My First Night at the Opera.

My First Night at the Opera.

Yep. That’s why I was going to Glasgow: the opera.

And you know what?

It was AWESOME.

I didn’t know what I was going to think about it. I wasn’t really excited or dreading it. It was my dad who got me the tickets. He drunkenly texted me asking if I would like to see Andrea Bocelli and since I don’t see my dad all that much I replied, ‘yeah, I’d love to see her!’.

When the concert began my first thought was oh, she’s a man. 

I’m such an uncultured swine.

Then I thought shit, I’m going to have to sit through 4 hours of this.

Then I thought, all these women are so beautiful. AND they can sing. Their long hair MUST be extensions. 

Then I looked at my BF who seemed to really like the girl in the tight, red dress and I thought, why doesn’t he just close his mouth and marry her.

But THEN I started to get into it.

(And my double vodka started to sink in).

I actually knew most of the songs! I realised that HE was the one who played all those big, belter, romantic, Italian songs we all know!!!! Like, the dude who sings Ave Maria!!!!!

There were a lot of songs about a Maria, actually. He must have had some good times with this Maria.

So yeah, I started to get into it. I like listening to songs that I don’t really understand because it makes it nice and easy to daydream. When the interval came on I was in a little pub in Cornwall, sitting by a fire with a glass of wine and writing my sixth novel. I was really good friends with the pub owner too and he would give me free food. I was pretty good friends with the entire village, actually.

Enjoying my time in Cornwall, I was then most disgruntled when my family made me leave my cosy pub to go to the busy bar and get us drinks.

I was even more disgruntled that after struggling back to our seats with quite a few pints, my brother didn’t even return because he’d met a girl somewhere! He MISSED the whole second half! And I was really worried because I thought he’d OD’d in a bathroom (I have an overactive imagination).

But in between my panic attacks, I settled down and got back to Cornwall. One song made me cry, which was a little embarrassing.

And we met up with my brother in the taxi queue so it was all ok in the end.

(I like the way ‘queue’ is spelled. It’s like the ue’s are in a queue).

All that’s on today’s agenda is a big ass breakfast and then I guess I’ll just continue to eat away my anxieties.

(I’ve got another job now – a Monday to Friday one – and the Sunday blues are hitting me hard).

Tattie bye!

The Voice of Guilt

The Voice of Guilt

I think I’m slowly coming to realisation that I prefer the working day to a day off. I know this is mental, but I really think it’s true. Like, when I’m working, I can let myself get so excited about my day off that’s coming up. I can think about all the things I want to do, dream about my lie in, and get trashed (if I want to). But then when the day off actually comes, I’m overcome with the voice of GUILT. And out of all the voices in my head, this one is by far the worst.

Ha, I sound pretty nuts.

If I’m hungover my guilt’s way worse, but it’s bad even when I’m not. I mean, I didn’t get too drunk last night (the trick is to fill a large wine glass to the brim and then not look at the bottle), but I’m still feeling panicky today. Panicky that I’m not using my day off to the best of its advantage.

But what is using a day off to the best of its advantages? Surely it’s doing WHATEVER it is that you want to do because your day off is your OWN day. You don’t have to answer to anyone, you don’t have to be anywhere, you don’t need to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, and you don’t need to make sure you get a good nights sleep the night before.

But the thing is, I KNOW all of this. I know I can do whatever I want, but I still can’t help feeling like I should do something useful with my day. Like go to a museum or spend the morning wandering around a local farmer’s market or going for a swim or painting a picture or baking a banana loaf or learning another a language.

HA, check the alliteration above! Baking a Banana loaf, Painting a Picture, and Learning a Language…that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

It’s the little things.

But back to the day off thing, knowing these things doesn’t help. Logic is just something that will NEVER quash those annoying voices, is it? And I’ve even tried to do things on a day off. Like one day, I walked to the top of Arthur’s Seat, but it SUCKED ASS. It started raining, I was freezing, everyone else had someone there with them, I got lost, there was a dog that scared me, and when I went back to work the next day, I was sore and cranky. I should have just stayed in bed and watched t.v., which I vowed I would do on my next day off, but here I am, feeling all guilty again.

Meh.

Scotland Doesn’t Suck

Scotland Doesn’t Suck

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Contrary to popular opinion, I think Scotland is the absolute bees knees and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else (well, except maybe Ireland). Yes, it’s cold, wet and dark pretty much 97% of the time and yes, the majority of people suffer from SAD, Alcoholism and/or Obesity, but that’s WHY it’s so special.

Like, think of Gran Canaria or Florida or California or somewhere else like these places. They’re beautiful, sunny, sparkling, they have bright flowers and warmth, and you’re able to sit out at night without it being necessary to be absolutely TRASHED.  I mean, all of this is great for two, three, maybe even four weeks, but imagine living in these places FOREVER. God, it’d be hell. Your legs would constantly have to be shaved, you’d always feel guilty for not being out in the sunshine, you could probably NEVER have a duvet day, and you’d have to work/shop for food/go to the post office in horrendous heat. But what’s even worse, the sun, warmth and general loveliness would become the norm.

You see, I think it’s important to live in places like Scotland so that you actually get to experience a holiday. When Scottish people go on holiday, they NEVER take the sun for granted. Until maybe at the end when their skin’s all blistered and sore, and they’re dying to get back to the wind, rain, hail, and snow. But for the majority of the time, they’ll be filled up with bubbly, champagney, fizzy happiness at it all.

Although, thinking about it, I guess it’s possible that the people who live in Gran Canaria, Florida and California view Scotland as a holiday resort – that they get off the plane to be met with a wind that could freeze ice, and rain that could kill a ox, and go “Aaaaah, isn’t that refreshing?”

Doubtful, but it is possible.

Too Much Time

Too Much Time

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I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently, which is probably why I’ve started blogging again. Like last week I had the flu, which meant I spent the majority of time in bed, eating ice cream and listening to Harry Potter (don’t say I don’t know how to treat myself). Then it was my birthday and I’d already booked a couple of holidays off work and then, miraculously, I somehow got three days off in row. I think it’s probably because I’m working a seven day straight after these three days so they’re bringing me up before they bring me down.

Stupid corporate world.

It’s been a little weird having this much free time. I definitely haven’t used it wisely. I’m not even sure how I’ve spent it if I’m honest. OH, I KNOW!!! I was Facebook stalking someone and saw they’d put up a picture of some custard, a spoon, and a tv series I’d never heard of before. Now, the girl that I was stalking was someone I knew from University (and by “knew” I mean we were shoved into a presentation group for one semester and so would meet once a week so I could tell her the plot of the novel she hadn’t read), and she was pretty awesome. I had a I-want-to-be-her sort of crush on her. Her eyebrows were always untidy and she smoked and she did creative writing and was Glaswegian and lived with her Mum and a cat – see? She’s really is pretty awesome, which is why I occasionally stalk her so I can find out where I’m going wrong.

ANYWAY, back to my free time. So I saw the custard, the spoon, and the tv series, and I thought, You know what? That looks like a pretty swell way to spend my evening so I started watching the tv series. It’s called Sugar Rush – ever heard of it? If you haven’t, I would THOROUGHLY recommend it. It’s about a gay teenage girl living in London who has a massive crush on her hot best friend. I’m actually so jealous that I didn’t write it. It’s quirky and funny and intelligent and everything I would hope to write one day.

Other than that, I’ve just been chilling. I’m sitting in a cafe right now. I’ve just ordered a cappuccino, even though I only ever drink coffee in summer. I’m actually so excited for summer. Well, I’m looking forward to the longer, sunnier days (I realise I live in Scotland, but I’m being optimistic), but I’m also feeling a little nervous because I’m giving myself until summer to figure out my life, career, future plans bla bla bla. I’ll probably do absolutely nothing about them in true me style, but it’s good to have goals.

Ooh, my coffee’s just arrived and it looks and smells delicious. I’ve probably totally ruined it by putting three sugars in it.

Whoops.

I’m sort of dreading going back to work tomorrow. I’m working in an opticians and whenever I go away for a wee while, knowledge about contact lenses and wear schedules and cataract surgery completely falls out of my head. I’m just really hoping it’s not my lens lesson day tomorrow. That’s when I have to teach people how to wear contact lenses and my lessons are so sketchy that we should probably be sued. The patients look at me all red eyed and teary, having finally managed to put their contact lenses in (probably inside out) and ask, “Was that ok?” and I just smile and nod, while inwardly I’m completely freaking out that I’ve blinded them.

(I’ve finished my coffee so I’ve decided to order a smoothie. It’s called Purple and it’s got beetroot, raspberry, and banana in it. I’m excited and proud of myself for being healthy.)

Once I finish my novel, I’m totally going to write a tv series based in an Opticians. I can’t believe it’s never been done before. My colleagues can – they think that no one would like to watch something so unbelievably boring as a tv series based in an Opticians, but I think they’re wrong. I actually think they’re just worried about how I’m going to portray them, which I guess is a pretty reasonable worry. Whenever I write about people, I do tend to portray them in a somewhat negative light. I don’t mean to. I normally write about people I really like as well, but they just come off as monsters, idiots, or alcoholics. I keep telling everyone that the characters will just be based on them and that I’m going to exaggerate like CRAZY, but they’re still very apprehensive. OOH, my smoothie’s arrived. And it looks so pink, healthy, and delicious!

Takes sip of smoothie and almost gags.

Yep. It tastes like soil.

Long Time No Write

Long Time No Write

Aww man, I’m rusty – I’m RUSTY! Beginning a blog has never taken me this long before. I usually love the beginnings. They come so easy, so naturally, but today it’s like finding invisible pearls in a mammoth bucket of oysters.

God, my analogies have got pretty bad as well.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve actually been attempting to write a novel. I don’t know if it’s any good. Well, it’s probably shit, but it’s been a mixture of highs and lows, if I’m honest. Like sometimes, I just can’t stop writing. I’m writing and writing and writing and I’m getting all flustered and excited and I think that I’m a genius, but then I read over it and I want to jump on my computer and kill myself.

Writer’s block’s a bitch as well. I find tea always helps, and if tea fails to spark some inspiration then wine is the next logical step.

But other than writing and drinking tea and then sometimes wine, I’ve been attempting to be a proper grown-up. There was actually a spell where I didn’t write at all. You see, in August I started a real, full-time job and I’ve never been good with change. I’m a creature of habit who dreams of change, but when it inevitably comes, I end up having to hide behind books and locking myself in cubicles at lunchtime. I never learn, either. Whenever I reach the end of some sort of phase of life, I find myself dreaming of the next stage, all excited and counting down the seconds, and then the next stage arrives and, like I said, it’s books and cubicles for a while.

Beginning work was like that. It was a bit embarrassing, really. I couldn’t sleep; if I tried to have something to eat before going to work, I would throw it all back up; I would get drunk and cry (and I’m always such a happy drunk); I couldn’t put down Harry Potter (my ultimate comfort read), and I had a million kazillion meltdowns. My boyfriend was like, Who are you and what have you done with my cool, hip girlfriend?!?!?! Ok, I’d probably never been cool and hip, but I definitely managed to hide the majority of my crazy from him up until that point. But good news, he’s still with me!!!!! I must be awesome at blowjobs.

(Ha, I’m actually really bad at them – my gag reflex is way too active for those kinds of shenanigans).

Aaaanyway, I soon got over the crazy and now, I am LOVING LIFE. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a my-life-is-so-awesome kind of blog; I’m still working in a reception on minimum wage for 9 hours a day and having to deal with the most snobby people I have ever met). But honestly, I’m just grateful to have left University. I feel like such a middle class spoiled brat who takes her education for granted when I say this, but I really, really, really, really, didn’t like it there. Not even a little bit. Students terrified me, the work terrified me, tutors terrified me, the buildings were too fancy, the library too big and you needed a degree just to figure out how to work the cafeteria.

I don’t know why I didn’t leave. I mean, I guess it’s good to have a degree, but I feel like such a fraud. No, I’m definitely glad I stayed and got through it, but at the same time, it SUCKED. ASS. I get that for some people, it’s the best place in the world to be, but I wasn’t a student and I’ve never really been one, if I’m honest. I loved school, but I always had such nice teachers who let me read and write pretty much whatever I wanted. It was not like that at University. Actually, that’s a lie. There was one tutor who was the absolute bees knees. I think he hated University as much as me – Mr Paddy Lyons. He was probably one of the scariest tutors in the place, but for some reason, I was never scared or nervous about his tutorials. I’d watch him make students cry and be like, Yeeeah, go Padster. He seemed to be the only English tutor who actually cared about stories.

At work, I’m the only one who works in reception who has a degree and yet I’m the one who makes the most mistakes. I’m honestly the worst receptionist there’s ever been. It’s turned into a running joke. I forget to pass on messages, still don’t really know how to transfer calls, bin things I don’t know what to do with, and shred paper I don’t like the look of. I’m hopeful that one day, this whole reception lark will click into place, but until then I’ll continue to cause mayhem.

I’ve been told it’s not normal to get on so well with your colleagues. I asked them the other day – that if every job was like this one. And they all said no. That this is the only job they’ve had where everyone actually really likes each other. I think it works because everyone is their complete, crazy self. I’d love to go into detail, but that would be a little unprofessional.

We had a girls night out on Saturday. We went to see Dream Boys – a big, muscly strip show. I’d never seen so many willies before. I was actually petrified. I tried to get drunk in the staff room before we left, but it didn’t happen. You know how sometimes you’re so nervous about something that not even alcohol can help? That’s what I was like. Turns out, it was just a really good night. My friend got pulled up on stage and got a willy slapped in her face – it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. She then texted her husband to let him know about the willy slapping and two minutes later got a reply from her mum saying, Oh dear, I’m not sure that text was for me? That was even funnier than the actual willy slapping.

This night out was a whole two days ago, but I still feel hungover. No work today though – woop, woop. I’m having a movie day instead.

I love being a grown-up.

Nice People are Creepy

Nice People are Creepy

Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, but whenever someone is overly nice to me, I immediately become suspicious and jump to the conclusion that their niceness MUST have an ulterior motive. I know – it’s pretty sad, but I can’t help it. Nice people are creepy.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this view. On the plane over to Canada, I could easily have pointed out who was Scottish and who was Canadian just by their response to the air hostess’s suggestion that we give “the beautiful Macie” and her “cute, cuddly penguin” a wave. The Canadians giggled, waved, and said a big hello to Macie and her penguin, while the Scots bore an expression that was part confusion, part terror. I, being an extremely nervous flyer, wanted to get off the plane. Anyone who made a bunch of adults say hello to a toy penguin could not be trusted in ensuring a safe flight.

Although, having been in Canada a few days now, I do know that Canadians are actually, just nice. It’s who they are. You walk into a shop and they come bounding up to you, smiling, and say, “Hey, how are you today?”, and what’s more, they actually care about your answer. The first time this happened to me, I almost dropped my bag, and ran out of the shop, screaming, “Take whatever you want!!!!!!! Please don’t hurt me!!!!!!!”, but now I manage to stutter a “fine” and then swiftly, but calmly, make an exit.

It’s funny thinking about it the other way around. I mean, if we are scared of Canadians and their friendliness, what on earth must they think of us?! The other day, for example, we were sitting in a restaurant and as I was reading the menu, Dad slapped me on the head, telling me to hurry up and go order. I laughed, but as I got up, the family sitting next to us looked absolutely horrified. I almost had to tell them that it was just a joke and that the slap didn’t even hurt, but that probably would have confused them even more so I just went and ordered.

Hmm…having thought about it, it’s probably us who are the weird ones.

Aaaaanyway, despite this cultural divide, being in Canada has been pretty great. We used to come every summer, but haven’t managed to make it out in the past four years. The last time I was here, I had just finished school, just passed my driving test and was excited at the prospect of university. Now I have just finished university, just got my degree and am terrified of the prospect of full time employment. How times change.

The journey here was pretty uneventful. I’m getting better at flying thanks to Fly Without Fear. It’s a self help book (I know, I’m sorry) that miraculously, helps. I think it’s because it’s written by a pilot and not someone who tells you to just breathe and count to ten. His voice is so rational, calming, and he’s even a little funny – I think I may have a crush on him. But I really would recommend it. If it can transform me from the pill-popping, Rescue Remedy drinking, hysterically crying lunatic that I was, into a calm, almost normal passenger, then I’m sure it would work for you too. I mean, I still have those moments of incredulousness that everyone is acting like it’s completely normal to fly at thousands of feet in the air in a hurtling tin can, but now (thanks to that sexy beast of a narrator Captain Godfrey) I can contemplate these thoughts without having a melt down – like a curious, open minded spectator of a surreal play.

Mmm…breakfast (pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) is calling. My sister thought I looked a little skinny and peaky when I arrived (too much time spent in the pub) so she’s been feeding me up, and I’ve certainly not been complaining.

Not Quite the Waltons

Not Quite the Waltons

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So the family dinner was quite nice. Mum didn’t actually make it for dinner, but we saved her some leftovers (minced fajitas – how ridiculously difficult is it to eat these things?!). She also brought pudding (chocolate eclairs and creamy meringues), but she’d accidentally kept them in her car all day in the sunshine, and so they were absolutely disgusting. Well, that’s what my brother and dad said anyway – I, at the time, had already eaten an eclair, and while I thought it tasted a bit funny, I powered through because I love nothing more than a nice, big cream pie.

Stop it.

The conversation around the dinner table mainly consisted of mum and dad swapping their barrister stories from when they were getting divorced. Dad said that mum’s was a right nutter, but I couldn’t really understand why. You had to be there, apparently. They also told us that they mainly fought over money, and that they didn’t really care who got the kids so that was nice. Nothing like the loving devotion of parents, eh? They then talked about their childhoods:

Dad: You know your mother was constantly high on marijuana when she was younger?

Mum: No I wasn’t!

Dad: Yes, you were.

Mum: I was not, I hardly ever smoked! I just drank a litre of cider every day.

Well, that’s much better mum.

I actually get a bit stressed about this. My parents were absolute rogues when they were younger. My dad started smoking when he was 11 (11!!!!!) and left school at fifteen, and mum’s parents went back to Ireland when she was 16 and left her in Glasgow with her two older sisters (you can imagine the shananigans they got up to – there were a lot). But they’ve done alright for themselves. It’s like dad said, one day they just cut their hair and went to work. I don’t have any hair to cut! I don’t smoke, I don’t constantly drink, and I would much prefer staying in with a cup of tea and reading a good book over going out and partying all night, and because of this, I am absolutely certain I am going to fail at life.

I’m actually going out to celebrate an 18th tonight. It’s the daughter of my mum’s best friend and we’ve sort of grown up together. The last time we saw them, her mum said that she couldn’t believe how sensible we are – because we’re their spawn – but her daughter hit the nail on the head, saying, “It’s really no wonder we’re so sensible. We grew up putting YOU to bed.”

That shut her mum up.

Ach weel, we are who we are, and as much as I wish I could be more crazy and fun, I’m not. I told my brother of my worries yesterday after a mammoth Facebook stalking of someone’s gap year photos:

Me: I worry I’m a bit boring sometimes.

Brother: Why?

Me: Well, everyone goes off travelling by themselves and sees the world, and hugs monkeys and things. They seem to do so much.

Brother: Well, why don’t you go off travelling? You could easily do that.

Me: But I don’t want to. I don’t like travelling – it scares me.

Confused glance from brother.

Brother: Riiiiiiiiight. So don’t do it then?

Me: But that’s boring!

The conversation sort of went round in circles. He’s not boring. He does all kinds of reckless things. He was once drunkenly playing with flares on a boat, and I was raging, telling him not to be so stupid and to give them to me. He laughed, asserting that I should just “live a little”, before the flares blew up in his hands, and, crying his eyes out, he had to be taken to hospital.

I bet you’re thinking that the moral of this blog post is going to be that, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to be sensible, but my brother ended up having the most blissful sleep, gassed out of his mind while I was curled up on a chair in the hospital reception next to an old Greek man who did not stop farting.

It may be time to grow my hair.