Wednesday, 5 October 2011

October 5th 2011

The first weekend in October, after the latter half of summer not being particularly glorious, was the warmest I've experienced since the start of the hotel boat season back in April/May. I spent a long time on the beach, both during the day and at night, and got pretty much nothing done. We keep hearing that we must make the most of our first phase here, as it's the easiest work-wise – I'm all too happy to take their advice. I know I'll have to cut back next month (not that I'm in this for the money, but I'm REALLY looking forward to getting a proper wage instead of this sponsorship allowance) so this month is full of trips to see friends elsewhere. If you see me around London, say hi as I'll be going into hibernation shortly!

Work is still going well, and I'm pretty much keeping on top of it. My classmate Sam and I are having fun doing some video editing and hearing about staff/lecturers' memories as research for a presentation on Crossing The Line ceremonies, which occur when seafarers cross the equator for the first time (thus changing from 'pollywogs' to 'shellbacks'). Usually it's a fairly rough – or mock-rough – ritual over which King Neptune presides along with his queen Amphitrite and Davy Jones, wherein charges are read out, 'medicine' is given, the seafarer is shaved and then dunked into a pool as a sort of baptism into Neptune's domain. I'm looking forward to mine! There's so much ancient tradition in the navy, and I think it's pretty cool that the ceremony is something which hasn't really changed in hundreds of years (albeit with slightly more concern for health and safety now – they used to be dunked into the sea!). Today we started looking at the details of passage planning as well. All very exciting – that bit is what makes me want to learn all this in the first place, the figuring-out of where and when to go, how to solve the problems, looking at charts and being able to read them like I can read music instead of squinting at all the little symbols like I'm doing at the moment. It'll come with time!

I got the library student ambassador job that I applied for a few weeks ago, so I'll be working a couple of nights a week in there from next week. Should be fun, although the services are reduced when we're on duty so there's not too much actual work to do – perfect time to revise, I reckon. It will also prevent me from drinking and watching films until the early hours, which will work wonders for my productivity. I hope.

We're going to steak night at the local pub tonight. Truly living the dream. Sayonara.