By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Oh hi, I'm calling from....

Reader, as you will probably know, I used to work in a callcentre (pretty standard practice for an actor starting out in the world). In fact, I worked at two! One was a charity callcentre who basically call the people who get stopped in the street by enthusiastic people in hoodies, the other sold various things, from wine to fruit and veg to magazines.

So, working in a callcentre isn't exactly the nicest job in the world. In fact, it sucks some serious ass. Because you're basically only as good as your last day's sales and if you don't make your target, you get either fired or have a patronising talk from your manager that makes you feel like a total loser as they explain things to you that you already knew. You also have to talk to lots of idiots on the phone, who assume that because you work in a callcentre, you must a) be from another country b) have an IQ of 4 c) have stolen their number out of the yellow pages d) be trying to scam them in one way or another. You work in an ugly building, with little motivation apart from your commission (interesting fact-money alone is not enough to motivate you. Even after record breaking sales, you still want to lay down on the floor and never get up again), and with an 8 hour working day of staring at a screen wearing a very uncomfortable headset, you get bored, develop awful headaches and get ill a lot more often.

But what actually happens on the other end when you pick up the phone to someone at a callcentre? Well, I am here to tell you all the things that you never actually find out...


  • If you're really really lovely to us, we will do EVERYTHING in our power to chuck in a freebie. We will let you know about the best offers we have, the cheapest ways to get them and be sweetness and light to you. If you treat us like dirt, we won't tell you about the free offer we have on.
  • Asking us to waive the delivery fee won't happen. With the majority of sales companies, delivery is outsourced, so we have no control over it. Most of the time, our managers have told us not even to bother asking on your behalf.
  • We rarely have contact with the company we sell for. Callcentres are not run by that particular company, we are hired by someone else entirely. If the company we sell the product of is really nice to us and likes to teach us about the product, give us paid training days and free samples, we will sell for them as much as we can and have drive and passion. If they just allow the management to deal with us, the motivation of the team is dreadful.
  • Leading on from the last point, one of our few points of contact with the company we sell for is to pass on feedback. If you have an awful horror story and tell it to us nicely, explaining that you know it's not our personal responsibility but let us know that you just want to pass it on, we will not only try and fix the issue for you, but we will fight your corner in a detailed email to the company. We also pass on nice feedback. Which we rarely get.
  • You are probably the 150th phone call we've had that day. If you're going to say no, please just say no. And say 'Please take me off the call list' nicely if you don't want someone to call you back. It makes our lives so much easier.
  • When you're rude to us, we mute ourselves and take the piss out of you.
  • Sometimes, even though it's against the rules, we do accents on the phones.
  • If something is really really cheap, then there will be a catch. If you buy a half price case of wine, there will be a full price box coming every month thereafter. However, you can get around that by ordering just the first one and then cancelling the plan as soon as it arrives. Just don't tell the operator you'll do that, otherwise they won't be allowed to sell you the wine (calls are listened into and recorded, so they could get fired if they do)
  • As I have previously said, the callcentre worker IS NOT the company. Which means if you shout at us, you're not actually doing a great deal of good, you're just making someone's day hell. If you really want results, play nice.
  • At least one person on the floor cries. Every day. At work.
  • The pay is pretty much awful. Everyone is on a zero hour contract, which means that 'holiday pay' is built into your pay schedule. Which means that including that, you only just scrape minimum wage. Which is not living wage. And you don't get paid for sick days. 
  • Someone sound really fit on the phone? They're probably not doing it for your benefit. They're likely flirting with the manager they fancy who's sitting next to them.
  • Callcentres are rampant for inter office romance/sex
  • If you are really stupid on the phone, sometimes we record you and play it back to all our friends.
  • If you are a wanker to us and ask us to take you off the call list in a mean way, we will reschedule your calls for once a week. Yeah. Exactly. 
  • When we talk about 'our kids' or 'my husband' we are usually lying to get the sale
  • Ditto when we laugh uproariously at your joke of 'it's on sale? Ooh is it free?' We've heard that 4 times today. SO FUNNY. Not.
  • We regularly call people who have just died and then have very awkward conversations with their families. When I was selling wine, I once called 9 dead people in one day whilst doing a reactivation drive.
  • Callcentre workers leave notes about you on the system. These can range from 'Really nice lady, big fan of our organic milk!' to 'Total twat with a small penis. Do not call'.
  • When you say 'Fucking callcentre people again' under your breath as you answer, we can hear you.
  • We also just overheard you tell your housemate to tell us you aren't in.
  • And your kid telling you that they just pooed in the bath.
  • We will talk about you over lunch if you say something really thick. Like calling spanish wine 'ree-o-ja'. It is pronounced 'Ree-o-ka'. Idiot.
  • If you're a guy and call us girls gorgeous, babe, darling, sweetie, dear or beautiful, we will be swearing furiously at you with our hands throughout the whole conversation. Even if we sound nice as pie.
  • No, we are not scamming you, you signed up with our company. You get a brochure from us every month. I can tell you what you last drank from us. I can tell you how many crates you've had for us. No you can't pay bloody cash.
  • When you ask to get put through to a manager, you're quite often being put through to our friend who sounds older than us. Or to a callcentre manager. Who doesn't know that much more than us about the product. And who still won't be able to waive the delivery fee.
  • If you hang up on us, you will just get called back. Again and again. Automatically. The people who phone you have to assume that it was a technical fault even if you think you made it obvious. Unless we hear the words 'please take me off the contact list' we cannot stop calling. 
  • Sound scripted? It probably is. New recruits work off a rigid script.
  • Yeah, we have tried the product. But we're not experts. Much like how Asda till workers probably don't know everything in stock.
And that's it for now! So be nice to the people who phone you up trying to sell stuff. And if you're going to say no, do it fast, do it kindly. I've probably worked with them in the past!
Tarrah Reader!

Friday, 29 November 2013

17 year old me is back...

Oh god Reader, 17 year old me is back through the magic of time travel (and imagination! Ooh, it's like the magic schoolbus!)

Oh, I'm back here again am I? I was right in the middle of something!

What? Doing your homework? Reading Othello for Mrs. Roe's English class?

No, drawing peace signs on my jotter. I'm totally into issues.

Er....sorry....issues? What issues are those then?

Oh, you know. Issues. I'm a veggie now and everything!

Well...yeah. But that's not exactly because you think eating meat is wrong is it?

Yeah it is! I feel really sad about how mean they are to the poor animals and the way they treat them in the barns and stuff

No it's not. It's because you got grossed out by seeing the butcher taking out the bits from the Christmas turkey isn't it?

Yeah, well that too. Veins. Eurgh. But I'm into other issues too! I really believe that the wars should stop!

What wars are those 17 year old me? general.

Oh god. Look kid, you can't just feel outraged without any actual grounding. Yeah, war is bad, and mistreatment of animals is bad, but you need to be a bit more specific about it. You can't just claim to be into issues but not know what any of them are.

Yeah well...

I mean, you still wear leather! And buy your clothes at topshop!

Does that mean that when we're in our mid twenties we're like, totally eco and only buy organic and stuff?

Not so much. We're actually eating meat again.


Well, you know how you keep almost fainting? Even though you're eating loads? Well, you have anemia. And as you get older you start missing the deliciousness of duck pancakes. And you discover this stuff called pulled pork. It's too good.

Eurgh. That's gross. Think I'll stick to veggie sushi thanks.

Well, you will till you're almost 25 anyway.

Huh. So what are we doing at the moment?

Well, I did a voice job this morning and now I'm prepping for a film I'm doing in portugal in a couple of weeks


No! Wow, I haven't seen one of those ads in years. Actually, the guy who did those ads taught us how to be a voiceover artist, so that's pretty cool. We do a bit of everything-although we haven't done any narration for talking books yet. We really want to though.

We should totally do Harry Potter voiceovers

Well, Stephen Fry sort of did all that, keep watching the films though, they're very good. Oh god, the last one...

SO SAD. I'm still in mourning for the twins. And Tonks and Lupin.

Yeah, we never really get over that.

So how's being single going? Are you living the SATC life? Besides, they're all in their forties, cheeky cow! I've been pretty busy recently, which sort of takes away the chance of meeting attractive single men. And besides, I'm kind of loving embracing my spinster side. I'm watching tv shows, baking, babysitting and there's bugger all drama going on in my life. Which is kind of lovely.

Can't you at least go on a few dates? You're totally letting the side down! We're supposed to be cooler than mental mid-twenties spinster lady!

Oh yeah, like you're any better! You went on one date through the whole of sixth form! And you freaked out and ended up dumping the guy as soon as you got home!

He kept stroking my hand and commenting on how small and soft it was! Totally freaky!

I know! But you didn't really give the poor boy a chance did you?

I just wanted to watch the Incredibles in peace! Besides, we hate it when people talk during films.

This is true. We never grow out of this. We are also still ridiculously awkward around men we like. Which is another nice side effect of being mental spinster lady-no making a dick of myself around hotties-for there are none to be a dick around!

That doesn't sound terribly promising

Ah, it'll get better. It's just at the moment quite a lot of our male friends are gay.


*SIGH* Ok, so I know you don't know any yet, but that's just a symptom of going to an all girls catholic school. There are LOADS of gay guys in the boys school down the road, you just don't know any of them yet. Besides, you don't have male friends generally yet! When you get to my age, most of your friends are men!

Really? That's cool. Am I a bit of a tomboy?

Hahahahhahahah, No. We still climb trees and stuff, but we love our dresses, heels and cakes. And making homes beautiful. But we get on with guys pretty well. They're funny! And good at teaching us about football (HAH, jokes, we don't care, we just let them ramble on while we think about what to make for dinner or how to learn difficult accents).

Pfft. Fine. Well, I have to go. Kaat and I are going to bunk English and sit by the Camden canal.

Ah memories. Off you trot child. Enjoy not having to wear a bra while you can.


Nothing. Bye!

And there she goes, off in a whirlwind of sparkly gel pens, mini kilts and posters of Garbage and No Doubt.

And on that note Reader, so shall I!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A list of wrongful purchases...

So Reader, sometimes I check my bank balance and swear to myself in very colourful language. Where does it all go? Surely I can't have spent all my monthly wage so fast? And then I remember all the rubbish I've spent my moolah on in the past and cringe inwardly. Gosh, I could buy a house with all the money I've spent on rubbish! So to prevent me from doing it again, here is a list of some of the really stupid things I've paid for in the past


  • When I was 18 I had done a few pole dancing classes, but my rehearsals rarely allowed for me to go to the advanced classes. So I decided that if I had my own pole I could practice from home! So I spent £50 on one from Anne Summers. The problem is, the pole wasn't really intended for someone to actually swing from it (I think it was a 'pole' in the same way a sexy nurse outfit is a 'uniform'). Years later, at a post show party, I put it up and tried to impress my new boyfriend and brought it down with me. Oh dear...
  • I spent quite a lot when I was younger on a stretchy denim jumpsuit with multicoloured rhinestones. I was 15 to be fair, and it was for my 60's style birthday party, but even so...I sort of thought I was in Abba. And I thought I was bloody cool
  • I paid what seems like an extortionate amount of money to get a 'Pob' (posh spice bob) when I was 13. Unfortunately it came out like Harry Potter, which was on the second film at that point. I also had NO CURVES and got mistaken for Daniel Radcliffe 5 times. Which isn't great for a teenage girl's confidence.
  • I paid for a black henna tattoo from a dodgy bloke in Lyndos. It looked really cool. Until I realised I was allergic to it and had to go around with a pink, lumpy 'tribal tattoo' for a month afterwards
  • Spice Girl photos that were made to look like actual pictures you'd taken. I tried to tell everyone at school that I knew them really well, but hadn't realised that everyone else had the same idea.
  • A twenties style glass headpiece. I have never worn it, but still assert that I will one day (and to be fair, it was to make me feel better during a big break up)
  • A pink, crocheted hankerchief top that my dad wouldn't let me wear out of the house
  • Materials for a snorlax bean bag. Which came out looking demonic and ended up at the dump
  • Nail pens. Total waste of money, every time.
  • The Aqua singles 'Barbie Girl' and 'Dr. Jones' on cassette (YES, I REALISE I AM OLD, SHUT UP)
  • Millions of wooden boxes of various shapes and sizes. I have an addiction.
  • Not one, not two but THREE manicure sets for my friend Claire for various birthdays. I kept forgetting that I'd got them for her until, just before she opened the final one, she went 'haha, at least I can be sure it's not a bloody nail set!'. Awkward.
  • Scented gel pens. No, scratch that, I bloody love scented gel pens. Do they still do them? I want some.
  • My prom outfit. A corset, underskirt and over skirt that made me look like gothic Cinderella. Turned up at prom to realise that everyone else was wearing Jane Norman and I was totally overdressed. Rarely worn again (actually, the corset came in handy for costume socials at uni!)
  • A tailcoat for a halloween costume, cost me a fortune and I have NO IDEA what I did with it
And there have been SO many more. Still, given that I recently got a Jessica Rabbit dress off amazon, I clearly haven't quite grown out of the habit of spending money on silly things just yet! And...well, it IS Christmas soon....

Tarrah Reader!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The good girl dichotomy....

Reader, I am apparently a 'good girl'. Which does not mean that I want to prance around naked in a Robin Thicke video. I think. The thing is, I've sort of discovered that society has split girls up into being 'good girls' and 'bad girls'. But I can't work out if us ladies sort of do it to ourselves or not too.

So, I don't put myself into the 'good girl' genre on purpose. I like baking and reading and wearing fifties dresses. I'm also a firm believer that sugar does more than salt and try to be nice to everyone. I believe in true love and get very mushy over romance (I think I read too many fairy tales and love stories when I was younger). But I would never have called myself a 'good girl'. Because why would I put myself in a weird camp like that? It's just a bit odd. Besides, I smoke, I drink, I swear, I flirt like nothing else. Surely a so called 'good girl' wouldn't do those things? Aren't I just 'a girl'? Or, what with being in my mid twenties 'a woman'?

So what's made me think of this today? Well, recently I've been referred to as 'a good girl' a few times. Always by men interestingly. A guy (out of the blue, when we were talking about something else entirely) went 'aw, Ash, you're such a good girl. You're going to make someone a great wife one day'. Another guy (with whom I was discussing my eternal singleness) said 'The thing is, you're a good girl. You need a nice guy'. Another (who I was telling about a drunken night out of late) said 'You're too much of a good girl to drink that much!' Now, they were all saying nice things and all meant well, but do I really want to be a 'good girl'? I'm not sure. Because as far as I can tell, good girls don't get to have that much fun. We take care of our friends (including friends that aren't always very good at taking care of us), we pay all our bills on time, we bake for our sick family members and always cleanse, tone and moisturise. But the 'bad girls', the girls who are 'allowed' to drink, have one night stands and spend the rent money on a drinking trip to Mexico. Which sounds quite fun to me. But the thing is, I still have too much Catholic school girl in me to be a true 'bad girl'. If I drink too much I get a hellish hang over the next day. I don't really do the one night stand thing because...well, I don't know really, I just tend not to end up having one night stands (as one guy friend told me, I'm 'wife material, not shag then toss material'. I wasn't sure whether to be insulted or flattered. I think a bit of both. And a bit outraged that those were the two categories he put women into). If I spent the rent money I'd have a huge guilt trip and spend the next 3 months eating noodles and drinking tap water to make up for it.

But is it just women that get this? I don't think it is. We also put guys into these weird stereotypes. 'Ooh, he's a bit of a Bad Boy' or 'he's just your typical Nice Boy', which have their own downfalls. I caught myself doing it earlier, dismissing a crush because he was (in my mind at least) someone who fit into 'The Bad Boy' category. I was talking to a friend about this and she downplayed it, by saying that for girls, this is a bit more along the lines of self preservation-a 'Bad Boy' will be more likely to be a bit of a player, use and abuse or (as my male friend said) 'shag and toss'. But then don't guys go through the same thing with 'Bad Girls'? Granted, men are more likely to cheat than women (see here if you disagree ), so that could be part of it, but it's weird how we sexualise the 'bad boy' and 'bad girl' ideals. Or rather, women sexualise 'Bad Boys' ('Urgh, I just want a bad boy in leather who's in a band and smokes like James Dean') whereas men seem to sexualise the 'good girl' (just think of the schoolgirl thing, and all the weird fetishes for knee socks). Pretty strange. Because if women are hormonally driven, shouldn't we be drawn to nice guys who would make good life partners and fathers? And if men are sexually driven, shouldn't they be drawn to women in revealing clothing, who openly talk about how much they love sex? Saying that, there was an interesting study of late about the pill and implant and how they can actually change the sort of man a woman will go for ( so maybe a lot of our attraction is less about 'good' and 'bad' and more about our womb making the decision for us? But then what does that mean for men?

Maybe we should stop calling people 'good and bad' unless they actually get sainted or commit crimes. A lot of childcare books say that you shouldn't characterise one child as 'good' and one child as 'bad' as it causes them to try and live up to that type. Maybe we're doing just the same thing as grown ups, but to each other.

Boggles the mind really.
Tarrah Reader!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Early days....

Oh dear Reader. So, on Friday SJ and I went to Taste of Christmas in London (quickly becoming an annual tradition) and got very tipsy and very full on free samples of flavoured vodka and cheese and christmassy goodness. I think I was slightly affected by a morning of such crimble delight, because Saturday (entirely unplanned I might add, since I wasn't supposed to be doing it till this Friday) I got a tree and decorated the entire flat! My wonky, home made decorations are now adorning walls, trees and ceilings (yes, ceilings) and Bing Crosby's Festive album is jingling and tinkling in the background.

It's November.

I KNOW. But my thinking is that I've had a pretty tough year and I deserve some joy. Some people would turn to drugs or drinking, I turn to tinsel and mince pies! (Ohhhh, mince pies! I'm going to get one RIGHT NOW).

Yum. Ok, where was I before the sugar rush hit? Oh yeah, Christmas. So, to me, Christmas has a healing effect. This year has been one of the most dramatic I've ever had, changes coming left right and center. The gutting break up of my almost 5 year relationship left me reeling, suddenly the marriage, kids and home I'd been looking forward to disappeared from the future, leaving uncertainty in their wake. Moving out has meant that I can no longer afford to save or buy clothes (even from primark!) and I hit my mid twenties with a bang. But Christmas makes all of that dealable. Watching festive films reinforces my ideals of romance and the chance at true love, makes me grateful for my wonderful family and friends who have been so supportive during the upheaval, talking to my (almost 3 year old) godson about Santa and teaching him christmas songs strengthens my knowledge that I'll be a bloody brilliant mum (whether I have to do it on my own or not) and having moved into my little hobbit den with my fantastic housemate has helped me realise that I can be self reliant, even on very little money. Decorating said hobbit den with said very little money has made me proud that I can make somewhere a true home and still embrace the traditions that I hold so dear. Seeing acts of Christmas charity around England warms my heart and the idea that magic can happen is something I hold dear. And of course mince pies and roast potatoes make everything seem better.

The thing is, I have a great life. Sometimes it's easy to forget that, but the brilliant thing about this time of year is that the world gets warmer even as the air chills. Which sounds like poetic nonsense but to be honest, it's true. It's the perfect way to end a year and makes me feel like Jimmy Stewart at the end of It's A Wonderful Life every time.

So to those who say 'I hate how early Christmas keeps coming every year' and talk about commercialism, all of that might be true, but for some of us, it's perfect, just the way it is.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The death of customer service...

Reader, I get a bit funny about customer service. I think it's something to do with years of working in the service industry. But a phone call this week really made me think-why do so many areas of industry assume that they have no customers?

Essentially, my lettings agent assured me and the curly housemate from the start that they were sorting out the transfer of our utilities and council tax. They told us that in the first two weeks or so we'd have letters from gas, electric, water and council telling us how to set up direct debits etc. After two and a half months, we'd had a water bill and that was about it. Over the course of the two months we started with polite phone calls asking what was going on (to which they assured us something would turn up and to leave it to them), then polite but slightly more formal emails (to which they didn't respond) then turning up at the letting agent offices to check if they had any idea yet (to which, again, they said not to worry, it was their responsibility and they'd sort it out). Eventually, just to make sure, we called the council, who told us that they'd messed up the change and had just put the council tax in the landlord's name and given them no other details, meaning that instead of lots of money being spread over 6 months, we now have to pay it over 4. Piqued to say the least, curly housemate emailed again, politely but wrathfully explaining how disappointed we were and how it made the lack other utility bills even more worrying, so we'd be grateful if they could respond ASAP. I then got a phone call from our (very young) letting agent who explained that they used a intermediary utility company to sort it all out and so really it wasn't their fault. To which I (very civilly) replied that, whilst that may be the case, we had been asking them for two and a half months to follow it up, and as of yet, they hadn't. I also expressed how disappointed we were that this had not been resolved yet. He assured me that he was on the case and would have an answer by the next day. A week later he got in touch and said he still hadn't figured it out, but was still searching. He then, again, tried to shift the blame on to the utilities company. I got quite cross at this stage and said that although it may have been an issue on that end, they had been told about the problem by us several times, and so this did not reflect particularly well on their company. 'This is, first and foremost' said I, 'a customer service issue'. To which he responded (and to which my jaw dropped)

'Well, it's not customer service. You're not our customers. This isn't retail'

Yes Reader, despite us paying the letting agency for a service they are supposed to provide, we are apparently not their customers. (The situation was made markedly worse by him constantly saying 'Well I'm sorry that YOU FEEL THAT WAY' and 'I'm sorry IF THAT'S HOW YOU FEEL' and not taking any responsibility, then after I spoke to the manager, hearing her bitching about me in the background of the call, but that story can wait another day).

The fact of the matter is, if you are paying someone for a service, you are their customer. Patients are the customers of the NHS. The public are the customers of the police service. We are the customers of MPs. And dentists. And utility providers. To say that someone 'is not the customer' of a service you provide, means that you do not care about them. Also, the FIRST rule of customer service is that the customer is always right (which may have escaped him, since he clearly just assumed I was someone not linked to the company at all, who was perhaps squatting in the flat rather than paying thousands over the past few months in admin fees, deposits and rent). When you do not take responsibility for the customer's issue, you are making it seem like there is no point in you picking up the phone to them. And that the issue is their fault. We generally don't like that.


Anyway Reader, onto happier topics. I did a wonderful rehearsed reading the other day which was mentioned in The Guardian (oohhh, I know!). The play I was in was by brilliant journalist, playright and generally fab human being Yasmeen Khan, who wrote Don't You Know Who I Am (with lovely and very talented Irwin Sparkes of The Hoosiers) and Break The Floorboards. I do a lot of new writing night performances (I'm also a regular at Genesis Cinema's monthly NWN-which is on tomorrow at 7.30 in Whitechapel if you fancy seeing me do a bit of the ol' acting malarkey) and this was a particularly awesome one. The Rehearsal Room Presents at Tara Arts in Earlsfield featured Pawn by Melody Bridges, a set by band Chains, an interview with the writer of '100 Great Plays for Women' and of course, Yasmeen's latest script 'Actually Love', an affectionate satire on British Rom Coms, featuring Raphael Bar as Rob Stanhope (a spoilt rom com actor whose star in swiftly waning, who decides to write an AWFUL script to keep himself on the film scene), Irwin Sparkes as Ollie (a well meaning, adorable but slightly shy second AD who is lovesick for Rob's PA) and me as Beth (Rob's long suffering PA who is also rather in love with him and has to deal with all his ridiculousness) was directed by Adam Morley who directed me two years ago in a national tour of Great Expectations. We got brilliant feedback and I can't wait to see where the script takes Yasmeen! It's only a second draft, but it's already totally readable and performable! If you haven't seen or read her work-look her up! Blooming talented woman!

Tarrah Reader!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Things Disney films have taught me....

So Reader, I've been thinking a lot a bit about Disney of late. Mainly because Christmas is approaching and I'm anticipating some much needed sitting on the sofa watching films, and I was thinking of all the lessons Disney has taught me. There have been quite a few, not all of them correct, nor altogether good lessons.
Here they are!

Disney Lessons I probably shouldn't have learnt

  • All pretty girls can sing. All of them. And they do. About everything.
  • No one ever does a poo, unless it's an animal about to do one on a villain
  • Even peasants wear really well fitting clothes
  • Heroes and pretty girls are always thin
  • Fairy godmothers totally exist and they're always over 60 and portly
  • Vegetables can be used as a mode of transport
  • Reading makes you special (well, duh)
  • Poor people meet royalty all the fricken time, just casually
  • Loads of people that can sing beautifully don't use it professionally because they just want to get married
  • People's dad's die. CONSTANTLY. And no one has a mum. But step parents live forever.
  • Animals are your friends. Especially wild ones.
  • Ditto midgets.
  • Elderly women who live alone are witches
  • No one lives in a city. Lots of people live in a palace in the countryside
  • Bread is just about the tastiest meal anyone can have
  • Exotic pets are totally normal
  • Everyone has perfect teeth. Even if they live in a cave.
  • Anyone can survive certain death. Even baddies
  • Trees are perfectly cosy places to live
  • Cakes look like they're made of yogurt and when they're knocked, they slop from side to side
  • Girls never have to make the first move
  • Dancing is the best chat up line 
  • Balls happen on everyone's 16th birthday
  • Crabs are friendly
  • Voodoo is AWESOME and creates green smoke
  • It's always beautifully sunny during the day and clear and starry at night
  • Wishing on starts totally works
  • Having tiny feet gets you places
  • No one is at all clumsy. Ever. Unless they're bad or sidekicks. Or crabs.
That's all for now Reader!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Cringey awfulness....

Reader, do you ever do something horribly embarrassing and then wonder when you're going to grow up and turn into an elegant swan? I do. All the fricken time.

And I'm supposedly a proper grown up (even though my crafts look like a 7 year old with claws for hands made them). I genuinely wonder if there'll ever be a day when I don't do something so silly I'm mentally face-palming. It's funny, because strangers meet me for roughly an hour and think I'm quite poised. Any longer than  that and I start falling over and mispronouncing words and they know I'm actually a ridiculous human being.

So I am going to exorcise some of my awful cringey moments in the hope that subconsciously my brain will flick a switch and stop making me do stupid things:


  • When I was 16 I went to my first self-arranged audition, for an arty version of Romeo and Juliet. I didn't expect the other actor to kiss me (he was also about 30!), freaked out and forgot my lines then on the way out, tripped over the coats and pulled their lighting rig down with me. Oh god.
  •  I once wore a summer dress without pants when I was 13 and forgot till I was standing on a wire balcony and a group of people walked below and commented on the moon being out.
  • I skied into the French rugby team and broke my nose. They were all gorgeous and concerned about the 14 year old that now looked like Gerard Depardu, I wanted to die. 
  • I convinced my class that Goa was in Africa, not India.
  • I have, on repeated occasions, text people with a message that was about them and not intended for their eyes. Including boys I fancied, friend's parties I was about to bail on etc. It is NEVER good. When my ex and I were first dating, I accidentally text him about how gorgeous the men in Abercrombie were, which we'd just visited with his sister. I also text my mum telling her that I smoked. She was not impressed. Whoops!
  • I always get lyrics wrong. I was convinced that the line in RENT went 'My body's talking meat'. I sang it like that a lot. In front of people.
  • I got so drunk on my 18th birthday that I missed my own stripper. There is a video of me somewhere unconscious in a bath, being hosed down as my friends sang 'what shall we do with a drunken sailor'
  • I got so drunk on my 19th birthday that I had to be carried out of the club and inadvertently flashed a number of friends of friends.
  • Anything involving guys I fancy. Seriously, I should not be allowed near them. I do so many awkward things.
  • Doing a fight scene on stage, raised an axe above my head and my entire boob popped out, rather surprising the other actors
  • Owning a top when I was 16 that said 'I hate Barbie, That bitch has everything'. Eurgh
  • Ditto pleather bootcut trousers
  • Ditto a black lace crop top with wizard sleeves
  • Ditto a leopard print mini dress.
  • I once made out with a guy because he told me he was dying and I believed him
  • I won an amateur pole dancing contest and brought my own pole. Sadly it was a really shoddy pole, and when I tried to show off on it, I brought it down. In front of a room full of people.
  • I also once tried to pole dance in a club and kicked someone's handbag across the room
  • A black guy once said he'd like to take me out for a spicy hot chocolate and I thought he was literally talking about going to Nero for a coco.
  • You know the joke 'hey, guess what, they're taking the word Gullible out of the dictionary!'? I fell for it. Three times. 
  • I am such a 'good girl' that if anyone so much as accuses me of anything, I go bright red and stammery and look guilty. I think I could probably fail a lie detector even if I was telling the truth.
  • I once sat in a lecture for half an hour before I realised I was in one about History, not English Lit, and had to sneak out.
  • When I was in year 4, the boy I liked saw me leaving him a valentine and tried to give it back, so I lied and said that it was someone else that left it. HE SAW ME. I don't know what jedi mind tricks I thought I'd be able to use on him, but they did not work.
  • I wore head to toe pink to a Linkin Park concert
  • Until I was 19 I thought that I was distantly related to Princess Anne, and as such, a member if the Royal Family.
There are so many more than that. I could quite literally go on forever. I have more bruises than anyone I know because I walk into things so often. I also have a strangely misshapen head from hitting it so often.
Please someone tell me that one day I'll be less dim and trip up with less frequency?
Or just tell me that I'm not the only one!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

A list of things that are pointless...

Reader, I am avoiding doing the hoovering. So here is a list of completely pointless things that aren't linked in any real way.

Penguins use rocks to keep their chicks warm
Swans mate for life
Chips are amazing with real ice cream milkshakes
Night terrors tend to be on recurring themes (mine are usually spider related)
The King and Tinker pub in Crew's Hill is apparently haunted by a dead landlord
If you put a lump of ice cream into a glass of lemonade you get ice cream floats, which taste like cream soda
Ginger female cats aren't supposed to exist (which may explain why my old one was so thick)
If you put marmite in spag boll it makes it taste meatier (handy for Quorn mince!)
You should make your Christmas pudding in October then feed it booze till mid December
Zooey Deschanel's signature drink in New Girl is grenadine, lemonade, cherries and coconut rum. Mine is grenadine, lemonade, cherries and vodka
If you want to go blond but don't want to destroy your hair, you should just keep lightening it using the pre-dye stuff
Get mini cheddars. Put a small square of cheese on top of each. Microwave. PURE HEAVEN.
I have a tattoo of a rose on my hip
Putting avacado in your fruit bowl will make your bananas ripen quicker
Best Christmas film in the world: It's A Wonderful Life. Hands down.
When my mum asked my nan if she had any regrets in life, she said ' I wish I'd done more for the donkeys'. Er...what donkeys? No one knows.
Everyone needs different amounts of water. Not 8 glasses a day. You're supposed to go by the colour of your pee.
I have the worst hoover in the world
If you're tired or have a light headache, pinch the harder tissue between the thumb and index finger, it will release adrenaline
Craftfail. Look it up. Hillarious.
Ditto PinterestYouAreDrunk
Geekily awesome tv shows to watch: Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Adventuretime
Home made exfoliator, way better than buying it: brown sugar, olive oil, lemon or lime juice
If you lose your voice, don't eat dairy or citurus or vinegar, steam every hour, drink hot water, eat manuka honey factor 30+ from the jar, gargle with olive oil in an emergency, don't whisper as it damages your vocal cords even more

And now I have to hoover.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Maternal instinct...

Reader, my body is driving me crazy. No, it doesn't have too much wrong with it in the normal sense, I still have all my limbs and my belly button is in the right sort of area, but at the moment it is flooded with hormones that are making me want to steal ALL THE BABIES.

The thing is, it's not just me. There are whispers going round my friendship group of girls my age suddenly getting broody for no particular reason, when none of us are sorted enough in our lives to sprog up. Most of us are single and on low incomes. The majority of us still can't work out our tax code or how to fix our tv when it goes wonky. But we've suddenly got baby vision, which is like having beer goggles but for tots. You see a screaming, snotty nosed midget in a peppa pig onesie and coo like it's a kitten. Pampers adverts make you cry. You suddenly start fancying men with secure jobs who think about health insurance and know how to do things with screwdrivers (weird for me, given I normally go for artistic men who have no idea which way is up). It's all very confusing. The thing is, I don't even want kids at the moment. My career is just starting to take off, I'm not in a long term relationship and I flatshare with one of my besties. But even I can't resist the allure of a tiny sock or a gummy grin.

There is of course, a solution to this. Babysitting. I am lucky enough to have the cutest godson in the world, and I am planning on doting all my love on him while he is still small and pudgy enough not to be able to escape fast enough. I with nourish him with lopsided cakes and really ugly crafts (it's becoming a tradition to make him crap that looks vaguely possessed). I will give him ALL THE CUDDLES. And then, when he gets shouty and crotchety I will hand him back to his parents. Perfect. I'm babysitting at the end of this month and I can't wait! I've also taken it upon myself to show my 8 year old cousin all of the best kids films ever made-we've done The Princess Bride, Jumanji and Labyrinth-next up The Slipper and The Rose, Miracle on 34th Street and Bugsy Malone.

The thing is, surely me and all my friends are way too young for this rush of hormones. Shouldn't this be happening in our thirties? We're only in our mid twenties! Have they been putting stuff in our water? Or is it that we eat too much cheese? Surely we should be out headbanging, drinking cocktails and being party animals, not stroking a tiny shoe and sighing over how small it is?

I, for one, am fighting the urge. I am young and I intend to have a lot more silliness and freedom and bohemian spirit in my life before giving in to the demands of my ovaries. I want to do quite a lot before I have kids. Here is a list (you know how I love lists)!

The things I want to do before I sprog up

Travel somewhere on my own, just for fun. New York maybe.
Swim in the sea at night again
Go to another all night party
Work out how to make proper Christmas cake
Live in a house with a garden (maybe that I own!)
Go to Asia again
Take proper burlesque classes
Learn how to drive
Work out how to make a bed like my mum does
Scuba dive again
Ski again
Do a feature film
Get published again
Perform in a huge London theatre
Meet the man of my dreams
Get married
Do more silly shoots with SJ
Do an Indie flick

Possibly not in that order though!

So don't panic Reader, I'm fighting the urge for a few years (whilst also encouraging my married friends to have kids that I can play with and dress up as ewoks)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Active rest...

Reader, you might have noticed that I've been writing rather a lot of late. This is due (mainly) to the fact that I seem to have completely lost the ability to fall asleep at a normal time, and when I do, I get awoken by nightmares so need something to do to wear me out. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BRAIN. I'm good at sleep! Like, really good at it! Usually I can fall asleep whenever and wherever. On trains at 2 pm, uncomfy plane seats at 7 am, cars full of loud music, sofas in living rooms full of people. I like sleep! And I am exceptionally tired at the moment because of the change in seasons. But my head bubbles over. Here is a list of things that my brain likes to think just as I turn out the light and lay down:


  • Hey. Hey Ash. Hey Ash-never mind.
  • Oh man, I lost the game!
  • I should get more socks
  • I'm going to start eating healthily tomorrow.
  • Do we have enough soup in the house?
  • Who am I kidding, there's always enough soup in the house. I'm a soup hoarder! Hah. Soup whore.
  • Mmmm, mushroom soup. Where is all the mushroom soup? Why can I never get it fresh? It's the best of all the soups. The Lord of Soupiness.
  • If I have a kid, I'll definitely call it Dauphinoise. Hah. Potato head. Or Gratina. Or Chippadee. Man I'm craving spuds. 
  • Chill woman. Probably just pipes.
  • Does anyone actually live in the flat next door? I never hear them if they do.
  • Man, sleeping alone is pants. I need someone to spoon with. Maybe I should just make a pillow man? 
  • This pillow man is creeping me out. What if he came to life?
  • Ok. Sleeping with no pillows. Not so fun.
  • ALIENS oh no, hang on, that's just the Sky box
  • Are there any single men left in the world who I'll be attracted to? Will I ever fall in love again?
  • Shape up woman. You don't need a man! Tomorrow morning, we will go jogging.
  • Hah. 
  • Yeah right. Tomorrow morning is going to be cold as ASS. We will stay in bed. Especially considering it' crap, is it seriously that late?
  • Candy crush will help me sleep
  • Aw man, out of lives. 
  • I will not ask my facebook friends. I do not need to play more of this inane game.
  • Damn, I really want to though.
  • No! No, I shall read more Cracked articles till I doze off. 
  • No more zombie articles for me. 
  • I should move my bed so that if there was a zombie 'pocalipse I'd be able to shunt it against my door
  • Ooh I should move my room about
  • I really need to get more acting work. 
  • I know, I'll audition for the Star Wars film!
  • Although they want someone who looks 18
  • I could totally get away with being 18!
  • Or could I. Hum. Maybe I'll just put on some of that anti aging gunk again.
  • Did I brush my teeth yet? 
  • No.
  • Wait, Yes! I did! Because I laughed at the vampire style toothpaste drips!
  • Man I'm cool.
  • I could read my book
  • Wait....bollocks, I'm reading an intellectual one at the mo. Sod that.
  • Although it might make me sleep?
  • Nah.
  • Incense! 
  • I'm going to write a novel!
  • After I finish my feature.
  • That's going to take sooooo long. Like, years. 
  • Bleh.
  • When's my next day off? Oh, not for weeks. Good. 
  • Being freelance is hard. I should get a 9-5 job and give up on this acting malarkey
  • HAH who am I kidding! I just need to get paid more at the acting malarkey!
  • I could so do Star Wars. *makes light saber noises*
  • Ow my eye.
  • I have none of that coordination stuff
  • Housemate is asleep, else I could move my room around now-would it wake her up?
  • Ok, never mind, I'm pretty sure knocking that book off my bed just woke up the entire street
  • Man I have a lot of stuff on my bed
  • Then again, my bed is huge, there's room
  • Especially given that there's only me in it, aw shame! Why do I always just bunch up in one corner of it? 
  • Wow. Laying in the middle is WEIRD.
  • Mmmm, Neil's yard wild rose balm
  • I have too many products on but DAYMN I smell good!
  • Wait, did I take off my make up before I put all these products on? 
  • Oh crap, I look like a pantomime dame
  • Sod it. It'll deter murderers, they'll think I'm one of their own.
  • Not that there are murderers in the house. Are there?
  • Oh crap. The noise is back!
  • I should put up more pictures tomorrow
  • Need to order wellies for filming in December
  • Need to get the rest of the Christmas pressies too
  • HAHAHAHAH my godson's pressie is RIDICULOUS. Must remember to get him a birthday pressie too.
  • Maybe a costume. Ok, what have we got him so far....the Darth Vader one was cool...maybe a Captain Kirk one to even out the playing field? I don't want him to feel forced into loving Star Wars....although it's clearly the best choice. I feel like he should be educated on both sides.
  • Crap, my nails are a MESS! Must remember to do them before I go tomorrow
  • I should go on a holiday by myself. To New York! 
  • I have no money. 
  • How do I get blogging to get me money?
  • I should get people to pay me to write about stuff. Like...erm...boobs. And Books!
  • Oooh I could write a blog called Lasciviousness and literature! Or a vlog. Although given that name, it would probably have to be me nekkid doing book reviews. Little brother would be so horrified!
  • Now I REALLY want to do that!
  • Where's dad's camera? 
  • Will dad let me steal the camera?
  • Man I wish I could edit like Anna Akana and Katers17!
  • Didn't I learn how to do that in media studies at A-Level?
  • Man I wish I'd paid attention!
And it goes on and on until all of a sudden I wake up and BOOM it's daytime and I have suitcases under my eyes!

Ah well, let's give it another try eh?
Night night Reader!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

More chats with 17 year old me...

Oh god Reader, have realised that there is so much that I didn't tell my 17 year old self about. I'm going to have to call her back in. She's a bit of a pain in the arse really, but I'll feel awful if I don't at least warn her about some of the stuff to come. Alright, wish me luck! *sends out for tardis style takeaway*

Oh bollocks, I'm back here again

Enough of that attitude young lady! I've called you back to impart words of wisdom to you! Wise words! Of wisdom!

Are you DRUNK?!

Heheheheh.....maybe.....*falls off bed slightly before righting self and smiling proudly at clear dexterity and grace*

But we don't really drink that much!

Just wait till our 18th birthday...

I'm so excited! I'm going to dress up! It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Well, you're certainly going to dress up....unfortunately we don't remember much of the rest of the night. And we're sick on the costume.

Oh god, how cringe! At least I won't do it again.

Actually, after swearing off booze for almost a year, we go to uni and....well....alcohol happens. Our 19th is even worse. We get carried out of the student club! It's essentially all the fault of much more alcohol tolerant friends of ours. But it's not very elegant. And it happens quite a lot after that.

Tell me now. Am I an alcoholic?

Oh goodness no! Uni is just...quite full of booze in the first two years. You calm down a bit in the third year, what with being the social sec, you have to watch out for everyone else. And then you don't drink at all at Drama School and lose your tolerance for booze completely! Which leads to not coping with booze at all well on your theatre tour (although the vomming is always from hangovers, not on the night, and we think you actually weren't very well during all that because you were also quite unhealthy in other ways as well as hellish hangovers). Now you just get drunk on occasion and can handle your booze much better. Although your hangovers are never that fun. You do learn your limits though and stop thinking you can keep up with Hockey and Rugby players. Now you are perfectly able to have a few drinks, be tipsy, but still make good decisions whilst being a silly sausage too.

Well that doesn't really sound great. Can I just skip the drunken first two years of uni?

Oh sweetie....I wish I could tell you we could. But they give us some really great anecdotes. Like the time you lay on a hill with your bestie and yelled at the moon. Or the time you decided to sing a duet at karaoke and got a standing ovation. Or that hilarious time you were showing off your pole dance moved and karate kicked a girl's handbag across the room.

Ok. Those do sound quite brill. Wait....pole dancing?!

Yeah, you take lessons! And win an amateur competition. Don't worry, it's not something we want to do for money, but it is quite fun. (mumbles 'apart from that time you accidentally bring the pole down with you in front of your new boyfriend')

What was that last bit?

Oh, nothing that can't be called endearing at some point. Now listen, and listen hard. Keep the love of Edith Piaf to yourself for a while

But we LOVE Edith! *starts singing La Vie En Rose, badly*

Well yes, but everyone will think you're mad in your first year. Until you discover the drama society and then they get you. Also, please stop wearing so much eye liner. You look a bit like Kurt Cobain.

Kurt Cobain is a SEX GOD.

You know he's dead right?


Ah. Forgot we didn't find that out till quite late. Anyway, get over it. You are not Kurt Cobain. It is not a good look on a 17 year old girl. And while we're on the case-The tweed trousers with the broaches on the pocket are AWFUL.

DUH, I know. I just got a mini kilt from Camden!

Oh lord. The mini kilt.

Is it that bad?

No, wear it while you can get away with it. It's how you get asked out by the rock dude.


But you're a bit too old to be an Emo really. And you're way too happy. Brush your hair a bit more and stop buying plastic jewelry.

You're MEAN

No, I'm right. And the voice of experience. Oh, speaking of experience, stop feeling awful about being a virgin.


Oh for god's sake, everyone knows. Look at you! You practically scream purity. It's not that unusual for a 17 year old, really. Lots of people from school turn out to have been lying about losing it anyway. And give up on the idea of David Bowie turning up on your door, he's too old for you.

I'm saving myself for him. The Goblin King is so so buff.

Eurgh. No one uses that word any more. Buff? Really? USE PROPER WORDS! He is not a freshly cleaned car!

Fine. Any more words of wisdom?

Yeah. Only LOADS. Keep hanging out with your new friends, they do you the world of good and make you feel really normal at the same time as making you feel special. Sweeney is dead smart and has ALL THE DEGREES and will probably help you in court one day. Robo is an avid traveller and Kaat is the queen of luxury. Clefairy lives five minutes up the road, and guess what? Tikki is getting married and you're her bridesmaid!


Oh you knew it would happen, she got a boyfriend before you too! And she's way more mature than you. (I happen to know you drew that tattoo on with biro and bunked off for the past two tuesday afternoons at college!)

Shut up wrinkly, someone might hear! 

Oh no one cares. You do actually get a real tattoo though.

SERIOUS? Do I get a sleeve? Or a Chanel logo? Or a placebo lyric?!

Well, you're an actor, so sleeves don't work very well for that. And no to the others. Because....well, no. You get a rose! For great nan Rose. And for other reasons which you'll have to find out for yourself. Now shouldn't you be off to Quadruples for lunch?

Oh yeah! Me and Kaat are going to get a really healthy salad and then bunk off English and go to Camden again! Byeeeeee....

She'll honestly never learn. It's like talking to a bloody brick wall!

Ah well,
Tarrah Reader!

Monday, 4 November 2013

An interview with 17 year old me...

Reader, anyone who knows me knows that I constantly refer back to my past selves as if they were old friends or family members who would have a fully formed opinion on how I live my life. I get the mick taken quite a bit for starting sentences with 'god, 12 year old me would love this' or '15 year old me would be looking at me in horror right now'. And last night I got talking with my housemate about how different I was as a teenager. Which made me wonder-what would my 17 year old self think of mid twenties me? Only one way to find out....THE POWER OF TIME TRAVEL (shut up and suspend your disbelief)

Oh...hi. Where am I?

Hi there 17 year old me! You're in 2013, with mid twenties you!



Hang on....are we in LONDON?


What happened to New York? We were supposed to be getting married to a rock star in a beautiful yet edgy ceremony about now!

Well, New York is still somewhere we want to live, but we ended up making lots of contacts in London and staying put for the time being. Also, your family has grown and you have a godson now and some really cute little cousins you want to see grow up. You did go on a couple of dates with a rock star if that helps?

Someone makes me a godmother? Wow. That's pretty shibby! Who was it, Clefairy? Ooohh I date a rockstar? That must have been awesome!

Ok, first off, don't use the word shibby. No matter how hard you try, it never quite catches on


NO BUTS. It's awful. You do not sound kitch and cute, you sound ridiculous. And no, Clefairy doesn't have a baby yet (was it the many many nephews and nieces that made you think she'd have a family so young? Well she has even more now-no need to add more kids into the equation just yet!), your youngest uncle and aunt had the most gorgeous, funny little boy and you're his Godmother-you make him awful craft gifts and give him lots of cuddles. And dating a rock star was fun for about one date, then it turned out rockstars can be quite shy and his best friend scared you off (we think she fancied him too). You also never quite shake the suspicion that they thought you were a groupie.

Was it someone from Panic! At the disco?

No. Far less famous. No one knows who the band is really, even back then.

Oh. Bum. Hey, where's all my hair? WHERE IS ALL MY HAIR? 

Oh yes, about that. The thing is, having hair down to your bum is lovely when you're 17 but when we get a bit older (and years of dyeing has made it slightly less luxurant and bouncy) we decide to keep it just below boob level. Don't worry, we're never going back to the Harry Potter haircut.

The whole reason I was single age 13-15.

Erm...Yeah, you stay single for quite a while actually, so I don't think we can put it all down to the bad hair

WHAT? I don't end up meeting a gorgeous guy on my first day at uni?

Oh, well, you do, but actually you wind up just seeing him as a friend after cleaning up his sick and stuff. Living with boys who are mates sort of makes you not fancy them. Also, after years in an all girl's school, you sort of have magical boy-repelling powers. You keep getting seen as 'the little sister' of the group and to be honest, you don't pick up on any of the hints boys give you anyway. You meet someone in your last year though and end up going out with them for 4 and a half years!

Oh phew. So I'm in a relationship and on my way to marriage and kids then?

Er, not exactly. In fact, we're sort of single again.


Please shut up.


Oh yeah, about that, he turns out to be gay

What?! But we kissed!

He wore women's jeans!

But he had a huge crush on me!

Later in life we now think he just admired your skinny androgyny and lack of boobs. It's not even the only time it happens to you. You have a bit of a penchant for picking vaguely feminine boys out and for a while, a lot of them end up coming out of the closet.

Oh for god's sake. Am I at least performing at The Old Vic? Or The National?

Not exactly. You've done some tv and film work though! And played Estella in Great Expectations in lots of fabulous theatres! You're actually vaguely successful at the acting lark at the moment (although far from famous or rich, more that you have pretty regular work albeit low paid) And you have boobs now!


I know! They finally come in during your first year of uni! No more chicken fillets and rolled up socks in the bra for you young lady! But also no more running without a bra. Because that gets old fast. Along with getting boobs you get asked to model for a group called Suicide Girls but you turn it down because you're worried how it may affect your career as an actor.

Wow. I must be really skinny!

Well. You were then. Not so much now. Now we grudgingly accept that curvy is good and the fat on our tummy is to keep our baby making bits safe.


Well we can't afford to live off M&S sushi forever!

Do I at least live in a really cool part of London? In my own apartment? With a pet parakeet?

Well, you live in Southgate with one of your best friends from Uni who is now a director. No parakeets. We have a no 'Ash being Dr. Doolittle' rule. It's pretty awesome!

Southgate's gross!

Actually it's quite trendy now. Lots of funky little coffee shops and charity shops.

Fair enough. And I suppose we can go swimming every day.

Not really, we can't afford swimming every day.

We can't afford £2.50 every day?!

Oh, yeah, there's been a recession. Swimming is £7.50 now.

£7.50?!!! That's the same price as an entire outfit from Punky Fish!

Oh dear sweet fool. That's nothing, busses are now £2.10 for a single if you don't have an oyster

What do shellfish have to do with public transport?

Never mind...

How are mum and dad? And the little bro?

All good! Dad now part owns the company and Mum runs her own business! When you're not acting you work for her on the side. They still both look impossibly young and go off on holidays to exotic places. Little bro is now taller than us by a foot and goes to uni in Wales.

Wait...mum and dad go on holiday? WITHOUT US? Isn't that child abuse?!

No, given that NEITHER YOU OR LITTLE BRO ARE CHILDREN ANYMORE. (We are sad about it though and keep hoping they'll win the lottery and whisk us off to Disney again)

Weird to think of him being at uni. He's only 12! And really weedy. 

Enjoy it while you can, he gets really strong and can pick you up now. And does if he's losing an argument. You get put outside the front door like the sabre tooth from the flintstones.

Does he ever admit to stealing my Tigger diary?

No! But we still suspect him. You actually get on way better now. He's calmed down a LOT and is very funny. It helps that you don't live with each other. You even miss him when he's away!

Ok, well I suppose that's ok. Right, I feel the tug of college and a night out at The Roxy. Do we still go clubbing every week?

God no! We're out so often networking, we far prefer a quiet bar or even better, our own sofa!

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo......(disappears into a vortex of time travel to leap into mini kilt and dance to Peaches and The Arctic Monkeys)

Hm. Not sure how delighted she was, but she's IMPOSSIBLE to please. Before I go Reader, a few friends of mine are trying to raise money for various projects, so please see below the blog and donate and share!

A very talented theatre practitioner and actor friend of mine, Liz Williams is in the middle of a course to help bring theatre to the young. It's an amazing opportunity and Liz is extremely wonderful at everything she does, hardworking and fierce. If anyone deserves a helping hand, it's her! Donate or share her page here:

The lovely James Card of Thorny Devil Productions is asking for contributions for their next short 'For My Next Trick'. Have worked with Thorny Devil in the past and they're a great team, who do fabulous work! They're also jolly nice people, so please give what you can, or just share if (like me) you're very very poor!

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Ok Reader, so recently I've been noticing lots of guys complaining about getting friendzoned by girls. You see it all the time. 'Uh man, this girl TOTALLY friendzoned me' 'What a bitch' 'Yeah, I know, she clearly only goes for douchey blokes, nice guys always finish last'.


I'm sorry.


Friendzoning exists, sure. And it sucks when you like someone and it turns out they only see you as a friend, I mean, come now, girls go through it too, I've been through it myself. But stop acting like it's a) only something that happens to men by girls and b) because you were clearly meant to be together from the start and she KNEW that and then whammied you with a 'Sorry I just see you as friends' acme safe on the head.

When a girl meets a guy, her instant thought is not that it will lead to sex. The majority of times, if a meet up is arranged, she assumes it is just to meet up and chat in a friendly manner. Not to go on a date. Because it is not made clear. If I like a guy I am USELESS around them (despite being just about the flirtiest person you'll meet under most circumstances, when I meet someone I genuinely fancy, it's as if someone's replaced my brain cells with felt and sequins and I start talking utter crap and stammering and tripping over a lot. I can however, flirt brilliantly with people I don't actually see sexually. I know, I am a ridiculous human being.) but generally if they ask me out I assume it's just to hang out, not to date. Sometimes to my own detriment. Once, when I was a lot more naive and (lets face it) stoopid, I thought a guy was literally asking me to a sleepover and turned up at his door with pjs, a bag of dvds and popcorn and my best friend. Girls are not that aware sexually most of the time. And most of us have pretty crippling self doubt. We don't recognise that someone fancies us unless they kiss us, tell us so, or get one of our more enlightened friends to tell us so. After uni, I once said in a group of male friends 'I never really got asked out at uni' and apparently 90% of them had asked me out at some stage without me ever realising. Apparently I'd even been out on a date with a couple of them and had NO CLUE.

If you want to go on a date with someone, tell them it's a date. Just give us a heads up, ok? Then we can tell you if we're actually interested or not, and you won't ever get into the friendzone situation. Be warned though, you could lose out on a lot of really frigging awesome female friends that way.

Also, what in lawk's name is all this crap about 'nice guys finish last'? My last boyfriend was a classic 'nice guy'. Who was into comics and gaming and geek culture. HE HAD POKEMON POSTERS IN HIS ROOM. And guess what? I kissed him first. The utter wankers I've been interested in, I've never made a move on, because they are, as I have said, utter wankers and I'm not completely brain dead. Generally a girl won't look at a guy and go 'ah yes, he's someone who'll cheat on me and treat me like poo, I want a slice of that hot action'. Normally the guy seems perfectly nice initially and it's only later that the not so lovely bits come out. The difference is, the cocky guys seem to have the confidence to ask a girl out directly and actually show that they are sexually interested in them rather than hanging out around them and after a month of being mates suggesting that they go for coffee in a matey sort of way. They make their agenda clear. Which is why ladies know it's a date. And to be honest, the majority of men I know who say 'I don't get it, I'm a really nice guy' are not in fact, really nice guys. They just think they are because they don't make the first move, and let's be honest no one ever really thinks that they're a knobatron.

I've also noticed that the same guys who keep getting 'friendzoned' appear to want all of their female friends to have seen them as a romantic prospects. Er...sorry. What?! Why is that ok? I am pretty obvious when I fancy someone. I am, in fact, incredibly ridiculous and do stupid things like texting them texts about them by accident (this has happened so many times, I think I have a problem, thank christ for smart phones and existing conversation threads) and not realising that I'm talking to their girlfriend and making it painfully obvious that I fancy their partner (again, happens more often than I like to admit and leads to me feeling AWFUL because I haven't realised that they were taken and then hiding under my bed for a week or so). Sometimes, I meet men and I just think 'cor, aren't they great people? I want them to be in my life' in a very non sexual way and now I have lots of lovely male friends who (I hope) know that I don't see them romantically.

The thing is, it's also really crappy of a person (male or female) to go into a friendship with an ulterior motive. Can you imagine if you'd made this great friend that you thought was like a sibling and then one day it came out that they'd only got into a friendship with you because they wanted to jump your bones? Or suddenly stopped talking to you because you wouldn't date or sleep with them? How manipulative? I mean, I can be really shy sometimes (I know, you wouldn't know it, but I'm an actor, I hide it remarkably well), but if I am attracted to someone and he doesn't feel the same way back (or, adversely, can't feel the same way back because he's in a relationship) I go 'oh, ok' and it may feel a bit shitty for a while but I realise it's not their fault that they don't want to jump my bones and get on with congratulating myself on having made a nice friend and getting the hell over it.

I always hear guys saying 'But I always make the first move'. I'm sorry, but I call bullpoop. You know how many times I've been actually, properly asked out in a way that I know it's a date? Twice. Once I said yes, once I said no. You know how many times I've been kissed first? Three times. One of those by a drunk person who I didn't want to be kissed by, which really doesn't count as it was more like someone throwing a wet dishcloth with bits of broken china in it at my mouth. I have kissed (not including in plays and auditions and games of truth and dare and drunk men throwing themselves at my uniwilling face) nine guys. Nine. Only two of those made the first move. So don't give me that rubbish. I don't get guys making the first move on me. I wish I did. Life would be more interesting. Because making the first move all the time isn't that fun, even when you know for a fact that the guy likes you back because his friend told your friend or something like that. However, I have been accused of friendzoning. By people I had no idea I had romantic feelings towards me. Normally after years and years and years of being friends. If you hang out with a girl for ages and don't make a move, you're not being friendzoned, congratulations, you are friends.

And that Reader, is all!