Voyage-ing…

Since we arrived in the land of sunshine and cigarettes we (we being me and Rachel, my parter in crime for the duration of this working holiday) have been on a couple of trips into civilisation.

First came Cognac for the Blues Festival.

Well I say Blues Festival.

We didn’t actually have tickets.

Instead of seeing once-semi-famous-blues-bands “rock out” to some old tunes on stage we saw post middle age men in biker gear drinking beer and having impromptu “jam sessions” in bars.

Basically the same thing right?

Cognac itself was a quiet sleepy little town with not a lot to offer.

Well, except Cognac, but we didn’t drink any of that either.

Just as we were about to give up and sit down to eat our home made French baguettes (more like a soggy school lunch sandwich but you know, when in Rome….or…errr, France), we were surrounded by a marching band and serenaded with WHAM!’s ‘Careless Whisper’.

20 good looking French boys blowing their trumpets for us?

Don’t mind if we do.

Next came La Rochelle, a gorgeous port town where we behaved like sensible adults, dining in a French bistro, spending all of our weeks wages on clothes and jewellery (Rachel) and riding on a Ferris wheel.

Even though it tipped it down with rain when we decided to have a sit down by the river, we never wanted to leave.

Finally we had a trip to Saintes to celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th of July.

I treated myself to a candy floss bigger than the size of my whole upper body #health, and was banned by Rachel from going on the French themed merry-go-round because I was too old and it would be too embarrasing.

*Sulk*

I was very disappointed I didn’t get a ride on a giant cock.

Cock as in cockerel you filthy people.

The animal, not the….

My god.

*Tuts*.

Just before the fireworks started, we heeded warnings about the idiots with deck chairs who found themselves nice comfy spots an hour before the display only to find that their view was obstructed by trees.

We sat down all smug a few minutes early on a comfy little grass verge with beautiful views over the river and a clear view of the sky.

Well, so we thought.

Guess which twats couldn’t see the fireworks.

These ones.

Yes, we had to get up and run, and ended up in a giant crowd on tip toes trying to peer over some very tall persons shoulders.

Such fun.

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Brits Abroad…

In the last week of May my flatmates and I decided to go on an impromptu trip to Malaga in Spain.

Excellent use of student loan I must say.

Yes yes, I’ve realised that it is currently July. I’ve been busy.

Actually I’ve been lazy but I’m turning 20 in two months and apparently adults are “busy” not “lazy”.

*Stoic face*

*Adjusts wire rimmed glasses and straightens pantsuit*

*Smooths hair tendrils into smart work-appropriate chignon with…*…ok you get the point.

I digress.

^ See adult posh word.

As it turns out it wasn’t quite the typical “lads and ladettes on tour” holiday that you would expect.

Well except for the first night where we decided that buying a massive European priced bottle of Smirnoff vodka between three of us (the others arrived later) and drinking it all as screwdrivers was a good idea.

I drank the most and spent the whole night with my head down the toilet.

“Woo party!”.

Bleugh.

There were no late night clubbing adventures (we tried to go clubbing, it was more like a year 9 school disco where everyone was cramped onto a dance floor the size of a toilet and amazing tunes such as ‘Summer Lovin’ were blasted out to a near sober crowd), the alcohol was kept to a minimum….well for me at least, (I have since gained the nickname “pukette”), and there was no sex on tap (well the non-monogamous-long-term-loving relationship type…that’s what you get for living in a flat full of couples).

But we did see a lovely castle which we were given a grand tour of by the famed and internationally revered resident local tour guide (and apparent owner) Mr Abraham (thanks Kolujo 😉 ). And an amazing Flamenco show, and a beautiful cathedral, and we ate some authentic paella and we caught some rays on Malagueta beach and, and….I’ll stop. Haha.

#Tourists.

*Facepalm*

Highlights of the trip included me getting sick (as usual, did you even have to ask) and having to make a confusing and bloody expensive trip to Malaga General Hospital (could we have found a GP? Hell no); accidentally eating at the dodgiest of all dodgy cafés with questionable results; meeting a 30 year old married German man and his best friend on the beach (who surprisingly didn’t try to chat us up but did talk for a bit too long and took a few too many group pictures), meeting som Spanish boys who did try for a bit of how’s your father (with the line “do you like my body”) and arriving at the airport 6 hours to early because we thought our flight was at 6pm rather than 12am.

All in all a very successful adventure, don’t you think?

Greece anyone?

PS, Malaga is wonderful you should definitely go and visit, we stayed in a lovely flat in the heart of the city centre using airbnb.com which was a steal for the location and price! A big cheers to my flatmates for the best holiday ever :).

Overpacked and Unlucky…

Today I have come to realise one very important fact: I do not have the luck of the rabbit’s foot when it comes to team games.

Having a family mostly born and raised in East London, and coming from Essex I am an avid (in not knowledgeable) supporter of West Ham United football team (come on you Irons!)…who happen to be shit. I know, I know but come on, seriously?

I have just watched a horrifically ball-breaking World Cup game supporting…you guessed it, England. Also shit. Actually even more shit…I think I just lost at least half a full head of hair and my voice. Really Gerrard, really?

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I was in S house in school (yellow) who didn’t win the school cup for the whole 7 years I was there.

And naturally I was also yellow team at primary school sports day, in which we lost many an egg and spoon and sack race. Not that kind of sack. What’s wrong with you people.

You get my drift.

Also, put me in ANY kind of organised sports team and I will bet on myself that I will lose. 100/1.

I got scratched to pieces at school netball games (I’m serious, all girls grammar school netball players are vicious…and Essex ones at that tend to have particularly long talons), I dislocated my knee playing school hockey, I near drown if i try to swim for too long and don’t even get me started on indoor sports (dodge ball and basketball are terrifying when you’re five foot one).

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So when people like job interviewers ask me, “so, do you enjoy any extracurricular sport?”

“Ooohhh…errr…oooh…well…I like dancing”.

*Hopeful face*

*Crickets*

I suck.

I cannot join any sports societies at uni…I’ve found the hard way that you don’t get medals just for the taking part at this age.

Even when you plead puppy eyes.

No; cowering in the corner and ducking when a rugby ball hurtles towards you at 60 miles an hour is not acceptable…even though its scary. Shouldn’t there be laws against these things?

Ok so it was only going 10 miles an hour. So sue me.

*Petulant face*

Can someone please invent a non competitive, non contact, ball-less sport for me to play please and thank you.

Oh and a good team for me to support that’s none of the following: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U….actually any of the existing ones.

I need it for my CV.

It’s “character building”, “encourages participation” and “teaches teamwork”.

P.S. On the note of jobs and CV’s I will be moving to the sunny land of the South of France in July to start work at a beautiful little hotel. Look out for mischief, mayhem and disasters. On an Overpacked and Underpaid near you, July 1st, Certificate 12-18…depending on the shenanigans…not those shenanigans…other ones…ones that don’t involve that…okay. *Awkward cough*. See you there!

Overpacked is jam packed…

Into a mini…

…with all her university stuff…

So I probably should have posted this before the “I’m at uni” post but you know #YOLO and all that…

Turns out actually getting to uni was going to be much harder than I originally thought.

I packed everything into boxes and suitcases and put them out into the hall ready to be put into the car and it was only then I realised I deserved to have my own segment on “Hoarders”.

I just have so much stuff.

My mum came home from work and blew her top when she saw how much we had to fit in the car, but that only fueled the burning fire in my stomach…I was determined that I’d fit it all in…mainly so she wouldn’t be right…*cough cough*

It was like a giant game of Tetris where I packed each box in with scientific precision based on volume and weight…

Yeah right…actually turns out that I’ve inherited a particularly potent version of the “bunger” gene, which runs through the female line of my family. (See below)

bunger1 [bun-ger] adjective, verb: to bung
Person with uncanny ability to shove lots of crap into a small space where it otherwise wouldn’t fit
Origin:
1830–2013;  origin uncertain

I managed to “bung” my entire life, plus kitchen essentials, into the back seat and boot of an ’03 Mini Cooper.

Like a boss.

Seriously though, I don’t think I’ve ever been so uncomfortable, it was the longest six hours of my life.

I’m still in the process of regaining sensation in my butt.

Hello, Internet…

This spring, I made the life affirming decision that I was going to become “one that travels”, a jet setter, an explorer a – forgive me the cliche – a mini gap-yearer. One of those people, that when faced with the mosh pit known as graduate employment, they would be able to sit back in their rolly chair (the king of all chairs, or maybe that’s the rocking chair, ooh or the swing seat, there is much fun to be had on one of those…), an easy smile on their face and an air of cultured-ness about them as they recount how, in their travels across the Asian continent, they learnt to speak 5 different languages, to cook 7 different types of Asian cuisine like a native (would Sir like to come over for dinner to sample these aforementioned delights?), to survive on less than a shoestring budget and to volunteer and fundraise for 18 different children’s homes and charities whilst simultaneously “finding themselves” (through mastering 3 different types of yoga, buddhist meditation and a stay at a zen monastery, naturally). The graduate employer, so overcome by this worldliness and thoughts of beef stir fry (so many graduates, so little time for lunch) – note, he is yet to be cultured on the proper Asian names of the dishes, though come to think of it, it would be handy for those Chinese clients… – hires them without a second thought, in a senior position with company car and benefits.

In my mind, this was exactly what was going to happen. I was going to become a child of the world.

In reality, in a haze of A level induced insanity, overcome with a bout of wanderlust, and petrified that my mum was actually going to follow through on her threats to get me a job on my local ASDA fish counter; I accepted a offer to move to Spain for 3 months to be an Au Pair to two gorgeous children, four and one.

Perfect! I’d thought. I’d get to live in 3 different parts of Spain: Madrid, Benicassim and Laredo, practise my Spanish IRL (in real life), a subject I loved at school, and to top it all off, my job description was to “take the children to the beach everyday”. *Swoon*.

Instead of an uncomfortable 12 hour flight, horrifying humidity, getting lost in a place where I had no hope of learning the language, and having to navigate my way through a variety of U.F.S. (unidentifiable food substances) that would give me something akin to “Delhi belly”; I could swoosh around in a maxi dress and sunglasses on long walks, pushing the pram as passers by coo at the babies. And, of course, work on getting myself as close to the shade of mahogany as possible.

There would be lovely little boutiques and panaderías, ice cream and sun. If everything went pete tong, I could jump on a plane and be back in London in 2 hours. I hate travelling anyway, it’s a pain in the arse.

It sounds like a dream, you may say, and I thought so too, until I arrived and realised I was most definitely…

…Overpacked and underpaid…

P.S. these posts will all be out of synch as, like a good little blogger, I brought my iPad, pad and paper, camera…etc…etc, and then went and FORGOT MY IPAD CHARGER. (More on this later) and so I am already 5 weeks in to my trip and the first post is only going up now *insert slow claps here*. Therefore if I say “today” it most probably isn’t.

P.P.S. Oh dear have I overdone it with the post scripting? I kimd of like it, it’s like when you find a fiver tucked in to an old pair of jeans, a little nugget of extra goodness….I digress…

Hi, hello, ¡hola! My name is Laura, and if there does happen to be a soul out there in the big wide world reading what I write, then I very much hope you enjoy it, and know that there will be much, much more to come!

Besos xx