All entries for Monday 18 July 2005

July 18, 2005

Time grabs you by the wrist

I meant to go to bed really early tonight but maybe it's the fear of how much of a turning point this is that's making me put it off.

I'm staying with family friends in Charlton for a couple of weeks and have fed their rabbit, guinea pigs and rats, watered their tomato plants, told my mum i've got here safe, made some dinner, caught up with people, checked train times and weather for tomorrow and now I'm drinking Ribena and writing this but yet I have made little move to sort out what I need to take with me tomorrow morning (passport, starter form, CV, non typical student appearance), clean my teeth, or bed down for the night.

Even for the past few days I've been stoically avoiding packing because this is the first time I've packed up my life for a permanent move ever since I was 7 years old or so. Additionally this is the first new city I've had to get used to living in for about the same amount of time. I've gotten good at navigating London by tube and the West End by foot but the rest is a big unknown.

In an ideal world, I'd like to move closer into Brum than my house is and work somewhere there, because I love it as a city and like being ridiculously close to the Malverns and to Wales and all sorts of other bits of green and also after moving round so much when I was younger, it's nice to feel some attachment to somewhere. However, the positive of all that moving is that I'm really good at settling in new places and quite happy to call all sorts of places home.

That said, I'm scared of London being my new home. It's vastness and etiquette (or lack thereof) is over-awing, the throngs of people all going in the opposite direction to you, the crushing rush hour, the invisibility of everyone to everyone else.

I've thought a lot about the bombings as well but have not blogged about it til now because I wanted to get an overview and not give a reflex reaction. Whether it's of my own accord or as a result of keeping up with current affairs is a blurred line, yet either way, the bombings have been high in my mind. Being on campus at the time, I was physically distant from it all: I didn't lose anyone, I didn't know anyone who was injured and I wasn't there. However, Londoners I know were shaken and/or upset and maybe the constant reference from the news as 7th July as "that fateful day", the attempts from the press to re-create the 9/11 sentiment by calling Thursday "7/7", the general bombardment from the press as if the world has stopped, fuelling the involuntary morbid curiosity of the public and has raised my worry levels. Today was the first day that I actively moved to turn off the radio when the news came on.

The turning off of the radio is a turnaround from Friday just gone, when I felt some sort of chest-tightening panic at moving down to London. I knew that I would, and know that I will, travel as normal and work as normal and go about things as normal and that things probably won't enter my mind as I go about day to day life but I did shiver slightly driving past Tavistock square, still closed off, and past Kings Cross station with many faces staring out from the posters of those missing stuck to the outer wall and unavoidable.

As Mark has implied on his blog, life itself is an unpredictable event. Who knows what might happen tomorrow, bad or good. I thought my parents would be terrified that I was coming to London but my mum unexpectedly said something very level headed "when your time's up, it's up, and that's it". As with much of what my mum says, that's an oversimplification but having said that, it's one with a lot of truth. It's never going to feel that simple for those you leave behind but you can't live your life being overly anxious about another bombing incident in the U.K., because then who's losing: you, or the terrorists?

Anyway, so now I really better prepare for my first day of work otherwise I'll be so visibly tired they'll boot me out on my first day! I don't know how working 9.30 to 5.30, 5 days a week, will feel. Not that I've not done it before but this isn't the start of just a job, it's the start of my career and come September, everything'll sink in as everyone goes back to university and I ponder when to take a chunk of my 5 weeks of holiday.

It's an old classic but it feels very significant to me at the mo and I may well stick the ol' iPod in my ears and drift off to the strains of this:

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

July 2005

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