I am writing this as I hide in my room, all I can hear is my housemates screaming at each other. To say they do not get on is an understatement. The argument is, as usual, over domestic chores. I have to admit that I am new to communal living. Having had my own place for a number of years before coming to university it seems a mystery to me that people are not able to wash a plate after use, take the washing out of the machine before it starts to smell, or throw that cucumber out before it turns into an unrecognisable lump of green mush. The instigator for this argument is the messy kitchen. The bins frequently overflow, and as a house we have gotten into the habit just placing empty pizza boxes / milk cartons / banana skins on top of the bin rather than emptying the bin and putting a new liner in.
Why, you may ask, do we not do this? Well the answer is this: If we empty the bin there is, most likely, no new bin bag to put in it, because bin bags cost money, and we have none. If by some miracle someone has purchased bin bags then the full bag of rubbish has to be taken outside to the dust bin, yes, that’s right the dust bin. The modern miracle of wheelie bins has not yet reached Bath. The dust bin is at the other end of the garden, and down about 20 steps. Then when you get there you find the bin is already full because we have not put the bins out for about a month. And why haven’t the bins been taken out? It’s a combination of forgetting, and the fact that they are dust bins which have to be dragged for five minutes down the lane until you get to the main road where it is collected. And how do I live like this? Why don’t I just clean it up? These are the same questions my landlady asked me when she came to inspect the house.
And I’ll tell you the same thing I told her. I did, to start with, then I thought: why should I be the only one who bothers? Just because I am older and the only female in the house does not automatically mean that it is my responsibility. Now I just spend most of my time at my boyfriend’s – hiding out.
Going back to full-time education
Going back into to full time education at the age of 27 offers me a different perspective on university life. Initially the prospect of being surrounded by eighteen year-olds was a bit daunting. I was afraid that the age gap would be noticeable, that I would appear and feel like an old woman. The realm of the eighteen year-old student seems a foreign one; they have their own langue. This language seems to mostly consist of the repetition or over stressing of certain works and phrases; such as, Oh My God (I blame Friend’s for this one), like, and the all important sooooooooooo. I found that by simply altering the rhythm of my speech and inserting ‘like erm’, into the middle of a sentence, I was able to fit in. Now I am like, sooooo native.
In fact I appear to have done such a good job of this that my fellow students seem to go into anaphylactic shock when I tell them I am closer to thirty than twenty. To an eighteen year old I suppose this must seem ancient; but thirty is in the new twenty. Right?