Last orders

It’s very difficult, writing a final column. The end of term is an emotional time for everyone and the temptation to make like Gwyneth Paltrow and start snotting, weeping and generally swooning all over my mac seems all too easy. However, I will try not to. Last time I got water on my keyboard by cleaning it with a wet toothbrush (very sneaky I thought..), it ended up being rather expensive. Yahoo! Answers can be so misleading…

People say that they are “sad” to be leaving but “sad” is such an overused word. I am “sad” that my room is too messy for me to get from my bed to the door without me impaling my foot on some lethal pointy object. I am “sad” that the hit ITV3 program “River Monsters” was cruelly denied a second series. I am “sad” that my parents unreasonably refuse to budge on the “no mini-pig” policy. But “sad” to be leaving York? Doesn’t quite seem to cover it.

Actually, behind all the hysteria, which will undoubtedly reach fever pitch on the alcohol drenched fields of Big D, I’m not so much “sad” as “terrified”. I have nothing to reassure me that a year from now, I won’t be rocking backwards and forwards in the corner of my bedroom in Essex, foaming at the mouth and weirdly caressing photos of my housemates from first year Slag and Drag. I don’t think I will, but you never know…

I’m not going to pretend that York has vastly expanded my culinary horizons. It hasn’t. True, I did find out that people actually eat chips and gravy. Also, I feel that I can confidently rebuke the stereotype that Yorkshire portions are miserly having eaten the most obscene portions ever in Heslington’s lovely Deramore Arms. A sandwich that’s actually a baguette, an entire chicken, a jar of chutney, and enough chips to bury Ronald McDonald alive?! That’s not a sandwich, it’s a buffet on a plate…

Apart from that though, the food I’ve had here is basically the same. What I’m frightened of though, is that the perfect, wonderful and memorable situations where I’ve experienced food here, won’t ever exist ever again. Take the chicken spicy pizza, for example. Throughout the past three years, a Vikings Kitchen Spicy Chicken pizza has been mine and my housemate’s answer to all emotional trauma. Breakups, failed exams, death threats from musical agents and court injunctions, have all been solved by this excellently priced grease Frisbee. I have sobbed over one, I have fallen asleep in one, and I have pretended one was my face to cheer someone up. They don’t do pizza delivery anywhere near my sleepy little village at home. I don’t know what I’ll do without it.

Sure, I can cook myself a mega hangover breakfast at home. In fact, it’ll probably taste better. Nicer bacon, fresh bread rather than Hovis from the freezer, a plate that I know won’t have a crusty shard of noodle adhered to the bottom. But am I ever going to be this hungover again? Will I ever *sob* lose the desire to P-A-R-T-Y?! Will there ever be such ghostly faces in my lounge, muttering feeble encouragement as I grill, whilst they are too incapacitated to move and switch on Jeremy Kyle?

Perhaps. Some things for certain though, will never happen again. I don’t think I will ever witness another unique cheese fight/drunken brawl combination. Cheddar will always be an ineffective weapon. I don’t think I will ever cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people dressed up as Sarah Palin while my friend cheerleads around me and squirts whipped cream in the air. I know I will never come downstairs to find a chunk of a freshly baked cake literally grabbed from its middle, and then have no option but to spend two days interviewing suspects and forcing them to provide alibis. These things will never happen again.

That’s not to say that I will never enjoy food again once I’ve passed the notorious A1 Adult Store, however. It will be nothing short of a joy, for example, to be able to open a fridge and find more than a scummy 2cm of Parmesan and 3 petit-filou’s 2 months past their sell-by date. It will be wonderful to use big plates, side plates, salad plates and bowls all at once, and not to tremble in fear of the consequential washing up. It will be comforting to be finally back together as a family, eating the most wonderful, delicious meals possible, cooked by someone who never manages to spend £113.50 on distracting items in Sainsbury’s, and yet still produce daily feasts that would make the Roux brother’s sob uncontrollably into each others arms.

Where will I actually be a year from now? 3 years, 5 years, well beyond a decade?! I have no idea. The food will perhaps be different. If I’ve got lucky, hot buttered lobster with champagne on ice and a breathtaking sea-view. If not so much, hopefully at least half a kit-kat chunky and a cup of tea. All I know is whatever I’m eating, I want the same people next to me.


  1. 1 Jul ’11 at 4:19 pm

    Topsy Turvey

    Aww, this is just lovely :)

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  2. good luck with everything

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  3. 4 Jul ’11 at 4:56 pm

    Laura Connor

    This made me chucke so much… Charlotte, I sincerely hope you discovered the culinary delight that is chips and gravy from me on our delightful production night trips to Jenny’s…

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  4. 9 Jul ’11 at 2:56 pm


    This made me giggle so much… and reminisce about my long-lost days at university!
    But don’t despair, Charlotte, there is life after Uni…
    All the best!

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