Pieces of my world

Saturday, March 24, 2007



"Mummmmy!!" The strident wail rings resoundingly. "B-B-But daddy's CANCELLED my Harvey Nicks card!!!"

It is 11.14 AM. We are sat in St Cuthbert's Society dining hall . The cold winter sun glints through the panes of glass, illuminating the long cafeteria-style dining tables. I blink the sleep out of my eyes, take a long gulp of piping hot coffee- my newfound aid to get me through a hard night of last minute essay crisis, Brokeback Mountain, positively unhealthy amounts of Pro Plus and a grand total of 4 and a half hours sleep. It's a tough life, being a student.

But it was all worth it.

For before us, out trays are loaded with steaming plates of freshly cooked, succulent Brunch. Scrambled eggs lie cheek by jowl a glistening rasher of bacon, inviting pool of baked beans and a fatly inviting pork sausage. The hash brown is golden and crisp on the outside, begging, just begging, to be cut into, like a good hash brown should be. It is Saturday, lectures a far distant memory and I could do nothing all day except watch episodes of Friends and Deal or No Deal back to back if I so choose (not that I would- me be slovenly?! Pah, never!)

I swallow the guilt of being an impostor (we have not paid for this; merely snuck in, the lure of a free meal being a temptation too hard to pass up) and instead eye a buttery croissant. Temptation gets the better of me. I reach out, break the flaky, buttery pastry in one smooth motion and am about to raise it to my mouth when I am interrupted from my chain of food-orientated thought.

"But Mummy, it's a tragedy!! I mean, Gawd, life without Harvey Nicks??! What will I doooo?"

Tara Darling Plonkington-Smith, ear still glued to her mobile phone, announces her pain and trauma (oh, how we feel for you) in foghorn voice to the entire dining room.

I stare at her. At the aviator sunglasses (in early March- why???) perched on top of her barnet. At the natty, gnarled tresses dyed a barbie-like hue of platinum blonde piled into what resembles a haystack on top of her head. At the padded Michelin-Man-like gilet over a stained "Durham University" hoodie, in turn thrown on over a tiny tiny creased skirt which barely covers her posterior. At the worn, battered ugg boots which adorn her feet- they are so old that the left sole has come unglued from the boot, while a gaping hole in the right reveals Tara Darling Plonkington-Smith's chipped frosty-pink nail varnish on her toenails.

Poor girl, I whisper to Phillidia. All that money and her parents have never taught her the meaning of the word "grooming" beyond looking like one has performed a spontaneous "supermarket sweep" of the Salvation Army, coupled with the double misfortune of being dragged through a hedge backwards.

I long to console her for this tragic upbringing.

There, there dear. We feel your Harvey-Nichols-orientated pain.

Unfortunately, we don't very much care, either.

The frightening thing is that Tara Darling Plonkington-Smith is not alone in her hideousness. For she of the foghorn voice floated into the dining room moments, literally moments, after Hugh Barnarby Weathering-Jones was kicked out after throwing a wobbly and bawling at the kitchen staff for refusing to serve him because he was attired in only a baby-pink dressing gown, flipflops and a conveniently placed towel.

Tarah Darling Plonkington-Smith snaps her phone shut with an exasperated expression, before throwing herself into a chair and glaring moodily at a glass of no added sugar fruit juice.

Around us, the comforting chink of knife-and-fork-on-plate, hum of conversation and occasional crumple of an Independent page being folded reigns supreme once more.

I take a bite of my buttery, calorie-loaded croissant and my thoughts re-align.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home