Got to get a rain check on pain

I am amassing a nice little pile of begging letters to our Facilities department to order me a new chair. For the last month I have been sat on something that is less comfortable than a bicycle without a seat and now my back is in constant pain.

Which is nice and could have been avoided if they had ORDERED ME A NEW CHAIR.
Which they still haven't done. Yayyy... hurray for working whilst high on painkillers though. Ooooooh. Muscle relaxant anti-inflammatory goodness. Mmmmmm.
Speaking of backs and bicycles - yesterday I was walking to work, enjoying the peaceful quiet of the streets of Cross Green and humming along to Pink Floyd when I was almost run over by a cyclist.
The dickless piece of shit was cycling on the pavement, sans helmet and had no bell to signal his approach so given that he was coming at me from behind and I was wearing GINORMOUS Skull Candy Headphones I don't know how he expected me to get out of the way.
I also don't know why, given that he was going against the highway code and cycling on the pavement instead of the road - and might I add on the right hand side of the street instead of the left - and nearly ran me over that he had the cheek, the CHEEK to then say "get out of the way you fucking hunchback" to me.
You see I have this slight curvature to the top of my spine. It's called a Dowager's Hump and it's super super sexy. Mine is not too severe and is easily disguised by wearing my hair down and avoiding letting people take pictures of me from the side. It does cause backaches and headaches if I don't watch my posture and given the history of osteoperosis in my family I am resigned to the fact that I am likely going to be shaped like a question mark later in life with a wicked big Quasimodo hump on the back of my neck and vertebrae crumbling like wet cake.
I had my hair tied up in my "I'm just going to get in the shower and not wash my hair" topknot which meant that my neck was exposed and that's how he saw my tiny hump.
It's the first time that anyone has ever noticed it and I discovered yesterday after writing about it on my OD that lots of people that I know have them and that the cyclist was a prick.
I did what any woman called a hunchback by a cyclist would do. I chased after him, grabbed the back of his saddle and told him to obey the highway code. He did not apologise for calling me a hunchback but I am sure that given the laws of karma someone will be scraping him from a nasty nipple-burning skid along the pavement any minute now.

Actually no one used the word prick... but they did amuse me very much with other profanities. 

And as a result of my hurty back I am going to a chiropractor on Saturday. That is if my chair hasn't crippled me over the next 2 days and rendered me immobile. COME ON FACILITIES PULL YOUR FINGER OUT!

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Fame by David Bowie


Good morning to you and to you and to you (but not you),

Yesterday I commenced my usual love/hate relationshop with Stylist by tweeting about all the beautiful things that I cannot afford within its awesome pages.

And then, THEN I noticed an advert for Emerald Street which is a new e-newsletter. If I signed up I was offered the chance to win £1000 of Jimmy Choo shoes (Just 1 1/2 pairs then!?!) which given that I haven't chosen shoes for The Brother's Wedding yet would come in very handy.

So I signed myself up and then today received my first email.

Reader, I married it. (Thank you Jane Eyre) Tailored just for me to all the fabulous events happening in Leeds this bank holiday weekend (oh haiiii cupcakes, cocktails, tea dance and Mad Hatter's tea party!) it was without a doubt the best email I received today.

So I memailed the lovely people at Emerald Street to tell them so and (noting their geographical location) offered my services as a bona fide Leeds lass willing to recommend fabulous places to promote. Those of my lovely friends who run or market companies in this fair city, I am your new best friend. Bring me a cupcake.

And speaking of shoes for weddings. I am now convinced that I have to go Kurt Geiger (DAMN YOU STYLIST!) because they have the right, bright suede heels (and options for black and white should I shy away from colour at the last minute) and thankfully today I got an email offering me 25% off. So what if at the moment I can't even afford that?

SHOES ARE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT! So refresh your memories as to The Dress I'm wearing and then let me know what you think of these beauties to go with it.

Alexandra - £120 (because you can't beat a good Mary Jane)

Gypsy - £140 (because it's a summer wedding)

Echinacea - £150 (because black goes with everything)

Eveline - £160 (because white would really pop against blue - wait, did I just say "pop"?)

Honolulu - £85 (because I want colour colour colour and they'd match my living room too)

Gypsy - £79 (because they'd match the dress and they're cheaper than the yellow ones!)

They will be mine. Oh yes they will. (Thank you Wayne's World)

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Fashion by David Bowie

You've read it in the tea leaves

Stop children what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down...

Following on from this post where I sang the glory of Royal Mail and its impact upon my giddiness, today the postman brought me more deliciousness courtesy of Teapigs.

I am now (especially with The Boy being away) in an exclusive relationship with Teapigs. Once one has drunk tea from a tea temple one can never revert back to ucky bags full of tea dust again - I do still buy loose leaf tea (especially lavender. Teapigs PLEASE bring out a lavender tea and then you'll have my exclusive custom!) but otherwise I'm a teapigs girl through and through.

Despite being a water junkie - I go through a box of Chai, Chocolate Assam and Darjeeling Earl Grey every month - and also drink Jasmine and Chamomile whenever the mood strikes. I also love with Chilli Chai, Peppermint and rooibus creme caramel. Basically all teapigs is good teapigs. BUY BUY BUY.

Sod religion, enlightening the nation with good tea is a much worthier pursuit.

The lovely Hannah at Teapigs sent me a fistful of glory through the post - I now have Jasmine, Superfruit, Lemon and ginger, Lemongrass, Chamomile and Tung Ting Oolong to play with.

THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY! Speaking of which - I know it's only 1 month old but I am shamelessly promoting Everything Goes With Toast to win an Observer Food Monthly award. Vote for me please!

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Wonderworld by David Bowie

And the sluts that they tow

So this morning I was walking to work, my Fit Flops slap slap slapping against the Yorkshire stone and listening to a little Bowie when my HTC shuffled its way to Paula Cole's Feelin' Love.
It's a song that I had in my collection as part of the City of Angels Soundtrack - stuffed full of Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morisette and Goo Goo Dolls it makes for good bath music. Not that I have a bath *scowls at The Boy* but you know, I used to.

I had never listened to this song through my Skull Candys before though and therefore never noticed the lyrics.

If you've seen the film it's the song which plays softly as Meg Ryan lays in the bath rolling a cold beer bottle over her forehead whilst Nicholas Cage perves over her.

Within seconds I was absolutely wetting myself with laughter.

"You make me feel like the Amazon's running between my thighs"

"You make me feel like a candy apple - red and horny"

"I would open the door and I'd be all wet with my tits soaking through the tiny little t-shirt that I'm wearing"

I am not kidding - those are the lyrics.
Go Paula Cole!!


Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Port Of Amsterdam by David Bowie

Makes no sense at all

I was vastly amused by a site called "Yes, that can be my next tweet" today

Merriment commence...

I feel that if used apropriately this could bring about the complete decline of the English language. Bring it.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: As The World Falls Down by David Bowie

Torn up by the emotional distance

I was recently talking to a darling butter-scented friend of mine about surviving separation (her hubby is working abroad for 3 months) and realised that I am currently in a long-distance relationship and have been for some time.

Since January The Boy has been away for 3-6 days of every week of this year so far (excluding the week we went to the Lakes on holiday of course) which means that at best I see him for 2 days a week, and we live together!

And it's hard, it's so hard because whilst I'm obviously greedy and I want him home with me, I am also 100% behind his new job which is a great challenge for him. I'm so proud of how hard he works and it's nice for me to be with someone who understands my drive and commitment. It's not uncommon for me to work 12-14 hours a day though I have been a lot better at sticking to 10 lately. (mainly because I've needed every second of my free time to work on the house and get it ready for The New Zealanders, but also because work/life balance is important and there's only room for one stressed person in our house and that's The Boy!)

I have some advice on how I personally  survive this long distance relationship.

Work out together how much contact you would both appreciate, how much contact you can feasibly commit to and meet in the middle if necessary.
I'm not insecure about our relationship, I have no trust issues and so for me I don't NEED him to keep in touch regularly for me to feel reassured or comfortable about our relationship.

I know plenty of people who do have these problems and communication is the only way to get through it in my opinion. If you're insecure then a long distance relationship will be absolutely horrible, especially for the person you're in one with.
In our situation the contact between us is frequesnt purely because I miss him and want to talk to him. We didn't need to really plan how often we would speak, it just sort of happened! The Boy calls or texts me every morning and calls me every night and I am aware that from 8am - 8pm he is rarely available to speak to.

2) Don't resent them or punish them for being away from you.
Yes it's frustrating when you don't have a date to family events or social engagements and when you miss out on doing things together that you both want to do but remember that you signed up for this, you accepted that this is the way the relationship is whilst they're away and it's every bit as hard on them as it is on you. If you can't deal with it then you shouldn't be in the relationship.

3) Take time for yourself.Don't sit around at home moping, use the time that you have at your disposal to do something constructive, to spend with friends and family or to just do the things that you always wished that you got time to do but never seem to manage when they're there.
Now is the time to paint your toenails, apply fake tan (because they're not there to complain about sleeping next to someone who smells of mouldy biscuits!), curl up in front of a chick flick that they would never want to watch, dance around the house in your pants and sing along to bad music without feeling self-conscious.

If like me you have a sufficient streak of crazy then this is also the time to spend 4 hours lovingly scrubbing the tile grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush soaked with chemicals, or to colour co-ordinate your wardrobe or alphabetise your CDs.

Cook the things you like to cook, have hummus on toast for dinner or the peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches that make them retch.

4) Stay positive and make the best of it.
Surviving time apart makes you appreciate the time that you have together. I miss you best beloved. Only 2 more sleeps!

If you're in a long-distance relationship, or have ever been - how do you survive the time apart?

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: The Cynic by David Bowie

Sick and tired

The repulsive rash that I had all over my face on Friday had mostly cleared up by Saturday, except for a little redness but annoyingly I then spent the entire of Sunday vomiting like crazy.
Literally every single time I moved so much as my head from the pillow I was swimming with nausea and had to run to the bathroom to vomit. I was trying to keep hydrated but every time I took a sip of water it made me sick so by Sunday evening my lips were dry and my skin was grey. I've looked and felt better but glad I managed to drag myself into the office because I now have 12 email campaigns on the go and a number of other projects so it would have been awful to get behind.
Plus what am I going to do at home? Lie there feeling sorry for myself? No THANK YOU!
What with The Pneumonia and then getting Gastroenteritis recently I've had more than enough time away from my beloved job. Short of one of my legs falling off (which could happen to be fair, it's warm enough to have my FitFlops back on so my muscles are feeling it!) I aint having another day off.
This weekend I got The Boy on Friday and Saturday and we had a lovely time curled up on a ferocious pink blanket and some pillows in the sunshine reading. (Cisco revision for him, poetry for me)
We also had lots of friends round for an impromptu Saturday afternoon session of food, drink and Lips on the X-Box.

I stole some of these pictures from Facebook (you will notice the difference between my mobile phone camera and the awesomeness that is my friends cameras!) to make this blog post a little cheerier.
Before all of the fun and games started we found time to drop by the Mother & Baby Show at The Corn Exchange to say hi to my exceptionally talented photographer friend Adele (read her blog Blue Lights Photography here) who was kind enough to give me a balloon and The Boy and our guests some lollipops. Who says we have to be grown ups?!

And of course I had to pay homage to The Bowie with a spirited yet tuneless rendition of Let's Dance on Lips.

And there were plenty of "L for Lianne" moments too. Do you like the bunny ears? A gift from one of my esteemed guests Chelle who is also a blogger I'd recommend reading.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Don't Let Me Down & Down by David Bowie

I've got moon, I've got sun, LIGHTNING LIGHTNING!

"Though we pass our time along these stones may not percieve the marks we make today they will endure; our ways are scoring lines into the song of us and will not fade away"
These words have been etched into the paving stones between Debenhams and Zara on Briggate, in the shadow of the hawthorne trees with their white flowers and I pass them every morning, wondering who wrote them.

Leeds is full of beautiful secrets like this. At lunchtime I was basking in the sun on our balcony at work with The Marsh and Rocky, two of our fabulous QA trainers and discovered that Leeds has an open-toppped bus tour! I never knew. Mental!

My lunch hour was lovely. First I had a brief but satisfying gossip on the phone with Delly, my glorious tog friend (HIRE HER HIRE HER! Her company is Blue Lights Photography and she's AMAZING!), then I went to Waterstones with the intention of buying a Rilke and Maya Angelou book because after The Big Book Clearout I realised that I seem to be missing my poetry collection.

I left Waterstones £40 lighter (oh fuck, what is wrong with me!?) and the owner of Rilke - on love and other difficulties, Maya Angelou - and still I rise, Baudelaire - the flowers of evil and Paris spleen, Patti Smith - early work and Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White, a book which I got out from the library about 5 years ago and LOVED, then watched the first part of the recent BBC adaptation last night which is FABULOUS. I'm actually really glad that Andrew Davies didn't do it, as much as I love his adaptations (hello! Pride & Prejudice! *growls* and Tipping The Velvet to name but two) he simply could not have done something this rippling with darkness justice.

So an orgy of literary which I plan to indulge in this weekend. I took my Maya Angelou and a Fentiman's Rose Lemonade to our balcony and tried to soak up some sun on my face.

Oh, didn't I mention? I woke up this morning, took a shower and then looked in the mirror to see that my right eye was covered in angry red blotches. I rinsed my face in cold water and then applied my Gorgeous (thank you Lush!) as usual and noticed a few moments later that it was all around both eyes and cheeks and my forehead and spreading rapidly.

It's not the moisturiser - I've used it for years, I haven't done anything else different like changed washing powders or eaten something new. I have no idea what it is but we're going to a wedding tonight and if my face still looks like this then I'm not bloody going!

OK so I probably will because I'm not that vain but I'll still flounce about it!

I didn't dare apply mascara or eyeliner because whilst it's not sore, it is angry looking. I left the house and scared our builders who stared at me in open mouthed horror. Thanks guys, really, thanks.

This is what it looked like this morning as it had started to spread. I know the light is behind me (Delly, you'd think I'd have learned not to do this with a friend like you!) so it's a crap picture but you should be able to see the lobster leprosy. Sorry that I'm sans maquillage... I know it's hard to look at... *laughs*

Oh I hope it goes away!
Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr

Title: Lightning Frightening by David Bowie

There is a happy land

OK I have OFFICIALLY made the transition from "meh" to "OH MY GOD I'M, LIKE, TOTALLY HIGH ON EUPHORIA MAAAAN!!!"
And it's mostly as a result of Royal Mail. Oh yes. Really.
Things which have arrived for me this week.
1) A duck-down stuffed cushion made by the fair hands of my exceptionally talented colleague Amanda. I don't call her Queen of Design for nuffin. THANK YOU!
2) 3 lavender bags that smell of GLORY from my darling friend Nadia
3) The New Vacuum Cleaner (which to be fair, I ordered and paid for but it arrived A DAY EARLY!
4) A letter from Ipsos who think I'm still One Of Europe's Most Senior And Influential Business Executives (despite me not working as Head of Marketing any more, and to be fair I didn't think I was all THAT influential and deserving of this moniker. But whatever!) which enclosed an actual £5 note. For me. Haha!
I didn't think that today could get any better and then The Boy announced he was coming home early, and stopping by my office for a quick snog and to take The New Vacuum Cleaner home for me. The Curtains are up in the living room so the living room is nearly complete.
The Tenants by the way are absolutely lovely and not at all psychotic, messy slobby people (though not from Australia, New Zealand.) My sandwich (hummus, feta and tomato on La Brea olive loaf) is the best sandwich I have ever tasted, the sun is shining, my Teapigs tastes even better than usual (surely not possible, it is fo shizz the best tea ever made) and I AM GOING TO ANNOY EVERYONE IF I KEEP SQUEEING LIKE THIS!!!
But I don't care.
Because now that I'm not stressed I have taken a one-way-trip to happy and I'm bloody staying there.
*flings glitter at you and skips away singing*

!!! super sweet edit !!!

OK - so you know I said that this day couldn't get any better?
Well our receptionist had a last minute meeting so I was just covering reception for an hour and covertly eating biscuits (which is not allowed on reception. It's unprofessional) when a delivery driver tipped up.

"I have a delivery for you" he said somewhat pointlessly.
"Ooooh is it cake?" I quipped.
"bet you weren't expecting THAT were you?" he said, and then he offloaded his delivery of toilet rolls and left me wishing that I could indeed eat this easter egg but it's made primarily of soya, like all chocolate these days.


and then... then I had an email from The Email Provider Who Have Caused Me So Much Stress For The Last Month inviting me to fill in a survey about my experience with them and win £200 of vouchers for something swanky. Well... click click boom. YOU WANTED TO KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING?

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: There Is A Happy Land by David Bowie

In times of war and stress

Until about 8pm last night I was in the final throes of my plan to get the house ready for The Australians to move in on Thursday. The Boy is away AS USUAL (what, am I shouting? I'm not shouting) so it's just me and thankfully my Daddy who is coming round on Thursday morning to put some special tape on the radiator in the living room, to help me get the new curtain rail and curtains up in the living room, put the blind up in the kitchen, help me re-hang the door to their bedroom and take off my bedroom door, shave 3mm off it and put it back.
So last night, knowing that I would be spending Wednesday night cleaning the house (I clean 2-3 times a week, deal with it) and checking final details I had planned to treat myself to a night to myself. I wanted to get home from work by 6pm, pamper myself in the shower, smother myself in moisturiser, put on some fresh pyjamas and curl up on the sofa with a quick dinner, cake, a good movie and a Lush facepack. And do nothing. That was the key - no need to talk to anyone, do anything, just have one entire evening where I only have to think of myself.
I didn't get it. At 5:15 the email campaign I had spent 2 HOURS creating did not save thanks to the bag of shit system that we are thankfully moving away from soon. I got home at 8pm after starting the entire thing again. NOT a happy bunny.
No sooner had I got home, the Cricket Club which is arranging for The Australians to be our tenants alerted me to the fact that they are now coming a day early, on Wednesday. TONIGHT in other words. So last night I got out the hoover (which promptly broke) and cried, realising that I am not going to have the house prepared for them. I'm sure they won't care that one of them will have to help me put their door on, the house is as clean as it can be when you've swept the carpet and tried to pick up lint with a hand wrapped in sellotape but whilst it won't make a difference to them - it makes a difference to me.

This didn't work out the way it was supposed to and I am freaking out.

I wanted that night. I needed that night. Now I won't have any time alone for the next 6 months because when The Boy is away we will still have The Australians. I'm sure they're going to be lovely and we'll have fun and it will be nice to have company but whilst I am good at living with a boyfriend, I have never done the flatmates or housemates thing. The Boy's mother lived with us for a big chunk of last year and I learned quite a lot from that experience.

I want them to feel welcome, I love having houseguests but this is going to be strangely different - instead of me looking after a guest for the weekend, I'll be sharing the kitchen, bathroom, living room, washing machine... house with people who are also living there. People who consider it their space too. For 6 months.

So wish me luck. I've had a stressful few months preparing for them, I've fallen at the last hurdle but that's not my fault after all. I just want all of this stress to have been worth it.

I bought a dress for my brother's wedding by the way. Here it is on the dummy, and on me (please note I wasn't wearing the right bra - it will hang better with cleavage). Now I just need to find the right shoes. There are tons of gorgeous shoes in bright blues or contrasting primary colours that would look great, but I am thinking that I might go for silver shoes and clutch or cream. Then I can match my hat and wrap too. What do we think?

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Telling Lies by David Bowie

Relax, unbelievable

So this weekend is our last together alone before The Australians arrive next week.
Friday night was spent in rhapsodies over the tempura avocado, pomegranate cosmopolitans and coconut and mango ice cream at Little Tokyo with Rach, one of my oldest friends.
After dinner we came back to road test The New Living Room by curling up on the sofa under a blanket with Made In Dagenham which was excellent.

The Boy arrived home at midnight to me heroically waiting up so that I could greet him with a kiss and a cuddle and receive my traditional forehead kiss. Thank you to Norwegian Wood for keeping me enthralled enough to remain awake. I do so love Haruki Murakami.

On Saturday morning I was informed that his car would not return to us until Tuesday (and he's, predictably away AGAIN next week!) so I showered and dragged him on a bus to IKEA so that I could procure curtains, towels and tealights.

On the way we stopped at Patisserie Valerie for our traditional breakfast - Eggs Florentine for me, Eggs Benedict for him and a tisane of loose leaf tea each.

They have new saucers which are all upside down and weird.

When we got to Patisserie Valerie he buggared off somewhere, only to return with a mysterious gift for me (Rach this is what he said he was trying to find yesterday!) - Ten Poems about Tea with an intro by Sophie Dahl whom I utterly love.

If you don't know why this is such a great gift for me then I suggest you backtrack to this previous blog post of mine!

IKEA disappointed me vastly. I wanted some red voile curtains to soften the window and a nice cream rollerblind. It took about 18 attempts for me to explain to The Boy that the blind was there to block out light in the event of screen glare (we don't need them for privacy, our living room is a flight of stairs up from the street) and it didn't matter that the curtains were completely transparent - they were there to soften the window not be functional.

It was a moot point, they didn't have the right red voile, the black voile just looked cheap and nasty and the only red curtains they had in the right shade were velvet with a rouched top meant for curtain hooks when I wanted eyelets or tab tops. I briefly considered some cream curtains but changed my mind. A burgeoning strop was surpressed on my part and neutralised by the purchase of many, many candles. Because let's face it one can never have too many candles. We happened upon Next before catching the bus home and amazingly I found some red tab top curtains which were the right shade. £65 later (OUCH!) we were headed for home.

The Boy went straight up to his office to work *rolls eyes* and I decided that after doing laundry, cleaning, unpacking candles and groceries I would treat myself to some relaxation.

I made some poicamole (recipe can be found on My Other Blog) which I smothered on La Brea honey and wheat baguette, smothered strawberry jam on a scone and poured myself some Earl Gay Teapigs and curled up with Left Bank (I must have read this 50 times but I still love it!) and Morcheeba playing softly in the background.

In a few moments I'm going to get up and make The Boy a fabulous meal - lamb rolled in a minted breadcrumb coating, honey roast parsnips, green beans wrapped in bacon and some mustard mash. Then I'm going to curl up in front of Dexter with a pot of Lush face mud.
For now I'm enjoying the light turning the tree outside our window the colour of flame, and shining through the blood red poppies that I treated myself to.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: The Bewlay Brothers by David Bowie