Why sensible kids don’t get pregnant at 16

About a week ago I got a call from a friend, living a 20 minute stroll away, asking if I wanted a babysitting job while she’s on holiday next week. I figure, babysitting, I’ve done that before. Going to someone’s house, read the kids a story, put the kids to bed (unless you’re lucky and they’re already asleep), watching a couple of hours TV that I’d probably be watching anyway at home and getting paid for it. Not at all strenuous, call me lazy but that’s the type of work I like.

I accept and the friend tells me she’s going to pass along my number to the woman I’ll be babysitting for. Two days later I get a text from the woman in question asking if I’ll go round their house briefly one evening to meet the kids, fix dates and whatnot. At this point I see nothing alarming, parents like to check in with these people – make sure they’re not leaving their kids in the care on a serial killer or anything. Standard procedure, I’ve done this before.

So I go to the house at the specified time on the decided day and I’m greeted at the door by a man who says his wife’s not home but he’ll answer any questions I have. At this I’m a little confused, normally it would be the other way round- him asking me questions. However, I didn’t voice this opinion and politely stated that I have no inquiries. The man looked relieved and says, he thought I wouldn’t as I already know the kids so well and everything. I’m thinking, ‘Excuse me!?’ I’ve never met any of your family before now. He looks shocked when I say this and asks if I know anything about the job I was going to do. I answer this with, “babysitting?” as if I was being asked a difficult question in school but I wasn’t really sure of my answer. I follow with this by saying “I was going to fix dates with your wife tonight.” I figured there could only be a couple of nights at most, my friend was only going away for two weeks. The man’s not sure about dates except he thinks that it will be 4 days next week (I’m thinking, “Jeesh, these people like to party!”), but he corrects my first answer from “babysitting” to “babysitting/nannying”. Now I don’t know what a “/nannying” actually includes but the rapidly talking man in front of me says this:

Getting up at 6.30AM so that I can get to their house at 7.15AM, waking the girls up, getting them both dressed, making and feeding them breakfast, brushing their teeth, walking them to school, walking them home from school, entertaining them for 3 hours, making and feeding them dinner until their mum gets home around 7.30PM. On top of that the 7 year-old is apparently ‘over-emotional’ and frequently gets sad and/or has tantrums and the 5 year-old is a severe coeliac so that if she consumes any gluten there is a chance of her dying. I don’t know about you but that seems quite a lot for a “/nannying” to include. I’m overwhelmed as I leave the house with promises of the wife/mother calling me that night to finalize dates.

Once I got home, I started to panic, the only experience I’ve had with kids under 10 is putting them to bed, and at most reading them a story, hardly dressing, feeding and teeth brushing. This woman basically wanted me to be the kids mum when she couldn’t be. Don’t you think there’s a reason why sensible kids don’t get pregnant at 16? Responsibility. I’m not confident providing for these kids who I don’t know, even for a fee, while I’m highly capable of doing something stupid while I’m busy being a selfish 16 year-old and thinking of myself. Whether it be letting them wander into the road en-route to school or forgetting to wash my hands after I (God-forbid) consume gluten. I may be overreacting, lord knows how my friend managed, but I’m nowhere near ready to look after anyone except myself at this age.

When I try to explain that to the woman on the phone later that night all she replies is, “Did my stupid husband freak you out?” Although inside I’m screaming “YES”, I refrain to say this and explain myself a way that roughly equates to, “It’s not you, It’s me”. She’s obviously heard this one before because this she understands. She utters a sarcastic “I appreciate it. Bye” and the phone goes dead. Woops.


One Life Ambition Down, Plenty More To Go!

Okay, so I have a lot of ridiculous life ambitions, but today I actually completed one of them.

The Rubix Cube, the world’s favourite puzzle toy notoriously hard to solve. I’ve had one sitting around for years, scrambled beyond anyone’s help, but I’ve always wanted to crack it. I looked it up on Youtube and obviously their were a thousand of different videos trying to teach you how but, after sifting through a few, I found Robh0629’s 7 step method by far the easiest to grasp.

My finished cube

Also for those who like to cheat: http://www.wrongway.org/cube/solve.html


A love-affair with a superbrand

My family of 5 own 11 apple products, which isn’t too many, but enough to show to a genuine devotion to the brand. I’m not sure what it is, but there is a certain something about a handful of brands that awards them with a string of followers, thus making them a superbrand, Apple included. I would consider myself as one of these followers, not particularly hardcore, but I’ve always loved the products apple makes and everything about the company. Until recently…

For my birthday in March I desperately needed a new phone and, of course, I had my mind set on the latest apple model. I knew it cost a ridiculous amount, which I would heavily have to subsidise to cover the expense. But hey, It would be worth it right!? The next two months were bliss, I could not imagine how I ever survived without this phone, my whole life was on that device. However, me being so clumsy, the inevitable happened. It was on my lap one minute, and the next it was lying face down on the concrete. I was so angry at myself for being stupid enough to let it happen but, not wanting to accept blame, I was quickly shifting some of that anger towards Apple.

(Why were those damn screens made of glass that was so easy to break!?)

Having no insurance and Apple’s warranty not covering accidental damage, I was forced to go into the shop on a trip to London to see how I could get it repaired. Filled with resentment for the brand as I walked into the shop I noticed bad things I’d never seen before about the firm. Why were their shops always horribly crowded? Why were their staff always annoyingly cheerful? and Why didn’t their stupid warranty cover accidental damage? (Although in the back of my mind I knew that it was my fault really.) I began to see Apple as a big, greedy, money-hungry corporation rather than the cosy, cool, down-to-earth brand I had envisioned before.

We were told by the woman referring us to a specific techie that the phone would cost £139 to replace and we’d have to wait 20 minutes because they were running late. I was furious. On top of all the money I’d already paid for the stupid phone I was having to pay another outrageous amount. I was so infuriated with myself but I channelled this into researching iPhone 4 screens cracking on the near iPad. I felt better (and increasingly smug) when I discovered all the bad press Apple had been getting for making the screens too easily smashed. Anyhow, all these feelings quickly disappeared when we met our techie Steve who introduced himself as our glamorous assistant, fairy godmother would actually be more appropriate for what he did for us! After a quick conversation consisting of flashy smiles and sympathetic coos when displaying the damage, he said as long as I promised to take care of my new phone, he’d give me it free of charge! I was so shocked and in awe frankly, my faith was restored. THIS is exactly why I loved the brand. The back of my mind was telling me that this was a publicity stunt. That they’d purposefully made the screens easily broken so that they’d replace the phones for free and make their customers love them even more. To be honest, I couldn’t care less, after a brief tiff me and apple had seen eye to eye and my unrequited love was restored.

Disproving Stereotypes.

Whilst revising for my GCSE German exam the other day I came across something that I was quite shocked about. Apparently, a well known stereotype of Britons is that we’re notoriously bad cooks. When sharing this information with other people it came as news to nobody but everyone seemed surprised I didn’t know or realise.

Researching into this more I discovered why I seemed to think the British were well known for their good food:

I live in a small village, population just short of 8,500, but it is not uncommon at all to see tourists walking through the village whilst visiting the local restaurants. There are 5 restaurants in the heart of the village- 2 pubs,1 Italian celebrity chef’s restaurant and 2 three-Michelin-starred restaurants. It is quite unlikely that 2 out of the 4 three-Michelin-starred eateries in the UK would be situated in a small village where nothing much goes on. (But we do happen to possess a vicar whom a famous hymn was written about!!) This makes the ratio of people to 3 star restaurants 1:4213 which is higher than any other place in the world! (I think- if my research is correct) Paris having a ratio of 1:728405 and Tokyo slightly worse at 1:853666.

So if this record is held in such an insignificant little village in the UK then we can’t really be bad cooks can we? I will admit that one of the restaurants is French, but still, the statistic stands. Point proven.

The complications with usernames.

As a new blogger on wordpress (is that spelt with a capital or no capital?- I can tell this will take some getting used to) it asked me to complete the almost impossible task of choosing a username that:

a) I will remember.

(Which is quite a challenge seeing as I have so many different usernames and passwords for the multitude social networking sites which are demanded of me from the 16 year-old youth that I call my friends.)

b) Is not already taken.

(Being quite late to jump onto the bandwagon that is blogging, I found that every single thing I typed into the username box had already been taken and, wanting to remain anonymous, there was nothing I could find that didn’t contain random numbers or incorrect spelling that I was remotely likely to remember.)

c) Doesn’t make me sound like an absolute idiot.

(This I find the hardest of the criteria. After the first hundred or so decent usernames are gone people start having to delve into the embarrassing depths of: incorporating numbers in the place of letters; for example “AL1C3” , surrendering and choosing words that have no significance to themselves or one another; “Cheesy Hoover” or, the worst offender, embracing a childhood nickname or an alter-ego; like “Missbootiful” or “gembug”. Which, naturally, I didn’t fancy being associating with.)

After debating all the possible words or phrases that I did or did not want connected with myself I decided to keep it anonymous, and what easier than using the username ‘Anonymous’. But, of course, this was taken. Minutes later, after spending much time using thesaurus.com, I found the only username that followed this train of thought and hadn’t already been taken: Pseudo-Pseudonymous, in normal language I think this translates to “A fake using a fake name”.

Unfortunately, I had had enough time laboring with a compulsory classification for myself and decided to stick with this. However, this means I have stuck with a username that, although isn’t already taken, I will inevitably forget and does make me sound like an idiot. After deciding to try to avoid using my own name, to evade hours of giving myself an alter-ego, and confirming the horrific name that is “pseudopseudonymous” I typed my own name into the box out of curiosity. Imagine my frustration when I found out it was available.