Well, here we are with the festivities done and dusted. End of term was 19th December and I had to endure more friendly jibes from the neighbours about how busy students are! What they didn’t realise was that I had three assignments to do over the break, the first of which was due the day we got back, which I realised with alarm was increasingly imminent.
What’s worse we were to be videotaped into the bargain, it’s amazing how the camera can capture the shaking of one’s hands! We had a practise run through the afternoon before, our audience was aged 5 and 2 ½ respectively; but I can tell they were impressed.
I hoped we would be first on the condemned list. I ate a hearty meal anyway, just in case, which is rather more than the poor souls in the 1850’s did. The abject poor were the subject of my talk, the appalling conditions under which they lived defy belief, but we did build Crystal Palace whilst they scratched a living in its wake so I am sure they were justly proud whilst quietly staying out of sight and dying of cholera. Really, it makes your blood boil.
I am pleased to report that the talk went very well and I got my nerves quickly under control, knew my subject and OK, so my prompt cards were made from old cereal packets, but they did the job and I remembered to stick my words on the niacin and thiamine side, presenting a clean background to my attentive audience!
UCAS applications were filled in and sent off at the end of September, and I am delighted to say that I have now been offered four conditional places; at Worcester, Birmingham City, The University of Birmingham and the University of Coventry. Their requirements are attainable as long as I keep at it. The best thing to do I think, would be to adhere to a pearl of wisdom from my mother in law. She is firmly of the opinion that ‘friends are just a nuisance’. They were her actual words; ‘friends are just a nuisance’, because you have to make the effort to see them!
Excuse me? I don’t quite see the problem myself, though she is always criticising me for not being at home and not acting my age so I imagine she is having a field day with me attempting to educate myself at my age AND making even more friends into the bargain. I wonder if she will be in the audience applauding my graduation?
December was a busy month in fact, not only was it Christmas, but it was also my sister in law’s 50th and she lives north of the border which is a bit of a trek. I took work with me with the sincere intentions of revision. Not a chance. We checked in at our hotel as you do, but we only had one key-card to our room, whereas mother in law had two. This ought to have been a big clue but we were all a bit brain dead from the journey and glad just to have arrived. I was making a cup of tea in our room (waiting for the bar to open obviously) thinking ‘hmm there is only one cup, I wonder why’, when mother in law knocks on the door to say she can’t get her door key-card to work. My husband went and sorted her out, by which time the kettle had boiled.
Knock, knock, knock… this time she can’t get the lights to work, so off he goes again to rub two boy scouts together to make a spark or some such thing, whilst I unpacked our stuff into the very small wardrobe. Bugger me if there isn’t another knock at our door ... I don’t know how to make the toilet seat stay up.
This time I went flying along the corridor to her room, in what was, I will admit by this time, a strop, and what do I find ….. the biggest bed in the whole of Christendom in her room just for her! Now you would have thought, would you not, that the penny would have dropped between husband and mother-in-law that we were in the WRONG ROOMS, but no apparently this fact did not avail itself to either of them.
A room swap and several choice words later, I went to the pool, on my own, for a chill, (in the hot sauna and even hotter steam room) thinking to myself that if some people spent more time socialising, rather than measuring the nuisance factor of their friends, they would be familiar with the concept of hotels! So glad was I of the peace and quiet that I completely forgot the time and suddenly realised that I needed to be in the bar that I had been wanting to open since I got there.
I was a lovely shade of salmon from the heat by this time, but the best of it was, I couldn’t get the bloody door key card to work and I only had ten minutes before the taxi was due to pick us up and whisk us off to make merry. That will teach me! Such fond memories, not least because of a friend’s comment about me wearing lurex. I got confused, envisaged spandex, and was most affronted!
It was also my birthday this month, my daughter in law (to be, one hopes), in sharp contrast to my mother in law, has plenty of friends and is well versed in the art of having a good time. She made me espresso vodka martinis which are exceedingly moreish (if a little on the strong side), and we were soon having a jolly time. We also had Christmas Mark II on the same day as my birthday as we spent our Christmases Mark I in different places, so there was a lot of catching up to do, and absolutely no time for any work I’m afraid! Oops.
Does anyone know when next half term is?