the stars (are out tonight)

Haven’t had much time to update in general – so this is going to be a long one. I realise I tend to share very little information with people in general – I don’t like blowing my own trumpet, or boring people with my (not necessarily very relevant) personal thoughts, and generally think too much is shared on FB – so I shall at least try to tell people what I have been doing here. This half of the term has been remarkably busy for me in terms of work (think sleepless nights). Though I am only doing three half modules this term, they are by far the heaviest of anything I’ve done so far (Intermediate Microeconomics, Macroeconomics for the Open Economy, Advanced Topics in Econometrics). I’ve also taken on some aquatic activities in school, in the form of swimming (which involves some rather intense 1-hour training sessions each week) & scuba diving (now progressing to the actual dives – really exciting!)

General household matters take up quite a portion of my time – I’m now pretty well-versed with grocery shopping in London so I sometimes think of it as a chore rather than a creative experience (though I should say that the recently-discovered big Sainsbury’s at Camden Town is one of the best things I’ve seen in the area for a while). Finally, doing online courses on Coursera and edX add on to my self-imposed “workload” – I’ve taken on too many courses, but intend to drop some as I go along, as I don’t want them to interfere with my core degree – in fact, I will probably stay with those that complement my existing work in some way, or that I have some interest in (absolutely looking forward to Scandinavian Film & Television in October!)

I’ve had some time for Scrabble, doing reasonably well, but not playing as well as I’d hoped (my first game vs Gareth Williams at Swindon involved two missed bingos and a failure to challenge off ELOGIsE* under free challenge – not really impressive). The most important tournament for me will be the Nationals in July, since that tangibly affects WSC qualification. It seems like many players are climbing up the ratings ladder in Singapore, and different people are winning tournaments all the time, so standards must be improving somewhat. Really looking forward to the competition.

Not intending to travel this Easter because I have a lot to revise for the exams, and want to avoid being distracted like I was last year. There are big things that can be accomplished with travel, but there are bigger things that can be accomplished without travel, especially since I feel that what I’m learning this year is actually useful and relevant to the world, much more so than last year. Also, this year counts more, duh.

And here’s what’s up after the exams and before I start my third year – potentially Istanbul, Israel, Jordan, Sicily, Brighton, Scotland (definitely, need to defend title), Cape Town, Singapore, diving somewhere in SEA, Sri Lanka. Unlikely to be all of them, but I’ll see how things go!

Meanwhile, here’s my favourite song from The Next Day. Haven’t exactly read many reviews of it, but the one I read from the Guardian describes it as “thought-provoking, strange and filled with great songs” – just what you’d hope from Bowie’s return.

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