[I meant to post this about the weekend.]

Have picnic lunch on Regent’s Park grass, then stroll through the park taking in London panorama on Primrose Hill. Leisurely consume several pints and packets of addictive pork scratchings over the Sunday papers in a pub with jazz band and immensely endearing bulldog. Add good company in the form of Alec and Matt.

Stir and serve on Sunday.


[Can you tell I am trying not to write an essay?]

Something’s Going Right

There’s something wonderfully affirming about being able to spend quality time with three men you love over the weekend, only one of them being your boyfriend.

Apart from Saturday night/Sunday morning with Russ, I met Nick on Monday night (for those not in the UK, it was a public holiday here) for dinner at my beloved Sweet And Spicy before popping round the corner into Alec’s local pub for drinks (note to self: must pop down there some other time and clarify with Sue behind the bar that I wasn’t cheating on him). Again, the same feeling of happy companionable comfort, although it probably wouldn’t have been at all apparent to anyone else given that we spent a fair bit of the time disagreeing violently and interspersing this with hacking coughs.

After we parted ways, I let myself into Alec’s flat and settled down with In Cold Blood while waiting for him to return from Ireland, where he’d spent the weekend.

It’s been one of those clusters of days when I look at my life and think that despite my multiple faults and failings, I must be doing something right (for which I also credit God, who, incidentally, I really should spend more quality time with).

A Mixed-Up Week

Two fantastic gigs. Friday afternoon on Portobello Road, Russ amusedly tolerant of my compulsion to scan every stall, however ramshackle, in fear of the “bargain” I might miss if I just strolled past. (I didn’t buy vintage fashion or antiques, but I got a great aubergine for 30p!) Fabulous dinner on Friday night courtesy of Tamara and her friend Mark.

Intentions of restarting work feebly displayed in a two-hour stint at the library on Wednesday, and 7 pages of a book on the US Supreme Court on Thursday. Excitement at planning an upcoming holiday, stress at the realization that due to said holiday I will have spent the entire five week Easter break doing no work. Irritation at coming home and finding unwashed dishes in the sink after spending three hours cleaning the kitchen yesterday. Hatching plans to surprise Alec with flowers, and then having them wonderfully scuppered, two days in a row, by him doing exactly the same thing.

Wondering what I ever did to deserve a life this good, and the fear of wasting all my various blessings through laziness, disorganization or complacency. Hence the nagging feeling of tedious but important practicalities I’ve been putting off resolving for ages, and crunch time looming.

Sweet Dreams Indeed

And then there was Friday, where the comparative refinement of a Malaysian lunch and leisurely wander through the Citibank Photography Prize 2003 exhibition with Benny gave way to a debauched night with Mark at the annual UCL Debating Society Foundation Dinner, where we skipped the dinner and most of the debating bits, and concentrated our efforts on getting, as Mark often so colourfully observes, “off our nipples”. I hazily remember spilling Guinness on Alec and getting all teary on the way home remembering how fond I still am of many old UCL debating hacks.

Because of Friday, I was fairly useless on Saturday, although the effects of the hangover thankfully confined themselves to my mental faculties rather than my stomach lining. This wasn’t a problem during the day when I lounged around, finished English Passengers and wasted time on the Internet, but rendered me extremely boring at Nick’s birthday do at Cargo that night. So I clutched my cider (yes, I like cider, you wannamakesomethinuvit?) and stood around desperately trying to think of something to say other than observations on how boring I was being. Not much came, until the music changed from dub-electronica-Arabian-folk to Work It (Missy’s), and I sought relief in silent gesticulating on the dancefloor.

On Sunday I was lured to Spitalfields Market, where I talked myself out of buying a £20 orange bag, explained to a girl from China selling bracelets (I bought one, orange) that yes I could speak Mandarin but no I couldn’t speak it very well and no not everyone in Singapore was quite as lousy, and marvelled at how flatteringly the dress on the cross-dresser manning the organic veggie stall hugged his very considerable curves. On Brick Lane, a car slouched by blasting Still Dre. On Commercial Street a car slouched by blasting Mundian To Bach Ke. On Bishopsgate a car slouched by blasting Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These.

Discrete little chunks of Thursday,

Discrete little chunks of Thursday, that weren’t goo-worthy in themselves, seem to have joined forces in the night and put the goo whammy on me this morning:

A beautiful day.

The frivolous yet immensely happiness-boosting pleasure of wearing a new belt with an outfit it looks really good with.

Lunch with Alec (on study leave) at Ikkyu and half-pints afterwards at the Duck And Dive. Realising how rare this otherwise mundane pleasure was – being with him in sunlight, in the middle of the week.

Good progress on immensely boring essay (the concept of technical content in determining patentability of inventions) in the afternoon despite the stealthy beginning of a goo onslaught of distraction (which finally culminated today).

A breathtakingly efficient visit to the law library, photocopying journal articles and cases like a maniac, but organized!

Gig at the Water Rats pub on Gray’s Inn Road, which I have somehow managed not to find out about during four years in this area, a feat for which I deserve much indie derision. Great venue, and damn good performances (to be described in further detail later along with how I managed to fit most of my LEG into my mouth while talking to one of the bands). Slight attack of grouchiness before the gig due to hunger and annoyance at our joint indecisiveness, but that disappeared once I was in there with loud raucous music and a Snakebite in my hand. It’s easy to make me happy provided you can stand the things that do the job. Somehow, despite hating most of these things, Alec still manages.

Late dinner in cheap cheerful Chinese on my road.



And there you have it.

One More Year

I went to Germany feeling extraordinarily low; protracted showers and sleeps over a too-brief weekend hadn’t been enough to combat the accumulated dust and disorientation of moving out of my comfort zone of 2 years, and remaining rebel elements in my lungs were still mounting the occasional tubercolotic (that’s probably not even a word, but you know what I’m getting at) revolution. I felt residually gritty and somehow off-kilter, like a bad photocopy of myself.

I returned from Germany yesterday and it feels like everything has changed. I had a pretty damn fabulous holiday with my pretty damn fabulous best friend, which will hopefully be written about soonish. I found out two wonderful pieces of news – one, that I got first class honours in my degree, two, that my scholarship organization will let me take advantage of this by sponsoring me for a Masters (which means another year before they have to pull me kicking and screaming from London back to Singapore).

For the first time in a while there is certainty, and optimism that can finally be more than just cautious. It’s sunny today. I’m feeling good in my skin.

Perfect Day

Yesterday had the potential for hellishness, but somehow managed to turn out almost as perfect as it could have been instead. Keep in mind that by perfect in this context I don’t mean winning lotteries or sprawling with paper-umbrella’d drinks on sunkissed beaches or even a Pavement reunion concert.

This is what I mean: I woke up in time for morning prayer, had breakfast, arrived early for my 9 am lecture and stayed fully awake throughout it. Answered loads of tournament-related emails and wrote a blog entry. Went grocery shopping and cooked a divine spinach and bacon omelette for lunch. Put final organizational touches on tournament for today with Mark, including coming up with 7 debating motions we liked and were happy with in a reasonably efficient period of time. Romped through the Bentham reading I had to do for today. Got my company law essay back – a high 2-1! Attended special lecture by Sir Peter North (Conflict of Laws guru) and actually understood most of it. Went home and realized there was nothing, nothing, nothing more I had to do for the day. Went happily off to see Alec and listen to patchy but generally enjoyable hip-hop at 93 Feet East.

Sounds completely mundane when I write it, but there’s a real satisfaction in the fact that I had so many things I needed to do on the day before a tournament I’ve spent the last month organizing, and was very worried about the amount of time I’d been sacrificing for something irrelevant to my degree – and I managed to do everything and more (the omelette was a plus).

Funny how things swing. Maybe I should attend morning prayer more often.