And she’s off again, dismantling the treasures from her sweet Camden bedroom. Postcards and posters peeled off, books taken off for light to shine on the dusty shelves. Staring at this four-walled shell one comes to realise how even the scrubbiest of flats can always become beautiful with human inspiration.
They told me
Travelling is perfect
Even to the capital
of the death
One single purpose:
On Mont des Arts
Met the pads and the palms
of the man on a drum
with my wooden knuckles in the strings
the weather between
Did I know that
citizen in Flemish
anyway, it’s bürger in German.
It all makes sense now
why some cities end
end -bourg like
Strasbourg and why
some with -burg
Freiburg aha and
why, it feels good
to make burgers.
He was a lone traveller, a truly gentle man, who had nearly lost all his teeth. He sat at the back of the bus, hardly spoke, and often wandered away all by himself. When he did speak it was a dialect that nobody could understand.
Time: 02:30AM – 05:00AM
How refreshing it is to fly to a country that feels like home yet bewilders you at the same time. I am swallowed up in the population, the ginormous bureaucracy, unknown to billions of people and barred from social media. It is weirdly pleasant, especially after such a publicised and popularised fortnight in another place, to escape into this culture. It means that I don’t get carried away wallowing in the memories of this ‘success’ and that ‘achievement’, swimming in the blue aftermath of adrenaline-filled days, all mopey that it has come to an end. The last thing I want to do is self-indulge and forget about where I am and who I am with.
I was in a place where the wind cocooned my head, limbs and body like a giant spinning, unforgiving frenzy. Air was charging into my ears and whipping the fabric of the raincoat against my cheeks. It heaved and pushed the water, forward and upward, roaring out platoons of white waves that swamped the length of the shore. It even pierced the thin layer of water on the sand, impregnating it with galaxies and galaxies of bubbles. They obeyed the wind and performed their wild orbital dance, alone, in clusters, slaves to air and gravity.
Not many words today – just some photos. In the middle of settling back into a new term in Strasbourg, sorting out my classes and boring things like that.
I want to congeal in a glass case a piece of paralysed Time. In this Time, I will freeze more time, and continue diving into its heart to unearth more sparkling seconds. I want to keep all the milliseconds of taste, emotion and movement, to preserve textures, smells, the angles of the cobbled streets and to dance the rise and fall of the road ahead.
Looking at this glass, admiring it like my own little taxidermic creature, I’d also like to glitter it with something called Joy and Freedom, which I’d describe as a warm weightlessness that overcomes me when I grasp the rhythmic, tonal complexity of a perfectly pronounced French word, fluid and honest in its execution, watch it grace my mouth and tongue and transport a fragment of ‘me’ into the atmosphere that will, at last, be understood and appreciated. Or when the humour and sweetness of friends combines with the delights of French food, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet and a fruity coffee. Or when, on the way to class, you suddenly can’t help but stand up on the pedals of your bike and sing to yourself, and imagine the old bicycle wheels spinning in a stereo like a cassette tape. Continue reading
I have been released.
How to describe the moment I left the exam hall? It’s a mixture of the following two clips.
Watch from the beginning of the clip to experience the journey of this year.
Then skip to 1:37 if you get bored of it.
Watch from 1:40:25
No more late nights at the library, unhealthy diets and panic attacks.
No more irritating people in the silent library zones. One of them was oblivious to the fact that his nose made a wheezy sound whenever he inhaled and exhaled.
No more sights of people studying hardcore. The diagrams, textbooks and glum faces gave me one too many nervous pangs.
I’m not sure how to continue this post.
It’s been a while since I did anything human.
I’ve been living in a cave.
A little bit like Howl’s room:
But less dreamy and romantic.
Add a few dusty surfaces, smelly shoes and discarded plates – an overflowing laundry basket on the side.
A tower of books on my floor. A suitcase from a month ago.
I haven’t even touched my violin since NYO.
The muscles won’t know which way to push and pull.
The hands will ache during the first few practice sessions, but it will be okay.
I can have violin lessons again too.
My first rehearsal of the summer is on Tuesday evening. So many concerts to come, never mind a tour to Belgium. We even have t-shirts and stickers.
I can start on KCL Bar Society stuff. Updating the website, thinking up new pieces for the newsletter. I can contact a few lawyers and arrange some meetings.
I can plan my summer! I have so many things I want to do.
I want to read literature again.
I want to find a summer job for a bit, maybe.
I want to start watching French films and restart my mission to learn more Chinese.
I want to swim.
I wanna go back home to Edinburgh for a bit.
Meanwhile moving into a new house for next year!
I have a huge backlog of social activity to catch up on. I’m referring to the negative space during exam time, and also from over the entire year.
The fact that I can count the number of times I’ve been out with my fingers.
Today, my first free day, I did some first-timers.
I had a coffee made from a Moka Pot for the first time.
I visited my first London cemetery – Highgate Cemetery – which hosts Karl Marx’s tombstone and other charming sights.
My phone died by the time we came face to face with Marx himself. Here’s a Wiki image of his resting place for your interest.
Less effective in this image is the darkness which he casts with his eyes. Each eyeball must be the size of a grapefruit, which allows plenty of room for white, iris and pupil. The eyes are alive. Even the natural moisture (eye juice) is carved in.
I also had my first Magnum ice cream for the year.
I am very overwhelmed by everything. And so very, very tired.
Gonna go now. I’ll write something more substantial later.