June 13th, 2007

Time's Curse

In the Shadow of the Milepost

Oh, Summer, you strange thing. Greenery, heat, freedom, sapphire light at your 4am window. For a majority of Hollowegians, Summer means Pimms in the Quad. Or rather, it did. The term ends on Friday. Well, that year has gone by quickly, and yet, at the same time, it hasn't. It it unsettling to think that it's less than a month until we leave Hazel House behind, but it does feel that we have been there a long long time. Summer '06, with its walks to Windsor, green beans in vinegar, and having to rely on Campus for the internet...another world, really. It doesn't help that I've been so out of things as of late, as it makes the impending milepost all the more strange and imposing. Time spares no-one.

One year since the End of Williamson. I remember that last night, the electric buzz in the air, the way sleep was far from everyone's minds, and the knowledge that the walls in which you sat would soon be no more. Hah, Williamson was rubble in August, and a new building now stands there, almost complete. The same thing happened with my Infant School, my Junior School, and even the Becket is to get a new site. Time never ceases to remind me of its march by burning every inn I overnight in. I look back, and the road behind is as new as the one before.

Next year, of course, shall make things e'en more odd. It's not as if I'm going into my final year at Holloway like those doing the straight History course. If it was, I'd at least know I'd be walking these paths for a good few months yet, through a campus once utterly alien, but now as familiar as my reflection. Hah, for I shall still have a year to order a coffee from Café Jules, amble down the curved corridors to this PC lab, and type away with the Students' Union over my shoulder. That awaits me, although I bear in mind that a year will have passed when it does come, and things will have changed to make even the familiar something new. 2008/09 will be amazing.

Next year, however, is not spent on campus, or even in this country. I am away, to Germany. The Year Abroad, the strange twist to all language degrees, once reassuringly distant, is now very real. I not only know I'm going, but I know where I'm going. Exactly where. Those watching my user profile (I expect that means 'no-one') will have seen that I've added a new school to my list. Yes, next year, I will be a language assistant at the Johann-Heinrich-Voß-Gymnasium in Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein.

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Yet it is so hard to believe now, sitting here in Egham, with Holly on her way back from visiting her family, with The Apprentice final in a few hours, with the Lv99 Red Chocobo beckoning, with the end of term waiting around the corner, and the end of Hazel House not long after. I'm scared. Time terrifies me, it always has. I remember singing a song of memories on the field at school in 2003, spinning slowly in memory of good times gone, and now that is four years ago. I watch Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (which is, incidentally, the best history documentary I've seen for years), and I ponder the past and weep at time's march, so how much stronger is it when all is so personal.

I could cling onto a branch to escape the flow of days, but it'd just turn out to be yet more flotsam.

So, appropriately enough, tommorrow is the date of that Blackmore's Night concert I booked tickets for back in early March. Another distant thing is suddenly imminent. If they play 'The Clock Ticks On' I will cry. And cry.

That is how it should be.