New Year, New Less Branded Me

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Oh my blog, my sweet beautiful blog.

If our relationship had a physical form, you would be a well meaning girl and I would be the sexy bad boy who keeps jerking you around. I always SAY I’m going to call, I always SAY I can change, I always SAY I’ll keep a consistent blogging pattern. But what do I do? I let you down. Worst – I let myself down*.

*Okay, maybe not myself, because not writing a blog usually means I’m on Tumblr, obsessing over the Michonne and Rick Grimes ship, and I love shipping. I really do.

But now that’s it’s 2016, I’ve decided to be honest with you blog. No more Mr.Cool-Aloof-Guy. Because the truth is, I our whole relationship started on the wrong foot. I didn’t start you because I’m a word-smithing-genius who needed a creative outlet. I started you because it seemed like a smart career move. Like it was the right thing to do if I wanted to get into digital media/social media/THE media. In short – it seemed very on brand.

Starting you merely to say I’ve started you was wrong, blog. Sure, we had our good times and sometimes I actually wrote something to be genuinely proud of… but often I just wrote what I thought I should write. Often I tried to sound like other bloggers, such as GirlLostintheCity or SuperlativelyRude – who are great, by the way, but they’re not me.

However, blog, I’m here yet again with a declaration of change.

I’m different now. I don’t try to guess at what I should be doing, but instead know what I want to be doing. I have projects. Goals. BIG CREATIVE DREAMS! Things that now inspire me because I find them inspiring, not because I’m trying to jump onto a hashtag on Twitter. You and me, blog, we can do something special. Create a showcase of the real Heather Shaw, without any of this futile imagining of what my brand should be.

Of course, we’ll have our challenges. Some of what appears on here might be a little messy. It could be 1,000 words or 100. It could be a picture, a podcast, or even a dick pic – JOKE! Obviously, a dick pic comes under the picture heading. But it’ll all be a reflection of me. Hopefully a lot of me. Seriously, I’ll update you more.

And who knows… maybe one day, in a future where Boris Johnson rules us with an iron fist, we’ll be able to look at each other and say: “finally, all our web traffic doesn’t come from those man porn, dick pic blogs”.

Let’s dream big, blog. You and me.

Scotch Egg Gate (aka an artful example of fart based rambling)

I call this the scotch egg gate, but it could easily be referred to as just another conversation between my boyfriend and I.

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I suppose this argument stands out in my mind because it’s made me question my own gluttony (which, up until this point, I’ve had nothing but respect for) and it also only happened 40 minutes ago and I’m now just killing time before bed. I could just go to sleep but, if I forget all boundaries of social decency, I can’t do that because I’m currently in that weird limbo of being very gassy and needing a poo but also not so much in need of a poo that I can actually have one. Ladies, if that phrase disgusts you, you really need to look in a mirror because the woman staring back has probably dealt with something similar.

Seriously, all women are constipated. That’s just a fact of life. It’s actually quite depressing when you sit down and think of all the ways a woman’s body hates her. Take myself for instance. It’s bad enough when my period arrives but when it does my body also takes it upon itself to shit non-stop. I’m talking like Mt. Snowdon size craps. Think fecal matter hemorrhaging out of one end while at the front I’M BLEEDING! I mean, really, what did I do to deserve such horror? All men have to go through is baldness (which actually, considering how awful my boyfriend would look bald, is pretty shitty). Oh, and they die younger, cause of heart problems and all that. But still – massive period shits! WTF?!

Anyway, where was I before I started talking about my bowels? (A phrase I say on a weekly basis BTW) Oh yes, the scotch egg. So basically we had just had a Thai curry before we entered the pub and I said to Him that I quite fancied a dessert of some kind. A perfectly reasonable statement. So we go the bar and they have these massive scotch eggs on offer.

Now a thing you need to know about me is that I bloody love scotch eggs. Mini versions (AKA party eggs) are my favourite but I do also enjoy a fancy GASTRO PUB version when the occasion is right. If it were up to me, I would hide mini scotch eggs all around my home and place of work so that I could pick them up throughout my daily travels as a ‘keep going’ snack. Of course, everyone would hate me if I did that because eggs (annoyingly) smell really bad. Let my current fart situation be testament to that.

So I’m famous for loving scotch eggs. That’s a thing of mine. Which means when I say ‘oh yeaaaah, a scotch egg’ at 7pm after I’ve been out for Thai, I’m CLEARLY making satire out of myself. I don’t actually want a scotch egg.

Now imagine my amazement when two drinks later He appears we a scotch egg and the excuse “oh I needed to meet the card limit”. Meet the card limit? Mate, I now have to eat a pound of sausage, breadcrumbs, and egg on a full stomach!

(Real time update: as I reach this sentence I’ve just come back from the toilet. The bowels have been evacuated, you can all breath a sigh of relief. My arse has.)

And it’s not like I could have just let that scotch egg just go to waste. That would be grossly out of character. People would think I was dying and go through a process of grief. Or call MI5 and report an impostor – costing taxpayers money! So I had to eat nearly the entire thing – barring some of the actual egg itself (but to be fair it’s the sausage casing where the real love and devotion have gone into the craft). I even dropped some of it on the floor in a food-drunk inebriation and then put the egg droppings in a pint glass.

Bar staff look at you very judgmentally when they find bits of egg in your empty glass. Sorry I’m not cool enough to not drop my gastro pub egg on the floor. Sorry my working-class roots are showing, sir!  

Anyway, my boyfriend is now home and he keeps telling me that writing this blog is pointless and that despite committing over 700 words to this piece that nothing has actually been said. Other than I ate a scotch egg and felt very full. This is indeed correct but who’s more easily judged – the writer of the nothing or the reader of the nothing? *puts on philosophical beard and strokes it while making ‘hmmm’ noise*

I’m totally joking, of course I’m to blame. Me and Jenny Lawson  – who is such a master of saying too much that she makes you feel like you can do the same in your blog. SPOILER: You totally can’t because your loved one will sit next to you in the bed making disapproving air noises through his nose.

Speaking of disapproving air… *insert final fart joke here*

I try too hard

Me wearing a pineapple top hairstyle.

A cool thing about my new job is that I get to write things. I like writing. Writing is really cool and gives my introverted self a chance to go – OH HEY! LOOK AT THIS! AREN’T I SUBTLY HILARIOUS!

That’s what you’re all thinking, right? That I’m hilarious? I’m going to assume yes because, and here’s the best thing of it all, I’m the writer and you’re the reader. Silly reader, you can’t reach into the screen and write a miss massive ‘NO, FUCK OFF’ into the middle of this. Not yet anyway.

*Gives a nervous side eye to Windows 10*

However, part of writing for a living is that you also get edited for a living. Which means wiser people come in and point out what could be done better. No surprise, my grammar usually comes up. My grammar is, by my own admission, pretty shit and most of my professional life involves me trying to hide this. But hey, it’s not my fault that up until college my teachers taught me that you only use a comma when you take a breath*.

*Note, this is not grammar, this is breathing.

Another useful thing about editors is that they tell you when you’re trying TOO DAMN HARD. Again, I’ll hold my hand up and admit to this. I’m often guilty of struggling how to convey my love of something, so therefore compensate by writing utter fangirl nonsense. Such as – Oh it’s the best, the best thing ever. Can you tell I like it CAUSE I JUST KEEP BLABBING ON ABOUT IT!

My editor recently told me that nothing makes people want to dislike something more than someone telling them to like it. People are bratty like that. We all like to make our own minds up and for that we need to REASON not just hear gushing praise.

At one point in my internet career, I tried to create a book reviewing blog. I think I managed two posts before I gave up – why? Because everything I was writing sounded so fake. Like I was being paid to get people to like it – and that I also sucked at this job. I couldn’t understand why my writing sounded so atrocious  but now I do. It’s cause I was trying too hard. I spent too much time saying that I liked it, rather than trying to pin point what about the book made me like it.

I think science calls this ‘cause and effect’. Or is that affect? Jesus, grammar is hard.

Anyway, I now believe that if you really love something it will show. Also, that editors are great. All hail those who check for comma errors!

How to beat the heat

British weather too hot

So here we are England. We’ve always wished for that Greek sunshine that we love so much on holiday and now its here. Pouring into our homes and offices, melting us like the chocolate digestives that we are. What a fucking treat.

It has been claimed that the ideal heat for a Brit is 21C and that anything other 28C is TOO BLOODY HOT! So you can imagine the sheer panic of our little island as we’ve been forced to endure highs of up to THIRTY FIVE! We’ve been like sweaty ants floundering under God’s magnifying glass.

Just in case we’re forced to endure more of this sweltering hell, I’ve got some top tips to help:

1. Ice Tea

It goes without saying that British people love tea, more than children*. So it makes sense that tea should work in our favour during these tortuous days. America’s have a thing ‘iced tea’, I don’t know how to make this but the concept seems simple enough. For every sip of tea, suck on a cube of ice and repeat until tea is finished.

2. Be Naked

Like all the time. Less clothes, less sweat.

3. Dr. Who-icle

Another thing British people love – Doctor Who**. I don’t know why but our island just can’t get enough but everyone seems to be having a wet dream over Matt Smith’s weird brow. So I propose that we move all screenings of Dr. Who into large freezers. People would be into that, they can pretend they’re in the tardis when the heating breaks in space.

4. Become a Zombie

Seriously, rewatch The Walking Dead. Those guys never seem to be too hot. Or too cold. Maybe the dead have really mastered the whole body temperature thing.

5. Complain

There must be a reason why we like to talk about the weather. Maybe it’s some kind of basic animal instinct that will pay off… somehow. Either that or I’ve been writing this whole post for nothing.

 

 

*I don’t like tea.
** I don’t like Dr.Who. Am I even British?

The Horrors of an Honest Face

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When I tell you my face is like Shakira’s hips, it’s not because it’s sexy and Colombian — it’s because it just can’t lie. Ask me a direct question, and no matter what comes out of my mouth, my face is guaranteed to give you an honest answer.

And to be honest, this is annoying as fuck.

Sure, when people realize that my face is controlled by a do-gooding Muppet, they do tend to feel relaxed in my presence. An honest face means a nice person, right? And it is lovely to be considered nice, but guys… sometimes you need to lie. Lying is, like, a basic need.

For example, last year I was single and dating one of those “badboy” types (badboy being code for a guy who is a total dick). In my bid to impress him, I wanted to come across as mysterious and cultured, which naturally requires a lot of lying. We would walk through bookstores and he would constantly point to every book in the classics section, telling me in a smug-as-balls way how many he had read.

“Heather, you MUST have read Bouvard et Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert. It’s a CLASSIC!”

“Haha, of course I’ve read it,” I would say. But it would be too late. My face would be twitching into what can only be referred to as a “rabbit caught in headlights” expression. HE KNOWS, I would think, and then I’d blurt out, “Okay, kind of, not really — BUT I’VE READ ANNA KARENINA, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!”

Needless to say, that relationship did not work out.

Read the full article @ Femsplain