The Middle Finger

About 6 months ago I had a conversation with my girlfriend. FIANCÉE. with my fiancée, then-girlfriend, about getting engaged. It wasn’t stressful at all, we love each other, lived together, spent ever waking moment with each other and had no arguments (none serious enough to remember what they were about 10 minutes later, anyway). We both agreed it was the next logical step, one we were both happy with, and spoke about what she might want for a ring (aka what was definitely ugly to her) and that was that.

Then the stress began.

When people talk about getting engaged, they talk about how magical it is. How lovely it is. How cute and romantic it is. The movies and TV definitely portray that (let alone put pressure on to get it perfect).

No one ever talks about how stressful it is. How much of a ballache it is to plan and get right. You think about all the possible options… Do we go away? Do I take her out for a dead posh dinner? Do I get a mate involved, go to poundland and buy ALL of the battery operated fairy lights and batteries and set up a night time winter wonderland picnic in Hyde Park? Do I talk to my friend who does PR for the London Aquarium and see if I can propose in there whilst surrounded by tealight candles and have a singer serenade us as I get down on one knee? (Sorry for wasting your time talking to you about this Amy!).

Fuck anyone who says this shit is easy.

But it is, really easy.

There is no need to stress, no need to panic, no need to plan it to within an inch of it’s life. The truth is that as long as it happens, that’s all that matters. Did I finally get so stressed about when to do it that I tried to take the girlfriend for a ‘spontaneous’ walk down the southbank at night last weekend whilst she was ill, just because I wanted to get it over and done with? Yes. Did I? No. (Only because she wouldn’t because she was too ill.)

So how did I do it I hear you ask? Pretty simple actually. After work on a cold Tuesday night in December (aka Yesterday) I pulled my then-girlfriend to one side and said put your coat on (you’ve pulled – but that joke didn’t work because we were in our flat and you know, we’ve been dating for years). Then she started asking loads of fucking questions like “Why? Where are we going? Do I need to redo my makeup? Should I wear some nice shoes?”. CAN YOU NOT MAKE THIS EASY FOR ME? I answered with a simple “Don’t worry about any of that, just trust me, don’t ask any questions, put your coat on and come with me”.

Obviously the next 3 minutes were filled with Questions and grumpiness about not being told what was going on. MAKE THIS EASY WOMAN.

Then we finally left the flat.

A short walk away (about 50 yards) and we come to a bench. A bench outside the flat I’ve lived in for 10 years, a flat I lived in with my father, who designed the bench. A bench of which is dedicated to my father, by the community of our little estate for all the work he put in to the estate in his memory.

We sat down, and I got all soppy, said all the cliché things that didn’t sound cliché at all when I was saying them. Words that will remain private between us forever. I could tell that she didn’t know what was happening. She probably thought I was just sad about my father, or just feeling soppy.

Then it happened. I whipped it out.

After clearing up a case of indecent exposure with the police, I whipped the ring out. THE ENGAGEMENT RING.

She must have known it was coming, but we both cried and she said yes.

The Ring

Fuck me that was stressful. Wait, no it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all. It was wonderful. No stress, no fuss. Just the two of us, saying we want to make a public declaration that we intend on remaining together for the rest of our lives.

What people really don’t say when you are thinking of proposing is that it’s fucking stressful. I don’t think I could have coped if it was a full surprise. Trying to plan something so overwhelming that she’d be bamboozled into saying yes before thinking about it properly is a risk I wasn’t willing to take. I needed assurance she was going to definitely say yes before seriously thinking about it.

SO. You get engaged. What’s next? We announced on Social Media (because we’re so new age) and we’ve got over 400 interactions from people saying congrats or liking a picture of whatever – it’s overwhelming. The fiancée had to have an early night last night because it was so much so.

But we got the bus this morning and it’s exciting to have something new to think about, but we’re the same couple, still on the same life trajectory, with the same ambitions and life plans. We’ve just overshared a little and made that soppy public declaration of love.

Now we carry on, plan a wedding (I hear Don’t Tell The Bride are looking for couples of a new series) and then sign some paperwork which means we’re husband and wife. WIFE. not even FIANCÉE. WIFE.

Yeah, none of that sounds stressful.

In the meantime, if you want to see the status of our relationship, feel free to go to kleeandseb.com for no reason. You know what the status is. We’re engaged.

Seb.

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TL:DR; I asked a gorgeous woman to marry me, she said yes. I essentially pulled off the heist of the century.

For those that have read previous blogs/tweets of mine or are friends might know that my father passed away a couple of months ago. For the last couple months of his life he was looked after in the wonderful St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. They are just brilliant.

Towards the end I noticed that the hospice had put posters up advertising their upcoming event to raise money for them and the Hackney Empire called Dame Dash. Seeing this I thought it was a great way to help raise money, wear a dress and do something funny for money (as I was never one for the physical exercise.)

Since the end of August I’ve been asking for money to try reach my target of £1000. I thought I’d raise around three, maybe four hundred and never thought I’d make it to my total so stupidly said that for every £150, I’d add an inch on to the height of the heels I’d be wearing until I reached the maximum of 7″.

Thank you to everyone who gave money towards my complete humiliation, and because I managed to raise over my target goal of £1000, I wore these massive 7” heels…


Thanks for the heels, CherryBerryKiss.co.uk.

and of course, OF COURSE, 50 yards down the road from the Hospice (I was still adjacent to it) I fell over!

After that little tumble the walk was easier, after learning not to be so cocky. The hardest part in the heels were the cobbles outside Hackney Town Hall where the finish line was located. Carnival drummers and a host of people were there to congratulate me and the other dames.

The Speaker of Hackney handed me this nifty medal! (N.B. Funny story, the Speaker of Hackney came to my father’s wake as they worked together and he was fond of my father. We spoke for a good 20 minutes. I had to tell him who I was as he didn’t recognise me en femme.)


Afterwards there was a photo call for all dames on the famous stage of the Hackney Empire. Once the official photos are released I’ll be uploading to my Facebook but until then, have a look!


I’ve heard there is a prize for best dressed and heard a rumour I might have won. If I did, it would have only been because of the ridiculously high shoes so thanks a bunch for that </sarcasm>.

But seriously, from the bottom of my heart… Thank you so much to everyone who gave to these great charities. I promise that I won’t hassle you for money for charity again (unless it’s equally silly and stupid).

The last few months has been really hard, and ever since my dad’s passed the Dame Dash has been something to work toward and I’m really happy to be able to give back to St Joseph’s Hospice who do amazing work and really supported me when I needed it as well as taking great care of my father in his last couple of months.

If you haven’t donated, you still can! Just because the event has taken place already shouldn’t stop you. if you’ve enjoyed seeing my complete public humiliation then please click here to give money. Please.

damedashlink

So my first try at being a proper blogger HAS to be a #WIWT, or a ‘What I Wore Today’ post. So here is what I wore (and am wearing) today:

wiwt1-oct1

from top to bottom:
HAT – Primark (£3)
SHIRT – Burton (£25)
TSHIRT – Primark Atmosphere (£6)
JEANS – Peacock (£15)
SNEAKS – Converse (£36)
WATCH: Amazon (£12)

One of the biggest victories of this outfit was the fact that I found the tshirt in the women’s section of Primark (I wasn’t just there, I was following @kleebelle about). It’s a size 20 and fits perfectly! If you’re a bit of a chubby guy and love coca-cola as much as I do then know that I normally wear an XXL tshirt and it fits perfectly – so start wearing women’s clothing now. Wait, what?

Another gem from this that you might not see very well is my watch. I’ve wanted a Mondaine watch for years and years. I feel in love with them after seeing one in a magazine as a child. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend £300 on a watch. The way my brain works, it tells me that it’s half of a return to New York. So I scoured the internet for a lookalike and after months, found one. It’s currently sold out on Amazon (the only place I can find it online) but I love it and for only £12? Yes please.

The last detail of this outfit is the hat. I don’t usually do woolly hats, more of a snapback kind of guy, but I do love this hat. It’s warm, and the little details on it are lovely.

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I can see me wearing variations of this outfit over the next few weeks until it becomes properly cold and a winter jacket has to be bought.

Hello there! It’s been a while. 10 months seems like ages.

Before that it was ages as well. I don’t know why but life has always gotten in the way and I’ve always been so busy writing blogs for other people, brands and companies that I’ve always neglected mine. No longer.

My father recently died and I’ve not got many pictures of him. I don’t know as much as I’d like about his life before I arrived and it’s a shame. I think if he had a blog, I’d read through it. I might do a blog post about the last couple of months in my life, I might not, but I think that having this kind of diary could be invaluable to someone in the future. Pretty niché audience I’m now writing for, but hey. FINE, I won’t just write for my future children/grand children. I’ll make it accessible and all that.

I’ve also been dating my wonderful partner Klee. She’s pretty darn cool and blogs which is another reason for me to start again. It seems like fun, doing outfit posts and blogging about life – so I’m going to get in on the act.

See you about,

Seb.

First of all, it’s been pretty much a year since I blogged last, and that’s DISGUSTING, but it’s been a hectic year and I apologise. MOVING ON…

New(ish) social website Gogobot are like Foursquare meets Yelp on acid. Users review places and can check in to places, create trip plans and guides. It’s a great website not only for people that like to travel but also the people who want to know more about where they live.

I’ve just completed a Top Ten list of places to hang out, eat and drink in Shoreditch – the place I grew up.

and Gogobot have liked it so much, they’ve pushed it out to their users!