Monday, October 29, 2007

Right. I've been working for so long at my computer today (document just gone - hooray!) that I've actually started to see rodents scampering in corners just out of my line of vision. Maybe our house actually is is in the grip of fierce dormice, or maybe I just need some sleep. I'll have option 2 please, Bob.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A very long time ago, with a few hours to kill on the day in June that an African pimp of children attempted to entice me into his shady game, I strolled into a university in Paris to see what I'd be missing if I went back to university in Britain. This was in the days before security wrenched all the fun out of wondering into establishments in which one was not if fact a student.

Pushing my way through the throng of student changing classes, it all felt surprisingly familiar- like school. The same smells, the same faces, at worst indifferent, but mostly friendly. The same conversations, even, with a couple of years' maturity added.

It would have been so easy to just carry on on the track I'd embarked on already. I knew how to succeed in the French education system: listen, take notes (oh boy did I know how to take notes...), learn your stuff, regurgitate in a visually pleasing way. I was good at that.

If I had applied to a French university instead of an English one, I'd probably be pretty much entirely French by now, instead of merely chimerically half and half (I always read that fnar fnar Is it just me?).

I pushed my way through this throng and knew that I wanted more that four more years of the same but with more competition. That I wanted intellectual inquiry, academic rigour as well as facts and unjustified opinion.

So I opted for the walking of the plank*, veering crazily off into the unknown of being the first Oxbridge graduate in my family, ever. I don't think I will ever, until my last rasping breath, be sorry I did that. Because for the first time in my life, I found a group of people who were truly friends, who understood me, and who tolerated my foreignness, because for any of us, our nationality was in that rarified place one of the least relevant things about any of us. Welsh, Irish (and how!), English, Scottish, European, American; we all mixed together in that place as people.

Watching the old films that our friend Tall Welsh Git** made throughout his time there, using his friends as actors, script writers, sound recordists, props persons, etc, shamelessly borrowing vignettes from late 1980s popular culture and Hitchcock classics, I realised yet again with a pang that the choice was right. Nowhere but there could I have anywhere near as much fun, nor become the person I am. For that I am endlessly thankful, and endlessly glad I made that choice.

* Quite probably a very wrong analogy.
**Finally transferring them to DVD, TWG. Might make it to people's stockings for Xmas should they like one. Or even if they wouldn't...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

There is something about flies buzzing around a room that makes it unquiet. Even the laziest of buzzes, from a blow fly barely clearing the floor, sets my nerves on edge. I don't think I am especially highly-strung, but the continual activity, the senseless the gyrating and knocking against windows and lampshades, just makes me want to murder and smash every last one of 'em that gets into my house. I've not usually a violent person, despite any evidence that may be supplied by the five poor adolescent cockerels currently lined up on death row, whose demise I have been planning for some weeks now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Am not entirely certain where I've been, or what I've been doing that was so pressing I couldn't come on here to tell you about it. I reckon I've just been lacking communicativeness (is that even a real word?).

I have done stuff in the last month, honest. Quite a lot of stuff really. I want to get back in the saddle but am unsure where to start.

So ask me a question and I'll reply. Possibly NOT Cottlestone, Cottlestone, Cottlestone Pie.

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