Posts Tagged ‘Hexter’


Protected: Cancer

January 22, 2011

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Protected: It hurts

August 5, 2010

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Es ist vollbracht! Finals etc

June 15, 2010

Well, if it hadn’t been for the funeral, the wedding to think about, for struggling with my health, and for life generally, it wasn’t so bad! Gah, who am I kidding?!!

My preparation for the Bible and People of God: Then and Now, Biblical Sexuality exam kind of began the weekend before the exam. Don’t get me wrong, I had done a fair amount of reading for this module, but my notes weren’t tidy because I’d not made it to all my lectures, and well, I can’t cope if my notes are in order. Once I’d got that sorted, I chose my exam topic to focus on. I went for the Song of Songs and a contemporary application. By the night before, I had a solid argument, but would I remember it?!! I was stupidly anxious about the exam, but somehow found peace that morning. Scott, bless him, came up to my room to check on me and make sure I got to the exam, in a way someone else who wasn’t there might have done. I felt loved. I was able to write for the entire exam, which was amazing, because I thought I’d get physically tired, which I was, by the end, but I did the best I could! It wasn’t till I got out the exam room that I remembered some of the things I had forgotten, but I didn’t think they were so vital anyway!

It was then time for manic cello practice! I was frustrated, because had I had more ‘well’ time, I would have been able to perform better. I was very blessed to have so many people come and support me, especially those from outside LST: my parents, my God mother, Katherine and her Mum, Derek, Rodney, Daniel, Hazel, David [I hope I’ve not left anyone out?!] My Cello teacher also came, which was nice, it also turned out that she and Rodney knew each other from orchestras!! It was so nice to have so much support, but if I’m honest, I felt humiliated by the whole experience! Because I was performing about 2 or 3 weeks short of a ‘good’ performance, in my books! The Saint-Seans started well, but I slipped up in places I know I can play so much better, which was frustrating. The Kol Nidrei was alright, but I think I’ve played it better. And the Toccatta was, well, I got through it, I guess. People can tell me I did well, but I know I can do better! It was surreal to have finished all my LST exams! People went out to the Pub to celebrate, but I was just too shattered, and needed to go straight to bed. Sad times.

I took Thursday off, which was needed! Katherine and her Mummy took me out for dinner, which was lovely of them, they knew I wouldn’t have much time on the recital day to see me, and as they’d come down from Yorkshire to see me…! There was a slightly awkward moment, when Katherine asked naively why I hadn’t invited her to read my blog. I managed to answer without frightening her, and her Mum backed me up, even though she has no idea of it’s content…!

I don’t remember what happened the Friday and Saturday, other than joining in games of Frisbee to discover I can’t breathe after 5 minutes which wasn’t too fun. But the Sunday, I visited Finchley, although I kinda ran out of fuel on the way, which was interesting!!! It was funny observing one of the church wardens drift off during the sermon!! We went to the pub for lunch, played Scrabble and then Dave helped me tweak my Language and Worship Liturgy, which we finished. And, as Dave said, finishing my last piece of LST work was a bit of an anti-climax!

But, as Beethoven so aptly put it: Es ist Vollbracht! It is finished. Done. Finito.

I have finished my degree. I had been dreaming of life at LST since spring 2004. I got my place in January 2005. I embarked on this journey in October 2006. It may have taken me 4 years rather than 3 to complete, but I have finished. And, in all honesty, I don’t know how I feel about it!

On the Monday, I finally rang the LST bell for real. It’s an LST tradition to ring the bell in the library (which was a chapel when it was St John’s) to mark the end of assessments at LST.

I packed the car with as much stuff as I could take home and waited for dissertation results to come out, final recital marks were back also. I can’t complain, but to me, they don’t add up! Last year, when I was pretty darn ill, for my assessed mid-year recital for my dissertation, I got 69. This year, I KNOW I played a heck of a lot better, playing 3 times more stuff… I got 66 for the recital. It’s a good mark, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t make sense! I also know that there was more than 6 marks difference between my dissertation recital and my final recital! My Head of Department pretty much admitted that the marks would have been different had Chris Redgate still been part of LST faculty. I was also frustrated with the comments on my written submission. Again, 68 is a good mark, I’m not complaining at that in itself. But the person who marked it questioned why I hadn’t looked at Beethoven’s specifically religious works, giving examples. I had done in my research! But due to the very tight restraints of the essay, I focussed on Beethoven’s cello works, and acknowledged in both the introduction and conclusion the tremendous role the other works have in this argument. Gah. Anyway, I got 67 overall. Which is, pretty good for a dissertation, I feel.

I left LST Monday evening, drove to Cosgrove and met my parents off the narrowboat, another leg of the journey nearer to LST completed. And we all drove home from there. I was home for the week prior to Victoria’s wedding 🙂



March 27, 2010

A couple of things I’ve been reflecting on since returning home in the last 32 hours;

Home is where I grew up. Home is the sounds of Dad doing DIY around the house. Home is the smell of freshly cut wood. Home is memories. Home is noticing how things have changed. Home is going to Southwell and people genuinely pleased to see me and want to know how I’m doing and what I’m up to. Home is walking into the Minster late on a Saturday evening after a concert, and being given a giant-sized hug by Andrew, the Head Verger. Home is being lovingly mocked. Home is sticking around the Minster and helping dismantle the stage and resurrect the Nave Sanctuary, in a skirt and bare feet (having been wearing heels!). Home is being told to go and make the Tea. Home is sitting in the Crossing drinking tea and chatting with the Vergers; my family. Home is driving late at night on country roads.
Home. Is. Lovely.
And yet, Home doesn’t have the grasp it did once have. Home is now longer my home.
Returning home, to my parent’s house, after 5 or 6 weeks at LST has made me aware how ‘well’ I am. After driving home, unpacking, eating, I still had energy for about 2 hours ‘cello practice last night, which, incidentally, is starting to sound pretty good, even if I say so myself! Saturday, I got up, had Bacon for breakfast and I alternated ‘cello practice, dissertation and washing before heading out to Southwell this evening for the Old Southwellians meal. Which, I coped with remarkably well.
I know I need to be careful, and the old clocks going forward tonight probably won’t help such matters. But things are faring well currently.
I like.

National Express

March 26, 2010

Today I embarked on my journey back north along the M1, to Robin Hood country.

As I set off, I prayed, as I always do. As I’d finished praying and I joined the M1, the rain began! To be fair, it wasn’t a bad journey, especially considering it’s Friday. It took about 3 hours from leaving LST to get home, including filling up with fuel in Watford on the way.
But one thing that really upset me was a National Express coach driver. Around Northampton area, I was overtaking a convoy of lorries, and thus was in the middle lane. There were three or four lorries on my left, cars ahead of me, and many cars in the right-hand lane. Oh, and did I mention the weather? I was trying to keep a sensible gap ahead of me, but most of the time other drivers would fill it for me… But essentially I had no where to go, other than keep up with the flow of traffic. Then the National Express coach pulls out behind me, also over taking the lorries. He was so close to the back of my car, I was actually scared. Like, inches away from me. I felt incredibly intimidated. And then, he starts flashing me, as if to say ‘get out of my way!’ As I said, I had no where to go! I couldn’t pull out into the right hand lane, there were too many cars! I couldn’t go faster than the car in front of me, and unlike the coach driver, I was leaving a gap. He got closer and closer, flashing me and flashing me. I felt so bullied. Eventually, a gap appeared in the right hand lane and I went for it; I just wanted to get out of the way of this coach! I got to Watford Gap services and had a little panic and called Dad.
I just don’t get it. Lorry drivers, on the whole are legends. I love lorry drivers! The majority of the time I’m doing a long journey, I almost feel protected by them. Wherever I can I let them out in front of me, on the grounds that they do similar at times when I’m joining a motorway.
I would have thought coach drivers would be the same? Apparently not. But then I remembered a couple of years ago when National Express coaches crashed at Newport Pagnell Services and on the M4.
I think I’m going to continue travelling on the train when I’m using public transport!
I’m left doubting my driving skills. But, I know I’m not a bad driver! (I even got the Miles per Gallon thingie to the highest it’s been certainly since Matthew crashed it, if not the highest we’ve got it?!)

Growing up

February 20, 2010

Today I went to Tesco on my own for the first time, err, possibly ever?

I felt all grown up, making decisions about what things I can buy that I’m allowed to eat. What treats that fit into that category and oooh, look, they’re on offer, too!

I will soon be the proud owner of a Tesco clubcard, which makes me feel grown-up. I’m no longer relying on Mum’s Asda discount card, or limited to going when she can go.

It’s one of the first times I’ve driven when I wanted to go out, not because I have an appointment or somewhere to go. I felt free. I like this freedom.

But, I’m also scared of the responsibilities that come with it. It’s down to me to make sure the car (my parent’s car, which I have named Hexter) has enough fuel, oil and water, and the tyres are the right pressure. And I feel so far from home.

It would have been nice to go with someone to Tesco’s today. I need to work on asking people to spend time with me, to go for coffee, to not feel excluded just because no-one has thought to ask me specifically, and not to feel so self-conscious about the whole thing.

But for now, I feel all grown up and things… so I’m going to apply for a couple of jobs and do some work on BPG… cause that’s what mature people do, they get on with the task in hand.