Why Cameron Diaz can fuck RIGHT off....

What do you do then?

You've been seeing a guy for a few months now, (3 months and 4 days to be exact, not that you're counting) and things seem to be going well purely because:

1) He hasn't gone back to his ex-girlfriend
2) He hasn't yet mentioned that 'place' where we all go to at some stage in our lives, that unbeknownst place, that place that can either deem us ready or not ready for a relationship. That damn place.

There are probably a few more to mention here but these are the most common occurrences on your ever growing dating timeline.

You don't talk about your relationship much because well, what defines being in a relationship these days? A once a week Netflix and chill? (But like a genuine Netflix and chill not the sordid kind that makes you miss all the important bits of Stranger Things and Peaky blinders, i.e. Tommy Shelby.) Or is it the already preempted drunk dial late Saturday night to inquire of their whereabouts and if they fancy stopping over? Because it certainly seems these days (and as with everything I write about there are exceptions and god bless those exceptions) that flowers, chivalry and being wined and dined have been replaced with budget booze, booty calls in the form of Facebook messages (booty inbox messages doesn't have quite the same ring to it) and the awkward splitting of the just eat food bill. But nonetheless, you've been enjoying getting to know each other, slowly but surely by means of a literal Netflix and chill, fuzzy Facebook messages and split card payments in Wagamamas.

So, weeks in to this undeniably strange bond you've formed with someone who can only be described as a very, very handsome and chilled closed book, he messages you on Facebook (because you STILL don't have his mobile number and you're not sure whether that's a big deal or not because Facebook Messenger is just as apt as a text message, but it's just a little odd more so annoying that you can't save his number in your phone and perhaps put a little cutesie monkey emoji next to it.) He asks if you are free Friday as it's 'about time' he cooks for you. About time because he's witnessed your flustered and clumsy tendencies in the kitchen on several occasions as you try to remember the BBC good food recipes you've hopelessly memorised before his arrival. You want to make it seem as thought you always  have the fresh herbs and chill's required to just chuck a seafood linguine together. Him cooking will also mean that you can avoid the the uncomfortable moment of opening the oven to a waft of dangerously high heat that melts both the makeup off your face and your dignity all at the same time.

As if you haven't already polished off half a bottle of wine in order to calm your weekly nerves, he shows up, in all his glory (even his hair is better than yours, thicker and longer) and places his beautifully manly man arms around your waist, bottle of wine in hand and his overnight bag slung over his prefect shoulders. And you love his overnight bag because well, it does what it says on the tin.

You watch him in the kitchen, sipping on the wine he just bought you. (You've hidden the remaining half a bottle you polished off earlier under your bed.)  The wine he's bought for you tastes much better than any wine because it's the wine he bought for you. It could be Lambrini for all you care. 

You talk about each others weeks (it has been about that length of time since you last saw each other) and he talks you through the Italian dish he is preparing and you laugh and joke as he mimics a TV chef. It's perfect, you're acting like a real couple here, you're probably a little more drunk than you expected yourself to be at 6pm, but you're happy and he seems pretty content as he lists the different ways to prevent onion tears.

The food was delicious, the wine is still flowing and you're now cuddled up on the sofa leaving his free arm in charge of the Netflix selection. You're full with wine, pasta and sheer content, so you're not paying much attention to his film choice. You're too busy focusing on an angle to drape across him where he cant see that you're a little bloated. 

'How about this? I've watched this with my parents before, its hilarious.' 
You're still not taking much in to account here as your mind wanders and pictures him and his more than likely handsome parents (you haven't met them of course, but have a mental image of them in your head from the time you rather hastily imagined the very event) all laughing and smiling at one another over some family friendly film about a talking rescue dog or something.

Oh, but wait, it looks like an action movie starring Tom Cruise. Well you're happy to try your best to at least  pretend to enjoy the selection, you're feeling a little tired anyway from all the wine so perhaps you can just fall asleep to rise and fall of his chest as he breathes...aaahhhh.

BUT THEN she appears. The fresh faced, blonde and beautifully figured, carved-by-angels Cameron Diaz. Perfect long blonde hair on her perfect little head, flowing past her perfect bloody shoulders right down to her perfect arsing arse. And you know, you know immediately why he remembers this film, not because he had a laugh with his parents over her bimbo-esque character but because she is smoking bloody hot. Prancing about in in her sexy black heels with a gun, making better sex noises than a porn star whilst pathetically attacking criminals and submissively pining after Cruise.

I mean all this stuff didn't reaaally bother you at first. Yeah, it is slightly niggling to share his attention with a successful actress while you sit their all tipsy in your housemate pre-approved loungewear while she models little pink bikinis and slip dresses. So you start trying to pick out faults in this camel-toe less, cellulite-less, bra-less, bloat-less and everything-less of what you critisice yourself about - being (short-hairless, knobbly-knee-less etc.) 

And as you firmly assure your insecure irrational thoughts that it's best to leave Cameron Diaz alone because she's not done anything to you, you hear a groan (a foreign groan to the muffled ones you think you may have heard but have never been sure cause you 're always too busy trying to make sex look sexy.) A groan that abruptly interrupts the rise and fall of his chest as he becomes enticed by Cammy D running along the beach so perfectly and so savagely sensuously that even you  became a little flustered:

'Uhhhh, she is SO hot.'

And there was a huge emphasis on the word SO, and suddenly the wine he bought you tastes like PISS. He may as well of shouted it through a bloody megaphone, she is SOOOOOO HOT! He may as well just have had a wank over the blonde goddess right there on the sofa, right in front of you.

You don't move, or say anything. Instead you go in to your own head for a while (as if you hadn't already been) and become pissed off that she is acting alongside Tom Cruise who you can't even pretend to find attractive, (sorry Tom, I think it's the whole Scientology thing.)  Then you go even deeper in to your head and question what it is you're doing on a Friday night, laying terribly uncomfortably on a chaps chest, trying not to leave traces of makeup on his t-shirt or breath too loudly. 

So thanks Ms Diaz, I bet I'm not the only desperate fool to have been thrown off by your sheer deliciousness.

Now you may be querying why I have written  this post in third person when it clearly relates to myself and my current man situation, well truth is, I'm not sure. But if I wish to go all psycho-analytical on myself, I may say that it's because I'm in slight denial of having got myself into another silly man-related predicament.  And if I was to list a third important reason as to why things seem to be going well between me and the very handsome, chilled closed book, I would have listed:

3)Will not be soon jetting off to Australia for a year where the girls surf and have CAMERON DIAZ BIKINI BODIES

But the latter, is actually happening, in December. Damn

And perhaps it may seem very insecure and silly of myself to get so worked up over a passing comment about an actress, I'm sure if one of my sleb crushes was on screen I'd utter something similar (perhaps less enthusiastic though, it honestly sounded like he came.) The truth is, because of this chaps impending travels, I feel as though I cannot truly relax or be 100% myself in his company. And in an attempt to relax (pah) and just 'see what happens,' I have lost a sense of what it is I am really looking for.

I think it's time to talk - and I also think I know what is going to happen next but I will sure as hell be able to fight it better than Cameron Diaz ever will. Silly little bimbo.

It's Britney Bitch

I recently was invited out for dinner with a chap that I met on a night out. On a night out being key here, I was shocked at the suggestion after he witnessed me over enthusiastically dancing to Britney's 'Work Bitch' after a few too many ciders at a mutual friends house the preceding Saturday.  He'd definitely already seen me at my worst (sweaty, cider sodden, dancing and singing poorly declaring none other than 'It's Britney Bitch!') and yet there I stood hating the inanimate object that is my mirror, faffing over what to wear and how to wear my hair. The hatred didn't stop there, I'd also developed two stubborn teenage spots on the side of my face that no amount of mineral powder could even start to try and disguise. It's like they knew.

He recommended a pizza restaurant close to where he lives (pizza restaurant for a pizza face, it's like he knew.) It was one of those Hipster places that you're allowed to call Hipster (although I don't like to generalise), they were selling all different types of beers and ales with names like Hip Hoppy and Ale Assault. Already I knew I was in over my head when he laughed at me as  I pretended to review the selection written on the blackboard, only to choose a Thatchers and black.

We sat down in a corner window seat, surrounded by a few other pairs who seemed a lot more comfortable in their choice of both attire and company. I began the conversation with an apology for my cocky and overconfident behavior he was accustomed to the previous Saturday. He smiled and said 'it's fine, you were funny.'

He said I was funny. And there I sat, stone baked pizza sober, only two sips into a cider and black panicking that I now had to be funny. But there were no friends to show off in front of and no Britney Spears to encourage me, I immediately felt the pressure to try and be funny and immediately became very aware of  the  awkward mannerism I possess when in the company of those I don't know all to well. And that is when I make jokes, I mumble them. Now, this may be because I don't want everyone to hear because it may not be laugh-worthy, but in this case the immense pressure I put on myself to be funny at that particular moment, made my already quiet voice quieter.

After a the third 'sorry one more time, I missed that again,' I gave up all hope and smiled a desperately apologetic smile as I told him not to worry about it because it wasn't really that funny. We both then turned our heads to gaze out the window, envying passersby who weren't experiencing the first date clumsiness  that we were. Something in common I suppose...

We ordered our Pizza which thankfully came out quite quickly, the attention could now shift on to the food rather than how unfunny I was on a weeknight.

Again because I am bad at paying attention to things when in my own head, I let him choose the pizza. I soon realised this error as the pizza was placed in front of us - the devil re-spawned as food - decorating the pizza pallet like hell fire - jalepenos. 

And the blurry conversation was replayed in to my head as I noticed them, dotted around the pizza like mines ready to explode in my mouth. I. don't. do. spicy. foods.

'Do you like spicy food?'

What I should have said:

'No way. I like all foods and I am always keen to try something new but I really can't handle anything spicy, jalepenos for instance, I just can't stand them.'

What I did say:

' Oh sureeee!'

After an awkward exchange of glances with the guy, I  suddenly became very wary of the way I chewed. Especially as I tried to avoid chewing the jalapenos so much that hell would be released from the roof of my mouth. Not only this, it's common for the childhood memory to haunt me when on dinner dates as I reminisce upon the time I was told by a sibling that I resemble that of camel when I when trying to break down food in my mouth. (That sort of comment stays with you for life.) 

When my date-ee asked what I did for a living post mouth-full, I began nodding my head as if to say, I'll answer that after I've finished this super hot and spicy jalapeno infested mouthful,  rolling my eyes as if this and the head nodding would speed up the chewing process, only to give a very thoughtless and empty answer: 'admin,' after chewing like a fucking camel for what felt like half an hour.

'What about you?'

He responded with a very confident and long winded account of his plans for after University, to help out with his Dads company, his previous job roles, his recent job offering to work for the University and perhaps go travelling later on in the year. I was too busy focusing on trying to chew beautifully and not wiping the cement off the two new houses that had built themselves on the side of my face with my napkin to really take in the travelling remark (why does everyone have to go travelling on their own these days?)

I carried on pretending to enjoy the food as he continued the conversation and made my one worded and one syllable answer more and more pathetic. I was beginning to feel a little more relaxed as he took charge of the conversation like a new gen hero but realised this was probably because I'd guzzled down most of my pint in order to wash down the peppers.

Conversation is hard between mouthfuls isn't it? It's fine if you've known the person for a while -they are your partner, they've seen you at your worst, dribbling on a pillow and making questionable noises during sleep, they've seen you eat multiple times before. But when a stranger watches you eat, it's like you forget all the dinner-table courtesy drummed into you as a kid by your parents and grand parents:

'Don't talk with your mouthful...'

 I certainly forgot this when asked a questions by my opposition - answering his obligatory interrogative first date questions, with a mouth full of food and a mind full of anxiety.
And in reverse, I didn't want to ask him questions while he was eating, and I was unsure if it counted as an awkward silence when we were both chewing at the same time?

Pizza was eaten, drinks were drunk, post pizza and pint of thatchers bloat was incoming. So I went to the toilet to top up on mineral powder and reassurance that it wasn't the worst date I 'd been on.

came up stairs, my lips looking less natural than before after a quick tint of Rimmel lipstick. We talked a little more and decided it was time for the bill. Now, if you've ever seen First Dates, you will be familiar that this part is when the dates seal the deal; if you split the bill, you probably won't see each-other again. If one pays, it is known that the couple go to see each other again.

We split the bill, and then we split. I got on a bus and he walked thirty seconds up the road to his house. We didn't speak to each other for a few days and I thought it was probably going to be another fleeting man meeting. But to my surprise, he asked if we could hang out again, this time at a music event we were both interested in as mentioned between mouthfuls on our first date.

So my latest conclusion is, perhaps it's not a great idea to date someone you impressed by being blind Britney drunk one Saturday night, and maybe it is safer to save the dinner dates for when you know the other person a bit better and they know you well enough to understand that you would fib about liking spicy foods just to be polite. (Even better, well enough to know you didn't like spicy foods.)

And also not to abide by the bill splitting rule just because it's something seen on Channel 4. We must remember that we are in the New Gen and it's not necessarily the same as what it is in the movies....or on Channel 4. 

  I met him the following Sunday, we bought each other drinks and danced side by side, enjoying the music and exchanging subtle smiles and content smirks as the music played in the background Occasionally we popped to the smoking area to converse rather than smoke, and it flowed as did the music, and the thatchers. I had a GREAT TIME. 

There - a blog with a more promising ending. That felt good!


I had a wine infused conversation with my older brother the other day following his recent break up with a girlfriend.  It’s not often I have confidence in whatever it is I say about love (perhaps it was the wine) because as you have most probably gathered by reading my posts, I don’t have a bloody clue. But this time, I felt like I may have hit the nail on the head a little, perhaps at a slightly dodgy angle - but what I said made sense to myself and my dear brother.  In fact it must have made sense to him as he later went on to relay my theory to my best friend.  Cheeky little so and so stealing my wine infused, slightly inaccurate theories about love.

In the months that my brother and his now ex were together, I observed him spend most of his time with someone that didn’t make him very happy, who didn’t give him the love he deserved. Whenever I asked if everything was going well, his two syllable responses consisting of ‘yeah, fine!,’ ‘not bad,’ and ‘all good,’ made me feel a maternal weariness that something wasn’t quite right. For a couple who should have been in that silly period deemed ‘honeymoon,’ (a silly term really, as that’s a little holiday people take post marriage,) it was more as though they had been married for fifty years and became so used to one another's company that they had forgotten how to talk to each other.

They were opposites. My brother loves going out with his friends, adores both his friends and family and will do anything for them, enjoys his own space and leads a pretty non-judgmental and somewhat spiritually enhanced life. She preferred to stay in, didn’t have a very loving relationship with her parents or siblings, wasn’t really into socialising that much and hated sleeping alone.
Now, they say opposites attract, but they also say those that are similar and share the same interests make a successful relationship. They talk about love at first site, but they also say love can develop by spending a lot of time with someone. They say they turn up when you least expect it, but they also say if you want something so much you will get it. So no wonder our views on love are a little fucked up and all over the place I mean geez!
My brother couldn’t do it any more, he has so much love to give but it was being given to someone who didn’t know how to receive or reciprocate it. The break up was fairly mutual -  I think she mainly just liked the male companionship and was one of those ‘I don't want to be aloners’ I so meticulously labelled in a previous blog post.
Both my brothers and I are very similar in the fact that we got for those we shouldn't. The worst thing is, is that we go for people we know we shouldn't. We ignore the warning signs and the red flags, and rely on the paradoxical and contradictory theories about love and meeting ‘the one’ to see us through. Shame on us Branches! My older brother goes for the somewhat judgemental, slightly snooty, materialistic girls that draw him in with their long hair and prettiness, maybe even their control over him. My younger brother pines after the straight men he develops strong bonds with, some of them have even confused his lovely mind by crossing the boundaries of a platonic relationship, only to leave him feeling a bit shit. As he doesn’t possess or have interest in any campness or flamboyance, his type is the ‘straight man,’ and as you can imagine, he hasn’t quite found his match yet.

I love my brothers more than I can say, they are my heros and my best friends. We can talk to each other about absolutely everything, we have grown up gracefully together, always hanging out in the same friendship groups, even working for the same companies. We recently all moved to Bristol together and are each other's mentors in living our lives to the full. As everyone in this life has, we have had some god awful times in the past, but we have stuck by one another and have witnessed each other's strength, persona and happiness develop over the years.
My sister too, an amazing inspiration who has remained with the love of her life since she was sixteen. My sister and her partner (the funniest man I know) have created the most witty and intelligent being I have ever met. I can guarantee an unbiased stance here, as despite being my nephew, my beautiful nephew, his persona and energy is like no other little boys. He knew the meaning of eternity at four years old (‘a very very very very long time,’) and his beautiful parents will be together for just this.

There is a whole lot of love in our family, and I sadly don’t see it in everyone's. My brothers ex-girlfriend found it peculiar that we were all so close, especially with our parents. My parents are no longer together, but are still very good friends (most of the time) and recently when Pops was visiting from Spain, Mum came up to stay also. We all went to out to the Bristol bars, drinking and laughing together and Mum was rolling us cigarettes all night. My brothers ex couldn’t believe how we ‘behaved,’ and told my brother she didn’t want him to drink at the weekends, in fear that he  ended up like our parents. Nice.

This questionable view most likely stems from the fact that her parents did not exchange ‘love you's’ or reassurances that she was loved. Her relationship with her older brother consisted of her dropping him off and picking him up at the weekends to his nightclubs of choice, in exchange for cash. Now this to me, is odd.

I appreciate my life in Bristol so very much, but I yearn to be closer to my Mum, sister and nephew. Thanking technology for granting us fantastic advancements such as Skype and Facetime, we keep in touch and each and every one of us will accommodate the difficult goodbyes with a warm ‘love you’s.’

I know how much my family love me and this is without a doubt the best feeling in the world. And  I am satisfied and grateful to be able to give all my love back to them.

The conversation with my brother went something along the lines of: ‘Maybe we love too easily because we know what it is to be loved.‘ Of course, family relationships are very different to the relationships we have with a boyfriend or girlfriend, but the love on an emotional level is the same. In our family along with the friendships we have developed with those outside of our family (like my best friendship with my roommate who I absolutely adore and can’t put into words how much I love,) we support one another, we listen to each other, we hug each other and tell each other it’s going to be okay, we tell them when they look well, we look after them when they are poorly, we stick by them through the many difficulties that come their way. We tell eachother how much we love one another. That to me, is true love. (Gooey I know but it is  so true, and also really sweet and Mum’s gonna love reading this, hey mum xx)

After this conversation, to which my brother agreed in total comprehension, I went home and watched ‘Maleficent,’ after a long winded seep through of Netflix's options. *Spolier alert* if you haven't watched Maleficent, then do - its really very good, but don’t read this next part if you intend to do so. The film that night coincidentally (and you know I love my coincidences) emphasised a similar premise that it’s not ‘true love's first kiss’ from Prince Charming or what have you, that will save you  it’s the true love from another human. In this story it was Maleficent, who watched sleeping beauty grow (post-curse),  developing a fondness for her so pure, that it was only her who was able to rescue her. Maleficent so desperately tried to find a Prince (as we all do) in order to save sleeping beauty, but it wasn’t him that could wake her, it was Maleficent. Magnificent.

And very similar to ‘Frozen,’ (which I was so very reluctant to watch being a bit of a cynic over adults watching kids films) which emphasises the same idea.I would place another *spoiler alert* tag here but I know you’ve all seen it JUST ADMIT IT YOU LIKED IT! It’s not the kiss from a chap that can save our female protagonist here, it’s the affection and love from her older sister that de-ices her. And I think this is a very important message to give to the kids of this generation and the next. We have always been plummeted with the idea that is a partner, a prince charming that can rescue us - but this really isn’t necessarily the case. Perhaps why Frozen was such a huge hit, it was a more real, more contemporary and true about love.

So when the thought next enters our head about finding ‘the one,’ or when we feel unhappy that ‘the one’ we have is not proving to be the one we thought, take a look around you and notice the love that already exists, between you and your friends and family. It is there and it is truer than most of the love being messed about with out there. And perhaps we will know who ‘the one’ is when we experience the same love and affection exchanged between you and the people around you, who have stuck by you since you first met...

This is by far the soppiest, cheesiest blog post I have ever written and with its mention of two kids films I may have to go and take a shower. But I dedicate this post to my beautiful and wonderful family and friends, who give me all the love I need! I love you! xxx

New Year Same Me - Part Two

Why, of course there is a part two.

When I told this story to my dear Mother on Facetime,I  didn't know whether I was laughing or crying. And neither did she. I think it was a mixture between the two and if I’m honest, quite a foreign and looking back, humorous noise I was making. I think I was laughing because I couldn't believe I was crying over such a trivial matter and crying because at the same time I didn’t really feel as though it was funny at all.  I asked mama through my girlish sobs; 'am I being pathetic? Is this ridiculous behaviour mum?' She reassured me that it wasn't and comforted me through understanding of how I felt, and I believed her -  despite the fact I couldn't quite come to terms with the emotions myself. My nostrils kept flaring every time I let out a sob which made me giggle/weep even more.

So a few blog posts ago I told you about that handsome, charismatic ginger chap who paid for my taxi after my desperate attempt to find the debit card in my bag THAT WAS THERE ALL ALONG. I did find it post-cancellation, in one of the many compartments of my bag that I have never used before. When I found it a week or so later, after that night that I naively believed was ridden with fate, I was glad I couldn’t at the time  because else I wouldn’t have met him  or had a cup of tea with him because it was meant to be blah blah bloody blah.

His name was Shannon. It came to me when I was searching Facebook for every Shannon and Sharron in Bristol after googling whether either were actually boys names or he was just ‘avin me on. I found him. I won’t tell you how long it took me (four days.) Turns out we do have a mutual friend of a friend (of course) but no one mutual enough to find out if he was the type of chap to leave insufficient mobile digits to a fickle little idealist who'd as a one off, mixed red wine and red stripe on new years eve. What a keeper.  

Now you may think of this as some seriously stalkerish behaviour. well I hold my stalkerish hands up I admit it okay! I stalked, I stalked the very depths of Facebook, high and low to find this gentleman. I swiped high and low like I was on some sort of new gen quest, embarked upon from the very comfort of my sofa, sofa searching and sofa scrolling through social media sites: 'Shannon, male, Bristol, slightly ginger.'   I wanted desperately to find him and pay him back for his good nature by means of a beverage or marriage. Kidding. Maybe.

I was about to call off the one woman search party until so suddenly, there he was, in all his strawberry blonde glory, his left nostril modelling a nose ring, his head fashioning a skater-esque flat cap, wearing the t-shirt I met him in on new years ('fate') and his profile picture was of him and his beautiful little boy that he told me about, who had inherited his hair colour and fashion sense. 

I messaged him something similar to the above, minus the marriage part - and I waited for the response. I waited for the response. I waited and waited, I waited some more. I kept waiting for that response. Maybe he hadn't seen it? Had he seen it? He can't of seen it...I even exhausted Google, asking it to teach me which each of the little ticky symbols meant on Facebook messenger. And I know I am not the only one to do this - because there were plenty of people to ask the same question.  I concluded, he didn’t use Facebook, it hadn't told me the day and time it was 'seen' so perhaps it went into the 'others' folder where all the spam goes from seedy Turkish men telling you 'you beautiful.' (Maybe not so much for him.) He hadn’t seen it. He would have replied else? I mean we had a lovely time together really, so he can't have seen it.

So, I found his instagram (stalker hands re-raised.) He seemed to be an avid user of the picture uploading site (instagram tells you when the last photo was uploaded, and his was full of recent snaps,  his and his little boys face decorating his insta-album.

There was another face that popped up quite a bit too. An old school emo looking chick, with a full fringe, dimples and a little nose. She must have been a good mate because they seemed quite matey and did matey things together like go on walks, hang out by the harbourside drinking beer, and watching films on a projector screen from his bed I presume. Oh there she is on the loo, he took a picture of her going for a wee...friends these days. Hey there’s a sweet one of them holding hands, snoggi...waaaait a minute.

He had a fucking girlfriend - OF COURSE HE HAD A FUCKING GIRLFRIEND!

I ruddy asked him! I asked him when he sat on MY RUDDY SOFA, drinking MY SHIT TEA, his arms tangled around my body, lulling me in with all his ginger glory, face centimetres away from mine...I drew back and I ruddy asked him:

‘You don’t have a girlfriend do you?’ 

‘I wouldn’t be here if I did.’
I wouldn't be here if i did
I wouldn't be here if i did
I wouldn't be here if i did

He didn't say it that many times, I'm just trying to create that echo-ey affect they do in films where a statement which is quite pivotal to the story repeats itself in a characters head.
He lied to me! And why wouldn’t he? He didn't know me, he didn't owe me anything, (if anything I owed him a tenner) I was just some drunken ditz who lost her card in her own bag late one New Year's morning. He followed me home perhaps thinking he would get more than what he bargained for (£10 to be precise) which I stress here he certainly did not. We talked and kissed on my sofa and he left, he left me and he left the wrong number.
In my naïve, fairy-tale, it-must-be-destiny mind patterns, I was adamant the wrong number thing was a mistake - it NEVER crossed my mind that it would have been left on purpose. He seemed far too lovely for that, and we had far too much of a lovely time for that. Plus that's never happened to me, it only ever happens in movies right? Right? 

Part two doesn't stop here though.

The best part, well the most unbelievably incomprehensible part, is the recent revelation that his girlfriend, and not even a slight exaggeration here, (I do have the tendency to do so) lives 10 doors down from me!!! Yes, we are practically neighbours. 10 doors down on the corner of a street corner parallel to my house. I remember feeling worried for the phoney when he left:
‘Are you sure you know where you’re going?’
‘Yeah, nice to meet you Chelsea,’ he replied, shutting the door behind him. I wonder if he was to walk 100 yards down the road to greet his girlfriend with New year's wishes. Leaving me with a scribbled digit too short mobile number. He isn’t the hero I made out in my last post but he's tactful, I’ll give him that. But I am keeping that tenner.

And I did wonder you know, why was this chap not with his girly on New Years? Perhaps they had had a bit of barney, he walked out and bumped in to little miss lose everything, and got a little ahead of himself. But I shouldn't waste my time thinking up  multiple scenarios in my head, the irony of me sharing a street with the girl made my head hurt enough. I think I learnt that fate and destiny are not necessarily a good thing.
How did I know we shared the same street you may wonder? Why the devil reincarnated as a social image sharing site of course. Instagram! More like Spinstagram I say. The way I’m going anyway. I swiped through the pictures on both his and hers. There was a house party that took place a few weekends after I’d met the little git and he had passed out in a wooden chair on the front patio. And I recognised that patio, and the window behind it. A house I have been walking passed for over a year on the way to work that I have always been slightly drawn to pre-Shannon. Perhaps because of the singer sewing machine in the window, the overfilled recycling bin (full of beer the happy couple probably drunk together) and also the inflatable snowman that I used to judge for still being inflated and on show way after Christmas 2014.

Since I uncovered such  revelation I have crossed paths with emo chick a few times, her having absolutely no idea who I am, just some strange girl who Skype's her mum while she walks and looks quite nervous. Emo chick is cute, in an old school emo way and I am quite bitter about how her fringe falls so perfectly above her eyebrows. I haven't seen him, thank cupid, but I am sure I will cross pavements with them soon, in the big but also very small city of Bristol.

I had a little sob/snigger to my mum in disbelief, but then thought - well he clearly isn’t the hero I thought he was if he’s accepting invites from drunken fools back to their place, after paying for their taxi and telling them they look like Florence from Florence and the machine (which I still cant work out as a compliment or not.)

I won’t ever know what went on in his mind - I have realised that too much went on in mind for a silly little drunken early morning fling. My stalkerish behaviour has lead me to uncover some quite questionable truths (DAMN SOCIAL MEDIA AND OVERACTIVE MINDS.) But at least I know now and I can throw away the little bit of paper with an almost illegible 1 digit short mobile number, knowing that, the chap was not ‘the one.’ Another man related lesson, in my continuous new gen men schooling, don't take everything as 'fate' and destiny,' rather a lesson to stop presuming every chap that is nice to you could be 'the one.'

New year, same me, but slightly wiser me....we will see.

What you talkin' about?

Many times I find myself in the company of people who are unsure about their current relationship, but yet continue with said relationship as if something miraculously is going to change, or someone is going to wave the magic wand of love to magic everything perfect again. Wingardiumlove-eiohsarrrr.

Here is a list of similar behavioral patterns I have observed over the years in which I have grouped into labels and theories. If you find yourself reading this and thinking ‘wait a minute… that sounds like me.’ Slap yourself.

The fence sitters. 

These culprits stay with their current partners in the belief that something better may come along in the future. Sitting on the fence, observing passers-by, holding out for something that may or may not even exist. There was a toss-up here to label this type of person as those who think the grass is perhaps greener, but there wasn’t quite the right phrase for it. (The grass could be greenererers?) But the view of the grass being greener is rather fitting here, these people live with a constant expectation that somebody else, somebody better, is out there. A bit like the truth in X-files. 

They turn their backs against their own lawns – eyeing up the perhaps sexier, more exciting, and more fulfilling patches of grass (bad metaphor alert) to attend to. And instead of maintaining their current lawn, perhaps investing a bit more time in its growth, attending to its needs, or just plain and simply growing with it, they fence sit and observe all the other lawns. And it’s not very fair really is it, on the patch of grass that thinks everything is fine and dandy, carrying on with life as if everything is okay. The truth is, it seems that these people wouldn't be satisfied if they owned the exotic Versailles gardens of France. They wouldn’t be happy settling in the depth of the beautiful tulip gardens of the Neverlands. 

The saddest thing about them is that they have probably found and ditched the best thing that could have happened, but they will never know this – because the grass is always greener. Apparently. 

 The ‘I'm waiting for the right timer’s

These procrastinating undevotees assure their confidantes that that they will end it, in time, but they are waiting for the ‘right time.’ But may I ask, when is the right time to finish it with someone? On a Tuesday morning after Monday blues have mended? At 5:45 am on a Wednesday? Perhaps before Christmas, no after Christmas…Fuck it New Year, New start and all that. Friday afternoon perhaps, at least then you’ll be granting them the weekend to forget about you through means of strong spirits and nameless strangers. But let me suggest something, if you're not happy now, in the present and you are so concerned with this human formed concept of time, then why drag it out and harm both of your futures? - I like what I said there, yeah that's good.<-- good="" i="" like="" nbsp="" o:p="" s="" said="" that.="" that="" there.="" what="" yeah="">

'The ‘I’m waiting for them to do something bad again, so I don’t look as bad-ee’s

 A long winded name for long winded approach. Similar to the aforementioned time evaluaters, these  suspects take more of an accusatory stand. They can’t face being the bad guy/gal so they wait for their partners to do wrong, needed justification to end their unhappy relationship. It also says to me that they person on the receiving end of the bad news, is someone prone to wrong-doing. So what are you doing with them then? Do you not have enough supportive evidence to go with? What wrong can they do to make you finally see the light? Do they have to stop you from going out again on a Friday night? Do they have to hurt you? Kiss / screw someone else? And if you are expecting this behaviour, then this person does not deserve your time anyway.  And what if they don't do wrong? Do you have to find something, anything possible that can be used as an excuse to end it with that person? 'Look, I'm sorry - I have had a really fun time with you but I just can't be with someone who, you know, who...I don't know - you're just too, um, your laugh, I'm sorry it’s just too ... too silly.'

The ‘I don't wana be alone-rs’
In the words on contemporary RnB Artist Drake - who 'hates sleeping alone,' Although i really doubt the chap doesn't spend the night alone often - these fearful excuse makers continue with their relationship because they ‘don’t want to be alone.’ And damn, those words are scary, those words are scary Virgin Mary!’ This lstrange thought up theory is by far the one that makes my teeth feel funny with its sheer clenchedness. I want to say, you are not alone, you have your friends around you, your family, you are surrounded by great people some of which you haven’t even met yet! What’s more? Get a cuddly toy! I ain’t joking - this is probably the most impractical and cringe-worthy excuse for staying with someone, and if you are childish enough to use this as an excuse – then you are childish enough to cuddle up to a stuffed animal at night. And that was harsh because cuddly toys don’t mean your childish – I have one!  No awkward bony limbs, no hair in face, cuddly toys can have their back to your without you getting all paranoid. There is no sudden movement, you control its positioning. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. But all jokes and weird admittance's aside about cuddly toys  – you are not alone. And you cannot stay with someone in fear that you may end up being so. You are already a very alone person if you rely on the company of someone your only half interested in. Loner.

This post may seem like more of an intense interrogation session, but if you find yourself being able to answer any of these questions, then SLAP YOURSELF.

 I know in many instances and sometimes very extreme instances - we do feel trapped by our partners – and that’s really sad. But in other cases, I fear people just stay with their boyfriends/girlfriends for convenience, to bear through that quite horrible feeling of being alone. We are only human after all, and this means we have to deal with the burden of such intense emotions, and perhaps pondering over greener grass is one of them, but you should not be in a relationship if you feel this way.  We as a generation, where relationships are hard enough and influenced greatly by the media (especially the social kind), other people and our racy overactive minds, need to be strong and be honest with ourselves and with each other. If it's not working, of course try and fix it, but if it’s still not working post-fix - move on. You will be doing yourself a favour, and your partners. Don't be scared to be alone, no one is alone in this world – we have eachother and we have ourselves. Be your own best friend for a while, try ridin’ solo (not sure what my RnB referencing game is strong in this post), don’t try and drag something out that is not worth the time. 

And time is precious in this life.  

New year... Same Me?

First lets start by mocking my last post; 'no ones catching my eye anymore, I am so independent now, free and single blahblahblah.' 

I was really having a tough time deciding what to this New Year. I think I have mentioned in previous New Year’s related posts that I have inherited a superstition, which insists on a notion of however you spend your New Years Eve determines how you spend the rest of your year. And I am not afraid to admit that this was influenced by a quite tear provoking episode of The OC back in the day.

So recently, I have been speaking with a chap from back home (typically, I move to Bristol and end up interested in someone back at the place I fled from.) He is a D.J. in the local music scene, and someone I have crushed on for a very long time, but haven’t we all I suppose. He is no celebrity or anything like that, but well known if you're into that sort of music, and live in East Devon. I met him a few months back after the end of my short fling with the letter writer. I was out for a friend’s birthday and he was at the bar, I was in a foul mood because some gobby caa pushed me about after I clumsily I spilled my drink mid-dance on her equally as gobby fella.  I got them kicked out because I am a spoiled little so and so after a few gins and therefore was in one of those indestructible, 'I don't take no shit from no-one I am all woman’ moods, aka really bloody full of gin fury.
I went over to the bar and asked if he was going to buy me a drink, of gin. He laughed and said; ‘why would I buy you a drink?’ Touché I thought, why should he buy me a drink? So I bought myself a G&T because that seems to be the craze these days, and probably went on to introduce myself as Sheila. We talked for a while and he asked how I knew him, probably prompting a response he has grown used to from the many fan galz, but I just said I recognised him from somewhere, unsure where. It was probably much cooler than the sentence originally formed in my head of: ‘OH MY GOD I USED TO GET TO YOUR SETS SUPER EARLY SO I COULD GET TO THE FRONT AND SHAKE IT WHILE TRYNA CATCH YOUR AMAZING EYES, YOU’RE SO TALENTED AND TALL I CANT BELIEVE WE ARE TALKING FACE TO FACE RIGHT NOW I CAN’T BREATH WHERE'S MY GIN!’

Anyway, this was around three months ago, and since  then we have been texting, and FaceTiming,  promising meet ups, cancelling meet ups (more on his part,) not texting, not FaceTiming, drunk dialling, leaving hideously embarrassing voicemails (more on my part), discussing shameful snippets from said voicemails, texting, Facetiming, repeating the above, and that’s it really. It’s strange because I’m not quite sure what he wants from me. We could be good friends I suppose, but he did kiss me and tell me I was amazing when we met…And I don’t let shit like that go…even if we were scuppered. You know me.
I did get funny on his post boxing day bailout, after we had planned my first visit to him in his place of residence before I made my way back up to Bristol. I thought he was making excuses when he replied to my text saying his car had failed and so he wouldn’t be around as he needed to sort it out ON A BANK HOLIDAY. I’d been out with some friends and over indulged in the Prosecco, and the more Prosecco we drunk, the more brutally my friends became who later agreed that I was never gonna see him again, he probably isn’t that interested - all coming together like sisters doing it for themselves. ‘He don’t deserve you babe.’ ‘It’s all or nothing though it’s all or nothing.’ ‘He’s wasting your time girl.’ R-e-s-p-e-c-t stylin.’

So I replied something quite shamefully immature along the lines of ‘Well that’s a bloody shame, see you never!’ like some Devon bred wanabee Paris Hilton. I say along the lines of, I had to delete our text thread the next day because I couldn’t face my shameful reply, and I didn’t want to risk the temptation of another inadvertently candid voicemail. To my surprise, I received a text the next day, and he was rather displeased at my paradoxical statement.  ‘That was a bit blunt, was hoping I’d see you soon rather than never, safe travels X.’  I called him back, I couldn’t live with myself knowing I’d upset the chap that turned down my many attempts at getting to know him face to face rather than screen to screen. No answer though. I text him saying sorry and explained that Prossecco was no longer my friend.
New Year’s Eve Eve, still planless.  A delayed text of course, apologising he missed the call all those days ago and asking if I had any plans for the subsequent evening. I was feeling a little over confident after a glass of Rose and admitted I was thinking about making my way down to a watch him make music. He was playing a gig in Torquay as mentioned once during a blurred vision FaceTime, but technically I hadn’t received a sober invite. I was missing a sober invite.

New Years Eve, no response to my unsubtle hint and my friends from work invited me to a house party at theirs. Umming and Arring as if music maker was going to show up out of the blue with a Limo and a sparkly party dress (for me,) they told me to get a grip and join them. And they were right.  I should spend my New Years with the beautiful faces of Bristol I was blessed to have met over the preceding year, not wasting time waiting for confirmation on whether he wanted me to be hanging around him at New Year’s or not. And I hadn’t received confirmation at this point, so it was clear enough to be a no. But there I was, as always, holding out for something hopeless.

I did go to the house party, of course I had to text him first, just to let him know that I probably wasn’t going to make it anyway and I was off to a siiiick house party in Bristol with wonderful people. Alas! A near instant reply; ‘Oh gutted, you bail out, have a good night! Xx’ SAY WHAT!? Me? A bailout? But I was waiting for you to want me to come, I was waiting for you to want me! I deleted the number again to avoid the voicemails.
I had a great time at the house party, dancing around a living room with the most caring and loving bunch of people. At quarter past twelve I had a missed call, I called him back, blushing that I could potentially be the first port of call after the lines unjammed. We drunkenly spoke and laughed, I was in taxi to a Bristol club and he was in his way to his gig. ‘Wish you were heres’ were exchanged as they always are post-midnight and jokes were made about my taxi making a detour to Torquay.  We made a FaceTime date for 3.00 am as that was when he would be back at his friends after his set. Deal.

The rest of my New Years was filled with dancing, laughing, spilling of drinks, hugging and wishing happy new years to strangers. Feeling a little fuzzy headed, I looked at my phone and it was out of battery, I had to get home to make sure it was charged from my FaceTime date, I couldn’t miss this important event! TAXI!

The taxi driver had no choice but to listen to my rants and raves about how busy the clubs were and how unfair it was to charge such an extortionate amount after an already money demanding time of year. We stopped off at a cashpoint so I could draw out more money, even the price of the taxi had gone up ten pounds. I got to the cashpoint and two guys were stood behind laughing at me as I started to empty my bag in a desperate attempt to find my debit card. It was as if they knew this was a common occurrence for me, the misplacement of my debit card after a boozey night out.

I started to panic and curse, and one of the chaps stepped forward and said: ‘You’re lucky its New Years,’ and he went to the hole in the wall and drew out my taxi money. There are some wonderful people in the world. The taxi driver stepped out of his car angrily, and my New Years hero, smiled at me as he paid for a taxi he had nothing to do with.

I caught a glimpse of his face and nose ring (my fave),  all slightly difficult to make out in the early house of New Year’s day and after copious amounts of red stripe. But I liked what I saw and in my drunken and overwhelmed state, I invited them both back to mine for a cup of tea and a bank transfer. One of them, hero’s friend, seemed a little weary of this offer and decided he would go on to where they originally had planned. But the Hero, agreed to come back to mine for a cup of tea. And it really is as innocent as it sounds, I was in no way prepared enough, shaved enough, or sober enough to do anything of the sort. Plus I had only just met the guy.

Please note, when I told my dear mother this story the next day – she warned me I needed to be more careful. And she is right, but I have a strong instinct with people – Oh yes I get my fickle heartbroken a lot, but as peculiar as it may sound to whoever is reading this, I know I am safe, and I know who I can trust in terms of my safety (outside of love and relationships if that makes sense, because I am shit at that part.)  I also warned him not to try anything funny because my best friends/ roommates mother had bought us both rape alarms for Christmas. No joke.

As we were walking back, he introduced himself as Shannon or Sharron, believe me I wish I could remember which. I remember thinking he was trying to beat me at my own name game (I probably pulled the Sheila card). He was very funny, a little cocky but charming with it. Just how I like ‘em.

But there was something a bit more to him, I am still unsure as to what and I don't think I will ever be sure.  At one point our hands became held and we laughed questioned what we were doing, we both shrugged and continued anyway. When we got to mine, I made us both a shit cup of tea and we played music from some of my rather questionable playlists. I lit a candle and we sat opposite each other on my sofa.  He put on one of my favourite bands, (who I wouldn’t have expected him or anyone to know of) and selected my favourite song on the album and we both sung it to eachother. At that moment, it was as though we had anything and everything in common. Cheesy/ yucky/ cliché I know.
It was strange but nice and we kept reiterating this too each other, ‘this is weird isn’t it?’ ‘Yeah but it’s nice isn’t it? ‘Yeah but it is quite weird isn’t it?’  Then I had a smooch on my sofa with a stranger that paid from my taxi.  

A couple of hours passed and he became less of a stranger as he told me more about himself and his six year old son – I gave up on the silly jokes and told him about my move to Bristol and that I liked singing but couldn’t sing loud enough to join a band.
Interrupted at 3 am by the previously instigated FaceTime call.  I explained I had to take the call but I would be right back, and that he should wait right there, but he didn’t have to wait if he didn’t want to. And if he didn’t want to, he should leave his number. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I went into my room to take the call. Mr Music maker was with a lot of his friends and himself and his company were all very drunk and rowdy. I can’t remember much of what was said but my Face on the screen seemed to be passed around to a lot of drunken, lairy males. The connection was poor (in more ways than one) and I didn’t want to leave my New Year’s hero alone in my living room, so I told my FaceTime date I would call him back in five.

I went back out in to the living roomto find him was scribbling his number on a bit of paper. Are you going? My mind was in two places, I wanted to stay and talk to the kind hearted chap who paid for my taxi, the one with a son, a sense of humour, a nice face, a nose ring, but I also had a date with an IPhone screen.
As Shann/rron left  he said it was really nice to meet me and we agreed that I’d call him after his shift tomorrow, you know, really mix things up a bit. I went back in to my room, alone, and I became frustrated at my answerless phone calls as my FaceTime dates phone was now switched off (out of battery? I don’t know.)  I fell asleep to my own paranoid thoughts that he didn’t want me to call back so turned his phone off. Prior to this, I left him a voicemail.

New Years Day, with a sore head and two half full cups of tea left on my coffee table proving that last night was not some strange dream. I picked up the piece of paper with the mobile number on and took it back to my room. My hungover head, slowly reminisced over the taxi money, our conversations, the giggling, the singing and the kissing. I fell back to sleep clutching the piece of paper like a right old saddo.

I woke up again at about 5pm, trying not to feel guilty that I had wasted the day, reminding myself that I wasn’t the only person in the world not leaving their bed on this particular twenty four hours. I decided to text the number scribbled on the paper that was now under my pillow like an offering to the tooth fairy. Something became very clear as I typed the number in to my phone. There were twelve digits. TWELVE DIGITS. He wrote down an invalid number. Of course, I tried a few options, one of which I was sure must be the number because who has four 1’s in theirs? Nothing, no reply. I tried one last number, and had a response through iMessage. ‘Who’s this?’ I responded perhaps a little too eagerly, ‘I’m not sure if this is the right number, but it’s me Chelsea?’ ‘Chelsea Stoke?’  Fuck sake.

Facebook? Yeah, it could be an option, but then my mind battles with me, perhaps he gave the wrong numbers on purpose. And if I did guess the right number and he didn’t text back because perhaps he didn’t want to – what would it look like if I was then to stalk the realms of Facebook … oh heyyy, me again, shit tea maker, debit card loser! It’s meee!

 At least its completely taking my mind of music maker, who never did return my call.
 SHANN/RRON If you are out there, thank you for paying for my taxi and not leaving the right number to avoid any potential upset. You are my favourite stranger.

So either this year means I will be spending time with beautiful strangers on my Sofa, only for me to never see them again. Perhaps that is the best thing for me. :)
New Year, same me. But as always, it’s always fuel to my ongoing man hunt as my sisters boyfriend referred to it once. And, it makes a great story. Bring on the trumpets and failed flings 2k16, this year is the year I’m gonna make a book outta all this.


Here I go again, sat in front of my laptop debating whether or not I should blog about another man related event that has occurred in my life. The reason for my hesitation is perhaps because I feel a tad ashamed of myself, fearful that this next post may lead whoever to read it to think of me as a bloody idiot. And maybe I am I bloody idiot, and maybe I'm not afraid to admit it because I know I am not the only one in this crazy monogamy meddling, fidelity fearing generation that makes questionable choices and decisions on who they decide to spend their time with.

I recently blogged about my bold move to Bristol. Quite modest of me to describe my own life choice as bold, but where I come from, both in residence and in mind, it was difficult for me to move away from the my home-town, after many failed attempts at doing so before. This move has not only aided my journey in getting over my dubious past, but it also has been a great opportunity for me to re-discover myself, which, some say can only be done if you travel the world, climb a mountain, or visit a couple of mosques in Thailand. 

Some habits stay with us no matter how old we get. I used to compete with myself daily during school to write my name neater and neater on the top right hand of the page - more and more immaculately each day - setting myself the target that by the end of the year I’d have written it the neatest way possible - more pristine and perfect  than all of the name signings that had gone before.  I still practise today, doodling over my notebook at work to see if 26 years of practise has taken its course. 

Other such peculiar goals would and still do include; passing the next target (be it a drain, a lamp post or someone walking their dog) on the pavement before the approaching car beats me to it, or washing up whatever is on the draining board before the person helping me with the dreaded after dinner deed places the next utensil down to dry. 

The reason I refer of such peculiar habits is because I fear that one of my mind-generated routines will remain with me as the aforementioned have. This is my habit of meeting chaps, dating them, hanging out with them, and then freaking out that they aren't the ones for me, meeting them, telling them, getting upset and freaking out that I may have made the wrong decision. (I must mention here, this has only happened three times, I like to exaggerate. One of which is detailed in this next post.)

Friends and family members, that are very much in love, say to me. ‘You’ll find the right guy, and you will know straight away that he is the right guy.’ Okay thanks, but when, where, what, when and how?  And why hasn't it happened yet? And that's easy for you to say as you've found the right guy...

Others say to me, ‘I didn't really like the guy at first, but we spent more time together and now look at us, we’ve just got back from our engagement holiday in Vienna.’ Okay thanks, but I have met lots of guys that I didn't really like at first, and I don't think they liked me all that much either, so how on earth would we get to Vienna? 

With this paradoxical advice I am given, I really don’t know where I stand in terms of meeting the right guy, or where the right guy might be standing for that matter. But for now, here’s another story for you:

My brother recently started dating a girl from work, not something I could do as strongly indicated in my last blog, but I was pleased to be invited over to his girlfriend’s house for a gathering one Saturday. We were instructed to dress to impress and bring a bottle or two. (Two.)

I had already formed judgement on the guest list after looking at the Facebook event.  I wasn't too fussed until my brother mentioned that his girlfriend was friends with a fair few 'lads' from school and the poor boy was nervous about meeting them. 'Relaaax,' I told him, as I scrolled through the Facebook page to see what and who I was up against.  

Of course, the one guy Josh that most caught my attention over the other attendees was of course to be the one I hit it off with the following evening, him having no idea that I already knew what University he attended, that he enjoyed motor cycling and he had recently visited Iceland.

We got to my brothers girlfriend’s house and after cocktails were poured, we made our way into the living room. My eyes immediately clocked Josh’s. He was sat down, beer in hand looking pretty bloody dapper. He got up to shake my brothers hand, he boasted a beautiful little smirk. Holy shit this guy was tall. 

Unintentionally staring while him and my brother spoke about the potency of the cocktails, he turned to me as if I was an old friend: 'Hullo there, I'm Josh, nice to meet you!' I know who you are I thought - and then came that awkward British man opposite British woman moment, that sheer uncertainty on whether to shake hands or pretend to be Europeon for three seconds. I awkwardly put my hand out and looked up at him, 'I'm Chelsea, I'm his sister.' I nodded at my brother who ever so slightly frowned at me,  an almost telepathic frown to tell me to stop acting weird. Josh gently took my hand and leaned in to kiss me on the cheek.  I said something twattish and cliché like 'Woaah! Easy!' And he laughed and his smile calmed my nerves a little.  He was very well spoken and had a permanent smirk on his face that he wore well. He began chatting away to my brother, all the while looking at me as though I was included in the conversation about motorbikes and his trip to Iceland. I know about your trip to Iceland, my inner voice mocked. 

More cocktails were consumed, shots were shotted, and soon came a drinking number game recommended by Josh. A little tipsy at this point,  yet I managed to fluke it and win a few rounds. ‘You’re good at this,’ Josh said, his smirk widened and I smiled, a little embarrassed and overwhelmed by his but an intense and flattering glare. My brother gave me that look again.

The night proceeded to a student-fuelled cheesy club and I don’t know who arranged such a thing but we somehow all ended up in  V.I.P area with Leis decorating our necks and vodka shots decorating our fronts. Vodka shots. Shots of bloody Vodka. I don't know when I will ever discipline my self enough to avoid the very drink that makes me very mouthy, and very, very drunk.

As the night went on, my mouthiness increased and the party number decreased as everyone was sensible enough to know then they had had enough. Not me though! And luckily, not Josh either.

Next vodka infused memory I recall is us dancing, cheesy club style. Now, I do usually see everything wrong with a little bump and grind, I can't stand watching a couple, (be it a couple of strangers or an actual couple) slide up and down each other like they are rein-acting our favourite scene from Jungle book, but on this particular evening,  ALL DIGNITY ESCAPED ME. It was a little bit out of character, but my body, my body was telling me ye-eh-es. 

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Josh decided it was his time to leave and as he did he asked for my mobile number. I fibbed and told him I didn't have a mobile so I typed in my home address into the notes on his IPhone. Don’t ask me why. We took separate taxis home and I fell asleep in my clothes and mascara.

Post weekend, I had booked a Tuesday off work for life admin and while sipping on a shit cup of tea I flinched at my mind montage, playing back scenes of me and posh boy dancing. I visited his Facebook profile for the second time,  a reminder of the face that was near mine for most of Saturday night.

Moments later, and these sorts of things are always so very timely, I heard the letter box go. I raced down the stairs as if I knew I was going to receive something more enticing than my bank statement or council tax bill. It had crossed my mind a couple of times what Josh would actually do with my address, but I really did not expect the chap to go to the trouble of writing me , the mouthy drunk girl, a letter especially after I'd fibbed about not having a mobile in the 21st century.
I would have loved to have been the postman, who not even 10 steps away would have heard me shriek in disbelief, 'OH MY GOD ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?' I ran back up the stairs almost tripping over my haste, repeating the words ‘He wrote me a letter, he wrote me a fucking letter?!'

The brown envelope was addressed to 'Chelsea (Girl with no number),' followed by my address, perhaps only legible because I knew it was my address. Not scoring too highly on the handwriting side of things, but that's just my inner child sneering after my many years of handwriting practice on the top left hand side of the page. 

The letter read:
Dear Chelsea,
First of all I would like to take the time to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘’bullshit ‘’ exchanged last night.
So if you’re free one evening this week or on the weekend, let me know. It would be a pleasure to see you again.

Just so you know, my handwriting is not usually this bad, but holding a messenger owl in one hand whilst writing is pretty tricky.

                                                                                                         (Mobile number)

*the owl reference is to do with my collection of owls, ornaments rather than the real things. I have an owl tattoo on my wrist which automatically prompts people to ask me about owls leading me to disclose information on my ever growing collection.
I noticed on the envelope - and I do love my coincidences - a stamp that read National letter writing week and the dates begun from Monday up until the end of the week. This is perfect, I thought, already tearing out a page from my notebook to start writing back. I wasn't going to text him, no no no, I was going to reply by the same means. My head was going crazy, 'Oh this is perfect, imagine the wedding speeches, 'It all started with a letter, and, who writes letters any more right?' Shitttttt,. shit, shit.  

Dear Josh,

Thank you for your letter. I appreciate you taking the time to so neatly present your mobile number at the bottom of an even more neatly presented letter, but as it is ‘national letter writing week,’ which coincidentally was only brought to my attention by the envelope that was pushed through my letterbox this morning by your owl messenger, I thought it apt to reply by the same means.

I hope you get this in time,
I am free Saturday PM

          Chelsea (Girl with number: Mobile number here)

It's funny writing a letter, because you don't really know if they will get it and when they will read it. A little note stating 'seen 10:15am' doesn't come swooping through the letter box once the envelope has been opened. This made it all much more exciting.

A few days later, I was on the bus to meet a friend for dinner, My phone rang with a number I didn't recognise and I presumed it would be my different-mobile-number-a-month friend calling me to tell me she was late, or I was. To my surprise, and I was surprised, I was greeted with a very enthusiastic ‘Hullo there, I’ve just read your letter!’ I'm cant quite re-iterate how I responded or what I sounded like as I was caught off guard and I am crap at talking to people on the phone. It was a bit of a blur. But he heroically kept it brief, telling me he was very much looking forward to Saturday and that he would pick me up at eight. A phrase I only thought apparent in American romcoms. 

Saturday night came around a little quicker than my nerves could handle. But it was refreshing to feel nervous about a date, or rather, refreshing to actually be going on a date after such a long time. Between the exchange of our letters and the movie-like phone call, we had text eachother some lengthy messages. None of that, 'what you up to?' 'Not much you' shit. The texts  showed interest and ingenuity and granted me a comfortable feeling that this quite charming, mature and thoughtful chap who had a 'good place in mind' for our first date, could change my perspective on my poor habit of failed flings and repetitious relationships .

I dressed up in a little black dress which puffed out slightly at the bottom. My asda priced black wedges were ruined by the spilling of sticky drinks and I didn’t want him to know they were the only nice shoes I owned. I wore my little black pumps and a floral jacket and put my hair up all big fifties style. I felt confident and excited, but as the time crept to eight o clock, I couldn't quite seem to calm my pre-date nerves down. A glass of rose wine had to be consumed. 

8.00 p.m. on the dot, my door knocked and my stomach knotted. Five days ago this door was accustomed with a letter written by the very hand that was knocking on it. I couldn't fathom the strange fate of it all. I answered the door, and there he stood in all his charm and glory, tall, handsome, well dressed and even more well-spoken than I could remember after Saturday nights wine, cocktail and vodka intake.

I was nervous, ridiculously nervous. I answered the door and mumbled an ‘oh hello!’ as if I was expecting some other dashing gentleman to arrive at my door. I continued to mumble, signalling for him to follow me upstairs so I could finish my already finished hair (aka glass of rose wine I had stashed in the bathroom to polish off before I left) I went in to the bathroom, finished my wine and hid the glass in the cabinet. I closed my eyes in an impromptu prayer that the evening ahead should go well. Please let it go well, please let it go well.

And of course it did, it went better and beyond well. He took me to a 1920's cocktail bar, almost as if we were persevering the letter writing era. We sipped cocktails at a table in the corner, a candle flame burning in the middle and Jazz music played in the background. It was all very fancy and romantic. and after a few Ginni Hendricks, Josh became a little confident, placing his hands on my waist as I ordered us more cocktails at the bar, on my thigh under the table as if it was a secret, on my face as he leaned in for a kiss over the table. Cautious of the candle mind you.

With more cocktails came more confidence, and I led him to the Jazz fuelled dance-floor. Just as I did the Saturday night prior although not getting so stuck to the floor as i walked. We danced in ways, a little, no, a lot, classier than before. I was being twirled around and tilted back (I didn't even know I could do that shit). I felt like everyone was looking at us, and I LIKED IT. Everything about the evening was perfectly old fashioned, ‘right up my street’ my close friends would say to me when I later swooned over the evening with them the next day ‘And he wrote you a fucking letter!?’

By far, the best and classiest first date I have ever been on, in fact the only date I can really, really class as a real first date. 

This was the start of lots of little romantic dates and meet ups over the subsequent two months.  Our second date rather hastily followed the Sunday morning after the Jazz and Gin. It was a groggy but sophisticated visit to Queens square to look at vintage and retro cars. Again, unintentionally following our old fashioned theme. I felt like I had escaped the twenty first century, looking at cars I didn't know the names of before being treated to eggs benedict. I know darling, I know. 

We agreed we would see more of each other.

As the weeks passed, I got to know Josh quite well. We went to bars, and restaurants, for walks in parks and over bridges. He was charming and funny and he enjoyed it when I mocked his pompousness. When he spoke, especially when making a joke or witty comment, he would follow it up with a loud ‘Uhhhmmm and he'd look at me with his confident eyes as if it was the cue for for me to giggle girlishly. He also said nice things about me, I had nice eyes, I was funny and that he could tell I really cared for people close to me. 

The thing I most liked about Josh, was that he remembered shit. My favourite film, what was on my work agenda, why I died my hair ginger. He was interested in me and what I had to say. He also remembered I had a thing for canned lemonade drinks, so when I went round to his one night and he had stocked up on a six pack and had them chilled in the fridge ready for my arrival, I knew I was in the right place.

One evening, he promised to take me to the best lemonade place in town. As we walked underneath the pretty lights reflecting the harbour, he sat down with his legs dangling over the water. I sat down beside him as he pulled out two cans of lemonade out of his bag. He was an old romantic.

Of course, in the romantic life of Chelsea - the old fashioned love story does not continue. I won’t delve in to the dark and complex depths of my mind, but after eight weeks, I still wasn't getting where I wanted to be, or where I thought I would be with Josh. Perhaps alter ego Sheila go the better of me when I cried to my best friend that something must be wrong with me because I wanted to like him more than I did. I wanted to take it further. And I really did, there was nothing I didn't like about him. Ridiculous, I realise. Friends, family members questioned me, hoping I wasn't calling things off because he was 'too nice.' 21st century girl style.

But this wasn't the case. I guess it was when I was round Josh's  house one evening, it was getting late and the poor chap, after all his efforts, charisma and chivalry, was perhaps entitled to 'second base,' and I yes I am referring it to second base despite turning 26 this year.  (In fact I may  forever refer to it in pre-virgin terms , besides I've come a long way since calling it hanky-panky.) I sat up to avoid falling asleep and he asked me if I would like to stay over. I had denied the offer on two occasions before and I still didn't feel ready enough. At this point I think I knew we couldn't continue, because I didn't want to stay over then and I couldn't imagine my self staying over ever. I told him I had an early start and that I would see him the following day. 

That night, my body tossed and turned as did my mind.  The two opposing theories outlined by friends of 'Love at first sight,' or  'Stick at it and then you will feel love' battled with my brain. Neither theory seemed to be working for me.  

I know what you are thinking, or even shouting at the screen right now; ‘WHAT IS EVEN WRONG WITH YOU, YOU TWAT!?’ And that’s fine, because my mind shouted at me in the same accusatory tone.

I suggested we meet for a drink the following day. Arguably more nervous than I was before our first date,I met him at a bar, ordered my self a white wine spritzer, him a beer and I was completely honest. Not so honest that I let him in to the strange and dangerous complexities of my own incomprehensible head, but honest enough to assure him that it wasn't him, it was me - of course I didn't say that 'cause I may as well of just shot myself there and then, but you know what I mean. Without me disclosing too much, he so charmingly understood. He was appreciative and kind. But what else would I have expected.

He went on to say he was glad we didn't take things further, his hands calmed mine as they shook and his assuring  voice calmed my nerves. He mentioned a time in his past where he felt similar. This made me feel more of a human and less of a weird, soulless relationshiphobe. Although ,following this, and I don’t wish to add to my already mounted twat label, he did say: ‘People can be on different paths at different times and it’s a shame. I felt like you do now for a long time, but  after meeting you, I don’t feel like that anymore. But I do understand.’ Inner voice: ‘you’reatwatyou’reatwatyou’reatwat)

We ended our short and sweet fling with a long cuddle, after he dropped me to my house. We both agreed we would ‘still be friends.’ But no further contact has been made. I wish him all the happiness and greatness he deserves.

Maybe he just wasn’t my type. Gah! I don’t even know what my type is? But I can say with confidence that I am no longer the 18 year old girl that likes the bad boys. My mum no longer serenades me with that crap song by an ex-XFactor contestant, so that must mean something 'with the bad boys, are always catching your eye!' Mum used to sing to me when it came on the radio years ago; altering the lyrics slightly whilst pointing her fingers at me accusingly, 'your eye!,'  concealing the jibe as a jovial dance move that wasn’t actually choreographed in the music video. Mum, and readers, the bad boys aren’t catching my eye anymore, in fact no one really is. Maybe, and dare I say it after my complaints and digs at those who have said it to me - ‘I’m not in the right place for a relationship?’

I’m in the right place for myself though, and I think that’s the problem. Even though its not a problem. I am happy being on my own - and I use the term lightly because I am not really on my own at all.  I am surrounded by a beautiful family and friendship circle. I have a lot of love to give and I am happy giving it to them. For the first time, I am doing things for me, I’m doing things that I wouldn’t do normally if I was still residing in my little ghost town in Devon (went to see the ballet the other day, I mean come on!) I have time to write, to be, and I wouldn’t be doing all this if I was in a relationship with someone I was unsure about (and people do that!)  And whilst doing these new things, visiting new places, I do not wish to be stringing anyone along because I have been strung along, and its ‘orrible. I  will NEVER allow myself to do that to someone else, cause, that’s a bad habit. I will continue to neaten my handwritten name, and step on the drain before the car overtakes me, but the habit of meeting people and holding out for something that isnt quite there, is a habit i have broken. Startingggg....now.