How to preserve university style cheer for all the year

If the part-time waitressing job at which I’ve spent (approx) 100, 000 hours a week, since my abrupt evacuation from the soft bosom of university, has taught me anything – it’s how to stay happy in the face of adversity. Oh and hard graft. It’s definitely taught me a thing or two about hard graft. I’m a firm believer in finding the fun in even the most gruelling of tasks – but any attempts to make the kitchen a kindlier place in which to work – reminiscent of a scene from Snow White, are quickly quelled by my moody supervisor, who clearly does not share my affinity for Hi Ho.

A futile and fruitless couple of months – of infinite applications and even more rejections – have passed by since I said farewell to university. I had begun to accept that my fate was to don a gravy covered apron and try to remain pretty and polite whilst fat wedding guests in ill fitting suits clicked their fingers at me and told me what to do. I’m not proud to admit that during one particularly arduous event I wept. Uncontrollably, inconsolably wept like a hysterical lunatic – whilst simultaneously trying to clear plates from tables full of angry patrons.

But after one obscenity too many being roared at me across a hot kitchen. I decided that it was time to pick myself up – off of the marquee floor. To polish myself off, to channel Aretha Franklin and teach myself a vital lesson in self R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Because a true fun loving gal doesn’t allow a spilt tray of champagne or a depleted overdraft to wipe the smile from her face. Nor does she intertwine her self worth with her bank balance – it’s incredibly counterproductive. A true fun loving girl embraces each situation in which she finds herself, and she makes the best of it. Any ordinary female can be fun loving after a few cranberry juices in a club. This is the real test of dedication to the cause – true fun loving girls must remain to be so – especially in the face of adversity and must not conform to the unwritten rule which states that hard work must be horrible. The fun loving girl finds joy in even those most menial and gruelling of tasks.

I’m trying really hard to avoid sounding at all like Pollyanna but realise that I am parlously failing to do so. I think, what I am trying to say, most inarticulately, is something which Oscar Wilde has already said much better – we’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

So this is for you – all of the girls struggling to remain happy in the face of post university adversity. Even when you’re being roared at across a hot sweaty kitchen, even when you’ve just spilt a whole tray of overpriced champagne all over yourself, even when you’re elbow deep in nine hours worth of other people’s washing up. Look up and see the bigger picture – because it’s really not so bad.

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we’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

An affinity for the written word – or an affliction of the spoken word?

Language may be a basic tool with which everyone is equipped – but it remains extraordinarily difficult to master. Even the most profound and rational thought can be mislaid, betrayed and poorly portrayed by language.

At school particularly – language seemed to frequently do me a disservice when I required its competency most. It betrayed me and words often failed me – empty utterances falling clumsily from my mouth with little coherence – particularly within circumstances during which I relied on words most.

Naturally when the heat of the moment subsided – the words would instantly spring to mind – like a cruel tease. Too late. With nothing left to do but whir around in my head and serve to humiliate me further.

Thankfully, while I am still certainly no conversational wizard, I can string a sentence together – just about. Okay fine, I love to talk, I love to laugh with my friends, I love a verbal exchanging of words with just about anybody willing to humour me.

But my early affliction with the spoken word is why I value the written word so incredibly highly. For me, it’s a way of ordering language. Of accurately expressing myself. It’s a platform of communication and means of conveying an opinion – which would otherwise be lost.

The things I can’t accurately articulate though speech can be unfolded and reworked to create something wonderfully rhythmic and exciting to read. Through putting words into writing – somehow they come out right.

The written word played a huge part in my transformation from introverted shy sixteen year old to still-pretty-socially-inept-but-constantly-improving twenty-one year old. And what a great place to be!

Even now if I’m struggling to solve a problem – the first thing I’ll do is pick up a pen. So this post is my tribute to the written word – because it really is a wonderful thing. And I genuinely urge anybody going through any kind of crises or complication – to turn it into literature – it’ll make for a great read one day.

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“I’m just bumbling around” “Even better, let’s bumble together”

A delightfully tender love story set within a surreal, nonsensical world – whose quirky charm is reminiscent of Paris during a golden age – of gramophones, decadent ballrooms, smooth jazz and quirky cocktails – intermingled with an idealistic and exciting future.  Comprised of such wonderfully innovative inventions – as the “pianocktail” – whose kooky charm is mirrored in it’s inventor Colin (Romain Duris) who, like a petulant child ‘demands to fall in love’. Queue Chloe (Audrey Tatou) – and voila – so begins the tender and tragic story of love and loss played out within this fantastical Parisian realm of absurdity and imagination.

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 Mood Indigo depicts a romance of such magnitude it sees our protagonists looking lovingly into one another’s eyes whilst suspended together in a white fluffy cloud which floats over Paris. – But clichés about love are cleverly adapted in this incredibly inventive picture. – The cloud is in fact a plastic tourist attraction – hauled by a big orange crane. These strange paradoxes, despite the surreal sphere in which they are set, portray a real kind of romance: one which is incredibly gentle yet completely clumsy, extraordinarily silly yet inordinately serious, terrifically magical yet terribly mundane – full of wonderful contradictions: Perfect in its imperfection – like Chloe – whose delicate disposition is both her most amiable quality and most tragic flaw. Her soft and gentle nature is both the reason Colin loves and loses her.

These life’s little ironies are a continual motif. On a bench beneath an old railway bridge – Colin and Chloe share their first clumsy kiss. Chloe’s optimistic assertion that ‘if we screw up this moment we try the next… we have our whole lives to get it right’ highlights the films’ delightfully delusional insight into life and love.

Flowers – the conventional currency of love – are bought in bundles as the alleged antidote to the ailment which spreads throughout Chloe’s body. But like the love itself they quickly wilt, lose their colour and die. Leaving in their wake a grey, dysfunctional, almost dystopian scene and a man whose entire world has lost its ability to operate.

If you like your love stories a little off beat, Mood Indigo is a charming film which brims with peculiar intricacies and adorable instances. It’s really lovely. For a little while at least.