Hello there. Happy New(ish) Year! This is just a quick ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ to get me back into the whole writing thing, but I’m going to find time in my busy busy schedule for some cartoons just as soon as possible. Continue to watch this space.
Here is some information about me.
- I live in a flat in London, to which I only sometimes lose the keys
- I have a full time job (a new one, which is great by the way)
- I pay taxes
- I have conversations about spreadsheets on an alarmingly regular basis
- I manage OK on the whole paying-bills, keeping-appointments, cleaning-and-tidying front
- I get my five a day and take vitamin supplements
- In recent times, I’ve actually been known to get excited about vegetables
All of these things continually surprise me. I like to think I’ve always been blessed with a certain middle-aged chic, but it’s one thing to choose early bed over nightclubs, and quite another to realise you’ve inadvertently become a fully-fledged adult human. Even, dare I say, an upstanding member of society.
The transition into adulthood has been insidious and, in some ways, quite depressing; council tax, anyone? But there’s a silver lining: lately, I’ve become increasingly aware that adulthood is a permission slip to do whatever you damn well please, whenever you want. Nobody can tell you what to do – or at least, you don’t have to listen when they do.
Friends and family will know that I’m prone to taking life a bit seriously at times, and gratuitous silliness is a great antidote to that. So this year, I’m trying to balance the shackles of responsibility with a fuller appreciation of the freedoms of adulthood. Here are a few examples:
Perk 1. You can go on holiday without asking anyone
Here’s a secret: as an adult, you’re literally allowed to go on holiday without asking anyone (except work, and the person you’re visiting, and your own bank account. I also have a bizarre compulsion to get my mum’s approval before booking flights or trains). Your twenties are practically designed to accommodate random minibreaks.
This is why I spontaneously went to Nottingham last weekend to visit my friend Megan, who is a vet and a terrifyingly competent human being. Off I toddled on the coach, with a full complement of snacks and without a care in the world, ready for a sophisticated grown-up weekend. To nobody’s surprise, a sophisticated grown-up weekend is not entirely what happened.*
*For context, Megan and I have been friends since the age of 11 and our idea of fun has changed astonishingly little since that point, although these days it does tend to involve more alcohol and less crippling teenage insecurity.
Perk 2. You can go out whenever you want (but you can also stay in)
The event of the weekend was a local music festival called Beat the Streets, where we listened to noisy music in sticky-floored venues. This made us feel extremely adult, not least because we were a good five years older than most of the audience; I’d forgotten that Nottingham is a student town. Let me tell you, it’s disconcerting to see someone who looks like they’ve only just graduated from primary school downing pints to a heavy-metal soundtrack.
I’d love to give the impression that we spent the entire weekend doing similarly cultured things, but in fact a large proportion was spent on the sofa watching trash. Which brings me to…
Perk 3. No film is off-limits
Get your mind out of the gutter, that’s not what I meant. Megan and I have a time-honoured tradition of watching low-grade chick flicks at every opportunity. I’m talking more or less anything where the cover is in shades of pink, and where weddings and/or body-swaps are involved. It’s important to note that being adults and well-educated feminists, we have made the important change that we now watch these films ironically.
Last weekend, alongside a sizeable chunk of Netflix, we got through 13 Going On 30, and the infamous Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which does what it says on the tin. I also introduced Megan to the joy that is the trailer for Birdemic: Shock and Terror. If you haven’t watched the trailer, do. It’s… enlightening, although somehow I’m yet to find the right moment to watch the full feature film.
After the Birdemic trailer, and encouraged by the cat, we decided it was probably time to switch off the telly and have something to eat.
Perk 4. You can eat as many biscuits as you want*
*although unfortunately the consequences of overindulgence remain the same, if not worse than when you were seven years old.
We took this particular principle to the extreme after continuing another longstanding tradition: excessively colourful baking. Way back in the early teen years, this was memorably manifested in some bright blue cookies with a distinctive silver sheen. Weirdly, nobody except us wanted to eat them.
This time, we took a more sophisticated approach and made some lemon biscuits almost worthy of the Bakeoff. We then proceeded to sophisticatedly decorate them with writing icing and dolly mixtures, and then to sophisticatedly eat all of them over the space of 24 hours.
We did also do some genuinely grown-up cooking of beetroot and celeriac soup, which was tasty and nutritious. Unfortunately, Megan managed to inflict a nasty wound on her own thumb during the cooking process, so the soup was not as vegetarian as the recipe originally intended. The colour, I promise, is nothing to do with that.
On that note I must leave you to continue my busy, grown-up London life. If you want to know more about what I’m up to at the moment have a look at my new work’s website, and with any luck more ramblings will be up on Anglophone before you know what’s hit you. Farewell for now!