Jumping out of cakes and so on…

Thursday 10th May 2012

Hello again!

Must be time for another scintillating update from Maya!

Let me see, since I last wrote, I have been on a wee holiday to the US to surprise my friend E and attend another friend (Suzie’s) wedding, which was lovely! Saw some very beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and discovered that lasagna takes twice as long to cook at higher altitude! Then I drove a big truck on the wrong side of the road in Dallas, got a pedicure and attended a wonderful and unique wedding! I also briefly became the Bride-Whisperer and my main duties included keeping the bride sane (which mostly involved topping up her rum and coke) while distracting her tee-total mother with questions about punch, chicken salad and the correct way to drape organza!…


It was all great fun, although slightly marred by my epic journey home.
The short version involved my hotel alarm clock failing to go off – cue me waking up 10 mins before the airport shuttle bus was due to leave, my flight getting delayed and then cancelled, rebooked via Chicago but leaving from a different airport, resulting in a comedy mad-dash in a taxi across Dallas at high speed. Then there was weather, more delays, total lack of vegetarian food due to repeated ticket changes, and finally, as we came in view of the Irish coast, the message over the tannoy asking in an extremely forced calm voice, “Is there a doctor on board the plane? Or a firefighter?”.
Thankfully we landed safely in Heathrow and I never needed to know why a doctor or firefighter might be required!

In other news, my flatmate G, who moved in just after Christmas, has turned out to be incredibly sexist and, after 4 months, I have given him his notice to move out.
G is 26, Greek, works in marketing and is obsessed with money. He asked if he could see the title deed to my house when he first moved in. I thought that was weird, but showed it to him anyway. He later commented that it was unusual for a woman to own property without a husband or father, and he hadn’t believed me that I owned the house by myself until I showed him the deeds!

He thinks that women who get divorced don’t love their children, because if you did, you would stay married no matter how shitty the marriage might be. (He remained oddly silent on the topic of men who leave their wives…). He also informed me that women my age don’t make good mothers, because we aren’t willing to sacrifice things the way his mother was, and we think we can still have jobs, and go out and drink alcohol etc.
G apparently has not yet been introduced to the 21st century, nor the concept of equal rights, feminism or common sense.

Then his mother came to stay with us…..

She was terribly nice and barely spoke a word of English. Although G and I had cleaned the house from top to bottom before she arrived, she took great pleasure in cleaning and cooking for us (well, for G anyway. She didn’t believe in vegetarian food, and kept trying to make me eat her chicken). She even brought her own pair of pink rubber gloves and a selection of cleaning products with her!

I stifled a grin as I tried to imagine the response that would evoke from my sister-in-law if my mother showed up to visit her son and brought her own pair of rubber gloves!
G on the other hand was thrilled, and spent 10 days revelling in the fact that he didn’t need to make his bed, do any washing up, or pick up his own clothes as long as his mother was around. He regressed with gleeful teenage abandon to the point at which I thought his mum might start cutting up his food for him…

Anyhoo, she was terribly nice, and in fairness my house was sparkling by the time she left. She also ironed my laundry one day while I was at work, including my underwear, which I found rather disconcerting, but it was an extremely kind gesture!

In other news, my adventures in internet dating have stalled after date number 3.
20 minutes into our date, he was telling me about a documentary he had recently watched about a muslim community in Luton, and said “I’m not racist but…”.

This was my first warning flare, as we all know that very few sentences starting with that line are going to end well!
He then continued “I’m not racist but, I did find myself siding with the white supremacists”.
Nuff said. Cheque please…..

I have also been slightly alarmed by how many people have messaged me on the website saying things like “I hope it doesn’t put you off that I am married” and/or “I’m in a loving, committed relationship but am looking for a bit of fun on the side”. Don’t worry, I don’t respond to those ones, but I can’t help but wonder exactly how these men are defining “loving committed relationship”….

I have also been contacted by a very peculiar man in his 60’s, into “sexperimentation” who, in his first ever message to me, said that if I wasn’t comfortable being naked in front of people, then I was repressed and there was something wrong with me! Aside from the outrageous rudeness, I couldn’t help wondering how many “people” he was intending!

I also recently attended a 30th birthday party for a good friend of mine from my Uni days. It was a fantastic reunion with all my old flatmates who I haven’t seen for ages! It was so nice to see everyone, and a bit shocking to realise how grown-up we all are suddenly! One of my friends is now a prosecutor in Edinburgh (now THAT’S a proper grown-up job!), and gets to say things like “I put it to you, sir…” all day. My other uni flatmates are now respectively an MD, consultant, and well, the other one can’t actually tell us what he does (it’s classified), but he works in Cheltenham, in the big donut-shaped building with the massive satellite dish outside….

We had a good old catch-up, drank lots, danced like loons and then crept upstairs to bed at about midnight like the old people that we are while the party raged on downstairs until around 3 or 4am!

Hmmm, what else? I have been attempting to train my cat Cleo how to use her new cat flap with very little success.
When I first installed it, I was advised to keep it taped open for a couple of days so that she could get used to going in and out whenever she wants. She was happily hopping in and out the first day, but on the morning of the second day, things went pear-shaped…
I came downstairs and was plugging in my computer when I saw her out of the corner of my eye hop up onto the couch. Then I saw her out of the corner of the other eye pacing anxiously in the doorway on the opposite side of the room. Cue my epic double take before I realised there was a massive black cat on my couch that wasn’t mine!
Cleo was useless, she hid behind the couch, waited for me to evict the intruder, and hasn’t gone near the cat flap since!

I then untaped the cat flap, and moved her litterbox outside. She retaliated by holding it all in for 2 days and then went all over the carpet. I picked her up and showed it to her, nose first, and explained how naughty she had been, and then she ran away and hid again. I felt horrible and guilty for being so mean and she slunk around for hours afterwards looking at me forlornly with her big doleful eyes….

I started putting her food outside the door so that she has to use the cat flap to go outside and eat, but other than that she won’t go out at all (even though she used to be an outdoor cat at her previous owner’s house!). The constant rain we’ve had all month hasn’t helped and she has left me several more presents on the carpet for no apparent reason since then. Apparently she’s too much of a princess to wee outside in the rain, and I am becoming better at shouting and shoving her nose in it as a deterrent…
I do have a slight concern that it may be another cat coming in at night and poohing on my carpet just to mess with me, but without infrared CCTV it would be impossible to confirm my suspicions….


Since I started writing this email several weeks ago, even more fun stuff has happened!

Firstly, the cat has started going to the toilet outside! Hooray! The celebrations have begun, although I was away last weekend lavishing all my love and attention on my gorgeous niece  and have come home to find Cleo needy and insecure. I am now trying to convince her that I love her nearly as much as my nieces and nephews, as she’s clearly got abandonment issues.

Speaking of my lovely niece, I am the proudest auntie ever after hearing that apparently the women in my sister’s mother’s group voted my niece 2nd cutest baby! This is of course code for actual cutest baby, as everyone votes for their own child as number 1…

I have also been on ANOTHER holiday since I started writing this email. This time I went over to Doha to surprise my friend Betty for her 30th birthday.
It was a fantastic long weekend/mini-break, and we managed to cram in loads of culture, touristy-things, drinking, eating and catching up. It was basically pretty fabulous, and I’m so pleased I managed to keep it a surprise! Two surprise holidays in just a few months! Both Betty and E’s faces were priceless when I rocked up, and frankly, I’m thinking about opening up a side business that involves clients flying me out to fabulous places, and paying me lots of money to jump out of a cake…. Suppose it would be less exciting for people who don’t know me, but then again I am pretty damn awesome….

Work continues to be, well a lot like work mostly! Plenty of ups and downs, stresses and dramas that are frankly way too mundane to go into.

I guess that’s enough from me for now!
How you’re all well,
loads of love
Surprise Maya

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