Saturday, 24 January 2009

Time’s an interesting thing, isn’t it? There are so many things you can do with it. You can spend it and buy it, kill it and waste it, use it and lose it, and it’s always there. One of the most important things to learn about life is how to manage it (that’s what I’ve been told, anyway. As far as I know, the only thing time is, is irritating. You close your eyes for three seconds, and eight hours just disappear. They call it “sleep”. I call it an international conspiracy, probably concocted by the CIA/FBI/aliens from Mars/Xenu). If I had a penny for every time I got shouted at for “wasting valuable time” I’d be rich enough to bribe Cambridge into giving me an offer. I’ve never wasted a day in my life. Sure, there was the forty eight hours spent hunched over the same laptop, pausing in the middle only for sleep, food and bathroom breaks, but would you call watching seasons one and two of prison break a waste of time?

Free- I mean, study periods are brilliant examples of how each and every one of us uses time to our benefit. The last time I had free periods, they were at the end of the day, so I took the opportunity to engage in some physical exercise. Does it matter that the exercise consisted of walking home? (The answer, out of interest, is ‘Of course not!’).

But in essence, time is only one thing. Time is change. It represents stuff becoming different. Most of the important things in our lives happen because of time, like death, decay, war, the release of yet another iPod, and the latest issue of OK! magazine.

The difference between now and a few moments ago is exactly that, a few moments. But in those few moments, a lot could happen. I don’t need to tell you what, you’ll probably find out in a few moments anyway. And in months, or years, the amount of stuff that will go on will boggle your mind. Will Rafael Nadal win Wimbledon again? Is there a chance Israel and Palestine will work out a treaty this time around? Are they producing another season of Scrubs? All pressing questions, and they’ll all be answered in about a year.

In twelve months, most of the people in my year will be in university. And some of the people in my year will go on a gap year. About this time last year, I was thinking to myself ‘A gap year’s got to be the biggest waste of time anyone’s ever come up with. Who wants to spend a year doing work experience or something when you could be in university, where you’re planning on going anyway?’ Now, I’m thinking ‘Hmmm, I’m really desperate. I really want to get an offer from Cambridge. So maybe I’ll go on a gap year, and everything will work out for the best!’ So yes, it’s taken me a year to get to that decision, but other decisions don’t take nearly as long to be made. Deciding to wake up this morning, that took you about fifteen seconds, didn’t it? (It took me five, but that’s because I got up late. Again).

Time is the difference between life and death, you and the university student across the street, a respectable sixth form newsletter-thing that gets published when it’s supposed to and a really late eight page spread that is good quality, but not on time at all. I was told that I’m responsible for this. All I can say is “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” (that was actually a line from Douglas Adams, but you can say I thought of it if you like. I won’t mind). It’s what makes life exasperating, because it never goes fast enough between 3.30 and 3.45. It’s what makes it enjoyable, because there’s nothing like getting up at seven o clock, realising it’s Saturday, and sleeping until ten. Some uses of time might be better than others, but no use of time is actually a bad one. That is, of course, only my opinion, and the next time I get told off for making a paper aeroplane there will be a little murmur in the back of my head, and I won’t actually say anything.

And if you’ve learnt nothing else from this article, I leave you with this: You’ve decided to read this article. And you’ve even finished it. And you can rest easy, knowing that is will be the worst use of your time today, and the study period that you have today, that you do nothing in will probably be more productive that the time you spend processing the last 800 words.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

writing poetry
had always been a mystery
to me

writing prose, though
that always seemed to flow
i wrote prose like a pro

but its really strange
there's been some awkward change
to my writing range

my mind now fills with verse
when i write stories i curse
that ability is now in a hearse

i can quite easily rhyme
ive adapted to another clime
but i long for a younger time

i was once able to stories write
once i was an author bright
but i will compose verse this starry night

and maybe one day it will return
reason not rhyme will my mind outchurn
i wait for it with deep concern

will then my verses die away
unable to compose will i stay
what will happen i cannot say

but it is still my sincere dream
to compose stories that do not seem
to make people with agony scream

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Dear child, understand
If life were to be
All it's cracked up to be
We wouldn't have to work,
We'd just sit around and shirk
Our responsibilities.
And the philosophies
that make us able
to sit at a table
and workworkwork
and fight the thoughts that lurk
in our heads that say
Oh go away
those philosophies would never exist,
if life were grand.

Dear boy, you must know
If life were not
a watch forgot
in the middle
of an arid wasteland,
if one never suffered
the disappointments that work
hand in glove
with mistakes that shove
one's train off its ideal path,
one would never grow.

Dear girl, as you sit
and contemplate
visions of a future date
of a life fulfilled
without water spilled
from the cup of life,
know that there will be strife
I will be brief
but cause you grief
the happy ending
is still pending
it must be put together
bit by bit

I tell you this now
keep the promises
that you've made
do not let your resolve fade
and when the time comes
you can open the door
and walk to the shore
there will be a boat
to avalon

Saturday, 3 January 2009

as if i needed more proof that my life continues to be a soap opera for the entertainment of whichever deva is responsible for me. not for me clean breaks and fresh starts. oh no. just when you think the villain is dead, up he comes again with a new face and the same gun that he never fires. he just threatens to. holds it up and says, 'i am going to fire this gun', at which point the serial ends and one has to wait for the next instalment. in this case, that will probably be a week from now. stay tuned for more exciting plot twists, and see you next week roughly the same time but not the same place.

i haven't been given an offer from cambridge.

but neither can they be bothered to say 'you're crap. we don't want you'.

i have to live in tension for the next week (what's new, eh?) and then go for my exams. this new torture is called 'the pool'. highly imaginative, no? the english called the tank that because they pretended they were working on a water tank, and the name stuck. i wonder what this 'pool' does.