Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Meeting Up Again

Yesterday I met with my classmates and professors from last semester to talk about our dissertations. It was great seeing everyone again - for some of us it's been since Christmas. Instead of sitting in a seminar room looking out at grey winter days, we were basking in a room full of sunlight. I can't tell you how exciting it is to be at this stage of my year in Norwich. I'll hand in my last essay on Friday and then start the dissertation soon after. I feel almost more intimidated about the program ending than I did about it starting. What on earth do I do for an encore?

Today I cycled into town to have my hair cut at Toni and Guys. On my way to the salon I cycled past little streets with names like "Upper Goat Lane," and "Lower Goat Lane" and "Lobster Lane," then on to "The Garage," the dance studio where I'm taking dance classes for "over 50s." It's not exactly a challenging cardio workout, but the gentle modern dance exercises give me a chance to stretch to music. Most of the women in the class are older than me. Oh well, at least it forces me to go for a bike ride and, for a change, I don't feel like the oldest one in the dance class.

The city was beginning to get rowdy when I left the dance studio and made my way down through the market. Norwich Football Club won the game on Saturday against Coventry - I could tell by the loud cheering and singing that drifted over from the stadium (and the inevitable police sirens afterwards). Now Norwich has advanced to the Premier League and will be playing against such greats as Manchester United - Rod Stewart's team. I can't imagine the present stadium having the capacity to hold the kind of crowds who would pour in, but who knows. I'll probably be gone by then. Anyway, there was an unusually large number of unusual people in town today - maybe because of the Norwich team festivities that'll be in full swing by now.

When I was facing the mirror while getting my haircut, I noticed a pouchiness below my eyes that I've never seen before. It worried me. Nevertheless, feeling chuffed about my new haircut, I left the shop and was nearly run over by woman in a motorized wheelchair. She was in her forties and had no legs and only flippers for arms - a thalidomide 60s child. I berated myself for fretting about something as paltry as baggy eyes.

Speaking of team sports, I'm getting very excited about the Canucks and their chances for the Stanley Cup this year. I've been following them through the Vancouver Sun online. What is it about team sports that can bring out the community in us? I think about the energy that permeated the streets of Vancouver during the Winter Olympics and caused even the dourest of city dwellers to smile and enjoy the patriotism. As long as people don't use sports to take out their aggressions like, sadly, certain groups in Glasgow apparently, then it's a good way for us to feel the joy of a shared goal (excuse the pun) - to win. This is hardly intellectual reflection, I know, but I think I'm in need of a break. Back to the essay first though.


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