Working in the Sun, the Dream or the Dammed

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I awake, it’s midday and it must be 40 degree’s celsius outside yet it is far hotter in this room I share with my current boyfriend. I stare at the broken window with a bed sheet acting as a curtain whilst my head bangs from a mixture of the drunken cocktails the night before mixed with the severe dehydration of having no water. I stumble out of the sweat filled bed and into the kitchen of the tiny fixed caravan to come across my devil caravan-mate who woke me with the blare of dubstep from the stereo. I have no cigarettes, we all have no cigarettes or water. I stagger out the front door to the killing yet beautiful sun to the neighbours, they are still asleep. I rummage around in their kitchen, grab myself 3 cigarettes and back to bed I go.

Six hours later I awake again with the dread of work. Oh god how bad I feel. If you have ever had a hellish hangover, try that 90 days in a row,  that is a real hangover. I shower in cold water, take one step out the shower and covered in sweat again. What is the point especially when air-conditioning just isn’t a possibility.  I quickly apply some make-up, tie my hair up, grab my stuff and start the 1Km walk to work. I envy all the tourists looking fresh, smiling and loving the sun. Where’s my tan? It’s not uncommon to be sick on the way to work or whilst at work. I enjoy my job, I’m a photographer in pubs and nightclubs and often “prop” on the street, encouraging tourists to come into the bars; the pay is good, the hours are great and the people are fabulous.

Work finishes around 1am which is a brilliant time to finish, many worker’s I know finish 5 or 6 in the morning with less pay than me and not one day off, ever. Yet, it is so exhausting, this routine is taking a toll on my body. I’m pale, im losing weight by the week and generally look ill despite living out of burger king. It could be worse, many people I know have turned to cocaine among the worker community just for the energy boost required, there is a major drug problem. Families fall apart, moral’s are left in their country of origin and the behaviour becomes more outrageous as time goes on. I’ve noticed a change in myself, I was shy and sweet yet I’ve really had to toughen up to survive in this society; the rumours, the lies; the accusations. You genuinely turn quite feisty in this type of environment. It could be compared to eastenders, but this is real life. People fall out, people get severely battered, the police turn a blind eye. You hear of rapes, drug gangs running people out of the area and all of a sudden you become aware of the real situation, but we also turn a blind eye and live in bliss.

Thankfully, the tourists see the happy drunk staff, the friendliness, the euphoric energy we provide and everything we can to make them have a great time. It’s not all doom and gloom, it is the most fun experience you can imagine. Aside all the bitchiness, the workers form a strong bond, we know everyone, and we party till sunrise. We look after each other, do favours and enjoy each other’s company. We are out every night, we cannot help it. You begin the night of working with the mindset of absolutely no alcohol however, in the type of environment its hard to resist. As the night progresses you drink to settle your stomach and before you know it 1 turns into 20 or 30. I wouldn’t change it for the world, it’s a family and its full of laughter.

However, there are some problems with this lifestyle:

  1. Out of Season
  2. Stability & Security
  3. Influence
  4. Psychological

1. Every high season must end in a low season in which for most workers (unless you are an owner/manager/resident) means the loss of jobs. The majority of the venues close over the winter period so you have a couple of options. Stay on and be part of the foreign equivalent to  income benefits or go home which poses more potential problems. For example, you gave up your flat and job just to come back to nothing or possibly you come back to your flat whilst   struggling throughout the summer paying for 2 properties, yet still to come back to no job. The other extreme being students not returning for their course only to be forced home out of season to return to not being able to continue due to non-appearance and general immaturity throwing your life away for sake of a few weeks.

2. It’s sad when you see 50-year-old waitresses hagged from the sun and alcohol consumption over the years working in a backstreet karaoke pub. Yet you see it. Tired and exhausted but no other choice. This is the reality of what happens unless you make something of yourself. Having no connections to the home country anymore, there is no opportunity to ever leave and not being fluent in the native language poses problems for other job opportunities. It’s not just the oldie’s who are affected, youngsters will never properly get their feet on the ground unless they are from a rich background so as fun as it is, I wouldn’t recommend it as a permanent life plan but just as a few summer seasons whilst young.

3. Behaviour, drugs and alcohol. There is a fair amount of peer pressure in these so called holiday resorts, not to just look good but in some ways to out do each other. Everyone sleeps with everyone, fine in our generation and in such a party resort but some take it a little too far. A friend of mine when drunk gets dared to sleep with some of the most gruesome men you have seen and she does it, hilarious to everyone else, mortifying for her the next day but unless you can stand up for yourself these sort of dares are common practice and yes funny but regrettable. There are drugs everywhere, we know the dealers and even the workers influence you to join in. To be honest, it’s not so much of a problem if its discrete and each to their own but I have seen friends change over the years and the dependency is just plain obvious nowadays.

4. Oh the psychological side, my god how much it changes you. Its done me some good to be honest. I use to always be walked over for being so nice I would say, not anymore, at least I can stand up for what’s right. Other problems you shall notice is sleeping, to keep it simple, no alcohol equals no sleep (ever). I think you become so use to konking out from alcohol without it you literally lie for hours and hours awake as the morning arrives, a personal problem I have suffered from. Furthermore, the change back to reality to your home, adjusting again is more difficult than you may think, once again you have responsibilities. You need concentration, confidence and let’s be honest, your morals.

These are the bad points of working in a drink-fuelled holiday resort but I genuinely think  the pro-points outweigh these by far. The lasting relationships you form with people all over the world never seem to fade even if it has been a few years. The drunken giggles, the adventures we share and the plain right stupid things we have all done just make stronger bonds and amazing stories to bring back home. You genuinely care about and love everyone you work and live with, being in such a small environment and being  constantly compannioned with them 24/7 ensures you get to know people more than you would in a nomal home environment. For many years I have been returning to this certain resort and the new faces quickly fit in and continually appear year after year until they are part of the “family”.

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Cathryn Gribben

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Childhood Memories: Wildlife

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Image

General

So I grew up in a small, remote village in the countryside of north-east Scotland and from a very young age I was encouraged to explore and respect nature, wildlife and the environment. I grew up with the normal family pets, a loyal golden retriever called Zoe and a tabby pussy cat called Marigold. They were both very lovely, RIP. Oh and of course my own list of hamsters, Victor, Jigsaw and Horny, yes Horny, as well as a little pond of tadpoles and frogs. Sounds normal enough right? Yes well I took my animal obsession to another level as a child as you will soon discover, we shall start with bone collecting!

Bones

My Dad and I often walked Zoe to an area we called “rabbit world”, this place had an abundance of rabbits, and I mean they were bloody everywhere along with the odd badger, fox, deer and occasionally we would spot a big cat type panther lurking in the bushes. Just a wee note, the history of the area dates back to a time whereby exotic animal‘s were allowed as pets and due to reinforcing animal laws against keeping such animals, many were let loose into the wild. Anyways, while Zoe was chasing rabbits and rolling in dead fish by the river, me and my dad use to go on adventures and there were always several predatory killed remains of animals, and me being the weirdo that I am, I liked to collect the bones. I wasn’t fussy; I liked all bones of anything, skulls, limbs etc. I use to keep them on my bedroom windowsill along with my several dried out dead crabs. Sounds disgusting doesn’t it. Not sure what my thought behind this collection was but it does sound like the beginning of a serial killer biography haha!

Snails And Slugs

I really, really liked snails, not so much slugs but snails definitely were my favourite invertebrate as a child. Slugs were to slimy and gooey for my liking and those bloody yellow ones use to secrete horrible, sticky stuff when you tried to touch them. This did not stop myself, my friends Fiona and Stephanie trying to collect them one day in a forest by sticking them in our juice carton. I can’t rely recall what happened to them after that but pretty sure we didn’t keep them. Snails on the other hand were like a childhood craze in our neighbourhood along with tamagotchi’s, pogs, yo-yo’s, you remember. Me and my best friend Louise both had a fishtank-like container for them. I use to always feed them lettuce and stuff and what’s stranger is that I put them on the swing and pushed them and chucked them down the slide; you never know they might have enjoyed it. They also all had names, I use to paint their shell’s different colours with nail varnish and had an inventory of who was who in my notebook, sad child. I remember to this day a very traumatic experience, all my snails were out playing in my bedroom slithering across my carpet (lovely) and my friend Greg got up and stood on one and it squished everywhere. I remember crying hysterically over this 😦 He gave me one of his snails haha. It’s funny actually because I was working in Spain a couple of years ago and snails seemed to be attracted to our path in the garden and every morning we would wake to squished ones like oh no, my friend Angela and I must stand on them when drunk and in the dark. Her boyfriend use to have to scoop them up every day.

Peachy, Woodlice And The Earwig

Just a quick note on woodlice, like the snails they were also painted in nail varnish and had names uuurrrggghhh.

Peachy, my beloved maggot! Hahaha, I am being genuinely serious. So one day, I was digging n the garden looking for treasure as you do and I came across this worm/maggot thing, looked like a mix between the two to be honest. Not sure what it was but either way I took a shine to it, so this is what I did; I took a plastic cup filled half with soil and stuck it in there and pretty much left it. I checked on it everyday which I named peachy and use to put it in my bicycle basket when I cycled to the shop or just out to play. One day I came home and peachy and the cup was gone, turned out my mum through it out thinking it was rubbish; I was devastated.

The earwig, thinking back yuck, that little browny-black insect with pincers uuurrrghhh. I kept one as a pet, in a petri-glass cellotaped together in which it was given one drop of water a day to feed, nutritional haha. The sad thing is, this earwig went everywhere with me; was in my school bag at school, my briefcase when i was playing, yes I walked around with a black briefcase and generally everywhere. Can’t remember what happened to it, I imagine, it probably died.

The Spiders Nest

I’m pretty certain my arachnophobia has mostly arisen due to this. My dad was going to build a shed, all the materials use to lay in the back left corner of the garden. One day I approached it and it was covered in hundreds, maybe thousands of fast, scattering spiders. I do not mean the small ones either, I mean the house-spider lookalikes which are fairly large with horribly large abdominal’s. They were just constantly running in and out of gaps, over the top and around the whole area. As like a 6-year-old, I really, really didn’t like it and consequently Greg and myself use to spend hours with big metal shovels trying to smack them to get rid of them. After a few days we must have gave-up as not much progress was made, ultimately I just avoided the area.

Altogether

My bedside drawers, all 3 of them i emptied and replaced the books/toys etc with soil, leaves and mud in which i filled with insects and snails. I thought I was being clever in that my parents didn’t know, but just on the phone to my mum a minute ago she confirmed my suspicion that all along she was rescuing these insects and putting them back outside.

One summer my parents brought out this huge, antique doll house out of the attic for me to look after and play with. What did I do? I filled it with soil, an abundance of different creepy crawlies in each room and shut it and kinda forgot about it. My mum opened it one day and I remember getting a huge row because it was completely ruined with soil and dried up insects everywhere.

Happy Times 🙂 RIP all my childhood creepy crawlies.

Plenty Of Fish Aka Pish Game

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Sooooo, I came across the blog which i found hilarious. This guy joined plenty of fish (the dating website) and mailed girls telling them they are beautiful and then drawing them on paint really, really badly. As sad as it is, I genuinly found it quite funny so thought I would give it a go.

So made a fake profile and got bombarded with new messages. I must admit i used a very pretty girl as my profile pic to reel them in haha. Also came across my ex which i found quite funny, pointed it out to him and he deleted it promptly :p haha.

Anyways…It goes something like this.

and….

Ok…that’s all im doing because I genuinly feel bad now. There are some really nice guys talking to me or my fake me and don’t want to upset them or actually just because it’s not actually me, silly I know. /fun while it lasted thou hahaha.

Time to delete the profile :p

Actually…change of plan 🙂 Just thought of something hahahaha. What if, when I draw these guys i add myself and a couple of children with a love heart. I wonder how they will react to that. For example:


This was not the reply i was expecting…once again, I feel bad. Enough is enough I think. Im sooooowwwwrrrryyyyy guys 😦

 

 

 

Google Auto Complete Is Silly

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Have you ever noticed how silly some of google’s search items are when you type in a couple of words into the search bar? hahaha…I will show you some examples:

Below is the 1st page I came across on google whilst clicking on i’m feeling lucky from the words “is it normal”!

Also…here are a few more examples of bizarre things that people look up…keep in mind the results google show are what people search most :p

Girls wearing condom’s, how would that even work???

hmmmm…

That is all for now. I swear google use to have better ones, but maybe they cleaned the results up a little 😦 boo

Scary Penis Men

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Yes, you have just read that correctly, the title is indeed “Scary Penis Men” and for one good reason, men with penises (yes, obvioulsy they all have penises; well most I think) can be extremely scary in unexpected and normal situations.  Now, I have never really confessed these stories to anyone before but they are true and honestly once you have read them you might understand why. So why not write it in a blog? Makes a good read and you can laugh at my life 🙂 Sorry Dad if you don’t really want to read this, It’s probably not your cup of tea.

So let’s get started, case number 1.  I’d say I was quite young and I’ll give you some background info. My parents were house hunting in the Alicante area for a holiday home so we took frequent trips to Spain once they decided to buy one to do paperwork etc. We were always located in the same hotel in one of my favourite places, Torrevieja and whilst my parents were sorting all the boring stuff out I was left to my own devices, this is what happened…

I went to the playpark a few 100 metres from our hotel on the beach front (to watch the local spanish guys play football nearby) which was pretty basic, a rusty swing; a graffitied slide and two of those little motorbike things you sit on which look like they are stuck to the ground with massive bendy coils but nevertheless, i was enjoying the sun and view on my wobbly motorbike when a black man, and i mean black, the kind that you can only see their eyes appeared on the bench behind me. Me being me didn’t think anything of it and carried on wobbling my motorbike like a loony bit. But when I turned around a few minutes later his penis was out! And i mean out, he had pulled his trousers down and there it was like the Eiffel tower…I fucking shat it, like seriously, I was only young and took me a few seconds to register what the fuck was happening while he was saying “sit on me”. Fucking perverted gollywog! Anyways, I ran away to the hotel as fast as I could, I was actually terrified. I must say, I never did go back to that park again. I use to ask my mum to come with me and she would always say “don’t be silly, your old enough to go yourself” or probably “your too old to go the park”, either way she refused. Maybe it happened to her too but I highly doubt it considering she had never been.

So that’s a highlight of my teenage life with a scary penis man, but there’s more!

Case number 2. So one day I was sitting on the bus minding my own business, infect it must have been one of those late buses because I remember it being dark and there were only 2 people on the bus, myself and some guy maybe in his mid twenties; may i mention I was around 16 years old at the time. This bus was en route to Elgin a dump full of inbred scum; luckily im not originally from there my lovely hometown from this town called Buckie infact that place is even worse and whilst listening to my old skool MP3 player, something caught the corner of my eye, yes a god damn penis how unlucky can i get! This guy who i might also add looks horrendous, you know the type…greasy, fat, glasses not that I’m shallow or anything but you know, someone who doesn’t look after themselves. Anyway, this guy was having a wank, lovely!

But the creepiest part was that he was sitting opposite me and was getting closer and closer. Once again I shat it and ran away, well as far as I could which happened to be the front of the bus. I didn’t say anything to the driver because I’m stupid like that and never told anyone either.

I’m hoping there will be no more incidents like this to add 🙂 It was a while ago now but my god I remember it so vividly. I would of been perfect bait to attract the pedo ring apparently. Fucking sick bastards, they need their dicks cut off!

Cathryn Gribben