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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


The next bit of my life happened on twitter.


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.



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.


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.