25 November 2007

Observations from my anthropological study of Intercollegiate Halls life:-

The words Chav and Essex are considered profanities of the highest order and are used in reference to others at one's own risk.

Americans need clarifications, such as the DTR system. There is none of that very British timidity and reluctance to actually verbalise what the hell is going on. Define The Relationship is a common and useful part of their culture. E.g 'We need to do some DTR-ing'.

Sporty Irish lads can eat veritable mountains of food. It is a marvel to behold.

Philosophers are erudite, articulate, stoners, lovely and laid back, and incomprehensible. They muse on Sartre over starters, Mill over main course and Descartes over dessert.

Characters who are 'allergic to empty glasses', always have an open door and an open bottle of something, who sport berets and can recite Donne off by heart come to be known as Legends.

'Scrubs' is a unifying force.

Queueing has become a social occasion.

Lift smells are a constant source of surprise, revulsion, and mystery and can change hourly.

There is absolutely nobody from Newcastle or beyond. The sole native of Newcastle I have encountered, and indeed the only one residing in the whole of London, lives in different Halls. And he went to RGS so barely counts.

People become nocturnal beings. Body clocks change on entering the accommodation, and it is doubtful they will ever return to normal.

17 November 2007

I Do. You Do. We All Do The Haiku.

In keeping with the spirit of Cumberland Lodge and all that happened in this glorious place of firesides and tapestries, I have decided to be more 'creative' with my 'writing' and relate the essence of the trip through the medium of Haiku.

Over strong coffee - You
Write like an American,
John Sutherland said

From black to white to
Sublime to silly - Hitchcock
Master of the flicks

Striding out in frost
Bobble-hatted, happy, high
Hopes to meet Darcy

Sinking in sofa,
Drowning in tea, reading
The Guardian - joy!

Politics aside,
There's something to be said for

8 November 2007

A burgeoning snobbery

To desecrate such sanctified and hallowed ground with the audacity and irreverence I had the misfortune to witness shocked me, shocked me to my very core.

People (and note the plural, there was not just one person but multiple people) had actually dared to bring into the holy theatrical sanctum that is Covent Garden's Royal Opera House a London Lite. The free tabloid paper thrust into faces and fists each day in the streets. The streets! I tell you. I shall do my utmost to restrain my vitriol in reference to the spelling of 'Lite', and instead direct it very much towards the blasphemy incurred upon the lustrous velvet seats and gloriously plush amphitheatre. The whole thing reeked, positively reeked, of incongruity and insult. It is akin to bringing a burning effigy, accessorised with voodoo dolls and Wicca crystals, into Sunday service, parading it round the font as the altar is set alight and all the sacrificial wine is drunk, then sticking it up the vicar's arse. Such is the sacrilege.

To actually come prepared with such a rag for the interval leaves me speechless.

I blocked my eyes to the latest about Livingstone and Kate Moss's new hairstyle and tried very hard to merely sit and soak up the atmosphere of artistic brilliance, steeped in decades of theatrical mastery, when waiting between acts. Despite being surrounded by the tempting rustling.

I twiddled my thimbs and remained resolute. I am a true follower of the faith. A born-again believer in a 'swish night out to see the Ballet, dahling!'. I will not have it besmirched by London Lite.

4 November 2007

Excess, not XS

There is seemingly one constant in the everchanging realm of Kirkdom (otherwise known as 'my current life') and that is Excess.

Starting with the excess of wine drunk the night before the excessively long megabus trip up to The North, Excess became the name of the game that I was sportingly going to play over an extended weekend. I took a suitcase instead of a little holdall - which might be considered by some to be a little excessive - in order to bring an excess of books and, naturally, dirty washing. An excessively choclatey chocolate cake was presented on my arrival, celebrating the birthday of my excessively youthful father.
I hadn't even realised it was Autumn until venturing out of the city, but in Northumberland it is Autumn to excess. In fact it is a leaf-wading, hat and glove, Gap advert Autumn, that is how excessive the season is being. There was not, however, an excess of booze on the eve of Dad's birthday, as every last drop of many a bottle was consumed and enjoyed.
Hexham, with its excess of charity shops, geared up to Bonfire Night as I wandered through the excessively familiar streets, bumping into an excess of familiar faces. Excesses of split-ended hair fell about my person as I finally, after an excess of days, weeks, months, got my hair cut. I was excessively embarrassed by the state I had let it get into. An excessive amount of locals (and, indeed, those from further afield) swarmed through the town for the famous fireworks, which were excessively stunning and are both memory-stirring and memory-making to excess.
The excess people at Spoons had a smoke whilst waiting to get to the excessively busy bar, whilst those of us who battled our way with excessively pointy elbows got served surprisingly quickly. I became excessively overwhelmed and excited at seeing the excess of old friends and recognisable Northerners. Which lead to excessively red cheeks and excessively wide grins.

Excess is no bad thing, as the positive excess can just be scooped up and used later and sustain me for longer. And crikey, I sure feel better for, what some might say, was an excessively long lie in. I would say it was just right.