Late (For) Tea

Month: September, 2012

Thought of the Day #4

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”

William Shakespeare (Measure for Measure)

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Hope You Made It Through, Stranger

Image

Taken by Laetitia “Lee” Kaiser

Never Had It So Good

I have always been a ‘history aficionado’. It must run in the family as my dad shares a passion for history himself. When I was a child I used to leaf through his many history magazines. He never read any actual books as he has never really been into books that much. (The only book I have seen him reading is the Bible and he’s not even religious. Only deeply interested in the topic in general, which I believe is something I also inherited from him but that’s a different story). Although I might not have understood all the articles in those history magazines, I felt intrigued and curious.

In secondary school my grades in History were astoundingly bad. Not because I wasn’t interested in it, more because I was too lazy to lean over a book for hours on end, studying lifeless stuff that had been forced into my head at school. At 18 I actually started getting remarkably good grades in History. Firstly, it was because we were covering the two World Wars and the Cold War, which I found (and still find) rather interesting. Secondly, my teacher was someone who was extremely knowledgeable, approachable and funny. I was enthusiastic about history but not enthusiastic enough to decide to study it at university level.

Gladly, history is everywhere and effectively hard to ignore. I’m currently reading Shakespeare’s Henry V – a historical play – for one of my English Literature modules. I’ve been reading about North American cinema in the 1940s for a film module and I am also registered for a compulsory module called ‘Popular Culture & History’. Although we’re only 2 weeks into the academic year, I have to admit that the latter is already one of my favourite modules. I absolutely enjoy the lecturer and I definitely enjoy the different topics. (We will discuss A Hard Day’s Night at some point as well, whoop!)  I’m reading a text called ‘Never Had It So Good’ by Dominic Sandbrook, which was recommended by my lecturer. I have to say that I’ve never quite enjoyed a history text book quite as much as this one. It’s not a core text for the module but I decided that I’m going to read all, or at least a decent amount, of the 800-odd pages It is easy to read and to understand. It’s full of valuable information about 1950s Britain and extremely well-written. I’m happy that Year 2 seems to be so much better than Year 1. Although the work load is 5 times worse, I actually enjoy it 5 times more too.

Taken by Laetitia “Lee” Kaiser

Thought of the Day #3

“We are all ‘connected’, yet we have never been more isolated from one another.”

W. W. Dixon (Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia)

Missing Summer Already

Home Sweet Home

I’ve recently moved into a house somewhere in Greater London (about 15 – 25 min. from Waterloo) with three other girls. The move went rather smoothly, nothing majorly negative happened.
At first I was frustrated about the house being old and it was very dirty and dusty as well. One of my lovely housemates coined the expression ‘shabby chic’ and I seriously couldn’t agree more. I feel happier about the house now, especially after two of us four cleaned the entire house today. It’s all shiny and sparkly at present.

I’ve also been rearranging my bedroom like crazy. I never seem to be satisfied with it. I put the dusty, granny-curtains into the washer today. I have to admit that I gagged when I took them down. Amazingly enough, I found a tiny spider that to this day had comfortably lived in them and I also had to dispose of a dead moth. Yum.  Moreover, I cleaned the windows which hadn’t been cleaned for a century at least. It was dangerous business cleaning them. I tried not to flirt with Death too much as it was constantly looking me in the eye. However, I’m still alive as you might have realised already. After I was done I wasn’t that surprised that they hadn’t been cleaned for so long. It takes quite a bit of courage to do that… Let’s hope I won’t have to do that too many times in the coming 8 – 10 months or so. I still have a couple of cardboard boxes I need to get rid of. I desperately need a bookcase or some kind of drawer. I’m an English Literature student without a bookcase. It makes me feel like I didn’t have any underwear… I don’t have a bedside table which drives me insane. I usually read in bed. I also don’t have a desk lamp. So I haven’t been reading in bed for a while because I’m too lazy to get up and switch the light off once I’m in bed.

Fact is that I’m slowly getting used to my new home in spite of it still not being entirely to my liking. I do get homesick once in a while but right now I’m too busy and distracted. Tomorrow I will go to my first lecture this academic year. We’ll see how it goes.

Taken by Laetitia “Lee” Kaiser

Summer 2012: Closing Chapter

On Thursday I will finally be flying back to my dear, beloved London – the Swinging City or the Big Smoke, call it what you will. I have mixed feelings about going back, somehow. On the one hand I’m happy and excited, on the other hand I feel strange and insecure. This summer has been long, hot and absolutely amazing. I’ve travelled quite a bit and I’ve travelled far. I’ve been to nice places, I’ve seen beautiful faces. I’ve cried and laughed a lot. I said Hello with bright smiles and I said Goodbye with many a tear streaming down my face. It is hard for me to put my experiences into comprehensible sentences because there are so many different vivid and colourful images in my head. I keep leafing through the few pictures I took in Greece or in Chicago or Iowa, trying not to feel too nostalgic already. Hopefully, one sweet day, I will be able to put all of it into words so that the minds of the people I love and appreciate can travel along with me for a while, long after it has all passed.

It’s only been a few, short months since I left campus with a sad heart but it feels like a whole lifetime has passed since. I’m not much older than I was before I left grey, cloudy London in May. I mean, I did turn 22 in July but that’s not what I mean. I feel like I’m a completely different person after this eventful summer. I feel wiser in a way. More refined too. I might not be any wiser or refined but I know I gained something precious and essential. It is interesting how the taxi driver who picked me up from campus in May to drive me to London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 5, fervently encouraged travelling. It would make you feel different, like a person of the world, literally. He also said that a travel bug was the best thing a person could get, that it often ran in the family, like a genetic or heritable disorder. I remember his words well and if I could I would thank him for this very true and inspiring insight. The things he said were things I already assumed to be true but I guess that now I actually know – and feel. This taxi driver is a legendary character to me now. He was a happy omen. I will not forget him anytime soon.

In a way, I do not particularly like having to close this unforgettable chapter. Yet, I am sure the coming months will be just as fruitful and great, full of pleasant (and unpleasant) surprises, fraught with challenges which I’m glad to accept and conquer. I know that I will travel as much as I can afford and as much as time allows. Finally, I can still travel in imagination if there is nothing else left.

Taken by Laetitia “Lee” Kaiser