Another weekend over with. On paper (university calendar to be precise) this is the start of the inter-semester week; known as “reading week” to people doing courses where reading is something that might prove to be important before the final year. I have been reading a bit this weekend, but a lot of it was actually spent sleeping.
One of my housemates had a piece of work due in on Thursday (actually, it was due before Christmas but it is amazing what you can do with a mitigating circumstances form (mental note: stop calling them incriminating circumstances forms)). I’m not going to name names… those involved will either know or can guess. On Thursday evening there was a pressing need to finish the work as five percent of the mark is lost for each day the work is late. And so I sat up with the housemate on what turned into an all-nighter – me working on music bits and bobs on my laptop while my housemate worked on this project for university. At about 7am the first rendering of the videos started and we went for a drink at the café now it had opened. At 9am the rendering still wasn’t finished and I went to bed. At around midday the other housemate (who had slept) went to university for an exam, I woke up and Malek went to bed. I had some work to hand in, so I went to university, then had a couple of drinks at the student union with friends, later including the housemate who had the exam. Returned to the flat around 7pm, takeaway pizza and channel 4 sitcoms, then bed; early for me at around 10pm.
After that the weekend went by in a flash. Malek had ex-coursemates visiting (remembering that we did a placement year and some other people didn’t so most of the people we were in first and second year with have now graduated) and a Saturday evening amongst the bars of Leeds was enjoyed by way of a reunion. Every so often we go out on Saturday nights and this serves to remind us that we never normally go out on Saturdays because everywhere is always very, very busy. If you don’t like being pressed up against 3 or more people whom you don’t know in a crowded, hot, smokey room then you aren’t going to get a drink in a Leeds bar on a Saturday; especially in the area of Call Lane. There are two bits of crowded drinking that can be troubling: that moment when you move suddenly, say to remove a wallet from a pocket, and an elbow or try to turn around enough to breathe out, and you find yourself pressing against something warm and vaguely soft (nine times out of ten it’s only a girl’s arm or something, but you have to pay attention really); the other one being trying to leave a bar with a very full drink such as a pint of Guinness. Three people are trying to take the place you left at the bar, six people are trying to take the places behind you and there is a larger group just generally standing, moving or huddling trying to talk. You look up to plan a route around the people and to your group of friends, look back to make sure your pint is still level and not spilling and when you next look your planned route is gone. If you are lucky and your way is only blocked by a girl wearing something with a bare area on her back, simply holding the cold glass against her back usually gets them to move pretty quickly and if you are quick they won’t work out who in the crowd did it. I don’t recommend this, however. No, the way I general do it is to hold pint up as much out of harms way as possible, other hand up in the air to so that you don’t accidentally brush against a bum or skirt hem and push my way through side on as best as I can. Some people actually grab people by the shoulder and propel them out the way, but I hate this and I don’t do it to other people. And when I step on people’s feet I always try to say sorry, even though they haven’t got a hope of actually being able to hear me.
All this really makes you appreciate the quieter or better spread out bars. Of course, this being inter-semester week for most people most of the bars around are going to be pretty busy now but I’m hoping that without exams or work imminently to be handed in there might be time for a little socialising outside the flat. This is something we, as a flat, have missed a bit: you don’t get out as much when you are in the final year of a degree so enjoy it when you can. I hear from friends who stayed on that you get out even less on post-graduate degrees, so take heed.
Enjoy the start to the next working week… whenever that is.
(today's title comes from a song by disco-combo Chic - of 5 bars we went to, 3 played a song by Chic at some point, although I am stretching that to include "Let's Dance" by David Bowie)