What To Do When Things Go Missing

Finding things is a nightmare. Whether it’s that file of important work, passport or keys to your house it’s always a mad dash to get it on time. Pets are easy if you have them chipped, if not it’s hell. IPhones nowadays have an app that can help you locate it if you lose it. But keys..keys. Earlier today I needed to find my key before I had a revision session. Luckily it wasn’t a major part of my education since I can revise from home, but never-the-less it was a stressful experience. My bundle of keys included my key-card for my university accommodation, the key to my house and the key to Ed’s. If I lost one I lost them all. I’ve learned from this experience. Here is what I would do if I lost my keys.

InstagramCapture_c9087993-1482-41ee-abd2-18e91c96c821_jpg

They keys of an archaeologist. If only I could use a trowel to dig out my missing things…

1. Re-trace your steps.

Do this first and foremost as it narrows down the possible locations of the item. Then look in those places. I once thought I lost my key somewhere in the park as the only place I remember having it was between two doors. If it’s not in those areas then proceed to step number two.

2. Panic.

Look at the time and realise you only have five minutes to find it. If you don’t find the key/passport/file of work on time you’re in trouble. You’ll miss the lecture, you’ll be late for your flight or your boss will fire you (a bit extreme). Once you’ve panicked you need to organise a systematic search.

3. Look in all bags, pockets and drawers.

Obviously they’re reasonable places to put keys. So get the ones you used when you last had the key and check them all. Not there? Then look in bags that it won’t even be in because you haven’t touched it for a year. Not there either? It must be in the pocket you checked earlier.

4. Trash your room/house

Now that the keys aren’t anywhere to be seen there’s no logical place for them to be. Proceed to move every item that you own until you are sure you’ve checked everything. If your room wasn’t messy before the search it is now. Now not only is your key impossible to find but now there’s obstacles stopping you from ever doing so.

5. Panic (again)

Now you’re late. There’s no way possible it’s going to be solved. You think If I can find it in the next two minutes I might make it. This turns you into a frenzy and all you can do is panic. This leads to step six.

6. Look in the illogical places

Your key isn’t anywhere. So it must be in the fridge. Or the bin. Or in the garden. Or in the shower. Look in those places. If it’s not there then it’s safe to assume you’ve accidentally flushed it down the toilet. Now instead of looking for the key you’re looking for the phone number to the locksmith.

7. Give up.

You’ve looked everywhere and you can’t find it. Just assume that it will turn up naturally when you aren’t thinking about it and go back to bed/chores/tidying the room you trashed in the search process.

8. Realise that there is ONE place you haven’t looked.

Go to the place. Look inside. Oh, look. It’s there in your box of nail polishes. Once you’ve questioned it you’ll feel silly that you never looked inside.

9. Organise yourself

Take the bowl that your mum bought you specifically for keys and small items. You’ve filled it with loose pennies from your purse that you know you’ll never use. Still. Take it out and put your keys in swearing you’ll use it religiously.

10. Repeat

Once you’ve left you’ll then come back from your trip to town/the zoo/work and put your keys down. The time will come when you need to find it again. but it’s not in the key bowl. Revert back to step one.

Obviously finding things is impossible. If only putting up search posters for your shoe was considered normal, or that you could put pictures of your cutlery on milk cartons. Maybe one day there’ll be an app to find anything you own but for now all we can do is follow the steps and try, desperately not to conduct a search-party late into the night.

Advertisements

Food for Thought

I hate food shopping. Being at university makes it extremely difficult to do. Where I live I have two options: Go into the town centre and go to the large Sainsbury’s and get the bus back or walk to the local co-op and lug home bags. I used to have a third option of online orders, but I never like shopping online anyway. You can’t personally choose the best looking bunch of bananas or select the sell by date that is more fitting to your routine of culinary activity. Besides, to hear the door ring at my flat you have to be in the living room, and I am rarely there. Though the most niggling thing is “what if they deliver while I’m at a lecture?” So I do all my shopping for myself, even if it is hell.

Today I went to the local Co-op. I only needed a few bits and pieces to cook up some Oriental Lemon Chicken. I can, however, never go shopping without buying more than I need. Which is why I left the shop with not only the ingredients I needed but also tiramisu, prosciutto ham and TWO bottles of apple juice and then hated the walk back home. I should have gone to Sainsbury’s.

But the problem is Sainsbury’s is a forty five minute walk away. I don’t catch the bus into town so when I went out for these ingredients at half past seven in the evening it wasn’t the first choice. I didn’t even want to make the twenty minute walk to the Co-op, but then I would have eaten frozen pizza for the third time in four days (although Vie probably would see no problem in that). It was raining when I left and I own no umbrella, since a heavy gust of wind bent mine to a ninety degree angle and I haven’t repurchased, and I don’t own any hoods. I got soaked.

I entered the shop with damp jeans and dripping hair and picked up my basket. The one thing I like about the co-op is that there is an option of having your basket like a wheeling suitcase so that I don’t have to carry it. I am a very weak person and can’t hold a basket without feeling like my arms are going to drop off like twigs. That’s one down side to Sainsbury’s. I walked around the supermarket with the tiny aisles trying to manouvre myself around people who blocked the path as they chose whether to have the packet of biscuits or the big chocolate bar. Some people, no matter how much you make it obvious that you’re there just don’t move.

Finally when I managed to get my items I went to pay. Some gentleman let me go in front of him even though I had a whole basket of things and he only had a box of Persil (so some nice people do exist!) and I went up to the cashier. The up side of having the cashier is that they pack your bags for you. The downside of having a cashier is that they try to make small talk. I’m a very awkward person, and can’t seem to form sentences out loud, so I stood silently trying not to make eye contact as the person said “That’ll be £27.85 please”. Oh. I only came in for some chicken and rice. Oops.

When I take the bags I only just get to see how heavy my shopping is. I have a twenty minute walk back in the rain. The shop is too close to catch the bus without the £1.90, which is why I like the Sainsbury’s, there i don’t have to carry the shopping back as the bus stops coincidentally are right outside the doors- both to the shop and to my flat. Not only did I have to carry heavy bags that ached my arms, I got splashed by cars who don’t seem to car if you get wet when they’re safe and sound in their Renault.

I probably wouldn’t mind if I only had to do the shopping once a week, but because ingredients run out of date so quickly (often being just one person things go out of date before you’ve even used them. Even the half-sized loaves of bread are too much for me) I can only buy food for one or two days in a row, so as not to overbuy and waste cash.

I guess I shouldn’t count myself too unlucky, I know some people in the world have it a lot worse.

How Things Are

I’m back in Reading for university now, and I don’t know how to feel about that since I had a huge reluctance to leave on Sunday. I cried to Ed for two hours the night before I left saying “I don’t want to leave, I’m not happy there!” but alas I went forward. My university journey is much like Odysseus at the moment. Years and years of stress and bad things happening, but having to get through it to get home. I have to get my archaeology degree if I plan on preserving Pompeii and moving to Italy. The only difference is I don’t have to kill 40 suitors or battle a cyclops.

I have a lot to do in the eight weeks before the end of term and the end of the year. I need to somehow magnificently pass all of my exams (preferably with a 1st). I need to find a place to live for year two and maybe get a job. Eight weeks is a very short time to accomplish it all. I’m glad that I therefore only have on lecture a day until the 9th of May, and the absolute minimal work load (one piece of coursework per module and only five exams in June- Archaeology has it easy). It’s still stressful though. I don’t like being on my own and I find myself very lonely most of the time. My only friend dropped out of university at the start and we were planning on living together for second year. I no longer have a clue what to do, and looking for a flat on my own seems helpless. I sometimes consider taking a year out to go home, get a job for a year and save money for a flat, besides I’m not happy here.

Also the electricity isn’t working in my bedroom at the minute. The light works fine. There was a four week period in the winter where they didn’t and I had to live in the dark, like a neanderthal, until my landlady called the electrician to fix it. That took a while. I told her about the electricity today and she said “okay, I’ll sort it now” o I can only hope she has. I’ve put my phone on battery saving mode so that it lasts 1 day and 8 hours without charge, just in case. I am also writing this from the campus library while I really should be getting on with Latin.

I might come home in the weekend anyway, but I really cant stand train journeys. I nearly always don’t get a seat and my luggage gets heavy, so we’ll see. I also want to save my money for my trip to Valencia in the summer, and for an Arctic Monkeys concert in May. Thinking about it, it’s only eight weeks until I get four/five months of summer holiday, surely I can power on through that?

Sorry that I didn’t have much to say lately, I just thought I’d do a little update on my life.

Preparation Time

Mum and my stepdad went out for the evening for a nice meal, which meant that for a little while I was left with my family. Instantly Mellie wanted to play parties. Mellie can get quite loud and bossy when she’s playing a game. The other day she sang “Let it Go” from Frozen at the top of her lungs, while I had to tell her it was beautiful. Today she wanted to play parties. So we had to make invitations.

“All the people I invite have to have A in their names.”

“Is Sophie not invited?” Ed asked. I hoped I would be, a headache is only worth all the bossiness if I get to go to the pretend party. It turns out I was not..not until Ed pointed out that I was her sister. I was put on the job of blowing up and tying over 20 balloons. For a pretend party. One of them, a big orange one burst, which meant (luckily) I didn’t have to do any more since Mellie was so scared of more popping. In the end I had to leave. But we hadn’t even had the party. Mellie was sad. If we hadn’t spent two hours making invitations and blowing up balloons then we could have had our party. Still, it reminded me of Vie and I when we used to play games.

We would, literaly, spend days planning everything. We would look on estate agent websites to find the perfect houses (though not buying any, of course, even if we wanted to). Then going on Google Maps to research the town we decided to live in. Usually it was between either London, New York or Los Angeles- since they were the most fabulous places we could think of that spoke English. We would plan everything from hangout spots to wardrobes. It would take forever getting everything perfect. We would even create characters and look into how we wanted them to look, spend ages writing up a small biography of each one, and spend hours fussing over the perfect name. Because I love Italy my character was nearly always part Italian.

Believe it or not the planning was always the best part. Which is why would spend days and days doing it. I liked looking at the houses and holiday destinations and cars. I still yearn for a lot of the things we found and want to visit Los Angeles and New York more than anything because of it. And I still really want to live in Italy, with a tonne of desperation. (Hopefully voting will go well later in the year because I would quite like to remain in the EU to make getting to Italy easier.) Once Vie and I got to playing our games when we were younger we would realise we don’t have any of it, and although pretend it was never as good as actually imagining it. Acting it out, in some way, made it seem less likely to happen. Looking at the stuff was like we could. Though in reality a million pound mansion is nowhere near our price range. Still.

I still do this meticulous planning even now, as does Vie, when we are developing our characters for plays we are in or for stories that we write. Although we no longer play these pretend games I do still enjoy the preparation stage. It was always the best part.

Life is Perfect

I like it in spring and summer. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and everything feels better and happier. When I saw this years first daffodils I smiled and put some in my bedroom because they made me happy. I revel in the sunshine, which makes my dream to live in Italy perfect. The spring and summer months also cause me to get out of the house, no longer scared of the cold air that I hate, and spend a lot more time outside as the outside makes me happy. Today was no exception.

The sky today wasn’t particularly cheerful, it was overcast like a white sheet had been put over the sky, but it was warm and as I walked through the park I enjoyed the atmosphere. The trees had gained all their leaves and people were having fun. I wanted to stay outside, which is why Vie and I walked around town for hours.

The park as of this afternoon

The park as of this afternoon

The fortunate thing about where I live, either with Ed and his family or my own, is that I am always nearby to the park and only crossing a road or two is required to make it there. It’s a large park full of trees, grass an water (and rather steep man-made hills made by some french people-probably “making it the hilliest place in Norfolk”) so I like it even if it isn’t the most amazing place on Earth. Today, being a nice day and all, I decided I wanted to walk the dog with Ed.

So we left, and the dog was quite eager to go too. It started off with me racing to the end of the road to get to the park all excited to be out (probably more excited than the dog who didn’t want to leave without Ed and thus dragging me backwards as he refused to move). And as usual we talked and shared our opinions on different matters like university and school and serial killers hiding behind hills. We don’t talk like it inside, I think it’s because inside people can hear us and the conversation isn’t our own when we’re outside it doesn’t matter whoever does hear is never going to see us again, so we do our deepest talking when we’re in the park.

With any dog walking duty there was things to take care of, like making sure the canine doesn’t do anything he shouldn’t or picking up his mess, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. Either the dog was being really good, or we were too happy to mind it all. We got to the french hills and ran around them all chasing each other and trying to get up them (they are really steep) and choosing if it’s a good place to have a picnic. My favourite spot was facing the river but a man-hole sort of ruined it a bit. And we continued.

We danced around outside. I’ve been watching Dance Academy lately on Netflix so now I make myself think I’m a pro ballerina. I was pirouetting and doing fancy steps while Ed pretended to know what he was doing. He tried to do that fancy thing they do in the Tango where the man dips the woman down and kisses her or puts a rose in her mouth- hopefully without the thorns. We failed. I couldn’t get my legs in the right place to support myself and he was holding me wrong, so I fell to the floor. More running on the field, more dancing and somehow we ended up lying on the floor looking up the sky. It still wasn’t pleasant. One one horizon was beautiful clear sky, on the other was a blanket of grey and it gradiated between. The clouds weren’t moving but looking up at the sky still felt peaceful and good.

“I’m always confused my the clouds moving.” I said “I can’t tell if it’s the Earth moving or the clouds.” so we discussed it, and as usual I was proven wrong, or at least he one-upped me on the intelligence, just like the other day when we ‘debated’ if Theseus’ dad should have became a constellation as well as Ariadne (the both threw themselves off cliffs because Theseus was gone). It was nice. It’s one of those perfect memories where you wish time would stop for a little bit so that it can continue to be prefect. It’s a shame that the perfection has to end, I go back to university on Sunday and sometimes I wish I don’t have to. Never mind, it’s like they say “You can’t truly know happiness unless you’ve been sad.” Or something like that.

Just as I wrote this post Ed turned to me in bed and said “Life is Perfect.” and it’s all because of these little moments. The little moments that always happen when the sun is shining, and the weather is nice.

That’s pathetic fallacy for you.

When All is Quiet

Norfolk has gone back to school and back to work. I am home alone. I don’t like being in a house on my own, it makes me responsible to do things if something happens. The problem is that it’s quiet on my own, and I’m very scared of things so when I hear a weird noise from downstairs I imagine what it is, and I try to plan how to save the day.

For example: If someone manages to break into the house and I can hear them stealing the TV I would probably have to do something about it because if the family come back and see that the window is broken and the TV is gone they would have questions. In my head the way it goes is that I would poke my head out of the door and shout “hello!” and hope that they realise if they take the TV I would call the police. They would therefore leave abruptly with only the broken window, and when that’s asked about I can blame it on a ball.

Another way it could go is I approach the balaclava-clad burgler with enough power in my voice to make him go away. The voice of reason will reign supreme and he will go away, not only leaving the TV in tact but also apologising and offering to pay for the damaged window. If that fails I’d fight him, with a seven week self-defense course under my belt I could break his knee. If I get stabbed I’d be valiant and become a hero.

How it is more likely to go is that I would hear them making their way through all the rooms. I would hide in the wardrobe with my phone and wish the police service had a text-in service so that the person would not hear me in the house. I would hope that he wouldn’t find me and I could either escape or stay concealed. If he was to find me I would probably cry and beg for my life.

“You can take anything you want!” I would cry. The stuff can be replaced. “Just don’t take my life!” and I would watch as he leaves with all the valuables he could carry. And I’d have a lot of explaining to do, but I’d be glad that I still have my life.

I’m home alone as I write this, fantasizing of all the things that could happen. The noise of the washing machine is unnerving and I blame the dog for any weird noise that come from the hallway. If only it didn’t look bad in court, then I would keep a baseball bat with me in bed.

Whose Easter is it Anyway?

Today Mellie said “put your hand up if you think Easter is about Jesus being alive again!” I did not put up my hand. It’s not because I don’t believe in Jesus or God, I’m pretty agnostic about them, but it was because Easter is actually a very ambiguous holiday. Yes, Jesus was crucified at this time and holiday does mean ‘holy day’ insinuating that a god is involved, but there is more to Easter than Jesus. In trying to remember Jesus the festival has became Christian-centric and I think people have forgotten what else there is.

 

jesuschrist

If you see this tapestry in the Vatican, look at the eyes…they follow you everywhere!

The word Easter actually has Anglo-Saxon roots and is derived the Old-English “Eostre” which is the name of the norse goddess in charge of fertility. She was also celebrated celebrated around this time, and it is possible that Eostre came from a different goddess closer to the equator with a very similar name. Eostres festival was however celebrating the coming of spring rather than the resurrection of Christt. It only became about Christ in England after England was turned into a christian state following St. Augustine’s mission in the seventh century A.D. However there was also an ancient Assyrian goddess called Ishtar who was a goddess about fertility and sex dating two-thousand years before Christ, which is where we also get a lot of the symbolism behind Easter and the name. Since Assyria was one of the earliest cultures after the neolithic age it is therefore seen as a central hub for mythology, religion and culture. The Assyrian stories also talk about a great flood, which in Christianity is the story of Noah’s Ark.

Christians teach that we eat chocolate eggs because it symbolises the re-birth of Christ. If we’re going symbolically I think a snake would better fit the metaphor. Snakes were the symbol of the Egyptian goddess Isis, to the Egyptians the snake was associated with Isis because the flooding of the Nile brought around fertilityy and re-birth of crops because of how he sheds his skin and appears to be “born again”. The snake was resurrected. However I don’t think snakes are as easy to come across in the local Sainsbury’s and they probably don’t taste as good.

easter_eggs_8

Eggs are, however, the general symbol fertility and not officially re-birth. The Greek goddess Persephone was often depicted dressed in a vast quantity of eggs. The myth of Persephone coming back from the underworld is an almost resurrection which is probably why the Christians eventually used it in their symbologies of Christ’s resurrection. The story of Persephone and Ceres is that Persephone was taken to the underworld by her uncle Hades (who was in love with her). Ceres was so upset by this that she refused to let the crops grow. Eventually a contract was drawn out between the two stating that Persephone was to spend six months in the underworld- as that was how many Pommegranite seeds she had eaten in the underworld- and the remaining months were with Ceres in the summer. The story of Perdephones return not only explains the seasons bit was celebrated in spring because that was when the animals and crops were fertile again. Eggs are also depicted on Eostre and other deities but are not directly associated with the crucifixion and re-birth of Jesus Christ and little to none depictions of Christ with an egg are in existence.

 

persephoneandceres

Persephone with an egg on top of her staff

I would like to say that this post is not saying that Christianity is wrong, that we should be praying to a different god on this day, or celebrating in a different way. Christianity has adopted a lot of traditions from other cultures. (Christmas has taken Saturnalia and the birth of Mithras and adopted it) and without Christianity we might have lost a lot of these traditions, but in remembering it is about Christ we have forgotten the rest of history. We eat lamb, not because Jesus ate lamb, but because they are associated with spring and new seasons. We have the Easter rabbit because it was an animal associated with Eostre, and why would a bunny deliver eggs in our gardens if it was purely symbolising Christ? There’s more to Easter than meets the eye.

No matter what I hope you are enjoying the holiday.