It’s not a homeless life for me

and how glad I am for that. Every night, thousands of people end up sleeping rough on the streets of the UK because they have nowhere else to turn. So dear all people who are reading this (i.e. Emma, Mum, Olivia, Connie and Chris) give me your pennies, or bet on how long I’ll survive without my ipod/coffee/hot water bottle/slippers. I know it’s not incredible; I’m not running a marathon (can you imagine) but I’m trying to do something for a cause that I think is very important.



3Cs, 2 places, 1 person.

Dear Mary-Kate,

So these last few weeks I’ve been coming and going and so has the world – I went away for two weekends and had you and Albie each up to stay. Apologies for the sickeningly self-indulgent reflection that’s about to hit you but if you won’t reply to my posts I’m just going to shout into the abyss that is the internet.

All this has been very confusing. It doesn’t sound like it should be – you would think by the age of 18 I would have mastered the whole idea of travelling, what with boarding school and Hong Kong and divorced parents, but apparently not. I think it’s Cambridge that just messes everything up; time here runs like shampoo into my eyes (3 days in a row). My friends have had infuriating discussions around me on why an hour can’t feel like a day and vice versa because blah blah maths blah ratios blah chips (okay my brain may have added that last one… it was a very dull conversation and it had to wander somewhere). Here, hours evaporate like water from a forgotten kettle, and you can never quite pour them where you want them to go. Days slip past so quickly its like trying to watch tennis from the net – confusing, distracting and afterwards my neck is killing me – but that could also be from my super cool black backpack. And yet people here fit so much into their days that it makes me out of breath just watching them flitting round town.

It is this inexplicable phenomenon that makes it difficult to reconcile home and Uni. (Sorry for the essay-speak but its pretty much taken over my mouth – even in my dreams characters speak in well-proved syllogisms). It’s weird having people up to stay: because of the Cambridge accelerated continuum I don’t really know what I spend half my time on, since my routine is so undisciplined it’s practically French. Everything is strange and new still and that makes it exciting but I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I hope this is what life is like.

But there’s something else as well,which I thought especially in going to Cheltenham. The places that we remember aren’t just places at all; that’s the x-axis but there’s also the secret y-axis of time, so that everything we think we know about a place really just describes a situation. As you move forwards, so do places, even though you secretly expect them to freeze when you turn your head. But like grandmother’s footsteps, as soon as you look away everything creaks into action and slowly, quietly, creeps onwards. It’s a strange realisation in that it’s so obvious and yet hits you even though you know it already.

In the same way, no one ever tells us that the places that we love aren’t really places at all. I love Number 16, the top flat, and when I saw someone walking in there I wanted to shout at them. It doesn’t exist anymore but it was wholly and gloriously ours at a time – as Perks of Being A Wallflower would say, ‘In that moment I swear we were infinite’. Places are situations –The walls and ceilings in our memories are really made of faces and words, and so they don’t wait for us, but are instead scattered by the scuffling feet of these secret people. It’s not so bad though, since friendship stretches through time as well as space. It’s this that makes it possible for us to move on – to take all we can from a place and time and split off in a different direction. But still. Being in Cheltenham was great, so thank you Isaiah and your father Sam* for always welcoming me, having me to stay and for sitting on your bed doing crosswords and planning a life right down to the Weimaraners. Your absence is always felt, just like Kyle’s. Have a song.

I guess life is sometimes just trying to make the old meet the new. The Greeks thought of us as walking backwards through life, since we can see what has already gone but not what is to come. This sounds about right to me – walking backwards we fall over a lot, stare at the past, and rarely take the time to look around us Ferris Bueller style, but that’s what makes it interesting. And so that’s why, leaving Cheltenham on my casual 6 hour journey, I set my watch back to Cambridge time and took a seat that faced forwards.

I will leave you with some Tennyson because he is my baby and could this get any cheesier:

“Or that the past will always win

A glory from its being far;

And orb into the perfect star

we saw not, when we moved therein?”

From Ashley

*Some names/genders may have been unsubtly changed for protection or something…

P.S. I have resigned myself to the fact that I have taken a Jackson Pollock approach to apostrophes. Sorry Mother.

P.P.S. This was super cheesy but ah well, could be worse.


Dear Bubbles,

I had loads of things to write about but just got distracted by the Powerpuff Girls Wiki page. It’s like they were writing about the three of us, give or take a few things that are the wrong way around.

Name : Blossom
Based On: Olivia
Personality : Everything Nice
Epithet: “The Smart One” (yes, I have decided Powerpuff GIrls have epithets. Leave me alone)

“She is often seen as the most level-headed, and composed member of the group and also strong and determined. She can also be overly analytical at times. She tends to “mother” Bubbles and Buttercup, and often tries to play peacemaker between the two if they fight but ironically she is quick to argue with Buttercup who acts on impulse as opposed to her analytical nature. (Oh that’s right, everyone pick on Buttercup.) She is naturally caring to mainly her sisters, but also the Professor as well.  In the episode “Power-Noia” Blossom has nightmares about failing a test for which she forgot to study.”

Seriously who writes this stuff, it’s like they’re following her. The good, smart, mature, leader one, with the really awesome blog that if you like Furniss-Roe sisters you should totally check out. And if you don’t then you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. Scram!

Name: Bubbles (Sorry couldn’t help it)
Based On: Emma
Personality: Sugar
Epithet: The Cute One

And I quote: ” She was named for her cute and bubbly personality, as revealed when she giggled after the Professor named Blossom. She can read and understand Japanese manga and understand people who speak Spanish. (maybe a bit more like Olivia but still. Also she had a toy octopus, unfortunately called Octi.Or maybe not:) she uses a word for word translationrather than the thought-for-thought method of people more fluent in foreign languages. (How’s that Chinese going?) Bubbles can also communicate with various animals – cats, squirrels and even monsters. (If any of us could talk to monsters it would be you. And llamas.) Bubbles is defined by her innocence, playfulness and gentle demeanor, having a tendency to be naive, ditzy, submissive, timid and sensitive. These traits initially caused those around her, especially Blossom and Buttercup, to underestimate her abilities as a superhero.”

I think maybe that’s fair enough.

Name: Buttercup
Based on: Me
Personality: Spice
Epithet: The Toughest Fighter

She frowned and pouted when the Professor named her simply because, like her previously-named sisters, her name “also starts with B”. She can be hard to agree with to Bubbles and Blossom at times. Buttercup can be the most surly Powerpuff Girl at times, but is practically fearless, loyal, quick-witted and willing to fight. Buttercup can be selfish at times. She is shown to be fairly protective of her sisters, though, and will not hesitate to confront anybody who speaks badly of them. She is often reckless, but can be fairly witty at times, and she is frequently sarcastic.

I.e. The grumpy one.


                   That face says it all.

Ahem. So anyway that got a little bit out of hand and I’m sorry, but I thought it was creepy. I am glad that you find the degree you are choosing to get nearly £50,000 in debt for that some of it is mildly interesting. Loving the bathroom floor pictures. You should just get an en-suite though. Oh wait…

As for disco pants:

Please God No. I hate them more than pantomimes, chewing gum, sand, fake nails and cold tea all wrapped up in one hideous First World Bogeyman. Kill it with Fire.


Anyway, you’re not the only one doing some learning. Here are a few things that I have picked up in the last fortnight :

underused word that, fortnight. quite a good one though. fortnight. FORTNIGHT.

1. Food is Everything.

While some people are too poor to eat, I maintain that I am too eat to poor. Yeah. But when you get back from classes at 6 o’clock having left your room at 9:30, when someone in your corridor offers you curry/dahl/any miscellaneous food, it is the best thing in the world. Even if you don’t have any of it. Maybe it’s nice that people are actually trying to keep you alive, or maybe it’s because vegetarian quorn is some kind of mystical sorcery that tastes like real food.

On that, it should perhaps be noted that in the absence of snack food, any food is made into snacks. Long story short, I have eaten 350g of cheese in less than 5 days, and just bought a 650g one. Soon I’m going to be This Guy. Also why is cheese so expensive? it is basically just solid milk.

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As if I could afford you, Cathedral city.

2. If your Halls/College has a large metal gate for security reasons, if you pull it really hard into your face it is going to hurt a lot. Here’s what to do:

  •  Try not to cry in front of the gardeners, or adopt standing foetal position.
  • Hold tissue over the cut for your lectures to stem the bleeding.
  • Hide the massive bump on your head by changing your parting.
  • Stop wearing the ‘posh white girl’ headband, because it presses on it.
  • Tell your friends.
  • Be unsurprised when they take the piss.


You fiendish forehead vice, you!

All that was just hypothetical. Just in case. You’re welcome.

3. Someone is trying to kill me.

Three people, to be exact. And I don’t know who they are. It’s the assassins game here, where you have to go around killing people, when all you have is their name, address and college. I left my room to go to the kitchen yesterday and stood at my peephole ‘just checking’ for 15 minutes. The paranoia is horrendous. worse than HPJ paranoia. Speaking of, I though I might answer a question that came from a certain blobfish. In that ‘twinsinbins’ could be related to the infamous paranoia game(s) of 2013, in some amusing little reference to both our own progeny, and perhaps the fact that we too were bin children. Or it could be that we were looking for a name very late at night and wanted it to rhyme with twins, and ‘twinsanity’ and ‘twinsaneinthemembrane’ were already taken.

4. Need a rant? I know a guy

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I think I’ll wrap it up there to get some sleep before my 10 a.m., and I’m fairly sure this is now longer than the last essay I handed in which is probably not a good sign. Off home on Friday to babysit for the weekend!


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Freakin’ badass