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Writer's Block: Single pride day

Given that we're less than a week out from Valentines, how do you feel about the approaching holiday? Will you participate or abstain? If you're not in a relationship, how will you celebrate your single status?

Oh, I'll celebrate in a low-budget kind of a way: a nice meal at home and a bottle of wine. We gave up going out for Valentine's day after even the local restaurants started ripping people off: over £50 for a curry and a load of alcohol that I hadn't ordered, and couldn't drink because I was driving. Because all the taxis were booked up. Grr! Home is the best way to go!
What is the absolute worst part of returning to work or school after a particularly long and relaxing vacation? How quickly do you reacclimate to the daily grind?

Rather academic considering it has been heavy snow either where I live or where I study for the last 2 weeks! The worst bit is getting up early, and it will takes me weeks to acclimatise if I manage it at all!

Writer's Block: Promises, promises

What, if any, resolutions did you make in 2009 and how many did you keep? Do you plan to make any resolutions for 2010? Do you find this tradition constructive or debilitating?

I've set up change1thing to help keep resolutions! Everyone's welcome to join! 

I find New Year's Resolutions very constructive: they don't always happen, but every year I will change or acheive something that will put me on the path to acheiving them some day. Like, I still haven't managed my trip round Europe which was a 2008 resolution! But I've changed my job, sorted out a more flexible career, that kind of thing.

Writer's Block: The supper club

Which persons, living or dead, would you invite to a fantasy dinner party? What topics would you discuss? Are there any subjects would you avoid? Lastly, what kind of food would you serve?

Marie Curie and Sylvia Pankhurst, and my Womens' Enterprise group! That would be really interesting! I'ld love to know how they felt about being working women. In particular, if Marie Cure ever felt like being a scientist undermined her gender, and if she had to deal with some of the subversive attitude you get off male colleagues. Did Sylvia Pankhurst envisage the kind of life that modern women now lead, and what does she think? I beleive Ms Pankhurst was a fellow vegetarian, so the menu would be Aubergine Pilaf, maybe some kind of tangine, fruit salad and something wickedly chocolately for dessert.

Writer's Block: To auld lang syne

Writing my resolutions on my change1thing community, of course ;-P  Well, I always have a bottle of Champagne with my boyfriend, coundown to mignight and kiss him. Normally we're at the pub, but the last few years have been so dead in town that we didn't bother, and watched sh*t on TV instead!

I guess most of my friends and family stayed in too, judging by the volume of Facebook activity. In years gone by we would have all been texting each other from pubs and parties.


World's Oldest Gap Year Student

I can't beleive it's over a year since I posted in here! Well, it's time to archive the old and write some new, methinks.

Last time I was here I had just got a new job and was saving for a summer travelling around Europe (postponed from the previous year, postponed in turn from many years ago ...) The future looked so bright!

I did not get on in the new job. My savings did not go as far as planned. Driving back from visiting my boyfriend early one Monday morning I was in a road traffic accident on the motorway: mercifully I walked out of it (I still can't beleive it!) But my faithful car crumpled around me in a rather surreal manner. The whiplash was not nice, and my back still makes ominous crunching noises. Work stressed me out. As the economy went down the toilet, I got made redundant. Redundancy pay does not last very long. The lady at the Job Centre assessed me as married to my boyfriend, and my boyfriend (understandably) disagreed - net result was no money and mounting debts. And not going to the gym for a year (eating chocolate, bread and olives in a B & B instead) caused me to put on two stone.

The last few years of managers, colleagues and random people assuming that I should be married and having children - even calling me a selfish slag to my face on one occasion - really started to mess with my head. It should be fairly obvious to most people that I'm pathologically unattractive, since most men run screaming at the sight of me (or throw things at the "fat munter.") How does that make me selfish or a slag? My life is an endless tortured drag of diets and exercise and make-up lessons and bad haircuts... All the while my fertility slips away and I have to pretend to be happy for all the other people who just seem to swan around getting married and having children as they please. I have to pretend that I chose this life. That's just rubbing salt in the wounds.

Not a happy bunny.

Oh, and my mother decided that, since she can't constantly bug me for not buying a house, she will use her weekly phone call to tell me how old I'm getting. As if I'm not already terrified enough of going through years of IVF treatment and sperm donations on my own, just to produce a child with off-the-scale autism that I'm too menopausal to care for.

Let's look on the bright side - there was a brief period of affluence (between paying off the debts from moving house and losing the job) during which my boyfriend and I bought a memory-foam mattress and OUR OWN SOFA!!! Unless you have rented houses with other peoples' decrepid sagging sofas and / or the ageing futon you bought off ebay for the bulk of your twenties, you cannot begin to imagine the joy and luxury of having your bottom caressed by your own, new sofa! This sofa has already got me through some dark times. And it's practically a necessity now that my back's shot.

Well, I wanted to go back to University, and the threat of redundancy was the kick up the backside I needed. I'm poor and happy. And planning that damn interrailing trip again!

I'm going to have to do this the proper student way, selling all my possessions on ebay and doing ludicrously crappy jobs and fundraising schemes on the side! There's also the possibility of working while abroad: I found an organisation that monitors a wolf colony in Russia and needed volunteer scientists, and of course there's always the option of being a TEFL English teacher.

Check out how much I wised up! Not for me the 9:00-5:00 (or 7:30-6:30) daily grind, with a heap of whining about how my life's passing me by, while my professional salary somehow disappears. I got here late, but better late than never!