Wednesday, March 28, 2007

reality checkpoint

reality checkpoint, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Morning fog on Parker's Piece.

Monday, March 26, 2007

new hair

new hair, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I got my hair cut on Saturday. I like it!
The hairdresser got it to go all curly, which I rather liked. I couldn't quite recreate it this morning. I'll have to practise.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


It was something Nathan said about "Beatrice and Benedick and how we all want to be them but in real life we often aren't." Last night I watched Becoming Jane and was reminded. It's a fun film, pretty preposterous (my housemate Sophia was amused to learn a new word, she hadn't come across it before) and sentimental, but good for a girls' night out. There's an early scene in which Jane (Anne Hathaway, what is it with getting Americans to play Brits? She did it very well though) and the love interest Tom LeFroy (the very pretty James McAvoy) are dancing and sparring verbal points off each other as they dance. It's fun to watch them, knowing that they're as much fascinated by each other as they are irritated.

What is it that we love about witty pairs of lovers? Historically, Beatrice and Benedick have always been the favourite characters of Much Ado About Nothing. They're so much more interesting and human than the rather sappy Hero, who hardly says anything (I liked the production I saw once in which she was always trying to speak and being cut off by her father or uncle) and the idiotic Claudio. I think it's that we want to be witty, to have clever things to say and win the argument, but also that we want to have relationships that are alive and sparkling, where the other person provokes us, draws us out, makes us more alive.

They're a dangerous pair to emulate. It would be easy to look only at their verbal sparring and build relationships that are nothing but fine words. Perhaps more crucial than their friends' trickery in showing them their true feelings is the moment of testing provided by Claudio's rejection of Hero. In the chilling moment when Beatrice tells Benedick to "Kill Claudio", he must decide whether love for his friend or love for Beatrice is more important. Not that asking your boyfriend to kill his best friend is a good test for whether he loves you, but at the time where it matters, Benedick proves that there is more to their relationship than words and argument.

So why aren't we like Beatice and Benedick? Or Elizabeth and Darcy or any other pair of literary lovers? We aren't scripted by a genius for a start. We live in the real world, where arguments about silly petty things or big ones can hurt and wit can wound more than it means. Love is in the mundane and quotidian as much as in the sparkling and the heat. But it's also in the fizz as much as in the everyday. Either without the other would be incomplete.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


You might have noticed I've moaned rather a lot about work on my blog. I love where I work and the people, but I don't really love what I do. During yet another whining phone call sometime in January, my lovely mummy said "Maybe it's time you looked for another job." Somehow, this wasn't what I expected her to say, but I'm so glad she did. She gave me permission to dream. So I thought and I dreamt and what I came up with was doing a PhD in English Literature, somewhere exciting, like the US or Australia or New Zealand, or...

I worked out that a) there wasn't enough time to apply for a PhD to start in September this year and b) I wasn't likely to get accepted on one with half a degree in Literature and not much research experience and only vague ideas of what I wanted to research. So, my first step is an MA course. I've applied and been accepted on a course at Anglia Ruskin, starting in September. I've told my boss I'm leaving, though I haven't yet formally resigned.

The rate at which I've changed jobs in the last few years seems a little crazy. Since I started this blog I've had 2 new jobs, both of which I've decided I want to leave after not much time. (About 4 months in the first case, a year in the second). But for once, this next step has a possible step beyond it and even possible steps beyond that. It's taken me a long time to realise it, but I seem to be a natural academic. Being in Cambridge has helped me figure that out. Part of my dissatisfaction with this job is the feeling that I'm sick of supporting other people to do research and I want to do some of my own.

It's a little scary, thinking about being a student again, especially the financial side and the idea of studying abroad for my PhD needs a lot of thought, planning, prayer and hard work. But I'm excited about the prospect of doing something I love.

Friday, March 16, 2007

spring is in the air

spring is in the air, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Today is sunny and spring-like. Still cold, but warmth is coming.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

all that effort and nothing to show for it

You'd think if I was busy I'd have lots to blog about. Apparently not.

I did have a lovely weekend in Exeter. It was so good to get away from Cambridge and leave behind all the things that were making me busy. Had lunch with parents, sisters, grandparents, uncle and sister's boyfriend which was fun, though poor old Debs wasn't feeling well. HP was very good in Princess Ida. Stayed with my friend the lovely Miss P, who is currently doing the very grown-up thing of buying a flat. We did lots of catching up and relaxing and watching Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.

And then it was Monday morning and back into real life again. Tuesday night was great fun, the Rev concert. We rocked and a good time was had by all.

Suddenly, it's nearly the end of the week. I'm busy again tonight, but Friday night, I've nothing planned and then it's the weekend. Hooray! Slightly blighted by having to work at an event on Saturday (which means I have to miss a friend's birthday party, perhaps I'll get to the end), but I'm taking Monday off, so all is well.

Friday, March 09, 2007

..and breathe

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Next week is equally crazy, but at least I have the chance to grab a breath of fresh Devon air in between. I'm off to Exeter to see my sister HP in Princess Ida, meet up with my family, including Debs and stay with another HP, a friend from uni.

All I do is get through a morning at work and catch a train.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am not good at waiting. I always want things NOW! Actually that's not true with everything. Somethings are worth waiting for, like waiting for the right occasion to debut a new outfit, or saving that delicious piece of chocolate until you've got time to really savour it. But the things where I'm waiting on someone else are harder. Right now, I'm waiting for things to arrive in the post, for the results of an essay I handed in a while ago, for a response to an application I made, for the weekend.

I must be patient.