(Sunday 1.36 PM)
It takes a hellish week to appreciate a heavenly weekend.
I was at the Inner Temple intervarsity debating tournament over Friday and all of Saturday. As a team, we came 11th out of 33, which we’re not too satisfied with, given that we’d convincingly whooped three teams ranked above us on speaker points. It also wasn’t great to come out of debates where every other team said we’d clearly won and then be told by the judges that we’d come second or third. I came 9th out of 66 on the individual speaker rankings, which was at least some consolation. Anyway, after one and a half debating years of regular shit happenings, I generally accept bad judging decisions with a shrug and a middle finger.
We’d decided that we wouldn’t follow our occasional tradition of post-IV clubbing, and passed up the guest list at the Ministry Of Sound’s Subliminal Sessions for vodka, lemonade and Kettle Chips at Nick’s place.
We (Nick, Josh and me) came out of the tube at Kings Cross, and it was snowing! It was a strange combination of weather and location – something as pretty as snow, falling on the sleaze and cheerlessness of Kings Cross. You look up, and it’s breathtaking and beautiful as it falls, and then you look down and around you, and it’s slush mixed with corner piss puddles. Within minutes we were covered. I looked at Josh’s frosty eyebrows and noted the huge difference between real snow and the sort that dusts the branches of artificial Christmas trees. I crossed my eyes and tried to watch snow fall past my nose. I stuck my tongue out and collected a flake. Then stuck it out again at Nick, who was laughing at my fascination.
I love falling snow.
After half an hour at Nick’s place, we were joined by his rather drunk flatmates, John and JP, back from the pub. JP heaved a huge snowball into the middle of Nick’s room. Nick wasn’t pleased. JP cleared it up, totteringly.
Josh was interested in listening to Xen Cuts. Nick put in disc 1. I came back from the bathroom, recognized what was on, and said “You have to play track 10!” (DJ Vadim featuring Sarah Jones, Your Revolution). It was exactly what he’d been just about to play.
Later, we were reminiscing about being 14, and Nick put a Nirvana bootleg on. I was saying something about my Nirvana listening times these days being times when I’m not in the mood to have to actively think about appreciating the music, but just want something on with simple tunes, lots of guitar, and some hoarse-voiced guy screaming every now and then. Nirvana fans might see that as a travesty, but that’s what I listen to Nirvana for – mildly rawking accessibility.
So anyway, I was saying all this, and:
Nick: Don’t tell me Aneurysm’s your favourite Nirvana song.
Me: It is, actually. What, don’t you like it?
Nick: This is getting spooky.
At some point during the night all of us were jumping around going wild to Pearl Jam. At some point we were squashed together in the best spot in the room for maximum speaker effect, listening to Teardrop (Massive Attack) and The Box (Orbital) with eyes closed.
At some point we fell asleep.
I’ve only just got back. We dawdled over tea and Kruder & Dorfmeister after waking up around noon. I’d taken my contact lenses off during the night, and the walk home was a blurred but interesting experience. Colours ordinarily seem muted when I can’t see properly, but the sky seemed to be that sort of amazingly vibrant blue that you only get in faked postcard photos. I looked at the sun in an oil-rainbowed puddle for too long, and my eyes started watering. I don’t know what the meteorologists say, but I think I’ll remember that stark transition from last night’s snow in Kings Cross to this morning’s sun in Bloomsbury as the moment my spring began.