Christmas non special

No blog for a few weeks lovely people. Back in 2014 for a one off final. Merry Christmas xx


Stories from 1996 Chapter 40 A Britpop Journal


Chapter 40

December 2nd 1996

Busy, busy, busy. Shift after shift at the shop of gadgets and not much else happening UNTIL TODAY!!!

Have been incessantly surrounded by Christmas and not particularly excited about it UNTIL TODAY!!!!

Eat, sleep, work, repeat UNTIL TODAY!!!

I arrived at work as normal, dishevelled and rushed. I went straight to the kettle to make my essential second cup of tea of the day and slammed face to chest with him. Mr Coombes, resplendent even at 9am. I had no words but had no need for words as my out of control body language was making it very obvious how I was feeling. It felt like I stood there, crimson, for about ten minutes before I finally mumbled a “Sorry”. Understandably he made a sharp exit.

I had to drink the whole cup before I had half way composed myself. How can a random beautiful stranger have such a physical effect? As I finally managed to calm myself down it suddenly dawned on me that I would be working beside him all day. ALL DAY. I am not entirely sure how I survived, but I did and I am here to tell the tale.

And it just gets better……

The shop floor was non-stop, no time to think and thankfully no time to make an idiot out of myself. I did manage the odd, sly glance though just to check that he wasn’t a figment of my imagination. He certainly was there and I was all aflutter.  I didn’t even know his name.

When I returned with my sandwich at lunchtime the gods must have been smiling on me because who did I get to share the grubby staff kitchen with but Mr Beautiful himself. As I fumbled over the various tasks involved in making a cup of tea, I silently yet sternly ordered myself to get a grip. Just bloody talk to him. Maybe my prawn sandwich had given me some inner strength as I turned to him as calmly as possible, looked into those fantastic brown eyes and asked him if he wanted a tea.

He did. The rest of our lunch hour was spent getting on together brilliantly. We had everything in common and made a thousand clichés come true.  This Will as I now know his name to be, is making me feel really strange. Really strange. I really like him. After one day, one cup of tea, one brief half an hour with him my life is great again.

Good God, I need to calm down. I have just spent the evening boring Alan and Harry over my new obsession.

He is working tomorrow again, so am planning on an early night and an earlier than usual morning start so I can get myself looking as fine as possible for before 8am.

Also, just to add two cherries to the trifle of wonder that has been today I made two hugely important purchases.

1.  Today is the release date of the Super Furry Animal’s new single. The Man Don’t Give a F**k and it is so brilliant.  I’ve bought it on every format and am playing it on loop until sleep comes. Apologies again to my poor housemates.

2.  Two tickets to see Shed Seven and Catatonia in Newport anyone? Mine, all mine. Don’t know who’s coming with me yet.

Could I actually be brave enough to ask Will?

Stories from 1996 Chapter 39 A Britpop Journal

Popscene flyer

Chapter 39

22 November 1996

I must have been  just cocky enough or demonstrated the correct amount of aloofness because I got the job. Obviously my drinker’s degree had nothing to do with it and it is a mere Christmas job but its better that signing on. It also means that I can enjoy the festivities to full effect and buy people some decent presents (esp. with my 20% staff discount). Novelty corkscrews and rave lights all round then this year.

A handful of us newbies went in this morning for an induction. No sign of Mr Coombes but I still hold out hope that he too has been given the honour of a Gadget Shop T-shirt. I am feeling superbly positive at the moment about everything which is how I want this topsy turvy, shimmy shimmy year to end. Most of the other staff seem great, they obviously did not want obnoxious twats after all, and I begin my new career in retail in 2 days time.

Which means it would be ridiculous not to celebrate this fact tonight at Popscene with Maisie and a couple of room fulls of other shiny happy people. I am so excited, having not been to Clwb for a while. Its dressing up time. Off to Maisie’s for some vodka and lipstick.

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I am going to make a blurry eyed, hungover statement of truth – I have never since the launch of Popscene and it’s weekend brother Popshop ever had a crap night in that place. It is always rammed, with more than its fair share of Beautiful People; the music is fantastic thanks to the ‘One that got away DJ’ (to cut a long story short – he charmingly pinched my arse one week, I bravely, after a lot of Dutch Courage, asked him out another week only for him to say he was a ‘busy boy’. How bloody dare he?) and finally the atmosphere in Clwb is just amazingly, fantastically Cardiff! I truly love that place and hope I will still be returning for years to come. No where else comes close.

It was a night of dancing, flirtations and a cutey barman who we nicknamed Matthew Kelly (he had a beard) who

se gentle demeanor at the bar had Maisie cooing. We saw old friends, made new ones and got told off by the bouncers for standing on the windowsill in the toilets shouting at handsome men outside in the queue.

At the end of the evening, when we could neither dance nor drink any more, we stumbled down the cobbles to hail a taxi. This proved to be a fruitless task so, arm in arm, we braved the November wind to Canton. After about ten minutes of enthusiasm our beer jackets began to malfunction. Our noses were cold. We could see ice forming on the cars as we walked on by. Another ten minutes passed and we tortured ourselves with the thought of steaming hot vinegary chips. Alas tonight this was not meant to be as no where was open. Never in my life have I felt so cold and tired. When we eventually arrived at Maisie’s house we collapsed fully clothed in a grateful heap. A heap I have just crawled out of.


Time to chill before the next chapter of my career starts tomorrow. Go Go Gadget arms!

Stories from 1996 Chapter 38 A Britpop Journal


Chapter 38

November 19 1996

After spending hours filling in the initial forms, enduring the shame of the Job Centre employer’s cold hard questions and then receiving a speedy reality check about how little you can do with seventy odd quid, I luckily spied an appealing job advert in the Western Mail. Christmas is coming and that means lots of casual work in the shops in town. I have scored myself an interview with The Gadget Shop in the Capitol Centre.

This is the kind of job I can put up with. They sell cool stuff and they play music really loudly which can only make a working day a bit easier. Of course, I have to get the job first but it can’t be that difficult surely? Am feeling positive.

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Well that wasn’t too bad. It was a group interview which basically means that you are in a room with a load of loudmouth idiots trying to out idiot each other. You never know whether the success criteria for the job involves being cocky and annoying or whether they are in the market for an aloof mastermind. Unfortunately I do not have an arrogant, listen to me everyone button so I hope I was able to display some intelligent tendencies. I reluctantly played along with their painful ‘challenges’ and tried my best not to allow every single other person in the room to drive me insane. The staff from the shop seemed cool and despite my lack of enthusiasm for the interview format I was actually quite keen to get the job. There are far worse places to work.

As we were shown out after our 45 minute ordeal there were more hopefuls waiting outside. A gaggle of over-enthusiastic Machiavellians; fake, loud and sly. One from the aloof camp caught my eye though as I passed, sat on his own listening to his Discman. He had something of Gaz Coombes about him. Tall, dark and cool as f@@k. As I approached the shop door I couldn’t resist another sly look as he really was quite special. Our eyes met and he hinted at a smile. I immediately flushed crimson and bumbled outside.

How strange it is that a complete stranger can have such a physical and emotional effect? It is such a cliché but that fleeting moment has been at the forefront of my thoughts all day.  I have floated around in a fantasy bubble with a soppy Mills & Boon look on my face. Imagine if both of us get the job? Imagine if our paths never cross again? Imagine if he has a girlfriend? Imagine if he secretly stalked me all the way home and is soon to appear beneath my window to serenade me with “Wonderwall?” On second thoughts, scrap that one, that would be slightly disturbing.

Anyway, what a bright, shining star my mysterious man was in another day of November dreariness. I am quite contented to stay in from the cold tonight and fantasize what could have been with my fingers crossed for a new job. After a spate of mistakes and embarrassments I am pleased to announce that I still have impeccable taste in men. Now where is my Supergrass CD?