Sunday, 30 May 2010

Flying toothbrush, murders, a free bike, loads of tea, exams, noodles and a ball

So this week has been a very long week; it started with me dropping my toothbrush out of the window, and ended with a ball--I think Austen would be proud of me!

Sunday the weather was gorgeous, so after church (and after somehow dropping my toothbrush out of the bathroom window so that it sailed downstairs, past the kitchen window -- to the surprise of my housemates -- and landed in the garden), we had a spot of picnicking, and instigated a new game of Human Cluedo, resulting in the deaths of two out of three guys present (in the cafe with a hat, and in the park with a fork). After eating enough cake for three kids' birthday parties, we returned to church for the evening service, and I was given a bicycle by a lady who didn't want it any more. She insisted she didn't want me to buy her anything to say thank you, so I'm being sneaky and made her a bracelet to take to her this evening.

The rest of the week was a blur of procrastination and a small amount of studying for my Austen and the Brontes exam, which was on Friday, with a brief interlude of curry and Apprentice night, with lots of friends and lots more tea. It seems to me that exams are disproportionate to the amount of work and stress that goes into them: weeks of studying, days of anxiety and hair falling out, all for two hours in an angular room and answering two questions--out of the twenty possible ones you studied for. It doesn't seem fair to me, and I'm sure neither Austen nor any of the Brontes would be pleased to know what their novels have become subject to. However, I have now finished my second year at uni, and I don't have any exams next year (my final year), so sucks to be you, everyone else!

Wagamama with housemate occurred, with loads of noodles, green tea, and chilli cheesecake (if you haven't sampled it... do! now.) We accidentally went shopping and spent too much money. Purchased some Benefit mascara under strict instructions from aforementioned housemate... I'm quite impressed thus far, I have to say. Even if it did cost a week's rent (no, not quite!).

Which, of course, brings me to last night's ball. I went with that housemate and our friend from accross the park, who kindly drove us, and, for that matter, invited us, as it was HER church's ball, not ours. Nevertheless, we looked beautiful, and even arrived on time. I was slightly concerned that her car might turn into a pumpkin at midnight, but it was fine... and both shoes remained firmly on my feet. All five inches of them... I was still only just the same height as everyone else though. Luckily being five foot two doesn't stop you dancing all night.

There was an awkward moment when the band played a slow song and "take the hand of that special person" occured, when my friends and I (all the single ladies) were sitting down at a table. It felt like being a 12-year-old bystander at the school disco once more, when the parting of the Red Sea divides the couples and the singles. And yet, it didn't actually bother me. That must have been the first time ever (apart from my smug, being-in-a-couple days). 'Being content in my singleness' is something I struggle with a lot, but I think I might have cracked it at last. Hooray! I finished reading a book called Mirror Mirror by Graham Beynon, this week, which has been really helpful about things like this, reminding me that my identity is rooted in Christ, and not anything superficial--look it up on Amazon... I can't seem to put the link in this (anyone know why?). Also Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes has proved invaluable to me recently.

This week I've been reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Leguin, after watching the film The Jane Austen Book Club,thinking I should give science fiction a go (I've been experimenting with genre... trying to figure out who I am as a writer/reader), but I didn't take to it, really, and couldn't quite finish it. I found the names too much of a barrier, and my brain switches off as soon as anything scientific comes a long... the clue was in the title really, I should have known. I've also been reading Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and thus far I'm loving it. I especially love "there is nothing so real as words", I really relate to that--words are so powerful (as I argued in my last Shakespeare essay).

But it's not just about rhetoric; words are so powerful in conjuring emotion too. I laugh, cry and fall in love far more freely in books than I do in real life (well... I do all of those things often in real life too). We all love Lizzy Bennet and hate Mr Collins, and those are genuine emotions that are being kindled... yet Austen never pretends to us that her characters are real. Look at Northanger Abbey, she keeps stepping into the plot herself, as the author, and telling us why she has Catherine do certain things... yet we treat them as true life, almost, nonetheless.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


So I guess this is a practice post, to see where this ends up, what I'm actually supposed to do with it and relieve me of the pressure of writing something of note. Remember that sense of panic when you started a new exercise book in school, knowing that the first page had to be perfect?

I want to start blogging for a number of reasons, which means, essentially, that I don't actually know why I want to start blogging. I love writing; other than Jesus and my family and friends, writing is the most important thing in my life (so... I guess it's quite far down on the list!), and this is a form of writing that I haven't experimented with yet, so here goes! I also thought it would be a great way to keep my friends updated on what I'm up to over the summer, as we'll sadly be scattered across the country once more once uni finishes for the term. Also, if I do actually end up pursuing this, then I know my parents will be thrilled to be able to read what I've been up to in more than one-sentence updates on Facebook or snatched phone calls.

I don't know really want I want to blog about (can one use 'blog' as a verb? I like to think so-- 'text' is always used as a verb), I'm not sure what they are used as... they're more detailed than status updates, but less personal than diaries--so, something in between the two? Perhaps. I guess nobody will really read this, anyway.

Maybe 'My Literary Life' would be a good title for my blog (if a title is something that I need to give it), so it can be my reflections on life, books I've read and, more frequently, me treating my life as if it were some kind of book. Hopefully I won't start referring to my friends as "characters" though... although some of them are!

I really must do some research into how to properly use grammar within brackets.