It’s nice to be home

I’m back, after a very uncomfortable six-hour train journey which seemed unusually densely populated with incredibly annoying people – the man who spent the entire journey making statements such as “It’s stupid that Class A drugs are illegal, because look at the statistics: far more people die from alcohol than from Class A drugs”, the group of young men who loudly discussed their hobby, which was either medieval reenactments or just brutal murder, with a variety of flamboyantly obscene swearwords, the young German couple who spent over two hours kissing each other with a series of noisy little pecks, like birds hitting their beaks together.

Perhaps these people weren’t actually all that annoying, but my head aches and I’m very tired. It was great to see the people I did manage to meet up with, and lovely to be back, but this kind of whirlwind trip always wears me out. I think it’s the sudden shock of going from my slow, peaceful rural life to the vibrant, busy city and then back without any real adjustment period.

It was a successful trip though. On Thursday night I had dinner with Sarah and Henry, both of whom I met through the G&S show last summer and neither of whom I’ve seen since then. Then I stayed at Anna’s and we packed up her room whilst watching Mamma Mia (actually Anna packed, I watched Mamma Mia… but I did put some books into a box at one point). Friday morning I saw my DoS, who seems happy for me to come back in October – she doesn’t have a part in deciding if I’m allowed to or not, but her opinion would strongly affect my decision, because if she thinks I’m not ready then she’s almost certainly right – and then my doctor, who wrote me a letter saying I was medically fit to return. She also set me a curfew of 11pm and banned me from any night-time commitments such as theatre or ice hockey.

Next I zipped into the college music practice rooms for the first time ever, to warm up for my choral scholarship audition. They’re a bit creepy, they’re right in the basement and completely soundproofed with no windows. I sang through my audition piece, which I’ve been having a lot of trouble with but somehow it suddenly became easier. Maybe it’s because I’ve been practising it in the evenings when I’m tired? Anyway the audition was next and it went very well and I got the scholarship! I’m so relieved and very excited about it. It’s a 10 hour per week commitment, which means it is the only thing I’ll be able to do, but that’s probably a good thing. And next summer we’re going on tour to America.

I kind of wish I had come home after all that, because I was tired and too warm and not sure where I was going to sleep that night, but then StuMo reminded me that this week is the week the theatre closes for renovations and the hard-core techies spend 10 hours a day rewiring, rebuilding, repainting, recarpeting and generally fixing up the theatre in return for bed and board. So I swung by there, fixed some bar stools, painted some shelves, helped fit a kitchen unit, ate dinner and found someone who let me sleep at the foot of their bed. But I didn’t get much sleep that night either (we stayed in the theatre until after midnight – they were doing a quiz, I was asleep on a sofa). This morning I got up fairly early in the hopes of seeing the third years from my college process to graduation (which I missed by thirty seconds) and of visiting Zofia (who never answered her phone!), and then went off to catch the train. I’d planned weeks ago which trains I was getting and I even had a little print out from the train company telling me the times and stations for each connection, but somehow the train from London to Birmingham arrived almost an hour later than it was meant to (but wasn’t late, according to the information signs along the way) so I missed my connection. No idea how that happened, I was definitely on the right train so the print out must have just badly underestimated the length of the journey.

Anyway, I’m safely back home now and that ought to be that in terms of short trips to Cambridge or indeed anywhere else this summer. I’m going to Scotland in just over two weeks, and in August I’ve got the choir course and a folk festival (assuming I don’t get a job in the interim, which seems unlikely at this point) but otherwise I haven’t got anything planned and I can’t afford any spontaneous jaunts. I seem to remember saying something remarkably similar to this before, though, and I’ve done a lot of travelling since. So we’ll see.

Tonight we’re planning on watching the first half of Harry Potter VII, which arrived from LoveFilm just as I was leaving on Thursday morning. For some reason they’ve also sent me a second DVD without any clear explanation of why, but I’m not complaining! When my brother comes to visit we’re hopefully going to go and see the second half of HPVII – it’ll have been out for a fortnight by then, so in theory we won’t have to book weeks in advance.

Now to attend to all the email that has crept up in the last 72 hours. Where does it all come from?

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