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Keen to catch a few rays at lunchtime today, I nipped out of the office and made a B-line for the sunny terrace at Cafe Nero. I sported my sunnies, positioned myself in full view of the sun and made a start on my new book. My latest read is a curious find that I  picked up in a dusty corner at my parents house.

The book’s unusual title and its dog eared appearance made it an oddly appealing choice. Little did I know that this haphazard decision, would have such a profound effect on my day’s lunch hour… The book is called ‘The Leopard‘ and is written by the Italian author Giueseppe di Lampedusa.

Just as I was turning to page 2, a big haired youth came bounding towards me:

I can’t believe you’re reading that book. Oh my God! It’s the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. Oh my God! You are so lucky!

Lucky? Huh! didn’t feel it. Not with this unwelcome guest grinning down at me and my book. Much to my dismay there was no way to escape. All the other tables were taken and I was only half way through my lunch. I simply couldn’t leave.

It turns out that this ‘life changing book’ which is set in Sicily – also happens to be the birthplace of my new big-haired friend. No wonder he was excitable.

As he sidled up closer and closer, I decided to give this foreign stranger a chance. On closer inspection he was quite good looking and I’d simply couldn’t burst his bubble of enthusiasm.

We discussed the book at great length – which was quite tricky for me (as I was still only on page 2) and then we went on to chat about art. Yep, no jokes, I talked to a boy I’d known for five minutes about art. How pretentious is that? It’s all the more embarrassing because everyone in the cafe was listening to every word we said.

In spite of my original suspicions, I began to enjoy myself. So when the stranger asked me for my name, I didn’t make one up. And when he asked for my number, I didn’t make that up either.

A few text messages have been exchanged and a rendez vous is set for tomorrow lunchtime.

Watch this space…


I’m relieved to say that the trips to casualty have stopped, but any party that I throw is almost always fated to go horribly wrong.

The most recent disaster was our house warming party back in December. My housemates and I went to different schools and different universities so we thought that this would be the perfect occasion to mix everyone together. In theory, this was an ingenious idea, in reality it was a catastrophe.

We’d invited an equal ratio of girls to boys, but about 90% of the people who turned up were girls. We’d set a lame theme, and the brave people who turned up in costume were made to feel humiliated all evening. Small groups of people assembled in separate corners of the flat and made no effort to talk to any of the others.

I helplessly drifted between the groups trying to muster some sort of chit-chat but it was a pitiful effort and a pitiful party.With nothing better to do, I resorted to gulping down everyone’s half empty glasses. This really was agony.

In  an effort to ease the deadly atmosphere I logged on to Spotify hoping that the website would create a hip playlist. How wrong I was.

Several hours later when the party was at its flattest and only a few loyal friends remained our doorbell rang. The previous night I had attended a raving house party hosted by some impossibly cool French students. As I was thrown across the kitchen, dancing ‘Le Rock’ with a very attractive boy, I casually mentioned that I was throwing an equally cool party the following night. I then went home, went to bed, and did not think anymore about it. That is until the doorbell rang.

As I gingerly opened the door, I was greeted by two Gallic hunks. If only I could have run away and hid, but I was forced to take the two boys up to our flat. By this stage the Spotify playlist had slowed down to some more mellow beats, and as we crossed the threshold, our ears were greeted by Cliff Richard singing The Lord’s Prayer. It was like walking into a Bible bashing cult.

Needless to say the beaux garcons did not stay for long. Needless to say, I never heard from either one again.

The only redeeming feature of the whole painful evening was when my friend Karen stated:

That was the best lame party ever!

Well I’ve been lucky enough to attend some highly original parties of late, but when it comes to hosting them myself, I’m still quite a novice.

Despite the best intentions, my parties always seem to go slightly wrong. This isn’t just a recent conundrum, sadly this dates back to childhood.

On my fourth birthday party – my friend Catriona fell off the monkey bars, broke her arm and ended in  casualty.

On my thirteenth birthday party – the innocent idea of a paint-balling party resulted in my friend unconscious in casualty with concussion.

On my seventeenth birthday – too much booze was consumed and my friend Freddie slit his wrist on a broken plant pot. Guess where he ended up? Casualty.

Last night I was out celebrating the birthday of my dear friend Paddy. Despite having a super evening, I woke up this morning with my mind made up. I hate Mexican food.

Considering that most of our evening was centred around a Mexican meal, it’s a miracle I had such a good time. But as I sat in our mock ‘Cancun’ restaurant and stared at the tediously long menu, it struck me that every Mexican dish is exactly the same. Whether you opt for a burrito, a tortilla or even a chimichanga you’ll be faced with the same greasy dish and it will almost certainly be laden with melted cheese.

Underwhelmed by the prospect of bland black beans and oily chicken, I decided to spice things up and opted for the extra hot  chilli. What an error that was. I spent the majority of the evening panting in a corner, with my mouth literally on fire. Not even a chilled Corona could soothe the burn.

So to sum up – Mexican food is either deadly dull or deathly hot. And I don’t like it.

Image credit: Flikr

After a bit of reflection, I’ve located the source of my violent hatred for Mexican food. It all comes down to my stint as a ‘serveuse’ in a Tex-Mex restaurant in Paris. Although I had intended to work in a quintessentially Parisian cafe, I ended up serving cheesy nachos in soulless American chain. It wasn’t quite the Amelie dream. And it was at Cafe Indiana that my Mexican grudge began.

It’s common knowledge that French kitchens aren’t the most hygienic of places but Cafe Indiana pushed the definition of hygiene to new heights. In addition to the infestation of cockroaches, Cafe Indiana had a serious problem with rodents. It was on more than one occasion that I saw a long tailed rat scuttle through our kitchen, and it seemed that mice used the restaurant as a breeding ground. Whenever a paying customer saw a mouse (which was fairly frequently) we were told to shut them up with a free coffee. Needless to say, we lost clientele on a daily basis.

So it was in this filthy environment that I became familiar with the ins and outs of Mexican food. Is it really a surprise that I hate it so much? And two years down the line, no amount of Corona or Tequila will change my mind. Lo siento, but nothing compares to a German sausage.

My first gig as a promoter happened that very same day. Armed with two crates of Alibi and a hefty wad of leaflets I headed to a swanky office in the West End.

Completely under-qualified for my impending task, I bounded into the office and set up my stand by the canteen. I’m not gonna lie, I was looking quite the part with my Alibi polo shirt and a matching baseball cap worn at a jaunty little angle.

As I set to work pouring the drink into little sample cups, I was almost blinded by the toxic coloured liquid that poured out of the can. Alibi may well be packed full of natural ingredients, but it sure doesn’t look like it. And as I took my first gulp of the stuff I realised that not only did it look toxic, it tasted pretty toxic too.

I slighlty panicked. This promotional business would not be as easy as I’d anticipated. But not afraid of a little challenge, I was determined to look over such minor details as taste and appearance and ensure that every employee leave their lunch fully informed about Alibi.

Much to my relief and surprise the employees seemed to almost like the drink. They even feigned interest in my sales pitch and some actually brought cans.

But just as I was getting a bit cocky, the bombshell dropped.

Three tall, good-looking boys were approaching me. Instead of feeling a little flirtation coming on, I felt my cheeks burn with embarrassment. Much to my disbelief, I knew all three boys – we  had all been at university together. Whilst they looked dapper and corporate, I looked like an American drive-thru girl. Suddenly I wasn’t so proud of my baseball cap.

Before I could run and hide, one of the boys asked with a raised eyebrow:

So KK… is this what you’re doing now you’ve graduated?

I mumbled some vague answer and rather nervously offered the guy a sample of the drink

Errrrrh! That’s disgusting! … Oh well good luck with the promotion. See you around

Gosh! I felt thoroughly awkward. But then after a minute or two I realised that I was actually having quite a fun time. In fact I was having a hoot. I loved chatting away to curious faces and I got such a buzz from my occasional sale.

What’s more, as everyone filed back to their desks, to sit at their computers and carry on working, my shift was coming to an end.

Maybe promoting Alibi wasn’t that bad after all. I quite liked adding a touch of fizz into the boring corporate world.

I really am the worst culprit for getting swept up and carried away.

So my spiritual fad didn’t last long, but I’m continuing to ride high on the wave of my German New Year. I must explain however that this German phase is only one of my many obsessions with foreign cultures.

When I came back from living in France for a year, I was simply insufferable. Dressed head to toe in black, with a chic neck scarf and a Longchamp handbag, I was a walking, wannabe  Parisienne. Sadly my airs and graces were not limited to style – in every walk of life I wanted to appear nonchalantly French. I even went as far as drinking every hot beverage out of a bowl!

Image credit: Flikr

But my greatest and most dramatic cultural obsession was not France, it was Cuba.

At the headstrong age of 19, I went to Havana alone with the intention of learning Spanish and Salsa dancing. I casually booked the tickets on a whim, without really knowing what I was letting myself in for.

After only two weeks away, I returned to England transformed. I was a Salsa-dancing, Rasta-loving, raving Communist. My favourite colour was red, my latest crush was Che Guevara and my catchphrase became ‘Vive la revolucion.’ I had become hideous. Utterly utterly hideous.

Image credit: Flikr

I lectured anyone who dared to listen about the evils of Capitalism and I tut-tutted as we walked past the heaving shelves at Tescos. I was starting a revolution on my own.

Alas, as time went on, I got yanked off my high horse. I began to enjoy having lots of choice back in England, I began to enjoy feeling safe and free, and I recognised just how great Blighty really is.

But every once in a while, when I sling back a mojito, my spirited Socialism will raise its agressive head!

I say it every year, but I’m always so relieved when a new year swings by. Towards the last few weeks of December I was a bit of a blubbering wreck. Well it’s already week two of  2010 and I’m pleased to say that I’m still bright eyed and bushy tailed!

I really owe this renewed and uplifted state of mind to my great German pal -Nina – who kindly invited me to her homeland for New Year.

I met Nina back in 2007 at the Sorbonne in Paris. We were both naughty Erasmus students and we bonded in a literature class when none of the sniffy Parisians would talk to us.

Now neither Nina nor I are what you’d call ‘bilangue’ – but nonetheless, we insist on communicating with each other in our pidgin French. God only knows what a French person would think when they hear our thick accents destroying their beautiful language. But, c’est pas grave, cos it works for us.

During my dreamy year in Paris, Nina and I spent most of our time drinking champagne on the Champs Elysees, picnicking along the Seine and attempting, but not really succeeding to master the art of Brazilian dance with our weekly samba lessons.

Since we’ve returned to our native countries, Nina and I have remained bosom buddies. So when Nina phoned me up and invited me to Leipzig for five days of New Year celebrations, I simply could not turn down the chance for some hearty German fun.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a quirky, amusing or foreign New Year. I’m not quite sure what happened whilst I was out there, but I’ve returned to London a renewed person and a serious lover of all things Deutsch.

So now I’ve told you about SRK and the exclusive world of social networking, it’s high time to mention another, all together different aspect of my life pre-christmas.

By day, I worked chez SRK, by night, I schmoozed with the rich and famous – satisfying them with mulled wine and designer canapes.

Now most of us have probably worked in a bar or a restaurant at some point in our lives, but there is nothing quite comparable to working in events. Every job is unique, in a different venue, with different people and a fresh dollop of gossip.

I’ve worked at charity do’s, funerals, carol concerts, birthday bashes and some fairly spectacular Christmas parties. I’ve done events for snobbish bankers, Zimbabwean hunters, trendy film makers and even rampant lawyers, (yes, I did walk into a pair of barristers ‘getting it on’).

I’ve worked with the well-to-do in South Kensington and I’ve worked amongst earnest Guardian readers in Islington. I’ve served chipolatas to vintage clock enthusiasts, Parisian art dealers and even the Archbishop of Canterbury. But my most enduring memory as a waitress had to be dressing up as a Hopak dancer for a Russian Inspired extravaganza.

I discovered a number of things as I waitressed my way across London:

1. There’s always a secret shag at a Christmas party.

2. Parisian and Italian women won’t touch canapes.

3. English women are the first to tuck into a plate of sausages.

4.  People that work in catering, work bloody hard and are jolly nice

5. If you keep smiling, you can get away with any number of spillages or breakages. Just.

The worst question anyone could ask me at the moment is:

“So what do you do?”

Because in all brutal honest truth, I don’t have a job.

What I’ve gathered over these past jobless months is that people really do judge you by your occupation. A job can reveal whether you’re intelligent, creative, interesting or successful. And if you don’t have one, then quite frankly you’re considered dull.

I may not have had a steady flow of income dripping into my bank account, but I don’t think I can say that my unemployed life has been dull.

Before Christmas, my life was a whirlwind of the most curious situations imaginable.

My time was split doing three totally different tasks.

1. Interning for the SRK – helping him set up his elitist social networking site.

2. Earning money as a waitress

3. Applying, applying applying

Have these three tasks got me anywhere?…hmmm, I’m not sure, but they’ve certainly given me a panoramic view of London life!

Crikes, it’s suddenly Saturday 9th January and there’s tons to say already. But before I launch into the shenanigans of 2010, I thought it would be best to provide a wee bit of background info.

You can find me living somewhere in West London, on a leafy road in a three bedroom flat. I live with two charming girls: KFG and Penelope, (we’ll call her Penny). We’ve been living in our eccentric residence for over two months now, and we’re very comfy, thank you very much.

KFG is a budding fabric designer – preparing herself to rival Liberty with her fabulous floral prints. Penny is a party planner, who swans around London and throws the chicest, most exclusive parties in town.

My real home is in the countryside in a picturesque village that boasts a rather good pub. The parents live at home, but my older brother David (who’s just got engaged to the lovely Lucy) lives down the road from me in Battersea.

In-between leaving home and coming to London, I spent three years in a pretty standard university town and one dreamy year living in Paris.

I’ve only ever had two serious boyfriends. One started off as a friend – became a boyfriend – and is now back to being just a friend. The other can only be described as the Italian shit. Glamorous, suave and attractively foreign, but underneath it all, a nasty piece of work.

So there is my brief overview, but more will be revealed.