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The Feet.

clawNever before have feet been so important to the British public than during the summer of 2002. It was a couple of weeks before the impending World Cup and Beckham, our Messiah, had broken his foot. As the country went into meltdown, all I could think was, ‘Well he hasn’t got very nice feet; how disappointing’.

People looked at me in disgust as their hopes were dashed of footballing triumph. On reflection, I should’ve kept my foot prejudices to myself, but as the summer season reaches a peak once more and toes are being freed from the shackles of shoes, I realise: come rain or shine, I take feet very seriously.

Now, I’m pretty in favour of the whole body confidence thing and try not to be too preoccupied with the aesthetics of the human form, so to be so concerned with something that isn’t even at eye level seems trivial, right? But I just can’t help it.

Only one other person I’ve met understands how I feel about feet and that was a guy I dated who had a foot fetish. A mild foot fetish, but a foot fetish nonetheless. However, even he went too far when he took my shoe off in Mahiki just ‘to have a look’. He complimented them, which would have been fine, had he also complimented my face or even the dress I was wearing. It was at this point I realised he wasn’t dating me; he was dating my toes. And so that was the end of that one.

More recently, when I first, ahem, saw my current boyfriend’s bare feet, I (obviously) noticed that, much to my dismay, he had two black toe nails. I’m talking midnight black, dead as a dodo, goner toe nails. All I could think about was when they would fall off, whether it would be in the bed or the shower and whether he dared uncover them in public. Had I been unsure about how much I liked him? It would have genuinely been a deal breaker. Shallow or what?

A few months later, he is teaching me to be less superficial about feet by sending me picture messages of his recently departed toe nails proudly perched on a shelf in his room. After tears, they were taken down. I laughed, we all laughed, I’m over it.

Just.

I guess I should care a little less about THE FUNNIEST LOOKING BODY PART SINCE THE PENIS, if not for the sake of vanity but because some of us are lucky enough to even have them, right?

And without these bad boys, we wouldn’t be able to go out dancing tonight.

Happy Friday!

The Time.

2d399a47860d41535c4f3b75d984d259It’s happening. I know I’ve said I’ve been worried about it before. But it is actually happening now:

Engagements.

Weddings.

House Warmings.

Wanted pregnancies.

At what point did it become not-okay to turn to someone who tells you that they are with child and whisper ‘Jeez, what are you gonna do?’ Oh yeah, when I turned 25.

Not to be crass about the whole thing but when the bloody hell did this all start?! I’m still not sure what’s allowed to go into a dish washer yet and people are cracking right on with diamonds and breast pumps. Not at the same time obviously; I am not friends with Kim Kardashian.

It’s funny though, when these Facebook statuses began to crop up on a daily basis and paper invites were flying through the door, my initial reaction was to panic and whip out the wrinkle cream. Then I began to realise that less and less was I hearing of sloppy one night stands; regales of nightmare house-shares and trips to the STI clinic. Instead, I was watching my friends grow up and find happiness from stability: albeit a little scary, it’s also quite lovely.

Last week, I attended an event at my old school. I had a new found appreciation for the architecture which made feel a little decrepit when a group of girls, five years below, almost pushed me over the edge. I overheard them say, ‘I wonder if I’ll be like that when I’m older’ (I’m assuming by ‘that’, they meant ‘bearing an uncanny resemblance to a younger Kate Moss, with the sass of Beyoncé and the successes of Barack Obama). Actually what they probably meant was simply, ‘I wonder if we’ll be okay?’ Of course, on the surface we can all seem fine and even the happiest of creatures have a chapter of their lives that they don’t wish to read aloud, but it made me realise: we’ve all turned out alright, actually.

I’m not saying that everybody, at the age of 25, or even 45 for that matter, should be forcing themselves to take the next step in work, life or love. With a boyfriend who has a similar mental age to my own and me being, shall we say, a little uncertain in terms of my career, I am far from there, but it’s actually quite cool that I get to be a guest at my best friend’s wedding next year, and I am over the moon for my pal, who after years of doing long distance, is moving into a home with her lover. Equally, I am enjoying my friend’s stories of dating, their successes at work, and my brother and his girlfriend’s decision to go travelling at 27. It seems like people are finally getting their shit together, in one way or another, and I like it.

I refuse to let these changes scare me. I will, instead, wear something completely ridiculous on my head to this wedding next year and toast to her happiness, with one or ten glasses of Prosecco. And the same will stand for every social occasion for the next five years.

Here’s to our late twenties!

GULP.

The Girls.

Picture 81Normally, I wouldn’t write about a TV show. It’s too subjective, although arguably beards are too, and I am not a TV critic. I can’t tell you whether it is well shot or whether the lighting is most excellent, but the essence of it? That, I can grapple with.

My oldest and dearest friend suggested I watch Girls and after taking in the first episode where Hannah has very real and very un-air-brushed sex with Adam, I thought: this is not what I signed up for. I was used to “girly” American shows being littered with couture, an ability to live way beyond their means on the Upper East Side and far-fetched story lines of murder and lust. This was different. It didn’t need all of that tat. It was like a gritty British drama but with funny accents and feminism running through it.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s basically a series based around the lives of four girls, living in Brooklyn, in their early twenties. Sounds like it has been done before, doesn’t it? It really, really hasn’t. Lena Dunham, who is one of my idols and an emblem of feminism for our age, captured the essence of being a twenty-something in 2014 pretty much within the first four minutes of the pilot episode. In the three series that follow, she addresses interning, drugs, virginity, dance routines, an inability to love, STIs, abortion, OCD, dance routines, doggie style, girls being bitches, boys being amazing, people enjoying ACTUAL sandwiches and peeing on each other in the shower, which, I can assure you, is some people’s reality.

Some people hide from this realism, they want to zone out of an evening and pretend to be in American Hustle or something. But Dunham baring all despite not being a size zero is, and you might laugh, inspirational for some. The programme considers body image without being clichéd and patronising, it gets feminism oh-so-right, and it explores the importance of friendship in a world of Kardashians and cat fights.

In one episode, two of the main characters are taking a bath, one “bogie bombs” into the water and they laugh it off: if that isn’t reflective of true friendship then I don’t know what is.

It has faced controversy over implications of rape, the promotion of taking drugs and many have been offended by Hannah’s decision to wear a green, string bikini throughout an entire episode. That’s what I love about it though. It’s a two fingers up to the conventions of a TV show. It basically doesn’t give a shit about barriers, expectations and the watershed.

Young women of the 90s had Sex & the City, we needed something different and Dunham has provided.

Bukowski once said that he didn’t get the big deal about Shakespeare. He said, “How are the troubles of Kings going to be applicable to my life when I can’t even afford to eat?” This is hard for me to say but the same is true of Sex & the City (Yes, I am comparing it to Shakespeare, bore off snobbos).

How can a world littered with walk in wardrobes and cocktails be more applicable to my life than the reality of having no money, never being satisfied and not having match sticks for legs?

It can’t. And therefore, as a die-hard Carrie Bradshaw fan, this is hard for me to say, but Girls, you knock the proverbial Manolos off of Sex & the City.

I salute you Hannah and your string vest!

The Beard.

970941-beardsAs a small child with a fair-haired father, I would bawl and back away from any dark haired men with a bit of facial fuzz who came anywhere near my pram.

Oh the irony.

Although beards are quite clearly having a moment, I have been enjoying their existence ever since I first watched Teen Wolf.

Some girls wince at the thought of stray hairs getting stuck in their teeth and their toes curl at the prospect of food getting caught in their man’s moustache. I beg the question: “What is so wrong with saving a few crumbs for Ron?” Hamsters store them in their cheeks, hipsters store them on their chins. If nothing else, beards are efficient.

On an arguably shallower note, they’re hot. Most men, as I think even they will agree, look like unborn foetuses when they are clean shaven. The common excuse I hear about having to grin and bare it is that their bosses won’t have it. Tell them to do one. It’s the 21st century; if we are in charge of our ovaries, you should be in charge of your chins. Fact.

A definitive downer to the beard however is that they are deceptive as hell. Boys, you know when you see a hot girl in the summer wearing oversized sunnies and think “phwoooooar!”, only for her to take them off and be utterly disappointed? Yeah that. Beards are like a blanket for the face. Ladies, prepare to be fooled. Beards have the ability to make even the Barlows of the world look attractive, as we have recently noted. Cue One Direction.

My boyfriend has a beard so big he practically looks like the missing link. In fact, one of his pals even questioned him as to what it was like before electricity was invented. Drunk women also have the desire to touch his face a lot. Young children point and stare.

But despite all of the hecklers and over friendly females, there is a plus side. If he even thinks about moaning about my prickly pins, all I have to do is point at his face and laugh.

I am aware that it is a matter of taste and, as Gosling has demonstrated, there is still time in this world for a lack of facial follicle. But think low maintenance lads and let that beard run free. It’s what God would’ve wanted.

The Tinder.

large (1)There’s nothing more fun than sitting on a tube, bleary eyed of a Monday morning, when you catch eyes with a handsome stranger. You both double take and wonder: “Where do I know him from?”

Then you realise: It’s Tinder. Fucking Tinder. And then you slowly sink behind your metro for the rest of the ride.

I was first introduced to this wonderful little app back in August. I sat in a pub in Brixton, “tindering”, for well over an hour. Two of my best mates were doing exactly the same thing on either side of me. We debated whether or not it was a superficial exercise, whether it was an effective means of meeting normal people in this city and whether we were sad for finding it so unbelievably satisfying. We came to no real conclusions except for the fact that it was probably in some way feminist in order to make our day seem a little less of a waste of time.

Tinder, I believe, is what you make of it. Most of my single (and some not-so-single) friends are on it for an array of different reasons: to find love, lust, a lunch date, and, quite simply, an ego boost.

I, personally, took great pleasure in winding people up on it. I’ve claimed to be stuck in a burning building, have told innocent males that I work at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Wandsworth and that they should stop by for a cheeseburger, that I’m actually a man and that I hoped they’d be cool with my prosthetic leg. I have to say, the responses were marvellous. My favourite message to date was from a man who was looking for a third person to join him and his wife; I politely declined and told them I hoped they’d find what they were looking for. I’m sure they probably did; as I say, Tinder is what you make of it.

I’m pretty sure I’ve babbled on before about how I completely disagree with online dating and how nobody in this city talks any more, right? Well I am about to completely contradict myself and explain why this phenomenon is a little different: you don’t waste time labouring over a dating profile explaining why you are The Ultimate Human, you get cute prompts in your inbox to get chatty with your match, you can see your mutual friends prior to the date and act like you had “no idea they knew Kempie”, the love stories that warm your heart and best of all, the horror stories you hear will make any tinderer tap in just one. more. time.

If you need more persuading, look to your Tinder champion. Everybody knows one. Mine is free from inhibitions, in all aspects of her life, she strides fearlessly into the arms of men she has met on Tinder. Some dates go well and end up with them writing songs for her, others, let’s just say, do not, although I think that has more to do with the fact that she’s been caught taking photographs of them like a perverted Tinder pap. She has, however, encouraged even the most unlikely of humans to download it.

And that’s how I ended up on a Tinder date. I arrived an hour and a half late, he had already begun to head home as a result, I had two (surprisingly strong) gin and tonics prior to meeting him and was finding it hard to walk. I was wearing ballet flats; he turned out to be just as tall as he said he was. All in all a recipe for a complete disaster.

As I sat on the tube to London Bridge, an hour and a half late, I thought: “What on earth am I going to do if he thinks I’m less fit than I am in my pictures?” and “What if he thinks I’m boring?”, “What if it’s cringe, awkward, or I can’t escape if I want to?”, “What if I fall over, drop my drink or get spinach in my teeth?” (We weren’t even going for dinner. And I don’t like spinach).

Three months later and he’s left for work while I write in his kitchen.

I met my match and haven’t looked back since.

Give it a go. If it goes badly just say I told you to do it.

HAPPY SWIPING.

The Holiday.

20130823-162709.jpgOn a recent, very relaxing trip to Greece, mum and I found ourselves delightfully sandwiched between Malia bound mischief makers on the flights there and back. Cracking.

The heat that was radiating between the bombshells and reemsters hit me harder than the humidity on arrival in Crete and they were practically bouncing off the walls with the excitement of their impending “MEGALOLZ”. On the way back however, it was a completely different story. The sexual tension was still paramount but they were absolutely ruined. Hair extensions were sandy, suncream had clearly not been a priority in thirty degree heat and the “Bang Tidy Becky” t shirts were looking somewhat weathered.

I’m not going to lie, I judged them. And I would’ve judged them as a seventeen year old too. But do I have the right to? And what was I judging them for?

Three years at uni were spent mainly going out and getting hideously drunk. Every festival I’ve ever been to; obliterated. Pretty much every Friday and Saturday night; hammered. I’ve held a friends hair back on a street corner before and have definitely fallen over in public. I, too, have kissed randoms in clubs and can think of one or two nights with a DJ I’d rather forget. So why do young holiday makers get such a bad wrap for what they do when we’re all doing it at home, more often and probably twenty times as hard? Is it because we aren’t doing it in hot pants and a “Military Men Only” vest that it’s deemed okay?

For me, there’s just something a little different about going abroad and doing as you please (aside from it being pretty disrespectful to the locals). On visiting a small town close to Malia, all I could see behind the coloured lights were vulnerable British girls, teetering around in heels, clearly inebriated on too much Ouzo. I know it shouldnt be the case but the dark streets scared me; if a girl were to be separated from her friends for a second, she would be lost and alone. And that’s when I realised: I wasn’t judging them for having fun, I was judging them for putting themselves in danger. I just think that if you’re old enough to go abroad, you should be old enough to keep your wits about you AND have fun. Something I just wasn’t seeing.

You’re probably thinking I’m old as shit. And I sort of feel it as I write this. But if that’s the case, I’ve been as old as shit since the age of sixteen. My friends and I have always joked about how gutted we are that we’ve missed out on a holiday where you drink so much your fanny falls out. But since that trip to Greece, I’ve reassured them that it’s okay: we didn’t miss the boat, we, in fact, jumped right off of it.

So on the dawn of a fresh set of GCSE results, I’m pretty sure there’ll be a few more departures to Greece over the next few days with one thing in mind. I just hope they know how to take care of themselves.

And judging by the number of youngsters I’ve seen sheepishly buying condoms in Boots, they’re definitely playing it safe.

Safe and hopelessly optimistic.

Happy holiday!

The Twenties.

ImageIn my final year of secondary school I was asked where I’d like to be in ten years time. I had pictured that, at 25, I’d have a tall, dark, handsome non-stranger and a job that didn’t involve autism and nits. Now, almost halfway through this decade of not-achieving-that, I’m contemplating exactly where these ideals were lost and when it became wrong to desire a pristine portrait of a life?

A 24, I feel a little too old to be getting with randoms in clubs, a little too poor to be dating all the time and a little too young to be contemplating picket fences and the perks of Peter Jones. But at the same time, I want babies eventually and that clock is, believe it or not, ticking. This probably means that I should at least be attempting to find The One before my face crumples with age; but where? Everyone is far too drunk in bars in Brixton for me to decide whether they’re going to be the love of my life and I’m having too much of a good time to care.

I look at my friends who are blissfully in love and can’t wait for them to get hitched. But the thought of me being more than a pissed bridesmaid makes me want to throw up in my own hands. In fact no, if it scared me that much, I wouldn’t be writing this post. It’s the very fact that I don’t want for either which is the problem.

And that’s when I realise: It’s just not a priority of mine right now. 

Gone are the days of Mrs Bennet frantically marrying off her daughters to men in mansions; I’ve moved into the twenties which means that I actually own my own uterus. I’m allowed to be decadent, free and drunk; for now at least. 

Until I absolutely have to, I’m going to stop worrying about it. 

And worst comes to worst?  I’ll freeze some eggs.

Too much info?

Never.

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