My minibreak from London, in Winchester and Southampton is coming to a close. It's been quite pleasant. I met up with A (one of my best friends, who I've known since college) in Winchester straight away, after my epic coach journey (four hours!!) from Victoria. Then most of our old girls -- D, K, F and E -- also joined us. We were only short of T, I and A, who are respectively in London (I see T all the time), East Anglia and Edinburgh at present, out of our old college gang. We were referred to as The Mothers as we seemed to be standing around all the time, having mother's meetings.
So Friday was quite nice, with lots of wine. I got to meet D and K's boyfriends, who were both lovely, and made sure our wine glasses were constantly topped up, which always scores lots of points in my books. I did overdo it tho, entering that horrible gray area where you totally embarass yourself but unfortunately don't drink so much that you haven't forgotten everything. Argh. As usual, I bumped into old faces from the past -- one boy I'd adored when at primary school and one I'd always had a secret crush on at college, because he looks quite a lot like Jack Davenoport, in my opinion. I kept asking them if they found me attractive, which they did, and then demanded to know why they hadn't done anything about it before. Um, because I was seven, in the case of one? Sigh. I also saw the media studies teacher from college, who supervised our very naughty Classics trip to Greece back in 2002 I believe. I never drank so much in my life until I went on that school trip -- we spent every night drinking to oblivion and everyday grumpily trying to sleep off the hangovers on the coach as we got carted to various sights such as the Parthenon and Acropolis. He was only 24 at the time! He seemed quite pleased to see us, I left K and E to reminisce with him, while I... well I'm not sure exactly. Wandered around the bar, blagging cigarettes, rollies and drinking rum and coke I guess.
I ended up staying at K's house, as I wanted to stay out longer than midnight (my last train back to my gran's). It was great catching up with her properly, I love that we're all still friends. I'll do my best to come back in a couple of weeks, with little sister in tow (she's arriving in London next Tuesday!).
I was meant to go and see my friend Tristan's band on Saturday night, but after clocking my rather unhealthy bank balance on my way back to my gran's, I decided I need to tie up the purse strings for as long as possible. I got a bit carried away with my spending, as I was so entranced by the drinks prices in Winch compared to London. £10 for a bottle of wine??? Amazing! £6.95 for a bottle of wine?? Even more amazing! £5 for two rum and cokes!! Wow. Poor cardy. It needed a rest. And so did I.
So I spent the rest of the weekend lounging around my gran's, being fed copious amounts of food, reading books and offered various tipples. She's really sweet. We used to have a terrible relationship, particularly when I lived with her for a year while at college. There was too much of a generation gap. She does tend to monologue at me rather endlessly, but I figure its a fair trade off for some much needed familial affection and delicious food.
Having a break gave me some time to think about stuff. The book I finished this weekend -- Stephen King's "On Writing", part memoir, part guide to creative writing -- was really inspiring. It makes me want to start/continue my writing projects right away. But I probably won't start until mid-September, to be honest. I like to totally immerse myself in writing projects, whether academic or personal, and it would be a bit pointless to get myself going and then stop in a couple of weeks when I have to start the dissertation.
I have also decided to start applying for other jobs, instead of putting all my eggs into the Guardian traineeship basket. I would like to be in a position to stay in London, if I choose to, so I better widen my options. If I get a fulltime job, not necessarily in journalism, I can still attempt to freelance as well as regularly work on my novels in the evenings or at the weekends.
When I come back to Winchester though, I am always struck at how stagnant some people I went to college with can be. Especially the boys. The ones I talk to are generally interesting and intelligent, yet they seem content to not go anywhere in life. To work in shops or in bars, despite having good university degrees. Maybe its just a phase. I always wonder why people bother settling though... if they were content I could understand it... but they don't seem happy, they seem bored. The girls are often more ambitious, more gendered. Is modern Britain making middle-class males feel placeless?
Something to ponder at length at another date. I've got to catch a bus soon!
I'm too old for this shi-
7 years ago