After posting nearly every day for almost two months, I’m aware that this blog has looked a little empty of late. My explanation for this is simple: I had a dissertation to write. But as of 10pm yesterday evening that is complete, all 8,000 words of it, and now a more regular posting schedule can begin.
Despite the stress, I have been watching some fantastic television recently (Upstairs Downstairs, anyone?) and I even escaped to the theatre yesterday evening to catch DULOG (that’s Durham University Light Opera Group for those not in the know) performing RENT. So over the next few weeks you can expect a review of that, as well as a few more reviews, and maybe even some creative writing. Don’t you all feel lucky?
Today I read this comic on The Oatmeal. It did amuse me, but it also made me sad, because I started thinking about travelling.
I haven’t been out of the country since September. This may not seem particularly unusual, but between September 2010 and September 2011:
- I went on fourteen flights.
- I visited eleven countries.
- I travelled on six overnight trains.
- I learnt to call three different countries home.
At the time, I didn’t realise how lucky I was, but now I miss it. I miss the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I miss the cheap train fares. I miss having the rest of Europe on my doorstep. In short, I miss being on my Year Abroad. I still hope that I can incorporate travel into my career, and be paid to write about my worldwide travels, but I realise that there is only a slim chance of my dreams becoming reality. And so, tonight, I am nostalgic. And if anyone is reading this who is currently on their Year Abroad, make the most of it! It slips away far too fast!
(I was in a very strange mood when I wrote this. For this I apologise.)
To say the least, this week has been insane.
I have moved into the keep of an eleventh-century castle, spent far too many hours staring out at the amazing view, and discovered that having an incredible room is just the incentive I need to actually clear up after myself.
I have attended lectures for the first time in a month, met my dissertation supervisor for the first time ever, and been reassured that I do have a hope in hell of graduating with a 2.1. I am more relieved about that than words can express.
I have eaten sushi, sambuca jellies, and the edible parts of college dinners (supplemented with Maryland cookies on the nights when the inedible outweighed the edible).
I have pulled muscles, had blood drawn, and nearly exsanguinated myself with a razor (entirely by accident, I might add).
I have seen old friends, reestablished old routines, and started one new activity.
I have returned to university, almost for the last time. I’m still not sure if I’m ready for it to end or desperate for it not to.
Way back in December I set myself some goals for the Christmas holidays. I believe there was even some mention of public whipping if I failed to complete them (or that may just have been a punishment which I refused to accept). And now the question is, did I…
- Write 5,000 words of my dissertation? I changed this target to 3,000 words pretty much as soon as I sat down to work on it and realised that 3,000 was all that I had to hand in to my supervisor. I’ve actually written 4,000 words, and have enough notes to write several thousand more – that’s this week’s job!
- Blog twice a week? I more than succeeded in this goal, blogging every day from December 26th onwards. In this time I also managed to double my site views, proving that regular blogging really does work!
- Update my CV? Added 2 bits of work experience to my CV, CV was updated. Easy goal is easy.
- Apply for postgraduate journalism courses? This I didn’t do, but I did research the courses for which I wanted to apply and discover that most of the applications don’t have to be sent off until a couple of months before the courses start, so I have some time. That said, I won’t be leaving it much longer!
- Consume my own body weight in chocolate? Chocolate, crisps, cake, pumpkin pie, you name it I ate it. And I have the spots to prove it!
I may not have quite succeeded in completing all of my goals, but I feel happy in what I’ve achieved in the past four weeks. Now to keep up the productivity for the next term!
I heard some very sad news today. Klute, worst nightclub in Europe and home of many happy memories from my first two years in Durham (and a handful from my fourth), is under new management. No more quaddies (which were technically illegal anyway, but now they’ll be expensive and illegal), no more sticky floors, no more nights of dancing to exactly the same playlist. This may not be what I should be pining for, and some of the students who are complaining (and there are many of us) are being criticised for refusing to accept change. But to this who think that we’re a bunch of whiners, I’d just like to say this.
Klute’s makeover may turn out to be a change for the better, at least for the management (given that it will now be open to locals as well as students, there’s certainly a chance that they will be ). But for those of us in our final year, about to face the big wide world where we’re expected to get up before midday and not drink on week nights, this change comes t0o early. We’re afraid of everything that’s familiar to us being taken away, and even if the revamped Klute is better, it won’t be as familiar as the old.
So here’s to the old Klute, we loved you not despite the sweat, the stickiness and the lack of loo roll but because of it (well, alright, maybe not the lack of loo roll), and here’s hoping that the new Klute is at the very least a good enough substitute to get us through the remainder of our final year!
Just one of many happy memories!
Can you hear that? It’s time rushing by. I’ve been at home since Friday, and aside from completing some horrible aptitude tests (the bane of any finalist’s life), I’ve achieved a big fat nothing. Which means that if I’m going to achieve anything over the next four weeks, I’m going to need some goals. And, just to pile on the pressure, I’m going to put them up here for the whole of the internet to see – allowing you to point and laugh at my failure if I don’t complete them. And so, without further ado, on or before January 15th I will:
- Write 5,000 words of my dissertation.
- Blog twice a week.
- Update my CV.
- Apply for postgraduate journalism courses.
- Consume my own body weight in chocolate – a girl’s gotta have some fun, right?
Depending on how I’ve got on with those precious 5,000 words of dissertation (which have to be submitted to my tutor for feedback on January 16th), I will update you as to whether I’ve achieved my goals. If I succeed, I expect cookies. If I fail, you may choose my punishment (however, I should warn you, I draw the line at public whipping).