I’m a proper grown-up now


I am the type of person who doesn’t really see myself as a grown-up. I spend a large portion of my evenings playing games, I spend 90% of my time in pyjamas outside of work and I don’t understand pensions. Even living alone hasn’t ever really made me feel grown-up, just independent.

But last weekend, I did something, or rather, bought something which made me feel grown-up. I bought a rug. Now, this might seem odd, and it did to me at first. I have bought furniture for my flat and that didn’t seem grown-up, it seemed essential. And I think that is where the difference lies. I bought by bookshelf because my books were everywhere (and they were starting to buckle the coffee table) and they needed a home. So I bought one. And my TV unit was purchased because the TV wasn’t designed to sit on the floor, plus the chances of me tripping and kicking it were too high, so I fixed that.

But never once have I looked at my flat (or any other flat) and thought, this place really needs a rug. In fact, I’ve never really given much thought to rugs, particularly rugs from M&S. The only rug I have ever had before was purchased for me. It was fluffy and heart shaped and purple. Not particularly grown up. But this rug, the glorious M&S, proof of my adulthood, rug, is rectangle, still purple and 100% wool. Yes, you heard me… 100% wool. And the fact it is from M&S means it is a real grown-up rug. Only grown-ups (and people with more disposable income than me) buy things from M&S.

We will ignore the fact I only considered M&S as an option because someone at work gave me a 20% off voucher… And the fact I then chose it because even without the discount it was the cheapest rug I had found and with M&S you can expect quality.

But regardless of discounts and financial reasons for choosing the rug, I now have a rug, which means I am a grown-up. Well, and my tape measure I used to measure the exact spot it would go in clearly adds to that.

I’m succeeding at pretending to be a functioning adult…

Sometimes.

I can’t say I’m succeeding all the time as I am currently sat typing covered in blue food colouring with sticky fingers from baking wearing socks that have ears and are designed to look like foxes.. Well, you win some, you lose some.

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You’re worse than the devil


When I woke up this morning, I knew it was just going to be one of those days. The fact it was 6am and the cats were crying and scratching incessantly at the door just set it off on the path it continued on.

Ignoring the fact the cats woke me up two hours earlier than I would willingly be out of bed and an hour before my first alarm, the getting ready for work part of my day was uneventful and fairly samey.

It was getting the bus which started the truly horrific part of the day. Now, I don’t think I am an unreasonable person, nor am I particularly prone to irrational anger, but I am firmly of the opinion that people who play music or videos out loud on their phone or any other electronic device on public transport in rush hour are worse than the devil. There is never a reason for it. You want to keep your kids entertained and quiet on the bus? Give them headphones. You want to listen to your modern dubstep music that I don’t really understand out loud on the bus? Headphones. You want to have your news update podcast? You guessed it: headphones.

Now, as I stepped onto the bus, I could already hear that someone was playing something out loud but as I got up the stairs, I was confronted with Ace Ventura being played on someone’s phone for their child very loudly. Now, I don’t have anything against Ace Ventura being watched, but I do have an issue with hearing it when I am barely sentient first thing in the morning.

And, I will admit, I’ve been fairly fortunate recently in that I rarely encounter people playing things out loud on the bus but the universe was clearly telling me I have been getting too lightly lately… Because someone else on the way home, with their child, was playing something on their phone, out loud.

Hey, who knows, it might have been the same person.

And they might have been watching Ace Ventura.

Small world.

My cats are geniuses.


I was supposed to be heading to GameCity for the fourth year this weekend, but for various reasons (not feeling particularly well and not having a lot of money or days of holidays left) have meant I am not able to take part like I would have wanted to. So today, I am left at home instead of making the most of my time at the National Videogame Arcade, but unfortunately, that’s life.

Earlier this afternoon, I needed to head out to make a trip to the market. I’m trying to make it a habit now just for price and quality reasons and also for the fact that Leeds Kirkgate market is quite interesting to walk around. There is a lot within a relatively small space. But in getting ready to head to the market earlier, I was once again confronted with the fact my kittens are not particularly bright.

Over the past 3 months, I have been confronted with a few moments where I end up just staring at them thinking: well, that was never going to end well. This morning was one of the best. To give some background, since I have had the kittens, the toilet lid is always down. I set myself into a panic when I first got the kittens worrying they were going to drink the toilet water and poison themselves with the chemicals I use to clean it. I also had to leave it closed at all times because one one of the first days in the flat, Raven tried to jump up and nearly fell into the toilet. So the lid remains down.

This morning, I had opened the lid, and within 5 seconds, Raven had come bolting into the bathroom while I was in the process of getting a few things together. Now, with Raven I can guess what he was trying to do so this wasn’t as funny as it turned out to be. Raven will more often than not jump up onto the toilet and then up onto the top of the cistern to watch me get ready for whatever I am doing. He sits and watches me brush my teeth and do my makeup for work. Every day. So with the lid up today, I assume he was trying to jump up to watch, and with there being no platform to jump up onto the cistern, he ended up in the toilet feet first. Of course, he was out in half a second and running off down the corridor like a shot

I probably smirked a little and got back to it, or I would have gone back to it were it not for the fact that straight afterwards, Oscar had come running into the bathroom. Now, before I lead further into this, Oscar does not spend much time sitting watching me get ready for work. He rarely jumps up onto the toilet, he will come and sit between my feet wherever I am standing in the most awkward way possible. So, I have no idea why today of all days he decided that he was going to jump onto the toilet. But jump he did. Head first. Into the toilet.

Now, by this point, I was pretty close to losing it. I shouldn’t have laughed, but I was definitely close to cracking. What really pushed me over the edge was that when I walked out of the bathroom, still visibly amused, both Raven and Oscar were out in the corridor, both looking at me with looks of utter betrayal as though I had personally offended their ancestors. I completely lost it. I was trying to catch them to dry them off but they were having none of it.

I am a bad mother for laughing.

But it was funny.

I made it up to them by giving them some of the roasted chicken I brought back from the market. They are all good now.

I chose my phone for the cats…


We live in a world of smart phones and stupid people – Unknown

I recently adopted two kittens from a lady who fosters them for Yorkshire Cat Rescue until someone else can take them in. There is a whole story behind my random steps to finally meet the kittens, but that is a story for another day.

My story for today is about the perils of trying to cancel a contract and trying to set up a new phone. My old contract had been up for months and months and I decided that since it was never the price it said on the tin and now it  had turned out to be a pretty bad deal, I was going to upgrade and get a new phone with it.

Anyone who has tried to cancel a phone contract (or any service contract for that matter) will know that the minute you say you want to cancel, you will be met with: “but are you sure though?” When I told the operator I was putting in my 30 day notice because I had found a better contract (still with them just through a third party provider) he made every motion to look at their upgrade website, which I had already looked at, to find me a better deal.

One of the big things I mentioned straight off the bat to the operator was that one of the reasons I had chosen the new contract was because the phone with it had a very good camera. He then proceeded to list phones to me that they could offer… which had cameras of the same specifications of the phone I was trying to upgrade. The end of that conversation was me reiterating that I just wanted to give my 30 day notice. It might have been easier and we could have saved a lot of time had I just shouted down the phone at him when I told him about the camera: “I JUST WANT TO TAKE HIGH QUALITY PICTURES OF MY CATS. THEY DESERVE BETTER THAN THE 5MP I CURRENTLY HAVE.”

He might not have questioned it then and he would probably have been happy to get off the phone.

So the first hurdle was crossed. Then came the phone call to EE when my new phone arrived asking them to transfer my old number to my new phone. This started six or seven conversations which started in exactly the same way.

“You know, if you had just upgraded, we could have saved you this trouble, plus you probably would have had a better deal.”

“No, I already checked your deals and I didn’t upgrade because this one came with a better phone for a better price.”

“Oh.”

Maybe I should have used the cat line on them too.

My phone call to EE took twice as long as it should have done because the first time I was put on hold I decided I was going to put it on speaker so I could do something else without needing to hold the phone like a peasant. I pushed the giant red button which is the universal symbol for hanging up the phone.

I’m a genius.

It has been sorted though, and I get my old number transferred on Monday morning. Time to send some creepy texts with my temporary number.. I’m sure my friends will appreciate it.

And note to self: choosing a phone based on the ability to take pictures of your cats is probably the gateway to that inevitable cat lady road…

Starting over… again…


“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” – Anne Tyler

I have been thinking about writing again for a long time. And thinking about it was all that I was doing.  I considered starting again on a new blog but I used to have something good on here, so I’m just continuing… After a very significant hiatus.  Wanting to start again elsewhere might have had something to do with the fact 90% of the images on this blog appear to have vanished into the ether never to be seen again.. I will eventually try to work out what the images were or I will delete them. I’ll do something… Eventually.

So to get to the point: I am starting again. I am trying to rekindle my desire to write. I love writing but I haven’t done any of it for so long. I lost my drive and I want it back. I like to make people (mostly myself) laugh and I do that best when I write.

This time, over all previous promises of the same, I will stay on top of this. I will do things that I find interesting enough to write about, and I will make people laugh again.

Maybe.

Being back at university is a world of its own.


I wish I could say I have kept to the numerous promises I have made myself and various people that I would write on a regular basis, but I can’t. Well, I have been writing on a regular basis, but not on this platform, which is what people actually care about. I say this loosely because I think it is only really Fern who cares and only in a limited capacity when she is bored or killing time or if I have mentioned her by name in post.

I am a little delayed by my back to university post, but only by a few weeks. It’s still in the realms of current affairs in my life. I have been back in Nottingham for the best part of 2 months, but that is neither here nor there. 2 months since I left my placement firm and it feels like a lifetime ago. I feel like it has been the longest time since I spoke to most of the people I spent all day Monday to Friday with. I should probably change that… But I won’t. I am terrible with communication.

When I was in my last month at work in August, I was utterly convinced I was going to hate being back at uni. I was going to miss the steady income (which I do), I was going to miss the people (again, I sort of do), I was going to miss the structure of the day (….getting into the realms of complete crap here) and I was going to miss the work (I do, surprisingly, I just don’t miss the constant phone calls. I hated the phone with a passion.) I am not going to talk about my placement because that is a whole other post I have already briefly covered before and the whole potential breach of confidentiality thing if I write too much puts me off. I don’t want to be sued.

In the month I still had off preceding my return to university, I feel I achieved quite a lot. I learnt despite my natural appalling dance abilities, I absolutely destroy at Just Dance. I found myself an admirer in Spain… Who was twice my age. I also learnt that Cranium is a fantastic game… If you have friends you don’t mind screaming at. “WHY CAN’T YOU TELL THAT WAS A CHAUFFEUR? I CAN’T SEE HOW I COULD HAVE MADE IT ANY CLEARER WITH MY EYES CLOSED…” (Please see below for the actual chauffeur picture.) I did model the Taj Mahal out of the dough and that was guessed, so I must just be a pro sculptor.

I also learnt that I can, in fact, live with Fern. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t anticipate any problems, but it is never a guarantee that living with people will go smoothly, no matter how well you get along. It’s all good though; Fern comes as a package with Elliot and he cooks and cleans, so he is a winner in my books. That, and I think his dance moves on Just Dance might be the best thing that has ever happened to the flat.

I suppose the important reflection to consider so far is: what have I done since being back at university itself? Well, I have learnt that mooting is going to cause me to lose my hair, projectile vomit over a judge or just have a spontaneous breakdown. It might be a combination of all three. I have also managed to ruin someone’s degree by ‘making someone get all arty again.’ In my own defence, all I did was ask for one picture a few weeks ago, before uni had even started… Then I started doodling all over the place.. then Naomi got her tablet involved and decided to draw for me. There was no forcing. It isn’t my fault she is now spending all her time drawing.. I  take no responsibility, but I won’t complain if she decides to draw EVERYTHING FOR ME. I’m her number one fan after all.

Speaking of all things Naomi, she basically lives in the sofa boat in our living room. We all worked out pretty early on that if you push the sofas together they become a magical squishy boat. She sleeps there now… It’s fine though, because she also cooks, and in the world of Fern and Charlotte, food makes up for pretty much everything.

I will wrap up this post by sharing one love I have rediscovered since leaving work and heading back to uni…

Naps. I have ruined my sleeping pattern over a few days and now I am tired all the time.. But nothing quite beats a midday nap.

This is probably why I am not sleeping.

The End of a Chapter.


I have been confined to the kitchen floor to write this post. I have been in the process of thinking about writing this post for almost a week now. As I may have mentioned before, I have spent the last 12 months (well, 15 months after my contract was extended) working for a law firm. My degree included a sandwich year and I am now in the process of preparing for my final year. This last week has seen me leave the firm (following a few tears and tantrums) and move into my new flat in Nottingham.

This last year has been quite the experience. I did not enjoy my first 6 months on placement as much as I should have as I didn’t feel like I gained very much from it, but the second half was markedly better. I was moved into a part of the business that actually dealt with claims. My first few weeks in that team were spent helping the other handlers but I ended up with a full case load by the end of my placement. Throughout my placement I have met some of the funniest people I know. I have also met some of the most ridiculous people I know, but I won’t linger on that point for too long. The year has been quite the experience and I am eternally grateful I have had the opportunity. It is also nice to know there is every chance I will be able to just walk straight back into a job after university. It somewhat removes the stress of knowing what to do with my life in 10 months time.

My news of the moment is definitely moving into the new flat, though. I have been moved in since Saturday and am maybe half way unpacked now. All the important items like my laptop and games are all unpacked. All my miscellaneous items are shoved in corners to deal with tomorrow. And tomorrow never comes. I am slightly worried by how easily I have slipped back into the student life of doing nothing for all hours of the day. I have slept more in the last four days than I have over the last year. As with every other year, tensions have already started to mount. There are barely concealed insults, elbows appear, there is swearing and shouting… All in the name of Mario. I evidently don’t play well as part of a team when it comes to Mario and this has caused quite the problem when trying to play. Fern gets over it. We stop playing for a bit, maybe out of frustration, leave it for a day and then go back the next day as if we are going to work well together the next time. It doesn’t happen.

Aside from the Super Mario tensions, the week has run smoothly. We have had a few little niggles, but we have powered on through. Aside from the fact there are many MANY holes in the wall (like someone has run through with a hammer and just punched holes through for giggles), the fact things keep falling out of the walls and the fact someone may have murdered someone on one of the couches and covered it with a throw to disguise this, the flat is lovely. It is large. Everything feels large to me since my flat last year was the size of a shoebox.

Today has been quite the dramatic day considering we have only left the house to go shopping. Asda is down the hill from our flat. This is not a problem when going to the shop. The problems arise when trying to trek back up the hill. It got to the point we had taken three stops in about a hundred feet because things were so heavy. It even got to the point that a suggestion was made to steal a wheelie bin as shopping transportation. We nearly had Grand Theft Auto: The Wheelie Bin Edition. The redeeming feature of this was that the Asda does sell Pop Tarts and chocolate pretzels. Next time I will just buy them and not a whole shopping load of other things. The main purpose of this shop was to buy baking ingredients and today has seen our first baking drama. It isn’t quite the ‘bincident’ from Great British Bake Off, but I still had Fern banging on my door screeching “It’s a shortbread emergency!” (I am taking creative liberties with her phrasing, but in my mind that is 100% what she said.) This was then followed by caramel drama and a few burns caused by taste testing. Fern now realises just how much of a genius I am when I made her a divider for her caramel out of mugs and cardboard. She is going to keep me around. I have already proven my worth.

I had plenty more to say about the placement year and moving in, but after the Great Hill Trek of 1pm, I don’t have it in me to write anything else. I need a nap. I didn’t wake up until 11. I could get used to this. I don’t think I am ready for university yet. I don’t think I will ever be ready for university.

I will finish this off by providing a picture of the new house mascot. Meet the dragonborn minion. He lingers with all the belongings I have shoved onto the mantlepiece. Fern lets me keep things there because it all looks good. She likes the Skyrim map.