Friday, 31 December 2010

Who's ready to freefall?

So we've come to the end. This is it. The top of the mountain.
Take in the view then close your eyes and feel the wind on your face, soak up the atmosphere-we only get to be here once a year. Now look down on the path you've climbed up,remember the good bits ,the arduous bits and the memorable bits. Smile at the feat you've conquered.

Then come those nail biting  ten seconds in the countdown . It's time to leave the view, the quiet summit and snap back to reality. It's time to jump.
A sixth of a minute spent free falling through what life threw you in 2010. A sixth of a minute- unbelievable how fast the mind works under pressure...

TEN....Suddenly,your head becomes filled with swirling emotions, a mad blend of confusion. Your minds in a mad panicked rush to consider all you've done in the year, all the people you've met and hold on to it all. ...EIGHT... What's to come in the future? What new faces? places? ... SEVEN... What fights can I resolve, what slates can I wipe clean? A fresh start perhaps now? ....FIVE... this means the end of Christmas doesn't it? The end of holidays and boredom eating..Time for cold weather (without the optimism of Christmas to pull you through), work and in creeps the acrid stench of  starting a year all over again... THREE... Should I be kissing someone on zero? Quick, quick, scan for someone, anyone! ...TWO...time is running out... ONE... Oh lord, here we go, It's coming , It's time...                                                                HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! 

And then there we are again, back at the bottom of the ladder, at the foot of the hill,at the  base of the mountain.

Well there's no point just standing there looking up! Get your shoelaces tightened, stretch your legs and take a deep breath.  It's time to start the climb again....

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jingle Bells, awkward smiles, fake laughing all the way... (Sing it aloud for optimum giggles)

CHRISTMAS. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see that word? As the festive syllables bounce off the page and trickle into your mind, what visual imagery is conjured? 
Presents? A tree? A luxurious roasted feast with all things scrumptious?

Well OK, these may be quite relevant- but I know something better. Something that arrives every year without fail. Something that rumbles at the heart of mankind, stirring emotions of hilarity, embarrassment, tension and sadness all wrapped in one. Oh yes, I'm talking about the facial facade of the unwanted present opening.

I'm talking about those indescribable looks on peoples faces as they unwrap an unwanted  present. It really is hard to put into words and this blog can't do it justice. The eyes, the nose the flinching and the voice pitch that arises after opening an undesired gift. It's priceless.
Watching people attempt a joyous expression, force a warm smile and fumble out some drivel about it being what they've really wanted all along. The best is the fake jaw drop, a feeble (but hilarious) attempt at the 'shocked with amazement'  look.

Nothing beats watching the inexperienced. Their pathetic attempts (with obvious disappointment glazed all over their faces) always ends in blushing and incomprehensible sentences about gratitude. Everyone knows they don't like what they've opened. It's hilarious, to watch.

Then there are some who are experts at it. They've had enough experience to have learnt how to handle the situation with care. I am one of these people.So, to spare feelings and diffuse an awkward situation follow my festive facade steps this Christmas...

 Upon opening:

1. Widen your eyes immediately.( This gives a shocked affect, and the strain of widening makes your eyes water, thus they glaze over into a seemingly awestruck and joyous look)

2. Quickly pick out an aspect of the present and say why you like it.  (If you panic and time is racing-go for colour. It's the easiest)

3. Rotate the present and look at it from all angles, while softly commenting on how it will really go with something you already own. ( The rotation distracts them, thus they are not fully focused on the words leaving your mouth.Your soft talking in the background offers reassurance and lulls them into believing your gratitude.)

4. Make sure your talking tone is light and upbeat and talking/comment MUST commence as soon as the  present is opened.   (Any delay hints at disappointment/ bewilderment. And we really don't want that. Or you'll be sussed.)

5. Lastly, the key step. If all else fails or you've messed up the previous steps- go for THE HUG. (This switches the verbal struggle to a physical act of warmth and compassion. They may even take the hug as you not being able to 'put your gratitude into words')

SO, there's my Christmas gift to all you inexperienced out there. Give the steps a pop this year and see how you fare. Just remember...

''Jingle Bells, awkward smiles,
 Fake laughing all the way...
 Oh what fun, it is to watch,
 What present-openers blush and say. Hey!"

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday Bliss...

Today I've had an epiphany. I've at last, after 16 years of living, learnt to appreciate the truly ineffable beauty of a Sunday.

Before it would just be 'the day before school'  or 'the day left to do all the work on' , but today I've managed to lift the childish cover of these naive ideas, walk through the fog of misunderstanding and finally see the crystal clear,serene brilliance that is the 7th day of the week.

Anyone not yet at this stage, I urge you to pay attention when you open your eyes next Sunday. It's magical...

...Staying wrapped up and nestled in the comfort of your covers, while the delicate sunlight streams in through the window and dances across your pillow.
The gentle silence of the car-less roads and mellow humming of the Sunday birds.
Then there's that gorgeous smell of Mum's roast, wafting through the house. Hot gravy, crispy potatoes,succulent chicken breast, toasty Yorkshire puddings...their tantalising aroma trickling gently into your sun kissed room. The flavours dance under your nostrils, lulling your senses, caressing your body and soothing your soul.

It's a day to get things done, a helping hand with the workload. It's a day to relax, unwind and regenerate. It's a day that's essential to our society and the very core of our humanity. This day is Sunday, and we must NEVER take it for granted.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sprinkle snow? Sod off.

I didn't believe the weatherman.
I thought he was lying.

 As I sat there swamped in coursework, tomorrows exams heavy on my mind, textbooks surrounding me on the floor- I was barely listening to him on the TV. He was a dull drone lingering  in the room,talking away to himself. My eyes were bloodshot stinging with sleep cravings, my arms limp and lifeless and my head was stressing and sore. But then I heard it.  Those delightful, heart warming words that caressed my fatigued soul. Like a cosy embrace, a surprise party,  a passionate kiss.
 He shook me into life with his chocolaty words:
 ''Prepare for snow".
I could have kissed the TV.  And I did.

So the revision was aborted, the textbooks slept scattered on the floor and I enjoyed an evening of elation. The weatherman had saved me. I climbed into bed and slept sweetly in the night's soothing, snowy embrace.

Morning came.  I opened my eyes and frowned at the frostiness of  my Wednesday morning room and the exams and deadlines that were to follow me that day.  But then it hit me. The memory flooded in, warmed me up and I began to grin.
There wasn't going to be any deadlines/exams, I knew what lay behind my window blinds this morning. Snow!
Those heavy white showers that would come dancing down, coating our clothes.
 Serene white blankets would be smothering the  roads, hushing them into a silent sleep .
 Cars sleeping under luxurious, white sheets.
 Delicate flakes settling on our eyelashes.
Giggling children prancing in woolly hats,puffy coats and chunky mittens.
Snowball fights and sledding down glistening hills, fresh laughter and pure faces.

 I could just feel it. The crisp air was whispering  it in my ear. Our  'get me out of work free card' had finally arrived! 
But NO. It had not.

I pulled back the blinds and wailed in agony.

-Serene blankets? NO, my hideous grassy lawn was still very much visible, with a sickeningly slight sprinkle of white on top.

-White rooftops and trees? NO, the roofs had a mere pinch of white on them and the tree leaves bragged some sloppy, melting sludge.

-Showers of snow cascading down? NO, but instead a light ,watery drizzle-dampening the ground, and my spirits.

-Sleeping, empty roads? NO, the gritters had been out and cars crawled on down the grey street, their growling engines laughing viciously.

-Giggling children? NO.
-Snowball fights? NO. NO.
-Sledding? NO. NO. NO.

This was the kind of snow that just caused accidents and delays. No fun, no freedom ,no Christmas spirit-just problems. This wasn't real snow.

I felt sick . My insides churned with disappointment, my shivering body over flooded with melancholy, and yes I'll admit it, my eyes began to well up.
 So there I was shaking in the bitter cold, goosebumps and misery gripping my body, tears streaming down my icy, throbbing cheeks,tickling the corners of my mouth.

Suddenly , I felt sharp corners of paper digging into my frosty feet which triggered me to look down. It was my scattered coursework and revision notes. They lay there, unfinishedUh oh.