Instructions for Dancing

Tuesday April 29, 2008

be something else of worth

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 6:35 pm

So everything else is over for the day, and I have about three hours now for some Tacitus loving, which is just lovely. Well, it’s necesssary at least; I skipped the talk last night in favour of finishing my Lucretius text, and I want to keep that momentum.

It’s been a nice productive day; I got up for 9 and managed a groceries shop before lectures, and also had the forethought to buy some lunch, which was very cunning as I had a fairly solid block of Stuff from 11-4:45. I had a lecture on Lucretius, a long latin lang supervision where we went off and did two timed unseen translations (haven’t written anything long for ages, it was quite painful) and a very interesting class on classical perceptions of gender and sexuality. No huge revelations, but some nice useful bits of knowledge for if I ever needed to write an essay on the subject.

That finished slightly early, so Emily and I had a nice relaxed walk back through King’s (eeeee ducklings) and I wolfed down my pasta salad before going off for a greek lang supervision with DB. They’re always so much more fun than our latin lang ones with Carrie, because we lose the two intensive greekers and, well, these sessions are with DB. He began the supervision by gleefully reading out to us Farzin’s last few lines of the Homer passage, which he had attempted without any dictionary help – very dangerous, because the majority of Homeric words you won’t know and you can’t guess. F’s translation was extremely amusing because it had no bearing whatsoever on what mine or Rachael’s looked like, or what the Greek in fact meant. I think DB described it ‘Farzin’s foray into the lost book of the Odyssey’.

Anyway, yes, three hours and then I might get to compline.

Monday April 28, 2008

i’m ready i’m willing

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 3:04 pm

It’s raining <3 I like being indoors with a blanket when it’s like this. Lou and I did a bit of shopping earlier, but now I’ve a Greek prose comp to write and really nowhere else to go all day, unless I want to go listen to Field Marshall Lord Vincent at the union tonight. Matt’s stewarding, so I might, but I’ve been a bit under the weather recently so staying cuddled up here seems quite appealing too.

Week one finishes on Thursday, which I can’t quite believe – it feels I’ve been back for far longer. I’ve got a lot done, though not really anything academic – we had two-hour choir rehearsals every day last week for Bach’s epic B Minor Mass, then the concert in London on Friday, which went down very well. We also had the posh annual choir dinner on Thursday night, which I was initially very nervous about, as I don’t really socialise with anyone in choir, but after a glass of wine I felt comfortable enough to join in the conversation, and it because an extremely amusing evening. Delicious food too, though I didn’t manage all six courses.

Things are largely as I thought they would be, getting back here. That is, I am no longer quite so independent – even though I suppose in a sense I’m not exactly independent in my parents’ house at home either. But it’s a different kind of dependency here, an emotional one, born out of spending my days and nights in someone else’s pocket, and because of this I’ve had a few upsetting moments since getting back, largely because of my own insecurities. But for the most part I am content, and very aware of my luck in finding someone so lacking in insecurities himself but so understanding of mine. Everyone needs to cry sometimes, he points out. even though he never does.

I’ve a fairly quiet week coming up, a scattering of lectures and language supervisions, and a three-hour mock on Friday (not fun) but the prospect of a nice evening on Thursday, because that’s our newly-nominated anime evening. We might even get to finish Ouran. And, in the shorter term, I have about 2 hours to finish this prose comp.

edit: Hail! Awesome.

Tuesday April 22, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 12:29 am

How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
or unravelled her hand, as if her hand

were a solid ball
of silver foil

and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
and measured the trace of his own alongside it.

But said some things and never meant them –
sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.

And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.

I was right on Friday. and that’s neither good nor bad, it just is what it is.

Sunday April 20, 2008

in a time of our own

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 3:20 pm

Hmm, it’s possibly bad that I’m only just starting work now. But I got lots of sleep this morning, so that’s nice. And I can manage a slightly lazier Sunday than usual, because this is the one day this week that I don’t have a 2+ hour choir rehearsal, ahah. Nor evensong, so my day is entirely free. For work…

I found a new poem today that I kindof love.

Autumn Sonnet

If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one;
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(for love itself may need a time of sleep)
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure – if I can let you go.

May Sarton

I also found this bit of today’s news very inspiring.

Saturday April 19, 2008

bring me back to that time again

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 10:44 pm

Ahahah, Matt just solved a grammatical problem in my Lucretius work. Epic fail.

Charlotte Martin – Root

And the root still grows in the concrete fine
And you never think you’ll run out of time
The root still grows further than you know
Though the tree is scared of heights…

Friday April 18, 2008

close i’ve come

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 9:31 pm

So tonight’s the last night I’m going to be here alone, which is awesome. It’s also been rather nice because Lou and I went out to dinner and had delicious food and jolly chat (increasingly jolly towards the end of our half-bottle of wine), and I feel a bit more human now I’ve had a conversation with someone again.

Today would have been great anyway, because it is the very last day before tomorrow. But I’m also kindof aware that it’s the very last day of this shaky kind of independence I’ve gained, because tomorrow I will see him and remember all the things which I got through this separation best by forgetting. After that I won’t be quite so secure by myself. And so while I am so ready to pick up where we left off, I’m trying to make the most of this final, thirty-third day.

And in practical terms, it would have been great to have another week of holiday so I could have got more work done, but never mind, eh. I have gained a few thoughts from this holiday that I’d rather say anonymously, but there’s nothing unpleasant in there. Such days are over for me, I hope.

  • Your plain-talking was the first thing to make me laugh again after that stupid evening. You are dependable, and I respect you very much for that, especially when I think back to that other time you were so honest when I needed it.
  • Having your face-to-face company this holiday kept me sane. Besides that, you are also one of the two very best listeners I know. Frankly it’s kindof worrying to imagine how many secrets of ours you must know. Thank you for the hours you spent with me.
  • I respect you very much for what you are shouldering right now. The only things I can do for you are listen and pray, but I’ll keep doing those and I hope you’ll come out the other side.
  • I look forward to the day that you’ll be able to hear me talk about him the way I hear you talk about her. Everyone knows now, but I was the first one you came to, and that fills me with hope.

I also kindof needed to learn all of Bach’s B Minor mass before tomorrow’s rehearsal, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen now. (No shit, Hetty.) We’ll see.

Thursday April 17, 2008

you don’t live downtown no more

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 5:34 pm

Fifteen more lines to do this hour, but I think that’s well manageable with taking a little break now. Latin verse is a little faster to translate than Greek; I have an electronic dictionary on the computer that can parse words for me (case, number, conjugation, whatever), and I can also word-process my vocab lists because the alphabet is obvious and doesn’t need accents, so yays. I have Greek fonts for when I really need to record a problem word in a translation I’m working on, but it’s not quite as intuitive – xi (ξ) as the J key, psi (ψ) as the C key, and other such delights.

So this is my first full day back in Cambridge, and it’s a bit too solitary for me, but it’s only one day. The only people I’ve spoken to today (inanimate objects excluded) are the girl at the WHSmiths desk, a big issue guy in town and the Maintenance man who let himself into my room without realising I had arrived back… But I know I have Facebook if I need company, and Mat and I have begun an antisocial little tradition of MSNing between midnight and 1am, so it’s not that lonely really. And I’m trying to get as much work done today as possible, so the fewer distractions the better.

Wednesday April 16, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 4:45 pm

I never know what I want but I know when I’m low that I,
I need to be in the town where they know what I’m like and don’t mind

Monday April 14, 2008

haven’t dreamed of you and i

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 4:00 pm

Noting the ‘Rods choir from Eton bit’ of the program… and I’ve just emailed back to say I want to do it. I’m scared. but it’ll be okay, not to mention an amazing experience, and from the little I know about France trip with Mat’s family, it shouldn’t clash.

I’m just submitting my application for the summer school in Rome too. These things miss each other by two days – back from Belgium on 31st August, off to Rome on 2nd September. It’s going to be a busy summer.

In other news, today is surely the most beautiful day of the year so far. I walked down to Chris’s wearing a gypsy skirt and listening to Starlings. Now I’ve all but erased the last remnants of the insidious-hideous dream I had last night, perhaps also the worst of the year so far. But there’s a subconscious weight I’ve been carrying around, unreasonable fears, and I don’t think I’ll be able to escape its effects until I get back to Cambridge. It’s nothing that bothers me until I close my eyes.

Sunday April 13, 2008

calling out winter

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 7:00 pm

Mark Speight ‘found dead’

I have been translating Greek tragedy all week, but this is the first reason in days that I’ve felt any tears well up. I hope it’s not true, but I doubt BBC would have reported it if it weren’t. The whole story is so tragic, and so quick to unfold – she died in January. He must have loved her very much.

I wonder what kind of a life Euripides led. I wonder if his writings were affected by his own sufferings. I can’t help but think his subjects would have been too close to home if he had. (He would probably have written comedy instead – I suspect Aristophanes must have been manic-depressive.)

Or perhaps he did write that way. All the way through this play, there’s that emphasis on the fall – modest noblewomen of Troy to become slaves and concubines. Husbands and city destroyed, children killed, new Greek masters, but Euripides focuses most on the fall, the there to here, and how much that must have shocked and hurt those women. But childless and husbandless Greek slavewomen didn’t mourn as much as Hecuba. It’s the loss, he says, rather than the never having, and perhaps that’s what contains the real tragedy of anything.

“Oh the unlucky wedding and rites by which I once came into Hector’s home, to bear a son not as a victim for the sons of Danaus, but as a ruler over fruitful Asia! Oh child, you cry. Do you know your misfortunes? Why do you clutch me with your hands and cling to my robes, like a nestling rushing under my wings? There is no Hector gripping his famous spear and rising up out of the land to bring you salvation…”

[Andromache, 745-753, Trojan Women]

Edit: Lols. To support my previous thoughts, a note in the back of my Troades copy: “Tradition has it that Euripides was born in Salamis and later spent a lot of time brooding in secluded caves and fields.”

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