Monday, July 31, 2006

Juicy and Sraah drunmky.

Juicy and Sarah are well pissed. keeps kissing my arm.

Juicy says:hymen frrecdt ubhgfgrtt. Well d9ohe Juicy.

We hage had many many shots of vodka. It was good. 18 between 3 of us! Oooooh dear. 2 for 1 cockails in Pitcher and Pinao! Bargainouuuuuuuuuuuuus.

Stu isk tickling Juicy. Well funny. She just said "i hae 3 vbreats". She walked with no flipflop all the way here cos it broike. Lotsof sounds c;amlu noised wooooo.

Jiucy saysLme flip fl9opuy brokey and me hot lamppsts w9ith flipflops been bnuggert. grunt.

I am not drunk. really. Am well sober.8ujhm deriniky. That was Juicy. She is well sdrunk. mot i waZ,m, that was also Juicy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

New blog!

As alluded to in the post below, I've now set up a blog just for details of my travelling exploits, information on places I want to go to and any plans I make. The idea is that you won't have to plough through it on my main blog if you're not interested, and I'll have a good record of everywhere I've been to supplement my memories. If you're interested, you can find it at Happy reading!

In Swansea!

After 3 trains and a bus I made it to Swansea! Further details will follow on my brand new blog - I had some inspiration on train number 2 today and decided to set up a separate travel blog to chronicle my adventures, describe places I want to go to and list travel plans as they're made. I'll let you know when it's up...

For now I just wanted to record that I've had lots of my hair cut off (hurrah) because it was really annoying me, I've managed to get myself here and actually had a lovely journey, I've been to Tesco and back in the rain, and now I'm listening to girly rock (NY-LON soundtrack - awesome), cooking up a very large pasta bake and garlic bread, and I intend to drink the entire bottle of wine that I found waiting for me when I arrived - love my dad. I'm in the mood to eat fat and get very drunk! Apologies to those of you who I send drunk texts/MSNs to later, and to those of who escape this...well apologies to you too!

I really love travelling - but arriving is even better, and that first glass of wine after you arrive is better still. Extremely happy Sarah!

EDIT: I am currently dancing round Dad's flat, glass of wine in hand, to Twelve Stops and Home by The Feeling. This CD seriously has the best beginning to any album ever. Fact.

I may be slightly drunk...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Made me smile

My desk calendar today treated me to the following headline from the Litchfield (Connecticut) County Times: "Litchfield urging visitors to try a quickie; merchants complain." I have no idea what this story was actually about but it made me chuckle.

On an unrelated note, I just watched the weather forecast and apparently it's going to rain on Wales all day Saturday. Joy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Essential items: a gender study

I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's "Down Under" to get some preliminary ideas of places I should visit in Australia. This has inspired me to look at a few more websites, one of which is a rather good gap year site set up by a twenty-something person who wanted to offer independent advice to other people who are thinking of embarking on similar trips to those he and his girlfriend have been on. He writes about inter-railing, coach tours and working holidays, and it's all useful stuff. However, I was struck by the following sentence in the "What to Pack" section: "However some items are essential (no not hair straightners and laptops) so check out the essential items list to see what every traveller should take with them."

Not hair straighteners?! As I'm sure anyone who's been camping with me will attest, for this girl hair straighteners are not a luxury item. They are literally one of life's most basic essentials, keeping me looking and feeling human and providing happiness and confidence. I don't feel like myself with natural hair, and I certainly don't look like a person that any right-thinking individual would want to approach. I refuse to resemble a wild hedgerow-cloud being with the fringe of Renee Zellweger in Chicago on my travels, so I will be packing my precious ceramics and a plug adaptor for every possible electrical system in the world, and woe betide anyone who tries to persuade me otherwise. They can replace the sunglasses which appear on the "Essential Kit List" and which I've never worn in my life.

Somehow, I guess that all the girls out there will fully understand this point of view while the men may be less convinced. Alternatively, you may all remember just what my hair turns into when left to its own devices and agree with me wholeheartedly!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Things you may not have known about UCAS #72

When you go to their headquarters for training sessions, they always have curly fries as part of the buffet. These are the best curly fries in the world. Fact.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Birthdays + family + yummy food = happy Sarah

I've just had a really lovely weekend. On Thursday night I lugged my stuff to Coventry station after work and got the train(s) home through the gorgeous Worcestershire countryside in the evening light. Mum made lasagne and we shared a bottle of wine (of which I managed to throw a glass all over the patio - major spillage error) and chatted. Simon and his rowing friends came back from the river and filled up the house - they were lovely boys if far too tall, and they ate like horses.

Friday was mum's birthday, and after eating breakfast outside on the patio she went to town to pick up some things for the evening and I took the opportunity to play the piano. I was quite encouraged to find that although I haven't played for months I can still play the pieces I was most familiar with reasonably well, so it shouldn't take too long to get back into it properly when I get my piano. My sightreading might need some work to get it back to its former glory though! Anyway, we then drove out to Martley for lunch in a pub. Following that, the evening was just fantastic and was definitely the highlight of the weekend. Dad came back from Swansea, and I cooked dinner which I have to say tasted lovely, especially the raspberry cheesecake which may well have been a work of genius. We ate on the patio (again) and all 6 of us (including the rowing lads) squashed round the picnic table and laughed and chatted for hours. We had Pimm's before dinner and fizz during, and mum opened her presents afterwards. We stayed outside until 10 when it was dark but still warm, and it was just fab.

Saturday was Bewdley Regatta, and we walked down the hill to watch the boys. As one of them hadn't rowed for 2 years and the whole crew hadn't rowed together at all, it wasn't surprising that they lost. This didn't spoil the day for us however, as we had sponsors badges which meant free cake midmorning, followed by free wine and lunch: cold meat, salmon, new potatoes, pasta salad, bread etc and then strawberry pavlova. Unfortunately I then had quite a bad reaction to the general sun and heat and lack of water, felt really dizzy and sick, had big blotches in front of my eyes and couldn't see, and apparently turned ash grey. This meant that while Simon was winning a pot in the 8s race he subbed in for, I was at home sitting very still and drinking lots of water. However, I was better by the evening when we went out for dinner to a gorgeous pub, The Talbot at Knightwick. It has gardens where all the fruit and veg they use are grown, and all their meat etc is sourced locally. My main course was rabbit, which I'd never had before but which I'll definitely order again. It was so tasty, and it came with cider risotto which was just sublime. We had such a lovely evening out, and I didn't have to pay which is always good!

Today we went to church, had lunch and then I battled the rail replacement services. All in all a great weekend, marred only by the brief illness, my phone battery totally dying so that I couldn't even switch the phone on to get people's numbers (sorry to everyone I was supposed to meet up with and didn't due to having no method of communication!) and the aforementioned rail replacement which meant that it took 3.5 hours to get home. This week I have a visit to UCAS tomorrow, complete with buffet (UCAS buffets are excellent and involve curly fries) and a work night out to Dogma on Thursday, before my Welsh adventure starts on Saturday. Ooh, Top Gear.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We're all going on a summer holiday

Well I am anyway. My train tickets to Swansea came today and I'm very excited. A whole week out of the office, by the sea with all the breezes that brings, with nothing to do but read, explore the beaches, city and countryside, and cook yummy things. Roll on the 29th!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sarah bitches about men again (or Why can't anyone hold an intelligent conversation?)

Three blogs in one day! Some would call this excessive.

I've noticed recently that I go around the place thinking and assuming that I want a boyfriend, but when I stop and think about it, my actions suggest something different. Whenever I meet someone and get chatting to them on MSN, I start finding them really annoying and assume I won't like them even before we've met. All of them seem so over-keen! As soon as I sign in they start talking to me, which I find very irritating - it's fine if my friends do it but it just makes men seem a bit...well...desperate actually. Then they ask me banal questions and I sit here typing really terse answers and going "Oh for goodness sake", but actually these are valid things that they want to know, about my job etc, and I'm getting annoyed that they haven't picked them up from things that I've said in previous conversations but haven't explained fully. (To be fair though some people are really banal - "What have you done today?" is never going to produce an interesting conversation when yesterday's question was "What are you doing tomorrow?" and the answer was "Going to work and having a quiet night in". What's wrong with remembering that and asking something slightly more intelligent or talking about films or books or politics or something?!) Everything these people do seems to annoy me, when actually it's perfectly reasonable, and it seems that actually I don't want the hassle of getting to know someone, even though I'm sure I'll enjoy it when I find the right person to get to know. Clearly I either need to start being more reasonable, or stop whinging that I don't have anyone! I do think that whatever happens I'll always be irritated by people who are over-eager though - what's wrong with starting a conversation 15 minutes after someone signs in rather than jumping on them, or with not talking to them every time they're online? I'd much rather have someone who plays it cool and only talks to me sometimes - not chatting every day also means you're more likely to have something to say when you do. I always used to think girls who liked hard to get men were stupid - now I think I've become one of them! I suppose it's flattering when someone really wants to talk to you, it just makes me wonder whether they have a life of their own.

Wow, I'm such a bitch sometimes!

Absolute and total genius

I'm just watching the Top Gear boys attempting to navigate their way to a campsite. The phrase "It's on a B-road!" has just been shouted at the telly in between my hysterical giggles. Happy memories.

Parentally-inflicted embarrassment

Next weekend I'm going to my parents' for mum's birthday, and I can't wait! However, in our weekly conversation mum told me something that is likely to cause me minor embarrassment on Saturday, which is impressive as I thought that she'd never manage it again now I've moved out. To be fair though, it's been done with the best of intentions so I won't complain. One of the social events of the year, Bewdley Regatta, is happening, and Simon will be rowing in it as usual with some old club mates and some other uni friends, and we will of course be going. It's always a great day out and I have happy memories of eating fish & chips from the Merchant's chippy and jumping up and down and screaming "Come on Bewdley!" at Simon's novice 8 a few years ago. This year however my parents have decided that we need to do things in style, so they've sponsored a pairs race which will allow them into the sponsors' tent for free food and drink, and a good vantage point at the finish line. Concerned that I wouldn't be allowed in with them, my dad also forked out £25 to sponsor a single skulls race on my behalf. At some point next Saturday the tannoy announcer will therefore be telling the great and good of Bewdley, probably including a lot of people I went to school with, that "the next race is sponsored by Sarah Barbour". Nice. But hey, I get free hospitality so I guess it's worth it!

I should also mention that now the World Cup's over, Richard Hammond is back on my tv. Hurrah.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


A summary of my weekend so far:
6.10 - Get up, wash hair, eat breakfast, pack rucksack, go to work.
8.30 - Work.
12pm - Go to Sainsbury's to buy chav drink. End up with Snowballs which is the closest they have.
3.45 - Volunteer to get to work half an hour early tomorrow. Error.
4pm - Let out of work early! Walk into Coventry, buy CD (The Feeling, Twelve Stops and Home) and book (Sue Townsend, Number 10). Buy cookie sundae from Ben's Cookies and eat in the boardwalk bit. Do Sudoku.
6pm - Arrive at Juicy and Stu's. Eat yummy pasta bake, drink random selection of stuff including the chav drink which tastes of complete ming. Have lots of girly fun getting glammed up.
8.30 - Go to the Union. Discover I like cider.
11.45 - Go to Baby B. Actual proper cheese! Dance.
1.15 - Eventually manage to get taxi.
1.45 - Go to bed.

6.30 - Get up. 4.75 hours sleep. Nice.
7.20 - Walk to work.
7.50 - Arrive at the office.
8am - Open day. Organise student ambassadors all day, take decisions, know what's happening, solve problems, nearly murder moronic staff members, generally do a damn good job if I do say so myself.
12pm - Lunch. Half an hour of sitting very very quietly.
12.30 - More open day. Sun comes round to face the building. World gets very very hot. Feel self burning, especially nose.
4pm - End of open day. More instructing and organising.
4.40 - Leave office with tray of leftover sandwiches. Walk to bus stop.
5pm - Get on bus.
6pm - Get home. Remove shoes! Get changed. Observe the extent of the quite special sunburn acquired (we're talking watch line, sandal lines, really brilliant narrow V-shape where my shirt was, sleeve lines etc). Eat entire tub of raspberry sorbay. Listen to quite brilliant new CD. Blog.

Funnily enough, this insanity has made me happy, fulfilled and generally highly appreciative of life, while a quiet night in and a day of rest would just have made me grumpy. It worries me that I enjoy stressful days at work quite so much! I think I might be turning into one of those people who really loves their job and gives up more time to it than they should. But hey - you can never do too much overtime, especially when it's paid at time and a half. 16 hours' worth this week! Woo.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lack of inspiration

I haven't blogged for a while because I can't think of anything interesting to say...not that that usually stops me. Anyway - until something happens I thought I'd just say I want to go here (including here here and here Right now. But until that time comes I'm happy with Baby B tomorrow.

Apologies for my lack of ability to write proper links!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A much better day!

Today I found some motivation! I remembered that when I'm feeling a bit down I think that food will cheer me up when actually it makes me feel worse, and that what actually cheers me up is exercise. As soon as I'd got up this morning I walked to Warwick along the riverside path and back along the Emscote Road, and although I got rained on and had no brolly I really didn't mind, as if I'm just out walking for the sake of it I know I'm coming home and I can fix my Chicago hair then. Then this afternoon after the Wimbledon men's final I got my exercise DVD out again and bounced round my living room in highly energetic fashion. I now have two new achieveable weight loss goals, and I'm generally feeling happy about the world again! Let's hope I can remember to keep this up.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another Saturday night in

And so another weekend rolls around. Today started well with a lovely lie-in (until 8am!) and nothing bad has happened, but I haven't spoken to a single person apart from the man who fixed the Tesco self-service machine for me, and I'm getting a bit fed up of lonely weekends. I deliberately didn't plan anything for this weekend so that I'd be free to watch the Wimbledon finals, and today I did lots of things that I enjoy and that I wanted to do - I went food shopping, I watched cooking programmes, I watched the women's final, I watched Doctor Who (and cried buckets by the perfect was the ending?!) while eating fresh bread, and then I cooked a delicious dinner and watched Sleepless in Seattle, which is a really gorgeous film, while drinking a glass or two of rose. Now I'm watching The Batchelor on Channel 4 while finishing the bottle (don't worry, I didn't start the whole thing today).

All very nice in theory, and on the surface I've had a good day. However, I've spent the whole time feeling bored and wishing I was meeting my friends tonight or going out with someone. Even having someone to chat to while watching the tennis/film would have been good. I do appreciate my freedom and wouldn't want to live with anyone at the moment, but I've realised I'm going to have to start really planning in advance to arrange lots of things to do, because this is my second weekend in a row when I've spent Saturday night in being entertained by me, myself and I, and I didn't even do anything on Friday this week either. I'm ok for the next few weekends now - I have a potential date next weekend, then I'm going to Bewdley for my mum's birthday on the 21st and going out with friends I haven't seen for years on the 22nd which will be great, and then my Swansea adventure takes care of the next two. I'm sure I'll stop feeling sorry for myself soon! However, if anyone fancies coming over tomorrow to watch the men's final or the World Cup, you'd be very welcome. :o)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A great weight has been lifted

Today I got home after another crappy bus journey and found an envelope with my dad's handwriting on in my post tray. Finally, after 7 long months, he and my aunty have managed to persuade Barclays to set up a probate account for my Grandpa's will (Barclays are actually the most useless bank in the whole world) and today my cheque for £1000 arrived. Never have I been so relieved in my life! I assigned the money to things I needed to do and didn't know how to pay for, but they all happened before the cheque arrived so I had to go overdrawn to pay for them. I've had some fantastic times at the ball and in Italy, and I've thought of my Grandpa throughout them (especially singing the Faure Requiem in Italy), and I've bought new clothes that I desperately needed and generally spent the money well. However, I've also had to extend my overdraft, take out an interest free credit card etc and generally get very stressed about money, and now I can go back into the black and pay off my credit card in one fell swoop. I feel so incredibly grateful to be in the situation where I can do that - I know not many people are as lucky as me and I'm so grateful to my Grandpa for leaving me this money. I feel even luckier that we have the trust fund pay-out still to come which is substantially larger, and will allow me to pay back my parents, buy my digital piano, cordless headphones and digital camera, learn to drive (hopefully) and start me off on my travelling savings. So thankyou again Grandpa for being so generous and helping me so much!

I should also tell you that when I opened the envelope I punched the air and then as I don't have any wine I swallowed a shot of Zubrowka and drank a glass of Creme de Menthe in celebration. My head's only slightly spinning at the moment!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day (warning - this is a long one...)

Ladies and gentlemen, today is Independence Day and I have officially been single for exactly one year. As break-up dates go it was a pretty good one to pick! This evening I’m having a girly pasta and pampering session with the lovely Juicy (a sober celebration, how bizarre) so I’m writing this on Sunday night having spent a rather mad half hour planning my future travels and working out that I need to save absurd amounts of money in absurd amounts of time. But more on that later.

I vividly remember where I was this time last year. I’d gone back to work after tour and had a stressful hectic day catching up on stuff that I thought other people would have done in my absence, but they hadn’t. Tour had been…not the best, and everything was still feeling really weird and very very fragile. I cooked dinner (I even remember what I made!) and we ate on the sofa as usual, and I mentioned that my manager had suggested I should take a CIPD course which would mean staying in the same job for the next few years, and I wanted some advice. This talk of the future appeared to be the final straw, and the deed was finally done, just after the washing up. Having fought so hard with every weapon I possessed (not literally unfortunately) the previous week, I had absolutely nothing left, so I spent the evening in hysterical crying fits the like of which I didn’t think were possible, alternating between lying face down on my bed and face up on the sofa. Every time I allowed myself to think about the possibility that it might really be over I went into another bout of hysterics, so instead I concentrated on thinking about the fact (and it was an absolute fact at that point) that my life was over, I had nothing left to do with my days, I had no future and I would spend every day existing but no longer living. Surprisingly, this didn’t make me any more cheerful. :o)

The next day Juicy came round with a large bar of Dairy Milk and a loo roll (substitute for tissues!) and then my mum arrived, having driven down from her dad’s house in Lancashire, and we spent the day doing bizarrely normal things that I haven’t done before or since, like walking to Homebase and spending ages in the pets section looking at the hamsters and guinea pigs. Weird. I spent the whole day in a state of denial and refusing to cry in front of anyone, and as soon as mum had gone I just sobbed and sobbed, which felt much better for a brief moment. I can safely say that those 2 days were the worst of my life. I spent the next week waking up and seeing the world in black – this was the strangest thing, as usually I wake up and wonder what the day will bring, but now I was doing the cliché of not remembering for a split second, and then feeling life falling in on me. It’s the only time in my life I haven’t been able to think of a single positive.

And then things got better. I had the rest of the week off work, and went to look at houses on Thursday and Friday because I knew I had to get on with things, and even if I was going to be depressed forever I had to have somewhere to live. From that point it took 5 months and one week to get over it, and I vividly remember the point when that happened – it was a Tuesday in December and I was on the number 12 going through Kenilworth in the dark on the way home. It literally felt like a great weight had been lifted off, and when I got off the bus in Leam I floated home with wings on my heels.

Far from being over, in the past year my life has been amazing. I’ve moved house and discovered that I can manage my own home, write my own budget and pay my own bills. I’ve got a new job that I love and that gives me career prospects and ideas for the future. I’ve been on four dates of which three weren’t total disasters, and I’ve remembered how much fun it is to find men attractive and have them fancy me. I’ve been speed dating! I’ve had crazy cocktail-fuelled nights out and hilarious cocktail-fuelled nights in (spotting a theme here?). I’ve been drunk more times than I care to remember and have learned some life lessons – chief among these being that it’s unwise to drink so much wine that you fall asleep in a pub and subsequently fall asleep again at your own party. I’ve proceeded to totally forget these lessons and been forced to learn them again with the very important addition that wine should not be mixed with port and vodka, and that one should never EVER throw up in a tent. I’ve spent cosy nights in feeling totally content, and I’ve spent nights out feeling so happy that I thought I’d explode. And I’ve got albums of photos to remind me of the brilliant year that has been 2005/06.

The most important thing that I’ve learned, however, is that I have the most fantastic friends in the world. I really didn’t know this before, and I’m so grateful that the people who I thought would be nice were actually brilliant, and that people I totally didn’t expect to help were so quick to offer nights out and advice. I really don’t want to go through thanking everyone in the manner of the Oscars because it would be cheesier than this already is and would make it even longer, but you all know who you are and you’re all brilliant. Without my friends I’d still be sitting in a little tearful heap knowing that my life was over, but with them I’m happy and looking forward to the future.

And as for the future…well tonight I started planning to go traveling which is something I’ve decided I definitely want to do. It’s going to require an awful lot of saving and I’m still unclear as to how I’m going to manage it, but another thing I’ve learned is that if I want something it’s up to me to make it happen so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m such a shy person and I’ve sworn for years that I won’t go out of the country unless I’m with someone, so my round-the-world ideas had been put on the back burner until I found a man to go with. However, there’s no guarantee that that’s going to happen, so why should I shelve my dreams when I’m perfectly capable of making them come true on my own? As I wrote at the beginning of my planning, “this bitch ain’t hanging around for no man” – I think I was in an over-excitable state at that point and feeling strangely drunk despite having not drunk anything, but you get the general idea. I’m planning and I’m dreaming, and although I have very little control over getting the thing I want most, I’m going to make damn sure I get everything else. My little fantasy about proposals on Sydney Harbour Bridge might never happen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go and appreciate the view!

Apologies for the length of this ramble. If you got this far I’m quite frankly amazed! I hope it’s been suitably cheesy and over-emotional as we’ve come to expect from this blog. I’m off to attempt to de-stickify after this immensely hot day. Open day tomorrow...

Monday, July 03, 2006


I've decided that at the age of 23 it might be time to have some ambitions. Or rather, some ambitions that I can actually control and realise. For a few years now I've had vague thoughts along the lines of, "It would be nice to go travelling one day", and "I'd love to go to Australia and New Zealand", but I've never seriously considered doing anything about them. Now I've decided that I do really want to do this, and if necessary I'll do it on my own - actually I'm quite excited about this prospect, because I know that for the first time in my life I have the confidence to do it. I'm going to make a plan with savings goals and definite deadlines, and then in either 2009 or 2010 I'm going to Australasia for 9 months of living the dream and experiencing two of the most beautiful countries on earth. I was looking at the NZ tourist board website today and getting really excited about all the gorgeous places there are to see - I know this sounds like one of my random whims (of which I have many) but I really think I mean this one.

I'm not sure yet exactly how I'm going to do this - I don't know if I'll be able to save enough to be able to manage without working out there, so I might do some stop-offs in a few countries on the way, then work for a few months in Oz when I arrive and then travel round the rest of Oz and NZ after that. I've calculated that I pretty much can't afford to keep my flat while I'm away, so I'll move all my stuff back home (my mum will be thrilled to be hosting all my rubbish for a year I'm sure!) and then come back to Leam afterwards and find a new place to live. I think if I take a whole year out I should have time to find somewhere between getting back and going back to work. The plan does rather hinge around work letting me take a career break, but a colleague had already been allowed one before she went for a promotion instead so they should let me - I'll have been there for a long time by then and I reckon I'll deserve it after 4 years of open days! My aim is to get a promotion after I've been there a couple of years so I'll be earning more money, but if the opportunity doesn't arise I may have to move elsewhere in pursuit of this work-related ambition that also seems to be surfacing, so hopefully they'll also let me go if I do a good enough job for them in the few years that I'm there.

This all sounds highly vague for someone who's supposedly being organised! In truth, having only decided this yesterday I'm still working out the basic concepts. However, I'm pretty determined to actually see this through - it'll be the achievement of my life and an amazing thing to do. I do have one request of everyone: once I've decided when I'm definitely going, please give me plenty of notice if you're planning to get married, and I'll factor in the cost of the flights home! I'm not missing anyone's wedding for anything. :o) (You can tell which aspects of this I've considered most carefully here...) Also, please don't laugh at me when the whole thing goes wrong and I give up - although I seriously hope that won't happen, this is me we're talking about here.

Oh, and watch this space tomorrow for an over-long and highly sentimental rambling through the past year. Those of you with a particularly cynical disposition might want to avoid this one...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New pics

Photos of the Gala Concert and Thora are now up on my space! Let me know if you want to see them and I'll add you to my contacts (if I know who you are...)

In other news, it's approaching the mildly warm today. Urrrrrrrrrrg.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Speaking vs writing

I was thinking today about how much easier I find talking on Messenger compared to speaking to someone in person. Obviously with my best friends and family then there's no problem, but with everyone else it's just so much easier to write things down and give yourself time to think. I used to be very shy and incapable of making small talk with anyone, and I'm thankful that that's no longer the case, but I do still find it hard to think of conversation starters, which doesn't seem to be a problem online. With Messenger there are no awkward silences - if someone doesn't reply you assume they're looking at a website or chatting to someone else, and you don't know that it's just because they're searching for a response. Similarly, if you're in a face-to-face conversation and you say something totally silly you can't take it back, whereas if you're typing and you realise what you're saying is stupid as you go along, you can delete it before pressing enter. I remember one conversation with someone where I said so many utterly dim things that made me sound like a total idiot, and I sat there feeling worse and worse, knowing that if I was typing this just wouldn't be happening.

Apart from the awkwardness/stupidity issues, there's also the way that you can come across as a different person when you're online. I find that I adopt quite a different conversational style when I'm typing, and I can project the person I want to be rather than the person that I seem to be when I'm having a real conversation. I haven't yet worked out which of these people is the real me - I suppose your automatic responses in person should be a more accurate indicator of who you are, but I know that I'm someone who has to think about things before I can decide what I really feel, so maybe the person I am when I'm online is more like the person I actually am in my head, with all the doziness etc that I usually display in quantity filtered out. I've had quite witty conversations in the past over Messenger just because I've been able to think about my responses without the pressure of having to reply instantly/display the right body language/worry about what the other person's expressions etc are saying about the way they're thinking about me, and I've wished afterwards that I was able to be so quick/clever/interesting when I'm actually speaking to people. Obviously I wouldn't want the whole world to go electronic and people to never talk to each other again, but I do wish I could learn to be the intelligent, considered and amusing me in person rather than the dozy girl who screws up a lot that I increasingly seem to be. I wonder how this can be achieved!

EDIT: I feel I should record that I've just watched the most inspiring display of tennis from a British player that I can remember. Andy Murray has just demolished Andy Roddick in straight sets, in quite brilliant fashion. That boy has steel in his soul. What a star!