How did you spend your holiday? What was the one, amazing, standout moment that you can look back on with a sense of pride and fulfilment and say, ‘I did that!’? Do you struggle to think of one? I don’t, because they occurred every day for approximately four weeks. And no, it is not because I went backpacking around Europe, skiing in the Pyrenees, or spent Christmas in some far-flung fairytale city.
While my flatmates jetted off to Austria, Rhode Island, and the Middle East, and my supervisor to Spain, I boarded a pleasantly quiet train bound for Birmingham New Street. Upon arrival I had a swift pint of over-priced, watered-down lager at The Shakespeare opposite platform three (or is it four?), while I waited to be collected by my inevitably teary- eyed mother. The following four weeks blurred the distinction between day and night, and between one day and the next. Standard procedure went something like this:
11.03: Fall back to sleep.
15.00: Wake to find that it is almost dark outside. Despair a little.
15.30: Roll downstairs, make tea and grab a Jaffa Cake or five.
16.00: Potentially get dressed, though unlikely.
17.00-: Variable, dependent upon whether I received a text message informing me that ‘people’ had assembled in <insert name of local bar> and were ‘drinking today’. Should this eventuality fail to materialise, the following twelve hours or so were spent grazing on a host of Christmas treats (various meats and cheeses complimented by red wine or a bottle of wheat beer being my favourite), whilst watching countless episodes of Fawlty Towers or The Vicar of Dibley, and challenging my three sisters to do a better impression than mine of Sweet Brown’s ‘AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!!’
And why, I hear you asking, should this be considered so rewarding? Because, after five years of higher education – the trauma, the drama, the financial woes, the highs and the lows – my own personal support network in the form of family and friends, a familiar bed and the sound of my cat chasing an imaginary mouse around the living room means the world to me. My supervisor asked me if I would mind looking after his house and two cats for the ten days that he spent away. I declined, not because the opportunity was an unattractive one, but because I wouldn’t miss for the world the chance to cruise around Halesowen blasting the latest tracks from UKF Bass Culture before rolling up to Asda whilst still in my pyjamas and leaving with all the beer we could carry, knowing it would be another night to remember…or, indeed, forget.
On an end note, I did feed my cat smoked salmon and champagne on Christmas Day. I neglected to film the incident (ain’t nobody got time for that) which is probably a relief, given the reaction that the Champagning video received.
Long live the true Christmas holiday.