Today started reasonably early, with me raring to go. And lo, the night had brought snow, hurrah! No wait, snow means slipping about; that’s bad. I know that, and yet my heart still leaps at the sight of all that silent white (problematic) stuff.
Right, take it easy and chill out and don’t panic. Which is not usually synonymous with ‘put a big pot of coffee on’, but for some reason I was happy and chilled regardless, and when I got back to the sums, they behaved. Lo, my big mistake yesterday was multiplying in all the factors… and then multiplying in all the factors; first in my head and then on paper. Yeah, that would make things a hundred times too big, alright. Do’eth.
But the rest of it went okay, right up until the very last question, which just shows what purports to be a ‘column’, but since only the diameter is given, could be a drinking straw. Or, a hollow square. “What is the critical load?” I guess that would depend on whether what I’m looking at is concrete, mild steel, structural steel, or papier mache, matey! “What would happen if it was half as tall, what would the critical load be then? Er, the same? Or am I being thick once more?
Well, bollocks to it, the rest seems to have gone okay, I will just have to email Mr Nice Engineering Tutor and ask him. For there is the mead to bottle off, the compost to sort out and I have my ex-flatmate’s Open House Day to attend – and there’s Christmas Bedlam tonight. Le sigh. Yeah, whine, whine, I have social invitations, whine – but I was kinda looking forward to a weekend of quiet hermitude instead; as was my bank balance. But my ex-flatmate’s contact lenses have shown up at mine and she’ll probably need them, and Rice Krispies and Breadbin were very keen for me to come out tonight and sure, it’s the last time this year I’ll see either of them… Friends Before Funds, right? And I totally am looking forward to seeing them both, but… funds. And the enormous sense of pressure and stress I’m feeling right now – Christmas is looming like a brick wall across the fast lane of a motorway and I am not making enough progress with anything. Oh it’s not quite true – all the cards went off, the Sums are progressing, but too slowly, and I might be more okay than I think. Maybe it’s the coffee.
So I slithered in the snow for four miles, to deliver the contact lenses and a bottle of homemade mead, why not. I don’t think she’s got me anything, but imagine the embarrassment if she had! Hee, and the embarrassment anyway, for my neighbours had also dropped round, and I’d seen them only an hour previously handing over my (precious, precious, shiny)…
DeWALT CORDLESS DRILL! Viva! My new Favourite Thing Ever! I will call him Dieter!
I was good and left before the mulled wine came out to play. Let us hie for home and wrestle with the mystery column question again (this is not a euphemism).
And all the while, Going Out Time was sidling up on me like a creepy, unwanted suitor. I was really kinda hoping Breadbin was going to give me a lift to the club, as he often does, but it turns out Breadbin quite wanted to drink tonight, which is fair enough.
Hmm. That’ll be a rapid change of plan for the outfit then. I was going to wear the ultra-huge boots and the wee red dress with a black corset over it, because it is Christmassy (and, in my head, makes me look like Johnny Depp when teamed with massive black eyeliner). However, the ultra-huge boots need to be carried about in the sort of box that makes me look like a hitman when not being worn – and I am not walking three miles in five-inch stack heels in any weather. Or any of my other heels, for that matter. So that’ll be the big purple pirate-y boots instead, which will at least fit in a carrier bag, but they’ll clash with the dress – so didn’t I used to own a wee black dress that might go under the corset instead?
I don’t believe someone who owns this little in the way of colours and this many in the way of frocks can not own a suitable wee black dress.
Oh wait, change for the wee black rivetty ankle-boots instead: problem solved!
Except for the, ‘walking three miles in the snow in this outfit’ problem. You know, I bet jeans would fit over it… they do. Yas. Right. Now all we have is the ‘sudden panic that, having arrived alone, I will run straight into, ooh, Grabby McBruiser, who has been known to attend this club, and I’ll probably scream myself to death’ problem.
Now granted, it is not so likely that this will happen. However, factor in that it would gratuitously ruin my night, and my subsequent freak-out will take the shine off everyone else’s, and now how likely is it to happen? I will just check that either Rice Krispies or Breadbin is likely to arrive ahead of me…
Nope. Everyone is running late.
Damn. Right, three miles in a corset in the snow, here we go! And ferociously slippery it was too. I have a very carefully-maintained mental map of where all the ice still is, compiled and updated daily in case of more snowfall, so it was a bit of a shock when I’d only gone a few hundred metres and slid and ructioned myself quite badly on a kerb that was supposed to be entirely ice-free. This undid the corset, believe it or not, and the ends started trailing around and had to be tidied up without losing a finger to frostbite, hahaha. Since I refused to lose the gloves, this did not work. I am amazed I reached the tube alive.
It was a bit of a challenging start to the evening, but Rice Krispies came through like a hero, got a cab to the club to be there just ahead of me and was still out having a smoke when I arrived. Phew. And did not hold my panic against me. And did the corset back up, which involved a knee in the small of my back and everything, while some Proper goth lassies looked on and tried not to laugh at us.
And… it was a great night. Rice Krispie’s mates were all out in mad Christmas hats, including a lit-up Christmas tree one, and gave me a Santa hat that matched the dress, and I got a drink at the There Is No Queue! Bar of Cheapness and could relax. God, I only go to this place twice a year and every time, I wonder why I don’t go more often, because it’s the only place I’ve ever gone out clubbing that it truly doesn’t matter what l look like. There’s the gasmasks-and-glo-sticks crowd and the velvety-frocks-and-big-stompy-boots crowd, and lassies in corsets, and lassies who can’t fit into their corsets but wear them anyway, and lassies who are in danger of their corsets falling right off, they are so slender, and blokes in corsets, and leather kilts and more body-piecing holes than in all the cheese in Switzerland. I love it.
Then someone I really like showed up and suddenly it did matter rather a lot what I looked like. Which was, judging by his expression, Awesome. Have you been working out? he asked. You look all… hourglassy!
Rice Krispies did up my corset too tight, I squeaked back.
But it was worth it. He murmured sweet nothings about new kinds of recoilless rifles in my ear, bought me a variety of drinks and we had our annual Bad Christmas Waltz to the last song, Fairy Tale of New York, then danced in a circle with a whole loada little Goth kids to Auld Lang Syne under the fake snow cannon. Stupid: yes, surreal: yes, enjoyable: most definitely. Yay, what a fab night, that’s the lights back up, good night all.
Oh, I want to go to the Classic, come on! said Rice Krispies. Oh, hmm. Maybe I can give her my keys.
Oh I want to go too, I’m ditching this party! announced Breadbin, and dragged all his mates with, which resulted in me standing in the middle of a street trying to persuade a taxi driver that he really could get away with driving a clown car, just this once. But he said no, so there was nothing for it but to abandon cab myself and try and make it along the road to another one. Yeah, I get stupidly ‘noble’ after a few, but seriously, getting six people to draw straws for who has to walk would have taken forever; and the meter was already running.
Rice Krispies nobly climbed over everyone to accompany me. And then told me off. Hee. It would have been easier to get down the road had I had time to put some clothes on over my outfit (or at very least, put me hiking boots back on), but the suspenders seemed to summon another cab quite swiftly, so there was that. And there was free entry, so there was that too.
And we were all reunited and despite being barely able to breathe, Rice Krispies persuaded me it would be a great idea if we got up to mosh to Slayer. Ha, I thought we – well, mainly I, since she looked Fabulous – would just look like a pair of daft old biddies dressed in very little; but while watching everyone else from behind the flying wall of hair, so I could be alerted to incoming tempo changes (I am unfamiliar with most of Slayer’s back-catalogue) I realised guys were almost literally queuing up to try and dance with us. Wow! The hell? In fact, I tried to stay on the dancefloor as much as possible, because every time I was off it, I got propositioned by some kid who could barely stand upright, let alone stop slurring. (Well, also, I was trying to have a Proper dance with the devastatingly gorgeous bloke, but lo, every single time, someone came to join us. Someone I actually knew and therefore couldn’t shout at to go away, natch). Note to self: red dress plus suspenders… wait, I thought everyone would be wearing this sorta Fing? Fishnets are marginally less frigid than bare legs (honestly, the differential is noticeable) and, technically, slightly more modest. But no.
Going to a second club was a really good idea, in fact. We tore up the dancefloor, looked amazing doing so, and the devastatingly gorgeous bloke I have had an eye on since, ooh, mammoths roamed Strathclyde, declared I had always looked gorgeous and am totally Awesome and he so would… And then left, because now is Not A Good Time. Oh well. That was superbly flattering, and if he hadn’t done a runner, I woulda had to. Four years is plenty of time to build up enough expectations to thoroughly crush both you and your dreams of What Would Happen If We Actually got Together. And if he’s felt the same way, all this time, that’s eight years. We’re doomed.
Besides, even if now wasn’t Not A Good Time – it really wasn’t a good time. You know in the movies, well, the fairy-tale ending ones, they finally kiss with everyone looking on and applauding? Oh look, I saw it somewhere. In reality, it’s damn hard to have The Dream Snog with a semicircle of both your mates and his mates looking on, thinking, For the love of god, go and have the most monumentally disappointing sex already, some of us want to go get on with our lives.
Instead, it was me and Rice Krispies back to mine for a cup of tea and a dissection of the night’s proceedings. She threatened to slap me lots for not going to have massively disappinting sex; I giggled like a loon. My lovelife is the Neverending Story – except, when it’s the Never-starting one. What’s not to find hilarious?
Bedtime: seven a.m. Corks, that’s the schedule shafted then.