Let's do this chronologically then:
27 March, Sunday
I went to London to have lunch with some friends from law school, namely Sixuan, Yue-En and Lord Seow. We went to Granger & Co at Clerkenwell where I ordered this prawn linguine dish, which was decent albeit a bit too sour. Sixuan ordered the signature pancakes and I had a piece, and it was amazing, and so I definitely need to head back there at some point and just have the pancakes. I also had two cups of flat white because the coffee was good. It was nice catching up with people from my past (okay, not-so-distant past, but it is still my past); what was odd, but in a good way, about it all was that I barely spoke to Lord Seow in law school, and didn't really interact much with Yue-En, and Sixuan pretty much never spoke to Lord Seow ever, and yet, it was all nice and fun and normal and natural.
Sometimes, I think back to law school, back to the angst that I felt in my first two years and the insecurity and the massive self-doubt, and how I looked at some of my classmates and felt a deep sense of inferiority, and I am still amazed that I am where I am now. This is not to say that Cambridge is an end goal; it is not. But the point remains that I am now at a point where I would never have thought was possible, let alone achievable, 10 years ago. It still boggles the mind.
I met Dominic after lunch; he went to a church service in South Kensington. We walked to the Tate, over the Millennium Bridge. He wanted to go because he'd never been; I, on the other hand, had been there at least four times. I never liked it once, and I warned him accordingly.
It was a very entertaining trip. Obviously we didn't take most of the "art" work seriously, and so a lot of laughter and entertainment were had courtesy of his snappy analysis of the concept behind, inter alia, a display of a projector, an egg, and an image of an egg on a vintage-looking projector; brown sacks filled up, in various shapes, strewn all around a big room that was entirely dedicated to this "art" work; and some other crap that I don't remember. He totally nailed the one true path to becoming a modern artist: enrol in a Philosophy programme and fail it, so that one is keenly aware of the requisite keywords that need to appear in the short description that accompanies the art work.
I find modern art completely ridiculous. You can tell me a million times that it's about the concept - which is probably the case - and I still won't buy it. I think there is something so inherently defective about art whose meaning and subject matter and point isn't immediately obvious, art that doesn't speak for itself, art that needs a written explanation to make sense to the passive, detached observer. Modern art - at least the non-paintings - doesn't seem to require any artistic talent; it looks like something that I can dabble in, and I have absolutely no talent for drawing or painting. I like art that moves me on an emotional level, and so if an artwork is conceptual, that embodies some idea in a completely abstract way, then there is little immediate emotional impact, and so I just don't care. I really don't care. The Tate is a great place to visit for free entertainment by taking the piss; if I wanted some real art, I would go to the likes of the National Gallery.
We had dinner in a Japanese restaurant in Angel. Sixuan recommended it, and I wasn't even looking out for it; the plan was to walk around Angel (away from the direction of King's Cross) because I saw some interesting restaurants the last time I was there and walked down a road whose name I have forgotten to get to Islington Assembly Hall to see Julian Barnes. But we emerged from the Tube station and walked down the alley where the flea market usually is, and then I spotted it across the road. I paid 14.50 quid for a unagi don, but since it had been ages since I had proper Japanese food, I didn't care at all that it was overpriced.
The weather decided to ruin our plans, and so we sought shelter at The Angel after dinner. Since it was a Wetherspoon pub, it therefore wasn't a great pub, but it was convenient. The really weird thing was that when we got up to leave, we realised that his umbrella was gone. He left it by his chair; I sat facing the direction of the umbrella while he had his back to it, but I never once noticed anyone creeping up to us and nicking the umbrella. It was really weird that someone would do that just like that and that I didn't notice anything. Obviously I was too engrossed in conversation (I think we were talking about religion; I don't remember) and distracted by the attractiveness of him in a tie (I thought that he looked ridiculously good that night), but still.
Basically, Sunday was great. It was too bad that I had to return to reality in the form of Cambridge.
28 March, Monday
Dominic and I had an impromptu lunch at Sticky Beaks, which is one of the few decent cafes around the city centre. I woke up really late and after I got out of the shower at about 12.30, I saw that he'd sent his usual daily message which contained the information that he was looking for lunch. I quickly replied to say that I had to hunt for food too, and so we met for lunch really quickly.
The curry with sweet potatoes was actually quite nice. Lunch was nice. The rest of the afternoon was not. There was supposed to be a public law reading group session with John and another PhD coursemate Trina, and so I spent my afternoon reading the article that John set. It was about judicial review and why it is mistaken to talk about judicial review being a dialogue between the courts and Parliament, and why it should be thought of as a collaboration instead...what the flying fuck. Essentially, it's a matter of semantics. What's the practical difference between a dialogue and a collaboration? It's calling the same thing by a different name. The article talked about why calling it a dialogue (or the actual dialogic process; I forgot) is mistaken, something like how it gives rise to the expectation that there has to be a resolution to the conflict, that it has to yield a final position, and that the legislature is expected to reason like the courts and maybe vice versa. But how can constitutional issues not be resolved? I think that the practice of law is essentially not amenable to unresolved conflict. Law is about finding answers and solutions to problems, and is constitutional law, and so I really didn't understand that point. Anyway, I didn't really enjoy reading it (sorry John).
What made it more unenjoyable was the fact that they both forgot about it. I was invited to have some bao made by Shirley's mom, and since I double booked myself, Shirley ameliorated the situation by scheduling dinner at 6; the reading group was supposed to be at 7.30. I guess it was nice that I could stay for dinner for a longer period of time, but it also meant that I stopped working earlier than I would've otherwise and that was a bit annoying. Anyway, dinner was delicious. I wish my mom were here too to cook for me.
29 March, Tuesday
Kevin was in town and we played tennis in the afternoon. We played for 2.5 hours. It was awesome. I hadn't hit the ball that cleanly in a really long time. My rhythm is unfortunately affected by my partner's level and consistency, and since Kevin is always consistent, I had a really good rhythm that afternoon. We played a couple of sets and I kept it close, losing 6-3 6-4. My serve continues to be a liability, but my groundstrokes are pretty reliable. I hit some cool winners. I also think that I mess up my own level during a match by getting into my own head, but that's not important right now.
30 March, Wednesday
I showed Kevin around the colleges in the morning and tried to work in the afternoon, but I couldn't focus for some reason. I left early, at 7.30, and went home and watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars before going to Dominic's for some port. It was a very good night.
31 March, Thursday
Work was quite shit. Dinner with Dominic and Sean was fun.
1 April, Friday
I woke up late, and laundry pissed the shit out of me. The washing machine stopped running 5 minutes into its cycle, which I was aware of only after my session in the gym. It added 30 minutes to the laundry time and messed up my schedule. I got to the library at 4. I only wore a cardigan as an outer layer for some reason, and I left early - at 6pm - because...I don't know why. Nothing made sense.
Dinner with Dominic at a posh-ish Indian restaurant was very lovely. He ended up spending more time at my place than he'd intended, but it was nice.
2 April, Saturday
I played tennis with the Meetup group. Unlike tennis with Kevin, I had no rhythm at all, couldn't hit the ball consistently, and pretty much just sucked. It was actually really warm and I wore a skirt with no leggings! Oh, it felt so nice.
Work was not great. My PhD is not going well. I was too lazy to make dinner and so I had 4 small cups of yogurt and a banana for dinner; when I got home, I finished one box of black seedless grapes from Sainsbury's. I think that's the reason I am currently feeling weak and slightly sick. In fact, I am a bit ill; Kevin ordered a bottle of wine over dinner on Tuesday, and I drank maybe a third of it, and I came home with a headache and some dryness in my throat, and I woke up the next day with a sore throat. I should go to bed. I am not feeling great.
This entry sucks. There are some personal things that I kind of want to write about but I am too tired right now.
My PhD sucks. Ugh, it sucks so bad.