Tag Archives: london

Night of the Living Dead Dogs


It was a cold night, the last days of summer marked by a distinctive bite to the air.  The shelves of my local supermarket were stocked with pumpkins, and orange and black sweets twinkled from the till. Halloween was near. Outside my window the leaves on the trees had turned orange, as if they too were preparing to celebrate old hallows eve, the night that the world of the past and the present collide.

But this year, that day came early.

It was a series of accidents that led to the resurrection of my past,  and dead dogs long laid to rest came back to haunt me.

The first dead dog came to me in a dream. It was the night before my big conference at work. Perhaps it was the stress of the event, or the detailed account Claude had given me of Paranormal Activity 2 (when I’d purposely sat out of watching it) but I woke up at 4am to a scratching noise behind my headboard. Springing from my bed, I flicked on the light and listened intently. No scratching.

I got back into bed and finally got back to sleep when I was woken again by a scratch scratch scuttle. I jumped up, now truly terrified. Not because of the mouse that was likely just frolicking in the wall but because I’d dreamt about Chris (AKA golf boy).

I couldn’t get back to sleep that night, and the next morning was filled with a dread that like that poor girl in Paranormal Activity, Chris was my very own poltergeist and would be haunting me forever

The second dead dog  came to me through a case of mistaken identity when outlook decided to auto-enter Prince Charming’s e mail into a forward I was sending to a client with the same first name. I bantered politely, a little excited every time my e-mail inbox pinged and a message from him popped up. He re-added me on facebook and of course I had to have a snoop. As I looked at his wall, a mixture of stupid status updates, passé anachronyms and cheesy grinning pictures with various thin blonde girls, I wondered what I ever saw in him anyway?

The third dead dog came to me by chance at a night out in Brixton Academy. Dressed in a white lace dress and pushing my way through the zombielike sweaty faces in the crowd, I bumped into the Swedish One. The same dead dog that asked me out for drinks twice and didn’t bother to follow up on it, the same dead dog that was positively cruel to me last summer. I must have been very drunk because somehow I found myself spending most the night with him. And last night, me and the Swedish one had our first actual date. It did take a lot of help from my friends vodka lime and soda, but we were actually having a good time. I mean, he did laugh a lot at everything I said, even things that weren’t really funny and he was a rather simple sort of guy,  but we did bond on a mutual love of Metalicca and 90’s power metal bands. He was really very pretty to look at, probably the prettiest man I’ve sat across from that I had no interest in whatsoever. The chemistry was non-existent and I ordered more and more drinks out of boredom. I had no interest in his memory stick that was worth near £3,000 or his laptop that cost £2,000 and as sweet as it was to see a slideshow of Sweden covered in snow, and various dishes his mother had cooked, there was a point where I wanted to suggest going back to mine to watch Entourage.

Two of my three dead dogs had walked in my present and were laid to rest in my past, there was no room for them in my world. Perhaps had they not acted so badly in the first place, the anacronyms or the pictures of Swedish fish would not have bothered me. But the thing about a dead dog, is that once dead, it cannot be resurrected. Your respect dies along with said dog and while the ghost dog might bark and run around like an ordinary dog, it will never really be one

Though two were gone back to their world behind the facebook screen, one remained.

Chris

The original dead dog. The king of dead dogs and the one whose memory won’t let go of me.

But maybe Chris was never meant to be a dead dog. I didn’t want to be with him, and as a boyfriend he was terrible but then, it wasn’t the memory of being with him that haunted me, it was just that I missed HIM. One thought kept returning to me; I didn’t want to lose him from my life, as a person, a friend.

I had to try and resurrect the friendship if nothing else.

Friday 14th Oct

Sad that we’re not friends after all the fun times.

Had to delete you from FB, it wouldn’t have been nice for either of us to see pictures… etc.

Know this is inappropriate for work e-mail but don’t even think have your phone number anymore….

Would be nice to go for a drink sometime, or just keep in touch.

Really hope you’re doing well 🙂  x

Like a spirit floating round in limbo, my e-mail remains unreturned and possibly unread. This should have brought some kind of rest to the last of my remaining haunts, but it hasn’t. Instead, it has made the ghost of Chris very much present and real.

Xx Amelia

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the Masochism Mambo


As my twitter-oos will know, my plan of a boy free three months resulted in a bout of binge texting.

The swede and GB were texted last night, the latter thankfully only resulting in minimal polite text banter which seemed to quench my need for attention and dulling the impact of the former who didn’t reply at all.

Not only did I binge text two people I care very little about and have only a very small interest in seeing but I decided to randomly message a guy I worked with almost five years ago in TV. Why ? who knows?

I know I’m not alone in this madness

I invited my friend Jade over tonight for dinner to cheer her up after her dog died.

(aside… the term dead dog originated when my friend Jessica, frustrated with the constant banter but no date invite from a guy she met, threw her phone down on the table and exclaimed- “I feel like I’m poking a dead dog with a stick” since, ‘dead dog’ had been coined for a boy that has, for some reason or another, turned out to be a loser. The activity of poking dead dogs is universally acknowledged to be pointless but at the time, a harmless bit of fun)

Jade’s dog hadn’t actually died of corse, she was merely grieving the loss of a something she thought had potential.

An entire bottle of vodka turned into a Karaoke session of singing into remote controls and jumping on the sofa to Flashdance soundtrack. I made the mistake of putting on Celine Dion when Jade slumped onto the sofa and declared that she wanted to poke her dead dog.

I knew how she felt.

If I still had Chris’s number in my phone I would have texted him in a second. If I still had PC on my Facebook I would have easily slipped into checking his profile.

You know it’s bad for you, you know no good can come of it but yet you just can’t help doing it!

But then, as I checked my facebook for the hundredth time (maybe the guy I messaged will message back after all….) I realised, there is a euphoria that’s so intertwined with doing something you KNOW is bad, that you just can’t help doing it.

Like maxing out your credit card on a last minute trip to Ibiza, or partying late on a Sunday. Have you noticed that watching Jeremy Kyle is really only ever fun if you’ve pulled a sickie?

“How have you been?” golden Boy texted me “it’s been a while.”

“Blah Blah Blah…. “ I responded, or something to that effect

“I’ve just moved to Clapham…..” he replied.

I’d stopped caring whether he replied or not. It wasn’t’ even fun anymore.

Thinking back over past relationships, not only have I always wanted what I couldn’t have, but I’ve always wanted things that were bad for me.

Is it fundamentally impossible to stop dancing the masochism mambo?

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Kicking the Habit


Hi everyone, my name is Amelia and I’m a Dataholic.

It’s been about three weeks since my last post and I’ve come to the conclusion that something isn’t quite right.

I can probably pinpoint my second of realisation to the moment I stood under the florescent lights of my work bathroom mirror.  A girl in the mirror opposite looked up  as I was frantically applying blusher and mascara. “Hot date?” she said.

“No.” I replied, “meeting a friend.”

She smiled back but I’d wished I DID have an actual date to tell her about.

There is a whole ritual attached to meeting guys that is so much more than the actual event itself.

First it’s will he call? Won’t he call? The endless dissecting of kisses in a text message the routine browse through his facebook pictures trying to guess who the ex is (don’t even try to deny you do it!)

The rush of excitement from meeting, dating, the first time he says he loves you, the time you meet his friends and his mother… all amount to a string of highs that will eventually come to an end, but if you’re single, present  endless  little fixes. They are a constant supply of adventures to tell your friends about (or blog as it happens), outfits to plan and futures to fantasise over.

It’s easy to develop a habit.

More worrying than this, is that it took a guy I knew for 48 hours to make me forget about Chris, something that all my holidays, work, fabulous friends, and writing couldn’t do.

So, I’ve decided to give it all up for three months.

No more eye contact over the bar (or as my friends like to call it ‘strawface’). No more snogging in clubs, contacting golden boy (or the Swede, or the French one) no more obsessing over lift guy at work (we’ve been saying hi to each other in the lift for six months and I don’t even know his name)

Done.

So, how will I get on? And what on earth will I have to write about?

Well, I’ve been four days sober and it’s not been easy.

Temptation is everywhere and I pretty much broke on the third day (yesterday). It really wasn’t my fault. Lift guy jumped into the lift just as the doors were closing and said “Hi.”

“Hey,” I replied as the doors closed and the lift was plunged into silence. He shoved his hands in his pockets, I looked at my phone, the doors opened and a girl got out. They closed and he shuffled a little closer making room for someone else. We made eye contact, he smiled, I smiled and cringed and looked at my phone again before the doors opened and I all but ran out of the lift.

Now this would have all been fine had I then not attempted a Sherlock Holmes campaign to find out who he was finding his exact seat and counting how many rows it was form the back of the room. It took several failed attempts of peering over abnormally high telesales desks like some kind of lost Meer cat before I gave up.

I’d cracked, slightly, but I was determined to get back on track.

That evening I was meeting my friend in Shoreditch. It only took one mojito for me to get halfway to drunk and start reminiscing over our time at my old work, Chris, and how funny last summer was. She was having boy problems and we dissected a text, sent another and analysed the entire situation between bouts of laughter and faces full of prawn crackers.

We moved onto another bar in Brick Lane, a homely little cove of tatty velvet furniture that looked like it had previously belonged to an eccentric granny, red lighting and movie posters form the 80’s.

It had been several vodka limes and I was trying really hard not to pull ‘strawface’ at two guys that had sat opposite us.

“He’s disgusting” My friend said.

He probably was, but I was drunk and there was something about his American smugness and Michael J Fox hair that was making me want to give up on the whole no men thing.

Thankfully, they left and after several more drinks and cheese bagels really could have done without, I was on my way home in a cab and trying my very best not to contact Golden Boy (now in my phone as booty-call Nick.)

That night I couldn’t sleep, and in my half drunken delirium couldn’t stop thinking about Chris.

Was it impossible to have a world without men or is it just me? Do I have an actual problem?

After a long day at work, I decided to take myself shopping and replace one vice with another. It’s amazing how much walking round a department store can cheer you up, (It’s amazing how shallow I feel even saying that)

Browsing from Ted Baker to Karen Millen, it occurred to me that picking up guys in bars, and shopping really aren’t so very different.  You see something you like, you have a closer look, pick it up and feel the fabric, maybe try it on for size then either discard it or buy it. Sometimes you find something amazing that fits perfectly and you have the exact same rush of excitement as when you’re in a cab home with someone you can’t wait to get into bed.

Suddenly I wasn’t even in the mood for shopping anymore.

I took the escalator to the lingerie department…. Just to say goodbye to the pretty things I really won’t be needing anymore. Among the frill and lace, in the corner of the department I saw a row of plain bras I’d never even looked at before. I decided If I was going to go without men, or sex then I was going to damn well get some comfy underwear.

I walked out of the store with two plain bras that were totally gross but fitted better than anything I had and couldn’t stop smiling all the way to the tube.

No more worrying about guys texting, no more itchy lace, no more disappointing nights in bars in Balham surrounded by idiots. Three whole months about me, and my writing and friends.

It could be worse!

So I guess this may be good bye for a little while! Wish me luck!

Xx Amelia

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