Friday, 30 January 2009

Focus!


Day 79 - f o c u s
Originally uploaded by margolove
You know, I love men. I even, most of the time, love J.

However.

At the moment I am just so stressed I could explode.

J is moving here in March. That means that I have to leave Mr Vain behind and find somewhere for J and I to stay. My parents are kindly helping me to buy, but not to such an extent that my budget is very large.

I have two choices.

A) I can buy a very small 1-bed flat, which is what I can comfortably afford on my own. This would, however, mean that if J and I don't work out, I'll be stuck having to work my arse off for the rest of the time I'm studying to earn enough money to get by on my own.

or

B) I could buy a 2-bed flat, which I can't really afford, but I could afford if J put up some money. This would mean I could rent out a room if J and I broke up and would then be in less trouble. Also if I got pregnant it would be crowded.

So, as you can see, I could only afford to insure myself against us breaking up if J is committed enough to put up the money, which he isn't really. Which means that insurance is more necessary. If he was more committed, I wouldn't need the extra money, but he would offer. The world is truly a cruel place.

I realise I am whingeing like a spoilt brat as not everyone can get help from their parents in buying, but this whole situation is really stressing me out. I don't really want to have to rent, as this would be more expensive per month than the mortgage I'm planning if buying, and again I would be stuck in a contract if we were to break up.

I have discussed this situation with two of my friends, both of whom also had to do the whole house buying thing on their own because their menfolk were for different reasons not wanting to chip in.

Needless to say both these menfolk now live happily and cheaply in lovely apartments refurbished by their women.

What is it with men?? Why is it so difficult to make a commitment? It's not as if I, also, love being single and all that goes with it, but I have chosen not to be single, and I feel I should act accordingly (read: as a responsible adult).

So anyway, this is driving me nuts. I have attempted to calm myself by reading about cell biology and planning next week's lecture for the high school kids I'm teaching on the side but it didn't really help. Writing this kind of helped, but I can feel that my cortisol is way above what it should be at this time in the afternoon. Thank fuck it's Friday.

Will now try alternative method, which involves spending money I don't really have on pizza and than a classical music concert at the city concert hall.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Flatmates from hell ch. 2


Kitchen Demolition!
Originally uploaded by yoderism2
Flippin heck! I certainly know how to pick them. Or not, as it were.

After a recent incident of almost being shot by my flatmate Mr Vain with his recently acquired airgun, I came home this evening to find that he had taken a sick day off work (he keeps getting man flu) to... DEMOLISH THE FUCKING KITCHEN!!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, to no warning at all I came home to find that in order to install his new fridge and freezer (which I am guessing he failed to measure before buying), he has stashed all my food helter-skelter in boxes and deported it to the corridor by the front door, and removed about half of the kitchen units, blocking access to the old fridge where more of my food still lives, and the cooker.

I'm sorry, but I think this is totally outrageous! Am I being a cranky bint or is this a bit OTT? Fortunately I hadn't invited anyone over for dinner today! He even talked to me on the phone to borrow some DVDs from me earlier and mentioned nothing about the building site style kitchen awaiting me. Needless to say I couldn't cook any dinner (even the microwave has been boxed away for the occasion) so I am presently becoming more irritable by the second.

I have already asked Flatmate From Hell for some money off my rent this month, as I will need the extra cash to spend on meals out. Of course he raised his eyebrows (he is notoriously stingy) and wondered if I couldn't just squeeze in between the demolished kitchen units to cook some food at home. Riiight.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the living room... He has also removed all the books from the bookshelves and is rearranging, so one cannot comfortably sit there either really. I pay a lot of money to live in this place, and responded promptly by starting the hunt for somewhere else to live. Before I grab that airgun and shoot his arrogant ass.

More flatmate stories>>

House of flying daggers
Flatmates from hell Ch 1
Js flatmate attempts to kill us

Update: 2249 pm. Mr Vain has made progress in the kitchen and has pushed all the dismembered kitchen units to one end of the kitchen. He looks sheepish, and I can get to the cooker. But now it's late and I have to go to bed. Dr Karg crispbread for dinner. Yum...

Friday, 23 January 2009

Walk on by


Padre e Figlio
Originally uploaded by docfuz
It has been a long week. So tonight I thought I'd treat myself to dinner out and a couple of drinks before heading home and to bed early. I was well into my second Moscow Mule by the time He walked past outside the window.

The man who broke my heart, whose heart I broke, and every time I see him, my body remembers that. I shall call him A. I guess there have been others after him, doing the same thing, to whom I've also acted cruelly, but never with such desperation as when I aimed for him, when I was 17, 19, 21. You can read the story of our past here.

It belongs to the story that after all these years living far from home, I've chosen to return to the city where this man lives now. We haven't kept in touch that actively, I guess for obvious reasons of not wanting to be reminded of how stupid we once were, and on my part, how cruel I once was. But of course we have friends in common, and he happens to own a lot of books I need for my course. Because he did it a few years ago.

When I see A, my heart skips a beat still, especiallly if I am not expecting it. And he looks at me, he sees me, I know he does. His girlfriend is lovely, and I actually wouldn't dream of breaking up that union. But I am still me, and in some hidden corner of my heart, I guess there is still an "us", even if I would never let on to J about this.

So anyway, there I was, innocently sipping my drink, though I know he lives nearby that particular bar, which I had gone to at the suggestion of my friend. He walked by with his preschool age son in tow. In tow being the best description, the boy was hanging back slightly, while A was hauling the kid's weekend bag and another backpack, probably heavy so he was in a rush to get home. I knew that it was kiddie weekend this weekend.

I didn't run outside to say hi, I just knocked on the bar's window. A didn't hear it, but his kid did. His kid, though, obviously, didn't recognise me, as we last met about 4 years ago. Pre J. But anyway, this stupidly cute, blonde kid turns around, hanging from his dad's hand, and I wave at him. And I am amazed at how grown up he looks, because he is the living counter of the time that has passed since I drew a line below the thing that was A and I, and although he is no longer a baby, he has opinions, he will go home and ask his dad who that funny woman in the bar might have been, despite this, I know that I haven't really managed to draw the line at all.

I guess now that I feel that J and I are much more of an item, my mind drifts off more easily, it shouldn't be that way but it is. When I meet A, I always write afterwards. He tells me I speak in poetry, and I know that in his eyes, I will always be a genius with words, published or not. I am not the person he thinks I am, but I am in love with her as much as I am with him. So I have chosen not to pursue the literary path, I have shut that writer off inside me, because I think she is the one who so deeply connects with this man who is not her keeper's boyfriend, that she has to be silenced, possibly forever. She dreams off, she creates fantasies, there is always divorce. On one hand I know I'll never act on this. I respect A, and even more so I respect his partner who's been lovely to me since I moved here. I need to stop this. I just don't quite know how to fall out of love with that part of myself.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Rolly knitting

What I enjoy about knitting is the sense of achieving something. Therefore I find it absolutely infuriating how stockingnette stitch tends to roll up on itself while you are knitting it. This piece of knitting, for instance, looks as if it is about 2 cm long when really it is 20!! Aggh! Where is my sense of gratification?!

My friend, who has knitted countless sweaters since the age of about 12, refuses to knit anything in stockingnette unless on round needles, as she finds it too frustrating to have to contend with doing every second row purl, as well as the roly poly phenomenon.

At any rate, what I am planning is this lovely bolero from Debbie Bliss. I bought the Baby Cashmerino 2 book a few years ago when my friends started breeding, and now there is such an avalanche of babies that I think I've knitted pretty much everything in the book. I think I need a new collection of patterns. I really like these ones, they are simple but well designed with nice shaping. Will receive tips with thanks.

Spring is just around the corner..


Meltdown
Originally uploaded by Elida :)
I know it's a bit premature to be saying this, but I can really smell it in the air that Winter is already growing old and Spring will soon battle him into submission.

For the last few days when I've woken, it hasn't been completely dark when I got out of the shower, and when I have been cycling down the hills to school, you can hear it everywhere, ice melting in the ground, trees slowly waking up from hibernation to produce the first pollen allergy of the spring in just a month or two.

In the very north of Norway these days, they celebrate the return of the sun, which really is the first time they see proper daylight since perhaps November. I can't imagine what that must feel like. In some places they bake sun buns to celebrate, which are sweet yeast dough buns with a yellow eye of custard cream in the middle. It's easy to see how people remained heathen for ages in such places, fearing that a lack of sacrifice and worship might mean the sun would never return at all.

Despite it still really being winter, I can feel energy returning to my body like sap to the tree branches, due to just having a little daylight every day to tell my brain what time it is mean to be for it. I have just baked a lovely chocolate cake for my friend's birthday party which is coming up (at least it should be lovely given the ingredients, you can't go wrong with eggs, butter and good quality chocolate) and will eat it also by way of celebrating the days getting a little longer every day.

Obama Day dawns

What a grand day. Obama is to be inaugurated, and the BBC's link from their front page to the top story is giving a 404. Ooops... I almost want to call them to tell them, but I'm restraining myself. The Guardian, however, are doing their thing rather more successfully.

Meanwhile, the light is just appearing outside, which means the sun's ideas of morning are creeping closer to the university's ideas of morning, which cannot be a bad thing.

Imagine, eight years of Bush just over! Over! I remember when he got re-elected, I felt depressed for like, a whole day. I didn't stay awake for the whole night to watch the results, it just became too depressing to think of wasting all that energy if he were to win and there was nothing to celebrate. Turns out my instincts, sadly, were right.

But let's not dwell on such sad things, today is a day of joy and new beginnings. Have to run to catch my bus, but just wanted to say well done, Americans, and good luck, Mr President.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Connected


Walking on Water
Originally uploaded by Angelrays
So we're having the usual beginning of semester partying season, as everyone still has more money left from the government's kind grants (or salaries as I like to think of it) and I was sitting outside the student cafe with a couple of my classmates.

And they all started just saying lots of nice things to me, like they think I will really succeed in my career and life, that they really appreciate having me in the class, that they think I am really clever etc. etc. It was all done in a really sweet way where one of them started and the other ones just warmly agreed.

One of the boys said that he likes the fact that when we argue over theoreticall issues (a weekly occurrence as he is the positivist son of a surgeon), I laugh at him and pinch his cheeks as if he were a baby. It makes him respect my opinions, apparently. Now of course this all looks completely absurd in writing, but they were really as earnest as only a young, slightly drunken Scandinavian could be.

It really warmed my heart. I've spent so much time in my life being an outsider, being abroad, being different, and also feeling different, which probably made me act as if I was different, exacerbating the whole process. Of course it would be oversimplifying things to say that I've come home, but I really feel very comfortable with my classmates.

I decided when I started the course that I would say, wear, be whatever and not care what other people said, just live out the girl I think I am at the core, that I have always been. It seems to have worked out pretty well. It is a great feeling to be connected to other people, and not through trying to be what you think they want you to be. I feel lucky.

Another week over..

I swear time passes faster as I get older. It is really bizarre. I think the circadian section of the brain works by comparing each passing segment of time to the unit it knows as "life so far".

In other words, if you are a one year old baby, a week is a pretty long time as it is the equivalent of quite a high percentage of the time you've spent alive thus far. However, for an 80-year old, a week will pass as if it is hardly anything, because it's forms such a tiny fragment of that person's lifetime.

However, these are only my musings, and I am no philosopher, and don't I know it after reading all these papers on social constructionism and dualism and Cartesian thinking and Wittgenstein and post-structuralism for my courses. I feel desperately undereducated in this department. Should have gone to Oxford and done the classics, I guess. Though that probably wouldn't have helped much with the psychology.

But it really is bizarre how our perception of time depends on so many factors, such as the level of attention we pay to our surroundings, the delicate dance of neurotransmitters in our brains and, I am convinced as I said above, on how much time we've already spent alive.

My friend's grandfather died last week, at 97. He had Alzheimer's and apparently stopped eating before Christmas. Since his wife, who is also very frail, was no longer able to care for him at home in his increasing confusedness, he was placed in a home, which he strongly resented.

So this old man, he decided that he simply didn't want to live anymore, that he had seen all the days he wanted to see. I can't imagine ever feeling like that, that there is nothing more to be done. I can't imagine being 97, he has lived over three times longer than I have. I wish the day had more hours so I could cram in more of life in each one. But maybe by chasing life in this way, always wanting more, differently, I am setting myself up for disaster, I will never learn to stand still.

But after hearing the story of this old man, I think I would rather live a hundred years with this inner restlessness, than to have to endure two years of just wanting it all to be over because there is nothing more to see.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Is drinking around your kids OK?

Ah, it's as you can see ridiculous-o-clock in the morning, and I should really be asleep to give myself energy for studying tomorrow. But alas, no.

I came back a couple of hours ago from a lovely trip into town with a group of friends, one of them just turned 31 and I gave him a flask for him to bring his coffee in to work, he really appreciated it. How old we are growing, no, really! We had some pizza and burgers and lovely chat, and I am very grateful that I have these people where I can be totally myself and say what I please, and just completely relax. I feel incredibly lucky.

After the dinner and a few drinks we moved on to another birthday party, another loosely related group of people. The couple hosting the party have two kids, but had obviousy shifted them onto someone else for the evening, and were busy getting tipsy and rolling joints under the table.

OK, so call me uptight, but I don't actually think kids should be exposed to really drunk people. I mean, of course, as long as the party is quiet (which this one was) and the kids don't wake up and come downstairs (which they didn't), I guess it doesn't matter that much. One of the couple in question grew up with an alcoholic parent, so I guess to her that's normal.

I don't know why it riles me. It isn't like they're drinking excessively in the way of falling over or becoming aggressive. And they don't have a car so if they suddenly had to rush to the doctor with one of the kids they'd need a cab anyway.

Maybe I'm just prudish? I like to think that I just object because I think it deprives parents of energy they should be spending on their kids in the morning (say what you want but nobody can be up drinking until 3 in the morning without feeling some amount of pain when getting up at 0700 the next day), and because seeing parents drunk could make some kids feel insecure. But I have to admit I think a large part of it is just this vaguely and I feel largely unfounded moral objection I have to drinking around kids.

I didn't see my parents in any way affected by alcohol until I was an adult, although they undoubtedly had a drink or two if they were away for a few days for meetings and such. So that's how I was raised. Am I uptight, or is this a reasonable opinion to have?

I guess studying psychology points out to you all the things that could potentially go wrong with raising children, so you become extra wary. But I still feel a bit judgmental and uptight. Eurgh. If you have kids of your own, or a drinking problem, or you're an ACOA, I'd really appreciate it if you left your 2p worth on this.

But now. I am taking inspiration from that photo and pissing my prejudiced self off to bed.

Friday, 16 January 2009

My friend's mum is dying

I was just told today that my friend's mum is dying.

We were talking about something trivial, house prices. He knows I am looking to buy a flat and he has also been thinking of doing so, though I have always known it would depend on house prices as well as his mum's condition stabilising.

She is not very old, only in her mid 40s. She was diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago, and then found that it had spread even after she had a masectomy.

So today we were in a cafe having lunch, and he had just been lamenting chosing a salad when I had a burger (and to my defense that meant no proper dinner, just some ceral.. which I hope evens out the day's calorie intake). He then told me his dad had instructed him to keep an eye on the property market, to see if prices would keep plummeting or not. His idea of doing this is to ask me about three times a week what the prices are doing, as he
a) knows I am obsessively checking the property pages
and
b) is just on the shy side of lazy.
I told him it could really go either way, as I don't want to end up being blamed for him being stuck with negative equity and God knows what else.

"Well," he said. "I don't think I'll be buying until next year anyway."

"Prices or your mother?" I said.

"Both," he said. "We were just told she has a year left, at most."

We went silent. I really didn't know what to say, and I told him so. I mean, what can you say? It's horrible, and unfair, and it makes no sense. He is still in his early 20s, and his mum will never see him get married, have grandchildren, and probably make a very good specimen of his chosen profession. It's just grim.

And I guess grief, even grief that has not yet happened, has a pre-emptive repelling effect on people. We draw away, because we don't know what to say, and maybe on some level, we don't want this evil, meaningless situation to rub off on us, as if it could.

"Yeah, well, we can talk about something else less sad," he said. So we did. I guess he is coming to terms with the pending loss in his own mind, in his own time. I think how I would feel if it were my mother, and it feels horrible, just thinking the thought scares me shitless. She has done so much for me, and yet she hasn't seen me married, have children or becoming a very good specimen of my chosen profession. Hopefully she will, even though she smokes upwards of 15 a day and refuses to quit.

I feel for my friend, I really do, in that way that reminds me that I have managed to preserve some scraps of empathy, even when I think it's all gone and I'm just sick and tired of people being useless. I hope he realises that if he ever wants to not change the subject.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Panicking over?


enterichfuss
Originally uploaded by southgeist
I made a really silly, and very basic, mistake today.

While in class, my computer screen still displayed for the whole class to see, I went to Technorati. Where I was logged in under my blogging user name. I realised immediately and pressed log out, but I am convinced some of them will have noticed, they are smart kids.

I don't know why this panicks me slightly, but it does. I think it is the fact that I just really like having this little corner of the world to myself, where I don't have to watch my mouth and I don't have to answer to anyone unless I want to. I really need this space.

Out of all groups of people I actually care less about those school kids than I would of anyone who actually knew me. But they know people who actually know me. Eek. So now I've moved my blog, changed my name and taken all the precautions I could think of. Hopefully that should do. And if not, I will definitely keep an eye on Statcounter just in case.

Maybe I will move the blog again, change the layout, become completely invisible again. I don't have any readers to lose, I just want to be left alone. But fingers crossed, I won't have to.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Approaching my teaching debut


Sexy Teacher
Originally uploaded by eros.reigns
So, tomorrow is the big day. I have done the decent thing and exploited every contact I have in town in order to get a job. I will now be teaching at a high school about once a week. They work in three hour blocks, and in fact the thought of standing on front of a whole bunch of teenagers with only my mind as a weapon (or maybe it would help with a short skirt, at least with the boys.. though that would probably be a bit unprofessional) is a bit daunting.

But at least, as my university lecturer said, when you are talking about theories and philosophy to high school kids, at least chances are you probably know more than them. When you teach in uni, there is always the off-chance that someone has a doctorate in comparative politics and is just taking your subject by way of rather perverted diversion.

I have prepared a beautiful power point presentation, and learnt how to embed YouTube video in PowerPoint, so yay! This is despite my preparation time being supposedly included in my teaching hours.. Yeah right. I will make up for it by showing a film next week, though, so that I don't have to plan as much. And who knows, maybe I will be able to use the same presentation again next semester. Not exactly easy money, but I will take this over night shifts at the mentalist hospital any time.

I haven't actually done any reading today and I am a bit behind.. But I just can't be arsed. I've read quite a lot already this week and I think I deserve to slack off with crisps and a good book in bed. And a shower, before that.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Call him "miss the radar"..?


when no ones home
Originally uploaded by _Neverletmego_
Sometimes I really just long to be home alone, in that way I guess you never are when you live in a high-rise like I do at the moment. And yes, I also have a new Flatmate. Let's call him Mr Vain (30 years of age). Mr Vain's main characteristics, in addition to being vain, is that he is:
  1. Incredibly stingy: Despite his vanity he hardly ever buys anything to wear, and he always buys food in bulk and sponges off me whenever he can, despite me being a student and him having a full-time job.
  2. A dishonest womenizer: I honestly have absolutely no problem with people who chose for their sex life to be made up of one night stands. I do have issues with people who aren't upfront to their partners about "not being interested in a relationship right now" from very early on. Cue: 21 year old foreign students following him around the flat like little puppy dogs, a different one at least once per week. And I have to be all polite to them and not let on that I'm completely unable to distinguish them from each other.
  3. Pretentious: He refuses to have a TV in the living room because it is "distracting" and he has "better things to do", but spends ages downloading and watching stuff on his computer. He also says he likes fast boats because they are "more sophisticated than fast cars". Right.
  4. Annoying: "Better things to do" includes, as he is doing at the moment, firing an air gun from the corridor, past my bedroom door, aiming for a target he has arranged in the far end of the kitchen. While I am purportedly trying to study. And he knows I hate loud noise. Notice that I have to wear headphones if I watch DVDs on my laptop "because it's really noisy".
  5. Lacking in knowledge of the flatmate code: Since I moved in here, he has both eaten my Godiva advent calendar (which he replaced with a box of not as nice chocolate when I pulled him up on it) and installed a girl visitor in my room while I was away for a week, without notifying or asking me.
So OK, he has good sides, he is I think at heart a very caring, loving man, but he really needs to grow up and get his act together. He is incredibly cantankerous and very absolutist in his ways of thinking, which I think contributes to him having exactly four friends that I know of. The only party I have known him to be invited to, was his manager's 40th birthday, which I don't really think counts as an actual instance of social contact, as they never normally socialise. I'm sure he would be great as a friend if only I didn't have to live with him. Roll on my parental upfront inheritance so I can get a place of my own.

Seeing my own shadow


in vino veritas (in bed)
Originally uploaded by tamelyn
So sometimes I see her. Who I could have been, could still be, if I were to be with you. I see her when I look up, and suddenly catch your eyes, you look at me, and then I am lead to feel that she is somewhere within me, caged.

I know what she looks like. She wears her hair down, messy, or short, a wispy fringe swept to the side and tucked behind her ear. She smiles a lot, laughs, she is sexier than I am, though only sometimes. She gets the giggles sitting in an old leather sofa, she flings her legs nonchalantly across its soft armrests in a way which seems careless to you, but is in fact carefully planned to show off her calves. She drinks milky tea with honey late at night, taking care not to spill it on your blankets while she talks. She talks, or sits still with her knees drawn up to her chest for hours, reading your old comics. And when she talks, she makes poetry. You tell her, and if you could see past her olive skin, you would see her blush.

So it makes me wonder sometimes, why I am not that girl. And maybe by becoming a psychologist, I will become what she had become had she been allowed to grow past 21 and have a profession of her own. I guess I am not her because her heart is so soft, so open, you could stab it with your words, your criticisms, your dignified pleading for mercy when I stab you back, or sometimes in a bout of pre-emptive striking.

I would never allow myself to get crushed in the way you could crush me. J could never pierce my heart in that way. My pride, my trust, my relentless desire to build a successful relationship, he could demolish all that with a flick of a finger, but you could grind my heart to sand in a moment, just by looking at me that way you do. I can't allow it. You look for her in me, and maybe she is in there somewhere. Maybe she is not.

I talked to your girlfriend tonight, she is lovely, really lovely, though I recognise in myself that slight extra effort I always put in with women whose position I like to imagine myself in from time to time. I sometimes sense you see it in me too, that you see the 19 year old who was really that nice to all your girlfriends that came and went, behind whose backs you passionately kissed me behind corners, underneath staircases, on cold winter evenings.

I examine your bookshelf as it covers the wall behind you (you like to sit in the same chair every evening) and I spot traces of myself; writers I introduced you to, copies of records I also own, and art you loved when I loved you. I search for you in it, where have you been for these ten long years we have spent apart, am I still there somewhere? Do you ever wonder who you would have been if we had ended up together?

Even if I was free (note how I never consider you not being free an issue), I don't think I could go there. There is the drinking, a bottle of wine in the evening every weekend, it could spill onto weekdays, could I really trust you to stop smoking if I got pregnant, would you still take me to the cinema on Tuesday afternoons to watch random European films just because I asked you to, would you kiss me when your football team scored, or would you just get drunk, would your car crash of mother take you away from me when I needed you the most, would you still make my tea just the way I like it, could I handle your heart without breaking it?

And that is the crux of the matter. I see that shadow of the girl I would have been, and I don't trust her to cope, to handle you in the way you deserve, to always be there for you, to allow you to be who you would be, to not stab you in the chest at a weak moment. I am not that strong, and neither is she. If you hurt me, I would lash out, immediately, because it would be too painful to bear without retaliation. I would be conniving, always looking to get back at you for the slightest unfairness. Maybe I'm not with you because I don't trust myself, because I couldn't bear the thought of messing it up, of not ever being able to be with you, for ever.

I am losing my English, because I am not using it enough. It is slipping out from the sections of my brain I'm so carefully naming these days, and I am stuck between two languages, on a partially toothless rope bridge, grappling for words and they crumble at the tip of my tongue before I can spit them out onto the paper. It pains me sometimes, I have to remind myself that I am not drunk, I am merely split between words, between worlds.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Room with a view


Gone Sailin'
Originally uploaded by Bеn
It is only the first proper week in January, but already the year is maturing from a near-blind newborn into a capable infant, recognising the routines of life. I really love the new year, the feeling of new beginnings, new student loan payment, of taking stock and leaving the old behind. Of course I could really do that at the end of every week if I wanted to, but you know, there is nothing quite like a new year to give you the incentive.

It is really windy today, and there are so many little sailing boats out on the fjord that there might very well be some kind of regatta going on. Quite a few of them were passing out towards the open sea a little while ago, sails blazing, and now they are coming back the other way, using their engines, most of them, as I guess it would just be too much hassle to go straight up against the wind.

Last night I went out with fellow students and I actually had a really nice time, probably the best party time I've had since I moved here. Everyone seems more relaxed, I think, and we had also invited a group of foreign students who are visiting for one of our courses, which gave me both a good conscience and some interesting conversations throughout the evening.

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