Going out, Living away from home, Money, Staying in, Third year

Start as you mean to go on…oh dear?

We left off last at 2 days before the New Year rolled in and I was still unsure about what I was going to be doing. In the end, I didn’t do anything crazy, I stayed in, ordered a take away, popped open a bottle of wine, and spent the evening watching some great films whilst gorging on curry, chocolates and sweets (healthy!). Of course it was no massive crazy New Year, but for once it wasn’t a strange night where you don’t really know what’s going on, no one cried, and best of all, I woke up on New Years day with no hang over. The rest of the week that ensued though was a little more energetic.

As I told you a few weeks back, my dad owns a deli that I always work in whenever I come back from uni to earn myself a bit of pocket-money and to help him out a bit. This week it wasn’t about selling people nice bits of cheese and serving coffees, this week my tasks involved helping him rip out the old kitchen, knock a wall down, install a toilet, paint the whole place and ceilings, find new furniture to go in the extended cafe space and get the place back on track ready to open again for tomorrow (Monday). This experience has taught me one thing: I NEVER want to be a builder. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve actually quite enjoyed helping with the refurbishment of the place as I’ve learnt a thing or two about DIY, but every day I’ve come home from the deli covered in brick-dust, paint, general filth and collapsed on the sofa in a heap. At least it’s helped me cross off one potential career option! I think the most memorable part of the refurbishment process was when me and my mum went in pursuit of some furniture to go in the new extended cafe area. My mum had got in contact with a company who sell second-hand pub furniture out in Banbury, so we decided to go and check out what they had. When we arrived at this bleak, freezing cold, isolated industrial estate, the woman who ran the place opened a barn door and said ‘Look through that and see what you can find’ before walking off back to her cosy office. Inside this barn was a table jungle! There must have been a few hundred tables in there, some were stacked up on top of one another, others were upside down then stacked, some were just piled on top of one another as if there had been some sort of table landslide. It was my job to climb among the tables and then whilst balancing on the corners of some very wobbly tables, lift what I wanted down without causing an avalanche and probably killing myself. How we walked away with 6 new tables from there and no broken bones, I will never know. Perhaps I should consider a career in woodwork gymnastics? Maybe not..

Anyway, the deli is pretty much finished now and it looks fantastic. Of course I’m still doing revision and work on my dissertation in my spare time, or when I’m not in the shower trying to get the layers of paint that have built up on my hands off. Both of those things are a working progress but I seem to be about on track so I’m happy with that. I’m not going back to Cardiff for another 2 weeks as my exam isn’t until the 24th and I feel that I work better at home as there are fewer distractions here. Whilst living at uni with your mates, it’s very easy to fall into routine of finishing revising at 6 (on a good day!), having dinner, going to the pub for a few quiet ‘relaxation drinks’ and then getting up late the next day as ‘relaxation drinks’ got a little bit out of hand. It’s also a lot cheaper living at home as you’re not having to do weekly food shops, and you frequent the pub much much less often. And as old as it sounds, you actually get yourself in to a decent sleep pattern too (God I sound old, but you’ll understand when you’re a student!) Half the time at uni, you find yourself going to be at 1 in the morning for no apparent reason as you got ready to go to bed at 11 and have somehow flitted 2 hours away doing nothing. Having said that, the one thing I’m missing from uni right now is the gym. As I’m sure you’re aware it’s always at this time of year that you feel tired, fat, sluggish and as though you’re carrying round an full on Chinese takeaway in your stomach the whole time. I’m dying to get back to Cardiff to get back in to the gym, join back up with the netball girls for training, and get myself fighting fit for another season of netball. Let’s hope this season is as good as the last!

So I’m not sure whether I’ve started the year as I mean to go on. In one way I think not waking up on New Years Day with a stonking hangover is a good sign of things to come, yet I hope mixing cement and fixing up old tables isn’t a taster of whats to come for me this year (I didn’t study Philosophy for 3 years to do that!) Let’s wait and see eh? Speak to you next week x

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