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

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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.

Back to the Empirical Logic, part II

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So the first performance went well. I’m doing my best to not be affected by the fact that when I appeared in my boxers, the audience burst into laughter. Hopefully that means I was fulfilling the fleshy duties of my role.

With some early practise for my new role at Surrey as Marketing and Outreach Officer, marketing of the production is going well, with 3x the amount of interest in the past couple of days alone. This comes in perfectly for the sudden requirement to begin on a brand new set of hausarbeiten, ripe and ready for the new holiday. Now would be a good time to have some actual idea what the fuck to write about. Received a letter from Surrey this week, asking us to detail our final deadlines and end of placements as we’re now reaching the end. A feeling beyond the words of even my pretentious vocabulary. September, Heidelberg felt like an indefinite lifetime, this was my home for a year. Now, Heidelberg feels temporary, short term, with the end of it rushing up to meet me. Neither of which feelings did I have a bloody clue how to handle.

Anyhow, proving once again that people have a habit of literally accepting anything they’re told and are even capable of forming an opinion based on no evidence whatsoever, Facebook today was blasted with a series of photos detailing how it was the day of the future that Marty McFly arrived at, in Back to the Future 2, a world filled with hover boards, flying cars, alternate fuel and motion controlled video games. The photos showed self-congratulatory chastising of the ignorant futuristic predictions, idly sidestepping their own incorrect information with beautifully elegant irony. Forgetting this folly, and moving past a slight loss in humanity that even on facebook with all the net at your disposal, people are still so willing to jump on an unsupported bandwagon, given the fact that Back to the Future predicted video phone calls over inter-connected computer systems, people uploading all their profiles with likes and dislikes onto this system for ease of access, money being transferred from account to account at the push of a button, recycled produce as energy fuel, holographic walls and video screens capable of containing many windows at once all displaying video systems, not to mention ID chips and retina recognition, I’m half expecting hover boards to be on the market soon. Especially given hover flight has been achieved just without ease of motion. I wonder if had these predictions not been made under Zemeckis, would some of them have happened in real life? Much like how Spiderman invented the concept of the GPS tracking device, go Spidey! We still love you, even if the Avenges don’t.

Mind you, criticising those not looking for empirical evidence does leave a funny taste in my mouth, given I’m supposedly a Christian.

I’ll let you ride my Speyer

One of the many Doms of Speyer

So, decided to have a night in, just because. No harm in it. Facebook chat a few people, relax and sort out committee stuff. Wake up and there’s a chunk of my heel missing and blood on the bed… Maybe I should stick to going out. At least with alcohol I only end up with bruises.

So, with my phone thankfully returned due to the heroic Denis who battled hell and heathen to collect it from the Keller, I am free to roam again. And roam we did, as ol’ Northern Matt and I excursioned ourselves to the little town of Speyer. A town that allegedly appears in the Doomsday book, what better place to go on a Friday afternoon?  Like a smaller version of Heidelberg, with less hills (Yes, Heidelberg is my main point of reference for ALL of Germany), and far more Bavarians, Speyer proved to be a beautiful pocket of Allemagne. Was supposed to be going travelling today but a night of insomnia left me better starved for sleep. Probably best for my wallet. Though after this post is done, it’s onwards to the Neckar for sunshine, giggles and barbecues by the river to celebrate the coming of age of Mr Neil and Sir Graham. Titles are not hierarchy.

With my helpful little surfstick (the credit on which I’m sure I’ll use up within a week), I’ve been able to indulge in a little bit more internet at home, which has helped me see all the beautiful faces of those acquaintances I associate myself with on a regular basis, in the form of bitrated communications online. MADSoc committee meetings sure are a hell of a lot easier when you’re able to see their faces.

… for better or worse…

My name is James. That’s what mother called me.

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Hey, hey Germany! I’ve got some friends coming to visit, how do you feel about keeping up that sunny weather you’ve been tantalising me with all month? No, oh you want to rain. A lot. Oh Germany, you so scumbag.

Despite the few hours of radio silence in which Roz had to call her dad to Facebook message me her number as Kim’s phone had kicked the bucket and for some reason we didn’t plan that alternative option in advance, the tautological twosome finally arrived and there was much happiness to be found, somewhere in their knackered exhausted forms. After a catchup food and drink session, we passed up the option to hit Halle 02 and instead go to bed. Which is where JAMES and the giant peach happened and a tune entered our heads that would never leave.

Upon Nick’s glorious arrival on Saturday, once again followed by much searching and confusion, we sent him right to bed. During which we went to see what Kim will forever refer to as a “schloshh”. And then, with the stirring of Nicholas, we drank. And drank. Being the responsible host that I am, I only drank enough to find a lamppost attractive. Fantastic fireworks, notorious Neckar times and catastrophic Karlstor excitement followed along with many bizarre run-ins between Aaron, myself and the rest with what can only be called SMEG. Or rather, Straight Men Envious of Gays. But they were probably the other meaning of smeg too.

Rainy days in the zoo, chilling times with the Pokemon Movie and many a Japanese meal, it came time to bid farewell to Roz and Kim at which point the weekend became distinctly German with the free burgers and bier courtesy of the Brass Monkey and the wonderful kraut Germans that we all know and love in their linguistically phenomenal forms. More schloshh times and hugs galore, not to mention introducing Nick to an anime or two, and it came time to wave goodbye to the German speaking, French studying Englishman, but not until after Luftansa lied to us about the bus time, nearly stranding Nick without a flight home. But they sent a complimentary taxi in apology so we can hold off their massacre for now.

All in all, a delightful weekend of giggles, girdles and enigmatic tigers. Seeing Heidelberg through new eyes, a fresh love for the beauty hits hard and well. Bring on the jubilee party and more downpour underneath which we rehearse onwards, the shows suddenly bearing closer than ever before, I think it’s time to get whipped into shape, so I can then be whipped on stage…

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Got any lemonade? asked the Duck.

 

In regards to this blog, I really have become a Tiger Woods. I may talk a big game, but I’m just not that committed. Though, as far as sports star comparisons go, at least I’m not an OJ Simpson, or worse yet, anyone who plays Cricket.  This is week number 2 within the insanity spectrum, including international jumpings, Committee position grabbings and log flume leapings.

In retrospect, I’m glad I made the decision to fly back to England. There were things that needed to get sorted and better this week than any other. Since September, I had always maintained a sense of distance between Heidelberg and London. Each time I’d depart to Germany, it would be a long-term goodbye to England, and I think for that reason, is why it can sometimes feel so lonely when abroad. Instead, since December, I haven’t managed to be away from England for more than a month. I think this has helped shrink the gap. I’m not good at dealing with life in more than one place. When at University, I ended up dropping London, when at London, I’d ignore Uni, when in Germany, I distanced myself from both. One compromises the enjoyment of where they are if they spend too much time missing the past or focusing on the future. There’s a live-for-the-moment attitude to Erasmus that I have done my best take hold of. And I think sucking up the distance between my 3 homes has helped, nowhere is too far away to enjoy where you are now.

It must be argued however, that this is very reliant on if German trains decide to behave!! On one of the most bizarre and spontaneous weekends, I found myself, Amy, the NikNik of NikeNike, RegBecca, Jen Long-Johns and Janeeeeeen Babe-utt with her friend Charley, on a trip to ye old Europapark. One of the biggest theme parks in Europe, which I daresay came as a massive surprise given the name, the park provided a day of insane activity. Being a friday and not a Germany holiday, queues were short, the people few and the energy high. Taking advantage of these we blasted from ride to ride, each one good enough to put Thorpe Park to shame, and providing just enough freaky mannequins to ensure I won’t be sleeping for another few nights. Which is interesting given I hadn’t slept the night before leaving for Europapark. Oh insomnia, I love your persistence. Not helped were the surprisingly unorganised train schedules that left us up poopy creek without a chocolate paddle when one late train left us without any connections.

And because I can’t think of a connection to the next paragraph, I shall end the blog here, I think this one was rambly enough. See you tomorrow where I promise this blog will be back on track with his mediocre ramblings and stuff.

Working week what?

I strive to always be a decent person, except for when I’m awake. Mind you, each time I sleep, I dream of eating cornflakes and wake up with half the mattress gone. After two weeks of experiencing an ongoing insomnia, it wold appear I am finally back on track. Just in time to go back to England. Yep, for one week I am returning to London to attend some business.

I dare say I may just squeeze in a Guildford trip too. Because I’m greedy.

It’s been a hell of a week. For reasons unknown, my sleeping pattern has thrown itself off. Normally the result of stress or depression, insomnia has been a large part of my life. A curious experience as it’s of the many things that people judge to be laziness. I sleep in because I’m lazy, obviously, not because one has remained awake for 6 hours at night for no given reason. It makes one late for events, becoming unprepared and groggy, the most bother bothersome thing is that it attacks the memory of the enjoyer, which can cause an issue here or there. But, like a limp or unfortunate acne, it lacks the dire need for any actual sense of complaint, you just limp on using your ugly face to scare children away.

Its a funny time of year this, one year ago, MADSoc were putting on their final performance of the musical “Nine”. A directorial nightmare, the cast pulled through the various things thrown at them, including the aforementioned insomniac director’s groggy mindset, and put on a performance that to this day I am still proud of. Now this time, a whole new breed of MADSoc is bursting their new production onto stage with all the throbbing, juicy glory you would hope for from a group of students. This time last year, May 2012 seemed a lifetime away, I was stuck, rooted into that moment. This year itself has been such a different experience that it makes the previous year seem like a long time ago tomorrow morning.

Flashbulb memories stick to events that stand out, you don’t remember the remedial, which is why these 8 months, with every day a new experience, is a world aside from the rest of my life. I wish the cast the best of luck, and I look forward to seeing the show in just over 24 hours time, before heading onwards to London.

Hopefully with children far away now and sleep in its proper place, the time has come to do that studying thing. Haha yeah, I’ll take a nap.

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