The last essay I will possibly ever have to write is completed and sitting on my desk waiting to be delivered to my department in the morning. This essay has taken its merry time in appearing. If they gave marks for procrastination this would get a first. Procrastinating is something that I am very good at. Give me something I’m supposed to be doing because it really has to be completed by a certain time and I will suddenly find thirty other more interesting things to be doing. In order to give you an insight into this noble and ancient art of doing all the work at the last possible moment whilst weeping, I have produced the following:

1) Many things are bright and shiny. You will find that the closer your deadline, the brighter and shinier and more fascinating base objects become. Like some alchemy of the universe, the nearer to zero hour you get even the most mundane of objects will become sparkly and exciting. Right up until there is only just enough time left to complete the given task, at which point everything reverts to an appropriate shade of brown.

2) During the period of procrastination the weather will be curiously disgusting. Until you can no longer viably go out. At which point there will be a heatwave. This phenomena happens irrelevant to geographical location and season.

3) Other people (flatmates, friends, parents) will keep a respectful and almost church like silence for the duration of your procrastination. Once you commence your actual panic fuelled work, these people will suddenly become crazed monsters ringing you every five minutes and having the mother of all parties right next door. It should also be noted that your tolerance to outside noise will reduce the closer the deadline is. Okay, so you are sitting in your room listening to Slipknot’s back catalogue, but how can you be expected to concentrate when someone in the kitchen is stirring their tea?

4) When essays are due you will suddenly develop a fascination for random things, like documentaries about oil rigs on BBC Alba or The Shipping Forecast. You will be unable to miss a single one of these.

5) Your room will need to be completely tidy before you are able to begin any work. The room may also need to be tidied at various points during the writing process (such as every fifth syllable) Iambic cleaning is not uncommon.

6) You will, whilst Googling some reference, discover a whole world of interesting things you were unaware of, such as penguins in hats or how to make lampshades from spoons. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.

7) Tasks you previously hated, such as doing the laundry, unblocking the lavatory, babysitting your best friends hyperactive two year old etc. will suddenly become your favourite thing in the world.

8) At least two versions of the assignment you produce during the PP will be completely surreal, unreadable messes which you should delete/burn on the off chance that someone ever finds them and has you prosecuted under the public decency laws.

So there it is. If you bear these things in mind you should have a happy and safe period of procrastination.

This week, in addition to some monumental putting off of work, I have welcomed a new addition to the clan. His name is Darwin, and he is a Platypus. Darwin was bought as a gift for Lazarus leopard, by Sam (Lazarus’ human) who had visited Australia over the Easter holidays. It has taken us some time to convince the leopards that Darwin is a friend and not a snack.

This week was also May Ball where a lot of fun and possibly some beverages were had by all and some people managed to stay up all night to greet the sunrise the following day with a champagne toast. (That might have been me.)

Oppressed Platypus. This is what exams feel like.
Oppressed Platypus. This is what exams feel like.
Sion & Sam, just getting warmed up.
Sion & Sam, just getting warmed up.

Reasons I love Aberystwyth. There are many. So many.

For starters, I will state the very obvious.

It looks

from the arts centre



by the lighthouse


sunset on the beach

It is a beautiful place to live. Even when I’m working hard over an essay, this is the view outside my window:

But looking pretty is far from the most compelling reason I chose Aber as my home-from-home. There is a wonderful community surrounding the University, and lovely people in the town. The Arts Centre is a great community hub  where people connect and there’s always an interesting exhibit to peruse, a new film to see, exciting theatre to experience.

Be it glorious sunshine or battering storms, the weather is also something I love about living here – it’s a rural area on a powerful coast, and even when the weather brings devastation in its wake, the community here rises up and works together to stitch it back together.

For me, Aberystwyth is where I’ve learned to be independent, and is the place my wedding will be ‘themed’ around – since it’s where fiancé and I met!

20131230_201409I love spending evenings out, with a couple of drinks and watching friends play pool, and feeling a part of the town.

And as if I needed more reasons to love it here – occasionally, the TARDIS turns up, with K9 and a Dalek!
tardis and me tardis by the arts centre

aberystwyth rail poster

Hello there!

I wrote to you last week from a train on a way to a hospital appointment – this week I am doing exactly the same! This time though I got on a bus at 6:50am. Oh the joy.20140220_155913

It’s been a busy old week though, and (unusually for me) quite social, so I’ll get to telling you all about it…

On Friday I had a seminar about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories. It’s an interesting module because we have two tutors teaching different texts. They’re both great and interesting, but I definitely prefer one – I think I’m just interested in the same topics as him, and I tend to agree with more of his readings! Both are great teachers though. Later on Friday I spent an hour and a bit in the library printing articles for my essay. It took longer than I intended to because I had no printer credit, and almost no change – isn’t it always the way! After that Fiancé and I did some food shopping in preparation for the weekend, when my two best friends from home came up to stay.

It’s a slightly strange thing when home and Uni worlds collide. Like going home for the first time after moving away, it feels like you have changed – but you’re not sure how compatible you’re still gonna be with your ‘home home’. I was a little concerned that it might be weird having the girls in Aber, but it was a brilliant weekend.

First of all they called me from the car, as they were a little lost! They got most of the way fine, but for some reason when they neared Aber the SatNav directed them past the turning they needed for my house… technology can be strange! They arrived not much later than planned though, and we proceeded to talk at about 100 miles per hour (Fiancé was thoroughly confused) over lunch and while they gave me loooovely birthday presents. We drove into town and I gave them a little tour of the campus and the Arts Centre, which was fun. There are some really interesting exhibitions in the Arts Centre at the moment – we spent a nice afternoon being cultured.

In the evening we had dinner in town at MG’s, which does a nice deal of two 12” pizzas and a bottle of wine for £22 – between three, good value! Later we met up with some of my friends from Uni and Aber in general, which was actually really fun. Everyone seemed to get on well and we had a fun evening – in fact we didn’t go to sleep until about 5 in the morning!

Sunday, my friends from home were still here – but tired due to our late bedtime! We had a lazy morning with pain au chocolat and plenty of coffee before they had to start out for home.

By Tuesday though I was in bed all day feeling properly ill… the virus I had last week tailed off, but overlapped with a really horrendous cold, so I spent the day trying to do more reading and make notes for my dissertation (which is called a Writing Project for Creative Writing students), but mostly drinking Lemsip and feeling weird because I couldn’t breathe through my nose.

Wednesday dawned, and I realised I am now in fact 21 years old. As my dad put it when he rang in the morning to say happy birthday, I am now ‘a proper growed up’[sic]. I had a nice quiet day relaxing with Fiancé.

So, that’s been my week. Next time I’ll have something a little more structured and advice-centric for you – it’s all been a bit hectic right now!

Take care

Sarah x

Sunday really does seem to come around very quickly these days. Our first week back to teaching has been interesting, to say the very least.  This is in large part due to some of it not happening. The University took the decision to close its academic buildings on Friday and Monday in anticipation of the oncoming storm. Sadly it wasn’t a visit by everyone’s favourite Timelord, but once again the wrath of nature battering our coastline. Looking at the pictures being posted on the web, it looks like the decision was the right one to make.

 I must say I have been annoyed by the comments from some fellow students. It seems that  having a-levels and being at university is no guarantee of being able to engage your brain long enough to see beyond your own very limited little world. The University’s priority in the face of potential extreme weather is to ensure that there is no loss of life or injury to its students and staff. That is why the Seafront was evacuated. The departments were closed because in order to open them, staff would have to travel in. Not just lecturers but all the other staff as well, cleaners, porters, technicians etc. The University also has an obligation to ensure they are safe. With academic buildings closed, resources could be redeployed to where they were needed and would be of more use. For example, the porters who rearrange classroom furniture could be put to better use sorting out bedrooms for all the people being evacuated from the seafront.  I find it extraordinary that seemingly educated people struggle to see the bigger picture. 

Fortunately, these people were in the minority and the majority of people, in true Aber style, got on with things, and of course, made a party out of it! Floods and Storms? I’ll have a Martini with that please. End of the world? In that case, someone pass the Port!  And my pirate hat, I’m going out in style.

I am currently safe away from the second coming of the Kraken of Doom, in Huddersfield.  Tomorrow, I get to have an injection in my shoulder joint before braving the delights of the railways and attempting to return to Aber.

In the forthcoming week, I have a meeting with the Professor who is hopefully going to supervise my PhD.  I have a month to get all the forms and statements and proposals sorted out in order to make the deadline for the DCDS Scholarship.  I also have three weeks before my first assignment is due. And I may have to also write a novel before the end of the month as well.  Might be a busy couple of weeks!  

Leopard Spot: This week Lucius and Lazarus have mostly been enjoying Pizza and Hot Chocolate at the Arts Centre Piazza Cafe, and having their picture taken with the Fencing Club.  Look out for the leopards on Campus. If you spot us come say hello, they love to eat…sorry meet, new people!