i have adventures (sometimes)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Leaving Home, Going Home

In order to avoid having pretty much every blog post in the last three months start with an apology for not posting, here is a warning about wild cheeses.

I keep promising myself that I'll start blogging regularly again, when things settle down or pick up or get more interesting. Well, we're getting there. On the plus side, things are happening in my life again - they're just mostly not particularly exciting things. I am at least much better than I was during my first month or two back, and I can now do things like stay awake for a whole day at a time, and concentrate on basic tasks. Which means I can blog, but still doesn't mean I have anything to say.

So, where was I? Ah yes, England!

After London, with its accomplished bananas, it was off to lovely lovely York to graduate. I skipped my previous graduation, because ceremonies are dull and can I just have my certificate please?, but this one was a good excuse to go back to York and see the lovely lovely people there, as well as throw hats into the air and take photos, because South African universities don't have mortarboards. I really felt like I was missing out on some hat throwing.

I stayed with the excellent Hannah, who set me a quest to find her house and get into it, although this was more because she was at work when I arrived than because she particularly wanted me to go on a quest. Fortunately, I have played several point-and-click adventure games in my time, so I was well prepared.

I swear we usually look less awkward. Sometimes we even look like we like each other.
Then I had to try and see ALL THE PEOPLE. Which was ok, because I like the people. I spent my first day in York visiting the museum again to see the dinosaurs (I like the dinosaurs too), and the rest of the time not spent graduating seeing so many nice humans.

Funnily enough, I only remembered to take pictures of the dinosaurs.
Graduation was amazingly quick and efficient, barring the Vice-Chancellor's habit of stopping graduands every now and then to have a chat with them on stage. But the ceremony wasn't too boring and it was over quickly, which meant we could get to the important parts: taking photos and eating lunch. Also nearly freezing to death in our fancy dresses, but that wasn't part of the original plan.


Representing Team Sound Crime.

Thanks to Imke's organisational skills, we also had a great big international graduation dinner, which was well worth braving the freezing night for.

York family <3

Also also also, the sun shone! I know that's less exciting now I once again live somewhere where that happens every day, but York in the sun and the snow is just heartbreakingly perfect.

Snowy geese!
Snowy everything!
(Yellow car.)
Snowy frolicking!
I've promised York that I'll come back in a heartbeat if it has more days like this. I don't actually want to live in a small town forever, but York has such a special place in my heart that I just can't help making reckless promises when the sun shines.

When I left England, I couldn't tell if I was leaving home or going home.But here I am back in SA, and sometimes I miss York and the people I met there so much that I have a little cry, but I'm starting to settle in here again. I've moved into a lovely new house with lovely new people, and I'm back to hunting down wild jobs.

Look at my house! And my sunshine!
Having been so grumpy for my first few months back here, I'm finally starting to warm to Jo'burg again. There are moments when I've thought, "I'd rather die than spend my life in this traffic," but for every one of those, there's "I could never leave Highveld thunderstorms." But I guess that's a pretty reasonable summary of what it's like to live in Jo'burg: it's nothing if not a place of extremes.

I'm sad and angry about a lot of things in South Africa, what with Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp's killings and rape culture and corruption in general, but I'm doing ok and trying not to give up on hoping for change. Now that I'm feeling better, I can see the good as well as the bad, which is not to trivialise the terrible things that do happen. It's just that the beauty is there too. I just have to remember to look.

(Shamelessly stolen from friend and housemate Dave.)

*Who schedules a ceremony over lunch time? Don't they even know us?


  1. Bsaed on the ability to comment, I must assume that this is a popular blog! You must be quiet prodigious (is that the word? productive) to have made such a popular blog, YOU ARE HIRED.

    (I don't have a job either, and now that I have an apartment, people can't seem to be able to stop asking if I have a job.

    The York trip looked lovely, and I certainly would have done my best to make the picture with you and Hannah more or less awkward if I'd been a part of it. c'est la vie, c'est la guerre.

  2. )

    (i forgot to close my parentheses. Clothe my parentheses. OK bye.)

  3. It is a very popular blog! With more readers than you'd ever guess from the no comments! (Really, though.) I hope that many potential employers will have the same response!

    Is job hunting the worst or what? I don't take delight in my friends' unemployment, but it does make me feel better that it's not just me. Shall I move to Portland and we can start that pirate ship vegan bakery? I feel like if that's going to work anywhere, it'll be Portland.

    I wish you'd been in York too! It would have been perfect!

    (Thank you for closing your parentheses. http://xkcd.com/859/.)

  4. I had hats! Thats the only reason I went to graduation! Lots of hat in pretoria - if you dare to venture over the wilderness that is centurian you might find that pretoria has lots of lovely things, hats included :D