Tag Archives: In which…

Organised chaos is the way to live

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People often ask me why I chose to work as cabin crew, seeing as the constant human contact and changes of schedule might not be the best for an introvert with an almost pathological fear of missing appointments. Yes, the prospect of travelling is a huge plus but still! How do you deal with the difficulties? Well, dear reader, to answer the first half of this question….. I am a spectacular liar. No, I do not make a habit of making up stories of embellishing the truth. I am however very good as lying about myself. People expect me to be friendly on the job, so sure! I can lie and be friendly, even act like the prospect of being around people without reprieve for, sometimes eleven or twelve hours, is not just easy but also welcome. After, these people will likely never see them again. It also helps that much as I am not comfortable around people, I love listening to stories. Like with travelling, I will put up with A LOT if it means that by the end of it I’ll have a good tale to come back to. Still hate when people get over-friendly though…. Like, we just met? Why the hell are you hugging me like we went to school together?

As for the second bit, yes I enjoy routine to an extent. I like knowing that, if a day goes spectacularly bad, I’ll have a few certainties to fall back to. That however is not the same as needing a schedule to function. Quite the contrary, I operate best when under pressure. Give an adrenaline shot and the need to improvise on the spot and you’ll have me at my best (at least not when research is involved). If I have to chuck the rulebook out the closest window, even better. This was actually on my greatest challenges during training: The Rules. For me they are something to pay attention to, take into consideration and respect. After all, they were put down  for a reason, however obscure it is. And I’d never ignore them just for the giggles if there was a safety issue. But following them like they’re the Bible (or any other religious text of your choice…)? No thanks. Best way to get me to poke at something is to tell me not to question it. Juvenile on my part perhaps, but I’ve always learnt better when I understood the why before the how.

And to build on that I have to question (heh!) something I heard near the end of the first part of my training. Our instructor gave us a personality test, one of the fancy ones that modern companies love and yet is not that far from those I used to take on teen magazines. I’ll spare you the gory details but my results could be summed up as:

  • “give me the facts”
  • “spare me the sob story”
  • “screw the rules, we need results”

And all that to the surprise of no one exactly… What did come to a surprise to me was that, apparently, when it comes to cabin crew airlines like the so-called “fluffy bunnies”. And I don’t mean this as an insult, it’s literally how the type was summed up by the quiz. You know the ones! Super empathetic, super nice, make amazing crying shoulders and, if you’re like me, you avoid them like the plague lest they suffocate you. Absolute sweethearts and gods of customer service/placating but frankly I wouldn’t trust them with a flashlight in an emergency. I’m talking about the general type here, not anyone in particular. I have no doubt there are people out there who go from marshmallow to absolute badass at the drop of the hat. I just wonder, even taking the importance, nay vitality, of happy customers into account, you’d prefer a personality type with a tendency to crack under pressure as your primary choice. Especially considering how important safety is.

Am I being too cynical? Probably. I’ve never been one to trust people explicitly, especially people who’s first question is “how are you feeling?!” instead of “how can we solve the problem?”. Tough love is a thing, you know. A wonderful, wonderful thing.

 

On a completely unrelated note, Thor 3 will be coming out the day after I return from my next trip. Expect ravings of the extra fangirlish, super tired type, as  I ignore my minor jetlag and major lack of sleep to drag myself to the closest cinema and enjoy the cinematic version of the End-All (sorta….not really) before the actual End-All comes up and collectively kicks our asses.

That moment when you land back to Earth…

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I’ve been off the grid here for a while now, haven’t I? Mostly because there are only so many ways I can talk about what it’s like to drudge through a fairly boring day-today, with only the occasional spike in my anxiety to spice things up. But now… now I have Stuff to look ahead to. Pretty sure I mentioned here, what feels like centuries ago, that I was jousting with the pre-employment processes of British Airways. Well! I am delighted to report that I have officially exited that circle of Hell and my life is back on some semblance of track! So what have I been up to these past few months?

Not much really, until I got that blessed e-mail, informing me of my start date. THAT is when things got interesting! Suddenly I had a timeline and a list of things that needed to be completed. Things like finding a new place, filling out a few last pieces of paperwork, booking my medical appointment, sorting out my visa, packing… Oh gods, the packing! My new place is slightly closer to Heathrow, though each really a temporary solution until I get to flying full time and some other things get sorted out… Medical is all booked and I just need to fill out the paperwork I need to present and show up looking pretty and healthy. (Lot’s of fruits and veggies for me in the near future!) The US visa is the one that closest to being at 100% done, mostly because my appointment is next Monday. I’ve also had to hunt down a pair of court shoes and update my closet (my bank account is currently in deep mourning over that fact). The shoes should arrive at the store any day now and once I have them, they will replace my slippers inside the house. Because, let’s be honest. New shoes will hurt your feet the first few times you were them. In my case, it’s usually my heel that takes the brunt of that and I’ve hobbled back home on bleeding feet often enough to know that this is not something I want happening on the first day on the job. As for the wardrobe update….that was one of the few times I went shopping unwillingly. Left to my own devices I’d spend the majority of my life dressed either in PJs or the sort of clothes you’d find in a fantasy show (stakes and magical swords optional). In other words, my office-appropriate outfits could be counted in one hand. And I have anywhere between four and six weeks of training in which I’m expected to show up in office chic. You do the math dear reader.

Speaking of wardrobe updates, here’s a funny thing that happened the other day. I had ordered a few t-shirts online. When the parcel finally arrived (with an unexpected customs charge and wasn’t that fun…) I realised there were a few extra t-shirts on top of the stuff I had ordered. A few e-mails with the company later and here’s what I learnt. Another customer’s order was accidentally packed with mine. Now, under different circumstances I’d roll my eyes at this show of disorganisation. But! It just so happened that the person in question had ordered designs I was planning on getting myself whenever I had money to spare next. And I get to keep them. So no. I’m not complaining. In fact I may have done a mini happy dance on my bed when they told me I didn’t have to return the extras. 😀

What else, what else… I’m trying to motivate myself to exercise a bit more and touch up my German. Neither being activities I particularly enjoy so I haven’t exactly been successful so far. I tell myself to walking around counts for something and my scales seem to agree but unfortunately  that does very little for my flexibility. Looks like I’ll have to look up some yoga tutorials or cheat-sheets or something…. And I need to look into the whole luggage situation. I may have to buy a new cabin bag but given my finances currently looking like they are in their inglorious death-throws I’ll have to put that off for later. And pray there’ll be a huge sale when I get around to actually buying it. I kept getting the feeling that I’m going to school again and let me tell you it’s not just the excitement of learning something new, it’s not just the word “training” being thrown around like spare change, it’s not just meeting other people with the same brand of crazy as me. It’s the avalanche of expenses that come with it. I mean yeah, it’s exciting expenses. Made less exciting by the fact that I am not dragging my mother down the aisle of a store, throwing everything that catches my eye on the cart and not worrying about paying the bill in the end. #thingsImissfrommychildhood

….

My conscience informs me that that is what being an adult means. To which I reply:

Image result for i am an adult, but like an adult cat

(How cute is that cat?)

-ahem- Yeah….

Well this is at the stage where my rambles cease to be even slightly coherent, so I’m gonna sign out.

See y’all soon. Hopefully.

In which a voicemail is enough to ruin two days’worth of good vibes

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I HATE phone calls. I don’t just find them inconvenient or stressful (though both are true too), I loathe them. For better or worse phones calls almost never yield good news for me, and not just because I somehow always end up with a person with really thick accent on the other end of the line. Yes I am bilingual. No, that is of no help if I need to hear the voicemail you left me twice and still be uncertain about a key point of it. Also, who the dickens rattles off a phone number in lightning speed and does not even bother to repeat it more slowly. Oh, and douche coworker, I could hear you giggling over the line. You think your English is clearer, fucking. Man. The. Phones.  Anyway, it would seem that I need to compose a very long and very tense (read passive aggressive bordering to aggressive aggressive) e-mail to the lumps of carbon responsible or my high blood pressure these past few months and see if I can’t get this mess sorted finally. And this friends, is why all my good mood from the past few days (I’m nearly not sick anymore, yay!) plus the endorphins from my earlier swimming session went up in figurative flames.

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On the bright side (and mum, if you’re reading this put the Holy Water down, we were mostly joking) this also the sort of situation on which friendships are built. Basically I was ranting to a friend about the whole mess, pretty much prefacing it with “fancy helping me curse someone?” There are few things quite as comforting as an answer of “who?” rather than “what?” or “why?” for this sort of question. I mean yeah, we are planning of talking the ears of everyone slightly relevant to the recruitment process as soon as we clear the pre-employment stage because frankly this whole song and dance started in August and I know for a fact that not nearly enough has happened to me in the past five years to justify a background check still going on. I’m not even kidding! If I wasn’t losing sleep over high school finals or uni, then I was at my parents’ pretty much catching up on sleep, sun and homemade meals. I don’t have a criminal record (obviously) so what in the name of Elizabeth Bennett’s mud-stained petticoat is taking them so frigging long?  Everything we’ve been able to find online suggests that it’s a company issue, that they are just that disorganised. But then again that raises another very serious question. If it’s widely known that they are that bad at their job then why would anyone hire them? Mr. Trickster is having a laugh on my behalf methinks, but I am too stubborn to just no do anything about it. Besides, if I learnt one think in public school is how to loudly complain about things happening that I don’t like.

And with that I shall be off. I have an angry e-mail to write and a story about an inept Russian prince being saved by his girlfriend to continue. Toodles!

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In which the old adage about glittering stuff and gold is back in fashion

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So I moved to Hounslow. Which of itself was an adventure that I would much rather not repeat. I’d talk about it here but the last few days have been really trying for the concave that is my head. I don’t think repeating everything that happened here will help much. Let’s talk about my new house instead (I don’t see myself giving it “home” status. It’s more of a somewhere-to-stay-until-I-start-being-paid-decently case.) The building itself is lovely and my new room spacious and with big windows (always a good thing). Unfortunately it came with some MAJOR turn-offs that I’ll have to grin and bear for a year. What are these griefs I face you ask? Well, for one the walls are pretty thin, which I’ve noticed seems to be the norm in England. Personally I detest them. They do next to nothing to keep the sound from other rooms out which means that working without headphones will be impossible, unless, by some happy coincidence, I’m home alone. Also, for the record, dear whoever is playing music in the living room right now, if you need to raise your voice to be heard over the song, then perhaps you should turn the volume down. Since we’re practically at Heathrow’s doorstep, you’d think soundproofing would be the first thing on the list…

The next thing is more of a personal preference thing. One of the first things you notice when entering my room is this lovely, inviting, double bed. If you are anything like me, your first instinct would be to throw yourself on the mattress and enjoy an impromptu cat nap. If you did this in this bed you’d end up with bruises. I’m not kidding! Let me make an honest-to-Chuck comparison: on one particular family holiday we ended up having more people than beds in the house, so us kids ended up in the living room with a carpet and a couple of folded blankets between us and the floor. That was more comfortable than what I currently have to sleep in. I’m not exaggerating at all. The mattress feels like lying on the floor. I know some people prefer to sleep on a firm surface (apparently it’s good for your back?) but there is a difference, I think, between firm and unyielding. And this bed is categorically on the latter part of the spectrum.

The kitchen! Oh how do I weep for that kitchen! I cook when I’m happy. I cook when I’m stressed. I cook when I’m angry. Basically, cooking is one of my coping mechanisms. One of the things I was most looking forward to while moving out of student accommodation was a functional kitchen. This is not the case. Partially that is because I haven’t had time to get used to it. But a very, very large part is due to the lack of space. Not only are the counters covered in stuff (that needs washing or -I suspect- has nowhere else to be) from what I understand each tenant is assigned one cupboard. To put this in perspective, I came here with two boxes worth of kitchen stuff, from crockery, to cutlery, to spices or foodstuff that was still good and I didn’t want to throw out. I’m used to limited storage space but this is ridiculous! Half my stuff is still in the cardboard boxes and it will need to remain there because I’ve filled the cupboard as much as I safely can. You want a constant source of stress? Try having to work from storage boxes. It will drive you crazy, I promise.

But by far the biggest problem in this scenario (and the one from which quite a few others will stem, I just know) is that my landlord (live-in at that) speaks really bad English and on top of that he talks really fast. That means that out of every ten words that come out of his mouth  I’m lucky if I can make sense of four. Mercifully one of the other tenants can act as a translator (and I’m kinda hoping she comes home soon today because there’s some financial matters I need to discuss with him and that is not a subject I’m willing to talk about in a pray-we-understand-each-other level). I was hoping I’d have a chance to allow my anxiety to recede a bit now that I’m out of uni. Doesn’t look like it, judging by the knot that my stomach has turned to…

You’re probably wondering why I chose to move in in a house that is clearly problematic. The answer is simple: I was in a time-crunch and with an incredibly limited budget. I hoped I was making the best out of a bad situation. Maybe that will be the case in a few weeks. Then again, I can’t even ask that guy whether the post has come yet so I’m not holding out. Heh! Remember when we were kids and thought that having our own house would be as easy as acing a spelling test? And for the record, the next person above the age of 30 that tells me starting out in life is easy and I panic over nothing will be treated to the kind of tongue-lashing I’d give someone my age. Colourful language included. Telling me to keep calm with do nothing for my anxiety-induced headaches, the insomnia, the lack of appetite or the fact that I am officially at the stage where a ten minute discussion is enough to reduce me to the kind of exhaustion not even allnighters can achieve, And I would know…

In which I found the one thing scarier than interviews

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Filling out forms. Have you ever noticed how scary these things are? Passive aggressive language, legal jargon, pretty big consequences if you make a mistake, (in my case) tight submission deadlines….-shudder- It’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Of course all this not-so-internalised drama could be just me craving chips and being too busy to pop by the kitchen and heat some on the microwave… Or me being new to the whole “adult” scene (which is rather sad coming from a freshly-minted 23-year old…).

Regardless! Remember how I used to moan and gripe about my dissertation? I’d like to humbly apologise for that. Compare to my day today, the dissertation is more than relaxing, it’s soothing! And I am at the re-drafting stage! Also affectionately called the bizarro stage where I need to be my own hardest critic if I’m to get any editing done BUT I also need to be my number one fan in order to not convince myself that my baby isn’t going anywhere. Still! With this fine gentleman as my main topic it’s so worth it!

Alright, hold your horses, I’m not just doing Marvel Comics, I do have a degree in Viking (and other stuff) studies to prove my competence on. But modern adaptations play an important role to the overall result.

I’ve also discovered that I can make some damn fine connections and arguments between midnight and 4, dosed up on coffee and chewing dried prunes. If your stomach just rolled a little at the prospect, good! Your lifestyle is probably much healthier than mine. I don’t get it. I’m not a night owl, not by choice. There was this one very memorable instance when I was awake for close to 48 hours, but it was a special case. Maybe my mind goes to sleep and I write whatever my subconscious fancies? It would certainly explain some of my more bizarre grammar choices. Apparently I don’t like the definite article when I’m sleepy. Go figure.

Anyway, I am seriously getting hungry for those cheeps now, so I’ll leave y’all to your own devices.

Peace out-

In which I debate house and home

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Synonyms are such a bizarre thing, wouldn’t you say? “House”…”Home”… They’re usually used interchangeably even though their connotation is rather different. I say this as a person whose first language uses the same word for both concepts (and then some). I do find myself leaning towards “home” in preference though. “House” feels so impersonal, a word that should be used to describe a building instead of the (hopefully) warm and fuzzy feeling that is “home”. Yes, I think “home” is a feeling, a state of being if you will, instead of a particular place. It’s being safe and comfortable and familiar with all the quirks that come with it.

For me home is Athens (some parts of it more than others), Paros, Norwich, heck! at a stretch I’d add Nottingham. Goodness knows I’ve grown at least used to this confused whirlwind of a city. But home for me is also fire crackling, swimming surrounded by waves, getting lost in a library, walking in the countryside or a very select playlist on my mp3 (no, you don’t get to learn what songs). I’ve travelled, not nearly as much as I wish, and there have been places that felt welcoming, like almost-homes or potential homes, and places I couldn’t wait to get out of. As much trouble as I have reading (real) people, places and atmospheres are open books. Don’t know why. Must be the story-teller in me. If a place has potential for stories to be told in the years to come, you can bet your glossy pages I’ll want to be there!

What has onset my latest bout of philosophical rambling, you ask? My ever-un-pleasant, ever-stressful job hunting. Word to the un-wise: your chances to get that dream job you’re sighing longingly over are probably higher if you stay positive about it, no matter how farfetched. And what better way to do that than to indulge in some daydreaming of walking around the place you’d be living in (if you’re like me and likely to move), find your dream house (never mind your paycheck, this is a daydream after all!)? I didn’t even realise it at first, but one of the most recurring questions running through my head while I was going through Zoopla ads (after “How far from the rail station is it?” and “How do they get away with charging this much for a hole in the wall?”) was “Could I make a home out of this house?”

There’s a question that’s loaded, terrifying and exhilarating at the same time! Especially in the few cases when, while going through apartment pictures, I found myself mentally assigning places for my stuff or imagining what kind of posters I would put on which walls… I mean, I have no concept how far out of my budget I’d be in the places I was looking (probably less than I fear). I suppose that’s the nice thing about dreams. Unless you’re desperate to make them your reality, you are allowed to be as grandiose as you wish…

 

 

 

But what does it say for me, that my idea of grandiose is a successful job interview, an decent apartment with a kitchen I can cook in (and bake, and have a fridge all on my own) and not having to worry about money by the end of the month or whenever bills show up? Welcome to the 21st century, I suppose….

In which I jump rope

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The rope in question being that beautifully thin line between self-delusion and compartmentalising (and try saying that three times fast!). Those who know me in any capacity know that I can panic easily. Not in the ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh hyperventilating kind but rather in the twenty-scenarios-imagined-in-under-10-seconds kind. Bless my writer’s mind! Of course, on a good day, that means I am pretty much prepared for any eventuality up to and including the zombie apocalypse. On a bad day my inner conversation makes the Everything Wrong video series sound like a panegyric. Add to that my ever-present underlying conviction that just because I think something is a good idea, doesn’t mean other people will think so too (and no, telling me otherwise will do nothing. To paraphrase Dr. Banner; “This one’s brain is  like a bag of cats.”). The result? A compulsive need to drown myself in tears (and I’m not adding Bailey’s to that because that shit is expensive!) whenever the words “covering letter” are mentioned. I can argue till Kingdom Come on Chaucer and Aristotelian philosophy, I can play Devil’s advocate for just about any Dark Side character but ask me to tell why you should hire me and all my words desert me.

I’m at my best when you shove me off the deep end and tell me to swim.   Throw me a Code Red and I’ll deliver. Ask me to explain it well in advance and I’ll sound like a bumbling idiot. Hence, one of the most terrifying questions for me (right up there with “Why should we hire you?” and “How do you feel about x/y/z?”) is “What are your plans?”

guy with plan

Gal in my case but yeah. Homicidal Lunatic from Gotham has a point. I just kind of do things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some things I like/enjoy/revel in more than others. But the point is, there is no plan. No, no, no! When other people make plans, God laughs, is that not the saying? When I make plans (and declare them) it’s an automatic jinx. I kid you not, it’s happened waaaaaay often to be a coincidence.

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So, until I have a divine revelation where some sort of deity swears on themselves that no, they’re not messing with me because they’re bored, please world stop asking about my plans. I’ve no plans, alright? I’ve vague ideas of possibly-good things to do. And then there’s the pile of things I should/must/am expect to do. And I try to make them coincide. Somehow. Compromise, compromise, compromise.

It’s not that I want to avoid responsibility or that I wanna stay a kid forever. I’m not bleeding Peter Pan. It’s that most of the time I’m stuck in this weird Limbo where I know all of the above, heck I even acknowledge it, but don’t know how to get out. Why? Partially because I just suck. Partially because when they taught us Home Economics at school they felt it was more important to teach us the difference between “nuclear” and “extended” family instead of, I don’t know, how to adult! stitch

In which I ponder the word home

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Haven’t used this tag in a while, have I? Honestly I only stopped because I was having trouble coming up with names. I know mine a hardly the most imaginative of titles most of the time but let’s just say that usually they are what takes the most time in a post…. Also, this will be one of my all-over-the-place posts. I’ve been slingshotting between angry and hyper all day. Sometimes it sucks being a girl… So what’s with the title? Lately I’ve been doing a lot of interpreting of (sometimes badly) translated texts and that’s got me thinking of how concepts transfer from one language to another, from one time period to another. To use a hopefully not-cliché example, an elf in medieval England would invoke veeeeery different images than what Tolkien immortalised in his work….

  

Shrink the scale significantly (I love alliteration!) and you have a 20-something student wondering what exactly it entails to call a place your home. Is it where you come from? Can’t be because eventually you leave your parents’ house. Is it what official forms, rather unimaginatively, call “permanent address”? Can’t be that either. Students (or at least Yours Truly) have the habits of migratory birds: moving around a lot. Yes, you say, but even migratory birds have patterns. Ok, not my best metaphor but you get the point. Is it the place you feel most comfortable in? I suppose there’s a point there. But how can you feel comfortable in a place where you know you will only be for a very limited amount of time?

One of my flatmates was surprised at the amount of things in my room when she first saw it (posters, throws, books, decorative skulls…) I suppose that over the last few years things accumulated but strangely when my room was still undecorated, although it looked bigger, it also felt kind of…claustrophobic. Like a box… I guess turning it to an explosion of colours and patterns was my attempt to make it feel like a safe place if not a home. I’ve always been the kind of girl who will curl up under three blankets and half a dozen pillows when feeling down. I still remember waking from nightmares and hiding under my duvet not to hide from the shadows but because that was my little burrow and no one but me could enter without my permission. Ironic that I grew up to the girl who watched Rise of the Guardians and wanted to hug the Boogie-man…

But back to my point…(I had a point? Right?) Remember the inevitable playing-Sims phase when you’d spend more time designing houses than actually playing with your characters. Like this I’ve been daydreaming my first home for the last four years. By no means the castles I used to build in Sims 2, it’d be a one-bedroom flat, maybe with a tiny garden I can realistically take care of, but it’d be mine. Everything about it would scream me, because for once I wouldn’t have to co-ordinate with someone else’s preferences. True, I can only afford pre-furnished flats at this point, but the positive of incredibly generic flats is that you don’t need to work someone else’s sense of style. You get a simple basic (like good make-up) and work your way up. Also, the right combination of pillows, trinkets and fresh flowers can transform a room. I would know…

And who knows? Maybe it won’t take me a decade before I can afford to rent (no chance on buying and I’d like to avoid going in debt for as long as possible, thank you very much!) an unfurnished apartment and really let loose creatively. A girl can dream. Until then, that’s what Amazon wishlists are for. I’d stick to Sims, but unfortunately my laptop is not able to support the graphics.

Do I have a conclusion? Some sort of last minute revelation? I suppose if I were truly pressed for an answer I’d say that home is where you truly feel safe. Whether this is your parents’ place, the tiny studio you first rented with your own money, a mansion or the tiny coffee shop that you go to when you’re feeling down because the owner reminds you of your grandmother (and no, for once the example is not taken out of my life) it doesn’t matter. Bottom line, we all need a place to be ourselves and when we actually find it, it’s just beautiful.

In which I am tireeeeeeeed

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Big surprise I know, but dear gods my schedule’s killing me! You know how in high school “independent study” meant free time and in an undergrad degree it mean procrastination? Yeah, no. Now it has the more pleasant connotation of “study till you drop. Then study some more.” Hence the series of late posts. Hopefully I’ll back on track by next week so I don’t end up waking early and going to bed late in order to keep up with everything.

Here’s to hoping I suppose….

Although that might explain my default mood of:

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In which I am apparently studying at Hogwarts!

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And for the matter, Hogwarts is currently masquerading as the University of Nottingham. No, it wasn’t the fact that I will be spending a significant amount of time this semester over runic texts and/or books on Old English and Old Norse. It wasn’t the fact that if all libraries on campus are as large as the one I hang out in (Hallward Library for those in the know), then clearly Hermione Granger had an active involvement in their design. It wasn’t even the fact that part of the campus could possibly be the Forbidden Forest in miniature (although if anyone fancies looking for unicorns and/or thestrals, I’m up for it).

No, what go me (and a few friends of mine for the matter) suspicious is the sheer number of staircases, doors and corridors that seem to lead nowhere in this place. I swear, in Trent Building only there’s more corridors than actual rooms. Is that even architecturally possible? Not that we are complaining. I can’t speak for the others, but having spend a good part of my early teenage-hood fully expecting a Hogwarts letter to arrive I am simply glad to be able to indulge in a little fantasy play and pretend I’m a very studious Ravenclaw or a mischivious Slytherin (I could never quite decide which House suited me better…).

And with the first week of lessons not being over yet, I can’t help but feel like a little first year, star-struck with all the new experiences and spending a lot of time getting lost in one corridor or another. It certainly looks like it’s going to be an interesting year if nothing else. Normally I don’t judge places and people at first glance but this time I will hazard a prediction: the next fifty-one weeks are going to be unforgettable!