7 Aug 2016

The End of University

It's been a good few months since I've done a proper update here. I like to think of my blog as mostly about pop culture and entertainment, with only about 30% of it dedicated to my own personal life. That said, there have been a few things going on in the last half-year or so that I wanted to put down into words.

Ode to Chester




Almost three years ago, I began my degree in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Chester. I can vividly remember my first day; moving boxes into accommodation, meeting the lads I would be living with for the next year, and going out to all the clubs in the evening. I was completely unfamiliar with that amount of freedom. I grew up in a home where I was never really encouraged to be independent. I don't fault my parents for that, I was just a very lazy teenager. At Chester, I would soon learn to "grow up" - maturing myself for adult life. I learned cooking, washing, cleaning; pretty much anything that would help me attain independency. I'm now glad that I went to university, if not for these achievements alone. I shudder to think how immature I would still be had I not gone. You might say that living away from home and around people my age was the best thing that ever happened to me. And in my first year, circulating my mind was the idea of emotional immortality: the delusion that these sensations would last forever.

If you enjoy something, make the most of it. It won't be here forever. In fact, if you take it for granted then it may go sooner than you expect. During my time in Chester, I constantly took a laidback approach to doing a lot of things in my spare time. "I've got plenty of time to go to this place" or "I can do that some time soon", I would often say. Around March of this year, when final assignments were being planned, I came to the realisation that many of the things I wanted to do never actually came to fruition. There were many bars, venues and cafes I wanted to visit. It began a long spiral of anxiety that my time at university was coming to a close, and I wasn't prepared to return back home with my family.

My final exam was in June. I managed to get a 2.1 overall, with a First in my dissertation (more on that later). I'll be graduating in November, because for some reason Chester do it really late. After that, I'm not sure under what circumstance I'll return to Chester, if I do. For now, I'm more focused on other things; finding a job, moving out, pursuing hobbies and other projects. That sort of thing.

I'm very grateful towards the people I met at university. Lots of love and respect goes towards the people who helped mould my life into a more independent one where I could actually fry an egg without getting upset I was doing it wrong! My colleagues on my course were all incredibly talented, and if they ever decided to pursue a career in writing, I am confident they would do well.

Long Live the King

I went to Leicester for a few days last weekend. When I wasn't drinking in pubs and bars, I was at the various museums and exhibits dedicated to the life and death of King Richard III. He was the King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485. He was the last king in the House of York, and his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the last significant battle in the Wars of the Roses, effectively ending the Middle Ages. Over the centuries he's sort of taken this legendary reputation.



Back in 2012, his remains were discovered in a car park in Leicester thanks to the Looking For Richard project. The skeleton was taken from the ground, and held in the nearby cathedral where he was later reburied. The tomb itself was well-designed and looked after. The staff there were very enthusiastic about the history surrounding this figure, and the museum next-door was very informative as to the man behind the legend.

The Novel

If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll know I've been in the early stages of writing a novel for the past few months. While I had wanted to write one since I was about 15, something solid came about earlier this year. For my dissertation, I wrote an 8,000 word horror story about a woman investigating strange occurrences at her neighbour's house. The amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into it was worth it, as I came out with a First. Later on, I basically came up with an idea for a horror story I wanted to write. It started as a short story, then a screenplay - but then I understood that this was a longer piece that I wanted to write in prose. And so, DEAD MAN'S HAND was born.

In Dead Man's Hand, a London journalist heads out into the countryside to do a story on an self-proclaimed medium in order to find out if he's telling the truth about being able to speak to the dead. At the moment, I have very little of the novel actually done. I'm struggling to fit it in alongside the time I'm using to read, job-hunt, and sleep. Nonetheless, I am enthusiastic about this project and hope that I'll be able to see it through to the end. If you want more updates on it, check my Twitter.

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