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Birthdays, Waiting Days & Holidays


On Wednesday it was my birthday.

I always feel slightly unworthy on my birthday, like I didn’t do enough to deserve the ‘happy birthday!’s flung my way. I feel like I should have accomplished something great this past year and I just… haven’t. I feel like I didn’t do sufficient good this year, as a human. I didn’t contribute enough. I am lacking, somehow.

Still, as with every year, it’s just made me more determined to knuckle down this coming year. I will blaze through 2018! Hopefully!

….My resolutions start early.

To date, I think this might be my least organised Christmas yet! As things currently stand, some of the Christmas presents I ordered online won’t arrive until the new year, and all I want for Christmas (now that I’ve got my two front teeth) is a time turner or a portable black hole. I need some way to scrounge a couple of days in the midst of the madness to assemble an entire kitchen and do some heavy duty spray painting, so if any of you have time travel theories you need testing, let me know.

I am starting to wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but my innate optimism in anything relating to matters outside of myself is really buoying me up and persuading me it’s possible. I suppose we’ll see, won’t we? I’ll either manage it, or I’ll be crushed by a falling floor-to-ceiling cabinet and leave a Quinn-shaped hole in the floor (in which case I grant you all permission to tut and say, “Typical!” in a disappointed-but-not-entirely-surprised tone of voice).

Since my home is now a building site, I am currently sitting in the lobby of a local hotel, vagrant-style, stealing warmth and wifi while I wait for a toilet to be delivered.

When you’re ten years old, you never think about the fact that your adult life will one day involve hours of waiting for a toilet bowl to be delivered. You think about the fact that you can have ice cream for breakfast if the fancy takes you, but you never imagine that one day, you too will need to buy a hoover. Someday you will need to iron your clothes*, and weigh up the merits of coyote oak over frappuccino oak, and think about things like triple-glazing**.

You won’t have a clue what you’re doing.

That’s fine.

You will strongly suspect that the shop assistants don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

That’s fine too.

Unlike our parents, we have the internet at our fingertips. The world is smaller than it’s ever been. Just this past week I took in a delivery from Galway, and now I’m waiting on a delivery from Germany. I wish I had a bed to curl up in, but since the bedroom looks like a smaller and less organised version of IKEA’s warehouse I am sitting in this blue twill armchair in this hotel lobby instead.

ikea boxes
There is a bed in there somewhere. At least, there used to be.

The lobby is quite nice actually.

Unlike my home, this lobby has heating.

Unlike my home, this lobby has a bathroom.

Unlike my home, this lobby has a Christmas tree.

Unlike my home, this lobby has somewhere for me to sit that isn’t a precariously balanced assortment of wiring covered with black tarpaulin.

I have been here four hours.

I was told the toilet would arrive “in the morning.” There is an hour of morning left. My toes are numb and I have Christmas shopping to do. If I don’t leave here soon I am mildly concerned that I will become an inadvertent mascot like that cat, Billy, who wandered into the Algonquin Hotel in NYC back in the 1920’s and never left.***

Although… Now that I’ve been here for four hours I am curious as to how long I could stay here before being quizzed about my business. How long do hotels let you hang out if you have a laptop and a purposeful expression on your face?

If the toilet never arrives, I’ll let you know.

Happy Christmas, everybody. I’m sending you all the love, all the good wishes, all the hugs and twinkles and fairy lights and mistletoe kisses you could possibly want.

Have a great one!

PS: If anybody is feeling generous and feels the need to gift me a birthday coffee, there’s a link in the sidebar! I have a dream that one day I will go to Insomnia and order every different kind of hot chocolate, and I suppose if you were so inclined you could make this deranged chocolatey dream a reality! Thank you to those of you who have been kind enough to buy me one already; I REALLY appreciated both them and you!

*For the record this day has yet to come for me. I make a point of only buying clothes that don’t need ironing. Or if they do, I wear them crumpled and pretend they’re supposed to look like that. If I absolutely MUST get creases out of something, I use my hair straightener. This is not because I don’t own an iron (I do; a very intimidating hulk of a thing with a water reservoir and everything), but because life is too short to be faffing about with ironing boards and irons and those tiny plastic water jugs and all the rest of it.

**If you’re anything like me you will have conjured up a mental image of a donut positively dripping with three thick, smooth layers of sticky-finger glazing, but actually this is to do with windows and insulation. Adulting is an endless series of low-level disappointments…

***He kicked off a whole hotel cat tradition. Their current cat is a ginger tabby called Hamlet.


  • Angela

    Happy belated Birthday lovely, you are always deserving of birthday wishes, you survived another year -that’s enough in itself πŸ™‚
    I hope your toilet doesn’t keep you waiting too much longer and you find some Christmas cheer amongst the chaos (it’ll all be worth it in the end remember) …also here here to hair straightner ironed tops!
    Merry Christmas xo

    • Quinn

      Thank you! Even just your Christmas comment made me feel Christmas cheer! I finally got the toilet don’t worry, the heavy yoke is just sitting in the middle of the hallway now … Happy Christmas! xx

  • Dangerspouse

    Damn. I want to move to that hotel lobby, and I have a toilet at home (not that I need one, being a guy). Good luck with the new loo, you (triple rhyme!). I hope you stay flushed with that, and happiness, as you blaze through your next year on this rock. More asterisks!

  • The Real Reality Show Blog

    Happy Birthday and Filled Christmas Wishes! Everybody deserves a happy birthday and the greetings that accompany it. You filled a great purpose this year, giving me and many something to smile at and about a few times each week.
    Someday you’ll get the hang of this adulting fad and when that happens you’ll actually want to sit in the hotel lobby looking purposeful. At least I think so. I’m not sure I’ve gotten the hang of it yet and I’ve celebrating many more years than you. But I have gotten the hang of ironing. I think I was 42.
    Merry Christmas! πŸŽ„

  • pyjamasandcrumpets

    Hope you had an excellent birthday!

    It’s this year I’m telling you – there’s something in the air getting organised for Christmas has been difficult. And I’m usually sorted weeks ago. It’s irritating me no end.

    Good luck getting your house in order. At least all our stuff is in place well the essential seats and toilets and things. We still have boxes to empty but that’s hardly the point…

    Also I’m so glad someone else sees ironing this way. Though I’ve yet to use straighteners. This may be as I don’t own any but hey. I get the Lost Astronomer to iron. He’s a professional ironer – it’s the sort of thing you get taught in the forces. It also means he’s really picky about things being ironed correctly. For example his shirts he won’t let me touch them. I really appreciate this! 😁

  • alexraphael

    I read the comments too. So glad your toilet arrived in the end. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. When did you last have ice cream for breakfast btw?

  • Annie Rosenbush

    Happy Christmas, everybody. I’m sending you all the love, all the good wishes, all the hugs and twinkles and fairy lights and mistletoe kisses you could possibly want.

  • John Montesi

    Happy birthday, Quinn! There were lots of relatable feelings in here (namely, growing up is a lot of unexpected tedium that accumulate slowly, then all at once, ’til you find yourself wondering why you can still vividly remember the words to all of Blink-182’s songs even though you’re browsing a selection of toilets on some website specializing in such things) and lots of grin-inducing UK spellings of familiar words.

    Enjoy the coffee, goodness knows it’s just about the greatest thing money can buy.

    Merry Christmas, too!
    -John and Hank

  • bexoxo

    Happy belated birthday my friend. I’m sorry you’re not in the Christmas spirit, but a toilet in the hallway…? Sounds like a party! I hope your Christmas is full of cookies and kindness. Hugs from NYC!

  • Lane Beck | Travel Inspire Connect

    Giant birthday hugs, Quinn!! πŸ€— Your humility is cute. I don’t think you have any idea the amount of joy, laughter and humanness you have brought to countless people this year just through your stories alone. I, for one, will be the first in line to say, β€œThank you.”… for speaking from the heart, for being open and vulnerable and for letting us all have a brief peek inside the wonderful world of Quinn! My year has been brighter because you unselfishly share your amazing gift. Happy Holidays!

  • SingleGuySays

    Happy belated. Your post made me think of the model apartments they set up on the IKEA showroom floor, and how nowadays if you were to lift up one of the toilet seat lids, you’ll see a big bright sign saying ‘for showroom purposes ONLY’, and it makes me wonder who or what made them have to start putting warnings. Because you only warn of something after it’s already happened.

  • Brian

    Belated Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas. We missed sharing a birthday by two whole days, but in a moment of Small World Syndrome – you DO share a birthday with my wife!

    Best of luck with all of your remodeling. Hope the new year finds you enjoying the renovations!

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