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

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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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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…

Wibbly Wednesday Bits

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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…

Write and Left

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I am as much an English Literature student, as a Fundamentalist is a Christian; I may call myself one, but I sure as hell don’t read the bloody book. Thank God (whichever God you have) that there exists Creative Writing, the ability to apply literature progression into my own creativity is the driving force for why I study a whole hour a week. Though I may mock my course at times, I will defend to the death its importance as a degree. Subjective courses are prone to criticism on behalf of the objective, literal class of degree. It does appear to the outside that something that can be done for leisure, ie. reading, could be kept as thus. Such a view however, is counterproductive to the exact nature of what a degree is.

Thankfully, I’ve never come upon much contention against my degree, especially when people see the standard to which work must be done not to mention the final quantity. The ability to think for oneself and yet, almost conversely, think for oneself correctly is such an intangible concept that it is not only difficult to understand, but near impossible to obtain. The same goes for all language or cultural studies I find. Provide the cushion of culture that makes a house into a home, or a land into a country, humans into people. The balance of subjunctive objectivism matching historical subjectivism to reach a conclusion that can then itself be analysed is an invisible ideal, which is why it always feels out of reach.

Something very much within reach, however, is my dissertation proposal. Due in for tomorrow, I’ve had the same blasé response to everything else to my degree; the last minute is plenty of time. Choosing the creative writing option, I am hoping to… Somehow, combine the historical narrative of religious enlightenment, from blindly following faith down to the unnecessarily contentious militant atheism… Told from the perspective of a character in a video game. You know the drill; an unseen ruler, directing the character through their life, putting them through tests and flippantly doing away with their lives as they have “more to spare”. The character will of course start to question the logic and kindness of his creator, and through allegorically following the historical narrative of religion, begin to revolt. The only question being, is this an act of freedom, or just doomed determinism? The question of one’s place in his universe, is all just part of the programming, he is doomed to autonomously question his free will. Throw in some video game references and a couple of German innuendo and hopefully that’ll be that. I’ll be using Kubrickian cinema as my main thesis of exploration, alongside maybe something easier… Like portal.