I did start off losing a mini league match that I really wanted to win; I played against this opponent and I wanted to make up for how the match turned out that time. I ended up losing 7-4 this time. I don't even know anymore. We were quite evenly matched, and I was the first to secure a break, but I couldn't hold - and the wheels came off when, during one of her service games in which she was down 15-30 or something like that, she hit a ball down the middle of the court with no pace, a ball which just sit up and begged to be punished, and I slapped at it with my forehand, and instead of hitting the corner, I hit it wide.
I couldn't recover after that. This terrible unforced error really rattled me mentally, and I just couldn't get back into it. I pretty much gave up. There were a couple more unforced errors like this and I was so disgusted at myself that I didn't give a shit anymore. I even lost the tiebreak 7-2. Great job, right? Bleah.
The bright side is, despite that crappy start to the day, the rest of the day turned out brilliant. I had a hit with E after my crappy match. He helped me with my backhand and I could feel it coming back a little, which was great. My strings are a bit too loose, I think, as I am having problems controlling the forehand now. All in all, though, I had a great work out, so that was lovely.
I had a quick lunch at Fitzbillies; I was so hungry that I was killing myself with all these thoughts of Singaporean hawker food which obviously I couldn't get, and I would've cooked except I was too hungry to spend time cooking, and so I went to Fitzbillies where I would get my food really quickly. I had a tart and a croissant. The salad looked like it had some kind of parsley in it which I would not have been able to deal with, so I went for the croissant. It was actually really delicious.
I was supposed to meet English Lit Academic today, but he cancelled yesterday saying he was not feeling well and so he'd decided to go back to Wales for a bit. Well, okay. He didn't say anything about meeting up when he's back, and so I didn't say anything along those lines too. I was a bit disappointed, but then I decided, I don't really give a fuck, really, and even though I wanted to be outside in the afternoon and enjoy the warm weather, I'd had enough of that in the morning - and so I decided to do one of my favourite things in the world.
Armed with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, a pink pen, my bank card, my phone and my keys, I sat in Fitzbillies for two hours, having coffee and reading a book. Barry stopped by at one point to get his caffeine fix and we chatted for a bit; but apart from that, it was pretty much just me and Virginia, informing me through her beautiful prose how lucky I am to be living in the times that I live in. How lucky I am, in fact, to be the beneficiary of the female emancipatory movements of the past, to be privileged enough to say that I didn't care about feminism because I'ver never experienced any kind of sexism, or been disadvantaged because of my gender. Reading her book drove home so powerfully how I have taken gender equality for granted; that women have been belittled, disadvantaged, suppressed throughout history, that the perception of women as the weaker sex, as inferior to men physically and intellectually, was a systemic perception that was institutionally normalised; that it is actually not normal, utterly unhistorical, that I am studying at Cambridge, that I have an education, that the only thing that stands in the way of my becoming a writer is not that I do not have a room of my own, but that I have the luxury of choice - choice which is bestowed upon me by my education. It is utterly not normal, too, that I can say with conviction that I don't need to rely on a man for money; that I can make my own money; that I can be absolutely self-reliant and financially independent. It was only in the 1920s that Virgina was denied entry to a library in a Cambridge college because she was a woman unaccompanied by a male fellow of the college; and here I am, bitching and moaning about going to the library every day because 'it's boring' or some other nonsense.
It is a privilege to be blissfully oblivious - and genuinely so - to the implications of my gender. I don't even feel it when I am the only woman in a group of philosophers, or one of the two women in a legal theory discussion group gathered to discuss my paper. I don't feel like I have anything extra to prove because I am a woman. Nobody has ever told me not to further my education because I am a woman. I have never been denied a job because I am a woman; on the contrary, that I am a woman has probably landed me jobs that I wouldn't have got if I had been a man (or, let's be honest, if I had been unattractive). I am lucky as hell, and I have spent most of my life taking all of this for granted. Virginia has opened my eyes to all of that. I can't believe it took me so long to start reading her, for she is incredible.
And so I really enjoyed my afternoon. It was one of the few moments in recent memory when I was doing something just for myself, getting absorbed in a great book with no time constraints, no rushing through the words so that I can finish a certain portion and go off to do something else. It was just me, coffee and Virginia's words - a bloody perfect afternoon that I would not have enjoyed more if I had been on a date.
I eventually left at 5. I read a bit more on a bench in Jesus Green, which was, as expected, flooded with people. But the wind was too strong and it started to get a bit chilly; I was in shorts and a cami. I was also due to meet Azi at half six. Not to mention - I was bloody hungry. And so I came back and made a mug brownie, which was a bit of a failure, as I substituted butter with olive oil. The taste was there, but it was way too dry. At least it staved off the hunger for a bit.
I met Azi at Thirsty for a private, invitation-only gig. We ended up only listening to the first guy (who was boring) and spending the rest of the time having dinner and talking. It was great, and definitely preferable to going back to the gig. There was a food truck just outside the little bar and the cuisine was Jamaican, and I really liked my sweet potato stew even though I don't really like sweet potato. The best bit about it was that it was spicy. I love spicy food.
I am tired, as it has been a long day, so I will end quickly with this:
I met Kaara, Luiza and a new first year PhD named Catherine last night for a girls' night out. We had drinks at Novi, then went to Spoons. It's definitely not my favourite place, but I had to be back by midnight because of my tennis match, and I didn't want to pay for entry at a crappy club just to stay for two hours. We were also in the area anyway so we headed there for some dancing.
It was so much fun. Kaara is just the best person to go out with for a night out. I had just enough alcohol to get the right amount of buzz, and so we were on the dance floor, dancing (obviously) and holding our drinks. Apparently, we were not allowed to do that, which we were alerted to when this bouncer/security guy came over and told us we couldn't have our drinks on the dancefloor.
Kaara flirted with him, then came over to me to tell me that he said that he thought I was hot. I just kind of laughed and was like, whatever.
Later on, I felt someone touch me lightly on my waist. I turned around - and it was the security/bouncer guy. He asked me what my name was, where I'm from, how long I've been in Cambridge, whether I was at Anglia Ruskin (er, no way?). It was obviously very loud in there and talking was nearly impossible; I also thought that he was working and so maybe I shouldn't spend too much time talking to him. So he went off.
Even later on, Kaara called him over, presumably for my benefit. I am really the worst flirt ever, and I felt really awkward, so I kind of ran away from him. But obviously couldn't go very far, and so he came to me and said, 'Why are you running away?' And then, 'You'll have to give me your number before you go.'
I might have - okay, I was - been a bit flirty after that, catching his eye while dancing, smiling, the kind of stupid shit that I would do only with the assistance of alcohol. I noticed that a few women were trying it on with him but he was all professional and didn't give a shit. Before I left, I took my phone from my bag, went to him while some woman was trying to drape a black necklace around his neck, and handed it to him. He put his number in and called himself, but alas, there was no reception.
I gestured that I would text him.
It's been 24 hours and I have not texted him. HAHAHA. I'm following Barry's advice and waiting a few days to do so. It won't go anywhere, but it would be interesting. He's Russian; I've never been with a Russian man. He's also really beefy and kind of hot in that sense, quite a nice face. It would be fun to make out with him. I've also never talked to someone who works in a night club, so I would like to find out more.
I'll probably text him tomorrow. Why not, right? Of all the women who were flirting with him, he came over to talk to me. So, yay?
I could also see many, many guys circling around. Of course, we were a group of four pretty hot women, but oh my god. They all looked like they were 15 or something, and just really not appealing at all. I wasn't even trying yesterday with my outfit; wore my usual tight skinny jeans and a yellow cap-sleeve top with a necklace and laced short boots. I guess it was the jeans. I do like my Oasis skinny jeans, and skinny jeans in general; they show off some of my best assets.
Anyway, so that was my Saturday night. It was loads of fun. Now that I've had a great weekend, I'll need to work extra hard in the coming week. Yay!