Posts Tagged ‘truck’

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2012, here we come!

December 30, 2011

The time has rolled around, once again, for my two standard end of year / new year posts. The first one is my own personal review of 2011, evaluating how I did with my aims for the year, and looking forward to 2012 and what I hope to achieve within the next 12 months. So, to recap, my aims for 2011 were:

1. Buy a car.
Tick! I not only bought a car, but I crashed it and then sold it 6 months later!  Driving was a major achievement for me, as it was 6 years in the making, and represented a triumph over my nerves and my previous failure (I have been a lucky person who generally didn’t have to deal with failure too much in life, up until I started learning to drive). But I also learned the hard way that it’s a big responsibility, that it comes with a whole trapping of expenses, and that while being able to drive is an asset and a liberation, living in London and not having to drive anywhere is also a blessing. When the public transport system is good, life is good. (Let me tell you, having gone home to Bristol for 6 days over the Christmas period, I immediately starting missing my car and how easy it made travelling from place to place. Bristol, step your public transport game up please!)

2. Get a job in London.

Tick! Although I miss the warmth and camaraderie of my colleagues in Cirencester (I yo-yoed about how much I enjoyed the job, but I became much happier and carefree once a certain colleague left), my new job in Notting Hill is a whole new challenge – I’m always busy, I’m never bored, and I am learning many new things. Plus, I am earning more!

3. Move to London.

Tick! As you know, I am now living in my own little studio flat in Earl’s Court, which is pricey but very conveniently located for transport (bus stop and tube station outside my front door), and also only a 15 minute walk from Toby’s place.

4. Stay with Toby and make sure that our relationship grows even stronger!

Tick! I love my baby and I realised early on in 2011 that the 100+ miles gap between the two of us wasn’t going to be feasible. We missed each other all the time, and although I may have ended up in London anyway (I’m a city boy at heart), he was the driving force between the transformation in my life and career that has occurred this year.

5. Buy a new microphone and record a new album.

Nope. The microphone never happened. I have recorded some new material (and written even more), but I am hoping that the album will be complete next year.

6. Pay off my credit card and student overdraft.

Sort of. I am debt-free, apart from my student overdraft and my student loan. My car ended up being a big drain on my finances, and moving to London required every penny I had. Plus, I did have a wonderful holiday to Seville with Toby in July, which I wouldn’t have traded for anything but did further delay me paying off my student overdraft. But with my first couple of pay checks, I paid my parents and Nonna back for the money they lent me to settle myself in London, I paid off my credit card, and sorted myself out financially. The student overdraft is my primary financial focus for 2012.

So I guess 4.5 out of 6 is not bad at all! I seem to have more success when I write my yearly aims down, so here goes for 2012:

1. Learn to cook a new dish every month.

Toby is a fantastic cook, but I want to learn to make healthy, interesting meals so that I can return the favour from time to time, and enrich my own skill-set and repertoire. Tonight, Toby’s housemates Michael and Naomi have made some very yummy sushi, so that is one thing I shall aim to make; I also enjoyed watching the British Bake-Off and am tempted by the idea of whipping up my own lemon tart!

2. Cut down on takeaways – to once a fortnight.

I’m not quite as svelte as I was this time last year. I have got into the habit of having desserts, of snacking unnecessarily from time to time, and from cooking quite simple dishes (similar to how I was at university). This is all fine, but I am going to moderate myself a bit and cut down on takeaways from Dominos, Pizza Hut and Jasmine Garden.

3. Move in with Toby.

I would like the two of us to move in together; it feels like the logical next step for our relationship, but we both need to be at ease with it and it also needs to be an affordable and convenient location. Moving in will happen when it happens, but I’m just putting this wish out there in the universe and perhaps in 12 months’ time, I will be able to tick this one off the list! 🙂

4. Pay off my student overdraft.

See above. This year I have really improved at budgeting and restraining myself from impulsive / extravagant purchases; therefore, I am determined to pay off at least £200 a month. So even if I don’t pay the whole thing off by the end of the year, I will have made a sizeable dent in it! Fingers crossed!

5. Learn Italian

Ok, let’s get this done once and for all. I am half-Italian, therefore it will not only be easy (especially having studied French and Spanish) to learn Italian, but it will be culturally enriching and give me a new understanding of my own heritage. Work have offered to pay for / subsidise an Italian course for me, but my initial plan of attack will be to buy an Italian novel, an Italian dictionary (and possibly an Italian grammar book), and keep a pen and paper by me as I read – and just have at it.

6. Learn to sew

Because I feel somewhat babyish whenever I have holes or rips in my clothes, and I have to take them to Toby’s to fix. I presume that sewing is a relatively simple skill, and therefore I should learn to do it and allow myself to be self-sufficient when it comes to repairing my belongings.

7. Finish my new album

This year will be the year! I am over halfway. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!

8. Go completely digital with my music and film collections, and only keep physical copies of what I really love

Having moved to London, I was unable to carry all of my DVDs and CDs with me. I would need a truck. Obviously, I have my computer, my iPod, and I was able to take quite a few of my DVDs here; but I have realised that I don’t really need most of the physical copies that I own. So I will sell them, give them away, and go digital. I will open myself up to buying things on iTunes much more (believe it or not, B.Slade’s album Diesel that I bought a couple of months ago was the very first album I bought on iTunes!), and perhaps I might need an extra external hard drive. But I am willing to embrace the digital age (only a few years late!), and also make it much easier for myself to move flats and houses as I go.

Wish me luck, and have a Happy New Year! x

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another dream.

August 23, 2009

If you know me, you know that I quite often have very strange dreams.  This is the third vivid one I’ve had this week, after one where my French assistant from university, Anna Winterstein, had come to take me to France in her truck with her boyfriend, except we drove through Clifton to get to Moscow, and from Moscow we were going to drive to France in this truck.  Dreams ≠ logic.  And the worst part was that in the dream, Anna Winterstein was a murderer and a child molester, having slept with a 15yo girl in one of her classes (this is clearly taken from an article I’d been reading in the Metro during the day, where a female music teacher had been convicted of the exact same thing); I pleaded with my dad not to send me with her, but he wouldn’t listen!

Then, I had another dream also set in Moscow (added scenes set in St. Petersburg) where me and my father had to pick up all the rubbish off the streets.  I don’t know why I have been so fixated on Russia in my dreams lately, I’m not reading anything to do with Russia, and I haven’t really come into contact with anything Russian over the last few days.  But last night’s dream was not related to Russia, but instead had elements from Italy and Spain, combined with Bristol (of course).

I was at home with Dad and it transpired that I was supposed to be on holiday in Italy somewhere, but we’d come home for a couple of days in the middle of the holiday for a break from the holiday.  However, I was secretly going to sneak away back to Italy.  Me and my friend Tom Main (from school, I haven’t seen him for years) were on the patio outside, and we had to distract our next door neighbour Julie so that I could get inside and pack my suitcase and leave without her seeing.  We looked through the gap in the breeze block (which was in the pattern of a flower) and then we started singing Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” in eerie high squeaky voices.  Sure enough, Julie came out of the house next door and into the garden to investigate.  We crept back inside out house and I went to start packing my things.  Then Tom Main disappeared and my other friend from school Flick Waite (again, not seen or spoken to her in years!) appeared in the front driveway.  She asked me if I was ready to go, and I said I wouldn’t be a minute, just packing my suitcase.  My dad was sat in the lounge and I decided to tell him upfront that I was going, he said “fine, if that was what I wanted to do”.  I went upstairs to my room to pack my things, and I was folding up my blankets from the bed and packing my phone charger and some cds and things, and I remember thinking I had to hurry because otherwise Flick would go without me.  She called my phone after 15 minutes and asked where I was, I said that I would be down in a minute.  I shoved more things into a suitcase and then ran down the stairs and realised I had forgotten to pack any clothes, but then that all the clothes I needed would be back in the wardrobe in Italy.  I went outside to meet Flick, and we got in a taxi and disappeared.

The next thing I remember is being in a car with my dad and Nonna, driving to a Spanish airport (I think it was Spanish because the scenery reminded me of Spain).  We were in a race against time so that we didn’t miss our flight, and also because I had the vague idea another car was chasing us.  My dad was explaining the different routes we could take as he drove, and he said that it was good to go the way we were going because we could drive any direction we liked.  The motorway was gridlocked but then suddenly two parallel tunnels appeared, a round one and a square one.  My dad explained that we were lucky because we could go through either one of them.  We drove into the square tunnel, and it turned into a computer game where we had to navigate twists and chicanes and avoid crashing into the walls.  The tunnel underground was made of beige square paving slabs.  Occasionally, there would be a car (it was like a sporty sleek red stock racing car) moving slowly towards us, but we would drive around it and eventually we made it out of the tunnel and to the airport, which was on a boat (!) in a harbour.  We got out of the car, and ran onto the boat and looked around duty free (there was an M&S) while we waited for the plane.

Then I don’t know what happened to the airport but I was at my godmother Margaret’s house, and she was looking through old photos which were up on a big slide projector on the wall.  I don’t know why, but she started laughing and joking about something, and I thought it was at me.  She told me not to be so silly, but I was convinced that she thought I was stupid for some reason in the photo, so I started sulking and eventually I went home.  Mum and Dad were at home, and I sat at the table with Mum, where we had a brief conversation.  Mum asked me if I remembered the Christmas where we both went shopping and bought Mariah Carey perfume.  I said yes, but then I hid my wrist under the table because I was wearing a different perfume and I didn’t want her to know.  So I changed the subject and told them about Margaret making fun of me and how upset I was, because I felt that she wasn’t respecting me as an adult.  Dad was sat in his chair watching tv, and told me not to be so stupid, and that older relatives are allowed to tease you when they want.  Mum told me to ignore him and said she understood how I felt, and not to take it personally because there was nothing wrong with me and I did not overreact.  I walked up to Dad in his armchair and I realised that his arm and his foot were deformed, like a thalidomide baby.  He looked quite grumpy and tried to get me and mum to shut up so he could watch his programme on tv.  I woke up a couple of times, drifted off, reminisced about parts of the dream and tried to make sure i would remember it when I finally woke up properly.

If anyone can shed any light on what any of this dream might mean, go for it!  Because honestly, I have no idea 😉