A few days ago someone there told me I looked like Regina Spektor...
Anyhow, yesterday was a pretty good day, thankfully, if not technically productive. I got up early(ish) to head into Windsor for an appointment at half past ten. We arrived in Windsor a little early, so I went into Boots to pick up a Meal Deal for breakfast, and ate it by the Thames, looking across the geese-speckled waters to Eton, and getting occasional glances by the anglers sitting there. It was peaceful. Anyhow, the appointment was a failure, and I was left with a few hours before Holly finished her shift and Anna and Amy arrived to go shopping and give us a lift back. I briefly considered hopping on the cute little shuttle to Slough, but in the end, I stayed in Windsor. I once hated the strange town, but yesterday, I found it endearing, with its strange buzz caused by the large castle and the royal family staying in it, and all the corresponding foreign tourists with their cameras. There were also a lot of young mothers with young children wandering around which was sweet.
After the appointment, I headed for a coffee shop to go and get some much-needed coffee. I opted for a caramel latte, which I have come to adore, despite once finding them too sweet for my tastes. I then found a small table at the back of the shop where I could sit in peace, watch everyone else, and write in my notebook. Coffee shops, especially the quieter, less-busy ones, loosen something inside me that lets me just write. Cafe Jules on campus comes close, but it's usually a little too busy to properly relax in the caffeine sanctuary. At the table next to me were two young mothers and their adorabubble little babies, who did a lot of smiling, staring and wriggling. I meanwhile, decided to use my notebook for the first time. I'd bought it in Dresden last year, because I fell in love with it, but my problem is that I tend to write things on the computer (in Notepad, Word doesn't feel right). When I actually write, my hand tends to get tired, and I write pretty slowly (one of the relatively few obvious signs of my dyspraxia). However, I really wanted to write in it, so yesterday, with the loveliness of the latte, I did so, writing something somewhere in between of a journal entry and poetry. I hope to eventually fill every page with such dreams and whispers. Possibly not all in my beloved pink pen, but we'll see.
I stayed in the coffee shop for some time, easily over an hour, as people came and went, and I half-watched them and briefly glimpsed at their lives. Aside from filling two pages of the notebook, I also wrote down a lot of lists, of things I had to do, poems I wanted to write, things to consider and so on. I felt productive, even if it wasn't really so. I wanted just to write myself into another world, let it all out into a torrent that would sweep the mugs of half-finished cappuccinos off their tables and into the streets outside, spinning as they went. I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh, or to cry. Both silently. And I wrote. Now, if I'd had my laptop there (without Internet), I don't know how much I'd have written.
Eventually, I felt I'd been sitting there with an empty glass for too long, so I headed back into the bright sunshine, and wandered where to go next. The shops? I felt like getting things. However, I instead headed the other direction, getting my camera out of my purse as I went and taking photos. I ended up following the photos, even though with my broken camera, you can't see what you are photographing on the screen, so everything is a point-and-hope. Lanterns and windows, a pack of schoolboys in identical grey sweaters being marched past the castle by their teachers, a narrow alley near the castle full of Japanese tourists, the flowerpots along the castle wall, a stately front door to a terraced house with a window full of teddy bears, a gravestone with 'deeply lamented / his end was peace', the shadows of the trees on the side of the parish church. I took a photo of myself in front of the castle, and felt like a tourist myself, even though Windsor is familar enough now that I'm not really. A pair of tourists who were either Australian or German asked me if I wanted my photo taken near the start of the Long Walk (which is a ten-mile long straight avenue running from the castle to the hills), and I agreed. I saw gloves left in ghostly gestures impaled on a black fence. It was a fun trip, and reminded me of the photo tours I used to do back in Germany.
With that behind me, I visited Holly at her work to ask when her break was, but it turned out she didn't get one today, so a-shopping I did go. My first stop was Accessorize, which is a weakness of mine sadly, and I fell in love with a silver necklace/earrings combination, which I picked up along with some tights. No berets this time. On a similar theme, I picked up some eyeshadow from Boots. Nothing quite grabbed my fancy in HMV, so I went to Waterstones' and bought some books to encourage me to get back in the habit of reading them, even though that won't happen until after exams. The cashier was also irritating: he started a conversation with me about Egham and Windsor, asking a few questions, and when I was answering the second one, he suddenly interrupted with 'right thankyou byebye' and left me feeling tricked. I did consider going to the Ben & Jerries cafe (oh yes) to calm down, but Holly then finished, and we went to Lush, where I picked up another heavenly 'Floating Island' bath melt. By this point, it was time to meet Anna and Amy so we went up to Waitrose, where I had a sudden attack of 'need-to-get-vegetarian-foods', even though I did get some more chorizo (why don't they make vegetarian chorizo?). I got a tub of olives too, after that Wednesday! Lots of salads too, as well as more vanilla milk. I think my tastes have been changing again this year.
I didn't get much done yesterday evening aside from napping, chatting with friends from the Shadowbox (and with them poking me to get MSN again), and having a dinner of mixed bean salad, meatfree pork pie, and vanilla milk. Holly came round after spending the evening at Anna's, but by that point I was so tired that she left relatively soon.
But it was a good day, on the whole. I'm going to go and have those olives now, as well as possibly a soup. I wish it wasn't late afternoon already though.