You know the choice, work to live or live to work - what happens to the people that want to live and not to work in fact, at all?
Since the days of being driven to school by a friend of my mother's when I was a little'un (since the daily agony of weekday mornings in the eighties where I stared out of the rear window of an off-brown Citroën 2CV and bawled my eyes out at the sight of my waving mother disappearing around a corner as we drove off*) I have had a real distaste for regulary attending any buliding and being told to work.
At the age of 8, before that place scarred me completely for life, we moved house and I started at a new school which was far more fun. I recall going outside for lessons more often, field trips to muddy places and far more sports which didn't involve eggs on spoons. I learnt a wonderful new game called 'Rugby' and even took part in my first ever pre-arrraged fight in the playground, we slapped eachother a few times, got detention and later shook hands and laughed about it. As planned, we grew up a little and became old enough to attend a Secondary school at the age of 11 - things were great until a certain point, particularly until the early summer when we sat our important GCSE exams. I was of the mindset that I had absolutely no need to be studying chemistry, physics, welsh or whatever when it was so sunny outside and my friend Alex lived near the school, he had a full size snooker table in his conservatory. I promptly went outside and did anything other than revising, previously good grades turned into distinctly average grades and by the time we sat the even more important A-level exams at 18, not very good grades at all. If only I had been awarded grades for having a great time outside of school, I would have been a straight-A student with specialist subjects including mountain biking, listening to music and trespassing all over farmers land.
My very first place of employment was at the school swimming pool when I was 16, I proudly called myself a lifeguard where in actual fact I sat on the side of the heavily chlorinated pool whilst reading, occasionally swimming, chatting to old ladies and blowing a whistle from time to time. Eventually the pool closed due to a crocodile living in it (or something similar that I can't recall). I had reached 18 and before long I had finished school before starting as a full-time lifeguard at a slighty better quality pool with equally nice old ladies to chat to. These are possibly the only jobs I have ever truly enjoyed - I cycled 12 miles to the pool, chatted to all the old ladies, swam, taught kids how to swim and then cycled the 12miles home through the scenic and peaceful Welsh hills.
The next move was to spend all the money I had saved from these exhausting places of employment. I spent most of 2001 at the beach in Australia, at the beach in Wales and in Southampton for university. (See: Compton Beach) and had pretty much the time of my life, deciding pretty quickly never to ever get a 'normal' job.
I have spent a large portion of the 11 years since moaning that I sit too long in front of a computer screen while staring vacantly outside and wishing I was somewhere else. Preferably somewhere sandy.
*I wrote that sentence and then googled my old school, even the picture from outside was enough to send shivers down my spine.