My mum told me last night that she thinks I’m becoming a grumpier person, and it struck me as I laid awake in bed this morning that she might actually be right.
I think it’s since I started commuting to London that I’ve become far less tolerant of the general public and their incredibly annoying behaviour, such as taking phone calls on silent trains, sniffing, incessant coughing, bag rustling, dawdling, getting in the way, or just being loud and generally irritating. (Tourists with suitcases and small children: I hate you the most).
I have become a constant complainer. I pick things apart when they don’t need picking, and even whinge people who are probably just being nice and trying to help me. In my 25th year I have become the grumpy old woman I expected to be at 85. I despair at whatever the next 6 decades have in store.
Magazine journalists are sent free stuff all the time, but working in education publishing means you usually only end up with stacks upon stacks of children’s books. Don’t get me wrong – most of them are lovely (and especially useful when you have an eight-year-old godson), but they’re not exactly the sort of thing I can stick on Instagram and brag about my hot-shot #workperks.
This said, a few weeks ago I received two samples of bath oil from a company called Olverum. I’m usually less than convinced by the hype around baths – not that I’m opposed to maintaining good personal hygiene, of course, but I do often think they’re overrated. I just don’t have time to sit there and wallow in a big tub of water. Give me a short and sweet ten-minute shower any day.
And it’s not just lack of time that’s an issue – I actually find baths pretty boring. It doesn’t seem to matter how many fancy bath bomb things I throw in or which music I put on to get me in the mood; five minutes in and I’m ready to get out again. Sometimes I even clock-watch to make sure that a decent amount of time has passed in said bath, so I don’t feel bad for wasting all that water.
Me in London’s Hyde Park last autumn
My day today began with a thrilling trip to the local dentist, which meant I could stay in bed a little longer than usual this morning (bliss). My small lie-in meant I could leave the house a little later than usual, too – thrown back into the madness of my family’s morning routine when everyone is always in each other’s way, and the sound of the kettle boiling and the news blaring is supplemented with a constant banging on the bathroom door “to get a bloody move on.”
I usually leave the house as my family is waking up, at a merry 6.40am when the sun has just about risen and the day is brewing nicely. I’ve only been commuting to London for four months, having left my local job to work at a publishing company in Chelsea – which has meant that since January, I’ve been getting up at 5.45am every weekday to make the 7.02am train. I can’t say I’m getting used to it because I don’t think waking up early ever gets any easier, but with summer on the way it certainly feels a little less cruel.
Before I got this job, my morning routine consisted of waking up at 7.30am, hopping in the car at 8.20 and arriving at my snug little office by half past – a mere 10-minute journey, sometimes even less than that if the roads were clear, and a stark contrast from my just-under-two-hours commute into work these days.
Credit: The Unusual Suspect
I think I was about sixteen when I first saw Singin’ in the Rain. It was probably a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I remember being stuck indoors on my own, lonely and bored with a mountain of ironing to do. Ten minutes into the film I actually had to stop ironing and sit down, worried that I was inevitably going to burn a hole in something because I just couldn’t keep my eyes off the TV screen. When it had finished, it left me with such an indescribable warm and fuzzy feeling that I immediately went online and bought the DVD, and watched it again when it arrived in the post a few days later. It’s been my favourite film ever since.
I watch a lot of movies, and often I’ll experience that amazing warm and fuzzy feeling as I once did that rainy Sunday afternoon, but none more so than when I went to see La La Land last Tuesday. I’d had my eye on it for a few months having read about it in an upcoming releases blog sometime last summer, and had even attempted to buy tickets to see it at the London Film Festival in November, but unfortunately they sold out in seconds.
Since its release, it has received overwhelming praise from audiences and critics from across the world, scooping up a whopping seven awards at the Golden Globes – more than any other film ever. It has also received 11 Academy Award nominations, and has been hailed by many as the best movie of the year so far.
Recently, I had a job interview at Hearst Magazines – the big shots in the publishing world – at their London offices near Carnaby Street. I had arrived early and was waiting nervously in reception, but it wasn’t long before the lady interviewing me arrived downstairs and introduced herself – let’s call her Jessica*.
To get upstairs to the main office, you needed to scan an employee pass and go through a turnstile – Jessica of course already had hers to hand, and wandered through before noticing that I had no way of doing the same. To let me through, she leant forward to scan her card again, but then pushed the bars on the turnstile forward so quickly that I barely had the chance to squeeze one leg past, let alone two.
I now had the metal bar on the turnstile uncomfortably positioned in between my legs and half way up my dress, and I was straddling the damn thing like I was on a seesaw. The interview hadn’t even bloody started yet and here I was getting over-friendly with the furniture. Clinging onto my dignity like a hapless MP caught toying with things one shouldn’t, I hopped backwards onto the leg on the correct side of the turnstile, and attempted to lift my other leg over the metal bar without crashing spectacularly to the floor. I succeeded, but not without elegantly falling into a baffled Jessica, who was stood behind me, and three other random people who could hardly believe what was happening. Feeling very warm and flustered, I muttered something about making an interesting first impression, but Jessica just smiled. In case you were wondering, I didn’t get the job.