So summer is coming to an end. I’ve never understood why we’re told autumn starts in October. Summer ends when school cuts off those idyllic late evenings of football and bike riding. Summer ends when the evenings pull in, the wind picks up to a chill and our optimism is only peaked on the odd, warm September. Or in the UK this summer, sometime around the 10th of August. We hunker down behind our coats and closed toes. We start planning Christmas meals. Crazy, three months before.
Summer here ends for me this week when I leave the summer semester at Oxford and head abroad for a year or two. Qatar or Singapore are the options. Its natural to be drawn to the latter but the former has two benefits; money and people. The money is extravagant and will fund whatever needs for a long while. People means those I know already and a few to be added making this trip to the Middle East more enjoyable. It will be the last!
Summer at Oxford has been long and punctuated by fun and uncertainty. I’ve not known what I’ve wanted, the standard problem for someone who thinks too much and uses instability for creative joy. I spoke to Linden the other night about instability. She noted I love my narrative and hate the idea of it being compromised by vulnerability at the behest of other’s decision making. That’s all true but that risk is lovely until I no longer want it anymore. That change in me is often very sudden and feelings are simply pushed into a cupboard known as ‘times I used to know.’ Its a clean, clear break. But then I think I just got bored here and am restless to do and see other places and people. Four years here is enough.
However Oxford has been a lot of fun and I’ve been taken care of. 9 weeks is a long time in a small town but I’ve enjoyed the bike riding, the same, old pubs and a lot of the work. I’ve met a few, new people, Tony, Billie, Takako, Anna and Ryan and many old friends have come to visit. I’d like to thank Pedro, Matt, Cookie, Oli, Amna, Charlie, Monsur, Mum, Dad and Imogen as well as Olivia. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. I’ve also caught up with Wei, Heather, Luke and Ro, Alex, Carlos, my sister and her kids and hopefully Si next week. I also saw the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time.
I’m left with two, excellent options which will both fulfill me in pocket and heart doing a challenging job in either place. Then comes the hard work. But first comes the holiday. So its farewell Oxford and see you in the sun.