Friday, March 31, 2006

Feast For Friday, And Other Things

So. It turns out that the male readers of this blog have a certain penchant for dungarees. Thing is, right, that I can sort of see what you mean. In a Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Sister Act II sort of a way they are cool. Rest assured that I would not look like that in a pair of dungarees, and it is for this reason as well as many others that I shall not be attempting to initiate a Dungaree Revival (although that would be a good song title for Sister Act II).

It is Friday, so we must feast in celebration.

Name 3 things that you think are strange.

1. Peaked woollen caps. I don't understand them. I am hoping that now the weather is warming up a bit all those silly girls will stop wearing them. They are horrible.

2. When people spit in the street. If I am taking 'strange' to mean 'really really disgusting', which I am for this one. Also for the last one. Spitting in the street and wearing nasty headwear are equally bad habits and should be made hanging offences.

3. People not being able to pronounce my name, even if I explain it to them over and over again. People have gone for years without managing to get it right. Three syllables, for some people apparently, is an insurmountable challenge that will puzzle them until their death beds. Which will be sooner than they think if they keep pronouncing my name wrong.

What was the last ceremony you attended?

I'm not sure.

My Dad's CBE ceremony? Although I didn't actually go to the ceremony, to be honest. The question isn't, however, 'What was the last ceremony you didn't attend?' so that doesn't count.

Although if that was the question it would be much easier. I didn't attend a ceremony just this morning.

What is one lesson you have learned in the past year?

I can't think of anything positive to write in this bit. I keep trying to think of good lessons but my cynicism keeps bubbling up. I am choosing, therefore, not to answer.

Main Course
Tell us about one of your childhood memories.

Once my sister Alex and I were walking to the post box around the corner from our house. In my mind's eye Alex was perhaps ten, so I would have been eight. It was summer, late afternoon. I think I was barefoot.

Alex was skipping, and with each skip she was jumping further and further into the air. Her face was turned towards me, her eyebrows raised and a huge grin on her face as she demonstrated to me how high she could skip. Each one higher than the last as I laughed in encouragement.

Then she skipped into a lamp post.

It was like a cartoon. "Boing!" and flat on the pavement.

I remember laughing, until she cried and had a nasty bruise on her head. Then I felt guilty for laughing and we went home.

If you could extend any of the four seasons to be twice as long as normal, which season would you want to lengthen?

If I am taking Autumn to be warm and colourful, but sometimes crisp, then Autumn. If, however, I am more realistic and it is rainy with the odd sunny day, then I would choose Summer.


The CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) was good. I liked my therapist, Sarah, and she said at the end of the session that she thought that CBT could really help me.

She said I had self-esteem problems. She said other things, too. Lots of things were said and it felt positive. Good. Only a little bit scary. I was open with her, and I felt relaxed and honest.

I am beginning to hope a little bit. Only a little bit, though. We're not quite ready to crack out the celebratory dungarees yet.

Tomorrow my sister Sophie (Paris-living, impish) is coming home as it is her twenty-first birthday. She has hired out a place and has invited lots of people to sing and play and DJ and things. My friend Lily will be tassel twirling. I will not be joining her. I will, however, be singing my own songs. I hope to get some photos and maybe a video clip on my website.

I'm looking forward to seeing Sophie, who will be getting a bus and a ferry with about eight friends today. I'm looking forward to seeing Alex (who, you will be relieved to know, has since recovered from the skipping/lamp post incident) and I am looking forward to the whole thing. I haven't decided what to wear, yet. I am thinking some sort of dungaree/peaked woollen cap combination. Perhaps I'll wear the cap sideways on.

One more thing before I go:

Googlers: You are my friends, too! I got the feeling that I had offended Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous Googler who commented. I don't want to dissuade the people who Google to get here from reading, it's just that I want the people who know that I would be uncomfortable knowing they read it to use some discretion, that's all. What a very tangled sentence that was. I can imagine language students having trouble with that one.

On that note I hope you all have a pretty and dungaree-filled weekend, and remember to watch out for lamp posts.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You know what disconcerts me?

People typing my name into Google and reaching my blog.

I am going to go through and find all the points where my first and last names appear together, and remove them.

Who is Googling me? It's more than a few people. Is it you, perhaps?

I would like people to Google me and find my website (see sidebar links).

I don't have anything to hide, and anything I really wish to remain secret, or anything too personal I obviously won't post on the Internet.

Still, it is disconcerting. I have devised a fool-proof strategy.


Dear People Who Have Arrived Here From Google,

Hello. Welcome to my blog.

If, for whatever reason, you suspect that I may not want you to read it, kindly bugger off.

I thank you.


There. That should stop it.


I have decided that I am too tired to date. Dates are tiring. I can't be bothered with it all.

It's too much work and I am too cynical at the moment. If someone really likes me I either think they must be a bit deluded, or that they don't really know me yet. If they don't like me I beat myself up. Neither is good for my state of mind.

Luckily I am going to therapy tonight so I will be a better person and emotionally available and secure and, um, chirpy in no time at all. I assume.

I think my options regarding men are as follows:

1. Ignore. Refuse all offers, declare myself a no-go area for the forseeable future. Perhaps start wearing dungarees.
2. Become a femme fatale. Go out with men, lead them on and then break their hearts. Perhaps take up smoking through a long cigarette holder and practice drumming long red fingernails on hard surfaces.
3. Look for the nearest person who will love me and rely on them for all affection and self-esteem. Do anything they ask me to, ignoring the advice of my friends. I suspect this will involve becoming very good at household chores and maybe being about seventy-million times meeker than I am. Which is not at all.
4. Sleep around.

Hmmm. Numbers two and three are definitely out. My nails are too short and I am rubbish at both household chores and being meek.

A combination of one and four, I think. I will try to draw the line at dungarees, though. Also sleeping around will be a lot trickier if I start wearing dungarees. I will refuse all offers of emotional attachments, and only sleep with people I feel nothing for.

I will explain this all in therapy tonight. I am sure my therapist will think it's a champion idea. Healthy, I think.

I am nervous about tonight. I have no idea what to expect.

I went to counselling when I was at uni, after certain horrible experiences that I had relating to someone who may or may not read this blog and who doesn't deserve to have my pain highlighted once again. The counselling was good. I loved my counsellor, she looked like Cate Blanchett and seemed to be geniunely moved by what I had to say. I hated the first few sessions, though, because I felt I had to justify why I was there. I seem to recall repeating "I'm fine, though!" in a somewhat high-pitched voice. "Sorry! I shouldn't be here, really! Because I'm fine!" And I rarely use exclamation marks, so that was odd.

That was different, though, because that was free. A service provided by the university. My CBT is not free. Not by a long way. My Dad is paying for it, because my parents want to make me better, they want me to stop cutting my arms.

It is so strange writing that. It is strange that it is true. The urge to delete it is overwhelming. I don't want you to think I do that.

I am scared she is going to ask me why I react to things like that. I'm scared she's going to ask me why I feel so scared of being hurt by the world that I have to get in there first and prove that nothing and nobody can hurt me as much as I can hurt myself.

I am scared because I'm not sure that knowing why or what triggers it will make me stop feeling so hopeless. That the solutions won't really be solutions.

The thing is that as long as I have resisted help, I have been able to console myself that there is some out there, and that it will save me. If the help doesn't work then there is nothing left but to live with it.

Which seems impossible.

So, to sum up: I am scared that therapy won't help me. I am scared that my obsessive dungaree-wearing will hinder my soon-to-be promiscuity. I don't want to go on any more dates.

Oh, and Google disconcerts me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Missives

The main news this Monday morning is that I have not been killed by a rogue hairdressing Brazilian who sits on the Northern Line looking for innocent young girls to lure into his Salon of Pain in order to give them faux-trendy haircuts with all sorts of mismatched blonde spikes and asymmetrical fringes.

I am safe, and my hair is still long and a bit of a mess. Not even in a trendy way, it's just a bit messy.

The thing is, you see that a couple of things happened to prevent me going to meet Leo: Tube Etiquette Disregarder of Brazil.

1. I had to go to Battersea on Saturday afternoon to give something to my sister Sophie's friend so that she could take it back to Paris and give it to Sophie. By the time I made it back to my flat I had very wet feet as I had ill-advisedly gone out in a pair of small slippers designed for summer, and it was not so much summery as very, very rainy and horrible. I know that having wet feet does not preclude going on dates, but I was feeling a little sorry for myself by the time I got home. Then, if you add this up with the second thing, that
2. I met someone else on Friday night, you will see why I was reticent.

I know, I know. Don't, however, start assuming that I am a brazen hussy who goes around meeting men everywhere and promising them dates all the time. I don't. Not every single day. Twice, three times a week, max.

I went to a party with my friend Chris on Friday night. I was just about to leave, had my jacket on and everything, when a chap came up to me and introduced himself. I had actually seen him through the throng (thRong, I said, it wasn't that kind of a party) and had thought that he was somewhat attractive. In my internal monologue, of course, I used the word 'hunky', but I am changing it to 'somewhat attractive' for your benefit, to make myself seem more grown up.

We chatted and he asked if he could take me out for a drink on Monday night, an invitation I accepted.

So you see, I know that in Sex and The City people go on multiple dates all the time, and that it is not only normal but postively encouraged, but that is in America. In America people go out on dates with more than one person in a week and that is fine. The thing is, you see, I am not from America. Clapham is not America, even though it is similar because there is a McDonalds and you do sometimes see fat people*.

*Just a little joke. There are no fat people in Clapham.

So, when Leo called early Saturday evening I couldn't quite bring myself to answer. I felt too guilty. Which, yes I know, is ridiculous.

After consulting with my wise flatmates I decided to call him back after he sent me a nice text which I read out to myself in a Brazilian accent. We arranged to meet later in the week.

So I have two dates, basically. In one week. I am, basically, Samantha from Sex and the City. Except without the dress sense or the good job or the blonde hair.

Actually I have THREE dates! If you count my appointment with the cognitive behavioural therapist tomorrow, which I most certainly do. I have a feeling I'll score with that one.

(I am about to start a paragraph completely unrelated in anyway to anything I have previously mentioned in this post and I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to ignore that fact. Thank you.)

Tassel twirling! Was yesterday evening.

I will give you a snapshot.

A dance studio, about six metres by ten. Pale wooden floors, a cactus in one corner*. A mirror down the length of one wall. Coats and bags and shoes and tops and bras all in one corner.

Twenty women, naked from the waist up, bar two sequinned tassels each, bouncing on the balls of their feet and scrutinizing themselves in the mirror.

"My left one won't do it!"

"I've lost a tassel!"

"Oh my God! You're doing it! That's great!"

"Is that a camera up there? In that corner?"

The last one isn't a real quote.

It was, as predicted, so much fun. My pasties (pronounced waist-y as opposed to the pasty of the Cornish variety) have red sequins and black tassels. For an hour and a half my friend Lily guided us through the basics of the art of tassel twirling, and walked around giving us all advice and encouragement. I met some other women with whom I exchanged email addresses.

After the tassel twirling there was a fan dancing workshop which I stayed on for, and we learned how to, well, dance with fans. The teacher had these beautiful white fans that were about five foot long. The movement is so graceful and the fans are controlled with flicks of the wrist and arcs of the arms. I loved the fan dancing, the elegance and simplicity of it really appealed to me.

I brought my pasties home with me and am planning on sticking them on display somewhere, with the sole purpose of scaring my flatmates with the constant threat of me getting drunk and staging a demonstration.

This week, then, is looking a bit packed out. Dates, therapy, and some music stuff.

Also Sophie is coming back from Paris at the weekend as it is her twenty-first birthday on Saturday, and she has arranged her party in London. It is an extravaganza, with DJs from Amsterdam, some Latin American funk band, some burlesque, and oh, yes, me. Singing my own songs for the first time to an audience.

I may or may not be scared. I haven't worked it out yet.

I think I will just wear my tassels, then no one will notice if my songs are rubbish. I think this will work a treat.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.

*I assumed this was to punish people whose wild dance routines spin wildly out of control. After a few hours picking cactus spikes out of various parts of your anatomy I am sure you'd learn the importance of precision in the art of modern dance.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tube Talk

On the tube this morning there were four people reading the Metro. There was a woman reading 'Anna Karenin'. There was another woman reading 'Lies, and the Lying Liars That Tell Them'. Sounds like a lighthearted read, then.

Last night at about eight thirty I got on the tube and found a seat. The carriage wasn't packed but all the seats were taken and there were perhaps two or three people standing.

I glanced around the carriage, scanning the faces of the other passengers. As I looked around I caught a man looking at me. I looked back at him, feeling somewhat brazen thanks to the three glasses of wine I'd had. We held eye contact until he smiled slightly at me. I smiled slightly as well, looking down at my lap quickly. Glancing back I noticed he was still smiling at me, amused by my sudden coyness. I smiled into my scarf, trying to force my face into seriousness, but as I stole a quick look at him his smile made me lose control of my own and I burst out into a grin, turning my face away from him as he laughed gently at my embarrassment.

As the train pulled into a station someone opposite me stood up and left, and the man stood up as well. He sat down in the recently vacated seat, smiling somewhat shyly at me.

"Hi. What's your name?" he said in accented tones.

"Léonie. What's yours?"

"Leonardo. Where are you from?"

"I live in London. Where are you from?"

"Brazil. I've lived in London for three years, though. I'm a hairdresser. And a masseuse."

He was very goodlooking. Not too goodlooking, though. He looked down at his hands every so often as he spoke.

He was returning a laptop he had borrowed from a friend in Finchley.
I was on my way to a party.

The person sitting next to him got up and left the train, and he gestured to me to come and sit next to him, raising his eyebrows as he motioned to the seat next to him. Still smiling. Still a little shyly.

As a girl got up to leave at Euston she caught my eye and grinned at me, winking.

We swapped numbers, after he offered to cut my hair on Saturday afternoon. After five sometime.

'Cut my hair'. Said with a smile.

At Camden I stood up to leave and we kissed on both cheeks.

"See you soon, then, Léonie."

"See you soon, Leo."

I stepped off the train and stood on the escalator, going up, and still smiling.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Twirly Girl

This Sunday I am doing a workshop.

Tassel twirling.

The teacher, Lily, is a good friend of mine and I signed up a while ago. I will get pasties for free when I go in. Pasties are the nipple tassels. You stick them on, then you bounce on the balls of your feet. The directions they spin in depends on where your arms are.

I am so looking forward to it. So very much.

Standing in a room with a load of topless women all bouncing will be one of the funniest experiences to date, I think.
I wonder what the other women will be like. Will they be crazed burlesquers, or people just doing it for a laugh? Somehow I hope it is the former. I don't know that many women who would feel comfortable doing it. When I have told people at work about it many are incredulous. "Why?" they ask. "Won't you be embarrassed?"

I don't think I will, to be honest.

I hope there isn't a mirror, though, like you get in gyms. I'm not sure I could cope with staring at my bouncing self for a whole hour and a half.

Then after that I have signed up for the fan dancing workshop, to learn how to dance with fans, I assume. This I am looking forward to, but not as much as sticking tassels on my nipples and making them twirl.

There will not, repeat not, be pictures.

I have a few queries.

What am I supposed to wear on the bottom half? Frilly knickers? Jeans? A tutu? I assume something I feel comfortable in, but I also want it to be something I feel nice in. Maybe a piece of diaphanous material fashioned around my hips in a wrap-like style?

Also, will the room be warm? If I'm taking my top and bra off I don't want to be all cold and shivery. However neither do I wish to be too hot. I hope they get the temperature spot on.

I know Lily very well, and she is wonderful and lovely. I am not anticipating feeling shy or nervous. I am excited.

I really, really hope I don't get resonated at some point and see fit to stage some kind of demonstration. "No affection for me? Watch this, young man, and affection will be the last thing on your mind."

Oh dear. Watch out, Clapham.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I meander. Yes, I do.

I have an appointment with a cognitive behavioural therapist next Tuesday.

The only reason I'm going is so that if someone asks me to do something on that day, or asks me what I am planning for my evening, I can off-handedly say "Well, I'm seeing my therapist at six..." and I'll look all grown up.

Or mental, one of the two.

Because, to be honest, although I am feeling fine about the specifics of breaking up with what's-his-name, I am feeling rubbish in general and it isn't going away.

It annoys me because it makes my blog boring.

So I have decided to do a meme. That one that everyone else in the world did ages ago.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:
1. Travel more
2. Peform my own songs, for a living
3. Fall in love again
4. Tidy my room (I have been attempting this for a few weeks now, but to no avail, so I have decided to set myself a nice, easy deadline for it) (Deadline, as a word in this context? A little sick, perhaps)
5. Live in at least two other countries
6. Perform some sort of burlesque
7. Be happy for an extended period of time (read: more than the time it takes to eat a packet of Brannigan's Roast Beef and Mustard crisps)

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Drive
2. Relax very well
3. Compromise my ambitions
4. Abide bigotry
5. Force myself out of holding grudges
6. Maths
7. Watch reality TV shows without wanting to eat my own head

Seven Things that Attract Me To Blogging:
1. I feel I can say whatever I like, whatever I deem appropriate, and I don't feel ashamed of it
2. It is something to do
3. Writing things down helps me to regain focus
4. Honesty and candour are met with enthusiasm and support. I find this somehow surprising. I would go so far as to say that it is somehow rebuilding my faith in people, and the capacity of people to be generous and loving (and, dare I say, affectionate) (there is going to be a reference to the "I don't feel any affection for you" comment in every post for as long as it takes me to forget about it) (which means that there will be a reference to it in every single post I write henceforth). Blanche DuBois is proven to be correct in the blogging age, as we all seem to rely more and more upon the kindness of strangers.
5. I love writing. I didn't know I loved writing this much before I started to blog, but I do. I knew I loved reading, but writing is so wonderful. I love using words I didn't know I knew. I can't think of which words I mean, but they are probably really impressive, important-sounding words, oh yes they are.
6. I get a massive kick out of making people laugh. I always have. I like making people laugh here. (Laugh, damn you. I need the validation and it is your job to provide it)
7. I feel like I am rehearsing for being honest, open and unguarded in real life.

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. "Oh my God." (usually in disgust, slightly murmured, and with the emphasis on the 'God')
2. "No affection for me? NO AFFECTION? Motherfucker."
3. "Why am I so tired?"
4. "Shall we get resonated?"
5. "Don't talk to me, I'm blogging."
6. Any swearword. Because I'm big and cool. My favourite is motherfucker. Bec says I say it really well, with just the right emphasis (I choose to put it on the 'fucker'). It's because I practice so much. And also am cool.
7. Nice things. I just read the list and I sound like a miserable bitch. I do actually say nice things, too. Like "You're very pretty" and "Can I hold your puppy, please, as it is very lovely!*"

*this is mainly, but not always, used as a euphemism.

I can't be bothered to do the rest of the thing as I am lazy and pick and choose the bits I want to participate in. I am very like that in life, as well as memes.

I now have a craving for Roast Beef and Mustard flavour Brannigan's crisps.

Last night I went out with my Mum in Covent Garden and we had a bottle of Champagne and then steak. Well, I had steak. She had something healthy and slimline because she is healthy and slimline also a nutritionist. I, however, almost never turn down the offer of free steak.

Tonight I fancy getting resonated but I am broke so cannot.

Woe is me.

Another pointless, meandering post for the collection, then.

Hope you're having a nice Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Job For You, Fair Reader.

In the post below are some photos. They are of me, mainly. A prize goes to the person who can spot Euan hiding in one of them.

Which one shall I have as my profile?

I think:

The first one looks stupid, and I look like an idiot. I actually hate that picture loads. I don't know why I would pose like that. Come on, could YOU feel affection for someone who posed like that? No, me neither.

The second one looks like I'm texting. Which I am. That isn't, however, my phone. Which is wherein the confusion lies. At the forefront of the photo is my huge gold ring, which temporarily replaced the sparkly ones.

The third one Euan looks as if he might bite my head off at any given moment, and I look sort of happy about it. I also look a bit squashed. Which I am not, in real life.

Anyway, please tell me which should go up in the corner bit. I know it's not much to choose from.

Two more things:

Thank you, Euan, for doing that. If you ever need a favour from someone whose speciality is being completely and utterly shit at technology, I'm your man.

I am over my break up. It turns out I am way more thick skinned than I thought and don't really care any more. Either that or I'm hugely fickle. Take your pick. Whatever it is I'm feeling miles better.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Léonie looking lovely

Léonie with a phone

Léonie and Euan

Friday, March 17, 2006

Over Again

Possible titles for this post:

I Wasn't Crazy And It Wasn't All In My Head, As It Turns Out

Another One Bites The Dust

Why "I Just Feel No Affection For You" Is A Really Horrible Thing To Hear

Well, yes. As it turns out, he really didn't feel anything for me.

It's over.

To be honest I am a little relieved. I really wanted it to be lovely and I really wanted it to work in the long run, but there was no real spark there. He said he felt no affection for me.

I think he didn't mean it harshly. It hurts to be told that, though. He said that perhaps if he was a bit older it wouldn't matter so much, but at this age he's looking for something really special.

That also hurts.

We had a short phone conversation, which started with "I've got to be honest, Léonie, I want to break up with you" and ended with us agreeing to perhaps meet for a drink next time he's around Clapham.

All very amicable. Pleasant, even.

I feel relieved on two levels. Firstly I think that I had sensed that his interest was waning. There had been a connection at the beginning, but that connection didn't translate to actually going out with each other. I didn't feel much passion, I think. I am quite a passionate person, and I was greatly dismayed to find that it wasn't where I wanted it to be. I think that this, the passion, connection, chemistry or whatever you call it, was missing.

Interestingly Girl With A One Track Mind wrote a post about this*. Yesterday I read her post and sort of thought, Oh. Shit. That's what it is. That's what's missing.

I am relieved because I knew that it was missing, and I knew he knew. I think the sheer not-talking-about-it-ness was getting me down. You might have picked up on this if you've read any of the posts I've written over the last week. Perhaps somewhat on the maudlin side. Now it's all out in the open, neither of us has to pretend to feel anything we don't.

The other side of my relief is to do with the fact that I was petrified that I was just paranoid. That it was all in my head. That I am crazy. I am not entirely dismissing that possibility, and in fact I am still going to see a cognitive behavioural therapist because the way I deal with things and am overwhelmed by them could be greatly, greatly improved. I can now, however, acknowledge that, even though I perhaps was brought down by the situation more than I should have been, more than is healthy, I didn't actually imagine the situation in the first place.

I have learned to trust my instincts and my intuitions. If I had done that then I wouldn't have spent over a week questioning my own sanity.

For all this life-affirming positivity, however, I am not going to say that I don't feel a little bit horrible. I think the "I just don't feel any affection for you" bit was the worst, perhaps because it was something I had sensed and therefore was worried about.

No affection. I feel affection for people I see on the tube, for people I have never met. I certainly feel affection for people I have been seeing for a few months. For people I have been sleeping with.

I'm not heartbroken in any way. I am pleased that I don't have to worry anymore and I am, I must admit, feeling a little validated that my instincts were correct. I know that next time I will trust those instincts and intuitions, and not try to talk myself out of them.

The malaise I am feeling is connected to a feeling of disappointment. Of another ex to add to the ever-increasing collection.

I wanted something good to happen and it didn't. As simple as that. I think I just feel a bit crushed.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


It seems to always happen this way. Or similar.

Yesterday morning I woke up and was hit by a train. This morning I woke up and was not. I didn't feel that much had changed, only that I was not hit by a train.

Last night I went home and was greeted by my flatmates smoking out of the window. I was greeted by a lovely package from Kelly (on whose blog I was awarded the prize for the Best Shit Self-Portrait) (I am, for some reason, not able to create the link in the text, but she is on my links bit). The package contained the following:

1 certificate, lovingly drawn in lovely felt-tip pen, with my name on it
1 fluffy squirrel keyring
1 little yellow comb-and-mirror case in the shape of a monkey's face
2 balloons (which are being saved for a special occasion, although waking up without being hit by a train in the first ten seconds is pretty damned special, I can tell you)
1 set of very very cool stickers

There was also a little note from Kelly. I stared at that for a while, because I feel like Kelly is my friend although we have never met, and it was strange to see the first proper tangible evidence that she is a real person who writes with felt-tip pens. Not that I doubted you or your status as a real, not-exclusively-virtual human being, Kelly, but it was bizarre, and through the fug of my train wreck I found it slightly exhilirating.

I set about sticking the stickers all over my diary (which, in true Douglas Adams-geek style, has the words DON'T PANIC written in large, friendly letters on a sticker on the front). I now have the following on my diary:

2 cakes
2 ice lollies
1 doughnut
1 whale
2 small round colourful... things

Also I got a bit keen and put the following on my phone:

1 red stripey thing
1 pink starfish
1 fish
1 cake
2 things which look for all the world like sushi

This took me about half an hour of concentration.

My lovely flatmates were lovely, both of them having read my blog and therefore knowing that I was somewhat delicate. Not that they're not lovely on normal, non-trainwreck sorts of days, but they were so lovely. There were chips and dips, that sort of lovely.

I was feeling frustrated and despairing. A bizarre and confusing mix between boiling fury and corpse-like apathy. I sat there, feeling like I couldn't move, like I was seeping into the armchair and disappearing. I felt that I had to move, to get up, to do something, to prove to myself that I was not dying.

So I went running.

This disconcerted Bec greatly, who was heard to wail "But I thought we had an agreement! This is a creative house! We don't do sport..(sob)".

However, I put on trainers and a tracksuit and, with a cursory glance at an A-Z, launched myself out into the dark, rain-whipped night.

As I ran along the road up to Clapham Common and felt the rain streaming across my forehead and cheeks I began to feel better. I concentrated on my steps, I felt myself relaxing slightly. I have always loved running, the feeling of solitude and singular ambition. Of cheering myself on as I regulate my breathing, of setting my own rules and goals. The pounding of uphills, the exhilirating picking up of speed of the downs.

I ran and ran. I bounded across roads, lengthening my strides as I whipped my head around looking for traffic.

I ran around Clapham Common a bit, and then decided to head back. It was, I estimated, about 5km if I did that. Threeish miles seemed a good start for someone who hasn't done a scrap of exercise since September.

Of course I got lost. I suddenly found myself in Brixton, having run past factories and shuttered shops, still in the driving rain. I picked up speed as I began to feel a little vulnerable passing open spaces and unlit yards. I reached the Tesco in Brixton and relaxed slightly, carrying on, around the corner, past Brixton tube, up and back towards home.

Pounding agressively up the street from Brixton I quickened my pace again. This is something I always did when I used to run, sprinted the last bit, feeling my lungs tearing in my chest, breathing so violently that it comes out as words, as exhilirated, powerful groans. Imagining my legs to be covering miles with each step, racing, flying towards the finish.

I arrived at home, where I stood at the gate, bent double and shaking from the exertion.

For a while I sat on the sofa, drinking water and cooling down. I looked at the map and worked out that I had run about six miles.

Later we ate dinner, lovely fajita/enchiladas/I don't know what but they were lovely.

I felt empowered, then. I felt suddenly able to express what it is that has been getting me so very, very down.

"Go on" said Bec. "Tell me."

I am angry, I said. I am angry that I feel insecure. I am angry that I have to trust in something I don't understand. I hate myself for feeling insecure, because if I was a normal person I could control it, I could make put it to the back of my mind. I hate myself for reacting to insecurity like this.
I hate that I compare myself to people I do not aspire to be and covert things I do not want. I hate that I have to justify myself to myself every day. I hate that these feelings make me want to do things that other people don't understand, that unnerve people and makes them think less of me. I hate that I care that people think less of me. I hate that, for all my assertive confidence, I still feel like I want to change myself for other people. I do not want to and will not change for anyone. I wish it wasn't even a choice. I wish that I was perfect. I hate that I am not perfect.

This, obviously, is paraphrasing. I probably mumbled something about not having pretty enough shoes or something.

I feel better today. I have had communication from he who please I hope hasn't found this blog, and he has implied in a male sort of a way that he wasn't too freaked out my my confessions of mentalness.

I also feel generally better. My legs are slightly stiff but generally fine. I am going to go running again perhaps tonight or tomorrow. I am also booking an appointment with a cognitive behavioural therapist, so I can know what to do when the train hits again.

Thanks for the emails, and for the comments. It helped. Of course, they always help. Thanks Kelly, for the parcel.

Thanks to Brixton, for not killing me as I ill-advisedly ran in you last night.

Thanks to my own, private universe where I do not have to face any sort of total perspective. Where I can practice being whoever I want to be.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The obligatory meta-blogging post

I have looked at the referrals bit on my sitemeter thing.

It's interesting to see what Google hits I get.

Someone searched my name, complete with the accent on the é.

They got my singing website and my blog.

I hope it wasn't, you know, someone who I don't want to be reading about my excessive mentalness as displayed in the previous post. If it was you, and you think that perhaps I wouldn't want you to know all about the mentalness, please read some of the better posts. Or just don't read any of it.

I know that the risk when choosing not to be anonymous is that people will be able to know who I am, and therefore know all my secrets as I choose to disclose them. This has caused problems before. Problems and confusion, sometimes in the manner of a soap opera mix-up that is easily resolved but not before a few mistaken idenity-related red-faces, and sometimes in a more horrible, sinister way.

I don't regret putting my name underneath the things that I have written, and in a way I feel like it is a good exercise in courage of conviction to not be ashamed of what I have to say.

Of course I try to exercise restraint and discretion. In fact, I think that the previous post was the most specific, personal, and therefore dangerous (in terms of me getting into trouble) that I have written yet.

If you have googled me and you have arrived here, please don't hate me for anything I have written. Please don't think less of me because I bare my flickering soul to strangers. Please don't openly wonder how one has TIME to do this sort of thing, therefore implying that my life is empty. It takes me half an hour to write a post, and I need it now. If I don't talk to the Internet I'd only talk to you, and that would be boring for you, you'd most likely tire of me and walk off. The Internet doesn't do that. Or at least if it does then I don't know about it.

Yes, to an extent I think I write here because it is easier than actually communicating with other, non-virtual people. I don't trust people who I am supposed to trust, but I do trust the Internet not to use what I have told it and turn it back on me. I trust it not to use my own pain as ammunition against me.

In one of the Hitchhikers' Guide books (perhaps Life, the Universe and Everything) Zaphod Beeblebrox is take to Frogstar B, wherein lies the most powerful and destructive weapon of all time. It is called the Total Perspective Vortex, and it is capable of completely annihilating the human soul. It was invented by a man, a philosopher, whose wife was always on at him to stop mooning around thinking about things like 'the universe' and 'what it all means', and think about real life events. Money, for example. The washing up. She kept telling him to "get some perspective". On and on, until one day he decides to invent this machine. He links it up (to a piece of fairycake) and plugs her in. He is horrified to see that her brain is annihilated. What the Total Perspective Vortex does, you see, is show you the whole universe in its entirety, and then a little arrow flashes up, saying "You Are Here".

Perpective, it turns out, is not such a great thing after all.

The way this relates (and oh, but it's tenuous) is that when Zaphod goes in there, he is fine. He comes out having been informed that he is the most important person in the entire universe. That he, in fact, constitutes the whole universe and everything just revolves around him. This because at the time he is actually exisiting in a Virtual Universe that has been created for the sole purpose of allowing him to survive the Total Perspective Vortex.

In Blogland we are protected, we can say what we like about ourselves. We can tell as much or as little as we like, use complex analogies that don't make sense and that involve bits of stories from our favourite books, discard the rules of spelling or grammar, slag off whoever we want to slag off, and always be protected by the fact that this space is ours.

This space, this little piece of blank page, it is mine. You can say what you like about me, about what I write and who I appear to be and I can counter with the fail-safe argument that "this is my blog I'll write what I like". I can take time to explain what I mean, and then edit until I am happy, until it comes out right.

I am the centre of this tiny universe that has been created for me. In it I do not have to face the pain and distress of a world where things come out wrong, where I am incapable of being honest about my state of mind without trying to make a joke about it or worrying that the other person will hate me for it.

To sum up, if you have googled me and found this, please don't hate me for it. I am shit in real life, and I feel like here I am marginally better. I make time for it.

I... I am not sure quite what I'm trying to say.

Much too open for the Internet.

My boyfriend talks in his sleep, and walks around the room in his sleep as well.

I think it's catching, because last night, when he was fiddling with the CD player IN HIS SLEEP I asked him what he was doing, only I called him the wrong name.

This is not good. I don't have a clue why I called him the other name, because it's not an ex-boyfriend's name. It was someone we had been talking about just before we went to sleep and I was thinking about the conversation as I drifted off.

I hope so much that he doesn't remember. I was going to ask him but he left for work before I got up.

I hope I haven't blown it.

My friend recently told me that I come across as independent and "very un-needy". That is, she said, until you get to know me.

My boyfriend asked me last night what the cuts and scratches on my arms were.

I wanted to tell him, but I just couldn't quite find the right words. I sat in silence staring at his knee for about a minute and a half, trying to formulate sentences and failing.

I just about managed to tell him. Eventually. I think I said the phrase "you're going to think I'm crazy" about ten times before I managed to be honest.

I don't know what his reaction was, really. He is unreadable. I hope I haven't put him off me.

We talked about it. I was guarded and simultaneously trying to laugh it off and be honest. It doesn't happen often, I told him. Most of the time I'm fine! Fine! Sometimes I'm not, though. I... I don't know why.

He thinks I should go and see a psychologist. He said that it might perhaps help me to see the world and to see myself differently. To identify triggers and to find things that help.

He's right, of course. He mentioned something about biorhythms, as well.

I avoided eye contact and felt like an idiot.

I feel like an idiot.

His reaction was all good, but there didn't seem to be much affection. I don't even know if he likes me.

I cannot really deal with it.

I don't think I have been this honest very much on my blog. At the moment I feel so torn that I can't be any other way.

I am so tired, that's all. Tired physically, and tired of trying to work out what someone is feeling when I have only scraps of evidence.

I should ask. I am just scared that the process of asking will determine the answer.

I am an idiot. I am an over-analytical, loserish idiot.

I, once again, cannot work out how to make anything better.

I woke up in his bed this morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. Actually, no, I woke up, opened my eyes and then BANG there was the train. I wanted to cry. Cry and cry and cry. I didn't, though. He got up and got ready for work and I lay there, not crying.

As he came to kiss me goodbye I turned my face slightly and his kiss landed on my cheek.

I cannot believe I'm writing this all down. I can't stop, though.

I lay there. I could have cried, then. I still didn't, though.

I could cry now, but I'm not. I'm not.

Please tell me what to do. I feel so lost.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Feasting Fest

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how intuitive do you think you are?

I would like to think that I sense things, that I know things without a process of rational cognition. It's a nice way to be, to have intuition about people and their feelings, and about one's own feelings and instincts.

In certain ways I am less intuitive than I used to be when I was younger. I used to be very sensitive to other people and how they were feeling. I think almost too much. Perhaps because I was over-sensitive myself. My mother always used to tell me that I was too thin-skinned, too over-sensitive, that I should develop a 'thicker skin'. I think now I spend less time worrying about what other people are thinking, and also I feel confused when trying to work other people out. Sometimes people just don't act or react in the way one might expect.

This upsets me, but I cope with it. Just about.

An example of this is with men. I can't intuit how someone feels about me. How am I supposed to know if someone likes me if they don't TELL me? HOW?

(Please. If you are a man, could you just quickly tell me how your brains work? In the comments box? In return I will write a post explaining women. If you have no interest in having women explained to you because perhaps you swing the other way, please explain men for me anyway and I will buy you a drink next time we all go out and get resonated. Oh, and women if you have any pearls of wisdom, please share.)

Oh, right, scale of 1-10. I'd give myself a seven. I feel that I have good intuition about what is and what is not good for me.

Broccoli, for example? Good for me.
Provoking tigers with pointy sticks? Not so much.

What is your favorite kind of gum?

Extra, the blue one. Whatever that is. Peppermint, perhaps. I don't chew gum very often now. I used to, when I smoked, but smoking isn't good for me so I gave up (see point above).

Name a CD you own that you would never get rid of.

The problem I have with this question is that I lose things ALL THE TIME and so I never hold on to things like CDs for very long.

I don't think I could choose one above the others. Jeff Buckley, perhaps. The Ella one I used to listen to over and over until I lost it. Paul Simon's Graceland, or a Simon and Garfunkel Greatest Hits one that also got sucked into the ether. Billie Holiday Lady Sings The Blues (lost) or Peggy Lee Black Coffee (still got).

There is no discernible pattern to the CDs I have managed to lose or hang on to. It doesn't mean I love the lost ones any less.

Main Course
When was the last time you said something you didn't mean?

I say things I don't mean all the time.

"Of course I don't mind doing the incredibly mundane and soul-destroying thing you want me to do that will take me all day and leave my brain trickling out of my ears! Where should I start?"

"I'm fine!"

"OF COURSE I knew rugby was a sport!"

"I'm not upset"

"I don't think I'm someone that needs reassurance in relationships"

I cannot believe how outrageous a lie that last one is. I am still reeling from my own capacity for untruth.

(My ex-boyfriends are laughing heartily at that, as well)

I think that is the biggest untruth I have told recently. It's not that I need any more reassurance than the next girl, but I am not under-average. I find it really impossible to imagine that someone likes me if I like them, and even more impossible to imagine that they won't get bored of me after they find out that I am somewhat over-sensitive and sometimes depressive. I don't think of myself as insecure or underconfident, but I know that there is a part of me that is less attractive than other parts. Someone once told me that he preferred "Happy Léonie" so much more, and oh my God I cannot get over that. Someone else once told me that he was with me because I "tick boxes", because I fulfill certain aspects of things he was looking for in a girlfriend. I don't know why that upset me so much.

I know that nobody wants someone who is two-dimensional, who doesn't have depth and passion and the things that go with that, but I can't reconcile that with my own situation. Rationally I know that I should be myself and my whole self, etc, but I have a Pavlovian response which tells me that people go off me if I'm anything but cheery, happy and fun.

It is stupid and almost nothing to do with the question. Sorry.

What is the sum of the numbers in your birthdate? (Example: 3 + 2 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 9 = 31)

2 + 4 + 4 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 2 = 30

I have no dye-based anecdotes to regale you with this week. I have done, I am sure, many a stupid thing, but nothing leaps to mind as anecdote fodder.

Tomorrow I have to be at Queens Park tube station for 08.30 hours. Which means leaving my flat at 07.30. Which means getting up at... oh, no I can't think about it. I am out tonight, meeting some people about a music-related project I might be getting involved in, which sounds very exciting from the little I have heard of it so far.
It would mean I could carry on writing and singing what I wanted, but with better resources and contacts and all those boring, practical things that involve networking and smarminess and stuff I am shit at.

So, out tonight, up very early tomorrow. I'm going to borrow my housemate Rebecca's Welsh rugby shirt (I am about a quarter Welsh so I can feel slightly justified) and Dan will be very impressed.

I have had a bit of a 'down' week, as is my wont. I have been struggling somewhat. Panic attacks in the night, over-analysis in the day. I feel... weighed down. It is a swimming upstream week. I still carry on as normal, but just with rocks tied to my feet. I find it difficult to see things in a positive way. Crises I can cope with, the normal and everyday makes me want to cry and be sick, but I won't.

I felt a bit better yesterday but today I don't anymore.

I know it goes away, though.

Why am I so up and down-y? Why, please?

I think perhaps hormones. Or gremlins. Or wasps. It is probably wasps, because they represent all evil in this world. The wasps are controlling my brain this week, and making everything buzz-y, and sting-y, and evil.

Please send tasty treats and wasp poison.

Thank you.


I have just read one of the most incredible posts that I have ever come across on the Internet. It is strangely appropriate for the way I feel. It is incredible, the whole blog is incredible, and messed-up, and brilliant. Please read it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not dead, but you might not think it from looking at me.

Just a quick one to let you know that I have not perished from an infusion of black dye in the blood stream.

I am just a bit busy.

At some point I will regale you with tales of

a) The Party, which include the phrase "close your vagina, Michael, we are not a codfish", and also an ambulance being called

b) The Vagina Monologues at The University of The Warwick (second 'The' optional) which involves me faking many different orgasms on stage in front of many people and feeling not ashamed one little bit

c) Spending a day 'developing' my songs with my veryverytalentedmusicianfriend and it going so well that I am spending today wanting to cry because I'm doing something I enjoy about, oh, now let me see, sixty billion squillion times less

d) Me being tired, which is not a story so much, or even a point of interest meriting a bullet point, but is nevertheless true

e) An exciting meeting tomorrow night about MORE music things

f) There is no point f) so if you can think of one leave it in the comments, please

This weekend I am watching sport.

Hang on a minute, that came out wrong.



It is Dan's birthday and he is the following:

A big rugby fan.

I am, along with some others, going to Cardiff to watch the Wales/Italy match in the Millennium Stadium! We will stay at Dan's parents' house and get pleasantly resonated in Cardiff in the evening. Ah, resonation. A joy, even in Wales.

I am very much looking forward to it, even though it will involve me getting up at an UNGODLY HOUR on Saturday.

Sarah and I are going to get T-shirts printed saying:


They might have to be big T-shirts.

I am too tired to type more and I have a small paper cut on my finger that I have to go and whinge at someone about.

I love you.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday's Feast. Also a story.

How many pillows and blankets do you sleep with?

One pillow. Sometimes no pillows. I'm very low maintenance. I tend to get quite hot so the fewer blankets the better.

What are you currently "addicted" to?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Coffee.

If you could make a small change to your current routine or schedule that would make you just a little bit happier, what would it be?

Small. A small change. I would like to record stuff everyday (singing-wise) rather than only once or twice a week as I'm doing now. One open mic night a week, as well, would be good.

Main Course
Which adjective do you find yourself using often?

I can't think of one that I use more than any other.

My favourite word is still 'resonated', to mean drunk. This is not, however, what the question is asking.

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker?

No. There are two reasons for this.

Reason One: It is dangerous. The hitchhiker could be anybody! They could be evil, or murderous, or have a disease that means they can't stop singing songs from Barry Manilow's hit musical Copacabana.

Reason Two: I cannot drive.

In order that you do not focus for too long on the fact that I am nearly 24 and cannot drive yet, I am going to tell you a story.

This is not a happy story, so I forbid you to derive any amusement from it.

The Background: David, Rebecca and I are having a housewarming party on Saturday. Tomorrow. (Note to self: Buy alcohol).
The theme of this party is 'C'. For Clapham.
David is going as a Chimney Sweep.
Rebecca is going as a Countess.
I am going as Cabaret. More specifically, as Liza Minelli's character from Cabaret, Sally Bowles.

Things You Need To Dress Up As Sally Bowles:

A wig. Check.
A hat. Check.
A top with the choker things. Check.
Black stockings. Check.
False eyelashes and blue eye make-up. Check.
Black hotpants. Check.

Well, almost check for the last one. I had some grey ones. These do not work, though.

This was the point at which I accidentally mistook myself for somebody who is practical and pragmatic and can do things like cooking and decorating and learning to drive. I am, and I know this really, someone who is good with words, but who perhaps should steer clear of anything that demands too much practicality.


"Easy!" I thought. "I'll just change the colour of them! With black dye!"

I went to a shop. Proud of myself for no fathomable reason, I asked the nice man to point me in the direction of some black dye.

As I surveyed the possibilities on the shelf in front of me I tried to think clearly, to not get carried away by the possibility of me suddenly becoming an arty, creative, oh-what-this-old-thing-yes-I-made-it-myself-from-a-beautiful-piece-of-fabric-I-picked-up-at-a-flea-market sort of a person.

I knew, I KNEW that the best thing for me to do would be to buy the machine wash dye. There was a neon sign flashing away in my brain that told me over and over that SIMPLE IS GOOD, SIMPLE IS GOOD. The thing is, though, I somehow just forgot to take heed of it. So, for a grand total of £3.75 I purchased the hand dye. Very soon you will see quite how appropriate this name was to become.

Last night was Dying Night.

By which I mean I was to dye the hotpants, not that it was the night I would meet my untimely doom. Although, again with the oddly appropriate names, as you will soon see.

It is Very, Very Important that one reads instructions when embarking upon a project like this.

I needed:

The dye.
The hotpants.
A bucket.
Lots of salt.
A container in which to dissolve the dye.
A long stick with which to prod the hotpants while they are swirling in dye.
Some rubber gloves.

Guess which of those I did not have.

Go on, I dare you. GUESS.

You are correct, fair reader, as ever.

The thing is, when you think about it, a plastic bag is very similar to a rubber glove. It is made of plastic stuff can be put on hands.


As I tipped the dissolved dye into the bucket with the salt and the waterlotsandlotsofwater I perhaps dyed the three middle fingers of my right hand.

I perhaps also only noticed this after about twenty seconds. By which time dye, it turns out, is CAST and will not come off, even if you scrub with soap. Even if, after you've scrubbed with soap, you pour bleach directly onto aforementioned fingers and keep scrubbing.

After the bleach did nothing I heard my phone do a pretty little text message song, and, joyous at a distraction from the skin-blistering bleaching, I skipped off to find it.

It was my boyfriend.

I called him.

He was NO USE. What is the point of going out with someone if they cannot guide you through the dark times of your life and offer you helpful hints and advice? If they only laugh at you and suggest that perhaps next time the walk of thirty seconds down to the shop to buy some rubber gloves might not actually be such a bad idea? If, even after you explain that YOU HAD PLASTIC BAGS ON they continue to laugh at your misfortune, albeit in an affectionate manner? WHAT, I ASK YOU, IS THE POINT?

Half an hour later I was still on the phone and sticking my fingers in a bottle of nail varnish remover when David came home.

After he laughed a bit, although he is very nice and so was sympathetic at the same time UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, we decided to continue with the job.

After we poked and prodded at the shorts for a while we decided they were done, and I lifted them out of the bucket with a long stick* and put them in the sink.

*The long stick, pivotal to last night's operations, was actually found on the street by David last Saturday night on our way home, and is a central part of his chimney sweep outfit. It is now a bit black at the end, but he claims he doesn't mind.

Well, I say I lifted them out with the long stick.

This may or may not have been the second time I tried to lift them out.

The first time I picked them up myself. With my left hand. With my bare left hand.

I have never before heard a male voice raised to quite such a pitch before, and I hope I never invoke quite as panic in anyone ever again as I did in David at that moment.


Which was now a fetching shade of black.

I am not even joking.

Dropping the shorts back quicksharp, I burst into uncontrollable hysterical laughter as I scrubbed my other hand in the sink. Back with the soap, another dose of bleach, more and more scrubbing.

You'll be thrilled to hear that I had then run out of hands, so no more hand-dying occured.

Part of my wrist took a bit of a hit, but apart from that I am my normal pinkish colour all over the rest of me.

I scrubbed, I picked, I scraped. I soaked my hands in a tupperware thing full of nail varnish remover for about half an hour.

I spoke to Euan, who helpfully suggested that I try to use Superglue to remove the dye, but I did not fall for it, because we had no Superglue.

I texted my boyfriend, who told me he will not be seen in public with me with my hands like this, and that when we go out tonight we will have to sit at separate tables and pass notes to one another.

They are more grey, now. I basically look like I have dead, decaying hands. They are also peeling slightly. Bec suggested that this may have something to do with soaking them in bleach. I think it's an entirely unrelated skin disorder.

I have Savlon on. My hands sting.

The worrying thing is that I think it is worth it. For the comedy value.

My priorites are fucked.

"Hello! My name's Léonie. Ah, I see you've noticed that I have the hands of a corpse! Let me tell you the story, come into my cave..."

Anyway, this post is long enough now. I have to go and find some elegant evening gloves so that people will associate with me.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My brains are made of air and snow.

So, an Englishman, a Irishman and a Scotsman are having a chat about their families.

The Englishman says "I have a son. He was born on St George's day, so we called him George."

"Ah" says the Scotsman. "That's interesting, because I have a son, too. Born on St Andrew's day, so we called him Andrew."

"I have a son too!" exclaims the Irishman. "Come here, Pancake!"


So, I was walking along the street the other day, right, and there's this guy. He's standing there and the back of his coat is jumping up and down wildly, and people are giving him money for it! I went up to him and asked him what was going on. He looked at me and said "Oh, leave me alone. It's my livelihood!"


Just a couple of jokes. You know, to lighten the tone.

Also I felt that, if this blog is to be a true representation of my real-life personality, the omission of my incessant joke telling is a gaping one.

I haven't really got much to impart today.

In London today: the sky is blue and it has been snowing.


What did the nought say to the eight?
Nice belt.


Nope. I have nothing.