Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Survive a Hangover

  • Awake, knowing less about anything than you have ever known in your life. The only feeling your conscious of is a deep foreboding. Your mind and body have been scattered from each other. Quite like how you scattered your shoes: you can see from here that one has ended up gallantly dangling from the curtain pole, while you're inexplicably confident that its companion is at your friend Tony's house.
  • Furiously check all of your cosmetics for expiration dates, as it appears your face has decomposed overnight. Thank your lucky stars that you did not pull last night. You might be having a bad morning, but imagine how that poor lad would have felt when he woke up beside Dame Edna Everage? Those expensive false eye-lashes which you'd applied in a military-style operation last night now aid you to look only like a disorientated camel. Over-dramatically douse your face in cleanser and remove elaborately just like the girls do in the ads, sighing and feeling yourself purify as you go. Startle yourself as you gasp aloud. Your reflection inspires a range of responses, most notable being "who could ever love such a beast?" Try to ignore the Phantom of the Opera theme tune from your head as you hastily re-apply as much fresh make up as is humanly possible, for fear any small children or people with heart conditions stumble into your path. 
  • Latest fashion dictates that you must wear ridiculous swiss-cheese style dresses which are adorned with mystifying holes. You understand of course that you may well be buried in this dress. Firstly because you're convinced taking it off would require a PhD. (You might just send one to your old feverishly-catholic sex education teacher to distribute amongst her students.) Secondly because if your assessment of your physical condition is to be trusted, you are more than likely going to die today. 
  • Crawl pathetically into bed, (dress and eyelashes still attached, sense of joy so far removed you doubt you'd ever possessed it) to continue with your cheerless existence. Quiver with effort as you endeavour to will yourself magical powers to cast a hex on all your coupled friends. So this is why people have boyfriends. If only you'd had the foresight to have known this day would come! You surely would have made more of an effort with Over-zealous Steve, perhaps even Germaphobe Oliver. You'd give all of your worldly positions for a hug. Which, if your vague memory of how much your card was used last night is to be trusted, would make that a very cheap hug. You are so lucky that Dominos let you order online now, so that nobody on the phone has to hear you cry about the fact you don't have a boyfriend to make you food. Hatch an ingenious plan to make the delivery boy your boyfriend.
  • You must brush your teeth, which is a very tense affair. Appreciate what a disgusting human being you are for tolerating the grotesque and overbearing taste of tequila and a Mystery Food for so long. Decide you must purge your mouth of this tang immediately, before the delivery boy embraces you in a passionate kiss. Unfortunately, any attempt of your fearless toothbrush to delve further than your molars is snookered by a sudden, violent retching. Something in your stomach -Jager being the prime suspect - is super excited to get out and is hoping this is the opportune moment to catch you unaware by exiting as brave toothbrush enters. What follows is a horrendous game of cat and mouse. You try your darndest to carry on, brushing your teeth as though nothing is happening. But each swish of your toothbrush is superseded by a loud "BLAAAAARGH!" as you heave inelegantly. Tears of shame sting your eyes as you resign yourself to the bathroom floor, foaming Aquafresh and gagging not very much unlike the style of Patches The Cat every time he has a hair ball. And you expect people to give you a degree.
  • Pizza arrives. Delivery boy hastily hands you the box, probably because you look like one of the scarce survivors of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845. And you act as such, impatiently stuffing a slice into your mouth less in the style of a human eating, more like someone doing a disgusting party trick. Grunt ignorantly as he hands you your change and retreat to your lair of misery to consume. Realise all aspirations of making him yours were forgotten once food was smelt. Entertain the thought that you are actually the missing link, you horrific specimen. 
  • Lie there in bewilderment. In normal situations, this degree of pain and suffering would merit an ambulance. Or at the very least, a tearful slot on a chat show. This is appalling. Scientists are so bone-idle they can focus on trips into space, yet they haven't prioritised sourcing a cure for the common hangover? How do they even sleep at night? Sniff bravely as you calmly realise your quandary is unrecognised.  So this is injustice. Maybe you should call the Invisible Children. People need to become aware. I mean, does Bob Geldof know this is going on? Someone should tell him.
  • Become disillusioned with humanity. It's a shame you've realised the earth is such a horrible place the same day that you're suffering from an incapacitating hangover. Otherwise, I bet people would listen to you. Sadly contemplate the pure repression of a world where you simply cannot live out your life in the manner of a content elephant. 
  • Get quite annoyed with yourself. Nobody will believe your resignation from alcohol because you've said it so many times. You are the girl who cried "never again, I mean it". You'll show them, though. You can't wait to take up loads of eclectic hobbies in place of all the time which you will no longer spend in the pub. There they'll all be, hungover. And you'll sit there, polishing your badminton trophies. Hah. That'll show them. 
  • Land on "Scary Island." For those unfamiliar, it's the Hotel Rwanda of emotional despondency. For no obvious reason, you are absolutely sure that you have a genuine reason to feel extremely upset. Not only that, you've upset everyone who loves and cares for you. Even people who weren't even out last night. Tearfully call your baffled mother to apologise. Every bleep of your mobile fills you with dread, as you anxiously await the earth-shattering terrible news which you're so sure is coming. Seek human interaction desperately. You must go to the pub, else you feel you may or may not seek out a permanent marker and a tennis ball and do a Castaway on it.
  • Repeat.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Ah, things look different, don't they?
Well first of all, you no longer need a pair of sunglasses to view the site.
Over the next while I'm going to be fiddling around with the blog a bit. The words will still be the same old quality (er, whether that's good or bad: I don't know.) I just want to change how things look a bit.
Being my same old indecisive self, this will take much nail nibbling and hmm-ing and haw-ing, so bear with me.


How To Find A Guy In Ten Days (or not.)

This article was originally written for, and published in The Dubliner Magazine - Ireland's best city magazine, on Thursday the 2nd of February 2012.
The Dubliner is free every Thursday with The Evening Herald. Follow @dubliner_mag

This is an extended and very poorly edited version of that article. Obviously.

There are times in every journalists career where, he or she may have to do something which they don't like. I have absolutely no evidence to back up this statement, it is just what I liked to tell myself on occasion while "researching" this article. The magazine had given  me the opportunity to write my own feature - my very own feature. I leaped ebulliently at the opportunity, with so much hastE, in fact, that I failed to focus on what this "feature" entailed. Over the course of a week or so, I would have to go to a series of dates, and dating events in order to "research" the dating scene in Dublin.

I am pausing here for comedic effect.

I think we can all agree that I should be taken into a laboratory and dissected to establish whether or not I actually contain a magnet for romantic disasters. Surely this blog alone is testament to the fact that my love life seems to have been written by the same people behind The Inbetweeners? Unfortunately, I do actually grapple with my social ineptitude in order to maintain some sort of veneer of professionalism. How were the editorial team to know I can't flirt to save Christmas? And so, sweaty and panicked I set off on a series of romantic liasons, knowing full well I was expected to produce some chirpy, witty and entertaining article at the end of the week detailing just how I made all these men fall in love with me. It didn't exactly work out.

Date One: Wine Tasting

Well, my “where have all the good men gone!” angle has gone completely out the window. I'm telling you now, women of Dublin, the room was filled with attractive & lovely men. I was disgusted.  And, it was the only event that didn't feel like a dating event. However, I absolutely detest wine and after three or so years of living like a student, the only time I'd drank wine was at great speed from the neck of the bottle to make sure it was never left in my mouth long enough for me to taste it. Looking around the expensive wine bar, my journalistic instincts told me this might be frowned upon. For example, lots of people were talking about “how well the wine went with the cheese.” I tried to imagine me and my housemates sitting in the living room using Dairylea slices to soak up our Tesco own-brand sparkling wine and decided I did not fit in here. Still, I figured I knew enough to bluff. There are only two kinds of wine: red, or white. And red is icky.

I was extremely nervous. As soon as I arrived, a small plastic card was thrust into my hand and I was informed that this was a little credit card which I could max out on wine. I stared at it ominously. I could see headlines flashing across my mind already: "STUDENT JOURNALIST DIES FROM ALCOHOL POISONING IN WINE AND NERVES FUELED BINGE." But being uber-professional, I managed to control myself.

Problem number two: Surprise surprise, many of the men there were wine connoisseurs. Their usual ice breakers were something pretentious and nonsensical like "Have you tried the New Zealand? Oh, it is simply divine." I guessed they weren't asking me about where I'd gone on my gap year. I don't know! Had I tried the New Zealand?! I stared at the liquid at my glass in panic. For all I knew, this was New Zealand. I sniffed it suspiciously, hoping for a whiff of rugby or sheep or some sort of clue.
 "You know what," I resigned to my ignorance and guessed. "I haven't!" I said, hiding my glass just in case.
"Why don't we try it together?"
Many many many men ended up trying the New Zealand, and the South Africa, and the god-only-knows what else with me. On top of this, the organiser lady was very eager to make sure I had a great time. She must have experience with journalists because her method of doing this was try to poison me with alcohol. She'd often flounce over to men and ask them "if they've bought Ellen a drink yet? Get this girl a drink!"
There were a few worrying moments when the whole thing almost turned a bit Hunter S Thompson. I think my chances of finding a man were severed by the fact that a few of them must have thought I had some sort of crippling bladder disorder. I kept running to the bathroom to drink gallons of water to make sure I didn't end up hugging the organiser and telling her "she was my besht friend everrr."

 I'm afraid I didn't end up falling in love with anyone. I did, of course, manage to sit between two people who were falling in love with each other. I sat there, awkwardly, watching their love blossom. Occasionally I'd offer them cheese, and wine, half to remind them I was there and half to occupy some sort of matchmaker role. I felt like the candle out of Beauty and The Beast. I excused myself to go fetch yet more wine to diffuse the cringe-inducing awkwardness, when I was cornered. “So, tell me.” this guy said, swilling his wine in the obnoxious way that you see people do on Come Dine With Me, “what's wrong with you?” “Well, I managed to sit between two people who ar-” “No I mean, in general?” “....” “Well I mean, you're not obviously deformed,” charmed! “so what kind of personal issues have you got that's left you single, in Dublin? Tell me, what is it about you that just repels men?” So this is what I'm up against: “you must have mental issues if you're single.” I began to panic slightly that this article will read less like a witty Carrie Bradshaw-esque social commentary, and more like a tragic re-hash of Bridget Jones' Diary.

Date Two, Three &Four: Blind Dates

Note to self: The next time I attempt to orchestrate a blind-date, pick a less over-zealous friend. The date seemed almost anti-climactic compared to the harrowing day before it. The point was that I would know literally nothing about this person. That's right, no Facebook stalking before hand to pre-empt attractiveness/things we have in common. This meant handing my friend all of the power. I'd ask her innocently “so, will I like him?” and she would say something highly alarming like “Ooh...depends,” before walking out of the room, cackling. I decided to do a couple of these, this week. The only relationship I potentially developed from it is with a doctor, given my new nervous disposition. All of the dates were absolutely lovely, it has to be said. The loveliness of which was often eclipsed by a blend of sweet relief and ultimate foreboding for the next date. I was convinced I would finish the week with such an aversion to dates, I'd never be able to look at a calendar again for the rest of my life.

Date Five: Speed dating

 Speed dating. Yay! Even my cataclysmic dating skills shouldn't be enough to repel a man in 4 minutes. But I may out-do myself...

 Once again, absolutely appalled by the amount of gorgeous, funny & lovely men. Maybe I need to start abandoning this whole “tragic-singleton” air and start asking where the hell all the good women are? Most of the time, 4 minutes went ridiculously quickly. Other times, you experienced “It's A Wonderful Life” moments, almost bursting into tears of relief when that bell finally rang. One guy, about 20 seconds into our date gruffly grabbed my wrist and pulled me in close to him. We're talking a proximity usually only reserved for dentists.
“Listen, I go to these dating events to find the girl of my dreams. Looks to me, like I've found her...”
I tried hard not to focus on the EMERGENCY EXIT sign which I could see in my peripheral vision. Instead I giggled in what I hope was an attractive and girlish fashion. I decided this was not his fault. Clearly, he was enthralled by both my charm and beauty. He is but a man, after all. Who is he to resist? My delusions were quickly shattered when I discovered he had proposed to two other women, and tried to take one to New York that night. Oh. Despite all this, I got 4 matches and 2 second dates. That is the greatest testimony for speed dating it could have ever hoped for: if it will work for me, it will work for anyone.

Date Six: Online dating

This one and I did not get on so well. It's not you, online dating, it's me. No really, it definitely is me. Half my life is spent altering my Facebook & Twitter to make me sound as ridiculously cool as is humanly possible. I almost had a breakdown trying to set up an account that was solely for the purpose of making someone like me. Before I'd even gone online, I was already a nervous wreck trying to establish the best way to phrase “fun loving!” without sounding like a harlot and “social” without sounding like an alcoholic. It's not easy.
Well, can you think of a way of making “I enjoy current affairs” sound sexy? Eventually, I settled for a generic online personality. “I like books and going out.” I knew I wasn't going to dazzle anyone with my originality. I had a worrying amount of responses. This made me suspicious, instead of flattered. I know myself pretty well, ok? I am not the kind of girl who can attract 23 people in half an hour. I decided, rationally of course, they must all be killers. In spite of this, I ended up going on a date with someone from Cupid Unlike myself, he seemed very balanced, normal and lovely. So there is hope for online daters. As long as they're not as neurotic and shallow as me...

Date Seven: Blind date (again)

Lesson of the date: be careful what you wish for. I've spent many the evening with a mouth full of popcorn screaming at whatever the Rom-Com Du Jour is “WHY WON'T ANYONE DO THAT KINDA STUFF FOR ME?!” before glaring meaningfully at the door. Colin Firth, where are you? However. Something which may seem like the perfect movie moment, e.g taking me to Howth Aurora Borealis hunting/stargazing on The Summit, quickly turns into “Why don't you follow me out onto this dark and ominous cliff?” in real life. It certainly added mystery and excitement to the date, thinking you were about to be killed somewhere in Howth by this guy you've just met.
 “So, this is going in the Dubliner, yeah?” he asked. I had to fight back the thoughts that at any moment it would probably end up more 'front page of the Herald.'
 I relaxed a bit when he produced a mini-picnic, including some cheese. Murderers don't bring cheese.
 I decided that now that I have this boy trapped on a cliff face somewhere on the east coast of the country, I should quiz him about the men of Ireland.
“Well, we don't really do this, this is weird.”
Oh thank goodness! He thought so too...
“The cliff thing? Yeah I thought that was kind of -”
“No I mean, the date.” he cut in.
“Oh... Why?”
“People don't date each other. But it is a lot better than just shifting someone in a nightclub...” “Exactly! So why don't you do it? Why don't the men of Ireland just cop on and ask us on dates?!”
He munched cheese thoughtfully and took a swig of wine. “Well. Why don't you ask us?”

Date Eight: Asking someone out. Old school style.

Look, I don't know what happened. It might have been a mental imbalance from a weeks worth of nerves and panicking about what to wear and stressing about dates. It might have been the exhilaration from my “near-ish death experience” in Howth. Either way, it's not something I'd normally do. I decided to ask someone on a date, myself.
I toyed with the idea of tweeting him, but maybe that's not super-romantic. So I reverted back to the 80's and picked up the phone to call him. It was either that or run over to his house and ask his ma if he was in.
“Hey! HEY. It's me.”
“Oh, uh, hey Ellen?”
 “HEY!” Said that already. “ are ya?!”
“Em, I'm good?...” God damn you, my generation and your blasted reliance on technology. Calling someone on the phone is automatically suspicious because nobody does it any more. Small talk obviously was not going to work so I had to get straight to the point.
Top tip: “It's for an article! I SWEAR.” is a great cheat to make you sound less mental. I say “less-mental” opposed to “not mental” because the nerves were making me blather like a fool.
“Ok sooo great! Haha, obviously, thanks! Such a favour, god. Ha. Hmm. Have to do it you know, research.... and all that. Not like I want to go on a date with you or anything, ahahhaha, well I do? But.” Jesus, hang up Ellen. I think this one will go well! ...As long as I spend Thursday making sure he gets nowhere near a newstand in the greater Dublin area.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work In Progress

Not a lot of people know this, but I get quite de-motivated sometimes. Dispel your disbelief! I understand how someone would come to think that I spend my days surrounded by teetering piles of notebooks bursting with drafts of bestsellers in a cabin on a lake somewhere, having not interacted with society for weeks because I simply cannot stop writing. I would appreciate how someone would think I'm consistently battling with inky fingers, from scrawling yet another fantastic idea up my arm on the bus, for fear it get lost in the endless tide of inspiration spewing relentlessly from my tiny brain. It's easy to see where you would get that idea from, considering I blog here on an almost astoundingly regular bi-monthly basis. It would shock you too, to know that I often suffer from crippling writers block. You would never know it of course, considering the fantastic calibre of writing which is invariably posted here on The Saucy Cow. From my ground-breaking observations between Irish & Welsh boys, to my philosophical social commentary arising from whatever embarrassing thing I've done in a night club this week, it really is only a matter of time before I decide to stop giving everyone else a chance and submit this entire blog for the Pulitzer Prize.

I can see how someone would think that. But that someone would be wrong. It is for that reason I've decided to regale you all with what it's like when I get writers block. It's my hope that some struggling blogger out there might stumble across this and feel reassured that, well, if someone as exceptional as myself struggles from it, maybe it's ok for them to struggle with it, too. (That is most certainly the reason, and it definitely is not because I'm putting off writing a proper grown-up post for the other blog. Definitely not.)

The Saucy Cow's Guide
Writers Block

  • Get a FANTASTIC idea. Absolutely fantastic. An idea so fantastic, it actually scares you. "Why, Saucy." you think to yourself, "this idea is so fantastic! But are you ready to be launched from general obscurity into the glare of the public eye for your brilliance?" Take a mere millisecond to consider this before deciding that yes, you definitely are. You must write this masterpiece at once! But wait, this is going to be your Fight Club. It needs to be handled carefully. What you simply must do before you begin writing, is create a very meticulous spider diagram of all your ideas and then colour it in with pretty highlighters. Take all the time you need. You can't rush brilliance and this brainstorm needs to be very pretty. Your potential career hinges on it.

  • Now you may begin writing. But, you're very tired. You spent a lot of time on that spider-gram. Take a moment to admire the spider-gram. That is one pretty spider-gram. Concede that now all your ideas are in delicately coloured bubbles on paper, so all that remains is the small task of writing. It can wait.

  • Sit down to try and write again. There's something missing. It's a cup of tea. All writers need a cup of tea by their side, so that when someone comes into the room you have something to hold as you stare at the screen with your brow knotted, scrutinizing your own brilliance. Go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea. Bump into several housemates. Hold a mini-summit in the living room where you all discuss how you "should really be doing work. Ugh! I have so much work to do." Drink tea, occasionally shaking your heads at each other and saying '*sigh* so much work...' Discuss in-depth all the things you have been doing, instead of doing work. Discover that Frozen Planet is on. Writing can definitely wait until after. Unfortunately, it's the episode when the baby penguin is abducted by a large bird. You try to write, but your piece becomes a dark dissertation of the cruel world we live in where baby penguins can be abducted and eaten at a mere moments notice. 

  • Approach your laptop once more. It's very lonely in here. No wonder so many writers go crazy. You had originally thought that it was from living with the burden of literary brilliance. Note that that's not something you find you suffer from that much... Maybe you should go on Twitter to satisfy your social cravings. Run the risk of exhausting all your creativity by spending almost an hour constructing hi-larious tweets about how bad your writers block is. This is networking, really. You need to engage many other people in 'writer banter!' so you have lots of 'industry friends' to invite to your book launch. Decide to do the same on Facebook. You're keenly aware that none of your Facebook friends are writers but you need to make sure that they all know what you're up to, so it won't be too much of a shock when you return to your hometown a superstar, having had your novel turned into a massively successful screenplay. Decide while you're on Facebook you may as well see what everyone is up to. Look at the clock. Somehow, five hours have passed. It's much too late for writing now. It can wait. 

  • It's time to write your magnum opus! Catch sight of your reflection as you sit down. Jesus. Your piece will definitely benefit from you smartening yourself up a bit. May as well start from scratch and have a shower. Find a mysterious tub of face mask. Decide to give yourself a complete makeover and preen & groom yourself within an inch of your life. Return to your room several hours later. Now in your new cleanly state you realise how filthy your room is. Toy around with some "diamond in the rough" metaphors. Decide to clean your room. Re-organise your entire desk space. Cluttered room, cluttered mind and all that. Sit down to write. Nothing. Curse yourself. True writers sit in grungey apartments brushing aside rodents and cracker packets as they complete their piece de resistance. Decide to go out, seeing as you've dolled yourself up anyway. You need to brush up on your drunken debauchery so that you have a lifestyle that will fill tabloids when you're a famous author. 

  • Sit down in your hungover state to write. You're still a little drunk, but this is a good thing. You shall be the next Hunter S. Thompson. Armed with some cringe inducing material from last night, you are now ready to write. 

  • You forgot the tea.

  • Check your email. Perhaps someone has discovered you and has already sent you a grovelling email, begging you to come write for them in exchange for lots and lots of money. If so, you should probably hold off on writing this piece for free. You have to milk it, Saucy. Notice an ad at the top of your email account for journalism placements abroad. Dismiss fears of the emergence of an Orwellian empire, because clearly Gmail have been giving your personal information from emails to advertisers. Focus instead on an elaborate fantasy where you spend the summer uncovering groundbreaking stories in India, wearing a understatedly pretty headscarf with a monkey on your shoulder. Imagine the moment in great detail when spontaneous civil unrest breaks out and your image is beamed around the world as you're held hostage by militant locals in exchange for the entire nation of Britain. Which is bizarre, because it was civil unrest. But no matter. Who are you to critique the mysterious ways of Indian rebels? You would of course manage to escape using some single-handed ingenious maneuver. So ingenious, you fail to imagine it yourself. Ponder what you would wear for that celebrated moment when you step off the plane to rapturous applause. David Cameron would come running over, sobbing and embrace you wailing "We were so worried!'. Over his head,you would assure the assembled enquiring media that "that's enough excitement for now! You're going back to being on the right side of the story." Everyone would laugh. Discover you have no new mail. 

  • Reach a stage of despondency and abasement so low that you identify with the every character in Trainspotting. Sob quietly as you flick through your University's prospectus, trying to choose an alternative career path and wonder if you may have an aptitude for Commerce which you never discovered before. Fight the impulse to post an ambiguous and depressing status on Facebook, such as a solitary sadface, in an attempt to get some much needed attention. Make a mental note of how this moment feels. It will be excellent material for the chapter entitled 'the lows' when you inevitably write your stunning autobiography. 

  • Get a burst of motivation, energy, ambition, drive & inspiration. Chirpily knock out the entire piece in less than an hour. Print it off, absolutely beaming. Scoop up the paper as though it were your first born child and cradle it in your arms as you prepare yourself to read your masterpiece. Scan the page in confusion. Check it again. Re-read. terrible. Scrunch it up dramatically, in a way which you feel would be characteristically typical of a passionate writer. Check the grade requirements for Commerce again....
The Saucy Cow

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Getting Absolutely Smashed

'Saucy, was your window always like that?'

The sentence snapped me from my usual Wednesday afternoon activity of lazing on the couch and glaring expressionlessly at Jeremy Kyles latest batch of tv-zoo-animals with my housemates. Such is the tedium of University life between dragging myself out to lectures, and dragging myself in from nights out.

'Your window.... come here. Was it always like that?'

Brummie Housemate was standing outside the back door with her head cocked, staring at my bedroom window. Four of us trooped out after her, absolutely ecstatic at having something to fill our vacant student day. We all stood beside her and turned to face my room. My bedroom has two patio doors at the back, which lead into the back garden. From where we were standing, we could see one of the panes of glass had been smashed in three places, sending huge spiderweb-type cracks across it.

The five of us stood there, staring at it. For a few seconds we had to blink away the sunlight to fully absorb what was going on. This was our first taste of daylight that day, what with it being only 3pm and all.

Someone had tried to break into the house! Not just into the house, into my room. The excitement. In my head I already could picture myself heroically wrestling them off, fighting to the death to defend my macbook. When had this happened? Had we all been in the house? Being students, we didn't see this as a threat, merely the potential motivation we all need to finally renew our home insurance. Suddenly though, things turned a bit more serious...

'Oh my god......' Welsh Housemate pointed a shaking finger at the ground underneath the window. A long steel, Ikea knife glinted menacingly up at us. The big raindrops which had collected on the blade reflected the comedic 'O' shapes we were all making with our mouths.

The tv channels of reference points in our heads immediately switched from 'Emmerdale' to 'CSI: Las Vegas'. Someone didn't just want to steal and iPod, they wanted me dead.

Male Housemate spotted a towel beside the knife. Those bastards didn't want to leave fingerprints. This was obviously a professional operation. In my mind, the level of skill and foresight needed to bring a tea towel with you meant we were dealing with super assassins.

'No...' Brummie interrupted me. 'I've seen that on TV before.... the towel muffles the sound. They wanted to do it silently.'
Oh my fucking God! I was endangered. I stared in panic at my housemates for consolation, but each of them just stared back at me with horrified 'you are so fucked' expressions.

Welsh Housemate gingerly picked up the knife. She was hit with a cacophony of screams.

It was obvious. We were now dealing with potential murder.

It felt like my heart had realised it was in danger and was cowardly trying to make a break for it through my rib cage. A cold sweat drenched me, assuring me I wasn't dreaming. I was absolutely sure from the conclusive evidence that someone wanted to kill me under extremely suspicious and exciting circumstances. I became inconsolable. A kaleidoscope of possibilities started rapidly flicking through my mind, each one more harrowing and ridiculous than the last. What had I done to be targeted? What court cases had I been covering lately? What was the last story that I'd written? Who had I annoyed? I sniffed bitterly. So this is the price of hard hitting journalism. I vowed to myself that if I lived through this, I would get that car park prices story published if it was literally the last thing I did.

I had pissed someone off. Someone big. Someone with connections. Someone with enough economic diligence in their operation that they purchase their murder weapons from Ikea.

At this point Male Housemate & English Housemate were on the ground looking for more evidence, Welsh Housemate was vainly trying to make me feel better and Brummie Housemate was attempting to explain the situation over the phone to South Wales Police.

'What did they say?'
'They said they'd send someone over within an hour.'

An hour?! Within an hour someone would have had the time to not only slaughter me, but to begin meticulously posting my body parts to family members and lecturers as a warning against future teaching of journalistic integrity. If living through this doesn't get me work experience, I honestly don't know what will.

The fact that there were five of us there meant that we were five times as hysterical as normal people would be. We'd each begun formulating plans to check into hotels under an alias and keep an axe under our pillow. In my mind I was picturing where my passport was and estimating the cost needed to flee the country. We all nervously glanced around the garden, expecting to see my potential assailant emerge from behind the washing line in a ski mask. All we could hear was the innocuous sound of 'Loose Women' starting on next door's TV.

'..... Maybe we should go back into the house.'

We sat in the sitting room together, in silence. Silence, with the exception of the sound of leather creaking as I rocked back and forth on the couch in distress. They had been here, where I live. Right under my nose.... I was eyeing my own housemates suspiciously (well, how well did I know these people) when Housemates 6 & 7 arrived home.

Immediately they could tell that something was wrong.
'Guys, sit down. We've got something to tell you.'
'...What is it?'
'We are all no longer safe here.'
I was overwhelmed with guilt. My occupational hazards clearly meant we'd all have to be separated for life, given new identities.
'What do you mean?'
'Someone....attempted to access the house.'
Because of our over-exposure to crime shows, and under exposure to normal life we all began to adopt the vocabulary of a New York Cop from an 80's made-for-tv movie.
'We believe the culprit tried to get in the back of the house, and when they were disturbed they fled the scene.... they had a knife.'
We watched Housemate 6 & Housemate 7's expressions change as they finally reached our level or paranoia and panic.
'Come and look...'
We led them into the back garden and pointed dramatically at the smashed window.

There was a moment of silence. I allowed for this. They needed time to digest the fact that they may never see me again. The two of them turned towards each other, then turned towards me.

'Saucy, don't you remember what happened?'
They stared at me incredulously. 'Monday night, remember?'


On Monday night, we had a Class night out. We won't go into details, but I can assure any worried tranditionalist Fleet Street hacks out there that alcoholism is alive and well within next generation of journalists.

Housemate 6 & 7 stayed in. At about 3am they heard a tremendous banging noise. Obviously paranoia is not sparse in this household, because they immediately began to think someone was breaking in and so crept downstairs to see what was going on.


At some point in the early hours, I had decided I'd had enough to drink and went home. Well, better late than never. Unsurprisingly, I'd lost my keys. Thankfully, the front door had been mysteriously left wide open, so I wandered in.


Housemate 6 & 7 got to the living room, which was ram-sacked. I can assure you from living here that there's nothing suspicious about that sentence. The only way the living room would have been a cause for concern in this situation would be if it had been left eerily spotless. Either way, they noticed that the back door had been left open and from outside, they could hear an unbelievable banging.

'Hello.....Is anyone there?'
The banging stopped. 


I tried to get into my room, hoping against hope that I'd somehow left it open before I left. After deducing that my bedroom was, much like myself, locked, I accepted defeat. I calmly curled up on the sofa and fell into a deep deep Jager-coma, woefully accepting the hungover turmoil which tomorrow would bring.


Housemate 6 & 7 clutched each other in the living room. They repeated themselves.

They heard footsteps. A shadow appeared by the door, slowly getting closer and closer. They glanced around the room searching for anything that they could use to defend themselves. 
'Oh my god....'
They saw the glint of a knife appear first in the doorway, followed by a hand, followed by an arm..... followed by.....

Back to that faithful Wednesday in the back yard, as we waited for the police to arrive:

'Guys.' I tried to remain calm but this time wasting was annoying me. My life was at stake. 'Guys, I don't know what you're talking about? Monday night? I came home and went to bed. I don't know who did that.'

' did that.'


For the briefest seconds there was a sharp intake of breath as everyone swivelled towards me in a 'so the butler did it'-type moment.

'Excuse me?!' I pished, exasperated at the need to defend my integrity as 'not-a-killer'. I suddenly felt myself underneath enormous pressure to convince everyone that I had not had a Black Swan moment trying to break into my own room in a psychotic frenzy with treacherous kitchenware.

'I think I'd remember  doing that...'
'No babes, I don't think you would....'


I walked into the kitchen, brandishing a knife. Housemate 6 & 7 were a blend of fury, and relief.
'Saucy, what the fuck are you doing.'
'Oh. Am. I'm just trying to break into my room.'
'I've lost my keys, I'm afraid.'

You're confused, right? I was. As we recalled, when I couldn't get into my room I gave up and fell asleep on the couch. Apparently not. 

What actually happened:

I came home with my keys, dear reader. I opened the front door myself. At some point between walking in the door and getting to the living room, I convinced myself I had never had my keys in the first place. I couldn't get into my room. Next logical step? Why, gather a sharp knife, a towel, and a garden chair and try to break into my room, of course.

Some sort of deranged sociopath had taken over my drunken brain and fabricated the whole 'fell asleep on the sofa' story. It appears I've read American Psycho one too many times my friends. Not only had I forgotten the whole affair, I was so convinced that my sober self actually called the police to protect me from my mystery killer: myself.

'Hello, police?'
'Hi! Am, we just called, about a break in?'
'Yes. Someone is on their way, don't worry.'
'No eh, actually. Big misunderstanding! Bahahahahaa... you see it's actually fine. It was one of our housemates.'
'What, really?'
'Yeah, there's no need to send anyone.'
'Are you sure? It says here there was a knife involved...'
'Yep, that's her. It's absolutely fine thank youuuu...'
'But wait, wha...'

The Saucy Cow

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Saucy Cow's Guide To Men - That Are Not Irish

Moving to a new county is always scary. Especially for a young woman braving this new adventure all by her lonesome. If you're naive and have lived a fairly sheltered life, (or in simpler terms, if you're Irish) you may expect to fall in love with some mysterious foreigner and bring him home to relish the two weeks for which you will be the talk of the parish. Of course, many of you may have difficulty trying to establish a relationship with someone who is not Irish. Because I am so well travelled - that's right, I have been to Wales - I decided to impart some of my very very helpful advice upon you all.  

As regular readers will well know, I suffer from crippling insecurity and social anxiety issues with the opposite sex. The only thing this ever really proves good for, is as an endless source of blogging material, but I digress. These mental problems were helped in no small way by my attendance at an Irish Catholic all-girls school for the duration of the six poignant years of my adolescence. This was the kind of place where our only exposure to a male figure was our school priest, the crowd of boys in the christian brother's school down the road, and the character of Pádraig from An Trial. None of these provided useful reference points, particularly the boys from the CBS. We mixed with them rarely, usually when we were sent to learn Engineering at their school for a week, and they in return came over to us to learn Home Ec in an effort to keep those damn Parish liberals happy. These visits were kept strictly controlled by our teachers, for fear they prove detrimental to our precious teenage pregnancy rates. We mixed long enough, though, to learn that they were even more clueless when it came to sex than we were, which led us girls then to mistakenly assume we were some kind of sultry vixens who could reduce a group of pubescent boys to a quivering mess. 

Irish people are never brilliant at being sexy anyway, and it's strongly believed Colin Farrell was a prototype created by the Irish Catholic Church to falsely convince the western world that we fornicate regularly. We have a hard enough time (wahey!) trying to philander between ourselves, never mind adding the stress of one person not being Irish. It is for that reason I have compiled this helpful guide for any ladies heading out there into the wild wild shores of the UK, or someplace even further afield, if you're feeling chancy.

The Saucy Cow's Guide To The Difference Between
 Irish & International Men

1.  Accents
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. Your first week in your new country, you may make the same tragic error I did. 'Oh my god, oh my god!' you will innocently think, 'It's finally happened! I have turned gorgeous!
No, you have not. If anything, you have gotten less gorgeous. Now in your new foreign surroundings you will probably look pale and Irish and uninteresting. However, interest in you from boys will go up approximately 3,000%. This is because for some inexplicable reason, men absolutely love the Irish accent. I mean, they really love it. I feel it is compensation from God for the whole economy thing. Do not rejoice.
If a boy takes you home, you don't want it to be because he wants to sit you on his bed and make you say 'thirty three and a third' over and over again into the early hours of the morning. This is something you never have to deal with at home, with Irish men, because we all can't stand the sound of each other.
No matter how flattered you are, it's best not to engage in the 'Oh my god, I love your accent!' zone. Not as easy as it sounds. From 20 years of being perfectly resistible, I found it quite the power trip to finally be able to assert that at least one part of me was attractive. Resist the temptation, ladies. It clouds their judgement and you will be the anecdote they tell people about how an accent can make you fancy anyone... 
When talking to foreign boys, be wary. If, when you say something, his eyes widen and he leans forward and says 'are you....Irish?!' take immediate decisive action.
Furrow your brow in confusion, look disgusted and reply ''
He'll feel so awkward he won't bring it up again.

2. Communicating
Texting: one of the few technological advances Irish people embraced with open arms in the nineties. Contacting someone without actually having to face them? Yes, please! Ladies, we all know how well versed we are in the texts from our native males.

Him: Wel.
You: Hi :)
Him: Ne news?
You: Nah, you?
Him: Nah. 

We like our strong, semi-silent men who are economical with their vowels. Foreign men vary in certain ways. There is one major difference, beside actually making conversation, that is:

Him: Ok well, I'll talk to ya later?
You: Sure, cya then :)
Him: Ttul :) XXX

^Gaaaaaaaaasp?! There must me some massive archeological error which has missed the huge connection between Irish people and pirates. Pirates are the only other race of people whom actively react to an 'X' in a way similar to us. You've heard of horror stories of cultures where petting someone's turkey means your married to them, or something like that. This is kind of the case with Irish people. Leaving an 'x' means you must be morbidly serious with each other. We don't throw them in willy nilly like the Brits. This was a cause of massive confusion for me in my earlier days when I sat and stressed about how I had unwittingly entered myself into a recognised relationship, and how was I going to tell my parents. Turns out they send them to each other all the time, even the men. I know! I KNOW!

So perhaps it might be simpler to communicate in person! Perhaps indeed. Be prepared to keep a glossary of phrases with you at all times to avoid extremely awkward social situations. More awkward, than changing your relationship status just cos someone sent you an 'x'. A 'shift' to them is a period of work done in exchange for wages. All you sluts better be prepared for people to cast aspersions about you Irish being absolutely mad for a bit of work, and is the economic situation really that bad over here?
Also, be careful with how you address a group of people. To them, walking into a room of girls and saying ''well lads?'' is roughly the same as saying ''HELLO ALL YOU BIG UGLY MEN!''.
And don't even get me started on how long you'll be waiting for him to 'grab something out of the press there, will ya?' Try to have patience if he comes back with newspaper clippings.

3. Socialising
A 'date' is not only a dried fruit which your nan used to sometimes put in Christmas cakes. It's a social occasion when a man takes you out of the house, to a place, where you both talk for a while and get to know each other. This has been known to happen even before you shift. Mad!!! If he asks you to go on one, do not be alarmed. Simply proceed with caution and just take notes of all the madness you can regale Ciara with when you finally get the time to Skype each other.

Out and about: This is not Ireland anymore. If you meet some talent out, you will both not eventually run into each other in the post office. You do not already know everyone in the town. Therefore, when he asks you for your phone number, don't respond with a suspicious '...why?' This wins you zero points in the 'Ideal Date!' category. He is not going to report you to immigration.

4. Clothing
You know what, there aren't enough hours in the day or adjectives in the world for me to even begin to truly scratch the surface here. One tip: Do not empathise with the fact that his clothes dryer seems to have shrunk all his jeans to drainpipes, or accuse him of stealing your skinnies. Also, don't be jealous that they look better on him. You get used to it.

5. Don't laugh when he tells you he has a GHD
He's not actually joking.

6. They're going to try and talk to you.
I saved this one for the end because I didn't want to alarm you too much, or put you off going. I know you're used to the tried and tested method of getting really drunk and staring at each other until you shift at home. Things are different now. The boys over here try to build a foundation, talk to you, get to know you, often even sober. In nightclubs, they use chat up lines and other such arrangements of words.
At first, of course, I assumed they were all psychopathic Welsh killers, examples of which my mother had presented in a collection of newspaper clippings in the 6 months prior to my departure as a warning. Turns out they're just normal people. Go figure.

The Saucy Cow

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I Did On My Holidays - Part Three

I was lying on a sun lounger, boobs and body lazily covered in a bikini which I had drunkenly thrown on with reckless abandon. We’re talking head thrown back, mouth hanging open, limbs akimbo gesturing heavenwards, beseeching some gracious God to just kill me now and save me from my desperate misery. Last night had been a very good night. In a gesture of herculean proportions I managed to drag my pulsating head up under the weight of my very large ‘don’t look at me’ sunglasses and squinted over my shoulder to look at my friends lying beside me. I was delighted to see that in an intimation of solidarity, we had all decided to look extra shit today. It was a scorching beach in Mallorca, but looking at the state of the six of us, you would have believed you were on Omaha Beach at the start of Saving Private Ryan.

 I felt the sun lounger beside me vibrating. Blondie was flapping her arms as hard and fast as she could in an attempt to drag herself into a sitting position. There was some grunting. We all politely, but very slowly and painfully, looked away. We had all been vomiting at random all morning. I believed I was all vomited out but the sight of what was about to come from Blondie’s face may have inspired a fresh bout.
 ‘Pffaffle mmmboat!!!’
None of us moved. Blondie had the tone of someone requesting something and I didn't particularly feel like sitting there holding her hair back, so I chose instead to believe it was just some extremely unusual vomiting noises.
‘Guys. Pfaaaddle Boat!’
 I turned to look at her. She was vomit free and....smiling? She found her voice.
Oh no. Blondie had been raving all week about how we absolutely had to rent out one of the hilarious novel paddle boats on the beach and go for a spin. Blondie had also requested we rent things like rollerblades and quad bikes so when faced with this relatively normal activity, we’d all enthusiastically agreed yesterday. But today, suffering from my drink affliction, the prospect was right between ‘scratching my eyes out with a spoon’ and ‘eating horse shit’ on my Things I Want To Do Today list. It was now our second last day and pretty much our last chance. Unable to protest, the 5 of us shot Blondie a variety of looks which varied from ‘Please Die’ to ‘Are you clinically insane?’. Undeterred, Blondie launched into her Tourism Spain mode and used the Guilt Offensive on us. Did we want to just spend our whole holiday just lying on the beach and drinking? Didn’t we want to do anything else fun? Wouldn’t it make some great pictures? Exhaling sharply through my nostrils I raised my head and glared venimously at the Swan shaped paddle boat bobbing innocously on the shore line. ‘It’ll be fun!’ Blondie beamed, sensing my defences being lowered. Somehow, I doubted it.

Suddenly, there I was. Four of us bobbing in a paddle boat; three of us frowning sourly, one of us in euphoric excitement at the prospect of the miscellanious adventures we were about to have on the high seas.
She took our silent, glaring faces as an ‘ABSOLUTELY!’ and so we set off. Most of us were not doing our fair share of the paddling, I’ll say that much. I had no intention of spending today laboriously breaking my heart paddling around the beach like a Viking slave. Most of the rest of the girls were on the same page as me, with the obvious exception of Blondie, who appeared to be paddling so hard, she ran the risk of sailing us back to Ireland herself. And what harm, I thought? Why not let her have her fun. She appears to be enjoying herself. For a moment, in my emotionally vulnerable condition, I actually leant back and smiled admirably at my best friend, doting at her childlike excitement of the basic physics of a paddle boat.... Until a large formidable object caught my eye. I followed Blondie’s hysteric paddling direction and eyeline and saw The Island. How could I have been so stupid? By the expression on their faces, the penny had finally dropped with Blondie’s other two victims, aswell. We were quickly speeding towards an ‘island’, if you’d call it that, about two miles off the beach in Magaluf.
She turned to grin at us, a psychopathic mix of guilt and delight.

 I’m sure most of you have heard about that women on the news who fell creepily in love with the Eiffel Tower and kept a picture of it beside her bed? I’m sure most of you scoffed and thought such a disturbing fixation with an inanimate object was extremely improbable to happen again. As did I, my friends, as did I. That is, until of course, Blondie became completely infatuated with this ‘Island’ off the beach.
She’d seen it in the pictures on holiday websites....
 ‘Ooh, look how pretty that island looks...’
On the plane, as we lowered over Mallorca she’d smashed me into the side of the plane in an attempt to get closer to the window ‘TO SEE THE ISLAND, SAUCY!’
 In our taxi she’d commandeered the window seat herself, and provided us with chirped updates every minute or so on weather or not she ‘thinks she could see the island!’
When we arrived to our beautiful, amazing apartment, she’d frogmarched straight through all the rooms and onto the balcony, to confirm that ‘yes, it’s ok guys, we can see the island from here.’
The term ‘island’ is extremely generous for this miserable floating mound of earth.

 Back on the boat, we’d realised our fate:
‘Blondie, ARE YOU FOR REAL?’
 ‘I’m not getting onto that thing...’
But she wasn’t listening. She had taken control of the boat like a Somalian Pirate and wasn’t turning back for anyone. The rest of us were weak and impoverished from our binge drinking and simply didn’t have the strength to paddle against her. I glared at our captor and weighed up weather or not the strength of nearly 5 years of friendship was enough to gain forgiveness for pushing her off the boat.... We were still close-ish to the beach though, I looked into the water and weighed up my chances of survival if I made a break for it, rather than accompany Blondie on her quest for The Island.... I looked at the water again, and again. Then looked around me. More water. Then looked back at the rapidly shrinking coast line. Oh my god. Oh my god.
 ‘I’m afraid of water.....I’m afraid of water? GUYS, I AM AFRAID OF WATER!’
 In my hungover stupor I had unwittingly crawled onto the boat, completely forgetting how petrified I am of the sea and all it's inhabitants. Taken over completely by blind panic and desperation, I began to shuffle awkwardly around the boat, trying vainly to find some sort of water free escape route. ‘WOULD YOU STOP ROCKING THE BOAT, PLEASE?’
I hovered awkwardly on the boat as we all glared at each other, extra vicious glares reserved for Blondie in particular. Tempers were flaring and I could see this happy-go-lucky boat trip quickly turning into an episode of Lost.
 ‘Look Saucy, just sit down. You’ll be fine. You’ll be staying in the boat the whole time!’ Po tried to reassure me.
‘Well, and you’ll be on the Island...’ Captain Crazy interjected. It was official, we’d lost Blondie. She was turning way too Tom Cruise in Castaway. I sat down, sulking. We were all starving and dehydrated at this point too.
 ‘Guys, you all agreed to come with me. You could at least help me paddle? The sooner we get to the Island, the sooner we get home...’
‘I agreed to go for a lovely spin around the beach, I never agreed to come with you on your fucking famine ship...’
Mini-spats broke out. We were developing cabin fever. Other holiday goers who were having an absolute whale of a time on their paddle boats began to stare as we started acting out our own version of the Lord of The Flies.

 We finally arrived at the Island. Ecstatic, we began to turn the boat... Blondie was having absolutely none of it.
‘Aw come on! We’ve come this far... we should just get onto the island for a second :D’
‘Blondie, the island is quite clearly surrounded by a deadly slope of lethal jagged rocks...’
‘Nooo it’s fine, if we just paddle up onto the rocks, we could...’ At this very moment a paddle boat of boys who clearly had a Coxman as deranged as our own were also trying to mount the rocks. One boy naively stepped off the boat onto the rocks to try and drag onto the island, took one step, slipped underneath the boat and cracked his skull on the rocks. All you could hear on our boat was the sound of waves lapping and silent fury. Even Blondie’s faith in the Island started to wane. Just at that moment, the group of boys who had just dragged their semi-concussed friend up out of the water turned to us and offered us some clearly much needed assistance. We stopped attacking each other for a moment, faced with the higher priority of cute boys in shorts. There was much shameless hair flicking and giggling as they dragged us onto the island. Giving us her smuggest grin, Blondie hopped off the boat. We were greeted by desolate landscape, creepy black lizards and a mysterious electrical buzzing noise. After an argument - the brevity of which was determined by our sheer exhaustion to argue with Blondie - it was decided we would scale the stupid island and stand at the top to ‘see the view’. I’m not even going to credit getting to the top of the island with a description. Let’s just call it anti-climax of the millennium and skip to the getting back down bit. This took 15 minutes for everyone, 30 for me because I never got the memo to ‘bring shoes’ as I had innocently believed we were just going for a boat trip. As the others ran ahead I was left lagging behind and sobbing silently to myself and gingerly tiptoeing through brambles and high grass as I imagined the cheap tabloid headlines back home after my imminent death: ‘HOLIDAY GIRL KILLED BY ROGUE LIZARD WHO HID IN BIKINI.’ When I finally got back to where we parked our boat, which I now hated more than any boat in the world, I found my three so called friends sitting there bobbing two metres out from the island. What’s this about? Are they leaving without me or something? Had the three of them been voted off the island? Am I the only survivor left?
‘Come on Saucy!’ they yelled joyously, ‘Hop in!!’
 Hop in? Hop in?! I stared at them incredulously. ‘Guys, you need to paddle back here and collect me.’ ‘Saucy don’t be ridiculous, just swim out to us and we’ll pull you in.’
 ‘....I can’t’
 ‘What do you mean, you can’t?’
 ‘...I’m scared of water.’
They all stared bemused at the four feet of water which they’d asked me to cross.
 ‘Saucy, it’s like a kiddies pool....’ This, on top of the hangover, on top of the lizards and the rocks and the sea, well. It was too much.
I was creating quite the scene. Many many paddle boats which were bobbing nearby started to stare. The people on these paddle boats were 80% male, of course, and of that 80%, they were 100% gorgeous. And now I had their complete and undivided attention. The girls sensed this too and decided not to provoke The Crazy further and began to paddle back to the island. Problem. There were no longer any beautiful young men to drag to boat up onto the razor sharp rocks, and without them our beloved S.S Useless simply couldn’t do it by itself. We all realised this at the same time. The girls looked at me with dread. I was slowly crumbling into an emotional wreck. Maybe I could just get the girls to drop me out a friendly volleyball and some crackers later and I would just stay on this island forever. Maybe Blondie wasn’t wrong, this island wasn’t so bad...
‘Saucy, you’ve got to step onto the rocks.’
‘Saucy, we can’t get any closer...’
 This went on for many minutes, culminating in me crawling pathetically onto the killer rocks and sitting there hunched, like Gollum in a bikini. I sat there and prayed that if I did slip, I’d kill myself on the rocks before the water got me. Drowning really would have made this the worst hangover in history. I glanced back at the hunky men in boats. What were the odds they would all appreciate this as some sort of art installation piece? What followed was a hilarious kind of sea saw. The tide would drag the boat close to the rocks, where I’d have only a few seconds to get my self together and jump onto the boat. The pressure would inevitably prove too much and the girls would be swept back again by the tide. Every time the girls were swept back out they would start screaming encouragement in anticipation of the moment the tide would sweep them back to me again. It quickly transpired then, to my audience, what exactly was going on. This peaked their interest in goings on. The girls were swept out again.
 ‘COME ON SAUCY, JUST JUMP JUST JUMP, READY READY....’ The tide swept them in again. The sight of all of them floating towards me, arms outstretched proved too much, and probably more from mental exertion than anything else, I exploded into giggles. I’d have just recovered when they’d be brought towards me again, and I’d explode into laughter once more. The performance anxiety was getting too much. Soon surely someone would get the coast guard. Suddenly from behind me, I saw something wiggle. One of those sinister bastard lizards was creeping down the rocks towards me. Motivation, my dear friends, like no other. It's amazing how quickly a fear of the ocean can vanish when faced with such a slimy beast. I sat there hunched staring at him, in the most awkward and for me, terrifying mexican stand off in history. Alright, he may have been 5 centimetres long but it was the sinister stare in his eyes. He stared at me, deadpan, and took one bold almost taunting step towards me. With a glorious leap I threw myself onto the paddle boat, and there I lay on the floor for the entire journey, refusing to look up until we were safely, finally, on dry land.

 You’d be surprised just how much a hungover person can dislike water.

The Saucy Cow