Monday, 18 January 2010

2009 Hated Me - and Probably You

I don't know how glad you were to see the back of 2009, but if it went anything like mine I imagine you're pretty damned grateful it's over. Here is a brief and (hopefully) bleakly amusing summary of all the things that went wrong with my year.

First and foremost, I had a couple deaths in the family, but they weren't immediate family so I won't really count those as "my" disasters. Also a couple of my friends had fucking awful things happen to them, and while again the pain and suffering of my friends gets to me, they're not "my" disasters so I won't count them either.

My 2009 went a bit more like a system of checks and balances: something good would happen, then something disasterously awful would happen to utterly destroy the joy I felt as a result of this. Like thus:-

The good: I finally got a full-time, permanent job! Huzzah, no more living uncertainly from temp contract to temp contract.
The bad: I got vertigo. Two weeks of feeling like I was on a Waltzer - which results in feeling nauseous, dizzy, and leaves one unable to walk, rather than being the constant joy you might think. I couldn't even make myself a cup of tea and carry it into the living room, because I would fall down, spill the tea, and end up retching on the floor. I also couldn't watch TV or films because looking at movement on the screen made the vertigo worse.

The good: It snowed! Spectacularly!
The bad: Despite still living a one-hour-and-fifteeen-minute journey away, I still had to go to work or they would deduct the time or pay from me. So instead of getting to play out in the snow, I had to wait forty minutes at an exposed train station, in a blizzard, for a delayed train. And then be told I had to make up the time because I was late in.

The good: I went on a three-week holiday to Florida, staying for free with friends of the family, during which time we drove up to north of Atlanta, Georgia, to stay with more family friends, and I also spent my 27th birthday at Universal Studios. Which was all AWESOME.
The bad: While paddling in the Gulf at Desoto Beach, FL, I got stung by a stingray. Which feels like getting hit with a stick and stabbed at the same time, rapidly followed by the burning, writhing agony of the poison spreading up through my leg. Just FYI.

The good: I got rescued by a lifeguard, who I shall call Handsome McSexybody. He carried me in his arms to the lifeguard station, and he smelled like sunshine and rescue.
The bad: I got an infection in the sting site. My foot and ankle swelled up to about three times its normal size and was absolute misery, leaving me unable to walk for a couple of weeks. The resulting scar is disappointingly small - I wanted something that reflected the suffering it caused, and not this teeny tiny little mark. Another fail.

The good: I finally moved out of my mother's! After years of trying to get a permenant job and save up a bit, I managed to move into a shared house in the city, with two fantastic housemates. Score!
The bad: I got chicken pox. Yep, aged 27, I got a childhood disease that was so debhilitating that I had to move back in with my Mum for a couple weeks so she could care for me. I was off work for another three weeks and am now covering in pox scars. Dammit. Incidentally, the pox was torture and the worst thing I had ever endured.

The good: My wonderful, wonderful friends!
The bad: Having a check-up to see if I was fit to return to work after the pox, my doctor noticed a mole on my back had changed shape and developed dark spots. It was suspected cancerous, and I had to have it surgically removed, leaving a scar on my shoulder over an inch long, and the over-hanging threat that I might have skin cancer. Joy.

The good: Living near the city centre means that I can pretty much hit the town whenever I want.
The bad: The town hits back. As mentioned in previous post, I broke my right ankle (yes the one I got stung in) just before Christmas and am now going absolutely crazy with cabin fever. It also turns out that, yes, breaking an ankle is more torturous than having chicken pox.

Random other negative events:
I ordered some fancy pricey conditioner off eBay. When it arrived, turned out the seller made a mistake and sent me the wrong item. They agreed to replace it for free - but then I was out working when the postman tried to deliver the replacement conditioner. By the time I had a day off work when the collections office was open, the conditioner had been sent back to the main sorting office. In Belfast. I arranged re-delivery: they couldn't deliver to my work, because it's a different postcode than my home; and the local post office wasn't open any time I could get to; so it was going to be over two months before they could redeliver. On the day of redelivery, I stayed in waiting for the postman to arrive. He didn't. I call the Royal Mail - turns out they've fucked up spectacularly and my item is still in Belfast. And I can't expect it before February.

Getting a lift back into the city after the pox, my Mum's brand-new car got hit by a rock falling off the back of a truck. The rock hit the windshield and cracked it - right in front of my face. Which frankly scared the shit out of me.

On my first day back to work after the pox, the bus I was riding got hit by another bus. It was only a minor traffic accident, but we all had to get off that bus and then I had to run to the next bus stop so I didn't miss the later bus. Other bus-related stories, I was late to work a couple times because of buses simply not showing up. Thanks, Cardiff Bus.

Well, I think those are the lowlights of the year! 2010 has already kicked 2009's ass, by the way - results back from the hospital and the mole was completely benign; and despite smashing my ankle up good and proper, I don't have to have an operation on it, so that's another win for me. Fingers crossed I won't manage to set fire to the house with me still inside it and unable to flee in time because of being slowed down by my broken ankle....

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