Cold showers at night in August: a feeling one could use to build a personal Utopia machine. It's not particularly warm here, even, just an average London summer - it's been raining and cloudy although it was sunny today, and the temperature hasn't yet reached those ridiculous London-August heights. In fact it's colder than much of June was. It's just the muggy, grimy, claggy warm that even on a cloudy day wraps you in a coil of sticky, sickly, tepid water. Not even your own sweat, necessarily, but just moisture from every source that never goes. Nothing will evaporate like sensible fluid.
I've been to I and A's for a lovely posh-cooked meal with N - we walked there and back due to shitty buses and impecunity. But walking is slight exercise so of course meant that when I got back I was all bleurgh so to leap into the shower and turn the hot tap off slowly until I was shivering was bliss.
(Shakespeare, possibly the Merchant of Venice)
'Latin... French... needlepoint... dancing... and gemology'.
Cannot believe how lax I am at updating journal even though it is so pretty and despite fact that no one reads it (possibly due to my guarding secret of its name (well screenname) from all and sundry). So cannot be bothered now either as have got to tidy room madly.
So, quick - I still hate my job and everyone I work with. Have had a rook piercing on right ear and love it. SP had her lip pierced where BS's is and now hates it. I want lip pierced but scared will get sacked from lovely job I haven't started yet. RT has gone to Baltimore today and I hate her so much and wish I was there too although I doubt I'd be any use at all as a fourth year medical student what with me not being one. I have decided to go to Baltimore/Washington anyway even though it means missing random work and I haven't got any money - I just bloody well want to, so there. Still fat, but still love gym so not all bad. Still single and rubbish at getting new boyf. Must therefore go to Washington and snog American boys as they are apparently the only ones who want to but only for limited periods of time. Which atch works out quite well as do not want to go out with boy for long periods of time but rather for short 'seeing each other' periods of snogging and perhaps a nice shag or two.
Please forgive Bridget-style commentary, apparently there's a new book out or something according to earlier message from hysterical flatmate so am obviously now stuck in homage.
(Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries' Guide to Life, pp.106-7).
I'll confess: I love the Harry Potter series (although not Harry, obviously, due to his two-dimensionality and petulant behaviour: I'm more of a Bill and/or Charlie Weasley girl myself). The new one, however, is a bit on the rough-around-the-edges side. I suspect it could have benefited greatly from any form of editing whatsoever, though, over and above the Word spell and grammar check it's been through. Once. Whilst I did buy it at approximately ten past midnight, and had finished it by 3pm on Saturday, in my defence I was on my way home from a night out anyway and it is just a bit of harmless fun - not having been invited (sniff) to my cousin's wedding on Saturday I had little else to do. The hype surrounding the launch was ridiculous given that JK clearly now cares little about her readers' experience. The main feel of this book isn't the child-like wonder of the first, nor the dark, chilling and exposed feel of the best ones, the Goblet of Fire and the Order of the Phoenix (in that order). Instead, one is given the overriding impression that she was going through a flip-chart check-list of plot points in a rather bored and harried fashion, wiping her brow each time she reached one and ticking it off in a satisfied manner, like an undergraduate arts student with a run-of-the-mill and uninspiring weekly essay to get through before going to the pub. This is supposed to be the penultimate episode in an enormous adventure through a world of magic and mystery hiding just behind our own, not a shopping list of ends to tie up and clue-traps to bait.
Coming round to the actual point of this entry, though, I felt I had to preserve for mine own records a quotation from Roland White in the Times:
"Oh, for a timely spell of reality. Let's keep things in perspective. Until Friday, the Harry Potter series had sold about 270 million copies worldwide. Which is considerably less than the one billion shifted by the late, rather unfashionable, Barbara Cartland."
(p.288, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling)
It's Wednesday night and I'm at home. Home, home, that is, not my tiny little flat, but my parent's house. My sister's graduation is tomorrow so I have to be up early having been on the train for what feels like six years (about two and a half hours). My parents have a new cooker and a new coffee table (nearly died of shock as the old one has been going non-stop and broken since I was two). Have not been up to a lot recently: saw several horror films (including Saw and The Descent - biddies in a pothole, all a bit scary), a few drinks out, running out of money enormously again, that sort of thing.
Oh, I got a new piercing though! A rook, I think it's called, in my right ear. My parents haven't noticed yet but I'm sure they soon will and I shall be roundly abused again. R and I both had the same thing done in Camden on Saturday. We went on the bus, though, due poverty, and saw the hoardings preventing people from seeing down to Tavistock Square: you could just see the yellow grab-poles from the bus sticking up. I hope they move it all soon.
I went on the tube for the first time since Thursday today. Not a big deal, I suppose, I don't go on the tube anyway so I'm not making a big leap back on, just behaving as I normally would (ie. only because I had to - I usually get the bus everywhere as I live in South London so no point using tube), but I felt very strange and teary as we went through King's Cross on the northern line, which is still closed. A few hundred or so metres away there are still bodies trapped down there in the dark: not a pleasant thought.
One of my friends posted a link to this site in their journal and I thought I would follow suite: so from the London News Review, speaking for so many of us:
"A Letter To The Terrorists, From London
July 07, 2005
What the fuck do you think you're doing?
This is London. We've dealt with your sort before. You don't try and pull this on us.
Do you have any idea how many times our city has been attacked? Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work.
All you've done is end some of our lives, and ruin some more. How is that going to help you? You don't get rewarded for this kind of crap.
And if, as your MO indicates, you're an al-Qaeda group, then you're out of your tiny minds.
Because if this is a message to Tony Blair, we've got news for you. We don't much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We'll deal with that ourselves. We're London, and we've got our own way of doing things, and it doesn't involve tossing bombs around where innocent people are going about their lives.
And that's because we're better than you. Everyone is better than you. Our city works. We rather like it. And we're going to go about our lives. We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub.
So you can pack up your bombs, put them in your arseholes, and get the fuck out of our city."
We're going out tomorrow. Just wanted to say: we're going out in central london because we're young, free and some of us are single in order to say 'stuff you'. Fuck 'em. It's our city: bring it on.
This evening I meant to write a quick update about how rubbish work is, how much I love the gym, and the fun night I had in soho with C, McF and their friends yesterday. We drank some cocktails, had some food, a generally fun evening: arguments with C about Paris vs London in response to the announcement of the Olympic result, some bickering, an injury sustained to a lip - no more than the usual.
Then this morning London was hit by the news of 'power surges' causing various explosions on the underground followed by those devastating pictures of the number 30 bus outside Tavistock Square. From the moment we received a phone call at work from a colleague on her way in listening to the radio, I think we all knew that London had not managed to escape the international epidemic of bombings calculated to cause the maximum amount of disruption, injury and fatality.
I never really believed such a thing could happen in London: we're too cool, too assured and too everyday for such an outlandish thing as bombings intended to kill. This is England, this is Britain: we're too good for it to happen to us. But happen it did and thank god that everyone (bar one of N's coursemates who we believe to be ok) so far is accounted for.
Because I know of no one injured or killed I think my sombre and shocked reaction might be an over-reaction to the news. But much as I love my Peckham home, and much as most of my everyday life is played out here at work and at rest, my heart is in the centre of town. People lie dead and injured in my home, my city has had its heart not ripped out, but maimed, gored and trodden upon to the extent that its recovery may take a while: months at least.
I won't say years, for this is London and we are - well, we are amazing: but I'm weary and tired this evening, like most Londoners, trying to accept the front to our healthy arrogance (a very English trait, I think) that means we must learn that whilst we are the only way forwards, the most vibrant city in the world, we are sadly not infallible.
Who could have imagined?
The gym is back open!!! I'm so happy - and I'm so chucking my exercise bike now my room is all nice and reorganised. It doesn't really fit anymore, I'm going to have to wait until N comes back from work/town and get him to cart it down the stairs for me.
S joined today as well so we went to a pilates class together, it was both of our first times. I don't think she really enjoyed it but I thought it was great - I was too lazy for anything too cardiovascular but I still think it did me a lot of good. I must remember to call up tomorrow and book a personal training programme setting appointment thing.
Thames Water in displaying sense shock!
Perhaps they might consider filling in some of those huge flooding holes they seem to have populated the sunny streets of south london with over the last few weeks.
The away day was marginally less depressing than I'd feared, although probably only because I ended up in a very cool team for all the events, made up of people I hardly knew but got on with very well. I fear we may be in trouble tomorrow though, due to sitting at the back giggling throughout most of the enlighting talks on how to imbue the bloody place with a sense of excellence or something, and then legging it as soon as those magic words 'free drinks' were mentioned, then later discovering that other speeches took place after we'd gone. Still, we were on the second drink by the time everyone else had clawed their way to the front of the queue to get their first. I was slightly disturbed by having to explain the meaning of the word didactic to several lawyers. The curry lunch was ok, but not really my cup of tea as I'm not very good at spicy: still, I tried a bit of everything and enjoyed it all, I just had to stop eating it quite quickly. One girl on my table barely ate anything, although I think she could have at least tried it rather than just turing her nose up - but I felt sorry for her because she (and I think quite a few others from my department) seemed to feel unable to make the best of it and just join in. Perhaps that's an all-girls school hangover on my part!
This is my favourite thing to bother people with at the moment:
The Dante's Inferno Test
I scored level seven when I did it, as did R, but we seem to be the only ones down so low, everyone else was hitting fours or fives, even McF. Who knew?
This entry was a bit of an experiment - I'm not sure if the picture or the links will work - so fingers crossed. I think it might be time to curl up with Aramis et al now and hope my headache goes away. I think tomorrow might be a first day of new diet day too so I'll post back on how it goes.
My extensive 'things to do' list has had, for quite some time, a line reading 'start live journal'. I've been afraid to start: making entries, I think, will not be a problem, I've just found myself paralysed by a first entry to a diary. I've kept a pen-and-paper one for a while now but no one can see that, there's no pressure. Reading back over it today I've realised that most of the entries are extended whines about something that now seems unimportant - that's something I must try to avoid here. The first entry to something other people can see, though, seems more pressured, even though as I know no one on live journal it is unlikely it will actually be read by anyone.
I'm undecided yet as to whether to tell people about this journal, or whether to keep it just for me (although it will remain public so perhaps someone might stumble on it one day - it might be nice to have some internet friends). I like the idea of having two diaries: one for all the petulant whinging that one would never wish to reveal to anyone, and one that must be, to some degree, censored, so that I must master my natural tendencies to feel sorry for myself and to gossip.
For a first entry I suppose this is not too mortifying - I shall have to read over it tomorrow when I wake and perhaps remove it, if that's possible.
I'll have to wake so early, though, perhaps it's a task best left to the evening: I've to be at work for 8.00 so I can catch the coach to our thrilling away-day to build us as a team and promote the vision that will take the department forward. Probably. There's a free lunch at any rate and at least I won't have to do any actual work.