27 February 2009

It's Hard Not to Wander Away

So, I haven't been update the past few days because Karen and Veronica came up from Oxford this weekend to visit. Karen goes to St. Mary's, was at Oxford with me last semester, and is going to be my roommate when I return to St. Mary's. Veronica is at Oxford this semester and I met her when I visited at the end of January. They took the night bus up from the Big Ox and arrived at 7:50 in the morning which, for those of you who have never experienced it, is an absolutely ungodly hour. Yes, I used to wake up at 4:50 for crew practice each morning. However, those days are two semesters in the past and, quite frankly, I am not as young as I once used to be. Getting up (especially after only three to four hours of sleep a night) is hard! Anyways, I walked up to St. Andrew's square, past Princes Street, and met them at the bus station. They regaled me with stories of having to huddle for warmth in a bathroom at 1am and turned me off the idea of taking the night bus when I return to Oxford.

Anyways, we made the 1.5 mile trek back to my flat, where they took a nap before we headed out again. I think the distance between my flat and everywhere came as a bit of a shock to them. In Oxford, everything is quite centrally located. In Edinburgh...not so much. It is 10 minutes from my flat to George Square (the campus). This is not a bad walk by any stretch of the imagination; indeed, I like walking, but it does take a bit of getting used to, especially after Oxford. Afterward, I led them on a roundabout route to Edinburgh Castle (read: I got lost trying to impress them with my ability to take different routes through the meadows) and ended up coming up round back. Still, it is a perspective that one misses out on if they come up the Royal Mile.
We had lunch at the Redcoat Cafe and then toured around the Castle. The audio guides were expensive, so I ended up giving them the informal tour. Whether or not they actually learned anything is debatable, but at least the stories I told sounded good. We managed to see almost everything in the castle and then took a stroll down the Royal Mile. I posed with a statue of Adam Smith whose 'Wealth of Nations' I have read on several occasions, and we watched a traditional Scottish wedding being held at St. Giles Kirk. On the way back to my flat, we wandered into Greyfriar's Kirkyard, established in the latter half of the 16th century, and famous for having the grave of Greyfriar's Bobby and the Mackenzie Poltergeist. The graves and funerary monuments are much different from anything we have in the States, and so it was quite interesting to wander around the graveyard.

The three of us decided to make a group dinner back at the flat. The end product was pasta, but positively gourmet compared to what I am used to cooking for myself. I usually just make some noodles and open a can of sauce. If I am feeling a bit fancy, I'll cut up some peppers and mushrooms to throw in the mix. However, this meal consisted of all of the above plus spices! (Don't laugh; it is a luxury in the diet of Rebecca Kaisler.) We also had cider, bread, and mozarella. Delicious. I doubt that such quality food will pass by me anytime soon. It is one thing to make up a special meal when you have visitors, but is it really necessary when cooking for yourself? No.

We had decided earlier on in the day to take a ghost tour of Edinburgh, and so we headed back up to the Royal Mile to catch the 'Underground Vaults' tour. My father and I took a similar one through Mercat Tours when we were in Edinburgh in 2005. This one was through a different company, but still quite entertaining. I could have sworn I felt something in one of the vaults, but certainly won't go so far as to claim that it was a ghost. We returned to the flat feeling quite exhilerated and got ready to hit the town. Along with Kelly, who lives in one of the flats downstairs, we went to Whistlebinkies, a dive bar off South Bridge, and then to Opium, a rock club on Cowgate. It was quite the night.

Despite going to bed at 3am, we still managed to get up at a semi-normal time (10) on Saturday. We had lunch at The Elephant House, which is where JK Rowling wrote part of Harry Potter. I was actually quite surprised by the quality and price of the food. I'll have to return when I am feeling flush. After that, it was down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, stopping inside Scottish Parliament first. I was a bit nervous about taking them to Holyrood Palace as I had played it up quite a bit on the walk down. I liked it considerably more than the castle the last time I was in Edinburgh and was hoping that it would live up to my memories. Luckily, it did, and both Karen and Veronica liked it as well. From there we went to the Whisky Heritage Centre at the very top of the Royal Mile. The award-winning tour was closed for renovation, but we did get to learn how to tell the difference between different types of whisky, got a free tastings, and a nosing glass. This was great in itself, but I feel the whole experience was made better by the fact that the store below had over 50 display cases of whisky! I was in heaven! Unfortunately, my cheap side got the better of me and I didn't buy anything.

Dinner consisted of sandwiches from Sainsbury's. Afterward, we met a few of Veronica's friends from Elmhurst who were also in Edinburgh at Doctor's, a pub up the street. Then it was down to Grassmarket to the Black Bull before back up to South Bridge to hit The Tron. We hadn't been there very long before someone pulled the fire alarm and everyone had to leave. It was only midnght, but we decided to head back to my flat so that I could work on my Retrospect article and get a good night's sleep.

Sunday was Karen and Veronica's last day in Edinburgh, so I decided to take them to my favourite place: Arthur's Seat. Due to time constraints, we skipped walking along the Salisbury crags and instead just began the ascent to Arthur's Seat. I've walked this path many times, so it wasn't that difficult for me, but I could tell that both of the Oxfordians were wondering what in the hell could be so great that such a climb would be worth it. Luckily, I think I proved that I was right when we reached the top as the view was excellent. It helped that the summit and the paths were incredibly dry, surprisingly so considering it had rained the night before. It was marvelous.

The walk proved to be exhausting for Karen and Veronica, and so they took a nap while I continued to catch up on work. We were supposed to go shopping on Princes Street, but decided against it so that they could sleep some more. At 6, they finally woke up, and we went to dinner at Frankenstein's on George IV Bridge. (Frankenstein's is where we have our Retrospect meetings and is, incidentally, a Frankenstein-themed pub in an old church.) It was so wonderful to have food that I hadn't cooked or wasn't a generic brand from the grocery store. I doubt that I will have such food again at least until spring break, so the memories will have to suffice until then. Karen and Veronica treated me, too, which only made it all the better.

By the time we got back to the flat, it was time for them to pack and begin the walk back to the bus station so that they could return to Oxford. Saying goodbye was quite bittersweet, since I know that I will see them again in less than three weeks. Still, it is always hard to watch your friends leave.

Overall, it was a good weekend. Now I am just working on the three papers and two presentations that I have left before I can head down south.

25 February 2009

Only The Strong Survive

30 days until spring break...

In 30 days time I will be sitting in Oxford meeting the people I will be living with for the three weeks, hanging with Karen, and preparing to start my research for my SMP. Even though I will be spending long days in the Bodleian, it will be on my own terms. I won't have any pressing deadlines to stress me out. I won't have to prepare any presentations or papers in two or three days time. It will be wonderful. Knowing that it is probably the last time that I will spend any length of time in Oxford (because, lets face it, my chances of getting into Oxford Uni are very slim) makes it all the more bitter-sweet.

In the meantime, I am just trying to survive the rest of the work that I have to do. I took the afternoon off so that I could destress and am now preparing to go running. My flat is having a party tonight, but I very much doubt that I will be able to go because I have to finish my research for my Retrospect article, which is the main concern of this week.

7th week: (This week)
Thursday: Medieval Europe lecture, Blessed Union. Work on article. Retrospect meeting. Retrospect pub quiz.
Friday: Karen and Veronica arrive!
Sunday: Retrospect article due.

8th week:
-Work on Popular Religion paper/prepare Popular Religion presentation. (Both are on Margery Kempe, so they are interconnected.)
-Weekend: Dumfermline

9th week:
-Work on Blessed Union paper on James I/VI's foreign policy dealings with Spain
Monday: Popular Religion presentation
Thursday: Blessed Union presentation

10th week:
Monday: Popular Religion and Blessed Union papers due by noon.
Wednesday: Grad School visit to St. Andrew's
-Weekend: Oxford

24 February 2009

Yesterday, was my good friend Elysa's 22nd birthday. Since she was with me at Oxford, I decided to make her a video of memories of our time there.

We do what we need to be free

As foreseen, yesterday was absolutely hellish. I spent all day in the library because the fifteen or so books that I needed to read in order to complete my paper were all on reserve, meaning that I could only check them out for three hours at a time and, therefore, had to stay at the library. Perhaps I didn't have to read all fifteen books, but I am a bit of a perfectionist and felt the need to do so. In the end, however, I got incredibly sick of reading about fourteenth century wills, bequests, and burial practices, and so settled for only reading ten. (Not the entire books, mind, but the chapters that I felt pertained to my argument.)

Unfortunately, when I returned back to my room, I developed the worst case of writer's block and did not even begin to get the words flowing until 2am. I wrote from 2am to 4am, at which time I felt like I was physically dying, caved in, and went to bed. Then it was up again at 7am to finish the paper. My friend Jasy, at school in Philly, was also pulling an all-nighter in an attempt to finish her own papers. So we ended up playing online Scrabble during those moments in which I was contemplating what to write next (or felt like I had deserved a break. Of course, this amounted to about every twenty minutes or so.) In the end, the paper was finished and roughly two games of Scrabble were played. I have been told by my father that the paper didn't turn out too badly. (I would not know because I rarely feel satisfied with anything that I write. Indeed, if I posted only those blog entries that I felt were up to my full capabilities, very few entries would be published.)

The rest of the day was spent going to Popular Religion, relaxing, napping, and running. Tomorrow, it is back to the grind as I start writing my article for Retrospect.

21 February 2009

Always Out of My Reach, But Always in My Eye-Line

Nothing was accomplished today. Oh well. It means that tomorrow is going to be absolute hell as I attempt to both research and write my essay. Such is life. I would write more, but I really should do work instead and, unfortunately, my sensible side is winning out at the moment.

19 February 2009

This week's round of presentations are finally done. Only two left to go for the semester (one in 9th week, the other probably 9th or 10th week.) Yesterday, I spent the entire day at New College on the Mound in the library. It actually was quite nice at first since New College is, like the Oxonian one, quite old. The library is in an old church and boasts the same type of study-desks as the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford. It made me quite happy, since I really dislike the modern feel of Edinburgh's main library. However, my happiness quickly turned to despair after I had spent five hours reading accounts of the Scottish Reformation and was no more knowledgeable than I had been previously. Indeed, by the time I made it back to Warrender Park Road, I felt as if my very soul had died.

My presentation today went alright. Not great, but not horrible either. As well as was expected, I suppose. I've taken the night off to drink a cider and listen to music because I am simply incapable of working anymore. Tomorrow it is back to the grind as I attempt to churn out my essay by Sunday morning and then start on my Retrospect article.

35 days until spring break.

17 February 2009

2nd presentation of the week down, 1 more to go.

Plans for this weekend? Run the Great Run route, write essay (due Monday instead of Friday, but only 2000 words (instead of the 3000 that I had thought). Still-argh!), research/write Retrospect article.

A glimpse into the future: (As always to remind me of what is coming rather than to serve any useful purpose to those who actually read this blog)
Feb. 23: Medieval Europe Essay due
Mar. 1: Retrospect article due
Feb. 28/Mar. 1: Karen and Veronica are coming up to visit from Oxford. Mayhem will no doubt ensue.
Mar. 7/8: Trip to Dumfermline.
Mar. 9: 2nd Popular Religion presentation.
Mar. 16: Popular Religion and Blessed Union essays due
Mar. 18: St. Andrew's Prospective Postgrad Visiting Day (Possibly will re-visit St. Andrew's during the end of April or in May before exams)
Mar. 20: Postgrad Day at Edinburgh
Mar. 26: Leave for Oxford

16 February 2009

One presentation down, two to go this week. Two articles and an essay to write as well, but those aren't due until 7th week (it is 6th week right now). The one today was on whether or not a differentiation can be drawn between 'literate' religious devotion and that of the 'illiterate'. After having spent roughly 12 hours over the past week or so reading every single book I could find on devotional images, literacy in the middle ages, and Books of Hours, I realized that it is not quite the interesting subject that I originally thought it would be. Anyways, the presentation went as well can be expected. I am fine until I start talking and then the nerves hit, at which point my verbal eloquence becomes absolutely staggering. I suppose that today this was compounded by the fact that my handout file became corrupted when I went to print it off at the library and, as a result, I had to go solely off my notes and my powerpoint, which consisted of pictures of the devotional images I was describing. Oh well. It could have gone worse. And the professor didn't say anything terribly damning...I suppose I can take solace in the fact that we don't receive a grade for these presentations. Our entire course grade is based off our essay (due in March) and our final exam (in May).

Tomorrow's presentation is on contemporary reactions to the Black Death and what they tell us about medieval mentalities. This is a piece of cake for me, expert that I am on the Black Death (perhaps more accurately called the Great Mortality). My main challenge is not to wander off on one of my own theories about the effects of the Black Death and to stick to what the readings said. (Believe me, this is going to be quite hard.) Anyways, I get to talk for about half an hour to forty-five minutes, so I should be able to cover everything. (I've already given two Black Death lectures to the fresher tutorials this semester.) Like I said, piece of cake.

Weather-wise, it has been quite nice here in Edinburgh. It snowed on Thursday and was quite cold on Friday, but has been temperate and spring-like since then. I went to Arthur's Seat on Saturday, which proved to be something of a mistake. Every couple in Edinburgh must have decided to head up at the same time. It didn't help that the routes were quite muddy and, at one point, my legs slipped out from under me and I completely slammed onto my back in the mud. Luckily, no one saw, but I had to walk the rest of the way down from Holyrood Park and the two miles back to WPR covered in mud. Sunday was spent entirely in the library, which was quite the feat for me. I hate Edinburgh's library. It is a converted parking garage and they are in the midst of renovating it, so everything is closed off and, as the construction is ongoing, it is always very noisy. I miss my carol in the Upper Camera at the Bodleian :( Oh well, I'll be back in 39 days and will probably become quite sick of it by the time my spring break is all said and done. Anyways, I've found that I am able to study best if I choose a desk in the 'Popular Slang' section of the resource stacks. I find it a bit ironic as I am always teased for never knowing what 'kids are saying these days'. Perhaps one of these days I will actually have to crack open one of the slang dictionaries and 'get hip'.

Running today went well. The super-warm (comparatively) weather has been excellent for my asthma, which acts up if it is chilly (but not, incidentally, if it is freezing cold). I've been doing 2 laps of the meadows as a standard procedure, but I will probably up it to 3 on Wednesday. I hope to do a preliminary jog of the Great Run course in the next two weeks or so, just to get an idea of what I am up against (the part going up through Holyrood Park is going to be the killer).


13 February 2009

What did I do today?
-Read 20 pages about the Scottish Reformation
-Went running

Absolutely pitiful. It was just so hard to motivate myself to do anything else. I mean, I could read Washingtonpost.com and listen to music....or I could read incredibly dry accounts of the Scottish reformation (half of which are in Middle Scots and, therefore, barely intelligible to me).

What do I need to do this weekend?
-Email Christine Adams about SMP
-Finish reading about devotional images
-Make up handout/formulate presentation for Popular Religion on Monday
-Make up handout/formulate presentation for tutorial on Tuesday
-Get a hold of Calderwood and Spottiswoode's accounts of the ecclesiastical history of Scotland
-Finish reading about the reformation
-Formulate presentation for Blessed Union on Thursday
-Start writing my Cold War article

Spring break will never have been more well deserved. I'll have a chance to sleep on the bus down to Oxford and will probably take that Saturday off to relax. But then it will be back to work on Monday the 30th of March as I start my research in the Bodleian.

12 February 2009

After much deliberation, I've decided to delay in taking the Foreign Service Officer Test until October (as opposed to June). Not only will this allow me to attend my friend Elysa's graduation party (an event that I have promised in blood to attend and which I am looking forward to), but will provide me with much needed study time (since I have no free time here in the UK).

It is the right decision.

Choppy because I am tired. To be read over and edited later.

The moral of today: Be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it.

A noble saying, one that has proven true in my own experience on several occasions, both good and bad. It particularly applied to today. Throughout the past few weeks, I've been receiving reports that both MD and Oxford have been receiving copious amounts of snow. I'll admit that I was jealous. I haven't seen a decent snowfall in years. And I wasn't shy about voicing my jealousy to my father and friends scattered about the globe. On Sunday, we received about an inch of snow here in Edinburgh, which quickly melted on Monday morning.

Today, I awoke at the absolutely obscene hour of 7:30 (especially nowadays) in order to get ready for my fingerprinting appointment at the police headquarters. As I sat checking my Facebook and double-checking that I had my passport on my person, I realized that it was snowing quite heavily. 'How nice!' I thought, not realizing that it would not be so nice when I was walking the 3 miles to the police station. It wasn't so bad in the residential areas, which had not been heavily trafficked since walking on the snow provided some measure of traction. It was much worse on Princes Street where the snow had become slush and quite slippery to walk on. I left Warrender Park Rd at 8:45, expecting to arrive at the police headquarters around 9:30 (my appointment was at 10). Several wrong turns and slips later, I only just barely made it at 9:50.

It was much worse coming back since the appointment lasted until 10:20 and I had a class at 11:10. I had expected to run back, but the slush made it barely possible to walk, much less. This, coupled with the fact that my glasses kept blurring horribly, made for a very unpleasant walk. Luckily, my hauling ass meant that I got to class at 11:05.

I am not such a fan of snow anymore. (Although, incidentally, if you want an interesting challenge, go running on ice. It certainly makes you concentrate on what you are doing.) ((And no, Dad/Mum, I did not purposely go running on ice. When I was running on Tuesday/Wednesday, there just happened to be patches of ice in the way. I did not fall/trip/die.))

11 February 2009

I can't write paragraphs anymore

Went to Popular Religion and discussed the role of the laity within the parish community. It had snowed the night before and so the ground was a sheet of ice, so I decided not to go running (and then felt incredibly lame because I saw loads of people running in the meadows on my way to the library). Received some pretty horrible news, but am dealing with it. Spent three hours in the library researching devotinal images for Monday's presentation.

Went running in the morning. Finished presentation on the long-term significance of the early 14th century crises (any significance was overshadowed by the black death of 1348). Gave presentation in tutorial (It went alright.) Went running again.

Wednesday (today):
Finished eschatological mentalities research for Black Death presentation next Tuesday. Started research on Margery Kempe for 9th week and Pop. Religion essay. Procrastinated horribly. Went running.

Wake up incredibly early and find my way up to Police Headquarters at the city limits to get fingerprinted. Try to haul ass down to George Square for Blessed Union. (Mapquest says it is a 40 minute walk. I intend to sprint there as class starts at 11:10 and fingerprinting appointment is at 10.) Blessed Union seminar. Running? Retrospect meeting. Library.

Spend all day in library making up handouts for Black Death presentation and finish devotional image research for Popular Religion presentation. Start reading Calderwoode and Spottiswoode's histories of the Church of Scotland for Thursday's Blessed Union presentation.

Arthur's Seat.

08 February 2009

Question: Why am I doing my SMP on a topic that I know virtually nothing about (Jacobites. the rising of 1745, Scottish nationalism) when I could just do it on something that I am basically an expert on (the Black Death)? It would make my life so much easier and I would probably be more enthusiastic during my presentation.

Answer: ? (As far as I can see, it is because I like to make things difficult for myself.)

07 February 2009

They are coming.

Exactly what is coming, you might ask. I could answer with a very cryptic and perfunctory 'they' but that would be quite rude. The first few weeks of hell are approaching. Monday marks the beginning of 5th week (out of 11) and with it comes my first actual presentation for class. I have to talk for thirty minutes on the long-term significance (if any) of the Great Famines of the early fourteenth century. Needless to say, it has been an absolutely thrilling few days spent poring over manorial records of grain, oat, and barley yields. Thrilling. (For those who didn't quite catch it, that was an example of sarcasm.)

Ah well, this is what being a history major entails.

6th week is going to be the real killer. I have three presentations (Monday for Popular Religion, Tuesday for Black Death tutorial (easy), and Thursday in Blessed Union) and then have to immediately begin writing my Medieval Europe final essay and my article for Retrospect on the rise, fall, and rise again of Russia, both due in 7th week.

I'm trying to keep my head in the game, but sometimes it is hard. At least the running has been helping me keep focused. It clears my mind, prevents any one emotion from becoming dominant. Calm, cool, collected. It's what I have to be if I am going to get this and my SMP done at the same time.

06 February 2009

What have I done today?

Lay about in my pajamas reading articles on the Great Famine of 1315-1325.

What am I going to do?

Go running, take a shower, eat some dinner, and then spend from 7 to midnight in the library.

I am so lame. But it must be done if I wish to get the grades/recommendations/personal satisfaction.


I forgot that I did end up giving a tutorial lecture on the Black Death (causes of, reactions t0) to a group of ten first years who are in one of my teachers' lecture classes. It didn't go too badly, but I hate teaching.

05 February 2009

I am finally back in Edinburgh. It is cold, icy, windy. I don't like it because I can never seem to get warm, even when I am back in my room. Indeed, I am not sure that I have been properly warm since October or so.

My trip to Oxford was nice and relaxing. The trip back to Scotland was absolute hell, but I'd prefer not to relive the stress by actually retelling what went on. The trip made me realize exactly just how much I love that city. Part of my wonderful experience last semester was due to the people I met, but a larger part was also due to the location. It is the perfect fit for me in so many ways, at least at this stage in my life. As I believe I've mentioned before, I will be applying to Oxford for graduate school. This trip back showed me how I devastated I will be if I fail. It was also strange to realize just how much I missed the food at St. Peter's. The most complicated thing that I can cook is chicken curry. To actually eat other things was quite a treat.

Unfortunately, on my return I've found that things are going to pick up quite considerably from here on out. This is not entirely a bad thing as I was a bit bored prior to this, but still, no one is keen on having to spend all of their days in the library. (Especially seeing as my prime studying hours are between 11pm and 3am. Edinburgh's library closes at midnight.)

5th week: (Next week)
Tuesday: I'm preparing a tutorial lecture on the long-term significance of the 14th century crisis.

6th week:
Monday: Seminar presentation on the difference in devotion shown by literate and illiterate members of the early parish.
Tuesday: Tutorial lecture on contemporary reactions to the Black Death. (Although this is a bit of a freebie since I know am an authority on the Black Death. No, really, I am.)
Thursday: Seminar presentation on the role of John Spotiswoode and David Calderwood in the Scottish kirk before 1603.

7th week:
Friday: 4000 word final essay on Malthusian crisis for Medieval Europe due.

9th week:
Monday: Seminar presentation on reactions to The Book of Margery Kempe

10th week:
Monday: 4000 word final essay on Margery Kempe for Popular Religion due. 4000 word final essay on the foreign relations of James I due.
Thursday: Seminar presentation on James I's foreign policy and relations with Spain.

On the other hand, I've decided to spend the first two weeks of spring break in Oxford. This is not as great as it seems, as I have been issued a Bodleian card and will be spending those two weeks doing the majority of my research for my senior dissertation. So while everyone else is going fun and fancy free in the Canary Islands, Grenada, or Greece, I will be in England stuck in the library. Still, I never was a beach person and I don't particularly mind this scenario. Karen will still be there and we are planning a trip to the 'other place' (Cambridge). I figure that if I am going to be applying for grad school there, I may as well go and visit.

I'll be renting a room for the two weeks so that I have a comfortable place to crash after a day spent working. I'm still looking around, but I've found a room in Iffley that is reasonably priced, has an ensuite bathroom, and a kitchenette. It is a 25 minute walk from the city centre, but I don't mind that at all.

On another note, I casually mentioned that I had read Edmund Spenser's 'View on the Present State of Ireland' in my Blessed Union seminar and, as a result, had to spent 20 minutes telling the class about what he said, my thoughts on it, why I had read it, and what else I did in that tutorial. My teacher was quite excited to hear that I had studied in Oxford as she was at Somerville for her doctorate. It is strange because I never mention that I studied in Oxford. I always say 'I was in England' because people hear Oxford and immediately assume that you are pretentious. But my professor immediately guessed where I had studied. I think it might be because I have such a hard time talking in groups now. One-on-one and I can chatter up a storm (for me at least). But put me in a group of fifteen and I am lost amongst the crowd.

Oh well. There are worse things to talk about.

03 February 2009

So, I am not back in Edinburgh. I went to the bus at 2am, but was told that coach service to Gatwick was suspended until 10am. A bit of a problem considering that my plane was scheduled to leave at half 6.

So I changed my ticket to Wednesday (the earliest time available) and have been enjoying my day by walking around.

God, I love this place.

I'll be back in April because I have to finish my senior dissertation, but it won't be the same as it is term break and most of the students will be gone. I've yet to figure out the logistics of this visit, but it won't be quite as pleasant as this one as I will be spending all of my time in the Bod.

Finding a place to stay nearby is going to be a bitch and a half, if this trip is any indication.

I should be back in Edinburgh by 5pm tomorrow and will be making a beeline for my bed as I am rather tired of sleeping on concrete and floors.

02 February 2009

It is snowing in Oxford. What this means for me is that I now am in constant peril of slipping and dying as opposed to only semi-constant peril.

It is wonderful.

Back to the 'burgh tomorrow (2am precisely).

I am still not sure if this trip was good for me or not. Only time will tell I suppose.

I've also come down with a cold, something that I had so far avoided to do since October. Ugh.

01 February 2009

I am in Oxford. Things are...life is progressing as it must.

I met up with Tristan's friends Mark and Lucas on Friday afternoon, which was quite the experience as I can only imagine what Tristan has told them about me. Luckily, they actually proved to be interesting individuals (as opposed to Tristan!) and we got on quite well.

I also received my new Bodleian card (bearing the same horrible picture as before). I can only use it during the break periods in Oxford's term, but as I will be spending the first or second week of April here doing research anyways, it works out well.

It is strange to know that this is the last time I will visit Oxford for pleasurable reasons. April is for research (which means no pubbing!) and May (if I come and if he stops pressing me for a decision) to see Tristan get his degree.

Yup. Life moves on.