Here’s the latest goss: I’ve reverted to the waking hours of my 8 year old self. I am tucked up in bed by 9.30 every night. Any later and I start to panic. On a school night, it was vitally important that I got a proper rest, so that I’d be in a position to produce good work the next day. When House Doctor was on, I granted myself the extra hour as a treat and an exception, because decluttering, at that time, was an ideology I advocated. The motivation behind this lunacy? Beating my then cursed archenemy Oliver Dixon in whatever challenge (formal or informal) that the day might bring, and possibly picking up some juicy house points along the way (for my beloved brimham house, which I would later go on to represent as house captain, alongside my colleague Joe Ingham. ) But enough about my former glory. I won’t mention playing at the netball nationals as under 11 team captain – my last public sporting appearance. It’s not interesting. Neither is hearing about me achieving dolphin swimming level 7 at fearnville leisure centre back in ’03 ( I later learnt, to my deep regret, that to have a play on the giant inflatable float at the same centre required a dolphin level 8 – not the first time I fibbed my way out of a potentially messy situation). None of that matters. The fact is, I’m going to bed early, and I’m ruddy loving it.
But that’s not all. There’s so much more to it than that. I’m also waking crazily early. We’re talking within the 0600-0700 margin here. I’m not pissing about. Only me, the pious, the very ill, and those on an early morning flight get up at that time. And you’ll be glad to hear that the shit childhood analogy can continue, given that, as a young pony, I was consistently up before the clock struck 7 to catch some Saturday morning cartoons in peace. The time before sammy and Isabel came down, bringing with them all their baggage and their bullshit, was precious. The headstart also meant that I’d be first to the nom if food rations were particularly low, securing myself the dregs of the peanut butter jar, or even better, the last twirl from the Shabbat goodies box.
A quick interruption to note that in my haste to find out some (any) facts about crocodiles – having boasted today to every member of my family individually that they are my favourite animal, and inexplicably going on to boldly lie about how much I knew about them – I’ve just been forced to sign myself into a wifi network called ‘snotbubble’. Id like to meet the pervy grime-puss that came up with that. After a quick spanking, the dirty truth is I think we’d get on rather well.
I’m in the car now. It’s not nighttime anymore. We are listening to a cd of Latino hits. I know of only one other place where I might hear mamba melodies such as ‘oye mi canto’ or ‘la cumparsita -the masked one’, and that is the Chiquita chain of restaurants. There, the Mundo Latino cd is in-keeping with the contrived Mexican ambiance. Here, it couldn’t be more incongruous. None of us have a single drop of Spanish blood in us. And much as gran talks of uncertainty regarding the family heritage, there really is no doubt that the furthest the Holdings can trace their roots is Birkenhead.
Isabel has just dropped a world news bombshell in telling us Jennifer Aniston is engaged to be married. None of us gave a hoot. No one, that is, except dad. Eyes frantic, a cold sweat breaking out over his forehead, he asked, shaking, “to whom????”. No one can understand his distress. I was stunned he knew who she was. He only occasionally reads Heat, and his track record of celeb knowledge is appalling. One occasion in particular springs to mind. We all woke one morning on holiday to find we had been hounded with missed calls from dad. Panicked, we rang back without delay. He picked up, giddy and nervous, and told us to come downstairs quick, there was a celebrity in our midst. “But who?!?” we all cried. He had no idea. We obediently came to him, ready to be peeved at the sight of Rik Waller off of pop idol ’03 (better known by most as Big Fat Rik Waller – I attach a piccie for convenience). What awaited us was Anne Hathaway, doing some filming, and dad, there amongst the fans, his arm outstretched with his blackberry camera out, silently taking many versions of the same piss-poor image, in the way that he always does. It’s important to remember he had absolutely no idea who or what he was photographing. Incredulously, we watched as he, in his wild insistence to be in the first row, came too close to anne than was allowed, and was immediately ordered to keep back, then physically moved to the side by the security team. Again, please bear in mind, that the man was snapping an unknown. For all he knew, he was capturing Jonty off of Big Brother 8. When Rickmansworth uses a camera, he does so with the enthusiasm of a faitgued mutt, dragging its diseased body around the park, but the simultaneous determination of a raging Brahma bull straining to get out of the chute. Put simply, he is moody but unrelenting.
In other news, my fingers take on a new scent every day. Yesterday it was a really groovy buttered popcorn flavour. Today, it’s curried lamb. I can’t account for the sudden and drastic change
I’ve realised that all Isabel listens to is the overture to La Traviata and Andy Williams’ “House of bamboo”. This must change. For university, and for life in general, it just must. We could explore the reasons why here, but I think they are blindingly clear.
Also, to finish, I must indulge in a rant, like a mum or a teacher might. I can’t believe I’m not allowed to drink here. I say cant believe, and i mean it, in its truest sense. I’m in my 20th year. If we include time spent in the womb (as i often do), I’m coming up to my 21st. What next? Can somebody wipe my bottom? Can dada chop up my meat into manageable Jessie-sized chunks for me? Will I need my nappy changing? (Well, yes, sometimes admittedly, I could probably use such a service, but that is irrelevant to the wider issue at stake). Yesterday my parents and bruv decided to indulge in an hour’s wine-tasting. Miss Piggy behind the counter condescendingly asked to see the IDs of Isabel, Rachel (!) and me, and satisfied with our mumbled responses of not having any, obviously we didn’t have any, she gleefully sent us to the corner of the room like dogs. She told me knowingly that she can’t have me, as a scummy under 21, seated at or anywhere near the bar. I just wonder why. Even if that did enable me to more easily sneak a sippy, it would still only be that one sippy and christ, what will happen if I have one tiny taste of wine? Will i be driven to inebriated madness? Am I going to smash bottles over the heads of fellow customers and take a piss all over the walls? Will I destroy the reputation of O’Leary family fucking vineyards once and for all? I’ll tell you what’ll happen. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But the silly sommelier clearly had other ideas.
So the uptight “muthafuckin’ government of california” (shit I hope that is indeed the ‘chilis’ lyric I hope it to be) has tried their very best to stop me getting t the likka. In vain. Tonight, I will accompany sammy to the shop, where he will purchase enough beer to get the whole family sloshed, including Rachel. Then we’ll drink it together in the privacy and comfort of the hotel bedroom, like the pathetic youths we are. Not because we want to, but because we can’t.