Month: February, 2015

A room with a view


Campus is always very calm on Sundays and today wasn’t an exception. I woke up at 12 and asked “What time is it?”. “No way!?”, he said as he leaned across me to see the clock. We both thought it couldn’t have been more than 9am. The weather outside was not only gray but dark gray.

I had breakfast (fancy coffee and banana pancakes), got dressed and walked to the library where I found my new favourite spot – the fifth floor. It is one of the few places on campus where one can actually get a view of something other than walls of buildings or bottoms of grassy hills (which is what I see when I look out of my window). I like views, I need them, because they make me feel like I have more of an overview, more control of my own life. Like I am on top of things – literary and more abstractly.


My love, my life, my love life

IMG_8866_edited  I read somewhere, I think it was in Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, a sentence that said something about how someone spent a lot of time in bed in “that way that is only acceptable when one is a student” and I remember that I could not have agreed more: I love my bed.


That is where I do my reading when the desk chair becomes too uncomfortable and the absence of an armchair too noticeable. That is where we sit, me and M, when we have our late night deep chats. That is where we were lying when he asked me out after we watched that film. That is where I crash when I come back from Tesco’s or lectures or the library. That is where I sleep through nights and naps – with or without him. That is where I currently sit while writing this and where I earlier today sat writing my shopping list in that mixture of Swedish and English that usually makes up the lingual part of my brain.IMG_8878_edited

My bed is my island and my fort, my safe spot and my quicksand dragging me down and threatening to never let me get up. My pivotal piece of furniture even if it squeaks when we try to be very quiet late at night when we ought to be asleep but are not.

The centre of my student room universe.

They say keep your shoes on when you study since it keeps your concentration levels up so I did

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Sunday tradition (and I’m not referring to the roast dinner)

I think this is turning into a bit of a Sunday tradition, me being ill I mean. Two weeks ago I had fever and a sore throat, spent the day in bed with Kafka’s Metamorphosis and got served toast and tea by M. One week ago I was food poisoned, spent the day in bed with Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane and got served toast and dry cereal by J. Yesterday I felt more and more sniffy and heavy-headed as the day progressed but didn’t spend the day in bed at least. Instead I went for a bike ride in North London, had chips and tea at a little café by the river, got a flat tyre on the way back and had to walk home to J’s. His mother made us a roast dinner before we took tube-train-taxi back to uni.

The Campus Bubble

IMG_7817_editedCampus is such a bubble that sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I’m living in England at all. The other day I found myself annoyed by hearing so much ‘bad English’ everywhere. Grammatically incorrect and with heavy accents. It is more like campus is a bubble anywhere in the world just that the majority of people are British and the lingua franca is English. Not even the houses appear very British to me.

It is when I leave the campus area that the fact that I am living in England really hits me. When I see the, to me, very British houses and the country side and the pensioners with their dogs and the pushchairs and advertisements and the cars and the drivers.

But while I am back on campus, in my accommodation or so, it is more like I am, strangely, one step removed from reality.  IMG_7927_edited

British weather (or shall I call it whether since it never seems to be able to make up its mind?)

Unusually grey day today – even for it to be England. The thing with the English weather is that it is highly interchangeable and temperamental. One can wake up to sunshine, eat breakfast in the rain, walk to lectures in light snow, be blinded by the sun shining in through the windows during seminars and walk back home without a coat.

Today the sun hasn’t popped it’s little head out from the clouds even once. Proper gloom it is.

But at the same time I like rainy days simply because they are so calm and there isn’t this urge of being happy or full of energy. It’s more contemplative, more take-the-day-as-it-comes. I do like that.

. . .

IMG_8844_editedCurrently sitting on my White Sheets with Book and Tea Mug, balancing the latter so that White Sheets won’t turn Brown.

Life is a little upside down, as usual I would like to say but something is not so usual. One week ago I was ill with high fever and a sore throat, last Saturday I dragged you with me to a cathedral just to look at in and none of us really enjoyed it. The wind was cold, it took us ages to find IKEA and when we got there they didn’t have what I wanted, when we were to eat lunch Pizza Express was full and the bus back to campus took twice the time it usually takes. That night I got food poisoned, kicked you out from my room at 2am, vomited at 5am and 8am and spent the rest of the day being miserable in bed having to prepare a presentation for the Monday, feeling judged every time you came into my room to ask me if I wanted anything simply because you were standing up and I was lying down. Highly intimidating – believe it or not.

On Tuesday night I got the news that my aunt had slipped into a coma, started feeling sick again (from shock?), kicked my you out of my room at 12pm, didn’t throw up but woke up to the news that my aunt passed away that same night. I don’t know how to feel about it. I feel cold and heartless since I haven’t been able to cry but I just carry on with my life as usual. It feels like I owe her my sadness somehow since death is a terminal thing. I do ask myself – do we grieve for those who have passed or for our own sake, for the loss and the longing? Or maybe it is both? Maybe we don’t have to choose one or the other? All I can say for sure is that I loved her (I still love her) and that that phone call I had with her brother when he told me what had happened hurt inside like nothing has hurt me before and that I manically squeezed the mittens laying in my pocket hard, like massage, all the way home from my seminar before I crashed on my boyfriends bed and just wanted to be close to him without speaking at all. My eyes have watered many times but I just never get there. After all, I haven’t cried properly since 23rd September so maybe I need some warm-up before I start. It is like that Thug Life video that circulates the internet – “Name something that has to be warmed up before you use it” “Your wife”.

Maybe my emotional life needs a warm-up. But as I said, the winds are cold.