Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Fererro Rochers, Quality Streets and Paper Tissue - Clearly Mini-Artists In The Making

So, after months of hearing Mariah Carey christmas songs played over and over and over again, being blinded by the thousands of light-up reindeers on people's front doors and being almost crushed to death in the city centre by prams full of shopping (no children ever in sight), Christmas is over in... a day. Makes you wonder if it's actually really worth all the hype. The week leading up to Christmas was pretty fun, mainly due to Sally's 21st birthday party which came to a bit of a messy but fun end after I discovered I had drank near enough an entire bottle of rum to myself. I should have realised the evening was shaping up to be an exciting night before we had even got there when I managed to direct the taxi man about a mile past Sally's house. For the record, I have been to Sally's house many a time so I am still not quite sure how it happened, but I definitely know me and Rachael had to tramp down Sally's road in the snow for about ten minutes, by which time we were in such hysterics that by the time we arrived everyone thought we were already drunk. Another highlight of the week was my last shift at work when, as it was Christmas Eve and we were shutting for three days, the staff got to take home a bundle of free stuff. As I watched hoards of workers dive towards the reduced shelf grabbing all they could carry, I realised that gluttony is obviously a deadly sin that is not taken in high regard at my work. Then I realised that standing there pretending to be calm and collected would not get me any free pies, so I took a run up and joined in the chaos. All the excitement must have been too much though because when I got home I noticed that quite a bit of the stuff I had taken was not part of the free selection and I had actually just been on a thieving rampage...

Over all, Christmas has been pretty ace this year, with a surprisingly good turn out of gifts also! Kezia got me a ceramic box filled with little bits of coloured card all with different lyrics written on them (I was very impressed with her creative side this year) and that was probably my favourite, along with my new camera, which I have found it hard to part with since it arrived last week. I have managed to take over 400 photos in three days, leading me to thinking I should probably spend less time behind a lens and more time doing... well, anything productive really.

Christmas day was got off to a good start when we opened our stockings in the morning (that's all that was left, our family has very little self control and had opened the majority of the presents on Christmas Eve when Kezia came home from work). This year's haul was rather impressive with the only questionable gifts being a giant Flake EasterEgg and some mulled spices, quite a cut down from the usual pile of Elvis Presley bears, raccoon backpacks and an assortment of other strange gifts. Once Kez had finished work, we headed down to Auntie Sue's, having finally been able to dig the car out of the road and actually leave the confines of Ash Tree Avenue. The main part of the day was spent lazing around, arguing over cheese boards and playing SpotTheIntro. It soon became clear why our family is not a boardgame family after many a dispute over people cheating/people helping other teams/and/or the answers on the gamesheet being wrong. Needless to say, we didn't get to finish it before certain members of the family needed to put it away and make a start on the wine.

I always find the aftermath of Christmas to be the messiest time of year in our house. It's always easy to spot the abode of a primary school teacher given the endless amounts of tissue paper, fancy gift bags and Fererro Rocher papers layered about the place ordered by size, colour and texture. Clearly the limited resources of Bradford schools show themselves when you have to scrounge around your family and friends for their Quality Street wrappers. I personally feel for the poor creative souls in nursery that could have made it as big as Picasso, but instead of acryllic paints the only materials they had to work with were the empty Celebrations tins and the metal containers of a mince pie selection box (and even then it was only the Farm Shop's own).

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Do I Look Like I Need Help Packing?

What is it about early mornings that make people want to die? I have only been back at work for three days and already I am sick to death of waking up in the freezing cold and having to get dressed and trudge to work in the snow. (Well, I've only had to walk once so far, but I skidded down my drive and ended up in a heap of snow, so all in all it was quite a traumatic journey). This morning was rather stressful, as mornings go. For some reason, I decided it would be appropriate to set my alarm clock for 8am, quite a ridiculous thing to do given that my shift actually started at 8, so I was already late before I'd even crawled out of bed. It then took me about ten minutes to scour my bedroom for a water bottle, accidentally taking a swig of Malibu and eventually giving up and heading out the door and towards the car. To my annoyance, the entire windscreen had frozen over and I had to go back up the icy drive of death, back into my house, and boil the kettle so I could defrost it. I have since learnt that this apparently could crack the window and so from now on I am going to use actual de-icer. Anyway, once that was done and dusted I tried to open the door and actually get into the car - clearly I was aiming too high as the door was frozen solid shut, cue another trip for the kettle. After ten minutes of pouring boiling water all over the door and the lock, I realised that the reason the door wasn't opening was because I had double-clicked the keys and the door had actually locked again... I stomped back into the house with the kettle and proceeded to drive to work, only hoping the day was going to get better. I hadn't even unbuckled my seatbelt in the carpark when I realised I had left my uniform at home and had to drive all the way back to get it... Miraculously, I made it onto the counter for 8:36am, which I don't think is bad considering all the hiccups. And for the record, the day didn't get particularly better, partly due to an embarrassing incident involving an order for Christmas pies... Every year, we have to take orders for pies as apparently it is some kind of Christmas tradition to have a stand pie on the day itself (never was in my household, but you know, apparently), and it is probably one of the most tedious routines ever. As well as the order, we are required to take everyone's name, number, address, and their decision as to whether or not they would like to be put on the mailing (the fact that we even have a mailing list is question enough for me, but I'm just doing my job). So anyway, this woman who works in the shop, Janet, comes to order her stand pie and I don't ask for her name because, after three years of speaking to her, I know her name is Janet and that she works in the shop. So I take her order, give her the reciept, exchange small talk etc. etc. etc. and move on. Five minutes later, one of my trusty co-workers comes over, 'Did you just do an order for Pauline?' - I know what you're thinking, who the fuck is Pauline? But yes, Janet apparently goes by the name of Pauline to everyone but me. Excellent. I had to rush upstairs and ask for the reciept back telling her I'd spelt her name wrong. She asked how, and I said that instead of P-A-U-L-I-N-E, I had accidentally written J-A-N-E-T. Sometimes I wonder how I get through the day.

Despite work, life is going rather swimmingly. I went to Lauren and Kelly's on Thursday and lazed around watching telly and eating ASDA chicken selections. It was a fun day until I had to leave; by which time the snow had turned into an actual blizzard and we waited at the bus stop for an hour before deciding that the buses had obviously stopped running and we were going to die. I ended up having to pay a tenner for a taxi which was rather annoying, as was the man driving it. There were some tit-head chavs in front of us doing skids and turns on the ice in their stupid car, to which the taxi driver remarked, 'looks like lots of fun, huhh?' It did not, and I was extremely scared that he would take my silence as encouragement, but thankfully he did not. He did, however, conveniently drop me outside the pub, so I went in, got a drink and waited until other people arrived. I also ventured out into the arctic to go to the pictures last night with Paul. We went to see St. Trinian's 2 (I can't be cool all the time) so that was fun, plus he had already bought me a coke and some M&Ms by the time I got there which made life all the more exciting.

Nothing much else is happening, other than I have a new found hate for boy scouts who ask if you would like help with your packing in Morrisons. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't, so why am I obliged to say yes and then put two quid in your stupid little bucket?! The world is quickly heading downhill, and unfortunately I seem to be going with it.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

"Listen Nana, F*ck Off Right!"

Finally, the time has come and my essays are 100% finished, referenced and handed in. I had a feeling of relief for a whole ten minutes before I remembered I had two novels to read and a presentation to work on. Last week was a good week though; Kezia, Gemma, Sarah, my mother, Auntie Sue and Baz came to visit Chester - Gemma had the added benefit of getting to travel down in the car with my mother, SatNav and all, for a whole two hours, arriving unacceptably ten minutes after the SatNav's scheduled arrival time of 8:19. I took Kez, Gem and Sarah to the SU on Friday and showed them what they had been missing out on all this time... two bars, a tiny dance floor, and a lot of sweaty people. Still, we had a fun night and ended up walking into town to get pizza which was good, albeit the fact that I had to walk there in Sarah's size 5.5 heels because her feet were hurting and I was the only not wearing shoes that would find it difficult making it through customs due to the size of their heels. I woke up on the Saturday morning to the sound of Jayne being sick and calling work, pretending to be someone else and saying she couldn't make it in. She was then told that the employee's 'friend' was not a liable source and therefore had to ring back, in a brand new voice, and claim that she had been 'throwing up all night'... Any employer would be lucky to have her. We all went for a 'family meal' on Saturday night and then to the pub, which would have been more fun had I not been missing the X Factor final at time, but as is life.
I'm now back in Bradford (after a two hour car journey of listening to nothing but my mother argue with the SatNav) and had my first shift back at work yesterday. There was a new character behind the counter called Karen with whom I spent most of the day slagging off the new shop layout. It was only when my shift was over at 4 that someone told me she was actually the new deli manager... brilliant. Starting to wonder what the appeal ever was in Bradford; went shopping in Leeds today with Kez and on the bus back had the misfortune of sitting behind two chavs, in matching chavvy attire (romantic, I know), and watching the lad try to impress the girl with various tales from his life including how his cousin 'Kyle' beat up a cage fighter when he was started on at a party the other week. He then continued to describe an argument he'd had with his nan over getting out of bed to go to work... 'so I was like, "listen Nana, fuck off right, don't start with me" and she was like, "don't swear," so I was like, "I'll fuckin' swear if I fuckin' want to" ' and so on and so forth went the argument. He also called Thornton a 'bag of wank'... Fortunately, by the time their stop came, the girl looked like she was ready to open the window and throw herself out before the bus came to a complete stop, so I guess that holds out some hope for humanity in the future, doesn't it?

Monday, 7 December 2009

Unauthorised Advent Calendar Openings: 0, Self Control: 1

It's 5:36am and instead of finishing my essay like I should be, I am sat on my bed, staring out of the window and listening to Whitney Houston. Probably not the most productive of activities, but at least I'm happy. The main reason for my good mood is the new layout of my bedroom, which is, worryingly, probably the most exciting thing to happen since the rat incident. Tonight's rearranging was a lot more successful than the other night when I accidentally trapped myself and Jayne in my bedroom and then, after about three hours of hard grafting, decided I didn't like it and moved it all back...Tonight though, after a lot of pushing and pulling, and some very questionable noises from Megan, we managed to switch the positions of my bed and my wardrobe so I can now run into my room and leap straight onto my bed, which might not seem that great now, but when I've had a bad day, not having to do the slight turn that I usually would makes all the difference in the world. It wasn't easy though - trying to manouver a double bed in a tiny room filled with five people isn't the easiest of tasks... makes me wonder whether having a big bed is really worth it, especially when I'm not even using it for fun things. Oh well, at least it is stable, unlike Megan's, which we discovered was broken earlier on when I lept on it and the middle of the mattress completely sunk in... I refuse to believe it was me that broke it, even though I was leaping around on it, and I did put a chair in the middle and then sit on it.

Very little else has happened recently, most of us have been struck down in the prime of life by essays/debates/presentations and the likes, although the arrival of an artificial Christmas tree has done quite a good job of calming the atmosphere. I have decided I should maybe start thinking properly about my presentation seeing as we having been 'working on it' since September and I have yet to start... I was in the library the other day and happened to see a group from my lecture all sat around a massive table making charts and slides for their amazing presentation - slightly worrying. I wasn't even there to do work, I was taking things back and paying a fine, which just added to my feeling like a failure. Although, I bet their bedrooms don't look as good as mine.

Essays and presentations aside, everything at the moment seems to be going good - Kez, Gemma and Sarah are coming to visit next week (along with my mother and Auntie Sue) so that should be fun, we can get drunk and I'll be able to prove that Chester Uni pisses all over Swansea, Leeds and Manchester =) That's only Friday night though, I'm not entirely sure how I am expected to entertain my mother on Saturday; there's only so much time a "cultural trip around the walls" will take up, and after that the only other thing I can think of is the zoo. I'm not sure how impressed my mother would be trudging around a zoo in the rain watching monkies eat their own poo, but I will suggest it anyway.