Claire Black: 'I'm too fickle for a tattoo ... I knew someone once with a Tweetie Pie they bitterly regretted'
LADY Gaga only has them on her left side, David Beckham has nearly entirely disappeared beneath his and Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic has 82 of Julia Roberts' visog on his arms and torso (actually a few of them look a bit more like the woman who served me in the Tesco at the bottom of Leith Walk last night, but as far as the 56-year-old Chilean newspaper vendor is concerned, they're Oscar-winning Julia, okay?).
I can understand why you might want to rehabilitate the reputation of Machiavelli but why Tony Blair?
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FROM The AA Guide to Zagat by way of The Good Food Guide, Hardens, Les Routiers and, of course, Scotland the Best, there are enough guides telling us where to eat to give anyone indigestion. In fact, it may be that the next niche product for some enthusiastic young web entrepreneur is to create a guide to the guides.
Claire Black: 'I contemplated going bare-foot for a while, but, living in Oxgangs, it seemed a little impractical'
ONCE again I find myself out of sync with my generation. The first time it happened I was eight and had developed a fixation with Sarah Vaughan. The next time I was about 15 and all of a sudden my fashion sense slipped out of 1989 and landed in 1969.
'I THINK it needs just a little bit more seasoning." Could there be ten more irritating words spoken in the English language? I think not. I roll my eyes, throw myself on to the kitchen floor and wail. Actually, I didn't hit the deck or cry but I did roll my eyes. A lot.
Claire Black: 'I have been to more T in the Parks than I can remember, but that's beer group pressure for you'
SO VUVUZELAS have been banned from T in the Park. That's one less reason to avoid it, I suppose. Although last year I would've loved a large plastic horn to drown out Brandon Flowers' whining. Is it enough to make me go next weekend? I'm not knocking Scotland's premier music festival; I have a more general music festival malaise. I know people say they have a brilliant time; I'm just not sure that I'm one of them.
'WHERE IS MY WADDFUB BAG GRTUMNI?" R and I are playing our favourite game: shout the inaudible question. Possibly the most annoying game in the whole world, we play it about five times a week.
Claire Black: 'Why didn't you tell me I looked like a pint of milk poured into my little sister's bikini?'
'How often do you change your profile picture?" asks my mate Mel. "I don't" "What, never?" "Never."
Claire Black: 'A good friend is always there as a shoulder to cry on. But that's not quite true is it?
'I'VE told you this before, haven't I?" No, no, I say, lying to the face of my friend, trying to come up with what I can say just caught my attention (spider? random celebrity?) rather than admit the fact that I'd just zoned out.
'YOU'RE still in your pyjamas," said R. It's hard to find the right word to accurately capture her tone of voice but I'm going to plump for withering. "I've not had time to get dressed," was my whining reply.
DON'T lose it when I tell you this but according to some estimates we each spend a year of our lives looking for things. A year: 12 months; 365 days; 8,760 hours.
Claire Black: 'The man behind the ticket desk looked at me as if I'd just asked him to pay my mortgage'
WHAT do you do? You arrive at a train station with a ten pound note in your pocket and an empty wallet. Actually, that's not quite true, it contains two 10 Euro notes, an aged Ikea receipt, three bus tickets and six pence in coppers. What it doesn't contain is a bank card, not a single one. You took them out last night and put them in the pocket of a jacket. A jacket that you're not wearing. You've got to get to Glasgow. The train leaves in eight minutes. It costs £10.40.
Claire Black: 'I have discovered the secret of that warm-inside, little-pick-me-up kind of happiness'
THERE I was standing outside the Playhouse in Edinburgh waiting for R. I always have to wait, so as I stood I rehearsed the conversation that we always have:
Claire Black: 'I like eating alone. But I'm coming to realise it makes people think I'm an anti-social git'
'CAN I have a table for one, please?"
Claire Black: 'I thought I had another decade of carefree happiness, and in a flash it's all been spoiled'
IS THERE anything more likely to precipitate a crisis than being told you're having one? I don't think so.
SO IS Cher (Lloyd) anorexic? Is Monica (Galetti) actually a Replicant? Is Ann (Widdicombe) unfathomably managing to shake off her role as Britain's best known virgin and sashaying towards national treasure status? Did one of Sir Alan's proteges really say "Everything I touch turns to sold"?
Claire Black: 'I won't give up a soor ploom just because it's been for a roll around under the sofa'
HOW clean is your house? A question as personal as how often do you change your underwear. Do you pride yourself on keeping it so spotless you would happily eat your dinner off the buffed and scrubbed kitchen floor?
'ARE you travelling alone?" Yes. "There's no one else travelling with you?" No. "Well, you're going to have to put all those toiletries into one plastic bag because you're not allowed two."
ISLAND life. Until about a week ago, those two words meant only one thing to me: Grace Jones. I've lost count of the nights I've spent trying to replicate the arabesque on that classic album cover after imbibing a few too many lemonades.
THERE'S a spoof Twitter account purporting to be the tweets of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. According to the feed he's holed up in his mum's back bedroom wrapping Christmas presents: "She's wrapping, I'm writing what it is on the outside. People WANT to know!"