Realms of Work.

I have, after about two/three weeks of looking, finally entered the working population! And I have to say, it is incredibly tiring.

Funny thing is, there was no challenge as such in regards to being offered the job. True, I went through a gruelling 18 hours of trials during the first two days, but at no point was there a suggestion of competition. In fact, of all the people they have hired, I am fairly sure I am the only male. With no-one remotely being trained in how to work behind the bar. Which is fine by me!

I work as a bartender/barista at a Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant-bar-bistro thing. Truth be told, I am absolutely loving it. But of course, starting a new job you have no experience in is always very stressful and full of panic.

I spent my first day in an utter state of panic as I tried to keep up with the orders being thrown at me. Luckily an experienced bartender arrived in the evening to help me out, so I followed his lead and tried to mirror what he did as much as possible.

My second day I once again had the experienced bartender there to help me. This time, though, he let me take charge a little more, which helped a lot, actually. Also managed to break my first glass… something that will just become a regularity the longer I work. Not looking forward to that.

The third day (I’m writing this post just before I venture off to work for my fourth day) I was behind the bar on my own, with the experienced bartender working on the floor (waiting tables, that such malarkey). I have to say, apart from a very panicky time where six cocktails were ordered at once, I managed quite well.

Going back to cocktails. This is a bartender’s worst nightmare. not only can they be complicated to make (we have a list of ten that customers can choose from. Some I have never even heard of!), but they are also very time consuming. They look pretty and taste nice, but once you have to make them, you learn to hate them. One day I won’t panic when making them… one day. Maybe in about a year?

cocktails

Anyway, back to the actual post. This is the first time I’ve had a job where I’ve been intent on keeping it for a long duration. My part-time jobs whilst still at school were more of a way to fund trips with friends and so on, and I knew I wouldn’t keep them longer than I needed to. Working whilst travelling (on my Gap Yah, again) obviously would never work as a long-term investment. So, for once, I actually have to be reliable and calm every day.

Today (my fourth working day) I am being left completely alone behind the bar. This should be completely fine, as long as no one orders more than two cocktails at the same time… if that happens, then I am well and truly screwed. And I may just break down and cry.

I feel it is worth noting that, though I did say in one of my previous posts that I would try make my posts at least twice a week, it is looking less likely that it shall happen. I fear it shall be going back to irregular posts when I find the time between work (and sleep. Sleep is good.) to actually write anything.

Furthermore, my legs are slowly giving up. I generally stay on my feet for twelve hours if I’m working a full shift, and I can’t say my smart shoes are the comfiest ever. That’s something else I need to do on my next day-off: buy comfier smart shoes. Oh, and about five black shirts.

And to end this post? The song that has been going through my head since I’ve started working behind a bar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF85_vVnrbo

A Fresh Start!

*Pictured above: a happy Richard (that’s me, just to clarify – I refer to myself in third person after my Gap Yah) at Hobbiton, New Zealand.

Well.

How do you start a blog once again that you haven’t put any effort or input into for the past year? With difficulty.

I need a clean slate. Something fresh to start on. Yet for that, my life actually has to have a heading, something to aim for.

I just spent ten amazing months of my life travelling and working, meeting fantastic people, and gazing upon spectacular sights. Now I’m back home, not travelling, not meeting people, and not seeing sights. It’s certainly a change.

People (you know, the new people you meet travelling) say that travelling is addictive, and when you’re not actually living a life like they are, you can’t really accept these words as a possibility. But now that I’m back, I’ve realised that they are entirely right.

Don’t get me wrong. Being home is wonderful. Seeing family and friends after almost an entire year of being apart is marvellous. Plus, having my own room (and own bed), alongside having a kitchen I don’t need to share with thirty other people is equally wonderful.

Yet, there is definitely something missing.

Not that I like being a cheesy, predictable guy but I’ve changed travelling. Hopefully not in a bad way (for one thing, I haven’t come back from my travels saying “Gap Yah”… except then, and earlier (if you haven’t seen the video, please go watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU), and secondly I don’t manage to connect everything I say with what I did whilst away)), but I have most definitely changed.

For one thing, I’ve been inspired to be more independent. Which is why living at home with family is a strange experience. Though, I haven’t seen them much as I was home for three days then my mum, step-dad and sister left for France. I’m well loved, you see.

I think the reason for a post entitled “A Fresh Start” is partially due to the fact I just finished the novel “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran. Not that I really want my life to be drawn in comparison to hers (those who have read it will understand), but it does get you thinking. It’s a semi-autobiography, and the narrator re-creates her image several times during the novel, ranging from a goth, to a prolific writer, to a raging sex-demon… You can see my point. Still a good book, though.

Not that I really have any desire to re-sculpt myself (after all, I have spent nineteen years of my life getting to this point!) but my life does lack motivation at the moment, something I intend to change. There are two ways I want to do this: find a job, and finish my own novel.

A job should be simple. Apply and wait. Go to trials, amaze with my amazing talents, get hired, worked. Tada! Truth be told, the job is more to stave off boredom than an actual necessity to have one at this point (after all, as I have discovered after my Gap Yah (and again), not paying for food or accommodation saved you a FUCK-LOAD of money).

In terms of finishing my novel, things are going… slowly. It’s my own idea, and it is taking shape, just it’s taking a while. I’d say I’m about a third way through of the first draft. The issue is that my motivation is at an all-time low, and even the smallest writers’ block seems to influence my hand to move the mouse/cursor to hover over the X in the top-right hand corner of the screen and left-click. Usually I manage a sentence then decide that’s enough. This needs sorting.

Moving away from life plans, I have just looked back over my old posts on here, and have realised how much (and how little) I’ve changed since writing them. For one thing, I like to think my writing is slightly more engaging now. Secondly, most of my views remain the same (for instance: I am still obsessed with Lord of the Rings and Pugs; I still strongly detest smoking; and Fantasy is still my escapism). I think this is a good thing.

I think I’ll wrap up there and take a break from writing (perhaps I’ll go write some of my novel?! No, don’t be silly). My intention is to get this up and running regularly again. We’ll see how that goes.

How the Tour de France Affected my Family

So, for the few countries that luckily escaped all the carnage, the Tour de France recently passed through Yorkshire, where I live. The whole of Yorkshire literally exploded at the prospect of this. Flags were waved, banners were created, little yellow bicycles can be seen dotted all over the place.

And what did my family do? Well, they did the only reasonable things possible: they purchased wild-flowers of red, white and blue and casually transformed our front garden into the French flag. Furthermore, we made use of our desolate flag pole to wave the French flag to spur the cyclists along – a large chunk of who aren’t even French.

Now, I suppose I was able to cope with this insanity, knowing that it would be a nice thing to do to show that we were getting into the spirit of the cycling… Until I was told the Tour was not, in fact, going to past by our house. Instead, it was going to go round the back and not even see our garden, let alone notice it.

But did this deter my family? No, it did not. They continued to be insane. In fact, things got even worse. Firstly, a mysterious yellow cyclist appeared upon our railings (pictured below).

This was a surprise, as even my family claimed to have not put it up. I couldn’t decide whether if I was happier that some random person had violated are railings (which I actually quite like, despite feeling severely exposed when sitting in the garden) than if my parents had felt the necessity to decorate them. I don’t think I ever found out who actually constructed the yellow cyclists…

Either way, my parents did not take it down. And things then got even worse; for my step-dad took it upon himself to offer up our garden for the local Scout and Guides to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower. And so it was built. I happened to arrive back from my crazy holiday in Spain on the same day it was “unveiled” which led to a very tired (yes, and hungover) me to be woken up during my afternoon doze by about 100 people milling around the garden, gazing up at the Tower with love and admiration. Then you had me, staring with utter loathing at the 7.5m high monstrosity. Here, now you can all look upon it with love as well:

Please note: if you are looking upon it and your eyes are doing that worrying thing where they twinkle with delight, then I officially hate you. Then again, if you actually took the time to get this far down to the picture, then I also love you…

And that is how the Tour de France affected by family. And not all for the good. Oh, I forgot to mention about what happened when the Tour actually passed the hundreds of people who had lined up to watch them. People were standing and sitting for nigh on two hours. When the cyclists finally did pass, they cheered, for a grand total of five seconds, then dispersed when the cyclists moved on. How can people enjoy that?!

Yes, I am Scrooge. Bah! Humbug!

All Things Wonderfully English

This whole weekly post thing has gone askew… It’s usually always within the week just at completely random times!

Anyway, today’s post is all about being English. And the stereotypes which come with being said nationality.

Now, the most common stereotype that us English must suffer from is the belief that we are all grand lovers of tea. Allow me to try recreate the image (with words – my drawings skills are truly tragic) that I imagine non-English people have of us:

two gentleman are sitting at a table. They wear black shiny top-hats, balancing precariously atop their heads. As we traverse down their bodies, we arrive at the gold-rimmed monocle which has somehow managed to perch itself implausibly under the right-hand eyebrow. A chain tails down from the monocle to the breast pocket of a finally-tailored black tailcoat blazer, ironed to a crisp perfection of course. This resides over a white shirt, complete with a velvet bow-tie around the collar. They sit, with their left leg at a 90 degree angle, and the foot resting upon the right-hand knee.

They are discussing some tediously political matter, using terms of endearment such as “old boy” and “dear chap”. Within their left hand, they hold a saucer which contains a dainty cup of tea. Occasionally, when the other is talking, they will use their index finger and thumb to lift the cup to their mouth and take a sip of tea with their little finger sticking out in front of them.

And there you have the image that I imagine goes with the stereotype of our tea drinking. So I have to ask: is that what you imagine or am I just utterly insane?

Also, just to clarify, I hate tea. Well no, that’s a lie: I hate the taste. The smell is quite nice though. Coffee, on the other hand, can just fuck right off.

 

Afraid that’s all we have time for today (I’m feeling lazy, okay?) but as a final question: are there any questions that you Non-English folk have always had a burning desire to ask us about? If so, please go right ahead!

Thank you and goodnight.