Monday, 21 September 2009

Train of Thought

Term's about to start again. Students are preparing for nights of drinking and partying, and occasional trips to the library; and I'm chained to the laptop for the seventh week in a row, doing my best to finish the world's longest PhD thesis. Ho hum.

It was different when I was seventeen, and on my way to interviews. I took the train from Preston down to Birmingham, feeling so nervous that I went and hid in the toilet, and sang 'Astral Weeks' to myself.

"If I venture in the slipstream
Between the viaducts
of your dream
Where the immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch and the back road stop....

... to be born again."


I can't remember much about the day, apart from the escalators at New Street station, a very nice book shop,and the length of the lecturer's moustache, like Anthony Sher in The History Man.

We talked about evolution, and religion, and I'm not sure what else. My father had been dead for not quite a year, and I was ready to make a new start.

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