1081 Days Down, 14 Left To Go

Today I woke up and had the best bowl of cereal I’ve had all year.

It wasn’t particularly high-quality cereal. The milk was pretty standard. The bowl was decidedly average and the spoon was nothing to write home about.

My chair was the same one I always sit on when I eat breakfast, the table, if anything, was even grimier than usual. Somebody had neglected their bin duties and there was a slight pong in the air.

All of this was irrelevant, however. Today was (and, technically, still is) my day off.

You know that feeling you get when you wake up and suddenly remember that it’s a Saturday, or a public holiday, and you can roll over and go right back to sleep? I experienced that three times this morning, as three different housemates each walked past my room three different times and shut the front door with three different slightly disgruntled, pointed slams.

My designated Day Off began as soon as I knew they had left. After the aforementioned Awesome Bowl Of Cereal, I had an Incredible Shower and read my Really Really Interesting Book. Then began the errands. For me, running errands is one of life’s purest joys. Filling a closet with fresh laundry, posting a letter that’s been sitting on your desk for days; there is no better feeling on Earth than the steady rhythm of box ticking on a To Do List that has been nagging you for weeks (I feel I get a lot more excited about completed To Do Lists than 21 year-old university students should probably get).

Now I’m back in the library, smiling at the exam crammers around me, preparing for the afternoon football in the park and the curry I’m sharing with a friend in the evening that will flesh out the rest of my day. I know that tomorrow morning will be another 6 am wake-up, a bowl of Genuinely Average Cereal and a Mildly Stimulating Shower, a day in the library studying the politics of Sub-Saharan Africa and an early night to prepare myself for starting it all over again in the morning. I also know, however, that in this ocean of diligence and drudgery and routine and perseverance, today I have built myself a little deserted island that I can sit on for a few hours, watching the rest of the world get caught up in knots and knowing it’ll be a while before I’ll have to start worrying about untangling them again. I don’t have many days left in this country, but I’m making sure the ones I still do have are as brilliant as I can make them.


Here’s an artist I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. He played in Bristol a few weeks ago but exam guilt kept me at home. Hopefully sharing him with all of you will undo some of my shame at being such an armchair folkist lately.

It’s been a while since I’ve got my hands on quietish, falsetto, Bon Iver-like folk, but I think that’s exactly the kind of music you need on sunny Summer days like the ones the weather gods have been bestowing England with lately. I’m really keen to hear what you think. James Vincent McMorrow: do you love him or do you, upon reflection, mildly disapprove of his style of music (there’s no space for haters on STFU)?

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Jun 2011

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