Long Time No Type…

Typing myself happy...

Typing myself happy…

Hello lonely blog,

Well it’s a been a fucking age. I apologise. Life’s got between me and the urge to scribble sardonic lamentations on the state of being. It’s been either too good or too shitty for me to want to put finger to keypad for  – well over a year now – but there was something deliciously non-moving and grey about this particularly rainy october afternoon that made me remember my virtual brain scribblings decorating this particular corner of the hyper web.

So what’s gone down?! I’ll give you the high and low down:

HIGH points:

1) I’ve worked – worked as an actual actor person – the job I’ve put life off for for more years than I should… Had a great theatre job in London at the end of last year and then have spent most of this living out of a suitcase on a national tour.

2) I’ve loved – or at least heavily liked – or loved (I’m in the slightly schizophrenic denier stage of not wanting to examine how deep my feelings might run) – and – CRUCIALLY – I’ve been loved/heavily liked back.

3) I’ve got fit – well fitter – I started running earlier this year shirking off the haunting memories of Mrs Fitzpatrick my facist secondary school PE teacher calling me a fat useless lemon (insulting despite the fact I could never figure out the link between obesity and citrus fruit) – and embracing a new idea of myself as Maggie the super athlete. Super might be going a bit far – but I can run for half an hour without asphyxiating now – no mean feat.

LOW points:

1) Working regularly as a professional actress hasn’t quite been living the long anticipated dream that i expected it to be. The reality of poorly envisioned commercially driven theatre, small parts, bad reviews, and living in crevices of the UK that time and taste have forgotten have rather taken their toll!

2) Said liker/lover has recently decided that as much as he liked/loved me – he loved his ex-girlfriend more. Cue embittered heartbreak… more on that later.

3) Haven’t spoken to Dan in over a year – but recently found out he’d got engaged. Can’t quite believe it and I’m not sure if I’m sadder about the fact he’s marrying someone that’s not me – or that we’re now so decidedly out of each others lives that I wouldn’t hear the news directly from him.

Aaaaah – life giveth then it kicks you in the goolies as it hastily snatcheth it back…

But don’t get me wrong – I’m ok – and generally a lot more on the up than down – which doesn’t mean the big old black dog doesn’t come and trample on my mood every now and again. Today’s not a good day and I’m feeling lonelier than I should which is maybe why I’m blowing the virtual dust of this creaky old blog. It feels good to be typing it out so I’ll be back. I need to have a good old moan about my recently fractured heart if nothing else.

Till then,

Maggie xx


Dan what man?

Sometime's just a pretty sky's enough...

Sometime’s just a pretty sky’s enough…

So as it’s been a while I should probably fill you in on where things are with my Dan resolve.

Over six months ago I promised myself (and you dear readers) that I would remove him from my life to give my tattered heart a chance to heal.

Did I stick to my resolution? Did it work?

Well – yes and yes (partly at least).

It was depressingly easy at first. I blocked him from my facebook feed (a genius far less confrontational approach to de-friending), deleted his number from my phone (so as not to do any drunken texting) and sat back and waited – steeling myself to turn down any requests for beers and catch ups that might filter through.

But they didn’t come. Indeed I didn’t hear from him. At all. For over two months.

This didn’t surprise me hugely – I’d witnessed him disappear into the whirlpool of new relationships before. He gets utterly consumed in the oblivion of fresh dewy love before emerging a little damp and contrite a few months later. But still it hurt. All my firm resolve seemed a little silly and just reiterated how unequal our relationship truly was.

Sure enough a couple of months in he left a long and apologetic voicemail. He was a terrible inattentive friend and he couldn’t believe he’d missed my birthday and would I ever forgive him and please say I would so he could rain down beer and love all over me. I sent a text saying not to be daft, all was fine but I was super busy so raincheck on the precipitative lager drinking. Full stop. No kiss.

They’ve been a handful of voicemails and texts since then but not many, and they’re getting fewer and further between.

I hate that he thinks I’m pissed off at him for some petit reason, I hate that he probably thinks  I’m ignoring him because I don’t approve of Zara. I guess for those reasons our friendship may very well drop away all together and I’ll become a distant memory of a friend that turned out to be disappointingly fractious and judgmental . Which is sad, Heart achingly sad, actually.

But on the flip side – I feel better and stronger and happier without the constant ‘what ifs’ that were thrown around through constant contact with him. My head feels calmer and there’s generally a bit more space to breathe in deliciously fresh air and see the world in a clearer less Dan-addled way. And I’ve started to see men again – as in see them as prospective potentials in their own right rather than as poor substitutions to the Dan myth.

M xxx

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The f*@k buddy debate

"Maybe we could just have a quick shag?"

“Maybe we could just have a quick shag?”

So who’s ever experienced that strangely celebrated standard of 21st Century love – a fuck buddy?

Let me tell you a little something about mine (who for all those interested detective sorts constitutes one of my recent clutch of clandestine liaisons.)

I met the perpetrator around five years ago – believe it or not whilst working on the very same play where I met Dan (like most plays in the english language it was ludricously male heavy which meant there were lots of healthy specimens to choose from)

Mat Oakley. Mat spelt only with one t – that’s terribly important. Apparently.

Mat was (and indeed is) one of the most ludricously vain men I have ever come across. One eye is constantly trained in on his own reflection, and one hand is constantly employed in slicking back a too gelled hairdo. He doesn’t eat carbs after six and his drink of choice is a gin and slimline tonic.

I’m sorry to say he wasn’t much liked within the cast. His vanity often mutated into self obsession and a conversation with Mat required little more of you than an occasional nod and a sporadic assenting murmur. Dan totally despised Mat, and led the cast in rather cruel impersonantions behind his back (horrid school playground bully behaviour not to be sanctioned in any way – remembering such smallnesses about Dan are always useful.) I didn’t mind him – I suppose I felt sorry for him – I prescribed his fractious self obsession to a shitty childhood and his preoccupation with outward appearences to shockingly low self esteem. Rather boringly – because I felt sorry for him – I was often locked into his interminable one way conversations. His saving grace was that he was nice to look at – very in fact, tall muscly with thick brown hair and sinkably blue eyes. It was fascinating how such good looks were totally dwarfed by a terminably dull personality.

The play came and went and Mat seemingly passed out of my life for good. Dan and I had moved in ever decreasing circles towards each other till the famous moment where I universally blew it with the kicking out of bed sequence. I was feeling a little bruised and frustrated. I was in fact furious with myself and wanted to do something fairly self destructive. I wanted to have sex with someone anyone and get the big hulking presence of Dan out of my head.

Cue Mat.

The cast had decided to have a reunion a few months after the last curtain had come down on our messy theatrical outing (aaaah nostalgic out of work actors). Dan was supposed to be there but had pulled a sickie at the last conceivable moment. I was preened and pruned to perfection having come along with the distinct plan to try and rectify all my previous undoing in the romantic possibilities of an Adams Burke union and was crushingly gutted that he wasn’t there. So… dangerously sexually frustrated I got very, VERY drunk.

Towards the end of the night I realised that Mat’s hand was inelegantly plonked on my inner thigh and he was gently doing something which could only be perceived as fondling. I darted a swift sharp look in his direction gathering all my sober wits to try and arch one eyebrow to give a acerbic ‘what the fuck?!?!’ look. This was supposed to have the affect of removing said twitching hand, but oblivious as ever Mat didn’t move a muscle but instead grinned in what I suppose was intended to be a sexy manner. My addled brain quickly did a bit of fact balancing :

1) Mat wants to shag you.

2) Mat’s a twat.

3) Mat’s a very good looking  twat who’s probably got a rippling six pack underneath that overpriced shirt

4) He’s a bit of a dick

5) But he also has a dick that could make you forget about the richter scale demolishing levels of sexual tension coursing through every cell of your sad barren  body

6) People think he’s ridiculous and therefore people would think that you were ridiculous by proxy

7) Nobody need ever know.

And that did it. I grabbed him by the hand and hurtled him into the nearest taxi where there were scenes that would make even the most seasoned of London’s cabbies blush. So we had sex (full sex at home not in said taxi I hasten to add). And it was good.

It was really good.

I’m not a looks girl, not at all really. More than often the objects of my affection have had some decidedly unattractive characteristic: a gargartuan nose, a caterpillar inspiring uni brow, a large and strangely engaging hairy mole….. The biggest turn on for me has always been a sense of humour. Make me laugh and I’m yours on a plate sunny side up.  I would have never thought I could be attracted to, let alone enjoy earth shattering sex with someone so unerringly humourless. But enjoy it I did… and did and did, and then did some more – indeed five years on me and Mat still meet up for the occasional shag – no questions asked.

Why? How can sex with someone you find fundamentally undesirable (however attractive you might find the sheer bones of him) be enjoyable and keep you coming back for more?  Maybe it’s because you’re allowed to engage fully with the actual act rather than simultaneously tackle the emotional maelstrom that accompanies anything as vulnerable-making as sex with another human being. There’s no running commentary in my head anlaysing my performance and anxiously pondering whether the bloke’s enjoying it or not? Does he still fancy me? Is that slightly tortured look in his eye a grimace of enjoyment or boredom? Will he want this to happen again? Please god make him want to do this again? I’m sad to say these thoughts can often totally engulf me which leaves no space for me to question whether or not I’m actually enjoying the heaving sweaty union.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t care if any time we and Mat met up proved to be the last. I have no fantasties about a future, no real concern as to whether he likes it or not. What we do, when we do it, is purely about the unadulterated fun and joy you can find in playing with another person’s body.

Of course if we were being terribly introspective and shrink-tastic about any of this then we might talk about how I can only have respect for my own enjoyment (and therefore myself) when I have piss poor little for the other party. This is actually pretty scary  and is pretty exemplary of the lack of self esteem that at times cripples me. But hey I acknowledge it. But as psychologically dubious as I’m sure it may be, Mat’s generally has been a good thing for me and my stunted confidence. I just hope one day I get to be so relaxed with someone I actually give a damn about.

And Mat, this is for you.

M xxxxxxxx

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The Elusive Cherry


So after being absent from this blog for many a long month – I came across this entry in my drafts pile that I somehow never got round to posting. I’m sure you’re all anxious to read this dimly tawdry account from my sexual past – so in the spirit of honesty (and if you read on you’ll see why honesty is something I’m trying to become more practised in) I thought i’d publish it now: enjoy!

So I’ve made the never had a boyfriend confession. Whoosh. Deep breath.

And you’re still here! You haven’t scrubbed me from your reading list or concluded I’m a hapless freak.

Thank you.

I thought, in the spirit of openness – another confession should follow – one that I’ve never told anyone in full detail – here we go:

The Great Tale of How Magdeline Adams Lost her Much Prized Virginity. (look it’s in bold and everything!)

It’s not pretty.

So having crawled through secondary school without so much of a sniff at a boyfriend, and without being sufficiently whorish back then to initiate my sexual career on the back of a one night stand – I arrived at university in one perfectly pristine, hymenically preserved package. I found this small – and in hindsight – perfectly respectable fact – totally shameful so I hurridly  fabricated a fantasy sexual past that provided me with a passably ‘cool’ image that I very much doubt anyone bought for a minute.

My first year at university came and went and  my virginity clung to me like the stench of smelly sneakers in a warm room. Don’t get me wrong there were snogs and drunken fumblings aplenty but I never found myself able to plunge on in there – as ’twere.  I’m sure part of me still hung on to the ideal that my first time would be with someone I had real (and reciprocal) feelings for; but I had also so entangled myself in my own web of lies that I was terrified that anyone I did sleep with would tell my fragile and newly built social universe that I was a big fat virginal liar. I’d heard enough heinous boy banter about frigid virgins to willingly volunteer myself to their firing squad. Teenagers are fucking cruel.

Come Summer I took myself off to work in America for three months  – offering the perfect anonymity to finally dispose of the cherry that was seemingly growing in weight and horror by the day. I worked on the phones for a moving company – which was stuffed to the rafters with muscly young college boys earning money during their summer break. Excellent. Perfect. My task was set. I wasn’t going to return to the UK without being thoroughly and irritrievably deflowered.

Of course the course of true lust never did run smooth and, instead of throwing my virginity at the first elligble match I met, I set my sights very firmly on a gorgeous boy who I’d fallen head over heels for. Needless to say (and if you’ve read this far in my blog you’ll notice a pattern here) he didn’t feel the same. Instead, after two months of gentle stalking by myself, he decided that he would much rather get down and dirty with my room mate. Which he did, and I spent many a scratchy night camped out on the sofa with my virginity snidely scoffing at me amidst the sounds of sexual pleasure emanating from the next room.

So I found myself with four days left before my return flight in a state of near desperation to get rid of the big V. My room mate had thankfully left (needless to say never to be heard of again) so I had the room, the bed, I just needed a man.

After my final day of work in the office I hot-footed it to the drinking hole that all the movers filled after their long sweaty days.

Oh Shit. All the young muscly clever summer break boys were noticeably absent (most of them had already quit their summer jobs). Leftover were a rather straggly crew of thirty and forty somethings that I barely knew and seemed unbearably ancient to my nineteen year old sensibilities. Nay matter. This was it I stoically reminded myself. I sturdied myself with a shot or three and made my way to a tanned, blonde haired bloke in his mid thirties that I vaguely remembered was a sometime musician and was called Paul. Or was is John…

A few hours and several thousand units of alcohol later we were back in my room awkwardly undressing each other. Despite the fact that I wasn’t particularly attracted to this man – my mind was racing with excitement – this was it – I was going to join that elite club of the sexually experienced. From this point on I would be able to join in that smug knowing chuckle when others shared their sexual experiences, I could sleep merrily with whoever I liked without some terribly shaming truth erupting, I wouldn’t be an over ripe never to be plucked outcast anymore.

‘You got a Jonny?’

Paul (or John) rudely butted into my sweet virginal elegiacal musings.

‘Sorry. What??’

‘A jonny? You got one? I don’t got one.’

‘Oh. Oh no – I don’t sorry.’ (biting my tongue so as not to primly correct his grammar)

‘You alright to go withou…’

‘NO! No. really no – I don’t think that’s a good idea do you?’

‘Yeah – probably not hang on’

And with that he bounded off – stark bollack naked – towards my door.

‘What? Wait? Where you going?’

‘To find one.’

I sank back into bed a little stunned by the swift turn of events , any residual trace of desire quickly distilling into mortified terror as to what this naked stranger was about about to do. To my horror I heard him bound up the staircase to the house’s top storey that was occupied by my landlords – a very tight lipped, very Irish, very catholic couple (who just so happened to know my father quite well). I heard a rather terse albeit muffled conversation through the floorboards before hearing the heavy slip slap of returning naked feet on the stairs.

‘The O’Connors don’t have any – gonna have to go to the gas station’

Frozen with mortification I watched John/Paul throw his clothes on before dashing out of the door.

Not quite sure what to do, I gathered the bed sheets around me and waited. And waited. And waited.


The strangulated Americanised throw of my name woke me up with a start. Quite how I’d managed to fall asleep I’m not sure – but somehow I had and now a drunk man who I didn’t really fancy and who was a good 16 years my senior was stood in my landlords prize begonias shouting out my name in New England suburbia at 3am whilst victoriously waving a packet of trojan extended pleasure.

In my sheer fucking haste to get to the front door to get him to shut the fuck up, I fell over the sheet that had become intimately entwined with my feet crashing to the floor with a thump ensuring (if they weren’t already) that the whole house was awake to acknowledge the wonderfully catastrophic Adams fall from grace.

Somehow I smuggled him back into the room and there dutifully – and with barely a shred of passion – we shagged.

It was underwhelming. To say the least.

And it really bloody hurt.

The next morning I pretended to be half asleep whilst he fumbled his goodbyes. He was nearly out of the door, before changing his mind and coming and sitting back on the bed next to me.

‘Hey – you did some bleeding. That wasn’t your first time was it?’

Bless him, the Peter/John creature for showing an ounce of compassion in the one night stand that marked my loss of virginity, but as far as I was concerned it was the singular point where I didn’t want him to show any rumblings of tact.

‘Fuck no. Of  course not’ I said – feigning a sleep raddled voice of artful casualness, ‘sorry – i must be coming on early’

‘Oh. right. Well. Thanks. it was. Great. You know.’


‘Well have a good journey back to Ireland’

‘I’m English’

‘Fuck, Are you? Well have a good one’

And he was gone.

I hid out in my room until I was sure everyone had vacated the premises and led an admirably stealth existence over the next few days in order to avoid explaining the whole debacle to any of my fellow housemates (let alone the holy landlords on high).

But I’d done it. I was a virgin no more. The conflict of emotions that that singular small fact conjured up in me was entirely unexpected. I imagined that i’d just  feel relief, I was rid of the dirty secret that had haunted the idea of me that I wanted others to think was real.  I didn’t expect the sadness; the lonliness as I sat in the launderette waiting for the detergent to wash away the evidence from my borrowed bedsheets; the shame that I’d lied to Peter/John – shame at myself for not being honest enough with myself to tell him the truth. I mean why the hell not?

But I also felt a certain kind of dull joy as I walked through the Boston streets on those last few solitary days of my 19 year old summer. The sensation of being that intimate with another human being was magnetic; there was a delicious  secrecy and complicitness that took place that made me smile when I re-remembered (editing out the moments of messy mortification) – however tawdry it might seem through another lens. I felt grown up, and in some small way, I felt seen.

Do I wish that my first experience had been different – of course I bloody do – but it was what it was – and it served.

It’s interesting though – writing this – realising how much the idea of who I want to be gets in the way of me being who I am. For as long as I can remember it hasn’t been good enough to be me; I’ve hidden behind half truths and dishonesties. Why the hell did I lie about my virginity at 18/19 – the boys that would have taunted me for my prudishness wouldn’t be worth knowing let alone shagging and, lets face it, had probably gained most of their sexual experience with a cramping right hand and a box of tissues. Why is what and who I am not good enough for me to shout about and be proud of?

Maybe that’s what I’m learning about here. A bit.

Over and out.

M xxx

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Back from the dead



Dear God where have I been?!

Hello fellow blogospherers.

I am full of that insipid foisty guilt you feel when you discover a half filled journal at the bottom of your knicker drawer, and realise the keen ruminative diarist you imagined yourself being on January second has becoming yet another unfulfilled pipe dream in life’s smug chalkboard of disappointments.

Bad Maggie.

I’m not sure how or why I’ve been absent for the past six months – this blog was something that I’d become rather addicted too – and I certainly think it was helping me work through the mess of shite that poses as my life. I think all of that shite just rather got in the way and I fell out of the habit.

But here I am. I’m back. Hurrah.

Gosh – I’m close to deafened by the rapture of your silent applause. I hope some of you are still around – it was nice knowing my thought haemorrhaging was answerable to an invisible audience. I think it helped me be more objective about all the self pitying crap I inevitably at times resort to!

So what’s gone on in the past six months I hear you cry  – well the potted version:

Number of birthdays celebrated: 1

Number of years accrued that are now to be mourned: 29

Number of risable fringe productions playing a part I should have run a mile from: 1

Number of times I had to get my bottom out to London audiences: 36

Number of profitable adverts selling my soul and face in the promotion of slightly dubious products: 1

Number of months tormented by the a) piss taking of friends thanks to said dubious product touting, and b) being recognised in the street/bar/workplace as being the girl off ‘that’ ad: 3

Number of night courses taken: 1

Number of short lived jobs I’d rather not have taken: 15

Number of friends I’ve pissed off: 2

Number of soul mates I’ve not had contact with: 1

Number of shags*: 3 (and a half **)

Number of meaningful relationships: 0

[*for the sake of clarity by number of shags I mean number of men with whom I have engaged in the act of sexual intercourse, NOT how many acts of sexual intercourse have taken place. I am very happy to report that this amounts to far more than the said number.

** This shall be explained at a later date – but in this case I am referring to the sexual act as a fraction rather than the man. I did not shag a halfling. I’m tall – so this would be alarming and neck crunchingly awkward. And as much as a self professed geek as I am I would not take my love of Tolkein this far.]

Aaaaah so much to catch up on – and I shall – inevitably. But right now it just feels good to put fingers to keypad once more.

Laters potatoes

M xxxxx

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could this be the future...

could this be the future…

So I have an confession to make. I’ve hinted at it here and there but I’ve never said the words totally bald and clear.

I have never had a boyfriend.

Just seeing those words as harsh black marks against white makes me feel physically sick – makes me want to shove them down and hide behind a less blunt half truth.

I am twenty eight years old and I have never had a boyfriend.

There are very few people who know this about me – my mum thinks I’m coy and hiding a whole barrage of exes behind a barrel, my recent friends think there must have been a before, and my ancient friends think there must have been an after. Even some of my closest current friends are only allowed to know half truths – I talk of old exes when it would be more accurate to describe them as fleeting acquaintances – all be that of a sexual nature.

Only two very old, very good friends that I’ve clung tightly to through the years know the full truth.

Why am I so scared of the truth?

Because I find it overwhelmingly humiliating.

Because it squats inside of me like a festering toad that I’m scared of letting people see.

Because in many people’s eyes it would paint a picture of me that I am not prepared to be – that I don’t think I am.

Would it make people see me as uglier than I am, would it bring in to focus some terrible psychological ineptness that would explain such a righteous departure from the societal norm?

You can be sure as hell it would put men off – who wants to road test the twenty eight year old relationship virgin? There must be some reason that other men have steered clear before after all.

Just writing these words makes me feel hugely and inexpressibly sad. And they make me feel like a freak.

I’m the girl that men are prepared to sleep with but never date.

How has that happened to me?

over and out.

m x

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The Plan

self help

Greetings Fellow Bloggers

Now the ash has settled on the explosive disappointment of the non-weekend in Edinburgh, I’ve had time to formulate some killer moves in my road to a better, healthier Dan love-free future.

The genius plan is as follows:

1 – Cut off all contact with the ubiquitous Dan Burke (see below footnote)

2 – Invest in some stellar self help books that will help me get to know and understand the squalling mess that is Magdeline Adams a little better. I’ve always poo poo-ed self books as silly didactic rubbish – but they have to be up on the best seller lists for some reason haven’t they? I’m starting with ‘Power of Now’ – look’s interesting and Oprah liked it – how wrong could it be?!

3 – Treat myself a little more. The struggle to earn and eat and pretend that I’ve still got an acting career buried under a rock somewhere leaves very little time for me to actually do stuff I want to do. This comes the ambition to take myself out for a date every week. Who needs men anyway.

4 – Who needs men indeed – but maybe the pursuit of a new one would help me forget the old? Hence comes plan sub section 5 – open myself out to prospect that one day, somehow, I might actually allow myself to love someone who is not Dan Burke. The first step of this is to try out internet dating. I’ve always balked at it in the past – but new me, new rules.

5 – Find some way to be creative. Call me crazy but I think that in part my obsession with Dan, and consequently with my love life or lack of it  – is due in part to the fact that most days what I do is pretty mundane. I’m an actress for feck’s sake – I love drama – and if I don’t get it I create it. Not an attractive attribute i know – but at least I admit it. Whenever I’ve done something that truly engages me – mostly when I’m in a play, my need to be loved and desired by someone else rapidly disintegrates and I feel much more content with being just purely, simply, wholly me. I respect myself more so it doesn’t matter as much that I don’t have someone standing next to me stroking my ego for me. So – a simple solution – get that creative verve back and suck up that self respect. This blog helps – but isn’t quite enough… I’m thinking of doing a course – maybe painting or writing… plus I’ve got a great idea for a play…

So there we have it – a fabulous five step plan.

No excuse me whilst I go and read up on a bit of pseudo buddhism and buy a new notebook (is there anything more exciting than a new notebook?)

Wish me luck!

M xx

* Footnote to Step 1

I’m aware that cutting Dan out of my life isn’t the friendliest move. I’m one of his closest friends and I plan to remove myself without explanation. It’s not his fault I feel the way he doesn’t after all.

So here – where he will never read it – is an apology. Who knows – maybe one day I’ll tell him about this blog and he’ll sift through all the pseudonyms and read the story I was always too scared to tell him.

I’m sorry Dan – I’m sorry for needing to be selfish and sacrificing our friendship to move me past this point in my life. I’ve got stuck here – and that in no way is your fault – apart from you having the audacity to be as gorgeous as you are of course. I wish things were different – I wish you loved me like I love you, or I wish I could look into your eyes and see only the fantastic friend you are instead of all the things you are not. I hope one day I’ll become unstuck and we can be friends again. I’m doing this now, because I need to but also because you’re happy and I’m hoping you won’t need me for a while. If you do ever need me I hope I’ll be strong enough to offer what you need, and if I’m not and I have to pull away then too – well then I’m sorry for that as well.

I hope we have more and more years of friendship together, I hope this isn’t the end, I hope I’ll be back before you’ve even noticed I’d gone away – a better securer wholer person who’s ready to accept you for what you are

My best friend.

Till then compadre,

Mags x

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the end of the story

oh yes - she's back.

oh yes – she’s back.

‘So how did it go?’ I hear you all cry! Did you tell him? what did he say?!

In the words of Maria Von Trapp and all those frighteningly shrill lederhosed children- the beginning is a very good place to start…

We clambered on to the 9.30am Kings Cross to Waverley and settled in for the long haul. I needn’t have worried about being lacking in wit or charm as Dan was suffering from an horrific hangover and wouldn’t have noticed if id have had a labotomy or my head and been replaced with a pumpkin. This meant he spent much of the five hour train journey as a snoring unconcious lump. I pushed down the disappointment already bubbling inside me that my imagined cider sharing, picnic eating, landscape coo-ing idyll of a train journey had been instantly made such short sharp shrift of. Instead I buried my  head in my book (The Book Thief – it’s very good if you haven’t read it!) for the solitary hours.

Thankfully by the time we reached Edinburgh Dan had managed to sleep off the worst of his hangover and was immediately possessed with an insatiable hunger for greasy food to replenish his damaged gut. A fried breakfast and a chirpier Dan later we headed to our hotel.

My god I love hotels – everything about them – the perky politeness of reception, the thin peculiarly patterned carpets (which is Scotland seem to be standard issue thistles) and that fresh pine smell of relaxation and decadence. Hotels are all the more alluring as I can ill afford to ever stay in one, so it always marks a truly special occasion. Dan had insisted on picking up the whole tab for this one – as it was booked before he’d been dumped and I was doing him a favour flanking him at a wedding where he knew very few people. I didn’t protest for too long – the train fare, and the very important new dress that I was going to stun Dan with, had emptied my bank account – plus an advert that he’d done a few years ago had just been re-released thus sprinkling him with, effectively, free money. Lucky bastard.

Two nights in a four star hotel that the man I was in love with was treating me to. If there wasn’t so much going on between the spaces of that lovely collection of words – how truly blissfully they would patter on to the page.

I sat with our bags in an impossibly plush chaise longue sipping a glass of complimentary freshly squeezed orange juice whilst Dan went and checked us in. He bounded over a couple of minutes later,

‘Hey – excellent news – I managed to trade our King size room into a twin – so you won’t have to have me drunkenly snoring and drooling on you for two nights’

My heart drooped a little further as disappointment number two hit the deck

‘Great’ I said, a smile frozen on to my face

Any (admittedly thought police dictated illegal) fantasy that we might have rolled on to each other drunkenly in the night and ‘accidentally’ fallen into some delicious passion burst with a flaccid belch. To be honest, that was less disappointing than the fact I suddenly realised I had been really looking forward to just simply waking up next to Dan. I could forgo all that messy passion just be able to steal some looks at him before he woke up, our limbs nestling beside each other for warmth. This is all much harder to do when we’re on opposite sides of the room.

The wedding was at 1pm the next day so for the rest of Friday we’d planned a boozy crawl of the burg’s best public houses. Three pubs down and I couldn’t help but notice that Dan seemed somewhat distracted, he was glued to his phone and every conversation I tried to start was punctuated by vibrations form his phone followed by minutes of frantic thumb tapping from him.

“Dan you rude bastard, put your phone away and talk to me – I’m rapidly building a fucking complex”

“You’ve already got more complexes than Freud’s back catalogue Maggie dearest.”

“Well be careful because I’m quickly developing another one. What could be possibly more important than beer or me?” I said with a hopefully cheeky and engaging smile.

A sheepish guilty look suddenly gathered in Dan’s face, and I swear to god he went a little pink.

“Daaaan…. what is it?”

“No, you’ll be angry with me.”

I raised my eyebrows and gave him a stern teachery ‘don’t you give me any shit Dan Burke’ look…

“It’s Zara”

Oh great. 

“It’s who?” (with a heavily laid on tone of disbelief)

“Zara – she’s been texting all evening”

“Zara – whore bitch from hell who dumped you for a himbo Zara?”

“Hey… Easy Mags – don’t call her that, she’s alright you know”

“Dan -actually I was quoting you. We spent a full drunken evening discussing the finer points of her utter whorishness and general elligibility for bitch of the century – or has your memory finally been addled by all the booze?”

“Yeah well I was angry – I needed to vent, you know.”

I sighed, already knowing the answer to the question I was just about to ask

“So what’s going on?”

He darted his eyes down and started concentrating very hard at turning a beer mat on the table,

“Well, we’re kind of, sort of… seeing each other again.”

“Since when?”

“Since a couple of weeks”

“Well why the fuck didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I knew you’d react like this”

I couldn’t help it – I sighed again – hating myself for sounding so bloody didactic.

“Oh Dan”

A fat smelly silence fell between the two of us.

“Well look, no actually, I don’t think its great news – I think she treated you incredibly badly – and I don’t trust her for a second not to do it again. And – and I…”

and I love you and I would do anything for you and the thought of you with someone else makes me feel sick to the very base of my stomach…

“and I … well its bloody embarrassing – I spent an evening bitching about her and telling you about how much I never liked her and now she’s, she’s what  – your girlfriend?”


“And she’s not seeing that, that – what was his name?”


“She’s not seeing Jeremy anymore?”


“Right. Well – good.”

A longer pause.

“And you’re happy?”

He suddenly grinned like an overexcited school boy.

“Yeah – god yeah Mags – I don’t want to jinx it after last time but I’m, I’m so happy. You know how long I’ve liked her. She’s such a fucking force of nature, she’s so sparky and alive and confident and beautiful – I mean GOD she’s beautiful – isn’t she beautiful?”

A leaden tone of acceptance now settled itself into my voice.

“Yep – she’s beautiful”

“And I know you probably hate her right now, but she’s such a gorgeous girl and when you get to know her properly I just know you’ll love her too – I know you will. You and me are too alike – we feel the same about everything”

Oh dear Dan if only you realised how far that was from being the truth. 

I forced a smile.

“If you’re happy then I’m happy. I mean it, I’m really happy for you”

A realisation dawned.

“But if you’re back together then why am I here and not her – surely you’d rather have a weekend long shagathon with her?”

“Maggie – I’m not a complete wanker – I’d already asked you and well – I didn’t want to mess you around”

Thanks Dan – thanks for nothing

“Plus you’d already bought your train ticket…”

So that conversation pretty much tells you all you need to know about my much hyped weekend away. Even my palest tamest hopes were blown out of the water. Dan spent pretty much the entire time surgically attached to his phone and I just let him get on with it, too flattened to exhibit any kind of indignation at the fact he’d dragged me up to Scotland at my own expense to twiddle my thumbs whilst he was making sweet love to an iphone. The wedding was fine (it was one of Dan’s old school friends) but to be honest watching two people tie the knot was the last thing I felt like doing with my heart as heavy as it was.

God I’m such a fool.

There was I bankrupting myself on a pretty dress to impress Dan and whiling a week away fantasising about all the quasi romantic moments we were set to have together whilst he was loved up with another girl, irritated that he had to bring someone else on his romantic weekend away out of a misplaced sense of duty.

Needless to say – any plans to tell him how I felt catapulted themselves out of the nearest window. I couldn’t handle feeling any more stupid than I already did.

This weekend did make something clear however. I can’t go on feeling like this. Loving Dan has broken my heart over and over again. Very obviously it’s not his fault – a combination of my fear and my lack of confidence has kept me trapped in this unloved symbiosis for far too long. So I’m going to do something about it.

I’m just not altogether sure what that is yet…

Any words of wisdom would be great.

M xx

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Scotlands calling


Oh dear god I’m excited. I can bearly write I’m so distracted by deep coursing wonderful fantasties of what this weekend could bring.

In less than twenty four hours I will be on a train with my favourite person in the whole universe ready to tear up the country to beautiful beautiful Edinburgh where we spend two whole nights cohabiting a four star double bed.

A Scottish wedding weekend with Dan – what could be more perfect?

The anticipation is so great that I actually feel a little nervous about meeting him tomorrow. I’m scared that I’ll get some weird version of first date nerves – that I’ll get all tounge tied and stupid mouthed and lose all the scathing wit he loves me for…

But that is silly, really silly, because this is not a first date – not by any stretch of the imagination. This weekend is a platonic expedition where, yes fun and japes may be had, but any kind of hope of romance is to be expelled at all costs.

I have been on severe damage limitation thought police duty all week. Unless I’m strict my wandering mind takes full license to wander in to delicious fantasies of Dan telling me he wanted me to come to Scotland with him to get a chance to tell me how he feels, of a cool moonlit walk down the burg’s winding streets, hand in hand followed by meaningful look and a fall into each other arms in a passionate embrace. A long sunday climb up to Arthurs seat where Dan would sit me down where Arties arse was once at, kneel before me and …..

Whoooaaaah. See I’m a bloody liability.

None of this is going to happen. I know this only with the certainty that five years of being embroiled in the ups and downs of this unrequited love affair can bring.

However I am flirting with another dangerous possibility. The possibility of being honest with my best friend. There’s a revolutionary thought. My love for Dan is bittersweet – a warm blanket to wrap myself up in, and a tormentor that continually scratches away at my warmest and gooiest insides. The tormentor wreaks much more havoc than the blanket could ever soothe so all in all the balance needs to be addressed. I’m terrified with admitting the truth of my feelings to Dan in case I lose his friendship – but his friendship is also the very thing that’s pulling me apart.

So I should tell him. I know that’s the sensible option – the good, mature option. But up till now I’ve been too scared.

But I’ve decided that I will do it. This weekend. If it feels right.

Oh god.

Wish me luck.

M xxx

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Charity’s a-calling

happy phone workers_edited-1

So my worst ever job…

My employment history has been at times humiliating, belittling and downright dirty, so it’s the title of ‘worst ever’ is surprisingly hard to give. But the out and out winner goes to the one that sucked my very soul dry.

I’d recently finished a long acting contract (aaaaaaaaaah what a lovely combination of words those are), and was too busy floating on the ‘I’m a professional actor now and I will never have to bore my days away in a call centre again’ cloud to notice my bank account depleting into the dangerously undernourished stakes. Thankfully I pulled myself out of my prideful nosedive just in time and started a frantic search for work, any work. The only real lead I found was an ominous notice in the back of ‘The Stage’ asking for actors in search of work to call a number and leave a message about themselves. It turned out to be a voice vetting process for a – you guessed it – call centre.

They called me in for an interview and to my distinct horror (given my previous post about the inglorious charity muggers) I discovered the centre was effectively a respite for weather weary chuggers. They were the people that interrupt a good episode of Corrie with a shrill ring then a story of death and despair to make you hand out promises of money to a charity whose name you can’t even remember by the time you’ve hung up (no cheery tabards here to remind you)

So I was forced with a dilemma. Did I become one of the people I’d spent a good proportion of my street walking life loathing, or did I face starvation/eviction/a journey back to live with my mother in the grim North at the age of 27. My scruples were dashed against the rock hard wall of the very real reality of an empty bank account. Of course.

At first it didn’t seem too bad. Lots of like minded souls rocked up to the training session – they all wore the same expression of looking like they’d plumped for a self ordered lobotomy rather than an eight hour shift in headphones. The glassy eyed supervisor running our initiation painted it like it was a worthy job – she threw out loads of impressive statistics about how successful this kind of fundraising had been for their charities. They wanted good success rates – but they didn’t offer bonuses as they didn’t think that was appropriate within a charity (hear hear) but if you did hit your targets you could go home early. Excellent.

Then there was a white board and lots of impressive diagrams and the ‘strategy talk’. The strategy this call centre used for all of its many charities that it worked for was a tried and tested three step sales techniques. But what does a charity sell? Well our trusty supervisor picked up her marker and wrote our main commodity in large caps bang in the middle of the board.


Though of course this isn’t entirely accurate – we were selling a relief from guilt – a guilt they weren’t aware they carried until  five minutes ago when that telephone rang and their favourite soap was interrupted.

The strategy went like this:

ICEBREAKER – be hugely friendly and engaging – try and get a ‘in’ with the subject – find a common ground, ask about their day.

THE GUILT STORY – spin a yarn (all usefully written for you in a carefully constructed story arc that is engineered to have the greatest emotive impact) of great sadness, loss and inequality – all intricately underlaced with the strong insinuation that the person listening is downright evil for deigning to exist in such different and disgustingly over privileged circumstances.

THE FIRST ASK – go in with a request for ridiculous sum of money

‘Did you know that for fifty pounds a month you would save 50 wild pandas and a didgerdedoo… would you be help us out with that??????’

THE SECOND ASK – when they swallow their own tongue in shock at your audacity for asking for a guarentee of £600 a year in the worst recession in modern times for a charity they’d never heard of you seamlessly glide in with a significantly lower ask

‘Oh of course Mrs Jones – I quite understand that would seem like a large sum of money for some people, but did you know that for just £10 a month you could cure cancer and bring the dodo back from extinction????

THE THIRD ASK – you hear a pause – this is a much more manageable sum of money – why they could afford that – but hang on what do they care for extinct birds – and who is this creepy person asking them for money… before they hang up with a thanks but no thanks you grapple in with the most pathetically pleading voice that you could muster…

‘Oh Mrs Jones – I quite understand, these are hard times after all, but did you know that it is sometimes the smallest amounts that make the biggest difference [Note the sheer ridiculousness of this lie is astounding]… Did you know that for just three pounds a month – the price of magazine, or a coffee, or half a lager – you could give an amputated orphan the groundbreaking surgery he needs to regrow his limbs

And with that the sound of walls crumbling deafens you down your headset as your unsuspecting subject caves and rushes for her bank card.

Easy right?

Then came the hard nosed part of the training session – this ain’t no easy street of employement. Don’t make your targets that week and you’re out. Fired. Shot down. Back under poverty’s cold shadow. Well that seems fair, I thought, it’s the charity’s money that’s paying my wages after all, and why should they bank roll freeloaders – I’ll be fine – it can’t be that hard.

I was right. It wasn’t hard. It was impossible.

I’ve always been rubbish asking people for money. I’ve left numerous jobs underpaid or unpaid over the years as I get too embarrassed to chase and demand remuneration. Its ridiculous and frightfully English of me but its a character attribute i’ve come to recognise and accept. I don’t have any money balls.

So why on earth I thought I could hack it at this job is beyond me.

I was totally shit. The people on the other end of the phone could hear the apology in my smiling voice, could smell the self loathing creeping down their phone wire. I couldn’t ensnare the buggers for love nor money. I stared in wonder as around me all my fellow phone chuggers swept in for the kill on the third ask and captured bank details and left work early – while I was left getting progressively more panicky that I wouldn’t have a job at the end of the week which just added an extra unattractive smear of desperation to my voice.  The supervisors – who would routinely and slightly sinisterly listen in on your phone calls were full of advice at first, but their patience rapidly depleated:

You didn’t sound pleading enough in the third ask

You’ve got to make them feel more guilty

How can you be so bad at this? Anyone can do it?

Now, without sounding like an arrogant bugger, I’m not used to being really crap at something. Well apart from my ability to have a successful acting career and love life – but those are hardly important things now are they? But in all those really important, life affirming filler jobs I would  took pride in doing them odiously well. The fact I just out and out couldn’t do this was strangely alarming. Every hour I spent plugged into my phone, hating the sound of my own voice and dreading a telling off from some eavesdropping jobs worth was a living hell.

But the crowning glory of this job – and why it became the worst job EVER was in its final moments.

I was on a phone to an ancient sounding Scottish granny by the name of Mrs McNuir. It was an ‘upgrade’ call for a cancer charity – which meant that dear Mrs McNuir was already giving £5 a month but we were phoning to see if I could guilt her out of just that little bit more… I’d been having a fairly shocking session and so far all I’d managed was to have five people revoke their previous donations (which they’d totally forgotten they’d ever agreed to). Now Mrs McNuir was a old darling – and I’m not going to lie – I thought I was on to a winner. There were lots of concillatory sighs and even a ‘och the poor thing’ at a crucial moment in my story telling. I was getting excited – I could almost see the magical bank account digits in front of me… then I got to my first ask – which was a increase of £20 a month. There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.

“Och my dear, you’re breakin’ my heart. I wish I could gi’ more, I do. I dearly wish I could. But I can barely afford what I do give. You see my husband died last year so money’s a wee bit tight, and I’ve been havin’ a bad time of it meself recently, I’ve just had a double masectomy but I’ve been told they’ve not got all the cancer so it looks like I won’t be around for too much longer, and I’m in a wheelchair now, and its just a state pension I’m on and I’m needing every last penny. I’m so sorry – you sound like such a lovely lass and I wish I could help out more…”

It was my turn to pause.

What the fuck did I say to that?

“Oh Mrs McNuir. Of course – of course you can’t give any more – you’re amazing for giving anything at all. I’m so sorry for  everything you’ve been through…”

and with various mumbled thank yous and sorrys I rung off the phone.

Thirty seconds later and an icy sounding voice cut over my shoulder… the dreaded supervisor.

Her: “What was that?”

Me: “What?”

Her: “You only did one ask – you know it’s policy to go through all three – you could have got an extra £3 a week from her.”

Me: (a look of total disbelief plastered on my face)” She. was. dying.”

Her: “Well then there was the perfect opportunity to talk about legacies.”

And that was it. I was done. No witty retorts or proud exits that time, my soul felt too tired and used out. Without a word I reached down grabbed my bag and slumped towards the door, head bowed.

Her: “Where are you going?”

Me: “Home.”

And I did. And yes they were a very scary few weeks that followed and I practically packed a bag in preparation for a forced move back home at the age of 27, but I didn’t care. Some parts of yourself shouldn’t be sold off for a paltry paycheck.

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