Every day, the greyness gets a little lighter.
Every day, the daylight stretches further.
Every single day, hope for sunnier days is re-ignited.
Friends, we made it through February. We made it. Let us sink to our knees and cry brokenly with relief. Because today, MARCH 1st, is also a Friday. Let us celebrate the slow build-up to spring, using all the tools at our disposal: hot dudes, looking smokin’ hot. Take a load off. Open up a can of something fizzy. Relax. It’s The Friday Pretty! Read More
Many years ago, while in a job that I hated, one of my bosses ‘offered’ to spunk on my legs, among other delights. There was no preamble. We had barely spoken more than 50 words to one another in the ten or so months I’d worked there; there was precious little overlap in our duties in the workplace. I was chatting with and standing next to another female co-worker at the time: the offer was not exclusive to just me, as his magnanimous hand wave suggested. My boss was very, very drunk (moments after the proposal, he stumbled over a small step and fell face first onto the floor) and my co-worker and I exchanged a look before ‘jokingly’ saying a cheerful “no thanks!” and panic-walking away. I was in my 20s, independent, not especially timid in nature and certainly not afraid to speak my mind in almost any situation. I did not speak my mind in this situation. I walked away, upset and more than a little shaken.
Everyone calls me Bim. Everyone. For most of my life that’s what I’ve gone by. Bim. B-I-M. Three letters, one syllable. Bim. When I was concerned by these things, I would lament its cuteness – “that’s not a sexy name,” I would think. I would put on Billy Crystal’s voice and paraphrase his line from When Harry met Sally: “Do it to me Bim, you’re an animal, Bim… Doesn’t work.” Bim is cute. Bim is fun. When considered in a certain light, it sounds almost French – gamine, fluffy. But not, I was convinced, sexy.
Like I said, I was younger and more foolish then. I had a lot of time to be sitting and considering the tone of voice my name should be delivered in.
Bim is not my full first name. That is Adebimpe. Four syllables. Ah-day-bim-pay. Is it unusual? In the UK, sure. Is it difficult? Nah, it’s not. Not really. Like a lot of West African names, it’s pretty much a ‘say what you see’ system. But no-one calls me Adebimpe anyway.
At a party in a pub around Christmastime, I met a woman who said she had been in love seven times in her life. My mind was blown. “Seven times?” I asked incredulously. Inwardly, I screamed “WHO ARE YOU, WOMAN?” Seven is a lot, but really, so is one: I can’t say I’ve ever been in (romantic) love. I mean, I have loved people very deeply, and continue to do so. I (foolishly?) have no doubt I’m capable of being in love – it’s just not something I’ve ever experienced. Honestly, I don’t think it’s too far off the almost-tangible affection and devotion I feel for my family and friends, except maybe it’s tinged with something extra because of the element of choice: this is a person you have selected to love. And that’s got to be pretty powerful, no?
Hey kids – it’s FRIDAAAY! Here have this joy of a track, courtesy Santigold:
How’s your life? All good? Are you, like me, noting the way the sun is setting later and later? I made it to 5:30pm(!) before turning on the lights just a few days ago, and almost cracked open the champagne to celebrate. We are in the first week of February and winter is slowly – finally – leaving us behind. The best way to encourage it? Hunky dudes collected on one single internet page of manly glory. Did you see what just happened? Yup, I just casually and stealthily segued your asses into a nifty intro to the main event – it’s The Friday Pretty!
Let us begin with Tom Hardy, mostly because of his mouth, which is pretty and delicate and the complete opposite (but in the best possible way) of his lovely big arms. Er, that’s pretty much it. Oh, he has a lovely neck too. Okay, that’s really it. See for yourself:
1. In 2010, singer John Mayer gave an interview to Playboy magazine, in which he explored an ‘interesting’ philosophy regarding his penis and black women: “I don’t think I open myself to [black women],” he said. “My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock.”
2. Also in 2010, I wrote a piece about race (not necessarily racism) and online dating. It got a few comments, and I got a few emails. I went on Woman’s Hour to discuss the piece. You can read it here, if you like.
3. I like to watch Take Me Out from time to time. In case you don’t know, Take Me Out is a dating show that comes on Saturday nights on ITV1. It is hosted by comedian/actor Paddy McGuinness, who gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) mocks the intelligence of the 30 assembled women as they continue their quest for love on national television. Like a lot of my telly these days, I watch TMO with Twitter, adding commentary and reading the often hilarious tweets from my timeline. The longest-running joke is the fact that almost none of the black women on the show have ever been selected for a date. I am 30 years old, so maybe my memory’s already going, but I can personally only remember one black woman securing a date. One.
4. On February 4 2013, less than an hour after Beyonce finished a triumphant set at the Super Bowl Half-time Show, English footballer Joey Barton tweeted (and has now deleted) this:
And that’s when I murmured ‘enough, now’, clicked ‘Close Tab’, blew a long and involved raspberry in the general direction of Joey Barton, and sighed so heavily Toni Morrison offered to write a short story about me.
I am currently reading Pulphead, a collection of essays and magazine journalism from the pen of John Jeremiah Sullivan. I’m about halfway through, and I have already come to an awful realisation: I must never meet Mr Sullivan. If I do, I will probably babble, try and kiss his hands and maybe cry a little. Worse, I will probably compliment him (as if he has been awaiting my verdict) and then I’ll either propose marriage or declare my everlasting fealty. It Will Be Awkward, and the horror of my actions will only become clear to me after there is no chance of redeeming myself. No sir, I have no business at all meeting John Jeremiah Sullivan.
As I write this, I feel as light as a feather. Because this year, I finished filing my tax return over the course of three days. It’s a record for me. Sure, I still had time for an emotional cry, a couple of yelps of frustration at HMRC’s seemingly deliberate opacity when it comes to language, and a short interlude of maniacal laughter at a few of the questions. But still. THREE DAYS. There is only one thing I can attribute that to. It’s this bad boy:
Cabinet by Bisley, fancy paper courtesy Paperchase.
Posted in Work
Do you know what day it is, kids? Here’s a hint: it’s the one before Saturday, but after Thursday. It is a magical day, one where you can feel the tentacles of the week slowly unfurling. It’s Friday, children! Which means someone has been curating images of exceptionally hot dudes with the express aim of bringing you some gentle joy at the end of the week. And if there was ever a week that needed some perking up, it’s this one, what with the snow and ice and wind. So, pull on your thermal vest and grab a cup of hot chocolate – IT’S THE FIRST FRIDAY PRETTY OF 2013!
We start with a chap who probably laughs in the face of winter.The first, obvious reason for this is the very fine beard he’s got going on. The second, less obvious reason is his symmetrical bone structure and astonishingly attractive face. Devran Taskesen is like winter magic – TFP bets the ice and snow just… bends around him, you know? His beauty is a freakin’ force field. Look at it (if you can tear your eyes away from his superb eyebrows, that is):
Is it too late to wish you all a Happy New Year? It is? Well, hard cheese.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The sprouts are eaten, the bones of the roasted poultry (RIP) have been used to make stock (or is being lovingly crunched by local urban foxes), and your pleasingly squidgy carb food baby has not budged since its conception on Christmas Eve. In other words, 2012 is drawing a discreet veil over its face and making way for the New Year.
2013: what will it bring? Who knows? But let’s hope that whatever else it throws at us, hot dudes posing sultrily for the camera will remain in vogue. Because modern living is hard, dammit, and sometimes when all else – friendship, the love of a good man/woman, cheesecake – fails, the allure of a pretty man in glorious 2-D, on this here blog, tends to do the trick. So shut the door, take off your thermal socks and let these hotties help you forget the sorrows of 2012 while preparing you for the bounty of 2013 – it’s The Friday Pretty!
We begin the show with Superman, as played by fine British actor Henry Cavill. He is very, very pretty indeed. He looks like a younger, more gym-committed version of Timothy Olyphant (himself no stranger to TFP‘s wall of fame). Or a younger, ever so slightly more symmetrical twin of Matt Bomer (ditto). Essentially, the pertinent take-home here is: you would, innit. You would – repeatedly and with gusto – pausing only for hydration breaks featuring Gatorade. He’s lovely:
Remember last year, when I did a brief look back at the year just gone? You do? Super, because we’re doing that again (spoiler: I didn’t get a dog – boo).
My word for the year? Easy. It’s ‘lipstick’.
Alexandra Burke’s ‘Lip Boom’ red lipstick from Superdrug is The Shit.
Listen. You could walk away from this post right now because that’s the major take-home from this whole thing, kids: dinky tubes of pigment, wax, oil and emollient. I discovered lipstick in a big way in 2012: I wore it everywhere, from the office to lunch and /or dinner to getting the paper on a Saturday afternoon. It is a mood elevator, an outfit-put-together-er and also, basically witchcraft. I am only angry I discovered it this late in life.
But there were other Things of Greatness in 2012, and they are listed, right after the jump.
In the name of the Printing Press, the Commissioning Editor and The Glorious Sub,
Please, let someone get pregnant this year. Let someone take a lengthy sabbatical. Let someone decide to retrain as a teacher or hairdresser because it’s what they’ve always wanted to do. Let someone take some time away to finish That Book. Please. Just let someone with a staff job leave a window open so that I may slide effortlessly into a solid chunk of shifting work.
Please let my name fall into the hearts and linger in the minds of editors across the land. Make my name whisper on the wind that ruffles their hair. Let my byline photo wink at them as they click a link. Let my turn of phrase make them chuckle. Let the subject of the day call for my experience, my insight, my knowledge. Let my phone ring, my inbox ping with the gentle query: “Are you available to write something for us today?” UP MY WORD COUNT, LORD!
Last week I watched While You Were Sleeping, which is but one leaf on my ‘Christmas Movies – Romcoms’ branch. I love this movie. It is cute and funny and genuinely romantic, and it stars Sandra Bullock, a fine actress who has contributed much goodness to the genre. I <3 Sandy, man. And speaking of Sandy, WYWS also features Peter Gallagher, aka Top 5 telly dad Sandy Cohen (RIP, The O.C.) and Bill Pullman, who has one of the sexiest voices of the modern screen era (srsly). So yeah, judge me if you must – but understand that it is you who lacks true moral fibre. Also, leave this blog now for there is nothing for you here.
A few weeks back, following several days and sleepless nights of terrible illness (a head cold that felt like a troop of ill-tempered monkeys – led by a stompy soldier – had taken up residence in my body), I wrapped up in three layers, biker boots and a headwrap to go attend a film screening and director Q&A at the BFI. The movie was Phone Swap, part of the 2012 programme of the Film Africa festival. I loved it. I mean: I really, really loved it.