Alone, ah woe is me

My mum and stepdad have a habit of going off on holiday and leaving me to feed the three cats, one dog, one duck and multiple chickens. They do it several times a year and they’ve done it this weekend to spend three nights in London. I don’t begrudge them it because frankly I go on far more holidays and anyway it’s quite nice to have the house to myself, but it does mean that I have been left the responsibility of keeping the fire burning in the stove, or alternatively trying to wear all my clothes at once and stay near the cats to keep them from turning into feline icicles.

In other news, I went shopping yesterday! I have found the most adorable and brilliant antique shop in the next town over, which sells beautiful things for a ridiculously small fraction of their value. At once point we had a stupid situation of reverse haggling, where I was insisting that £5 was not enough for what I was buying (and it really wasn’t – it must be worth at least ten times that) and the shop keeper gave me a further discount because apparently she doesn’t really want to make a profit or even break even because it’s “just a hobby really”. The upshot of it is that I have done almost all my Christmas shopping and bought a lot of very beautiful things that I really want to keep but will give to people worthy of them. The most expensive thing I bought all day was my lunch.

Today has been less exciting, I got up earlyish to learn how to look after the hens in winter (mostly defrosting water containers and breaking the ice on the ponds) and then lolled around with a cat for the rest of the day. Oh and I rang Student Finance, and a very sweet girl answered after only about fifteen minutes on hold and seemed to not really know what she was doing (she forgot to ask my name for the first two minutes or so) but told me to go on the website. Sigh.

My London plans are semi-finalised: I’ll be around from about 5.30 on the 16th Dec until about 7.30am the next morning when I have to be on a plane, and then I’ll be around after the New Year for as long as I can find someone who wants to put me up for the night. When I say London, I am speaking broadly – so far plans are taking me from Marylebone to Heathrow to Swindon to Guildford, so if you’re within about two hours’ train journey of what can be called London then I’m game. I’ll have to get a job in February, you see, so I’m making the most of it now.

Goodness I am cold. We’ve had more snow, it snuck up when I wasn’t looking and confused me because the weather forecast had suggested it would be getting warmer this weekend.

ETA: Having now looked at my pending comments, I will just add that I am feeling a lot better and heard from the hospital (by the backdoor route of my mother asking her boss, who happens to be the person who will be reading my application, which I kind of disapprove of but not enough not to have applied) that I have been shortlisted for interview. Which will probably happen in January so I might have to come back from London gallivants for that, but that’s ok because the marvellous Wrexham and Shropshire trainline has ridiculously cheap tickets that bring me close enough to catch a bus or three home, so I can come up for a day and go back to London! It is mad that it’s cheaper to get to London from here, a distance of 200 miles, than it is to get to London from Cambridge, by quite a lot.

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