I have let this site slide over the last few months as other things got in the way, so here is a quick summation of what has been going on with me:Yep, I finished my degree and graduated with a high 2:1! This was exactly the result I was hoping for, and it has made postgraduate study a real possibility. Now if someone could hook me up with £12,000 for tuition/accommodation... well - that would be just dandy! As for postgraduate study, I have some decisions to make. I was lucky enough to be offered spots on courses at London Met, Oxford Brookes, and my current stomping ground QUB. At this present moment in time, I cannot say where I will end up, but the deadline date for decision-making is fast approaching, so watch this space. The one thing I do know is that I no longer want to pursue a career in Journalism. I tried it, I had the fun of seeing my name in print, but honestly I just don't love it. The paper I was contributing to was determined to confine me to the "reviews" section and it seemed that time and time again, any 'opinionated' piece would be sidelined and they would request something more sickeningly positive. Being a critic just isn't in my nature and I sure as hell am not thick-skinned enough to deal with daily complaints about what I write. Maybe I would feel differently if I was passionate about it or had a say in what I was writing, but when I am getting flak about pieces I don't even care about, it is hard to see the point in continuing. I don't mean to sound like a victim or like I am deeply bothered by negative comments. People can say what they want, but better they direct their energies at someone who is the least bit interested in what they have to say. So no more journalism for now, and certainly no journalism degree. Maybe I will come back around to this one day and pursue it in a different manner, but for the future I am locking my poison pen away and focusing on other things.
Now, I had a real treat last month when one of my favourite contemporary crime authors, David Peace, attended an event as part of the Belfast Book Festival. Peace is based primarily in Tokyo, so the opportunity to see/hear him read in public was too good to pass up, as was the opportunity to have a brief chat with him - which I did in fact manage! I have spent the last 3 years studying writers from every past era imaginable, and while that was quasi-enjoyable, I get a real kick out of Peace because he isn't dead, dying or buried in a pauper's grave in the middle of County Sligo (seriously, the great writers of English Lit are depressing as hell!).
In other news, I turned 21 a few days ago and that was an event made memorable by an array of mishaps so oddly comical that you would expect to find them in a Carry On movie. I won't go into them here because, quite frankly, you wouldn't believe me if I did. But I celebrated my birthday down in Dublin with some family members and we had some fantastic times. An unexpected gift was a new Nikon D3000 which I took full advantage of when we explored Phoenix Gardens and the Remembrance Garden. Here are some results from the weekend:Next on the agenda: GRADUATION!! The ceremony is this Wednesday and I am genuinely looking forward to it. Got my suit, my gown, my tickets. Now I just need to get through the ceremony without tripping onstage, sneezing all over the Chancellor, or getting the time of the ceremony wrong (apparently this is something at which I'm very adept these days). After that, I have no major plans for the rest of the summer. Once I figure out where the hell I am studying come September, then I can figure out how I want to spend the rest of my summer break. After so many years of strict school routines (from primary, to secondary, and then higher), it has been fun to live without any schedule or time-frame. This year I have completed a degree, come away with strong grades, seen and met long-time idols, chose a new career and said goodbye to an old one, and scolded at a drunk Brendan Fraser for trying to tell me how to work an iPhone. Those are all moments to savour, and there is still another half of the year to go, so who knows where I will end up by the end of it? I for one am sure as hell not in any hurry to find out!
Fun times indeed.