Thursday, 6 December 2012

December 6th: I am feminist. That wasn't hard, was it?

Traipsing back from work with my housemate, we spent our forty minutes together having a nice chat. This is not unusual behaviour, and nor was the content that entailed. Working for a (decent) celebrity magazine, we are used to finding out "the gossip" first and generally not batting an eyelid. However, the information I heard today clearly fell of my radar. I would have punched a hole in my wardrobe otherwise.

"So, Katy Perry scooped the Woman Of The Year Award today," said my flatmate.

"Oh really? I think she seems like a decent sort, I'll give that one a thumbs up," was my response.

"Well, she won the award, and then informed the entire crowd that she definitely wasn't a feminist," explained my counterpart.

"She isn't a feminist?"

The terms Feminism and Feminist may be two of the most misunderstood terms of current debate today. I am undoubtedly, ardently, proudly, unabashedly a feminist. But worryingly, who isn't?

I am an incredibly opinionated individual. Not one to shy away from a debate, I am more than happy to stick up for and promote my beliefs wherever possible, both in my public and private sense of lifestyle. Once receiving a series of emails emblazoning me as an "embarrassment" to my student paper when referred to as "our staunch feminist editor", I have even been subject to one malicious individual's perversions to "try and piss that feminist bitch off" in seminars when I wasn't even aware of his name. But this is where I struggle. I believe in equal rights between men and women. This should not be a groundbreaking concept in a purportedly democratic society. Not one to go and impose my opinions on others, I am still amazed on a daily basis at to how many people I am acquainted with who shirk off the label "feminist". Are they confused? Are they ashamed? Where on earth did the meaning of the word "feminist" go wrong?

She may be held accountable to her recording label's big guns, but Katy Perry is not one to shy away from expressing her opinion. After hearing her on the One Show talk incessantly about her love of meat and lack of comprehension of vegetarianism, I believed that the singer was not one to shy away from offering her opinion. Rather than advocating, considering or not even mentioning the cause, the singer decided to offer her outright disapproval of equal rights between men and women. Upon denouncing it to her public, the singer promoted the idea to thousands of her fans that equality Is A Very Bad Thing. As well as leaking that pungent sentiment in the same air space as her fan base, Katy basically negated the movement that allowed her to be onstage in the first place.

For those who are interested in human rights 101, I have provided an apt and official definition of the term below. Cheers for making us feel like a plastic bag Katy.


The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December 5th: I want to be nice to someone

Although we should do it more frequently and throughout the year, Christmas brings out the charity in all of us. As I heard people discussing their stints in the soup kitchens, donations to the homeless and simply offering money to a needy cause, I realised that I had been a bit slow on the uptake this year. Luckily, I am one of those souls who finds it incredibly exciting to find the right present for that VIP member in your life, but I generally cry at the end of it when I find they already have it in blue. Ready to widen my span of generosity, I was stumped as to what events were specifically for those in need during the festive period. Thinking back to my childhood, I began to trawl through websites to find Operation Christmas Child.

My Catholic primary school consisted of 200 children in a tiny building enclosed in a Victorian structure encircled with bricks of mortar. Known to be one of the best primary schools in Hull, I thought nothing of my experience there at the time. I had made friends, been studious and enjoyed and failed an embarrassing series of extra-curricular activities (remedial football, anyone?) Although we were known to skip Red Nose Day, to pretty much every child's dismay, no one ever informed us of exactly what we were putting into. So today, when I found out that the Evangelical Samaritan's Purse is an Islamaphobic conversion mission I was rather dismayed.

Be a believer or non-believer, like plenty of people on this planet, either choice is respected by me, especially considering I am sure unclear as to what I think myself. As a environmental Catholic, I have been imbibed with the Catholic teachings in ways which I never thought would make a difference. Thrilled to find I have a greater source of Biblical contextual background to a text at University, and somewhere beautiful to congregate at Christmas and Easter has always been of great comfort to me. But yet again, it's the unity, the atmosphere, not exactly God, that takes me there. As a believer of religion as a force of good, I am scornful of those who refuse to believe in choice, freedom of sexuality and women's rights. Furthermore, I am absolutely incensed that a charity could deprive a child of a toothbrush because they do not share the same God.

Keen to pursue alternate methods to the incredibly successful appeal, I found that the ones that had begun were rendered defunct, or meagre substitutes could only be offered. I donate to Christian Aid because I was heartened by their mosquito net campaign, I have baked buns for CAFOD because they were my school's in-house charity, and even donated money to the Catholic institution in itself. Charity is a fantastic thing to do, but I only opened up the shoebox when I heard Pandora knocking, three years out of faith school, turning sentiment into segregation. Being brought up a default Catholic is no excuse for ignorance- so as well as keeping my Christian Aid donation alive, I just might get a goat for someone. Just someone who needs it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

December 4th: My day in five bullet points

  1. It is now fourteen days until I go home for eighteen days for Christmas.
  2. I ate a potato the size of my forearm today.
  3. My boyfriend announced he is actually going to use his Twitter account, and is going to frequently embarrass me on there henceforth.
and in more important news...

     4. FHM looked like the complete bell ends they are today by attempting and failing to do the exact opposite of what a "lad" should be defined as, resulting in them describing females in the general sweep of "mum, girlfriend or victim."
    5. The "beat them down" mentality of Britain got underway as people attacked a woman having a baby, proclaiming that she "just had morning sickness". I got a bit worried as I googled her actual condition myself to find that people have died from it. 

And PS (because we all love a rule breaker)

6. JK Rowling's A Casual Vacancy is being turned into a BBC series. I'm sure I'm not the only one who really likes that.

Monday, 3 December 2012


I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it still. There I was, absent mindedly minding my own business having a lark on twitter laughing at some local comedian. Then before I knew it, Hadley Freeman had popped up, with a YouTube video attached to the comment "Kate pregnant." I looked further up the screen. Was it something from Reuters? Something from a freelancer? Frankly, I just do not know. But I was giggling, and before I knew it, I had proclaimed "hey everybody, there's some stuff on Twitter about Kate being pregnant." Little did I know what I had just done.

"WHERE'S MY BOSS?! KATE IS PREGNANT!" I bellowed at the top of my voice, frantically running as fast as my chubby little legs could take me around the other side of the office. "Damn my legs," I declared to my internal self. "Blast my eyes, for not being able to find my boss." Before I knew it, another member of the team was calling him to let him know the news, at 5pm English time. Never could I find a less likely time for a monarch to declare that they were carrying the future heir to the throne.

I understand for most people, this does not determine itself "newsworthy", but I have been on placement at a fantastic royally orientated magazine for four months, and for better or for worse, I have become indoctrinated. High on the rush of scrambling for info and trawling through news sites, I could not get enough of lending a play-by-play to the site that owed me so much. Even if my followers didn't want to hear it.

"UPDATE: Kate has not completed her first trimester," I chanted, lending myself to the #royalbaby hashtag.

"Come to us if you want all the insider information", I whispered, using the hashtag soI'mkindoflyingaboutthewhisperingthingaren'tI.

There were plenty of people ready to curse and debase, but like anyone who is sad enough to take a pop at someone who has just announced some of the happiest information they've ever had and ever will have in their lives, I couldn't help but feel sad for them.

"Guys, I think I love Kate," I admitted, two hours over my shit allocation.

"I think I just might be ready to defend her to the death, and I am just not exactly sure why. God I love journalism," I grunted, high from the caffeine.

The food baby must just have been sisterly solidarity. I love my job. I love life. And right now, I really fucking love wine.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

December 2nd: I knit feverishly and procrastinate

The one Christmas present that I now rely on getting every year is my annual organiser. Frequently losing my so-called "journal" of adolescent years, I spent year nine being cursed by my science teacher for forgetting the football team clad notebook that contained my mindless doodles of boredom. Noting that this is the year I lost a shoe, a coat and a pair of tracksuit bottoms in the place is only further proof of how much I rely on the beauty of pen and paper to happily survive as a human being. Since university, my organiser has become a thing of frantic to do lists. Feverishly demanding notes of sweeping my floors and washing my computer screen used to bid me good morning, only for me to tick off "go to friend's house" on the list. Aware that only a third of us in fact tick off a third of our projected tasks, there have been periods of the academic year when I have pushed the ringbinder aside when I have needed it the most. Opting to use the final month of my calendar as a time of reconciliation, I took once again to writing in my tattered notepad to find that I am a very disgusting creature. Feel free to peruse this excerpt at your own peril...

1) Sort out feet
2) Wash sheets
3) Knit (yet another) scarf
4) Hang clothes to dry
5) Arrange bookshelf
6) Clean laptop screen
7) Sort out nails
8) Get your secret santa present

I only completed one of those tasks. Oh, how I love to watch House in my Sunday filth...

I kicked over a wine bottle to share this with you.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December 1st: The party where a series of minor events happened

I have concluded that there are no better means to incinerate your taste buds than to sip on a series of fruit-flavoured spirits all night. Waking up the next morning from the evening's exploits, I was disappointed to find that the salty scrambled eggs before me carried a pungent and bizarre raspberry vodka aftertaste that was not in the least desired. Complete with Spongebob Squarepants in arms- TV characters have a longer shelf life in Spain- my friends and I ventured to our first December event of the holiday season- a house party for someone who did not live in the house at hand.

ERASMUS connections are intrinsic to year abroad survival. As well as providing the much-needed attention that stops one watching Friends reruns whilst eating cheese by the mouthful is always a good reason to associate with others. Furthermore, the people you meet, cynically and admittedly, provide connections that have the potential to come in handy later on in life. Take Señor Party Time, for example. Deciding to use his position at the Embassy to full advantage, the cheeky chappie decided that his current dwellings were not up to scratch for smooth house party success, so opted to persuade a mutual friend to host his leaving party at the palatial mansion that wasn't his home. My own friend, who was lucky enough to live in the abode, was left fraught with confusion, whilst my other friend, also his current flatmate, wondered why on earth their flat wasn't up to scratch in the first place. This was perhaps not as delicate as the fact that we had decided to turn up to the event, having met the person in question for a brief introduction the previous night. With two bottles of table wine red in tow, I was surprised to find not only a DJ, who had far too much of an attachment to the dubstep genre for sober guests- but a free bar, staffed with an unimpressed waiter and a series of infallible spirit choices. As well as being assigned to his swanky and unexpected station, the waiter seemed to have secured an advertisement deal with a very popular beverage company.

"Raspberry vodka and lemonade, please," I kindly requested.

"Raspberry vodka is okay miss, but we don't have lemonade," said the waiter.

(I veer at the bottle of Sprite standing to the left of my poison of choice)

"Raspberry vodka and Sprite, please," I said.

"Coming right up."

I am too cruel to the man who relentlessly served me alcohol to the brink of collapse all night. As I began to wave my arms and brutally fashion my hips in a manner that at a stretch could be referred to as dancing, I realised that I had left my non-Spanish speaking housemate at the helm of toilets without loo roll, as well as three very obnoxious Americans, hitherto referred to as VOA's. 

My other flatmate was out of range, as she began to dance solo.

"Hannah, open the door, I am worried for your safety!" I (think I) bellowed.

As I brazenly knocked for a further two minutes screaming words of comfort and anxiety, the door swung open to reveal the unimpressed waiter, with his trousers down, happily enjoying his shit until I walked in.

"Oh shit, sorry! Not literally!" I barked, as I found my flatmate waiting at the door. 

"I hate the VOA's who just walked in," we said in unison. Neither of us wanted to admit they probably had more claim in attending the party than we did. 

Averaging a 5 " 11 height and the decibel strength of a common garden banshee, the girls paraded the party in their Clark shoes flats to get off with any guy that they saw. Unluckily for them, and for me, another Very Obnoxious Person with short man syndrome was left unattended. Vodka, being a generally angry person led me to point out the golden rule of a house party to someone in his own home- snide remarks can never be acceptably aimed at volatile and unwelcome guests.

My flatmate continued to dance solo. 

"So, hasn't your friend left already?" said the person in question.

"Yeah, she went out, why?"

"Don't you think it's a little weird that you are still here, when she's gone?"

"No. I think you're being incredibly insulting actually. I happen to be very good friends with Señor Party Time (lies) and plenty of other people here (lies), such as my dear friend..."

"I also live here, you know."

"Well, I've been here a lot, and you've never been around. I'm not sure if you're lying."

"Name one person you know here."

In perfect timing, one of the three people I was in common parlance with at the event appeared.

"Melissa. Meet this guy!"

I decided to rescue my flatmate, who continued to dance solo. This may have been the point when there was only four of us still dancing. 

The DJ no longer wanted to even listen to me request the Spice Girls, and had made a swift exit. People began choosing who would make the drunken liaison cut, and others began shoving dorito bowls into the sink. The VOA's, the only people left standing, began to hurl unwelcoming looks in our direction as we criticised their thinking that Rihanna was even considered to be a "music option".

As I began to think about throwing their iPhone into the direction of their overworked faces, we realised that we were slowly being edged towards the door by the Very Obnoxious Person. As I realised that my flatmates had lost the ability to speak, I decided to shed my fruity ways to get them home in one piece. It still pains me to think that I did not get the last word.

My dear friend then went on to vomit out of the taxi door whilst I ranked up a list of the many people I would like to give a vodka-induced telling to. What can I say? Santa by day, Scrooge by night.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Episode 9: Anger and reconciliation

There's nothing quite like swiftly kicking a motorbike or hissing "puta" under your breath to get rid of the xenophobia and frustration of dealing with certain bureaucratic entities in Madrid. These weak acts of rebellion, or "little victories" as my friend Emmanuel so brilliantly called them, allow me to experience anger on a daily basis, as I fail to summon up the courage to scream so loudly in people's faces and put them in their place. I am a very angry person with unrealistic expectations. Like a bruised puppy, I am often found cursing under my breath at not only how idiotic the people I encounter are, and even more frustratingly, the cowardly manner in which I deal with them.

Take last week, for instance. I innocently ventured into H & M with my father dearest (adoring epithet- clearly buying me something) to purchase a much-needed cardigan, thus ending my denial of Madrid's fridge-like temperatures. We were served by a gangly, brace adorning woman who snatched my Dad's passport out of his hand as proof of ID. As well as sniggering at the photo without a word of thanks coming out of her metallic mouth (I had braces too, LET ME INSULT WHO I LIKE), she managed to mutter not-so-loudly to her colleague "you didn't tell me they were English". He laughed and continued to nicely place items in his brilliant-because-she's-Spanish customer's bag. I gritted my teeth and walked out, consequently ruining the next hour by hissing that I should have told her to shove it. In reconciliation, I would like to offer this to you as the conversation I wish I would have had:

Bitchy assistant: You didn't tell me they were English.
Me: You didn't tell me you were a racist bitch. I live in Madrid. I am fluent in Spanish. You are disgusting. Get me your boss now. I am also a top human rights lawyer and super police commissioner of life, and I am taking you DOWN.
(Miraculously pulls out police badge as fantasies allow).
I punch her in the face.

Perhaps I have lived in blissful ignorance for the past two and a half months. Perhaps I never accumulated enough Spanish to realise what people were doing. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the person in the bakery down the road from my work has always been a massive xenophobe. A few days ago, I entered to find a new assistant babbling in Spanish to one of the customers- surprise surprise. This is pretty daily fare, so I took my alloted place in the queue whilst they spoke about unemployment. Five minutes later, I was wondering how much longer the assistant would stay employed if she didn't do her job. Brushing all malevolent thoughts aside as I ordered my desired spinach pastry, the assistant refused to greet me and nearly squashed the pasty in half with her rhino touch. And that's coming from one of her herd. I handed her a two euro coin, and waited, expectant for change.

"I need change", I uttered, five minutes later.

"TWO EUROS!" She barked, offering no explanation. I frowned, fully aware that last week, the exact same item had been a euro. But money is talk when you speak to every other customer in the shop for ten minutes. Bewildered and frustrated, I left the shop and saw the assistant's face light up as a customer responded to her question about how their day had been.

Result: I kick a motorbike, and feel massively ripped off.

And, for the replay...

Me: I've given you two euros. That was one euro last week.
Bitchy assistant: TWO EUROS!
Me: I am not leaving the shop until you give me my change. I will irritatingly speak other anyone else you wish to talk to until I get my money. I AM ON AN INTERNSHIP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. I AM FROM HULL. I AM ONE OF YOUR SEMI-UNEMPLOYED BRETHREN. WE ENGLISH ARE DECENT PEOPLE WHO ALSO MAKE EXCELLENT BAKED GOODS.
Bitchy assistant: My friend, I never realised your plight. No matter how many miles we travel, or how many different tongues we speak, we are united by the cause of bread. Let them eat cake, I used to say. To you, I say, I am no longer a racist bitch. Come back any time. By the way, your skin is fantastic.
Me: Thank you for listening. I hope to get a free pastry next time you enter the shop.
Bitchy assistant: No no, for the rest of your life, sister. Oh, and I'll give you free Spanish lessons because the ones down your road are ridiculously overpriced.
We hug. All is forgiven.

However, once I noticed what was going on around me, the 95% of people who have been brilliant have started to pale into insignificance, especially over the past few days. Having been without my pay for the past three months, I had never been so excited to nearly trip over a cash machine step in my life. As I stumbled to place my attractive international flag card into the machine, I eagerly anticipated the tiny white piece of joy that would confess my tiny bit of wealth in uneven black letters. When I saw a four instead of a four hundred, however, a tear fell down my cheek. I was in poverty city- population, 1. I was Pauline Mole without her giro. I would be ringing the bank and work every day until my phone would be cut off. I would shave my head in frustration. I would be interviewed by the nearest publication, because, well, I am a very loud journalist. I would have to send my son to Swingin' Dave's for his school trousers- or to translate, I would continue to have a hole in my one very pair of jeans for a long time. How was your weekend, I hear you cry? I spent it eating boiled pasta with someone else's butter, knitting a lurid scarf with the last five euros I had in my purse. Do not blame the stitch holes, they know not what they do.

Reaching desperation point today, I approached the bank that knew me so well to try and take the fast route and line up for the cashier. She refused to give me more than three seconds to conjugate my verbs and conclude my sentence before she barked at me to move.

"Move!" she said. "Just go to a cash machine!"

"I have been! I need to know!"

"Go to a table." When I went to respond, she actually decided to shout at me. "GO TO A TABLE!"

Watching her embrace her colleagues as she walked out of her glass cage, I wondered how people can instantaneously dislike someone for trying to speak their language. Experiencing my third discriminatory attack of the week, I wondered what it must be like to have this on a constant basis. You're going to find out, I reminded myself. You are living here for another eight months.

I didn't even leave the bank angry. I left incredibly disheartened, still with just four euros to my name.

Perhaps the gamesmaker had decided enough was enough, and if I was to ever attempt living again, he or she perhaps had to cut me a break. As soon as I saw my money leap into my account tonight, I started to think of how spicy my pasta would be tonight.

So, for all of those who never have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, I salute you. My inner coward now says screw you to all of the cashiers that sneer when you stumble as you try to roll your r's, the boys who think it's okay to invade your personal space every morning to comment on your level of attractiveness, the people who take your Beyonce moves for granted and laugh at your inability to shake your ring finger, your partner's persistent ex who refuses to let go, the salamander faced landladies who refuse to fix your household appliances and the bloody people who think a three euros is an acceptable price for a bag of boiled pasta.


My creative writing professor once told me not to use writing as therapy. No wonder I dropped the class.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Episode 8: Jasmine vs The Spanish Banking System

To anyone who has purveyed this blog, it will be clear to see that I talk about three things- food, my bed, and my failures within my limited realm of function. Today, I have decided to bring all of these blissful things together in one handy post- for your convenience and for my complete lack of pleasure.

The bank manager at the Santander branch two streets away from my work knows my first name. As well as being one of the more distinctive looking people parading myself on Spanish streets (pale, blue eyed, carry my coat  rather than wear it because fifteen degrees is STILL warm), I have become rather memorable amongst staff members around Madrid because of my interesting Spanglish hybrid. Recently, I have become accustomed to tell my Spanish/Asian shopkeeper that my penny sweets "should be around one euro worth, mate" and then end up cursing myself as I say "see you later, have a nice noche". My first trip to the bank all in all ended up in me being sent to another one after nearly singeing one man's hair nostrils after I insisted "I work! I need a working account!" like a strangled flamingo. After being trapped in Madrid's ridiculous trap doors that bark at me to remove my "metallicos", I entered the bank disheartened and angsty,  with my headphone cord strangling me in protest for abandoning my iPod in the worryingly vulnerable lockers that were afore me. In short, I determined to throw a tampon at the next person who insisted my documentation was incorrect.

"She works for Hola magazine, she works for Hola magazine!" shouted the bank manager in front of me. Rather than bothering to correct her, I waited to accept her kind words, when her colleague other the next desk politely informed her that he knew someone there and it wasn't that impressive. Fortunately I knew enough Spanish and still possessed enough restraint to not nip him over the desk, but wryly raise an eyebrow, the universal look of nonchalant comprehension.

Seventy five documents later with RSI after signing seventy five different pieces of paper, I exited the bank, aware that a neat little card with adorned with some international flags would arrive into my tin of a postbox.

It did, and I lost it two days later.

I should have perhaps apologised to my boyfriend, the second victim of my invalidity that week. It was just too hard. The card had vanished into thin air, like 80% of my belongings, and I was yet again lost in translation on the phone to a Spanish call centre advisor.

Me: "Someone has stolen my card. It actually has some money on it. Please save it, I don't know where it is and I don't know any Spanish."
Assistant: (too fast for comprehension) "Number...card...potatoes" (I think).
Me: Sorry, I can't understand you. (My favourite phrase at the moment)
Assistant: Sorry.
Me: Well, my card has been stolen.
Assistant: This is the Spanish line for lost cards.
Me: I know. I live in Spain. I just can't speak Spanish.
*assistant garbles*
Me: (under breath) It is possible to live in Spain and not speak Spanish.
*phone disconnects*
This happened several times before I walked into my local Santander, google translate in hand. Please picture the scene ahead:

Manager is missing from scene. I locate the unimpressed assistant who mocked my job previously. He smiles, unaware of what he is about to encounter.

Me: I can't speak Spanish. But I am going to try.
Assistant: Si. (I refuse to translate that).
Me: My card has been been robbed.
Assistant: Your card has been been robbed? Where from?
Me: I do not have a card. I need a card.
Assistant: What is your address?
Me: (blah blah)
Assistant: Here are your transactions.
Me: Yes! I haven't been robbed!
Assistant: Err, what else do you want?
Me: I need a new card. My card has been been robbed!
Assistant: (laughs-?!) Oh, cool. I'll send you a new one. Give it five days. Bye.

In intermingling confusion and relief, I left the bank and got on with my work. Rejoicing with hordes of food shopping as I went to the door, it took me to scramble around my empty bag to realise the lockers at the bank were much sharper than I.

"I've left my key in those metallic lockers. Those stupid bloody metallic lockers. The lockers of shame," I said to my flatmate.

"I might go and cry in my room."

Christine was quicker to the mark than I.

"But you won't be able to get into your room," she helpfully explained.

Oh, the tears. In retrospect I feel incredibly sorry for what I put anyone in contact with me through that night. Many a profanity, wail and aggressive snarl came out of my mouth in the hour it took me to finally recover and make a move to return to the bank. In desperation, I even asked my friend to google maps whether the lockers were in or outside of the building.

"Is that even possible?" She asked.

"JUST TRY!" were my words, helpfully capped to express my frustration.

In an unsuccessful walk to and from the bank, I noticed a pack of cigarettes in my bag. As a non-smoker, for once I felt highly tempted to have a puff and be done with it all and my asthmatic lungs. I looked at the packet.

The cigarettes were called Fortuna.

The question is, have I yet learnt any lessons? The answer is no. I just watch irony filter in through cigarette packets, my non-existent wage packet and the immeasurably more comfortable sofa bed in our living room. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Episode 7: Meeting Ikea's bastard best mate

It dazzles you with its large, cheap-looking, sky-blue typeface. It has arrays of page 3 model type mannequins wearing indecent lingerie in too-large windows. It will never, ever run out of hooped earrings. It will always run out of the two items in the window you actually considered. Everyone pretends they don't shop there when 90% of us do. It stormed my Yorkshire high street in 2003. It pretends not to use child labour through some half-arsed ethical policy. You guessed it- it's Primark.

When my sister arrived, I was still in denial about my state of living. Five weeks on, I still had three full bin bags lurking at the side of my door, discarded make-up wipes littered on my dresser and popcorn crumbs festering in my bed. This is the life, I thought. Who needs cleanliness when House is always on repeat?

"HAVE YOU LOOKED AT YOUR ROOM RECENTLY?" bellowed my sweet ginger raven.

"Oh yeah it's pretty big, the windows don't shut though," I replied.

"YOU HAVE BITS IN YOUR BED. BITS I AM NOT SURE OF," said my sisterly companion.

I said: "Tee hee, that will be the popcorn. Let's fling this to the side," as I flicked the bits out of the bed.

"YOU DO NOT HAVE A SHEET ON YOUR BED." Boomed the ginger biscuit.

"Well, if you saw my blog post about Ikea..." I floundered.

"NOR DO YOU HAVE A PILLOW COVER. I AM GOING TO TAKE THE BLANKET THAT HAS NOT BEEN ON THE FLOOR, AND PLACE IT OVER THE PILLOW. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE COLD, FOR YOU ARE A DISGUSTING CREATURE WHO NEEDS TO LEARN!" shouted the girl who only just touches 5"4. Well, perhaps the latter part of that statement was made up, but the implication was made. I had become a squatter in my own home. And who better than your elder sister to shame you into place?

However, the place I had been shamed into venturing to lurked in the far corners of Madrid. Perhaps Madrilenos actually realise how fucking embarrassing it is to worship the cheap tackhole that is Primark, or perhaps they needed a big enough shopping centre on the outskirts to house the monster. When my sister and I made our arrival, it was clear both ponderings were true. We had arrived in Spanish shopping hell.

"People.are.walking.really.slowly," I said to my sister.


I do not think I have seen a shopping centre busier in my entire life. Not Trafford Centre, not Westfields, not anything. Or perhaps it was because people were moving so very slowly. Like a syrup, the shoppers oozed across the mall and let no particular flow determine their direction. The metro one row up, one row down system on the escalator is the only functional queueing system in the entire country (MacDonalds is a riot). People walked at each other from every possible direction, stepping on feet and tripping up old ladies to run after their wanton child. And that was if they were looking. Couples stopped in their tracks to point at windows or joke with their friends whilst 3-year-old Fredrico started raiding the bins. This place wasn't a jungle. It was retail suffocation.

Trailblazing the maze and solving arrows like menacing IQ puzzles, my sister and I might have stepped on a small child's head just to find and enter the P Palace. After elbowing hordes of syrupy shoppers, we had arrived at our destination. And it looked something like this:


Sometimes words fail me. This is certainly one of those occassions.

As I entered the shop, the tides had turned. Challenge mode had begun. GAME ON.

Level 1: Defeat the coats
Level 2: Partywear
Level 3: Shoes
Level 4: Gifts for friends
Level 5: More shoes
BOSS LEVEL: What you came for
Level 7: Miscellaneous
Level 8: The checkout

Level 1:
- I pick up a blue coat that looks seemingly inoffensive from the rack. It has a rather endearing fur collar that is fortunately, not made from animal. I take a closer look, and realise the buttons look almost offensive in their largeness. I drop the coat onto the head of a small child. I do not look back.

Level 2:
- This time I face an even larger crowd and swipe a purple-patterned pencil skirt from under the nose of a frantic woman. Realising that the William Morris flock pattern will never do anything good for my semi pear shape (large thighs, no bottom) I concede defeat after my sister mocks me.

Level 3:
- Why does every shoe have a pink zip? Where are all of the basic £2 white pumps I have grown to know and love? They are with the ballet pumps that I purchased, brown and inoffensive, in a size 5 because I think my toenail length has made me go up a size.

Level 4:
- I had many a request. I laughed them off. Primark is serious enough business when you are trying to get your own purchases.

Level 5:
- Sibling decides that she needs a pair of shoes, and actually considers the violently purple suede courts to team with red wrap dress. Fearing that her national average 5 "4 stature will be lost at the scene of the party, she concedes defeat and opts for a pair of black pumps that were conceived with the medieval period in mind.

- I head to the duvets and frantically decipher what is king, single, and double. When I realised that my first two options (the cheapest) had ran out, I opted for a criss cross heart pattern that looks like it has been stolen from a Scandinavian version of the gingerbread house.

Level 7:
- Hairgrips are swiped after finding the only blonde pair available. Maybe time to consider dyeing my hair back to its natural not-so-attractive mousey brown.

Level 8:
- Hysteria kicks in. I cannot quite believe I have made it. As I make my way towards the queue, I feverishly swipe pants, socks and a heart-shaped tangle teaser. Sibling forces me to put down the Moroccan oil. Ironically, these turn out to be my best purchases.

After leaving the shop, I scream in hysteria at completing the challenge. People start tutting behind me. I don't care; I am brilliant.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Episode 6: Ikea, where art thou?

I have a bit of a situation with my bed. We've had quite the tempestuous relationship for the last month we've laid together. Rather than welcoming my open arms, I am met with menacing coils, begging for release from their foamy kingdom. If I didn't have deal with this almost hourly pleasantry, perhaps I would not be so sour about the reverb that comes from my wonky bed- as it clashes, suggesting to my housemates that I am encountering far more exciting liaisons, I am more sure than ever that three wheeled objects only belong in Only Fools and Horses. However, I have one problem that is well within my realm of control- one month into living here I still do not have a duvet sheet, which after trailing around numerous overpriced shops, left me no option but to travel out in search for an Ikea in a galaxy far, far away.

In all of its Swedish glory, the Ikea outing was top of the list for the Andersson clan. My Dad's unwavering loyalty to all things Swedish could remain in tact whilst he boasted about the cheapness of "Billy", "Ofelia"and "Henrika", which swiftly made their way into my house/the Ikea showroom. My sister and I could really believe we were half Swedish there, as we were met with insane plastic products with English prices. If I'm not concentrating, I still get the real place and the store mixed up.

However, it seems Madrid are not as keen on their Swedish brethren. Shunted to the suburbs of Madrid, I was given a 50 minute metro journey to La Peseta, it in itself a relic of Spanish past. Rather than questioning this dubious travel time, I grabbed my copy of The Female Eunuch as a battle weapon to prevent the gaze of slimy metro creeps. A satisfying amount of pages through, I made my way out of the station, to see rows and rows of apartments with no other sign of life available. I tried blaming apple maps, I tried blaming google maps, and any other map I could get my hands on- but I knew it was all down to me- I had decided to trust some twat on google answers to send me in the right direction. Twenty miles away from my Swedish homeland complemented by my twenty years of stupidity, I feigned from throwing my phone at the wall and decided to come home.


Making my way to the nearest (and only) cash point, I went to withdraw ten reluctant euros for the ride home. Thinking I must have entered my pin wrong, I watched the machine reject my pin twice. Unavailable funds, please try later. x 2. Out of the several bank cards I have, I thought one of them might have some money on. Oh, no. 1 doesn't have a pin yet. No. 2 has no money on. No. 3 has passed its expiry date. I made the mistake of looking at my phone to see exactly how far I was from the centre of Madrid. Oh, an hour and twenty minutes? That would be great- IF I HAD BIONIC LEGS.

The residents of La Peseta must have freaked out whilst I jogged up and down the streets to find another cash point. Considering they already think I am some replica from day of the dead, I wasn't surprised to hear a child scream as I went by. Trying not to sob like a five year old, I made my way down into the Metro station, wishing I would have asked the beggar I gave five euros to for some tips.

Ready to demolish my card for the third and final time, I submitted it into the murky depths of three metro card machines to get a response. When it came to the final card machine, I got it stuck. At this point, I was ready to sob my life story to any passer-by available. Shame there wasn't any, so the guard got this (best Spanish accents please) :
Me: "My birthday card, sorry, my bank card, is in this machine. It will not say bye. I don't know why it won't say bye. It won't leave... my Spanish is not very good."
Guard: "It's just gone into the machine now. Can you not use the machine?"
Me: "Oh it's okay now! It's in it's in, I never wanted it to say bye, more hello."
Guard: "Do you need some help?"
Me: "Not the type that you can give me."
(Guard misunderstands broken Spanish)
Guard: "You have to get ten trips because if you spend less than five euros it's cash only. See? (points to massive sign)..."
Me: "Oh yes, that makes sense. Thank you for your help. (sheepishly abandons paying two euros on card)..."

As I got off the final metro stop, I was caught in the rain. I got some penny sweets, and skipped the rest of the way home. It seemed apt, somehow.

One day, we will be together.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Episode 5: An even bigger slice of reality (creative titles at their best)

I envisaged a rather romantic goodbye from my family and boyfriend on our trip to the airport. Leaving for my flight to Madrid for the year, I wanted tears, heartbreak, and a little slice of somewhat unnerving breakdown.

My Dad dropped me off at the five minute departure zone and asked if I wanted anyone to come with me.

Letting that sentence speak from itself, my mother and boyfriend were rudely alerted that they needed to accompany me after realising I had in fact been dropped of at the wrong terminal- my doing, as per normal. With ten minutes of check in time remaining before my flight, I blubbered underneath my optics whilst my mother carried my suitcase. I awaited outside the garish orange easyjet sign- I should have known all that was novel had died then- when I got a long hug of my Mum, and five swift kisses off my boyfriend ranging from motherly peck to a touch of the cheek, WITH NO WATERWORKS WHATSOEVER. I gazed into their eyes. Mum had ill-timedly decided to have her tears back home when we were all trying to eat a nice bun, whilst my boyfriend didn't utter any emotional semblance whatsoever. Wondering if my loved ones were clones, I rang my mother after making it to the check-in gate in one piece for her to lie and tell me Joe had been in hysterics all journey. It seems I know where the real acting comes into play.

Slightly dishearted by our mutually weak reaction, I bought an overpriced salad and lunged towards the gate, determined to run and barge in a non-British manner, only to realise I was flying solo. Making a rather bathetic stop at the back row, I deprived a middle-aged man of the right to fly to next to his partner on a romantic trip to Madrid, and spoke and spoke about university, moving to another country and trashy magazines. I quickly learnt that he slightly resented university students, and especially me because I refused to give him peace and quiet for the remaining two and a half hours. I must remember not to pack my in-flight novel into my actual suitcase next time.

Awaiting inside the airport was my other half, Christine. I say other half, because since our friendship has endured me picking my nose, me getting up way too late, me having no sense of directional skill whatsoever, and her awful skill of buying really nice clothes. Our womance has shared a claustrophobic room, awkward Spanglish moments and a decent amount of alcohol. Finally secure in our much-desired apartment, we are perplexed as to how two people who chat to each other fourteen hours of the day could possibly live with an anti-social rabbit killer. Okay, that is perhaps harshly worded, but factually correct. A foreign masters Genetics student, the girl shares both an enviable command of Spanish and English, which we deduced from the one conversation we have had from her. After her avidly detailing her various skills as a rabbit murderer- despite protesting that I was a vegetarian- she has retired to her room, complete with strange electro sounds and world of warcraft (actually seen by self).

And on the job front? Give me another week. I have written about too many beautiful women to have a shred of self-confidence. I am currently compiling a list of "women who need to be kept away from the rest of humanity so the rest of us have a chance." Well, that's a nice way of putting it. The actual title is "women who need to be quickly shot to give the rest of us the chance."

Must abandon awful right-wing rags and go back to lovely, left-wing intellectualism.

... either way I sound like a bit of a twat.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Episode 4: Reality

I have been to Spain for precisely seven days, and will return to the country in question-- to live-- in another seven days. Amongst friends, I deny this information to be a viable topic of conversation. Amongst my family, I am frequently reminded of how much I have yet to prepare, generally resulting in me fleeing from the room. From a personal perspective, I have ignored all ideas of Spanish living, and am still floundering in despondency, ignoring all travel tips, language preparation and have not looked any further into it than booking a hostel for the weekend. Why? Because I am in complete and utter denial.

I must admit-- and I hope not to distaste-- that I have always been a person who survived on luck and chance. Inherently lazy, I spent my A-Level revision periods Facebook stalking, my university seminars making up the second part of an unread text- and somehow, just somehow- managed to attain my placement for a star-studded magazine in Madrid despite having an ugly bout of gastric flu. In this madness of spending my last few years of my life rather lethargically, I have done rather well for myself. However, I do have a confession to make. I am aware that in the seven days time, this mode of living will no longer work. I will have to be eager, enthusiastic, organised, and even more frighteningly, somehow apprehend the skill of successfully reading maps.

Plonkishly attempting to thrive under pressure, I began stage one of the preparation this morning: sort of preparing to pack. Beginning the job my Mother proposed to me six weeks ago, I began sifting through clothing, paper, and accessories, college era to present. Yet again, I admit something not altogether pleasing. For someone with only virtual, bank given pounds in their account, I have a hell of a lot of clothes. Enough to fill a garage, four wardrobes and a chest of drawers, to be precise. I am not exactly sure when, or if, any defining fashion sense has arisen from the ghosts of clothing past. Picking up one bag, it's definitely clear to say I went through an intense navy stripes phase, and thought hanky tops, bright purple gilets and ill-fitting skinny jeans were blessings to my body. I came across photo evidence detailing these more awkward fashion moments, and felt a lump in my throat. Diaries upon diaries demanding organisation were piled up high to the garage ceiling, with vacant spaces during July-September, detailing birthdays of loved and formerly loved ones. On the brink of nostalgic heartbreak, I came across letters from my best friends, being far nicer than anyone should be. And oh my, and the mould. Threatening my once favourite bag and a multitude of cheaply bought pumps, I solemnly swear to forego bulk buying and think before buying yet another animal print t-shirt. Looking through my past, I began to throw away my material memories, aware that I am generally lazy for I reason- I really hate saying goodbye.

Now the actual packing is due to begin, where actually am I? Still writing this blog post, because, my dear friends, that's what DENIAL is. I'll be in touch when I realise I'm on the brink of an emotional breakdown because I don't own a functioning adaptor.

                                          Looking like dappy in Orca-shaped hat courtesy of my boyfriend. Just call me
                                                        the "orca"-strator.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Episode 3: Belinda's

It has taken me so long to pay attention to this post because I have been so desperate to do it justice. Certain words spring to mind- surreal, eye-opening, hilarious, catastrophic. Admittedly, these words are associated with every event that is in conjunction with my extended family, but this event deserves its own dedication. I am here to tell you the tale of my half-cousin Belinda, a sweet spinster who has just found the man of her dreams and is due to be married this Friday. I do not mean to ridicule or lambast, but confess only what my eyes and ears recorded. Here, the tale of Belinda's hen party commences.

When I was informed that the hen party was due to take place on a Sunday evening, perhaps I should have taken notice. People go to church on Sundays, perhaps even have their weddings on a Sunday, but hell, if they are looking for a good time, Sundays are not the prime date of selection. Sundays remind me of pyjamas, bad hangovers and a Yorkshire pudding or two. Nevertheless (perhaps in blind optimism), I ignored this significant detail as my mother persuaded my sister and I to join in the celebrations, and have a spot of family bonding. Perhaps "persuaded" is not the appropriate lexical choice in this context; we were only informed that we had an option upon walking out of the door.

Late and frustrated, we collected my Grandma to move on the proceedings. I could write several stories about Grandma, the wanton wonderess who frequently gets mistaken for my own mother. Never without heels, slickly made up with a blonde bob in tow, the woman is as youthful as the filth that comes out of her mouth. For my own rather prudish mum, I have never really decoded whether this is hilarious or painful. For me, it is comedic paradise. Keeping her mouth prim and proper for the time being, we arrived to be greeted by Belinda's husband-to-be, who seemed rather alarmed at my sister and I's arrival.

"...but we haven't got enough special glasses! (Sighs) You'll see when we get inside."

Slightly bewildered by this introduction, we arrived into the living room to be introduced to a further state of perplexity. Belinda, decorated in L plates complete with a frilly white dress, was shaking like a leaf, next to Batman, a pirate, and a pink-wigged woman of non-descript character. As well as half of us not receiving the fancy dress memo, there was another problem. The Batman in question was a man.

Grandma and Mum were handed shot glass necklaces with neon pink penises inside. I tried hard not to stare.

This was when I began to pay attention to the living room in question. Admittedly never having stepped foot in Belinda's house, I was amazed to see the ornamental complexity before me, describably "kitsch". A Betty Boop drinks cabinet. Las Vegas wallpaper. A motorbike phone. A fake baby. A fake cat. Oh no, wait.

"ARGH IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" said my Grandma, post-poke. Thanks for clarifying that one G-Dog.

This was when even more illusions were shattered.

"Where are we going exactly?"

"The social club at the bottom of the road. Belinda's a regular."

Sticking by the side of my Auntie and sister, we were informed ten paces ahead of everyone else the 411, as well as being assured that we were not the ones to be declared medically insane. We would be going to the battered social club at the bottom road- the average age of the said attendant, 84.

Cabaret singers. Bingo sheets. Ballroom dancing. Cabaret singers. We had officially arrived in God's waiting room. Never had I seen so many pairs of cream slacks and braces, blue rinse perms and hearing aids on offer in one venue. All too aware of my apparent youth, we all located to a table in the corner, wondering how we had become embroiled in the antichrist of hen nights. As a man in a sergio tacchini white tracksuit top came over to maul us, we wondered what we had done in our past lives. I am pretty certain he didn't have teeth.

"I wish I hadn't worn such bright leggings", remarked my Auntie. "I nearly put a red bra on under this lace top- I might have given them a heart attack."

Apart from the pervy men on offer, we spent the first couple of hours having only interacted with one local, who waltzed over after a solo session on the dancefloor, moonwalking past us to say "... and I'm 92." We were resentfully included in the bingo plans, and when we joined in the raffle we were delightfully informed by Belinda that we could even win a slab of beef. As a vegetarian, this didn't sit with me nicely. However, when I bought a packet of crisps and jokingly offered them around as a snack, I couldn't have predicted what had happened. Belinda's last night of freedom had resulted in her unravelling a tesco bag of cocktail sausages, cheese and onion rolls and pork pies. Between that and the bingo, only one option was available- drink.

Grandma, muttering all too loudly how she was "just too young for this", took the vodka and soda measures a bit too willingly. Her participation in the only hen activity stamped with approval- "words of wisdom", led to the alphabet poem, delightfully transcribed by my mother. By the time I had sourced an appropriate Antony & Cleopatra quote, I read a fascinating alphabet sex poem that I will refrain from writing for the general public in fear that these worlds will be blacklisted for here on in. Let's just say no daughter wants to ever read in their mum's handwriting the word "pussy". Ever. Before Grandma tried to give my sister and I some chat about "the birds and the bees", a request was sent for "all the able-bodied to move onto the dancefloor." Belinda tried to refrain, but the shots of Tia Maria had just become too much. The timid spinster was unleashed on the dancefloor. The men goggled as we all swayed in a middle-aged fashion to "Man I Feel Like A Woman." Belinda went for it, lifting her skirt up, and caressing her body. I hope that I saw leg hair rather than something quite different. For now, I'll leave the full-bodied descriptions to my Grandmother.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Episode 2: Alcohol

For the past month, there has not been one day where I have not drank some alcohol. Be it a casual beer in a not-so-sunny beer garden, a cheeky glass of wine with my boyfriend's mother, or an embarrassing bender with my friends (more often than not), I have swiftly undone my practically teetotal status of drinking the occasional Guinness, and providing care for the rest of the drunken louts that surround me.

Amongst my friends, we all agreed that we had not drank this much since we were underage, testing the boundaries of our limits, seeing exactly what spirits would push us over the rim of the toilet. There was one particular club in our area that would accommodate our underage needs, allowing us to enter its murky depths with a photocopy of our sister's passport, a student card that ever-so-obviously listed us as a sixteen year old, and on some occasions, even a bus pass would suffice. Dingy and dirty, we all wore black and flats to avoid sticking to the dancefloor. Not only was this a haven for the teens that entered its doors, it was a haven for all purses and wallets alike. Getting smashed on a £3.10 "pangalactic gargle blaster" was the highlight of the night. We immersed ourselves into this sci-fi underground, meeting people both 14 and 40, only to have to get a taxi into college the next day.

As the blog title suggests, my friends and I are now aged 20+. The last time I stepped foot into the said club I was a meagre 17, and ended up meeting someone who I definitely wish I hadn't met. Bad memories aside and nostalgia en vogue, my friends and I returned to the said club at midnight-- this being after our taxi driver stopped at a petrol station for twenty minutes, leading us to question his potential status as a serial killer. Late and bladdered, we were determined to wreak havoc on the place that had given us all of our alcoholic education, paying back the price for the stained clothes and gin- induced tears.

Disregarding The Smiths, Pixies and The Cure that was infiltrating the upstairs room, we moved over to the retro request book to taint it with three pages begging for some Kanye and Jay-Z, only to be told numerous times that "we do not play that sort of stuff here". Ending the request with Love Will Tear Us Apart, we lied and procured drinks by alternating between stage names such as Gertrude and Candice to confessing alternately that we were 15/30 today and if we didn't hear the radio shouting about fish fillet we would have to stamp on their toes. These minions walked up to the DJ, only to see his face reddening even more for one 5'2 creature to be victim of "IF ANYONE REQUESTS THAT SONG ONE MORE TIME I WILL THROW THEM OUT!". Oops. Needless to say, when I went to request Love Will Tear Us Apart once more, that didn't go down well either.

After pretending to be German, Swedish and Russian, we were catapulted out of the club fifteen minutes later, only just into the early hours and still desperate to party. Another club rejection down the line and a box of cheesy chips later, I passed out on my best friend's sofa. Now THAT is seventeen year old behaviour.

                                                           note: face hidden to hide shame.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Episode 1: Peas

If you are a sensible student, you can normally leave pack your summer sabbaticals away from university full of enviable experiences. Some of my friends have opted to go back packing to Thailand, others to accrue work placements with a £1000 + salary, whilst others are building houses and libraries on the coast of Africa. These people, in one way or another, seem to have money, unlike my dear self. Whilst others admit to overdraft-inducing behaviour such as expensively "amazing" nights out with their friends or exotic trips away with whatever "Soc" they join, I flew into my overdraft in a rather embarrassing style. Perhaps it was the three packets of crisps a day. Perhaps it was dropping my iPhone down the toilet. Perhaps it was always losing my train tickets home and having to replace them £20 a pop, only to be told your parents didn't really understand why you bothered to come back anyway. In a very roundabout, verbose fashion, this blog post begins my confession: my summer has only just began because I have been ironing out my financial dent by working in my city's finest pea factory.

12 hour shifts. 6-6, four days, two days off, four nights, two days off. Thick, white, figure rejecting overalls that were clearly designed by a misogynist. The smell of decaying vegetable. Itchy hair nets. Trucks of peas, waiting to weighed and removed of snails, faeces and a horde of other delightful substances. And of course, peas. Lots and lots of peas, green and miniscule, waiting to be trod on and never fully eradicated. One day, when I was feeling rather brave, I decided to take three trays of these green monsters to the back of the factory, ridding me of a literal 60kg on my shoulders.

This is a simple enough activity for most ordinary people. I do not mean ordinary in the sense that I am soon going to speak, Justin Beiber style about how "random" I am (Christ) but how my physical abilities have failed me once again. Bordering on dyspraxic, I received many kind epithets at school about my physical failures, the most enduring being the politically incorrect "Jas the Spaz".

Now a lot less bitter and a lot more accepting of my downfalls, I strode towards the pea pit, and quietly assessed the fork lift entrance in front of me. Despite the warning sign, the markings on the road and the hefty kerb ahead, something in mind told me this was a viable opportunity. The event went as follows:
1) Entered the main of the dangerous road.
2) Successfully carted 30kg of peas across one kerb.
3) Echo of beeping from the forklift entrance.
4) Beeping became louder.
5) Cart of peas I halt in the middle of the road.
6) Shutter opens.
7) I yelp, and the 30kg of peas fall to the floor.

Destitute and panicked (and met with a few curt words from the forklift driver), I began to sweep 30kg of the green victims down the 30cm x 30cm drain available in front of me. Only when I had blocked the drain, twenty minutes later, did I realise how moronic I truly had been.

Oh, and I did it twice.

I'm even leaving a pictoral confession for you all, an image I hope you sympathise with, and that will hopefully be so tear inducing I might even be allowed to wreak havoc on the factory yet again next year.

                                                           3am delusion and somehow still smiling.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Thoughts on being twenty...

If you have arrived into the cyberspace of this blog successfully, you will not only be reading this sentence, but will have also realised that the blog is sardonically/worringly/smugly/paradoxically entitled "I am 20 now" (not I am twenty now I hasten to add, because some smug bastard already beat me to that one, thanks for making me look like a grammarian's wet dream). I am not twenty now. After counting on the tips of my fingers how many days there are until I am twenty, I have arrived at the most probably wrong figure of eighteen days until the big one.
Why is twenty the big one, I hear you enquire? Twenty is the age I can no longer use the excuse of being a teenager to denote my various inadequacies- for example my inexplicable sleeping pattern, tripping over my dear house rabbit on a frequent basis and me being one of the laziest human beings to ever traverse this dear earth. Twenty is the decade I actually have to consider being gainfully employed for a survivable salary, whether I will ever be able to geographically relocate without singing songs to my parents down the phone, whether I can commit to another human being to the rest of my life (perhaps just a consideration) or whether I want to procreate enough to look after numerous spawn in worldly self sacrifice (definitely a consideration). Twenty is the age that teenagedom is cast aside in favour of an ill-fitting adult label, leaving the only song that has successfully, yet embarrassingly covered this ground as B-Dogz "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman."
But really, what exactly will change as a twenty year old? By this age, I had already planned to have written a ground breaking treatise on women's rights, be the star guest on Parkinson (these are old, old dreams) as well as have a column in a half-decent newspaper with the cult following akin to Charlie Brooker. There were also dreams of acting in A-List movies, dancing in the vein of a skilled ghetto street dancer and learning to sing less like a nasal-ridden Yorkshirewoman, but these dreams were ones of immaturity and must be cast aside. Alas, I have entered the realm of the everywoman! This year charters mediocre accomplishments such as successfully living in a shared house between six people, (potentially) passing the second year of my degree, getting a half-decent hairstyle and not kicking my mum in the face when she speaks to the aforementioned rabbit.
So, what will entering the twenties bring? As you can see above, hopefully bloody miracles. However, as you have probably have noted, probably more self-deprecating, self-centered spiel to narrate this "bildungsroman"of mine.