I'm alive! May all of your worrying stop, your tears dry up and your lives be full, once again, with mundane recaps of my extremely average life.
In case you're all wondering (which I'm assuming you have been, and I am also assuming that all the e-mails about my well-being and whereabouts have been lost somewhere in cyberspace), I have not been off fighting crimes or saving citizens, I have just not had the internet for the last two and a half months and have been doing real things with my life instead of staying in all evening looking at videos of Julia Gillard falling in high heels and reading articles exposing the top 20 most shocking Disney secrets. (n.b. by 'doing things with my life', I actually mean, 'going to the pub a lot more than usual and re-reading my entire bookcase'). Now I've got the internet though, all the fun can stop and I can once again spend the majority of my nights sat in a bath towel two hours after vacating the shower, trying to think of big words that I don't understand so I can Google their definition and then use them in a blog post to make myself seem intelligent. It's nice to get back to normal.
As can be expected, my limited access to the internet has resulted in my having to leave the house on a regular basis and there has consequently been a significant increase in my interaction with the tramps and vagabonds of Bradford. Half of the population of Bradford is taken up by lovely strangers who will hold the door for you and old school mates who will pretend not to see you whilst you pretend not to see them because neither person can be bothered with small talk. However, the other half (to be honest, it’s more like the other 70%) is taken up by crack heads, homeless people, and creepy men in leather trilbies. I got on the bus the other day and was leaning against the pole because all the seats were taken. A member of the creepy-men-in-leather-trilbies club was sat opposite and decided it would be appropriate to growl, “I’ve got a spare knee if you want, love.” Despite his obvious allure (and the fact that he may or may not have had an erection), I decided it would be best to decline his kind offer.
Whenever I see a homeless person, I'm always overcome with this horrible guilt knowing that I have a roof over my head and food in my cupboards (even though the food in my cupboards mainly consists of Cornflakes and the roof over my head could theoretically fall down at any given moment). When some poor chap wrapped in a sleeping bag asks me for 8p for bus fare, I can never say no, even when I know that the majority of the time it is not for bus fare, and even though as soon as I reach into my pocket they usually say, "oh, if you could round it up to a quid, that'd be great, thanks love." The other day, I gave someone a pound for 'bus fare' and he replied, "cheers darlin', you're as sweet as a carrot, you!" - Part of me wanted to sit myself down next to him and spend some time explaining similes, but I wasn't 100% sure that I didn't used to sit near him in my year 8 maths class and I didn't want that awkward what-are-you-doing-these-days? conversation. (And also, when I told this to my friend later on in the day, she advised me that actually carrots have quite a high sugar content, so I guess maybe he was trying to teach me something...)
I guess I can’t really complain about earning below the living wage when I can still afford to eat and spend ridiculous amounts of money on cooking appliances. Last week I bought a frying pan that cost £16. Sixteen pounds! I suppose to someone who actually cooks and makes fancy, culinary masterpieces, that might not seem like a lot, but when all you want is an omelette and the occasional pancake, it is nothing short of extortionate. Here are some of the things I could have bought instead:
- A taxi to town, a pint, and a taxi home
- 16 5-packs of Animal Crackers
- 16 scratch cards (or 8 of the good ones)
- 32 games of pool
- Several outfits from Primark
- The whole Friends series on DVD (only if they’re pirate copies)
- A book on how to save money, with a pound left over for a scratch card
- Five pints and five packets of crisps
- A replica of Miley Cyrus's VMAs performance outfit on eBay
- 16 copies of Katie Price’s novel from a charity shop
- A down payment on an item of clothing from Urban Outfitters
I'm aware that some of these would not explicitly be classed as 'necessities', but when a grown adult in full time employment cannot afford animal crackers, then something is up with the world. I went for tea at my mum's last night and whilst I was there I did my usual subtle pilfering and managed to make off down the driveway two hours later with a jar of Branston pickle and a handful of washing tablets.That's what parents are for, correct? I also feel like she kind of owed me as whilst I was there she broke the news, not very sensitively, I might add, that she's turning my childhood bedroom into a 'therapy room'. I'm not entirely sure what this entails, but I'm assuming it involves some kind of Indian head massage apparatus, healing crystals and some other new age, hippy paraphernalia. I'm slightly concerned that the next time I go round she'll be sat in there getting stoned, lighting incense sticks and listening to Enya, but I suppose there are worse roads she could take.
Maybe I should go into the field of tunic wearing, soft talking spiritual therapy. At least then I would have something to say to old friends of my mum's who still come up to me and congratulate me on the degree I got two years ago. When I point this out to them, they laugh as though I've said something hilarious and then say, "well, yes, but it's still a very good achievement!" - What they really mean here, is, "well, yes, I know, but you've not really done anything since then so I have to pretend that you're still impressive for the sake of your poor mother. God love her. No wonder she's turned to marijuana." Some of them take the other route and, when I tell them I still work in a farm shop, they click their tongue and say, "but you're so clever!" - That's my particular favourite. I think they've all clearly overestimated me - obviously none of them saw me spend ten minutes the other day looking for my phone before realising I was talking on it.