Original Essay
"Just calm down would you. For a few moments at least. You have got ages to
think about what you are taking with you, 20 minutes before you have to be out
of that door." Pausing to listen to my mother’s unhelpful words has cost
me yet another few precious seconds, seconds that I don’t have to waste, not
now anyway. I won’t snap at her mind, she is the sole reason that I have the
opportunity to be going where I am. You see, she has agreed to lie, to my
somewhat over protective father, about my whereabouts, I owe her big time. These
were my thoughts as I realised, after having overslept by no less than 2 hours,
that I had precisely 18 minutes to get a whole four days worth of necessities
together, before leaving the house. Not to mention getting washed, dressed and
making myself presentable, no wonder I was panicking! I was meant to be going to
visit my boyfriend, who I hadn’t seen for 8 weeks, at his home in London. As
usual I had decided I was too tired to bother organising my stuff the night
before, I thought I’d get up early and pack whilst my mind was fresh and
awake, I was wrong! So, I began trying to do about three things at once, it
wasn’t working, mum tried to be useful but she seemed to be getting in my way
more than helping. I packed as much as I could, knowing I had forgotten a lot of
the things I had intended to take, I scrambled out of the door, into the taxi,
washed and dressed but without picking up a hairbrush or applying my makeup!

God, I must have looked terrible! Oh well, I began sorting myself out in the
taxi, I got my hair in a respectable state and decided to leave the rest for the
two hour train journey that awaited me when I reached Portsmouth. Trust me to be
like this, I never had been very good at planning ahead. Collecting my thoughts
together and calming down, it dawned on me where I was going, this day I had
been anticipating for some time, long distance relationships are not the easiest
at the best of times, let alone when yours is surrounded by a cloud of deceit. I
started thinking about the many times I had lied to get what I wanted, deceit
had almost become a tradition within our dysfunctional family. I peered out of
the steamed up window of the catamaran to see the approaching mainland. By my
calculations I would have to wait about 15 minutes before I had to board the

09:10 train, at least I had some time to have a bit of breakfast, my stomach was
not exactly making the most inviting of noises! I had completely forgotten that
it was the ‘festive’ season, that was, until I stepped into the train
station café and noticed that most furniture was laden with a multicoloured
variation of cheap tinsel, the selection of food available for purchase
accompanied this theme well, mince pies and Christmas pud were among the
obvious. I chose a strong black coffee and warmed piece of apple pie to sustain
my hunger, surprisingly it was good enough for me to finish the lot, although it
should have been for the extortionate price. No time to sit around, I had to go.

As the heavy door slammed shut behind me I heard the announcement that was
relevant, the tannoy arrangement of jingle bells was interrupted and the
following message was read, "09:10 train to London Waterloo arriving
shortly at platform 5" Platform five, just typical, right at the other end
of this depressing, gloomy, concrete city. I readjusted my bag straps and headed
off, only end up standing in the freezing cold for what seemed like an age.

Forgotten necessities numbers 1 and 2, scarf and gloves. When the train finally
came and I got a chance to sit down, I pulled out my makeup bag, I decided on
green eyes and brown lips, to match my "Sex, drugs and rock and roll"
hoodie and cords, one thing I could never tolerate, clashing makeup and clothes!

I perfected the look and decided to take my mind off everything by burying my
nose in my latest book acquisition, Our Man In Havana. The carriage quickly
filled to capacity, with German tourists, screaming toddlers and old grannies
entering at every station stop. Just what I