Okay, that title is a bit misleading, but then again so was Stan Lee, because Peter Parker kept on being Spidey, for over 45 years.
Long time readers will know that I’ve been going out with MWG for over a year (I gushed about it recently), and that it’s been a good year and that I’m completely in love with her.
But things have changed, MWG is no longer MWG.
The story of why things changed is a long one, mainly taking place in my head as I thought about the future and my life.
I decided that things had to change and so, on Friday evening I took MWG out for a walk and got down on one knee.
Yes, I proposed. And thank all the gods, she said yes.
I did a little speech, but I’m not going to repeat it here because, well, it’s personal stuff and between me and my future wife.
“Future wife”. That still sounds a little odd, cool but odd, however, I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
But why is MWG gone? Well, it no longer applies. The “G” stood for girlfriend, and she’s not my girlfriend anymore, she’s my fiancée. And that’s why things are changing.
MWG is dead, long live MWF.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
Yesterday was exactly a year since MWG and I started going out. This is the first of my relationships to pass the year mark and celebrating an anniversary was a new thing for me.
It just feels crazy that it’s been a year already, in more than one way. In some ways it feels as though this first year has gone by extremely quickly. I guess you could put this down to the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun”, and aside from a few speed bumps and arguments my relationship with MWG has largely been about fun.
Spending time with her is one of my favourite things, even if we don’t do anything, just cocoon ourselves in bed, watch some TV and gorge ourselves on Domino’s pizza.
I love that we have similar geeky likes, I love how much of a Disney geek she is and how cute and adorable she is when she watches movies (she knows pretty much every song lyric, almost the entire Hercules script and cries every single time when nobody picks Oliver at the start of Oliver & Company). I love that I can just chill out with her, be myself and spend hours talking about pointless things.
But at the same time it feels like more than a year. It’s hard to comprehend that you can become so connected to someone in just a year, because over the last 12 months my love for her has just gotten stronger and bigger.
I can’t imagine my life without her now, I have never felt so right with someone, so comfortable and happy to spend time with someone. Even after spending all day with MWG I love seeing her face for the first time in the morning.
I know that we’re going to have plenty more anniversaries and although it’s only one year in, we’re planning for the years to come. We’ve talked about the future a lot, which is a big deal for someone like me, who normally just goes with the flow and sees what happens. Is this relationship a sign that I’m growing up? Probably.
We’ve got a cat together and it is odd how we already feel like a tiny little family unit. We still argue, although most is just bickering, but regardless of how stupid I’ve been or how frustrated she makes me, I always feel that we can sort it out and that I still love her. I feel better with her and that our connection to each other is pretty damn strong and can take the slings and arrows life throws at us. I don’t always succeed, but I really try to make her happy at all times and be considerate of her feelings, but it’s hard when you’re a complete idiot 75% of the time (seriously you’d think with size elevens I’d struggle to get my foot in my mouth, but sometimes I even manage to fit both in there)
In the last year she has become a massive part of my life, possibly the single biggest part. And I can’t wait to see what this, our second year together, will bring.
Apologies if you found this post a little soppy. What can I say? I’m a soft git at heart.
The last few days I have been racked with guilt. And utterly unable to ignore or forget it because I am confronted with the consequences of my actions on a regular basis.
What awful thing have I done? What is my own telltale heart reminding me of my evil deed?
The guilt is brought back every time I see Midnight, the kitten MWG and I have recently got.
As shown above, Midnight is an adorable bundle of black fur, and, like most kittens, a dervish of action and inquisitiveness. She scampers everywhere, climbing all the furniture and snooping about before curling up on one of us and sleeping, having knackered herself out.
However, since the other evening, her energy has been diminished and she goes about the place limping, avoiding putting weight on her left front paw.
I am the cause of this limp.
On Sunday night, I walked into the kitchen just as a small black blur rushed the other way. As my clumping size eleven came down there was an anguished squeal and the black blur shot off under the table.
For the rest of the evening she limped. I felt bad, apologised and hoped she would bounce back soon enough.
But Monday saw her still limping. There was no crying and she still showed affection and played, but her paw still caused her problems. I felt terrible, and this got worse as the day went on.
MWG decided that if she was still limping by Wednesday (today) that we’d have to take her to the vets.
This morning she was still limping.
The vet told us that she’s probably broken bones in her paw (tomorrow an X-ray will probably confirm this). So, dosed on pain killers midnight came home with us and dozed off.
I broke her paw. Of course, I feel a complete heel and every time she limps by it just gets worse. And her squeaks at the vets were even worse.
I know it was an accident, and I know that in a few weeks she’ll bounce back, cats are quite tough, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling utterly terrible about it all.
I guess in future I just have to look where I’m putting my foot more carefully.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
Resistance is futile. You can complain, you can try to distract yourself, but sooner or later trashy TV will get you.
This was the case with TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress and its sister show, Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta.
MWG has been obsessed with both shows recently, and to start with I did not get it. The premise of the show is simple- brides go to a wedding dress shop, try on dresses and see if one takes their fancy (being asked if they’ve found their dress at the end, giving the show it’s title and catchphrase).
Of course, this is reality TV so there’s a bit more drama to proceedings- family feuds, stroppy brides, stroppier bridesmaids and the bride’s insecurities, for example.
Anyway, it drove me nuts, I marvelled at how much people spent on a single dress (thousands of dollars) and all the fashion speak was like Klingon to me.
But slowly, slowly I found myself getting sucked into it. I found myself giving opinions on the dresses, sympathising with the brides who struggled with how they looked and fumed at the annoying bridesmaids (worst offender? A girl who wanted to wear a tiara to her sister’s wedding. A tiara for crying out loud!)
Seriously, how hard is it for a bridesmaid to shut their mouth, and know their damn role?!
You help the bride, keep her calm and smooth over any dramas. You don’t cause unnecessary grief, you don’t make it about you and you try not to steal focus. Or “do a Pippa” as it could be known.
Now I put up a token resistance when MWG flicks to TLC, but we both know that deep down I enjoy the show. Not as much as MWG, but then again I’m never going to go wedding dress shopping for myself, whereas that will be part of her future. And mine, hopefully.
The show, like the best reality TV, does a good job of pushing your buttons. Slick editing, simple stories and some hyping up of drama all gets the audience to go along with it, and for a soft git like me, the happiness of the brides who do find a dress and some of their relationship stories are quite heartwarming.
What can I say? I like a good wedding, okay, and a romantic story. And most of all, I like seeing people being happy.
Also, I like a trashy show that makes you tell at the TV or causes a bit of debate (see also: Don’t Tell The Bride, Take Me Out and Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents). MWG and I debate who’s in the wrong, judge the dresses and laugh at the more ridiculous characters on the show.
And there’s no denying, even to a fashion ignoramus like me, that some of the dresses are gorgeous. Even I chip in with “that doesn’t suit her” and other comments, despite not knowing what the hell they’re talking about.
There are still aspects that bug me- the expense, the brides who seem more concerned with being the centre of attention than the serious commitment that is marriage. This bugs me because I think lots of people go in giving more thought about the wedding than the marriage.
But these aside I’m slowly getting hooked on the show, and enjoying the little soap operas that unfold. This is a prime example of the whole “no guilty pleasures” thing I’ve written about before, because I’m not guilty about liking the show, just that I could have spent my time a bit more constructively, but you can say that about pretty much all TV shows.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
At the weekend MWG and I watched Plus Sized Wars a Channel 4 documentary about the plus sized fashion industry. It’s available on their on demand service All 4 and I recommend checking it out.
We decided to watch it because one of MWG’s friends is off to work for one of the companies featured and had mentioned the show.
It was interesting to watch as it dealt with the challenges facing both sides. The plus sized brands (Yours, Evans and Taking Shape) had more customers but especially in Evans’ case, they had to struggle to look fashionable. My Mum once described Evans as “the fat lady shop” (she shopped there at the time) and it’s clear this was the brand’s image.
The companies needed to address what their audience wanted, and to do this they enrolled a group of plus sized fashion bloggers, to advise and model their collections. This was something MWG really liked because it showed that the company was interesting in using real women and listening to them.
It was cool to see and the bloggers seemed a nice bunch of ladies who got on well and who were pleased that finally the fashion industry was trying to cater for their body shape. It was wonderful to see these confident, stylish women talk passionately about their bodies and their acceptance of their differences.
Body positivity and confidence is a big deal, far too many women (and men) struggle to be comfortable in their own skin. Constant comparison with the narrow view of beauty the media puts forward is damaging to self esteem, happiness and can ruin lives.
The bloggers were doing good work in changing this, in showing that you can be confident and stylish regardless of your size (one of the designers interviewed said that he wasn’t there to talk about size, but style and said simply “style has no size”). The bloggers showed a different path, a path of acceptance and happiness. They argued that fashion should be for everyone and that bigger women shouldn’t be left out, pushed to the side and given dull, shapeless outfits.
Hear, hear I say.
The bloggers’ online popularity meant that the fashion world had to listen. If there are thousands of people saying one thing or following these blogs it was simply good business to try and cater to them. The bloggers were actually changing things, being involved in the process and helping these companies move forward.
MWG, a voluptuous girl herself, thought this was a very good thing, that “real people” were used as models, replacing the previous use of slightly bigger models who still didn’t really reflect the customer. And she also liked that the people interviewed were respectful and that the show’s tone mirrored this.
Of course, with documentaries like this the real strength and interest comes from the personalities involved and their own stories. The bloggers, including Bethany Rutter (Arched Eyebrow), Callie Thorpe (From the Corners of the Curve) and Danielle Vanier (self-titled) were engaging, vocal and charming in their interviews.
Yours decided to call in the big guns for their new range, hiring American model and social media phenomenon Tess Holliday aka Tess Munster. I’ve mentioned Munster in a previous post and am a fan, especially of her #effyourbeautystandards movement. She appeared to be a force to be reckoned with and it was interesting that the doc captured the changing attitudes of the fashion industry with Holliday signing for a major agency.
It was further evidence of the power of social media, as her large following helped open doors but its hard to argue that she didn’t deserve it or that it wasn’t a big step forward. Bethany Rutter celebrated the decision particularly as Munster was vastly different from anything that had come before. She was a true plus size woman, who many could relate to more than any other model who’d been put forward.
Munster’s trip to the UK also included a meet and greet with fans, which showed the positive impact she and her body confidence stance can have. Nervously on route to meet her heroine was Hannah Boal, a UK based blogger (Fabulously Fat Fashion). Bullied for years it was clear that Munster had inspired her and helped her learn to love and accept herself. Their meeting was sweet, moving and you couldn’t help but appreciate the positive effect Munster’s success has had on young women and how they view their bodies.
The other story followed was that of blogger and model Georgina Horne (Fuller Figure Fuller Bust), who joined others for a photo shoot and who highlighted a problem with the plus size community. Horne was like many of the others in her passion for fashion and belief that the plus sized woman has been ignored, however she differed in one respect. She was trying to lose weight and get in slightly better shape.
It was here that she encountered problems. Like Dylan going electric she was viewed as a traitor by some. I felt this part of plus sized community was mistaken.
Horne was still proud of her body, and confident in it, but she wanted to improve herself, for herself, and I think that’s fine. You can be happy and confident and still feel there’s room for improvement without being a hypocrite or betraying the cause. Horne wasn’t talking about losing tons of weight and becoming a size zero, neither was she hating herself or other larger women, she just personally felt as though she’s be happier if she got in slightly better shape. And isn’t that what the whole movement was about, women being happy with themselves?
It was a great doc, well made and engaging and it’s good to see the plus sized woman finally being treated with respect and catered to on the high Street, and to be introduced to some fabulously confident women. I’ve included links to their blogs because if you’re into fashion and are plus sized I think they’ll be a positive thing to see, and they all seemed quite nice, with no bitchiness.
If anyone knows any male plus size fashion bloggers let me know, so the young men can get the same thing.
I think the show was good and I think it’s great that the internet and social media allows women to express themselves and find a community of people like them and to realise that beauty is a varied thing. This can help them gain more confidence, accept themselves and generally be a bit happier, and that is most definitely a good thing.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
Disclaimer: MWG had the TV on while I was watching this so I got distracted by the cheesiness of The Lizzie McGuire movie, so forgive me if this goes astray.
On Sunday night, to celebrate my birthday MWG took me to a rather fancy hotel. It was four stars and probably the nicest place I’ve ever stayed, having checked in we went for food and decided on Nando’s, I think in part to cancel out the poshness of the hotel.
For those unfamiliar with Nando’s it’s a chain of chicken restaurants that serve food with peri-peri sauce and have a Mozambican/Portuguese theme according to Wikipedia. The food’s pretty decent and it’s got a relaxed atmosphere, so it’s a pretty cool place all in all, apart from that some idiots go in there and use terms like “cheeky Nando’s”.
Whatever, as we sat down I decided on my order- a double burger. And as you can choose your spice level, from Plain(ish) to Extra Extra Hot, I opted for Lemon and Herb, which is towards the low end of the spectrum. If I’m having just one burger I’d go for medium, but with two I decided to take it down a notch, and the Lemon and Herb is actually pretty tasty.
While MWG placed the order I sat at the table and remembered something I’d read once, a quick Google found the same thing, via the Cosmopolitan website, where a Nando’s staff member confessed:
You wouldn’t believe how many guys order ‘weak’ chicken and quietly ask you to change the flag so it makes it looks like they ordered hot chicken. It happens ALL the time.
That is hands down one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever heard. And one of the most pointless.
If you don’t want spicy, don’t order spicy. There’s nothing wrong with not liking hot food, it’s just a personal taste thing.
I suspect it’s some kind of bollocks macho thing, where they don’t want to look weak or girly, which is a little bit depressing. And I’d argue it’s kinda weak to pretend to be eating Extra Extra Hot when it’s just a Medium, just be open about it, you are who you are, don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
The fact that these dudes feel the need to mask it shows how stupid this whole masculinity concept is in our society. It’s a vague concept at the best of times, that someone is somehow more “manly” than another guy. That there’s a checklist you have to tick off in order to be a “real man”.
Stephen Fry. Tommy Lee. Bear Grylls. David Cameron. Russell Brand. Mike Tyson. Prince. The Rock.
All of these are men. Is one more of a man than the others? No.
Masculinity shouldn’t exist, or at least shouldn’t be a big deal. Why not just do what you want, rather than worrying about how it looks to other people?
I’m not the most macho of guys, and I regularly get grief from people about liking stuff which isn’t traditionally manly- rom coms, Eurovision, shirts with flowers on, Made in Chelsea, Lady Gaga etc. I get told I need to stop being “girly”.
This is annoying because (a) is being like a girl really an insult? I don’t think so and (b) what the hell is wrong with liking what I like? Does it hurt others that I like blaring Born This Way on my iPod? Or that I think When Harry Met Sally is a quality movie?
Does it matter that I don’t give a toss about cars or the size of their engine? That I scream when I see a spider? That I order a Korma sometimes?
There’s this pressure on dudes to be “manly”, and it’s not good. It’s making people insecure about who they are, and that’s never good.
It’s also not healthy, and potentially dangerous, making men less likely to open up about their emotions, or seek help for problems, because that’s not seen as being a manly thing to do. They bottle things up, but sooner or later something’s gotta give, and talking it out early on might save everyone a lot of bother and misery.
That’s the serious end of the spectrum, but it bleeds through into regular life for dudes. They worry about how they look to others, they can’t be open about what they like and who they are. It even ruins their trips out for some chicken, because they’re worried about being exposed as a Lemon and Herb eater.
And even more depressingly it’s continuing this view that feminine things are lesser, or bad. That the worst thing a man can be is like a woman, as if women are inherently a bad thing. Which I think we all know is utter bollocks.
You like what you like. Don’t worry about whether it’s traditionally aimed at the other gender, it speaks to you, so embrace it. Trying to stick to what society expects of your gender limits your opportunities and choices, and you’ll never match all the expectations and standards, and you shouldn’t try to.
You’re an individual, not some daft list of characteristics that people can’t even agree on fully.
You’re a man because you’re a man, not because of what you like or how spicy your food is.
Be who you are, and when you make peace with that, you’ll feel a whole lot better, and won’t have to switch flags in your chicken.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
Getting your calf tattooed hurts a lot more than your arms. Or at least that’s my experience, because I’m currently in a fair amount of pain as Morgan at Frontier gives me a chubby mermaid on my right leg.
Luckily I have MWG on hand to comfort me with terrible jokes and to take pictures of my pained face for her amusement (see above).
To be fair as MWG and her mum have put cash towards this, an idea I’ve wanted for a while, as my 30th birthday present.
I’ve decided to blog as it’s done in order to distract myself. I’ve had worse pain, I caught the tip of Fernando in a zip once and watched the Wales vs Italy game where the ref screwed us over and we drew, much to the mockery of every single English person I knew.
Anyway, that being said this does quite hurt. Not in a “Kill me now!” Way but in a prolonged discomfort way, a repetitive scratching that surpasses what I’ve had before.
I think part of the problem is that the position, and it seems to hurt worse nearer the knee and on the sides, the meaty part of my calf isn’t so bad.
I think the major problem is I can’t see what he’s doing. On my arms I could see it all getting done and knew I was a fair amount in. I also knew that an inch was an inch whereas now I fear what feels like an inch has actually just been a few millimetres.
Still it’ll be worth it, Morgan got the concept and the sketch was bang on. I’ll post this later when I have a pic to add at the bottom, but for now, at 11:45 this is me signing off, halfway through.
And while I hate to be all macho and lame, I was raised on John Wayne movies, so feel I have to point out that despite the hurt I haven’t cried. Of course, it might get dustier in here.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
The other day I was daydreaming about what I’d do I won the lottery, outlining my plans for international travel, gadgets and gigs galore, when MWG said something that totally fried my brain.
“You can’t quit your job, though.”
The whole point of the lottery fantasy is that you’re instantly wealthy and freed from work. I’m not saying I’d be a total bum, I’d probably try to go pro as a writer and power through on one of my ideas for a novel. What I would definitely do however is quit my day job.
The thing is that for most of us working is a major drag, and you’re unlikely to spring out of bed with eagerness, unless you have a particularly satisfying job like being a rock star, a professional athlete or the hit man hired to take out Piers Morgan.
For the rest of us the only thing driving us from the comfort of our beds is the grim voice of logic whispering in our ear, telling us that if we don’t go to work we won’t have money to eat or do fun stuff. I’m a firm believer in the “work to live, not live to work” ethos, and if my numbers came in I would be able to live without working.
MWG disagrees, saying that even if I was suddenly cash rich I’d have to keep going in until my notice was served. Which strikes me as being extremely crappy, not just for me, but for the folks I work with because quite frankly I’d already have one foot out of the door.
I don’t think that MWG gets this because she’s one of those lucky so-and-sos who’s actually doing the job she’s wanted for years and gets a lot of satisfaction from. She enjoys her career, and that’s a wonderful thing, to have a vocation, but a lot of us don’t have vocations, heck, some of us don’t have careers, we just have jobs.
And a job is something different, it’s something you do to pay for the fun parts of life. Without it you’d happily stay in bed until whenever and spend your days going to the cinema and generally chilling out. Work would be nigh on impossible from that point on. Could you stick out a tough day knowing you didn’t have to be there? Would you put up with your boss giving you grief if you knew you had more cash than him anyway?
Everyone would crack eventually, unless they’re one of those lucky few doing a job they genuinely love. For the rest of us it’s just a question of how much we can take.
Personally, I think not a lot. One article about an exotic location or crazy experience to try and I’d be gone. Or a chance to go to a music festival. Or a major sporting event. Heck, I think the first sunny day would be a challenge.
I’m writing this on Friday evening, so I’m existing in a bizarre situation. It’s a Schrodinger’s Cat type of deal, at the moment the lottery ticket in my wallet is both a winning and losing ticket. Until I actually check my numbers later I’m actually existing in two states- I’m skint, but I’m also a millionaire.
I’m probably still skint, the odds are pretty long on this one.
But you never know, my next post could come from a Tokyo cafe or a South Pacific beach. If I’m either of those places, I’ll have quit my job.
I just have to win MWG over on it first.
Did I just hear a whip crack?
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.
There’s an American TV show where this guy sycophantically interviews film stars, it’s not particularly interesting because the dude doesn’t really probe that deep. However, every guest is asked the same questions as part of the process, and as my acting career has stalled at amateur dramatics level I thought I’d answer them here, so here we go.
1. Favourite word.
I can’t remember when I first heard this word, for some reason I think it was either Don King or a Don King impression that used the word, but I dug it. It’s just one of those words that sounds right for what it means.
Discombobulated just sounds more fitting and accurate than “confused”.
2. Least favourite word.
Does YOLO count as a word? It’s my blog and I’m saying it does. This only just edged out “bae”, and only because I’ve not heard anyone seriously use bae out loud. I’m not against text speech, it has it’s place- in text. Using them out loud is not kosher and I’m secretly a little judgmental of anyone who uses them out loud.
YOLO doesn’t mean anything offensive, and the idea of “you only live once” can be freeing and a decent policy in some areas, but the problem is that about 90% of the people I’ve heard use this unironically have been douches, and that’s just tainted the whole thing for me.
3. What turns you on?
Well, MWG obviously.
Aside from her, I generally favour bigger, curvier women.
On a non-looks basis? I like passion. I don’t just mean sexual passion, I just find it an attractive quality when someone is really passionate and into something, although still able to laugh at it a bit, because passion is good, obsession is something else, and you’ve got to have a sense of humor about stuff.
4. What turns you off?
Gods, that sounds pretentious.
Hate, I guess. Everyone has things they don’t like, that’s part of life, but there’s this level where it tips into this angry, consuming hate which is just incredibly ugly to me.
Man, I sound like a hippie.
5. What sound/noise do you love?
Ice cream van music.
It doesn’t matter where or when I hear it, a little part of me is happy to hear it. I think it’s because I like knowing that it’s making kids excited and happy, and that as an adult I can pick whatever I want if I choose to go follow the piper’s tune, without my Dad pressuring me to go for a Mini Milk (they were like 20p when I was a kid, and my Dad would try and nudge us in that direction).
6. What sound/noise do you hate?
England rugby fans singing “Swing Low”.
And not just because it usually means England are winning, but because of the song’s origins as a slave spiritual which doesn’t fit with the certain type of English fan it brings to mind- a little bit posh, arrogant and basically a douche.
7. Favourite curse word?
Motherf**ker and it’s variants.
It’s long and you can adjust tone so it can be used in lots of different ways. And I just love how it sounds, especially when said by Samuel L Jackson.
8.What profession would you like to attempt?
This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was like twelve, and while what type of writer I’ve wanted to be has changed it’s always been there. I think I’d like to be a globe trotting reporter who meets weird people and tells their stories in a kinda gonzo way.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
Nurse, politician, call centre worker, soldier, England football manager, there’s a bunch, really.
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“You did alright, kid. Maybe you failed a lot, and you coulda been nicer at times, but you did alright. And you were right, I ain’t got a problem with the gays or other religions, heck, I’m letting you in and some of the stuff you’ve written on that blog is pretty close to blasphemy. Whatever, get in here, there’s lots of cool people you gotta meet.”
NB In my head God speaks with either the voice of John Wayne or Katherine Hepburn.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.