Hi, I’m A Walking Tourist Brochure

Life right now is almost the stuff of trite summer London tourist brochures, and it’s wonderful.

Monday was meant to begin with swimming, but ULU decided to close the pool for repairs till July on the very day I’d resolved to start a fitness regimen. The afternoon was Requiem For A Dream at the Prince Charles Cinema (admittedly not quite the feelgood hit of the season, but I loved it), me dragging ever-patient Russ with his gym bag around HMV, and overpriced chai and priceless conversation at Essence.

Dinner with various hallmates was creamy pasta, chicken kievs, Savoy cabbage garnished with bacon bits, fried onions and sweetcorn (my contribution), and peaches with Neapolitan ice-cream. We washed up to the sound of other hallmates singing Gretchaninoff’s Cantate Domino, in four-part harmony. Noelia sashayed downstairs, having embarked on intensive post-exam drinking much earlier in the day and now trying to recover from a hangover at 9.30 at night. Artem the mad Russian was laughing maniacally at Running Man in the TV room.

I spent the rest of the night in my room, listening to the CDs I’d bought at HMV (Copland, orchestral works; Sibelius, Symphony No 2 and Jascha Heifetz playing the Violin Concerto in D; Yehudi Menuhin playing the Beethoven and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos) and trudging through Underworld, which is getting increasingly tedious two thirds of the way through, and eventually put me to sleep.

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Tuesday was for reading. I spent three leisurely hours in the UCL library, now almost empty because everyone has either finished exams or is studying outside on the grass. I joined them there later, with my little pile of books (Steppenwolf, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, Made In America, Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

Next stop was Waterstones, when summerness had started to be a bit of a pain in the arse. I’m a Waterstones skimmer and Borders reader, so the next hour was spent without really committing myself to anything, but flitting from section to section. Sputnik Sweetheart, English Passengers, The Death Of Vishnu, poetry by Kenneth Patchen, Arthur Rimbaud (in translation), the new Seamus Heaney, Nigella Bites, a book about Francis Bacon, and after Francis Bacon I felt like going back out into the sunshine, so I did.

Back at home, we went through the draft copy of our hall yearbook, ostensibly to check for errors (we corrected “bollix” to “bollocks”), but more so that we could scribble comments like “Let’s go, grrrls!” and “Phhhhwwwwoaaaarrr” under people’s entries.

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Wednesday was time for some practicality again, and the afternoon was spent with Luke trying to plan our upcoming jaunt up the UK, which involved a fire alarm at Borders, brochure hoarding at the British Tourist Office, the recently shrunken fiver lunch at Belgo’s, the grass at Soho Square, swing dancing with Jitterbugs at the Notre Dame, and the generally loony exuberance that is Luke’s company.

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And today? Today is gorgeous and zingy, and it’s all gonna be great.