Friday, 6 August 2010


As the purpose of this blog is to document the more memorable moments in life (a life portfolio if you will), then you could say that today's events hold quite a significance in the life of a young man and therefore deserve their written place in cyberspace.

I drove my very first car for the very first time.

Followers of my previous blog would be forgiven for thinking 'Huh, what about the old car you had? Was it a figment of our imaginations?' but the truth is it was never really mine, I was merely on my Father's insurance. It wasn't the most ideal of situations as it resulted in many arguments to the tune of 'are you using the car this weekend?' and an endless amount of blackmail. To begin with, the arrangement was great as my Dad always used the work van and never had much to do with the car but after a year or so, the dreaded 'ladyfriend' came on the scene meaning that I then rarely saw my Dad himself let alone the car. I guess it was just something I had to live with as I was about to embark on my university studies and running a car of my own was something that I would definitely not have been able to afford. This way, I at least had some access to a vehicle whilst I was home.

A few months ago, eager to oust me out onto the streets so that his girlfriend could move in for his son to find himself a job and begin exploring the big wide world, my Father decided to buy me a shiny new Vauxhall Corsa. Sky blue with one previous elderly owner, I fell in love at first sight and knew that it would be the perfect first car. The one pictured above isn't actually mine but it is the same model except for the fact that mine has four doors - I couldn't handle the sheer amount of clambering that results from a two door bean-tin.

For months it sat abandoned at the bottom of the garden, taunting me each night as I drew the curtains ready for bed. Father had made it perfectly clear that I was allowed the car only if I managed to secure myself a job after graduation. Now on the surface, this sounds like a kind gesture - a Dad providing his child with transport to help him get back on his feet. In reality, it is actually yet another in a long line of machiavellian schemes that my Father uses in order to motivate/blackmail me into actually getting off of my arse. Trust me, I know him just as well as he knows me.

Luckily, said scheme worked more effectively than usual and I forced myself off of my arse long before graduation. So fast in fact that I secured a job and insured the car both within the space of a week; don't worry though, I have already set aside two months worth of arse-sitting to make up for it.

So this morning, clutching the documents fresh from the post I sauntered on up to the village post office and stood stumped for half an hour as I stared at the shelves full of forms, unable to quite workout the necessary procedure for taxing a car. Fortunately, someone was able to understand what the hell I was trying to do and ten minutes later I left £67 lighter and a tax disc heavier. I'm now beginning to understand exactly what my friends mean when they say that their vehicles haemorrhage money (and yes, that did just take me five minutes to work out how to spell - cheers America with your abnormal language differences).

I get home, throw the disc into a vaguely noticeable position in the window, start the car and in true English style decide that my very first destination is going to be the holy grail of supermarkets: Tesco. I don't know what it is about that blue and white striped retail hellhole but it always seems to be the target destination for the bored. When I first passed my test, where did I go? Tesco. When we were bored after the Summer Ball, where did we go? Tesco. It isn't even interesting and is almost always choc full of chavs but I suppose it's one of those places that you know that you are always near and will always be open...... and now it has taken my first-drive-in-my-new-car virginity. I feel dirty just typing it, much like the car at this present moment.

To be fair, I actually did very little in Tesco. After sitting in the car park for at least ten minutes, stroking the dash and removing fluff from every orifice (the car's, not mine), I fought my way in through the hoards of dithering housewives, grabbed a Jelly Belly air freshener (pear scented, naturally) and a magnetic tax disc holder and bombed it back out of there. I did encounter an embarrassing situation involving some cheap Gin and a pack 'n' scan but I'll save that for the next blog dry spell. Hardly worth the half an hour trip but we all waste our lives in different ways ay?

All that is left now is to whip out the bucket and chamois and give it a good old clean before we embark on our first journey of substantial distance tomorrow. I'm off to a uni friend's 21st and I can't be seen rocking up in filth-on-wheels - reputation and all that! That's if we actually make it of course. I have visions of the handbrake falling through the floor - a reoccurring nightmare that still haunts me courtesy of a disaster filled trip to Cornwall back when I was nine.

When it comes to the importance of names, I'm completely stumped and I've been unable to come up with anything as catchy as Ronnie, the previous Renault. The model - Comfort, is emblazoned on the passenger side door and though it would be easy to settle for Comfort the Corsa, I don't feel as though the personality of the car really reflects that of a sassy Jamaican housewife.

I think I'll ponder it a little longer....

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A new chapter.

So this is it, I've managed to land my first ever job (second if you count my brief stint at the old folks home when I was sixteen but I don't, so you shouldn't either).

I have always believed myself to be somewhat of a lazy arse (yes, that's the official term) but I guess the fact that I haven't yet graduated and have already found good full time work would suggest otherwise. Needless to say, I'm extremely proud of myself. I think it has shocked my dear Father too; I'm convinced that he had been preparing himself with sufficient funds to keep me up until Christmas at least. With my track record, who can blame him?

I suppose that living away for so long has given me a taste of independence that I am reluctant to give up. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being at home - I love the abundance of food and not having to worry about rent and bills, but I now feel a total stranger in the family home in which I grew up. It's a strange feeling, as though I belong here yet I shouldn't be here. My Dad has been amazing over the past year, a year that has been a great struggle both emotionally and financially and I will be forever grateful to him for that. In fact, I genuinely look forward to the day that I am able to repay him for the kindess he has shown and I have assured him that it will happen.

The recruitment process for this job has been a huge pain in my side over the past two months. I first put myself forward back in June, though if I had known that it would prove to be such a long and drawn out process, I often wonder whether I would have ever bothered. It resulted in numerous agency meetings, multiple trips back and forth to Lincoln and a couple of interviews. At one point, I genuinely believed that I had accidentally applied for The Apprentice, that or an episode of Punk'd - either way, both sound entirely plausible. Finally after months of titting around, I received the call yesterday and I start on the 16th. My relief, however, was short lived as they explained that three permanent positions would be given to three of us after three months if we proved to be good workers. It seems they really do hold a love for business based reality shows.

The job itself is a graduate management training programme for a partner to Lincolnshire's Local Education Authority. Basically I am trained for a year or so to eventually manage their marketing department. There are three graduate manager jobs at the end of it and they have taken on three trainees (including myself) so to be honest, it's not much of a competition; I think they've just given themselves the option to get rid of someone if they aren't pulling their weight. I realise how lucky I am to have been selected out of the initial forty applicants as I am only just about to graduate and I have never worked in my life. My CV resembles the Sahara desert, I kid you not. It is flattering to think that their attraction to me has come almost entirely from meeting me, as on paper, I'm about as exciting as a plate of peas. The moral to this story is that, if I can blag my way through life, anyone can. No excuses.

I'd be lying if I said that 2010 has been a good year so far as I can safely say that it has easily been one of the worst but finally I can see things slotting together. The fog is clearing and I'm beginning to get a picture of where I will be in a few months time. I can already feel myself starting to relax, a sorely missed feeling that I welcome back with open arms, no matter how short lived.

It's a new chapter and an appropriate time for a new blog. They say that it's out with the old and in with the new and believe me, I'm determined to do just that.