Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Happy Birthday, Me.

Tomorrow, on the 29th of December, I will be 24 years old.

I would like to begin by saying that I am very grateful to the universe, or God, or science or whatever, for letting me live for so long. I’ll be honest – it’s a bit of a surprise. Twenty-four years is an astonishingly long time, and I am a complete idiot. The fact that I have managed to get here without some sort of interference from a higher power seems ludicrous.

I don’t actually believe in a higher power, by the way. I think that the actual reason for my continuing existence is my mother. I am capable of very little without that woman. In fact, every time I leave the house without her, there is a genuine feeling of concern from all members of my immediate family. If any one of us is going to get murdered, hit by a car or struck down by a sudden illness, it will almost certainly be me.

We worry about me, we really do.

Speaking of my mother, it may interest you to know that by the time she was twenty-four, she had already given birth to me. She also had a job, her own house and a marriage – I hear about this a lot. It usually crops up whenever I complain about how difficult it is to write an essay and/or how I will be alone for the rest of my life. Apparently I “don’t know I’m born”.

Anyway, despite the aforementioned gratitude for my relatively pain-free twenty-four years, I would still like to make a formal complaint about the entire situation.

I AM TOO YOUNG TO BE TWENTY-FOUR.

Physically, of course, I am a twenty-four year old woman. Most of the time, this isn’t a bad thing. In many ways, I’m more attractive than I’ve ever been. There are some mornings when that’s quite difficult to believe, but there you go.
Mentally, however, my development stalled at approximately seventeen years of age. I’m impulsive, irrational, emotional and occasionally psychotic. I have moments of maturity, certainly, but they are few and far between, let me assure you.

Telling people that I am in my twenties - we're not saying ‘mid-twenties’ just yet - feels horribly askew, and I have a feeling that it will only get worse.

Apparently, though, I wasn’t being dramatic enough about my impending age increase. I needed to make myself more anxious about it. As always, facebook did the trick. That’s right! I made the mistake of looking up some former acquaintances. And do you know what I discovered? BABIES. HUSBANDS. HOUSES. JOBS.

But whatever. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to save all of this blind panic for next year.

IT IS OK TO BE RIDICULOUS WHEN YOU ARE TWENTY-FOUR. IT IS LITERALLY FINE.

x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Doing Essays

I’m supposed to be writing an essay. In just over two weeks I’ve got two of the damn things to hand in, and I’ve yet to choose a topic for the second one.

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I started writing on Saturday. It’s now Tuesday. I have written less than forty words.

The problem isn’t the question, or the topic, or even the research I have neglected to do. The problem is me. Me and my overpowering levels of self-doubt.

The lecturers, for the past few weeks, have gone on and on about how we are expected to produce a higher standard of written work than we were at undergraduate level. They’ve made a point of telling us that we need to research more, we need to be clearer, we need to give the impression that we know our subject inside and out…

That’s bloody terrifying, isn’t it?

To make things slightly worse, last week we were given a way out. Apparently, if we would prefer not to do quite as many essays, we can change our qualification to a PgDip or Postgraduate Diploma. In career terms, it wouldn’t affect any of us. We would be able to apply for the same jobs, at the same rate of pay, as those who choose to do a Masters as long as – and this is the bit that killed it for me – we stay in the same industry for the rest of our lives.
So if I suddenly decided that I was in the wrong job, and wanted to go in a different direction altogether, my PgDip would be rendered meaningless. A Masters degree, however, is universally recognised as BRILLIANT and will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. In theory. And only if you choose to completely disregard the current jobs market, as I am actively doing.

Continuing with my Masters degree is the obvious choice, of course. OF COURSE IT IS. But these bloody essays have been driving me up the wall. So, more than once, I have contemplated changing my qualification. Not seriously enough to actually do anything about it, but seriously enough to back away from the essay and watch Titanic.

And then it occurred to me – I AM WELL CLEVER.

The stuff the lecturers have been saying has not been aimed at me. Not even a bit. It’s been aimed at the people who genuinely struggle with academic work, to give them a chance at the career they want. Not at the people who have got themselves into a flap because they can’t settle down for longer than ten minutes.

I’ve been worrying for nothing. I am an intelligent person. I don’t look like it, I rarely act like it and I never ever sound like it, but I am.

I have work to do, obviously. The essays – even with all the will in the world – are not going to write themselves. But I can DO IT.

Probably not when I’m surgically attached to twitter though, unfortunately.

x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ouch

Earlier today, on my way to a seminar, I made the mistake of opening a door.

You could, without reading the rest of this blog, turn that into something brilliantly metaphorical. Don't though, because I literally opened a door.

I pushed open the aforementioned door – which was quite large, mind you - and my wrist made a sound not dissimilar to that of a hobnob being snapped in half.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but there was a witness. A boy, who really should have been a gentleman and opened the door for me, went “oooft” before asking if I was okay.

I’m not going to lie to you, readers, it bloody hurt. But was I willing to admit that in a public setting to a stranger? Of course not. So off I went on my merry way, assuming that my arm would stop hurting at any moment.

About half an hour into the seminar, however, my wrist had changed colour. It was somehow yellow and pink and a little bit blue. Not to mention swollen.

To cut a long story short, because I am currently typing this with one hand, I ended up sitting in the medical centre being told by a nurse that not only was it highly probable that my wrist was sprained, but that she was very concerned about me doing so much damage to myself while undertaking such a simple task. Then she said something about "underlying condition" after I admitted that my arm has actually been hurting since last November, but has never done a crunchy noise before.

I KNOW. I should have been to see a doctor or something. Shut up.

Anyway, I’m supposed to go for an x-ray as soon as possible. Unfortunately for my wellbeing, I resent paying £2.25 for a bus ticket, just to be re-told that my wrist is sprained. So, being the sensible little thing that I am, I’m ignoring medical advice and seeing how it goes.

Anyone who urges me to go to the hospital will be ignored. Unless they are willing to drive me there.

x

Monday, 21 November 2011

That Ship Has Sailed

We all remember Fringe, don’t we?

It seems that his lovely relationship with that almost-attractive girl from work has run its course.

That said, she doesn’t seem to know about it.

In the last few days, Fringe has taken it upon himself to get back in my good books. He’s realised, he says, that he should have waited for me to be ready for a relationship. He’s also realised that his new girlfriend could never possibly mean as much to him as I do. He understands that it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but he’s willing to try and fix ‘us’. Oh, and he thinks I'm pretty.

Well.

Not. A. Chance.

Do you know what this is really about? This is about how I went on those dates a couple of weeks ago. Basically, he’s jealous.

This isn’t an unfamiliar situation. I wouldn’t have the nerve to call myself a Crazy Bitch if I hadn’t used good old jealousy to my advantage before. And, to be honest, if I’d had my wits about me earlier, I probably would have played the Jealousy Card a little bit better when he first discovered that other women were easier to deal with.

Jealousy, though, is annoying when you haven’t deliberately provoked it.

I’ve tried to let him down gently. I’ve also tried letting him down not-so-gently. I've also told him quite clearly that I'm not interested anymore, and, yesterday, I told him I didn’t like his new haircut.

Ridiculously – but understandably, because I am quite a catch – he is still very determined.

Don’t they say men are like buses or something?

x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Collecting

I’m a collector. That’s always a weird thing to have to tell someone. My only hobby – except for blogging, which I clearly can’t commit to – is collecting nail varnish.

Recently, I found myself in the unfortunate position of having to justify my collection to someone who – after clarifying that he had indeed heard me correctly - was looking at me as though I had fallen out of a tree, dressed as a squirrel. It may interest you to know that we were on a date, but that is neither here nor there.

To begin with, because boys tend to be quite practical, he was largely concerned with the expense of my particular habit. I had my response ready and waiting, for it is the same thing I say to my mother whenever she spies discarded packaging in the recycling box. “You can’t put a price on happiness.” I said.

Next, he decided that SURELY there was a limit to how many nail varnishes a person could own, because there are undoubtedly a limited number of colours available. Foolish boy. To demonstrate how very wrong he was, I had no choice but to explain the difference between a blue-based red and an orange-based red.

Let me tell you, there was a moment when I thought his brain had exploded. It hadn’t. He was merely lost for words.

Because it all looked like it was a bit too much for his boy-brain to understand, I went back to basics. Even if there weren’t different tones of red, I told him, there are several different finishes available. Crème, Gloss, Jelly, Glitter, Shimmer – it’s exciting stuff. Then he made the mistake of asking me to explain the difference between a glitter and a shimmer finish. Well, if I hadn’t sounded mental beforehand, I certainly did then.

Cleverly, I wrapped things up quite quickly. I did a bit of damage control, the conversation moved on to more everyday things, and he seemed to have forgiven me for being a bit odd.

But then, during that awkward silence when the waiter comes over to take the plates away, it all came rushing back.

The blue and orange bases were haunting him.

“What’s your preference – blue or orange?” He asked innocently, in reference to red nail polish.

Poor sod.

I don’t really want to get into this again, but somehow I ended up having to explain the concept of pink and yellow skintones. If ever his brain was ACTUALLY going to explode, now was the time. In fact, the earth-shattering revelation that this kind of colour-theory actually existed rendered him damn-near catatonic.

The look on his face was one that I have never seen before. It was a mixture of fear, respect, disbelief and awe.

Now, you might not know this about me, but I’m generally considered to be quite stubborn. Even when I know I'm coming across as a little bit mad, I can't rest until people KNOW that I'm right. This occasion was no different.

In fact, I was so desperate to make him understand that this was an ACTUAL THING that I ended up inviting him (read: dragging him) back to my room so that I could show him my colour wheel. And that is not a euphemism.

Weirdly, for those who are interested, he asked to see me again.
x

Friday, 4 November 2011

Computer Says No

The worst thing that can happen to a human being with a bank account happened to me today.

That’s right.

MY CARD WAS DECLINED. In a busy supermarket, no less.

Usually when this happens, you’ll have the usual wave of panic sweeping over you. You will almost definitely say something along the lines of “That shouldn’t have happened! I have more than enough in my account!” whether or not you know it to be true.
The thing is, though, I knew that I had enough money in my account. I KNEW. Right up until the point when the cashier said “Your card has been declined”, that is. Up until then I had been sure.

But then, at that moment, a little voice in my head went “Are we really surprised?”

Nevertheless, I maintained an outward air of indignation and looked the cashier right in the eye, daring her to contradict me. She didn’t. As it happens, she was really nice. I was just (like a normal person) hideously embarrassed by the whole situation and wanted to blame it all on her.

“Would you like to contact the bank?” She said, all awkwardly.

“No. They’re about to get a personal visit.” I replied, sounding more like a serial killer than I had intended.

With that, I left. With none of my shopping. Let me tell you – I will never go out into the world without cash ever again.

About ten minutes later, when I arrived at the bank, all hell had broken loose.

The whole of Lancaster City Centre had come to a complete standstill. According to one helpful staff member, "the bank [had] broken". Computers had shut down, tills were no longer accepting cards, the cash machines were pretending people had no money – terrifying.

I really have no idea what this means for the world, or the country, or anything else. All I know is that I WAS RIGHT. And it took every screed of energy within me not to march back into Sainsbury’s and tell the woman at the till.

x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Boy With Guitar

I met a boy today.

He’s handsome, clever, talented, charming, well-dressed and just amazing.

Unfortunately, he probably thinks I am a psychopath.

To begin...

My third-floor window looks out onto a courtyard. It’s busy during the day, but eerily quiet at night. I'm surrounded by other students, but my light is almost always the last one to be turned off.

When you’re a night person, like I always have been, you get used to being the only one awake.

On my second night back at university, I was up until it started getting light outside. Everyone else had gone to bed early after a busy day, but I was wide awake. At one point in the night, boredom got the better of me, and I was about to give up and go to sleep. Just as I was about to do so, however, I heard a guitar outside my window.

A boy with a creased blue hoody, long messy hair and one of those i-play-outside skintones was sat in the middle of the courtyard, strumming a guitar and singing.

I will give you a moment to gather your thoughts.

Since then, he’s been back a few times. Always in the dead of night when I am the only person for miles who is mad enough to be awake. Once, he sang one of my favourite songs, you know. I don't hear it very often, but I can recognise it from the very first note. Acoustic #3 by the Goo Goo Dolls. That song makes me ache, it’s so beautiful.

Swoon.

I tried to get my friend to stay up with me the other night so that she could see him. It felt a bit like we were ghosthunting, partly because the entire situation was so ridiculous, but mostly because I was starting to wonder if I was imagining him. In the end, she chose to believe that I was hideously deluded and went on her way.

Silly girl.

A couple of nights ago, in a change to the usual one-man show, his friends were with him. It was much earlier than usual, and they sat around him, not really paying attention. He didn’t sing much though.

What he did do, however, was look up at exactly the moment when I had leaned out of my window to stare at him. A bashful wave from me and a glorious smile from him later, we were back to where we started.

Today, though. TODAY. Oh, today.

“Oh! Hello! Aren’t you the boy who plays guitar near Grad Bar?” I squeaked at this impossibly attractive man when I stumbled across him in a queue.

That’s right. There he was.

I hate to tell you this, but I was not looking my best. I had – moments earlier – been caught in a rainstorm that seemed to be aimed almost entirely at me personally. I looked as though I was melting into my own giant cardigan.

The boy with the guitar had also got wet in the aforementioned rain, but the effect on his appearance was nothing if not positive.

“I think so.” He answered, looking appropriately terrified.

I said some other things after that. I wish I knew what they were, but sadly I don’t. I could quite literally have said ANYTHING to him.

I am holding on to the hope that whatever I said couldn’t have been too bad though, because “You should come and say hello next time!” were his parting words.

It would be brilliant if this turned into a Great Romance, wouldn’t it? Really brilliant.

I am highly doubtful though.

x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

How Not To Do A Budget

Freshers Week has been and gone. I am now three days into my first official week as a proper postgraduate student.

Brilliant.

Or, it would be, were it not for the money-headache that I am currently suffering from.

I didn’t look at my bank account last week. I was terrified of it. I knew I had spent too much money on stuff for university - absolutely NECESSARY stuff, mind you – and that I was probably nearing my overdraft limit.

Cut to SATURDAY.

I got an email from Paypal saying that my £10 transaction (for my college membership, so, again, NECESSARY) had been reversed, and that I had three working days to get the funds into my account OR ELSE.

“Ten pounds?” Thought I. “My bank usually lets me get away with stuff like that. How inconvenient. I shall go and deposit ten pounds immediately.”

When I got to the stupid bank, however, and checked my account, HSBC had ONCE AGAIN charged me for stuff that they weren’t supposed to charge for. This had rendered me £50 over my overdraft limit. FIFTY POUNDS. No wonder Paypal were upset.

Granted, some of it probably was my fault.

ACTUALLY NO. NONE OF IT WAS MY FAULT. Let us please remember that my overdraft is supposed to be FREE and also exempt from those stupid unarranged overdraft charges that were the absolute bane of my life for two years.

Sigh.

So, basically, I had to put ALL of the money in my possession (which I had previously borrowed from my mother because my particular loan, ridiculous as it is, doesn't arrive into my bank until the first week in November) into the bank to stop bad things happening to me. I’ve never really fallen out with Paypal before - I don’t know what they do in these situations, and I was not willing to take any chances.

If I were a sensible person, I would probably have addressed my finances at that point. What I actually did was buy a six-pack of Twirls and a pasty from Greggs.

But the pasty is now long gone, and the Twirls followed quickly after, so today I decided to DO A BUDGET.

Here is what I had to work with:

83p

The next bit of my life happened on twitter.


BUT THEN


I know. I know. I should refrain from such bragging.

But I hope that this glorious news comforts those of you who are worried that I can't survive on my own.

£1.86
BEAUTIFUL


x

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mirror, Mirror

If you follow me on twitter, it will not have escaped your notice that I am now back at university.

It’s been alright so far.

I like my flatmates, which makes a nice change. In the second and third years of my degree, I absolutely HATED the people that I lived with. I might revisit those years with you another time, but they aren't important at the moment.

My room is almost finished, décor-wise. I’ve got some Britney posters up, my shoe rack is fully stocked and I bought a giant mirror today.

Looking at it, now that the aforementioned mirror is displayed in my room, it isn’t actually as massive as it felt when I was lugging it around town for two hours this afternoon.

When I went to get it, I was anticipating a much smaller box than the one I was given. I’ve never had a brilliant sense of perspective (or a good grasp of measurements), and this just proves it. When the description said “50cm x 50cm” I thought it sounded like a fairly modest size. Perfect for slinging under my arm and getting on with the rest of my shopping.

NOT SO, DEAR READER.

What “50cm x 50cm” actually means is “not big enough for home delivery, but certainly too awkward and heavy for a bus journey.”

That being said, it's the perfect size for my room. I just hadn't thought things all the way through.

Being a modern woman – capable and independent and all that stuff – I carried on regardless. I continued shopping because it would take far more than a mirror to keep me away from a shoe sale, I can tell you.

Even though I was coping, let me just explain to you what the world saw AT THIS POINT – a small blonde woman, overladen with bags, carrying a large mirror that was clearly too wide for her teeny tiny arms to cope with.

Do you know what the world did with that information? NOTHING. NOT A SODDING THING.

Anyway, when I finally decided it was time to give up and go home, the automatic doors at the bus station were broken, and so I was required to open them manually. Obviously unable to do this, I enlisted the help of a twenty-something hipster who had just finished his mentholated cigarette. When I asked him if he could please hold the door open, he actually and literally SIGHED at me. HE SIGHED. AS IF I HAD RUINED HIS RIDICULOUS DAY.

If my arms hadn’t been so tired, I might have strangled him.

I continued to be annoyed when NOBODY offered me a seat on the bus, despite the mirror situation, and I had to wait until some IDIOT third years got off the bus BEFORE I COULD EVEN TWEET ABOUT IT.

Maybe we don’t expect men to help us with our bags or hold doors open any more. BUT SURELY if they are asked POLITELY to do so, they should be able to do it without sighing at the inconvenience.   
And if you're getting off the bus in less than two stops anyway, SURELY you should be allowing the poor sap with heavy bags AND A GIANT MIRROR to have your seat.

That's not even chivalry, is it? It's common courtesy.

x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Everything Will Be Fine

You may not know this (although I sense you’ve got the gist of it) but I am actually quite worried about going back to university. A large and relatively sensible part of my brain knows that everything will be fine. A smaller but significantly louder part is wholly unconvinced.

I could give you the reasons why I am so worried, couldn’t I? I’m not going to though. I’m trying to be positive.

With that in mind, here are the reasons why EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

1. I am much more attractive than I was when I first started university.

You might be thinking ‘oh, what a shallow and ridiculous woman’, and I won’t pretend that you’re wrong. You can say whatever you like – looks matter. And you would agree with me if you had been forced to live through your first year at university with Bon Jovi hair.

2. I am less socially awkward than I was the first time around, too.

I have spent the last couple of years cultivating an actual personality. I no longer dress like a goth or seek to impress boys with my brain-damaging coolness. I dress like a person, I’m quite interesting, and I am perfectly comfortable with the affection I feel towards Britney Jean Spears.
Well done me.

3. I am doing a subject that I am good at and that I am actually interested in.

Arguably, this is the most important bit. My psychology degree came about because there were a lot of psychologists on television and I wanted to be called Dr Laura and have a talk show. That was literally it.
As it turned out, I hated the entire thing and spent three years of my life wondering why I hadn’t thought things through properly.
This time, though, I am armed with a plan, some experience, and realistic expectations.

And breathe.

There we go. I feel a bit better now, except for the fact that I go in EXACTLY ONE WEEK.

Obviously, I haven’t even tried to pack anything yet. My mother keeps trying to get me to write a list of things I need to buy, but I can’t even find the energy to do that. As I’m trying to think positively, though, I should mention that I DID manage to order a replacement for my favourite (and quite recently deceased) Back To The Future t-shirt.
So that’s alright. I’ll have to keep hold of this feeling of accomplishment for when I’m crying into a pile of clothes next Friday night, asking myself why I didn’t start packing earlier.

x

Oh, and SPEAKING OF LEAVING HOME, Silly Old Daniel – user of twitter, writer of blogs, love of my life – is moving to France for a year to teach english to french teenagers and find himself a dishy boyfriend called Laurent or Zacharie or something.

I would like to officially declare that I am not happy about it, because I will miss him if he is too busy for the internet.

Apart from that though, I hope he has a lovely time.

x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Helpful University Advice

It's September, as you are probably aware, which means that it's the time of year when magazines and ill-informed newspapers begin to release "advice" for university students.
Let me tell you straight away that the people who write those things are idiots. They clearly have no idea about what it is actually like to spend three years avoiding lectures and doing irrevocable damage to your internal organs. I, however, know exactly what all that is like, so I have decided to share some pearls of genuine wisdom.

You are most welcome.


Things To Do When You Are New At University


1. Dilute your personality.

If you have ever been referred to as ‘a right character’ or perhaps as having ‘a strong personality’, do not unleash yourself upon your new flatmates straight away. It’s really best to find out how easily frightened they are first.
With any luck, you'll be able to tell quite quickly who the mental ones are. They are the ones who I suggest making friends with.

2. Pace yourself.

Although this is useful advice on a nightly basis (see point 3) I am actually referring to your social life as a whole. It might be tempting to go on every single night out on offer, but just don’t go mad. That kind of thing is fine in Fresher’s Week, but you’ll burn out sooner or later.
I made the mistake of going in all guns blazing in my first term. The thing is, though, I set a precedent that I was unable to keep up with. About half way through the year, when my alcohol-damaged body was draped over the bowl of a questionable toilet and I was sobbing out a solemn oath to never touch red wine again, I realised that I could no longer go out on every single week night and expect to survive the year.

3. (Somewhat related to above) Know your limits.

As someone who has, in the past, been ‘the one who is always dangerously drunk and needs looking after’ as well as ‘the one who looks after the dangerously drunk one’, I know how important this bit of advice is.
It’s not cute to fall over every time you have to negotiate a footstep, and it’s not endearing to make a fool of yourself every night in new and increasingly annoying ways.
Know your limits. And if you don’t know them, learn them.

4. Plan ahead.

This one is boring, and I’m sorry, but basically you need to sort your finances out BEFORE you’re forced to cry down the phone to your bank manager, begging for an extension on your overdraft.
The first term of the year is undoubtedly the most expensive. There’s more stuff to do, you have books to buy, and you discover food-freedom (see point 5.) Once you’re past all that, though, you have to remember that there are two more terms. You have rent to pay and you need to eat. Don’t be an idiot.
Side note: I was an idiot. I ran out of money at the end of every second term like it was a key part of my religion. The anxiety and sleepless nights that follow are not something I would recommend.

5. Eat The Occasional Vegetable.

There is a thing called Fresher’s Fifteen. This refers to the (average of) fifteen pounds in weight that first year students gain in their first term.
The reason this happens is food-freedom. Most first year students have never done the ‘big shop’ at home. They’ll know the basics – bread, milk, biscuits – but will completely neglect fruit, vegetables and what most people would call ‘ingredients’. Most people, myself included, when allowed to roam free in a supermarket, will spend their entire food budget on things that they like rather than things that will keep them alive.
You, though, will undoubtedly think you are different. You’ve bought a Student Cookbook! Maybe you’ve even bought the Vegetarian Student Cookbook! DO NOT KID YOURSELF. We had nine Student Cookbooks in our kitchen and the only time we ever used them was when we ran out of plates and the curry sauce was dripping from our chips.

I hope I have been of some help.

x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Change Of Pace

In just over four weeks I go back to university. For those who don’t know – although I’m not sure how, because I bang on about it enough – I’ll be doing a Masters in Social Work.

The first time around, I did a degree in Psychology. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much I hated it. I loved my university though. I got on with my lecturers and made amazing friends, but the subject that I so stupidly lumbered myself with rendered me practically catatonic.

Annoyingly, the overwhelming response to “I have a Psychology degree” is “Oh that must have been SO INTERESTING.” It bloody well wasn’t, I can assure you.

Nevertheless, it’s been two years since I graduated, and in those two years, I have been employed for exactly six months. Luckily, that six months absolutely confirmed what I wanted to do with my life and made sure that I could get my place on the (much coveted) course that would get me there. Had I not been so lucky, however, I would undoubtedly be contained in some sort of facility.

Unemployment and an obvious tendency towards mental unbalance do not mix well, let me tell you.

The thing that’s worrying me at the moment is that, having spent the better part of two years being unemployed, going back to university is going to be a massive change of pace.

Most of the time, in my current life, I have very little to do. Occasionally I have a phonecall to make or something, but that’s about it. This might sound fine to you. I bet you make dozens of phonecalls every day.

But, sometimes, I don’t even feel like I have time to make a phonecall.

You see, I get up quite early – usually at about half past nine – and from this point onwards, I have a set-in-stone television schedule that I dare not deviate from. I watch the news, and then the Jeremy Kyle Show, and then I watch some documentaries so that I feel as if I am learning something. (I’m quite partial to a religious documentary, but if it weren’t for the Crime & Investigation channel, I imagine my life would be very empty.)

Anyway, before I know it, it’s half past three and officially much too late in the day to start thinking about making phonecalls.

At university, though, I will be expected to get stuff done. 'Getting stuff done' has never really been my strong suit. Nor has commitment or enthusiasm in relation to anything academic. Being astonishingly clever*, I have always swanned about during the school year and somehow managed - despite being allergic to revision - to do reasonably well in exams. During my degree, for example, I attended about 6% of lectures in my second year. Less in the third year. I probably don’t need to tell you that this is UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR that must not be repeated when I am back there in October.

I have to be a grown-up, and learn to be a Social Worker.

Good luck me.


*I would consider this to be no more than a slight exaggeration.

Monday, 22 August 2011

That Thing In Libya

There’s a bit of a revolution going on in Libya at the moment. You may or may not know about it.

I know about it though, because I watched Sky News for a solid six hours last night.

I wasn’t going to mention it at all. I try not to talk about anything too serious on here. The only reason I am doing so now is because APPARENTLY I have to.

Who says that? I hear you cry.

Twitter does.

Sigh.

Last night, when Sky News was being quite exciting, it quickly became obvious that I would not be allowed to make a single comment about something interesting non-Libya-related without getting a ridiculous reply regarding my ignorance.

According to the snarky-remarkers - who tended to be people too stupid to have a proper sense of perspective - it was indelicate of me to be getting on with my life at a time when the future of a nation was being determined.

Well. SOD OFF.

It’s not that I don’t CARE about the people of Libya. Not at all. I would just rather let them get on with it and congratulate them when it’s all over. I’m sure they understand.

Contrary to the tone of this blog post, I think it's BRILLIANT that everyone on twitter is so into politics. Especially now that the world appears to be falling to pieces. In fact, aside from introducing me to Daniel, I think that increasing political awareness may be twitter’s greatest achievement.

Unfortunately, it has also given a lot of idiots a remarkable dose of self-importance.

You want to talk about Libya. I would rather talk about Britney.

Let’s just try to get along, shall we?

x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Boys Don't Make Passes...

At Girls Who Wear Glasses.

Apparently.

Here is a little story for you. If you don’t already hate Idiot, this should do it.

Once, in the aftermath of an argument, Idiot told me that red nail varnish made me look cheap and tacky. There was no provocation, no relevance. He just said it.
Before that comment, I had worn red nail varnish every single day for three years. After that, I didn’t touch it for six months.

It physically hurts me to admit to that, you know. I let a horrible, spiteful, badly-aging man tell me what not to wear. Had he been going out with the Laura of today, he would probably have ended up in hospital.
When things started going badly (because that actually happened when things were relatively OK) I broke out the red nail varnish again. Partly it was because I knew he hated it, but it was mostly because what I chose to wear was nothing to do with him. Or anyone else.

Why am I bringing this up now, you ask?

WELL, a couple of weeks ago, you may recall, I mentioned on twitter that I had just read a blog post entitled Ten Trends That Guys Hate On Girls. As of right now, it remains unpublished. It was written by a friend of mine who does freelance work for the online version of a fairly well-known magazine.
Despite my unrelenting adoration of the girl who wrote it, I was absolutely appalled by its content. She was too, as it happens. She fully intended to be a political journalist by now, and yet here she is. Telling women how to impress men.

When it rears its ugly head online, her article will dissuade the women of the world from wearing jumpsuits, playsuits, headbands, the colour pink and t-shirts with cartoon characters on them. All because MEN have decided that these things are unattractive.

Sigh.

Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to listen to that kind of drivel. And if you do, there’s plenty of it out there. Two seconds into a google search on the subject and I was OVERWHELMED by articles telling me that I will never get a boyfriend if I don’t step away from my Ugg boots*.

But I URGE you to ignore anything of the type. Women are much too brilliant and attractive to have to pander to the aesthetic preferences of men. By all means, be gorgeous. Wear makeup, dress well, have excellent hair – but do it because it’s what YOU want to do. And, for the love of god, if anyone EVER dares to tell you that you look cheap and tacky in red nail varnish, maim them.

x

*REGARDLESS of the fact that Ugg boots are incredibly hideous to behold, I like them. I have more than one pair and, in the winter just gone, I would probably have died a horrible death without them. It would certainly take more than A BOY to stop me from wearing them. Also, if you still aren't convinced, Britney Spears wears them. And that's good enough for me.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Dear Laura

For the last two days #dearyoungself has been trending on twitter. Aside from the fact that I am almost sure this should be #dearYOUNGERself, I like the idea.

To save my long-suffering twitter followers from an unrelenting torrent of situation-specific advice aimed at college-aged me (which is when I was at my most ridiculous), I’m joining in through my blog.

You are welcome.

And so, without further ado...

Dear Me,

You’re starting college. I know this seems like an amazing opportunity to cultivate an entirely new image, but it will ruin your first day. Be yourself. Nobody will thank you for trying to become Avril Lavigne.

You’re in your first Psychology lesson. For god’s sake, please don’t sit next to that boy with the long hair. You will not retain even a tiny bit of information all year.

You’re in your first English Literature lesson. PLEASE don’t sit next to Leigh. You two are destined to become best friends, but she will definitely have you branded as a troublemaker before Christmas.

You’ve just been asked out by one of the best looking boys in the year. I know you think he’s joking, but I promise that he’s not. You should go for it.

That boy in English Language has just told THE WORLD that he fancies you. Instead of ignoring him for the rest of term, let him take you out for a coffee. Apparently, his family are disgustingly rich.

That boy with the long hair is now your boyfriend. Don’t try and change for him. You will later find out that he was amazed that you even gave him the time of day.

You’re at a gig, and your boyfriend is in the band. Don’t ruin his night by flirting outrageously with every single male person in the bar. This is his night, not yours.

When you break up with your first real boyfriend, do it in private. One day someone will break up with you in a restaurant and you’ll understand exactly how he felt.

You’re offered the chance to work on the college newspaper. Take it. Writing will be really important to you one day.

You’ve fallen in love with a friend. You should definitely tell him. If you tell him you like him now, he’ll say he likes you too. And then he’ll never go out with that girl who makes him stop talking to you.

You’ve developed an all-consuming crush on a boy called Mike. Dying your hair red will not make him fancy you, but do it anyway. And when he tells you it looks nice, try not to walk into the doorframe.

There’s a boy in your life that will tell you he’s gay. Even though you guessed a long time ago, this is still an amazing moment. I know you’ll worry about it afterwards, but the way you react is perfect. He’ll tell you so himself one day.

Finally, stop worrying. Especially about how you look. Your hair recovers from all the damage, your skin clears up and your eyebrows grow back. You are literally GORGEOUS.

x

p.s. To save us all from the abject misery of my more recent love life, I am choosing not to tell my younger self about any of that horrible business. And, to be honest, I think that some mistakes are necessary.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

More Connection Problems

I’ve written loads of blogs recently. Loads. And most of them were brilliant, frankly.

But Laura! We have seen exactly none of these blogs! I hear you weep.

Well, that is because the things that I wrote made me seem slightly… unhinged.

You remember Fringe, don’t you? We’ve talked about him at least twice. I mentioned that he had decided that it would be OK for him to start going on dates. I didn’t approve of this AT ALL but he carried on regardless.

Brilliantly, his first few dates only served to remind him of what a catch I clearly am.

However, a few weeks ago, he went on a date with a girl from work. I wasn’t worried, particularly, because he did not seem very enthusiastic about the whole situation.

THAT WAS ALL PART OF HIS PLAN, LET ME TELL YOU!

After the aforementioned date, he said she was ‘alright’. He said that she was pretty, but not as pretty as me. He said she was funny, but not in the same way that I was. And, with some prompting, he said that her shoes were rubbish. He then casually informed me that he would be seeing her again, but only because it was polite.

By that, I have since discovered, he meant that he was NO LONGER SINGLE.

She is now his proper girlfriend.

Good for her.

I would quite like to tell you that I handled this all quite well. But that would be a lie. I am quite annoyed, if truth be told. What is the point of having an emergency boyfriend if he then RUNS OFF with someone else?

(Please do not feel as though you need to point out how selfish I am just yet. You might prefer to do that after the next paragraph.)

At one point I may have told him that I loved him. I also may have told him that I would be his girlfriend. However, when he did get around to replying to these insane text messages, I pretended that I had been hideously drunk and had been joking.

Well done me.

Sigh.

I don’t want to go out with him anyway. The problem that I have been having with the entire situation is that I am no longer the centre of his universe. All I want is a bit of attention. He never asks how I am, he doesn’t care about what I’ve been doing and it takes him CENTURIES to reply to texts. What a horrible boy.

Oh, and by the way, I voiced some of my undiluted jealousy and anger on twitter, assuming that it was safe to do so CONSIDERING THAT HE SEEMS TO HAVE ABANDONED ALL OF OUR YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP AND HAPPINESS. But it turns out that, despite not having the time to PICK UP THE PHONE, he has managed to find my twitter page and read every insane thing that I have ever said about him.

The less said about that, the better.

Anyway.

As I was saying, I wrote lots of blogs that were either about this or as a direct result of it (EDIT: I just checked. I literally wrote seven.) and, on the verge of publishing them, realised that I came across as a genuinely unbalanced individual.

Tonight, in fact, I wrote a blog entitled “Twelve Reasons That I Will Be Single Forever”, but have since decided that it is not the kind of thing I want to send out into the universe. Not this week, anyway.

x

Monday, 13 June 2011

Strange Tent

Well well well. Here I am. As usual, I've come to complain about something.

I am going to tell you about a thing that happened in the last 24 hours of my life. Don't get your hopes up though, because I didn't leave the house. Therefore there is a limit to how exciting this can actually be.

Let's get on with it shall we?

Allow me to cast your minds back to February 27th. You may recall that I wrote a blog to complain about an astonishing lack of sleep which was soon followed by an astonishing lack of sympathy. WE FIND OURSELVES HERE AGAIN, FOLLOWERS.

It all began on Saturday evening. We discovered a tent sitting on the field behind our house. I don't know how you feel about that, but I was suspicious. It was much too close to our gate for my liking. It could have been anybody, couldn’t it? A murderer, perhaps. Maybe a terrorist.
Weirdly, everyone else seemed perfectly ok with the strange tent. My mum's logic, for example, was that it could not possibly be a murderer because it was a very nice tent. OF COURSE! Those murderers don't buy expensive tents! How silly of me.
Effectively, I was told to get a grip. The tent was probably just there for some kids to play in. Everything would be fine.

Sigh.

Fast forward to much later on, when everyone had gone to bed and I was watching Moulin Rouge. All of a sudden, I was greeted by the most disgustingly loud scream that any of us will ever hear. I probably don't need to tell you that, at this point, I was on the verge of a heart attack. This was then followed closely by more screaming and a lot of giggling.
Just in case this wasn't loud enough, the racket was then accompanied by the dulcet tones of my stupid dog, who had also been disturbed and who thought the best thing to do would be to bark loudly in the general direction of the noise.

Would you like to guess where the noise was coming from? I'll tell you. THAT ACTUAL BLOODY TENT.

Now, if the noise had stopped at this point, I would have been ok. I would still have complained to everyone who would listen, but I definitely would have coped. As it was, however, I was still wide awake at 3am.

FUCKING THINGS.

I was horrifically tired by the time it all went quiet. I'm almost positive that I have developed a nervous twitch and my poor eyes were actually vibrating from sleep deprivation. 

Today, when I finally woke up at 1pm, my mother’s only response was “Ooh that's not on, is it? Why didn’t you just ring the police?”

ARGH.

The moral of the story here, therefore, is that you should never trust an orange tent. It might look innocent, but at some point it will definitely get full of drunk teenagers and ruin your entire weekend.

x

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Texting

Texting a boy? Let’s handle it the Crazy Bitch way.

Ok. So, you just sent him a text. He will OBVIOUSLY be waiting for it to arrive. There is literally no point in putting your phone down. KEEP IT IN YOUR HAND.

....

Four minutes have passed. He is playing hard to get. Adorable.

....

Seven minutes have passed. Maybe he didn’t hear his phone. Text him again.

....

It’s been ten minutes since the first text. Three since the second. Keep calm. Send a little text just asking if he’s busy – it literally won’t even count.

....

Two more minutes have passed. WHAT IS HE DOING?! Refrain from texting. You want him to think that you are laid back.

....

Three more minutes pass. Send him another text. This time, MENTION that you might not be around tomorrow night because you have a date. It doesn’t even matter that this date doesn’t exist. We just need him to be a little bit jealous, so he’ll realise how he feels about you.

....

He still hasn’t replied? He is clearly texting someone else. In your next text, be sure to express your disappointment – you didn’t think he was like that! How very wrong you were.

....

Actually, that last text seems a bit much. Maybe you should text him again, pretending that you sent that message to the wrong person.

....

OH MY ACTUAL CHRIST. He still hasn’t replied? Put the phone down and walk away. You don’t need him.

....

Right. Actually, you know what? You should text him again! You should complain, in detail, about how ignorant you think he is, and how you are WAY too good for him. It is important to get this across properly, so feel free to send a few messages.

....

It has been HALF AN HOUR since you sent him that first text. He is clearly an idiot. Text him telling him that you don’t even want a reply. IN FACT, tell him to delete your number.

....

A TEXT MESSAGE! FROM HIM! Remain calm. Apparently he left his phone upstairs. Do you actually believe him? God. Does he think you were born yesterday?! Text him back. Let him know that you are far too busy to talk to him.

....

ANOTHER TEXT FROM HIM! He doesn’t understand what’s wrong. He left his phone upstairs for half an hour, and when he went to get it so that he could text you there were twelve unread messages. Ignore this message. He is exaggerating.

....

ANOTHER TEXT FROM HIM! Fine, he says. This is unacceptable. Text him back as if nothing has happened. He is a boy. He will just go along with it.

....

Make no mention of the incident again. If he brings it up, accuse him of seeing other people.


YOU ARE VERY WELCOME.


Some useful texting tips:

Never delete texts that he has sent to you unless absolutely necessary. Take particular care of ones that contain possible references to his exes, and of ones in which he expresses his feelings. These will be important in future discussions.

Delete the messages in your sent box every hour or so. You don’t need to dwell on the past.

Be mindful of the number of kisses you are putting on the end of a message. It should always be less than the number he uses.

AND REMEMBER, it is perfectly acceptable to ring his phone whilst withholding your phone number, just to see if he has his phone on him.

x

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My Laptop

I bet you've forgotten who I am, haven't you?!

MY ACTUAL CHRIST. I've been gone for ages, and this time it was genuinely not my fault.

I want us all to cast our minds back to January, when I said the following:

"My laptop, which is both the bane and the focal point of my life, decided to go on strike a week or so ago. There was something wrong with the bit where the charger goes in. A man fixed it. That's all I know."

Well, that man did not fix it. What actually happened was that he made it worse. MUCH MUCH WORSE.

The original problem was that the-bit-where-the-charger-goes-in wasn't working, and he said it was quite easy to fix. Despite that, it took three weeks and he charged me £40.
Another relevant piece of information here is that he lost my actual charger, and so replaced it with one that he had lying around. I didn't mind much, because every single inch of my laptop is covered in nailvarnish, and so it was nice to have something that looked all nice and new.

Not long after this had gone on, I started to notice that my laptop was overheating every half an hour. This was rubbish, but I reasoned that it was still charging and decided to cope. It wasn't really that bad, as long as I stayed away from Sims 3.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, and my laptop just DIED. It wouldn't charge, and then the battery ran out. So I took it back to the Giant Lump that had 'fixed it' in the first place, and he said that the same thing had happened again. SIGH.

When, this Monday, we still hadn't heard anything about my bloody laptop, my mother went into the shop. In most areas of my life, she is my secret weapon. I am not built for confrontation, honestly.
When she went in, the Giant Lump said, foolishly, that my laptop had been sitting around for weeks, but he had forgotten to mention it to us. If he could look my mother in the eye at this point, he is a braver man than any that I have met.
As if that wasn't bad enough, he went on to say that WE had damaged the-bit-where-the-charger-goes-in by plugging in a faulty charger and melting it.


*dramatic pause*


"You gave us that charger!" My mother said, probably in that voice she uses whenever I forget to empty the dishwasher.

I wasn't actually there at the time, so I can't relay to you the exact contents of the conversation that followed. However, I have lived with this woman for twenty three years, and can tell you that she is quite formidable.

Therefore, being a man with some survival skills, the Giant Lump recognised that he was at risk of DEATH and promised that he would have the laptop back to us by Friday and also would definitely not be charging us full price.
Personally I think it should be free, but my mother told me that sometimes you have to pick your battles.

Anyway, all being well, I'll have my laptop back on Friday and I can get back to being an actual blogger.

x

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Dorm

Oh, hello, lovely reader.

I’ve been having a look at my Blogger stats, and it seems that the most frequently read posts on my blog are the ones that caused me the most pain and suffering whilst under construction. If you are a regular reader, you might have guessed that these blogs are the ones featuring my horrific love life.

I have, so far, told you about two boys who have managed in some way to make me contemplate murder: Fringe and Idiot. I invite you to revisit those tales if, by some chance, you haven’t revelled in my relationship-based misery yet.

Sigh.

Idiot was definitely the worst boyfriend I have ever had, but he was by no means the first (and hopefully not the last). There were a few short-lived disasters before him and, frankly, they were all rubbish. So I thought it might be fun to tell you about another spectacular failure...

Are we sitting comfortably? No? I shall begin anyway...

When I started university, I did not have a boyfriend. By the second week of university, however, I had managed to get one. He lived in my building, so for the purposes of anonymity, we shall refer to him as Dorm.

(Everyone who goes to university as a single person will probably, at some point, go out with someone because it is convenient. TOP TIP: There are definitely better reasons to go out with someone, so try looking for those first.)

Like in the Idiot scenario, people were quite jealous of my boyfriend at first. He was quite funny, he was on the rugby team, and he seemed completely undeterred by the fact that I was essentially hideous at that point in my life. He was really attentive, overly romantic, and very in touch with his feelings. Those last three are points that most people find attractive. BUT I DON’T. And so began the problems.

During week five of university, a mere three weeks into our hideous relationship, Dorm decided that he wanted to change his facebook status to In A Relationship. I didn’t want to do that, though, because I hadn’t told my mum that I had a boyfriend yet, and didn’t want to deal with the phone call that would inevitably follow.

What did I do? Well, I deleted my facebook. Quite ingenious, I think you’ll agree.

I started avoiding him a bit more after that, because all he ever wanted to do was talk about feelings. And not even in a good way. In a creepy way.

As you may have gathered, the most unfortunate thing about Dorm - aside from the fact that he had bleached his hair during Freshers Week - was that he was MENTALLY UNSTABLE. Therefore, every time I mentioned that this relationship was perhaps unwise, he would cry and make some vague reference to suicide. WHAT A CATCH!

However, we know that I am no longer going out with him, and I can assure you that he is still very much alive, so SOMETHING SPECTACULAR must have happened to tear us asunder. Here is what that thing was:

SOMEONE spread a rumour that I had spent the night with another male person.

That someone was me.

THE END.

x

Saturday, 12 March 2011

My Week

I haven't posted in about eight years. I'm about to tell you why. It's going to be a long post, so get a brew and settle down.

It's been a rubbish week, all things considered...

On Tuesday, as my twitter followers will know, I had an interview for my Masters degree. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it anyway, but the journey there was just a massive farce.

My interview was at half past one, and I planned to get there two and a half hours beforehand. This bit of overplanning was so that I could squeeze in a drink with some friends before my interview. I did not squeeze in a drink, and nor did I see my friends. I was, in fact, LATE.
Basically, without revisiting too many painful details, my first train was cancelled and the one after it was late. I then missed the next two connections because of the fiasco with the first one. I was sat around in Preston train station for about three days knowing that I was going to be late, and I couldn't do anything about it. It was horrendous.

I got there eventually though. And then I had my interview. We won't be speaking of that particular incident though. Ever.

MOVING ON.

On Wednesday, I was due to have a nasty tooth removed. There was an exposed nerve or something that seemed to have twisted itself around my tooth. To be honest, it was really painful. I wasn't excited about the operation, but I recognised the need for it and resolved to be grown-up about it. Good for me, I thought.
I had waited three and a half months for this appointment, and yet when I got there, I was told that NOT ONLY was I booked in for the wrong treatment but IT WAS ON THE WRONG FUCKING BIT.

That is just... well, it's a staggering example of the state of the NHS really, isn't it? Basically, the consultant thought I was having my wisdom teeth out under a local anaesthetic. When I pointed out this mistake, the consultant MAGICALLY got me an appointment in Day Surgery for the following morning for the operation that I was supposed to have. I think this was because I probably looked like the kind of person who was about to threaten legal action.
The operation that I actually had needed to be done under general anaesthetic because it could be quite traumatic. For that to happen, I had to not eat or drink from midnight on Wednesday, because my appointment was at 7.30AM on Thursday. That might seem boring, but it becomes important in a second.

So, we come to THURSDAY. I arrived at the hospital with my little bag of pyjamas and things at 7.15AM.
At 1.30PM, (THAT'S HALF PAST ONE IN THE AFTERNOON!) I was still sat in a waiting room, waiting for my turn to see the nurse and get into my special operation bed. There was one other person who was also in the same situation, but she would have been quite happy to never ever get her operation done, so she was glad of the wait. Other people, who had been allowed to eat breakfast, kept coming in and getting seen and getting into their special operation bed, BUT NOT ME. No. I had to wait until 2PM.

That wasn't even the worst bit. The worst bit was when I got into the little room where they knock you out before the operation. Apparently, I have the smallest veins that the doctor - who assured me that she had over twenty years of experience - had ever encountered. Because of my small veins, it took five attempts in five different areas to get the needle in. And it hurt. The needle ended up in the fat bit of my forearm, and has caused a bruise that is large and unattractive. There are various bruises now covering my arms and face, but that one is definitely the worst. I won't post a picture.

Now, I know that there are people wandering around with horrible illnesses and stuff that cause them a great amount of discomfort. But toothache definitely seems worse when you are the one suffering from it.
Your arm fell off, did it? Well my tooth hurts, go away.

x

Thursday, 3 March 2011

What Not To Do

You've probably read last night's blog, and you've probably slept soundly under the impression that the whole thing would just sort itself out. It hasn't, by the way.

Alright, so I looked at the text at 4am. It said,

WAS THAT ABOUT ME?

So I, in a demonstration of real genius, replied:

NO.

   I thought I was safe. I had denied the whole thing, and it was 4am. By the time he woke up, there was no way he was going to want to bring it all up again. EASY. I could just go back to being my normal, non-caring self and everything would be fine.
   But that daft sod, who should have been asleep, replied IMMEDIATELY.

COURSE IT WAS, JEALOUS, MATE?

   He has taken to calling me 'mate' recently. Boys, eh?
   I then replied:

NO I AM NOT JEALOUS. AND IF YOU DON'T MIND I WOULD LIKE TO GET SOME SLEEP. I HAVE A DATE TOMORROW.

....

I don't have a date tomorrow. Or, indeed, ever. Excellent. Let's just PUSH HIM INTO THE ARMS OF OTHER WOMEN. What a brilliant plan. Well done me.

x

Connection Problems

Get ready to be nearly-interested.

At some point last night I made a mistake SO STUPID that I can hardly believe it happened.

I sent a text ABOUT a person TO that very person.

Then I freaked out and hid my phone under a thing.

Now, as I type, I still haven't looked at my phone. This might seem strange, to those of you who are socially-capable, but in my life it is how we deal with things.

In my current life, there is a boy. Let's call him Fringe. I will let you guess why we're calling him that, although I would hope it was quite obvious. I know him from university, but he lives quite far away. London, in fact.
The ridiculous thing about my relationship with Fringe is that, since we left university, he has made it quite clear that he likes me. This would be fine, were it not for the fact that he had two years of communal living to let me know.

Boys are like that. They won't express their feelings until it is most inconvenient.
  
In his defence, since he's told me that he likes me, I have been quite stubborn. I don't really want a boyfriend, especially after that last disaster (with Idiot). But at the same time, I don't want Fringe to go out with anyone else. He is allowed to have a life and stuff, but he is not allowed to go and fall in love with anyone. That seems quite reasonable to me.

Recently, however, he has been demonstrating far too much free will and has decided to start seeing people. His first date with a new person was last week. I was not happy. You cannot claim to like someone, and then run off with someone else. Would Jack from Titanic do that? NO HE WOULD NOT.

I've been a bit mean to him since then, although I doubt that he has even noticed. This is another thing that boys do. They ignore the tone of a conversation, and carry on regardless.

Today, I was discussing all of the above with a mutual friend via text message. All was going well. What happened, though, was that - at one point - I decided to go down the 'New Message' route instead of going through the usual 'Reply' procedure. This meant that I had to select the person to whom I was sending the message. BIG MISTAKE.

I wrote this message, or something similar. I can't check, you see, because I am avoiding my phone.

I KNOW! MY ACTUAL GOD. I WOULD HAVE GONE OUT WITH HIM IF HE'D HAVE ASKED PROPERLY, HE'S BEING SUCH A DICK.


I then sent that message to Fringe.


Two things are making me not want to read his reply.

1. He knows that it is a lie - he has definitely asked me out, and I have definitely said no. He will probably bring this up.

2. He is going to know that I am bothered by his current love life, and assume that it is because I am into him.


Just to clarify, I don't want him to be my boyfriend. But I would like him to carry on trying because one day I might change my mind.


I AM SO SELFISH.
I hope he never reads this. It would be terrible if he knew what I was actually like.

x

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Traditional Blogging

I was doing my daily bit of blog-stalking, and it has occurred to me that I have never done one of those 'What I Did Today' blogs. Really, they were the original point of blogging. So I'm going to have a good old go at it.

Good luck, me.

Right, well. Today, I got up at 3pm. It's Saturday, so it's mostly ok. The reason that I got up so late was entirely someone else's fault. My mother's. Here comes the back story...

The day before yesterday was my sister's 10th birthday. I don't really want to be ten again, but it was still a bit depressing because the thing about having younger sisters is that you are constantly reminded that you are old. Sometimes you feel like you could definitely - in a court of law - justify locking them in cupboard for a few years. At least until they get eye-wrinkles too. You don't though. Especially if you are scared of your mum, like I usually am.
Speaking of mum, here is the part that was her fault: she allowed my aforementioned sister to have a sleepover. MY GOD. She was quite wishy-washy about the whole thing, and kept trying to placate me by saying things like "Oh there'll only be four of them!" and "You won't even know they're here!" and, of course, "They're sleeping downstairs, we won't be able to hear them."  

The sleepover happened last night and, in actual fact, the four of them - who we apparently wouldn't be able to hear - stayed up until 6.30am. That's right. In the morning. And we COULD hear them.

Laughing, by the way, is the most annoying sound in the world when you are not even a little bit amused yourself.

This afternoon, when I managed to drag myself up at the quite reasonable hour of 3pm, I was almost immediately accused of laziness. Not one single person congratulated me on the massive amount of personal restraint that I had undertaken during the night. And neither did anyone comment on how radiant I looked, despite being screamed awake for the entire night.
I congratulated myself, though, by making myself sausages on toast. I pretended that it was part of my diet by using brown bread, but I secretly knew that it wasn't. I had a bit of cake too. I told myself that it was because I needed the sugar. It wasn't. I just wanted some cake.
  
That bit of cake was essentially the most exciting thing that happened all day.

x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crushing

Today on Loose Women one of the main topics of conversation was the big all-consuming crush that everyone suffers from at some point or other.
Now, I have suffered from a few of these crippling obsessions in my lifetime. Thankfully, most were with famous people. I would much rather talk about that side of things, because it makes me seem like less of a psychopath.

Or maybe not. We'll see.

My first love was Jacob Underwood from O-Town, and he is the lucky duck that we will be discussing today.

Google him. I can wait.

Handsome, no? He was 'the rebel' of the group, much like AJ of the Backstreet Boys, who is also a bit of a dish. (Fact: In a boyband, the rebel is the most attractive one. Unless that boyband is N*Sync.)
O-Town were formed on a reality show (the ORIGINAL Making The Band, no less) and it transpired that, in addition to having the rebel-thing going for him, Jacob also had quite a good voice. He was also the most down-to-earth of the bunch AND he played the guitar. *swoon*. Needless to say, I was determined to marry him.

In every good love story, however, there is always a moment when someone gets their heart broken - usually temporarily. And it was the same for me and Jacob.

In our love story, it was during the episode when all the girlfriends came to visit the band in Florida. I literally could have died. His girlfriend - from what I remember - was prettier than me, cooler than me and A LOT older than me. I still thought I had a chance though. This didn't seem like any more of an obstacle than the million miles of distance between us, the ten year age difference, or the fact that he was a pop star.
Obviously I was mental. But that's ok when you are 13 years old.

It is not ok when you are 23, though. So it might be a concern to some of you when I reveal that I have reacquainted myself with the O-Town phenomenon, and am definitely in love with him.

When I marry him, it'll probably be a bit awkward at first because we've been in a relationship for eleven years without him knowing about it. But counselling will fix that, I'm sure.

x

Monday, 14 February 2011

Being Alone

I haven’t written a blog in ages. I am really terrible at this entire thing.

I think the reason is mostly because the things that I have to say can be - and usually are - summed up in a series of tweets. If you are reading this and you don't follow me on twitter, please do. I am literally on there for at least 12 hours every day.

Anyway, it's Valentine's Day today.

And I'm not going to say that I hate it as you might expect, because I don't think that I do. In fact, when I had a boyfriend, I really loved Valentine's Day.
I’m single this year though, so there isn't anything to look forward to in all honesty. Nothing. Except seeing big bouquets of flowers and huge boxes of chocolates everywhere, knowing full well that nobody is going to buy me any of them.

But that’s all fine.

What’s currently bothering me is that this entire time of year seems to hoodwink me into thinking that I need a boyfriend. And I’ll tell you something – I actually bloody don’t.

The reality of the situation is that I don’t want a boyfriend. And if I did get one, it would be worth asking why on earth they were going out with someone as unstable as myself. It would be a bit like when Adnan Ghalib started going out with Britney – we all knew he was a bad egg, because she was off her rocker.

I also think that, currently, I quite like being left to my own devices. For example, sometimes when I am by myself, I get a bit bored and wish for someone to talk to. But when that person turns up, I generally find myself wishing them away again so that I can play Sims 3.

And relationships are a bit like that too. Having a boyfriend or a girlfriend seems like a brilliant idea… until you actually get one. When you get one, you have to spend time with them, and make yourself look nice, and be interesting and funny and charming. When you don’t have one, you can do whatever you like.

It’s really that simple.

So there. Another vague and mostly pointless blog, with a sneaky Britney reference. And here is an obnoxious little thought to get you through Valentine's Day and, indeed, through life: If you need a boyfriend to feel good about yourself, then you might want to consider counselling. Or perhaps a blog.


x

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Harry Potter Post

WARNING!
This may be a lengthy post, and it may also be photo-heavy.
Maybe not though. Let's see.

   Our family holiday at the end of last year/ the beginning of this year was spectacular. We spent two weeks in Orlando, Florida and spent at least two days of that being nice to each other. Quite something by our standards, I assure you.
   We have been to Orlando before. Several times, in fact. The big difference this time (and the main reason we actually went) was the recently created Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure.


   It's quite difficult to put into words how brilliant it was, because I think it's something that only a Potter fan would understand. In the simplest possible terms, it was everything I wanted it to be, crammed into an obscenely small space.
    Aptly named "The Wizarding World...", the Harry Potter bit is essentially an amalgamation of the key wizarding locations in the series - Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts. Walking in to Hogsmeade, you are greeted by the Hogwarts Express, which has crashed into the middle of a perfectly-crafted higgledy-piggledy snow-covered english village.

Entrance into Hogsmeade
"Please Respect the Spell Limits"

   The best bit though, to every single Harry Potter fan in the world, is seeing Hogwarts looming over the park. We've all wished, at least once, that we could go there in real life and now we actually can.


     You'll notice, on that photo, that there is a waiting time posted at the castle gates. That is because the castle houses the main attraction - as if the rest of it wasn't enough. "Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey" is a super-realistic mobile simulator, that takes you on an ACTUAL ADVENTURE with Harry himself.
   The waiting time, as you can probably see, was usually around an hour, but I almost found myself wishing that it was longer because the queue itself is really a tour of Hogwarts. It starts in the greenhouse, see below, and then takes you through the Gryffindor common room, through Dumbledore's office, into Defence Against the Dark Arts and down a million corridors - all of which contain talking paintings and moving photographs.

View from the Greenhouse

   Enough about Hogwarts, though. Hogsmeade itself is genuinely gorgeous. The shops that are dotted around are a selection of those from both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and, rest assured, I was drawn in in a big way. I managed to buy myself several little presents, despite remembering that I am actually 23 years old. (You'll have to wait until the end of the post to see what I bought. Although I will say that it KILLED me that I didn't buy a Marauder's Map.)
   The biggest queue in the park, oddly, was the one to get into Ollivander's. They, apparently, give you the real wand-buying experience. I had more important things to queue up for though. And, as a side note, I definitely wouldn't ever go if you are opposed to queuing. It will become your life.
   Speaking of queues, and moving swiftly on to toilets, even the toilets were heavily themed. Moaning Myrtle seems to have locked herself in the bathroom again, and can be heard moaning and muttering while you are in there. Can't think of anything better than that, can you?
  
Dervish & Banges
"Family Brooms, Vintage Brooms, Toy Brooms, Racing Brooms"

      Something I can recommend quite wholeheartedly is the Three Broomsticks. We ate lunch in there, despite the 45-minute wait, and I nearly died of both excitement and hunger. To be honest though, I was just excited to be there. Incidentally, the menu, for those who care, is exactly what the people of America think British people eat. There was stuff like shepherd's pie, fish and chips, pork chops - y'know, the kind of thing we eat every day.
   I, being of the fussy variety, opted for a children's meal and got Mac 'n' Cheese. This was an excellent decision. The normal-eaters in my family said that the food was lovely. They also said that it is about time that I got over my fear of unprocessed food.

The Three Broomsticks

   The big regret I have, now that we've been back for a couple of weeks, is that I didn't try any Butterbeer. I was all ready for it - because I always prepare myself for new tastes - but the looks on other people's faces as they tried it, as well as the hundreds of barely-touched pints I saw left on tables, made me sure that I wouldn't like it. My sister tried it though, and she said that it was a bit like drinking a Werther's Original. So there you go.

   Right, now for the good bit. Souvenirs!
   
   As you can see above, I bought a Ravenclaw t-shirt. I am a full supporter of Team Gryffindor, but if I'm completely honest with myself I would have been put in Ravenclaw. I certainly have more wit than bravery, and I also look quite nice in blue.
   My sisters also got similar t-shirts. One got Gryffindor, one got Slytherin and the third got a general Hogwarts one, because nobody really wants to be Hufflepuff (not to mention that it is difficult to wear yellow if you are a sufferer of Pale British Skin).
   Also above, you may have noticed the chocolate wand and the ACTUAL CHOCOLATE FROG. These are both from Honeydukes, which also sold some lovely looking cakes, including rock cakes courtesy of Hagrid. The chocolate frog did indeed come with a collectible card, but, inexplicably, we all got Rowena Ravenclaw. Strange. (note: I haven't eaten either of the chocolate items yet. I can't face it.)
   That Harry Potter plastic bag is in the photo because I was as impressed with that as I was with everything else. It is literally folded up, along with four others, and is being stored lovingly with both the wand and the frog.


   Now, here we have some quite exciting things that I bought from Dervish & Banges. Dervish & Banges, in the book, sells and repairs magical items. In real life, however, it sells Hogwarts clothing. The special bit about it though, is that the clothing items that they sell are "movie-accurate". That Gryffindor scarf, for example, was quite expensive because it is EXACTLY THE SAME as the scarves the Gryffindors wear in the more recent films. They did cheaper ones, which were not movie-accurate, but I am nothing if not committed.
   The Gryffindor pin, left, is really beautiful close up. I regret to inform you, however, that my camera will not listen when I tell it to turn off the flash. They did prefect badges too, but I was trying to restrain myself.
   And finally, on the right, is a rather smashing bookmark that my sister and I bought on a whim. Unfortunately, it is too heavy to function as a bookmark and has actually ruined a couple of pages in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. That should probably be considered, in future, by the merchandise designers. I still like it though. It's currently attached to my mirror.

And that's it.
I tried to keep it short, and I think I did quite well.
I must remain mindful, however, that there are people who couldn't care less about Harry Potter. *spits*

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Toast

It has been a shamefully long time since I have posted anything. Dreadfully sorry.
(Not that anyone is even reading this. Except for the average of 12 drive-through readers I get every time I post something new.)

My laptop, which is both the bane and the focal point of my life, decided to go on strike a week or so ago. There was something wrong with the bit where the charger goes in. A man fixed it. That's all I know.

Back to business.

I was recently reminded, by one of those late night nonsensical twitter conversations that we are all familiar with, of a survey that was published last year. This survey was essentially about the nation's favourite smell.
Apparently, the winner was toast.

Now, one of two things may have happened here.
Either (one) we are so boring as a nation that we couldn't be bothered to think about our answer, or (two) somebody made this up.

If someone asked me about my favourite smell I am almost certain that I wouldn't go straight to toast.
Here follows a list of what my actual favourite smells are. And they're in order.

5. OPI Nail Varnish
I don't sniff it on purpose. And I imagine that if I did it would be unpleasant. But the smell that lingers after I have painted my nails is infinitely comforting.
4. Vera Wang, Princess
A Perfume. Made to be smelled and enjoyed. This one is particularly obnoxious and maybe a little bit tacky, but I like it.
3. Books
New books, old books - I don't mind. If you've ever been to university, you will have woken up with either your face IN a book or a book ON your face, and therefore you should be familiar with this particular smell. Textbooks, incidentally, have a lovely smell all of their own.
2. Britney Spears, Circus
Favourite perfume in the world. I smell of this most of the time. I would wear this even if I didn't like Britney Spears, but, as luck would have it, she is my world.
1. MAC Lipstick
Best and most satisfying smell in the world. This smell is why people are addicted to MAC.

Take that, anonymous survey people.
Normal people do not immediately think "Toast!" when confronted with a question about smells.
Or perhaps they do. I might be the odd one out.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Happy New Year.

I had a boyfriend a few months ago. His name was Idiot and for a year and a half I thought he was the best thing in the world. He bought jewellery, he sent flowers and he had a car - what more could I want in life? As if that wasn't enough, all of my friends were super jealous because I had a grown-up boyfriend with a good job and his own house.

It wasn't all good though. No it was not. Mostly because he was a BIG FAT LIAR.

There were a few things that should have ended it really, but three stand out more than the rest.

1. When we first got together, he forgot to mention that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant.
But I got over that.

2. A few months later, he forgot to mention that the baby had been born and that he was an ACTUAL DAD.
But I got over that.

3. A few weeks after that, he remembered to tell me that he had let his ex-girlfriend move in with him.
I did not get over that.

What happened next was something that I am not proud of*. I would love to tell you that I turned my back on him - following a witty quip - and got on with my life, but the opposite happened. In the simplest possible terms, I went a bit psycho. I was, essentially, hysterical. I screamed, I shouted, I cried. I brought forth the entire emotional arsenal. At one point I may have hit him, but that could well be wishful thinking.

After that bit was over, and it didn't last as long as you would think considering how much of a twat he was, I found myself feeling a bit sorry for him. Only two days of silent treatment later, I started replying to his texts again.

(Can anybody guess what's going to happen next? My mother could see it from a mile off.)

I re-fell in love with him. Stupid, stupid girl.

There was a brief relationship after that, I won't lie to you. I actually took him back with every intention of giving it a go. In my defence, I did assume that he would be asking his skanky ex to leave.

In a strange twist of fate, it was actually Idiot who decided to end our relationship. Sort of. I was a wreck by then, and probably couldn't have strung together the words necessary to adequately tell him to fuck right off. And he didn't even end it. What he actually did was ignore me for two weeks, decide that I was actually the best thing that was ever likely to happen to him and try to come crawling back.

Disgusting.

Anyway...

It's 2011 now, as you probably know, and so it is officially the time when everyone decides to pretend that the previous year didn't happen. I will do exactly that.
I will rise above this situation and try my very best not to compare myself to the creatures of the Jeremy Kyle show. 


Happy New Year.
Even you, Idiot.**


*I'm not necessarily ashamed of my reaction, because I think I was more than reasonable. In fact, if I had lopped his head off with a glass manicure stick, I think I would still consider myself reasonable. But I do think that I would have felt better if I had left the room with a little more dignity.
**I was always much too pretty and much too clever to be your girlfriend. Everybody agreed.