Short and Sweet

Pardon the pun, but this post is about an incident I had recently with a hard boiled sweetie. After a long day of working at an event, one of the rooms being used for the event is ready to be broken down and packed away. The people who had previously been using the room have gone upstairs to listen to a final speech given by the organiser. In their haste to leave the room (the event is running slightly behind) they’ve left their wee bowls of sweets lying around along with their presentation boards and cups of tea and coffee.

Whilst tidying everything away and piling up the presentation boards ready for people to collect them afterwards, I decide to stealthily take what I assumed was a chocolate lime. For those who aren’t familiar with a chocolate lime it’s a green hard boiled lime flavoured sweetie with a hard chocolate centre. Delicious right?! Who would have been able to resist.

Unfortunately, after putting the whole sweetie in my mouth I’ve realised that it is not in fact a chocolate lime. I actually don’t know what it is but it’s already in my mouth so I stay committed and just go with it. After a while, I decide I’m not a huge fan of the taste so in my hurry to finish it I start to chew. Big mistake. Huge.

This sweetie isn’t just hard boiled, it’s rock boiled. It’s like chewing concrete. Except worse because it’s both hard and sticky. My back left teeth are completely stuck together. I am genuinely unable to get them apart. As a result, I can’t speak and I’m starting to sweat.

Am I going to lose my back teeth? If I ever get them pried apart will they still be attached to my gums or will they simply come away with the sweetie? My eyes are wide. I’m starting to panic. Is it going to be painful? I can’t believe this is happening.

“How did your back teeth fall out Rachel?” asks the dentist.

“Well Mr Dentist, I ate what I thought was a chocolate lime but turned out to be a mystery sweetie and despite the fact I am 23 years old I bit into it too soon and proceeded to damage my teeth beyond repair.”

Okay, I’m back in the room. My teeth are still stuck together…maybe if I take a drink of water? Nope, that has only made the sweetie stickier.

The worst has just happened. Someone looking for their presentation board has ventured downstairs and asked me where it is. I literally can’t speak properly, one side of my mouth is unable to open so I have to sort of mumble out of the corner. She is staring at me. She probably thinks I’m having a stroke. Maybe I should wave both of my arms about to show her that medically I’m fine.

Reconsidered the arm waving. Probably for the best. I’ve managed to sort of guide the woman towards what she’s after and then run away. This has been a dreadful 3 minutes.

Okay, with great difficulty and a genuine belief that my back teeth were about to be pulled from their sockets I’ve managed to ease my jaw open and pick the sweetie out of my molars. I am so relieved. I can’t stop telling people about how scared I was. Everyone thinks I’m being dramatic but for the love of god that was horrifying and humiliating.

I guess what we can all gather from this specific story is not to steal other people’s sweeties. Lesson learned.

When one door opens...

Another door breaks. Well, mine does.

I’m leaving work and a friend asks to get a lift to the train station which is just around the corner so in he gets and off we go. About a minute later, he turns around to me and says “Is this door meant to close?”

Joking aside, the question is obviously both idiotic and also alarming. No friend, my passenger door is constantly open and when I drive around I just hope and hope and hope that it doesn’t swing open and decapitate a badger. OBVIOUSLY it’s meant to close.

Anyway, in my state of alarm I say, “yes, it’s meant to close” and continue driving as he holds it shut. We aren’t going fast and the train station is just around the corner where I can stop and hopefully fix the door. So, I pull the car over and go around to the passenger door at which point my friend needs to run for a train. The door won’t catch, it won’t shut, it just bounces off the door frame and hangs there uselessly like Gemma Collins gym leggings. I’m drawn a blank, and also stuck because solo, I can’t drive and hold the passenger door shut at the same time.

17.00

Low and behold, my friend comes back from the station because his train is cancelled and craftily uses my phone charger cable to tie the door handle to the underside of the passenger seat.

17.52

There’s a Kwik-Fit around the corner so I carefully, but frantically drive to it and ask if they can fix it. They’re closing up when I get there and when I walk over to them without even closing the driver door a man comes over to scope out the issue. The trouble is the knot tying the cable to the door is so tight that I can’t get it off and it takes me a good 45 seconds to detach the door from the underside of the seat while the mechanic stands there watching me through the window. It’s quite awkward.

Anyway, he can’t fix it which is super convenient. So off I go to buy myself some bungee chords from B&Q.

18.15

I arrive at B&Q and I’m alive! And my passenger door hasn’t randomly flown off a la James Bond! I buy some multi-coloured bungee chords (stylish) and head back to my car to try to temporarily rectify the issue.

19.00

I’m home, I’m pissed off, and I’m wondering why chocolate is so expensive. Silver lining is that I’ve managed to sort of fix my door until a mechanic can take a look at it. Hooray! I’m so handy and thrifty and who needs a man anyway am I right ladies?!

The moral of this story is don’t give people lifts because even though you’re doing a good thing your car door will break and you will most likely cry.

On the fringe of a breakdown

Imagine you have a fringe.

I know, I know. Most of you probably wouldn’t dare. It’s difficult to tell if it will suit you and supposedly ‘bangs’ are never a good idea. However, for myself, I feel like a fringe balances out the small forehead to many chins ratio.

Anyway, picture the scene. You have a fringe. Your fringe is getting to the point that when the wind blows you look like Cousin It, so you set out a 15 minute portion of your day to nip along to the hairdresser. Most places do this for free and you were assured the last time you were in the salon that you were more than welcome to pop in for a free fringe trim at any time.

So, you do indeed ‘pop’ into your hairdresser (I don’t know why but when someone ‘pops’ I imagine them skipping) and ask for the girl who last cut your hair. Unfortunately she’s isn’t in, but hallelujah another hairdresser is there and after some umm-ing and ahh-ing about her next appointment agrees to do you a solid and cut your wiggy hair.

The woman is nice, a bit older, maybe in her 60s with long pinky/grey hair. In my head, alarm bells are ringing. I don’t know this woman, I don’t know her skills, maybe she’s merely impersonating a hairdresser to get some kind of sick thrill out of making people look like they’ve just escaped a psychiatric ward. Nevertheless, my need to not look like an actual mop wins and I reluctantly get into her swivel chair.

The scenes that follow are rated 12 and are not suitable for younger viewers.

She straightens my fringe to within an inch of it’s poor wee life. She takes my fringe in her evil fingers and she chops a straight line across my forehead. I am ruined. I am a disaster. I am never leaving this salon, I will hide under the weird stand-alone sinks forever and rely solely on Lotus bisuits and tap water.

I tell myself it’s fine, it will look better when I wash it and style it myself. These things always look a bit naff when you first get them done. Edwina Scissorhands ‘tidies up’ the corners of my disastrous bangs and I thank her and leave the salon.

I can’t believe I thanked her. Walking along the road towards my flat I send a picture to a friend and all that I get in reply is ‘hahahahaha’. Not the most supportive message.

I look in the mirror when I get home and god almighty it’s even worse than I thought. It is genuinely like someone cut it with a ruler. No blending whatsoever. None at all. This is a fiasco. I have genuinely never had a worse haircut. I am close to losing it.

As is the case with these kinds of situations, if you don’t laugh you might actually cry. So, naturally, I started an Instagram highlight and allowed people to follow my fringe story. If I can’t get some kind of satisfaction out of this godforsaken fringe I might as well lob it all off and do a Natalie Portman. Don’t worry I definitely don’t have the bone structure.

So, thank you woman in the salon-that-shall-not-be-named. Thanks for the laughs and thanks for making me look like I cut my own fringe, in the dark, with a butter knife.

Driving me Crazy

Our world is one of wonder. Of technology, of magnificent works of engineering. So, when you hop in your car and ask the SatNav for directions to a place no more than 25 miles away, you expect it to work, right? Wrong. Or maybe just wrong when I try to use it.

Picture the scene: I’m at work, South East of Glasgow. I’m asked to drop off some packages in North Glasgow. Fine. Easy. I get in the car after packing the boot with the parcels I need to deliver and punch in the address to the Satellite Navigation system, one that I use regularly.

Bear in mind that it’s 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon. As a result, the traffic is pretty heavy. Finding myself in a daydream about Finding Nemo of all things, I end up missing the turning I’m meant to take. No matter, I think, the SatNav will reroute. Boy oh boy was I incorrect. For about 30 seconds the system thinks it knows where it needs to go, but after some consideration it starts to doubt itself.

No worries, I know how to get north of Glasgow from here, even if it’s not the quickest route.

If only I could go back in time and scream at my Friday afternoon self: “But Rachel, the traffic!” Unfortunately, however, that’s not possible (yet). So, I start to embark upon a journey across Glasgow that may just become my Friday afternoon Everest. Joining the M8 and heading towards Bishopbriggs I’m met with the slowest moving traffic I’ve ever experienced. It’s a carpark, Glasgow’s biggest carpark. In fact, the only reason I know it isn’t a carpark is because it’s free.

It’s at this point, upon joining the M8 carpark, that I realise my petrol light is on. I cast my mind back to just an hour ago when I was first asked to start my journey. “I have no petrol” I said in the confidence that petrol money would be offered. It was.

Now, back in my car, in the present, at a standstill, with the petrol light not just on, but firmly on – I wonder what has possessed me to forget this very important task. The task of fuelling the vehicle in which I am traveling.

It’ll be fine, I tell myself, but I can’t escape the crazy eyes reflecting back at me from the rear-view mirror.

Trying to keep my mind off the petrol issue, I crank up the volume of the music and keep my eyes fixed on the road instead of on my miserable looking fuel gauge. At this point, the gods of Satellite Navigation have shone down on me and the system is working again and highlighting my albeit, very slow, route. Or so I thought.

5 minutes later

You really could not make this up. You couldn’t. I’m telling you, people would not believe this story. The SatNav has tricked me into thinking it was working and then made me perform an intricate set of left and right turns which put me back on the M8 going the opposite direction from the one I’ve just come from. I just did an accidental U-turn.

To top it all off, I need to pee.

So, just to recap. I have no petrol. I am currently wasting the one or two drops that I have left, sitting at a standstill on the M8 going the wrong direction from where I am meant to be. And I need the toilet.

20 minutes later

Honestly, I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I’ve made it to Bishopbriggs where I’ve found an enormous ASDA petrol station. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah. My bladder is fit to burst, I’ve just drove up and down a 1 mile stretch of the M8 like a crazy person and my petrol tank is bound to be as dry as a British sense of humour. But here I am.

You tried to crack me world. But on this Friday afternoon, which I have spent the majority of my time on the M8, I am triumphant. I won. You tried to break me, but I came back swinging.

2 hours later

I’ve just been sent a picture of one of the parcels I was meant to take to Bishopbriggs, which is still in the reception at work.

A 21st Century victory won against all odds, ruined by an idiotic oversight. You can’t win them all I guess.

Hogmano-no

After a few quiet days at Christmas I’ve headed back to Glasgow for Hogmanay. We’re going to our friend’s house outside of Glasgow, 20 of us. We’re like a rent-a-crowd. This morning before we go we’re all off to Stravaigan for brunch. I’ve ordered Chipotle Beans on toast because I’m generally adverse to anything involving eggs but weirdly can be partial to an omelette. I’m getting off track. I’ve asked the waiter to bring some hot sauce and he’s returned with a little pot of Tabasco which I’ve sprinkled over my food quite generously.

3 minutes later

My nose is running a lot, I’ve definitely overdone the Tabasco. I really should have tasted the beans first.

2 minutes later

Wow I am uncomfortable. I feel very tense, I don’t want to show weakness, but I think if I relax my face even a little bit I might start to cry.

Another 2 minutes later

Okay I’m done. The food is finished. I completed it. I’m now gulping water and my mouth has sort of returned to normal, but I think it might take a couple of hours to completely regain the feeling in the left side of my tongue.

We’ve paid the bill and Cait, Sophie and I are going to Lidl on the way home to buy supplies for the evening ahead. Some people have asked us to get theirs because it’s cheaper. Off we go then. To Lidl. On Hogmanay. In Glasgow. Buzzing.

In Lidl

This is absolute chaos. CHAOS. There are people everywhere excluding on the actual shelves, and annoyingly the queue for the self-service checkouts snakes directly back into the alcohol aisle where it seems everyone and their granny is deciding between Prosecco or Cava.

I’ve decided to take myself to the soft drinks aisle. So far, the people seem to be less aggressive in this area of the shop.

30 seconds later

I spoke too soon. As I was reaching for an apple juice my basket was barged out of the way by someone advancing towards the diet tonic. Loud noises are starting to frighten me.

1 minute later

Update: sudden movements are also making me a bit jumpy.

In the freezer aisle

This section is without a doubt the calmest area of the shop. I think I’ll stay here for a little bit of reprieve. I can see Sophie and Caitlin in the alcohol aisle still, I don’t think they need my help. I’ll just wait here for them to come and get me with my basket full of soft drinks and a heart full of fear.

Back in the car

Thank GOD. That was terrifying. I think I seen a man frothing at the mouth at one point near the discounted Brie. I am not cut out out for Hogmanay alcohol shopping, no siree.

What I will say is that now that I’m out of there I can see my experience more clearly and what I’ve realised is I am pathetic. Man up, am I right? Seriously though, it’s a tale as old as me - mainly because I always do this. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail (or at least find yourself crying in Lidl next to the frozen pizzas). Next Hogmanay I vow to buy my supplies in November so as to avoid causing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Happy New Year one and all.

 

Merry Crisis

Christmas eve eve. A day of last minute preparation, wrapping, card writing and for some of us shopping. It’s god awful isn’t it. How in the name of Jesus H. Christ have I managed to get to this day without being completely prepared? Well, considering I quit my full-time bar job to give myself more free time to apply for other jobs, write and generally, organise my shambolic life I really do not know. It’s a mystery. I should have had all my presents wrapped in late November. Yet here I am at 10am on December 23rd, 2018 battling through the hordes of shoppers in Dundee of all places and desperately searching for a Christmas stocking. I’m very warm, my phone is going to die and as is always the case, I’m quite hungry. Also, the prospect of being in this shopping centre where I am guaranteed to spend the little money that I have, is making my palms sweat. I am stressed to say the least. Worse still, is the issue that unsurprisingly two days before Christmas I can’t find a Christmas stocking in any of my go-to shops. Primark it is.

10.57am  

Found a stocking. The issue is that it’s for my Mum and it’s Harry Potter themed. It says Hogwarts on it. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts. I just want to get her a stocking and fill it with wee things because she’s been doing one for me for two decades. Hopefully she doesn’t mind that it’s maroon velvet and has a magical Latin motto on the front. I still can’t believe I left it this late to get the last-minute bits and pieces I need. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I manage my time in an effective way? Actually, speaking of time my ticket for the car park is about to run out.

 11.59am

Okay so back in the car and have managed to gather all of the things I need to complete my Christmas shopping list. Very pleased but also now wondering when I’ll have a chance to covertly wrap them all without the recipients catching on. Christmas is DIFFICULT. Okay, so driving out of the car park and the roads are even busier than they were on arrival which basically means it’s going to take me around one whole lifetime to get home. Just a rough estimation. Driving down a very narrow street the car in front of me has stopped I think to give people coming the other enough room to get by. But five cars have now gone by and the blue car in front of me still has not moved. A police car has pulled up behind me, I am panicking despite the fact I have done nothing wrong. The blue car is completely unmoving. I’m getting frustrated now because if they would just pull further in towards the kerbdrh space.

 30 seconds later

Has this person fallen asleep? Is there an emergency situation? I want to beep my horn, but I’m scared I get arrested by the police in the van behind me. Oh god one of the policemen is getting out of the van, can they read minds now? I only thought about beeping I didn’t actually do it.

 12.03pm

It’s okay the policeman has walked past my car to the one in front which STILL hasn’t moved. There is quite a large back log of traffic as a result. Hurry up please, some of us have a lot of Christmas panicking and eating still to do, don’t be selfish. Policeman has tapped on the window of the car in front and is now completely unnecessarily directing the traffic so that this blue car can manoeuvre its way out of this ENORMOUS gap. I’m a bit embarrassed for the blue car, I hope they have a nice Christmas and don’t get hung up on the fact they can’t drive very well.

 12.04pm

Okay, we’re clear. I’m homeward bound. I think the lesson we can take from this excursion is that I need to better manage my time so that I don’t end up in situations like this one, which, although quite humorous on reflection are really just a huge inconvenience. Every day is a school day.