Dear Lungs,

Did you see that? Or, did you hear it as I used my lungs just now? Didja? Didja? Why yes, my friends did all get up to have a smoke and what did I do? Oh, just reject their offer to join them. How’s that for commitment, huh? You can offer that well done cookie any time now.

Of course this does now mean I am that boring person, sat alone to keep the coats and bags company. Oh, the things I do for health. Everyone else can go off an a little adventure, a little trip one might say. Whilst I, the more boring of the human representatives, am left with their possessions. Not as a gift, no, but a karmic bitchslap in the face for being the healthy one. 

I’ve rejected peoples’ offers before but given this happened just as I was opening up this webpage I felt it particularly necessary to note now. Hopefully also to butter you up on the fact I bought a pack of ciggies last night. It was Bingo, it was tiring and I had work to do. And yet, couldn’t get past the halfway point of the stick. The satisfaction of a clear judgement does leave one feeling nicely proud and self-satisfied, almost self-satisfied enough to start a blog about it. Of course I am now sitting here guzzling my new addiction, the sweet, bitter taste of coffee.

Thank you, valiant Coffee trees for letting us cause a holocaust of your offspring so we may enjoy harvesting their essence.


And that, as they say…

31st August 2011

With a deep thrust, I have crossed your wet border. The air is rich with the smells of tea, crumpets and national disinterest, the sun is out, spending its yearly allowance of British sunshine in one day, and still I am muttering a humbled “entschuldigen” when I bump into people. It feels weird to be back in a highstreet where people manage to walk with actual spatial-awareness, and even weirder to think that this is not a holiday, but rather I am back for good. The year has not been easy, there were times, especially during the winter months, where the cold and the isolation kicked in, but all in a year’s work of growing up. By the end, I was capping off what had been one of the greatest years of my life. A summer to remember. And a year to keep.

When it comes to going abroad, as both the Nike adverts and the slut down the street will tell you; Just Do It. To say that going abroad isn’t for you, is to say that the world isn’t for you. I have met so many incredible people, those I cannot thank enough, and those I cannot wait to see again. It’s an education, an experience and a broadened horizon in one three-for-one package. You even get your complimentary bow. I did not manage to say goodbye to everyone I wished I had, but as ever, it’s not what you part with that counts, but rather what you did beforehand. And we did it all.

You may have noticed that the last few blogs have each begun with a particularly rank innuendo; this would be because this blog is coming into its endo. Yes, now I am back in British soil, it’s time to hang up this pretence at intelligent thought and get on with being a suitable human being. Like that’ll ever happen. Perhaps, if I get a new objective, the dust shall be shaken off and words will once again whirl away. As the old song says, ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg veloren. So with smiles, giggles, far too much energy and not nearly enough money, it’s time to find it again so that when I return, there’s twice the strength. Thank you, all 6,000 regular readers, I have no idea what broken part of your mind made you read these rambles, but good on you for humoring this rambling rangler. I have a new phone, a very shiny Samsung Galaxy SIII, which I’m sure will kick the bucket in the next half hour, but for now it shall be used to contact those around me for our scheduled catch ups.

So with this in mind, I bid you all a good night and a very good time surfing the internet.

Monkey Cuddles.

17th August 2012

Forever Danny


I have to say, when I dip my meat into someone’s chocolate pot, I don’t expect it to be quite so boiling hot. Regardless, last night was an evening of fondue dippings, monkey calls, “amare’o” liqueur, dances in the Feste Haus and Castle Garden Departures in the rain.

So here I am. Atop the highest windowsill of the highest room in one of the highest houses in Heidelberg, feeling on top of the world. This year has proven so many things, but today is that a goodbye is one of the greatest treasures we have, because leaving people you will miss is a golden gift above living around those you’ll forget. I had planned to write a novel this year, and I promise, much like my oncoming six pack, this will definitely happen without delay… But have instead traded the written words for breakthrough memories. This year, I have failed to do many of the things I thought I would, and yet have done so much more than I ever thought I could. The car is ready and the route is set, for once I think I might actually have a schedule to this day. Nice to make a change once in a while.

Throughout this year, whenever I’ve left or gone somewhere, I’ve ended the blog post with something German, because I am that cool. A casual Tschüs here, an Auf Wiedersehen there, but today I want to say it in my own terms.

Goodbye Heidelberg, and yeah, thanks.

Eh Meh Gerd! Itz Meh Final (D)eh!


Today, like all rather disappointing things, came too early. When last my blogging words gently caressed your screens, I had 7 days left and boy did I have a plan for those final daily blogs. However, what followed that post was day after day of truly, inconceivably fun adventures that pushed my ability to write words in English out the window. I have now run out of time to write these amazingly insightful, incredibly hilarious and unbelievably brilliant blog posts, so please just pretend you have enjoyed a week’s worth of genius and laugh heartily.

What I can comment on, however, is an educational Friday, where not only did I learn that no matter how hard I try, American Football is beyond my abilities, that it’s never a good idea to down a bottle of vodka and then jump in the river but also that apparently, buttholes and vaginas are equally as nice, no matter what may be in your grandpa’s backpack. This Barbecue, arranged by myself and Lavinia proved a success of many proportions which led smoothly into Saturday where road trips were the agenda, and naked bathing was the result. With the lovely chauffeur, Rob, driving away down the autobahn, Patricia, John, Dave and I took turns as backseat drivers and upfront spidermans until we arrived as Baden Baden. A place so good, they named it twice. Sort of.

This was the day I got to wear a suit. Let’s give that a moment to sink in. Yes. Being taken to a casino whose caliber made me feel like the dirtiest white trash, we suited up and took to the gambling tables like… well, gamblers. I even won twice. The night rolled on and the sekt poured in and, once again we became educated, this time as to why it’s never a good idea to have a bath in the middle of your hotel room. Giving the writers of The Hangover a run for their money, we carried on into the next day, where we got to throw off all our fabric illusions, bare our true sides and reveal our darkest places in the eponymous naked baths of Baden Baden. A place of saunas, scrub downs and ice baths, it was quite an education indeed. Being scrubbed raw by a middle aged woman who was also deciding to give me emotional counselling as to my self worth is not an event I’ll soon forget.

So yes, we’ve scrubbed up, kept it down and exploded out. I’ve drunk wine and watched the sunrise creep into Heidelberg from the valley, its broken golden glow crisp against the red of the rooftops. With more goodbye drinks with the fantastic remaining Erasmi, this has been a week of adventures, bounces, dramatic bandits and the best company. The time has come to start cleaning my room, I’ll do my best not do die from disease.


My Final (w)eek.

With the same level of horror as opening your laptop in the first row of a lecture and realising you’d forgotten to turn off your porn, I have come across the first day of my final week. With a rolling of wheels, squealing of confusion and probably a stolen German child, this time next Thursday, I will be in the car, alongside those people that created and (for reasons unknown) kept me, speeding down the autobahn to hit with the homeland. The days will continue to turn, with projects and gettogethers already in progress and preparation, I will be thrown back into the world of London whilst Heidelberg continues to roll its steady feet onward, forever unchanging in my memory.

If an event takes place but you can’t remember it, did it really happen? As the (mostly) sober one last night, I can very much confirm that yes, yes it did. Anticipating an enjoyable yet quiet evening, I turned to my room only to find that the mini oven my housemate bought had turned its back on me forever, refusing to cook the frozen pizza I had spent an entire euro in purchasing. Turning to my frying pan, I covered that biznitch in olive oil and fried the hell out of it. Take note; it was fucking gorgeous. A common cuisine choice in southern italy, fried Pizza is one of the most flavour-entrapped pieces of food I have ever come across. It was at this point, whilst nomming away that Bee texted, deploring the amount of work left to clean for her flat before moving out, so we avengers assembled and took to scrubbing, mopping, refitting and tidying up the rooms. An act that took us until nearly 2 in the morning. At which point, the droopy haired monstrosity that is Kevin called up, inviting us out. Horrified, we dragged our depressed, mortified selves kicking and screaming into a good night out that culminated in the closing of an entire street of clubs and an after party that continued until the pint Graham and I were sat, bedraggled but grinning at the bustop unter the 7am sunshine.

From this night I have learnt that Will.I.Am makes great cleaning music, you can turn a bed into a door and political conversations are some peoples’ aphrodisiac.

Running for Gold


There was a time, before my wrinkles set in and my back flipped out, where I was, what we would describe as… ‘bleh-Olympics’. “They could be spending that money on better things,” I would cry from my pedestal, scoffing brand name food. “It causes unnecessary stress for residents,” I would shout over my unnecessarily loud Music System, turned up to drown out the obnoxious cries of my neighbours. “It destroys the country side”, I would proclaim looking out my metropolitan window. But now in the age of my own city’s hosting, I feel the pang that any hipster too busy being alternative has when he sees people genuinely having fun.

Never having any predisposed association to my home country, I wasn’t unpatriotic so much as I was preparing myself for being an “Earthling” for the inevitable alien invasion. It does evoke a sigh to see so many people enjoying their contentious attitudes against something as internationally sporting as the Olympics. To be honest, I think we’re all just jealous that we can’t live in the Olympic Village which must just be the greatest orgy of hormonal, perfectly chiseled young athletes that this planet has to offer.

I’ve never felt more British than when I came to Heidelberg. For me, I wasn’t just in Heidelberg, I was in Germany, a different country from my own. Suddenly I was aware of what cultures thought of my own and which idealistic planes we met upon and those which we differed. But thankfully, as linguistic and cultural comparisons dwindled, this little town stopped being an object of its own and became home. There must be a transitory period, different for all, where a place stops being a novelty, and becomes truly a home. There’s home and then there’s home. Heidelberg for a long time was the former, a place I felt safe, rested and happy in, but it was still something other. Now, in the final few weeks, it feels as if it’s become somewhere I could spend the rest of my life, I feel as I imagine I would one year into a new city or job, where finally your place is found and you can see its future stretch before you. A place of true home-grown independence, and a place of home to return to in the near future. I think nothing of speaking German now, given last year I didn’t even know what “what” was “was” in German.

But as Marina said, it’s always good to get a little German in me. Just tell me his name and I’ll happily oblige.



My flash is pretty fly but my hips just don’t lie

By the time I had learnt not to poop my pants, I was considered many things; house-trained, a member of society and a University Student. But with every new experience comes further understanding. As numbers have dwindled and more people leave for their home countries, I’ve found myself in a different domestication. Since a young age, I’ve been told that sitting still was never a concept I could quite grasp, and this became especially true when I entered Surrey. Throwing down the slightly more introverted side that had taken over, the Uni lifestyle hit home with striking accuracy. This became more true with Erasmus, where refusing to sit alone in an empty dorm room, a unanimous effort for all became to experience as much of the city, country and continent as possible.

It was about alcohol, the energy, the bouncing-off-walls and leaping across the stalls, finding new friends and bigger distractions. But I won’t lie, a lot of this was a distraction. It must be concluded that I am an exceedingly boring person, as I can’t bare spending more than one evening with myself alone. But with the broadening of experiences and horizons, so has appreciating a piece of life I thought was long since gone. Diving fork-first into collectively cooked casual meals, letting the television tantalize and indulging in pure enjoyment of a day-to-day existence. I’d always thought continuous stimuli was the key, a project here, a production there and a line of boys behind me. I haven’t lost the previous spontaneous social spectrum, but I’ve gained something much more. Life is a game of tetris and so long as you can fit everything together, that theme tune will forever be in your head and it’ll be glorious.

Another glorious thing I have gained of late is the going-away present of a brand new camera. An old wannabe filmmaker and photograph obsessive (much like every regular facebook user my age), I have found this new present to be a fantastic way to cap off the final week. Given my recent success with technology, this specific device has been chosen for it’s “TOUGH” title, surviving high drops and workable underwater, it is essentially Laurence-proof. Chances are if I drop this beautiful brick, it’s less likely to break and more chance of the earth being thrown out of of orbit.

And that’s another one?

A particularly crook-like photo from As You Like It

In the words of Richard Nixon; I am not a crook. Except, I actually mean it. I am not a computer-hating, techno-troubled button-bashing bastard of broken bodies. My heart is weak from the shock and so I shall make it quick (though overwritten). I awoke this morning to a perfectly working iPhone. I sent a text inviting a friend to lunch. I put the telephonic communicative device down on the table, wave off those going on many a money-earning adventure, return to my phone nigh 5 minutes late, to see an error message that the phone is now in need of a factory setting restore, not being able to restart, I give in and attempt a restore, only to be told that after wiping my memory, the phone could not be restored due to an unknown error. So with my man’s sword, my elf’s bow and my dwarf’s axe, I am going to head into town, and try to explain away why I deserve to be helped, despite the physical condition of the phone itself…

At the end of this, I couldn’t contact my friend. *sob* Methinks I should return to the backwards caveman lifestyle where I belong. Before I become the thing little phones have nightmares about when they go to bed and mummy phones use as a way of getting them to behave or else the Laurence will come after them.

Hack at the Head

No matter how many crack-pot psychiatrists I get sent to, I will forever be scared of getting my haircut. Maybe it’s not wanting to have the only vaguely functioning part of my body in the hands of a stranger, maybe I watched far too many produtions of Sweeney Todd as a child, or perhaps having to stare at my own reflection for any extended period of time causes fits of uncontrollable depression and rage. But today, I proved wong those psychiatrists who condemned me to madness as they ran screaming from the room and got my hair sliced away this morning into a state slightly more befitting of a boy with my facial shape. And I did it all in German.

Normally, when getting my hair cut, I prefer not to talk. Adding to the terrifying experience, perhaps I’m concerned that they’ll become too engrossed in whatever fascinating anecdotes one of us will be giving and I may end up with half an ear missing. Or worse, a bad haircut. Despite any stylist’s valiant efforts, I stick to the mensroom rule and stare blankly forward, giving only brief recognitions of conversational attempts with a nod or grumbled bwark. So I did find it slightly disconcerting when my hairdresser began to talk to the elderly lady standing behind him, his back turned from my head but scissors hacking away all the same. I can only assume he could see what he was doing in the reflection on the bald head of the lady’s husband.

Seriously, that was bowling ball standard shiny.

Hometown Glory

Please allow me a pre-emptive apology should this blog post result in the violent murders of several Germanic workmen. Sitting in this sweltering room that’s already more moist and sweaty than the Pope’s underpants in a children’s playground, I am to be blessed with the continuous banging of a long object pummelling into a hard surface. Nope, my flatmate isn’t having sex. Instead, the carpark which is going under an exceedingly unnecessary 5-month-long renovation, has employed a 50ft Jackhammer drill to vent national frustration into the pavement at one second intervals. No matter what they’ll say in court… these murders will be worth it.

So yes, despite saving a couple of glasses from being shaken off the shelves, today has been disorientated at best. Waking up in a friend’s house after a fairly limp-wristed night out, consisting of many street corner loiterings, deciding where to go next; a question the philosophical prowess of which was clearly beyond us. At least we didn’t end up going back to the Monkey. Even if we did begin our night there. Woken by Aaron coming into the room exclaiming “Oh Christ” upon seeing me still in bed, we made ourselves pretty and went out for the most retardedly slow bubble tea experience. Methinks the poor girl believes a couple of mental patients had escaped from a local asylum. After which we engaged in a couple of games that border on being illegally intrusive to those around us. I’m not sure that winning this… erm, Brush Up game, is something I should be proud of. Grabbing (whip-free) coffee with my dominatrix co-star Annemieke, I have now returned to my room, hoping to blog away, despite the valiant efforts of the workmen outside. Hairy twats.

In June 2010, my friend Luke left to go on work placement. Having been a close buddy for months, and a second year whose house I could escape to when halls became too much, I was not prepared for his departure. Far too many alcohol-induced evenings occurred, and one too often a drunken conversation of “emotional depth” too. All this for a boy going to placement in London, 1 hour away. The following year it came time to go to Germany. 72 hours, 100 drinks, and 3 separate parties later, I still didn’t quite feel ready to leave. This year, for all of its cruelty, the Erasmus experience of departures offers you the opportunity to toughen the skin. There isn’t one big bang and you’re all gone, people trickle out through the fingertips of the day. Leaping from one coffee-hop departure to the next allows you a chance of individual reflection that fast paced society rarely offers, proving a life in transience can be the greatest remedy for enjoyment; you’re never left with the same stodgy cycle, it’s something new each time. It’s enjoying the movie even if you stay after the credits.

Writing on a foreign laptop that doesn’t recognise English has worrying effects on my linguistic confidence when every word has a red underline. Red… like the blood of these noisy workmen. Time to load my snipe gun, mustn’t let my oncoming migraine prevent what must be done. Toodlepip.

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