Wednesday, 7 December 2016

'If a naked mole rat can get pregnant, then so can I.'

In case you were all wondering, it is much harder to write a blog when your life is going well than it is when your life is going tits up. Since I wrote my last blog, I have sacked off my awful job at the bank and started solely working as a creative assistant in a shop in Haworth. Sounds fancy, right? I spend most of my time lasering designs into wood and making inappropriate jokes. Check it out here.

I've recently returned from a small family trip to New York, which was good fun. We primarily went to see Billy Joel in concert - we tried to get tickets for Birmingham, but when that failed my mum just went, 'fuck it, let's go see him in New York instead.' (Well, whatever the 60-year-old woman version of 'fuck it' is. In reality, she probably just turned to my Auntie Sue and said something along the lines of, 'well, Sue, it's just got to be done, hasn't it?')

 I feel my enjoyment of the holiday was heightened due to actually getting travel insurance this time. The last time I went away for a few days was to Budapest and, having just quit my job at the bank, I was determined to have as cheap a time as possible and could not bring myself to spend what I thought was unnecessary money on travel insurance. Turns out, holidays are a lot more stressful when you don't have it. Did you know that Budapest is known as the 'City of Spas' and has more thermal and medicinal water springs than any other capital city in the world? It has 125 thermal springs! That is 125 opportunities to slip in a country that does not have the NHS, so whilst everyone else was marveling at the grand architecture, I was just walking around all day thinking, 'don't slip, don't slip, don't slip,' and hoping I didn't contract the Zika virus. Not that travel insurance would really do a lot if I did contract the Zika virus, but at least I'd get flown home. Can you fly if you have contracted the Zika virus? Do you have to be quarantined? I actually don't know that much about it... I just looked it up, apparently it can be sexually transmitted. Who knew?! It also warns to be extra vigilant if you are a woman of 'child bearing age' - what age even is that? Anything between 14 and... whatever age it is you start getting hot flushes?

My friends and I recently went away for the weekend for Cat's 30th birthday and were chatting about this very topic. We were staying in a fancy barn in the Yorkshire Dales and it was pretty much what you'd expect from a group of 20-somethings - we went for a walk for a few hours so we could say we'd 'explored the countryside', and then spent the remainder of the time lounging around in front of the fire drinking wine and talking about having babies. One of our friends was panicking that she was reaching whatever age it is when society decides we need to start feeling the pressure to have a baby and she hadn't yet found anyone to reproduce with. (Well, anyone suitable, anyway.) She talked herself into a frenzy, however she soon buoyed herself up with the idea that there were plenty of beings more repellent than her that have managed to find a mate and concluded her rant with a confident, 'if a naked mole rat can get pregnant, then so can I!'

Personally, I have no desire for a baby, although it has been suggested by my girlfriend/friendship group/postman that any signals my biological clock has been giving off seem to have projected themselves via my cat. The words 'attachment issues' have been batted around once or twice... In fairness, it's difficult to disagree with them. I once cried for three hours straight because I convinced myself that she had died in the night. (She had not.) I don't know why I have become so attached to something that a) probably does not give a shit about me, and b) partakes in the following activities:

  • bringing dead birds into the kitchen
  • bringing live frogs into the bedroom at 4am
  • weeing on the post (although she does seem to have outgrown this particular behaviour)
  • eating her breakfast at record speed as soon as she is fed by one person, so by the time someone else gets up they think she hasn't been fed and gives her a second breakfast. She does this every morning, and it is premeditated
  • eating the Christmas tree
  • jumping into the fridge whenever it is opened (admittedly, this is quite impressive)
  • leaping onto the shoulders of unsuspecting house guests (which is, apparently, my fault for teaching her this when she was a kitten and weighed as much as a bag of marshmallows. Now she does it with reckless abandon, sinking her claws in for balance. Wearing a sleeveless vest? She gives zero shits.)
She has also been known to bitch-slap the neighbour's cat, but you know what? She's nice as anything, and is by far the cutest cat on the street, and if she is keeping my biological clock at bay (let's not open that can of emotional worms), then it's fine with me. Let's just hope my mum doesn't run her over like she did to our beloved family pet, Shelley.

God rest his ginger soul. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Later That Same... Year

Cast your mind, dear reader, back to the chillier time of January 2016, when I initially wrote this blog post and forgot to post it... Since I wrote this, three of my friends have had babies. It has literally taken me the full gestation period of a human to get around to posting it - quite possibly my greatest procrastination feat to date.  I'm going to reclaim my title, for real this time, as my friendship group's finest blogger, but in the mean time, have this:

I'm thinking of doing another degree. I know this sounds ridiculous and like the absolute epitome of what not to do with my life, but let me explain my reasoning before jumping to any conclusions.

Despite my last degree proving itself to be entirely fucking useless, I managed to get so much cleaning done during the toughest periods of degree related stress. For example, during the last few weeks of my dissertation, my bedroom was the most organised it had ever been; my clothes were all laundered and put away, my CDs were alphabetised, and I had written corresponding stories to go with my collection of stolen objects that I could eloquently reel off should a figure of authority ever question their provenance. It was bliss, and, looking at the current state of my life, I could really use that type of motivation again. Since my last blog post in July (oh, hello again, lack of ambition), my clan and I have moved from our sad excuse of an abode to a slightly nicer one a few streets over. It was a very rash decision that we made in about 7 minutes and we moved into the first house we viewed, which meant that we spent the week leading up to Christmas day forcing all of our friends and family to heave furniture through the village and make sure the kitten we had recently adopted did not escape/crawl into a box and get thrown out/piss all over the new house. As it is, we have been in for two months now and even though the cat is allowed to go outside and has a litter box, she still decides that it's a good idea to wee all over the post as soon as it comes through the letter box. In fairness, the last thing she urinated on was a letter from the council telling me how much tax I owed them, so, to be honest, I can't really berate her for it as it was my first instinct, too

Our new house has lots of fancy features that our old house was severely lacking, such as a bathroom fit for human use, windows that don't have giant holes in the bottom, a drain that doesn't vomit all over the garden path every morning (well, it's done it once, but we'll let that slide), and, most importantly, enough room for us all to actually fit in it. It's amazing how much better you feel about life when you don't have to invite people to sit in your living room-bedroom hybrid, and you don't have to say, 'make sure you don't step on a slug in the kitchen', or, 'if the Haagen-Dazs tub that catches water in the bathroom is full just let us know.'

We're currently in the process of decorating the living room and trying to merge our belongings in a way that says, 'it's not our job, but in our free time we like to practice interior design,' as opposed to, 'most of this stuff was free from work/friends/the street'. We got our sofa from one of my mum's friends with the proviso that we could have it for nothing if we picked it up from her house, which was a task easier said than done, as all seemingly simple things are. Obviously, it would not fit in our little car, so I enlisted the help of a friend whose car it also did not fit in. After thirty minutes of pushing, pulling, swearing, and an abundance of innuendo, we managed to get half of it in and then tied the boot shut over the remainder with string. Not rope. Not bungee cords. Not any kind of suitable binding material. String.

It is currently adorned in a variety of mismatching cushions, half of which have been made by Cat and are beautiful and fashionable and chic, and the other made by my mum. I'm not saying my mum's cushions aren't just as well made, it's just that she made them when she was going through a phase of making cushions out of my old t-shirts, so while half of the cushions are hip and trendy, the other half have either Kurt Cobain's face, marine life (we're a family prone to phases), or some hideous design that wasn't fashionable when I was wearing it and is not fashionable now. But, you know what they say, Rome wasn't built in a day! Even Romulus and Remus probably had to borrow someone else's settee every once in a while.