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36 and all is good

19 May

I have always had a weird fascination, obsession and relationship with my birthdays. As a child, I was known to throw Hollywood-like tantrums and turn myself into a total a**hole on my special day (there once even was a bloody nose). As an adult, I have become more and more drawn to reviewing “my life to date”, checking in with my 30, 31, 32… old self. Today is the eve of my 36th birthday and I am again doing the same thing. It really is my actual New Years Eve.

I started 2017 with the ambition to make it my Year of Happiness. And I have to say I am in a very good place right now. Almost every aspect of my life today is different from what it was a year ago – I have made some important changes and so far they have all turned out to be good’uns. Some of them were absolutely overdue, but it obviously took me to turn 35 to realise that some things weren’t quite right.

36, to me, is a fabulous age. Professionally and personally speaking it’s a wonderful time. Still young but not quite old yet. Experienced but still fresh. And very different from what I thought, as a younger person, 36 would be like.

When my mum turned 36, I was about to turn 7 and my brother 13, a teenager! My parents were full-on adults, with a big house, life insurances, grown-up clothes, liqueur, attitudes and behaviour and things pretty much set in their ways. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. Of course there was still a big gap between them and my grand parents, but I knew what adult meant.

Now I am about to turn 36 and my concept of what being an adult means has changed a lot. Some things are a lot easier, more accessible, more possible, more casual, more light-hearted and definitely more fun! I love my independence, I am enormously happy about not having debt hanging over me – not something I would have ever imagined as an indicator of happiness. I have been very fortunate to chose and enjoy a pretty international, versatile and interesting lifestyle and career so far. And if I wanted to, there would be even more party in my life. Friends have become my extended family and that feels awesome.

But then, there are also things that are so much harder, so much more complicated than I would have ever imagined. I am not only speaking for myself here, but also for others. Being an over-30 single, against your will, while everybody else is getting married, can be super tough. Sickening even. Being an over-30 childless person, against your will, while everybody else is having children, can suck the life out of you. Can hurt so much. Can turn you into a monster you never wanted to become. Can even make you hate your dearest friends. While theoretically and statistically both (love and babies) can happen very suddenly, this can be nasty territory. And I would have never ever imagined for it to be like that.

Then there is work and the never-ending quest of your true self. Of the unfolding of all the potential qualities that lie within your heart, soul and your ability to turn them into a meaningful CV. If anybody had told me how unnerving it can be to constantly having to review my professional self, I would have become a butcher. Seriously. As much as I love being a multi-skilled and versatile flamingo-dragon-lion-owl, I sometimes just want to be a mouse. So I know that my enemy looks like a cat and that my friend is a fur ball. No more questions asked.

Then there is family…. Again, as a child, I knew things weren’t always perfect in the parents-grandparents matrix, but I had no idea just how complex this multi-generational game is. Just as we think we are leaving some worries behind and are entering the carefree adult zone, we start actively worrying about our parents. Their health, their happiness and sometimes even their finances. Suddenly there are all these rules, expectations and sometimes even reproaches and the people who once were our rocks and our safety nets become fragile and expect us to suddenly become their rocks and nets. And if we happen to have children of our own, this adds a whole new level of madness. What happened to those sunny afternoons with coffee, lemonade and strawberry cake?

Then there is us with ourselves. I am pretty cool with myself but I am nowhere as “finished” as I thought I would be at this age. That’s probably not a bad thing but it’s a bit surprising. There are definitely some routines and hard-wired quirks that won’t change much anymore but I have to admit that I constantly keep surprising myself. There are things I am suddenly capable of that I was too scared off only last year and things I stop being capable of that were second nature just last week. I think I like this mix of solid & flexible – there are days when I am happy about having a strong foundation and 35 years of experience under my belt that make for a solid framework I can rely on and there are days when I am happy about being flexible enough (yes, also physically speaking, thank you very much and yes I do Yoga regularly!) to keep changing, adapting, improving where I want to and to develop new interests, skills and discover new worlds. And who knows, perhaps one day I will be able to do my hair properly, to be able to walk without getting lost all the time, to put on fake eye-lashes and to save some money. There are still a few years for all that….

6 years ago, “30 rocks” was definitely right. Today I happily shout: “36 rules”!

Picture credit: Pixabay via pexels.com

Shakespeare, Goethe, Riener

27 Oct

Here I am. Sitting in the lovely Munich flat of a good friend, who has kindly offered me to stay for a few days. I came here for a work trip but decided to extend it by a couple of days to spend Day 1 (today) sight seeing, relaxing and Day 2 (tomorrow) with my family in nearby Nuremberg. I had a feeling I might want to write something, but not really sure.

What I had not foreseen when I was planning this trip was how vital this extra time would be. That I was heading full speed towards a crisis and without some down time and some soul cleansing, I would have soon ended up at the therapist. I might still go there, not sure yet.

A few months ago, see here, I discovered that I am a melancholic. To some that might not sound like something radical in itself, for me that was  profound and liberating and it has given me access to ‘my other half’ again, after more than 10 years. What do I mean with that? One side of me is rather extrovert, I am a stage hag, I like public speaking, karaoke and being the center of attention. But, there is also a much quieter, introvert part of me that likes withdrawal and reflection – and writing. Between the age of 9 and 20, I have found extreme pleasure through the pain of going deep into the underbelly of my emotional make up and dig around in my messy inner closet. Locking myself away and finding words to release them all were some of the most cathartic and spiritual moments I have gone through, and I would usually feel my soul and heart ‘cleansed’ afterwards. As a teenager I regularly took myself away from the huzzle and buzzle of party-life and spent nights on end writing away and crying my soul out. Some of these tears were sad tears but most of them were simply cleansing tears. And they served me very well.

I don’t know when and why it stopped but for the past 10 years, I had not written a single poetic word. Until last night. After a very intense 3 day conference, I decided to go and see Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’. I knew it would be sad and powerful, but I had no idea with how much force it would rip me open inside and what floods would follow. Why was this suddenly happening? I knew that I had recently become a very frustrated, angry, tense, withdrawn and unhappy person. But I had not really spent any time thinking about why. I had tried to understand what made me feel so overwhelmed, uninspired, sad. Job, Life, take your pick, it was pretty much everything. As with everything in life, there are two sides to every story and I was constantly on the ‘not so shiny’ side of everything. And I knew that. But I had not gone that important next step further to ask why I was feeling that way. And as it occurred to me around 2am last night, there was nothing bad happening in my life at all. I was simply not allowing myself to see things for what they were. Because I was carrying all these mixed, raw, unprocessed and explosive emotions around with me, and everything that happened on top only added to that load and I could not get my head above it anymore.

But last night, the introvert, melancholic side of me decided it was too much. It literally slammed a hammer over my head, forced me to sit down and first of all read. The folder with all my written stuff had been sitting on my computer forever, but I had never looked at it. Then, last night I started reading and I can not express how that made me feel. I had forgotten the vast majority of my ‘early works’, and I was astonished to see that at the age of 15 I was feeling exactly how I was feeling now. Every word was a slap in the face. It was like looking into a very strange mirror. And I also started to remember how I used to feel afterwards. After all the words had been written. Then something very deep inside my belly started to rear and I decided to write again. For hours. All of a sudden, hundreds of words came pouring out of me, and after the first wave was over I sat still and literally went  ‘What the Fuck?!’. And then it occurred to me that I had not done this in 10 years, that I had not looked after and nurtured this huge part of my personality in a very long time.

And boy, do things look different today. I am much calmer, much more relaxed, at ease with myself. And ready to face the day again. And I feel much more like myself. It doesn’t actually matter what I wrote down – I will probably not even read these words again for a long time. It’s purely the process of writing that counts.

Why is this happening now? I am pretty sure that to some extent it is another step in the process of familiarizing myself with Germany and my German self again. After 3 days of hard core German conferencing, I realized that there was a mature German voice becoming louder and louder inside of me. A professional voice that for the past 7 years had only been speaking English. And being a language-kind-of-person, that of course made me wonder and I guess it touched on something deeper.

Then, I also managed to bump into a couple of people recently who 10-and-more years ago used to play a big role in my life, and I am sure that those encounters added to the urge to pull myself back into my old self again.

So there. The things that really got me down until yesterday haven’t changed. But I have cleaned out my internal closet, and made some space again. And that space is helping me getting some perspective and seeing things for what they are and myself for who I am and who I have become. And in a way it’s through the work of the introvert Fab that the extrovert Fab can have the fun that she is so good at having. God that’s cheesy. Give me some wine, anybody!

UNCG – It was getting hot back then…

14 Aug

10 years ago in August 2002, something wonderful happened: UNCG, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Up until that point I had been living a fairly sheltered life in the beautiful old city of Speyer in the heart of Germany’s finest wine region. I was a blonde 21 year old student of English & American Studies and I was about to embark on a 5 months study abroad programme at UNCG in North Carolina. Little did I know that these 5 months would turn into 10 and that their effect on my future life would be so profound. I had been to the US many times before and I had seen enough campus based college comedies in my life to know exactly what to expect. There would be hundreds of hunky Baseball, American Football and Basketball players and me, the sophisticated yet fun-loving European, the ONLY European, who would dazzle them all with her humour, esprit and flat tummy.

What I had not expected was the fact that I was not the only foreign student and that Greensboro did not even have a Baseball pitch, never mind a team. Less than 24 hours after my arrival, I found myself in our local Campus Bar reassuringly called Group Therapy and amongst people from South America, Australia, the UK, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada. Not a single American in sight. And although I had considered my English skills as perfectly fine, I was completely dumbfounded and literally turned speechless by the conversations I was suddenly in the middle of. It was all sex and alcohol, and alcohol and sex. Damn you Shakespeare and Melville I thought. Not much use to me now, are thou?!

And although that night had me speechless, it also had me intrigued. I was right in the middle of  a global gathering of 20 somethings who all turned out to be mighty fine and fun people. I quickly made friends with most of them and what followed from that night were months of careless, frivolous and pretty drunken times. I completely lost myself in the spirit of the moment and I was fully aware of it happening. And I was happy. I knew it back then and even 10 years later I have to say that these months were the happiest of my life. Everything suddenly clicked into place and I would have happily sold what was left of my soul to remain in this state of utter bliss and carefreeness.

What had the biggest impact on me was the feeling of being part of ‘The World’. There was one particular moment during one of many Road Trips, when 5 girls from 4 different continents were singing along to the same song, that had me almost explode with joy. We had all grown up thousands of miles from each other, but we were together in this tiny car sharing said moment in complete unity. Suddenly the world became such a small place with a huge smile on its face and I knew that I would never want to go back to the small life I was living beforehand.

Over those 10 months I also learned a great deal and very much expanded my horizon: From 1000 ways to drink Tequila, to 1000 ways to say ‘I am drunk’ (English really is a wonderful language!); from the concepts of ‘Grinding’ to ‘Snowballing’ and ‘Teabagging’ (don’t look it up….and if you do, rest assured that I was only introduced to those activities in theory. Nobody dared to actually expose me to these things in real life!). I found out that Karaoke would be my new favourite hobby and that mixing and drinking Vodka and Baileys in a 500ml cup is not such a good idea. I had parties in elevators. I found out that I could easily down a pitcher of beer but found it much harder to down a bottle of red wine through a beer bong (what a surprise). I discovered the American Seaside (oh joy!) and the genius concept that is IHOP (International House of Pancakes). I got burnt more severely than ever before and nearly froze to death during Halloween. I also had my heart broken and nearly committed murder that night. I took part in the first memorial service of 9/11. I watched the invasion of Iraq on American TV. I was bullied for being German (for fun and for real). I went to my first (and last) foam party where I also danced in a cage as part of a HipHop music video. I had some of the dodgiest moments of my life in Texas. I discovered country music and bowling. I managed to watch hours of endless Hockey Games without a slither of an idea what it was all about. I went on a fake Valentines Date, including fake proposal and everything. Oh and I did not give a damn / toss / monkey’s ass about studying and still managed to get a GPA that got me onto the Dean’s List!!!

My body is literally tingling from all these fine memories and whenever I hear certain songs from that time, I still choke up. If I had one wish, I would turn back the time and would go back to the moment when I first set foot to I-House, to live those months again. It sometimes pains me that I can not go back to that moment, the bitter curse of sweet memories. There are some things I would do differently a second time around, of course. And there are still some lose ends, which will probably always stay lose. But I count myself very lucky to have had this time, to have met all these people and to still have some of them in my life now.

I would be a very different person if it had not been for this year at UNCG. With a much healthier liver for sure, but with a much less fun-loving and curious mind.

And for this I am forever grateful.

Happy first blogday to me!

8 May

It’s May. It’s 2012. That means I have been in the blogging business for 1 year. The moment I thought about starting a blog was exactly 1 year ago during a run through Heaton Park on a lovely warm evening. I came back and within 1 hour I was all set up and ready to push PUBLISH (thanks to my lovely flatmate who assured me I probably wouldn’t have to face any legal claims) . I have really enjoyed this year blog-wise and What A Year It Has Been! Live-covering my very own Life Events has not only been great fun, but also absolutely necessary for Mental Health & Safety. There is not a chance in hell I would have been able to predict what 2012 had in store for me and looking back at everything now is actually quite exhausting. Of course there were a number of developments and occurrences that I wasn’t able to report on at the time, and still can’t, but overall it was great to be able to get certain things off my chest, through my finger tips, as it gave me perspective, time and space to think and reflect and every now and then I seem to have said something useful for other people. So, thank you for all the kind words of support throughout this undeniably self-centric process.

Looking back at my first blog actually makes me smile. So much was new then, which now is so old. Sooo 2011! The informed reader will know that the word NEW was lifted to a new level in the past 6 months – oh, how little did I know back then?! – and that I am actually starting to get real sick of ‘new’. Now it’s about ‘Old’. What has left the biggest impression on me recently were encounters with my old self, through simply being in Germany again, through reading old things I used to write, through spending just enough time on my own to go slightly mental (like I have done many, many times before) and through spending time with my family and old friends. I am actually just about, well in a month’s time, to visit Newcastle. ‘Visit’, not as in ‘coming back home’. I am really looking forward to it, but I am also quite scared. There is a good chance I will simply sob for the entire 40 hours I will be there. There is a good chance I w0n’t leave without at least a medium size heart break. I thought 6 months would be a good time, but right now I am feeling quite fragile and knowing Newcastle and its unpredictable temperament, anything is possible.

Fragile? Yes, fragile. As I am settling into the new übercool lifestyle that is Berlin, I am alo realising the stark reality of not having enough friends around me to counter balance a life dominated by work. The problem is not the job, but the lack of balance with other things which is starting to grind on me. I am even contemplating returning from my 12 year old Volleyball retirement. I must be mad. Especially since gravity found me on my 25th birthday and what was an easy jump 12 years ago is now a major physical challenge that will most likely end in tears (for me) and laughter (for everybody else). One thing that has crept up inside my head, and I am sure it’s a result of the amount of traveling I have recently done and a particular strange encounter with an air hostess, is the need for something deeper, more substantial than say, Cocktails or Beyonce lyrics. I am in the middle of reading various books and materials on Philosophy, Ayurveda and Buddhism. And I am thinking about spending my recently acquired flight voucher on a retreat somewhere nice. Possibly a little bit spiritual even.

Where 8 My 2011 was all about the buzz, the unknown, energy & change, 8 May 2012 is about mental and physical grounding, need for stability and substance. I won’t go as far as ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of life – I am seriously not clever enough to understand any of that and I have no desire of building a church around me….Although, Church of Fabbism… and you could all go down in history as the Fabsters. Wouldn’t that be neat? No, it wouldn’t. Shut up and go to work now! Ok…..

There really is no point to this post

5 Mar

I have no idea where this blog post is going. Absolutely no idea. I guess it will ultimately be about the past few weeks, but clarity is one thing I don’t have in my head right now, so bear with me, this is going to be a messy one.

One thing is for sure: Moving country and changing job is extremely exhausting. Apparently this is week 10 in Berlin. I have lost any sense for time and place. Have moved 3 times and been to 4 countries (with different currencies) in 7 weeks, including a trip to New York, where I spoke at a huge conference, which was great fun and one of the most knackering weeks in my life. I didn’t want it any other way but boy the words ‘social’ and ‘life’ don’t come often together at the moment.

I was sooo tempted to actually write a post from NY, doing a Carrie Bradshaw, sitting next to the window, overseeing the neighbourhood (I was of course staying in Soho), twisting my imaginary curls “You know, I can’t help but wondering….” but I was too busy running around at that conference and wrecking my credit card. Who knew that Bloomingdales is a good place to shop?!

Moving is EXPENSIVE! Which really doesn’t go well with trips to Bloomingdales. I had no idea you can spend so much money at IKEA and not become an official shareholder. I was so smug to come over here with some savings. 10 weeks later – all gone. If anybody is thinking about moving to Berlin, which you totally should, be prepared to pay a four-figure sum for a flat deposit and the same again for agency fees. Yes. Exactly. And don’t get me started on Health Insurance. It makes you sick. And sorting out a new life TAKES AGES and A LOT OF ENERGY! My daily personal To Do list has been quite substantial recently and god knows where I got the energy from to run from one official office to the next. Also, it’s not like opening times are meant to make it easy for you in Germany.

But being in Germany is cool. And being in Berlin is totally like super cool. Rediscovering your home country is fun – and a bit odd sometimes. So much has changed and so much is simply different because it’s Berlin. The other day on the tram I overheard a young mum explaining to her 4 yr old daughter the principles of democracy and the benefits of social securities (having just driven past some pissed punks). The girl sometimes interrupted ‘Look mum, there is a rabbit!‘ but in the end likened the example of voting for a new government to a story she had recently heard in nursery. The story involved a princess, a bear and a cat (I MUST read that story!) but her comparison was in principle absolutely spot on. And she had clearly heard her mum teach her about things like that before as she went at some point ‘This is also why protesting is sometimes good, right mummy?!‘. FOUR YEARS OLD.

There is still a huge amount of stuff that confuses me to no end: I have no idea how to do my food shopping. After 6 years of Sainsburys, there is not a single supermarket here that does the same job. And of course, nothing is open on a Sunday. Also lunch is a huge problem. Not eating wheat is not really that cool here. There are some evil ass bakeries on every corner that test my incredibly weak willpower every bloody day.

Also, I know I’ve said it many times before but, Family is Great. I seriously have no idea how I would have managed without them during the past 3 months. Dad came to drive me to Germany, Brother drove me to Berlin and Mum spent the last week on her knees, wrecking her fingernails with ‘yet another frigging IKEA thing’. Call me spoilt (and I know I am), but this journey would have been extremely hard and shit without them.

So yeah, turns out it’s March now. I still don’t have fully arrived yet (when I got off the plane the other day, I actually couldn’t remember for a few seconds where I was living) and there are still some unpacked boxes. Actually, one of them contains my first published newspaper articles, old theatre plays I wrote when I was 11 and my love letters from when I was 15. I had no idea they still existed, but mum had kept them and I discovered them one night at 1am (in the middle of packing for NY, with a taxi booked for 4am. Great timing). Of course I had to read some of them and of course they made me cry. I had no idea they still existed and the sensation of being pulled back to something very familiar 15 years ago while the present was feeling so new and unreal was overwhelming and very confusing. I have not opened that box again since then as I feel I need to put a whole weekend aside for that.

I should probably stop writing and do some more work. Which I know will be pointless as I can barely keep my eyes open, and I have no idea why I felt like writing a blog post tonight was a sensible idea but it’s been a while and distraction always tastes sweeter when you actually have no time at all. But being a person who finds it hard to give herself a break, I can not rest until I have at least read all emails in my inbox. And there are some. Bye now.

This is why I will remain single

15 Jan

I’ve been single for a year now. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been totally fine with it, in fact I’ve been loving it. Being able to make MY decisions, in trivial (Chinese or Curry tonight) or serious (moving to Dubai or Berlin) matters has been tremendously liberating. But the novelty factor is starting to wear off and although I am what can be described as ‘cracking company’, I am also starting to get a teeny weeny bit sick of myself.

But this is where it becomes tricky. I’ve never been a “Let’s go shopping for a boyfriend” person – they have always just sort of fallen into my life. Looking around me now, I find that ‘the good ones’ are in relationships and very often have kids and the ones who are single are, well, single for a reason (no offence). Not saying they’re all total shipwrecks, but some have made it clear that they’d rather stay single even when presented with an alternative option. So there.

The idea of ‘Dating’ gives me the creeps. I don’t date. The one time I went for a ‘Fake Date’ on Valentine’s Day when I was living in the US, I actually ended up going out with the guy (Guy 1) for 8 months which was a total disaster, because the reason I went on said date was to make somebody else (Guy 2) jealous and as it turned out months later, there might have been a chance that Guy 2 would have asked me out if I hadn’t already had the great idea of going out with Guy 1. So my track record is a bit shit really.

But at least when you’re dating you know that the other party is technically available. Which is already a huge advantage. Figuring out if somebody is single or not can be a massive (and at times highly ridiculous) undertaking. I recently found myself talking to a rather good looking chap (in a business context nonetheless) and noticed he was wearing a ring. I could hardly ask whether it was something passed down from his granddad, just an accessory or a wedding ring. So while we were talking, I secretly googled “Wedding Ring – left or right hand?” and found out that ‘Depending on the local culture, it is worn on the left or right finger‘. WHAT? Seriously? Realising what I had just done made me blush like a teenage girl and I ACTUALLY had to excuse myself for 2 minutes to laugh it out in the toilet. I am just expecting that EVERYBODY is married these days, at least there are no nasty surprises then.

Although I am somewhat suspicious about the concept of Dating, there is still a slither of a chance I might end up in a ‘First Date’. And that’s where it gets tricky again, because I genuinely believe first dates should follow a structure, not too dissimilar from negotiating a mobile phone contract. Relationships usually stumble over the most obvious, banal and totally predictable hurdles and by a cleverly constructed set of questions, one should be able to spot a ‘Potential Disaster Waiting To Happen’. See, I am 30 now. I don’t have the patience to faff around with somebody for weeks and months and then realise that he is into S&M or veganism (both equally strange concepts for me) which I could have found out right at the start. I genuinely believe that without the normal twizzleness of Dating Behaviour (Flirting, Small Talk, Eyelash batting, Ironed Shirts etc.), within 1 hour, you can get a true sense of the other person and you can start negotiating ‘The Contract’.

So here goes my ROETAWAEIETP Concept, or Rules Of Engagement To Assess Whether An Engagement Is Even Theoretically Possible (this will also explain the title of this post):

Before the actual date, he has spoken to her best friend (male or female) to talk about her best and worst bits. She, on the other hand, will have spoken to his ex-girlfriend (and ladies, we all know what questions we would ask). Results can of course already result in there never being a First Date.

But if there is one, it should take place in a public space.

Arrival should be a fair representation of normal behaviour. As in, she will probably be early and he will probably be late, or whichever is correct. At this point, both can already discuss the best way to address time issues (i.e. will she just have to deal with it or should he secretly reset her watch one day etc.).

Small talk should be avoided by all means, but the following topics MUST be covered by both parties:

– The Parents: How can she win over his mum and make her like her more than the favourite ex-girlfriend from when he was 17. How can he convince her dad that he is not a swine.

– Family Birthdays: As it will be her who will remember to send cards and buy presents, methods for repayment should be organised at this point as he will forget otherwise.

– Household chores: How little will he actually do and which album is he allowed to listen to when she goes on about it too much.

– The Ex Factor: Summary of relevant Love Life to date. Levels of ‘Still in love-ness’ and can be presented by way of illustration. Also important to split into ‘Dumper or Dumpee’ categories with notes on who is likely to make an appearance again.

– Sex: the ‘Signals’, preferred time, how often, gimmicks (blowjobs etc.), the Sex Face (Photographic evidence can be provided for amusement), Fake vs Real orgasm behaviour, cold feet.

– Morning Face: Photographic evidence MUST be provided

– Kissing: A trial 3 second ‘Quick peck’ can be carried out. Tongues should be avoided in order not to raise expectations.

– Beauty / Hygiene: When will she stop waxing, how hairy is his back, what to do with her moustache and when will he start relying on her for buying deodorant. Dates can be put in calendars at this point.

At this point there should be a toilet break. And of course this can also used as a Halfway Assessment Point, where each party should be allowed to leave.

– Alcohol: Usual patterns of behaviour. Does she become emotional, teary, argumentative and does he take off his shirt whilst playing air guitar?

– Money: Joint account discussion. Indicative budget allocations for porn and facials.

– His Car: Can she touch it.

– Social Media: What to expect when checking the other person’s phone or Facebook account.

– Food: How bad is her cooking (Samples can be provided). Does he think he makes the World’s Best Lasagne or Spagbol.

– Any other business.

Results should be grouped into ‘Totally Fine’, ‘Needs negotiating’ and ‘No Go’ categories and must be shared now.

If both agree to continue with the proceedings, they should now be consulting the friends who have been watching from the corner. Behaviour during toilet break can be discussed, i.e. Did he check out the lady at the bar, did she check his phone for tits pics. Friends should provide them with Probable Relationship Success Rates Based Upon First Impression.

Future Plans: Both should decode their follow-up text lingo i.e. ‘We should get together again’ actually means ‘Ha, NO!’, ‘That was nice’ actually means “Being FuckBuddies is an option’, ‘When can I see you again?’ actually means ‘I want to marry you’ etc. Timescales should also be discussed to avoid confusion and disappointment.

Telephone numbers should be given out if clarification on any of the topics needs to be sought. She should be allowed to call one of his buddies on matters regarding fidelity, computer games and alcohol lingo (does ‘Just one more pint‘ mean 3 or 17). He should be allowed to talk to ex-boyfriends on matters regarding Inexplicable and Irrational Girlfriend Behaviour in general.

Of course, if things look promising right there and then, it might be advisable to get the first night of Excessive Alcohol Consumption, Karaoke and Sex out of the way asap, so maybe the whole day should be kept free, just in case.

Ridiculous, you say? Compared to letting yourself into a potentially life-long arrangement based upon a great snog after 7 pints, I think this is a total plausible concept. But then I also think that having babies with somebody you’re in love with is utter madness.

What was the title of this post again? Oh yeah…….bingo.

The (Proper) Bucket List

4 Oct

Being the well organised German that I am, I have put together a Bucket List for the next 11-or-something weeks to make sure I don’t walk away from Newcastle with the same To Do List that I arrived with. I fully intend to spend the majority of my remaining UK time with lots of lovely people having a cracking good time. So dear reader, if any of the following appeals to you (and you’re not a creepy creep), please do get in touch and we’ll do it together. I will need a lift for most of these anyway as I haven’t got a car:

1) Trip to Holy Island

2) Eat at the amazing Feather’s Inn in Hedley on the Hill

3) Go to 3 local music gigs – 1 down, 2 BOOKED

4) Go to the cinema at least 4 times – DONE

5) Visit the Turkish Baths at least 3 times on a Saturday morning – DONE

6) Trip to London (already booked, 2 trips actually) – DONE

7) Cracking Halloween Party – DONE

8 Visit the Laing Gallery – DONE

9) Eat at St Sushi at least twice – 1 down

10) Eat at Nudo at least twice – 1 down

11) Trip to the Barbour Outlet in South Shields – DONE

12) Eat a Parmo (proper one in Middlesbrough of course)

13) Stay a night in the Malmaison

14) See a NUFC match

15) Massive Suggestibles Night, with After Party and everything 🙂

For a second I contemplated ‘A night out on the Bigg Market’ which, for those who know, also means ‘Probably ending up bitch slapping a fat Geordie bird’, but as enticing as that sounds, I let reason prevail and took it off again. Also there is a good chance that the Parmo will finish me off anyway!

If there is anything you think should be on the list, by all means, let me know!

Now then, who wants to take me out for dinner? 🙂