28 December 2011

And The Winner Is

If there was a competition, or better still, a job application which called for the best and busiest Christmas ever, my family would definitely have it in the bag. 100%. The advertisement might say something along the lines of:

Applicants must have at least twenty people over for Christmas Day lunch and Boxing Day. (Score - we had 23, not to mention those who dropped in for a while for a bit of bubbly. Hence every chair in the house being used, plus step ladders and the inability to move from the table, even if quite desperate for the loo).

The noise within in the house must be well above average. (Point for us again - There were certain moments, especially when crammed into the front room attempting to open presents all at once, when even shouting was futile. In fact, I'm sure the neighbours thought we were having some kind of raucous party instead of simply opening pressies by the tree).

The amount of food made and consumed must be ridiculous. (Win - My mum and I made so much food for boxing day that we didn't even begin to touch two of the dishes. There were seconds, and thirds, and even fourths for some but still we have a fridge and freezer full of amazing food waiting to be eaten. We had 23 people round but we must have literally made enough food for over 50).

Every room in the house must be decorated. (Right now, my house is a Christmas wonderland. Complete with a colour coordinated green and silver Christmas tree, flashing lights all the way down the hallway, a mirror ball in the dining room and hanging gingerbread men in the kitchen, it is a magical party house.)

Added to these points in my covering letter, I might state the fact that we were so busy cooking, eating and generally attempting to move around the house that we didn't get to watch any Christmas television at all. Similarly, to add an essence of cuteness, I might mention that we have an amazingly adorable, soft, happy little baby boy in the family now, who is only two months old and totally stole the spotlight. I think that might buy me a few brownie points from the recruiter! And lastly I would probably highlight the number of gifts exchanged, so many in fact, that some got lost. Whether in the piles of torn up wrapping paper or under a sofa somewhere, they are doomed never to be found again...a present lost in the Christmas Cosmos that is my family's festive season.

I love them all dearly and I wouldn't change a thing. If only we really could get some recognition for the hard work we all put into making our Christmas the best, busiest, loudest Christmas every year. I hope you all had a nice peaceful one just to keep things in balance.

24 December 2011


Hi guys. Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I have been a busy bee - working at the Olympia Horse Show serving very rich, often posh people hundreds of bottles of champagne and then buying Christmas pressies with all the marvellous tips I earned from doing so. Seriously, it shows you just how much money these people have when they order drinks at over £500 and have paid for their boxes at over £5000 and then give me a £60 tip! Anyway, it made my Christmas time because I was able to get the people I love some good presents, as supposed to a shoddy attempt at a handmade one - I'm really not that creative.

Anyway, before I rush off to help my poor mum finish preparation for boxing day lunch (yes, boxing day, not even tomorrow) and then skip to the local for a cheeky Christmas Eve pint, I would like to wish you all a VERY merry Christmas. Let's all forget about our tribulations and fill our heads with the smells of Christmas pud and mulled wine. Have a great few days.


5 December 2011

Reunion (Or Forgetting You Ever Left University)

My weekend pretending I was once again a student of Nottingham University was, to be oxymoronic, painfully fun. I arrived healthy, fit and ready for two days of student messiness. ("It's gonna be Lionel", as the guys say....took me rather a while to get this pun. What can I say, I just don't know enough about football). I left, however, with no voice, a broken shoe and a foot that was described rather too vividly as resembling a gammon joint. Student nightclub Ocean proved to be a little too much for this out-of-practice grad me thinks. Despite the fact I have black pumps without a sole on the right foot, am on antibiotics and sound rather like Leonard Cohen on an extra raspy day, I can say that it was actually, a spectacular weekend.
Living in the real world has been proving a bit too much for me and few of my graduated mates. The endless job applications, down hearteningly low wages and general lack of brain stimulation have left us pining for the student lifestyle once again.

Of course, when I was close to graduating I thought I had the whole world ahead of me. I couldn't wait to be earning and contributing, working and feeling grown up. The transition from uni lifestyle to real world routine can be difficult, especially if you don't feel much worth in your situation. Universities, especially personal tutors, need to prepare students more for this unexpected change. There are no cheap sports clubs or competitions any more and no regular social events with all your peers - it's very difficult to get everyone together at the same time and place these days. Alongside getting us prepared for finals, tutors need to be pushing us to start applying for jobs, work experience, grad schemes, anything that will help set us up for the after-life. I know these are the kind of things I'll be telling all my younger relatives to do.

Life seemed so much simpler when we could live in our pyjamas and eat pizza in the library at 2am. Nevertheless, the show that is our lives must, and will, go on. Despite reminding me of what I am missing, this weekend also showed me that we are all, mostly, in the same position and no matter what is happening in life, we will always have an amazing group of friends to share our woes with over rum and orange juice -or whatever other strange student drink we choose. Cheers!