Thursday, 25 March 2010

Excuse me sir, would you mind filling this in?

My ex-boyfriend (and wise counsel) thinks I should give prospective boyfriends a questionnaire. He reckons, due to my love of efficiency, that it will separate the wheat from the chaff and prevent me from wasting my time dating chaff. Which, it could be argued, is becoming a bit of a habit.

But the question is – which questions should I ask? Which of course leads to that eternal question – what do women want?

So maybe I should reflect on why the last batch all fucked up and cover those topics first with prospective candidates.

Question 1: Do you want a relationship?
If no, please go away. If yes, please go to question 2.

Question 2: Are you in a rush to have a family?
If yes, please move onto the next woman, and I would recommend you target the over-35s. There’s a huge batch of women in that category who are desperate to start birthin’ some babies.
If however you would like to spend a few years having fun while getting to know me, giving me sufficient time to ponder whether I really want my genes to mingle with yours, then please go to question 3.

Question 3: What are your thoughts on gender equality?
This one kinda relates to what you look for in a woman. I would like to think that I only date smart intelligent men who are intellectually my equal (or higher – that’s even better as I love to learn from my boyfriends).
However, history has shown that my choices do not accurately reflect what I think I have chosen.

If you want a 1950s wife/mother type, then I am not the one for you. I have a busy social life – I go out most nights of the week – theatre, galleries, restaurants, pubs, cinema, random events (flashmob pillow fight anyone?). You will always be welcome to join me.
Want to do something different? Stay in and watch tv, go for a meal together, do something that no one else is invited to? That’s fine. I love that stuff too. Give me a date and I’ll put it in my diary. Once it’s in there, I will not cancel on you. Just don’t resent the fact that I have a life and I have friends that I want to spend time with. They’ve lasted longer than all boyfriends past so don’t expect me to be one of those dumb girls who dumps her friends as soon as she gets a new man. (Note for the female readers – because if you’re that kind of girl, then one day you will be single again, only this time you’ll have no friends to fall back on. Lecture over.) Oh yeah – and some of my friends are boys. I expect that some of yours will be girls. So no need for either of us to be jealous then…

Anyway – the social life issue cuts both ways. I’m sure you will also have a busy life. You will want to meet up with your own friends. You’ll want to go on holiday with them as well as with me. That’s cool.

So if you’re looking for a quiet girlfriend who agrees with everything you say, has dinner ready for you when you come home from work and sits in the kitchen doing the darning while you watch football, then I don’t think we’re going to be compatible.

If you’re looking for an equal, who will take you to fun places around London while listening to your stories (and recounting a few of her own), who also happens to make a mean tiramisu, then please go to question 4.

Question 4: So when are you next free?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Postcard from Schiphol airport

I wrote this in a copybook (how old school am I? Pen and paper, people. Pen. and. paper.) while waiting for my flight back to London on Monday night. Good thing I brought it with me. My flight was delayed by three and a half hours. And annoyingly, my friend Aoife (she who wows the boys at my parties), dropped me off an hour and a half before my flight. I thought an hour would be fine but she insisted. Security was quiet so I breezed through. Decided to kill time buying a birthday present for my nephew. But I knew what he wanted so that only took five minutes. Damn.

Then I discovered that there is a museum inside the departures area. How cool is that? But, as you may have guessed by now, it was closed for the evening. So I decided to read for a bit. But as my book is only 112 pages long (Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own in case you’re wondering), I didn’t want to tear through it and then be bored on the flight. Or have nothing to read while waiting for the train to Gatwick to London, which according to my flatmate who looked it up for me, was going to be a long wait of an hour and a half – bloody brilliant. Or even while on the train itself. Or on the bus from the train station to my house. Oh god. When was I going to get home?

Anyway. I got a coffee, sat down, and thought about writing for a bit. I kept seeing things moving in the shadows. Decided that I was tired and that my eyes must be acting up. Looked again. Saw a mouse. I don’t think I’ve seen a mouse at an airport before. I watched it running around the place for a bit – it clearly knew its way around. I began to feel really happy that I had plumped for a coffee and avoided food. Who knows what surfaces had felt the pitter patter of mouse feet?

Then my boredom turned my eyes to the seats that the mouse had just run across. They reminded me of something. Ah yes. Dali’s sofa in the shape of Mae West’s lips. I don’t know why they didn’t go the whole hog and fashion them the same way instead of turning them into a symphony of red and pink in pvc.

But best of all were the airport police. They rode around the airport on Segways. A bit like the dude in that mall cop movie. Well, the trailer anyway as that’s all I’ve seen. Didn’t really give the policemen an air of authority, but then all I could think of was that old Harry Enfield sketch anyway, so I just looked down at the table and smirked to myself.

As for my reflections on Amsterdam itself? Well, it’s been 15 years since my last trip, and I still haven’t been to one of their famed coffee shops. No doubt I’ll want to go to one when I come here again in about 15 years time and they’ll be illegal by then. I did see the prostitutes standing in the windows and I spotted the sex shops which are just about everywhere. Not sure how my aunt managed to take my friend and me around the city when we were 14 while avoiding all of them.

Saw the Purse Museum, two of my cousins, and of course my friend Aoife, which was the main purpose of the visit. Oh, and there was one other thing of note – chips with mayonnaise are great. But 15 years ago, they were definitely the weirdest thing ever…

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

I'm so excited...

...that I've just had to do a little happy dance. Last year I went to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, which I think is now my favourite museum (although the V&A does still have fashion, so maybe let's say it's my favourite art space). The purpose of the trip was to see an exhibition by the amazing Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. And it was incredible.
So, I was just looking online to see if he had anything coming up in the vicinity (he doesn't - Shanghai is next on his hitlist), when I wondered (cue Carrie Bradshaw-esque voice over) "Maybe the Guggenheim Bilbao might have something good coming up."
And I checked.
And it does.
And that was when I did my happy dance.

The Anish Kapoor show that was on at the Royal Academy last year is going to be at the Guggenheim from now until October. So very exciting. I was gutted to have missed the exhibition last year when I was in Hong Kong (it started after I left and finished before I got back), so much so that I even looked for cheap flights back to London to see if I could nip home for a weekend to catch it. Sad I know. But now I have been rewarded as (a) I will finally get to see the show and (b) I get to tie this in with a trip to Bilbao, which is a super city.

So if you fancy a trip to the Basque country, gimme a shout.
And the picture in this article is one I took in the art musuem in Phoenix, Arizona. In the flesh, the sculpture is jet black. It was only when I photographed it that it took on the silvery hue. And that was without a flash!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

It's gone all quiet again

Sorry folks - I have been meaning to update my blog - but have been kept away from it by my busy social life. In fact, I've resorted to multi-tasking. A few weeks ago I went to an event entitled Gay Africa. Not only was it something to do, but it was also a place to bring my date (note to the ladies - this is an excellent way to see if the guy you fancy is a closet homophobe. Mine wasn't. I win). And it also served as fodder for a piece I wrote for Ctrl.Alt.Shift. Which you can read here