Dear Mr Weather Controller

Dear Mr Weather Controller

I am writing to you in regards to the problems we have been experiencing with the weather from approx April 2012, to erm, now.

I am a fan of a big coat, my faux owl fur I was only able to wear once or twice this winter. I did not expect to be wearing my big thick coats and vintage Adidas rain macs into July.

Now, I don’t really know what this jet stream nonsense is, I’m not one for following the news… I’ll stick to Brass Eye thanks. But it sounds nice? Sounds fun? Is it a ride at Quay West? (Torquay, Devon) I’m presuming the situation might improve if it goes? Let’s make it happen. May I suggest a friendly nudge.

I am a lazy Plymouth mare and I am enjoying watching the entire series of The Sopranos, and I always enjoy an early venture in to my pyjamas and in to the bed… but I like that the summer sometimes prevents me from doing this. Even I have slovenly limits…. but there is serious danger of me advancing in to a serious FFF (fatty fuck face) if this weather doesn’t improve. Admittedly, when the sun does come out, I’ll probably just sit at the park, read a book and enjoy a cider, but still. It’s all about options. There is only so much of Tony Sopranos shirts my eyes can cope with.

The never ending FB status stream regarding the weather, followed by a picture of the rain, this sends me further to retreat. Yes, rain. More rain.

Fortunately, this weather means that the likelihood of my eyes bestowing upon the sight of men in wifebeaters (singlets, vests, whatever) is limited. Buff or not, there is no place for a vest in the city centre, a sweaty pit is a no no thanks. Of course, there is always the over enthusiastic student in his flip flops and board shorts, of course! Mehte; you look like a tosser.

On the flip side, in place of Plymouth ‘maids’ with their ass cheeks and cellulite on show, we still endure the trusty cheap leggin on 80-85% of the local population. Yes, the rules remain the same despite the temperature being 15 degrees; the top needs to cover the tuppence and ideally, be thicker than your average 20 denier tight.

It would be nice to enjoy a little bit of sunshine. I have missed sitting in the sun, with friends, enjoying each others company and some wine of course, let’s keep our fingers crossed for sunny skies and funky clouds.

I remain ever hopeful.

Maisie Snax

A Strongly Worded Letter of Complaint

This is a letter I wrote to M&S customer services before Christmas.

Enjoy.

Option Selected: Not Applicable
Post code: XXXXXX
Store name: Plymouth
Product Description: Chai Latte
Comments: Dear Sir / Madam

I want to tell you a little story. I have recently met a man. He lives in Liverpool. I live in Plymouth. I have a habit of complicating things in my life, this is no different. Anyway, he is lovely, and after a chance encounter, and meeting in Liverpool, and an intense period of texts and phonecalls – where we recreate lots of wonderful scenarios that we will enjoy together, a visit is on the cards. Yessss!

He will visit on the 2 December.

Through this period of high intensity long distance texting, we discover a mutual love of a chai latte. Specifically an M&S chai latte (what other chai lattes are there, we chuckled to each other!) As a result of this mutual discovery, we pencilled in a visit to M&S as a Sunday activity, after the roast dinner in a pretty seaside village and a pleasant water taxi ride (all of which had also been pencilled in and discussed before the big visit) but BEFORE the mulled wine (cider and Buckfast) and cheese feast activities back at my abode.

The weekend was going really well, admittedly we had barely met previously, and we were both very nervous, but we needn’t have been. The laughs were coming thick and fast, I’ll tell you! Pleased? I hope you are.

We approached the cafe area outside, we were practically skipping hand in hand! We were literally beside ourselves with excitement, our palms clammy, teeming with joyous anticipation, only to be advised that you had no vanilla essense, so a chai latte was off the menu. Disappointed? Very much so.

The weekend had been going so well, this was the first hurdle. I panicked inside. What did this event signify? Downtrodden, we headed home, to the reliable, trusty mulled goods, which is mostly how I used to think of M&S; trusty and reliable.

I won’t lie, it put a dampner on our Sunday, the last day together before he headed back up North. We both agreed ‘I can’t believe Marks don’t have vanilla essense, I really wanted a chai latte, it was our fantasy.’ I cried a little bit inside, after the panic has subsided. Which it eventually did.

The man made a surprise visit the following week! What a result, I hear you cry! I was extra pleased as I thought this may allow M&S to redeem themselves from the previous week’s gargantuan faux pas. Another wonderful weekend was shared, more mulled wine, culinary delights prepared by my fair hands, zombie satire on the box, holding hands and spooning.

Monday, the inevitable comes round, and I have time for lunch in town before I start work. Instead of the outside cafe, we head upstairs, I can’t think straight for the prospect of another box ticked (we love to tick boxes) the chai latte! I have skinny, though I think he opts for normal, regardless, we both have a great affinity for them. ‘This is it, this is literally it!’, I think to myself. I look at him, and I know he is sharing my sentiment, he feels it too! I am trembling with anticpation and excitement – over a whole week later, they must have vanilla essense now…

NO.

Our parting lunch (2 x croque monsuir, scones and cinammon and honey lattes) was poorer for the lack of the said lattes. I am also £20 poorer.

We were both sad.

REALLY sad. We clung to each other, both teetering on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

This was attributed to M&S for failing us on TWO occasions in the same way over a week apart. The staff dealt with the blow really well, and said we might be able to get one from Starbucks. Andrew and I are united in our dislike of Starbucks. Fortunately, we have managed to come through this … and we still hope (and dream) that one day we will share a chai latte from M&S, although now we will not get to do so before Christmas. I would really appreciate your comments regarding this… thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.

This is the response I received:

Dear Ms Barnes

Your ref:

Thanks for your email. I’m sorry you were unable to get the Chai Latte in our Plymouth café as there was no vanilla essence. Obviously we try to maintain stock of all of the products in our cafés but it’s clear that on this occasion we have not been successful.

I have let the store managers of the Plymouth store know about this and I’m confident that they will take any action necessary and hope you will be able to enjoy the Chai Latte next time you visit the store.

Please be aware this email is from a ‘no reply’ email address. If you would like to respond, please contact us via our website https://www.marksandspencer.com/contactus and we will be happy to assist you further.

Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch.

Kind Regards

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Marks & Spencer Customer Services
Registered office: Waterside House, 35 North Wharf Road, London, W2 1 NW.
Registered Number: 214436 (England and Wales)

Pretty poor.

As a postscript to this, we finally got our chai latte from the M&S in Liverpool, just before New Year. We continue to search for better and more reliable vendors of our milk based hot beverage of choice.

Leggins – The Modern Day Petticoat

Now before I start I feel I should say that most girls, and some boys have all made a leggins faux pas at some point or another in their life. It might be in the 80’s, or it might be closer to the present day. But a faux pax is a faux pas, and there is no faux pas quite like a leggin faux pas.

This blog I think may be quite epic, and I feel, even if it is only for my own benefit (which it is), please find below an index of what will be covered. I didn’t go to uni (well, very briefly) so the structure may leave a lot to be desired.

  1. Leggins – Where did it all start in my world
  2. Leggins – A brief history
  3. Correct useage of the leggin
  4. INCORRECT useage of the leggin
  5. Male perception of leggins
  6. Jeggins
  7. Meggins
  8. Treggins

1. I remember my mum having a pair of burgundy leggins purchased from the New Look on Plymstock Broadway, our local shopping precinct, circa 1991 perhaps. I remember nothing more than that, I was merely aware of their existence. As you are aware, leggins are more than present in our modern-day, busy lives. However, at the beginning of the modern day leggins craze, my dear, and fellow inappropriately tendancied, and over egging friend, P we’ll call him, talked about leggins for some considerable time. Being a creative old soul, P (for paedo) drew some leggins. My favourite being the Calypso Leggins the Anorexic Leggins (coupled with a big buckled belt to make you look skinnier, as worn by Karen Carpenter) plus other super leggins.

Eventually there was a no leggins chat ban.

From this, it all started. The obsession. Soon leggins were everywhere again, and people were getting it all wrong. The shaking of the head as you saw people’s dotty pants, cellulite and fat spilling over their exposed leggins, was coupled with the joy of discovering a garment more versatile and experimental that the traditional hosiery, and that of a denier tight. This moves me nicely on to…

2. So… I checked out leggins (leggings) on wikipedia. It seems that they have been kicking about for some time, but really started as a fashion garment in the late 70’s. Anyway… there is one statement that really stuck out for me on the wikipedia article…

Leggin(g)s are sometimes worn fully exposed, and are more traditionally worn partially covered by a garment such as a skirt, a large t-shirt or shorts, or fully covered by an outer garment, such as a full length skirt.

Wow. Me, Maisie Snax, born of Mr & Mrs Snax is deemed as ‘traditional’ in the leggin world. Why is this? I have never seen myself as someone who is traditional. Is this because I am 30 now, I considered myself open minded, liberal – yet I do not condone this non-traditional approach to expose of the leggins, you know, round the tuppy and back door area. The leggin by their very nature is relatively thin and tight, dissimilar to, say, TROUSERS, or JEANS

3. This section ‘Correct usage of the leggin’ is, quite simple, and I refer back to tradition. The leggin should be worn as an undergarment, with an overgarment covering the lady garden. I personally am a fan of a plain leggin, black or grey. The wet look leggin has never appealed to me, but I don’t look down (too much) as long as it conforms to the aforementioned ‘do’s’.

4. Now here is where I come in to my own. Here is where my passion, or maybe anti-passion (?) lays. Incorrect wearing of the leggin. I don’t wish to get on my high horse (God forbid). I am certain I go around the place looking (and acting) like a fairly massive twat, quite a lot of the time. I wear specs if they match an outfit, I have sported several wanky hairstyles, all loved by myself, including ginger fringes.

I also spent a large amount of time at The Big Chill adorning a pair of black plastic frames with no lenses at all, I wear silly hats and big plastic beads. And yes… it has been known that I have worn a pair of leggins with a small hole in them. No, not near there, not like my friend Donna. That is her leggin weak spot. I tell her, if you will buy kiddies leggins from Zara babes. Hers need reinforcing I tell you. But yes, I digress, I have been known to have my own occasional leggin faux pax, and yes, I often am not a pillar of style and finesse, (and yes, I have also been known to overuse a comma) – so I do not wish to judge (that’s what I have been trying to say) and I agree that people should be able to wear and look like however they want. Lord knows I do…

BUT…

Leggins too small for you, with your wet lettuce all but exposed?

Cold days, with a thong on and your cellulite for all to see (and above)? The beauty of the leggin is it’s versatility and functionality and yes, it’s fashion status. But this defies logic. I’ve seen it with my own eyesies. For God’s sake, show some respect for your fellow man and the beloved leggin. Cover up your small pants, cover yourself up on this winter day and …

Purchase some good quality leggins. If you do this, then some other no-go’s may become more palatable and certainly more forgivable. Remember, leggins are NOT trousers. They should not be worn as such.

5. This is interesting. Boys and leggins. I have banged on and on about leggins for some time now, and for my Facebook friends, I can’t imagine this is news to you. So, from my incessent barking, it is inevitable that some boys (and that includes men too by the way) have expressed an opinion on the quintessential garment of the modern day. It varies. Some boys (and I will change the names to protect the innocent) and in particular my dear friend Nigella’s boyfriend, Liam is quite open in regard to his enjoyment of the exposed toe leggin. He see’s a pretty girl and enjoys an eyeful. Typically, his enjoyment is hindered if the girl is overweight. GOOD. I hope his eyes bleed, his leggins opinions are wrong. Sort your life out. Some say, how can it be wrong to state a preference? I disagree. Liam was perplexed at my disgruntlement. He likes old school rave, and leggins misuse. LOSER. Another friend, Terry, was on a similar line, he liked them, however knew he shouldn’t. A guilty pleasure, forbidden fruit. INTERESTING. Tony – he had his own ideas on leggins abuse. He has been sporting, at parties, for some years his own pair of silver leggins. To be fair to Tony, he can carry them off better than most girls, and has the decency to tuck himself neatly away in to a nice little mangina. Most of the time.

These leggins have had so much wear, they are starting to perish around the nether regions. Flash photography is dangerous. But Tony – I salute you and your leggins. They never leave the house, and they are shown the respect they deserve. My gay friends share similar sentiment to me. They know their rights. Our rights. We love our retinas.

Whistlers Mom

6. This is a tough section. Jeggins. This summer I have seen countless girls wearing jeggins AS JEANS. I have a pair of jeggins given to me by my dear friend Katey who works for H&M as a designer. She is kind enough to bestow many garments on me when I am lucky enough to go and see her in Stockholm. I have been given some jeggins. They are like black faded denim, with small zips round the ankle. I almost got rid of them, I have maybe worn them twice? I took them to the park on a warm summer evening this summer, along with a couple of other bags of clothes to try and palm them off to my friend Jenna. We drank warm cider, and smoked, then cowered under a rug as it got colder. We looked like vagrants, I won’t lie. But, Jenna convinced me, keep the jeggins. They remain unworn. I feel in a bit of a quandary with regards to jeggins… I want to like them, I want to wear them. I’ve been overloaded with my own bullshit, and I am scared to like them , to wear them. If anyone has some reassuring, wise words for me (please, only in regards to this leggin spectrum) please share them.

6. Meggins. Leggins – for men. I wish I had seen more of this. Apart from on Tony. Is this actually just a new name for long-johns? I thought P might have got involved with these, but no. He opts still for a skinny jean, a deck shoe and a full, paedo beard these days.

SUBPOST: Afte my recent brief trip to White Isle, I was fortunate enought to experience to fun loving guys embracing jeggins on their early morning flight BRI – IBZ. I arrived early, and fatigued. Imagine my delight when I saw these beauties donning, yes, our favourite lycra garments. Feast your eyes. Please, do not feel like a paedo. There is nothing wrong with looking at these photos and ENJOYING them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw these fella’s, I obviously had to comment, ‘Nice leggins boys’. They advised me that they had not had such a positive reaction from many people. I encouraged them, and I think they left with a lighter heart. What is the world coming to when young, strapping men can’t walk freely wearing leggins without fear of retribution, yet fat knackers and bony snatched woman of the world carry on, unberated. I would much rather see more of the above, rather than the specimens that wonder around like slugs.

7. I saw a big sign in the window display in H&M in delightful Plmouth, just last week. Treggins, now in! I pondered, what is this treggin, what avenue can this garment, the modern day petticoat explore now? The wonders of Wikipedia advised that is was a very thick leggin.

Now hang on a minute. Isn’t that what a leggin should be? I believe that even if it is very thick, it should not expose the front and back bottoms of women or children. (I am not sure if the treggin is designed in a meggin format…)

I want to conclude this now. I started this blog in late August, and I am going on my holidays tomorrow, so I want to go to bed. But please, think about where will the leggin go next? What is the future? It’s all so exciting, yet so terrifying.

Aaaaanyway… What I am trying to say is, please girls… cover up. The muffin top over a cheap pair of leggins is bad news. It makes me, and others die a little bit inside.

I do hope a good weekend is had by all, I go to London tomorrow to see my brother and some London friends whom I haven’t seen for far too long. One of them, my drag friend Joy, describes me as more of a gay man that any gay man he has ever . What an accolade! Then I am off to Brighton to see 2ManyDj’s and Jaymo and Andy George with my festifriend Lou, then to Ibiza for 4 days of sea, sun, carnage and moustaches. Life moves pretty fast… etc…

The opinions held within this are mine, I am a gobshite wanker, so they are probably best ignored.

Peace xx

An Ode To The Bird

Afternoon all… it’s stopped raining. It’s Bank Holiday weekend, not much in the social calendar for me this weekend, which is a pleasant change. I’ve kept it pretty empty…

Why?

The bird is coming home! The original bird. Best bird. Emma Oakes, now Tomkinson. Emma is my very good friend, who I have known since I worked at Royal Mail in my early twenties. We went to Orrrstraaalia in 2003 with another bird, Kelly, where we consumed ‘Abo’s handbags’ in abundance and ate lots of noodle sandwiches. Kelly parted company with us shortly to go and find her long haired lover from Plymouth, so it was just Emma, the bird, and me. We were the birds, united we flapped. We spent six glorious months together, touring the east coast of Oz, quoting The Office, generally shunning the company of others and seeking carnage opportunities. We met Mario in Sydney, the ginger, brace wearing, Potuguese, Private Investigator trained drug dealer. He was fun, he lived in a huge warehouse and we did party hard. He was one of our favourite people we met, he came to see us in Melbourne and he looked after us. We have lost touch with Mario, but I think of him fondly.

So, Sydney was the birds living with two Jordanians in a flat. Not a great expeience, they insisted on not wearing tops and excreting their excessive body hair everywhere. They watched Ice Age and another generic gash Disney film more often that I considered healthy. We went to Melbourne.

Melbourne was THE BEST. We started to speak to other people, and we worked in a great job making ‘heaps’ of dollar and making badges. We lived in St Kilda, and ate thai and drank lots of VB (Victoria Bitter). We frequented many cool bars, indulged at the casino and I discovered Krafty Kuts and we made friends with Neil. He was from the UK but was studying in Melbourne. He had an australian girlfriend, she must have hated us (I’m certain she did). We cared not, and the birds became a trio.

We had decided we definately wanted to sit on the dock of the bay listening to ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ and watch the sun come up. We did it. We were living the dream, me and the bird. Jealous? You should be. Melbourne highlight: Asking Dave Gorman after we had seen him at the Comedy Festival, if he would whack off a goat and a horse at the same time for £10,000 (which was my current favourite question, I’m much more grown up now, I promise). He looked at me like he wanted to gut me like a kipper, and we decided he was rubbish for not entertaining me. I was *inebriated* and egged on by the bird.

From Melbourne, we parted, I went to meet my then boyfriend, John who flew out to see me and we had three fun months together before we went home. The bird over-egged her stay and came home 9 months later, up the duff with her Ozzie boyfriend, Jonno. A few fun months and back the bird went to Perth and had the lovely Grace.

Since then the bird has been back a few times, and we always manage to have lots of fun, and an adventure. These are my favourite

*Newquay, just after Christmas. Newquay was very quiet. We drew Chelsea smiles on strangers (and a bin), gatecrashed a private party and threatened people with the fist of fun – which is boxing glove that smells very distinctly of chow-mein.

*Amsterdam. We stole an excellent wig from a basement we thought was a bar. The residents were quite rude, so we picked the wig up on the way out. We like to think that the wig adorned the head of a prostitute. We napped frequently, and went in to a peep show, and laughed at the man who looked like Rolf Harris and recoiled at the smell. We did what the birds do best, shopped, ate, got wrecked and harrased innocents.

Look at us, what a pair of twats by the massive clog.

The Greenhouse. Many a cultural experience shunned for a leisurely beer at this establishment.

The wig.

*New Year 2006. One of the most epic New Years, I think we partied late in to New Years Day at Glynn’s house (which is remisicent of a Nordic lodge), and Jonno shared with us the story of his mums ovarian cyst with teeth and hair. We named him Steve, the cyst. Steve had a right attitude problem. There was spooning, boys dressing up, issuing of receipts, chelsea smiles and the fist of fun.

She is always great to have home, and it feels geat to know she is in the country with her brood… Jon, Grace (who I am going to corrupt and teach her how to do trout mouth) and her new addition William, or Billy. She is loyal, and caring and fun. We compliment each other well and we love to make shapes to dirty beats. I could go on and on about the bird, and all the fun we have. I can’t wait to create some more memories with her in the next two months.

I am hoping to be a focused and hard working bird, and try and get to see her, and Kelly in Perth next year when I am I Vietnam. I figure I will be halfway there….

Aren’t friends great? I mean really great?

Off to the pub now, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Love you bird xx

Cup [khup]

Hello again, tis I, Maisie Snax. Writing this on board the 15:00 Plymouth to London Paddington train, where I will attempt to entertain you, with words, on the subject of the word ‘cup’. Banal, I know, but let me try. I may also touch on other subjects, also likely to be embracing banality like a Jew embraces a sheet.

I love the word cup. Pronounced ‘khup’. Isn’t it delightful? Say it to yourself, or better, out loud! It’s enjoyment can be enhanced by the motion. You know the one, hand out, palm facing upwards, fingers gently curled. Cup! Initially the love came from the mere sound that these three letters conjure, and also a basic respect for the function of the cup that is present in what I can only presume is in all of our lives, in some way or another. I don’t mean to state the obvious, but it’s an excellent receptacle.

I was fortunate enough to attend The Big Chill (aka The Big C, or TBC) two weeks ago, with my friend Lou, my festifriend, fast friend and valued friend. Oh, how we laugh, we both love to get amongst the delights of live music events, mock, and use complicated words wherever completely unnecessary. I told her of my love of the word cup, and she shared with me a story where she cupped Ricky from The Kaiser Chiefs at a gig in London. She saw her cupping opportunity, and literally cupped it. I like the cut of her gib, and the intention of her cup.

This raised the profile of the word cup in my weird little world.

I saw Craig Charles do his 6 music funk and soul show at TBC. As a 13 year old, and avid Red Dwarf fan, I was quite simply madly in love with Criag Charles, even though he was sporting one of the most ludicrous mullets of the 80’s. I didn’t care, I loved him. I remember exactly where I was when I learnt he had been accused of rape, and I was DISTRAUGHT (I cried). When I saw him from the back of the tent on that early Saturday eve, I realised I still actually loved him, and it took all of my willpower not to shout ‘I love you Craig!’. Fear not, I refrained, and retained a small amount of selfrecockingspect.

Lou and I battled our way to the front where I intended to stare at Craig intently, until he met my eyes and the love would become two ways. Regrettably, Craig was clearly out of his mind on *whatever* and any eye contact was minimal. I accepted eye contact was out of the question and considered a cupping to get my childhood loves attention. These events I now believe have measures specifically designed to be preventative of any cupping of the arrrteests. I considered cupping many of the artists I was lucky enough to be near at TBC. Barriers and security got in my way, measures I imagine will continue to plague my stalking attempts through my adult life.

So the association from my joyous time at TBC and cups slash cupping, assisted in my love of the word. I also purchased a wonderful cup and saucer on a chain from TBC. I’m wearing it now. (Please see below) This particular cup would not admittedly brag about it’s excellent retention skills. I think you could fit one bean (baked or otherwise, possibly a black eyed bean) in it, and today at work I discovered I could place a bic pen in it. It sure is pretty though.

I thought I’d struggle to write about cups. No way.

I googled cup yesterday. Nothing predictive offered by google. But some offerings…

Fungus Cup – hmm not sure. Leave fungus out of it please.

Cup Final – Yawn

Mooncup – A environmentally friendly device for woman during their menstrual cycle. My esteemed colleague stated today that ‘everyone should drink booze out of a moon cup once before they die’. He sports a full beard, so I’m not sure I trust him.

Loving Cup – Is this spooning? Spoonsies? Or possibly a cupping, of which Ricky received from Lou? Either way, this is my fave!

It leads me nicely on to spooning. I like spoons as much as, if not MORE than cups.

I’ve often thought of attempting a world record attempt at Worlds Biggest Spoon Off. Imagine it, a whole sphere of spoons. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a spoon of more than two people. The more people spooning, the better. My biggest achievement (spoon wise) is a 10 man spoon off. It made me feel warm. Inside and out. Imagine a massive spoonsies, outside in the sun, no reprobates allowed?

I once spooned a random girl New Years Day 2009 in Redruth train station waiting room at approximately 09:30. I clearly remember the ticket office staff looking at me, well us, like we were weird, and maybe a little bit mental. We didn’t remain friends, our interlude was very brief, but I’m glad we spooned.

Do you know what? I’m going to stop now and enjoy the scenery on my journey and finger my cup. Enjoy your weekend, cup, spoon, do whatever.

Oh…

Please feel free to share your favourite cup related stories…

Lush.

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