HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I'm back

Right.

After a couple of wobbles, my sense of humour is firmly back on track again. Which is good, because life is terribly hard work without it. It seems to involve a lot of stressing and worrying and holding certain fingers up to the sky, and I simply don't have time for that. I've got things to do, you know.

"Have you ever been in labour?" my mum texted me this morning.
I looked at my phone blankly for a few minutes. Just how much attention, I thought, does my mother pay to my private life? Not much, apparently.
"No," I texted back eventually.
"Didn't think so," she replied. "Just see how exhausted you are after 24 hours of labour, darling, that's all I'm going to say. You need to get a bit of perspective. Riding on the London Eye and going for lunch at a posh hotel is really not that tiring, on the grander scale of things."

And she has a point, obviously. That's what I did yesterday: I rode on the London Eye and I ate little bits of salmon on top of little bits of potato, with a few pieces of pickled aubergine thrown in for good measure. It was hardly climbing Kilimanhjaro (and I have to make that point, in case Cheryl Cole and Chris Moyles decide to start texting me first thing in the morning as well).

So why was I so exhausted? I think it was because I've never been on my best behaviour for so long. It was like tapping a champagne glass and then speaking at a wedding for a full 24 hours (or, I'd imagine it was like that: I've never actually been to one).

From meeting the BBC at 7.30 the night before, to sitting in a radio studio and being mocked/teased/tortured by a group of boys - one of whom I quite liked - to getting up at 6.30am to be grilled by Important People for ten hours straight on "just how good I am at scuba diving" (not very: I've only been once) and "am I actually a good writer?" (almost definitely not), I was on constant display. It was like being in a shop window, except that nobody really cared what I looked like: they wanted to know what I was going to say. Or not say, in some cases. ("Who here speaks more than one language?" Seven hands go up. Mine stays firmly down. "Holly? Any other languages?" "No," I admitted, fiddling with my fork. "But I speak one very well.")

And it was exhausting: emotionally, physically and psychologically exhausting. The BBC, unfortunately, have become my sounding board: which I suppose is the point of a documentary. They're like loving aunties: there to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart and give you a pat when it all goes wrong. Except that - unlike loving aunties - they're planning on showing the pieces to millions of people when it's all over, for entertainment purposes.
"I'm flamin' knackered," I said to the camera, slumping into my seat and wiping my nose on my sleeve. (You see? A month ago, I wouldn't have dreamt of slumping in front of the BBC, let alone using my clothes as a handkerchief on national telly.)
"How did it go?" they asked.
"You saw it," I pointed out. "You were filming all of it. Can't you just watch it for yourselves?"
"No, because we have to know how you think it went."
"Oh. Well. Yeah. You know. Alright. I guess." I paused. "Apart from the bit where I was talking really loudly and telling a rubbish anecdote, and then I forgot what I was saying and slammed to a halt in front of the whole board room."
"That was pretty embarrassing," the BBC agreed.
"Are you allowed to say that? Aren't you supposed to be objective?"
"Objectively, it was pretty embarrassing," they said. "Was it about a swan?"
"Eh? Oh. Yeah. Well. Anyway. I want a cigarette*. Do you think it'll work against me if I hop out for one now?"
"Yes."
"Really?"
"Yes."
"Oh. Okay. Guess I'll just stay here and suck on a biro then."

As for the date, I never want to hear about it again. Ever. On a large scale, it may well have ruined my chances with the job: I've come across as unprofessional, crude and sex-obsessed. And, on a small scale, I'm humiliated. 7.5, he gave me on the radio. 7.5. It's the worst date-mark in the world. Lower, and at least you've somehow offended them, which is something. But 7.5? It's the numerical equaivalent of a shrug. I'd have preferred a 3. I could have gone down in history as the worst, most public date on TalkSport history. Millions of men could have crossed me out of their little black books in one big gesture.

"Maybe he's shy?" my friend texted after reading my blog. "Have you thought of that?"
"He's not," I texted back. "Trust me. He's just not interested."

Which is, I think, the beauty of men. A 7.5 is a 7.5, and there's no ambivalence about it. They're not numerically dyslexic at all. They're just stupid.


*In case anyone from Queensland is reading this, I only smoke in severely stressful circumstances. And not publically. I am not an endorser of death at all.