The Birthday Party

The past week has not been a particularly enjoyable one, largely because I’m steadily getting more and more fed up living with two of my housemates. The lesson I have learned is fairly simple: never live with a couple. Unless you’re already friends with both of them independently. Otherwise, the result is a natural duopoly that can easily control all of the communal resources in the house with no great effort at all.

For example, if I’m sitting in the living room with the TV off, reading a book, taking notes for an essay, and am then joined by the happy couple… if they want to switch the TV on they can, because they outnumber me. If, on the other hand, either of my other housemates came downstairs on their own, they are less likely to want to turn the TV on because they can see that I’m working and they wouldn’t want to disturb that.

Of course, I could just go and work in my room, but in here there’s very little space. The only place to sit down is at my computer, and it’s not exactly comfortable here. Plus I get bored of being here all the time. A change of scenery always helps. Plus it takes me away from the temptation of checking my e-mail or something else… there are too many distractions on my computer.

On Friday we went out for a meal. This was the fourth day of celebration for my friend’s birthday, which finally happened on Tuesday. Every year he manages to drag it out an enormous length of time, and this year was no different. Friday was the culmination of it, and so we went to an Indian restaurant. I enjoyed the food, apart from the price… but the real problem was that the Happy Couple spent the whole meal sitting there in misery. Unfortunately, I was at their end of the table. It later transpired that the female member of the couple, the touchiest person I know, had taken enormous offence at the most flippant and jokey comment of the night about doing a PhD. So I had to sit opposite the face that sunk a thousand ships, with no one to talk to, while down the other end of the table they laughed, joked and generally had a good time.

But at least the birthday celebrations are over. Not that they need an excuse to drink. Every Friday and every Saturday night has now become a drinkathon, normally inviting around friends who either a) don’t stop talking; b) are brash, rude and ignorant; or c) are clearly here to be the butt of all jokes. There is one guy who was here last night who was referenced in nearly every conversation in a disparaging way. But he’s such an idiot that he doesn’t realise they are genuinely taking the piss out of him. I was stuck down there with them last night because I was trying to watch the France v England rugby game on TV.

The odd thing in all of this is that for extended periods neither of the Happy Couple talks to their guests. They’re just left to talk amongst themselves.

All this is a real shame because it’s really ruining my last year at University. I thought it would be much better than it has been, and all the blame for the bad bits can pretty much be attributed to them.

Anyway, it’s Sunday, which means another day at the coalface. I’ve been laying the groundwork for my next essay in the past few days as I’ve planned out how I’m going to approach the end of this semester. I spoke to my tutor the other day who said I still have a chance of getting a First. In all honesty, I might as well go with what he says as otherwise I’ve got nothing to motivate me this semester. I could get 50% on everything until the end and still get a 2:1. So my plan is to get one of my essays completed within the next 10 days. I’ve done all the research so now I just need to write it up. “Just”. Still, after writing 12,000 words for the dissertation, 3,000 should be easy…

I’m going to go home for 2.5 weeks from March 6th. I’m looking forward to that. It will be a well earned rest after the hard work so far this semester. Plus it will be good to get out of here. Then when I get back I will polish off the rest of the dissertation and get it printed and bound. After that I’ll have one more essay to do in four weeks and then it’s just the exams. Cool.

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