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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Growing up

"...Such profound observations made me forget where I was; I came to, startled to find myself in the gloom of the library, and surprised all over again to see Holly there..."
Alas! A long overdue blogpost arrives on Hollyday Golightly. Almost 3 months have whizzed past us since I delved into an al dente piatto di spaghetti in Italia... Ah, sweet memories. Now I type at a new desk, in a new city with my fifth bowl of pasta this week. Your admiration of your favourite meal is put through an enduring test as a student.

With the first term of uni nearly over, I've been reflecting on this whirlwind journey. Freshers was a combination of memorising names, learning what "simmering" means in the cookbook and having an epiphany that cheese is bloody expensive - all blurred by the trebles that you thought you could hack. 

I am now embracing Newcastle's alluring culture. That is not to say I'm succumbing to the surplus of Greggs that meet me on every street corner. (Oh no, mighty pasty, I will save you for my worst hangovers.) Apart from the heavy promotion of nightlife, Newcastle endorses a friendly atmosphere, quirky exhibitions and a healthy dose of shopping therapy. 

Of course, being a foodie myself, I've already scouted out Newcastle's hidden delights... Cocktails to cafes, it has it all! (Too easy to gain weight here!) 

Transition period over, I'm feeling settled in my second home with the aid of some absolute gems. But aside from the social aspects, it can be tricky to adjust to your course. As an English lit student, cosy reading spaces become a pertinent part of the course. 3-4pm. Amber streaks beaming through my window, snuggled under my duvet, book in hand. This has become my sanctuary for doing my work.

Uni can be an odd one... One minute you can be reading about what influenced modernist fiction and the next you will be discussing what the cheapest outfit is for halloween and which flat are holding "prinks".

The surplus of societies and events plunge you into some spontaneous bar crawls and drinking games. Pub golf and the American frat party were fun to say the least!

It can be intimidating walking into a crowd of strangers and a nightmare putting names to faces. But 9/10 times the other person is bursting to have a wee chat too, so say "Hi" first. (I remind myself of this a lot!)

Flying visits from friends has brought a little more of home to the toon and has sent them away with fond memories of this bubbly city. There have been creases of laughter and moments of reflection, and the ability to have both has been truly valued.

Without getting soppy, uni really does make you appreciate your friends, your Mother's cooking and not having to nip to the supermarket at 11 at night for some milk in your tea. You mainly just appreciate being able to walk into the kitchen barefoot at home. 

Newcastle's festivities seem to have got everyone in a good mood... From Fenwick's magical Christmas department, to the temporary continental market, I feel I'm embodying the spirit of Christmas! My flatmates and I also decorated the communal area with sparkles, lights and improvised "stockings" - making coming home after Uni a delight! 

With my birthday in just a week, I feel the countdown to Christmas is slipping us by quicker than I can munch my advent calendar. Let the festivities commence! 

Perhaps it is amongst these cafes, these adventures, this city that my best work will emerge. Perhaps it is a combination of the inspiring people I am lucky enough to have met in my life.

So this is me, Hollyday Golightly, signing off and attempting "to become the writer I [have always] wanted to be". (Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany's).