By my approximations, we’re 47 hours from New Year: a little under two days before we turn back our calenders and pray we’re chosen as a passenger on Roland Emmerich’s apocalypse ark. New Year simply means we’re now older and fatter, and we enter January with the grim prospect that by December 31st next year, we’ll be more older and fatter.
Perhaps more troubling is that this blog nears the end of its’ life. In fact, November is the last post of this year. I’ll write-up December’s entry in January, but after that: new blog, new theme, new everything. Brace yourselves.
Best of November: Mentioned in last month’s blog, for the first seventeen days of November, I did an internship at Woolley Pau – a pharmaceutical advertising agency in London.
However, fantastic as this time was, it proves problematic writing a blog post about it. Do I approach it by solely focusing on the Woolley Pau aspect? As interesting as it was to me, it may prove laborious for the reader and is unlikely to generate many laughs. Do I write about sightseeing? Again, same problem. I could zoom in and write about a singular, minute aspect; but it would seem unjust to dedicate a paragraph to my time in London, wherein older posts I’d practically novelised my experience of being stung by a wasp.
Instead, I’ve decided to post a few photographs with captions. Hopefully, this will encapsulate my overall experience.
I’m beginning to wish I had taken more photos.
Contender (or: A Christmas Tale of Mark): “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding” growled Mark in frustration. It was mid-November and festive decorations were beginning to bloom around London; all the while Mark was skewing his Battlefield 3 Kill-Death spread unfavourably.
“The reindeer are only there on Saturdays” I pleaded. “And besides, this is my final weekend here, we shan’t have another chance!”
A momentary pause as Mark snarled, “How the f*ck did he blow up my tank?” He turned and sneered. “Reindeer are for children. There are age restrictions. They aren’t to allow adults to pet them. And to what end? To stand at a distance and admire the stench? Bah! I wish nothing more than for reindeer to disappear as vermin!” said Mark, as cold and caustic as ever.
The immutable finality in his tone closed the discussion in haste. Without as much as agreeable sound passing his lips, Mark occupied himself with nothing but his game. The hours passed without the usual merriment of a Winter’s evening and I retired to bed; in my weariness I had decided to visit A Very Covent Garden Christmas unattended.
The very next evening, I indulged my whim. What a joy to behold! Market stalls heaped with turkeys, poultry, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, great wreathes of sausages, mince pies and seething bowls of mulled wine, that made the air dim with the delicious steam of spices. The old buildings were so hung with luminous green, that it looked like a perfect grove, from every part of which, tiny lights glistened in the night. From around the piazza, visitors were regaled with carols while children frolicked gaily, the bloom of health upon their cheeks and the innocent unconsciousness of infancy in their eyes.
“A merry Christmas to one and all!” I rejoiced. But my thoughts returned to Mark: what’s the consequence of taking a dislike to such wonders? Would he not gain pleasanter moments — moments of spectacle and joy? He may rally at Christmas until his death, but I defy that he should not find himself in good temper.
“Who can be insensible to the outpouring of good feeling, and the honest interchange of affectionate attachment, that are abound in this season of goodwill?!” I exclaimed. “A gesture of good-heartedness! I shall invite him again! And should he reject me twice, on his head be it!”
In high-spirits and merriment, I tweeted @NotMarkHughes recounting the splendour of the evening in fewer than one hundred and forty characters. “How genial Mark shall be when he chances upon such glorious festivities!” I surmised, dancing with the giddiness of a school child.
Alas! These gestures of good-will did not illicit cordial feelings, nor did they stir Mark! Mark could not be moved. He remained how he had always remained; hard and sharp as flint, as solitary as a crab that hides in the Winter, and most officious to those who seek easy kills on FPS games.
It wasn’t until three nights passed did I feel my jovial spirit return. I had grown ill-disposed of Mark’s temperance toward the season and resolved to banish those morose feelings by purchasing eighteen of the finest mince pies.
On my return to the residence, I was welcomed by Mark’s sneer, “Mince pies? What right you to be merry? For what reason?”
“Come, now” I replied. “For what right to be miserable you have? Why dismay while others celebrate? Will you join me in a mince pie?”
“Bah! One mince pie will suit me fine” grumbled Mark. He snatched the mince pie in haste, and ate all in one bite. Whilst he chewed and swallowed the pastry, I exhibited photographs taken on my Blackberry from that illustrious eve.
In an instant, Mark faltered. “Show me no more!” he wept. “What a fool I have been! Hear me, I am not the man I was! Your nature intercedes me and pities me!” He wiped his eyes with his cuff. “I shall cherish Christmas from now until the day I die. We shall rejoice, beginning with celebrations this Saturday. ”
Mark was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; but we turned up late and the reindeer had gone. Pretty disappointing really.
Worst of November: Post-London boredom. No-one was about and I didn’t do anything particularly exciting. I think I did a pub quiz in Penarth, but beyond that: nothing.
Or perhaps the cold baths at 7am. Or Mark’s ecstatic approval of Tintin.