when you come to an ending, never reaching no conclusion

Last flatmate left today. The perishables are all gone, and all that’s in the fridge is milk for my tea. Today, boiled rice, tinned tuna and frozen sweetcorn; tomorrow, canned ravioli. I descend by inches.

There have been a couple of academic kicks in the teeth of late; no lasting damage to my degree, but a wakeup call, which is probably no bad thing. Dissertation is well on track, with a solid plan for Christmas and a research trip to London to be made; I haven’t done a serious audit of how much I’m going to be spending on tickets, digitised theses and books for my dissertation – partly because it would horrify me, and partly because it’s worth it regardless.

The end of term parties are coming out of the woodwork, with a dual air of festivity and finality. Teasoc’s “Teas the Season” Christmas party was perfect; cake and fancy biscuits and mince pies, party games (pass the parcel, pin the spout on the teapot, musical chairs), a tea-themed pub quiz, and a raffle so defined by gentlemanly conduct (folks refusing to win a second time) that it took ages for the last prize to actually be handed out. Plus, natch, tea in unbelievable quantities. That evening, the Redbrick party, where I hobnobbed with the remains of last year’s gang and did a decent job at remembering the names of the new breed, and with some like-minded bros indulged in much bah-humbuggery. I walked home along the canalside, pale moon above casting the world in clean cold silver.

Then the Law for Non-Law Christmas Networking Dinner; there’s been so much buildup to this that I was put in mind of Eisenhower’s D-Day speech; “we are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months…” Of course, everything that could go wrong did, from the taxi myself and half the committee were getting being half an hour late to my chair collapsing underneath me and crushing my leg rather painfully (it’s still bruised) – but was ace nevertheless.

Year Three is vanishing all too quickly, but I can’t say I’m not looking forward to Christmas.


blut und eisen

“When in 1901 Prince Heinrich’s squadron bound for China was not saluted by a British fishery patrol boat, Wilhelm’s brother dispatched a cruiser to investigate this breach of naval etiquette. The logical reply by the British captain that he did not have a salute cannon on board was deemed inadequate, and the matter was followed up through diplomatic channels.”