Hope in the Air

22 May

Today seems a particularly apt day to start a blog, as it marks the final day of my undergraduate English Literature degree.  The fact that, hopefully, depending on that all important 2:1, I will be returning to academia in September for an MA in the mysteriously titled ‘Literary Studies’ is by the by; that will be a grown-up experience, involving terrifying things like a part-time job, and a flat with only my boyfriend, rather than five other students to watch Challenge TV with in the mornings.  Not that my new living situation will be a bad thing in the slightest: the flat is perfect, our garden is shared with someone who has already offered full use of their herb plants, and it is a short walk from my favourite part of Newcastle, Jesmond Vale. It will, however, be a very different experience, one that fills me with both great excitement and the occasional fit of night terrors.

Before the ceremonial move to my adult existence occurs, there is the small matter of what the hell I am going to do with a looming four month summer vacation.  I do have several plans, but I cannot help but feel that they constitute little towards the greater good:

  • Learn to solve a Rubix cube, even if it takes the entirety of my four month holiday. At the moment, my mind BOGGLES at the very notion of those little colourful squares ever being feasibly aligned, but I am sure, in this modern age where all skills can be acquired through a youtube tutorial (learning to speak RP English, 1950s hairstyles…) that success is distinctly more possible than originally thought.
  • Learn how to use a sewing machine, and make a BASIC item of clothing with one.  I am really, really determined to do this, as I consider my inability to manage such a seemingly simple machine a great personal failing.  At school, I was an absolute super-nerd, refusing to allow myself to be bad at anything, and forcing myself to understand physics and how to bloody solder computer chips despite my complete hatred of such things, yet I HAD TO GET MY MUM TO DO MY TEXTILES HOMEWORK SO I DIDN’T FAIL.  As soon as I could escape my own personal hell of pretending to be able to control that dreaded finger eating machine, I took up graphics and never looked back.  But I am still ashamed of my cheating, and a bit embarrassed that my mum still has to take in my clothes should the occasion arise.  As I have a very clever mother and grandmother, who I am sure would be thrilled to pass on some domesticity, this aim should not be hard to fulfil.
  • Sort out my bedroom.  I realise the simplicity of this statement, but you have not seen my bedroom.  It is bloody massive, low ceilinged, and packed to its dangerously-head-height rafters with what can only be described as crap, which I clearly do not need, as I survive perfectly well without it when spending the bulk of my time in Newcastle.  The job is unenviable on several levels: getting rid of stuff, removing the hundreds of pictures of skinny models from the walls, and finally, persuading my parents to let me get rid of the solitary pink wall.

So, that should be something to be getting on with.  On a more personal level, I am really keen to put a bit of effort into looking after myself this summer.  I think I have just accepted that feeling under the weather is normal and must be tolerated, but I think with some trial and error, beginning with the elimination of wheat, dairy and artificial sweeteners, I could feel a lot happier and healthier.  And that’s without even addressing my mental health, but I think that is a whole other topic.

One other summer aim can be expressed in three, concise words: HARRY. POTTER. CHALLENGE.  Despite my great enjoyment of studying my course materials on the whole, and a positively fetishistic interest in the 18th century, I just cannot escape the fact that the Harry Potter books are my favourite things ever and I love them infinitely. The one week, seven books challenge is a personal favourite endeavour when one has nothing else to do, although my unstoppable sorrow at the death of Dumbledore (every time…) always halts progress for a few hours.

And that is my attempt at breaking up the monotony of my so far, so aimless summer. I should maybe look for a job too, but Doncaster… I suppose there is always hope.

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