Inbetween the Comedy

Tonight, I want to share one of my favourite comedy shows The Inbetweeners with you. Well, when I say ‘share’ I mean discuss the hilarity of it – as I am sure you will have already heard of it. If you are American then you now have your own versions. Ordinarily, I would say you are lucky but unfortunately for you it is shite (sorry I don’t usually swear but I thought it would be in keeping with the tone of this show – plus the US one really is shite! No other word will do!) So you Yanks, get U Tubing the UK versions – the original and the best!

The Inbetweeners is beyond funny in my eyes. It is crude yes and bursting upon disgusting at times (like when Neil punches the fish? Or Jay talks about  ‘clunge’ as if the search for it  – and the women attached – is a daily occurrence like eating your breakfast!) The reason I find it so funny is because it reminds me of my boyfriend and his mates when we were at sixth form. Every time I watch an episode it is like I am reliving those days. Not just because of the lads – but two of my friends had Fiat Cinquecentos! Haha.

The two years at sixth form when I did my A levels were the best of my life. I mean University was great but sixth form slightly tops it. I met my boyfriend and lots of friends – who so far have become friends for life (or definitely life into my twenties!) Compared to Uni, I didn’t have to ‘survive’ on my own yet so I had the ‘college’ life without the added responsibilities. And boy did we have a laugh! The lads did some stupid things just like the lads on the show. One of my favourite ones was where some of them wrote a letter to one of the lad’s home claiming to be off the Head about him masturbating at school. They used proper school headed paper and everything! Very funny.

So yes, every time I watch, it takes me down memory lane and I can’t help but chuckle away to the ‘laddish’ moments and the the pickle they always find themselves in. I mean, how could so many things go wrong for four teenage boys? A day of ‘grown up’ drinking whilst they bunk of school turns into a disaster of projectile vomiting onto a six-year-old (Simon) and Will calling Neil’s Dad a bumder! Haha. And a trip to Thorpe Park ends up with a car missing a door, a half-naked Neil and Will insulting Down Syndrome boys. Nice one again guys. Not to mention a night clubbing in London to impress some girls results in Will being told he speaks like he is in a ‘black and white film’, Simon wearing pissed on trainers (previously owned by a tramp) and Neil ending up with a cut on his penis after weeing in a drink’s can. And not forgetting the caravan club episode where Jay promises the lads lots of ‘clunge’, but really gives them his foul-mouthed and rear ended father….. with Neil dancing like a piece of elastic and pulling a goth and Simon getting it on with a thirteen year old. You couldn’t make this stuff up could ya? Well the writers kinds of did but you know…….. I realise how wrong this all sounds when it is written down and I am sure, if you have never seen it, you are now thinking ‘What the hell?!’ But on the screen it works. It just does. It is side splittingly funny. And no. The boys at sixth form weren’t as bad as that 😉

Let’s think about the four lads:

Will

My favourite is Will. Aptly named, as he ‘will’ have a go and get there in the end – even if he makes, continuous mistakes on the way!  He is, of course the geeky one – which is probably why I can relate to him! 😉 I love the first episode where he is starting a new comprehensive school (after being at an all boys’ school) He has a briefcase and then to add to his ridiculous appearance, he is given a badge declaring ‘I am new – stop and say hello!’ His parents have recently split up, hence the new school. He has no friends. Yet, he is constantly optimistic and has an answer (often under his breath) to each insult that flies his way. People don’t stop and say ‘hello’ but shout ‘brief case wanker!’, ‘posh git’ or any other weird and abusive things at him. He strides along saying ‘oh that’s a new one!’ or ‘thanks very much’ and stays in his own little bubble. The other lads don’t want a geek as a friend…. but he is like a bad smell that won’t go away. They eventually learn to love his briefcase, the fact that he gets caught having a poo in school (and in an exam: ‘Phil, Phil, I thought it was a fart! I thought it was safe!’) and the fact that he is 17 but wants a dinner party!

We all need a Will in our lives and he would be the one I would choose as a boyfriend – now that I have matured a little! Back then, I probably would have chosen Simon 😉 But Will’s sense of humour (often aimed at one of the others – especially Neil – or his Dad!) and his absolute refusal to keep within social norms make him hilarious to watch. He is who he is, he makes no apologies for this and he has a very thick skin – apart from when his first heart-break occurs 😉  And he has his first drug experience 😉 ‘I really want my Mummy. I think I might be dead!’ Bit of a drama queen at times then……

Will  - he 'will' always be there, brief case and all!

Will – he ‘will’ always be there, brief case and all!

Simon

Simon is probably the one, like I said, I would have fancied at school. He is that stereotypical boy next door. He has the cute hair – which is fondly referred to as the ‘Statue of Liberty’ by Jay 😉 He has that baby face going on. He seems to be ‘nice and normal’. What makes me laugh with Simon is how absolutely unreasonable he is with his family. He screams at his Mum for commenting on his hair gel: ‘Why do you always do this?!’ and continually tells his younger brother to ‘F*ck off’. Even a mention of his Mum and he says ‘stupid bitch!’ And when his parents may be splitting up, his first thought is to ask for a new car off his Dad  (because he was so ungrateful for the yellow Fiat he got when he passed his test.) Not such a nice boy then.

Surprisingly, Simon seems to have the most luck from girls. Carly turns hot and cold like a tap, yet he follows her constantly  – as obvious as his bright yellow car! It works for a brief period, though and he gets his wish. He manages to get a few girls interested like Lauren on the field trip – but getting naked on the boat after falling in doesn’t help matters. The sock on his penis helps even less. He also gets a girlfriend ‘Tara’, but after getting naked and his penis failing to work for him, she loses interest too. So, things tend to go wrong for Simon, funnily enough, when he gets naked! And let’s face it, he is a bit of a sap isn’t he?   😉 But I like how he accepts Will into the group – whilst still remaining good friends with the polar opposite Jay – a friend to all is Simon. Just don’t let him near your little brother 😉

Simon  - who else would drive a yellow car with a red door?!

Simon – who else would drive a yellow car with a red door?!

Neil

Neil is the character we laugh at 80% of the time and laugh with the other 20%. But it could be 40% as Neil would have no idea that percentages need to add up to a hundred. Like he doesn’t know where Swansea is. Like his idea of intelligent dinner party conversation is to ask ‘how many Lego pieces you put up your bum.’ Like how he accepts an invitation to a field trip for Geography and Sociology (subjects that he doesn’t do) in order to help out an acclaimed paedophile teacher 😉 I do wonder to be honest how Neil got through school education in the first place, let alone get into sixth form! He says things like wanting to ‘drive a plane’ or when asked what he wants from the newspaper experience he says he won’t ‘nick anything!’. When asked for petrol money, he says, ‘what for?’ Er petrol Neil. He gives the other three brilliant opportunities to ‘take the piss,’ which from my own experience is half of what sixth form is about 😉

I love how in the film Neil ends up with the female version of himself. Perfect ending for the dopey simpleton. And remember, they both have ‘effics.’ (aka ethics) 😉

Neil - proof that you don't need GCSES to get into sixth form ;-)

Neil – proof that you don’t need GCSEs to get into sixth
form 😉

Jay

Jay provides us with many of the catch phrases from the series. You know, the ones that make the T-shirts and people can say or shout and everyone will know where it came from and instantly fall about laughing. I must admit, I bought my boyfriend a ‘Friend!’ T-shirt (with thumbs up signs). Jay didn’t come up with that one but it was aimed at him because he dared to be friendly to someone outside the foursome. Being insecure and embarrassed as he is (with a Dad like that, we get why!) he doesn’t laugh off the ‘friend’ comments or ignore them. No. He jumps on the ‘friend’s’ car. Until he damages it. As you do….

‘Bus Wankers,’ ‘Minge Mobile,’ and ‘Pussay Patrol’ are classic Jay quotes. He makes the others laugh with his pure filthy mind and gross insults. He also keeps them entertained with his exaggerations and, quite clearly, blatant lies. He has tried out for a famous football team, had sex with every girl within a ten-mile radius, has a drug dealer, who is ‘away’ when they want to use him. He goes clubbing ‘all the time.’ Has mates in the upper six who no one has heard of. He learned to drive when he was ten. Drinks all the time, yet can’t get served. And the list of bullshit goes on…….. Providing us with many funny moments – especially when the others always have a come back –  as they are clearly on to him 😉

Need a disgusting catchphrase? Or a tall story? Jay is your man (or boy)....

Need a disgusting catchphrase? Or a tall story? Jay is your man (or boy)….

So, if you need cheering up then these are your lads. If you don’t find their disgusting anecdotes amusing, or their guaranteed calamities hilarious or just their faces really funny  – then you can always relish in the fact that your life cannot be any worse than theirs 😉 On the bright side for them…. after sixth form things do get better – or at least they did for me and those I went to sixth form with 🙂

Anyone think there should be another movie? Maybe of them coming back after their first year at Uni? Again another ‘inbetween’ stage of life and again one that, with these guys, would be excellent viewing, I reckon!

XSXS

Graduating through life

On Thursday, I attended my sister’s graduation ceremony. It was a lovely day and a proud time for my sister,  her boyfriend and our family to see her efforts being paid off. It also brought back some wonderful memories of my graduation – which I depressingly realised is nearly 5 and a half years ago!

My sister did a social work degree and is lucky to have a job already within the field that she wants to progress in. But what happens to a lot of graduates? They end up working in a supermarket or have a degree that is then irrelevant to what they want to do. This is by no means a cristicism because I worked in numorous factories and shops before I realised which field I wanted to work in. But is there a pressure on young people to go and get a degree? It isn’t for everyone and there are many examples out there of huge success without the padding of a university background – and of course without the twenty odd grand debt! Young people need to take the route best for them at the time.

I am a person who likes to study. As you know, I like writing and reading. But I also like to reserach and learn new things. I couldn’t have not done a degree, I don’t think. I loved the subject of English too much  and I knew I wanted a degree in it. Some may think this is wrong because I had no idea what career or job I wanted – I just knew I wanted to study for a few years longer and hoped the rest would work itself out. Luckily it did. I don’t think I would take the risk now, though, with student fees going up so much! It is a bit of an expensive gamble to do a degree that you aren’t sure you need. Saying that though, the graduation ceremony the other day also made me feel inspired and excited by further education again. I would love to do my Masters. I always did. But that was a step too far. A step to even more expensive studying that I wasn’t sure I needed in order to get a job. Sad really, when the need for money to survive has to take over our love of studying and bettering ourselves – which is something post school kids have to contemplate. But what I also want to say is, that if people don’t particularly like studying then they shouldn’t do a degree – unless they really need that particular qualification to do a dream career. There are so many other ways into jobs.

Some people choose the ‘universiy of life’ over academic studying. I think there is a lot to be said for that too. Meeting people, travelling, doing various jobs all help to make you the person you are – along with any pieces of paper boasting your various qualifications. Again, like anything, it is down to the individual and what makes them happy and how they choose to learn and gain a happy and successful life by their terms. As you may guess, I am very proud of my degree, as I am my A levels and GCSEs and other courses I have done. But, working in shops and factories has given me as much, if not more, life experience. Uni life was great yeh and I had to learn to stand on my own two, dancing all night, tipsy feet 😉 I had to cook, sort bills out along with cementing new friendships and oh yes doing the work for my degree. But it was a nice and easy life for 3 years really – 5 and a half years into the world of work I can say that 😉 Yes, I met lots of different people from all over the country (and other countries). People from different backgrounds and who had different interests – but we all had similar goals, i.e. to finish our essay before going out to get drunk 😉

Working in shops and factories has given me a different kind of life experience though. I had to work with people of different ages, cultures and personalities. No, smoothing things over with a shot or two. Or burying myself in my room with my essays when someone annoyed me. No. I had to learn to work under and with people I didn’t like. Be a boss to people I found intimidating. Be polite and friendly to customers who were rude. Choose to join in or not with bitchy comments in the factory environment, in fear of being a ‘bitch’ myself or being a ‘goody goody’ if I didn’t. I had to stand up to bosses when they took advantage.Altogether, learning that an degree in English would not make me a better shelf stacker/worker/person than anyone else. These are all the things that truly helped me to become who I am. And I am glad I experienced it all.

Back to the graduation ceremony – it does make me laugh, that whilst it is an amazing time to celebrate your academic goals being completed, your individuality, your class of degree, your subject – you still have to wear exactly the same outfit as everyone else in the room! Me and my parents had quite a laugh looking at the sea of red and light blue cape wearers in the search for my sister:

A bit of a 'Where's Wally' situation!

A bit of a ‘Where’s Wally?’ situation!

The lecturers wore individual outfits though. They normally wear their own colours from when they graduated, which I think is always a nice touch. The immature side of me resurfaced again, though, when they entered as it just made me think of Harry Potter and the witches and wizards in their colourful outfits! But I believe humour can be brought into most situations 😉

So, congratulations to my sister and all those who have graduated recently. But we need to remember, that we are all graduating through life all the time. Going to the next stage, the next phase, gradually improving ourselves or in some cases redeeming ourselves 😉 Graduating from university is highly important and something that you will remember forever but what comes next is just as important………. 😉

XSXS

A White Canvas

House-Covered-In-Snow-485x728

Snow is on the way and, you know what it’s like, everyone is talking about it. In shops, they are panic buying for food (that surely they can get from a shop within walking distance if the weather is that bad!) or concerned with getting home (I must admit I am a little worried about getting to work and more importantly back tomorrow!) and people always have to announce it too, don’t they? Like they are the first to see it, or have to have the first Facebook post about it. It becomes a boastful event – who has had the most inches? 😉 How long has it been happening whereyou are? ‘Oh really? An hour of snow? But has it settled yet? Oh it has here!’ This photo on Facebook made me laugh the other day:

So very true - and when all the statuses were announcing the 'amazing' news, I shared this!

So very true – and when all the statuses were announcing the ‘amazing’ news, I shared this!

But if we forget all the annoying things related to snow. Like how crazy it sends people, how it can ruin our plans or make us fall over and break our necks… and just focus on the beauty of it. Take a read of my poem:

White Canvas
The white sky is urgent and full
bursting at every cloud,
anticipation hangs in the air,
for precipitation in its frozen form.

As the sweet flakes begin to fall,
Like icing sugar onto a land of cake,
silence now hangs in the air
and all is calm and serene.

The ground eagerly awaits
as the icy droplets soak like a sponge.
but as the sprinkles become a shower,
The earth begins to refuse its drink.

At first a light covering gleams,
Then brighter, thicker, more defined.
The blank canvas untouched as a virgin
as the world takes a gentle pause.

I hope it helps to capture the feelings that we get when snow is about to fall, actually falls and then the moment when it is all pretty, untouched and seems so precious. There is a definite magic in the air when snow is in the process of falling. Then we just have to decide: what are we going to do with our white canvas? 🙂

XSXS

A Dry Month

Well, it has been a dry month for me. I know, you are thinking: ‘What?! It’s rained loads and now snow is on the way! It is nothing but dry!’ Yes, indeed the weather had been full of fluid, wet precipitation. My mouth has only seen liquid of the non-alcoholic kind though 😦 . I mentioned in a previous post that  I am doing a Dry-athlon. This means that I can’t touch alcohol for the whole of January. It also means that I am helping to drink all the extra water that we have upon our hands; as normally I would be drinking wine instead 😉

I’ve managed the first week OK. When I say ‘OK’, I mean that I have eaten more chocolate and cake than usual in order to have an alternative ‘treat’ and every time we have a nice dinner, I have cranberry juice in a wine glass  – just so I can pretend ;-). It also turns out that I can be ‘drunk’ without alcohol. I am silly due to my personality apparently!

But in all seriousness, I am managing and as much as it sounds like it, I am NOT an alcoholic! If I was, you would be the first to know 😉 It is quite nice actually to  not have hangovers. Being the designated driver, too, means that you know how and when you are getting home! Luckily though, I don’t have any big nights out this month because I don’t think I could do the whole dancing without a big drink. I just feel too aware of myself and like I’m all limbs! So, I’ll save the dancing for inside my living room, curtains firmly closed with a wine glass of  juice in my hand. 🙂

Now, here comes the predictive and annoying bit. The Dry-athlon is in aid of Cancer Research. I have not registered myself but I am doing the deed as part of a team with my sister and uncle’s wife so I would appreciate it if any of you could spare the odd £1 – like when you don’t have that shot before leaving the bar – of if you go for that single rather than the double – or you just like giving to a good cause! Then click the links below and Cancer Research will benefit from my dry, dry month! 😀

http://www.justgiving.com/dryathlete-emily-gray2013

http://www.justgiving.com/dryathlete-cheryl-tagg

Also take a look at the crazy people doing this challenge and more info about it:https://www.facebook.com/#!/Dryathlon

Are any of you out there doing it? Finding it hard?

Thanks to any of you that do give and Good Luck to anyone doing it! Only 22 days to go 😉

XSXS

Decluttering those January blues…..

January is always a month for decluttering. I would go as far as saying that we all declutter, in some way. I am a huge fan of the declutter and of the new year as a whole. It is like everything is wiped clean. A new start. A blank canvas. Even if you had a great year the previous year (as I did), it is still nice to reset the clock and see what can happen in the New Year. Bye bye to Christmas and hello to resolutions, cutting back on food and money and the thought of bad weather. Very depressing when you think of it like that. I like to put my whole positive spin it, though. It can be a chilled month if we choose.  No crazy Christmas meals and parties every weekend that we feel obliged to attend. Yes, we have to go back to work but I think that, in some form, we all need a routine too. I begin to crave the normality of a working day – because chilling in front of the TV with a cuppa just isn’t special when you’ve done it for a week is it? After a working day, you feel you have earned it. Also, you don’t need to scrap and save for Christmas presents and you hopefully have enough food and drink to live off for a while, so leave the pennies in your pocket. No rushing around the shops either to get Christmas goodies – unless you are like me and actually like sale shopping!

But the best part about January is, as my first point states, is the decluttering. I said we all do it in some way – you may just physically put the Christmas rubbish out and load the empties into the recycling bin after New Year’s Eve 😉 but doesn’t it feel great when you get rid of something you don’t need? I am a huuuge fan of the declutter. I have spent my day doing it today. Decluttering the house at first. As much as I love having my Christmas trees and decs up, (and I must admit I had a pang of disappointment just as I realised I couldn’t put my tree lights on in the looming darkness) I do love it when the house is, once again, de-christmased. Last night, after spending the day hungover, I suddenly had the urge to take everything santa related down. The cards, the tinsel, the trees. And I did. I figured, I may not get the ‘urge’ again until I am back at work so I did it all. Then today, I have had a clear out of clothes, underwear, toiletries, make-up and present packaging (what is with all the plastic?!). I also got onto enviro-phone.com and sold my old mobile phone – I got £27 (which will now buy me a new mp3 player that I lost in: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/a-stupid-free-christmas-day/. It felt good to remove unwanted things to make space for the new, wanted things.

At this time of year, I also declutter my mind. I try and let go of things that have bothered me and I try to get a positive mind about returning to work. I also make resolutions. I do this every year and make quite a few. I think we can always self-improve. I don’t mean this in a way that if we keep doing this then in a few years we will be perfect. No. I just think there is always something we can do to increase our quality of life. But there are two BUTs to this. My boyfriend’s brother just said one on his Facebook update: You have to know how you can achieve it. And secondly, you have to want to do it.

This year, mine are:

  • To continue with this blog (whoop, so far so good)
  • To finish my book ( this has now been one for two years  – so I must do this)
  • Write more poems/short stories
  • Read more and use Book Lover’s Diary (https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/a-book-lovers-post/)
  • Give alcohol up for January
  • Give up chocolate for Lent ( I do this every year)
  • Walk/swim/gym three times a week
  • See friends I haven’t seen for a while (friend in France and University friends)
  • Remember all birthdays! (I’m normally pretty good but occasionally one sneaks up on me and I feel awful)
  • Not get so impatient and annoyed by trivial things (my boyfriend is very excited by this one!)

Yes, there are a lot but I think they all very achievable. And look at it this way, by making a list of them then you have a higher hope of doing at least one 😉

So yes, there are a couple of resolutions that will aid with the decluttering process. Giving up alcohol is my main one. My uncle’s wife said she was doing a Dryathalon. I was intrigued and, at first, I must admit I thought it was something related to the recent floods we have had! But no, it is to not drink alcohol for January. (I will share more details in a future post.) I thought this would be a good way to give my body a break after all the indulgence. I can’t do food yet as there are still too many goodies in the house! Alcohol, I will do though and I even poured some open wine away earlier as a weird, cleansing ceremony! 😉 I have 7 birthdays this month, my anniversary and my sister’s graduation – so all the more challenging! It’s all in aid of Cancer research and I am going to do it! All in aid of the delcuttering, too, of course 😉

The regular readers with an eye for detail will also notice I have decluttered my blog slightly – I changed my tag line to ‘Life: the serious and the silly…’ I wanted something minimalistic, simple and that reflects all the random topics I talk about. Everything comes under silly and serious in some way I feel 😉

So January is good because I have/or I am going to declutter:

  1. the house
  2. my mind
  3. my body
  4. my blog
  5. and my life!

I imagine by March things will all be cluttered again because even though I have these mad clear outs, deep down I am a secret hoarder 😉 but shhhhh….

Happy decluttering!

XSXS