Archive | November, 2010

The Romance of the Forest

30 Nov

Here are some more poor quality photographs of the snow in Newcastle at the moment.  These were actually taken four days ago, and we have had several more inches since, including sporadic hail all day today.  Consequently, I have not left the house, and have spent the day reading Ann Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest.  The early sunsets and scary noises of snow falling off the roof make for a fitting environment to read Gothic novels, full of dark abbeys and pursuing chevaliers.


Distraction is an obstruction to the construction

30 Nov

For the foreseeable future, consider me channeling Charlotte gainsbourg in The Science of Sleep: fringes and chunky knitwear to make Newcastle’s all-too-numerous inches of snow remotely bearable.


“After all this time, Severus?”

23 Nov

Life, of late, has been a series of highs and lows.  The most significant ‘high’ has been seeing the latest, long awaited Harry Potter offering, which, obviously, I had been yearning for with every fibre of my Potter obsessed being.  Unfortunately, as time raced towards this wonderful day, it also raced towards a vile deadline that happened to clash with it, so I ended up seeing the film whilst still reeling from the snivelling mess I had been only 24 hours before, as I sobbed ‘I… am… not… good enough… for … this” into my Milton anthology.

I am not going to review the film in any way, as I am a) completely biased and b) go to the cinema so rarely that I get overwhelmed by the whole experience and love everything.  I will however give my only large critique of it, which was THE OBSCENE UNDERUSE OF KREACHER.  I love Kreacher; his ‘whispered’ insults that everyone can hear, his rotten face, his little nest of pilfered Black family goods, and, most significantly, his transformation into a good house elf which was completely ignored in the film.  It really should have been included, both for the valuable lesson it imparts about treating people as you would like to be treated, and also so I could have done my impression of Kreacher offering Harry Potter his favourite pie to the brilliant reception it deserves.

My essay despair, which was unfortunately mirrored by Dobby despair the next day, came mostly from my utter failure to feel anything other than a fraud in postgraduate education.  There are several reasons behind this: Firstly, I still don’t understand what my course is about, secondly, I look like a foetus compared to everyone else in the postgraduate suite doing their very clever work whilst I covertly check as many blogs as I can, and thirdly, OH MY GOD I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT MY COURSE IS ABOUT. Oh, and fourthly, some nightmare stole my mug within hours of me leaving it in the kitchen unattended.  I probably should have thought harder about taking in a Guardian mug to a room full of lefty students, but I got it free, and I prefer The Times, so it seemed a good idea at the time.  Anyway, I remain peeved.

In a rare moment of course enjoyment, I went on a school trip to Dove Cottage last weekend, which was BRILLIANT. I was positively euphoric all the way there, both through being amazed at the beautiful scenery (a Doncastrian upbringing leads to receiving any sort of non-flat landscape like you are Shelley regarding Mont Blanc) and because I have a fascination with Dorothy Wordsworth, whose hypochondriac moaning I feel great empathy with.  I will leave with a couple of photos of my friend Andrew and myself looking excitable.