My journals, revisited

I’ve gotten into the habit of writing a journal, which I began when travelling and after some encouragement from my Dad (who is always right about such things).

Often, what I write is basically a stream of consciousness. Sometimes the words veer abruptly from wittering about pancakes into blasts of worried sentences that seem to come out of nowhere, stuff I’m clearly anxious about, but didn’t know I was until it poured out. I also often write down quotes from books or people that strike me as interesting, or inspirational.

I find I usually have no recollection of the words when I go back and read them again- it’s like it pours out of the brain and onto the page. This is probably why I find writing a journal helpful; it’s like the mental equivalent of unclogging a blocked sink.

However, it also means that revisiting the journal becomes strangely enjoyable. I rediscover whole parts of my life I literally forgot I lived through, and it feels like my life as a whole gets bigger and fuller as a result of refreshing those memories. I can’t believe how many trips I’ve been on when I wasn’t journaling that have almost totally disappeared from my mind. I spent an entire year living in Thailand once, and my recollections are pretty limited to vague impressions of yellow t-shirts, shopping malls, children with identical haircuts, brightly lit beach parties, and myself wandering around some empty streets drinking iced coffee out of a plastic bag. It makes me sad to think about what I’ve lost.

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Thanks for the creme egg, Red Sandy: sex clubs, reviewed

Note: NSFW, or people who are bothered by discussion of kinky sex practices. (Other people’s,  not mine!)


Those of you who read my blog will know that I occasionally enjoy browsing through online reviews for supermarkets left by Bristolians with not a lot better to do (see here and here).

I’ve recently taken a slightly new direction in time-wasting. It started when I realised that one of Bristol’s notorious local sex clubs, The Office, has plenty of reviews left for it on dedicated swingers’ message boards. This then led me down an internet rabbit hole.

Since, as I discovered, sex clubs are expensive, people don’t want to pay to get into a dud one. (A dud sex club is apparently one where loads of old fat guys stand around, drinking Stella and crowding round a plastic-sheeted bed watching one presumably discombobulated-but-enthusiastic couple politely ignore them from the missionary position). So online reviews of sex clubs are both comprehensive and detailed across the country, as people try and work out what they should do with their weekends.


The Office sex club, Bristol. Turns out not to be well reviewed, despite the ambitiously in-your-face decor

This all makes me very happy. It turns out that with a bottle of red wine on hand, I can get lost in reading sex club reviews for, well, a bit too long. There’s just something about the banal precision of the way people describe all the facilities, coupled with the arresting details of people’s presumably hot and sticky nights of glitter-covered group sex on revolving beds, that I find both diverting and inspirational. To think that I spend my evenings out drinking G&Ts and talking about whether George Ferguson screwed up by introducing resident’s parking zones.

So, welcome to the world of online sex club reviews. I’ll give you a tour.

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Charles Saatchi lists his six favourite books and everyone is weirded out

Thanks to The Week magazine, I have given more thought to Charles Saatchi today than I’ve given him in the rest of my life put together.

“The advertising guru Charles Saatchi, founder of the Saatchi Gallery, picks his six favourite books.”

  1. The Famous Five series, Enid Blyton. “I very much wanted to join up and for it to become The Famous Six”.

We all did, Charles, but most of us tend to look back on it with an involuntary shudder. Remember Anne and how annoying she was, always playing with those damn dolls and needing rescuing from small enclosed spaces? Remember that patronising little shit Julian, always buying icecreams for everyone with his own money and acting so magnanimous about it?

Remember Dick?


2. Bleak House, Charles Dickens. “Dickens’ daunting indictment of the British legal system […] I have re-read many times over the years. The BBC television series, starring Gillian Anderson, was so very poor, thankfully very few people would have watched it.”

A few things on this:

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Teen heart-throbs I had the hots for in the 90s, in order of how much they give me the creeps now

I went through a phase…OK, maybe more than just a phase… of putting up the posters of teen heart-throbs, from the teen magazines I used to buy.

These man-children hung on my walls, pouted benignly over every waking moment of my utterly unremarkable and unattractive adolescence… until the blu-tack dried out, and they fell face-first into my plastic model ponies. (Always a sad day). I’m not sure what made me think of it today, but I was, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about them.

Disturbingly, it seems that in my teenage years, I swung from fancying guys who looked somewhat man-like, to those who don’t actually seem to have reached puberty. It’s weird to think that adult women and men collected up some of these pictures and marketed them to me as sex symbols. I mean, I was young enough to still be attracted to someone whose voice was not yet broken, and they knew about it. Bleurgh. Imagine that being your job. Presumably, someone still does this stuff now (although I can’t imagine with smartphones and all that new-fangled whatnot, that today’s teenage girls are putting up with the rubbish quality snaps and articles we used to get our kicks to- they’re probably all watching X-rated home sex videos of the dudes, or something).

So. Anyway. We’re rating the hotties for their creeps-giving qualities in reverse order, starting with the least creepy:

Callan Mulvey (“Drazic” in Heartbreak High)

DRAZIC-heartbreak-high-3175304-218-300To be honest, after googling Callan Mulvey for about ten minutes, I have come to the conclusion that I still would.

Putting this poster on my wall might be one of the least creepy things that I did at 13, in fact.

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Reviewing Bristol: Not one plain scone. Anywhere.

My housemates and I were looking our local Tesco up on Google Maps the other day. 

Somehow we happened across the Google Reviews. It had never occurred to me that anyone in the world might use up the precious seconds of their life writing a review of a store that is essentially just a giant hangar full of brightly-lit corporate meh, but they do. 

Somehow (and I admit I was fully intending to be trawling through the listings looking for a place to live this evening) I ended up looking at reviews of all the supermarkets in Bristol, finding them weirdly compelling. 

So now I am probably going to live with my friends for another month and not in a nice flat near the waterfront with the ability to watch ‘Made in Chelsea’ in the nude.

However, on balance, I’m happy with my life because I’ve read these reviews.

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One Directioners won’t take your photo trickery sh*t just because they’re upset, Hollywood Life

A story from Hollywood Life reports that Zayn Malik and Harry Styles had a teary 2am phone call before Zayn quit One Direction.

Zayn was (allegedly) cruel enough to imply that he is ‘better than’ the others in 1d, and that this was partly fuelling his decision to leave. That Zayn could even think that- let alone say it- was hurtful enough to move Harry to tears. The article is headed by photos of Harry and Zayn in tears, to underscore this point.


The article uses old photos- not actual photos of the incident in question.

If you think the readers of Hollywood Life wouldn’t spot this trickery, even with the emotional strain they’re under, you have another think coming.

(Comments verbatim)

Commenter 1: Zayn would not say that he is better than the other guys. Plus the other guys are all supporting zayn. I follow all of them on google+ and yeah they are sad just like everyone else but are still happy for him. They are happy for him. You guys are just doing this to get directioners worked up.

Commenter 2: omg two girls died when they heard about this,I ALMOST DIED TOO.I was watching tv when they said”Sadly,Zayn malik Dropped out of the famous ONE DERECIOn”I fainted.Next thing I know im in the hospital

Commenter 3: As if Zayn would say he’s better than us, I know better than to believe this crap! I mean.. seriously.. why in the hell would you use pictures of them doing CHARITY work in Africa! This is sickening! Shame on you Hollywood Life! This is just a ploy to get fans worked up about him leaving, but a smart fan would know that this is and EXTREMELY old photo! 

Commenter 4: So, if those pictures are from when they were talking on the phone, why did I find the same exact ones from when One Direction went to Africa two years ago…? Ha. small world…
Commenter 5: I agree. If you r a true directioner, u wouldn’t hate or get mad at one of the band members because of a hard decision they had to make. A true directioner, knows that the band has a hard life, traveling to make all us fans happy. We need to say thanks to the boys for the wonderful experience we’ve had. A true directioner, would support all the boys, no matter what happens.
Commenter 6: First of all, the picture of Harry is from a couple of years ago when One Direction (or maybe only Harry and Liam, I forget) went to Africa. You can find the vid of him crying during the trip on youtube. He was getting emotional after seeing a baby who was going to die because of health and safety. Second of all, if the picture isn’t updated, how do I know the info is true? IT ISN’T. THIS SITE IF FULL OF CRAP.
Commenter 7: I’m a one direction fan to the band are better off with out zayn they don’t need him chin up lads.
Commenter 8: everyone who says that they hate zayn needs to stfu. and for all the people who is saying that this story is fake because of this picture needs to wake up because they are just using this picture for an example of how they looked like crying. of course they wouldnt have a real picture of zayn in harry on the phone at 2am crying. it was private. duh!!!!!!