Monday, October 26, 2009

Week Three

This week I learned that you can take the girl out of Ireland, but you can’t take the Ireland out of the girl. That feckin Catholic guilt will catch up on you, no matter where you go. There is just no escaping it. It is rooted deep in your psyche, and comes up to give you the dirty eyeball just as you are about to reach for that glass of wine/slice of cake/tube of lubricant. It's a fecker alright.

Monday 21st Oct

Let me just explain one of my daily Catholic Guilt related trials here in Italy regarding my food shopping. But firstly I must furnish you with a little background info on my supermarket situation. Usually I go about 3 or 4 times a week, because it’s too far a walk to carry my big shop home, so instead I go a few times and pick up things as I go through the week. Anyway your food is fresher that way. I usually go to Esselunga, a huge AMAZING supermarket that literally has everything my heart desires.

There is, however, something that has me up in a heap every time I get closer to the place. It literally gives me what I like to refer to as SAS, or “Sweaty Arse Syndrome”. Sweaty Arse Syndrome is a common ailment which can afflict anyone, regardless of age, race or social class. It is usually caused by anxiety, stress and/or extreme nervousness and usually occurs at inappropriate times, such as, for example, during job interviews, leaving the interviewee, i.e. the SAS sufferer, thinking “please oh please oh please let me not leave a sweaty arse mark on this chair after me”. In the case of this affliction, prevention is better than cure. The sufferer should apply talc liberally to their arse crack and to the surrounding arse area if they think they may be entering into a stressful situation. Applying talc is also effective in the prevention of SAS’ close relative, Sweaty Knee Syndrome (SKS), but less effective in the treatment of its more distant cousins “The Reddner” and “The Whitener”.

Anyway this whole supermarket situation has me going through two bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder a week. Basically, there are two ways to get to the entrance. The first (and nearest) way is to walk across a footbridge, at the other side of which you can turn right to go into the supermarket or you can turn left and go down some steps into a green area. Hail, rain or shine, without fail, this fella stands at the top of these steps holding an illegible sign. All the letters are squooshed up on top of each other, so it is literally impossible to decipher. This guy is ALWAYS there. Every day. From dawn ‘til dusk, no joke, there has never been a time that I went to the supermarket and he wasn’t standing there.

The second way in is to walk an extra 1-2 mins to the faraway ramp past some really aggressive fella who harasses me to buy knock off handbags EVERY SINGLE TIME I pass him.

Now anyone would say to me, “Jennie girl - are you on crack? Go in the first way which is the nearest, and where the fella wont be all up in yo’ grill trying to make you buy a handbag.” But no, NO! I would rather walk across hot coals than walk past the fella holding the sign. I presume the sign is asking for money or things of that nature. I hate passing him. I feel so guilty. But if I walk past the footbridge to the next ramp, he can SEE ME avoiding him. Oh God, I just don’t know what to do. When I turn the corner onto the street where the entrance is, the SAS hits me full force. We’re talking rivulets here, people. Sometimes he sees me, and then I HAVE to walk past him, because now we are on speaking terms. All the Italians just walk past him as if he wasn’t there, but he IS there like, the least you can do is acknowledge his existence as a fellow human being. Honestly, how rude. So now we say hello to each other every time I pass, but recently I have noticed he is trying to draw me in. He raises his hand and says hello, and then turns the wave into a point at his sign as in “If you’re saying hello to me you may as well read the sign, Missus”. God I really wish I just kept ignoring him like the Italians do, but it’s easy for them, they don’t stand out like a sore thumb! I might as well be wearing a sombrero and a moustache going past him.

I know we women are always being told not to give money to homeless people/beggars because it puts us in danger but that doesn’t stop me feeling guilty. If I grab him something in the supermarket, then he might think I actually have money when I don’t, which also puts me in danger. All people see of me here is my blonde hair, and then they immediately presume I am a rich American and hassle me in the street non stop. So this fella probably thinks I have money because I’m obviously a foreigner. He probably thinks I’m loaded walking past him with my bag of shopping, but little does he know all that’s in it is me K.V.I. bread and yellow pack spuds.

Also I’m scared that if I stand there and actually read the sign , it will say “if you read this your left boob will explode”.

Today anyway I headed down and was battling the usual inner turmoil of how to get to the entrance and I looked – and lo! Yer man wasn’t there, so I decided to go over the footbridge. I couldn’t believe my luck! And I was right not to, because when I was halfway across the bridge his head started bobbing up the steps from the green exactly parallel to me! “Oh fuck!” I thought and I started speeding up – and then HE started speeding up the steps. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuuuuck!” and he got to the top of the steps JUST as I was passing them “Ciao!” he says victoriously up into my face, and points to the sign. “Ciao” I says as I walk past. Part of me was being “ett” alive by the guilt, while the other part of me was thinking that if he wanted people to read the fuckin sign, he shouldn’t have wrote it in fuckin hieroglyphics.

Me nerves are at me over this. I might sit down for a little minute.

Tuesday 22nd Oct

Ah today was a great day. I went to introduce myself to the professor that is looking after me over here and he is just a little puddin’ head. He was delighted to see me; he couldn’t cope when I walked in the door, shur God love him. We made a standing date to see each other for a chat every Tuesday for me to tell him all about what I get up to every week.

After meeting him I was so delighted I decided to buy a silk scarf that I had my eye on for ages. I was just up to the door of the shop when POOF! – little Eddie Hobbs appeared on my shoulder “don’t do it Jennie, you can’t afford it”. Ah piss off Eddie I said and went for the door handle. At that moment Eddie, in alliance with Catholic Guilt tried to wrestle me to the ground, but I would not be defeated! I bought the scarf and emerged from the shop triumphant. But Eddie won out in the end. Cos every time I look at it I gets a dose of the guilts.

Wednesday 21st Oct

It was BUCKETING down rain today. Went to training anyway. I grabbed the last available rowing machine. The seat was a bit bockety but I said shur what harm I’ll soldier bravely on. I looked up at the clock on the wall – 8.20/8.25 ish (it’s one of those ones without any numbers on them) I said I’ll give it about ten minutes and then I’ll take a rest. So I was rowing away anyway, thinking of the week and things I still have to do etc and I looked up and the ten minutes weren’t up yet so I kept rowing. And rowing and rowing. The sweat was drippin off my fringe. My clothes were stuck to me. The ten minutes were STILL not up. And then I copped on – the feckin clock was broken.

What time is it anyone? I said. Ten past nine someone said, why? Lads, I had been rowing for nearly an hour and here was I thinking it had only been ten minutes! At that I burst out laughing and started to point at the clock on the wall…thus leaving go of the handle. Mistake. Immediately I lost my balance and instead of just falling gracefully sideways onto the floor I tried to steady myself…on the bockety seat. Well there were arms and legs everywhere, I’m pretty sure some of them weren’t mine. It was a feckin visual symphony of limbs which ended up with me kickin the screen off the machine.

Now this is the SECOND time I’ve done something stupid in here. Thankfully though in times like these, I can always play the “goofy Irish girl” card and everyone will just laugh it off, and I can pretend to laugh it off too, while in reality I am HAUNTED by it every time the sun goes down.

Thursday 22nd Oct

After two weeks of being absolutely FREEZIN in the room, i.e. your breath is on full show, they finally decided to turn on the heating. In the middle of the night like. Except there aren’t radiators, there is a kind of vent thing in the ceiling that blows out hot air. Now I am not a fan of loud and terrifying noises in the night time, who is, I ask you? So when a loud chainsaw-like noise stared emanating from the ceiling you can imagine the terror. Still asleep, I leapt up out of the bed and opened my bedroom door, only to discover that the sound was coming from inside my room, and that it was accompanied by a tiny, almost unnoticeable puff of warmth from the ceiling. After about 5 mins I copped on, not before a little bit of wee came out though.

This is not the first time I’ve had one of these night terrors. One night last year in our house in Dublin, not too long after we all moved in there, I woke up in the middle of the night to a beeping sound. I was still in the thick fog of sleep so I thought it was someone’s phone beeping after it got a message, but it kept beeping. So I deduced in my semi-conscious state that it must be some alarm going off.

A smoke alarm going off in the night is the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone I think. I have thought so since I was ten and I watched an episode of Rescue 999 where someone’s house burnt down and the little girl was playing with her dolly in her room and the next minute it cut to the dolly melting while the bed was licked by flames. 15 years later, it still plays on my mind.

Filled with terror, I leapt from the bed at top speed (still asleep, you understand) in me vest and knickers and ran out to the house alarm and started beeping in the code. Cos you know the way keying in the house alarm code will make the smoke alarm stop beeping, like. Halfway through my frantic pawing at the keypad, Mark ran into the room like Linford Christie, in only his boxers, as asleep as I was, saying it wasn’t the house alarm it was the fire alarm, but by then I was after setting the house alarm off as well.

At this point Fran came out of her room in her jim jams and eye mask on the top of her head and we were all frantically trying to make the alarm stop beeping. My first thought was to wave the smoke away from it and Mark’s first thought was to press the button on it, but because the ceiling is so high, both were impossible without some sort of implement. We looked at each other as we both thought the same thing – we can reach it with our trusty JML wonderbroom! So we both grabbed the one broom and I was trying to wave the smoke away from the alarm with the brush end and he was trying to press the button with the handle end. Bear in mind now we were both trying to do it at the same time.

It didn’t work though (I wonder why?) and in the end me and Fran had to push the couch over to the fire alarm and Mark had to stand on the back of it and take the battery out. Finally, the ordeal was over. One of Anna’s friends was staying over and had left some candles burning when she went asleep, so it was just the smoke from the candles that set it off.

Crisis averted, the three of us looked around: I was there one tit in, one tit out of me vest, Fran had her eye mask half up onto her head, thus giving herself a beehive, and Mark was standing there with the front of his boxers yawning wide open. And here Anna’s friend was, still fast asleep on the couch. Lads. If I had been awake I would have pissed on myself.

Friday 23rd Oct

Today the young fella in the first room on my floor had his whole family come up. They were bringin in gallons and gallons of water, tins of this and that, loaves and loaves of bread, jars of homemade sauces and all quare homemade preserved things, eye of newt and pickled dragons farts or whatever. I mean now there must have been about seven of them, and they were bringing in the stuff for about a half an hour. Jesus Christ like, are they preparing him for the nuclear winter or what?

And it’s not just him, either. Everyone’s parents seem to do that here every weekend. Even older students. I mean, they are about the same age as me. I was shocked. I mean come on now, crawl out of the womb lads and go to the fuckin supermarket and don’t have your Mammy be cookin your dinner of a Saturday. It’s shameful so it is.

Cut to me making a countdown calendar to when Mammy is visiting me in November.

Saturday 24th Oct

Today is a great day. I have found the most delicious thing in the world. Little cakes with custard in them. They were so delicious I could hardly believe they were real, so I had to eat 8 of them to make sure. They even tasted delicious as I was puking them up later. Good times.

Sunday 25th Oct

Spent most of the day SLAVING over making an EU format CV. Lads, I’m not joking you, slaving is the right word. Toiling could also be used. I don’t know what it is. CVs are like my Kryptonite. They stress me out so much I just can’t cope with them. Every time I have to make a new one I need someone on hand to pass me cool drinks and hot compresses. Afterwards I have to lie down in a darkened room. This one was the worst I’ve ever had to do. I hope no prospective employer ever reads this blog. Unless they are an agent or a publisher, like. If anyone even suspected how hard it was for me to complete this simple task, I’d be MORTO.

Couple that with the fact that today instead of turning off the hob, I turned off the light, and I’m really startin to think I might actually be a bit stoopa.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week Two

Week Two

Author’s Note: Some dialogue has been translated from the original Italian into Waterfordian by the author.

Monday 12th Oct

Woke up just before 6 to go for a run on the new route that I felt out (with my face) yesterday. Now at home I usually go at 7 before anyone else is up so I can have the world to myself, but I said I’d go that bit earlier over here seeing as that everyone gets up that bit earlier.

Well I went out the front door and you’d swear it was 3 o’ clock of a Saturday. Everyone was in full swing! Sickener. Anyway I was jogging along minding my own business when the elastic in my hair snapped. Grand I says and I just ran on, hair streaming out behind me in two flaxen curtains, or so I was imagining at least. Well it certainly must have looked inviting because I had to stop at a red man and then an old perv came along and put his hand up to my head and ran his fingers through my hair. What can I say only GAWD! I had no choice but to run on, mostly because the skin on my scalp had crawled off my head and was peggin it up the road ahead of me!

That evening I went to start training for the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, namely ROWING! I had a look at the map and it’s not too far away. Great I says and I start off.

You know when you move to a different country, it is pretty hard to get everything right all the time. Some things have to be learned and don’t come naturally, like, for example, the whole kissing people on greeting them thing. Well I walked in the door right into the middle of a huge circle of lads. The trainer turned around and says “well girl!” to the girl in front of me, and shakes her hand and kisses her cheeks. Then he turns to me and says “well girl!” so I said to myself, ok just do what the other girl did. So I leaned in for the kiss and…DENIED. I had me lips puckered and all, eyes half closed like when someone takes a picture of you when you’re in the horrors. I almost DIED. The feeling of awkwardness was PALPABLE. Oh GAWD. I have no idea what happened for the rest of the night because I think I blacked out with the mortification.

Tuesday 13th Oct

A pretty uneventful day, except that I was crossing the road, on a zebra crossing, ie playing chicken with oncoming cars, when two fellas in a mini nearly knocked me down. The car skidded to a halt inches away from me and a fella crossing the road towards me from the opposite side shouted at the fellas in the car “it’s a sin to kill an angel!”. You can’t beat it can you lads.

Last night’s embarrassing kissing incident is playing on my mind. Every few minutes I think of it and it causes me a physical pain. It reminds me of a time in Lush with a customer (all my fellow Lush employees are laughing already because they know what I am going to say) that is almost as embarrassing but the kissing thing is more embarrassing solely because it involved kissing. A woman of about 60 came in to the shop and she had on the same gold converse as I had, except mine were the real deal and hers were knock offs. I touched my toe to hers and I said “you have good taste in shoes” or something. Then we were chatting and I asked “where did you get those shoes?” and she said “Dunnes” and I said “Goway” and she put her hand up in a high five motion and made a face like “give me some skin sistren I got me some badass muthafuckin shoes” so I went to give her a hearty high five just as she said “Five euro”. That’s right folks - she wasn’t putting her hand up to give me a high five, she was merely putting up her five fingers to demonstrate how much she paid for the shoes. But at this point it was too late, my hand was mid-air and travelling at speed so I had to finish the most awkward high five in the history of mankind. Oh God, lets just move on to Wednesday.

Wednesday 14th Oct

Still haven’t quite gotten over the kissing thing, but have to go to training tonight so I try (and fail) to put it at the back of my mind. Walk in the door, head down, and just shout Ciao! and go to leg it up the stairs, but am met with a chorus of Ciao! and then the trainer pops his head out of the office door and says Ciao, Jenny-fare! as if he is genuinely happy to see me. He remembered my name and everything. Usally “Biondina” (little blonde) is the best I get, but this made me feel good. Clearly the whole thing has blown over. So I go for my run and do my time on the machines and then I hop into the boat and grab the oars. Rowing away anyway and the trainer is like ok stop there lads and then he is walking next to me and he looks down to check my form and the next thing his face cracks into a huge smile and he goes “oh my God what size are your feet?” I’m like 36 and he goes “awwwwww, you’ve got the tiniest little feet, hahahha! Lads look at jenny-fare’s feet, hahaha, they are so small” and then passing lads are like “hahaha you are so tiny look at your feet”. It reminded me of the time Noel Langford measured his hand against my foot. Yes, the hand was bigger. Considerably.

Anyway then I am rowing away and I start to think about the kissing thing and I become mortified and I lose my whole rhythm and then he comes over and says here let me show you. “Show me what?” I am thinking and the next thing he has his hands on mine and is rowing with me, going back and forth with me. Well lads. It would have been a sexy moment out of a Hollywood picture if my top wasn’t stuck to me and there wasn’t sweat dripping off my chin. I can’t even function I’m trying to hold the laughing in so hard. All the while he’s there in my ear “brava, brava, jenny-fare”. I’m laughing even typing this. And this is totally normal everyday behavior over here like. If that happened in Ireland we’d have to get married afterward. Oh lads, stop the lights like. I don’t be able.

Thursday 15th Oct

I’ve really outdone myself this time. This is a week for embarrassing moments. I ran down to the supermarket at the last minute for a few bottles of water. It’s not the one I usually go to because it’s horrible in there and there is a total sleazebag workin in there. Anyway I had to lean over him to grab a packet of rubber gloves and he turns around, literally inches from me and gives me the sleaziest, filthiest look up and down, Basically he raped me with his eyes. I was in a pretty good mood, but just the way he did it, made me lose it. And here is where the horror began.

Let me just educate you fine people for a second. The Italian word for tit is tetta. The Italian word for head is testa. These two words are very easy to get mixed up. So I said to him “why the fuck does everyone look at me like that – as if I had two tits?” You know the way everyone else only has one like. Well he burst out fuckin laughing and I nearly fainted in horror. I had to go through the checkout then and yer wan on the till was pissin herself. I am NEVER going in there again. I would rather die of thirst.

Friday 16th Oct

This morning I got up early because I had to go into town to do a few things. When I left the room there was a cleaning trolley on the landing and the cleaning lady was in the kitchen. I walked past and said hello on my way out, and there followed an exchange that really pissed me off.

So the normal text is what we really said, and the italics is what we were thinking.

Cleaning lady: Hey, young wan!

Jen: Yes? (you ignorant bitch)

CL: Are you new here? (I am enthralled by your other-worldly beauty)

J: I am.

CL: Well clean the hob after yourself, you are so dirty it’s disgusting.

J: EX-CUUUUUUUUSE ME? (Why I oughtta...! *Inwardly shakes fist)

CL: Clean up after yourself, I am not a slave.

J: Don’t speak to me like that. I am not a child. And I didn’t make that mess – how could I when there is no pan to use? (Must get a lend of them Deirdre Barlows off ya girl – for Saturday night like)

CL: I don’t care who did it – I’m not cleaning this again. (It’s not my job to clean things –I am a cleaning lady – not a ….oh wait)

J: Well I care if you speak to me like that (yeh bibe, yeh)

CL: Sorry this just annoys me. Please tell your friends to clean the hob after themselves. ( I am so morto right now, clearly I have met my match)

J: Tell them yourself. Bye. (Victorious – to the tune of Notorious)

CL: Goodbye, Miss.

Well I was raging. And her trying to make up for it at the end then. Knobend. I saw her two more times that day too. Each time she flashed me a “winning smile”. I would have smiled back, were I not distracted by her Nora Battys.

Training again tonight. Nice rigorous workout. Come home and catch a glimpse of the bod – transformations are taking place. 2 more weeks and I’ll be RIPPED.

Saturday 17th Oct

On my out to the vending machine this morning I met the same cleaning lady AGAIN on the path. She put her hand up to her chest and said “nice tits”. I just don’t know lads.

Sunday 18th Oct

Well I was too lazy to go to the supermarket yesterday so I decided to go today, when it would be nice and quiet like last Sunday. Also, I have no food so it is probably best that I go today. Head down, and the whole place is shuttered up. WTF? It was open last Sunday and the Sunday before! Head back to the room to do a stocktake. A tin of tuna and a pound of grapes. Ok, I can work with this. I better watch True Blood all day though. To conserve energy stores like.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week One

Monday 5th October

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of the glorious day of my birth. Spent most of the day an emotional wreck at the thought of not seeing baby Jack until Christmas. Then to top it all off I went in to say goodbye to Grandad. Well needless to say there was snot flying everywhere. I couldn’t even breathe. And then HE started crying. I nearly called the whole thing off! Headed up to Dublino to spent the night at Mark’s.

Tuesday 6th October

Wake up at 3.30am to get ready to go to the airport. Didn’t sleep properly all night, kept waking up with those stabbing stomach pains you get all night the night before you go to Oakwood. You know the ones- the excitement of going on all the deadly rollercoasters mixed up with the anxiety of having to take the vomit comet to get there.

Get to the airport about 5 and check in my bags and pay my 228 euro overweight fee because I’m a knob and I paid for two cases, which I thought could be 20kgs each, but no, they have to be a combined weight of 20kg. Sneaky fuckers – I’m disappointed in you, AerLingus. In fairness now the lovely woman was apologizing over and over and she undercharged me. In the end though I didn’t mind paying it, it’s just a once-off thing, plus it would have been a giant pain in my ass to have the couriered over. When I’m coming home I’m going to get someone over for a visit and then we can go home together, with one case each. Problem solved.

So I arrived at Milan and gave my hair a quick brush to meet my gawking public as I came through the arrival doors. Grabbed my cases and walked out the door and every eye in the airport immediately went out on a stalk. Head down I walked out the door and went to wait for the bus, where there was an older businessman also waiting. Facing me. Staring at me. For 20 minutes. I was not happy. Mostly because I had Wedgie of the Year 2009, but that’s another story.

I traverse on to Pavia anyway and lug my cases to a taxi and head to my new abode. We are driving up the street it’s on and I’m thinking “yeah this is nice now, nice houses, nice shops etc…” but the road is looooooooooong and suddenly we are passing muslim ghettos etc and the driver pulls up outside a big tower block of flats. I have a Ballymun moment. I struggle up the path with the cases to the porters office to get my keys. He says he is going to lead me to my room and I am thinking “thank god, someone to help me with these suitcases!”, and kind of stand back a bit so as to better facilitate him grabbing the big one for me. And he just walks past me out of the office, leaving me with my mouth hanging open. He walks off, expecting me to do a hop, skip and a jump after him with 40kgs of luggage. I literally couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. Then I remember that’s one of the reasons I can’t stand Italian men. Because they are useless like. They expect you to cook for them and pick up after them when they are literally too thick to actually cop on to do their gentlemanly duties. If you want to be a feminist, be a feminist, but I think a woman should be a woman and a man should be a man. I mean, he left me walk across GRAVEL with those two cases. Now any Irish man, no matter how much of a knacker he was, wouldn’t let you walk across a sun kissed meadow with a bag of bunnies in your hand, never mind across gravel with a year’s worth of your life in two suitcases. Stop now, don’t talk to me.

Got up the room anyway. In essence it’s grand, or at least it will be after 2-4 litres of bleach. And it’s really DUSTY. I felt like I was raiding the lost ark walkin in through the door. Settled down and went for a quick nap….and woke up at 7am the next morning.

Wednesday 7th Oct

Spent most of the day warding off a sudden and intense feeling of loneliness I got after I realized I only knew 1 person in the whole of Italy. Agnieszka – I can’t wait for our recombobulation! Start my studying, then watch several thousand episodes of Six Feet Under to numb the pain in my heart. Mam and Dad ring me and I keep it together until I hang up and then I crumble big style. That’s good, though, get it all out now because by next week there’ll be a statue of me erected in the main square. Until then I’ll soldier on. For now I’ll just dust.

Thursday 8th Oct

Get up early and go down to the accommodation office to get my internet sorted out. Yer wan is just after arriving so she has to switch on the computer to get my username and password. The computer is warming up, and then…BAM! A semi naked picture of George Clooney in a wet pair of boxers comes up on the screen with George written under it. Well if I didn’t piss on myself then I never will! And she an oul wan like. With pink eyeshadow and two black lines drawn in for her eyebrows. Brilliant.

Friday 9th Oct

Ok this is getting weird. By now I was expecting to have made 40 thousand friends from my floor alone. Every time I hear someone shuffling to the kitchen I go out to introduce myself and they are gone! It’s like someone is playing a tape of footsteps just to fuck with me. It’s all a bit Mary Higgins Clarke for my liking. I’m lonely now, no word of a lie. Me nerves are at me. I head down to the supermarket and buy 2 litres of bleach. Return to the room and scrub like there is no tomorrow. My room now smells like a swimming pool nestled deep in the heart of a pine forest. I like it.

Saturday 10th Oct

What the frick? Woke up in a blanket of dust. It’s like fuckin Pompeii in here! Where is it all coming from?

“Ok,” I says to myself, “Tonight I’m going to go watch the Ireland match and make loads of friends tra la la etc. So I went down to the common room and there were three fellas there and I said “well boys, are ye watchin the match tonight etc?” and the three of them were lookin at me like I asked them did they fancy a spit roast.

Went down to the telly room to watch the match and there were three other people there, basically all your common or garden variety of Knob. Then a thought struck me. I don’t want these people to be my friends! FUCK them! This year I’m here for myself and I’m just going to do what I want and fuck everyone else. If I just do what I want, then I’ll just pick up friends along the way. Feeling much better, all traces of loneliness vanished, I snuggled up in bed.

P.s. EPIC FAIL by Given in the last minute.

Sunday 11th Oct

Woke up in the middle of the night so freezing my nipples could have carved my initials into the ceiling. It’s no wonder, all that is on the bed is a sheet and a cover thing the likes of which I had on my bed in 1986. I really have to buy a duvet or something. For the time being I just unfolded two spare towels and lay them out over me. Satisfactory.

Later on I went down to the supermarket to pick up a duvet. Oh here they are, let me just check the price – NINETY EURO. Ninety euro. Now I ask you, is it a hen’s tooth duvet? Cos it better be for ninety euro. Obviously I don’t have ninety euro to be squandering on such frivolties as warmth and safety so I forego the duvet thing for now.

Then I wander around, map in hand, looking for a new running route. I tripped over a tree root and slapped off the ground, like actually ON the ground, lying down, legs akimbo at the back of some apartment block. But noone saw me, so as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t happen.

Well my first week was a week of extremes. At first I really felt miserable. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to start all over again, but once I copped on to myself I was grand and now I’m feeling good about the year. Anyway I haven’t really given anything away here but I just want to let ye know that I’m up to shit. I will reveal all next week, in what is going to be a pretty interesting entry, if the way the week has already started out is anything to go by. Until then, children!