My Impersonation of A Mosquito

There are few things as daunting as starting a new job, or a new work placement. It’s even more daunting starting a job in these modem days because work placements are like gold-dust, and if you are lucky enough to be interviewed for a job you’d actually like to take, well, that’s quite an achievement. And so it means that you will want to dig your fingernails into its epidermis, and cling on to it, like it’s a zip wire over a pool of starving sharks.

It’s better, and it’s worse, when its a job that you don’t intend on being in for the rest of your life. It’s better, because then you don’t worry so much about every career move. It’s worse because you are no closer to having the job of your dreams, and the experience you are gaining is irrelevant. All that is important in this situation is the capital generated. Because capital lets you do exciting things like master’s degrees, and trips around the world. And we all love round the world trips.

Finding even the smallest job these days is a massive triumph, because we’ve got more people than jobs, and less money than we have people. It’s all very financially complicated, but I am numerically illiterate. I have been known to spend a week’s rent on shoes, and I am (or at least can be) hideously financially irresponsible. Helpfully I have a guilt mechanism when I exceed a certain financial limit I set myself.

This made me laugh.(1)

Since yesterday morning, I’ve continued my greedy quest for what will be “GASP!”, my second job. Having two lives means I have two jobs. I have two bank accounts, and two sets of bedding, I have two gym memberships. I look like I’m running a B&B for twins.

Since my lastest new year’s revelation, I’ve decided that until I can get a job at the one hotel I’d like to work for, I’m going to email them weekly. I will also be phoning, and paying visits. Essentially so that they’ll realize that if they employ me, they’ll actually see less of me, thus creating a win-win situation. People these days, have to be resilient. Mosquitoes are still thriving, because they’re evil, soulless, persistent beings. Humanity needs a little more mosquito. Ask, ask, email, ask, telephone, ask, ask, telephone boss- to – be’s wife, ask, beg, ask, threaten, ask, ask… You get the point.

Aside from finding you incredibly irritating, any prospective employer will see that you are resilient, thick skinned, and persistent. If you actually went so far as to tell on the boss to his wife, then he will probably take out some sort of injunction against you. But then again, he might find bravery an admirable trait to. If anything, you’ll make an impression.

So, dear reader, the moral of the story is persistence. Perseverance. And the ability to act like a predator, stalking his prey. I’ve emailed this hotel about six times in as many weeks. The manager might be deleting my emails. But they’re going to keep cropping up like a serious skin disease, until the time he goes to a surgeon, and begs for the problem to be removed.

(:

(1) http://marketingforhippies.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/marketing_interview.png

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Prom Pandemonium

Today is my little sister’s prom, and it’s fantastic. She’s absolutely terrified. However, we’re one step closer to being ready; our nails have been done, at two the hair will be done, and then it’ll be make up, and time to get dressed. I’ve been given the job of being a lady in waiting for the day; on hand to do things such as doing up dresses.

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It’s strange to watch because I remember my prom, and it seems like a million years ago. Really, it was three years ago. And the prom that’s taking place today is far more sophisticated, taking place in a hotel instead of the school hall, but on the downside, the food sounds an awful lot worse. I think the decor will be pretty and we’ve had to have a ‘getting out the car’ rehearsal. The music will be lovely and there will be wholesome, school disco dancing.

I think I might be more excited than she is though, because at the moment she’s just paralysed with fear. She can’t button up her shirt because her hands are shaking so much, and she keeps saying she’s not hungry. Her poor date is going to have a meltdown on his hands in the car on the way in. It’s just because she wants it to be perfect, and everything has to go off without a hitch. It’s all in the detail.

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She wants her hair tied up in a loose bun, with curled strands around her head. Her nails are so long that they’re scaring me a little bit. She’s going to look like a little princess, who has just finished school. She’s all grown up, and she’s going to the after party with her friends, and it’s just so exciting. The icing on top of the cake is that the sun has come out, and since she’s going in a convertible Mercedes, that’s something of a benefit.

Listening to all the prom related conversations is something of a bizarre experience, because I’ve spent all day talking about chiffon, acrylic nails, hair styles, cleanser, Clinique foundation, eye shadow, the make up she’d like to wear… and so on. I am girly and I like doing all this girly pampering stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a long conversation about the benefits of a kitten heel. (Personally I’m not a fan; an all or nothing kind of girl, you might say).

Anyway, I have to go and sort out an exfoliation on my little sister’s back now, so that her skin will be shiny and fresh for tonight… I’ll let you know how it goes!

(:

(1) http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/hamsterman/hamsterman1105/hamsterman110500142/9567877-composition-with-makeup-brushes-and-broken-multicolor-eye-shadows.jpg

(2) http://www.carreviews2012.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/mercedes-clk-coupe-300×225.jpg

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On Beautiful Shoes

I genuinely hope to own these one day, they’re Miu Miu (1)

I really enjoy luxurious things. I always have. It’s been something of an expensive pursuit, over the years, and by far the worst part of university is the inability to buy expensive body cream, and pretty clothes. I still do fairly well, all things considered, however being financially responsible is really not something I enjoy. In fact, I’d much rather go back to the days where I bought lots of things, and my Mum told me off for not having any money (because I’d spent it all on something ‘useless’. Occasionally our definitions of useless clashed considerably.) I never used to feel guilty about spending money, however now, I do, if I buy something I could have acquired for less money, or if it’s something I don’t really need.

I do occasionally get round this guilt by persuading myself that I really need a new dress. I go out quite a lot because I’m a student, and therefore I must have something to wear to this multitude of occasions. They also have to be fitting for lots of different things, from casual nights out, to themed space parties. My advice to a prospective student is to find as much dressing up stuff as you can, before you depart on your adventure. It’ll solve so many problems. I also suggest finding false eyelashes, tails, cat’s ears and wings, because I find that they are multi-use items of clothing.

It all depends of course, on where you go to university. If you live in a distinctly rural area, like myself, heels are very rarely worn on a night out, and I think I’ve worn trainers on most of the evenings out I’ve had. I choose this because at some point during the night, I tend to get tired, and take my shoes off. Which means I either walk with the risk of broken glass in my foot, or I change into trainers. I therefore prefer to skip this, and just wear trainers from the outset. If you’re at university in somewhere like London or Bristol however, heels are the norm. You should really adjust your wardrobe accordingly, and don’t take things that you won’t use, because at some point, you’ll have to move out of halls. The best thing to do is streamline the shoe collection, especially if like myself, you’re something of a collector. At home, I have a beautiful shoe collection. And I genuinely worry about them feeling neglected during my long absences.

But anyway, back to my starting sentence. Luxury is something I hope to afford one day in the future. And in the meantime, there are quite a few passable body creams out there. It just depends on how much money you’d like to preserve for things like food, and rent.

(:

(1) http://www.sisow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Miu-Miu-Luxury-Shoes.jpg

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I Only Fell Over Once Today

I’m quite pleased with myself at the moment, because I got through an entire dance class this morning without once collapsing and begging to go back to sleep. I only fell over once. This is something I consider to be a huge achievement. When I began I could only tackle about twenty minutes of intensive conditioning, which is something I dare you all to try. It looks effortless, until you try it yourself, and you are transformed to a sweaty, pink, strained version of yourself. A helpful hint is that you shouldn’t look in any kind of reflective device for about thirty minutes after finishing this deceptive workout.

Easy, right? Go, on, try it. I dare you. (1)

It’s similar to Pilates, in that you scoff at people who do it, thinking that they don’t actually partake in ‘real’ exercise. I think they just work hard, knowing that they’re building muscles we didn’t know existed. Who knew about this ‘work zone’? I think it’s been a fantastically well-kept secret. Or perhaps I’m simply ignorant to such things.

As the day wore on, I felt the need to revise a multitude of English related things, whilst all the time cursing the existence of exams, and wishing we only had to do coursework to fulfill the terms of the degree. I think this is a rather faraway fantasy at the moment, however. The problem with being proficient in exam taking is that the higher education institution you attend makes you continue to take them. There are institutions across the country that increasingly use alternative methods of assessment. I, alas, do not belong to any of them.

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So I’ve been in my bedroom throughout a beautifully sunny day, on the basis that I have an entire syllabus to trawl my way through before my exam week begins. I am a little offended by the four exams that have been crammed into one working week, however it seems there’s very little I can do about it, and unfortunately moaning doesn’t seem to have any impact. I suspect that if moaning could cancel an unpleasant event, I’d have escaped many unfortunate occurrences in my lifetime.

However, I do find ways of revising that some people find incredibly boring. I write everything down, in a beautiful project book. I like to colour things in, and therefore I find it necessary to purchase a shiny new notebook, and try to make a new start when I try to revise. I also buy and write out numerous packets of beautiful key cards, that I can’t bring myself to throw away when my exams are finished because they’re just so beautiful. I find that using old text books, and so on, only serves to remind the poor student of the pain they experienced the first time they tried to learn the material. At least with new pages and new books, we can feel as though we’re starting again, instead of just going back to something that mentally feels, well, a bit dark and oppressive.

I want to wish everyone else taking exams on every level good luck, for this upcoming exam period! I’m sure you’ll all do fantastically.

(:

(1) http://bellevuewachiropractic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Pilates.jpg

(2) http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rma/lowres/rman10110l.jpg

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The Importance of Teddy Bears

Who wouldn’t love that face? (1)

Teddy bears are one of those items that everyone loves and owns, but nobody really wants to admit it after a certain age. I find this a little offensive, because I feel as though they provide comfort when we are small, and it seems cruel to just abandon them when we get older, because they’re one of those items that one “grows out of”. I never really grew out of a love of teddy bears, firstly because they’re adorable, and secondly because I still have a very overactive imagination.

I used to read quite a lot of Enid Blyton when I was young, and The Faraway Tree Stories were my favourite bedtime stories. I love the idea of having a magical tree, full of elves and fairies, ready to take you on adventures. I did say I had something of an overactive imagination. It’s something I was born with. Teddy bear stories comfort little people because they take them to different worlds, where things simply aren’t as scary. There are never monsters under the bed in teddy bear stories. Adults I think have their own versions of teddy bear stories; we watch TV, some drink, and we draw, and paint. People spend lots of time not thinking about what’s really happening in the world.

An interesting comparison (2)

And this is I think one of the reasons that teddy bears, or at least the principles behind them, are so important. They provide a childish world in which to escape. Some of you reading this will be scoffing, however I think everyone has to be at least a little childish, and have a place where they can play with train sets and Lego. I personally enjoy Lego immensely; it’s one of the best children’s pursuits out there. I also used to love (and still do, a little bit), building massive Barbie mansions. At one point I think I owned about thirty Barbies, and not the new, strange ones, but the real-life 90s ones, which looked triangular. On a related note, I think those who blame 90s Barbie for causing terrible perceptions of body image is just preposterous, because she was so extreme. The newer Barbies are so perfect that surely they seem more human, and therefore more realistic shapes to aspire to? But there we go, something of a side note.

So anyway, I think everyone should own a teddy bear. They’re so lovely and so welcoming, and surely the world is a horrible enough place, without people abandoning teddy bears left, right, and centre too?

(:

(1) http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51aIwCvfdhL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

(2) http://www.picshag.com/pics/012011/barbie-in-the-1990s-vs-barbie-in-the-2000s.jpg

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Indecision, Haircuts, and Farmers

It’s the eve of my nineteenth birthday, and all I can think about is a profoundly adolescent, female specific problem. Namely, my hair. It’s always sort of hung there, being curly. However now I’m approaching advanced age, I’m thinking of changing it. The colour has to change (I recently experimented with red, and despise it), and I shall need to go back to something vaguely honey and copper toned, I think. I shall leave this in the hands of my hairdresser.

Unfortunately however, I cannot simply give her free rein with the scissors; I need some direction, especially because I have particularly curly hair, which, if cut badly, will never look quite the same again. It will mean hats will be essential for the succeeding six weeks, and the experience is not really one I care to repeat.

(1) Standard haircut protocol...

This kind of conundrum does make me wonder about the superficial expectations of society and the opposite sex as a whole, however it mainly makes me question my own ability to like myself; it would seem my appearance is more important to me than anyone else, and the only person who really worries about my hair’s current colour and style is me. I put a disproportionate amount of time into worrying about my weight, and a conversely small amount of time into worrying about whether my hair looks nice. It rarely looks nice, especially during term time. I lose the ability to maintain grooming habits every time I set foot in my flat. Eyebrows are just sort of painted on, and I start to be less concerned with wearing make up.

It’s very strange to consider how appearance is directly proportional to exposure to modernity; farmers do not worry about their complexions or weight particularly (I’m sure there are exceptions), and country women typically are less concerned about heal heights and skirt lengths. Whenever I’m back in the city, heels become appropriate again, and clothing becomes much sharper. When I’m in the country, anything but jeans can be considered as an example of being overdressed, and knitted jumpers are perfectly acceptable evening attire. In the city, nothing short of a LBD will be worn on a night out. In the country, shorts and a t-shirt with flip-flops are essential. We rarely dress up, unless there’s a space themed party and some tinfoil involved.

Anyway, back to my current conundrum. I want a fringe, possibly, however I’m very worried that this will accentuate my slightly round face. I often look in the mirror and wonder what I was doing on the day they handed out the well-defined cheekbones. I need a new hair colour, and I want something new, however over the last six months I’ve pretty much covered the entire colour spectrum, from platinum blonde, to deep mahogany. I shall be satisfied with lots of highlights and lowlights, I think. In something vaguely honeyed. As long as I’m not ashy blonde anymore, I think I shall leave happy. This still doesn’t tackle the question of the cut though.

Oh, isn’t life hard?

(:

(1) http://www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com/cartoons/327—September-30-October-6,-2007,-sense-of-self-haircut.gif

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On Coming Home

A very short note, to prove to all of you that I haven’t abandoned the blogging-sphere. I haven’t, really, I’ve just taken a small blogging hiatus, whilst I’m on a holiday of sorts, with one of my best friends. Anyway, the holiday is drawing to a very rapid close, and this time tomorrow, I will have skipped merrily across the country, back to my own house, and my own bed. I’m very excited.

I think my love of coming home stems from the fact that when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to move out; I thought it would be the best thing ever; you know the drill. Unlimited freedom, the power to go wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted to. The part I managed to leave out of my perfect little fantasy, was that with unlimited freedom, comes unlimited responsibility. Money, bills, rent, and so on. All those things that just sort of weren’t there when you were fourteen, and designing grand houses that you would move into, as soon as you escaped from home. I realised however, this was the most preposterous thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever.

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Anyway, the point is, that in twenty-four hours, I’ll be back at home with my parents and little sister, and all my teddy bears. I’m nineteen in a week, and I still cannot wait to go home, put on my onesie (they look ridiculous, but it’s like being in a bag of blanket), and cuddle up with my Mum. Whenever I tell people this, they either think it’s lovely, or that I’m somehow pathetic, and not independent; I think the two concepts are not the same. Loving home, and being independent, are not the same thing. There’s a distinction to be made, and I always feel as though people should realise the difference, and appreciate things they have, whilst they have them.

So to conclude: the rucksack is packed, the train tickets are ready to go. A spot of washing, and the making of packed lunch, and we’ll land back in the homeland before you know what’s hit you. Guess who’s back?

(1) http://www.twincitieshomeforeclosures.com/images/home/quotes/HFquote10.gif

((:

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Oh, What It Is to Be Excited…

I'd like a bed like this one day. (1)

So here we are again; another sunny Monday morning with the prospect of university essays, the gym, and the laundry to be doing. However, today is an exciting Monday, because today is the day of the Asda deliver. I promise that I’m not getting excited purely for the delivery of vegetables; I’m excited because I found a double duvet and pillowcase set, with pretty trees on it, for £2.77. And so obviously, I had to buy it. I love duvet covers. I especially like clean ones. So I’m really quite looking forwards to the changing of the duvet, later tonight. Which, as a I read that sentence back, I realise sounds a little bit sad. But nevertheless, I like pretty stuff. I especially like it when it is on sale. I think it’s a genetic programming issue.

Another upcoming event, with perhaps a tad more significance, is my impending birthday; I’ll reach the grand old age of nineteen, very soon, and therefore that’s an excuse for a party. Or in this case, a venture to a nice restaurant with ten of my oldest friends. The restaurant “Las Iguanas” is a place I’ve been desperate to try, however it is a little bit too expensive to justify it on an everyday basis. However, birthdays mean special things can happen, and therefore I feel the pressing urge to eat South American fare. I shall consider it a prelude to my visit to the continent in 2014. A necessary training exercise, one might say.

I really enjoy celebrations; not surprise parties, or massive community hall get-togethers, but I like a nice dinner, with all my favourite people. All I really want to do with my family for my birthday is snuggle up with my Mum and Dad on the sofa, and watch Swamp People, an ingenious television program about the alligator hunters of America. I wouldn’t mind eating a steak whilst I do it, maybe with some peppercorn sauce. I think celebrations ought to be as large or as small as one would like. Equally however, I’m excited to get dressed up in something pretty, and go out with all my friends.

But before this, I get to see one of my best friends, because she’s coming to visit me at university at the end of term. It’s going to be a mini-holiday, in lieu of going on a proper one; we’ll use my flat for a holiday house, and do holiday-type things; going to the beach, going out for cocktails, and watching DVDs. It’s going to be a wonderful few days, ended by the cross-country train journey back to reality, work, and home.

In conclusion then, I’m quite excited, about lots of things. My friend visiting, my Asda order, and my birthday plans, to name just a few. It’s going be amazing. Now, I just have to tackle that essay…

(:

(1) http://www.terrysfabrics.co.uk/images/P/Lottie-Duvet-Cover-Gold.jpg

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Packet Mix Brownies Are Harder Than They Seem…

Today was one of those days where I decided to be one of those lovely dinner guests, who bring dessert. They bake you something delicious and bring it round in a Quality Street tin. I decided to make brownies, and I should have known the venture wasn’t going to go exceedingly well, when I bought the packet mix. You know the one. With the “just add water” instructions on the back. But nevertheless, I thought, “hm… what could possibly go wrong?”. The answer of course, was just about everything.

To start with, I didn’t have any greaseproof paper, which would have been perfectly fine, except apparently when using baking tins, it’s something of a necessity. The next error was that I had no scales. No scales to measure twenty-five grams of butter, and had to sort of go with a “wing it” approach. Using a tablespoon. Which, in case anyone was wondering, is a wildly inaccurate way of adding ingredients to a packet mix.

I’d just about managed to get the mix into two rectangular tins. Being a student, I do not have a seven-inch square tin, lined with greaseproof. I had a seven by four-inch rectangular tin, that was no so much lined with greaseproof paper, as with grease, the variety that comes from butter. The mix also seemed to be spread awfully thinly across the tin. I was assured that it would rise, and that no one would even notice. The problem really started to appear when I put the two tins into the oven.

"Oh, they look nice"... "Errr...I wouldn't get too hopeful about the ones I'm bringing"... (1)

The instructions told me that I should bake the brownies for fifteen minutes, on one hundred and seventy degrees celsius. I’d even remembered to pre-heat the oven first. Another, rather important, element that seemed to have slipped my mind though, was that our oven, again, being a student oven, is less than reliable, and is much more uneven than otherwise. So in the brownies went, me bumbling along, doing some clearing up, thinking that the brownies will be done in the blink of an eye. But when I looked in the door, they seemed very flat. The white chocolate mixture in particular, seemed to have formed a rather hard shell, that was preventing the mixture below from cooking. So I left the brownies for a few minutes, checked back, and it seemed that nothing had really changed. So there I was, pondering how I could get the middle to cook. At this point, I got bored, and decided to make some lunch.

After about forty-five minutes cooking time, the cookie-dough brownies looked almost acceptable (except for the little hole my flatmate had put in them, causing them to sink…) and so I put them on top of the hob to cool down. I also extracted the white ones, which had at this point, formed a biscuit-y sort of slightly burnt around the edges tray bake. Obviously, that didn’t stop us, and we thought we’d better “check to see if they were okay”.

As far as I can tell, the best of the bunch are cooling on the hob at the moment. The white ones have been confined to scrap bin, i.e. my flatmate’s mouths. You never know, if I’m really lucky, the cake goblins will have swooped down and murdered my little brownies, making them flat and burnt too. In fact, I’d better go and check…

(:

(1) http://www.nikiaguirre.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/brownie.jpg?w=300

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On New Year’s Optimism

It’s about this time of year when I get extremely hopeful and optimistic, imagining thousands of possibilities; certainly, buying new handbags in the sales makes me feel all-powerful and as though because I have purchased a new bag, I will become a more interesting and exciting person for it. This fundamentally cannot be the case, but at the same time, it doesn’t hurt. It makes a person feel excited, and renewed, and subsequently more able to tackle things. This is why the sales are so intoxicating, and I know very few who can resist buying a shiny new gadget, or a big bright handbag. We are only human, after all.

I’ve therefore started forming a number of lists of ways to improve; how to improve academically, how to improve physically, how to improve financially. The latter has been dominating my thoughts, somewhat paradoxically, because the sales have also been occupying rather a large amount of my brain’s RAM. I essentially want to be financially solvent enough to be able to start travelling frequently. Ideally, I’d like to be able to travel for four months of every year, for the next ten or so years.

The Golden Temple (1)

In that amount of time then, I should be able to see very many places, do many things, and make it to every continent. I’d like to go sky diving (even though I hate heights) and I’d like to say that I’ve helped people across the world. There’s even an argument for obtaining some kind of medical qualification, so I could work with the Red Cross, or with Doctors Without Borders, whilst travelling. A problem does however exist here, because I am something of a big baby with blood. And needles. I was the only person to faint during my secondary school boosters, in front of sixty other, rather cruel, class mates. But I think perhaps it could be overcome, if the end goal was essentially making a difference, and travelling to fantastic areas of the world at the same time. I almost can’t understand how people can live their whole lives, and never want to leave their country, and see something else. I suppose you’d never really know the things you’ve missed, if you haven’t ever seen them. One never knows what one has until it is gone.

The new year is always a good place to start: to start again, to start something new, take up hobbies, lose weight, change your job, and so on. There’s a finality which comes with the end of a year that allows you the mindset to say that you will be able to change because the year has changed. It’s a reflective time of year, because all new years begin with resolutions, and many of us will revert to our old habits, because we’re human. It takes real commitment to stick with the plans you’ve made. I suppose it depends on how focussed and sure you are of what you’d like to be, do or see. There’s a rather fine line between idealism and realism.

I hope everyone has a good goal for the year, and has fun trying to do it!

(:

(1) http://cache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/india_09_22/india22_16226033.jpg

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