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.

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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.

Walking, walking

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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.

Leave the pigeons alone!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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