Monday, 17 September 2012

Beginnings.



As all of my readers will know, I am now an Au Pair in Switzerland.
I feel as though that calls for a post or two about both life as an au pair, and also about the fine country I am residing in.


I have many things to say, so there is plenty of promise for more posts.
You lucky fuckers.




This post shall focus on the beginning. Naturally. On the generalities from the first few weeks settling into my new life.



Before I arrived in Zurich, I didn't really think about moving. I was too busy living my life in England and telling everyone I was exervous (excited and nervous).  This was true. I was both exervous. But I didn't really actually feel that excited or that nervous because I didn't really feel anything at all. Moving was just something I spoke about that would be happening in the future.
It didn't seem real.

So, when I arrived and I saw the family I would be living with and their welcome balloon and the sign the girls made that read 'Becca" decorated with monkeys, I felt a bit strange. It didn't feel like a dream because I knew it was happening. But it didn't feel like reality either.

The first day, well the first week, was a bit manic and I looked around with wide eyes and I didn't say much and I went along with the family and what they were doing in a trance-like state. Almost. I mean the family don't think I'm crazy so I must have been able to pull it together somehow.
I swam and I ate and watched Disney films and I looked at drawings of dogs that the girls had made. I didn't think about anything.  I didn't have time to think about anything. Everything was too new and daunting to really take anything in. I just went along with it all.

That was until I got to my room in the evenings. And I was alone. I had time to become a person with an actual mind.  Although I often went to sleep early because being in a trance is actually quite tiring, before that I would have a little cry about how homesick and lonely I was. I never really get homesick or lonely. But the shock of moving to another country and realising the impact of my decision on my life was intimidating.

All I can say is thank fuck for my friends. And, of course, Facebook.
I would have been absolutely lost without you to speak to. So I would like to thank you for your patience and kind heartedness. It really helped me out far more than you have imagined.


All was not lost though. Luckily.
Speaking to friends online does have the power to make you feel 400 times better about yourself, but it doesn't really stop you from feeling lonely if they are 1000 miles away and you can't see them in front of you.
But within a week I had met a couple of other au pairs and one in particular who I instantly connected with.
Having someone who you can talk to about absolutely anything, including how often you are shitting, is a relief. And it has already made a drastic improvement to my life in Switzerland.

This Said Friend comes with me on five hour hikes through forests. In fact, she even plans them.

Said Friend has let me watch English Television when English Television is being aired. And not on my 11inch MacBook Air screen with a slow internet connection, but on a 40inch LED television.

Said Friend listens to my stories about boys and friends from home and never tells me to shut up about how much the toddler I look after can drain all my energy with his eagerness for new games every three and half minutes. 

Said Friend introduced me to the English Speaking World of Zurich.
The result of which means I have met some incredibly lovely people who even continue to associate themselves with me after I have collapsed outside of a bar, vomited after five too many vodkas, and after one paid for my taxi ride home.
Perhaps they are just still waiting for me to pay him back.

Basically, I have learnt that no matter where you go or what you do or how you do it, the most important thing you need to enjoy doing these things is people. You need your old friends. Your friends for life who are always there to support you, no matter how many times you complain about the same issue. And you need new friends. New people to make you feel like you are living life and living it on top of hills with amazing views.


Friendships really are the key to happiness.

And although watching X Factor on a Saturday evening might not seem much to you, having someone who gives you the opportunity to do just that, to make you feel settled and content with your life as you currently know it, is something that shouldn't be taken for granted.





That, dear readers, pretty much sums up the generalities of the beginning of my trip.
I did say they would be generalities but there will be plenty more to come.




Fraud.





The name of this blog is no longer relevant to me as its author, for I have sided with the dark side and have dyed my hair brown. 

I am, however, intending on keeping the name of my blog the same.

Firstly, because it seems like too much hassle to change it. I am not in an inventive frame of mind to imagine another name and I would have to begin a new blog to change the domain name...
Fuck that for a laugh.

Secondly, I am really blonde.
I mean, it might not have been as blonde as what I had been before the cheap bottle of supermarket bought hair dye made me brunette.
BUT, nonetheless, I am a natural blonde. I now have to colour in my eyebrows to match my hair so I look as though I actually have some.
Which definitely means I am in fact blonde.





This was just an explanation and justification for my blog.



Thank you.




Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Liebster Blog



I have a friend. Her name is Jessica.
She is one of those people where if you were not friends with her, you might hate her.
I don't mean that in an offensive way at all.
She has a beautiful face. She has a sexy body. She has thick shiny hair.
You would assume with her good looks she could be a bitch and get away with it. So you immediately might take a offish stance towards her. Particularly if you are another girl.

But she is one of the nicest people I have ever met.
She is always there for her friends. Always smiling and laughing. Always says encouraging things. (Like calling you fat to make sure you get off your arse and run. Jokes.)
She can cook. She can cook really well.
And to top it all off, she is a secret genius. I say secret because she is a genius; she just doesn't overtly tell us about it. Which is considerate to us not-so-geniuses.

I'm not advocating you all hate her if you don't know her. Quite the opposite. I am merely proving that people who are pretty, smart and gifted can also be lovely. And to prove it, this said friend was also lovely enough to award me with Liebster Award.

So there is it.
Thank you, Jess.
I don't think I have won anything in my life. I certainly did not win the EuroMillions.


The rules of this award are as follows:

- Link back to the person who gave the award to you and thank them. check.
- Post the award on your blog. check.
- Give the award to five bloggers with less than 200 followers who you appreciate and value. (This is not something to be offended by; not everyone will instantly acquire 1000 followers.)
- Let your award winners know by commenting on their blog. (Or on Twitter, as I was informed.)





I am not really one to follow rules to the book. I tend to do 35 mph rather than 30 ( I hope the PoPo aren't reading), I never really read all the books on the Seminar reading lists and when I say I have eaten my five a day I tend to have included the peppers on my Chicken Supreme pizza.
So although I have completed the first two rules. And will, in due course, complete the last, I shall not award the Leibster Award to five other people. Mostly because I don't know five other bloggers.

By not following the rules of the award precisely, I hope Jess doesn't steal it away from me.



Jessica Eats (Food)

(No one said I can't re-award, right? I mean, Usain Bolt didn't give back his Olympic Gold because he already had one...)

This is undoubtedly my favourite food blog of all time. I am biased. But objectivity is impossible.

This blog makes me salivate.
Makes my stomach groan.
Makes my eyes cry with happiness at the beauty the world (well, Jess) can produce.

Ok. I might not literally cry but the salivating and the groaning 100 per cent occurs.

Jess writes about recipes, restaurants and ressersts ('desserts' didn't quite fit with the alliteration thing I was going for.)
Despite preferring savoury foods to sweet, my favourite thing about this blog are the pictures and recipes of cakes. She could convert me over to the sweet side if she presented me with one of her creations (*cough*).

For those with a more serious interest in food (and not just oglers of delicious things like me), this blog is also perfect.  Her restaurant reviews are detailed and honest. I almost feel as though I have been to them myself.



And I think to myself...

The creator of this blog, James, currently thinks he is Christopher Columbus. Apart from he is exploring well-known places in Europe. And on trains. But it means he hasn't blogged in a while.
However, he assures me on his return he is planning on writing shit loads about his European adventures. Something I'm looking forward to.
His sarcastic wit is hilarious and the prominent theme of pessimism is ironically uplifting.
I like this blog particularly because it makes me consider things I would not normally consider in life. Perhaps because there is no real advantage to considering them and they are largely irrelevant topics? Jokes. That's my blog.
But the posts are original, insightful into the mind of a middle-class Tory (something that will forever continue to baffle me), and well-written. Like. In actual real sentences.

Better still, it's bordering on the controversial. And everyone loves being a little risqué.



Spilling my Beans

I could be wrong, but it seems that the majority of Jack's blog centres on my favourite thing in life: Awkward moments.
And it appears as though Jack is often finding himself in difficult situations. This just provides hilarity for the rest of us. And is much appreciated.
I normally find myself reading this blog in a room with other people. This is a mistake. I don't like laughing at a computer screen when other people are in the room. They normally look at me oddly and ask what I am up to and I want to continue reading, not read out what I have just read. (That, I assure Jack, I do after so as to encourage the reading of his blog.)
Anyway, because I try not to laugh out loud I end up looking as though I'm secretly looking at funny porn. I get a dodgy grin on face and a tense warm feeling in my stomach as it is telling me to open my mouth and make a sound.
Odd, I know.
Basically, I am saying this blog is funny. Really funny.





So. READ THEM ALL.
now bitches.





Monday, 6 August 2012

Fortune Fish.





Now, I know that being August it is a little early to talk about Christmas, but I am beginning this post with a reminder of Christmas Crackers.

Let me tell you now, if you thought you were privileged enough to have those crackers with the silver pen and the mirror and the screwdriver set and the spring egg cups and a silver keyring then you were wrong. Because you missed out on the Fortune Fish. From the shit crackers. 


If you have no idea what I am talking about, here is pictorial evidence of my claim:



The idea is you place the fish on your palm and it moves in a particular way to tell you something about your personality. My fish ALWAYS curled at the sides which means, according to the accompanying guide, that I am fickle. 




I agree with the great Fortune Fish. I am fickle. 



This month, I demonstrated this trait once again as I claimed I had no interest in the Olympics.
Living 20 minutes from the Olympic park, I saw the Olympics as more of an inconvenience. 

But whilst I was intoxicating myself with vodka before a night out on the tiles (or the pavements as it turned out), I caught myself getting into the Opening Ceremony playing in the background. 
Being a History buff, they won me over with their Industrial Revolution factories to be honest. 


Waking up with a slight hangover the next morning, my friend Jess (who's blog makes me salivate every time I read it #sogood), was keen on watching the men's road cycling. Once again I got into it. I got excited and nervous (exervous- should definitely be a credited emotion) as the men raced to the finish line.

I was hooked. And on a trip to Tesco I bought a wrist band inscribed with 'London 2012' on. Which anyone can tell you means I was officially a true fan.


Only issue was that my enthusiasm came a little too late and I was disappointed I didn't have tickets to any of the events.

My sob story ends there though because after all the complaints about the empty seats and the resale of tickets, I bagged myself a ticket to women's handball. 
Norway v. South Korea AND Montenegro v. Angola. 
Biggest games in the Olympics.





Being that England are TERRIBLE at handball, I of course knew nothing about the sport. 
But  I love high scoring games and so handball is now my second favourite sport (to basketball). 

Although we got the cheap tickets (£20) we had a pretty good view. The ticket also gave us entry into the Olympic Park for which tickets were £10 each and sold out, AND a travel card for London which is around £8.30 or more. So technically our seat was less that £2.


After watching history being made on that fine Wednesday morning, we made the most of getting entry into the Park. Mostly by taking pictures, eating foods from the numerous food vans and watching other events on the Live Screen. 



Olympic Stadium


Bradley Wiggins winning gold. On the Live Screen

Basketball Arena




Aside from the experience of going to watch an event, I have enjoyed watching loads of things on TV. BBC's coverage and their Red Button channel (or the BBC Olympic channels) have really taken over my existence!





Can't wait till Rio 2016. 

Fickle bitch.






Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Finito.







Like so many others last week, I officially finished university.
Vollendet. Terminado. Fini.

Anyone who has been to university will most likely claim that the years they spent there were the best in their lives to date. And I am no different.

At our friends' graduation, I asked my best friend Jess what she would have done differently if she was to go back to 2009 and start university all over again.
After deliberating for a moment, she concluded that she wouldn't have done anything differently at all. If she had, things might not be what they are now. And now is quite good.

I disagreed. Initially at least. With all the ups of my university life came the downs, and surely doing things to avoid the downs would have made my time there just that bit better?

But when I tried to list the changes I would have hypothetically made, and the consequences of the changes, I actually began to agree with Jess.
I wouldn't change anything.



The point of university was to get my degree. To learn about history, in my case. And yes, I did do that. And for 4 months or so of the three years I worked incredibly hard for that degree. As a result I know all about the advent of the printing press in Renaissance Italy, about how the Scientific Revolution affected Christianity in Europe and about the struggle for power in Latin America.
But the most important lessons I learnt weren't taught in the lecture hall or the seminar rooms, or from the numerous books and articles I read, but from life. From living away from those I had always been dependent on. From the mistakes I made. From the friends I love. And from all the experiences that will forever remain in my memory. And without those lessons, I wouldn't be me.
#cringer.



Ten University Life Lessons


1) You can be friends with Tories.
Although it might seem you are associating yourself with the devil, in actual fact, political views aren't the be all and end all. Making friends from the dark side challenged my prejudices and made me more open to trying other new experiences. 


2) Degrees mean little if you don't actually apply for jobs.
Wondering why no one has randomly called to employ you and provide you with a company car on top of your £80 000 starting salary is down to your own ignorance and will result in running away to Switzerland in fear of being jobless forever. 


3) Not everyone feels a moral obligation to clean communal areas. If you want a clean living space, you must clean everything. 
This, in my experience, is more applicable to boys. Once I accepted this fact, I no longer got angry at the messy pups who managed to live a week without me and washing up liquid. 

4) If you take responsibility in organising the first birthday celebrations of year one, expect to take responsibility for organising every subsequent birthday for the next three years. At least.
I can't really complain about this lesson. I brought it upon myself and I fucking love other people's birthdays. I'm just saying.

5) Never go to Tesco on an empty stomach. You will spend £50 on Galaxy chocolate/crispbread/yoghurt/orange juice/Haribo/frozen potato wedges and will struggle to find a satisfying dinner.
I made this mistake. Regularly. 

6) The promise to be the epitome of class and sophistication for casual drinks that evening will never stick if you then proceed to drink a litre of wine at dinner. 

7) Vowing to spend less on nights out per term will not happen if you continue to go all out every Wednesday for fancy dress circling. 
Now I am back home and penniless, spending £25 on sequin hot pants to be Lady GaGa seems a bit irrational knowing I won't wear them ever again. 

8) NEVER drink more alcohol to make things seem less awkward. 
You will only make things more awkward. 


9) Friends may come and go, but university friends stay forever. 
Living with friends means you really get to know them. They become as close to you as family. You argue, you make up, you laugh, you cry and you get well and truly wankered and tell them all your deepest darkest secrets. So when the three years are up, you can't just let go. You miss them. You want to see them. You make an effort to stay in touch. (Besides, you don't want them telling anyone about the things you spilled on your hungover 'secrets day'.)


and finally  

10) Despite their incessant sarcastic comments about getting pissed every week and getting all your essay sources from the internet rather than from real books, your parents are amazingly proud of your achievement. 
You got a degree after all, and we can't all sit in the library all the time. There is simply not enough room for everyone. You are being considerate by staying in bed. 










Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Excuse my French but I'm in France... I'm just sayin'









I stumbled across this video on YouTube.
For some reason, I really want to punch this kid in the face.

BUT I think he is well good. And I love this cover.

He's Arthur Garros. The song is Niggas in Paris.


Check it ouuuuut.

Something like 8 per cent of kids do it...








The abstract title has really little to do with this post. (Though the picture does.)
I'll explain later.


Yesterday I went to LandanTan to meet a friend. It was raining all day so we made our way from Starbucks to KFC to the pub. Good day in my books.
At the pub, The Duke of York near Bond Street to be precise, we saw Tracey Emin. I knew it was her. She has a distinctive face, no?




Tracy Emin is one of those people where if you mentioned spotting her to my parents they would ask if I had spat in her face. That just means the person I have mentioned vote Conservative. (My five year old sister was going to meet the local Conservative MP at her primary school. My parents told her to spit on her hand before she shook his. She did.)
But I think they were more unimpressed than usual with my Tory name drop. 
I can only presume it was because of her art.



I had a vague idea about her art. In my opinion, compared to the work of say, Botticelli, it's shit. Take my bed and the contents of my room and sell that for thousands? Anyone can do it. NaaamSaaaayn.
But I googled her other stuff anyway. And I quite liked it. 






This brings me to the title. It's a quote from one of the best films ever. Superbad. Remember the scene where Seth is revealing to Evan his childhood addiction to drawing willies? 
Well anyway it's funny because he insists that 8 per cent of kids have the same problem (hence the mostly unrelated title) but more so because he is drawing willies. And THAT is always funny, irrespective of your age. (As long as you have some degree of humour.)
So upon scrolling through some of Emin's works I find this:







I suppose she is an intelligent woman, though I have no evidence for that. I guess she doesn't look particularly intelligent but you can't blame someone's face for that. That's just rude. If she is intelligent, as I imagine her to be, I guess this work probably means something. Maybe how women are forced to be carried by the dominance of men or something like that.

But for me. It's genius.



How many people can draw a shit picture of a penis and sell it?! 


Not many. That's the answer. 






She might be Tory but she is fucking hilarious.












Tuesday, 10 July 2012

As seen on TV.





So, I'm lying sprawled on the sofa looking most unattractive. I have toothpaste down my top, I haven't washed my hair in over a day, I have the remnants of last night's smokey eyes smeared across my cheeks (getting ready for bed after a bottle of wine has never been my forte, but at least I try) and despite gargling Listerine upon waking I haven't quite been able to shift the fag breath. (Now, tell me why I'm single?)

All in all, I feel Grim. And the rain ain't lifting my spirits much. 

Jezza K. 

Yeh. That will make me feel better about my current situation in life. And it does, of course.
That is at least until the adverts come on. 

I wouldn't usually have taken an interest in the Special K advert. I've tried Special K. I felt I was better off eating the cardboard box. 

But today, looking as though I'd been sicked up by next door's dog, I've taken an interest in Special K and the women who eat it. 

"Who gives a fuck if it tastes like polystyrene?!" They scream. "Look at how uncontrollably happy we all are!"

I want it! I want to be so happy that I close the fridge door by swinging my arse into it, that I dance about in the kitchen to the sound of my happiness, that I still grin when faced with a wardrobe full of the same shade of red! 

I want it now!


My family seem to like cereal. They have a cupboard full of the stuff. 


I wonder.... no. There won't be...  But maybe I'll just check. 
I clamber to my feet. I walk towards the kitchen. I open the cupboard. 


Oh. My. God. 
There IS a box of Special K. And the strawberry variety?! 

This is it. This is THE moment that my whole life changes. I cannot bloody wait. 


I open the box. I get the bowl out. I get the milk ready. I put it all together. 
I get a spoon and I take a few mouthfuls.

The strawberries taste like solidified dust. 
The flakes feel like I'm chewing a flannel. 
But it's alright! I can see all of life's opportunities falling at my feet. 
My life is going to be bloody brilliant! Nothing will ever go wrong. 
I'm so happy.


I finish the bowl. I get showered. I get dressed. I'm ready, world!


"Dad, can I have a lift to the station please? It's pissing it down." 
"I would but Caroline has taken Millie to KidSpace in the big car and Kim is still out in your car. Sorry."


I walk to the tube station in torrential rain. Almost torrential, at least.
But I power on through. It's only a blip!

I get to the station. I get on the train.
I catch a glimpse of my reflection.



I look just like I did when I woke up this morning. 
And I'm starving. 




I hate Special K. Tastes like shit.










Monday, 9 July 2012

It's all lies.




I will firstly apologise to my one reader for never actually blogging despite all these 'promises'. But now I have finished my degree (can I get a 'whooop'?!) and was awarded by my parents with a shiny new MacBook, I have no more excuses left to give. thoughts of a blonde girl has had a slight revamp and I shall write at least one post for my fan.

And maybe a couple more...





Sunday, 29 January 2012

Unfulfilled Promises...




Ok ok... So it remains true that whenever I am busy I have no time to blog. And having moved back to university and having sooooo much work to do (well... shopping) I haven't once considered the need to discuss New York... for absolutely no one.

Let's be honest now, the ship has sailed. New York was a blast, Venice was a dream; but no one really wants to read about me boasting about my adventures!


So once more, my attentions turn to other matters. Daily life at the University of Warwick and what not.


And this time, with the help of an iPhone app, I will fulfil this promise...