Clotted Cream and Keats

My eyes are telling me to fall asleep rather than sit by a drafty window at this late hour, but it’s raining and the wind is moving the trees and rustling the leaves and tossing the night air to and fro, so it’s a good writing night. Needless to say, I am tired. I woke up yesterday without any voice at all and though it returned from hiding today, I sound raspy and smokeresque. But have I reason to complain? Nope! I’m in England and with the help of anaesthetic throat spray (thank you, BOOTS!), my throat may be sore and hoarse, but I can’t feel a thing.

I’m sure whispering in the library all morning with Miss Genevieve Gardiner and Caroline Cant didn’t help my current state of affairs, but there is something about conversing in low voices that feels deliciously illicit, especially when on the library’s top story overlooking British chimneys and windows. It’s not hard to picture Mary Poppins suddenly appearing and pulling chimney sweeps from her magic black purse to perform a little jig. One of the student librarians, however, did not share in our excitment. “Excuse me, but this floor is not meant for socializing.” So, we left for afternoon tea. Cream tea.

Anyone who claims perfection doesn’t exist hasn’t tasted a proper English scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam::heaven in my mouth, particularly when paired with a piping cup of tea. I let nineteen days pass by without trying a scone here, and whether good or bad, this will change. I could certainly get use to having afternoon tea everyday, reminds me of when I was little and would come home from school famished and the only thing that would do was hot cocoa and a cinnamon raisin bagel with butter and  sugar.

Despite clotted cream and tea, this year will be a great deal of work. My reading list for this term alone includes over sixty books and a mere four hours of class a week. The trick is that the department expects MA English students to create structure and a schedule for themselves, with the ideal goal of reading everyday from nine to five, attending any and all English relevant seminars, faithfully attending lectures, joining critical reading groups, and turning in well-thought out, relevant essays. Give me a week or two perhaps, but as of yet, I really can’t whine about having all day everyday to read the Big Six ( Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats) and to immerse myself in Romanticism. I’ve never had this much time freedom before. Ever. Having worked full-time during undergrad (Hello, welcome to Starbucks! This is Emily. Would you like to try our new salted caramel hot chocolate?), focusing only on school is such a luxury. As is being able to study something I’m really passionate about. I don’t regret studying communications at Concordia, but I chose it for practical purposes and not because I found it inspiring. Maybe a masters in English will only bring me further into debt, but I know this year will count towards something. Just not sure what.

Ah to bed,



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October 2011