Things that are my fault in the cinema

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Hello! It’s me, your friendly cinema assistant. Just so we’re on the same page, I’d like to stand up and declare the things that are my fault. You may shout and swear and be passive aggressive at me for any or all of the following:

  • Our chip & pin machines not working properly
  • The Great Expectations literature (and the show’s own website) not stating whether or not it is indeed a musical
  • The queueing system
  • The opening times
  • Problems with your membership
  • Lack of information about other business’s events
  • Which films are (and are not) showing
  • Films selling out
  • The papers printing the wrong show times
  • Your debit card not being signed
  • The mess left by a previous audience being bad enough that it’s not completely invisible in the ten-minute turnaround before you enter the screen
  • The no-phone policy, which, by the way, we’re pretty lenient on at the moment. Giving you two warnings is pretty generous considering you’re openly using a bright white lit, noise-making recording device inside a screen, taking calls during a showing, or calling people inside a screen to find out where they are because you are late (another rule we’re pretty lenient with.) Phones are a whole other sea of nonsense on their own.
  • The design of the building, which manifests itself in numerous demons – lack of heating, too much heating, not enough light, too much light, not enough leg room, the toilets being downstairs, etc…
  • The toilets being a complete death-hole from the last round of customers coming out of a showing at once, two minutes ago, since which time I have been cleaning their mess upstairs in the screen.
  • Someone sitting next to you in a screen
  • You arriving too late for the breakfast menu
  • You not reading the small print
  • You not having ID
  • You not having proof of concession
  • Your bitter, ugly home life
  • The prices of food and drink. (We’re a cinema. Walk one minute to the nearest newsagent if you really care.)
  • The snow
  • The film not being to your taste
  • Our lack of internet cafe
  • Our terrible wifi signal
  • My not having been warned that you were a wheelchair user, and that I needed to take out two seats, which I am now doing alone, with an ill-sized tool, during the trailers. You’re right, I’m just doing this to show you how much I hate disabled people.
  • Your hearing impairment and apparent lack of any alternative such as sign language or hearing aid
  • Your intolerance to not only dairy, but everything stocked by a standard bar
  • Orange not sending you a 241 code
  • Cineworld buying us out
  • The toilets flooding
  • The basement flooding
  • Everything that happened before I came on shift
  • Release dates
  • Booking dates
  • Your having travelled “3,000 miles” (This was actually said last night, I exaggerate not) to see a film without booking, and it now being sold out at fifteen minutes into the twenty-minute trailer grace period.
  • The fact that you can’t book specific seats for showings before 5pm.
  • Someone else sitting in your seat
  • You can’t tell where the door is for the bar
  • We have nowhere to put external advertising

Coming soon… Things I love hearing from cinema customers! #1 “Did you know there’s a spider in the pin machine?”

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25 Things About My Family

I spent Christmas at Home with my family in 2012, for the first time in about five or six years. It was an absolute joy being amongst people so like-minded, whom you have that connection with which will never fade. That wonderful level of understanding. Having an impromptu holiday of two weeks is just wonderful, and I didn’t even succumb to the temptation to do work while I was there. To keep that at bay, I did do a little exercise in procrastination. I give you, 25 things about my family:

1. My mum was an editor of a TEFL magazine, and a TEFL teacher. She tried going back to teaching English in the last several years, but the updated training was quite dragged-out. I think what topped it off was her placement in the local secondary school. The place where my year 5 induction day saw chips and doughnuts for lunch, and a group of us being shut in the sandpit. (Who has a sandpit at a secondary school anyway?)

2. My great grandmother was Thai. My mum went on a sort of month-long pilgrimage to Thailand to see what it was all about a few years ago, and I’d like to do the same one day.

3. I think my brother is the best man I’ve ever met. Not the baby one, he hasn’t proved himself yet, but the only-slightly-younger one. I tend to measure people (men, at least) against him. Sense of humour, spirituality, maturity. We’re in tune.

4. My brothers’ names lend themselves very well to Winnie The Pooh shortenings; Reuben = Roo, Tiernan (meaning ‘Tiger man’, apparently) = Tigger. I suppose that makes me Eyeore.

5. Every one of us (except my brother) seems to have a kind of inferiority complex and a slight bitterness about being working class.

6. Every one of us has been cheated on.

7. My dad, predictably, hates my tattoo.

8. My brother talks to me when he’s serious about love. I appreciate it.

9. My mum believes in fairies and the Catholic Saints. To this day, Saint Anthony works for me for finding lost things.

10. My dad’s worst habit is saying, “Um…” as you’re leaving the room, and then making you wait once you’ve come back, before he finishes the sentence.

11. My brother has a Forest of Dean accent, while my parents and I have pretty non-regional ones.

12. My auntie apparently practices a form of witchcraft.

13. My other auntie was adopted. She and her husband dine with Charles and Camilla.

14. My mum has written hundreds of poems, which she has never shown to many, if any, people.

15. My step-mum’s cousins are The Magic Numbers.

16. My mum uses text slang. It makes me feel sick.

17. My parents were always older than of all my friends’ parents, but people always commented on how young they looked.

18. One year, we all stood in my grandparents’ back garden, along with quite a gathering of their friends, in Cradley Heath, to watch two blocks of flats get blown up. I think someone even filmed it.

19. To my knowledge, I am the first one interested in theatre, or the arts at all as a career.

20. I was supposed to be a Clark. Both my parents changed their names when marrying, and took the name of my grandmother’s maiden name, because they liked it.

21. My maternal grandmother wrote, and published under a pseudonym which was her real name spelt backwards. She consequently got fan mail addressed to, “Our little Indian writer, Duam Semaj”.

22. My dad always grew vegetables, in London and in the Forest, and cooked with his homegrown produce, which was always delicious.

23. My parents ran an alternative health practise together in London. Ben Elton came and interviewed them once, and made fun of it.

24. My mum’s sister is the head of what I deem a perfect family unit.

25. My mum’s first heard words were apparently, “Oh botheration with you!” Up till that moment she had stayed silent in front of her parents, but had been coming home and teaching her younger sister what she had been taught in school each day. This was in response to my auntie not understanding the current lesson.

Slipshod Sugary Female Thinking

(… Thank you, Mary Poppins.)

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This year’s greatest achievement so far…

Happy new year! A pinch and a punch for the first of the month, and no returns. And other traditional nonsense.

Today I am filled with excitement and optimistic energy for the coming year. I feel rested. I have had a rare week off, with absolutely no agenda, so sleeping and enjoying oneself have taken vital priority over the Christmas period. I am sitting here watching A View to a Kill with a good friend and the dog, and probably going to watch The Hobbit for the second time later on. Banana bread has just come out of the oven, (my second batch in two days; I intend to cook more from now on) the house is clean thanks to my brand new Henry, and I have furniture and finishing touches for my bedroom on order. I am wearing Mary Shelley around my neck.

For the first time in about five years, this year I went ‘home’ for Christmas. When I say home, (I have a few hometowns) I mean the Forest of Dean (or rather, Gloucester this time, as little bro’s all grown up now and has a place of his own, where I stay) and then Ivybridge, in Plymouth. I got to see my mum and oldest younger brother, (twenty-three) which was lovely, and then my dad, step-mamma and baby brother, (nine months) which was just as lovely, and different. Christmas was a quiet, subdued affair compared to the drinking, music, large family gatherings and games that I have been used to.

In the place of forced tradition and routine and scheduled fun, we spent our time ambling around at a leisurely (very, including the spa day mamma took me on) pace, doing exactly as we all wished, eating, walking, watching films, and going to look at animals (perhaps a trivial-sounding activity but oh-so-revered in my humble view – visiting Pets At Home is something I like to do regularly, just for a quick fix of furry company.)

I taught baby bro to wave, which he apparently now does at Guinevere on Merlin, (they think she must sound a bit like me) and anyone who waves on TV. He’s a bit of a screen-lover, and grabs at phones whenever they’re in sight. He loves Skype, and phonecalls, and seems to respond to familiar voices now, which is absolutely lovely. He has skipped crawling and gone straight to walking while holding onto nearby thumbs. He loves being outdoors and near water, and squeals every time a dog goes past. A man after my own heart. I had a great time staying with them and can’t wait to go back. Saying goodbye was actually quite hard, simply because I remember how far away I am.

Last night, per tradition of a few years, I spent new year’s eve with a bunch of my closest friends up North, drinking and catching up and dancing like fools to nostalgic tunes from our teenage years. I was then, and am now, filled with warmth and gratitude for what and whom I have around me, because it’s all pretty damn great.

A few things I will take from 2012:

  • Day-jobs are okay as a part-time compliment to your true passion. You can benefit from different kinds of work bringing respite from each other, and challenging and exercising you in different ways.
  • Sometimes, love is not enough.
  • I am capable of change, but I find it quite incomprehensible until it happens.

And I think that’s enough for now. :) I am going into 2013 with an open mind and heart, and a bit of slipshod sugary female thinking. I wish peace, love, health and happiness for you all.