Like a great cloud of misery, winter has descended on Leeds, bringing with it a thundercloud of worries. The temperature drops, and the heating bill soars! The bright colours of summer, student parties, and free time are washed away; they run down into the gutter, replaced only by the harsh greys of concrete and assignments. I like to think of myself as pretty optimistic, however it is hard to remain so when you drag your sodden body into to uni for a one hour lecture, then miserably drag it back home. I look around, peering through the driving rain at the many like minded students; bravely they battle the elements, like gargoyles grimacing through the biblical flood. Even Noah couldn’t prepare for this week’s truly torrential rain, gutters overspilling, drains filling up, the ringing out of non-waterproof clothing. The streets are littered with the corpses of many an umbrella, turned inside out and discarded by their owners; bins overflow as new umbrella graveyards. Whilst friends splash around in Doc Martins or wellies I am forced to slop around in canvas shoes. If I had ‘William’s Wish Wellingtons’ I would wish for better weather.The onset of trenchfoot looks inevitable as my lesson is never learnt; everyday I seem surprised as my canvas Fred Perry shoes turn into sponge, then leave me hanging my socks up to dry when I come in. My mum always asks the question “How come you can afford alcohol, but not new shoes?” In all honesty I would rather walk around with a bad case of trenchfoot than miss out on the antics of £2 Savanna at the Faversham.
So here I am on a Friday afternoon, barely moved in 24 hours, catching up on a blog that seemed destined to gather dust in the corner of the internet. My best friend has gone away, and I am resorting to this. I had half toyed with the idea of going back home (to whatever home I have) to relieve the boredom of lonely weekends in Leeds. After all when the going gets tough…..the tough get going. A mountain of work has been sidelined by my new appreciation for the film ‘Jackass.’ On Wednesday I indulged in the 3D wonder of ‘Jackass 3D’, and since then have been watching the other films. The trick of Knoxville and co. is to get inside your head, sitting in your comfy cinema chair you think : “I could do that,” “That wouldn’t hurt,” “I could do that better.” The warning at the beginning complete with skull and crossbones means nothing to today’s hardened student. Who hasn’t accidently been smashed in the face with a bottle, or taken a tumble down the union stairs?
But it isn’t all doom and gloom, I would hate to think that my blog drives people to suicide; for the most part winter is a time to clamber into bed, snuggle down, and embrace your duvet. It is at this time that the television chirps brightly with those all too familiar Christmas tunes; you know the song, but have forgotten the words since your year 4 carol concert. The jolly red Coke Santa, or the dancing polar bears make a welcome return. Your television lights up as the bumper edition Radio Times crashes through the coffee table, I eagerly flick through the pages circling anything and everything I want to watch. When we were younger whole pages would be circled, if it was something good (Wallace and Gromit) we would circle it twice, or until the pen came through the other side. The miracle of Sky plus now means there is no need to mindlessly sit glued for hours in fear of missing Mary Poppins for the 12th time; You can come home from a drunken night out and watch Dick Van Dyke be a chimney sweep at your own leisure. We are no longer slaves to the corporate scheduling. The counter on Ebay’s website reminds me that there are now only 43 days left till Chrsitmas… Soon the streets will be filled with bustling market stalls, the smell of mince pies, and the glitter of cheaply bought council lights. There is the big rush that every town or city has about the turning on of the lights; they seem to compare their own offering to the Blackpool illuminations. This year Leeds City Council tosses us the sacrificial lamb of Shane Ward, there only to satisfy the young chav girls who remember his X-Factor days. We all pretend we won’t go, we all pretend it is a load of old rubbish, but we will all be there. So in conclusion, even with 43 days, no presents, no money, a tonne of work, and an expanding waistline, the little Grinch inside me will soon be dead. Happy Holidays everyone.