Monday, May 26, 2008

Getting older by the day

It's funny how age can creep up on you when you least expect it, isn't it? I have been coasting along in the ignorant denial that I am closer to 18 than to 30 and it's come as a bit of a shock to me to realise that life is not what it used to be.

Let me introduce myself. I am Rachel, and a friend of Jock's from our time as journalism students in Edinburgh. Our first meeting was Day Two of 'Fresher's Week' which for those outside the UK I shall explain briefly. Your first week as a wide-eyed student at university is spent settling into your Halls of Residence, on the phone to frantic parents assuring them you are eating and washing without reminders, registering for your course, getting lost in a new city, neogitating unfamiliar public transport systems, registering with doctors, calling gas companies to set up bill payments - you know, that sort of thing. Is it though? Is it really? can any of us actually remember doing all those things? No. No we can't as that first week in new territory is spent in the constant quest of getting as drunk as possible with your new 'mates' (most of whom glanced at you once in your shared Halls and you have clung to them ever since) for as little money as possible, and surviving on the bare minimum of sleep. This was a hoot, a challenge we all relished and one that presented no problems whatsoever. The war cry of 'Oh my God! I threw up in that club last night!' is met with 'do you want to go for a pint' and the response was always favourable...

So it comes with grim realisation a mere ten years later that even one day's drinking can ruin the good intentions of man. Last week, I had decided to go for a couple of post-work refreshments with some friends. We staggered from the bar two hours later, having probably only had three glasses of wine, but lunged off in our seperate directions squealing about our love for each other and Raef from The Apprentice. The very next morning was a disaster. I awoke with a thumping head, a sweaty back and my eyes glued shut with last night's mascara. The room was spinning and my legs could barely support the weight of my uncoordinated body. My arms flapped at my sides and the task of getting changed and ready for work reduced me to tears. I had one objective that day and it was to attend a meeting in the afternoon. I failed. That was the moment. How could I, ten years ago, carry out all the necessary tasks of the day and still have the energy for a night out? How far I have fallen, into the pits of late-twenties hangovers, where each feels like another light has gone out in my brain? What will happen with I am 38? 48? I shudder at the thought.

1 comment:

Jaggy said...

A friend of mine who was at Oxford University introduced me to Freshers Week, except he called it "F**k a fresher week".