All 12 entries tagged Seriously

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July 22, 2005

We shall not be moved

Wednesday was the first time I'd travelled by Tube since that day, two weeks ago. It was not the most pleasant of experiences, as I sat in the carridge, thinking just how easy it would be for the lives of everyone around me to be suddenly and violently extinguished, with no warning or chance of escape. Even though I told myself I would not be nervous, I left the train with a definite sense of relief.

And then, on another Thursday just two weeks later, it happened again. Or almost. I haven't been listening to the news today, so I still don't have a clear picture of what happened, or know if anyone else does. But as I walked across central London, from Euston to Holborn, a study of the faces of my compatriots showed a grim determination. We will not be scared into submission. We will not allow you to destroy our way of life, regardless of the disruption you cause. Whatever you do, we will go on.

And I hope this is the case, because the minute London, or anywhere else for that matter, ceases it's daily business is the minute that terror and brutality has suceeded. And that would be a dark day for the whole world.


July 13, 2005

The Return

I'm back at Warwick today, ahead of my graduation ceremony tomorrow. It seems that, while nothing has really changed in the past two weeks, actually everything has.

While walking past my first year residence of Rootes L block a few minutes ago, I was struck with a great sense of nostalgia. This part of my life is over – I will never be a student again. Nothing is the same any more.

I'm obviously not the only one. I passed another former student (yes, I have to refer to myself as a former student now, and boy does it hurt), I caught part of his mobile phone conversation in which he was angrily declaiming the construction of a new building in front of his 1st year home in Old Rootes, his upset gesticulations mirroring my own feelings with suprising accuracy.

When I arrived today I ran into a couple of flatmates from this year. One of them asked me "Did you just get back?" Whether or not she conciously chose that wording I don't know, but it was also representative of my feelings. "Back", not "here". This place has been my home for three years, and now when I return to London I realise that this is where I'd rather be. So this process is "coming back to Warwick", just like "coming back home". In a way it's sad that I don't see the place I've lived for 18 years as truly my home any more, but equally I think it's a sign of growing up, spreading my wings. Or something.

On a different note, Conference atendees are treated much better than students (to the suprise of no one at all). On arrival in Jack Martin I was confronted with tea/coffee/hot chocolate making equipment, complete with biscuits, a collection of towels in the bathroom, hangers in the cupboard, and, for some reason, a hair dryer. (Not in the cupboard though). Pity they didn't provide me with a laptop and a network card, but you can't have everything ;-). Of course, I am paying £35 for a single night, but you'd never get biscuits as a student.


June 24, 2005

And now we are free, and we'll see you again. But not yet. Not yet

How can one say goodbye to 3 years?

There have been ups (friends, fun, high-speed internet connection…all that jazz), and there have been downs (mainly my course). I've learned some very important lessons (none to do with my course), even if I haven't always acted on them. I've made a goodly amount of friends, much to everyone's surprise, as I leave my room only rarely.

Regrets? Yeh I have a few. Not living in Leamington last year (Coventry is a dump), not being as adventurous as I might have been…oh, and the whole course thing. There have been many times in the past 3 years when I have said I should have gone to Durham instead, to study Natural Sciences. Obviously no one can know what would have happened in that case, but looking back I believe I can truly say that as a place, there's nowhere else I'd rather have been. Were I to start over again I'd choose a different degree – maybe engineering or chemistry or something at least vaguely applicable to the Real World – but not another uni.

And now it's over. Three years of joy, pain, fun, stress, laughter and tears. Three years of growth. Three years of life.

And so, because I am unwilling to let go, my plan is to come back next year – to find a job in the area, preferably live in north Leamington, and have another year in the company of those friends who will still be here, and there will certainly be enough to keep life interesting. Of course, being as disorganised as I am, I have yet to sort out a job, or accommodation. I don't really want to be here over the summer, so that means I have to find something starting in September, then somehow get accommodation before I start. Obviously finding a house first would be a bad move, in case there is nothing for me to do when I get back.

So hey…anyone want to employ me? I'm now Simon Brent BSc (Physics with Computing, Upper Second Class Honours). Comes with limited experience in anything job-related. Just add training and chocolate to make it work.

Oh boy, it's going to be a stressful summer.


June 20, 2005

My lack of input

I haven't made that many entries since the end of exams, nor have I really been reading other peoples', or commenting particularly. It seems that the vast majority of things I write about stem from my general dissatisfaction with life (hence the posting spike during the first 5 weeks of term). Therefore I must conclude that I am happy, or at least content at the moment, for I find I have nothing really to write about. Of course, what with the complete lack of commitments at the moment I have pretty much been doing what I want for the last 4 weeks, so that's probably the cause. It's nice to know, as it doesn't happen very often.

On a side note, I was roped into doing Warwick Shootout on Friday. We filmed all night and I believe were the first team to finish (at about 11:30 on Saturday morning). Sadly I wasn't there during the editing process, as the lack of sleep hit me at 9 and I stumbled back to my room to pass out, but I have been told it looked pretty good in the end. It didn't win any awards, so it wasn't shown at today's presentation (possibly not a bad thing considering I was in front of the camera for one scene and would not have been able to bear the embarrassment).

I would like to make a couple of points about the awards. Firstly, two of the films that won – Best Film and Best Response to Brief – were made by staff or alumni – people with so many more resources than us that it wasn't fair to judge student films on the same level. Secondly…and this will only be understood by people who were at the screening…Immersion – WTF?


March 09, 2005

End of term blues

I've been saying goodbye to people these last two days, and while I'll see them again after Easter, it makes me sad. The reason for this is that it forces me to look ahead to this time next term, when I will be saying goodbye for a much longer time, if not for good.

Is it possible to maintain close friendships over distance, without seeing people on a regular basis? I hope more than anything that this is achievable, and fear the loss of the good friends I've made these last three years. I wouldn't be who I am today without them.

Thank you for putting up with me, and let's make sure that "goodbye" is never really meant.


February 11, 2005

How's it going?

People keep asking me this, or variations such as "How are you?" etc…
It must be one of the hardest questions to answer. My current response is along the lines of "hmmm…ok" or, more recently "ill" but it's never a question I feel I can satisfactorily answer. Nor for that matter do I expect an in-depth answer if I ask someone else. In fact, if I get any response other than "alright", "ok", "good" (or anything more than one word for that matter) it often throws me so much that I can't remember what it was I said in the first place.

At the moment the best way to describe how I am is probably "meh". If you don't understand, say it to yourself in a bored, tired tone of voice – then you will get the idea. Basically, I need something to do. Unfortunately sport makes me dizzy and I'm currently unable to breathe properly, and work gives me a headache. It's only a cold, but it's a sucky one that seems to have wasted an entire week of my life so far.

Dammit.


January 02, 2005

Memories

I started thinking about holidays last night – about why we have them. To relax, to get away, and, just as important, for the memories they give us.

A boy in a park in Luxembourg, who spoke about 9 languages, the last of which was English so we could communicate.
A never-ending queue at JFK airport in New York.
Being sick in my mother’s lap on a catamaran from Bornholm to Denmark’s mainland, aged 7. It was her birthday.
A green copper dome in Copenhagen. Legoland – with lego houses higher than my head. A storm with forked lightning when the power cut out and all else was pitch black.
Brief, violent thunderstorms in Johannesburg. Being locked in a bathroom in Cape Town by a strong wind blowing against the door. Sitting on Cape Point, looking out over the oceans. Fog on Table Mountain. Seeing a warthog in the Kruger Park, but letting it get away without taking a photo because mum said it move to a better angle. (I’ve never forgiven her for that.)
Having hot blueberry waffles for breakfast in a B’n’B in the Catskill Mountains.
Standing on top of the World Trade Centre building.
Walking around the top of the amphitheatre in Nimes. Watching cars attempting to drive through half a metre of water after the river burst its banks. Sitting outside a restaurant in the plaza, just watching people go by.

And Israel. And Israel. And Israel.
The heat and humidity that hits you on stepping off the plane. My Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall. Swimming with dolphins in Eilat. Sitting on the edge of the Mitzpe Ramon crater and watching attack helicopters fly past beneath me. Hiking in the Negev from before sunrise to after sunset. The midday rest in a cave, where I totally failed to fall asleep. Lying in a sleeping bag under the stars and a bright orange moon. Climbing Masada before dawn and watching the sun rise and reflect, sparkling, off the Dead Sea below. The peace and tranquillity of sitting in the desert, alone as if there was no one else in the world.

It is perhaps the last of these that stick with me the most. Those moments when you are totally calm, to sit, relax, drink in the surroundings. Think. Remember. When I look back on them now, I find many of these memories overwhelming.

It is strange to me that none of these vivid recollections – some from over 10 years ago – involve skiing, as that is what most of my recent holidays have been. Skiing, while one of my favourite activities in the world, can tend to blur memories after some years, so the only things I recall with clarity are when something went wrong. The week in Meribel when it rained almost constantly, and I read Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens twice as a result. Skiing into a submerged tree stump in Davos, breaking the ski and causing myself mild whiplash on landing.

For all of these memories, good or bad, one thing is always true. Neither words, nor pictures (nor a combination of both) can ever do them justice. They are images in the mind, locked away for ever, to be recalled and rejoiced over at will. They are what shape you; make you what you are today. They are the possibly most important part of your being.

I think I need a holiday…


January 01, 2005

Welcome 2005

And so 2004 ended, with possibly the most random event of my life. After spending most of the evening in my room, I decided on a whim to talk a walk to the local park. There I stood, arms outstretched, head held back to face the sky, as the moon moved out from behind a cloud and Big Ben chimed in my earphones. Afterwards I strolled home, enjoying the solitude, while fireworks exploded all around me. The tranquillity of that moment is with me still and I feel at peace for the first time in ages. A great end to a terrible day, but overall a fairly positive year.

Here’s to 2005.


December 31, 2004

Deep Thought

I hate New Year's Eve. It is the one time, more than any other, that it occurs to me how alone I am.

After much consideration I have come to realise that there are less than 10 people in this world whose company I prefer to my own, and less than 5 who I think "get me". And I'm not even certain about some of them.

As for the number of people I willingly impart information about myself to…well, actually that has been growing over the past few months, as I'm making a conscious effort to talk about more than just what music I'm listening to, what films I like, and how much I hate EA Sames. So many conversations we have in life are staggeringly superficial – there are people I've known for 10 years who I've never told anything about myself. I don't know if that makes me a shut-off person, or if it is perfectly normal, but it has begun to bother me a little bit. The problem is if I will be able to change after all these years. Thankfully the responses I've been getting in this tentative process have surprised me by being, on the whole, rather positive.

To those rare few whose conversations are always thought-provoking and challenging, I say thank you, and please may it continue for a long time to come. If you guys are reading this, I'm sure you know who you are.

I think that's about it for the moment. I will now go and try to find and alternative to spending New Year's Eve on my own, watching fireworks and Big Ben on the TV, because years gone by have shown me that there is almost no experience that is more depressing.


December 19, 2004

Some stuff about me

It has come to my attention that none of you actually know anything about me, and, while I am happy to keep things like this, I don't like being slandered ;-)

So here's some facts:

  • I do not moan all the time.
  • I play guitar, but only in my own room. No, I don't suck, but I get nervous playing in front of people. Whatever…
  • I don't sing unless absolutely sure no one else can hear. I recorded myself once and the results weren't pretty.
  • I play lots and lots and lots of computer games. I also review them occasionally for the Boar. (Plug!)
  • I do, much to my suprise, have some friends. Somewhere.
  • I play lots of badminton and am very good. I am on the uni's (second) team, so this is obviously not a lie. (Trying to come up with a modest way of saying that and failing.)
  • I don't do any work unless there is someone standing over me with a cattle-prod. Sorry, I mean a deadline. This is in order to facilitate my huge computer game and badminton habbits.
  • I am not the most immature person I know. In fact, I know two people who are more immature than me. This may suprise anyone who meets me.
  • I am quite possibly the Antichrist, as there was an eclipse of the moon and earthquakes in England on the day I was born. Having met other people who share my birthday however, I can't help wondering if it isn't one of them instead.
  • Any interest I had for physics on starting uni has been drained away by doing nothing but applied maths for the entire course.
  • I am generally apathetic, have no direction in life, no career in mind. I do, however, know the things that I don't want to do. Which includes almost everything.

I think that's enough for now, don't you?


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