First Impressions

I was skiing with Florian, Rose and Alvaro yesterday in the Andorran resort of Pas de la Casa.  There was not much real snow, but the Grandvalira resort have worked magic with the artificial snow production machines… and so we were able to ski most of the pistes.

Over lunch, Rose sat in the bad seat.

The table behind kept knocking into her with their ski jackets and ski helmets and ski whatevers.  They kept doing it, and there was no sorry, no acknowledgement whatsoever.

I told them of my first 3 weeks at university.

Nobody messed with me.

I made a fine first impression.

I arrived at Nottingham University aged 18 years old in September 1991.  My mum dropped me and my 2 bags of belongings off to my rooms in Cripps Hall (an All-Men hall…  not my first choice).

In the first week, two things happened that would affect how I would make my first impression on fellow students:

First, a local barber was offering free haircuts (marketing plan?).  A friend suggested that if we shaved off all of our hair, we would save money on haircuts for quite a while.  The barber, for this free haircut, shaved off my hair.

Second, I went to try out for the university football team.  I was doing quite well, until mid-way through the first half I went to head the ball… and the defender went in to head the ball…  I got the ball, he got just above my right eye.

I was taken off to the hospital bleeding profusely.

After a 6 hour wait in the public hospital, I had 6 stitches put in just below my right eyebrow.  I was told not to drink alcohol for at least 10 days.

At this particular crucial life moment, I was wearing black t-shirts with heavy metal angst bands (I can’t remember which bands first week…  A little later in the year it was Ministry).


I spent the first 3 weeks of university with a shaved head, a nasty black eye and an angry black t-shirt.  I looked like an extra from Trainspotting.

Nobody messed with me.

First impressions make a big impact.

Even if it is not the impression I’d have liked to have left.


PS. I was inspired to write this by Florian who responded to my story with “That is an awesome blog post…  If you don’t write it, I will!”.  You should read his blog over at 😉

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