The Time I Went to a Model Party

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Last night I was invited to attend my very first model party so without much thinking I donned the highest heels I could find in my possession (which elevated me just high enough to put me face to face with a commercial model) and ventured out to explore the world of glam. To my enormous surprise (and relief) I enjoyed it, courtesy of free drinks and a glam goodie bag which consisted of everything a conscientious model needs – an energy ball, some healthy suspiciously tasting beverage, notepad, pen (you know… to write down castings n’all) and of course – portable mobile phone charger, which actually was the only thing I used.

Anyway, I approached the subject of model world carefully. Attending parties and events is becoming about gaining writing material, and although, at some point in the night I was carried away a little bit while having my photo taken by a man with a big camera, I was on a constant alert trying not to miss any scandalous detail of the night but for a change I decided not to make travesty out of literally everything,  I chose to keep my childish curiosity present as much as humanly possible.

What is model industry about anyway? Apart from rich man’s petting zoo, it’s also a business and for the first time instead of seeing models as pure gorgeous creatures, now I also see them as money making machines which too have their expiry date and for some of them, it is way less than Macbook warranty. Unfortunately, if you look past the glam and thigh gap,  behind the allure of velvet skin and pouty lips, all you will uncover is bunch business people trying to make money. Model industry is grossing over $900m in revenue each year and the demand for it continues to grow. It’s under constant media scrutiny and despite being seen as a glamorous industry, it’s ruthless and exploitative, causing more damage than meets the eye. But I’ll stop here because I’ve done my piece of criticism in my earlier posts. Lets just enjoy the harmless experience of the party and, of course, beauty.
london picYou can’t deny, it’s a fascinating world out there. Couple of hours of being surrounded by the best looking people in the city is like a luxury balm to our sore, excel-spreadsheet tired eyes. The party was hosted at the high end London hotel. The setting of course was spectacular, beautiful London skyline basking in the rich velvet purple and pink sunset, funky music, delicious cocktails – in short an environment where anyone with some charisma points could be somebody. It provides you with an uncanny validation, as if the the proximity to the lavishness itself pushes you through some magical wormhole to the world devoid of world hunger, ISIS, global warming, drug cartels, or Donald Trump. Instead you can enjoy the perks of the party world where cocktails are free and people are happy. However I wonder whether this festive feeling lasts beyond couple of weekends?

Being a model is not just about the looks – you tell them miss Tyra Banks, who taught me nothing about model world apart from it’s a vile jungle where you are either loudmouth fierce bitch or a quirky quiet girl who sits in the corner trying to avoid the drama. Regardless of your social skills and proverbial personality (a word which Tyra Banks used to cover up the complete lack of intellectual activity on behalf of certain contestants) high cheekbones always trump sweet nature or science degree. As I sat in the hotel lobby observing who’s arriving, I experienced some unknown, mind boggling symptom resembling twisted Déjà vu. All arriving girls wore black, all had lovely long dark hair and they all looked the same. It’s as if Christian Grey opened his own model agency where all women look liked like Anna Steele. Was there some dress code which I didn’t know about, but even so, I’d have to travel back in time, 15 years to be precise to fit the scene.

We aren’t talking Victoria Secret here, where models are literally made out of sugar and spice and everything nice, whose trained, post child birth bodies would put my three-times-a-week gym bod (sounds a lot better than it actually is) to biblical shame. We are talking 17 (let’s hope at least) year old girls, hardly anywhere near full development, flocking to the bar to be admired (in the best case) or objectified (in the worst). Still, they carry this uncanny sense of demureness and innocence, which I scattered away so carelessly over the years.

Suddenly the quote: I felt like I was wearing patchouli in a room full of Chanel (Sex And the City) began echoing in my mind reminding me that for a brief moment I forgot who I was and what I came here for.  The daze of the party feeling was dispersing in the air along with the guests leaving the scene. Magic has left the building.  It was beginning to turn into an average club night with it’s lingering red-eyed guest looking for trouble. I grabbed my goodie bag and saw myself out. To answer to my  earlier posed question, the festive feeling not only doesn’t  last for couple of weekends, it wears out the moment the bar stops serving free drinks. But still, like every new addict, I’m looking forward to my next fix.

 

 

 

The Time I Went to a Model Party

Keeping it real in Manchester

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My jaw literally dropped open this morning as I realised it has been 21 days since my last blog post. 21 days is like a very short month (or a very long one when you had spent all your wages in the first week) and I can hardly come up with an excuse. Although I have an excuse, but it’s embarrassing to admit that I haven’t had a date or even remotely an invitation to go out since my last dangerous liaison with Houdini. However yesterday I was stopped by a scruffy punk guy in Manchester who thought I look very eastern european and that’s why he decided to chase me down the street and talk to me. Sometimes I look back at my stories and wonder why did I follow dating rabbit hole and didn’t stick with politically charged content for my blog?

Anyway, Manchester. I wouldn’t necessarily say “eastern european style” exists by definition, meaning we don’t walk the streets wearing traditional folk attire, but I’d say eastern european style differs from from say, London fashion (to be put lightly). Still, somehow, wearing gym bunny trainers made me stand out form the crowd. As I walked the crowded shopping alley of Manchester, I couldn’t help but notice how well groomed and glammed up everyone is. Not surprising, I was in the northern capital after all. May be it’s because they don’t spend as much time in public transport trying to get from point A to point B, but rather, use their time to make them cheekbones highlighted. I, on the other hand, woke up at 5.30 am, spent 2.5h on the train, hardly wore any make up and shamelessly paraded my gym outfit (once you get into sweat pants, it’s hard to get out) and I’m not the person who can pull the sexy gym look.

I can’t do that.

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I recently remembered an article I read somewhere, as it turns out it was Daily Mail  (don’t judge me) but the headline summarised my suspicion

“The make-up of Britain: Northern women like to slap it on while Southern girls prefer the ‘natural look’ (with the exception of Essex)”

 

Being a guy in Manchester must be tough. Despite being flattered by the sudden interest in my appearance on the street, I still wonder, was it because I didn’t look threatening for a guy to approach me and there wouldn’t be any particular sense  of regret in the event of rejection? And, on the other hand, if I were wearing 5inch heels, 3 layers of make up, shimmering in the sunlight like Edward Cullen and having donned my Sunday best, would he still walk up to speak to me? And it’s not the first time, contrary to my  adopted belief, I get chatted up more often on the street when I look washed out. If I actually ever listened to my intuition, I’d say i discovered a secret to meeting guys – avoid meeting them.

I’d say i discovered a secret to meeting guys – avoid meeting them.

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In How to be a Parisian book, written by four sulky Parisian femme fatales, according to film producer, journalist, a model, and an actress – true Parisian girl always needs to be ready (meaning clean waxed, wear makeup and have spare pair of heels in her bag) because you never know where the night may take you. That’s all very empowering… You know, like a superwoman,  one moment you are insignificant human being wearing glasses, and the next, you are you seductive ass kicking Glamazon. I’m already feeling 5inches taller just by picturing it. Fortunately for me, I usually know my night will take me home, to my own bed where I can be as ugly as I want without running the risk of being labeled as “hairy marry”. I wouldn’t completely disregard the Parisian advice, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, or however the saying goes.

The moral of the story, the more you sweat it, the less likely you are going to succeed. Eastern european style or no style, heels or no heels, doesn’t matter, as long as you are enjoying yourself. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway, you can’t win! have a great Sunday!

 

Keeping it real in Manchester

The Earthly Comedy

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I thought I would break away from writing about dating and once again write about the absence of it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Recently I came across an Instagram account which was solely dedicated to celebration of being a single woman in her late 20s. It’s a satyrical mash of very tongue in cheek and sometimes crude and brutally honest memes, precisely depicting the grotesque reality of single girl’s life including such delightful routines as full body shave, staying in with your BFFs, celebrating phallic symbology, and of course – a great abundance of wine. Kind of what Bridget Jones was to women in 90s, howling to All By My Self in her pyjamas with a bottle of Shiraz on Saturday night.

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I got to thinking that may be people are taking relationships (or shall I say the absence of it) tad bit to seriously. Humour is much cheaper alternative to therapy and there is no better therapy than reversal therapy, which is why I could relate to this Instagram account. While Bridget Jones was educating women of the 90s that being a 30 year old ditzy woman who wears“mini skirts when they don’t have the legs for it” (Kristin Scott Thomas) is OK, it took the pressure off the pursuit of perfection, we are only humans and effectively it made us laugh, even though, it was a laugh through the tears. If you do it long enough, it can become a very valuable life mantra. The only way to stop oneself from wallowing and dying of a chronically broken heart is to laugh at it. Wouldn’t you agree? Not that I spend my days obsessing about being single, but I recognise the blunt fact that sometimes it makes more sense to be in a couple, both emotionally and financially, when you are in your 30s. It also means you can get laid on a regular basis at the very least.

It isn’t the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh – I really think that requires spirit.
It’s the kind of character that I am going to develop. I am going to pretend that all life is just a game which I must play as skillfully and fairly as I can. If I lose, I am going to shrug my shoulders and laugh – also if I win.”
― Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs

What is even more important, the number of people who can relate this this mantra. With solid 3 million followers on Instagram, laughing at yourself pays good cash. Bachelorettes are the new generation of women who fully embrace their sexuality and freedom to make bad decisions without the fear of being accused of unlady like behaviour,  however sometimes, I think, it projects an unhealthy message. Being a bachelorette in film and media is all about embracing male traits such as excessive drinking, promiscuity, objectification of the opposite sex, public urination, and generally antisocial behaviour. In short, turning a desperate situation into hopeless. May be it’s funny but I struggle to grasp a connection between comedy and idiocy. Real bachelorette doesn’t need to deal with hollywood style hangovers, health issues and of course, lets not forget unplanned pregnancy.  I may be going back to my victorian school of good manners, but lets just say, keeping within limits is still a better judgement call. Laugh may not be panacea for a broken heart or loneliness, however, it can certainly take the pressure of being imperfect creatures we are.

The Earthly Comedy

Gone In 60 Seconds

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Back in January, I found myself sitting in the cafe in a vain hope to cure my hangover with a litre of coffee and medium sized bowl of French fries. I was traveling solo to Paris for my birthday again. It was rainy Sunday morning and nothing was wrong about it. This year I spent my birthday in a rented AirBnb apartment hugging a bottle of champagne and listening to chansons. Getting old is a traumatic experience and that’s precisely why I celebrated my last birthday as a 20 something by hiding from the world in the attic in Pigalle. I could, on the other hand, stay in London and get drunk in the bar but I’ve been doing it through out my early 20s. It got old, just as me.

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It wasn’t entirely my choice to spend my birthday solo in the foreign country. Sometimes the force of circumstance can make you reconsider your plans, especially when they clash with other peoples plans.One thing I learned to appreciate with age however is optimism. Instead of mourning the last year of my twenties, I chose to venture out on my own and see what surprises the universe will throw at me. Any thing could happen. Who knows, Paris is a city of love.

I was supposed to catch a train back to London the same night. I love Paris and leaving it feels like leaving a warm bed on cold Monday mornings, however I am always intrigued by a possibility of a random romantic rendez-vous with a destiny in a form of a handsome single guy. That serendipitous moment when you realise that your entire life could transform forever, simply because, you were at the right place at the right time for a change. Like on that one night when I met a finance guy on the train from Camden to Waterloo. We were both drunk and he offered me a french fry from the box he found on the seat next to me, it was hardly romantic, yet I appreciated the momentum and remained appreciative until he stood me up on the third date. My life didn’t transform, yet I had one less frog to kiss.

f52d897a60419fa2568432e0b5756368On my way back to London, against all odds, I learned that I was sat next to rather handsome guy in his early 30s. He was half french half English and residing between Paris and London. I had to pinch myself. The whole encounter was exciting. We developed fondness of each other within seconds. It was a match made in heaven. Ten minutes into the journey we found out we both like same books, unfulfilled love stories, existentialism and festivals. Twenty minutes into the journey, we were drinking champagne and toasting to my birthday.

The rest of the journey was filled with deep meaningful conversations. Instead of feeling like the first date it felt like we’ve known each other for years. All this time however, I had a nagging thought which sounded pretty standard – this all seems to good to be true. I tried really hard to shake it off. To be fair, it’s not that all women are crazy and paranoid, usually it’s symptomatic of their past dating experiences, not their personality. And while everyone around me is slowly transitioning into the coupled up life, I couldn’t help but hope that may be it’s my time, may be, for once I will be able to come to a party and stop being looked at like I ‘m after literally everyone’s boyfriends, because, apparently, so many single women are…..

So there it was. After 2 months of casual dating something happened. The romantic french guy I met on Eurostar disappeared into the ether. Of course, in my mind, there could be only two reasons – either he died or lost his phone. Neither of these theories proved to be true. He’s well and sound, still glued to his phone and I still got no validation explaining 2 weeks of silence. Naturally, it’s not the first time a guy pulls Houdini on me, I already know that any attempt to get any closure would be in vain. I  may never be able to explain such mercurial change of his heart, neither I know how to be noble or wise about it so I went ahead and wrote this whole experience off as cosmic fuck up. Moving on dot com.

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Note: A month later a doomed text message came though and against the general opinion it carried no sign of remorse, regret or explanation of the unprecedented absence, instead it carried a nonchalant tone and a candid invitation for “Netflix and chill” or to be even more precise “Mubi and chill” because he is a classy guy, just like his actions. Of course, being as classy as I am myself,  I used this god sent opportunity to invite him to piss off (in a much classier choice of words of course) and get my much needed closure, which in an ideal scenario would have followed by a hand gesture. Since emoticon version of the hand gesture wasn’t robust enough to my liking, I decided not to spoil my revenge fantasy and left it to his imagination. Also, against the popular opinion, I also decided not to follow up and left it for better of for worse. The shift in power itself was a validation worth thousand word anyway. I can now put this tragic story to bed and look forward to my next trip to Paris in May! 

Gone In 60 Seconds

The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character

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Writing about dating when, in fact, you haven’t met anyone in a while can be a very tedious task. However, when you eventually meet somebody of interest, special attention must be paid. If you really like the person it’s even more exciting. If you know you like the person for all the wrong reasons, expect a blog post. Normally I would write about the negative aspect of the experience, i.e. bitter lessons, eye opening realizations and cautionary tale confirmations etc. This time it’s not an exception, even though I kind of wish it was.

THE EVENT

Couple of weekends ago my friend and I decided to take a time tunnel and treat ourselves to a night of classical salon performance and poetry. As it turned out, 19th century Parisian salon experience was just as dramatic as Hollyoaks. Despite the unusualness of the event, I was very touched by the beautiful classical piano pieces and delicateness of the violinist’s performance. Slowly my mind carried me into the time when sensuality was so delicately hidden, even an accidental touch of hand could send your heart racing through the roof.

THE POEM 

Charles Baudelaire

The Vampire’s Metamorphoses

The woman meanwhile, twisting like a snake 
On hot coals and kneading her breasts against the steel 
Of her corset, from her mouth red as strawberries 
Let flow these words impregnated with musk:
— “I, I have moist lips, and I know the art 
Of losing old Conscience in the depths of a bed. 
I dry all tears on my triumphant breasts 
And make old men laugh with the laughter of children. 
I replace, for him who sees me nude, without veils, 
The moon, the sun, the stars and the heavens! 
I am, my dear scholar, so learned in pleasure 
That when I smother a man in my fearful arms, 
Or when, timid and licentious, frail and robust, 
I yield my bosom to biting kisses 
On those two soft cushions which swoon with emotion, 
The powerless angels would damn themselves for me!”

When she had sucked out all the marrow from my bones 
And I languidly turned toward her 
To give back an amorous kiss, I saw no more 
Than a wine-skin with gluey sides, all full of pus! 
Frozen with terror, I closed both my eyes, 
And when I opened them to the bright light, 
At my side, instead of the robust manikin 
Who seemed to have laid in a store of blood, 
There quivered confusedly a heap of old bones, 
Which of themselves gave forth the cry of a weather-cock 
Or of a sign on the end of an iron rod 
That the wind swings to and fro on a winter night.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

THE HEART

In the middle of the show, I spied with my little eye, a very handsome chevalier impersonating my every fantasy: good manners, eloquent speech, period dressing and ability to recite Baudelaire. Of course, I was well aware I am lusting after a fictional character, yet, I couldn’t help but gasping for air under my imaginary corset. Long after he finished his poem reading, I came to my senses and realized the only rational thing to do was to leave the venue before I was unwillingly and against my better judgement drawn into a conversation with Mr. Rake. But of course, leaving the party early is not my style so I went out on a limb, looking for trouble.

THE RAKE

The Rake is an expert of seducing. For anyone interested, The Rake comes from a book by Robert Greene, called The Art Of Seduction. He loves the idea of the women, he’s extremely charming, he has a “devil may care” attitude towards life, he never apologises, and is extremely persistent. To put the rake in the modern world contexts means to depict a male which every woman fantasizes about and fears with the same intensity. Mr. Rake is a prevalent breed of men who identify themselves as the modern age romantic martyrs looking for love which they are unable to sustain because their life is too tragic to share it with another human being. This explained my overpowering gravitational pull towards this guy. On some subconscious level I picked up a rampant vibe  of unavailability and all he had to do was to give me couple of dirty looks before I let my imagination floating light years away.

 THE DATE

I was excited and infuriated at the same time. Despite my very modern and mature attitude towards dating and partner selection, I was still drawn by the allure of the romanticism of the 19th century. I am hopeless romantic. After being the only single cat amongst coupled up pigeons for literally  years , I decided it would be a great idea to be seduced by Mr. Rake, have few glasses of wine, get to know this flamboyant character, and have a snog if the date doesn’t go too terribly. Of course I went on a date with him. To my surprise, my Shakespearean Romeo wasn’t delicate in displaying affection, soon enough he moved on from serenading to whispering sexual innuendos with a subtle hint of upgrading this date to a more intimate level. Speaking of dangerous liaisons. Under normal circumstances I would suggest of his inappropriateness and cut the date short, but provided my circumstances, I brushed it off as part of his character. The things good looking men get away with right?  After few glasses of wine who the hell cares anymore, the Rake, Shakespeare, Mr. Darcy – the man can recite Baudelaire. Fourth hundredth time lucky…

THE OUTCOME

Unfavourable. After 3 weeks of intensely fulfilling conversations on the Facebook, without even the hint of meeting again, I recognised myself as a victim of my self fulfilling prophecy. To my surprise, I wasn’t surprised. I made two errors in judgement. First of them was thinking that getting involved with a jobless actor who lives with his mother was actually a good idea, second, giving him proverbial space to avoid being labeled as needy. Anyone who is rational enough would say that 3 weeks of space giving is like trying to order a drink after the last order which was half an hour ago. I would say, it’s symptomatic of my disastrous dating experience as well as my infantile romanticism which evidently in the 21st century is just as good as writing a letter to Santa. I was put off classical music and victorian poetry for next couple of months. I recovered from it swiftly, thankfully, without any significant bruises to my ego. Next time I see a handsome actor wearing a waistcoat and a shirt with a high stiff collar reciting Baudelaire, I’ll know what to do.

 

 

 

The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character

Home is Where The Inspiration Lives or How George Orwell Wrote 1984

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This month I had to face my ultimate fear – finding  a new home. So far it’s been the pain in the arse, but I’m optimistic. Living in a shared flat in London is fun when you live with your friends. What happens when all your friends move in with their other halves and you are still single? You move in with strangers. How do you find these homes? You venture out online. Apparently, in this day an age, the only way to find home or love is going online.

The advantages of living in London can be numerous, but finding a cheap good size room in a hip location is almost as impossible as finding a relationship which lasts longer than five dates. Even when you thought you came across a perfect flat, you are  merely one in 500. It’s only down to your lucky stars if you get invited for a viewing, but even then, it’s every man is for himself. It’s like going on a date – if chemistry isn’t there, chances of moving in are zero. London is tough, almost each area of your life is subjected to rejection whether it’s a job, love or property. You must be thick skinned if you want to succeed in either of these things. But it’s just as important to get them right as getting your shoe size – shoes that don’t fit will only slow you down.

Returning from another disappointing viewing, I decided to take a stroll around Hampstead Heath and stare at expensive fancy houses which I cannot afford. I like doing that time to time because I love the neighbourhood and it’s only a short climb from The Parliament Hill, one of the highest points and one of the most spectacular views in London. So before I knew it, I was standing in front of the plaque on the wall saying “George Orwell Lived Here”.

George Orwell was one of the most iconic authors of the 20th century, second of all he wrote 1984, a book on mass surveillance which is echoing in today’s world more than ever. Fascinatingly, he lived just a short walk from one of the highest points in London. A spot which reveals London’s panorama in exquisite detail. Is this a coincidence, or did it serve as an inspiration for one of the greatest books of our time? What if the concept of Big Brother came from the desire to know everything about what’s been happening on the ground below, to see closer than coin operated binoculars allow you to?

Yes, inspiration works in mysterious ways, but also, sometimes it works in rather obvious ones. What if sometimes you just need to get closer to the sky so you don’t get distracted by the gravity? Imagine climbing to the top of Everest and writing a book from there? Yes, I watched the film yesterday.  Being so far away from the distractions of the real life, must do something to your imagination. It must be the air, something ethereal, only picked up by the most curious souls. Or may be it’s just being closer to the God, away from city noise you can hear his words clearer. Wait, isn’t this how 10 commandments were created?

My advice, look for places which touch your soul and stir your imagination. It’s fairly possible that as you’ll be sitting on a bench starring at the city, a genius would appear and you’ll know you got it. One thing I can only hope for is that towards the end of this month a will find a home which will do what it did to George Orwell – inspire the beens out of me. Nothing less and nothing more.

Home is Where The Inspiration Lives or How George Orwell Wrote 1984

Sunday Glossary

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Basorexia

A word to describe the feeling of sudden urgency to kiss someone, or in other words, known as a time between having a crush on someone and having one drink too many. Time after that, is called something else. I call it ‘feeling rather horny’.

Euthanasia

More commonly known as assisted suicide which was recently legitimised in the state of California. Despite being one of the most controversial bills, raising tons of ethical questions – it was swiftly packaged into pop buzz words such as liberty and freedom of choice, still overhanging since legalisation of gay marriage, or at least that’s how Mark Leno, a democrat from San Francisco sees it.

Iconographic

A set of specified or traditional symbolic forms associated with the subject or theme of a stylized work of art. Also knows as latest buzzword shamelessly overused in social media by  everyone – starting with a man bun bearing hipster from East Village ending with a corporate accountant. It’s a fast and painful way to make tedious chart or resume into a work of colour block art. It also makes an inviting pin on Pinterest to promote a blog about blogging. Brrr..

iPencil 

A product which Steve Jobs once dismissed as ‘yuk’ and ‘over my dead body’. Ironically his words came true, manifesting into a post mortem torture device for $100. RIP Steve. This week Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apples creative guru Jony Ive presented us with a range of devices, including, commonly speaking, a fancy pen used for drawing on a oversized iPad, also known as modern version of Goldilocks and 3 iPads, putting traditional Goldilocks to shame. Not a fan, unless it was controlled by sheer brain power, otherwise – yuk.

Women-only Carriages

An idea which recently elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn casually proposed as a solution for sexual harassment on the train. A true feminist’s dream. A safe haven for women, also a sign of forward thinking when tackling social issues such cat calling and rape. Only one question – does it make men only carriages a pit for mysogionists  and sexually frustrated offenders? Can’t get my head around it.

Two Cappuccinos 

An involuntary foot and eyelid twitching, also known as the moment when I realised I shouldn’t have ordered that second cappuccino while writing this post. Have a good week everyone!

Sunday Glossary