Crushing on Cole

I'm in the middle of my first ever girl crush.

I don't know how it happened but I have no control over it.

It's Cheryl Cole. Ever since she came onto X Factor I've been hooked. I'm still watching it even though the freaks and geeks part of it, which is really the only part I like, is long past.

I pick up magazines with her on the front - just to see what she's up to.

I'm fascinated by her. She's gorgeous and she seems really cool. I'd really really like to be her friend - that's all. I think I want to be her rather than want to sleep with her.

But I strongly suspect if I met her I'd be too shy to make a good impression. You know the way it is. The more you like someone, the bigger the eejit you make of yourself in front of them.

The last time I experienced anything like this I thought I was going to marry Mark Owen from Take That.

Its very disconcerting - I'm old, I'm twenty eight. I don't understand how it happened. I thought these things passed along with the teenage years.

Of course it doesn't help that John is fuelling my crush. He can now legitimately buy all the magazines with Cheryl in them and pretend it's a gift for me and not for him.

He also thinks she'd be a wonderful friend.

Then again I know he's just thinking - threesome.

Loud and proud

There's a time to be polite and a time to be politely forthright.

I am good at the former and very very bad at the latter unless I've been filled up with booze.

Case in point - my hair. I spent a lot of money at a very swish salon last Saturday. However I look like I attacked my locks with a knife and fork.

Its a big bushy, and far shorter than requested, mess.

But what did I do? I thanked and tipped the women who styled me on Shaggy from Scooby Do.

I blame my mother. She insists that if you have nothing nice to say you shouldn't say anything at all. She's wrong. There's no shame in jumping in and shouting - stop that's rotten  -when someone appears hellbent on giving you a Britney buzz.

And believe me I would have a lot more self respect now if I hadn't grinned gormlessly and said thanks as the hairdresser held a mirror behind my head and revealed the full extent of the horror when the cutting frenzy was finished.

I've relived the day over and over and I could have stepped in on three separate occasions and said something to save myself.

Clearly it would have been for the best if I'd said something as soon as I watched a good three inches more than the agreed length of hair being lopped off but but I was too scared of offending the hairdresser to do it. She was also holding some serious looking scissors and you don't want to upset anyone with a potential weapon.

I had a second chance to speak up when she started layering my hair even though I'd clearly asked for a shoulder length sleek bob.

By the time she started on the fringe I foolishly thought it couldn't get any worse.

After spending a lot time pulling my hair and a lot of money on hats that don't suit me I've realised the only way to deal with it is to be grown up and look on the experience as a valuable lesson.

I will learn to speak up. If my dinner is not nice I will tell the waiter (or waitress) that I didn't like it instead of saying I was full, or there was just too much to eat it all.

If a taxi driver takes me the long way round I will pull them up on it and wait for every cent of my change instead of rounding off the overly expensive fare when I get to my destination and adding to their money making scheme.

And if someone bumps into me I will accept their apology instead of insisting it was all my fault.

I can do it. I know I can.

And to make sure I do, I've taken several pictures of my shorn head, to remind me of what can happen if I don't.

Playing house

John has a three year old nephew who we both like to spoil.

We tend to try out all the gifts before giving them to him - purely for safety reasons you understand.

The little one is coming up to visit us next weekend so naturally we ended up in a toy store yesterday, just to make sure we hadn't missed anything new that may hit the toy market in the last few weeks.

While we were there I took the chance to check out my old favourite - Barbie - and discovered she's chosen to go under the knife instead of remaining a timeless beauty.

Her face is totally different these days. In fact it's quite similar to Sindy now - remember her, Barbie's less glamourous rival?

On the upside Sylvanian Families are just the same. Cheery little forest friends dressed in dungarees and shirts. I just love them. So much so that I had to take the beaver family home.

However the thing that struck me the most during my several hours of toy examination was the amount of miniature household products.

I saw hoovers, brushes and pans, washing machines and ironing boards- all of them apparently geared toward the girl market decorated as they were in lovely shades of pink and yellow.

During the ten minutes we queued for the till I saw two men who, in separate purchases, bought an ironing board and a hoover.

I'll be honest. If someone had given me a toy ironing board when I was small I would have been very very disappointed. If John tried to give it to me now... well it'd be the last gift he'd give me.

I don't understand it. Where's the fun in pushing a fake hoover around the place and why would you want to start your child on what will be a long life of housework earlier than they have to?
Of course if they're that keen to clean surely giving them some dusters and actually setting them to work around the house would be a better idea?

Obviously there's a market for the toys or else I stumbled across the two fathers in Dublin who were preparing their daughters for a lifetime of thoughtless presents.

I did try to find a blue or camouflage hoover that might appeal to my adopted nephew but funnily enough there was none to be found ....

Domestic bliss.

I was listening to Ray's show last week and heard there were a few complaints that I've stopped talking about John.

I didn't think anyone would be interested but as at least two people seem to be I thought I'd give an update.

Its been two months now and so far the living arrangements are going swimmingly.

If I'm being honest, its taken a bit more adjustment than I thought it would. It's not the living together that's the problem but the fact I moved into his place.

I think if we'd gone out and chosen an apartment together it would have been different.

It's not John's fault by the way, he says to make the place my own,but our ideas on interior design differ and it makes it hard to put my mark on the place.

I'm in love with the stuff from Avoca - such as fairy lights and useless things like floral tiered cake stands - which don't really fit into his macho, clean lines and plain white home. As you can imagine merging the two has been a bit of a challenge.

So far I've to concentrated on the bathroom. Its by far the easiest room to sort out, a few nightlights and some smelly soap go a long way! When the time comes for a Christmas tree I'll really make my move.I am a Christmas fiend. We're talking Santa's in the hallway and a real tree in the living room. I'm not sure how we'll get it into the apartment but where there's a will there's a way!

We have settled into domesticity very very quickly as well which I don't mind but didn't expect to happen quite so rapidly. I suppose it's bound to happen when you see each other every day. There is no mystery at all left! And I'm guessing that seeing my knickers dry on the radiator probably isn't the best aphrodisiac in the world. I know I'm not turned on when I'm loading his dirty socks into the washing machine.

Speaking of which - which is worse, drying clothes on the radiator or in the tumble dryer. I say the latter but John reckons using radiators makes the place look cluttered and it drives him crazy when I drape the washing on them.

One major thing we differ over is the shopping. When I say - buy the basics- I mean butter, bread and milk. When John says buy the basics, he means wine, pringles and occasionally beer. He also believes anything other than full fat food - ie milk or butter - is the devil's work and has no place in his fridge whereas I like the healthier options so we have to double up on a lot of the same food stuffs.

All in all life is pretty good. Although I am curious to know what the first few months are like for other couples who move in. Should we be in the passion stage or how does it work? I'm not complaining. I'm just curious.

If I were a boy

That Beyonce song - If I were a boy - has gotten me thinking.

Now she wants to be a boy so she can roll out of bed, wear what she wants and make time to listen to girls.

Personally I've a few other things I'd like to put to the test.

First up. If I were a boy could I cross my legs? Over the years a lot of men I've known have insisted they have to sit with their legs spread, they say its not physically comfortable otherwise. I'm not convinced.

Secondly - food. It seems to me that guys don't hold back when it comes to their food which is something I'd love.If we're out and my boyfriend wants desert he just orders it. If he wants a big roll for his lunch he eats it. Whereas I am unable to do it unless I've totted up the calories and worked out if I can afford the treat or the carbs that day. I know it drives John crazy because I'll always have a spoon of his dessert or some of his chipper chips instead of my own. He insists I can just buy my own and simply eat half but that brings its own set of complications. I was brought up to believe throwing out food was evil. Every time I do it I hear my mother's voice in my head urging me to think of all the starving children in Africa.

And thirdly - could I become a Guinness drinker if I were a boy.Its a drink I love the look of and although I've tried it loads of times and even mixed it with blackberry, I don't enjoy it.I know lots of girls do but I'm afraid I don't know any of them so I always think of it as a man's drink.

So if you should ever happen to come across a guy sitting at a bar with a forkful of death by chocolate in one hand, a Guinness pint in the other and his legs neatly crossed at the knee come and say hi. I'll let you know how it's working out. I'll even give you a forkful of cake .... just the one mind.

Incidentally I asked John what he'd like to try if he were a girl for a day ......... he didn't hesitate in his answer - big boobs.