Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Luna Loves... Creed Perfume

I'll never forget the first time I smelled Creed perfume. It was six years ago. I remember this because it coincided with my first job in TV drama.

I had just landed a  job on a really big BBC drama. I had no idea what to expect and was thrown into this high speed whirlwind of scripts, actors, directors. It was brilliant fun but such hard work.  I'd sit in awe listening to the producers, script editors, directors and actors chat away over lunch about their jobs, etc... I felt way out of depth and quite lonely really. Everyone knew each other really well...I was a very small fish in an oceanic pond.
I shared an office with the admin girls. They only talked about clothes, shoes, and men. They'd flirt with every guy who came in, in a loud, bold confident way which made me cringe. Actors, directors, stuntmen, crew - they knew them all and everyone knew them. I just sat quietly in the corner, doing my work, and trying to laugh at their jokes every once in a while.

Chris was the lead actor of the show. Tall, dark and handsome. Being a friend of Chris's was a sure measure of a person's popularity and status. He was a notorious flirt and the girls loved him. They behaved as if he was theirs... hugely competitive, they hated the girls in the crew and the actresses who hung around him. If anyone dared talk to Chris the girls would rip them apart. I decided, as far as he was concerned, to act as if he didn't exist, despite his obvious leering at the 'new girl'. I smiled politely when he came in, then put my head down and pretended to be busy.

Then there was a leaving party for one of the lead actresses. Everyone was going, and the girls in my office insisted I come too, even though they ignored me as soon as we arrived. I  tried my best to mingle. The party got raucous and everyone got loud and crazy and drunk...making me feel even more self-conscious and dull. 

I was hiding in the corner, ready to leave, when Izzy, an older actress approached me. She started chatting to me and for some reason took a real shine to me. The trouble was, she got really drunk and I ended up being charged with taking her back to her hotel. So I did, while all the other girls partied and flirted as if their life depended on it. I got her back to the hotel and she insisted I come in. She talked at me for a good hour. Then she took out her make up, perfumes etc...went through it all, recommending what a girl like me should wear, etc. As much as I was enjoying the beauty tips, I was knackered and desperate to get home to bed. I finally made my excuses to leave when she thrust a beautiful bottle of Creed perfume into my hands.'Take this,' she slurred. 'It'll change your life.'

The next day I was at my desk, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, while the others dragged their hungover selves in, full of what fun they had last night after I left. Stories of all the drinks Chris bought them, how they'd watched as a drunk girl wouldn't leave him alone and they had to sneak him out, how they ended up back at his, one had even slept in his bed with him, etc... A great night for them by all accounts. I put my head down as usual and got to work.

Then Chris came into the office to raucous applause and cheering. He was 'so hungover.' Then he spotted the bottle of Creed that Izzy had given me. I'd sprayed a bit on, and was going to return it to her. He came over and lifted it up.
'This is my favourite women's perfume. It's beautiful.' He said.
'Thanks.'
'What's your name?'
'Luna.'
'Nice to meet you Luna. I'm Chris.'
He leaned towards me and kissed me on the cheek.
'You smell amazing.' He whispered.
I looked at him, smiled, and he smiled back. We held eye contact for a split second longer than I felt comfortable with.
He left the office, and the girls swooped down on me. Envious, they asked what the perfume was, how much it was, where I got it, if they could try a bit.
'Sure.' I said. Clouds of Creed wafted around as they sprayed away, desperate to smell of Chris's preferred ladies fragrance.

The girls invited me to lunch with them. That was when we bumped into Chris again. He was with Izzy. He greeted me loudly. 
'Luna!'
He put his arm round me and took me over to Izzy.
'Izzy, this is my new friend, Luna. She wears the most amazing perfume and she smells delicious. I think I'm in love! You will sit with us for lunch, won't you?'

The girls stood with their mouths hanging open. Izzy just smiled at me, and gave me a knowing wink. I smiled back. 

Creed hadn't changed my life, Izzy had.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Luna Loves...James

So I mentioned James in my post yesterday. James. The love of my life, the only man who's broken my heart. It's probably helpful to know this as I'm sure he'll crop up in future posts. He's a director, older than me, and he changed my life. For two years I was the happiest and luckiest girl in the world and thought we'd be together forever. Really believed that we would. And like all good love stories, it had to end. This happened recently and we're still very close friends...for right or for wrong? But we are. He will always be the man who inspired me, pushed me, gave me confidence to do what I'm doing and ultimately believe in myself and for that I will be eternally grateful.
He gave me roots, a place to be and a purpose in life that wasn't just about my TV career... and with that gone, I'm floating a bit, wondering where to go, what to do...what or who my next anchor will be...who Luna will love next?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Luna Loves... Daunt Books


I had a day off from my busy TV job for the first time in ages and I had so many plans. I was going to wake up early and go for a run along the banks of the Thames, read the papers in a leisurely fashion in my local Cafe Nero, go to one of the many exhibitions I've been meaning to go to, then perhaps have a spot of lunch in a restaurant with a good view, drink a glass of wine with lunch, read, think, write, then meet a friend for an early evening drink, before going to the theatre to see one of the plays on my long long list. Did I succeed in doing any of the above? Of course not.

I woke up late. I struggled to crawl out of bed. And when I did it was to go to the kitchen to make a coffee and come back to my warm cocoon of a duvet to drink it. With great effort, I finally made it out of bed, got up and got dressed.

Grabbing my Daunt Books cloth bag, I went out. Already way behind in the fantasy schedule I'd concocted in my head, I decided to combine the breakfast/lunch idea and go to Cafe Nero to read the paper. I ordered a large cafe latte and a gorgonzola and mushroom pannini. Lovely. I lifted the coffee and went to sit down. En route to the table, the coffee cup started to wobble on the saucer and because I was carrying my bag around my wrist, I was trapped into watching it fall and spill everywhere. All over my bag, my hand, my trousers. The cup clattered onto the floor and everyone looked at me. Never mind the fact my hand had been burnt by the hot coffee, I was burning with embarrassment. 

To make matters worse, I spotted frenemy number one, Magda. She was smiling smugly at me, her face beaming with delight at my clumsy mishap. She came to my rescue in a pitying fashion and helped me clean myself up. Made more of a fuss than she needed to, deliberately drawing attention to her poor clumsy friend. She ordered me another coffee and came across as the best friend a girl could ever dream of. I thanked her through gritted teeth and sat down with her. 

It was the first time I'd seen her since James and I had split up. She was one of James's friends, a jobbing actress, she wasn't a close friend, but that's how I'd got to know her. She hated me for stealing one of her male 'admirers' away, and never missed a chance to blag dinner from him, or get him to help her with her lines - or whatever pathetic excuse she could conjure up which meant she'd have to go round to his with a bottle of wine at 10pm. So now she was thrilled to have him back. I didn't tell her much. I kept it vague and mysterious, hoping she'd think we might even be getting back together. And just as I thought I might be able to escape her by saying I really had to pop into the bookshop next door, she told me that she did too. Great.

So coffee-stained, I left with Magda to browse the books in Daunt - my favourite London book shop. 
"He's cute," said Magda of the guy working there. He was indeed. I'd never seen him before. She strutted past him, deliberately glancing his way and smiling sexily at him. I went the opposite way, determined to lose her. I couldn't. Every time I picked up a book, she'd materialise from nowhere and offer her opinion on it.
It would seem she'd read the whole shop - I didn't even know she could read. And so I found a book that I did actually want to buy and went to pay for it.

The handsome guy that Magda had her eye on, served me. He saw my sorry looking stained Daunt Books bag and laughed. 
"Hardly a good advert for us."
I laughed.
"I spilled my coffee on it this morning, so don't worry, no-one would have seen it yet."
"And they never will because I'm giving you a new one."
He made me empty my worldly possessions from my old cloth bag and he put everything, plus my new book, into a brand new heavier duty and more expensive cloth Daunt Books bag. 
Once everything was in the new bag he looked at me, then asked me if he could buy me a coffee to make up for my spilt one. 

I hadn't expected that at all. Impressed by his boldness, and Magda's earlier smugness at my embarrassing coffee spill still alive in my mind, I accepted his kind offer. Loudly.

And sure enough, Magda had materialised, her smug smile now wiped and an evil glare in her eyes. She was apparently late for a meeting, and had to 'dash' leaving me alone - finally - with my coffee date and an infinitely more interesting day than I could ever have planned!

www.dauntbooks.co.uk