5 October 2014

Lazy Weekend

It’s been a lazy weekend here at uni. Here’s how we’ve spent our last few days. 

This morning I woke up as the clouds were rolling in. It was the first rainy day since I’ve come to London. I would have loved to go to the museums, but my friends weren’t feeling up for it, and since I still don’t have a cell phone, I didn’t feel fully comfortable venturing out on my own. The last time I was brave enough to do that, I was lost for about four hours, so that was a bit discouraging. I’ll get the hang of it all soon enough, though. Hopefully, I’ll have a phone and debit card by next week. 

A few of my flatmates and I have been sitting here in our living room, making cups of tea and watching television for most of the day. It’s cloudy outside, so it’s dark in here, like a little movie theatre. We’ve all been hiding behind our laptops with headphones in, and every once in a while, one of us would exclaim over an unexpected plot twist. Three of my flatmates are completely obsessed with Homeland at the moment, and that’s been keeping them on the edge of their seats for days.

I, on the other hand, am having a particularly hard time finding a new television series to get into, so I tend to gravitate more towards films instead. I don’t watch many modern films, though. I’m not sure if I’m just looking at the wrong genres or the wrong directors, but I just find it very difficult to find a movie that’s well-written, well-casted, and creatively filmed. I have a thing for film noir I can’t really shake. The scripts are smarter, the filming is more precise, and the music rings with nostalgia. New films can’t seem to measure up. I just feel that things are overdone in modern films, it’s the subtleties in old movies that lend them their charm.  

Today I decided to revisit an old favourite — my all-time favourite, actually: Pickup on South Street. I was first introduced to this movie in my Cold War Era & Film class in my senior year of high school. It’s a Cold War spy film noir directed by Samuel Fuller, released in 1952. If you haven’t seen it and you’re looking for a good rainy-day film, this is a classic.

Around ten o’clock, the guys and I decided to go for a night-walk in Richmond Park. It’s about ten minutes’ walk from uni and it was chilly and cool. You could definitely feel autumn in the air. We shuffled our boots through dead leaves and passed by stone walls covered in English ivy. We passed through this black iron gate and lit the path of the paved road with our little flashlight. The boys were trying to find some deer, but I just wanted to see the park because I heard it was extraordinary. 

The fog was unbelievable, it turned everything this sparkling grey-blue colour. It was dark and eerie, I couldn’t believe how bright the stars were. I heard that you can‘t see the stars at nighttime in the city, but the sky was as clear as it was at home. The moon was luminous, and there were these two rings around it, one blue and one red. I was so curious about those, the guys said it had to do with the pollution in the city. It makes sense, but there’s also this phenomenon called lunar halos, and they occur when moonlight is refracted through ice particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. Either way, it looked like magic. We trudged through tall grasses and eventually found a small family of deer. The boys satisfied, we turned around and made our way back home, they passed around the flashlight and pretended to be soldiers from Call of Duty.

When we got home, we made tea to warm up and hung out in the living room. We shut out all the lights and told ghost stories. I guess October is kind of getting to us. 

This morning I slept in because it was nice and quiet. I went for a run around eleven this morning, I cut through campus and into the main street. There are always quite a few runners on the main roads on the weekend, so it was nice to see so many people out and about. After that I did some pilates and watched the news.

When I went into the kitchen to make lunch, I saw that the guys were streaming the football game on their laptop. I had never seen a full match before, so I was intrigued. We watched the Manchester United v. Everton game and then followed up with Chelsea v. Arsenal. I’m not even into sports that much but I was really getting into it for some reason. There’s such a high energy involved, they’re always moving. In baseball and stuff, there are these long pauses where not much is going on, and it tends to drag the game out. But in football, they never stop. I was impressed by the whole thing, really. The announcers were good as well, very articulate and well-spoken. And there were no commercials at all. That would be unheard of on American television. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon, I think I’ll watch the next game when it’s on. 

After that I took some notes from my last lecture and fell asleep on the couch. Then I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Compared to the way my mum and nana make them at home, they were abysmal, but I’d done a fairly good job of it. I’m still learning to cook, to be honest. I’m good at baking things, but you can’t live off of sweets. My mum’s right, it’s deciding what to cook that’s half the battle.

I haven’t done much schoolwork this weekend, I’ve mostly just been trying to recharge. But I think tonight I’ll work on some of my assignments for next week. I’m trying to start them early because they’re rather challenging and I want to give myself plenty of time to figure them out and edit them before submission.

Lots of Love,
Miss Monica Jean