyone so much as suggests santa isn't real, they get a pillow thrown at their head. Then we all go to bed at about 2am and me and the brother try to listen to see exactly how heavy dad's tread is when he goes downstairs, as if that would tell us how many gifts he's carrying. Eventually we force ourselves to try and get some sleep. Invariably, I wake up at 7am and have to be the one the attempt to rouse BTB (I say attempt because he sleeps like a large log) then we both go join the parents in their room. They've usually been up since 5 and are on their 3rd cup of tea so complain about how long us kids took. Dad says something about how he heard a bit of noise in the night and how he hopes those naughty reindeer haven't trashed the garden  again like last year. BTB rolls his eyes while Mum and I giggle excitedly. We all go down stairs in our dressing gowns (me-mad red patterned terrytoweling monstrosity that I suspect makes me look like my gran's carpet on a bad day, Dad-a very soft black one that usually has a bit of breakfast on it, Mum-a very elegant puce satin thing, very Bette Davis in All about Eve, BTB-a ratty old bit of cloth with no tie, meaning he just sort of clutches it around him like a dirty old man). We open the door to the living room and BTB and I yell 'SANTA'S BEEN!' then go sit next to our pressies while Dad makes the next batch of tea. Niall opens one of his first (being the youngest) then me, then back to him etc. Once our gift lust is sated, the parents open their presents from us (badly wrapped but painstakingly chosen from the lists they gave us) and there's generally a slight edge of competition there about who bought the best ones. Then they open their gifts to each other; VERY expensive, usually brought at Selfridges, Mum cries because Dad's so thoughtful and gets her stuff like new wedding rings, Dad gets very excited over fishing/scuba diving gear that none of the rest of us understand. We grab binliners and shove all of the rubbish into them and then descend on the breakfast table like ravenous beasts, made delirious by all the generosity.


The Lad is actually coming to one of these next year (if my family hasn't scared him off by then). Here's the list of what he should expect, since it is the Irish side.

  • Tears, and lots of them.
  • People I don't know the names of telling me how much like my Dad I look
  • More food than you could shake a stick at (normally mainly meat, but thank god the couple are veggies so there will be something I can eat!)
  • Alcohol. So much alcohol.
  • Irish dancing (Shoe the Donkey is a particular family fave) which will end with someone spraining their ankle but being slightly too pissed to realise till the next day. This will probably be me. 
  • More booze.
  • My Uncle Mike doing something Hilarious. At one wedding there was a Mexican band, so he gave out sombreros and spicy Pringles. BTB still has his somewhere. 
  • My younger cousins wanting to dance with me a lot.
  • Hiding from younger cousins at the bar behind a glass of spiked lucozade.
  • People telling us it will be us next, us hiding at the bar behind two glasses of spiked lucozade.
  • Mum and I dancing around our handbags.
  • Dad and Mum having a teenage smooch on the dancefloor, me going 'Awwww', BTB making vomit noises.
  • Filthy jokes.
  • The older generations talking about who they know who have died recently.
  • More Booze.
  • A very big hangover the next day.
My other side of the family haven't had any weddings that recently, but it's normally my 2nd and 3rd cousins in Kent. If we go to one there, he should expect:

  • Flowery dresses and burton suits.
  • A strong theme of pastel colours
  • Meat heavy 3 course meals, or a buffet of various quiches and chicken nuggets
  • Agadoo and the Music Man played by a DJ in a Hawaiian shirt on repeat. At some point in the evening there will also be that delightful 90s hit Who Let The Dogs Out. 
  • Gin and Tonics.
  • Staying at The Walpole Bay hotel (Pure awesome living museum hotel, very underpriced, Tracey Emin goes there a lot)
  • My parents having a smoochy dance to a Dirty Dancing/Titanic song.
  • Uncle Eddie getting his Kit off to 'You sexy thing'
  • People I'm quite sure I've never met telling me how much I look like my Dad.
  • Not knowing the bride and groom's names (I have SO many cousins and I'm outrageously bad at staying in touch, but they all seem to know mine!).
  • A swollen belly from too many cheese sarnies the next day.
Reader, I would carry on, but I can't reveal all my family traditions, as then the boyfriend would defo run for the hills screaming. 
So for now, tarrah!

Monday, 11 April 2011

This week I shall be mainly hiding under my bed.

Oh Reader, this week has been what can only be described as a pile of utter pus ridden wank.

It all started last Thursday, on the day of mine and the Lad's 2nd anniversary. Off we went to Camden, where we had lunch, then we skipped like weird 50s cartoon characters to Angel and Islington where we decided to take advantage of the deliciously gorgeous weather and sit outside the pub with our wonderful friend Ian to have some cocktails (I practically never drink, so am slightly concerned that what happened next is punishment from the gods). I had just settled down with my Sex on The Beach and passed Ian the other cocktail I got for free (it was 2 for 1, but I made a bad choice on my second. Note to self; amaretto and whiskey are not friends), I put my bag back on the table and slotted myself into the wooden bench, and was just about to reach for my bag when I was aware of a sudden blur of cyclist going far too close to our table. 'CAREFUL!' I yelled, thinking 'What a twat' when I noticed Ian was chasing said cyclist, who not only had his tee shirt pulled over his head but was also holding my bag in his hand. Unfortunately, Ian was not as fast as the cyclist, and my bag vanished. Along with my glasses, passport, diary, Oyster card, entire make up kit and 25 quids worth of Topshop vouchers that I had been planning to spend that day. A speedy phone call to the police later and I was sitting in the back of a panda car, a slightly worried looking officer who looked too young to be true trying to calm me down (I think they were worried I was going to faint I was crying so hard), and the other one trying to figure out what I was saying underneath all the snot. They drove me round for a while but to no avail (Although at one point they did question a man who had a similar sort of top to the chav on the bike, who turned out to be a slightly paunchy man playing with his kids). Meanwhile, The Lad and Ian had been patiently waiting (and getting loads of 'advice' from a homeless man, who vanished as soon as the police showed up). Luckily my lovely dad showed up and saved the day by getting me a train ticket home, and The Lad arranged to go in later at work the next day so he could come and look after me. Needless to say, the next couple of days were not exactly joyful, as they have been full of trying to replace my make up, cancelling cards, reporting things stolen and being scared of people on bikes.
There was also a very cringe moment where I went to the bank and kicked up a fuss about those nasty robbers stealing money from my account....only to realise that actually, I'm just really skint.

But I recovered, after all, who could be sad when the sun was so beautiful right? And on Sunday, I had my first day off in an age!

Reader, I got heat exhaustion and spent 5pm onwards in bed with my legs elevated and a cool flannel on my face, trying not to vomit.

But that's fine, because today was filming for a music video with a great concept, which was loads of fun! Until I got a phone call half way through that is, to tell me that I was being let go from my telephone charity fundraising job because I couldn't convince enough pensioners to give me their money.  Luckily, my cat sympathised and came to give me affection when I got home, only he got too close and now my allergies have kicked in and my eyes are hidden behind a layer of pure puffiness.

So not a great week as weeks go. But some nice things have happened. I have been made my Cousin's Godmother, which is VERY exciting, I recorded my voice reel, I've been with my boyfriend for two years, I made a flippin awesome music video with a great bunch of people and I got to sit in my garden without a coat for the first time in months!

Well, Reader, keep your fingers crossed that next week is much better eh? More of the good stuff needed!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Readers, today is an utterly gloriously fabulous day. It's so sunny outside that even my cat Benji (who normally prefers to sit in the living room scowling through the window at the garden in case it tries to drag him out) is splayed on the decking as if he's just too delighted to do anything but sunbathe. Of course, I am clearly not outside enjoying the unexpected April heat. Why you ask? Because I am getting ready for work. That's why. Plus, I had to call the student loans company to tell them that I'm working. Apparently I have to go and get something called a PAYE number. What the hell is that? To be entirely honest, I'm not convinced I earn enough to start paying the loan off, I don't even earn enough to pay £12 for a haircut after all! Another thing I've been doing today is practising my monologue, documentary extract and sonnet for Friday's recording. I can't remember if I mentioned it or not but on Friday I shall be recording my voice reel for Spotlight, which will hopefully get me lots of lovely radio and audio book work However, after ages of not doing any serious voice work, I am feeling decidedly rusty. Hopefully today's shift at work will awaken my tongue a bit. I'll just over annunciate everything, the people on the other end of the phone will think it's Hyacinth Bouquet trying to get them to set up a monthly direct debit to charity!

Right, I realise this has been an unnaturally short blog but I have to dash and get ready. Glasses? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Copy of Brighton Rock? Check. Notes on phone etiquette? Check. Tupperware container of pineapple. Double check. I'm ready to rumble!

Bye dear Readers, hope you're taking advantage of the sun before it goes into hiding again!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Two tablespoons of pure booze and some orange gratings...

So Reader, I have discovered that I am entirely unmotivated. Actors are supposed to run around like headless chickens attempting to find work aren't they? Well, I've been spending most of my time trying to earn enough dosh from the call centre job to fund a romantic stay in Brighton (for mine and the Lad's second anniversary, about which more later) and feed my addiction to weight watchers cakes (the only way I can shovel my face with chocolate brownies and stay slim-ish). It might have something to do with the fact that I am doing some filming in a couple of weeks (as I think I most likely mentioned in one of my recent blogs), plus there are a few bits and bobs in the pipeline. One of the most exciting things is that someone who directed me in a play back at Uni when I was but a mere English and American Literature student is making a short film of said play and wants me to come back as the character I played. Now, this is exciting anyway, being a chance to do a lovely script; add to that that it was one of my fave plays that I did in 3 years at uni, that we had more fun rehearsing than is usually allowed and that the director/writer is one of my top 10 (at least!) people from uni and it gets positively delightful. I want it to be happening now in fact, but this is slightly silly as there is a lot of organisation that goes into making a film. Like fundraising. And getting crew. And the rest of the cast. It wouldn't happen for AGES if it did go ahead. However, I am still sitting here thinking about how marvellous it would be.

Back to the 2nd anniversary with the Lad. Technically it's this Thursday, but his boss wouldn't let him have the time off to go to Brighton then (stinky boss). Well, actually, someone quit with short notice, so the boss didn't have much choice. Then we were going to do it the week after but again, work. Then the week after that but now there's sadly a funeral that week so the poor boy is spending his days off on that. So the mini-break has had to be postponed. Now, this is probably a good idea as it gives me something to look forward to, to lift my mood when some sarky upper class politics student has just had a wanky go at me on the phone at work about how 'charitable giving is unjustified in this day and age' (yes, this really has happened). Also, it will give me time to make sure my legs are silky smooth and exfoliated and moisturised within an inch of their lives. You know, in case it's sunny and we decide to go for a swim. Or it's so warm that I have to bare my legs in a summer dress. Reader, I know this is unlikely, but I have to dream. The sad truth that even if said legs were buffed and slathered with creams every day for 3 weeks, they'll still be whiter than bedsheets from The White Company and covered in bruises from where I fall over constantly or knock into my bedframe (have had it for  a year or so, but every time I get up to go to the loo I knock into it. What twat makes a leg-bone level bed frame that comes out all the way around the bed anyway? Bloody designers.) For our actual anniversary we're off to our fave Diner, where we go for pretty much every celebration you could think of. We're a bit dull like that. But we saw Jude Law in there once and now live in hope of spotting other celebs whilst we munch on our french toast and fries. Then off home, where we will probably do our usual and watch something amusing on the telly whilst eating chocolatey goodies!

Mother's day today, and I have to say, I've done quite brilliantly. Started the say by getting her breakfast order, then roused the brat teenage brother and brought up breakfast in bed along with the Sunday Times, flowers, pressies and a card (from me, Brat teenage brother forgot his. He says he brought one. I am doubtful. He did remember to get her fave flowers though, so points for that.). Next I cleaned the house top to bottom and raced to get ready to make it to Asda to do the weekly shop before the rellies came over (lovely Irish mafia grandparents, new parents uncle Chris and aunt Heather and uncle John, all on mum's side of the family). Back home with just enough time to put shopping away, yell at brother and dad for stinking out entire house with their smelly egg dishes just before we had guests, light scented candles (Brat Teenage Brother-BTB-Thinks they smell worse than the egg), set up tea time delights and put on some lovely back ground music (n.b. having i-pod on speakers and shuffle can be dangerous, especially when Peaches' 'Fuck the pain away' is near the top of the list). Serve tea, clear up, cook wheat free, low cal dinner from scratch, clear up, follow up with low cal, wheat free Crepe Suzette (culinary genius by the way) then kiss mother good night and collapse in an exhausted heap. I think she enjoyed her day so that's a relief!

Right, I have a small ginger cat yelling at my window with a sad look on his face, so I'd better let him in.
Till next time Reader!