Saturday, 23 October 2010

There is nothing funny about sharing a bed with Anne Widdecombe

In my state of over-sleeping, I encountered a terrible dream, which so far has achieved grossing me out, and making my friend laugh.

I was at home in Cambridge, and Anne Widdecombe was, for some reason, staying at  my house. She'd slept in my brother's bed, and now it was my turn to share a bed with her. [Why we went through all this before I stomped downstairs to the sofa is beyond me]

It was cramped in my single bed, and I was against the wall, trying to touch as little of her as possible. Her breath stank, and I muttered as much. She threw a massive hissy hit and said, "fine, we shall sleep head to toe". And proceeded to put her head on the other end of the bed, whilst planting her rather horrible looking feet on my pillow. Which disgusted me. I pulled the pillows away and told her I'd rather she slept the other way round. I went to the toilet, and then downstairs to get some air. My grandmother was still awake, so I asked if I could sleep in her room, or on the sofa, because Anne Widdecombe was really getting on my nerves and it was impossible and how did my brother manage a whole night!?

So that is what I did. I got loads of sympathy from my grandmother, who assured me she'd be going home tomorrow, and my bedding would be thoroughly washed, whilst I went downstairs.

...I sound like a massive Anne Widdecombe hater; I wish she wasn't a tory and into some of her crazy tory policies. But I have a sort of respect for her, for a few reasons. Plus she's rather funny on Strictly Come Dancing, and a good sport.

Friday, 22 October 2010


I could write a massive commentary on it, but for now whilst my brain digests everything, I'll quote my dear friend Hannah:


Jealousy, violence and perhaps one hour too late to bed last night?

Since the dream contained people I actually know, and it's embarrassing and weird, I'm just going to go ahead and completely change their names. ^___^ I've gone with the most appropriate anime characters I could think of... and corresponding pictures.

I was in my flat which somehow managed to turn half my flatmate's rooms into a living room with sofas (should do that... we won't miss them) with my friends and this guy, "Tobi", had tagged along. I'm not and wasn't in the dream going out with "Tobi", but as I was coming back from the kitchen with snacks and stuff and he came behind me (despite everyone else in the room) and did that annoying thing guys do when your hands are full and put his arms around me, stroking my belly and sides and leaned into my neck. And a took a large, sharp bite. Full mouth, not just a nip with his front teeth. Canines and all. (But not in a vampire way.) =| 
I of course curl up a bit, hunching my shoulders, pushing him away going "Ow, what the hell!? You DO know that's not how you do it if you want to get anywhere with anyone right?" and my friends are all sitting there watching incredulously and I move to the other side of the table and put stuff down. He's wearing a really dark, ugly look, and I tell him that I really wasn't into that, or him, and I just wanted to be friends, if at all, and that I thought he should leave. He made this big charade of not being able to find the front door, so I dragged him by the arm and pushed him out the front door. [Wish I could do that with people more than a foot taller than me]

The next day, "Sheska" and I were walking back from the library, and I spotted him. We legged it, for some reason, and took refuge in a side room in a lecture building he couldn't possibly have been in before [we do different courses] He somehow turns up there, anyway, from behind. And he makes this huge fuss, and how I'd been leading him on and did I think I was too good for him or something?
"Sheska" and I just held hands and walked off, and kept going until we were in a very public place and stuff. He followed, but didn't follow us to my flat.

Another day, I was talking with another guy friend, and we were talking with other people from the History society with the Physics society last night - physicists and other historians and his flatmates - round the back of one of the college bars near some recycling area (which is near the local radio station for some reason. Nice.) when "Tobi" came up and started to cause trouble. He had me backed against a half-wall, and was seriously going to punch me. His face was soooooo scary. I had to put my arms up and shield my head, when "Jean Havoc" stepped in front and pushed him off. This started an all-round fight, and one of the physicists I know and I had to call the police to get them to come quickly [there's a station on campus]. But it'd broken up by then. And I thanked "Jean Havoc" for helping me, checked he was ok, and everyone else was, and squeezed his hand, and went home.

Later, after a special evening lecture, "Tobi" cornered me and was all ashen-faced, and telling me to punch him and that he's an idiot that deserves it. And it was really not very pleasant. I didn't, and I told him I was sorry if I ever gave the wrong impression, and I just wanted to get on with things. And he wouldn't let me leave the room, again. And he was absolutely mad.

And the alarm woke me.

The people in this dream are completely not like that in real life xD I have no idea why this came about in my head.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The end of the official first week back

Tis a Sunday evening, and everything's quiet.
And after a hectic two weeks, I really don't mind it.

Yeah, I just started off with a lame rhyming couplet. You try reading incredibly hard prose from ye olden days without wishing for some waft of verse here and there.

What happened to me in: 

Freshers Week There seemed to be more freshers this year than last year - I dunno, maybe I noticed them more because I kept doing things that required interaction with them or maybe because THEY'RE A HERD OF LOCUSTS where Spar bread was concerned. I swear, there was no bread in Spar until the Thursday or so after I arrived. That's 4 days of breadless bread aisle. I seem to recall that when I was a fresher, my loving grandparents thought to give me half a loaf of bread from home. Oh yes.

So my week was comprised of: Get storage, meeting, meeting, Grad Fair, waiting for Freshers to win the Treasure hunt, postering, shopping, shopping, Freshers fair, fresher's talk induction and my friend's birthday night out. It turns out that in order to get a cold, all you have to do is to talk to about 200 freshers and have them touch the pen, card, money, sign up sheet and anything else after sneezing, coughing or just sweating. I was bedridden all of Sunday once my cold decided to to climax with extreme breathing trouble and temperatures. But it was cool, cause I was fine for the lecture and seminar the next day. How lucky is that? With the help of my lovely friends, of course, who brought me medicine. <3 

My first week was really good fun. I stressed a bit trying to find the willpower to finish writing the Murder Mystery for the first official History Society social of the term, but otherwise, it was fine. My lecture and seminar went well, and I'd done the reading for it. Then my 3 hour session with the Crazy Scotsman was pretty painless, except for the fire alarm going off midway through. I met up with pretty much all of my friends in the first couple of days or so, so that was nice.
My first dissertation meeting this term went well too - Paul seems to think that my plan is coming along well, and I've a clear idea of what I'm doing. That's great, really, Paul, but would you mind telling me what you think I'm supposed to know?! But it's fine, cause I've got all but two of the books he wanted me to get and read.

Despite seminars and such going well, I'm already a little bit concerned about how the fudge I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation AND doing two essays for week 10 at the same time. One I'll have no reading material list for, and the other I'll be too busy trying to keep up with Gobbets to do a decent essay in the same relaxed and plenty-of-time manner I'm accustomed to. I suppose I could do the majority of the writing of my dissertation over Christmas, though. I hope I'll be in that position. This whole dissertation thing is really quite scary. Specially with an essay for my special subject being required by week 6 Lent term (thanks to some loud mouth that blew Crazy Scotsman's cover and exposed the fact he'd been cheating the deadline system).

Social-side wise, I'm pretty busy though. I'm keeping at least one day a week absolutely free to do reading and stuff for dissertation only, and I hope to fill my other day off with a weekly spot working in a primary school.
Otherwise, I should have two or three evenings a week which are entirely dedicated to extra-curricular things: Got Art Soc on Wednesdays, Hist soc on Thursdays, and I want to do some sports thing another day. Even if it's just walking around campus on the footpaths and roads with a friend.

And somewhere in all that illness and work and stuff, I managed to find time to plaster my pin board with cool pictures and things. <3

The murder mystery went really really well - nearly 50 people came, and the volunteer suspects were really into it and did really well. Nobody actually won, but I think it's just the massive holes I'd left in the plot simply  cause some of the questions that were asked by our detectives were so out there, I'd not thought of them. That and the person I had as the killer was apparently unable to do it, cause she couldn't lift the weapon very easily, but never mind. I got very positive feedback, and people want me to write another for next term, which is slightly terrifying, considering the amount I have to write as it is.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


Orasmyn is the prince of Persia and heir to the throne. His religion fills his heart and his mind, and he strives for the knowledge and leadership his father demonstrates. But on the day of the Feast of Sacrifices, Orasmyn makes a foolish choice that results in a fairy's wretched punishment: He is turned into a beast, a curse to be undone only by the love of a woman.
    Thus begins Orasmyn's journey through the exotic Middle East and sensuous France as he struggles to learn the way of the beast, whilst also preserving the mind of the man. This is the story of his search, not only for a woman courageous enough to love him, but also for his own salvation.

This book provides a rich back story for the most famous beast in the world - Belle's beast. It combines Islamic and Persian culture with European. It blends the wild with the tame.
In it, we see how he must have struggled to learn to walk as a beast, hunt, hide from humans and to find a balance between his basic animal needs, and his own spiritual and mental needs. It explores the differences between man and beast, questioning, I think, the line between what is human and what is not. Perhaps it is just sentience, or perhaps it is religion. Maybe depending on your personal beliefs religion-wise, you'd choose the religion over sentience or argue that in order to be sentient you must have religion. I don't know. It is interesting, either way.

Orasmyn repeats to himself several times that he is the Prince of Persia, and does not require help, and that he can do whatever he is tasked to. He maintains the mantras of his homeland, even if many of his Islamic practices are dropped because his animal needs are greater (prayer before killing, for example). He experiences the strength of carnal desires - not just hunger and thirst - but lust and fear. He realises, with horror, that his animal self sees any living thing as meat, regardless of his own humane thoughts.

He is deprived of speech, human hand dexterity and colours, but his other senses are sharpened. He must learn to communicate with just his eyes, and by scratching words in the ground. He also learns how to care for others different to himself - a fox cub and Belle.  He manages to control his base senses and to reveal his true self to Belle, even if he can't tell whether she understands.
He also, and readers might note the irony, learns that how he sees Belle is just a shallow, face-value appraisal, realising that she is more complex than he thought.

It is perhaps a more selfish portrayal of the beast, as we watch him lure Belle to his castle, working hard to make it habitable for a human. It was entirely for his own benefit, but somehow it's easy to forgive him this.

The imagery is potent and the heart of the story, the part where he woos Belle, is touching and revitalised. Because of the true animal form of Beast, unlike the more traditional speaking form, the end result feels that much more rewarding and deserved.