Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Sunday, August 22, 2004

It really is the most important meal of the day

I was struggling to work out why the Aussie backpacker in the queue in front of me had pissed me off so much.

Maybe it was the fact that I was late for work, and she stood between me and paying for my croissant for long enough to force me to abandon it and go to work without breakfast. She was forcing the newsagent at the Quik-e-mart, North Watford, to go through his stock of international calling cards, giving a detailed explanation of the costs involved in calling South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. She clearly wasn’t from round here, as everyone knows you keep it simple in the newsagents. Everything more complicated than “Do you have a pack of 20?” is generally asking for trouble.

As I walked to work on an empty stomach I began to formulate angry thoughts towards the backpacker. “Do you think I care about you and your exotic lifestyle and your friends spread across the globe? Or that you call South Africa so much you require a discount? I bet you’ve got a room full of exotic rugs and clothes from around world. Do you think I care about that? Why don’t you get out of the way, piss off to whatever shithole you’re going to after this one, and let me have my breakfast?”

Clearly I did care.

As I passed the Junction Café for the 5th consecutive morning, I realised why I was annoyed. You don’t need to have a degree in psychology to know that I was clearly jealous, and maybe starting to wander if my life was going anywhere. I was expecting to stay in North Watford for the summer 2 years ago, and I’m still doing what started as a temp job in Borehamwood 15 months ago, with an expected promotion on hold until April at least. And I haven’t had a holiday for ages.

And then, predictably, I got onto a dark study about further education. There was a promise implicit in all of this that I may incur some debt, but it would be worth it in the long run. It wasn’t, and I get pissed off this time of year every year when I see hoards of bright-eyed A-level students excited about marching off to university, apparently unaware how big a millstone they’ll be putting around their necks. But I’m not bitter; I’d just feel better if I could move on.

My plan was to do some counselling study, but for some reason I was, well, blocked on that one. And if there’s something you learn right at the beginning of studying counselling, it’s that nothing happens for no reason. Except measles, perhaps.

Anyway, around lunchtime I was starting to cheer up, and I came back to an idea I’d been considering about a year ago, and seem to keep on coming back to. Why not do some part-time study, study that’s not going to totally take my life over this time, and do something that interests me and that I can apply in a job I could see myself doing? So I did some research, with Manager mocking me over lunchtime, and found a good one. How about a BSc in Psychology at the Open University?

It looks like it would take 3-4 years, depending on how stuff works out. And then I’d need a year’s full-time study on a Masters if I wanted to go into Clinical Psychology. And the great thing about the OU is if I change my mind, which I have a tendency to do, I can change direction without losing too much.

And, as I don’t earn much, as I’m constantly being reminded, I should qualify for some pretty serious financial assistance. Hopefully, once I’ve sorted out a few things, study starts in February. But before then, I need to shake my life up a little, yet again.

As Brenda (SFU) put it, I think I’m pretty well qualified when it comes to crazy people. It’s the others I can’t figure out.
The weird thing about all this is I don’t really like Quik-e-mart croissants anyway. They’re always burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. Oh yeah, and I found the same backpacker sprawled unconscious in my hallway 18 hours later.


Blogger Papotine said...

Stop eating those rubbishy British croissants ! Have a crumpet !

7:18 pm


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