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Saturday, April 3

NOTE: Read the other post today first. PS, none of my horses came in, dammit.


I tried to ring Joe (the mate with the eventually mystical ticket) to see how his efforts in getting me a ticket were coming along, but he wasn't answering his phone, for whatever reason. All of the other people I'd tried didn't have / couldn't get me a ticket, so I was once again up shit creek without that boat.

Girl was fairly upset as well, so we went for a little walk down along the river, to try and delay her somewhat inevitable departure into Phase a little later (Christ, where did that little piece of lyricism come from?!). We sat on a bench at the back of Somerset House, and talked for a while, during which I kept checking the street to see if Joe was walking past. It was a wonderful moment, being alone with her, watching the world go buy on the other side of the river, and keeping each other warm.

Too bad it had to end eventually, no matter how much each of us didn't want it to. She had a Phase ticket to use, and I had, erm, a home to go to. Alone. Oh joy...

We said our goodbyes at the corner of the street where the Student Union stands, and I headed off, a little downcast (OK, so very downcast) to the Tube station at Temple. I had told Girl that I would probably still be up at 3am, when Phase finished, so I'd ring her then to talk until the wee small hours. What to do until then? I did have a couple of DVDs to watch, I told myself as I stood on the platform, waiting for the train to turn up.

And then my phone rang.

It was Girl. Somehow she'd managed to get me a ticket at the very, very last minute. Never in my life have I ever been so happy that the Tube was running with delays. In fact, I've never been happy full stop when there are delays.

I legged it up the stairs, and ran to the Student Union. It turned out that Girl was walking up the stairs to Phase at the top of the building, and two girls in front of her were talking about how much of a shame it was that their friend couldn't make it, seeing as they had a ticket for her. Girl leapt into the conversation, and said that she'd buy the spare ticket from them. Just how fucking lucky do you want to get!? Just think, if the Tube had been on time, I would have been underground and probably at Westminster by the time Girl rang me. I love chance.

The first ten / twenty minutes in Phase were crazy, because both of us kept bumping into people that we knew from all over the place, be it our classes, our housemates or our halls. I love Phase for that, it's so much easier to have a good time when you know that wherever you walk around the place, you're going to be able to find someone you know and chat away with them, or grab some drinks with them. It fucking kicks ass.

I had a great time that particular night too, even though I barely saw any of my mates to chat to after that initial period. I was too busy dancing with Girl for practically the entire night. She's a fantastic dancer, incredibly sexy, and never stops. I've no idea where she gets so much energy from, because I usually struggle to keep up.

However, I do feel a little guilty for breaking a rule that she has / used to have. Apparently, she never kisses in nightclubs, because she always thinks it's a little tacky. Ummm, not my fault! I couldn't resist.

It is at this point that I find myself thinking that I want to wax lyrical about Girl for a while, and just witter on endlessly about how she is the most amazing person in the world, incredibly beautiful and a gorgeous person to know. However, I might save that for another time, or perhaps in a private message to her. I'm not feeling that poetic right now either, so it'll probably end up being a piece of crap if I tried to write it now.

As I said, I had the best time ever on Friday night, something which I thought couldn't ever be topped. I was wrong. There was Monday evening too. But I shall save that story until a little later. Perhaps I shall write it up tomorrow, I shall have to make time to write.

And that is the tale of last Friday in its entirety. A tale of reunion; a tale of high drama; a tale of two hearts meeting across the void of time and space in this vast metropolis that seems to suck the life and soul from all those that pass through it.

Am I being sarcastic in that last sentence? I'm not sure, there could be some sort of irony on my part, or it could be heartfelt. I feel like those kids in that Hullabalooza episode of Simpsons:
Kid 1: "Getting shot with a cannonball? Oh, that's cool.
Kid 2: "Dude, are you being sarcastic?"
Kid 1: "I don't know any more."

And yes, I'm parapahrasing.

And yes, I'm rambling. It seems I have finally got my writing head on again after nearly a week's absence. At least I've been doing things this week that have been interesting to write about, something which I will get round to doing at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Finally, do you know what has been quite strange for me, writing this post? The weird thing is that I'm so happy right now, and yet I still have some creativity and the desire to write. Uusually I need to be pissed off or depressed before I feel like pouring my thoughts into a keyboard and onto this blog. It seems that the grass is indeed greener on the other side.

And for my absolute final (no, honestly this time), don't forget to go buy The Observer tomorrow, and look for the article about me (OK, so it's really about British blogging) in the Review section. I can't wait to read it!

Ciao for now.

Girl Part 2

For those of you that haven't read Girl Part 1 yet, go do it now. You may also want to read about the Decision I made in order for the following to make more sense. I don't have the links to hand, but try the last couple of weeks of the Archives.

Now, where did I leave my writing last time? Ahh yes, I'd just received a text message shortly after midnight on Thursday / Friday, but I didn't say who it was from. With the title of this post as it is, can you guess who sent it?

As a quick aside, I'd just like to mention that I'm going to keep using the word 'Girl' instead of her real name, because I like the effect that it gives, and it can also lead to some little wordplay tricks. I am, however, going to drop the capitalised personal pronouns, not because Girl has gone down in my estimation, but because it's so damn difficult to remember to type that every time!!!

Yes, the message was indeed from Girl, the first time I'd heard from her in 2 weeks. It was a little jokey music trivia (I lay claim to the title of Greatest Song Recognition Skills Ever) and a "Hi".

Did that message ever cheer me up after a day slogging through my Criminology coursework?! Did it fucking ever!!

We exchanged a few messages, mostly music trivia with some gentle flirting thrown in for good measure. We then arranged to meet in the Waterfront (our Student Union bar) at 10 the next night, and hopefully to go to Phase (the SU ultra-cheesy club night on a Friday) afterwards.

The problem herein was that I didn't have a ticket yet, whereas she did. They were selling like hotcakes too, what with it being the last Phase of the year. What was I to do? I'd even heard a few of my housemates going so far as to say it was sold out already, which very, very rarely (if ever) happens. I was up shit creek without a boat, never mind a fucking paddle.

Friday arrived and I rushed through the remainder of my courseworkm resulting in the submission of one of my worst ever essays. Ho hum, I'm not that fussed. I'm such a dedicated student.

I got a further message from Girl, saying that she wasn't going to her Thai-Boxing that night (oh yeah, Girl Thai boxes...and scares me), and was therefore wondering if we could meet at 9 instead of 10. Who was I to refuse?!

I rushed home from my class that afternoon, got changed (after watching Hollyoaks, of course!) and jumped back onto a Tube to get back down to Covent Garden for 9 o'clock. And I made it. I was early, for just about the first time in my life. I have no idea how I do it, but somehow I'm always late. Always, no matter what I do, except for leaving earlier... Meh.

Girl seemed very happy to see me, as I was to see her. We couldn't decide which bar to go to to grab a few drinks, and we ended up walking to Leicester Square before I remembered my favourite bar in the whole world was on the Sqaure. Oxygen fucking rules, it's such an amazingly cool bar / club. Admittedly, it's fairly pricey at the weekend, but it's soooo worth it. We wandered in, and grabbed a jug of this random cocktail, which was half-decent and went down very easily.

Will you all forgive me if I sound a little up myself and arrogant for a while? Also, Girl, this isn't meant to sound in any way unappreciative (DEFINITELY not!), but it's something that happened to me, and I must therefore write about it...

Hmmm, how do I say this without offending her or seeming particularly up my own ass? Bollocks to it, here goes: She was all over me.

Now for the explanation.

This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it (the complete opposite), and it is not to say that I didn't try to respond, but it is pretty much the first time that anyone of the opposite sex has ever shown that much interest in me in that way. I sound so sexually deprived, I know! It amazed me that someone who I really, really liked (that word love just keeps popping into my head) would feel anywhere near the same about me.

The music in Oxygen was wicked, loads of random old-school early 90s classics, and Girl kept dancing at (rather than with, because I wasn't quite inebriated enough to strut my funky stuff just yet) me whilst we were standing on the edge of the bar area. She was getting very close to me, but for some reason neither of us could quite kiss each other.

I have no idea why I was holding back, or even if I was holding back at all. I think I was just afraid; afraid that I was reading things wrong or afraid that I'd fuck things up if I went to kiss her and she didn't want that. I'm very insecure and unconfident in those situations, which is weird because I'm usually quite a confident guy during the rest of my day.

What was awkward / annoying was that I was still trying to get a Phase ticket. I was texting and calling everyone that I could think of in my phone's memory, desperately trying to get one. I wasn't that fussed about Phase itself, but I wanted to spend the rest of the night with Girl, rather than just the hour or two we'd had together that far. It just wasn't enough after 2 weeks without seeing or speaking to her.

She was also trying to get me a ticket, and it was after popping outside to make a yet another call that she came back in and planted a big kiss on my lips.

Come on, you felt a little burst of happiness for me well up inside you as you read that, right? You didn't? You heartless bastard, you!

I was a little surprised that it happened so suddenly, but I'm so glad that it did. It took the pressure away, and I was just able to enjoy it. I hope and I pray that she did too, and I have this inkling of a feeling that she did. Call it male intuition, if you will.

We left Oxygen at some time after 10, and walked down to the Strand and to our Student Union, where I was hoping to meet a mate of mine in the Waterfront, who had vaguely mentioned that he might be able to get me a ticket. A problem arose, however. Nobody was even allowed into the building itself without a Phase ticket. I was so screwed. Unbelievably gutted and let down.

I tried to ring Joe (the mate with the eventually mystical ticket)...

NOTE: A momentary pause in proceedings whilst I go watch the Grand National. I've got money on a couple of horses. I shall return imminently to continue the tale.

Monday, March 29

The Feature

OK, so here I am, writing about someone writing about me writing about me. My brain hurts just trying to make sure that sentence makes some semblance of sense. Mmmm, poetic alliteration.

It all started two weeks ago. Yes, I know that I'm setting a new record by working two weeks in arrears, but at least I?ve finally got round to writing about it!

That Monday evening (the 15th), I received an email from a man named Simon Garfield, a writer for the Observer Sunday newspaper. He was writing a feature on the rise of British blogging, and wanted to include me and my blog in the feature. Apparently he?d been an avid reader for months (one of three, I believe).

I was very excited. a) that I had at least one regular reader, and b) that someone found me (or my writing) interesting enough to want to write about it themselves. Matt, apologies for ringing you that night, but I had to tell someone!

I went to dinner with Simon (Mr Garfield? I'm quite formal and respectful of my elders?), which was great for two reasons:
1. I got to talk about me (my favourite subject) and the internet (my second favourite subject) for a couple of hours. I have an ego to flatter from time to time, and this experience was a good massaging of it.
2. I managed to ask Simon loads of questions about how he got into journalism. He gave me loads of ideas, of which I have acted on precisely none so far. I?ve been busy, sort of.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested in reading it in print form, the article will be published this coming Sunday (the 4th). It will also be online, and I?ll get a link posted ASAP.

Oh, and according to Simon (still feels wrong to be using just a first name?), I have a very softly spoken tone of voice. You just haven?t seen me after a few beers! I get quite, quite loud then.

UPDATE: I received a phone call from the Observer earlier today, arranging for me to meet a photographer, so a picture of my ugly mug can accompany the article. Oh joy, that means I've got to spruce myself up and look half-decent tomorrow. Oh, and tidy my room up a bit, because he apparently wants a picture of me at my computer. Not looking forward to that?

The Following Few Days

I have to admit that the next couple of days were very dull. I had those essays to write, so I did pretty much bugger all worth writing about.

The 5,000 word essay was quite successful, I think. I managed to write 8,500 words in the end, all on what I considered to be relevant and interesting material. What a strange feeling it was half an hour before the deadline to have to highlight a three-page-chunk and hit the Delete key. I'd poured my energies into writing that!

I handed the essay in on the Monday (the 22nd) afternoon, and as I'd worked incredibly hard over the weekend, I figured I'd reward myself by taking an entire day off before starting the second essay, due in on the Friday.

Tuesday was therefore wick.

I had a lie-in, did a little bit of cleaning (yes, not exactly fun, but I take pleasure from seeing a clean house), and then went to the cinema to see Battle Royale.

I know that that film has been out for a good few years, but this little arthouse cinema off of Leicester Square was having a Beat Tikano (the teacher in and director of Battle Royale) day, and I wanted to see Battle Royale on a big screen.

It was so worth it. It hits you so much more on a big screen, with the sound also more powerful and captivating. It makes me want to learn to speak Japanese.

We went to Mr Wu's after, an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant which has pretty decent food (but the most sour-faced waiting staff). I had my fill of greasy but tasty food, and me and Pete went to walk to the Tube station at Piccadilly Circus to go home.

Don?t ask me why I suggested popping into HMV, I'm not certain myself. Of course, I ended up spending money that I don?t really have (thankyou overdraft!) on things that I don?t really need.

On the plus side, I walked out with City of God on DVD, a Japanese horror film called The Eye, and a double CD by a band called My Ruin. I have a thing for female vocals over metal music, I think it sounds fucking cool. Bands like Kittie, Otep, Lacuna Coil, Haste and so on and so forth float my boat musically.

I haven?t got round to watching the DVDs yet, but the CD is really good. Very powerful and emotive stuff, and the vocalist is very talented. I like the huge chugging riffs that pound along throughout, they really get my head banging.

Unfortunately, Wednesday also turned into a do-no-work day. I really, really intended to, but just couldn?t find the enthusiasm to sit down and crack on with the work that needed doing. It just didn?t happen.

I went into the centre of London at 6 to go for drinks with one of my classes and our tutor. He?s a very cool guy, and we really appreciate it when he takes us out for drinks like this, because he doesn?t have to. Whilst in the pub, I noticed that they were wanting bar staff, so I gave them my name and number, and asked them to ring me the next day. Did they ring me? Did they bollocks. Bastards.

After leaving that pub, I went to the student union (The Waterfront) to watch the Arsenal ? Chelsea Champs League game. Tell a lie, we went to the Walkabout bar at Temple first, but that was unbearably busy, so we went up to the Waterfront for the second half.

Whilst at the Waterfront, I was convinced / persuaded to go out that night, whether it be to Ministry (of Sound) or the Gardening Club. After a shitload of walking around, trying to get into various places, I ended up in Gardening Club with Leigh, one of my housemates. I wasn?t overly drunk, nor was I particularly in the mood for it, so I left after a fairly short time and caught the night bus home.

The next morning, I was feeling a little hungover, even though I hadn?t drank a huge amount. I just about made it to my class at 1, and by the time it finished I was feeling a whole lot better. Unfortunately, I then had to go home and crack on with doing my other piece of coursework, a 3,500 word essay due in the next day.

I worked fucking hard that day, trying desperately to read as many articles as possible and to cram as much information as physically possible on the subject of community punishments into my head. I started writing, and was still going at midnight, when I received a text message.

'Who from?' I hear you cry. Well, dear reader, that story will have to wait until another day.

Probably tomorrow.
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