Currently listening to: One More Night, Phil Collins – though Maroon 5′s completely-unrelated song One More Night is also cool.
If you’d like to bypass my spiel, there’s a poem at the bottom of this. It’s not the greatest one in the world, but it’s the first one I’ve written in almost two months.
This is the final night in my student house. Considering it was ‘raining’ through the ceiling when I moved in back in late September, I’d say it’s been better than I expected, though not much better. But, for better or worse, it’s been home, and part of me is going to miss it.
Indeed, for better or worse, I’ll probably miss this year. Parts of it have been great, and parts of it have been terrible. To be honestly melodramatic, I’ve had my fair share of laughter and tears, inspiration and frustration, love and loss. There’s been baking at midnight, pints in the moonlight, picnics in the afternoon and… hangovers that lasted past noon. There’s been movies, dinners, parties and poetry readings. There’s also been a lot of work – more than my friends who study science would believe. And there’s probably been more rain this year than last year.
But enough of me reminiscing. Before I continue, I’d like to apologise. Exam term, as a student, tends to mean a lot of work, intermingled with a lot of partying: I’d like to think that I’ve succeeded at both. However, this means that I haven’t really been updating this blog for the past two months, for a bunch of reasons that’ll become clear… right about now.
I guess this counts as evidence that History students actually do work. Or that they procrastinate enough to take pictures of their work.
NaPoWriMo didn’t do me any favours, for one thing: at the time, I had three essays due, totalling 13,500 words. I haven’t got them back yet, so I’m not entirely sure how I did, but I did hand them all in by the deadline thanks to a lot of tea, Diet Coke, water, dark chocolate digestive biscuits… and a link to a Lionel Richie song my friend sent me at 0330 during the final all-nighter before the deadline.
After those essays, I had exams. With exams, came revision, and a fluctuation in my eating habits that I still haven’t quite shaken off. I know it’s an odd observation, but I’ve noticed that I either binge horribly or skip meals when it comes to revision time. On some days, I’d bring no lunch onto campus and just work on an apple, whilst on others I’d go to the supermarket and buy ALL THE FOOD (there was one day where a friend and I took a revision break to the supermarket, and after we got back I didn’t stop eating for three hours). In the end, the exams themselves seemed to go well enough – though again, I don’t know how I did yet – that feeling of satisfaction is probably down to them being ‘done’ more than anything else.
Cambridge, Baking, London and Poetry (again)
In between essays and exams, I had two and a half weeks of ‘freedom’. So inevitably, I decided to pop to Cambridge to see my sister and my friend, and inevitably (I guess), I wound up drinking on a punt. On the plus side, I didn’t fall in the Cam, and have learnt how to punt in a straight line.
A brownie, from the batch which I took to Cambridge – I think.
Typically, I also took brownies to Cambridge. I’m not sure I’ve come up with any new varieties of brownies in the past two months, but I did succeed in making a cheesecake (the only one of the year!) last week, complete with strawberry sauce. The strawberry sauce is different to the one I made last year, since it’s more of a smoothie now than anything, since I added vanilla ice cream to it to make it a bit thicker.
As well as taking an excursion to Cambridge, I wound up in London for Poetry Unplugged again over revision season, and read The Box and The Social Network, which seemed to go down well enough. Someone told me that they thought that The Box was a coffin, which was an interesting thought since I never actually noticed the parallel, even though I wrote ‘And you will bury this box,/Deep within,/And it will not define you.’ I guess this is further proof of my belief that poetry is as much what I see in it as the author, as what people get out of it as readers. And it’s probably further proof that I’m mad and am subconsciously putting images into my work that I don’t see.
Socialising… because this is ‘The End’
I feel odd writing a header that says ‘socialising’ as an excuse for not updating my blog, but I think I can say that a lot of it has been justified recently.
See, this year feels like much more of an ‘end’ compared to last year. Last year, there was a slightly strange acceptance that I’d see most of my friends again this year, because we were all moving on together into second year, and because I didn’t really know that many people who were graduating.
This year, many of the friends I’ve made here are moving on, be it because they’re graduating this year or because they’re taking years away from university abroad or working. That, combined with the hope that I’ll spend my autumn in Venice, means that I won’t see a lot of people until 2014, and that I don’t know if I’ll see others again any time soon. It’s a strange situation, which has led to a lot of awkward goodbyes.
On the flip side, of course, it’s meant that I’ve wanted to spend as much time hanging around with people as possible, which has meant that I haven’t really had time to write. There’s been pub times, house parties (one of which ended epically), the Disney drinking game, Man of Steel (which is hilarious), many ‘coffees’, a game of monopoly, a failed barbecue and many other things I can’t remember.
I can also, satisfyingly, say that I FINALLY managed to commandeer (thanks to a friend) a piano at the University to have a mess about on, because I really miss my piano when I’m here. I can’t really play or actually compose, but I have fun messing around.
Unsurprisingly, finding a piano led to me trying to compose sheet music (roughly) the night before my Italian exam.
What I’ll miss more than that, though, is the wonderful people at university. Yes, this year has been a hard year, and yes, I’ve had my ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I’m another day older… and I’ve grown up, thanks to the wonderful friends I’ve kept and the new ones I’ve made.
And with that rather rambling blog post, here’s a poem. I’m not quite sure what it means, or if I’ve quite done the idea justice in my own mind, but I’ve been sitting on this for too long. Half of me thinks I should write another stanza, but the other half thinks that it’s quite enough. And it’s past half-two in the morning, so the latter half wins… at least until I decide to edit.
On the Edge of Tomorrow
I spent six months waiting
on the edge of tomorrow,
Waiting in the wilds,
With the gifts, with the songs,
With the shot-glass blossoms
Spent of their youth
And dry of their tears,
Lost among trinkets
And brittle in the light,
Grey as the moon,
Now turned to ash:
Once hugged, now forgotten.
It only took one look
to fall from the edge of tomorrow,
Fall on the wind,
With the paper cranes now turned to planes
Flying free of the dark
And light of their burden,
Warm in their hearts
Yet strong in the fire,
Born of the eyes
Now happy in tears:
Once bereft, now at peace.