What a difference a weekend can make huh?
On returning from Barcelona, I set my sights on making the move, and pouring all my energy into searching for a position in Spain. I wasn’t too concerned about the field, but more the opportunity to relocate, and of course, finally being able to use my languages.
My days now consisted of listening to the Gypsy Kings on repeat and scrolling the LinkedIn job app like a woman possessed. Any role that caught my eye was immediately applied to. It was going to happen.
Reaching the end of the year, Christmas came round, and I was happy to spend it at home. There are lots of aspects about the English winter that I don’t love (okay, I detest). However, I must admit that despite the intense commercialisation and overbearing pressure to succumb to the (bloody expensive) festive spirit, nothing really compares to being in your new fluffy jammies, sat by the Christmas tree, and sipping on Bucks Fizz at 7 am, surrounded by a (dis)array of Quality Street wrappers. Heating’s on, Mum’s busy preparing breakfast and you’re already wolfing down your second mince pie of the day. Jingle Bells plays softly in the background as Dad (in Santa hat) hovers over with the big black bin-liner, waiting for my sister to tear open ‘just one more’ of her presents before we eat. And all the while, it’s miserable, cold and wet outside. I live for Christmas morning at home.
Then follows the week of the withdrawn.
What day is it? Who knows? Is the year over yet? Are there anymore turkey sandwiches? Do we take the Christmas lights down? How am I working today but not tomorrow? Wait – then I have another day off next week – oh my god is it still December? Someone fetch a calendar! NOT THE ADVENT ONE !!
And so ensued the madness; everyone at work was in a slight post-roast slumber, walking around in a sugar-induced daze and making lots of chat about what St Nick had dropped in their stockings this year. I myself was in a bit of a festive limbo, but still going hard at work on every ‘Apply’ button I saw. Keen to make 2016 my year, (pretend you haven’t heard that before) I felt like seeing out the year with a little celebration; even though I’d learnt London living wasn’t for me, 2015 was still a success-story; I had graduated, managed to hold a proper job in a respectful company, and even had more than a tenner in my savings account (also had enough spare to buy mum a new kettle!). I was getting there. So I fancied celebrating these little milestones/victories with a couple of my nearest and dearest; it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go down to Pompey again and visit Joe and Xav.
My lovely friends and former Fort-fun flatmates were happily residing by the seaside and still enjoying the benefits of Portsmouth life, sans dissertation – all of our fave student hangouts, and none of the lectures. It had been for what felt like forever since I’d seen them both and even longer since I’d strolled along the streets of Southsea, so I was very much looking forward to it. As was Dobby.
“Wait are you going for new years? Oh I wish I could come!”
“Why don’t you?”
She was back from Barcelona to celebrate Christmas with the fam, and so decided to join me for what was to be a lovely reunion.
Pumped from the excitement of the grand get-together, wine, and lots of cheese (the key to a long-lasting friendship) we saw in the new year at Joe and Xav’s pad, Bieber in the background (please read the next sentence before judgement), second bottle of cheap Merlot down, and half-way through an intense board game (the fun kind, that involves terrible attempts at charades and lots of French people shouting).
Midnight had passed and we’d gotten to that weird part of the evening/early hours where the conversation becomes all about reminiscing and recalling fads, or in this case, ads from the past, “Do you remember Von Dutch caps?” “As clearly as I remember mesh t-shirts; with regret.”
An half-eaten box of Jaffa cakes on the side sparked a memory which made it impossible to resist acting out the whole 90s advert – YOU KNOW THE ONE. This quickly became the theme of the night, and as we did a circuit of Portsmouth pubs before heading back home (via kebab shop), screams could be heard of ‘PLEINE LUNE’ ‘DEMI LUNE’ and of course ‘TOTAL ECLIPSE’ – those screams mainly coming from myself.
Obviously on a massive NEW YEAR NEW ME high, I was in a state of merry elation, and a call from my best friend could only make this better; turns out Joshua was in the same booze fueled stupor, only he was celebrating miles away, in the middle of the Spanish capital, with his boss and some colleagues. A lovely drunken exchange ensued; there were laughs, ‘Happy new year!’s, ‘I miss you’s and excited commentary of our nights up until now. Just as we were about to end the call, I send Josh my love and tell him *in jest* “let me know if they have any vacancies”.
What followed was a jokey exchange with his boss on speaker phone in a sort of interview role play, which we all laughed about the next day, until, it turns out, it was kind of for real.
I woke up on the boys’ blow up mattress the next day; “What a night” “Did we get Dominoes? If not, why not?” “Can we watch Frozen?” – All the things one contemplates the morning after the night before.
Joshua was video-calling me. I had my favourite doggy pijamas on and my hair was what could only be described as a rough looking bird’s nest.
“Sam they want to interview you.”
So the following Monday, I had my interview.
Hours before I’d been shouting in French about full moons, and now sitting there in fluffy socks and 8 year old pijamas, everything was possibly about to change.
Life’s a funny thing ain’t it.