Monday, 5 September 2011

The University of Life

I lay in bed this morning thinking about how it's the start of a new term this week and suddenly had the crushing realisation that it's been 14 years since I started university.  (I say university, - it was more like drama school with a degree at the end of it, but you get the idea).  FOURTEEN YEARS.  How can it be that long since I packed my suitcase with my mum's worst saucepans and an abundance of ill advised PVC clothing and set off on the road to studentdom?  I was just thinking about how it only seemed like yesterday when a little voice from the next bedroom started demanding "getting up and playing cars time now mummy" and informing me that he would be removing his pants imminently, which rather brought it home to me that there have indeed been fourteen years of adulthood in the interim period between starting my degree and now.

"How different and wonderful life is now", I thought.  I'm now a successful adult with a husband and a child and a completely different lifesty...oh, wait a minute.

Life as student
Life as stay at home mum

Drama student.  Waitress/chef during the holidays.

Stay at home mum who occasionally does a bit of writing or sews things to make people look pretty at weddings for cash.  Wiper of snot.  Dodger of housework.  General drudgery.

Living accommodation
Terraced hovel on street inhabited by Wakefield criminals and their savage offspring.  Heating didn’t work unless you kicked the boiler.  Colour blind approach to décor courtesy of Mr Khan (landlord), who was always in Pakistan whenever anything needed fixing.  Small colony of woodlice in the bath.

Semi detached 1950s shack which we bought with the intention of doing up.  This bright idea was put on hold when I unexpectedly became pregnant, so everything is half finished or not started at all.  Heating only works in short bursts, toilet doesn’t flush unless you have the knack, colour blind approach to décor (courtesy of previous owner).  No woodlice to speak of but large infestation of flying ants inhabit the kitchen from time to time.

Reliant on student loan and working all summer as a waitress/chef.  Still managed to afford to get hair cut at Saks every 2 months I seem to recall.
Reliant on husband and have to ask him every time I want something which makes me feel like a gold digger, so I don’t.  And we’re always penniless by a week before payday anyway.  Cut own hair.  It shows.

101 ways with tinned tomatoes and Smartprice kidney beans.  Pies from the local shop.  Pop Tarts. Sunday lunch at weird pagan Wetherspoons pub at top of road.

101 ways with tinned tomatoes and Smartprice kidney beans.  Occasionally gin.
Night Life
Cackling over cheap red wine with housemates, stumbling into taxi to awful club with sticky floors, entire night spent dodging various irksome men, falling into bed at 4am, naked apart from one shoe.

Occasional meal out with husband during which we giggle like excited 15 year olds who have been allowed out to the pub for the first time, get hammered on half a bottle of wine each and are back home in time for The Apprentice.  (Fully clothed).

The Walk of Shame
Involves waving to the milkman at 5am wearing very small dress and wondering where I’ve left my keys/credit card/moral standards.
Involves walking to the One Stop shop at 9am in pyjamas and flip flops with a similarly attired toddler, safe in the knowledge that I left my dignity on the labour room floor 2 years ago along with a fair proportion of my blood.

Good day: In college at 8.30am, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for dance class.  Classes and rehearsals all day, home by 6.30.

Bad day: Slumped on sticky brown sofa staring slack jawed at Supermarket Sweep, chain eating Ginsters pies.
Good day: Up at crack of dawn, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for playgroup.  Baking, playing cars and a trip to the swings follow.  Daddy home by 6.30.

Bad day: Slumped on sticky brown sofa staring slack jawed at In the Night Garden, would be chain eating Mini Milks but Rory takes a dim view of me eating any food on my own and steals them from me.

Bickering with housemates over whose turn it is to do the washing up.

Bickering with husband over whose turn it is to do the washing up.  Debating with toddler the necessity for wearing more to playgroup than wellies and a superhero cloak.  Berating toddler for sliding my debit card deep into the crack under the hearth again.

Sex life
Abundant.  Colourful.  Overly convoluted.

I’m sorry, what?
From vintage shops that smell of biscuits or crap places like New Look due to supposed lack of money.
Errrr, I made a new top out of a pillowcase a few months ago that makes me look exactly like I’m wearing…well…a pillowcase.  Does that count?  Everything else is years old and covered in Pritt Stick.

Can’t be bothered to put make-up on but still look good because I’m 20 years old with killer cheekbones.

Can’t be bothered to put make-up on and look like a hag beast because I’m 33 and haven’t slept for two years due to insomniac baby.  Cheekbones AWOL.

Bus.  Train.  Walking.
Bus.  Train.  Walking.  Thank God I don’t drive actually or I’d be a good few stone heavier.

Plans for the future
Graduate, be fabulous grown up with amazing career and generally brilliant life.

Sleep.  Obtain more gin.



  1. I love this, very funny! *hugs* Mungle xx

  2. Love love love this one Lise xxxx

  3. I love this and I think my table would be filled with more or less the same (minus the toddler)!

  4. oh my god I am KILLING myself laughing. I'm so happy I found your blog. Like. Its made my VRIGGIN day... too funny x