You’ll know by now that I have something of a penchant for one-liners without context, so I thought I’d report that I overheard this just as I was leaving the office yesterday afternoon:

“Alresford is the watercress capital of the world!”

Believe it or not, I caught another reference to that very fact when I was volunteering a few hours later. They’ve got to seize these claims to fame where they can, I suppose!



Hum It In Your Head, Part 2

Which songs have been seeing me off to work over the last two weeks? I know you’re all dying to find out. Here’s Part 2 of the list (as before, all song titles are also hyperlinks):


The Flowerpot

Of course, this isn’t really a flowerpot, it just looks a bit like one from the side. Actual flowerpots aren’t nearly as interesting as this one anyway, because this is full of baked goods – or it was, up until I scoffed them all just before this photo was taken last night. There was a mini biscuit, flapjack, scone (complete with cream and jam filling) and brownie, and I have the two ladies of the cloth handing them out to students to thank. As luck would have it, I’m still boyish enough to pass as a student, so they never suspected a thing. The treats came inside a paper bag that had “have a snack on St Paul’s” scrawled on it, and they’d thrown a little leaflet on top for good measure, in addition to a sachet of Galaxy hot chocolate. None of that changed much for me faith-wise, because I’m still firmly an agnostic, but you have to hand it to the Christians. They’ve always seemed to grasp that the way to my heart is through my stomach. Yesterday, when I needed a sugar hit and a nugget of motivation, I got both – and free of charge, too.

Maybe He does answer my prayers after all?


You Owe Yourself £2.85

If the title of this post looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s already shown up on this blog once before, when I wrote it on a Post-It note a couple of months ago. I presented it entirely without context, and predicted that I’d soon forget what the hell I was talking about. Sure enough, I have – it’s just as well it clearly wasn’t anything important. I actually found the note in the corner of my desk the other day, and now it just amuses me as a completely random sentence. I thought of it again over the weekend, when I was crossing the cemetery that separates the University of Winchester from the city centre. Passing a couple coming the other way, I heard a guy say to his girlfriend:

“You see, Milton Keynes is a brilliant middle ground.”

As it turns out, that cemetery is awash with out-of-context lines. I overheard this one just this afternoon:

“A lot of Hampshire is very Austenesque.”

What makes something Austenesque, I wonder? I don’t exactly know, but I bet you wouldn’t hear that in many other graveyards.


Hum It In Your Head

I don’t need much motivation to start my day, but I still find that a little push can help me get going. Lately, this has come in the form of music – and more specifically, the very last song I listen to before I leave for work. I love a playlist, you see, and I love to turn one into a little pastime too. With that in mind, I recently created one called ‘Songs To Go To Work With’. The criteria for entry to the list each day are simple. The song can’t be especially downbeat, it has to lift my spirits somehow, and it absolutely has to be the last song I listen to before crossing over the threshold. In addition, it’ll earn bonus points if I hum it in my head afterwards. All that means I can’t manipulate anything to make myself look cool (if I do come across that way, it’s entirely natural). What’s made the list so far? Allow me to present Part 1. Here, each song title is also a hyperlink, but you can’t see that without the white box behind the text:

Part 2 will follow soon. It’ll be interesting to see how varied the next list is!


Very Few Words On The Day

On 30 January last year, I told you that I’d resigned from my job. I tried my best to sound reasonably hopeful, but in reality, the future was something that I really feared – it was cold, uncertain, and at the time it only seemed like bad things were in store for me. In the 12 months that followed, I often wondered if there would ever be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, I accepted the offer of a new role, and I have an induction for a voluntary position in the morning as well. At long last, I can see that light.


Very Few Words On The Week

I had my interview on Wednesday morning. It went well, and the people asking the questions were very nice, but unfortunately I didn’t get the job. I’m still feeling positive, though, and there is one thing I did get – my much-anticipated campus Internet access. That means that this post isn’t coming to you from a library or a coffee shop, but the desk in my own room. I won’t be taking that for granted any time soon! It also means that I could finally use the app I needed to operate the machines in the laundry room, so I won’t be taking clean pants for granted either (not that I didn’t have any, I was just getting dangerously close to running out – an emergency trip to Primark was on the horizon).

It’s good to celebrate some small wins now and again, isn’t it?


Pizza Autonomy

A few weeks ago, on New Year’s Eve, I was having a conversation with Mum in which I uttered the following ten words:

“Mum, you don’t understand. I need to have pizza autonomy.”

Let me tell you that I absolutely loved how “pizza autonomy” sounded out of context. Straight away, I typed it at the top of a new draft and saved it here, certain that it would make a brilliant blog post title at some point (almost as good as my previous food-based choices, such as ‘Grapeness’ or ‘The Cultural Relevance Of Apple Crumble’). Beyond being a silly soundbite, though, it does have some actual significance, so I thought it would be a good idea to contextualise it after all. You see, what it refers to is my recent habit of choosing when to have my own dinner, which I’ve written about before – it’s something that allows me to take back some form of control over what is currently a rather unpredictable life. More specifically, of course, it refers to pizza, one of the only meals on Earth that never really disappoints. It’s also one of the only meals I can conjure all by myself, so long as the pizza is already made and frozen, so you can imagine why I was miffed when Mum suggested she could heat it up for me instead that afternoon. Firstly, I’m 25, and secondly, how dare you dictate when I eat? What is this, a police state?

I’m joking, of course, but you get the picture – this independence, this private time, is very important to me, even if it only comes in small doses. I didn’t quite know then that I’d be getting more pizza autonomy than I’d been expecting heading into 2023. More autonomy full stop, in fact. And why? Because – as some of you might have guessed – I’m back in Winchester!

To my amazement, I’m staying in my original flat on the university campus until mid-June, while I look for some work in the area. I’ll freely admit that it’s a risk, but at this stage I think it’s one worth taking, and in any case I’m thrilled to be back somewhere I love so much. I have already made a little bit of progress, since I have an interview for a part-time job next week, and that’s taken some of the pressure off for the next few days. I’m looking forward to updating you on my fortunes, at least whenever I have consistent web access – I’m writing this sat in the library in town, because I’m not connected on campus yet. Hopefully, by the time I am, that won’t be the only good news I have to share…