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Littlest Things

Another day of trivial achievements: I managed to spend 25 minutes talking at my personal tutor about why last term was so crap and why this term is great. It boiled down to BEFORE: intimidating seminar tutor, gloomy boyfriend, distant hall mates AFTER: laidback seminar tutors, no boyfriend, alternative social arrangements. Somehow it wasn't as entertaining as the 25 second conversation I had with Alaric while standing on the landing outside. That man's essence needs to be distilled, bottled and distributed to students everywhere as an alternative to prozac. Maybe "essence" isn't the right word, but it's less dodgy than any of the alternatives currently floating about in my head. 

Apart from blethering on at members of the English department? I bought two boxes of fruit...ate two boxes of fruit...worked my way through a packet of jaffa cakes...and what remained of my tuc biscuits from the hike yesterday...and a packet of crisps...and a kitkat...

I also picked up my books from Julian's (it was kind of like the post-break up exchange of stuff, only we hadn't been together long enough to warrant boxes, and he never lent me anything anyway) and got a load of washing done. As I said, the achievements have been trivial. Minimal notes taken. Still, it should be enough to get me through for the time being, and by this time tomorrow I won't care because SARAH WILL BE HERE!!! 




Am I human or am I hiker?

A whole day tramping about in the Yorkshire dales - bliss! Up Buckden Pike we went, through snow that sometimes came up above our knees, along the ridge at the top and down to Starbotton, then back along the bottom of Wharfdale to Buckden. Apart from the moments when my hands got quite cold, and the fleeting periods of realisation that my feet were in fact fairly damp, no complaints whatsoever. My legs are starting to groan a bit now, but only because they know they've done a good job. Absolutely exhausted - probably an early night and early rise. 

Songs I play in my head while ascending hills:

Mavis Staples - Turn Me Around

Lady Gaga - Paparazzi/Poker Face

Kanye West - Stronger

The Blues Brothers - Rawhide

Goldfrapp - Satin Chic

Donny Osmond - I'll Make A Man Out of You (blush!)


Today started with me seriously considering the possibility that Bill had killed himself in the shower - or fallen over and cracked his head open, or been disemboweled by a homophobic lunatic - for about three hours. It turned out that his phone was on silent, he wasn't answering his door because he was asleep, and that shower has been running constantly for over 24 hours. However, he has developed something that he claims is man-flu (I'm skeptical, considering his remarkable ability to spend most of the day playing Homeworld), and is doing his best to convince me that it could be fatal. Or at least, severe enough to prevent him from doing his seminar preparation.

(There is someone in my part of the the corridor who I can always hear coming about a minute before she unlocks her door, because she shuffles across the carpet. The effect is second only to nails on an emery board and chalk on blackboards. Lift your fucking feet!)

If it's a tactic that works, I may just have to arrange a cold for myself for the week after next - today was fairly desperate workwise, and that's just my attempt to get preparation for this week's seminars done. There's also an essay due the week after, and since I'm going home next weekend I should probably get my preparation for the seminars that week done this week. Only, Sarah's coming up on Tuesday and I'm going hiking tomorrow, which leaves...Monday. A day to look forward to. To which to look forward. 

In roughly chronological order, my day has basically consisted of a period of mild worry, four meals, multiple snacks, some note-taking in Edward Boyle, a book hunt in the Brotherton, a long phone call from home, two Star Trek episodes and some more note-taking. Plus an inordinate amount of time faffing about online. While wondering whether Bill was alive.

To finish: glad as I am that he's alive (if not completely well), I have to admit it would have been a more memorable entry if Bill had died in the shower this morning. 

Some Things I Thought About Today

 Just to clarify: not everything I thought about today - that would make me anal in the extreme, or just incredibly vacuous.

 -  I overuse hyphens and ellipses. To a ridiculous extent. To be fair, I think about this most days - it's like a disease.

-  The pretty bangle with an inscribed quote from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' that Chloe and Lydia got me for my 18th is starting to look a bit battered. Probably to do with me never taking it off or something. 

-  The scratch Bill gave me at breakfast this morning looks a little bit like a shooting star.

-  It's crazy how I still cry whenever I read 'Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night'. Even more so, how angry it still makes me feel.

-  I should start writing poetry again - I've been on hiatus since spring 08.

-  It's a shame that as soon as you doodle something involving three circles, you get paranoid that someone's going to look over your shoulder and think you have a phallic fixation. 

-  I'm not too sure I'd like me if I met myself, but I like being me.

-  The point of the truth is that you can't only tell it when it's easy.

-  "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "To Autumn" are good examples of why some people should never be allowed to write poetry. Ever.

-  Peanut M&Ms were probably ordained by a divine being. And Bountys were sent to punish us.

Today was a GOOD day

Oh yus. Everything on the to-do list for today completed, and I even had time for a quick nap before dinner. Not that I needed it - I woke up this morning feeling more rested than I have for aaaaaages. The sun's come back, and was doing it's job properly today - not only was it bright all day, but also warmer than it's been for weeks - I don't want to see whether or not it's forecast to last over the weekend. 

The Icelandic sagas are a bit of a mixed bunch, truth be told - I enjoyed 'Thorstein Staff-Struck', 'Thidrandi Whom the Goddesses Slew' and 'Gunnlaug Wormtongue' (a prototype for Tolkien's court sycophant, perhaps?), but 'Hrafnkel the Priest of Fey' and 'Eirik the Red' proved a struggle. 'Eirik the Red' in particular is stuffed full of names that are confusingly similar, or even worse, used for multiple characters. Like a short story with many, many references to John, Jon, Johnny, Jonathan, Joe (including the previous three generations of their families and what their sons get up to) and Joan as the token female. Only with some crazy syntax so you have to scratch your head a bit to work out who's being referred to anyway. And all young men are described as "promising" for some bizarre reason. Still, those Vikings - they probably knew what they were doing. Hopefully the lectures next week will clarify things for us mere modern mortals. 

On the other hand, the poem for the coming week is brill - Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach'. The essay we're supposed to read alongside it is clearly intended to give us an introduction to formalist criticism, and there's plenty to be said about the structure and form of 'Dover Beach' - a quick preliminary read has already thrown up enough points to get me through the seminar without much stress. 

Tomorrow needs to be about getting preparation for Religion and Culture done - it's by far the heaviest of my modules this semester - and maybe taking another look at the poem I'm supposed to be writing a close analysis on for the first assessed piece. On Sunday I get to have fun.



1) Write on Caity's wall. Yeah it's the most urgent.

2) Take back library books to the Brotherton and Edward Boyle. Don't be lazy and kid yourself that one's enough.

3) Do some laundry - a whites wash is essential.

4) Take cardboard and paper down to recycling.

5) Ask Charlie what was discussed in the last jcr meeting (i.e. what I'm supposed to have been doing all week).

6) Do a Morrisons shop, remembering to pick up breadsticks for Sarah.

7) Sign up for a personal tutoring session with Catherine Batt.

8) Find out from Jenny what I actually need to take with me on Sunday

9) Read the Icelandic sagas. Also do preparation for Poetry if I have time or energy.

10) Avoid getting dragged into the Union elections. Or any kind of early Valentine crap. 

Thoughts for the day

 1) I'm looking forward to the Sunday hike in Wensleydale, even if it does mean I have to do all my preparation for the next two weeks in roughly three days because - 

2) I'm also looking forward to Sezza visiting me next week, and then going home for the big birthday weekend.

3) I'm astounded at how well both seminars went today, considering how poorly prepared I was.

4) I'm glad I started talking to Amy after the Religion and Culture seminar this morning, as she seems like a really nice person, but - 

5) I'm annoyed that the uni portal isn't playing ball and giving me the module member list so that I can find her surname and add her on facebook.

6) I'm overjoyed that Alaric was doing the final lecture of my week - despite being the last of four straight contact hours all in different parts of the campus (nice one!) it left me with a smile on my face.

7) However, I'm not too upset about seeing the back of the long Old English Poems - yay for Icelandic sagas next week!

8) The last 24 hours have proved that joining Twitter was a bad idea as far as my degree's concerned. So what to do except start up a journal?

9) Going to comedy club with Bill was definitely a good idea, but it wasn't as good as the week when they got Pete Firman in - "MAGIC!!!"

10) I'm thinking my twitter promise to start reading the Icelandic sagas tonight (/this morning) is beginning to look highly unlikely.


...Or as he'd no doubt prefer, 3 songs to which I wish my ex knew I'm listening:

 Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone

Natasha Bedingfield - Single

Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street