Welcome to The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
Every Thursday you can read Roxy’s diary entries.
They record the emotional highs and lows of her new serious relationship with Marcus, the man of her dreams. He lives on the posh side of town, drives a flash car and doesn’t mind her wild kids or the wobbly bits on her hips and thighs. Has Roxy finally found true love?
How will their new relationship survive when Roxy enters the TV talent show ‘Search For a Star’?
Will Roxy be a hit in the Over 25’s singing category?
For noting: Roxy’s pop group have decided to sing one of my favourite 80’s hits ‘Venus’ by Banarama for their first audition and it is mentioned below. If you need to refresh your musical memory please click here.
Marcus has taken me for lunch.
He picked me up from work, looking all suave, in his sleek new Jaguar.
Once my seatbelt was on, he reached across and placed his warm hand on my knee. “I may need some photocopying doing later, Roxy,” he growled, looking all sexy, with his elegant hair quiff and twinkling blue eyes.
As Marcus and I first got together…over the office photocopying machine…during a drunken staff night out, requesting photocopying jobs is our way of making each other smile. I love relationship jokes.
We are sat in a restaurant on the outskirts of town.
Marcus is gently kissing my hand. “Are you looking forward to our weekend away?”
This is going to be awkward. How do I explain to him that our romantic weekend away will include a day, spent at the auditions for the popular TV programme, Search For a Star?
To his surprise I drain my glass of Chardonnay. “Marcus, there is something I need to tell you,” I explain, wiping my mouth. “On Saturday I have a special event to attend.”
He’s nodding. “Yes you do, Roxy. It is going to be held in the hotel’s jacuzzi with you, me and your string bikini.” Marcus still hasn’t forgotten the time when we were not dating and I accidentally sent my entire phone book (including Marcus) photos of me in a shop fitting room, trying on a string bikini.
I am taking a deep breath and at the same time signalling to a passing waiter I need another wine. “The pop band I am part of, The Diamanté Girls, have a Search For a Star audition.”
Marcus is scratching his head. “What? You are in a pop band and you entered that TV singing competition?”
Surely he recalls the night we formed The Diamanté Girls? He came round afterwards and we ended up having a passionate embrace in the airing cupboard. The kids were still up and I needed to find a dark place so he wouldn’t see my tattoo. “You must remember the night the girls came over to discuss starting the band?”
He is shifting about on his chair, looking confused. “Was that the night we…”
“Kissed in my airing cupboard, yes.”
I am watching him loosen his tie and unbutton the top of his shirt collar. He’s obviously trying to remember me telling him I was going to be part of a new and exciting pop band. Thinking back I am not sure we did much talking in my airing cupboard.
“The ironing board fell on top of us,” he explains, with a sly grin. “I felt like a teenager again.”
My mind is awash with airing cupboard flashbacks. I am hiding my cheeks with my hair, they feel like they are on fire.
His face has lit up. “Yes I remember now, you, Shaz, the big woman who tried to sell me the fake tan and the orange lady wanted to recreate an older version of the Spice Girls.”
A smile has crept onto my face. “Just me, Shaz and Orange Lorna. Useful Kim is our manager and Head of Merch.”
“Merch?” Marcus always looks so sexy when he questions me. I feel like I am back in his office at work being grilled about my business statistics.
“Merchandise. Useful Kim is going to have a stall at the auditions selling bottles of her latest fake tan with the band’s photo on them.”
Marcus has started to massage his temples. “Singing? You are all going to be singing…on live TV?”
This is a big relationship moment for us. A troubling silence has descended over our table. Marcus seems to be struggling with the idea of us all…singing.
“But you heard me at all those office nights out where I sang Cher on the karaoke machine?”
His mouth is trying to say something.
“But I thought we could spend Saturday together, just you and I?” He takes my hand and holds my gaze. “Sorry Roxy, I have spent so long fancying you I want to have you all to myself.”
My heart is thudding. “Look Marcus, we probably won’t get through the first audition. Its a bit of a giggle and something I have been dreaming about.”
A memory of me, as a little girl, pretending to be a pop star is being played inside my head. I am wearing my mother’s pink high heels, clutching a plastic bottle and singing my heart out on top of the stairs.
Marcus is looking away. I feel sick.
To my relief a grin is spreading across his handsome face. “Looks like I will have to come to this audition and support you, Roxy?”
There’s nothing more sexier than a boyfriend who is trying to be supportive of your new pop career. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. I am rising quickly from my seat. “Oh Marcus.”
“Bread rolls?” grunts a sour looking waitress.
“What?” The last thing I need right now is a hand basket full of bread rolls. I can’t eat them due to my beetroot and lettuce diet and I need to kiss Marcus like crazy, for being so understanding about changing his jacuzzi plans and supporting my wish to feel like a pop star for a day.
“Just put them over there,” I am gesturing for her to put them on the table whilst casting Marcus a smouldering look.
As she turns her back I reach over to kiss Marcus. Somehow my arm manages to accidentally knock over the basket of bread rolls.
Our romantic moment has sadly been lost. Marcus and I are sat listening to the sour looking waitress muttering stuff under our table, as she picks up all the bread rolls.
I am staggering back into the office, after a long lunch with Marcus.
My reflection in the lift wasn’t great. Judging by my hair someone has plugged me into an electricity pylon and my face is salmon pink.
I don’t want to give my office co-workers the impression I have been on a romantic lunch date…with a very attractive ex-senior manager, who whispers he’s crazy about me in airing cupboards. As far as they know I was lunching with a much loved relative.
“Nice lunch, Roxy?” Martin, my line manager, is frantically stapling printed sheets together. “We didn’t think you would be returning, after you failed to show when your hour break was up.”
I am trying to tame my wild hair. “Sorry Martin.”
His beady green snake eyes are focused on my blouse. I look down and gasp. Some of my buttons have mysteriously come undone.
“Did your Great Aunt Vera enjoy her lunch with you?” His sly smile reveals an array of yellow stained teeth.
I am sorting out my blouse with trembling hands.
Bev, who sits next to me in the office is leaning over. “Does your Great Aunt Vera like to wear men’s aftershave?”
Phil from IT walks past my desk, whistling. “How is Marcus these days, Roxy Collins?”
I am shaking my head and shuffling bits of paper around my desk. “Don’t know, haven’t seen him since he left.”
“But I just saw you getting out of his car?” Phil carries on strolling down the office.
The women on the desks behind me have started to whisper, “Roxy Collins is seeing Mr Gorgeous.”
Gossip travels fast in our work. My email has just pinged. Helen from Accounts wants to know when I started seeing Mr Gorgeous.
My office phone is ringing. It’s Useful Kim. “Roxy, we will be over at 8pm tonight.”
“For what?” The only thing I had planned for tonight was sitting watching TV, wearing an oatmeal face mask and drinking Pinot Grigio through a straw.
Useful Kim has just grunted down the phone. “Practice the dance routine.”
I am shaking my head. “No dance routine, we will look like amateurs.”
“Raunchy Rita the dance instructor is coming to give you lot some moves.” There is an authoritative tone to Useful Kim’s voice. “You know the one I shared….a cell with?”
I am grimacing at the thought of a dance sequence. “Do we really need a dance routine?”
Useful Kim has exhaled loudly down the phone. “Roxy, trust me on this. You cannot sing ‘goddess on the mountain top, burning like a silver flame’ with no dance routine.”
“We just need be imaginative with our hands.” Martin is giving me a concerned look.
“Roxy, on TV auditions nowadays it is about being different and standing out from the crowd.”
I can feel my body tense. “Don’t use that word different, certain people we know go a bit crazy when told to be different.”
Useful Kim goes silent. She knows who I am referring to. Some people should not be encouraged to be different.
Orange Lorna, Shaz and I are stood on my sofa. Useful Kim and Raunchy Rita are watching us from the other side of the room, whilst we sing.
“Right now the high leg kick!” croaks Raunchy Rita, a 79 year old ex-dance teacher, wearing an electric blue leotard, pink leggings and yellow leg warmers, bent over a walking stick. No one is sure how long she did inside or who gave her the nickname of Raunchy Rita.
Shaz and I are shaking our heads. “This song doesn’t need high leg kicks!” we both yell.
Useful Kim has stopped Banarama’s classic pop hit ‘Venus’ and is glaring at us. “The judges will be looking for something different.”
Shaz and I are glaring at Useful Kim. “We have all told you not to say that word, you know she (we both point to Orange Lorna) gets carried away when she hears it,” hisses Shaz.
Useful Kim is rolling her eyes. “As your manager I have to tell you how it is, you need to stand out, you need to be different!”
“Noooooooo!” Shaz and I both shouting. Orange Lorna has let out an excited squeal and….is sending her plump leg high up into the air….
“You better phone an ambulance, Roxy. She looks a bit pale.” Useful Kim is stood over Orange Lorna, who is lying on my carpet.
“She is an odd colour,” Shaz is peering at Orange Lorna’s face.
“It could be that brand of fake tan she’s been using.” Useful Kim is shaking her head. “I told her to stick to my stuff but she wouldn’t listen.”
Useful Kim is phoning me from the hospital. “They’ve given her crutches for the leg.”
“Does that mean she can’t perform on Saturday?”
Will Orange Lorna’s accident mean The Diamanté Girls go down to two?
“Nah,” Useful Kim sounds optimistic. “She’ll get us the sympathy vote. We will just prop her up and you can dance around her.”
Just reading a troubling text from Marcus. Even though he enjoys a kiss in an airing cupboard, understands about Saturday, he’s still worried we’re not spending enough quality time together.