Tugged back

Next week, I would be half way through my degree.

In reality I will be in Brittany, making Nutella crepes and rinsing sand out of the hair of toddlers. And I wouldn’t change it, I truly wouldn’t, but it made me feel unexpectedly sad to get the email about Halfway Hall. I’ll still get to celebrate it, but it won’t be with my Matriculation class.

My current mood is incongruous because today has been quite nice albeit not particularly note-worthy, but the evening has been odd. For a start the paint damage fine from last year has returned AGAIN and I just can’t face getting into the battle all over again (for those of you who weren’t subjected to this stupidity last time, the housekeeping department are trying to fine me £30 for paint damage which existed when I moved into the room), but I am not prepared to pay it and it’s become a point of honour now.

It’s really distressing me to have to fight with the head of housekeeping on the issue, because I can tell she thinks I am a dishonest complaining bitch and having to keep emailing her to say that she is wrong isn’t exactly helping matters – but I am determined not to be cowed into paying the fine. It would be like accepting a police caution for something I didn’t feel was wrong (like the woman I read about in the news who was given a caution for leaving her 14 year old son in charge of the 3 year old for 40 minutes while she went to the shops -she has now lost her job and may never work again, and what she did is not actually illegal).

Then a few other things happened that made me reminisce, which I’ve been doing a lot lately, and now the halfway hall email. Basically I suppose I am just brushing against the shadow of an alternative world in which I didn’t leave uni, and another one where I never even went. It feels strange.

I think also the fact that I’ve just finished doing my French homework has contributed to this mood! I had forgotten how much I hated copying out inane sentences in another language until I started doing this course – sadly textbooks for adults are no less patronising than those for children, but ours has the added advantage of being so old that it refers to “la bonne” (the maid) answering the door to the visitors coming to dinner, and the policemen blowing their whistles and waving their white batons. Actually they do still do this, it’s really bizarre to be crossing a busy road and see half a dozen police officers directing traffic without taking any notice of the traffic lights. It probably does a lot to minimise rush-hour traffic jams, come to think of it.

I wonder what it is going to feel like when I go back to university next year. I expect it’s going to be a bit like starting first year was, because basically I’ll have to make a whole set of new friends. I am friendly with most of the first year lawyers but don’t know many of them particularly well, and everyone will have been happily chugging along without me for almost a year. The fact that so few people have kept in touch makes it fairly clear that there is no May-shaped gap in their lives 😦 And it will be weird going back up to that pace. Maybe I won’t; I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to live at that speed again actually.

Now that I’ve successfully depressed myself, I’m going to go and listen to some slightly more cheerful music and go to bed. If anyone is actually reading this (other than my father and three faithful friends who I know about!), it would be nice to hear from you.


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