Sunday, 16 May 2010

Autodictactism is my friend.

So it would seem the Sunday Morning freak-post has become a double week tradition. The 'freak-post' title has been awarded this morning due to the fact that I'm no longer a student, having finished my degree officially on Friday and therefore have no procrastination reasons for blogging; and that given this student-finishing business I've had a rough total of ten hours sleep all weekend. Which, funnily enough, is probably a third of the amount of alcoholic units which have been imbibed in the same time. And yet, here I am, albeit still in bed (after all, it's not seen much of me), in a Newcastle University teeshirt (signs of denial over not actually being there), BLOGGING. Worse, blogging about blogging, yawn.

Moving swiftly on from such self-indulgent and pedestrian prattling. Due to no longer being a student I have decided to become an autodidact. Although I always have a mental reading list, I give it a week and a half until this is translated into wishlist form, inspired by the recent activities of an autodidact friend and guru (she has them stuck to her walls). Alongside re-enacting a feeble form of my degree, this autodictacism will apply to the 'real world'. Not in the form of the CV-friendly 'transferable skills', but in being amazed by cool places and 'amused' by 'funny' people. Which is how, so far, this weekend has panned out.

Friday night saw me leave the country...for Edinburgh. Which, being only an hour and a half from Newcastle, is somewhere I should have gone far more than the couple times a year I have so far been managing. Beautiful city, not least when the sun's out; the tourist fascination is justified. My host, tourguide and clubnight-organiser hero for the 28 hours I was there lives on Broughton Street, which, like Jesmond, is possibly the poshest street a student can afford to live on in Edinburgh. Instead of buying booze from an offie, our nearest option was officially 'the best wine merchants in Scotland'. Walking in down a few cobbly steps (the only form of entry to any Edinburgh establishment, it would seem) we were immediately greeted and asked what we wanted to drink. Problem being that we didn't really know, as it's normally all part of the off-license experience, and, reverting to an embarrassed teenager state, muttered something about 'vodka, please'. This got all the more shameful when we could only buy a litre of the stuff from behind the counter, our cheapest option being Glens (we were in Scotland, so it's...justified?) at £9.99 before it was wrapped up in pink tissue paper and we handed over our grubby little English tenner. The chances of getting coke to accompany were null and void.

Broughton Street's middle-class excess came to a painful head the next afternoon, when we tried to track down not only an all day breakfast - or at least one which was served after 11.30 - but a greasy spoon in which to eat it. Crossing the road between the many, many bistros with a hangover and a tummy rumbling for cheap sausage only to be greeted with the option of £4.95 'doorstep toast' which ended two hours previously is a recipe for potential Edinburgh hatred. Luckily, our host and tourguide got us bundled into a cab, driven over to the other side of the city and plonked into Snax Cafe. £2.70 full Scottish (haggis and hash browns on the side, yes please).

Upon returning to Newcastle last night I donned DoubleDenim for a party which apparently is just another on a current DD party bandwagon theme, except it was hosted by a load of noise metallers who wear DD all the time and therefore the irony levels were far too low for this to be considered a 'scenester' vibe. Decked out in my PDSA and Sally Army purchases the visual treat of various skirts-worn-as-capes and bi-leg-jean combos was entirely comparable to the Royal Mile. I did, however, embark an essential piece of social autodidactism, being: 'COMEDIANS' WHO TALK ABOUT THEIR COMEDY AREN'T FUNNY.

I learnt this by getting somewhat trapped in a corner with a chap who announced that he was a stand-up comic; except when I asked him to crack a joke he clearly thought I was some kind of comedian-interviewer and proceeded to reel off his comedy CV at great and inpenetrable length. Apparently he makes jokes 'about English politics and American politics', doing a five minute set of each, a technique which compares favourably to.....well, actually at this point I got mesmerised by some double denim bunting and ran off to check on the whereabouts of one of the few females there. Essentially, I think he was claiming to be a better comedian than any others ever - something about 1995-2001 being the 'golden age of comedy' which he was single-handedly returning to the world - except he didn't make me laugh. Shitter.

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