Thursday, 22 January 2009

It's such a waste to get wasted in the first place?

More often than I'd like to admit, I'll walk past a pub and smell that beautiful and distinctive pub smell, and a little voice in my head will whisper, "We could go in you know. You'd like a drink. There's nothing you've really got to do today. You won't be missed. Go in and we'll drink until we taste delicious oblivion." Occasionally I'll even pause in the doorway, mentally count my change, but then I walk on. I've got quite good at slapping that voice upside the head these days. Just as well really, given I walk past a pub on my way to college every morning. Gone are the days of endless empty bottles of Asda value whisky strewn around my room, of panicking at closing time, of not knowing what it's like to wake up without a hangover. And I'm fine with that. I'm more productive when I'm not drinking every day. I act like a complete knob when I'm wasted. But some days I still wake up with a strong desire to get really fucked up. Today is one of those days. So, in an attempt to dissuade myself from getting drunk (I've got a dentist appointment tomorrow to prod at my recalcitrant wisdom tooth which is going to be unpleasant enough without having to constantly supress the urge to vomit) I'm going to run down my top three worst drinking injuries.

In at number three is my most recent drinking disaster. I'd been out with my cinema colleagues to a fairly horrific student night in terms of clientele and music but it was pretty fantastic in terms of drink deals, so a plan of action formed quickly in my head. The plan of action involved a lot of the £1 shots. Stumbling back home, the tiniest slope caused me to lose my footing and skid along the pavement on my forearm. When I got home I was more concerned with the fact that I'd managed to rip a pair of stockings, however, when I woke up I was in some discomfort due to the fact that I appeared to have managed to remove most of the skin from my right forearm, leaving a weeping, painful mess. When I turned up for my shift my boss took one look at it and went pale. "That's- that's- oh my god. Can we get that covered up? Get a first aider! We can't have that near the food." I was duly bandaged and packed off to consessions. Salt with your popcorn?

I spent a lot of my time at Cambridge in various states of extreme inebriation. On this particular occasion I'd been out at a club and invited various friends back at closing time to continue drinking. Someone rang me to let me know they were at the college gates and I hurried to let them in, pulling on the nearest pair of shoes, heels of course. As I ran across the court to the gate, I lost my footing and fell over, landing with my weight almost entirely on the fingers of my right hand. They were already starting to swell when I got back to my room. Luckily, I took my rings off as by the morning they were so swollen and painful that they were barely recognisable as fingers, never mind flexible. I put off going to the doctor as I didn't want to waste valuable time with my drunken idiocy but when I still couldn't move them two days later a friend bundled me onto a bus to A&E. In the Xray room the woman was very kind and gentle when I said I couldn't straighten my fingers. Until she found out how I'd hurt them, when she pushed my hand flat against the table, splaying my soon-to-be-discovered-broken fingers painfully. I may have let out a manly exclamation of surprise but I suppose I deserved it. I went back out drinking that evening and managed to singe my bandage when trying to light my cigarette. There's no helping some people.

And finally, my piece de resistance. It was my first year and I'd had a rather jolly night at the Cambridge goth night and was leaving, staggering slightly, in my six inch heels. It was just as I arrived at the chip van, in front of a large queue of people, that I lost my footing and plummeted onto the cobbles. Only I was so utterly trashed that I forgot to put my hands out to save myself and landed directly on my face. My shocked boyfriend pulled me to my feet, asking if I was okay. "Absolutely fine!" I slurred with the numbness of the truly bollocksed, "I just want to get my chips." When I reached the front of the queue I was greeted by a look of horror from the chip man, "What happened?! You're bleeding!" he cried, stuffing napkins into my hand. "I'm fine," I protested as boyfriend-of-the-time dabbed at the blood running down my face, "I'd just like some chips please." Poor, long-suffering Boyfriend shepherded me home where I finally had a chance to survey the damage. I had a large graze running the length of my cheek and another on my chin. I stared for a couple of seconds before breaking down into noisy sobs of, "I'm scarred for life! My face is ruined!" Boyfriend managed to get me to shut up and go to bed, just as well as I had to get up bright and early to give a presentation on Luke's Gospel. I tried to hide my disfigurement behind my hair but no one said anything to me. "Couldn't you have put some concealer on?" asked Boyfriend, "They were probably too scared to say anything to you because they thought I was beating you up!"

So there we have it. Drinking is bad for my health. And I don't want a drink at all now.
Absolutely not.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year

I'm afraid nothing puts me in an unspeakably foul mood like New Year's Eve. Pay a tenner to get into a pub I usually get into for free? Be forced into sharing physical contact with people at midnight? "Organised fun"? The pressure to pretend to be happy and/or hopeful? No ta very much. I think I used up all my cheer and optimism over Christmas and despite the fact that this has been a relatively good year, I find myself plagued today with the savage depression that usually accompanies this special time of year. So, in order to get myself into the party mood for when Bloke and I go to see some of his friends later, I'm going to tell you some of the things that have got on my tits recently. That'll cheer me right up nice.

Up first, the phrase "food baby". I see this on Facebook status updates all the time, as in, "Ooh, I've got a turkey food baby," and it makes me feel sick. I might have a overly visual imagination but when I read that I imagine an actual baby made of turkey trying to force its way out of a human body. Someone used this beautiful expression with regards to lasagne the other day and the thought of the mess involved made me want to vomit. What is wrong with saying you feel full, sated, replete, glutted even? I just thought of those off the top of my head and I'm so off my face on painkillers that I realised a few minutes ago I'd been wearing my cardigan inside out all day, so surely it can't be that hard?

Next, American Apparel. It's not the thick fug of smugness that surrounds the customers as they are assured that their unisex wool beret has been ethically made. It's not the tasteless adverts that all appear to use semi-naked 14 year olds. It's not that tedious art students now think they have a unique style simply because they shop at the outlet on Carnaby Street. It's not even that the CEO, Dov Charney, is a fucking sex offender. No, what really irritates me about American Apparel is that it's instrumental in bringing leggings back into fashion. I've noted the re-emergence of leggings with a sinking feeling over the past couple of years but they seemed to be restricted to wear under skirts or shorts. That's until American Apparel came over here brashly encouraging people to face their fears! Wear the leggings as "pants"! Why not buy a unisex stretchy tee while you're at it?! All ethically made! Show us your tits love! I was forced to sit on the tube the other day averting my eyes even more than usual due to someone wearing a pair of metallic leggings that were, let's say, tight and baggy in all the wrong places. I know who I blame.

And finally, enough of this already. How many more years will we have to suffer this eponymous boot?

What's wound you up this year?

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Learning Resource Centre

At my college the library isn't called the library, it's called the Learning Resource Centre. It's an amusing contrast with the libraries in Cambridge. Unlike the University Library's austere corridors, it's open plan and I keep getting caught up in the graphic novel section on my way to Social Policy. The Divinity Faculty Library thought itself terribly forward thinking and liberal because it allowed you to whisper "excuse me" or "have you finished with that?" without the head librarian belting you round the head with Cruden's Concordance. The other day I was sitting in the Learning Resource Centre and two young gentlemen began playing the rap music of a popular beat combo very loudly on YouTube. This would be a sending down offence in the UL but in the Learning Resource Centre, after about five minutes, a librarian scurried over and said, with the utmost politeness, "Boys, this is a library, could you turn that down a bit please."

I like that it's practically the polar opposite of the Cambridge libraries. It means that even if it's never quiet due to ESOL lessons going on in cordened off areas ("Used to is pronounced useter. Repeat after me 'useter, useter, useter'") or teenagers much cooler than me shrieking with laughter, I can spend time there getting work done without the panicked and tearful feelings that the DivFac and the UL useter inspire in me. I've noticed over the past few weeks, however, that the relaxed atmosphere has lead to something I've found common in public libraries: nutters distracting you when you're busy.

My favourite nutter of the past term has to be Christine the Christian. I first met Christine when she asked a friend from my class to help her understand a sociology question. It transpired that she had the same teacher for Sociology as us. Later that afternoon, as I was diligently working away, I felt a tap on the shoulder. It was Christine. She asked if I could help her with something and, naively believing that that something would be to do with sociology, I agreed.

Christine the Christian: I wonder if you could help me understand this, "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God."
OGH: Erm...
CtC: What do you think it means by crown?
OGH: Um, which book is it from?
CtC: Revelation.
OGH: Well, I'm not too sure that anything from Revelation should be taken literally given that it's most probably an allegory for the fall of the Roman Emp...
CtC: [louder] What does it mean "so that no one will take your crown"? What crown?
OGH: [wearily] Er, I expect it means your belief in God. That people will try to persuade you away from your faith.
CtC: [with a big smile and wide eyes] Yes! That's a very good interpretation! You know your scriptures! Thank you!

At that point I should have pointed out that although I'd spent a good few years studying Theology, I was in fact an atheist and not interested in joining her God club. However she was already walking across the library with a beatific grin on her face so I left it. Big mistake. Now whenever Christine sees me in the library I'm greeted with a cheery smile and a bible verse. Or worse.

OGH is sitting working. ENTER CtC.
CtC: Hello!
OGH: Oh, er, hello.
CtC: You are working hard as usual.
OGH: [Nods while trying not to look up and make eye contact]
CtC: Do you like my hat? [Brandishes a hideous woollen pink and purple number] I got it from Fat Face, you know Fat Face?
OGH: [Looks up, resigned to the inevitable conversation] Yes, yes, very nice.
CtC: [Grins maniacally] I love it, it's a present from Jesus.
OGH: [Looks away very quickly to avoid a laughter incident]
CtC: What are you studying?
OGH: Sociology.
CtC: Ah, yes. I gave that up.
OGH: Really? Why?
CtC: I found it too difficult to think about. And the scriptures say that you shall call no one father except God but we were being taught about the founding fathers of sociology. It was confusing.
OGH: I can imagine. But that's just a figure of speech, surely.
CtC: What do you mean, a figure of speech?
OGH: Right, erm, you know in the Bible, when Jesus talks about the sower of the seed?
CtC: [nods enthusiastically]
OGH: Well, he's not talking about an actual person sowing actual seed is he? He's talking about the different ways of coming to belief in God. So when we say 'founding fathers' we're not saying that they are physical fathers, just that they were the first people with certain ideas.
CtC: Oh. Well I spend so much time studying the scriptures that I don't have time for it.
OGH: [looks at CtC's notepad and sees that it is full of painstakingly written out bible verses in a carefully constructed chart, rather than college work.]

See? Nutters. I feel slightly sullied by engaging on her level but I honestly don't think she's all there. Her course? Access to Teaching. Next week on Lizzie's Loons: the African plumber that keeps asking me to go out with him, despite the fact that I'm a snorting, wheezing snot-monster at the moment.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Political correctness gone mad

I don't know if it's a peculiarly British thing but I think most of us secretly like being a bit offended or angered. There's a sign on platform 6 at London Bridge that proudly proclaims, "90% of South Eastern Trains run on time!" and when I'm waiting for a train I take a perverse enjoyment in standing in front of it seething, muttering like an enraged Gollum, "90%! 90%! South Eastern have the temerity, the audacity, the gall to say that when I am late at least twice a week!" It's like a pressure valve, or something.

I would, however, hate to turn into the wrong sort of offended. The sort of person who rants into the comment boxes on newspaper websites. The sort of person who, when presented with a harmless, if banal, question on the BBC Have Your Say website, such as, "Are you bracing yourself for the cold weather?", rather than scrolling on by is gripped by rage and feels compelled to give answers such as these:

The worlds most sophisticated weather system exists in Britain.
it's called sticking your head out of the window!
Why are we so obsessed with the weather? It's winter, it's going to be cold and snow. Get over it.
Harry James, Warwick, United Kingdom

To be honest, we may as well throw our bodies out of the window too as we'll never be as enlightened as Harry James. Except maybe this next commenter, both called Harry, separated at birth?

The BBC have been telling me that the planet is getting warmer for years, and now ITV now inform me that the polar bears are dying of heatstroke, so I will be breaking out the deck chairs and tee shirts this weekend.

Why does the British weather, which is exceedingly agreeable and temperate by any measure, animate the British so much ?

Its the weather, not the apocalypse. Get a life.
[Potty_Harry], Coventry, United Kingdom

Before the Harries get too animated, here's Dave to calm it all down:

The weather in this country is NEVER cold in world terms.

How do you think people cope in Canada, Finland or Russia cope? Or what about Central Europe where it is consistently colder than this for three months every single year?

Slow news day, BBC?

Davie Hay

Glad we cleared that up. And finally:

Hello? It's late November; what are people expecting, a heatwave? I wouldn't trust the BBC to tell me what the weather's going to be like anyway. A couple of weeks ago in work, we all had a good laugh at the current weather map on this site, which showed a cloudless sky over the whole of Wales. It was chucking it down outside!

[BrimfulOfAshes], Cardiff

Hello? Can I be your friend Brimful? Please? I bet Comic Relief at your work is hilarious.

I worry when I find myself almost tutting at someone standing on the wrong side of the escalator that I might be turning into someone like this. Is noting spelling mistakes on signs with amusement the start of the slippery slope to writing into supermarkets informing them that it should be "Eight items or fewer" rather than "Eight items or less"? Will my irritation with South Eastern trains grow until it leads me down the dark and sullying path of writing a letter of complaint to The Metro? Do you secretly like being angry or offended? What apparantly trivial things anger or offend you?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

And I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats

Carol had short brown hair and "ethnic" dangly earrings. She was wearing elastic waisted trousers, probably made from fair trade cotton, and had the sort of gold cross around her neck that is supposed to be discreet yet managed to be the first thing I noticed about her. Her smile dripped with so much pity that I wanted to punch her. Instead I sat down opposite her, next to an ailing spider plant probably being slowly choked to death with fake empathy, and waited for her to start. "So," she sighed, "how are you today?" I was in the Cambridge counselling service beginning my second (and last) session.

The previous week I'd sat in the waiting room staring at a poster proclaiming, "Depression feels the same in any language!" with a picture of several people of various creeds and colours standing united in an act of multicultural misery and wondering what I was doing there. This feeling only increased throughout my session and reached a peak during the second session where I was subjected to a barrage of sub-Freudian techniques. Regard:

Carol: Now last week you said you don't get on with your father...
OGH: No, I said we weren't close. That's not the same.
Carol: You see him as a distant figure?
OGH: I see him as someone who is busy working hard for his family.
Carol: [disappointed] Oh.

Carol: [Stares at me with a gormless expression mirroring that of the Jesus in the icon of the crucifixion on her wall]
OGH: [Stares back]
Carol: [Sighs]
OGH: [Stares]
Carol: Why all the silence?
OGH: Er, you haven't asked me a question yet.
Carol: [sighs with what sounds like the tiniest bit of irritation]

Carol: How about your mother?
OGH: Really, my parents aren't to blame for the fact that I'm a miserable cow.
Carol: You're being rather obstructive to the therapy process.

Carol: You're all dressed in black, with black hair and black make up. It's as if you're in mourning and I wonder what you're in mourning for?
OGH: The lost minutes of my life spent with you dear.

The other day I was watching Bad Girls with the wife (shh, I only watch it for the lesbians). The story line was tackling a particularly gritty subject with its usual rigour when I interjected, "For god's sake, they'd have got a social worker in by now," and then a smile crept accross my face. It finally hit home that I'm going to be a social worker. (Well, in about four years' time if I can find the money to fund another go at university.) And I've got Carol to thank for that. I walked out of her room in 2004 and have spent a fair part of the years since then in the throes of drooling mentalism. After that bad experience it was a year before I sought help again and by that point it was too late for me to remain at Cambridge, but that help was good. I was diagnosed bipolar and have CBTed myself back to functionality and along the way I decided that I wanted to make sure people got the same help I had. That sounds vomitously trite and I do apologise but I could tell you horror stories, there's a lot worse than Carol.

So I've just done the first half term of an access to social care course, with a view to becoming a mental health social worker, and it seems to be going well. Leaving Cambridge was hard, it was so mentally shattering that until quite recently the mere sight of an academic book had me reaching for the whiskey but now I'm actively enjoying using my brain for more than counting out change. I appear to be living up to the potential that I thought I'd comprehensibly pissed up against a wall. It's nice. And it will be even nicer not to be on the receiving end of the social care for once.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Nowt so queer as folk

My first crush, at the age of about eight, was on Kenneth Williams. I'm not telling you this to carry on the theme of humiliation, although it is quite embarrassing, but because it appears to be the first sign of what has become quite a pattern in my life.

When I was in my first year at secondary school, various popular and influential people in my class coerced my best friend George and I to "go out". All this involved was going about our normal business with added hugging when they told us to. Apparently this was "sweet" as we were both short, speccy and swotty. I believe this relationship came to an end when we completely failed to call each other over half-term. Neither of us was in the slightest bit upset and quickly got back to being best friends without the irritation of constant demands from other people to touch each other. Time passed and by Year 11 I'd blossomed, if that's the right word, into a moody, sulking goth. George, on the other hand, had grown into a rather flamboyant personality, "camp George" as he was affectionately referred to throughout the school. So it was absolutely no surprise when he came to my goth friends and me, who wore eyeliner and fishnets and pretended to be wordly, to confide that he thought he might be gay. Looking back on it, I'm quite proud of the emotional maturity with which the fifteen year old me and friends dealt with the situation. By the beginning of the next school year he was happily out to most people and a much more relaxed person for it. But it stands that my first "boyfriend" turned out to be a homosexual. A portent of things to come?

As a seventeen year old I had self-hatred down to a fine art. I was consumed by it. The years of being told I was fat and ugly had paid off and it became fact, it was burnt into my retinas so that that's all I saw when I looked at myself. It's pathetic really but I want to cry when I see one of the very few pictures that I allowed to be taken from this period. I looked nothing like the hideous monster I envisioned myself as, yet I spent hours scribbling Placebo lyrics into black notebooks and ineffectually attempting to carve "ugly" into my arm with a compass. Emo before emo was invented. That's how cool I am. I've got my razor on the pulse of modern trends. But anyway, you can imagine that Valentine's day wasn't a joyous occasion for me as a permanently single lump of self-loathing. Imagine my surprise, then, on seeing a very attractive man obviously eyeing me up from across the pub my friends had dragged me to in order to "celebrate" the day of cheap cards and insincerity. I couldn't believe it when he came over to speak to me, and only me. His name was Pratesh and he was all gorgeous brown eyes and long black hair. I was still in a state of shock when, after talking for a while, he leaned in to kiss me. I couldn't believe my luck when after a fair bit of snogging (including an unfortunate face-biting incident that I glossed over at the time but really, bloody goths and their vampire obsessions) Pratesh decided to accompany my friends and me to the club we were moving on to from the pub.

So I was on the dance floor at my favourite club with a handsome young gentleman making inept attempts to put his hands down my corset and I was thinking, "Gosh, this didn't turn out too horrendously after all," when he whispered in my ear that he needed to tell me something. I followed him to a table in the corner and he took my hands and said, "I'm really sorry but I'm gay. I thought I could do this but I can't. You're the only girl I've ever felt anything like this for but it's still not going to work. I'm so sorry." I stared at him, gobsmacked, then proceeded to cry in the corner for the rest of the evening, convinced that I was so hideous I'd forced him to make up this outlandish excuse, while my best friend got off with the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. Or, as a friend summarised on being informed of the night's events at a later date, "It was Valentine's, Alice pulled fit James and you turned someone gay? Wow!" Wow indeed.

And so we come to Travis. Yes, that Travis. I'd fancied Travis for quite a while before we got it together and when it happened I was pretty happy. That might be an understatement. Travis had charisma and big, piercing blue eyes. He also had an alcohol problem and mental health issues but that was by the by as didn't I too? He and I had drunken conversations late into the night about Issues and Art and we discovered a lot in common. He had a fierce talent for writing and observation and could make me laugh about absolutely anything. I fell for him hard and fast and, miracle of miracles, he seemed to feel the same way. Travis identified as bisexual when we got together, although his past had been swathed with confusion. That was fine, as I too believe that variety is the spice of life. After a while he stopped identifying as bisexual though. "You're the only woman I fancy," he said. And I liked that. I'd refer to him as my gay boyfriend and we'd go to gay clubs where I'd watch him tarting about in skinny jeans with a faux-hawk, happy in the knowledge that this gorgeous creature was coming home with me.

We were together two years all told and towards the end of that I was stupid enough to relax, to look forward to years of what I had at that point, we 'd got each other through some difficult times and just seemed to be coming out of the other side. And so it was as inevitable as Shakespearian tragedy that it would all come crashing down. It was during a perfectly innocuous phone call that he dropped in that he'd decided he was gay. I think he may have said that the idea of being with a woman made him feel panicky and deftly delivered an enormous kick directly to my self-esteem. To add insult to injury, at the time this happened an almost identical storyline was running on Hollyoaks. So it was like living in the most ludicrous of teen soaps, only with less facially gifted people, and in certain cases worse acting. So, despite my love for the sexually ambiguous, I've been confining myself to red-blooded heterosexuals ever since in an attempt to break the pattern. I'm sure the gay community are devastated but it's all fun and games until someone breaks a heart.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Wardrobe Malfunctions

I believe that anyone can look attractive if they dress well and clothing is something I've learnt to use to my advantage. Corsetry, stilettos and seamed stockings, fascinators, red lipstick and jewellery help me pretend that I'm not just plump and plain, help me create an illusion, a glamour. I love glamour. Every time someone tells me that I make them feel underdressed, every time a stranger comments on my outfit, it makes my whole day. But while what you wear can turn you from a little bown bird into a peacock, it can also just make you look a bit of a cock. I'm talking about Judy Finnegan's hammock-like bra making a bid for freedom at an awards ceremony, or Janet Jackson's bizarrely spiky nipple fighting its way out on stage. The wardrobe malfunction is one of the cruellest forms of humiliation and as I'm in a confessional mood, here are my top five most embarrassing instances.

Number Five: Picture the scene, I'm at the Leipzig goth festival, I'm with my boyfriend of the time and his band are playing the festival so I have a special access all areas wristband, I'm at the main venue and it's heaving with goths but with my magic wristband I can jump queues, I'm eyeing up other people's outfits and feeling pretty pleased with myself, I'm standing swigging mead with people from bands and feeling pretty damned cool. But what's this? Are these German goths staring in wonder at my amazing dress sense or has the zip on my skirt broken exposing my bum crack to anyone who cares to look? Yeah.

I've written before about the Hancock incident at the cinema that, along with the surfeit of bodily fluids, pushed me to resignation. What I didn't mention was wardrobe malfunction Number Four. So, I arrived at work having had to clean up shit the previous day to be presented with a costume to wear. That was quite bad. The costume consisted of a woolly hat and sunglasses in the middle of summer to be worn whilst standing in front of a hot dog grill. That was fairly awful. I hadn't put my contacts in so I was forced to wear the sunglasses perched above my normal glasses, looking like a mental who couldn't dress themselves properly. That was pretty appauling. Just before going down to my till I bent down to get my name badge and the seam on the inner thigh of my trousers split right up to the gusset meaning I had to spend the entire shift shuffling around concessions like a demented penguin with my legs together so as not to flash anyone. That was the icing on the cake of humiliation.

I try my very hardest to present an elegant exterior even if, as many people have told me, it only lasts until I open my mouth. Unfortunately events often conspire to rid me of any such illusions before I've even managed to do that, such as in incident Number Three. I realise that the tinned foods isle in Asda isn't the classiest of locations but you never know who you'll bump into at the supermarket and I was wearing a new pair of holdups. Has ever such a misnomer been applied to an item of hosiery? I was walking down frozen foods when I felt the right "holdup" come loose. I prayed it would stay put but by the time I'd reached baked goods the rubber top was flapping around my ankle like a bell around a clapper. Class, poise and elegance is not having to dive into the George changing room to peel off an errant stocking, then being forced to walk home in the rain one stocking on, one stocking off.

Class, poise and elegance were exactly what I wanted to present to the gentleman I went on a date with, who was instead confronted with clothing disaster Number Two. I met him for a drink and quite wanted to impress him. Unfortunate then that within the hour I'd gone arse over tit with a full pint in each hand. However, like the trooper I am, I picked myself up, resigned myself to smelling like a brewery and continued in my attempt to charm him. As I got up to go out for a cigarette I noticed him eyeing me up. I raised an eyebrow quizzically, "Just enjoying the view," he smirked. I felt pleased that he fancied me depite my enormous clumsiness and general ineptitude. It was only when I got home, via several modes of public transport, that I realised that when I fell over I'd split my pencil skirt right up the vent, exposing stocking tops, suspenders and far too much thigh to half of London.

Here we are at my Number One most embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. It has crossed my mind that most people probably haven't even had five, never mind enough to make a chart from but that's part of the exciting life I lead, I suppose. Anyway, when I was in my second year at Cambridge I was a member of a society whose entire purpose was to dress up as goths and get drunk. As you can imagine that was quite a stretch for me. On this occasion we were attending the formal dinner at Kings College. I was wearing a new corset and was somewhat over-excited and showing off, therefore managed to drink all of my wine but somehow not to eat anything. We'd hired out the Kings Cellar after the meal for playing of cheesy music and dancing. Among said cheesy music was the Timewarp from Rocky Horror. I think it might have been played twice. Both times I was there enthusiastically stepping to the right etc. to much encouragement. So much encouragement that I did it again in the bar once the cellar was shut. And possibly again another time after that. I may even have got home and done a bit of timewarping in the mirror. Where I discovered that when my arms were raised above my head they pulled my breasts out of the corset, making my nipples visible to everyone. Suddenly most of the applause made sense.

So, come on, what's your most embarrassing wardrobe malfunction?