All entries for January 2005

January 28, 2005

Crossing The Road

Disclaimer:Anything that could be construed as racist to the Irish in this piece must be read bearing in mind that the author is Irish and any insulting insinuations directed at non-Dublin residents is designed as an insult to one of the author's friends. The big culchie twat. Thank you.

An observation made over the Christmas break. Crossing the road has regional accents. People do it differently depending on where in the country you are. Here's a rough guide from my own extensive (ahem) research…

The Proper Way

Look both ways several times before crossing the road. Hold hands with a responsible, Daily Mail approved adult. Remember the Green Cross Code. And the annoying advert on TV with the hedgehog that can't sing.

The Manchester Way

Look both ways. Check the number of people waiting with you beside the road. The ideal number should be above 25 with a ratio of at least one hard looking nutter in a Bolton Wanderers/Manchester City/Wigan Warriors replica shirt to every three normal people. If the crowd satisfies these prerequisites then walk across the road. The cars will stop if they know what's good for them. After all, they can't be sure that plowing into the crowd will eliminate all the nutters and if any are left they'll be coming after the driver… madferit.

The Dublin Way

Get two or three hundred friends or, more commonly, relatives. Cross the road. You don't need to look both ways, the city is designed for 500,000 people and there's a million living there so there'll always be gridlock. And if not, well there's enough of you to persuade the traffic to stop anyway.

The Rest Of Ireland Way

Where ever really. It's not like they have cars or anything.

The Devon Way

Look both ways for tractors then instruct your sheepdog to move the flock across the road. Whilst eating fudge. This is according to Housemate:Mike.

The London Way

Look both ways for public transport and/or taxis. There are very few cars moving as Ken Livingstone has decided that a cunning way to stop right wing car users is to being about total gridlock for private vehicles. Yeah, go socialism*. Less care is needed in the congestion charging zone anyone driving in that is clearly rich enough to give a nice payout when they hit you.

The Birmingham Way

Make sure it's actually a road and not one of those really random pedestrianised bits which are everywhere. You'll look a right tool checking for traffic on those.

The Coventry Way

Cross. Quickly. Very quickly. Run! Run dammit, they're after us!?!

The Hull Way

Look both ways for your chav accomplices. Then cross the road regardless of traffic whilst asking oncoming traffic "Awww, wotyouzlookinat? Aww…". Housemate:Els insists she has observed this. I think this is merely how she personally crosses the road.

The Oxford Way

Get the butler to bring whatever is so desirable on the other side of the road to you.

The Cheshire Way

Look both ways. Then look again. If the approaching car is a normal car then cross if you have time. If it's a rich twat's car then run. They don't care about plebians like you although it will piss Jeeves off that he has to scrape your festering, poverty-riddled remains off master's Bentley's grill.

The French Way

At your own risk.

*I actually really like Ken and would vote for him if I still lived in London.

January 26, 2005

Warwick 1sts 9–0 Leicester 26/1/2005

"I think the crackers might have swung it" Housemate:Els, 12.05pm, 26/1/2005

I've not written about football in a while which is probably a relief to all my readers (both of you) but I do feel a bit let down by myself. Ok, ok so I had not actually played football for nearly two months but still I've got a lovely purple bruise on my knee from training which is so dark, big and nasty looking that I spent a couple of minutes earlier trying to wash it off thinking it was mud. Mmm…

Anyway, I was meant to play for the 2nds today. They are my usual team and we had a home game against Northampton. Fairly crucial, if we don't do something about our goal difference we are going to finish below the College of Cakes (boo hiss). But last night I got a call from the 1sts captain, Katie, who was short of a goalkeeper, as Malin had lectures and couldn't make the 1sts match as it was away, and the 1sts wanted me. Apparently.

So I found myself at Rootes reception at 11.30am as agreed wating for the rest of the 1sts. Then I realised the problem. Nevermind not having a keeper, we were missing players left, right and centre. It was desperate phone call time, trying to call anyone, 1st, 2nd, retired, dead who was/had been associated with Warwick Women's Football Club and been stupid enough to give us her number. By 12.45 there were seven of us. At midday there were eight. Hanya'a brilliant (ahem) solution was to grab any female walking through Rootes as and ask her to play. This was later extended to any girly looking men.

In the event the only girl we did grab was Amanda who was never likely to agree as we grabbed her on her way to join the hockey girls for their away match against someone or other. The following was me and Housemate:Els's brilliant attempt to recruit Amanda:

Me: "Go on, play footballl for us, we only have eight players"
Amanda: "Let's see… er, no"
Housemate:Els: "Oh go on, it'll be fun"
Amanda: "Hmmm, let me think about this… no"
Me: "Oh come on, we're going to Leicester. Ever been to Leicester? Could be educational and fun"
Amanda: "You know what? No"
Housemate:Els: "We could get you some cheese there"
Amanda: "A-ha-ha-ha… no"
Me: "Cheese and crackers?"
Amanda: "Um…"
Housemate:Els: "I think the crackers might have swung it"
Amanda: "No"

We admitted defeat. In the end we had 11 players. Seven 1sts (three out of their favoured positions) and four seconds. We got lost trying to get there. We always get lost. It's aprt of the day. When we did get there the pitch was terrible. Really, really awful, just sand and stones and sticks everywhere. The ref looked like a short Ronnie O'Sullivan. Hmmm…

And then we kicked off. For about five minutes Leicester came at us quite strong and I was really worried about how this was going to go. And then… then… I'm not sure, it just turned completely. We nearly scored, a lovely break from Hanya and Katie should have been better served by the ref but the 'goal' was given offside. Mere seconds later Housemate:Els sent a ball hurtling across the area which took a slight deflection of some part of Hanya (hand? back? who knows (we do but we're not saying)). 1–0. Minutes later another ball went across the face of goal, missed by two of our players, before Becky put it in. And to round off the half Hanya scored a proper goal. I didn't have much to do in nets except one clearance which involved me and Leicester's striker clattering into each other outside the box. It's why I don't play rugby I think…

In the second half Leicester's spirit collapsed as soon as Katie scored, seconds after play restarted with a great middle distance strike. It was over then. Hanya scored three more, and there were goals from the two central defenders Cat and Soph. Malin (who was able to come with us as we had wasted so much time in Rootes trying to find players that her lecture ended) came close. Jen should have scored. I didn't get much to do although Leicester never gave up and had some good attacks towards the end, none of which, though, resulted in a major threat on goal.

They still invited us to chips at the boat-pub afterwards. Lovely lot.

January 19, 2005

George III

20.34 Ok, I am honestly, definitely doing this essay tonight and tomorrow night. I have to, it's in for Friday. I need 2000 words on George III's first twenty years in power. So far I have exhausted most forms of procrastination. My MSN isn't working, thankfully, due to Housemate:Mike downloading something and eating all the bandwidth. This is a relief as I thought my expensive new Ethernet LAN card was defective. Chances are it is anyway, but I can't know for sure now, which is nice…

I've done 212 words. The introduction and a small part of the first paragraph. I went to University House's spanking new Learning Grid today. The plan was to be there from about 11am till 3pm then go to the gym. The actual itinerary for that timeframe, however, was more like
11am-12noon Get sandwich in Union, annoy Housemate:Mike whilst he was working on One World Week, go to shop several times due to indecision, go to library.
12noon-1pm Visit Claycroft and annoy Amanda for an hour, try to make her sound enthusiastic about umpiring a hockey game at 2pm in the rain, fortunately I think the alcohol still sloshing around in her system from last night helped her survive.
1pm-2pm I'm not sure what happened here. All I know is I might have been in the Learning Grid but very little got done. Listened to The Postal Department. Thanks for recommending that Jen.
3pm-4pm Gym. Then I got a bus home. Saw Amanda on the way to the busstop, she's made the courageous decision to avoid a hangover today by getting drunk before she sobers up again. Trouble is when she does sober up she's got work to do. Just like I have now. Right, head down, eyes on the goal…

21.25 Yes I know I'm bored because I have just spent 10 minutes on Google trying to find a picture of the woman who wrote the book I am currently reading. She looks friendly. I want to meet her and tell her I like her book, which I do. I just don't like this essay, that's all. 465 words, 6 footnotes.

Mmm, just read something amusing written by Sam. Good to see someone else I know is suffering with work as well. I was worried as the only other people I know who have stayed in to do work are Niamh and Winnie and chances are their interpretation of work currently involves watching a film.

Damn I'm hungry…

21.52 At least Manchester United won. Conclusive proof that we are better than Liverpool. And Exeter. But not Chelsea. Dammit. I'm still hungry and I've only done 814 words but I can't take the hunger anymore so I am off for a break and some cream crackers. Hopefully there will be some non-mouldy cheese left unattended in the house which I can have.

22.05 No new words, but I haven't gone for food yet either. Decision time. I'm aiming for 1500 words tonight then I shall finish it tomorrow. No problem if I can just get my arse in gear…

22.38 I've eaten and read most of the NME and now I want to tell you an anecdote. Last night I was 'working' and a thought popped into my head. I had to give something to Soph the next day. And then I heard Soph's voice. I was worried I was going mad until I realised I actually was hearing Soph's voice and she was outside scaling our garden wall and then opening the gate to let her housemate Ro in as well. They then climbed in through Housemate:Els's window.

A brief investigation relvealed that they had gone to the Union event with Shola Ama and were a bit drunk. Els had jokingly asked them to bring her chips from Viali's and feed them to her through her window. So they did. Took us half an hour to get rid of them, half an hour which included an argument about an episode of Simpsons which Soph is sure exists and no one else has any recollection of. Tramapoline? Yes dear, very nice…

Now dad's on the phone. This essay will never get done…

23.05 Brain aches, but I've got 1107 words and I can't stop now!

23.23 I know when to admit defeat and that time is when you turn your printer on and it starts making noises which sound like the opening chords to 'The Power' by early 1990s dance music fools Snap. Yes, I know, obscure music references are the first sign of a tired mind so with 1199 spell checked words I am admitting defeat and going to bed before midnight for the first time in… erm… er… I'm not entirely sure. But who cares, I'll finish it tomorrow.

January 11, 2005

The Anglophone World's Biggest Problem

Oooo, pretentious title alert! This is cos I'm feeling bolshie and argumentitive…

But it says what I want to say. It's true to say that the Anglophone world, Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand have this problem moreso than Ireland and Canada. The problem? Hablas espanol? Parle vous Francais? Czy mówi pan po polsku? Languages. We can't speak them.

I know the first two of those phrases from memory. French is the main weapon of the British secondary school system but even after three years my knowledge of the language is pitiful, although one factor is that those three years were from the age of 11 until I was 14, so essentially I have not tried to engage in French for over six years. The Spanish I will return to but if you were to ask me "Hablas espanol [Do you speak Spanish]?" I would tentatively say "yes". Or "si" if I was feeling really confident. The last question from that paragraph is Polish for (natch) "Do you speak Polish?" No, but I have met a lot of Poles over the years and one (a friend of my brother) told me this once.

So am I a typical anglophone? No. I'm not in the slightest and this is a huge concern to me. Why aren't we communicating in one of the thousands of other languages around the world. More people speak Mandarin. More people speak English as a second language than as a first. The fastest growing language is Spanish.

Let's start with our own government's statistics:

1. It is currently estimated that languages are taught in about 1 in 5 primary schools. (Office for National Statistics)

Not good enough. I had no language education at primary school and this is exactly the time when we should be starting to teach languages, when it is easier for kids to learn and when they are more likely to respond, not yet the grumpy teenagers prone to the argument "all foreigners speak English anyway". 1 in 5 is a start but nothing more.

2. Figures from 2001/02 show that the number of GCSE entries for French and German decreased, while entries for Spanish increased. (Office for National Statistics)

Not surprising. French and German are traditional languages but they are less relevant than they used to be. We no longer conduct our foreign language affairs with just these two European partners. The rise of Spanish is also unsurprising, I learned both in school and Spanish is, frankly, easier for the native English speaker. German suffers from a tortuous grammar structure and the habit of creating words by gluing old ones together which whilst it creates intuitive things like Staubsauger- Vacuum cleaner, literally dust sucker- can also generate huge words like _ undesausbildungsfoerderungsgesetz_.

Maybe if we used Spanish as the introduction language, rather than French, it would be better. I've found in my experience that when I was doing the two in parallel the Spanish would help with the French on occasion, mainly in the grammar.

3. 74% of all 15 year olds taking GCSEs in 2002 studied at least one modern foreign language. 51% studied French, 21% studied German, and 8 % studied Spanish. (Office for National Statistics)

Except only one in three schools in this country force all their students to take a foreign language GCSE (BBC ). Since September this year it's not been the government's policy to force participation. Ok, you can argue that this will exclude the disruptive element who (I can vouch from experience) make it harder for the interested to learn, but even so some who have ability will slip through the net in a flurry of laziness and peer pressure.

4. In Rutland, 89% of all 15 year olds took at least one language – the highest proportion in the country. (Office for National Statistics)

Rutland is tiny. I included this stat to show that statistic can prove anything. Yeah, I'm cynical. So what?

5. Spain was the most popular destination for UK residents to visit in 2002, overtaking France for the first time in over 10 years. In 2002, UK residents made 12.6 million visits to Spain (up by 7%) and 11.7 million visits to France (down by 2%). (Office for National Statistics)

So what are we gonna do when we get there? Sit on the beach bitching about the Germans taking all the sunloungers? Talk to all the locals in English until one understands? Learn to say "dos cervezas, por favor" and leave it at that? All of the above probably. The British abroad gather into communities of Brits who speak English in their little enclaves and don't learn the local tongue. It's the sort of thing which breeds the inherent hypocrasy of the Daily Mail reading middle classes who lambast foreigners coming to England and not speaking perfect English but then roll over the Spain, Portugal, where ever expecting their loud voices and hand gestures to be enough.

The English speakers are too arrogant. Where there is more effort to teach a foreign language the results are mixed. The Irish and Welsh have to learn their native Celtic languages, which is laudable but ultimately pointless. No one speaks Welsh or Irish outside Wales and Ireland. My Irish born cousins never use the language (except to swear at me and my brother, they should know we learned all the Irish rude words years ago as a result of this and we know what they are saying). They complained about having to do it in their exams and wasting time studying them in school. None of them can speak any other language with any fluency. I know a similar story from Welsh friends. Ok, there are valid reasons for teaching the languages, it would be sad to see them die (and Welsh is a harder case to argue against as it is still a living language in many areas).

Canada… Canada's bilingual status does not necessarily translate into a nation where the English speakers are all fluent in French. Government statistics show that in a population of 28.5 million, just under 5 million identify themselves as bilingual. However, many of these are from Quebec so are, most likely, French speakers with fluent English. Even in a country where English is accompanied so often by another, live, language, the Anglophone arrogance appears to remain, though it is much less severe than in Britain or America.

So where does this leave us? Struggling frankly. We need to teach languages earlier and with more government backing. I feel passionately about this because of my own experiences.

I can read Spanish with a high level of fluency but my writing is littered with grammatical errors and I have next to no confidence with speaking. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have no problem at all speaking (at great length) in English but I'm too afraid to attempt it in Spanish. Part of the reason I chose Warwick is that the history course here has a mandatory language option and I wanted to be able to keep myself able. As it is I'm stuck, not ignorant enough to just forget it all and not fluent enough to be happy with my ability. Would I be better if I'd started before the age of 12? Yes. It's a shame I and my contemporaries fell through the net but it shouldn't be the case for the current generation. But it will be, or worse…

January 08, 2005

When Did Dialogue Die?

This blog has got to the point now where there are so many rambling entries that I can refer back to earlier ones. This entry does refer back to a comment I made a few days ago but I'm not linking to it because it isn't hugely relevant and it's one line in a long entry. The line was to the effect that nightfall imbues urban areas with a beauty and delicacy they rarely achieve in daylight. The horrors of concrete and 1960s architecture are darkened and most of what is visible is illuminated into ghostly splendor. Lights, streetlights, traffic lights, Christmas lights. Driving home from a mate's house I found this to be true even of my home town. Ah, the lies of the night. The following is a true story…

My parents moved their young family, one daughter (4 1/2) one son (2), to Cheshire to give them a chance in the cleaner air. The toxic fumes of growing up in London warp and damage. Lead on the brain and all that. They wanted a garden for the kids to run around in, a quieter place where they wouldn't get run over or bullied or harmed. They chose wisely at the time. A beige commuter town, a bitch-town to the Mancunian desire for more workers to fuel the north west's long delayed return to relevance. Small and nondescript.

In 16 years this place has fallen into a terrible state. Not that you'd know it to see it. It looks, if anything, better, more vibrant, more open. Newer, bigger, better shops, more restaurants, the classy wine bar where no trainers are allowed. The pubs were refitted to make them nicer. They built huge housing estates to accommodate new families and retirement flats for the elderly. A new surface turned the precinct from a chewing gum stained mass of concrete into a nicely bricked plaza. They expanded the doctor's surgery. It looks great. It all looks great, especially at night, lit up by the modest but pretty Christmas lights.

But behind the prettiest face can lie the darkest of hearts. And being here, you can see this darkness even as the casuals miss it all.

We were not alone. The late eighties brought a generation of baby boomers with their own children to the conclusion that their cities were not right to bring up children. There are hundreds of people my age, my brother's age, and slightly younger. And young people have many habits, one of which is growing up.

The town these days is split into three distinct groups. The baby boomers are still here, in the 40s and 50s, working in Manchester and Crewe and other nearby towns. They don't really see what's happened to the town. They aren't, in the main, responsible themselves. Not directly anyway, except in some cases. The problem groups are the other two: The elderly and the young.

The elderly are the late comers. The retirement flats and the new housing estates attracted them in droves. I guess it makes sense. For the same reasons my parents thought the quiet, semi rural life was better for young children, so the elderly quite sensibly equated this life with being good for the retired. There were, obviously, some retired people here beforehand. But the new ones were different.

The young have lived here their whole lives, or close to. They are growing up properly now, becoming aware of the quiet and wishing that there was something more to do. They are getting into fads and crazes and wanting to have a drink.

Conflict is inevitable. The new plaza in town is perfect for skateboarding on. So the kids did. And this upset the elderly who complained to the council. The problems were boiling over. A sign went up declaring skateboarding violated a bylaw and is forbidden. It was vandalised within days. And replaced. And vandalised. And replaced. For over two years this has been the case and it will not stop anytime soon. They put up the CCTV. Teh kids wore hoods to avoid detection. The shops issued "No hooded tops to be worn in this shop" signs. No one paid attention.

A perfectly sensible compromise, to build a skatepark was proposed. I was delighted. I don't skate but even I could see the way things were was insane. The skatepark was NIMBY-ed. NIMBY. Not In My Back Yard. The wreckers. The people who didn't want the young around them. They complained that it would encourage drug taking in the area near their houses. Drug taking being of course a way to alleviate the boredom of having no where to go without being thrown out or chased away by 'bylaws'. The bloody kids take drugs anyway.

I despaired and I still do. The only NIMBYing I supported was when they proposed to knock down the hotel in town and replace it with more old people's flats. The hotel provides some of the little employment in town for the young. A new block of flats would be fine if these jobs were to be replaced but they won't be. Also the existing block of old people's flats isn't full. They can't even sell what they have already got!

I am not ageist here. The old people are not all a problem, hell, one of them is one of my best mate's dad. But there's no communication. The original block was built next to the youth group building, one of the few places to go for the young. Within a few months the residents were complaining about the youth centre and trying to get it closed. They failed, thankfully. That's one of the few things left from 16 years ago and I can't believe the gall of these newcomers.

I can't believe though that no one has tried to talk about it all. No town meetings, no attempts at dialogue, nothing. The community police officer has all but given up. It's a terrible situation when the old and the young don't talk and it's possible to paint both as victim and as transgressor. I had to leave there. There was nothing and those who stayed were going no where. Are going no where.

January 07, 2005


Piss taking amongst friends is quite normal. It's a sign of affection I guess, a sign of maturity that we take these little barbs aimed at us with grace, good humour and as many as we can think of ourselves in return. My friends' latest weapon against me came from the somewhat obvious observation that I eat a lot and am frequently hungry. I accept this. I am eating as I type. But there are consequences to this particular quirk. When I don't eat, or if I get stressed, I get migraines. And I had one today which why I am writing this.

If you aren't sure if you ahve had a migraine then you have not had one. There are no ifs and buts here. The first stage is the distorted vision. The aura as the medical claptrap goes. At first I thought I didn't get this but it turned out that most of my early migraines were occurring early in the morning and I would sleep through the aura and never realise it. As soon as I had a waking migraine I knew I got the aura.

It's hard to describe. In a way it's like looking at a light and looking away, the flashing outline of the light is left on your eye. But it doesn't go away, it starts in the centre of my vision and spreads. I notice when I'm reading and I can't see straight what is written in front of me. Today this was the Spanish I was trying to read in the dictionary at the start of my Spanish class. This then spreads across the both eyes, obliterating everything to the left of my field of vision.

At this stage I go into overdrive. The Pavlovian responses kick in, I feel sick, washed out and have 'ghost' head aches, not real pain but the memory of pain. This is what happens when you have been suffering with these things for over seven years. I know what I have to do so clearly it scares me. Drugs, bed, sleep. Fine if it happens at home but campus has proven tricky before. There was no way I could get back to Leamington without the drugs kicking in and a bus is no place to be in such a state anyway.

The drugs. Ah, I used to take over the counter Migraleve. It was shit. All it did was give me a Pavlovisn response to seeing packets of Migraleve. It didn't help the head aches, it couldn't help me sleep and it didn't stop the nausea. Now I'm on Naratriptan, the most powerful treatment. If it failed, I was warned, the only solution would be beta blockers and I have no intention of going onto those. Fortunately Naratriptan works but at a price.

Here's a dilemma. If I don't take Naratriptan I get head aches like you would not believe. I describe them as being like having a cricket stump shoved sharp end first into the centre of one eye whilst a cricket bat is used to pummel the temple on that side of my head. The other side of my head is always unaffected. For some reason the pain favours the right hand side of my head. This is unbearable, curl into a small ball, wrap yourself in warm blankets, nothing will stop it. The temporary relief of poking myself in the eye in a bid to create some distraction is a ridiculous solution. No way out, sleep is impossible. Then I get nausea. A crippling and real need to throw up, but one which is cruel. It toys with me, the nausea can last up to half an hour, eventually I figured out that the only solution was the make myself sick just to get it over with. Even an empty stomach is no guarantee. One of the worst migraines ever saw me trying to throw up the contents of my empty stomach. All I found was stomach acid which wrecked my throat and left me in pain for several days.

Naratriptan prevents the nausea. It eases the head pain. It basically knocks me out within about 40 minutes of taking it. But there are downsides. It messes up my brain. Even now I'm not thinking straight. This is coherent only because I am typing it slowly. Earlier, as my friends can testify, I was detached, hyperactive and making very little sense. This is the main side effect. I can deal with it easily. The other side effect is more worrying, Nrartriptan can cause recurrance. Before I took it I never had more than one migraine at a time. The first couple of times I took it, I got a migraine the next day, albeit a smaller one. This hasn't happened for a while but it makes for an interesting choice, one day of unbearable agony and nausea or potentially two days of wooziness, pain and talking crap? I always choose the latter. If you've not had a migraine then this would seem like a tricky choice. If you have had one then you know there is no choice. Drugs it is.

I hate being seen to have a migraine. I hate it because when I'm having one all I want is to lie down, curl up and hope I can sleep it off. I am therefore eternally grateful to those who help me out with this. This academic year I have been lucky. Migraine one, in Novermber, I was able to get home as I had been playing football and had been substituted due to another injury. If I hadn't been injured I would have played on and not been dressed and ready to go home anyway. Migraine two, December, I was at my parents' house, cosy and warm, wrapped in a duvet on the sofa until my brother decided to serenade me and the neighbours with his guitar playing. Migraine three was earlier today and I was stuck on campus.

So thanks to Jen for letting me sleep in your bed.

And what now? I'm worried. I'm worried that they are getting more regular. I'm worried because the triggers are becoming less clear. This time last year I would need some concerted stress or to miss two meals in two days to provoke one of these. But I'm not stressed at the moment. And I've not missed a meal in weeks. I feel hungry a lot. Maybe I'm not eating enough or maybe there's something missing from my diet.

Whatever I hate this feeling and I hate the fact that it's my own body, *my own blood,* turning me inside out. The truly awful thing is I'm trapped with them. My parents both had migraines or similar, mum's stopped at 19, dad still gets them occasionally. Mine will not stop. Clearly I was someone really horrible in a previous life or something.

At least it's not triggered by chocolate…

January 04, 2005

And When I Got There I Found This…

Follow-up to Return Of The Keeper from Hollyzone

Were my predictions accurate?

Someone else will be there. Either Housemate:Boz or Housemate:Els. But none of the others.

Housemate:Els, Housemate:Boz, Housemate:Katie and Randomunit:Cara. I was not expecting such a warm reception and massive turnout as they hoisted the banners displaying slogans proclaiming their delight that I had returned to save them from themselves. Well, I say warm reception but in real life Housemate:Els greeted me at the door wielding a kitchen knife menacingly. Hiya…

There will be be some undone washing up Hopefully left by one of the residents who has moved back before me and not something which has been there since before I left. I think I did all my dishes. I think…

There was a tiny bit but nothing which was older than a day or two. I had done my washing as it turned out. And I've done it ever since. I like dishwashing in a really strange, perverted way.

The pot plants left beside the TV will still be alive...

There were no plants in the house. Strange.

There will be DVDs out of their boxes. And they will be mine.

No unattended DVDs to be seen though the pile of CDs in the kitchen remains.

My room will be a mess Despite me taking most of the important items out of it and putting what was left in a neat pile.

Ok, maybe I lied about the neat pile bit. It was a dump and still is as I still haven't unpacked properly three days later. I'm a busy busy girl and those late nights at the pub don't happen without other areas of life being downgraded in priority. If I drank that would be a much better excuse.

The big bathroom won't be clean.

It wasn't clean. It was messy in fact and I think I've volunteered to clean it. Bollocks.

There will be an unclaimed sock left on the floor in the hall. Whose is it? No se. No one knows.

Sock was present and correct and it's not mine cos I have bigger feet and thicker socks. In fact I now no longer have any spare socks so I think I've lsot another one as there's no way I've gained one from home. Unless I ahve. Oh Sock Fairy, why do you taunt me thus?

There will be binbags, either in the hall or the bin.

There weren't when I arrived but there are now.

Niamh will appear shortly.

Niamh is MIA despite agreeing to come with me to the library today to study. I knew it was too good to be true.

Within 30 seconds of my arrival there will be piles of paper, magazines, books and stationary everywhere.

Yup, did that.

Also, after explaining to everyone that I bought a printer and not a hoover, I asked if we wanted to buy a house hoover. After much discussion we decided that we'd rather get a Freeview box and have BBC3 instead of clean carpets. Little Britain repeats here we come.

January 01, 2005

Return Of The Keeper

I've not been home since the 27th November on which day I ended up making like a complete tool for the Warwick Women's Firsts (yeah, I know, the Firsts) against MMU Alsager which is essentially the nearest university to my dead end, rural Cheshire town. As I left the house, unaware of the forthcoming awful performance on my part (if I ever get asked to play for the Firsts again it'll be because everyone else at the club has died of the plague), I noted the details, the mess in the living room, the leftover tub of icecream which had melted beyond belief, the pot plants which were not dead and therefore were not mine.

What's the house going to look like when I return? Well, I've made some small predictions:

Someone else will be there. Either Housemate:Boz or Housemate:Els. But none of the others.

There will be be some undone washing up Hopefully left by one of the residents who has moved back before me and not something which has been there since before I left. I think I did all my dishes. I think…

The pot plants left beside the TV will still be alive. Mine always die despite me watering them, and putting them in the tiny amount of natural light we get in our house and generally making an effort. Others make no effort and their plants thrive. Why?

There will be DVDs out of their boxes. And they will be mine.

My room will be a mess Despite me taking most of the important items out of it and putting what was left in a neat pile.

The big bathroom won't be clean. I know this cos one of my housemates (who will, Elspeth, remain nameless) reported the presence of a huge (translation : tiny) spider and the three remaining people, all the house girls except me in fact, are massive arachnophobes and wouldn't enter the big bathroom as a result. Lame arses the lot of them.

There will be an unclaimed sock left on the floor in the hall. Whose is it? No se. No one knows.

There will be binbags, either in the hall or the bin. Because I take the bins out. It's the only chore I can be relied upon to do when it needs doing. Although this year I think I may contribute more the cleaning the bathrooms as I have yet to do this. Also we need a new hoover but I can't do anything for that as I blew all my spare cash on a new printer/scanner. I have my priorities.

Niamh will appear shortly. Hell, she spends more time in our hosue than many of the rent paying 'residents'. And all she ever eats is toast so I'm fine as I never buy bread.

Within 30 seconds of my arrival there will be piles of paper, magazines, books and stationary everywhere. It's my gift to the world. A pile of mini-Tracy Emin style piles of stuff. Aren't I nice?

January 2005

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