Tag Archives: confidence

For Crying Out Loud, Back Yourself

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Lovely reader, how on earth have you been?  It’s been AGES.  You have a seat and I’ll stick the kettle on.

“I’m sure,” my friend Erin said to me recently “that we must have one friend who isn’t an overachiever.”  We don’t, by the way.  Our mutual social circle includes composers, published novelists and internationally renowned comedians.  She herself is a ludicrously intelligent and powerful producer, and I can type really fast.  So.

In all seriousness, it is important to celebrate your achievements and the achievements of people around you.  I am sick to the back teeth (which is a weird expression that I’ve just realised I got from my dad and must remember to ask him about later) of listening to people I love putting themselves down.  Unfortunately, this comes in several forms.

Firstly, the refusal to admit that something they’ve achieved is absolutely spectacular.  One of my sisters has just completed a challenge that she set herself a year ago: to run thirty 10km runs while she is thirty years old.  (I KNOW.)  Is my sister happy and proud of herself?  Sure.  Is she as proud of herself as I think she ought to be?  Nope.  Not by about 300km.

Secondly, the inability to accept that progress has been made.  If you are on a diet and you have a cheat day, you haven’t failed.  If you spend months trying to get over someone and then one day allow yourself to look at their Facebook page, you haven’t failed.  If you promise yourself that you’re going to make more of an effort to stay in contact with someone and then forget to call them, you haven’t failed.  Changing your life in the long term is a process and you only “fail” a process when you terminate it entirely.  I cannot stand to hear my friends put themselves down when they have made one mistake, because it undermines all of the good work they’ve done already and all of the process that’s still to come.

Thirdly (and this is the one that makes me most cross), assuming the worst.  “She’d never like me back”, “I probably won’t even get an interview”, “He’ll definitely say no”.  What are you basing that on?  Where is your evidence?  Are you making measured judgements based on empirical fact, or are you assuming the worst because it’s easier to aggressively chase down disappointment than to allow yourself to hope?  Even if your entire life experience so far leads you to believe that you might fail, you have no right to put yourself down by refusing to admit that there’s a chance you’ll succeed.

I’m being a bit of a hypocrite, because I am awful for putting myself down, but I’m going to try and change that.  (And if I slip up a few times, I will not have failed.)  I know that loving yourself is not always as easy as loving someone else, and I know that sometimes being proud of ourselves feels like bragging or an invitation for karma to smite us where we stand.  Having said that, if we constantly put ourselves down we are tacitly demanding that others do the same, which is just stupid.  If we cannot accept praise and pride from our loved ones then we are diminishing ourselves and also showing basic disrespect for their opinions about us.  You might feel as though you haven’t achieved much, but if someone who loves you tells you that they are proud of you then you don’t get to contradict them.

I met up with my friend Andy the other day.  He’s an actor who works a lot in touring theatre, so whenever he lands in London I try to see him, even if it’s just for a quick drink.  When I saw him on Sunday we didn’t get a chance to catch up properly, we didn’t discuss the finer details of our lives at the moment and we certainly didn’t get to put the world to rights.  However, towards the end of our time together he unapologetically said that he is good at what he does, and that made me unbelievably happy.  It made me happy because a) he is absolutely correct, and b) I know that he is happy.

Back yourself.  Not because if you don’t no one else will, and not because positive thinking makes you a better person: because self-respect is the backbone of a happy person, and you absolutely deserve to be a happy person, you lovely thing.

You are brilliant.  Shut up and accept it.

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The Mean Girls Morality

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Hello, you.  How’s it going?  Did you remember to eat a balanced breakfast?

When I started attending primary school at the tender age of four and a bit, I felt pretty overwhelmed.  Not by the lessons (organised colouring in and obligatory dressing up sessions?  I’m all over that), or the social aspect (I have four siblings.  Social stuff is a doddle), or even the school dinners (packed lunches for the win).  I was overwhelmed by the older children.  I remember walking into my first ever school assembly and being awestruck by the Year 6 kids.  Who were these impossibly grown up people?

The Year 6 kids got to sit on benches.  They had a different colour tie from the rest of us.  They would soon be leaving to go to – whisper it – big school.  For some reason, they seemed older and wiser to us than the teachers or our parents.  No matter that as an adult I am now friends with people who are the same age – and in some cases, older than – those Year 6 children would be now.  Stephen Fry said something similar in his novel The Liar; the older children from our early lives will live in our memories as the most mature and intimidating people we’ll ever know.  No matter how long I live or how many people I meet, no one will ever be as impressive or as impossibly cool as those bored eleven year-olds who sat at the back of the school hall.

It would be nice to think that, twenty-something years on, I have outgrown the tendency to feel intimidated by ‘cool kids’, but I haven’t.  None of us really have.  This is for two reasons: firstly, I am friends (or friends of friends) with a lot of incredibly talented people, who are nearly famous if not already so.  They deserve to be.  Like I said, they are awesome people.  The second reason is that we live in a society which encourages us to feel small in the wake of giants, whether they be intellectual ones, culturally influential ones or just unnaturally beautiful ones.  Don’t you just hate the beautiful ones?

The problem with the ‘cool kids’ syndrome is that, unless it’s based on actual merit, we are perpetrating a ludicrous fantasy (à la Mean Girls).  Believing that supermodels are worthy of special treatment is how teenagers start to think that anorexia is a solution for their low self-esteem.  Allowing reality television celebrities to dominate our screens is making us all forget that real talent is a thing that exists.  Thinking that hipster values are cool is how we end up with parts of London being no-go-for-normals territory: for example, I wouldn’t go to Shoreditch if Noel Fielding himself invited me.  And London is a big, beautiful city with a lot to offer – why are we letting ‘cool kids’ shotgun certain parts of it?

Believing other people are cooler than you are automatically undermines your self-image.  Of course it’s good to look up to people who are worthy of our respect, but we should look up to them because they can teach us something, or because they already have.  Feeling intimidated by people who are more famous, more attractive or just more arrogant than you are is silly, and as I keep telling you, you should be far too busy being your lovely self to give a monkey’s what the ‘cool kids’ think of you.

With that in mind, go and finish your Christmas shopping.  It’s getting a bit close for comfort.

Sisterly Wisdomousness

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Happy Friday, dear reader!  I hope that your weekend plans are coming together nicely.

Just like the leaves on trees and Nick Clegg’s policies, our relationships change.  (Cheap shot, I know, but I’m still really angry about the student fees thing.)  My relationship with my oldest sister, for instance, has changed a lot since we were children.  When we were younger she was very good at bossing us around with the impenetrable “Because I’m older than you” justification.  It’s very difficult to counter that one, as it turns out.  And it never stops being true.

Don’t get me wrong: she is and has always been a brilliant big sister.  Now that we are adults, our relationship has changed to become a very close friendship, which is lovely.  She doesn’t tell me what to do anymore, but she does have some very sage advice and ingenious ideas.

My sister has taught me loads of lessons over the years, most of the time without even realising it.  She taught me not to take myself too seriously, and to laugh at myself when I’ve done something stupid.  She taught me the value of being adventurous (standard telephone conversation: “I’m bored.  I think I’ll go to Burma”) and taking an interest in the wider world.  She taught me that it’s ok not to be a “proper” adult, and that you can find happiness in places you didn’t expect.  She is also very good at seeing things from an older, wiser perspective, and using the five extra years she’s got on me to help me see things differently.  In that respect, I’m never going to catch up.  (Because of time and physics and stuff, but also because she’s just very wise.)

In the interests of Christmas spirit, human kindness and practical living, here is a snippet of sisterly wisdom:

  • Don’t buy a piece of clothing unless you’re in love with it
    I think we’ve all picked something up in a shop and thought “meh, it’ll do”, or “it’s not perfect, but I just need something to wear for x event”.  We should not be doing this, for two very key reasons: firstly, it’s a waste of money.  Secondly, it’s a waste of confidence.  If you build up a wardrobe over months and years which contains a whole load of “meh” items, you will never feel your best, no matter what you wear.  Your wardrobe should be full of things that make you look and feel great.
  • Fakemas
    Very simple concept: have a fake Christmas day with your friends.  Food, presents, silly hats, the lot.  My sister claims to have invented the term “Fakemas” for this, and if you think she’s wrong then by all means take it up with her.  I wish you luck.
  • A wise man/woman wees when s/he can
    Another fairly straightforward piece of advice, ensuring that you are never caught short at an inopportune moment.
  • It’s all about the roast potatoes
    Roast potatoes are the heart of a good Sunday roast.  Get them right, and everything else will fall into place.  This is especially important if you have vegetarians at your dinner table, because they can hardly be expected to get excited about a properly-roasted chicken, can they?  Exactly.

Have a glorious Friday and a superlatively relaxing weekend.

Confidence Tricks

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Hello, lovely reader!  How’s your week been?

For those of you who didn’t catch my last post about active problem-solving, the main aim of this post is to report back on my first ever indoor climbing session, which took place on Wednesday.  I was accompanied by my friend Laura, who has been going mountain climbing since the age of three and a half, and who kindly agreed to teach me how to climb.  Needless to say, she’s a very brave and patient woman.

Despite my novice status – and predisposition towards swearing profusely when under pressure – we ended up having a great time, and have therefore decided to make the climbing a weekly thing. I look forward to learning a lot more about it.  In the meantime, here is a basic report of my findings thus far:

a) Chalk gets everywhere.  You need it to stop your hands from getting sweaty and slipping on the grips, but seriously.  EVERYWHERE.
b) The names for various climbing holds and techniques sound like they came from a Carry On script, “jugs” being the least outrageous example.  Which leads me neatly to:
c) You can’t climb and giggle at the same time.
d) As with many things in life, it’s best to be cautious without over-thinking.  Staring at a wall for ages and trying to work out your route is only going to freak you out, although obviously it’s important to be careful.
e) Speaking of which, the climbing centre went to a lot of trouble to remind us that CLIMBING CAN CAUSE SERIOUS CASES OF DEADNESS.  So be warned.
f)  Climbing is a lot easier when you have confidence.  If you don’t have actual confidence, pretend that you do.

I am genuinely starting to believe that the way to get things done is to lie yourself into confidence.  For example, when Laura gave me a short bouldering demonstration at the beginning of Wednesday’s session, I mentally freaked out because the whole thing suddenly seemed impossible.  Laura has been doing this climbing thing for years, but I’m old and set in my ways!  I’ve been abiding by the laws of gravity for twenty-five years – what on earth makes me think I can start defying them now?!  Confidence, that’s what.  Stubborn, bloody-minded, if-R-Kelly-believes-he-can-fly-then-I-believe-I-can-climb-a-wall confidence.  If Laura makes it look easy, then it must be easy.  (It wasn’t.  It was brilliant fun, but it wasn’t easy.)  The kind of confidence, in other words, which is only ever borne out of a negative or scary scenario and is almost entirely composed of self-deception.

This kind of motivation might seem silly or counter-productive, but it really does work.  It would be nice to spend our entire lives feeling constantly capable, meeting new challenges with panache and overcoming obstacles with the right footwear.  However, sometimes we have to accept that things are going to be difficult, or frightening, or involve an excessive amount of chalk.  In those situations, we need to know ourselves well enough to pull out all the stops.  Procrastinator, know thyself – and know how to trick yourself into feeling confident.

Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing clothes that make you walk taller, or listening to music that puts you in a good mood.  Whatever your tricks and treats are, make sure you use them whenever you have need.  Eventually, they will become second nature and you genuinely will feel as confident as you’ve pretended to be.

Have an amazing weekend.  Make sure you get a lie-in at some point.

The Smug Spectrum

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Hello, lovely reader.  How did you sleep last night?  Me?  Oh, I had a very weird dream about trying to put on a play in the House of Lords.  David Blunkett wanted to play Oedipus.  Very odd.

Anyway, today I’d like to talk about the various degrees of smugness (smugness?  Smugosity? Smugism?  Who knows) that we come across in day to day life.  As far as I can see, there’s a sliding scale of complacency that we are willing to put up with.  It’s very telling about British society that we have so many synonyms for “smug”, which is a state that we inherently mistrust.  We need lots of words for it so that we can identify exactly what it is about someone else’s demeanour that we find offensive.

Confident: damning with faint praise, in this country.  We say it about ourselves in job applications and we try to demonstrate it in our social interactions, but deep down we don’t believe that anyone is capable of being confident every second of the livelong day.  It’s just not natural.

Cocky: a laddish, raffish, devil-may-care word for someone who is cheekily sure of themselves.  A bit annoying, but essentially harmless.

Self-assured: sounds like a good thing, and in general it is, but for most of us it also conjures up the urge to shout “WHAT?!  How can you be self-assured?  Why aren’t you riddled with self-doubt and paranoia like the rest of us?  Weirdo.”

Vain: get your face out of the mirror, dumbass.  This one is just about having a preoccupation with one’s appearance, which is foolish but not unforgivable.

Smug: a silly-sounding word for a fairly silly state of being.  The word ‘smug’ has connotations of self-satisfaction on a long term basis, which is just unacceptable.  It also makes us think of undeserved good fortune – it is used a lot in reference to celebrities and politicians, after all – rather than genuine achievement.

Arrogant: ah, this is a tricky one.  We say that arrogance is unattractive, and we may well mean it, but there is something weirdly appealing about someone whose self-assurance has been taken to this whole new level.  This one is a bit toxic for would-be friends and lovers, so it’s probably best to avoid these people unless you’ve got very thick skin.

Conceited: arrogance mixed with extreme vanity.  Stay the heck away.

Simon Cowell: almost certainly the devil in (not very convincing) disguise.  Avoid at all costs.  

Have a lovely, Simon Cowell-free day.

Stop Talking to Yourself

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Happy Monday, reader!  How was your weekend?  

Everyone talks to themselves from time to time, and that’s totally fine.  It becomes slightly less socially acceptable when there are other people in the room, and it’s definitely frowned upon at formal occasions – funerals in particular are a no go.  In general, talking to yourself is not a problem, as long as you’re being nice to yourself.  It might sound a bit strange, but a lot of us use talking to ourselves as an opportunity to be defeatist or cowardly.  Here are five things that we really need to stop saying to and about ourselves:

  • “I’m such an idiot”
    No, you’re not.  Everyone has stupid moments from time to time.  That doesn’t make you an idiot.  Even if you were a idiot, do you really believe that telling yourself so is going to make you any smarter?  If you really think that you could stand to be more intellectual then read more books and listen to Radio 4.  Also, having an emotional response to something is not stupidity.  Trusting someone who ends up hurting/deceiving you or getting carried away by a crush is not an indication of cognitive impairment.  If someone else has made a mockery of your trust/feelings/Oyster card then they’re the idiot, not you.  
  • “S/he would never like me”
    Two words: watch Hairspray.  We have no idea how the human heart works, what makes people fancy each other or why couples stay together forever.  Oh, sure, there’s all the science about genetic compatibility and how we’re subconsciously attracted to the best candidates to continue the species with.  But if you convince yourself that you’re not worthy of someone’s affections then you’re creating a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don’t believe that you’re worthwhile then how is anyone else supposed to?
  • “I’ll never get that job”
    Again, you never know.  It’s always worth applying for stuff that you’re a bit under-qualified for, because some employers see potential and like to help you realise it.  Also, it doesn’t matter how amazing the job is: if an employer rejects your application then either you weren’t right for the job, or the company wasn’t right for you.  Why would you want to work for a company foolish enough to reject you?  Why would you want to do a job that you weren’t right for?  Exactly.  Stop worrying about it.
  • “My mean parent/teacher/friend was right about me”
    No they flipping were not.  I know it’s much, much easier said than done, but you absolutely have to let go of nasty stuff that people have said about you.  This is for two reasons: firstly, those words were probably said out of anger, bitterness or malice, and therefore have less to do with you than the unhappiness of the person who said them.  Secondly, letting nasty comments take hold of your self-worth means that nobody wins.  
  • “I could never do that”
    Do what?  Travel the world?  Go skydiving?  Become famous?  Get out of your overdraft?  You are capable of anything you can think of, and I don’t just mean that in a cheesy, “live your dream” kind of way (although that is part of it).  Anything that you want to do with your life can definitely be done, and you know that to be true because someone else has done it before you.  Loads of people, in fact.  If they can do it – whether “it” is learn to tap dance or go into space – you can do it.  

Have a highly amusing Monday, and I will see you tomorrow.

The End of Summer Lovin’

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Hello and how on earth are you, dear reader?

Back in February I wrote this blog post about how to beat the winter blues, and it occurred to me the other day that the end of summer needs some similar attention.  Like Sandy and Danny at the beginning of Grease (excuse me, but even if they hadn’t seen each other, they would definitely have heard each other singing about their summer of love), we can all get a bit blue about the end of summer.  I don’t know whether it’s the weird weather or extracting ourselves from the Edinburgh Fringe bubble, but there’s a definite back-to-school, oh-God-do-we-have-to, I-hate-my-alarm-clock-why-is-it-such-a-bastard sort of mood going on in my social circle at the moment.

So, in the spirit of cheering you up at the end of what I hope has been a spectacular summer, here are a few little things we can all do to put ourselves back in a sunshiney mood:

1) Dance around your living room 
Stick on a song that makes you happy and just have a boogie.  Look like an idiot.  Throw your back out if you have to.  You ARE the dancing queen (or king).  My personal recommendations for feel-good tunes include Classic and When Can I See You Again.  And Dancing Queen, obviously.

2) Book something
Organise a coffee date with a friend, or a real date with someone you fancy.  Book that trip you and your mates keep talking about.  Splash out on theatre tickets.  Basically, pick something that would make you happy and make it happen soon.

3) Challenge yourself
Get cracking on something that’s been lingering on your “I could probably do that” list.  For example, my next challenge is going to be writing a radio play.  I have no idea how to do that, but I’m going to find out.  Whether it’s something a bit grown-up liking saving up for a house deposit, or something a bit crazy like climbing a mountain, use this time to rise to a challenge.

4) Find the funny
Look up silly jokes, or go and see a comedian you’ve never heard of.  Watch a classic comedy film.  Let your friends drag you to an open mic night.  As the late, great Charlie Chaplin once said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted”.

5) Spruce up
Look your best.  Not because you’re not perfect the way you are, but because it will make you feel more confident.  Dress up for your next night out.  Wear your favourite pair of shoes tomorrow.  The world deserves to see you looking happy and brim full of self-esteem because, after all, whose day would not be brightened by seeing you looking fabulous?

Getting Confidence Without Having to Teach Seven Kids

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Hello, dear reader!  How’s your Tuesday so far?  Surprisingly amusing, I hope.

Today I’d like to talk to you about confidence.  All sorts of things can knock our self-esteem sideways, and sometimes we might not realise how much of our oomph we’ve lost until it feels too late to do anything about it.  Whether it’s a soul-destroying job or a bad break up, we all go through things that can leave us feeling diminished.

In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews’ nun-turned-governess attempts to overcome her own confidence issues by literally singing herself into self-belief.  While I appreciate that marching through the streets of Salzburg with a guitar and an enormous hat might have its psychological benefits, I’m not sure how practical that course of action is for most of us.  Let’s find a slightly less extreme way of battling our blues.

First of all, confidence is – and forgive me for getting a bit theatre-ish out of context – a huge piece of performance.  Some people who seem confident aren’t actually feeling too great about themselves, which is why we tend to respond negatively to arrogance: we can vaguely detect a whiff of bullpoo beneath the boasting.  Having said that, putting on a show of confidence will inevitably lead to you feeling better about yourself.  After all, if you can convince people around you that you are something special (which you definitely and truly are), then you will eventually manage to convince yourself.  We should act confidently but not arrogantly, basically.  Confidence comes from reality and arrogance comes from misplaced wishful thinking.

Secondly, take the time to be proud of yourself for things that you’re good at.  Something as small as making the perfect cup of tea or being especially good at opening tricky jars is still a point in your favour.  It is silly at best and damaging at worst to dismiss your virtues as “only” this or “not as good as” whatever.  A talent is a talent, so don’t discredit yours.  I guarantee you that for every seemingly insignificant skill you have there will be a hundred people who are desperately envious of it.

Thirdly, listen to people who compliment you (unless you can sense that aforementioned scent of offensive falsehood, in which case put your hand over your nose and back away slowly).  People who know you and love you don’t say nice things about you for the hell of it: they want you to see yourself the way they see you.  I know for a fact that I have become more confident during the past few months, and that my friends have been pleasantly surprised by my reduced (only incrementally reduced, but still reduced) tendency to beat myself up over stuff that doesn’t matter.

Next, don’t let the little things get you down.  One bad date or one failed job application does not take anything away from who you are.  Hundreds of bad dates and thousands of failed job applications doesn’t make any difference, either.  Just because some people don’t recognise what you are capable of does not mean that you aren’t good enough.  After all, you know yourself a lot better than these people do, so who are they to make you doubt yourself?

Finally, understand that everyone is battling with the same self-doubt as you are.  The wise-cracker at a party who has everyone in stitches might be desperately unsure of ever finding love, or the perpetually popular party girl might be riddled with uncertainty about her personality being as attractive as her face.  You are not the only person whose confidence is fragile or a façade.  If you get the hang of being genuinely nice to yourself, you can spend more time telling the people you love all the nice things that you appreciate about them.

In fact, go and do that right now – tell a friend or loved one something that you like about them.  Hopefully it will kick-start a truly marvellous Tuesday.

A Realistic Romance Recipe

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Hello and happy Wednesday!  You’re looking lovely today, if I may say so.

Not for the first time, my inspiration for a blog post has come from an episode of How I Met Your Mother.  If you’re not a fan, don’t worry – I’m only using a tiny snippet.  Two of the characters are discussing what it takes to make a relationship materialise, and one of them claims that chemistry is the key ingredient, and that “if you have chemistry, you only need one other thing: timing, but timing’s a bitch.”

Chemistry between two people is obviously very important in romantic situations, and timing is clearly essential (and also a bit of a bitch).  But relationships are very rarely that simple, and I think we need a few more bits and pieces to make the blasted things work:

Referees

As in people who provide references, not the football people.  I’m not suggesting that we turn the pursuit of a relationship into some kind of emotional job hunt, but it can be much easier to let your guard down with someone if a mutual friend will vouch for their behaviour.  Lots of people meet their significant others through friends or family, and I think that they start relationships with a very clear advantage.  If you meet someone in a bar and they make a great first impression then that’s lovely, but it’s a massive bonus if someone you trust can tell you for certain that this person has no criminal record, is good with kids and usually remembers to return phone calls.

Confidence

As Dexter says to Emma in One Day, “You’re gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this: confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle.”  Confidence covers all sorts of things, including the belief that you are a lovable person, the ability to look (and more importantly feel) good in your own clothes, and the willingness to start a conversation.  You might have unbelievably strong chemistry with someone and the timing may be perfect, but if all you can do is mumble into your shoes then your would-be romance will go nowhere incredibly rapidly.

Communication

This one is the most difficult (especially for us Brits), and annoyingly it is also the most important.  Nothing will work between two people unless they communicate.  (I’m starting to feel uncomfortable even typing this bit, to be honest.)  We don’t like talking about our feelings, do we?  Oh, sure, over a drink with our friends or in a post-break up rant, absolutely.  But with the person we want to go out with?  Good heavens, no.  It can’t be done!  We’re supposed to tell each other where we stand, how we feel and make sure that no one is being led on or getting confused?  What a ridiculous notion.

Communication issues are the reason that Jane Austen novels are longer than two pages, why Bridget Jones takes so long to get Mark Darcy, and they make up the basic plot line of every rom-com film ever made.  If the characters told each other the truth earlier on in these stories, they would be happier much sooner.  Sure, the films would be rubbish and the books would be abysmal, but you are not a character in a story.  You’re a real person, and no one is going to write your happy ending unless you flipping get on with it.

Besides, you deserve to be happy.  You’re a legend.

Have a superb Wednesday.

Here We Go Again

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Good morning, lovely reader!  How are you today?  Love the bag, by the way.  Where did you get it from?

Tomorrow my flat mate Ash and I will be returning to Elstree to film our second episode of Pointless.  (For those of you who don’t watch the show, everyone records two shows because you get two chances to go through to the final.  Very generous of the producers, no?)  I am very excited about this, but also very nervous.  You’d think that having done it once before I would be able to swan into the green room and make myself right at home, chat chummily with the make-up lady, wave coquettishly at Alexander Armstrong and generally ooze confidence, charm and wit.  (Sounds exactly like something I’d do, doesn’t it?)

In reality, I will probably fall gracelessly into the studio, make no verbal sense until Ash has force fed me at least three of the complimentary green room coffees, have a sulk because I have’t done enough revision and generally panic about sounding like a moron in front of Alexander Armstrong, whom I absolutely adore.

The last time we went to Elstree Ash and I had a blast: the people were all really nice, the food was good and the experience as a whole was very interesting.  However, because we know what to expect I am hoping that Ash and I will both feel more confident the second time around.  This time I hope that I remember to tell Alexander Armstrong how much my brother and I enjoy his and Ben Miller’s RAF pilot sketches, and that I manage to do so without coming across as slightly weird.

Revision?  Yeah, I should probably do some of that…but I have The Armstrong and Miller Show boxset, so you know… priorities.

Have a glorious Wednesday!  May your professional interactions be productive and courteous.