|The talented Miss Clarkson: Seeing her play was one of my favourite moments of the year.|
Incidentally, I once took this very photo to a hairdresser to show them what I
wanted, but I somehow ended up with a mullet instead. Not that I'm bitter.
So, it's the end of 2010...here are some of my personal highlights...
- Getting into a sold-out gig (Imelda May) and then deciding afterwards that it wasn’t worth going home, especially when work had foolishly given me keys so I could open up in the morning. It seemed serendipitous that I had just bought a new dress, so after an uncomfortable night curled up under my desk, I was able to appear fresh-faced (thanks to makeup samples from the Boots on Carnaby street that opens at 8am) and in different clothes from the day before. The perfect crime.
- Dressing up as a schoolgirl for a School disco event and inadvertently popping my shirt buttons open within the first ten minutes. When I expressed horror that I had been flashing my bra to all and sundry for the entire evening, my friend Alicia helpfully explained ”I thought you were just going for a slutty schoolgirl look!” So that's my official line, if anyone asks.
- Having a great time at a Kelly Clarkson concert and then going on holiday immediately afterwards (when your flight is a 6am, it’s hardly worth going to bed...) thus “enjoying” a 36 hour day. (Actually, I’ve done this before, and became so tired that even though my friends were speaking English, I couldn’t understand the words. Sad, really.)
- Working at the Chelsea flower show, seeing the Queen, and discovering that Alan Titchmarsh is a very lovely person, and strangely sexy too.
- Accidentally drugging my family with homemade lavender ice cream. (I come from a long line of cooking rebels who rarely follow recipes to the letter, and may have overdone this soporific ingredient.) I thought “A quarter of a cup of lavender? That’s not very much! Five minutes to steep? That’s not very long!” After eating, we were all suddenly overtaken with fatigue... (Other kitchen mishaps involve setting off a small fire inside the microwave... when you’re trying to soften butter that you forgot to leave at room temperature, make sure you peel all the paper off first, that’s all I can say. Otherwise you will be eating smoky flavoured toast for weeks.)
- Camping for a wedding, which meant having to emerge from my tiny (2 midget) tent in full evening dress. After the reception ended at midnight, I got changed into my pyjamas before realising that actually, people weren’t going to bed yet. So I socialised with people who were still in their wedding outfits while I was in my pyjamas, an oddly liberating and dreamlike experience.
- Possibly sounding a little bit like a paedophile to a roomful of fellow travellers in a hostel room. After spending a week house-sitting and sleeping in the youngest child’s room, I confessed to my friend “I‘m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.. that little boy’s bed was uncomfortable...” and then laughing manically for a full two minutes as I realised the possible confusion this could cause.
- Actually, I’m sort of proud of this one. I went down the red carpet at a film premiere in my jeans. (In fact, the outfit I’d worn all day for pottering around the house in.) When a friend asked if I wanted to go to a “screening”, I didn’t know it would be a glamorous, celebrity-ridden affair (actually, it was only Katherine Heigl and a couple of people from Hollyoaks). Surprisingly, no reporters cared to enquire who this bohemian, insouciant young starlet was. How odd.
- At a friend’s house, we heard an “Oy! You up there!” from a male voice below the window. A toy tiger sitting on the windowsill was volunteered to peer out inquisitively.... all fun and games until we realised that the voice belonged to a policeman, who had heard our music and thought we were squatters. (I don’t know why.)
- I had a second winter holiday (I hadn’t actually been abroad since my year-long travelling escapades five years ago, so I felt justified) spending a week in Spain with my friend Jasmine. We may have been a little irresponsible letting the local stray cats into our apartment to sleep on our beds, but it’s hardly less hygienic than what some people do with stray people they find in the pub. Getting trapped at the airport all day because Gatwick was shut due to snow? All part of the fun.
- Working as a costume designer, I had my own assistant for the very first time – how exciting! She was a lovely girl, and kindly offered to give me a lift home. Unfortunately she drove like a freaking maniac. As the car filled with pounding bass and cigarette smoke, I realised this stomach-lurching feeling was oddly familiar. Lightheaded, I realised that it was uncannily like being on a fairground ride. But I survived and so did she; a highlight of the year, indeed.
- Other film shoots vivid in my memory: the occasion I was driving myself between various locations and got lost twice. When I did find the others an hour later, my first action was to blow up the kettle. Oops! Honourable mention must also go to the childrenswear ad which involved 8 children with 3 outfits each, in the space of one morning, with the only instruction from the director being “Good luck”.
- Finally, I was an extra in a film I was costume designing. My tip for the day? Never believe a director who tells you “You won’t have any lines... well, if you do, it’ll be part of the crowd scene, nobody’s going to hear you.” Cue me and one other person, who happened to be the main actor, being the only ones talking while a roomful of crew watched. Mortifying, and no actor’s fee either!
I wonder what 2011 will bring...? Have a good one y'all!