Blogging on a Boat: Day 1

Blogging on a Boat: Day 1

I woke today feeling slightly nauseous after all the red wine I drank last night and so I have decided that from now on I shall just stick to vodka. Definitely the healthier choice. I also had quite a fitful sleep – any time the boat lurched I’d sit bolt upright and claw at the walls until I realised that I was perfectly safe and not locked up in a mental asylum. They – whoever “they” are – have not come for me as of yet. I did, however, wake up to a policeman banging on the door and demanding to see our papers. Oh joys, I thought, Dad is going to be arrested again. But thankfully, everything was in order and after TWO AND A HALF HOURS, we were allowed to be on our way.

So yes, one thing that I have observed about Italians is that they sure take their time. I remember reading about this in Eat, Pray Love and thinking that it would be lovely to live in Italy, away from all the hustle and bustle and busy nothings in Britain, but since arriving, I have found out that I just cannot hack their laidback attitude. I am trying – a lovely German girl I befriended at RADA kept telling me to “stop being so bloody British”, but alas, I cannot.

What I can hack, however, is their food and scenery. The menus have all been in Italian so far (I know, shocking) and so it’s been quite fun not knowing what on earth we’ve ordered. You certainly learn things about yourself – for instance, I thought I hated anchovies, but that’s what I got for my starter last night and they were delicious! I also thought that clams in spaghetti just wouldn’t go, but turns out they do. And so the food may be slow in getting to you, but it sure is delicious when it arrives.

As for today, we have anchored up near Isola Ventoten, which looks very pretty. The journey here was bliss. I sat at the bow of the boat, revelling in the brisk sea breeze and thinking that sailing is perhaps the only thing that I am not scared of. A rather big wave, however, shooed me right back into the safety of the cockpit from which I was not to venture out again.

Maybe tomorrow.

As for now, I am away for a swim as my face is melting and my thighs may have to be surgically removed from this chair.

Over and out, folks!

P.s. I tried to write about RADA, but it was so gushy and emotional that it has been confined to my diary. Far too many feels for this blog.

Don’t Drink and Raft

Don’t Drink and Raft

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This isn’t where I went rafting, but it is a bed of water so it’ll have to do. I was going to take my phone down to the river to, you know, capture the experience, but then I thought that that is possibly the worst idea I have ever had. It would definitely have been another phone-in-water fiasco.

So as usual, the prospect of this great rafting trip was making me feel quite nervous. What is it about rafting down a river on a lovely, sunny day that makes me nervous, you ask? WELL. The person who asked me to go is an old friend from primary and I mean, we were great friends at primary; got on like a house on fire and all that, but when we went to secondary school that changed. Basically, she became one of the cool ones and I…well, I didn’t.

FRIENDSHIP OVER.

But as is also usual, my fears and anxieties were put to rest pretty quickly (after I accidentally told her I’m a bit of a stoner, which I’m really not. She’s invited me round for a gramme, or half bag, or I DON’T KNOW, something along those lines, for a wee “smokey night”. I have no idea what this entails and I’m scared I might die so I’m definitely going to come up with some sort of excuse and BACK THE HELL OUT) and we slipped right back into our old, primary relationship.

The wine definitely helped.

As for the actual rafting part…well, it’s the sort of thing that sounds really good and fun and spontaneous and exciting and adventurous, but in reality, it’s really just a lot of hard-work and grunting and falling in and banging your head on the paddles. I had no idea the river was so shallow! We were grounded pretty much 94% of the time and basically just scraped down the river. But our destination was these FEROCIOUS rapids under a big old bridge and holy moly was it exciting when we finally got there. There was a tiny island just before the rapids so we thought we’d get off there and finish the wine before trying not to drown. It was at this point that I made a tremendous error:

“God, I just HATE shoes, you know? I love being back in the country. You can just go barefoot alllll the time. Seriously, the skin on the soles of my feet is so hard that I probably don’t even need shoes!”

Buuuut, the Shoe Gods obviously overheard and were understandably a bit pissed off as two seconds later, I lost both flip flops in a quick succession and walking home barefoot on the newly gravelled road wisnae fun so I may have to retract my previous statement. Shoe Gods: 1, Josie: 0.

And from then on it was just one disaster after another; launching ourselves off our island, the dinghy ripped, I fell out and was dragged through trees, rocks, sheep wool and dirt, until I finally hit the shallows, ever so slightly bedraggled and not quite sure what had just happened.

Yep, these things are never as good as you think they’ll be, but it was pretty hilarious. I’m absolutely dreading going to work. Everyone at the shop is so upstanding, moral, and just GOOD – I think it’s actually a job requirement. We only discuss the drama that goes on in the village; we NEVER, EVER create it ourselves. I actually made that mistake once: I got very drunk at a local ceilidh, frolicked with a balloon, fell off the stage, and was carried out by a friend and the next day in the shop was bloody horrific. SO MUCH JUDGMENT. And it may be the same today since I was spotted walking home soaking wet, dirty, barefoot, and carrying a deflated dinghy by at least three people.

Oh dear.

P.s. I’m listening to Radio 2 at the minute (I know it’s awful, but I like the music) and the Jeremy Vine show is on and do you know what today’s topic of discussion is?

LOOM BANDS.

This show is just the worst.

Another Friday Night, Another Cup of Tea

Another Friday Night, Another Cup of Tea

I MISS DRINKING! Although, considering I have a wee tipple before going to my bed pretty much every night (yes, I’m drinking alone, but no, I’m not an alcoholic – I like the taste and it helps me sleep and also, isn’t a glass of wine a day healthy? SO STOP JUDGING), I’m hardly in the position to say that I actually miss alcoholso really, I miss getting drunk. Ah, that blissful state of fuzzy wuzziness. Yep, it’s the fuzzy wuzziness I miss.

The fuzzy wuzziness.

Boredom levels have reached a new high (or low?) at the Spar. I was stacking Coke bottles the other night and got so excited (too excited) when I saw a Share one with…and then the name of a friend! Oh my goodness, this is a Dear Diary moment!!!! I immediately took a photo and sent it to him.

I don’t think he was as amused as I was.

BUT THEN, half an hour later or so, I was stacking some more Coke bottles when I saw ANOTHER friend’s name! Freaky or what? So I went and got my other friend (in coke bottle form) and put them next to each other. Aww, sweet. And that was the moment that my awe-inspiring plan was born – Tonight, I will find all my friend’s names and get a picture of them all together! Oh my goodness, this is going to be so much fun. 

Turns out, it wasn’t. Three crates of coke later, I only found one other name, although I did find “Bobby”, which I thought I could use to my advantage since there is a sub-group within our group of friends known as “The Boabies” (Scottish slang for penis). But alas, my awe-inspiring plan just looked sad:

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Hey my little coke bottle friends! Looking gooooood!

And then I had to explain myself to the owners:

Owners: Josie, why did you open three crates of coke?

Me: Oh yeah, that – yeah, I didn’t realise that one was already open and then I forgot that I had opened another one…

(Quick thinking or what?)

Owners: Right…

Pffft. They were looking at me as though I was crazy, but imagine if I’d said “Oh that, I was just trying to find my friends!” They would have at least considered letting me go and so it is with this blog, that I do give you another example illustrating the necessity to tell a little white lie to people one barely knows.

Don’t Drink and Mop

Don’t Drink and Mop

Turns out, the tax payers are pissed off:

Better Together Customer (irritable) : On holiday again?

Me (apologetically): Yeah, I seem to have more holidays than I do classes…

I giggle half-heartedly in the hope that I bring him out of his despondence. No such luck.

Better Together Customer (highly unamused): Mmm. And it’s my taxes that are paying for you.

And then he left without a “thank you” or a “goodbye”. I wondered what had got his knickers in a twist since he’s usually a very nice customer – one of my favourites – but now I may have to sneeze on his change.  It’s probably the whole stress of his leaflets being hidden (and his taxes, I guess). Although, when I think back on yesterday, it was a very grumpy day overall. The owners were once again tethered to the Spar after their lovely holiday away so that’s probably why they were tetchy; the other staff had been working long hours while the owners were away so that’s probably why they were tetchy, and I guess the villagers were just fed up with the sunshine:

Me: Hello! Enjoying the lovely sunshine?

Lobster Customer: No. Ah jist cannae get anythin’ done in this bloody heat!

Me: Oh. Yes, terrible. Terrible. Let’s hope it stays away tomorrow and the rain, sleet, hail, and wind come rushing back.

Ok, I didn’t say that last bit, but seriously, thank goodness there’s the weather otherwise no one would have anything to complain about.

But everyone was significantly chirpier today – probably because it’s Friday and they were all away to get pissed. It was my turn to be grumpy this time, although my boss did give me a glass of wine while I mopped up, which was…strange. I didn’t really want it (because being Scottish, I’m just a manic binge drinker), but my boss is very difficult to say no to. He just asks and asks and asks until you want to kill him and so say yes instead as it’s a lot less messy. So I had the glass of wine and I thought it would be ok; that there couldn’t be that many units in the one glass. My Dad, who’s been on the course, always says that it’s ZERO TOLERANCE, but I told myself that it would only be this one time; that I would never do it again. Turns out, one time is all it takes and that after only one glass, my judgments became cloudy and my reactions too slow – a jar of Lloyd Grossman’s Chicken Korma was no more.

So don’t drink and mop, kids. The curry stains will play upon your mind forever.

Police, Police!

Police, Police!

I have a problem with authority figures. They scare the living daylights out of me and I don’t think I’m the only one. The other day, police were sitting outside the shop and the looks upon every customer’s face as they came in were ones of pure terror…and a little excitement.

Not much happens here.

“Who are they here for?”; “Are they waiting for someone?”; “What do they want?!”

After one realises that one is safe, one hopes that another will not be so lucky so as to provide one with some juicy gossip. Fortunately, I didn’t know who they wanted; I was just hoping against hope that it was not my dad as he said he would drive me to a party this weekend so I can DRINK TO MY HEART’S CONTENT. And it would also be terrible for him if he lost his license.

Again.

So anyway, the shop was filled with low, serious, out-of-the-corner-of-your-mouth talk. The talk of the older generation was the best. They remember the good old days, when the village was really in its prime. Smoking in pubs, lock-ins, drugs, drink driving…one Bobby who came to the parties too. I have the vaguest of recollections of these times; of getting cosy under pub chairs and studying everyone’s feet intently (who wore white socks with black shoes, whose high heels were hurting etc) before falling asleep to the sound of raucous chatter. To this day, I still find that sound extremely comforting.

Happy times.

But when I was born, these times were already on the out; they were to be no more. Smoking was banned. The Bobby was placed elsewhere and police came in from the city. People were done for drink driving, drugs, lock-ins were put a stop to. Business went down the drain; owners sold their pubs. People stayed within the confines of their own house; no one saw each other. It was just too dangerous out there. The Great Bobby Apocalypse of 2000.

But back to 2014, these police stayed outside the shop all day until I went outside to put the papers in the shed and they hit the accelerator and sped off in the direction of my Dad’s.

Fuck.

But you’ll be pleased to know that I ran back inside and phoned him, and thankfully he was tucked up in bed watching Calendar Girls.

Yep, his rock n’ roll days are truly over.

 

Rebellion, Feminism, and Mackerel Pâté

Rebellion, Feminism, and Mackerel Pâté

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Ok, there may or may not be a photo above this sentence. They (THEEEEEY) have gone and changed things (after I’d just got used to them) and now I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Although, even if you can see the photo, you probably don’t know what it is. Again, it has nothing to do with what I’m going to write about, but like I said yesterday, I miss putting up photos. They make the post look nice as well, although this is a photo of mackerel pâté and so I’m not 100% certain that I’ve achieved my aesthetic desire with this particular image. It was, however, very tasty. My step-mum (whose cooking is very questionable) made it and so I was a little surprised. She’s actually become a very good cook, but I remember what she used to feed us back in the day (things like egg trifles) and so I can’t help but feel a bolt of fear whenever she says the dreaded words, “I’ll make dinner tonight”.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Anyway, the shop was relatively quiet yesterday. There was another Dickens Cider joke; another affronted female, but since the shop is no longer a space of free speech and independent views, no one knows where feminism stands. These really are turbulent times.

Yesterday was quite a turbulent shift, actually. My shift started at four, which I hate. At that time, the staff have already established their roles and unless you take over from someone, then you’re sort of…out of the loop. I just wandered around for an hour, rustling things so it looked like I was doing something, but there really wasn’t anything for me to do and everyone knew that, but the pretence goes on. It wasn’t long, however, until the other staff left and the new owners tend to leave me alone a lot, which is AWESOME. I count down the minutes until it’s time for their dinner, dreaming of all the things I’ll get up to when they’re gone. I’ll go on my phone, sit down for a bit, put my feet up, eat some chocolate, read a magazine…my plans are endless, but when they do finally leave, I can’t bring myself to carry any of them out. I just work. The most rebellious thing I did yesterday was eat a bag of crisps while I filed accounts, which I would be allowed to do ANYWAY.

Therefore, my aim for this evening is to establish where exactly feminism stands and to become a significantly more rebellious individual.

 

It’s Happened

It’s Happened

The Spar has been declared a neutral, free-of-politics, zone. The leaflets have been put through the back (and anything that gets put through the back never sees the fluorescent lighting of the Spar again) and the customers have been told to keep their views at home. The place, that I have reluctantly worshipped for the past six years, is no longer a space of free speech and independent views: the staff have been restricted to talk of the weather and football. This is indeed, a time of change.

In other news, the new owners have expanded their alcohol stock to include that of Dickens Cider and it seems that whenever anyone buys it, they must be brought to the office to watch it’s advert in which a man states, “that all women need is a good Dickens Cider”. Get it? Funny-ha-ha-not-so-much. You can imagine my delight when a customer turned around and said, “Ugh, I’m not watching that – it’ll bloody put me off the cider. I mean, [dicks] don’t exactly look nice or taste good do they?” To which I replied, bright red, “jhsdjhfjhbshjgdfhjjbcbhjsd…yeah”.

I am writing this post in haste, since my boss has just texted, asking if I can come in earlier…and I’m a little worried. I got a rather outrageous haircut yesterday. I mean, in Glasgow I would blend in quite well, but I’m thinking it might be a bit much for the Spar in my tiny home village. I got it cut quite short before and I think that when customers came into the shop, they thought that there was something different about me, but they couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was and so just kept telling me that I had “filled out in my face”. That’s always a lovely thing to hear, isn’t it? That your face has got fat? I really don’t know how this haircut is going to go down and I thought I had all day to make it look semi-normal and get used to it a bit, but now I’ve got to run…

Wish me luck.