Quiet reflection; a bittersweet finish.
I have finished University. After an academic year that could be described as residential train wreck and an emotional rollercoaster of love, friendship, lies, back chatting, and clique inner circles; with a workload that would give the most hardened of Personal Assistants a sore head and sleepless nights and deadlines that in hindsight should have been adjusted at the beginning of the year, I, and my course group team have finally made it through 4 years of one of the toughest University degrees next to Architecture and the so-called “BEng’s/MEng’s” of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. The finish line was met not with a bang, but with a whimper. Indeed everyone in the course group I happen upon after the final coursework hand in were either sat in quiet reflection as to what had been achieved or may have been missed out, or were in a hushed conversion with their immediate coursework teams – the cheap drinks at the Student Union providing some margin of victory. Collectively in our hearts and minds we had succeeded.
The house this year will easily be the low point of the year. It seemed like a good idea at the time to move in with friends who I had met through the radio, and collectively I thought, yes, this could easily work out. Unfortunately with last minute announcements of residents announcing that they are in fact staying, after causing me headaches on the radio frontier, there came the inevitable stat of an avalanche of problems and fallouts throughout the year. I suppose one lesson learnt from this is judging people on their face-value intelligence and objectives – there is very likely an ulterior motive behind that “ditsy-blonde” approach to life. I dare say if it wasn’t for that, and consequently the back chatting I discovered (and the berating received about it when calling the perpetrators out), I may have evaded much of the stress in life over the past 9 months. Once the end of year ball had passed, there was no further reason to stay. As with the classic Bond-esque ejector seat button, or the pilot bailing out on a fighter jet before a complete loss – I got out, and quickly. Certainly the quickest of all University house exits. Within 72 hours I went from happily settled and rested to not existing at that particular address. As with a fast move such as that, things were left behind. Most of my cutlery and crockery were a total loss, consumed into the communal sharing of the house kitchen. I will miss my German-made can opener above all else. That pinnacle of vorsprung-durch-technik could open a safe door if necessary.
Bambi has remained, throughout, a safety blanket in all weathers and scenarios. Unflinching on his love and support for me, we managed to get out of University, together, mostly unscathed. Since March we took on a more functional relationship over a spontaneous, fluid approach – meeting when we could between deadlines and solid days of coursework and revision commitments. I owe him a lot for the smiles and comfort he provided me almost every day through the last few months at University – without him life would have been very tough indeed. After exams and projects were complete and handed in, we took a series of trips out into the surrounding countryside and dined out for sake of each other’s (and no one else’s) company. While expensive, it was nice just to be around each other again. Returning home, he stayed on with me for a few days, exploring the countryside and nearby woodlands and seaside towns. I was nice to see things I’ve lived around for years, through his perspective, and what he saw in them. A break from tradition with partners historically, I didn’t purchase a painting from my favourite artist to give to him. I’m hoping on his next visit, this will be remedied. It’s an odd tradition, but one I would like to maintain. A signature step, if you will, of something serious and long-term in the making. Indeed, at 9 months the forecast into the future is now mid-March 2017 – his dissertation, and my settling into full time work and training for another marathon. It seems too far away, though with the past 9 months disappearing by like sand through my fingers, this will be a fleeting moment into the figurative “tomorrow”. There are now whispers and suggestions of moving in together come the end of his tenure at University, talk of London settlement, possibly looking at Norway together as the next great life journey. These are dreams, and I don’t think it’s unhealthy to actively explore these sorts of objectives in life, as long as the other half is willing. I hope that, now with University truly finished for me, and a higher-second secured under my belt, that our relationship will become even more colourful, momentous, and exciting.
The Mongol Rally looms. In under a month the longest journey I’ve ever undertaken gets underway, in a small silver ‘rallyfied’ car, with 2 other hardened post-graduates. The visa are… sort of complete, the car is, sort of prepared, and the route half-finished. So far this 45-day, 12’500 mile West-East tour of Europe and Asia looks to be a classic case of eye-balling it last minute. More detail on this in the next post.