Sunday, 10 October 2010

Solitary, But Liking It

I've been in Norwich for exactly two weeks tonight, and have spent most of my time alone. It amazes me how comfortable it feels. I talk to the cashier at the grocery till and students in my seminar groups, but other than that and one evening spent with Nan's friend, Chris, and his family (my new friends) - it's been just me.

The flat where I live is spacious, open and bright, with windows looking toward the city centre and the famous spire of Norwich Cathedral. But here on Kerrison Road, it's quiet and while not far from the bustle of Norwich, feels like it.

I've finished my first essay and emailed it off to the prof just this evening (it's due tomorrow). While it probably took me only about two days to write it, I spent five days reading the material - Suetonius' Twelve Caesars and Plutarch's Parallel lives. I guess it makes sense to go back to the early biographers in order to study the modern ones, but it was a very tough slog and I'm glad to be done with it.

Yesterday, after finishing the reading and before I started the writing, I went into the city centre to soak up the energy of Saturday shoppers. It's great to actually recognize people from the university, and makes me realize that this city (it's a city, not a town, because it has a cathedral), is not very big.  The walk along the Wensum River is a real pleasure, the path making its way up to a lovely old square next to the cathedral. The houses there look like something out of an Ivory Merchant film adapted from a Jane Austen novel.

I look forward to the day when I feel settled enough to have some visitors - once I get the feel for my schedule. There are so many places to explore and it would be fun doing it with someone from home.

Next Saturday I may take the train to Hampshire and visit Pip and Selina. She called me on Friday and invited me down and it's hard to resist. It's probably a four-hour train ride, but it would give me the opportunity to read some of the books on the long list required for this course, and it would be so good to catch up with them. I haven't seen them for about seven years.

The sun was shining today, but I stayed in, except for taking some long deep breaths on the terrace. I needed to focus on this essay and feel so much better getting it out of the way. Now I can face the week with renewed energy.

Happy birthday to brother Jack tomorrow. And happy birthday to our mother on Tuesday. How lucky was she to have you for her birthday, Bro! Best wishes and lots of love.

Cheerio from Mo

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