Thursday 30 December 2010

17 Spanglish

Paulo worked on reception at the hotel in Portugal I stayed at on a family holiday. With his tanned skin, dark, wavy hair and puppy dog eyes he was easily the best looking boy my 16 year old self had ever seen. I used every excuse possible to go to reception to speak to him. My persistence finally paid off when he invited me to go to the local disco with him one night.

Nektarios was the owner of the straightest, nicest teeth I'd ever seen. One flash of his pearly whites as he served me a drink on holiday in Rhodes, and I was smitten. As seven years his junior, when he pulled me up to dance with him on the bar in front of all the other customers, I felt just like Baby with my own Johnny.

Diego and his brother joined me and my friends while we sunbathed on the beach in Spain. He was tall, dark and moody. I thought he was lovely. My ardour was only slightly dampened when I saw him that evening working as a waiter, accessorising his uniform of white shirt, black bow-tie, black trousers and black shoes with white socks. Yes, you heard me right. White socks.

Anyway as you have probably gathered, I used to have a thing for foreign men. With their exotic, dark, looks they just seemed to represent everything that was important to me in my late teens - holidays, sunshine, travel, fun, cocktails, tanning, partying. As I got older though my priorities changed (what do you mean it doesn't seem like they have?!) and I realised that just finding someone easy on the eye wasn't enough. Other things are quite important. Like having shared values. And being able to communicate in other ways aside from body language.

Don't get me wrong though, I was still quite excited when working abroad this summer and a lovely-looking Spaniard asked for my phone number. (Remind yourself about Lanza Man here.)

Not so excited that I answered though when my phone rang with an unknown number. For a start I was far too busy working. Plus I suspected it was him, and a girl doesn't want to come across as too available. Shortly after my phone beeped with a text message.

Hello, honny a'm the one from hotel.

Ok, it wasn't exactly the best of texts. Didn't really give me much to go on. His use of punctuation was certainly creative though. And he may have used an unusual way of spelling 'honey', but perhaps 'honny' was the Spanish way? To be fair he also didn't know my name so what else could he call me? I realised that I also didn't know his name either. That needed to be rectified. I sent him a message.

What is your name Mr Mysterious?

He replied.

Love, my name is Eddy.

Eddy eh? Not as exotic as I might have liked, but easy enough to pronounce. And yes, you could say it was slightly odd that he didn't seem interested to know my name but I was happy with either Honny or Love. What girl wouldn't be? I was just pondering how to reply to him when another text came through.

I need to see you tonight baby. tell me when and where.

Yep, Baby was fine too. Honny, Love or Baby. I wasn't really fussed. I was more excited about the rest of the message. As someone who hadn't been on a date for ages (unless you count the time when I asked the guy handing out copies of the Manchester Evening News if he also had the free magazine, and he said meet me here same time tomorrow and I'll give you one) I was pretty flattered to be asked out on a date never mind that someone needed to see me...

I told my cameraman that I couldn't go for a drink with him after dinner that evening as I had a hot date. I also asked for his advice for suggestions on where to meet Eddy, explaining that it would have to be somewhere not too far from my hotel so I could make my own way home easily. But it also couldn't be too close cause I'd want to have the option of getting a taxi rather than let a stranger walk me home.

Cameraman noted that I seemed a bit apprehensive.

"Well yes of course! I'm going on a date with a guy that I know nothing about in a country I don't know."

"Why on earth are you going out with him then?!"

Hmmm he had a point. I realised that 'cause he asked me and he's nice looking' weren't good enough reasons to go out with someone.

So despite telling you in the previous Lanza Man post that I very often do things purely for the blog, I crapped out of it and instead texted Eddy to say I was busy and wouldn't be able to see him. I'm sorry if I've disappointed you. To be honest though you aren't the ones that have to live with the fact you may have let the man of your dreams slip through your fingers.

As for Eddy, he seemed to take it well. Unless you count the five phonecalls in quick succession at midnight that night, none of which I answered followed by the text saying...

Please answer me baby. Please!

I was just relieved that I'd given him my Spanish number rather than my English one, so don't have to contend with him calling me to invite himself over to Manchester for forever.

Friday 24 December 2010

25 All I Want For Christmas...

Santa: What's your name little girl?

Rapunzel: It's Rapunzel.

Santa: That's a lovely name. Now come and sit on my knee and tell me what you would like me to bring you this Christmas.

Well what I'd really like is for my readers...

Santa: Readers? Can you really refer to them as that when you haven't given them anything to read for such a long time?!

Rapunzel: Santa! Are you meant to be so cheeky? You are right though. I'm actually hoping that you can arrange for everyone to forgive my bad blogging behaviour over the last few months? If they could just forget about the lack of posts, the empty promises about becoming a prolific blogger again, the fact I haven't replied to lovely comments, I haven't been reading others blogs, I've started stories and not finished them...

Santa: Yes, you have been a very naughty girl this year, in more ways than one. But I suppose it's the season of goodwill so I'll see what I can do.

Rapunzel: Thanks Santa! I promise I'll behave next year.

Santa: It's only me that can perform Christmas miracles. No, continue as you are but just make sure you fill everyone else in on the mischief!

Rapunzel: I will...thanks Santa! And just one more thing...

Santa: You're pushing your luck now Rapunzel...

Can I just wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and I hope that they all get everything they've asked for too!!

Monday 25 October 2010

19 Foreign Matter

So there I was working hard in Lanzarote (okay, okay I was working in Lanzarote) instructing my cameraman what shots to get, as well as ordering a barman do his best Tom Cruise impression for the camera, when a couple of guys that had sat watching me hard at it, motioned for me to go over to them.

I went expecting one of the usual questions...

A/ What are you filming?
B/ What a great job you have, how did you get in to that?
C/ Can I be on camera?

Or in this instance there could have been an extra option...

D/ Why are you such a bossy boots?

Turns out it was none of the above. Instead, no sooner had I approached them when one of them asked in a foreign accent if he could have my phone number.

Jeez, if I had a pound for every time a guy asks me that...

Actually in all seriousness, similar things have happened to me a couple of times before. And by things I mean forward foreign men.

I wasn't exactly overjoyed about it the first time, due to the fact that I was rushing to catch a train. What part of seeing a girl virtually running across a platform would make the guy in question think I had enough time to (and would want to) stop and give a stranger my phone number?

The second time occurred when I was lying alone on an almost deserted beach in Australia. A guy suddenly appeared in front of me, blocking my sunrays, and asked in broken English if I would be his girlfriend.

I kid you not. No other chit-chat. He didn't even want to try going on a date first. What I couldn't understand is why he thought I'd be suitable partner material. I was lying miles from anyone. He must have had special binoculars to check whether he'd want me for that role.

Needless to say neither of them got a positive response from me. It did make me think about the difference between nationalities though. Do we Brits have it wrong? Are we wasting far too much time by making small talk. Should we start getting straight to the point and stop dilly-dallying?

Anyway back to man in Lanzarote. I asked him what he would do with the number if I gave him it and the conversation went a bit like this...

Lanza Man: I would phone you and take you on a date.

Me: I don't live in Lanzarote though.

Lanza Man: Where do you live?

Me: Manchester.

Lanza Man: I will come there then.

Me: That's a long way to come for a date.

Lanza Man: I will come for forever...

So of course I gave him my number.

What?! What's wrong with that??? OK, I've made it pretty clear that I wasn't happy about the forwardness (or weirdness in the second instance) of the men from the other occasions, but this time was different for two reasons...

Number 1 - Back then I didn't write a blog. You may be surprised to know this but sometimes I do things nowadays just cause they might be interesting for you to read about. Similarly if I go on a bad date part of me is gutted and the other part is rubbing my hands in glee at the thought of typing up the details later on. Read Mr Trafford Centre for the perfect example.

Number 2 - Did I mention that Lanza Man was Hot, Hot, Hot with a capital H! H! H!?

Two perfectly good reasons why I ended up giving my digits to a guy despite not knowing his name, age, where he was from, whether he was single, hobbies etc, etc..

Within half an hour my phone rang with an unknown number...

Friday 15 October 2010

11 And on the Sixth Day...

...God created Manchester.

When I was just a wee lassie at school and had the chance to do a weeks' work experience, rather than do it in the local bank or factory like others did, I opted to do a stint in a kindergarten in Munich.

Then when I was studying at university, I'd spend my three month summer breaks waitressing in the Canaries.

When I had the chance to spend the last year studying in Canada, I jumped at the chance.

And so it continued. I lived and worked in various other countries as well as going on holiday at every opportunity.

Put it this way, I was constantly going away and by away, I mean abroad, because I was never convinced that the UK was for me. I wasn't sure where I wanted to live but I just knew for sure that it wouldn't be in Blighty. We just didn't fit.

That's until I discovered Manchester.

I'd always had a bit of a soft spot for it. Particularly for shopping. A trip down here to see the English relations was never complete unless I'd spent my pocket money in Afflecks Palace.

It wasn't until I decided on a whim to give it a shot living here that I fell well and truly in love with the place.

Almost eight years later and we still haven't fallen out. We haven't even had any arguments. I still get a buzz about living here. To me it has everything. Not only that but it is so central that it is incredibly easy to get to everywhere from Manchester - including my home town in Scotland which I have a lot more respect for now that I've left - meaning that I still get to do my trips away. Unusually compared to before I also look forward to coming back.

The fact that I live on the UK's tallest residential building and two of my walls are windows that overlook this amazing city is a bonus. I love when new people come to visit the apartment and hear them squeal when they first see the views of my spiritual home.

So you can imagine how proud I felt to discover that I've been shortlisted as one of Manchester's best personal blogs. I feel like I'm one of Manchester's own. I've passed my initiation and am now in the club!

And obviously I'm over the moon about even being considered for the award in the first place. Thanks to the lovely Tuppence a fabulous girl that I got to know through her blog and now consider a friend.

OK, I do feel slightly cheeky as I haven't been the most prolific of bloggers recently but that has been down to working abroad and not having much time or access to post, rather than a case of disinterest or lack of things to write about.

Anyway am back in the Tower now where I belong and will be continuing to write about my life as a single girl in Manchester. (And actually, even though I wasn't posting I was still 'thinking in blog' and doing things purely 'for the blog' as my next post will reveal...

Thanks for sticking with me and if you get the chance to pop over to here and then vote for Tower Tales I would be forever in your debt.

Thanks - love you all!

Rapunzel x

Sunday 10 October 2010

18 Budgie Smugglers

I had a couple of awkward conversations at work last week. It wasn't the topics discussed that made them difficult, more the way that the people I was chatting to were attired.

The first was with a topless woman. Call me weird but I find it hard discussing the rules regarding filming children with a woman who has out.

(My cameraman said later that he didn't see what I found so difficult about the exchange and that he hadn't felt uncomfortable at all. He was wearing sunglasses mind you.)

The other chat was with a fifty-something German man. A Speedo wearing fifty-something German man.

I should probably explain at this stage that I've been filming in Lanzarote. Just in case you are wondering what kind of weird office I work in.

What do you make of Speedos? I'm uncertain. I just find it a bit difficult to see men roaming around the streets in what are essentially their pants.

I wasn't best impressed the time I went on a date with a guy and he was wearing them. (It was a beach date. I was living in Australia and that was the kind of thing you'd do there. Honestly.) That's despite the fact he was a professional water polo player and was as fit as you like (in both senses of the word) so could carry them off.

Maybe it's more that I think there is a time and a place for wearing Speedos and I don't think that standing a bit too close to a young producer in a hotel lift and asking her what she is filming, is either.

Neither is it appropriate to look like you are smuggling budgies while at the supermarket, hotel lobby and most definitely not while out to lunch.

In saying that, my cameraman and I wiled away many a spare...oooh...five minutes playing a game we invented based around the spotting of these men in their banana hammocks. You had to shout 'Kerching!' whenever you saw a pair of Speedos and you would get points according to style and location of the wearer. I knew I was well on my way to becoming the Kerching King© when I spotted someone sporting some rather fetching leopard print ones in Spar.

I thought this was just a fun game but it turns out that my afore-mentioned cameraman was taking it a bit more seriously as he confessed to me one night over dinner that he was actually one of them. A fully-fledged Speedo wearer.

How could I have not known this? Had I not seen the signs? I must admit that I was shocked. You would have thought that he'd announced that he has a large My Little Pony collection at home or something. I told him he needed to have a word with himself.

My advice clearly fell on deaf ears as the following day when we decided to go for a swim in the sea after work, he thought it would be oh so funny to meet me in the reception wearing his favourite pair of budgie smugglers. Along with sandals, a t-shirt that he'd knotted at his belly button and a rucksack on both shoulders.

Oh how hard I laughed. Not.

Actually that's not strictly true. I did laugh but only after I'd told him I wasn't going to be seen dead with him dressed like that and the girl on reception asked what the problem was. I mean I know she works in the service industry and the customer is always right but that's taking it a step too far.

So do tell me your opinion on them. Am I weird having an issue with them? (Or just weird writing a whole blog post about them?!) They are definitely becoming more common. When I wanted a photo to illustrate this post all I had to do was look to my left as I lay on the beach and hey presto! Yep, I know at first glance you may think that is a girl sunning herself in flowery bikini bottoms but she is actually a he.

Kerching! Ten points for me!

(Kerching© can be found in all good toy shops this Christmas)

Monday 13 September 2010

18 Textuality

Beep! Beep!

It was a text from my mum.

Hi luv. Me and your dad have been talking...

Hmm that sounds ominous...

...and we were just wondering...

Maybe not. Probably just want to know how to do something on the computer or ask when I'm going to pay them back the money I owe them.

...are you gay?...


We will still love you no matter what...

Oh well that's aright then! But still, what on earth? Why would they think that?

Ok, I have had my hair cut quite short. And I had been moaning to my mum about a particular guy only a few hours before. It wasn't code for 'I don't like men in general' though. I haven't started dancing on the other side of the ballroom.

There was more...

Also we've decided that your brother is our favourite child x

Ah right.

It was at this point that I knew there was definitely something suspicious going on. There is absolutely no way that they like my brother best. It's me that always calls them and sorts out their birthday presents, not him. Plus I've caused them far less trouble. It wasn't me that was brought home by the police one night because they'd caught me pissing against a wall.

No, something was occurring. I just wasn't sure what. It was actually as if my brother had sent the text from my mum's phone, but as she's in Edinburgh and he's in Southampton I couldn't fathom out how that could have happened.

I phoned my mum. As I waited for her to answer I realised how ridiculous it was going to sound that I was phoning to ask if she'd texted me enquiring whether I'm a lesbian. This resulted in me laughing after saying hi. One of those laughs where no sound comes out so my poor mum thought I was crying.

I finally managed to pull myself together and ask if she had texted me. She hadn't.

Curiouser and curiouser.

"So you don't think I'm a lesbian then?"

"Er, no."

"Good cause I'm not. I need to find out who thinks I am though..." and off I went, leaving my mum to panic about being a victim of identity fraud.

Next call was to my brother. "So how did you do it?"

After ten minutes of him saying he had no idea what I was going on about, and how he was 'far too busy' to be sending texts, I managed to get a confession out of him.

I'm afraid dear reader that I have to inform you that you can no longer believe any text you receive.

Your friend suggests meeting for lunch. Really?

Your local salon confirms your hair appointment. Pfff!

Your boyfriend thinks you should both have an early night. Whatever.

From now on you'll have to take everything with a pinch of salt because the worst phone application ever has been invented. One that lets you type in a 'to' number and a 'from' number and then whatever message you choose and off it pops to the recipient to appear in their inbox...

How evil is that?!

So be warned. I was lucky and there were no real consequences but you might not be so fortunate.

Of course there is the odd occasion when knowing that such an application exists could come in handy. When you wish you weren't the sender of a text.

Like when Taggart sent me a text after her third date with a nice man...

Loved up, loved up, loved up - that's what I am!x

Except she sent it to him instead...

Tuesday 7 September 2010

26 Liar, Liar!

Concerned: Er, Rapunzel didn't you say that you'd be updating your blog within the week...over three weeks ago?!

Rapunzel [looking sheepish]: I did. You are right. I'm sorry! It's just that I went up to Edinburgh while the Fringe was on and just didn't get the chance...

Concerned: Ok, we'll let you off. It still doesn't explain where you've been the last couple of months though...your last proper post was in June. Nothing interesting to write about I take it?

Rapunzel: Quite the opposite actually! Just been really busy working abroad filming in holiday resorts...

C: That doesn't sound much like work...

R: That's what my friends say! It is hard work I tell you! You try filming over 100 hotels in 30+ temperatures!

C: Our hearts bleed. So where did you do this 'work'?

R: All over. Benidorm, Portugal, Costa del Sol, Gran Canaria, Tenerife...

C: We get the idea. No need to brag. So what was Benidorm like? As tacky as its reputation suggests?

R: I was actually pleasantly surprised. I didn't think it deserved the image it has. That's until I saw a couple having sex in the middle of a bar...

C: Nice.

R: I wouldn't have minded so much but it was on a Sunday afternoon!

C: Indeed. So talking of er..romance, has there been any in your life or have you been too 'busy'?

R: I actually have had a few dalliances...

C: Do tell...

R: All in good time. I haven't blogged for a while remember? I need to warm-up!

C: Just get on with it. No-one likes a blogger that doesn't blog.

R: I know, I know!

C: Right we'll meet here in the same place in a couple of days. I'm warning you though..if you stand us up again this relationship is over...

R: I'll be here. Promise! Love you! x

Monday 16 August 2010

10 Lo Siento....!

I called The Bro yesterday. I was hoping to make him jealous by telling him that I was calling while sunning myself on the beach. Not only did I not get the desired envious response, but I also got an unexpected lecture.

A lecture about the fact I haven't blogged for a while. He said that at the very least I should have put up a post explaining my absence. He'd even tried to log into my account to put one up himself.

I thought that was quite nice of him until he added that he would have said he was happy to answer any questions that anyone had about me. I dread to think where that could have gone!

In my defence, I didn't put up a post saying that I would be out of action for a while like some other bloggers have done, because I really didn't know I would be. I had every intention of keeping you up to date with my adventures over this summer but I just haven't had the time.

The Bro is (whisper it) right though and I should have at least let you know as soon as I did realise that blogging was going to have to be abandoned. I'm hoping that you will forgive me though and we can start afresh? How about I promise to fill you in later this week on what has been going on since I last posted...I'll tell you about the dates I've been on, my new love guru and about all the countries I've been to recently.

Just as soon as I get back from Tenerife where I currently am. You see I haven't even been in my Tower recently so writing Tales From would have been false advertising anyway!

Besos! xx

Thursday 17 June 2010

35 Karma Chameleon

If my brother fell in the river, he would come out with salmon in his pocket. And it would probably already be smoked.

Putting it another way, he is a jammy sod.

He says that it is nothing to do with luck, and all about karma. He reckons that the good things that happen to him, are just repayment for the good deeds he has done for others.

That theory is causing him a problem today though, and knowing how wise you lot are, I'm hoping that you can help him...

Once upon a time this morning, The Bro was on the bus travelling to work when he found a mobile phone. A decent, newish phone. The sort you could sell for a few bob on eBay if you were that way inclined.

That didn't even cross The Bro's mind though. Instead, he saw it as his chance to pay off a karmic debt incurred when he lost his camera with all his photos on while travelling in Australia, and some kindly soul had handed it to the police station.

So The Bro sees that the last number dialled on the phone was 'Mum', and calls her to say that he is in possession of her child's property and would like to return it.

Arrangements are made for collection and The Bro continues with his morning, happy that he's finally karma debt-free.

That is until 'Mum' arrives, thanks him for his honesty, hands him an envelope and tells him to have a drink on her and her son.

'Mum' has clearly heard the myth about Scots being big drinkers, because in the envelope was £40. Enough for quite a few drinks.

This is all very nice but has given my brother a bit of a conundrum. Does that mean he is actually still in debt? Should he be passing on the money to keep the good karma flowing? He reckons that it would make a homeless persons day to be handed £40.

I do have slight concerns with this idea though, as just last week my friend gave a homeless man some money. He was so delighted with her generosity that he gave her a hug and in the process got his blood on her top.

Plus, she'd only given him a fiver. I dread to think what my brother might get if he hands over eight times as much.

I'm unsure what to suggest so I'm handing it over to you. Please help Rapunzel's brother with his dilemma.

Should he pass it on? If so to who? Or in what way? Does he do a few good deeds? Pay someone's bus fare? Buy a stranger a coffee? Put it in a charity collection box?

Or does he do exactly as 'Mum' told him and have a drink or few this weekend and feel happy in the knowledge that he's a lucky devil?!

Tuesday 15 June 2010

18 My Hug For You

Who wouldn't want to receive an email titled 'My Hug For You' first thing on a Tuesday morning?

I was delighted.

Okay I didn't recognise the name of the sender, but if they were happy to give out hugs, I would be happy to receive them.

I opened the mail and started to read...

Good morning!

Please, contribute some time to read this mail and you would not regret about it.

I suppose it would be a surprise for you but I want you to find some time to read this letter. Firstly, I want to answer the first question that you can ask me about “Where I took your e-mail?” 7 month ago, I logged the web site. Do you know it? It can be so that you do not remember me but earlier we had a talk there. I do not have an access to the Internet for a long time and that is why I could not send a message you. Now I have it and I guess we can continue our talk.
I think you are also looking for goo relations, right. I suppose that it is the only possibility for me and that is why I decided to send letter for you.

Now I want to tell you about myself. I am Rima. I am 28 years old.I went through pain and suffering during my life. Now I am happy because everything I have now I have achieved by myself. But I have no boyfriend, that is what I want to change my life now. I want to find a man who will understand and help me. He should be not only as a man but a good friend also. I want to open my heart and soul in a full way.
Now I do not depend on somebody and provide own myself. I have a good job,which satisfies all my needs. I lead healthy-life style from my childhood and regularly go in for sports. I do not drink and smoke. If you want to know me better, please, answer to my letter.

I guess we would enjoy of our talk with you. I hope you do not regret that paid attention, read this letter, and will surely reply to me. I am waiting for your answer to start our long and interesting communication. Yours Rima.

What a lovely email. Rima was right - I was glad I'd read it and I certainly did not 'regret about it.'

Admittedly I'm not exactly overjoyed about the fact she has 'outed me' by announcing that I was on I was never going to tell you. I was too embarrassed. She looks so nice in her photo above though, that I don't think I could stay angry at her.

Yes, when I started online dating in a bid to find a man, that was my website of choice. I actually had high hopes for it. I know the usual connotations of a sugar daddy are of rich men who lavish money on poorer, younger females in return for 'companionship' but that's not how it is nowadays is it?

Well yes, actually it is, if the sort of men that contacted me are anything to go by.

There was the one whose first email to me mentioned the size of his appendage.

Or there was the guy who wanted to take me skiing but insisted that I'd have to be 'discreet.'

Actually even my first post about starting online dating will read a whole lot differently to you, now you know that I'd unwisely become a sugarbabe.

Hmmm. It wasn't exactly a success.

Mind you, I might not have any luck finding my Mr Right on it, but it looks like I've made a lovely new friend. I must admit that I can't remember talking to any females when I was a member, but if Rima said I did, then I must have.

It doesn't really matter anyway. Just as long as we've found each other now cause Rima and I have a lot in common.

She wants to find a man who will 'understand and help' her. Me too! I want a man that has no problems with my Scottish accent, and will help me carry my bags when I've been to the supermarket.

She wants to 'open her heart and soul in full way.' Only the other day I was telling my concierge that I wanted to do the same.

She's had 'pain and suffering' in her life. I have as well. Just yesterday I had a bit of a headache.

In fact the only difference is that I'm not looking for a 'goo relationship.' I'm not keen on any kind of 'goo' at all. I find it difficult even when people blow their noses around me cause I think of what is coming out.

Other than that though, I think Rima and I have the potential to become great friends. So you'll understand if I stop blogging it is just that I'm very busy having 'long and interesting communication' with my new BFF.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

22 I'm Single, Let's Mingle

There was a moment the other week that I thought I was going to be a bit like Bob Geldof.

I'd come up with the idea for a brilliant campaign and I felt pretty sure it was going to be become a world-wide phenomenon. Plus, it was going to be a very worthy venture because it would help a large chunk of the population that are really in need but often get forgotten about.

And they are of course...Single People.

My brainwave came about quite by accident. If you remember, last post but one, was about how I'd given out my phone number to a random barman, and despite subsequently discovering that he had a girlfriend, I decided that it was still a good approach. I finished by telling you that I'd had the opportunity to do it again the same week...

Basically I was out with my friend Lu (so named because she is just a 'little un') and we'd just popped into one of our regular haunts for some pub grub, when the barman greeted me with 'I know you!'

I also knew him, but I wasn't sure where from. I don't know about you but I'm terrible for placing people when I see them out of context. I remember being adamant that a fellow diner in a restaurant was from a boyband, when in actual fact he just worked in my local Tescos.

It became clear though, when barman explained that he'd got a new job and just a few weeks before he'd been working in my local bar.

Ah yes, of course.

What was still unclear though, was how he knew that I frequent his previous place of employment, because when he did work there I swear that he never used to pay me the blindest bit of attention.

Unfortunately I can't say the same for me because Mr Barman was so gorgeous I couldn't help but look at him. His face was made to be ogled. It would have been rude not to.

Anyway I decided to ignore the past and concentrate on the fact that Mr Barman was paying me attention in the here and now. (Well they do say that the present is a gift and all that.)

As it was only a few days since my 'success' with Luscious Luke, and I was still feeling ten foot tall and bullet-proof, I decided that I would not be leaving without giving my number to this fittie.

Anyway, cutting a long story short, and bypassing accounts of my attempts to flirt for Scotland, it soon became time for us to leave. Despite being desperate for a wazz, I told Lu that I didn't need and let her go to the ladies alone (Girl in 'Going to Toilet on Her Own' Shocker!) because I was going to make my move...

Okay here goes....

C'mon Rapunzel, you can do it..

I'm sorry readers but I couldn't 'do it'. Turns out I'm a big feardy cat.

I tried to convince myself that it was because I didn't want to become a 'number-giver-outer-floozie'. Also I like that bar he works in and I didn't want to make things awkward for either of us any time I went back in there.

Fact is though, I think I was most worried that he may actually have a girlfriend. Of course he may not have been interested in me full stop anyway.

What if he was though, and just didn't think it appropriate to be making moves on the customers a few weeks into a new job?

If only there was a way for single people to tell that other single people were single.

That's when I had a brainwave...

People could wear something to indicate their single status. Like those traffic light nights where people wear certain coloured clothes depending on what they are 'up for' that evening. This would be a daily thing though, similar to those that are married wearing a ring.

There starteth my idea for a campaign. It was going to be brilliant!

I mentioned it to my mum, thinking she'd feel proud about how clever her daughter is. She just wanted to know what I'd envisaged people wearing. Her suggestion was a sticker.

Yep, a sticker. Seriously.

Okay I might not have come up with anything definitive but I knew for sure that 'a sticker' was a pants idea. For starters you never know when you might meet your Mr or Mrs Right so should be advertising your singleness at all times.

I can just imagine if I'd turned up for work at the Breast Unit wearing my 'I'm available' sticker. I'm pretty sure that my new boss would have promptly called my temp agency to express concern that it seemed I was more interested in picking up doctors than typing up letters.

Nope that definitely wasn't going to work. I called my brother to tell him what a silly suggestion my mum had made and asked for his ideas. Imagine my surprise when he informed me that my whole campaign was shit.

He pointed out that if us single girls were wearing a ring, bracelet, t-shirt, tattoo, sticker or whatever, that announced we were unattached, we could no longer ward off any minging guys that approached us, with the excuse that we have a boyfriend.

Oh yeah. I could see his point. And I didn't have any comeback for him.

So that was the end of that. My time as a campaign leader lasted for a mere...ooh...half an hour.

Unless you have any suggestions on how to make it work that is? Come on, unweds need you! Help singles mingle!

Friday 4 June 2010

18 Keeping Abreast

Boobs, breasts, mammaries, jugs, knockers, hooters, bazookas.

Whatever you call them. They've been on my mind a lot over the last few weeks.

I suppose it is understandable really, as I've just had a boob job.

Oh wait, that doesn't sound right does it?

My brother did warn me not to say that. I thought he just meant it was best not to say I'd been temping in a hospital breast unit. Just in case people think I don't want to work in TV anymore, and stop contacting me about jobs.

I realise what he was actually getting at now though.

It was too late anyway, cause I'd already told quite a few people about my current employment, before my bro offered his words of wisdom.

I've had a lot of interesting TV jobs. Like the one where I accompanied a group of agoraphobics to Japan. Or the one filming a board game convention in Vegas, or the hamster competition in Bolton. Or the one where I attended 999 calls with the police. Or the one with Ricky Hatton, as he prepared for his big fight. Or the extremely difficult one, that involved spending my days meeting male models.

Weirdly though, people have shown a lot more interest in my job in the breast unit, than they have in any of those ones.

Men in particular. Strange.

Fishy went so far as to say that it sounded like his dream job. I was quite surprised. He doesn't strike me as the sort whose life ambition is to be a medical secretary. I suppose you never can tell though.

It wasn't bad as temp jobs go. My role involved typing up letters about boobs and moobs.

Strictly speaking, those aren't the actual terms that are used. I'm sure it is only a matter of time till they are though, cause it is very important to keep up-to-date.

I hope when they do have a revamp of their terminology, they have a look at some of the other expressions they use at the same time. In particular the one where they say 'on examination, both breasts were unremarkable.'

I mean how rude is that?!

To me that is a 'good news, bad news' situation.

"Well madam, the good news is that you have nothing to worry about regarding lumps and bumps etc...but the bad news is that your boobs aren't even worth a mention."

I discussed this with my friend Tony. He assured me that this was factually inaccurate. He said that all breasts are worth commenting on. Regardless of size. He said there had even been surveys done on this very matter.

Actually, now that I think about it, I might have made up the survey bit. He was pretty insistent that he knew what he was talking about though. As if he had boob knowledge. Like he was some kind of an expert.

While we were on the the subject, I should have asked him a few questions that I have about boobs. In particular, the ones that I have about topless sunbathing.

I get quite confused, because it seems there are a lot of unwritten rules surrounding this matter.

For example, we all know that some people should never see your breasts. Like your plumber, or bank manager perhaps. Apart from the fact that the situation wouldn't arise, it just isn't deemed appropriate.

Isn't there an unwritten rule though that states that this no longer applies on the condition that you are abroad?

It is even okay for your plumber and bank manager to have had an eyeful, if they are holidaying in the same resort. (Provided that you aren't on a staycation...)

Or what about the rule that suggests topless sunbathing is only allowed near water?

Think about it. It is a perfectly acceptable activity to do when you are on the beach. Or by your hotel pool. Isn't it?

Getting your bits out in a city centre park is just that bit more controversial though.

It must have something to do with water somehow. Which might also explain my next query.

It is fine to do some activities topless. Playing games for example. No-one seems to mind too much, when a woman partakes in a game of semi-naked bat and ball.

As soon as that very woman decides the game is making her thirsty though, it is necessary for her to put on her bikini top before going to buy a drink.

And this seems to apply even if the pool bar is only a few metres from where she was previously jiggling around trying to bat the ball.

Hmmm. It's a minefield out there concerning breast etiquette.

Anyway the reason I've posted about this is so that I can apologise to my friend Roy. (Of course there is a reason for it. You don't think I'd just do a post about chests for no reason do you? I very much doubt I could write much about them anyway. They aren't even that interesting.)

Roy was out for a Nandos with me and my friend Kelly. My job was mentioned and the conversation moved on to how difficult it is to buy nice bras when you are larger sized in that department. Poor Roy had to sit there and endure this rather lengthy chat.

He did say that is was okay and actually said it was 'refreshing' to be out with two ladies while we all thought, and chatted, about boobs and bras.

I'm sure he was only being nice though, and it is quite probable that we put him off his lunch. Particularly as he was having chicken breast.

Monday 24 May 2010

28 Luke No Further

Now where were we, before we were rudely interrupted by some ignoramus?

Ah yes, I was telling you about the infamous BNO (Bloggers' Night Out) and how, for some unknown reason, I had thought it a good idea to give my phone number to a barman, otherwise known as Luscious Luke.

You may be thinking that it doesn't sound like such a terrible idea. Fact is though, he hadn't actually asked for my number, or even suggested that he might want it. Unless you believe that by telling me I had a bad attitude, he might be doing it subliminally?

Anyway what's done is done. There was no changing it. I just hoped, as we settled ourselves at a table in the next bar, that everyone would forget about it.

And I think we all did. At least for the fifteen minutes that passed before my phone beeped to indicate I'd received a text. At that point we all squealed. Like girls.

'Open it! What has he said?'

I did so. Praying that it wasn't actually a text from my mum. And wondering if I should pretend it was from Luscious Luke anyway if it was.

There was no need though, as there in my inbox was a message from an unknown number.

For some attitude?x

You would have thought by our reactions that we'd just heard about a shop giving away free shoes. Or that they'd discovered a cure for menstruating or something. My fellow bloggers were as excited as I was!

Result! Luscious Luke had texted me. And put a kiss! I was soooo in there.

We all set to work on a reply and eventually decided on, I will bring the attitude, if you bring the cocktails...

Okay, we'd had no male input and as there was only one attached person in our group of five, you wouldn't say we were exactly qualified in matters of lurve, but we were pretty proud of that text regardless. We reckoned that it was flirty, hinted at a date and we thought that the fact I hadn't put a kiss would keep him on his toes.

It wasn't long before the reply came through.

What's your name mystery Scottish woman?x

Hmmm he hadn't taken the date bait but it wasn't bad. And he'd put a kiss again.

I replied telling him it could be whatever he wanted it to be. Nah of course I didn't text that! I'd told him to guess and asked him his (even though I already knew it was Luke, Luscious Luke to me.) And so it went on.

All too soon it was the end of our BNO. We bade each other farewell, vowed to do it again and I promised to keep them up to date with the future installments of the LL saga.

Twas the very next day that there was a further development when I received the following text from my friendly barman.

Don't want to string you along, I have a girlfriend, just thought you were lovely x

I don't mind telling you that I cried when that message came through. I cried with frustration about yet another guy being attached and I wondered when I'll ever meet someone that isn't.

What I do mind though, is if you believed that statement above. Of course I didn't flipping cry!!! I don't even know the guy. How can I be upset about someone that I don't know from Adam? I was actually quite pleased to get that text. Pleased that he'd told me before I invested any time, and of course pleased about the compliment.

(Please see example above, Mr Lekker and any other attached men. Note that most of us females like our men single, and the sooner we find out that you aren't, the better. Before the first kiss is preferable. We can be weird that way.)

I replied to him thanking him for telling me. There were another few texts between us. General chit-chat about how long we'd both been in Manchester yadda yadda.

He asked me how old I was. I told him to guess. He replied 22,23. I agreed that I was thereabouts (give or take 11 or 12 years.)

I asked how old he was. He replied that he was 24. I laughed.

I asked if he had an older, single, brother. He doesn't.

And that was pretty much the end of that.

The verdict: It maybe didn't have the desired result, but now I know that he's a mere baby, 10 years my junior, I'm not sure that the desired result would have been the desired result anyway, if you get my drift?

Plus it gave all us girls a laugh, as well as giving me an ego boost. Also, I'd asked him his opinion on my technique, whether he thought that giving him my number was too forward. He replied that it wasn't, as he 'probably would have bottled' asking for mine anyway. So you see sometimes us girls have to make the first move.

So all in all, I have no regrets. In fact I reckoned I'd even do it again.

And whaddya know, the opportunity came up just a week later...

Tuesday 18 May 2010

14 Blooming Marvelous

It isn't always easy telling someone that the relationship is over.

Even more so when you aren't even in the damn relationship in the first place!

I'd received an email t'other day. It started 'Hi Rapunzel, I'm not a nutter by the way...' I probably should have stopped reading at this point, because everyone knows that the ones that say they aren't weird, are the weirdest ones.

I continued though. It was from a guy telling me that he likes my blog, blah blah, thought I seemed nice, and was wondering if I would like to go out for a drink sometime.

That doesn't sound too bad does it? What about the next bit though, when he carried on to explain that he'd been dating one of my fellow bloggers?

A fellow blogger that had been on the BNO. A fellow blogger that has become a friend. A fellow blogger that in actual fact I thought he was still an item with, as I hadn't heard anything to the contrary.


They'd obviously split up though. He wouldn't be mailing me otherwise would he?

It was still a bit weird though. For starters he doesn't actually know my current situation, seeing as I haven't continued with the Luscious Luke story. He might actually be cutting Luke's grass by messaging me.

Plus, wasn't it a bit soon for him to be pursuing me? It was only the other week I was reading about one of his dates with Tuppence over on her blog. Surely there is some Bloggers' Code that disallows this kind of thing? Or was it within the rules as long as Tuppence came along on the date and did some kind of handover?

I mentioned it to Tuppence a few days later. Mainly because I was curious to find out what had happened between them. I also asked if she knew he'd emailed me.

She didn't. In fact she also wasn't aware that they weren't actually seeing each other anymore.

I had unwittingly become the bearer of bad news.

How shit did I feel? Plus Tuppence was having a horrible day as it was, and my mail made things worse. I cursed myself for my bad timing.

I tried to remind myself that I wouldn't have had anything bad to tell her in the first place, if it wasn't for Mr Couldn't Give A Shit About Anyone's Feelings, but it didn't help. I went to bed feeling annoyed that he'd got me involved in something that had absolutely nothing to do with me. Arse.

When I woke up this morning to the radio presenter wishing everyone a good day, I felt a lot more positive though. Yep, it was a brand new day and there was no reason why it couldn't be a tremendous one. I left the apartment feeling pretty perky.

And was almost run over by a guy on a bike! Who then had the cheek to shoot me the dirtiest look ever as if it was my fault. How on earth could it be? I was on the flipping pavement!

Feeling a bit shaken I made my way to the bus stop. I proceeded to try and distract myself from my near death experience, by sussing out some of the features on my new phone.

I was so engrossed that I didn't notice the bus heading towards me...

...and driving right past me.

I cursed my stupidity. I was going to have to wait another 15 minutes for the next one.

Actually make that 25 minutes, because the bloody bus was late. I wasn't impressed.

Then when I got on it, the only seat that was free was next to a guy that seemed to think we all wanted to hear the pumping music he was playing on his iPod.

Seriously what is with these people? It's my pet hate. The headphones are there for a reason. I would have told him to turn it down, but the way my day was going I'd thought I'd probably end up getting lynched. I just sat gritting my teeth instead.

Finally the bus reached my stop. I'd made it!

Or not. Seems the bus driver forgot there was a stop there today and drove right past it, stopping instead at the next one an extra five minutes' walk away from work.

As I trekked the miles and miles to work I did my very best to start thinking positively. Just because the day had started badly didn't mean it was going to continue like that.

It was too late though, my ratty head was on and it was refusing to budge. The day carried on with me being irritated by everything and anything.

It was annoying me that I was having to sit inside, while it was a beautiful day outside.

As was the fact that I'd forgotten my phone charger and hardly had any battery.

The noise my watch makes was also driving me insane. Okay, I've worn it every day since I bought it from a looky looky man in Gran Canaria the other month, but today the 'tick, tick, tick' was making me contemplate chucking it out the window.

The fact the watch is made by Dimpex was also getting on my nerves as it reminds me of Tampax and I wasn't happy that thoughts of feminine hygiene products and periods were popping into my head every time I checked to see how much longer of this godforsaken day I had to endure.

Nothing was too big or too small to piss me off.

Hell, it even bugged me when I saw a woman wearing a red cardigan that didn't go in the slightest with her pink blouse. I cursed her for hurting my eyes.

Things did seem on the up though when I went to buy a bottle of water and the guy serving me told me he liked the purple in my hair.

Until he added 'You need your roots done mind you, but I still like it.'

Home time couldn't come quick enough.

I don't think I've ever been so pleased to see the Tower looming above me. I'd made plans to park myself in front of the TV watching programmes about other people's misery.

But wait, what was this?

There in my mailbox was a note saying I'd had a delivery of flowers.

Ohmigod! Who had sent me flowers?! How exciting! And what a surprise!

Suddenly the day didn't seem so bad.

Except turns out there had been a bit of a mix-up and the note about the flowers had been put in the wrong mail box. Someone had received some flowers, just not me.

I'm just glad it is only a few hours until Tomorrow.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

28 Flirtini

Give me a B!

Give me an N!

Give me an O!

And what have you got?
The Bloggers' Night Out!

Yes, it finally happened. The night we had been talking about for weeks. The night when five strangers were meeting. The night when we were going to see whether Kate, Tuppence, Gingerella, Helen and myself would get on.

Sure we all had blogging in common, and we'd discovered that we are all fond of a cocktail or two, but would that be enough?

Well, you'll be happy to know that it was. It was slightly like being on a bizarre blind date. A group blind date at that. But a good group blind date.

Perhaps that was down to the fact that there were no awkward silences. We may not have met before but we already knew a hell of a lot about each other. I mean I know some things about those girls that I don't even know about some of my oldest friends. Especially that Tuppence one. She has a private blog that you need a password to read. She writes some things on there that would make you blush!

Anyway everything had been going swimmingly. We'd first met in a bar, drank some wine and all gave a little spiel about ourselves.

'Hi I'm Rapunzel. I live in that tower you can see. I'm 33. I like men with big noses. I don't like mushrooms. I once served Cliff Richard while wearing a sari.'

Just the usual stuff like that.

We then moved on to the noodle bar Tampopo to line our stomachs with food, before heading for cocktails as planned.

Gingerella and I went to the bar and waited patiently while the very attractive barman made drinks for the people in front of us. It was just like seeing Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Except he didn't throw anything in the air and it took him flipping aaaages to make the drinks.

He also didn't give as good service as Tom. Unless I missed the bit in the film where Tom told one of his customers that she had a bad attitude, which is exactly what this barman Wannabe Tom was telling me.

He also said something about me having a moany face, rubbish accent and asked Gingerella how she puts up with me (she didn't tell him that she actually didn't know me before that night and instead said I was really nice. Bless!)

I wouldn't have minded so much except I'd barely opened my mouth. I was about to argue with him but when he gave me my drink and said it was on him, I decided to forgive him.

We eventually rejoined the others and continued with our night. Chat, chat, chat.

I can only imagine that at some point there was a lull in the conversation or something though. An awkward silence that needed filling, because there was surely some reason for me suddenly asking the girls whether I should give the barman my phone number.

'Don't be ridiculous Rapunzel. That's a rubbish idea. What part of him slagging you off made you think he actually wants your digits?'

Is what they should have said to me. What they actually said though was..

'Yeah great idea! We'll get you a pen!'

So we were all sorted. I had the note prepared with my number on it and the message 'Call this number for attitude' (smooth I know!) All I had to do was hand it to him, which I was going to do as we were leaving. Easy peasy.

No, not so easy peasy. As we headed out past the bar and I saw the throng of people waiting to be served that I'd have to push though, I lost my nerve.

'I can't do it,' I said to Kate.

'Sure you can.'

I couldn't. I started to make my way out the bar. She stopped me and gave me a pep talk (what a good friend) causing a couple of guys near us to ask what we were talking about. So she told them (hmmm not such a good friend!) and one of them claimed that he knew the very barman we were talking about.

'Luke, Luke,' he shouted across the crowd. Luscious Luke eh? 'She wants you,' he said pointing at me.

Suddenly I felt like I was back at school when Sadie Cook asked Bobby Walker if he'd noticed that I'd started wearing a bra.

I felt mortified. What should I do?

Well,what I did do was decide that I couldn't feel any more embarrassed than I already did. I went up to Luscious Luke, handed him my number, told him it was his tip and then exited the bar while the girls cheered.

I felt brilliant! I felt empowered! I felt invincible!

For about..ooh...two minutes. Right up until I realised what a stupid idea that had been. What had possessed me?

I mean I might never hear from Luscious Luke for various reasons, including...

1/ He may be gay
2/ He may have a girlfriend
3/ He may not like me (I'd suggested to him that he was only giving me abuse because he fancied me and he hadn't actually confirmed my theory)

All good, valid reasons and if I never heard from him I would just pick one to explain why I hadn't (probably number 1).

That would be fine if I was the only one that knew I'd handed out my damn number willy nilly in the first place.

That wasn't the case though. No, in this case there were four other girls that knew. Four other blogging girls. Four blogging girls with lots of readers.

Was I no longer going to be known as the girl that was brave enough to go out with Fishy? Instead would I become the girl that embarrassed herself on the BNO......?

Tuesday 27 April 2010

26 Dealing with the Dutch

'I think you should buy the book anyway so you're prepared when another guy comes into your life,' the shop assistant advised me, before adding, 'One that will stick around for longer.'

I could have kissed her.

I might even have done so, except for the fact that Mr Lekker probably would have liked witnessing that, and he wasn't exactly my favourite person at that very moment.

This was about an hour into our 'reunion'. I'd been a nervous wreck all morning. Understandably really as I'd never felt about anyone else the way I did about him. So much so, that I even uttered some of the most ridiculous words that have ever come out of my mouth when I said to Taggart that if he proposed to me I would say yes. I was that infatuated. Well, I'd known him for five hours after all. Why waste time?

Obviously I'd made that remark in the beginning when he'd first entered my life and turned it all upside down. I wasn't so keen now that I knew he had a girlfriend. Plus there was the small issue that we hadn't actually spoken in months until he'd called out of the blue to ask if we could see each other.

What did he want? Was he going to explain things? Apologise? Maybe he'd split up with his girlfriend? I had no idea.

All the not knowing was making things very difficult when it came to choosing what to wear. Did I need a 'look at what you are missing out on' outfit? And if I did, what does one of them look like exactly? Or should I just look good, but not too good suggesting that I wasn't that bothered about him? And where is the line drawn between the two looks?

I was happy to see that he'd put as much thought into his outfit as he rounded the corner to our meeting point. He was wearing the exact same thing he'd worn the year before. Sometimes I really wish I was a guy.

I'd felt physically sick until I saw him but as soon as I did my nerves dissipated. I just couldn't believe that Mr Lekker was actually standing in front of me.

We found a quiet cafe and settled down with some coffees. He kept looking at me. Approvingly I hoped. Seems not because he then informed me that I was the same as he remembered, except that I now had purple in my hair and I didn't have it before.

Really Mr Lekker? In actual fact the purple hair was the result of going to a hairdresser in Holland that didn't speak the best English, a few years before. It had been an accident but I'd loved it and had had it ever since. It had become part of my identity and some people even referred to me as 'Purple Heid' (drunk Scottish guys mainly mind you.)

Yes, I was feeling a bit annoyed that he hadn't noticed something so important about me. What on earth had he been looking at that night?

Mind you, I couldn't have been paying that much attention either because I'm sure his teeth were nicer in my memory. As was his attitude for that matter.

The conversation flowed surprisingly easily, considering we were two strangers and one of us was pissed off with the other one.

I finally plucked up the courage to ask him what had happened and why he had stopped contacting me. I wasn't in the slightest bit impressed with his answer and told him so.

'Bloody men. Bloody Dutch men in fact. It's no wonder there is a whole book explaining how to deal with the Dutch.'

Yep, I know that as come-backs go it was extremely weak, but I was in shock. All Mr Lekker cared about on the other hand was the book I'd just mentioned.

'There is really a book about that?'

I told him there was and I'd been given a copy as I arrived to live in Holland. He didn't believe me and suggested that we go to the nearest bookshop. I wasn't really in the mood but was keen to be proved right so agreed.

After failing to find anything on the shelves, Mr Lekker approached a girl at the till. He explained that he had just met a 'lovely' girl, pointing at me, and we needed a particular book so that I could understand how to deal with him (er, that's sooo not why we are here Mr Lekker...)

She checked her computer and said she'd need to order it in which would take a couple of weeks. He replied that would be too late and he'd have gone back to Holland by then. He then turned to me and said he was sorry but he saw no point in continuing our relationship. (Never a truer word said.)

Thank God for female intuition as it was at this point the sales girl suggested I get it for the next man I met. I loved her.

Can't say I felt the same about Mr Lekker. And the reason I didn't was because when I'd asked him earlier to explain his lack of contact, his reply was that he was falling for me and he couldn't be doing that as he'd just got married.

Yep you did read that right. Married with a big, fat capital M!

And don't think for one moment that he was doing the honourable thing and meeting me to tell me all about it and apologise. Was he heck! I'm not sure he would even have mentioned it if I hadn't asked (and as his wedding ring wasn't on the normal finger I wouldn't have realised.)

His reason for meeting me was purely to try his luck again. Which became apparent as soon as he said flirtily to me that he'd never kissed anyone in a bookshop before...then winked at me!

Don't worry readers. I'd learnt my lesson - once a player, always a player. I informed him that he also wouldn't be kissing anyone in a bookshop that day either. I bade him farewell and off I went.

And that was the end of the love story Mr Lekker and Me.


Lessons learned? Turns out I'm quite fickle and need longer than five hours to decide if someone is the perfect man for me.

Morale of the tale? If you do unwittingly find yourself as the third wheel in a relationship involving a famous man, try and ensure that he is not known in the UK so you never have to endure seeing his lying, cheating face on the cover of Heat magazine!

Monday 19 April 2010

21 Double Dutch

I've got a girlfriend...

What? I was confused. I re-read the text that I'd just received from Mr Lekker.

The word 'girlfriend' was jumping out at me. Which would be ok if it was following the words 'do you want to be my...'. Instead this was featuring in a sentence that I really didn't want to be seeing. Nor should I be, because I distinctly remembered asking if he was in a relationship and the answer was definitely in the form of a negative.

...I'm really sorry that I lied to you...

Good, at least I wasn't losing my mind. I had asked him.

...I was having such a good time and I didn't want it to end...

Er, this isn't a trip to the fairground we are talking about Mr Lekker.

I jest, but in reality I was absolutely gutted. I felt sick.

For a start it seemed incredibly unfair. I'd been single for...ooh...cough...a while, and felt that I'd been pretty patient. Did Cupid think it would be a good joke to introduce me to someone that well and truly floated my boat, but someone that was already playing port and starboard with someone else?

As well as that, I was annoyed at the fact that I had suddenly become the 'other woman.' That's not a game I ever wanted to play. Apart from all the usual reasons, I believe that I deserve better than being 3rd place in someone's life (in my opinion these men tend to put themselves 1st, and their partners 2nd.)

I would like to say that at this point I just deleted this text, along with his number and carried on with my life. That's not what happened though (of course if you would prefer to think that is what I did do, then please stop reading now and just avoid any post with anything Dutch-related in the title and you will be none the wiser.) No, the rest of his text was so lovely (damn him and his talent for texting!)that I felt compelled to phone him.

There followed a deep and meaningful conversation where we said how strongly we felt about each other. And ended in us deciding to meet up again.

I know, I know! I'm not sure either how in the space of a morning I'd changed from being someone with morals, to Monica Lewinsky.

The chemistry between us had been almost palpable though, and surely if things were that great between him and his girlfriend he wouldn't be calling me most evenings to say goodnight?

The chats and texts continued as normal. We planned when to meet and started discussing where. England or Holland? (Or somewhere neutral like Switzerland?!) I sent him a text about flights I'd seen.

I didn't get a reply. Weird. That wasn't like him at all. Maybe he hadn't received it?

I sent it again. Still no reply.

I sent a different text. Silence.

My male friends often tell me tales of 'psycho' girls that text them repeatedly and just won't take the hint that they aren't interested in them. I nod and agree that these particular women do sound a bit unstable and I assure them that we aren't all like that. Writing this though I realise I was, albeit for a very brief time, one of those girls!!!!

Of course it all could have been avoided if I'd received a message, something along the lines of...

Hey Rapunzel, great meeting you but by the way I've decided not to contact you again.

Fine - at least I'd know where I stood. No such text arrived though so I presumed that Mr Lekker must have lost his phone. Or be in hospital. Or dead. Cause he wouldn't just stop contacting the girl that he said he was falling for would he?

Of course he flipping would! And thankfully I eventually saw the light myself. Not before sending a few 'Loopy Lou' texts unfortunately but hey, I was emotional.

A Dutch friend suggested that I sell my story over there. I decided against it. Mr Lekker may be famous but he isn't exactly Tiger Woods. Plus my 'kiss and tell' would literally be just that - there was no horizontal fun to speak about. I'd be lucky if anyone would pay enough for a portion of frites and mayo for my non-juicy gossip. Also I'm really not that kind of a girl. I'd never dream of telling stories to a load of people about my personal life.

So life continued. I managed to wean myself off watching Mr Lekker on t'internet. I'd practically forgotten he even existed.

Until months and months later my phone rang from a Dutch number. A Dutch number I vaguely recognised...

I couldn't believe it! I also couldn't hear him. I was in Scotland visiting the parents, in the home of crap phone reception.

I tried everything. Moving to different rooms. Hanging out windows. Apart from the odd word, I had no idea what he was saying. I hung up. In a strop.

Then a text came through...

I'm in Scotland. Are you? Can we meet?

Yes, and hell yes!

Obviously I didn't write that. I played it a bit cool. Inside my stomach was churning though. I couldn't believe that I was going to see Mr Lekker again!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

20 Going Dutch

Have you ever experienced love at first sight?

I have. Well a definite 'Woo hoo look at you!' at first sight anyway. (Of course if I'd ended up married to said crush, then naturally the story would become a tale of how I just knew he was The One the moment I clapped eyes on him.)

Whatever you want to call it though, I definitely believed that I'd been destined to meet the guy in question.

For a start, I shouldn't have even been there that night.

I'd been spending a few days at the Edinburgh Festival with my cousin Paris (of course that's not her real name - we aren't that sort of a family. It'll teach her though, for putting her number in my phone under Ooh La La which was very embarrassing when she'd call me when I was in company and my phone would announce who was ringing. Anyway, I digress...) It was our last evening so we'd decided to make the most of it by seeing a show.

Unfortunately, Lady Luck wasn't on our side and everything we attempted to get tickets for had sold out. So after traipsing all over Edinburgh, we decided to rest our weary legs and sit and assess our options. In the nearest pub.

Paris ordered us drinks while I nipped to the loo. Still feeling exhausted, I opted for using the disabled toilet on the ground floor, as opposed to climbing the stairs up to the ladies. It was a decision that was to change my life forever, because when I came out, there he was...

Mr Lekker.

Mr Lekker from Holland (hence my use of a Dutch term). He called me over to where he was standing with two friends. So I went (proof that destiny was influencing me, as I'm not normally so obedient when it comes to men.)

I told him that I used to live in Holland (see? Definite destiny.) He asked me if I spoke the lingo.

I replied in the positive and added 'neuken in de keuken' as proof.

He laughed.

Whether that was because he thought I was funny, (it translates as 'sex in the kitchen' so works waaay better in Dutch than in English) or whether he was laughing at my pronunciation, I never found out. Regardless of why, it worked a treat because when I invited him and his friends to join us, he accepted!

And so began an amazing evening. When I asked Paris later, for her honest opinion of Mr Lekker she replied that as he'd spent the night attached to my face she'd never actually seen him.

Obviously she exaggerates. For a start I'm not a teenager anymore so wouldn't just abandon a friend to snog a boy, at least not without checking she was ok first (and fortunately for me, Mr Lekker's friends were great company so Paris was fine..!)

We were pretty obsessed with each other though. It was as if no-one else was in the room. We couldn't stop staring at each other and trying to find out as much as we could about one another.

I discovered that he was a comedian (funny - tick! Good with words - tick!) Single (tick!), older than me (tick!)

In fact the only box I couldn't check was for the fact he lived in Holland, while I lived miles away in Manchester. I decided it didn't matter too much though. I mean I used to live there, so had an affinity with all things Netherlands. It just felt very unfair that I hadn't met him then.

Love conquers all anyway doesn't it? So it would be difficult, but not impossible.

I realise now that it was a bit premature to be thinking along these lines, but I was seriously smitten. And the best bit was, he seemed to feel the same.

I bemoaned when we had to say our goodbyes. But when I received a text from him shortly after, saying that meeting me had made his trip, I felt sure that we were at the beginning of something and not the end.

Naturally I googled him at the first opportunity.

Turns out Mr Lekker was pretty famous. He was certainly more successful than he'd let on. This was an added bonus as it meant that there were a lot of clips of him doing stand-up on Youtube. Therefore even though we were separated by miles, I could still see him every day.

OK, I couldn't actually understand him, as contrary to what I said earlier in the post, I can't speak Dutch aside from talking about kitchen sex and muttering a few profanities. You'd think I'd be able to, what with being Scottish and having no problems saying guttural words like 'loch', but unfortunately there is a bit more to Dutch than that. I vowed to start learning though in order to speak to my new man.

Not that it really mattered, as Mr Lekker's English was so good. I was slightly apprehensive about our first phone call, not being face-to-face and unable to suss out body language, but there was no need. Even if there had been difficulties, his texts would have made up for it.

Ah yes, his texts. They were seriously unbelievable.

Obviously I think I'm not too bad with words and quite a good texter, but with him I'd met my match.

I mean what was I supposed to reply to the following..?

When I think of the two of us alone in a room together, I feel kind of feverish, in my head, my skin, my muscles...

Somehow,...Thanks!... just didn't seem to cut it.

Neither did...Funny, I was just saying the same about you earlier...

I thought I'd met my ideal man - funny, intelligent, good-looking and someone that gives good text.

That's until the morning my phone beeped with a message that changed everything...

Thursday 8 April 2010

22 Sweet Stuff

Tuppence over at Tuppenny Tales started blogging around the same time as me. I'm an avid reader of her blog and thought she enjoyed reading mine too.

That is until she wrote a whole post pointing out to her readers that I hadn't written anything for a few weeks. She said that I'm a disgrace to the blogging world and that I shouldn't actually call myself a blogger.

I was gutted.

Until I woke up.

Yes it had just been a dream! Hurrah! (Or should that be nightmare?)

Talk about a relief. Of course I went over to her blog just to double check that it had been a dream. It had. There was no slander of any sort. In actual fact she was being very nice and linking to my post about Mr Trafford Centre, because she was going on a date to the same venue and was praying it wasn't the same guy.

To be honest though, despite the dream/nightmare suggesting otherwise, I wasn't really worried what other people thought about me not blogging. I was just missing it myself!

I may not have been doing it for very long, but it had become a way of life. An addiction. An addiction that I wasn't getting the time to feed.

Then when I did find some time and finally sat down to laptop promptly died. It was like going cold turkey. There were scenes similar to those in Trainspotting, when Ewan McGregor's character was coming off the heroin. Just without the various body excretions.

The guy at the repair shop seemed a bit bemused when I rambled on and on about needing my laptop back immediately because...'I'm meant to write about my holiday...started it...need to finish it...but Taggart already on another holiday...Cancun...lucky bitch...probably too late to write about it now?...Still need to write other stuff...will lose my readers if I don't hurry up....'

It was also one of the few times that I've cursed being single. Only because I reckoned that if I had a man in my life, he'd have a computer and I would have been able to borrow his.

I jest, but it really was horrible. Not only is blogging about writing and expressing yourself, it's also about the blogging community. I feel like I have friends there and I was missing seeing what they were getting up to.

I've never met the afore-mentioned Tuppence but I feel like I know her. I wondered what was happening in her love-life. And what about Kate at Perfect Ten? Did that little box she'd found amongst her boyfriend's stuff contain an engagement ring? Was she still having flirty texts with Foxy Scott?

I wondered what Lainey had been writing about. She'd told us about her time at Boot Camp. What was happening in her life now? What about the bloggers who write about a completely different life to mine, like Argentum Vulgaris who has told about being 'dad' to 14 children.

I was even missing reading about what my real-life proper friend was up to over in her blog The Single Mum Life. OK, I could have just called her to get her news, but we are all often a lot more honest in our blogs. I've learnt a lot more about her from reading. And when she wrote about doing a pregnancy test the other weekend, I was in the same position as the rest of her readers and didn't know the result...

And then of course there is Fishy. Ah Fishy. The blogger I went on a date with. He was quite put out when he texted me, and as my phone had broken and hadn't saved my newer numbers (yes just yet another technological problem I was dealing with!) I'd had to ask who he was.

He replied that his number should be engraved on my heart.

Er right. Not quite. But I sort of know what he meant. He's become a really good friend in a short space of time, and I feel like I know him well despite only having met him once.

I think that is down to blogging. I can't recommend it enough. It can solve all problems. Need more friends? Blog. Need some advice? Blog. Having a bad day? Blog.

I've never received so many lovely comments and texts as I did the time I put up the post The One and Only about the crap day I was having.

Mind you, I also received a text asking if I 'fancied a shag' but I think that was a joke. Wasn't it? (If you haven't read that particular post, then please do so in order to put this in to context!)

Anyway the whole point of this post is to tell you that I'm officially back and I've missed this and you so much that I'm not leaving you again. Whether you like it or not!

Rapunzel x

p.s Just incase you wondering about the reasons behind the choice of photo... a friend emailed it to me and when I said I might use it in my blog, he said he'd be impressed if I could make that work. Personally I feel it is the perfect accompaniment to the title. Don't you?*

p.p.s Another wee reminder. If you haven't already rated the video of me in my Tower, then please do so. Och yer awfy guid!

* Shhhhh! He might not notice that although the photo works with the title, the title has bugger all relevance to the post!

Sunday 14 March 2010

20 Mum's the Word

It's an important day for two special ladies in my life.

The first is Taggart. It's her 34th birthday today!

We have already celebrated this occasion while in Gran Canaria together. Partly because I wasn't going to be with her today, and partly because we thought it would be a good opportunity to try and get some free drinks if we said it was her birthday. It was working a treat until someone queried the date that day and we had no idea what it was!

So I want to say happy birthday to my fabulous friend and I hope you enjoy your day despite having to work. Just remember not to be too lenient just because you are in a good mood - a criminal is a criminal, even on birthdays!

The other lady I want to talk about is my mum because it is Mother's Day in the UK today.

Some other bloggers have implied that it is going to be a bit of a chore for them having to go and see their mums. This is when I realise just how incredibly lucky I am, cause it appears I managed to get to the front of the queue when it came to mums being doled out. My mum is ace!

I actually class my mum as one of my good friends. In that we like to hang out together, 'do' lunch, go shopping, go for cocktails etc and I also have the same conversations with her as I do with my friends. I just tone it down a bit as if she is a bit prudish, because she's still my mum and there are some things I'm sure she would rather not know. As she has always said to me, 'You pretend to be a good girl, and me and your dad pretend to believe you!'

She is very often the first port of call when I have a drama in my life and need some advice. I know it can be off-putting for guys when a girl is always on the phone to her mum, (especially when even our 'quick' calls can last at least an hour) but my ex boyfriends soon realised it wasn't actually a problem and often worked in their favour. This is down to the fact that my mum is not in the least bit biased. Many a time I've recounted an argument I've had with a boyfriend and instead of being on my side she's told me if she thinks I've been a little madam and it's actually me in the wrong and that I should apologise.

It explains why all my exes have thought she is great and I'm sure they've also been glad that she looks so good. Just in case it is true that that girls always do end up looking like their mums.

It's been said already that I'm her double. I'm not. Many a time we've stood in front of the mirror together and compared all our features.

'Are our eyes the same? Nope. Noses? Nope. Mouths? Nope!'

I actually wonder sometimes if I was adopted. In saying that, if I look even nearly as good as she does when I'm approaching 60, I'll be happy.

She does have a lot to answer for though. She encouraged me to be an individual when it came to the clothes I wore. Therefore I really feel that she has to take some responsibility for things like the turqoise and black checked, knitted, hot-pants. It wasn't all my fault.

And if any of my teachers thought I was a bit bolshy, they should be looking to my mum to blame for that as well. She told me that if I didn't understand something at school then it was the teacher's fault for not explaining it properly.

'Excuse me Miss, you really need to work on your lessons about long division.'

Obviously I am exaggerating slightly, but it was good because it gave me the confidence to believe that I could learn anything if I put my mind to it. It's only as I got older that I accepted that this isn't the case and there are some things I'm never going to understand, like brain surgery, temperature and men.

I'd say that it is probably down to my mum that I developed my love of travelling. She told me stories of the time she worked as an au-pair in Rome looking after the kids of a Countess and plastic surgeon and when it sounded like her only regret was not taking up the offer of a free boob job, it just made me want to experience it for myself (working abroad, not plastic surgery!) So fortunately, when I decided aged 18 to go and work in Portugal she gave me her full blessing. And again when I worked in Gran Canaria. And Holland. And Canada. And Australia...Sorry mum but you started it!

Me and my brother are often telling mum that she had it easy with us. We never really went through the rebellious teen stage. She would probably reply that is because she was clever and gave us a lot of freedom. It was my mum that bought me my first tickets to a concert, and even better, let me and my friend go on our own with no adults cramping our style! Okay, it was to see Five Star, so there wasn't much chance of danger but still I was only 11 and it made me the envy of all my friends.

Similarly, when she bought me a phone for my own room. It was probably because she was fed up with me lounging around her bedroom floor talking to whatever boy was flavour of the month. It didn't matter what her reasons were though, I just thought she was an amazing mum for doing that.

Likewise when I started wanting to go out to nightclubs aged 16, there weren't any arguments. We just agreed that she'd set her alarm and I'd switch if off when I got home in the wee small hours. Otherwise, it would have gone off at 3am and it would be her cue to panic because I really should have been back by then. Not that this ever happened. Like I said, she was fine about me doing so many things as long as she knew about them, that I never wanted to push the boat.

Don't get me wrong, she isn't so liberal about everything. She hates swearing for example. The 'f' word in particular. In fact she claims that she has never even said it! I'm just not sure I believe that. I bet there has times that she has been effing and blinding all over the place.

Perhaps when I had a life-threatening lung disease at 17? I don't mean because of the obvious upset it would cause seeing your child so ill. No, I mean because of the difficulties it caused. The fact that she had to put up with me crying constantly because I couldn't find any sunglasses for my holiday with the girls, that I felt looked okay on my steroid-induced fat face! And the way that I milked having an illness for all it was worth.

'You want me to do the dishes? I can't. I just feel too weak. I have a disease don't you know?'

I still do it now.

'I jacked in that job because it was boring. I almost died don't you know? Life's too short for me to be doing crap jobs. Anyway can you lend me some money for my rent?!'

I was in Scotland last week and as my mum saw me off at the train station I thanked her. She asked what for. I said just for being my mum. I want her to know that I really meant it.

Happy Mother's Day! Not just to mine but all the others out there and especially to my friends who are mums - you are all doing a fabulous job!

Rapunzel x