Many blogs are talking about looking back at the past year. Even Facebook is filled with people either bemoaning 2011 and are happy that the year is leaving us behind, or they are revelling in all-to-soon nostalgia for a year that has only just passed. I tried to do this myself, look back at the last year. And with a blog full of posts recording nearly every day of my life from 1 January 2011 until I left for my gap summer, as well as a USB drive full of gap summer photos and two handwritten travel diaries, it would have been really easy for me to meditate on the past year. In fact, I tried to do so. I pulled up my first ever NFTI blog post, and tried to read forward. But I couldn’t bare it. So, I skipped ahead to 1 January, and it was even worse. As I now have hindsight, reading all those old posts was just too difficult. I need a little more time to pass. Not that the past year was necessarily bad; I just was – at times – a fool, and I need some distance before I can laugh at my mistakes.
So, I shall put away all the self-reflection and focussed on New Years Eve of 2011. R made it back from the States and was able to spend the holidays UK-side. He’s from Birmingham, so he spent Christmas with the fam but snaked his way down to London for a big NYE. B spent Christmas in Manchester with her family, but also spent New Year’s Eve with us. Her hunky Frenchy boyfriend made it over for the festivities as well. (Last summer when I was in Italy, they had temporarily broken up so, I never met him. But they’re back together now, and I couldn’t be happier. They are so cute.) It was the gang back together again – well almost. S is still inThailand (Hey! S-girl).
Since D has been working in London for quite sometime, she’s got a pretty big bank of friends living there, so we met up with her gang at a house party in Shoreditch. It was at this huge flat that had originally been two flats. The owners – who D works with – had bought a two bedroom flat, and when the apartment above them on the top floor came open they bought that as well. They opened-up the ceiling in the living room so it stretched two floors, and built a staircase leading upstairs and created this really crazy two-story flat. Plus, since the second apartment was on the top floor, they put in a hatch that lead to a roof terrace. (I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to get planning permission for all this. Now that I think about it, I don’t know that they did get planning permission. Maybe they did it illegally. Maybe I shouldn’t be blogging about these people’s illegal flat. I have no idea how that sort of thing works. Okay, I shall move on then.)
We walked into this heaving thumping party a little nervous because we didn’t know the hosts or anyone (well D knew the people). I always feel a bit awkward going to a house party that I haven’t directly been invited to, but the hosts were super cool. Plus, the place was packed and everyone was really chill. It was such a good vibe.
I know this will sound weird, but it was that kind of grown-up party you dream about as a kid. Everyone is really crazy, and smart, but relaxed. No chundering in the loos, but great music and fabulous cocktails and shots. Have I finally gotten to that age? I’m now too old for stumbling about shit-faced, but too young for dinner parties where people talk about the EU debit crises? I like this age. Not too old and not too young. Can I stay here forever?
So, we hung out that that place till midnight. Called in the New Year on the rooftop terrace, then headed out to a club on Brick Lane. (Last NYE I was supposed to go with them to this same club after bowling, but I got in a bit of a strop and didn’t go.) M has some friends that live in theEast End, so we met up with them at the club. This time around I didn’t mind paying so much for the ticket to get in, or the outrageous drink prices because the whole night was such a laugh. (Although, a lot of the money I’ve put away for the Dundee move has been drunk away on NYE. Oh well, time to get saving again.) Oh, and see that paragraph above. The one where I say ‘I’m now too old for stumbling about shit faced’, yeah. I did partake in a bit of stumbling. We dancing at that club until 4am. We hadn’t eaten a thing save a few nibbles at that house party (the plan to get a curry never came to fruition), so I was a little more tipsy than I set out to be.
It was 4am, and we needed to get back to Surry. The trains and tubes were running for free until 4:30 in the morning, so M set his phone to vibrate at 4am so we could dash to get the last free bit of transport. The moment the clock on his phone struck, we all ran out that club like Cinderella at midnight. Once we got on the underground heading to catch the train at Vauxhall, M pulled out a bottle of vodka from beneith his coat. In all the club commotion, a bartender was changing the spout (what are those things called, where you have the bottle hanging upside down with the shot counter at the bottom?) and left the vodka bottle unattended a little too close to the edge of the bar. M snagged it. After we girls chastised him for stealing, and possibly getting the bartender in trouble for losing a bottle of vodka, we all passed around the illegal booty. Drinking on public transport after a fantastic New Year’s Eve, was the end to the perfect night…until.
B’s Frenchy boyfriend, who had been a right laugh all night, got a bit melancholy on the way home. He was talking about plans for 2012, and this was getting B down as Frenchy wanted to move back to France and B wanted to stay in Italy.
I tried to change the subject by talking about that super-cool two story flat, and that one day – when I could afford it – I’d like to do the same thing: buy two flats and turn them into one big one. This is when Frenchy made the comment, ‘Oh you English. Why you cannot be happy with renting? It is so much easier. You do not need to own everything.’
This totally got Zee English’s backs up, and we argued that buying was such a better investment, and M said that of course the French would never understand anything like ‘investment’. Which totally got Frenchy’s back up, and the night went a bit down the tubes from there. As we all walked quietly back to our respective houses (B and Frenchy were staying with D, and R was crashing with M), Frenchy asked me ‘So, you will buy a place in Dundee?’
I responded with ‘No. Why would I do that?’
He said, ‘Because you are moving there permanently. That is what the English do. They move somewhere and buy a house.’
Then it dawned on me. My job in Dundee was permanent. It wasn’t like the internship, I had no six-month get out clause. If I do a bad job I will be fired, if I do a good job I will stay there…forever. Okay, I am being a bit melodramatic. I could always transfer to London, or after getting more experience with the Agency move onto another company. But really, this was a proper big-girl job. With employment contracts and holidays, and…well…permanency. To be honest, it’s kind of freaking me out. I like being a grown-up who can go to cool parties and talk about hip things like graphic novels and zombie films, but I’m not too keen on the other aspects – council tax, utility bills, being in one place for YEARS as I work on my career.
Now I’m wondering if Dundee was the right choice? Although, it guess it’s a little late to change my mind. I’ve just got to deal with 2012 as it comes.
Happy New Years to everyone in the bloggesphere, and I hope the upcoming year grants you everything you