3.9 Making out in Mayfair.

Mayfair – you know – that very expensive blue part of the monopoly board neighboring the pretty Park Lane and ‘GO’ (home) which is where the Community Chest and Chance cards hell Kelly and I should have been going. But no. We were a Friday night of speed dating done and a Covent-drunken-Garden dinner down, when Kelly decided to the fancy blue part of the board we go.

You only end up in that part of town when you’re 14 wines to the red because there’s a fat-flying-foie-gra chance you’d think you could afford it in your single, sober days of sucky life. As you walk past the stacks of red Ferraris you take a moment to pretend you could so have this Sloane Square style of life.

Kelly’s Ferrari owning friends are already in Whiskey Mist – Ya huh. Even the bar names here are fake as plastic houses – no Jack Daniels Spray to be had. My wobbling ankles and slurs of ‘mini cab’ weren’t deterring the massive bouncers for a second. Kelly drops a few names and we’re waved past the glaring hordes of simpletons while I glassy eyed stare back Kelly coat checks and leads us to her champagne-full-of-fancy-friends.

I happily ‘parked’ on a couch with my flailing limbs and unco arms and watch the dancing lights reflecting in the gigantic silver champagne buckets and fobb off the overly friendly cigarette stench of a man next to me. Eventually his nicotine advances became too much and I was forced to fumblingly find Kelly on the dancefloor. The ceiling was low enough for swaying me to hold onto the ceiling beams and close my eyes and enjoy the sweet smell of non nicotine and expensive London sweat and Chandon. Then a man enveloped the small of my back, the back of my head and pulled me into him and gave me the deepest, gentle yet forceful kiss of my not-30-yet life. I pulled back, stared up at this tall, handsome-hands-on crisp white shirted Englishman (I’m guessing here as his teeth looked just fine) and promptly pulled him straight back in.

It was stupidly fun making out in Mayfair with a guy I hadn’t even eye-banged yet his tongue was down my throat, his hands were around my silver Calvin Klein dress tight as a shrunken wool glove, and I just never wanted it to end. He was my new drunken support beam, it was amazing how quickly I started to sober up.

Soon enough we getting quite wall and tongue slamming-ly outrageous enough for Kelly to comment the next day “I’ve never seen people kiss like that except in the movies” or enough Merlot and Mumm in Mayfair as myself and a complete stranger proved that night.

Kelly’s friends at this point were silently screaming and loudly pointing in stupid awe and telling Kelly to make sure I was ok. Kelly quickly spotted and joined my make-out mans friends with the buckets of Verve and investment banking wins but not before taking a tonne of snaps to pull out for our children at dinner parties in 20 years time.

Kelly urged me to get his number as those night club lights turned from dark to hang-on-who-have-been-making-out–with dim. But I argued ‘No’. It was a Whiskey-Mist moment, it was a Mayfair make out, he was just another man on that monopoly board of life.


2.8 I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days.

I can’t speak to my boyfriend for ten days and no we’re not doing some new-wave couples therapy – Cripes! It’s only been 3 months, 25 days, 12 hours and 3 minutes. It’s just that he’s in Africa.

So that means no emails, no texts, no Whatsapp, no Twitter, no Instagram, no nothing. In fact the only bullet point listed under the ‘communication’ tab on the website of his accommodation was “satellite phone in emergency” and I’m thinking sending your girlfriend an emoticon of an eggplant doesn’t really count as an emergency (not that he’d ever send that).

This is the only bad thing about dating a travel writer. (No really, that’s it) This is the longest we’ve not had contact since the four months before we even met. It sucks. I’m not going to lie, yesterday I was moping around like an emo-riffic teenager. Little Miss Hrumpf at everything. Of course I want my coffee black, salad if it comes in black too thanks. Today is better, I’m busying myself with powerpoints, work and what-not and that’s what Wednesday’s are for right?

In what situation these days do we ever have to go ten days without some form of communication though? Sure Dad goes on fishing trips for five days and I know some of you have husbands that work on the mines and all that catching up on “Australia’s Next Top Model” and re-arranging his sock drawer is fun for the first fourteen seconds. But you still have that option to call at the end of the day or on your lunch break if you really need to know where that hammer is. Which you shouldn’t have to do anyway – as you’re a woman and finding things you’re not supposed to is easier than CIA child’s play.

I’ve got ways to deal with the impending nine more days of staring at my phone waiting for it to breathe life in the form of text from another latitude of this world: There’s that $200 worth of fabric I bought at Lincraft to make a skirting-start on, there’s that thing you do Monday to Friday called work, there’s that Tan track I live right near to run around. But after all that sewing, working and running all I want to do is send or receive a message to or from the boyfriend and I can’t! Hrumpf.

This makes me worry how addicted I’ve become to my phone, or to the communication or to social media – or to the whole she-twitter-book-bang? I’ve really cut back my Facebook usage since being back in Australia – I can see my friends at lunch, hear about their hangovers and see their new haircuts in person. And I don’t need to be posting 14,000 pics of myself because a) I’m not travelling so it’s not very exciting and b) I’m not posting pics of bars in Melbourne – that’s boring (and secret). It’s more fun to laugh at people from Sydney trying to find them. (Yes down that alley and through the nondescript door) So maybe my love-stalk-affair with Facebook really has worn off.

I keep reading articles saying to get off Facebook because it’s making you jealous, fat and miserable with your life. Oh Facebook-effing-please. I feel like that walking around on my lunch break and not just from eating $15 worth of sushi because goddamn I missed it so much the last two we-don’t-have-sushi-years-in-London. There’s enough skinny, well dressed, made up to high-heeled heaven women wondering the streets to make me feel frumpy without Facebook enough.

So when it comes to all this jealousy and cursing the skinny people who are meant to be your 648 ‘friends’ on Facebook, clearly I’m a little weird because seeing ‘friends’ on sailboats in Croatia and climbing mountains in Switzerland spurred me on as I was never much the traveller and seeing these pretty pictures on Facebook gave me a kick up the get-out-there-and-do-it-yourself-butt. Though I can’t really say all those babies on my news-feed are doing the same thing for me… yet.

So I’m down to eight point five days now of zero boyfriend communication and I’m keeping busy with insta-whatsapp-tweeting-the-crap out of every friend-and-thing-I-have. As I figure while my boyfriend can’t Instagram photos of what he’s eating, someone’s got to pick up the pancake slack. Till then I’ll telepathically tell him I miss him and to hurry up and use that satellite phone for an emoticon emergency.


2.7 Over-protective friend or you fool he likes you!

I walked out of Barons Court station with a disgusto cold having left work early when I looked up and saw Matt. “MATT! MATT!!” I shouted. Matt was a good friend from uni that I hadn’t spotted since Melbourne was now standing right in front of me top side of the world 7,893,289,213 miles away from the land of Kangaroos.

After a few, “What the hell are you doing here? Which visa? Work… Uh huhs and I have a cold I’m not usually this puffy faced and ugly” we switched numbers and said, yeah, of course we’d hang out.

I was longing to go to Fabric (a famous club in London that plays Drum & Bass), having wanted to since I was 19, and no-one, absolutely no-one, would go with me. Matt, being from Perth and understanding D&B, was totally keen – but he warned drinks at Farbic were expensive so we needed to pre-load.

Saturday approached, Smirnoff was on sale and we got stuck into a bottle at my house before we tubed it up to Farringdon station and in we went. It was smaller and dingier than I expected, but nonetheless it was Fabric and we were in  (albeit 12 years past my wanted-to-go-date but I was super excited about it without any air of cool).

We got drinks and danced to Andy C, while with me wearing a tiny black dress teamed with some throwaway shoes (never, ever wear shoes you want to see again to Fabric) I was attracting attention from the male variety. Matt started to get a bit of a shitty/annoyed/grumpy/not dancing/just glaring type vibe going on. Until 14 more vodkas, toilet trips and dudes trying to chat to me later he lost his shit at me and said he was leaving. After a few minutes trying to shout over music and appease him I let him go with, “That’s fine, you leave but can I have my cloak room ticket please?” He replied with, “I can’t remember which tickets was yours.” And he turned around and lost himself in the crowd. RIGHTO. Cheers mate. Huge club in London, on my own, drunk, it’s 2 degrees outside, and now I have no coat. So I got another drink and kept on dancing – The music was incredible and I’d figure out what to do later. Alcohol – it really does make all your worries go away. And no I wasn’t paying 5 million pounds for a cab home – this is London, we wait till the tube starts again to get home around here.

And then, about 2.5 hours later at 4AM, Matt appeared in front of me again – in a creepy horror movie standing there glaring way. He seemed quite simmered down and said (again) he wanted to go. I smiled and said cool – let’s go get in the 400+ coming-down-off-pills-people line and wait for our jackets. He handed me ‘my’ ticket without a second glace. Hmm I’m putting two and two together now – the vodka’s starting to wear off.

We got to the Tube station and I expected him to get his line home until he came out with, “Oh but I left my house keys at your house…”  Me: “Erm, why?” Blank stares all round. Left his keys at my house – Oh how convenient. I was not happy about this. Sure enough we get home he finds his keys and he tries it on.

Oh, I hear you all – you think I’m playing this boy like a vodka-violin and he’s just so lost and confused right now. And I’ve been him giving the wrong signals all night? Believe me when I say I wasn’t. If I was smiling like a puppy dog about his keys being left at my house or paying attention to him all night rather than every tall man at Fabric then sure that’s green-lights-go for any guy. But when you’re friends and they’ve got some warped idea because you’re in Lundun it’s hookup time it makes me really mad. (This a wasn’t first-time occurrence with an Aussie-fella-friend since being top side of the hemispheres.) Do I strike off every guy friend that gives me a flirty look or touches my arm a bit too much when we’re drunk? It sucks when you have a good guy friend that’s suffering the fresh-off-the-boat, thinking-with-his-pants syndrome that never reared its kangaroo head in the land of Aus.

If a guy is good enough friends with you and got some guts of his own, he might want to broach the subject prior to all the misunderstood above. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone? Guess that’s really laying your heart of cards out of the table and not too many of them are up for all that.

I spotted Matt a year later walking down Clapham high street while I was dressed as a playboy bunny en-route to The Church – not actual church, but that revolting bar Aussies go to to drink beer, flash and throw up on each other. I only did one of those. He waved and shouted hello I shouted back, “Hiiiii” and gave a bunny ear flick back and hopped away.


2.6 Be careful – friends, they’re everywhere.

My Dad always told me, “You’ll never make as good friends as you did when you were in high school.” Well, I beg to differ Dad. At high school I was the weird, Triple j loving, dying my hair black, can everyone leave me alone please, what-everyone-was-before-emo teen who wasn’t exactly rolling high in the friend stakes.

I grew up in the country and moved to the big smoke – cough, Perth – at 17 and I had to make new friends. It was a make or break-wine-bottles-on-your-own type thing and I ended up at a male-dominated tertiary college with the strangest smattering of dudes and dudey-type girls who wore corduroy pants for friends. Never mind that, country kids work with what they’ve got.

Then came the Melbourne shift – paging Teknoscape (our all important Perth dance music discussion forum) and any other drum and bass brave soul who’d made the move from Perth. Luckily through those drunk chats at Heat nightclub I’d found at least one girlfriend to do tequila shots with and lose in Brown Alley. (No really, there is a Brown Alley in this city – no innuendos there.) Then came a break-up in a city where I knew no one and it was my colleagues who stepped up. Well, I forced them to be my friendlings and listen to my West Coast whinging: “Where the hell do I buy Redken in this city? And what is the point of hook turns besides a t-bone car crash? And we call them lacky bands and placky bags and it’s polony not devon! You Melbourne morons.” Just kidding muffin-top-Melbourne, and I love your fluoro green tram handles.

So I’d made a nice little niche of friends in Melbourne and what did I do? I threw them all out the tram window to live to a city I’d never been to. Go Team London. I lived with, worked with, shared copious Tim tam tears with and patted drunk hair with some of my now closest and most amazing friends in that miserable, grey excuse for such a fantastic city.

Sarah and poor Gordon were all too familiar with me still in last night’s dress and sms-ing them while screaming down the three flights of London sharehouse stairs to tell them about my night and boys and desire for greasy bacon. I would never have bumped into these guys twice living in Aus but living under our same fox-intruding, fake-rat-hiding, bottles-of-wine-consuming, Hutch roof, these friendships were made to last. (Yes, the housemate in the loft was really called Hutch)

I have friends, and I’m on the outskirts of girls who have known their friends since high school, and sometimes I am zapped with a teenie bit of jealousy when I see their matching necklaces and them being bridesmaid after bridesmaid at all their weddings and wonder… What would that really be like? I’ve never had the option and telling me that my only friends have to be the ones from high school is like telling me I can only have the iPhone3 for the rest of my life. No.

I love the friends I’ve met and made since leaving high school – the array of backgrounds, the crazy, and the countries they come from and the fact we get along better than a Facebook and a stalk makes me glad I didn’t take Dad’s words to be final. But to those I met in my Beeverloop-shirt-wearing days, I love that we can catch up 17 years on and pretend that vomiting in your backyard after the school ball never happened.


1.3 Put all your eggs in one basket – but don’t count your Holly’s before they hatch.

If I had a pound for every time my friend Holly told me “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I’d have twenty three pounds. Which is at least two H&M scarves I could have cried my tears into when my basket turned up empty. That’s cryptic-lady-speak for: I liked a guy way too much and it didn’t work out.

We’ve all looked forward to something or someone once in our life. Whether it’s that date on Friday night – hurry up Tuesday, you’re taking forever! Or you’re brimming with egg-citement over that guy at work you’ve been flirting up a storm with and can’t wait to see if he wants to fertilise your… err lawn.

So I put all my eggs in the one basket: his. I didn’t devote any time or attention to anyone else because I was just way too into him. You’re shaking your clucky head? Hmm, well I know it’s not just me. I have hard-boiled-heart-broken evidence that others do it too, not only love-boat-day-dreaming nutcases like me.

This ‘eggs in baskets’ sounds a lot easier to do in a financial sense, spread your money around. Easy – I can date more than two credit card institutions at once – trust me. But when it comes to dating more than one guy at once, I’m a total guilty wreck. I know it’s a tried and tested rule – date multiple guys so you don’t go cuckoo over one in particular. But that’s impossible for me to separate my yolks like that. I can’t like one guy and date another for the sake of not having too many eggs in the one basket that I really like. I’m clearly a one-basket-kind of girl and if I lose all my eggs in that one basket, well so be it. There’s plenty more hens in the ocean.

I did heed the warning, really I did. But it’s hard to contain your excitement and thoughts when you’re really into someone. I think harder for girls and this is where we get our heads and hearts scrambled, or we totally scare the guy off. Clearly men are better at hiding this, or diverting their attention to egg-white-protein-powder, sports and FHM models.

As Mother-Hen-Holly later pointed out “Sometimes you have to throw them all in the basket and take the risk.” And I’ll add to that; If you don’t ever throw all your eggs in one basket with free-range-reckless-abandon – how will you know what you’re missing out? Could be the best thing of your mother-clucking life.

Edit – image for Holly: