The Wit and Wisdom of My Mates And I: Part 3

We are all made of stars

(It’s not a title that actually relates to this post, but as I was hunting around for music to listen to I was drawn to fond memories of this and thus Liquid News. Ah, Liquid! If you hadn’t gone I wouldn’t have to get my daily ‘stuff people care about’ briefing from Digital Spy…)

As Lucy leaves from visiting (finally made it to the Waffle House!) and I turn to the final week of term there’s a familiar end-of-term weariness, so it’s probably a helpful boost to my work ethic that my final essay is on religion in America. One of the available questions is simply “Why is the United States so religious?” which I read as ending with an implied “!?!” for good measure. But it saddens me that after this essay I will be returning home for a life of coursework rather than recuperation! Ooh, and Book Club too. (I need to get a move on with that actually. Either that or I lie about when I’m back in London and hide for a week…)

Sophie and I have been watching Pride and Privilege: a documentary about life at exclusive (and rather expensive) Glenalmond College in Scotland. It’s the kind of show which I’d occasionally watch at home, if others were around to poke fun at whatever eccentric cast of characters the producers had persuaded to appear, but it’s given a highly entertaining edge by the fact that Sophie is actually one of Glenalmond’s distinguished alumni and thus can provide all the extra inside gossip (“oh my god, they went and found the stupidest girl in the school…”). It did make me think about what would have happened if I’d went to boarding school – I just don’t think I could have endured someone coming in and turning off the light to make me go to bed at night. All of my crazy 2am creations lost! Still, I wish I had a show about Queens Park to provide in return

Last Wednesday night, when I should have been planning an essay on 60s ‘rebellion’, I instead finally managed to get to one of Andrew’s Peterhouse Politics events and saw Christopher Meyer – former British Ambassador to the US – speak on Barack Obama. Luckily, everything he said now has a warm afterglow now that the election is over, but it was still interesting to hear about his friendship with John McCain. It all confirmed what I thought really: nice guy, detested Bush but with a tendency to lose his cool under pressure big time and fly into rages. (And consequently do stupid things and, say, appoint stupid people to be his VP. Thought I might as well get this in before Sanna blogs ) And I’m suddenly struck by amusement at the idea that this is my equivalent of Abbi’s gig reports!

Before I leave you with another instalment of unique wit and wisdom – you know you love them – the idea of having ‘features’ over multiple blogs reminds me somewhat of The Self Twist. The what? The newsletter thingy I made from 2000 to 2002. OK, so it had a circulation roughly equivalent to that of the Daily Express – four – and that consisted purely of everyone else in the house. (Ah, the joys of word processing as entertainment before the days of broadband Internet connections…) But it was also fun, with youthful forays into ‘writing for an audience’, ‘meeting deadlines’ and ‘marketing’. And bits of it can even be unexpectedly reflective now:

from The Self Twist, Issue 41, September 2002

from The Self Twist, Issue 41, September 2002


The Wit and Wisdom of My Mates And I: Part 3

The Wit and Wisdom of My Mates And I: Part 3

Part 3: On Peer Pressure
Our hero has gone to London and fallen in with Mark Watson: a ‘crafty, cunning young man’. Under his influence they make life difficult for the good and pious Harry. “…one sultry day in July, when we had taken a long walk, and were tired and hot, Mark proposed, for the first time before Harry, that we should turn into a public-house to refresh ourselves. I gave a sort of wink towards Harry, as much as to say, “What will he think?” Watson understood me.

“Of course we needn’t ask you to come,” he said, as Harry hesitated; “you’re too great a saint for that; far above the vain pleasures of us poor mortals.”

“I’m not a saint,” said Harry bluntly.

“Well,” said Mark, changing his tack, “perhaps I was wrong, but you may have other reasons – your mother won’t let you, eh?”

“I can do as I like,” said Harry again.

“Dear me, then I’m very pleased,” said Watson, with a bow; “walk in then, I’m glad to be favoured with your company, I’m sure.”


And Harry did walk in.”

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7 Comments on :
We are all made of stars

  1. Katie says:

    Ah The Self Twist and Tash Bash Bam, I still have my copies

  2. Sanna says:

    When *are* you back, btw? I feel like I’m supposed to know this.

  3. Saoirse says:

    Read it- it’s an amazing book. Read it! It’s incredible. Read it! Book club must not be delayed.

    (And I’ll go and get a copy of White Teeth from the front room as soon as I finish typing this. But TWWWID is better.)

  4. Abbi says:

    I often get asked how I manage to retain so much information about music and how I have the energy to go to so many gigs and I always say it’s extremely easy when you care about something. It’s the same thing for you and politics I think. If something touches you, it’s not work being devoted to it… it just happens naturally!

  5. Gilly says:

    You do have something to show Sophie in return … remember the supply teacher who secretly filmed?

    Maybe she taught you the construction "if I’d went to boarding school"?

  6. Red Dalek says:

    @Saoirse – I will! But I may have to devote a couple of days to it once I’m back…

    @Mum – I did think of that, but sadly couldn’t find it on YouTube

    And yeah yeah… *sulks*

  7. Saoirse says:

    No, no, the book absorbs you and time doesn’t exist while you read it. Tell anyone who wonders why you’re not learning or contributing to conversation any more that you’re reading it and they will forgive you. It is a good book.

    Unlike White Teeth, so far. Consarned novel. (Although I picked up The Time Traveller’s Wife second-hand today, partly on your recommendation, and I’m enjoying that,)

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