Monday, February 28, 1983

The Monday morns

In today’s Modernism tutorial we looked at a couple of things by Beckett (including Watt) and I had an argument with scatterbrained Bonnycastle about the similarities between Beckett and Woolf. He disagreed quite strongly with my idea that the same structural concerns connect the two. 

Afterwards I got drunk, swigging cider on my own in my room. I went to bed at six and it's 9.30 p.m. now and I’ve just got up. Shawn and Penny have really got involved over the last few days; they’re always off to discos together and tonight they’ve walked to Westdorgan.

Sunday, February 27, 1983


I've finally finished my essay. I’ve taken three days over this and although it’s not very good it's OK lengthwise at eight-and-a-bit sides. I just bought five bottles of cider by way of celebration, and also because I'm bored. But I'll probably regret it later.

Saturday, February 26, 1983

Stone the crows

Barry got back late; he’s been gone since Wednesday, helping to canvas for Fran Eden, the RCP candidate in last week’s Bermondsey by-election. She got 30-odd votes. Lindsey and Penny got back soon after from an anti-British Movement march. Shelley is in London for her brother’s birthday.

Rowan and Katie plus friends Anna and Emma from downstairs are all convincing one another that something bad is about to happen. Rowan has seen two big crows and there’s been much talk among them about nightmares and a woman who was murdered over near Westdorgan three years ago. This all seems a bit ludicrous and farcical.

Friday, February 25, 1983

Mechanical man

Yet more tales from a ‘tortured’ mind. But tortured about what? I suppose these constant complaints of boredom and claustrophobia (“I know just what I’ll be doing tomorrow evening,” etc.) are self-indulgent, because really I've nothing to fret about. But at times life can be very unfulfilling, even though, as Rowan says, the world-weary philosophizing and moaning at my ‘tender’ age is "ridiculous." I’m the only one who has the power to alter any of this, and so it’s no good blaming my surroundings.

I began my essay teatimeish and by 9.15 I had three-and-a-half sides done. To celebrate, Penny and I met Lindsey and Shelley in Westway Loop Bar. I came back in typical alcoholic despondency to lonely frustrations in my room while a happy gaggle talked flippantly and noisily in the corridor.

Guy and I smashed bottles on the bridge by the kitchen, and then sat in his room for an hour or so talking about Charles Manson, Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. I felt better after this, and I felt bolstered too by Guy’s ‘man apart’ cynicism and hard-nosed self-sufficiency.

Thursday, February 24, 1983

Dread hand of sloth

I missed another tutorial today, my first for American Lit., but luckily for me, it was cancelled anyway because Miriam H. was ill. I haven’t even looked at Uncle Tom’s Cabin yet.

Last night Pete and I went down to SocSci just as a crucial meeting about the occupation was breaking up, people streaming past us as we hung about in the foyer. SocSci was occupied all night and this morning pickets were being organized. Mike said some of the more militant occupiers wanted to starve the campus by preventing food getting to the supermarket and Co-op and by trying to stop the Administration from getting supplies of paper, but this would have needed an occupation longer than 24-hours.

We witnessed an argument going on between Jim Nightingale and Giles Osmond of the Student Union Executive Committee and the Socialist Worker's Student Organisation over the necessity for five extra Executive sabbatical posts. Nightingale and Osmond argued that three could adequately do the job five do at present and said the Union spends 70% of its budget on administration, but SWSO was hostile to this and wanted more sabbaticals. The Executive motion was defeated and the five sabbaticals were retained.

The closing speeches about the occupation had an air of self centred blindness about them. In a way I feel guilty at not being more bothered about any of this maneuvering, because these issues do have a bearing on me personally. It’s just the sort of thing I used to get quite worked up over at home, but here the ‘dread hand of Sloth’ holds me too securely for me to ever do anything about anything. I’m uncomfortable writing about this because I know I have no excuse. It seems I never do a thing constructive with my time nowadays.

The rest of today has passed in typical empty and lethargic fashion. We have only a fortnight to go until the end of term—already! Reports will be written next Wednesday and I expect to be thoroughly slated, especially by Bonnycastle. I have another wearying night ahead of me trying to get at least one of his essays done.
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