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Graduate trying out life on the other side of the world.. stay tuned.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The politics of Christmas

So, I like many others have started the countdown to Christmas. Every year I aim to be more organised, and every year I become less so. Demonstrated by the fact that this morning I simply had to eat 5 days worth of Advent chocolates as I'd forgotten to do so the past week. Starting the day with an Advent-sugar-high was pretty good though.

Now, I have long accepted that I will never be one of those people like my Mother who will be wonderfully organised and have everything bought and wrapped with the military type precision that Santa must employ to deliver presents to all the world's children on Christmas Eve by the time I open the first door on my advent calendar. (What do you mean he's not real?!) however I will always get things done, just in my own time and in my own way. Nor would I do what my uncle does and buy it all on Christmas Eve- that's just too much of a risky strategy for Captain Sensible to contemplate.

Christmas obviously is not about the presents (I mean, it makes up a LARGE part of the day, and yes I probably would be put out if Santa hadn't visited, but hey, don't lie, so would you be.) But it is about family and for the religious among us, obviously celebrating the birth of some guy called Jesus. However, for a day that isn't about presents, it is bloody stressful buying the damn things.

It's the politics of it all which really gets my goat. (And before I get labelled as a Scrooge or as some kind of Christmas hater, I'm really not, I love the whole festive season and I'm not gonna say I hate the season just to get some kind of reaction out of someone who's bored enough to read this.) I'm sure you will all know what I'm talking about here- it goes from the whole- "well Betty's second cousin once removed bought me a present last year, I mean it was a sodding pair of hideous socks but I can't not get her something this year in case she gets me something again, and if i'm buying for her then I can't not buy her sister Ethel something as they're spending it together this year"  to the incredibly awkward moment when you've just spent a fiver on a chocolate selection box for a friend, and they then rudely present you with a beautifully gift wrapped box with your favourite perfume inside. So. Awkward.

I'm not going to spend a fortune this year Christmas, as I made the unwise decision to move to New Zealand with next to no savings in the new year, and I've made the decision not to get so stressed about them either. The thing is even with the shitty presents you will inevitably get- from the sub-standard board games to the pair of tights, to the bath set that smells like old ladies, you still appreciate that there was some level of thought put into them.. For example, I know that the bar of soap I got last year was given to me because I do like to keep clean. (sense the sarcasm.)

Seriously though, I reckon, as we all do- that presents I buy for people are spot-on, but if that were true, then nobody would ever complain about the presents they got, and there would be absolutely no need for the dreaded Gift Receipt.. (praise be the Gift Receipt). So there must be some presents we have all bought that are some serious faux pars.

Which is probably why I still quite like the idea of Santa. He always got it spot on. Less stressful too that way, and a (admittedly, somewhat feeble) excuse to put off buying presents a little while longer.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

three questions..

Today, whilst stuck on the M56, aka my second home these days (expect the new home cards through the post any day now notifying you of my new residence) with a colleague, he started spouting something or other about Psychology and how he'd be able to tell a lot about me by asking just three questions.

I sighed, rolled my eyes, and decided that this traffic jam might just warrant indulging him in this conversation. (don't worry, he knows he most probably was talking like a crazy man. I blame the M56.)

He asked three questions, I can't remember what they were, but they were nothing special, like 'where did you go on your last holiday?' (Dubai, for those bored enough to want to know. And, it was great.)

Anyway, I answered and he in return analysed what I said to him in a fairly accurate way in that he mentioned a couple of things that made me think that how we act with others in everyday life and with other lovely people is quite revealing.

I think I generally hold my cards quite close to my chest, but with close people in my life I let them in probably a bit too far.But in the past 6 months, in the job I've held, I am amazed at how much someone will reveal to a relative stranger without, for the most part, realising it.

With a background in sales, now fundraising- which is the softer, more cuddly cousin of sales, I've been trained into submission to pick up the language people use, and the body language they give to you in order to alter your pitch, and I've learnt how to effectively steer the conversation away from Great Aunt Betty's recent trip on a cruise back to something a little more profitable. And sometimes,you just can't help but employ the same tactics whilst talking to your nearest and dearest. If you suddenly find yourself agreeing to take me on a shopping spree round Selfridges for no apparent reason, I give you permission to point the finger of blame at me.. (Of course I'd never do that. That's just too obvious.)

It made me think, first impressions of a person are more often than not pretty accurate. I am way too willing to judge a book by its cover, but for good reason, I'm [usually] right.

For example: Harry Potter books- GREAT covers, GREAT books. An introduction to the Complete History of the Single Market: MUNDANE cover, MUNDANE content. It's a scientifically tested (by yours truly). Fact.

An old boss of mine once said that they make a decision about whether they'd hire the interviewee within 5 minutes of the person walking into their office. I like to think that it was a good decision made when they hired me.

But it makes me wonder how many graduates have missed out on their dream job simply on the wrong first impression of a candidate by a potential employer? One button not done up, the wrong tie with a shirt, or one flimsy handshake and you could be waving goodbye to that golden opportunity. That is kinda depressing   when you think of the weeks of prep you put into that interview so that you try to make the 'right' impression isn't it? Just really emphasises the notion that every little helps. (Man, I hate Tesco for coining that cliche.)

Note to friends: watch out for those subliminal messages in forthcoming conversations. cough *selfridgesshoppingspree* cough..

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Wish me luck?

Okay, so this morning, on one of my (many) days off I watched a great program by the clever and slightly creepy Derren Brown about the concept of luck, and whether it is something we can bring on ourselves through the taking of opportunities.

I have recently made the choice to hop on a plane in February to New Zealand and live there for a year or so. It's all happened fairly suddenly.. quite like the time I agreed to go to Ecuador for a few months in a vain attempt to try and do something good and worthwhile. I didn't actually achieve all that much when there though, except an unusually good knowledge of Amazonian plants and their properties, and how to handle a machette. I didn't even take the time to learn how to spell machette, hence the crap spelling.

This could actually turn out to be quite like that, but I hope I'll be able to spell better this time round.

I got the visa approved and the flights booked within a week. Nothing like jumping at an opportunity.

The thing is with opportunities, I really am starting to think that if we never took the opportunities presented to us, we could go round thinking we were the unluckiest person that were to ever walk this earth. Take this bloke on this Derren Brown show, he believed he was incredibly unlucky. As a result he didn't play a scratchcard where he would have won a television, but another time he took an opportunity, he won six grand. Some would say that's lucky, but I think he took a risk and the risk paid off thanks to grasping the opportunity rather than luck. It could have gone the other way and he'd have lost a grand (ouch). I suspect some jiggery-pokery went on behind the scenes.

I'm not even sure I believe in luck. For example, the fact that I mistakenly squirted Cif into my cup of tea earlier today could be said to be unlucky, when really, it was me just being an idiot and trying to move a cup of tea and a bottle of Cif one handed whilst cleaning the kitchen with the other hand. Pretty idiotic.On the other hand, it could be seen to be quite lucky that I noticed the thing abusing my cup of Yorkshire Tea before actually drinking it. So looking at it like that, the whole concept of luck is a pretty stupid one.

Mind you, the whole concept of me going to New Zealand could be a pretty stupid one, considering I thought my friend was having me on when she told me the Kiwi was a bird in NZ hence the name, Kiwi. I'm notoriously gullible and would believe you if you told me it was illegal to eat cheese. (Thanks for that, Abi.) It's not something I'm proud of and would like to say I'm working on this issue but that would be a blatent lie..

Anyway, seriously sidetracked there- the flights are paid for, the visa is approved and my parents will be pushing me onto the plane whether I like it or not. If anything so they have a good holiday lined up for next year. But if I can't do anything like this now, then when on earth will I do it? And what the chuff was holding me back?(As soon as my Mum asked this, I knew I should be booking my plane tickets) It'll end up being one of those things, like washing your car (unless you're my Dad with a serious car washing related OCD issue) that you  never seem to get round to (unless it's just me that never washes her car) but know you really should do, because it'll be great once you have. (I know washing your car doesn't even compare with an extended trip to NZ- but since the Cif incident I've had little caffeine today, so give me a break).

Fear not, my NZ ramble is over.. I best get round to washing my car now.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

back to square one..

The real reason I started writing this blog about a year ago is that I was actually quite bored at work- and felt the need to start writing about life after graduating because I felt it perhaps wasn't all I had imagined it to be when I first started uni back in 2007 as a young whippersnapper and was probably quite frustrated at my situation.

So, imagine my continued frustration at being made redundant at the age of 22 less than a year after graduating, due to something totally out of my control and once more about to join the other graduates in the job centre. I still think I got lucky with landing the first job, and with the second even more so.

Okay okay- so I am lucky to have had two jobs in the last year when some graduates are struggling to find one job. The current job I'm in at the moment is a 6 month contract and ends just before Christmas.. It has been an amazing few months and I have learnt so much in this role and has given me so much experience and effectively pimped out my CV to the MAX. I'll be gutted to be leaving it.

To be honest with you- the year since graduating has been a little like a game of Snake and Ladders. One moment I felt like I'm making great headway up the career ladder- the next moment someone has thrown the dice and I'm knocked off the ladder, down the snake and back to square one.


I know so many graduates who are so deserving- taking unpaid internships, slogging away in voluntary roles to gain experience, biding their time, applying for countless jobs but going round in circles not getting anywhere any time soon- It almost becomes a farcical game of Risk (had to get the word farcical in here somewhere..) never mind Snakes and Ladders.

It isn't helped by the fact when looking into moving to a country crying out for more applicants to jobs they don't want you as you possess none of the necessary skills needed- even a country desperate to get people into jobs don't want your application. 'Your' here obviously is me. I blatantly should have listened to my step grandmother when she told me to become a plumber instead of laughing in her face before stating that I could never pull off the blue overall look. Blue overalls certainly seem quite fetching now (plus think of all the accessories  opportunities it would bring, bonus!)

So next steps- I have no idea. I'm starting to think a Post-It on my head and wandering round Manchester shouting give me a job may be just the thing. That or it'll get me carted of by the men in white coats- at least then I won't need to job hunt, ey?!

I'll quit with the moaning now and stop the procrastination from my Sunday afternoon job hunt, and perhaps go and buy some post it notes..

Thursday, 7 July 2011

nothing much to say here..

Now, this has been bothering me for a while. I seem to have lost a little of my blogging 'get up and go' and I cannot, for the life of me, work out why- because I love it. I was reading (shocker, I know, I can read.) an article that stated blogging a form of self expression..

Now to me that is a bit of a fancy pants description really and someone making it sound something much more elaborate. When all it boils down to is that it's a bit of a diary. Or just really quite crap ramblings that noone finds *that* interesting.

This got me thinking, have I lost interest in it because I really don't have anything to 'express' about my'self' at all? Then I was like- hang on, no that's wrong, I've just started a new job, got a new 'do, and got some new specs. But that in the large scale of things isn't really much to write home about is it?

Now I am sure that 'celebrities' feel much the same about their lives and that their lives are nothing much to write home about, yet they find their phones tapped and their privacy intruded upon. Now, I am not getting into that whole 'they made the decision to live their life in the public so they must accept the consequences' debate cos I can't be bothered- it's like getting stuck in the one-way system in Leeds. (a Nightmare, for those who haven't experienced it.)

(It's inevitable that I would write about this issue really, and end the blogging drought- nothing like a bit of controversy to get the brain going..)

What about those who end up in the public eye through absolutely awful events that have affected them, of which they had no control over? When I heard the news about certain a newspaper listening into certain people's phonecalls I have to admit I wasn't surprised. And I think this is a shame that it didn't shock me. Cue my old woman rant- WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO? Or, why am I such a cynic?

But, what really strikes me is that *who* do these journalists think they really are to think they have the right to listen into what would be 'normal' people's phone calls in the vain attempt to get a good headline?

There is a line when it comes to privacy- and there is the occasional Facebook stalking session to see what people we don't actually know all that well had for their tea last night- and there is the crossing of the line with the blatent stamping into, what I like to think of, figuratively speaking, intruding somebody's front room of an evening and dancing round naked in front of them whilst singing Christmas carols in the middle of Summer.

IF these allegations are true, then shame on them for thinking that they have the right to do such a thing. The TV show Big Brother was an epic fail in the end for a reason- we're probably all as boring as one another when it comes to it. Boring is the wrong word here actually. Normal is the right one.. It doesn't matter if we're footballers, reality TV stars, or victims from tragic circumstance. Show everyone a little more respect and I reckon the world would be a better place.

That there would make a marvellous "miss world" speech. This post is marvellously confused and is a great representation of my confused custard-like state of mind on this whole issue. Because I'm not confused about it at all really, it is wrong full stop and you should never intrude on someone's precious privacy in such a crude, cruel and obvious way. No matter how many newspapers you think you'll sell.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

time flies when you're having fun

Wowzers, it has been a wee while since I last posted. Truth is that I have had a manic few weeks. Well, not manic, but a fun filled busy bonanza few of weeks.. I literally have not had time to think, never mind shop.. Well, apart from that pair of absolutely fabulous bargain price KG's which are just marvellous, daahhhling.

What with multiple trips to Leeds, to Manchester and to Bangor (of all places), I am well and truly having a sip of my own medicine in wishing I had more stuff to do. I have a serious case of just desserts I think!

Needless to say, I am absolutely loving the new job, and although I am only just getting into the swing of things I am sure it is everything I had hoped it would be.

It was Father's Day last week and we celebrated Daddy "Monty" Davies' general awesome-ness with one of Mummy Davies' AMAZING beef roast dinners. It is quite literally the bees knees. We also found a whole bunch of photos of all of us from the Noughties whilst we were holiday-ing in France. There are some GREAT ones of our little brother when he resembled a little scrawny chav to be. (FYI, he's not a chav) Needless to say those beauts will be making an appearance at his 18th in a few years time..! Also some one in a million photos of me doing the 'bucket head' impression, and Abi as a Shearer-wannabe. We also watched some old-school home videos. Which was an eye opener, let me tell you. I realised, whilst watching it that I was, and still am, the typical big sister, bossy two shoes! I was an annoying child. Also incredibly weird. I would love to know what was going through my mind whilst chucking Flopsy (my rabbit teddy) halfway across the garden and generally abusing her. I'm amazed the parentals didn't have me admitted, and Flopsy put into intense therapy.

My brother had his year 11 prom last night, it is crazy how grown up he is now compared to those hilariously serial killer-esque photos he took of himself. (Poor child had to figure out how to entertain himself whilst his big sisters were sunning themselves on holiday. It was that or digging big holes on the beach) There he was in his tux, and his deep voice, no stubble in sight and looking, I must say, like a proper gent (*big sister gets all soppy and gay*).

The thing is, do we ever really stop to take in the moment and appreciate the things when they are actually happening? That is, before we half forget about them and they slip through our hands faster than one slips on ice in sky scraper heels? Whether it's with family or friends- we're all guilty of doing it. I took a moment on Friday whilst out for my bez's birthday to just stop and take a mental pic of Dhand dancing like a mad woman, Pyle dancing with *that* drunken look in her face having a wonderful time, and jamming away with my old 'flute buddy' Fi. I took that mental pic and it will be with me for a looonnng time!

Who needs fancy shmancy cameras when we use our brains and make sure we have a lasting memory of all those fun things we did an age ago? I think I need to stop for a breather every once a while and really appreciate what I have. And I'm not talking my ever growing wardrobe here.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

"Liiife is liiike a box of chocolates.."

Now when I think of this quote I do generally laugh purely because I cannot say this phrase without actually trying to do an hilariously bad impression of Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, which- I hasten to add did not make me cry when I watched it- neither did Bambi when I watched it for that matter. I just didn't see what the big fuss was about and could totally understand why he had shot the Mummy so he could have a yummy dinner. Like I said, I can be cold hearted bitch at times. Or just REALLY rational. Other times, I can be really very irrational.

Actually, that's a serious understatement. Hysterical springs to mind.

A few people have said they are looking forward to reading more positive blogs in the future- and to be honest I hadn't realised that I had been sounding so incredibly boring and having a serious case of "I hate my life" syndrome. For this, I apologise!

I am bouncing back (rather like Bambi... Before his Mother was shot..) with some absolutely marvellous news. No, I have not won the lottery, but feel like a million dollars. I passed my driving test! Oh yes indeed, I have been unleashed onto the roads. Watch out general public and sheep, here I come! I will add here it was my second time round- but you know what they say, first the worst, SECOND THE BEST, third the one with the hairy chest..

Now when I had been told I had passed my driving test, I screamed and actually hugged the assessor. He was quite in shock. To be frank, I was in shock that they had taken me on a totally roundabout-free test route. Roundabouts are not my friend. 'nuff said.. talk about luck!

I also, on the same day, got a job! YES! SCORE! BACK OF THE NET! I know, miracles do sometimes happen.. the job may not be ideal, as it is part time and on a fixed term contract, however, it is THE job I wildly dreamt about whilst previously being a stairlift-selling-machine. Hence why I am just so thrilled to have been offered this role. And utterly still in shock about recent events. 

Truth is, Hanks was so right wasn't he. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. You could be really very disappointed in managing to get the Turkish delight filled one every single chuffin' time the box was passed to you, (I speak from experience- trust me, so. much. disappointment.) you could pick out the disgusting coffee ones- or the vile "champagne" truffle which almost puts you off chocolate forever as it causes so much bitter emotional turmoil- or you could just get lucky and select the absolutely divine caramel and hazelnut filled chocolate which just makes you happy and all warm and fluffy on the inside. We all keep on picking and delving into the second layer before finishing the first layer- despite chocolate eating being a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

I still maintain my impression of Hanks in that film is second to none though. You guys just aren't on my "artistic" and "talented" level.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Viva Espana!

So, here I am, sat in my lovely stark, white box empty apartment on the last night before moving out tomorrow. And it wasn't until just now that I thought, crikey- I've been made redundant, I am one of those stats and I'm moving back to my parents. Now, I want to move back to my parents for a while. They'll be glad to know that I won't be staying FOREVER. (Or maybe I will. *evil laugh*) I think, and I am sure the rents know this, that moving back for a while will do me the world of good. To really get my head straight and focus on something decidedly non stairlift related. The past month has given me thinking space as it is and I'm already much clearer about what I wanna do.

Well. I know- kind of- vaguely what my realistic options are right now, I'm just trying to figure out how to achieve them. I take extreme comfort in the fact that those around me seem to have more confidence in my abilities than I do myself- take my Dad for example- he emails me regularly with jobs that he thinks I'd like- and I hope that he thinks I'm capable of doing- and I've taken it as a compliment that the jobs he has been emailing me are things that look rather challenging- or as I like to think about things like this- really get my teeth into. I used that phrase in an interview this week and the panel looked mildly bemused at my idea of my approach to a hard job- and my enthusiasm for said job. They looked at me like I was a deluded crazed scientist in fabulous heels.

Or the fact that my friends- you know who you are- and my rather fabulous Mum come to think of it seemed  totally unfazed by my serious worries about getting another job- to the point where I felt like shouting sometimes- DO YOU NOT READ THE PAPER? OR WATCH THE NEWS? THESE ARE BAD TIMES FOR UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE! Now I hasten to add I have not yet found another job- and have been putting off signing on for as long as possible. Yeah, yeah, I know it's 'free money'- but as soon as I sign on I know I will feel like a failure and to be quite frank- like a sack of good for nothing shit. Depressing thought. I know I'm all about keeping positive and optimistic recently- but there inevitably comes a point when I will think, what the flip will I ever achieve? Does ANYBODY read that application I sent off about 6 weeks ago?

Thing is, for an unemployed person, I am still incredibly busy- and I had the thought the other day- how did I manage to work and fit all this stuff in before the dreaded 'R' word?

I think maybe I'll just sack the lot, and move to Spain and live a totally idealistic life of eating Tapas and having Siestas and drinking far too much Sangria.

Anyone care to join?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Money matters

Now, I generally think money and friendships don't really go together- they're not a match made in heaven like Tomato and Basil... but more like pouring salt in your morning coffee instead of the sugar badly craved at an ungodly hour. But it is inevitable that at times in our life they will cross each others paths. You know the drill- one person helps a mate out of a sticky situation- cos that's what mates do isn't it really, and it's done on the basis that they'll give the money back when they can.  

I myself have borrowed money from a friend when things look a bit sticky and, similarly I have lent money to friends when they have needed it. This goes without saying, and generally I have never had any problems with this on both sides of the fence. But what happens when it all goes a little bit wrong? (You'll be glad to know I almost resisted the urge to say when it all goes a bit Pete Tong..)Say, a friend borrows money off another to pay their impending electricity bill, but then goes and blows a fair amount on that absolutely-must-have-dress-from-Topshop the next week before paying said friend back?

How on earth would you deal with that? Seriously? I have never been in that situation and doubt I ever will be. But for me certainly, I have serious issues with confrontation when it comes to my nearest and dearest. I avoid it at all costs. In the workplace I certainly have no issues in defending my own work, or indeed looking to others who perhaps need to buck their ideas up- I know how to deal with that no problem. That may sound like a cold hearted bitch approach but the truth is I have no serious emotional attachments to colleagues. Yes, I will work with them and have a great working relationship with them and socialise with them- but there's a barrier perhaps with colleagues that is hard to cross. 

When it comes to matters of family and friendships I become a shadow of myself, because the truth is, I value them way too much to lose them over something so petty as why they never gave me the twenty quid lent to them a gazillion years ago. It's the very thought of maybe risking that relationship that leaves me quaking in my boots, or rather, quaking in my Louboutins. Would it really be worth losing a friendship because of something so petty? I think not.

But we all have *those* friends and in fact, relatives, that will bring up every single thing lent to you, from the 20p to make up your bus fare, to the top you borrowed after you spilt red wine down yourself before a night out. I wouldn't be surprised if these people keep a log book of everything and tick things off in red marker pen upon return. It really makes me wonder whether they ever stop to think about the time you were there ready and waiting in the wings to happily lend them the DVD they so badly wanted to watch, but they never returned, or the times you were there at their doorstep with a bottle of wine (or in many cases, tequila. Let's not lie to ourselves about our alcohol consumption now.) and refused any contribution. 

Now I am happy to say that these people are really few and far between, and I have never really encountered any in my fabulous friendship group- but if any of (the few that do read this..) you reading this are one of those described above, just stop to think that you can never really put a value on friendship and it should never concern anything as petty as point scoring or penny pinching. 

Rant over. Official.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Life's full of surprises, it's how you deal with them that makes you who are. Apparently.

Okay, so I have been a little quiet on the whole blog scene in the past few weeks, truth is, I couldn't face writing one. I think it's quite an honest blog and I wasn't quite ready to tell the few (lovely) people that actually read this that I have been made redundant at the grand old age of 22.. nightmare. Think I have aged considerably in the past month, those lines on my face have definitely deepened.. time to break out the anti-ageing miracle worker I think.

Now, I am much more practical about recent events, and to be honest much more grounded about the whole situation. I'm the first to admit when I found out I was an absolute hysterical mess.. my parents, closest friends and my now ex employer will back me up on this. Recently, and especially since graduating, I have felt much more able to deal with bad situations, to keep a calm head whilst paddling furiously underneath. (The analogy of a swan springs to mind, but I think swans are vicious creatures so won't use that one here..) however when this news landed I was inconsolable. Actually, I was a different person. I felt my whole world had turned upside down, topsy turvy and backwards all at the same time. You wouldn't've wanted to be in my head that day, I could barely cope with it myself. Most of all I hated that I had given in to those, in my eyes, 'weak' emotions.

But as my dear colleague said, it is called being human. (I quickly packed away my superhero cloak as all hopes of being superhuman were dashed)

My Mother, the wise woman she is, and indeed those closest to me have all been great and full of pearls of wisdom since. This, I must keep telling myself IS an opportunity, not a catastrophe but a minor blip. I have come round to that way of thinking I must admit- and I realised myself that I never ever said when a young girl, mummy, when I grow up I wanna sell stairlifts because, let's face it, nobody ever does. Unless you're a stairlift fanatic, which, if you are- get a life would you?!

The job was far from perfect, but I was proud of what I had achieved during my time there, I guess I did feel I could give much more to the organisation but never really had the chance to. I have gained much experience from it- achieving a managerial role straight out of uni something I was incredibly proud of, and still am I guess.

More than anything, I'm pissed off at the life I won't have anymore and that I have had to give it up involuntarily. I'm fiercely independent and loved having my own flat and 'being a grown up'.

But I know in my heart I want to go home for a while to recharge those batteries and focus on doing something I love for a job, and enjoy the fresh countryside air and help around the house.

There really is no point to this post except it provides somewhere for me to air my thoughts- which thankfully, are now much more grounded and less hysterical.

Well, maybe one thing- if you hear of any jobs..

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kate4Wills4eva. Crikey.

Now I suppose it was only a matter of time before I thought things were getting a little ridiculous concerning the upcoming and hotly anticipated royal wedding. It wasn't until I saw this that I thought things were getting a little crazy, and felt the need to rant just a tiny little bit.

When I heard the announcement of the royal engagement, I will admit, with my head held high- that I was quite excited. I have my reservations about the monarchy and this post is not the place to debate the ups and downs to having a monarchy (for the record, I sit resolutely on the fence, boring, I know, but you'll build a bridge and probably get over it.) I am still quite excited in fact- but I think things are getting a little out of hand, and to be quite frank, tacky. (I am truly my parent's daughter when it comes to things like this.)

There will be some people who will be clamoring to get their hands on the Kate & Wills fridge, the Kate & Wills gnomes and everything else that comes in between those two insane products. I'm afraid I'm not one of them. I thought it was a joke when I heard about the life size cardboard cut out.

Now, the part of me that is excited about this is excited because of the prospect of an extra day off. If my boss allows me the day off that is- and something a bit happier happening in the UK. To be quite honest, I dread checking the news everyday. The UK is pretty doom and gloomy right now, probably emphasised today by the first perpetual grey skies and rain we've had all week. The cuts and all general 'recession' related stories don't help either. Something a bit out of the ordinary that is going to make headlines for 'nice' reasons probably won't go a miss.

But take it with a pinch of salt. Please, I beg of you, do not make me cringe with the frantic buying of royal wedding merchandise, which, in two years time will be worth less than what you bought it for and being used as something to put your houseplant on to avoid water going everywhere for when you remember to water the damn thing.

The idea of street parties to celebrate does sound pretty fantastic though. There's one happening in Manchester in fact, and whilst I don't think it's directly celebrating the Royal Wedding, it looks pretty fun. Get on down there Mancunions, eat cake, drink tea and be generally merry. 

Meanwhile, if anybody as much as presents me with a royal wedding themed gnome, tell them to wear a hard hat whilst doing it because I'm more than likely to smash it over their head.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Captain Sensible to the rescue.

In the past week I have realised that pretending to be a grown up is a strange thing. It's a weird mix of being a professional, a geek, and still being an immature 16 year old at heart all rolled into one.

And I've realised that it's full of difficult decisions. This is going on from my last post- I do always say yes to things, but for once, I said no to something which COULD have been something rather marvellous. It took a hell of a lot for me to say no. I was meddled with guilt that I was saying no, and constantly thinking that turning it down would be the worst thing since wearing spots and stripes together in the same outfit. (Epic fashion fail, FYI.)

But actually it was a no brainer and I think I was making a mountain out of a rather small mole hill. I had a job offer doing a not so dissimilar role to the one I do now for a lovely organisation, but it was in Peterborough.. cue the frantic emails to my parents asking their advice. In short I said why thank you for the lovely offer, but no thanks. And it wasn't too difficult to do. The words amazing achievement for me come to mind.

In the end it all comes down to self preservation doesn't it?

Going on from this, I know I always make things out to be worse than they are- somebody I know that I saw recently will agree wholeheartedly with this as I know this element of my character really pissed them off.. but I like to think of it as being incredibly prepared for all scenarios. To be fair, the words OMG fall out of my mouth far too often, most likely followed by a AS IF?! Or: WHAT THE FUCK I AM GOING TO DO?! When really all the situation calls for is a calm hand. I think us girls are more than guilty of gossiping and over worrying about things- I know I am prime suspect number one, as I'm sure are many of my lovely friends, which means that more than likely, you are too. A prime example of my worrying is my recent driving theory test- I was incredibly concerned that failing would be, like, the worst. thing. ever. I had a panic call to my friend (the lovely Jenni) the day before who effectively told me to chill the fuck out and if I failed it wouldn't be the end of the world. The fact I read an article the night before about a chap who'd failed it an impressive and absolutely hilarious 90 times probably didn't help matters...

As it happened, I passed the chuffing theory test, and lo and behold the we are all still here as the world did not end. Phew.

I doubt I will ever learn my lesson about worrying, and I'll still be known as the one who worries too much.

My family nicknamed me Captain Sensible for good reason it seems. I'll work on that one though.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Why not?

It has become increasingly clear to me over the past few months that I am one of those people that find it hard to say no to people. In terms of asking me what I'm up to and if I fancy going over, to maybe going out for dinner or having one too many drinks- from the small things if somebody asks if they mind changing the TV channel to the bigger things, say, if I want to go and visit them whether it's in the UK or not..

Now, Most of these things are amazing, and a few years ago I wouldn't be surprised if I hadn't done all the things I have achieved to date- I used to say no to things which constantly left me wondering after why the hell I had ever said no to doing some of those things I got asked to do- or even not asked just a simple, 'hey, you up for it?' I think maybe this all changed when I went on the hideously stereotypical Gap-Yah to, yes, you guessed it- South America. That is the first thing I can pinpoint that I thought yeah, sure, why not? To be honest I never thought it would happen. It's pretty obvious I was seriously mistaken by that particular thought.

I think maybe I've taken this a little too far- and quite literally saying yes to everything I am asked to do- jamming everything into my diary to the point where I think the diary might burst open with appointments. This is no bad thing, and I'm not complaining about it- I have learnt that I am definitely one of those people that thrive off being busy- and perhaps it is a knee jerk reaction to my job, which, is a great job, and don't get me wrong, I secretly love it- but can get a little mundane and lonesome at times, so I'm rebelling in some way against that and filling my free time in every way I can.

I am definitely one of those people that would not be content twiddling their thumbs. Some would say I'm highly strung and high maintenance, whereas I like to think of it as highly motivated and social..

I think I'm still learning the ropes of this unbeknown thing to me called the middle ground. For example- I landed back from my (fantastic) holiday, jumped straight on a train back up to Manchester without even a caffeine stop and got home pretty exhausted. I did consider getting up and going to my volunteering role I do two days a week the next day. My friends advised me not to. I, for once, took the advise and did nothing all day (except unpack, do washing and have a driving lesson). It was kinda nice- BUT I certainly haven't learnt from it, as my housemate will vouch for me. 

Maybe I should though, just to try and lower the blood pressure a little. But I certainly won't be doing it in the next two weeks. People may have to book me about 4 weeks in advance for a coffee.

This whole thing about actually having a life is bloody hard work. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Karma's a bitch. Is it?

We've all heard that saying that karma is in fact a bitch. A few weeks ago I was chatting to my housemate about how people will always get their come uppance, and I boldly made the statement that karma must exist and sometimes peoples ill advised decisions and their actions will come back and bite them on their arse. (I couldn't bring myself to write ass.)

In short, people will always get what they deserve, right?

I'm not so sure this is true anymore. I feel it would be an insult to those who lost their lives in the recent disasters in Japan without mentioning it here. My thoughts are with all those affected by this disaster- and bring myself to question, what did those people do to deserve that? I know that nothing could have been done to avoid the horrible situation that developed, and therefore I severely doubt that anybody could ever deserve to be put through the hell we have all witnessed in the past few days on the news.

When I start to think of the bold statement I made a few weeks ago, I cringe. With the aforementioned in mind I doubt that anybody gets their so called comeuppance because sometimes things just happen that are out of your control, and it s doubtful that things happen to them because of the time they nicked a few penny sweets from their local newsagents, or because they cheated on their exams.

Going on from this, the next time I think, they got what they deserved, I'm gonna have to slap myself across the face to stop thinking that again- since when did much of our (or in fact, my) human nature become so skewed?

We even do it to ourselves much of the time- if we have a big interview coming up, and if you don't get through, you will inevitably think it serves you right for not doing enough prep, despite the fact you had stayed up every single night for the past fortnight drinking far too much caffeine in the vain hope of staying awake that little bit longer to try and absorb more 'useful' information. I doubt this is the universe and the Gods that be punishing you, but rather telling you it just isn't the right time for you.

Admittedly, this is a hard concept to accept and also incredibly optimistic and idealistic (makes a nice change doesn't it), and makes me rather a hypocrite, but hey, shit happens. I guess I'm a firm believer in the view that knock backs and the bad times alongside the good times that make you who you are, and without them you would be a pretty vacuous human being.

Going on from here, maybe I should stop walking under a karma ridden cloud and start enjoying the sunshine- after all, Spring is just round the corner- and you never know what could happen tomorrow, so we might as well enjoy the little things as well as the pretty big and amazing things in life whilst we can, right?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

It's just like riding a bike!

So in the past few weeks, I have started having driving lessons again.. so, if you're ever around and about the Manchester area on the roads, you may be well advised to avoid all learner cars for the fear of coming across me.

Now, I may be doing myself a little injustice here. I had lessons when I was 17, and yes, I had a fair few and didn't seem to get anywhere with them. In hindsight it probably wasn't the best time for me personally to be having lessons as I had a fair bit going on in my life otherwise at that time to be thinking about- never mind learning how to change gears. My first driving instructor (yes, I have had more than one, worryingly) was an absolute arsehole. He would shout at me, and worst of all he had the most hideous body odour I have ever smelt in my life, probably not helped by the fact he wore the same woolly jumper originating in the mid 80's week in, week out. Mostly I think he took a particular disliking to me. So at one point I realised enough was enough and stopped lessons altogether. A while later I started lessons again- with an absolute gem of an instructor who was the complete opposite to the previous numpty, and smelt lovely. (Not that I ever purposefully smelt her..) But those came to an end when I went off on my travels, went to uni and pretended to convince myself that I really didn't NEED to drive. My Dad insisted otherwise- due to the fact he wanted someone to come pick him up from the pub after a few pints.

I've only just started again as I have realised that having that glorious pink card sitting in your purse is a credit to the ill fated CV and many employers require you to be able to drive. And it's actually not a total disaster. Believe me, this is a real surprise, considering I once went round a MINI roundabout the wrong way. Don't ask. (Fair to say that wasn't my proudest moment, and I still maintain it doesn't count as nobody was around to see this epic fail) Anyway- I have a good and patient instructor and I have realised that I remember a scary amount of driving practises considering I hadn't been behind a wheel in going on 5 years. (Bloody hell, I'm getting on a bit.)

Learning to drive has been, for me, up to now- a round of tests and tribulations. And I'm still not there. In some ways it's a bit like finding your perfect partner- you have to often take a wrong turn, go round the roundabout the wrong way to realise what you want in your dream husband/wife. Like I said, I'm still learning how to do a three point turn, so it's doubtful I'm quite there yet.

To take a quote from Sex and the City (yep, I am definitely a girl's girl. No shame.) "Relationships are like couture; if it doesn't fit perfectly, it's a disaster". I reckon that can be applied to driving too.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

"Yeah, but, what if?" ... "Sod it."

Now I am the first person to admit that I am constantly wondering, "what if?" I know in a post a few weeks back I was talking about having no regrets. Having these 'what if?' thoughts are far from regrets, admittedly, but they do my head in. I'm constantly thinking of the whats, the ifs and the buts. (Typical girl, I hear you cry! To which I say- get over it). That's what makes me who I am I guess.

However they may not necessarily be a wholly bad thing- dear God, no- especially in a place of work, I find they can be particularly helpful. Asking the inevitable what if questions as part of a project review is almost definitely what encourages you to constructively criticise what has been achieved (or rather, in some cases of epic failure, what was definitely not achieved) and gives you a great POA (Plan of Action..I'm all about the abbreviations of late) for future projects. In this case, asking that damn question can be seen as a positive. Can you tell I'm one of those rather irritating people who strives to turn every negative into a positive yet?!

Yet in many, many other life situations it can be hazardous. How much has changed in my life in the past 18 months or so is actually a little disturbing. Inevitably, I start, in my haze of a daydream wondering; 'what if I had done that differently?'. You all are aware of these questions, because, you, my dear friend, are just as guilty as me in having these unproductive thoughts- so don't go getting up on your high pedal stool of judgement thinking you're different, because I severely doubt that you are.

These can go from, 'argh, what if I decided to go with Dominoes pizza last night instead of that dodgy Chinese takeaway around the corner?'.. What if is that you would probably be out in town with your mates having a great time instead of curled in bed with severe food poisoning as a punishment for trying to be 'exotic' and trying a different dish on the menu, different to your usual chicken sweet and sour... then there are the pretty major what ifs, such as.. 'What if I never went to uni? What if we never broke up? What if I had decided not to go to the interview?' These examples are slightly more destructive. If we keep on questioning our own actions, we'd be stuck on a bloody roundabout going round and round, getting nowhere but feeling instead increasingly sick and dizzy.. which would slightly damage your street cred.

One of my oldest best friends yesterday said to me to quit with the what ifs.. I'm gonna take her advice partially, and use the 'what if' with caution. As should you.. I reckon that although I don't want to have regrets thinking about what could have been, in some cases is healthy.

In others, it's just plain stupid. As long as we're happy and healthy, that's all that should count, right? So, take a step forward and think sod it the next time you even start to think of what could have been.

Otherwise you'll be stuck on that damn roundabout for life. Gutted.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rain, rain go away..

Wow, today was wet wet wet.

I swear some bus drivers have a vendetta against the general public when it rains or just uses it as an excuse to show their general hatred and bitterness towards their own lives.

Now- today I did choose to wear THE most inappropriate footwear ever. Gold ballet pumps to be precise. The weather just wasn't THAT bad when I left the flat.. To add insult to injury, as I was about to cross the road- a bus driver went and soaked me with a tidal wave of muddy water from a lake of a puddle. Nice one knob. *cue jumping into the nearest taxi and cursing all bus drivers*

I had some friends up for the weekend that I haven't seen in a long while. It was a lovely weekend. I think we all get a tad worried when we arrange to see those we haven't been in touch with as much as we should have been- and worry that we will have changed into incredibly different people with different outlooks on life that means the friendship will never be the same. Thankfully this wasn't the case- we have known each other longer than we would like to admit and there is a reason we were friends back in the days of fluorescent pink eyeshadow and the days before Lady Gaga. Now it is clear we all change into different people as we grow up but one has to remember that the people you know, and indeed, yourself never really intrinsically change one hell of a lot. I will always wear the most inappropriate shoes in the most adverse weather conditions, and will always be drawn to pretty things in shops, as well as owning about twice the amount of shoes more than the amount that is actually considered normal.

I'm incredibly lucky in that I have a fantastic circle of friends round me, from every part of my life- school, sixth form, gap year, uni..it's part of the reason that my phone bill is perpetually high. Keeping in touch with those around us is the one thing that will always be worth the frightening moment when we get a notification from our network provider telling us that 'your bill is now ready to view online'. Another thing that will never change- my talkative nature. My Mum once told me I didn't start talking until I was three years old- and that the only words I could say were 'neenaw' (thank you Fireman Sam obsession) and 'Mummy' (my Dad probably wasn't best pleased about that one). Let's just say, it explains a lot. I'm clearly still making up for the time lost speaking when I was a toddler. Sorry everyone.

So my point is (See, I got to it eventually..) that the friends that are worth having are the ones that you could not see for donkeys years but still pick up where you left off. They are the ones that find the chatterbox side of you endearing, and will still love you even when you're soaked through from the sodding Magic Bus and it's sadistic driver, and giving you sympathy when you're upset about ruining the beautiful pair of Topshop gold ballet pumps even though they think you are an absolute tool for deciding to wear them because they go really very well with your outfit despite the rainforest style downpour outside.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

"We're all going on a Summer holiday..."

I write this post with an air of incredible excitement. In about three weeks time, I will be in Heathrow about to board a flight to Dubai. I can feel all the green eyed monsters eyeing me up right about now. But I do not care, cos I'm going to mother-chuffing Dubai!

I'm in need of this holiday- fair enough- I did go to Mauritius last July for an incredible holiday. But that was like, six months ago.. A hell of a lot has happened in that time. I worked very hard for the past few months and feel more than ready for some March-time sun and sea fun times.

Then- this gets me thinking- a hell of a lot of stuff has happened and changed in the time since my last holiday. For a relatively short time period, I have had major changes in my life. I would even go as far as to be over the top and say they have been life-changing things.

So- July 2010. Sat on *the* most beautiful beach at *the* best hotel, at one of *the* most idillic places I have ever been to. I had just graduated, with a great, (kinda unspecific) degree- a degree, which I think was absolutely fantastic, but requires you to work bloody hard to convince prospectful employers see exactly why the hell my indepth knowledge of ancient Greek philiosophy and Existentialism makes me the ideal candidate to join their organisation. I had landed myself a great volunteering role at a charity which I am actually kinda passionate about. So- I was ticking all the right boxes: academically: TICK. Using my initiative to gain the experience needed: TICK. Making the (possibly unwise) decision to move out of home despite having no job or real savings: TICK.

I honestly didn't think I'd be one of those graduates who would struggle to find a job, I mean, I'm not trying to sound like a big headed prick here- but I have never had any problems in getting a job- I'd always got interviews and bagged the job there and then. Boy, I was wrong. I even applied for a job to be one of those people we all avoid on the streets because they want money for charity. I got the job, but after seeing the looks of horror and pity on my friends and family's faces when I told them- I decided not to go to my first day.. Good job too. Because the day that I didn't turn up for that job, I got the job I'm now working in. Now, if that isn't fate, I'll eat my wooly hat.

Anyway- I (well, my housemate did to be fair) found a flat in Manchester, (before getting a job- that could've gone SO much worse), got a job and defied those statistics.

And I grew up. I like to think of myself as a fine wine, just gets better as it ages. But in this case I haven't really aged one hell of a lot. Just matured, like a good cheese- but that's a shit comparison, so wipe the cheese comment from your memory.

So just think of me in a few weeks time, sat on a beach, with my lovely friend Caz- a now resident of Dubai.. sipping on my glass of Merlot and eating cheese and crackers- (please note the symbolism of that..) and thanking the Gods of fate because I don't have to eat my wooly hat.

(p.s. thanks to Nia for giving me something to write about this time round re. conversation over a cup of tea last night... *puts on mancunion accent* "cheers love")

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hungover to hell and back

I had an absolutely fantastic Saturday night. It was my one of my best friend's birthdays. So, in true 'the graduate' style, we made sure we saw the birthday come in with a hell of a lot of dancing and celebratory birthday drinks- and singing happy birthday a bit too loudly in a taxi. (Fair to say the taxi driver was regretting the decision to pick us up at tis point) And the inevitable rolling home at an incredibly dirty time of the morning. And then there is the hangover. And boy have I seen some incredible hangovers in the last 4 years.. Now the general consensus is that the days consigned to hangovers is that they are wasted days.

But are they really? 

I kind of take the view that although the pain we have all endured at some point in our lives- some more times than others- is, to be quite frank rubbish- it IS self inflicted therefore we should grin and bear it. Plus I kind of think that if the night has been a great one then it is worth it. (I would like to say right here that I do NOT endorse binge drinking..) However, I will admit that I have been there waking at 11 in the morning the next day and weakly stretching for the glass of water and the ibuprofen, feeling like utter shit and knowing full well that the painful head is made even worse by the fact the night was an epic fail. Thus proving that alcohol definitely does not equal a good night out..

But I still think we should enjoy these lazy days if we cannot move without the room spinning- watch that film you bought in HMV on sale for an amazing bargain price of three quid on a whim, and start that book you borrowed from your friend about 2 years ago.. Because in that sense they aren't wasted, they're just days purely for yourself. (Totally obvious I'm making excuses for my own hangovers here).

Either that or you could grow a pair, build a bridge and get over it, have a bacon butty and a large espresso (*thank the Gods of Nespresso*) and make the most of your Sunday afternoon in a different way to the aforementioned.

On that note, make mine a double.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Social Media. A good thing? Really now.

Now it is clear to all you readers that I am a social media addict. I try to convince myself that because I openly admit this fact, it's okay, because I recognise this fact. And that I'm in the same boat that all you guys are.

The thing is- this whole social media lark is fantastic. But it can actually be a tad self destructive. Take my previous post- I nearly had a nervous breakdown because I wouldn't be able to tweet/blog/post for a measly 24 hours! It is absolutely ridiculous that I even felt the need to write about this fact. What's worse is- I even had a dream that I was eating an almond cake in the flat on my own and suddenly developed a nut allergy. Fair to say, and I will admit that I woke up in a sweat because the last thing I remember is reaching out for my phone only to see the ill fated TIMER OF DEATH on my Blackberry. Now if this isn't crazy talk then I don't know what the hell is. Actually, it is a sign that I have fallen ill to SocialMediaitis. (Totally made up terminology, FYI).

I may be single (tequilaaaaa-some will know what the chuff I mean by this, others will be clueless- to which I say, get on Facebook to find out..) but actually, I think I am actually in a committed relationship with my phone. Which is kinda sad. I think I may have been more cut up about the recent loss of my phone than I was about a recent breakdown of a relationship. (Okay, that's a total lie, I'm not THAT much of a loser.)

Anyway, back to the point. It is self destructive. One innocent click and you are suddenly presented with your ex's goings on, and you suddenly realise that, darn, life goes on without me in their life. And that kinda hurts. But I like to blame the whole social media concept than actually blame myself for not deleting the twat (sorry for the language mum and dad.. *cringe*) off my friends list. Because I'm not quite there yet. (it took a year to delete the last ex off my Facebook for example.)Which is perhaps sadder than the fact I check Facebook, on average 6 (maybe more..but you'll never know the full extent of my addiction) times a day.

On that note, I'll leave it at that. Oh, and not before announce that the date has been set for my wedding to my phone. Get buying your hats girls!! I shall be known forever more as Rebecca Davies-Berry.

Over and out.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Crackberry. I hate you.

Now, today my world feels as though it has slightly fallen apart. Well- it hasn't actually fallen apart- all that has happened is that my phone has decided to give up on me.

This not only means I have lost contact with my friends- I can't do my usual facebook-ing, twitter-ing, blogging (well I can, but it's just not the same when you're doing it from a usual computer instead of a tiny handheld device. It takes away the novelty of such things.) But ICE (in case of emergency)- what the hell would I do?! Seriously now. It has made me realise how reliant I am on my phone. I feel rather cut off from the world and a little bit isolated. Now, I know that having the knowledge that Chris Moyles has been to the gym (Twitter), or that someone I barely know has just split up with their boyfriend (Facebook) or that knowing how many views my blog has had (blogspot) will have any great impact on my day, and that I will PROBABLY survive the next 24 hours until my replacement phone arrives, but it still sucks, and yes I am going to complain about it in the form of this post. Sorry. (Actually, I'm not sorry at all, just horrifically bitter..)

Now having a smart phone really is a wonderful thing in my job- as I work on my own in my lovely little shop I don't have all that much to do with the 'outside' of my shop 9 through til 5 on a daily basis. Yes, I have work emails and the phone calls and customers- but the social networking ability and the connect-ed-ness I have to the 'real' world actually is a miracle worker when it's raining (bloody Manchester) and is just a generally miserable day. A quick WhatsApp message, and BINGO! you're having an actual conversation and can lift your entire mood. Which is nice.

Now obviously, it isn't all sweet smelling like roses. Like right now, it is rubbish.But on the other hand I should be making the most of this time to do other things, like organise things and clean. I'm clearly not, instead am clinging to the only way I can feel connected to the outside world! Ridiculous. I know. (I WILL get to that organising and cleaning momentarily..) But it also means there is absolutely no way in hell you can ignore your bosses emails and phone calls, as they know as well as you do you will pick them up immediately. We have run out of excuses anymore as to why we missed that oh-so-incredibly-important deadline/meeting etc, because there is NOWHERE to hide. Gutted. It is the end of the days where we could be 'out of the office' in 'meetings' when in fact we were rushing to Selfridges to purchase the one and only black Mulberry Bayswater bag in the sale at a marvellous 75% discount (I wish...) because, I hate to break it to you, your emails and work life are constantly at your side. Inescapable. (Well for me, at the moment it is for the next 24 hours.. silver lining and all that jazz.)

In which case, we better start thinking of some better excuses, or actually get down and dirty to that filing you've been putting off for about 3 months.. (obviously, it is definitely, absolutely, NOT me I'm talking about here.)

Friday, 28 January 2011

Less of the "morbid"

Okay, so a friend has recently said my last CV-related blog post was "morbid". (You know who you are, ED). 

They pointed a few things out to me:

That a) I have a job which provides me with excellent experience, and my boss has put a hell of a lot of trust in my so called managerial abilities in starting up a new venture. For which I am eternally grateful for.

b) if all else fails I could always go back to AQA in the Summer, giving me a "great summer and loads more time to apply to more stuff"

c) That if this does happen, in future interviews; "when they ask you at an interview for an interesting fact you can say you got knocked out by an exam paper".

Now never fear I will explain these things in due course. The thing is, my wonderful friend- annoyingly, is actually right. Now, no matter how shoddy I think my CV is, I am lucky enough to have a job. According to my trusty Metro reading of a morning on the godforsaken 86 bus, 1 in 5 of all recent graduates are without a job. (*prays to the Gods of Metro for this stat*) I mean, c'mon, this is a rather RIDICULOUS state of affairs isn't it? We go to university to better our chances of getting a job and totally think that the money we pay year on year is a sound investment, and utterly worth racking up 20K (minimum) worth of debt- but right now, I'm not so sure that it is at all. I think we will see a new turn in people opting for on the job training. (Of course, this providing the funding is there..) My Dad is marvellous at what he does- fair enough, I am his (fabulous) daughter and will inevitably have the utmost respect for him anyway- but he has worked hard for where he is now, and is, admittedly, doing darn well- all without a university education. If that isn't an example of what hard work (and a fair bit of play and real ale drinking on the way) then I don't know what is. It begs the question- is it really worth it anymore??

On my part though- actually- I went to uni to prove a point- to prove to everyone that I am worth my salt and to show that I'm not just another girl with a great collection of handbags and shoes- but that's besides the point.

Secondly- I have options. Yes, going back to AQA (exams board) which provided me with a summer job for the past four years would, for me, be a huge step backwards- BUT- there are always ways of getting out of sticky situations, without digging yourself a perpetually deeper hole, until you've pretty much made to Australia. (In which case- who gives a damn, you'd be in Australia, SCORE!!)

Thirdly- I have a sense of humour. I always think the ability to laugh at yourself is a seriously underrated quality. Yes, I did get knocked out by a huge bundle of English Literature exam papers. If you took your English GCSE last year- there is a good chance you effectively hospitalised me. But the fact that I can take the piss out of myself and laugh about the really quite bad times is what makes you human. It is what makes you YOU, and what makes your closest friends and family love you (again, enough of the soppy bullshit I hear you cry- apologies). Plus, 80% of the time if you didn't laugh, you'd end up curled into a ball in bed crying into your Kleenex complaining about everything from the Government to the fact that you hate the smell of the new deodrant you thought you'd try on a whim.

So reflecting on my previous post- I didn't realise I was being so pessimistic- there is always something to smile about, or be proud of yourself for. It's just that quite often, it's trying to remember what you can smile about that is the problem...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

My CV is better than yours...I wish.

So it's Sunday night, yet again. I hasten to add that I did indeed post one of thoses hideously standard (in fact sub-standard would be more inappropriate here) 'weekend has gone far too fast' Facebook statuses. I hang my head in shame. But the fact of the matter is that it's true. I live for the weekend these days, and it makes me mourn the university days when the weeks and weekends all just rolled into one long and lovely existence. The saying that uni days are the best days of your life really is true, and I think fits rather wonderfully with the ethos of this blog's title.

This got me thinking- why on earth didn't I make the most of this time? When I think of the time spent at uni 'studying' and watching endless re-runs of Come Dine With Me (which, for the record I adore, pure unadulterated, guilt ridden television gold) I could have (almost) taken over the world. Or at the very least used the time to enhance that ill-fated thing, the CV. Now, don't et me wrong- I did get my act together in my final year but I often think this is too little, too late. I did volunteer once a week at the Mines Advisory Group doing those menial tasks- one day I licked envelopes for about three hours. (I'm not even exaggerating.) This was not done for the 'greater good' (cue Edgar Wright enthusiasts and Hot Fuzz fanatics knowing exactly what I'm talking about here) but purely out of hedonisitc reasons- to make myself feel better and think I'm doing some good. Also for employers to think I'm the best thing since the invention of smartphones. (I heart my Crackberry.) But in reality, all I got from it was an incredibly dry tongue from all that envelope licking, and one measly line on my CV for employers to look at and think, 'hmpf' and move on to the next mind-numbing line of said CV.

One of my close friends is actually the best thing since the invention of Smartphones. He actively got involved about a gazillion volunteering activities- he not only volunteered where I did for a longer amount of time- but also became a driver for the university's many many do-good endeavours. He also became heavily involved in the STAR group (a refugee action group)doing stay overs and fundraisers and such like. And dare I even add that he managed to bag himself a first class honours degree. (Fair enough it is in Colouring in, aka Geography) Now if that doesn't make ourselves feel like lazy layabouts I don't know what will. (GET OFF YOUR BUM, YOU LAYABOUT- NOW.) So it is fair to say that his CV could rival, well, I don't know whose CV, but some really experienced dude.

Now fair enough, we all thought he was crazy. We all do think he is crazy and thought he had too much time on his hands. When in fact he actually made use of his time giving something back. My idea of giving something back nowadays is paying my taxes, and buying the Big Issue.

Then again- I've just realised, I DO do some good. I only work three days a week so spend the other two working at a charity, Business in the Community. They are fab. (shameless self promotion here, admittedly. Google them- do ittttt) But, even then I'm doing it for selfish reasons- CSR is something I am deeply passionate about and want to revolve my career around this wonderful concept. So that doesn't really count does it?? (dammit.)

Ask yourself this- when you are moaning about not getting a job and think you've got loads of experience- look at your CV from a totally outside perspective and really see what makes YOU stand out from the crowd.

Because, mine sure as hell doesn't. Ideas on a postcard much appreciated.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The graduate: Older but never wiser.

Go on, click, just one click, you know you want to...!
The graduate: Older but never wiser.: "So, on Sunday, it is my little sister's birthday. She said to me she feels old, but, boy, does it make me feel old..Man, imagine how old it ..."

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Older but never wiser.

So, on Sunday, it is my little sister's birthday. She said to me she feels old, but, boy, does it make me feel old..Man, imagine how old it could make my parents feel! My sister means the world to me- we have had our ups and downs, like any sisters do, but we have grown up together and are strong as a result of that and I feel safe in saying she feels the same. *cue the END of the soppy crap* (don't worry this sort of stuff normally makes me vom..) it's the same with my little brother. Fair enough, he is fifteen and thinks he's all that. But we will never let him forget that he IS the youngest.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is that I doubt we ever learn or mature, no matter how many more candles get added to the birthday cake each year. It's starting to get to the point where I think I may refuse birthday candles on my cake as it just visually demonstrates how I'm not getting any younger and not even a tiny bit wiser..! Then again, I am still young, just graduated and got the world at my feet, right? I just need to keep telling myself that (whilst totally avoiding looking at how little of the cake I can see on my birthday because it's becoming immersed in candle wax).

Thing is, no matter how many candles we have on our cake, I refuse to believe the old cliche of older and wiser. After all, we are only human. We will always make mistakes at the age of 8, 18 and and reckon, even at the ripe age of 80. From making mud pies in the garden with your Mother's best saucepans (age 8), to wishing you never sent that text whilst in a drunken stupour at 3 in the morning (age 18), to thinking that maybe apple and onion crumble wasn't quite a Nigella standard recipe (age 80).

Plus then again, thinking that we never get wiser is perhaps a little harsh on ourselves. I think we probably do mature, in fact we DO mature. But maturity doesn't equal wisdom. I can accept that and accept that we will never be perfect and so I can quit putting so much pressure on myself to be 'little miss perfect'. Isn't that nice.(Plus my favourite character was always little miss sunshine. Perfect.)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

simple things in life.

Why is it that no matter how many shoes and bags and beautifully extravagant things you buy in a mad consumersitic style they never cease to make you feel as good as it does when you pop over to see your family and that first hug from your parents? Or watching your mother make a lemon meringue pie and trying to get the sugar syrup at just the right temperature in the attempt to make a meringue that would rival Nigel Slater's?

Don't get me wrong- I <3 the amazingly beautiful things in life- take one look at my wardrobe and ever growing shoe collection and you will soon see, and they can bring an added sparkle to the most gloomy and depressing days in Manchester (anyone who has lived in Manchester will totally empathsise with this, WHY DOES IT RAIN SO GODDAMN MUCH?!) This is the excuse I tell myself before handing over my plastic at the till whilst absolutely and resolutely avoiding looking at the total cost of my Topshop addiction, but do you not think there's something missing from the feeling you get when you get home and parade around in those sky scraper - ankle breaking Kurt Geigers?

I think there is- however- there is NO WAY in hell that I would ever not go shopping after a truly horrific break up, or make sudden last minute New Year's resolutions to get my nails done once a month (HELLO there Jessica Manicures!) after said break up, as to coin a phrase from a supermarket I actually detest, 'every little helps'. But, spending time with the ones who will be there with you, through thick and thin, through disastrous relationships, bad haircuts and hideous fashion mistakes (I'm thinking the noughties look is a prime example- wearing 'floor sweeper' jeans as my Dad named them probably wasn't the best style choice I've ever made- especially when it rained.)

You can probably tell that I just spent the weekend with these people in my life. Everyone from my parents, to my great Aunt Audrey to my Uncle Nick (who gets through a bottle of red quicker than you can say Cabernet Sauvignon). I am incredibly lucky to have such a lovely family, who gets on so well. Yes, we have our ups and or downs and we may go for longer than we care to admit without seeing one another, but that small thing of having a drink with these people always does the world of good. Its the small things, the camerarderie between family members that makes you smile wider than you had done all week.(For example- my sister proving she could fit more than three scotch egs in her mouth all at once to win a bet with my uncle, classy bird.)

These are the people that will never tell you you are 'too nice' or pick at how one can never seem to make a decision, but they are the ones that will take you as you are and love you through thick and thin- and in my case- through the 'floor sweeping' jeans look.. Can a pair of shoes do that? Doubtful. But they do make you look and feel damn fine, which is half the battle I reckon. (And that gives me the excuse for guilt free shopping, for at least a fortnight before having to rack my brain for another to excuse the fact I've just blown my week's food budget on yet another pair of shoes.)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Is there anything such as privacy any more? Doubtful, very doubtful.

Now, this morning my housemate said something to me that got me thinking. I will say at this point before I delve into this matter that I'm no expert and am simply just thinking away.. there was a story making headline news about a footballer having to apologise about posting a picture on Twitter of a referee wearing Man United's (I think) strip. Fair enough that Twitter is a public site and as a well known figure, they should have to take some reasoning when publishing posts to thousands of people who follow said person.

Now I feel this is a little ridiculous. I could bring in the whole freedom of speech argument and hammer that until the cows come home. I will mention it but I won't go on and on about it.. but seriously now, who would complain about a chuffing picture that really has no relevant effect on how the world goes round on a daily basis, or has any great impact on our lives? If people have complained about it and are reading this, then do yourself a favour and get. a. life. Please. Cheers.

Going on from this, it could be that this guy thought it would be a bit of a joke and accurately showcase his feelings towards whatever it was he was getting all het up about. Fair enough right? I think so. But! no matter how private you can make something people can ALWAYS have access to the info you put out there. I am always mindful of what I post on here- i'll never mention where I work or what I do, names of people or where I live. That's common sense, as this is a public site- and god knows who will be looking at it. Yes, I decided to put where I am based, and a picture, but I do that as I know that I am happy for people to know the bare minimum about me and nothing more. Besides. I like that picture!

But do we ever think about what we put on our Facebook profile? I know I forget constantly that I have a number of friends on there that I havent spoken to in going on 5 years and I doubt I'll ever feel the need to talk to them ever again, yet they are my virtual 'friends'. Going on this they are virtual strangers, yet they can get access to my employer, phone number, check out my new hair cut and get the goss of my incredibly boring life. (And I KNOW that is my own doing- I put them up there after all..for the same reasons I have a LinkedIn profile.. networking..) Facebook stalking has become widely accepted as the norm, but hasn't it made us all into the socially un-acceptable peeping toms?! I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to this kind of thing- stalking ex boyfriends, ex best friends, family, and that girl you always hated but yet have a strange desire to know what the hell she is doing these days, then there's the looking of people's ugly babies. (a whole different kettle of fish. And harsh, I know. But nobody will ever know, right?! And don't act like you've never done it!)

I think its clear to say it's not the twitching of curtains and nosey neighbours we need to be aware of, but its our virtual friends and 'tweeps'...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

I feel it in my fingers.. I feel it in my toes..

Today I got this sudden feeling, that I am on the cusp of something big. Like monumental, Empire State Building big. Problem is, I have no idea what this something is. Nor, frankly, I have got a cats chance in hell of knowing what this is in the next few weeks.

Then this got me thinking; this 'feeling', for it to actally materialise it is going to take some effort on my part to bring it about. Going back to my post yesterday, trips, job hunting, is all it takes for this to actually happen. Then again all these require effort, and why bother if you happen to be sitting rather comfortably on your sofa with a glass of delicious red wine? 

The answer is this: to be actually happy and satisfied with everything in your life and the direction it is taking.
 Whilst many people never actually get this, I know I want it. It comes to the point that I know that what I want to be doing will never pay me the big bucks- but surely this doesn't matter when the satisfaction gained from doing said job will give me much more joy than seeing many, many 0's on your paycheck every month? This may mean that I will have to re-think the second mulberry bag purchase this year, or in fact, ever.. I'm not sure this is a sacrifice I'm willing to take though.. Then again, I will be just falling into that same trap that countless, cubicle stricken employees have fallen into before me.

Like I said before, big decisions are to be made this next year. Question is, am I up to them? Stay tuned.

Monday, 3 January 2011

onwards and upwards in 2011- better to say that than new year, new start..

Now, I hate that saying of, new year, new start, I had to find a better way to say something along the same lines, and indeed something better suited to my thinking at this time of year.

I didn't have the greatest of starts to this year, it's fair to say- but it has made me find my new years resolution.. I usually stay well clear of such things however this one is called for, and should be easy enough to maintain. It's not one of those 'I WILL lose weight resolutions' because I personally think they never work- sometimes you are just setting yourself up for failure. I however, just love carbs too much, and certainly commit the ill fated word 'carbicide' daily. Anyway, it is to say, enough of the bullshit. To get out there and do it, to just say fuck it and go with what I want. Hence, the trip to Dubai is on the cards, possibility of Sweden, mini breaks with wonderful friends. Also considering the future and my career. It's fair to say I will have a lot of thinking to do in the next six months and I have no idea where that thinking may take me at all, all I do know, is that to maintain my new years resolution, and to avoid the inevitable disappointment that goes hand in hand with making such (and often, I think farcical... think me, perhaps vowing to never touch a french baguette in the year 2011) resolutions, I ought to keep it up.

Someone dear to me once said, 'I never regret anything, but this thing I do regret'. I know that this person will have thought this twice in, say, the past month. Slightly heart wrenching I have to say on the second time, however I hope I never have to say that to myself or indeed anyone I hold close.

So in fact, I guess that makes two new years resolutions... enough of the bullshit, and to never say 'I regret that'.

I know they're kinda serious, but hey! give me a break I'm in a pensive mood.. But maybe I'll add a third to the list (When in Rome..) that being, to purchase my second Mulberry handbag..