Thursday, 29 July 2010

Welcome To Bradford: No Ticket Required.

Somewhere between having a job, a boyfriend, and a reading list as long as my arm, I seem to have been unable to scrape together enough time to write a substantial and coherent blog. However, I am back and ready to get the ball rolling again. I've been back in Bradford a lot recently and have done little other than work, see bands and play GuitarHero with Peter. Playing GuitarHero has been pretty exciting though, the other day I bust my finger open playing a song on expert and ended up covering the guitar controller in bright red blood. Very rock and roll, if I do say so myself.

July has been a busy month filled with exciting, fun-packed things such as working 10 hour shifts and trying in vain to clean, tidy and de-ant number 53 in the space of one small day. It's amazing the amount of shit five people can accumulate over just a year, especially without realising how and why said shit arrived in your life. Whilst partaking in The Big Clean, we discovered the following:

  • A top hat
  • A cowboy hat
  • A green wig
  • One packet of fake blood
  • Various McDonald's Happy Meal toys
  • A full pack of "Sexy Playing Cards" (basically normal cards, except with pictures of people having sex on them)
  • A tube with a plastic hand attached at one end, complete with painted nails
Obviously, all vital items for university students to own. In attempting to separate these items into things that can be disposed of, and things that will make the cut and live on to next year, Jayne and I discovered we are somewhat disposophobic after debating whether or not to throw out a piece of paper, which was ripped and spilled on in several different places, because it had the rules for Ring of Fire written on it. That's a real phobia, by the way, and is an 'excessive acquisition of possessions, and failure to use or discard them'. Another one to add to my growing list, along with spiders, answering the phone and getting my hair cut. However, we had a sort of excuse for not wanting to throw things out if they carried some kind of sentimental value seeing as Jayne was moving out of 53 for good in order to go galavanting around Europe. What a shitter. Eventually though, we managed to get the house clean by the time our landlord came round. Well, sort of - he did enter the room to find five people trying to shove new covers on the couch in order to cover up the stains from last year's Hallowe'en party... However, I think, overall, we passed our inspection - despite the sexy playing cards being in plain view.

In order to fit in with the 'wrapping things up' theme of July; me, Kezia and our dearest parents travelled down to Swansea on the 18th for Kezia's graduation ceremony. She did extremely well, didn't trip, and managed to keep any mishaps to a minimum (bar my mother stabbing herself on a safety pin and getting blood on Kezia's gown, almost resulting in her getting her degree looking like something from Corpse Bride). It's things like graduation ceremonies that make you realise how little you care about anyone else's kid and what they're graduating with. I mean, when Kezia's name got called and she walked up and got her hand shaken, etc. etc., it was all fun, games and excitement, but when that part isn't happening and you have to sit through 4 million people with the surname Jones and a "graduation poem" that sounded oddly like The Jabberwocky in Welsh, you start to wonder who these ceremonies are written to entertain. Looking around during the mass of Welsh speeches, you can see all the graduates have drifted off and are just eager to get out of the hall and celebrate with their friends and all the parents are completely ignoring whatever's being said at the front, instead craning their necks, camera at the ready, trying to get a sneaky shot of their child as they sit, unaware, a few rows away. When the speeches stopped and a pianist started to play what appeared to be the start of a long, long piece of music, my dad had the genius idea of starting to clap in the middle of it, hoping everyone would join in thinking it was over and the pianist would be forced to stop. I warned him off it though, I think I'd already attracted enough attention to our family by whooping when Kezia's name got called and having a laughing fit when someone tripped getting their degree. 
On the whole, it was an ace weekend, bar a few upsets that were mainly vehicle related, the first being my mother shouting at "Sheila the SatNav" for telling us we were going the wrong way before we had even left the drive. Sheila then proceeded to be in a mood and not speak for thrity minutes. Bitch. The second was a slightly panicked shout of, 'AMY, WHAT THE FRIGGING HELL ARE YOU DOING?!" from my dad when I accidentally pressed a button on his seat in the middle of the motorway and nearly catapulted him out of the car. An easy mistake. However, the rest of the weekend ran smoothly, and we even got to go and collect shells on the beach and take nice photographs. I think my mother went a little overboard on the whole shell collecting thing and we ended up coming home with two plastic bags full... This is what you learn to accept when living with a primary school teacher - the other day I came downstairs to be greeted by half a dozen slices of orange rotating in the microwave which my mother was preparing in order to then stick onto a hat... Very fetching, I don't doubt. 

Given that I have very little money, I am now back in Bradford for the entire summer in order to work and earn some pennies. Or rather, just pay HSBC back what I owe them. My journey home was, as usual, relatively boring, the only excitement coming in the form of humiliation when my arm decided it would involuntarily twitch halfway through feeding me a Wotsit, causing said crisp to be launched into the lap of the girl sat next to me. It wouldn't have been as bad had she seen it happen, but it took her a good ten minutes to notice it was in her lap, by which time I had finished my packet and it was obvious that I had flung it there a while ago and yet failed to bring it to her attention. She moved seats shortly afterwards. Upon arrival in Bradford, it was clear the city had done nothing to better itself since my last visit - the first clue being the sign above the ticket booth at the train station saying, 'Welcome to Bradford. No ticket required.' As I followed two boys muttering bitterly about having to go to the police station when all they'd done was 'have a quick scrap', I let out the breath of hope I hadn't even been aware that I was holding.