Walking, walking

20120730-141316.jpg

Being the criminal mastermind that I’m sure you’ve all heard about, I’m currently writing this blog on the sofa of a house I have just snuck into. Of course, one’s understanding of “snuck” has to be very subjective when what you’ve done is picked up the spare key from its hiding place and entered the house yourself through the front door. Yeah, Lex Luthor’s got nothing on me.

To kick-start the end of Erasmus celebration, after having spent an absolutely brilliant day in a series of small juxta-Heidleberg towns, where I scaled tiny ruins with all the agility of a slug on stilts, it was agreed amongst Dave, Rob, Patricia and John that it was about time I got well and truly sozzled, having gained a reputation for being the sober one (Yeah, I know right?) We maintained our commitment to excellence and they all wonderfully chipped in with buying shots and… Yes, I definitely ended up somewhere on the wrong side of gravity. By about 8pm. Waddling home, I found my way into my bed, in which I woke up at 3.30am. Not one to miss a party, and having left my possessions at Dave’s, I dragged my hungover, wallet-less, phone-free self into town where I reunited with the few remainders, and enjoyed a slightly wobbly, though deliberately sober party until somewhere in the vicinity of 6am.

And thus, whilst they’ve been working and providing a service to the community, I returned to the house to collect aforementioned possessions. I can’t quite remember if I’d been given direct permission to do this, but having now had a phone call, methinks this was the unspoken plan. I hope. Thankfully their guard dog is adorabubble.

And nope, you didn’t read that wrong. As the reminder I’d put into my iPad back in April delighted in screeching at me on Friday morning, Heidelberg’s semester is now over. Having my last class on Thursday, you’d think I’d have felt something, but to be honest, by the end of the second semester, these classes felt more like 2 hour commitments in order to get to hang out in Heidelberg. Of the seminares this semester, I only found Mark Twain of any interest. I think the futility of the non-degree influencing education had settled in and it didn’t take long to realise you were studying something you didn’t care for. Thankfully the experience nevertheless has been most eye-opening indeed, even if some teachers just want you to learn how they personally interpret a text, rather than encouraging open-minded analysis. Not that this country has a history of brainwashing or anything.

With that mean comment, I think I should pick myself up and get ready for the sweltering hike back down into town.

Advertisements

Leave the pigeons alone!

20120727-180528.jpg

Dear blog, I know we’ve had our differences; you wanted to be a tumblr whilst I kept waiting for you to turn around and become a published novel. But despite our infidelities and broken promises, if you would be willing to take me back, I would be so grateful.

So Chris came and went. Oi, oi. One of the easiest weeks in a long, long time, we learnt a lot of important lessons; when in Würzburg, it’s important to get a map, that fortresses are so aptly named because of their impenetrable tendencies and that you can spend months apart and yet reunite without a hitch. Whether our failed attempt at getting to Strasbourg, an adventure that included missing two connections, due to the stops having THE EXACT SAME NAME, to buying tickets in France only to then ask for a refund five minutes late, not to mention then being mistaken for foreign drug dealers, sitting at the platform of a country-border train station, or our brilliant excavation to Konstanz including a fantastic chilled swirl into Swiss waters under the relaxing tones of Norah Jones, Fleetwood Mac and Jason Mraz or just brilliant Heidelberg adventures, in and off stage, up and down mountains, every high and not a single low, I can confirm that a great week was indeed had.

A week that segued oddly into this collection of days. A collection of goodbyes. Drinks by the Neckar, swims in the lake and adventures on the Alte Brucke, this is the week of toasts, hugs and unfortunately, exams. Proving that it’s better to leave somewhere you’re going to miss than stay in a place you don’t care for, these goodbyes have been the opportunity to know ourselves in each others departures, and with them laugh at the horrible things we wish we could forget. The humidity is making me far, far too moist, so it’s time to indulge in a nice frappucino. Because hipster is mainstream.

20120727-181657.jpg

Mein fluffig ist schlaffig

The first night of many

Proving that infants can enjoy infancy as much as adults can enjoy adultery, and that consistency is the final refuge of the unimaginitive, this week I may have sort of… well, thrown education to the winds. Such is the rebel am I. Dighton has arrived and with him comes hyperactivity, alcohol, and some a whole lotta afro. Enjoying frenzic festivities that boring people would only refer to as immature, we’ve hiked mountains, travelled across country and gotten characteristically lost whilst on a peddle boat somewhere between Konstanz and Switzerland.

As ever, spending time with a friend from home whilst in your new territory (I own Heidelberg now, by the way) throws an oddly expository nature to your home town. Suddenly I am demonstrating, selling and advertising this quaint, beautiful little city. I may have also taken him to Mannheim, just to show how good Heidelberg is by comparison. The arrival of Chris has coincided with the departure of some more, so big hug the lovely Jesse who lovingly left us her semester ticket so that we may keep it secret, keep it safe. Hopefully you are back in America and alive.

Sometimes precautions can seem the product of ridiculous paranoia, but every now and again there comes that achilles heel of a sentence that proves why protective glass over the nuclear button is indeed necessary. A slipped finger which caused me to say goodbye to more than I wanted. So remember, think before you speak, google before you post, and perhaps it is possible to make a comeback, even if you havent been anywhere. For now, however, it is to Konigstuhl, which hopefully wont be mistaken for a toilet.

Rowdy, randy, retired.

20120712-170905.jpg

Chris of Dightonland will be arriving in Heidelberg in only a couple of days. So, true to form, Heidelberg has decided it’s going to piss down with the rain water from above. There I was, counting those chickens and mocking the UK’s mid-July hailstorms, when lo and behold, Heidelberg decides to have a weather tantrum. Sorry guys, it’s all my fault.

“As You Like It” is in full force, last night being the first performance I walked away actually genuinely happy. The last few times have felt like “Laurence putting on a performance” rather than being the actual character itself, which for a character spewing nothing but expository speeches, isn’t the easiest thing I grant you, but fuck it, last night was beyond ace. Made complete when I was approached by the Director and Secretary of a theatre group from the UK. Having seen my performance in “Love Bites”, the secretary had encouraged the director to attend “As You Like It”, and they approached me afterward asking if I’d like to be involved in an acting project next year. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the wedding between a British King and Heidelberg Princess, an Anglo-Germanic production is being put in place to tour from the UK to Germany, utilising talent from Heidelberg Uni and UEA, the latter of which just happens to be the uni I wish to apply to for a Masters. So yes, mega yay to that, I look forward to seeing this project unfold as the months progress.

So, I’m writing a novel set across one year. Non-linear, it was going to be told in weeks. Week 1, 2, 4, 8, 6, 10, etc. with revelations being made from the returning weeks. However, it’s getting hard to maintain the momentum of week after week, having to end each chapter naturally, skip a few days and maintain the mood. Whilst I like the episodic-part-of-a-larger-arc style, I feel the pace is slowing. So am considering restructuring it into days; Oct15th, Oct16th, Oct20th, Nov12th, Oct19th, etc. which each of these days being a page or so. Very James Patterson, bite size chunks. The question to ask is, would this be too particular and specific to be followed for what is meant to be an easily digestible story? I don’t exactly want to give my readers a literary stomachache…

Wibbly Wednesday Bits

20120711-155645.jpg

Just spent the past ten minutes walking behind a man in continuous attempt to whistle. Evidently he’d never been taught to just put his lips together and blow. And blow today did, the wind of Heidelberg causing a wonderful moment where an old lady’s umbrella decided it was done with eternal slavery and made a run for it. Instigating the sight that will haunt me to my grave of an elderly German lady hitching up that polkadot dress and running like a motherbitch after her bouncing brolly.

Wednesday’s are an odd one here in Heidelberg, with very little to do, I am in continuous shock as to how far into this week we are, and yet how much more of it there is to go. To combat this, I spend my time of higher education wisely and doodle imaginary people sitting in front of me at the Mensa. After a quick hop in the car with Dave where we walked down the river, going past what he swears in as much genuine honesty an American is capable of, was a monastery of naked, beer-drinking monks, who (I might add) are just the best dinner partners, I returned to the Mensa to then doodle away. Drawing is one of those therapeutic thingamajigs that is capable of obliterating the outside world into a carved mosaic of scratched outlines and flood-filled colour pans. If I was ever capable of drawing consistently, I might take it up as an actual hobby.

Last night was another one of many in which I decided to give up writing for ever and ever and ever, only to then pick up the hobby again this morning. Scripts are fine, like many a thing, I can bang them out in one sunny evening. Prose is a freaking bitch. The patience, self-belief and genuine, consistent mindset required to write a whole book is enough to almost make me respect Twilight. Almost. When I was a stoic little teen who hid away in his room, writing would pour from my fingertips, now the ideas have run from my reach and no words I write down will ever justify the concepts. Still, brick-lay I do, word after word, in the hope that any of it is worthwhile. Though, perhaps discovering I’m writing the one genre I’m actually sick of has been a slight buzzkill. Ferociously tired of dystopian future novels, I miss the shiny, Apple-styled futures with shiny cars and sliding doors, rather than yet another world where our political and social mindsets that have existed all of 2,000 years have somehow driven us into a hellish future within the space of a couple of years.

Hopefully the fact mine is mostly a comedy makes up for that. If it were funny…

Pork ‘n’ Cider? I ‘ardly know ‘er.

20120710-135312.jpg

When someone tells me that they’re going to give me a good porking, I don’t usually expect to then travel into the next town over. I mean, once you throw in travel costs, schedule changes and all that kafuffle, it just doesn’t really seem worth it. But that indeed was my Monday evening, after a good day of exciting essay writing, Mensa funtimes with Verity and Owen, I receded back into my room, cleaning up the damp that the storm a few backs left in its wake that I had yet to actually bother tidying up. Not to quote Love Bites, but “the car picked me up at around 7 o’clock”, the back was thankfully free of unidentifiable junk, and better yet, dead cats.

After what I can only assume was rhetorically asking me where I wanted to go, Dave suggested heading into Ladenburg for dinner. A town I had yet to venture, due to being ten minutes down the road, Ladenburg did its very best to redefine the meaning of the word Quaint with its succinct little roads, pastel coloured houses and of course, its residential 5,000 churches. It also seems to have an aversion to fully cooking your food, as the incredibly rustic and history-teeming pub house we visited gives your steaks half-cooked, seated merrily upon their own characterised hot stone, for you to then turn over as you please. I guess it saves on food poisoning responsibility.

A delicious and thoroughly enjoyable evening out, we inspected more of the grounds, from the old roman baths, which I have to say were not very clean at all, to the suspiciously guillotine-like wells and a bizarre pagan-ritual clearing in a forest. Not to mention the children’s playground toys which were less toys and more like goddamn scientific equations. Thus, however, is the charm of the German towns. Five steps out of your border and it’s like another world. And this world had pork.

A Foxy Education

20120709-143043.jpg

It would appear that being a sexual deviant gets you further in life than previously believed, and I didn’t even need to bust out my flowery bra. To celebrate the end of the first performance batch (we have Monday and Tuesday off from performances, a fact I had not been aware of until last night!), we did the sensible thing and drank until the early hours of the morning, serenaded by the silver-tongued lyrics of Jessie J, Snoop Dogg and scary Korean Pop courtesy of Marina.

It was then that a young man would suddenly appear. Tuxedo’d and utterly gazebo’d, the boy we would later come to know as “Fabian” was a frat boy fox of a particularly esteemed and supposedly fascist fraternity house. Unable to get rid of him, Oliver to decided that were he and I to flirt with the boy, we could scare his insular little mind into running away. Many “sweethearts” and arm-strokings later, it would appear drunk Fabian was quite resilient to a pair of creepers. So much so that he invited us two back to his frat house. So, beer in hand, and to the sound of tumultuous applause from our fellow cast members and spectators, Oliver and I departed the theatre to walk with the staggering Fabian to his Frat House.

The two of us constantly making up different things about each other, Oliver and I were able to create quite the little fiction around Fabian as he showed us different fencing techniques, and giant dining halls containing more history than the entire American colony. There is only so many history lessons about a table one can listen to, so Oliver and I used advanced mathematics to bore Fabian to sleep so we could escape. Scuttling out the door, Fabian wished us a good night, though the sun was at the horizon’s peak, and promised to “come see that play thing you’re making”.

An odd adventure in general, it was surprisingly educational, mostly in regard to how glad I am fraternities don’t exist in England. The misogynistic, power hungry institution of bias had reduced the young, and genuinely good-hearted Fabian to a “Fox”, as in; a bitch. He would drink on the orders of his superiors, finish their drinks if told to whilst being made to fetch, grab and bow on command. What’s character-building to some, is in fact a year of shame and under-foot treading in hope of some prosperity later in life should you then meet someone capable of easing you into a job. Still, you get your own maid, so I guess that’s something.

Previous Older Entries