Monday, June 7, 1982

Gate beneath the stars

English Paper I. I was a little nervous when I woke up but really I was amazingly calm to say it was the real thing. I memorised a few quotes and set off: everyone in, nervous fatalistic laughter and talk.

My first two questions on Antony and Cleopatra were OK, and I did also OK on the Coriolanus question, but my answer to number eight on Sohrab was weak. I finished with 10 minutes to spare and was almost satisfied apart from an awful sickening moment when I thought I’d missed a question.

The heat was stifling and direct, clear sky and sun all day. Lee and I drank a bottle of cider as we walked home through the dusty Egley afternoon; he seems happier, less depressed. I got my hair cut and got into an argument with Dad at teatime, the friction stemming from my no-nationalism rant in response to his “I’m British . . . I’m bothered about our lads, not the Argentinians.” So annoying. So right-wing.

In the evening Simon rang and persuaded me to go to Darren Busfield’s party at Harvey's. We stayed about quarter of an hour, and I hated the hostility and utter crassness all around. As we wandered back we reminisced about old school friends of the 3rd, 4th and 5th years and talked a long while by his gate beneath the stars, a hedgehog skittering dark and mysterious in his garden.

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