A Harlequin 2012 – And how I learned nothing

We’ve reached that final day of the year, when all eyes turn skywards for all the pretty lights, or in my case, snuggled up in PJs and snack at the ready, eyes turn tv-wards, and the countdown to Twenty-Thirteen is ticking away (yayy pretty, blinding fireworks!) Sparkle, Big Ben, sparkle like Tinkerbell just threw a big pinch of fairy-dust on you! Yeah, I know what fairy dust is, don’t you judge me.

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Instead of posting a load of firework-y snap crackle and bang pictures of fireworks, I thought I’d write something about my take on 2012, and what I’ve learnt this year (which you will probably begin to see very quickly – nothing.)

First, here’s a quick recap of the more memorable stuff from this year. I won’t go on about everything because, well, you probably know about all of that already.

1. The year didn’t end. Those Mayans, what jokers. It was almost like the Rupture mania all over again from last year. What do you reckon will be the predictions for next year? Aliens are going to take over on June 26th 2013 and turn us into mini-Spocks? But don’t worry, they’ll take over America first, so we’re safe for now.

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2. The Olympics came. And seriously exceeded our expectations. My sisters and I were (extremely!) lucky enough to get tickets for the Opening Ceremony rehearsal, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which we thoroughly enjoyed (despite being exhausted because we were fasting and also being a hot day. Oh how we miss those hot days now that London weather is all grey and drizzly again.) I don’t have a favourite bit (although the fiery rings come close) but I loved all of it, the music, the celebration of London and the light displays. And the Games themselves were great fun to watch, I loved how every athlete made us proud (overpaid footballers? Pah.) Next stop, Rio!

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3. I kept my job. Although I’m not as keen on keeping it anymore. As with most other organisations, my job-place went through a restructure, which meant re-applying for your jobs and re-assessing your skills. Thankfully, I kept mine, but it gave me  a real insight into what kinds of jobs I want to do, and which direction I want to go. I’ve had a lot of support from all angles, and plenty of advice, so lately I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do, where I want to go, and most importantly, how to get there. So far, I have film script writer and chocolate taster. I’m still considering my options.

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4. A beautiful niece was born, an adorable first cousin was born, and a sister was married. Big family events this year, and ones which has really brought a lot of us closer together. Not to mention all the parties and get-togethers we’ve been having lately (translation: sitting around making fun out of each other while we eat pizza and biryani). It’s been a good year for us, and no signs of slowing down (although I have a feeling that the next person to get married will probably make everyone wear Spock ears or something).

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5. I fell in love…with cheesecake. Seriously, I can’t stop eating the stuff. I think I’ve eaten more cheesecake this year than . Americanos, you lucky, luck things. All we have is the Cheesecake Shop in Barkingside which gets trashed by emos every week when they get dumped by their emo-girlfriends. Not the greatest atmosphere to eat your Mississippi Mud Pie to.

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And then there were all the things I didn’t learn, which is probably why it’s never a good reason to make promises to yourself if you know you won’t keep them.

1. Don’t rush so much. I’ve always been an impatient person, and I like doing things fastfastfast. I remember when I first started working in my current job about three years ago, I used to literally run around the building to get things done quicker, with other colleagues asking me ‘Why do you rush around do much?’ (‘I replied ‘Cos I’m younger than you’, which may be a bit cheeky.) I can count at least three times that I walked face-first into a door this year (although the door was clear glass, in my defence), and I fell down the stairs at least twice. Good times. Although falling down the stairs was not enough of a reason to be excused from the dancing shenanigans at my sister’s mehndi two days later. Have I learned to slow down? Not out of choice, usually because the person before is so slow that I HAVE to wait.

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Bolt the Superhero. I can run nearly that fast. (Image belongs to M. Rasheed)

2. Stop eating junk and eat more fruit. I’ve cut down the junk a bit. I don’t eat fried food anymore, except once in a blue mood (and when we’re fasting, because when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. And salad just doesn’t cut it when you’re craving samosa). Still need to add on the fruit-n-veg quota to my diet cos, let’s face it, I’m just not as young and skinny as I used to be. So far, my fruit intake is those yummy Innocent smoothies and some fruit-filled sweets.

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Raaarrr. Sweet Monster scares you into eating your greens.

3. Stop spending so much. My philosophy is enjoy my money while I have some, because after I get married and have kids, I won’t have that luxury anymore (Nappies, yaayyy). My mother disagrees on that one. We’ve come to an unspoken agreement that if I put some money aside then I can spend what I have left. I’m not sure whether she’s agreed to that one, but I have anyway. For now though, I’ll enjoy those new shoes with a little skip in my step.

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4. Become fitter. I go swimming once a week. Okay, it’s meant to be once a week, but in reality, it’s once a month. And after I come back feeling extremely proud of myself, I like to ‘reward’ myself with some chocolate or three, and then I let myself relax for the rest of the week. Perhaps a bit too much. Someday I’ll get there, I’ll have a waist like Katrina Kaif and I’ll be able to touch my toes for longer than three seconds.

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I can do that too, easy. I just need an ambulance afterwards.

5. Learn how to put on eye make up properly. I remember saying this to myself last year as well. I used to look at those girls with a ton of make-up on and marvel at how they still looked  pretty good. Unfortunately, the same look on me has an instant drag-queen effect. Even when I watch the Youtube tutorials, ask for advice from those pretty women on the make-up counters about blend, blend, blend, and if I follow the pictures, mine just always comes out wrong. For a close friend’s wedding, I asked got a friend who is also a minor make-up artist to ‘do up’ my eyes extravagantly, secretly yipping in silent glee about the supermodel transformation I would get. The result I got in the mirror was a genuine, speechless shock at how I genuinely looked like a man trying to be a woman. It was a very disturbing sight. Since then, I’ve stuck to the ‘au naturale’ look which is easier and a lot less scarier.

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Lastly, are my hopes and wishes for 2013, the things I’d like to happen (I’ll come back to this at the end of 2013!):

1. I’d love to  get married. Or engaged. I feel as if I’m at the point in my life where I need to move to the next stage, and I certainly think I’m at the right age!

2. Write a book. Or begin one. Or at least label the page numbers. Find my writing mojo. So far I’m trying to start with short stories, so that I can enjoy writing and explore different writing styles.  I’ll keep you updated on that one.

3. Start painting again. Properly. I find it a lot easier to work with watercolour paints, but I love the rich colours of acrylics. Unfortunately, it’s been years since I last painted and I’ve kind of forgotten what works well and what doesn’t. I think I need to spread out newspapers on the floor again (school homework art-style and just splash about). My  problem is that I get stuck on doing the line drawings, get bored and then forget to finish the drawing. Again, one to keep you updated on.

4. Travel. Anywhere. To be fair, I do try to go to new places where I can, like around the country as well as around London, and it is not easy for me to do long-term holidays because it’s not something my family does. But I do still want to go new places, and capture beautiful places with my camera. My aim for 2013? Visit at least one exotic country!

5. Learn something new. Not knitting though, never appealed to me. Taking up a new hobby could also be a bit difficult because of time constraints, but I won’t make excuses because you have to make time for these things! Be it driving (yes I can’t drive yet), learning to cook properly (I can’t cook either, I’m really not helping myself here) or just something completely random like learning to fix cars, I think I need to push myself a bit and try something new.

Of course I have other ambitions in mind too, but they’re a bit more long-term. One thing I want to do is make sure I have at least one child born on February 29th, Not only will I have a child that’s always four times younger than everyone else’s. I’ll have saved a fortune on birthday presents too. See, I’ve thought it all out.

For now, Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2012 was as memorable a year for you as it was for me. And regardless of how you’re ringing in the New Year, I hope you have fun and aren’t making resolutions that none of us will keep. Oh, and enjoy the fireworks!

The Harlequin Tea Set xx

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