I do not drink, no more than the occasional shot a couple of times a year or the occasional Irish coffee in the middle of January, but today I felt certain I experienced a hang-over. I often do the day after my birthday, as I look forward to it so much, but this year it was worse because the day ended an already long weekend and returning to some sort of normality today, that is Rick at the office, me with a mountain of washing to put in and one of ironing to stare at, felt worse than the worst post-New-York-in-February anti-climax. When I woke up at something past eight, had a look at the phone and realised that it was already Wednesday, I experienced a time-warp as Zoolander does in the movie of the same name. Where has the past week gone?
And so while I tried to resist the mundane and fight the hang-over as much as I could (by virtue of a triple-shot Starbee, a flick through American Vogue and a listen to a jazzy CD), I also, eventually, begrudgingly, found myself in a supermarket, pushing a small trolley while glassy-eyed and bored. Until I came across a wall of these and there and then I experienced an out of body experience. I wasn’t really in a supermarket, standing in a pair of Pradas and wearing a hot pink silk dress.
Oh no, I was in my room at the uni, hunched over my desk in an Adidas tracksuit, manually counting the number of words of my first uni essay written in neat long-hand. We used to live on cup-a-soup at the uni, all of us. They were a staple item in our cupboards, together with spaghetti hoops, loaves of white bread and plastic tubs of plastic Flora. For the first time in many years, today I picked a packet, went home and made myself a uni lunch, a cup-a-soup and a Marmite toastie, even though I cheated on the bread, as I had one of these trendy seeded batches and not one of the lowest-of-the-low white cheapo loaves that even seagulls, but not students for some reasons, turn their beaks at.
And do you know something? It was my Proustian moment as a flood of memories swept over me but despite how much we all like to romanticise our own past, no matter the good times we all had at the uni... I’m much better off making a real soup from scratch, despite that site calling the cup-a-soup a 'British delight'. Errr, yeah.