A hairy question

He was friendly. He was flirty. He was American.

But he had a moustache.

My Saturday night is now nothing but a boozy blur. But here’s what I remember. Some girlfriends and I drank champagne. We went out for dinner. We drank more champagne. We told funny stories and laughed hysterically. We drank more champagne. We had deep and meaningfuls. The restaurant closed. We found a bar. We drank more champagne. We cried and hugged each other. The┬ábar closed. We found another bar. Decided, sensibly, that we didn’t need any more champagne.

So we ordered margaritas.

We danced. We drank more margaritas. Someone fell over. And when I reached the point where I needed to hold one eye closed to focus properly, Moustache Man suddenly appeared.

From what I remember, he was lovely. Outgoing, interested, confident and charming. New to London, and keen for adventure. Sympathetic to my lack-of-focussing-ability. A potentially perfect leading man.

BUT.

HE HAD A MOUSTACHE.

Now, you need to understand – I really, really hate moustaches. To me, they are the ugliest, dirtiest things in the world. A clean-shaven man? Lovely. A guy with a bit of stubble? Perfect. Sporting a full beard? Hot. But a moustache? Gross, just gross. Hairy, scary and (I don’t know why), but kinda pervy.

For me, November is a terrible month. As Movember takes hold, good-looking men all over the place are suddenly afflicted with a hairy upper lip. It’s terrifying!

And that – especially for a girl looking for love – poses a major problem. If you meet a moustached man in late November it COULD be that he’s a charitable, fun guy, out to raise some money and have a laugh. The moustache could be gone in days, revealing a handsome, clean-shaven Mr Right. Or, he could seriously think a moustache is a good look and HAVE ONE ALL THE TIME.

It’s a difficult time for a moustache-fearing girl.

Bring on December 1!

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Making a connection

It’s been too long since I last wrote… but that’s what happens when you don’t have an internet connection.

But I have an excuse – I moved house! Yes, this chick lit novel now has a setting. A brown brick semi-detached house on the top of a hill in north-west London. It’s too small and too far out of town but it’s got big windows and a big backyard and I already love it.

I’ve got flatmates, too. One of my best friends from Australia has already been here four years – she’s the wise Londoner guiding me through this crazy adventure. She organised the place – I’m living with her, her rock star English boyfriend, and HIS single best friend. I KNOW. THIS CHICK LIT NOVEL IS WRITING ITSELF.

So obviously, I’m going to end up with this guy, right? I mean, it’s so predictable. Even more predictable, because I really don’t think I will. You know how in the chick lit novel, the girl doesn’t really like the obvious guy, because she’s infatuated with Mr Wrong? And Mr Obvious is clearly pining for her throughout the novel, but the Chick doesn’t really notice how fabulous he is, until Mr Wrong breaks her heart and Mr Obvious is there for her?

Well, I haven’t found Mr Wrong yet. And I’m pretty sure my poor housemate isn’t pining for me. But if this really WAS a chick lit book, I’m pretty sure that’s how it would end. I’ll keep you posted.

But back to the internet thing. You will never know just how reliant you are on the internet, until you don’t have it. And when you’re living in a new house, in a new suburb, in a new city, in a new country, you need the internet more than ever. Especially when your phone is busted.

Since I arrived in England, my phone has been on the blitz. Things came to a head last week when my Mum texted me to ask if I could Skype. Homesick, and newly depressed about my lack of internet, I sent her a long, detailed message about how crap everything was. AND THEN IT DIDN’T SEND.

It’s funny, when you’re on edge, what little things set you off. Six days of internet cold turkey, and the fact that that simple text wouldn’t go through sent me over the edge. The iPhone was thrown. There was shouting. There were tears. In the midst of my hysterics, as I listed every little thing that was wrong with my life, including my uncomfortable pillow, the fact that I didn’t know what to have for lunch, and that my hair will never do what I want it to, I added, “AND I’ve been here a month and no one’s fallen in love with me!”

After the drama had passed, a list of priorities was made. Number one on the list was getting my phone sorted. Love, I thought, could wait at least one more day. So imagine my surprise one man offered both services later that very day.

Yes, I was cracked on to by the phone repair man.

Ring a ding ding!

A novel idea

I’ve always identified with the main girl in the chick lit novel – but I guess that’s the point, isn’t it? She’s always a little bit insecure, unlucky in love, unconvinced about her appearance and prone to emotional chocolate binges. An every-woman, I guess.

She’s also usually a writer – most often, she works for a chic women’s magazine, but very occasionally, she’s a journalist. Just like me!

When I decided to move to London, the chick lit coincidences seemed clearer than ever, and this blog was born. It’s a bit of a scary concept – who knows what the next year of my life will bring? And, will any of it be interesting enough to share with the world?

But the first day totally went to plan. Wearing a floaty dress and stylish sunnies I strolled down gorgeous, flowering London streets, finding a cute little pub across from a park and setting myself up with a salad, a gin and tonic, a great view and my iPad. Searching for jobs and feeling fabulous, I drew the attention of the barman. A charming, friendly guy who offered advice on where to live, filled me in on his travel adventures and engaged in some mild flirting. Perfect! Perhaps not the one I’ll end up with at the end of the book, but definitely a great supporting player – and one with the potential to give me free drinks!

So far, so good. I was just starting to think this really could be a chick lit life, when a headline this morning took my breath away. Flicking through a magazine, I stumbled across the article, ‘Has the Gap-Year Killer Struck Again?’

Crap… I hope I’m in the right novel.

Prologue

I’m not the world’s most adventurous person. I don’t have a tattoo and I’d never jump out of a plane. Let’s face it – I haven’t even tried tuna (it smells bad, OK?).

So when I decided I was going to quit my awesome, stable job and move to London for a year, people were surprised. Perhaps me most of all.

But the fact was, I needed a change. Last year sucked. I had my heart broken and found myself morphing into some sort of sad couch potato, watching hours upon hours of Gossip Girl and eating sliced cheese for dinner. I was so busy feeling sorry for myself it took me months to realise I’d been handed an opportunity. No one to tie me down, no one to tell me what to do. No one to consult if I wanted to pack up my pink shoes and have my very own adventure.

So now I’m taking charge. I’ve got a ticket booked and my passport ready. It’s the stupidest, craziest thing in the world but I’m going to do it. Even if it’s awful. Even if I end up starving, lonely and crying myself to sleep in sub-zero British temperatures.

It’s like the start of every good chick lit book I’ve read. Heartbroken girl off on a scary and exciting new adventure. Will I meet a host of zany characters? Probably. Will I embarrass myself in dozens of awkward ways? Absolutely. Will I meet the man of my dreams??

You never know… I might even try tuna.