Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pension line please?

This blog is in memorial to Holly Gilbert Jones' twenties.

At what point are you officially old? Friends are getting married, having kids, buying houses – is that old? No, that’s normal. That’s what you do when you’re ready to settle down. Two hours sleep on a nornal Tuesday night, waking up in a garden or being stared by families at 7am when catching the Central Line from Epping still in your suit after you end up in Essex - that's still normal for many. So I don't think it's in your actions. For you old people out there I am going to introduce a few subjects in thie mild rant, so please keep up.

Old is when you start wearing the same clothes as your father and don't bat an eye lid. Well not the same, but there is some similarity. Now I’m not talking about during your day-to-day life. I’m talking when you get home. I’m sitting here typing this in a pair of shorts and my work shirt with the sleeves rolled up with socks still on. We all know this Dad look, and you know what, I’ve even got that Dad logic – I don’t want to get some clean shirt and I think it looks good.

So does that make me old? Well, kind of. I blame living in the UK does that. Everyone around me is the same. All of my friends encapsulate that work hard, play hard metality. There's no time between the nights out for the gym in the evening, so you're up early to squeeze that in, 8-10 hours of work and out you go to the social life of the city. Weekends result in 3 hours sleep all up and before you know it it's time to wash, rinse and repeat. Want proof. Below is the first photo taken of me compared to the most recent:

May 2006

September 2007

This is only 17 months apart! As an aside I must also say a heart felt goodbye to Tina (pictured). Everyone leaving gets a picture, so Tina, here's to you. From funny beginnings of meeting me and Higgo after an all nighter to everything in between, have fun back in Bris-vegas, but hey, with an Italian passport we know you'll be back.
So, back to my point. What happens with people's age when they get to the UK, well, different living style I guess. But here's the strange pattern: you get here healthy, some gain a fair bit of weight while some lose a fair bit, then after a year it returns to normal. Weight is lost, weight is gained, health is returned and you feel normal after a year of 'what the fuck happened and where did it come from'. There's a simple reason: those remaining after a year are here for an extended period of time. Discuss? Okay.

We’ve all heard of the Heathrow injection. It’s this phenomenon - usually with females - that once you get off the plane someone injects you with 10 extra kilos. It comes down to less fresh fruit and vegies, less chance for cardio work due to the long, dark winters, and the abundance of pubs. But for the fellas we tend to do okay. We’re not really used to a fruit salad for breakfast, so the lack on them doesn’t phase us. Don’t really go for a run outside but rather just use the weight room in a warm gym. And pubs, well with football nearly every night on TV and being ‘rather popular’ you can’t get to the pub's bar as often as it's too crowded. So our bodies tend to be use to it. And we’re usually out drinking most nights so forget dinner and just pass out at 2am – we’ll just get a fruit salad in the morning…

But after a year this changes. The Heathrow injection starts to wear off. The body gets used to it. You don't booze and party as much. You stay home some nights. Work takes over a bit. And more importantly, your travelling/partying buddies' visas run out.

This is how you can tell who’s got an English passport or who has a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa. The ones who can stay, do. They start realising that they are living here and not just staying here for a party. They start going back to the gym, start eating better, start getting more sleep, and, generally, become healthy again. So next time it looks like my eyes are following quite an attractive antipodean, please don’t be as sexist as to think it’s because she's hot, it’s simply - as my the logic above can show - this person must be quite intelligent and I’m very interested in their intelligent mind!!! Philistines.

I'm skilled!!!

How do I know this? Here's how. The Highly Skilled Migrant Visa is reserved for the smartest of the smart, the elite of the elite, the skilled of the skilled….believing me yet? Well..actually just those that make a little bit more money than an random backpacker so you aren't a burden on the public system...and you pay high taxes. But to get this visa you have to have the experience to earn the money to apply. And what gives you experience...age.

So here it is: for those dressing like your parents you should always remember with that little bit of age comes some extra entitlements, some more opportunities, the chance to stay in the country and lose that post-UK weight so you don't go home fat. In other words: age = beauty.

So there you are Holly. At your 30th remember this: while those girls in the corner are ten years younger; you're a doctor, haven't got that new to the UK weight and can quite easily wear daggy clothes in public and not care - all of which comes with age. As for being South African with a Kiwi boyfriend - you got yourself into that mess, only God can help you now!

But if you need to feel younger, you can simply revert back to your child hood and dress like a smurf.


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