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» Out of my depth

Itís July 2001. As part of my university course I have to spend a year living in FranceÖ
I have my work placement sorted out, have saved up a bit of money and have all the overdraft, passport photos and positive attitude you could wish for. I have my car with me. I can even speak pretty good French (well, it was part of the degree). The one thing I donít have is any realistic idea of how Iím going to find somewhere to live: I happily think that Iíll stay a couple of nights in a Formule1 motel (£15/night), find a flat and move in.

After a great week staying with my girlfriend (who had her flat sorted out and paid for by her employers), I go up to Paris and start looking. Of course, the only time Iíve ever looked for somewhere to live before was in Birmingham for the second year (first year in campus halls) Ė and shall we say itís a buyerís market if you get in early (and donít mind damp houses that smell of death and have temperamental heating).

Paris is a different kettle of fish. For one thing, itís a touch expensive compared to student slums in Brum. For seconds, Iím internet-less and hate using phones. So I basically buy a Michelin map of the south-west suburbs and drive around the town centres asking in estate agents, who are typically unhelpful. After four days of this, it starts raining and to cap it all Iím driving through Issy-les-Moulineaux in the evening (having eaten nothing but junk food and baguettes for a week, and not having done anything constructive all day) when I get a puncture. I realise Iím not getting anywhere (took me four days) and start going mad. Seriously, gibbering, having arguments with myself for not planning this and that or at least having found out where the hell you find small ads in France.

I then take a day off and decide to start enjoying being in France. I go into Paris itself for the first time, and phone my Dad who recognises a floundering son when he hears one and mounts a rescue mission, coming to Paris (thank you Air Miles), showing me a couple of pubs and generally restoring my sanity and confidence. He lends the use of his work mobile, with which I call my future employers, who give me a list of student-halls-type residences popular with English placement students. I move into one the next morning, going on to have, as is traditional, the best time of my lifeÖ Paris rocks.

Footnote: anyone doing something similar, just go here: www.pap.fr . Thousands of ads for places to rent, every week (Thursday). Buy it EARLY and get phoning.
(Fri 15th Oct 2004, 18:07, More)

» Office Christmas Parties

Exactly seven days ago...
I was involved in the organisation of our work party.

Total budget: £18000.
We managed to take over a hotel, have dinner for about 300 people and pay for DJ and balloons and stuff, leaving...
£13250 behind the bar.

I can't remember large sections of the night (although there is photographic evidence of what I was doing), and between the 300 guests we managed to drink all but about £750 of the bar tab... that's £42 per person AVERAGE. Stingy, no. But then about 100 people in my office are losing their jobs this year...
(Fri 17th Dec 2004, 19:47, More)

» My Worst Date

Beware chaps, the interweb is a dangerous place...
Recently I decided I have been single long enough to be desperate. I try a well-known and free personals site, start correspondence with a female who makes out she is happy-go-lucky, girly and quite intelligent.

When I go down to Torquay to meet her, it turns out she's ginger (I'd seen a photo that definitely looked blonde), curly haired, thick as pigshit and empty headed. Also - possibly worst - she says "snazzy gumdrops" to everything I say and is blatantly a chav-in-denial. Still, I pretend to myself I'm not shallow and pursue the afternoon, we play crazy golf (actually quite an amusing thing to do on a date; but during which she manages to twat herself with the putter - twice) and then go to find food and drinks. Later we drive somewhere quiet and commence kissing.

Except that she can't. I don't have the widest experience, but she kissed like a chicken pecking at the ground, whereas I've had many compliments for gentle, progressive lipaction. Much clashing of teeth later, I decide that I'd rather go home.

Still, I'm daft enough to volunteer for another 'date' the following Tuesday, in my home town this time. I meet her in the afternoon, we wander about the town a bit then after a few drinks we think we should find some food and she picks McDonalds. (Which is timely, because I was ten seconds away from saying "look, this is never going to work" and fucking off home).

After possibly the most unsatisying meal ever, during which she reasserts for the tenth time "I don't want to get into anything too quickly, I get tempted very easily", proves that she canít cope with intelligent humour, and strokes my cock through my jeans, we go back to mine to "sit and chat" (her words). So we sit and chat for, oh, all of five minutes before she leans over and kisses me purposefully, groping cock in the process. I'm ashamed to admit at this point that I didn't say 'get off you crazy girl', but joined in the fun. Except that every two minutes (in pauses in pecking) she says "I really don't want to move too fast" before diving in with renewed vigour.

To cut an already long story short, we end up mostly-naked (and to be very shallow, she had great boobs), with her just wearing her pants. Which, frankly, are floral and not-very-nice, which is an excellent reason to try and remove them. Except thatís one step she wonít take. However she will, badly, undo my trousers and explore whatís inside and, when thatís to her satisfaction, pleasure herself (I repeat, I was asking to go down there but she wouldnít let me) to a Ďfinishí.

Blocked her on MSN, stopped replying to increasingly desperate text messages from her. Didnít mean to be nasty but just couldnít explain to her without hurting her feelings that she wasnít really my type, and if she was going to get off in my bed I wanted to be responsible!!
(Sat 23rd Oct 2004, 0:46, More)

» Losing Your Virginity

no references to people or ages
but things had been building up (so to speak) for the week before the event. "Things" had been done the night before, I'd stayed at hers, and when we woke up on the Saturday morning it all went like in the movies.
Autumn sun streaming through the window, etc etc.
When we'd finished, we did it again just to make sure I'd done it right.
And then again later in the evening.
Typical - you wait for ages and then three come along at once...
(Thu 3rd Mar 2005, 16:53, More)

» Obscure Memorabilia

Many many things... so I may post many many replies...
Background: As recounted previously, I was in France during April-May 2002, time of their last Presidential (and subsequent government) elections. For those not aware, the French system involves anyone who can get 500 signatures to their candidacy running in a national first round, whereupon the two with the most votes run-off in a second round a week later. This time, the incumbent centre-right Chirac won the first round but instead of the centre-left Jospin, second place was won by the extreme-right Jean Marie Le Pen (UK people: think 18% of the electorate voting directly for Kilroy the BNP).

Cue (a bit of) rioting, but mostly huge amounts of soulsearching and demonstrating in the traditional French manner. Which I joined in with wholeheartedly until I was roughed up by a CRS (military-ish riot police) for taking photos of them...

Anyway, I have a full collection of the newspapers (Libťration, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Le Parisien, 20minutes, Mťtro) from the morning of the results (Monday) and at least one every day all week. Why? Well, I was a French student, but I've never read all the way through any of them...
(Thu 4th Nov 2004, 15:22, More)
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