I honestly know that I need to decide on my final piece. But with the constant dance of France accepting the UK people for visits (or not) things are getting fuzzy. I’m worried about getting to explore the city to write my final piece. I’m not worried about getting the word count. In theory I’ve already got more than enough material to be able to cobble the required fifteen-thousand words. I’m not concerned about the motivation to write; things are all good in that department.
Okay, things aren’t all good in that department. I worked out last night (procrastinating again) that I need to get my second highest grade for my penultimate assignment, with the view to obtaining a decent final mark. And that’s a lot of pressure. I’m not one to disclose scores but unless I get 74% or above, I’m sitting on an okay grade as opposed to a well-done grade. If, and it is a possible if, I manage to get this score, I’m then reliant on a similar mark from the external marker to carry me through. Failure of the first means no pressure to perform for the latter. On the plus side, it’ll mean that once more I can write for hobby and not habit. I’ll get to enjoy my craft, once more. However, the downside is that I’ll have no reason to put in an effort. And that becomes soul destroying. Writing to be graded really isn’t my thing. My next assignment is a nonfiction piece of academic self-reflection, spanning my entire Master’s journey. I need to write three thousand words, referring to what I’ve learnt, what I’ve used and what I’ve become. I don’t like doing these things. Especially when my final grade is so heavily reliant upon it.
In theory, I would have submitted a part of this along with another entry for a non-marked assignment. It’s to get a rough idea from my trumpet blowing work of art and finally the big fanfare of my educational journey. One that restarted eight years ago. Have I learnt much in that time? Yes. Have I seen any self-improvement outside of my academic learnings? I’m really not sure. But by the time that I’m another five or six entries down the road, I guess we’ll all find out as I begin that epic task.
So, getting back to the initial paragraph, I’m not worried (honest) about the writing side nor the qualification aspect of my writing. My concern is not being able to get to Paris. In my mind, my fear is that I’ll be running on old memories, photographs and current affaris. Which hasn’t presented a problem thus far. However, I want some new ideas, fresh inspirations and renewed enthusiasm that wouldemerge from my submergence in the Parisian culture, obtained from this most recent visitation. It’s the same sort of thing when you share snaps from your holiday. It’s great and all that, but it simply isn’t the same as experiencing those moments at the time. It just never is. Hindsight is amazing, emotional recollection is heart-warming but writing about buying an expensive chocolate éclair a few hours after eating it is truly unbeatable. Especially for an Englishman in Paris.
If I manage to make it Paris in August, it’ll be the first time that I’ve visited since we’ve actually left the EU, as opposed to saying the goodbyes before leaving the party. And yet for me, there will be no difference. For me, the only difference that I’ve seen is during the working day as I have to deal with exporting goods to the EU. In fairness, I don’t want to talk about that side of my life. I don’t feel that it adds any substance to who I am or what I’m doing as an OU student – although it would explain why I’m only studying part-time. And I don’t mean that to be a excuse for my lowly grades, merely an attempt at part of an explanation. So, in time honoured, cliché invoking tradition, I’m going to change topic at an unheard-of speed and in a whiplash-inducing turn of direction.
As I was walking to the New Fairlop Oak to write this evening’s entry in Wetherspoon’s, I happened to glance in the window of the St Francis Hospice charity shop. To my uncalculatable horror, I saw a writing bureau sitting there. Standing there? Yep, it was standing there. Mocking me, taunting me. There was no price tag, no indication of the quality that lay inside. All I could do was imagine what I would find should I return tomorrow morning at half nine, when the shop reopens. Do I want it? At first glance, yes. Will it fit in my bedroom/study/office/playroom/TV lounge/library/games room/research centre/haven of solitude? Yes, without doubt. Will it fit there with the existing furniture? Not an ice-cube’s chance on the Devil’s barbecue. Will it stop me? It’s not an easy question to answer. First, the question of price. I’m not flush at this point in the month. Each month, two days after payday I’m no longer flush. The condition of the bureau is another factor. It looked good from the outside; I could only see the front and sides. The inside could be a deal-breaker, I suspect. And as I mentioned earlier, the size. I could quite possibly find a very temporary location for it in the living room whilst I rearrange my room to accommodate it. I think I would need to dismantle my existing desk and replace it with the bureau. What becomes of the desk? Possibly move it in to the boys’ room and remove one of their tables enabling the desk to become a less-wide feature – I can store the tabletop and four legs in the garage a bit easier than the desk. But I would need to discuss this logistical transfer with the boys. Worst-case scenario? I have no idea. I guess it would be the dismantling of the IKEA desk in my room.
So, the latest question that has now come to mind is this: Do I have enough time and energy to rearrange the bedroom at the weekend? Probably not. But as with all great projects, until you start, you never know. And it’s the starting that is often the problem. By throwing myself in at the deep end, and I’ll have no option but to swim for the shore. Whether I make it or am saved by a passing ocean liner, is totally out of my hands.
Do I buy the bureau and make myself rearrange the bedroom? If yes, am I looking at the major overhaul before the purchase of a planned daybed or a simple motion of “desk, table; table, desk” just as Tommy Cooper would say? A deeper question would be, am I thinking of the bedroom furniture or, in a subconscious way, am I actually thinking about my penultimate assignment? Because that would be a magnificent twist in my writing. An unexpected metaphor and quite possibly, my greatest to date…