The Account of a Lifetime

January 13, 2010

Exiles

Filed under: A day in the life of... — xisor @ 12:06 pm

Now it’s both myself and Jonny trapped out here on the far end of the world. It’s reassuring though, Jonny is delightfully mad and is an excellent reminder of St Andrews.

This week I arrived in Christchurch early on Sunday. Whilst I did not catch Jonny that day, I did have a grand ol’ explore about the city. It’s a strange place, big, but flat. The sort of expansive place I think which would really grate on me after a while.

It’s big, it’s flat, it’s grid-like structure and lacks some distinction in its familiarity. To this end I find my navigational super-powers completely undermined not only by its disturbingly difficult-to-grasp features, but also by its lack of hills. And the sun being in the wrong place. (Hell, even the moon is upside down!)

But that’s really beside the point; it’s an exciting city and I’m finally back in the company of people who can furnish me with decent conversation. Not that Thames was awful, but there was a startling lack of folks I found able to engage with on a more to-my-tastes level. In Christchurch, when I did meet up with Jonny* we then went off for a big day out around ChCh. We visited art galleries, we went to the gardens, to museums; it was all very cultured. We even met Jonny’s academic acquaintance (Jonny’s down here for a maths conference) none other than Marcus du Satoy. Quite a pleasant chap, always nice to meet new people too. And we’d just been discussing him in a bookshop looking for his books. I think it might be an idea to copy down a whole host of the hilarious/odd coincidences from our adventure**.

That evening we retired to Colin Simpson’s place. I’d not known him much over the years at St Andrews, but had spoken to him on occasion and, as is usual for astronomers (excepting Captain Moon-always-one-way-up McMundy) who tend to be very pleasant folks anyway. Had a quiet evening on the Monday night and planned out a, err, plan for the Tuesday and later-part of the week.

Tuesday saw us off to Lyttleton for a walk and then onwards heading for Sunmer over hill and rocks and scrambling down fun gradients. In Lyttleton Jonny suggested we stop for an ice-cream. I was all for searching onwards up the town, but he persuaded me to go for a little one which met my desired description of ‘like Janettas’. He opted for a manufactured one from the freezer, I went for a curious looking creamy-pink double-scoop.

Except…well, those were some mighty scoops the girl was using. Well, they weren’t, but she was quite liberal with them. I got enough strawberry-caramel-chocolate-chip ice-cream to constitute roughly the same volume as my own head. It was quite impressive and quite delicious. But, realising this story is almost nothing without pictures, I shall leave it there for now.

Suffice to say: I’m enjoying things rather well. A fair few new friends (an art historian back in ChCh plus two mathematicians who’ll be back up in Auckland by now; might insist on catching up for them at some point when I return to North Island. Jonny’s even wittering something about me delivering a mix-tape to them, so there’s a pressing necessity right there!), some adventures to look forward to and tomorrow ought to be a day of exploring Dunedin, or ‘the Edinburgh of the South’. The sadder side of it all is that my dearest redhead is trapped on the other side of the planet facing exams. Bah, humbug! Were it not for all this adventure, I’d wish it were March already. In fact, I think my greed is manifest: I do wish it were March already, but by science; there’ll be some wholesome, madcap adventure first!

Good luck to her (and anyone facing exams), and to everyone else? Well, everyone should have some fun. I command it. More updates soon.

* Monday morning, completely by accident. I was on my way into town having left Foley Towers early in the morning (which is itself preceded by a story of ending up drunk then waking up first thing in the morning on the couch in the sitting room after having a long, circuitous and rambling chat to an endearing American named Amoryn from Phoenix, Arizona whilst I was imbibing perhaps too much brandy) intending to check my email to see if I’d any news from Jonny. A mere hundred metres from the netcafe, I walked into none other than Jonny who’d just arrived in Cathedral square hoping to meet me at ten there (it was now twenty-past, we were both late!). What delightful (though IMO secular) serendipity!
** Let us not forget the barmaid in Sullivan’s who’s from none other than Glenrothes!

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