All posts by Jojo Debrazza

Jojo Debrazza is a writer of young adult and children’s fiction. The Charm is her debut YA novella. Jojo has a vivid imagination and likes to make up stories. Her friends call it lying but she calls it writing. She lives mainly in a dream world with her partner and a house full of small furry animals. It’s a carefree happy place where everything is bright and fluffy. Jojo’s other passion is football (soccer). As well as playing and helping to run a club she works as a football development officer in Cambridgeshire, England.

How to Blag Your Way Into Coolville

A dork’s guide to being cool.

Some people are just plain cool. Unfortunately, most of us are not! This blog will allow even the nerdiest amongst us to experience the alluring world of cool. The key to coolness is copying the crowds. Follow these six simple steps to fit in with the popular people and shake off those geeky friends.

1. Dress to Impress

The first step to appearing cool is to wear the right brands. The easiest way to do this is to copy the crowd. Hang around outside Hollister. Wait for a group of young, cool looking kids and follow them in.

Stick close to the group and make note of the items they pick up and approve of. Once they have moved away, swoop in and examine the garments. To save money, only buy outer wear such as hoodies or jackets, where the logo will be clearly visible. That way you can still wear your Star Wars t-shirt underneath and no-one will ever know.

Beware: The staff will say hello and make friendly chat. Just return the greeting and walk away, they do not really want to be your friend or hear about your day.

Top Tip: Wear dark sunglasses while outside the shop. Once inside, remove your shades. Your eyes should now be adjusted to the dim lighting allowing you to see the colour of the clothes you are purchasing.

2. Word up

It is important you know the current slang. Using last year’s lingo could easily expose your inner geek. Now you have your Hollister hoodie, you should be safe to approach the skate park without being beaten up. Take a seat on the bench and listen to the language used.

Do not get out your X-men comic, this will only attract unwanted attention. Instead, put in some ear phones and pretend to be listening to some hot tunes. Make note of whether the words are used to mean good or bad. Now impress your peers with your new cool vocabulary.

Beware: Be careful who you use this street talk with. While skaters may praise each other by exclaiming a trick was ‘sick’, the old lady next door will be horrified if you declare her much loved Jack Russell is sick, even if you meant it as a compliment.

3. Music

Knowing what tunes are in, and more importantly knowing what is out, is crucial to keep your cool demeanour alive. Again, the key to this is copying the crowd. Find out what the cool people are listening to, by using apps like Shazam. Wander up when cool people are showing off their tunes and let Shazam work out what is playing.

It is important to be able to rattle off some cool band names if asked what you are listening to. No-one need know that the Dungeons and Dragons audio book is really playing through your headphones.

Top Tip: Wear big headphones. These say I’m too cool to talk to you. My music is far more interesting. This should prevent you from being questioned.

4. What are you chatting about?

Repeat the mantra: The key to coolness is copying the crowd. What are the cool people talking about? Put your big headphones on and do a spot of eaves-dropping.

Topics are likely to be about sports, X-box games, fashion or music. Observe conversations initially and then utilise your nerd skills to research some key facts about the topics enabling you to join in next time. Note: Only research key facts, no one will be impressed by a spread-sheet detailing all of the Premiership player appearances and statistics since the league began.

5. Places to be

Now you have some basic knowledge of the cool people’s past times you will know where to find them and hang out. Join a sports club. Go to the shops they have mentioned or to the cinema to see the film they were talking about.

Top Tip: Sit next to the cool people wherever you can, in the canteen, in the cinema or in the bar. Passers-by will assume you are part of the group thus elevating your social status.

Beware: Your street credibility could crash back to zero if you are seen going into Chess Club.

6. Party Time

Now you have some cool clothes and know the cool crowd better it’s time to turn that funky music up and throw a party!

Only invite the cool people. That means leaving your old geeky friends behind but don’t worry they will be quite happy playing World of Warcraft at home.

Join in with the chat, try out your new lingo, relax and enjoy your new status.

Top Tip: Rig up a device at the end of the street to play a loud police siren, and flash blue lights, remotely controlled from your mobile. Once activated, the crowd will scarper. This allows you to end the party at your convenience, whilst ensuring the party is remembered for the foreseeable future.

Congratulations. You are now cool

So you have made it to coolness by following these easy steps. From now on it’s easy, just continue copying the crowd and don’t feel bad about ditching your dorky childhood pals. It’s for their own good. If they want to be your friend they will have to turn cool and who better to learn from, than the newly crowned King of Cool. That’s you.

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The Real Match Report

So this Sunday, I handed my notepad to Laura Melling, aka Lemming, to record any notable incidents during the game. The following report tells the match events from a slightly different angle:

Fulbourn Bluebirds vs Huntingdon Ladies – League Cup – 21st Oct 2012

Lemming, ate her Freddo while the substitutes and supporters made their score predictions for the match. Hollie was very optimistic, foreseeing an 11-1 win for Huntingdon. The manager’s son Jack had chips but everyone else was disappointed he didn’t share.

Ex Town keeper, Laura Gilbey, arrived to watch and chat about dogs as she misses us so badly. The small crowd got excited when a phone said, ‘Potato.’

On the pitch, exciting events were occurring. A Fulbourn goal was disallowed, Stef Day won a header by leaping through the air like a salmon and Rachael Bowd, aka Bowdy, made a tackle without fouling. The phone then said, ‘Potato,’ again, bringing everyone’s attention back to the sidelines.

Claire Knox, aka Knoxie, taught everyone that penguins mate for life and that the boy penguin gives the girl penguin the best pebble he can find from the beach. At half time, Lemming enjoyed a coffee while Abbey opted for a cup of tea.

In the second half, there was a moment of horror as Jo McGoff’s goal kick almost hit an unsuspecting dog. Both managers made the most of the repeat substitution rule. Players were rolled on and off the pitch. Emma Clarke was rolled back on but didn’t have a shirt so Jo Bull, aka Jo Bull, had to hand hers over as she rolled off the pitch. The referee threatened to report us for not having enough shirts.

Back on the pitch, Emma made it into the penalty box but fell over. Lemming’s shouts for a penalty were ignored. Just as it seemed the game was heading for extra time Karen Williams, aka Tyson, popped up with a headed goal to send Huntingdon through to the next action packed round of the league cup.

The official match report can be found by clicking here. Which do you think is best?

Some People are Vegetarian – Get Over It!

Let’s get it all out in the open now. I’ll admit it, come clean and out of the closet. Please don’t be shocked, scared or angry. I’m vegetarian! No big deal. I just choose not to eat meat.

However, my choice seems to worry, offend or confuse some people and the apparently shocking news often provokes the need for a barrage of questions.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind general curiosity questions such as how long I have been vegetarian or whether I cook with quorn or tofu. Those are fine. It’s when the questioning goes into my moral values that really gets my goat.

Understandably, some meat lovers are concerned I will frown upon them for eating meat around me. I won’t. Then there are people who think I will try to turn them off their meat with talk of animal rights or the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Fear not. I don’t care if people eat meat, are vegan, gluten free or a cannibal, well maybe that last one would bother me, but you get the idea. People can eat what they like. That is their choice. And that is my point.

My real beef is when people quiz and question me with bouts of never ending questions and arguments about my choice not to eat meat. A typical line of inquiry goes something like this: “Why don’t you eat meat? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat fish?”

But then comes the real interrogation, “Are you into animal rights?” And then my real bug bears, “Do you wear leather? Do you eat polos or haribo?”

If I happen to fail this cross examination I will probably be accused of being a hypocrite.

A hypocrite? I have never claimed to be saving the world or every animal. All I am saying is I don’t eat meat!

The point is, I would never dream of asking someone why they ate meat. In the same way as I wouldn’t ask someone which party they vote for. It’s a personal choice and none of my business. I don’t want to get into a moral debate every mealtime. I just don’t eat meat. That is all.

Huntingdon Town Ladies FC Are Set for a New Start

ImageThe 2012-13 season marks a new start for Huntingdon Town Ladies FC. After twenty years in the Eastern Region Women’s League the club have decided to switch to the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women’s League. Huntingdon got off to a good start yesterday (Sunday 2nd Sept) with an 8-0 win over Wisbech St Mary Yellow.

The club formed twenty years ago when women’s teams were few and far between and travelling across the region to play against other teams was a necessity. Now, after the huge growth in women’s football there are more good quality local teams and the Huntingdon players are looking forward to playing against some new opposition.

Full match reports can be found here.

The doom of the fitting room

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only woman in the world who does not like shopping. Actually, it’s not really the shopping I dislike. It’s the fitting rooms that bring me out in a cold sweat.

The first obstacle is the attendant. Perhaps I’m paranoid but I always imagine they are thinking: ‘You are way too old for that’. Or, ‘If those jeans fit you I’ll eat my hat’. They seem like the devil’s assistants leading innocent, hopeful shoppers towards their own private hell.

Communal fitting rooms fill me with the most dread. There is always a group of young flawless looking girls performing their own private fashion show and admiring each other’s choices of perfectly fitting summer dresses. Then there is the nudist, demonstrating how comfortable they are with their body by stripping right off and taking far longer than necessary to put any clothes back on. I desperately look for a nook or cranny to try these clothes on in private but to no avail. So with my chosen garment still on its hanger, I hold it up to my body, shake my head, and make a swift exit.

Cubicles with curtains are not much better. I have never found a cubicle curtain large enough to cover the opening. Pulling the curtain across to close the gap on one side just opens a gap on the other. I try to position the curtain so there is just a small gap on each side. This is a waste of time because whilst struggling to balance on one leg, with one leg in and one out of my jeans, I usually find my backside has reopened the curtains for the world to see.

Cubicles with doors are usually better, except those ones with low doors where fellow shoppers can see the look of disgust on my face as I examine my outfit in the mirror. Doors with high gaps at the bottom are just as bad. No-one wants to see my unshaved calves, partly covered by odd, worn out ankle socks.

It’s a relief to enter a cubicle with a full length, locking door. I hang the clothes on the hook, and then sigh. There is only one hook. Where do I put my clothes? A quick glance around the cubicle and I notice several balls of dust, a stray button and a tag. A tag? Who takes the tag off? A shoplifter perhaps! Then my paranoia really sets in. Are there cameras in here to catch shop lifters? Are recordings played back for the amusement of the staff on their lunch break?

I have a quick think about how to try on the clothes while revealing the least amount of flesh. I start the balancing act, trying to get my jeans off without them picking up the fluff balls from the floor. Bending over is not advisable in these confined spaces. I dread to think how many cubicle mirrors I have accidentally left my buttock prints on.

Standing under a harsh light it is impossible not to notice my unsightly bumps and bulges. I try looking away, but there is no escape. I’m surrounded by mirrors which show them from a different and usually worse angle. Instead I try to focus my vision on the clothes I’m about to put on. This causes another moment of horror as I notice white deodorant marks across the top. Who else has tried this top on?

Eventually I get the clothes on. I look horrendous. I need to get them off as fast as possible. But it’s not that easy. My calves refuse to leave the skinny jeans. I have expanded inside them. The heat from the lights is making me sweat. I’m glad of the deodorant marks now. At least people use it! I’m starting to panic. I tug at the clothes. Then I hear the worst of fitting room sounds. A rip.

I exit the cubicle red faced and looking like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. The final humiliation is when the attendant asks, ‘How did you get on?’ As I hand over the garments I swear I can hear her thinking, ‘I could have told you it wouldn’t fit’. So I leave empty handed and drained of confidence. I think I’ll stick to internet shopping!