It’s snowing again, so I’ve opted out of a post-lunch trip to the library. Instead, I shall remain in my alchemical igloo where productivity gets mysteriously sublimated into Netflix…
I was in the library this morning, putting the finishing touches to my essay on Alexander Pope. I’ve found this week’s work a little bit more boring than usual. ‘The Rape of the Lock’ is probably Pope’s most famous poem, but it’s really just a pointless, bathetic satire about someone with a hair fetish, and Pope’s other significant work, ‘The Dunciad’, has such a groan-worthy title that I’m amazed it’s taken seriously. Plus, the characters in the poem have a contest involving running through shit and seeing who can piss highest in the air. Is this high-brow literature? Or is the curriculum simply designed to mock anyone stupid enough to think that ‘eNgLISh LItEraTUre aND lAnGUagE’ is a real degree?
My avoidance of the library this afternoon means that I’ll have to start work on my Middle English essay from the comfort of my undersized ginger bread house of a room. My inability to avoid watching falling snow has been well documented, but I have the added presence of non-library-appropriate stimuli in this room: slippers, gummy bears, my pink Peppa pig recorder, a selection of hats, a shower, Rolo yoghurts, screaming homeless people outside the hot air vent of LA Fitness…etc. Whether I manage to get through the primary reading for ‘Miracle verse’ this afternoon, depends on the extent to which I can shut out the noise of manic drilling, and maybe put some trousers on.
This might well end up being my first and only post from Fifth Week- notoriously the most unhappy week in Oxford (which is really saying something). If so, I hope you all have a good week and that the signals of the impending apocalypse (Pope’s resignation→massive snowfall→ice age→no more blog posts) don’t bum you out too much. There’s only three more weeks until the end of term now, so you can all start getting excited about the prospect of reading my thoughts on the E4 schedule and Tesco meal deals again. Maybe we’d all better make the most of icy Oxford while it lasts…

It’s snowing again, so I’ve opted out of a post-lunch trip to the library. Instead, I shall remain in my alchemical igloo where productivity gets mysteriously sublimated into Netflix…

I was in the library this morning, putting the finishing touches to my essay on Alexander Pope. I’ve found this week’s work a little bit more boring than usual. ‘The Rape of the Lock’ is probably Pope’s most famous poem, but it’s really just a pointless, bathetic satire about someone with a hair fetish, and Pope’s other significant work, ‘The Dunciad’, has such a groan-worthy title that I’m amazed it’s taken seriously. Plus, the characters in the poem have a contest involving running through shit and seeing who can piss highest in the air. Is this high-brow literature? Or is the curriculum simply designed to mock anyone stupid enough to think that ‘eNgLISh LItEraTUre aND lAnGUagE’ is a real degree?

My avoidance of the library this afternoon means that I’ll have to start work on my Middle English essay from the comfort of my undersized ginger bread house of a room. My inability to avoid watching falling snow has been well documented, but I have the added presence of non-library-appropriate stimuli in this room: slippers, gummy bears, my pink Peppa pig recorder, a selection of hats, a shower, Rolo yoghurts, screaming homeless people outside the hot air vent of LA Fitness…etc. Whether I manage to get through the primary reading for ‘Miracle verse’ this afternoon, depends on the extent to which I can shut out the noise of manic drilling, and maybe put some trousers on.

This might well end up being my first and only post from Fifth Week- notoriously the most unhappy week in Oxford (which is really saying something). If so, I hope you all have a good week and that the signals of the impending apocalypse (Pope’s resignation→massive snowfall→ice age→no more blog posts) don’t bum you out too much. There’s only three more weeks until the end of term now, so you can all start getting excited about the prospect of reading my thoughts on the E4 schedule and Tesco meal deals again. Maybe we’d all better make the most of icy Oxford while it lasts…

I’m cold, in a way that makes me think that I might be horribly ill with snow flu. It has been snowing after all. In fact, an awful lot has happened since my last post, because, in addition to England being rendered completely unworkable by 3 inches of snow, I’ve had a birthday. I’m now a whole year older. Perhaps that’s why I feel ill.
My birthday also brought about the realisation that I’ve been doing this blog for over a year now. In that time, I’ve ceased to study Anglo-Saxon (I considered changing the name of this blog to ‘Renaissance Man’ in October) but have continued my relatively dreary way of life and general misanthropic tendencies. But, at the same time, I’ve also noticed a marked improvement in almost every aspect of my existence- an improvement that tempts me to write about candy floss, water flumes and all the other totally awesome things in life. But, somehow, I think that sort of change of tone would fit in even less well amidst the steady stream of kitten pictures and blowjob GIFs on Tumblr.
I’m currently trying to write a commentary about the Middle English poem Pearl, but am finding myself distracted by the growing sensation of being in a pressurised aircraft cabin. I think that this is the point where a stronger man would make the 20 minute walk back to his room and try to sleep it off, but I’m too scared of the ice and the ravenous Law students escaping from their next-door faculty. So I’ll wait it out in the English Library for a bit longer and, hopefully, this will pass and I can fulfil all my Middle English dreams this afternoon. 
Anyhow, it’ll be dark in an hour, so I ought to be cracking on with my commentary. It feels like the ages of 8 and 20 are the only times I’ve ever had to write about ‘alliteration’, but it’s not the worst way to waste your week. If I can locate a single instance of antanaclasis (Google it, tumblr’s trying to tell me it’s not even a word…) then I’ll leave the library a happy man.
Albeit, a happy, old Renaissance man with snow flu.

I’m cold, in a way that makes me think that I might be horribly ill with snow flu. It has been snowing after all. In fact, an awful lot has happened since my last post, because, in addition to England being rendered completely unworkable by 3 inches of snow, I’ve had a birthday. I’m now a whole year older. Perhaps that’s why I feel ill.

My birthday also brought about the realisation that I’ve been doing this blog for over a year now. In that time, I’ve ceased to study Anglo-Saxon (I considered changing the name of this blog to ‘Renaissance Man’ in October) but have continued my relatively dreary way of life and general misanthropic tendencies. But, at the same time, I’ve also noticed a marked improvement in almost every aspect of my existence- an improvement that tempts me to write about candy floss, water flumes and all the other totally awesome things in life. But, somehow, I think that sort of change of tone would fit in even less well amidst the steady stream of kitten pictures and blowjob GIFs on Tumblr.

I’m currently trying to write a commentary about the Middle English poem Pearl, but am finding myself distracted by the growing sensation of being in a pressurised aircraft cabin. I think that this is the point where a stronger man would make the 20 minute walk back to his room and try to sleep it off, but I’m too scared of the ice and the ravenous Law students escaping from their next-door faculty. So I’ll wait it out in the English Library for a bit longer and, hopefully, this will pass and I can fulfil all my Middle English dreams this afternoon. 

Anyhow, it’ll be dark in an hour, so I ought to be cracking on with my commentary. It feels like the ages of 8 and 20 are the only times I’ve ever had to write about ‘alliteration’, but it’s not the worst way to waste your week. If I can locate a single instance of antanaclasis (Google it, tumblr’s trying to tell me it’s not even a word…) then I’ll leave the library a happy man.

Albeit, a happy, old Renaissance man with snow flu.

Oh fuck, sorry, I forgot to blog for a few days. I’ve been back in Oxford since Thursday and, since then, I’ve sat five hours of exams and then had a wonderfully leisurely and carefree weekend. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve yet to readjust properly.
My exams, on Friday morning and afternoon, were every bit as stressful as I had anticipated. Sadistically forcing your students to put pen to paper about last term’s work, the day after they’ve returned for a brand new term full of brand new work, is listed in the 1899 Hague Convention as a war crime. Still, I sat down and dragged my pink fountain pen across the paper until, after what felt like a fortnight, I had finished my work. After a full week of anxiety, I felt an enormous, unburdening release, like loosening your tie in church, and celebrated with pizza before my afternoon exam. Middle English at 2pm, however, brought me back down to earth, as my every hagridden thought was manifested in a perversely concise question paper. 
But that’s all over now, and, having bunked off this weekend, it’s time to turn my attention, once again, to Milton’s Paradise Lost. This text fills me with the same dread that The Faerie Queene did, except for the fact that it’s fractionally shorter (but, on the downside, it doesn’t rhyme). I think that Oxford needs to accept that there’s a reason that people are no longer writing colossal, 500-page, poems. I’d much rather write about the Nadine Gordimer book on my bedside table than a single Spenserian stanza, or Milton’s blank verse which, frankly, I think is lazy and can only have taken him a couple of hours. That said, this year is pretty heavy on poetry, so it’s probably better to get with the programme than spend another six months railing against the injustice of being force fed a diet quite so high in vitamin ababbcbcc.
But my readjustment to the Oxford bubble might well be facilitated by the onset of tonight’s rumoured snowstorm. Getting snowbound in the library might just be the only way Paradise Lost gets the critical analysis from me that it has been so desperately lacking all these years. If I’m locked in the English Faculty Library with nothing but books, wifi and the weird tiny coffee shop, then I’m relatively sure that I’ll be a fully fledged Milton scholar within a week.
Or I might just be cold and bored.

Oh fuck, sorry, I forgot to blog for a few days. I’ve been back in Oxford since Thursday and, since then, I’ve sat five hours of exams and then had a wonderfully leisurely and carefree weekend. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve yet to readjust properly.

My exams, on Friday morning and afternoon, were every bit as stressful as I had anticipated. Sadistically forcing your students to put pen to paper about last term’s work, the day after they’ve returned for a brand new term full of brand new work, is listed in the 1899 Hague Convention as a war crime. Still, I sat down and dragged my pink fountain pen across the paper until, after what felt like a fortnight, I had finished my work. After a full week of anxiety, I felt an enormous, unburdening release, like loosening your tie in church, and celebrated with pizza before my afternoon exam. Middle English at 2pm, however, brought me back down to earth, as my every hagridden thought was manifested in a perversely concise question paper. 

But that’s all over now, and, having bunked off this weekend, it’s time to turn my attention, once again, to Milton’s Paradise Lost. This text fills me with the same dread that The Faerie Queene did, except for the fact that it’s fractionally shorter (but, on the downside, it doesn’t rhyme). I think that Oxford needs to accept that there’s a reason that people are no longer writing colossal, 500-page, poems. I’d much rather write about the Nadine Gordimer book on my bedside table than a single Spenserian stanza, or Milton’s blank verse which, frankly, I think is lazy and can only have taken him a couple of hours. That said, this year is pretty heavy on poetry, so it’s probably better to get with the programme than spend another six months railing against the injustice of being force fed a diet quite so high in vitamin ababbcbcc.

But my readjustment to the Oxford bubble might well be facilitated by the onset of tonight’s rumoured snowstorm. Getting snowbound in the library might just be the only way Paradise Lost gets the critical analysis from me that it has been so desperately lacking all these years. If I’m locked in the English Faculty Library with nothing but books, wifi and the weird tiny coffee shop, then I’m relatively sure that I’ll be a fully fledged Milton scholar within a week.

Or I might just be cold and bored.

Wait a minute Nick, that’s not your house.
Well spotted, imaginary reader. I am currently on a trip with the peace corps to Macclesfield, the treacle town of Cheshire. Why exactly I am updating this blog rather than interacting with the person who kindly invited me into his home is anyone’s guess. 
The main reason why I feel a strong urge to update this blog is the weather. I realise that, for a blog seemingly about Anglo-Saxon, I talk about the weather a fairly boring amount but, today for once, the weather is truly remarkable.
When we got in last night it was blowing a gale like I’ve rarely seen. From the warm interior of our taxi, I watched my friend battle against the elements at the ATM in order to, erm, pay for our taxi. It was good watching. And when we got back home things turned from bad to worse and the snow came hurtling down. It didn’t stick, probably because it was being battered in the same hurricane winds that overturned the gazebo and patio heater during the night. Even now, in the cold light of day, the wind and snow and spray is pretty impressive (I say, whilst sitting in the conservatory).
I knew the North was a savage land but this takes the rich tea biscuit.

Wait a minute Nick, that’s not your house.

Well spotted, imaginary reader. I am currently on a trip with the peace corps to Macclesfield, the treacle town of Cheshire. Why exactly I am updating this blog rather than interacting with the person who kindly invited me into his home is anyone’s guess. 

The main reason why I feel a strong urge to update this blog is the weather. I realise that, for a blog seemingly about Anglo-Saxon, I talk about the weather a fairly boring amount but, today for once, the weather is truly remarkable.

When we got in last night it was blowing a gale like I’ve rarely seen. From the warm interior of our taxi, I watched my friend battle against the elements at the ATM in order to, erm, pay for our taxi. It was good watching. And when we got back home things turned from bad to worse and the snow came hurtling down. It didn’t stick, probably because it was being battered in the same hurricane winds that overturned the gazebo and patio heater during the night. Even now, in the cold light of day, the wind and snow and spray is pretty impressive (I say, whilst sitting in the conservatory).

I knew the North was a savage land but this takes the rich tea biscuit.

The knitwear is back.
You know why? Because it’s fucking snowing. It’s snowed so heavily and beautifully that I rummaged around for about 12 minutes to try and find a memory card for my camera. Found it. Will post some pictures later.
Oxford looks much better under a few inches of snow. Admittedly, it’s been of little assistance with my Battle of Maldon commentary but it’s always nice to pretend that you’re in Harry Potter for a while. All I need now is an owl.
You bring the skis, I’ll bring the pole.

The knitwear is back.

You know why? Because it’s fucking snowing. It’s snowed so heavily and beautifully that I rummaged around for about 12 minutes to try and find a memory card for my camera. Found it. Will post some pictures later.

Oxford looks much better under a few inches of snow. Admittedly, it’s been of little assistance with my Battle of Maldon commentary but it’s always nice to pretend that you’re in Harry Potter for a while. All I need now is an owl.

You bring the skis, I’ll bring the pole.