Life’s like a game of Jenga…

You keep pulling things to bits until you fall over. Ok, maybe not..

Ok, how about.. life’s like a game of Cludo. You wander around and at the end you realised you killed someone.

Nope, that doesn’t work Either.

If life was like an Xbox game, I’d get sick half way through and give up (we’ve taken a dark, dark turn here…)

I’ve got it! It’s more like a cross between Elephun and Pop-up pirate. You desperately try to obtain the things you want, while things stab at you (stabbing being some form of metaphor for life pressure, not actually being stabbed), then eventually you run out of batteries trying to obtain things, get stabbed one too many times and pop.

I’m actually in a good mood and feeling quite optimistic but I don’t feel that it comes across very well. Maybe I’m just a cheerful realist, or maybe I overthink things way too much.  I’m going to go with the latter.

I had to move desks at work, and it’s consisted of moving one desk to the right, a distance of about 4′. I’m no longer against the wall and I realised today, after being in my new spot for more than a full day, that I can now see out of the window, which I’m going to count as a win. It’s a sign I’ve been busy thought because it took me a day and a half to realise. Shame all I can see is grey, though.



Maybe life is like The Game of Life? No… in real life I’d have been arrested for having so many little pegs in one car.


Life lessons have taught me a lot…

… like not to mix cranberry juice and cream.

It occurred to me that there are the odd things that you learn that help you define how you see the world, but that never really get a mention, so I thought I’d share some of mine.

As a child I learned that if you go inside a green tent for long enough, when you come out, the sky looks pink. I also learned that children are cruel without reason, and that’s just awful. A fold-up sofa can be the beginning of an awesome den, and climbing trees is overrated.

At school I learned that marking is subjective, especially when English is not your English teacher’s first language. I also learned that despite a quiet demeanour, I can play a cracking baddie in the school play, and I think people are only just realising that should have been some form of foreshadowing.

As a teenager I learned that music is awesome. If you’re an emo you can get your hair cut like the (male) lead singer of your favourite band and no one will notice, and the grass is always greener on the other side of 18.

At Leeds festival 2010, I learned that I am not an anarchist, a pyromaniac, and that going to the toilet in a dark porta-loo is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done, that I had hoped not to ever have to repeat.

As a student, I learned to simultaneously look after and destroy myself. 11 Jager bombs will stop you being able to swallow properly, but eating vegetables and exercising regularly will help you maintain a healthy weight.

As a job-seeker, I discovered that it is possible to be treated like scum for no other reason than circumstance and no matter how hard I tried, I could not for the life of me get the dole-God’s stupid head to pop like a balloon.

As a girlfriend, I have found that it’s best to find someone who’s crazy balances your own quite nicely.

As a part-time worker, I discovered you’re worse off than a job-seeker. You have to work just enough to feel like you have no life, while having your support stripped away. I also learned how to not burn pasties, and thoroughly mop a floor.

As someone who rents houses, I learned that having a toilet that is not only full of sewerage, but has been for almost a month because the landlord doesn’t want to pay for it and is blaming you for it, will make you not only hate life, the universe and everything, but will make you wish you had the aforementioned dark porta-loo.

As a full time call-centre worker, I learned that the general public are God-awful and will complain about anything under the sun. I concluded that  a thick skin and strong nerves were needed to cope with people (these are still under development).

As a drunk girl at the Christmas party, I learned that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still get called fat and end up crying on your friend’s shoulder while a male colleague threatens to ***k the guy up.

As a full time office worker, I learned that if you have the right colleagues you can actually enjoy your job,  despite still occasionally being yelled at for things beyond your control. I learned to like certain types of paperwork, and that maybe things weren’t so bad after all.

As a cat owner, I learned that teeth hurt, claws hurt, and cat lovers are masochists.

There will be many other tiny lesson that I have learned from the experiences I’ve had, but I think the above sums me up quite nicely. On the whole, I’d say deep down, I’m not as jaded as I sometimes feel.

Soiling oneself

Lately I’ve had a lot on, and quite frankly I still do but I’m taking the time to not freak out with exam/ hand-in stress by once again turning my hand to botany.

Last Saturday I went to the garden centre and got a couple of tomato plants and four little hot pepper plants, as another urge to cultivate my own garden on a windowsill came about. I’ve once again found myself floating about the flat murbling about ‘when I have a greenhouse’ and ‘when I have a garden’, with suitable daydreams of me walking barefoot on a lawn with a mug of tea on a sunny day, casually scrutinising flowerbeds. In some of these daydreams there is also an excited dog, but I digress.

After purchasing these plants I was in the pub and told my Brother-in-law about them, who partially convinced me that weeing on tomato plants was good for them, backed up by my Boyfriend. I wasn’t fully convinced, so the next day I googled it. After a short time I found their claim to have some truth in it; a mixture of urine, water and wood-ash has been shown to increase tomato size, with people claiming to have been using this technique for years. I told my Boyfriend, saying how surprised I was because I thought they’d been winding me up and he was surprised himself. Turned out they had been winding me up, and they used to just enjoy peeing on their Granddad’s plants when they were little, unaware of any benefit. Needles to say I’ll be sticking to normal tomato fertiliser and hopefully it won’t be a fruitless escapade (pun totally intended).

Rolled up trousers for effect

I like my hobbies messy. 🙂

Also, recently I’ve felt a bit like a grammar Nazi. Two things have jumped out at me. One, the dictionary for this thing says that Granddad is spelled with a little ‘G’. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Granddad was a proper noun and therefore needed a capital letter. Secondly, I received an email starting with ‘Dear Student,’ and ending with ‘Yours Sincerely,’. I wasn’t aware you could do that because ‘Student’ is not a name. If someone addressed me as simply ‘Student’ to my face I’d be quite peeved.
On the other hand, It annoys me when people you don’t know, most often people who know my name somehow (sometimes they have to ask for it), usually they’re trying to sell me things or get me to sign up to things, get chummy and start reffering to me by first name. No ‘Dan-with-no-given-second- name’ it’s not acceptable for you to address me like that, I don’t know you! I am Miss Mallaburn to you *Sniffs indignantly*. Mini-rant over.

A quick note; having a luke-warm bath for an hour and a half while the oxygen is replaced by the product of an incence stick gives quite a good mad half-hour afterwards. 😛

One day…

One day I’ll live in a house with neighbours that I either like or that I just don’t hear from, and I therefore like because of that.

It may seem antisocial, but lately my next-door neighbour has taken the biscuit with odd behaviour.
When we first moved in everything seemed normal, we don’t hear them through the walls because they’re so thick and there’s rarely anyone about so at the time it was a quiet existance.
A few weeks after we moved in as I was going to bed one night, someone rang the flat’s intercom from the main door. It was the neighbour and he was ratted (this man spends most of his time in a suit with a breifcase, he’s not a student like we are which is fine but it was a suprise)
This was pretty much how the conversation went:

Me: Hello?

Him: *Pause* Hello, would you let me in?

Me: Who is this?

Him: … Just let me in

Me: Why can’t you get into the building yourself? (Wondering if it was some drunk just trying to get in)

Him: ..*deep breath*.. I’ve forgotten the code…. just …let me in

Me: *Hangs up*

This may sound harsh but he was being quite agressive and untill he walked in I wasn’t even sure it was the neighbour.

After this incident, we relised he had an interesting habbit… we’re not sure if it was OCD or something but he would come out of his flat, lock the door (in full suit with breifcase), walk down the corridoor, turn around and go back into the flat. He would do that in quick succession three or four times before he actually left.

This we could tolerate, it was odd but it didn’t bother us.

Next came the late night homecomings. You’d think, him just being a neighbour this wouldn’t bother us, but his door is at a close right angle to ours so when he propped himself up against the wall outside of his door and rattled his keys for 10 minutes, it kind of bothered us a bit. He did this interspersed with the walking in and out of his flat. He also has a nasty cough and mutteres to himself as he tries to slot the right key in the keyhole (we know this because the first few times he did it we had no idea what he was doing so peered through the peephole where we had a perfect view of him doing his odd thing, after this we didn’t bother because we knew it was just him). 

Again, odd but it didn’t really affect us. Since he also did this sometimes during the day and despite having previously talked to us, looking past us in the street we think that he may be an alcoholic or something. We’re not judging, but what happened the other night takes the biscuit.

Friday night I went to bed earlier than Boyfriend. As I was having a bad dream about the neighbour shouting in the hallway, he was actually standing there retching and being sick outside of our door, ready for us to step over when we left the flat on saturday, and where it would stay untill the poor cleaners came on Monday.  That’s now gone, but the stain is still slightly visable as a constant, gross reminder.

We came home today and there’s  something dark and foul-smelling smeared on the wall by the door.
I’m trying not to think about it.

‘I’m-a gunna sing the doom song’

Lately I feel like there have been a lot of external forces reminding me that I don’t live the healthiest lifestyle in the world, mostly my lectures on ‘clinical nutrition and dietetics’ and the bathroom scales. Don’t get me wrong I’m not the unhealthiest person in the world… I use my excercise bike quite regularly, I walk all over because it’s cheap and I can’t drive, and recently I switched to wholemeal bread and abandoned the lift in favour of the stairs but I also so do things that my body probably hates me for like eating out too often and eating too much chocolate too often.


If the bunnies can do it, so can I

I think what really got me thinking about health was recently I had a UTI (hopefully recovered now, fingers crossed,) and during that time literally all I drank was water. Nothing added, just water and for the first few days I had a massive headache which I’m blaming on caffeine withdrawal due to  putting the brakes on drinking a few mugs of tea a day. This got me thinking slightly further back about another time my body punished me for poisoning it, this time in a more literal sense though because it was down to booze; the next day my glands were up as vodka was flushed out my system (I’m not usually a vodka drinker and don’t drink very often so I think my liver thought I was trying to kill it). I laughed it off though, the same way I do every time I come out of a nutrition lecture after being told that everything I like to eat is slowly killing me, while I’m looking at pictures of burgers thinking ‘wow I’m hungry’ and thinking there’s probably some irony somewhere that instead of having my evening meal at a normal time, I’m having a three-hour lecture on what people should and shouldn’t eat… needless to say I don’t come out thinking ‘I could go for some yummy, filling fruit right about now’. Ahem, I digress…


I digress to a place that happens to be on my way home…

The most recent thing was earlier I read an article on a satire website that was along the lines of  ‘Things The Elderly Do and Why’. They put an amusing twist on it but at the same time it got me thinking about what I’m going to be like when I’m old. I don’t mean will I be grumpy or will I hit things with a walking stick, but more to the point will I have a walking stick? Will my eyesight and hearing fail me to the point I can’t join in conversations and do that thing where to read something I stretch my arm out and try a combination of distances, with and without glasses before I deem it clear enough? It occurred to me at that point that what I do now could have a huge baring on whether or not I’m well when I get old, so maybe I should pay attention in nutrition and seriously take some of it on board rather than just remembering it for the exam.

The problem is I hear about it so often in lectures (disease and dysfunction, etc) that to prevent myself becoming a paranoid hypochondriac I sort of phase it out, but the fact is it’s actually quite important that I apply some of it. There is more salt in half a tin of Heinz baked beans than there is in a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps, which I’m informed is common for tinned food. I looked at the tinned spaghetti I had for my tea today, and that’s pretty bad too, with too much salt causing high blood pressure that can very realistically lead to heart attack and stroke. They bang on about low-fat, high fiber diets so much that gets phased out too, but actually again, that can lower the chances of getting colon cancer which kills a lot of people. It’s all quite scary and I could get bogged down in every tiny detail, and maybe I should mull a few things over but I could also live a perfect lifestyle and everything could fail regardless, or (and I’m liking this option the most) I could do both. Anyone could scare themselves daft with anything that could go wrong, or maybe we could read between the lines and take things on board more, just in little ways.

I’ll stick with my bike and stairs and wholemeal bread (’cause I actually quite like the taste and it makes good toast), try to eat more fruit and veg and less stuff that’s bad for me (curbing the hedonistic tendencies perhaps). I may even stick with the water because today I had a mocha and it wasn’t all I expected it to be anyway. I will however, eat chocolate now and again, and crisps, and ice cream, because yum. I will not become a ‘food snob’ like one of the people who talked to my lecture not that long ago, that deemed a rather tasty desserty milkshake ‘disgusting’ purely because of what it was.

Mmm, Milkshake.

What makes someone a ‘grown up’?

This entry isn’t really how I’d planned on starting my bloggy future because it’s possibly a bit philosophical but It’s something that came to mind and I thought it might get the ball rolling.
I was asked recently when I would consider myself to be a ‘proper adult’ and the honest answer was that I didn’t know.
legally, I am an adult now, being 20 years old but to me that doesn’t make someone a ‘grown up’. I think there’s a difference between legally being an adult… and actually being an adult, which was sort of the basis of the question and the point I’ll dwell on… what is it that makes that difference?
I suppose it depends on what you class as making you an adult. Possibly your responsibilities or the decisions you make could make that difference. Despite being a student, I look after myself, pay my bills and wash my clothes, and don’t really ‘go home’ during the holidays the way a lot of students do. I cook my own food, make the bed on a morning and go to bed early if I know I have to be up early the next day but I don’t feel like an adult.
I thought to myself, maybe when I have even more responsibility, like a job, and a house, and children, then maybe I’d think, ‘Yes this is it. I’ve made it into adulthood. My shop of choice is Next as opposed to New look and I buy women’s magazines I never read. While I’m in my internal monologue, note to self: child number two needs some new shoes because it stood in Mr Next Door’s dog’s poo and the stains just won’t come out…’
I decided that that probably wouldn’t happen.  
So maybe It’s the decisions we make? I like to think that it’s not because there are some very adult-like people who make frequent poor decisions, or have no common sense or anything like that, but that I still see as ‘grown ups’.
I also decided that how seriously you were taken couldn’t be a factor either. In my very early 20s, my Grandparents, who I love very much, seem to think I’ve been brainwashed by ‘the system’ because I once mentioned that I thought GM food was a good idea. In this respect, I get the impression they see me as a naive student and possibly don’t take me as seriously as say, my friends or parents. On the other hand, when I’m old I know that if I got a bit ditsy, or a bit slower, I’d also be questioned more then, and taken less seriously and at the point I would most definitely be an adult, so It can’t be that either.  
I’ve therefore come up with two conclusions.
The first was the answer to the question. I thought about it at the time and concluded that I probably wouldn’t for a long time. I can’t see myself suddenly changing where I shop of my interests or basically who I am, I mean I’m 20 now my environment might change and I might learn some things but I’ll still essentially be me, just older. I said that I’d probably have a moment of realisation in my mid thirties, that I was in fact in my mid thirties and that I must be an adult because at that point I couldn’t possibly be a child anymore. Sort of like when you realise a film that was made in 1997, which for most of your life seemed to be only a few years ago, was made over ten years go, which happened to me the other day and I got quite a shock when It hit me.
The second conclusion is that some people just never grow up, and by some people, I mean most people.
When you’re little you think that ‘grown ups’ know everything and they must be right because they’re ‘grown ups’ and then you get older and realise that actually, even fully grown, responsible people who are viewed by the world as adults are prone to irrational behaviour and bad judgement I always assumed people grew out of, but some people never do. Everyone’s irrational sometimes, everyone gets things wrong and makes mistakes so I recon no one really ‘grows up’, people just get older.

The beginning (of my new blog)

‘Reet, feel like giving this a go as a platform for, well many things really. I decided I might muse about things (probably scientific or news-type things) but then thought ohh… I could also put up things like any paintings I do or when I do my nails in a particularly innovative way or something, so chances are it’s either going to be an (hopefully) interesting mix of things or it’s going to rapidly fizzle, only time will tell.