#SaveIdeasTap

Ideas Tap is fantastic. For those not in the know it provides opportunities for networking, funding, and career growth for emerging creatives in Britain. To my knowledge it’s almost unique in that it includes people from all disciplines. There’s no snobbery, and you don’t have to have achieved anything much. All you need is to be willing to interact and to try things out and you’ll get along just fine. There are all kinds of weird and wonderful people on there, and it’s a brilliant resource, even if the only thing you use it for is the social networking.

But there’s so much more to it than that. I’ve heard about and applied for more creative jobs through Ideas Tap than I care to mention. I’ve signed up to get free head shots, and been able to attend seminars about tax for freelancers (in the hope that one day I’ll be one).

As we speak, one of my friends is using the crowd funding facility to get a great show up to the Edinburgh Fringe. It’ll have tie ins with schools and a political element, too. Ideas Tap members don’t just use the opportunities they get for their own gain – they’re public spirited, and interested in making real changes for the better.

Ideas Tap also allows members to gain experience where they might not otherwise have had a chance. I won my first ‘brief’ in 2012. It was for writers, and gave me the chance to go to Birmingham and work with High Tide for two days, exploring what it would take to get my writing on stage. At the time I was truly miserable, stuck in a hellish job, and really doubting if I’d ever get the chance to do anything remotely interesting with my life. Winning that brief gave me a glimmer of hope and spurred me on. I admit right now that I haven’t kept up my ties with High Tide. However, I’ve got 3 extra years worth of notebooks full of scribbles and I’ve had other successes because I was – this sounds wanky and I really apologise – inspired to keep going at that crucial point when I was about to give up on everything.

I’m very vocal in my belief that creative people don’t really need an extensive period of study to do what they do. You don’t need a load of degrees to be a photographer, or a PHD to be an artist. Are you a filmmaker? Great. Grab your camera. A writer? Lovely. Pick up a pen. A Musician? Awesome. Choose your instrument. Now sit down and do your thing. Realistically, regardless of what happens we’ll always be creatives to some extent.  But  in so many cases Ideas Tap has proved to be the difference between someone who does something on the side (and there’s no shame in that – some of us have to) and someone who can do their thing full time. The right connection made here, the right brief won there, the right funding secured at the right time…. Anything could be the key to an amazing future. And I don’t know anywhere that makes those opportunities as accessible as Ideas Tap.

In the coming months the news is going to be dominated by politicians making all kinds of empty promises to woo older people into voting for them. It would be so easy for the voices of relatively few young artsy types to get drowned out in all of the noise. We can’t let that happen. We all need to do whatever it takes – campaign, rally, shout from the rooftops if that’s how you want to go about it. Whatever your thing, we need to #SaveIdeasTap.

Add your voice here: http://www.saveideastap.com/

A Letter I Wrote To The Daily Mail

Kate Middleton's hair in the Daily Mail
For context, this is the picture/article/general tone and attitude that was on the front page of the Daily Mail on Thursday and royally pissed me off. No pun intended. They just flow out of me along with the bile.

To whom it may concern,

Loads of things have happened in the last couple of days. For example, the ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine looked like it might be in danger. Greece was in the middle of financial negotiations that might affect the whole of the Eurozone. Some disgraceful behaviour by Chelsea supporters set the world’s view of British football fans back at least twenty years. And more important than all of that on Thursday, in your opinion, was Kate Middleton’s hair! She is thirty three years old and is going a bit grey. She’s walking around, living her life, growing the odd child here and there, and acting like it’s not her top priority to be dying her roots to appease some sweaty paparazzo. Maybe she’s even decided that it’s her right to choose whether she wants to do it at all. It’s just slovenly.

In the article that accompanied to the giant photo and offensive, patronising headline, which took up most of the front page, was an expert reassuring readers that some pregnant women do make the choice not to dye their hair while they have more important things to be getting on with are experiencing this minor blip in their aesthetic appearance. The expert neglected to mention that some women have their own minds and can make their own choices about what to do with the stuff that naturally grows out of their bodies.

I’ll be honest. I’m not actually that fussed about Kate. She seems perfectly nice, but I don’t know her so I’m not really interested in her day-to-day life. But as a 25 year old woman who’s just starting to go grey, I’m incredibly insulted by the half of a front page you devoted to one thirty three year old with some dodgy (and by ‘dodgy’ I mean ‘perfectly natural’) roots. Guess what? It doesn’t matter and it is certainly not news that women go grey, and thirty three certainly isn’t an unusual age for that to happen.

I know it would all be much easier for you if females didn’t exist at all, but the sad fact is that we do, and we’re going to continue to live our lives and not dye our hair quite as often as the Daily Mail thinks we should. Or – shock horror – we might actually decide to rock the grey because it actually looks amazing a lot of the time. Some teenagers even willingly dye their hair the-colour-that-must-not-be-named these days. And I know us taking control of our bodies and doing what we like isn’t really on. And I know we’re supposed to be aspiring to end up on the sidebar of shame but, quite honestly, we have so many better things to do with our time. Some people actually value us now, and treat us as equals. It’s weird, but kinda cool.

What I’m trying to say is this. If a woman, of any age, decides that their hair isn’t their top priority, that is a decision they are entitled to make. And it doesn’t matter if they’re old or young, poor or a middle-class-girl-turned-royal. It doesn’t warrant a headline, or a snide mention by Amanda Platell/Jan Moir/Some other odious columnist who doesn’t realise how loathsome everybody thinks they are, or even a funny look in the street. We can do what we like now. It’s great.

I actually have a list of suggestions for where you might like to try shoving every piece of hairstyling advice you’ve ever printed, however I respect you as a human too much, and therefore would never make unwarranted suggestions about how you should live your life. Maybe you could do the same for me, Kate Middleton, and our entire gender?

Kind regards,

Nicola Masters

(P.s. It doesn’t matter that you won’t publish this because I’m posting it online anyway.)

Reasons ‘Cats’ made me cry

I think it’s wholly unnecessary for me to say that Cats is an amazing show (which I happened to see at the weekend) because a) I can’t stand people who feel compelled to give their opinions on the internet because nobody cares and b) I think it’s been said quite enough in, like, every newspaper. And that’ll do the trick. At this point I’m not exactly going to help ALW’s seat sales because I’m pretty sure there aren’t that many left to sell. So, instead, please find below a list of all the reasons Cats made me cry because, ooh, it was emosh:

1. I last saw it as a 6-9 year old (all children look the same to me so I have no idea how old I was, but suffice it to say that it was somewhere between my birth in 1989, and the show closing in 2002). What have I done with myself since then? All I’ve really managed is to get too old to still be living like I do, and become a very mildly successful internet comedy person. I don’t think 6-9 year-old-or-possibly-older-or-younger me would be thrilled. Where the fuck is my mansion, my parrot, and my paediatric career (I do not know why I wanted to be a paediatrician when I was still very much in the remit of somebody who would go to one herself, but I think it says quite a lot about my perceived superiority at the time…)?

2. I skipped the gym that morning. And most of the previous week. And the 18 months before that. Seeing super-fit ‘cats’ in skin tight lycra, whose legwarmers are fatter than them and whose ankles can touch their ears, works wonders for the self-esteem.

3. Ooh, the music.

5. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE TOUCH NICOLE SCHERZINGER?! It’s so easy to leave her all alone with the memory of her days in the sun. But if you touch her you’ll understand what happiness is and she might stop tugging on my heartstrings for half a minute. Bawling.

6. I definitely cried when I reenacted the role of Grizabella while in shower later that evening. Because I get very method in the bathroom. I also cried when I kicked a high shelf during my version of one of the dance scenes. It was partly out of relief that I could still get my leg that high, and partly because of the internal bleeding. Either way, not a dry eye at the sink.

As a former Front of House person of many years, it hurt me to the very core of my being to take a photo in the auditorium. But apparently I'm just a maverick now. Somebody stop me.
As a former Front of House person of many years, it hurt me to the very core of my being to take a photo in the auditorium. But apparently I’m just a maverick now. Somebody stop me.

 

Happy Monday!*

*Lies.

 

The Five Stages of The Hairdresser

It’s that time of year again. Wait, did I say ‘year’? I obviously mean it’s that time of the fashion-magazine-advised three month period between expensive haircuts. I definitely didn’t grow a chin-length bob down to below my shoulders without having it cut in ten months, even if that’s what I’m making it sound like. Because I am fancy and my life is all kinds of together. But anyway. As I was at the hairdresser (does anybody call it that anymore? I feel like it’s just me and my grandma.) this evening I finally managed to define the five stages of haircuts, for those who had wondered what, precisely, they were. Yet another of life’s true conundrums solved, right off the bat. You’re all so welcome. Although you might have to pull your finger out and solve something important yourself one day…

Stage 1: “I am 100% going to lie to you about my last haircut and my entire daily routine”

Because it just makes me sound better. You, lovely hairdresser, are inevitably gorgeous and glossy, and so are your friends, and the magazines you have easy access to. You probably have a shampoo monkey, and your towels are always clean. So excuse me if I tell you I use Kerastase instead of that bottle of my Dad’s Head and Shoulders I stole last time I visited my parents because I spent my ‘expensive shampoo’ money on three bottles of Asda fizzy rose. That is my life. And of course I don’t remember my last haircut, because it happened when I was drunk and decided I need a fringe because Cara Delevigne’s is amazing. Thank you for asking. Shall we get on now? My hair could really do with a wash.

Stage 2: Eyes closed or open?

Oh god oh god oh god. Awkwardness. Do I close my eyes when my hair is washed? Is it weird to just be kind of lying there, staring? Is it weirder to look like I’m enjoying it? Is it rude to look like I’m not enjoying it? I will probably settle for a look of relaxation. Which possibly looks like I’m farting but that was just the leather chair, I swear.

Stage 3: Oh god, is my head straight?

I know I am not an easy person to work on, patient hairdresser. I get very invested very quickly in the lives of all of the other people in the salon, and I like to watch exactly what is happening to all of their hair, because it’s generally more interesting than my own ‘I just want to neaten it up’. I move my head around like a terrier with ADHD. It is never straight. And when I concentrate hard I tilt my head. So I am just instinctively not helping from the word ‘go’. They should allow hairdressers to whack people (OK, me.) with a rolled up newspaper if they stop paying attention.

Stage 4: Does my face really look like that?

Fifteen to forty five minutes of staring at your own face in the mirror is sobering. After a certain point my nose doesn’t look like a nose anymore. It’s just a fleshy thing in the middle of the potato that used to be my face, but has somehow morphed into just a ball of stuff with half-finished hair. Am I cross-eyed? What even is a nose? It’s so weird. This is the stage when shit gets deep.

Stage 5: I am fabulous and I will flip my head until it falls off.

In your face, jaded businessman who left the office late and is sitting next to the weird girl on the tube. Quite literally, in your face. Smell my salon-y scent and be jealous. And/or marry me and buy me nice things. My fiance probably won’t mind.

*Bonus 6th Stage: Try to take a selfie without anyone seeing you take a selfie

Especially if you know you might write something about going to the hairdressers later. Try to get your phone out of your bag every time you’re left alone for even a second. Fail miserably. It’s like a sad game of ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’.

And, with that settled, I’m going to look in the mirror while I flip my hair because I am fabulous.

This Is Snow Joke!

Important news: It is winter. I know this will come as a shock to the three hermits left in the UK who haven’t been outside and frozen a few minor parts of their anatomy off. But it is winter.

I’m actually going to go out on a limb and claim that it really hasn’t been that cold this year. And, as a person who has a certain amount of prestige gained by living on the East Coast of the USA last year (hello, Polar Vortexes. Plural.) I am allowed to make such claims. You weren’t there, man. It was minus double figures for weeks.

This really gets me to the crux of the matter for today. It’s high time we all started our seasonal one-upmanship for the year. Christmas is over, so we can no longer passive-aggressively compete to decide who ate the most. New Years is over so ‘who’s the biggest alcoholic?’ is out of the window too. So, who is coldest? And who can go on and on about the weather without being completely objectionable to everybody around them. Honestly? None of us. But that’s never stopped anyone.

With yellow snow warnings (snigger) all over the place at the moment, it seems like the perfect time to stretch that all-important attention-seeking muscle. Because, let’s be very honest with ourselves, that’s what we are doing. Everybody knows it’s winter because we have eyes and nerve endings, so it doesn’t technically need to be mentioned at all.

However, if you do insist on mentioning it anyway, just remember to follow these three tips in the two hours and thirty seven minutes between the snow falling and it all disappearing again:

1. Add inches. This is the one time nobody can ever really measure. If you get a tiny sprinkling on the roof of your car, that can easily be upgraded to an inch. A light dusting all over is probably nearly two inches anyway, so you might as well tell people that’s how much you had. An actual couple of inches anywhere is truly dramatic and can easily be bumped up to a foot. And don’t forget that drifts count. If you ‘embellish’ the amount of snow to people who do not live where you live, they can never prove if you’re lying. Which, of course you aren’t, because you’re embellishing. And if you accidentally embellish to somebody who lives close by and knows exactly what you’re doing, they’re quite likely to keep schtum and thank you for making their life sound that bit more dramatic for once. Embellishments FTW.

2. Stockpile essentials. And yes, I do mean alcohol and takeaway menus. You might be dramatically snowed in, but the Dominoes up the road is probably, conveniently, not.

3. Engage whinging mode. Why does the country shut down the second it gets cold? ‘The wrong kind of snow’ – what does that mean, National Rail? Why are they not able to grit my tiny, insignificant cul-de-sac with five houses at 3am? Grumble grumble grumble. However, know in your heart of hearts that you are going to claim that getting into work on Monday is simply impossible and positively unsafe. Because that tenth of an inch inch of snow on the ground might be fuckin’ slippy.

And, if all else fails, take a tip from these fine gentlemen:

You’re so welcome for all of these very useful tips – make sure you send me photos of all of the wintery fun you have. Except please don’t, because I have SO MUCH MORE SNOW THAN YOU and it’ll just embarrass us both.

A Very Black Friday Indeed

Black Friday does not exist in England. Or at least it didn’t. In a proud moment we got the chance to bear witness to the UK’s first ever Black Friday last, well, Friday. We saw police called in, fights breaking out between shoppers, and insane crowds on Oxford Street (and probably other places with sops too but I’m a very London-centric person and we may as well be talking about Mars as far as I’m concerned.)

I missed all of that because I was gnashing my teeth and staring at my computer screen. Herein follows a tale of woe.

I have a Christmas present to buy. It’s quite pricey, but myself and my sister are splitting the cost, so it’s not disastrous. But ever the opportunist, I thought ‘I wonder if I could get this a little bit cheaper on Black Friday’. This thought occurred to me roughly 10 minutes after I publicly stated my disapproval and intention to boycott.

OK, ‘intention to boycot’ is too active a description. ‘Intention to not bother’ is more like it. Either way. Not only am I opportunistic, I’m also very hypocritical. So I accidentally had a look on a few websites. I wasn’t about to go to actual shops, because a) I hate people and all places where there might be people and b) I have a job that requires me to attend in the daytime and preferably minus black eyes sustained after getting in the way of angry mothers hunting down TVs. So. One of these websites had a stupid queuing system, so I let it tick over quietly in the background while searching every other place I could think of. I found nothing, because the thing I wanted in the first place wasn’t a huge TV (although, don’t get me wrong, I want one of those in my life more than I want children) with £200 knocked off the price that was suspiciously raised by £200 the week before.

So I sat, and I twiddled my thumbs, and I waited to be ‘let in’ to the site.

 

Black Friday
“Twenty Four minutes. Hmmm. That seems kind of ridiculous, but I can deal with it. What’s the worst that could happen?”

I went about my day. I ate my breakfast, answered some emails, and left it ticking away in the background. Twenty two minutes later I went back, expecting to have a minute left to wait.

Black Friday
Insert tiny fit of rage here.

I actually had a full minute more to wait than I had when I very first started waiting. Still, nine minutes later, my time had gone down considerably.

Tiny walking man, did you do a cheeky long jump that I somehow missed?

So all good. But then that stupid little man in the progress bar stopped walking. For ages, I watched the little man in the progress bar strolling merrily on his way to the land of discount electrical and household goods. And then he stopped. For nearly an hour he’d been like a hamster in an internet wheel – always moving, never getting anywhere. Until he decided it was fuck this shit o’clock, stopped, and just started staring at me from his bar of perpetual motion.

Black Friday
“Tra la la…. What a lovely day to stand, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. Who are you? Is that your desk? Are you always that messy? You look angry. Does your hair always look that bad? Shall we play a game? What games do you like?…”

He stared at me for nearly ten minutes. Then, suddenly, began whistling and skipping on his merry way again. The only catch was that it was with more time to wait than ever before.

Black Fraiday
Oh, yes, tiny walking man. You get walking. I like the way you move. It’s like you were born to do it.

Fortunately, while he was staring at me and pondering, he managed to devise a way to bend time and space, because in five minutes we had less than ten minutes to go.

Black Friday
Did you walk through a Tardis?

And then in another five minutes, he got me really very excited.

Black Friday
Ooh, teeny walking man, I love it when you tease me.

And lo, the wanderer did make it to the promised land.

Black Friday
What’s that? It sounds like choirs of angels and cherubs playing harps.

A full hour and eight minutes after I was told I had twenty four minutes to wait, I finally made it. Did I find what I was looking for? No. Absolutely not. To be honest, it was a long shot in the first place, but I got stubborn and decided I couldn’t give up.

However, I learned a lesson that fateful day. If your heart is pure and your river of patience runs deep, you will make it where you want to go. As long as where you want to go is a land of discounted televisions and other assorted electrical items.

Who am I kidding? I want to go to there.

Did you do anything for Black Friday?

Dear Amazon

Please excuse my writing. I can’t stop my hands from shaking, ’cause I’m cold and alone tonight.

Nah, I jest.

Let me start by saying, I love you, Amazon. I really do. Deep down, I know you’re evil, but I have no qualms about kicking the little guys to the kerb if it means I can get stuff just a little bit cheaper, a little bit quicker, and without having to leave my house. And the last bookshop in my town closed two years ago so that they could open a second Nandos and an all-you-can-eat restaurant, so if I want to buy books I don’t actually have that many options.

I preordered a book in July. It’s all over Instagram, which means it’s super-cool, which means it’s OK to say it was ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler. It was released in the UK on November 6th, which I know off the top of my head because I was so excited. And then on the morning of November 6th, instead of getting an insanely over-packaged (the earth hates you, Amazon) but otherwise innocuous parcel, I got the below email.

Ways to make an allegedly grown woman cry.

‘Yes Please’ wasn’t going to be available to ship until after Christmas. Which is so funny, Amazon, because you were selling it that same day for next day delivery. You’re also selling it now and it’s still available for next day delivery. It’s almost like you have enough copies to go around to everybody who ordered them. The email said I could cancel my order, which I immediately did because to hell with that, and when it asked why I was cancelling, there was no option for ‘I’m being screwed over and I give up’. I ordered the Kindle version in 3 seconds flat – because I’m angry, Amazon, but like any trust-abusing relationship I will keep coming back for more – and I looked forward to reading it and hating you at the same time.

I wouldn’t even mind (That’s a lie) but the order I made before this one was also a pre-order. ‘Not That Girl’ by Lena Dunham, if you must know. I’m so zeitgeisty. This time there were no emails. There was nothing at all. Instead I just sat there, refreshing my order status, looking at the black letters that said ‘not yet dispatched’. For at least three days after the book’s release, it was ‘not yet dispatched’. Not until I wrote to you, Amazon, to suggest that you pull your thumb out of your arse, did anybody think to pop a book in an envelope and just slip it in the post. It’s not like my order was somehow shocking to you. You knew about it for a fortnight before the book came out. You probably had the books in the warehouse a couple of days before they were released, too. Anyone might think you’d pack up the pre-orders in advance of (‘pre’, if you will) the date of release. Apparently not. Maybe I’m too optimistic. I like to see the best in all massive, heartless corporations. I know deep down you love me.

I don’t want to contact you directly, Amazon, because you can be certain that the person on the receiving end of my vitriol is not the person who should be and, having had to professionally take complaints about other people that I shouldn’t have had to take, I know that’s not fair. It’s also futile.

It was short. It was sweet. We tried.

(I swear I’m done now.)

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with a website?

Saving The Best ‘Til Last

When I was little I refused to mix up any of the foods on my plate. Now that I’m 25, I still refuse to mix up any of the foods on my plate. I mean, I’ll allow them to be mixed up, but you can be damn sure I’m going to pick out all of the bits I don’t like and eat those first, and then work my way through until I’ve saved the best bits until last. I only just realised that that’s what I do with pretty much everything else in life, as well.

As I write this, I am drinking a pina colada. I am sitting in my pyjamas, with no makeup on and my hair pulled back, drinking an actual pina colada. Which, to be honest, is disgusting because I put so much rum in it that even I, with my tendencies towards being an old soak, can’t drink more than a tiny sip at a time. Anyway, I digress. My pina colada came from a ready-made mix. It’s basically a pouch of pineapple juice with some coconut. I got this pouch in a goody bag from an event. So far, so good. Now, that event was in July. I haven’t made my pina colada in the last four months because I was saving it. I don’t even know what for. Maybe until I had the right kind of glass and a tiny cocktail umbrella. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf (the natural habitat of the pre-made pina colada mix) for all that time, like the visual embodiment of a promise of a perfect day to come. I also have varied beauty products, a giant bar of Galaxy, and countless empty notebooks. All waiting for everything to be perfect.

It’s only very recently that I’ve realised that saving everything is a terrible trait to have. I’ve always looked at it as a way of ‘savouring’ the moment. Maybe I would’ve enjoyed that Pina Colada on a summer’s day, sitting in my garden, flipping through a magazine and waiting for my nails to dry. But that moment I wanted to savour is never going to come because I don’t like sitting still for that long anyway, and now it’s nearly winter.

If it was just the odd freebie or stationery item, it maybe wouldn’t be a big problem, but it’s everything. I never get to wear my favourite clothes because I want to “save” them. I never get round to seeing the films or watching the TV shows that everyone else in the world talks about because I want to “save” them. I never get round to acting on the 100,000 really good ideas I have for my other blog because I’m waiting for the time to be right. I’m not sure what the right time even looks like for that.

I don’t lack drive or creativity, what I lack is the freelance lifestyle, the perfect wardrobe, and the minimalist, white, shabby-chic office of my dreams. The time is never right.

So this is me committing to no longer caring. The time will never be right, and that’s OK. I’m going to drink my pina colada, I’m going to treat writing like a job that I have to get done regardless of surroundings, and I am going to wear every single one of my hair mask samples while I eat my Galaxy bar. All of it. At once.

Well, I never said this was going to be pretty.

If you like pina coladas...
If you like pina coladas…

Does anyone else have this problem? What are you all waiting for? I mean that in a literal, interested way, and not as a rhetorical question…

Nobody Cares What You Think

I realise that by the mere fact of me writing about my opinion on this we’re all likely to be swept into a black hole of hypocrisy and (the bad kind of) irony, but it’s probably worth it because we all just seem to be lying down and taking this ugly new development of the past year or so.

People keep feeling compelled to tell me what they think. But they don’t just tell me – they tell everyone. And it’s not in the context of any kind of conversation relating to the subject they’re suddenly holding forth on, but rather through the inescapable medium of the internet (I know that some people just stop looking online when they get annoyed or bored. I, however, would genuinely prefer to shove a hand in someone’s face and wordlessly walk away mid-conversation than close down Twitter of an evening, so I am not one of them.).

We live in a troubled world, and we seem to be stuck in a particularly troubled period in the troubled history of this troubled world. People have so much they feel compelled to discuss. Every time there’s another rocket attack somewhere, or someone famous dies, or there’s a riot, society immediately sits down as one in their pyjamas and publishes their own official statements on the matter. They lay out their suggestions for solutions, they pompously discuss their disappointment like it’s going to make a difference, and they invite debate with other, equally self-important nobodies.

It needs to stop.

I’m all for the sharing of news – it’s one of the most useful things about social media, and occasionally invaluable. I can’t remember the last time I got new information from a physical, real-life newspaper. That’s how efficient it is. But that’s where it should end. I barely care about the opinions of important people whose thoughts actually matter. Just imagine how tiny the shit I give about my ex-colleague’s sister’s action plan for the Middle East is going to be.

So next time you find your Facebook status straying into the realm of current events, stop. Remember how insignificant you are, keep your opinions to yourself, and post a picture of an adorable puppy or a funny cafe sign instead.

Aaah... That's better.
Aaah… That’s better.

It’s Getting Hot(el) in Here

Sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you just know you’re a fish out of water. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but at the same time you just know you don’t belong where you are and at any second you could be found out and promptly thrown out. This happened to me last weekend when I went away to a fancy hotel, only to realise it was a really fancy hotel, with the kind of fancy people I don’t know how to behave around. With that experience in mind I thought it was a good idea to set out my tips for how to behave when you’re out of your depth in a posh hotel. Because one day we’ll all be there.

Posh building full of posh people. Huge potential for awkwardness.
Posh building full of posh people. Huge potential for awkwardness.

Tip #1: The second you open the door to your room, begin charging from one side to the other (since it’s a nice hotel with large rooms, this may take you a while) and exclaim really loudly about all of the things. “Ooh, look at the size of the bed!”, “Look at the size of the TV!”, “Look at the size of the shower!”. It’s what all the other guests will definitely have done, because rich people don’t have giant widescreen TVs and king-size beds either.

Lots of space for running around and yelling inappropriately because you just can't be cool.
Lots of space for running around and yelling inappropriately because you just can’t be cool.

Tip #2: When, after five minutes of being there, you realise you’ve forgotten your hairbrush, don’t panic. Do spend the next fifteen minutes frantically trying to comb it with your fingers, putting it up and trying to convince it to stay there, and inventing new scarf-or-hat-based hair coverings so that nobody sees the really obvious sign that you don’t have your shit together.

Tip #3: Similarly, when you realise you’ve forgotten to bring your razor, you should know that it’s such a nice place they’ll probably be able to supply you with one, but choose not to phone the desk, because you don’t want to admit you’re a mess. Trousers it is, then, for the entire break. Here’s hoping you don’t spill your dinner with your usual frequency.

Chillin' on a bridge. Purely because it was there.
Chillin’ on a bridge. Purely because it was there.

Tip #4: Use all the facilities. No, you don’t usually go to the gym, but do it just this once. Even though you’re probably just going to bounce up and down on an exercise ball in the corner and eyeball the men lifting weights. It’s included in the price of the room, therefore you must spend time there. Also make use of the sauna. And if you happen to end up in a man-sandwich with an elderly Italian and a camp man in tiny trunks then so be it. Style it out like you know what you’re doing. And where you should look. And how long you’re supposed to cook yourself.

Tip #5: Suddenly get into reading the papers. All of the papers. Because they’ll provide them for free and just think of all that litter tray lining you’ll be able to do when you get back!

But this is all just my two cents. What would you do to make sure a fancy place didn’t find out that you’re really a peasant? I’m always looking to up my game…

Happy Friday!